February 2007: Do It Afraid - Part 2
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1. Matters that Matter - Do It Afraid (Part 2)
2. Profound & Pithy - Problems & Pain
3. Feedback - It's Your Turn
4. Donna's Corner - Waiting & Walking
5. Married - at Last!
6. Renewal Gatherings - Including One for Koreans
1. Do It Afraid (Part 2)
First, a short summary of Part 1. . .
Fear can paralyze and fear can motivate. We've all experienced this powerful emotion. Though as a young boy I was a daredevil on a bike, I developed 'stage fright' through a traumatic childhood experience when in my showbiz debut, I forgot my lines. Fear of standing in front of people gripped me for years. It wasn't till much later in life that I was healed of this, and there have been other fear challenges that I have stumbled through, one in particular, as you will see. . .
Part 2 - It was a Dark and Smoky Night
It was dark because it was 2 am; it was smoky due to forest fires in the Northern Rocky Mountains - the smoke rising to great heights and drifting eastward with the upper winds. Cruising along at over 500mph, eight miles up in the stratosphere north of Edmonton, Canada I was learning to be an interceptor pilot. Seated behind me was Bernie, my radar operator.
Our mission? To shoot down Russian bombers should they fly over the North Pole to bomb the great cities of the US. This was back in the bad old days of the Cold War. (Upon reflection, maybe they weren't such bad old days.)
The stars were barely visible, even at that great height above the earth.
Horizontal and downward visibility was poor-to-awful. We, and another crew just like ours, were practicing intercepts, taking turns being 'Soviet bomber' and 'good-guy fighter-plane.'
It was my turn to be bomber. All I had to do was set the autopilot on a certain course, speed and altitude and just sit there. The fighter would be directed by ground radar to a position 25 miles away on a right-angled collision course with us. At a closing speed of almost 600 mph, 25 miles gets eaten up pretty fast - in all of three minutes! The fighter's radar operator would give necessary course corrections to his pilot as the gap between us swiftly shrunk. For the final 60 seconds, the pilot took over and chased the 'blip' on his short range radar.
A collision at that speed would scatter a hailstorm of very small metal fragments that would rain down on several square miles of wheat fields below. Thucydides, a noted Greek philosopher wryly observed that, "A collision at sea can ruin your entire day." A mid-air collision usually ruins your entire life.
To avoid every pilot's nightmare, precautions and safety provisions were clearly laid out for us; one of which was that at about 15 miles separation, I as the bomber pilot, was to radio that I had caught sight of the fighter - in this case I would spot the green light on his right wingtip - and would then clear him to continue as he closed quickly on us from our left side. I was to monitor him visually all the way in to ensure that he was going to pass safely (?!) 300 feet behind us, having delivered his lethal load of 58 Mighty Mouse rockets at us; virtually, of course.
At about 15 miles, anxiously scanning to my left through the murky fog of smoke, I still hadn't 'eyeballed' him. I hesitated, thinking, I'll give it a few more seconds before I call him off. The seconds passed, and by then, I was really dithering. Bernie, in the back seat was sweating it through, breathing hard into the intercom. In his nervous and high-pitched voice, he urged me to break it off.
I can't remember if I falsely cleared the fighter in or not; a macho-spirit had gripped me. I rationalized that it would be OK - it always had been - and even though I still couldn't see his flashing green light. And then in an instant I remembered who the fighter pilot was, a guy with a rep for being a little crazy, a reckless pilot and not too hot at flying by radar.
But by now it was too late to do anything as he would be mere seconds away, still unseen.
Fear had me locked in a vise and I was near panic. All of a sudden the flash of a ghostly green light exploded right IN FRONT of my windshield; and then it was gone. Instantly we were double-jolted as we passed through the fighter's jet-wash, the turbulence created by the furious exhaust escaping from the two jet engines. By what seemed inches, we had escaped instant death. A desperate relief flooded every fiber of my being. Not a word passed between Bernie and me. We both knew I had blown it, though I tried to appear 'cool.' But fear still crouched at the door of my heart.
After that, throughout my military flying days and even when I started to fly commercially as a passenger, that fear of a mid-air collision held me in its sway. It took ages to learn that by walking into my fear - by 'doing it afraid' - would the victory finally come. I could have saved myself a lot of fear-years if I had let God do it quickly by humbly seeking counsel and
prayer for my anxiety. And if like King David I had not focused on the fear, but had set my eyes on God, who knows when I would have been set free?
God told Paul that His grace was sufficient; and that weakness perfects strength. If you have any kind of weakness - especially fears, rational or irrational - claim that verse for yourself (2 Cor 12:9). Don't let fear hinder you from God's purposes in your life. In order to conquer fear it must be faced head on. Do it afraid.
David said, "Whom shall I fear. . . whom shall I dread? The Lord is the defense of my life." (Ps 27:1)
2. Profound & Pithy - Problems & Pain
Some More Wisdom from Rick Warren
I used to think that life was hills and valleys - you go through a dark time, then you go to the mountaintop, back and forth. I don't believe that anymore.
Rather than life being hills and valleys, I believe that it's kind of like two rails on a railroad track, and at all times you have something good and something bad in your life.
No matter how good things are in your life, there is always something bad that needs to be worked on.
And no matter how bad things are in your life, there is always something good you can thank God for.
You can focus on your purposes, or you can focus on your problems.
If you focus on your problems, you're going into self-centeredness, "which is my problem, my issues, my pain."
But one of the easiest ways to get rid of pain is to get your focus off yourself and onto God and others.
3. Feedback - It's Your Turn
Prescription for Pain
It's time I wrote to thank you for the joy and encouragement and dare I say it, the challenge that eTouch always brings. Thanks for serving us so faithfully.
My time since full-time YWAM has been chequered . . . divorce, three major surgeries, serious illness and surgery in my children, sudden and traumatic deaths of my whole nuclear family within three months, my own cancer diagnosis . . . all this on the one side and God's amazing goodness and faithfulness on the other. Guess which has been the winner?
The thing that has kept me going above anything else is falling back on my understanding of the character of God which was emphasized over and over during my years in YWAM: truly He is just in all His ways and kind in ALL His deeds (Ps 146.17). It was probably Joy Dawson who first underlined that verse for me.
My advice to the young 'uns? Let your roots go deep into Father's character then truly your arm will bend a bow of bronze! ("He trains my hands for battle; my arms can bend a bow of bronze." Read Ps 18:30-36)
The good news is that God is preserving us to serve Him. . . I serve as training Coordinator for Rainbows of Hope and still teach in YWAM and other missions! What a privilege.
Sylvia Johnston, UK
Last words . . .
I enjoyed the last eTouch. Hard to believe that Peter was ever shy about speaking to groups! [Do it Afraid Pt 1] Would it be possible for you to insert more white space? It makes longer things easier on the eyes. Just a thought! Sue (Forcier) Secrist, USA
["Dear Sue: At your suggestion we'll do it with more white space; I wonder
if you'll be reading this edition from your new home in heaven."
Sue passed into that realm on January 21st after a long and brave illness;
she is sorely missed by Dan and many others whose lives she touched. Dan
writes, "Sue's funeral was an amazing event with nearly 1200 people in
attendance - a day to remember as people were saved and many who have never
heard the gospel presented heard it in the most gracious way imaginable. It
was the largest funeral I have ever attended."]
LYAM - Lawyer With A Mission - a Nation-Discipler
Alexandra is a young corporate lawyer for a major oil company in Asia and a strong supporter of YWAM in that part of the world, even encouraging the start of YWAM Associates in Hong Kong.
Through Alex' influence her boss is born again and they both stirred the pot in their company by starting lunchtime Alpha Courses in offices.
She then moved on and initiated Alpha in prison while working on other socially related prison programs. Meanwhile, she and her boss spread Alpha-in-the-Office to their other companies in Hong Kong, Korea, Taiwan and Malaysia. Many have come to the Lord or been revived through this program.
For the last two years she has spent two weeks during Chinese New Year Holidays with a small team conducting Alpha in prisons in Taiwan, while living right in the prison! Last year saw 89 salvations, this year 102! She also hooked up with the prisons in Hong Kong and now Alpha is run as a regular program in two of them.
Alex considers her work schedule as divine - she can do her evangelism work with no travel costs! She spends one-two hours early each morning walking and talking with God in the park. Do you think that could be her secret?
Reported by Gwenda Loong, YWAM Associates SE Asia Coordinator
4. Donna's Corner - Waiting & Walking
As in the days of Elijah and John the Baptist, God is asking us to "get prepared" for the days ahead.
It's about our 'hearts.' Where are our hearts? Are we building 'golden calves' because we aren't willing to wait on God? (See Ex 32 - the people wouldn't wait!)
Golden calves are man-made initiatives, replacements for waiting on God.
"Let's DO something," can be our attitude instead of waiting in His presence and listening to Him. Waiting on God both individually and corporately saves so much time, pain and misunderstanding.
I'm finding in many people's lives, they are being kept 'busy' doing many good things but not God's best, because there is no time to wait on Him. Many of us know that the word 'busy' in Japanese and Chinese characters means 'heart dead.'
God is looking for people who have hearts after Him, not ministry, position or wealth. Your destiny relies on your responding with ALL your heart to God, not half-heartedly; and walking in the fear of the Lord, not the fear of man.
We must guard our hearts. "Above ALL else guard your heart." (Prov 4:23)
"The peace of God which transcends ALL understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus." (Phil 4:7)
Abide in Him, and when things get rough hide under His wing (Read Ps 91:1-4).
"Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight." (Prov 3: 5-6)
God is jealous over our hearts. Ask Him to reveal your heart. Is your heart truly abandoned to Him? He's preparing a bride for His son. When I married Peter, I could either be his bride or I could be his maid. He could have hired a maid but he chose to walk with a bride. It all has to do with the heart.
God can use you or He can walk with you. It's up to you. (He can even use a donkey).
Love & Blessings,
5. Married - at Last!
On December 9th we had a party to end all parties as our Laurie was married to Peter Worrall of Australia - he's been with us on staff for almost a year now. They met at a Renewal Gathering Down Under two years ago. If you'd like to see some photos of the festivities, go to www.bigfresh.com (website hosted by Mark Lee the creative genius who used to design our inTouch Magazine). Mark took all the photos.
And speaking of Marriage. . .
MARRIAGE OFFERS BY FAR THE BEST CHANCES FOR RAISING CHILDREN IN TODAY'S SOCIETY. That was the clear message from several leading British citizens this week at the launch of Britain's National Marriage Week in the Houses of Parliament.
National Marriage Week runs annually over the week prior to Valentine's Day, February 14. Former YWAMer Richard Kane began NMW eleven years ago to highlight the importance of healthy marriages to the welfare of British society. From the start it has been supported by members of parliament. Over the years it has received wide coverage in the secular press.
Read the complete column by Jeff Fountain, YWAM's European Director, by going to www.ywam.eu/news/word.asp where it will be posted in the next few days. You can subscribe there to Jeff's Weekly Word - he is truly a man like Issachar; a man who understands the times in which we live.
6. Renewal Gatherings for 2007
June 4-8, Chico, California - our first Korean Gathering! Speaker: Pastor
Ron Smith. Co-leaders: Peter & Donna Jordan, with Kwak Sookwang & Song
Korean speaking Registrar: Hephzibah Zeleny: firstname.lastname@example.org
June 10-16, Chico, CA - Speakers: Dan Sneed & Donna Jordan (with Peter)
Contact: Laurie at email@example.com
July 8-14, Restenäs, Sweden - Speakers, Andreas & Angela Frész - "Destiny by
Design." With Roy & Shirley Jones
July 15-21, Grimerud, Norway - Speaker, Alejandro Rodriguez, Director, YWAM
Argentina. With Peter & Donna Jordan
July 28-Aug 4, Jura Mountains, Switzerland - Speakers Andreas & Angela Frész
- "Destiny by Design." With Roy & Shirley Jones
Aug 11-18, Near Paris, France - Speaker Donna Jordan - "Listening to God"
With Roy & Shirley Jones
For the above four European Camps contact Roy Jones, our European Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org or go to www.intouchcamps.com for more details.
Sept 5-9, Singapore/Batam - Speaker TBA. With Peter & Donna Jordan
Contact: Lin at email@example.com
And finally, more wisdom from Mother Teresa: "God has not called me to be successful. God has called me to be faithful." Sent in by Kim Bennett
Till next time, be blessed,