The Newsletter of Gayle Erwin
January, February, March 2003
Being one of a somewhat strange name, names fascinate me. I attended high school with a girl named Penny Nickles who lived in Money, Mississippi. Little twin boys name Melt and Felt attended a church I once served. If you think Gayle is tough for a man, (In an interview years ago with Johnny Cash, we discussed, with humor my name and his song “A Boy Named Sue.”) a man who attended another church I served was named Hyacinth. Someone in each case was thinking originally. Maybe some of these names were eventually changed. I don’t know.
Some names, otherwise not strange, fall into disuse for obvious reasons; Benedict and Judas, for instance. Osama might stay within distant borders. These names carry images too negative to burden a human being today.
In Old Testament (and somewhat New Testament) days, names tended to have true meaning, often actually describing the person. If you knew the person’s name and the meaning of the name, you knew the person. As I have often shared, (Shall we count the times?) God defined his name to Moses as “Compassionate, Gracious, Slow to Anger, Abounding in Mercy and Faithfulness, Mercy to Thousands, Forgiving Wickedness, Rebellion and Sin.” I hang on to that for dear life.
In Bible days, names were sometimes changed to indicate significant events or conversions or growth. God changed Abram’s name to Abraham—from father of many to father of nations.
God changed Jacob’s name to Israel—from deceiver to Prince of God.
Moses changed Othea’s name to Joshua and later to Jehoshua. Perhaps Moses knew that Joshua (Yahshua) belonged eventually to the Messiah so he tweaked Joshua’s name. Interesting, too, that during the time of Nehemiah, it was changed again to Yeshua, the name currently used.
One interesting name refusal occurs in the Old Testament. The prophet Nathan instructed David and Bathsheba to name their son Jedediah. They named him Solomon instead.
In the New Testament, name changing continues unabated. Everyone knows the name Peter as the Jesus-given change from Simon. Seems almost to be an oxymoron to describe that man as Rocky, but Jesus knew what he would become. Levi, the hated tax collector, became Matthew, writer of the first Gospel. Saul, fire-breathing persecutor and killer of Christians, celebrates, with his spectacular conversion, the new name Paul.
The Early Church, caught up in this tradition changed one leader’s name to a far more accurate description of his personality-Joses to Barnabas. Barnabas means “son of consolation” or “encourager.” What a great affirmation.
All of this brings us to a great realization and application. First, the realization—we are informed in Revelation that we each have been given new names known only to us. How wonderful that God should so carefully express his love toward us in such an unusual and creative way. Definitely in keeping with his nature.
Now the application. What name would you give to your brothers and sisters in the Lord? Would there be an Encourager? Would there be a Faithful? Would there be a Worker? If so, what might it mean to them if you told them the name you would give them? Worth a try.
And what kind of name would you like to have people give to you? Worth a want.
Let me see…if I were to change my name “Gayle” to something more meaningful…uh, let’s not go there.
-Gayle D. Erwin
Volume 23, Number
Servant Quarters is sent free as a ministry of Gayle Erwin.
PO Box 219
Cathedral City, CA 92235
Web site: www.servant.org
Over the past year or two, lingering habits of thought and emotion were re-kindling themselves and growing from beneath me in such a way that I was not even recognizing their strength or ugliness until these past few months, and then it became really obvious.
Anyway, God provided some new opportunities for me to grow from and learn from, new people, and one friend mentioned your website, which I hadn’t known about. I wrote down four tapes and the servant’s handbook as things I wanted to order, but being so strapped with paying for college I asked my mom to get them for me for my birthday in November. Hesitantly, (She’s Catholic and slow to understand the concept of my “born again” identity. It’s a little radical to her, but she’s growing in understanding that it’s the same God we are serving….) she ordered them for me, lost them accidentally, and then found them to give to me as a Christmas gift.
This was certainly the best Christmas gift I have ever gotten. I have often struggled with depression, and more recently anger issues, but what I am receiving through your messages are certain truths about God and human nature that I really need to plant in my mind. God is using your messages to strengthen and transform me, and your hopeful and joyful nature to remind me of his own character. I want to serve God within his grace and know his smile upon my face.
We are so blessed to have friends such as you and Ada. I don’t know how I could have made it without you, Chuck Smith and The Jesus Style. Apart from the Bible, The Jesus Style has probably influenced me more than any book I have ever read. I still have one of the original hardbacks, from 1984, in Calvary Bible School at Twin Peaks. I don’t want to brag on you too much, you might have to get bigger suspenders.
Carlin and Sandra Lawrence
As this new year came God prompted me to write a few people who have changed my life. You are one of those people. I am a 26-year-old minister and last year I received The Jesus Style as a Christmas present and I put it on my shelf. It didn’t have the flashy covers my other books did. A few months after that I saw it on my shelf and decided to read it and it changed my walk with God in an incredible way. Few books have made such an impact on my walk with God and my ministry. It is now required reading for my students in one of the ministries I lead.
I am now reading The Father Style and again it has messed me up. Thanks! I am excited to get to The Spirit Style. I am on staff with four other pastors and I bring up references to your books all the time. Sometimes I feel just like another minister in the melting pot, but your insight has changed my ministry dynamics and given me an edge.
Near Bowling Green, KY, I was searching for a good station and found you talking about Jesus. When I returned home I ordered several of your tapes. I began to see Jesus in a whole new way. I have since ordered over half of the set on CD.
In years of teaching Sunday School (adults and youth) I have felt I needed to understand more about the personality of Jesus. Your work is filling that need.
Birmingham, AL I just purchased The Body Style yesterday and am looking forward to reading it. Other than the Bible, very few books have revolutionized my intimacy with the Lord greater than The Jesus Style has!!
I traded my alarm clock with my 15-year-old son (He said his didn’t work.) and when the alarm went off this morning, it was set on KAWZ. I was about to turn it off but I felt I should leave it on. I listened to the first couple of minutes and I knew I was going to be late for my appointment. I didn’t catch the name of the speaker but he made my day. He made me laugh. Something I need to do more of. What a wonderful way to reach people.
Well it is New Year’s in Bagram, Afghanistan. And I miss my wife. I would like to meet you someday to personally thank you for not only teaching me more but being a comic at the same time. Here in Bagram there is not much too funny. There are all kinds of dangers here. These Muslims were raised to hate us. As we speak, the price for a U.S. soldier’s death to the common Muslim is 300 dollars. However, God has really taught me to love people in Bagram.
I just got your Nature of Jesus CD’s. Your knack for common sense sells. You are not here, but other people want to hear these CD’s. You are about to take a USO tour! Have to change your name from Gayle Erwin to BOB HOPE.
Sgt. Hair, Peter T., US. Army
Just happened by Calvary Chapel on my way to go Christmas shopping last Sunday.what a blessing! I came kicking and fighting! But I prayed for guidance and God gave me many signs that things would be OK. So far, JACKPOT! Thank you for an inspirational moment! I will carry it with me in the months to come, and WILL be returning to Calvary Chapel where I will continue to pray for guidance!
Theresa in Prescott
I’ve been living off this statement found in your clone story: “Would he be disillusioned without becoming bitter and, instead, let it cause him to rest only in God?” Thank you for touching my life.
I don’t realize what personal cost it is to travel as much as you do, but I do ponder it at times and then lift you up to His Glory.
Several years ago you gave my husband a free copy of this book as you went
through the Palm Springs Airport where he worked for United Airlines.
Thank you very much. Your stories were full of laughter and tears for us as we read it. I have since passed it on to friends to enjoy and am now realizing they still have it! Their 16-year-old son has heard you speak at our church, Harvest Christian Fellowship.
It has been nearly 15 years since I met you at Carbondale Assembly here in Tulsa, OK. I had lost track of you, but was driving to Colorado for a revival meeting 3 weeks ago and just happened to catch the last part of your radio broadcast, and it was such a lovely reminder. I’ve read and re-read your book The Jesus Style and must say again that it has impacted my life and ministry greatly.
Servant Heart Ministries
Thank you for being one of the most important teachers in my life. I wouldn’t be the pastor I am today were it not for the Style books (& The Body Style was outstanding!), the Story books and the Handbook. Not to mention the audio and video tapes that have been such a blessing to me and those the Lord has allowed me to bless. I know I wouldn’t have been that blessing were it not for you. Thank You!
I’ve been discipling a young man with a crash course in The Nature of God audio series. Our meetings have been most fruitful as we discuss what each characteristic means as Jesus demonstrated it and how we can apply it to our lives as we go out as Jesus’ hands and feet.
Have no idea what the prerequisites for “loyal listener” would be, but I have to qualify. Because of the location of the ranch house in a valley out of line of sight frequency, I sometimes have to go to the barn where the cars are kept, back mine outside and sit and listen to that radio in order to hear your Saturday program. Now, in Texas in the winter!! I classify that-a follower! However, today (14 degrees out), for some reason, a minor miracle occurred and the computer actually picked up the program and I was able to sit inside the warm house and enjoy your time. (Which I always do-house or car!!). I am SO excited.
I am also excited about the prospect that I may soon be located near Amarillo and will attend the CC church there with Pastor Bill. When God gives us a GO or REJECT then I will know if my days of hangin’ out in the barn to hear GE are over or not. Maybe so I will have a city radio like others?
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