I have a new friend — a new partner in the way Richard Rohr describes heaven-made partners: “Suffering people can love and trust a suffering God, Only a suffering God can save suffering people, those who have passed across this chasm can and will save one another.”

Terry called me recently to tell me he’d just read The Last Addiction: Why Self-Help is Not Enough, and he resonated with the stories and thoughts in the book.  In fact, he passionately told me that he loved this book.  I didn’t have a minute to pat myself on the back for what I had written, before Terry told me why he loved the book.  It seems he loves a group of about 100 people who meet in his church in weekly Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, and he so longs to connect the powerful path of Recovery with the powerful Recoverer for these honored “members” of his church.

Terry Rush pastors the Memorial Drive Church of Christ in Tulsa, OK.  On a page marked by baseball  cards (baseball is apparently another passion of this man), Terry describes himself:

My name is Terry Rush; named after the All-Star centerfielder for the St. Louis Cardinals, Terry Moore.
 I’m crazy about Cardinal baseball, eaten up with cheering the discouraged, and can’t get enough grilled scallops.
I like how Jesus fits into every scheme and scenario of life.  
And….I’ve learned from him to like life “right now” whenever and wherever “right now” might be!
It seems to me that too many have concluded they aren’t good enough, aren’t smart enough,or aren’t skilled enough.  Not so!  
One of the striking things about the heart of God is He counts each individual as a gem to be treasured.  
My job is to notify as many as possible of His acceptance and approval of them. 
It seems as if this modest man, whose been in ministry a lot longer than me, has also impacted “celebrities.”
(See: http://www.tulsaworld.com/news/article.aspx?subjectid=18&articleid=20120324_18_A15_ULNSei377205)
Terry’s response:  “I’m not anybody, honestly, but I know that every person I meet has some part of their world in which they feel like maybe they’re not good enough, or didn’t perform well enough, and that’s where God really does come in to give them support, to give them life.”

I have no doubt he speaks any less passionately about The Life-Giving God to a celebrity wearing 18-karat gold cuff links and talking about his latest Hollywood project, than he does to an alcoholic/addict wearing the stink of booze and talking about his latest time served in jail.

What a privilege to get to be friends with this man who is living something that God has whispered to me a hundred different times in a hundred different places, “Sharon will you just get out of the way?”


Our elders at Memorial, as well as our staff, have an unofficial motto: Get Out of the Way.  I like it a lot.  It fits us.  More exciting to me is that it seems to fit the kingdom work here.When the Psalmist wrote Be still and know I am God, I didn’t take note of that being anything special.  The side note in the NASB for be still is Let go and relax.  For a championer of causes this struck me as cotton candy insignificance in my earlier years.So, God let me go forward with my ambition and energy and religious exercises.  It turned out I wasn’t as much as I once thought I might be, could be, should be.  Hmmmm.It took a few failures for me to awaken to the Psalmist’s urging.  My arms weren’t strong enough.  Nor were my feet fleet enough.  I needed bigger help.  The way to attain it seemed so backwards.  This should have been my first hint I was nearing the proper procedure.Sharon Hersh wrote, The gift of powerlessness is that it can compel us to let go. Right on!  Powerlessness is not our handicap.  It is a gift.  Awaken to its beauty.

Of course the kingdom needs more workers.  Jesus is about the grand life-walk.  We are to follow such a course.  But recall his statement that apart from the Father he could do nothing?

The secret to Jesus’ effectiveness (and ours) is to realize we are powerless and He owns the power.  Yes, we need more workers to let go….to let go of our weak-armed, slow-footed, try-harder dispositions and lean into the glory of this wonderful gift we each posses labeled powerlessness.

When we at Memorial quit plotting, planning, and controlling (when we got out of the way), it seems the church began to breathe deeper than we had ever seen.  Works and results keep sprouting at a rate that we can neither track nor take credit.

We don’t understand it; but getting out of the way has become a source of leadership among us that, to many, could appear weak and silly.  Yet, He seems to be willing to work this terrain.

Our job?

To give God the glory…and we do.

It took me a bit to grab the parallel truth in Romans 9:16; yet it surely fits.  So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy.


If you want to read more from Terry, check out http://www.terryrush.blogspot.com/ 

“You must ]get out of the way of] your old self which as been corrupted by following illusory desires.  Your mind must be renewed by a spiritual revolution.” -Ephesians 4:22-23