That appellation sounds good, but what exactly does “stalwart” mean? Good question. “Strongly built; sturdy and robust; strong and brave; valiant; firm, steadfast, uncompromising.” Plenty of verses in God’s wonderful Word support those definitions as to who He has made you to be as His child and a minister in the Body of Christ. Yeah, I know, now all we gotta do is live up to them. Easier said than done, but certainly attainable, with the Lord’s help.
 
It’s hard to believe, but another calendar year has almost passed. Given that you are reading this, you’re apparently still on the planet. Congrats. I guess the question is, “Are you more spiritually fervent than you were right after you first heard God’s exhilarating truth X years ago? Without going into the context of the following statement, a dear believer once said to me about 20 years ago, “One thing you can do for me is to keep going.” How can you and I do that, day after day, year after year, while increasing our commitment to so doing? I hope you will find some keys in this letter.
 
So here I am, turning 75 this month (and celebrating the 47th anniversary of my ordination), with a number of dings, dents, chips, and scratches (kind of like our used RV), with my healing still being consummated, and hoping to pack up a 70-year-old wife, dog, and cat and embark on an adventure so ambitious that it almost frightens me. The operative word there is “almost,” because for 53 years our Heavenly Father has showered me with grace and mercy and provision that are light years beyond what I deserve. Thus far He has amazingly put the pieces together for us to take this next step, and I guess He won’t stop now. If He does stop, whoever wants our RV can come to whatever Interstate rest area at which we have expired and take home the bus. Speaking of which, RV there yet?
 
Elizabeth and I LOVE the beautiful hymn, Great Is Thy Faithfulness, and we have those words on the wall above our bed. No, we didn’t scrawl them there in crayon, we bought a nice wooden sign. As you may know, the author was inspired by the following verses: 
 
Lamentations 3:19-25

19 I remember my affliction and my wandering,  the bitterness and the gall. 20 I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me. 21 Yet this I call to mind  and therefore I have hope: 22 Because of Yahweh’s great love we are not consumed,  for his compassions never fail. 23 They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. 24 I say to myself, “Yahweh is my portion;  therefore I will wait for him.” 25 Yahweh is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him.
 
Here in the USA, we celebrate our national Thanksgiving holiday this month. But for every Christian, THANKSGIVING should be part of each day’s celebration of life—for many reasons. First and foremost, God says to be thankful (Ps. 100:4; Eph. 5:20; Col.3:15). One reason is because Thankfulness almost automatically dispels fear, impatience, anger, worry as it orients your heart to our Father, who is all good all the time.
 
Often during the course of my comparatively “cush” life, I’ve interrupted a “woe is me” lament and quoted my favorite Veggietales line, “What are you, nuts?!” Then I realize that this is nothing compared to what the apostle Paul, et al, endured. And he never had an air-conditioned vehicle, an iPhone, a computer, Internet access, a refrigerator, washer and dryer, or the NBA Playoffs.
 
Prayerfully consider his poignant words as he honestly and vulnerably lays out his heart for the believers of all time as an example, and a goal, of perseverance in the face of monumental spiritual adversity. The prefix “per” means “through,” and what we go through are “severe” situations. I’ll explain my red ink insertions afterward.
 
2 Corinthians 11:23b-33

23 I have worked much harder, never been in prison more frequently, never been flogged more severely, and never been exposed to death again and again. 24 Five times Never have I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. 25 Three times Never have I was beaten with rods, once I was never was I pelted with stones, three times I was never was I shipwrecked, I never spent a night and a day in the open sea, 26 Sometimes I have been constantly on the move. I have never been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my fellow Jews, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and sometimes in danger from false believers. 27 I have labored and toiled and have often at times gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food between breakfast and lunch; I have been cold while skiing and naked. 28 Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches. 29 Who is weak, and I do not feel weak? Who is led into sin, and I do not inwardly burn? 30 If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness. 31 The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, who is to be praised forever, knows that I am not lying. 32 In Damascus the governor under King Aretas had the city of the Damascenes guarded in order to arrest me. 33 But I was never lowered in a basket from a window in the wall and slipped through his hands.
 
First of all, if Paul is a “basket case,” that’s what I want to be. Second, I trust you noted my inserts in describing my own ministry. As I heard a preacher say recently, I want to tear down the firewall of emotional detachment and launch out from the safe harbor of theory into the tempest of reality. As Esther said, “Is there not a cause? If I perish, I perish.” So be it.
 
Sad to say, way too many wonderful Christian friends I love have grown “tired of the fight,” in particular doctrinal squabbles and infighting among believers, and who thus have sat down on the sidelines. The Word of God makes it crystal clear that such challenges go with the territory, so we should not be surprised, though it is easy to become discouraged by external opposition and internal contention, just as it is in an earthly family.
 
As we can see from the truth about 1 God/3 days and 3 nights/4 crucified/6 temptations, as opposed to what most of our brethren believe, many Christians are somewhat mathematically challenged. They also need to read a little more carefully. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 says, “IN all things give thanks…,” not FOR all things. Most of us have heard “problems” referred to as “opportunities,” and actually they are, opportunities to fervently seek the Lord’s help in resolving them. As I say but don’t always do, “I can’t wait to see how the Lord will work in this situation.”
 
It is frustrating that one of the most, if not the most, mangled Bible verses is Romans 8:28, which in nearly all versions says, “All things work together for good…” In light of the unspeakable horrors throughout the checkered history of mankind, a modicum of concentrated, logical thought would immediately reveal that rendering to be completely illicit. Thank God someone on the NIV translation team rendered it, “IN all things God works for the good of those who love Him.” Right on!
 
But I just heard a radio teacher say that God ran over a guy with a big truck and crushed his pelvis in order to bring him back into the fold. Jeez, the truck folded the guy. And if it is true that God “calls people home,” just DON’T ANSWER! Legal question: What do we call it when one person determines the time of another’s death? Right, murder.
 
In closing, and in light of our calling to persevere, that is, go the distance, here are some of my favorite verses, which I hope will inspire you to hang tough and stay the course:
 
Hebrews 6:10-12

10 God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them. 11 We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, so that what you hope for may be fully realized. 12 We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.
 
One way we show our love for God is to love people, and that reminds me of Matthew 25:40: “Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to Me.” Or not.
 
How about you? Our Lord Jesus showed us that we should never underestimate the power of ONE. I can’t wait to vigorously applaud for YOU when he calls your name at the Judgment Seat of Christ and rewards you for every single word and deed you have said and done in his holy Name. Speaking of which, I wonder if he will do so in alphabetical order. I know a brother whose name begins with “Zy…” I once told him, “I know what your favorite Bible verse is: ‘The first shall be last, and the last shall be first.’”
 
I love you!
John Lynn 

The Jesus GospelThe Jesus Gospel
 
Produced by longtime believer Gary Scarano, who writes: The Jesus Gospel© is the first ever word-for-word blended chronology of the four Gospels intertwined into a single flowing text. This book meticulously combines every single word of the record of Jesus’ life from the Bible and represents it in a comprehensive and fluid manner. The Jesus Gospel© is a detailed introduction to Jesus presented in an intriguing way! Read an intimate and rich account of Jesus’ life.

The book has 600 Footnotes and 225 interesting and challenging Q&A’s. The Jesus Gospel© is also available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and on iTunes, as well as in electronic version.

For more information:
jesusgospel.com
 

Movie in ReviewGosnell
by John Lynn

Gosnell: The Trial of America's
Biggest Serial Killer

 
As per the movie’s website: This is a 2018 American drama film about Kermit Gosnell, an abortion doctor who killed at least seven infants born alive during abortion procedures. In May 2013, Gosnell was convicted of first-degree murder in the deaths of three of the infants and involuntary manslaughter in the death of Karnamaya Mongar. Gosnell was also convicted of 21 felony counts of illegal late-term abortion, and 211 counts of violating the 24-hour informed consent law. After his conviction, Gosnell waived his right to appeal in exchange for an agreement not to seek the death penalty. He was sentenced instead to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

The film was announced in 2014. Funds for its production were raised via crowd funding, in which $2.4 million was raised for the creation of the film. When it was released last month, 668 theaters decided to hold screenings of the independent film. The movie quickly surpassed expectations by grossing $1.2 million on just 668 screenings of the film, Daily Wire reported. It even was put in the Top 10 film list. So far, 188 theaters have dropped the film, 15 of which were top-performing multiplexes.

JAL: All I will say is that I very strongly recommend that you see this movie. It is intense, as well is should be, given its unbelievable yet true story line, which was meticulously put together from the actual police and court documents. Furthermore, it is cinematically superb.
 
Movie Trailer: gosnellmovie.com
 

 
Don’t Blame GodDon't Blame God
A Biblical Answer to the Problem
of Evil, Sin, and Suffering

Look at all the pain and suffering in the world. Why would a loving God allow this to happen? Why do bad things happen to good people? Is God really on your side, and is He really doing all He can to help you in every situation? Here are some excerpts from the book, which you can buy for a life-changing read.

Does the God who teaches us that the end does not justify the means then deal with us as if it did? We think not. If God is somehow responsible for mankind's misery, if He could stop it but doesn't, if He has "reasons" because somehow this is all part of some unseen "plan" that will work to His glory, then He does not practice what He preaches.

More Info: Don't Blame God
On Sale Now: Hardcover / Paperback / Kindle
 

One Day With The Creator
Jesus Christ: The Diameter Of The Ages
*  The Book Of Romans
The End Times

 


 
Due to the holiday season, we will not have a Testimonies of God’s Goodness Fellowship on the third Wednesday of either November or December. Hope to see you on January 16, 2019.

 


QUOTE OF THE MONTH
 
Life is a gift; that’s why it’s called the “present.”
Your past is settled, and your future is secure.
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