Living among Spiritual Giants: Leonard Kendrick

Part three of my series on "Spiritual Giants" details my great friend, Retired Pastor/Denominational Official, Bishop Leonard F Kendrick.

I first met this wonderful man some 30+ years ago, when I was just a snotty-nosed teenager in the West Huntsville Church, and he was the visiting minister from Cleveland , Tennessee. I immediately fell in love with both he and his wife, Joyce.

I've never forgotten them, and they have always been like parents to me.

His grandson Curry calls him "Dadda"--so that's what we have all started calling him--whether we are related or not.

He was born and raised in the far southern part of Illinois, in a wonderful godly home, where his parents were devout Methodists. He still honors their place in his life.

I want to write more about him tomorrow. It's getting late today, and I've been in this office without lunch for more than ten hours now.

Right's Huckabee in 2008!

More than anyone else in the "waaaay too early" Presidential Race for the Oval Office, I am more inclined to support the former Governor of Arkansas, Mike Huckabee.

I am impressed with his integrity, his sensibilities, and his humility.

So, my primary vote will be cast for the "man from Hope."

Another "giant" of a man: Kevin Brooks

I first became acquainted with State Representative Kevin Brooks, when he was just a student working in the Office of the President at Lee University about 15 years ago. I was stationed in Norway at the time, and had sent some correspondence to Dr Paul Conn, the President of Lee University ( I called to make sure that it had been received. Kevin Brooks was the one to answer the telephone, assuring me that Dr Conn had indeed received the correspondence.

Never in my wildest dreams did I think that this "Kevin" and I would become the friends that we are today. He is a real treasure in my life.

Our paths would again cross as he assumed the position of Director, Alumni Relations at Lee University, and I would be a student at the Church of God Theological Seminary ( adjacent to the Lee Campus. He and I hit it off immediately. He was always the kind, gracious, and wonderfully warm man that so represented the University extremely well.

And he represented the Kingdom of God very well also. He still does!

In the wisdom and plan of God, Kevin would accept a position at the International Offices of the Church of God ( in the Communicactions Department, working alongside a friend of mine, Scot Carter--who was a freshman at Lee when I was a Senior....a definitely small world.

But on a personal level, there are so many things I could write about Kevin Brooks:

1) He and I became very close when I was a seminary student, and even closer when I became an employee at Lee University in the Department of External Studies. When I left the University to make the move to Chicago, this precious man gave me a wonderful "Lee Alumni" sweatshirt--and I still wear it faithfully.

2) In the last 7+ years, I've been able to call Kevin just to say "hi" or to share something that has happened in my life. During a very dark and tumultuous time, I was able to call him and ask him to "pray" for me...and I know that he did. The Lord answered those prayers.

3) Kevin Brooks is the same gracious and godly man--regardless of where he is, or whose company in which he may find himself. Power, position, and possession has never gone to his head. I have every reason to believe that it never will.

4) When my wonderful friend Beaulah Gause went to glory almost five years ago, this precious Kevin attended the funeral in Cleveland on my behalf. Sister Gause' husband, Dr R Hollis Gause is like a father to me....and he was so glad to see Kevin, and to know of my concern and love. Now that is a "true friend."

5) Now he is serving the Lord and the good people of Tennessee in the State Legislature. I could not be more delighted for him....because I know that his PRIORITY is to serve God and to serve people.

I had the wonderful, wonderful privilege of spending a couple of hours with Kevin just a few weeks ago...and it was one of the highlights of my trip to Tennessee.

Kevin Brooks: A giant of a man....

Living in the land of Giants: Kevin Moses

Just as I promised in a previous post, I am starting a series of posts on people whom I consider "spiritual giants" in my life.

I first encountered Kevin almost eleven years ago--in a historical theology class at the Church of God Theological Seminary ( in Cleveland TN. He was in his first semester of graduate studies, and I had just started my second semester.

Shortly thereafter, Kevin and I became pals. I think it all "really" started when he came by my apartment (I was living in seminary housing at the time), and needed some help with some of the study material the professor had assigned up for an upcoming examination.

There are so many stories I can tell about Kevin. All of them good...and many of them very humorous. We lived together almost three years, and I got to know him pretty well.

But what I want to share here is why I consider him a "spiritual giant" in my life:

Kevin is a man of prayer. There were many nights that he would spend a great deal of time in prayer and consecration to the Lord. I could tell that he had "been with Jesus."

Kevin is a man of the Word. Many times when I just wouldn't open my Bible, I would find Kevin buried in his. He would read and meditate on long passages, and let God's Word soak deep into his head and his heart. I only wish I had done the same.

Kevin is a man of integrity. He truly exemplifies what it means to be a man of ethics, honor, and stature. If he makes a promise, he keeps it. If he says something is true, you can always take it to the bank, and deposit it.

I watched Kevin work a full time job at the Bradley Memorial Hospital, work as a Teaching Assistant in graduate school, help lead a youth group, teach a Sunday School class, and still stay happy and positive. (I would never recommend all of those things at once--and looking back, neither would he).

I remember when I suffered from such severe depression that I couldn't even cry--and yet this precious, precious man would sit there, pray for me, and many times cry with me.

He's a spiritual giant in my eyes. And a good one at that!

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!

I want to take this opportunity in my little "corner of the cyber world" to wish everyone a marvelous and gracious Happy Thanksgiving!

We have so much for which to be thankful. I have WAAAAAY more to be thankful for, than what I can possibly "mourn" over.

Starting next week (or maybe this weekend) I want to start writing on "living among the giants"--some of the wonderful people who have so blest and graced my life, and I want to honor them--because they are truly giants in my eyes.

Have a great Thanksgiving!

Men are just HAPPIER people...

A wonderful lady, whom I've known for more than 25 years now, sent this to me earlier today:



--What do you expect from such simple creatures?

Your last name stays put.

The garage is all yours.

Wedding plans take care of themselves.

Chocolate is just another snack.

You can be President.

You can never be pregnant.

You can wear a white T-shirt to a water park.

You can wear NO shirt to a water park.

Car mechanics tell you the truth.

The world is your urinal.

You never have to drive to another gas station restroom because this one is just too icky.

You don't have to stop and think of which way to turn a nut on a bolt

Same work, more pay.

Wrinkles add character.

Wedding dress $5000. Tux rental-$100.

People never stare at your chest when you're talking to them.

New shoes don't cut, blister, or mangle your feet.

One mood all the time.

Phone conversations are over in 30 seconds flat.

You know stuff about tanks.

A five-day vacation requires only one suitcase.

You can open all your own jars.

You get extra credit for the slightest act of thoughtfulness.

If someone forgets to invite you, he or she can still be your friend

Your underwear is $8.95 for a three-pack.

Three pairs of shoes are more than enough.

You almost never have strap problems in public.

You are unable to see wrinkles in your clothes.

Everything on your face stays its original color.

The same hairstyle lasts for years, maybe decades.

You only have to shave your face and neck.

You can play with toys all your life.

One wallet and one color for all seasons.

You can wear shorts no matter how your legs look.

You can "do" your nails with a pocket knife.

You have freedom of choice concerning growing a mustache.

You can do Christmas shopping for 25 relatives on December 24 in 25 minutes.

No wonder men are happier.

Thanksgiving Table Manners....

Dr Jack Hayford, (better known as "Pastor Jack") has inspired me for many, many years. Until a few years ago, he was the lead pastor at Southern California's "Church on the Way" in Van Nuys. He is a prolific preacher, wonderful writer, and gifted musician. His best-known song would be "Majesty."

Here is a link to a marvelous message he has prepared about "Thanksgiving Table Manners."

May you have a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration this year!

Classes Just for Women!

Before anyone get's their "knighties in a knot"--I didn't come up with this list...I'm not that creative. I can thank a "nameless" pastor in the Midwest for sharing these:

Easy Training Courses for Women

1. Silence, the Final Frontier: Where No Woman Has Gone Before

2. The Undiscovered Side of Banking: Making Deposits

3. Parties: Going Without New Outfits

4. Man Management: Minor Household Chores Can Wait Till After The Game

5. Bathroom Etiquette I: Men Need Space in the Bathroom Cabinet Too.

6. Bathroom Etiquette II: His Razor is His

7. Communication Skills I: Tears - The Last Resort, not the First.

8. Communication Skills II: Thinking Before Speaking

9. Communication Skills III: Getting What you Want Without Nagging

10. Driving a Car Safely: A Skill You CAN Acquire

11. Telephone Skills: How to Hang Up

12. Introduction to Parking

13. Advanced Parking: Backing Into a Space

14. Water Retention: Fact or Fat

15. Cooking I: Bringing Back Bacon, Eggs and Butter

16. Cooking II: Bran and Tofu are Not for Human Consumption

17. Cooking III: How not to Inflict Your Diets on Other People

18. Compliments: Accepting Them Gracefully

19. PMS: Your Problem . . . Not His

20. Dancing: Why Men Don't Like To

21. Classic Clothing: Wearing Outfits You Already Have

22. Household Dust: A Harmless Natural Occurrence Only Women Notice

23. Integrating Your Laundry: Washing It All Together

24. Oil and Gas: Your Car Needs Both

25. TV Remotes: For Men Only

To America's Veterans: THANK YOU!

Even though we officially celebrated Veterans' Day Sunday and Monday (November 11-12, 2007), I just wanted to take my little "corner of the cyber world" and say a profound and heartfelt THANK YOU to all the men and women who have served this nation in the military services.

You are truly the best!

I served among you for ten years, and was thrilled and honored to do so. The sacrifices that you made for all the freedoms we enjoy can never be adequately compensated.

You are the best. I truly mean that.

What is a VETERAN?

Someone posted this elsewhere, and I wanted to put it on my blog:
What is a Veteran?

Some veterans bear visible signs of their service: a missing limb, a jagged scar, a certain look in the eye.

Others may carry the evidence inside them: a pin holding a bone together, a piece of shrapnel in the leg - or perhaps another sort of inner steel: the soul's ally forged in the refinery of adversity.

Except in parades, however, the men and women who have kept America safe wear no badge or emblem.

You can't tell a vet just by looking.

He/She is the cop on the beat who spent six months in Saudi Arabia sweating two gallons a day making sure the armored personnel carriers didn't run out of fuel.

He is the barroom loudmouth, dumber than five wooden planks, whose overgrown frat-boy behavior is outweighed a hundred times in the cosmic scales by four hours of exquisite bravery near the 38th parallel.

She - or he - is the nurse who fought against futility and went to sleep sobbing every night for two solid years in Da Nang.

He is the POW who went away one person and came back another - or didn't come back AT ALL.

He/She is the Quantico drill instructor who has never seen combat - but has saved countless lives by turning slouchy, no-account rednecks and gang members into Marines, and teaching them to watch each others backs.

He is the parade - riding Legionnaire who pins on his ribbons and medals with a prosthetic hand.

He is the career quartermaster who watches the ribbons and medals pass him by.

He is the three anonymous heroes in The Tomb Of The Unknowns, whose presence at the Arlington National Cemetery must forever preserve the memory of all the anonymous heroes whose valor dies unrecognized with them on the battlefield or in the ocean's sunless deep.

He is the old guy bagging groceries at the supermarket - palsied now and aggravatingly slow - who helped liberate a Nazi death camp and who wishes all day long that his wife were still alive to hold him when the nightmares come.

He is an ordinary and yet an extraordinary human being - a person who offered some of his life's most vital years in the service of his country, and who sacrificed his ambitions so others would not have to sacrifice theirs.

He is a soldier and a savior and a sword against the darkness, and he is nothing more than the finest, greatest testimony on behalf of the finest, greatest nation ever known.

So remember, each time you see someone who has served our country, just lean over and say Thank You.

That's all most people need, and in most cases it will mean more than any medals they could have been awarded or were awarded.
Two little words that mean a lot, "THANK YOU".

"It is the soldier, not the reporter, Who has given us freedom of the press.

It is the soldier, not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech.

It is the soldier, not the campus organizer, who has given us the freedom to demonstrate.

It is the soldier, who salutes the flag, who serves beneath the flag, and whose coffin is draped by the flag, who allows the protester to burn the flag."

May I offer my deepest and most sincerest expressions of gratitude for the brave, wonderful men and women have served this wonderful land we call "AMERICA."

1Lt Nass, off to Iraq...

Sunday afternoon, even while I was rejoicing in the greatness of God allowing me to be among those people whom I have loved for years (and who have loved me for years), it was also a tremendously sad one for me.

My precious friend and brother, 1Lt Christian Nass called to say "goodbye" before he deployed to the Middle East today. I handled the conversation pretty well until I started praying for him. Then, I lost it.

Really, really lost it!

I can't remember praying with such passion, and such pain in my heart--for someone who was going to war. I started praying, and I wound up praying some of the Psalms and crying...and crying...almost to the point of not being able to stop.

I am grateful to God for the privilege of prayer. I'm thankful for the blessing of tears, and emotions that we can lay bare before the Lord Jesus.

Pray for my buddy, Christian Nass. He is scheduled to be gone for some 15 months. His precious wife Sarah covets your prayers as well. She will be returning to Moody Bible Institute in the Spring to continue her studies.

I miss Christian already.

The greatest treasures of life...

As I mentioned in a previous post, I spent a few days in Cleveland, TN this past week/end. My visit there was two-fold:

First, I wanted to see some of the precious saints of God who have grown older, and many of them are getting ready to leave this world for their eternal residence in Heaven. Too many of them have passed into eternity without me having the chance to say goodbye, or at least seeing them. I just could not let that happen again!

Second, Lee University ( was having it's 2007 Homecoming festivities, and I knew I would get to see lots and lots of people--many of whom I have not seen in at least 20 was just great!

On both fronts, I can humbly say "Mission Accomplished." The Lord, in His infinite grace and goodness, allowed me to see so very many people who have enriched my life simply by "being there." Many of these people are now scattered to the four corners of the continent--and the globe even--but we still have this "connection" that says we are family. The family of God.

While I am bound to leave someone out, I want to mention some folks that I didn't mention previously:

My wonderful friend Kevin Brooks
A long-time friend, Byron Medlin
A classmate, Jeff Sargeant
Dr and Mrs French Arrington--I worked for her, and he taught several of my classes.
Lydia Culpepper--we sang in Campus Choir together--one of the most talented women I know.
Steve and Laura Allen--he is now the Minister of Music at Westmore Church.
and the list goes on.

All of these people are so special to me for several reasons. First, they are the 'family of God'--we have a blood covenant that "relates" us. Secondly, in one way or another, we have all been connected to Lee College (now Universit) in times past. And third, they have profoundly touched my life in ways that matter to me.

These are just some of "life's great treasures." And I'm a "rich, rich" man because of God's generosity of putting them into my life.

Old Friends...

WOW! Yesterday was such a "refresher" for me...and a real "refreshing" as well.

I landed in Nashville, TN on Wednesday evening, and took the ground shuttle over to friend, Dr Jimmy Harper, Campus Pastor at Lee University picked me up.

He, his wife Sharon, and wonderful children (Jamie and Jessica) have been so kind and gracious to me. They have attended my every need (and want.)

I was blest to see a long list of wonderful friends yesterday. Some of the people I have regular contact with, and many I don't. But here's just a few:

Dr R Hollis Gause (my "father" in so many ways).
Dr Bob Crick
Tim Burdashaw
Dr Donald Bowdle
Dr Jim Burns
Dr. William Lamb
Dr Cheryl Johns
Dr Jackie Johns
Dr Steve Land
Dr Kim Alexander
Dr Andrea Dismukes
Dr Brian Alderman (well, he's almost finished with his Dissertation) and his wonderful wife Monica--who had me as a dinner guest last night--it was delicious!
Chaplain (now retired) Ben Perez

And so many more. The problem with listing names is that you are predestined to forget someone...and I'm sure that I have.

It's been great so far...getting to see many people whom I have loved for years...and more importantly who have loved me for years.

I'll write more...later.