A note to our precious family . . .
Due to several health issues, we’ve have been forced to suspend publication of eTouch since September.
All being well we plan to resume monthly editions in January.
Your eTouch Team.
Pride & Stupidity Seven Miles Up
was a dark and smoky night; dark, because it was 2 a.m. and smoky, because of forest fires in the Rocky Mountains. The smoke was rising to great heights and drifting eastward with the upper winds. Cruising along at over 500mph, seven miles up in the stratosphere north of Edmonton, Canada, I was training to be an interceptor pilot . . . learning how to kill. Seated behind me was Bernie, my radar operator.
Our mission? To shoot down Soviet bombers should they come flying over the North Pole to attack and bomb the great cities of the US and Canada. This was back in the bad old days of the Cold War which thankfully, never came to a Hot War. (Upon reflection, maybe they weren’t such bad old days—in other ways.)
Looking up, stars that night were barely visible, even at that great height above the earth. Horizontal and downward visibility was poor-to-non-existent. We, and another crew just like ours, were practicing intercepts, taking turns being either the ‘invading Soviet bomber’—or the ‘good-guys-who-shoot-them-down.’ Because neither the Soviets nor we had a speed advantage, attacks therefore could not come from behind, but from the side.
It was my turn to be the bad-guy, the bomber. All I had to do was set the autopilot on a certain course, speed and altitude and just wait there like the proverbial sitting duck. The interceptor was directed by a ground radar operator to a position 25 miles abeam of us—about 90 degrees to our left—on an approximate collision course. At that point, the ‘attacking’ pilot called out, “Judy!” on the radio, meaning he’d ‘got’ us on his radar. At a closing speed of almost 500 mph, those 25 miles get eaten up pretty fast—in all of about three minutes! I should very soon be able to see the flashing green light on his right wingtip.
Our ‘attacker’s’ radar operator would be giving course corrections to his pilot as the gap between us swiftly shrunk. For the final 60 seconds of the attack, ‘locked on’ to us electronically, their pilot took over and chased a ‘blip’ on his own short range radar, right up until he ‘fired’ his rockets.
A collision at that closing speed would be a disaster, scattering a hailstorm of very small metal fragments that would rain down on several square miles of wheat fields below. Thucydides, a noted Greek philosopher, (or perhaps some crusty old sea captain), was thought to have wryly observed that, “A collision at sea can ruin your entire day.” A mid-air collision at 500 mph, would do a lot more than that.
To avoid such a nightmare, precautions and safety measures were clearly laid out for us; one of which was, that at about 15 miles of separation, I as the bomber pilot, was to radio that I had caught sight of the attacker; in this case I would have spotted the flashing green light on his right wingtip, and would then clear him to continue his intercept as he closed quickly on us from our left side. I was to monitor him visually all the way in, to ensure that for a successful intercept, he would pass safely(?!), 50 feet below and 300 feet behind us. By then, he would have launched his lethal load of 58 Mighty Mouse rockets at us; virtually, of course!
At about 15 miles, anxiously scanning to my left through the murky fog of smoke, I still hadn’t ‘eyeballed’ my attacker. I hesitated, thinking, I’ll give it a few more seconds before I call him off. Those seconds sped by, and while I was dithering. Bernie, in the back seat, was sweating it through, breathing hard into the intercom. In a nervous and high-pitched voice, he urged me to call him off.
A macho-spirit had gripped me and I don’t remember if I radioed my ‘opponent’ to abort the attack. I rationalized that it would be OK—it always had been before—even though I still hadn’t seen his flashing green light. And then in an instant, I remembered who the attacking pilot was, a guy with a rep for being a little crazy, a reckless pilot and not too hot at flying by radar. But by then it was too late to do anything as he would be split seconds away, still unseen.
Fear had me locked in a vise and I was near panic. All of a sudden the flash of a ghostly green light exploded right in front of my windshield; and then it was gone. Instantly we were double-jolted as we passed through the other aircraft’s jet-wash, the turbulence created by the furious exhaust escaping from its two huge jet engines. By what were inches, we had escaped instant death. A desperate relief flooded every fiber of my being. Not a word passed between Bernie and me. We both knew I had blown it; I tried to appear ‘cool.’ But we broke off any continuation of the exercise by simply reporting, “Visibility not acceptable.”
I had been afraid of being labelled, ‘chicken’ . . . afraid that others might label me yellow. But there was no excuse. Safety rules were for our own good, and I had broken those rules. Essentially, it was pride that had manifested in me as a macho-spirit. From then on I had an unhealthy fear of a mid-air collision (as opposed to a healthy fear of one!)
“It’s common knowledge that “God goes against the willful proud; God gives grace to the willing humble.” [James 4:6 MSG]
Pride kept me from reporting our near miss—I should have immediately reported what had happened; but in God’s grace, the tapes of the event, when examined the next day, revealed all. I was severely humbled by my superiors, reprimanded with warnings, but allowed to continue my training.
I almost took three other lives with me to a fiery finale that night, simply because of my pride and stupidity. A pinch of humility was all that was required.
Humility is a beautiful grace, to be practiced in all of life.
Wisdom For All . . .
“I have held many things in my hands, and have lost them all;
but whatever I have placed in God´s hands, that I still possess.”
“People are unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.” Mother Teresa
He who angers you, controls you!
God Himself doesn’t propose to judge a man until he is dead.
So why should you?
We’re called to be witnesses, not lawyers or judges.
Many folks want to serve God, but only as advisers.
“Whether tithing is a new covenant concept or not does not change the fact that our response to grace should be abundant, hilarious, sacrificial and over the top generosity for the cause of the Gospel.” Nate Tanner.
The Shepherd’s Voice
Dear Fellow Lambs and Sheep,
Are you keeping your eyes on the Good Shepherd? Shepherds of God’s sheep, are you keeping your eyes on the Chief Shepherd? [1Peter 5:4] “When the Chief Shepherd appears you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade.”
In a meeting a few weeks ago with pastors and intercessors, I said to the pastors, “Are you being led by the sheep, or even the goats, or are you listening to the Good Shepherd who wants to lead you, as you guide the sheep and lambs?” So often our pastors, who are trying to be good shepherds of God’s people, are being controlled by ‘bleating sheep’ who aren’t content, or feel they ‘own’ the pastor. Or, are there goats who are being used by the enemy, grumbling and complaining and being critical. They are listening to ‘fake news’, instead of the truth which will set them free.
Jesus said in John 10, “I am the Good Shepherd, I call my own sheep by name and lead them out and go ahead of them, and they know My voice. I lay down My life for My sheep. I know My sheep and they know Me just as the Father knows Me and I know the Father. My sheep listen to My voice, I know them and they follow Me. I give them eternal life and they shall never perish, no one can snatch them out of My hand nor My Father’s. I and the Father are one.” He wants us to be ‘one’ with them, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. [John 17] That was Jesus’ last prayer before He went to the cross.
I’m a sheep, and sometimes I’m a shepherd as well. But what I need to continually do, is keep my eyes on the Chief Shepherd, be in tune to Him and listen to His voice.
Are you listening to Him? Are you teaching your friends and family to listen to Him? The enemy is out to rob, kill and destroy, but Jesus wants to give us life more abundantly. Listen to Him.
Recently, Peter and I have been experiencing Psalm 23. Peter spent five weeks in hospital, and it seemed like the valley of the shadow of death; but the Lord is our Shepherd. His rod and staff, they comforted us. Now Peter is home recovering.
I sat by his bedside and sensed God’s presence, even though there was lots of noise and voices around, I stayed in tune to the Good Shepherd’s voice. He leads, guides and makes me be still and know that He is God. He restores my soul.
My friends, I just upgraded the manual on “Listening to God”; you can order it through YWAM Associates. If you are ‘listening,’ this tool can help you teach others. Click here!
One day, I sensed the Lord say that one thing the enemy hates most, is God’s people learning to recognize His voice. Those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons and daughters of God. He didn’t give us a spirit of fear but of being His sons and daughters. His eternal family. Read [Romans 8:14-18]
This is all truly beyond our understanding but remember, the righteous live by faith and revelation.
Listening and Loving,
An Imaginary Heavenly Scenario
Might there be embarrassment in Heaven?
Over the past few years, there’s been a great interest in a believers final destination following our earthly journey. Books and movies—but so far, no TV reality shows (for which we are all thankful).
We know there will be no tears, that all our sins will have been forgiven and that there will be constant and deep worship; and that we will recognize our friends and family from which will flow joyful reunions.
There will be no animosity from or towards anyone. Perfect oneness and perfect harmony.
But try to imagine this scenario:
I’m walking around (or however we’re going to ‘circulate’ there), and all of a sudden I spot old Ferdinand coming toward me. My-oh-my! I didn’t expect to see him here. The Heavenly Entry Standards must have been lowered for him!
But did he expect to see me here?
Ferdinand and I had an altercation (okay, it was a bitter dispute), over a small amount of money I had loaned him years before, and which he claimed he had paid back. I was positive that he had not done so, and wrote him off as a friend, and never had anything to do with him again. (Hmm Peter, maybe a little unforgiveness there?)
I know, I know, it was sin for me not to forgive him; and that sin has been washed away.
But will I be embarrassed when I run into old Ferdinand?
That sort of thing will not happen in Heaven. It will be as though it never took place, and Ferdinand and I will not be embarrassed. But this brings up a larger question, and that’s about our relationships here on earth. Even though our sins are forgiven by God, and He no longer holds anything against us, shouldn’t we do everything in our power to clear up all our interpersonal and relational ‘fallings-out’ by forgiving, asking forgiveness and clearing the decks of any unfinished business while we’re still on earth?
Our business is to love one another and thereby enjoy life to the fullest here on earth.
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Editor, Peter Jordan; Regular Contributor, Donna Jordan;
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