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:

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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.

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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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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.

It’s Not Our Work

“I was somewhere with you, a place I did not know…..there was people around  big ugly people that were chasing people and when they caught them …they would throw them in this muddy river…

You Cyndy  were standing on the shore and I was  standing beside you watching …..Then Cyndy you bent down and reached and caught one of people in the river and pulled him/her up. I could not tell if men or women or child was being pulled up with only one hand, so strong you looked, so strong you were.

I was afraid for you Cyndy you just kept pulling and pulling crying out “I can’t let go” over and over. and when you pulled we saw that the people were all attached to each other so that that there was a long line of them  coming up …how many we did not know .? It seems like never ending….

Then we heard a loud noise coming from where the ugly big people were, and then everything got quiet, and they had disappeared….we saw the water become clearer and all the people you had pulled out started to walk away from you and I. they were singing….loud singing and walking away.

You turn to me and said, “You must go home now” and then I woke up.

The depths of work done on this last ministry trip to Mozambique are slowly coming out of the depths of myself. The entire time I was away I kept thinking, “How am I going to share this trip? How do I summarize this in words?!”

Slowly, bit by bit, I’m finding words for it all. This prophetic dream (just above) was given to one of our prayer partners and it summarizes perfectly the work in the spirit realm and the impact in people’s lives.

I am glad for a dream that helps to explain the work, for I’m finding it difficult to put words to what was deep and under the surface. The trip, on the surface, carried no drama and held little spectacle.

There was merely four of us (and one little one) traipsing across many kilometres by train and bus, truck and motorbike, and by foot, to visit ten churches, their pastors, and congregations, and then these profound conversations.

It began in Chupanga. Our first real stop. We had arrived in the morning and the first service was that evening. I cannot even remember what I spoke on but at the end of the service I was asked to pray for the people.

Now I have a bit of a rebellious streak to me, and over the course of the trips I’ve taken I’ve become really tired of being brought out as the circus performer who will now work wonders on you through her prayers. blah…

So that night I refused. I said, “No, I won’t be praying for you. Rather, I am going to teach you to pray for each other.”

And so this is what I, and my translator Whisky, tried to do. Once I was done teaching Whisky went on with much encouragement’s. All to no avail. It was a bit of a dismal failure from what I could tell.

But the evening concluded and back we all went to the house we were staying in. Upon our arrival we found the Pastor and his right hand man already there. How they got there so fast I’ve no idea!

And I realized that I just might need to explain why I had refused to pray for their people. So I shared what I had been learning the last few months.

I shared the bigger thinking the Lord had been giving me, the conviction to teach the people to do the work of the Kingdom (it doesn’t just belong to a few), how churches grow when people are empowered, what I’ve been learning from the house-church movement in India, and I also shared a prophetic word from one of our pastors in Kenya.

It was a bit of a long explanation, really a laying out of my heart and how the Lord was leading us at Capturing Courage, and once I’d finished their immediate question was, “You mean people can pray for each other?”

I was stunned. Struck. Saddened. In disbelief.

“Yes, people can pray for each other.”

And there began hours of conversation, late into the night, about life in Christ, about prophecy, about prayer, about leadership, about marriage, about men and women in the church, about so much.

Question after question was directed at me accompanied by a hunger for wisdom and clarity. Long past bedtime we finally broke up our gathering. And then picked it up the next day.

That next evening I didn’t preach, we simply held a forum. With Pastor Daniel, Whisky, and myself on chairs at the front of the church Daniel presented question after question, Whisky translated, I answered the question, Whisky translated, and on we went.

Life changing conversation that will not fade away.

And I still don’t have words for it all. But I’ll keep sharing it a layer at a time. So many dimensions.

The Lord is simply at work. This I know. My bag had been packed for Mozambique for an entire year. Literally. Packed and ready to go. For a year’s time.

The timing of the work of God is critical to any ministry. It is why we move in sync with the exact leading and timing of the Holy Spirit. Not before, not after.

For these works are not of us. In any way. We are simply conduits of God’s heart over people and areas. There are so many things that must align in realms that we do not see, that it is best to simply trust and wait, and then when we hear the ‘go’ we go. Quickly, efficiently, simply.

This is God’s work, not ours.

 

What We Know

light of the worldWhat if each of us was to speak what we know. Not what we think we know. Not what we might like to know. But what we really know.

You know, those convictions and conclusions that have been tried and tested over the years and still ring true deep in our spirits.

For one thing, I suspect we wouldn’t speak as much.

But I also suspect that our words would be so much deeper, so much more real, and in the speaking of them we would be so much more invested and engaged.

If nothing else, try this out as an exercise. Here is what I know:

  • God loves me passionately and intimately
  • God loves you passionately and intimately
  • Christ came to give us new life and in him we have life like we’ve never dreamed
  • I must live out of my authentic core bringing my entire range of experience and emotion to God and in this I find intimacy
  • I do not know everything about God

What do you know?

Are you articulating it?

Are you living it?

How is it changing your life?

Thank-You Pastor Ravi in India

Pastor Ravi sends many thanks from India for the Capturing God’s Heart Material – We are so touched and simply glad at how such a simple thing as this material is touching so many lives. We give God the glory – thank you Lord.

thanks cyndy 6thanks Cyndy 5thanks Cyndy 4thanks Cyndy 3thanks Cyndy 1