Thursday, May 21, 2009

The greatest preacher I ever met

15 years ago God allowed me to be a counselor at a camp for people with disabilities. I was given a week to spend with David. David is a man who is my age and lives in Minnesota with his loving Christian family. David has Down Syndrome, which has given him a mental disability. Dave prayed for me, with me, one night at camp, long after chapel had finished, and then gave me a two word sermon that are the most profound words I have ever heard. In fact, those two words completely changed my life, and I may think of those words every single day still 15 years later. That night, an hour after chapel ended, Dave led me to the alter, pushed my head down in reverence to his king, and said two words... "More Jesus". Wow. I shutter just typing it. More Jesus, that should be my prayer, that should be my goal, that should be my message. Dave gets it. 
So how do I explain that the most profound sermon I ever heard, the most life changing moment in my life came as God worked through a man the world does not want to see born, that society marks with no value or worth, that is rejected in most churches because he could not take a spiritual gifts test even if he wanted to??? I only have two words to answer that... "More Jesus". In fact I have discovered that is the answer to every question, to every problem, to every situation... more Jesus.
My hearts passion burns for people with disabilities for a few reasons, but mainly because of that experience. Oh how I hurt, because the church misses out on how God uses men and women just like David to change lives. That evening has given me more tools than 15 years of ministry experience, 40 years of being a Christian, daily walking with incredible saints who pour their wisdom into me, than my bible college degree all put together. David uttered the wisest, most loving, most incredible words, not from the pages of a best selling book, not from a shiny acrylic pulpit, but with his head bowed in that dark chapel, in total reverence to His king. I must stop writing now because retelling what God did for me through David, makes me sob, and I cannot type anymore.
Father God, help me... give me more of you and less of my ego, more of you and less of my plans, more of you and less of knowledge, more of you and less of my pain, more of you and less of my ... __________ just fill in the blank.


  1. I like putting the emphasis on the word "more". It makes it a heartfelt cry from deep within. You put in well in your last sentence. It became a prayer that God will always answer. The question is: Will we dare to pray it. He'll answer this one too: "Give me the courage to pray it, Lord. Awesome, Tony. Love ya.

  2. ....I believe God made David on on purpose, I believe God made Tony on purpose, I believe God made me on purpose. I believe God has a plan.
    Remember the story Pastor Jerry told about the evangalist who led Billy Graham to the Lord? Imagine. Imagine if that guy hadn't opened his mouth that day and shared Jesus with a hurting world. There may have been no Billy Graham ministry at all. Imagine. Imagine if David hadn't shared "more Jesus" with you that night. There may not be Camp Daniel, where hundreds are touched and saved every year...where lives are changed, hope arises, and walls are torn down. If you really believe that no life is greater than the next but all are of equal value... then you must also believe that no ministry is of greater value or purpose than this.
    More Jesus!

  3. my heart hurts, too

  4. That was so touching. I have only been a preacher going on for two months and I am only 15. I love the thought of "more jesus". God bless you david!!!!!!!