Saturday, October 30, 2010


I lost a special friend this week, James MacArthur of Hawaii 5-0.  I last heard from him earlier this year when he sent me a picture of his wife, son, and himself. 

Jim was God's first signal to me that celebrities needed Him and common people could reach them.

I first ran into Jim in the Denver airport.  I asked for an autograph with full intent of knocking on his door as fast as I could in this brief window of entry into his heart.  He was taken that I wanted him to sign my Bible for his dad played a significant role in Christianity.  Are you a minister?  I've never been asked to sign a Bible.  This is very special to me....really.

I asked if he had time for coffee and he brushed that knock immediately as he had to get to his plane.  Out of time and almost out of words, I asked him one last thing.  What could someone plain like myself and all these people in this airport really do for someone like you who is rich and famous and so lonely.  That last word was my sword word.  I went for the heart with that one.

He talked to me so long that I finally began saying, I'm sorry.  I must go else I will miss my plane.

He gave me a mailing address and asked if we could keep in touch.  Further, he stated he would be in Tulsa in the Fall at the Roy Clark Golf Classic and wondered if we might get together.  We did.  He came to church that Sunday in September and I remember it like yesterday.

He sat in my office.  Very humble.  Terry, you don't know how badly I need this.  I haven't been in church in years.  He loved it here.  We remained friends over the years.  Him treating us to be his family one Thanksgiving in Oklahoma City while he was performing in a stage play was a highlight for our entire family.

Jim is an icon to me of fame looking for God.  No one is exempt from needing Life in the center.  Often the most visible in fame are the most lonely and empty in heart. 

I will miss him.


Anonymous said...

I thought of you when I heard the news. We love how you didn't let an opportunity to share Jesus with him pass. -Joe & Becky

Greg England said...

I hadn't heard of his death. Sorry you've lost another friend but I've always found your relationship with him fascinating. Right up there with your connection with Jackie Gleason. You are special, Terry, and God uses you in special ways. I suppose he does with me as well, but your stories seem so much more interesting than my stories.

Anonymous said...

dybultI love this example Terry. God is always using you in wonderful ways because you want that everyone should have the hope you have in Christ. You have such a gift of knowing how to understand and encourage the hearts of others. Thanks for your example. Liz