My wife and I have been meeting weekly with a couple that recently immigrated to Canada from Cuba. They love Canada and yet the change has not been easy. Coffee seems to be a good place to begin the conversation. Cuban coffee is strong, more like Starbucks coffee than Tim Hortons. Yet surprisingly, Tim Hortons is their place of choice, even though they rent an apartment right beside a Starbucks. It appears that even more important than strong coffee is friendship, and of course Tim Hortons is the place of friendship. It is also a Canadian symbol as important as the Maple Leaf and Hockey Night in Canada. As we enter Tim Hortons and sit down, my wife pokes me in the ribs. It appears that our Cuban friends are not the only new immigrants to Canada that prefer Tim Hortons. It is evident by the language, dress, skin color and facial features that the majority of clients are from North Africa and the Middle East. They are muslim. They too prefer strong coffee in their countries and culture. So what is it about Tim Horton’s “watered down” coffee that attracts Canada’s newest immigrants? I couldn’t help but wonder if it was the image of being Canadian and friendly that was the key. And it has helped me to see them with a whole new perspective.
Just after we arrived a pastor I recognized also arrived. He did not see us at first. As his eyes panned the tables his excitement was obvious. He was like a little boy who had just discovered a best kept secret. It was clear that he loved the newest additions to Canada’s great international family. Later he explained that he had been engaging in conversation with several of the regulars, about life, faith, and other issues. Continue reading
In the last week we have seen amazing mass demonstrations sweeping across North Africa and the Middle East. It began in Tunisia and continued like a domino effect. Facebook and Twitter have been key mediums for organizing and directing the demonstrations in what appears to be a social movement. Yet, mass social movements are instigated and even directed by key players behind the scenes with very specific goals and intentions. So the question remains: Who or what is behind these amazing mass demonstrations? Of course the quick response from most of the press releases is that the people of Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Jordan are just tired of the corruption and injustice of their political leaders. They declare that it is merely a public response to years of mismanagement and power grabbing. However, when one digs a little more into the activity surrounding these events some interesting patterns emerge. Continue reading
North Battleford, Saskatchewan has been the sight of significant battles through its history, both physical and spiritual. It is also the location where the Battle River flows into the North Saskatchewan River, seeming to suggest that the life of the province of Saskatchewan is dependent on the battles that are fought in this place. In reality, the events that have taken place in this location have not only affected Saskatchewan but all of North America. Battles fought here determined the future of Western Canada and that of the First Nations peoples. On the spiritual side, in 1948 many believers united in prayer and fasting and the result was a major revival. North Battleford became the key location for launching spiritual warfare in the heavenly realms and releasing God’s Kingdom all over Canada and the U.S. People came from far and wide to be anointed and carry the revival back to their churches and communities. Over time, powerful healing and evangelistic ministries were birthed in many leaders who had had contact with the revival. Today, prophetic and prayer ministries even in the southern states, in locations like Kansas City (International House of Prayer IHOP), can trace their roots back to this revival in the the north years before. Continue reading
While most have almost forgotten the scare of the first mortgage crisis, there is a small group of bankers, financiers, and government officials that are carefully following a mortgage crisis that is potentially more threatening. Many of the Alt A, Option Arm mortgages that were signed at the peak of the housing bubble will be reset in January of 2011, and the majority from September 2011 to January 2012. Around 50% of those mortgages are in the state of California which escaped the major carnage of the last crisis. But this time what took place in Miami and Phoenix will hit LA, San Francisco and other major Californian centres. And with a struggling economy and a State that is carrying an immense debt load there are no clear answers for what is coming. The result again, will be that millions of homes will have a mortgage worth that is far greater than the actual worth resulting in another major wave of foreclosures equal in value to the first crisis that brought so many banks, mortgage corporations and even the economy to the brink of disaster. Considerable investment by world governments, particularly in the US postponed the inevitable with hopes of a major recovery in time to stave off the second wave. Has the recovery been enough? Continue reading
The Economist, the world´s premier magazine for in depth international news coverage stated in its predictions issue The World In 2011, that China, Europe, Russia and India would be transforming their economic growth into significantly increased military power in this year to protect their expanding economic interests. They predicted, in particular, that the U.S. dissatisfaction with Chinese economic policies would result in several aggressive economic measures that would move the two countries in the direction of a cold war, similar to the situation that existed between Russian and the U.S. two decades ago. In addition, the reality that many militant developing nations are growing very close to having nuclear weapons capability (Iran, Pakistan, North Korea) adds fuel to the fire of a potentially explosive situation (no pun intended). Israel has been talking more openly of its intentions to strike Iran before it can finish its nuclear program. At the same time, Israel´s only middle east ally, Turkey has cut political ties with Israel and is now building stronger ties with its muslim neighbors in a move to completely isolate Israel. Internationally, only Canada is fully supportive of Israel, while all of Europe, Asia, Latin America are actively taking steps against Israel and its political policies. Even the U.S. is beginning to pull back its support. Its not a surprise that Israel is expecting a middle east war in the very near future.
The scriptures are clear that military activity and conflict on earth are an indicator of spiritual activity and conflict in the heavens. Continue reading
Wherever I travel the prophetic word that keeps popping up for 2011 is “change”. There is a shift coming for the church and for the world. If anything describes the current situation on this planet it is “precarious”. There is no longer the sense of calm and confidence that was growing in most regions of the world. Economic uncertainty, serious environmental concerns, and growing political and religious tension are global concerns. Katrina, 9-11, the Indonesian Tsunami, the Mortgage Implosion, the Gulf oil spill, may have been the beginning. In the last weeks there have been serious concerns about why masses of birds and bees are dying. The Amazon rain forest is experiencing its second major drought in 5 years. Its ability to handle the world´s green house gases is in serious doubt. On one side of the commentaries are those who are pushing the panic button. On the other side there are those who are in complete denial.
The big question is: What is God’s intent for the church in the middle of what is coming? “Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells. God is within her, she will not fail…Nations are in an uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts. The Lord Almighty is with us” (Psalm 46:1-7). This Psalm speaks of two realities that exist side by side Continue reading
CANADA’S TIME TO RISE TO GOD’s AGENDA FOR WORLD INTERCESSION. At the first True North National Intercessors Conference, held in Winnipeg, 13-16 October 2010, the prophetic word was received with a roar of applause and prayer: “We are no longer Canada the passive, we are Canada the passionate.” God has launched Canada into a role of leadership on the world stage. With the winter Olympics in Vancouver (and a record haul of gold medals), and then the G8 and G20 meetings in Toronto (first time ever that both were hosted by one nation), the signs are clear that it is Canada’s time. At the G8 meetings Canada’s Prime Minister, Steven Harper, had the opportunity to be God’s voice piece to the “kings” of the earth concerning several critical social justice issues, such as abortion. But his opportunity and boldness was backed by an army of intercessors across the country. That same army of intercessors has enabled a conservative government where approximately 40 percent of the MPs are evangelical christians. It has brought about the decisions and the will to become Israel’s only firm partner, when its other partner, the United States is weakening in its resolve and commitment. It has cost Canada and Prime Minister Harper at the U.N.as former supporting nations and leaders have turned their backs on us for supporting Israel. However, as we choose to bless Israel God’s face is turning toward our nation. Continue reading
Suicide Rate of Native Youth, Northern Canada 7 X Higher Than Average. In the United States the overall suicide rate is approximately 12 per 100,000. In Canada it is slightly higher at about 14 per 100,000. Those in prisons, or with mental health problems are at much higher risk as suicide candidates. However, the figures jump significantly when studies are focused on young aboriginal males. The rate for the average 15 – 24 year old native male is about 103 suicides per 100,100, or almost 7 times the national average. After our visit with the Cree peoples in Northern Saskatchewan they said again and again that the greatest need for intercession was for the protection of the young people from committing suicide. The Enemy has particularly targeted the young people knowing the plans that God has for them. Continue reading
Rediscovery of True Identity and Purpose – First Nations, Northern Canada. There is a Cree saying written for the white man: “Only after the last tree has been cut down; only after the last river has been poisened; only after the last fish has been caught; only then will you find that money cannot be eaten.” For years the Cree and other first nations have struggled with their identity and shame because they have been forced to try and adapt and succeed in a white man’s world, where the marker for achievement is profit, and where value is only found in one’s bank account and personal holdings. The earth and its resources are simply there to exploit and rape, not to mention the cultures and values that may be located on top of those resources. Deep within they have struggled with this, and the accusations that have followed as they have failed to fit within the model of industrialization. In reality, it is the very values that are deep within them concerning the land that ultimately hold the hope for understanding God’s plan for this distraught planet. Continue reading
Robes of Honor for First Nations Peoples, Northern Canada. The last weekend of September, 2010 an invitation was given for doing the Divine Prayer Clock training with the Cree nation believers near Meadow Lake Saskatchewan. Representatives were present from 6 reserves. During the retreat, as the conference speaker was teaching on the first hour of prayer, the Hour of Incense, a young Cree man was noticeably excited. The more the conference speaker described the symbolism of the priests robes, the breast piece with the precious stones, the head piece with the emblem “Holy to the Lord”, the more excited the young man became. Finally, he could contain himself no longer and approached the speaker to share the most amazing experience. Not too long before the retreat, while driving slowly down a back country road, the young man noticed a brilliant figure, dressed in strange robes, with an incredible ornament over his chest with many precious stones. Continue reading