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: April2020

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FROM SHOW BIZ TO SUNDAY SCHOOL

Sharon Leann Wyatt’s autobiography

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

And my First Elvis Presley Movie (Part One)

 

I was wanted on the sets so I excused myself and started to walk away, as I was leaving Ms. Crawford said to the makeup man. “What a lovely girl, hope this business doesn’t ruin her.” Once the work on “I saw what you did” was completed that night, I went to a club in Beverly Hills where a good friend was singing, and another friend was her accompaniment. I was asked to get up and do my “Adelaide’s Lament” from “Guys and Dolls.” Oh, it felt good to be performing, and in front of a live audience to boot.

 

MY FIRST ELVIS PRESLEY MOVIE

 

Monday morning, and I was at the Paramount lot working on, of all things, an Elvis Presley movie. The set was a restaurant bar with a rustic western feeling, I believe the movie was “tickled me” or was it “roustabout?” I’m not certain at this juncture, and it really doesn’t matter, for I found after working in quite a few Presley movies, that they possessed a similarity. Was it the dialogue, the songs, the constant bevy of beauties surrounding him dancing in some sort of gyrations that were sure to make every crucial part of the female anatomy bounce? Anyway Elvis was a quiet sort, and seemingly quite shy. I am recalling my first impressions of him, for as I stated I worked on so many Presley movies.

In this particular scene we were the innocent bystanders at a typical Presley pugilism. His sparring partner was Red West, who I saw fight Presley on every movie thereafter. As we sat in our booths, Presley and Red began to scuffle and shout, then it was upgraded to fist flying about wildly, seemingly to strike with a vengeance the face of the opponent. Ever notice that after all the battering these “heroes” have supposedly taken they always seem to come away unscathed, save for a trickle of technicolor blood placed ever so carefully at the corner of the mouth. Or to confirm the feeling that the altercation was a real knock-down-drag-out, some poor bloke will be painted with a shiner with no less care than Michelangelo gave the Sistine Chapel.

The rehearsed and precisely gaffed exchange of blows continued, being sure to be just at the correct angle from the cameras keen eye. This way each of the so-called contact blows only seems so, when in actuality contact was never made, at least it wasn’t supposed to.   But on this day one of the contenders forgot the rules of stunt fighting and Elvis’ fist met with Red’s brow.

How did that blood get there? I thought to myself, just then Red bent forward and reached for his unscripted wound.   Elvis didn’t overdo any remorse for what he had done, but he was concerned, even though they both tried to laugh it off. It seemed to me Red was a bit provoked, but it was only a flash in his eyes that led me to think so. Could he have been a bit tired of Elvis’ over rambunctiousness during what was supposed to be a carefully executed action scene and under control?

Red was a big, raw-boned, strong fellow, who on occasion donned a shiny black wig and actually doubled for Elvis. Within a few minutes Red’s wound had been closed up and makeup put over it to disguise the bandage. All I could think was that Elvis was fortunate he wasn’t on the receiving end of the same blow from big Red, or production would have been stopped for two days rather than the 15 or 20 minutes that it took to patch up the much more formidable Red. I was told Red and Elvis were cousins once removed, whether or not it was true I couldn’t say. There were always these so-called cousins on a Presley set, especially after he went over to M.G.M. But I wasn’t to run into them for some time to come.

Things were really beginning to look up for me. Work was steady and the money quite good. I found myself making at least one silent bit a week. (A silent bit was doing something more special than that of a single double or triple whammy. A single whammy was an extra $7.49 added to your daily base pay, which was then $25.47. A double was twice that amount, but a silent bit was at that time $45 over and above the 25.47, bringing the grand total up almost to $80, and if there was overtime added to that well….. that was sheer delight to any a “day player’s” bank account, for this was the ’60s). Oh, yes there is another moniker given the Extra.

(Continued next month)

                      It’s Everything!

Easter 2020

My Dear Friend in Christ:

 

I do love the Easter season, without doubt because I never weary of sharing the wonder of this event. An event that is the very foundation of our faith, for if it were not for the resurrection of Jesus, if He had never left that tomb, if He was never seen alive by those closest to Him, there simply would be no Christianity.   That is the pure and simple truth. If there were no Easter, we most likely would not even be here. And we would not be celebrating all that our faith has brought to this world, to our civilization, and to our lives.

The primary effect of the resurrection is that it inaugurated what continues to be the most vibrant, inclusive, uplifting, and life-changing movement the world will ever see. It is also a faith that has brought more advancements and improvements to mankind than any other group or belief system in history.   Not to mentioned how it has aided, encouraged, and provided hope to untold billions of lives. Its influence extends far beyond those that have embraced this faith we call Christianity, and it still continues to altered and force changes in every non-Christian culture and society on earth.

This is “folly,”[1] to use Paul’s word, but let’s imagine for a moment our world without the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.   With the fall of the Roman Empire to the Barbarians there would have been no Christianity to preserve a semblance of civilization. There would then have been no Renaissance, and then obviously no Reformation for that matter. The Barbarians would never have been civilized by Christianity, because it wouldn’t be there. Islam would have swept away any residue of Western Civilization, for there would be no Christianity to stop it. Although one could make a case that Islam would never had arisen, and various forms of paganism would be the only religion. Science as we know it would never have arisen, for it only arose in Christian Europe, not in Islam or China. Without this Christian desire to understand our world, discovering all that is possible, there would have been no voyages of discovery, or the great inventions. Thus the world would never have known the improvements that Christianity would bring as it explored the world. For in the effort to bring the gospel to “the end of the earth,” Christianity also brought an end to cannibalism, child sacrifices, ritual prostitution, legal slavery, and has established hospitals, removed the scourge of leprosy, provided sanitariums, and all the other advancements in medicine. All of the best things of our world owe their beginnings to Christian efforts.

Of course, this is “folly,” for without doubt the very rise of Christianity is in God’s providence. This was in the mind of God from before the foundations of the world. The “Logos” becoming flesh is not accidental but purposeful. The ministry of Jesus and Calvary “was according to the eternal purpose which He (God) has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Eph.3:11). None of this just happened it was all God’s doing. This was “not a wisdom of this age…(but) a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glorification. None of the rulers of this age understood this, for if they had they would not have crucified the Lord of glory” (1 Cor. 2:6-8).

If they had known? These “rulers of this age” would not have crucified our Lord. Meaning there would have been no redemption, no resurrection, and thus none of the power, glory, richness, and wonder of our faith would have occurred. We would remain in our sins, and living largely in squalor. People would still be worshipping oak trees, fallen meteorites, or volcanoes, sacrificing children to secure a good harvest, slaughtering thousands to gain an imagined deity’s blessings, and other “rituals” too disgusting to mention.

Instead in the foreknowledge of God He sent His Son, the only begotten, that through Him all the world has the opportunity to believe in Him, and have life ever lasting. This is all because He is risen. We as result are so blessed, and we know He will bring about His complete purpose in history, our nations, as well as in us.

 

Oh, that we remain on God side, and His purpose!

 

 

Thomas Randolf Wyatt

[1] The word is usually translated as “fool” but is better rendered as “folly” in 2 Corinthians 13

 

FROM SHOW BIZ TO SUNDAY SCHOOL

Sharon Leann Wyatt’s autobiography

 

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

 

His assistant would inform me that I reminded him of a woman from his past that had jilted him.   That may have been pure speculation or just this kind considerate soul’s way to make me feel better. But I was not about to let him know how his attitude bothered me.

The girl I was standing in and doubling for, was wide eyed at her stardom. She was easily impressed by the surroundings, most of all by all the stars on the UI a lot. She came on the set one morning all agog as she had just met Robert Conrad. Even her mother seemed to be all a twitter as she told me in minute detail all that ensued between Conrad and her daughter in the makeup department.   Her mother was present because the girl was under age, but she didn’t seem too much of a guardian. They twittered and giggled as each particular was told to me. I did try to warn them both about the undue attention of some actors that doesn’t always bode well for one’s future. But they were so sure that he could only be of great help to their plans for stardom in Hollywood. Oh well, it was good for diversion on that gloomy set, although the subject matter left much to be desired. Years later, I would hear a terrible story about this foolish and impressionable and misguided girl, how she had been taken advantage of and her life almost destroyed when she came under the physical dominance of one of the big stars at Universal once she turned 18.

There was very little late work on this set, which was the one thing it had in its favor, and also the fact that there was an unlimited supply of Pepsi-Cola and all Pepsi products on the set. That was thanks to Miss Joan Crawford, who had married the Pepsi-Cola company owner.   Actually, I sound quite the ingrate as if there was not a laugh to be had at all. Well, there were, and one was strictly my doing. On the last day of shooting, which incidentally was right on schedule, and on a day I had just had enough of Mr. Biroc’s sourpuss ways, and always with his big cigar shoved in that puss. Well, I stood with my back to him hiding in my hand a big stogie, when he said “girlie turnaround,” I did, and with my best Groucho Marx impersonation said, “did somebody call my name.” The rest of the crew was duly shocked, as I was wearing a fake nose and glasses, with bushy brows and that Groucho mustache. As for the peevish Mr. Biroc, well, he disappeared behind his big camera for awhile, then slowly he came out from behind his machine, the corners of his mouth drawn tense, and he began to laugh to himself, and all joined in a good laugh. When the laugh finally died down I removed my disguise and stood there smiling a confident grin at the old ogre. He was pleasant the rest of the day. I should have done this a lot sooner. He would at the close of the project come to me and say I was a damn good stand in.

I rarely saw Ms. Crawford, she seemed to be a very private person, spending more time in her dressing room then out. I can only recall one conversation that was more than a courtesy upon any confrontation. I was wearing a big cozy cowl neck sweater, that I had knitted for myself, and had done most of that right on the set of, “I Saw What You Did.” She had apparently seen me doing that, and had made mention of how much she liked the baby mohair yarn I was using and how fond she was of the color I had chosen for my creation.

Everyone would come by as I was knitting and ask if they would see me wearing it soon. I guess I surprised them all when I appeared one Monday morning sporting my new blue sweater. When Ms. Crawford saw it, she without any emotion in her voice, but rather monotone said, “you knitted yourself a beautiful sweater. The color complements your complexion very well.” “Thank you, Ms. Crawford,” I replied. “Have I seen any other sweaters you have made.” “Yes, the yellow one, the ivory one, and the raspberry one.”   “All of those?” She said.   “You know, the raspberry one is most outstanding on you.” She stopped and just looked at me with a penetrating stare, “you’re very beautiful. I’m not one to give compliments, but because you’re beauty is so natural. I can’t help myself.” I responded, “That’s all the more reason for me to remember your flattering remarks, I thank you very much.” Then she replied, “I wish I could wear sweaters, but I perspire so easily.” I was to learn that that was the reason that the set was kept at a constant 60°, and therefore my reason for wearing sweaters. It was to keep warm not for reasons of fashion.

 

 

 

 

 

 

           “Life More Abundant!”

March 2020

My Dear Gracious friend:

 

Preparing another sermon I found myself struck again by Paul astonishing declaration, “I have learned in whatever state…to be content…I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and want. I can do all things in Him who strengthens me” (Phil. 4:11-13). He was thanking his friends in Philippi describing their gift as a “fragrant offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God”(v18). And I know exactly what he means, because I have friends just like that; you!

Still one has to acknowledge how his words are often misunderstood, and those of our Lord. Passages such as, “with men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible,” where Jesus is asserting that even the wealth, God can save (Mt. 19:25). There are others, such as, “with God all things are possible,” or “all things are possible to him who believes.” These passages have been seen as great promises, promises that imply we can ask for whatever we want. I have heard this a lot, but then I hear Paul, “I have learned to be content…” Paul would tell the Philippians, and therefore us, to trust God and graciously accept what Our Lord provides, which is often more than we deserve. Even Paul will admit that (see 1 Cor. 15:9-10). Of course, as believers, we can never asks for what is contrary to the purpose of our Lord, for we can ask nothing “in the name,” which is not covered by that “NAME.”

Still I have found our Lord always there to enable, provide, and strengthen us for whatever we may find ourselves facing; be it want, suffering, or anything else. And we will always be victorious, because our Lord is with us. It is with Him, in Him, and by Him that enables us to do anything. And Jesus will add, as He often does, “Greater things than these shall you do, because I go to my Father.   Whatever you ask in my name, I will do it, that the Father may be glorified in the Son…”(Jn. 14:12-13).   Yes, there it is again, by His name!!!

Yes, greater things, but, despite what some with their smooth expositions and soft words say, life in Christ is never without bumps, pit falls, even hard times. As Augustine stated, “God thought it best that evil exist, that mankind be free.” That means that in the world we are free to chose, but unfortunately so are those with evil intent. We will be faced with hard choices, conflict, even a case of the flu now and then. And Jesus even told us that in this “world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (Jn.16:33).   Does that seem strange, if not contradictory? But what Our Lord is saying is that the world will always confront us or try to do us harm, but we are to persistently respond with courage, faith, and love. Just imagine if we never face challenges how would we know what we are capable of? As Jeremiah will write, “If in a safe land you fall down, how will you fair in the jungle of Jordan” (Jere.12:5)?

We are, you see, being prepared, tested so to speak by fire, “that the genuineness of your faith…may redound to praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1Pe. 1:9). You see something is being planned for us. So if we are never tempted, how will we know our strength? If there are never any doubts, how will we ever plummet the depth of our faith? If we never know trials and real pain, we will never know the joy of victory. If our love is never extended, we will never know true love. We can hide, as many once did in desert caves, or on barren mountains, but then you will accomplish nothing. We can say we are Christians, but if we avoid all confrontations and hide from all else, we will never know His joy, and the wonder and beauty that is found in a true faith in Jesus. He “Came that we might have life, and have it abundantly” (Jn. 1010). This too, like so many passages of scripture, is seen as materialistic, instead of the astonishing and unbelievable gift it is.   This is not some paltry idea of health and wealth, but is why He laid down His life for His sheep. This is about far more than even our salvation, more than abiding in Him now, or our human conception of abundance. This is our adoption, becoming God’s own, Heirs of all that abides far beyond the heavens. This is existing with and in the Great I AM, the Master of the Universe. As Paul will say, “…The heart of man has not conceived, what God has prepared for those that love Him” (1 Cor. 2:9).

 

Oh, that we might see more fully what He desires for us,

 

Thomas R. Wyatt

FROM SHOW BIZ TO SUNDAY SCHOOL

Sharon Leann Wyatt’s autobiography

 

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

 

During a conversation with my cousin that night he hastened to tell me that indeed there were really fun and fulfilling days ahead for me, but the next few weeks proved to be anything but that. As far as I was concerned the business didn’t afford me opportunity for artistic expression, but rather days of frustration and disappointment.

My cousin’s husband was assistant director on a Joan Crawford movie being filmed at Universal. Scotty called me and offered me a job as a stand-in and double for a 17-year-old girl, who was working for the first time as an actress in a movie. William Castle was the director, and Scotty pointed out that for the most part the days would be short and I’d be close to home.

Up to this point I had been working under the Taft-Hartley law, which allows actors and extras 30 working days until they have to pay their dues. My parent union was the Screen Actors Guild, so I didn’t have to pay the full dues to SEG. But nevertheless the dues were coming up, and the steady job was enticing. It would only be for three weeks, which was the full shooting time schedule for the entire picture, “I saw what you did.”

Make no mistake I took on every job with dispatch and dignity. I was being paid and gave my best for the wages.   What was stirring inside my fragile ego was not often divulge to my fellow workers and employers. But whether these feelings were obvious or not to the discerning eye, I could not say. There were times when a sensitive coworker with great insight would in some way or another make mention at what he or she perceived. Now, of course, when in the midst of others who shared my feelings we often commiserated openly.

One thing that can make a set degrading, or unpleasant is unwanted attention. One man who was old enough to be my father and looked it, attached himself to the new-kid-on-the-block. It did not take him long to ask me out on a date. He was polite but his constant presence was making me uncomfortable, but it didn’t bother him, and he kept at it most of the day. When shooting was over, we boarded the bus to take us to the front of the studio, and he sat next to me, I then blurted out, “perhaps you know my family,” and I named several of them, and finished with,” and my father is John Maranto,” which was the name he used at the studios. His attitude changed immediately, and he apologized for making “passes.” “Apology accepted, Larry.” We were to be “distant” friends from then on. Sometimes it takes a veiled threat, my father would have taken him apart and Larry knew it.

The William Castle movie was kept on schedule from day to day. Standing in was even more degrading for me than straight extra work.   Had the set been fun, as so many were, it would have made the daily tasks so much more pleasant. But the dreary set and tight schedule did not make for the kind of enjoyment I’ve would have sooner been a part of. And to make matters worse, the cameraman was the most cantankerous individual I had to that date ever met. He had an inborn dislike for me, and made no effort whatsoever to change his attitude.   Everyone on the set couldn’t help but notice this uncalled for behavior on his part, but no one dared speak to the man on the matter. I was not afraid of him, but his attitude was intimidating. I would just do my stand-in Job and hastily exited stage right.   The poor misguided man was Joe Biroc.   His assistant would inform me that……

(Continued next month)

                                Anything But….!

                                                                                              February 2020

My Dear Partners in Christ:

 

As I was preparing a sermon, this one on the Transfiguration, I was struck again how the disciples, this time Peter, James, and John, after being with Jesus and all they experienced, and even now the glory of Jesus’ presence, how could they ever doubt or question anything. Here the very voice of God spoke, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased, listen to Him” (Mt. 17:5). Yet, regrettably they often failed to hear or exhibit any real faith. Even when Jesus is so explicit still they don’t seem to hear him, “the Son of man will be delivered into the hands of men and they will kill Him, and He will be raised on the third day,” (Mt. 17:22).

Clearly these words, and their real meaning do not evoke in the disciples what they should, until it happens. And then in the face of apparent danger they all flee into the night. And Peter, who by all ancient accounts was a large man, will be cowed by a small servant girl, and ends up deny his Lord three times before dawn (Mt. 26:69-74). Of course, it was traumatic, horrific, and mind numbing. And Jesus had prayed, particularly for Peter, that his faith not fail, and that he turn and then strengthen the others (Lk. 22:32). Yet his faith did fail, and it would fall on the faithfulness of a few women, and their love of Jesus, that is used to initiate the restoration of faith and hope in these men.

Yet, I really don’t find it that surprising that Jesus chose these flawed men. It is because they were so much like most of us, just normal. As Paul will write of the early church, “…not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many of noble birth…”(1 Cor. 1:26). Allow me not to complete Paul’s thought; it’s not very complimentary to we who believe. But it is true that “God has made foolish the wisdom of the world” (v20).   And few of us have degrees from Harvard or Oxford, are billionaires or power brokers in Washington or Ottawa, or members of some royal family (although that no longer seems as important as it use to be).

What is important, however, and undeniably still true is that God has chosen us precisely because of who we are. We are called to His service, just as were those ordinary fishermen and Galilean peasant to be the vessels of His Spirit. Only then can God do great things. It is not us; in our own strength, our own talents, abilities, or wisdom. And is why He still seeks those especially that will make foolish the wisdom of the world. It is all so that our Lord will be honored. When the “servants” try to take the credit and honor, invariably one finds the Spirit of God abused and no longer present (Oh, I could share many stories of spiritually gifted people that drove the Spirit away by their hubris). When one relies on themselves that is when one stumbles and fails. Without His Spirit we will always be inadequate to any task our Lord calls us to.

Everything that is our faith, all that is “His beloved Son,” does defies ALL the odds.   Defies what the world expects or sees as possible. If ever a movement was dead it was out on that lonely hill called Golgotha. Disowned by His own people, abandoned by His closest friends, scourged bloody and near death, and then nailed to that cruel “tree.” If ever hope was crushed. If ever all expectations decimated. If ever all love seemed the darkest it was when He breathed His last. But, and it is a big but, one thing, one incredible, earth shattering event changed it all. Everything was changed one morning, and with the Spirit’s enabling, what Jesus has brought, is anything but dead!

The expectation of the world has been now, for nearly 300 years, that Christianity would ultimate disappear, just fad away. It was seen as irrelevant, out dated, and unnecessary in “this modern new world.” It is anything but that! And if we “ordinary” believers will allow His Spirit to work in us, we will see “even greater things.” Here is the immeasurable love, power that still, and always will, turn lives around, will heal our bodies, provides solace for our souls. It is where death loses its sting, where hope swallows up sorrow. Here is the ultimate victory that should adorns our every existence, and I ask you to please continue to enable us to do all we can to bring this message to every one possible.

 

With His Spirit it is anything but outdated, obsolete, or dead,

 

 

Thomas R. Wyatt

 

P.S Please do what you can to keep this ministry vibrant, and here for you!