We had the great privilege and opportunity to be invited to the Prime Ministers barbeque at Heritage Park last Saturday, July 10. The whole event started awesome. I was able to preach the gospel to different politicians (MPs and MLAs) and was able to challenge their stance on different issues.
It was a great time at our table during the event, we had a member of parliament and other politicians. Overall many opportunities to share the righteousness of God with the people that attended. It always gives me lots of joy when God’s mercy is extended to all including those who are in our government. I had a good chat with many of them.
The highlight of the evening came after Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s speech when I was able to speak with him one-on-one and was able to challenge him to actively participate in openly Christian events. I asked him if he received our invitation to come to the March for Jesus. He indicated that he had received it. I then asked him why he did not come. To which he replied that he was not able to attend due to thousands of other requests he gets on an ongoing basis and the extremely busy schedule he keeps.
I let him know how many people had come to the March for Jesus, and what a beautiful event it was and I said that I hope that next year he would be able to attend. At the end of our conversation, he let me know that he appreciated our efforts and told us to keep up the good work. We hope that he will be able to attend the upcoming march in 2011.
I find it truly amazing, that no matter what the local politicians are doing to us, that God always opens new doors to let the provincial and federal politicians know what is happening here in Calgary and not only some politicians but for the second year in a row, God allows me to speak to the Prime Minister of our great nation and to his cabinet ministers. God is good! The Truth, sooner or later, will find it’s way to the right ears.
By the way, the food was really good as well. It was a nice evening and I am telling you, we have some powerful advocates in high places.
As you know, we purchased all of those med evil costumes and props for this year’s Stampede Parade. We had two carriages and seven horses lined up and then we were told by David Swanson, acting on behalf of the Calgary Stampede Parade Committee, that we were no longer welcome to represent the Christian community in the parade this year. The reason he gave was that we broke the rules by giving Christian pamphlets during last years parade. The truth is that we received permission twice from a Calgary Stampede Parade official allowing us to do that very thing. We have published a letter from the volunteer who received permission on our website for your reference. When we met with David Swanson we were told that if we could produce proof that we received permission to distribute the materials that the committee might reconsider allowing our entry in the parade.
We provided the letter from the volunteer that received the permission, to the committee but that made no difference and instead of granting us permission to march in the parade, the committee went to the courts to get an injunction preventing us from participating in the parade. In order to get this ruling, they manipulated the facts surrounding the case, and misled the judge into believing that we are dangerous and that we would cause harm to families and children. In fact, they lied openly to the courts giving false information in their sworn affidavits and they withheld vital facts and information that very likely would have changed the outcome. For example, that during seven years of ministry, our history is of a peaceful ministry that cares for the safety of all. In 2008, we won the best mounted group under twelve horses award for our entry, demonstrating that we truly put on a good show when we are allowed to enter and participate.
David Swanson wilfully lied and misled the court to receive what he wanted (to keep the name of Jesus out of the parade). We have been told repeatedly by the parade committee, during the four previous years that the ministry was in the parade, that the name of Jesus offends people and that they did not want it.
Based upon the submitted information by the Stampede committee alone, and for the "safety of the children" the judge granted them the injunction. I might add that the judge sounded like she made the decision ahead of time. This, by the way, was the same judge that granted the City the previous injunction a few years ago removing our right to use amplification at any and all Street Church events. But remember, all things work together to good to all that love God and are called according to His purposes.
We decided to protest this injustice in a way which was fully legal. On Saturday, we dressed in our costumes and we marched back and forth on Steven Avenue Mall, to the great joy of many onlookers. I bet we were the best tourist attraction in Calgary that day. People were taking pictures with us, smiling, interacting and asking questions. We used this opportunity, not only as a protest but, to preach the gospel to all who would hear. We gave away pamphlets to all who would receive them explaining the key points of our protest and the reason why we had to protest in the first place.
Then we went to City Hall, praying and declaring a change within the government "God, give us godly people, that will rule over us with justice that will uphold the law and will submit themselves to the King of kings and Lord of lords, Jesus Christ."
The whole event went so smooth and so awesome, the joy was overwhelming and there was not even one complaint. You know what, the police were there and there were absolutely no problems.
By the way, if you are wondering why we decided to dress up as knights, feel free to read the writeup we published on our website explaining our reasoning.
The Saturday event went wonderfully, so we decided to do another protest on Thursday, but this time outside the gates of the Calgary Stampede. Right away, when we were unloading our props from the vehicles at beginning of this protest things were very different. The police were immediately there giving us a hard time, telling us that we were on private property and that we could not be there. One officer told us that since we were on the sidewalk, the sidewalk in that area belonged to the Calgary Stampede. The officer then proceeded to let us know that the street was City of Calgary property. We therefor moved our protest to an area of the street in front of the gates that was closed from vehicle traffic.
Stampede officials tried to tell us that this was still Stampede property, but the officer had already informed us that it wasn’t. But we stood our ground and put on a great presentation for all to see. There was singing, flagging, talking with tourists, and a lot of fun taking pictures with all who wanted to pose with us. We brought the kids who were having dramatic sword fights for people to watch. We of course handed out tracts and protest sheets (we had thousands printed for this purpose). What happened after was like an action movie and I am not exaggerating.
Guys, this is funny. For the first time in the history of this ministry, we had a swat team dressed in black with their van, waiting for the order to go, I guess to storm the little dangerous children, with their mothers and fathers dressed in costume, that was actually a well received tourist attraction at the gates of the Stampede (people even posed with us for pictures and many others passing by took their own shots). We had about ten police officers, about four marshals, and listen to this, soldiers were asked to come and assist the officers in dealing with us. What a joke. You can feel to laugh now, and I would laugh with you if not for the fact that this was truly tragic and could have been a very sad situation if the officers lost their cool and decide to start arresting us all for exercising our right to peaceful assembly and freedom of religion and expression.
For once, the media covered the story. But once again, they lied about what took place. They portrayed us as dangerous and uncooperative. The story was aired on CTV on Thursday, July 15, at 5 & 6 pm. The truth was that we were there to have a peaceful protest. We were there for a few hours and we finished our protest and peacefully left as was the plan the whole time. We did not need to be convinced to do this, it was our clear intention. Everything we do is peaceful, except to the principalities of the devil, but straight to the point.
If someone thinks for a second that we will be silenced just because a few officers, soldiers and a swat team shows up, they are sadly mistaken. We know our rights, we know the Charter and we will exercise those rights. Eventually one inspector came as the only reasonable voice representing the police department and the City and of course, with a person like that they can with a little conversation see that we are not there to cause a problem, but we want our voice to be heard, and he let us. At the end of the day, what was the big deal? Citizens of this nation exercising their God and state given right to express their dissent. Of course you should know that the only problem during our protest, was again the Calgary Stampede themselves. You see, they were not happy that we brought the pamphlets to show Calgarians and tourists about their open discrimination toward the Christian community. They did not appreciate that we took the time to let the people know about what’s happening with their tax dollars (the Calgary Stampede is a not-for-profit organization heavily funded, to the tune of tens of millions of dollars, by all three levels of government and would not exist without those government funds and government relaxation of laws for their benefit). They were upset that we would let the tax payers know that their money is openly being used to discriminate against Canada’s Christian heritage and Christian Canadians.
But as for us, we have confidence in our Lord, and He has already revealed that He has this battle in His hands.
Remember this, any individual or organization that raises his hand against the Living God or His children is asking for trouble, and in fact is asking for God’s judgement. Later on I will show you some of the headlines that have been on the news on the following judgements of God
- Death of Horses
- Financial Difficulty
- Attendance down
When I was at the City Hall when our aldermen wanted to pass an illegal law preventing Canadians from protesting outside our city’s government buildings, I heard one alderman make this statement, "Why do we want to kill a mosquito with a sledge hammer?" He was referring to Street Church because everybody knew that the proposed law was intended to shut down all of our ministry work (feeding the homeless and preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ) in front of City Hall, and the way to do it was to make it illegal for anyone to be there without expressed permission of City Council.
When I thought about this man’s statement, two things came to my mind; first some mosquitoes can be deadly, especially when God is on their side, and second is a story from another clergyman that I heard. The story goes like this:
The Mouse Trap
A mouse looked through the crack in the wall to see the farmer and his wife open a package.
What food might this contain?" The mouse wondered – he was devastated to discover it was a mousetrap. Retreating to the farmyard, the mouse proclaimed the warning. There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!"
The chicken clucked and scratched, raised her head and said, "Mr. Mouse, I can tell this is a grave concern to you, but it is of no consequence to me. I cannot be bothered by it."
The mouse turned to the pig and told him, "There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!" The pig sympathized, but said, "I am so very sorry, Mr. Mouse, but there is nothing I can do about it but pray. Be assured you are in my prayers."
The mouse turned to the cow and said "There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!" The cow said, "Wow, Mr. Mouse. I’m sorry for you, but it’s no skin off my nose."
So, the mouse returned to the house, head down and dejected, to face the farmer’s mousetrap alone.
That very night a sound was heard throughout the house — like the sound of a mousetrap catching its prey. The farmer’s wife rushed to see what was caught. In the darkness, she did not see it was a venomous snake whose tail the trap had caught. The snake bit the farmer’s wife. The farmer rushed her to the hospital, and she returned home with a fever.
Everyone knows you treat a fever with fresh chicken soup, so the farmer took his hatchet to the farmyard for the soup’s main ingredient.
But his wife’s sickness continued, so friends and neighbours came to sit with her around the clock. To feed them, the farmer butchered the pig.
The farmer’s wife did not get well; she died. So many people came for her funeral; the farmer had the cow slaughtered to provide enough meat for all of them.
The mouse looked upon it all from his crack in the wall with great sadness.
The next time you hear someone is facing a problem and think it doesn’t concern you, remember — when one of us is threatened, we are all at risk. We are all involved in this journey called life. We must keep an eye out for one another and make an extra effort to encourage and help one another.
Sometimes, in this ministry, we may feel like this little mouse, raising our voices where ever we go, trying to bring attention to the dangers that face this country. Perhaps, we ourselves with our own strength, which is small, feel very week and although men may count us of no significance, the story with the mouse can teach us that a voice is a powerful thing and God is warning everyone in this country about the dangers of not standing for righteousness and truth. Whatever happens to one, can happen to all, and for those that think that these things are not effecting them, let them remember the story of the little mouse, who in the end was the only one who was left standing.
We with God, cannot lose, because when we fall, He picks us up. When we are week, He is strong. When we are surrounded, He makes a way where there seems to be no way. What’s impossible with man is possible with Jesus.
“They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety,” said Benjamin Franklin in 1775.
Losing God’s Blessing
Calgary Herald July 17
Ten teens were hurt, with six taken to hospital, Friday evening when a ride on the Calgary Stampede midway broke, sending its passengers crashing to the ground before a throng of horrified fairgoers
"This is an unprecedented incident with this device,"
Comments (just some)
8:39 AM on July 17, 2010
What a tourist destination, pack up the wife and kids and hit the Stampede where you can witness an innocent animal get killed or yourself on a midway ride. What a disaster.
10:45 AM on July 17, 2010
The Devil must be a visitor at the Stampede this year
12:35 AM on July 17, 2010
Wow….whats with the Calgary Stampede this year?…its been like the "stampede of doom"
“There were bolts flying. It was like a bang and metal scraping and people screaming.
“It just dropped and skidded and flipped and there were people with heads cut.
Tony Diaz, general manager of the North American Entertainment, said the mishap was unprecedented.
Overall cumulative attendance decrease of: 41,242
"It just seemed a little weird this year," said Irma Braren, who is in her 70s and has been coming to the grounds every year for most of her life.
Grandstand Show and fireworks were cancelled Tuesday due to heavy rain and strong winds
On Friday, an "unprecedented" catastrophe hit the midway when a popular ride broke apart
One ride user said, “I’m never going on one again.”
Another said, “It was my first time coming to Stampede and my last time coming to Stampede."
Horror on the Calgary Stampede midway
Hailstorms, funnel clouds, record rain, five dead horses, injured riders and cancelled races are adding up to problems for this year’s Stampede.
Tuesday was a day of especially heavy rain, according to Environment Canada
Insurance adjusters continue tallying the damage after golf ball-sized hail and winds of up to 80 km/h hit the city.
To add to Stampede’s misfortunes, one rider was hurt during a team cattle penning event and six horses have died.
Insurance adjusters continue tallying the damage after golf ball-sized hail and winds of up to 80 km/h hit the city.
Evening show cancelled
July 13, 2010
For the first time in the history of the Calgary Stampede, officials were forced to cancel the chuck wagon races Tuesday night due to relentless rainfall.
Stampede officials and the chuck wagon community said they couldn’t find an instance since the chucks were added to the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth when the event was called off ahead of time.
Ten-time Rangeland Derby champion Kelly Sutherland said “It’s just the first time it’s happened at the biggest show we attend.”
There are thousands of claims worth millions of dollars in what is predicted to be one of Calgary’s most costly summer storms.
Meanwhile, Stampede officials exchanged or refunded 2,000 tickets after heavy rain and winds Tuesday forced the cancellation of chuck wagon races and the Grandstand Show. The track was too damaged by rain to safely hold the event, prompting hundreds of ticket refunds.
"We’re probably breaking records in terms of a hailstorm for Alberta,"
"It’s certainly one of the biggest and most remarkable storms we’ve seen in a long time," said spokesman Leonard Sharman.
Unfortunately, such vicious summer weather events occur with greater frequency than they once did, even with the help of hail suppression technology and high-tech weather warning systems.
"We used to see ‘one-in-a-hundred-year’ storms. Now they seem to happen every five or 10 years all over the country," said Sharman.
Golf ball-sized hail, thunderstorms pummel Calgary, southern Alberta
More violent weather expected; Stampede visitors duck for cover
High winds, heavy rain, and most of all, large hail, left a swath of damage across some communities in Calgary and southern Alberta during a Monday afternoon marked by tornado and severe thunderstorm warnings.
The sudden downpour and marble-sized hail forced Calgary Stampede visitors to flee for the exits or seek shelter in nearby buildings
Animals at the Calgary Stampede grounds were pulled inside, while visitors ran for cover.
Another year of the famous Calgary Stampede is coming to an end, but this has not exactly been the luckiest year for stampede. A man was harmed brutally with broken bones, spinal injuries, concussion and more during one of his routines in a rodeo.
6 horses were killed, 1 died the night right after a race for unknown reasons, another collapsed in the middle of a chuck wagon race and had to be euthanized, another horse collapsed during a race supposedly of a heart attack, and fell on it’s rider (Amy Carver, whom is in the ICU with critical injuries) and 3 others had died within the last 10 days.
Friday evening, July 16, 2010, the ride known as the "Scorpion" collapsed while people were riding it. A witness stated that he saw a "pod of six cars detach from an arm on the ride, then flip over and crash to the ground from a height of about 10 metres".
10 people so far have been reported injured with 6 taken to emergency but no deaths have been claimed. There was a man bleeding from the head who was taken to emergency and may be in critical condition. Many of the passengers who were on the ride and were injured from the fall, were knocked out but came to with 10 minutes after.
Tough year for Stampede as 5th horse dies, attendance off, tickets returned
My comments to this article (It’s very interesting that the Calgary Sun and the Calgary Herald both published my comments to remind everyone that God will not be mocked)
11:43 AM on July 15, 2010
God’s judgment for throwing Jesus out of Calgary Stampede Parade this year.
Calgary Stampede Parade Committee led by David Swanson openly discriminates against Christians
After the accident involving the “scorpion” ride Stampede CEO Verne Kimball said “First and most importantly, we want to convey our thoughts and prayers to the people and families affected by (the) incident.”
I find it ironic that Mr. Kimball is indicating that the Stampede is extending prayers on behalf of people and families affected by the incident. My question to the Stampede is, since you didn’t want the name of Jesus carried in the Stampede Parade and nor did you want His name being displayed outside the entrance to the Stampede grounds, and since not only were you not willing to honour Him during the event and nor did you want others to honour Him, to whom are you offering prayers up to. If the Living God is not the receiver of your prayers are you praying to your dead relatives or perhaps pegan gods? Just food for thought.
What is also interesting about all of this is that since the Stampede kicked God out from the parade, and ultimately from their event completely, using the courts through manipulation of facts, God turned this around and it looks like the Stampede with it’s "scorpion" accident will be facing lawsuits from victims or their families and will be on their way to the courts themselves. In case it’s not clear, the Stampede has brought these judgements. I truly hope that the Stampede learns from this that it is good to side with God and not against Him.
Now, by the way, we forward our prayers toward all the people that were hurt during the Calgary Stampede and we forward them up to the one Living God, Jesus Christ.
"Victory isn’t defined by wins or losses. It is defined by effort. If you can truthfully say, ‘I did the best I could, I gave everything I had,’ then you’re a winner." —Wolfgang Schadler
We can truly say that we did our best. We bought the props and we showed up. Everything else is in the hands of God.
By the way, thank you very much for you prayers, as we are wrapping up a ten day trial pertaining to "illegally" feeding the homeless and "illegally" gathering a crowd. Things are looking very positive. When the verdict is handed down, we will update you.
Picture above – tourist posing with group for a picture