When I first met Bert, I was leading a Saturday night church in downtown Mission. You just never knew what may happen. Who may walk through the doors. What challenges may occur or what remarkable may transpire.
One evening something remarkable did happen. When he walked through the doors, he didn’t appear that ‘impressive’ on the first look. To be honest I thought it ‘may be one of those nights’……
Yet, what was really unusual was how he stood at the front of the church with a huge grin and glowing with such joy as he watched the worship team……
Months earlier a mutual friend was telling me I had to meet this ‘kingdom’ guy. I had heard so much about Bert Petkau that it was if I knew him already, yet I didn’t even know what he looked like.
Bert came to our Saturday night Mission church that evening on a ‘whim’ with a friend. What can I say….it was a very interesting evening 🙂 As we all know Bert loved to worship and was also a passionate worship leader……the reason for the huge smile and gleaming face as he observed the worship team that evening.
So began a rich and full chapter of our lives for Kristen and I, as we developed relationship and did life with Bert & Teresa.
Those of you who know Bert know what I mean when I say, ‘Bert didn’t appear that impressive on the first look.’
Trying to impress or pizzazz anyone wasn’t something that drove Bert…..worship, composing, creating, loving, celebrating were the outflow of Bert’s life. He loved and worshiped God as well as celebrated people in every walk of life.
Bert was one of the most generous people I know……I am sure you would agree. Bert & Teresa poured out into many people, churches and ministries. Again, no interest in wanting to impress anyone….not having the left hand know what the right was doing was done naturally….although, so much supernatural activity transpired around and in Bert’s life.
One evening when one of our young leaders was passionately sharing……she was saying “I have a God that is so BIG” ….. in a heart beat Bert starting formulating lyrics and composing music. The song “I Have A Dream” was birthed.
Bert moved in this dimension constantly, composing music and writing lyrics spontaneously…so in touch with his gifting while being led by the HS.
“I have a dream that is so big, I have a strong desire. I have a vision in my heart, it is taking me so much higher.” The opening lyrics of his song, ‘I Have A Dream’
This is signature Bert. Big dreams. A vision that encompassed and gathered so many others. You & me. Creative people. Pastors & leaders. Homemakers & builders. The least of these. No limits, everyone was included. It not only took Bert higher…..but all of us.
Yet his Dream was so much larger. Dream City was birthed. Albums were developed. Concerts and worship events. Through business Bert & Teresa funded these Godly initiatives.
I have had the honour to spend time with Bert as he processed ideas, concepts and dreams. Things were always stirring and percolating within him. I will forever cherish those moments.
Bert tapped into the most unreached place on the planet……his own heart. The place God dwells within us. Where dreams are birthed and stirred.
The truth is, you can go to the most unreached places on the planet and preach the Gospel while never reaching into your own heart…..in my opinion the most unreached place on the earth. Bert did that. He lived this and manifested it with passion.
Don’t get me wrong. Bert & Teresa funded & supported missions, went on missions and believe in reaching the world for Jesus.
Yet, Bert also had the courage and was fearless to reach into that place in his heart that can so often be the most scary….. fear of failure is so nasty.
And yes….. Bert had some failures. That is all part of our lives. It is reality. Although Bert just jumped back on the horse and rode again and again and again.
I know Bert would want me to say to you today…..go for it….dream, develop a vision, trust God and be open to unique ways that can fund your dreams. Don’t be afraid to fail…..it may hurt….you may go through a period of disillusionment and pain…..but don’t stay there….get up and go again.
“the devil won’t take me down cause I am on Fire……I have a God that is so Big, He is everything that I require…..” Bert’s lyrics from ‘ I Have A Dream’ God is so Big and everything you require….
Bert would want me to remind you that not to let the devil or anyone steal your dreams.
Bert also created and invented in the construction industry. Always dreaming always visionating.
Bert was a purist. He preferred being original. He didn’t go with the flow or…..I don’t’ think he knew how to 🙂 ……you know what I mean….
Bert loved to ski……but only in fresh powder not the groomed runs where most people skied.
Bert felt compelled to be an instrument to bring unity in our city.
Bert was crazy about his wife and would go to no limits to please her.
He loved his family and would talk often of his love for his kids.
His son Michael wrote this about his dad and posted it on Facebook:
“Even in his final two dark months on this planet, he showed no fear, and remained content and happy with whatever the outcome might be. He was a good man. He gave me something to aspire to be and I was proud to call him my father.”
So well said Michael.
Thank you Bert. You have inspired us and always will. Even facing death, you were fearless, content and happy.
Like Michael, we are all so proud of you.