Tuesday, September 1, 2015

The Joy of Jerusalem

September 1, 2015
Dear Pastors:
This ole hell-deserving sinner writes this Tuesday morning from Oklahoma.  The Writer of 1 Chronicles wrote:  1Chronicles 29:15 For we are strangers before thee, and sojourners, as were all our fathers: our days on the earth are as a shadow, and there is none abiding.   

We are just strangers and sojourners here on this earth with the days of our lives being as a shadow and none will abide.  One  of the Christians which my path crossed with in August 1972 was Dr. Bob Billings.  He helped Dr. Jack Hyles found Hyles-Anderson College.
Of all the staff people who worked at Hyles Anderson, I became closer to Bob Billings than any of the other.  He was a Mohawk Indian.  He could play the Piano and sing, and was a big hit among the un-registered Baptist churches yonder in the former Soviet Union.  My wife and I were on the mission field when Dr. Bob Ross, our Youth Director and Associate Pastor, called to tell me that Bob Billings had died.  We were able to talk on the phone with Charlotte before they took Bob’s Body from the Hospital Room where he had died.
Let me give you a June 1, 1995 article from the NEW YORK TIMES ABOUT MY FRIEND Bob Billings:
Robert J. Billings Is Dead at 68; Helped Form the Moral Majority
Published: June 1, 1995
Robert J. Billings, the evangelistic Christian educator who helped rouse the religious right into a potent political force as a founder of the Moral Majority, died on Sunday at the Lakeland Regional Medical Center in Florida. He was 68 and had lived in Haines City, Fla., since 1992.
The cause was cancer, his family said.
Mr. Billings was a tireless organizer who was Ronald Reagan's liaison to the fundamentalist Christian movement during the 1980 Presidential campaign. He also served six years in the Education Department.
Before he became politically active in the late 1970's, Mr. Billings was a missionary in the British West Indies, an itinerate preacher in the South and the Midwest and the president of Hyles-Anderson College, a religious institution he helped found in Hammond, Ind., in 1971.
Mr. Billings, who made an unsuccessful run for the House in 1976 as the Republican nominee in Indiana's heavily Democratic First District, was working as the principal of a Christian high school when he was galvanized into action in 1978 by policies of the Carter Administration.
Alarmed by plans to revoke the tax-exempt status of private schools, many of them Christian, Mr. Billings formed the National Christian Action Coalition, packed his belongings in a trailer and hit the road with his wife to preach against what he viewed as a godless humanism dominating American life.
Along the way, Mr, Billings, who once estimated that his efforts had led to the founding of 400 Christian schools, met and impressed other like-minded individuals, among them Paul Weyrich, Howard Phillips, Richard Viguerie and Ed McAteer.
In 1979, Mr. Billings invited those men and a rising television evangelist named Jerry Falwell to a meeting, where they formed an organization known as the Moral Majority. It was armed with a plan to induce the Republican Party to adopt a firm stance against abortion as a way to split the voter-rich Roman Catholic bloc from the Democratic Party.
Protestant fundamentalism had once been a powerful force in American politics, but had not been a major political factor since the death of William Jennings Bryant in the 1920's. With Mr. Falwell serving as the public voice and Mr. Billings as its first executive director, it re-emerged, and the Moral Majority was widely credited with helping Mr. Reagan win the 1980 Presidential campaign.
After Mr. Reagan's election, Mr. Billings accepted a position in the Department of Education as a coordinator of its 10 regional offices.
"I hope I am Mr. Conservative at the Department of Education," he once said, adding ruefully, "I am not high enough up the ladder to have a lot of influence."
A native of Massena, N.Y., Mr. Billings was the son of a Mohawk Indian so poor that his son had to be reared in an orphanage. Mr. Billings, who traced his religious fervor to a camp meeting he attended in his early teens, graduated from the Allentown Bible Institute in Pennsylvania and from Bob Jones University in Greenville, S.C.
He is survived by his wife, Charlotte; two sons, Robert, of Alexandria, Va., and William, of Fredericksburg, Va.; seven grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
The Mohawk Nation at Akwesasne (alternate spelling Ahkwesáhsne) is a Mohawk Nation (Kanien'kehá:ka) territory that straddles the intersection of international (United States and Canada) borders and provincial (Ontario and Quebec) boundaries on both banks of the St. Lawrence River. Most of the land is in what is otherwise the present-day United States. Although divided by an international border, the residents consider themselves to be one community.
It was founded in the mid-18th century by people from Kahnawake, a Catholic Mohawk village south of Montreal. Today Akwesasne has 12,000 residents, with the largest population and land area of any Kanien'kehá:ka community.  Beginning in the eighteenth century, Akwesasne was considered one of the Seven Nations of Canada. It is one of several Kanien'kehá:ka (Mohawk) territories within present-day Canada; others are Kahnawake, Wahta, Kanesatake, and the Six Nations of the Grand River First Nation, founded after the American Revolutionary War.
The name Akwesasne in Kanien'kéha (Mohawk language) means "Land Where the Partridge Drums", referring to the rich wildlife in the area.
Dear Brother Vineyard and Friends at Windsor Hills Baptist Church:
Thank you, thank you ever so much for your gift of $50.00.  May the Lord richly bless you as He has blessed me with this gift.  I so need your prayers for my physical needs.  I guess my age is having a lot to do with my needs.
I am now living with my granddaughter and that is a blessing.  She is so good to me.  I find that every day I need to depend upon others to care for me.
God bless you dear friends for what you have done and are still doing for me.  I cannot thank you enough.
My sincerest Love & Prayers!
Charlotte Billings.
Dr. Vineyard shalom'
Here is a story that must be told – about the infirmary and its wonderful staff.
Hodayah (meaning Thanks to Gd) is one of a set of triplets, about 11/2 years old. Last Sunday, while eating lunch, she began to choke – something was caught in her throat and she could not breathe!! Her parents rushed her to the infirmary and Sarah the nurse began working to free the object. Someone in the infirmary called for Tzuri, a Magen Davud Adom paramedic who had just arrived home from a tour of duty. For an hour Sarah and Tzuri worked on the baby to revive her. Unable to pull the object out, they forced it down into her lung, allowing minimal air passage.
At the same time a helicopter was sent by the army with a doctor from the nearby base. The baby was flown to a hospital where the doctors, with other equipment, were able to pull out the object.  Afterwards the baby was given the best care possible as the injured lung was allowed to recover. After 10 days the baby was ready to be sent home.
Some people called it a “medical miracle.” There is no question that the alertness of the family with the special treatment of the infirmary staff, coupled with many, many prayers by friends and neighbors, saved the baby’s life
We now have another special reason for thanks to Gd and to assure that the infirmary gets the best possible support from friends all over the world.
Pinchas Fuchs
For the Self-Help Committee and Infirmary of Elon Moreh
THE WRITER OF THE BOOK OF NEHEMIAH TELLS US IN  Nehemiah 12:43 Also that day they offered great sacrifices, and rejoiced: for God had made them rejoice with great joy: the wives also and the children rejoiced: so that the joy of Jerusalem was heard even afar off.
AS you and I pray for THE PEACE OF JERUSALEM, one of these days, we shall rejoice for we shall hear THE JOY OF JERUSALEM.  I am looking forward to that day, when we will put aside the bodies of clay with so much sin and putrefaction within them, with so many temptations befalling us on a daily, nay, hourly, basis.  THANK GOD FOR THAT COMING DAY!

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