The Clash of Kingdoms: Breaking Free of Selfish Living

Do you ever find yourself coming face to face with your own selfishness?

This happens to me more often than I'd like to think. In a recent prayer time I was talking (okay... complaining) to God about some things in my life. I was listing a number of areas of disappointment, and in the midst of it I began to realize how incredibly off my perspective was regarding what my role is before God, and what His role is in the heavens.

I love sound teaching on God's heart as a loving heavenly Father. I love teaching on Jesus as the Bridegroom God who is filled with love for His bride, the church. But I find that I can be quick to forget that God's main desire is not that my individual life be happy and enjoyable in all of the ways I want it to be. It's easy to think "God, but if you're for me, and not against me, why aren't you doing a, b, and c in life?" But it misses the point.

God is also a King who is bringing His kingdom to earth, and the point of life is not me, but Him. All of us are prone to think that it's the other way around. That life on earth is primarily about our kingdoms -- our life, our family, our job, our ministry. And it's just not the case.

Street Invaders -- Raising up a Revival Generation



For over 10 years I've been praying for the upcoming generation. In hundreds of prayer meetings I've asked for the Lord to raise up young, burning, messengers who are fully in love with God and longing to see revival come.

A few years ago I got connected with Eston College and had the chance to hear testimonies of 18 and 19 year olds who had these crazy stories of seeing people encountered on city streets across the nation and even internationally. Stories of healings. Stories of drug dealers getting saved. It was wild. I wondered, "How on earth do 18 and 19 year olds have testimonies like this? Where did they learn this stuff?" And one of the common pieces in many of their stories was involvement with a summer teen missions programs called Street Invaders.

Over 30 years ago Larry Moore and Brian Cooper started a program to equip teens to share their faith and then send them out on life-changing outreaches. Today Larry is still the executive director, and Street Invaders runs programs out of Surrey BC, Calgary AB, Eston SK, and for the first time, Winnipeg MB.

I had the chance to connect with Street Invaders last summer in Saskatchewan where I did some teaching at their boot camp. We saw over 20 people healed in the course of our training weekend alone, and that didn't even include our outreaches!

So what is Street Invaders? Each program consists of a training program called a "Boot Camp" and then a "Mission" phase where teams are sent out.

Here in Winnipeg our Boot Camp will run from July 7-12. This year it is be hosting at Zion Apostolic Church -- we will be eating and sleeping there during the duration of this time. We will have amazing times of worship, gifted teachers, and the teens who come will be encouraged to go deeper in God and equipped to share their faith. Then from July 12-21 students will have the chance to put what they learned into practice. We will take them out on outreaches, each team led by experienced leaders, and in partnership with ministries we have relationship with, they will have the chance to share their faith, manifest the love of God, and see His power released into their area of outreach. I love this program!

At Street Invaders we are firmly committed to teaching the Word of God, and we also believe that the gifts and power of the Holy Spirit are for today! Do you want to learn more? Please check out (or register!) on our website at http://streetinvaders.ca. You can follow Street Invaders on Facebook or Instagram -- and if you want to specifically stay in touch with our Manitoba program we have a "Street Invaders Winnipeg" page on Facebook and account on Instagram. This is going to be a great summer! If you know of any teen who would benefit from a program like this please let them know, our first registrations are starting to come in and we would love to have more!

Dreams and Encounters: The Coming Move of the Spirit in Manitoba and Beyond

"In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy." Acts 2:17-18
Scripture is clear about God's desire to speak to His people powerfully in the time leading up to Christ's return. The promise of Pentecost was not for a brief period in the first century. When you read through the context of Joel 2 and 3 it becomes evident that Joel was prophesying an end-time move of the Spirit taking place in the midst of the shakings and trouble of the last days. Pentecost was the beginning but certainly not the end of this movement.

It's easy as an intercessor to at times grow weary of praying. In my context I'm often praying for God to do massive things, frequently in the midst of little signs of breakthrough. This can make it hard to sustain fervent prayer. Intercessors can begin to wonder "Is revival ever coming? Do all of these prayers even matter?"

One of the things that has sustained me over the last decade in prayer is the encounters and promises that the Lord has spoken to my heart along the way. These days it seems like most of the prayer meetings I go to are pretty mundane. The worship may be really powerful, and sometimes there's some energy in the prayers, but it's been quite a while since I've seen the Lord powerfully move in the midst of a prayer meeting, and I certainly have not felt His Spirit's closeness in intercession like I have in other seasons. Despite all of this, I know that there's a move of His Spirit coming.

Removing All That Hinders Love: The Purifying Work of the Spirit

I was trying to help a friend lead a house group and kind of messed up a couple of weeks ago. We were going to spend some time meditating on a Bible passage and she talked about wanting to focus on Luke 3 and baptism, and asked me where the verse reference was. She was referring to Jesus' baptism in Luke 3:21-22. I didn't know that, and so directed the group to one of my favourite passages about baptism in Luke 3:16-17 (to which most of my friends would probably laugh and say "of course he did.")
John answered them all, "I baptize you with water. But one who is more powerful than I will come, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire." - Luke 3:16-17 (NIV)
I love John the Baptist's description of Jesus, it is the only of His descriptions that is recorded in all four gospels -- that Jesus would baptize people in the Holy Spirit. I haven't always known what to do with the "fire" part. Clearly there is a powerful element of end-time judgment in this passage. At the same time we can't deny that when the disciples were baptized in the Holy Spirit in Acts 2 that tongues of fire appeared over their head. So what is the fire talking about? The more I think about it, the more I think that its referring to multiple things that the Holy Spirit does in our lives. Our God, after all, is an "All-Consuming Fire."

Joining Jesus on the Waves

I have a confession to make: I want to live a lifestyle of radical faith -- but I've struggled with it. I've had times where I've seen God move powerfully in my life. But I've also had times where it felt like what He was asking me to do was too much, or it simply didn't make sense to me and I didn’t trust Him, and so I backed away.

This area of trust is one that I've wrestled with in different seasons of my life. There are some times where I think I did okay in this area, but others where I made decisions out of fear rather than obedience.

And so it's been interesting to see how the Lord has been speaking to me the past few months. One of the key things the Lord has been doing is challenging me to reframe His promptings -- to understand them in a different light.

Foundations of Prayer Part 1: Prayer Was Meant to be Enjoyable

Prayer was meant to be enjoyable. 

"Enjoyable" is not the word that most people use when they describe their prayer lives. Prayer can feel frustrating at times. It can feel dull, or boring. Maybe this is why Jesus' disciples looked at His prayer life and were so provoked that they said, "Lord, teach us to pray!" They had grown up in a religious system in which prayer was considered important, and yet clearly there was something about Jesus' interaction with the Father that stuck out to them. It was so different from what they knew that they wanted to enter into the school of prayer, with Him as their instructor. 

It's little wonder why. For one, Jesus' prayers got answered. He moved in incredible power and they were first-hand witnesses to radical healings, stunning miracles and even resurrections. If I knew a pastor or teacher who had walked on water I would want to know about their prayer life too! In addition to this, He moved in incredible intimacy with the Father. There has never been a person who walked as closely with the Father as Jesus did when He was on the earth -- and clearly this is something that would have provoked them as well. 

Have We Missed the Point of Christianity?

Have we missed the main point of Christianity?

I’ve been thinking about this question recently. It started with the question as to why so many people, particularly men, seem to struggle with prayer. Many are not totally sure of the value of it, although they know it's something that the Bible says is important. They don't know how to progress into deeper levels of connecting with God -- or why they should even want to.

And then I started thinking about why this might be.

In our Sunday School classes we talk about many of the main storylines in the Bible and how we should live
. In youth groups we talk about living a life that is pleasing to God, avoiding sin, and pursuing righteousness. In young adult groups we often talk more about missions and vision and reaching our generation as well as issues relative to their season of life. And then in church we talk about the practicals of Godly living in the midst of this broken world. We are primarily trying to connect people with relevant passages from the Bible, get them grounded in it, and help them to live a good life.

But are we helping them connect, at a heart level, to Jesus? Are we both teaching and modelling what this is supposed to look like?

We're teaching theology. We're teaching healthy and Biblical lifestyle choices. But are we teaching them how to actually connect with the God who lives on the inside of them by His Spirit?