By Gayle Erwin
Members of the Sanhedrin issued stiff warnings today about the rumors running rampant in Jerusalem concerning the birth of a "Messiah."
"Continued peace with the Roman government demands that we act responsibly and put down any such wild dreams about another king." Rabbi ben Jacob stated, "We have a good working arrangement with the government with as much freedom as anyone could ask." Several members of the Sadducee party standing nearby nodded agreement.
An advisor to Herod was taking notes of the proceedings. He refused to comment about the rumors except to say that the chief was listening carefully.
Another priest was willing to talk openly. "You can be sure that if YHWH were sending us a king or messiah, you would not have to depend on rumors or hearsay to know about his coming. The last person on earth to get the message would be a shepherd. They are most untrustworthy. Sinners! He will arrive with splendor and grandeur befitting his power and will establish himself as ruler of the world without question. Don't you think that is the least we can expect of God?"
A common feeling that apparently had the backing of the chief priest was that any such dramatic spiritual happenings would be announced by the priesthood rather than some group without authority such as shepherds. However, several bystanders were careful to point out that this is not meant as a putdown of shepherds.
"Furthermore," the rabbi pointed out, "at this time, there is not an adequately ornate place sufficient for his birth. We wouldn't want to shove the Messiah into an animal shelter or some other shameful place."
One priest kept quoting something quietly about Bethlehem and saying, "Maybe," but no one seemed willing to consider it and he refused to give me his name.
The one thing we do know is that our world has managed to get itself in desperate straits. We Americans prosper more than ever before. We have everything. We just don't enjoy it. Hatred blooms. Pleasure seekers abound. My desert reels with rave parties.
Corruption, once the private brew of developing countries, now so permeates our own society that we have come to expect it. We are not fooled into thinking that the huge contributions to politicians by special interest groups are just an expression of free speech. Amazing that bribery now is called "free speech."
Indeed, so blatant are the self-interests of our governmental figures that we daily reach new levels of cynicism. Monopolies abound unabated. The question is "Where is the money?" and not "What is the good of the people?"
Television screams at us and, along with other visual media, trivializes injustice and tragedy and violence. The world is for sale.
Pretty bad, eh?
Ah, that is why my longing is so strong, the longing for Jesus to return. That is one reason why some people view the coming new year's day with excitement, wondering, hoping, expecting. However, if they think January 1 is the day, they are misguided. Jesus even said so, himself.
But when He comes, I will no longer write such depressing lines as I have above. Hopefully, He will let me write some new books describing his Kingdom from personal observation. The problem is, you will already know it all.
Can't wait. I'm looking up!
By the way, He indicated that his coming would be in the hour we think not.
Maybe December 29, 1999?
I heard one of your messages on the radio a couple of months ago and loved your
humor. When I ordered the "Family Relationships" video set and shared it with my
family and my sister-in-law and her family, we knew that the Lord had sent you to us. I
believe you are teaching God's Word the way he would want us to hear it. We feel so
comforted, happy, and our spirit confirms the truth. We pray for your ministry. You bring
joy and laughter with truth to God's Word.
I know 6000+ people in Applegate, Oregon who feel the same way I do after you have been with us: contentment from the feast in God's Word, joy in our hearts in the way you share Jesus, aching face muscles from smiling and laughing so hard and the warm feeling you get when a member of your family has come home for a long overdue reunion. Jesus came through (you) again!! Can't wait until you are with us next time!
Today, I was treated to an update of your newsletter (on your Web site) and my heart went ahhhhhh!!!!
I first read The Jesus Style over a year ago, also the Father and Spirit Style books and even though I have not really looked at them since, they still continue to change my life and attitudes towards God and others. I have found that any relationship I find myself in with another person, whether a fleeting one with a person thru work or to my family, if viewed thru the Nature of God is a chance for goodness, grace, mercy, forgiveness and even wonder.
Your books and God working thru them has "rocked my world" and I am so much the better for it. I hope one day to be able to teach and preach and live about these same things as in the last year I have taken up study for ministry.
The communion service that you did to close the Pastors' Conference was used by the Lord to bring healing to the 7-year breach between my ex-assistant pastor and myself. We sought each other out and shared the "bread of life" together. Thank you.
Our grandkids are addicted to Erwin. We enjoy all four of our grandchildren (ages 8 to 15) every summer, and every summer we try to input spiritual values while having fun. Most of the time, we feel somewhat unsuccessful with our attempts and the summer ends with a degree of disappointment in that area. However, this summer, my wife thought of playing one of your tapes, and from the beginning, they were hooked.
Everywhere we traveled, we listened to the character traits of Jesus a la Erwin. Even our campfire circle ended up with us listening to you on a portable player. I caught them listening to you at bedtime before they went to sleep.
Since September 1, Erwin plays in the car (instead of popular songs), traveling to and from school. They never seem to tire of your humor which clothes very profound truths about Jesus. That is why we write-to thank you Gayle from the bottom of our hearts for your ministry to our family and to order two sets of the tapes for the kids. You have planted an understanding and love of our Lord.
Dan and Juanene Peters
Thousand Oaks, CA
I teach Family and Marriage and the Christian Man classes at Valley Christian High School in Phoenix. I use your Jesus Style materials in these classes and they have opened the eyes of many of my students. It's helping move them away from the cultural Christianity they've been raised with and to see Jesus in a more real way.
Thanks for sharing what God has laid on your heart. I sense a real revival beginning here and am awestruck by what I see God doing first hand in the lives of these lambs.
Just wanted to let you know that we still show your tapes in the Jefferson County Jail every Sunday (almost every Sunday) and they still bring joy and a real picture to the inmates that God loves them and cares very much about them. Thank you for helping us present the love of God with your videos. Its been about 4 years and we have not had an unfruitful Sunday in all that time and a lot of this is your love for God. They see that it is real. We give the glory to the one whom it is due, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
Scot Waltenbaugh and Terry Stebbin
Port Townsend, WA
At least every three months I get out your video/audio/books and spend time in review. Your last book That Reminds Me of a Story made an impression on my heart. Years ago as a "left out one," a student shared his opinion of me in a group of others labeling me as "Bozo." I sought to raise my self esteem a lot through escapes to drugs and drinking, but my Heavenly Father never let up on me. More and more I am faced with confronting rejection. Conquering it has been a challenge but his wonderful Magnificent
Grace comes amply supplied with loving arms and He takes me in and reminds me, He is who I am to live for. Since school I have almost shaken that name and in His love I was given another name, "Travelin Bill," by a friend who saw my 500 - 1000 miles a week running around to make money. I use the time to spend with Him, so your tapes in those long hours on the road help me to pass the time well.
Travelin Bill Gerhardt
Two of my daughters, Gloria and Angela, home school their children. About two
years ago, I gave them a Bible teaching tool I found at a conference. Folks, we discovered
gold! Both of them found it to be an awesome, interesting, useful method of learning
Bible information. They also found its principles transferable to other teaching. Among
my daughters' comments, "They certainly produce what they claim. Very well laid out
for the teacher. I learned much myself. Outstanding Bible survey." They found it best for
ages 9 and up. I cannot recommend this highly enough and not just for home schoolers.
This is great for Sunday School teachers also. You can call the publishers, "Picture This,"
at 805-499-9895. For quicker info, access their Web site, www.bibledraw.com. You will
We at Servant Quarters acknowledge gratefully the abounding good will shown to us by you, our friends. May God reward you and fill you with his Peace and Joy at this Christmastime.
Gayle and Ada Erwin
David and Audrey Bjur