Poverty Strongholds – Part One

We were more than halfway through our ministry trip in Uganda. We had been alongside many, many pastors, had stayed in many homes, and had been to many districts and villages and churches.

So far, we had been experiencing a bounty of thought and action, of hospitality and sufficiency. Those we were alongside knew that God was caring for them, knew that life was good albeit hard, and out of that delighted in their care of us.

But then we ran across some thinking and perspectives that glared out at us as a poverty mindset extraordinaire all rolled into one. They claimed poverty as their biggest challenge and relayed to us stories of how the enemy was confounding everyone, literally everyone, in that surrounding area.

Now, we had heard bits and pieces of this same thinking in the months prior, but somehow it all came together in stark reality — all poverty was blamed on the devil; it was ALL satan’s fault.

Now, while we know that satan’s plan is one of destruction we could not abide by the belief that everything bad and wrong was of the enemy without any responsibility from the humans involved. If this were the case, then we would all be victims forever more, the end.

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As we turn the corner into 2014 Capturing Courage International turns five years old. Five years is not a long time but it seems like ages ago since I was ‘back there’.

In the time since we’ve come into our own and are settled in the movement of the Lord through us as we work alongside pastoral colleagues across the seas.

It is an inexplicable thing these passions of our hearts that become organizations with clear work and value to bring. Growing up an idea from vague inclination into solid, sustainable, renewable action, investment and relationships is a journey all its own.

Looking ahead I cannot tell exactly how the next five years will play out. The groundwork has been laid; 2013 was all about due diligence. We’ve been securing our behind the scenes foundations of curriculum, finance, and values; it has been a good but hard year.

Going forward we do so in the name and the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. Within the light of our Lord, tucked into the love of the Father, in sync with our Holy Spirit, we are in good hands.

Courageous Failure

There is a portion of my life that could very well be a failure at the moment. I don’t completely know. From a number of outward appearances this would appear to be so and yet I know it will take some years in fact to really render a verdict.

I suspect that by that time it will prove to not be a failure, but at the moment I’m not so sure.

And the question comes to mind, how do we walk in failure? If this particular scenario is in fact failure how do I navigate it? By what do I move forward?

Some years ago at Church there was a young intern and he preached one of his first sermons one Sunday morning. It was the worst sermon I’d ever heard.

I was sitting near the front and as I squirmed under the boredom and wished I had sat at the back, “Why hadn’t I sat at the back?!” I wailed in my spirit (so I could leave of course), the Lord said this to me, “Cyndy, if I asked you to preach and you did as bad a job as this, would you still do what I asked of you?”

I was struck. Of course! It’s not so much the results as the willingness of heart and obedience to the promptings of the Holy Spirit.

I learned something that day. I’m remembering it now.

This situation that just might be proven a failure was undertaken with much forethought. It wasn’t gone into lightly and all the potential down-sides were reckoned at the front end. The pieces that were out of my control had been counted as well as all the upsides and potentials and opportunities.

Yet here I am. Some years in and realizing this may have been a big mistake.

From what I can tell I’m about half-way through to any firm sense of conclusion. There is no way back and I cannot force success on this one. Nor can I rush through to a sooner ending.

My gut says it won’t be a failure but it sure feels like one at the moment.

So what do we do when we are in the midst of what might be failure that might be a success that might really turn out to be a failure?

First off, we stay the course. 

Too often we rush around changing our minds and our commitments. And this never accomplished anything.

Part of being bold and courageous is the boldness and courage to fail – big time if one must.

Part of any success is the willingness to walk on the edge of failure.

Part of moving forward is refusing to be bullied by failure.

If fail we must then we will go to it with courage and muster.

Secondly, we hold off our conclusion.

We give it time to really flesh out and prove itself one way or the other.

Holding off conclusion is hard work. It’s the same capacity that doesn’t have to control or fix or make pretty. We don’t rush to micro-manage. We don’t give in to panic.

Here on the edge of failure our holding capacity is grown.

Third, we trust failure to take us forward to success. 

If indeed we are in the midst of failure we can be sure that it is a key ingredient to future successes. There are no lessons out of line.

Every piece today is an investment in tomorrow. Even failure.

Perspective is everything. What looks one way today looks another way tomorrow looks another way ten years from now.

It is possible that what we think are successes today will show to be failures and the failures we think we’re living today will prove to be successes.

The line between failure and success is a fine one indeed.

And living on this line requires courage and humility.

The strength of a bull. And the innocence of a kitten.

I’m gathering the courage to fail.

I’m living courageous failure.


Maybe not…

Capturing God’s Heart – Holiness – Volume 30

Holiness is the call of those who claim to know God.

Holiness is the work of the cross done first in our own lives.

Holiness is our personal proving ground before we head out with the gospel to others.

Before Christ we were enslaved to our flesh. Our hungers were focussed on our physical body and our heart sins. We lied, we cheated, we were licentious and gluttons.

It was easy to hate. It felt good to slander. We brought others low so we could feel big. We were consumed with how we could bring pleasure to ourselves.

Then we came to know Christ.

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Making an Impact

Pastor Timothy in India

This is Pastor Timothy from his most recent crusade on July 3, 2013

Some years ago there was a prophecy spoken over Capturing Courage International that the Holy Spirit was going to go out from CCI all around the world; like colorful ribbons of joy and healing and comfort extending from our home base to many in many other places all over the globe.

We made note of this prophecy, and yet wondered at the vastness of the content, ‘How might this be?’ we asked.

As you may know we have been making available a small Bible study called Capturing God’s Heart on a monthly basis to indigenous pastors around the world. And we thought it was time to take a survey and to see how many people are being impacted so far.

While we do not have all replies yet, the first response from Pastor Timothy in India tells us this,

“I am going to many public crusades and pastors conferences and more churches for preach the word of god to the pastors and Christian leaders and many people as a main speaker in Andhra Pradesh in India.

Already we distributed Capturing God’s Heart studies to a minimum of 1000 church pastors and evangelists Christian leaders and bishops. 100’s of  people they are reading and understanding and they are asking me for some more Capturing God’s Heart studies for distribution to many people; it is very needful to every church and everyone.

Many people are benefiting from the Capturing God’s Heart studies I am hearing from them some words they are telling with me, “We are healing and understanding, comforting, filled with holy spirit, Praise the Lord!”

 My sister, your Capturing God’s Heart studies are really touching to the hearts of pastors and evangelists and every one in India.”

Pastor Timothy finishes off his email by requesting more God’s Heart Studies so that he can distribute them further.

One of the things we have learned at Capturing Courage is that when we show up and do our part, God shows up and does the rest. It is the pleasure of our Lord to take our simple offerings and make them into something that could have never been on our own.

While we have been regularly communicating with Pastor Timothy we had no idea that he was distributing Capturing God’s Heart to this extent. We know, that for every leader that receives one volume of God’s Heart that they in turn pass it on to anywhere from 10 – 500 other people themselves.

I’m not sure we are really going to be able to add up these numbers once they all start coming in.

We simply claim this work for the glory of God and God alone and in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

To find out more about Pastor Timothy’s ministry, go HERE

To Donate a one-time gift or to commit to a monthly support of Capturing Courage and the work we are doing go HERE

NOTE that our next trip is to Mozambique where there are 9 churches and then area pastors, evangelists, prophets and bishops waiting to fellowship with us. We are accepting donations specifically towards this trip. Make your donation HERE

“And then they were on the road. They preached with joyful urgency that life could be radically different; right and left they sent the demons packing; they brought wellness to the sick, anointing their bodies, healing their spirits.” Mark 6:12-13 Message

Ministry of Presence

P1230297 compressedThere is something to be said for a ministry of presence.

In our North American culture it is all too easy to think we must be always doing something, accomplishing this, managing that. But what if we don’t?

Trained as a coach one of the most powerful paradigm shifts I came to learn was to consider that just maybe, everything right now, exactly as it is, is just the way it is supposed to be. Just consider for a moment that nothing is wrong. What might that change for you today?

Now, the technical answer is that there are many things wrong in our world. Justice demands that we do in fact enter into everything that has gone wrong and in the name of the Lord set it straight.

At the same time, what if we could do this work in the peace that comes of God having everything in hand, and the knowledge that we are in the exact right place this very minute.

What might that change for you today?

Because of my own journey through immense difficulties, and the subsequent profound presence of the Lord in the midst of them, I learned that everything need not rush to be fixed. I learned that God is in our messes just as much in our cleanness.

Once we have learned this in our own lives. Once we’ve stopped frantically trying to assuage our own comfort, once we’ve ceased from controlling our outcomes we are well equipped to come alongside others in a gift of presence.

Instead of speaking into the matter we can just sit alongside.

Rather than finding ourselves distraught we can hunker down and be a companion.

A friend of mine had cancer a few years back, and my favorite thing to do was to just climb up onto her bed beside her and simply be there with her.

We had such rich times of prayer and whispers and silence.

In many ways, this is the ministry of Capturing Courage around the world. We are climbing in alongside hard and difficult circumstance and simply bringing a ministry of presence.

With rich times of prayer and heart whispers heard by God and profound silence found in his glory.

None of us are the same afterwards, and we are simply so much richer.

For nothing has changed, and yet everything has changed, once we’ve been in the presence of the Lord together.


Capturing God’s Heart – In Weakness – Volume 23

It is hard being a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

For within the role is the dynamic of all of God and then all of who we are.

All of God are the miracles and the signs and the wonders.

All of us are the aches and pains and the loss and the sorrow that we each personally have.

We preach healing and we experience sickness ourselves.

We declare healthy lives and we struggle with estranged relationships.

We teach and lead others to Christ and then can barely find him for ourselves.

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The New Normal

cyndy compressed andIn less than a weeks time I am speaking on Success to Significance. I’ll be leading a conversation that explores the question, “What are the characteristics of a life that satisfies?”

In preparation I’ve been making my list and have narrowed it down to five characteristics found in those living a sense of significance.

One is about alignment with our creator.

Two of the five are about establishing our identity and of reckoning our lives thus far.

Another two are about moving forward and leveraging everything we’ve experienced into forward motion.

We start with experience because it is the one thing that no one can take from you. Same as belief and conviction, experience is what prepares us for tomorrow.

And whether good, bad, or ugly, your experience is in fact your resume upon which satisfaction rests.

It’s not about getting away from ‘that’. It’s about something much more powerful. I’ll show you how.

The conversation of identity comes close on the heels.

The thing with identity is that once established we are solid. The ground on which we walk may rattle to-and-fro from time to time, but it won’t affect our stride.

Imagine if establishing identity is as easy as asking yourself, “What make me glad?”

There are of course markers all along our lives of our purpose and our gifting and that thing which makes us glad. I’ll be showing you how to identify those.

Finally, alignment with our Creator brings us to the core of permission and invitation.

Alignment cuts through our presupposed manners of being that depend on lies and curses for existence.

Quite simply, who does God say you are?

Significance: Where the ordinary becomes extraordinary and where the extraordinary becomes ordinary.

The new normal.


Full Info is HERE

So Much Better

look for solutionsWe cannot move forward until we loose off ourselves the notion that something is wrong.

When things don’t go as planned, when they transpire in a completely different way than we expected, and when we are faced with imminent failure, the question begs to be asked, is there anything wrong?

What if nothing is wrong?

If nothing is wrong our minds are then freed up to think creatively. Our vision is opened, the blinders are removed, and instead of narrow-lens thinking we have open vistas from which to work.

It is from this place that we are able to find innovative solutions. Instead of allowing the unplanned to stop us in our tracks, we can instead ask, ‘How is this the best thing that ever happened to us?’ And go from there.

We can have our problems, and we can have our solutions, but we can’t have both at the same time.

Holding onto the trouble puts our hands in a terrible bind. For they are unable to reach out to grab hold of solutions – they are already full.

It is this picture of loosing hold of one thing to take hold of something even better, that really typifies the dilemma each one of us face every single time we are faced with what isn’t going as planned.

The work of this is done in the mind and the heart where we must literally leave off the obsession with the trouble. We truly must let it go and be done with it once and for all.

The thing is though, that for a large percent of the population they like the drama around all that is wrong. Many enjoy grieving and weeping and wailing ceaselessly about how they have been slighted by life. Numerous don’t really want any solutions. They just want to complain.

Complaining and weeping and wailing you see has its rewards. Many come to the rescue. We receive strokes and comfort and attention. Our lives take center stage as the great drama that it is – and yet, nothing ever changes for such a one. Have you noticed?

Minds become stuck on paths of woe-is-me thinking. Expectations cannot (and don’t really want) to focus on anything else but the bad and the evil and the dastardly.

(There is so much drama in these words even as I write them!)

And yet, without letting go of our problems and of our slights and of our wailing’s, we will not get on with living, with solutions, with creative responses, with positive reckonings. The two will not co-habitate.

So we have a choice. Which will we focus on?

Hint: The one we focus on is the one that grows.

Two things to unstuck our minds from woe-is-me thinking.

ONE: Ask yourself, ‘How is this the best thing that has ever happened to me?’

TWO: Assume that nothing is wrong – everything is exactly as it should be, and then ask yourself, ‘How might we respond in this situation? What might be the solutions?’

You won’t be the same. I guarantee it.

And neither will those around you. Your life will make an impact. Vistas will be opened up. New strengths will be had. Creative responses will come easier and easier.

It may not look like you expected, it’ll be so much better.


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P1320123 compressedThe Ugandan Shilling is down in value. Now I know very little about economics or how world money fluctuates in relationship to each other. I’ve never had a course about world market or how a country grows or diminishes its net worth or its currency.

Yet a few things strike me about this CAD (canadian dollar) versus UGX (ugandan shilling) thing.

One, I realize that their lowered money is bad for them. It decreases their ability to compete on the world market and it lowers an individuals ability to access western goods and resources.

Two, I realize that this is good for us. Specifically, as we at Capturing Courage are sponsoring Bible School in January in Uganda, what we had budgeted as a $600 price tag is now just over a $400 price tag.

Good for us, Bad for them. I think this means bad for all of us.

When one party loses we all lose.

Where this currency reality really hits home is in the sponsorship of children.

Billions is spent every year on sponsoring children all over the world.

Myself, I am sponsoring one boy in Madudu, Uganda. A young man who along with his Grandma hosts me in their home whenever I am in town.

This young man’s schooling is integral to his future, and has been a constant worry to them in regards to school fees, and can they make the payments. He himself, though seventeen has carried the weight of the cost in his heart and mind.

So when I agreed to cover his school fees each term he and his Grandma were ecstatic.

Those school fees are 25,000 UGX for a three-month term of school.

When I was there in August I therefore left that 25,000 UGX for them.

It was about $12.00 CAD…. For three months of schooling.

As I look ahead to January when I need to be sending another three-months worth of school fees, because of the weakened Ugandan Shilling, it now amounts to $9.13 CAD.

Imagine, I am going to go to a Western Union to send money and I will be sending $10. There is something ridiculous about that.

So while I am saving $2 on my commitment, imagine the Sponsorship Organizations and the money they are saving and/or making any time a country’s currency drops in value.

Imagine my $2 saving multiplied by millions of children.

It would be pretty hard as an organization not to somewhat rejoice in the substandard currency.

Especially when it is amounting to millions of dollars.

Somehow this is all not okay.

I don’t know what the answer is. I’m not even sure what the real question is. But I do know that I am appalled.

I am appalled that most sponsorship programs are running on donations of $35-40 per month.

My school sponsorship of Pascal is $3.03 per month. For 9 months of the year. The other three months there is no school, after all.

Now Pascal has a home and clothes and food. My sponsorship of his schooling doesn’t cover any of that, simply the school supplies he needs so that he can attend school.

Many sponsorship programs are covering so much more.

But there is still something really off here. And when the currency of a country lowers to the point that the excess is benefiting us, something even greater is wrong.

Their weakness should not be our strength.

And like all business do we really want it to get better for them? Do cancer researchers really want to do away with cancer? Imagine the untold lost jobs and revenue if cancer were healed.

Do we really want arthritis to be healed? Imagine the untold lost jobs and revenue if arthritis were healed.

Do we really want society to be well and emotionally healthy? Imagine the untold lost jobs and revenue if there were no physical illness, no mental illness, no compromises health? Imagine.

And do we really want developing nations to be taking care of their own? Do we really want them self-sufficient and strong, caring for their own poor and schooling their own children?

Imagine the untold lost jobs and revenue if that were to happen.


Taking care of all that is wrong is big business. VERY BIG Business.

What if we were to make things right. What then?

Making things right has got to be the goal.

I’m not settling for anything less.

A Favorite Re-Post

P1120119 compressedAll sorts of things depreciate in value. Cars, stereo equipment and phones… just to name a few. No sooner have we bought something but new technology makes our ‘latest wonder’ obsolete. The current depreciation curve is steeper and sharper than at any time in history.

But there is one thing that appreciates, and that is you and me.

As people we have the opportunity to invest in ourselves and each other in a way that ‘appreciates’ us. In a way that makes us more valuable as time passes. Each month, and certainly each year, should find us more and more invaluable to the people around us and the business and services we provide for others.

If you are not appreciating, how come?

What is your plan for ensuring you are more valuable this time next year?

Working in the training and development business I find myself quite often encountering a short-sighted kind of thinking; a thinking that believes training and personal development is the responsibility of the company that provides the paycheque.

Yet, those who wait for others to invest and push and pull them forward, don’t tend to go anywhere. They find themselves stuck and wonder why life doesn’t seem to be working for them.

In contrast, the ones who take on the responsibility and privilege of their own professional and personal development, are those that shine like stars amongst the masses. They find greater authority in their jobs and greater favor with decision makers… (they become the decision makers).

Their own satisfaction level of life increases and they have ‘say’ over their future.

If the only thing that appreciates in value is people, then we would do well to make personal and professional development a priority.

The First Step: Take 100% responsibility for your life. Refuse to make any excuses. Everything that has gone wrong and is not working well, say, “I did that”. And then get on with making it different.

The Second Step: Challenge your thinking. For the thinking we have today will not take us to where we want to go tomorrow. While today’s thinking has gotten you to today, what kind of thinking will get you to tomorrow?

The Third Step: Surround yourself with different kinds of people. We tend to gravitate to what we have always known, and this includes our support systems and sub-cultures, never realizing that we become stumped in forward movement. Actively seek out those who have different experiences and wisdom that you don’t have. You will be challenged, and you will be equipped to go forward in new ways.

The Fourth Step: Say what you want. Risk to make goals and go after them. Don’t take the passive way out, letting someone else decide the trajectory of your life. You are in the drivers seat. Speaking what you want, you will be amazed at the results!

The Fifth Step: Ask yourself, “How do I want to be appreciating over the next year?” What kind of pay increase can I expect in the next year? How do I add value to those I work with now, tomorrow? Are the activities I am involved in now leading to a richer life next month, next year?

The Sixth Step: Prune. Whatever is not assisting in your appreciation value, get rid of it. Shed it from your life, make some hard changes, let go of the dead wood.

The Seventh Step: Advocate for yourself. Ask for business (but only if you are adding value that can’t come from anyone else). Ask for a raise (but only if you have appreciated in value). Ask for opportunity… and remember, look only for those who are looking for you.

Our future’s are in our hands

100% Responsibility

No Excuses

How will you be appreciating this next year?