Get Connected  



w date

There was a revival – I think it was in Tibet. Empower Ministries was there, and I remember asking their president, Ron Pierce what their ministry needed. "Elephants -- to get the gospel out, we need more elephants."

In 2003, when our troops went into Iraq, Samaritans Purse followed and handed out shoeboxes like we supply at Christmas. This was planned in the months leading up to the invasion, but Franklin Graham knew the shoeboxes themselves needed to be followed up by a personal witness. So, he contacted Ron, and Empower Ministries trained Arab believers in neighboring countries to follow the shoeboxes with the message of Christ.

Ron will be here THIS COMING SUNDAY, February 12, speaking at our 10am service, and doing a Q & A at 6pm in our Worship Center. He’s a fantastic story teller, his stories make you jealous for what God is doing around the world, giving a fresh desire to see God work in powerful ways here.

I got to know Ron in Canada, and have always wanted to bring him here, but Cottonwood just seemed too small to pull it off. But, now that we have merged, this opportunity opened. You can check out his ministry here.

Come Sunday morning, and if Ron is anything like I remember, you will want to be there Sunday night.



Rev 5:9 (NIV2011)  And they sang a new song, saying: "You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased for God persons from every tribe and language and people and nation. 10  You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth."


correction banner

Humbly Give and Receive Spiritual Correction


What’s more difficult for you – to give correction - or to take it? 

Aaron is speaking with me this week, here is what he wrote about giving correction. . .   

"My wife likes to call me ‘Actually’ as a nickname. Why? Because I have this bad habit of correcting people on matters of fact, grammar, trivia, etc. These corrections usually start with me saying, ‘Actually…’ hence the nickname. Some of my favorite things to catch people on include:

         Saying ‘good’ when they mean ‘well’

         Correcting pronunciation

         Any historical fact, ever

         And pretty much anything else anyone says or does wrong when they are around me.

Annoying, right? It turns out that giving correction is not as easy as it seems. There are right and wrong times to correct someone. There are right and wrong ways to do it. Sometimes it is desperately needed, and other times it is quite inappropriate. Who knew? 

The same goes for giving scriptural correction. As Christians, we are called to keep each other accountable, but what does this look like? When is the right time? What are the right words? What areas warrant scriptural correction in the first place?"   

Of course, taking correction isn’t easy either, with right and wrong ways to take it, as well. As Aaron would say, "Who knew?" Join us this Sunday as we tackle Heart Attitude number three, "I will humbly give and receive scriptural correction." See you there!" 


2 bannerI will live an honest and open lifestyle.

Liar, liar – but my pants never caught on fire – so what’s the big deal? Well, like every command from God, when we disobey Him, it’s bad for us.

According to US News, Anita Kelly, a psychology professor at the University of Notre Dame, spent 10 weeks tracking the health of 55 liars.

She took 110 adults, and asked half of them to stop lying, although they could still omit the truth, keep secrets, and dodge questions. Assuming the others lie as much as the rest of us, the other 55 were told to simply keep track of the number of lies they told each week. Everyone filled out questionnaires about their relationships and physical and mental health.

The results? After 10-weeks, those instructed to tell the truth reaped more health improvements. "When they told more lies, their health went down. And when they told the truth, it improved." Telling three fewer lies a week, even minor ones, translated to four fewer mental health, and three fewer physical complaints.

There was plenty more to the study, but the core truth rings true: When we disobey Him, it’s bad for us. This Sunday we look at Heart Attitude #2: I Will Live an Honest and Open Lifestyle. Hope to see you here!

Passage: Ephesians 4

Verse: 1 Peter 3:10 Whoever would love life and see good days must keep their tongue from evil and their lips from deceitful speech. NIV


skinny bannerQuestions and Heart Attitudes

I’ve had some great questions come across my desk recently. The blog seemed like a handy way to answer them, in case others were wondering the same thing. Here they are:

Are we really paying the mortgage off in March 2016?

Uh, no. That was a misprint in the original budget sheets put on the back table. It’s been corrected to say that to pay off our $600,000 mortgage by July 2023, we need to pay an extra $36,000 a year. Paying extra would keep us from having to refinance the remainder of the mortgage in six years, and save us about $100,000. Maybe it was a prophecy?

Are we going to fix the parking lot?

Yuppers! When is the issue. We had $3300 come in the Christmas Offering towards the lot; the total cost will be $20,000 to $30,000. We have the money, but we also have a domino of issues to answer before we pave. Our storage container is on the lot, and we would love to move it behind the Annex before work is done. But, to do that, we have to put down some concrete so that the container doesn’t rest on dirt. But, to do that, we need an engineer to deal with our drainage issue and lake forming behind the Annex. Reinaldo and I thought a kids Sunday bucket bigrade would be good training, but we got out-voted.

When are we going to two services?

We have some space issues, and our poor children’s department has kindly been taking the brunt of the changes in trying to get us all to fit. Our biggest issues are room for our children, security for children (improved already with one designated building for them) room for adult fellowship (when weather keeps us from using the breezeway), and sometimes parking and seating. We could always enlarge the Worship Center, enclose the breezeway, expand children’s and add parking instead – if we could just get Zuckerberg to church. In truth, we want to know this is totally warranted, our best if not only option, and have the support staff in place before going forward.

There is another temporary option – for helping the adult area anyway. Our sermon series starting Sunday is on our Heart Attitudes. The first one is, I Will Put the Goals and Interests of Others Above My Own. If we came early, sat close to the front and in the middle of the rows, that would make a huge difference. There would be room for others who come later to sit together as families, without going half-way up to the front and crawling over us sitting by the aisles.

Did we sell the Cottonwood Portable equipment?

One trailer with empty carts inside sold for $7800. The other one is full of carts and audio video equipment, and is worth a lot more. Unfortunately, we still own it. If you are looking to start a church, we can set you up!

What are Heart Attitudes?

So glad you asked! Come Sunday and find out.



Do you do Christmas Letters? We try, but they end up coming out late. This week, instead of giving you a heads up about our upcoming sermon, I thought I’d give you an early copy of our 2016 Cooley Christmas letter. Yes, we are really late this year!

Mama and Papa Cooley: After seven years of being portable, the church has a building! This is exciting for many reasons, not the least of which is that neither JO or Dan have to yell at their children to get up early to set up or stay late to tear down--which might be more exciting for Micah and Caleb than it is for anyone else. We merged with another church, not called Anchor Point. It’s oddly like what I’d assume a blended marriage to be like. So far, so great. JO is still working for Presbyterian Hospital as a Patient / Family Advocate. After 30+ years living with Dan, she knows how to keep stressed mental people content.

Megan and Jon: They had a baby, and we know it’s theirs because it likes to stay home, shuns people, and loves sleep. They are getting along very well, and it’s pretty much everything they could have hoped for. His name is Memphis, but everyone just calls him Muffins. Megan is working at Presbyterian Hospital when not with Memphis. Jon graduated with a degree in Communications from UNM in May, and continues to work in the sound industry. We thought there might be an opening taking over the DNC emails or Trump twitter accounts, but they are still waiting for the call. Whose loss?

Amanda and Jake: After a year of figuring out life with epilepsy, Amanda can drive again! This is yet another great thing for Caleb and Micah, as it means that they’re not chaperoning Amanda and her toddlers around. Emerson is now 2, Oliver 3, and they are a ton of fun when not breaking things. Also, Amanda is about to have another baby (July 2017), because you know, why not, it’s a new year. They also bought a house close to the new church with a great view for Balloon Fiesta.

Micah: graduated from UNM with a degree in English, then spent a summer at Camp Peniel, and then a couple months teaching English in Haiti. He decided not to retire in Port-au-Prince, and instead is on orders with the Air Guard for the next six months. After that, God knows. The saddest part of 2016 for Micah was when Dad borrowed his limited-edition Miata, only to be rear-ended by a drunk driver just a half-mile away and have the beautiful car totaled. We kept the gear-shift knob. Not much else was left.

and Caleb: finished at the community college, and is now at Moody Bible College in Chicago. His Christmas wish list was a coat, and mitts, and boots, and long underwear, and a hat, and…. Dan bribed his way to a Masters there in 2000, and Caleb’s grandma Cooley graduated from Moody in 1945, which was, I believe, a very good year.

Hoping and praying 2017 is a great year for you as well.

2017 thought: "Look for Christ and you will find him. And with him, everything else." – CS Lewis



mom at moody

  ReNew Committment – GOD FIRST

As you read this, I should be on my way to or from Chicago. Caleb is going to Moody Bible Institute this semester, and I have the fun of going with him. My mom graduated from Moody in 1945—she met my dad in the Administration Building elevators. I’m keeping Caleb away from those.

The picture is of my mom (sitting on our right) with her friends at Moody. My moms’ mom wasn’t a believer that I know of, so she didn’t want her going to a Bible school. So, mom graduated High School and traveled from Connecticut to Chicago on train. Alone. Then she passed down her faith to her kids.

This week Jonathan is speaking for me from the book of Esther. The book may be named for her, but it was her cousin Mordecai that really saved the day. He walked with God, and passed that faith down to Esther.

You and I can do the same. For the sake of our kids, for own legacy and country, we must do the same. Would you make a New Year’s Resolution with me? Will you commit with me-or ReNew your commitment with me--to put God first in three key areas in 2017?

1.  I will give God the 1st of my time. 


Daily, let’s spend time in God’s Word before heading out the door. I remember watching my parents having their devotions, and that example stuck. Weekends and vacations are when I cheat. Now you can ask me how I did when I get back from Chicago!


2.  I will give God the 1st of my week. 

Worship isn’t optional. My parents NEVER missed - we went on Sunday morning, Sunday night, and Wednesday night too. OK, that was a bit much and it made us kids resent church some, but I want my family to know that corporate worship is more important than anything else we could be doing on Sunday morning. I hope Sunday can be your day of rest. Friday is mine, as Sunday is a work day for me. It’s a rhythm of life I think, this giving God the first. He knows what we need, and we need rest.

3.  I will give God the 1st of my money. 

I assumed my parents gave 10% or more, but didn’t really see it. As a result it was years after we were married before JoLynn and I became regular givers. I regret not tithing when we were younger. It’s a missed blessing.      Now we make certain God gets the 1st of our money through direct debit, so JoLynn’s husband doesn’t spend it before we give it.

Mom went home to heaven on Dec 30, 2013. If she is watching, I hope she still likes Moody.