By Donald Lee
Special to Inside The Pew

Two minutes, 6 seconds.

That is the climactic point in the song “Even Me” by up-and-coming Gospel sensation Anita Jarrell-Robertson. Though virtue springs forth from the very beginning of the song, the second minute and sixth second of that track sets the tone for a soon-to-be-released album that is certain to command rave reviews.

Jarrell-Robertson said what the listener hears at that point in the song is her pouring out her soul before the Lord. The intensity of that moment was birthed from her deliverance from a dark place in her heart.

“That’s the part where I accepted His healing and deliverance,” said Jarrell-Robertson, who is a Dallas native but now lives in Baton Rouge, La., with her family.

“I was literally sitting in my closet; that’s where I pray. I was in my master bedroom walk-in closet. I don’t want anybody to freak out about that,” a tickled Jarrell-Robertson said about her prayer closet being as much literal as it is metaphoric. “It is a walk-in closet, and I had my Bible, my journal, a pen and my ‘Steps’ book, a book that walks you through reconciliation with Christ.”

What Jarrell-Robertson said next is quite revealing.

“I was wrestling with a decision to cheat on my husband, and I wasn’t quite sure how to pull it off,” she said as she explains further how “Even Me” came about.

“I just wanted to make him mad. It wasn’t that he was cheating or anything. It was trivial things,” she said, adding that she had those thoughts even though there was never another man in the picture. “He didn’t wash the dishes enough; he didn’t help me enough with the kids; he didn’t date me enough; he didn’t talk to me the way that I wanted him to talk to me all the time. But he’s actually the most faithful man I’ve ever been with.

“So, out of anger and hatred, I was going to cheat,” Jarrell-Robertson said. “What slowed my progress was I thought about my children and I didn’t know how to look them in the eye and tell them that I had cheated on their father. I really didn’t have a good reason. I knew that if I’d have made that choice to do that, I knew that I could potentially damage their destiny. I grew up with that kind of dysfunction as a preacher’s kid: Hearing one thing said and seeing something else done.”

At that point, Jarrell-Robertson began to see that her inner-being had become as a land ravaged by drought. What was going on within her was much bigger than the “little things” that she didn’t like about her husband, Jesse.

“After about 20 minutes or so of just weeping in despair, just frustrated about the condition of my soul, I just asked God to help me,” she said. “And He gave me this song. I believe His answer to my prayer was this song. This was the first time that I really internalized the message of the cross for myself verses making sure that everyone else on the planet got the Gospel, literally.”

Jarrell-Robertson said she was so inspired by Isaiah 44:3 that the passage of scripture became a verse in “Even Me.”

The scripture, as does a stanza in the song, said, For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground: I will pour my spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring …

“I was just done; I was broken; I was finished,” a humbled Jarrell-Robertson said. “That was the best thing that could ever happen to me. Little did I know, the song would end up on a CD somewhere.”

And “Even Me” is by no means the only song on the Maxi single worth listening to. There are three other tracks, including “Future Generations,” “Never Forget Your Maker” and “On My Way,” that are phenomenal.

Jarrell-Robertson wrote, arranged, and performed every song on the project.

“Future Generations” and “Never Forget Your Maker” were written when the couple’s daughter Jessica, 6, was undergoing chemotherapy for leukemia. She is now healed.

“On My Way” was written when Jarrell-Robertson’s father was dying in the hospital. The Lord Jesus let her know her father was on his way to heaven.

The album, which is also titled “Even Me,” will be released in September, and will include six additional tracks.

Donald Lee is an author and freelance journalist. He can be reached at donaldj_lee@yahoo.com. To book Anita Jarrell-Robertson, call (866) 486-5810 or visit her website at http://www.anitaworships.com.

By Dan Wooding
Founder of ASSIST Ministries

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Reuters reported June 29 authorities have found a body in the debris of a burned-out home in Colorado Springs, marking the second fatality from a fierce wildfire that ranks as Colorado’s most destructive on record after incinerating 347 homes, police said.

“Police Chief Peter Carey released no further details about the victim, who becomes the sixth person killed this year in a Colorado wildfire season described by the governor as the worst in the state’s history. The discovery came on the same day that President Barack Obama visited the affected area,” said the Reuters story.

Meanwhile, ANS correspondent, Kenneth D. MacHarg, has forwarded a message to us about a missionary couple, Brad and Jeannette Hillman, who have lost their home in the Colorado Springs fire, after just returning to the United States to work with the Navigators.

A friend of the couple wrote, “I just talked with Brad and Jeanette and they’re sad to have lost all the family memorabilia. They had just moved in three weeks ago and started unpacking their stored boxes, including family photos. The stuff from [overseas] had not yet arrived. They ask for prayer to grieve well and for opportunities to minister amidst of this. Several ‘Nav’ staff [have also] lost homes, including the president.”

According to the Navigators website, “Dozens of Navigator staff have been evacuated from their homes and some have had their homes consumed by the fire. Please pray for them to know God’s loving care.”

The statement went on to say, “In the midst of this tragedy, there is hopeful news about Glen Eyrie [their property]. Initial reports indicate that no buildings have been lost. We will update you with official word as it becomes available. The unpredictability of this fire reminds us that we are not out of danger, only that we’ve made it through one more day.

“All Glen Eyrie conferences and activities have been cancelled through July 5. Please check the Glen Eyrie website for updates on future events. All Navigator personnel, including staff, guests, and participants in the Global Student Program (GSP) were safely evacuated from the area long before the fire approached. The GSP students are being housed in private homes.

“We have not heard any more news about the Eagle Lake Camps property, other than the loss of one small cabin. However, all remaining camps have been cancelled and the summer staff has returned home. It is hoped that Eagle Lake Day Camp will resume, based on the availability of Glen Eyrie.”

It added, “A group of about 40 staff from USHQ, IO, Glen Eyrie, and Eagle Lake Camps, have taken up temporary offices at Focus on the Family. Scores more staff members are working from home, conducting business with amazing effectiveness.

“Your prayers mean a great deal to us. Thank you for your concern. Continue to remember the Colorado Springs community, as more than 30,000 people have been displaced.”

Rick Wood, editor of Mission Frontiers, and his wife, Lorena, have updated the situation and asked for prayer for the many thousands affected by the wildfires. In a message to friends, he said, “The official count right now is that 346 homes were lost and one person has been found dead in one of those homes. This is the first casualty of the fire. This is officially the most destructive fire in Colorado history.

“The city as a whole is beginning to return to more normal operation and the TV stations are not covering this event 24 hours day as they had been on Tuesday, thru Thursday.

“Continue to pray for soaking rain and calm winds. The calm winds, which I asked you to pray for a couple days ago, have made a huge difference in the progress the firefighters have made.”

Among the many groups helping with the situation, is Springs Rescue Mission, located at 5 W Las Vegas St., Colorado Springs. It has been is opening its warehouse to help the victims. Needed items include Gatorade, blankets, food, clothing and household items. Collection hours are 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Friday and 9-11:30 a.m. Saturday. Donated items will be dispersed to agencies directly engaged with those affected by the Waldo Canyon fire. Call 719-632-1822.

By Dan Wooding, who was born in Nigeria
Founder of ASSIST Ministries

JOS, NIGERIA (ANS) — Compass Direct News (CDN) is reporting that an Islamic extremist ran a car full of explosives at a Pentecostal church in this Plateau state city Sunday, killing at least two Christians and injuring more than 40 others, military and police officials said.

CDN said that in Borno state also Sunday, gunmen reportedly killed at least two Christians during church worship.

“The Boko Haram Islamic sect reportedly took responsibility for both assaults,” said the CDN story. “The attack in Jos on Christ’s Chosen Church of God was the second suicide bombing of a church in two Sundays and the third church bombing in Jos in six months.

“The explosion, which hit after a service had ended and church leaders and some children remained in the building, collapsed the roof of the sanctuary, witnesses said.”

CDN went on to say that the death toll was expected to increase as injuries were severe. It marked the second consecutive Sunday that an extremist from the Boko Haram Islamist sect has been able to get through check-points to bomb a church, and reports followed of rioting by aggrieved youths that left further casualties.

Esther Solomon, a 31-year-old university student whose family’s house sits directly opposite the church building, told Compass that a pastor, church elders and some children remained in the sanctuary at the time moment the bomb was detonated. She said she was in her family living room at the time.

“The impacts of the explosion forcefully opened the front door of our house and threw me into one of the bedrooms,” Solomon said. “I just found myself in the bedroom, and when I rushed out, I found out that a suicide bomber had crashed into the church across the road.”

For more information, please go to: www.compassdirect.org

By Brian Nixon
Special to ASSIST News Service

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – I, like millions of other people-particularly here in New Mexico, had an amazing opportunity to

see the Eclipse of 2012.

As it turned out, Albuquerque, New Mexico was in the direct path for observation of a total eclipse. We weren’t disappointed. Literally thousands flocked the mountains, museums, and mesas to see the amazing natural event.

Throughout history an eclipse has been an event of astronomical fascination-and even fear. At times the Ancients interpreted eclipses as omens and signs.

Even the Bible gives record of events that describe eclipse-type occurrences, connecting it to looming danger or judgment (Amos 8:9).

Many scholars even connect the crucifixion of Jesus to an eclipse-type event.

According to one online site, scientists, Colin Humphreys and W.G Waddington of Oxford University, “reconstructed the Jewish calendar in the first century AD and arrived at the conclusion that Friday April 3 33AD was the date of the Crucifixion. Humphreys and Waddington went further and also reconstructed the scenario for a lunar eclipse on that day.”

In their article, “Dating the Crucifixion,” (Nature 306, December 22/29, 1983, pp. 743-46), they conclude, “This eclipse was visible from Jerusalem at moonrise. …. The start of the eclipse was invisible from Jerusalem, being below the horizon. The eclipse began at 3:40pm and reached a maximum at 5:15pm, with 60% of the moon eclipsed. This was also below the horizon from Jerusalem. The moon rose above the horizon, and was first visible from Jerusalem at about 6:20pm (the start of the Jewish Sabbath and also the start of Passover day in A.D. 33) with about 20% of its disc in the umbra of the earth’s shadow and the remainder in the penumbra. The eclipse finished some thirty minutes later at 6:50pm.”

Fascinating. True, a very “naturalistic” perspective of the event, but still intriguing in that it does correspond to the traditional timeframe attributed to Christ’s death and resurrection.

For my part, I used the Eclipse of 2012 as an opportunity to reflect on Christ’s death and resurrection and thank God for His marvelous creation.

After trying to get in to the Albuquerque Balloon Museum Park with my family (where the line was over ½ mile long-and a two hour entrance wait), we decided to separate: my kids heading to the Bear Canyon in the foothills of the Sandia Mountains, and my wife, Melanie, and I heading towards Petropglyps National Monument (ancient art carved on volcanic rock) on Albuquerque’s West Mesa.

For fun, I brought along a Native American flute made by Marvin Toya; Melanie brought her camera. Together, we walked up the hill toward Boca Negra Canyon.

As the eclipse began around 6:28, I started to play the flute, using it as means of prayer. I created notes mimicking the syllable nuances of the Lord’s Prayer.

Folks next to us were using the opportunity as a photographic session, taking pictures in differing clothes. They were kind enough to give us protective sheets of tint so we could view the whole eclipse without burning a hole in our retina.

All around the Mesa cars stopped to view the marvelous experience. People made observation apparatus out of cardboard and tubes; other folks had telescopes and fancy pinhole cameras.

Overall, the encounter was grand affair, bringing people together for a God-given light show. So cool, I thought.

Earlier in the day, I attended a lecture by prominent New Mexico art historian, Dr. Joseph Traugott. Traugott spoke on New Mexico Art Through Time, the title of his newest book and exhibition at the New Mexico Museum of Art and History.

As Traugott made connections between art and nature, I couldn’t help but reflect-later in the day during the Eclipse of 2012-that this incident was a masterwork of divine origin: God’s artwork displayed through nature for the world to sit in awe.

And sat in awe, I did.