My dear friends, it has been a busy year in this world God gave us. Toronto and other areas of Ontario are in a major power outage with thousands of homes and businesses still without power. Please pray that their power would be restored. What I find missing in much of the media coverage of falling trees on cars and power lines that have been severed by ice are the stories of love in action. A man I know goes up and down ten floors of stairs to get his mother food. There are the givers who offer their homes to those without heat. Sadly, there are the takers who have their Christmas tree lights up while families across the street have no heat and no hydro. They use candles and flash lights to provide some light in the darkness. Five people die from carbon monoxide poisoning as they use generators inside instead of outside, as people die of suffocation warming themselves in car garages.
A teenage girl named Malala Yousafzai, the victim of the heinous, cruel and disgusting act of a shooting by Taliban soldiers, comes from near death, loss of hearing in one of her ears and ongoing nerve damage on one side of her face to call us all to be instruments of change in our communities and our world. Her clarion call in a speech before the UN that one book, one pen, one teacher, can change the world, is a call to all of us to do what we can to lift the burdens of one troubled soul, to be hope to those losing their hope or who have lost hope, to fight hand in hand for those who are downtrodden, and the victims of a growing indifference to the suffering of others.
We have watched and continue to watch in horror as the death of innocent children, men and women, plays before us in Syria and Sudan. We cry out to God and ask these questions. When will this insane inhumanity stop? When, oh God, will we learn to live in peace and brotherhood with one another? How can we bring the enduring vision and hope of leaders like Nelson Mandela, Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Pope John Paul II, Martin Luther King,John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy, Barack Obama and now, a 16 year-old girl named, Malala, from vision to reality? Is such a world of peace possible in our lifetime?Only God knows the answers to these questions.
My Lord felt it would lift your spirits if I was to share with you all the things I am thankful for. Then, He wants you to share first with Him and then here, all the blessings God has brought into your life. You can write it as a comment or just give a list. I will leave what you share and how you share it between you and God.
Today, as the Holy Spirit calls me to share my top 20 blessings, I find it onerously difficult to keep the list to 20, but perhaps that restriction will cause me to focus on what really are the top 20 blessings of my life. So, here are Kevin’s Top 20 Blessings.
1) My salvation
2) My Commander-in-Chief’s call to holiness
3) My beautiful, loving, articulate,intelligent, creative and humorous wife, Karen
4) God providing the funding for my re-certification as a Christian counselor through the governing body of the Canadian College of Christian Counselors under the wise leadership of Dr. Clarence Duff, who is Dean of Christian Counseling at Canada Christian College & Graduate School. Check out their ministry preparation programs at:
I had the blessing of completing my Bachelor of Theology degree with honours from this school led by Dr. Charles McVety, who in addition to being their guiding Principal was and remains one of my pastors of the heart. Is God calling you to ministry as a teacher, counselor, minister or even as a Christian musician? Call (416)391-5000 and ask to speak with their Registrar, Dr. Jennifer McVety. Listen to God’s voice speak to your heart.
I will open a part-time counseling practice where I have covenanted with my Lord that NO ONE will be denied counseling because of inability to pay. I firmly believe as we give to others, God gives back to us. The counseling practice will be called New Hope Counseling Ministries. I will be available on Skype and through office visits in our home. My wife,Karen, will be my partner in this ministry of the heart.
5) La Vonne Earl, a trainer and Certified Christian Life Coach, who is being used by God to have me speak a language not as a wounded healer, but moreover as a victorious healer in Christ. If you feel the call of God to become a certified Christian Life Coach or need coaching just go to http://www.ykicoaching.com for further information.(YKI stand for Your Kingdom Inheritance). Please pray that God will open a door of opportunity for Karen and I to become Christian Life Coaches, and become associates. To God be the glory, honour, thanks and praise in all things!
6) That God opened a door for me to be a member of The Word Guild, a group of over 325 Canadian writers. I have received such tremendous loving and inspiring support from their prayer team and wise mentoring from their ReVision group.
7) Our caring and ever the listening and understanding pastor, Stephen Wuerch, at St. Paul’s and Tomstown Presbyterian Churches. If you decide to come and visit Karen and I or just want to visit the church, we will provide you with a warm welcome to our pastor and members of the congregation.
Englehart is a beautiful, small and friendly town filled with many fine and caring people. Come and check it out for yourself on your way through northern Ontario. We are about a two and a half hour drive north of North Bay. And no, when you consider we are about a seven to eight hour drive from Toronto, we are far from being in the most northern regions of Ontario, Canada:D
8) The excellent health care I’m receiving from the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine in Toronto for two very rare auto immune conditions. In eight months under the professional and watchful care of Dr. Jonathan Prousky and my medical intern, Karen Maloney, I am getting life back unlike I have ever known it. The quality of my writing for my Lord has markedly improved. I have more energy and ability to write, research, write song lyrics, sing and engage with others. Even as I recover from a major respiratory bug and sinus infection, I still have energy to engage in God’s Kingdom work
9) Loving, caring and supportive friends
10) Our two furry felines, Sir William of Lounge a.k.a. Sir Lounge a Lot a.k.a. Sir William at Large and Princess Catherine of Chaos a.k.a. Her Royal Highness of Englehart a.k.a. Countess Catherine
11). Being a MTh Missions student at South African Theological Seminary. It’s a highly accredited distance school offering undergraduate to doctoral degrees. They have a spirit-led faculty, who can shape you and guide you in your calling. Check them out for yourself at http://www.sats.edu.za
12) God opening a door for Karen and I to enter Master of Divinity training at Trinity College in the University of Toronto. It’s a great school led by its Dean, Rev. Dr. David Neelands. David would want me to tell you that ahead of all of his titles he would want to be known first as a servant of His Lord and then as a pastor of the heart. Check out the school accredited with the Association of Theological Schools at the following links:
13) The profound life-changing blessing of times of ministry with the physically and developmentally challenged
14)The rays of God’s sunlight that come beaming through the windows of our home
15)The beauty of God’s creation- the sweet melodies of birds, although I admit I’m not thankful for them waking me up at 4:45 a.m.:D, the sights and sounds of all the beautiful things God has created
16) For the Lord showing me how important it is to sing and laugh to ease stress and see life from a more positive perspective
17) For God giving me the spiritual sight to see that my many years of abuse from my manic depressant schizophrenic father and so many others too numerous to mention here, was for the divine purpose of calling me to transition from wounded to victorious healer as I am called to bring that message of enduring hope into the lives of many
18) For not being homeless
19) All of my Linkedin connections, who inspire, teach, encourage and challenge me through their journey
20. Being a member of Prayer Corner, a group of Christians on facebook who pray for the needs of our world and others. Our group facilitator is Lynn Collis.
Let’s keep sharing our blessings. I don’t expect you to come up with 20 blessings. If you just have time to share your top 5 blessings or 10, that’s fine. You could even write one sentence saying, “I thank God for…”
Counselors and therapists will tell you that writing down all the things you’re thankful for can even improve your health. It has a positive effect as it releases those feel good endorphins. It lessens the physiological and mental load on your body as you feel more hopeful about life. It can even lessen the strain on your autonomic nervous system, which when out of balance can lead to conditions such as high blood pressure, heart problems and ulcers.
I look forward to receiving your blessing statement.
Have a wonderful time celebrating and loving your Lord, family, friends and even the stranger this Christmas season, and as we usher in 2014!
Yours in His service,