If you are looking for my examination of the uncut Cultures of Revolution video, click on this link to go to the MAVI MARMARA report.
Here we are at the start of a new year and one month has already zipped by. Time doesn't march; it gallops. To youth, it seems to crawl, because youth tends to focus on having fun, and fun doesn't seem to come fast enough when one is anticipating it. In later years, the focus seems to be more on significance. At least, it does in my case, and I wonder how much of what I have done in my life will matter 100 years from now. I'm not talking about having fame. I am talking about impacting lives for the better, which will, in turn, impact other lives for the better.
Very few people outside of her own family ever heard of my grandmother, but she had a deep influence on my life. My mother went through a period of time where she could not look after my brother and sister and I, so Grandma took us in under her very capable wings. She provided us with a stable home life and it was a happy time living with her. When family troubles put us into foster homes in our teens, I longed for that time when I lived with my grandmother, for her wholesome example and guidance and care. It was like a homing device that helped bring me to the Lord.
Kids might go astray for a while, but if they have had godly influence in their early life, they have something clean and pure to provide them with a contrast to the sordidness of the world. In my teens, I eventually pushed my wholesome memories aside because I wanted to taste forbidden fruit. I thought I would never have anyone to love and care for me again like my grandmother had, and that filled me with hopelessness. I wanted to get what enjoyment I could out of life, while it lasted. But prayers my grandmother prayed in her lifetime reached beyond the grave and drew my heart, beckoning me away from the rocky shores of self–will to let Yehoshua have control of my life.
It was wonderful how memories of the Bible came rushing back into my mind when I surrendered my heart to the Lord and received Jesus as my Saviour. It wasn't just what I heard my grandmother teach that came flooding back, but also what I learned in my mother's home and the church she took us to, regardless that I still had a lot of issues with the mistakes my parents made.
God has brought me to a place where I really don't care that much anymore about the mistakes my parents made. I've gotten quite a bit of stuff sorted out by now, in regards to what they did wrong and what would have been a better way to handle things, so that I don't pass all the same mistakes on to my children and grandchildren. I have a more compassionate view of people who were not equipped to do a better job, and I appreciate that my mother really did try to do her best. I don't think that my father and stepfather cared as much and tried as hard, but I am thankful for the good that they did do, and that things were not worse.
God is more than willing and able to be the Mom and Dad to us that our parents were not capable of being. The Bible says in Psalm 27:10, "When my father and my mother forsake me, then the LORD will take me up." This Scripture was a lifeline to me in my teens, and every decade since, because there were many times when I wished that my parents understood, accepted, and appreciated me, though my views and goals differed from theirs.
Even when they are no longer around, their tapes play in our heads, as we consider how our parents would view our decisions and activities, and would find us lacking. The only really effective way to erase those tapes is to develop an spiritually intimate relationship with God and care more about what He says about us, than what our parents would say. Being in Christ, and highly aware of His love, is how we can become authentically secure in this world. The more we receive of God's love, which is always being extended to us, the more confident and loving we become, and more able to forgive others for letting us down.
I am happy to have come across the ministry of BETH MOORE. I never heard of her until a couple of weeks ago, and I sure am glad that the Internet gives me the opportunity to hear some of her teaching. I gather from Beth that her childhood would make a lot of other people's childhood troubles seem like a picnic, though she doesn't go into much detail. Suffice it to say that she suffered sexual abuse at such a young age that she can't remember the first time it happened. It was just always part of her early life. She states that God made her for this generation, a generation that is willing to talk about sexual abuse and address the issues, rather than her mother's generation that kept it hidden, while they rotted inside from unresolved shame.
The matter of openness is one of the areas where my mother and I have diverging points of view. I recall many years ago that she complained about a girl in an Alliance church, who testified in a Bible study meeting about how God had delivered her out of satanism. My mother was aghast that the girl admitted that she had been involved in such a thing before she was saved and was very critical about her sharing it in a public meeting. I was equally aghast at my mother's attitude. I figured, "Man! I can't blame that girl for being so happy to have been delivered out of such horrible bondage that she wants to tell the world what Jesus did for her." They who are forgiven much, love much. They care more about giving God glory than they do about their reputation.
I don't think that a person has to go into all the dirty details of what they did when they were involved in sin, but it is helpful to tell about some of those of things. Most people have no acquaintance with it, and we need to have some idea of the pain that survivors of RSA experience, to help us be more patient with them and not expect as much of them as we do of others, or, at least, not as quickly.
I recall a woman in a church that I attended some years ago. She really offended me. She was so abrupt and rude. Then one day when some friends and I were having lunch with her, she told us about how she had been abused as a child. Her mother was a prostitute, and when she washed her little girl's hair, she rinsed it with boiling water. The child's stepfather took her from her mother and his mother helped raise her. There was more abuse, though not as severe as the natural mother's. She talked about how she became a prostitute herself and, therefore, vulnerable to whatever satanists wanted to do to her. She told us about some of the horrors she experienced, or, at least, which she believed she experienced.
I asked one of my friends later if she believed what this woman told us about satanic rituals she was subjected to in a church in its after hours. She shrugged and said, "Who knows? She seems to believe it, but she was given drugs, so who knows what really happened?" I think she really was involved in satanism for a while, but that some of the details were a story that she spun to try to impress us. Whether everything she told us was true or not, enough of it rang true to me that, as I sat there listening to her, I said to the Lord in my heart, "Lord, never mind what I said to you before about her bad manners." They no longer had any importance to me, when I considered what God had delivered her out of. She was doing just fine.
Okay, so she was still very manipulative and she stole things, but I had to allow that, considering her background, she was greatly improved over what she used to be, and she was very generous about letting me borrow books from her impressive Christian library. Later when one of my friends told me that this woman had stolen some jewellery from her that had belonged to her grandmother, I wondered if she had stolen those books. Even if they were stolen, I wasn't a party to that and God sure blessed me a lot through reading the books she loaned me.
I just made sure that, if she was going to come over to my house, that I hid anything that I would be really upset if she stole it. At that time, I used to own some silver jewellery, and when I mentioned it to her, her voice perked up when she said, "You have silver?" Ha ha! I didn't know how long it was going to take before God went to work on her about the stealing.
I made the mistake one time of being patronizing to her. I had taken her out to lunch and listened to her woes. Then I said, "Well, someday, maybe in ten years or so, God will be able to use you to minister to others because of what you have been through." She snapped, "God already uses me!" She told me about how she went back downtown to witness to some of the prostitutes she knew. I thought, "Well, that's more than what I do. I'm too scared to go and witness to prostitutes. I can witness to other people, but those places feel too dangerous to me." My friend knew those streets, though. After she chewed me out, she humbly admitted that one of the girls said, "Who are you to tell me that Jesus can help me? I can see by the marks on your arms that you're still cutting yourself."
After that talk, I figured I would be better off not trying to teach her anything because I didn't know as much as I thought I did, and I didn't want to get my head bit off, if I tried to share the little that I knew. I confined myself to just giving her big, long hugs in church, whilst keeping my mouth shut, both of which she appreciated.
The Lord gave me a dream about her that relieved any guilt that I felt about not doing more than that. In my dream, I saw a cute, little girl sitting at a table in a restaurant. I leaned over and asked her eagerly, "Would you like to go for a walk with me?" She nodded and when she stood up, I nearly fell over with shock. She was huge and weighed about 300 pounds! I thought, "Man, I'm sure glad that I didn't offer to carry her!" I took her hand and walked with her for a few yards, and then passed her on to another person, who walked with her for a few yards, before they passed her on to someone else.
It was pretty obvious that God was saying that I can't deal with all her problems, as the whole burden was enormous, nor be around her for very long because of her manipulative tendencies, but I can do a little here and there to help her, such as with the hugs or a small word of encouragement. This dream set me free from a spiritual paralysis that I had been afflicted with. I used to daydream about how I would love to help various people, what I would like to do for them, but as I considered all the help they needed, the mental effort of just thinking about it wore me out, and I would end up doing nothing, staying out of their messy lives entirely.
The Lord was saying, "You don't have to take over their lives and fix everything, Lanny. All you have to do is the little things that I direct you to do." This helped to fulfill a prophecy someone spoke over me when I was nineteen, that I would learn to show my love in small ways. Small ways are better than nothing at all, and God knows how to take a little and turn it into a lot.
There was one time that something funny happened in relation to this woman. I went to a restaurant after church to join my friends for lunch. I was a bit late getting there, and as I arrived, this particular woman was leaving in a huff, after having just chewed my friends out about something. They were up in arms about what she had said, discussing it vociferously. Then one of them said in outraged tones, "She said we were immature!" I guess they thought that was pretty rich, coming from someone with her problems, but my friend abruptly shut up when I said, "You should listen to her." Ha ha! They all dropped the subject after that.
Some people in the body of Christ are like porcupines, very prickly and taking offense at everything. They may have come out of a terrible background where they were horribly abused and now feel sensitive to anything that seems like a slight. Boy, those people are tedious to have to deal with, but they sure do help us to examine our hearts and see that sometimes they are right that we are being judgmental. It wouldn't surprise me if, when God showed Peter that vision of the sheet lowered from Heaven with all sorts of animals on it, that there were porcupines, maybe even some skunks. And God said, "Don't call unclean what I have cleansed."
One might say, " A person who still steals probably isn't really saved. Hmmm. Well, if you knew what that woman was doing before, and wasn't doing anymore, you might not think that her stealing was such a big deal. It takes time for a person's mind to be renewed, especially if they have grown up thinking that stealing is okay.
I recollect one time when I was visiting a woman in prison, and heard some other prisoners talking among themselves. I was particularly interested in this conversation because one of the women had liked a poem I wrote and got it photocopied, saying it spoke to her heart. After that, she was released from prison, but now she was back.
I wondered why she was back so soon, but I never humiliated anyone by asking why they were in jail. I just kept my ears open and learned some things that way. One of the other prisoners asked her about what she did in the three weeks she had been away. She told them about how her girlfriend got married and asked her to be the Maid of Honour. She said, "We knew these two girls who were really good boosters, eh? So we asked them to get some dresses for us."
She went on to describe how lovely the dresses were that they had picked out and tried on, how the women had gone in and stole the dresses they told them about, and what a good deal them gave them on it, requiring them to pay only half price. I thought to myself, "Man, I can get better deals than that, without stealing." In the end, they decided to not wear the dresses, as they preferred to wear men's suits and black bow ties. (I didn't have much hope that the marriage was going to last when I heard that the bride dressed like a man for her wedding.)
I forget exactly what it was that got the woman re–arrested. I don't recollect that they were caught for being party to stealing those dresses. I was too astonished to think about much else, turning it over in my mind that these women talked about shoplifting in the same way that my friends and I talked about shopping. They really didn't see anything wrong with it. Their mindset seemed to be that people who can afford to buy these things shouldn't begrudge poorer people from just taking them. Being sneaky about it was a neccessary evil in dealing with the priggish kind of selfishness that makes it against the law to take things without paying for them.
It isn't always easy for people to buy things honestly. Some might have a lot of money, but there are others who have to make sacrifices in order to afford to buy a certain grad or wedding dress. The criminal mindset seems to think, "Why put yourself through that pain? Just go take it, but be careful to not get caught." It's really weird when you realize for the first time that other people have a totally different frame of reference and really can see nothing wrong with things that common sense tells us are wrong, even if we don't have the Bible to teach us. Sometimes people coming from that kind of background need more patience from us than normal before they see all the places where they have been in error.
I had a wonderful visit from my son last week. I hadn't seen him for about two and a half years. He has had issues to sort out about the things that went wrong in our family and how they affected him. I've missed him, but I know that wherever he is, God is there, too, and I blow my kisses his way, asking God to deliver them to my dear boy. God has reassured my heart that He is dealing with my son, that He is keeping him in His mercy, and it was so awesome to get confirmation on this with a visit from Andrew and see with my eyes that he is okay.
After a few minutes of visiting, Andrew said,"I read your stories on your website, and I'm sorry I didn't let you tell your side of things before." Those words were sweet balm of Gilead to my soul. Thank You, Yehoshua! I had been hoping that he would come across my website and read it, and hear what I had to say about what happened in my relationship with his Dad. Andrew hugged me for a good long time after that. And he even offered to let me take his photograph. Normally, he hates to have his photo taken, and most of the time he would turn his back when I tried to take his picture before.
That visit was just the absolute peak of my month. It had been six and a half years since he had visited me in my home. Usually I only saw him at my daughter's place, and he wouldn't talk to me much. That visit six and a half years ago was an oasis in the dry and thirsty land of my relationship with my son.
He bought into his father's account of things more than my daughter did. His Dad favoured him over his sister and he'd had it better than her when he lived with him, and his father let him live with him longer than what he had our daughter. She was out of the house when she was eleven, but Andrew got to stay until he was fifteen.
When Andrew was fifteen, the Lord gave me a dream where Andrew was sitting in a chair, and my pastor's wife was prophesying to him, telling him things that were going to happen. It sounded like how Samuel prophesied to Saul, telling him about various signs. She ended up by saying, "And when that happens, you will let go of your father." Andrew shrank back from her in horror, and I knew what he was thinking. I tentatively approached him in the dream and said, "Andrew, letting go of your father doesn't mean that you don't love him anymore. It just means that you no longer believe that everything he says is true."
Our parents say lots of things to us that we think are true, because we idolize them. If our parents put us down and say that we're stupid or lazy and we're going to be a failure, those things tend to determine how our life goes, until we realize that they aren't gods and can't direct the course of our lives, if we refuse to let them do it. We can choose who we want to be. We don't have to stay on the flawed course that they set for our lives, or be like our parents, just because we came from their bodies. Jonathan chose to be different from his father King Saul. Saul did not have a heart for God, but Jonathan did.
This is why Jonathan accepted God's judgment on his father, though it meant that he would not inherit his throne, and he supported David as the one whom God had chosen to rule Israel. This is one of the finest examples of character in the Bible. Jonathan has been criticized for staying with his father, instead of joining David's camp, but Jonathan saw it as his duty to stay where he was. He probably was able to deter Saul away from doing some unjust things to their people, and he also slipped away one time to see David and encourage him in the Lord that he had a righteous cause and would indeed be king of Israel.
Jonathan was by no means a weak man. He stood up to his father on more than one occasion, and he did what was right, regardless of what his father chose to do. I think that God has a reward of a great kingdom for him in Eternity, because he willingly gave up having a kingdom on Earth, out of his reverence for God and trust that God is always good and always does what is right.
Jonathan had to deal with his father saying negative things to him. Man, he even had to deal with his father ordering him to be put to death. That occurred when Saul made a vow that anyone who ate food before they finished killing their enemies in a battle would be executed. Jonathan wasn't there when Saul pronounced that curse, and he ate some honey when he came across it in the woods, to boost his energy. While his Dad had been delaying to go to battle with the Philistines, Jonathan and his armour bearer had sneaked off on a reconnaisance mission, and had ended up boldly confronting the Philistines and winning a victory that set off favourable conditions for taking on the rest of the Philistine army.
In fact, even before then, Jonathan won a victory against the Philistines, garnering some credit that I think Saul was jealous of, and is the reason why he included even his own son Jonathan in the curse, knowing full well that Jonathan was not around to hear his dictum. He would have gone ahead and killed him, if the rest of the army hadn't stopped him from doing it.
At one point, Saul blasted Jonathan's defense of David by calling him the son of a rebellious woman. In modern language, he was calling him a son of a bitch. That is a nasty thing for a man to call his child, particularly as he has intimately known the woman who he is defaming and, at one time, made vows to always cherish her. It's not just a random insult. When a man rejects his child's mother, it feels to the child like he is being rejected, too, because he came from that woman.
It piqued my interest when I read that Saul described his wife as a rebellious woman. Was she an aggressive woman who insisted on getting her own way? Or was she a godly woman who protested when Saul wanted to behave selfishly as a king? She could have been either, but I like to think that she was the latter. Jonathan learned from someone to love the Lord with his whole heart and be bold in faith, and he didn't learn it from his father, and he didn't learn it from David. David was just a little toddler when Jonathan climbed up to the Philistines with his armour bearer and took their garrison. Saul responded to his wife's independent will by rejecting her and taking concubines into his household. Jonathan responded to his mother's example by not letting his father dictate to his conscience.
It goes to show that, regardless of family problems, a person can make their own choices, and those choices can be better than their parents' choices. Jonathan still honoured his father, though, which is righteous. It easier to do this when we finally accept that our parents are just human, not gods who hold our success and happiness in their hands, and we forgive them for not living up to our unreasonable expectations of perfection.
Beth Moore seems to be someone who has come to peace with how her parents let her down in not protecting her from sexual abuse, and other mistakes they made. She doesn't seem bitter towards them. In fact, she takes pains to say that she thinks a lot of them.
She also seems to accept her own limitations as a parent. At one time, she and her husband adopted a little boy who had big problems. He was about four years old when they got him, from what I understand. As time went on, he developed what she described as "alarming behaviours." Then when he was eleven, his birth mother came back into his life and wanted to have custody of him. The child wanted this also, and so he returned to his birth mother.
Beth doesn't have much more to say about it than that, but I read some criticisms of her that a person doesn't give up their child, just because they have problems. Beth doesn't say, but how do those people know that the kid's problems weren't a danger to the lives of the rest of the family? Because she agreed to be this child's mother, does that mean that she should have continued to parent him to the detriment of her daughters?
One time I told a certain person that I regarded him as my son, and I really meant it, but his behaviour was dangerous to my daughter and her kids. For the sake of not hurting his feelings, should I have continued to embrace him as a son after I learned about his abuse, and lost my daughter and grandson to suicide because they were so depressed about the mean way he treated them?
My mother–in–law used to take in foster kids, and one of them liked to hold a lighter up to the wallpaper. They had to get him out of there before he burned down the house. As much as a person cares about a child and wants to help them, even if it's their own flesh and blood who is a threat to the safety and/or sanity of the family, they might have to let them be housed somewhere else, until the child decides to cooperate with their parents' efforts to raise them.
It could be that the Moore's adopted son was so intent on getting his own way, in this case, to return to his birth mother, that it was the best thing to let him go back to her. Some kids get really spiteful when they are crossed.
People said that, if the birth mother was such a bad mother that her kid was taken away from her, the Moores should not have put the boy at risk by letting her have him back. How do they know that the woman was still a bad mother? People can change. She might still have had some problems, but I doubt that the Moores would have let the child return to his mother, if there wasn't reason to believe she could handle motherhood better than before. If they couldn't handle him themselves, and the birth mother wasn't considered improved enough to look after him, the kid would have been placed in fostercare.
Besides, when a child is eleven years old, and intelligent and educated enough to get around on his own, you can't keep him from running away to be with someone who he really wants to be with, and the other person is willing and able to help him achieve that.
The final slam was that, if Beth is so spiritual, then why couldn't what she preaches take care of the child's rebellion? I surmise that they are talking about healing and/or deliverance, so that the kid wouldn't have mental or emotional problems anymore. Children are not objects that one can manipulate and form into what they want them to be, without the child's cooperation. They are people. They have a will, just like all other human beings. If they don't want God in their life, there's no point in casting out their demons, because they will end up worse than what they were before. Jesus taught about this in Matthew 12: 43 – 45.
Andrew Wommack says that he stopped praying for drug addicts who didn't want to serve God, because they always went back to drugs after a while, though they could have remained free, and they were worse than before. It isn't a given that casting a rebellious spirit out of a child will make them more cooperative from then on. They might behave better for a while, but then decide that they really do want to go their own way and leave God behind. Oh man. If you had problems with a kid before then, they will be nothing compared to what the child is like after they have tasted the grace of deliverance, and then deliberately walked away from it, preferring to return to the mire of self–centredness.
I don't know what happened to that kid after the Moores let him go back to his birth mother, if he is still alive or not. There seems to be a rumour that he died, but if he is still alive, I am sure that the Moores pray for him. Sometimes, that is all a person can do. Even Jesus, though He is God in the flesh, when He lived among us, could do very few miracles in Nazareth because of people's unbelief. And who disputes that Elisha was a mighty prophet? But he died of an illness. A lot of people seem to think that if someone preaches healing and deliverance, that they should always demonstrate success with it in their personal lives. The Bible shows that God doesn't discard His anointed just because everybody doesn't receive their preaching, or because they don't walk in perfect health.
Beth Moore teaches a Bible study on James Robison's program. Click here to access BETH MORE ARCHIVES. James Robison is a topic that I don't want to get into in this newsletter. I don't agree with his ecumenicalism, but let's give him credit for having a good Bible teacher on his show. You can access longer videos of Beth's teaching on his website. On Youtube, they tend to be broken into a lot of sections. I went through the pages and downloaded a lot of them, so I can listen to them offline and be sure to not miss any that I want to listen to.
ROY DURMAN'S new website is up and running now. This is a really worthy ministry to donate to, as the Lord leads. Roy and Georgette Durman live a humble life in a middle–class home that also serves as their ministry headquarters. They don't have big, posh offices or live in a mansion. You will see by the simplicity of the website that they keep their ministry expenses pared to the bone, farming that job out to someone who has only basic HTML skills, rather than hiring professionals who could give them a splashy image.
I uploaded a lot of good reports about Roy's ministry, and I could have, and would have, added many, many more, but Roy wouldn't let me do that. He figures I have put enough information on the website to suffice for a year. If you find it slow to open the pdfs of those reports and Roy's sermons, it is probably because, when we update our Adobe readers, we get a lot of add–ons, many of which we don't use. There are instructions online about which add–ons to put in a folder where they won't slow the program down.
Most of the money that Roy and Georgette receive for their ministry pays for their crusades, as the people whom they minister to are often too poor to contribute towards paying for the expenses. What a blessing it is for them to be visited by a man of God who effectively ministers healing to the deaf, the blind, the crippled, and heals many other diseases, and has even raised the dead. Thousands of bodies have been healed and souls saved through this ministry.
Copyright © 2012, Lanny Townsend
Page modified by Lanny Townsend on February 2, 2012
Scripture references on this website are closely paraphrased from e–Sword's King James Bible.