Not Many Mighty, 200 pages of encouragement and insight on the kind of people God uses. You may have to view your Bible heroes in a new light, but that new view will place you in a brighter light. You can order it by mail (Box 219, Cathedral City, CA 92235) or by e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) or by phone (1-888-321-0077 toll free) for a $12 donation post paid.
As a bonus for this issue, we are sharing the first chapter of Not Many Mighty, our newest book which is now available.
Few people view Adam as a hero, but his record was as good as anyone else’s. He was the original, the “image of God” man. His home? A perfect gated community! His opportunities? Limitless! His achievement? Walking with God. His challenge? A phenomenal tree called the Tree of Life whose fruit granted eternal life! His courtship? Not a moment of struggle! His wife? Especially made for him by God! Their wardrobe? Empty but adequate! Food? Varied and limitless! Surely there were billions of trees in that perfect garden—all of them edible. Life could not be better.
Capping off that perfect life, God asked only that Adam and Eve tend the garden and follow one rule, only one. Avoid one tree in the middle of the garden—the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, because if you eat of it you will die. So, out of billions of trees, all edible, only one was to be avoided. What a simple rule. No ten commandments, no list of curses, no complex set of laws. Only one rule: Don’t eat from that tree!
Two problems clouded that issue. First, God created man with the power of choice. That power must have been the “image of God” in creation. I doubt that God was short, plump and bald as I am. But our highest capability is that of choice. So, to exercise that image, God presented the choice.
Second, the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil was probably the most beautiful one in the garden—at least it’s fruit looked the best. Perhaps it was chocolate covered. At any rate, the next thing we see, Adam and Eve sitting under that tree, observing and wondering. Perhaps they were asking themselves why God would keep them from the best looking tree. Perhaps they were thinking that God didn’t love them to treat them this way. Perhaps the prospect of the knowledge of evil titillated them as much as it does humans today.
Whenever we ask, “Why would God…?” Satan loves to join the conversation. He is a theologian, you know. His appearances in Scripture are proof. I think he must have been a seminary graduate. I think I know which seminary. Well, you know the rest. Their best logic failed them. They ate and changed swiftly from their joyous former status.
Now they knew shame. Now they hid from God. Now they were ejected from the garden. Now no access to the Tree of Life. Now the ground that had been their friend became their enemy. Now Adam had to dig, scratch and scrape. He fought thorns, thistles and broccoli (whoops). Now he listened after nine months to the painful screams of Eve as children were born. What a shame. After all, it was only one rule. He couldn’t claim, “I forgot.” All he had was the simple Word of God, but he failed. We have followed his example ever since.
But God did not forget him. Eden provided an excellent picture of grace and the promises of God provided a grace-filled future.
As an additional note, I recently read articles about the condition doctors describe as being a “savant.” A savant exhibits phenomenal ability in a certain area (usually musical or mathematical) while being autistic or retarded otherwise. I pondered whether Adam and Eve might have been savants in all areas with phenomenal knowledge and capabilities, while lacking in only one area. Hmm. As they say, “go figure.”
— Gayle Erwin
Many of you inquired, during a time of transition when some radio stations were changing style or hands, where you could now hear my radio program. I have good news for you if you have internet access. Each week, as the program is aired Saturday at 7 am Pacific time, you will be able to download the message from our Web site, www.servant.org, and listen at your leisure, or share if you wish. It comes as what they call a “podcast” and you can subscribe to automatically download whenever you bring up iTunes on your computer. iTunes is available free to download from our Web site. All of our podcasts are available free.
In addition to the radio program, you can also subscribe to our podcast called “A Story a Day.” Here, the stories from Gayle’s books as well as stories you haven’t heard yet will be sent to you.
We have a third podcast which is a weekly one called “One-String Guitar.” That podcast will also download automatically when you open iTunes on your computer. This is the most current podcast as I share thoughts and events and updates that we hope will interest you.
We have a few places left for our March 5-16 Israel trip and have extended the deadline. If you are interested, please call us at 1-888-321-0077.
So many excellent books and CDs await review that I have decided to make that part of my “One-String Guitar” podcast. So, if you want the latest info, then subscribe. It is simple. Go to our Web page, www.servant.org, and follow the instructions.
I just looked at your site for updates and a chuckle on your humor page. Since I am on a tight calorie restriction I really needed “Calorie Chapel” today!
We took some classes at Joshua Springs Bible College and found a calling in CEF (Child Evangelism Fellowship) so we are starting a Good News Club at the local public school. We both love working with children.
I wish someday I could meet you again. I can’t promise I’ll not cry again. I am choked up now just thinking of meeting you again. The emotions run so deep. I don’t want to ever forget what God brought me out from. As He brought Israel out of bondage in Egypt, He brought me out of incredible darkness. I don’t want to ever forget that. Freedom is worth dying for, yet He gives us life. Jesus used you to write that book to save my life. I’ll never forget that.
Gayle, I know God gets the glory in this because I hear you talk about being “one of us” on The Jesus Style radio program but I want to thank you. I laugh even thinking of your messages, and that’s God’s gift to the body through you.
It’s good to have you in prison, Gayle. We are now running The Jesus Style program five days each week on the two prison radio stations operated here in North Carolina. Right now, you are between Pastor Geoff Brede and Pastor Chuck Smith. (You’ll need to submit a request if you want another bunk.) These messages are being used to change men’s lives.
Free In Christ Prison Ministries
I’m greatly rejoicing that you now have podcasts! Though we get CSN here, I am rarely able to hear you and am so glad to have access to your teachings. Just this morning I loaded up my iPod and took my walk while listening to Psalm 84. It was perfect timing. Once again, God has used you to speak to me, thank you (again).
(transplanted from Philly to Albrightsville, PA)
About a month ago, I ran into you at Calvary Chapel Redlands with my new husband, Isaiah. I recall being successful in taking you down “memory lane” when I reminded you of a time years ago you spoke at Calvary Chapel Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, agreed to dinner at an associate pastor’s house that night, and cheerfully ate unintentionally burned clam chowder! I am that pastor’s daughter, who since moved to Cedar City, Utah, where my father continued the work needed for a pastor of a Calvary Chapel there.
This upcoming school year will begin my fourth year as a teacher, but my first year as “Mrs. Springer” since I married Isaiah exactly one month ago. My husband purchased a copy of The Jesus Style. After all this association with your ministry, I’m finally reading your book! What a breath of fresh air...there’s nothing quite like returning to the basics of simply serving as Jesus did!
Just a moment ago, I came across a quote on page 70: “If the old cliché—those who can, do; those who can’t, teach—were true, there would be no teaching because teaching is guided doing.”
I really liked the profound simplicity of that statement. As a Christian, I completely embrace it’s meaning in context. My question is this: would you be all right with my quoting it/using it in my classroom with my freshmen this year?
As a Christian teacher who still feels as if she is “just starting out” in her career, I am always looking for ways to make this current school year better than the last. The first day or two sets the tone for the rest of the year. After reading your quote, I believe using it in one of my first lessons would be impacting for these young people, many of whom come from families that may have a high school diploma, and most of whom have no college education.
Education certainly doesn’t define a person or how successful she or he will be...Jesus Himself proved this to us. But God has placed me in the education system; in order to love this job, you have to die to self every day. I truly wish the best future for these kids, and if God chooses to use their education to bless them with that, then so be it. I’m just blessed to be a part in any way I can. I would appreciate being able to quote you.
Isaiah & Jennifer Springer
(You are more than welcome to use the quote. Gayle)
I am reading your book, The Jesus Style, again, and I just thought I ought to write you. As a young evangelist, and later as D-CAP (state youth director) in the Mississippi District of the A/G, I preached for your dad often in Pascagoula. He made a great positive and eternal impact on my life. We shared a passion for flying. I remember his tragic accident. I also conducted meetings almost annually for your uncle, Jimmie Mayo, at Washington Street Assembly in Atlanta. Your book was and is still a great inspiration, and I recommend it often. Its message is so needed in this day of “cotton candy” preaching, and the “What’s in it for me?” attitude of many believers. I am now retired (for the fourth time), eighty-four years old, and rearing and home schooling an adopted 12-year-old grandson. I want you to know how glad I am that you are carrying on the legacy of your wonderful parents. Your dear dad used to awaken me praying and interceding for his flock. He had a shepherd heart and a servant attitude. Your mother was a Lady with a capital L, “but Oh, so tough!” How I admired her. We love and appreciate you and your ministry.
[Rev.] Phil Johnson
I attended SCC in 1978 with your daughter, Gloria. We both were aides at Fountain Valley high school ( I think that was the name) and you were my favorite teacher. That ought to make your day! My husband and I are living in India for 2 years. He is helping set up a joint venture company with his company, Cooperative Resources International, and The National Dairy Development Board of India.
God has such a sense of humor. My husband bred cows for 13 years in Northern Wisconsin and we raised our 3 children in the country just like we planned. We looked at each other 3 years ago as our youngest was graduating high school and said, “well we have achieved all our goals, live in the country and raise good kids that love the Lord.” We decided that we should have a few more goals.
When the opening came up with his company to go to India, we both felt like God had told us to go. So here we are living in a city of 6 million and Dean is the COO of one of the largest artificial breeding companies in the world in a country that doesn’t eat beef and worships cows. We have been here one year and God has been amazing as day after day we have seen his hand.
I have a lot of time on my hands (that God fills) but one day I decided to see if I could get your book The Jesus Style and of course Amazon had a great deal on some used ones so I ordered them and picked them up when I was home last month.
This evening when I was googleing some other things I decided to put your name and see what came up. I laughed when the first thing was your Web site and the great picture of you. You haven’t changed a bit. I am enjoying your books ( I also ordered The Body Style). And I can just hear you teaching the very same things in my Christian Living class almost 30 years ago. Keep playing that one-string guitar. Everyone thinks cows brought us to India but we know it was God. He is doing amazing things here and we are so grateful to see what God is doing. The Christians here are so dedicated and love Jesus.
Thanks for being such a good teacher.
Jayne (Darocsi ) Gilge
I just wanted to share with you that after over 20 years of having thought myself a Christian, the Lord, through you (your books and seminar), convicted me to take a deeper look. For the first time I saw Jesus as approachable!
I come from what I believe is a works-based cult (known as the Bruderhof). For years I have struggled to sift through the twisted Scripture of my childhood. I am reading through your Style books and have been blessed.
Only one thing holds me back from being totally free in Him. That is acceptance of His grace. The little boy that grew up in the cult never knew unconditional love. He cannot fully grasp the unconditional love of our Abba father. The adult can grasp the concepts, and wants with all his heart to accept His undeserved mercy and grace!
I ask for your prayers that the little boy and the adult can receive Him and His love, that they can be held in the arms of a loving God and be healed once and for all. I long to be about His business!
A beggar seeking His Bread
You have spoken at our church (Calvary Chapel Ft. Lauderdale/Pastor Bob Coy) numerous times and I have always enjoyed you. Tonight, I’m sitting up half the night reading all your articles on your site.
I enjoy your program so much as I listen to it on the way to work. I find myself laughing as I drive because of your humor. It helps me before I go in and start my shift. It is such a blessing and inspiration to me. You make the program very enjoyable. Your humor is wonderful. You bring a new perspective to religious teaching. I wish more teachers could be like you. I listen to channel 91.7 from Bowling Green, Kentucky.
As Christmas Approaches...
Our hearts turn to you, our friends, with the desire that this be your best time ever with Jesus.
Gayle and Ada Erwin
Dave and Audrey Bjur
1. Go to a second-hand store and buy a pair of men’s used size 14 work boots.
2. Place them on your front porch, along with a copy of Guns and Ammo magazine.
3. Put a giant dog dish next to the boots and magazine.
4. Leave a note on your door that reads, “Hey Bubba—Big Mike and I went for more ammunition. Back in an hour. Don’t mess with the pit bulls. Better wait outside. They attacked the mailman this morning and messed him up pretty bad. I locked all four of them in the house.
I just bought a new gas weed-eater.
I first bought an electric one but it burned out, so Lowes gave me my money back. I almost wish I had not found another one after this morning.
Hot here in Tennessee! About 96 today and humid.
When I went to Korea last year, they warned me about heat and humidity. I found it not as bad as Tennessee.
So, having the day off, I was going to clean out some areas that weren’t clean. I have rarely worked so hard. I would have to stop and sit awhile, then I would wipe my face with a bandanna. It seemed to go on forever.
But finally after a lot of sweat and effort, I, at last, got it started.
Servant Quarters, Vol. 26, #2
Available by request by e-mail or by post.
PO Box 219
Cathedral City, CA 92235