Gayle Erwin’s Newsletter
Halloween looms a week away as I write this and a hoard of “takers” will hit the streets. In Detroit, historically, a hoard of destroyers attempt to burn the city on that night. Although I enjoy the cuteness of our neighbor’s children when they knock on the door, I marvel at how appropriately the actions relate to the holiday. This is the night dedicated to the devils, witches, hobgoblins, etc., and all those things designed to frighten and unsettle. They are “takers” all.
One and two months later, Thanksgiving and Christmas bring an entirely different mood. Thanksgiving, a totally Christian type of holiday, recognizes that someone greater than all of us provided for us and we gladly honor Him with the words “Thank You.” Christmas carries the Christian theme further and we shop feverishly in order to give, give, give as we celebrate the birth of our Savior. How appropriate!
If you wish to reduce characteristics to the simplest terms, God is a giver and Satan is a taker. Jesus describes Satan and his ilk in stark terms: thief, killer, destroyer. Mindsets and even religions built around such greed and taking simply declare who their father and god truly is.
On the other hand, look at the true God’s characteristics:
God so loved the world that he gave….”
“ I will give you the keys to the kingdom….”
“… I will give you rest.”
“… whatever is right I will give you.”
“… the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”
“ To give knowledge of salvation….”
“ To give light to those who sit in darkness….”
“… I give you the authority….”
“… how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit (Also, ‘good things’) to those who ask Him!”
“… whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst.”
“… everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you….”
“ And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish.”
“… He will give you another Helper….”
“ My peace I give to you…”
“… you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”
“… abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness.”
“… the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
“ Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!”
“ Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights….”
“ For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God….”
“… to many blind He gave sight.”
“ He led captivity captive, And gave gifts to men.”
“… gave Himself a ransom for all….”
Overwhelming, isn’t it.
God did not approach this world with an offer to negotiate, only to give. I love the celebrations that surround Him.
However, I rejoice in the places where churches redeem Halloween with harvest gatherings that are safe and where the gospel is carefully shared. Some of these church gatherings have gained community approval and are attended by thousands. At these gatherings, we supplant the taking with giving.
The very nature of our Lord who so freely gave to us, prompts, even demands, that we continue in that spirit.
“ Freely you have received, freely give.”
“ As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another….”
“ He took the seven loaves and the fish and gave thanks, broke them and gave them to His disciples; and the disciples gave to the multitude.”
Generosity will always guide the heart of the follower of Jesus.
-Gayle D. Erwin
My 15-year-old daughter and I heard your Saturday morning message on the Calvary satellite station here in Snellville, Georgia.
Among other things, this message included the story of the sick man whose four friends lowered him down through the roof to Jesus and also the story where Jesus met Levi. We actually sat in my truck for another 20 minutes in a store parking lot so we could hear the rest of the message. Any time a preacher, especially one on the radio, can hold my daughter’s attention to the point where she is in no hurry to go shopping.....well, let’s just say it doesn’t happen often. Okay, let’s just say it doesn’t happen!
I looked on your web site at the list of messages, but I couldn’t tell which one was the one we heard Saturday. Is there a way you could identify it for me so I can order the video. (Yes. Jesus vs. The Pharisees.) Now that “it has happened,” I want to encourage her as much as I can to listen and hear as much as she can. Thank you for your help with this. And thank you for your ministry and the impact you have already had on my daughter.
Came home two nights ago, put my head on the steering wheel and said “God, I give up.” Walked in the house, took a look at the mail and the first thing I saw was your newsletter with “When You Give Up”. You and your material have been such a blessing to me. THANKS!
My son is in a Rehab and Living Center. He is a new Christian and loves the Lord. He was in a coma from diabetes two years ago last January. He has come a long way since then but has had some setbacks recently.
He cannot see well but listens to his cassette tape player a lot. I listen to your program, The Jesus Style, while I travel between clients on my job as a Home Health Aide. The one thing that I especially like about your program is that you teach the Bible in a way that would appeal to him and in such a way that he could really understand. I would love to make it possible for him to receive some of your tapes and to become more informed with the “Word” to help him with his walk with the Lord.
I’m for the e-mail version of Servant Quarters! I remember way back to the early 80’s when Gayle did it in a large 8.5 x 11 format that he mailed out when he was still at a church near West Covina. I love this rag, but let’s do the cultural communication paradigm shift, save the postage and paper, and e-mail the thing. Please tell Gayle that Frank and Carolyn Cothran send a hearty South Carolina hello.
Just a thought to send your way...do you think that Judas left the table before Jesus presented Communion or do you think he partook of the cup and bread before leaving to betray Jesus? I think the verse in Luke 22:21 gives the perspective that Judas had not left yet when the Lord’s Supper was served in verses 14 to 20. The other Gospel accounts seem ambiguous on this question. Your article on communion seems to be focused on letting the Lord decide, not man, if someone is to be allowed to partake. Jack Hayford has preached that “Whosoever will, may come”, but when editing the Spirit Filled Bible, his notes put verse 22 out of order with the rest of the text. Does the Greek give cause for re-arranging the verse? I think that some people try to protect God from man when they limit access to the Lord’s Supper.
Thank you for your loving service to all of us. Your newsletter is a welcomed addition to our home whenever it arrives.
John W. Howard
Your Christian humor is very much needed in this world of heaviness and I have been blessed by your ministry.
Yesterday, got your latest newsletter. I read these from cover to cover. We heard you in person at a Couple’s Retreat about four years ago. We were so blessed and signed up for your newsletter at that time and have been blessed and encouraged with each letter. We also have heard you at CCCM many times and “The Jesus Style” was your message.
I read your schedule and pray God will continue to be your strength and peace.
and Dave Shafer
The last time Gayle was at Merritt Island, he replaced a defective #1 video tape with a set of four. Thank you for that kindness. It makes you think of Jesus, doesn’t it! I have the first 22 video tapes and I use them in the Brevard County Jail in my discipleship classes. As a volunteer (asst) chaplain, I have the opportunity for one-on-one and a more personal relationship than many volunteers. The teaching of these tapes has a definite impact on these guys. Some are Christians that have strayed or just do not know what Christ expects of them or the advantages they have in Christ.
Cocoa Beach, FL
We went up to my parents’ house for Father’s Day this year. First time to spend Father’s Day with my Dad in years. My Dad has started going to church again. He has been out of church for many years and now he has finally gone to church about five weeks in a row. We were able to go to church on Father’s Day together. It was so special to me. The minister did a great job challenging the men to stand up and be good leaders.
At the end of his sermon he said that he wanted to read us a story that he had seen on the internet. He said that it was written by Gayle Erwin. Dave and I looked at each other with such surprise. It was so good to hear from you on Father’s Day while we were in church with my Mom and Dad for the first time in years. He read the story about you and your brothers standing at your Father’s casket saying that you will follow your Dad’s example by following Jesus.
Thank you so much.
South San Francisco
(David is a parishioner from way back in the mid sixties.)
Servant Quarters, Vol. 23 #4
Available by request by e-mail or by post.
PO Box 219
Cathedral City, CA 92235
After seven years of profitable work for Servant Quarters, we sadly bid goodbye to Dave and Audrey Bjur. Audrey’s voice meets many of you when you call our number and I receive frequent compliments on her helpfulness. Dave has woven our office together with his computer skills and produced our daily and weekly radio programs as well as traveled with me all over the USA as a co-worker. They return to Idaho and we will miss them.