Thursday, May 8, 2014

A Little Sentimental Musing

We are enjoying tent revival this week in Oklahoma City. There were storms blowing through last night so we had church inside the sanctuary. It looks like we may have more storms tonight.

Update: The Rented Tent Came Down in the Storm Over Night.

I will let you know more tomorrow when we know more.

Now back to our regular programming...

Not only are we having good services but I am being flooded by great memories as many of our friends visit the revival. We have been greatly blessed by friends all over this country and in other parts of the world and central Oklahoma has more than its fair share of them.

We have a long and blessed history with Mt. Vernon Holiness Church and the churches in the state of Oklahoma in general. I first preached in Oklahoma in 1986 and on that one night visit I began to make friends that have shaped the future of my life, family and ministry. It is amazing that a "chance" visit would have such a powerful impact. Thank God for His guidance even when we do not have a clue that He is involved.

After that single night visit in 1986 I came back in 1989 with Bro. Kim Myers. He was preaching an Easter meeting for his brother in law Al Hunt and I preached two more single services at two different churches. It was on that trip and another trip the following year that I met Bro. Searcy and many of the other friends that have been an indispensable part of our lives. Many of those folks have been in tent revival the last few nights. Their presence has caused me to sit back in wonder at the glorious providence and grace of God that has been shown to us.

If you have known our family very long at all then you know how important Pastor Rickey Searcy and his family have been to us since we met them in 1990. There is a good chance that I would not have made it through some of the roughest places in my life had it not been for Bro. Rickey's friendship and fellowship.

The Mt. Vernon Holiness Church that Bro. Rickey pastors has been instrumental in our lives as well. We have been blessed to be in some amazing services here and we count many of their members as some of our best and dearest friends.

Bro. Larry and Sis. Rosemary Landress and their family have been so precious to us. They were faithful Christians working in their home church and several different fields of labor when we met them. Early in our friendship God called them full time into the mission field and we have watched God use them to impact thousands of lives and He is still using them today.

They have also been with us through thick and thin and back to thick again. I can not even begin to imagine the last 25 years without them in our lives.

I know they have affected thousands but I dare say they may have affected us more than anybody else. They have been incredibly faithful friends and continue to be to this day.

Their youngest daughter Rebecca was closest of their children to Odie in age and she and Odie have been best of friends for all of these years. She is now a beautiful wife and mother and Rebecca and her husband Jeffery Blankenship are missionaries as well.

They have two daughters Madeline and Andrea.

We call Andrea "Little Odie."

Another family I met on that 1989 trip was Bro. Bruce and Sis. Priscilla Mayhan. They have also be faithful friends through the years. They have traveled many miles to be in revivals with us and we cherish them and their family so very much. In fact they surprised us by showing up in Hazard, Kentucky last year and spending a few days with us in revival. That is about 1000 miles from home! I think I may have a tough time keeping up in friendship points with the Mayhans.

In 1990 we were invited to preach our very first revival in Oklahoma. I did not know it then but it would be the revival that would launch us into full time evangelism. Bro. Kevin and Sis. Becky Clounch invited us to Oakhurst to preach revival and what a time we had. We sang, shouted, preached and probably ate them out of house and home.

They had three small children then and I spent two weeks with them crawling all over me. We had a time and I fell in love with those kids. The oldest, Christi, is now 31 years old and has four children of her own. Wow! How time flies.

I actually met Pastor Kenny Searcy and Sis. Karen in Ohio. They were temporarily transplanted in Ohio and were attending Dryden Rd. Church when we started going there in 1988. We have had some great times with them through the years as well. Bro. Kenny has preached for me and I have preached for him and we always love being with them.

When I was looking for my first tent while pastoring in Wichita, Kansas, Bro. Kenny sold me his GP Medium Army tent at a fantastic price. I conducted and preached my first several tent revivals under that tent and owned it until I gave it to Holiness In Mexico in 2011. I told the story of giving that tent to Bro. Landress in THIS post.

I might not be doing tent revivals all these years later without Bro. Kenny Searcy. When I went to pick up the tent from Bro. Kenny at a super low price he told me that somebody else had volunteered to pay for it so I could have the tent at no cost to me. That man wanted to remain anonymous so I have never mentioned his gift publicly but he has been in tent revival this week too.

All of these folks are just a sample of our Oklahoma friends. We are truly blessed. No wonder I get so sentimental sometimes. I have a big bunch of blessings to be sentimental about!

There is no telling who might show up and what the Lord might do the rest of this tent revival. Maybe you should come and see for yourself.


1 comment:

  1. Because of those wonderful friendships, Jay and I were shown so much love and generosity while we were living in Oklahoma. Will always be grateful!!


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