Education: I am a high school graduate who married right after graduation and went to work. I have always attended church every time the doors were open, and revivals, campmeetings, and any other type of service available to me, and I have learned more from the Bible and my pastoral skills from the pastors and preachers in my life than I could ever have learned in seminary. I am also an avid reader, with a personal library of more than 2500 volumes.
Comment to those looking at my sermons: I hope that you will learn something new when you read my sermons. I don’t usually preach "fluff". I believe one of the greatest problems in the modern day church (of any denomination) is lack of Bible knowledge. I try to specialize in the usually unnoticed details of a passage and I use the Old Testament a lot, believing you can only understand the New Testament in the light of the Old.
Sermon or series that made a difference: I think every sermon I’ve ever heard has made an impact on my life, either for good or bad. Two of the most memorable were a sermon on launching out into the deep, which caused me to submit my life to the Lord to preach, and another one on sailing under sealed orders which encouraged me to take my first pastorate. I love good sermons - could listen to them for hours. Preaching is one of my favorite things, both doing it and listening to it.
One of my favorite illustrations: One from my own experience. When my daughter was 3 years old, she was sick and, while it wasn’t a serious illness, it was scary to her. She had been calling me to the couch all day asking me to pray for her, which I had done repeatedly. Toward early evening, she called for what seemed like the hundredth time, and when I sat down beside her, she said, "Momma, please pray for me, and this time, please cry." Wow!!!! Now that will preach when we tend to become cynical and dry-eyed about our world.
Family: I have been married to my husband, Milan, since 1963. We were high school sweethearts and met at our hometown Church of God when we were in the 7th grade. We have one daughter, Mila, who is married to Capt. Terry Moore of the MO Highway Patrol, and they have given us the two prettiest and most intelligent grandchildren in the world, Mikayla born May 1998 and Lorna born March 2000. They live in Holt Summit Mo, a suburb of Jefferson City where my son in law works. My daughter homeschools the girls.
What my parents think of my sermons: I was the child of divorce. Born in the 40’s, that was unusual. My mom never attended church much at all until we started the Oakland Church and now she is in every service, including prayer meeting. There has been such a tremendous change in our relationship, which was never bad to begin with, but just not close. My dad and stepmom recently moved back to Lebanon and now they attend our church. I think both parents are proud of me.
What my spouse (really) thinks of my sermons: My husband thinks I am the best preacher in the world! But he is the first to tell me if I do a really bad job, and I appreciate that. But what pleases me most is that he really considers me his pastor, and I think that is the greatest compliment in the world. I consider him my co-pastor, although he is not ordained, but he is a better Bible student than I am, and the most Godly man I’ve ever known. Our congregation feels the same way about him.
Best advice given to me about preaching: #1 Go into the pulpit each time with a porkchop in one hand and a milk bottle in the other. (Your sermons should be deep enough to speak to the most spiritually mature Christian in your audience, but simple enough so that even a child, or new Christian can understand.) #2 Always use your newspaper along with your Bible. (Keep your preaching relevant to what is going on in the minds and lives of your parishioners.)
Books that have had an impact: All the books by Watchman Nee, my first being The Normal Christian Life. The Church of God Reformation Movement was started in 1880 by men who published books on our doctrine, and all of them have been most instrumental to me, especially the books on typology. I also find current books by Charles Swindoll and Max Lucado to be very helpful. I also enjoy reading Charles Spurgeon’s sermons.
Hobbies: My major hobby is writing (sermons, songs and poetry). I enjoy singing and playing the piano. I read and study a lot. I moderate several email groups on the Internet for classmates, ministry colleagues, and family. I continue to do some insurance work, and am also an independent Avon sales representative. I enjoy maintaining my home office and my collection of newspaper articles over the past 55 years.
If I could Preach one more time, I would say...: The most important things in the world are:
#1 Our relationship to Jesus Christ
#2 Our relationships with our families
#3 Our relationships with friends and church family
Something funny that happened while preaching: The weather radio in the fellowship hall sounding a loud warning just as I paused for impact while making a statement on the judgment of God.
What I want on my tombstone: I told you I was sick.