Tuesday, November 26, 2019

An In(Tents) Decision

Back in August, we told you about the deterioration of our tent top. The blue of the valance is the original color of the blue stripes on the tent. The top is faded badly and it gets worse every week it is in the sun and elements.

Take note of the difference in the blue in the four pictures below. It is clear and remarkable.

We can trace the damage back to a single event in 2016 during City Reach. The tent endured a horribly strong wind storm that was whipping sand and dirt so bad that we could not have church under the tent that night. The tent was still standing when the storm was over so we counted that as a win.

The tent was up another week there and two weeks later we washed the tent at the next location and I noticed then that the top felt different. I did not realize at the time, but the protective finish on the vinyl had been sandblasted in the storm. There was nothing I could do at that point, but witness the deterioration in the color each time we put the tent up again.

The color change was disconcerting, but we could deal with that. It has now reached the point that the tent is not wearing well. The vinyl is more brittle and seems to be much more susceptible to punctures. 

After I wrote about this in August, we put the tent up again the next week in Louisiana and two weeks after that in Mississippi, each time looking closely and trying to make a decision.

Kelly and I have also been examining ourselves. How much longer will we be able to keep up with the physical demands of the way we do tent revival? How much longer will churches be asking us to do tent revival? Are we being effective in tent revival and is our heart in it?

Let us take the last questions first. So far this fall and winter, we keep getting more invitations for tent revival than we are able to fulfill, because of time restraint. That demonstrates to me that the demand is still there. 

The results of revival and the numbers of people responding to the message of the Gospel were amazing this year and my heart still soars each and every time that happens. Even with the work and logistics, I still love walking under that tent each and every night. I can not wait to see what the Lord is going to do in the next city, in the next life!

Now, the first question, how much longer will we be able to keep up with the physical demands of the way we do tent revival? We do not know that answer to that. There are days and weeks when we feel like our bodies are done now, overdone. However, spiritually we are raring to go and when people come under that tent looking for peace and comfort and deliverance, well that changes everything.

By then end of tent revival in Richton, Mississippi, Kelly Jo and I had made one decision. IF we were going to continue, we were going to purchase a new two piece round top that could be used perfectly with our existing middle pieces.


We had already made preparations for changes going forward in 2020. We made the decision in early 2018 that in 2020 we would not provide and transport chairs anymore. We have carried 200-400 chairs since 2012 and 100 before that.

Having chairs with us has had great advantages for us, but permanently unloading those chairs in the future lightens the load in the trailer considerably and perhaps lightens our workload too. It remains to be seen if churches will step up and supply the chairs as they have committed to do. We stored 200 in Ohio and 200 in Mississippi so if we need to reverse course in the future, it can be done.

I had already committed to several tent revivals over the next 2-3 years and I feel like it is my duty to keep those commitments AND it is in my heart to do my best to preach those tent revivals and reach the for the lost in those communities. I want to do it.

The answer? We are pressing forward, which means we are going to purchase a new two piece blue and white top. We have the existing center pole, side poles and stakes, so those will not have to be purchased. We paid the deposit on Thursday and finalized it all on the phone yesterday morning.

The new tent top is on their schedule and they have promised to have it ready for us to pick up as we go through Oklahoma a few days before Christmas. We will pay the balance when it is ready to be picked up.  

As for the old tent top, we are hoping that it has some more use in it. I believe it may last a few more, maybe many more, seasons of cautious and careful use, but I can make no guarantees. We have plans for placing it in good hands for the Gospel's sake and I will let you know more when I know.

We are going into two to four new cities with the tent in 2020 in addition to great places we have already been and we are looking forward to it. I can not wait to watch God reach for people and to behold what happens in hearts and lives when the light finally shines in. Hallelujah!

My Pastor taught me that often you know more about the quality and rightness of your decision After you make it than you do before. I have found that to be true and I am ready for that to kick in this time.😀😀

Thank you for stopping in today. 



  1. Davy, sounds good to me, keep that tent going & like Your Pastor said, YOU know what's best, Frankie.

    Frankie Shiflett

    1. All we can do is the best we can figure at the time. God knows even when I do not have a clue.



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