Sunday, April 29, 2007


The church is in actuality the marvelously true body of Christ roaming earth. If we note Jesus' walk when here, we'll get a pattern for us now. The pattern is not worship style for Jesus spent little time on such a topic. Neither is the pattern church organization.....if you follow Jesus. His pattern was always one main thing....people.

People touching people in ministry will turn a congregation around. Specifically people with ailments and issues need to be accepted by the present-day Jesus. He pleaded with us to avoid greeting our brothers only. Many churches remain strong on doctrinal opinion, yet completely and fearfully distant to actually touching the hurting in the community. Their practice is to do-church-right which includes criticizing those whom they are certain do-church-wrong.

Several matters turned Memorial upside down in an enormously favorable way. The strongest is the increasing action of welcoming and ministering to the ignored and hurting underdogs (people). We make effort to house some of the homeless. One one Sunday morning a couple of years back we had a wedding ceremony just after the invitation song for a couple who had been living in their truck. The sweet groom wore a single bloom in the pocket of his navy blue t-shirt. One member baked them a small wedding cake and the couple sat on the front pew following the ceremony and stared in awe at "their" wedding cake. We eventually baptized both and I expect to hug them again in just about an hour on this Sunday morning.

I did a wedding for a street couple who was certain they'd have a crowd at their ceremony. They knocked on my door telling me a preacher was going to charge them a lot of money to do their wedding and would I do it for $10. I told them, No, I can't do it for $10....but I can do it if you'll let me pay you $40. They had nothing. Her dress must have come from a Klothes Kloset of sort. It didn't fit. He was dressed in jeans a couple of sizes too small, misfitting hand-me-down shoes, and a plain shirt. Only one witness showed up for their event...and no one else. It was a touching ceremony. I paid them $40 to do their wedding.

Last Sunday morning a couple visiting for the third Sunday in a row sat on the front pew in response to the invitation. He was recently released from prison. Both arms are tattooed so much they appear to be sleeves. We swarmed them! They came to us through the food pantry. They are working little jobs and various members are keeping them supplied in food and driving them to jobs.

If you want to know of some move which might encourage your congregation may I point out there were those who were absorbed in proper doctrine and they were the ones who sent Jesus to the cross. While they baited their religious traps, he moved about touching the untouchables. Nothing has changed. We are the body of! May we see the people around us who aren't like us and treat them the way Jesus did. This real doctrine of his....people....will transform a congregation.

Friday, April 27, 2007


Earth jets on a trek around the sun at a speed of 18.55 miles per second while the Sun, Earth, and Solar System whirl around the center of the Milky Way Galaxy. It takes our Sun 225 million years to circle the center of our Galaxy. To put this in perspective, the officer giving you a ticket for going 35 in a 25 mph school zone is traveling at a speed of 66,000+ miles per hour while he's writing his report. Doesn't seem right, does it?

How can earth travel so fast yet not make the trees bend (at least the leaves leave the trees) and
the water fly off from it's surface? God has it perfectly organized and controlled. The size of the process is so huge human sensation cannot keep up with measurement. We don't "feel" earth nor galaxy traveling.....even slightly. Our radar does not pick it up even when we are intricately involved.

So it is with the kingdom. Our efforts, compared to God's enormous call, seem to leave us standing still with nothing happening. But that's a misread. I suggest to you our sensations cannot pick up on the size of God's enormous involvement where we live. This encouraging factor should propel us into deeper faith that much is rapidly beneficial and effective, even on the days when we "feel" nothing is happening. You and I and Earth have traveled approximately 742 miles through space since the time you began reading this article (Do you need to stop and go fix your hair from being windblown?). Individuals and nations have been marvelously blessed because of the gigantic size of His invisible kingdom due to your works coupled with a host of dead saints whose faith still bears fruit, alive believers, angelic hosts, and Holy Spirit combined productivity.....and it continues.

It is God who said He would do in us more than our mind could imagine. It is God who noted we are to possess a joy which cannot be expressed. It is God who has always claimed His ways and thoughts to be higher than ours. Therefore, don't look to your lacking radar to measure how you are doing in ministry. Go stand in the hallway and try to detect just have fast it is you are soaring through space at that moment.....and then believe you are also moving very well in the Kingdom of God.

Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift (II Cor. 9:15)! Even His gift of grace cannot be described by renouned describers! Co-laboring with God is so incredibly awesome all we can do is yield our radar measuring equipment to "Huh?" and "Wow!"

Wednesday, April 25, 2007


The flock takes on personality traits. It can't help it. Does the congregation look like the elders? The staff? The preacher? The women's ministries? Who most among you impacts and grooms the church to look like it does. By the process of elimination the two finalists are often the elders and the preacher. I will tell you who I believe to be the winner of the contest.....later.

It seems each congregation has one imposing characteristic. One may seem conservative while the next has an air of friendliness and the next offers strong discipleship tones. While the personalities vary, does it not seem reasonable that such develops from somebody...some strong somebody within the congregation? It might be the elders, the preacher, or even an elderly charter member who's devoted finances and helping hands assisted throughout multiple decades. Who wins the contest where you live?

The winner is the one who rules the church. It is the one who does the most for the church. It is the one whom the congregation has the most confidence. One can be listed on the church letterhead as the leader, but the real definitive leader for the people is the one whom the people identify with closely. So who is it?

Oh, you knew the correct answer before we finished the first paragraph. The one whose personality grooms the congregation and endears himself to the flock is none other than Jesus. Jesus is the strong real somebody among the flock. The church is either built around him or it simply isn't being built. Yes, it is he who creates the warm atmosphere. It is he who gives us umph to start life over. It is he who demonstrates the greatest patience and the strongest compassion for the flock. It is Jesus....none other....who leads, sets the pace, and forms the standard for the right kind of church system.

Now, aren't you glad you knew the answer all along?

Tuesday, April 24, 2007


There's too much big activity available for such little people! How can we possibly take it all in? In fact, we can't. The abundant life Jesus provides is to give us life; not a death sentence. Bus(y)ness as usual is my guess as to the number one undetected downfall of the American family. In trying to be a little bit of everything, individuals are poised to be enthralled about nothing. Eventually, frustration rises and motivation declines as one grows to understand the sheer inability to live a nine day week in seven days.

Mary and I sat our three little ones down when they got school age and said, Now look, kids, you outnumber your momma and me. We are not going to have a family waving at each other as we each pass the other shuttling you to various practices, concerts, games, leagues, and banquets. We wanted the kids to be involved in all they could only with the limitations of what was good for them emotionally. Other than church and school-as-usual, they could each elect one extra-curricular venture at a time. Wendy could not be in girl scouts and gymnastics at the same time. If not careful, parents will over extend their own children as the kids don't know how to say no to so many fun opportunities.

I find little changes for adults live in the same over-extended culture. Finances surely bear such stark statistical brunt. And, some adult schedules are nearly on the brink of insanity. On my desk at this moment are the following:
  • An invitation to a pastoral lunch Thursday.
  • A note from a group wanting me to look at a segment of work in India.
  • A request for attention and assistance from a global missions effort in New Mexico.
  • A video to be watched regarding disaster relief.
  • A letter from Florida requesting funds for a campus minister trainee.
  • A letter from Tennessee requesting funds for Russian and Chinese ministries.
  • A DVD to review regarding the Cambodian church.
  • Numerous phone calls to return; as well as emails awaiting response.

The number of requests which hit file 13 far outnumber the above list. Note little of the above is in the zone of my local work....which is awaiting. I'm know of God working in so many areas. He surely has a lot going! I can't possibly satisfy such calling works. And, I won't. God will get it done and some of it will have my participation. But, not nearly all.

Therefore, I write to encourage you to keep your ministry and your life simple. Just as children don't have the ability to join every gym class, volleyball team, choir at school as well as at church, youth group, girl scouts, boy scouts, etc., adults can't hold up under similar pressure. It could cause massive cave-in. A special word to parents......your children are needing your focus. Be wise regarding your extra-curricular for now. Soon the kids will be gone. They need you today.

Do a few things well. Don't try to do several things mediocrely. Do a few things well. Don't live pressured by those who feel you should be supportive of "their" particular interests. The body of Christ is designed to work as a healthy body. Yes, their are the lazy and shiftless ones. But, I address them not. I'm speaking to hard workers who have a conscientious drive to see that much good gets done on their watch. It will take concentrated discipline to avail yourself wisely to the work of a mighty God.

In the scheme of things you are a tiny little shell on a big planet. So what shall we do? Learn to let your "Yes" be "Yes" and your "No" be "No". Don't say yes to an opportunity when your spirit is coaxing for a "No". God's body (all of His many joints and ligaments) will serve the world effectively. Use what He has given you to participate in such a thrill without losing sight that you are a small part of a big work! Romans 9:16, once again, comes into play. It is not up to man who wills, nor man who runs, but up to God who has mercy. Ministering leaves the driving up to God, the saving up to God, the effectiveness up to God.

Serve well, but don't overextend in the name of commitment. Such may not be commitment but simply a character flaw of failing to be committed to Him instead of our own popularity in the eyes of men as to how involved in the church we are.


The Bible refers to the church Jesus is building. It is the church constructed and owned by Christ. Later the Bible reminded readers the churches of Christ sent salutations. It is true, Jesus is continuing to build his church. His true church is comprised of believers whom He judges to be members; not our judgment of who's in. His true church is being built by Him; not by us. The Word neither requires nor implies His church to be called by a certain and legal name.

The Churches of Christ sitting on various street corners and upon hillsides around the globe are a denomination. God didn't make it that way. We and our well-intended forefathers have developed yet another religious organization. While many in the Church of Christ have parroted the "we are not a denomination" our fruit betrays us. If Martin Luther were a member of the Church of Christ he would be nailing a list of "Where in the Bible did you get this?" on our doorposts.

I love life in the Church of Christ. It's not perfect. We aren't the only ones saved. We have not cornered the market on Truth. Yet, we do make effort to grow into His Truth. A huge part of that process is relinquishing long-held stances which did not come from scripture. Those who break denominational Church of Christ tradition find themselves in the similar line of fire Jesus and disciples faced when encountering the Pharisees.

Part of the beauty of being identified with the Churches of Christ is the growing interest and devotion to peeling away the religious habits which have been done so long it was assumed the apostle Paul did church the same way. We simply have proof among ourselves we have a long way to go; scholars and common folk alike.

For any who believe we have completely restored the N.T. church, how do you think Jesus or Paul would feel if they could see us pinch a crumb from a plate and sip a tablespoon of grape juice and call it any sort of supper.....let alone the Lord's? By His mercy we are part of the church of Christ, very much in the wonderful state of kindergarten. I look forward to years of continuing to grow into the system of the real church of Christ.

Sunday, April 22, 2007


While you are wondering whether you are "cutting" it any longer in your particular ministry or field, God may be producing a harvest in areas you once worked and have long forgotten about. Don't forget that as you till and water, God is giving the increase whether you recall all you've done to contribute.

You are more than okay. You are co-laborers with the Owner!

Saturday, April 21, 2007


When I heard the toilet flush this morning I thanked God for the lavish life I have. Strange thought isn't it? One could discard such an event as minuscule; maybe at least silly. However, if you spent the first eight years of your life running to the outhouse adjacent to the chicken coup, you might understand ever so slightly my joy.

The point is: I've never forgotten some of the inconveniences I had as a kid. God's riches continued to give me reason to call aloud to Him in thanksgiving. Later this morning I noticed how awesome it is to live on city streets with nice blacktop. The weather is luxurious! As I noticed this while driving in my sweet Tahoe, I asked God to forgive me for all my complaints and to please notice the thousands dying in scorching hot lands as they have no protection. I asked Him to rush to those screaming for mercy and relief from their pain before He would listen to another request of mine.

I am one of the richest people I ever met. From God's perspective, though, I feel confident I don't know even 1% of it. Therefore, how fortunate am I? Beyond words is what I'm believing!

Be sure to tell Him thank you for who He lets you be......especially if it is an unscheduled time for prayer.

Friday, April 20, 2007


We have not begun to corner God with our doctrine, our method, or our imagination. He lives in perpetual and consistent One-Up-Manship. Sin? He'll trump it with grace (Rom. 5:20). Ideas? He'll go beyond them (Eph. 3:20). Methods and concepts? He'll leap even higher (Isa. 55:8-9). No, the clay will never understand the brilliance and magnificence of the Potter.

Where does that leave us? Thrilled!

With all of the inventions to this date, can you grasp there are a gazillion dozen more yet to be discovered? Of the multiple singular truths extracted from the Word, dare we believe He has just begun to communicate as that Word continues to spring into our kingdom system as a breath-taking geyser?

Sometimes when I pray, I will ask Him to help me think of what's needed in the church which no one has ever thought to consider. I will ask Him to do what isn't being done. For about ten years I have been praying He would show up in the media. It's interesting to see the number of testimonials given on Larry King Live, the News via CNN, FOX, etc. God is showing up...usually in the center of tragedy.

He says the eye has not seen and the ear has not heard all He has prepared for those who love Him (I Cor. 2:9). I believe Him. I want to see more of the unseen/unheard thus far! When you pray, consider tapping into His desire to showcase some of His yet-to-be-seen treasures.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007


I'm past the stage of believing the main event of Sunday gatherings is the sermon. God is the main event. At Memorial we pray for Him to gather with us and participate with us. We expect it of Him and He does. The singing, the praying, the preaching, and.....even the announcements are a part of our giving Him united communitorial glory.

But men, when it is our turn to speak, are we putting out a message from God? Or, are we merely taking up the time. Are we found pouring out from our hearts what He has poured in through prayer, study, and experience? Or, are we presenting three and four tidy points with a starter joke?

We must speak, preach, and exert life from God's pulpits. We must have Holy Spirit words to share. While the most of us find our speech based in the form of English, God's Spirit translates such wording into heart-talk that even the speaker doesn't realize he just said. I encourage you to check the following:
  • Are you anticipating He will share ideas and concepts with you during the week? Or, are you stuck with digging out the good stuff on your own?
  • Are you most certain He is working alongside you to reach to His flock with a message of hope? Or, are you believing you are lonely and stranded behind that solitary podium?
  • Are you praying as to how good you will do? Or, are you praying for a message from Him?
  • Are you really aware the sermon isn't about us. It's about Him meeting them and them believing they've heard from Him.
  • Are you speaking in simplicity? Or, are you mesmerized by your growing vocabulary which has little bearing (as a matter of fact it distracts) on His call to the hearts of the moment?
  • Are you anticipating your audience will walk away having their faith shored up? Or, is your goal to have them tell you, That was a fine lesson, Sonny-boy?

Don't ever lose sight, preaching friend. We get to do one of the most amazing works on earth. If such a role for you has grown cold and numb over the years, I cheer you on to evaluate the ideas above. It could be we've let a few of the fundamentals slip. If so, don't hesitate to believe new life can spring from old and collapsed wells. Rebuild, my friend. Rebuild. You have great work to do. You are a preaching well from for business!


I live concerned for mankind. I know such a statement can sound nearly fictional. There is such enormous depths of chaos, poverty, derangement, sadness, and sheer confusion. The VT massacre escalates the burden we feel to be used by God to make a difference for the good.

We must keep in mind the body of Christ is global. He is functioning right now in Iraq even while the war continues. He is ministering in Calcutta while I go to breakfast in Tulsa. He is listening to those cowering beneath bridges in fear while I hear nothing of the sort. We are not the ones taking on the world and it's toppling confusion. He is. We are in his body, participating via what we deem as little dribbles.

After speaking for Allen French's church at Overland Park Sunday evening, a stranger came up to me and said, You wouldn't know me, but I want to thank you for something. My wife and I were through with each other about ten years ago and a Catholic lady gave her a book you wrote, God Will Make A Way. That book healed us and we've done well ever since. These stories don't make CNN or FOX. However, heaven and earth are filled with them....ongoing.

Yes, we get overwhelmed. However, I encourage you that if you could know the difference you have made in so many lives over the years because of donations you made, notes your wrote, calls of encouragement you made, you'd be wowed at the effective range of the true church of!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007


Yesterday was a day of catching up on emails (79) while I was out and, simultaneously, listening to the upgraded reports of the tragic campus shootings in Virginia. One of the emails requested I quit using Jeff Walling, Rick Atchley, and Max Lucado on the workshop due to their unscriptural stances; especially in the realm of instrumental music. My response to the inquiring preacher was succinct in expressing gratitude for these three men who fearlessly refrain from tickling the ears of the traditionalists....and my full intent to capitalize upon their powerful, effective, and "hopeful in Christ" preaching.

Surely we all know Jeff, Rick, Max, the inquiry preacher, and I have enough personal glitches about us that God calls them sin and Jesus was beaten as a dog because of each of us. Surely we know there is need in every man to be transformed again today as if we had never met God before.

What this does is reminds us to spend our meager time on this earth giving off light and life to a world which comes tumbling down. Does anyone think the families of the 30+ dead really care about who I put on the workshop program? Do you really believe the question at the morgue is, Was she a cappella?

As was initially true in the early Garden remains true today: distraction is a satanic scheme. Keep your eyes focused on Kingdom Life issues and refuse to become distracted by nagging and whining issues which matter little in the overall scheme of men and women dying without having heard the name of Jesus.

Blessings as you keep building Life in others. This matters!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007


(This will be my last post this week. I'm leaving town for a few days to recoup from workshop-mania!)

When one has been around a single congregation as long as I have, there are so many enormous discoveries over time. I am like the prospector who really strikes gold. I keep finding huge chunks of "value learning". Such discoveries are part of what keeps me young, hungry, and ambitious for kingdom life.

Memorial Drive became a different church when I quit preaching brotherhood issues and began to preach about Jesus. For my first few years the church was in a bothered tizzy. It was always agitated about something. Upon every annual anniversary of moving here, I evaluate my work and pretend I just moved to town to replace myself. I would ask myself, What if Walling or Harris or Atchley were to move to Memorial? What would they do to improve the place? And then I would set out to measure what I needed to do to improve my work.

One year I discovered this major discrepancy in my preaching. The reason the church was grouchy was because it had an irritant in the I kept fanning the flames of frustration. When I transitioned to preaching about Jesus some of the grouches didn't get happier but they discovered I would not fuel their need to argue. Jesus calls us to focus upon the Father's business; not the shallow waters of bickering.

I heard one of my elders comment on a guest speaker as to how kind and gentle the man was. The elder was not addressing me through the back door, but I picked up that this guest was kind and I wasn't. At first I wanted to deny it. But in replacing myself, I realized I didn't possess a gentle heart. I was reared in harshness, then converted to harshness in the church, and was instructed in harshness in preaching school. At first glance, for a man in the pulpit to be kind and gentle was cowardice "as we all need to take a strong stance".

Over time, I could see the wisdom in this elder's passing comment and the sheer lack within myself. Memorial's pulpit is no longer perceived by me as a bunker from which I toss grenades. It is a place where family gathers and hears the scandalous and courageous love of Jesus. Just as He desired, I try to gather Memorial under my wings as a hen does her chicks. The fun part of this story is.....they cheerfully gather.

All preachers and elders might take a good look at the joy factor in their congregations. I believe it will reflect the identical joy factor of the leadership. We at Memorial believe Jesus when he said he came that we might have life and have it abundantly. The carrot in front of us is His abundant life.....we want it!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007


One of Satan's greatest and most effective tools sprinkled throughout the kingdom are hard feelings. We actually can become so desensitized to our own villainous hearts we can smile while we say we don't like someone(s). Such is a mistaken doctrine. It's based on self-protection; not self-dying. It shows no mercy and doesn't want to discuss the opening regions of merciful ways.

Our brotherhood would find old wounds evaporate if we could get at actuality rather than hard feelings. As cotton candy is pure sugar, hard feelings are pure emotion. Emotion too often rules.

I've often wondered about the famous heritage names of ours: Nichols, Tant, McGarvey, Campbell (both), Stone, and Raccoon John Smith, etc. Do you suppose any of their stances ever took form because of heated debate with a brother they "didn't like"? I believe we'd be most naive to assume such never happened. I've been around enough of our present-day famed preachers and I'm telling you it goes on.

What happens is we divide up into camps; each has a banner over it, "The Truth". Yet, emotions have led many to their conclusions. I've been caught there. We are more than Republicans or Democrats...who by the way....seem to reach many of there positions due to emotion, as well. We are in the True Kingdom, where He's building his True Church. Such isn't to be hateful, spiteful, nor divisive at a touchy whim.

I meet too many people at funerals who don't seem to be as roughly poised about their old stances as they are---and finally---positioned to find a reason to be warmly united.

If you have anyone in your life with whom there is blatant distress over hard feelings, I encourage you to develop a prayer life to benefit the one whom you regard as your enemy. out, God will do some of His best work!

Sunday, April 08, 2007


Many moons ago one of our members asked me to design a quarter's class studies built around a theme. We came up with "A Place to Start Life Over". The theme caught on and has never left us. It's on our letterhead. It's on our canopy as one pulls into the parking lot. It's printed on the 4' x 8' rug as one enters the front doors. The phrase is on our hearts!

One man had not been to church in 20 years. Invited by his brother, when he saw the inscription on the entrance mat, he wondered if maybe he needed to start life over. He did and is now one of our best Bible class teachers.

Two congregations in Bristow, who had split a few decades ago, have now reunited and their new theme for their community? A Place to Start Life Over. Isn't this the call of God.......theme of Jesus? Isn't renewal the work of the Holy Spirit?

We remain amazed. The thought of starting life over is not our slogan. It's truly our life. We are renewed day by day. Every week someone is touched by the glorious thought that regardless of how dull and crummy we may have become, we can actually begin anew at this very moment.

Would you be encouraged at this moment that you are encountering friend upon friend who needs someone to assure them they can start over. I don't know of message which gives the general public more hope than this concept of God's.

Saturday, April 07, 2007


I was driving to work this Saturday morning about 7:00. I could not help but notice how enthused I was to get to be at the office....after lo these many years. What is it about being me and in the role of men like me that maintains such a "Going-to-Six Flags" feeling?

The reason are many!
  • I get to go on exploring expeditions daily. Digging through the Word and through the treasures of those who have commented on the Word is fascinating. I love to learn. The more I study the behinder I get. Each week I assume I will learn something about the kingdom I had yet to discover.
  • I get to solve puzzles. I love board games. Scrabble, Upwords, Boggle, etc. are such fun. Kingdom life is so much more fun. Riddles are presented to us in the forms of dilemma and even trauma. We get to see what we could offer in service to connect the traumatized with the Trauma-solver.
  • I get to carpenter. I love to build. Each day provides opportunity to build up one another through life-words and through service projects. Preachers are construction engineers who do everything from pulling stumps to ribbon-cutting celebrations! As we build people, God constructs His kingdom.
  • I get to watch for God. He is never stumped. I often am. He speaks to me just as much as I pray to Him. I expect Him to give me direction because I ask Him for it. Oh, there are those who don't believe God works directly, I know. But when I heard some of them pray years ago, God, give Terry a ready recollection of those things he has studied, I realized even then they believed God must work directly.
  • I get to work out. Preaching has this amazing spiritual gym where one takes in criticism and practices handling it. Endurance is built. We find ourselves very hurt....very. But we don't quit. We learn through each hardship not to quit. Jesus never did. We won't.
  • I get to possess the highest hope. God can do anything He wills....anything. I get to learn what it means to stay out of the way. I anticipate Him working in dead settings bringing about abundant life. In hopeless moments there is certain hope.

And on the list could go. If any man is out there pondering preaching, I tell you go for it and don't look back. You'll never be in control, but you will never be sorry. Some in the church will kill you and as long as you can remember you've got it coming just as Jesus had it coming, you'll never regret getting to be you! If you've got to die over matters in life, consider dying over things that really matter....people. People are some of God's best ideas!

However, I'll stop so you can comment. You, as a preacher or an elder or a servant would cheer future leaders on by finishing the sentence: The reason I love being in my role in the church is..........

Friday, April 06, 2007


Some are uncomfortable with my work because they feel I'm too liberal. Others complain I am too conservative. When the workshop program becomes public, I am the recipient of both charges.

"Liberal" and "Conservative" are comparative terms. The targeted individual or decision has to be compared to a standard of some sort to make the term stick. Church leaders (including me) hand out these words like greeters hand out the Sunday bulletin....every person ought to have one.

However, to dispense such labels is anti-scriptural. The comparison factor sinks the ship. For we are not bold to class or compare ourselves with some of those who commend themselves; but when they measure themselves by themselves, and compare themselves with themselves, they are without understanding (II Cor. 10:12).

Comparing one against another is ignorant. God is so versatile He can and does use both. Comparison insinuates we all should look the same, believe the same, act the same, and like the same things; then the liberal and conservative tabs would disappear. Yet, God doesn't work from communism. He works from the lavishly creative and expansive lab of differences and assortments.

We must grow to be proud of the congregations who don't do programs the way we do. We can become enthused when a church doesn't want to use but one cup during communion, yet builds three houses for their neighbors. We will do well to praise our friends who use instrumental music while others opt to focus upon small groups which have no singing at all.

Liberal or Conservative? Celebrate the truth that everyone who reads this page is both about many things! Why am I labeled Liberal by some and Conservative by others regarding the same effort? Because I am....if one uses the unscriptural method of comparison.

Thursday, April 05, 2007


Our people live in pockets of hurt in the church. Some (many) struggle to stick with the Church of Christ (Read comments on my blog two days ago regarding CHURCH OF CHRIST WEARY). I grieve at what some are finding to be the suppressing conditions of the congregations where they are trying to serve.

Truth is not the all-encompassing voice of too many in leadership; as much as such is hailed. In reality, it is fear which manipulates the organizational puppetry. Fear calls the shots. Fear excites emotion. Fear lashes out at change, at new, at creativity.

I believe we have a significant number of elders and preachers who simply prefer calm over hassle and would prefer safety over risk. In other words, cowardice has entered the camp through the Trojan horse of leadership and stifled what was once a powerful organism to be known as the body of Christ.

Look at Jesus. Did he play it safe? Was his normal day filled with playing it safe? Was he anemic to rough times? The Great Shepherd was pounded to his death to the extent he could no longer be recognized as a human being. Yet, church leadership hears the calls of parents trying to offer life to their children, but can't give much of a positive response because the truth is fear has precedence over brave effort to try the creative unknown.

Believing the Bible is altogether different than keeping church traditions afloat. The Bible will lead the church to productivity. Man-made traditions kill the spirit as they allow assorted activity without the Spirit.

Church leadership, if we are giving the same answers and believing the same things we did twenty years ago, I suggest we are not being faithful to the Word. I am believing we quit growing twenty years ago and our leadership is choking off the new limbs to the potentially growing body. In many areas the church is frozen because the leadership simply replies by rote the responses they've always given. It's easier that way.

The cross destroys our taking the easy route.

Share with me what areas you see would set your congregation free to breathe if the leadership would only...........

Wednesday, April 04, 2007


How do we gage whether we are making progress or impact? What gives us reason to believe we are making a positive, faithful difference for our Father's business? I've shifted my view and when I did the kingdom literally exploded into plain sight. Thus, I pass this along for those who might benefit from my experience.

Earlier I viewed kingdom work according to time. Now I perceive it according to seed. Time is of the flesh. While "in time" one can sense a goal is accomplished, it also can cause one to believe nothing happened.....yet. However, scripture speaks of seed.....sowing seed. When we sow seed the harvest may appear in our "time"; yet, it may appear in someone elses' time.

In knew of a young man exasperated because he could not persuade his high school buddy to be baptized. The young 19 year old accidentally suffocated in a ditch cave-in. A few days after his funeral his best friend was baptized.

A young woman told me at a workshop years ago about a couple back in her home state who were leading lives of terror. The man was converted and the wife was resentful of losing her partner-in-crime to the church. After he went to bed one evening she stayed up to draw up plans to bomb the church and kill the people. Once she completed her moves she noticed a small book I had written placed near the lamp beside her. Someone had given it to her husband. She read it through, awakened her husband immediately, and they made arrangements for her to be baptized in the night......while I was home sleeping.

God does the work. We sow the seed....just as the farmer....and God gives the increase.

Chart your course by time and you'll become frustrated over what doesn't develop. You are acting alone and you'll remain lonely. Develop a ministry of sowing seed which may mean others reap the harvest and you'll be productive as long as earth lasts. I am sowing seed today for God in areas that will produce more souls to be saved after I am gone than while I am here. The grave will not deter our effectiveness in the least. While we are out of sight, the seed keeps on producing.

Go crazy! Scatter the good seed. You are a winner of souls.....most of whom are yet to be born!

Tuesday, April 03, 2007


It's nearly on a daily basis I encounter one who is ready to chuck the whole Church of Christ system. While I am most sympathetic, I want to say to those who have stayed, Thank you. We need you. To those who are pondering leaving, I say, Thank you for reconsidering. We need you.

One can't deny we have made a mess of many things. I surely have. I've ripped and snorted, chipped and dented, smashed and ruined too many efforts which may have turned out to be God's. Emotion runs rampant, whether a Pharisee or a Sad-u-stayed. All sides claim the in the name of truth posture, but really guys, don't you think our enormous biblical lack is showing?

My frail mind believes there really is a true church of Christ. It is comprised not only of some who meet in Church of Christ buildings. It includes all those God has added to the kingdom in His way according to His wisdom. He is the one who said His ways and thoughts are higher than our ways and thoughts...Isa. 55:8,9. Yet, we the clay have said back to the potter, We know what you think and how you think. You think exactly the way we think! We'll judge and You endorse.

Should we bail on the Church of Christ, are we not very vulnerable to shifting right back into a neo-burdening church system? It's the inner man held captive; not the body. Transport the body to another venue. If the inner man is not set free, you've only made an equalateral move. You've done little but change scenery. However.......set the inner man free where you are and the scenery immediately changes when you once believed nothing would ever change.

Our God has not grown weary of us. We are in this for Him. We will not grow weary in well-doing, will we? I encourage you to live freely in Christ today. Love being in His church. Enjoy giving any captives in your court the news of freedom is coming. Reject dark talk. Inspire those needing inspiration. Salute those who endure. Congratulate all who prove to remain stable because they refuse to focus upon the seen. The unseen is where we've counted on all the eggs to hatch. The unseen is where the true church implements true Truth.

II Cor. 4:16-18

Monday, April 02, 2007


My friend Cindy Ezell slipped through to the other side Saturday morning just before sunrise. Death, especially of close friends, rips my heart. The sadness we encounter as kingdom participants is deeply weighty. I live with tears just so anxious to break through anyway. To watch family and friends grieve on any occasion is the ultimate pain.

However, even these moments are graced with His markings. Even in these settings there is such gigantic hope in Him. I find myself being like Mary and Martha saying to God, "Where were you? We've been dealing with potential death around here, and you could have stopped this." But all believer's know God has the precise and perfect timing involved in everything; including death. Our aching hearts are minor to those of the God-head. We simply get a glimpse of how much our Lord really cares. We saw it in Jesus. We feel Him feeling for others through's called ministry....God reaching through us and out to others.

It would be a much truer sadness to encounter these times with the heart of a doubter. Then the burden would increase so much stronger as all could be said is, "The End". For us, it is not the end. It is the process of eternity hitting us; making us realize there truly is more to life than what we can see.

II Cor. 4:16-18