December 2001 Newsletter

VOLUME XXVIII • NUMBER XII

NO GREATER GIFT!

There is no greater GIFT than SALVATION — and no greater JOY than being part of that MIRACLE!
“FOR GOD SO LOVED…THAT HE GAVE….” John 3:16

Christmas – 2001! Ah, how the time flies. Can you believe that this is my 29th Christmas letter to you, our faithful Partners of TBN! In a way, it seems like yesterday, but, in another sense, it seems like an eternity ago. All my old-timers will understand that feeling. I am in a sort of nostalgic, pensive mood, as I write to you. December is a good time to reflect on all the great and wonderful gifts that God has given to us. The first is easy: The writer of Hebrews ran out of adjectives and simply called it—
“SO GREAT A SALVATION!” Hebrews 2:3
We can all go back in time when that awful sin burden “rolled away,” and we felt light as a feather — clean and cleansed from the inside out! Oh, what a gift —“SO GREAT A SALVATION,” indeed! I will say more about this greatest of all gifts later in this letter, but let me testify a little about my wonderful gifts from my Lord.

I could write a thousand pages about God’s love and gifts to me: godly parents and grandparents, that loved me and taught me the Word of God. How about a beautiful and faithful wife; two fine sons, living and working for God; five precious grandchildren, our oldest, Brandon, now at O.R.U. Christian University. I could go on and on about the many times that God, miraculously, spared my life; but, there is one time in particular, I want to share and give praise to God for.


We’ll never forget our first Christmas ON THE AIR, as YOUR Trinity Broadcasting Network proclaimed the Good News of Jesus across Southern California! Christmas cards from our “pioneer” TBN Partners served as the set!
When I was 19, and in my second year of Bible college, satan struck with the worst possible case of rheumatic fever. For three months, I lay in excruciating pain. All my joints swelled double in size, and I was unable to care for myself. How I cherish the memory of a godly mother who cared for me, night and day. The doctors said my heart was severely damaged, and that, if I lived, I would never be able to work and live a normal life. I cannot describe the darkness, gloom, and fear that enveloped me during those seemingly hopeless days. I actually wrote a poem in which I tried to express the despair that I felt. I have never shared it publicly, but I feel led to do so now, in the hope that my story of healing will help and encourage others. Brace yourself, because it’s a downer! I entitled it—“TIME.”

SILENT AS THE MIDNIGHT HOUR, AND STEALTHILY IT GLIDES; FROM EARLY MORN, TO DEEPEST NIGHT; YET NONE CAN STEM ITS TIDE.

TOUCHING ALL AT EARLIEST BIRTH, AND GRASPING WITH ITS MIGHT, TILL ALL HAVE FELT THE BITTER CLUTCH OF ITS DREAD AND CRUEL DELIGHT.

ROBBER OF YOUTH AND LOVE! IT SEEMS TO ME YOU LEER AND LAUGH AT ALL OUR FATE AS WE STAND ALONE IN FEAR.

THEN, THE YOUTHFUL VALIANT HEART YOU BREAK, AND WRECK WITH AGE; THE CYCLE THEN BEGINS ANEW AS YOU TURN ANOTHER PAGE IN THE BOOK OF ETERNITY.

Jan has made sure that EVERY TBN facility is beautifully decorated with Christmas lights, and has a LIFE-SIZE Nativity scene prominently displayed for ALL to see! This is a PERFECT time to invite family and friends to a program. Visit one of the V.R. theatres, or tour YOUR local TBN station!
Sounds pretty hopeless, doesn’t it?! Some of you may be there, where I was, nearly 50 years ago. But, oh, praise God, as the songwriter of old sang:

“THEN JESUS CAME AND BADE MY DARKNESS, ‘FLEE!’”

Ah, sing it with me—
“WHEN JESUS COMES, THE TEMPTER’S POWER IS BROKEN,

WHEN JESUS COMES, ALL TEARS ARE WIPED AWAY.

HE TAKES THE GLOOM, AND FILLS YOUR LIFE WITH GLORY;

FOR ALL IS CHANGED, WHEN JESUS COMES TO STAY.”
My miracle came with a knock on our little cottage door. A man, neither Mother nor I had ever met, simply said: “I have come to pray for Paul.” And pray he did! I’m sure the neighbors heard him as he bound the powers of darkness, and brought the glory of God into my sickroom. From that moment onward, I began to heal and mend! Praise God, today I can sing—


“I AM HEALED, I AM WHOLE; FROM THE TOP OF MY HEAD, TO THE TIP, YES, THE TIP OF MY TOES!”

Boy, I am in a poetic mood, aren’t I? And, while I never became a world class athlete, I’ve kept up with the best of them, working long grueling days and hours, these past 29 Christmases, helping, along with YOU, to raise up this great VOICE we call the—

TRINITY BROADCASTING NETWORK

which is touching our whole wide WORLD with 2,716 TV stations, 21 satellites, shortwave radio, cable, the Internet, and on and on, with the GOOD NEWS that ALL can have “SO GREAT A SALVATION,” the free Christmas GIFT of our Heavenly Father! Yes—

“GOD SO LOVED…THAT HE GAVE…”


So, SHOULD WE GIVE? And if so, WHAT, and TO WHOM? Well, first of all, most of us have given Him our HEARTS and our LIVES. In return, He has given us: “So great a SALVATION.” I could just end this letter right here, and we could all go home shouting, “Glory, Hallelujah!” But there is more – much more.

When we give, should we expect anything in return? Well, let me ask, “Did God expect anything in return when He gave the greatest GIFT in all of Heaven?” You bet He did! He needed sons and daughters – satan had stolen His first family, Adam and Eve. So, God GAVE what He wanted – HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON – His very best! Think of it – God didn’t just give us something; He gave us HIMSELF – the very GOD who created all things. He could not have given us anything greater than the second Person of the very Godhead – Jesus Christ!

So, what did He receive? Yes, SONS and DAUGHTERS – MILLIONS of them, and YOU are one of them! Praise the Lord God Most High!

Ah, dear Partners, do you want or need something this Christmas? Then, give away whatever you NEED! If you are lonely, give some friendship. My Jan was in deep depression years ago, when God asked her to minister healing to a depressed young girl; and God gave Jan the healing she desperately needed. Do you need a loved one saved? Go witness to another’s loved one and expect God to send a laborer to win your loved one. Are you broke – need a job, a home, a car? Bring a gift, as the Wise Men did, and know that God will meet your need. Help your TBN build precious human temples, from EVERY TRIBE, TONGUE and NATION!

The more I study the Word of God, the more I understand that every good thing we receive from God BEGINS WITH OUR GIVING TO HIM! We love to quote Luke 6:38—“GIVE AND IT SHALL BE GIVEN….” But read it all—

“FOR WITH THE SAME MEASURE YOU GIVE, IT SHALL BE MEASURED TO YOU AGAIN.”

Remember, God gave His BEST! Should we do less?!

So, have the most blessed Christmas ever – enjoy your families and loved ones, especially those precious grandchildren! Jan and I love you 29 Christmases strong, and that’s a whole bunch, as we say in Missouri! And let’s all remember: “GOD SO LOVED…THAT HE GAVE….”