Monday, May 30, 2011


I have enjoyed a marathon of Frasier on TV this weekend.  Kelsey Grammer is one of my favorite actor/comedians. 

Years ago I was doing some work at the Field of Dreams in Dyersville, Iowa.  I played ball with some of the former Major Leaguers and went to a game on the last evening which included celebrities from the film and music industry.  I attended just hoping there would be some way I could meet Kelsey Grammer.

My ticket assigned me to a wooden bench along a set of bleachers (recall the movie the bleachers in the lawn by the farmhouse?  They are sitll there) that crammed everyone together pretty snugly.  As my life goes, wouldn't you know that the woman behind me with her knees in my back was Mr. Grammer's girlfriend?

I could not help but overhear her girlfriend and her discussing her boyfriend,  I turned, Y-O-U K-N-O-W H-I-M?  Yes, I sure do honey.  Well, could you arrange it for me to meet him?  Honey, he will be over here to see me in just a minute, I'll introduce you then. 

In a bit Frasier came to the fence in his Sox uniform just before the game to speak to his girl.  Hi honey.  They exchanged small talk a bit and then we got to the good stuff.  Hey this gentleman wants to meet you.  Do you mind?  He was very gracious.  As I hopped from the stands, his friend asked if we would turn for a picture.  I now have a signed 8 x 10 in my office.  Yippee!

I have met Kelsy Grammer; but I don't know him.

I have met Jesus.  And....I know him. 

Do you know Jesus?  Such seems to be a rather archaic religious-sounding probe, does it not; that kind we casually dismiss as meaningless?  However, it is important to know him.

I preached of him for a couple of decades before I began to know him.  How did I make this acquaintance?  I stalked him.  I began to watch him move.  I looked at him; his peace, his vision for the underdog, his ability to avoid being flustered. 

When one reads the Word to get to know Jesus, it reads differently.  Before, I studied it to obtain correct Bible answers.  Yet, I couldn't say that I actually knew him. 

Today?  I have hung around him and with him that I now can say I know what he is like, where he will turn, and how he will respond.  It is an overjoy to study this man in robe and sandals.

I have met Kelsey Grammer, but cannot say I really know him.  I have met Jesus....and am happy to say I've hung out with him.  We are friends.


America remembers.  Today we reflect.  We ponder those heroes of years gone by; their submission, their courage, their wounds and deaths.  We remember.

As I was thinking about those in the Navy, Army, etc, I began to think of others in the kingdom of God.  True soldiers of the cross have advantaged us for their bravery and commitment to the wide world's greatest system.

I thought about leaders as Richard Rogers and Cline Paden and Mid McKnight.  I reflected upon Jan Shackelford and Bill Fowler and Lea Landreth who served in the church forces mightily.  These have all passed having offered valuable characteristics to the body of Christ.

And then I began to think of the wounded soldiers who didn't survive attacks in the church.  I won't name them; yet I cannot help but think of several who were once at our side and we at theirs.  But skirmishes of the dark side injured them deeply and they are now wounded and mostly forgotten.

Memorial Day is a meaningful day that we recall the bravery of men and women who went to battle for generations who will never personally know of their valor.  In the process of the day, may we recollect those who have waged war in the church that freedom of the Savior may reign where we live.

Sunday, May 29, 2011


Egocentricity abounds among us and within us.  We are most oblivious to our own guilt.  Our world thrives on rights and boundaries and legalities and power.  We barely notice our shortness of patience and understanding with one another or with complete strangers.  It is as if mankind is on the prowl to find offense in order to have opportunity to Barney Fife them.

Due to Adam and Eve's legacy, we are caught in a scenario which constantly blames and perpetually hides behind explanatory words.  It wasn't me.  It was the neighbor.  I didn't cause it.  She did.  Don't look at me.  I told him this would happen.

When God calls us to humility I have begun to believe it is in a lower case than once assumed.  I am an egomaniac. 

We hear steady reports that America is arrogant.  We arrogantly deny the charge.  America is arrogant.  So is Cuba...and Mexico....and....  Arrogance doesn't come about because of a nationality; but rather due to being a person from the lineage of Adam and Eve.

Thus, we must take our conversion in Jesus deeper than pointing to a baptism date.  We are to take on the very robes of humility he laid down at the cross.  We are to die to ourselves that others might live.  To live to ourselves and for ourselves is an unacceptable norm. 

May we labor in the truth that others are healed when we are wounded; that others have the hope of living when we submit to dying. an acceptable norm.

Friday, May 27, 2011


I rarely use this blog to mention one of Memorial Drive's members when they die.  Today is an exception.  Jack Gill died at St. John's hospital this afternoon.  He was a dear gray-headed Teddy Bear of our sweet Memorial family.

This gentle man knew much about life in a children's home but very little about himself.  At age three he was abandoned to live in an orphanage with about 30 other three year olds.  Much later in life this single man was discovered by our youth group working at Tulsa's Day Center for the Homeless.  He worked there full-time.  Our teens went down once a week for a few hours. 

Maybe for the first time in his life, he was our teens. 

Jack Gill was shy and humble, soft-spoken and friendly.  The man moved among us with never a step toward intrusion or sarcasm; it wasn't in him.  He was always wide-eyed to and complimentary of the wonderful things God was doing within the body at Memorial.  He was especially sensitive to any teens who might have felt abandoned; even in their own home.  It is easy to understand why.

When Memorial Drive met this man, he was our introduction into the community of those in humble need.  We were his life in Christ.  He became an icon to the Memorial family that those who didn't have as much had very much to share.  Jack Gill was an ambassador of Christ to get the church to move out of its smug and distancing ways.  We really needed him to teach us to plow deeper ground into a meaningful new field...compassion for the people around us.

I once found Jack waiting on the roadside in the hot afternoon sun for the next bus.  I circled the block to give him a ride.  Recently Mary and I were at lunch at the Jones...and there was happy to be at the table.  As usual, I never heard him complain.  He was living the high life of fellowship with a church that was being groomed like the Son.  We gave him a ride to his apartment.  It was as if a docile teen was being given a lift home....thanking us all the way.

Only recently did he discover that Jack Gill was not his official name.  Rather Oliver Cummings was his handle.  Being my weird personality I would at times refer to him as Joliver....for he was jolly.

He said that Craig Hicks and the youth group of those years ago saved his life when they served at the Day Center and drew him in.  I would guess such is an accurate statement for Jack wasn't of the nature to exaggerate.  I'm guessing he needed such a grand connection.  Too, I would guess that Jack Gill began to turn the emphasis at Memorial Drive for he opened our eyes to the vast wealth buried among the poor.  He didn't only need us. 

We (I) really needed him.  We will always be rewarded at our church because of the things Joliver taught us. He is one of our humble heroes.

Later Jack....or Oliver....or Joliver!  Enjoy your brand new day today...and 10,000 years from now!


In case you hadn't noticed, people are important to God.  He started us.  His Son came to rescue us.  His Spirit is here to work from us that we might bless....people.

I carry a burden and a guilt and a joy for in particular.
  • The burden is that I am convinced people don't know their own value.  From the homeless to the celebrity (and I have dealt with both a lot), there is a clear sense of self-disappointment.  I live to tell people in some way of their value.  Many have helped me through my own self-disappointment by believing in me when I felt to be a sure and lousy failure.
  • The guilt is I really, really, really love people.  Relationships snowball for so many deserve to know of their extreme value to my heart.  I live to spread this word.  However, calendar and health and family and increasing people-connections are causing me to notice I am slacking in the upkeep of most significant relationships.  This is a new zone for me and I don't like it.  All people are far too important to cause any to feel ignored.  Thus, sure guilt.
  • The joy is over-the-top awesome.  I know incredible people.  Some preach, some have small group clusters, others are business people up and down my streets.  I believe in people; not just who they are but who they will clearly become because of the large grace and huge mercy of God within them. I am proud of people.
People are so important.  The reason I feel called by God is that far too many in the church see Truth without a sense of the glory in their midst...people.  Thank you....each of you who choose to love me in the center of my burden, guilt, and joy.  You are most valuable.  You make a clear difference. 

Thank you.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


Opportunity indwells undeserved restriction.  When imposition barges into our quarters with cuffs in hand, don't flinch.  New life exists through it; not around it.  Enter bondage with the freedom God will release in due time; in perfect time.

Joseph surely is a hero to the enslaved spirit.  He motivates me nearly every day.  I try to remember the Joseph-secret; a pit is pregnant with a potential leadership role.  Yet, Joseph (just as we are inclined) didn't see it that way.

Only keep me in mind......I have done nothing that they should have put me into the dungeon (Gen. 40:14-15).  In other words, I don't deserve this frustration.

R.T. Kendall wrote, Joseph's gift of interpreting dreams needed to be matched by an equal measure of infused grace---the fruits of the Spirit---so that his anointing could function to edify everyone, not just himself.  This would be done not only by totally forgiving his brothers but by seeing how God could elevate him without Joseph having anything to do with it!  It happened when Pharaoh had a dream that no one could interpret---and the cup bearer remembered Joseph.  God has a way of finding us in the most unlikely places.  He wants to set us free from our dungeons without our pulling strings.

Surely each day brings us face to face with stress we did not create on our own.  Someone may have sold us out (as Joseph's brothers).  We may sense complete inadequacy.  The good news is that when our hands are tied and we can contribute nothing to the process, God's moves are most luxurious. 

When we think we don't deserve the frustration such just might be true.  That God can work from it without our wise contribution is the thrilling and anticipatory next step.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


There is a reason inner city works for the church.  It is the very place Jesus would be found. 

Jesus was not a tidy believer in God.  He was a faithful one.  Jesus is the heart of God with hands and feet.  He consistently drifted toward those we avoid.  The mark of the true church?

William Willimon wrote, Once upon a time, a farmer went forth to sow and did what: carefully, meticulously prepared the ground, removed all the rocks and weeds, and sowed one seed six inches from another?  No.  The farmer, without preparation, just went out and began to sling seed.  This is farming Jesus-style.

One of the characteristics that reflects Jesus in the present church system is the growing heart for touching the downtrodden and the rejected.  While I write this blog in the confines of comfort, thousands of Christians are milling through the tornadic ruins of Joplin.  Thousands of more believers are sending funds.

The church is most like Jesus when daring to cross the street into the zone of the broken, handicapped, and ignored of our society.  We view such a move with reserve.  Jesus pursued the same with abandon.

The Son was not meticulous and proper.  In reality they crucified him for seeking, reaching, and saving the wrong kind.  May we be so committed to the other side of the tracks.

Saturday, May 21, 2011


The media is giving ample coverage to those claiming that the present world as we know it comes to a halt by early evening.  Interesting speculation about the speculation abounds.  Another group countered with tomorrow's "We Are Still Here Day".

So many forecasts for the actual arrival date of Jesus' return have come and gone over the years and decades that wouldn't it be just like God to reappear on someones actual predicted date?

I don't know how these who go public with their Second Coming calculations reach such conclusions.  A note I would make is that this is yet another tactic of opposing forces to distract good people into disbelieving.  Anytime the Christian world makes bold claims which do not prove actual, the kingdom reputation takes a severe hit.

Faith surely is legit.  Too, it will carry us into the unexpected as well as the unforeseen glory of His presence.  Because man is capable of admission that there truly is the One Living God, fierce opposition is hurled our way to insert the slightest doubt.  Therefore, each of us will  be more effective believing with conviction without predicting God's timetable.

From the Word I see that we are to call all to believe in the Son as long as it is called "Today".  When he will could actually be today.  The Word would call all to be prepared for his reentry each and every day.  That is a fact worth absorbing.

Naming the arrival date would not be a call I would feel comfortable making.  Should this man-prediction today prove empty it could lead another generation of mockers to innocently assume the authentic God-call is invalid.

Friday, May 20, 2011


There seems to be a pattern among us.  It is a broken one which might need attention for we all want to correct it the best we can.  I speak of the younger wanting to be more aggressive in church advancement than the older.

I heard of a church in Mississippi that was arguing over the new idea which had arisen where the church sung without hymnals.  There was generational debate when an aged man spoke up recalling the new invention which disrupted the church when he was just a kid.  The new invention?  Songbooks.

Recognizing some old never age and some young have old ways, I speak in generalities which I think we understand.  The tendency of the older is to form ruts of tedium or even impasse.  I am now in that older age range so I do try to speak fairly as now I have lived in both; young and old. 

Here's the evident problem.  The young want to move forward and when we do we tend to want to preserve our assumed faith and wisdom when such practices may not fit the next new group.  I think we are stuck in such cycles.  The new may feel new; yet our practices are the same old ruts of the last century; arguing over change.

How shall we navigate these roads better?  For one, I don't know of any generation that has set the world ablaze by their tactics.  Yes, how I have heard the church was the fastest growing of any churches in the 60s.  Yet, something isn't right when "youth ministry" was invented in the 70s because the young were leaving the church in droves.

So what do we do?  For now I think we simply realize what might be true in these words.  I would assume I am off a bit here and there.  Such is my point.  Hasn't each generation been off a bit with its movement?  Haven't the young and the old been a bit immature while working in the greatest system on earth?  I think we have.

Perhaps such a view would help all of us a great bit.  Maybe if we could weigh, assert, consider, and yield from one point and then another, we might find the voice of God to be more coherent among us.  We recall His people fussed and jabbed once moved through one of the most miraculous moves of God; the Red Sea Escape.

Sure we could be of the same disposition; disgruntled.  Sure we could be missing the Life at the end of the promise.  Yes, all generations are capable of stumbling over one another missing the target of God's vision.

The church cycle is a human one.  It is a circular wandering in the wilderness of fear of God's call.  Thus, we feel better wandering and debating, wandering and debating.  Yet, I think it remains true.  We love it when we hit the path of the Christ.  It isn't the easiest road nor the safest.  It is always the most satisfying.  And such is the pattern of the cross.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


  1. It is important to learn to talk more of Jesus than the church.
  2. Personal defensiveness strangles necessary information.
  3. God was correct.  Every member of the body is important.
  4. As grand as the Holy Spirit is, he continues to get a bad rap in the church.
  5. No secret loosens the glory of heaven upon earth like that of a believer becoming a good giver.
  6. Dependency upon God should not be a last resort.
  7. All members do better if they sense you believe in them.
  8. Guilt is a poor excuse for motivation.
  9. When prayer is not in the context of a personal walk with God....there is no prayer.
  10. Jesus is the perfect image of God in skin.


Miracle have ceased flows from our people without serious thought.  It has been programmed into our branch of the body of Christ.  Automatic reflexes of unstudents are quick to whisk away charges of anything deemed as phenomenal by the charge, Don't you know miracles have ceased?

Strangely, this post isn't about miracles.  It is about the insensitive language we toss about which kills off what this post is 

A mistaken doctrine which holds the church at bay is that faith is a sub-standard of miracle.  Faith is surely significant; but is surely not erratic and wild as those miracle-claiming sort.  Faith is more dignified; more stable compared to pentecostal flim-flam of miraclization. 

Thus faith has become a step; one of the five.  It has become subdued.  Yes, many would agree, that faith is important, but it is admittedly tamed.


Read again Romans 4:17-25.  God can create something from nothing and give life to the dead.  He then recalls the tremendous story of Abraham and Sarah; how they were great-grandparenting age when they had their own child.  Read it again.

Tell me.  Is the word miracle used throughout this text?  Or is it the word faith

I believe the church will step into a very great and new room when it concludes faith is miraculous.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


In the 70s the front burner of debate was the authority of elders.  The church was hot over it...and many congregations split.  In the 80's the contest was over workshops.  The church was hot over it...and many congregations split.  In the 90s the revisiting of the Holy Spirit topic came into focus.  The church was hot over it...and many switched congregations one more time.  In 00's the challenge was over unity.  The church was hot over it...and many congregations split over unity.  In the 10's the issue is women's role and instrumental music.  The church is hot over it...and more on both side slip through the back door.

We have a problem, church, and it isn't any of the above.  We are reaping the weeds of a displaced doctrine which is the cure-all for every ailment; past, present, and future.  The true church has lost its love for the true God.  Our obsession with knowing Truth has betrayed us by leading us into a zone of no God; but much law.

I speak from personal awareness.  As a preaching minister I had a respect for God; but basically no relationship with Him.  Rarely would I pray.  Never would I allow Him to talk to me for our doctrine said that was out.  I believed it...gladly.  I didn't want to be one of "them".

I can't tell you when it happened.  Probably when we quit singing songs at church and began to be called to worship (I speak only of my own experience for others are surely not that way).  I noticed a gradual imagination of God's presence, involvement, and leadership.  I began to visit with Him at unofficial times...throughout the day.

It is my conviction that the church is in a bit of a quandary today for many seem to be lethargic in their participation.  Not in our classes or terribly late, there does not seem to be the attention more in the church had in years past.  Too much grace is claimed as the culprit.  I don't think so.

From reading church history, and living in it once converted, I think the church fundamentally did not possess a love-infatuated relationship with God.  Instead we had a guilt one.  Our people (me included) were motivated by guilt.  Once we refrained from our harsh tongue-lashings and warnings in public settings, the result seems to be a clear let-down.

The solution to this doctrinal challenge is that the church may need to go back to Commandment 101 and learn to dearly, frantically, perpetually LOVE GOD.  Love for Him is our motivation.  If we don't love Him we will not respond to the next command of 102; love our neighbors.  Love for Him will drive us to love others. 

The solution is not to restore guilt among us.  The answer is to check the heartbeat of the true church.  It could be it has coasted on exteriors for decades while being quite unclean for a lack of love for the Father on the inside.

Sunday, May 15, 2011


Okay.  I have an announcement to make.  You know those days when you are young and you think you will turn that corner where you finally have no need to learn any further; that you will have your purpose and understanding of it pretty much wrapped up?  You know....those times you guestimate you will have sufficient grasp of both your role and your task at hand?

Yet, whether 30s or 40s or 50s and now mid-60s, someone seems to be moving the stakes.  Whatever we seem to conquer brings with it a new level of challenge. 

I was telling one in our small group tonight about my interest in working on a vision committee at Memorial.  I was explaining that I don't have specifics in mind; that I just want to be supportive of some of the younger leaders who have a sense for the future.  But I will tell you one thing I feel strongly about.  I'm not interested in going into massive debt over whatever we might deem a godly direction. 

Her response was so wise and so simple; Yes, Terry, and that's because of our age.  We no longer want the burden of debt.  But the younger ones will be willing to tackle it just as we did when we were in our 30s and 40s. 

No kidding.

There I go again.  I'm too old to be a rookie.  Yet, I am a rookie in the sense I have never functioned in some of the zones from this age platform before.  This is why we must have the Spirit to bear the right kind of fruit at any and every age. 

There will always be challenges.  There will always be risks.  There will always be times we find our backs to the wall because such moments usher in the the beautiful rescue and response of God. 

Hmmm.  I am a rookie....still.  I will always be a rookie....and I like it for rookie means there are some things of which I am still learning.


Our work entails sensitivity to kingdom matters.  A problem with this grand call of ours is that the flesh will be happy to leap ahead of the invisibles and take charge.  We are called to live sensitive to the Spirit.

A study which continues to bless me is Experiencing God by Blackaby and King.  Oddly, I never studied the book.  A group of women at Memorial did.  Their conclusions changed Memorial; its leadership, its followship, and me.

The thrust is to abstain from fleshly ideas and then trying to get God to endorse our work.  Instead, we are to watch for God and get on board with where He is laboring.

Watching for God changes our lives...if we are operating from the flesh-mind and flesh-strength.

Saturday, May 14, 2011


Jesus was the Master of showing life while living.  Some, even today, can move about obviously breathing and interacting with others; yet not really alive.  Their calendars are alive; but spirits seem dead.

Jesus found us.  He found some at a well.  Others in a ditch.  Still others butting uninvited into a party where he was guest.  He found some of us in our search for him.

What did we find when he found us or we discovered him? 

He believed in us.  Jesus believes in us.  This is mysterious, marvelous, and magic.  Jesus believes in the "are nots" that we can "become".  The Son is sure of our goodness buried within when we can't fathom he could see anything good.

When we discover we have been discovered to be of goodness because Jesus is certain it is there, we turn the tables to begin to believe in others who don't believe in themselves.

Here's what I often find when turning the tables.  I will tell someone how good they are.  Out of humility and definitive conviction, do you know what is mostly said back to me?  Oh, you don't know the real me.

I've never met the pauper or the celebrity that I didn't know the pure real them.  They are so wretched to the core that Jesus was beaten to a public pulp for them.  That's how ungood they are.  Yet, when he cleans up he really cleans up!  Jesus set the woman at the well free.  He sets us free. 

We can turn the tables.  We have been set free to set others free.  Believe me everyone needs it.

When you wonder about your purpose in life, one of the more honorable deeds you have been called to perform is to believe the pitiful into power.  This is a gigantic task, a feasible purpose, and a most rewarding fruit. 

Turn the tables.  Believe in others when they can guess of no reason why.  You....will make a difference.

Friday, May 13, 2011


There are times we are responsible to go solo.
  1. Climb out on the proverbial limb. 
  2. Take hold of a proverbial saw. 
  3. Begin hacking.
I believe very much in the team, body, and group concepts.  Colleagues, as marriages, are powerful connections of which we flourish due to significant support gathered.  Yet, this post regards the need for individuality of a keen sense; bravery.

I speak of courage to believe alone regardless of others' stances and positions.  In the church I find the tendency to believe as a herd to be most prevalent....and quite weakening.  Run into friends at games or coffee shops and note the laughter of mutual fellowship with simultaneous oblivion to fundamental--and self-studied, self-concluded--Truth.  We tend to believe what the others believe; even if no one knows what that is or how we got there.

In 1974 I began to preach for a church of eight people in Kahoka, MO.  I carried my Bible to the pulpit each Sunday; but not before I searched the writings of men like J.W. McGarvey and R.L. Whiteside to find out what I and those in front of me believed.  (And have you ever noted the J.W., R.L., Foy E. and C.R. trend among us?) 

Honorable was my goal.  I wanted to preach the Word.  II Timothy 4:2 was appropriately our Preaching School motto.  J.W. and R.L. had a bead on Truth so I coasted with them.  While these and others are surely worthy of being read, the danger is one would conclude a J.W. and R.L. faith....which might just be lacking if Truth were really known.

I was co-dependent upon writers for I was also scared of my own conclusions.  Double the trouble because I didn't trust God with His if they didn't match J.W. and R.L.  This had to stop.

Somehow, somewhere, sometime I began to explore the Bible on my own without a cord tied to Church Fathers and Brothers.  I began to wonder about the Word itself.  The subject of the Holy Spirit quickly arose.  No one around me believed He worked.  I don't mean no one believed Him; but rather no one in my circle of preacher support, etc. had such a view.  Basically, we believed what the loudest herd believed; the Holy Spirit subsided with the miracles.  Done.  Over.  Nada.

I don't know how others found that the Holy Spirit works directly in our lives but no person or writing shared such with me.  Yet, the Word said so and would not quit saying so.  I debated for awhile with the Word and it won out.

I say pay attention to all who advise.  Sort the wheat from the chaff.  But do not underestimate the power and delight of God in you to reveal things no one has yet to discover.  Treasures---undiscovered treasures---are yet to be uncovered in the Word just as there are plentiful new discoveries coming from culture itself. 

The Word of God has been revealed; but it's revelation has not begun to be excavated.  Dig in, dig up, and dig out the most profound Truth.  J.W. and R.L. and even T.R. haven't uncovered all there is to be known from the one heavenly volume.

Thursday, May 12, 2011


Why do the strangest of things happen to me?  Weird things.  Often wonderful things.  Why?

Saturday I was returning from the Pepperdine Lectures.  It was 6:30 Saturday morning.  The word was that we better anticipate a lengthy time passing through security at LAX due to Bin Laden's surmise.  I decided to abide by the warning.  There might be trouble.

Trouble?  Oh, that was the word!

After check-point #1, I moved with the herd to remove my shoes and empty my pockets to pass through the scanner.  As I walked through the body scanner, I was facing the rollers.  My shoes and belt came through.  Shoes were back on and I was just beginning to thread my belt through two loops when booming T-R-O-U-B-L-E was shouted followed by every agent yelling out TROUBLE en mass.  It put the fear in the crowd.

There I was facing the rollers, two agents, and then the wall behind them.  Seven other lines of scanning are going on; but all are to my back.  I immediately noted they were looking at my luggage in the scanner.  Too, I started looking around to see what was happening.  Everyone had frozen from the very loud declaration.

As I turned to see if anything was happening behind me a young female agent said sharply, Mister!  Don't move! 

Ummmm....could I tell you right here that the timing of one scanning my luggage, TROUBLE being shouted, and Mister! Don't move! that I felt a bit self-conscious?  Does this appear to be a routine inspection or have I just been flushed out as an under-cover terrorist from Oklahoma? 

Now Don't move! needs further explanation, I think.  Don't move what?  Don't move your feet?  Don't move your eyes?  What?  Understandably, I had a few questions.  So I turned to see what was happening behind me.  I wanted to know if they were all ashamed of me for actually bringing tweezers in my bag.  Good grief!  I didn't mean anything by it!

So I turned without moving my feet.  In my world this is not moving...compared to running or jumping.  I could see agents everywhere while all passengers stood frozen.  I saw possibly the sheriff of the agents moving about quickly while conferring on a walkie-talkie.  Whoops....this didn't look good.  I had never been in an assassination attempt before. 

But as I swiveled (not moving my feet because she said clearly not to move), the guard upped her warning.  In deeper conviction she said, MISTER!  DO NOT MOVE!  Her eyes riveted on me; I got the message.  So there I stood, belt through two loops guided by my left hand while my right hand was 18 inches in front of me holding the end of the belt.

I stood completely immobile as I have always been a very good abider when about to be executed in front of who-knows-how-many-rifles are aimed my direction.  And I really can do instructions once they have been defined.  Don't move evidently did mean Don't move!  So I whispered softly to her....sorry, but couldn't help it....without moving my lips, Is it okay i_ I thread _y _elt(Couldn't get the"f" and the "m" and the "b" out without moving my lips)? 

At this point she had just about had it with me.  To my sympathy, I had never been uncovered in a world organization terrorist plot before, and I simply was slow at getting the picture.  So she ramped up her irritation with me in very harsh tones, M-I-S-T-E-R!  I  S-A-I-D  D-O  N-O-T  M-O-V-E! 

Okay, now I think I have it.  Don't move.  Don't move my feet.  Don't move my belt.  Don't move my lips.  This way the sharp shooter can have access to my back should he need to fire at me for bringing those tweezers.  Great....and I had just put in an offer on a great house back in Tulsa. 

So we stood.  It probably was two minutes?  Three?  It felt like forever.  Yet, because I could not seem to drain any extra information from tight-lipped Ms. Barney Fife, I stood still just waiting to be cuffed and hauled away. 

Finally a loud shout of CLEAR! rang.  Everyone started to move about.  I moved last.  I looked at the young Ms. Fife and said, What was that all about?  Shrugging she said, Oh, that was just a drill?

My life passed before me and it was just a drill? 

So here is what I have learned:
  • When going through security try to chose a line which faces all other lines in case you are told to freeze.  You can at least stare into the faces of the terrorized.
  • When told not to move you can still let your heart beat and wet your pants.
  • When someone yells TROUBLE they don't mean it really.  It is only a drill. still should stand still.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


Someone said that if Satan can't bury you in discouragement he will distract you from God with your success....something like that.

Life is a challenge, is it not?  A thing that concerns me about people is so many appear to be dead while they live.  These are just getting by.  It isn't a faith which moves them day by day; but rather a mere existence to just make it another 24 hours.

Here are some ideas which strangle life from us:
  • Uncontrollable spending
  • Hurried calendars
  • Multiple tools of communication available
  • Self-pity
Here are counter ideas for life:
  • Build a speaking-term relationship with God
  • Know Jesus
  • Believe the Holy Spirit operates directly in us
  • Grow in giving
  • Strengthen prayer time
From dealing with literally thousands over the years I make this stark observation; far too many people are too lazy and too undisciplined to really live.  My word for any who struggle....take the time to live; really live.

Monday, May 09, 2011


God gave me an insight of wisdom last week while at Pepperdine.  I can't recall how I realized this; yet I think it significant.

I speak from experience.  Depression is a treacherous, day and night killing, foe.  I've hung out in its damp caverns for years.  Not so much in the last ten.

Something hit me last week which explains it.  One depressed has a complete lack of a kingdom ingredient.  Those depressed do not praise.

This observation is not a criticism of when we are down.  Rather it is the pathway out.  Praise is our pass to keep from going to the ugliest of jails.  Praise.

Praise is relatively new to me.  Yes, I sang songs from day one of being converted.  But, I wasn't praising God.  I was doing worship right; a Capella.  Not until Hallal's worship team and then Allen French and Shane Coffman came along have I begun and grown in praise.

When one is tied up in gripping darkness of depression, praise is not voiced.  On the other hand, Paul and Silas weren't depressed.  They could have been.  I wouldn't have blamed them.  Instead, they praised God and the entire jail fell down.  When they praised God, others nearby were converted. 

I believe that if we will praise God our cell doors will fly open....Phil. 4:4-9.

How can one move from depression?  Learn to Praise God from Whom All Blessings Flow.

Sunday, May 08, 2011


As fast as we can hope, we seem to be smitten with concerns.  The church is always in a state of mobility and transition because of God's insistent call that we mature.  Maturity, by the way, is for all of us.  I don't believe we ever arrive by any specific age.

So what shall we anticipate as the need for the next few generations? 

It is my conviction that it will be the same as is for ours; learn to live the abundant life of Jesus. 

We are still learning if we are growing.  Some appear satisfied that the church pattern has been restored and/or the plan of salvation is in tact.  But many of us who also held these convictions found ourselves deeply and miserably lacking.  We knew scripture (several scriptures); yet, we knew not Jesus.

He wrecks our fat satisfaction of assumed doctrinal discovery and will not let us go on with our rote messages as if we are the only ones in our generation to have discovered the Truth.  Odd, I think, that we have simultaneously declared we had Truth completed while just getting started in learning of the Jesus of the streets.

The challenge of the future generations will be similar to our own; to avoid assuming they have come upon the very and final truth God ever wanted.  For if it, too, does not have its conversation, conversion, or salvation embedded completely into a brilliant relationship with Jesus....these will also fumble and flounder in their faith.  It will look just like ours anytime we hung our hats on any bright idea others had as to how to really follow God.

If Jesus isn't the center, the message is the wrong one.  This will be the challenge for the future generations.

Saturday, May 07, 2011


I returned a few hours ago from the Pepperdine Lectures; fatigued and elated.  This year was no different.  The event was simply a profound success. 

Jerry Rushford did that thing he does as good as any I know.  He orchestrated an exhausting combination of speakers, events, programs, and dinners.  Thousands attend.  All are blessed.  Nothing has been created to say "Thank you" well enough.  Nothing.

BTW....Jerry and I continue to laugh about how some mix our names and even mix our events.  A lady complained to me that I never put her on the program...and she thought I was Jerry Rushford.  This week, on two separate occasions, individuals referenced me as Terry Rushford.

From Chris Smith to Don McLaughlin, the keynoters were certainly on key.  God helped me with my three classes with His style of participation which left me extremely satisfied and grateful.  He did it.

Hallal is always on.  Friday night's Children's Chorus was an absolute home run.  Overall, my favorite thing is noting the age of the crowd---up there in years---who still hungers to learn from the Word.  They aren't there to seek Branson.  They find great joy in learning of the King.

On a side note I can tell I am one of those getting up there in years.  I've always struggled with the terrain; going uphill so steeply.  NEVER had it even occurred to me I would be in pain going downhill.  Calves ached going up.  Shin splints going down.  What will it be like when I turn 64?

Monday, May 02, 2011


As Inspector Clouseau might say regarding the Tulsa Preacher's Luncheons I experienced in the late 70s, They were very strenge.  If one didn't agree with the main guys at the table right down the center stripe of the church highway, such a one was in trouble.  I....was in constant trouble.

What surprised me were the times I would believe some of the things voiced as if they were true.  I knew no differently.  I just assumed these loud talkers were somewhat in the zone of accuracy.  Not.

One of the great (and positive) surprises to come my way was when I first went to the Pepperdine Lectures.  It had been repeated at these noon roasts that the above university has cast away all connections to the Bible; specifically to the Church of Christ version of the Bible.  I assumed what I heard was probably accurate.

So I went out to Malibu a few years later. 

Shocked!  Surprised and shocked!  In awe and surprised!

Jerry Rushford puts on one of the most biblically sound lectures ever.  This guy is serious about the Word.  He does have life to him which (to the grumps) would make him suspect, I guess.  But I was pleased then and am pleased yet today to experience session after session of the Bible being presented and discussed.  The speakers are serious about the kingdom of God.

I love it! 

Due to travel for several days, I will only get back to this blog when back home.  In the meantime, keep up the good work of loving the thoughts of kingdom progress.  It is happening!