Aloha! Talofa! Bula! Malo! Kia Ora! Ia Ora Na!
Our welcomes come in some of the greetings you will hear at our Polynesian Luau Thanksgiving Feast in Kona, Hawaii on November 25th. Details down below.
eTouch, like the friendly “Hellos” above, comes to you each month for your encouragement and nourishment. But first, please allow me a bit of editorial freedom . . .
A pastor once said as he got up to preach, “Before I start, I’d like to say something.” So, I’d like to climb up on my laptop podium and say something . . . I wish to announce that there are two writing forms (genres) that I will not touch again. One is satire. The other? Children’s stories.
My attempt at satire a few years ago dismayed a whole bunch of readers, and many let me have it – digitally. But perhaps even worse was my June 2010 attempt at a children’s story. It was called ‘Zach & Liz’ and it fell flat. I actually believed that the tale would appeal to adults as well as kids – a ‘Toy Story’ kind of a story.
Not one comment did I receive, good or bad – even from those nearest and dearest to me, though I did get a few of those ‘looks’; you know the ones I mean? I am still licking my virtual wounds.
OK, let’s get serious here . . .
Sheep2Sheep ~ Last Words
“Alright,” came the immediate reply.
This terse exchange was between two pilots as they, and all on board their aircraft, faced inevitable death, just seconds away. Their situation was very definitely not all right.
How do we know precisely what the pilots said? The last 30 minutes of all verbal communication and other cockpit noise is recorded in every airliner and is stored in one of the so-called indestructible ‘black boxes’ (which are in fact bright orange for easier discovery in the event of an accident).
It had been a gorgeously clear morning. Descending, the pilot and copilot chatted about friends whose houses they recognized in the big city below. The sleek and beautiful silver airliner, capable of carrying over 200 passengers and crew, was on this day, just half full as they turned onto the final approach for landing, the runway straight ahead.
The passengers and crew were all strapped in, anticipating a smooth touchdown on the two-mile long strip of concrete. The sun glinted off the great aluminum bird as the air traffic controller in the tower gave the clearance to land.
At a critical point, mere seconds before the wheels were to touch the ground, the co-pilot impulsively reached for and deployed a lever that suddenly caused the airplane to drop like a rock.
“Sorry! Oh sorry, Fred!” yelled Bill the co-pilot. “Sorry, sorry, Fred!” he repeated.
“Okay,” the captain calmly intoned to his junior seat mate. “We should be alright.”
But they weren’t all right—far from it.
The copilot had suddenly and unexpectedly activated huge door-sized panels on the upper surfaces of the wings, panels that jumped up at a 45 degree angle; panels that effectively killed the airplane's ability to fly; panels that are only to be popped up after the wheels have touched solid ground. They are called ‘ground-spoilers,’ only for use on the ground. Next time you fly look for those ‘speed brakes’ to spring up – after your wheels ‘kiss’ the runway.
This mighty jet thumped onto the runway so hard that the outer engine on the right wing broke away from its pylon and skittered across the runway. The captain, doing what he was trained to do, rammed the throttles forward, choosing to perform an emergency ‘go-around’ to try for a better landing. The great machine staggered judderingly back into the air, leaving debris strewn across the runway.
But unknown to the pilots, whose attention was totally focused in the cockpit, fuel was streaming from the ruptured fuel tanks in the right wing, quickly igniting and engulfing the wing in horrifying orange flames. But now, well airborne again, explosions severed the next engine from its mount and then the wing was totally gone. The big bird was doomed, together with all on board.
“Sorry Fred!” Those last words, begging forgiveness, ring in my ears to this day, having listened to some of these recordings. (Please don’t think me ghoulish . . . I’m a former pilot, intrigued by how airmen react in such dire and final moments of their lives. Mostly it’s a lot of cursing and angry use of the name of our Savior.)
“Sorry Fred!” And so I began thinking how important it is to ask forgiveness for wrongs done to others; how important it is to not let a moment go by without clearing the decks of all that sort of unfinished business. Fred and his copilot knew that they were about to meet their Maker. I wonder if they knew Him?
You say you don’t think you need to apologize to anyone? Sometimes our perception of what has happened in a dispute or in a relationship breakdown is skewed and twisted by our one-dimensional view of things. Try taking a look at things from the other side.
“Alright,” were the captain’s last words, though “All wrong,” would have seemed more appropriate. Inherent in Fred’s brief response is a spirit of forgiveness. Another man, while fighting to control the uncontrollable aircraft, might have been cursing and yelling at his bone-headed copilot for such a stupid and impetuous action.
“Alright,” offered the captain. Are things all right in your ‘forgiveness ledger?’ Are you withholding forgiveness from anyone? If so, you’re mostly hurting yourself; you’re like a kidnapper holding a hostage— and the hostage is you.
Don’t live another day without asking for and offering forgiveness. You don’t have to grope around in the cobwebs of your unconsciousness—the Holy Spirit will pinpoint the specifics you need to deal with.
Among Jesus’ last words were, “Father forgive them; they don’t know what they’re doing.” Should this not be our goal, to forgive those who don’t even know what they’ve done to us?
And of course, the ultimate last words that we all want to hear are,
“Well done, good and faithful servant!” (Really, these should be Jesus’ first words as we enter heaven.)
[Names have been changed and some details omitted, but this accident really happened. Don’t be too hard on the copilot; unclear cockpit procedures for all aircraft were changed as a result of this accident. Flying is extremely safe today, in part because we learn from catastrophes like this.
The supreme irony of this terrible crash is that had the ground spoilers been activated a fraction of a second earlier, the aircraft would have been able to recover flight, with less damage after a softer ‘hit’ on the runway. The carnage would have been avoided. Spoilers coming out a fraction of a second later, and she would have crumpled onto the runway, a total loss; but some or all lives might have been spared.]
Profound & Pithy
It is amazing what you can accomplish if you don’t care who gets the credit. Harry S. Truman
We make a living by what we get. We make a LIFE by what we GIVE . . .
The most remarkable thing about my mother is that for 30 years she served us nothing but leftovers. The original meal has never been found.
The happiest of people don't necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the most of anything.
The Boutique ~ A Little of This & That
A letter from camp, by Pierrette . . .
“hello, I must say that was the best holiday of my life.
The Lord really renewed me and I am full of joy.
Thank you for the organisation, before and during the camp. The glory belongs to our creator. Thank you for all these precious moments spent in the presence of God and with my brothers and sisters.” From the Swiss YWAM Associates Camp, August 2010
followed by . . .
Libby Little’s article on suffering is so moving and so necessary for our mission to hear and I’ve printed it as I want to make reference to it as Albert & I head out this week to schools in Slovakia and Germany!
Reona (Peterson) Joly
Donna’s Corner ~ Is It All About Me?
We live in a selfish world, and it's so easy for the world to creep into our lives. We have a tendency to think like this: “It's all about Me . . . God bless Me . . . She hurt Me . . . What about Me?”
How we respond in life's difficult times, affects not only us, but also our children and our children's children, whether they are physical or spiritual kids. I have seen so many children suffer because of their parent’s wrong choices during hard times.
God hates divorce, and I believe that one of the main reasons is because of what it does to the children and the grandchildren. It seems as though people don't forgive because they feel that by holding back forgiveness they’ll hurt the other person. That’s not what happens; it hurts you and those you live with.
With unforgiveness comes pain, suffering, broken relationships, anger and more.
Forgiveness is a choice, love is a choice, worship and praise are a choice, running from temptation is a choice. During these days, hidden sin is being exposed. There is no hidden sin in God's eyes. He sees what we look at, what we listen to and the attitude of our hearts, but so does the enemy.
BUT what is so wonderful, is that our obedience to God, coming out of our love and reverence for Him, will also affect our children and our children's children. Read Psalms 103:11-18, especially verse 17 in this context:
But from everlasting to everlasting the Lord's love is with those who fear Him and His righteousness with their children's children.
Psalm 78:1-7 was my great-grandfather's prayer. My side of our family had a reunion a few years ago and 350 attended. Only one family of 10 was not following the Lord because their Dad hadn't walked with God. I wish you could have heard the stories of God's faithfulness down through the generations (Jim Elliott, the missionary martyr whose story is in the book, "Through Gates of Splendor," had been one of the grandchildren).
Peter's father was the first in his family to walk with God from his generation, and he went as a missionary to China 96 years ago. He gave his life to the Chinese for 43 years. A few months ago 5000 Chinese met in Hong Kong from Singapore, Taiwan, mainland China and many from Canada. Peter was asked to serve communion with other Chinese leaders—what a privilege! We now go to China and send teams there from the All Nations-All Generations DTS.
It's not about you and me, it's about God's faithfulness to those who fear Him and walk with Him. He delights in those who fear him.
SO . . . next time you want to react, or run somewhere for false comfort, remember that your choices affect your children and your children's children. It's not too late, as long as we walk in humility, forgiveness and the fear of the Lord. It can be a day of new beginnings (Isaiah 43:18-19), because God sees our hearts.
These last few months I have been so blessed in teaching third generation YWAMers, our granddaughter being one of them. I love it.
Read Deut 6:5-9
Love and Blessings,
Kona, Here We Come!
Two great events over two great weeks - before, during and after American Thanksgiving! Plan on coming for both! (For overseas visitors, Thanksgiving is a traditional family holiday time in the U.S.)
*WEEK 1 ~ Nov 21-25: YWAM Associates International Gathering at the Royal Kona Resort, with Bob Fitts for one morning and other speakers (tune in next month for names). JoEllyn Wright and others will be our ‘In House’ worship leaders. Hosted by Peter & Donna.
In addition to a Thanksgiving Luau Feast, we plan a Sunset Beach Picnic, both events included in the Gathering cost. Click here to register. After registering for the Gathering, you may then register directly with the hotel with a link from our page; or, you can search for accommodations of your own in Kona.
NOTE: When registering for our YWAM Associates Gathering Nov 21-25, the same low hotel rates apply if you come a few days early, as well as for the 'resting' days of Nov 26-28. These special low rates also apply for the 50th Anniversary Celebration week – see Week 2 following . . .
*WEEK 2 ~ Nov 29-Dec 4: YWAM's 50th Anniversary in Kona, a Celebration with everybody you can imagine expected to be there! For registration click on www.ywam50.com/kona Weeks 1 & 2 must be registered for separately.
And finally . . . a little levity: If you look like your passport photo, you're too ill to travel.
Till next time,
Peter Jordan (Editor)
Feel free to use anything from eTouch, in whole or in part, in any way that will glorify God and advance His Kingdom.
We love to hear from you—especially when you include email addresses (with Name, City & Country) of your friends who would like to receive eTouch, which is written mostly for the 4 to 5 million-strong family of former YWAMers ~ plus all of our many friends who love and support the mission.