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24 January 1999
Dear Shannon,
You are ever in my thoughts, not by my will but by the will of God. I
love you so much. His plan for me centers upon the family he gifted to
me, and my joy is being a good steward of His gifts to me. You, little
Mother Theresa, are my greatest gift, and I praise God for the creation
of your life and thank you for devoting it to Him.
I yearn for fellowship with the daughter I love so very much. Not
control, only fellowship. Jason and Ryan live their own lives, but we
share the joy of church, Sunday dinner, and occasional telephone calls.
We know God will use us to care for one another. The culture of the
apostolic times included the concept of extended family, and the
community of the extended family is should be re-captured by Christian
families today. The nuclear family is indeed the basis of society, but
the extended family is needed to provide balance and support. The sins
of individuals are more easily addressed and overcome within the context
of the extended family (or commune!). The Townsends and Zaccarinos are
working together to build a community. Please join us.
If you don't want to live in Washington, DC, Claudia and I will support
you and your Christian ministries on the farm in Texas. Jason would
probably help you. I would come to, if God reveals I'm needed there.
Otherwise, I will continue at the college. I'm teaching 10 courses and
taking 2 courses in the seminary.
The seminary courses are excellent. We've studied the book of Galatians
which was the basis of Martin Luther's revolution against the Catholic
Church and his conclusions regarding salvation by grace and the essence
of the Christian life of grace:
"I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through
the law, then Christ died in vain.... Did you receive the Spirit by the
works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are you so foolish? Having
begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh? For
you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as
an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For
all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this, "You shall love your
neighbor as yourself."... Now the works of the flesh are evident, which
are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery,
hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions,
dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the
like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I told you in time past,
that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of
God... But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering,
kindness, goodness, and faithfulness, gentleness, self-control...
Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual
restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest
you also be tempted. Bear one another's burdens.... Let him who is
taught the word share in all good things with him who teachers. Do not
be deceived. God is not mocked: for whatever a man sows, that he will
also reap.... And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due
season we shall reap if we do not lose heart."

Are you enjoying the fruits of the spirit?  sowing seeds of the spirit?
doing good?
God is so good. He gives us hymns. Do you remember the CD I gave you
titled "Old English Hymns?" The words and music of "I Want a Principle
Within" by Charles Wesley (1749) continually inspire me to turn to the
Word as I navigate my course in life, so I want to share the words with
you. (I hope you know the exquisite, beautiful melody.):

"I want a principle within of watchful, godly fear,
A sensibility of sin, a pain to feel it near.
Help me the first approach to feel
Of pride or wrong desire
To catch the wandering of my soul,
To quench the kindling fire.

From Thee that I no more may stray,
No more Thy goodness grieve.
Grant me the filial awe, I pray,
The tender conscience give.
Quick as the apple of an eye,
O God my conscience make.
Awake my soul when sin is nigh,
And keep it still awake.

Almighty God of peace and love
To me Thy power impart.
The burden from my soul remove
The hardness from my heart.
O may the least omission pain
My reawakened soul
And drive me to that grace again
That makes the wounded whole."

May these words drive you to the ministry for which God has prepared
you: to serve and lead the lost and lonely of this world to Christ.
Would you kindly mail me copies of all the tracts of your group to share
with my brothers and sisters here? I love you, Shannon!

Dr. Karan Townsend
Washington Bible College
ESL Department
6511 Princess Garden Parkway
Lanham, MD 20706
301-552-1400 x 257

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