Saturday, December 31, 2016


As I write these lines I do not know what the outcome is. Up until this point, three days before Christmas I have been disobedient to the nudging of the Holy Spirit to give a former work colleague a Bible. Ask me why, and I have no answer. Who knows why the heart attuned to God, seeks its own way?
Before coming to Lifelight Ministries I worked for a period of months with man I will call “Larry.” Larry has no relatives in Canada, works at a job that has few if any prospects for advancement, for pay that is just above the minimum and keeps him in the clutches of poverty.
His best friend is a trusted and loyal canine acquaintance. Larry was my shipper, and I was the person sent out on deliveries. When I first went to work under him he wasn’t sure what to do with me because when I made a mistake, I admitted to them. He reprimanded me.
Then, whenever there was a problem or mistake he would come to me first: And I admitted to things I did (like storing a brake pad on end warping it) but then I also refused to take responsibility for things I didn’t do. In short, I was honest.
Larry wasn’t sure what to do with that. Me being honest about my work shortcomings, and not lying was not a unique experience for him, but it was unusual. After a time of adjustment, Larry figured out that I would take responsibility for my shortcomings at work, but would also ask how I could improve. And he advised me, so that little by little we won each other’s trust.
After a time, when Larry had pita (pain in the a**) customer, I got the opportunity to ‘smooth things over.’ After a time, whenever there was a pita customer, guess who had the privilege of bringing the right car part, or making the right change, or rectifying whatever was wrong. Yours truly. Once, when a customer had overheard staff talking about him over the phone when the phone was not put on hold properly, I was the one sent to make amends. I was the only one had had not joined in the profanity laced assessment of this customer.
Time passed and I moved on to lead Canadian Lifelight Ministries. Larry called upon me several times shortly after I took my new role, mostly because he knew that if he asked me to work on a long weekend and I said yes, I would be true to my word and show up for work.
This fall I went in to the store where we had worked to buy a cargo net, met Larry and I felt the nudge to pass a Scripture to him. And I resisted. I the national team leader of a Bible distribution ministry… and I am making excuses for not giving out a Scripture to someone who I do not believe has ever read the Bible. What!?
This past week I had lunch with a pastor friend of mine. I disclosed to him my sin, and asked him to be accountable with me to follow up. “I need to do this, I know it, and I don’t know why I keep hesitating?” As I told him this story of how I felt called to give a Scripture I wondered if putting a Tim Horton’s gift card in the Bible and offering to listen to his questions should he want to talk might be a ‘good way’ of offering a doorway to conversation.
My friend, listened carefully and I sensed a rising excitement in him. Why? He told me a member of his church was giving him gift cards to give out. Would I allow him to give me a gift card to include with the Bible? This day, at noon, he called. “I have the gift cards. Let’s do this!” We both sense that God is up to something… and we don’t know what.
Someone we both sense, He and I that this urging of the Holy spirit, and my delay is about something we don’t know the ending of. My confession to him has been, “I just know I need to be faithful… and somehow trust that what God is weaving is more than what I can comprehend.”
And in talking about this work experience, I spoke about an ethnic Armenian auto mechanic, and my pastor friend shared how he had buried the grandfather of one the students he coaches in football. At the service an Armenian man who worked as a realtor gave him some money and said, “do something good with this.”
I don’t often think of Advent as a time of waiting in sin. My confession to you is that I felt urged to give Larry a Bible, I have resisted. Today I am going to pick up a gift card from my friend, and will gift wrap a Scripture to be given tomorrow.
I do not know the outcome, I just know I don’t want this Christmas to come, and still be procrastinating about that which the Holy Spirit has been prompting me. And together with you, I want to live into the wonder that God may bestow in ways we do not yet know, the wonder of God’s presence among us.

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Monday, December 19, 2016

Is God's Word Colonial?

“Isn’t distributing Bibles to First Nations colonial?”
The question stunned me! Standing in the foyer of a downtown Winnipeg Church, having worshipped with a Mennonite Congregation recently while in Manitoba, the comment caught me off guard. I responded in a moment with a response I have thought about since. I said, “The Word of God is never colonial, it is always transformative.”
In the days after this encounter, I have thought often about the question, and the answer I gave.
The assumption that Euro-Christians (that is believers of European ethnic ancestry) are distributing Bibles needs to be addressed. At Canadian LifeLight Ministries the call to develop a Scripture focused on Aboriginal readers resulted in an extensive process of consultation with Aboriginal Believers. Believers within the Aboriginal community often find themselves misunderstood by Christians from outside the Aboriginal community, and suspected of being agents of a dominating society from within.
My own experience has been that Aboriginal believers and leaders are pioneers in seeking solutions in Aboriginal communities. At CLLM we have sought to provide Scriptures to those leaders who need them in the furtherance of the cause of Christ in their own community. CLLM does not distribute Scriptures as a rule, we provide them to brothers and sisters in Christ who labor under difficult circumstances, and seek to be obedient even as they are sometimes reviled by their own and misunderstood by some of us on the outside looking in. Their courage is inspiring.
Colonial? The word means to dominate and extract value. The term neo-colonial was first coined in western circles by John Paul Sartre, a French philosopher who sought to build off of Marxist philosophy as a professor in France. I personally find John Paul Sartre a flawed intellectual and philosopher.
When the unspeakable crimes of Soviet communism became known to the outside world through the work of Robert Conquest and others, Sartre continued to rationalize and justify these cruelties as historical necessities in the glorious cause of building a socialist utopia. When the facts became irrefutable, Sartre continued to challenge them as ‘propaganda’ of the West.
This is the world within which CLLM serves. We seek not to dominate or extract value from Aboriginal communities or leaders. It is the opposite, we seek to give strength to those who are called into service. I often begin a conversation with, “hi my name is _______, I am racist.” The response is often a chuckle… and then I go on to explain that I am not a racist in the sense that call persons of aboriginal ancestry names, but I am racist in the sense that I don’t know what is needed  or how to work in an aboriginal community: so help me be less uninformed tomorrow than I was yesterday by speaking with me today. Overwhelmingly, the response from Aboriginal believers has been a warm embrace and a commitment to walk together forward.
Is distributing God’s word to those who are lost within the aboriginal community colonial, No, not at all. It is the mission of many Aboriginal believers who see the results of human folly and seek to pierce that lostness with the light of Christ.

What we hold in common, is the conviction that the Word of God transforms. At CLLM and the aboriginal communities we seek to serve, the belief that the Word of God transforms the one who is convicted of sin and convinced of God’s grace. And that is the confession we uphold to all.
To supporters of CLLM, please don’t be dissuaded by news reports that rarely represent Christians in aboriginal communities accurately. Our brothers and sisters in communities across Canada are honorable, integral servants of Christ. Uphold them as you would any other brother and sister. For our Aboriginal brothers and sisters, are just that brothers and sisters to us all.
To partners of CLLM, we seek to walk with you. Learning, serving, seeking solutions. Where solutions are not readily discerned, we want to muddle through with you. We see the deep wounds the residential school system and the Indian Act have visited upon many. We seek to not repeat the mistakes of the past, and we seek to not allow apathy to govern our actions today.
Brothers and sisters in Aboriginal communities are the brave among us, serving amidst the debris of sin and fallen-ness. Sin of past injustices, and fallen-ness common to all humankind. We may not know how to solve all these problems, but it is my conviction that we begin by seeking communion with God through Jesus Christ, and that communion, that being present with God, that being allowed to be in the presence of God changes everyone who enters the Heavenly realm, the seat of grace. That is the beginning for all other transformations necessary. That human fallen-ness, common to us all, is the first chain that must be broken for us all to walk as men and women before God.
And we lead people to that place of transformation by offering the Word of Life; Scripture. Through the hands of brave believers in many and diverse places the Word of God is being seeded, and the preparation for a bountiful, exuberant healthful renaissance within the Aboriginal community is being seeded.
So the answer I gave cryptically a few weeks ago stands. The Word of God is never colonial, it is always transformative. Join with me in celebrating the coming, the Advent of the Word of God made flesh in Jesus Christ.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Summer has seen many areas of Canada go from one extreme to another.  Fort McMurray and areas of the Whiteshell in Manitoba saw evacuations due to fires aided by dry conditions, then a few months later both areas were evacuated a second time due to flooding as a result of rain.  But both areas have rallied and will be stronger than ever as a result.  We continue to pray that the Lord will see everyone through these times of troubles.

Here at Canadian LifeLight we carried on, providing Bibles to all who were in need.  This summer we provided Bibles to First Nations communities, first responders and Bible Camps.  We have continue to minister to those we meet by providing Bibles and hearing the testimonies of those that we meet.

As you can see from these pictures, there are those who are happy to receive the Lord's Word.  Many times we have been told that the gift of these Bibles comes at a time when it is most needed.  God Bless!

We have also been at work making sure our First Nations New Testament is ready to go when needed to First Nations all over Canada.  A group of young men helped a young lady and Carolyn, our office manager, make sure each Bible had a book mark and then repackage for shipping.  It was a great time getting to know these men who put the Lord first in their lives and are following God's calling in their lives.

More Bibles need to be prepared and we know that the Lord will provide us with the assistance needed to finish preparing these boxes of First Nations New Testaments for distribution.

Summer is almost over now.  Families are getting ready for the school year and children are hoping for new friends and exciting experiences in the year ahead.  But we ask that you enjoy the good weather while it lasts.  This fall Canadian LifeLight Ministries will be joining Ride 4 Refuge in raising money to assist us in serving  displaced, vulnerable and exploited people.  Check it out at  You can simply donate, join our team or set up a team of your own to raise money.

Blessings to all and enjoy the rest of your summer!

Friday, March 11, 2016

Dynamic New Leadership

Carolyn Dueck is the new Office Coordinator. Please call her at 204-339-3770.
Canadian LifeLight Ministries Inc
330-1695 Henderson Hwy Winnipeg MB R2G 1P1
Our purpose is to serve Christ by enabling His followers to provide God's Word for today.