Category: Legacy Construction (Page 1 of 6)

All Over The Map

Scattershooting while wondering whatever happened to songbooks…

2 Chronicles as a family

It’s a little bit after 10:30 Friday night. I just sat back down in my study after spending almost an hour in the worship center listening to my church family read from God’s Holy Scriptures. Carrie-Anne and the girls and I read together from noon to 12:30 today from the middle parts of 2 Chronicles. I read the account of Jehoram in chapter 21. Carrie-Anne followed with chapter 22’s story of Ahaziah. Then Whitney, Valerie, and Carley in order. Whitney gave a stirring rendition of the execution of Athaliah, Valerie’s going to have nightmares tonight about the pronunciation of Jehoiada, and Carley got totally beaten down by almost everything in chapter 25. You can tell by the picture. The look on Carley’s face, especially on the big screen in the upper right hand corner, and her posture are saying, “What am I doing here? How much longer?” Even Siller, whose family was up next, is showing his concern. What a terrific experience, though, reading the Word of God together as a family, filling the new building with Scripture. I’ll never forget it. And I hope the girls won’t either.

Whitney  Valerie  Carley

I’m not getting as much work done the past two days because I can’t help but walk over into the new worship center to listen in on the readings. I started my morning listening to Bill Crawford and Jim McDoniel take us from 2 Kings into 1 Chronicles. What a relief to watch even Jim struggle with impossible names. He even chuckled at himself once or twice. I’ve been privileged today to listen to older ladies who’ve been here forever and young men who’ve been here less than a year. Senior citizens and little kids. People who are involved in almost every program in this church. And others who don’t seem to be involved in much of anything, but who obviously share a deep love for our Father’s Word. It’s so moving to listen to Bonnie Bell read from Psalm 38: “I am bowed down and brought very low; all day long I go about mourning. My back is filled with searing pain; there is no health in my body. I am feeble and utterly crushed; I groan in anguish of heart.” Realizing her physical condition, knowing the real pain she lives with every minute of every day, it’s heart-breaking watching her read this. And then she reads from Psalm 42: “Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.” And I know she does. Every day. Wow.

As emotionally stirring as it is to participate with Bonnie as she reads from the Psalms, it’s funny to watch Russell Mihills read from Proverbs 16: “Gray hair is a crown of splendor; it is attained by a righteous life.”

Psyching Up For Chronicles: “It’s pronounced A-haz-i-ah!”  Jalayna  Kipi

We’re into Ecclesiastes right now. Our Singles group here at Legacy is reading together from 10:00 to midnight. Then they’re going to IHOP. To start planning their next foreign missions trip. I told Jesse and Pam as I left, it seems like every month I hear about that group doing something or I see them doing something that inspires me. They inspire the whole church. They embody the Gospel as they serve each other and our whole church family.

Sometimes there are a dozen or so people in the new worship center listening to the reading. Sometimes the place is completely empty except for the one person at the microphone. Some sit at the back. Some sit at the front. Some seem to be praying silently. Some seem to be soaking in every single syllable. Some are just there out of curiosity. But all are greeted with smiles and hugs and pats on the back. This Legacy Bible Reading is truly a spectacular event. I encourage you to check it out. I’d suggest setting aside 30 minutes sometime between now and Sunday morning. Make sure you listen to at least three different people read in their 15-minute shifts. Do it right when you wake up. Stop by while you’re shopping or running errands. I promise you’ll be glad you did.


There are over 960 people signed up and already PAID up for the fellowship lunch after our worship assembly Sunday! 960! Are you kidding me? That doesn’t include those who forgot to register. That doesn’t include our visitors who are welcome to stay and eat with us as our guests. And it feels like everybody’s bringing visitors. Good gravy, we may have over 1,500 people in our new worship center Sunday. We may have to put chairs in the aisles and in the foyer. We may have people sitting on the stage. It may be a couple of weeks before anybody gets “their pew.” We may have to go to two services THIS Sunday!


I can almost hear the sounds of dribbling basketballs and squeaking sneakers in the Legacy gym.


There will be at least eight baptisms here Sunday. At least eight. Manuel is baptizing a Spanish-speaking father and son he’s been studying with for a couple of months. A charter member grandfather is baptizing his grandson. Three more dads are baptizing their children. A great friend is baptizing another great friend. And it looks like I’m honored to baptize one of our little guys, too. Three of these eight are directly related to the Faith Builders Day Camp we taught this week. Although all three of those young people have been talking to their parents about this decision for several months now. We stopped the Legacy Bible Reading late last night long enough for Jerry Karels to baptize his son, Carter, in front of all our Bible readers and the Legacy Youth Group who had just returned from Summer Youth Series. What a powerful and amazing God we serve! He is still today, right now, forgiving sins and saving souls and robbing hell. And we’re right in the big middle of it. Awesome. We only have two sets of waders in the baptistry. Help.


We’re going to invite all the families and friends of the ones being baptized to gather on the stage area around the baptistry to witness the new birth up close. That stage is way big enough to accomodate probably 100 people. The baptizee’s Small Group. Relatives. Bible School teachers. Friends. Anybody who wants to participate, we’ll ask to join us on the stage. And then the whole church family—all 1,500 of us—will recite Colossians 3:1-4 to each new Christian as he/she comes up out of the water: “Since then you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, you also will appear with him in glory.” Won’t that be great? A congregational blessing. A real family affair. We’re also going to start putting the video of every single baptism on our church website. And John’s working on a way to, not only watch the videos, but write a note of encouragement to each new brother and sister.


David Hunter left me a phone message at about 5:00 this afternoon. The news for his wife, Denise, is worse than it was this morning (see previous post). It’s not good. Four times in a two-minute message, David said, “It’s not good.” She’s on a ventilator. She’s still unconscious. Not responsive. Hardly any blood getting to her brain at all. And David just asked that we keep praying. And I’m asking, too. I saw Randy and Jamie at the Bible reading earlier this evening. They asked how Denise was and told me they were praying for her. I forget people read this blog. I never forget how kind my Christian brothers and sisters are.


A couple of more pictures from the cross-raising ceremony yesterday morning.

Sunrise at Legacy Preaching before breakfast Friends CrowdShot  Jack&Anne Flo & Alice (not the title of a new sitcom) Steel man Dave Brown & proud mama Betty


We’re surrounded by all this “newness.” New building. New carpet. New pews. New paint. New smells. New feel. What a perfect time to re”new” our dedication to Christ and to his mission as well as our commitments to his Church and to each other. Our Father is overwhelming us with “more than all we ask or imagine.” May our hearts overflow with gratitude and may our lives reflect his glory.



At The Cross

“To us who are being saved it is the power of God.” ~1 Cor. 1:18

Just a few of the dozens of kids here for the placement of the 40-foot cross on the new Legacy Worship CenterConstruction crews began to lift the cross into place at 6:45 this morning. 

 When I survey the wondrous cross on which the Prince of Glory died,
my richest gain I count but loss and pour contempt on all my pride.

Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast save in the death of Christ, my God;
all the vain things that charm me most I sacrifice them to his blood.

Were the whole realm of nature mine, that were a present far too small;
love so amazing, so divine, demands my soul, my life, my all.

One giant crane and two tons of steel The sunrise provided the perfect backdrop and the sounds of God’s people singing provided the soundtrack It only took the singing of When I Survey the Wondrous Cross and The Old Rugged Cross to get it in place

To the old rugged cross I will ever be true, its shame and reproach gladly bear;
then he’ll call me someday to my home far away, where his glory forever I’ll share.

Between 100-150 people there to witness the event (Preacher’s Count) We didn’t know whether to call it a dedication or a ceremony. We knew it was more than a photo op.  A symbol of our God’s power through Christ Jesus and him crucified

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God…we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. ~1 Corinthians 1:18-24.

It was early for most, but Parker’s the only one who showed up in his PJs

Drops of grief can ne’er repay the debt of love I owe;
Here, Lord, I give myself away, ’tis all that I can do!

At the cross, at the cross, where I first saw the light,
and the burden of my heart rolled away,
it was there by faith I received my sight,
and now I am happy all the day!

As of 1:00 this afternoon, they’re still cleaning up the welding spots. But our stumple finally looks finished!

For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through the blood shed on the cross.” ~Colossians 1:19-20

Near the cross! O, Lamb of God, bring its scenes before me;
help me walk from day to day with its shadow o’er me.
In the cross, in the cross, be my glory ever,
’til my raptured soul shall find rest beyond the river.

Nina Dutton & Lillian Haswell reading from Exodus (4 hours down, 71 to go) John & Betty Royse reading from Leviticus. It looks like I’ll be in Joshua this evening and our family will be in Proverbs together tomorrow afternoon

I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word. ~Psalm 119:16

  Faith Builders Day Camp. Three days. 44 kids. 5th - 7th graders. Faith Builders Kids and Kipi and me Obligatory Silly Group Picture

How sweet are your words to my taste,
sweeter than honey to my mouth. ~Psalm 119:103

Boys on one side…  …girls on the other.

The grass withers and the flowers fall,  Most of the young people paid attention most of the time.
but the Word of the Lord stands forever. ~1 Peter 1:25

Blessed are those who hear the Word of God and obey it. ~Luke 11:28

From the first moment of Faith Builders at 9:00 Monday morning through this very moment as I’m listening to God’s Word being read by Susan Garrison and her daughter Allie it has been, and continues to be, an incredibly awe-inspiring week. I’m amazed at the power and the love of our God. I’m thrilled that he looks at me in all my sin and shame and loves me enough to save me. I’m grateful he’s put me in the middle of this community of believers who love him and love each other. And I’m humbled that, for some still unexplained reason, I’m the preacher.



For Legacy Members Only

ForMembersOnlyWith the exciting move into our new worship center—one church, one assembly, one hectic summer—come exciting opportunities to serve one another in mercy and love. Going to one Sunday morning service (“There is no need for me to write to you about this service.” 2 Cor. 9:1), accomodating untold numbers of visitors (“The people came running from all directions.” Acts 21:30), and picking a brand new pew to call your own (“Here’s a good seat for you.” James 2:3) can all be quite challenging. Here are a few helpful hints and suggestions to make our move into the new facility as smooth as possible and continue putting the needs of others ahead of our own.

(“And when they ask you, ‘Why are you groaning?’ you shall say, ‘Because of the news that is coming.'” Ezekiel 21:7)


Smile. Be extra friendly. Go overboard to foster a warm and welcoming environment.
(“I will forget my complaint, I will change my expression, and smile.” Job 9:27)

Greet everyone. Introduce people you meet—visitors and members—to others.
(“There I will meet you and speak to you.” Exodus 29:42)

Wear your name tag. Ooops, I mean find your name tag. Then wear it.
(“What is his name, and the name of his son?” Proverbs 30:4)

Walk all visitors to the Visitors Center at the southeast corner of the foyer.
(“They will greet you and offer you two loaves of bread, which you will accept.” 1 Sam. 10:4)

To help you multiply, invite visitors to your Small Groups Church.
(“Now I have become two groups.” Genesis 32:10)


When possible, please use just one vehicle per family.
(“They came with one Accord.” Acts 12:20)

Please park as far away from the building as possible.
(“His command is that you walk in love.” 2 John 6)

Please go ahead and park in the grass if you’re able.
(“Open your eyes and look to the fields!” John 4:35, “Let me go to the field!” Ruth 2:2)


No food or drink in the new worship center.
(“Don’t you have homes to eat and drink in?” 1 Corinthians 11:22)

Make use of the new drinking fountains in the new foyer.
(“Here is water! What doth hinder me?” Acts 8:36)

Please sit in the middle of the pews, not on the ends. Scrunch together. Make room.
(“We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed.” 2 Corinthians 4:8)

Take advantage of the nursery and training rooms at the back of the worship center.
(“The sound of weeping and crying will be heard no more.” Isaiah 65:19)



The Church Is The Building, Too


They’re in the middle of the impressive task of installing the pews in our new worship center. And in just two weeks we’ll be assembling together in this beautiful building to worship our God and spur one another on in our lives of faith.  PewsFromBack

We say all the time that the Church is not the building, it’s the people.

OK. I’ll buy that. I believe that. Up to a point.

We shouldn’t carry that statement or that position so far that it discounts or nullifies the sacred nature of the actual place where God’s children meet him in sacred assembly.

The building is important. It’s OK to feel that way. There’s nothing wrong with feeling the way you do when you walk into our new worship center or into the old church building in Arkansas where you were baptized or into the church buildings in Tulsa or Abilene where you meet and worship with dear friends once a year.

Our church buildings are vital to our faith. Our buildings collect stories and develop associations that give great depth and breadth to our experience of following Jesus together. It’s in our new worship center where our two younger daughters will put on their Lord in baptism. A couple of them may wind up getting married in there. We’ll sing and pray together in there during the funeral of some very dear sweet person reading (or writing!) this article right now. We’ll send off missionaries PewsFromSidetogether in there. We’ll laugh and we’ll cry together in there. We’ll experience birth and death and everything in between together in there. We’ll hear the Word of our Lord together in there. We’ll share the communion meal together in there. We’ll be convicted and moved, we’ll confess and repent, we’ll chase little kids around the aisles together in there.

And we’ll do all those things together in the presence of each other and in the presence of our Holy God.

Your grandmother’s house is full of stories. Your childhood home is full of memories. Your current space of residence serves as the comforting and stabilizing center of your family’s hectic schedule. Our church buildings serve the same important function of reminding us of who and what has gone before and pointing ahead to who and what is to come, all in the presence of and by the power of our eternal God.

Yes, the Church is the people. But the building represents the people and the stories and the memories and the provision and care of the God we serve.


Our 20 pollsters for the inaugural The Kingdom, The Kids, & The Cowboys Top 20 College Football Poll are all in. 19 Texas residents and one from California. Eighteen men and two women whose formative years were spent in places as widely varied as Chicago and Broken Arrow and Mississippi and Ohio. Judging from our pollsters’ list of favorite teams, it looks like we have the Big XII, Big 10, SEC, C-USA, Mountain West, WAC, and Pac-10 Conferences completely covered. It should be a totally comprehensive poll. And legitimate. Until the first time ACU or Harding or UTA receives votes. Then it’s over.

I still need a logo for this thing. Submit your entries now. Design a logo for the KK&C Top 20 and email it to me at

Thanks for jumping in. Much more later.



Sacred Assembly

ReadyToMoveIn“I will declare your name to my brothers;
  in the presence of the congregation I
  will sing your praises.”
  ~Hebrews 2:12

We’re almost there. On August 17, in just 3-1/2 more weeks, the Legacy Church of Christ will begin meeting as one congregation of God’s people instead of two. For the first time in over 18 years we’ll be together on the Lord’s Day, celebrating his resurrection, communing with the entire family, witnessing baptisms, blessing babies, sending off mission teams, welcoming new members, praising and praying and confessing and encouraging all of each other all at the same time. Together.

Our new worship center is almost complete. The carpet and tile are all installed. The pews are all stacked in the concourse waiting to be placed. It all seems to be just details now.

Here’s the front. As always, click on the pic to get the full size.

FrontLeft FrontCenter FrontRight

Here’s the back.

BackLeft BackCenter BackRight

There’s a full slate of events and activities planned for that weekend of August 17. We’re doing our best to coordinate the installation of the massive stainless steel cross on the outside of the stumple with the beginning of our church’s reading of the Bible. The plan is for our entire church family—all of us, individually, as families, as Small Groups, men, women, and children—to sign up for 15 and 30 minutes shifts as we read the Bible from Genesis 1:1 through Revelation 22:21. The reading will be done from the pulpit, over the microphone, and carried on our speaker system throughout the new worship center and every nook and cranny of this entire campus. It’ll take about 75 hours. It’ll begin at about 7:00 am Thursday August 14, hopefully following a cross ceremony outside, and conclude right at 10:00 Sunday morning as we gather to assemble for the first time in our new building.

FrontCloseUpA huge church-wide fellowship dinner will follow that initial assembly. Then we’re inviting all the Churches of Christ in Tarrant County to join us at 2:00 for a singing and time of worship together. We feel very strongly that our assembly manifests the unity of the Body of Christ as a community of faith dedicated to the glory of God and his Kingdom. And what better way to communicate that than to come together with all our brothers and sisters to lift our voices and our hearts to our God and to encourage each other that afternoon? Finally, we’ll host an open house at 3:00 so folks can tour the new parts of our campus, including the worship center, the youth and benevolence center, and the new classrooms upstairs.

Our Christian assemblies, in many ways, represent the visible presence of Jesus to our world. Our gatherings declare his presence and proclaim his purpose. And our assemblies serve to equip his disciples for the mission of our God.

Beginning August 17, the Legacy Church of Christ will share the sacred assembly together. And I can’t wait.


I’m honored to be speaking tonight to our brothers and sisters at the College Hill Church of Christ, just a couple of miles west of here. My grandparents are charter members of that congregation which was established in the early ’60s, my grandfather a charter elder there. It’s where my mom worshiped as a teenager. Growing up, it’s where we worshiped as a family when we came to Fort Worth to visit my mom’s side. My grandparents celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary there. My great-grandmother celebrated her 80th birthday there. The funerals of my granddad, two great-grandmothers, and my Uncle Asa were held there. As little kids, my sisters and I ran circles around the auditorium there while our grandmother did her work for Thursday School. College Hill holds a lot of fond memories for me. And it’ll be very special to be with them this evening.



The Next Two Years

In addition to naming our dreams and visions for the Legacy Church of Christ at our recent elders / ministers retreat, we were each asked to share our goals for the rest of 2008 and our goals for 2009. Most of mine reflect my overall dreams and visions. They’re specific ways, or at least time-frames, for doing what I’m convinced God is calling me/us to do.

The goals are up on the wall in my study as daily reminders of what I’ve pledged to do. And, again, in an effort maybe to encourage or inspire you—and at the least to help in holding me accountable—here they are:

Goals for the rest of 2008—

To explore as a church family the multi-faceted aspects of communion and the Lord’s Supper

To make communion time the highlight and climax of our Sunday morning assemblies

to work harder to foster more relationship and trust between the elders and me

make more hospital visits and send more cards and letters to Legacy members

use more examples and illustrations in my sermons from what God is doing with our people at Legacy

plan a 24 Hours of Prayer event this summer in conjunction with the opening of our new worship center

plan a Friends Day in the fall

Goals for 2009—

plan a four-day gospel meeting at Legacy, for our community, themed around the power of the resurrection; I’d like to call it a Resurrection Revival or something like that

full integration of our Spanish-speaking and deaf brothers and sisters into our Sunday morning assemblies

plan a Tarrant County unity event—some kind of singing and/or worship assembly—for all our Christian brothers and sisters in the area

Please join me in praying about these things as God works in and through me and us together to reconcile the world back to him.


The temporary plywood wall that’s been separating the west side of our concourse from the new worship center construction has been taken down. You can see the brand new doors leading into the worship center now from almost anywhere on this side of Pod B.

WallComingDown    WallComingDown2

And they’ve begun painting the inside of the worship center now.

Painting    Painting2

Will it be late July or early August?


Speaking of painting, yesterday marked the annual Legacy Youth Group Messy Games Day. Disgusting. Much more messy than last year. Much more food and food products involved. Egg-tosses. Wrestling in jello for whipped-cream covered watermelons. Human ice-cream sundaes. Yuck. I only got close enough to take pictures but still wound up with caramel and strawberry syrup on my shoes and pants.

DillonSundae  Dillon FiveSundaes MoreSyrup  EvenMoreSyrup  Shelby  Payton Whitney


We’re studying the fourth and final Servant Song in Isaiah this Sunday, Isaiah 52:13-53:12. The cross-event is unrepeatable. But cross-bearing is not!



« Older posts