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One year ago…


Terry PhillipsI was preaching the funeral of Terry Phillips.  He was a friend of mine, of our ministry for too short a time.   Terry’s business is Metropolitan Medical Services of NC.  I loved our discussions about business and they always turned to our faith and Jesus.  John Piper (I believe) said there are three kinds of Christians, zealous goers, zealous senders, and the disobedient.  Terry was a zealous sender.  He believed that God gave him his family, his business, the mind and grace to do all that those required of him. 

He was in his late 40’s and had an undetected colon cancer.  (Due to this event I got my colonoscopy – have you had yours?).  It was amazing to watch his family.  I tried to add a little pastoral care, but there was little to do.  Michelle his wife, knows Jesus and knew that Terry had a personal relationship with Jesus.  The Holy Spirit did the work of comforting in awesome ways.  The staff – well every business man out there would want this crew on their payroll.  They huddled up, ministered to the family, kept the business going, manned the phones….  Michelle was free to think of her girls and all that comes with arranging a funeral without worrying about the business.   Some of you will not understand this, but with tears in my eyes I would tell you this funeral was the easiest funeral I have done.  I miss Terry, but I know where he is and am confident of seeing his smiling face and take great delight in thinking of him talking the ear off of Jesus.  He lived a life that matters for all eternity.  The business he left behind is growing in a difficult economy and Michelle and the staff continue to be our strongest supporters, financially, materially and in prayer.  We could not be here or do what we do without the backing of Metropolitan Medical. 

Terry lived life with eyes locked on Jesus.  I thought of him again today when I read this quote by J. Campbell White, “Most men are not satisfied with the permanent output of their lives.  Nothing can wholly satisfy the life of Christ within his followers except the adoption of Christ’s purpose toward the world he came to redeem.  Fame, pleasure and riches are but husks and ashes in contrast with the boundless and abiding joy of working with God for the fufillment of his eternal plans.  The men who are putting everything into Christ’s undertaking are getting out of life its sweetest and most priceless rewards.”

It saddens me that we never got to take a mission trip together.  But Terry was one of my “zealous senders” and Michelle and Metropolitan Medical Services of NC continue what he started.  Cindy and I are ever grateful for these friends in ministry.  If you will allow a shameless plug – if you need anesthesia equipment, monitors and biomedical services for the same, you can’t do better than Metropolitan…

Let me, as Terry did for me, encourage you, believer.  Few of you are called to be zealous goers… if you are what are you doing sitting still?  If God has called you to go, go… from experience I can tell you He cares for you and will support you.   The rest of  those who believe are called to be zealous senders…there are ministries out there that are struggling because some called to send are hoarding what He has given for the work of Heaven.  This is NOT a plea for money for Vine International.  I promise you that He takes care of us.  Look around you.  What fires up your compassion?  Get involved physically as well as fiscally.  Get to know the missionaries that your church supports well enough that you can write letters of encouragement and address their physical needs.  I have sent a box of Snickers and a pack of bicycle ball bearings in the past to a missionary in Paraguay and you would have thought I gave them the moon.   Be the best senders… like the Phillips family and Metropolitan Medical Services of NC are for us.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. 17/10/2009 10:14

    Very insightful and encouraging. Thanks for all that you do for God’s kingdom. I love you brother…


  2. Theresa Schroeder permalink
    19/11/2009 22:55

    Dennis…great reading your blog, your insight, your humor, most of all your great testimony to serving our Lord Jesus. Thank you for being the church, not being a Christian by name but by being & living Christ – like. Fellow bondservant, Theresa Schroeder


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