First this month, an Apology: Humor Can Hurt
Two months ago we ran a photo of an unnamed woman (actually a well-known YWAM leader) who was holding a weapon of war. In retrospect and after receiving a couple of rebukes, I realize it was wrong and I’m very sorry, especially to those who were offended. The recent Colorado savagery only underlines our tendency to glorify guns.
Feel free to use anything from , in whole or in part, in any way that will glorify God and advance His Kingdom.
Content or Contentious?
My mother taught me, among many other things, to learn some of life’s lessons by reading one chapter of Proverbs every day. There’s lots of wisdom there for a young man to absorb, though I must confess to sometimes abusing scripture by making politically incorrect ‘women’ jokes, using verses like 21:19 and 25:24. Later, marriage moderated and took some of the edges off this young man’s foolishness.
Solomon had a lot of good counsel for young men, but he may have been a bit too critical—as well as too focused—on women (his later life proved that!) If you read those verses, it’s obvious that men as well as women can be contentious, quarrelsome and belligerent, ‘getting our goat’ so easily.
As for me, I’ve had my contentious and obnoxious moments, though generally I think I am a bit like the old Carnation Cow—contented. (Contented cows apparently give better milk. Hmmm, chew the cud on that!) Reflecting back over my life, with all the jobs I had pre-YWAM, never once did I take a position just for the money. Some may count that as lack of ambition; me, I just wanted to enjoy what I did. When we joined YWAM, faith—in all of life—became the focus.
To be content is not to be like a floppy puppy. Contentment is an active state of being, with serenity, confidence and satisfaction in whatever situation God has you in at the moment. Don’t we all wish we had it—all the time?
Content in a Tent was the title of our first try at a missionary newsletter, way back in 1976, and is also the first chapter of my book, “The Last Thing I’d Ever Do!” (Click to see the book) Because Donna and I were sensing that we were in God’s will, perhaps more than at any time in our lives, we truly were in a state of contentment despite our challenging living conditions. Here’s a description of our pioneering ‘restroom’ facilities from the book:
“Some 60 of us trainees—both families and singles—shared a lone cold-water shower, which was nothing more than a hose slung over a tarpaper frame. We all shared two toilets that defied description. Rather than assign one to each gender, they were divided according to bodily functions. To the left was the ‘Liquids Only’ toilet, whose contents were channeled straight down into a lave tube, to be reduced to steam in the molten bowels of the volcano upon which we now lived. To the right was the ‘Solids Only’ toilet whose contents were incinerated daily in a diesel-fueled fire as part of the work duty of Dale Kauffman, classmate and Founder of King’s Kids.’
Paul the Apostle suffered far worse. More than anyone he knew, he had “worked much harder, been imprisoned more frequently, flogged more severely, exposed to death again and again; received 39 lashes five times, beaten with rods three times, stoned once, shipwrecked three times, always moving, always in danger from rivers, from bandits, from his own countrymen, from Gentiles, in the city, in the country, at sea and from false brothers; labored, gone sleepless, known hunger and thirst, been cold and naked.”
And then Paul says the most incredible thing of all:
“Besides everything else” (the above litany of suffering), “I face the daily pressure of my concern for the churches.” Paul’s great love for the converts seems to have trumped all. (Read 2 Cor 10: 23 – 28)
And yet Paul—in prison—was able to say, “ . . . for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” (Phil 4:11-13)
Wow! I thought I knew contentment. What better way to end than to quote Paul again
“Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.’” (Heb 13:5)
Maybe, just maybe, my 3 1/2 years in prison as a young boy, taught me a measure of contentment “in any circumstance” — and with “what I have” — not even knowing or caring about what I did not have.
Till next time,
“Judas heard all Christ’s sermons.” Thomas Goodwin
“Hope is the only thing stronger than fear.” Hunger Games
“Build slow so that you can go fast.” John Wimber
“All generalizations are dangerous, even this one.” Alexandre Dumas
“The illiterate of the 21st Century will not be those who cannot read or write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn.” Alvin Toffler
“I’ve noticed that everyone who is for abortion is already born.” Ronald Reagan
If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go as part of a team.
“Principles are what we follow when we no longer hear from God.”
You can’t get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me. C.S. Lewis
“A time will come when instead of shepherds feeding the sheep, the church will have clowns entertaining the goats.” C.H. Spurgeon.
Last Month’s . . .
. . . evoked some interesting comments:
Click here to read it
Halleluiah! I think, only the singles have found the perfect husband on this earth; in heaven the others will join with us. Annette (in Africa or Switzerland), reflecting on God’s Ideal Man.
Bells and Smells was just so meaningful and significant from my point of view. The Fear of the Lord was equally touching but in a much different way. The incident with the thunder and lightning must have indeed been exceedingly dramatic, an awesome and spectacular demonstration of God’s power, at a very timely stage. How well it presses home the fear/reverence/awe of the LORD lesson. Fred, Down Under
Colleen, also Down Under, comments on Bells & Smells about a sense that we missed: I love how you can use humour to make a very valid point. I’m with you; I too would take a dim view of losing my sight! One of the most valued ‘senses’ I would loathe to lose is my sense of humour. God told me ages ago it was his gift to me, along with hope, Romans 15:13. And boy, has it stood me in good stead. And good company!
Funny you should write on senses. I’ve been using the devotional Amazing Grace, which draws each day on a hymn and its backstory. In talking about Fanny Crosby, a well-meaning clergyman lamented that the Lord had given her so many gifts, but not the gift of sight. She responded by saying that if she had been given one request by her Creator at birth, she would have asked to be blind. “Why?” he asked. “So that my first sight would be of my Redeemer’s face!” The senses are so rich here on earth; but she reminds us of the much greater experiences that wait. John, USA
Peter and I have just returned from China, Hong Kong, Singapore and Indonesia, with a four-day ‘break’ in Thailand. So much happened in those five weeks, and God stresses the importance of telling the stories of God’s faithfulness to the next generation (Psalm 78:1-7). Here is one highlight of our time:
In Hong Kong, under the banner, “Kingdom Come,” 15,000 Chinese met to worship God, including 9,000 from Mainland China! Peter and I were honored to be on the stage with Bill Johnson (Bethel Church, Redding, CA), and Chuck Pierce (Glory of Zion, TX), representing western leaders.
The Chinese church leaders thanked us for our forefathers who brought the gospel to China and then asked forgiveness for how the early missionaries had been treated; we embraced each one. (Peter’s father went to China almost 100 years ago and together with his family, was imprisoned during the 2nd World War in Shanghai—not by the Chinese—but by Japan, which occupied most of China at that time.)
Here’s a report from Chuck Pierce:
“We just returned from the first night of the Homecoming 2012 Gathering. I do not know that I have ever witnessed anything as incredible as the 15,000 in attendance worshiping as one. 9,000 of those 15,000 came through border control from Mainland China. This in itself was a miracle. These are people who cannot worship freely and openly. We have listened to many testimonies from the leaders who have been imprisoned for their faith. Let me try to describe something that is indescribable. When we began to worship this evening, the place became one in movement, sound and expression. This was a clear revelation of how the Army of God will look as we advance.”
And then Chuck’s report of the second day:
“Thursday morning began with joy, we were filled with thanksgiving and excitement to praise the King. We worshipped the Lord as the Lion of Judah and declared His Kingship over China. The Lion of Judah roared as we declared, ‘Let my people go!’
“After worship, the fathers of the Chinese church came together on stage. This included six key leaders from the Mainland church, representing millions, who had never before showed themselves in a public setting. Bill Johnson and I representing the western church, joined them onstage. A key was presented from the western leaders to the Chinese leaders signifying a transfer of one season of authority to another. These ones will lead the kingdom into the future.
“The western leaders then repented for the history of presenting the gospel in a western framework. ‘TODAY, receive the pure gospel of Jesus Christ!’ The Chinese leaders responded by extending forgiveness. They also repented that in the history of China, missionaries from the west were rejected and killed. They declared that Christianity is not a western religion, but a Kingdom calling.
“Then the 15,000 Chinese were led in prayer to declare no more division in China, no more division with overseas Chinese and no more separation from the nations. The church in China is one family and the church worldwide is one family.
“The many hours of tireless, passionate and intense worship throughout the entire arena was a foretaste of the power and unity of the Kingdom march of these warriors, who have paid and will continue to pay, the ultimate price to see the final victory!”
I pray this will be an encouragement to you in our big and extended YWAM family. God is doing amazing things as we walk in unity with the body of Christ.
Jesus’ John 17 prayers will be answered!
Love and Blessings,
Renewal Camps & Gatherings
With the Northern summer about over, click here to take a peek at some happenings at the August Renewal Camp in France”
October, East Coast of Australia: Week-end Refresh Camps. Click here to contact Marg Auty for information Full details next month!
Feb 10-15 Kona, Hawaii: YWAM Associates Second MedGathering with Drs David & Ruth Demian. Hosts: Dr Bruce & Barbara Thompson, Peter & Donna Jordan. This Gathering is open to all! Click on the flags to register!
June 16 – 22 Piedmont, Italy: First ever YWAM Associates Camp in Italy! The speaker will be Dean Sherman. Details soon.
August 6 – 10 YWAM Champagne (Le Gault), France: Details soon!
And Finally . . .
Slavery was abolished years ago in many nations, right? Wrong. Slavery continues to flourish—in the form of the buying and selling and trafficking of women and children.
But there’s another insidious, self-induced, sneak-up-on-you kind of slavery that can affect us all, when, “ . . . the borrower becomes the lender’s slave.” Proverbs 22:7(b)
Debt is slavery; especially credit card debt. But the shackles can be broken; if you want freedom, Click here and read the article
YWAM Associates exists by faith, daring to live on the edge, yet relying upon God and his people to supply everyday ministry needs. If God should lead you to support us, write check to “YWAM Associates,” and mail to address below.
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