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The 30,000 Foot View The sons of Issachar were commended because they “had understanding of the times, and knew what Israel ought to do” (1Chr. 12:32.) Our mission at KKLA is to help you grow in your understanding of God’s word and learn what He is doing in the world today, so you can be an effective disciple of Christ. At KKLA we get the “30,000 foot view”, through our partners in ministry, to see what the Lord is doing through the body of Christ in southern California and around the world. It is our business to let the right hand know what the left hand is doing! For example, many of us were disappointed in the Supreme Court ruling about traditional marriage. But I was encouraged to learn on The Frank Sontag Show (weekdays at 4pm) that it was the work and prayers of Christians right here in southern California that led the charge in promoting God’s view of marriage. Bob Tyler, southern California attorney and lead counsel to the Supreme Court, gave us his first-hand account of what happened. Despite the temporary outcome, the body of Christ made a deep impact on this important issue. It is our goal to bring the story behind the headlines so that you can pray with understanding for this city and nation that we love. While many are wringing their hands about homelessness and human trafficking, we are privileged to bring the stories of difference makers like Andy Bales (Union Rescue Mission) and Matthew Barnett (The Dream Center) who are rescuing thousands of people each year in the name of Jesus! Of course our primary mission is to share God’s word over the airwaves. KKLA is unique in broadcasting the leading Bible teachers in America, so that you can hear “the whole counsel of God” from a variety of perspectives. Some recent additions to our line-up include Robert Jeffress (Pathway to Victory), Tom Cantor (Friendship with God), Philip De Courcy (Know the Truth), Mike Fabarez (Focal Point) and JP Jones (Truth that Changes Lives). We are also excited about the new “Pastor Panel” segments on the The Frank Sontag Show featuring local pastors discussing the pressing issues of the day. (For a complete listing of KKLA programs see pages 20-24.) May we all gain a better “understanding of the times we live in” so we can be fruitful in every good deed!

Terry Fahy Vice-President / General Manager KKLA 04

KKLA Magazine

Issue 13

Any Thoughts on KKLA Programming? Email Terry at or scan-to-email

In this issue...



Issue 13







ADMINISTRATION Terry Fahy Vice President/General Manager, Salem Los Angeles Katherine Worthington General Sales Manager, 99.5 FM KKLA Chuck Tyler Program Director, Salem Los Angeles ADVERTISING INQUIRIES Katherine Worthington General Sales Manager, 99.5 FM KKLA (818) 662-3743 Contributors: Chad Blair & Jim Tinker, Salem Los Angeles Design: Olive Group Design

04 | The 30,000 Foot View by Terry Fahy

08 | From New Age to New Life by Frank Sontag

12 | Rekindling Your First Love by Charles Swindoll

27 | Is it Too Late for America? by Jack Hibbs

31 | The Good News About the Bad News by JP Jones

35 | Keep Calm and Carry On! by Philip De Courcy

39 | John Joseph Hughes: New York’s World Changer

by Jim Daly

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ment, giving lectures and hosting seminars on self-improvement and human potential to thousands of people. I was called a “new age guru” by The Los Angeles Times. Outwardly I had it all, but inwardly I was rebellious and selfcentered.

The following evening Mr. Ryerson and I were to appear at the Whole Life Expo, a hodgepodge of holistic exhibitors, speakers, mediums, alchemists, palm readers and crystal toting seekers. Funny, but when I write about it now I can see so clearly how bizarre and sad the whole gathering was. But when you are being praised in front of thousands of people and are looked to as some type of mystic, the ego loves the attention.

One of the common topics of discussion on my radio program was spirituality. I would speak kindly of many different faiths but woe to the caller that would try and share his love for Jesus Christ. I actually became known for hanging up on Christians. I couldn’t do it fast enough! My rationale was that my show was spiritual, not religious. But the real reason for my disdain? I knew that Jesus was trouble when it came to the topic of sin -- an area that I was quite fond of!

t was a typical Sunday night in fall 1993 and I was hosting my Impact Program on 95.5 KLOS, the legendary rock station in Los Angeles. In studio was Kevin Ryerson, famous “channeler” at the time to actress-turned-guru Shirley Mac Laine.

During the final moments of my interview with Ryerson, he went into channel mode and shared with the listeners that he and I had a past life together! Even though I wasn’t buying it, his fame was immense at the time, largely due to regular appearances on The Oprah Winfrey Show. So I just embraced the publicity. I can’t tell you how many followers of the New Age told me how “lucky” I was to have shared a previous life with Kevin. It was in the spring of 1985 that I began my career at 95.5 KLOS as a radio broadcaster. During that period I started to investigate many aspects of spirituality, from meditation to realms of consciousness and self-actualization. Within two years I found myself hosting the number one late night talk show on Los Angeles radio. I also became a public speaker and facilitator in the New Age Move-

I met my wife Erin in 1999 at one of my public speaking events on spirituality and personal empowerment. We fell in love and five years later we were married. In February of 2008 our son Dante was born. Life was good. I had a job that I loved immensely and a new house in a beautiful Ventura County suburb. I had fame and fortune but absolutely no rock to stand on. During my tenure in the 90’s at KLOS I met Tracy Thackrah. Tracy and I developed a deep friendship and we eventually became best friends. Tracy had an older brother who was a Christian pastor. “Pastor Dale” did call my late night talk show at times and we would regularly get into philosophical discussions and debates about God, spirituality and the meaning of life. But one event in particular impactKKLA Magazine

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ed me greatly: the day Tracy got baptized. Afterward we had a conversation that hit me pretty hard. Tracy shared that he had given his life to Jesus Christ and that I, too, could be a man of God if I chose to. A number of months later, the Thackrah brothers and I played a round of golf together. We talked about many things including their faith in Christ. They posed questions to me about my standing with God and how my spiritual beliefs were faring for me. My quick and very defensive posture to their inquiries troubled me. Pastor Dale then asked if I would meditate for a time about my uneasiness. Patronizingly I agreed to his challenge.

felt different and lighter after that conversation. One month later, as I was thumbing through my new Bible, I came across Luke 9:23: “And He said to all, ‘If anyone would come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me.’” I couldn’t believe my eyes. This was the exact word I heard from the Lord in my car! I immediately fell to my knees, knowing that what I had experienced before was now undeniable, and I surrendered my life completely to my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

“The real reason for my disdain of Christians? I knew that Jesus was trouble when it came to the topic of sin -an area that I was quite fond of.” Before I started my drive home, I sat in my car reflecting on Pastor Dale’s request. I wanted to determine why I was so quick to deflect the question of God. As I sat for a handful of minutes I began to notice that I felt very warm. Shortly thereafter, I clearly heard a voice ask me, “Are you ready to submit to Me?” Without any sense of fear or coercion, and with total free will, I said “yes.” I then heard, “Pick up your cross and follow Me.”

In May of this year I was introduced as successor to Frank Pastore, as the new host of the afternoon drive talk show on KKLA. Hosting a radio show for God’s glory, not my own, has been radically different from my previous experience, but God has shown me that He can use anyone for His purposes if we “deny ourselves and pick up our crosses and follow Him!” The Frank Sontag Show can be heard weekdays at 4pm on 99.5 FM KKLA.

I had no idea the significance of the reference to the cross until some days later. As the warm sensation began to fade away, I Any thoughts? collected myself and called my two friends Email and told them what had happened. To or scan-to-email him. my surprise I said I wanted to go back to church. I had not set foot in a church in more than 35 years! Pastor Dale said that he could recommend a few and that he was also going to mail me a Bible. Somehow I 10

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KKLA Magazine

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Charles R. Swindoll IS HEARD


don’t remember much about high school chemistry. Truth be told, most of it was Dullsville to me. Downright boring. But one experiment I’ll never forget. We boiled a frog. My chemistry teacher, Mr. Williams, gathered the class around an oversize beaker half full of water. We took this little frog and dropped him in. The frog kicked around and swam from side to side. Our teacher slid a Bunsen burner

underneath the beaker, lit the flame, and kicked up the temperature. Then we waited and watched. (It was the only time I remember every one of us in class paying attention.) The water started getting warmer . . . and warmer . . . and a little warmer . . . and, finally, tiny bubbles started to rise. The little frog by now had slowed his kicking, eventually stiffened, and, ultimately, boiled to death. If I remember correctly, the thing turned white at the end. Pretty gross. Our teacher told us that if we had dropped that amphibian into boiling water to begin with, it would have KKLA Magazine

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hopped right out. But by putting it in nice, comfortable, tepid water and slowly turning up the heat . . . the frog eventually stewed in its own grease. I have no idea how that related to chemistry. But its implications for the church are permanently branded into my brain. If we took most evangelical believers from the 1930s and dropped them into a mainstream, twenty-first-century church, it would be a complete shock to their systems. They would scramble to get out immediately! How did such a difference come about over the years? Many local churches tolerated a rise

in our secular temperature, and in the passing of decades, the church in general has drifted from its biblical convictions. Often without many people knowing it was happening, postmodern thinking progressively replaced biblical beliefs. What occurred? In a word: erosion. Part of our problem as evangelicals is that we surround ourselves with all things Christian: Christian friends, Christian books, Christian activities, Christian coffeehouses, Christian clichés, Christian music, Christian stores, Christian bumper stickers. What’s next? Putting Christian gasoline in our cars?! (Well, we would if we could.) Everything in our world to us is Christian. The danger? Before long we begin going through the motions of religious activity, 14

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and all the while we’re trafficking in unlived truth. When that occurs, we have stopped taking God seriously. Erosion has begun. Is it really possible for a Christian to become overexposed to spiritual things? Yes, if having blessings from God in such abundance makes us hardened to them. It can happen. Our business goes well. Our health is good. Our children are fine. Our marriage is strong. Our church is great. The music is enjoyable. Our pastor is solid. Our home is lovely. Our cars are new. Our schools are safe. Blessing after blessing after blessing . . .

“But!” Jesus interrupts—as He did to the century-one church at Ephesus. “I have this against you, that you have left your first love” (Revelation 2:4). How does this kind of personal erosion occur? Nobody ever picks up a phone, calls a friend, and says, “Hey, today I feel like ruining my life.” We don’t do that. But we do, on occasion, entertain thoughts like, “I don’t want the lordship of Christ to touch this area of my life. This is mine! After all, look at what’s happened as a result. Life isn’t that bad. I can handle it.” And we allow a subtle but destructive drift—the dethroning of His authority and an enthroning of our own. It happens because we’ve gotten bored and passive in our Christian hothouse. A believer who wades through God’s

favor and God’s blessing and God’s bounty day after day, week after week, year after year can begin to court the dangers of erosion. How? Things get to be predictable. They become routine. You grow cynical. And before you know it, you can be lusting while you’re singing a gospel song. Something is wrong if you can sing the words of Jack Hayford’s song, “Majesty,” and your soul isn’t stirring deep within you. Something has drifted far off course if, when you sing “Holy, Holy, Holy,” there isn’t a sense of awe and respect for your heavenly Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. That’s what concerned Jesus so much about the first-century Ephesian church— they adopted a perfunctory, ho-hum, business as usual attitude about life and ministry. May I remind you? Jesus has that same concern for us in the twentyfirst century. As I write this, I anticipate two familiar objections. The first goes something like this: “My life has already eroded so badly, there’s no sense in turning back.” Take the time to ponder Paul’s words, written while he was in Ephesus: No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it. (1 Corinthians 10:13) You know the tragedy of this verse? Its familiarity. Our acquaintance with it often keeps us from relying on its promise or applying its truths. Nothing is too far gone for the Lord to turn it around. It is never too late to start doing what is right. Erosion may have occurred in your life, but Jesus is there with His arms wide open. He is waiting for you to return to your first love. God longs for you to begin

again with Him. The second objection I anticipate comes in these words: “The erosion you have described, I fully understand . . . but it will never happen to me.” If that represents your outlook, I point you to the verse Paul penned just prior to the one above: “Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall” (1 Corinthians 10:12). I like the way The Living Bible renders this verse: “Oh, I would never behave like that.” It’s the voice of a novice . . . it’s the attitude of the naive . . . and I’ll just shoot straight with you: it stinks of pride. Don’t kid yourself. Look at what happened to the Ephesian believers, and the great apostle Paul had taught them! It can happen to you, my friend. And it can happen to me. If you really see yourself as impervious to erosion, then, ironically, the process of erosion has already started. Let me ask you: have you left your first love? Have you lost the delight of your walk with God? Has it become “business as usual”? Maybe a little boring? You may be busy in the Lord’s work, but you now realize you have lost the awe of it all. The joy of ministry has fled away; now you’re simply maintaining a schedule. I urge you to take a moment right now and examine your motive: why do you choose to say yes so often to those who make requests of you? I’m not referring to decisions between the good and the bad, but to choices between the good and the better. Realize that when you say yes to something, you are saying no to something else. Here’s a new thought: by saying no to the good things, you allow yourself room to say yes to far more important priorities. If you’re not taking God seriously as KKLA Magazine

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much as you used to, can you detect an area of erosion that has begun to occur? Would you be honest enough to call it by name, painful as that may be? If you neglect to take time to evaluate yourself, you will never notice your own drifting. The change is too slow, too silent, and too subtle . . . not unlike that frog as it began to boil in the beaker.

coming with that kind of honesty. On the contrary, He welcomes you. Look at the beautiful prayer King David expressed after experiencing a miserable bout with erosion: “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; A broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise” (Psalm 51:17). That is called repentance. It’s the only cure for personal erosion.

Before this day is over, I urge you to find a quiet place and ask yourself these two questions:

God’s mercy is here, and He will help you through it. Honestly acknowledge Karens Toys KKLA Mag half page ad new where you are. He won’t rebuke you for

Adapted from Charles R. Swindoll, The Church Awakening (Nashville: FaithWords, 2010), 209-210, 229-233. Copyright © 2010, 2012 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights are reserved worldwide. Used by permission. Hear Insight for Living weekdays at 7AM & 8:30PM.

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Issue 13


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Written WrittenBy BySusan SusanFries Fries There There isis no no better better feeling feeling inin life life than than when when you you become become aaparent. parent. And Andthere thereisisno nogreater greatersense senseof ofhelplessness, helplessness,than than when whenyour yourchild childfaces facesaaserious seriousmedical medicalchallenge. challenge. When Whenmy myson sonturned turned22years yearsold oldhe hestarted startedtotohave haveaaseries series of ofasthma asthmaattacks. attacks. Eliminating Eliminatingaamedical medicalcondition conditionor ordisease disease responsible responsiblefor forthe theattacks, attacks,IIbegan begantotowonder wonderififenvironmental environmental factors factorswere werecontributing contributingtotohis hisbreathing breathingproblems. problems. With Withmy my maternal maternalinstincts instinctsengaged, engaged,IImade madeititmy mymission missiontotodiscover discover what whatwas wasaffecting affectinghim himso soadversely. adversely. IIstarted startedby byprocess processof of elimination, elimination,changing changingshampoos shampoosand andsoaps, soaps,different differenttypes typesof of material materialand andclothing, clothing,foods foodsand andthe thelike likebut butthe theresults resultswere were inconclusive. inconclusive. We Wedecided decidedtotohave havehim himtested testedand anddiscovered discovered that thathe hewas wasallergic allergictotodust dustmites. mites. DUST! DUST!So, So,IItore toreout outthe thecarpet carpetininhis hisbedroom bedroomput putvinyl vinyl coverings coverings on on his his mattress mattress and and dusted dusted and and vacuumed vacuumed daily. daily. II started started toto use use more more organic organic items items and and slowly slowly but but surely surely II created createdour ourown own“green” “green”environment. environment. As AsIIbegan begantotomodify modify our our home home environment environment with with green green and and organic organic solutions, solutions, II

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time to finish what you started, earn

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A degree can help you take an important step forward—whether getting a promotion, gaining more responsibilities, or becoming an agent of change. For adult learners seeking to complete a degree, Azusa Pacific University offers accessible, affordable programs designed to fit a working professional’s schedule. Through degree completion and accelerated degree programs with APU’s School of Adult and Professional Studies (APS), working adults can finish their degree when and how they want. And, at Azusa Pacific, students gain the added value of a degree from a regionally accredited, nationally ranked, and internationally recognized institution. The U.S. Department of Labor projected that in the coming decade, 90 percent of new high-growth, high-wage jobs will require some postsecondary education. Yet colleges and universities across the nation find that students run into substantial barriers on the path to a college degree. As focus on the issue increases, APU continues to seek out creative new ways to make higher education accessible and affordable. The university meets students where they’re at—through APU’s main campus in Azusa, one of seven regional centers, or online. Students also reap the benefits of flexible class scheduling, accelerated curricula, personalized attention, and a simplified registration process. Such convenience does not come at the cost of academic quality or communal learning. Academic programs employ highly applicable, practical learning taught by expert faculty. “This concept integrates textbook theory with students’ work and life experiences, making coursework and acquired skills immediately applicable to the workplace,” said Fred G. Garlett, Ed.D., dean of APU’s School of Adult and Professional Studies. A distinctive cohort model allows students

to stay with the same group throughout their program. “Students examine multidisciplinary concepts together, adding the invaluable contribution of their own rich perspectives,” said Garlett. The diversity of experiences that students bring to class—whether face-to-face or online— results in lively discussions and networking opportunities. Students develop a strong rapport with other group members who also act as a support system. Adding to its growing roster of academic programs, the School of Adult and Professional Studies introduced the Bachelor of Science in Information Security. Offered entirely online, this accelerated IT security training program enables students to earn a highly marketable bachelor’s degree in just 16 months and enter a field projected to add nearly 300,000 new jobs through 2018. Other bachelor’s degree completion programs offered through the School of Adult and Professional Studies include Organizational Leadership, Liberal Studies, Management or Computer Information Systems, and Christian Leadership. Within each program, experienced faculty teach from a Christian worldview and guide students to a deeper understanding of how faith intersects and informs individual occupations. “These programs allow the working professional to effectively manage the challenges of completing a degree while contributing to their family, organization, and community,” said Garlett. In this way, earning a degree takes on a whole new meaning. To learn more about degree completion and accelerated degree programs from Azusa Pacific’s School of Adult and Professional Studies, visit


Is it too late for

America? Jack Hibbs


A m o n g all industrialized nations, Americans are the most addicted, pornographic and in debt. Why are so many

unhappy in the “Land of Plenty?” Why are Americans so lost when they have paid so much attention to themselves? After all, shouldn’t all this care that we give ourselves translate into absolute bliss and happiness?

Throughout history, any nation that embraced the Lord was called upward to higher standards: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Yet America is on the decline today. America is hurting because she has chosen to trust in the so-called wisdom of man rather than the promises of God. America is looking to revive herself by human means, trying to remove our time-tested and hard won foundations for something new and different, all in the name of change! She is struggling today to remake herself into something that will only result in greater disaster.

Our human efforts without God’s blessings are like putting a band-aid on a man who’s just had his leg blown off! Can we expect God to bless America when we have turned our back on Him? Listen to the words of our Founding Fathers: “God who gave us life, gave us liberty.

And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these

liberties are a gift from God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, and that His justice cannot sleep forever.” - Thomas Jefferson. It is my prayer that we would wake up from our obsessive affair with the things that have taken us so far from God and return to Him with brokenness and true repentance. If as a nation we repent before Him we can go back before it’s too late. A land where…

…a child can be raised in a home 28

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the favorable smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which Heaven itself has ordained.”

without the fear of mom and dad divorcing. Or as it says in Psalms:

…a child created in the image of “Happy is the nation whose God is the LORD…” Psalm 33:12 God is safe, even in its mother’s womb. This scripture should encourage and …marriage is between one man and one woman according to God’s design and purpose. …we win our battles to protect and defend against all enemies both foreign and domestic. As George Washington warned his young nation: “We ought to be…persuaded that

remind us that the Lord desires the citizenry of all nations to be happy, at peace, and to enjoy godly leadership. He desires all to know Him as their God and reap the benefits of that knowledge—life liberty and the pursuit of happiness! Jack Hibbs is Senior Pastor of Calvary Chapel Chino Hills and host of “Real Radio,” heard weeknights at 9pm on 99.5 FM. Any thoughts? Download the Real Life with Jack Hibbs App.

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■ ■


Online, On-Campus, and 3-Day Modules Bachelors, Masters, and Doctor of Ministry Degree Programs Special Scholarships for First-Time Students Flexible Scheduling Accredited Degrees Financial Aid Available








Founder and Chancellor








About The

JP Jones


everal years ago at a Men’s Retreat, I addressed a large audience of men sitting in an outdoor amphitheatre. Behind the stage where I was speaking was a rustic wooden cross. In my message, I explained to the men the bad news and the good news of salvation in Christ. I then took a long rope and stretched it across the front of the gathering. I challenged the men to call on Christ for salvation; to surrender their whole lives to

Him and to get up from where they were seated and to symbolically “cross the line.” From all over the amphitheatre, men arose from their seats and crossed the line into salvation. When we cross the line, all the truths and blessings of salvation become ours in Christ. God makes us new people and gives us a new spiritual identity. It is the truth of our gospel-identity that sets us free. The truest thing about you is what God says is true! These blessings include justification, redemption, propitiation and reconciliation. More than theological words, these terms describe your gospel blessings by virtue of the work of Christ.


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Justification: Declared not guilty in God’s courtroom. Paul explains the gospel by answering a question, “How can a holy and just God have fellowship with sinful man?” Paul’s answer is that God must remove the barrier of sin and pronounce us righteous through faith in Jesus Christ. Since we are dead in sin, no one can become righteous in and of themselves. We must receive an alien righteousness. God declares us righteous and gives us His righteousness when we place our faith in Jesus Christ.

This is the truth of justification. The metaphor is a courtroom where we are the accused and God is the judge. The truth is that we are guilty. But Jesus Christ died as a righteous substitute for our sin. When we put our faith in Jesus Christ, then God the righteous judge, pronounces us not guilty. He declares us righteous and imparts to us His righteousness. (Read Romans 3:21-31) Redemption: Purchased from sin’s slavery. The metaphor behind the idea of redemption is the purchase of a slave from the slave market. In the ancient world,

slaves were bought and sold based upon an agreement on the purchase price. When the price was paid, the slave could be set free. Every person is born into slavery to sin. Our only hope is for the purchase price to be paid. When Jesus Christ died on the cross, He shed his blood and purchased us from sin’s slavery. If you were to go to Home Depot, (which every man knows is the adult version of Toys R Us!), you would find all kinds of tools and home improvement items. Every item has a sticker with a bar code on it. The bar code records the price of that item and when scanned, the price appears on the computer screen. If you want to legally take an item from Home Depot, you must pay the purchase price. When you pay the price, the item becomes yours. Jesus paid the price for our sins and we now belong to Him. His blood set us free from sin and now we have a new master--Jesus Christ. Propitiation: Saved from God’s judgment. Romans 3:21-30 describes how we are justified and redeemed in Jesus Christ. This passage also describes that the work of Christ has secured propitiation for us. The New International Version of the Bible translates the term propitiation as “sacrifice of atonement.” The Greek word is hilasterion, and means a covering, especially the covering of atonement provided by the sprinkled blood in the Holy of Holies over the Ark of the Covenant. Remember Raiders of the Lost Ark? Well the Ark was placed in the Holy of Holies and upon it sat the Mercy Seat. Once a year, on the Day of Atonement, the high priest would sprinkle the blood on the Mercy Seat; it was the place where the transaction of atonement took place. In His justice, God demanded a punishment for sin but because of His mercy, He accepted the blood of a substitute. This is propitiation. God accepts the sacrifice

of Jesus Christ as a punishment for our sins. His justice and wrath toward sin are satisfied and His mercy is expressed toward those who come to Him through the work of Christ. We will never receive God’s wrath because there is no condemnation in Christ. Reconciliation: A restored relationship with God! We have been reconciled to God through Jesus Christ. The backdrop to the idea of reconciliation is a broken relationship. Reconciliation is the removal of the barrier that alienates two parties, so that enemies can become friends. Because of the barrier of sin, men are enemies of God. Picture God being on one side of the Grand Canyon and humanity on the other side; the chasm is so great that no human action can bridge the distance. The good news of the gospel is that Jesus Christ is the bridge that connects us to God. Christ has removed the barrier of sin and we, who by nature and choice have been God’s enemies, can become His friends. (Read Romans 5:8-11) The gospel blessings of justification, redemption, propitiation and reconciliation are true for every believer. Our deepest identity is our new life in Jesus Christ because the truest thing about us is what God says is true! Salvation is the good news about the bad news! Portions of this article were adapted from Facing Goliath (Regal Books)by JP Jones. JP is the Senior Pastor of Crossline Church in Laguna Hills and an Adjunct Professor of Theology at BIOLA University. Hear JP on “Truth That Changes Lives” weekdays at 5:00am and Sundays at 10:30am on 99.5 FM KKLA.

Any thoughts? Visit the JP Jones Mobile Blog here.

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ON! Psalm 131

Lord, my heart is not haughty, Nor my eyes lofty. Neither do I concern myself with great matters, Nor with things too profound for me. 2 Surely I have calmed and quieted my soul, Like a weaned child with his mother; Like a weaned child is my soul within me. 3 O Israel, hope in the Lord From this time forth and forever.

Philip De Courcy



he guy had just popped into the supermarket to pick up a few items for his wife on his way home. While there, he could not help but notice the struggle between a father and his uncooperative three-year old son in the shopping cart. In the first encounter, the boy was asking over and over for a candy bar. The man couldn’t hear the whole conversation, but he did hear the father say, “Now Billy, this won’t take long.” As the pleas for candy got louder, the dad calmly repeated, “Billy, just calm down. We will be done in a minute.” The second time they passed, the boy was still kicking up a storm, but the father was still keeping his cool. In a low voice he was saying, “Billy, settle down. We are almost done.” Soon the dad and his son reached the checkout just ahead of the man who had observed all the commotion. Even at the checkout the boy was out of control. Again the dad showed great composure saying over and over, “Billy, we will be in the car in just a minute, and then everything will be OK.” By this time the bystander was impressed beyond words. He tapped the father on the shoulder, and said, “Sir, I couldn’t help but watch how you handled little Billy. You were quite amazing.” The dad replied, “His name is Wesley. I’m Billy!” Calming oneself down on a given day, in a particular situation, is no easy thing. It is a skill that few of us have mastered. Life more often than not has a way of winding us up, setting us on edge, and putting us over the top. Which begs a question: How does one handle trying circumstances with peace and poise? In answering that question, I believe Psalm 131 affords us an answer. Here we find David undisturbed by all the noise and nonsense around him 36

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(Psalm 131:2). In explaining his calm, David appeals to our imagination. He likens his peace to the tranquility felt by a weaned child secure in his mother’s love. Craving and restlessness have given way to submission and trust. In this short psalm, David shares three things that helped him calm down, three things that we would do well to learn and apply. ACCEPT YOUR CIRCUMSTANCES The first thing we need to do is humbly accept our lot in life (Psalm 131:1a). The psalm begins with an emphatic statement addressed to God about what the psalmist is not. He is not proud. His heart is not haughty, nor his eyes lofty. He is happy to live within the boundaries of God’s providence for him, for now. He is not in competition with God or his neighbor. He is content to see others prosper. He is content to accept who God made him, where God had placed him, and what God had given to him. David is arguing that the life that God blesses is one marked by sweet submission to God’s will. The Lord requires, and peace entails that we walk humbly (Micah 6:8). After all, the proud person contrasts and competes, and is never content. But there is peace for those who do not fight God’s plan for their lives (Isa. 26:3). Peace and happiness are found in wanting what God wills for us, at a given time and situation. As Warren Wiersbe has rightly said, “God always gives His best to those who leave the choice to Him.” ACCEPT YOUR LIMITS The second thing we need to do is quickly recognize our limited perspective on life (Psalm 131:1b). Humility before God leaves Him on the throne of the universe,

and helps us to recognize our true size within it! There are matters in life too big and profound for us to grasp. The word “profound” in our text is the same word that appears in Genesis 18:14 where it is translated “hard or difficult”. It speaks of things that are God-sized, things beyond us (Deut. 17:8)! We are speaking about things too mighty and mysterious for us to get our heads around (Deut. 29:29; Psalm 139:6; Job. 42:3). While God can be known, there are things about God, and His ways that will remain unknown (Isa. 55:8-9; Rom. 11:33). There are times when God’s ways are past finding out. Those are the times that stretch our faith, and disorient our thinking. It is then that our poise is shaken, anxiety rises, and discontentment takes hold. But it is then that we need to heed the wisdom of Psalm 131. We ought not to busy ourselves with problems we cannot solve, or questions we cannot answer. We need to give God credit for understanding a few more things than we do. We need to feel free not to have an opinion on something. During those times we are to trust God with those things that break our hearts, and baffle our minds (Job 13:15; 23:10; Isa. 50:10). As C. H. Spurgeon has wisely said: “Where we cannot trace God’s hand we must trust God’s heart.” ACCEPT GOD’S SOVEREIGNTY The third thing we need to do is to accept our losses believing that God is up to something greater (Psalm 131:2). The picture of the weaned and contented child employed here by David betrays the struggle that precedes it. The weaning process is a battle of wills, a battle made all the more real by the fact that in the Jewish culture it comes much later, often between the fourth and fifth years. In this tug of war the child is forced to give up the mother’s milk, and learn contentment without it. The child doesn’t know what

is best for it. Milk might satisfy the child, but not the mother. She knows the child needs something more, namely solid food. David is admitting in this dramatic picture that his faith in God, leading to peace, was matured through a process of learning to turn from his own cherished ambitions to waiting on God. David learned that when God takes stuff from us, it is because either God has concluded we are too dependent upon it, or He has something better in mind. David’s big takeaway is that peace is found by holding things lightly, while at the same time resting securely in the grip of God’s strengthening and sufficient grace (Phil. 4:11-13; 2 Cor. 12:7-10). As Corrie ten Boom so powerfully reminds us, “Don’t wrestle just nestle.” Psalm 131 may not take long to read, but it may take us a while to learn. Living with poise and peace is a skill we urgently need to teach ourselves. David calmed his soul like a weaned child with his mother, and so must we. We must fight the proud look, and competitive spirit that has us anxiously at odds with God, and our neighbor. We must trust God in the darkness, and realize that God is too deep to explain Himself. And we must stop playing tug of war with God’s unfolding providence. Let God take what He wants. We always have Him, and the promise that all things work together for good. As the British are apt to say, “Keep calm and carry on!” Philip De Courcy is Senior Pastor of Kindred Community Church, Anaheim Hills and host of “Know the Truth” heard weekdays at 10:30am on 99.5 FM.

Any thoughts? Visit the main website here.

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John Joseph Hughes:

New York’s World Changer

Jim Daly

IS HEARD WEEKDAYS AT 7:30AM, 11:30AM, 10PM & 4:30AM ON 99.5FM KKLA

is name was John Joseph Hughes, and he may have been one of the most important men in American history, if not the entire world. An Irish immigrant gardener eventually ordained to the Catholic priesthood, “Dagger John,” as he was called due to the habit of punctuating his signature with a daggerlike cross and behaving with a similarly aggressive flair, became the first archbishop

of the archdiocese of New York. He served between 1842 and 1864, a time of explosive Irish-Catholic growth in America. A Protestant convert who emigrated from Ireland at age twenty, Hughes had his initial application for the priesthood rejected. Church leaders deemed him uneducated and ignorant, charges that couldn’t have been further from the truth. In fact, he was brilliant and resourceful, traits that would come in handy throughout his long and productive ministry. Hughes made his mark as an eloquent orator speaking persuasively against religious bigotry. At the time, prejudice against newly arriving immigrants, especially the Irish, was rampant. In 1838, at the age of forty, Bishop Hughes was transferred to New York, where he was appointed to the role of coadjutor bishop. His assignment couldn’t have been more fraught 40

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with difficulty. Writing in the  City Journal, William Stern described the debauchery and cultural chaos found throughout the city, especially in those areas populated by recent immigrants hailing from Ireland: New York’s Irish truly formed an underclass; every variety of social pathology flourished luxuriantly among them. Family life had disintegrated … The immigrants crowded into neighborhoods like Sweeney’s Shambles in the city’s fourth ward and Five Points in the sixth ward (called the “bloody sixth” for its violence”) … Besides rampant alcoholism, addiction to

opium and laudanum was epidemic in these neighborhoods in the 1840s and 1850s. Many Irish immigrants communicated in their own profanity-filled street slang called “flash talk”: a multi-day drinking spree was “going on a bender,” “cracking a can” was robbing a house. An estimated 50,000 Irish prostitutes, known in flash talk as “nymphs of the pave,” worked the city in 1850, and Five Points alone had as many as seventeen brothels… Death was everywhere. In 1854 one out of every 17 people in the sixth ward died. In Sweeney’s Shambles the rate was one out of five in a 22-month period. The death rate among Irish families in New York in the 1850s was 21 percent, while among non-Irish it was 3 percent. Life expectancy for New York’s Irish averaged under 40 years. This was the horrendous scene into which the new bishop waded. One can only imagine

what went through his head. Where to begin? For starters, he decided to build from scratch a Catholic school system, believing that the future of the city would be found in the character and intellect of its children. “In our age the question of education,” he said, “is the question of the church.” He wanted the schools to stand out from their secular counterparts. In addition to a strict but standard curriculum based on the classical education model, the schools emphasized morality, virtue, and, naturally, Catholic theology. Parents were obligated to participate in the care and upkeep of the schools. The bishop was considered to be most effective and influential when engaging New Yorkers both from the pulpit and on the street with straightforward spiritual perspective. He regularly preached on the need for personal transformation, encouraging the faithful to assume individual responsibility for their actions and realize the benefits of living disciplined and biblically grounded lives. He made the Scriptures real and relevant. By all accounts, Hughes preached a simple and positive message of faith, hope, and love. By helping New Yorkers see their lives from an eternal rather than a temporal perspective, they were motivated to immediate action. His success was stunning: Alcoholism and drug addiction withered away. By the 1880s an estimated 60 percent of Irish women, and almost a third of the men, totally abstained from alcohol. Many Irish sections in the city became known for their peacefulness, order, and cleanliness—a far cry from the filth, violence, and disease of the Five Points and Sweeney’s Shambles of mid-century. Gone, too, was the notorious Irish promiscuity of those years; Irish prostitutes virtually disappeared in the city, as did the army of Irish youths wandering the streets without adult supervision. Irish family life, formerly so frayed and chaotic, became strong and nourishing. Irish children entered the priesthood or the convent, the professions, politics, professional sports, show business, and commerce. In 1890 some 30 percent of New York City’s teachers were

Irish women, and the Irish literacy rate exceeded 90 percent. The city had been transformed, not by fiat or fire and brimstone, but through the deliberate and disciplined efforts of a man whose main goal was to change a culture by reforming hearts and minds in and through the name of Jesus Christ. He didn’t simply preach at them; he talked with them, like a father to a son. And the effects of this direct and gracious approach are still being felt today. Experts have suggested that had Bishop Hughes failed in his attempt to reform the Catholic Irish culture in New York, the future of American immigration and thus, America itself, would have been drastically altered. It may seem reasonable to discount this example of cultural transformation as something from another era. But to dismiss it so quickly would be a grave mistake. Those committed to redeeming the current culture can find practical application and inspiration in the work of Bishop John Hughes. Although a man of significant title, he possessed no extraordinary authority or talent. He could talk and teach with power and persuasion— but many had previously attempted to impact the culture in that manner, only to fail. What made Hughes different was that instead of trying to merely change behavior, he worked tirelessly to reach a person’s heart and thus their motivational center. Bishop Hughes’ approach is an example for all of us as we endeavor to speak truth—and life—into our culture. Excerpted from ReFocus: Living a Life that Reflects God’s Heart Jim Daly is President of Focus on the Family and can be heard weekdays at 7:30am, 11:30am, 10:00pm and 4:30am on 99.5FM KKLA.

Any thoughts? Visit the Daly Blog website here.

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KKLA Magazine Issue 13