Category: Golf Course Road Church (Page 1 of 3)

Making Arrangements

“God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be.”
~1 Corinthians 12:18

What a really wonderful day Sunday here at GCR Church. We were delighted to introduce eight new babies from six different families into our congregation and to lift them up to the Lord in prayer and blessing. We thanked God for these little bundles of his grace, we asked him to bless these babies richly with his love and protection and peace, and we asked God to equip the parents and give them strength and wisdom to raise their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. And we charged our entire church with helping these families, with loving and raising these babies, and to support and encourage these new parents.

We also introduced eight people / families as brand new members at GCR – a total of 24 men, women, and children who are committing to everything God is doing in us and through us to his glory. These people are jumping in to the mission of this church – to be a Christ-centered family that loves like Jesus. They’re promising to worship and serve and live with us, together, to advance God’s Kingdom on this earth to his eternal praise. They’re bringing their gifts and their passions, their baggage and their personalies, their abilities and their joy! It was such a wild thing to introduce 24 brothers and sisters in Christ as new members during the same service – the congregation responded with a standing ovation!

We pledged publicly in that moment to belong to each other at GCR. We promised to love and support these new church members. We promised to encourage and challenge these new members and to always give them the benefit of the doubt. And we promised to roll up our sleeves and work hard together for everything God is wanting to do in Midland.

God is arranging the parts at GCR, every one of them, exactly as he wants them to be. He’s moving people to Midland from Dallas and Houston and from some of the smaller towns out here in West Texas to join us in what he’s doing with this church. He’s putting everything perfectly in place for his Kingdom plans.

And we don’t get to choose any of them. We don’t get to interview anybody, we don’t get a vote. God chooses the people and moves them in and smashes us together to achieve his purposes and to shape us more into his holy image. He puts us together in a place where we are forced to love each other, forced to sing each other’s songs, to listen to one another’s opinions, to pray over each other’s cares, to forgive one another’s wrongs, and to eat and drink a meal together every Sunday. It shapes us. It forms us. It blesses us with more energy and resources to better serve the people of our city in the name and manner of Jesus.

God is arranging the parts at GCR. He’s doing something big here, something significant; something that, by his grace, will impact this city and the whole world with his amazing love. And I feel so blessed by him to be one of those pieces he’s moving in and arranging. I feel so privileged to be right in the middle of whatever our Lord is cooking here in Midland, Texas.

This coming Sunday we’re introducing at least three or four more families as new members into our congregation. May we give God the glory and praise, may we pay close attention to these new folks and to what our Lord is wanting to do, and may his will be done in and through us at GCR, together, just as it is in heaven.



Scraping By

My first encounter with Mike Rupe was when he diagnosed the issue with our dishwasher. Over the phone. In about eight seconds. And then he had it repaired  in about eight minutes. That made me really appreciate this self-professed back row Christian at GCR.  What makes me love Mike is that he has shown up at our new house here three evenings in a row to help us knock out the grueling task of hand-scraping  all the popcorn off the ceilings of our new house here in Midland.

Mike had all the right ideas, all the little tricks, and the necessary elbow grease to make this daunting task a much more realistic thing for us to accomplish – we got it finished about three days earlier than I thought we might. Working with Mike during these evenings meant getting his unique perspective on some of the history of this great church on Golf Course Road. And it also involved more conversation about Revelation than would be expected.






Mike, brother, I am so grateful. The popcorn is gone and now we’re into Phase Two. A couple of walls have gone up today and a couple of doors installed to seclude the Whitney Wing from the rest of the manor. All the carpet is gone, the wet bar in the entry has been removed, and the texture guys are going to start on the ceilings this next week.

And if the dishwasher doesn’t work, I know who to call.



Home in Midland

We closed on the house here in Midland late Friday, a wonderfully beautiful home with a lot of personality and character in the Saddle Club subdivision on the northeast side of town. The timing was so perfect in acquiring this house – the previous owners had just been transferred to Houston when we saw it and their company had purchased it from them and was wanting to get it off their books quickly. We feel like if we had seen it just a day later it would have been gone. And it’s perfect for us! So perfect!






The layout allows for Whitney to have her own wing in the house with a bedroom, bathroom, den, and exterior access to a private patio. The rest of the house is an open plan with plenty of room for entertaining. The game room is big enough to handle the ping pong table and all our Dr Pepper stuff. And the lot is surrounded by older oak trees and massive pines.

What else comes with a house built in 1981 is the need for updating. I’ve spent several hours over the weekend scraping popcorn off the ceilings while Carrie-Anne and Whitney have been removing cabinet door handles and light switch plates for the texturing and painting that’s about to take place. Thanks to Mike Rupe who showed up unannounced yesterday to help scrape for three hours and to Gary Glasscock who’s helping us coordinate all the updating.

We feel very blessed by God and by this community of faith at GCR in Midland to be in possession of such a house. We feel very grateful. Once we get in for good, may the house be used to bless the church and for glorifying God. Until then, may we be blessed with resilient muscles, determined patience, and contractors who show up on time.



Green Acres is the Place to Be

Congratulations to Brandon Meeks who took the championship in our GCR staff miniature golf outing yesterday afternoon at newly-renovated Green Acres Mini Golf. I was fortunate enough to be playing in Brandon’s group and was able to witness first-hand his unique combination of athletic gift, exquisite skill, and gritty determination. And his ability to putt a golf ball up a metal ramp and through the swinging doors of a little windmill.

While Brandon was making noise with his scorecard, Tim Neale was making noise – literally – all over the course. He hit six holes-in-one throughout his round, prompting huge roars of approval from within his foursome and anyone else who happened to be near. The problem is that Tim also scored at least half a dozen “sixes,” the highest tally allowed on each hole. He’s like the baseball player who leads the division in both home runs and strikeouts. I reminded Tim that those are the guys who get traded to the Rangers.


Thanks to Jason Allen for organizing this quarterly staff get together and team building outing. I picked up some extra slang and learned a little more about what makes my co-workers tick. Putting Andrew, Cory, and Mauri in the same group guaranteed we’d all be finished a half hour before they were – that was a mistake. And somebody needs to explain to Jessie the difference between trash talk and godly encouragement.



In Everything, By Prayer

If we really believe that God is who the Bible says he is; if we really believe that he is the almighty true and living God, the powerful creator and sustainer of heaven and earth; if we really believe this God is personal with us and not only hears our prayers but faithfully answers them; if we really believe that, then our prayers will be continuous. And filled with passion.

Not eloquence. Not etiquette. Not posture and syntax and order. Our prayers will be characterized by passion.

Abraham pleading for Sodom. Jacob wrestling with God at midnight. Moses fasting and praying for God’s people in the wilderness. Hannah intoxicated with sorrow. David heartbroken with grief and remorse. Huge, passionate prayers. Jesus overcome with loud cries and tears in the garden. Elijah exploding with confidence on Mount Carmel. Paul courageously petitioning on behalf of the new churches.

Tonight at GCR, we’re going to pray some passionate prayers together. As a church family, we are going to pray for the people of Afghanistan. We’re going to beg our God to provide safety for that nation’s people, particularly the women and children. We’re going to ask God to bring an end to the violence there. We’re going to pray that God will protect the Christians in that country and give them the strength to remain faithful. And we’re going to pray for the safety and well-being of those in Afghanistan we might consider enemies.

We’re also going to pray for the COVID-19 situation in Midland and our West Texas region. We’ll ask God to heal the sick. We’ll pray that he give strength, encouragement, and endurance to the doctors, nurses, and health care providers who are in the thick of the battle. And we’ll ask God for his divine peace and patience as we resist the hostilities and division that seem to be related to the pandemic.

And we’re going to pray for our church family at GCR. We will lift the burdens of our brothers and sisters at GCR, we’ll request heavenly wisdom and guidance for our shepherds, and we’ll pray that God empowers us to fulfill his mission for this congregation of his people.

E.M. Bounds famously said, “Prayer does not prepare us for greater works; it is the greater work.” We’re taking that to heart at 7:00 this evening at GCR. If you live in Midland, I’m inviting you to join us.



Today We Pray

What does a disciple of Jesus do about the violent chaos in Afghanistan? How does a church respond to the terror and desperation of so many thousands of people on the other side of the world? Well, today we pray. There may be an opportunity to do something else soon, but today we can pray.

This is a video we shot yesterday for our church family here at GCR. In it, I reference an email from Dan Bouchelle and Mission Resource Network containing texts messages and emails he’s received from those working with the Christians in Afghanistan. The messages contain specific prayer requests, which I share in the video.

There is also this line from one of the Afghan Christians: “We are confident that God is leading us forward and will triumph. We are committed to witness to the greatest movement of salvation among Muslims from the ashes of this catastrophe.”

That is our prayer. That is our hope. We belong to a God who is able to keep everything and everyone we have committed to him until that great day. I ask you to join me in holding the people of Afghanistan – all the men, women, and children of that country – before our Lord today in love and faith. And hope. May our God have mercy. And may his will be done in Afghanistan just as it is in heaven.



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