“Mucho Gusto!” One of the Spanish meanings of this greeting is, “With much pleasure!” And here as well, is a different kind of greeting . . .
is intended for the strengthening, encouragement and comfort of your soul and spirit; with a little lightheartedness thrown in. Enjoy!
Used, User or Useful?
Being the youngest of three brothers, my clothes were hand-me-downs—let’s just call them used clothes. There were two changes in my ‘wardrobe’—times were hard, but I have no hard feelings. Besides, I had no choice.
Wonderful Wanda (Carter) Pickett, a member of our staff family back in the 90s, only buys used clothing at thrift stores—and she is one of the classiest dressers I know. To top it off she used to live on Thrift Avenue! She plays the system and ‘uses’ the ‘used.’
The first car that Donna and I bought was a used 1960, second generation VW bug, and it served us well. But inexperienced as we were with a major purchase, we got stung by a classic used car salesman who jacked us around on the price. What made it worse was the he was a friend.
[Used cars are no longer ‘second-hand,’ they are now ‘pre-owned,’ or even worse, ‘pre-loved.’ Yikes!]
What happens to used tires? They either get a retread or are thrown on the junk pile.
So it’s OK—and often wise to be frugal—by recycling stuff.
But what if you get ‘used’ by other people. Just ask any celebrity if they’re ever felt used and taken advantage of. It goes with the territory and so many well-known personalities find it hard to trust others because of this.
Have you ever felt used?
Used by people? Used for the gift you have? Used by leaders? Even used (in the wrong sense) by God.
Well folks, like the old snake oil salesman used to bellow from the tailgate of his covered wagon, “Right here in this bottle, I have the cure for whatever ails you!”
But the cure doesn’t come in a bottle; in almost all cases you already have the remedy you need. It comes from within your own heart . . . and it comes in only one word.
Serve. Yup, that’s it.
If your heart motive is to serve, you can never truly be used. Even if people do exploit you for their own purposes; even if they extract every ounce of energy and time and resources from you with little or no appreciation . . . as long as your incentive is truly to serve, you will stay free from bitterness and a bad attitude about being used. You will confound the user with the opposite spirit of true servanthood.
This holds true for your job, your family, your church—in any sphere of your life—except in very, very rare and extreme cases where there is clear and present evidence of illegal and prohibited abuse.
The word ‘user’ has a totaly different meaning these days, although we won’t be going there! But have you ever been a ‘user’ of people yourself?—by trying to enhance your own wealth, reputation or power; or building yourself up by rubbing shoulders with the rich and the famous?
If you’re a leader, have you used others to fulfill your vision rather than helping followers to achieve their vision? Ever used others to satisfy your own appetites (hmmm, now we’re getting close to home, but we won’t go there either, at least this time).
Does God use us? We often hear people say things like, “Wow! God really used Billy Graham in that meeting!” Billy Graham placed himself in God’s hands as a servant, and God found him to be useful. God didn’t take advantage of Billy.
It’s like when Barnabas’ nephew John Mark finally got his life straightened out, Paul was able to say of him, “ . . . he is useful to me for service.” (2 Tim 4:11) Or when Paul appealed to Philemon to release Onesimus the escaped slave, “ . . . who formerly was useless to you, but now is useful . . .” (Philemon 10-11)
Jesus himself showed us servant leadership, “Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage.” (Phil 2:6)
I recently read somewhere that, “God’s purpose is not to perfect me to make me a trophy in His showcase; He is getting me to the place where He can use me. Let Him do what He wants.”
I have the sense that when God uses someone, they don’t wear out, they actually become brand new! How about that?
So use up old clothes, cars and things; try to make yourself useful; but don’t ever use people; and always place yourself at God’s disposal . . . his use.
God is not disposed to dispose of you in a human thrift store—ever.
Some Treasures from the Wisdom Box
“In every generation the number of the righteous is small. Be sure you are among them.” A. W. Tozer
“God’s choice acquaintances are humble men.” Robert Leighton
“Sir, we would see Jesus [John 12:21]. I never heard or read of better advice given for preachers of any age.” -Unknown.
“We fear men so much because we fear God so little. One fear cures another.” William Gurnall.
“Making heaven on earth is our business.” William Booth
First, two poignant letters:
”Great to read eTouch this morning, I have missed you over the years. Sometimes I feel so sorry for all the friendships I gave up when I walked away from God; but he is restoring those now and creating new ones as well. It is so great to be home and I am rejoicing in Him every day. If you get anything from God for me, go right ahead and share it.” Name withheld
Thanks for your May eTouch! I am [with another mission] in Central Europe. . . I was misunderstood, lied about, and lied to, and in the process my reputation was demolished, I was thrown out of the place where I was working, and it seemed that all hope was lost. Now, almost 3 years later, I am still here, still looking to the Lord to make a way, but struggling with feelings of failure and defeat. But the Lord and I have been in dialogue recently about being faithful in the little things, doing what I can to encourage and help others, while I wait for the BIG things that are still out of reach. So, Peter’s message about reputation, and Donna’s words about the power of encouragement go hand in hand with where I am at the moment. Thank you for your faithfulness to bring encouragement! The Lord cheer your hearts. Name withheld
I just loved the May edition. I think I say that to myself each and every time! I so appreciated Donna’s comments on the need to encourage others. I am always encouraged by the Holy Spirit to reach out and speak His words of tenderness, a word of blessing, whatever He says – no matter how insignificant it may appear. Joyce Robinson
YWAM Associates Europe helped host three Writer’s Workshops in May (France, Sweden & Ireland), for which credits were earned towards a UofN degree.
DTS leaders in Vancouver recently launched The 100 Days Project, a followup ‘encourager’ for staff and students via facebook. Here is Day 48, by Tanya Lyons
Read Mark 10:35-45: The Request of James and John
Not long after DTS I got a job at a Canadian doughnut and coffee shop called “Tim Hortons.” It was a good job in many ways, but it tested what I’d learned about service and humility in my DTS. I had to wear a polyester uniform and a hairnet – how embarrassing! Wearing an ugly uniform and earning minimum wage I felt invisible and unimportant. I wasn’t seen or noticed for my gifts or special role in God’s kingdom.
Even though I had taken notes about humility and servanthood and looked up lots of Bible verses about these things I struggled to be kind to rude customers and to be gracious with coworkers. It was a lot easier in the classroom! more
Peter, I’ve just read your story, The Last Thing I’d Ever Do and it deeply, deeply resonates – something of us being made in God’s image and trusting him unreservedly. I really feel it a timely message in this day and age. Quintin Lake, UK
We’re looking for English teachers to reach the unreached in a major city in north India. You can build relationships with your students and share the Good News! A 1-2 year commitment is preferred. Click here to email Stacey for more information.
Come pioneer on the frontier!
Jesus said, “Peace I give to you.”
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (John 14: 27)
Have you ever asked the Holy Spirit for PEACE, for a peace that is beyond your understanding? (Phil 4:4-9) Don’t be anxious about anything but pray, give thanks and tell God what is on your heart. The peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your heart and your mind in Jesus Christ. But be careful what you think about, “The mind governed by the flesh is death but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.” (Rom 8:6)
Our peace, as God’s children, comes from trusting Him and having faith to believe that what He says, is true. The enemy tries to steal that peace, and we become driven, stressed or so ‘busy’(the Chinese and Japanese character for busy means ‘heart dead’)
. . . or fearful because of outward circumstances, or caring more about what people think than what God thinks (fear of man). But God gives us a peace that is really beyond our understanding.
We have to quiet ourselves and listen to Him, because He is the Prince of PEACE, and “The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.” (Rom 16:20)
I love to listen to a CD by Jill Herringshaw; her voice and the words bring such peace. She and her husband Mark have been on our Associates Board for years and are now YWAM Associates Coordinators for North America. Listen to this and enter into His rest. Click on the CD cover to listen.
We are to be carriers of His peace, as we abide in Him. The Kingdom of God is righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Let us therefore make every effort to do that which leads to peace and to mutual edification through our words and our actions. Peace and joy are fruits of the Spirit. We cannot do this on our own; they only come by His Spirit along with our choices in believing truth. Jesus is the truth and the truth sets us free.
People who are filled with the Spirit, led by the Spirit and live by the Spirit, just naturally bring peace. I love to be in their presence, because they bring the presence of God.
Peace is a gift and a promise from God. Jesus promised us peace before He went to the cross. We just need to seek Him, and not be controlled by outward situations or the voice of others. He said, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
“. . . seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and His ears attentive to their prayer.” (1 Peter 3:11-12)
God has called us to live in peace. As Paul said, and I also say to you, “Now may the Lord of peace Himself give you peace at ALL times and in every way. The Lord be with you all.” (2 Thess 3:16)
Love and Blessings,
Renewal Camps & Gatherings
July 23-28 NORWAY: Skjærgårdsheimen (English & Norwegian). Click here for more information NOTE: Camp housing is full, but you can still register and provide your own accomodation!
Aug 5-11 FRANCE: Le Gault la Forêt with Mariette Louw (English & French) Click for information
Aug 8-12 SINGAPORE/BATAM: with Dean Fujishima, Peter & Donna Jordan & Team. Harris Resort Waterfront Batam Click here to email for information Limited number of rooms. Please register by 15 July 2012.
Aug 19-25 SWITZERLAND: Châtel with Dr Bruce & Barbara Thompson “The Way to the Father” (English & French) Click here for more information
Feb 10-15 Kona, Hawaii: YWAM Associates Second MedGathering with Drs David & Ruth Demian. Hosts: Dr Bruce & Barbara Thompson, Peter & Donna Jordan.
Click on image and keep checking for full Gathering details. Available soon!
And Finally . . . Drawing a Line in the Sand
When making a resolution or a firm and important moral or ethical life decision, we might say, “I am drawing a line in the sand. I will not cross this line.”
However, the line can so easily be erased . . .
- Trampled on by the footprints of life
- Blurred by peer-pressured situational ethics
- Battered by the tornadoes of fast-changing lifestyles
- Swept aside by wrong influences and bad choices of others
- Blasted away by the dry and dusty desert winds of our own sin
Important decision-lines can only be drawn in the heart.
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.
US & Canadian tax receipts provided.