“Comment ça va?” How goes it? In French, to which we hope you can reply, “Ça va bien,”—It goes well
is intended for the strengthening, encouragement and comfort of your soul and spirit; with a little lightheartedness thrown in. Enjoy!
Nobody Wants to Lose Their Reputation
but sometimes when you truly do things totally right,
the outcome can turn out horribly wrong
Back in the early days of jet-powered airliners, there was a horrendous airplane crash that resulted in the loss of more than 100 lives. The pilot in command did everything ‘by the book,’ yet the tragedy occurred anyway. Today we enjoy amazing safety in the air—in great part because of the lessons we learned from this sort of early disaster. This is a true story and we’ll follow it further down the page.
Have you ever done something that you felt was so, so right, and yet the result was a complete misunderstanding—and worse? Have you ever been falsely accused of something? In times like that it’s hard to be objective and to not try to shift the blame—or at least a bit of the blame—back on other people. But when others report on the event (as in the accident investigation into the crash that I’ll describe), we’re left with cold, hard facts. And so it is with God . . . He sees what really happens.
In God’s Word to us, there are several men named Joseph. Three of them ran into awful situations in their lives. One was falsely convicted, another was smeared and the third basically disappeared from view. Not one of them fought to regain their reputation.
Joseph son of Jacob, while still a teenager, narrowly escaped the clutches of a seductive temptress (do you think that was easy for him?). Instead of being given the Honorable-and-Righteous-Young-Man-of-the-Year award, Joseph was thrown into a filthy prison and left amongst the rats to rot. He never fought for his reputation—but as we know—he was eventually released and rewarded. (Gen 39-40)
Joseph husband of Mary the mother of Christ (and our Savior’s supposed biological father), lived his entire married life under a cloud of suspicion and malicious gossip. He remained silent, never trying to justify himself. I somehow think that this Joseph is highly regarded in heaven. (Matt 1)
Joseph (also known as Barnabas), was a great and generous and courageous man, a man full of the Holy Spirit and encouragement, a leader, a mentor, a discipler; in short, a good man. Then all of a sudden it seems he disappears from the face of the earth—after he had a bit of a dust-up with the apostle Paul over the make-up of a missionary team. He went silent, never demanding to be heard, and only once was his name mentioned again. If you study this man’s life, you’ll find that though he appears to be the ‘fall guy’ in the quarrel, eventually he is justified. (To get the rest of the story, you’ll have to read Acts 4:36 to 15:39; Col 4:10; Philemon 24; and of course the Gospel of Mark!)
None of these Josephs fought back to clear their reputation, which in each case had been demolished and dishonored.
Now let’s get back to our modern-day airliner tragedy and the investigation that followed and eventually restored the Captain’s reputation . . .
The gleaming silvery airliner was approaching a large airport for landing. It was a beautiful and clear summertime Sunday morning as the Captain guided the graceful ‘bird’ on its approach to the two-mile-long runway.
Disasters like the one that was about to happen, never are the result of just one thing going wrong. In any accident there is almost always a series of events that together, lead up to a final climactic catastrophe. In this case there was no exception to that rule; but let’s for the sake of our story, say that in this case the ending was an isolated incident that came about because the pilot took the correct action.
The correct action proved to be the wrong action. As the great aircraft smoothly descended to just 60 feet above the ground, poised for a smooth touchdown, the co-pilot impulsively activated the ‘speed brakes’—huge metal panels on the upper surface of each wing that pop up on command. These ‘brakes’ effectively cause the aircraft to lose most of its lift, and they are only supposed to be deployed after the aircraft’s wheels touch the ground.
For those last 60 feet to the runway, the aircraft dropped like a stone. Immediately, following prescribed emergency procedures, the Captain rammed on full power and called for the speed brakes to be retracted. He intended to climb and try for another landing.
The now-screaming engines could not quickly-enough boost the 200-ton airplane back into the sky, so it continued its plummeting fall and smashed onto the runway, ripping one of the engines pods away, leaving exposed fuel lines eager to ignite into a devastating fire. None of this was visible from the cockpit.
But the three remaining engines finally did their job and the mortally injured bird staggered back into the air with the Captain still thinking he was taking the appropriate action, hoping to go around and try for another landing. In just a few short minutes, with one wing exploding and ablaze, the enormous aircraft nosed over and crashed—with the loss of all on board.
The Captain did the right thing—but it proved to be horribly wrong. (If his split-second decision had been to keep the aircraft on the ground, bring it to a stop and quickly evacuate all passengers, there may not have been any fatalities. But his emergency training had taught him to try for another landing. Anyway, his predicament was completely unique.)
Until the investigation, the Captain’s reputation was clouded. Eventually the whole sequence of events was published, including every word and sound that was tape-recorded in the cockpit—even the twice-spoken apology of the co-pilot for his impulsive action that led to the final catastrophe.
And you know what? The Captain offered forgiveness to the co-pilot—for the second time—during the final plunge.
These were extreme examples of good people doing the right thing with the right motive, but ending up with bad results.
Can you relate? Have you ever had to see your reputation go down the tubes—for no good reason? Even Jesus was willing to give up his reputation—and not once did he try to defend himself.
Till next time,
The Family Prayer
While all hell is using men and women to rip away the God-ordained fabric of the family, listen to this short, calming and anointed prayer, recorded 40 years ago in New Zealand.
The prayer is by Ern Baxter from “Praise the Name of Jesus,” one of the very first live worship albums ever produced, with David & Dale Garratt of Scripture in Song.
Check out David & Dale Garratt’s website http://www.davidanddalegarratt.com
This ‘n That
You know you’re a YWAMer, when your student becomes your leader on your next school. Semi Ratulele
I really liked your recent article about MK’s tagging along in their parent’s calling. I have felt guilt about that over the years, as my daughter struggled and fell away from God later, after we re-entered the world back home from YWAM. (Name withheld)
And sometimes we hear from people who actually disagree with us! Can you believe it? (For some strange reason I feel more secure when challenged in my thinking—it makes me re-examine my position.) Here’s a letter questioning my stand on MKs last month—it’s a bit long so we’ll continue it on our website—along with my response.
“Thank you for your work and care in preparing eTouch, but I do have to bring out something that will not be able to be couched in cotton wool. I have to speak plainly, for surely, our desire is for holiness, as it always was in YWAM, and that cannot be maintained with certain sinful traits in the heart.
We have noticed in the last few years this new idea that the children of missionaries are hard done by. It sounds as if they are the only ones on earth who had to move with their parents, had to adjust to things, missed their friends when moving, and so on and so forth.”
Surprising Weapons of War
Last month I wrote about showing love and giving hope. How are you doing? Do you have stories to share of how God used you?
Did you know that encouragement and affirmation are weapons of spiritual warfare? The enemy tries to bring discouragement and lies to all of us through our own thoughts and through the words of others; but we must believe truth and we can help each other and remind each other of that truth.
It’s not difficult and it doesn’t take a lot of time. Just ask God every morning when you have time with Him, “Who can I encourage today?”
Last Sunday I worshipped in a church I’d never been to before. I noticed a lady across the aisle who looked frightened and alone, even though the man next to her was holding her hand. I sensed God say to me, that after the service I was to go to her and tell her God loves her and that she must believe truth.
I did exactly what God asked me to do, and she fell into my arms and sobbed. I told her I likely wouldn’t see her again until heaven, that I’ve never been in this church before, but would she please believe the truth that God loves her and cares for her. (MAYBE she thought I was an angel, though I don’t think anyone else thinks that!)
Another thing I try to do is encourage my friends through Facebook, and I have a lot of friends there! Maybe for half an hour during each day I’ll see whose birthday it is, and send them a greeting and blessing and at times I’ve asked the Lord for a verse to pass along. I just love people and I meet a lot of people when I’m out teaching. Remember the greatest commandment is to love God and to love each other. And it’s out of our intimacy with Jesus that will naturally come our ministry to others. It doesn’t take long to write a note.
Years ago we’d have to buy cards, write them, buy stamps and mail them. Though it took a lot of time I loved buying cards. But now it only takes a few minutes to encourage others and doesn’t cost anything, except just a few minutes of your time to listen to God and bless someone.
* “ . . . the one who prophesies speaks to people for strengthening, encouraging and comfort.” (1 Cor. 14:3)
* and ” . . . encourage one another and build each other up.” (1 Thess. 5:11)
* and, “The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray” (for each other). (1 Peter 4:7)
I have a prayer request for you. On June 25th and 26th, in obedience to God, I will be taping a new DVD series on “Listening to God.” The production will be filmed right here in our home city of Medicine Hat, Alberta by a Christian company.
There is such a hunger in people’s heart to know how to recognize the voice of God. Please pray for anointing on the film crew, my words and those who will be part of the small group participating. I really need to know what’s on God’s heart for this. I’m also updating the “Listening to God” manual—this is not for profit but for the Kingdom.
Love and Blessings,
Renewal Camps & Gatherings
May 28-June 1: Northern Ireland: Writers’ Workshop with Janice Rogers. Click here
June 7-10 GERMANY: with Donna Jordan – ‘Listening to God’ (Long weekend) To contact Dani click here
July 23-28 NORWAY: Skjærgårdsheimen (English & Norwegian). Click here for more information
Aug 5-11 FRANCE: Le Gault la Forêt with Mariette Louw (English & French) Click for information
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: Mark your calendar – info coming
And Finally . . .
Once upon a not very long time ago, there was a violent emergency procedure that a pilot might have to initiate. Barreling down the runway on takeoff, if something went wrong with his aircraft, the pilot would slam on the brakes, and do everything humanly possible to prevent going airborne. And so he saved lives in the process.
This is called, ‘aborting’ a takeoff.
Of course, that word had an original surgical meaning, but neither the word nor the procedure were part of everyday life, back then in the ‘not-very-long-time-ago.’
Till next time,
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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