The Gas Light is Orange

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My Daughter Danielle and I in Manitoba – Such a Good Time

Last week I was driving from the mid-west USA back into Canada. I had been with my daughter in Manitoba and then down to visit family in Minnesota and then saw a few sights on my way back westward. It was a good, blessed, restful time. I am so grateful to the Lord for the opportunity to take some weeks for a road trip and time to spend with family in numerous places.

My final day back into Canada was a long days drive. Because I have been recuperating from a deep exhaustion I had been taking my driving days slowly, only clocking four or five hours a day. My last day though was nearly an eight hour day of driving.

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A Beautiful Vista in Wyoming Where I Walked and Camped

Nearing the Canadian border I passed a gas station and wondered if I should top-up my fuel. But I thought, “Nah, I will fill up at the gas station on the other side once I am back into Canada.” I still had a good 1/4 of a tank of gas.

Once through the border and back onto home soil I headed for the campsite where I would spend the night — about 1/2 hour north of the border. I have been enjoying my tent and sleeping bag and cook-stove. I even bought at a garage sale in Minnesota a beautiful luxurious folding chair for $5; oh the sweet bliss of this.

Morning came and I began heading north into the city of Regina. I got about fifteen minutes down the highway and my gas light came on.

Now, I do not know how long I can drive with that gas light glaring at me before I run out of gas. Every turn in the road, every hillock with even a few trees or buildings I hoped and wished and prayed and begged that there would be a gas station. There was not.

For 40 minutes I careened down the highway at 120 Km/hr expecting to run out of gas at any moment. I paid close attention to the sides of the road, continuously calculating if the road edge was safe to pull off and onto if need be. I remained vigilant to the fact that should my car completely run out of gas that my power steering would not be available to me and that I would need some good effort to steer my car where it would need to be in order to be off of the highway and safe.

It is an interesting thing to know one is nearly empty and to carry on at high speed toward what might be imminent upset and inconvenience and trouble, really. 

But carry on I did. All the while talking myself out of any need for panic or dismay or worry. After all, None of these responses would change what was going to happen. I could in a panic run out of gas on the highway in the middle of the prairies or I could serenely run out of gas on the highway in the middle of the prairies.

I drove, like this, for 40 minutes, at 120 Km/hr knowing I could stall at any moment.

Long story short and with great relief, Regina appeared all of a sudden out of the distance and within moments I drove into the first gas station with much gratitude and praise to the Lord that I arrived well and fine and could fill up my car, none the worse for wear. But what an experience.

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Indian Princess on the banks of the Missouri River – So Stunning

At Capturing Courage Int’l Ministries, this is exactly how it feels at this moment. We are standing in the tension of establishing, faithfully attending to what we believe God is leading us to do without seeing very far in advance at all.

It feels that we are heading down the highway at top speed with a gas light flashing orange, not knowing if we are going to stall or find our way Okay.  

So, today, I am asking you, if you have been encouraged or inspired or helped in any way from the work of Capturing Courage, would you further participate with a financial gift to us.

Translation work of our CCIM Course is now happening in three countries with a possible fourth in the next months. And of course, we pay for translation work. The multiplied impact of our materials into other languages is incalculable actually. See already all that God is doing. And we are so excited to be part of this thing of the Lord.

So, today, I am asking if you would give a generous one-time gift or become a monthly partner with us here at Capturing Courage International Ministries. 

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Partnering Together

If you simply cannot contribute financially, please, please, please, keep us in your prayers that all monies designated for CCIM, that we then allocate out, would be fully present to us.

Thank you for your hearts and prayers and great presence with us at Capturing Courage. We give the Lord all the glory for the great and amazing things of him through us. Bless you mightily today.

Cyndy Lavoie,

Executive Director at Capturing Courage International Ministries

 

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CCIM Core Learning Outcomes

College of Capturing Courage International Ministries teaches 15 Core Learning Outcomes. It was a few years back during a long ministry time in one of the countries we’ve been to, that we realized CCIM is bringing a few handfuls of key principles, and that if folks ‘got’ these key principles their lives would be changed.

I went on to identify these core teaching of CCIM College. There are 5 key Inner Healing & Deliverance principles, 5 key Spiritual Authority principles, and 5 key Leadership principles.

Inner Healing & Deliverance 

1.  Whole Hearts     (courageous transparency, open lives; roots and fruits)

2.  Inner Healing Model     (generational strongholds, bitter-root judgments, unholy soul ties)

3.  The Power of Agreements     (the kingdom of God vs. the dominion of Satan)

4.  Healing Model for Justice     (true worship, full integrity, right with God and man)

5.  Poverty Strongholds     (refusing violence, pain upon pain healed in Jesus,  addressing the stories we tell)

Leadership 

6.  Taking 100% Responsibility    (no blaming, no excuses, no ‘reasons’)

7.  The Covering of Jesus    (keeping turned to Jesus, identifying subtleties of motives)

8.  Relationships    (mutual submission, maintain trust  and safety, keeping short accounts, quick to make right)

9.  Coming on the Inside    (as lambs and not wolves – in peace, vulnerable, the way of Christ, mutual receiving)

10. We live Micah 6:8 – justice, mercy, humility   (we take action, we advocate, we enter into the mess, Isaiah 1:18)

Spiritual Authority 

11.  Rejecting paganism    (bring light in and darkness flees, simple prayers, rejecting religious strongholds, leaving law behind)

12.  The Chasm    (going deep with God, abiding in Him, allowing him our whole life)

13.  The Wide Road vs. The Narrow Road   (rejecting religion, remaining in Christ, restoration not retribution )

14.  Leading in Revival for the deliverance of our nations      (hunger for God, repentance, religious strongholds broken)

15.  Sulha      (we run toward the world to take on the stones)

We are challenged to let God love us. We are challenged to put down ought and should. We are challenged to come into the light of the Lord with all the good, the bad, and the ugly of our lives. We are challenged to take courage to be authentic and honest before the Lord and before each other.

We are challenged to surrender our plans to the oversight of the Holy Spirit. We are challenged to rest in the work of Jesus. We are challenged to both wait on the Lord and then to move nimbly and quickly per the Lord’s instructions. We are challenged to re-know ourselves as sons and daughters of the most high God.

We are challenged to love our enemies. We are challenged to forgive. We are challenged to ensure that God is Lord of our ministries, and we are challenged to come into the vast and generous understanding and whole-heart of God, for us and then through us to others.

By the grace of God we are coming to see:

AT CCIM we want to see

The Priority of God

We are finding the work of the Lord powerful and strong in our midst. God seems to have a very big plan. A big dream. That dream is to equip pastors and lay-leaders in practical heart-transformational strengths.

CCIM is currently in Uganda and in the dozen or so churches we have been to in the past three weeks, we are finding a readiness for the pure gospel message.

We have been sharing about Sulha. Taking our cue from Jesus’ telling of the story of the lost son found in Luke 15 beginning with verse 11.

We find in this story secrets of the Kingdom of heaven, made plain to us by Jesus himself. He tells us of a young man who goes to the lowest of the low, unable to stoop or fall any farther, a young man who ultimately turns toward his father and takes himself home.

We are then introduced to the father. A man who longs for his son to come home. That no matter the hurt or betrayal or immense offence and insult of the son, the father’s priority always was and is peace and reconciliation.

The father demonstrates this love by running toward the son the moment he is seen coming down the road. We are told the father saw him from a long way off. And he begins to run.

It is interesting to note that in middle-eastern culture important men do not run. But this father ran, throwing off his importance to head toward his son. It is also interesting to note that in order to run the father would have had to lift his skirts, revealing his ankles, a no-no in the culture. And so we see that the father also threw off his dignity in order to run toward his son.

Thirdly, a study of the culture would suggest that due to the great offence of the son, it would have been considered appropriate and just even, for the villagers to stone the son before he reached home, by way of retributive justice. But we see the father running toward the son to intercept the stones and to take them upon himself.

Of course, we realize that Jesus is painting a picture of Father God. And we know that the living out of this heart of The Father was accomplished by Jesus Christ on the cross where he threw off both his importance and his dignity to take on the stones meant for us.

We see, that God has always been about peace and reconciliation.

“For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation. Se we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!” 2 Corinthians 5:19-20

CCIM Snapshots from Africa

Three of Us to Uganda

We are two and one-half weeks away from journeying to Uganda. Myself, Crystal, and Nelson will be arriving in Uganda on September 18th, and will be in the country until we begin our flights home on December 16th. 

When I go to a country and to those I will be with, I am hosted, fed and given a place to sleep, by those I’m ministering alongside, while the money that I bring into a country is for the internal travel of our on-the-ground-team (which includes the pastor/s we are travelling with once there).  

Now, with three of us going, Nelson having just decided 9 days ago, I’ve been communicating that we are now three coming and asking if this is okay on their end in terms of the hosting of us. 

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The Real Work Belongs to the Lord

The international launch of CCIM was in the fall of 2011. It was at that time that I took my first ministry trip to Africa. I had been invited, persistently invited, by a gentleman in Uganda and after prayer and discernment realized that it was time to begin what the Lord had been telling me about for some time.

In the year 2000 the Holy Spirit had begun showing me these rolling hills as far as I could see, covered by trees more than I could count. And with this vision came his words, “Each tree represents a life that your words will touch.” Initially I thought I was imagining all of this. Yet as time went by and as the Lord continued to impress this vision upon my spirit and mind I began to take this as God telling me something.

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Coming Out of Agreement

It is a very easy, natural even, to agree with the compromises of health and of strength within our bodies and lives. Years back I heard it said this say, “When you agree to your limitations they are surely yours.”

I recently heard the testimony of someone who had at one time realized her agreement with the chronic ill-health she was experiencing. This began of course in the mind, “Gosh, I am so physically unwell” would replay in her mind and spirit until one day she realized that she was in agreement with ill-health.

Once she realized this she made a decision to come out of agreement with ill-health, and as she began to disagree with her chronic ill-health she became healthy. To this day she does not have the compromised health she was once experiencing.

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Pastor Irene

As I’m thinking ahead to another ministry trip to Uganda I am remembering Pastor Irene in Iganga. She is a beautiful and powerful woman of God. Her heart and ministry have been forged through the toughest of circumstances and testings (as do most great things).

In the early days of her ministry, after the Lord had clearly directed her to Iganga, she tells of inquiring of God what was to be her influence and gifting. And the Lord gave her Jordan.

Jordan as we know it from the scriptures is the river that Nahum washed himself in seven times to be healed of his leprosy (2 Kings 5:1-14). Jordan as Pastor Irene knows it is a small pond of water about five minutes walk from her home and the church that she pastors.

I was told story after story from others that had gathered the same time I was there about how they themselves had come and dipped themselves seven times in this Jordan and had found healing. One woman had breast cancer and came and dipped and the cancer disappeared.

I’ve been to Pastor Irene’s place twice now. The first time was just for a Sunday service and lunch afterwards (along with this visit to Jordan as you see here). The second time I stayed a couple of nights and days.

While Pastor Irene moves powerfully in the Spirit the area in which she lives is darkened by oppressive spirits. It is hard to be there, and yet she by her faith and obedience in the Lord knows it is her work to declare his presence in that place.

The last afternoon of my ministry time alongside her there had been much worship and celebration and prayers in the Lord. Pastor Irene herself was spent as God poured through her and onto others. She then got down on her knees and with arms raised cried out, “If only someone would come and pray over me.”

I know how she felt. I’ve been there. Pouring out to others, giving and giving some more and then wondering how might I be encouraged as a leader.

Within a seconds time I realized that I was the one to pray over her. So I went and put some olive oil on my hands, the same they had been using for everyone else, and I went to her and touched my hands to hers.

There was all sorts of rolicking in the spirit then. I cannot describe the incredible privilege of anointing and praying over this amazing woman of God.

(did I mention that every time I am there she washes my feet and blesses on me too – this receiving from each other is called mutual submission and is the hallmark by which unity in the body happens)

Now, when I pray over someone the Lord gives me the words to say and an image in my mind’s eye of what to declare for him or her. Here on this warm afternoon in Iganga it was the same. There had been something over her since childhood, darts of some kind in the spirit realm, and so in the name of my Lord Jesus Christ is simply spoke these away and soothed her wounds with the oil of the lamb.

In clear terms, I spoke against the bad stuff against her, and I spoke God’s peace and healing and refreshment for her (Matthew 18:19). It was a lovely time. We ended up on our knees together on the dirt floor and simply fellowshipped in the Spirit together and as a witness to all those in attendance.

When I think of returning once more to Uganda, this time to many more places than I’ve yet been, alongside many other leaders, I recall this simple ministry to Pastor Irene. In many ways this sums up the work that I do. Leaders, no matter what country, are giving out in enourmous measures.

They are the communities healers, wisdoms, teachers, preachers, prayer warriors, and encouragers, and who is to encourage them? Who is to lift them up and refresh them in the Spirit of our Lord?

At CCI we are bringing spiritual refreshment first to leaders and then to their congregations. It is a work that touches beyond our minds and into the depths of our hearts. God, in his mercy, delights to refresh us and I am simply honored to stand alongside agreeing in the Lord to this work over his many servants.

In this same vein, many blessings to each of you today. May the power of our Lord, His peace and grace and touch of life and wisdom break in upon your days in increasing measure. We simply agree together saying yes and amen to the touch of God in all of our lives.

Come Lord Jesus Come.

For Men

Some weeks ago we had a specific request from one of our pastors in India,

“Sister I need a study or a sermon on husband and wife relationship according to Bible or marital life with Christ because in our church we have many broken families. Women are hard working and their husbands are fully drunkards and they beat their wives like anything. Kindly I need a sermon like how they can change their husbands”

We acknowledge that without the inner transformative power of our Lord Jesus Christ none of us can ever be changed. This material simply seeks to take men through a short study of the scriptures in regards to the value of every human being, forgiveness and redemption found at the cross of Christ, the heart of God over each of us and how these things play out in the roles and responsibilities of leadership and within the context of marriage.

We pray the Lord’s quickening of our words, but we particularly agree to the quickening of His words found in scripture. This we have sought to faithfully give.

We share the entire content in this post. Please find the pdf for your easy downloading HERE

 

Stewardship

In this life everything we are given is a gift from God. Right from the beginning of the world God put Adam and Eve as overseers and stewards of all He had made.

“The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.” Genesis 2:15

To be a steward is to be given a trust, to be entrusted with something. As stewards of God’s kingdom we will all answer to Him one day for what we did or didn’t do with what we were entrusted. Our actions matter, the choices we make matter.

We have responsibility to God for how we live our lives and the manner in which we go through our days. We have responsibility in regards to how we treat each other. We will give account for how we brought the Spirit of Christ into all of our dealings.

Yet right from the beginning things have gone wrong. Adam and Eve sinned in not believing God and ever since men and women have tried to do life apart from Him. It hasn’t turned out so well.

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23

There has been much conflict and difficulty. We use and abuse each other. We hurt and cause harm to others and ourselves. It is easy to see that we are lost without God’s touch upon our hearts and minds and lives.

Thankfully God stepped in by sending his son Jesus Christ to take care of our sin natures.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” John 3:16-17

The good news is that Jesus takes full responsibility for the things we have done to each other. He bore the burden of our sin on the cross. We are told that we can now take hold of this new gift of life and grace that Jesus made possible for us.

We simply receive Christ and the gift of life that he bought for us,

“Jesus I realize that there are many things I cannot make right. There are many things that I struggle with and on my own these are just too much. But I hear that you are interested in walking alongside me and within me. I’d like this. I agree today to your redeeming my life and me. I want to do life with you. I welcome you to guide me and to show me how to live. Amen”

As we turn toward Jesus Christ He enables us to live different kinds of lives with ourselves and with others.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” 2 Corinthians 5:17

Our spiritual eyes are opened in new ways and we begin living differently.

Women are Equal Partners

One of the first ways that God’s heart begins to show through our hearts is in our treatment of each other. Receiving God’s love and grace and forgiveness into our own lives enables us to show God’s love and grace and forgiveness to others. We are supernaturally equipped to do life.

“With all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love.” Ephesians 4:2

For men this begins at home with your wife and children. Whenever any of us come to God, turning to Christ, we realize every single human being has incredible value and worth. God has made every single one precious in His sight.

“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” Genesis 1:27

We find in fact that men and women are created equal in God’s sight and we recognize where we have been unjust in our treatment of the women around us.

“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:28

At the same time we are often stuck in patterns of ill treatment towards each other. Here too we turn to Christ and invite and rely on Him to change us from the inside out.

“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.”  Psalm 51:10

We are all entrusted with the hearts of each other to care for, to nurture, to love. A man is gifted and entrusted with a wife; she is his most important stewardship opportunity. One day each man will stand before God and answer for the way he treated her and her children.

You are Enough in Christ

This is a big task and the most important work of all. You have been gifted for the task as you live in God. You are enough in Christ for all the difficulties that might come your way. We are told,

“His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence,”   2 Peter 1:3

In regards to difficulties and this life we have some great promises of God to hold onto and to give us strength.

“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me.” John 14:1

“Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” Philippians 4:6

“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler. You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day.” Psalms 91:1-6 (read all of Psalm 91)

Life has Problems and Pain but also Healing and Redemption

It is not easy of course. Life is difficult and we as men and women have grown up receiving our own hurts and harms from our parents and those who raised us. Sometimes we take the pain in our own hearts and pass it on to those around us. In fact, it is often those closest to us that get the worst of our behavior.

Sometimes it is our own bitterness and hatred that drives us to hurt others. Whether it has been hurts given us by others or the bitterness that we carry, these things we can give over to God. Here too, instead of managing poorly in dealing with hurts and hatreds we simply turn to God with them. We give ourselves over to God.

“Repent therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out.” Acts 3:19

“Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” James 4:8

And as we turn to God with our hurts and our hatreds God relieves us of these great burdens; we were never meant to carry hurt and hatred and bitterness. This is the great news of Jesus Christ; we can be new people because Jesus came to carry our pain.

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9

We must remember that Christ died not only to remove our sin but also to cover over the sin of others against us. As we give our hurts to God and he replaces them with peace and patience and with gladness and joy. We can learn to treat others with the peace and patience that we ourselves have received from God.

“Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” Ephesians 4:31-32

One day at a time

We live this new way one day at a time. Change comes bit by bit. Sometimes we still hurt over our past but as we come close to God we are told that he comes close to us. In this way we are changed into the image of God. He tells us we are loved.

“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20

Each day we begin with, “God I invite you into today. Welcome into my relationships today. I give you my pain and my sorrow. I receive from you your peace and gladness. May I walk in you today. May I treat my wife and children as you would have me treat them. Help me to love them as you love them; thank-you for the gift that they are in my life. Amen” 

Commitment to a bigger way – gentleness, vulnerability

Walking each day with the Lord grows our awareness. We begin to understand things that we never thought of before. We realize that we don’t know everything like we once thought we did. And we see that we have made mistakes.

“Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.” James 5:16

These new insights can make us feel vulnerable and unsafe. “What if others reject me?” we may ask.

Before we thought that powerful was being scary and mean. Now we begin to see that the most powerful people are those who are gentle and kind. We realize that to influence and to grow others, that we must have bigger thinking and understanding. We begin to see that we can have a good impact in this world.

“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you.” John 15:12-14

Loose off Guilt by the Power of Jesus Christ

But it is hard to take on new ways when we are burdened by the guilt of the old ways. The good news is that Jesus Christ died to carry your guilt. He became the scapegoat that takes away the sins of the world. No longer do we look at each other, nor ourselves with wrath and hatred and contempt.

“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10

We therefore give our guilt to God, “God I see this day all the wrongs that I have done. The guilt of these things are too much for me. I am tired and worn down by my guilt. Today I renounce this guilt in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ and I put all guilt at the foot of the cross. I declare my guilt covered in the blood of my Lord Jesus Christ, washed away. I simply stand as a new creation in Christ and I receive your forgiveness God. Thank-You.”

“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:1

And as we do this we are told that Jesus comes to us and eats with us. He initiates forgiveness and restoration and peace to community and family.

“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” 1 Peter 2:9

Take on His Compassion and Sacrificial Service

Once we have given our guilt to God and felt the release of His Spirit over our lives we can enter into compassion and sacrificial service. Where before we condemned others for our bad things, we now release others to be as God created them to be. Then we find ourselves released to love and serve them.

“For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.” Romans 8:2

We realize that we are all sinners. We all make mistakes. The difficulties of this world have impacted all of us. We are no better or less than anyone else. Because of this we find new compassion flowing over us and we are now able to be compassionate to others.

“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23

Our eyes and understanding are opened to the good that others are trying to do. We see people with grace and understanding and this includes our wife and children. We begin to treat them better too.

All of this is possible because we remain in Jesus Christ, turned toward Him each day.

“Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.” John 15:4 

Jesus Models Regard for Women

When Jesus was on earth he modeled a very different kind of respect and regard for women. Traditionally all over the world and all through time women have been treated very badly. It is as though Satan has a particular hatred for women. But Christ came to show a different way.

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:2

  • Jesus’ own ministry was supported through partnership with women.      Luke 8:1-3
  • He refused to condemn the woman caught in adultery. John 8:1-11
  • He took the time and risk to speak to the Samaritan woman. John 4:5-42
  • He visited and taught women, most particularly Mary whom he commended for her heart to learn from him. Luke 10:38-42
  • A woman anointed Jesus (Jesus came under her authority to anoint him). Mark 14:3-9
  • After he was raised from the dead he showed himself first to the women. John 20:1-18

His was a special relationship with women, one of full regard and respect and love for them. Jesus counteracted the culture of his day, and of ours, where women are ill treated, abused, and considered a throw-away commodity. Consider this,

“Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.” 1 Peter 3:7

There are four vital principles for husbands in this one verse:

  1. Live with your wife in an understanding way
  2. Show honor to her as a weaker vessel
  3. Know that women are heirs also to grace and the kingdom of God
  4. Do this so your prayers will be answered

Principle one and two is a practical suggestion based on the physical ability of women. We know today that physically women are weaker than men; men have three layers of muscle while women have two layers of muscle. From a purely physical stand point women simply are not as strong as men.

Because of this Peter is admonishing men to recognize this and to relate differently with their wives, to live in understanding of them.

Where two men might ‘fight it out’ we are told in the Bible that this is not the way between men and women. To beat a woman is to overwhelm her with violence both to her body and her heart.

Do not beat your wife. To do so is to dishonor her and it is a dishonor of God who made her; she is equal to you, treat her as such. Show her honor and regard and love.

For an overseer, as God’s steward, must be above reproach. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain.”  Titus 1:7

God feels so strongly about this that we are told that a man’s prayers will be hindered to the same degree that he dishonors and ill-treats his wife. (1 Peter 3:7 as above)

We find similar admonition towards care for wives in Malachi,

“For the man who does not love his wife but divorces her, says the Lord, the God of Israel, covers his garment with violence, says the Lord of hosts. So guard yourselves in your spirit, and do not be faithless.” Malachi 2:16

In many cultures around the world women are treated as disposable commodities. They are cast off at the least little thing and regarded as interchangeable and considered to be made only for man’s pleasure and convenience. We know this to be false for every single person, man, woman, child is made in the image of God.

“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” Genesis 1:27

God is saying to not treat your wife as less than yourself. God declares her equal before Him. To cast her off, to beat her, to dishonor her, is to curse your self with layers of violence. By dishonoring her you dishonor yourself. Men, rather, are to serve their wives as Christ served the church.

“Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her” Ephesians 5:25

“In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.” Ephesians 5:28

“Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them.” Colossians 3:19 

Men head of the household – leaders take 100% responsibility

“For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior.” Ephesians 5:23

We know today that to be the head of something is to take 100% responsibility. The one in leadership is entrusted with the care and outcome of that thing and this is in regard to business, organizations, churches, and relationships of all sorts including marriage.  You are responsible.

We also flip this around and assert that the one taking 100% responsibility is the one leading; for authority and responsibility go hand in hand. To have authority is to have responsibility. To have responsibility is to have authority.

Yet not authority to lord it over, to belittle, to put down, to curse, this type of authority is that of Satan. The authority of Jesus Christ, and of all those who follow him, is that of lifting up, of honoring, of encouraging and bringing blessing where there has been cursing.

“But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness.” 1 Timothy 6:11

Quite simply we can tell the quality of a man by the look in his wife’s eyes. A woman well cared for shines. A woman despised carries grief and sorrow and it shows on her face and in her posture.

If your wife is your crown we ask, “how shiny is your crown men?” How bright eyed and lovely is your wife. A woman’s beauty comes from deep inside her soul. This beauty is released as she is regarded, respected, with genuine care and concern.

As leader and head of his wife a man will stand before God one day and answer for what he has done to her. Does she reflect beauty and confidence or is she sad and despondent?

Like all actions in leadership this is a place that refuses to cast blame and refuses to make excuses. Rather men of leadership quality seek answers and solve problems, remembering the grace of our Lord.  They remain in Christ as we spoke of earlier. Most of all they lead well and take great care of the hearts that have been entrusted to them. 

You are More Powerful than you Know

You have the power to make your wife shine. Each day ask your wife how she is doing. See if there is anything she might need help with. Thank her for all she does for you and for your household. Bless her for being the mother of your children.

Touch her in non-sexual ways, with simple touch let her know that you see her as a human being and valuable to God. Tell her how much you appreciate her. Thank the Lord for her daily.

Be a safe person for your wife. Do not make her responsible for your fears, your insecurities, your anger, and everything that has gone wrong in your life. These things, and we all have these, are to be taken before the Lord on a daily basis. Find your center in the Lord and become a blessing to your wife and children.

“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10

Look into her eyes and acknowledge her. Listen to her. Take time to just sit alongside her for a time each day. You do not have to fix everything. Simply assure her that you are for her and not against her. She will begin to shine.

God has made women to pour out to all those around her. Women are wired to be generous and to give their lives away. Who is pouring into her? Who is filling her up so that she can continue in this life-giving manner given her? You, her husband, are to be the one pouring into her.

Just as Christ loved the church and gave his life for her, so too are men to be sacrificially giving their lives to their wives. What and how might you encourage and strengthen and gladden your wife’s heart? Serve her. Help her. Offer her your strength so that her strength may not wither away.

“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20 

Stand before God, well done!

One day we will all stand before God and we would like to hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of the Lord.” As husband and head of your wife and home, as the one taking on 100% responsibility this is both an awesome and terrifying opportunity.

The first thing to do is found in Proverbs,

“Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.” Proverbs 16:3

The second thing to do is to receive from your wife. She has been uniquely wired to help you be widely successful. God has given her special gifting to help you. Listen to her. She has wisdom, insights, and understanding that you do not have.

It is a foolish man who will not receive (from his wife) all that she has to give him.

“Submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.” Ephesians 5:21

Submission is in many ways about receiving. Submission is about coming under the unique gifting of each other for mutual benefit and blessing.

Receive from your wife and you will be more successful than if you try to do life on your own. It is the wise man that walks in understanding with his wife, creating for her safety and security that she might share her heart, her insights, her wisdom.

For when a man listens to his wife in this way he becomes wiser too. And he benefits from this gift given him called a wife.

The quality of a community, a church, a home can be determined by how the women and children are treated. Be a quality man, be part of a quality church, lead a quality home that treats women well. Bless them and do not curse them. Give to them, serve them, help them.

How might your wife be best served today? Ask the Lord and ask her. She will tell you. The Lord will direct you.

“Who is the man who fears the Lord? Him will he instruct in the way that he should choose. His soul shall abide in well-being, and his offspring shall inherit the land.” Psalm 25:12-13

Whatever good you think of doing for her do it! Each and every day do the thing that comes to mind that will help and care for her. In this way you will find God’s particular favor coming into your life and home.

For God has entrusted your wife and children to you as most precious gifts. She does not belong to you. Your children do not belong to you. They are created in the image of the most high God and belong to Him. Treat them well for they are Gods.

“And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments and statutes of the Lord, which I am commanding you today for your good? Behold, to the Lord your God belong heaven and the heaven of heavens, the earth with all that is in it. Yet the Lord set his heart in love on your fathers and chose their offspring after them, you above all peoples, as you are this day. Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no longer stubborn.”     Deuteronomy 10:12-22

Uganda 2014

Our next ministry trip is back to Uganda. With invitations to about 20 districts this will be our longest overseas ministry time yet.

As per usual I (Cyndy) will be travelling from Canada to Entebbe, Uganda beginning ministry within hours of landing.

Moving from church to church, from host to host, I partner alongside ministries already in place bringing God’s touch however He chooses to move through me.

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Every church body has its own unique needs and readiness for what the Lord has and therefore each location will receive a slightly different ministry.

While Capturing Courage International brings Spiritual Transformation, Discipleship Training, and Leadership Development, this plays out in various fashions.

We cannot say what the exact impact of this time in Uganda will be but we can tell you what our past ministry trips have resulted in.

Past Results:

  • entire congregations laying down shame at the foot of the cross
  • pastors attending leadership development workshops and seminars
  • churches being taken to the next level in their walk with the Lord
  • impartation of anointing over those who serve as translator for Cyndy
  • inner healing of lies and wounds to leaders
  • teaching in healing prayer and deliverance ministries
  • teaching regarding full freedom of women as requested in various places
  • challenging men and churches to look to the care of their women
  • some physical healing (in places where the Holy Spirit was most honoured)
  • men becoming intent on treating their women with respect
  • deep conversations with leaders about polygamy and the church
  • healing touch of the Holy Spirit freeing people to new lives
  • leading children to the Lord, “You are not too young to walk with God”
  • praying over, blessing and honouring the elderly
  • restoration of hope in the hearts of entire congregations

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We bring:

  • inner healing and deliverance
  • ministry of presence
  • spiritual transformation
  • prophetic teaching
  • Bible teaching
  • repentance and freedom

The impact is:

  • simple encouragement
  • new understanding of God’s love
  • touch of God to the core of hearts
  • freedom from spiritual and generational strongholds

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1. We are looking for those who will partner with us in various ways: 

One of the things we love to do is gather a few of us together over a pot-luck meal and share the stories and pictures of our previous times in Uganda and Mozambique. We also talk about what God is doing in India and Pakistan, in Kenya and other countries where our materials are being used.

While we’ve been having these small dinners at one host home we are looking for others willing to open their home for an evening of fellowship, food and stories about God through Capturing Courage International. These evenings are always an immense blessing and encouragement to each who attends.

If you live in the greater Vancouver area would you consider opening your home to a fellowship of 6-8 people around a pot-luck meal with stories and pictures to follow? 

2. We are looking for those who will stand alongside us in prayer:

The work of CCI is completely and 100% that of the Lords and so it is through prayer that we discern all things and move forward in Him. You may or may not tell us that you are praying, in many ways this is between you and the Lord and yet if you want to know more about the work of CCI then we suggest that you follow this website, follow our Facebook page, check out our newsletters, and attend one of our story and picture evenings.

Contact us to receive our newsletters or to request a story and picture invite

3. We are looking for those able to financially invest in this work: 

Because of the length of this next trip to Uganda (2-3 months) we are ensuring that the total budget is raised prior to going. The financial need for this trip is $10,000 and we need your help to achieve this goal.

You can donate a one-time gift to this particular trip, or consider becoming a regular monthly supporter which enables us to commit to trips down the road. We’ve many invites to many places, each week receiving reminders of their waiting on us in Pakistan, India, Myanmar, Kenya, Burundi, Tanzania, Ghana, and Mozambique.

There is no gift too small as all support and partnership in this way simply blesses our hearts and results in great impact as we engage in new levels with those we serve.

You can donate here – this page will give you the particulars. 

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We look forward to what the Lord has through all of us in Uganda this year. Many blessings and may the peace of our Lord be over your own life.

because of Jesus, Cyndy

Bearing God

I learned the power of fasting years ago. It was during the start of my own inner healing journey. I was scheduled for prayer ministry every second week and I made a commitment to myself to fast for the twenty-four hours leading up to and through my appointments.

I never really could pinpoint the power of that fasting at the time but I did know the power of those prayer sessions, they changed my life. A few years later a friend was experiencing her own set of prayer ministry yet she confided to me that she wasn’t getting much out of them, that God still seemed distant and her heart was not touched.

I suggested that she fast the twenty-four hours leading up to and through her sessions and the next week she reported a profound new depth in her experience of prayer and of healing before the Lord; it was a night and day difference to what had been before.

There is something about fasting that removes our coping mechanisms, our veneers, our defences. When we give up food for a time we are brought low in need and the ultimate sort of preoccupation with self. And in that reminder of our hunger we turn to God with a heart serious on receiving His help; we can’t do this on our own.

As the years progressed and I began ministering in prayer myself there were many a time when I would awake in a morning and was not really hungry and so I would eat very little. Later in the day I would come to find that so-and-so needs an emergency prayer session and then I would know, “Oh that is why I ate so little today.” Many times the Lord orchestrated my fasting without my prior knowledge.

Not only is fasting for ourselves but fasting enters us into spiritual work alongside the Lord Jesus Christ; our understanding is heightened and our perceptions are clearer.

In more recent years my fasting has taken on various modes. I rarely fast food any more and I’ve learned not to fast unless the Holy Spirit explicitly directs me. For fasting must never be used as a manipulative tool to get what we want. It is never a good idea to take what worked here and try to make it work there.

Our walks with the Lord must never become business, never a product that we transfer from here to there thinking that it worked so well there, why not here? Relationship with God is not something to be taken lightly and so we do not move according to our own best wisdom or ideas and this includes fasting.

In recent years as I’ve travelled and ministered overseas each trip is preceded by some sort of fasting. God woos me and invites me to join him and his work, entering into the holy of holies. My first trip was preceded by six weeks of no makeup; no easy feat at the time. Since then I’ve fasted jewelry and tea amongst other things; not easy either if you know me.

I find fasting closely linked to a nesting type experience where all of who I am is entered into silence and heart preparation for a spiritual work to come. Because we at CCI move at the explicit direction of the Holy Spirit and not before, this fasting and nesting is in fact one of the first things to alert me to a trip and to ministry to come. I’ve learned to watch for it and pay attention to it; when my spirit hunkers down there is the Lord’s work for me around the corner.

Fasting is no longer for myself per se, it’s not by my volition but rather it’s an act of preparation and coming alongside the Lord with a tangible and physical sign and commitment that I agree with what is to come and his use of me; I am glad to be alongside God in this way. He directs it and enables it, enables me.

My first trip in 2014 is back to Uganda. We’ve not yet settled on the exact month but I can feel it coming. Thoughts have moved from my mind to my heart and are now settling in my spirit and I’m entering into the nesting and the birthing that precedes a work of the Lord.

This bearing of a work is hard work. The heart of God presses down on me and I become his bearer in a way, birthing him.