Thursday, June 30, 2011


One of the most exciting concepts to be known is that one person can change the world.  For good or bad, it has been repeatedly accomplished.  We have experienced such mentorship for good from various dimensions; seminars, classes, small groups, videos, etc.  You and I possess such a capacity to make a positive impact.  Our problem is too many of us believe we are the ones who drew the short straws and, therefore, could not make a dent in this needy society. 

Think again.

One can make a difference because of the One.  Given our meager size and slighted intelligence, we must believe our way into effectiveness.  Faith is the major key.  By oneself, why bother?  But we are different.  We are to place ourselves within the frameworking of Jesus' body.  We are not loners in a big work.  We are connected to ligaments and tendons of the entire body of Jesus. 

The body, by the way, is that one established after his resurrection.  We are connected to all who are in him, regardless of race or creed, from the earliest death of the first believer to be extended to our connection with the body of believers in the years 2048 and 3511 should the Lord tarry.  We make a difference because we link up with the power of Christ as he continues to roam the earth within us....all of us. 

Therefore, one person can make a difference by placing ourselves onto the path of God's timing and empowerment.  By the time God connects our efforts to other ligaments of other regions and other generations, wow!  Do you think the apostles Peter and Paul, Billys Sunday and Graham, Madame Guyon, Henri Nouwen, Beth Moore, R.T. Kendall, and Max Lucado could have imagined the stretch of God in their localized efforts?  The range in which we work is literally eternal---never because of us---but by of our ever-growing faith in the Spirit of Jesus.

Today I am launching another ministry from the shoreline of faith.  It comes about because of the enormous amount of faithful influence I have received from believers of asundry sorts and brands.  God has used them all to help me set into motion a new work which is an old idea.

See in 3E begins today.  I have prayed for two years that I could have the funds to buy tools (books and tapes) which would equip preachers.  Tuesday a young couple handed me a check for $1000 to begin this dream of sending such surprise gifts.  Won't they be enthused? 

Whether young and green or weary and lonely, preachers need to know that they are still valuable.  Too many quit.  Others fumble because they are off in a small place and are fed little to guide them with faith and vision.

See in 3E will boost such laborers with much needed Encourage, Energize, and Empower equipment.  I will buy materials which have given me timely insights and pass them along to a list of servants.  In the process I will ask these recipients to imagine ways to help their colleagues See in 3E.  None of this is novel.  It is just another way to accomplish Jesus' style on earth and it is perpetually needed.

I draw in the readers of this blog.  If you would ever have interest in assisting the See in 3E mission of cheering preachers on, email me at with:
  1. Names and addresses of ministers you would like to be blessed by See in 3E.  I will reach as many as I can with the funds God gives.
  2. If you would want you may send funds made out to the Memorial Drive Church of Christ to support this work.  I will need such for books, tapes, and postage.
  3. Comments as to how this blog gives you an idea as to how you will start your own See in 3E ministry.  I want to know. 
I fully expect men and women of all Christian brands to become of a part of See in 3E to the extent that within 24 hours this idea will have exceeded the range of reportability.  It will explode.


Tuesday, June 28, 2011


While I have already written a blog for today's group, I toss this one out to preachers because you are continually on my heart.

I know discouragement.  I know encouragement.  Both are necessarily signficicant in the grand scheme of Jesus-ness.  So allow me to give you a bit of elderly advice.  Keep growing forward.

From experience, I believe the biggest problem among us is the man in the pulpit.  It is us, guys!  And when we get a glimpse of who we really are and how very lacking we really are, at that moment we begin to become the biggest solution in the brotherhood.

It isn't that the church doesn't want to grow.  It is in need of someone like us to help them endure our uglies that we might latch onto His beauties.  We can do it because He has done it for us.

I know your ache.  It is severe; at times hardly bearable.  But ache and injury should be viewed as God's discipline for each of us to grow on.  We are not going to get our way with many of our "brilliant ideas" for a reason; God is growing us into a better/maturer world of service. 

It is essential that we struggle; that we not get our way.  Ministry isn't easy.  It is fun and delightful and brutal.  Isn't that what we signed up for?  Meaningful life following the Son? 

So don't give up.  Don't get down on the church for they are merely mocking our attitudes.  Scowl at them and they cannot help but scowl back.  Build them up in the faith and they will walk faithful steps.  Admittedly the church is tough terrain. 

We are robbing Satan one trophy (soul) at a time.  Therefore you have a huge target on your heart.  Stick it out.  Don't quit. 

When you think you can't take it anymore, think again.  You can. will.  We will together.  Agreed?

Monday, June 27, 2011


New comes along every day.  Technology advances.  Educational formats shift.  Medical approaches improve.  Safety standards change.  Why, therefore, do we insist on making the church today function the way it did in the last century and call it the first century church? 

New is an old tradition to God.  He is not static.  We are set free.  One of His most meaningful calls in my opinion is to believe He can trump our greatest imaginative efforts.  All of this says to me that we are to continue the kingdom process of doing church better.

None of this is to say that nothing good is being done for it most certainly is.  Neither is it to say that we are to wind down our many stronger and stable traits.  It is to say that the creativity of God is still flowing as strongly as ever and we are obligated to explore the faith region in order to strike His gold.

Note the constant needs you see in your community and then imagine ways He might work.  I think we are poised by faith to make significant advancement for today.  And then?  What's next for tomorrow?

Sunday, June 26, 2011


Today is yet another wonderful day where God will hear from His people regarding our immense love for Him.  At least such is our claim.  And....such will be the case from millions of hearts from sea to shining sea.

Sometimes I find myself slipping from worshipping the invisible true God to personally enamoured with the physical about our assemblies; the sound to my ears, the smile upon the faces, and greeting the many friends now known as my brothers and sisters. 

This is why the Golden Calf dilemma is so subtle.  We are to assemble to build one another up.  To miss this call would be violation of a serious New Testament charge.  Subtlety is the issue. 

We must be on our toes to see that the Father is worshipped, that the Son is remembered, and the Holy Spirit is acknowledged as in our midst.  We cannot insult the Them by gathering primarily to get, to receive, or to obtain. 

Rather, we are gathering world wide to say to Them, We adore You and praise You and thank You and worship You!  We cannot take one step without You?  Thank You for all you have done and for all that You are going to do!

We do not gather today because we like our specific congregation first and foremost.  No.  Instead, we first assemble to send a loud and clear message to His throne room.....We are wild about You!  And Lord, it thrills our hearts to know this relationship began because You were wild about us first!

Friday, June 24, 2011


Dear Child,

As your mother I want you to know that I am very proud of you.  I want to tell you about the workings of father.  He lives here in the house with us.  You are free to ask him questions; but he will not respond directly.  He has left a series of love letters on your night stand.  Skim over those in search of the answers you need....and do know he doesn't mind if you ask him...but he has already written down everything you will ever need to know.

Don't let this confuse you.  It isn't that your father isn't interested.  He has simply finished his work.  We are on our own now.  Yes, he is here but our relationship with him is in reading the instructions he left on the nightstand. 

Should you need his wisdom you are free to ask for it.  Just remember the answers are on the night stand.  His works have ceased.  Your father will no longer respond directly.  Any who believe that they have a direct relationship with their fathers are liberals who live on a slippery slope of error and....well, we all know it's just wrong.  Our family doesn't believe in father-child interaction. 

If your friends say they have a closer relationship with their fathers, you just hold your ground.  You have letters on your night stand.  These guide us now.  We don't need more emotionalism and a childish imagination.  We have those letters.  Once he completed his work on those letters that's all we will ever need. 

When you don't know what to do with your life or when you hit a wind of controversy, read the letters on the night stand.  Your father left them for you.  He will not address you any other way for those days have ceased.  He is done communicating.....he loves you but left the letters for you to figure the tough stuff out.   

Good luck,


This post is for co-bloggers.  I am sensitive to those who write and at the bottom it reads "0 comments".  How should we interpret no public responses?  Do not be discouraged.  Nothing planted for God is done in vain.

We must not interpret by comparison; but rather by faith.  If we compare ourselves to others, God assures us we don't understand (II Cor. 10:12).  One cannot note the many comments to Mike Cope's blog and conclude that mine/ours is of little value.  Not the case. 

I approach this blog the way I do evangelism....I simply sow seed and water.  I assume God is faithful to His revelation that He alone will cause whatever increase He would generate from my/our very meager efforts.  I believe hundreds are reading this blog everyday.  The counter says so.  Yet, to receive three comments is a strong showing....of responses. 

Am I to feel bummed because less than 3% take the time to leave a note?  Not at all.  I am to be delighted as I feel sure God used these words to build someone at an office desk whom I have never met or another just before heading for the ironing board who felt energized because of God's perfect synchronization.  From Utah to Germany, good people are reading our blogs.  Hurraaaay!

So you...when you not sense that "0 comments" mean you are not making a healthy dent in darkness.  You make a difference because of your Spirit connection which changes the world.  By the time we combine our efforts, darkness has suffered another day's sting. 

Good for you.  You can share your God-loving heart with the world with the assurance someone(s) who may never respond to your post has been unusually and perfectly blessed by God's merciful timing.

Thursday, June 23, 2011


God comes through.  He has a delivery service.  His grace and mercy overflow in liberal provisionary supply.  We love to watch Him work.  The challenge for us seems to be in waiting for Him to happen.

My direction is for you when you feel inwardly vacant and wonder where God has been in the past few days.  I have those.  I talk to Him and myself about it, too.  I don't feel comfortable when days line up with my own actions reportable; but nothing from the unexplainable and mysterious God.

I periodically pray for God to do something that can't be explained.  I tell Him I want to see Him do those things out of nothing (Rom. 4:17) that can only be attributed to His glory and grace.  The waiting is the task at hand....waiting and noting whether I believe Him while I am waiting.  I try to.  I had a breakthrough in the past few days and I share this with you to build your confidence in God where you roam. 

At Memorial our missions team allotted me funds for the Cardinal baseball camp in January minus $2000.  My job was to raise this much money.  I am a lousy fund raiser for myself.  Others?  Yes.  For me?  Not so much.

So I would tell God about it.  I would thank Him for taking care of something I knew little about.  Weeks later I would thank Him again.

Saturday I received a birthday card from a couple in OKC.  Included was a check for $1000 for my ministry.  I applied it to the Cardinal camp and shot off an email declaring what a relief this was.  I explained to them why.

Yesterday I received another email from them saying they were so happy to know where I was putting the $1000 that they will cover the other $1000.  This is one of those deals where I can hardly believe what I believed!  He is able beyond my imagination.

Isn't that an awesome place to be?  Isn't it just fascinating that we can go out on a faith-limb and discover He really is there?  So, I encourage you to do well in the waiting room for God is arranging the resources.  We are us.  We love the mountain top experiences.  Our job is to remember them when we are in the valleys waiting. 

You have and will encounter God's hand, too.  Maybe you, too, will hardly be able to believe what you believed.  Isn't that a wonderful way to live?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


William Willimon's insightful books speak wonder and awe to my heart.  I deem him brilliant because he can transmit his genius into my simplicity.  He speaks in depth and I understand in shallowvocity.  I share with you a mere portion of his writings.

Superfluity is a big problem for my church family, mainline Protestantism.  At best we are little more than "ambulances on the battlefield of life."  At worst we are a rather sanctimonious self-help society, a Rotary club, meeting on Sundays at eleven.....

.....I contend that, through evangelism, through repeated confrontation with the intrusive grace of God, the church can be born again.  By letting God use us in God's never-ending pursuit of the unbaptized, the baptized can rediscover what it means for us to be the church, that unlikely gathering of those who are called to sign, signal, and witness to the graciousness of God in a world dying for lack of salvation.....

.....the good news of Jesus is so odd that we never get so good at hearing it and living on the basis of it that we don't need to hear it again.

When we remain evangelistic the church is in a perpetual state of rebirth.  When not, the church quickly slips into a deep rut of judgmentalistic non-productivity.  Churches that reach the lost are the churches Jesus is building.  To be otherwise would be to function as trees with big leaves and no fruit.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


How is it that fullness of life is all around us; yet its wonderful roar seems illusive for some?  Why is it we struggle at times to drink from its fountains?  Rather, too many merely sip from a slight trickle.

John Eldredge is a major voice championing meaningful life.  Regarding man's theology he declared, We have dissected God, and man, and the gospel, and we have thousands, if not millions, of facts---all of it quite dead.  It's not that these insights aren't true; it's that they no longer speak.  I could tell you a few facts about God, for example.  He is omniscient, omnipotent, and immutable.  There---do you feel closer to him?  All our statements about God forget that he is a person....We must return to the Scriptures for the story that it is and stop approaching it as if it is an encyclopedia, looking for "tips and techniques".

We must watch our steps for loading up on God-facts can deaden the heart should relationship with Him have been redirected down a path of reciting scripture.  If we know the deadening of life while we try to live, why not rather learn the living of life while we connect to Him personally in heart...Jn. 5:39-42?

Monday, June 20, 2011


I know the thought-line that we are what our hearts imagine; as a man thinketh in his heart so is he.  I raise the question, From where do we believe that thinking came? 

I love my life in the church.  It hasn't always been a walk through the garden of beauty.  There were days of pulling necessary stumps---yes in others---mainly in me.  Throughout some lengthy days (like two decades) people believed in me.  I fed from their faith for mine was notoriously puny.

First, four of Memorial's elders believed in me when I was a scared, defensive, and immature man.  Later elders Harriel and Darrel applied confidence my direction.  Today all four of our guys draw out of me what I don't possess on my own; God's grace.

Believing in others is an intentional move of the Spirit.  Jesus was perpetually operating from the base of faith.  Yes, we are each lousy beyond report.  When the faithful love us and believe in us we actually find an arena in which we can grow and bloom.

I believe in our staff.....and they know it!  I believe in this congregation....and I tell them so! 

What I am telling you is a magic twist of kingdom life.  When any fail, direction and correction may be necessary at times.  All of the time, though, expression of belief in a colleague will see kingdom fruit develop. 

Personally, I think offering faith in one another is one of the best weed killers on the market.  As a man thinketh will largely be found in the mix of what others thinketh about them.  Why else would God call us to watch our words that they might give grace to those who hear in time of need?

Sunday, June 19, 2011


Before You Go just hit the Kindle waves on  It is written by my good friend Wade Hodges.  It is a winner.

Before You Go specifically addresses preachers and ministers planning to make a move to another congregation.  Wade's insights are from that fairly secret kingdom launching pad of perplexity and disappointment.  There is little so valuable as resurrecting from a bad scene(s).   Wade has done it.

Before You Go is packed with the right questions to be asked of yourself and of the congregational leadership doing the interviewing.  While Wade's work is highly helpful to those planning to move, substantial assistance awaits those who are on the other end; the search committee.

To move because a preacher needs to get out of Dodge isn't necessarily a God-moment.  I believe Wade has pegged a hang-nail problem of the church; preachers and churches who don't match. 

Take a look.  I believe Before You Go ought to be required reading....if you want to read it of course.

Saturday, June 18, 2011


Mapologists knew all about terrain limits until Columbus added a significant fact in 1492.  Thomas Edison hit upon a few things in his life that continues to bless all who visit my house.  Henry Ford surely impacted travel as well as Mr. Internet changed communication.

Who reading now would assume discovery has ceased, inventions are things of the past, and the Patent Office just as well close?  No one!

This is precisely how it is in the reading of God's love letter.  Discovery has been intense and truths yet to be unheavened (unearthed?) is immense.  We have just begun.  I pray to God often that He will teach me from His Word things no one has yet taught me or ideas no one has yet found. 

Two things are true about my potential in Him: (1) others have knowledge I haven't yet had the privilege of learning which will always be the case, and (2) God has things for us to know that no one has unheavened which will always be the case.

In some areas we may have lost our learning senses by rehearsing and rerehearsing the few things we know which have developed brain callouses.  We are not as sensitive to His well of Living Word which continually springs forth new life.

I encourage you to pray for discovery; what does He have for us that no one has found so far?  After praying I urge you to expect discovery.  God is not wearily out of ideas.  We haven't touched the hem of garment's life.

When I pray in this fashion I am tempted to do so cluelessly.  I couldn't fathom what He might say.  And, I do wonder if anything is left He would share.  Yet when we move forward expecting response, it is such a joy to realize He's still with us.

Ask.  Seek.  Knock.  There are enormous doors of information yet to be opened.

Friday, June 17, 2011


If you see the messes others make, praise God for the great big stuff....that your eyes can see.

If you overhear discouraging words, praise God for the great big stuff....your ears still hear.

If you pinch your hand in the cabinet door, praise God for the great big can still feel pain...lepers can't.

If your boss is, again today, grumpy and impossible, praise God for the great big are evidently employed.

If you are sick and tired of picking up after your spouse, praise God for the great big stuff...your back and knees and hands and arms still function.

If you are bored, thank God for the great big have a mind sharp enough it waits for a challenge.

Don't miss the glory of now because you veer onto a side road of complaint as well as indifference.  But if you do...thank God for the great big stuff that you remain young enough to return to the road of God's great big stuff.

Thursday, June 16, 2011


Evangelism for some may have become sterile.  Not only is such a non-effort, it could be that it is a non-thought.  I understand it because I could not pull the outreach trigger for several years in ministry.  This left me both unproductive along with being saddled with guilt.  I was the preacher; the evangelist who couldn't do the main job.

I have become aware of something about Jesus which might just open the heart-doors for a few among us.  Not all would claim the concept as theirs.  For those who might, I toss out this avenue as yet another way to place some among us onto the mission path of winning souls.

I wonder if maybe we have some courageous soldiers who cannot find motivation or satisfaction in our present systemic approach.  Could it be possible that for these servants, who have yet to find a place of deployment, we have cleaned up the church's approach to a devious and dirty world?  Have we polished the Son of God without letting his true nature fly?  Has the "go" of His commission been diluted to "sit n be safe"?  Have we moved too far from aggressive outreach to subdued "contribution" toward? 

I wish not to sound like nothing is being done...for it is.  But I merely wish to jar some from possible crustification of unimagination. 

Jesus wasn't "in their face" but he was surely aggressive in his approach to humanity.  He was clearly after their heart.  The bottom line is that I wonder if Jesus is more rogue than we realize.  We would tend to veer from such an image and make his work among us more....conventional?  We would do so to make the most important and necessary work on earth....respectable?

What did Jesus do?  Among his many tactics He trained rebels.  The Son did not talk men into going to church; but rather to get the church to move out in protest that the deeds of darkness might be defied.  He built a sub-organization of misfits and losers groomed to infiltrate existing systems.  Jesus pirated world religions and hi-jacked (Saul of Tarsus being one) important people who were on their, otherwise, merry and persecutory ways.

Currently we have many evangelism tactics that are effective.  Creative missionaries and more creative business men and women offer us variety of outreach opportunities.  All, who think souls, have latched on to one or more ideas and ran with them.  We celebrate conversions in the church every day.  This is to be acknowledged as well as applauded.

Yet, I wonder about another pocket of believers who haven't been stirred by conventional calling.  I wonder what we could do to train rebels.  Would this have much greater appeal to some of our own who have a hunger to do something major; yet can't find it in our existing order?  What could we do if we trained our young to rebel in a form that would be God-accepted and God-endorsed?

What could we do to begin infiltrating the current internet/technology drift?  Would you know of a pattern any are using to spread the Word through the magic of Facebook?  Twitter?  Email?

Surely new tech components are coming to our present world.  I urge the creative among us as to ways to infiltrate these approaching newbies.  And what's next?  Grok?  sYnc?  (I just created the terms.)  Just as Facebook and Twitter were recently created more new concepts and names are surely coming.  And when they do, will we have minds to imagine their use for kingdom life?

Evangelism.  Keep your eyes open to the riches and the power and the glory that all might be transformed into a tool for kingdom expansion.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


Did Jesus really arise from the dead?  Is such factual and actual?  Or, is it just one more hokey idea man's idle mind has developed over time.

How did the disciples transition from cowardly doubt to bold proclamation that Jesus had come back from the tomb?  They experienced him.  It wasn't that they saw the empty grave and declared their faith.  He appeared to them.....and then their belief molecules began to kick in!

How is the modern neighborhood to know that Jesus has arisen?  They are to see his body in living  The church's existence declares he is back.  We are his physical presence.  We don't represent him.  We are him.

When one ponders the incredible stupidity the church has displayed over the centuries (our failures, flaws, and misgivings) shouldn't the church have disappeared by now?  It hasn't because it is the body of Christ...which will both endure and survive time.

Jesus not only was back; he is back!  See the church?  See Jesus.  He is here.  How do you explain the church's perpetual existence.  We are Jesus in the flesh.  The persecution of others plus the errors of our own failures cannot bring this body to an end.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


How do you handle those who have self-assigned their task to freely offer constant correction of your work?  Such persons are out there.  When they get our goats, it is time to reverse the tactic.  Rather than beginning to boil, go to school.  Learn from the encounter(s).

This was extremely hard for me in the beginning.  I didn't like it.  Opening a brotherhood paper and reading false accusations were of utmost disturbance.  I fought back.  And...then I began to learn.

One who lives to persecute thrives on our responses.  It makes their day.  I determined to cease to contribute to "their day". 

Some have chipped at me while others hammered.  This really caught me off guard.  I assumed this stuff was over back in Jesus' day.  Now I realize this is also Jesus' day.  He wasn't fooling when he said we would catch it for standing with him.  We get into big trouble. 

There are two kinds of trouble; the kind we get when we do dumb stuff and the kind we receive when standing as Jesus among the flock.  The latter will happen to every church leader.  We will perpetually wrestle with whether to respond or keep quiet. 

And then we see Jesus.  Sometimes he would give strong rebuke.  Other times he kept his mouth shut and was led to the slaughter.  In Jesus we see an open or shut case. 

How do we know which way is the correct response in our situations?  Both are possibilities.  One is best for the moment.  May he lead us to determine the one for today's challenge.

I will give response as long as I think the inquirer is sincere.  When I sense it is otherwise, I don't have any desire to engage in such frivolity.

Monday, June 13, 2011


I continue to learn.  Learning is good.  Patience is required. 

God seems bent on really wanting His children to be equipped with this trait of a patient walk.  Surely we realize the significance of its importance when noting such is a cluster of the Holy Spirit fruit.  Anytime anything is listed in the Spirit fruit category it can be assured we lack such a kingdom vitamin in our fleshly nature.

God has changed my world.  Relax would be the new frame.  Edgy and sensitive, I've been difficult to endure for my ideas were all grand....I assumed.  After all, I thought of them.  In a way I have been such a blessing to my colleagues for I have challenged them to see just how patient they could be.

Yet, I am learning that I really need to pay attention to life for God has messages for me all over His refrigerator doors as well as the cupboard doors.  He has things just for me.

I just came from our Monday morning (6:30 a.m.) meeting with staff and elders.  What a rich place.  Some weeks I make notes on a pad.  Other weeks, I make them in my mind.  Nearly every week I learn.  I go in expecting God to speak to me about His varying areas of kingdom work.

I am discovering an oil well of life in simply paying attention.  I am learning things at age 63 that I didn't realize had gone unlearned.  This isn't discouraging; but the opposite.  God is faithful to His plea that we will be renewed day by day.

I charge you to note the oil wells in your field.  Be free to be aggressive in advancing the kingdom.  Enjoy the plot to expand its borders.  Never grow to the age you miss the value of patience.  It surely is an oil well among us.  If you are like me you tend to let it go untapped.

Saturday, June 11, 2011


Philip Yancey recently shot me an email saying I might enjoy Ancestors by William Maxwell for it has much to say about the Church of Christ history in America.  I love the story of the Restoration Movement.  So I ordered the book immediately.

The hoops of denominational interaction and strain fascinate me as leaders determine to jump or not to jump.  We live there today, do we not?

When I came over the horizon in the storyline of Thomas Campbell carefully training his son, Alexander, a joy washed over my heart.  The comments took me back to living next door to our church building.  When Dusty and Tim were in grade school I would walk with them (I walked.  They skipped.) over to the auditorium.  I worked with them on public speaking.

We would go over content and delivery.  Content included (1) read the text, (2) explain the text, and (3) give an illustration to provide a window for us to see how the text would look in our walk.  Delivery included speaking up while looking at the audience in the eyes. 

The boys would take their turns.  I would sit on the front pew.  The task was never difficult.  The instruction was simple and they pulled it off.  Over the years God has groomed them to be much more than I could have trained.  I was simply one of God's ingredients of their development.

Today Dusty moves into their new house in Atlanta.  Tomorrow he and his family begin a new life as he is the new preacher at the Campus Church of Christ in Atlanta.  Tim returns today to Kim and the kids in Guadalajara.  He has been on a retreat with other missionaries in the land of Mexico at a retreat a distance away.

When I had my kids at home, I enjoyed them and would comment to myself how much I enjoyed "today".  Wendy, now a church secretary at another church in Atlanta, was just as delightful.  Much of her training came through crises.  Today she shines....they all shine.

Flashback......the post-rejoicing over previous walks which seemed to be a matter of routine; wonderful and privileged routine.

Friday, June 10, 2011


Persecution is eminent.  Jesus insisted it is to be a part of a believer's walk.  Look at the prophets before him.  Look at the disciples who followed him.  Look at him.  And yet, somehow we believe we are of different dissent?  Somehow we will be able to follow Jesus with no hair singed?  I don't think it possible.

Rough days are a vital part of the Christian doctrine.  They are not to be present due to our own silliness or un-God-like maneuvers.  If we are committed followers, however, trouble more than lurks.  It will show.  Peter warns against being surprised by it.  It goes with the program.

Young leaders must learn this truth; you cannot please everybody.  Pleasing others is surely in our best interests.......but it won't work.  Stop trying.  To heed this call does not permit any of us to run over others by bullying.  Rather it calls you when bullied to eliminate the urge to run.  Stay put.  People are going to hurt you.  Because of the One you follow, you have it coming.

William Willimon asks why is it that those who seem to be the staunchest persecutors seem to also be the ones who know the most scriptures.  Strange, huh?  Yet such is often the case.  The meanest can be the best Bible quoters. 

Don't be surprised.  And don't quit because of pain.  Don't fret it or sweat it.  It is a part of your job description.  Accept it.  Die...die for others that they may come to life.  You'll find the greatest fulfillment.

Thursday, June 09, 2011


Everyone we can think of is within our reach...everyone.  We must not short-sheet our capabilities to reach in all directions of the social scale.  Whether pauper or prince, we have the skill to launch a good evangelistic effort.

I encourage you to notice anyone who concerns you.  Note those who do noble work and others who are injured and still others who celebrate accomplishment.  Plant seed in all....the seed of the kingdom.  Write notes to the famous.  Buy coffee for the homeless.  Carry on a conversation with the attendant.  Plant.  Plant.  Plant.

The majority of those we cheer for whatever reason will be blessed.  I can't say all; but I believe the most will be.  And, I believe God uses our labors to bear fruit in His style.  I noted an amazing work of a famous Christian this week...whom I've never met.  I so loved his work I emailed him because I knew he was a person who could use the encouragement.  He emailed back the same day....with gratitude.

Everyone is in our scope.  Every President.  Every King.  Every CEO.  Every business person.  Every convict.  Every fearful, ailing, struggling individual.  We have hope to offer all.

I encourage you to keep opening your eyes to His power and riches and glory that is ours...Eph. 1:18ff.  Don't just be enamoured with some and compassionate for others.  Awaken to the fact that every person inhaling and exhaling are in need of connection to someone who is grateful for them. 

We know the Life.  We've met the Truth.  We've linked with the Way.  Rich or poor, haughty or humble, it matters not what the character of the target is.  All need to know someone cares.  Do not assume you are not capable of reaching them.  You are. it.  Long range and short range; take aim.


The direct operation of the Holy Spirit ceased when the Bible was completed was one warning after another in preaching school.  Today (1972) only 5% of our brotherhood has gone liberal by saying the Holy Spirit works directly in their lives.  Don't go liberal.  I joined in on the adamant vow....gladly.

Yet, I ran into a problem. 

In my very earliest years, after hearing one smug anti-Spirit statement after another from our preaching colleagues, I read from the Bible where the Holy Spirit works directly in our lives.  My first thought was the Bible had made a mistake.  It didn't take long to realize between the Bible and my mind there was not contest as to which would be the final authority.

After 25 years of trying to link to the Truth regarding the Holy Spirit, I am more convinced than ever that one of the church's most ignorant and costly blunders is the denial of the direct operation of the Holy Spirit upon modern believers.  We were wrong.

The Trinity is composed of God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  They are so tight in their essence and existence that they cannot be separated.  Even the Word speaks of the Spirit of Christ and the Spirit of God.  They are One and we are called to have intimate relationship with all three.

Those who oppose the Spirit's involvement do so more out of safety than study.  I have paid a price for believing Him to be true.  How can I do otherwise?  Good friends mock and egoists rant against me.  Yet, the Word clearly reveals.  The Holy Spirit is our adequacy (II Cor. 3:4-5), and inward strength (Eph. 3:14ff) and hope (Romans 5:1-5). 

While I have been branded as a false teacher, the Word won't let me leave this conviction.  Gratefully, such a faith increases as I read the Word and read materials about Jesus.  To work in the church without the Spirit is to be left to our corporate steam and ingenuity.  Both will offer flashes of success; but endurance will not reside. 

Without the Holy Spirit of God working among us we only have self-effort fruit to offer.  Eventually such rots.  Denying the Holy Spirit is a popular stance among many of our people.  It even gets invitations to be a guest speaker at places.  But it is more than a blunder to deny Him.  It is a dishonest and costly sham.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011


I am obsessed with a mission to encourage the world.  It isn't a plan; but rather an inner drive.  It must be done.


I encounter two things in life that I don't like.  I dont' like them at all. 
  1. Far too many pass from day to day clueless as to their honest value.  Some are fiercely humble while others are valiantly selfish.  Few realize how truly amazing they really are.  Thus they live a life dumbed down.  Oblivion of their goodness is their state of mind. 
  2. Only at one's death do massive praises freely flow.  I resent that for us.  Why can't we lavish one another while ears can still hear?  A part of the existing oblivion of part 1 above is that lips are fundamentally mute of approval while co-existing while both are alive. 
Society is brazen when it comes to complaint and cowardly when it comes to initiating applause.  We are not too busy.  We are too afraid.  Yet, the world around us is sinking because so few voices arise to proclaim the spectacularicity of common man. 

I am on a mission every day to inform each of our staff of something I like about them.  Why?  Because I really believe each has adequate input from others and self that condemns.  So far no one has told me to stop it.

So you out there.  Saddle the horse.  Mount up.  Send cards, make calls, speak life into people.  We all need it.  Whether strangers or close friends, people are wondering if you notice anything good about them. 

Spectacularicity abounds from waiter(ress), cashier, neighbor, and brother.  Figure some way to say so.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011


Our world needs help.  It needs to know where and when and how it is doing well.  People need to know people love them.

It is our dark nature to be bold about expressing our dislikes.  There would be some who have never once had the courage to speak to a neighbor or relative about the Lamb of God who can be quick to pull an elder aside.  You know the type.

So let's establish Grump Reversal Day.  This would be a day where we would catch others doing well and pull them aside to give them a piece of our grateful mind.  Wouldn't life go better if someone told us more about the good we are doing than snapping irresponsibly at the failures we are?  Of course.

I'm not proposing a life of denial where we never face our failures.  I'm saying that Grump Reversal Day just might impose such confidence in one another that we might not experience nearly as many failures. 

Now there's a thought.  Order some t-shirts now!  Put up the banners!  Grump Reversal Day....did I remember to say that it is to be a daily holiday?

What thinketh ye?

Monday, June 06, 2011


I have learned a unique lesson the hard way.  Waiting is for God's servants.  To the ambitious and the go-getters such a term seems wimpy; even faithless.  It takes active faith to wait.

God's promise to Adam and Eve took centuries to fulfill.  Upon his resurrection the church was begun on the command to go to Jerusalem and wait.  Wait is a God-word for forward movement.  If not understood one will likely conclude waiting rather means no action.

There is spiritual activity in waiting.  Henri Nouwen advises with these comments; Waiting is never a movement from nothing to something.  It is always a movement from something to something more.....Those who are waiting are waiting very actively.  They know that what they are waiting for is growing from the ground on which they are standing.  Right here is a secret for us about waiting.  If we wait in the conviction that a seed has been planted and that something has already begun, it changes the way we wait.

Such stillness is an activity which allows one to be present in the moment.  Waiting does not find us on hold.  It does let the circumstances and elements God is arranging to come into maturity for the Ah-ha! and the Wow! of the moment. 

To wait does not mean to withdraw.  Rather it means to engage in the directives of God.  And just as the disciples obeyed the Wait command of Jesus only to see the church explode upon the scene, we can be assured God knows how to put the pop into our labors of love.

Sunday, June 05, 2011


So the question is, If eternal life is to be experienced now, what does that mean? 

Jesus is life and life abundantly.  Eternal life is to be alive in Jesus in the moment and all moments forward.  Eternal means always.  We are to recognized we are always alive...always. 

Eternal life is a new life-system from above....James 3:13-18. There is nothing like it.  No other system on earth can come close to matching the one sent in by God.  None.

To align to the movement of eternal life is to step from the mood swings and negative innuendos that temporary life crams down our throats.  Nothing negative including death can keep us.  We will break out and through because we possess a life which cannot and will not bow to deepest darkness.  Eternal life always hopes with good cause; Jesus arose.

Eternal life makes and keeps promises.  Those commitments from God are always a yes in the Spirit...II Cor. 1:18-20.  This is why Paul was not stumped in poverty nor in riches...Phil. 4:11. 

The reason we must not hit the pause button on eternal life is there is not a second choice worth holding.  We are designed by the Maker to live a full life; never to be talked out of risk and promise and possibility.  Due to the cross, we can do all things. 

Tightly locked jail cells will not persuade us that we should not sing...Acts 16:22-26!

Saturday, June 04, 2011


Play.  Pause.  Or stop.

These three significant buttons allow a video to proceed or hold up a sec or to quit; dependent upon the desire of the viewer.  The pause button puts everything on hold.

A very subtle pause button has happened to our walk.  Without realizing it, we have been taught (and passed along the belief) that eternity begins at the resurrection from the cemetery.  Not true.  Eternity is now.  Of course, reference to future eternal life is neither inaccurate nor illegal.  Future, though, is not the only owner of the term eternal.  Eternal life is possessed now.....and forevermore.

so that whoever believes will in Him have eternal life.  Jn. 3:15

Fight the good fight of faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called, and you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.  I Tim. 6:12

Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer; and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.  I Jn. 3:15

And the testimony is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.  I Jn. 5:11

[ This Is Written That You May Know ] These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.  I Jn. 5:13

And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding so that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life. I Jn. 5:20

If we proceed in life assuming eternal life is only futuristic, we surely have put enthusiastic routine and energetic daily living on hold; going nowhere but disillusionment and frustration.  We may be trying to live with our pause button engaged.

Friday, June 03, 2011


Humanity has a deep hunger for the Spirit of God.  Signs galore show up.  Discontent is a spirit issue.  Circumstances are not problems to the spirit.  We truly can learn to be content in each of them.  Henri Nouwen pointed out we have great need to unmask our many self-deceptive games.  Our first task is to dispel this vague, murky feeling of discontent and to look critically at how we are living our lives.

Nouwen points to two major players in the deceptive discontent game; filled and unfulfilled.  Filled references our busy calendars and unfulfilled reflects our driving nature to live up to the expectation of others.  Both fatigue the heart while stirring the discontent pot to a full boil.

I learned to unpack the discontent of a filled schedule.  I learned it from one person.  He is the only one who taught me such strategy.  No one else approached the subject in a helpful manner.  His name?  Jesus. 

I was watching him one day deal with the lame, sick, blind, and neglected.  Abruptly he walked away from a crowd which had stood in the noon-day heat just to get their chance to meet and greet.  He walked away without explanation.  He was done.  It wasn't that he didn't care.  He appeared spent.

My insecurity balked at this.  A filled calendar was good for my needy ego.  I was in demand.  I was also becoming irritated with the very ones I was to love.  I overheard Jesus give lofty advice one day and I took it.  Friend, let your yes be yes and you no be no.  To break the bondage of self-deception one must let go of what we think other people will think.

Understandably, the discontent of a filled schedule insists, then, that we are unfulfilled for we are not engaged in the things which matter most to our hearts.  We are playing church, playing Good Samaritan, and playing life.  It's all a drama on a stage in front of our neighborly audiences.  Eventually we will become quite weary of living simply to gain their approval.

Nouwen insists this creates boredom, resentment, and depression.  I can tell you I broke from it.  I didn't know if I could or if I would.  I did!  Thus, I say to you that should discontent be stalking you it might be a good idea to see if you are being led by the calendar as well as the expectations of others. 

Learn to say no to the many things in order to get more quality fruit from your steady efforts.  Dispel discontent.  You don't need it and you don't have to incubate it.  Let it go.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011


Me:  What do you think impacts the church most favorably toward positive change?

Terry:  It seems an increased awareness of praise toward God has renewed congregation after congregation.  I would have never figured such a move would create such magnitude of blessing; mainly because I was works-focused rather than praise oriented.  Praising God has everything to do with heart focus and divine relationship connection.

Me:  What would you venture to say is one of the most overlooked secrets to opening the kingdom to our walk?

Terry:  This one is easy.  Giving.  Giving is mocked, avoided, and disrespected.  That in itself should tell us something for dark forces blind the church to this substantial secret.  Yet, within it is the truthful key to unlock blessings and glory of God.  Our giving is tied directly to God's grace; His talent and skill within us.  The more we let go of earthly monetary dependence the more we receive heavenly "you've-got-to-be-kidding" provision.  His supply is what we have always wanted...and needed.

Me:  Do you think the Bible is losing its significance in today's modern church?

Terry:  Not at all.  Now some might be downplaying its role, but I think it is so ultra-sharp that it will find culture becoming dull before culture makes such a claim toward the Word.  The Bible is alert to us.  It pierces listening ears all the way to the heart.  We should be gaining confidence in it.  I think we are trusting it more as we learn more.  Its effectiveness is not declining.

Me:  Now that the topic of the Holy Spirit has been reintroduced into the church in the past fifteen years or so, do you think the church has swung to yet another wrong side of the truth pendulum? 

Terry:  I don't think so.  I don't think we have touched the hem of the current garment anymore than we have done so regarding the Father and the Son.  We are way behind and always will be.  I don't see our people leaning toward abuse of the Holy Spirit.  We are, and will hopefully always be, continuing to grow in Him.

Me: Thanks, Terry, for taking the time to let me interview you today. 

Terry: problem.  Stop by anytime.  And hey....remember....everything is a yes!


For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them.  for since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.

For even though they knew God, they did not honor God, or give thanks; but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.  Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures (Romans 1:18-23).

When one cannot live thankfully before God, foolishness of every sort races in.  If we will but tell Him and others why and how and what we are thankful for, new creation lives will come about.  A new humanity will be called out of the depressing old humanity.