"I went to Jerusalem to become acquainted (Gk. istoria) with Cephas" - Paul's words from Galatians 1:18.

Communication From Saddam's Former Palace

Solomon says the day of one's birth and the day of one's death are both appointed by God. I am grateful for God's providence in appointing my birth to occur in the latter portion of the 20th Century. In the last two decades the world has grown smaller - just as if it were shot with a magic shrink gun. News in Ecuador reaches Enid instantly. Today's action of Iran's dictator in releasing 15 British captured sailors is known by our church staff as soon as, if not before, the staff of the CIA in Washington knows it. Information has become a global commodity and America is the marketplace. The internet has shrunk the world to a tiny size for the average American.

I received the following email today from a member of the United States armed forces stationed in Iraq. For security purposes and personal reasons the name of the writer will not be revealed.

Pastor Wade,

You will not remember me, since I do not recall any interaction with you beyond a few handshakes on Sunday mornings. However, I attended Emmanuel Baptist while I was a student pilot at Vance in 2000-2001, and I never had the opportunity to show my appreciation for your dedication to the church and unflinching exposition of the Bible.

My wife (who also attended pilot training at Vance) and I have fond memories of Enid -- in part because we met there at the "Grace Place" (a ministry of Emmanuel), and because of the church family we came to know and love in Enid.

Presently I am serving a year-long tour in Baghdad. Yesterday I bumped into another pilot in Saddam's old palace who also attended Emmanuel (isn't God great!), but who I had not seen since I left Enid. He mentioned your blog to me, and so I wanted to take the opportunity to say "thank you".

I grew under your preaching, and I appreciate the exaltation of God's grace you brought underpinned by his great sovereignty. I know that God is calling me to preach and teach, and I have been mentored by your labor to faithfully expose God's word. May God bless you, your family, and Emmanuel. I will look forward to reading your blog.


A US Air Force Pilot

Daniel once stood in the Babylonian palace as he defended the one true God before King Nebuchadnezzar. Saddam once lived in the Babylonian palace before 'He who hold's the heart of the king in his hand,' saw fit to remove him. I may have never been to the king's palace in Babylon, but at least Grace and Truth To You has made it.

It's a great time to be alive.

In His Grace,



Bill Scott said...

I had a similar Babylonian experience (or should I say Chaldean experience) when I was twenty one. I remember a chapel service on top of a zigguret at Ur in S. Iraq. Our Baptist Chaplain led in worship on top of that pagan temple thousands of years old. It is a great memory.
Bill Scott

bryan riley said...

Yes, and every missionary appreciates it so much as well. What Satan has meant to bring evil into our lives through internet porn, gambling, consumerism, and the like, God uses to help spread His truth and grace, enables us to stay connected with our family and friends, and makes everything, as you say, smaller. Which, of course, in turn helps us to realize how much bigger God is.

Bob Cleveland said...

Wade: You don't realize what you've done with this post.

I was born in the EARLIER part of the 20th century! Do you know how ANCIENT this makes me feel, now?

In honor of this post, I have today, 4/4/07, announced I shall retire from my position on 4/4/08, unless earlier appointed to a higher position.

Thanksalot, guy.

TruthOfActs said...

Three years after World War II (I was 16), I walked the length of Hitler’s great picture window of his ‘hideout.’ It was easy to walk because the wall was thick and the glass was broken out.
There were concrete tunnels under the building that we saw but didn’t go in because they were dark. Somewhere in this place they found the body of Hitler and his wife where they had committed suicide.

How great was the fall of this man who had created the ‘Super Race’? He at first won the hearts of Baptists by his ‘high principles’ of morality in that he did not allow women to wear lipstick etc, and had “In God We Trust” on his soldier’s belt buckles.

He believed for his ‘Super Race’ to rule the world, he had to killed those that didn’t fit in or wasn’t ‘one of us’; starting with the Jews. He fooled a lot of good people, and at the Nunberg Trials, I heard pleas to live from officers who claimed they were only following orders.

So what does history and God’s Word teach? Their lessons are there but some can only learn the hard way.

BTW, by all the turmoil, we see Conservatives fall short in being a ‘Super Race’ of Christians, and I agree “It’s a great time to be alive.”
Rex Ray