Monday, May 30, 2005

Final Episode: Growing Part III

As I stated in my last post, Rick says the question that we need to ask is "What are we doing that is preventing us from growing?". Just as a reminder, the Independent Christian churches have grown by 18% in the last 10 to 15 years, while the churches of Christ have lost 4%. There was only one group that was growing faster than the Christian guessed it, the Mormons. And they were at 19%. So, of all the fellowships that have a restoration heritage, the Christian churches are growing by FAR faster than any other group. And again, we are talking about numerical growth........not other types of growth that are also important.

Ok, here is the difference Rick and others see in the two groups, Christian churches and churches of Christ. One word: Leadership. Being more specific: Elders or Shepherds. If they both have male leadership, then what is the difference?
Being even MORE specific: One group has a goal to EMPOWER it's members and staff.......the other group has a goal to set policy and keep the peace. Guess which is which?!?!? See if you think this is a fair description. Many of our Shepherds are full time professionals that work 50 and 60 hours a week. What is the LAST thing they want at an elder's meeting? Conflict. How do you avoid conflict?
You make sure everybody is happy, and therefore you keep the peace. Guess what that means? Your goal is basically to maintain the status quo. It has been observed by many that our present way of Shepherding allows Shepherds to stay in control....keep everything somewhat peaceful....if they keep the congregation at around 1,000 members or so. After that, it's really difficult to keep the status quo. Have you noticed how many congregations we have at around 1,000 and then they just seem to plateau? To "Plateau" is a common denominator in our fellowship. Maybe in your area it is more than a thousand, or maybe a little less. But with that as the goal of the leadership, there is SOME number that fits. Keeping the peace and status quo is NOT the goal of the leadership in Christian churches.....evidently. They let the minister and staff lead, and the Elders are in a SUPPORT mode......not control mode. They empower the members to dream big, and then give them the support to go after those dreams! And I doubt if it is always peaceful. Like I heard Randy Harris say once, everybody is happy to see a 16 year old come in as a stranger to the congregation......until it is one that comes in looking like he just fell into a tackle box! Right? That can upset some apple carts! One question that was asked of us in these classes at Pepperdine was this: "What is your church praying for that you KNOW the only way it is going to happen is if GOD does it?" That is a powerful question, would you agree? And an even more powerful prayer. What kind of leader was Jesus? Think about it.

Ok, when all is said and done, none of us can play the victim in all of this and therefore pass on the accountability that needs to be addressed. Until I look at the guy in the mirror and ask him what he has done to help spread the Gospel to the 190,000,000 in the USA that don't believe, then I don't need to be pointing any fingers at any Shepherds or anybody else! The fact of the matter is, I haven't done diddly squat. Oh sure, I have given contribution, and that is important! And I have prayed, which is VERY important. But other than those two things, I really haven't taken the Great Commission personal. That is my confession to my blogging community. So before all 3 or 4 of you, I want you to hear me saying that I am repenting! Here and now! I want to be about the same kind of work Jesus was all about...."seeking and saving the lost." How many unbelievers am I attracting with my blog post? DUH! How about NONE! Maybe I should spend a little more time with that as my motivation. Reckon?

I am excited about something I have committed to in regards to evangelism. I don't have the time, nor do you WANT to hear me tell you all the details as to how God has worked amongst the student body here. But, there has been a revival amongst several groups of sports teams on campus. A group of Bison football players are meeting every Wed. night in a Bible Professor's home, and I met with them once this Spring before they got out of school. What a BLESSING it was to be with them and see them interacting with each other on a spiritual plane! I requested that next fall I wanted them to identify some members of the football team that are not believers so that I might try and get to be their friend, and let God impact their life thru me. I am excited about that, and I want this community to hold me accountable in my efforts. That's one thing community does, right? From time to time next fall email me and ask me how that is going. I need your encouragement!

God bless our leaders to have vision, and to have the wisdom to lead by empowering. God bless each of us to be light and salt to a dark and lost world. On my BEST day all I have is 5 loaves and 2 fish, and He has shown us already what He can do with that amount. My guess is many of you have way more than that! Give them to Him and see how He uses them.......and you.

"With God, all things are possible".

Friday, May 27, 2005

Growing Part II

In my last post, I stated some facts about our numerical growth....or lack churches of Christ. I never referred to it as "numerical" growth, because I assumed the reader would know that was what I was talking about. I am sorry if I assumed too much ( I should remember the little story about assuming anything) and gave the impression that numerical growth is the ONLY kind of growth a Christian should be striving for or concerned about. YES........there are MANY ways churches can grow and many ways we as individuals can grow also! If you go back and read most of my posts, I think you will find a lot of posts about "growing" in ways that are not measured by numbers. So I am not a numbers freak. Mike's post was awesome yesterday (duh!) and I doubt there was anybody yelling "Amen" louder than I was! His post was about motives, and he was exactly right.........we should be people who have pure hearts and motives, and we for sure should not be motivated by the end results, but more motivated by the means we get there. I didn't refer to any motives at all in my post..........just facts. My post was very shallow, stating figures in black and white........his was deep to the core of who we are and why we do what we do. They are apples and oranges posts. And one other thing I need to clear up before I move on.....I said "Rick" and should have identified him by his complete name so you might not think I was referring to Rick Nelson or Rick Dees.
The men who did this class were Dave Stone and Rick Atchley.

Ok, let's continue this discussion now about NUMERICAL growth. :) Remember, churches of Christ have DECLINED in membership in the last 15 years. You will hear it being said by some folks, "Well, I am not into growing numerically......I just want to grow in my faith and be a faithful believer. I am not into quantity, I am into quality". Couple of thoughts about that......when does being "faithful" and "growing in my faith" include reaching lost people? Not because they are a "NUMBER" or because you want your congregation to have more numbers in their roll book, but because you want a lost person to be saved, and live with you for eternity? Sure our motives have to be pure! That is a given, so let's put that discussion to bed right now and not mention it again. Our motive should be the same as Jesus's motive when he said in Luke 19:10 "For the Son of Man came to seek and save the lost". It wasn't because of numbers, it was because each of those numbers had a soul......and each of those numbers had a name, a face, and he knew the amount of hair in each one of those "numbers" head. His motive was love, and our's should be too. Do numbers mean anything? Well, of course they do........or, absolutely not. It depends on what you are talking about, doesn't it? Take the numbers 1, 3 and 190,000,000. If one is how many times I have wished for a good breakfast this morning, then is very insignificant. If it is one child that you have lost, then you better believe it is important. Ask Mike and Diane and Phil and Judy Hoggard if ONE is important. If 3 is how many times I schooled Keith Riley with a cross over dribble before he caught on, then no.....pretty meaningless. If 3 is how many hours you or a loved one has to live, then it takes on a different perspective. Ask Mike Bucchi if the 3 hours he was informed he had left with Marilyn were important. And the 190 million....well if that is how many times my mom told me to clean my plate, then forget about it. Not a biggie. But what if 190 million is how many unchurched, LOST people there are in the United States alone.......let alone the rest of the world. Then all of a sudden it should be pretty important. It was important enough for Him to come and die for. You see, you count what you care about, you count what is important to you. And that gets us back to the "quality vs quantity" discussion. What if a father and mother of 3 kids are out camping, and on a hike the kids get separated from the parents.....lost. Can you imagine the dad calling up the mom on her cell phone and saying "honey, I found the 2 QUALITY kids". Again, you count what you value.

The Great Commission was not a suggestion. Look at all the parables Jesus told about growth.......the sower, the yeast, the fig trees, the mustard seed, and the wedding feast where he says he wanted his house to be full! You tell me, was Christ concerned with numerical growth? DUH........again, because he LOVED lost people. And those numbers represented LOST children of His. Read Acts 2:41, 2:47, 4:4, 5:14 and 6:7 and ask me if the early church was concerned with lost people. They sacrificed for growth, prayed for growth, and praised God for growth......numerical growth. It's the nature of the Church, it's what a healthy church does. The church is not a hospice only, where you are called to simply sit by and watch the current members slowly die off. Jesus could have taken us back with him, so why didn't he? He could come take us now, so why doesn't he? There are two basic things we can do while we are here........sin or witness. Which of those do you think he wants us to do?

Rick suggested that the question is not "what will make us grow"? The question is "What are we doing that is keeping our churches from growing?" That is what I want to get to the next time I post. 190 million people matter, that is why we ask the question. Each one of them matter to Him, and they should matter to us too.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Why Aren't We Growing ?!?

I listened on CD as I was driving to the three classes Rick and Dave Stone did on "Healthy Churches" at the PU lectureships. Dave, if I heard them right, is at the Southeast Christian church in Louisville that has around 20,000 members.

Here is something I heard that almost made me go in the ditch. In 1990, Churches of Christ had between 30 and 40 congregations of 1,000 members or more. The Christian churches had around 15. In 2005, Churches of Christ still had around 30 to 40, and the Christian churches had.........drum roll........sit down........around 150!!! What's up with that? I will tell you later in the week the main reason Rick sees as to why this has happened. Oh, by the way.......our total numbers have fallen by 4%......the Christian church has risen by 18%. I will go ahead and give you a's not the message each group is delivering. Both fellowships have basically the EXACT same message in every area, and for sure the core Gospel message. So it's not that.

So, I want you to give me your conclusions.........or guesses! Over a 15 year period, why did the Christian churches have such wonderful growth, while Churches of Christ were at best stagnant?

I will be at a church of Christ tonight that has really grown in the past 10 years....the Overland Park church outside of KC. They for sure are not your dyed in the wool c of C. I wish all of you could visit here someday. You would be blessed.

Back home tomorrow night in good ole Searcy. Yeah, Jack........a good place to live! :)

Saturday, May 21, 2005

On the Road Again

Willie sang it best....."on the road again". I head out tomorrow for Tulsa, Wichita, and Kansas City. Lots of time for listening to my PU lectureship CDs! :)
And, I will get to be with some of my favorite people on this trip. David Hall, Steve Smith, Rodney Cheatham, Rick Hendricks, Dr. Arnold and sister Lucy Killen, Gary Brown and some others I am probably leaving out. I am the one who is blessed in these visits! God knew we needed community, and fellowship. When we withhold our fellowship, either as an individual or a community, I believe it tears HIS heart out. How do you feel when your children are on the outs with each other?

We need family, and we need friends. Even though it was a secular song, the Beatles hit the nail on the head when they sang: "I get by with a little help from my friends." The song also asks the timeless question: "do you need anybody?" Remember the answer? "I just need someone to love." It's universal....and we have a story for them, don't we?!?! Tell your story, and in doing so you will be telling THE story. The story we call the Gospel.

Be back next Friday in the office. I will be looking for computers as I go.....gotta have that "blog" fix. Yeah, I am big enough to confess it....."Hello, my name is David and I am addicted to reading other people's blogs"! :)

And yes dad, looking for basenjis too! :)

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Other blogs

He posted it Monday, so you may have already read it.......but if not go by this blog site and check out Patrick Mead's wonderful post!

On the blog titled "A New Life Emerging" by Rick, he posted this quote: "Personally I don't have the guts to follow Jesus, so I often settle for being a Christian."
Never heard it expressed that way before!

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

"Thar He"

50 years ago this summer the first little piece of concrete was removed from the big dam known as segregation. There had been an undercurrent for YEARS, but one murder in Mississippi in the summer of 1955 was like the little pick-axe letting a drip or two of water seep thru that finally was the beginning of the least to institutional segregation. Those few drips weakened the foundation, and it was only a matter of time that the momentum of Rosa Parks's efforts to take a bull dozer to the dam, and then Martin Luther King brought the dynamite, that caused the dam to fall with the signing of the Civil Rights documents by LBJ. But let's go back to the summer of 55.

Have you heard of Emmett Till? A PBS documentary perked my interest earlier this week. Emmett Till was a 14 year old African American who lived in Chicago and wanted to spend the summer with relatives in Mississippi. He went to live with an uncle who was in in his mid 60's and evidently had been a preacher along with his responsibilites of being a field hand. Reverand Moses Wright was his name. For me, he is the hero of this story. Locally he was known as just Mose. Emmett probably was a typical 14 year old boy of ANY race, self-assured and cocky. He was dared to go into a white owned store (there weren't any other options) and flirt with the white woman behind the counter. That was a MAJOR social taboo in 1955 Mississippi. Yeah, major enough for it to cost him his life. You can go to any search engine and type in "Emmett Till" and read the gory details. I will spare you them here on my blog. It isn't for the weak stomach or faint of heart. The bottom line is the husband of the white woman and his half-brother beat Emmett to death and also shot him in the head. For what? Stepping outside the box......going over the line of what was acceptable. It cost him his life.

When you read about the trial, it sounds like the script to something out of Hollywood. It will for sure take you back to the trial scene from "To Kill a Mockingbird". I wouldn't be surprised if the novel by Harper Lee (one of the greatest literary NAMES of all time) written in 1959 was not somewhat influenced or based on the real life incident involving Emmett Till. That may be a "DUH" for everybody else, so forgive my ignorance. The two white men were on trial with a jury of all white males. The attorney for the two men told the jury that they must remember that Mississippi "was the land of the free and home of the brave", and that if they convicted these two men, their ancestors would "turn over in their graves".
Because Emmett was living with Mose that summer, Mose had opened the door to the two killers when they came to get Emmett. Several others had witnessed Emmett being taken, and also heard screams coming from a local barn. But only Mose and one other African American man would testify against these two white men. Here is an account of this part of the trial:

District Attorney Chatam asked if he could point out the man with the gun in the courtroom.

Moses Wright in court points to Milam and Bryant

"Yes, sir!" Wright said without hesitation. He stood up slowly and with an act of courage and defiance that would reverberate across the state of Mississippi and signal the beginning of the end of white supremacy in the South, an old, black sharecropper pointed a gnarled finger at white J.W. Milam and announced in a loud, clear voice, "Thar he!"

Thar he. Mose said later that he would NEVER forget the hundreds of white people in that court room looking at him with hate written all over their faces. He said, "It was the first time in my life that I had the courage to accuse a white man of a crime," he told the press, "I wasn't exactly brave and I wasn't scared. I just wanted to see justice done." As you might guess, anything but justice came from this trial. The two men were acquitted. Scott free. Several months later because they could not be tried again, they sold their story to "Look" magazine for $4,000 and told in detail the whole tragic story.......admitting to being murderers.

100 days after the verdict, Rosa Parks refused to go to the back seat of the bus. She had read about Emmett Till, and like Mose she just wanted to see justice done.
Because of Rosa, MLK got involved in the Montgomery boycott. The rest is history.

The application I want to make may not be the one you are expecting. I could talk about how far we still have to go with the concept of race relations, or I could continue the theme of making "safe" choices. Both would be worthy discussions. But I keep coming back to Mose saying "thar he". I want to encourage us to do the same thing, to have that same kind of courage in the face of tremendous pressure against us, and point to Satan and say "thar he". When you want to settle for a luke-warm marriage where you are only surviving......thar he. When your fellowship wants to continue down a path of arrogant pride filled sectarianism......thar he. When your job is more important than anything else..........thar he. When you continue to make materialism your idol of worship........thar he. When you stand by in silence when innocent babies are being aborted........thar he. When your prayer life is as pathetic as mine.......thar he. When he wants to convince us that other believers are our enemy instead of him, the evil one....thar he. When love takes a back seat to ANYTHING else......thar he. And we could go on and on, huh?

I love Mose Wright. I look forward to someone pointing him out to me on the other side and saying those two words he made famous......."thar he". I plan on thanking him, and giving him a heart-felt hug. I hope it will be a group hug with you.

Friday, May 13, 2005


There is a lot of talk in the air lately about being "safe". I am not talking about in the context of the physical world. The circles where I have been hearing it have been in the spiritual context. What is your response when you hear the term "safe" used in that context?

First, I think it is important to acknowledge that being safe in the physical world makes a lot of fact it is down right crucial and essential! If you aren't safe, you lose your life and probably endanger the lives of others also. How many of us get steamed when we see someone driving carelessly? How many of you remind your teenager to be safe when they leave the house? Being safe is the physical world. Simply said, not being safe leads to death in the physical world.

As we all know, things in the spiritual world are all upside down.....topsy turvy. It makes NO sense! If you want to live, you must die. If you want to be first, you must be last. If you want to be the most important, you must be the servant. If you want to be really rich in spirit, you must be poor in spirit. If you want to be strong, you must be weak. Instead of hating your enemies, love them! Would it be safe to say that in the spiritual world, most things are the direct opposite of what we think of in the physical world? The world view vs the spiritual view. Well, what I want to submit for your consideration is that the same holds true with the concept of being "safe". Yeah, that means "safe" in the spiritual context has the direct opposite consequence from the physical world. Being safe in the spiritual world can kill you, and endanger the spiritual lives of those around you.
"Kill you" meaning to make you ineffective and irrelevant. Have you ever seen someone you considered to be dead spiritually? Ever seen a congregation you considered dead spiritually? My bet is that in both instances you find being "safe" a priority. Are there examples in scripture of people and groups of people who put a priority on being "safe"? Ask Joshua and Caleb about the other 10 wanting to be safe, and the consequences. How long did choosing to be safe cause the Israelites to be ineffective and irrelevant to the world around them? Another insight is that without exception, all "safe" choices are made out of FEAR of something. In this spiritual world, fear can only exist as a result of a lack of faith. So yes, the link is that safe choices are made ultimately because of a lack of faith. Let's go back to scripture again and see those who had incredible faith, and the power it gave them over fear and safe choices. Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego and the fire, Daniel and the lions, Hezekiah and facing Sennacherib...and the list goes on and on. All of them could have made safe choices. Their faith wouldn't allow it. Safe and faith can't coexist. Wanta move on to the New Testament? Here we go! I wonder how things might have been different if Joseph had put away Mary, which undoubtedly would have been the safe choice! Peter could have stayed in the boat, Zacchaeus could have stayed home, the blind man in John 9 could have given the Pharisees a safe answer when they had him in their Kangaroo court. Nope, no safe actions by those folks. Their faith motivated them to be bold, in the face of whatever was before them, because they knew God was greater than the thing they might fear. Ahh..........and then we come to Jesus. Saving the best for last! First off, I think for sure the safe thing would have been to stay with the Father instead of coming here for us. Jesus was consistent, and from that first choice to his last one, he ALWAYS shunned the safe choice. He chose quite the opposite, really. Not only was he NOT safe, he was the complete opposite......he chose to be RADICAL! We all acknowledge who the folks were who were making the safe choices, like not healing on the sabbath and the likes. The Pharisees wanted to be safe, at all cost. And Jesus drove them crazy! To be more accurate, they hated him for the point they looked for ways to kill him, and eventually did. Other examples of Jesus not being safe? Who did he hang out with? How safe was it to pick common fishermen and tax collectors as his leaders? How about choosing Saul? Can you hear that choice being discussed in the Sanhedrin committee meeting? No way would they have chosen him......too risky! He might offend someone......namely them! And last but not least, thank goodness Jesus wasn't safe when it came to the cross. If he had been, you and I would never know what it would be like to be safe from sin and safe from Satan. We never would have had the chance to experience God's SAVING grace. You see, being radical and bold and acting in faith, instead of fear, is what leads to REALLY being safe........ain't it a topsy-turvy upside-down spiritual world? Yeah, that is why we feel like aliens here. When we aren't making safe choices, that is. In our walk with him, He NEVER, EVER calls us to be "safe". Why? Because instead of leading to life, it leads to death.

I John 2:6 "Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did".

It wasn't a safe walk.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

" I Love This Church"

Those of you who read this blog from time to time know that I like to listen to music! All types. Just recently in this area we have been given access to a comtemporary Christian music station, and I LOVE it! I have confessed on an earlier post that I don't have the appreciation for this beautiful music that I should, and that I wish I had listened to it with my boys and instilled a love for it in them. On that, I failed. But because of this new station, my heart is being filled with some wonderful songs of praise and worship. For any in the Searcy area not familiar with it, the setting is 101.5 on your FM dial.

Having said that, yes........I still listen to other kinds of music. And before this new station came to town, I fell in love last year with Toby Keith's song "I love this Bar". Every time I heard it....yeah, all 5 million times....I thought of two things. One, the theme song from "Cheers" (a bar, for you young folks) that had the lyrics "Sometimes you wanta go where everybody knows your name". Second, I thought how wonderful it would be for us to be able to sing some of Toby's lyrics describing our churches and the people we have drawn to fellowship with us. I wonder how many of us could truthfully sing about our congregations "We got losers, chain smokers, boozers, bikers, thirsty hitch-hikers, broken hearted fools, suckers, hustlers, fighters, short skirts, blue collar boys, rednecks, dancing girls, and hookers." And if we did, how many of them would be singing the refrain of the song "I love this church, it's my kind of place! Just walk in through the front door puts a big smile on my face. It ain't too far, come as you are! I love this church!"

Yeah, it's an old plea......but the truth is still in it. And that plea is we have to be about the business of drawing people to Jesus. We may do it thru all kinds of ways, but it has to be HIM that we are pushing and advocating and talking about. Remember Donald Miller telling in "Blue Like Jazz" about trying to plant a church in the inner city of Portland, and after several weeks or months they were just about to throw in the towel? Then they tried one last desperate strategy........ they just started telling people about Jesus. Seems like he said just within a few short weeks they had over 500 people coming! Jesus is the Gospel, Jesus is the Good News. And getting back to the first part of my post, these are the people whom HE was drawn to. "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. For I have not come to call the the righteous, but sinners."

When will our churches become as welcoming and as attractive to the down and out as our bars? Here's a suggestion.......maybe when we love those people MORE than we love being "unique and distinct". If we truly wanted to be distinct, we should be filling our membership books with ex-hookers, druggies, alcoholics, and homosexuals. That would qualify under the heading of "unique". That is what is going on at North Atlanta. I am sure it is going on in other places too. People are excited about having hope again, about having life again! Abundant life. And the good news is too good to keep to themselves, and they are telling others! Imagine that! :)

And it is there for anybody and everybody.....including the ones in the bars. I believe He would have been in there with them, not just knowing their name, but even the number of hairs on their head.

"Feed my sheep."

Monday, May 09, 2005

The Day After Mother's Day

I know this is a day late. I didn't have access to a computer yesterday, hence the late post. So forgive me please.

Mike has asked the question about who's face you would want to see if you were flat on your back and needed to see a loving face. One of the first faces I would look for would be my mom's. Those of you who know her know that she is an angel with skin. She loves me unconditionally, and was always my biggest fan. According to her, I could still be the next guy in the White House (ok, she is a little delusional) or the QB for the Packers ( oops, REAL delusional). You get the picture, and lots of you out there can relate. All the songs like "Wind Beneath my Wings" and "You Raise Me Up" always make me think of her. So, yes, I had the most loving, wonderful, precious mother you can imagine. THANKS MOM! I love you much!

I was reminded yesterday that not all of us have been blessed the same ways. One of my best friends showed me a Bible that his dad had given him, and he opened up to the page where it says "date" and "given by" said Dec. 25th, 1970. For 35 years he has been carrying that Bible as a gift, and I presume as a reminder. You see, he leaned over and told me that 3 days before that Christmas, his mother had left the family for the second time and never came back. I realize he is not the only one out there that does not have fond memories of "Mother's Day". It motivates me to be more thankful for my wonderful mom, but also to be sensitive to the hurts and pains of those around me. I know this brother has a hole in his heart that may never be filled, and I hurt because he hurts.

Father's Day is coming up, and there probably are even more cases of dads than moms leaving huge holes in the lives of their children. Let's have our eyes and ears open, ready to serve those who need a shoulder or a smile that day. And maybe even some loving words.

"Feed my sheep"

Friday, May 06, 2005

Rest of the Story

I wanted to finish a thought I started this morning. When people who don't know who Bruce is ask me "Who is he?".......I very quickly tell them that he is the pulpit minister of the College church in Searcy, a friend, and someone who is beyond reproach. Then I get the second question that I talked about this morning. The one I don't know the answer to. So, I am batting .500 with those folks! Problem is, they expect me to bat a thousand. Where is Ted Williams when you need him?

JP, NO.......the PU Lectures are for anybody and EVERYBODY, brother! See you here next year, and if you aren't blessed by being here, I'll walk all the way to Goleta.
I am about to go hear the last key-note of the week, by some dude named Mike Cope.
I hope God speaks a word to me thru him.

Home tomorrow out of Burbank! The name "Sunny Singh" ring a bell? :) Check out the archives.

God is good!


Those who know I am from Harding are coming up and asking me the same two questions..... A) Who is Bruce McLarty? and B) How was he more qualified than Monte Cox for the VP position? I can answer the first one easily enough. For the life of me, I don't know how to answer the second I hope at some point I will be informed so that I will be able to answer that question, probably over and over again.........and again. I'm just as anxious to find that out as much as the next person. So stay soon as I find out I will tell you. But be warned, don't hold your breath!

The PU lectures have been as wonderful as they always have been! I feel very much renewed and refreshed in the Lord. It was rainy yesterday, but the sun is out and it is clear enough to see the Catalinas........God's beautiful creation. His most beautiful creation is the people I am being blessed to fellowship with. I wish ALL of you were here! Maybe next year?!?!

God is good. And thank goodness HE is in control!

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Rainbow and Cat Woman

Remember the line "you're not in (Ar)Kansas anymore, Dorothy" ? That came ringing home to me not long after I had been here when I heard one little girl ask another little girl what her name was. I heard a sweet little voice say "Rainbow". Not too many of those in White County. I kept waiting for her mom "Starlight" to come and whisk her away while throwing some moon dust on us all. I also saw a woman in TGI Fridays with dyed jet black hair with the bangs cut straight across her head and those 1950's cat woman glasses............and nobody besides me even noticed her. Hey, that is not a common sight in Frozen Delight either! :)

But "it's all good" as the saying goes.........cause the Lectureship starts tonight! It is beautiful here, as usual, and I know it will be a great time of renewal for me and thousands of others.

And the scenery ain't bad either! :)