Category Archives: Life

Canada: Remembering Your Identity at 150

Happy 150th Birthday Canada!

Happy Birthday Canada!

Today as we mark and celebrate your 150th year as an identified nation, I am thankful.

Even though many today will eat, drink and be merry because of the freedom you provide, I reflect on who you’ve become and I am a bit saddened; as I’m not sure you remember who you are.

Before you were formed, you were inhabited by many tribes and civilizations for thousands of years. These original people were spiritual people, caring people who had rich culture and family beliefs that enabled them to care for each other, the land and the animals that roamed your vast geography. What made you strong was not your tribal diversity, but your unity and harmony with all that was created to sustain life.

It was this harmony that was broken when other groups, of explorers, came and found a rich and prosperous land; which they immediately loved and decided to claim as their own.

It was this selfishness that displaced and or killed many of the original people, culminating in a seven-year war leaving what is now the Province of Quebec, divided into Upper and Lower Canada.

Eventually, these two colonies would reunify and in 1867 join with two other colonies – New Brunswick and Nova Scotia – and that is when you were “born.”

The original peoples would be pushed aside for many years, but nonetheless, you were born and had many great ideals and qualities which would eventually recognize the harm done to these original peoples.

Some of them were my ancestors along with those who gave you birth, so I am grateful.

I am Métis, and I hear many people mock you, Canada, for not having an identity, but I guess it’s not your fault.

In your acceptance of many, you often forget who we are and thus you are unable to relate your identity to others. Sometimes the clarity others have in who they are, causes you to diminish who you are, opting to accept being labelled as a “melting pot.”

No! You are more than a melting pot.

Though you just turned 150, as a distinct nation called Canada, your culture and ideals are thousands of years old.

In fact, it’s because of who you are, that many nations can co-exist within your great borders; in unity and harmony.

While many homelands falter and crumble under tyranny, selfishness, joblessness, oppression and war; Canada, you open your arms and welcome them in and say “you can start again with new hope and make your home here with us; Canadians.” However, there are still some who seek to undermine your core family values and morality, and as such you need to remember and stay committed to who you are.

A reminder of who you are

  • A spiritual people
    • Both the original peoples and our “Founding Fathers” recognized a power great than themselves
    • The Founding Fathers, thought it fit, to write scripture on our parliament buildings, and derive its name (The Dominion of Canada) from Psalm 72
    • Our national anthem reminds us to seek Him for protection and to keep our land glorious and free
    • Our Charter of Rights and Freedoms acknowledges Him as sovereign – It’s an old-fashion word that means supreme ruler / above all things
  • A welcoming, loving and peaceful people
    • Sometimes to our own detriment, we love, but I guess that’s why it’s love and not a right or reward
    • Today the number of nations who find their home here in relative harmony is a testimony to that
    • These ideals are from scripture and are exemplified by a God who sent His only begotten Son, Jesus, to save a people who forgot who they were – John 3:16
  • A generous people
    • When the first colonies began to develop, the original peoples helped them through the tough winters – our Thanksgiving holiday is a reminder of that
  • A forgiving people
    • It took many decades, but the original peoples of this land are being recognized – we still have a long way to go
    • Let’s continue to forgive and right the many wrongs

Canada, today I remind you of who you are. Don’t forget that you are loved by God who is sovereign and His standards are what made you.

Prayer:

Our Father, who is in heaven, we honour you and ask you to keep Canada glorious and free. Allow your true and unfailing love – some would say “patriot love” – to be a guide and a reminder of what makes Canada the true north strong and free. Touch every heart and mind, from sea to shining sea, with your holy spirit. Amen.

Comfort, Hope and Forever Young

Colossians 2:2 (NLT)

I want them to be encouraged and knit together by strong ties of love. I want them to have complete confidence that they understand God’s mysterious plan, which is Christ himself.

On September 8, 2015 I attended and delivered a message at the funeral of a beautiful young lady who died unexpectedly of “natural causes” at the age of just 23.

What’s amazing to me is how this invitation came exactly two weeks after I left full-time employment to pursue the things of God.

As I stood at the lectern, it dawned on me that I was fulfilling my purpose – to reach young people with the truth of God and His word.

I’m still in awe at how God works. I pray I never lose that child-like wonder; at how God can care so much about His creation, let alone a person like me who has made so many mistakes. And I still do…just ask my mentor.

So that was my message, GOD CARES and OUR LIVES MATTER, not only to God, but to each other. (you can download my message/notes here).

Not only that, but hearing all the things that were said, by family and friends of this young lady, none of whom I knew personally, and how it all connected to the message God gave me to deliver, was just another subtle confirmation that God is not only real, but speaks to us and through us.

God exists. I’ve done my research.

Many will say, that all philosophies and religions teach the “golden rule” – to be doers of good, but they miss one key thing – what do we do with our sin nature that was passed down from Adam? No matter how hard we try and no matter how many good deeds we do, only Jesus can and did live perfectly and in the end paid the price for all of humanity. Romans 5:18

So if you have questions about who God is and how that matters to your life, please leave me a comment. I’d love to pray with you and help you live a life of purpose, hope and be “forever young” in eternity.

And that’s a good segue into how I concluded my message at the funeral of a lady 23 years young – with the lyrics of the song “Forever Young” written by Bob Dylan (and a team which included Rod Stewart). Too old for most of the patrons, but significant in it’s composition.

Thanks Merv – it wasn’t a coincidence that you gave me the lyrics to that song on my last day of work.

Prayer: Father God, thank you for your truth and life. According to Colossians 2:2, please use me more and more so that many people will come into an understanding of your perfect and mysterious plan, which is Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.

How to Find Your Purpose

Jeremiah 29:11 (NLT)

For I know the plans I have for you,” says theLord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.

There are over 100 verses in the Bible on purpose and even more books written on the topic – both secular and biblical. However, since I’m a Christian, and since the Lord gave me the following topic last Sunday when I was asked to deliver the message at Antioch Reformation Ministry, I’m going to stick with scripture and what the Lord shared with me on how to find your purpose.

  1. Ask God
    • He is the one that puts your purpose in you as we see in the above scripture as well as Jeremiah 1:5
    • God never fails and will fulfill his purposes for you if you let him – Psalm 138:8, Romans 8:28, Job 22:21 (too many to list so see Additional Resource below)
  2. Passion
    • Many purposeful and successful people list this in their “story of success”
    • The last moments of Jesus’ life are commonly called “His Passion” or the “Passion of Christ” – the word in Greek actually means “to suffer” or put another way  “something that is a burden” – we know also that in the end Christ fulfilled his purpose on earth and scored the greatest victory for all mankind
    • Find the thing that is heavy on your heart, a burden that you must do; that when you do it, your adrenaline and motivation rise
  3. Decisions
    • Make careful decisions that take you in the direction of your purpose and keep you in the will of God – Daniel 1:8
    • The best way to make careful decisions is to be lead by the Holy Spirit – Acts 19:21
    • In John 4:4 it says that Jesus needed to go through Samaria – why? Because he was lead by the spirit and there were people to impact which leads us into the last point
  4. People
    • Ultimately your purpose will either need or impact people – John 4:39-42
    • Don’t be afraid to connect and share your purpose/vision with people – Habakkuk 2:2

To get clarity on all of the above and to move into your purpose, it’s important to pray and pray regularly. As often as you make decisions…pray.

Additional Resource: 97 Bible verses related to purpose

Prayer: God, you are the one who gives purpose and therefore I ask that you reveal to me, through the Spirit, my purpose. Help me to reflect on my past and see how you’ve been guiding me into my purpose. Show me in my dreams or day visions, whisper in my ear, speak, for your servant is listening. Connect me with those whom you’ve aligned with my purpose. Show me those who you have purposed for me to impact. Amen.

 

You’re Not Christian

Acts 11:25-26

(25) Then departed Barnabas to Tarsus, for to seek Saul:
(26) And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.

While in meditation on the weekend of September 13 the Lord spoke to me these words, “are you sure you’re a Christian?” And then I thought for a second, if I’m not Christian, then what am I?

The Lord then reminded me of the scripture above and how a year or so ago I had heard that the term Christian wasn’t something the disciples called themselves, but was a derogatory term used by those in the world. The disciples gladly accepted the intended insult, because it associated them and their character with that of Christ. Something for which they were not ashamed. (Romans 1:16)

But that was then and them, and this is now and me, so I reflected on myself and whether the same would be said of me. Do others see me as a Christian? I’m not sure…I know I tell people I am, but would they come to that conclusion on their own? Hmmmmm?

I wanted to be sure so I searched the scriptures and here are some things that I found:

  • Only disciples were called Christians (see above)
  • Not all believers are disciples (Acts 5:12-14)
  • Christians (disciples) preach the gospel and God honours their preaching with signs and wonders (Acts 5:15-16)
  • Christians aren’t afraid to suffer and are not ashamed of the gospel (1 Peter 4:16)

Keep in mind that we’re all in the process, at various stages, in the timeline of walking out our beliefs, so don’t feel condemned. Rather, strive even more to hit the mark and come into the fullness of the image of Christ. Allow God’s word to have its full course in your life.

Prayer: Father, I desire to be more like you and your dear son. I desire to make my life count for your name’s sake. Give me the strength, patience and endurance to finish the race as Paul did. Lord as I go forth as a witness in word and deed, honour your gospel with signs and wonders. Amen.

Back to School!

2 Timothy 2:15 (KJV)

Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

As I reflected on what today’s message would be the Lord took me to my favourite scripture as noted above. The significance of this scripture cannot be overstated, especially with the world in such turmoil today.

Now more than ever it’s vital that we know what we believe and whose approval we’re vying for.

There are many deceivers in the world and in the “church”. Some such deceivers are calling themselves the “returned Christ” while at the same time saying they’re the anti-Christ. This is one of the more obvious deceptions as “anti” means against and the bible is clear that the anti-Christ is against Christ. It’s not possible to be the returning King while at the same time being the anti-Christ (the devil). Yet many people are following falsehoods like this to the point of having 666 tattooed onto their bodies (I’ll do a message on 666 soon – leave me a comment if you’re interested in what the Lord showed me).

I’m sure I  don’t need to remind you of all the conflict and confusion in the middle-east, the Ebola outbreak and the various natural phenomenon happening around the world…even our summer was affected (tongue-in-cheek – JK – just kidding – sort of).

In any event, let us press into God’s Word more and pray as we send our children back to schools that are filled with God haters and lovers of self.

Prayer: Father as the children of this great nation of Canada head back to school, protect them and keep them safe as the devil is roaming about seeking whom he may devour. May the Christians in their classrooms identify and speak out against falsehood and declare your truth to their peers. May we as parents lead by example to study and know your truth. Empower us with your Holy Spirit to stand up and defend the gospel. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Christ Mathematics

2 Peter 1:5-8

(5) And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;

(6) And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;

(7) And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.

(8) For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

At Life Freedom Dominion Ministry we’ve begun two new study series.

1) The Kingdom of God (Sundays)

2) Spiritual Growth (mid-week Bible Study – lead by my wife)

From the second study, on Spiritual Growth, a few things have begun to really stand out, one of which is the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

In the above scriptures it talks about several things that lead us into the knowledge of Christ. Paul also wrote “that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection” so there must be something about this knowledge of Christ. Paul knew the scriptures, having been raised a Pharisee, so I don’t think he meant knowing about Christ as many people do. I also did a word study and this word “know” is a very intimate word. May I remind you of the scripture that says “Adam knew his wife and she conceived” and that God knows every hair on our head.

Today, let us do some mathematics so that we may know our Jesus more intimately so that we will bear fruit and ‘conceive’ spiritual offspring. Let us…

  • ADD VIRTUE to our faith – in Wikipedia virtue is described as moral excellence
  • ADD KNOWLEDGE to virtue – knowledge of His Word – to know and not do is still not to know
  • ADD TEMPERANCE to knowledge – means personal restraint or personal moderation and there’s even a movement (Google it)
  • ADD PATIENCE to temperance – patience requires grace and love
  • ADD GODLINESS to patience – godliness is allowing your will to be conformed into God’s will and thinking eternally not carnally – what I can get from this world, but rather what I can give of God to this world
  • ADD KINDNESS to patience – I’m sure we’ve all experienced someone being unkind to us…so let us do the opposite – I like how it comes after patience – it will take patience to show kindness
  • ADD CHARITY (LOVE) to kindness –  sometimes we can go through the motions in being kind, but doing something out of love or charity (true compassion) is the goal

Prayer: Lord Jesus grant every saint, believer, Christian the grace to live today with a mathematical mindset and to ADD to their faith. Father, as we add, I know that you will multiply your blessings upon us and change the circumstances around us, as Paul wrote to the Corinthians – “I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.” Amen.

Be Ready

Matthew 24:44

Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.

First; even though I’ve only quoted one scripture, please read the entire chapter and reflect on the events that are happening around the world today.

….

Okay. now that you’re scared (tongue in cheek), I want you to know that I’m not trying to be like others who talk about the “end-times”. I’m also not trying to imitate other “false prophets” who have tried to predict the end of the world. I’m here to bring to light what they’ve all somehow missed from Matthew 24:36 – something Jesus, a true prophet, said himself…

But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only

The fact is, predictions get people all worked up, sells books and gets great TV ratings and Satan loves this because, for the majority of people, it distracts them away from the point Jesus was trying to make. The point, and the title of this post is BE READY (in season and out of season).

So I’ll leave you with this simple question: If Jesus were to come in the next hour, are you confident that you’re ready?

Prayer: Father, help me to identify where I’ve been unfaithful and un-prayerful (new word). Remind me to keep watch in prayer over my spirit and the life you’ve placed within me. Amen.

I AM

Exodus 3:13-15

13 And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them?

14 And God said unto Moses, I Am That I Am: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I Am hath sent me unto you.

15 And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, the Lord God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations.

I am the one who makes all things new.

I am the one who promises and never fails.

I am the one that keeps covenant.

I am the one living in you to do great and mighty things.

I am the one who watches over you.

I am the one who is bringing my word and my plans to pass.

I am the one who is building my church. You are my church; a holy habitation.

I am coming and I am already here.

I am the alpha and omega, beginning and the end. I am eternal.

I am your comforter.

I am your provider.

I am the one you can trust.

I am one that cannot lie.

I am your healer.

I am your maker.

Tell the world who I AM.

I AM THAT I AM. I AM God. I change not.

I am Yahweh!

You Are Victorious!

John 16:33
These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

You’re probably wondering…”what does this have to do with me being victorious?” Well, let me explain a few things that the Lord explained to me.

The people who allow the stresses and strife of the world to dictate their lives, do not have peace. Lack of peace means there is inner turmoil, struggles and wars. Contrary to that if we are not in the world, but in Christ we have peace. If we are in Christ and He has overcome the world then we, by reason of our position in Him, have also overcome….we are victorious!

If we read through the Bible we will see that God has said in many places “I have given you victory”, but the Israelites still had to go to war to bring the Word of God to pass. Likewise, Jesus is saying we will have tribulation, but He has already won the battle in the spiritual realm; we just have to walk it out in the natural. That is why we can be of good cheer and not fear…we are already victorious!

Romans 8:35,37 (I recommend reading the whole chapter…20 times)
(35) Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
(37) Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.

The key is being in Him and not in the world.

Ephesians 2:4-6
(4) But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
(5) Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
(6) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:

Romans 6:4-6
(4) Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
(5) For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:
(6) Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.

We need to know that whatever battle or challenge we are facing internally or externally, we’ve already overcome through the blood and resurrection from the dead, of our Lord Jesus Christ. Sin and Satan have no more dominion over us…we are victorious when we remain in Jesus!

Prayer: Father, I thank you for your wisdom and grace. I thank you for your son Jesus who took back the dominion that Adam lost in the garden. I declare victory over sin and make Jesus my example of authority, faithfulness, power and love. Amen.

Are You Moved?

Nehemiah 8:9-10 (KJV)
(9) And Nehemiah, which is the Tirshatha, and Ezra the priest the scribe, and the Levites that taught the people, said unto all the people, This day is holy unto the Lord your God; mourn not, nor weep. For all the people wept, when they heard the words of the law.
(10) Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the Lord is your strength.

Nehemiah was a prophet who was the cup-bearer (slave) of the Persian King Artaxerxes (Xerxes the Great) who had captured the Israelite people. He was taken away from Jerusalem and served in a fortress called Susa which was located east of Babylon at the northern part of the Persian Gulf. In chapter 1 of the book Nehemiah had been paid a visit by some of the Israelites who had returned to Jerusalem and they reported how bad a shape the city was in and Nehemiah wept, fasted (hint, hint) and prayed for many days.

In this chapter, the city has been rebuilt along with the temple and all the people were gathered for the reading of God’s Word as given to them by Moses in Sinai. When the people heard about all the things that they had done wrong and against God according to the law, they were very sorrowful and wept. I believe they were truly repentant.

So my question is this: Are you moved to repentance when you read God’s Word?

Acts 2:36-37 (KJV)
(36) Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made the same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.
(37) Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?

I believe in this season, it’s important that we come to a place where the Word becomes a two-edged sword piercing our hearts and bringing us to a place of change. I don’t like to use the “He’s coming soon” mantra, but we all have only a limited time here on earth. While we are here we are instructed and it’s God’s will that we be conformed to the image of Christ as much as possible and bear fruit. Some 30, some 60, some 100 fold.

While I was meditating on that, my thoughts went to the fruit of the spirit and all those were not external fruits. THey’re internal and I caught this revelation: bearing 30, 60 and 100 fold fruit can also mean the percentage of change that takes place in us. How much are we conformed to Christ’s image. Have you ever thought about that? I don’t know about you, but the more I learn about Christ the more I realize that I’m probably not even bearing 20 fold fruit. Selah.

I say that not to make you sad and weep, but to help you understand the grace that we’ve been given.

Hebrews 6:1-3 (NLT)
(1) So let us stop going over the basic teachings about Christ again and again. Let us go on instead and become mature in our understanding. Surely we don’t need to start again with the fundamental importance of repenting from evil deeds and placing our faith in God.
(2) You don’t need further instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment.
(3) And so, God willing, we will move forward to further understanding.

In closing, join with me and let’s move on to greater things and better promises in Christ Jesus. Nehemiah fasted and prayed for God’s favour and God gave it to him. And when Nehemiah asked Xerxes for time to build and resources, he gave it to him and he was able to rebuild the city and temple. Selah (pause and calmly reflect on that)

Prayer: Father, you are holy and sovereign. You show your mercy toward me in so many ways and I thank you. I’m sorry that I’ve abused the grace and the cross. I’ve sinned against you and have held bitterness in my heart. I’ve been angry and sinned. Lord, show me what I must do and I will do it. I commit to you all my hopes and I follow after you to be changed into your likeness for your glory. Grant me favour among all the people even my enemies. Amen.