Monday, January 25, 2016

I Used To Share A Room With An Angel!!


    I grew up with an Angel.  In fact, almost all of my life I have had the privilege of having an Angel in my life.  I know what I am about to write, there will not be a lot of people reading, this blog will never go viral or even will many people know about this Angel.  All of this is okay.  But I want to write this before this Angel is called back home to be with our God in Heaven.
     Many people don't know this but my sister, Echo; has severe Cerebral Palsy.  She at one point in her life was able to walk, today not.  There was a time that she was the poster child for Cerebral Palsy and the test child for many of the innovations that are used for children, just like her.  She has never been able to do the things we were able to do as children.  She has never been to Disneyland or any other place like that.  She was never able to go to the movies by herself or even be able to go to the park and swing.  She has an amazing mind trapped in a body that doesn't work.  But the one thing that she could do was love and love unconditionally.
     I remember growing up that we were told that she would never live past the age of 6.  Then when she reached 6, they said she would never be a teenager.  Then it was she would never see 20.  Next came it could happen any time.  But now she is nearing the end.  Her body is beginning to fail and we are all coming to grips with the fact that soon she will be leaving this earth.  For us we are facing the reality that each day is a special day with her. 
     Growing up with her was a very special time.  I remember a time when we were at the University of Oregon Crippled Children's Hospital and Echo was doing her weekly therapy and time of being a guinea pig for the doctors and therapist there.  It seemed that they were always trying new things with her, new leg braces, computers that were interactive with her, and my favorite the metal they strapped to her shoes so she could walk.  This was just another time and another week.  Echo, Mom and her personal therapist, plus a group of interns were working with her when a strange new doctor entered.  I can't remember his name but he was some type of world renowned specialist.  His first words were, "Where is this angel, Echo I have been hearing about?"  This was the first time that I had heard her referred to as that.  After introductions were made, he got down on the floor and started working with my sister.  At this point, all she could do was sit up and crawl on the floor.  Boy, could she get around then.  But after about an hour of working with her, he whispered something in her ear, and he had a walker brought into the room.  He picked her up, put her hands on the walker and told her to do it.  It was the first time I saw my sister take steps.  It was the beginning of her being able to walk. Her walking didn't last long before her legs would not work and she was put into a wheelchair.   But what has stuck with me all these years later was that he called her an angel. 
     Over the years I have watched her interact with people.  People will meet her and see that although she is handicapped she always smiles.  Echo will soon leave this earth but I know that she has a special place in Heaven.  In Heaven, my sister will be able to walk again, be able to talk without the assistance of a device (I am sure she has a wonderful voice) and more importantly she will not be in pain anymore.  However I believe that God has a special place in Heaven for her and that she will truly be the Angel that she has been in my life and those that she has met. 
      I am writing this so that you will better know my sister.  It is because of her that I am who I am today.  She has taught me to love and be accepting.  It is because of her that I fight for what is right and to be determined.  It is because of her constant effort to succeed even in the midst of pain and failure that I try to always to my best.  It is because of Echo that I cry at movies (yes I admit it) and it is because of her that I see the good before the bad.   And as I stated earlier, it is because of her that I am able to love.   I truly did share a room with Angel. 


Saturday, January 2, 2016

God Is Good: A Sample of Communication


    Many of you have asked me what type of communication do I get from the partners that I work with overseas.  I thought I would share two of them with you.  The first one is an email I received less than a week ago (actually while I was sitting in church) and the other is from a recent project that occurred in the region, which was led by a dear friend and brother.  This is just a sample of the emails and communication that I receive.  Many of the names have been changed and places for their protection.  Please as you read them pray for them.

"I was contacted by folks in our church in the central region.  They told me that our pastor had been taken away, our church meeting place was confiscated and no one had heard from our pastor for over 24 hours.  The man that witnessed it was distraught and could not keep from sobbing.
As soon as I could, I contacted a man who deals with Christian media in the central region, and found a lawyer that would work with us.  I got ahold of the man from our church that was also roughed up by the police and he told me to call our pastor immediately.  I got ahold of our pastor and he told me he was in not in the country!  I was relieved he was safe, as we all though the worst.  Below is the story that I translated from our pastor. .  Here is our pastor's account of what happened: 

Before I explain what happened, I want to share something that I feel very certain of and something that I have determined from the last few attacks.  Whenever we have a ministry or project, within two days or less "someone" learns of it and comes to try to stop what we are doing. These people seem to be aware of even the smallest detail of everything that we do.  I believe that someone that has close knowledge of what we are doing and has a flow of information is making complaints about us.  I am not saying that it is someone that is from inside our church.  We have enough enemies and I suppose you maybe able to guess who these might be.  Because of our involvement in writing and participation in ....(name deleted for protection)  reconciliation, I know that there are many from within the larger church that still hate us.  As a result of this there are some that continue to make complaints about us and our church, they know all about us and they are sharing this information with authorities. 

The day that it happened our brother from the church opened the door.  I was about three feet away from the door.  Our brother from the church kept the door partially open and said to the men at the door, "what can I do for you?".  The men were in civilian clothing and we did not understand who they were.  The man in front grabbed our brother's hand, pushed him and forced his way into our church.  Our brother asked, what is going on?, as soon as he asked this they kicked him in the shin and all forced their way to the church.  I then yelled and asked them who they were. Because of all of the yelling and commotion our next door neighbors heard and came over to see what was happening.   They all came into our church.  One of the man took out his badge or identification and began hitting my on the sides of my face with it.  They pushed us both into our worship area.  There were four men and one of them was playing the role of the "bad cop".  He was continuously cursing at us and kept motioning to us like he would punch us.

 He started off by saying,

 "you bleep bleeps, you are such a trouble to us, why are you looking for trouble? Are you wanting a beating?, you ..... seeds,  Why are you always trying to dig up 'bleep'? Why can't you just keep your doors closed like the other churches and sit on your rears? What? you mean you are the 'crazies' of all the churches?  They have made you go mad that you will see your place."  We would let you alone if you would just not do anything, in fact you can stay here for years if you do not do anything more. 

Two other police were trying to calm this man down and tried to talk with me in a more sincere way.  They said,

"please look my friends, the things that you have done this country cannot put up with and will not give permission for. You also know the situation in this country.  It is a mere dream if you think you can just make a video like this and put it out there and go on like nothing will happen.  If it is not today, if it is not tomorrow, soon there will be a day that in this geography (Translator's note: meaning in Muslim/Islamic countries), that there will be no permission for videos and books like these, and they are not ready for them anyway.  And 'God forbid" that anything would happen, it would cause a lot of problems for us, and it will vilify our country's name.  Look what happened in Malatya and what happened to Hrant Dink.  Now you have put out a video like this....  Did you not go on YouTube to research if anyone had made a video similar to yours or a more "normal" video like it?  There is not one.  Well, have you wondered why there is nothing out there like it??  What do you think you are the world's bravest hero??  You think you can insult people's book (the Qur'an) and their prophet (Muhammad) and then you can walk down the street?? I don't think so.
Forget the police..., Allah will not even be able to protect you!  This is my advice, get lost and get out of here.  I don't care if you go underground, if you go to your village, if you go to the ...... that you love so much, you can figure it out.  This is a warning from us." 

The police did not confiscate any books, computers or anything. Every time I tried to reply to their questions they would tell me to shut up. Later that evening, I was called by a private number.  The man on the other end of the phone cursed and threatened continuously then hung up. I thought for safety reasons that it was prudent to get out of sight for a short period of time.  For that reason both I and our brother from church decided to get out of the country.  We plan on returning to Turkey as we evaluate the circumstances.  The biggest concern for me is not that I will be tortured or hurt, or be put into prison.  This is only the first book and first video that we have produced and I have plans on doing much much more.  My biggest concern is that I will not be able to finish my projects. 

For our church's safety I believe that it may be wise that we move from where we currently meet for worship.  Right now my family is safe and they have not been threatened in anyway.  But the video that we put on YouTube is still new and every day it reaches more and more people.  (Translator's Note: what he means by this is that there could be many more threats and issues the more viewers this has.). 

We are truly grateful for the people that are praying for us.  Before we began our ministry, we counted the cost.  Whatever comes from the Lord, may His will be done.  I have now almost reached my 50th birthday, I am not sure about how much I have to run the race, however, May it all be sacrificed for the path of the Lord.   We love you all."

A Project Report:

"My Brother Ron,
    Here is the report from our recent project:

PROJECT REPORT  Name withheld for protection

NUMBER OF PEOPLE CONTACTED: Approximately 40 persons

Here are some stories:

Some one her name is H....., she was 23 on October 2011 She decided to do not believe in God any more. She believes when man die as any animal, it’s over. She is smoking and drinking. Her target is making money and enjoying herself. I spend more than 2 hours talking about God’s love where All Religions around us man looking and try to please God, while in Christianity God who are looking for man and He died for him. And He have to do Salvation to balance between His fair and His mercy. After I evidence from the Holy Bible the God’s love and salvation doctrine, she prayed with me asking Jesus who die for her sins to forgive her and wash her heart with His Blood and accept Him in her heart as her Lord and Savior.

Also another story with Ka...., who accept Jesus from three years ago, he saw people who said they were Christians not acting like Christians and this caused him stumble and said to himself if Jesus likes those people, I do not want to be Christian any more. I believe this case is more difficult than any case else. So, we start to talk about Jesus’ love and how He was treating people including this woman who was bring her to Him while she command adultery. How he was nice, gentle and treat her with very nice way. In the same time we have responsibility towards ourselves at the front of God. and do not forget that the Satan are using his ways to let us loss our relations ship with our Lord. I gave him encouraging message and warning him in the same time. He cry and ask Him for forgiveness and renew his covenant. "

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Simply Said: Merry Chistmas!!!

The Wayman Family
Picture was taken at Mitch and Allison's Wedding

Simply Said:  Merry Christmas

    It is an amazing time of the year.  A time for family.  A time for friends.  A time to do for others before yourself.  A time to be recognize the Savior who came to the Earth.  I love this time of year.  Many years ago, in a prior life I worked for Target and even then this was my favorite time of the year. 
      I think the reason I love this time of the year was because of Jesus Christ, my Savior.  Jesus Christ is the reason that in 2001, our world was shook up and I left the busy, crazy world of retail and headed overseas to follow a Higher Call in my life.  I have no regrets about the decision to answer His Call.  This Call has led to many happier days.  I have grown closer to my family and have wonderful friends who support us through all of it. 
     But why did Jesus come to the earth.  I have thought about this a lot lately and it is a simple.  If you do a search online, you find many reasons.  However the best reason is that He came to earth to ensure us an eternity with Him and the Father in Heaven.  Jesus came to reconcile us from when we turned our backs on him and from our sin.  Simply for each of you, if you do not know Jesus Christ; I would love to introduce you to Him.
     As Christmas is approaching I would like to say thank you to each of you for blessing Jeannine and I.  Each of you are such a blessing to us.  And to my family, thank you for loving me and following me on this journey.



Thursday, November 26, 2015

Thanksgiving 2015


    The above picture was taken when we first arrived in Amman, Jordan to start this wild journey.  It is amazing how far we have come since that day.  This last year has been the most exciting of all of my years in the ministry.  There have been times of great joy and celebration then times of sorrow and frustration. 
    Hebrews 12:28 says:  "Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe."
    This is really one of my favorite verses because if you really look what it is saying then we are to not be shaken in anything and in all things be thankful, good and bad; because we someday we are going to be a kingdom that God created just for us.  Now that is a promise that each of us must grab hold of and never let go.
    So here is my THANKFUL LIST and believe me it is not complete:
1.  I am thankful to God.  Because of His Love for me I am guaranteed to be in His Kingdom.
2.  My wife, Jeannine, that has faithfully walked this road with me.  She has endured my extended travel alone.  She supports me, prays for me, and loves me when I am not sure about many things.  She is a rock even though while I am gone she stands alone.
3.  My children, all 4 of them now.  They are amazing people of character, integrity, love, compassion, understanding and support.
4.  To our Great Commission Partners that pray for us and support us so we can continue this crazy journey.   Without you, this would road would not be possible.
5.  To the Workers and Believers in the region that partner with me and International Commission to do the work of God in an area where their sacrifices I will never understand.
6,  For the safety that God continues to grant me as I travel.  This year has been the most dangerous for this road.  There has been unexpected dinners with people who could easily end my life or that of the team with me.  There has been safe passage when I had done something stupid. There have been the many times that I know I have been followed when in countries.  And just recently the car bombs that occurred within a few miles of where I was and then the military/police raids that occurred right in front of me. 
7.  For the protection of God.  A great example of His protection was the flight that was delayed out of Frankfurt.  Although I was frustrated and yes angry about not being able to be home as planned.  When I found out that the brakes were the issue and that there was a possibly of danger upon landing in San Francisco, I thankful that God knew better than I did.
8.  I am also thankful for the struggles that I have faced this year.  The times where I am not sure about what is going on in His Call.  The ways that our financial support has so drastically reduced but yet God continues to provide.  And the times that I have been in such extreme pain that I can hardly move.
    God continues to amaze me.  All I can do is to continue to be thankful.  Again thank you for everything that each of you have done and continue to do for us.  Finally I am thankful for the picture below because today this is the family that God has blessed me.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Focus Should Be On Jesus Christ, Not A Cup!!!!


Hebrews 12:1-2 says: 
"Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God."

    So I was going to make this addition to my blog about my upcoming trip to the Middle East and how prayer is the support to its success.   The reason for the need  and importance of prayer is that this trip has the potential to be the most dangerous of trips and projects that I have taken a team on in a very long time.  However over the last couple of days, there has been a trend on social media that is wrong. 
    Christmas is fast approaching and Starbuck's has again come out with their "Red Cups."  The difference this year is that they are just plain red cups that say Starbucks.  Facebook and other social media have lit up with comments about Starbuck's taking Christ out of Christmas, how people are not going to shop them or patronize them because the red cups don't say Christmas or any other comments about Christmas.  Starbuck's publicly said we want to be more inclusive.  However, reality is that for Starbuck's, it also is a profit factor.  Less printing equates to more bottom line dollars.  Now I have been in Starbuck's recently and have seen all of the normal things in them, the ornaments, the "Christmas Blend Coffee"  (which actually says Christmas Blend Coffee), and all of the other things that say they have gone Christmas. 
    Why are we, and I mean we because all of the Christians out there who are "all up in arms" are representing me; a Believer of Jesus Christ and yes a Christian around the world declaring "War on Starbucks."  You see, your actions here in the USA reflect all Christians around the world.  People it is a RED CUP. 
    Candace Cameron Bure said this yesterday on her Facebook page:

Starbucks War on Christmas?
It's a red cup, folks.
Until Starbucks puts a baby Jesus or nativity scene on the cup while saying Merry Christmas, then pulls it because they say it’s offensive, let’s talk. I don't remember Starbucks ever being a Christian company, do you?  A Santa, a snowflake, some holly, a polar bear, some jingle bells or plain red cup don’t define Christmas for me as a Christian. My relationship with Jesus does.
So, I will joyfully sip on my Starbucks coffee, in a plain red cup, and instead of complaining about the lack of decorations, I will lovingly share the good news of Jesus Christ with friends and co-workers or anyone who's willing to engage in conversation.
    Is she right?  Yes she is right.  Here is my rant and I am yelling it at the top of voice right now....IT IS NOT STARBUCK'S, TARGET, OR EVEN WALMART'S RESPONSIBILITY TO SHARE THE TRUTH ABOUT JESUS CHRIST....IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY!!!!!  The red cup is a red cup, let it go.  If you are that upset about a red cup then get off your duff and start sharing the real truth.  The truth the Jesus Christ came to earth to be a sacrifice for your sins, to create a new covanent so that you and I will have an eternity in Heaven with Him and His Father.  If you want people to know why we celebrate Christmas, then go meet with them and tell them. 

    See the picture above, "Sharing the Gospel with Others-Easy or Difficult."   Pick your battles.  You are making Sharing more difficult.  I am not trying to belittle your belief system, but pick your battles.  A red cup is a battle you are not going to win.  But if you use the red cup as a opportunity to share Jesus Christ, then it is a eternal battle you will win.  For me, I am going to use Starbuck's.  I am going to invite people to have coffee with me at Starbuck's, I am going to get them something in the red cup, and I am going to share with them the LOVE OF JESUS CHRIST, the TRUTH OF JESUS CHRIST, and THE ETERNAL REASON FOR CHRISTMAS. 


Thursday, October 15, 2015

LOVE....It is an ACTION WORD!!!


    Last month I wrote my blog on Forgiveness and it seemed right that this month’s blog be about Love.  Another subject that is so needed in the world today.   The word love is thrown around like baseball.  I love pizza (lol, personally I don’t-not a pizza fan), I love the way this looks, I love my car, and it goes on and on.  So do we truly know what the word love means and how to really use it?  Can you love someone, something or anything without having actions to go with it?  Honestly I don’t think you can.  To love it takes actions, not with just words but with an sacrificial emotional act. 

    God’s Word shares with us the story of Jesus, who loved you and me so much that he was willing to give His life so that we would be guaranteed an eternity with Him and His Father, God.  Jesus’s love he demonstrated through emotions and sacrifice.  I am still not positive that I could offer my son or daughter for anyone or anything.  But Jesus was willing to die because He loved you and me.  I am learning this type of love even today.    Please read the below article by Rick Warren and ask yourself at the end…Do my actions show that that you love or are you giving just simple “lip service?”  I would challenge you that if your actions don't match the words then make them match.  Believe it or not, lip service hurts and jeopardizes your love relationship.  It also doesn't take long for the lip service to show through and then start hurting your relationship with that person. 

“The Bible Says Love Is An Action

By Rick Warren — May 21, 2014

“Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions.” (1 John 3:18 NLT)

If you really love someone, then you show it by how you act toward that person.

Love is more than attraction and more than arousal. It’s also more than sentimentality, like so many of today’s songs suggest. By this standard, is love dead when the emotion is gone? No — not at all — because love is an action, and a behavior.

Over and over again in the Bible, God commands us to love each other, and you can’t command an emotion. If I told you right now, “Be sad!” you couldn’t be sad on cue. Just like an actor, you can fake it, but you’re not wired for your emotions to change on command.

If love were just an emotion, then God couldn’t command it. But love is something you do. It can produce emotion, but love is an action. 

The Bible says, “Let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions” (1 John 3:18 NLT). We can talk a good act: “I love people.” But do we really love them? Our love is revealed in how we act toward them.

How will you reveal to others that you love them this season? Be specific. Think about each member of your family. How can you show your love to _____?”

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Forgiveness: Hard Lessons to Learn



 I started to write a blog about the importance of friends and family in the ministry, but as I was writing it, I found that it was turning more to forgiveness.  Forgiveness has really been heavy on my heart.  

    My search about forgiveness began in the Bible, of course.  I found over 200 references to forgiveness in the Bible.  It was a time of reading a lot of eye-opening and soul searching verses.  What I have found as I was studying is that forgiveness takes three steps. 

                                Step 1:  Takes a person asking for forgiveness. 

                                Step 2:  The verbal act of accepting the forgiveness. 

                                Step 3:  The emotional act (the heart) of accepting the forgiveness.

    When someone asks for forgiveness, most are thinking that the person will forgive them.   In order to ask for forgiveness, the person asking must have recognition.  The asking for forgiveness is the recognition that their actions or words hurt someone they care about or love. They realize that they need to ask for forgiveness because of the hurt and actions.  Do they expect forgiveness to be immediate, no; but their hope is forgiveness.  The question arises of what is the time frame for forgiveness?  Honestly if we use Jesus as our example it is to be immediate.  Definitely not a human trait. 

    The next step is the acceptance.  Acceptance of forgiveness is difficult especially if the hurt is deep.  However throughout the Bible we find that God says over and over again we are to forgive.  In fact one of the key verses is when Jesus is speaking and one of the disciples asks how often and Jesus replies, seven times seven fold.   Doing the math alone, it is an infinite number.  So being a follower of Jesus, we are not only supposed to forgive, but are commanded to forgive.  And forgiveness is not a one-time action; it is a multiple time action.

    The third and final act of forgiveness is the heart acceptance.  This is the toughest of all the steps.  This is where the human aspects of forgiveness exist.  It turns from giving “lip service” to the emotional support.  Many years ago, I faced a situation where I was asked to forgive a situation and the person.  It was easy to do the verbal acceptance of my forgiveness but the heart action was terribly hard.  Over time it happened.  However during this time as my heart was forgiving I lost the friendship and love with the person.  When my heart was ready I tried to get back the relationship with the person, but it was not to happen.  Recently I asked the person what happened and what I found out was even more heartbreaking to me.  I found out that during this time, my actions had hurt them more than their initial hurt had caused me.   Their comment was that they had reached out knowing they had caused hurt, but that although I said I forgave them, my actions told them a whole different story.  My heart was broken and my words of forgiveness are never going to be enough.  I lost a friend and a relationship that will never be the same.  What I learned was that you can say you forgive but there MUST be action to our words.  I also learned that when asked to forgive there should never be conditions added to your response.  Image if when we asked forgiveness from Jesus and He says I forgive you but…We are to learn to forgive like Jesus does.   Simple and once He says I forgive, we know it is gone.  I know what you are thinking….it is easier said/written then done.  You are right and that is why as we spend our time here, as Followers of Jesus, we are supposed to be becoming more like Jesus.  Sorry to be blunt and honest but it is the truth and I am struggling every day to become more like Jesus.  Not perfect (by far) but forgiven.

    Imagine what would happen if we went to Jesus to ask for forgiveness and He says yes but does not forgive us with His heart.  Where would we be today?  Where would we be at the Judgement Throne?  How would it be if Jesus said to the Father one of our sins that we had asked forgiveness for that sin, and Jesus says, “Father they asked for forgiveness but I just could not forgive them in my heart?”  That is why once we ask it is cleaned, wiped out, forgotten, gone as far as the east is from the west.  I am not sure about you but I ask forgiveness every day from Jesus for the stupid things I do.  I am glad that Jesus forgives me and they are gone.
    Why did I write this blog?  It is like I have said many times before, maybe what I write is something that you have struggled with or are struggling with.  But it really is something that I am struggling with.