My wife and I celebrate communion almost every morning when I am at home. We do that because Jesus said to do this to remember Him, and we gladly celebrate his memory and his very presence. Christmas has become a time, though not officially designated so, to remember one another. We do it in many ways – family visits, gifts, Christmas cards, etc.
We at Servant Quarters, Gayle and Ada Erwin and Clyde Erwin as well as David and Audrey Bjur in Idaho, gladly celebrate you, our friends who share this newsletter. I would like to see each of you now, but since I can’t, at least think of my face smiling at you in gratitude and remembrance. And, if you will, go to a mirror and smile at yourself for me.
May Grace and Peace overtake you.
– Gayle Erwin
We rarely speak of our procedures and policies here at Servant Quarters, and many of you basically know them anyway. If you have ever called us or written us about our resources you may have figured some things out. Or, if you visited with us at the retreats, conferences or churches where we have spoken, you probably have a clue. But, for various reasons, here we go:
1. Our first and foremost goal remains to advance the message of the Nature of Jesus wherever and whenever we can. Perhaps the most effective way we accomplish this is through the book The Jesus Style now extended to many parts of the world.
2. Our second way of accomplishing the goal is through maintaining a very heavy schedule of travel and teaching. You probably discerned that by reading the schedule carried in each edition of past newsletters. Every year includes varying amounts of foreign travel. Because of the declining convenience of air travel, we travel far more by automobile now (smile).This also permits us to be in places normally inconvenient to air travel.
3. Our third way of accomplishing the goal is through the resources that you read about in each issue of this newsletter. Our largest distribution occurs when we have displays set up at the places I teach. The books (seven of them now with another on the way) are always the most popular, but the DVDs and CDs run a close second. Our MP3s enjoy massive popularity.
4. We are most interested in placing either or both the book The Jesus Style and the God’s Nature video DVD in people’s hands. God’s Nature video presents eight hours on the Nature of Jesus, The Father, and The Holy Spirit. When you see how their natures intertwine, you cannot help but love and serve them.
5. Radio taps our fifth method of sharing the message. Being on the CSN network on Saturday morning at 7 a.m. Pacific time and on KWVE in Southern California at 7 a.m. on Sunday produces heavy phone traffic. We are also on daily on a good number of stations around the USA and in Australia/New Zealand.
6. Our sixth method of distribution of the message is this newsletter. We send a large number of them and its popularity continues to amaze me. This issue incorporates several major changes. First, you will notice that the schedule of Gayle Erwin’s speaking is absent. We will no longer carry it since usually by the time you receive this, it is out of date. Second, we will cease to produce it "in house" so as to make the best use of staff.
7. We are committed to the good news of God’s grace. We believe that people obey God because they love Him and not because they have been frightened or coerced. I try to present the good news in such a way that all resistance to loving God melts away. God is on our side.
8. We are not fund-raisers. Hopefully, you have noticed that we never ask for donations or even mention it. Any who support Servant Quarters do so because they believe God has prompted them to do so. We are grateful.
9. This newsletter is sent free to those who desire it. Please rest in the knowledge that we never sell or share our mailing list or email list. Many of you choose the email route and we are grateful. Sometimes, if you chose email and have a filter, you may need to inform the filter that we are OK and to receive the email.
The Post Office requires that all addresses be certified, else they will not receive the newsletter. To our sorrow, about 10% of the sign-ups we receive on location do not certify. Sometimes we simply cannot read the handwriting. At other times, we simply cannot figure out why it doesn’t certify. We do this certification through a Post Office database that has every genuine address in its system…I guess. Even after running our addresses through what the Post Office calls the "National Change of Address" database, we still get hundreds back as undeliverable.
10. Our resources are guaranteed. If they fail, we will replace them. If they
still don’t work after replacement, we will refund your money. We even
have a toll-free number (1-888-321-0077) so you can call us on our nickel. We
have encountered a few problems along the way. Sometimes our printer leaves a
section of a book out, or places it upside down or leaves blank pages. This is
rare, but we can only know about it if you call us. We will quickly send you
a correct copy.
If you have any problems with our resources, please call us.
11. We mail by "Standard"– the post office’s euphemism for "cheapest" – postage and include it in the price. If you wish faster delivery, we ask you to pay that extra amount.
12. We have a physical office at 68975 Corral Drive in Cathedral City, California. You are welcome to come visit it, but call ahead (760-321-0077) so we know you are coming, since it is not a traffic office. Our son Clyde very ably keeps the office going.
13. All of our prices are listed as suggested donations.
14. People often ask us if they can copy one of our CDs or tapes to give to friends or group members. The answer is "Yes." We want the message out. Often they ask if they can copy a quote from one of my books or from this newsletter. The answer is "Yes" to anything I have written. If something is written by someone else and has a copyright notice, then you must get permission from the author.
14. A number of people have informed me that God told them to pray for me every day. I am incapable of expressing adequate gratitude.
15. If you have invited me to speak for you and haven’t heard from me, I apologize. That is an area of continuing failure for me. Rather than wait, call back.
16. The Jesus Style is in 35 languages now. The only copies of the foreign language editions we have available are the Russian, Spanish, German and Portuguese. In fact, you can get a case (104) of the Spanish edition for $200 sent to any USA address.
17. We have wonderful and occasional volunteers such as Gilbert and Linda Lopez, Joe Warren and Barbara Eshoo and now, Dave and Audrey Bjur. Volunteers are deeply appreciated.
Most of our design work is done by Dempster Evans of Camarillo, California. Dempster and I have a long relationship in graphic/editing teamwork. Back in the 1970s, we won numerous national awards together including best Christian magazine of the year for 1973. Later, we together developed a million-plus circulation mission magazine.
18. Many of you ask who did my caricatures. The first (as well as the story book covers) was done by Mike Reese of Ft. Wayne, Indiana. The newest was done by Mike Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org) of Memphis, Tennessee.
19. People often ask me when I am going to retire. Well, retirement, I think, means quitting what you don’t want to do so you can finally do what you really want to do. On that definition, I have been retired for 47 years. God blesses me with health and energy. I will use it for him.
20. My wife, Ada, is my editor. She is so good that I could not afford her, so I had to marry her.
21. You expect this newsletter to come to you regularly. Most often, you receive it after the dates listed on the masthead. Here is how we are going to hand that – no more dates. As you will notice, this is Volume 25, #2. So, from now on, it will be on time whenever you receive it.
I live in Sylvania, Ohio. While driving to work one day recently I heard a radio broadcast of one of your teachings. I do not have many occasions when I am able to hear you, but am always inspired and entertained by what comes over the radio. Thank you for your ministry. I am always blessed when I listen.
Richard Frey, Jr.
I was listening today on CSN radio and Gayle was talking about the tetragramaton and how we got the name Yahweh. I learned a ton from that 15-minute broadcast and would love to order it. His ministry has been a huge blessing for our family. God Bless!
This past summer I picked up your book, The Jesus Style, from my parents’ library and couldn't put it down. Since then, I've read it again and passed it on to my neighbor here in my college dorm. I really would like to receive your newsletter.
We are now serving in a church with about 350 others. It is very exciting with a lot of people coming to know Jesus and a lot of wounded people being comforted. We are starting everything from scratch, so there is a lot to do. Among other things, I am starting up the home groups (using, of course, a lot of your ideas for home fellowships). I am also working up a course for servants, for anyone who wishes to serve, and guess whose material we will be using? Oh yeah, Gale and I also started up the bookstore and you'll never guess whose stuff we are stocking. You sure do get around!!
I was listening to you on "digging wells" and had to pull off the freeway because God touched my heart thru you. I have dug so many wells...two brain tumors and many other health issues and I have seen the wells, that I have dug in despair, water and help someone else.
Malia J. Thomas
I had the tremendous privilege of "sharing a stage" with you on a recent Sunday morning. After I shared a few songs from the piano during the first service, I decided that I had better go and at least sit through one service, which was the "appropriate thing to do", as the guest musical artist. To be honest, the early hour of the morning, and the distinct lack of Starbucks in my system, did not make me a willing candidate to sit through any sermon. Please don't take offense...Billy Graham himself would have had trouble convincing me to try and sit and absorb the word of God at that hour, sans coffee. (I suppose I can vouch for the reputation that musicians have as non-morning people).
I did slip in the back row as you began speaking.
And I'm sure you have heard this hundreds of times over the course of your ministry, but I was completely drawn in by your message. I know that you are probably known for your humorous approach to speaking...(and I can't argue with how disarming and fun you made the experience)...but that wasn't what captured my heart Sunday morning. I was totally drawn in by your obvious commitment to being honest and real and somehow completely uninfluenced by the annoying and empty "church talk" that seems to be so pervasive behind so many pulpits.
You spoke my heart's language...and created such an atmosphere of acceptance (another thing lacking in many churches)...and I could tell by the people around me, that you were speaking the language of their hearts, as well. There was like this audible "exhale" in the room. I sat through the next service as well.
As a "performer," I know all too well, how stale it can become to tell the same stories...sing the same songs...weekend after weekend. I'm sure you must experience the same temptation to hit the "auto pilot" button on occasion...but just know that your words (and the spirit in which you spoke them) were like a breeze that showed up in a stuffy subway.
I just read the above paragraph and it sounds somehow like a "review" of your sermon. That is certainly not my intent. I was just so surprised and moved by your gracious and accessible demeanor that I wanted to encourage you by sharing what the Holy Spirit was doing while you spoke.
I think so many people my age resist the "church experience" because nobody seems to be talking to them...nobody seems to really "get" the disconnect we feel between organized religion and the crazy, revolutionary love of Jesus…. And they're somewhat right. How ironic, that you do.
I could write five more pages about the actual CONTENT of your message, and not just your delivery. I'm already halfway through The Jesus Style that you so kindly signed for me. You are confirming so many things that God has been stirring in me for some time. Not only the desperate need I feel to fully understand this Jesus I claim to follow, but the desire to create that same buzz and focus in the Christian music industry, which seems so often distracted by the trimmings and trappings of Christian culture and not all that interested in the heart and example of the servanthood Jesus lived out.
As a Christian artist (whatever that means) I include myself in that struggle. I wonder sometimes how I can possibly reconcile the accolades and recognition with who I am really meant to be in Christ. In talking with countless teens and young people after the services on Sunday morning and evening, it is clear that many of them are so disillusioned by the allure of success as a Christian musician. Their questions are rarely about servanthood and more often about a road map to get to where I am now.
If they had any idea how confused I was myself about my own role in this messy kingdom, they'd be less interested in an autograph, I'm sure.
Anyway, I've certainly said more than I intended to...I guess I just feel this great shift happening in my soul. And in my music. I believe that God used you (and continues to, through your book) to further me down this scary path of uncovering the real Jesus...and then to ask dangerous questions about my own willingness to really take up my cross. It's terrifying and thrilling all at once. (Nobody mentions this in Sunday School).
I will count it a privilege to share your writing with as many people as I can.
The Friends Pastors Conference in Branson won't be the same this year without you. We really enjoyed you and your wife at last year's conference and long to see you both. We pray that you are in good health as you share the good news of the servant nature of Jesus.
Your books and the sermon tapes that you gave us, have been the source of many sermons I have been blessed to give in several churches and even on television.
Thank you, dear friend, for all you do for the Kingdom of God. You are much loved and greatly appreciated.
I recently attended your Jesus Style ministry seminar at Carbondale Assembly in Tulsa. Wow! What a message! The things you spoke on really ministered to me deeply. I ended up taking your materials home to share with others. I really have to say that your message was life-impacting for me. Thank you for your honest, fresh, and hilarious eye-opening revelation into the man, Christ Jesus.
Please send me your newsletter. I first heard of you in China, working as a teacher, where there were some of your tapes. Great stuff!
Servant Quarters, Vol. 25 #2
Published about four times a year.
Available by request by email or by post.
PO Box 219
Cathedral City, CA 92235