Gayle Erwin's Newsletter

May, June 1997 Newsletter


Since God wraps his actions toward us in a blanket of mercy, grace and forgiveness, it naturally follows that He would expect his representatives to show the same attitude to others. In Deuteronomy 10, after the amazing debauchery of the Israelites, a debauchery that came close to causing their obliteration, God sets apart the tribe of Levi (because of their choice to be on God's team) to serve him in the Tabernacle and Temple.

God sets them apart to carry the Ark of the Covenant, to stand before Him to minister and, amazingly, to bless the Israelites in His Name. Amazing because one would expect to have the Levites set apart to warn and threaten the people in His Name. Instead, God wants the people blessed. Gods don't come any greater than that.

That very command should guide the attitude and pronouncements of every pulpit in the world and permeate the conversations of every Christian. Unfortunately, it is rarely so.

To avoid any confusion about how this is to be done, God directs Moses to tell Aaron and his sons exactly how to bless the Israelites. In Numbers 6, he spells it out:

The Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you. The Lord lift up his countenance on you and give you peace.

Protection, grace, peace--all from the Face (Jesus) of God. Blessings don't come any better than that. God ends that command by telling us that this blessing will place the name of God on the one being blessed. Power doesn't come any stronger than that.

The Apostle Paul informs us that God has not wearied in his desire to bless us, so now we are blessed with all spiritual blessings in Christ Jesus. No blessings remain any greater than that. So we are a blessed and blessing people. May we go on the attack, blessing people.

Interestingly enough, I hear many people using the word Mizpah as a blessing from the place where Uncle Laban, after chasing a thieving Nephew Jacob, stated, "The Lord watch between me and you while we are apart from each other." Though this sounds to our ears like a blessing, Laban was actually saying, "God will be the policeman to watch you, you scoundrel, when I can't see you." So, if someone says Mizpah to you, you might want to seek clarification.

In the meantime, the Lord bless you….

— Gayle D. Erwin


Dear Gayle,

Two years ago this fall, you were at Applegate Christian Fellowship in Ruch, Oregon. I was brand new with this "new and plugged-in walk with the Lord," even though I had been saved for 10 years. You taught that "if you want to find the treasure, ya gotta dig where its at!"

That Mountain Top Retreat was life changing for me. I wrote and told you that I had come down off the mountain a changed man. In short time, I sold all my guns, quit hunting and made my relationship with Jesus my priority. I started digging where the treasure is at!

Though all my many hunting buddies thought I was nuts, with even some brothers "advising" me to keep a few of my guns and so on "just in case I changed my mind." (haha) I sold everything and have never once looked back! Today, my marriage (22 years) is strong in the Lord, our family is strong in the Lord and our two teenage daughters are plugged in to Jesus good and solid. And all because I, as husband and dad, started digging where the treasure is at. Praise God!

Steve Walls
Hornbrook, CA

Gayle, I am not sure I have ever asked you about the Joshua books by Father Joseph Girzone. Last night I attended a book signing for him in Atlanta. If you are not familiar with these books, they are novels in which Jesus returns to contemporary Western society. He knows the same Jesus you and I know and you teach. I know of no other teacher who is so similar to you in outlook.

Last night he was asked how he came to write the first Joshua book. He replied, "It took my entire life to write it." He told us he spent his priesthood from his earliest days asking one question, "What would Jesus do?" He immersed himself constantly in the gospels. He explained that he is waging subtle warfare with church hierarchies of all denominations because, "The church in all its denominations does not treat people very well."

He quoted a woman who told him, "The Catholics worship the church, and the Protestants worship the Bible. Damn few ever meet Jesus." All of his books have just been placed in the Vatican Library. His next book will be a straight-forward treatment of the Jesus from the gospels. He has been told to prepare to get in serious trouble.

I feel very strongly the two of you need to meet. He is the only other man besides you that I have ever known who has totally dedicated himself to understanding the thoughts and lifestyle of Jesus, and he mirrors you in so many ways. I suppose that is because you both mirror Jesus.

My time with him left me reeling. Some things seem to be coming clearer from day to day, and sitting listening to him with twenty other people was a powerful experience. It is so easy in business to lose sight of Jesus. I am going to change the direction of my devotionals beginning today to reflect directly on Jesus.

Mike Nelson
Atlanta, GA

We have found that one of the best ways to keep warm here in our state (even in what is supposed to be spring), is to invite some friends over and watch some of our favorite Gayle Erwin videos!!

The laughter and the spiritual nourishment keeps us going even when the skies are gray and the temperatures refuse to rise much above freezing!! To that end please send us another set of videos. Thanks for making it so easy to share a little of our spiritual heritage with our new friends here in our state.

God has been doing some awesome stuff in our midst during the recent weeks, some of which you heard about in our friend Rich's story. Things are starting to get exciting around here. It is so cool how God works. The biggest blessing has been that this is ALL His doing. It all goes so much better when we just get out of the way and give Him the freedom to what HE wants to do. Your video series on the nature of Jesus has already born powerful fruit in just two short weeks in our friends' lives. Yea God!

On a personal note, I wanted to share with you how God has used you in my life. We originally moved here about 5 years ago to be part of a church planting. I was the worship leader. Well, things didn't get off to a good start and got worse from there. The end result was a parting of the ways and a whole lot of emotional pain and disillusionment that has dogged me until quite recently. I have struggled with bitterness at having been abandoned by friends and the support network I once held dear.

The good news is, through it all, when I came very close to turning my back on all that had been my church experience for the last 20 some years, well...I couldn't lump you in with the rest. The reason is so obvious to me now as I sit here writing.

Thank you for being there to faithfully peel away all of the layers of man-made "stuff" that we are so good at piling on the simple message of Jesus Christ. I still have the copy of The Jesus Style in which you scribbled your name some 13 or 14 years ago in Big Bear Lake, CA. That book reminds me now, as it did then, that this Christian thing really is doable.

Thanks again, Gayle, on behalf of myself, my family, and my friends who for maybe the first time are discovering the difference between religion and relationship. May God give you many more years of health and opportunities.

Some Friends

I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed your message on the Keys to the Kingdom at CC Finger Lakes yesterday. I have read those verses many times before, but I'm sure I'll always "SEE" them differently now...thanks for the eye opener.

Sue Fedoryshyn
Farmington, NY

Recently we had the opportunity to hear the ministering of a fellow they called "Gayle Erwin." Well, we were impressed to say the least! The usual "pomp and circumstance" that one would normally associate with church was thrown completely out of the window!

We, and others, realized that just because we are in the house of the Lord a sermon doesn't have to be boring. I am British and with the strict upbringing I received from my parents I was almost afraid to go to church in the US because beliefs differ. I started to go to a Catholic church with my wife (we were married in a Catholic church) but it was tough to understand what was going on and what I should be doing at any given time.

So, following a friend's encouragement, we attended the Calvary Chapel and my wife and I are much more at ease and our children are learning and understanding easier.

We thank you for your interest in our small town. Your methods of teaching are like a breath of fresh air, we look forward to your next visit.

The Cobb Family
Gardnerville, Nevada.

As I sat in my office on a cold wintery day, I came across your internet site and had to take a peek. As the snow falls outside and the wind howls, I find my heart being warmed on a chilly day by your insightful humor, and my spirit being edified by your nourishing articles. Thanks for providing this site. I plan to visit often and glean from the wisdom God has given you.

Bryan Richardson
White Mountains, AZ

We were truly blessed by your visit to Kiev. I am continually reminded of your message through my two boys, even today, one month after you shared with us. Aaron was quoting you this morning while playing by himself. . . . "s l o w to anger, abounding in mercy" with all the expressions you used. Aaron is only 4 and remembers what you said. Jonny, who is l0, was quoting you concerning what people think of Jesus. "Some think He glows in the dark, so find the one who glows in the dark." Jonny can do the whole thing from memory. I was taught in earlier years in school that a good speaker teaches so that even a child can understand. You qualify! Both boys were quoting you today separately. How can we ever forget you? We love you!

George and Pam Markey
Kiev, Ukraine

When you were in Spokane, I had just been baptized and came for the entire weekend. You have such a way of bringing the word down to a level that I can understand it. God really is working through you to get the Gospel out into the world. Oh, by the way, your article on "Jake" was a great story. Hard to keep the tears away.

Jodi Brodrick
Spokane, Washington

My mother and I enjoyed our time with you very much. Ada, thank you especially for taking the time to talk with my mother after the service. Long ago, my parents took us to the --- Church in town to try to help us be more "American." They stopped going after they heard an elder telling another man that he didn't want "those people" there. So your kindness to my mother went a long way; she's very sensitive to real acceptance, true interest, genuine caring.

We watched three of the four Israel tapes. The countryside looked so lovely. Nice framing. I was especially struck by the arm. It took me a while to figure out what the arm was doing, but then I realized it was holding an umbrella. As the devotions went on, I kept watching that arm. It was quiet. Sometimes, it unobtrusively switched with another arm. And the man to whom it was attached did nothing, said nothing, just stood there switching arms when one was tired. He didn't sing or move around, nod, or shout "Amen!" He didn't even sit down.

It was one of the best illustrations of servanthood I've seen. What did he get for it? The best position, close to the teacher, keeping him and his Book dry. And he didn't miss a word.

I like my tee shirts, but I think you should design one with the characteristics listed on the front, printed upside down so I can read them myself.

Carolyn Wing Greenlee
Kelseyville, CA

The arm belonged to David Guzik, pastor of Simi Valley Calvary Chapel in California.

We are both retired from our careers and working to get everything back in shape around our house. I put off more things than I thought knowing that I would be retiring. Our plan is to be involved in helps-type ministries (RV type or whatever). I am going with a missionary down to Ecuador to take some videos to be used later to put together a short presentation on a couple of specific needs. Thanks for all you have given us from the Lord.

Ed and Marge Schwartz
Auburn, CA

Ed and Marge have supported Servant Quarters for years.

Do you remember being in Tuapse, Russia in 1992 to teach in the first Discipleship Training School in Russia? Well, there is a small church here now that YWAM started. I'm here for a week teaching them a seminar. They requested that I teach your material on the Jesus Style. Servant leadership is a real need here as it is everywhere. Teaching this material put me in mind of you again.

Bob Lanning
Bedford, TX

As of Friday afternoon, April 4, your program is being heard in the Syracuse, NY area on translator W278AH, 103.5 FM. The news is all good. The signal is being heard over a bigger area than the numbers said it would. Believers calling in and praising God that they can now hear the "Calvary Style" of teaching and the music of praise and worship. Thanks for ministering with us.

R. G. Van Ingen, WZXV
Farmington, NY

My gratitude to you, especially for the story of the meanest man in town who answered the altar call in your young days. I use it and many others in my ministry. I have forgiven you for just talking to the women last year at Applegate. I hear you on KAPL.

Lee Holley
Jacksonville, OR