Wednesday, February 28, 2007


I enjoyed many seasons mixed with improvement and disappointment at Memorial lo these many years. There have been several benchmark moments. One of the more valued moves was a decision the elders made several years back. I think Jerry and Bob and Harriel and Darrel were the shepherds at the time. The congregation had lived in seemingly perpetual turmoil....decades worth. One hassle after another annoying frustration way simply a way of life at the Memorial Drive Church of Christ.

These four guys declared war on unimportant talk. They flat shut out the various avenues for the malcontents to voice their latest disapproval. Before someone raises the "what about the legitimate concerns" issue, let me just say all of our elders have been available for such....always. Yet, much of what was regarded as legitimate concern was nothing more than whiny, shallow, gum-flapping about stuff which didn't matter. All of it served to keep the herd uneasy. The elders stopped it. The naysayers basically didn't have anyone with whom they could share urgent complaint.

Guess what happened. Complaints quit and endless division withered. The flock got healthier and happier and the church family began to launch out into prosperous work all around. I've never seen such a happy church...of any brand. There are many wonderful reasons Memorial looks the way it does today and has the personality it does today. For sure four men who shepherded this flock years ago with gutsy bravery pioneered a wonderful trail of peace and life.

We still owe them for the junk they endured to release us from the captivity of empty chatter! These guys really did take up their cross. They paid the price.

It was a Benchmark Breakthrough!


Yesterday I was scanning my address book in order to send a note to a friend. As I perused the list I came across the name of a gradeschool/highschool classmate I haven't seen in 20 years. She lived in an apartment upstairs in our house. There has been no contact since about 1985. No stresses, understand, simply a matter of everyone living in different directions. Right then I decided I was giving her a call.

As always, Kathy was delightfully sweet and cordial at the sound of my voice. I asked her how she was doing. Without hesitation she replied, My life is very empty right now, Terry. Very empty. We talked a lot. She wanted to know if I am still preaching. Then she asked if I had any ideas about a daily Bible reading. She felt if she could read something every day instead of "just on Sundays" it might strengthen her. Amazing!

I asked if she had a copy of My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers. She'd not heard of it. I told her I'd look over my collection and would be sending something her way. Her final remarks were, Terry, you don't know how God knew I needed this call today.

I have a book bin of free books sent my way from some publishers. Perched on the very top of the stack was......My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers. I sent it along with my Empowering the Ordinary and God Will Make A Way books.

While I didn't ever find the address I was trying to find, I did hit upon a wonderful kingdom moment. God's leadership is so much more productive!

Tuesday, February 27, 2007


I saw an old movie yesterday. It reminded me of some work we did 20 years ago. Jackie Gleason was one of the actors. In 1987 he was interviewed on 60 Minutes and wept as he repeatedly expressed all he wanted in life was to know God; that he did not want to die and go to hell. He cried on tv and my tears streamed while watching him.

I asked Memorial to pray for Jackie Gleason and two days later an article came out in the Tulsa World stating Gleason was hospitalized and then the strangest gave the hospital name, address and zip. I wrote Mr. Gleason a letter expressing my ideas about knowing Jesus and sent him one of my books.....registered mail. In a few days the signed green card returned. Ten days later he died.

Three weeks later I received this letter, Dear Mr. Rush. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for your love, for your concern, and your book. Thank you for what you did for our man. The family of Jackie Gleason.

I never knew what we did for their man. I have always believed God clearly orchestrated a most amazing scenario for one bold enough to publically confess he was desperate for God. You cannot imagine the feeling which rushes through me when I see this man's films on television. I cannot imagine what it will be like to be greeted by him one day when all the "dust" is settled!

Saturday, February 24, 2007


Change is a serious six letter word; especially within the context of the church Jesus leads. Why is it a problem and how can we faithfully maneuver through it's bewildering maze?

  1. Change is a characteristic of the Holy Spirit....Jn. 3:8. The person filled with the Holy Spirit will change like the wind changes.
  2. Unchange is a defining mark of fear. Some want to know how things will go and when they'll come about. Surely one can see from scripture God is neither definable nor predictable. To believe it of God, and yet fear it, leaves a mind full of contradiction.
  3. Learn to let go of the C-word....Control. II Cor. 5:14...the love of Christ controls us....yet some try to control the love of Christ.
  4. Be free to accept the truth that one can trust the Word of God. Change is always healthy when its anchor is Christ and its authorization is the empowering Word. Not all change is of God. It can be man's invention. Equally not all change is man's invention. It can be the leadership of the Spirit of Christ. The church of Christ has taken on many facets as doctrine which came from man's handiwork. Just one example is multiple elderships in one city. The New Testament always has one eldership over an entire city. I'm not believing we are going to ever change this one, but it explains why division among us is so rampant as we failed to base our moves upon the Word.
  5. Be honest. Which is it you believe because of the Word and which is it because of your emotion? This is a rugged test for each. Some just don't like change of any sort. This must be discarded along with the enormous fear that rides in the back seat of it. We are to grow. We are to mature. We are to increase. We are to change. Parts may be slow and others rapid; yet each should be different and new day by day.

Finally, change is not a dirty six-letter word. It is not a villain. It is a call from Jesus, the leadership style of the Holy Spirit, and a characteristic required by God.

Friday, February 23, 2007


I had lunch with new preacher friend this week. I thought we were getting together to build stronger ties. Instead, it was a time of stern debate over the instrumental music question among our tribe. Each shared strong convictions. He stabbed my heart and I insulted his. It could be regarded as a bad day at the rock. I choose to believe that eventhough the meeting was not what I thought, it will be used to build stronger ties.

I feel strange about this subject. I am at an a cappella church and so love such a preference. I'm for letting those who want to do otherwise follow their convictions. Yet, I am treated for approving of the others as if I use the instruments in my worship zone.

Now here's the purpose of this article. We must not let anything pressure us into developing hatred for anyone. I love this new friend....really. I think he's wrong; not sorta wrong or kinda wrong. I think he's wrong about his position. He thinks I'm wrong. He forcefully explained why. If either of us chooses to allow hatred and bitterness to enter our spirits due to this disagreement, I guarantee you THAT IS WRONG.

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. This passage should shake the Churches of Christ. If we parade Acts 2:38 to be baptized; yet, cannot give the Holy Spirit room to help us love our brothers and our enemies then we aren't born of God regardless of how much we recite the book of Acts. If someone says, "I love God," and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen.

Stances of disagreement have always been flaunted. If any of them cause hatred in anyone the show is over for the one who allows this to develop within his heart. Repentance must take place. Hell will be populated by church leaders who did get the correct answer to the theological question, but allowed a bitter and hateful spirit to enter their hearts. I must watch myself on this one! The one with the right stance can be ever so much more wrong if they hold their view with contempt for another. Luke 18:9ff should help us disagree without going over the edge emotionally into the abyss of being lost because we had our doctrine right; yet, despised a brother because we believed him too ignorant to see as clearly.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007


Kingdom business is is very difficult work. This is almost a strange term as work today could mean something different than in my earlier years. In the housing market one of the questions is one..or two...or three baths. In my early childhood the question was indoor or out?

Work for me today is not the same as once entailed. In the early years of my ministry I spent a lot of labor pulling stumps. I read recently a blog response saying we may need men who preach messages which will put their jobs at risk. I did....repeatedly...and cried before and after each threatening moment. On several occasions I gathered my kids in the living room on Saturday night and apologized to them as I felt what I preached the next day would mean we would be moving immediately. Fortunately, I had elders like Jerry and Harriel and Bob and Darrel who didn't leave me out there alone.

But, I don't have to do the same kind of work today. The field is cleared and the Word is sown upon fertile soil. Moving the rocks and pulling the stumps was tedious and equally important. Today's field, the accepting-of-seed field, is a glory to work. Some of you are hard at work pulling stumps and clearing rocks. God bless as you cry and sweat and walk through great loneliness. Others of you are finding life easy as those before you did the tough stuff....and maybe lost there lives over it. But, please don't think because someone hurts your feelings or things don't go your way that this is "work". There's great likelihood it could be oh-so-much more difficult.

Enjoy your work. It's a privilege......and it could be rougher.


I checked my emails this morning. The messages are random; some extreme. One church nearby is in a crisis. A preacher some distance is in a different sort of undoing. One is needing me to meet a workshop deadline. Another workshop question awaits; I haven't the answer. A phone message says an important email is awaiting which is key to other deadlines...and the email isn't to be found. A man from another congregation wants me to call to counsel. A man from yet another congregation wants me to call to counsel. A woman some distance away is telling me of the most awesome and outrageous moves of God to rescue orphans. A man from another country wants me to line up opportunities for friends. That's nine...I believe. There are sixteen others pertaining to meeting reminders and lunch dates and a list of the sick in the hospitals.

While this is my personal accounting of my entrance into my office this morning, I feel certain I have described your very similar scenario. How shall we deal with this? PROFOUNDLY!

How many hundreds...I wonder if thousands...would love to have my job one day? I get to have it everyday! How many wish someone would ask them to direct the workshop or be the senior minister at Memorial or a be a confidant or need to meet with so many to hear of their struggles? I get to be me! You get to be you and so many wish they were in your shoes.

Feeling slightly whelmed? Well, that's all it is....slight. We have the greatest role in the world. Ministry? No, being us! Put a smile on that good looking mug of yours and bless the tar out of everyone you meet today!

Monday, February 19, 2007


What is it....that magic "it"......which helps us connect to the flock? Sometimes we work and work only to find the members don't understand who we are or what we are trying to do. At other times, we seem to be coasting and for some reason the kingdom work flows with beautiful ease.

What helps ministers connect? Is it our gramatical command? Our good ol' boyness? Our intensive study? I offer an idea.

I believe we connect when we listen to the Spirit. I believe it has nothing to do with our talent nor our study capabilities unless we throw both of those into the mixing bowl with His Holy
Spirit. This is why listeners get good things from what we share that we didn't even realize we touched upon. He works in our inadequacies. Nothing comes from us. It's all from Him...II Cor. 3:4-5.

Before we can answer as to what we shall preach, we'll do well to discover what we have heard from Him. I listen week by week for information from Him which excites me. I figure if it excites me, it may excite others. If it doesn't motiate me, why would I want to bore them with it?

From the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. Let the Spirit of Christ fill your heart...and then you'll have something worthwhile to say.

Sunday, February 18, 2007


Criticism is tougher than death. While death temporarily stings deeply, criticism seems to keep pulling the trigger and killing off the joy. Bodies of preachers and elders and teachers and believers are strewn across every land having been button-holed by at least one notorious critic. Such was never the intent. We have simply misread the important role of the critic.

In God's world critics are an valued factor to every ministry. We need them. We must have then else we will be sickly, frail, and disadvantaged. If we were to move through church life with no criticism we would:
  • begin to believe that everything working well really is because of us.
  • never be challenged to grow up.
  • assume a great mistake; that we are great.
  • never understand there really are major tenets about us which need to be eliminated or redirected.
  • never walk in the sandals of Jesus.
  • have little meaningful counsel to those whose lives are being crushed by stress.
  • eventually quit because criticism is our spiritual workout gym which builds healthy faith muscles. We would fade diseased by spiritual atrophy.

Criticism isn't a signal you drew the short straw. Criticism isn't a sign you are in the wrong congregation. Criticism isn't an indication you are no good. A critic is God's blessing upon every servant-hearted believer so He can get the maximum out of us.

Second Corinthians 12:7, And because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself (FOR THIS REASON.....TO KEEP ME FROM EXALTING MYSELF.....FOR THIS REASON.....TO KEEP US FROM EXALTING OURSELVES) there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to buffet me---to keep me from exalting myself! The messenger from Satan had a message to keep the grand old apostle from exalting was a critic.

Don't forget to be thankful for critics. They are not there to bug you. They are on your campus to iron the wrinkles out of you. They are present to help you learn the value of being totally unable. They are there to teach you power is perfected in weakness. Critics are all around you to develop you into the person God, alone, intends. You possess a miniature life of Job. Don't assume because you are criticized that something is wrong with the critic. No, sir. It is a wonderful sign something is yet flawed about us and we need to continue to grow through this process.

Friday, February 16, 2007


So, my message to the young guys on the block? DON'T QUIT!

To the Zac Pittman's, Josh Graves', Dusty and Tim Rush's, Eric Magnusson's and Jeff Jenkins', etc......DON'T QUIT. You are targeted by dark forces to get you to quit. You'll be tempted, due to repeated, repeated failure of others or yourself, to toss in the towel. You'll be tempted to believe because success didn't happen for several efforts in a row that you must have misunderstood your call......that you must be doing something wrong. WRONG!

You must have things go wrong. You must go wrong. Do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing; so that also at the revelation of His glory, you may rejoice with exultation....I Peter 4:12-13.

Everything which comes your way to want to make you bolt carries hidden teachings and blessings. None of it is for the trash. Be still. Listen for Him. Learn from Him. He's in the center of the mess giving you a test. Will you believe He is bigger than the problem? In every situation......the correct answer is, "YES."

Don't quit!

Thursday, February 15, 2007


I am wrapping up 30 years at Memorial this summer. I have not loved every minute of it. I have love very much of it. To cheer you on in your work, I share with you two things about my ministry at this special place:

  • For awhile I preached the five steps of salvation instead of the saving grace of Jesus.
  • For awhile I preached the five acts of worship instead of the heart connecting true worship.
  • For awhile I preached brotherhood issues instead of Jesus Christ and the hope he offers.
  • For awhile I exchanged eye for eye in combatant discussions over legalism.
  • For awhile I made sure I was in control of how things least I gave it a good try.
  • For awhile I tried to impress the louder and meaner voices so they would like me.
  • For awhile I tried to abide by the false teaching that the Holy Spirit is not active today.
  • For awhile I tried to persuade myself we were the only religious group saved.
  • For awhile I tried to make the Bible say the things our heritage said it said.
  • For awhile I tried to imitate and mimic other preachers for I knew I wasn't enough.
  • For awhile I tried to save all sermon notes; yet, when I'd go back they had died in the files.
  • For awhile I thought the sermon was the main thing about the assembly.
  • For awhile I thought the Word needed my help.
  • For awhile I thought "they" were the sinners.
  • For awhile I thought I would never successfully teach anyone how to be saved.
  • For awhile I believed stories about God working today were only imagined.
  • For awhile I thought God only worked through Church of Christ affiliates.
  • For awhile I thought my "shoe-box" answers gathered in school would fend of questioners.
  • For awhile I paid attention to hateful, unsigned letters.
  • For awhile I thought church was about faithful attendance.


  • I didn't quit.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007


I need a favor. Would you pass along the program schedule for the Tulsa International Soul Winning Workshop to your readers.....and add a comment which would lend support to this huge event? Thanks in advance!


March 22-24


Pav. Don McLaughlin….Jesus: The Way to the World!
ExCtr Forrest/Patty Smith…Overcome Fear of Teaching Others
Expo 1 Robert Peek….Your Small Church CAN Grow: ATMOSPHERE
Expo 2 John Dobbs….Jesus Came to My Town In A Hurricane!
Café Debbie Smith….Jesus: The Model of Acceptance
Teen Zone UniversiTeens Sponsored by York

Pav. Rick Atchley….The Church Has Left the Building Pt. 1
ExCtr Tim Luster….Evangelism Isn't An Option....It's Our Passion
Expo 1 Barry Stephens….Leadership: From Good to Great Pt. 1
Expo 2 Tim Rush….Jesus Reaches To Guadalajara!
Café Terri Fanning….Jesus: The Mission of Connecting
Teen Zone UniversiTeens (continued) Sponsored by York
KidZone Misty Matthews Ages 8-10 Why Do Kids Need Jesus?

Pav. Terry Rush…Leadership: The Mystery of God Among Us
ExCtr Keith Lancaster Praise and Harmony Seminar Pt. 1
Expo 1 Buddy Bell…..Life Changing Small Group Ministry: A Model That Works
Expo 2 Robbie Goldman/Matt Wallace…Jesus Reaches All Streets!
Café Steve Diggs….Failure: The First Step To Godly Success With Our Money
Teen Zone UniversiTeens (continued) Sponsored by York

ExCtr Free Indeed and Friends

Pav. Jerry Taylor….Jesus: He Was Socially Evangelistic
ExCtr Wade Hodges….To Live In Resurrection Power God Must Live
Expo 1 Mitch Wilburn….Leading Through Love in the Community of Faith.
Expo 2 Lynn Stringfellow…..Effective Campus Ministry: Curb the Shrinking Church
Teen Zone “Just Relax” Sponsored by Dallas Christian College
Café Norm Herron….FORUM: Sharing Ideas for Benevolence Ministries

Pav. Rick Atchley….The Church Has Left the Building Pt. 2
ExCtr Buddy Bell…Life Changing Small Group Ministry: Transforming Power
Expo 1 Jay Jarboe…. Developing Life Transformation Groups
Expo 2 Dan Langdon..How To Monitor and Manage Our Missionaries
Café Brad Smith… FORUM: Preachers Only….Sermon Preparation
Teen Zone “Just Relax” Sponsored by Dallas Christian College
KidZone 8-10 Eric Brunson..Ways to Share Jesus with Your Friends

Pav Josh Graves……The Irresistible Revolution: God in the Margins
ExCtr Steve Tandy…Television: Outreach Ideas for Your Congregation
Expo 1 Robert Cox….Jesus Draws Everyone!
Expo 2 Jeff Switzer….Jesus Grew Our Church from 19 to 160!
Café Roger Thompson….The Holy Spirit and Us! Part 1
Teen Zone Just Relax (continued) Sponsored by Dallas Christian College

Pav. Singing Groups

Pav. Childcare Drop-off 3 yrs. and under
Café Bible Hour

7:00 Pav.
Bruce Marchiano…..Jesus: The Model


Pav. Don McLaughlin….Jesus: The Truth to the World!
ExCtr Forrest/Patty Smith….How To Set Up A Bible Study
Expo 1 Robert Peek…Your Small Church CAN Grow: ATTITUDES
Expo 2 Kerry Cox….Jesus Reaches To University Campuses!
Café Debbie Smith…..Jesus: The Model of Discernment
Teen Zone UniversiTeens Sponsored by Oklahoma Christian

Pav Josh Graves….The Irresistible Revolution: Making Sense of the Mess
ExCtr Deron Smith…..Jesus Reaches Into the Darkness of My Soul
Expo 1 Barry Stephens….Leadership: From Good to Great Pt. 2
Expo 2 Angie Burns….Responding to Homosexuality with the Heart of Jesus
Café Terri Fanning….Jesus: The Mission of Risking
Teen Zone UniversiTeens (continued) Sponsored by Oklahoma Christian
KidZone Misty Matthews Ages 8-10 Why My Friends Need Jesus

Pav Rick Atchley…. The Church Has Left the Building Pt. 3
ExCtr Keith Lancaster Praise and Harmony Seminar Pt. 2
Expo 1 Jerry Taylor….Jesus: Man of Spirit
Expo 2 Hollis Maynard…..Jesus Reaches to the Deaf Population!
Café Steve Diggs….The A, B, C’s of Godly Money Management
Teen Zone UniversiTeens (continued) Sponsored by Oklahoma Christian

ExCtr Free Indeed and Friends

Pav. Jeff Walling…. Abundant Life: Meeting Jesus in Baggage Claim
ExCtr Lynn Stringfellow Effective Campus Ministry: Finding Purpose in Outreach
Expo 1 Daryl Hayes…Mission Too Simple: See the People
Expo 2 Buddy Bell…Life Changing Small Group Ministry: Evangelize and Multiply
Café Roger Thompson….The Holy Spirit and Us! Part 2
Teen Zone Dudley Chancey…FORUM: Empowering Youth Ministers/Workers

Pav. Randy Harris…..Evil
ExCtr Marvin Phillips….Feeding The World’s Starving People
Expo 1 Lynn Ragsdale….Church Leadership: Upgrade Needed
Expo 2 Larry West….Jesus Reaches Through Campaigns In America!
Café Landon Norton….Software To Enhance Class/Sermon Preparation
Teen Zone TeenSurge: REPLICA with David Fraze and Watershed Worship
KidZone 8-12 Eric Brunson-Share Jesus with Your Friends- (Puppetry)

Pav. Warren Blakney…What Growing Churches Are Doing Right!
ExCtr Robert Cox…Planting Churches: What A Way To Grow!
Expo 1 Danny Sidders….Jesus: The Presence of the Future
Expo 2 Art Henley….Jesus Works In Albania!
Café Clint Davis…..FORUM: Bringing All of the Missionaries Together
Teen Zone TeenSurge: REPLICA with David Fraze and Watershed Worship

Pav. Singing Groups

Pav. Childcare Drop-off 3 yrs. and under
Café Bible Hour

Pav. AIM…..Flags Presentation
Jerry Taylor/Randy Harris….Jesus: The Messenger


Pav. Don McLaughlin…Jesus: The Life to the World!
ExCtr Forrest/Patty Smith….How To Follow Up A Bible Study
Expo 1 Robert Peek…Your Small Church CAN Grow: ACCOUNTABILITY
Expo 2 The Holy Spirit and Us! Part 3
Café Debbie Smith….Jesus: The Model of Love
Teen Zone UniversiTeens Sponsored by Lubbock Christian University

Pav Josh Graves…..The Irresistible Revolution: Making Room for the Stranger
ExCtr Matt Crain….Fathers Need to Connect with Their Families
Expo 1 Barry Stephens….Leadership: From Good to Great Pt. 3
Expo 2 Alan Phillips…. Let Us Advance More Effective Global Missions
Café Terri Fanning….Jesus: The Mission of Winning
Teen Zone UniveriTeens (continued) Sponsored by Lubbock Christian University
KidZone Misty Matthews Ages 8-10 The Most Amazing Race

Pav Marvin Phillips…. Jesus Envisioned Winning the World!
ExCtr Keith Lancaster Praise and Harmony Seminar Pt. 3
Expo 1 Robert Cox….Jesus: How To Get To The Going Part!
Expo 2 Ken Bolden….Jesus Reaches Through World Radio!
Café Steve Diggs….Killing the Debt Monster and Getting Ahead
Teen Zone UniversiTeens (continued) Sponsored by Lubbock Christian University

ExCtr Free Indeed and Friends

Pav. Jeff Walling/Taylor Walling….God Shows Up In Amazing Ways!
ExCtr Jack Cummings…..Make Wednesday Nights Burst With Excitement
Expo 1 John Smith….Achieving the Mind of Christ
Expo 2 Larry Buck….Jesus Reaches to China!
Café FORUM: Ministers’ Wives Live In Glass Parsonages


Pav. Wade Hodges….To Live In Resurrection Power We Must Die
ExCtr Ron Clark….Jesus Unleashed: the Friend of Sinners
Expo 1 Eric Magnusson…. If You Kill It, They Will Go: The reBirth of Mission
Expo 2 Mark/Sherrylee Woodard….Let’s Start Talking All Over The World!
Café Landon Norton….Software To Enhance Class/Sermon Preparation (Repeat)
Teen Zone TeenSurge: REPLICA with David Fraze and Watershed Worship
Kids 8-10 Mike Platten…..Spot Lite Magic Presents "Illusions With A Message”

Pav. Randy Harris…..Good
ExCtr Todd Box…...How To Walk The Talk To Reach The Hurting
Expo 1 Lynn Ragsdale….Church Explosion Is Possible
Expo 2 Greg Taylor….Helpful Preparation for Short Term Mission Trips
Café Lynn Stringfellow…Effective Campus Ministry: Activating Hands-on-Faith
Teen Zone TeenSurge: REPLICA with David Fraze and Watershed Worship

Pav. Singing Groups

Pav. Childcare Drop-off 3 yrs. and under
Café Bible Hour

Pav. Jeff Walling/Terry Rush….Jesus: The Mission

Monday, February 12, 2007


Why do we do what we do on Sunday mornings? And, Sunday evenings for that matter? Why do we gather? Hebrews 10 says we are not to forsake the assembly, but to motivate one another unto love and good deeds...encourage one another. It seems when I started out newly converted to the Church of Christ way our purpose was not to encourage; but rather, to make sure we did the five scriptural things without any of the five items overlapping; i.e. no singing during the Lord's Supper because you couldn't have two practices of worship strike simultaneously. So, we sorta gathered to check off the items accomplished and when everyone thought we had hit all five, we wrapped it up with a closing prayer and.........we were done!

I am absolutely crazy about the Hebrews call of purpose. Don't let me preach, and I'll still do what I'm called to do....motivate and encourage. You may keep me out of the pulpit, but you can't keep me out of the aisles where the people are. I love these people and they know it. And, it's quite mutual. It's the best thing to get to do in all of the world. Show me a person who doesn't like to go to church and I'll show you a person who has no interest in motivating and encouraging others. If such is not their purpose, they will not find the church alive.

Do we need better classes? Usually. Could we have better sermons? C-a-r-e-f-u-l. What we will always need is to improve our ways to fulfill His call to motivate and encourage. I encourage you to get yourself over to that little church building (or that big one if that's your place) and wind yourself up like a clock and hit the flock with a warm heart of cheer. A thing I dearly love at Memorial is it is so actively engaged in it's purpose we have to interrupt the unscheduled fellowship in the auditorium just to get the first song started. And, what else I love is that after it's isn't over. Thirty minutes after we've "dismissed" half of the church will still be there fulfilling their purpose....motivating and encouraging.

God saved me and I have lived and gone to's Memorial Drive and it's a most wonderful place!

Saturday, February 10, 2007


One of the most amazing stories unfolded before the very eyes of Oprah viewers Friday, February 9th. Initially, I watched the program mainly because I saw Mike Cope's blog mention his sister-in-law would be on. I am thrilled and inspired at what I got to see and hear.

First, Oprah was more passionate about the topic than any theme I've observed. She spoke with tears in her eyes about the child slavery in Ghana. Her smiles would shift in soberness, but her tears never left. Oprah aches for the underdog.

Second, the revelation of what these children endure is heart crushing! I can't stand it! I'm moved once again to robustly continue our kingdom trek of believing the entire globe is ours to approach with the immeasurable love of Christ. Such vivid pictures help me sort through which doctrines are important to debate and which dare never cross my lips again.

Third, Pam was beautiful. I loved her absolute grace and charm. She was perfect! She not only recued little-boy Mark from slavery in Ghana; she single-handedly, without a shot fired, captured and arrested Oprah. Oprah's closing line was she has interviewed hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of celebrities who do great social work, but Pam is the one who deserves "the" standing ovation. And.....she got it. The audience applauded while I cried hot tears of salute.

Fourth, God showed up on television! I have prayed for several years that God would show up in the media in a favorable way. He has. He showed up on Larry King Live many times; especially when the missionary's wife and child's plane was shot down in South America and the man sat on Larry King's show and told the whole world what he had merely intended to share with a small region in South America.

But who would have guessed God would show up in the frame and heart of a lady from rural Missouri?!?!? I cried and cried....I'm crying as I write. God showed up on television under the name Pam Cope. She really had little to do with it. While she took the ball and ran with rescuing Mark, it was God who took Pam and ran in connecting her to millions of hearts globally!

Finally, I believe this is not the end of the story. Oprah has such deep admiration for Pam that this relationship needs our prayers showering them both. All Pam needs to do is note an important move of God and call on Oprah. I haven't a clue what it is. I am sure, Oprah will respond to the name Pam Cope.....who has done a simple and common job of responding to the name Jesus Christ.

Thursday, February 08, 2007


What's it like where you work? Crummy? Too-good-to-be-true? Spiteful? Slip-shod? Indifferent? Successful? Well-organized?

I love where I work. Besides liking preaching and ministry, I mean I like "where" I office part of life. I am the office manager! In my little preaching school of 11 classmates, none of us ever had a thought of being at a church big enough for "a staff". Upon graduatin we each had one basic goal: try to last two years. But now....I am office manager!

It took me awhile to get the hang of it. Due to the elders' patience and the staff's endurance, I feel really good about being "BOSS". I've changed my approach to this privileged work drastically over the years. For awhile I was the youngest guy on staff so I wasn't manager yet. After being here several years I became old enough to be everyone's dad.

Here's my goal for my people who are my crew, my friends:
  • I want them to think they have the best working place in the world...really!
  • I want them to be sure I believe in them more than I do myself!
  • I want them to notice me catching them doing good, smart, faithful things!
  • I want them to hear my praise "all the time"!
  • I want them to know I revere them! Yes, I work with reverend staff!

Whether you are the BOSS or the BOSSed, do the things which would make your colleagues believe they work around the best person in the world....because they do. His name is Jesus and He is residing within each of us. Hello.....Reverend Staff!


I have a rather strange request of you. I have been working on a book for about four years. I have enormous hopes for its impact to shift the common believer from mediocrity to abundance. The book is about the great secrets I see leading to a wonderful, God-filled life; i.e. gratitude, being a nobody, power is perfected in weakness, etc.

Today the book is called, "Proceed Without Caution" (When Life Takes A Turn For The Better!).

God has given me a most paradoxical life. I'm all backwards and, yet, so much of it works. I would like to hear from you ideas which I might not have thought about as to what you think makes life tick for you or for me. What are traits in our walk that I would assume everyone knows, but you think others would be encouraged and motivated once they knew the thinking behind it?

Wednesday, February 07, 2007


Our people are so tied up in knots trying to sort through the church lingo that many have all but given up on sharing the good news with their neighbor because they can't keep the story straight. All know God is against man-made doctrine, yet we've accepted with open arms this Trojan horse. Enormous strain develops in trying to assure ourselves that much of our doctrine did not come from man but from God Himself. As far as evangelistic effectiveness is concerned, we live in fundamental neutral. How can we remember how it goes when the Word really isn't there to show our neighbor?
  1. Our hermeneutic is made up: Man created it to claim the texts he wanted and to somehow dismiss those he doesn't. Hermeneutic is not a biblical term and was never taught by God. The "Direct Command", "Example", and "Necessary Inference" passages seem to have melted. Look at it. Necessary Inference? That's what man does to get his way when the Bible won't back it. One can claim, "Well, at least it's inferred."
  2. Our stance on instrumental music is wrong: Man created this doctrine which makes it a toughy if we are going to share the true doctrine with our neighbors. Instrumental music was not an issue in the first century church because it wasn't an issue with God. Instuments of worship are not new. They were abundantly available back in Jesus and Paul's day. Did they not pick up on this potential threat and address least once? So, do you not think it odd that such an element is present at the time of the N.T. writings, yet they never discussed it? Were they afraid to? Didn't they have some crossover issues from the old covenant to the new? It could be this was not an issue then and they didn't expect to be now.
  3. Authority of Silence of the Scriptures is surely created by man. It seems very important to some as this guides their doctrinal stances. Where does the Word address it? I believe argumentative Christians made this one up to get their way when they couldn't get it any other. Those who stick by their guns on this one abandon it quickly when it comes to justifying the millions they spend on church buildings....of which the Word is silent.

True, very true, the Bible has enough of it's own marvelous depth to keep us at bay in admitted ignorance. It is a Life-giving stream which washes us in newness day by day. It's freshness will not be bottled and sold as "this is the way, the only way" based upon man's understanding. As great as ours gets, God will always be there saying, "My ways are not your ways, nor are My thoughts your thoughts, for My ways are higher than your ways and My thoughts higher than your thoughts."

When one couples that with our man-made inventions (and we deny such trying to pawn it off onto God as if He said it), the wheels of outreach eventually succumb to the stress of trying to remember exactly how all of this goes.

Wouldn't it be easier to let the Word support itself without adding our attempt at genius to help it along where it's unclear. We can trust the Word. We can't trust us. That very much includes me. I will always be in kindergarten eager to learn from Him. Such will always involves sorting the God-words from the man-ones.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007


Today is a good day. You are enough. Your effort is enough. You have succeeded. You are envied. Others wish they could be you. You are a success. You are a walking miracle. Blood flows through miles of your veins every minute (I saw that one on a commercial!). Your name is spoken favorably and repeatedly day by day by your admiring colleagues. You have every reason to like right now. You are taking people with you into heaven's region. You are making a difference for people who have yet to be born due to the power-seed you sow of goodness and hope and faith that will impact the year 2037.

Look at me. I said look at me. Do not toss aside these powerful words as if they apply to many others, but not you. Notice the gleam in my eye when you have doubt about yourself. You are a legend to someone. You are a hero. Traffic jams are your parade....the participants just didn't realize their value! Criticism coming your way is someone's way of bragging on you that they notice you do exist after all! Frustration is simply alerting you that you are still breathing on planet earth. Pain is God's glorious reminder that you aren't a leper. Irritations are the hands applauding the fact you do have anticipatory vision.

You are the literal sense. Go through your day with your head high and your attitude a soar. What a day. It's got you. It's got me. It's got us. Now, let's go out and do some great big damage to stinkin' thinkin'!

Convert the world to the mind of Jesus by letting Him have yours first.

Monday, February 05, 2007


Growing in the Lord is most exciting. Such growth seems to be without charts to note progress. Where one church grows by addition another develops by subtraction. Biblical examples are Acts 2 for the former and the concept of Him pruning for the later. Such opposite processes calls for caution in matters when it comes to gauging the personal growth of self and of others.

We want to be careful not to allow ourselves to believe we are better than others because we have accepted some ideas and rejected other concepts while groups didn't seem to catch the wave of spiritual brilliance we thought we snagged. That's not good news.

We must refrain from believing we read the best version, do the best church, sing the best way, or do missions better. None of those can be established without comparison. Paul wrote in II Cor. 10:12 that anytime we compare ourselves to ourselves....we are without understanding.

Be thrilled over what God let's you do in the kingdom. Let us refrain from believing we are a notch above any other believer. It's by His grace any of us get to be a part of his fabulous work.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Would the True Church Please Stand Up?

  • My first comment: I say for the Super Bowl.....Colts 41 Bears 24.

  • I say global warming is due to the heat accumulatively arising from earth due to billions of people and billions of animals which numbers have increased dramatically from the original two people and few animals. You know what it's like to meet with two in a small classroom and then meet with 50 in the same small room....whew! Global warming!

Below is an article I wrote yesterday for our webpage. A little weekend snack for thought.

The True Church

Jesus is building his church. And, I love it. I can’t believe I get to be a part of his work. To participate in matters which defy man’s organizational, religious efforts is surely a rush. I never knew the church could be so alive; so exciting.

Occasionally, comments surface about the “true” church which seems to collide with the heart of biblical kingdom life. Usually such a true church is defined by the few practices that particular group just happen to deem their trump doctrines. For us, to have “Church of Christ” (or better yet, “church of Christ”) over our doors seems to make it clear we have the Bible name; the true name. But, God never named His church. He simply claimed it.

If we base the claim to be the true church upon our doctrine (assuming ours to be right and theirs to be wrong) how do we handle our discovery subsequent need to adjust our doctrine? When we moved from little grace to more grace are we now the true church, but weren’t before? Or, were we the true church then? And where do we stand when we discover even more about grace? True church; level three? We’ve done an about face on the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Which doctrine counted us as the true church?

I wonder if we would do well to be reminded of Jesus saying if they are not against us they are for us. I wonder if the true church is comprised of several faulty Christians and their churches striving to mature in the lifestyle of Jesus and at the end of each day (or end of each individual life) find they have no defense against His wrath, due to our ungodly lack, save the blood of Christ.

Friday, February 02, 2007


Yesterday morning I had a strong pull in my spirit, out of the blue, to begin thinking about creating a blog for seekers. I can't describe it, really, but there was an awareness or a sensation going through my mind which made me ponder what possibilities could be in starting an evangelistic blog. I love to dream and off I went on unlimited tangents of imaginational design.

Then, Dusty (My son who preaches in Conway) called yesterday afternoon. He had met with a guy at church who was burdened with an idea he felt needed to be shared with Dusty. His friend has developed a strong interest in Dusty beginning a blog for those who simply are seeking God. In turn, Dusty wanted to know if I'd be interested in doing it with him. Wow, a new blog which would reach to the non-churched! Now, that seems to me something's up!

So we talked....enthusiastically....a lot! I'm in. He's in. His friend is in. We are working on this project.

I was wondering what ideas some of you might have. Concepts? Name of the blog? Ideas? Who knows who's reading this that has fabulous ideas to add to the process as we wade through our own.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Say "No" to Guilters

I address those of you who find your lips saying "yes" to service requests when your weary heart and tired body beg of you from within to say "no". We live in demanding times. Higher goals, bigger projects, greater returns; all press on us to keep the activation mode clicked on. And, we find ourselves sometimes very tired.

Do you ever catch yourself lying to get out of someone else's pressured scheduling so you can keep from going to one more thing? Do you find yourself at an event bored to tears and frustrated with yourself for taking on the commitment to be there; especially when it's not that important you are?

Beware of GUILTERS. These are fellow servants/friends who cannot say "no" themselves; thus they feel obligated to share their rat-race, jam-packed, clock-ignoring lifestyle finding themselves spread so unhealthily thin their lack of discipline spews over onto you. GUILTERS make us crazy.

Learn the call of Jesus. Say "yes" when you mean "yes" and "no" when you mean "no". Don't offer excuses. Such are not needed. You don't owe explanation as to why you won't be at a birthday party; give such if you want, but mainly learn to say "no" when your mind/spirit/body are whispering the two-letter word clearly from within.

GUILTERS want you to please them. Somewhere along the way.....YOU WON'T. It's a selfish game and you will be the loser. Don't spend a lot of time trying to please those who cannot be pleased. Love them? Yes. Buckle to their guilt-trips? No.

Sometimes (as cowardly as I am) I've found myself saying to a pressing GUILTER who would not quit, "What part of "no" do you not understand?"