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.

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 

Poverty Strongholds Finale – Pain Upon Pain

11. Poverty Strongholds – Pain Upon Pain

  1. Demons
  2. Poor Stewardship
  3. Lack of Knowledge (common sense)
  4. Mind Sets (faulty thinking)
  5. Lack of Holiness
  6. Agreements with the Enemy
  7. Bad Theology
  8. Blaming & Excuses
  9. Refusing to be a Blessing
  10. Pain Upon Pain 

Today in conclusion to this series I am writing about #10 Poverty Stronghold, Pain Upon Pain. 

My original doodling of this material, while in Uganda, began with the first 8 strongholds, and then once home and as I was writing my first post about this topic I realized that pain upon pain is a critical contributor to poverty strongholds. In identifying this I thought I would rework the Poverty Stronghold Diagram / Pie Chart to add in pain upon pain, and yet, as I’ve been fleshing out the rest of the material I realized that in fact, pain upon pain is a stronghold that overlays all of the other strongholds; we see that strongholds of Pain Upon Pain are laid over it all, informing and confounding each individual stronghold in turn.

I begin by repeating here what I wrote in my first post regarding pain upon pain that is buried deep in a people and passed on to generations after generations:

Continue reading

Poverty Strongholds Post #3 – Poor Stewardship

Poverty Strongholds – Post #3 – Poor Stewardship

  1. Demons
  2. Poor Stewardship
  3. Lack of Knowledge (common sense)
  4. Mind Sets (faulty thinking)
  5. Lack of Holiness
  6. Agreements with the Enemy
  7. Bad Theology
  8. Blaming & Excuses
  9. Refusing to be a Blessing
  10. Pain Upon Pain

Walking through these poverty strongholds we will begin with our second stronghold, Poor Stewardship. I’ll write a post on each of these separately, for I am realizing the depth of the material to explore.

Let’s Begin: Poor Stewardship 

Poor Stewardship refers to the basic principle of being faithful with a little. From my own experience and observations this ‘faithful with a little’ is either a character strength or a character flaw. We either take care of the things entrusted to us or we do not.

Continue reading

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. 

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

Addressing the Roots of Difficulty and Despair

At CCIM we are called to address the roots of difficulty and despair. Instead of trying to fix the bad fruit of our lives, our communities, and our nations, we go right to the heart of the matter by breaking down strongholds in the spirit realm, by leading in repentance and honesty before the Lord, and by teaching individuals and communities to stand in the gap for their people in the strength of our Lord Jesus Christ.

CCIM at the roots

Alongside You

When Jesus Christ came to earth the Jews were under Roman rule. This rule over their lives was heavy- handed and in many cases without justice. The people were suffering. Not unlike many of our own lives today.

The Jews therefore believed that when the Messiah came he would do away with the oppression from their land and lives. They thought he would fix all that was wrong in their worlds.

But of course, Jesus did not do that. Instead, Jesus came with a different plan.

Instead of focussing on the external difficulties and problems Christ directed our attention to our internal heart difficulties. He addressed the problems within our own souls.

But because of this difference in priorities from what the people wanted to what Christ brought, many of the people at that time missed out on Jesus.

They couldn’t see what Jesus was offering due to their preoccupation with their own idea of a savior; they simply wanted their lives fixed.

While we at CCI are certainly not the Christ, we find ourselves running into a similar thinking as we travel and minister in various areas. Often it is assumed that we are bringing money to help with various projects and tangible needs within communities.

We understand this assumption for it has been the way of many missions organizations over the years to, for instance, build buildings and feed orphans and clothe widows. And while there is nothing wrong with this kind of work it is not the work we are called to.

Rather, Capturing Courage International is called to spiritual transformations, heart healing, church renewal, and leadership development. CCI is focussed on the internal state of our hearts before God.

We therefore sometimes feel like Christ might have felt when the people kept expecting him to fix their lives when in actuality he had something much bigger in mind.

We at Capturing Courage believe that God’s priority is not about fixing our lives, rather God’s priority is about entering into our lives with us, growing us stronger in the face of difficulty, and developing us into people of integrity, character, and holiness.

This is the particular work of Capturing Courage Int’l. We come alongside encouraging and equipping, growing and developing your inner core as a person, a leadership team, and a congregation.

If this is something that would be of value to you then let’s continue in relationship and communication and the Lord will indeed meet us mightily as we wait on him together.

because of Jesus,
Cyndy Lavoie and the Team @ Capturing Courage International

A Three-Fold Ministry

At Capturing Courage International we bring a three-fold braid of ministry. These following three dynamics strengthen and create a work that is not easily undone. These three focuses create a strong bond in the Lord and with each other.

These three priorities mirror God’s position toward us:

  • God the Father continually initiates RELATIONSHIP with us
  • Jesus Christ his Son, through salvation, makes TRANSFORMATION possible
  • Our Holy Spirit DISCIPLES us, helps us, guides us

Strand #One: Authentic Relationships (Coming on the Inside)

This is marked by three simple processes: 

  • let’s get to know each other
  • let’s wait on the Lord together
  • let’s enter into the Lord’s work together

This begins through email, Facebook, and phone calls. First we get to know one another. What are your callings and visions from the Lord? How is the Lord leading you? Together we begin to pray about what the Lord might have us do in person alongside each other.

And God-willing, and as the Lord leads, we come to where you are. Even on the ground we enter into fellowship first and foremost. We then minister as you invite. On the ground alongside the work God has given you we bring:

  • inner healing and deliverance, heart healing for you and your people
  • intimacy with God through prayer, humility, and leading
  • heart conversations, preaching and teaching, about life, love, and ministry

“Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me. Do not banish me from your presence, and don’t take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of my salvation.” Psalm 51:10-12 NLT

Strand #Two: Spiritual Transformation (Authentic Conversations)

Through dialogue, preaching, teaching, and healing prayer we tackle heart issues such as:

  • how much does God love us?
  • what do we do with sin and failure?
  • how might our churches reflect the heart of God?

Once we are on the ground, living alongside you for a time, eating what you offer us, travelling as you travel, we have opportunity to discuss the many difficult and tangible questions facing leaders and churches today.

There is a fresh movement of the Lord throughout the global church and as we pay attention to this, learning from it, we are positioned to bring perspective outside your own area. We are continually learning and becoming bigger thinkers ourselves and this we offer to you towards your own success. We therefore dialogue and seek the Lord together for wisdom’s and clarity for you and the ministry you are uniquely called to. We might discuss issues such as:

  • law, legalism and rules, versus freedom in Christ
  • men and women in marriage, the church, and leadership
  • leadership basics, integrity, holiness, humility and more

“Make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous portion of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone.”  2 Peter 1:5-7 NLT

Strand #Three: Ongoing Discipleship (Spiritual Teaching)

Through CCI Materials we are challenged: 

  • to align our lives with the heart of God
  • to become personally intimate with our God
  • to be bold in our love for each other

A big part of the work of Capturing Courage is the continuing development of relevant materials to encourage and equip both leaders and their congregations. We bring the heart of God to our lives. We bring forth issues of compassion, mercy, gratefulness, faithfulness and more.

While Bible Schools around the world are doing a great job of bringing the hard skills of expository training, Biblical studies, historical Christianity and more, we at CCI are bringing the soft skills of hearts made right with Christ. Out of this flows wise and compassionate ministry that changes lives. We do this through:

  • Capturing God’s Heart – a monthly topical Bible Study sent direct to your email
  • Walking in Spiritual Authority – A Discipleship Training Course set to equip you to carry the heart of God
  • Other Specific resources and answers to dilemma’s and questions found on the field as we travel from place to place.

“Preserve the teaching of God; entrust his instructions to those who follow me.” Isaiah 8:16 NLT

This Three-Fold Ministry:

  • Relationship
  • Transformation
  • Discipleship

Serves the hearts, minds, and lives of the body of Christ. 

“Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11

To get this and more about what to expect from us at Capturing Courage Int’l  CLICK HERE for a PDF you can download and print for your reference.