January – February 1999 Newsletter


"…and the government shall be upon his shoulder…"
Isaiah 9:6

The current chaos of the United States Government probably leaves you as frustrated as I and many others in this country. Standards of honesty crumple and flee, violated by every party and every person in power. The only trait to match dishonesty is hypocrisy. Who can you trust? Whose heart remains untouched by the seduction of money, fame and power? The shoulders of politicians seem to be about one inch wide, though their pockets, remarkably, are much wider.

Justice has now become theater. I believe it was Mark Twain who said, "A jury is 12 people put together to decide who has the best lawyer."

Television has become the gathering place of every vitriolic spirit available. We no longer debate, we shout. No one listens, but then no one says anything worth listening to.

Do I sound a bit cynical to you? I am. Do I believe we will elect better? No. How do I feel about our future? Hopeless. Then what can we do? Keep praying for the day when "the government will be upon His shoulder."

What might such a government look like? First of all, it would look like its king. Politicians of this day look for what they can get from you. Jesus looks for what He can do for you.

Leaders of this day surround themselves with servants. Jesus surrounds us with His servanthood.

Leaders of this day use their power to build their empire. Jesus uses his power to wash our feet and make us clean and comfortable.

Leaders of this day trade their influence for money. God so loved that he gave….

Generals of this day need regular wars to keep their weapons and skills up to date and insure their own advancement. Jesus brings peace and rest to hearts.

The higher the plane of importance one reaches in this world, the more inaccessible he becomes. Jesus was Emanuel, "God with us."

Leaders of this day are desperate to be seen and heard. Jesus sought anonymity so He could be useful.

Obviously, Jesus is not in charge of the halls of Washington, London, Moscow, Baghdad, Paris or Bonn. So, how can we ever believe the "government will be upon His shoulders"?

Actually, His government shows its workings in wonderful ways. Whenever I see someone who miraculously leaves a life of drugs or alcohol and is restored to his family and work, I can see that he is now governed by God.

Whenever I see loving Christians gently caring for orphans and those rejected by family, I know I am watching people governed by God.

Whenever I see people eagerly learning the Bible and joyously praising, I know who the governor is.

Whenever I see people give up lucrative careers simply to go and share the Good News of Jesus, I know they are governed by God.

When I see pastors carefully teach and lead the flock God has given them, I know they are getting signals from the great King.

When I see people leave family to live and teach in distant lands because they love the people who have not heard, I know they are governed by God.

So, indeed, the government is alive and working. Often silently, mostly unseen. We can be and are, by choice, governed by God. Hope and joy and peace and rest cover its subjects. Justice, mercy and grace, amazingly coexist. I like this Kingdom. The borders are open. Come on in.

— Gayle Erwin


The secure are into towels...

The insecure are into titles.

The secure are people conscious...

The insecure are position conscious.

The secure want to add value to others...

The insecure want to receive value from others.

John Maxwell


I have just finished watching your video series, "Nature of God" and wanted to say thank you for putting these teachings together so that our part of the world can watch them. I am a girl from the Island of Fiji, in the middle of the South Pacific, and am working with Youth With A Mission. We have shown these teachings many times on our base and we have truly been ministered to from the word.

Right now, we have a set of nine students who are just beginning their Discipleship Training School with us and these tapes are the first set of teachings that they will go through.

Kula Ramanakiwai

When your nuggets are on KAPL (Jacksonville, OR, Applegate Christian Fellowship), it’s time to stop everything—gather everyone round—and listen. Your nuggets, Saturday lessons and newsletter are all greatly appreciated. I hope I "land" near you in heaven.

Laura Carlton
Medford, OR

A few years back, I ran across a copy of The Jesus Style and it has since become an integral part of my library. Even though I have read all three of the "Style" books, The Jesus Style is the one that most captivated my interest. It is the one that I begin rereading as soon as I finish the last reading. The reality shared in its pages has had a major impact on my life.

For nine years I was a missionary for the Assemblies of God. I had a unique assignment in that I am a professional photographer and that is what I did for the Assemblies’ Division of Foreign Missions. During my time as a missionary, I became involved in assisting churches in developing missions strategies. Your thoughts in The Jesus Style completely changed my approach to missions. I no longer promote need, I promote relationship. When THE relationship is right, missions comes a lot easier.

I understand my pastor, Phil Taylor, is a friend of yours. He is the one that made me aware of your website.

Gary Gibson
Tulsa, OK

I have heard your program on WZXV out of Rochester, N.Y. and have found myself experiencing emotions from rolling on the floor in laughter to having tear filled eyes. You are a wonderful speaker and I thank God for you.

Fred Adams
Macedon, N.Y.

I had a wonderful evening reading, laughing and sharing the material on your website. What a blessing you are to me! A few months ago, I purchased a few of your video tapes (I love them). I have my father "Jesus, the Great Hunter" to view. This was not very easy to do, because I risk upsetting my parents when I try to witness to them, but I thought, "what the heck. I’ve been in and out of trouble with them for almost twenty years now. What’s another day." My dad really enjoyed your tape. He even mentioned his favorite parts which were in the middle of the tape, so I knew he really watched it!

I have just begun a career teaching third grade in the public school system. I can’t really witness by talking about Jesus (without getting in trouble), but I try to include Christian values in my teaching whenever possible.

Last year, while I was substituting in the first grade, we were learning about the way other countries celebrate Christmas. This particular day, we were learning about Mexico’s celebration. In Mexico, the children put straw in their shoes and water out for the three wise men and their camels. The Mexican children believe that the three wise men will fill their shoes with toys. I asked my first graders if they knew where the three wise men came from. One first grader, anxious to be called on, said, "I know." When I called on him, he reported, "Downtown." All the kids laughed, especially my expert.

My heart is glad to be a teacher.

Deborah (Debbe) Ballard
Sacramento, CA

In a time of great spiritual need, The Father Style really ministered to me! It was like a dip in a pool on a hot, humid day, or like eating chocolate covered raisins or something like that!

Your tapes are always a blessing. Keep Long Island in prayer.

Larry Mancini

Bayshore Nazarene Church
Bayshore, NY

A heart full of gratitude to you for "Jesus, the Great Hunter." Over the past years, I had become increasingly discouraged by my father’s lack of interest in my faith. Every time I would try to share with him, he would make light of it and end the conversation.

Finally, the Lord prompted me to write him a letter sharing my heart and desire for his salvation. I mailed it along with a copy of your video. Three weeks later, he died without my having any assurance of where his spirit went.

The day of the funeral, his companion took me aside and said that Dad wanted me to know he had accepted Jesus and would be waiting for me in heaven. In breath two, she added, "And he just loved that video!"

Linda Coe
Canandaigua, NY

I was finally able to read "Servant Quarters" this morning. The plan was to read it in one direct charge, but fatherhood has dictated for me to digest it in small sections.

During the first quarter section, Jacob (16 months) was lapping me and the dining room table and is still going like the Energizer Bunny as I pen this first draft. Kaitlin (4) and Cody (3) reported for breakfast about halfway through and are currently deciding what indoor activity to play during today’s inclement weather.

Brother Caleb, in his letter from this latest newsletter, reminds me of our children. Jacob, for example, is currently dismantling the bookcase, again! Asking the Lord to teach me love, patience and wisdom is a common request in my prayers.

When I read the opening article, the Spirit reminded me of how much he desires me to pray for others and seek him. I immediately wanted to thank you for who you are and what you do, but I was quickly reminded by the experience the Lord has given me through my life and Bible studies and even in your "Style" books that I need to praise our Creator for such revelations.

My wife is a remarkable woman. God has allowed me with all my inadequacies to share space with such a prized gem. She shared a thought recently that put a smile in my heart. She said, "Don’t you find it amazing that our children are our brothers and sisters in Christ!" Remarkable.

Chris Jensen
Twin Peaks, CA

Your treatment of the Y2K scare was really good. There really is nothing magical in the year 2000 in our calendar. There is a difference of four years noted in the center margin of my Bibles—if they are entirely correct. Oh, I definitely believe that the Lord’s coming is here at the door and he could come at any moment.

At any rate, we should not be in any kind of fear of the future, because our Lord told us not to be fearful. He has our future (or lack of it) in His hands. We are just to be about our Father’s business and growing in Him.

Dorothy Lucht
Central Point, OR

My husband, being very wise and lovable, had the good sense to bring home Gayle’s newest book for me when he attended the Rocky Mountain Area Men’s Retreat.

Every night, we would lie in bed and my husband would read a chapter to me. We would laugh and cry and pray together as the Lord used these stories to minister to us.

Our Dog seemed to enjoy these special times as much as we did. One evening as we turned out the lights and prepared for bed, we found a big surprise. When we turned on the bedroom light, there was our hound dog snuggled up with Gayle’s book. She knows she is not allowed on the bed and usually never jumps up there. But it appeared she had been up there for quite some time waiting for her bedtime story. We’re still not sure how she got the book off of the nightstand!

Rich and Cindy Richardson
Colorado Springs, CO

My Servicemaster guy (Ed) came to clean my carpet at home today. Last time he was here, he bought a table of eight for our Crisis Pregnancy Center banquet. Turned out he wasn’t able to attend but gave all of his tickets away. I asked him if he was in church (at Greencastle Christian Church) the Sunday you spoke during our worship service. He said that he was and that you had said something about a group of people that he thought was very interesting. After thinking for a few minutes, he said that it was the Pharisees.

As you spoke of them, he realized that he could be considered a Pharisee. (I have never met anyone before who said they identified with the Pharisees!) He said he realized that he wasn’t saved.

Anyway, he talked to Jon Taylor, our associate minister, and accepted Jesus as his Savior and Lord and was baptized. Thanks for doing what you do.

Ric and Shelly McFadden
Greencastle, IN

Well, you did it again! Sent us your Volume 18 #5 Servant Quarters which we truly relish and appreciate with joy! We’re enclosing a copy of the lead article with our family circle letter so all can see and read it.

How we got on your mailing list or who you are we cannot remember or understand, but please keep us on your list. Don’t drop us.

Jim and Marian Burkholder
Biglerville, PA

After seeing the test responses of your grandson, Pierce Cottingham, in the last Servant Quarters, we have decided to start a new movement in America!

Pierce For President!

Larry Peltier
Encinitas, CA

Servant Quarters, Vol. 19, #1
Published six times a year.
Available by request.
PO Box 219
Cathedral City, CA 92235
FAX 760-202-1139