Wednesday, June 14, 2006

I Will Fight, I Will Stand ...

For the sake of a Nation
For the name of the LORD
For the sake of a generation
Yet unborn
I will fight
I will stand

Will there be brother beside me?
Sister in view?
Whatever the measure
If many or few
Still - I will fight
Still - I will stand

There's a roar in my spirit
A fire in my bones
With eyes lifted to heaven
I find my console
And I fight
And I stand

So, I pray on that glorious morn
When my face meets Yours, LORD
On my sleeve will read 'faithful'
In my hand, a crown that is Yours
For a Nation called righteous
A Nation called free
A Nation that bows
I will fight
I will stand
O Canada, I will stand on guard for thee

- Faytene C. Kryskow

O Canada ...

O Canada! Our home and native land
True Patriot love, in all thy sons command
With glowing hearts we see thee rise,
The true North, strong and free,
From far and wide, O Canada,
We stand on guard for thee.

God keep our land, glorious and free!
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

O Canada, Where pines and maples grow
Great prairies spread and lordly rivers flow
How dear to us thy broad domain,
From East to Western Sea,
Thou land of hope for all who toil!
Thou true North, strong and free.

Canada! Beneath thy shining skies,
May stalwart sons and gentle maidens rise,
To keep thee steadfast through the years
From East to Western Sea,
Our own beloved native land.
Our true North, strong and free.

Ruler Supreme, who hearest humble prayer,
Hold our dominion in thy loving care
Help us to find, O God, in Thee
A lasting, rich reward
As, waiting for the better day,
We ever stand on guard.

On July 1, 2006, Canada will be celebrating its 139th birthday. Nations are not born in a vacuum. That is to say, outside forces influence the birth of a nation and determine its development, growth, and direction.

Each nation has its own true nature, a worldview, a set of core values. This DNA defines its national identity, sets a course for the future, and gives the populace direction. Canada has the rich Christian heritage of many explorers and missionaries as its DNA.

India's influence came from Hinduism. The belief of reincarnation has caused India many problems, especially among the poor. Pre-90s Russia was Communism. South Africa was apartheid, now it's forgiveness and reconciliation. In some instances wholesale changes are made. Progression, going from something negative to a positive is preferable to digressing from positive to a negative.

It is for history to record that our foundational building block was faith-based, faith in God and the gospel of His Son.

The Viking Lief Ericsson converted to Christ in 1003 AD, wintered in Newfoundland in 1004, and was the first known white man to present the gospel of Jesus Christ to Canada's native peoples.

John Cabot, the official discoverer of Canada, landed on and claimed Newfoundland "for God and England" in 1497.

French explorer, Jaques Cartier, founded Montreal in 1533 and later wrote, "We all kneeled down in the company of the Indians and with our hands raised toward heaven yielded our thanks to God."

Concerning Samuel de Champlain it is written that his devotion to his God, his country and his task marked him as truly one of the brightest of historical figures in the world.

Jeanne Mance, founder of the first hospital in Montreal, said, "God's will is the only desire and love of my heart."

Frontenac, a Governor of early Canada and a French Protestant, committed himself to "extending the Empire of Jesus Christ throughout all this land."

During the 1700s the Holy Spirit was falling profoundly in Nova Scotia. Hundreds were converted to Christ and the entire province awakened to God. This religious revival set the foundation for the spread of the gospel in the Atlantic Provinces. New Brunswick felt the impact of revival fervor in the early 1800s. In 1805 2,500 gathered in Kingston, Ontario, for an outdoor revival where great miracles of healing the sick, the conversion of countless sinners, and six raisings from the dead, all took place.

The Micmac Nation was one of the initial First Nations groups to receive the gospel of Jesus Christ. To date the Micmac prayer book, made by French missionaries, is one of our nation's oldest publications.

We have a rich Christian heritage extending back to pre-Confederation days!

At the birth of our nation many righteous foundations were laid. When reading Psalm 72:8, "He shall have dominion from sea to sea," the thought occurred to Sir Samuel Leonard Tilley, one of the 33 Fathers of Confederation and a committed Christian, "What a splendid name to give Canada." It passed. A letter from John A. MacDonald explained to Queen Victoria that the name was a tribute to the principles they earnestly desired to uphold.

A plaque in Charlottetown referring to the Fathers of Confederation says, "Providence being their guide, they builded better than they knew."

Even the educational school systems were positively influenced. Bishop John Strachan, founder of Ontario's school system, acknowledged, "You cannot divorce religion from education because schools will inevitably reflect the philosophical and religious or (irreligious) biases of those who direct them."

Egerton Ryerson, the founder of public education in Ontario, believed in making men Christian - "Christian in heart and life, in temper and work". He clearly said that the Ontario school system was to be a Christian public system.

The 1896 Public School Act says, in part, "It shall be the duty of every teacher in a public school system to teach diligently and faithfully (along with the pursuit of learning) ... respect for religion and the principles of Christian morality."

Canada's coat of arms, adopted in 1921, also stands on Psalm 72:8.

Parliament's House of Commons foyer has four creatures carved in stone - the face of a man, a lion, an ox, and an eagle, taken from Ezekiel 1/10 and Revelation 4/6-7. There are scriptural carvings in the Cabinet Room and the Opposition Boardroom.

The Peace Tower Memorial is replete with scriptural references. Above the east window in the tower is inscribed, "He shall have dominion also from sea to sea". The south window says, "Give the king Thy judgments, O God, and Thy righteousness unto the king's son". The west window has "Where there is no vision the people perish". Carved on the largest bell of the tower is "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace and good will to men". (Psalm 72:8, 1; Proverbs 29:18, Luke 2:14)

And carved into the Speaker's Chair among other maxims, is the phrase, "Laus Deo" -- Praise to God. A crucifix adorns the top of the Speaker's Chair.

There is indeed a spiritual component to our Nation.

The current French version of our national anthem, O Canada, by Judge A.B. Routhier contains several Christian themes, as does the English by Robert Stanley Weir. The English version has four verses, sadly we just know one. The last verse is:

Ruler Supreme, who hearest humble prayer,
Hold our Dominion in Thy loving care,
Help us to find, O God, in Thee,
A lasting, rich reward,
As waiting for the better day
We ever stand on guard.

God keep our land, glorious and free!

Several newspapers of the day echoed the sentiments of the Halifax Evening Reporter, June 29, 1867: "The secret of greatness and prosperity lies in our rising above ... sectional feelings ... and ascending to that national, patriotic spirit which ought to animate us." And of the Toronto Globe & Mail, July 1, 1867: We "fervently pray that all the blessings anticipated from the measure (Confederation), by its promoters, may be fully realized."

God has designed that Canada be a dwelling place and a gathering place for the nations. We cannot impose a state religion, or one's religious point of view, nor should we. But that doesn't mean we should be lax in the practice of our faith by ignoring, discrediting, or denying our Christian heritage. To do so we exact a great disservice to ourselves, those who would follow us, and to our fellow countrymen.

The Fathers of Confederation clearly gave Jesus Christ access to the affairs of the nation by naming it the Dominion of Canada. On the basis of the historical and foundational facts of Canada, the belief that the Church has no place in national affairs misrepresents the truth. The Church in this generation must take the responsibility to remind the nation of our inheritance, to bring into view, reestablish, and steward the righteous foundations laid by past generations but which has been covered up through neglect, unrighteous ideals and systems.

We must be vigilant to STAND ON GUARD for Canada!

Much of the material in this post is gratefully acknowledged and taken from Fasytene C. Kryskow's excellent resource book, Stand On Guard. Visit her web site, www.flyhighministries.com.

Friday, June 09, 2006


A couple notices a pet-shop sign advertising CHRISTIAN PUPPIES. Their interest piqued, they go inside.

'How do you know they're Christian?' they ask.

'Watch,' says the owner, who tells one of the dogs, 'Fetch the Bible.' The dog runs to the table, grabs the Bible, and returns. Putting the Bible on the floor, the owner says, 'Find Psalm 23.' The dog flips pages with his paw until he reaches the right page. Amazed, the couple buys the dog.

That evening they invite friends over and have the dog do his routine. Impressed, one visitor asks, 'Does he also know regular commands?'

'Gee,' replies the husband, 'we didn't even ask.'

He tells the dog, 'Sit.' The dog sits.

'Lie down.' The dog lies down.

'Roll over.' The dog rolls over.

'Heel.' The dog jumps on the sofa, puts both paws on the owner's forehead and bows his head.

The wife exclaims, 'He's Pentecostal!'


Two poems recently came across my desk. I thought I'd like to pass them along.


People are illogical, unreasonable,
and self-centered.

If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish,
ulterior motives.

If you are successful, you will win
false friends and true enemies.

The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.

Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.

People favour underdogs but follow only top dogs.

What you spend years building may be
destroyed overnight.

People really need help but may
attack you if you do help them.

Give the world the best you have and
you'll get kicked in the teeth.

- by Dr. Kent M. Keith

Travelling on My Knees

Last night I took a journey to a land
across the seas. I didn't go there by
ship or plane - I travelled on my knees.

I saw so many people there in bondage
to their sin. And Jesus told me I should go,
as there were souls to win.

But I said, 'Jesus, I can't go to lands across the
seas.' He answered quickly, 'Yes, you can, by
travelling on your knees.'

He said, 'You pray, I'll meet the need. You call,
and I will hear. It's up to you to be concerned
for lost souls far and near.'

And so I did; I knelt in prayer, gave up some
hours of ease, And with the Saviour by my side
I travelled on my knees.

As I prayed on, I saw souls saved and twisted
persons healed. I saw the strength of men
renewed, while they laboured in His field.

I said, 'Yes, Lord, I'll take the job. Your heart I
want to please. I'll heed Your call and swiftly
go by travelling on my knees.'

- Sandra Goodwin

Monday, June 05, 2006

As I write this 17 people, teens and youths, mainly Muslims, have been arrested in Toronto and charged with allegedly plotting terrorist acts within the city but attacking the country itself. What's behind this? Some 3000 pounds of potential bomb making chemical were discovered in their possession, far more than was used in the Oklahoma Federal Building bombing.

Were they politically motivated, religiously incited, mad at the world, lonely and looking for a place to belong, a purpose and mission in life? Does it all filter down to the need to fill an empty void with power, or at least a sense of power.

Whoever we are we all have an innate desire for fulfillment, purpose, and power. Every human being needs to know experientially that their existence is not simply a biological accident but has been willed by God. God wants each of us to discover, in conversation with Him, that there can be a meaningful plan for life.

When you come to Jesus, you will come to know that purpose. When you discern His plan for you, you will know what your life is all about. Only then will your quest be realized.

There is something great that you will never do unless you come to Jesus, the Master Builder, something wonderful that God will never be able to accomplish through you until you surrender to His will, something of ultimate importance that God wants to achieve through you.

When Jesus died on the cross to save you from sin, He did so to make you into a person who could do magnificent things for others in His name, to work through you and accomplish things that He wants to have done in our world.

Jesus wants to eliminate the hunger of many people through you, to deliver the oppressed into freedom and bring justice to the downtrodden .....

He wants you to be one of those through whom such important things can be done, an agent for His revolution in the world, to bring about some of the changes that are essential if He is to make this world into the kind of world He created it to be.

How I wish those 17 would have known this!

Power, like dynamite, can either be used constructively or destructively. Improperly handled, it can hurt, maim, and kill. Properly set and monitored toward a predetermined objective it can set off a chain of events that results in positive change.

Jesus engaged His culture in the power of the Holy Spirit.

God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him. (Acts 10:38)

The whole makeup of God, everything that makes God who He is (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) is seen as being actively involved in the healing processes of mankind and against the evil personified that seeks to destroy the betterment of the human race.

Since God in His fulness wants people healed in every area of life, why aren't we cooperating with Him towards this goal? Why do we ignore or deny Him His rights? Why are we content to go it alone when there are resources unlimited and untapped?

The success that Jesus bore witness to in His life was the anointing and power of the Holy Spirit. At Creation's dawn the Spirit of God hovered over a world that was "formless and empty". The Holy Spirit of God descended into the darkness that covered "the surface of the deep" to bring order out of chaos and to shine light into dark places. And again, to bring about the recreation of mankind the Holy Spirit hovered and descended upon Christ to prepare Him for His work.

The Holy Spirit is essential not just for church life but at the core of life, where we live, work, learn, and recreate. We tend to forget that. We think we can manipulate the raw material of life and bring order out of anarchy. But we don't have the wisdom or strength to shape life's raw material into something wondrous and beautiful.

Shortly before His Passion Jesus spoke extensively about the coming and mission of the Holy Spirit, preparing His followers to follow in His steps and do what He had done. From His discourse in John's Gospel, chapters 14 - 16, I'd like to draw my thoughts.

The Holy Spirit is a fascinating Person, at least to me He is. Jesus said, And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor, who will never leave you.

Grab onto that, He's an 'another'. He is an 'another' of what Jesus was to His followers; another of the same kind. In Greek the word is Paraclete and means One called alongside of; or Comforter, Encourager, Advocate, Helper. The Holy Spirit, therefore, is Jesus' Other Self.

The Holy Spirit always was, and always presently active. But a change was to take place after Jesus' death, burial and resurrection. Jesus would ascend to His heavenly position and send His Spirit as His personal representative; the Spirit would represent Jesus to His followers, in His name, in His character, in His authority and power. It would be as if Jesus had never left. Only now it would be His spiritual presence, not His physical presence.

An added dimension to this was that the Holy Spirit would never leave them. Physically, Jesus could only be with the people locationally, one by one, one group at a time. Jesus instructed that by His returning to Heaven and sending the Holy Spirit He would be with each and every one personally, universally, never to leave.

Also to this is, there's just one thing that keeps God from us: sin. And there's just one way to a relationship with God: Jesus. Christ paid the price for sin on the cross, and now, because the barrier has been removed, we have the abiding presence of God, the Holy Sprit, constantly.

The Holy Spirit would come in fullness, in abundance, no hold backs; like gushing rivers of thirst quenching living waters breaking forth from our innermost being, up unto God in prayer, praise and worship, and out to a dry and barren wasteland of human misery, loneliness, and need.

Yes, the Spirit is with us, as One called alongside to help. Never miss that; even when we feel alone or abandoned, we are not. When assistance is needed He is there. We are not left orphans, He has come.

Not only is He with us daily, He lives within us hourly. He's in us by the second. Jesus made a wonderful comparison: When I am raised to life again, you will know that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.

Then, the Holy Spirit comes or rests upon us as an investiture, an enduement, of power. With this power the early Christians did the same things that Jesus did, even greater things, if not in quality than in quantity. With this Holy Spirit power they went everywhere in the world and told the Good News to people, and the Lord helped them. The Lord proved that the Good News they told was true by giving them power to work miracles. (Acts 1:8, Mark 16:20)

Through the Holy Spirit you and I can experience God's presence every moment of the day. When we have the Holy Spirit guiding us each day, we will not only experience the presence of God in our own lives, but we'll also be able to show His presence to others, as we live God's way, displaying the fruit of the Spirit which are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. (Galatians 5:22,23)

When we cannot pray - sometimes for lack of energy, sometimes life deals us such a blow that we cannot even talk, much less pray, sometimes there's too much pain, or our depression is too deep; sometimes praying seems impossible - the Spirit helps us with our weakness. We do not know how to pray as we should. But the Spirit himself speaks to God for us, even begs God for us with deep feelings that words cannot explain. (Romans 8:26) The Holy Spirit knows what's going on in our lives and He takes over for us.

Through the Spirit of God we become a witness to the reality of Christ in our own life, a sharer of our faith. We speak of that which we know; what we have heard, seen, and felt. It's personal, it happened to me. It's real. And it's worth talking about! Witnessing is also doing what Jesus did in acts of mercy and service; practical deeds but also works of supernatural power bestowed by the Spirit. The Spirit's anointing is for service. (1 Corinthians 12)

We have access to truth. Jesus often referred to the Holy Spirit as the Spirit of Truth. Not a fashionable idea today. Truth has fallen in the streets. We are led to believe there are no absolutes, everything is relative to the occasion. How wrong and empty a philosophy. There are absolutes in the universe and all around us.

Everything about God is about truth, ultimate truth. God does not reveal Himself through Buddha or any of the other world religions, icons, or religious figures past, present or future. They may have beneficial teachings which contain some truth, but in and of themselves do not have, or claim exclusivity to ultimate truth alone. I believe it was Ghandi that said, "I am still seeking."

Only through God Himself as Father, Son and Holy Spirit do we realize true truth. And when God gave us the Bible, He gave us something to believe in. It has the voice of truth. The Gnostic gospels and books like The Da Vinci Code and The Jesus Dynasty fall flat because they don't ring true. They do not have the voice of truth.

The Holy Spirit has come. He is with us today, helping us in the 21st Century to engage our culture, society, and world much in the same way that He assisted those in the first century. We have the same Spirit, faith and power, dressed in modern garb to address and meet the needs of the modern world.

The Spirit of God has often come with refreshing winds to rekindle the dying embers of faith. The coming of the Spirit will always have a continuity with the past and a flare for the future. The Spirit is not held to the past, not limited by the past, not stuck in the past. He is in the NOW, our NOW. Jesus said, He will tell you what is yet to come. Therefore we should expect the Holy Spirit to come to us robed with his majesty but in the relativeness of modern man.

He has come to us. I hope we will come to Him.