‘Mama Dar’ (Darlene Cunningham’s Mom), the oldest-ever full time YWAMer, is now enjoying her heavenly reward—along with her husband, Pastor Scratch who used to be a contributor to inTouch magazine.
The Lord is good.
Donna and I have been given so very much—back in our early single lives—but especially during the years since we ‘let go’ of the things which tied us down . . . from the time we decided to gallop along a new road, allowing God to hold the reins of our lives.
As with all in the mission, we receive prayer and financial support from family and friends; yet our greatest gift, our greatest reward—the one thing we hold dearest, the one thing that has sustained us most in our ‘earthly’ journey—has been extended ‘familyness.’ And we take such great pleasure in the hundredfolds of wonderful friendships we have been blessed with, literally all around the world. Would it be because we . . .
. . . as Jesus said, “Truly I say to you, there is no one who has left home or brothers and sisters or mother or father or children or farms for My sake and for the gospel’s sake, but that he (and she) shall receive a hundred times as much now in this present age . . .” Mark 10:29
And yet perhaps, that very verse which offers so much, hinders so many. Put into mathematical terms, the promise is:
This seems to scare many of us. It’s that big ‘what if,’ that seems to frighten people away from trusting God to hold the reins . . . and letting go of what seems to be the only thing to hang onto. It takes a bit of faith.
Is faith risky? Of course. But, failing to step out and take the plunge when God speaks (if we’re listening), is to risk missing out on real life—God’s best plans and purposes for you (although there are no promises that it’ll be easy).
The ministry of missions has brought into our lives this great big huge family we relish being part of today. Though any ministry (or mission), may bring people together in a working relationship, that is not what holds family members together. In fact, any kind of ministry can actually drive people apart for any number of reasons—unless true ‘familyness’ and ‘belongingness’ are part of the package.
Just take a look at the professional sports world as it is today. A team (pick your favorite), wins the World Series, the Grand Championship, the Stanley Cup or the Super Bowl. Rarely does that group of athletes repeat their success the following season. Why? Money, plain and simple. Esprit de corps (team spirit), the friendships, the belongingness, combined with their athletic excellence that had spurred the team to ultimate success, suddenly dissolves like fog under a hot sun when contract time rolls around. Money, or the love of it, takes over. The ‘Big Dog’ owners of teams are in it for even more than just money: power.
Money, or the lack of it, is not usually the motivator in the ministry of missions (one hopes!). But when God calls us out of one ministry and into another, too often the relationships we’ve formed prove to have been based on ‘working together’ rather than ‘belonging together’ in a circle of lasting friendship.
Case in point: recently five guys who had been good friends for years in YWAM, (all in their 30s, married with children), and now scattered to the four corners of the Earth, organized a ‘retreat.’ An agenda for worship, study, accountability times—and fun, was planned and carried through. Now they’re thinking, “Next time we include our wives . . . and then the children.” Best friends, once joined in ministry, now separated by great distances, determined to keep their friendship going.
The apostle Paul planted many churches, then seems to have left them to fend for themselves. Yet he maintained what seems to be a very close personal relationship with those churches—and the individuals in them. He always kept Persis, Patrobas and Phlegon in his heart. Who were these ‘unknowns’? Read Romans 16, there’s lots of them listed. Paul never forgot his many friends and co-workers just because they were out of sight, and considered by most to be ‘unknowns.’ God has no unknowns.
Many organizations and churches have an unwritten code that goes something like this: Behave, Believe . . . then maybe we’ll let you Belong.
Everyone needs to belong to some sort of family. It’s lonely if you don’t.
P.S. We like to think that is kind of like Romans 16, where we remember you, greet you, and send you a little encouragement.
Same Old, Same Old
Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today and forever.
How boring! Today the word ‘same’ is almost a dirty word. “We gotta change.” But ‘same’ here, is His nature and His character which is consistent and constant and an anchor in a world that seems to change as fast as we channel surf.
You’re not what you think you are; you’re not what others think you are; you become what the most important person in your life thinks you are.
God doesn’t hide things from us, but for us. (1 Cor 2)
We Get Letters . . .
You keep us wonderfully in touch with God and the best and worst of our humanity. I love your whimsy which makes me smile, right before I feel, ‘Ouch!’ as your words strike home with truth in a way that makes them easy to receive and respond to. Margaret Tooley, NZ
The following request had me scratching my head . . . “We would like to apply for associate status.” Sorreeee. The day you signed up for YWAM, you became a future Associate, which kicked in the day God called you into something else. [P.S. Although some centers do call their part-time workers, ‘associate staff.’]
There were lots of concerned well wishers and pray-ers following the “Great Falls” story (eTouch July). Almost back to 100% thank you.
And all sorts of kind words about people’s hearts being touched, ribs tickled and thoughts provoked, which is all so very encouraging. But can you believe it? Some folks actually don’t agree with everything in here! But the truth is, it’s always me, not Donna, that the bone is picked with. Ah, the life of an editor.
Errata: (booboos by the Editor) from last month’s Donna’s Corner, I allowed this to slip by: “‘Doing’ is very subtle; it’s not about ‘Being’ in My presence.” Of course the correct version is, “‘Doing’ is very subtle; it’s about ‘Being’ in My presence.” (Sorry Donna)
Our hearts’ desire is to see God’s Kingdom come, His will being done. It’s the King who puts people into place in His Kingdom, not man. So often we think that by pleasing people, we will be given authority, position and possessions. We are Kingdom people, so it’s King Jesus who meets all our needs, He gives us authority and position. We must seek first His Kingdom and his righteousness and everything else will be given to us. (Matt 6:25-34)
Jesus said, “Whoever wants to become great among you must become your servant.” (Mk 10:43) The greatest in His kingdom is the servant. There are no ‘great’ men and women of God, only humble men and women who He has chosen to use, and they walk in obedience out of love for Him. We must stop elevating people, only Jesus is to be lifted up. He is the King of Kings. He may stoop down to make you great, like He did David. (2 Sam 22:31-37) But our heart attitude is one of humility and serving.
It’s God who exalts man. He brings one down and He exalts another. (Psalm 75:6-7) He vindicates us, if we’ll just be still and know that He is God, nothing is too difficult for Him.
The greatest honor and privilege is to be known as His son or His daughter, His friend and His heir. That is our true identity. Not what others think or feel about us, but what He acknowledges. We must live for eternity, when we see him face to face, when can expect Him to say something like this to us, “Come My daughter, My son, My friend, My heir, and receive the crown of righteousness.” (2 Tim 4:7-8)
Please persevere and don’t give up. God sees our hearts and our thoughts. “Suffering produces perseverance; perseverance character; and character hope. And hope does not disappoint us because God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit. . .” (Read all of Romans 5:1-5)
We’re living in amazing days and the two Kingdoms are clashing. It will be more and more obvious. Make sure you are listening to the King of Kings and not the voice others who could be well-meaning people or the voice of the enemy who brings doubts and fears and we feel driven instead of led by the Holy Spirit. Do not compete, compare or be jealous of one another, but pray for one another and give God the glory.
Let His Kingdom come, in your life.
Love and Blessings,
P.S. Note the correction from last month’s Corner in Boutique above.
Still to come this year: Two Refreshers & a Gathering
October 5th: Melbourne: 9.30am – 12.30pm with Brunch. Host Marg Auty.
Family friends warmly invited. Click here to contact Marg Auty for date and details
October 12th Eudunda, near Adelaide: Click here to contact Linda Hoffman
Nov 6 – 10: The ‘Turn Aside’ Gathering, with speaker, Pastor Dean Fujishima, ?Peter & Donna Jordan & Team — click here for information
And Finally . . . Favorite Hymn of yours?
“Jesus Loves Me This I Hope”
Till next time,
The Small Print
—and the whole ministry of YWAM Associates—is for the encouragement,
building up, inspiring, refreshing, stimulating and the thought-provoking of the saints.
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Editing & Layout, Peter Jordan; Regular Column, Donna Jordan;
Copy Editor, Laurie Jordan-Worrall; Encourager, Ruth Worrall