*Volume 74 *No. 07 *Published by Christian Triumph Co. *Permit # 695 * SEPTEMBER 2005
Contents: My True Story My True Story New Trees The Night Free! Gifts A Trip Letters Letters
1 2 3 3 4 5 6 7
MY TRUE STORY My story begins as a three-year-old child, living with my sister in Texas. My parents lived in a different city but, one day, my dad came to my sister’s house. Because he and my mom had separated, dad decided that I should go to live with him. As he gently picked me up and asked if I would come, I began crying, saying, “no, no”, because I loved living with my sister. My dad became very angry and furiously threw me onto the bed! Later, when I was seven years old, my mom came to take me home to live with her in Corpus Christi. My first weekend, I again experienced the fear of domestic violence. I saw my stepfather brutally beat up my mother, and he did this for the next eight years. When I was fifteen years old, I could no longer tolerate my stepfather’s behavior. One night, as he tried to beat my mom, I struck back and entered, as a participant, into this violent world. Every weekend the two of them would drink, come home fighting, and, I would do what was necessary to protect my mother.
At the age of seventeen, I left that house and joined the Marine Corps. In the Marines, I did very well at first; in fact, I received my first stripe immediately after Boot Camp. Then, three months later, I received my next stripe, making me a Lance Corporal. I was then sent to NCO school and graduated with honor. Unfortunately, my decline into the deep hole of darkness was continuing. For the next four years, I drank, got into fights, and was incarcerated several times. During this time, I was even charged with attempted murder but later found innocent of this charge. Even so, I eventually received an honorable discharge from the Marines and began living in Texas. Before long, however, I was in trouble again, after receiving a second DWI that was a felony. Kind, caring people told me several times that God could help me, and, finally, I decided to look for a way to ask God’s help. Yet, my selfseeking thoughts were not sincere - Maybe if I receive God’s assistance, I will not have to go to jail; then I can always leave God’s Presence later. Very soon, while searching for a church, I found one that looked inviting. As I turned into the parking lot, a man was standing there, and I asked him if just anyone could go to that church. He was the Superintendent of Sunday school, and he welcomed me; in fact, he agreed to walk with me as I went inside the church. The Pastor soon gave his sermon and then asked who wanted help from God. Desperately, I raised my hand, and along with others was told to come to the altar. Another selfish thought came to me - I cannot talk to God, but the Pastor can; and maybe he will ask God to help me.
“But you are a chosen people…belonging to God…who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light.” (1 Peter 2:9b) “God is light; in Him, there is no darkness at all.” (1 John 1:5)
After the service, I asked the pastor if I could come back; the following Sunday, the Pastor again gave an altar call. I quickly thought - I had better go again just to make sure that God heard me the first time. At the altar, Pastor Ammons prayed for me, and then he told me to repeat the sinner’s prayer after him. (I repent of my sins. I ask you, Oh, God, to forgive me and cleanse me with the blood of Jesus.) When the Pastor asked me to do this, I realized that he was really getting serious! I started shaking my head, “no”, but before I knew it, I started saying the sinner’s prayer. Suddenly, the Pastor reached down, took my hand and lifted me up, and said, “YOU ARE SAVED!” I asked, “Just like that?” He said, “JUST LIKE THAT!” Immediately, two thoughts came to my mind. The first one was - Get out of here! What are your friends going to think? The second thought was - You have just promised to serve God! (I thank God for that thought.) Exactly at that very moment, I audibly heard God speak to me. With a very authoritative voice, the Holy Spirit of God commanded, "SERVE HIM!" That put a great fear in my heart and a deep desire to obey God. The old "me" was thoroughly transformed by the Power of God into a "born again" believer! The next morning, I rolled out of bed and landed right on my knees. I lifted up my hands and spoke these very words, "FATHER, in the Name of Jesus, I thank you for taking me out of a dark hole." (Up until this time, I had never before used the word, Father. I had never even talked to God.) Because of my own personal experience, I can now assure every person reading this article that - there is not enough darkness to keep you from coming into God’s marvelous LIGHT! Be encouraged! If you have problems, ask God to help you. If needed, repeat the sinner's prayer, just as I did. The Bible promises, "Whosoever will, may come." There is hope for a better life in Jesus. Believe and receive.
(Editor's Note: This true story is written for the readers of the Faith Messenger and will be published as a tract in January 2006. We thank Pastor Adan Espinoza, Corpus Christi, Texas, for sharing "his" story.) _________________________________________ Jesus, the Good Shepherd (John 10)
"So Jesus said again, 'I tell you the truth: I am the door for the sheep... Whoever comes in by Me will be saved; he will come in and go out, and find pasture…I have come in order that they might have life, life in all its fullness. 'I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd is willing to die for the sheep…No one takes my life away from Me. I give it up of my own free will.'" 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
I was reading an article about the environmental devastation caused from the eruption of Mount St. Helens 25 years ago. In spite of the desolation, a most interesting form of new life occurred. Several species of trees sprouted without even waiting for the natural development of other plants to cultivate the soil in preparation. Just like these trees, the barrenness in our lives is subject to God's miraculous power. In an astounding moment, the shadows can disappear and allow the light of God to flood our being with new insight. Innovative opportunities, inspiration, and achievable dreams can replace the feelings of failure. Life need not be a dead-end; instead, it can be a journey of positive choices, changes, and new beginnings. NEVER GIVE UP! (nh)
Every life has its night - illness, loneliness, financial problems, heartaches, and sorrows - hours when the sun of happiness refuses to shine until one wonders if it will ever shine again. Every life has its dark, dark hours when it almost seems as though no ray of light can penetrate the gloom. We know there is never a night that has no morning; and, in fact, we sometimes benefit from this time of darkness because we need the opportunity it affords us for coming face to face with ourselves. We need the night so that we might be brought into communion with our Creator, for it is the dark hours of life that bring out all the strength, goodness and virtue in all of us. Stars of faith begin to shine as hope, love, humility, patience and endurance develop. It is the hours of adversity that calls out to our true innermost being. The darkness is beautiful like God's wings spreading over us as we catch a glimpse of His watchful, compassionate eyes. In the shadows of life's trials, God's presence is a shining light giving peace, strength, and comfort. He has said He will never leave us nor forsake us, and He is with us always, even unto the end of this world. In the Holy Bible, Job said, "When He (God) hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold." Christ Jesus said, "Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted." (Matthew 5) Holy Bible. -Anonymous
Scripture: "I am the resurrection and the life; he that believeth on me…shall live."
MILITARY PRAYER CORNER Please remember our friends and loved ones in the Military, those who guard us, stand firm for the cause of freedom, and sacrifice for the Peace of our nation and others:
Sgt. Nathaniel Clum, Army National Guard Spc. Eric Ea., Army National Guard Raymond Hanks, Army National Guard Gary Miller, Army National Guard
Some folks think of God as a stern micromanager who in giving you (a job) or, in this case, a better life, also throws down a list of demands even more stringent than the criminal system's "three strikes and you are out!" Instead of receiving God's vast, lifechanging GIFTS, individuals freeze in religious
(Please send names of military personnel for prayer. SEND TO: N. Hunter 10819 CR 9470 West Plains, Missouri 65775) 3
however, comes straight from the heart of God to every individual. (The Gift of LOVE!) God so loved us that He gave Himself, and in receiving this Love, we grow to be like Him. (Read I Corinthians 13). In conclusion, we discover that unlike a demanding boss who states the "job duties" and then goes off to darken another person's day, God is entirely different. Instead, our Father offers help (forgiveness, power, wisdom, and love). His constant assistance enables us to enjoy a relationship with Him that will not end in failure. If we open our spirits to receive His Gifts of encouragement, life will be fulfilling on this Earth, followed by a breathtaking eternity in Heaven (Another Amazing Gift). The beautiful song, Rock of Ages, so aptly describes our need for God's gifts (as Believers and non-Believers) Rock of Ages, cleft for me, Let me hide myself in Thee; Let the water and the blood, From Thy wounded side which flowed, Be of sin the double cure, Save from wrath and make me pure.
fear, dreading to hear the Heavenly Voice cry out, "One strike and you are out!" God's word confronts our apprehension, "For the Spirit that God has given youâ€Śdoes not cause you to be afraid; instead, the Spirit makes you God's (children), and by the Spirit's power, we cry to God, 'Father! My Father!'" If indeed, life's journey with our Father God is based on how perfectly we keep the Law or how well our "duty" is performed, we all will surely fail. (Read Romans 8) Once, a religious leader, speaking to God in prayer, thought himself faultless in actions and thanked God for his personal perfection. Jesus disagreed with this assessment by praising a humble man who simply and sincerely asked God to have "mercy on his soul". God knows our weaknesses; thus, He offers us the GIFT of forgiveness, first when we are cleansed of our sins and then as needed, throughout life's passage. In fact, Jesus taught us the virtue of forgiving repeatedly; would God do less in return? (Read I John, chapters 1 and 2) If, as Christians, we shut ourselves off from this Gift of cleansing, our Spirits may become proud and rigid. Honest, open persons discover the inspiring joy of renewal as they practice repentance and humility. In the book of Romans, the Apostle Paul teaches about the GIFT of grace (mercy) of God. Because no one knows when his or her earthly life will end, (and that will happen), we seek God's mercy to help us prepare for that moment. The Bible assures us it is not God's will that any of us are lost. To insure our spiritual victory, God, the Holy Spirit, walks with us on this Earth, as a Gift, to guide us into truth. Truth invites us to become spiritually self-aware and trust God to help us in our times of frailty. In receiving this wonderful Gift of God's Spirit, we find ourselves even more devoted. Our focus centers on protecting our relationship with God as " obedience and duty" transform into pleasure. Therefore, a list of demands for perfection cannot compare to the yearning of a changed heart that longs to be in harmony with the Savior. The heart of a true Believer always craves spiritual perfection. The Holy Spirit also presents us with other Gifts. (Read I Corinthians 12) The greatest gift,
Could my tears forever flow? Could my zeal no languor know? These for sin could not atone; Thou must save, and Thou alone. In my hand no price I bring, Simply to thy cross I cling. (Simply to the Cross-, I cling!)
(Gifts - paid for - by the precious blood of Jesus.)
(This cross is located at Christian Triumph Ministries in Corpus Christi, Texas. It sounds out a message to all the neighborhood - God loves you!) 4
Triumph. Even in the oppressive heat, it felt like God was lifting me up and renewing my energy. My spirit felt on fire! What a privilege it was to serve with the Hernandez family! They are humble, loving Christians. Vitalina, the Pastor Israel's wife created the most delicious Mexican food and was very generous with her cooking. Oh, the aromas that came out of that small church kitchen. One evening late, I passed by and noticed that Israel was shucking corn for making tamales. He was as gifted at that as he is at preaching. The experience of attending the mission church stands alone! Is there anyone who can sing Spanish songs like these wonderful people? One man played an old Spanish guitar and sang with great devotion. Although I could not understand all the words, the music filled all those little parched places in my heart, left from months of sadness. After one such service, I told a sweet hermana (sister) that she sang beautifully, and she smiled and gave me a big hug. The guitars, tambourines, and keyboard surely touch the Throne of God with joyous, uplifting music. At last, the three weeks of hot, hard work paid off! The newly organized Sunday school literature continues to go to many pastors and church leaders in other countries. The packages for mailing are increased to four pounds, and we are trusting God to help supply the postage. The English tracts are organized, and new ones are being written for printing in January 2006. Inventory is finished on the books offered by Christian Triumph, and the selection is limited. All at once, the time to leave had come! The work was done; Diana and Steve were home safely, yet I did not want to go. The beautiful Gulf waters, which beckoned to me daily, would soon be just a memory. I remembered one morning early, a large bird sat fishing on the rocks along the shore. He looked rather lost, as if he was unsure of the future. This is how I felt as I packed the car, beginning the long trip home. Although I knew I would still be part of Christian Triumph ministry because of helping with correspondence and the Faith Messenger, I still felt a sense of loss and, perhaps, dread. The trip about over, I stopped at my daughter's before returning to my own home. In her
NEW RADIO MINISTRY Christian Triumph Mission has a new, exciting radio ministry. Two nights a week, one of the church evangelists preaches the Gospel in Spanish to an ever-increasing radio audience. The Holy Spirit has anointed these busy evangelists as they have a great passion to bring the message of HOPE to others. Please pray for the growth of this ministry and especially for those who hear the Word. (Rev. L. Y. Janes' dream of a radio ministry is being fulfilled.) +
A TRIP WITH A SURPRISING ENDING Leaving for Corpus Christi, Texas, this June, I packed my work clothes and drove many long hours to reach Christian Triumph Ministry. My mission was three-fold. First, I wanted to see and organize the excellent Sunday school materials sent by caring churches for distribution. Secondly, my goal was to find and systematize all the English tracts, old and new. Thirdly, I was to focus on arranging Spanish and English books that Christian Triumph published and sold. Along with these challenges, I also enjoyed office duties that allowed Steve and Diana Beletic, CT's President and Secretary/Treasurer/Office Manager and their children to take a much-deserved vacation. Waking every morning in the same house I shared with Brother and Sister Janes (as a youth) was such a privilege. I remembered their smiling faces and gentle personalities. I could hear Brother Janes quietly say, "Good morning", as he returned from working early hours in his little office. After dressing, I proceeded to the same small kitchen. This time, instead of eating cereal or toast, however, I gulped down soymilk, warmed tortillas, and scrambled eggs. We never ate that heartily in the good ole days. Back then, for lunch, we often had tuna, and remembering this, I brought several cans, just to make myself feel at home. Going to the familiar, simple office, I received a call from my Aunt in Michigan, asking how things were going. I tried to express how happy I was to be back on duty at Christian 5
yard, I fell and broke both my ankles and right leg. Interestingly, with all the trauma, I still felt uplifted and energized by the Holy Spirit. No amount of distance or painful circumstances can ever separate us from the Love of God. While editing this Faith Messenger, it is gratifying to remember the recent days in Corpus Christi, working intensely for the purpose of spreading the Gospel. As mentioned before in the March issue of the Faith Messenger, the buildings are aged but remain useable. The missionary staff is devoted and responsible. The goal of all concerned is sending the Word of God to those who plead for it. Additionally, the Mission Church is preaching the Gospel through local services and radio ministry. With great appreciation, I speak for everyone who serves in this missionary work. We treasure each person who contributes to this ministry, and I can personally assure you that all donations are accounted for and used wisely. We sincerely thank you for helping, and God bless you. - Nancy Hunter
Dear Beloved, I am the General Overseer of Messiah Ministry to preach, train and equip people…through the grace of God. Many people accept Jesus Christ…(but) no Holy Bibles and gospel materials to study, grow and develop on the word of God…this ministry is situated in the Muslim terrorist center; to God be the glory…Beloved, send us quantities of Holy Bibles and gospel materials for evangelism. Evang. O Victor (Nigeria) (This request is being given to the Willow Springs Church of God, Willow Springs, Mo. They will send used literature and pay the postage. THANK YOU and God bless you all!) Beloved in Christ, This school is situated in a Muslin communities with the vision to win their heart to God. Christian scripture union are organized 3 times in all terms of the year. The parents teachers Association, staff, myself and my beloved wife are arrested several times by the …terrorists…I hereby request Holy Bibles, Christian Videos and CD's as you can afford, to grow, develop and establish on the word of God. Yours Fulfilling the vision, Rev. Osunde, (Nigeria)
Christian Triumph Ministry thanks all who have sent Sunday school materials to be used for evangelism. We are even now answering the many requests for Gospel materials, including Bibles. We receive many letters every month from Africa, etc. asking for these educational materials. Postage is expensive, and our prayer is that God will supply this need. We appreciate each one who is helping to spread the Gospel. + (A short Bible story) A crippled man, lame from birth, listened and believed in the Apostle Paul's words about Jesus. When Paul said to him, "Stand up straight on your feet", the man jumped up and started walking around. The people watching thought Paul and Barnabas were gods. As they tried to offer sacrifices to them, Paul shouted, "…we are just men…like you. We are here to announce the Good News, to turn you away from these worthless things…to the living God!" (For more - Acts 14)
Dear Sir/Madam, This day has been the greatest day of my life…I was reading a pamphlet with a friend of mine. As we continue reading we come across your address…Please, I want to request a magazine and Bible that I can use it in church and Sunday school as well…I like to end here with greeting to you and your ministry Amen!!! Your's faithfully, Beatrice A., (Ghana, West Africa) Dear Sir/Madam, The brightness of this day has giving me the greatest pleasure to inform you this letter…the main reason…is that I want you to send me Bibles and some items…even for the Bible says throw your bread in the sea and you may found it in the future. Your's Brother In Christ, F. Akoto, (Ghana) 6
Dear Brother: Peace be with you all, meditate on Prov. 27:9,10. We would really like that you send us a good quantity of tracts in the Portuguese language as well as evangelical booklets…we have worked for many years in the personal evangelism, and we always need good literature and big quantities of all types, so that at every opportunity we can speak of the blessed salvation of Jesus Christ, as we give a tract of the word of God. We live in a big region where thousands of people exist that need to be reached and gained for Christ…We send our sincere thanks. C. Vogt (Brasil)
From Ruth Williams: Please print "The Lord is close to those whose hearts are breaking; He rescues those who are humbly sorry for their sins. (the poor, needy, despised, and rejected.) Thank you, Jesus, for your faithfulness."
To Christian Triumph: I think of you often and pray God to continue to give you all strength for the wonderful ministry you are continuing. I am always blessed by your paper and challenged to keep close to the Lord and to keep on serving Him. Love, D. Klock
+ DEDICATE TIME Dedicate time to THINK… It is the source of power.
To Christian Triumph: …It hurts to lose our loved ones. It seems the older I get, the more I miss my grandparents that raised us…they taught us that we should not lie, or swear, or steal, and to be honest. I appreciate them for that. My grandpa read the Bible some after supper and the outside chores were finished. I immediately saw the Bible Church of God when I heard my husband's mother and ministers preach…and our headquarters are in Heaven. God decides who is in the Church…I thank you for your good letters and all your progress. Christian love - M. Aungst __________________________________________
Dedicate time to PLAY… It is the secret to eternal youth. Dedicate time to READ… It is the fountain of wisdom. Dedicate time to PRAY… It is the greatest force of the earth. Dedicate time to LOVE and be LOVED… It is a privilege given by God. Dedicate time to BE NICE… It is the road to happiness.
PRAYERFUL BLESSINGS! Our prayers are with each person who is facing an injury or health problem. Remember that nothing can ever separate you from God's love. "I believe in you. I believe in your gentle courage and quiet bravery. I believe in your heartfelt dreams and deep-down wishes…I believe in your inner strength and the wisdom of your soul. I believe in all the things that make you such a rare and beautiful person. I believe in the miracle of YOU!"
Dedicate time to LAUGH… It is the music of the soul. Dedicate time to GIVE… A day is too short to be selfish. Dedicate time to WORK… It is the price of success. Dedicate time to CHARITY… It is the KEY TO HEAVEN. (author unknown)
(American Greetings-sent by Judie) 7
Faith Messenger A publication of Christian Triumph Company P.O. Box 5187 905 Bluntzer Corpus Christi, TX 78465
Non-Profit Organization U.S. Postage Paid Corpus Christi, Texas Permit # 695
Address Service Requested
"Sin need never again be your master, for now you are no longer tied to the law where sin enslaves you, but you are free under God's favor and mercy. Don't you realize that you can choose your own master?â€Śthe one to whom you offer yourself - he will take you and be your master and you will be his slave. Thank God that though you once chose to be slaves of sin, now you have obeyed with all your heart the teaching to which God has committed you. And now you are freeâ€Ś"
"The Lord makes a way in the sea and He makes a path through mighty waters. Behold, God says, 'I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth, shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.'" (Isaiah 43:16,20)