My eyes open. Quiet and darkness envelop the house. Crawl out of bed. Tinge of disappointment that I am still here and the prophets of His coming were wrong. Clocks not working.
Feel for shoes and clothes in the quiet darkness. Hope not to awaken wife. Walk outside. Marvel at numberless stars of the desert night. Feel very small and insignificant. Talk to God about that and several other things in cool and pleasant crispness of the outdoors.
Chuckle. Must use flashlight and match to see and light stove to heat water for tea. Stare at useless microwave. Newspaper hasn’t come. Probably won’t. Don’t miss it.
By flashlight reread passage of Scripture that has taken on a new meaning to me. Start looking for the store of candles my wife keeps. Feel a little like a modern Abe Lincoln.
Fumble around in darkness to get tea poured. Sit and ponder goodness of God. Listen to quail calling. Hear unfamiliar bird. Marvel at God’s infinite variety.
Think of year past. People I met. The new ones in the kingdom. Faithful servant hearts that kept things going. My family and other dearly loved friends. Decide to call and thank some of them. No dial tone. Pray for them anyway.
Think of Brothers and Sisters in other countries who live this way all the time. Realize I am selfish and spoiled by prosperity. I am merely without lights and phone. Many under death threats. Think of some I know and pray for them.
Wonder if the millions who gathered in Israel for the "Great Event – the Second Coming" on this day are disappointed. Also wonder if they bought round trip tickets.
Dawn frees more movement. Begin laying things out for wife’s breakfast. Wonder how long food keeps in refrigerator with no electricity.
Thank God for faithful wife of 42 years. Our children. Our grandchildren. Our parents. Realize I am richest man in the world. Subdue the joy. Don’t want to awaken her.
Look in pantry and laugh. Wife has kept it full for 40 years. Probably won’t starve until at least end of the month. Feel sorry for paranoid who have year’s supply stored and are probably cleaning their guns and counting their ammunition at this very moment. Sorry that January 1 produced so much greed and hostility. Truly sorry that many have not checked their actions by the Nature of Jesus.
Think I will visit our neighbors later in the morning to see if they are OK. Wonder if more people will turn to God in the chaos. Don’t think so. It is His mercy that brings us to repentance, not our chaos.
Hear telltale sounds of slippers brushing floor. Love that sound! Welcome my wife to the day with kiss and cuddle. She flips light switch. Nothing happens. We laugh. Maybe millennium terror prophets were right. But we still have each other. We are happy.
Computer not working. Must study printed Bible. Not bad. Good familiar feel. Sit and enjoy quiet and wonder how our family is doing.
Suddenly, refrigerator begins running. Chaos over. TV reveals that a drunken New Year’s reveler in a fiery crash had severed electricity and phone connections.
Just a little techno-dreaming by Gayle Erwin.
Your sermon where Jesus asked Peter, "Do you love me?" made me laugh. In a way, it reflected my own response to Jesus: When there is sin in my life, I find it difficult to say "I love you" to him. When singing unto the Lord, I would be careful with a verse like "Jesus, I love you," and sing in my heart, "Jesus, I adore you." That’s like how you described Peter’s response, "I like you."
Your sermon helped me acknowledge that God knows what’s going on inside me and that there is still hope for his using me.
San Jose, CA
You have ministered to my life in two areas of importance. The Lord showed me that I have been operating off of fears most of my life. Your newsletter was right on time. My fears also led me to feel guilt. I allowed people to manipulate me by using fear and guilt.
Needless to say, I have severely limited my closeness to people because of these two factors, fear and manipulation or fear of manipulation. I found myself serving for the wrong reasons. I was pleasing people, calming my fears, motivated by guilt and being manipulated like crazy. There was no joy in my serving!
Your last message addressed the very question about servanthood vs. servitude. Through your message, I have stopped serving guilt and fear. I now serve the true and living God. He has added another petal to my flower.
Los Angeles, CA
What can I say that you haven’t already heard, but here goes. I come from the "usual dysfunctional" family. My biological father is a Jehovah’s Witness who has completely rejected our family. After I left the couple’s retreat you did for Delaware County, PA, my husband and I got in our car and I spent the next half-hour crying.
It wasn’t because of anything wrong in our marriage, but it was because of how you spoke of your children and wife. My grandfather was an addict, and my other grandfather died before I was born. But if I had a choice of grandparents, you sure do seem like a great one. I never get to see that kind of love from a parent. My husband and I are the only Christians in our families and we are trying desperately to show our families Jesus by our love.
Thanks for being an example for those of us who do not have close, loving, humorous parents or grandparents.
My wife Cathy and I were at your prayer seminar at Living Stream Christian Fellowship in Yucca Valley. It was so wonderful, like a grandpa telling bedtime stories...so much love in it. Grandpas are special, because they’ve been a lot of places and done a lot of things, and they know the things of lasting value (make that "everlasting" value).
We, as adults, can spend so much effort trying to be holy and righteous that we forget we are our Heavenly Father’s kids. I feel I know my Abba better now.
Morongo Valley, CA
In the prior Servant Quarters, our lead article covered the rebuilding of a pastor’s home in Kansas. In northern California, after terrible floods and fires, North Valley Calvary Chapel of Yuba City formed Craftsmen for Christ and began rebuilding and repairing homes in the name of Jesus. The miracles that occurred are awesome. Hopefully a book is coming out of the experience. -Gayle
Something that has been remarkable is seeing the staying power of those who have come to Christ through the flood and subsequent submersion in the practical love of God. More than 90% of those who came to Christ through the flood relief work are still in church today! Considering the stats for crusades, that is VERY remarkable.
My son Chris was talking to his Great Uncle Chuck on the phone in my office a couple of days ago. He has seen the transformation of many men and experienced the joy of serving others in the flood relief, random acts of kindness, Mexico missions and other serving ministries.
He told Chuck, "The Lord has called me to a life of servanthood. I am going to use the gifts He has given me to bless the lives of others. My intent in becoming a medical doctor is so that I use that skill in the mission field in a practical mission which will support also my declaration of the Gospel." If he wasn’t on the phone at the time with Chuck, I would have cried for the joy in seeing my son look more like The Servant of All.
Yuba City, CA
Your tapes on "Freedom and Bondage" and "Jesus and Family" were a real blessing today. For the past two years God has been working on our hearts about moving from New York to Wisconsin. I have been fighting Him on this because it meant leaving my blood relatives behind. Since March this year, I have had a change in heart. You can say that Jesus is the great hunter. He has my heart but He wants us to serve Him. My husband has felt the calling for Bible teaching for three years now. Jesus has been preparing the way for us.
We have finally decided to put our house on the market and told our families that we are planning on moving to Wisconsin where Jesus has been telling us to go. Well, 96% of both families are NOT saved. So, you can understand what kind of reaction we received.
After listening to the two tapes mentioned above, I realize that I have to follow Jesus. My blood family is only temporary and I need to follow Jesus. I realize now that I was under bondage with my blood family but now I feel that I am on my way to freedom.
Your way of teaching has always blessed me. I laugh so much that my face hurts but I remember and understand what your point is on the subject.
I am a professional entertainer, and I recently purchased your three books on tape, The Jesus Style, The YHWH Style and The Spirit Style to listen to in the car on the long trip home from Key West, Florida to Evergreen, Colorado. I had just written a song to thank the people of my church, Evergreen Fellowship, for all the wonderful help they gave to my family during Sally’s recent surgery for breast cancer. As I listened to The Jesus Style, it struck me how much your message paralleled the message of my song. I decided to enclose a copy of it for you.
There was no crash of thunder
No lightning in the sky
He just walked up to my door and rang the bell.
He held a plate of food out
He knew I was in need
Though He didn’t look the same, still I could tell.
I saw Jesus
I saw Jesus
He smiled at me and calmed my weary cries
In my trouble
You came running
I’m sure that I saw Jesus in your eyes.
He said that it was nothing
Then He hurried on His way
I watched Him go and then I closed the door
I thought about His Spirit
And the light that shines within
I’d never seen it shine so bright before.
I know that I cannot repay
The kindness that you’ve shown
I just thought that you would want to know.
I saw JesusÉ.
© Wayne Faust
When I went to the bookstore today for my regular fix of The Jesus Style I was distressed to find that Nelson is not printing it. What is to be done? Are there any contraband copies to be had on the black market? Will it be reprinted soon? I like to pass them out from time to time. Here is a short poem I wrote:
Rubrics and rules
Customs and culture
Dress codes and dogmas
Apologetics and apocalypses.
In the answer
To the question:
Who is this Jesus?
Your brother John
By now you know that ample copies of The Jesus Style are available through Yahshua Publishing. Simply call 1-888-321-0077 and order thousands. Inform your friends and local book stores. -Gayle
As a home-schooling mom, I can easily give in to the fear that I am not doing enough or that I am failing my children, especially as they get older. I know that this is something God has called us to do and he reminded me today in one of your tapes that our success or failure in this adventure is limited only by whose ability I choose to rely on. When it is mine, I know I won’t get very far and there will be no lasting fruit.
When I trust in God, His ability is limitless and His faithfulness never ends. He will produce the beautiful, lasting fruit we desire in our children. Our ultimate goal: "That He himself might come to have first place in everything." Col. 1:18b.
When I sat under your teaching in Hawaii at Youth With A Mission, I think I focused most on your tremendous sense of humor, but I realized that you had a relationship with the Lord that I needed and wanted. You have remained in my thoughts all these years.
Now, after hearing you at The Cove, Billy Graham’s Training Center, I realize why I have not forgotten. You know the Word so well along with that relationship that you can minister the love of Christ so much that we know God will always do whatever is necessary to maintain that relationship.
So, I have decided to give you another chance next year at The Cove to get your act together.
San Diego, CA
I am a good friend of Frank Smith from California (We spent a bit of time in the slammer together over our objections to the abortion industry). I have become a fan of yours since I read The Jesus Style. It is one of the two most influential books (other than the Bible) that I have read in the last ten or twenty years. The other is Yancey’s The Jesus I Never Knew.
We now live in Arkansas from which place we do what we see the Lord calling us to do (stay out of jail is one). We parted with the more radical elements in the pro-life movement when they got to be a social and political movement instead of a prophetic voice to the church. I am glad because I see that course has led some to violence and completely away from the gospel. I felt some strong temptations in that respect myself for a time.
I think that the only thing worth doing any more is evangelism and discipling.
John and Dianne Gill
Little Rock, AR
YOU WILL THANK ME
David Guzik, a pastor in Simi Valley, CA, has produced an outstanding verse-by-verse commentary on the New Testament on CD ROM. It is most usable and informative. You can order it from Servant Quarters for $20.00.
I WILL THANK YOU
In the course of this year, awesome comments, sometimes only slyly mentioned, inform me that people pray for Servant Quarters every day. If, as you read my schedule, you wonder how it can be done, now you know. An army with unstoppable weapons stands ahead of me clearing the way.
I see the results constantly: travel ease and mercies, consistent health, boundless energy, amazing opportunities, phenomenal friends, effective message. I could go on and on.
If there is one thing I want from you as a reader, it is that you will, when you think of me, pray that God will be in charge of my life. Thank you.
Many, for reasons I cannot comprehend, express their generosity in additional ways that keep us solvent in the world’s goods. Others share their time and energies on site. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
I truly believe that I am the most blessed man in the world.
— Gayle Erwin
This is our final issue for 1998.
In behalf of the staff of Servant Quarters – David and Audrey Bjur, Clyde Erwin and Gayle and Ada Erwin – we truly pray that your life is filled with reasons to enjoy Thanksgiving and that the presence of Christ makes this Christmas the best one ever.
Servant Quarters is a newsletter and ministry dedicated to teaching the Nature of Jesus. This is done by travel speaking, books and other writing, tapes and radio.
This newsletter is free for the asking, but we make two promises to our subscribers. First, we will never sell or give your name to anyone. Second, you will not receive any form of fundraising letters from us. Call us if you need more information.