Grace Martial Arts Fellowship began in 1990, went online with a website in 1995 and began publishing newsletters to the Christian martial arts community in 1998.
Because of the quality of information found in those early newsletter articles and the fact they are no longer available online, we’ve decided to re-publish many of them in the coming weeks and months. Our hope is that a new generation of Christian martial artists will be blessed by the wisdom of those who were on the path before them.
May – June 2003
Welcome to the GMAF Newsletter! We pray it will encourage you in your Martial Arts and Outreach for Christ.
Thoughts from the Master
“Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break thorugh nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Jesus Christ
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” The Apostle Paul
“Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.” Psalm 127:1
“The Future of Christian Martial Arts”
Sensei Mark McGee
The future of Christian martial arts looks good. We’ve grown from a small number of organizations and members 50 years ago to hundreds of associations, federations, fellowships and church and club programs and thousands of members today. We have many Christian martial artists to thank from those early days when they trained together at schools, colleges, camps and churches to further the Cause of Christ. Much of their training was often classical and traditional. They loved Jesus and shared Him freely at every opportunity. I had an opportunity to train with a Christian martial artist during a summer camp in 1966 and was very impressed with his skills and attitude. I was pretending to be a Christian at the time, so the positive aspects of our training was noted for future consideration. I trained with other Christian martial artists who were members of early Christian MA clubs soon after I received Christ in 1971. Again I was impressed with their skills and attitude. It was a lesson for me that our martial arts skill and attitude leave a lasting impression on the saved and unsaved martial artists as we represent Christian martial arts in our community.
What has happened since those early days, especially in the last ten years, is quite remarkable. Many new martial arts styles are committed to Christian principles and goals. You can read through the GMAF Newsletters from the last five years and get a sense of how Christian martial arts are reaching into more communities and nations with greater impact than ever before. One example is Shinsei Hapkido. It is an authentic martial art started by Christians to share the Gospel around the world. The Korea Hapkido Federation recognized Shinsei Hapkido as a separate and unique Kwan several weeks ago. Christian martial artists are writing books, hosting web sites, producing video tapes, appearing on radio and television, hosting tournaments and starting national and international organizations dedicated to the preaching of the Gospel of Christ. We see a strong, concerted effort to join forces and use our energies, time, resources and skills to support each other.
This is wonderful! Unity is our strength. Paul wrote the Ephesians: “With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” Notice the important key words:
- lowliness and meekness
- with longsuffering
- forbearing one another in love
- endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit
- in the bond of peace
The unity we experience is “of the Spirit.” It is a spiritual relationship. That is what will keep us together and strengthen us for the challenges in the future: our spiritual relationship. Christ is the One Who unifies us.
Careful study of God’s Word demonstrates that Satan is very concerned about what’s happening with Christian martial arts. Christians are being strengthened and trained. The lost are receiving Christ and coming into the Light. This is contrary to Satan’s plan. He wants to weaken Christians and keep the lost in darkness. We must remember the battlefield directives we received from our Commander in Chief. “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.”
The future of Christian martial arts is bright. If we continue to pray, be vigilent and stay close to God’s Word, we’ll do well. We are soldiers in a war for souls. We need to use every spiritual weapon at our disposal to assure that when the dust settles we’re standing and the enemy is on his knees.
“Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints. And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly , as I ought to speak.”
Our prayers are with each of you every day as you wage spiritual warfare in your community. May God be praised for the great things He has done and what He will do in the coming years!
Biblical Health Principles
MS, MH, DNM
Biblical Health Ministries
Physical Health and God’s Temple
Having spent some 30+ years involved in engineering research, I came to see such research was often very poor and did not lead to any advancement in science. Recently, my attention has tuned to medical research and it reveals an even more appalling scenario. Medical research is often an insult to unbiased research – no wonder there are daily contradictions in the press. Medical research has, to a surprising degree, often sidetracked by special interests, especially those desiring drug patents and monetary gain. This has resulted in a society with an over-reliance on research that promotes man-made drugs. Drugs may save your life in an emergency, but they do not heal, only the innate intelligence within can truly heal. Unfortunately, Christians are not aware of what god has provided for them to assure total overall health.
The health of all three of our aspects (body, soul and spirit) is important, with our physical health being the least important and our spiritual health the most. However, physical health issues are often neglected and not given due consideration. Each aspect has an influence upon the other; thus, poor health in one aspect can cause problems in the others. So, a balanced approach to health is sought for overall wellness, ideally with the goal of longer/better service to the Lord. The Lord instructs us in 1 Cor. 3:16-18 and 6:19-20 that our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit. Sometimes we are careful not to hard a building but then willingly or through indifference defile the real temple of the living God. This is not an issue to gloss over, for God says, “If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy…” .
Origin of Disease
Illness does not normally happen to a person when an outside force upsets a system of the body, most often the illness occurs as a symptom of a long standing problem. (Why Christians Get Sick – Rev. George H. Malkmus) We were created with a design, and, when not living in accordance with our design, disease is a natural consequence. We generally are not the victims of germs, heredity, or other outside forces, but our own lifestyle, our own purposeful activity. As strange as it may seem, disease is also part of something that is purposeful and proceeds in accordance with some design; thus, it can often be prevented/cured. Consider this admonition, “When thou sittest to eat with a ruler, consider diligently what is before thee; and put a knife to thy throat, if thou be a man given to appetite. Be not desirous of his dainties: for they are deceitful meat.” Proverbs 23:1-3. In a physical sense, the king’s delicacies are truly deceptive foods because they taste so good yet lead to what are known as the king’s diseases: heart disease, cancer, diabetes, gout, arthritis, obesity, etc. Today the western/American diet is the king’s diet.
From our physical anatomy it is clear we were created as primarily plant-eaters (herbivores), with omnivore undertones. Thus it can be safely stated, “A tremendous amount of evidence now shows that deviating from a predominantly plant-based to a domesticated animal-based diet is a major factor in the development of heart disease, cancer, stroke, arthritis, and many other chronic degenerative diseases. It is now the recommendation of many health and medical organizations that the human diet should focus primarily on plant-base foods – – vegetables, fruits, grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, etc. Such a diet is thought to offer significant protection against the development of chronic degenerative disease.” (Natural Medicine – Drs. Joseph E. Pizzorno and Michael T. Murray)
When the entire Word of God is carefully, honestly and reverently studied it is clear that in the Age of Grace God allows us to eat anything we desire. Romans 14:14 says nothing is unclean of itself, which would indicate that all meats are allowable for consumption. However, while it is not sinful to eat anything we want (except gluttony) that does not mean all food is good for our system. the study of the Word provides an incredible number of health clues and principles that are meant for all ages. For example, in Leviticus 3 and 7 animal fat was to be dedicated to the Lord not eaten. A good principle for today would be to carefully limit the amount of animal fat we consume. However, the typical western diet has at least 43% animal fat and this is the source of many of our problems. Optimum health will be attained by applying the principles observable throughout the Word of God, i.e., eat/drink food items as close as possible to the way they were created (whole, raw, non-processed, non-engineered …).
Living the Life
Master Joseph Lumpkin
We were lead out of a small, secluded house that sat miles off of any main road. There we had gathered and dressed for war with ourselves. We were quiet and reverent at heart, awaiting the beginning of class. Our minds had become like a cathedral whose door were wide open, beckoning, empty, eager.
He had entered the room, silent as a breeze and we followed after him into the virgin snow. The cold air came as a bracing rush into our lungs as we breathed in the ozone rich twenty-degree tonic. The snow bit at our feet as we walked into the woods along a narrow path twisting between large trees and clumped brush. The forest closed in behind us and the dark canopy held our presence secret until we came to the clearing. The sun had cast a spotlight marking the place of enlightenment. The old barn had stood for a hundred and sixty years. Its’ beams were cut by hand and were a foot and a half square, each spanning the length of the place. We walked in and bowed to the raised mat made of straw and quilts. It was time for the warrior within to awaken. We felt the groan and stir of anticipation deep within. Our souls were agape. It was time for church. It was time for class. It was time to fly.
He said nothing but instead settled on his haunches facing us. Class would be conducted in silence, him leading, we following his every movement. He sat transfixed and prayed a silent prayer. He slowly arose and climbed to the top of a homemade ladder. Stepping onto the center beam he strode like a cat, stopping at a point that stretched above the mat. He leaped, tucked, and for a moment seemed to pause in mid air, hanging there, waiting for the command of gravity to overtake him, waiting to ride it down like a horse under him. He hung, looking up at the roof, his back flat as if he were laying on some invisible surface. For a time it seemed he had surprised nature and caught the force off guard, then it snatched him out of the air and down to the mat as if it was angry at his taunting. A ribbon of light separated him from the mat when he slapped the surface with his hands as if striking for his life. He landed on his back like a pillow dropped from the bed. As he got up we were climbing the ladder behind him. For an atom of time, for a twinkling of an eye, he had shown us we could fly and we believed. In believing and in trusting that he had prepared us, we also took to the air and our souls laughed at the tickle of gravity’s greedy hands around us. The only words I remember being said for those two hours were his closing prayer; ” Father, as they have faith in me, and I have faith in you, so let my faith guide these students to you.” His name was James Hiner, student of Bong Q. Park, student of Choi.
One may view faith as trusting in the outcome even though you cannot see the path. In practicing breakfalls we jump over a rope suspended in mid air at the height of our shoulders. If you attempt to watch where you are going you will spear the mat and break your neck. You must tuck and flip. This makes it impossible to see where you are going or where you are in space. You must trust your technique in the blindness. This is faith. We build up our level of faith by seeing the technique work over and over again. I have lost count of how many times God has protected and lead me in the dark; in my blindness. I have faith in him although I do not see him. Each time I feel his hand on my life my faith increases.
As teachers, we must live the life and communicate faith.
Taking God’s Grace to the World!
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