Welcome to the 25th year of continued contact with our great big, wonderful and worldwide extended family, which includes all those of us who have served in YWAM as well as those who simply served alongside in the ministry of friendship.
The War of the Words
Does it make sense to fight in a losing cause? Loser though I may be on this one, I’m not surrendering, I’m going down with guns blazing (well, figuratively speaking that is, since guns are such an explosive item these days). Will you permit me to sound off a bit, as I slowly sink to defeat in this war about words?
Ever whistled into the wind? Talked when no one listened? Had something important to get off your chest (which the last time I checked, is located in the neighborhood of your heart), and it all fell on deaf ears? Those unhearing ears of a society and culture that crawls unrelentingly along, like a gigantic glacier – but a lot faster; like a continuous, sweeping and ceaseless sandy desert wind that slashes away at rocks and outcroppings in its path. So it is as our culture sweeps away the barriers that kept words in their proper place.
I love words. They mean something to me, and I’m always challenged to vary them, change them, use them in new and creative ways. At the same time, I’m fully aware that vocabulary changes over time, new – and sometimes better – words are coined, old words fall out of fashion (just read the KJV). And of course, there are regionally different meanings to words (just ask any Aussie)!
So I’m not talking about new words, words that will serve a purpose for a while and then be replaced by others.
I’m talking about the cheapening, the debasing, the devaluing of the precious gift of language. “Cursings and blessings out of the same mouth! My friends this can’t go on.” (James 3:10 TM – the whole chapter is about the power of the tongue.)
By their constant and repetitious use, some words become bleared into almost meaningless nothingness. But perhaps not quite, since a few of them will always keep their hard ‘edge.’
However did we slip/slide into a vocabulary of cheapened and downright crude words? Yes, even followers of Jesus have picked them up and now they roll off the tongue just because they’re so much-used, or ‘cool.’ Yes, even in polite company.
Look, I’m not stupid. Crude words have been around a long time, but I remember when they were confined to use among people who also used them. Most words are acceptable anywhere, anytime. But some words are not.
I’m no innocent in this area. I’d be dishonest to imply that expletives have never slipped from my heart (via my tongue; or under my breath, if I’m not alone). This happens especially when I do something stupid, drop a heavy object on my toe, or trip and fall.
Since when did “p****d off” become part of the everyday conversation of Christians? Or “c**p,” or worse? This is lowdown gutter language that has been elevated to acceptability in our times. Am I a prude?
It’s hard to find a movie to take your family to without the detonation of an F-bomb or two, or more likely, 50 or 100 of them. Is network television next? How long before these obscene explosions become everyday language, everywhere? If you don’t believe me, just stand outside the entrance to any high school, or horrors, any school, listen and you’ll know what I mean.
I watched a 1950 hit movie on TV the other day, “The Asphalt Jungle.” Gritty and depressing story of a bunch of crooks in New York City, bent on a diamond-heist. The worst kind of of people, even some cops got in on the take. But through the two hours there was not one single “damn” or anything close to it. Did the movie need to be sensationalized by foul language? No. (Incidentally, that was Marilyn Monroe’s first movie. I didn’t know that till I watched it. Honest.)
So far we’ve just been talking about word-violence. My Donna won’t watch a movie with any kind of violence in it. And if you know her, you know she’s no ‘soft touch’.
And don’t get me started on the hijacking and misappropriation of good words – by totally changing and twisting their meanings. That’s just plain word-terrorism, but I’m not going there. That war of words has already been lost. I surrender, but I won’t bow my knee. ‘Nuff said.
Violent words set the world on fire (my generous paraphrase of James 3:5). Even in a losing cause, let’s be pleasant – first in our hearts – then in our speech. There are plenty of good words to go around, if we’ll just use them.
On Communion . . . and Other Things
Do you need to get ready to take communion? or. . .
Does taking communion make you ready?
When we remember Jesus in his suffering, death and resurrection by taking the bread and the cup, we are exposing Satan at his most shameful and vulnerable moment of defeat in the history of man. Communion therefore, among other things, is a weapon of war; an act of live spiritual warfare.
Some folks are so open-minded that common sense and truth have leaked out and been replaced by stupidity and lies.
The worst thing that can happen to a man is to succeed before he is ready.
Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones
If my life is fruitless it doesn’t matter who praises me. And if it’s fruitful it doesn’t matter who criticizes me. John Bunyan, author of Pilgrim’s Progress
In Passing . . .
Judy Sorum, much-loved wife of Rick, passed into the presence of her Lord on December 5th, following a year-long battle with cancer. Rick and Judy served at the University of the Nations, Kona for many years, then pioneered YWAM’s ministry in Medicine Hat, Alberta, first as DTS leaders and more recently as elders in the community. Hailing originally from Montana,
they were quickly ‘adopted’ by their neighbor to the north, and part of their ministry time was in a pastoral role with YWAM Associates, Canada. Judy will be remembered as one of the most joyful, others-centered person that has ever lived, and this was strikingly demonstrated at her Celebration on December 29th in Medicine Hat, as many gave testimony to the amazing influence she has had upon their lives.
We dedicate this eTouch to Judy.
I’m now 23 years out of YWAM, yet the principles learned & the relationships forged (with God & His people) over those amazing nine years that I did spend in YWAM, have stayed with me and transformed & blessed all the rest of my life. It seems a multitude of missionaries – both YWAM, post-YWAM & non-YWAM – continue to flow through ‘Hotel Kim’ to this day & bring blessing with them. The house is full of Jesus & His Holy Spirit. Every day is a new adventure in faith. I just can’t tell you how grateful I am to God for the many years of true LIFE I have enjoyed, and the lessons learned early in YWAM, that made all the difference. To truly know God & make Him known is still the key to living a fulfilled & joyful life, isn’t it? Thank you Jesus. Thank you YWAM. Kim Bennett, Australia
To his kids: “I love your mother, because I said I would.”
Aussie leader David (Steve-O) Stephenson.
As we move on into 2013 I’m seeing some contrasts.
Contrast 1. The Two Kingdoms
The Kingdom of this WORLD, which is self, greed, fear, anxiety, violence, immorality, pride, unbelief, foolish talk, judging, fear of man, easily deceived and believes lies.
Or . . .
The Kingdom of GOD, which is submitting to His Lordship out of love and reverence – and loving others; it’s righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit; it’s hating evil but desiring wisdom which comes from the Spirit of God. In this Kingdom, people know their place, don’t compete or compare, and they know the power of prayer (it’s not a matter of talk but of prayer). These Kingdom people treasure truth and humility, they believe the best, have the fear of the Lord and no longer have one foot in the kingdom of the world and the other in the Kingdom of God. Jesus is King and they do what He says.
Contrast 2. Servant or Friend?
Servants are usually measured by their ministry, by their gifts, by their busyness, by their results – all according to man’s way of thinking.
Or . . .
Friends. Jesus said, “I no longer call you servants . . . instead I have called you my friends . . . you did not choose me, but I chose you . . .” (John 15:15-16) Out of relationship with Him, love for Him, listening to Him, we walk in obedience. Out of intimacy with Him comes our ministry. We are His sons and daughters, not His slaves. He leads us, he doesn’t drive or control us. We serve Him out of our love for Him. Yes, the servant is the greatest in the Kingdom but it’s out of love and obedience. We’re not hired we’re grafted into the family of God because we do our Father’s will.
Contrast 3. Believer or Disciple?
Believers (converts): we’ve been making converts who know about Him with their heads but are not submitted with their hearts, and not walking in obedience. They’re satisfied with information, not revelation.
Or . . .
Disciples, who are true followers of Jesus according to His teaching. Are we making disciples? We need greater revelation of what the great commission means, “Therefore go and make disciples . . . “ (Matt 28:18-20) We must first become disciples before we can disciple others (make disciples). True disciples will hunger for more of Him, knowing who Jesus really is, and they will become more like Him. That comes through walking with Him and communicating with Him, learning His ways through reading His Word, and by being led by the Holy Spirit. Walking by faith, not fear.
Contrast 4. Guest or Bride?
Guests at the wedding feast don’t have to get prepared, they just show up. They bring a gift but don’t have a close relationship with the Bridegroom.
Or . . .
The Bride, who has been getting prepared ever since the commitment to become part of the Bride of Christ. Loves to spend time with Him and hear His heart and His voice, very faithful and trusting; heart given to Him and daily wants to spend time with Him and include Him in everything. Just wants to please Him.
Are you seeing these contrasts? We’re living in amazing days!
Love and blessings,
Renewal Camps & Gatherings 2013
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 waves to register!
Feb 20-25, Kona: YWAM Associates International is hosting a five-day gathering for all of our current full, and part time staff, plus any others who might be interested in becoming involved in this ministry. For details click here
Europe starts with a Dean Sherman Tripleheader next summer!
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 Contact Lidvard click here
August 4 – 10: YWAM Champagne Le Gault, France have a look here
For info: http://www.intouchcamps.net/intouch-camps/
Click here to email for information
And Finally . . . Divorce
If divorce (or separation, or ‘staying-together-in-agony’) hasn’t touched your family, how thankful and grateful are you? Do you thank God enough for an ‘unfractured’ and loving family? Is your attitude, “There, but for the grace of God, go I?” Or do you consciously or subconsciously judge the broken ones, “Never happen to me; knew it wouldn’t work. She’s lazy. He’s a jerk.” (I’ve certainly been guilty of that condemning posture.)
So, if you have a lasting marriage, did you ever ponder what the absence of a marital breakup does for you? All the time and worry and stress and lack of trust and attempts at reconciliation and expense that are not a part of your life! Count your blessings, name them one by one . . .
. . . in humility, of course.
Till next time,
The Small Print
—and the whole ministry of YWAM Associates—is for the encouragement and building up of the saints.
If you’re reading this, you’re probably a saint.
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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Feel free to use anything from , in whole or in part, in any way that will glorify God and advance His Kingdom.
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Editor, Peter Jordan; Regular Contributor, Donna Jordan; Copy Editor, Laurie Jordan-Worrall;
Mascot, Ruth Worrall