Tuesday, September 30, 2008


Years ago Memorial was going through some tough stuff. Conflict was in the air. I watched as one of the families passed letters out to a few on a Wednesday night. They handed one to me. I didn't need to read it. This family and a few of their friends had been on the elders' case for quite some time. I didn't open the letter. In disgust I tossed it on my desk and went home. I did go home and call a couple of friends of the elders asking them to give them a call as I knew letters were being handed out against them. I knew they must be hurting. I felt sorry and defensive for my men.

Well, I went into the office the next morning and there was that danged letter. So I opened it to see what they had to say this time about our guys. Oh, boy! It was about me! They handed out a letter voicing there dissatisfaction with me! While things like that hurt, I just had to laugh because I was so worried about the elders....and they had gotten the letter and were worried about me.

Some of you get that treatment. I don't anymore from within the congregation. For those who are treated this way, I encourage you that everything will be all right. Don't fight this kind of person. And, don't fold up believing you are notoriously no good. Leave it up to God. He will take care of these matters. He will.

Insults aren't easy for sensitive leaders like us. Yet, God says to be thankful for them; to brag about them (II Cor. 12:10). He is telling us the truth. Yes, they really hurt. And yes, we have it coming because we are walking in Jesus' footsteps. The cross is not convenient and some will try to kill us....and we have it coming. If the church has real authentic hope, one of the reasons will be when the leaders refuse to retreat when injured. We often play the game hurt.

And while we do, God works! It is a tough lesson to learn; but surely worth applying each day. Keep your spirit smiling....even in the midst of pain. I feel sure somebody needed this right now.

Don't quit.


Take a look at the two princesses! They were in a wedding Saturday and I feel certain stole the show.
These are two more of my ten grandkids. Kate is on the left. Emma is on the right.
The thing I notice about them is how much they both resemble me! And when I tell them such, it brings them great delight! (not)

Monday, September 29, 2008


Church leadership is always challenged to keep the stakes high enough. I think we who serve in leadership become bogged down with such weighty and essential matters we are not finding a faithful route to provide mountain climbing, river forging spiritual experiences for the rest of the flock to experience. I love.....absolutely love what I get to do in the church. Sometimes it is too difficult and often it is just too thrilling, but not everyone among us feels the same from their perspective. More than us is needed.

We work with and for the Living God; that God which would melt us down like defenseless wax if we ever caught a glimpse of Him for a mere three seconds. John Eldredge is one author (like his book, Wild At Heart) which calls for the tamed male to become untamed and wild again in spiritual vigor.

The church has dumbed down to a steady state of manageability. The events fit the schedules, the ministries fit the budgets, and the espoused doctrines fit the biased ears. Where the early church leaders turned the world upside down, I find myself usually about ten years behind the advancing progress of the world. The world seems to offer more excitement and cutting edge advancement than the church.

It is too easy, dear leader, to travel the middle of the road where we are safe from the alligators. Ours is a thrilling and risky call. We are involved in the invisible network of faith from another planet; one unlike anything the mind can conceive even when it's described. The middle of the road is boring. I believe if we could tap into the uncertain and daring, we would find more who appear at the moment disinterested to possess an exceptional heart for aggressive, committed, sacrificial service. Too many are bored....but they keep faithfully attending.

John Hull wrote, Boredom is to the religious consciousness what pain is to the physical body. It is the warning that something is wrong. It is one of the ways in which the crushed energies of the spirit defend themselves against the creeping moribundity of the un-learning personality. The desire for new life is expressed in the realization of boredom. Boredom is a major crisis in contemporary spirituality.

Therefore, we who are enjoying the ride of Holy Spirit activity want to remain wide-eyed for gigantic opportunities for the flock. They have the living God buried within!


Don't quit believing, imagining, and working. Should you feel fatigued over so many things, who would not understand? It is in such truth that I encourage you to continue your kingdom advance. Those of us who serve in this privileged capacity surely feel at times as if we are swimming for long periods of time. Figuratively, we have been.

Yet our swim is not for recreation. It is for creation. We are swimming in rescue to help the stranded begin life anew. The more we increase in skill, the more the need increases in potential. As the vision of great need arises fatigue surely begs for relief. I know some of you must be very tired; nearly undone. Be free to rest in Jesus. Don't give up, though. He will refresh you that you might continue your life-saving swim.

The creative ingenuity among us is positively staggering. The ideas to win the world in greater number at faster pace have yet to be thought of. We have not exhausted imagination's impact. Eternity will change for so many because you volunteered to die trying to help the wounded and the forgotten.

Our world is full of orphans (so to speak) who have been abandoned by deceitful world promises and are now trying to find their way back home to God. Keep the press on!

Saturday, September 27, 2008


If you read the comments on the "Change" article of Wednesday, you will note a couple of volleys with a reader named John. I don't know John's last name so I don't know if I know him. What I want you to see are my article, his comments, and my volleys.

What I want you to note is two men seem to have some differences. Some of the differences could be found to be saying the same things. Others.....not. What little I know about John and what lot I know about myself is we are both alike; frail mere men trying to evaluate the mysteries of God.

Be encouraged to do as we both are. We are trying to fit ourselves into the brilliant schemes of God in the most effective ways. We are likely right on a few things and wrong on others. Probably we would both be surprised at God's point of view.

I appreciate the unknown writer named John because he is simply sharing a slant to something I may be missing. He is no threat and certainly not an enemy. I would assume him to be a believer serious about discipleship. It just isn't ever a matter of who is right. It matters greatly who is receiving the glory....and it is neither one of us.

Keep reaching for God's style!

Friday, September 26, 2008


The body of Christ is suffering from paralysis of spirit. We are afraid. We fear we will fail. We fear the unknown. We fear fear. Safety has become our conventional wisdom which was never ushered in by the Word nor exemplified by the Word-become-flesh. Jesus was immaculately capable in every setting significantly because fear was not a part of his make-up.

Fear chokes personal growth. I’m not sure if I had not been thrust into public ministry if I would have done much differently myself. I did not know what to do as minister. Complications set in when any inkling of what to do was next approached by the not knowing how to do it. It is just so much safer to stay back, but because action was expected of me in this field, I was forced to move forward. I had to learn how to teach a Bible class….when I just couldn’t do it. I had to learn how to do weddings and funerals when I could barely breath. For many in the church, they are not forced as I was so they opt for the easier route.

What’s happening? For certain we have many celebrating the wonderful life of mystery in the kingdom. However, there may be a few great ministries as a well as the members possessing powerful gifts which never come off of the pew simply as a result of hesitancy. The world is being robbed of gigantic heroes because these never risk in order to become anything more than “at least they didn’t fail” and “at least they caused no embarrassment”. I urge you to move out into the unsafe regions of kingdom service. Yes, you’ll fail at times and such is of most important value. It is called growing up.

Let’s work together on becoming fearless.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Some are in their heyday to mock any who call for change in the church. They besmirch them as change-agents. I am a change agent because Jesus was. Change would be found in scriptures under words like new, renewal, born again, repent, and grow. We are called by God to mature in Christ which would insist upon moving from one point to yet another.

How much change must we make and how much can we take? As long as Jesus is Master and as long as we are disciples we will live under perpetual change. We will be asked to learn what we yet do not know. We will be required to reach out when we don't know how. We will be called to opportunity when we've no experience.

I ran into a Baptist pastor at coffee. He came over to my table to ask what we are doing to keep the drain from the church? His is losing so many young people because they have preserved the church of the 70s. Later this afternoon I learned of a woman now in her late 40s who was one of our special teens when I moved to Memorial. She lives severely depressed and far removed from any pursuit of God. She was raised in a home which didn't study or grow in the Lord but was in hot and critical pursuit of any change the church encountered.

Failing to change may sound somewhat preservationalist, but it is highly costly. Spirituality will require steady and even uncomfortable adjustment...again...and again....and again. We will want to keep growing in God. Ours is not the goal to become a worldly church adjusting to culture's whim, but a faithful group adapting to the freedoms found in the prison-breaking Jesus. God will reveal some of our stances as wood, hay, and stubble.

We should want to make all the changes needed to groom the body to look more like the modern Him than the past us.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Jesus did it all....just right. His was of the ideal, yea perfect, temperament. Watch in marvel. Let your jaw drop. Jesus knew how to do every moment in such perfection one could swear it was God walking. Ah, He was.

Jesus did what we can't do well. He could handle the needy with compassion while dealing with the critics head-on without hesitation. Jesus never mis-stepped. One might say Jesus could step through the sewers without stepping in it. One of our greatest flaws is we can't do criticism well. We are short-fused and get miffed and then distracted in our mif-fortune. Jesus didn't.

Jesus could see one in need while feeling immediate threats of disapproval. He would not hesitate to do the right thing; yet would not spend much time fretting the hatefuls. We reverse the order: we dabble in compassion and flail in the cesspool of gawking accusers. Yes our mouths speak loudly that something ought to be done for the poor among us; but our spirits of contempt for others leaps out in front of our words and shoots down our original good intentions.

Truly, we must continue to grow in the nature and the spirit of Jesus' perfect and full disposition. The world has never seen anything like him since.....or has it? Yes, it should. And by the grace of God we will work to see that it sees his style again and again and again. We will not let the haters of the Jesus walk cause us to stop from becoming just like him. No, we will step up our pace. We will become more compassionate and much less miffed. And if we find people don't like us? We'll try to not let it bother us anymore than it did him. His was a mission to win the world. Ours shall be nothing less!

Monday, September 22, 2008


Our staff attended an all-day seminar today called "Get Motivated". We heard General Colin Powell, Zig Ziglar, Dr. Robert Schuller, Mayor Rudy Guilliani and several others. I love days like this. I got to spend time with some of the more special people in my walk and got to hear great ideas from highly successful individuals.

When I attend seminars like this they always awaken my senses to possibility. I love the idea of possibility. We live under rule of a creative God who brings the most marvelous things into existence. We are created in His image and we, therefore, have an impactive spirit which thrills the universe! It was noted in many speeches the clarity of Jesus belonging in the market place.

The sheer truth of God placing resurrection power in us gives me chills of wonder. We can go about creating new events and new people. We don't have to give up on anyone. There was much presentation regarding investments and the stock market which went right on over my head. But I picked up in those presentations the tremendous fact that there is so much knowledge to learn new things in those areas which will benefit the common man.

Lest we forget, there is new knowledge abundant in the Bible yet to be discovered. There are new ways and new windows of opportunity. We are still learners. I love learning of a God soooo big He leaves me feeling I'm always in kindergarten. Discovery in the business world is just getting started. So it is in the spiritual world. Stay alert to God's new ways and contemporary wisdom. No generation has drained God of all the new He has in store!

Sunday, September 21, 2008


Some are spoiled rotten. Not us. We are spoiled healthy. I love what God has given us at Memorial. We aren't the ideal or perfect congregation; but we are happy and productive. I think about some of our young guys who are now working with churches. I'm sure Eric Magnusson in the struggling Detroit area or Tim Rush with their ten or twelve in Guadalajara would be enthused to have half what I get to experience week after week.

My hat is off to those who gathered today around the globe with attendance less than 100. Often these gather with incredible endurance and faith. From such comes kingdom impact because these will not quit; they will not give up. I have not forgotten first moving to Memorial and there were more adults in the young marrieds class than we had in the entire church when I had begun preaching two years earlier.

God has very faithful, very powerful servants enlisted throughout all regions. They may not have authored a book or had their names mentioned in the newspaper, but their names are written in the Book of Life. We are the body of Christ; a thousand gather over there and six over here. Sprinkled throughout are clusters of hard working, tall imagining Christians who believe they count....and they do.

All groups consist of great lack and embarrassing flaw. But one thing we can count on is we all count because God has cobbled us together to form one impressive network of aggressive workers.

The Church? We are spoiled healthy!

Saturday, September 20, 2008


Life is sad on many fronts; challenging on others. I watch people in restaurants and stores. So many are in poor health. Depression seems to be the make-up of the day for several. Every morning I drive by the office which assigns daily work details to the unemployed. What a long line. The wars and rumors of wars mixed with financial concerns can leave us in a state of oxymoronish "clear uncertainty".

Yesterday I visited a man five years my junior whose health affects his mental ability. We've known one another for years, yet he repeatedly interrupted our conversation with, "Now tell me again who you are?" On my way back to the office I saw a middle-aged man down on the sidewalk along the curb of a busy street as another tried to help him. I don't know if he was injured, ill, or drunk. I know my heart was sad at the scene and glad for the citizen assisting.

We must encourage one another to keep putting all of our eggs into the one basket called Jesus. As things grow more uncertain, he arises to greater certainty. The darker the background the brighter the diamond. I'm proud of the church that it continues to grow in letting its light shine rather than causing a glare. We are in this for God to get the glory. Jesus is the diamond. Let him shine!

Friday, September 19, 2008


Jesus made it clear that we are to put our confidence in the Bank of Heaven where corruption cannot break in and steal. America's headlines this week cause us to reflect upon how, once again, wise Jesus seems. The safest place to put our money is in the giving away zone. Earthiness insists we figure a way to keep it.

This week's news isn't about Wall Street or politics or poor judgment. It is all about where we believe our money is the safest. When all is said and done, the words of Jesus will prove true. The best way to save funds is to give them away. The kingdom of God is backward to the kingdom earth.

Before house payment or car(s) payment or retirement planning, our biggest deposit of the money God graces our income with should be in our giving every week. Nothing we buy should surpass the amount we give. That's not a law. It's a vision.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

90% DUD

Ever wish you were more? Me, too.

We spend a lot of our time dodging incoming insults at how foolish we are while trying to make sufficient strides of significant improvement in and for mankind. We desperately try to make meaningful progress while; simultaneously, we run straight into our own miserable lack. Odd, we all are, at how many extremes we each possess all by ourselves.

I've watched us. We are weird. Here's what I've concluded about the generality of all mankind: we each are about 10% brilliant and about 90% dud. Now, I really believe the 10% may be bragging somewhat. The real figure may be lower than 1%, but I use the 10% simply for illustration.

The truth is God expressly pointed out in I Corinthian 1:20-31 that He does not select the mighty, and the sharp, and the intelligent, but rather those at the other end of the chart. We each are chosen to receive Holy Spirit gifts and then teaches that such composition comprises the body as a whole. We are gifted as an arm; but quite lousy as an eye. Or, we are gifted as a toe which is a huge failure of an excuse for an ear. Our problem is when we become so enamoured with our calling we develop a criticism for others not quite as sharp as we are.

Mistake. Big mistake.

Everyone is important, I'm saying. But no one is independently useful without the rest of us. So, dear one, if for any reason you have been feeling a tad bit grateful in being glad you aren't like the rest of us, you need to know something: you are exactly like the rest of us. We are all alike. Every person we know (celebrity or pauper) is 10% marvel and 90% dud.

This truth leads us to see the value of being a team; Christ's literal body still on earth. An ear with excellent hearing is useless if laying by itself on the sidewalk. But if you give it a head to attach it to, a torso to set the head on, legs to take the body places, and arms and hands to wash it, then the other 90% of the gifted ones makes the ear able to fulfill it's important role.

May we work with each other instead of against. Alone we are arrogant duds. Together we are inter-dependently the body of Christ.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


I don't even know if it's all right to write this. I try to encourage you regarding kingdom matters. It may be especially important to share works I don’t know how to handle for some of you hit the same wall. I think it valuable leadership among you to speak of my inability to know what to do. While you read of my weaknesses, God somehow uses such as strength. The most dominating comment I receive from those who have ordered the 100% Natural Evangelism DVDs is appreciation that I share where I failed in outreach. Why is that? It lets people in.

I am entering a zone of ministry which I find myself in over my head….once again. A door has been opened for me to reach out to a gay woman. Initially, our connection came about as I sought her advice about a project. I have no experience in ministering to this specific and important community. I really like her…and I really love her. We had never met before, but since our initial visit she has attended Memorial three times. Another meeting is set up at her request.

I do not know how to go about this. All I know to do is to love her the way I think Jesus would. I don’t understand the gay lifestyle because I’m not tempted by it. I understand the lust lifestyle, and the greed lifestyle, and the outburst of anger lifestyle, and the faction lifestyle (all spelled out in Galatians 5:19-20) because I’m not only tempted in those and others……..I’m guilty of them. Hers? I’m not tempted in any fashion of it except one; being critical.

I’m going into this zone unprepared. I don’t know what to do to assist in lifting her from this sinful practice. I know for sure Jesus loves her as much as he does anyone. I will assume he will speak through our developing relationship. I am curious. For now my goal is to listen. I want to hear from her how being raised in the church felt. What goes on in her heart? Is she torn? Confused? In denial? What? I am praying God would work to lift this wonderful woman to new life in Him that perhaps she has yet to discover.

I share with you a brief moment of standing in my shoes that you might be encouraged at the perplexing situations you find yourself in while trying to reach the world with the heart of God. I am clueless. At times, you are. May we try well.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Church building isn’t something we do. Rather it is something we stay out of the way so He can do it. We don’t do the construction as we are the construction. I remind you of Peter Scazzero’s 2003 book, The Emotionally Healthy Church. Read it….again. In this work, Scazzero reveals how our people can be set free---not superficially, but down deep.

I believe we have a portion (if not all) of members who are tickled pink to serve; yet feel they are not functioning from anything more than surface. This present world bids ferociously for our time and attention. It leaves the kingdom-of-God people tired and torn. Focus, strength, and effectiveness suffer. Religious fatigue tends to submit carnal effort.

Some can fake their Christianity for years; even decades. Yet the inner part grows increasing dim and the outer ability develops a sluggish pace. If not checked we individually become as dead vines bearing frustratingly little fruit while continuing to display our leaves for eye-pleasing effect. We have shifted from fruit-bearing accomplishment to church decor.

One of the graces I yield to see restored in the church is that of emotion. The beginning church “kept feeling” a sense of awe. We must pay heed to being in motion without the Spirit’s e-motion affording joy….and peace…and love. Jesus is building his kind of church. We will do well to be deeply involved from the inside out.

Monday, September 15, 2008


Have you noticed life in the kingdom comes with pressure? The joy is surely reachable; yet even James notes we are to count it all joy when we encounter various trials. Trials vary all right. Strain piggybacks church progress at every turn.

Why can't life be easier? The answer to that one can be traced to a shade tree and the first couple standing beneath it pondering its fruit. God made it clear to refrain; but they still wondered. Their assumed insignificant snack sent mankind into a perpetual spin of strain. Since that disruptive day nothing good comes easy. The bad does, though.

Therefore, don't quit. Don't give up. God knows the score. We overwhelmingly conquer. We win. Perpetual strain? Oh that! Well, it surely is present. But because of Jesus we manipulate the stress of it to become our ally. Instead of going down because of interruption, we so count it all joy we use strain as workout machines in our spiritual gym. Pressure builds faith muscle. We may be weary but it is because we've been building stamina for the marathon of life.

Leaders don't fade. We come on stronger. We don't lose momentum. We arise to the occasion. Reports of stress and strain won't cause us to flinch. We will accept the challenge. Jesus had a few moments of tension. He never lost sight of us. If others are yet to be saved, those of us suffering stress must not lose sight of the world we are reaching.

Tough life being a Christian?

Yes, and isn't it wonderful?

Sunday, September 14, 2008


I'm back!

I've been to the Prayer Seminar in Calhoun, Louisiana Friday and Saturday and then preached at Dusty's church in Conway this morning. I enjoyed all of it...but Hurricane Ike's swats kept us tip-toeing through our travels.

The seminar was so good. Keith Roberts and Crew put together such a meaningful line-up of speakers to inspire those interested in continual prayer growth. I got to meet Gene and Marsha Adams. While we had never met, I had prayed with them several times by phone while Gene has been battling cancer. He made it to the seminar!

And then, I got to speak in Conway this morning. Power had been knocked out during the night due to the storm, but was recovered by the 10:30 service. The 8:00 a.m. gathering as well as the 9:30 classes had to be cancelled. But I had a terrific time with the University Church in Conway.

Plus, I got to be Grandpa to four pretty special kids! I keep teaching them great new ideas which I feel certain thrill their mom and dad! Friday morning I got to drive Emma (11) to school. As she was getting out of the car, I rolled the windows down, turned up the radio on a Rap station, and let the car rock with noise! Emma was so embarrassed....so she said. When she got out of the car, I drove out the drive----windows down, speakers up, and car a-rocking! Awesome!

Glad to be back!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


Do you find yourself fighting the nature to be a control freak? I mean do you get stuff in your mind and you seem like you've been taken prisoner as your determination as to how things are to be must rule; must win? The body of Christ is more effective when it is limber. Rigidity doesn’t belong in the kingdom system. I was reared to be very uptight. Such spiritual arthricity still plagues my ministerial movement. One who truly grows in the Holy Spirit increases in flexibility.

John 3:8 discusses that all born again are so supple they can shift or even reverse direction, much like the wind, day after day. Unbending stances have become a modern day call for respectable doctrine. Such didn’t arise from scripture as much as tradition. What goes unnoticed by us as we are stuck in it is that we don’t know we are stuck in it. We think church is the way…..

......Okay, so do you want to hear something sorta weird? I’m in the office at 5:00 trying to write this article for the blog. I’m in when no one else is to keep from being interrupted, right? So I decide you need to know about flexibility and the doorbell rings. I begrudgingly go answer it wondering what somebody wants when I’m trying to work.

So I go to the door just now even in typing mid-sentence and it’s one of our sweet college kids with an envelope marked “Terry” on it. In it is a letter from his momma expressing having saved up this money, $200, for me to use as I wanted. People are always giving me money and I give it away when/as I think God wants. How nice of this servant heart. I started to put it away and decided to pocket it as I may run into someone tonight who needs it.

So I’m back now at my computer pounding out the sentences on arthricity and rigidity when the door bell rings again. Brother! Urghh! I’m trying to write an article on being flexible here and if you idiots don’t quit ringing that stupid and irritating doorbell, I’m never going to get done! (Insert more Urrrrrghh here.)

I get up and go to the door to find a 60-ish year old disabled man with an electric bill in hand. He explains he and his wife are disabled and she is on a breathing machine and they just can’t afford to have their electric cut off. He showed me his ID and the bill which showed he lives in the neighborhood. He needed 70-some dollars so I peeled off $80 and told him that not ten minutes ago someone was ringing this same door bell handing me money for anyone who needed it......

Now, back to my story about flexibility. We all need to…..nah, I think that was it. Once again, God wrote the text!

Liz Moore, I need you to email me at trush@memorialdrive.org.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008


Ah, this is neither a bird or a plane! And for those who wouldn't have strong ties to Superman, they wouldn't catch the questioning anyway. But I do think this to be an angel....an angel that has even stayed in my home on occasion.
Mary and I have ten grandkids. One, little Ana Rush Chapel, already claimed her mini-wings three years ago. We often think about her.
This picture is of sweet granddaughter Karsyn. Before her is her four-candled birthday cake. She is a part of the three-pronged Guad-Squad because she and her two brothers patrol the streets of Guadalajara...from their car seats of course...where Tim and Kim have served for five years.
I'm very proud of Tim and Kim as they live sacrificially without complaint. Both are upbeat. They connect quickly with a wide range of people. They love the Guadalajarians.
This couple could use some additional funds. They are in what may be a typical missionary position of having more funds committed than needed and fewer funds actually coming in than needed. If your congregation would be interested in picking up a part of their support, would you contact us at Memorial Drive? You can email me at trush@memorialdrive.org for more details. Too, you might want to give a one time donation. That would be wonderful.
Be sure to enjoy the todayness of today for grandkids bring great delight. Should you not be old enough to have any yet, then enjoy the fact you are one!

Monday, September 08, 2008


Contradictory to slogan, talk is not cheap. Talk is the power of God; He spoke the world into existence. We have inherited His image and will not escape the trait of His power in our personal demeanor. What we form in words becomes. Do you wish to build up or tear down? Either will be accomplished by what? Words. Either route is developed by one steadfast and common denominator; verbal expression. Ours is the privilege to choose.

This is why it is so important we guard our tongues. The Bible says forests are set on fire by those who just cannot control what they say. Hope is developed by what? Words. Hope is lost by what? Words. The choice is ours. Once we punch the button as to our selection the results are sure; they are neither vague nor neutral. We will deliver construction or destruction; but we will not speak without consequence of good or of evil.

The human landscape is strewn with the litter of broken-hearted mankind which has responded to the unfortunate words some have heard throughout life. For some of us, we are indeed thrilled to break the mold of sarcasm and cynicism. For others, there remains the most desperate of prisons because dreams and hopes are locked behind tight but invisible bars of assumed stupidity because such is what filled their ears from those they trusted most.

Do you notice some children doing poorly? It isn't because of social class nor ethnic group. It is because of word intake. Words of parents or teachers (or both) broke the tender backs of little children who didn't ever know it was possible to simply be good enough to find acceptance. Not so strangely, churches grow or decline according the selection of words coming from their leaders. Some come to life because of inspiring talk. Others are talked to death.

Talk is expensive.

Some reading this have no clue what I mean. You were never subjected to the daily reminders of being told how dumb and useless you were. However, those of us who were trained by it are now driven with irreversible passion to see that the entire world gets a chance to hear a few good words which assures others they are important. Such is the purpose of this blog....day after day. Together you and I join to see this world does not starve from malnutrition of good, healthy words.

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building up others according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen...Ephesians 4:29.


We have been working on a DVD promo for the workshop. I wrote the manuscript to do the voice-over. Shane Coffman recorded my voice and Tammy Bowers built a theme for the 2009 Tulsa Workshop blending slides and music. Everyone’s work was exceptional but one: mine.

Tammy passed me the finished product yesterday morning and I couldn’t wait to see what she had arranged. Shane’s work? A+. Tammy’s? A+. Mine? A for Awful. My voice started out dead and then lost steam! I will be taking a mulligan on this one….or do-overs for the non-golf crowd. How awful. And, I worked so hard on it.

Be encouraged. Not everything you try turns out to be prize-winning work. Try again. On occasion we do lousy work. I just want you to know today I am very much in the mix of lousiness.

I will do better!

Sunday, September 07, 2008

My good friend, Jeff Brown, sent me a most encouraging and timely letter Saturday to boost my spirit. He didn’t know the precise salve of the moment which his words would bring. Once again, God struck!

In his letter Jeff quoted from the Sayings of the Desert Fathers, “What must one do in order to please God? The old man replied, 'Pay attention to what I tell you: whoever you may be, always have God before your eyes; whatever you do, do it according to the testimony of the Holy Scriptures; in whatever place you live, do not easily leave it. Keep these precepts and you will be saved.' ”

This quote is passed on by a man who has been superintendent of the same school for twenty years; two decades, 1040 weeks! I admire him greatly for his endurance while he continually displays nothing but the Spirit of Christ in his walk.

I encourage you to heed the quote I now pass from Jeff through me to you. Hang in there. Hold on. God runs the show. Dings and dents hurt us deeply. God’s anointing oil keeps the light shining from our eyes.

Saturday, September 06, 2008


Mary and I met friends for dinner last night. The couple asked me about their neighbors. Two gay men live next door and they believe one is dying. A lot of traffic recently causes them to believe hospice is present. The question from this couple was, “What can we do to effectively minister?” As the rest of us, they don’t want to say or do the wrong thing. What wonderful hearts asking pertinent questions.

So what should be done? I’ll give you my response realizing there are a thousand better and more faithful ones. I urged them to be on that man’s doorstep with food and concern. The key to any move is trusting God to work. God may choose to work through them or they simply may be watering what someone else in God’s kingdom has sown. It seems to me we want these men to know Christians love every neighbor. My goal would be to love this man as closely to the mannerisms of Jesus that can be mustered. I would simply let all in the house know of my concern and see what doors open by God and what ones don’t.

I would ask the man how he’s been doing the last few days. I would ask if he needs someone to sit with him, read to him, pray with him. Eventually, I would ask him if he is afraid. This often unlocks the tightest of stubborn doors. One can only work from his response. I would not go in, at first, bent on winning him; but to be an ambassador for God. I would try to love him as Christ loves all of us. If in that love, the opportunity arises to invade his heart with the too-good-to-be-true news of Jesus, then indeed mission blessed.

I would encourage all disciples to refrain from calculating how to control a situation. God will always take us farther than our scanty imaginations. I’m most proud of my friends and those of you who see beyond the glares of sin to take action to love the sinful as Jesus does us…..Romans 5:1-11.

Friday, September 05, 2008


I love watching the politics of America unfold. I don’t necessarily enjoy the extreme commentators on either side. But, oh how I like studying the dynamics of what makes things move and what shuts people down. Do we not live in similar workings?

The thing I took away from both conventions is the concerted effort to persuade about the “New”. New is such a boost to morale, to direction, and to hope. Of the kingdom Jesus was quick to chime that men and women can be made new. To be born again is the greatest plea of Christianity.

“Born again” has been displaced into yawning sloganville. It’s not new anymore and the phrase, “I’m born again”, may have lost its luster. Yet, it shouldn’t. Discovering an old person can start life over and become a new person is beyond the wildest of wild imaginations.

Congregations need to ask, “What are we offering new?” Are we offering a new day, new life, new start, new vision, new outlook, new possibilities, and new hope? I think we carry the key to igniting life in the church and in the community by offering the “New” Testament concept of new!

Due to His mercies we are new every morning! The conventions are over. The church isn’t. We should be wide-eyed to the possibilities that we can provide the most basic tenet which still inspires the world….newness of life!

Thursday, September 04, 2008


The carolers managed their way along the sidewalks of Princeton, New Jersey on a snowy Christmas Eve. They came upon an old man’s place and began to sing “O Little Town of Bethlehem”. The old man was a musician who, being Jewish, didn’t necessarily celebrate the way the carolers assumed. Yet after coming to the door, he turned to retrieve his violin to offer perfect accompaniment.

This man worshipped Mozart and felt such an artist was more than a musician; he was an explorer to be idolized. The gentle soul’s violin marvelously blended with the young singers the rest of the way through the song…and then he turned and vanished behind the closed door. The old man had such a zest for the unknown. He felt Mozart was the epitome of world leadership and vision. If only society could discover as Mozart had, all would be better off…..thought the sweet man.

This amateur violinist was a master of many things…..many things. He once was sought to be President of Israel, yet he declined as he continued to now live in the Americas. His passion for improvement never faded. His drive for looking the present square in the eye and adjusting it to become even more productive had driven this ageless wonder to pick up the violin and learn to play it masterfully. He had to conquer so many things, but this stringed instrument was paramount. The old man? Never did he become the President of Israel; yet, he is known as a world leader in his own right. His name is Albert Einstein.

I encourage you to note the world leaders who explore for more information and affirmation than has yet to be discovered. God is not nearly done revealing new criteria and invention anymore than the sun hanging in space is about to burn out. There is more to come! Love life!

Wednesday, September 03, 2008


I’ve read many reports and themes suggesting that even after a person has exerted many years of external service in the church, many of us are still full of ourselves. It seems we have launched into faith by trying to obtain greatness by doing things. How is it our lives can move so far into the church (chronologically) and yet fail to leap into its depth (theologically)? Maybe another way of approaching this concept is to ask, “How does one make contact with the deep heart of Jesus to the point we actually begin to mature in/with/through him?”

Michael Molinos wrote The Spiritual Guide in 1675. Some guesstimate he did more to reform the Catholic church than any man in history. While this manuscript became so popular it was translated into every language in Western Europe within six years of its release, Michael himself was sealed in a dungeon and his book condemned. It is no wonder that such a man may be one who leads us to the fertile land of potential maturity when he wrote: God loves not the believer who does the most, nor who feels the most, nor who thinks the most cleverly and best, nor even that one who shows the greatest love, but He loves him who suffers the most.

Suffering is the key-fob to the most delightful and fruitful of kingdom works. It unlocks the most amazing doors of hope and opportunity. Shrink not from disappointment or abuse. Don’t hop the carriage of “Why me?” and “How come I never get a break?” and expect to find life. Such revelations only come from God’s secret chambers whispered by the spiritual giants; the sufferers. Suffering is the way of the cross to bring freedom to all imprisoned.

Suffering some lately? Don’t fret. Don’t sweat. Don’t run. Learn.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008


God's people live in very pressured times. Maybe we don't live under the peril the early church faced when encountering the Romans, but we have our own sets of stresses and sufferings. The good news is God has foreseen such and provides ample route to victory.

Our faith has muscle. It is able to push back discouraging voices and problematic situations. Faith walks on without doubt as to whether God is active. Faith is sure God has given His children "already conquered" passes to get through the decade or the day. We win! We count even the sensitive pressures as joy! We do!

Yes, the inventory can inflict pain.....tear-bringing, heart-agonizing pain. But He says through Jesus we overwhelmingly conquer! We answer a bullying world with faith. We are neither stumped nor stranded. We are not going under. We do not have to run. We win! For about three days the opponents (as in Jesus in the grave) may think they smell victory; but it isn't. It's simply mismanaged overindulgence in their nostrils. We win! God says so.

Stuff coming at you? Worry trying to rob you of sleep? Stress taking its toll? Push back...with a faith that moves forward as if everything is okay.....because it really is! Feeling you are not all right today? Hold on. You will be. Romans 8:28-39.

Monday, September 01, 2008


If someone were to ask if you are a soul winner, what would be your response? Mine, years ago, would have been an ashamed, “No”, as I had not led anyone to be baptized. I had concluded due to church talk that the ultimate in soul winning was to baptize someone into Christ. Soul winning, however, means more than that one important activity. It includes a host of other areas.

When we treat others with decency and respect because we are aware of the “larger them” on the inside, we are sowing seed to the prosperous soul-part of that person. When we encourage the spirit of another we are “soul influencing”. I encourage you that every person within your radius is a soul and you have potent soul-food to offer at every minute. Your gestures, your body language, and your words either build up or tear down. We are either soul winning or soul losing, but we are never neutral.

Help others come alive. See the valuable hidden life behind the phony smile or the sarcastic comment. See the buried goodness beneath the sloth or behind the resistance. So much of the time those around us are not operating at full Spirit capacity and they need a boost…..our boost!

Reconnecting a detached soul to the lifeblood of community requires power that only a few people seem to possess. Powerful people can see the hidden life that is already poured into another by God and, with an awareness of the life they have received from the same source, they pour out what is deepest and truest and noblest within them into the soul of another; and they do it with a clear vision of what that other person could become as the life of Christ is nourished and released within.
Larry Crabb


I learned recently that workers are reading this blog in Swaziland. What a charge that gives me to know this blog reaches that far. Missionaries and natives are tuning in to Morning Rush. So this causes me to wonder what foreign countries are picking up on this little daily writing.

Would you mind sharing some of:
  • What country you are from?
  • How long have you been there?
  • For those originally from the states, what one was regarded as home?
  • What is your role: career, missionary, native?
  • What encourages you most about your walk with God?
  • What challenges you most in your faith walk?