The BC trip wasn’t fulfilling. My neck bothered me so much
sleeping on the hard ground that I was brought to tears. There’s
no rest in traveling thousands of miles in two weeks. Stay home and
rest! There’s no rest in tenting, having to deal with occasional
inclement weather and noise.
Most of all, as a believer, there’s no rest in seeking recreation
or going sightseeing or doing anything as the world does and not
as the Spirit of God leads. We never did it again.
Particle - Fear of Man
What torment we put ourselves through because of the value we place
on the attitudes and opinions of others toward us.
Realizing the effect of that grievous burden, we throw it off and
are greatly relieved, until a day comes when we find it has somehow
grown on our backs once more. We must make a choice between praise
of man and praise of God.
How sweet the deliverance from a chain that binds
A man to many lords.
Peace and rest come to his soul,
Which he hasn’t known before!
The disquieted mind beleaguered with questions,
Bedraggled with doubt and confusion,
Struggles to know the answer at hand,
Which seems to be an illusion.
How fruitless the concentration
On opinions of other people!
How taxing the consternation
About all their thoughts and actions!
To the extent one values their words
And seeks to be praised of men,
To this extent are they his lords
And idols are they within.
Seek not to prove that the wrong are wrong;
Seek not to prove you are right;
But speak the truth both gently and wisely
And leave it without a fight.
Fear no man but fear only God,
For once all is said and done,
To God will we answer,
And He is the Judge
Of all things under the sun.
All things that are hidden
Will come to the light
In due time, whether good or bad,
And when His plan is fully complete,
Then all will receive praise of God.
Particle – George
In the late ‘70s, on one of our trips, we decided to drive
up to Battleford, Saskatchewan and visit George Hawtin. Mr. Hawtin
was writing and distributing The Page, which he would print on a
Gestetner and send out to thousands of people. We were receiving
it because Carroll Vance had shared a copy with us, we were interested,
and we subscribed. The main attraction to us of George’s writings
was that he preached the reconciliation of all things.
The Hawtins graciously received us, and as we visited, they realized
that I was the one who had sent them a letter, a year or more before,
wherein I corrected him on his writing on Mystery, Babylon the Great.
In that article, he identified the Roman Catholic Church as the Mother
of Harlots of Revelation 17. I disagreed, saying that while the RCC
was a prime present-day manifestation of Mystery, it was not Mystery
My argument was that Mystery represented false religion,
which was around from the beginning, her essence existing in other
long before the RCC was formed. I pointed out information in the
Old Testament similar to the description of Mystery in Revelation,
passages in Ezekiel, I believe, perhaps chapter 27.
George and his wife didn’t disagree with what I had shared
with them. They expressed surprise that I was so young for what I
had written (age 32). In later editions of his writing on Mystery,
Mr. Hawtin made adjustments in agreement with me. I appreciated his
willingness to change, because I had seen how many get too proud
and stubborn in their doctrines and opinions to admit error, especially
as they grow older.
George had just caught some trout, and they shared with us the fresh
pan-fried fish for supper. It was delicious. We enjoyed their fellowship
and were on our way.
Particle – George
Hawtin Sympathetic with Jews
I recall that part of our conversation with the Hawtins over supper
concerned the Jews. If my memory serves me correctly, Mr. Hawtin
made the point that Jews needed to realize and admit that they were
guilty of the blood of Jesus Christ; however, they also needed to
know that all of humanity was guilty of His blood. Mr. Hawtin’s
point was that we all needed the Savior, He laid down His life for
us all, to pay for our sins, and therefore we were all guilty. I
It seems to me that this topic came up because there was a notion
going around that the Jews weren’t guilty and therefore shouldn’t
be blamed, hated, and persecuted. While we agreed that they shouldn’t
be hated or persecuted, we also agreed that the right thing for Jews
to do was confess their guilt. It would be wrong of us to absolve
them of their sin in order to try to diminish or eliminate anti-Semitism,
instead of facing up to that guilt with them and encouraging them
Indeed, I believe that their failure to acknowledge their sin of
slaying their Messiah is at the core of their problem and the cause
of anti-Semitism. Jews must come to terms with their sin; it is the
only way to their salvation, freedom, and peace.
Particle – What
Became of Sister Marilyn Winters
We saw an ad in the paper for new discount jeans being sold privately.
I needed jeans, so we responded. The seller turned out to live at
a country home near Ashville, about 10 miles west of Dauphin, owned
by Mr. and Mrs. Harold Priest, formerly Marilyn Winters. She had
married Harold and was expecting. Harold was a proud graduate from
Prairie Bible Institute of Three Hills, Alberta.
Talking to him, I knew Marilyn had married a religious unbeliever.
I must say I was greatly grieved. With him, she was now spiritually
dead. Had she known he wasn’t a true believer? She had known
many things from the Lord. God had used few people in our lives as
He had her to confirm things He was telling me.
I now realized why she had
hesitated to receive the
truths we were sharing with her the year before at our home. She
prepared to forsake a marriage in the works. I believe she knew from
the Lord that she shouldn’t have married. I felt like we had
lost a precious sister, and we had.
Had she followed in the footsteps of her father? Had her father
brought that curse on his household?
Particle - The Shadow of the Gallows Tree
Of all my songs, there are three that were written in two sittings,
years apart. These were some of the first ones I wrote, and this
one, interestingly enough, speaks of two births. While I knew the
first spiritual new birth, and had written of it, I didn’t
write of the second, which is the resurrection, until I experienced
it much later on.
It is therefore most befitting that the words of this song came
in two parts. The first part came as a poem with only words. It is
now a song, the music coming somewhere between the two sittings.
Here is the first part:
The shadow of the gallows tree
Spreads darkly o’er the grave,
And in the dust I toss and turn,
Hoping He will save.
I know the work is good as done;
He did it all for me;
He laid my sins upon His Son,
Who suffered the gallows tree.
Some day I’ll be a butterfly,
No more to crawl or squirm,
But it’s His work, I can’t deny,
For I am but a worm.
The angels watch from up above
To see this work beneath;
When God has formed in me His love,
His holy sword He’ll sheath,
And glorious will be that day
When Jesus Christ is manifest,
The day for which the saints do pray,
The whole world will be blessed.
Particle – Colonel
We drove to Russell, Manitoba to hear Apollo astronaut Colonel James
Irwin speak. Mr. Irwin professed faith in Christ and was sponsored
by an evangelical church. The event drew 300-500 people to this little
When Mr. Irwin was done speaking of his flight to the moon and giving
his testimony of the Lord, the main event kicked in. Several church
officials and organizers of the event called themselves forward to
receive award plaques on stage.
Of course, the awards were planned. The plaques were there, many
of them, and the ceremony quite orchestrated. I was amazed at the
obviousness of their focus on themselves, though obviously, this
wasn’t so obvious to them.
There was no word of testimony of the Lord from these Christian
organizers, no sense of a spiritual work in Christ having occurred,
and even words of gratitude and recognition for James Irwin seemed
lacking. The principle thrust was one of self-congratulation that
they pulled off what they thought was such a grand and seemingly
impossible scheme as bringing Colonel James Irwin to their little
country town of Russell.
I could hardly believe this was happening. Didn’t they realize
what they were doing?
Particle – “From
Such Turn Away”
We had intermittent conflict with Archie and Cathie Hafichuk over
the years. They were ever unpredictable - one never knew what to
expect from them.
Archie sent an audiotape to us. In it, he enthusiastically and glowingly
declared the Lord had revealed to him that I had a rare and wondrous
relationship with the Lord, that He greatly loved me, and that I
had a great calling on my life.
I was surprised, yet thankful to hear that Archie was receiving
revelation of my calling and life in Christ, considering all the
conflict we had experienced with him. We thought the conflict was
finally ended. Were we wrong!
We called him to visit by phone, but again found a
strange aloofness or coolness toward us, so incompatible with the
audio he mailed us.
It seemed their moods and perspectives could change in a heartbeat,
though Archie didn’t attempt to deny that the Lord showed
him the things he declared of me in the tape.
Being slow as usual in catching on, thinking that perhaps we caught
them in a temporary mood or set of unpleasant circumstances when
we called, we decided to pay them a visit in Calgary. Arriving at
their door, expecting a welcome reception, there was instead an attitude
that said something like, “What are you doing here? Who invited
you?” Our peace immediately returned to us.
“And into whatever house you enter, first say, Peace to this
house. And if a son of peace is there, your peace shall rest on it.
If not, it shall return to you” (Luke 10:5-6 MKJV).
We didn’t know enough to turn on our heels and leave. Entering,
and trying to make peace, things proceeded as usual with them. They
would begin by reluctantly receiving us, the heavy atmosphere would
dissipate, and they would grow somewhat friendlier. Then Archie gave
me a hug, and as he hugged me, he said, “We have to stop stabbing
each other in the back.”
I suddenly felt like I had just embraced a manure pile. “What?” I
asked myself, “What is he talking about?” I asked him
how he thought I was doing that to him. He couldn’t answer.
I concluded he was expressing his conduct toward me
and perhaps assuming I had been doing the same to him. I don’t recall what
happened next, but things weren’t at all resolved to our satisfaction.
That night, we slept in their unfinished basement, and the next day
we left. On the way out, the Lord spoke to me, giving me the following
Scriptures concerning them:
“Know this also, that in the last days grievous times will
be at hand. For men will be self-lovers, money-lovers, boasters,
proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without
natural affection, unyielding, false accusers, without self-control,
savage, despisers of good, traitors, reckless, puffed up, lovers
of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness,
but denying the power of it; even turn away from these” (2
Timothy 3:1-5 MKJV).
My heart was breaking. I felt very badly, but I knew the Lord had
spoken. Sadly, we left.
Particle – My
Anger at God
Around this time, I had a very unpleasant vision of my mother. She
was stout, with uniform thickness in body, as a large tree trunk,
shaking her fist at heaven, cursing God with a horrible growl or
roar. I don’t recall anything in particular to provoke or inspire
such a picture of her.
Particle – Marv
Word came to us that Marv Isum was dismissed as a teacher
from Living Faith Bible College because of some scandalous event
matters. He had been an insecure, proud, covetous man that wouldn’t
receive a Word from God through
me in 1977 for his good.
When a contrary man contemns conviction and contends, contradicting
himself, conflict, condemnation, and consequences are the conclusion.
Particle – Apostle
Bob Turrell Exposed
Archie related to me how the “apostle” Bob Turrell was
hired as pastor of Grace Gospel Church. (Which begs the question:
Aren’t apostles apostles, and pastors pastors?) Turrell insisted
on several thousands of dollars per month in salary. He came, stayed
a while, created a conflict in the congregation, and eventually was
In due time, his fruits came to confirm what
I saw in Canmore in 1976, but not before some people were offended and
Such vain, greedy men bring reproach to the Lord’s Name. Why
didn’t the elders of his church see it coming, people like
John Martello and Gordon Donaldson?
Don Morrison was reported to have confessed regret that he had been
deceived and was in dismay of things Turrell was guilty of doing.
Just what kind of prophet was Morrison that he didn’t see through
a false apostle, even partnering up with him for conferences? Did
Don have a spirit of divination while posing as a prophet of God?
Particle – Weather
Permitting or Lord Willing?
We needed to make a 400-mile round trip for ARC Industries from
Dauphin to Winnipeg in the winter of 1978-79 for ceramics supplies,
but the weather was always stormy and the roads hazardous (it was
a consistently tough winter). Finally, there was a break in the weather,
so we headed out in our Volkswagen. The weather soon became stormy
again, but we kept on. It was snowing heavily; the temperature was
initially about –20°F and the wind chill made it much colder.
I believe the temperature dropped further after we left.
Along the roads we witnessed several vehicles in the ditches and
semi-trailers jackknifed. We were forced to take a motel in Portage
La Prairie for the night. Motorists had frozen batteries, and tow
trucks couldn’t keep up with the demands. We didn’t remain
where we were, and we didn’t turn back. We left the motel the
next morning, plowing through snow ruts and drifts all the way to
Winnipeg, past all the ditched and stranded vehicles.
This wouldn’t have been so easy if we hadn’t had an
engine in the rear, as Volkswagens had then, yielding the necessary
traction on the rear drive wheels. On our way back, our car was loaded
with an additional 300 pounds or so of ceramic molds. The heater
didn’t work, so we were quite “cool,” but we were
well dressed for the conditions.
When we got back, we found that everyone had been wondering how
we were doing. The papers reported the storm of the year, if not
of the decade, with all the attendant troubles. We had passed through
the whole thing as though nearly nothing had happened. I was surprised
at the newspaper reports, though we had seen all the signs of trouble
on the road.
It seemed as though we had been miraculously transported while mildly
sedated, so as to not even be aware of the implications or possible
effects of such a storm. The lesson we learned in that event was
that the Lord can take us through anything, that we need fear nothing
at any time. It was never a matter of “weather permitting,” but
of Lord willing, always. The creek can rise all it wants!
That doesn’t mean that I didn’t fear or fret thereafter.
I am ashamed to admit it, but I would have to say that my first name
has been “Unbelief,” and my second, “Worrywart.” It’s
shameful, but true.
Particle – Glaring
On one of our trips to Winnipeg, I dropped in on Uncle Fred Hafichuk
at Manitoba Telephone Systems on Portage Avenue. We hadn’t
seen each other in a while, but I was received coldly. Considering
the close and confidential relationship we once had, and how I had
never intended any wrong to him or anyone else, it was hard to take.
As I sat across the desk from him, I saw his eyes. While he wasn’t
being honest and openly hostile toward me, his eyes revealed a hatred
that was scary. I think I cried when I left, having been there for
only a few minutes and knowing there was no point in sticking around.
The hatred was disturbing; it seemed so evil. I believe I discerned
a devil in him. I would hear of the premature and unhappy end of
an uncle and former friend.
Oh, how differently would I handle those situations today, years
later, with what I now know and understand!
Particle – Another
Uncle Reads the Bible
Soon after Uncle and Auntie Atamanchuk moved into town from the
farm, Uncle deteriorated rapidly, gaining weight from lack of exercise.
However, in his last days, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that
he was reading the Bible. He gleefully reported how he was finding
things in the Bible for himself, rather than depending on a priest
to inform him.
I’m afraid I didn’t take time to get into the Scriptures
with him, but it seemed like a closed door. I just didn’t have
it to spend my time and energy there. Uncle had also lost his hearing,
so it was difficult communicating with him. Besides, he didn’t
ask me for anything.
Particle - Do We Thank God and Live?
In the losses we bore as we forsook all to follow the Lord, we
were discovering that “a man’s life doesn’t consist
in the abundance of that which he possesses” (Luke 12:15). We were also learning about the sovereignty of God, how He is over
all and engineers all things according to His will.
In Dauphin, Manitoba, in the winter of ‘78-‘79, the Lord
gave me to express the realities of these things in a song – “Do
We Thank God and Live?”
(Click HERE to listen to “Do We Thank God and Live?” or
to read the lyrics.)
Particle – Time
to Go to Israel
We discovered a pattern occurring with us. Occasionally, savings
would begin to accumulate, and we would wonder why. Inevitably, it
turned out that they weren’t there to accumulate indefinitely;
we would have an approaching need for them.
In February of 1979, our savings were greater than we had known
before. The Lord spoke to me, saying, “It
is now time for you to go to Israel. Give notice at work and begin
sell all your belongings.”
In the seventh year from my conversion to Christ, my age being 33,
we were headed to Israel.