June – September 2000 Newsletter



Enough

If I observe correctly, it isnít enough! Enough what? Money! Everyone wants to be a millionaire. Notice the TV show, the lotteries, the casinos, the stock market. But from my limited observation, a million is not enough. The millionaire never declares "Enough!" No, he begins to scheme to make the second million, third, and so on.

Not since R. G. LeTourneau in the middle of last century have I heard anyone declare himself too rich. He, as a fine Christian inventor and industrialist, realized that he only needed so much to live on and consequently gave away 95% of his earnings. Rare.

I read once that a Rockefeller (richest man in America at the time) was once asked, "How much is enough?" His reply? "A little bit more."

Our frenzied rush towards instant wealth merely exhibits our need for deliverance, our need to rise above our mundane existence and have no further worries. This is not new. For eternity, men have longed for a deliverer, a Messiah, a Christ who will fulfill all our dreams.

Perhaps in this political season, our deliverance hopes lean on a party or a presidential candidate. Such frenzy. Dare I say that "church growth" is another "little bit more" dissatisfaction? After considering all of this, I am overwhelmed by something Jesus said: "that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God." (Luke 16:15b) Chew on that for a while.

Remarkable isnít it that Jesus never held any position of power. He never satisfied the typical hungers of greedy flesh except when he fed the thousands. However, when he did, they wanted to come and take him by force and make him king. What did Jesus do in response? He ran, even walking on water to get away.

Because Jesus did not rescue him from the grip of Herod, John the Baptist, who probably had been a little corrupted by the palace, after declaring Jesus "The One" later, in some disillusionment, sent the question, "Are you The One?" Jesus merely sent word, "The Spirit is still here" (If I make take some liberties).

Ah! Now we are on to something. Jesus is, indeed, the deliverer, however he seems to deliver us from all the other things that we think are deliverers. He rescues us from the greed and lust of our flesh and replaces it with "all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ." Frankly, that is enough. It is the one place where I can rest. You can have the gold. I plan to use it for pavement.

Gayle Erwin

Servant Quarters, Vol. 19 #4
Published about six times a year.
Available free by request.
PO Box 219
Cathedral City, CA 92235
760-321-0077
FAX 760-202-1139
E-mail: gayle@servant.org





LETTERS

I have begun working with the Jr. High youth group under the pastor ship of Randy Cahill and Scott Greenberg at Calvary Chapel Boston. You have such great rapport with kids and I try to model some of my teaching with your Jesus Style, and story telling abilities. Praise God for your gifts, they do go beyond your lo-cal.
Dorran Prescott
Boston, MA


Thank you for a wonderful men's retreat. I have been greatly inspired and blessed by your teachings of the weekend. As usual, the Lord has used you mightily.

The best part is that I didn't even attend. You see, my husband went on the weekend and came back a renewed and refreshed man. What a blessing for me. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for following what the Lord calls you to do.

I have always enjoyed listening to you and reading your books. Hopefully, the next time you are up our way, the women will also get a chance to enjoy your spirit.
Leslie Burkhard
Farmington, NY


I just saw your publication for the first time. Very interesting. Would it be possible to use some of your material in a prison ministry at North Kern State Prison in Delano, California where we teach every Sunday? (Yes!) We would like to share some of your thoughts by reproducing for handouts with the prisoners? Add me to your communication loop please.
Doug Latimer
Porterville, CA


I just wanted to take the time to tell you that over that past 3 or 4 weeks or so, I have tuned into your radio show in the afternoon. Its on our local Calgary (NY) station at 1:45 p.m., so I catch most of it on my way home from work in the afternoon, and what a delight it is! I am actually quite new to the station, and I love it. But I do look forward every day, to hearing your message! It is full of insight and humor, and its refreshing to hear it after a long morning in a real estate law firm! I understand that you will be close to my home on Thursday, June 8th. Sadly I won't be able to attend, but maybe the next time! I would love to listen to you speak in a larger forum.
Beth Barcomb
Calgary, NY


Your program has kept me company on the drive home from work on many Saturday mornings. What a fine way to end a long nightshift. I have also read your books and shared them with family members.
Leif Solberg
Gardnerville, NV


I have listened to 13 of the tapes you made on the Jesus Style at Calvary, Costa Mesa, and I have read the Jesus Style, the Father Style, and am working on the Spirit Style. You are reaching a place in my heart with your style that has been confused for a long time.

I was brought up in a holiness church from birth. Legalism was a way of life in my home. I "lost" my salvation innumerable times throughout my childhood/adolescence. At least that was what I was brought up to believe. My father is an unforgiving man, and tries to control me to this day. (I am now 40 years old). My life has never been an easy one, but I have a heart for God as "Abba" that has carried me through most of the difficulties. I yearn for the Father you describe, but it seems as though I cannot get past the legalism that has been so ingrained in me.

I went through an incredibly rebellious time, using drugs, and other things that go along with that lifestyle. I have continued to smoke up until now. I have been told by my doctor that I need to quit since they have found the beginning signs of emphysema. I want to quit, and would love to have the Lord help me, but keep coming back to the idea, "I dug this hole, I need to pull myself out." At present, I am a single parent (and have been so for 15 years). I am a teacher in a junior high school, and work hard to support my son and I.

So, as you can see, I am really struggling with the legalistic vs. grace issue when it comes to the practical things of this earthly life. If you have anything that you could address that would help, please respond
A friend

Grace terrifies us. Our hearts keep asking, "Can God be that forgiving and loving? Will God change us or do we have to change ourselves? Does He keep on forgiving us?" The simple fact is, our growth is as much a product of his grace as our salvation is.

My favorite verse to handle this is Philippians 2:13 "for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure." Puts us in God's hands doesn't it? However, there is another encouraging verse that lets us do a little bit on our own-2 Corinthians 3:18 "And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

So what do we do? We keep the veil pulled, keep ourselves exposed to God, live instantly confessionally. What does God do? He changes us into his likeness with ever increasing glory. Folks, you can't beat that deal.
-Gayle


You Will Thank Me

Wayne Jacobsen gives us a classic in his newest book entitled He Loves Me, The Relationship God Has Always Wanted With You. If you have ever had or now have any moments of doubts about your relationship with God, this book is your handbook. If you know someone struggling with this issue, you will rush this to them. Be prepared for a giant Aahhh to issue from your soul.
$13 including postage from Lifestream Ministries, PO Box 50240, Oxnard, CA 93031. You can call at 805-988-4409.

Terry Clark recaptures his best style in his latest CD entitled "Only Believe." Here is another album that you will play over and over. You might even find yourself playing the game of counting the different ethnic music styles included in the album. Fun. $12 CD or $10 Cassette. Catalyst Ministries, PO Box 776, San Clemente, CA 92674, or 949- 366-2121 www.catalystcm.org

"Repent and relax. It's the kingdom of God." -Richard Foth


A Letter from One of My Daughters

In order to understand this letter, you need additional info. Back in the 1970's, our whole family traveled together for about three months of each year camping on the way to different speaking sessions (camps and retreats). Times were a bit lean, so grocery shopping meant checking prices very closely and often buying the cheapest available.

This meant sometimes (mostly) getting canned meats that, honestly, defied description and only remotely resembled Spam. When placed in front of our children, the gagging and hacking remains as a memory I wish to but cannot forget. Consequently, those meats made their way only to my less discriminating (picky?) plate bearing the definition "Daddy's meat."

Now, having reached the same age I was at the time and with three children of her own, my daughter Angela writes better than I as she describes this important passage in her life.

Dear Dad,

I had to write and share with you a new personal victory I have experienced due to the cajoling of my children. I have broken the SPAM barrier!!!

Until now, my children's lives have been void of any food product even resembling SPAM, simply because of their mother's utter disgust with it. Despite my strong aversion to the so-called "food" product, they expressed a desire to try it (thanks to media influence). It was time to confront my aversion and take the first step to recovery.

1. Prepare SPAM for someone else's consumption. My brain said, "This is feasible." but my stomach envisioned the initial aroma upon opening the can. My brain said, "It's been 20 years since you have eaten it. It tastes better now." My stomach recalled the difficulty in deciphering the pork from the ham. My brain said, "You can handle it. You are an adult now!" My stomach reminded me that its expulsive muscles are just as strong now as they were when I was a kid.

I decided to ignore my stomach and make a motherly sacrifice for my children. I made their longed-after SPAM burgers! Things went surprisingly smooth -no gag reflex, no thoughts of dog food. By the time the toasted buns, lettuce and tomatoes were added you could hardly see the SPAM.

It was then that I decided it was time to do it. I had to break the barrier. I couldn't go on avoiding the SPAM aisle in the grocery store. I couldn't go on refusing to give SPAM its rightful place in the food group "Meats and Proteins." I couldn't discriminate against it simply because it was packaged in a can and other meats weren't. I took the giant second step of recovery.

2. Eat SPAM disguised as something else (aka SPAM burger). Thanks to my kids' persistent requests to be free from their mother's SPAM bondage, I have broken the barrier, hurdled the obstacle, jumped the chasm! I Am Free!!!! Well, not really. Once the thrill of overcoming my aversion wore off, I realized I still didn't like the stuff.

Love You!
Angela Kenny