October 2007: The Values They Are A-Changin
Talofa! (Hello! & Welcome in the language of Samoa ˆ a greeting shared by the people of New Caledonia.) The fact that we are a bit late this time has no connection to the source of this month's greeting :)
. . . and 'eTouch' comes with a warm embrace to anyone who has been 'YWAM-touched', anyone who has ever served in Youth With A Mission, or anyone who just kinda likes to hang out with us . . . We want to be a blessing and an encouragement. This is our way of saying "thank you" for your contribution to missions.
Please send us names, cities & email addresses of people you know who would like to receive this little monthly communiqué. In September we hit our target of 6000+ circulation and we're aiming for 7000 by the end of the year ˆ we need your help! Peter Jordan, Editor
1. Matters that Matter ~ The Values They Are A-Changin'
2. Profound & Pithy ~ Missionary Wisdom
3. Feedback ~ It's Your Turn
4. Donna's Corner ~ Miscarriages and Worse
5. Renewal Gatherings ~ Coming up in 2008
1. Matters that Matter ~ The Values They Are A-Changin'
This could be a rather depressing subject for followers of Jesus; almost daily we watch in seeming helplessness as one by one our traditional Christian values erode and topple, especially in the western 'post-Christian' world; whatever that means . . . I don't think of myself as a 'post-Christian'; I'm a now-Christian. But I believe there is hope for us and there is reason for optimism ahead. Is God able to influence and change events? Can God change a city? Could he change a nation? Would he? He's done it before. Ask Jonah.
As I've said previously, I'm a simple man. "You could never be accused of being a theologian," said Rev Michael Green to us; he is the author of many books, formerly a professor at Regent College in Vancouver, and with whom we once had the great blessing of sharing in a home group; but he tempered his remark by saying how he admired our life of faith). Therefore this will not be a theological treatise. This will be just one man's viewpoint of the changes in moral values over 50+ years.
As a teenager, living alone in the very 'conservative' city of Toronto, metro buses and streetcars made special stops at all churches on Sundays; stores were closed and sporting events took place on Saturdays. Sunday was the Lord's Day - for all. Not that Toronto was in any way perfect; bank robberies were wild-west affairs, and not rare; there were other problems too - in the hearts of men and women. For example, occasionally I would read a short and terse paragraph in the newspaper bearing a headline like, "Doctor Sentenced to Five Years for Illegal Operation." I soon learned what an illegal operation was. It was the violent seizure of a life from a woman's womb and it pretty much sickened everyone in those days.
Back in those days generally speaking, in cases of any immorality, much of the church harrumphed, pursed its lips in self-righteous horror and maintained a silent distance from those who 'fell into sin.' There was a negative 'thou-shalt-not' attitude rather than a 'good news' approach to the Christian life; what was missing was an approach that taught moral values in a positive way and did not merely condemn those who fell. Girls who became pregnant were shunned, hidden away then sent away to have their babies. But society as a whole took a dim view of creating children outside of marriage. 'Living together' and single parenthood were uncommon. Between 1960 and 2005, the rate of babies born outside of marriage increased from 5.3% of all births to 36%; that's a sevenfold increase. (Christianity Today, Oct 2007)
Marriage was a union between one man and one woman (there was no thought of any other combination of wedded partners). The union was essentially only dissolved when adultery was proven. Men's hearts being what they were, phony and furtive and staged motel meetings were burst in upon by a hired spy/photographer to provide evidence of infidelity in court in order to obtain a divorce. But by far, most marriages hung together; but our values they were a-changin', even in the church.
The so-called 'oldest profession' was active, but for the most part hidden. Drugs, pornography, abortion and homosexuality were there but not flaunted, not out in the open. Child abuse was not spoken of. All these Christian 'anti-values' have become subjects of widespread and common discussion thanks mainly to the sensationalist media. We were becoming enlightened, or so we were led to believe.
My sense is that the more these 'anti-values' are paraded before us, the more hardened we become to their destructiveness upon society as a whole and to each one of us in particular. And the more that these ideas are planted in young - and old - people's minds, the more that certain ones will act upon their impulses - impulses that might never have been awakened in them had they not been exposed via TV, movies or some other graphic and descriptive medium.
For example, the horror of child abuse in its varied forms is daily fodder for the news media. For someone with an undisciplined mind and having inherent anti-social behavior, the thought of taking advantage of a vulnerable or younger person, might have lustful appeal. And we know that for those who themselves have been abused it can be an easy step to repetition. Am I advocating censorship? No, just some self-restraint. Values become eroded just as pounding waves relentlessly eat away even at mighty rocks on the shore.
Can a heart be changed? We know it can. Can a family be changed? Yes. A church, a city, a state or province? The great city of Nineveh changed (to Jonah's embarrassment). Can a nation change? Could Canada - this 'nation of nations' that has been a leader in condoning and promoting anti-values - could she change? Yes, I believe she can - and there are signs that it's happening. One of the instruments that God is using in Canada to unite the church and "prepare for him a resting place," is Watchmen for the Nations, an assortment of believers that includes all cultures and peoples right across this wide land that spans six time zones. www.watchmen.ca
The church had lost its influence (its spiritual influence). But today the church in Canada is awakening, God's values are being restored through prayer and unity and perhaps this will be a nation where God will do more than just visit. You can sense a plaintiveness in God's question, when in Isaiah 66:1 he says, "Where will my resting place be?"
And as the song goes; and as our response should be, "Here, Oh Lord . . ."
Where is 'here' for you? The Values They Are a-Changin' ˆ back to where they should be, we trust. (Thanks, Bob Dylan, for the title idea.)
2. Profound & Pithy ~ Missionary Wisdom
If a commission by an earthly king is considered an honor, how can a commission by a Heavenly King be considered a sacrifice? David Livingstone
Lost people matter to God, and so they must matter to us. Keith Wright
The Bible is not the basis of missions; missions is the basis of the Bible. Ralph Winter
The mission of the church is missions. Oswald J. Smith
This generation of Christians is responsible for this generation of souls! Keith Green
If God calls you to be a missionary, don't stoop to be a king. Jordan Groom
3. Feedback ~ It‚s Your Turn
"Practically perfect in every way" ˆ Mary Poppins [an unbiased endorsement of the last eTouch by one of my daughters who believes she's my favorite. Ed]
I finally had time to read eTouch, and thoroughly enjoyed it. I see that Dan Sneed is still alive. He must be in his 80's. I have a copy of his testimony, talking about after his return from WWII. It is very moving. I've had the tape for years. Name withheld
[A case of mistaken identity, I think; Dan's still alive and kicking and not yet quite 80.]
Your article on music was so good, full of humor and full of good instruction. Your mention of your love of so many types of music is something to cause a person to re-evaluate one's own likes and dislikes. Sometimes we dislike and 'put down' simply because it is unfamiliar. That goes for music as well as for many other fads and
cultural actions. Phyllis Griswold
A skeptic can argue endlessly about theological details; but when someone says, "God did this for me . . ." e.g. instill a love of music; there is no place for argument. The event and true tale must be heard. I will see David Cunningham's latest film for sure; there is a place in the heart of kids for imagination to grow. Dale Stone
A 100% Cure for Cancer?
I am currently working on the commercialization of a proton-based cancer treatment developed jointly by the University of Heidelberg and the German Institute for Heavy Ion Research. So far they have treated just over 250 terminal cancer patients, and have had 100% success, no remissions, and no side effects! This reads like science fiction. What's the problem? Very simply, each clinic needs both a nuclear linear accelerator as well as a synchrotron (a sub-atomic particle accelerator), costing many millions of dollars. Interestingly, this was my area of specialty in my pre-YWAM days.
Together with others I have been able to line up suitable financing for the long term development, as well as setting up a charity to pay for those not covered by some type of medical insurance program. Uli Kortsch
I'm now at a ministry here in North Carolina called the Christian Training Center International/The Inn. The one that was featured last month due to the award-winning humor of Melissa Lee! They announced in our staff meeting the other day to be praying for a possible YWAM Associates Renewal Camp here. That would be great if it would all work out! It's been interesting to hear your talk about spiritual fatherhood. In fact, fatherhood is the resounding heartbeat of this ministry. Not just in teaching but in practice. I'm finally starting to "get it." Melissa Brandes
God bless you both, "your table and your bed," as the Scripture says ˆ and your work. Aasbjorg Fossan, Levanger (Norway)
[Hmmm, thanks, nice thought: food, sleep & work. But I couldn't find it. Anyone know where? Closest I came was Ps 127:2 and Eccl 5:12.]
4. Donna's Corner ~ Miscarriages and Worse
I have never had a physical miscarriage; nor have I had an abortion, but I hear that both can be devastating; not only to the body, but to the spirit and the soul as well.
I have realized lately that anyone ˆ man or woman ˆ can have a spiritual miscarriage or an abortion. Physical abortion must break God's heart, but what about spiritual abortion? God plants a seed in our hearts and it is stolen through man's plans. Man takes control before 'the baby' is full term; before it is able to survive it is taken away. Could it be like the seeds that Jesus spoke of in Luke 8:4-15? He‚s referring to the secrets of the Kingdom and he said, "He who has ears to hear, let him hear."
He is talking about the word of God, the promises of God. We hear God speak to us, and we treasure his word and his promise in our heart, but then the devil comes and steals it away; or we receive a word and get so excited and share the good news but unbelief comes in because the word isn't firmly planted and nurtured; it is miscarried. We lose hope.
Or perhaps there was a seed planted - a word from God - but anxieties, worries and love of money choked God's word. It happens so often, and the dream that God put in our heart is aborted or miscarried. The last seed mentioned in Luke 8 is planted in a noble and good heart that hears the word of God, retains it and then perseveres through the birth so that there can be multiple births.
Have you had a spiritual miscarriage? Or an abortion, where man stole your dream that was planted by God in your heart? You can start over again. You may need to repent of letting unbelief come in, or you may need to renounce the spirit of abortion and forgive the person or persons who stole your dream. God will show you.
Do you think Satan had plans to prevent Jesus from being born? (He certainly had plans to have him murdered as a toddler.) Do you think he tried to put unbelief, evil thoughts and fears into Mary's mind? Fears that Joseph might abandon her, fears of what others would think? Or even unbelief that this could be happening to her? But the angel said, "Do not be afraid, you have found favor with God."
She questioned but she believed. The angel said, "Nothing is impossible with God." Mary responded, "I am the Lord's servant, may it be to me as you have said."
Always remember that, "Nothing is impossible with God." Don‚t let the enemy steal the seed God that has planted in your heart.
Love & Blessings,
5. Renewal Gatherings ~ Times of Refreshing
Feb 24-Mar 1, Kona ˆ Speakers include Darlene Cunningham, Dan Sneed, John Dawson & David Demian
Join us on the University of the Nations Kona Campus for some speakers you won't want to miss, an Island Breeze luau feast, a sunset beach picnic and an all-campus meeting; you'll stay at a nearby hotel and there's much, much more! Bonus: we'll be joining the All Nations-All Generations DTS in the mornings. Prices increase Nov 30.
Laurie Jordan-Worrall: email@example.com for all the details.
Looking ahead to the next Northern Hemisphere Summer . . .
June 8-14, Chico, California ˆ Speaker Donna Jordan
Dave McPherson: Dcmcph@aol.com
June 23-28, Banff, Alberta, Canada ˆ Korean Gathering
Rick Sorum: firstname.lastname@example.org
Europe 2008: go to: www.intouchcamps.com for more details on all European Camps
July 6-12, Choose from two in Norway (both the same week)
*Land of the Midnight Sun Camp, Borgen (Roy Jones: email@example.com)
*Grimerud, Speaker Dan Sneed (Lidvard Andreasson: Lidvard@online.no)
July 13-19, Restenas, Sweden, speakers Derek and Trich Dodd, YWAM Ireland
Aug 2-9, near Paris, France, speakers Jeff & Romkje Fountain, YWAM Europe ldrs
(Roy Jones: firstname.lastname@example.org for Sweden & France)
Till next time and with this parting thought, first put the kettle on, then . . .
Drink tea and nourish life; with the first sip, joy; with the second sip, satisfaction;
with the third sip, peace; with the fourth, a Danish. (Rabbi Abe Twerski)
Next time Nov & Dec will be one edition. Feel free to use anything from 'eTouch,' in whole or in part, in any way that will glorify God and advance His Kingdom.