July, August, September 2001 Newsletter

The National Anthem

Another Zimbabwe story. One of those goose- bumper moments occurred for me in about 1981. The civil war of what was then Rhodesia was over and the country's future now resided with a majority Black government and a new country name–Zimbabwe. For the first time, without going to jail, the people could sing the popular people's anthem, rather than "God Save the Queen."

I listened as 1,000 pastors and their wives belted out the first line, "God bless Africa. Come Holy Spirit." I could not hold back the tears. Unfortunately, the current government wanders around with increasing corruption and confusion which includes changing the anthem away from the one that issued from people's hearts. That unlocks more tears for a country dear to my heart whose people are gentle, energetic and resourceful.

However, my mind returns to our own anthem. We managed to insert the words "One nation, under God," into the pledge of allegiance, but for reasons I cannot grasp, keep an old English pub drinking song with words ignoring God as our own national anthem.

I spoke once, years ago, in a church on a Sunday that happened to be July 4. The patriotism of the church exceeded their wisdom and I marveled as people, with hands raised as in praise, sang the national anthem. I sensed the bewilderment of a number of foreigners in attendance. I chafed with them as the pastor proclaimed, "You cannot be a Christian without being a good American." I felt that this was patriotism run amuck, but I mostly sat shaking my head over the emotion and spiritual connection that had their hands raised while the bombs were bursting.

I am well aware of the history of our anthem and the author, Francis Scott Key. I understand its significance as part of our history. However, no one actually remembers that war. No one feels relieved to be out of the grasp of the British. Even our president, when asked what July the 4th meant, was most elated by the honor of being president on the 4th.

Do "rocket's red glare and bombs bursting in air" represent the position of our hearts and the bent of our nation? Or might there be a better choice written on these shores with words that speak a better stance? Allow me to suggest an alternate or two and introduce you to a desire of mine that rouses frequently enough (yet silently) to finally produce this article.

While our Congress does many things that cause me to long for the return of Jesus on whose shoulders the government of this world will eventually rest, it would be a wonderful relief to see them do something that does not require a bit of seed money (Did I say "bit?") to accomplish. I admit that this is a one-man, low-profile crusade, but I yearn for a new national anthem. Here are my own two alternate choices. These, I would sing with great emotion.

Oh, beautiful for spacious skies
For amber waves of grain.
For purple mountain's majesties
Above the fruited plain.

America, America,
God shed his grace on thee
And crowned thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea.

Or, this:

God bless America
Land that I love.
Stand beside her
And guide her,
Through the night
With a light from above.

From the mountains to the prairies
To the ocean, white with foam.
God bless America,
My home, sweet home.
God bless America,
My home, sweet home.

Hidden benefits of such an anthem include a different and much more palatable view of America by other countries. What is the purpose of our anthem? Do we want to intimidate foreign visitors or invoke God's blessing? Our country is the only great superpower at this time, and we are now old enough to act mature. Ah, well.

Perhaps we could learn from one of our closest friends, New Zealand. Read their anthem here and see if you might want to sing something like this before our public events:

God of nations! At Thy feet,
In the bonds of love we meet,
Hear our voices, we entreat,
God defend our Free Land.
Guard Pacific's triple star
From the shafts of strife and war,
Make her praises heard afar
God defend New Zealand.

Men of every creed and race
Gather here before Thy face,
Asking Thee to bless this place,
God defend our Free Land.
From dissension, envy, hate,
And corruption guard our state,
Make our country good and great,
God defend New Zealand.

Peace, not want, shall be our boast,
But should foes assail our coast,
Make us then a mighty host,
God defend our Free Land.
Lord of battles in Thy might,
Put our enemies to flight,
Let our cause be just and right,
God defend New Zealand.

Let our love for Thee increase,
May Thy blessings never cease,
Give us plenty, give us peace,
God defend our Free Land.
From dishonor and from shame,
Guard our country's spotless name
Crown her with immortal fame,
God defend New Zealand.

May our mountains ever be,
Freedom's ramparts on the sea,
Make us faithful unto Thee,
God defend our Free Land.
Guide her in the nation's van,
Preaching love and truth to man,
Working out Thy glorious plan,
God defend New Zealand.


Servant Quarters, Vol. 21 #3
Published about four times a year.
Available by request.
PO Box 219
Cathedral City, CA 92235
FAX 760-202-1139

E-mail: gayle@servant.org
Web site: www.servant.org


I listen to you on the radio a lot and will be ordering all of your tapes and some of the books on tape. You have changed my life to where I can now understand just what Jesus really wants me to do and how to do it. Thank you.

Moses Johnson
Spokane, WA

Pleeeease send us your newsletters. My husband is just "getting into" an awesome relationship with Christ, and I want to encourage him every way possible. Your ministry has been a great blessing to me, as I listen to your studies almost daily here in Pocatello.

A Friend
Pocatello, ID

If ever your message changed the hearts and understanding of an entire congregation concerning Jesus Christ, the Father, and their relationship with them, it was here in Auckland.

Brian Hughes
Auckland, New Zealand

It was a pleasant surprise to see my letter about my grandmother in your newsletter. I hope it encouraged other people. Thank you for sending your videos so quickly. Like always, we enjoyed them.

My grandmother went to be with Jesus last November. We saw the Lord's wonderful love in so many ways before she left. We are anticipating the day we are reunited and can worship Jesus together.

Scarlet Hope sent me a CD. They said you reviewed it in your newsletter. The worship songs on it are so beautiful; it has become a personal favorite. Your ministry has helped me to know Jesus better.

Gail Brassfield
Buckeye, AZ

When I first heard you speak about four years ago in Rochester, NY, you made an imprint on my heart that has helped me stay focused on Jesus. I have listened to your tape on The Jesus Style and have read That Reminds Me of a Story and Handbook for Servants.

Through it all, I have found it so refreshing to know that your only purpose is to spread the Gospel and shed a bright light on the teachings of Jesus.

John Powers
Duluth, GA

I frequently listen to your radio program on WCVK out of Bowling Green, KY. The program today answered questions that I have been pondering for quite some time and I have never heard it explained like you did it today. I love the sense of humor and the fresh outlook that God has blessed you with.

Deloris Kindred
Philpot, Ky

I listen to you on CSN every Saturday morning and it is such a blessing. I am in prison and anyone who can bring Jesus "and" such joy at the same time to someone who is locked away is very blessed. Thank you.

A Friend

Loaned your videos to a Fire Fighter named Steve. Steve became a Captain not long ago and is the new Fire Fighters' Union President. He was very involved in his church leadership as a financial steward, etc. He is so in love with Christ. He has a Bible study during the week that he shares your videos at and they have your book The Jesus Style that they are reading through. Several years ago I gave Steve a copy of your Jesus Style. The book has greatly affected him.

Steve is also on a panel that interviews individuals to become fire fighters in Napa. The board consists of himself, the Fire Chief (who is a believer) and other individuals who aren't Christians. Steve told me that during an interview day not long ago (we are about to build a new fire station, have some retirees, thus need some new folks) Steve and the team were meeting with each interviewee (is that a word) and asking them personal questions. Each panelist may ask any question of the interviewee they choose. Steve had heard that one of the individuals was a believer. So. Steve's thinking about your book and asks this question of each of the interviewees, "What does it mean, 'If you want to be great, be the servant of all.'"? Well, this guy was a believer and explained it perfectly. The first thing the guy said was, "First of all, it is a Biblical statement." and then went on to explain. Steve was so blessed and excited. It was a fair question and God used it in a special way.

Later on Steve was talking about the question to one of the other panelists who has a psychology degree and is one of our few lady fire fighters. She said of his question, "That is a profound concept." If only she knew!

He is using you in some amazing ways. I am eternally grateful.

Chaplain Lee Shaw
Napa, CA

My husband and I attended your seminar in Auckland recently and were greatly blessed by the teaching. At one point you spoke about witnessing to the unsaved and sharing Jesus Christ with them–do they understand who he really is? I immediately heard the sense in these words. The following day I had planned to meet up with my new friend, Isabelle, for coffee. I had witnessed to her on two occasions and she had responded positively to the Gospel. When I shared with her my notes from The Jesus Style, she had some of her questions answered and myths dispelled. One myth Isabelle had been brought up to believe was that Jesus' name was so sacred nobody else bore His name. I will continue to ask the Lord to draw her by his Holy Spirit to a personal relationship with him.

Garth and Michelle Williams
Auckland, New Zealand

Thank you for giving such a simple message with your gifted humor and style. Sometimes I have been laughing by myself in my car while listening to your tapes and I catch people looking quite strangely at me. Then, I laugh even more. Thanks.

Barry "Super" Sonnek
Monarch Beach, CA

I became disabled at the age of 50 due to a diabetic problem and have continued to suffer over the years. Recently, after listening to you and other pastors on Calvary Chapel radio, I gave my life to Jesus. Your help, along with the other pastors, makes me feel less alone and to know that Jesus is with me at all times helping me to heal and to deal with my disabilities.

I look forward to the time of your broadcast; and when I feel depressed, I replay the four tapes I already have (looking forward to the other four I recently ordered) and am comforted and able to handle the rest of the day.

Mary Anne Nolan
Charlottesville, VA


You Will Thank Me

Many musical recordings I receive are efforts at improving on the latest trends and often they do a good job. Here is one CD that makes the best of the past. "Meditations" lives up to its title and puts a restful "Aaaahh" in my heart. It's nine songs are mostly original words or arrangements and done so well you will have trouble deciding which is your favorite.

Produced by Calvary Chapel of Rancho Cucamonga, 8632 Archibald Ave. Ste. 108, Rancho Cucamonga, CA, 91730; phone 909-945-5532; $15.