The Time Has Come!

2011 Is History!

What does the future hold? Romans 13:11-12 could not be clearer for such a time as this:

See then that the time has come for you to be awake from sleep: for now is your salvation nearer than when you first had faith. The night is almost gone, and the day is near. Therefore let us lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armour of light.

Wake Up, smell the divine coffee! Jesus is coming soon, sooner than we think. Its time to live for Jesus to the max and not mess with the darkness. The time has come, right now, to realize that we will wake up every day in 2012 to a spiritual battle and we need the protection of the armour of light. Look at the bright, shining, teaching in this chapter:

1.   Obey the law of your land(1-5)
2.  Pay your income tax, property tax, border taxes etc (6-7)
3.  Get out of debt (8)
4.  Love your neighbour as yourself (8-10)
5.  Live for Jesus like a real Christian should – no messing around! (13-14)

This is do-able. Crazy things could happen in this coming year so we need our roots deep down into Jesus like never before. Are you on a daily bible reading plan? if not try http//   really great for your smart phone. I will preach on this tomorrow, Jan 1st, at a storefront church in E.Vancouver and together we will put on the whole armour of God. Shalom.

Twenty More Years

Our family moved to Vancouver from England in 1989. The biggest cost factor was leaving our widowed mothers, mine being in a nursing home in Kent. At the end of June, 1991, my mother collapsed into an armchair saying ‘God help me, God bless me’! She called upon the name of the Lord in her dying moments and I have no doubt that she went to be with Jesus in glory. I flew to England to honour her passing and speak at her memorial and then spent some time in Suffolk with sympathetic friends. One evening I set out to drive across England to Stroud in the Cotswold Hills and late at night I came to the picturesque village of Bibury that has a trout stream flowed next to the main road. I felt the Holy Spirit tell me to park the car and stand on the bridge over the water. As I waited on the Lord in the still of that night my mind wandered over all the times Beth and I had enjoyed that village. Pastor John Clarke of the ancient Baptist Church had been the first one to ask me to preach at a service. A young couple had been married there and the organist played A Whiter Shade of Pale’ (originally by Procol Harum)! Then a quiet voice inside of me asked ‘Do you know what date it is?’ It came like a flash – it was exactly twenty years from when Beth and I had joined a Cirencester mission, ‘Route 71’, in July 1971 to do coffee bar evangelism with teenagers, and many teens had come to Christ, some being the foundation of our first church plant in 1978. I was overwhelmed at how the Lord had taken us from being obscure youth leaders in the heart of the countryside to being the senior pastor at one of Vancouver’s oldest churches. I could never have imagined such a thing, the Lord had done it all. Then another question shocked me! ‘Would you like another twenty years?’ It took several minutes to answer this question as I knew there would be a cost factor, it would be amazing but there would be challenges, but I said ‘yes’. Well that was twenty years ago this month, and looking back it was as I thought, who would have planned it like this. We did another church plant in Metrotown and through Alpha outreach found friends all over China! We are in a house church again, exactly where we were in the seventies but I’m called to be an intercessor and the director of Intercessors For Canada. Done so many things over the years but thrilled at the end of this period to have an open door to minister in Mexico – been 5 times in the last year. Oh and one of the surprises was having multiple bypass heart surgery a couple of years ago, and the surgeon said ‘ You are alright for another twenty years!’

That Was Easy!

It most certainly was not easy! I have that Staples rubber button, that when you press it a mocking voice declares that you had no struggle at all to do the impossible. I am not a teenager anymore, Chinese friends think I look like the Colonel, Filipino friends think I am more like Moses! Even though I majored in Chemistry, Physics and Maths that was actually when we did big calculations using logarithms and pocket calculators had not even been dreamed of. So it is a constant challenge at my age to keep up with 8 year old’s in the cutting edge digital world. I had to get an iPad3 just to prove I could, as well as survive peer pressure even amongst pastors. But when it comes to finally being responsible for the uploading and formatting of the IFC web site not to mention Mail Chimp, Facebook and HootSuite…scream!  I have had tutoring from a very patient techie but this time it was me riding the digital bike alone without the training wheels. And I did it! Today I have had the gift of time and sunshine on the patio to experiment wildly in all directions, and it seemed to work in the end with only one panic call to my digerati. But in the weekI prayed a prayer. Facing the www. it felt more like a range of mountains MMM. Then I remembered what I had read recently in Exodus 36:1-2 

“Bezalel and Oholiab and every craftsman in whom the LORD has put skill and intelligence to know how to do any work in the construction of the sanctuary shall work in accordance with all that the LORD has commanded.” 2 And Moses called Bezalel and Oholiab and every craftsman in whose mind the LORD had put skill, everyone whose heart stirred him up to come to do the work.

I prayed for the Lord to give me wisdom, skill and intelligent understanding to do a good job. Perhaps the real factor was that my heart was stirred and I was going to climb that mountain with whatever it took. With God all things are possible. Phew!