Sunday, January 28, 2007

Tulsa Time

It was a blessing to get to spend some time with Donnie Mclaughlin this week. Every time I am around him, I am amazed all over again..............he's like the Eveready Bunny in that he goes ninety to nothin ALL the time. Every single student who asks for his time gets it. Why? Because each one is very important to him. I don't know how he does it. Both of his chapel talks this week were really good, and I would say he JACKED Thursday's talk out of the park. It centered on the Cross, and the love of Jesus. If you get a hankerin to listen to it, contact our HU Media center and order the CD. That number is 279-4353.

One evening Craig Jones and I went with him to grab a bite to eat in-between appointments. While visiting, he said he had intentionally been doing a certain thing (he can tell you what it is if he wants to) in his quiet time, and then made this statement: "I don't think I can make it any other way". That was very encouraging for me to hear, because sometimes you perceive somebody like Don as having it all together, and for sure not on the verge of cashing it all in. What a wonderful reminder that we ALL are in this together, and that we ALL struggle in our walk from time to time. Yeah, even the Don Mclaughlins of the world.

Thanks Donnie, for being so transparent................and for being the humble servant you are!
I love you much!


Headed to Tulsa this week. They are getting a reprieve from the ice and snow that has bombared them this January. I don't think you could convince any of those folks or the folks in Colorado about any of the "global warming" stuff. They are praying for Spring to hurry up and get here!


I sent in the registration forms for the Pepperdine Lectures this week. Looks like we could have around 15 folks with Harding ties staying in the same condos this year. Can you say "NO SLEEP"? We had around 130 or so folks at our Harding Reception last year, and we are looking to have an even bigger crowd this year. If you are going, make plans to come by and have a piece of pie and see some old friends on Thursday night. I have seen the schedule for the key-note speakers, and I know that they will all be a blessing to hear..........but I gotta admit ahead of time that I am biased, and that I bet Monte Cox will blow away the 4 to 5 thousand folks that he addresses in his key-note talk! Monte is an amazing speaker, and I am glad that he will be representing HU at these lectures. He is a blessing to us on a daily basis! I wish all of you could come. It's always the first week of May, so plan ahead some year to be with us. I asked Ken Cope not long ago if he would be there again, and I will never forget his answer: "David, as long as I am alive, I am going to be at the Pepperdine Lectures. It's the closest thing to Heaven that I know of for me." Ditto for me.


I'm taking Manning and the Colts in the Super Bowl. What say you? It won't hurt my feelings no matter who wins. Keep an eye on my boy Mark Anderson for the Bears, a rookie from Alabama. He's made a big splash in his first year in THE league. Speaking of Alabama and sports, is it time for Spring football practice yet? Jeez, the basketball team is killing me. Stick a fork in them, cause I think they are done. Can you spell N-I-T?

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

A Fallen Hero

I am pretty sure I mentioned in an earlier post about former HU Bison football player Micah Gifford being killed in Iraq. This weekend we had a memorial service for Micah on the campus of Harding. Many friends and teammates were here for the service. Several of those folks got up and told their memories of Micah. For me, the most powerful part of the service was when his parents went to the microphone to talk about their son who had been killed. Hearing them talk about their son, we were left with no doubts as to how much they loved him, or how much they will miss him. It was heart wrenching. But the thing that will always stand out to me about their separate talks will be the fact that both parents glorified God in their a time when it would be so easy to be bitter. I didn't hear a hint of bitterness. It seems like it happens a lot to me these days, but that was another foot washing for me........and I am pretty sure it was also for the other several hundred folks who were there with me.

The following comments were made by Micah's father Dale at the memorial:

“As parents, we dream of all of us coming together for a wedding. We don’t prepare for something like this. You fought the weather to come, and we appreciate your presence. It speaks highly of your love for Micah. I want to thank Harding University for being the kind of a school that allowed my son to question his faith surrounded by many of you who helped him through. After Harding, Niki and Micah found each other and planned to marry in August. On an outing before he left, they were watching the Shamu show at Disneyland. He told of how they asked the men and women who were in the military to stand. Micah said that he felt uncomfortable because he was not a hero yet. Micah had been raised on Transformers and a Knight Rider Big Wheel. McGyver and the Terminator were his heroes. McGyver inspired his mullet that he wore too long. He thrived on the action in Top Gun, and his favorite movie was Braveheart. He loved the heroes from the Bible, David’s mighty men and firemen.
When Micah saw on the news the magnitude of the war and terrorists killing innocent Americans and children, he was deeply troubled about how wrong this was. Two days later, he joined the Army. The irony is we have received letters from two of Micah’s heroes: President George W. Bush and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. Losing his life to terrorist bomber did not make Micah a hero. He had been a hero his whole life. He had a heart for others….from the church camps, youth groups, mission trips to Honduras and Mexico to talking to his fellow soldiers in Iraq about Christ. He wanted to learn the language so he could teach the Iraqi children. My son is gone, and there is one less hero in this room full of heroes. By helping others, you are hero. Micah kept telling me that I needed to get off my church pew and get out where people are hurting. He died in the pursuit of justice. We must be heroes of truth and mercy and fight the great wrongs. When the soldiers came to our door, our worst nightmare came to pass on December 7, 2006, but it is no way a tragedy for he is precious in the sight of the Lord. Christians need to declare war with truth and love on wrong teaching and wrong living. There is victory in truth and mercy in the name of our Lord.
Micah took three weapons with him to Iraq: a M16, a strong faith and a huge smile. He lives on in the lives of the Iraqi children and in our hearts. Nothing would make Micah happier than for us to get out of our pews and get into the field.”

May God richly bless and comfort the Gifford family. Thank-you God for giving us Micah for the time he was with us. We look forward to being united with you and him in the future.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Seven Wonders of Discipleship

I can't remember if that is the exact title Tim Curtis is using this Spring, but if it's not that, it's something along those lines. Tim leads a group each Wednesday night at what we call "Nexus".
Look it up. I think it means "the center of something". We try and talk about things that are at the center of our journey. Tim and his team do an OUTSTANDING job in their leadership role for this class.

Every participant in this spiritual journey we are on has had times in the doldrums, time on the mountian tops, and all stops in between. Do you remember the times of awe, wonder, amazement, and close to euphoria when you were at the mountain top? What would it take to get you to that point right now........assuming you are not there at the present time? No, you won't stay there, nor would you want to. But you also don't need to stay in the doldrums for large segments of time either. Have you read the passages talking about us being people of hope and joy?!?!? :) Gotta say, more times than not I see folks at church and in everyday life that seem to be anything BUT hopeful or joyous. So again, what would it take to get you there RIGHT now?

Over the next 7 weeks Tim is going to share ideas he thinks will help enable us to recapture the awe and wonder. Come join us if you can!


For those of you who are Shane Claiborne fans, check out this web site and his last two writings about hell. I don't know about you, but I am sitting on ready for him to write another book! I don't see anyway it could impact me as much as "The Irresistible Revolution" did.

Here is the sight:


Jan and I have watched "American Idol" the past two nights. It's entertaining in some respects, but the thing that has jumped out at me the most is how MANY hurting people come on that show!! A lot of the people who are there seem to be begging to be validated and appreciated by SOMEBODY, so they are going to give Randy, Paula, and Simon a chance to fill in that empty space . Have you noticed that? I mean there are some PITIFUL people who come on that show. And most leave not feeling validated or appreciated, especially by Simon.
So it got me to thinking, wouldn't it be wonderful if these folks could show up on "God's Idol". I know, I know.........that's not a good name for it, but you know what I am talking about. Wouldn't you love to hear the Father sitting there in Simon's seat when these hurting folks walk in? "Your voice sounds beautiful to me, Tim.........but your heart sounds even MORE beautiful! Here is your ticket to Heaven. See that guy over there? That's my son...........follow him and he will show you the way there. He's the only one besides me that knows the way. I'll be there when you get there!" I think I would pay to watch that show. How bout you? :)

Sunday, January 14, 2007

The Both/And Church

Not minutes ago I finished listening to the 3 part series Rick Atchley did at Richland Hills concerning that congregation's decision to add a Saturday night instrumental service with communion. I know I will listen to it again. I want to urge each and every one of you to give it a fair hearing. Be sure to have your Bible as you listen, because the whole study is bathed in scripture, after scripture, after scripture. If you are in the practice of making scripture fit YOUR agenda, doctrine or for sure won't appreciate this study. If you love your heritage more than you love God's mission, you also won't appreciate this study. I would invite you to email me or call me if, after listening to this series with an open heart and mind, you believe that you heard an untruth being taught.

Here is the link:

May God be glorified in all we do in His name!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Ten Dollar Mosquito Net

I don't agree with everything written in the Time magazine I get in the mail each week. I do appreciate being made aware of what's on the front burner, from their perspective. You may remember that about a year ago or so I wrote a post about the poverty in Africa. As most of you know, I have a soft spot in my heart for that continent........especially the children that live there. In the current issue of Time, Jeffery Sachs writes an article about the pandemic problem of malaria, and how easy it could be addressed. As many as 2 million children could die from malaria this year.....TWO MILLION!! Recent research has found that malaria infection increases the likelihood that an HIV-infected individual will transmit the AIDS virus to others.

Technological advances have enabled companies to produced an insecticide-treated bed net that lasts up to five years. The cost to manufacture, ship and distribute each net is $10. TEN DOLLARS!!! Most Africans cannot afford the ten bucks it takes to buy one, even if they were accessible to them. Because of corruption, most African governments cannot afford to buy these nets either. In the article, Sachs says point blank: "We can each contribute $10 for a bed net". You and I both know he is right......duh.

Here are two organizations that have been started to address this travesty: and

If you choose to donate thru the Nothingbutnets organization, the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation will match your gift dollar for for net. Is that not wonderful! Buy one, and you help two families. Thanks Bill and Melinda!

Sometimes culture drags the church along kicking and screaming, as was the case with slavery and segregation. Church folks should have been way ahead of the game on all of this, and drug culture along with us or behind us. We didn't, and they are calling us to join in. Hey, better late than never. I'm about you?

"I was sick and you looked after me" or "Whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me". Which do you want to hear? Yeah, me too.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

First Week of 2007

Here are some random thoughts from the first week of the year:

A) "Hail Mary fulll of grace, Notre Dame's in second place." I remember the first time I heard that. It was at a Bama game. Imagine that! :) Anyway, I love it when the Media's darling.......the Fighting Irish.......prove what everybody already knows. That they are OVER RATED! This team began the year as the #2 team in the country, even after getting killed by Ohio State in the bowl game last year. Notre Dame should have been in Music City bowl or Independence bowl instead of the Sugar bowl. They would not have finished with a winning season if they had played in the SEC. But watch what happens next year............they will be ranked high again in the pre-season polls. The bias for Notre Dame is another good motive for having a play-off system for College football. Prove how good you are on the field, not in the Northeast newspaper's sports section, Irish.

B) No, I am not crazy about Nick Saban. Why? Because I don't tend to like people I can't trust, and I for sure don't trust him. Do I think he will win? Of course he will. He's proven that already. And yes, I will like the winning part. I predict he will play for a National Championship within 4 years, and that is exciting. But I also hope he grows in his character, and that he will learn to be honest when asked a question. Mark Richt is my favorite coach in America right now. I think he is a GREAT coach, but even more important, I think he is a Christian with LOTS of character and integrity. Bama plays Georgia in 07.

C) It's nice to see history prove some people wrong. Many called for Gerald Ford's head when he pardoned Nixon. Those same people now are admitting they were wrong, and that Ford did the right thing for the country. I wonder if there is a lesson in there somewhere? Are you listening Keith Olbermann?

D) I am reading a Max Lucado book at present. Why does he only come out with ONE book a year?!?!?! I could never grow tired of the encouragement I get from reading one of his books. I will never forget reading him for the first time. The book was "No Wonder They Call Him the Savior". I couldn't put it down, and it opened up a whole new way to look at Spiritual things for me. I love Max Lucado.

E) It's still 4 months away, but you read it first here. Rick Atchley is coming to Downtown for a weekend in April! Ask me if we are excited. :) It will be similar to our Randy Harris weekend last year. Plan on coming to hear him the weekend of April 27th. You WILL be blessed!