Monday, February 28, 2011


A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush, grandma always said.  Didn't make much sense to me since I never had a bird in my hand one time.  Yet, the lore held promises of sorts.

A definite parallel can be assumed regarding work in the church.  How many times have I chased after two bird-in-the-bush efforts only to conclude empty handed and very disappointed.  Oh, my creative little mind reached and stretched and went through many contortions trying to find that formula for church growth. 

Nearly all were big fizzles.

However, I did finally find the bird in the hand section for church effectiveness.


Oh sure, that sounds holy.  I mean it, though.  I was straining at causing things to sprout and develop.  And, I was at the wrong end of the equation.  God's responsibility is to cause the growth.  Mine is to plant and water.

Planting and watering takes away the strain.  I have no talent to cause growth.  I can plead with a seed, shout at a bulb, and shake my fist at a kernel....and get zero results.  My job is to plant each and water and then step aside.  God breathes growth; not me.

Things are different for me today.  When those things appear which don't go as I had wished, I have become more able to relax and wait for God to assert Himself.  It could be my idea was bad.  Or, it could be it was inaccurate timing.  Or, it could be the concept was kidnapped by another person.  Nevertheless, God is the only One who really causes anything to work out. 

My job (our role) is to trust Him.  He knows how.  God is more powerful in His weakest moment than we are collectively at our strongest.  My best or His? 

Next question?

Sunday, February 27, 2011


I don't know what to say.  How can I get to be at one place so long and find the work still so super-charged?  My life in the kingdom is like those teens who come back from church camp really pumped.  That's my life!

Today was Baptism Sunday at Memorial Drive; that random Sunday we select once a year to target for those among us who are thinking about their need to be buried in Christ.  This is one of those efforts which is just too simple.  Why didn't we think of it a long time ago?

Instead of a week long Gospel Meeting, we announce to the congregation that we are having Baptism Sunday so many weeks away.  We offer classes for the candidates and God always give us increase.  There were eight in the study.  Four were baptized this morning.  Most likely---as it has worked out so far---others will follow upon the conviction of God.

Our assembly opened with the baptism of one of our younger kids.  Her daddy baptized her.  Everyone loves this family.  After the invitation song a lady who has visited for several months finally admitted Jesus is God's son and was buried.  She is ecstatic (and so are we)!  And then I baptized a mother/son.  Both stood in the baptistery with me as each witnessed the other's immersion while standing in the grave.


Memorial is always fascinating to me.  Days like today make it even better.  I love how the whole church clearly understands this all came about because of the body life that goes on....and on....and on.  God gave us another great day!


I've seen reports lately that indicate--no, insist--that the United States has more oil buried beneath its surface than that of the Mid-Eastern nations.  Stunning.

One of the many delights I find in the church is the talent buried within the local congregation.  All we need is leadership to tap into it.

The strategy for drilling oil is complex with its x-rays and rigs and pipes and reservoirs.  The approach to productivity in the kingdom is reversed.  It isn't the skills of the leadership that attribute to production; but rather the surrender of controlling egos coupled with the next step of learning to get out of the way.

Gifts are Spirit implants.  Men and women sense the call to action.  Roadblocks of men in leadership tend to stifle....whether that comes from elders or deacons or church staff.  If not careful, we leaders will become the red tape which could cause the work of the church to meet a dull death.

Let my people go is still the call from above.  The people will come up with creative and amazing ways to serve if the path isn't blocked by a leader; like those of us in my position.  I have found my opinions as to how things ought to go were often very short-sighted.

God gives believers gifts.  May they be overjoyed to learn they get to use them while among us!

Saturday, February 26, 2011


God.  Us.  Harmonious partners.  Huh?

I know of nothing stranger than trying to picture God and me as legitimate partners.  This does take faith.  And for you?

How are we to get this into our minds when God is invisible, immeasurable, and so perfectly holy that we should/could go blind at the thought?  And we are teammates?

Because this paradox is most challenging, I fear too many opt out in the name of modesty.  Who can blame us?  Yet, God works within the actual body of Jesus; the church.  This is us!

Adequacy isn't ours to possess...II Cor. 3:4-5.  It is to possess us.  Confidence (His) fills the inadequate (us)....and off to work we bounce!  Earthen vessels are we and gifts of His are they....and off to work we charge!

I believe that the secret to becoming more than we are, yet that which we dream, is to surrender rather than build momentum.  It is to believe in God; not ourselves.  We keep, though, trying to gear ourselves up for reasonable effective participation....and it just isn't going to happen.

I think back on major moves during my tenure in the kingdom....
  • Moving off to preaching school when everyone knew I couldn't cut it.
  • Moving from security in Quincy, IL. by accepting a work way over my head at Memorial Drive.
  • Repeatedly clashing toe to toe with a group of men who could fire me at moment's notice for they had already practiced on the man before me.
  • Realizing power is truly perfected in weakness and, if such were true, I was one of the most powerful people ever to roam earth.  I am to this day both example and poster-child of extreme and foolish lack.
  • Concluding without a shadow of doubt that I am a certifiable nobody and such is precisely who God uses. 
What a paradoxical pattern.  Hardly the hallway to effectiveness according to man.  I think the reason mediocrity plagues us is we won't bow.  Maintenance of image is coveted.  No one is of any account unless Jesus is the resider and provider.  We can't start nor can we stop a good work which is kingdom alive unless we surrenderingly rely on the God of all grace.

Too much grace?  Ummm, not yet.  Too much worry, too much defensiveness, too much self-reliance perhaps.....but not too much grace.  Grace is God's talent; His supply.  We are gifted.  Yes, we are.  But we must continually remember that He alone is the Gifter.

Fitting us into God's sandals will always be a challenging paradox.

Friday, February 25, 2011


A plague is strewn upon the church.  It has no regard as to whether liberal or conservative.  This alone should give us reason to look more to Jesus than heritage with its constant demand for good standing.

That which greatly ails the church body is the gnawing feeling that one isn't good enough for God to claim, to empower, and to save.  Epidemicly speaking; the church is afraid it has missed the mark.

Such a fear is a good start.  Those who have no awareness are the ones in trouble.  The tendency is to work out our own salvation---not in fear and trembling---but in work and merit.  As if we can work and earn our way to heaven?  Really?

Uncertainty of being good enough is the ideal start.  When one is finally convinced of superior short-comings and inferior faith-accomplishments, such a one ultimately discovers the righteousness of (getting right with) God.

Consider II Cor. 5:21 again.  He made him who knew no sin be sin on our behalf that we might become the righteousness of God.  One doesn't get right with God because one is good enough.  No.  One gets right with God because Jesus became bad enough.  God made Jesus become our sin and then transferred Jesus' always being right on to us.  In the Bible this is called God's righteousness.  

W-e b-e-c-o-m-e the righteousness of God.  The arrival is not in our work but in the transfer at the cross. 

Feeling like you aren't good enough?  Welcome to the needy family of God.  Jesus paid it all.  Your job is to receive the gift in gratitude.  May our faces look like it!

Thursday, February 24, 2011


My son's mother-in-law (Crystal's momma) is now in hospice in Little Rock.  Joyce has battled cancer and the cruel side-affects of treatment for a long time.  Earth-life is fading.

Because Joyce was big into getting her nails done, Dusty called hospice this week to ask if anyone could do her nails.  He felt this would give her a boost.  The lady recalled that they had never had such a request; but she did give him the name of a nearby salon. 

He called to see if they did hospice.  The woman was very blunt in saying no the client would need to come to them.  He pleaded Joyce's case to no avail.

Yesterday a kind lady from hospice walked in with a new mission; nails.  She was delighted give as was Joyce encouraged to receive.

For those who wouldn't know what they could possibly do to ease another's suffering, a cup of water might be good.  And for those so inclined, nails might be an ideal gift of love.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Truth is a wonderful strategic God-word.  Not surprisingly, Satan has transformed this holy word from lovely to a cringe-base for some.  It has surely become a dagger or a club for the mean-spirited.  Truth, itself, will always remain as God intended; powerful, directional, and freeing.  The warped perception of it, though, prowls about setting snares to take a good heart captive. 

Truth matters.  Jesus declared himself as the way, the truth, and the life.  We are to carefully separate truth from error.  We have a problem in that we have blindly accepted error as truth.  Upon this shaky platform, straw doctrines have arisen and strong stances upon them have been taken.

The Church of Christ has walked into many falsehoods just as it has also championed truths.  We are correct in treasuring truth.  We are errant to assume we are never mistaken. 

What might cause such instability?  I cannot help but notice, from my multiple decades of being us, that we have a dominant fear of learning.  Those most obstinate seem to follow such a pattern that they are also quite fearful. 

Truth doesn't come in a packet studied over a weekend.  It comes in a Book pondered and dissected and searched and then re-searched over a lifetime.  Several claiming to be in God's will have frozen about ten special texts and refuse to discover more truth about those ten and the remaining thousands.  Fear keeps truth at bay.

We go by the Bible is parroted.  Yet, that isn't the truth.  We really go by what some told us about a few passages and are closed to finding deeper and additional meaning even in those. 

The Word is a glory of God.  It contains the Truth.  We are to hunger for it; search for it.  Its buried content will not be unheavened by repeating a familiar few verses; but by digging and digging and digging.  This makes the non-student extremely uneasy.  These aren't for the Word as much as against upsetting tradition.  Such a posture is exactly how tradition gets its foot in the door and eventually sets up camp.

Truth is a remarkable wonder of God.  It is not Truth because anyone says it is.  The Word boldly holds to this Divine element.  We will do well, regardless of how long we have been students, to open ourselves to the Bible with great abandon.  His ways will not match ours....any of ours.  It is a wonderful and terrifying thing to behold the revelation of God.  May we dig deeply and drink lavishly....and very unafraid.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


We are living in a world of hurt....literally.  The world detached from God is about to catch its own tail; And growl it surely will.

Some one or some thing has struck a match in the Mid-East and flames are being fanned around the world.  Media can't keep up...and reporters are everywhere.  It is difficult to know how to read the future of such gigantic outbreak.  What will happen?  It appears that if we think America will escape repercussion, we best take another look.

Instability has been lurking in the shadows for quite some time.  Political and economic unrest laps against the shores of the human landscape with considerable threat of tidal unrest.  Yet, man continues to eek by.  Are we watching the unraveling of human order as we have known it? 

Look at gas pump prices rise.  Grocery costs?  How long will it take for the words "uncle" to be heard by the average one of us bewildered by a 9/11 type of stunning development?  How long before we have reached the end of our self-sustaining and self-providing lifestyles?  How soon will we reach the kind of days where we no longer know how to estimate a course of life in general the way we have always known?

This is the time, Christian, to shore up our future with a deep inventory of faith.  We are about to be tested as to what it is---really Who it is---we confide our dependence.  Whether our managerial maneuvers in tight spots or our trust like young David in fighting Goliath....we don't know how; but we know He will.

From Genesis to Revelation, God has always waited until man ran out of his own manipulative ways to show us even greater life strategy.  We are poised for such a show once again.  Shore up your believability.  Strengthen your certainty in God.

It won't be long 'til the way we've always done business may be in complete upheaval.  Simultaneously, we will grow in life-saving faith in the risen Christ.  Do not fear.  Do not panic.  If God is for us, who then would be against us?  In Jesus we overwhelmingly conquer. 

The plus to all of these concerns is that one's faith is already leading the pack.  We don't have to wait for major unravel to discover this.  We have been practicing for years on all the small stuff just getting ready for the big game.  Suit up, folks, in Jesus.  It's time to move from the practice field.


You do get it that when you sign up to follow him, you are playing with fire, right?  None of us like controversy...well, at least I don't.  It bugs me as well as hurts me.  Yet, we must not flinch when we encounter work in the kingdom that....hurts.

I received the unsolicited notice below early last Sunday morning.  Whoa!  I'm mentioned in the mix.  What are we to do with this?  Do what Jesus did.  Keep moving.

I urge you, especially if you are young in ministry, to get it.  If you are a promoter of the true kingdom, you will come under fire.  You've got it coming.  Furthermore, you volunteered for it.  It is a necessary part of the game.  Jesus cautioned against everyone speaking well of us.  Such warning goes over so much easier in Sunday School.

May we learn to walk like him.  Injury and insult are a part of such a trek.  Do not revile.  Keep on trusting Him who judges.  Our role?  Die well....I Peter 2:21-25.

Therefore, don't be surprised at the fiery ordeals among you as if some strange thing were happening to you...I Peter 4:12.  Opponents are in our mix for a purpose.  They are to groom us in the vital living core of Jesus.  He, alone, will train and drain us of our need to retaliate by transforming us into learning to forgive.

Stress and insult....we've got it coming!

2011 Spring Church of Christ CFTF Lectures

Profiles In Apostasy #2

February 27 - March 2, 2011

Elders: Kenneth Cohn, Buddy Roth, and Jack Stephens

David P. Brown, Director

Sunday, February 27

9:30 AM David P. Brown: The Holy Spirit Makes No Earthly Sense by Terry Rush

10:30 AM Lester Kamp: Theology Simplified by Lonzo Pribble

Noon Meal Provided by the Spring Congregation

2:00 PM Terry Hightower: Th e Battle Over Hermeneutics in the Stone-Campbell Movement by Michael W. Casey

3:00 PM John West: Seeing the Unseen by Joe Beam

Monday, February 28

9:00 AM Skip Francis: A Gathered People by Hicks, Melton, and Valentine

10:00 AM Gene Hill: Th e N.T. Church Is Foreign to the Church Described in A Gathered People by Hicks, et al.

10:00 AM Linda Pogue: Selected Chapters from Trusting Women edited by Billie Silvey #1 (Ladies Only)

11:00 AM Wayne Blake: Is Christ Divided? by Monroe Hawley

Lunch Break

1:30 PM Brad Green: Th e Forgotten Treasure by Gary D. Collier

2:30 PM Roelf Ruffner: The Church In Transition by James S. Woodroof, 1991

3:30 PM Open Forum

Dinner Break


7:00 PM Danny Douglas: The Power Within by Jesse E. Fonville

Tuesday, March 1

9:00 AM Don Tarbet: Th e Cultural Church by F. LaGard Smith

10:00 AM Johnny Oxendine: Renewal For Mission by Helsabeck, Jr. (Christian Church), Holloway, and Foster

10:00 AM Linda Pogue: Selected Chapters from Trusting Women edited by Billie Silvey #2 (Ladies Only)

11:00 AM Michael Hatcher: The Second Incarnation by Rubel Shelly and Randall J. Harris

Lunch Break

1:30 PM Paul Vaughn: One Church edited by Carson, Foster, and Holloway

2:30 PM Bruce Stulting: A Church That Flies by Tim Woodroof

3:30 PM Open Forum

Dinner Break


7:00 PM Daniel Denham: The Holy Spirit: Center of Controversy—Basis of Unity by Mac Deaver

Wednesday, March 2

9:00 AM John Rose: Together Again by Rick Atchley and Bob Russell (Christian Church)

10:00 AM Jimmie Gribble: Navigating the Winds of Change by Lynn Anderson

11:00 AM Charles Pogue: The Churches of Christ by Richard T. Hughes

Lunch Break

1:30 PM Ken Chumbley: American Origins of Churches of Christ by Richard T. Hughes

2:30 PM Jess Whitlock: Discovering Our Roots by C. Leonard Allen and Richard T. Hughes

3:30 PM Open Forum

Dinner Break


7:00 PM Dub McClish: Illusions of Innocence by C. Leonard Allen and Richard T. Hughes

Lunch Provided by the Spring Congregation • Hardback Book of Lectures Available

R. V. Hook-Ups • Video and Audio Recordings • Approved Displays • Lessons Live on Website

PO Box 39 (Mailing Address) ~ 1327 Spring Cypress Road, Spring, TX 77383 ~ Church Office Phone (281) 353-2707

Spring Church Secretary: Sonya West ~ E-mail: ~ Church Website:

Monday, February 21, 2011


Ministry is a challenging creature.  Education, heritage, culture, doctrine, and training each can play a significant role in how it goes.  Yet after years of OJT, I find rudimentary principles still apply; two of them really.  Love God and love people.  When one possesses these two traits, direction will follow.

Loving God isn't an official order.  It is faithful emotion of the heart.  One doesn't love God to stay out of hell.  Rather, the love for Him is due to great fondness for God's heart and character and essence.  We search for ways and excuses to discuss His good name.  We love Him so much we rumor Him; spread the news that God is highly providing and protecting His great family.

To love people would seem simple enough.  Not so fast.  Many in ministry love the paycheck or the easy hours or the image; many things other than cherishing people.  I noted this emotion racing through my heart today as I preached yet another funeral.  While I was speaking I could not help but notice how I loved all in attendance.  I want to speak life for I love the audience so much.

Love God.  Love people.  One may only have a Preaching School certificate while another might have his doctorate.  Neither matters until the two loves are present.  Until both are present, ministry is more like a dog chasing his tail.  But when the two meet...yippee...the orderly system of God-productivity seems to roll!

Isn't that what Jesus taught?  Love God with all of your heart, soul, and mind....and love your neighbor as yourself?  Hmmmm....Jesus must have had a good feel for the basics in ministry.

Sunday, February 20, 2011


We are in the 10 1/2 hour.  The Tulsa Workshop is on its way!

The Tulsa area congregations are increasingly finding interest in supporting this major event.  The Sunday before the workshop begins, thirteen congregations will swap preachers in the Workshop Scramble.  I get to preach at the Skiatook congregation while their minister, Russell Hill, will speak at Memorial.

Dan Langdon of Open Door in Broken Arrow and Bob Herndon of SouthBrooke are the two who put together the Scramble.  I very much appreciate their labor as well as their commitment to evangelism.

The Park Plaza congregation has volunteered to take care of all registration at the workshop.  This is a huge blessing to us.   Several of the Tulsa ministers are on the workshop program.

Get out your suitcase and shine up those walking shoes!  You've got traveling to do....and you can count on it...we are getting ready for company! 

See you March 23-26!

Saturday, February 19, 2011


I never thought of saying anything about this until recently.  It feels harsh for me to put it into print.  But I dare write it that one woman be able to weigh possibilities of freedom no one ever voiced. 

It is a common theme that many American women are held captive in their own homes.  Eggshells are their carpets.  It is weird.  It is sad. is true.

I want to say first to these women that there isn't something wrong with you.  It is a problem the man possesses.  Due to the male ego he will blame you for his faults; for the family's errors.  You are not the problem.

All through the years I have counseled those who were living in hell behind the front doors of their houses.  They came to church as a family and served side-by-side as a family.  It was assumed home was ideal when it was quite the contrary.  Each has a varying slant to their story, but the core problem exists; imprisonment "'til death do us part" takes place on Main Street America.

Years ago I read an account of the only time Houdini could not escape deliberate confinement.  He could get out of impossible situations except for one.  He was confined to a prison cell in a northern state.  He did not break free.  At the end of the test the jailer walked over and opened the door.  It had never been locked.  Houdini failed to escape from an area he was never imprisoned.

The threat these women live under are very vocal and sternly intimidating, except for one thing.  They hold the key to escape for the door isn't locked.  Let me explain.

As soon as the wife announces she is out of the marriage, these husbands find their way to my office melting like candles under fire.  These bullies promise to go to counselling, vow to read their Bible, have sudden interest in attending prayer meetings, and plead that their wives not divorce them.  These grown men bawl like babies while admitting behavioral grievances. 

I don't blame them totally for they came, as little boys, from such grooming in the home.  No one has helped them to know life can operate differently.  No one now approaches them for they talk such a big game.  Yet, they really are little boys in need of serious and renewed training as to how to be good men.  They want to be; but they were basically shoved out the door into adulthood with poor concepts of what it takes to be a grown man over a household.

Reconciliation is possible; even probable if the wife will but swing open the prison door.  Yet, because she doesn't know it is unlocked she is likely to live in misery from here on.  It is highly important the wife swing the door open.  If not, the children in such a home will grow up to do one of two things; the boys will become bully men and the girls will become thrashing posts for bully men's words and fists.

I conclude by saying I am reluctant to post this.  Any who don't live in this fashion will wonder if it could be exaggeration.  It isn't.  It is my hope that it might help couples iron out a major wrinkle; for life doesn't have to be so harsh behind closed doors.  I think husbands want set free from this misery as well as their dear wives.

For those who might need to communicate in private and anonymously, you are welcome to write me at

Oh Lord, I do pray I did not word this in such a way that makes matters worse.  It is my concern that fear be replaced with faith and stress be shifted to great hope.

Friday, February 18, 2011


"LET THE CHAINS FALL AWAY"                                                                                             
WORKSHOP!  WORKSHOP!  WORKSHOP!  It is coming to Tulsa soon!

Sixty-seven speakers will descend upon the Tulsa Fairgrounds March 23-26.  Thirty-one (44%) of those are rookies to the workshop program.  New ideas.  Fundamental doctrine.  Evangelism motivation.  Tulsa continues to track toward creating energy to win souls. 

In addition to the usual and great anticipation of what Harris or Atchley or Walling will have to share, here are some new zones to watch:
  • For the first time the workshop will offer a Workshop Kids Praise Chorus for 2nd through 5th grades.  They will rehearse Wednesday and Thursday evenings and then sing a couple of songs with the praise team Friday evening before Rick Atchley speaks.
  • Jim Morris will be here.  The Rookie is a movie about his true story of moving from a baseball coach to the Big Leagues.
  • Cafe Sol will be a new meeting place within the Pavilion confines for teen gatherings.
  • Specialty sessions of For Church Leaders Only, For Prayer Warriors Only, For the Mission-minded Only, For Worship Leaders Only, For Children's Ministries Only, For Preachers Only, and For Elders Only will give specific groups opportunity to consider possibilities for their labors.
  • Music groups, hundreds of booths, deaf classes, "How to" classes, mission reports, praise and worship, and the AIM Flags Presentation, will offer something wonderful for everybody.

Thursday, February 17, 2011


Do not be afraid.

Do not assume that since our minds are filled with world chaos and multiplied distraction that our God is off on vacation.  He isn't.

There is a lot to see today.  Gasoline prices rising as well as food, clothing, and utilities.  Egypt went up or came down, dependent of the eventual outcome, in protest.  Two warships from Iran seek permission to pass through the Suez Canal.  Israel calls it provocation.  Teachers Unions in Wisconsin are erupting with anger.  And....Albert Puhols and the Cardinals could not reach contract agreement over millions and millions while a huge segment of the general populace goes unfed and poorly clothed.  Shame on them.

Our eyes are filled with threat, anger, and self-indulgence; others and our own.  Lest we see too much, may our faith-eyes kick in to keep us anchored upon the truth of Jesus.  It is in him that we overwhelmingly conquer.  Whether in life or death, whether blessed by angels or assaulted by demons, we will always know victory. 

A believer does not have to have good reports to see a "yes".  We have Jesus.  We believe his eyes over ours.  He could see Lazarus arising in the midst of Martha's irritation and Mary's wasteful scolding.  Jesus knows victory and it is in every moment.

Let the good reports and the bad reports mix.  Remain abreast of the current events.  But do not lose heart.  Though the outer man decays or is under threat of decay, we are renewed day by day.  God said so.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


There is a concept about the kingdom that God has....that we don't like.  As a matter of fact, we cringe at the thought of it.  I speak of pruning.  Congregations so don't like this "church growth truth" that it will fight the concept to keep it from happening.  Unblessed church growth (refusing His pruning action) causes congregations to stagnate and wither; not live in vibrancy. 

Pruning for healthy growth is a God-given system which works not only in nature; but in the church.

As I ponder the wonderful years at Memorial (whether happy or challenging), I can note key moves made by our leadership which spurred growth both numerically and spiritually.  The brave move of adding Allen French to the staff as Worship Leader coupled with bringing Linda Scott on board to shore up the Children's Ministry were two fabulous blessings.

But something took place years before that which didn't look first.  Yet, as God IS faithful, productivity eventually followed.  I speak of a sudden move of repentance (meaning change of direction) which our elders made with decisive boldness.  You will want to write this down.  They quit chasing after those upset with our church experience; those who were making constant vocal threats of leaving. 

The elders blessed them to leave for they are very good people....and each team of elders since has followed this pruning path.  The displeased aren't sure how to read this for it feels to them they aren't important.  This isn't the case.  Our leaders feel God's call (of these members to leave) is more important than rushing to keep any who are terribly burdened.  That very burden may be God moving them to a place He has readied just for their specific gifts. 

I didn't see this one coming.  I would never have guessed it possible.  Instead of the elders conducting meeting after meeting listening to one offense and complaint after another, they believed with all their hearts that God was calling these good people away and our elders were not about to interfere with His calling.  Actually, some of them were elders.  It wasn't a matter of irritation, etc.  It was an issue that if these felt that called to leave, our men would not interfere.

Now I can see key people being added to our work at Memorial that most likely would not have stayed around had those so unhappy remained.  And our elders were very accurate as those who left have been tapped by God to bless their new congregations.  Another win-win move of the Holy Spirit.

Therefore, when those you love move on whether transferred to another state or irritated and move across town, praise God for His wisdom of pruning.  It isn't an easy process.  I can be so painful we would prefer to control matters to keep what we have.  Yet, God always has more in mind.  More comes from pruning; not hoarding. 

May we not grump around with hard feelings; but may we open up to the vision of God.  May we awaken to this church growth trait.  Our cause isn't to divide into the White Hats and the Black Hats to do combat.  We are His body called to trust His distribution of spiritual gifts in the places He wills.

Bless you as you are repeatedly hurt by the pruning process.  Bless God by your praises in such uncomfortable situations for He surely is grooming and strenghtening His glorious body...the church.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


Wasn't leadership supposed to be about image?  Positive effective image?  Wasn't it about success charts and award displays?  Somebody has messed with my play book regarding leadership.  It doesn't work the way I once assumed.

Leadership is not about the leader.  It is all about others becoming empowered to serve others who will become empowered to serve yet others.  It has nothing to do with position; but a lot to do with disposition.

I have seen good days in leadership in these recent years.  Such wasn't always the case.  For me leadership has not come easy.  In preaching school the maximum any student assumed was we would be a one-man staff and hope to be located in one place five years.   No one thought of multiple staff and three-plus decades.

My first couple of decades were pretty rocky.  I, as well as all around me, had to learn by bumps and ruts, etc.  Eventually, the elders sent me to a Steven Covey Seminar on leadership.  Clarity for such a role began to provide new and positive focus.  I loved the material and went back to the office enthused at knowing immediate adjustments to make.  They were to be made in me; not others.  If I would adjust the others would benefit and naturally follow course.

Fundamental leadership---my opinion and experience---is simply empowering others. I was trying to do too many tasks myself which was peeling away potential participants.  We had members wishing to do important work.  Yet, they were frustrated for I was trying to be important by doing too many things.  Quantity of tasks seemed to equal leadership to me.  Wrong.

Mentoring escalates one's effectiveness because it causes others to be more effective.  It wasn't about me.  It was about them receiving support from me. 

It has been a simple move.  I look at ministry needs and then look for a person(s) within the flock who would have the essential skills to pull off effectiveness.  This brings incredible satisfaction.  It affords a believer an opportunity to express their talents.  It puts more people to work.  The more engaged in serving, the more there are to be served.  Positive results begin to escalate.

Now this sounds far too simple; but I missed it.  I was weary of trying to keep up with so much.  Today I don't have as much because we have clusters of teams in place.  Not surprisingly, they offer more stability than my over-activity being spread thin.  So much is going on at Memorial that the elders and staff simply don't know of several great works.  We hear about results...and we love the surprise. 

Recently I noticed the need to recruit more vendors for the workshop.  One of our elders told me of one of our women who might be willing to take on this task.  I met with her.  She was proud as punch to be asked...and agreed to take it on.  She rattled off ideas and possibilities I would never have guessed.  She is talented in this area and I did a good thing in leadership by realizing two things: (1) I didn't know how to do it and (2) God led me to one who did; but at present wasn't serving anywhere. 

Win. Win.  That's what Steven Covey labeled it.

Look over your work.  Note needs.  But don't begin to take them on.  Honor someone by asking them to oversee them....which means they do the planning and the organizing while you STAY OUT OF THE WAY!  Staying out of the way is an essential element of leadership. 

Be aggressive.  Seek to employ those who are more talented and sharper than yourself.  First of all, for me, this is an easy task.  Secondly, these top-notched ones bring great glory to God by their graceful participation in the kingdom system. 

Get more out of your work by getting out of the way once you have empowered a skillful servant.  Enjoy the work of Christ among you!


Have I got good news for those who know someone you've wished to reach for God, but simply ran into a brick wall.  I just finished reading a most fantastic book.  If ever I had a book in my hands that might crack the armor of the hardened unbeliever, God has delivered exhilarating power.

Philip Yancey's newest work, What Good Is God?, is unspeakably beyond rocket science of the Spirit.  It soars with hope and reads with smoothility.  I've been a fan and friend of Philip's for a long time. His recent investigative reporting in this book, too me, surpasses the inspiring and skillful expertise of his other writings.

This writing clearly signals to the reader that Yancey gets it!  He understands the frustration of the unbeliever who cannot help but view with disgust the toxic local church.   Any bent on disbelief will necessarily want to rethink after reading about the church's need to leave its walls in order to make a substantial difference by transforming lives in the streets. 

Christian faith may sour when lived in isolation from the rest of the world followed up by Pharisees spend too much time around other Pharisees continually chip away at the doubter's stronghold.  Simultaneously, it challenges we believers to arise from deadening ritualism that can't possibly impact our own hearts; let alone another.

Yancey's message is dual in nature.  Not only does What Good Is God? build faith in the believing reader, it waters seedling faith implanted by grandpas and mommas within the hearts of the crusted.  Do not read this book as merely good for your study.  Rather, recognize that yet another tool for outreach has been dropped upon humanity by the Holy Spirit. 

Wanna reach a stubborn doubter?  Let their eyes be exposed to this volume.  It looks like any other book.  But it isn't.  It is rocket science---meaning well thought-out perspective---on a spiritual plain which will connect with those thirsty hearts who also insist on hiding from God exposure. 

What Good Is God? answers the doubter's biggest question.

I don't know if Yancey is getting better at writing or if I am just getting so much better at reading!  Thanks, my friend, for what I believe is your best work yet! 

Monday, February 14, 2011


Good morning invisible little friends scattered to and fro across one continent or another.  I'm at my computer penning this post for your scan as you start your day tomorrow.  I think about you.  I ponder you---whoever and wherever you are---as you sip your coffee or take a quick break or whatever. 

I visit with you about a perspective I have on leadership.  Problems are not nearly as much about others improving as we would have assumed; but are much more about our responsibility....which we would abhor.  Knotty dilemmas intrude upon our paths.  Here is something I have noticed.  These aren't problems to solve; but lessons to be learned.

Here's something key; try to learn that you are in need of much improvement without beating up on yourself by throwing a pity-party.  That would have been me.  I was a champion pouter.  I could talk myself into sulk-city.  I could get so low I could sit on the edge of a Kleenex and dangle my feet over the edge...I heard someone else remark.

What happens when we can surrender our egos is we remove ourselves from polishing our image to knowing our God.  After all, compared to Him we just as well surrender.  Compared to another...well He says we are without understanding...II Cor. 10:12.

I like life a lot more on the side of being aware of my lack without being depressed that I lack.  Weakness is a power-trait of kingdom effectivity...II Cor. 12:9.  If it weren't for this truth I would be sunk.  But I am not sunk and neither are you.

Power is perfected in weakness.  Didn't you hear Him?  It is comes about at its highest glory in our weakness.  This is like saying garbage is fuel for a car....hurry gather up yours and the neighbors!

We have a great hill to climb.  It is one that admits no confidence in self but yet a "beyond imagination" confidence in His us!  Don't hide your trash.  Turn it into fuel.  You are as powerful as your weakness. 

Hurray God!

Sunday, February 13, 2011


Each morning at the coffee shop I tell them good-bye; that it is time for me to go open up the store.  Store is "church" in meaning; "church building" to others.  Anyway, we had a good day at the store today.

I'm glad is was because it wasn't such a good night.  It was one of those recurring dreams I had where I dreamed I couldn't sleep.  It is so frustrating....really....because when I wake up I feel like I never slept.  To realize I did sleep but believed all night I didn't doesn't feel very good because while I actually did my body believed the whole time I didn't. is confusing....but that is the point.  Urggh!

But when I got to be with my!  What a great morning just to be together.  Church was cancelled last week due to snow.  On top of that, I had been in baseball camp the week prior and speaking in Dallas the week before that.  I hadn't preached at Memorial since January 16. 

It felt so good to be back at the store.


The body of Christ struggles to move about on earth.  It shouldn't be so; yet it is apparent that many of the joints and ligaments have frozen stiff.  The body is no longer aggressive and fluid the way it was in its younger years. 

Arthritis has set in.

An important element has caused such body dis-ease.  It is called learning.  An unintended process has developed which did not come from the Originator of the church; fear.  Fear freezes the joints and ligaments of the body of Christ.

Fear.  His people are afraid to learn.  Emphasis on being right created a false pride of necessity to always be right forevermore.  Thus, the body is afraid to learn for it might learn what?  Adjustments need to be made because some of our understanding was wrong.

Can you say it?  I am wrong?  I have been wrong?  Surely we all have and are and will be mistaken as we study of His majestic and glorious truth.  Being wrong isn't a sin.  Refusing to face it is.

New health will come about as we remain committed to Truth while being willing to surrender our own egos of being right.  We are to be arthritically free as we encounter the divine process.

Saturday, February 12, 2011


Even as a minister I paid little attention to Jesus.  Oh sure, I credited him with the big stuff and Easter was a given.  Who in my field wouldn't retrace his historical trek to gain sermon support?  After all, our church was named after him!

But through the years of many highly successful failures, I began to really hone in on this man; this Son of God.  And when I began to really take him at his word rather than just parrot Bible verses, a change washed over me like a new an actual new creation.

Any who know me would know I am a weak-kneed coward who cries easily and wants everyone to like me.  Such traits dominated my miserable life for too many ministry.  Urggh!  Church life surely was difficult.  A bunch of people kept taking turns at not liking me.  Woodwork sure does hold a lot of critics for they kept coming out of it.  How was I to know critics organize?

But Jesus.

Jesus, as kind and gentle as he was, would take on a buzz saw as similarly seen in young David versus Goliath.  He loved everyone; but not everyone loved him.  Hummm.  Interesting.  He died for everyone.  But not everyone believed him.

I'm intrigued by his absolute defiance of going with the flow.  Jesus had no taste for mediocrity, publicity, or pressured politics.  He simply loved every person and left it up to each as to whether they would love him back.  Jesus really did lead an eye-for-an-eye free life.  He wouldn't do it.

I have had to learn the hard way; not everyone is going to like me.  At first I believed that if I made enough adjustments and paid better attention, I could win them over.  But...some just aren't winnable for me.  By watching Jesus I have both accepted such and become alright with it. 

Life isn't about me.  It is about others meeting him.  I will do what I can.  But I will not spend much time trying to gain approval of men for some choose to not be so inclined.  What I want to do is to grow in the region of Jesus' intrigue.

How did he maneuver through deep love and deeper heartbreak?  How did he know when to when to hold 'em and when to fold 'em?  The difference between Jesus and me is he had no regard for himself and every regard for others; including those who hated him.

Aren't we all intrigued by Jesus?  Ours will always be the role of John the Baptist; we must decrease that he might increase.  This is intrigue in the greatest of mysteries!

Thursday, February 10, 2011


In His Steps.  We know about that book.  Follow in the footsteps of Jesus.  We know about that ideal.  He walks with me and He talks with me.  We know about that song.  But do we know what it means to walk in the path of Jesus?

Watch him.  Notice his walk.  He saw the people nearby.  He saw them.  He looked right at them.  They weren't employees for his service.  They weren't ill for His object lesson.  Jesus loved and cared for them.  He encouraged them. 

Soon Peter and John saw a guy sitting along the way.  They offered help.  The story of The Good Samaritan is geared for our noticing while we are going.  But the Good Samaritan story throws us a bit for we begin to think then our line is to look for any who need assistance.  Thus, we are tempted to ditch the Jesus walk for Tuesday night's Working for the King program where we gather for our cards, divide into pairs, and knock on a needy door from 7:00 to 8:30 if this is convenient for our caring hearts.

Yet the Jesus walk notices people where they are and at all times; at city gates, up trees, in ditches, in the town square.  For us?  We notice people wherever people are....and wherever we happen to be there seems to be plenty of people.  So walk like Jesus....literally.

I went to the bank today.  Janet was the lone teller.  What does Jesus see using my eyes?  He sees a woman who needs encouragement because she puts up with a lot of pressure from work and from home...most likely. 

Hey Janet.  Well, hello Mr. Rush.  How are you doing today, Mr. Rush?  Good.  Take care of this deposit, all right? 

While you are taking care of this, Janet, I want to tell you something I've noticed.  You handle a lot of customers in these lines and I can't help but see how well you operate under pressure.  You do a really good job.  Oh, thank you Mr. Rush.  I try.

Friend, I know you do.  We all see it.  I see how patient you are and I want to tell you that you do a great job here and it shows. 

Thank you Mr. Rush.

It didn't take long to take an ordinary two minutes and convert them into a Hallmark card.  Of course she needed those words.  And where does God take it from here?  It matters not to me.  If something continues in kingdom life, then awesome.  But for the moment I studied this responsible woman and wondered what Jesus would say if he were standing in line.

I think I came fairly close to necessary words. 

People....the Jesus walk often has a word of Life for the most innocent of bystanders.  Don't waste ordinary moments which are filled with divine opportunity.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011


I heard and read about the Tulsa ("Soul-Winning," the second word used to be) Workshop for decades before ever attending one. In those days, I dismissed it as misguided. Despite the high-sounding name, I thought it really was about increasing the membership of the Churches of Christ (non-instrument), primarily by convincing people in other denominations to switch to our non-denomination as the more certain route to heaven --although nobody was all that certain about it, but at least we were not a "denomination" (rhymes with "abomination"). Plus, I thought, it focused on "methods" (at best) and gimmicks (at worse), when what we should be doing was pointing people to Christ by holy lives, good works and gospel words. Besides, we couldn't "win" anyone--the Holy Spirit had to do that. And even if we could, we should go for the whole person, not just some "soul," which was not biblical terminology in the dualistic way we used it anyway. I was big, then, on dismissing and opining and "should"-ing. And the Tulsa Soul-Winning Workshop was also big in attendance, with thousands and thousands coming from all over, by the busloads.

Then one day the folks in charge realized they were thinking (though they didn't know it, and I didn't know it and had absolutely nothing to do with it happening) many of the same things that I was thinking about what the Workshop was, and wasn't, and should be. So they changed accordingly. And many of the buses stopped coming, and several thousands of the people stayed home. And the folks in charge, who had been working hard, and sacrificing, and pouring themselves out all along in what they thought was right, now kept working hard and sacrificing and pouring themselves out in what they and I alike thought was better, and in 2008 they invited me to join the mix and add my two cents worth, which I gladly did. And my eyes were opened and my ears were unstopped, and behold I was impressed and inspired and encouraged and informed and convicted and embarrassed and ashamed for thinking that I could do those first seven things for them when really we all could do it for each other.

This will be my fourth year to attend, God willing, and I look forward to the bold proclamations and faithful testimonies and hair-raising, heart-grabbing, mind-blowing reports (plus those without any of those adjectives) of God at work through the Holy Spirit as he draws people to Jesus Christ, then transforms, equips and uses them as the cycle is repeated and repeated and repeated again. And I would like to get the word out, to folks who don't go because they are like I used to be, that a long list of good things (see preceding paragraph) are waiting to happen to them if they will get off their high horses and be open to receive. And I would like to get the word out to the thousands who used to come but stopped because the Workshop changed and somebody told them that it had "gone liberal," to forget about labels and ignore ignorant reports and reporters and come "taste and see that the Lord is good," because that's what it's all about, and that's not bad at all but in fact is very, very good. You can get more details about The Tulsa Workshop happening next month by going to .


I'm in the midst of multiple exchanges with one who is upset with stances (of others) being taken regarding creation.  His notes sting with disgust.  He has his position and declares it off-limits for debate.  That's what one said years ago who held an opposing view. 

We are great targets for distraction because, in general, our bark is bigger than our bite.  Our tribe talks (usually in class) about how we "go by the Bible".  Much of this---and from experience I do mean very much---talk goes on without commitment to prayer, devotion to study of the Word, and habitual lethargy when it comes to connecting with the lost in hopes of promoting Jesus Christ.

Jesus is the mission of the heart.  If it is a matter of the Bible, every topic has its range of significance.  However, due to our arrogant rigidity, we fall for the doctrine of distraction easier than some for we aren't about relationship with the Trinity as much as we are about being right; giving right answers from the Word.
The stress of this is that one can't be in line with the Word if there is not worship and love and interaction with the Trinity.

Smiling faces and busy hands within our communities are connected to hungry hearts needing information as to how to find authentic hope.  They may not know they need it; but the day comes when at least in secret they need answers. 

Will we have been there with the seed of the kingdom?  Or will we be tending to our wounds following our debates having forgotten about the people on the streets?

Tuesday, February 08, 2011


I once wondered why Memorial Drive existed.  It was running down and little seemed to work.  By His grace, He turned us around.  But it raises another question, what do we have (collectively or individually) to offer the world?

Without sounding superficial, may I offer that we are to be Jesus?  Get it clearly, I am a tragedy of a holy or righteous person unless He fills me.  So holy smugness isn't a part of this conversation.  We are to be Jesus to all around us.

What would this mean?

Well...when I walk into any business I assume I am approaching a cashier or clerk who needs to sense I respect them and believe they are valuable.  Whether shopping in a store or eating at a restaurant, I wonder about all of the people near me....where are they hurting?  What is it that separates them from God?  What do they need in order to be encouraged?

In all of my wondering about others, I must admit I leave not knowing hardly anything at all....but my eyes see them.  I notice them.  I study them.

What do we have to offer the world?  Interest.  The attention of God through Jesus through us.  We don't have to walk on water or heal lepers.  We possess something more....resurrection power.  We cause people who are dying in spirit to come alive by our voices that call the "dead Lazaruses" in them to awaken to the life within. 

I urge you...don't go through life thinking you are a mere meaningless and average useless nothing.  You are remarkable.  Pour Jesus from your vessel onto those nearest.  All efforts count.

Monday, February 07, 2011


We have eternal life; He said so. 

Ponder with me what that--eternal life--might mean.  To define it, I feel certain, would be like trying to examine snow flakes....too many to catch and impossible to measure.

So I give you the very basic Terry Rush version.  I didn't learn it from flesh and blood.  God just popped it into my mind.

Eternal life is why, as a believer, we feel at times we are about to pop with enthusiasm.  A mistaken tendency is to view eternal as future with distance as a measurement.  No so, I don't believe.  Eternal is to have the past and the present and the future all bottled up inside of us.  We are full of God-sized, God-like LIFE.

You and I possess eternity.  We are eternal.  We hold the essence of Esther, the courage of young David, the commitment of Nehemiah, the energy of Peter, the defiance of Jesus, and the hope of a new creation!  We are full of God....Eph. 3:19.

No wonder we are alive!  Eternal within each of us is truth beyond record gathering or information sorting.  It is berserk with wonder and awe and privilege!  Paul was beside himself!  Who can live a life dumbed-down?  Who can live contained?  Who can doubt belief?  Who?  No one of the eternal filling?  No one.

Therefore, don't make a trip to the drugstore or to get an oil change as if something minor is to be accomplished.  The magic of eternal combustion happens everywhere we tread.  May you awaken to the wonder of yourself.  You are more than you can imagine.  Only God can describe the indescribable gift within you!

Go out, face the world, and let a difference make you!


My emails of late have had a couple of "false teacher" charges; against myself from one and against another from a second.  One had a significant problem with a book a minister had recommended and questioned me for having him on the workshop.

I asked about the book's content...and he hasn't read it.  Yet, he is pretty emphatic that this brother is recommending an errant book.

I responded with effort to get the critic to realize he was judging without knowing details.  He could not see it and would not let it go.

So...I wrote him describing his heart of temper and unbelief, etc.  (I don't know him..and made up the accusations.)  He responded that I was judging his heart and being highly unfair in my assumption.  He was so right.

That's why I wrote what I did.  I wanted him to tell me I was being judgmental and critical without really knowing him.  He was correct.  I didn't really believe the things I wrote of him; but I wanted him to get a feel for what he was doing to our brother.

When will we get it that we are each so very lacking in depth of spirit and direction that it took a blameless one to die so we could experience saving grace?  We are in dire need of this from one another; including the one who wrote me, including the one he wrote about, including me, and including every critic among us.

Don't judge....Jesus pleaded.  Oh....I'll be the first to forget.

Sunday, February 06, 2011


The Egyptian uprising continues to put pressure on the future of Israel.  We can see firsthand the position of lowly Jesus facing a Goliath world.  Muslim radicals rumor constant threat.  Dis-ease of concern circles the globe via great speed moment by moment.

And yet....the God who can make something from nothing and can give life to the dead knows how to forge victory from all challenging obstacles. 

As concerns grow we will do well to note the spiritual content before us.  The enemy of darkness will steadily mock the righteousness of light.  Yet, because of God's extreme and stable talent, opposition to our life has suffered pre-defeat.  We have pre-won.

God wins and we believe in Him.


How can color be even more colorful?  I heard about an elderly woman slipping away at near death only to be revived.  One of the things she told was how colorful color was; it was so much more intensely beautiful. 

How can color be more colorful?  Well, Sanyo and Mitsubishi figured it out.  They and other brands offer HD TV.  High definition can be seen at a click from normal to HD stations.  Color is more beautiful.

We experience HD life in Jesus.  Everything is embellished; as it should be. 

Could it be we have been around the church these many years to lose a bit of our HD?  Everything from sin's depth to worship's height may have become as worn as hip pocket with a billfold over time.  It is likely sin has been reduced to slight offense while worship suffers similar malady in becoming a checklist of five items.

Are we to find any who are simply wowed by God these days?  Oh, I think so!

I am perpetually captured with Jesus' statement that he came that we might have life and have it abundantly.  Believers should be super-happy, hyper-content, and ultra-saved.  We don't have to act like nit-wits with such; but we need to appear as if we are truly alive.

Whether at the store, or the doctor's office, or at the board meeting, it would do others a great service if we would be seen living in HD.

Saturday, February 05, 2011


In my accumulative years in the church since being converted at age 23, I have heard the stark warnings to beware of false teachers.  Moreover, steady accusation of such has come my way personally as well as perpetually. 

I take this charge seriously.  While I am a goof-ball in many areas only to be topped with silliness, I take the Word and the Master of it seriously.  After such a lengthy time I am convinced I most likely shall never escape such allegations.  And, there is a reason.

His name is Jesus.

I'm nothing.  I get that.  And, I have taught things improperly and assume those days aren't over.  Growing and maturing is a process of necessary adjustment.  But Jesus will cause a stir; even in our own work.  He doesn't fit the religious norm.....and the more we increase in him he will not let us fit it. 

Jesus was flogged by gnarly entrapment as to whether he was authentic in his positions.  One by one, dogmatic leaders proudly accused him of violating the law.  Today law has been transposed into Truth.  Accusers stand for Truth; so they claim. 

However, it can be noted that those who shout "false teacher" the loudest seldom do so from the personage of Jesus.......but from the Word.  My point is that these with the bellowing voices charging foul strike from the Word and not from Jesus......the very one who was also charged to be illegitimate in his stance.

It was Jesus who said "in the Word", You search the Scriptures, because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is these that bear witness of Me; and you are unwilling to come to Me, that you might have life (Jn.5:39-40).

When I was a Pharisee---and I was in my younger years---I stood emphatically upon the Bible.  What got me was I didn't know Jesus.  I did not.  I was busy building my Word-fort.  And for a brief while, I was a good guy in the eyes of important accusers.

Yet, Jesus spoke the truth.  I knew Bible, but didn't know him.

This is what is going on within much of the "false teacher" accusational thrust.  Entrapment.  Finding violation of the Bible in the name of Truth.  Judgmental and squint-eyed, we pride ourselves in spouting scripture with seldom reference in such moments to Jesus and his freeing bid.

Truth is truth....and Jesus said he is it.  The paradox found in Jesus is that by the time he gets done with us it often turns out that the ones pointing their skinny fingers while shouting "false teacher" really are the false teachers themselves.

Friday, February 04, 2011


Tulsa has been blessed all week by snow! 

We are living in a snow globe.

After four days, we got mail at the office.  Not so at home.

I ordered tire chains online Wednesday.

I wonder if UPS has tire chains to deliver my tire chains.

Happy Snow Days!


I was asked to write my top ten concepts of leadership traits.  I share with you what I sent out.

1. A LEADER CAN BE ASSURED GOD WILL BE THERE. Romans 4:17 gives leaders the hope that God can create something out of nothing and He can give life to dead situations. What else would one need?

2. A LEADER MUST LEAD FROM THE BOTTOM UP. Jesus didn’t begin at the 40th floor of the Hilton; but rather in the manger. He came all the way DOWN to earth’s lowest birth. Leaders must identify with the lowest rung of life and allow His grace to raise us up.

3. A LEADER IS THE WORST SINNER OF THE BUNCH. Paul’s statement of chiefest of sinners was no spin. He meant it. Yet, he never met me. A leader isn’t a leader of anyone until he or she realizes the depth of personal ruin. Until then, grace is merely a Sunday school term.

4. A LEADER IS ADVANTAGED BY HIS WEAKNESSES. II Cor. 12:9, power is perfected in weakness, is my secret; is our secret. Weakness magnetically calls God to our side and He supplies.

5. A LEADER WILL LEARN TO PRAY IN THANKSGIVING. Everything in our work is a “yes”…II Cor. 1:18-20. Phil. 4:4-9 is a storehouse of prayer wonder. Rejoicing and peace come about because a leader prays in thanksgiving in all situations. The lack of thankfulness is the reason most who try to lead don’t pray. Thus, they are left to their own energy….of which fatigue will eventually overwhelm.

6. A LEADER MUST KNOW THE HOLY SPIRIT IS ACTIVE AMONG US. Eph. 3:14-21 insists a leader receives a power from the Holy Spirit for effective labor beyond one’s imagination. Many leaders in the church have been told the Holy Spirit has been shelved. They are unable to bear His fruit in rough times and are unable to endure because the flesh just can’t hold up under the pressures of the cross of Christ.

7. A LEADER BELIEVES IN WHAT PEOPLE CAN BECOME. Leaders are to imitate Jesus and he was a marvel to handle the woman at the well or the man up a tree by instilling his faith in them into them. Many have God buried within themselves but don’t believe it. Leaders believe them forth!

8. A LEADER WORSHIPS. God is to be praised 24/7. We are to be crazy about Him. Leaders are not about rules, disciplines, or decisions until they are first enthused about telling the Lord of His majestic style and ways.

9. A LEADER GETS OUT OF THE WAY. A leader is neither a permission giver nor a professor of grand commentary. God is implanted into each of the flock. He has them loaded with giftedness. If and when they are free to serve, they will do a fascinating job if leaders will discontinue being ego corks in the bottle.

10. A LEADER DROPS THE CONTROL MANIA. A leader will enjoy outrageous fruit for the kingdom once he or she awakens to the truth of being the weakest link. Controlling nature arises from fear. Relaxed in Life can be attributed to love; trust of God and others. A true leader never runs the show. God does. We will do well to drop the image of management. God knows the system much better.

Thursday, February 03, 2011


I haven't been able to reach my office due to 14" of snow and then magnificent drifts.  Today I was determined.  I carefully made my way to our property and drove around the complex to determine just which entrance might be the lesser of evils.  For sure, if I was going to park the car off of the street and onto any part of our parking lot, I would get stuck. 

I decided to enter a fairly level driveway to the East and as soon as I was off of the street, I stopped.  I just as well have for I was stopped regardless.  And, I waded through knee-deep snow to get to the door. 

After a bit I returned to my Tahoe to find I surely was stuck.  No surprise.  But....a neighbor...a new neighbor I had never met was packing down his driveway by driving back and forth with his Toyota 4 x 4.  Yes.  Perfect.

I tried my car. 


Mr. Ward came over to assess the stuckage.  He backed up to mine, pulled on the rope and...wa la...I was set free.  I introduced myself and he was pleased to know I was the preacher.  That was different.  He was so friendly and told me about his interest in Veterans and his work with them.  He offered to assist us any time we honor vets and I told him we would look for such an opportunity.

He then offered to give the church wool scarves from WWII for any who might need one as they come through the food pantry.  I assured him we would deeply appreciate his kindness.

I drove away thanking God that even in a snow storm evangelism has its process.  Eyes opened.  Neighbors near.  We'll see what God might do with any we meet.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011


This comment came from anonymous regarding the last post. 

Terry, I'm writing from Monroe, Michigan where I, too, am homebound today due to the snow! I read your book today, God Will Make a Way. My sister-in-law sent it to me in January 1998 after my father passed away in December of 1997. It took this long to read because I didn't need a book about death. My father's death was a blessing to him, his eternal healing. But, as I read it today, I realized I needed it for my brother whose wife just moved out to move in with his best friend! Needless to say, his life is devastated. He came back to God but is in desperate need of healing! I shall pass it on to him. God ministered to me greatly through your book! I loved it and hope to find other books you have written. Isn't it amazing, and such a blessing, that the book you authored over 16 years ago was alive to my soul today! Isn't God awesome. I, too, am believing GOD WILL MAKE A WAY FOR ME!

I love to receive notes such as this.  One of the kingdom truths I simply did not know when I began ministry is God uses things we sowed years ago to become fruitful today. 

You need to know this about yourself.  You have given an encouraging word or sent a card or gave to missions in the 1950s or 70s or 90s that are still bearing fruit today....but few think to tell you.  You have given books as gifts that have been passed along without your awareness; yet you continue to bless others.

You have baked desserts and hosted showers and offered rides which boosted great moves of God...and it could be no one shared what wonderful thing happened next.

Anonymous, you did that thing to me that God often does; reminded me He's doing work that I would have guessed had ceased.  Thank you!

And you most encouraged.  There is a rousing movement of God globally today.  Earth is pregnant with Christian seed which is about to give birth to wonder because we live in the greatest system known to man; the kingdom of God.


This is day two of restictivity.  I am housebound.  Fourteen inches of snow distributed into wavy drifts insist I stay indoors.  I haven't seen a car pass either street of my corner lot for two days now.  No one is getting out.  And if we were to do so there isn't anywhere to go.

All I can do is wait.  Such is a tall order for a habitual non-waiter.

There was a time I waited and I'm most grateful to God for his extreme patience with me.  I waited on Him to make His move at Memorial Drive.  My misestimation of my own effectivity forced me to wait even longer than most I suppose.  Nonetheless, the entire time I was frustrated with myself and others, I really did believe He would make His move.

Just as it is true that one day soon I will be out and about driving the streets of Tulsa and elsewhere, we can all be assured God has us in His sights for kingdom prosperity.  Don't flinch.  For heaven's sake, don't give up.  Don't quit.

Keep believing even when you feel the helplessness of being housebound.  God's activity is the very action we must anticipate in our midst.  When we don't know how, we are on to something.  God.  God in His wonder and love is so magnificent Paul wrote that we overwhelmingly conquer regardless of circumstances.

Way to go God!

Tuesday, February 01, 2011



A great and important truth of discipleship is that we are constantly on the learn.  We hunger to know.  Truth is a big deal to us and God's Truth will always be larger than our intelligence factors.  When one is done with life, I believe even the smartest will be stupid compared to the available Truth of God.  No one can swim across this ocean.

We are called to know the Truth and it will set us free.  Isn't it odd that so many as myself once knew enough Truth to jail us instead of releasing?  Odd, don't you think, that those who speak most of Truth are often the ones most rigid and most afraid? 

That kind of walk may parrot the word Truth but such is not a walk in it.  That is merely a dabbling in rote religion that bears withered fruit.

Bailing on the Word isn't the answer.  Opening it is.  Some Bibles only open to John 3:16 or Acts to speak.  You know what I mean.  But Life is in there!  Real authentic Jesus-style Life is abundant if we will dare allow that precious Word to lead us to Jesus. 

Keep learning!