Charles Murphy, also known as Papa, was a tough-as-nails
rancher with gigantic hands that were gnarled and scarred like the roots of an
oak tree. He worked tirelessly, loved his horses and didn’t mind showing
younger cowboys how to get things done.
On Sunday mornings he watched a televangelist on the local
station and expected you to do the same. When he ate an apple, he ate the
entire thing, including the stem. He didn’t gamble at the nearby casinos, and
he didn’t smoke or drink. Pleasure for him was hanging barbed-wire fences,
breaking in horses and taking a nap in his ottoman-less leather chair on hot
His rough-hewn legacy was shaped by lean years during the
Depression, a streak of independence, and a determination to raise horses on
his own land in his retirement years.
Many of today’s church planters and those who revitalize
churches have similar qualities. They fearlessly step out of their comfort
zones, go to unknown places, embrace a vision and go for it no matter what
challenges or obstacles they might encounter.
Whether you want to plant or revitalize a church — or
even just help start one, three stories in this issue might just
supply you with the fortitude to actually do so.
Papa — my grandfather — shaped his legacy, and
you can take control of yours. Why not bring or reintroduce the gospel to a
community in need of a relevant church where the Savior can transform the
legacies of countless people?
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