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the Manna | May 2011


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Greenwood Spring Festival

Saturday, June 4th Rain or Shine

A concert with Dove Award Nominee

Laura Story 7 pm

Doors open at 5:30 pm

Tickets are $13 in advance and $15 at the door. Ticket information is available by calling the school office @ 302-349-4131 or visiting

All-You-Can-Eat Breakfast from 7-10 am Outdoor Booths open from 9 am-3 pm Hundreds of items, including fresh-made foods, chicken barbeque, pork barbeque, seafood, baked goods, homemade ice cream, milkshakes, plus a petting zoo, children’s games and prizes. Plus, the Spring Festival Auction, vintage car club display, Amish cart & pony rides and various entertainments.

All proceeds from the Greenwood Spring Festival benefit the Greenwood Mennonite School

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the Manna | May 2011


15 | Is the Devil Really Real?

05 | Signals 07 | On the Air

17 | Do You Think Satan is a Joke?

What do you think? Click and see.


18 | Vacation from Hell

08 | Hollywood Ending

20 | In the Wilderness

It doesn’t have to be this way.

10 | Villain Looking out for a bad guy.

13 | Who is Satan What should we believe?

Stay in Touch

Who’s driving your thought life?

We are not always led where we want to go.

22 | Grace Upon Grace Batter up.

Extras 26 | Unfiltered | | May 2011



the Manna | A Publication of Maranatha, Inc. Editor-In-Chief: Debbie Byrd Creative Director: Joe Willey Contributing Writers: Josh Millwood, Brittney Switala, April Smart, Brent Timmons, Karen Tull Media Client Liaisons: Janet Beckett, Mary Kinnikin

Frequently Asked Questions Who We Are The Manna is published by Maranatha, Inc., a Christcentered ministry called to proclaim the Good News of faith and life in Jesus Christ through various forms of media, as God directs, until He returns. “Maranatha” (mer-a-nath´-a) is an Aramaic word found in I Corinthians 16:22. It is translated, “Our Lord, come!” Joy! 102.5 WOLC is also part of Maranatha, Inc. Its call letters stand for “Watch, Our Lord Cometh.” Maranatha!

Disclaimer Non-ministry advertisers are not required to subscribe to the “Statement of Faith” printed at right; nor are their businesses and products necessarily endorsed by the Manna, Joy! 102.5 WOLC, or Maranatha, Inc., whose viewpoints are not necessarily represented by the opinions or statements of persons interviewed in this magazine; nor are the viewpoints of its advertisers.

Statement of Faith We Believe… that the Holy Bible is the inspired, infallible and authoritative source of Christian doctrine and precept; that there is one God, eternally existent in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; that the only hope for man is to believe in Jesus Christ, the virgin-born Son of God, who died to take upon Himself the punishment for the sin of mankind, and who rose from the dead so that by receiving Him as Savior and Lord, man is redeemed by His blood; that Jesus Christ in person will return to Earth in power and glory; that the Holy Spirit indwells those who have received Christ, for the purpose of enabling them to live righteous and godly lives; and that the Church is the Body of Christ and is comprised of all those who, through belief in Christ, have been spiritually regenerated by the indwelling Holy Spirit. The twin mission of the Church is worldwide evangelization, and nurture and discipline of Christians.

Manna and Joy! 102.5 WOLC P. O. Box 130, Princess Anne, MD 21853 Voice: 410-543-9652 Fax: 410-651-9652 Manna e-mail: Joy! 102.5 e-mail: ©2011 Maranatha, Inc. May not be reproduced without written consent of Maranatha, Inc. Photos: iStockphoto and Big Stock Photo

Maranatha Media | Home of Joy! 102.5 and the Manna

Signals Satan Just as sure as God is – Satan is. We know this because God’s Word tells us it is true. It’s hard to imagine, from our mere mortal perspective, why God’s angels would rebel against Him. But some did. Living in the heavenlies, they were led by Lucifer, now called Satan. Lucifer was an awesome angel, possibly the most beautiful and wisest of all the angels. He led multitudes of angels in worship – until, that is, he was no longer happy worshipping God and longed to be worshipped himself. Scripture explains that many angels joined Lucifer in his plot to exalt himself above God. Billy Graham in his book Angels, says, “Thus, the greatest catastrophe in the history of the universal creation was Lucifer’s defiance of God and the consequent fall of perhaps one-third of the angels who joined him in his wickedness.” We could speculate as to why God didn’t save them. But He didn’t. 2 Peter 2:4 tells us, “God spared not the angels that sinned but cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment.” Scripture assures us that a fiery place has been reserved for Satan and his followers “but until this happens they constitute a mighty force – capable of wreaking havoc among individuals, families and nations! They want you under their control and they will pay any price to get you,” says Graham. “Satan has made his decision to battle against God to the death. He is the master craftsman who has plotted destruction during all the ages since he first rebelled.” Graham states, “Lucifer became Satan, the devil, the author of sin; and it is sin that

has always deceived, disturbed, betrayed, depraved and destroyed all that it has touched.” “Satan and his demons are known by the discord they promote, the wars they start, the hatred they engender, the murders they initiate, the opposition to God and His commandments. They are dedicated to the spirit of destruction.” Graham suggests that “although Satan and his evil followers press their warfare in the heavens, it seems their primary endeavor is to destroy faith in the world.” He refers to the objectives credited to Satan in Isaiah 13: “he works to bring about the downfall of nations, to corrupt moral standards and to waste human resources. Corrupting society’s order, he wants to prevent the attainment of order, and to shake the kingdoms of our God. He uses his destructive power to create havoc, fire, flood, earthquake, storm, pestilence, disease and the devastations of peoples and nations…Satan has great power. He is cunning and clever, having set himself against God and His people. He will do everything in his power to hold people captive in sin and to drag them down to the prison of eternal separation from God.” So what are we to do? For starters, we must recognize that Evil exists. Then, we must be armed and battle ready. Study His Word. Stay prayed-up. Be alert and ready to defend his attacks. Commit ourselves to being on God’s side. Stand firm – after all – when He is in us, nothing can stand against us! Debbie Byrd is General Manager of Maranatha, Inc., a ministry that includes Joy! 102.5 and the Manna. | | May 2011


What will you take home? Huge Regional Yard Sale Saturday, June 11th at 7 am Joy! 102.5 studios, 11890 Crisfield Lane, Princess Anne

$10 to set up | Vendors and shoppers invited | Lots of room for your items (please limit your items to things appropriate for sale on ministry property) | Tables not provided

Call 410-543-9652 for details • Rain Date is Saturday, June 18th

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On the Air On a Mission We are always so grateful for the emails, letters, and phone calls we receive from listeners who share with us how much a particular program or song has impacted them. Those comments encourage us as we attempt to provide our listeners with songs and programs that are first and foremost Christ-honoring. A while back, we received the following letter from a listener who had just found Christian radio for the very first time: “My story will be kept short, but I really felt like letting you know how much I was touched by the song “Wish You Were Here” by Mark Harris. My sister recently passed away after three years of fighting brain cancer. She touched lives everywhere she went. Mine was changed in 1981 when she told me about Jesus. Ten years later, however, when a friend of mine died, I lost my faith until, well, the day my sister passed away. She had never stopped praying for me, and I really can’t explain what happened the day I saw her lifeless body. All

I know is, I was filled with a feeling of fear and probably every emotion there is. I knew if I was to see my sister again, I was never going to be the same and I finally wanted to become new in Jesus. Now, finally, it all means what I had pretended to believe before. And when I heard that song on the radio, I could barely drive my car from crying! By the way, I should also mention that I found this radio station on that fateful day. Hmmm…by mistake? No way!” This message reminds us that the Lord uses Joy! 102.5 and the Manna as a daily source of hope and encouragement. We thank all of you who pray for us and support us financially—you help make a difference in people’s lives. Do you have a favorite song or program? We’d love to hear about it, so please take some time to email or write to us. Rodney Baylous is Program Director of Joy! 102.5. Visit

Listen Now! Check out our Program Guide at | | May 2011



Hollywood Ending By Karen Tull


little voice in my head told me to change the channel. I picked up the television remote, but hesitated. You’re going to regret this, the voice reminded me. I had stopped watching horror movies years ago, and the one coming up next was sure to be full of images that wouldn’t benefit my brain (the title alone removed all doubt). But against my better judgement, I watched it. The plot centered around a young woman who has a curse put on her—a curse which involves being tormented by a demon for three days and then getting snatched away to burn in Hell for all of eternity. The demon is frightening. Though it appears to her as only a shadow, its silhouette boasts gnarled horns on its goat-like head, claws for hands, and hooves for its feet. It makes a screeching noise and lurks around her everywhere she goes, doing its best to hurt her or create some gruesome scene to scare her. In a short time, she is willing to do just about anything to make it all go away. She consults a psychic advisor who says to try appeasing the demon with a blood sacrifice, which she offers (bye-bye, pet kitty) but to no avail. Next, she goes the séance route in hopes that a spiritual medium who has past experience with the demon can banish it for her. That doesn’t go so well either. Finally, after she is sure she has done the very thing that will undo the curse and thwart her approaching doom, the ground beneath her splits open, exposing flames below, with the shadowy claws waiting to pull her down into the fiery pit. And then the credits roll. Admittedly, I was shaken up after watching it. Was this just another Hollywood take on the Devil? Yes. Was it completely out in left field when compared with what the Bible tells us? No. First of all, there is indeed a curse. Scripture says each one of us is a sinner and therefore under the curse of death due to

our transgressions against God’s holy standard. Secondly, we are constantly being pursued by a real and evil adversary—his name is Satan. The Bible warns, “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8). Thirdly, a place of torment awaits those under the curse. It it described as a “blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 13:49-50). It is the desire of Satan that we spend eternity there and, as depicted in the movie, there is nothing humanly possible we can do to assuage him on his mission. Unlike the movie, this does not have to be the end of the story for us. The true story says the curse has been broken—by the blood of Jesus Christ. It is His blood sacrifice and His alone that was sufficient enough to conquer sin, and it was His resurrection alone that conquered death. In essence, Jesus wins... Satan loses. Scripture explains, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death” (Romans 8:1). When we call on the Lord to rescue us from our sin, we are freed from the curse and Satan is left powerless against us. Inviting Jesus Christ to be our Savior secures our eternal home with Him in Heaven. Those who reject Him, however, remain under the curse and will spend forever in a place no horror film could ever do justice. Like I thought it would, the movie gave me a jolt, although not in the way I expected. It provided a disturbing reminder of the torment that would await me had it not been for Jesus, and it gave me a renewed gratitude for a good and loving God who cared enough about me to send His Son. So, in this case...I’m giving it two thumbs up. | | May 2011



Villain by Josh Millwood

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know nothing! Nothing!” Sergeant Schultz would yell whenever something went awry on the television sitcom Hogan’s Heroes. It’s tragic to think that the comedy of Hogan’s Heroes will probably never again be captured by the politically correct machine that is Hollywood. They used to have a sense of humor. Alas, the ignorant guard at Stalag 13 is who I found myself relating to as I thought about what I know about the devil. What do you actually know about Satan? Most of what we conjure up in our imaginations are versions of the Prince of Darkness cast by Milton and Dante. Paradise Lost and Inferno craft beautiful and haunting descriptions of the underworld, true – but they are not the Bible. I’ve been reading and studying the Bible since I was old enough to be in Sunday school (around six-weeks-old; Dad was a Southern Baptist minister), but the only recollections I have of Satan are from the Garden of Eden, Job’s story and when Satan tempted Jesus in the wilderness. That’s it. I’m sure there are other instances in the Bible where Satan is referenced but, quite frankly, he’s not a very well-defined villain. Think of villains. Darth Vader, Lex Luthor, Hannibal Lecter, Judas Iscariot. Those are bad guys! They are human enough that we can sort of imagine where they are coming from, but evil enough that we wouldn’t choose their side. Of course, only one of them was actually a real person. No, not Darth. The best villains are those that you both fear and pity. But just like it is hard to have faith in Jesus, whom we cannot see – it’s hard to fear a bad guy that is not human and not clearly defined.

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The Gospel of John says that “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.” So we know he is out to get us. Since Satan is referred to as the father of lies (John 8:44), it’s a safe bet that you wouldn’t want to listen to him. Eve and Adam did. Fortunately for us, Jesus did not listen when He was tempted by Satan. Paul encourages us to flee temptation, not stand and fight. So it’s safe to assume that Satan is more powerful than you and me. Super villains often have super powers. What are Satan’s powers? Lucifer is a fallen angel. He has more than human strength and ability. But quite frankly, we don’t know all that he can do. He’s not God. He’s not omniscient or omnipresent – but he’s got more resources than a human being. One thing we can glean from the story of Job is that Satan can only do what God allows him to do (Job 1:12). And, as of right now, Satan has dominion over the earth. We are in his territory. That’s a great reminder to followers of Christ – we do not belong here. Then comes the troubling fact that God made Satan. “Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made” (John 1:3). Logically the question arises, Why did God even make an arch nemesis? Truth be told, while Satan is the enemy, he is nowhere even close to being a problem for God. Disobedience is as much a problem for angels as it is for humanity. Through Christ, God made a way for us to re-enter right standing with Him. But that doesn’t seem to be the case for the angels that followed Satan out of Heaven. Perhaps it is with a tremendous sense of envy that Satan antagonizes the rest of God’s creation. While most human stories need a strong villain upon which to hinge the plot around, God’s creation is the story of love and redemption. The real enemy is sin, and that enemy (along with Satan) has been defeated. The Bible doesn’t have a lot of exposition about Satan. We don’t know too much about his secret lair or dastardly plans because we don’t have to know it. We don’t have to fight him; Jesus did.

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Who is Satan? By Joe Willey


aybe, it’s more telling and accurate to define how someone feels about one thing by the way they look at another. How a person feels about lying will out itself in the respect he has for the truth. People’s views are like polar ends of a teeter-totter, always seeking balance. And their hearts are the fulcrum. The same is true in our view of Satan. Views on him teeter precariously between a joke and divinity. How Satan is viewed is in direct relation to a person’s view of God’s truthfulness. That is not to say that Satan is in any way equal with God. Satan is a created being with a definite point of creation. But if God is truthful, the real character of Satan is expressed in Scripture. If Satan is viewed as an imp bounding from shoulder to shoulder with a red cape and a brimstone-scented pitchfork, then the view doesn’t align with who God says Satan is. God’s truthfulness is doubted again if someone is convinced that Satan is an omniscient, omnipotent or omnipresent arch-enemy of God, co-equal in power, but of opposite intent. When Satan is not viewed through God’s description of him, it is just imaginations conjuring up jokes or superstitions.

The truth about Satan is far worse than a glowing, rubyskinned tempter and more subtle than an all-powerful anti-God could be. Satan is Hebrew for adversary. Yes, he is the adversary of God, but also to anyone who has been redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ – Christians. He wants to kill, to maim, to destroy, separating a Christian from the truth of God and from His grace. It is easy to be swept into jokes about Satan, but God says Satan is: an accuser (Revelation 12:9) the deceiver of the world (Revelation 12:9) the enemy (Matthew 13:28, 39) the evil one (Matthew 13: 19, 38; John 17:15) the Father of Lies (John 8:44) god of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4) a liar (John 8:44) a murderer (John 8:44) It is not a question of who Satan is. It is and has always been a question of Who God is. And is He telling the truth. | | May 2011


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Is the Devil Really Real? By April Smart


o you remember a time when you said to your parents, “There’s a Boogie Man in my closet,” and it was hard for you to go to sleep? It is humorous looking back; however, children are more in tune with the spiritual realm than you may think. Childlike faith is most active when we are young; as adults we need to approach God in the same way. Without faith it is impossible to please God. The devil has been around for a long time. The perception of the devil is a little guy in a red suit with horns and a pitch fork. However, this is not what he looks like at all, and there is more to the story than this cartoonish figure that we have dreamed up in our minds. Before the fall of man in the Garden of Eden, there was an even bigger rebellion that took place in heaven. The devil, once named Lucifer (meaning light bearer) fell from heaven with one-third of the angels because of his desire to be God. He wanted to take over and kick out God, the One who created him and all of creation. Satan is on a mission that is best represented in John 10:10 which says, “The thief does not come except to kill and to steal and to destroy.” While Satan wants to destroy life, God is the Creator and Life giver. Many times in everyday life we give legal ground to the devil and his demons to set up home in our lives through the shows we watch, the music we listen to, the things we say, or the people with whom we spend our time. Our eyes, ears and our mouths are a gateway for God to come in or for the enemy

to come in. When we begin to think that these things cannot affect us because we are not actually acting upon what we have seen, heard or talked about, that is when the enemy has duped us. He and his demons can stay as long as they want because you can’t get rid of something that you don’t believe in. You can choose not to believe in gravity all day long, but if you jump off a ledge you will fall to the ground over and over again no matter how many times you try it. It is one of those things that will just prove you wrong every time. The same way that the Earth has laws that, when broken, have negative effects, is the same way that God has spiritual laws. If you keep the law, you will reap benefits; if you break the law, you will reap negative consequences. Jesus said that He only did and said what the Father did. If we are speaking or doing something that does not conform to the Word of God, we are coming into agreement with the devil. People are not the problem. Our real enemy is the devil. Ephesians tells us to put on the full armor of God so that we can stand against the wiles of the devil. If you are going to win the battle, you need to make sure you have the right protection and the right weapons. If you just come into agreement with God’s Word and speak to your situation in faith, even if you’re faith is as small as a mustard seed, that mountain that you are facing will be moved. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. You don’t have to run away from your problems anymore; you can put the devil on the run by using the most powerful weapon on Earth, God’s Word. | | May 2011


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hristians give Satan too much credit in areas where we need to take responsibility for our own sins. It is very easy in life to half-jokingly say, “Oops, the Devil made me do it” and laugh off our sin. There are other times when we discount Satan’s ability (most often through his demons) to play tricks on our minds. Satan influences our minds with negativity and lies about ourselves and others. He deceives us into thinking God is not trustworthy because our circumstances are difficult or confusing. Such was the case with our recent family vacation. You know how they say with a trip, “getting there is half the fun”; if that were the case, I’d be at the “funny farm!” I may have had one of the first cases of post-traumatic stress disorder from a family vacation! Our car had been experiencing some strange shaking at highway speeds the week before we were going on vacation to meet my parents in Nashville, Tennessee. We took the car to our local mechanic and, presuming it was repaired, headed out on the road. About three hours later we ended up taking our car to a mechanic – on a Sunday afternoon! Two new tires and an alignment later we were back on the road, only our vacation fund was about $700 less. We arrived in Asheville, North Carolina, exhausted and intent on renting a car

at the airport. After loading our luggage into an economy-sized trunk, we drove the streets in search of an open mechanic. We dropped off our car for the third time, praying that this would be the answer. One week later we paid for a broken axle and our repairs still did not fix the problems. On top of that, our five-year-old threw up on our rental car and our electricity was out at home when we arrived! Now, in documenting the story of our car problems, I intentionally did not share my thoughts, feelings or emotions. There were two distinct thought patterns that were going through my mind the whole time. Satan was encouraging me with these embellishments: Our car had been experiencing some strange shaking at highway speeds and we were getting ready to go on vacation to Nashville, Tennessee. (I told my husband we should have rented a car! Now maybe he’ll listen to me next time! He just doesn’t take me seriously. ) We took the car to the mechanic and presuming it was repaired, headed out on the road. About three hours down the road we ended up having to take our car to a mechanic – on a Sunday afternoon! (Yeah, like anybody is going to be open on a Sunday! We’re probably going to have to stay here over-

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night – all because we didn’t rent a car – like I said we should.) Two new tires and an alignment later, we were back on the road. (I really don’t like our mechanic at home anymore anyway. He’s hired some scary-looking new guys I wouldn’t want to meet in a dark alley. That’s probably why we’re in this predicament. Well I hope this repair worked but I won’t believe it until I see it. Yikes, I’d better call my parents. It’s a good thing we’re going on vacation with them, maybe they’ll feel sorry for us and pay for a lot of this vacation.) We got back on the road, with our vacation fund was about $700 less. (I just knew this was going to happen! We scrimp and save and where does it get us? Where’s Dave Ramsey right now?! My car that’s been in a wreck and shakes and my husband’s rust-bucket truck... It’s just not fair. Isn’t God supposed to take care of His own?!) We arrived in Asheville, North Carolina exhausted and intent on renting a car. (Honey, I knew we were going to have to do this in the first place!) After loading our luggage into an economy-sized trunk we drove the streets in search of an open mechanic. (Couldn’t we at have gotten a bigger car? How is all our stuff even going to fit?! Now we have to look for another mechanic – on a Sunday! Even if we do find one, why

has God put us through all of this when He has the power to move mountains? Doesn’t He care? He better come through now, otherwise my kids won’t trust Him and it will all be His fault!) We dropped off our car for the third time, praying that this would be the answer. (But not holding our breath!) One week later we paid for a broken axle and our repairs did not fix the problems. On top of that, our five-year-old threw up on our rental car and our electricity was out at home when we arrived. (If God is so good, why did we have to go through all this? What’s next? When is the other shoe going to drop? I tell people about all the stuff we’ve gone through and nobody really cares. Christians say they care, but they don’t. I am alone.) Wow, that was depressing! But seriously that satanic train of thought was fighting quite convincingly in my mind against the Truth. The Truth is that God is always with me and will never leave me (Hebrews 13:5). The Truth is that God cares about me and my troubles (1 Peter 5:7). The Truth is that God cares much more about developing our character than making our difficulties go away (Isaiah 48:10). The Truth is that God is worthy of praise in the midst of our trials and praising Him lifts us out of impending depression (Psalm 30). And the truth is I will have a very good story to tell my grandkids someday!

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he Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. And he was in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan; and he was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered to him.” Mark’s record of the Spirit’s compelling Jesus into the wilderness immediately following his baptism has always intrigued me.  The original language is so forceful as to imply that the Spirit literally expelled Jesus into this land of wild beasts and satanic attack.  It is even more striking when compared to Matthew and Luke’s accounts which both suggest that Jesus was “led by the Spirit” into the wilderness. Despite their gentler version, the force is still the same: the Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness to be tested—nay, tormented by the devil.  Why would the Spirit compel Jesus into the land of testing? To understand this question, we must go back to the exodus of Israel from their Egyptian oppressors.  After four hundred years of oppression and enslavement, God sent Moses to deliver the people and to lead them into the Promised Land.  A great drama ensues between the gods of the Egyptians and the God of Israel.  Ten plagues fall, the Red Sea is parted, and the Egyptian ©2010:HealthSouth:441521



army is swallowed up by the raging waters. And then we read, “Moses led Israel from the Red Sea, and they went out into the wilderness of Shur; and they went three days in the wilderness and found no water....and the whole congregation of the sons of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness” (Exodus 15:22; 16:2).  Israel would spend the next forty years, the text tells us, wandering in that wilderness of lament and bitterness.  A great beginning stalls in the deserts of Sinai.  Like Israel before him, Jesus’s story as recorded by Mark begins with great drama.  John the Baptist announces the Deliverer: Israel’s exile was over, for the Messiah had come.  The Deliverer is baptized by John and in front of the crowds declared the beloved Son of God.  What a tremendous beginning to his earthly ministry.  And yet, like Israel, Jesus begins that earthly ministry not with healings and miracles, or with fanfare and great teachings, but by being “immediately cast out into the wilderness.” Jesus, many commentators have suggested, was re-enacting the great history of Israel in his own life and ministry.  He was Israel’s Messiah, their deliverer, just as Moses had been.  Yet, like Israel, Jesus would be tested and his test had to precede entry into the Promised Land.  But unlike

All Cabinets and Floors Our Name Says it All

Into the Wilderness by Margaret Manning

Israel, Jesus would pass the test and his deliverance of his people would be his gift and offering to God for all eternity. I am mindful during the days and weeks leading up to the forty days of Lent that before we can enjoy the promised land of resurrection life, we too must go through the wilderness.  I do not go through a single day without hearing many stories about the wilderness spaces people dwell in through suffering, disappointment, doubt, or sin.  Often, we want to rush through the wilderness to get to the other side.  But maybe like Jesus, we too must travel through wilderness places.  Like him, we will be compelled into that wilderness where there are deaths and deprivations.  The wilderness is a place of testing trust.  In the wilderness of unmet needs, what do we do?  Who will we turn to?  In what or in whom do we place our trust?  When the Israelites faced lack of food and water, they wanted to return to the enslavement of Egypt; at least there they had food and drink.  Jesus, on the other hand, took nothing with him into that desiccated place.  He was hungry and enticed to turn stones into bread to meet his legitimate need.  Instead, Jesus trusted solely in God’s provision for his needs, in God’s time and manner.   Often, we ask God “why” when we are

compelled into the wilderness. We might grumble or complain in our lament, or try to hurry our way into the Promised Land by forcing our own way.  Or else we might seek to return to Egypt to meet our needs in our time and through our own methods.  But the journey of all Christ’s followers is a journey through the wilderness towards the Cross.  We cannot escape it, nor can we go around it.  And yet, the wilderness, the Cross, and the ultimate resurrection of Jesus all demonstrate that no matter the wilderness we find ourselves in, God will bring us through to life on the other side.  We will not be removed from the suffering of the wilderness, but with God’s help we can be transformed by it. Margaret Manning is a member of the speaking and writing team at Ravi Zacharias International Ministries in Atlanta, Georgia.   Into the Wilderness by Margaret Manning, A Slice of Infinity, No. 2408, orignally printed March 1 17, 2011 (www. Used by permission of Ravi Zacharias International Ministries.

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t was only the second game of the season, but his skill and confidence were already progressing. He was doing well for his first year of Coach Pitch Little League, and was being played in the infield, sporting the number nine. He stood attentively by third base, waiting for the pitch. The batter rewarded him with a line drive, eight feet off the line and four feet off the ground. Number Nine reached out and nabbed the ball. It was no less than a spectacular play, and he was overcome with a look of satisfaction. Later, his turn to bat came. The first pitch – strike one. He caught a little piece

of the second pitch. It popped up just a few feet behind him, right into the catchers open mitt. The coaches from both teams looked quizzically at one another. The opposing coach made the call – “let him bat.” The third pitch was the charm. He popped the ball into right field. As he approached first base, the coach yelled “take two.” He rounded first base, a foot outside of the bag, and ran on to sec-

Grace Upon Grace


by B.A. Timmons

ond. Safe. If anyone noticed his failure to tag first, they didn’t mention it. He had hit a solid double. His satisfaction was evident again. Coach Pitch is designed for learning. Strict attention to the rules often gives way to the greater good of the game and the players. In this case, the coaches knew they had a boy who had a good chance to hit, and it would give the opposition a chance to field. With the hit, everyone learned something, even if the game wasn’t played perfectly. During the ride home debriefing, the spectacular catch at third came up. Number Nine offered this explanation – “I wasn’t paying attention to the batter when he hit the ball. But I heard the hit, and then saw something white out of the corner of my eye. So I reached out with my glove, and the ball went in.” There’s a word the Bible uses to describe Number Nine’s day at the baseball field. It’s called “grace.” In this particular case, it was a matter of “grace upon grace” as he experienced not one but at least three extensions of grace by the coaching staff

and umpire. If not for grace, Number Nine would have been called out before he barely got started at bat. If not for grace, he would have been called out for missing the tag at first base. If not for grace, that line drive in his direction could have easily resulted in a double for the batter. Of course, in these instances, the opposing team was experiencing something completely different, but that’s a story for another day. John says of Christ – “For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace” (John 1:16). Most can identify the first time they recognized God’s grace in offering forgiveness through the sacrifice of Christ. But grace does not stop flowing there. We receive grace upon grace throughout our lives. We need just as much grace to press on in our walk of faith as we did to get started. The Lord knows we aren’t going to walk perfectly. This is no ball game – He doesn’t change the rules for us. Christ suffered the repercussions of all rule breaking. And He has made a way for us to press on when we fail to perform perfectly, which will be often. That provision is called grace – the same grace that brought us to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. On a daily basis, we find ourselves the beneficiaries of grace. Not just grace, but grace upon grace.

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ometimes there’s the tendency to feel like we can’t or don’t do enough to help those going through hardship. In past weeks, we’ve seen pictures from the tsunami devastation in Japan; here in the U.S., we’ve learned of the recent tornado damage in the Southeast, as well as the wildfires burning across Texas. And if we left right now and traveled in any direction, we’d be at no loss to find people who are poor, hungry and hurting. But when we stop and consider our own time and financial resources (not to mention the daily tasks in front of us), we may feel stifled in our ability to bless others in the way we think God would want. Perhaps we start feeling inadequate when we look around and see the impact other people are making through missions and charitable work. What’s important to remember, however, is that God hasn’t placed the same calling on all of our lives. While some are called to go, others are called to give, and others are called to pray. And all the while, we can still help people and bring glory to God right where He has placed us by “brightening the corner where we are,” as the old hymn reminds us. While the world likes to categorize types of work and acts of service as more important or less important, God has a different perspective. He is pleased when we entrust our daily deeds into His hands. Scripture says, “Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward, and that the Master you are serving is Christ” (Colos-

sians 3:23-24 NLT). I spoke with a lady on the phone the other day who was over the moon because she had received an invitation to church. Her heart was touched that someone cared enough to ask, and the sound in her voice reflected hope—a tone not often there when I’ve talked with her before. But on that day, her corner of the world had been brightened by someone else. What we do on Sunday morning isn’t the only way to worship. We are worshipping the Lord when we adopt the attitude described in the verse above. For many of us, our sphere of existence isn’t that far-reaching on a day-to-day basis. We go to work, we come home, and we take care of our families. But as we go, we can make an impact for the Lord in far bigger ways than we ever imagined. “Brighten the Corner Where You Are” Do not wait until some deed of greatness you may do, Do not wait to shed your light afar; To the many duties ever near you now be true, Brighten the corner where you are. Brighten the corner where you are! Brighten the corner where you are! Someone far from harbor you may guide across the bar; Brighten the corner where you are. | | May 2011



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and intimate. But, with great skill, Lewis shows how those attributes are turned into evils as Screwtape reveals his calculating, conniving and treacherous nature. In short, he is prideful. Pride is the central message of The Screwtape Letters. And, here is where the book is most chilling. Whether it is appealing to the pride of the human “subject” through subtlety, as Screwtape recommends Wormwood to do, or as a commentary on one of the obvious characteristics of a devil, we can see ourselves. We are victim or victimizer. We cannot escape that we are either struggling to get away from evil or to get closer to it. There is no other way.

The Screwtape Letters: C.S. Lewis We are not privy to the letters of devils of any sort and maybe that is the intriguing thing about C.S. Lewis’s The Screwtape Letters. The novel is a fictional account of a correspondence between two devils–one, named Screwtape, who is experienced in tempting humans; and the other, his nephew and newly-assigned tempter, Wormwood. What we peek into is as fascinating as it is chilling. The Screwtape Letters highlights petty irritations and self-important thoughts that we all live with daily and shows them to be just ridiculous pride on our parts that lead us away from serving God. Nothing, to the devils’ minds, seems to be as effective as the mundane parts of life and that feeling of growing hot and then cold about a particular person or subject. Sometimes it feels like they are reading our mail, instead of we reading theirs. Screwtape as a character is almost likable… almost. He is intelligent, proper

The Complete Hank Williams: Hank Williams

I’m pretty sure Hank Williams said it best – no matter what it was. The Complete Hank Williams’ 10 disc set catches it all. You can’t be profound by setting out to be profound. There is an air of self-importance that hangs like cheap cologne over the work of someone who sets out to be the greatest. That’s something missing from Hank. That’s what’s so appealing about what he wrote and why his songs and sentiments have remained. Hank wrote terse American poems and laid them on top of what became the standard for country music. It’s interesting that his music has stood for 60 years and it’s surprising how transient the lyrics really are. Hank wrote for the moment about things people have felt forever. That’s the tension in his music. Saturday night tugs on Sunday morning’s dawn. The excitement of a new love turning sour followed by redemption songs. You hear the struggle of wanting to do the right thing, but failing again. All crystalized in the moment it took to record the song. Those moments are well represented here and it’s easy to see why he is so important to American music – then and now.

to the three musicians spotlighted in David Guggenheim’s It Might Get Loud. “Jimmy Page, The Edge, and Jack White sit down in a living room...” It sounds like the setup for a bad joke, but it’s actually the premise for It Might Get Loud, conceived and produced by Thomas Tull and directed by the guy who brought the world An Inconvenient Truth, David Guggenheim. Three men, three different generations, three different styles - all extremely talented at extracting something original from a piece of wood, strung up, and plugged into an amplifier.  This documentary brings three musical geniuses together with their guitars and then lets them talk, teach, play, and learn.  In fact, the title comes from a passing remark by The Edge as he hits his overdrive pedal in demonstration of a favorite effect. It’s cheeky and fun. Guggenheim mixes in the personal musical histories of the three stars in a way that feels refreshingly different from the cookie cutter Behind The Music style that we have been subjected to for a decade on VH1.  We watch Jimmy Page walk through an old English house in which Led Zeppelin literally invented recording techniques.  The Edge blasts his tremolo pedal off a cliff in Ireland. That’s right. He practices outside on a cliff looking out at the isles of Ireland.  In a quirky twist, we see Jack White teach a child labeled “Jack White Age 9” how to play the blues. Each musician’s story is as different as different can be from each other, yet their love and passion resonates a single chord; three notes, in perfect harmony. All of this is spread throughout the ever-evolving conversation between the three masters of the guitar.  They explain their techniques and favorite effects.  They talk about history, social changes, and their beloved guitars.  It’s the ultimate rock shoptalk!  The three take turns being impressed by one another.  Most frequently, Jack White looks like a puppy expecting a treat.  He seems genuinely surprised to be included in the conversation between The Edge and Page.  But both veterans seem to appreciate White’s skills, and eagerly join him in playing a song for the end credits. Fans of the bands represented (Led Zeppelin, U2, The White Stripes/ The Raconteurs) will instantly appreciate and love the insight into these icons, but even if you have never heard “Stairway to Heaven,” you can appreciate watching these three gifted musicians express their gratitude for the opportunity to spend their lives making music.  They seem to understand that they get to play for a living, and not one of them takes it for granted.

It Might Get Loud: David Guggenheim

These reviews are provided by Maranatha, Inc. staff and contributing writers.

Have you ever tried to play the guitar? I have owned three guitars over the last 20 years.  None of which I can play.  I can play three chords, with a 3 second pause between each as I struggle to get my fingers on the appropriate frets.  On electric, I can manage some power chords, but they still sound weak.  It’s hard, and leaves calluses.  But at least I can admit I’m terrible at the guitar.  Youth and college groups are crammed full of kids who believe they have mad skills because they mastered the G, C, D chord progression for the praise and worship band.  I got news for you guys - you are like preschoolers compared

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