The Wings of Healing is an international ministry, with a world wide radio ministry, and also helps maintain Children homes, relief stations, churches, and Bible schools around the globe.

Monthly Archives: January2020

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GOD CREATURES

By Jennifer Wyatt

I can’t recall where we got our first “feeding sock” full of nyjer seed but the morning after we hung the ugly thing up, we had such a beautiful show of bright yellow finches, that we were beside ourselves. They were right outside our picture window, so close, so adorable and so full of life. My husband and I stood there cuddled together. Not daring to move other than to sip our coffee, for a very long time. We both teared up then and still will, remembering that moment when our new house felt like a home.

After that I ran out and bought Kaufman’s “Field Guide to Birds of North America” and found out that we’d been blessed with a visit from American Goldfinches and Lesser Goldfinches, though I take offense at the “lesser” on their behalf! Then I bought another book from the National Wildlife Federation, “Attracting Birds, Butterflies, and Other Backyard Wildlife” and I was hooked.

When we first moved in, the front and back yard of our little house were both blank slates consisting of grass, some very hardy purple vincas in the back and a few boxy bushes around the front, completing that typical 1950s look. What can I say, our house was built in1950. Slowly but surely we put in trees and flowers and our yard came alive with a dazzling variety of living things. I kid you not, at least five kinds of bees, lizards, salamanders, lacewings, ladybugs, praying mantis and a nearly constant parade of butterflies and skippers. Strange bugs appear and I try not to freak out and never use pesticides. Something else comes along and eats them. It all works out if you let it.

Many years later, what I tell our son is that we’re lucky to have our own yard and we should be thankful for such a nice place to play and live. He is well aware that we’re not the only ones who live here. He’s been helping us in the garden since he could walk and he’s gotten an earthly education so far and we call the animals who live in or visit our yard “pets you can’t pet.”

Recently we got our yard certified by the National Wildlife Federation. I was excited to do it and I wanted our son to experience planting the flag in our yard. It’s

A nice special feeling, though I wish we weren’t quite so special. If God made all of these beautiful creatures, shouldn’t we all be making some room for them in our lives? Installing a bird-feeder, a watering hole, a bat box, or even a pot full of flowering plants can open your heart up to the simplest kind of happiness. As I’ve said we call these animals that live here or visit “pets you can’t pet.” If you know that particular joy, then tell a friend and spread the love.

 

 

 

FROM SHOW BIZ TO SUNDAY SCHOOL

Sharon Leann Wyatt’s autobiography

 

Is It Sexual Harassment, Or Boys Will Be Boys? (Part One)

 

The next morning mother dropped me in front of Universal International. I was really happy to be on this lot. There was a feeling about the layout of the stages that didn’t give one the feeling of being in canyons of concrete basilisks offering no warmth whatsoever.   No, Universal was different.   There was an openness to most of the lot and the close proximity of the hills and the back lot was an appealing addition. It was the friendliest of lots so to speak, and I always felt “at home” when working there.

Except once several months before, while dating Mike a makeup man’s nephew. His uncle Bud Westmore wanted me to be the mermaid that was the logo for “Chicken of the Sea” tuna. The commercial sounded good, the money was wonderful, but I learned I would have to bear my breasts to be properly fitted in the “skin.” I refuse! They tried to placate me saying, a nurse would be there, and you could have anyone you wanted present. Swell let’s just invite the world. There was nothing they could do to change my mind. Scratch another opportunity for fame and fortune.

Anyway I made my way from the casting office to the place where I was to get on a bus to take me to the back lot location for that day’s shooting. However, I was about to pass what I believe most women do dread, a group of men.   All of these were wearing hard hats, and as I approached I felt one by one each quit doing what ever had occupied him and began to gaze my way. I had no other recourse but to walk right by them. The crisp morning sun was shining in my face, but I was wearing an Italian straw bretton hat, so the sun was not in my eyes. I could see the ‘lynch mob’ preparing to say or do something to cause some embarrassment to me. As expected, when I drew near, one of the “boys” spoke up, “I like your hat.” My heart was in my throat, but I still had my wits about me, and flashed back an answer without missing a beat, amazed at my own boldness, “I like yours too!” His cronies laughed at him and I heard one say, “That cutie is no slouch!” I walked on, undaunted by the interruption and rather pleased with my response, for I knew that a quick biting response does dilute most of these adolescent events.

That day’s work was nice just because we spent the day sitting around the pool eating finger sandwiches and fruit, and sipping tall cool pretend drinks. Here I was introduced to an older crowd know as “Dress Extras.” These are the people who have access to better clothing, and can sport a look of sophistication, as against those who are more grizzled looking and used in Westerns or back alleys. The people I was seated with were somewhat entertaining, and the day passed quickly. I was told stories about my family; that were amusing and fun. I felt better about myself. It was then an actress came on the set and absolutely could not remember one of her lines. She stumbled over every sentence, and no less than 16 takes were made to do one short paragraph. One of the extras seated at our table mused, that she must’ve gone to bed for the job and therefore did not have an interview. Surely any interview would have revealed the fact that the poor thing was illiterate. And so it was that another discouraging day had passed.                               (continued next month)

 

 

 

On the Envelope: What may this New Year bring?

 

Turquoise and Rhinestone necklace on back of form (unless it can fit in letter)

 

Picture of depiction on Revelation 7:9   “The Multitude without number” For front

From Show Biz to Sunday School

Sharon Leann Wyatt’s autobiography

IT BEGINS   (part three)

 

…flamboyant and extroverted, if you’ll pardon the pun.   Not only were they outgoing, but so were their bust lines, and their blouses covered only enough to keep the censors happy. Their skirts, unlike mine, were above their knees, and unlike the sensible shoes I wore, they were sporting skyscraper heels. So this is the kind of gypsy’s we are today! Oh well, I had their number and also the tambourine, which I was then told to “dance around a bit, dear.” Well, this wasn’t too bad, but it was far from what I had become used to.   “Don’t let it get you down.” I kept telling myself.

It was about at this time that the producer of the show appeared on the set, Aaron Spelling. With squeals of delight that particular group of flashy gypsies, jumped up and approached this man that to me resembled an unborn chicken. They pawed and petted, kissed and squeezed the embryo of foghorn Leghorn for the longest time….he needless to say enjoyed every overture. While this rather insidious ritualistic greeting was going on the guest star of the show came on the set.   It was Caesar Romero. He was such a beautiful man, with such classic good looks and features. He came and looked over the gypsy camp set, where I had just finished rehearsing. Now all stood looking at the director for further instructions and suggestions.

Mr. Romero glanced about and gave me the warmest and most gentlemanly of smiles. I smiled demurely back and felt a blush over my face. The scene I was in was quickly shot. It was fun to do and went well. The next scene was the one with Mr. Romero, and of course, with the gypsy tarts.   Spread out over a bevy of brightly colored pillows surrounding Caesar were the other “gypsies” wearing what resembled more Fredrick’s of Hollywood than a gypsy garb pawing him the same as they had the producer. One more shot at the gypsy camp, and the day was called to a rap. It was around five o’clock. Earlier in the day, my mother had called me on the set to tell me Central Casting called to give me a job. I called them back and was given a call at my favorite studio, Universal International, or as it is often refer to as UI.

I met my mother out in front of the studio, she was quite anxious to hear how everything went that day. I told her my observations. “Was your costume okay?” Mom asked. “It was just fine,” I replied, while I stared long and hard out the front window of the car, “just fine.” Perhaps a bit drab, but it was fine. When I got home I took off my adequate costume and folded it neatly.   I then placed it in a drawer, it was never to be worn again.

I was to learn that certain shows had what seemed an unspoken law, ‘dress a certain way, act in the same manner and there may be extra money in it.’ On this set they

quaintly referred to it as “Burke’s Law,” a play on the shows title. So wear a long skirt, and show no cleavage and you play pretend with a tambourine. This was then what I could expect, remain who I was, or become like those others girls. For me I would rather play the tambourine, than play the “game” with those that made such unspoken “Laws.”

 

IS IT SEXUAL HARASSMENT, OR BOYS WILL BE BOYS?

 

The next morning mother dropped me in front of Universal International. I was really happy to be on this lot. There was a feeling about the layout of the stages that didn’t give one the feeling of being in canyons of concrete basilisks offering no warmth whatsoever.   No, Universal was different.   There was an openness to most of the lot and the close proximity of the hills and the back lot was an appealing addition. It was the friendliest of lots so to speak, and I always felt “at home” when working there.

Except once several months before, while dating Mike a makeup man’s nephew. His uncle Bud Westmore wanted me to be the mermaid that was the logo for “Chicken of the Sea” tuna. The commercial sounded good, the money was wonderful, but I learned I would have to bear my breasts to be properly fitted in the “skin.” I refuse! They tried to placate me saying, a nurse would be there, and you could have anyone you wanted present. Swell let’s just invite the world. There was nothing they could do to change my mind. Scratch another opportunity for fame and fortune.

Anyway I made my way from the casting office to the place where I was to get on a bus to take me to the back lot location for that day’s shooting. However, I was about to pass what I believe most women do dread, a group of men.   All of these were wearing hard hats, and as I approached I felt one by one each quit doing what ever had occupied him and began to gaze….

(continued next month)

From Show Biz to Sunday School

Sharon Leann Wyatt’s autobiography as Sharon Leigh

TRY LATER   (part three)

 

When I returned home after making the rounds of the casting offices, my cousin Joey was waiting for me. When I drove up into the driveway he burst out of the front door in the grand manner and pronounce, “welcome to the wonderful world of extra business!” I was a bit skeptical over Joey’s wording of that sentence. But as with any undertaking, I was willing to give it a chance to prove itself, and then I would judge whether it was such a “wonderful world” or not. My nature is to be enthusiastic in my work, and to give it my all. Starting on the morrow I would begin my new career and a true analysis of extra business.

At four o’clock in the afternoon of each weekday, every extra who wishes to work the next day, goes through the ritual of “calling in.” This is where you phone the casting agencies, and when they answer, you reply with only your name. If there is a call out from the studios, and the job could be filled by you, you are given a job on the spot. Or if regrettably there is nothing available they will bluntly reply, “No Work.”   But, if there is a call in, and as yet it hasn’t been processed and there is a good likelihood of them being able to place you on the call, you will then hear music to your years in that hopeful retort, “Try Later.”

IT BEGINS.

 

Joey and I called them together that evening, and almost right away I was given my first job. I had just turned Twenty-one, but I would soon learn that I was years younger in innocence. The call was for a show titled “Burke’s Law.” It was filmed at CBS Four Star in Studio City.   I was to be a gypsy, of all things!   I had to provide my own wardrobe and report to the set at 8 AM. I set about going through my closet looking for suitable attire. The only thing I had was a peasant-type blouse. It was a round neck-puffy sleeved thing that dated back to my junior high school days and some corny dance I attended. There was a problem, however, it was dead white.   That was a no-no at the studios, for white shows up like some explosion on film. I envisioned a long full skirt with a sash to complete the wardrobe, so I was off to the local five and dime to purchase a fabric that wouldn’t break the bank. I found just what I needed and a box of Rit dye in a coordinating color to tone down the blouse to complete the look. I set about sewing a skirt with a little added ric rac and a braided trim gave the skirt that gypsy look. With a bit of material left over, I fashioned a babushka and I was ready to meet the call in style.

The next morning I awoke very excited anticipating a day filled with new adventure and acquaintances. My costume hung, with all it’s accoutrements on the door, ironed and ready for what ever they would have this gypsy do. I finished off the look with some golden hoop earrings of modest size and a couple of bangle bracelets. I tied on my babushka, which completely covered my short hairdo. My mother drove me to work that morning as we only had one car, a 1961 Ford falcon between us. Mother thought my attire was perfect and proper.

We left home early just in case, but without a hitch, we managed to get to the studio about a half hour early. Not knowing my way around that particular lot, I was glad to have the spare time. The guard pointed me directly to the stage and in two minutes I was entering the heavy door that beyond laid the Burke’s Law set, where I would be initiated into the “wonderful world of extra business.”

No one else was there yet, so I carefully strolled around the soundstage taking everything in. As I have said the studios were no stranger to me, as I had begun a career within their imaginative portals, as I have already stated at the ripe old age of five. Now, I was 21, but for some reason I perceived all I saw in a different light, from a different perspective, and I didn’t like what I was feeling one bit. A bit of depression crept in, for now as an extra I was not getting the pampering I had received as an actress, a principal character, if you will. Oh, not that people weren’t cordial and kind, but there wasn’t that extra attention that I was so used to receiving….

(continued next month)

 

 

Envelope   What did they say?

 

Picture   Jesus in the Temple. or the boys shouting Hosanna

Back side   Photo of lunch with Finny

 

 

From Show Biz to Sunday School

By Sharon Leann Wyatt aka Sharon Leigh

TRY LATER   (part two)

 

I was not yet convinced to take the leap into the world of hurry up and wait, and even my uncle Jack now entered in the conversation. Yet, as the conversations progressed, the pros far outweigh the cons, and it would result before the day was over that I would be going through all the preliminaries of becoming one of those nameless faces in the celluloid crowd. And I would begin working for the common cause or as an extra in 1964. There to join the throngs of aspiring actors and actresses that pass in and out of the vast array of productions designed to entertain, perplex, abuse, or bring passion by providing the background. Yes, watch the background, for you may miss some very amusing action. Oh yes, extras are also referred to as “background.”

“Don’t use your real last name Shari, or you’ll be typecast as an Italian and that will be the only work you get,” Joey advised. The name Castagna may just be a mouthful and being type cast was a fate worse than death, if it meant fewer jobs because of it. I was not at all sure, what” type” I wanted to be? I needed a name that would not “type” me in any one particular ethnic phylum. Having always had a dramatic flair, I wanted a domain name that declared all the sophistication and girlish chaste charm that I surely thought I must process.   This name had to turn heads at the mere mention, but underneath it had to be dulcid and intoxicating, intriguing, and above all memorable. Choosing the right name proved no easy exercise, and I must have filled six pages with likely aliases. I had such presumptuous pseudonyms as Vanessa van Horne, Rosalyn Rothchild, and Alexandria Astor, and among the less auspicious titles names such as Annabella Adair, Jennifer O’Hare, and Emily Brentwood or was it Harte? In any case, I could not find a suitable name that said all I wanted in less than 26 characters. Much to my chagrin to this day, I have still not stumbled over just the perfect stage name, or nom de plume for that matter.

After all, my scribbling was over, I still remained nameless. I felt I had betrayed myself for having not had better insight into my ego. I envied all those who had just the perfect name that said it all in just a few characters. There was Capucine, with only eight letters, and in that single word dwelt a complete docier of herself. After much soul-searching and the wrenching pain of “who-I’m-I”, the name I decided upon was my given name, Sharon, and my middle name Leann embellished to Leigh. And so it was on that fateful day I changed the course I had plotted for myself years before, and would become another member of the Screen Extras Guild, known as Sharon Leigh. Perhaps in its simplicity it says as much or more about me than any elaborate handle ever could.

After getting that grueling task accomplished I set about doing what every other extra had to do before being full-fledged.   There is nothing difficult about going down to the Screen Extra’s Guild headquarters and filling out the necessary papers to get the ball rolling. Once that was in the works, I simply had to introduce myself to the then casting agencies in Hollywood. Those being Independent Casting, Allied Casting, Hollywood Casting, and the biggest of the concerns, Central Casting. They each took one of those flattering color photos that I gave them and greeted me to the business. And I received special attention when I would start the list of those in my family who I now wish to join on their rosters. I was not ashamed to mention those extras in my family. It was rather like name-dropping and it didn’t lower the esteem of the agents who I would meet for the first time.

When I returned home after making the rounds of the casting offices, my cousin Joey was waiting for me. When I drove up into the driveway he burst out of the front door in the grand manner and pronounce, “welcome to the wonderful world of extra business!”   I was a bit skeptical over Joey’s wording of that sentence. But as with any undertaking, I was willing to give it a chance to prove itself, and then I would judge whether it was such a “wonderful world” or not.   My nature is to be enthusiastic in my work, and to give it my all. Starting on the morrow I would begin my new career and a true analysis of extra business.

At four o’clock in the afternoon of each weekday, every extra who wishes to work the next day, goes through the ritual of “calling in.”   This is where you phone the casting agencies, and when they answer, you reply with only your name. If there is a call out from the studios, and the job could be filled by you, you are given a job on the spot. Or if regrettably there is nothing available they will bluntly reply, “No Work.” But, if there is a call in, and as yet it hasn’t been processed and there is a good likelihood of them being able to place you on the call, you will then hear music to your years in that hopeful retort, “Try Later.”

(Continued next month)

 

Look for a portrait of Bartimaeus

 

Envelope   Persistence counts!

 

Try to scan or find a picture of the Jerusalem Cross pendant, got it from Amazon and use either in the letter or on back of response form

 

From Show Biz to Sunday School

By Sharon Leann Wyatt

“Born to Entertain” part 3 and “Try Later” part 1

You read some ridiculous out-of–context dialogue often with someone pursing the same career, perhaps one of the prima donnas doing their best to upstage you, and worse the one behind the desk allowing the overacting. One in particular was Bob Balau, an over effected pretty boy. One wonders where he is today, for you do not see his name in lights? Then there was always the, “Take your coat off, and turn around I want to see how you move,” or worse, “lift you dress just a bit, dolly, I need to see your legs.”

Despite such disappointment, and often drudgery, when your agent calls with some urgency, “Get down at once to Desilu-Gower and read for a part on ‘My Three Sons.'” Having Italian blood the part called for a young “Gina Lollabrigida.” I would be immediately cast, well move over Gina! You say you haven’t seen my name up in lights either? It is not that I didn’t do a credible job, no one was displeased, but to be honest, like fashion coordinating, all the running around, the efforts here with interviews, and readings had become quite tedious, and then too often the work was infrequent, if at all. Add to that the reality that some of the people you had to work with gave you undertones, and overtures that implied a different pathway to fame and fortune. This was not how I wanted to make a living.

 

TRY LATER

 

However, my life would change drastically at eighteen, when my father, whom I was devoted to, devastated me by leaving my mother. This event forced upon us, would required me to find work beyond the occasional studio offerings. My initial effort to supplement my meager acting career was as a fashion coordinator for some boutique shops in the area, giving fashions shows that would fill a local restaurant with a standing room only lunch crowd. Men gawking at my lovely models, and myself as well, and the women, hopefully, enjoying the ensembles I had arranged. The El Torito was doing very well now for we pulled it out of the red, but I only did well if the outfits were purchased. But those circumstances beyond my control had made it now imperative that I find a more ready form of work. The fashion work, for all my labor and the hours involved was far more work than reward. There had been some acting roles “here” and “there.” But the “here” and “there” was just not bringing in the rich rewards I had hoped for.   There was just too few SAG offerings and the reality of living with my mother, who was now recovering from a divorce, assisting her financially as best I could, and to still have a little left over for the bare necessities, and a frill once in a while, all meant that I had to find something more lucrative, or at least more steady. So I began to consider being an “Extra.”

I hoped this possible move to extra work might bring interesting, challenging and suitable work for my talents as well as my pocketbook. Since I had not taken an oath of poverty for my lot in life. Obviously such work was not unknown to me as several members of my family sought this work for gainful employment. Yet deep down inside I had no desire to become an extra. This was a painful decision, for I knew it would not do my grand hope of being a multitalented actress any good. Hopes perhaps now dashed forever, for you see in Hollywood there is an old saying, “once an extra, always an extra.”   There seems to be a stigma that goes along with what is considered discrediting work to the aspiring actor.   Where and how this wicked idiom got started is beyond me, for history has the likes of Sophia Loren, who started out as “atmosphere.” And yes, that is yet another moniker given the work of an extra. All that the unnamed plebeians are asked to do, everything from the waltz to playing dead among a body-strewn battlefield, all who give of themselves so completely for the “common cause.” Still another moniker for “Extra work.” They do deserve a better appreciation for their efforts.

My aunt Gisela and cousin Joey were attempting to make this prospect of becoming an extra somewhat more attractive. So as I gazed out the picture window on that crisp fall day and listened to members of my family I was filled with apprehension at the idea of seeking such work. This still remains a vivid image. I was not yet convinced to take the leap into the world of hurry up and wait, and even my uncle Jack now entered in the conversation. Yet, as the conversations progressed, the pros far outweigh the cons, and it would result before the day was over that I would be going through all the preliminaries of becoming one of those nameless faces in the celluloid crowd. And I would begin working for the common cause or as an extra in 1964. There to join the throngs of aspiring actors and actresses that pass in and out of the vast array of productions designed to entertain, perplex, abuse, or bring passion by providing the background. Yes, watch the background, for you may miss some very amusing action. Oh yes, extras are also referred to as “background.”

“Don’t use your real last name Shari, or you’ll be typecast as an Italian and that will be the only work you get,” Joey advised.

(Continued next month)

 

From Showbiz to Sunday School    

By Sharon Wyatt

 

Chapter 1,part 2

Born to Entertain

 

I would reply with whatever my song and dance would be called. Then Milton would say something like “I understand you just has a birthday.” To which I would reply, “Yes, I did.” His reply then was, “What did you ask for.”   “Oh, a few blocks.” He would then state, “That’s nice some blocks.” Then I would add the punch line, “Yes, some block on Wilshire,” still a very upscale commercial address. It was usually something like that, and it would always get a good laugh from the thousands in attendance.

I did love my years with Milton, but as I matured I would also train in the Ballet, only to discover from my Russian instructor Madam Tamara Lebro, that as I matured it became apparent that I would be anything but a slim svelte ballerina and instead strong and busty. My parts would be as the wicked witch or the evil villainess, rather than the prima ballerina. That was not why I was killing my feet on point. So what could I do but go back and concentrate on Jazz and interpreted dance, where I could, if good enough be the lead.

Of course, growing up in the Hollywood area will mean with any luck there are the possibilities of acting work. My parents enrolled me as a member of the Actors Children Guild, where I began work at the ripe age of five with a small bit on “Champaign for Caesar,” with Ronald Coleman. I was to be lifted by Mr. Coleman to a water fountain to take a drink.   However, I was big for my age and I proved to not need to be lifted to the water fountain, so a smaller girl was found. I would only skip to the fountain take a drink and was relegated to the background playing on the swings, which was fine with me, but that should have forewarned me concerning my future in Hollywood. Still in the years to come my mother would dutifully take me to various interviews, and I made enough such roles that when I was no longer considered a child I joined the Screen Actors Guild (SAG).

One note of interest, my father primarily did stunt work in Hollywood, and his Christmas tree business was a Holiday sideline, but in 1944 he worked in the Canterville Ghost, with Robert Young. A young girl impressed him with what my father described as a delightful “accent.” The girl was Margaret O’Brien, and he determined that his infant girl would have the opportunity to speak such perfect English. As soon as it was feasible I found myself studying at the Gibson School, learning to speak “Universal English.” It would be a great help in all that I would do later, even and perhaps especially in the religious world.

At sixteen and seventeen I had two studios, Universal and Fox, offer me six figure contracts to sign with them. However, the studio systems at this point were not what they had been, and when I learned that they would be telling me what to wear, where to be seen, and with whom I turned them down. I was very independent and had absolutely no desire for such a life, but desired the normal life of a school-girl. Then it was Hollywood High School would try to recruit me for their very fine dance and drama department, but with many of the King family attending North Hollywood High near my home, our stage productions gave us no reason to hang our heads. Many of us did go on to make a living in various forms of the entertainment world.

During my teen-aged years I did find some work, with all the ups and downs of anticipation and disappointment. You dress to kill, drag yourself and your portfolio filled with photos of yourself in every conceivable pose; from ingénue to sophisticate from one casting office to another, from one interview to the next in hopes of one more job. You read some ridiculous out-of–context dialogue often with someone pursing the same career, perhaps one of the prima donnas doing their best to upstage you, and worse….

(Continues next month)

 

 

January 2020

My Dear Christian Friend:

It’s hard to believe that we are beginning the third decade of the twenty first century. A new world is immerging. We live with devices that can connect us to the world and all its accumulated knowledge, and we can carry it in our pockets. And if you purchase the right services, your television can provide access to every movie or TV show ever made. There are cars that drive themselves, surgeries that can correct physical problem undreamt of just twenty years ago, and we can get anywhere in the world in just one day.

Also severe and abject poverty is fast becoming a thing of the past, even in the most forgotten parts of the world. Famines do occur, but rarely, and we have the means to provide all the necessities of life for thousands in less than a week. In fact any way you measure the quality of life, we here especially in North America have never had it so good …. materially. Racial strive in our nations are actually almost none existence. The few incidents we hear of are much more likely to be phony, just made-up. There is more money to be had, more goods, amazing variety, every kind of entertainment, food is plentiful, and “fast food” is relatively cheap. That’s probably why the greatest threat to our health is not malnutrition, but the opposite…we are a people over weight.

But how do we fare other than materialistic? Actually, if any one believes that in the midst of all this bounty we are stronger spiritually they are clearly deluded, if not blind. It is obvious that our Judaic-Christian ethical foundations are under attack. The very basics of our belief system, the assumptions of what makes our republics work are under assault. Free speech, the exercise of our religious freedoms, even our view of being open-minded, of making personal choices, and civil discourse are being violated. And believe me this political year here in America will be the ugliest in memory, with outrageous accusations built upon exaggerations or outright falsehoods. There are simply those who want chaos. Many seem angry and frustrated, and it’s because they have been fed a constant stream of lies. Their souls are empty, even when life in most ways has never been so good. They have no greater purpose than some imagined injustice or an ill-conceived social and political agenda.

All this we should know is what Beelzebub desires. All the ugly incivility, violence, and hatred serve his purpose. But God is still in control. In just five short years, if things continue as they have, there will be 630 million Christians in Africa, 640 million Christians in Latin America, and at least 460 million Christians in Asia. And if this does continue in thirty years there will be more Pentecostals in the world than there are Muslim now. These “Southern Christians,” as they are called, those of Africa, Latin America, and parts of Asia will soon be the majority of Christians because of the phenomenal growth of our faith in the southern hemisphere. It might be true that only twenty percent of Christians will then be what are called “non-Hispanic Whites.” But I would never see that as a negative, only a challenge. Which is why African Anglican Bishops are now sending missionaries to re-convert Europe and North America. And why not, we have now become an obvious mission field.

What is most encouraging is that this amazing growth is with Christians that are more fundamentally sound biblically and ethically than many of the churches in our own nations. The cries of just a few years ago that Christianity was dying, or dead, that we needed to scrap our conservative theologies and compromise the gospel to remain relevant, appear to be so much drivel. As Charles Colson remarked not too long ago, “While churches that have lost their biblical moorings languish…where the gospel is truly proclaimed it is changing lives and societies.” Too many historical churches seem to be failing and it’s for obvious reasons, but look close, there are countless small churches sprouting up everywhere, and never has there been so many churches numbering in the thousands, many in the tens of thousands. They are so only because the message is biblical and resonant with those seeking.   Fear not, our Lord knows what He is doing, and we know how this will ultimate end: “A great multitude which no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb” (Rev. 7:9). Maranatha!

 

Let us be a part of what God is doing,

 

 

Thomas Randolf Wyatt

           

 

December 2019

My dear friends, and Merry Christmas:

This is the finale of what has been our yearlong quest through “The Gospel According to Matthew.” I have thoroughly enjoyed this, and regret that it couldn’t have been done in more depth and detail. A small newsletter makes that difficult, but we did offer many of our programs that did go into more depth. But now because it is Christmas we must go back to the beginning of the gospel, and the birth of our Savior.

Matthew’s account is so crisp and to the point, “Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way.” He is brief and simple, and we are obviously fortunate to have Luke’s very Jewish account with its lilting and majestic songs, and fuller details. Mark provides nothing, beginning as he does with the ministry of John the Baptist, and John provides instead his own magnificent poetry of the preexisting Christ. We have but Matthew and Luke’s account of the birth, and they so complement each other,

Matthew will provide us this simple account and the narratives of the Magi, and the necessary flight to Egypt, always relating how each is the fulfillment of prophecy.   And even this simple account of the birth is full of marvelous revelations. He seems to take for granted that his readers are aware of Luke’s account; Mary’s encounter with Gabriel, the enrollment and journey to Bethlehem, and John’s birth. But Matthew’s interest, as always, is prophetic fulfillment, and here he highlights the remarkable utterance of Isaiah. “Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and His name shall be called ‘Emmanuel’ which means God with us” (Mt. 1:23).

This he tells us is all by “the Holy Spirit.” In so singling out the Holy Spirit, Matthew introduces something that is unique and a distinctive mark of Christianity. Describing the Holy Spirit as individually at work empowering the distinctive outworking of God’s purposes is just not found in ancient Jewish writings. He tells us simply that Mary is “with child by the Holy Spirit.” Joseph’s effort to quietly and without undue humiliation end his betrothal will instead be told not to fear, for the child “is of the Holy Spirit,” not of any unfaithfulness on Mary’s part. That the child is a boy, and he is to name him “Jesus.” Meaning Joseph’s is to accept the child as his own, and even if Mary is also of the line of David, it is the father linage that counts. And Jesus is to be of the linage of David.

This all is to “fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet” (v 21-22). This is a reference, of course, to Isaiah prophecy that “a virgin shall conceive” (Isa. 7:14). Most of us are surely aware of the ‘controversy” that has raged over the translation of the Hebrew word ‘alma’ as ‘virgin’ rather than as ‘maiden.’ Yet when the ancient Jewish translation of the Hebrews scriptures was done in Greek, they would use the Greek ‘parthenos,” or ‘virgin’ in this passage in Isaiah, why? Could it be that the ancient Jewish scholars saw something that our modern skeptical scholars are unable to see?

If Isaiah wanted to stress the virginity of the mother why not use the Hebrew ‘betula,’ unless his desire was to stress more than mere virginity? This was a prophecy of dual force.   That the child born to the Judean king Ahaz would still be in his immaturity when his enemies Syria and Ephraim would be destroyed (Isa. 7:16,22). But Isaiah has so much more to say, and it requires a word with more richness and diversity, that would cause us to look beyond the time of Ahaz. Yes, there is a double meaning to Isaiah’s words that require every succeeding generation to anticipate the birth of “Emmanuel,” God’s promise of His very presence.

This Divine presence means that a ‘virgin,’ an ‘alma,’ a young maiden of marriageable age, one unmarried, one of exception qualities is to be ‘overshadowed’ by God’s Spirit. Not only as a sign of God’s involved with mankind, but is to be the actual reality of that experience of ‘God with us.’ This all had to extend beyond the ancient conflicts in an insignificant region, but is to be the universal expression of God’s truth, which is to be “more than a vain hope,” but the greatest expression of divine love, and what is the great hope of our faith. Yes, the birth of the Christ…”In this way!”

 

May this Christmas be also a special time of love and hope for you,

 

 

Thomas R. Wyatt

 

At this time of year we all here at The Wings of Healing want to wish you, and all those you love a wonderfully warm, blessed, and joyous time of celebration and gloring in the season that is centered in this birth of the world’s savior, and coming king

November, 2019

My Gracious Friend,

 

We are, to be honest, so blessed as a people. Those of you in the Dominion to our north surely enjoyed your Thanksgiving feasting, and we here in the States look forward to ours, but this is so much more than just a time of Thanksgiving with good food and fellowship. So allow me to take a moment to fully express what I am feeling before another year is history.

Few can imagine, despite the void that remains, how much the Lord has ministered to me. First, there is family, which includes you. I delight in your faithfulness to this ministry, to its mission, and therefore to me. Then there is the literal almost hourly sustaining love, and grace of my Savior. How He has filled this void with friends, new outreaches, an invigorated church, a vibrant ministry, and a loving family, which gratefully includes growing grandchildren. And I am constantly surprised at how He continues to constantly bless, inspire, enable, and guide.

It is then no wonder how much I want to return to Him, who has so blessed me, my constant praise and thanksgiving. Of course there are mornings when one is slower, when the yard work seem more a chore than the joy it usually is, when the sermon seems a struggle rather than flowing easily off the tongue, days when I actually feel my age. Yet always I feel His presence. I see His love in all the beauty around me, just the joy of His creation. Therefore, it comes quickly to my lips my thanks and praise. He has become closer than I have ever known Him, perhaps because I have needed that. Whatever the reason I am grateful. I just wish my efforts to cook for myself came as easily (I am getting better, even coming fairly close to her incomparable spaghetti and meatballs).

All this is but my attempt to express my thanks to you my friends. And it is to let you know that this ministry continues, but honestly only does so with your help. The new year coming will see a lot of changes, but mostly the changes will be in a world that desperately needs to know Jesus Christ. That is why The Wings of Healing will remain, and will be here for you to minister to you and this world in any way we can.

As Sharon loved to say, “We are here for you.”

 

Thomas Randolf Wyatt