Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Believer's Heritage- Elka of the Wai Wai

Elka was born to the tribe Wai Wai in the Amazonian jungles of South America around 1933. The wai wai live along the border of Brazil and Guyana. His father died shortly after his birth, and he was sold to his uncle for 1 otter skin and 5 feathered arrows.
He was raised in the traditional Wai Wai way. At 15, he underwent the stinging ants test of courage and resolve; standing with belts of stinging ants wrapped around his legs. He feared and admired the all-powerful witchdoctor who could curse and heal.
He grew to be such a respected young man that before the age of 20, he was recognized as a Shaman. Elka went to live with Mafolio, the local witchdoctor. He was convinced that the spirits, or kworokyam, were calling him to become a witchdoctor.
Soon, he could heal the sick. He was considered kind and wise, and was made the chief of the Wai Wai.
The Wai Wai were a fearful people. They feared the Spirits of the jungles. They feared the neighboring tribes and their constant threat of war. Their traditions of spirit dances and nature worship could only appease the spirits to a certain extent.  They respected and feared their ancesteral spirits. And, they feared what would happen to them after death.
In the 1940's, missionaries showed up trying to tell the Wai Wai about a new God, Jesus. Elka would greet them with a smile. But, he was not happy to see them. He would poison their drinks or bludgeon them to death. For a time, the "white men" were not seen in their territory. Then, news came of more "white men" coming their way. The Wai Wai feared that they were murderers coming for revenge.
Neil and Bob Hawkins came to the Wai Wai in 1948. They were kind men who brought gifts. Slowly, they learned the language of the Wai Wai.
They told of God, the Creator, who had made the world and all the people in it. They told of His Son, Jesus, who had died to take away the "badness".  The Wai Wai had never heard of this kind of love.
Elka thought about this Jesus. Jesus was against the spirits that Elka served. What would happen to Elka if he followed Jesus? He thought he might die.
Elka had taken a wife and she was about to give birth. He wanted a baby boy. In the Wai Wai, an unwanted child could be killed. What if his wife had a little girl? Would he kill her? He knew that Jesus wouldn't want him to kill his daughter.
When his wife delivered a daughter, Elka had a choice to make. He was going to kill this girl child, but an unseen voice told him it was wrong. He picked up the little girl, handed her to his wife, and said, "We will save the child."
He was afraid of the spirits, but he wasn't afraid of Jesus. "This is Elka. I am deciding to follow Jesus." Elka said as he looked up into the sky, "You help me to forsake the spirits and get rid of my charms. That is all."
The people of the village warned Elka that he would die in three days if he turned his back on the spirits. They worried that he would no longer be able to heal their sicknesses. They watched as he threw his witchdoctor charms into the river and began praying to Clisusu, Jesus.  When he didn't die, he told his village, "Clisusu is stronger than Kworokyam."
Around 1955, Elka sat down with Bob and Neil as they read God's papers, the Bible. They said that they wanted to translate them into the Wai Wai language. As Elka helped the Hawkins brothers translate the Bible, he learned what it was that God wanted from him.
The people of the village noticed that he had changed. He no longer beat his wife, or drank liquor. He was kind to children other than his own. And, he started taking in orphan babies. His example was watched and then followed by others in his tribe.
Bob Hawkins, his wife, and Neil started a mission in the jungles of Guyana. They named it "Konashen", Place of God. Slowly, a church began to form. He and other men from his village began going to weekly Bible lessons, and learning the songs of the Clisusu. They were learning new things like mercy, forgiveness, and patience.
They stopped stealing wives, and killing babies. They started to love their wives and help them with the hard chores. Their numbers began to grow. The men didn't want to cut off their pony tails, but decided that it was it was a small sacrifice for the love of Jesus.
The Wai Wai learned about God's laws for marriage, morality,  and conduct. They selected men who would be Elders of their village- Melsha, Kirifaka, Mawasha, , Yakuta, and Elka. Sunday became a day of worship. And, the community of Wai Wai changed from one of superstition to one of belief.
When one of the Hawkins brothers lost their voice, Elka said that he would preach. He brought the people a message on Daniel. His ability to preach and teach God's papers was evident.  Soon, he felt the burden to share Jesus with their neighboring tribes.
Elka told his people, "Jesus came far; so, let us go far. He died for us; we haven't yet died for Him."
At first, they visited only the tribes that were similar to theirs. The Wai Wai that lived on the across the high mountains were the first to be preached to. But, in time, they began to travel to tribes that they feared and hated before.
Elka, himself, travelled to some of these tribes. He would send back letters telling of his experiences and encouraging his people in the faith. When Elka returned home he was full of stories of strange tribes with customs so different from their own.m
The gospel of Christ turned a witchdoctor into a missionary. It turned killing raids into prayer meetings.  The love of Christ grew a once dying tribe into a mission center. The Kaan Karitan, the Holy Scriptures in the Wai Wai language, is changing lives all across the remote jungles of Brazil.
It is said that "by 1962, the Wai Wai had gone on as many mission trips in as many different directions as a man had fingers and toes."
I can't find when or where he died, though he was alive in 1975. He is also mentioned as Ewka in different publications.
For more information, you can read or buy the book Christ's Witchdoctor by Homer E. Dowdy.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Funny Happenings- All The Pennies

It was my friend's son's 16th birthday. He was going to have a crawfish boil with his family and our family to celebrate.
His 5 year old brother was very excited, "Mrs. Penny is going to come over and she's bringing all the Pennies (my children) with her!"
The 16 year old groaned and replied, "I can hardly handle one Penny!"

Monday, June 6, 2016

Building Character Not Characters book review

I got this little booklet from my brother-in-law, I believe. I've had it for quite some time.
This book has some "not so common" sense in it when it comes to raising children. To raise a child who grows into an adult with integrity is not something that just happens. It takes time and patience, and an example.
I remember standing in line at Winn Dixie one day. There was a woman scanning items at a self checkout. She couldn't get the french bread to ring up, so she set it aside. She grabbed the receipt and went to the front register to pay. She handed the woman at the register the receipt, while batting her daughter's hand with the french bread down. She payed what the receipt showed she owed and then left the store without paying for the french bread. I turned to the teenaged girl from church who was with me, and said, "Did you see that? She just taught her daughter to steal!"
Too many parents today are raising criminals. Not by telling them how to be deceitful crooks, but by showing them how. Like begets like, and your children will turn out like you.
You can raise children with a conscience about right and wrong without crushing their spirits. You can help them to do right, even when it's easier to do wrong.
Building Character Not Characters is copyrighted by Everett Barnard. It is not an easy book to find, but if you come across it you will not regret picking it up!

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Self Deception (video sermon)

We need to be careful how we respond to and interact with God's Word. The Bible says in James that we can deceive ourselves when it comes to God's Words.

Some people get into "religious mode" and they act a certain way and base spirituality on the way they act or don't act. Others, will hear the Word of God, but will never act  upon what they heard. Rarely do we listen to a message and think, "That message was for me!"

What have you done with God's Word? You hear it taught. You underline certain passages. You memorize Scriptures. But, do you ask God what it means to you? Do you question what God would have you do with what you've learned or heard?

If we only hear the Word, but go away doing nothing with it, you are deceiving yourself. Deceiving others is easy. But, deceiving yourself is dangerous, because we don't see anything wrong.

James likens it to someone looking in a mirror and maybe they see something wrong, something that needs fixed. And, they turn around and forget about it. They don't remember there's something to fix. And that's how some people approach the Bible, "Oh, something is wrong with my relationship with God." But, once the service is over you forget about what needed attention.

Things that you ignore, or let go, will cause problems for you in the future. You can forget to fix something for only so long before the consequences of letting this thing fester.

Matthew 7 tells of two different types of people- one who heard and acted who is a wise man and one who heard and ignored or forgot and is a foolish man. The end of the wise man was blessed, but the end of the foolish man was great destruction.

God says that you have to examine what's wrong and do something about it if you want a blessing.

Are you a wise man who wants a blessing? Or, are you like the man who forgets what he saw and lets it go until it's a great destruction?

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Cuban Chicken Fricase recipe

2 diced orange bell peppers
2 diced red bell peppers
2 diced green bell peppers
2 diced yellow bell peppers
2 diced onions
4 cloves minced garlic
1 cup olive oil
1 tsp barley malt
10 bay leaves
2 tsp paprika
1 pinch cayenne
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp oregano
1/2 cup chicken stock
8 medium tomatoes, seeded and diced
5 potatoes, peeled and diced
1/2 cup raisins
1 cup green olives, pitted
3 lbs chicken, cubed
1 1/2 TBS salt

Fry the bell peppers, onion, and garlic in olive oil with the barley malt and bay leaves until onions are translucent.
Add paprika, cayenne, cumin, Italian seasoning, oregano, chicken stock, and tomatoes. Simmer over hot fire while cutting up the potatoes and chicken.
Throw in the remaining ingredients and cook on medium-low heat until chicken is done and potatoes are cooked through.
Eat over rice.

Friday, June 3, 2016

The Choice (poem)

The best we have to offer Him
Is not enough to clear our sin.
The best He  has He's given to us
If in Him we will place our trust.

Not just believing in His Son,
But trusting in the work He's done
Gives us a place among the blest.
He gives to us His righteousness.

Believing in His Word, we see,
What pleases our God eternally.
Trusting in HIs Amazing Grace
Earns for us a special place.

In Jesus, now, we're safe and sound.
We find ourselves to be heaven bound.
So, if the Bible's Word is true,
The choice, my friend, is up to you.

-Lynn Trosclair

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Victim Of Circumstance

There are people who like to blame their actions on what is going on around them. They claim that they are victims of their circumstances. Our actions in spite of our surroundings, circumstances, etc. are what determines who we are.
When we stand before God, we aren't going to be able to say that we were victims of circumstance. Why won't that fly? Well, if you read the Bible you will see that no matter what circumstances were present,people chose to sin.
You might say "If I wasn't born a sinner" then I wouldn't have sinned.
But, Adam and Eve were created without sin.
Genesis 1:26- And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
Man was given dominion over God's creation. Everything was perfect; including them. His main duty was to keep the garden. And, they lived in a world with only one rule- do not eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.
How did this end? With a curse on the serpent, mankind, and nature.
Genesis 3:15-19- And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee. And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.
Next, you might say "If I could follow my conscience" then I wouldn't have sinned.
After Adam left the garden he was aware of good and evil. He knew who God was and what He expected. He was living by his conscience. This is how their children were raised.
Genesis 4:6-8- And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him. And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.
Cain ignored his conscience and did what he knew he shouldn't have. Every man failed in this era so badly that God had to wipe out the world with a flood and start over with Noah.
Genesis 6:12- And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.
Well, you might say that "if there was a type of government that moderated what people did and punished those who did wrong then some would chose to do right"?
Through this time people still had their conscience. They still had some revelation from God as to what they should do. Nations were formed and were commanded by God to carry out the death sentence.
Genesis 9:5-6- And surely your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man's brother will I require the life of man. Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.
Instead of doing right, these people end up trying to build a tower to heaven to overthrow God! So, God confounds their language.
Genesis 11:5-9- And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded. And the LORD said, Behold, the people [is] one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech. So the LORD scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city. Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the LORD did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the LORD scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.
After this, God decided to chose a family instead of nations.
This is where God tells one individual, Abraham, exactly what He wants and then He allows Abraham to pass it on to his progeny. They were to sacrifice, remain in the Promised Land, and be circumcised.
Genesis 12:6-7- And Abram passed through the land unto the place of Sichem, unto the plain of Moreh. And the Canaanite was then in the land. And the LORD appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land: and there builded he an altar unto the LORD, who appeared unto him.
Genesis 17:9-10- And God said unto Abraham, Thou shalt keep my covenant therefore, thou, and thy seed after thee in their generations. This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised.
How does this end? With the people of Israel living under bondage in Egypt for 400 years, during which time they weren't circumcising their children or sacrificing to God.
Exodus 3:18- And they shall hearken to thy voice: and thou shalt come, thou and the elders of Israel, unto the king of Egypt, and ye shall say unto him, The LORD God of the Hebrews hath met with us: and now let us go, we beseech thee, three days' journey into the wilderness, that we may sacrifice to the LORD our God.
Exodus 4:24-26- And it came to pass by the way in the inn, that the LORD met him, and sought to kill him. Then Zipporah took a sharp stone, and cut off the foreskin of her son, and cast it at his feet, and said, Surely a bloody husband art thou to me. So he let him go: then she said, A bloody husband thou art, because of the circumcision.
You might be thinking, "Of course they got off track! It was passed down by word of mouth. If there were a written record of what was expected..."
God gave this a "go", too. He gave Moses the law, a written record of 10 basic commandments. Then, he went further and gave Moses some meticulous laws all through Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. Everything they needed to know written down for them to follow.
God even told them to avoid outside influences that would corrupt or tempt them! And, how did this end? Would man live by God's word? No! Another failure.
And much more than a failure. Because there was one man who came and kept the entire law and the religious leaders that were tasked to uphold and teach the law had him killed!
Acts 10:37-40- That word, I say, ye know, which was published throughout all Judaea, and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached; How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him. And we are witnesses of all things which he did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree: Him God raised up the third day, and shewed him openly;
Now, God has given us a new period where we can get saved by faith through grace.
Ephesians 2:8-9- For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.
Today, men are expected to receive Christ by faith. Then, we walk in good works not to keep our salvation, but to glorify God, lead others to Christ, and edify other Christians.
How will this end? You can see the failure happening all around us.
II Timothy 3:1-5- This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,  Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;  Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
Most professing Christianity today is Fake. When the Rapture happens to end this period it will be pretty embarrassing to see who all is left.
What will come next? The Bible says that the next time period will be a faith and works system. You have to believe on Christ and keep the commandments of the Old Testament. Those who want to work their way to heaven will get the chance! But, it won't be easy- this is the time of the Tribulation.
James 2:14-18- What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, 16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.
This faith and works system will also end in failure- one that will deceive almost the entire world!
2 Thessalonians 2:8-12- And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
After the Tribulation, Christ will yet again give man another shot! This time He will rule on this earth for a thousand years. He will get rid of the curses on the earth, and He will give man a long life. He will remove the devil into the bottomless pit. Man will have a paradise with Christ on the earth where he can look and see Him.
Revelation 20:4-6- And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.
Isaiah 65:19-25- And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people: and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying. There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days: for the child shall die an hundred years old; but the sinner being an hundred years old shall be accursed. And they shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them. They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree are the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands. They shall not labour in vain, nor bring forth for trouble; for they are the seed of the blessed of the LORD, and their offspring with them. And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear. The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust shall be the serpent's meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the LORD.
A perfect world with a perfect ruler. Do you think this one will work? Guess what!
Revelation 20:7-9- And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.
It ends in Armageddon- the final World War.
We are not victims of circumstances. We are sinful humans who need a Savior. Without Christ's grace we will end up hopelessly lost! And, when we stand before the Judgment Seat in the final days none of our excuses will hold any sway.