THE WAY MINISTRIES
BLACK-TOP GOSPEL MUSIC MINISTRY
Vol. 1 Issue # 10
THE WAY MINISTRIES
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Whether you turn to the right or to the
left, your ears will hear a voice behind you saying,
"THIS IS THE WAY; WALK IN
IT. Isa. 30: 21
Last month we ran the first article in this series on modern persecution. Below is the final article in
this series. We hope that you have enjoyed this new series.
However as the Way Ministries stands for the Re-establishment
of the New Testament Church, it is appropriate for us to run these articles at this time. We as Christians must be prepared
to take our stand for the truth. We would also be interested in any news items that you may have to place on our on line E-Maga-zine
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are the persecuted
Modern tales of courage
When our region of the Ukraine
(Bucovina) became part of the USSR after the second world war (1945), it was forbidden to worship God behind the wall of the
houses of Prayer. All kinds of evangelism or missionary activity were persecuted and punished by five years in prison. But
despite brutal persecution, our Christian youth used the Christmas holidays for evangelization. They sent groups of youth
to every village. They visited every peasant house, sang Christian songs and recited poems there.
The matter was, there
was such a tradition from pagans to celebrate their winter holidays by singing and dancing. During that holiday all the doors
of the houses were opened and groups of people went from one house to another to sing songs, to dance and recite funny poems
there. Before leaving the hosts gave them a few coins, pieces of pie, some sausage or a bottle of vodka for their singing.
Of course the context of songs was far from Christian as a rule. So our Christian youth used that possibility to enter peoples
houses for evangelization. After their singing they left the hosts Christian literature and invitations to the local church.
They took a big risk. My brother Chornopisky Dimitro, our pastor, and twenty of the best young singers from our church
were the first believers who reached the regions up in the mountains, about 100 miles from our city. In one house a peasant
was connected with police and they were arrested. They were tortured the whole night long. On their turning back home to Chernivtsi
they paid 50 rubles penalty and several of them were thrown from their work. The people who accepted them from that village
were punished too.
That was real love to God that moved them. Older people say their faith was stronger then. It usually
happens during the time of persecution. Those who had no strong faith were not able to go through trials. One of our older
pastors said The bigger the cross, the closer the Heavens. Now we enjoy freedom to celebrate all the Christian holidays. And
our children are permitted to visit churches and to praise the Lord there. Where my brother was tortured, there are now 3
churches in that village.
- Valya Zastankevich, Chenivtsi, Ukraine
I converted from Islam to Christianity in 1996
in Morocco. When I told my father, he wrote me out of his will and told my mother that if she talked to me, he would divorce
her. A man came to see me and told me I was crazy. He hit me in the face with a knife and beat me. Blood was coming down.
I called the police and they were very angry at me. No one could help me. I cried, Oh God, you have brought me to this religion
and no one can help me.
I was severely tortured for two weeks and went through many troubled times, but now I work for
the Salvation Army in Switzerland as a missionary, visiting refugee camps. Another Muslim and I have a vision together to
do something in Europe to encourage Muslims to know Jesus. I became a new person, like a white bird, free in my heart with
no hate, and no doubts, and Jesus is the Savior.
Christians around the world must pray for the terrorists who have been
blinded the devil. Christians must change the world. it is very important.
Matthew Kchira 29 Zurich, Switzerland
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Remember when you were young and your mom asked you to clean your room? To avoid the task, you would take all
of the clothes and your other junk and shove them in the closet, hide them under the bed and put them anywhere else that wasn't
readily apparent to the naked eye. Mom would come in and say, "Your room looks beautiful!" But you knew the truth.
Sooner or later, Mom caught on and stuffing things in the closet just wouldn't do it. You REALLY had to clean your room.
Some of us, as adults, still have things in our closets. Some of these things are things we consciously stuffed in the
closet and some of them we didn't realize were in there. Some of those things are hurts we don't want to remember or things
in the past we would rather forget. Some of them are habits we know we should have gotten rid of long ago. And some of those
items are blocking our way to God.
That's why we as Christians need to regularly go into our secret closet -- the secret
place where you and the Lord rendezvous. It's only in that place where God will go into the closet of our lives and remove
fear, doubt, unforgiveness, pain and unconfessed sin. But there's a prerequisite to God doing a "strip search" of
the heart. You must ask Him to search your heart. You see, my God does not perform invasive surgical procedures of the heart
without your permission. In order to enter into the cracks and the crevices, the nooks and the crannies of your heart, He
must be invited.
But when you invite Him to search you, be prepared. It takes a strong Christian to ask God to search
him. Many of us would rather continue believing that we have it all together. We would rather perpetuate the illusion that
we've already arrived when it comes to being the perfect Christian. We don't want God to examine us. It's because we know
when God searches, He finds. We know that He'll get into the areas of our lives we thought were OK. He'll start to tug and
pull at some of those sensitive areas that we just don't want touched. He'll deal with the reason why you didn't forgive that
person who betrayed you. He'll deal with those four-letter words that still rise up in you when someone cuts you off on the
road. He'll deal with that lying tongue. He'll deal with the after effects of that parent who abused you. He'll deal with
the secret sins that only you and He know about. Little by little, He'll start to point out the areas that need cleansing
We all know that's uncomfortable; we don't like it. But it's necessary for us to get to where God wants
us to be. Although some discomfort is required, we can count on the fact that God isn't doing it to get His jollies. He doesn't
do it to embarrass us or humiliate us. He does it to help us because of His great love for us.
When the Lord brings an
issue to light in our lives, it's to help us deal with it -- and because He's ready to deal with it. He knows what's ahead
in our lives. For instance, if He knows that your lack of faith is going to be a stumbling block for the places that He's
going to take you to, He'll put you in a position where you'll have to rely on Him. He'll put your back up against the wall
where it's only you and Him. He'll place you in a position where you'll learn that He is a rewarder of the faithful. Your
faith won't be something that you just read in Hebrews 11; it will be a real life experience and without a doubt, you'll know
God can be trusted. You see in the end, it's all about being more like Christ. It's about being a mirror image of His Son.
Remember, the word "Christian" means "Christ-like." That should be the goal of the Christian life -- to
become more like Christ.
I challenge you to speak the words of David who said, "Search me, O God, and know my heart:
try me, and know my thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting."
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The following article is a bit of a departure
from the standard articles in the Womens section of this E-Maga-Zine. However we thought that it would be interesting to see
how Christian women of more than 100 years ago lived out their faith. We hope the Lord will bless you as you read this article.
Yesterdays Christian Woman
Pioneer wives held their households together with a blend of grit and grace.
When Nutter and Nancy Murphy and their family came to Shawnee, Kansas, in October 1859, the
first thing they did after finding temporary lodging for the night was to hold family devotions. Daughter Lydia later remembered,
"That night the family Bible rested in the center of the room. We gathered around the table, seated on boxes and improvised
chairs while the usual evening family prayers were held after the reading of a chapter of Scriptures. During the 50 years
of his Kansas citizenship, this morning and evening Scripture reading and prayer was not once omitted in my fathers house."
For many pioneer families, Christian faith was an integral part of life. It formed the backbone of their values and sustained
them through numerous hardships. When John Klein, who grew up on a Texas farm at the end of the 1800s, thought about all his
mother Ida did in a day to care for the family and help run the farm, he recognized, "Special strength provided by the
Almighty must have made it possible for her to do all this."
Frontier farms were family farms, and the family was
an economic as well as a social unit. Though most pioneers believed the womans sphere was within the home, the shortage of
manpower meant many women (and children) helped with the farm. They helped dig cellars, build cabins, plow, plant, and harvest,
as well as tend to their "domestic" activities, such as cleaning, cooking, sewing, and caring for the children.
To understand the lives of frontier Christian women, then, we must take a look at the toil that filled their days.
Hildebrand, looking back on her own pioneer experience, described the womans role:
"The pioneer Kansas woman shared
her husbands work and interest in the garden, the orchard, the crops and animals of the farm; she worked in the garden and
gathered its products. She knew just how each vineyard or tree in the young orchard was coming in. She shared in the hope
for a beautiful crop as the field things sprouted and grew green and tall. Did a horse, dog or other farm animal get badly
gored, cut or wounded, hers was the task to cleanse the wound and take the stitches that drew the torn edges together."
Besides outdoor responsibilities, a pioneer wife spent a lot of time in the kitchen. Sarah Hammond White explained the
basics of fireplace cooking:
"We used kettles suspended from a wire across the fireplace and boiled most of our
food; baking was done in an iron kettle about four inches deep and two and a half from the ground, supported by three iron
legs. This baker, as it was called, was covered with an iron lid upon which coals of fire were placed, and the baker was placed
on coals of fire too, and I want to say no malleable stores ever baked better biscuits."
One central Texas mother
with an especially large family recalled that "breadmaking was much trouble and took so long. . . . We had only three
[dutch ovens], each one just large enough for one loaf at a time, and there had to be 20 loaves every day because there were
so many of us."
Men and boys helped gather fuel for the fire and keep the wood box filled. On the treeless plains
they collected dried buffalo chips in sacks and kept them for use as fuel for cooking as well as for warm fires in winter.
Cornbread and corn mush were standard fare in the beginning, but food usually became abundant as the family farm thrived.
Gardens and orchards produced vegetables and fruits that women canned or dried for use in the winter. Several times a week,
women baked bread. If the family had a good cow, butter was made every other day, both for family use and to be sold in town
for extra money.
With flour and sugar often being scarce, the enterprising pioneer woman learned to make do. One woman
wrote, "I came here willingly believing it to be for the best and am determined to try with the assistance of Providence
to make the best of it."
Special occasions called for heightened creativity. Bessie Wilson remembered when a neighbor
was returning to Kansas with a new bride in 1875:
"Mother was asked to bake a cake for the affair. In consequence,
we ate bread without butter for several days in order that father might have enough to take to the store and exchange for
the amount of sugar necessary to make a cake. This he did, covering 16 miles on horseback. Mothers was the only cake at this
important gathering, and despite the fact that she had no recipe to go by, that she used sour milk and soda in the making,
it was pronounced by those who partook as being all a brides cake should be !"
Frontier women were also responsible
for the familys clothing. Many families raised sheep for wool, which the women washed and the children carded for spinning.
The wool was dyed with natural dyes-- walnut bark for brown, osage bark for yellow, cochineal bugs for red. After spinning
the yarn, women knitted socks, scarves, and sweaters. Clothing was simple and sewn at home. Fabrics such as calico and muslin
had to be bought at stores, and some fabrics were recycled: flour sacks, for example, were often made into underwear.
good stewardship, as well as necessity, clothes were repeatedly patched or re-sewn and given as hand-me-downs. Scraps of fabric
were used in quilts with designs whose names often reflected the frontier life--turkey tracks, bear claw, butter churn, log
cabin, wild goose chase. Sometimes the quilts name referred to political issues--54 40 or Fight, Bleeding Kansas, Texas Star.
Still other designs proclaimed Christian themes--the Delectable Mountains (from John Bunyans Pilgrims Progress), Jacobs Ladder,
Cross and Crown.
On the frontier, where schools were often unavailable, both parents, but especially the women, homeschooled
their children in the basics of reading, writing, and arithmetic. Training in the Christian faith was also important. Rebecca
Ebey, a pioneer from Virginia, wrote, "We . . . spend our time in training the young minds of our children in the principles
of Christ and creating within them a thirst for moral knowledge." The Bible and Pilgrims Progress became the primary
textbooks for many. Teachers on the frontier were very often sent out by eastern missionary agencies, and when schools were
established, they also inculcated a Christian moral education.
But most of the Christian education and character development
took place in the faithful day-to-day fulfillment of farm responsibilities. One of a childs earliest chores was feeding the
chickens. Later the child might be given a calf to care for. Parents expected their children to develop habits of industry
and hard work, not just for the building of Christian character but for the familys very survival.
Diana Lynn Severance
is the author of Deep Roots, Strong Branches, a history of the Klein family in Texas, and is a member of the Christian History
Religion--Sunday and Every Day
John and Ida Klein lived in Texas in the late 1800s. They faithfully
attended Salem Lutheran Church for years (often traveling Saturday evenings to make sure they were in time for the Sunday
service), but their religion was hardly confined to Sundays. Family devotions were held daily, blessings were said before
meals, and a prayer of thanksgiving after meals.
John and Idas oldest daughter, Johanna, later summarized the important
teachings her mother had passed on to her:
"To read the Bible and pray every day;
To right each wrong before
the sun went down;
To count to ten before speaking when angry;
To give of my own spending money to Gods work;
call upon sick friends, and to carry flowers to them from my own garden;
To form habits of regularity, touching all phases
To attend all services of the church;
To take Jesus with me wherever I chose to go, but to choose, therefore,
only those places where Jesus would be loved;
To give service to Him in every way possible and to seek His guidance before
any plan for personal action be carried out. Her favorite expression was The Lord willing.
To be faithful and to love
God and my neighbor;
To be true, and to be trustworthy;
My mother taught me these principles for Christian living."
This is a great way to preserve a lot of fresh basil. Simply add to freezer bags and place in the freezer until
needed. Defrost and add to pasta sauces (cream or wine) or use as a sauce over fish.
Makes about 2 1/4 cups
1 teaspoon Garlic, minced
1/2 cup Walnuts
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup Olive oil
1 1/2 cup Basil, fresh,
Salt to taste
Add the garlic, walnuts, cheese, and olive oil to a food processor bowl. Pulse until
a course paste begins to form. Add the basil and pulse until blended. Check the seasonings.
Study: New Generation
Comfortable With Contradictions
( BP) -- It's always been a struggle to reach teenagers
for Christ, but those born since 1984 may be the toughest to reach yet, said Christian researcher George Barna. Appearing
on the "For Faith & Family" weekday radio show Feb. 4 and 5, Barna said the "Mosaic Generation" is
comprised of non-linear thinkers who cut and paste their beliefs and values from a variety of sources.
What's more, Barna
said, almost half the Mosaics don't know and don't care about moral absolutes. To them, it's just a non-issue not worth arguing
over. This means, Barna said, that they're a generation comfortable with contradictions.
Barna defines the Mosaic Generation
as youngsters born between 1984 and 2002, describing them as such because they're "very mosaic in every aspect of their
life." He said, "There's [no attribute] that really dominates like you might have seen with prior generations."
Other researchers refer to this generation as Millennials or Generation Y.
"When we try to show them logically that
two things really don't work together -- that either one is right and the other is wrong, or they're both wrong -- typically
what you get is a giggle and then the response, 'Yeah, how about that?'" Barna said. "They're not really concerned
about trying to figure out where things stand on an objective continuum."
2002 Maranatha Christian News Service
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