February/March 2017 PUBLISHER & editor Tom McCloud 918-625-5324
FEATURES 6 8 10 17 18 22 24 28 31
Priscilla Shirer to Speak in Tulsa Mr. Post Leads Augustine Christian Academy to 20th Anniversary Someone You Should Know - Kevin Hern Celebrity Attractions Presents... Motown Someone You Should Know - Dr. Trong Tran Bob Yandian Trains the Next Generation One World Health - TJ McCloud Someone You Should Know - Gary Richardson Be Careful with Accountability
COLUMNS 14 15 16
ACT Financial Services Premier Advisors The Gift of Motherhood- Deniece Adsit
Dr. Jason Schluter Healthy Smiles Dentistry
CREATIVE Director Ben Allen CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Tom McCloud, Randy Cowell, Deniece Adsit, Justin Cowell, Danny Cahill, Mark Bishop M.D., Jason Schluter D.C. and Lori Frazee, DDS www.mccloudmedia.com • www.communityspiritmagazine.com Distribution Community Spirit Magazine is distributed to churches, schools, restaurants, Christian bookstores, and other businesses. Call us today to deliver to your church. Community Spirit Magazine is published monthly by McCloud Media. Claims by advertisers and the opinions of writers within this publication do not necessarily represent the views of Community Spirit Magazine or its publisher, Equipment Publications, Inc. Philippians 2:1-2 “If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from His love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose.” Our Mission: 1. Build Community – Develop a sense of community among all local believers in Christ 2. Inspire Good Works 3. Support Families 4. Share the Good News of Jesus Christ Like Us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/CommunitySpiritMagazine
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Priscilla Shirer To Speak in Tulsa
n April 8, you will see an influx of women around the Tulsa community with Bibles in hand and an eagerness in their spirits. These thousands of women will be pouring into the Cox Business Center for Priscilla Shirer Live, a Christian women’s conference featuring Bible teacher, Priscilla Shirer. If
her name sounds familiar to you, it could be due to her numerous books or bible studies; but you may also be one of the millions who fell in love with her as Elizabeth Jordan, in the award-winning film, War Room. While thousands are gathered here in Tulsa, tens of thousands will be tuning in via simulcast, meaning the event will be broadcast over the Internet to locations around the world. Churches, small groups and individuals will join the feed and participate simultaneously with Tulsa attendees. An estimated 4,000 will be gathered here locally and another 75,000+ will be tuning in for this global bible teaching event! As the daughter of pastor Dr. Tony Evans, of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas, TX, Priscilla grew up with a love and knowledge of Scripture. However, Priscilla didn’t have her eye on full-time ministry. She attended college at the University of Houston with the intent of becoming a news-anchor, but an internship with a local Christian radio station changed everything. Priscilla began to receive requests from listeners to speak at various bible studies and events. It became clear that God had a plan to use her giftings to teach others about Him! She decided to pursue a Master’s degree at Dallas Theological Seminary in Biblical studies. While in seminary, she was asked to teach a Bible study at the Ziglar Training Systems, run by the legendary motivational speaker, Zig Ziglar. He invited Priscilla to join their team as a speaker and became a close friend and mentor to Priscilla. She continued to speak and train but felt her passion was still to teach God’s word to women. In an effort to pursue that calling, Priscilla and her husband, Jerry, founded Going Beyond Ministries. Together they have ministered to women around the world through ten video-driven Bible studies, numerous books, events and even a monthly Christian webshow on YouTube called “The Chat with Priscilla”. Their ministry is committed to “teaching the uncompromised truth of God’s Word”, and they have done just that in their seventeen years of marriage and ministry. In addition to raising three boys (and trying to satisfy their growing appetites, Priscilla often jokes), she also teaches at many annual conferences. Going Beyond and LifeWay Christian Resources partner to bring Priscilla Shirer Live to multiple cities each year. Unlike many conferences, Priscilla Shirer Live doesn’t have annual anchor cities . Each city is prayerfully selected and a grassroots team is built to spread the word. In August,
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CALLED TO LEAD?
Denise Lopez, of Broken Arrow was chosen to lead the grass roots efforts. Denise and her family attend theChurch.at (formerly Church at Battlecreek), and Denise is the owner of The Plaid Pineapple, a local home furnishing and decor store that donates 100% of proceeds to missions. “One of the goals we have in our store [The Plaid Pineapple] is to be involved both locally and globally in sending out the gospel. I love that the Priscilla Shirer Live event does both as well! We are excited that as the live location for the simulcast, the gospel and biblical encouragement will literally affect not only those here in Tulsa but women all over the world,” said Denise.
“True success in any endeavor can only come when the Father has initiated the activity and invited our participation.” - Priscilla Shirer, Discerning the Voice of God: How to Recognize When He Speaks Denise and a team of ten women from the Tulsa area have been meeting regularly since September to contact local churches and businesses about the event. They have also hosted multiple prayer meetings to pray for the thousands of women who will flood the doors of the Cox Arena in April. “God is at work in our city! I believe the word God has for each of us (through Priscilla) just might be the catalyst for a great move of God that begins in the Heartland and spreads globally. To be present in the city where that could begin is very exciting to me,” said Denise.
Looking for leadership training? Consider joining us for the Priscilla Shirer Pre-conference! YOU Lead One Day is a great opportunity for you to join with other women for a crash course on the basics of leadership, discipleship, and Women’s Ministry! We’ll cover topics like the importance of having a ministry to women at your church and provide you with practical steps as you begin. You will also learn from experts on how to lead effective teams as you serve the women God has entrusted to you. Come broaden your leadership skills, network with other women, and be equipped to take the next step in your leadership journey! Join us for this conference the Friday of Priscilla Shirer Live at First Baptist Church Broken Arrow. Another great way to get to know Priscilla is to catch one of her monthly web shows, The Chat with Priscilla. Each episode of The Chat features guests with stories about how God has worked in their lives. Past and current episodes can be seen by visiting thechatwithpriscilla.com The movie War Room (2015) is about a struggling family and how the power of prayer can change things in a home. Elizabeth Jordan (played by Priscilla Shirer) meets an elderly woman who instructs her to create a "war room" which is a place where she goes to "battle" for her family in prayer. War Room is the fifth Christian film project directed by Alex and Stephen Kendrick. They also produced Facing the Giants (2006), Fireproof (2008) and Courageous (2011).
The Priscilla Shirer Live conference will feature a day of biblical teaching, special prayer times and worship with popular Christian artist, Anthony Evans, who also so happens to be Priscilla’s little brother.
The Kendrick brothers had initially planned for the Jordan family to be a caucasian family, but after Alex had multiple dreams of an African American cast, the Kendrick brothers felt that God was leading them to have a predominantly African American cast.
For tickets or information about how you can get involved with prayer and promotion, please visit lifeway.com/priscillashirerlive
When War Room released on August 28, 2015, it was just over two months after the tragic Charleston church shootings. Many of those involved with the film felt that it was no coincidence that the movie was released admist so much racial tension in the U.S. C ommu n itysp ir itma ga zin e.c om
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that God is very good at using the weak things to confound the strong,” he said with a smile. It would prove to be a lesson which would carry them through the years and which is boldly taught to every student. “Because we didn’t have a lot, we had to be creative. To this day, we teach our students to be grateful for what God gives them and to be creative and hard working in using that to accomplish big things.” The kids obviously get it. No fields for soccer? One student offered a solution. She invented a game called Grail Ball, a wild game which doesn’t require a lot of space. “It is a great deal of fun and it has grown to include tournaments, All-Star teams and is now catching on with other schools.
“Augustine Christian Academy is a unique school. In fact, many parents are willing to pass dozens of schools, as they drive their kids to class from as far away as Bartlesville.” Mr. Post and Augustine Christian Academy
Celebrate 20th Anniversary Year
hey call him Mr. Post… With a sense of honor and respect difficult to describe, the students at Augustine Christian Academy are quick to list him as hero and friend. Mr. Post has won their hearts. As educator, mentor, administrator, teacher and counselor, Kirk Post pours a positive, Christian message into the lives of the current students the same way he has for the nineteen classes before them. As a result, graduates leave Augustine not only fully equipped for the academic rigors of college, but also armed with the faith to stay on the path to serve Jesus, as well as the skills to lead others to Him. The school is full of great teachers and staff, but as they recall their days at Augustine, it is not surprising that Mr. Post’s name is often mentioned first. Augustine Christian Academy is a unique school. In fact, many parents are willing to pass dozens of schools, as they drive their kids to class from as far away as Bartlesville. Mr. Post sees ACA as a God-driven idea. In 1996, he was teaching in a small school in Broken Arrow and working with another teacher he had known for years, Judith Stewart. One day, she told him about something called Classical Education. The conversation would be the beginning of an idea to start a new, private school. With only a $500 donation, they jumped in with both feet. “Looking back on it, we were undoubtedly too green to know we couldn’t start a school with what we had. However, we found
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The school began in 1997 with only nineteen students in Grades 7-10. It doubled the next year and they added grades 6 and 11. They soon purchased their current property from the University of Oklahoma. “We knocked out walls, turning offices into classrooms, and have been doing that ever since. But there are only so many walls you can knock down. Now, we are praying to find additional ways to expand,” he said. The academy was originally called St. Augustine Academy and was named after Saint Augustine of Hippo, a Bishop who served at about the time the time Rome was collapsing. Saint Augustine set up schools for whole families that he called citadels of learning. He felt they needed to be able to understand where Christianity had come from, why God had them there now, and where He was taking them in the future in spite of the collapse of Rome around them. “Because he had more or less established classical education in the west, we decided to honor him by giving the school his name. But the decision was a blessing and curse. People thought we were a Catholic school. In fact, at one time, a baker came by and gave us a cake to celebrate Catholic school week. We thanked them and the cake was wonderful, but we soon decided we needed to change the name so people wouldn’t be so confused. So, we changed it to Augustine Christian Academy. Augustine Christian Academy is especially a great blend for parents who want to home school. “Although the state has a legitimate concern that all of its citizens are educated, the child really belongs to parents. We are here to serve parents. While obeying Oklahoma attendance laws, ACA parents may choose full time or part time classes. We offer six different diploma options. Some families want to customize the education a little more through home schooling
and so we have always had the door open to them to come take one, two, three classes if they want to supplement what they are already doing at home or in a co-op. And, if they take even one class, they are allowed to participate in any or all of our extra curricular activities,” Mr. Post explained.
“We work to teach kids to think and reason” The academy also has a unique house program, patterned after the European schools that Winston Churchill and others attended. Students are divided, grades 6-12 among four “houses,” each with their own colors and mascot. The houses compete in athletics, games, quiz bowls and community service. In doing so, the students grow up in a small familiar group. The houses challenge each student to do better work…iron sharpening iron. One of the benefits of the house program is an emphasis on leadership training. There are ranks in houses and they all take focused leadership training courses, reading such books as The One Minute Manager and Field Marshall Montgomery’s book on leadership. They are given responsibilities and tasks to test their leadership abilities.
very broadly so that they begin to understand what people have been saying about the questions of life all along. Then, they compare that to scripture to determine if it is true or not true.” Mr. Post added that Augustine is uniquely private, but not elitist. “We have families who are blessed with a lot of money and use it for the glory of God and we have families who have very little and come on scholarship help. It is a good mixture. The cost for High School is around $7000 per year, at the lower end when compared to other private schools in the area. The school gives away nearly $120,000 in scholarships each year. The academy is not a ministry of any church and they don’t take anything from the government. Students come from a wide mix of churches and backgrounds. So, as ACA prepares to celebrate its 20th year, what is next for Mr. Post? When asked, he smiled and quoted a pastor he once had. “I am not going to retire. I’m just going to retread and keep on rolling. We will see what God has for us here.”
Parents especially choose Augustine because of the school’s classical model. “We work to teach kids to think and reason. They read
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remainder of the summer. During the school year, he would squeeze in work at the sawmills, making only twelve to fourteen dollars a day. The oldest of five, Kevin felt the responsibility to work to help his mother make ends meet. Times were always tough and Kevin remembers being in the checkout line at the grocery store and having to run put things back on the shelf when his mom tried to buy items food stamps wouldn’t cover. “Yes, I have seen the tough life. I know what is like to be extraordinarily poor. I don’t have to read about it or see it in a magazine or watch it on TV. I have experienced it. I think there are two types of people that grow up in that life. There is a lot of conversation about the perpetual problem of living off the government, that some people tend to just stay on it generation after generation. Obviously, that is one track some people go down. But I chose a different track. I used the experience as a catapult, as a catalyst to go the other direction. I always worked hard and found that if I made money, I didn’t have to live like a poor person. It drove me to want to succeed,” Kevin explained.
Someone You Should Know…
“If You are Green, You are Growing.”
uccess is not the time to rest. It is a lesson, McDonald’s franchisee superstar and community leader believes, applies to his own live and loves to teach to others.
No one out-works him. Up at four in the morning, seven days a week, he has his own Bible study time, followed by a couple hours of work. At six, he has coffee with his wife, and then runs full blast until five, when he heads home for dinner. He now uses his ambitious drive to help his community to improve and invest in others with the same entrepreneurial spirit that drove him to success. At 55 years of age, Kevin Hern is just getting started. Born into a poor family, he knows what it is like to live on government assistance, on “Food Stamps,” they once called it back then. Until he was in the 8th grade, his family lived in a house with no running water or inside plumbing. Each May, they would pack up their broken down pickup and make the three-day journey out west to work the orchards, picking cherries in California, Oregon and Washington. By late June, Kevin was back to haul hay for the
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But hard work alone didn’t seem to be the answer. Kevin’s road to success was paved with trial after trial. He moved out on his own at seventeen and worked multiple jobs to keep the bills paid. Still, he graduated from high school and ultimately went to college. Kevin got married during his first full semester of college in 1983. Studying hard, he graduated in three and a half years with engineering degree and went to work for Rockwell in their Missions Systems Division. “I got to work on the Hellfire Missile program, still used on predator drones,” he said proudly. But it was a bad time to be in this industry. The Space Shuttle had just blown up and with the defense industry cutting programs, the jobs went away, putting Kevin out looking for a job. “So there I was, a married guy with an engineering degree, without work. I decided to enter the McDonalds franchise-training program.” The move to McDonalds was a dramatic change for Kevin and his wife. “I went from working with scientists and MBAs to training kids how to cook Egg McMuffins. It was a culture shock, especially to my wife. I worked a million hours per week and the hard work began to pay off. In fact, I won lots of awards inside the McDonald’s system for managing people. But I didn’t have the main thing I needed to purchase my own franchise…money.” “We did everything we could to raise the $100,000 needed to get started. I flipped property and even bought some land to start a contract hog farm for Tyson Foods. I was driven, but totally self-
centered. My priorities were all screwed up. We had a daughter and I kept telling myself the hard work was all for my family, but it was really all about me. Instead of having the priorities of God, Family and Work, it was Work, Work, Work. I had no place for family and certainly, no place for God.” The 100-plus work hour week finally took it’s toll and Kevin was served divorce papers 1992. “The experience got my attention that I needed to change my way of life. Even though it was an amicable split, I didn’t leave with much. So, there I was, sitting there, pondering life. Why has this happened to me? I could always fix anything, but not this.” Kevin did the only thing he could do, the only thing he knew. He continued working. Later, he met Tammy and they started dating. “One day, she asked me some tough questions. She asked me if I believed in God and I said, ‘Sure, everyone believes in God.’ But then, she asked me if I was “Saved?” Kevin couldn’t get the questions out of his mind and finally went to his grandfather for help. His grandfather responded, “Kevin, there is not a person I know that has worked harder, experienced more, is more honest than you, but I am going to tell you right now, you are going to go to Hell if you are not saved. You have got to have Christ in your life.” “I was clueless in this area, but I decided to at least start going to church. ‘I can hang out in the back,” I thought to myself. It was just two months later, at the age of 31, that Kevin walked up to the altar and accepted Christ into his life. “Tammy’s question led me toward God. Now my life is filled with promise and purpose. Tammy continues to challenge me to draw closer to the Father; she is my prayer warrior and my example of Christlikeness.”
God has indeed worked miracles in Kevin’s life. Through hard work and without ever taking a dime from the federal government, he grew that first restaurant into a large company of ultimately 18 McDonalds restaurants, plus many other businesses and investments. “I have paid taxes in every wage category known to the IRS. That’s why it is so humbling to now have the opportunity to be able to give back, helping to support local churches, schools and the community around me.” It was absolutely God’s blessings, but I also realize my story is the classic example of the American dream. The American dream says you can do better than your parents…that you are not hamstrung or limited by the way you grew up. You can get educated. You can work hard and achieve. Ray Kroc, the founder of McDonalds, used to say, “If you are green, you are growing. If you are ripe, you are rotten.” It is something I live by and try to teach. Never sit still! Keep getting better! Grow the value of your business every day. For if you are green, it means you are growing. If you are ripe, your growing days are behind you.” Kevin Hern gets up each morning, wanting to be his best. Throughout the day, he pleads with everyone who will listen, “You may not be THE best, but as long as you are pushing yourself to be YOUR best, you will never go wrong. Stay Green. Keep Growing!” It is not surprising that one of Kevin’s favorite charities is the Ronald McDonald House. Tulsans love it too as they routinely hear about the hundreds of families each year who are blessed by the free housing and encouragement offered to them as their family members battle health challenges. Kevin invites the entire Community Spirit family to get involved in this wonderful non-profit.
Tammy and Kevin have now been married for 23 years. Through the years, he has gone through a transformation to put things in the proper priorities of God, Family and Work. He gradually changed from being an inward-focused person to being an outward-focused one. He learned how to help others, and in the process, he found true success. Kevin now claims that every bit of the success he enjoys today, began to happen that special day at the altar. “It is hard for me to think God helps someone become financially successful, but I think He does reward us for doing good things and as I learned to help others, God continued to bless me.” “McDonalds is my mission field. It is full of people just like I was who need someone to teach them how to dress, to show up on time, and how to budget their money. I enjoy seeing people succeed when they didn’t think they could. I now have people working for me with only an 8th grade education, making 40-60 thousand a year. They work hard and I continue to help them grow.”
“My story is the classic example of the American dream. The American dream says you can do better than your parents…that you are not hamstrung or limited by the way you grew up. You can get educated. You can work hard and achieve.” C ommu n ity sp ir itma ga zine.c om
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Actions Speak Louder Than Words I believe you! But what if we analyzed your life insurance coverage. Would it tell another story? Recent studies reveal a shift in the amount of life insurance coverage Americans are choosing to purchase. This article will address some of the reasons why, and hopefully address how Christians should handle this very important topic. Several recent surveys have revealed some shocking statistics addressing why Americans have so little coverage. When surveyed, 85% of consumers agree that people need life insurance, while only 62% said they own it. I mentioned that there were some disturbing trends developing. In 1960, 72% of Americans owned life insurance. In 1992, 55% owned it, and in 2010, only 44% of adults Americans owned it. That’s a 50-year low! While those numbers are rather disappointing, they get worse. 70% of U.S. households with children under 18 would have trouble meeting everyday living expenses within a few months of the primary wage earner’s death. If that’s not disturbing enough, studies indicate that 4 in 10 said problems would occur immediately. Based on that evidence it would appear that our priorities are misplaced.
his phrase has been used in speeches and has appeared in the written word for centuries. From Abraham Lincoln, to recordings during the English Parliament in 1628, this notion that actions are more significant than mere words, seems to have been a popular topic throughout the ages. Perhaps the earliest use of the concept dates back to the Bible in the writings of John. In 1 John 3:17-18 he writes, “let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth.” The concept that “actions speak louder than words” goes back …way back! For over thirty years that I have been in the financial services industry, I have been fortunate to have used a financial process that considers protection as the cornerstone of any financial plan. I am proud to refer to myself as a “protection planner”. There are many aspects of a successful financial plan, but without proper attention to the protection components, (risk associated with disability, death, health concerns, property and casualty etc.), failure to achieve ones goals could and probably will probably occur. While we manage millions of dollars of our client’s assets, considering the consequences of not having the proper protection components in place at the precise time of need is unthinkable. Since there are no “do-overs” or “after the fact” insurance coverage available, it is imperative that we address each component of the protection “world” and do our best to protect those assets and ultimately the individuals we love the most.
I Have a Question Now that we have established that our actions are to be the measure of our deeds, I have a question. Before I ask it, I humbly request that you will read this article in its entirety, and then and only then prayerfully consider your action steps going forward. Do we have a deal? OK, here it is. You say you love your family.
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Bottom Line Why should Christians be concerned about how much life insurance they should own? The protection components of any financial plan are what I refer to as the “1St Timothy 5:8-world”. These components protect a families’ assets, their income, health and welfare, and ultimately provide for those left behind in the event of death. Why 1st Timothy 5:8? Simple, Timothy stated our responsibilities very plainly when he wrote, A good man takes care of the immediate needs of his family or he is worse that a non-believer. There….I said it! In this modern day world of immediate gratification and real-time access to virtually any product or service, why are more Americans shirking their moral responsibilities? The next stat might shed some light on the “why”. 83% of consumers surveyed said they don’t purchase more life insurance because it is too expensive. The reality is, that due to mortality rates improving, life insurance has never been cheaper! With so many things competing for every dollar, you owe it to yourself and your family to find out ways to purchase it with no additional out of pocket cost and with no change in lifestyle. We at ACT Financial Services can help you do just that! We would be honored to do so. RANDY C. COWELL ACT FINANCIAL Randy C. Cowell is a columnist and President of ACT Financial Services, Inc. in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He is the author of “God Good-Debt Bad”. Randy welcomes your thoughts and prayers. He can be reached at 918-664-0081 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. “Randy C. Cowell is a registered Representative of and Securities and Investment Advisory services offered through Hornor Townsend and Kent, Inc Registered Investment Advisor. HTK is a member of FINRA/SIPC and does not offer tax, legal and credit service advice. The views expressed are not necessarily those of HTK. ACT Financial Services, Inc. is not affiliated with HTK.”
Justin Graduated with a Bachelorâ€™s of Science degree in business Administration from John Brown University in 2007. For over 30 years, Justin witnessed his father, Randy, approach his financial planning practice as a ministry. This inspired Justin to pursue a career where he could help families and business owners achieve their maximum financial potential. Justin C. Cowell - Partner ACT Financial Services, Inc. 4111 S. Darlington Ave., Ste. 800 Tulsa, OK 74135 O: 918-664-0081 C: 918-810-7239 email@example.com
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The Gift of Motherhood By Deniece Adsit, author of Lessons From the Journey, now available on Amazon.
awn lay in bed struggling with the side effects of cancer and the latest round of treatment. It would take all her energy just to get out of bed. Until she remembered: Today is my daughter’s birthday! So she gathered all the stamina she could find and got up. She had to make a cake. Not just any cake – an Italian Cream, her daughter’s favorite. This is the dedication of someone who takes the gift of motherhood seriously. In the middle of her own personal crisis, she is able to set aside her needs to provide for those of her daughter. Soon her daughter would be grown and these opportunities would be gone. Her strength lasted just long enough to finish the cake. As she collapsed back into bed, she quietly gave God thanks for the strength to finish her baking, and prayed that her daughter would never know what this one act of love cost her. Admiration for Dawn is unquestionable. But for every mother like Dawn, there’s another mother who struggles to make the admirable decision that never materializes. Maybe because there isn’t a perfect answer. We live in a sinful, broken world and the choices become as difficult as the road we are walking. When life presents two such choices, and neither of them are perfect, then what? Suppose a woman looks at her 3-month-old baby boy and realizes if she doesn’t do something, he will die. As long as he is near her, his life is in danger. So she puts him in a basket and leaves him at a fire station, hoping someone will care for him by giving him the life she can’t. It would be so easy to judge the person who gives her child up knowing she can’t provide for him. Likewise, we judge a mother who is struggling to raise her child without adequate resources and ability. Each of these situations will have a lifelong impact on that child. For the one who is adopted, there can be a feeling of abandonment, while the one growing up in an environment of poverty may feel cheated out of a “normal” life. We make the best decisions we can, with the information and ability we have. There aren’t any perfect answers.
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What about a mother who would give her child away, not once – but twice? There is no way God could be the grand master of such a travesty! Or could he? What if the child was left in a basket in the river, instead of a fire station? And what if that little boy was brought back to his mother, only to be given away again? Then we would be talking about Moses. The baby Moses is found and brought back to his own mother to nurse him. When the child is old enough to survive without his mother’s milk, she AGAIN gives him up to Pharoah’s daughter to become her child. Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Take this baby and nurse him for me, and I will pay you.” So the woman took the baby and nursed him. When the child grew older, she took him to Pharaoh’s daughter and he became her son. She named him Moses, saying, “I drew him out of the water.” Exodus 2:9-10 NIV If there was ever a person entitled to feel abandoned, it would be Moses. Yet God honored those decisions – not perfect decisions, but decisions that were perfectly reasonable in a very imperfect world. As we look at our own parenting styles, we find our harshest criticism directed at ourselves. We question our choices and fear the outcome of our decisions. God has given us these children as an extension of His kingdom. He has given us a set of skills and circumstances. Any decision we prayerfully make may seem right for a time. Later we may question even the best of choices. It was God who gave us this gift of motherhood. He designed us in His image – nurturing, caring, and loving, then He gave us a child. He called us “Mother” and commanded that we be honored, even in the difficult times. Eventually we pass the age for raising children of our own. Our children have become adults and have started raising their families. Our daughters have become mothers, and we smile when God blesses us with a new name – Grandmother.
ABOUT DENIECE Deniece has a passion to minister to women. You are going to grow to love her and the way she tells stories, always getting to the real heart of the matter.
t’s a show you don’t want to miss! Producers Kevin McCollum, Doug Morris and Berry Gordy, along with Celebrity Attractions, are proud to announce that the Tulsa Premiere of MOTOWN THE MUSICAL will play at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center for a limited engagement of eight performances only March 14-19. Welcomed by ONEOK, MOTOWN THE MUSICAL is designated as a Tulsa PAC 40th Anniversary Celebration event. Directed by Charles Randolph-Wright, MOTOWN THE MUSICAL is the true American dream story of Motown founder Berry Gordy’s journey from featherweight boxer to the heavyweight music mogul who launched the careers of Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gaye and so many more. Featuring more than 40 classic hits such as “My Girl” and “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” MOTOWN THE MUSICAL tells the story behind the hits as Diana, Smokey, Berry and the whole Motown family fight against the odds to create the soundtrack of change in America. Motown shattered barriers, shaped our lives and made us all move to the same beat. MOTOWN THE MUSICAL features choreography by Patricia Wilcox (A Night with Janis Joplin) and Warren Adams (Toy Story), scenic design by David Korins (Bring It On: The Musical, Annie), costume design by Tony® Award nominee ESosa (The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess, “Project Runway”), lighting design by Tony® Award winner Natasha Katz (Once, Sister Act), sound design by Tony® Award nominee Peter Hylenski (Rock of Ages, The Scottsboro Boys), projection design by Daniel Brodie (Jekyll and Hyde), hair and wig design by Charles LaPointe (Memphis) and casting by Telsey + Company. MOTOWN THE MUSICAL’s arrangements and orchestrations are by Grammy and Tony® Award nominee Ethan Popp (Rock of Ages), who also serves as music supervisor in reproducing the classic “Sound of Young America,” with co-orchestrations and additional arrangements by Tony® Award nominee Bryan Crook (“Smash”) and dance arrangements by Zane Mark (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels). MOTOWN THE MUSICAL is produced by Tony® Award winning producer Kevin McCollum (Rent, In the Heights, Avenue Q), Chairman and CEO of SONY Music Entertainment Doug Morris and Motown founder Berry Gordy. Celebrity Attractions is a Tulsa based company that has become a nationally recognized leader in the Broadway industry by presenting six Broadway Seasons in a four-state region, serving in key roles in Broadway trade organizations, and associate producing 30 Broadway Shows. Celebrity Attractions has built one of the nation’s most highly successful Broadway Seasons in Tulsa and is proud to have an average annual impact on the local economy of more than $40 million. Celebrity Attractions is committed to presenting the Best of Broadway and more and enriching the communities they serve.
Welcomed by ONEOK and Celebrity Attractions, MOTOWN the Musical comes to the Tulsa Performing Arts Center for eight performances only March 14-19. The performance schedule is Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., and Sunday at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Tickets go on sale Wednesday, January 18th at 10 a.m. and may be purchased via phone 918.596.7111 or 800.364.7111, in person at the Tulsa PAC Ticket Office, or online at MyTicketOffice.com. Groups of 10 or more receive a discount by calling 918.796.0220. Ticket buyers are reminded that for Celebrity Attractions’ productions, the Tulsa PAC Ticket Office and Celebrity Attractions are the only official retail ticket outlets and the only way to guarantee that you are paying face value for legitimate tickets for all performances at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center. Ticket buyers who purchase tickets from a ticket broker or any third party should also be aware that the Tulsa PAC Ticket Office and Celebrity Attractions is unable to reprint or replace lost or stolen tickets and is unable to contact patrons with information regarding time changes or other pertinent updates regarding the performance. Get social with Celebrity Attractions by becoming a fan on Facebook.com/BwayTULSA. Follow us at Twitter.com/BwayTULSA or join in the conversation by using #MotownTULSA. MOTOWN is part of the Celebrity Attractions’ 2016-2017 Broadway Season which also includes DIRTY DANCING – The Classic Story On Stage, SOMETHING ROTTEN! and MATILDA The Musical. Celebrity Attractions is proud to have KOTV-News on 6 and Tulsa World as sponsors for this amazing season. For more information, visit www.CelebrityAttractions.com and www.MotownTheMusical.com.
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Someone You Should Know…
Dr. Trung Tran
Called to Serve His Community
what they had gone through to move to America, squandering his life on anything less than his absolute best would be an insult to them.
his dentist must be a Christian,” I thought to myself as I sat down in the waiting room of Tulsa Dental Implants & Periodontics. It was crazy really, and I had no idea why I would jump to that conclusion. Sure, there was Christian music playing softly in the background, but truthfully, I had already made that assessment long before I even noticed the music. No, it was more than that, something I couldn’t quite put my finger on. But deep in my Spirit, I knew these folks must be believers. Then I saw it… on the form, just below all the “What medicines do you take?” and “Are you allergic?” was a large space encouraging me to list my prayer requests. “That’s cool,” I said out loud,” probably startling the lady sitting next to me. Anxious to know more, I asked for the chance to meet Dr. Tran. Five minutes into our interview, I knew there was no doubt; these folks were totally for real.
“My leadership model stems from my Christian beliefs and so we pray each morning as a staff, for each other, and for our patients and their requests. It is such a big part of me that I can’t help but to try to express it in my business and all that I do.”
Trung Tran was raised in Tulsa and is a graduate of Union High School. Always self-driven, his parents didn’t have to push him to make good grades. He pushed himself out of respect for them and in keeping with the work ethic they exampled for him. Knowing
His parents individually moved here in 1975 after escaping the horrors of the Vietnam War and the fall of Saigon. “My parents both had difficult childhoods and they tell stories of having to hide for their lives in the trees or moving at night, only to hear that
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generation Asian Americans. Once we moved to Tulsa, we began attending Life Church where I also serve in a leadership role.” God has blessed us tremendously, beyond my wildest dreams. We established the practice in 2012 and we believe we have been called to care for our patients. We try to remember three important things…
1. We exist FOR our patients. 2. We exist to serve our community. 3. We exist to serve each other as team members. Each patient is a blessing and we look for ways to bless them back, to help them smile and achieve their goals for oral health. “My leadership model stems from my Christian beliefs and so we pray each morning as a staff, for each other, and for our patients and their requests. It is such a big part of me that I can’t help but to try to express it in my business and all that I do.” Trung has big dreams for the future and hopes to leave a legacy on community and his family. He longs to do things with intention that will leave a lasting and generational impact. “I want to continue to grow the organization so we can help more people. I also want to be a big part of this community by contributing, serving, and glorifying God in all that we do.”
their home was destroyed soon after they left. My father had some connections in the Vatican that helped him to escape to Thailand before ultimately moving to Oklahoma. My mother got sponsored by a family in Kansas and climbed into a boat for America with hardly anything. Later, she moved to Tulsa along with a community of Vietnamese. She and my father met at church and got married,” he explained.
So, what about that feeling I got when I sat down in their office? It was absolutely true. Tulsa Dental Implants & Periodontics is located at 8006 S. 101st E. Avenue. They specialize in dental implants, managing periodontal disease and gum recession. They are proud to offer state-of-the-art Fotona Lightwalker Laser Technology and Pinhole Surgical Techniques. Learn more at www.tulsaperiodontist.com of call 918-288-0818.
The Trans instilled a strong work ethic into Trung and his two sisters. Trung went to the University of Oklahoma for three years of undergrad, four years of dental school and then another three years to specialize in periodontics. He even invested additional efforts to test to receive his credentials as a Board Certified Periodontist. One of Trung’s sisters is a dentist practicing in Singapore. The other is a medical resident in Pediatric Medicine. Trung met his wife, Thao, while in high school and they have been sweethearts ever since. They have been married for seven years and they have four children (two boys and two girls), all under the age of five! “I grew up catholic and during dental school, I started developing a personal relationship with Christ. Through mission work, studying the Bible and attending a house church in Oklahoma City, I decided to give my life to Christ. I soon became part of the leadership in this house church which reached out mainly to secondC ommu n itysp ir itma ga zin e.c om
feb /mar 2017
Are You Sitting Properly?
Jason Schluter DC Schluter Chiropractic
Why Sitting Posture is Important Good posture is important for long term health and disease prevention just like daily tooth brushing. And, similar to tooth brushing, habits are formed early and can be hard to break later in life. Sitting creates one of the biggest stresses on our low backs but good sitting posture can help reduce this stress. Ligaments are responsible for holding the joints together, and stress on these ligaments can make you prone to joint injuries. Proper posture also reduces muscle fatigue. When muscles are able to work efficiently they use less energy and don’t get tired as easily. Abnormal motions or positions, especially those that are one sided, that are repeated over and over again on a daily basis are contributors to problems in the spine.
f you work in an office you probably spend at least six or seven hours a day sitting on the job. Add more time sitting in the car, at dinner and lounging with some late night TV and the total hours of sitting rockets up to somewhere around ten hours. When is the last time you thought about how you sit? Probably never or a long, long time ago. Promise yourself that you’ll take a critical look at how you sit after you read this article. If you are sitting and reading this online, go ahead and freeze right now and really think about how you are sitting. Compare your sitting position to this checklist: Proper Sitting Posture Checklist • Sit with your legs uncrossed with ankles in front of the knees. • Place both feet firmly on the floor. Get yourself a footrest if your feet don’t reach. • Your knees should be lower than your hips and the back of your knees should not touch the seat. • Make sure you are able to look forward and not have your head turned one way or the other. For example, your desk computer should be directly in front of you and at eye level so you don’t have to look up or down or side to side. • If your chair has an adjustable backrest, move it to support the arch in your low back. It is sometimes better to sit in the front of the chair not using the back, this help you notice when you are slouching more. • Get up and move around every 20 minutes, longer than this and physiological changes in the body begin to occur. Sit/stand desks at work can be very helpful with this.
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Most adults would readily agree that posture is important. Most of that group would also admit that they don’t actively think about posture…it just happens. For the next 30 days, make an effort to really think about your posture and pause a couple times per day to compare your current position to the checklist provided above. It takes about 30 days of focus to break an old habit or develop a new one, so if you concentrate on your sitting posture for 30 days, you’ll be well on your way to a lifetime of better musculoskeletal health.
Our Mouth is the Gateway to our Overall Health…
ave you been feeling tired or rundown? Perhaps not experiencing that energy you once had? It may be your body working overtime fighting a painless, chronic infection that begins in the mouths of 80% of adults. You might want to think twice about missing that visit to see your dental hygienist. What we used to think of as a twice-a-year visit for a quick polish to make our teeth feel smooth and slick now could mean the difference between sickness and good health. That visit to see our dental hygienist is no longer “just a cleaning”. It is important to see your dentist and dental hygienist not only to check for cavities but also to make sure you have no signs of gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, which is an infection of the tissue and bone that surrounds and supports the teeth. It is caused by the overgrowth of the bacteria that is found in dental plaque. Bacteria in your mouth can travel to other parts of your body through your bloodstream with the potential to wreak havoc on other systems. The Surgeon General reports that at least 80% of American adults have active gum disease in their mouth. This is a frightening statistic considering all of the studies that are proven to show the link between periodontal disease and our overall health. Periodontal disease is marked by a state of chronic inflammation and infection that can affect other parts of our bodies. For instance, recent research suggests that gum disease has the potential to affect blood glucose control, which therefore increases the risk of developing diabetes. Gum disease also poses a greater risk for heart disease or stroke. The inflammation associated with the gums leads to hardening of the
arteries, which restricts blood flow that can affect the blood vessels to our heart or brain. There is also a correlation with gum disease and rheumatoid arthritis. The more teeth that are lost increase the risk to develop this condition. Once again, the relationship is with the inflammation process associated with gum disease. The list continues. Those with periodontal disease are more likely to develop Alzheimer’s. Studies suggest that when bacteria reach the brain, they may trigger an immune response, which in turn can kill brain cells. Research also shows that there is an increased risk of cancer associated with periodontal disease. There is a correlation between the chronic state of inflammation and infection associated with gum disease and an increased rate of malignancy. There is clear evidence that your mouth is the gateway to your overall health. Periodontal infection serves as a bacterial reservoir that may affect or contribute to other diseases. Remember the importance of a healthy mouth and resist the urge to skip or postpone that next dental hygiene visit. If you haven’t visited your dentist and hygienist recently, today is a good day to give them a call. And remember, it’s not “just a cleaning”, but it may be the appointment that helps you live a longer healthier life. Healthy Smiles Family Dentistry is a general family practice that provides a multitude of dental services to all ages. We have two locations serving the Tulsa and Claremore areas. Our offices are comprised of four female dentists who are known for providing dental services in the most comfortable and caring environment possible. Our office has the reputation of having the friendliest, most helpful staff around. We would be happy to address any of your dental concerns or questions you may have.
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fter pastoring Grace Church for 33 years, Pastor Bob Yandian accepted a new call and transitioned to a traveling ministry. Pastor Yandian says, "God has placed on my heart a call to be a minister to ministers. I want to teach young people. I want to teach in schools. I want to teach ministers in conferences and churches." In May of 2013, after much prayer and planning, Pastor Bob passed the baton to his son Robb, who is now the Senior Pastor of Grace Church in Tulsa. Bob and his wife Loretta are still based in Tulsa and attend Grace Church. Prior to becoming a pastor, Yandian graduated from Trinity Bible College where he studied under Charles Duncomb, an associate of Smith Wigglesworth. Later he served as both instructor, and Dean of Instructors at Rhema Bible Training Center in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma.
“We are in for a great revival in our country. What has gone on in the change in government is only an outward indicator of what will go on spiritually in the Church” Yandian, known as an excellent expository Bible teacher, is now focused on training up a new generation in the word of God. “Just as I began my ministry, teaching in a Bible school, I have now returned to complete the vision by helping to raise up a new generation of ministers, especially those called to pastor.”
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He teaches at Charis Bible College in Woodland Park, Colorado for three weeks each year, and is a guest speaker at Andrew Wommack’s annual ministers conferences in Colorado, and England. He has taught at Charis Bible College extension campuses in Dallas, Chicago, Oklahoma City, Minneapolis, Kansas City, Southern California, and Sherman, Texas. Additionally, he has ministered at independent Bible schools, and his teaching resources are used by Life Christian University campuses across the country. Yandian says, “what I am teaching will be taken by the students and shared with generations yet to come.” Pastor Yandian has published more than 30 books and continues to write more. His expository teaching on the books of the bible have always been popular, and have now been revamped by Harrison House Publishers. His books on Acts, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and James have been put into a new commentary format. The book of Romans was added last year, and Hebrews is soon to come. He serves as a Vice President of the International Convention of Faith Ministers (ICFM). ICFM is an organization that meets the needs of ministry leaders by providing a support system, fellowship, inspiration, and training. He is also on the board of Joyce Meyer Ministries and Andrew Wommack Ministries. Because of his years of ministry experience he is often called upon by other pastors as an advisor. Each year Bob Yandian Ministries hosts two conferences. One in April for Ministry Leaders, and one in September on topical subjects that is open to the public. This year the Ministry Leadership Seminar will be held on April 18th. Pastor Bob will be teaching on
United States, Canada, Guatemala, England, France, Switzerland, Scotland, Ireland, Russia, and New Zealand. “I have been teaching on the areas that never change, the importance of the Word of God and the power of the Holy Spirit. I have noticed these are the two areas which have been slowly removed from so many churches, even leading churches. The Bible is often seen as too complicated for people to understand, and the Holy Spirit’s gifts and power are too confusing to the sinner and unchurched. Church leaders need to wake up and teach these subjects or people will go to churches who still do. Jesus Christ, His Word, and Holy Spirit are the same yesterday, today and forever. Despite this, I have witnessed a great hunger for the supernatural in the hearts of the congregation.” When asked what he believes is ahead for the body of Christ, Yandian replied, “We are in for a great revival in our country. What has gone on in the change in government is only an outward indicator of what will go on spiritually in the Church. Revival diminishes as believers turn away from the Holy Spirit. But revival begins and flourishes when the body of Christ, Christians, return to the Holy Spirit. This has already begun in our local churches.” the balance of the gifts of the Spirit and the word of God in the local church. Jeremy Pearsons will be the guest speaker for this year’s seminar. Jeremy has a similar mission as Pastor Yandian, his priority has always been to take the precious Word of God that was preached to him by generations that have gone before, and make it available to generations that follow. The seminar is open to anyone in ministry; pastors, associates, church staff, and key volunteers.
“I am waking up each day thanking God for a new day in our country. I am so blessed to be a part of this generation to watch revival again change the everyday life of American citizens. The days of President Ronald Reagan were great, but I expect these days to be even better. This year will be filled with more praise to God than ever.” Pastor Yandian is the President of Bob Yandian Ministries in Tulsa. For more information about his ministry visit www.BobYandian.com.
Over the past three and a half years, Bob Yandian has taught at many Bible schools, ministers conferences, and churches in the
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feb /mar 2017
From Global Music to Global Medicine
ulsa-based Former singer-songwriter is building developingworld Medical Centers.
Fifteen years ago, Tulsa native TJ McCloud knew he loved working internationally, but at the time, it was on stage, with a guitar in his hand. Formerly the lead singer and co-founder of the successful Tulsa indie band Stephen Speaks, McCloud found success regionally in the US, and internationally, with several #1 radio singles and a platinum album in the Philippines and Southeast Asia. “It was really wild–to go from playing weekend shows at churches and coffee shops around the Midwest to being on stage in front of ten thousand people and treated like a legitimate rockstar; it definitely was one of the coolest experiences of my life.” Later, as a Nashville-based songwriter, McCloud had songs featured in television and film, and also garnered a Gospel Music Association “Dove” Award nomination for his collection of children’s songs called “All God’s Animals”. After those early experiences in the music industry, McCloud took a sharp turn when he and his wife moved to Latin America as missionaries and community developers. “In spite of the music career, we just knew we’d always had a deep love and calling to the developing world, especially Latin America.” These days, you’re more likely to find TJ holding building plans for a clinic than a guitar. As the Regional Director for the nonprofit OneWorld Health, he develops and manages a several dozen Nicaraguan staff and three medical centers. “Being involved in global health is not something I could have imagined doing fifteen years ago, but I learned that if you really love making a difference in people’s lives, health care is one of the best ways to see that change happen. I really love the challenges and rewards of it- and while I sometimes miss the excitement of being on stage, living here and developing these projects is even more creative and exciting than I imagined.”
government public services and make private health care options too expensive for the poor. There end up being very few options for poor people, with public clinics often unreliable and lacking in basic supplies, and a simple doctor visit with a private provider, with lab tests and a pharmacy purchase can bankrupt a working family. But, with OneWorld Health’s innovative model, quality health care doesn’t have to be expensive. Small, affordable patient fees make their medical centers financially sustainable quickly so they don’t have to depend on constant outside donations to stay open.
The need is great. In Nicaragua and many other developing nations, the ongoing costs of providing health care overwhelm
As of January 2016, OneWorld Health has five health centers (two Uganda and three in Nicaragua), with an additional mobile medi-
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cal unit (a converted 40-foot Winnebago!) in Nicaragua, serving patients in the extreme rural areas of Nicaragua. In the organization’s first medical center, located in rural Uganda, income related to small, affordable patient fees had increased enough after just 13 months to pay for the project's operating costs. “That’s when our founders knew we had a really special model and started to realize that we could make this same process work in other developing countries, too”. “In Nicaragua, within about 18 months of opening, we’ve seen our projects be able to pay their own operational regular staffing, supplies and utilities. It’s really amazing to watch”, says McCloud. “We’ve had amazing community support through a network of local partner churches and schools. I love to see how local buy-in really transforms the whole project and helps people understand how they can take ownership of their family’s health care.” Interestingly enough, McCloud is not the only musician involved in OneWorld Health’s work. The Grammy-nominated rockers from the band Needtobreathe have long supported OneWorld Health’s mission and recently sponsored the costs of building OWH’s new center in Tola, Nicaragua, which is being inaugurated this month. “As a former singer-songwriter, it’s so cool to see those guys use the platform they’ve been given to help make our work possible; they’re great people who are really involved- they don’t just send a check. It’s cool to see these successful guys roll up their sleeves and actually help in the clinics when they come down- they really support us in lots of ways.” Between the Nicaraguan and Ugandan projects, OneWorld Health is planning on opening several additional clinics in the coming year. As Regional Director over the Central American projects, McCloud is excited to see the growth and glad to see OneWorld Health, and the communities they serve, in the spotlight. For more information about OneWorld Health, or to get involved in one of their medical mission trips, visit www.oneworldhealth.com
C ommu n itysp ir itma ga zin e.c om
Someone You Should Know…
Attorney, Author, Statesman and “Warrior” in Christ
f you are like me, you didn’t know much about Gary Richardson. Through the years, the news media had me thinking he was some sort of ambulance chaser. I found him to be nothing of the sort. Instead, he is more like the Bible teacher everyone longs to have in their Life Group. Well studied and sincere, Gary has a way of challenging the norm and refocusing their thinking onto “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable (Philippians 4:8). But make no mistake. This is a man who is always ready for a fight. In fact, he sees himself as a warrior, ready to battle to the end for his friends, his family, his clients and his state, whomever he feels responsible for. He is a bigger-than-life crusader, ever determined to find justice for the little guy, and willing to use every weapon in his arsenal, as long as it is honest, ethical and legal. Swearing an oath to do his best to defend every client, Richardson takes his God-given responsibility to heart. He believes that a warrior is a person who truly gives his client every bit of his ability and talent. As an example, he told a story about once defending a client in a federal criminal case that he thought to be guilty. Turned in to the authorities by the man’s cousin, his client had been charged with selling illegal weapons and in fact, had done so, directly to an undercover agent. It seemed like an open and shut case. Yet Richardson advised the prosecutor to be sure to call the cousin to the witness stand. “This guy doesn’t deserve to walk out of this courtroom. However, I have taken an oath of office to do my best and if you don’t call the cousin to the stand and give the jury all the evidence they are entitled to hear before convicting this man to the penitentiary, it will give me an opportunity to win this case,” he said discretely. The prosecutor decided not to take the advice, thinking there was no way he could lose this case. So, Richardson asked the jury whether they could convict without all of the evidence. “Where was the cousin? Why had he turned his cousin in? I would want to know that if I were you, sitting on the jury,” he argued. So, even though he knew the man to be guilty, he gave his client the same level of defense he would with anyone. Why? “Because I was his warrior, explained Richardson. “It was my responsibility to give this man the best representation I could give as long as it was truthful, honorable and forthright.” His client walked out free that day. “I ask those who criticize me about that… What would you think
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of a medical doctor in an emergency room who refused to do his or her best to save the man’s life because he or she had found out that the guy had just shot up five police officers and some innocent families? Wouldn’t he or she be violating their oath of office? Absolutely! Just as the lawyer would be violating his oath by not doing his best to defend his client. I take my responsibility very seriously. I am a warrior for whomever I represent.” You might remember that Gary Richardson ran for Congress in 1978 and 1980 and then for Governor of Oklahoma in 2002. While running for congress, he was courted by both sides of the political isle. “I ran as a Republican because I believed more in what the Republicans stood for,” he said. Years later, he ran for Governor as an Independent saying, “I didn’t think the Republican Party was ready to be my client,” he said with a deep, but committed laugh.
“Just as the lawyer would be violating his oath by not doing his best to defend his client. I take my responsibility very seriously. I am a warrior for whomever I represent.” “A former governor urged me to run as a Republican and even promised to endorse me, telling me that with his endorsement, I would be the next Governor of Oklahoma. But I told him, ‘I wouldn’t have your job. I want to represent the people of Oklahoma. You have represented a party. We need a governor who will represent the people of Oklahoma and do what is best for the people. We need someone who will stop the fighting, all the challenging of each other, just for power,” he explained. Richardson fought a good race and ended up receiving 17 percent of the vote in the three-man race. The contest was closer than the number leads you to believe. In fact, in a Trump’esque kind of style, he gathered strong support, as he threatened to turn over the rocks to uncover corruption in Oklahoma politics. Interesting enough, the two Republican candidates who ran against the eventual Republican nominee both came out and openly endorsed Richardson in the General Election. They both heard what Richardson was saying on the campaign trail and concluded that he was the kind of leader Oklahoma needed. Now, fifteen years later, Richardson is still turning over those rocks and willing to stand up against the establishment and cor-
ruption. He supported Donald Trump and explained that although he may not agree with everything Trump says, he was attracted to his campaign because it was obvious that Trump believed what he was saying. “I believe Trump has a heart for the people and that is what counts,” Richardson explained. Gary Richardson has invested his career in serving others. Growing up on a sharecropper’s cotton farm in Texas, Gary was blessed with a father who taught him the value of hard work. “With only a 3rd grade education, my father often worked two or three jobs at a time, often explaining to me that he wanted to see to it that his son had the opportunity to receive a college education,” Gary said. He must have made his father proud when he received not only a college education, but also a law degree. From there he would continue to do big things… Assistant Insurance Commissioner of Oklahoma, Assistant District Attorney, as well as developing a successful law practice. In 1981, President Ronald Reagan appointed him as US Attorney, where Richardson jumped courageously into prosecuting county commissioner cases, even taking on personal threats as he worked to clean up Oklahoma politics. Other lines of his impressive resume include receiving the largest verdict in the nation for a defamation case ($58 million), as well as winning what was until recently, the state’s largest wrongful termination case, and later, the largest wrongful death jury verdict in the state. But no matter the size of the case, Richardson works to find justice for the little guy and hating corruption at every turn. In his book, Black Rope Fever, he points out that all cowards seek posi-
tions in power. “The more power they get, the safer they feel. And the coward that gets power ultimately becomes a bully. I hate what bullies do in harming others,” he said. Gary is a dedicated Christian and through the years has used his talents to serve as music director, Gospel singer, lay speaker, Sunday school teacher, and in church leadership. He openly admits he is not perfect, but continually strives to understand himself and his place in God’s plan. He has three grown children, two boys and a girl. Both of his sons are attorneys. Chuck is his partner in his firm, Richardson Richardson Boudreaux. Chad is a lawyer practicing in Muskogee. His daughter, Chandra, is married to a chiropractor in Edmond. Gary is married to Lanna Willcox and the couple lives here in Tulsa where they stay busy with church, politics, work and family. Together they have five children and eleven grandchildren. He is an active member of South Tulsa Baptist Church, and has served in other churches as a Deacon, Sunday school teacher, music leader, and even a speaker at the pulpit. Rumor has it that Gary Richardson may not be done with politics. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him back on the ballot at some point. After all, this warrior loves to go to battle, fighting corruption, defending the little guy and seeking justice for all.
Gary Richardson has published four books. Fear is Never Your Friend, Black Robe Fever, Thank God They Ate the Apple and just off the press, I Want You to See Me. He also authored a motivational audio series entitled Winning in the Courtroom. Gary often delivers seminars nationwide regarding his first book, Fear is Never Your Friend, helping people eliminate the destructive power of fear in their lives. He can be contacted at www.richardsonlawfirmpc.com. His personal website is GaryRichardsonSpeaks.com. C ommu n itysp ir itma ga zin e.c om
Is YOUR Prayer List
really a Gossip Column? By Tom McCloud
aise your hand if you have ever have been guilty of sharing a prayer request through gossiping lips? You know what I am talking about… “Please pray for Sister Smith. She still has that drinking problem you know… bless her heart.” In the future, before we share even the most heart-felt prayer request, we would be wise to consider the following. 1. Love and welcome folks without condition. God’s love for us is unconditional. Therefore, our love, friendship, and fellowship should also be unconditional. Sinners are always invited! The church door should always be open. No one should ever have to be “Holy” to be in your small group, ministry or church. If everyone knew the real you, would you make the cut? 2. Meddle? Only with permission! Sometimes people ask for your help to help hold them accountable. Sometimes they don’t. Confessions should be held in the strictest confidence and accountability should ONLY be offered with stated permission. You want to hold me accountable for my obvious gluttony issues by telling me not to eat that Quarter-Pounder? You better have my permission if
you don’t want a salty backhand across your face (I sort of say that in jest). Never meddle without an engraved invitation. 3. Respect each other’s privacy. Accountability, even if it was requested, has its limits. It doesn’t give us the right to disrespect each other’s privacy. Therefore, we should never be guilty of spying on each other. It doesn’t give you the right to be checking each other’s pantry, looking for that Jack Daniels bottle. God is our ONLY investigator, judge and jury. Some church leaders have learned this lesson the hard way in the courtroom. Draw welldefined privacy lines and don’t step over them. 4. Never gossip! We should never share information with others without permission. There should be no scarlet letters in the church. We are ALL sinners, equally under the sentence of death that only Jesus can pardon. We do not have the right to humiliate someone, even with the truth. 5. No one is better or holier than anyone else! A person can’t be a “little bit” sinful or a “little separated” from God. We are ALL equally guilty. Only Jesus saves us and only His sacrifice gives us access to that salvation. So, how should “iron sharpen iron,” as noted in Psalms 27:17? With love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Lets guard our hearts and our lips! Your spiritual family is relying on you.
C ommu n itysp ir itma ga zin e.c om