Spend Plenty of Time with God – Oswald Chambers

Perhaps the second most popular devotional book every written was published in 1927 ten years after Oswald Chambers died quite suddenly, and is titled “My Utmost For His Highest”.  Here’s just one of many wise insights …

It is impossible for a saint, no matter what his experience, to keep right with God if he will not take the trouble to spend time with God.  Just as a poet or an artist must keep his soul brooding on the right lines, so a Christian must keep the sense of God’s call always awake.  Spend plenty of time with God; let other things go, but don’t neglect Him.  We are not here to do work for God; we are here to be workers with him, those through whom he can do his work.

– Oswald Chambers from My Utmost for His Highest.

More about Oswald Chambers here

Posted in Classical Spirituality, Prayer Life, Quotes | Tagged , | 1 Comment

How to Pray for Ottawa -Youtube

In Daria and Matt’s ongoing tour of Canadian cities, they interviewed Pastor Mike Miedema and myself about how to pray for Ottawa.

Check out the other cities in this series – Montreal, Huntsville, Sault Ste. Marie at the 24-7 Prayer Canada website.

Posted in 24-7 Prayer, Canadian Cities, Mission Ottawa, Transforming Neighbourhoods, Unity, Urban Approach | Tagged , | Leave a comment

A Classic Prayer from A.W. Tozer

A.W. Tozer’s writings have become classic devotional reading.  I think I now have the whole collection as I began reading his stuff and accumulating it over 30 years ago when I was still a student.  Friends have donated various books over the years, knowing my fondness for his writing.  In fact I have double copies of some of his best stuff.

Here’s a classic prayer from his book “Following Hard After God”.  Like Tozer says, “What I believe about God is the most important thing about me.”  It shows up in our prayers!

O God, I have tasted Your goodness, and it has both satisfied me and made me thirsty for more. I am painfully conscious of my need of further grace. I am ashamed of my lack of desire. O God, the Triune God, I want to want You; I long to be filled with longing; I thirst to be made more thirsty still. Show me Your glory, I pray, that so I may know You indeed. Begin in mercy a new work of love within me. Say to my soul, ‘Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.’ Then give me grace to rise and follow You up from this misty lowland where I have wandered so long.
 In Jesus name.

Learn more about A.W. Tozer here.    or here

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The League of Super Kindness

I love this initiative that Dave Carrol in Brantford, Ontario has been working on.  We need more of these creative, crowd-catching, impacting efforts.  The atmosphere of festival is a perfect environment for believers to share the good news about Jesus.  (Remember the More than Gold outreach during the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.)

Here in Ottawa on Canada Day most of the Christian witness on the street was re-active stuff – big display signs with John 3:16, leaflets proclaiming judgement handed out by young men with T-shirts that proclaimed an “in-your-face” kind of message.  In contrast the Hare Krishna were singing their chants and dancing in circles, which looked fun and drew a crowd.  The Falun Gong used the arts to capture attention to their very serious message, and there were some young girls offering free hugs randomly in the 300,000 crowd.  That was really popular!

So … I love what Dave Carrol did with “The League of Super Kindness” in his hometown.

Today is Canada Day and I celebrated it again today the way I’ve done it for 4 years now… dressed in a cape, a leotard and a giant black underpant as Captain Kindness. Today we performed another piece of original theater that we
conceived, wrote, and had produced by the pros at I Am Studios. And I believe it was an important conceptual step in how a city can be changed BY good INTO good.

Up until now, our storyline has featured one superhero (well… two with Kid kindness) on a kindness crusade of sorts,
spurring individuals to think about how they can change their city BY good INTO good. But just as a concept often needs flesh on it to be ingested by the public, we decided that in order to further break it down, the details needed faces too. Super faces. So we invented 3 new superheros.

Read all about the 3 new Superheroes here at the rest of his blog report.

You can also hear the whole performance at his blogsite “Big Ear Creations”.

Captain Kindness also has a facebook page.


Posted in City Transformation, Missional | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Happy Canada Day!

If you are like me and don’t know a lot of French (though I am trying to learn more) you may not know that our National Anthem which was originally performed in 1880 was a French composition.  So when you are at a sporting event and they switch half way through to sing some lines in our other official language, you may have no idea what they are singing.  Here it is below.  It is even more spiritually significant in it’s original form.

French Lyrics

O Canada!
Terre de nos aïeux,
Ton front est ceint de fleurons glorieux.
Car ton bras sait porter l’épée,
Il sait porter la croix.
Ton histoire est une épopée, des plus brillants exploits.
Et ta valeur, de foi trempée.
Protégera nos foyers et nos droits.
Protégera nos foyers et nos droits.

The Translation of the French Lyrics

O Canada!
Land of our forefathers
Thy brow is wreathed with a glorious garland of flowers.
As is thy arm ready to wield the sword,
So also is it ready to carry the cross.
Thy history is an epic of the most brilliant exploits.
Thy valour steeped in faith
Will protect our homes and our rights
Will protect our homes and our rights.

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New Monastics Share Community, Offer Hope

Here’s a great article that was recently in USA Today

New monastics share community, offer hope

By Caty Hirst, The Tennessean

They aren’t a commune, but they live in community. They are motivated by faith, but they attend different churches. They want to help the homeless, so they bought an apartment complex.

They are new monastics, dedicated to helping the poor, sharing resources and caring for creation. Known as Castanea, meaning chestnut tree in Latin, these young Christians are working to transform a run-down apartment complex into a place of reconciliation.

Castanea’s members moved to Chestnut Hill, Tenn., in South Nashville two years ago, planning to live in close proximity to one another, fulfilling their vision of Christian community and helping others.

But when they found an apartment complex condemned by the city, they decided to buy it. Castanea has since completed the initial cleanup, and the group hopes to begin construction in the next few months, installing new windows, doors and a roof. It still needs $600,000 to complete renovations on the building.

The apartments will enable all of the members to live under one roof — a family of seven, another married couple and the six single adults in the group can fit in four apartments. There, they can easily share meals, prayer, work, study, play and possessions. The remaining 10 units they plan to lease out to the homeless and refugees by coordinating with other organizations fighting homelessness in the city.

By Sanford Myers, The (Nashville) Tennessean

Before Castanea bought it, the Chestnut Hill complex was “one of the worst complexes in South Nashville for crime, drugs, etc.,” one neighbor said.

“The product of this age is for people to choose their own way and be independent, but whenever I go to Haiti to do work down there, people are living in these families in a tribal idea of community, and you realize that our Western idea of self-reliance and independence is a pretty new thing,” said Daniel Burt, a member of Castanea.

Amanda Burt, Daniel’s wife, said she wants to live up to biblical commandments such as loving her neighbors and giving to the poor, and a shared community makes it easier because members are accountable to one another.

Read the rest of the article about the new urban monasticism here.

Posted in City Transformation, Incarnational, Missional, Monasticsm, Transforming Neighbourhoods, Urban Approach, Urban Monasticism | Tagged , | 3 Comments

Praying for Canada’s Cities – Montreal

I had lunch today with Daria and Matt Nardozza as they begin their cross-country tour on behalf of 24-7 Prayer Canada.  They interviewed Mike Miedema and myself about how to pray for Ottawa.  That video should be up soon.

Here is the YouTube that they created about how to pray for Montreal.

Posted in 24-7 Prayer, Canadian Cities, City Transformation, Montreal, Prayer Issues, Unity, Urban Approach | Tagged , , | Leave a comment