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the brick

- Author Unknown

A young and successful executive was traveling down a neighborhood street, going a bit too fast in his new Jaguar. He was watching for kids darting out from between parked cars and slowed down when he thought he saw something. As his car passed, no children appeared. Instead, a brick smashed into the Jag’s side door! He slammed on the brakes and backed the Jag back to the spot where the brick had been thrown. The angry driver then jumped out of the car, grabbed the nearest kid and pushed him up against a parked car shouting, “What was that all about and who are you? Just what the heck are you doing? That’s a new car and that brick you threw is going to cost a lot of money. Why did you do it?” The young boy was apologetic. “Please, mister... please, I’m sorry but I didn’t know what else to do,” He pleaded. “I threw the brick because no one else would stop... “ With tears dripping down his face and off his chin, the youth pointed to a spot just around a parked car. “It’s my brother,” he said. “He rolled off the curb and fell out of his wheelchair and I can’t lift him up.” Now sobbing, the boy asked the stunned executive, “Would you please help me get him back into his wheelchair? He’s hurt and he’s too heavy for me.” Moved beyond words, the driver tried to swallow the rapidly swelling lump in his throat. He hurriedly lifted the handicapped boy back into the wheelchair, then took out a linen handkerchief and dabbed at the fresh scrapes and cuts. A quick look told him everything was going to be okay. “Thank you and may God bless you,” the grateful child told the stranger. Too shook up for words, the man simply watched the boy push his wheelchair-bound brother down the sidewalk toward their home. It was a long, slow walk back to the Jaguar. The damage was very noticeable, but the driver never bothered to repair the dented side door. He kept the dent there to remind him of this message. “Don’t go through life so fast that someone has to throw a brick at you to get your attention!” God whispers in our souls and speaks to our hearts. Sometimes when we don’t have time to listen, He has to throw a brick at us. It’s our choice to listen or not.

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Finders, keepers - losers, weepers Is your glass half full or half empty? community sponsors amazing kids calendar of events cross on the plains be thankful change this!


Beyond the Cross Ministries Kai & Jim Evans

advisory board

Kerri Schoonvelt, Family Life Radio Melody Dawes, Lubbock’s Home and Family Magazine Margaret Couch, Trinity Ranch Janna Aycock, Aycock Media Works


Kai Evans Andy Wood Judy Martin Bowyer Megan Moeller Christian Ward

Design & Layout Matt Roemisch

Special Thanks to Texas Auto Guide for partnering with Beyond the Cross and helping to increase distribution!

Beyond the Cross Magazine PO Box 65551 Lubbock, Texas 79464 2

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Finders, Keepers Losers, Weepers by Judy Martin Bowyer


s a child, the first time I heard ‘Finders-Keepers’ was when I picked up a dime on the street and my friend chanted the phrase. “Pretty neat!” I thought, simply because I was the finder. The idea that anything I found was rightfully mine took shape in my mind, and it was a pretty heady concept. But some of the glow disappears when you become the “loser” and not the “finder.” A friend told of her vacation to Big Bend National Park. Her son discovered a camera case in the road, and they delivered it to the main office and returned home without another thought. A couple of weeks later, a letter arrived in the mail from the camera’s owner, stating that he had “a renewed pride in our country” because of their honesty, and he enclosed a $20 bill to express his gratitude.

of graduates of that particular year who had the same initials as those engraved in the ring. The finders-losers mentality comes down to integrity. The right thing is to return whatever it is possible to return to the one who has lost it, because it is how we want others to treat us. Being respectful of someone else’s property and not assuming that we have any rights to what is theirs, keeps us walking in alignment with God’s principles for living a life of integrity.

She described a second experience a short time later. The same son celebrated a birthday, complete with cash gifts. Armed with a wallet full of birthday bucks, he and the family went to a movie to celebrate, but the wallet fell out of his pocket during the outing. She described her son’s anguish when he discovered the wallet missing. The panic and despair, the distressing disappointment, the sinking sense of loss . . . we’ve all been there. They returned to the theater, praying that someone had found it and done the honorable thing. The wallet was indeed there, and the theater manager presented it to her son, the cash intact. This young man had experienced the emotions of both the finder and the loser. His mother remarked, “I wonder, would the outcome have been different if we had not taken the time to return those found items that did not belong to us?” It’s a fair question. Too often, many of us have a sense of entitlement that says whatever lies in our path is fair game. If it is not physically attached to another person, it is there for the taking. Sometimes it is impossible to return a lost item, but often it is merely inconvenient. My daughter lost her engagement ring and was humbled that someone took time to walk to the nearest store and turn it in. My husband once found someone’s high school ring buried in a park. The easy thing was to assume it was impossible to find the owner. Instead, he contacted the school, hundreds of miles away, and inquired

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Is Your Glass Half Full or Half Empty? Learning to live your life with a thankful heart! By Kai Evans

We have all heard the phrase “Is your glass half full or half empty”? Often it is easy to look at our day and even our own lives as half empty. We choose daily to see our life with a “full” perspective or an “empty” perspective. I will admit, in the midst of life it is not always apparent how to see your life with a thankful attitude. Yet there is always something in our lives, even challenges, to be grateful for. Currently, I am less than three weeks away from delivering our third child. In preparation, we are finishing up a remodeling project in the bathroom (or should I say my husband Jim is). What seemed to just be a small grout repair has now turned into new tile and replacing part of the bathroom walls. I am not thrilled about the timing, but am glad for the opportunity to update the bathroom. Same week... still less than three weeks away from our new edition to the family, the SUV we bought (which thankfully was still under warranty) has started to have electrical problems. I know nothing about electrical 4

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problems, but found out very quickly after sharing a vehicle with my husband that I really enjoy the luxury of having two vehicles. I can’t imagine calling a friend and asking for a ride to the hospital! Still less than three weeks away...a cold front has moved in for the weekend. We light the pilot and turn on the heater, but the house doesn’t seem to be getting any warmer. In fact, we are all huddled up by the fireplace! A quick phone call to a friend to look at the heater and we quickly find out that the heater has decided to retire after 30 years. Not that I blame the heater, but I am three weeks away from having a baby! So I’m thinking to myself, I am sharing a bathroom with our two kids, sharing a truck with my husband, and to top it off we need a new heater which is not only costly, but a mess. I have a choice to make this week. Is my glass half full or half empty? I had a friend share an article with me that I still think

about often, the title is “Count your Blessings”. It goes like this - If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof overhead, and a place to sleep.. You are richer than 75% of this WORLD! Upon looking, the blessings were easy to find. My husband is handy and immediately started working quickly to remodel our bathroom. We also found tile we liked on sale and a neighbor allowed us to use their tile saw for FREE! We talked to the dealership and were able to get a SUV until ours is fixed. The heater was in stock, and luckily we have a friend who was able to install it for half the cost. We have the money to pay for the heater and our family is safer all while we are saving energy! When faced with challenges we all can often feel overwhelmed and find it hard to see the blessing in our situation. Take a breath and look at the whole picture. Allow yourself to find simple things to be thankful for. You will find your glass always half FULL, if not overflowing. I will leave you with the article that was shared with me. I hope that you share it and realize how many blessings you have. Backyard Mission

(806) 300-0184

8205 Quincy Ave

Lubbock, TX 79424

Count Your Blessings provided by Dolores and Randall Carpenter

If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof overhead, and a place to sleep... You are richer than 75% of this world. If you have money in the bank, in your wallet, and spare change in a dish someplace... You are among the top 8% of the worlds wealthy. If you woke up this morning with more health than illness...You are more blessed than a million who will not survive this week. If you have never experienced the danger of battle, the loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture or the pangs of starvation... You are ahead of 500 million people in the world. If you can attend a church meeting without fear of harassment, arrest, torture, or death... You are more blessed that 3 billion people in the world. If your parents are still alive and still married... You are very rare, even in the United States. If you hold up your head with a smile on your face and are truly thankful...You are blessed because the majority can, but most do not. If you can read this message...You are more blessed than over 2 billion people in the world who cannot read at all.

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Special Thanks to our Sponsors who help make this magazine possible. Their con-

tributions allow us to provide this magazine free to Lubbock and surrounding area.

Brenda and Joey Dorman SENIOR PASTORS

WHERE THERE IS HOPE FOR THE HURTING AND HEALING FOR THE SICK. Give the Gift Financial Strength_4.25x2.75.pdf 7/30/09 6:52:53 AM

4806 Englewood Ave • Lubbock, TX 79414 • 806-793-5231 SUNDAY 10:30am & 6:30pm - WEDNESDAY 7:00pm

Give the gift of financial strength. Cecilia Sebranek Agent New York Life Insurance Company 6121 79th Street, Unit A, Lubbock, TX 79424 P. 806.698.5629 F. 806.698.5655 ©2009 New York Life Insurance Company, 51 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10010 SMRU 00397777CV (Exp. 06/11)


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Do you know an Amazing Kid? Email Us:

“We worry about what a child will become tomorrow, yet we forget that he is someone today.” - Stacia Tauscher

Leanna Archer

created an education foundation at the young age of 13. “My organization is dedicated to serving my parent’s native country by providing a valuable service.” Leanna has taken the initiative to start an organization in Haiti and the USA to help underprivileged kids. “Kids that are without any hope of becoming somebody that they can be proud of.” My goal is to build a school in Haiti and are in the process of setting up the first school. Leanna wants to provide all the kids with an education, a place to sleep and at least two meals a day!

Learn more about Leanna’s Foundation:

Leanna and the President of Haiti, Rene Preval

Kennedy Jet Kulish

When her baby brother Kaeden had three open heart surgeries before his 1st birthday, six year-old Kennedy was very moved. She asked her mom and dad to have a special first birthday party for him, where everyone could bring donations instead of presents. Kennedy asked the stores in her community to help with food, drinks and the venue. She sent out handmade invitations for the event and managed to collect $2,000. All the money was donated to Penn State Children’s Hospital to help other children who needed treatment. She was so encouraged by the success of the event that she started a non profit called Kisses for Kaeden. Since then she, along with her Kisses helpers aged 7 – 14, have had several fund raisers like lemonade stands, bake sales and Chinese auctions along with monthly teddy bear collections.

She has collected more than $81,000 for American Heart Association, Children’s Miracle Network and Make a Wish Foundation. “I feel blessed to have my baby brother with me, to be his big sister and to play with him everyday but I know that some families aren’t so blessed. The three organizations that I help work with the families of these children to get the medical equipment they need and to pay for the bills when they don’t have enough insurance,” she explains. In October, 2007, Kennedy got to personally meet President Bush and she received the President’s Gold Volunteer Service Award from him!

For more information visit Beyond the Cross


Do you have an event you would like to include? Email Us:

Ragtown Gospel Theater

“Emmaus” A brief passage in the 24th chapter of the Gospel of Luke has had a profound impact on many Christians, all across the denominational spectrum. Now that passage has spawned a new play that we will be premiering at Ragtown Gospel Theater November 6th-Feb 13th.

Ragtown Gospel Theater

February 20th 7:30 pm Special Performance by Gold City

Marketplace Community Network Lunch God has a divine purpose for you and your business, you can influence your business as a place of ministry. Meets at the Texas Tech Merket Allumni Center Please RSVP by calling 806.771.2700 December 9th - 11:45-1:00 January 13th - 11:45-1:00 February 10th - 11:45-1:00 March 10th - 11:45-1:00

Rooftop Cafe - Live Music

Every Tuesday: 7-8:30pm Live Gospel Music at Rooftop Cafe with Tom and Sherry Green, with special guests and friends. 3300 82nd Street - Lubbock - FREE!

h g u a L , e L iv and Love

Parenting Cottage Events 3818 50th - Lubbock (806) 795-7552

Car Seat Safety Class December 16, 2009 from 12-1pm Infant & Toddler Community Initiatives: Baby’s First Year—November-May 10:00am to 11:30am. Educator: Ruth Martinez

November 17, 2009 (3-6 Months Infant Development) January 19, 2010 (6-9 Months Infant Development) March 16, 2010 (9-12 Months Infant Development) May 18, 2010 (Looking Ahead to Early Childhood Development in the 2nd Year) Single Parents or Unmarried Partners Initiatives: November-May, 3rd 6:00pm to 7:30pm. Educator: Jeanne Romo

November 17, 2009 January 19, 2010 March 16, 2010 May 18, 2010

*Childcare provided, but limited enrollment*

The Father Factor Initiatives: Monthly Meetings beginning January 2010 6:30pm to 8:00pm. Educator: Christina Foster

January 22, 2010 February 25, 2010 March 25, 2010 April 22, 2010 May 27, 2010

A Sunday school teacher was discussing the Ten Commandments with her five and six year olds. After explaining the commandment to “honor thy father and thy mother,” she asked, “Is there a commandment that teaches us how to treat our brothers and sisters?” Without missing a beat one little boy answered, “Thou shall not kill.”


Beyond the Cross

By Kai Evans

mong the cotton fields South of Lamesa, Texas you will find the Cross on the Plains. Don Vogler was inspired after visiting the cross in Groom and Ballinger to erect the cross on the corner of his cotton field to share the inspiration and hope he felt among the crosses. The opportunity was captured in 2006 after a successful cotton crop allowed him the funding for the Cross on the Plains. “When I looked at those two crosses it made me think deeply. After the crops we had in 2005 and 2006, it was a good time to do this,” said Vogler. The Lamesa cross was done with the help of friends and the community. When putting together the plan for the cross, Vogler began to think of people who would be capable of giving expertise and time to accomplish building the cross. The construction came with few challenges. One was setting the 40 foot tall cross. Don began preparations in placing the cross

on the corner of his farmland, but was unable to find someone with a truck and winch that could get the cross in position. Prayer and determination in the project paid off when the owner of a well service volunteered the use of his trucks and the cross was erected January 2008. The Cross on the Plains has a solid foundation, nine feet in depth and eight feet in diameter with 22 yards of concrete to hold the cross in perfect position. The cross is lighting the way along Highway 349 South for travelers to feel inspired. “I want people to bring their concerns, their problems and leave them at the foot of the cross. The wind will blow them away or I will bury their concerns for them,” Vogler said referring to the West Texas gusts and plowing his field. “If people feel an awareness of Christ’s love and what it means to have Him in our lives, then my purpose here has been served.” Beyond the Cross


BeThankful - Author Unknown

Be thankful that you don’t already have everything you desire. If you did, what would there be to look forward to?

Be thankful when you don’t know something, for it gives you the opportunity to learn. Be thankful for the difficult times. During those times you grow. Be thankful for your limitations, because they give you opportunities for improvement. Be thankful for each new challenge, because it will build your strength and character. Be thankful for your mistakes. They will teach you valuable lessons. 10

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Be thankful when you’re tired and weary, because it means you’ve made a difference. It’s easy to be thankful for the good things. A life of rich fulfillment comes to those who are also thankful for the setbacks. Gratitude can turn a negative into a positive. Find a way to be thankful for your troubles, and they can become your blessings.

CHANGEthis! by Andy Wood

How to Make a Difference, Beginning with Where You Are Life is a dance with change, where the music gets faster and faster as we go.

And to be honest, most of the time we’re running to keep up with it – and we’re usually responding to somebody else’s initiative. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the next time somebody was trumpeting ch-ch-ch-changes, that somebody was you? And it was actually a change you not only could appreciate, but one you helped make happen? In studying some of the most effective change agents I know, let me share eight lessons I have learned from them. Regardless of your experience, gifts, or personality, anyone can apply these ideas to make a difference in your world:

1. Look for the gaps.

Constantly survey the difference – the gap - between “what is” and “what should be.” What’s missing? Where is the need? Countless organizations have been formed, laws have been passed, lives have been impacted, or relationships strengthened because somebody noticed something missing.

2. See the gaps as opportunities.

There is no shortage of people in the world who can identify the problems – just go to your local McDonalds or small-town coffee shop at about 9:30 in the morning. You can get – or give – an earful. But nobody ever solved a problem by just talking about it. Change agents see gaps as opportunities for something better.

3. See yourself as the bridge builder between what is and what could be.

You’re headed for a big disappointment if you assume the change that needs to happen is somebody else’s problem to solve. Or worse, that you are incapable of doing anything about it. The very fact that you see the need is a big fat hint that you are at least one of the bridge builders.

6. Go first! Be an example of the change you want to influence.

Everybody is somebody’s leader. And every change agent starts as an example of the change they want to influence – or the change never happens. You must model the role, be the first to volunteer, or influence others out of the overflow your own drive or passion. Otherwise, you’re just a preacher(!) or a whiner.

7. Take action. Do something – anything – to get started.

I believe in planning. But I have seen countless plans that were never executed (which makes the time and effort planning a huge waste). Here’s a thought: start moving – just a little - in the direction of your vision. Make the call. Host the meeting. Start the conversation. Make the reservation. Schedule the event. Something! You can always adjust and plan in more detail as you go.

8. Strive for excellence. Don’t settle for mediocre, but don’t demand perfect, either.

In whatever solutions you apply, have a standard of excellence somewhere this side of “perfect.” Don’t be paralyzed by the pursuit of perfection. But don’t “mail in” your efforts, either. Look for ways to improve (new gaps). Welcome constructive feedback. Be teachable. But celebrate also the success you enjoy. I have seen this process establish churches (ours), launch annual meetings or conferences, even change the public smoking regulations in our city (launched by a teenage girl). They can work for you as well.

Change is going to happen. Why not be the reason it does?

4. Establish a clear-cut vision for meaningful change.

It’s here – with vision – that your mind crosses the gap and imagines an ideal future. What is your ideal view of the problem solved? How detailed can you make that view? Write it down.

5. Enlist the help of others by sharing your vision with them.

Our most meaningful dreams are much too large for us to accomplish alone. This is no time to be a Lone Ranger! Begin identifying a personal “dream team” – a collection of solution people who have similar vision, but different skills. Communicate your vision early and often. Specifically, clearly, ask for their help.

Beyond the Cross


PO Box 65551 Lubbock, Texas 79464

Beyond the Cross-Fall/Winter 2009  

Inspiring Christians with the stories behind the most famous crosses in West Texas.