Four-forty-four in the morning and time to put my thoughts into writing?! Could not sleep; blog content spinning in my mind.
ABC-TV program 20/20 spent three hours last night describing “Unfaithfully Yours”—the television ministry of Jim and Tammy Bakker. I was never “a follower”; I didn’t contribute to their ministry. “A piece of my mind” because “the media” loves a sensational story. ABC resurrected a decades-old scandal. Anything to paint the Christian community in a bad light? Viewers might think all TV evangelist’ are unethical? Contributions might lessen for Pat Robertson’s “Operation Blessing“ and the 700 Club, or the world-wide ministry of TBN (Trinity Broadcasting Network). Franklin Graham fosters “Operation Christmas Child“ and Samaritan’s Purse. For several years, I was a volunteer with Wycliffe Associates. (Still a heartfelt supporter of Wycliff Bible Translators.)
Forgive me, I digressed. I have my own interesting experience with Jim and Tammy Bakker’s Heritage USA. I was working at Hallelujah Acres in Shelby, North Carolina. They regularly presented conferences regarding health and nutrition; attendees came from across the Nation. (Originally, I made the trip from Lancaster, California.) Several times, I allowed a single woman, attendee, to spend several nights with me, in my apartment (rather than expense of a hotel/motel). One such occasion: My car, my time, a trip to the Charlotte airport to pick up a guest. First thing the lady demanded: “I want to go to Heritage USA.” I was new to North Carolina; Shelby was “north” but Heritage USA was “south” (South Carolina). I didn’t own a GPS at that time; I had to stop and ask directions. I’m talking about 2007 and Heritage USA was a shabby, neglected piece of real estate. But my guest knew it very well. She directed me into an adjacent subdivision and pointed out homes of “brother John” and “sister Sue” (individuals involved in the “Praise the Lord” ministry). She had been a frequent visitor and possibly one of the thousands who “bought” a lifetime membership to the Christian theme park, and hotel. We wandered the halls of the nearly abandoned once-magnificent building. MorningStar (according to a Google search) appears to own the property now and pictures are attractive.
Just another musing of “the old lady” who traveled extensively, and enjoyed unique experiences. Through it all, a strong faith in my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. An assurance that my Heavenly Father was (and is) directing my path and His love isn’t tarnished by scandal.