Hello Friends, It’s good to be back
with you in this short month of February.
Pour a cup of tea or coffee and join us for a read.
Have you ever felt as though you were a total failure? And what is worse, a failure in the very ideal you’re fighting for . .
Guess what? I blew it. Royally. And felt like a failure.
In last month’s - click there - we tackled ‘The War of the Words,’ the losing battle we’re in, as we try to maintain decency in language, both spoken and written . . . fighting to keep ‘gutter gab’ where it belongs - out there in the sluiceway that is the world of sloppy-speak. That’s not my style. NIMBY! (Not in my backyard!). Or so I thought.
The ‘King and I’ was a great musical (seems like a few centuries ago), and in it, Anna the teacher sings, “If you become a teacher, by your pupils you’ll be taught.” Modifying that a bit, I’ve just learned that, “If you teach or write, by your words you will be judged.”
We got a great response to last month’s topic - it’s always nice to hear that you’re ‘ringing people’s bell,’ by what you write. But I’m learning to be careful to redirect pats-on-the-back to where they belong: to The Author himself. But when those compliments pile up in the storehouse of the heart, pride comes . . .
Here’s a ‘sampler’ from some who felt strongly - and wrote in.
“Peter, I couldn’t agree with you more! The use of such words has become so entrenched in the vocabulary of today’s society, that even Christians no longer cringe when the Lord’s name is taken in vain . . . not to mention the words you referenced in your article. Garbage in, garbage out is so true and we need to guard what’s going in to get the right words coming out! However, with the language all around us, we need not watch television to hear bad language . . . just stand awhile in a check-out line. I’m glad you have brought this issue to our attention. As Christians, we must be the examples of a life lived with Jesus in focus; and making an effort to keep our language pure, is certainly something we can do - though it can be an effort with the uglies all around us.”
Dannie Hawley, Guinea
And . . . Jackie Sheppard in Kansas City, writes, “Thank you, Peter, for being brave enough to address this. It always grieves me and makes me wonder why they use those words - after all, there's no shortage on words! There's an abundant supply of good and wonderful words, which when well-spoken, are apples of gold.”
Here’s one from Ben, whose impassioned letter is highly articulate, yet as he says, “I don't have your education with words.” When something comes from the heart, grammar and syntax can step aside. Here it is, exactly as he wrote it . . .
“Peters article of 'Language & words. I want to bless my Beloved God & our Lord Jesus Christ. I want to praise Peter for what he (wrote). I ADMIRE & Encourage you to stand up for righteousness sake. I FELL IN LOVE WITH YOUR HEARTS. I to am grieved over thos same Issue. I, don't have your education with words but anyone who can hear THE Holy SPIRIT KNOWS THESE BUTCHERED VARIATION OF WORDS BEARS FRUIT FROM THE ORGINIAL PROFANITY. I WAS NOT RAISED IN Sunday School and ask God to forgive me when something boils up nasty & rotten in my mind. . . I have wept over this and repented many times. I determinned never to repeat it again but it grieves my soul to hear the words being Boiled out of hell and accepted. . . Peter, I am just saying I love your heart and what you speak of here. Don't quit, don't give up, fight for "whatsoever things are pure, right, lovely and of a good report. If you quit I promise you the devil will not! We fight though not in the name of morality; we fight in, under, covered and flooded in The Holy Ghost. I join hands in prayer with you. I stand on Phil. 4:6-9. It's just small steps to remove Godly Influence from our society. My knee is not bent either.”
And, “Thank you so much, Peter, for your impassioned plea for a kinder gentler vocabulary! ‘They marveled at the gracious words that proceeded out of His mouth!’ Let's seek to be like Jesus.”
Dave Barker, Vancouver
There came a bit of puffing up in me as I relished these and other words of affirmation. But, pride comes . . .
A few days ago, in very cold Alberta, Canada, I took a little walk outside. Actually I was inspecting a new bridge over a river that is under construction (I fancifully imagine that I am the Project Manager of this huge operation, and since I was going to be away for a few weeks, I wanted to make sure that all was well, and that the workers were doing their jobs properly. There’s still a little boy in me. Weird, eh?)
So, I was walking along this paved, down-sloping path,observing the fascinating process of bridge-building, when suddenly I took off - feet first; I had stepped onto a sheet of sheer ice. I made a perfect ‘three-point landing’ - left elbow, shoulders and back of head. Stunned, the first word that came out of my heart (via my mouth) was one of the very things I had railed against last month. The S-word. I lay there, unable to move for almost a minute, hurting both physically and from shame.
The Devil gets the credit for a lot of dumb things people do. I don’t believe he caused this crash, but I do believe he was pleased when I let go and swore.
“First pride, then the crash—the bigger the ego, the harder the fall.”
Proverbs 16:18 The Message
The tumble was sheer stupidity. The expletive was a revelation of what was still in my heart. What else lurks there, waiting to be exposed?
I guess there will always be some more work for God to do in all of our lives, certainly in mine. No pain, no gain. If this sort of ‘slip’ (of the tongue) happens to you, pick yourself up, repent and move on.
Failed, but not a failure.
We have seen a change from an emphasis on "serving God" to an emphasis on "serving self." The object of faith is no longer Christ, but our self-esteem; the goal of faith is no longer holiness, but our happiness; and the source of faith is no longer the Scriptures, but our experience. Christian music currently reflects this. We are producing a generation of people that "feel" their God, but do not know their God.
The Bible is the most holy thing we will ever hold in our hands in this lifetime. It contains the mind of God, the state of man, the way of salvation, the doom of sinners, and the happiness of believers. Its doctrines are holy, its precepts are binding, its histories are true, and its decisions immutable.
Read it to be wise, believe it to be safe, and practice it to be holy. It contains light to direct you, food to support you, and comfort to cheer you. It is the traveler's map, the pilgrim's staff, the pilot's compass, the soldier's sword, and the Christian's charter. Christ is its subject, our good its design, and the glory of God its end. It should fill the memory, rule the heart, and guide the feet. Read it slowly, frequently and prayerfully. It is given to you in life, will be open in the judgment, and be remembered forever. It involves the highest responsibility, rewards the greatest labor, and condemns all who trifle with its holy precepts. Anonymous (or was it Os Guinness?
“Twenty five Years! My goodness. Many, many thanks for all you have done in that time & continue to do. I do remember seeing a notice on board the M.V. Anastasis announcing the setting up of Associates & thinking “My goodness that is some undertaking.” So, congratulations and thanks.”
Freda Dorman, NZ
“Thank you for helping me stay in touch with YWAM! Do you remember me attending the Writer’s Renewal Camp in Idaho a few years ago? I brought my friend Amy who I had been dating for a few months and there at camp I asked her to marry me. Amy said to me very clearly, ‘I am not saying no now, and when I do say yes we will get married very quickly.’ After another year and a half of long walks, talks and tacos I was about to give up and move on. Praise God! I waited and now have a 10 year old, Sarah, live in Amy's dream home which I built for her, and we are involved with kids ministry at our church. We are Blessed. God has used YWAM to mold and shape my character as I have sought to please Him above all else.”
John Bridges, California
Ed’s note: I've lost count of the number of marriages from Renewal Camps!
“Always love to read eTouch! It has ministered to us so many times out here in the Amazon region of Bolivia.”
Kevin and Katherine Stabler
Many who served at University of the Nations in Kona, knew and loved Doug & ‘Mother’ Margaret Feaver, 62 years married, and full of wisdom and joy. Son John, tells their compelling story . . .
I so enjoy reading the monthly eTouch. Many years ago, I did a School of Evangelism in Switzerland, and then spent a number of years working with YWAM (JuCUM) in South America. What I experienced and learned in those years has been so important in my life. In December, my 18 year old daughter and I went to Chile for 2 weeks to visit some of my ‘old’ YWAM friends. What an incredible blessing to be together after more than 25 years. We experienced the Lord's presence as we laughed, cried, prayed and shared life once again. I am especially thankful that our now-grown children could be with us as we recalled the Lord's hand in our lives long ago and see His faithfulness today.
Daphne George McBreen, Seattle
SHEEP and GOATS
A few years ago when I was in Australia at a retreat center, there were some sheep and goats in a pasture. When the shepherd walked by, the sheep followed him and the lambs followed the sheep. I noticed though, that the goats were in a corner eating garbage and butting heads.
Jesus talked about sheep in many books of the Bible and He mentioned He was going to separate the sheep from the goats at judgment time (Mt 25:31-46). Sometimes, even now, you can recognize 'sheep' from 'goats', but we mustn’t judge. "Do not judge or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others you too will be judged.” (Mt 7:1)
BUT sometimes the difference is obvious, even in 'the church.’ The 'goats' are complaining and criticizing, but the 'sheep' are listening to the Shepherd's voice and following Him (John 10:27-30). If we criticize we are on the enemy's side because he is the accuser of the brethren; if we simply pray about these issues, we are on God's side, showing we trust Him; and Jesus is on the right hand of the Father interceding for us. (Rom 8:34)
The FEAR of MAN vs the FEAR of the LORD
“The fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord will be kept safe.” (Prov 29:25) and . . . "The Lord confides in those who fear Him; He makes His covenant known to them. My eyes are ever on the Lord for only HE will release my feet from the snare." (Ps 25:14-15)
If you want to be God's friend, you must have the fear of God, not the fear of man. When you fear man you fall into a snare, like an animal getting caught in a trap. The more you struggle the worse it gets, taking the breath right out of you.
"They loved the praise from men more than the praise from God so they wouldn't confess their faith for fear of being put out of the synagogue.” (John 12:42-43) With the fear of the Lord, you care more about what He thinks than what man thinks. You become a God-seeker and not man-pleaser. It's so easy for church leaders to fall into the trap of pleasing people or their denomination, rather than pleasing God. Ministry becomes a job.
"Bad company corrupts good character, come back to your senses as you ought and stop sinning for there are some who are ignorant of God.” (1Cor 15:33-34) - they don't reverence Him or fear Him. “To fear the Lord is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech.” (Prov 8:13) “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and knowledge of the Holy one is understanding.” (9:10) “By the fear of the Lord a man avoids evil.” (16:6)
“He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm."(Prov14:2) "He whose walk is upright fears the Lord, but he whose ways are devious despises him.” (Prov 13:20)
“The eyes of the Lord are on those who fear Him, on those whose hope is in His unfailing love.” (Ps 33:18) “The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him and He delivers them.” (34:7)
Jeremiah 32:39-40 gives amazing promises for our children and our children's children - when we fear God.
Joy Dawson said, "Through God's love we have His acceptance; through the fear of the Lord we have His favor."
There are so many scriptures on the fear of the Lord vs the fear of man.
The fear of man used to be a huge hindrance for me in listening to God and being obedient. Now I pray for the fear of God and I listen to Him and walk in obedience.
Let me know if you think of any other contrasts that are becoming more obvious.
Love and blessings,
June 16 - 22 Piemont, Italy: Speaker - Dean, click here for details
June 30 – July 6: Restenäs, Sweden: Dean, again! click here
July 7 – 13: Sighisoara, Romania: Dean, Once more! Yes! click here
July 22 - 27: Skjærgårdsheimen, Norway: Edwin Fillies, Lausanne Leader , Contact Lidvard click here
August 4 - 10: YWAM Champagne Le Gault, France have a look here
For info: http://www.intouchcamps.net/intouch-camps/
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And Finally . . .
Secrets breed secrets. Openness (in humility), breeds freedom.
Till next time,
The Small Print
—and the whole ministry of YWAM Associates—is for the encouragement and building up of the saints.
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