You Can Do It – Yes You Can Can


I grew up with a father who was a hard working man who was proud to support his family

He was the oldest of 9 children – 8 boys and one sister

His father was an alcoholic and would spend all of his pay cheque on alcohol each week and come home drunk – beat my father to pulp, and then fall asleep

After grade five my father stopped going to school and went to work to support his mother and his brothers and sister

This grade five graduate had one motto – if I heard it once I heard it 10,000 times

“If you set your mind to do it – you can do it”

When he died at 56 years old he was teaching high school and owned his own, successful local business in the city where we lived – a suburb of Montreal, Quebec

He paid cash for everything he purchased

He owned his own home, a home in Vermont, USA, on a beautiful lake,

He did not use a credit card and owed no man anything when he died

He was well respected by everyone who knew him

“If you set your mind to do it – you can do it”

He was not perfect – our family was dysfunctional in many ways – just as your family was

But, he never let the obstacles in front of him or the circumstances of his early life limit what he could do

“If you set your mind to do it – you can do it”

We are entering 2018 on Monday and my message to you is…

“If you set your mind to do it – you can do it”

Many of us are allowing our history – the circumstances and situations of our early life – limit what we are willing to attempt to do today in life

And limit what we are willing to believe God for

And limit what we are willing to set as goals in 2018

And limit what we will accomplish in this gift of a new year of life

And limit what we will experience and even enjoy in 2018

Many of us look at our age, our medical situation, our financial circumstances, our marriage and family responsibilities and headaches … and allow these things to limit what we do for the Lord and even what we do for ourselves

And, God says, “It is time to break out of your self-imposed limitations and change”…

The way you think

The way you are approaching your life

What you are planning to do in 2018

Heck, what you are planning to do with the rest of your life

“If you set your mind to do it – you can do it”

It is time to take your life out of “park” or “neutral” and move forward into the “year of the Lord 2018”

It is time to dream

It is time to plan

It is time to set goals

It is time to blow up the rut called “every day life”

It is time to discover what God wants you to accomplish for Him and for yourself in 201

It is time to move forward in faith and accomplish what God has called and gifted you to do for Him

“If you set your mind to do it – you can do it”

It is time to stop allowing self-imposed limitations to limit what you do in your life / with your life

I am too old

I don’t have enough money

I have too much debt

There are people here who need me – ‘I need to be needed’

I am not trained

I don’t know enough

I don’t know anyone who can open the doors I need to see open

I am not healthy enough

I have a family to take care of

I am afraid to speak to others about Jesus

I have serious financial limitations and needs right now

My husband … my wife ____________

And on the list could go

Self-imposed limitations (CHAINS ON THE BRAIN)

Barriers you have placed in your life that limit your potential only because you let them

2018 – the year when you take your eyes off of yourself

Your circumstances

Your situation

Your limitations

As real as these may be … “If you set your mind to do it – you can do it”

Make 2018 the year you take your eyes off of yourself and your circumstances and focus on Jesus

“Turn your eyes upon Jesus

Look full in His wonderful face

And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,

In the light of His glory and grace.

There is much more to that hymn than just the chorus…


O soul, are you weary and troubled?

No light in the darkness you see?

There’s light for a look at the Saviour,

And life more abundant and free!

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,

Look full in His wonderful face,

And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,

In the light of His glory and grace.

Through death into life everlasting

He passed, and we follow Him there;

Over us sin no more hath dominion—

For more than conquerors we are!

Turn your eyes…

His Word shall not fail you—He promised;

Believe Him, and all will be well:

Then go to a world that is dying,

His perfect salvation to tell!

Turn your eyes…

2018 – the year when, in a fresh and new way, you turn your eyes to Jesus – His plan, His purpose for YOU!

After all, “with God nothing is impossible” (Luke 1:37)

When I was in seminary in Toronto – the University of Toronto – I dated a young lady called Cathy

Cathy had Cerebral Palsy …

To walk …

To talk …

To have a coffee …

To write …

To study and write exams …

Severe limitations that never stopped her from doing what she wanted to do

Limitations that could have formed the basis for valid excuses not to do this or that…

Like my father, she just believed that “if you set your mind to do it, you can do it”

Jesus saying: “nothing is impossible with Me…”

“You Can Do It – Yes, You Can Can”

Video – Ted Talk – Maysoon Zayid

So, a different version of what my father always told me

“If you set your mind to do it – you can do it”

Just what Jesus said: “With God nothing is impossible”

Maysoon Zayid…

“You Can Do It – Yes You Can Can”

I believe that if God said it – you can do it

“God said it – I believe it – That settles it”

“God said it, I believe it, I can can”

But the key here is that you need to believe His Word 

And you only believe the part that you act upon – the part you put into action

So, the angel Gabriel – the angel of the Lord – comes to Mary

Let’s read the story….

Luke 1:26-38 “In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favoured one, the Lord is with you!” But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favour with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?” And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God. And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.” And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.”

Mart’s approach: “Keep calm and believe you can do it”

Mary was from a small village in a not-so-important part of the nation of Israel;

Mary was from a very unimportant tribe within the 12 tribe structure of the Jewish nation

Mary was a young teenager – most likely 14

Mary was a woman in a very man-entered world

Mary belongs to a dead religion that held to the outward form of their religion but denied the power of God to bring change to the nation or to an individual

Young girls who were pregnant out of wedlock were immediate stoned to death

No one had heard from the Lord – the Word of the Lord – for 400 years except for Elizabeth and Zechariah and they had told no one of their word regarding the soon birth of John their son, in their old age

An angel spotting was somewhat seriously infrequent in those days and somewhat unbelievable…

But “with God nothing is impossible”

“If you set your mind to it – you can do it”

You can do it – yes you can can

The keys in the story…

1> God is with Mary

2> Mary has favour with the Lord – she is in His good books

3> The angel and God were not bothered by her doubts – “But how can this be true as I am not married?”

4> The Holy Spirit was upon her; enabling and empowering her so that God’s Word would come to pass

5> Others are also involved here – they too have heard the voice of God and are moving forward in this same bigger picture and event (Elizabeth and Zechariah)

Check it out – confirm it – you are not crazy – you are not deceived – others are on the team

6> Even with your hesitation and the impossibility / largeness / importance of the task – “nothing will be impossible with God”

7> Mary recognized her position – a worshipper and servant of the Lord most high

8> Mary cooperated with the Word spoken over her – “Let it be to me according to your word.”

9> She did not feel adequate or even prepared or ready for the task

God is saying to Mary

But “with God nothing is impossible”

“If you set your mind to it – you can do it”

You can do it – yes you can can

So, each of us have received prophetic words from the Holy Spirit which have not completely come to pass as of yet

Still an open and active file in your spiritual life and in your every day life

And, each of us has a copy – or many copies – of God’s written Word, the Bible, and God is speaking to each of us regularly through His Word

Not some new information or insight or exciting tidbit you discovered

A personal Word to you that is part of God’s will for your life

Talking here of revelation because Jesus is building His Church by revelation

Matthew 16:18 “And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”

Ephesians 1:17 “… that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him…”

So, like Mary, we have heard the voice of the Lord in one way or another

1> God is with you – He will never leave you or forsake you (Hebrews 13:5)

2> Because of the birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus, as a believer you have found favour with God (Proverbs 12:2; Psalm 84:11)

3> You may have doubts that the Word spoken will come to pass – this does not bother God and should not bother you – the Word is established

4> The Holy Spirit is upon you – you have experienced the baptism in the Holy Spirit – and so you are personally empowered and enabled to live out and fulfill the Words spoken (Acts 1:5, 1:8)

5> Others are involved in this call on your life and purpose for your life as no one is every called to work or minister alone – it is always a team and not a solo operation

Check it out – confirm it – you are not crazy – you are not deceived – others are on the team

6> You simply need to believe that if this is truly God speaking – then nothing is impossible for Him regardless of your circumstances and situation

7> Recognize that you are a servant of the Lord – obey your Master – cooperate with what He has spoken about your potential and the possibilities He is offering you

8> You simply need to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit as He leads you each step of the way

He will continue to speak in many different ways giving you specific guidance and direction for each step you will need to take

9> You will not feel adequate or even prepared or ready for the task and that is okay as then you will need to rely on the Lord for every decision and every day

But “with God nothing is impossible”

“If you set your mind to it – you can do it”

You can do it – yes you can can

In my life recently

One day while driving out of town to work in Oxbow this past summer I had this realization – now know it was what I call a God thought – that the only reason I was still going there week after week was because of the salary

The income that was seriously important to the welfare and maintenance of my home and family

As I dwelt on that “God thought’ I remembered that I had told God many decades before this that I would never minister for money…

This meant that I was upset in my heart because I wanted to be a man of integrity and I had told God that I would never minister just because someone paid me

Money was never to be a determining factor

God took this brief thought that became a God conversation – and I left Oxbow at the end of October after 17 years of working there

God said, “They do not want to go where I want them to go, so leave and invest elsewhere.”

God said, “They are not wanting the ministry of an apostle and so your call and ministry is not being recognized and, as a result, they receive you as a teacher / pastor. Leave and be who I called you to be”

And, God has blessed that decision as I stepped out in faith into the unknown…

Because “with God nothing is impossible”

“If you set your mind to it – you can do it”

You can do it – yes you can can

In November at a Sunday evening service in Morden, Manitoba at Hillside Church there was another God conversation

The conversation was about major changes in my ministry in 2018 – changes that will mean many aspects of what I do and how I do it are going to change

Things will be removed – Other things will be added

New doors will be opening and new connections will be made

The key date being the 30th of June when all the changes will be in place and the ministry will be reestablished and launched in a fresh new way

God said a lot and showed me much … I said “no thanks”

Red light… too old, too tired, too well known for who and what is

Limitations / self-imposted limits / barriers in the brain / chains on the brain

He spoke three times and I said a weaker “no” each time … yellow light

God was very patient and loving as we continued this short but powerful conversation as the worship continued

But my answer was still – yellow light – I don’t think so, God … rehearsing limitations

Then, the lady leading worship shared a vision she had during the worship

A vision of a street light turning, going from – red – yellow – green…

And that God was saying that someone was struggling to move forward into something new and that it was now safe to “go” … green light

I saw that as a serious, almost in-your-face, confirmation of what He and I had just been discussing and so I said an immediate “yes” and thanked Him for the confirmation

Because “with God nothing is impossible”

“If you set your mind to it – you can do it”

You can do it – yes you can can!

Since then, I have been making decisions and plans and changes in light of what God has spoken

Changes that will culminate on June 30th, 2018 as the alterations to what I do and how I do it are completed

So, as we enter 2018…

1> Be smart – Review and renew any and all prophetic words spoken over your life

2> Be current – Listen to the still small voice of the Spirit for new insights and direction

3> Be certain of what God is now asking of you and how you are to go about doing what He wants

4> Be brave – say ‘yes’ without hesitation and without knowing all the details and depth of what you are being asked to accomplish with Him

5> Be bold – Step out and start making personal life decisions and plans based on the Words received

6> Be attentive (listen) for His voice each step you take as He will guide and direct your steps and your path

7> Be dependent – trust in God and His Word and don’t be moved by your current situation and circumstances

Because “with God nothing is impossible”

“If you set your mind to it – you can do it”

You can do it – yes you can can!

And, more than anything else, “turn your eyes on Jesus” because He will never fail you and He has great plans for you and your life in 2018

Keep calm and believe in yourself – You can do it

You can do it – yes you can can