Centres of Gravity

I am reading a book about strategies of war. The chapter just read is about discerning the centre of gravity of a person or army. I would add, discerning one’s own centre of gravity.

The author gives an example of a boxer. While it may seem that the jabs of the boxers gloves may be the thing that establishes the winner, that it is actually the balance of the boxer upon which a match depends; the balance of the boxer is the centre of gravity. Upset the boxers balance and the boxer loses the fight.

It’s got me thinking. Reviewing. What is Capturing Courage’s centre of gravity?

1.Coming on the inside, as one long-term friend recently said, is a core tenant at CCIM. This is modelled after Luke 9 and 10, where Jesus first sends out the twelve disciples, and then sends out the seventy-two. Paraphrased:

  • Go
  • Take nothing with you (be vulnerable, without financial clout or possessions, but within relationships to come)
  • Enter the town (as led by the Spirit)
  • Look neither to the right or the left (face like flint, focussed, no distractions)
  • Find the house of peace. (as discerned by the Spirit)
  • Enter in. Settle. Eat what is fed you. Sleep as prepared for you. (honour those keeping you, receive well)
  • Then, after all this Jesus tells them that NOW you can pray and heal and declare the Kingdom of God at hand.

The power of relationships, of rapport and trust, of mutual submission and honour, is the primary mechanism (we may call it) upon which all of Capturing Courage ministry rests. Without this there would be no CCIM ministry. Vulnerable, mutual, honourable, relationships is a centre of gravity at Capturing Courage.

2. Living in the manna. People often think that we are a wealthy organization, that there must be a lot of money in order to have been advanced in the way that is evident over the years. But this is not the case at all. Money is not one of our centres of gravity, rather relying on the Lord for all financial provision, is.

In the understanding of a centre of gravity, this means that we cannot be undone by little to no finances. We have found our heart and soul apart from money. We have found the Lord moves us forward regardless of the funds we think we might need.

To be sure we are well-blessed by a number of generous financial partners. But we do not have a lot of these. We literally have nine monthly financial donors. And then a small handful of others that give throughout the year as they are able or as the Holy Spirit alerts them.

Contrary to most organizations, money is not a centre of gravity at Capturing Courage. This makes us exceptionally strong as we are long on faith and deep in trust, nimble and strong in stewardship of what we do have at any given time. Trust in the Lord for all our needs, living in the manna as we call it, is our centre of gravity. This comes of relationship with God, from deep inside of us, and cannot be touched by outward circumstance.

3. Love. Whenever we have been overwhelmed by the work, put upon by the great needs of so many people, so low on my own capacity, we ask God for more love. The love of God, becoming our own love, is a centre of gravity at Capturing Courage.

Out of the love of God we are glad to be with people. Because God LOVES people. Out of this we are strengthened to carry on with the work apportioned to us. Because God LOVES people. We find our purpose and are reminded of what God wants to do with us, as we settle into his love. Because God LOVES us.

And then too, within the great love of others unto us, we enter in, gladly settle into favour, honour all that folks offer to us, are deep in gratitude, and eager to serve and to do all we might do to encourage and build up the body of Christ around the world.

Love is the centre of gravity that holds all of what we do, together.

4. Holy Spirit. Last but not least we walk according to the Holy Spirit. This means that we refuse to make our own way. We never make plans and then ask God to bless them. We avoid excess focus or energy that would remove from us our nimbleness of obedience, of hearing the Lord, and of moving forward in perfect sync with God.

Our blessed Holy Spirit is our centre of gravity. She is the light of our lives and the one who shines through us. It is her light that directs us, quietly leads us, strengthens us, and by her kiss we are gladdened and in joy.

We listen long. We use strategy of slow, slow, quick, quick. Relationship, faces turned to God, ears held to the ground, God’s purposes over our own, are possible because of Holy Spirit our helper. Thank You Holy Spirit.

These are the primary centres of gravity at Capturing Courage. These are the strategies of God for us and through us. It appears that very little can touch these. For they are first and foremost, manners of heart that flow from the Lord himself.

The Kingdom of God has different centres of gravity than what we would envision or expect or want even, from a people or god purposed to win over the whole world. It is why the Kingdom of God, the manner of our Lord, cannot be discerned by worldly eyes, only by spiritual hearts. We are surprised and dismissive of things like, love, vulnerability, honour. We wonder, ‘How do these things win a war?’

But they do. And they will. And they are.

Love disarms evil. Peace is powerful and active. Honour makes for soft hearts.

Vulnerability is the strongest kind of strength.

Like water under a rug, is God with us and through us.

Let us rest ourselves on the strategies of God.

We are revisiting all this as we look ahead to a House of Prayer. What are our centres of gravity?

Do we lead with these the same way with a specific house within a specific community?

How might these past leadings, manner, and way of God apply as we come to a ministry settled into time and space?

As for me, I am super excited to find out.

Yes Lord. Yes.

Award a Pastor their Degree

We are delighted to announce that there are twenty-one pastors who have graduated College of Capturing Courage to the degree level; a Bachelor of Professional Studies in applied Christian Ministry. 

This has been a two and one-half year process for them, faithfully attended to, taught, facilitated, and reported, by Bishop E. in Tanzania. 

While all reporting and Certificates, with a Diploma, are processed from Head-Office Capturing Courage, this Bachelor Degree is externally awarded from Global University of Lifelong Learning

While those who financially partner with us on a regular basis cover our in-house work of awarding certificates and diplomas, the degree from GULL requires an extra sponsorship, enabling these to happen. 

The individual cost of each degree, the processing, printing, and shipping from GULL direct to our students, is 20£. 

This is about $34 CAD. Making room for the amount processed by GCF, our charitable receipting and partnering organization, through which all donations come, we suggest: 

$38 CAD Donor Contribution

We are looking for twenty-one individuals to sponsor one of these pastors 

to receive their well-earned bachelor degree as awarded by GULL. 

Sponsor a Pastor’s Degree Today – A Great Christmas Gift

Upwards of 80% of Pastors in rural areas have had no to little training. Often, they cannot access the good Bible Schools that are in primary cities in their countries. Due to limited means, the need to remain with families, the realities of subsistence farming and lack of funds, pastors have not had the education they deserve and need. 

College of Capturing Courage is a gift indeed to these folks. We offer the course free of charge. It is taught by pastors to pastors, spreading with a multiplied impact person to person, effecting personal and church renewal, extending even to the level of communities and regions. 

MODULE THREE TESTIMONY. Greetings in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior from Tanzania.
This module was very interesting and challenging at the same time, but the Holy Spirit help me to understand it .
I got challenged when studying chapter 89, The Robe, the Ring and the Sandals. At first it was very hard for me to understand the meanings  of these things and their importance. Until I had to kneel down and ask the Holy Spirit to help me understand these things.

After that the Holy Spirit helped me, I came to learn that, Robe was an act of love and of compassion. God restores us. I also learnt that, the Ring which was given to the son by the father meant that, the son was restored back to the family and all the authority that this meant. The son restored to having a “say” in things. This means that we have been covered over with the robe of God, restored back as sons and daughters with all that, this means in this world and beyond. We now speak for the Father, for we know him intimately. This was very challenging to me and the class.

This module three had great impacts in my life and the ministry. After finishing studying the chapters 66-89, I have witnessed a lot of things changing in my life and the ministry. People are testfying what they see in my life and the ministry, as a result, more people are coming to Jesus Christ. Because they can see that, all God’s services are given freely to them, unlike what they see from other ministries, prophets and pastors. This has brought a great change, glory to God. Thanks for your great teachings and God bless you. Bishop in Tanzania. 

To Sponsor a Pastor in receiving his or her Degree in Applied Christian ministry, use the form below and please insert SPONSORSHIP in the comment box. 

Thank you for helping to make this momentous achievement for these individuals both awarded and recognized.

Note that the picture at the top of this post is from a Ugandan pastor and his network, from which there are currently six College of Capturing Courage classes. Keep these ones in your prayers as they also advance through the course.

How Does God Partner with You?

How does God partner with you?

I’ve been teaching a class called Advanced in The Kingdom. We have just completed week four of six after which, with each class, I find a particular point stands out to me. This is often a summary thought that I may not have even made in class!

This week: How does God partner with YOU? Specifically, you.

It is vitally important that we come to understand the unique breath of God through ones self. There are one or two elements, actions, manners of you that God breathes through. This breath of God is what turns ordinary actions into supernatural impact. An impact that we may not realize so much as those around us; we still feel very ordinary but we find that others are thanking us for this or that, in this manner or that way. This is God through us.

Where our impact may produce an increase, the Lord’s impact brings a multiplication. We may find that we cannot keep up with the fruit of our lives. This marks the Kingdom of God among us.

So, inquire of the Lord about his breath through you. Look at the fruit of your life, where does it seem to be out of proportion to the rest of your life. Consider the patterns of your years. Step back from yourself and see what might be more evident from a distance. Think about the things that others specifically thank you for.

And once you begin to realize how God partners with you, do more of that thing. Leave off the sub-optimal efforts of lesser projects or focus. Optimize your life around the breath of God. There is deep satisfaction in this. And much life.

Be blessed this day by the breath of God through You.

Most Epic Superhero

It’s the most epic superhero story ever. ‘All human beings caught by sin and death’ the headlines would read. And our hearts would know.

But then, in due time, the exact right time, Jesus the Christ, the Messiah, God, the one who was and is and from whom all things flow, the beginning and the end, arrives on the scene.

With deep compassion (the kind that changes worlds) and in epic bravery, courage, and deep co-suffering love, God cloaks himself in the sins of the entire world, past, present, and future, and he takes on death. Our superhero enters into hell.

But hell cannot keep him. Death cannot contain him. Darkness cannot overcome the light.

And with that the Christ, our Messiah, opens the door of hell from the inside out and marches out with his plunder, YOU and I, the whole world.

We are free from sin and death. The authority of sin has been removed. It has no say. Death has lost its sting. A deep goodness rushes in, a kind of goodness that belongs to God and God alone; the authority is his.

And now, we live by the light. We live in Christ and Christ lives in us. Let us agree to this. God, teach us to live by the light. Give us eyes to see and hearts to understand.

I wonder that we have a personal and corporate memory of salvation that spans all time and peoples about this God who saves. It’s time to remember.

God, reveal yourself to us.

What is in Your Hand?

What do we have in our hands? 

There is a well understood biblical and spiritual principle, “What do you have in your hand?” 

We think of Moses, “Then the LORD asked him, ‘What is that in your hand?’, ‘A shepherds staff,’ Moses replied.” Exodus 4:2

Consider Elijah and the widow at Zarephath, “Then the word of the Lord came to him: “Go at once to Zarephath in the regions of Sidon and stay there. I have directed a widow there to supply you with food.” So he went to Zarephath. When he came to the town gate, a widow was there gathering sticks. He called to her and asked, “Would you bring me a little water in a jar so that I may have a drink?” As she was going to get it, he called, “And bring me, please, a piece of bread.” 

“As surely as the Lord your God lives,” she replied, “I don’t have any bread—only a handful of flour in a jar and a little olive oil in a jug. I am gathering a few sticks to take home and make a meal for myself and my son, that we may eat it—and die.” Elijah said to her, “Don’t be afraid. Go home and so as you have said. But first make a small loaf of bread for me from what you have and brig it to me, and then make something for yourself and your son. For this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘The jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the Lord sense rain on the land.’”

She went away and did as Elijah had told her. So there was food every day for Elijah and for the woman and her family. For the jar of flour was not used up and the jug of oil did not run dry, in keeping with the word of the Lord spoken by Elijah.” 1 Kings 17:7-16

Then too, the boy with five loaves and two fish that fed over 5000 people. We think of the widow with her one coin at the temple and the word that she would be remembered for the rest of time. And what about Elijah and the widow with the small bit of oil, the collection of many jars, and the filling of all those jars. Not to mention the water turned to wine by Jesus himself. 

What do you have in your hand? It can do more than you imagine. And just may be all you need!

At Capturing Courage we’ve been considering this once more. What do we have in our hands? We have recently embarked on an exploration, sensing out a future location for a House of Prayer. There are a few different thoughts about this. Many things we could do or be, in specific ministry this way or that. 

But not all these thoughts have any solid basis upon which we have advanced before. We must remain in what we have in our hands. The tangible solid wherewithal and capacity upon which God has already been growing, leading, and developing us. 

So, we are asking, “What is in our hands?” 

The Lord has made it clear that we are to move forward in this journey towards a house of prayer in a public way. You can therefore find more posts about this over at https://capturingcouragecanada.org and even a few jottings over at https://cyndylavoie.com 

Jesus’ Faith For You

Live in the faith of Christ for you. We don’t need a ton of faith. Only as small as a mustard seed. Scriptures tell us that God will not put out even a faintly burning wick. 

Never in scriptures are we told to bring our much to God. But everywhere we are told to bring our little and that God will make it into much. 

– one small coin
– two loaves and five fish
– empty jars and a little bit of oil 
– a brook and a raven
– an army of 300 
– a faintly burning wick
– faith as small as a mustard seed

Let this grab you today and bring you peace. 

This isn’t about you or I folks. 

“The Lord’s Chosen Servant
42 Behold my servant, whom I uphold,
my chosen, in whom my soul delights;
I have put my Spirit upon him;
he will bring forth justice to the nations.
2 He will not cry aloud or lift up his voice,
or make it heard in the street;
3 a bruised reed he will not break,
and a faintly burning wick he will not quench;
he will faithfully bring forth justice.
4 He will not grow faint or be discouraged
till he has established justice in the earth;
and the coastlands wait for his law.
5 Thus says God, the Lord,
who created the heavens and stretched them out,
who spread out the earth and what comes from it,
who gives breath to the people on it
and spirit to those who walk in it:
6 “I am the Lord; I have called you in righteousness;
I will take you by the hand and keep you;
I will give you as a covenant for the people,
a light for the nations,
7 to open the eyes that are blind,
to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon,
from the prison those who sit in darkness.
8 I am the Lord; that is my name;
my glory I give to no other,
nor my praise to carved idols.
9 Behold, the former things have come to pass,
and new things I now declare;
before they spring forth
I tell you of them.”
Isaiah 42

The Wrath of God

In my part of the world, maybe yours too, there has been one couple buying up all the Lyslol cleaning wipes from the stores and reselling them at exaggerated costs, taking advantage of people’s fear and need during this Covid-19 pandemic. 

This is called racketeering. It is a gross offence of blatant disregard for any other but themselves. Such folks will now carry much disdain among the community. To put it lightly. 

It is this exact kind of behaviour that had Jesus turning over the tables in the temple with rage. Matthew 21:12-13, Mark 11:15-18

You see, for the Passover each year folks came from far away to the temple in Jerusalem. It was a long, hard, journey for many. 

Because of the difficulty, (heat and endless walking), the folks would not bring with them the dove or the lamb or the goat for their sacrifice at the temple. 

Rather, they would wait until they arrived to purchase what they needed for their sacrifice back to the Lord. 

But the religious leaders acted exactly like the couple buying up and then selling all the cleaning wipes. 

They were taking advantage of the need of the people unto their own benefit. 

Instead of selling a dove for the actual reasonable normal amount they would sell the dove for much more. Taking advantage of the people’ needs to turn a vast profit. 

Thus, Jesus, in a rage turned over the money changers tables. 

You see, God is serious about justice and integrity. 

It is also why Jesus was so hard on the pharisees, calling them whitewashed tombs, looking all great on the outside but full of dead mens bones. 

It is also why there is stern injunction against selling prayers or miracles or anything that is freely given of the Lord. 

Exchanging money for healing, or for spiritual strength, or for a sense of rightness with God, is sacrilege. 

Such behaviour demotes God to a transaction. And it takes advantage of folks in their spiritual need to feel right with God, to feel heard, to know that God is with them. 

I could go on. 

For those of you in Christian ministry. You must stop taking advantage of folks need to know God by creating some transaction, by which you skim the cream off the top. 

For those of you who reject the notion of God based on such behaviour. First, you are smart to recognize this as evil. Second, know that God never condones such behaviour. Ever. 

Jesus, in rage, revealed the heart of God against spiritual thieves and religious manipulators. His words tell us more,

“What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you pharisees. Hypocrites! For you shut the door of the Kingdom of Heaven in people’s faces. You won’t got in yourself and you don’t let other enter either. … 

What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you pharisees. Hypocrites! For you cross land and sea to make one convert, and then you turn that person into twice the child of hell you yourselves are! … 

What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are careful to tithe even the tiniest income from our herb gardens, but you ignore the more important aspects of the law–justice, mercy, and faith. … 

What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are so careful to clean the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside you are filthy–full of greed and self indulgence! … 

What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs–beautiful on the outside but filled on the inside with dead people bones and all sorts of impurity.” Matthew 23

The anger and wrath you feel against the couple price gouging on cleaning wipes, those taking advantage of folks needs and fears to make a profit. 

That is the same anger of God against religious leaders who would profit from the spiritual needs of the people.

God Remains With Us

Sometimes we act as though God has gone somewhere. Often we treat others as though God is not acting on their behalf. We may find ourselves in a demise of thinking that assumes God is fickle, picky, reactive, and dismissive of us. The truth is, God is with us.

God has not abandoned this world, our earth, or you or I.

God is actively working on your and my behalf more than we will ever know. God is present in our lives whether we know it or not. And God is present whether we acknowledge him or not.

The people you want to see change. God is for them. And God is with them.

In your own life, in the spaces of difficulty and trouble, God is there with you.

The awareness of God for all of us changes our attitudes and our actions towards ourselves and each other.

Once we know God deeply within our own experience, we won’t preach so much doom and gloom onto others. We won’t preach a fearful God. We won’t teach a ‘suck it up’ mentality. Rather, the Spirit of God brings us to pleasant places.

“Lord, I have chosen you alone as my inheritance.
You are my prize, my pleasure, and my portion.
I leave my destiny and its timing in your hands.
Your pleasant path leads me to pleasant places.
I’m overwhelmed by the privileges
that come with following you,
for you have given me the best!” Psalm 16:5-6 TPT

At Capturing Courage we have been reminded to remain turned to the Lord. Not because we have to. Not because God is a tyrant that demands our attention or our obedience. But because in God there is life.

In God there is life!

God is life.

Yes God, we come into your life today. Yes God, we participate in your love and in your instruction and wisdom. Yes God, we glory in your presence. Yes God, be mighty in our midst this day and forevermore.

Be our life this day. Amen

Miracles Come Softly

There is a Janette Oke book from long ago called Love Comes Softly. It is the story of a pioneer couple set in the USA mid-west late 1800’s. Their lives coming together is chronicled as love coming softly to them, for each other. Instead of a big bang of feelings and passion they slowly grew into love together.

And this has been coming to my mind. In terms of miracles.

So much of our language around miracles comes with an expectation of suddenlies, where all of a sudden something drops into place for us, seemingly out of the blue.

Now, I believe in miracles. I affirm suddenlies. Yet, as I look at my own life I can attest to the very-strong-sense that what has gone right in my life has done so by degrees and over a span of years. Sometimes, many years.

Imagine this: I once had fibromyalgia. A chronic pain disease. It nearly sent me to bed rest. But I was connected up with good cellular strengthening nutrients. I intentionally began removing stress from my life. And I began dealing with repressed anger deep within.

Today, these past many years in fact, you would not guess that I was once increasingly crippled by fibromyalgia. This, is a miracle, to my mind. It is certainly a miracle in my life from where I once was to where I am today!

But it came by and by, over a number of years and with good cooperation on my part. I sought the miracle and took measures to affirm health, wholeness, and life for myself.

Many things on the outside, of grand sweeping vistas and momentous developments often have at the backside, years of faithfulness and reaching for all of what might be.

Miracles happen in our own hearts and minds first, and then outward in the day to day of living.

I don’t know about you but I’m waiting for miracles again and still. My gaze is often on the future and what is required as we carry on. It’s not always certain what may be but I’ve come to understand that miracles come softly.

They rarely rush upon us. Although, bravo!, for when they do. The longest lasting developments are those that are built within us from the inside out. It’s the infrastructure of heart and mind, of manner and thinking that lays a strong foundation for more of life and life abundant to overshadow us.

Becoming on the inside, brings about what we desire on the outside. In that order.

Miracles come softly. Have you personally noticed this? And where might you be expecting it still? Note the horizon of your life with gratitude on your lips and wonder at what might be.

And by and by we may look over our shoulder and realize how far we’ve come and all the Lord has done for us. Be in expectation and take courage for your journey.

“I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living! Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!” Psalm 27:13-14

NOTE: The work I do is supported by the gifts and financial partnerships of folks just like you. Every amount makes a difference and each donation encourages and enables me to continue on with Capturing Courage International Ministries. If you see the value of impacting the body of Christ with wholeness deep inside, please give something towards this work. You can find our donation page over at GIVE https://capturingcourage.org/give/ . Be mightily bless this day. With joy and peace pressed down, Cyndy

God is Near

Still, to this day, all over the world there is a thinking that God is distant and cannot be accessed. Even within our churches and faith gatherings we have found that most folks believe God must be coerced or convinced to draw near to us.

Of course, at CCIM we have no such understanding. At Capturing Courage International Ministries we have one foot on earth and one foot in the heavenlies and we are bridging folks to God.

“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14

Because of thousands of years of religion and idol worship and of witchcraft there remain many fragments of false thinking about God.

The world must know that God is with us!

Capturing Courage International Ministries begins with this.

One of our favourite testimonies comes from one of our teaching days when a young pastor shared, “I have learned to touch the heart of God.” 

Would you partner with us at CCIM to bring “God is with you! God is for you! God has not abandoned you!”, to pastors around the world?

Partner With Us Here

“We Found the True Gospel Restored in the Church through the teaching that you Lovingly Sent to us, that Clings to the Whole Truth Handed Down by the Prophets & Apostles. The Gospel Teaching you sent Touched our Hearts and Encouraged me more to Remain Faithful to GOD and Diligent to works.” Pastor E., Philippines

 

CCIM College Correspondence School

We’ve a short term, one year project underway.

In order to establish our CCIM College Course in an online kind of way we are testing out our instructions, pace and rhythm of the course, with a small group of students.

We will be doing this as a correspondence course direct with our Executive Director, Cyndy Lavoie, author of our College of Capturing Courage International Ministries.

It will be facilitated via email. With one or two emails a week that relay the process and instructions for taking the course bit by bit, one step at a time, we hope to help those who have been wanting to take this course.

It will be a solid year of study. It is for those wanting increase in personal renewal and leadership development before the Lord; strength from your inside out.

  • College of Capturing Courage International Ministries
  • Correspondence Course Opportunity
  • One year of study
  • August 2019 to August 2020
  • One or two emails per week from Cyndy to you
  • Instructions and step by step process for working through the course
  • With feedback and reporting expected from you on a monthly basis
  • Comes with certificates and final diploma as each section is completed

This opportunity of CCIM College Course for one-year’s correspondence with Cyndy is by application as we need to keep the number of students to 20 or less so that we can stay in good communication. Too many students would compromise the year.

  • For majority world folks there is an application process below.
  • For western folks this year’s correspondence course is offered by donation to CCIM with a suggested donation of $100 per month.

After this year of direct correspondence the course will be available as an online learning course. NOTE: If you do not take the course this year, in this way, it will be available online and at a self-paced rhythm in further years.

To see more about CCIM College and it’s contents click HERE. 

To see the Core Learning Outcomes click HERE.

Then, if you are interested please fill out this application form and press the ‘submit’ button. You will hear back from us in about two weeks time.