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Simple plan


The legacy

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 summer days.

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?

Kirk Noonan

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