*Volume 82 *No. 05 *Published by Christian Triumph Co. *Permit # 695 *MAY 2006
Contents: HOME Homeward Journey New Feature Why Would God Forgive Why Would God Forgive Bread Breakers Girls of Grace Letters & A Look at the Book
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“HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS”
(Happy Mothers’ Day) “Home” might describe a neat little house with Mom in the kitchen and Dad sitting in his chair reading the paper, but the word “diverse” explains it better. The family is changing. Even those of us who have received the Good News of God’s forgiveness and restoration find ourselves struggling with family matters - such as divorce, remarriage, the loss of a spouse, children returning home, and care giving grandchildren and older adults. Even so, the word “Home” may still stir up memories of chicken and dumplings, mashed potatoes, chocolate cake, a big easy chair and church on Sunday. Unfortunately, for others, thoughts take a different direction – pain, abuse, alcoholism, drugs, fighting, depression, and chaos.
As well - comfort, safety, or contentment may be lacking within the family unit. The good news remains, however, that there is a HOME waiting for each one of us in which we shall forever enjoy love and eternal happiness. Some of our dear mothers and grandmothers are even now waiting to see us. The Gospel of Jesus Christ assures us that we can go HOME to see them as we trust in Him. “The Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.” (Luke 19:10) In the book of John, we see Jesus doing just that as He knelt in the dirt beside the woman caught in adultery. His life on this earth culminated in His personal sacrifice so that we too might live eternally at HOME with God. In the story of the lost sheep, Jesus is described as the shepherd who risks everything to find that one sheep who has gone astray. The last verse of the song, The Ninety and Nine, describes His searching like this: “But all thro the mountains, thunder riv’n, And up from the rocky steep, There rose a glad cry from the Gate of Heav’n, ‘Rejoice! I have found My sheep!’ And the angels echoed around the throne, Rejoice for the Lord brings back His own. Rejoice for the Lord brings back His own.” In John 10, Jesus explains, “I am the good Shepherd. The good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep…No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of My own accord….My sheep listen to My voice; I know them…I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of My hand.” In accepting Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we are promised an eternal HOME where we will live at peace forever and ever. The Homeward Journey – by Juli
If home is where the heart is, I’ll soon be on my way To see my Blessed Savior And hear His voice then say,
This is a true story. It just happened on March 19, 2006. It began with a road trip to escape an offense I felt someone had dealt me as well as a pile-up of problems that I needed to think out to some resolution and peace. I took off from church with the intent to arrive where my heart would take me, to work off my anger. I went down many winding roads until I found myself deep in the country near a river that I never knew existed, with a beach made for a Saturday fishing trip. The road was miles long and perfect enough to go off riding in my minivan. I thanked God for this incredible find. Then, instead of turning around, as most of my anger had deflated, I continued to drive on and had quite a trip home. When I finally decided to go home, I found myself in an unfamiliar city and spent 45 minutes trying to find my way out of the city; that was with three people giving me directions. Finally, I discovered if I had only gone a little farther, I would have found my way out sooner. However, I spent another two and one-half hours just making what should have been - a 45 minute drive home. I kept thinking this or that shortcut will get me home. I was lost on a gravel road when I finally stopped the only car I had seen for miles and asked for help, thus, being able to find my way out of the gravel maze. The driver gave me simple instructions involving only one town. But I did not pay close enough attention to what he said and turned the wrong way. After I finally realized what I had done, I took two more “shortcuts” and by the help of God (Who must have been shaking His head by now), found my way to a familiar gravel road and to a place where I could really return home. This journey was an incredibly stressful one. I was immensely relieved to be, at last, on the paved highway that led directly to my house. To end this story, I could write the lessons that I learned which had Biblical application or I could write about the Bible characters I resembled. But here is what I really want to say: I will be so very incredibly glad when this journey of life is over, and I am safe in the Arms of my loving, caring God and His Son, Jesus. Won’t you? Home-by Juli’s mother
“I thought you’d never get here. I’ve been waiting so long!” And with a smile and gentle hug, He’ll join the Angels’ song. I’ll throw my arms around Him, Then bowing low, will cry To think of all He suffered For such a one as I. I’ll try to voice thanksgiving. He’ll wink and smile so free, “No need, My child! Coming Home Has just rewarded Me.” If Home is where the heart is, My longing soon will cease For I will live with Jesus In Love and Joy and Peace. Faith Messenger Permit #695 Periodical Paid at Corpus Christi, Texas Published monthly, except July and August. POSTMASTER SEND ADDRESS CHANGES TO:
Christian Triumph Company P.O. Box 5187 905-909 Bluntzer Corpus Christi, Texas 78405 *********************** L.Y. Janes, Founder (deceased); Steve Beletic, President; Israel Hernandez, Vice-President; William Anderson, 2nd Vice-President; Diana Beletic, Secretary/Treasurer; Una Collins, Asst. Sec./Treas. This periodical is issued without charge in the name of the Lord Jesus to help inspire child-like faith and maintain Christ-like simplicity among the people of God. To send donations or for your FREE SUBSCRIPTION, write to the address above or contact Christian Triumph Co. at email@example.com. Or see us on the web at christiantriumphcompany.com
NEW FEATURE 2
and church visitation. As well, one can often find her cooking over a hot stove in the fellowship kitchen/area. Her meals are delicious and just to catch the aroma of her cooking is a pleasure. One of the most significant ways that she gives to the Christian Triumph family is in helping to care for Evelyn Anderson (Brother and Sister Janes’ daughter). She loves to receive Evelyn into her home, taking her to church and to the office where Evelyn is content and happy. In thinking of Vitalina, we are reminded of the manner in which Brother Janes expressed his feelings about his own wife, Una. He often referred to Una as the “light in the window.” Similarly, Vitalina is a “shining light”, an essential and vitally important person at Christian Triumph, to her family and to others. “…When she speaks, her words are wise, and kindness is the rule for everything she says. She watches carefully all that goes on throughout her household, and is never lazy. Her children stand and bless her; so does her husband. He praises her with these words: ‘There are many fine women in the world, but you are the best of them all!’ Praise her for the many fine things she does. These good deeds of hers shall bring her honor and recognition from even the leaders of the nations.” (Proverbs 31: 26-31) Vitalina is one of the most humble, caring missionaries one will ever find in service on the mission field. We are so blessed to serve with her.
Just Who Are the Christian Triumph Workers?
Vitalina Hernandez “…a woman of strength and dignity…” (Proverbs 31:25, 26)
Christian Triumph’s Pastor, Israel, and Vitalina Hernandez were married in 1967 and have two daughters, Diana, who is the secretary/treasurer for Christian Triumph and Maria who lives in San Antonio, Texas. In 1979, Vitalina left her relatives in Mexico and came to the United States with her husband and children. Vitalina began working as a missionary with Christian Triumph ministries in 1980; she was a very loyal friend to the founders, Brother and Sister Janes, and still remains devoted to their family. Vitalina’s proficient, faithful service to God and to this literature ministry has been outstanding! In working as a mail processor, she efficiently operates the folder for tracts and prepares packages of Gospel literature for mailing. She has spent many hours in the last 26 years “spreading the Gospel” to other countries as well as in the U.S.A. In addition, Vitalina also works another part time job to help supplement her family’s income. Vitalina helps her husband, Israel, pastor the Christian Triumph Church, working side-by-side with him and others in any area needed. She is a tireless servant of the Lord who offers her assistance in the church services, special events,
Left to right: Vitalina, Israel, Elena (Israel’s sister), Diana (Vitalina and Israel’s daughter)
WHY WOULD GOD 3
With a tear stained face, the woman hung her head and simply answered, “No, Sir.” Those same eyes which had focused so intently on the hypocritical, religious leaders now softened with love and concern, “Neither do I condemn you. Go now and leave your life of sin.”
FORGIVE A WOMAN CAUGHT IN ADULTERY? (Two stories) This is the first story. In the Bible, we read about a woman who was taken by the religious leaders and forced to stand in shame and alone, before Jesus and the crowd of people. In the book of John, chapter 8, we examine the true account of these religious leaders’ attempt to trap Jesus; they believed He threatened their authority and position with the people and with the government. It was hoped that by this sensational event, He would be discredited and His claim to knowing God would be proved false. After all, the Jehovah they worshipped would never forgive or even tolerate such an inferior woman whom they insisted was singly and personally responsible for the unforgivable sin of adultery. Consequently, there was absolutely no possible way this man called the “Messiah” could be of God – if - He dared to show compassion and forgiveness, because the Law demanded this woman’s death! Much to their embarrassment, they would soon learn that Jesus, Immanuel (God with us), not only originated the Law, but also as our Savior, would fulfill it by offering His life as a sacrifice for this woman’s sins. Indeed He would demonstrate perfect love and mercy. (“For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” John 1:17) Listening that day to the loud accusations of the men, Jesus unexpectedly knelt and began writing in the dirt with His finger. The harsh demands of the men grew louder, until, suddenly, Jesus stood up. With eyes piercing their own, He called out, “All right! Hurl the stones at her until she dies! But only he who never sinned may throw the first!” Jesus knelt again, writing more words in the dirt. The religious Leaders watched as they felt the shock of truth penetrating into their own arrogance. Soon they wordlessly slinked away one by one until only the crowd, Jesus and the woman remained. Quietly, Jesus stood up again and asked her where the men were who had so anxiously pointed their fingers. “Did even one of them condemn you?”
Second story. The name of this woman will be “Eve” for she will represent many… (male and female). Eve was born a sweet innocent baby with sparkling eyes and pink cheeks. Being totally dependent upon her parents, she was molded and formed by their own particular personalities. As time passed, the adults in her life took on new meaning. Her family was busy with many other things, and into this familiar picture came another authority figure, one who was an accepted member of the unit. Silently, this architect of evil began winning the trust of little Eve until she in her innocence unknowingly became his personal victim of abuse. The childhood of this small child, perhaps, even similar to “the woman’s in the Bible” (John 8) soon became filled with loneliness, confusion, and despair. How could such a little one put into words her feelings of fear and bewilderment? After all, she was taught to obey and honor, and, besides, who was even listening? The nightmares, the crying, and her anxiety frustrated the family and, she was often punished by those who were responsible for her well being. The victimization continued as little Eve suffered, longing for someone to free her of this torment…… and her pain became God’s own. Years later, this same adult-child, Eve, “or the woman in the Bible” was thrust into the world with the expectations that she become a successful, productive member of society. Feelings of depression and anxiety were constant companions; yet, Eve courageously and fearfully began her adult journey. She tried to fit into the mold expected of her by those nearest including those within the church. Unfortunately but understandably, she chose a strict religious companion but also one who often ignored her feelings. The indifference and stern disapproving remarks frequently punctured her child-like heart; yet, the demands of the religious community kept Eve submissive and intimidated. 4
others while continuing to make their own uneducated (dangerous) choices. However, God knew them intimately and beheld their great significance. He willingly brought them back to the innocence of their birth where they could stand tall, with dignity, reclaiming their God-given selfidentity which would enable them to make wiser decisions. And God will do this for any person who asks! This Mothers’ Day which has been set aside to honor good, caring persons is a day of thanksgiving and honor, but it can also be a day of restoration as we remember that God knows the whole story. No religious laws, leaders, or any other person can keep God’s children in bondage for Jesus, the Messiah, came to set us free, and when He sets us free, “We are free indeed.” If today, you have been misunderstood, misjudged, and mistreated….remember that Jesus cares and longs to let you know that He understands. He promises to help you find a more abundant life.
As in childhood, life became a bottomless pit, dark and empty. She had no self-esteem; in fact, she even had no concept of a “self” because this God-gifted sense of identity was stolen from her as a child. Still she yearned to function normally as a productive citizen. In time, Eve (or the woman in the Bible) felt terrible loneliness, imposed shame and constant unmerited guilt, becoming devastated until once again, a perpetrator found its victim. With deceit and devious methods, this imposter promised concern and help for Eve (perhaps similar to the life of the inferior woman brought by the religious leaders to Jesus). It is not difficult to understand that compassion from anyone might soothe the pain and emptiness in a hurting person; in fact, sympathy can feel comforting, similar to having a supportive, wonderful parent who brings stability and safety. With a trusting heart, Eve found herself even more dependent and needy, and flooded with the dreams and wishes of an abused child. Maybe someone could actually give her Hope again. Sadly, this was a web of treachery rather than an answer to a child’s dream. Instead, Eve found herself caught in another nightmare that brought only personal guilt and confusion. She (or perhaps the woman) found the black hole of the heart and mind grow even deeper and darker, resulting in suicidal thoughts. After all, how could a person chained for years in a tomb of despair find the way to free herself and to choose a better life? (Yet, there remained “her” eternal Savior Who did care, Who stood watching and waiting for just the opportune moment to gaze powerfully into her eyes and make a difference.) One evening, Eve attended an old camp meeting. She made her way to an altar, crying and pleading with God for deliverance and healing. And even the question “Why should God forgive such a woman?” did not keep her away from God’s tender love and forgiveness. That night at the altar, God did touch Eve because He knew the “whole story.” In the same way, many years ago, Jesus also looked mercifully on the “woman” and lovingly “touched her”, removing the imposed and personal guilt and shame. In conclusion, the woman in the Bible and Eve in the second story were scarred by the abuse of
(Editor’s note: The Christian Triumph ministry is for all persons. Its purpose in spreading the Gospel is to present Hope, Love, and the Truth about Jesus Christ. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life…I did not come to judge the world, but to save it.” (Book of John). “Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may go through the gates into the city.” (Jesus speaking of Heaven in Revelation 22) This is the Gospel. Please write us if you have concerns, needs, or comments. ) A PRAYER BY JESUS “Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, that Your Son may glorify You. For You granted Him authority over all people that He might give eternal life to all those You have given Him. Now this is eternal life; that they may know You, the only true God and Jesus Christ, Whom You have sent…I pray also for those who will believe in Me…that all of them may be One…” John 17 5
has been our privilege in serving with GAL and later with CASA. “And the King shall answer and say unto them ‘When you did it to these…you were doing it to me!’” Matt. 25:40 (The Living Bible) + GIRLS OF GRACE by Nomie A. Fraser I believe my primary ministry and calling is as a wife, mother, homemaker and home teacher. I like to minister to other children in areas of which my own children and family are involved. The idea for Girls of Grace came as I listed the things I wanted to teach my daughter before she grew into the teen years. I realized many of the activities would be fun to do with a group of girls. The name “Girls of Grace” comes from the scripture,“You then, my daughter, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.” II Tim. 2:1. Girls of Grace targets preteen girls, ages 8 -12; it is held in my home once a month, after school on Friday until noon on Saturday. The purposes are - to counter-act negative influences of our culture by teaching modesty, purity, truthfulness and faithfulness, and to have fun in a safe, wholesome, Godly environment. I accepted 10 girls who made the commitment to attend all of the 10 monthly meetings. The areas of study each meeting are the Bible, Manners, Grooming, Crafts, Homemaking Skills and Cooking. Other women come in to teach specific classes such as cake decorating, calligraphy, hair, skin, and nail care, corn husk dolls, and scrap booking. The girls keep a notebook for referral and I assign them a scripture related to a topic for that month. My hope is to address topics they will be making decisions about soon. It has been good to see positive changes in specific girls throughout this year. + (Editor’s note: More of this article can be read in the JUNE Faith Messenger. Nomie attends a Bible church and is married to Bob, an ER physician. They have three sons, one of whom is married. Nomie and her husband adopted a 5 month old baby from Guatemala who is now age 11 and named Hannah. Nomie has home schooled for 22 years.)
BREAD BREAKERS by Anita “…the young children ask for bread, and no man breaketh it unto them.” (Lamentations 4:4) In being foster parents of many children, my husband and I are very aware of their personal and desperate needs. Along with fostering them, we discovered another way to minister unto children, as unto the Lord. Imagine a little child whose father beats her while her mother is an alcoholic. Not willing to change, the parents watch as their child is placed in a foster home. The organization CASA (Court appointed Special Advocate) or sometimes called GAL becomes involved and gathers many details concerning the little child. In doing so, they find there is a bond between the child and her mother and believe that somehow there must be a way to reunite them. CASA recommends counseling for the father and warns the mother that if she does not get help for her drinking problem, her little child could be permanently taken from her. Listening to this advice, the father takes action and learns coping skills to better handle his daughter; the mother eventually consents to getting help with her drinking problem. CASA advocates for the little girl watching as the parents visit, renew their bond, and put their lives back together. CASA recommends in court that the parents be allowed to have their child at home again. (Unfortunately, not all situations end this happily.)
My husband and I became a Guardian AD Litem with CASA and are trained to work with the court system in behalf of disadvantaged children. Some of our duties are to gather correct information, assist, be a spokesperson and also advise or warn the family. This does take time, self-sacrifice, support, and the commitment to handle difficult heartbreaking matters. There is much to consider in becoming a child advocate; however, we are very thankful for having had the privilege of being trained to help needy children. It 6
In ending Chapter two, we leave Jesus as a little child; yet, in the beginning of Chapter three, He suddenly comes on the scene as a man, about the age of 30. What happened during all those years? It is believed that Jesus continued to live in Nazareth, growing in wisdom while being nourished by His parents and His true Father, God. Although Mary probably outlived Joseph, she was fortunate to have her eldest son, Jesus, support her as a craftsman in the village. He faithfully performed His duty to His mother and siblings, thinking of their well-being while feeling the Anointing of His own Deity. In becoming the breadwinner, Jesus learned what it is like to work, be tired, feel the responsibilities of a home, and yet, continue – daily - with the task. While mingling with the community, sights and events must have impacted His loving heart, deepening His tender compassion as well as His great understanding of human suffering. He not only experienced the emotions and the needs of the common person, He lived “in their skin.” While recognizing His calling and dependably completing the smaller tasks of life, Jesus gradually moved forward to that amazing yet even greater challenge of giving Himself as a sacrifice for our sins.
EMAIL RE: SPANISH LITERATURE Good morning Diana! Hope your Friday is going great. Just a short note to let you and Christian Triumph know how wonderful the literature you gave me is for the pastors of Mexico. I have received many requests for more of the tracts, Hogar booklets, Lecturas booklets and Mesias booklets. The pastors have been tremendously blessed and are able to better teach the people as well as witness. These pastors still go door to door to witness and share the Word of God so the tracts and booklets aide them greatly. Also, they are requesting Bibles so as many Bibles as you can get for me to send will be wisely used. Thanks again! Have a splendid and blessed weekend! S. Kirk -------------------------------------------------------------
Hey, John! I just saw your picture in the Faith Messenger. Good job on the web site. Thank you greatly. C. Dyer, Global Mission -------------------------------------------------------A LOOK AT THE BOOK of MATTHEW
3. 4. 5. 6.
MATTHEW: CHAPTER 3 Introduction: Repent and Be baptized! John the Baptist emerges! Study of the third chapter of Matthew will begin in the JUNE issue of the Faith Messenger.
Review Questions on Chapter 2. What ONE word answers the question found in a song, “What made my Savior to Calvary go?” What happened to the wise men to cause them to NEVER return to King Herod, after they found Baby Jesus? What is Matthew’s purpose in using many Old Testament prophecies? King Herod died! Was his successor a kinder monarch? After leaving Egypt, to which smaller but safer town did Joseph take Mary and Jesus to live? What was Jesus’ mission here on earth?
NOTE: The Faith Messenger is not printed in July or August in order to save money. After June, the next issue will be mailed in September. We are very thankful for our three special authors in this May Faith Messenger. All three, Juli, Nomie, and Anita are either adoptive, foster, or natural mothers. HAPPY MOTHERS’ DAY! 7
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“She is a woman of strength and dignity…her words are wise, and kindness is the rule for everything she says…her children stand and bless her.”-Proverbs 31