Posts Tagged ‘obituary’

Courtesy: Tulsa's NewsOn6.com

Wall Watchers who have been praying for Pastor Billy Joe Daugherty, and have commented on the previous post that broke the news about his battle with lymphoma cancer, it is with a sad heart but a hopeful spirit that I post this.

According to the Tulsa World, Pastor Daugherty died after 4:00 a.m. Sunday morning.

From his obituary in the column:

In addition to founding one of Tulsa’s largest churches, he was founder of Victory Christian School, Victory Bible Institute with about 900 campuses in 93 countries, and Victory World Missions Training Center which has sent 1000s of missionaries around the world.

His television show, Victory in Jesus, reached more than 100 million households in North America, in addition to satellite and internet distribution worldwide. He and his wife, Victory co-pastor Sharon Daugherty, have written more than a dozen books.

Daugherty was one of America’s best-known charismatic pastors, preaching an upbeat and sometimes controversial message that Jesus came to bring spiritual, emotional and physical healing, and blessing and prosperity to mankind. He regularly brought some of the top charismatic preachers in the world to Tulsa for Word Explosion, Victory’s annual summer conference.

In 2005, when Steven Wayne Rogers walked an aisle and hit Daugherty in the eye during an altar call, this pastor showed what it meant to stop preaching a sermon and start living one. People learned what compassion in action was all about when Daugherty visited this guy in jail and prayed for him – by himself, no cameras, no press release, no reason.

During that national imbroglio, I met the man behind the headlines while I was representing another client and never forgot his kind demeanor, his gentle spirit and his obvious exposure to Jesus Christ. Needless to say, he made an impression on me, as well as he did on the millions who supported and appreciated his ministry.

The Body of Christ lost a prince today, but rest assured he is with the King of Kings in paradise waiting for the rest of us. Billy Joe Daugherty will be missed but his legacy will live on in Tulsa, and in the hearts of those who had the pleasure to meet and know him.

He is survived by his wife Sharon and their children John, Paul, Sarah and Ruthie.

Peace.

First, it was Ed McMahon. Then, Farrah Fawcett. Now, Michael Jackson.

If I hear Darth Vader and the guy who invented Members Only jackets are gone, and the 80s will officially be over. And for some people, it already is with the passing of the self-entitled “King of Pop.”

Michael Jackson was many things to many people. There wasn’t a single person alive with the ability to speak who didn’t have an opinion on this man. And who was the last person that could say that?

Even Michael looked like this from time to time

Even Michael looked like this from time to time

His music was always there – and so were the harrowing stories – and then in a flash, all we had was his music because the man was gone. But despite the rumor mill spinning like a wheel in the middle of the Daytona 500, let me ask you something:

In the words of the hallowed Maximus Dedimus Meridius, “Were you not entertained?”

When Google crashed – yeah, Google – as a result of people trolling for insight on Michael Jackson’s death, one of quickest things that happened was downloading his music.

Why now?

Folk weren’t searching for latest on pedophilia, homosexuality or really bad outfits looking like Captain Crunch.

No, it was the music, because after the source is gone, what’s left is the legacy.

If you didn’t like “Don’t Stop ‘Till You Get Enough” or “Working Day and Night” while he was alive (and this reporter SHO’ NUFF did), why rush to the Net and flush Amazon.com out of stock now?

It’s because people don’t really appreciate and cherish items while they are in front of their face.

Jesus people, we can learn something from this mayhem. Much was the case with Jesus and if Ridley Scott was around in Gethsemane, perhaps Christ’s words would have been echoed in a gladiatorial coliseum.

Consider the miracles. The feats of mercy. The love shown despite circumstances. Followers of Christ, “Were you not entertained?”

Why wait until it’s too late to appreciate what we have? Why wait until folk can’t discuss different ideas and ruminate opposing views to simply talk facts? Remove said things and that’s when the memories are beholden to those who had them – whether about Jesus or, in this case only, Michael Jackson.

But, as a body of Christ, we understand we are not here to live for self, but for God. We don’t worry about tomorrow, but today. We exist to serve Jesus, not man.

Probably looking for Jesus there too

Probably looking for Jesus there too

And so, to give closure to the countless millions in the Church who still adored Michael Jackson despite the terrible stories, I’ll ask the question out loud that you’re afraid to ask at this week’s Bible study, “Was he a Christian?”

Without question, Jackson was on a quest of “spirituality.” But where did it lead him?

He had a knowledge of the Bible. Listen to the “Man in the Mirror“, read James 1:22-25 and you tell me. But was it a full understanding that Jesus is Lord?

Thanks to Another Brick in the Wall, Get Religion, we read a gripping article about that very thing and Michael’s troubled soul who traipsed through a Kingdom’s Hall and ended up (allegedly) in a Mosque.

And now, thanks to his brother Jermaine, that’s possibly his lasting legacy on the religious map:

If “Allah is with him always,” the King of Pop may have more issues than the debt he left behind.

Late last year, reports were viral and contagious as it was said Michael Jackson took the shahada and was now known as “Mikaeel.”

He would be seen wearing a face-covering burga – for some, it was religious practice and for others, it was plastic surgery run-a-muck.

And all the while, no one seemed to care about his soul… just keep cranking out that legendary music, Michael… or however you are spelling it now.

Some consider a person’s doxology should be as private as his vote, but if you are saved, that commitment should be as public as what color you are. [Yes, there’s a joke there considering the topic, but I’ll reserve that at this time :)]

However, it was painfully obvious to those of us who considered ourselves “fans” that Jackson was not comfortable in his own skin.

Yeah, there’s the vicious self-altering “Before and After” pictures, but that struggle goes to deeper depths than just debates about melanin.

Again, you don’t go from the Watchtower, tour the Bible and end up on a Musallah and not have plaguing questions about God, Jesus and your eternal demise.

Jackson clearly was riddled with those questions, and he like so many before him, had a public life of good works to help him sleep well at night. From “We are the World” to the amazing benefits he did for children with life-threatening disease, but he didn’t take those with him.

Sure, we all talk about them now, but works aren’t enough, as Ephesians 2:8-9 tells us.

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.

Who was there to tell him that? Jesse? Al? A day late and a dollar short.

He was 8 years old singing with his brothers on national TV. He lived his life on stage, in front of cameras and under the eye of speculation.

And in a life of zoo animals, little children and corny dogs (otherwise known as Neverland), it’s no surprise there wasn’t someone of a Christ-like mindset to tell him about the Lord.

Back to TMatt and the “Get Religion” piece:

So what does this add up to, in a tragic life that begins with — Jackson said — years of physical abuse as a child, followed by years under the knife of doctors, lawyers, psychologists and paparazzi? There is a religion ghost here, or two. But does that mean that there is a religion thread throughout this troubled life, other than yearning and confusion?

To be seen soon in St. Peter's Basilica?!

To be seen soon in St. Peter's Basilica?!

Candlelight vigils. 24/7 Michael music on local radio. Outstanding tributes on national TV (Shout out to the BET Awards. Very nice). All are necessary for this pop music legend, but it’s not enough if that decision for Christ wasn’t made.

Heck, even the Vatican’s newspaper has dubbed Jackson the “Black Elvis”. Well, not really, but they did call him “IMMORTAL!” The Vatican! Seriously?!

But will he really be dead? It wouldn’t be surprising if, in a few years, he was spotted in a gas station in Memphis, perhaps with his former father-in-law Elvis Presley, another of those myths – like Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix or John Lennon – that never die in the imagination of their fans. And Michael Jackson, who died yesterday at the age of fifty, is definitely a pop music legend.”

But the eternal question is “What was the King of Pop to the Prince of Peace and the King of Kings?”

And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment (Hebrews 9:27 NKJV).

Ah well, who knows? But, as you can see to the original opine, he was many things to many people.

And if those aforementioned, his friends or even his own parents didn’t care enough to ask about his relationship with Jesus Christ, I suppose the only question they’re left asking is, “Were they not entertained?”

Until the eternal answer is confirmed – and it won’t be this side of heaven – we will all have his remarkable music and continue to be entertained by the music behind the man… not the other way around.

Bishop Earl Paulk:

A face only a jail... eh, mother could love.

A face only a jail... eh, mother could love.

Here’s the million-dollar question: What’s his legacy?

Is he a remarkable man whose ministry began at the age of 17 and spawned a megachurch amidst urban sprawl in Atlanta, seen by millions on TBN and attended by tens of thousands?

Or, is he an octogenarian debauchee whose reputation for getting handsy since the 60s (allegedly), has countless cases against for sexual harassment and allowed his son believe he was his nephew for more than 30 years?!

Either way, he’s notable, that’s for certain. But, is that a good thing?!

Don Paulk, a retired minister [and his brother, but more about that later] at the Cathedral, said he hoped people would remember Earl for his good works and forgive the scandals. “Preachers are just like anyone else — they’re a man,” he said.

Yes, “they are a man” [bad grammar alert, but hey, he’s a preacher so cut him some slack].

BUT… do they have to lie under oath about being an unscrupulous perv, practice “laying on of hands” to his choir leaders and see his megachurch attendance go from 12,000 to less than 1,000 in months as a result of your deceit?!

I can’t say I was ever a fan, but when you have a national ministry like his was, and an apparent anointing like he did, you should appreciate the mantle God placed upon him… despite the trophies of debauchery, aberration and prevarication he laid proudly on that joker.

That said, what does it say about a man who in a matter of mere months sold his church for $24 million, plead guilty for lying under oath – you know, as in laid a hand on the bible he was supposed to be so familiar – and then died practically alone, ridden with cancer, hand-in-hand with the brother whose son was actually his (yeah, I just can’t get past that part)?

As recently noted in CNN from Paulk’s real nephew:

“As most of you know, my family has been walking through a very long nightmare season in connection with things concerning him,” [said nephew, Bishop Jim] Swilley wrote in his blog post. “Please pray for some much needed healing and closure for us all.”

Prayers won’t do Paulk any good. And although I’m sure he’s hanging with Jesus right now, many people are thinking with their carnal hat and considering the other path for good ol’ Pauley Paulk.

Again, what does that say about his legacy? I once heard a pastor say, “Live as if the town gossip lives with you.”

That mentality creates accountability. And accountability breeds integrity. The thing of which it seems Earl lacked more than parishoners. The thing that should be never be said of anyone who goes by the title “Bishop”, much less “man of God.”

His legacy, you ask? Perhaps quoting a preacher with a little less more luggage than what the Beverly Hillbillies trotted over to the Hollywood Hills would be appropriate as an epitaph:

Our days are numbered. One of the primary goals in our lives should be to prepare for our last day. The legacy we leave is not just in our possessions, but in the quality of our lives. What preparations should we be making now? The greatest waste in all of our earth, which cannot be recycled or reclaimed, is our waste of the time that God has given us each day.

Rev. Dr. Billy Graham

Godspeed, Earl. Some say you will need it to outrun the demons who will be chasing you down.

Sometimes with fame – or like this infamous obituary we are about to discuss – mothers lose their identity in the persona of the children of whom they gave identity.

Quick… without Wikipedia… name John Lennon’s mum, anyone? Abraham Lincoln’s mama? What about the mother of Martin Luther King, Jr.? Forget it. You can’t, unless you are a history buff, writing an autobiography or are one of those dorks who know the answer for the Sphinx slumming on Jeopardy.

(Somewhere, My Fair Lady is moaning and deleting my copies of Jeopardy off my DVR. Say, baby. BTW, Julia Stanley, Nancy Hanks and Missus Alberta).

david-koresh-timeThat said: Meet Bonnie Clark Haldeman, a once mild-mannered woman now found stabbed to death in a remote Texas town and oh yeah, mother of David Koresh.

We all know how Koresh’s legacy went up in flames… and uh, well never mind. But surely his mama died with some dignity? Right?

The mother of infamous Branch Davidian leader David Koresh was stabbed to death and her sister was in custody Saturday charged with her slaying, authorities said.

Her sister? Really?

Sure, the case is still under investigation but a religious zealot wasn’t the first suspect? Maybe a parent of one of the brainwashed and delusional that his sacrilege fireworks show sent to the grave. But her sister was the first they nabbed?

What’s that adage: You can take the woman away from the cult, but you can’t take the cult away from the woman? Or something like that.

Greg Laurie is a prolific pastor and founder of Harvest Christian Fellowship, one of the most regaled churches in America. Recently, he experienced one of the most horrible things for a father – a report of his son’s death.

A tale of grief for some. An obituary written too soon for others.

Christopher Laurie was driving alone on Hwy 91 in Corona, Calif. when he entered a carpool lane and rear-ended a CalTrans truck shutting the lane down. He is survived by his wife Brittany (who is expecting a child in November), and daughter Stella.

Christopher Laurie was only 33 years old.

Times like this, and what recently happened in Steven Curtis Chapman’s life, Christians want to eulogize and bring up great memories. That’s all good, but do so directly, not just in your own crowds.

Greg Laurie’s blog is here, please post your sentiments there.

I have two lil’ Wall watchers, and believe me, age is no subject when discussing the loss of a child. In a dark time sometimes the love of the Church is the only thing that will shed the warmth and healing light of Christ.

God knows Greg and his family (and Christopher’s family too) need that now.

No one knows why terrible things happen to good people, but suffice to say, Christians are all on the SAME team fighting a real enemy. Pastor Laurie, on behalf of all Wall Watchers, our prayers are yours during this devastating time in your life.