The Value of a Birthday

The Value of a Birthday
In Baie Verte, NL (Age 6)

When I awoke this morning, I first checked my messenger app, awaiting a message from my son when in fact, there was a message from an acquaintance that I normally do not communicate with at all. It was a prayer request regarding ISIS who has taken over Quaragosh, the largest Christian city in Iraq. Hundreds of men, women and children are being beheaded. I pray for those caught in the middle of this terrible atrocity.

Then I went to my twitter account and looked at the top story of the year from LifeSiteNews and was intrigued by the headline: He performed 1,200 abortions. In new viral video, he wants you to see what abortion really looks like.

“Well it’s time to shave and get on with the day,” I said to myself. As I looked in the mirror,  I could not help but think of the value of life and reflect on my own life, especially with this being the last day of another year, and another birthday for me. As I removed the stubble from my face, I recall my parents telling the story of my bout with meningitis when I was 5 and the doctor’s warning that if I survived, I would have permanent brain damage. My Dad told how he stood in the corner and prayed todickjane God that he could never preach again a message of healing if I did not survive. After being told it was no point to return to see me for 48 hours due to the medication, they returned the next day anyway and were told by the nurses that there seemed to be a miracle. I had come out of my unconscious state and had to be restrained due to my activeness. I knew my parents and could read all about “Dick and Jane” in my Kindergarten reader.  

I grew up believing my life had meaning and purpose, beyond just getting a job and making money. Life for me was more about impacting others. Jesus said, “I must preach the kingdom of God … for I was sent for this purpose.” Not that I could ever compare my accomplishments to Christ, but all of our lives have significant purpose.

Back to Twitter – Ken Boa tweeted: “As we develop an eternal perspective we treasure the passing opportunities of this life and become more alive to the moment, not less.”

As we enter 2017, may we all realize that we were given days on this earth and opportunities in every day. Here is my prayer: “Let the favour of the Lord our God be upon us; and (give permanence to) confirm for us the work of our hands” Psalm 90:17.

The Value of Community

As the National Director of Kingdom Advisors in Canada, one of my goals is to bring Christian financial professionals into membership. With this drive for memberships before the end of the year, I have been talking much about the benefits. These include new study group content monthly, regular teleconferences, Core training to equip advisors with biblical financial advice and wisdom in practice management.

Last week, I had a conversation with a long time friend, Melvin, about his membership renewal and he talked at length about his 2-year-old granddaughter Isla. She was diagnosed with cancer a year ago, had recently been doing well after lengthy chemo treatment, but last week took a turn for the worse.

islaAfter more testing and scans, it was discovered she had two tumours on her brain. This past Thursday, just as Melvin was arriving home, his son Michael (also his partner in his practice) called saying,“Isla may not make it through the night.” Michael asked his Dad if he could call as many as possible to prayer. Within an hour, more than 100 had gathered to pray at the church. Isla did make it through the night, is now back on chemotherapy, and Melvin told me, the tumours are shrinking. This has been a roller coaster ride for them.

Back to his membership, Melvin said,“I just do not have the time right now to be engaged with Kingdom Advisors, but I would like to continue membership because I want to be connected to people who pray.” So the value Melvin feels he has received is through prayer support, not the tools and resources I was promoting, at least not right now.

It has made me realize that one of the greater values of Kingdom Advisors, or any organization for that matter, is Community. We can support one another, not just with great ideas, but also by simply being supportive of one another. Prayer is a means of connecting with a higher source and having at least two or three agree is truly important.

There are likely other members of Kingdom Advisors and other persons that we are presently in community with that are facing a similar challenge this Christmas. Let us pray one for another. I would like to take this time to wish everyone a blessed Christmas season. May the peace that passes all understanding be yours!


How Churchill Advised The Queen

How Churchill Advised The Queen

the-crown-netflixWe recently watched the new series “The Crown” on Netflix. It is a drama series that chronicles the life of Queen Elizabeth II.  It is quite amazing how the cast resembles the people we have watched for decades in different forms of media.

While we may not know if many of the scenes or words spoken are all exactly true, I found some advice Winston Churchill gave the young Queen to be very interesting. As she was leaving on a flight to tour some countries in the Commonwealth, he instructed, “Never let them see the real Elizabeth Windsor. The cameras, the television; never let them see that carrying the crown is often a burden. Let them look at you but let them see only the eternal.”

Churchill was telling her that although people will look at her, she must determine what she lets them see. In essence, the Queen needed to represent the crown more than herself. Her priority was to put the interest of the crown ahead of her own delight. This entails self-denial, sacrifice and service for the higher purpose of the crown. Churchill instructed the Queen to display the eternal, or higher calling.

We are seen everyday by others but what do we let them see?

While we may not live the life of a Royal, we all have choices to make about how we are seen by others. We all have opportunities to “let them see only the eternal.” We try to be at our best when we have an important meeting, but are we intentional about who we represent? For the Queen, she was called to represent something that existed before she was even born.

The fact is eternity is set within the heart of each of us, even commoners, and whether we recognize it or not, we are all representing something greater than ourselves. That also means there is a grander purpose in the conversations we have than we realize.

At times, I have felt my life lacked meaning and purpose. However, I now know that during those times, I failed to recognize the eternal in my day-to-day life. It is too easy for us to become focused only on the routine of the day and overlook the opportunities to have an impact that is eternal. Consider the words you share and the advice you provide to others. In many cases it has a greater impact than you realize.