Category: Central Church Family (page 1 of 42)

Big Day for Big Daddy

Troy “Big Daddy” Cullum’s funeral was today at Central and I was triply blessed.

One, I was so honored to give the eulogy. Any time I’m asked to do a memorial service, it’s a tremendous privilege. It’s one of the great blessings in being a congregational minister. People invite you in to their most sacred moments — the births of babies, the deaths of loved ones, the victories and tragedies. We preachers stand in places most people never get to: those places where heaven and earth meet, those places where God’s presence is thick, those places where our Lord comes to be with his people.  It’s an honor and an affirmation. It’s holy.

Two, I was thrilled to re-connect with so many great people I went to school with at old Dallas Christian. “Big Daddy” had maintained close friendships with some of the best men and women ever turned out by DC and a bunch of them came up here for the service. Kyle Douthit, Todd Denton, Brian Crisp, Darla Dunn, Mike Shelton, Darby Doan, Clay Dillard, and Micah Goodspeed — oh, my word! Other than seeing Darla at a Great Cities Missions fundraiser one time about four years ago, I’m sure I haven’t seen any of these folks since 1985! What a great joy to talk about Coach T and Coach Richmond and Mrs. Sorrells and old friends, to make those re-connections with people who know the same people I know, who know the same stories I know. What a gift from God to realize that he has been involved with all of these people for the past 33 years. We’ve all been on different paths in different places, we’ve had different experiences and different ups and downs, but our Lord is faithful to carry us forward in the ways that are best. We are all characters in the same eternal narrative. It’s comforting. It’s warming. It’s good to be reminded that our God is at work in and through everybody for his great purposes.

And, three, I was so blessed to see our church come together in powerful ways to minister to the Cullums. Shane and Doug are there for Troy’s son, T. J. Mary and Sara and Jamie are there for Berkley. Mindy and Robin are there for Morgan. Huddle leaders and class teachers and Sticky Buddies and elders and Becky Nordyke’s gang of church ladies and our amazing church staff, all jumping in this week to love and encourage, to comfort and minister.

Nobody wanted this funeral today. Nobody was prepared for this. It’s awful.

And, yeah, it’s also kind of beautiful.

Troy’s sudden death Sunday morning leaves a heavy void that’s going to take a long time to heal. But he also leaves a lasting legacy for his family and friends — a brilliant and shining example of a life well-lived in Christ Jesus for the sake of others.

May God bless Troy’s family. May God receive his servant “Big Daddy” into his faithful arms. And may God bless all of us with the strength and faith and confidence that he is able to keep whatever we trust to him until that big day.

Peace,

Allan

Core Scripture

Our elders and ministers here at Central have carefully and prayerfully selected ten passages of Scripture we believe are core passages, foundational words that are intended by God to shape us. These are Bible passages that speak to the nature of our God and his work for us in Jesus Christ. They declare the truth of the Gospel. They remind us how to live in light of that Good News. They help us keep The Story straight.

And they form us.

These are formational passages that, when they get inside us, when they become a part of who we are, will shape us more into the image of God’s Son.

We’re going to read these passages each Sunday, week after week. We want to hear them again and again when we’re together. We want these verses to be familiar, to be highly valued, to be embedded deep into our souls.

We’re not going to be afraid of repetition; in fact, we’re going to embrace it. We want to be shaped into a certain kind of people. Forming Gospel habits works. Repetition works. Here are the passages:

Deuteronomy 6:4-9
Philippians 2:1-11
1 John 4:7-12
Mark 8:34-38
Exodus 34:5-7b
Colossians 3:12-15
Romans 8:28, 31b-35, 37-39
Revelation 21:1-7
Micah 6:6-8
Ephesians 3:14-21

May God bless the reading of his Word.

Peace,

Allan

An Apology

In an attempt to present the Lord’s Supper as the time and place where we experience our unity with Christ and express the unity we have with all Christians in Christ, I used a picture during yesterday’s sermon depicting a variety of people joyfully gathered around a communion table. The picture served as the background in a PowerPoint slide for 1 Corinthians 12:13: “We were all baptized by one Spirit into one body — whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free — and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.”

A concerned parishioner gently informed me later that the picture showed a cat at the table.

A terrible, terrible mistake on my part. As God is my witness, I never once saw that cat when putting the PowerPoint together last week. We all know that all cats are reserved for the fiery lake of burning sulfur and do not have a place at the Table of our Lord. I regret the mistake. Please forgive me.

Peace,

Allan

Ready for “Why Christmas?”

The gifts are wrapped. The candles are ready. The stage is set.

Please join us at Central this Sunday as we kick off our three-part series “Why Christmas?”

I’ll post a full preview here tomorrow. Or you can go here right now.

Peace,

Allan

College Night at Central

The Cowboys and Redskins are playing tonight in Arlington, both teams at 5-6, both teams more or less playing out the string now, pretty much out of any kind of playoff running. Still, it’s Cowboys-Redskins. And, still, there’s no better day-to-day, week-in-and-week-out drama than Jerry Wayne’s Cowboys. To get you ready for tonight, I highly recommend this excellent piece by ESPN’s Bill Barnwell. It’s a lengthy and detailed analysis of the Cowboys’ problems since Ezekiel Elliot began serving his suspension. Barnwell makes a really strong case that the Cowboys aren’t missing Elliot as much as Dak Prescott is faltering at quarterback. If you ever wanted to make the case that Prescott only looks good because of Zeke, now would be the time to do it — Dak has thrown more interceptions over the past three games than he did his entire rookie season.  But Barnwell expertly outlines how the running game is putting up the same numbers without Elliot as they did with their superstar back. And he accurately spreads the blame around to injuries, receivers, coaching, and offensive line. And Dak.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

One of the many intentionally intergenerational events we hold here at Central is our annual college night.  We bring in recruiters from ACU, OC, LCU, West Texas A&M, Amarillo College, OU, and Texas Tech. And they bring their T-shirts and posters and catalogues. We invite our entire church to show up in their college gear, supporting their schools and interacting with the Central middle school and high school students who are shopping for colleges. And it’s always a fun night. We give away door prizes and play silly trivia games. And we encourage our younger people to talk to our older people about where they went to school.

I enjoy reminiscing about the good ol’ days with fellow Oklahoma Christian alums like Jeff & Michelle and Steve & Connie. It’s fun to talk to our Central teenagers about college life. Their reactions, too, are interesting. It’s almost like they can’t imagine their old preacher really being a teenager and living in a dorm and going to college.

I’m grateful to belong to a church that places such an emphasis on intergenerational relationships. I’m thankful that, even though it’s sometimes hard to determine whether anything’s being accomplished, we keep plugging away at forcing our older and younger people into the same rooms together. It matters.

Thank you to OC recruiter Lauren Bridgeforth for making the trip to Amarillo. And thanks to Adam and Tanner and the Adees for pulling off a fabulously fun evening.

Peace,

Allan

Fall Festival 2017


Central’s Fall Festival gets a little bit bigger and better every year. Last night’s shindig saw nearly 700 — Mary’s count, not a preacher’s count — of our members and tons of people from our downtown neighborhoods share costumes and candy, games and activities, and about four tons of Frito Pie.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We had our usual game booths and food items and Karaoke stage. Steve Nordyke was covered in cotton candy for the tenth year in a row, Pat Treat painted dozens of faces, and Mark Love refused to sing. The Amarillo Discovery Center stole the evening, though, with the animals they brought: two massive pythons, a chameleon, hedgehogs, rabbits, and a giant hissing cockroach. Their corner of Sneed Hall was packed all night.

The intergenerational focus of the fun is an important highlight for us. And meeting so many people who’ve never been inside our building before is such a joy.

Congratulations to Mary and Sarah and all the volunteers who pulled off another stellar event.

Peace,
Allan

Older posts