September 2006: Once was A Millionare
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1. Once Was a Millionaire; Deals With God
2. Profound & Pithy - Some Classics
3. Feedback - It's Your Turn
4. Contest #2 - Poets That Don't Know It - Yet
5. Donna's Corner - Kingdom Come!
6. Gatherings Down Under
1. Once Was a Millionaire; Deals With God
The song rankled in my ears; it needled at me day and night; it upset me and hurt me and I tried everything I could to get the mockers off my back. Here are the words that some older boys mercilessly taunted me with:
Your father is a good miss-ion-ary
He saves all the girlies from sin
He sold two plants for a nickel
Oh how the money rolled in.
Those unkind words put to a popular melody of the day were aimed at me as a ten-year-old boy when I was in prison. This was during the more than three years my family and I - along with the other 'foreigners' who were trapped in China right after Pearl Harbor - became 'guests' of the Imperial Japanese Army in an abandoned military academy, within clear view of downtown Shanghai's Peace Hotel and other tall buildings.
My missionary Dad's hobby was growing tomatoes and selling some of the plants in order to supplement our pathetic diet. But the money never rolled in - well . . . maybe once it did, as you will see.
Finally the taunting by the song ran its course and my tormentors left me alone. But something must have become embedded in my heart, perhaps a deep hurt about missions and being a Missionary Kid (even though the term 'MK' had not yet been invented). Over the next 30 years, unknowingly, I harbored a grudge against God and against ever being a missionary. In fact, I had a bit of a deal with God that went something like this: "I'll serve You in the local church, but the LAST THING I'll ever be is a missionary."
It's a mistake to do deals with God.
Generally, before World War 2, growing up in China as missionary kids, we had enough to get by on, though once I remember having to walk to school barefoot - no money for shoes, and it wasn't summertime.
Once locked up in this prison, my Dad, a career missionary and a man of great faith, grew his tomato plants in his spare time; his main 'ministry' was helping to boil thousands of gallons of water a day so that 1800 of us prisoners could drink without getting sick. Every able-bodied adult was assigned some job to keep this little 'city' going. Dad, who had never had to do manual labor full time, suffered intensely from boils on his arms and side, brought on by malnutrition, by worries for his family and by the blazing heat of Shanghai summers. But his faith in God never wavered.
When we were liberated by the US Marines in 1945, some wealthy Shanghai businessmen got together and gave each prisoner a gift of money - $250,000!
I can still see those stacks of crisp and newly-minted $1000 bills, seductively stacked high on a shelf in our one-room 'home.' That gift made our family of five, missionary millionaires.
And did you know that God has a sense of humor? All those years of refusing His call, He didn't forget that 'deal' I'd made with Him . . . the one where I said that the LAST THING I'd ever be is a missionary.
Guess what? It WILL be the LAST THING I'll ever be. So don't try to do deals with God.
Oh yes, the millionaire thing; just one problem about all that money: a loaf of bread cost $30,000 due to the horrific rate of inflation in China after the war; so that bundle of banknotes didn't last long. And strangely, I've never wanted to be a millionaire - again.
2. Profound & Pithy - Wesley & Warren
From the journals of John Wesley, a true hero of the Faith:
Sunday a.m., May 5 - Preached in St. Ann's; was asked not to come back any more.
Sunday p.m., May 5 - Preached at St. John's; deacons said, 'Get out and stay out.'
Sunday a.m., May 12 - Preached at St. Jude's; can't go back there either.
Sunday p.m., May 12 - Preached at St. George's; kicked out again.
Sunday a.m., May 19 - Preached at St. Somebody Else's; deacons called a special meeting and said I couldn't return.
Sunday p.m., May 19 - Preached on the street; kicked off the street.
Sunday a.m., May 26 - Preached out in a meadow; chased out of meadow when a bull was turned loose during the service.
Sunday a.m., June 2 - Preached out at the edge of town; kicked off thehighway.
Sunday p.m., June 2 - Afternoon service, preached in pasture; 10,000 people came.
Some Rick Warren-isms . . .
People ask me, "What is the purpose of life?" And I respond: "In a nutshell, life is preparation for eternity. We were made to last forever, and God wants us to be with Him in Heaven."
One day my heart is going to stop, and that will be the end of my body – but not the end of me.
I may live 60 to 100 years on earth, but I am going to spend trillions of years in eternity. This is the warm-up act - the dress rehearsal.
God wants us to practice on earth what we will do forever in eternity. We were made by God and for God, and until you figure that out, life isn't going to make sense.
3. Feedback - It's Your Turn
Hi inTouch/eTouch, I almost fell off my chair when I saw Sue Botta as one of the three you chose as winners in the (essay) competition. Sue and I were on the same School of Dance (Windows) in Hong Kong, 1988. Pamela Cordery, NZ
. . . and from Sue, after these two were re-connected:
I want to encourage all former YWAMers to keep in touch. Re-ignite friendships, get behind one another's vision; support, encourage, pray for one another, love one another; we can see this world won for HIM and HIS GLORY. You never know where God might lead a friendship to end up . . . Sue Botta, Australia
What?! You can't lead us on like that . . . waiting all month to read the winning essay (now plural) just to have you announce there was no room to publish. Pleeeeaaaasse change your mind and delight us with those examples of Australian literacy.
Pleeeeaaaasse! Karen Hatfield, USA
[Ed's note: is Karen suggesting that there is a dearth of Australian literacy?]
Your article (Sacred or Secular?) hit me right where I needed it at this time. Sometimes I feel like what I am doing, or where I am, is 'less' than my sisters and all that they are involved in and doing. Not only my sisters, but my mom and dad too! Thanks, because that spoke to me - I need to hear that many times in my life! From Australia [Name withheld on account of close family ties to your Ed.]
(Through) eTouch I feel like you guys bring me closer to my old-YWAMer folks; I had been in YWAM about 8 years and those funny/happy memories come alive within me. Notea Chongthu, India
You warm our hearts, stimulate our minds and lift our spirits. We avidly read all of it with much delight, and each time we feel encouraged and blessed.
Douglas & Margaret Feaver, PA
'Sacred or Secular?' struck a chord with me and I pray that I can find a way to bring my secular skills to the altar and be used to bring about change to the lives of those that need to be touched. Alastair Tan, Singapore
This coming January my daughter will follow in my footsteps and attend her DTS in Uganda; it will be 30 years to the month since I did mine in South Africa. You might say, "That's nice," but I'm grappling with the intense spiritual significance of this gift. You see life has not been kind to me or to my children but the one thing I did give them was a praying mother, and God in his mercy has visited me with this gift of a daughter who is passionate for Him and caring for the needs of the disadvantaged. I'm just happy, but YWAM Uganda will never be the same!
P.S. When I'm asked what is my ministry I have decided to say that my life is a ministry. I take all of "me" to work, to the community and to church. There is no part of my gifts, talents, abilities or personality I leave at home, or just share in certain settings. Since I was 40 I decided it's all or nothing. Nancy Long, BC
4. Contest #2 for Poets - Compose a Limerick
Our last journalistic contest was a three-way Aussie tie; each will get their book reward in November. This time the prize is a CD - The Journey - by JoEllyn Wright.
A limerick is a five-line poem written with one couplet and one triplet. The rhyme pattern is a a b b a, with lines 1, 2 and 5 containing 3 beats and rhyming; and lines 3 and 4 having two beats and rhyming.
Limericks are meant to be funny. They often contain hyperbole, onomatopoeia, idioms, puns, and other figurative devices. The last line of a good limerick contains the PUNCH LINE or the "heart of the joke."
RULES: Your limerick MUST adhere to the above rhyming pattern and be about a YWAMer or an experience in or about YWAM. You may enter as many times as you wish. A panel of judges (with finely-honed senses of humor), will choose the three winners, whose efforts WILL be published next time. Deadline: Oct 20, 2006.
Here's a lame example (it took all of five minutes to compose - and it
I went to a strange DTS
For I had been told, "You're a mess!
You need to get right
And walk in the light!"
So I went, under considerable duress.
5. Donna's Corner - Kingdom Come!
Our heart's desire should be to see His Kingdom come His will be done, on earth as it is in heaven, because this is the way Jesus asked us to pray. (Matt 6:9-15)
In the next few editions of eTouch I want to share more about His Kingdom here on earth - as it is in heaven; any insight or revelation you have, let me know.
Since the new millennium God has been saying it's all about MY Kingdom not man's kingdom; and I want My people to focus on eternity, getting prepare to be My bride.
The Kingdom of God (or the Kingdom of heaven) appears 98 times in the New Testament and Jesus spoke about it 60 times.
The Kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power. (1 Cor 4:20) Paul identified power as a fundamental characteristic of the Kingdom. We must lay hold of that power that is available to us by the Holy Spirit. We must pursue Jesus who will lead us into all truth by His Spirit (John 16:12-15), as well as through His Word.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Rom 15:13)
There's the power of the Holy Spirit to heal, deliver from demons, raise the dead, bring words of knowledge, wisdom, and prophecy. There are gifts of discernment, tongues and interpretation of tongues, miracles, etc. It's amazing the power that is available to us, as we are part of His Kingdom.
Paul warned us that in the last days men would act 'religiously' but deny the power of God. (2 Tim 3:5)
We must DO and teach Acts 1:1-2. Jesus is our model.
The enemy has a counterfeit - satanic power, witchcraft and psychic powers.
Let us beware of what the younger generation has to face. I read recently in a survey that 73% of teens have experimented with either witchcraft or psychic activities (66% were churched kids). Because of lack of knowledge and understanding the young people are perishing, right in our own churches.
Are we living and teaching our children about the power of God, right in our own homes? Young people are hungry for the reality of God, the power of God.
Are we seeing the immensity of God's power and provision in our families and churches?
Let's keep seeking His Kingdom and His righteousness. (Matt 6:25-34)
Love & Blessings,
6. Northerners: Is this your time to Dip Down Under?
Our Southeast Asian Gathering was held earlier this month: 147 attended (lots of kids!), from ten nations, including 11 intercessors from South Africa, who when warned that there had been terrorism threats, replied, "That's why we're coming."
January 14-20, Sydney, Australia with David Demian (Watchmen)
Contact: Peter West at firstname.lastname@example.org
And then. . . A different kind of Gathering: 'Malachi 4:6 - The Generations'
January 20-27, Orama, on beautiful Great Barrier Island, New Zealand - "Restoring the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers. . ." with John Dawson & David Demian; and with Peter & Donna Jordan
Contact: Jeanetta McQuoid, email@example.com www.malachi-4-6.com
Bottom Line quote: "The highest level of worship is . . . . . . Obedience." David Demian (Read Gen 22 especially v.5)
Till next time,
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