The Strength to Journey Far

You’ve been working hard. You’ve chosen how you will spend your time and your life and you are working to remain faithful.

But you may be getting tired.

Your steam may be running low.

In this case, it may be important to note the regular rhythms of work and passion and vision.

There are always times of cloud-shrouded uncertainty of task and days. This is really, really normal.

Continue reading The Strength to Journey Far

God in All

I am remembering today:

God is the God of open doors,

God is the Lord of the harvest,

God is the author of collaboration and partnership.

God makes a way where there is no way,

He is The Way,

And God entrusts us with His heart and His way.

God brings all things to good timing,

God’s timing is perfect.

God’s thoughts are higher than our thoughts,

God’s ways are higher than our ways.

God loves us,

God loves me,

God loves you.

We are enough because He is enough and He lives in us,

And God’s light shines out through our lives, once we stop trying to fix the cracks.

No Lost Years

There are no lost years within the Kingdom of God.

Too often we are fretting and ashamed because of what has not happened and the way life has turned out contrary to what we imagined.

There are many despondent in circumstances that are crushing.

Many are making do with the best they have.

Continue reading No Lost Years

Are We Really Listening to God? Are We Hearing?

There is an ongoing conversation about something in which I’m not even interested. It’s making for interesting thought.

Without implicating anyone or giving away too many details let me try to set the stage.

As you know I work alongside overseas rural indigenous pastors. It is a privilege and an honour and most of the time things go amazingly well.

Within the amazing, the biggest area of disconnect comes in the conversations around church buildings.

Continue reading Are We Really Listening to God? Are We Hearing?

A Reinvention

I’ve reinvented myself a few times over. From fearful and shy to settled and leading requires a few changes to one’s inner core along the way.

And as I’m looking ahead at 2014 it occurs to me that another reinvention is necessary. While the foundation is well laid within my own life and the life of Capturing Courage International the necessary and expected increase requires my own growth first and foremost.

This is the same for all of us. What has gotten us to today will not get us to the tomorrows that we want. Each new phase of life requires an expansion within our heart and mind. Our internal capacity is, after all, what grows our life.

My own process of inner growth always begins with identifying the parts of myself that I am not happy with. Where am I holding back? What still frightens me? What parts of my life are still not quite working?

I take hard looks at the outward identifiers of relationships, finances, daily habits, health, and more. What do these tell me? What have I been not wanting to see or admit?

And then I begin asking even more questions:

  • What might growth look like in this area?
  • How might I like that to be?
  • What small changes will create big shifts?
  • If I made one change in this area that would make a difference in all the other areas what might that one thing be?

Key to all of this is refusing to rush to conclusion.

Rather, we hold the questions open for some days, letting them settle in and through all the layers of our being. Questions like these will tap into our inner gut if we refuse to satisfy them too quickly with our own best wisdom.

We gather all possibilities, all brainstorming is laid out, and we wait.

Visioning then begins. How might I like to see myself? What would that particular shift do for me, how would it impact my life?

And in my mind’s eye I see myself with this new skill or that new confidence. I envision the changes I want to see, I may even feel the changes in my emotions and the way my body reacts to things. I then leave my visioning in my mind’s eye. I back away and allow my mind and will to go after what I want. Emergent energy takes over.

This process is easily 50% of the work alone. It is not so much the precursor to work – it is much of the work. Where most rush to change the outward those who take the time to shift the inner picture will end up with growth that sticks.

This is how I’m spending the last days of 2013 – I’m hanging out with myself in the depths of my own thoughts, in curiosity I am questioning, envisioning, and moving towards my own best future.

And as 2014 moves along I’ll add my own best efforts, due diligence, disciplined hours, healthy habits, and hard work to the mix, and we shall see how things have turned out a year from now.

As We Celebrate

Merry Christmas from me to you as we celebrate a babe come to save the world.

013 2

Open Doors

The Lord really began telling me about the work I was to do in the year 2000. And as I slowly came to believe and trust that this was indeed from God I entered into a process of waiting. Way back in 2002 I have in a journal entry, ‘the time is now, pray that the way would be opened.’ In 2004 another journal entry records, ‘pray that the doors would be opened for all over the world do I choose to use you.’ In 2008, ‘pray that the doors would be opened.’

And so I entered into the longing and the waiting and the praying alongside these directions of the Holy Spirit. I spent my time investing in my own inner healing and wholeness, for I knew that if these prophecies and the accompanying visions were true I would need to be a clean vessel for the Lord. Come forward to 2010 and our Capturing Courage team prayer times recorded, ‘pray that the doors would be opened.’

Well, the doors are open. Internationally speaking its been just over two years since the doors opened and we couldn’t now shut them if we wanted. I have invitations to 11 countries on three continents. Most of those countries have multiple invitations representing hundreds of churches and a number of Bible Schools.

The doors are so open that we cannot go through all of them at once. Most invites are followed by about 2 years of long-distance communication and relationship building before I ever arrive at that particular place,  and every time I do travel the invites become multiplied to that country.

The doors are so open that we have now entered into more waiting. I recently wrote about the power of longing (which is closely tied with waiting, you can read it here), and yet I hardly have the words to speak of the incredible investment made in the wait. I feel I am barely poking at the significance each time I write about it.

When I was young I was a ‘I’d like it yesterday thank-you very much’ kind of person. I like to say I’m a recovered driver-personality. I am now a firm believer of waiting and I encourage leaders and would-be-leaders to enter into waiting whole-heartedly and with faithfulness.

This duo of longing and waiting is in many, many ways the work. Really. Longing and waiting IS THE WORK. And I realize now when I travel and as I write and encourage and equip even over email and Facebook and phone calls that this is the harvest season for me. The multiplication of the waiting has already, and is still continuing, to take place.

All those years back then when I could hardly see my hand in front of my face for all the waiting on the Lord I was doing (many personal things as well as CCI), I never imagined that I was in fact and in that faithfulness doing the work. But I was. Today, we are simply reaping the harvest.

I’m so glad I didn’t go around the waiting. Thank-you Lord for keeping me faithful.

It’s interesting though that the ones closest in during those waiting years seem to have missed the significance of them. To them I was just going through difficulty and trial. Even the ones who knew of the visions and prophecies spoken over my life, even a few who did the prophesying, cannot believe it today.

And I think this is so true of all of us. We see waiting and we see the outward difficulties and we miss the work going on under the surface. We aren’t able to realize that faithfulness produces its own harvest. That staying the course alongside our Lord is an investment in great things to come. God looks at the heart after all, we on the other hand, seem to have trouble doing this.

Today, thought its a bit different, I am still waiting. Where will I go in 2014? I don’t know. I know my first trip will be back to Uganda, but when, what month? I don’t know. And I can’t know when I will know. What about the other places and people pressing in on my heart, India, Pakistan, Myanmar, Kenya, Burundi, Northern Mozambique, Tanzania, Ghana?

Names I’ve come to love: Timothy, Ravi, Ravindra, Esther, Alex, Charagh, Philip, Michael, Caliph, Walter, Daniel, Innocent, Patrick, Elizabeth, John, Irene, Edward, Praise, Evan, Joyce, Victor, Whisky, Edison, June, Annet, Grace, Moses, Joseph, Jacob, Mildred, Swen, Pascal, Lydia, Scholastic, Geoffrey, Nicholas, Mehtab, Anthony, Peterson, Kigozi, David, Alex, Mamma Bosa, Edith, Aaron, Nelson, Godwin, Bena, Elijah, Paul, Nabeel, Mathias, Honey, Jacob, Anniebel, Stephen, Isabel, Daniel, Camota, Vologa, Huda, John, Dombay, Paul, Isaiah, Lino, Rui, Armando, Oondo, (please forgive me if I missed you).

I’m waiting on the Lord. It’s really hard work. Every day I bear the load of it and invest of the longing alongside it. Yet gladly and with great privilege.

Not for myself any longer, but for those that the Lord chooses to touch and heal and make glad. My job is to show up. The Lord does the rest.

What has become very amazing is that I’m not waiting alone. Weekly I receive emails and phone calls reminding me that they are waiting for me. Hundreds of people in multiple communities are praying and praying and praying for me to travel to where they are. How many full days and services have been set aside over the past couple years for the express purpose of praying for me and my journeying I have no idea. I just keep hearing about them.

It’s an amazing thing. And I get it now. I’m not the only one waiting. Rather, we wait together. And in this I am convinced that the compounding investment of our communal waiting will bring about the Kingdom of God in mighty and powerful transformations of lives and leaders and churches within the body of Christ.

We wait on you Father. Together.

“The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him.” Lamentations 3:15

“Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!” Psalm 27:14

“For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end—it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay.” Habakkuk 2:3

Amen and amen.