Friday, January 30, 2015

Death Notice - Odie H. Spears

Mr. Odie H. Spears 87 of Westmoreland, TN
passed away Thursday, January 29, 2015.

Funeral services for Mr. Spears will be held Monday, February 02, 2015 at 1:00 PM from Lakeside Church of God of Prophecy with Bro. Leon Graves, Bro. Ron Spears, Bro. Mike Creasy and Bro. Gerald Graves officiating.

Interment will follow in Sumner Memorial Gardens.  Pallbearers will be Jeff Graves, Stacey Graves, Scotty Graves, Josh Graves, Spence Creasy and Angela & (Chad) Fields.  Honorary pallbearers will be Tyler Graves, Caleigh Graves, Taylor Graves, Alec Creasy and Connor Graves.

Visitation will be:  Saturday, January 31, 2015 from 4:00 PM to 9:00 PM at Woodard Funeral Home and Sunday, February 01, 2015 from 10:00 AM to 9:00 PM at Woodard Funeral Home and Monday, February 02, 2015 from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM at Lakeside Church of God.

Mr. Spears was retired as an Assistant Grocery Store Retail Manager at Smith's Cee Bee Store after over 24 years of service .  Mr. Spears was a dedicated member of Lakeside Church of God of Prophecy.  He was also a United States Navy Veteran.

Mr. Spears was preceded in death by:
Parents - Dan Harris & Estell  Spears,
Wife - Lorene F. Spears,
Daughter - Linda Meador,
Sister - Ivy Lee Kemp,
Brother - Ed Spears,
Sister - Mammie Butler

Mr. Spears is survived by:
Daughter - Faye & (Leon) Graves, Westmoreland, TN
Daughter - Edith & (Gerald) Graves, Bethpage, TN
Daughter - Joyce & (Mike) Creasy, Murfreesboro, TN
Son - Ron & (Kathy) Spears, Murfreesboro, TN
Grand Children - Jeff & (Melissa) Graves,  Stacey & (Kim) Graves, Scotty & (Trina) Graves, Josh Graves, Spence & (Angie) Creasy, and Angela & (Chad) Fields
Spiritual Grand Daughter - Lashell Spears
Great Grand Children - Tyler & Taylor Graves, Connor & Cullen Graves,  Caleigh, Isabella & Walker Graves and Alec, Payton & Adison Creasy

Monday, January 19, 2015

On my way to a resurrection

Someone asked, "Are you on your way to another funeral?"  My answer was, "No, I am on my way to a resurrection."  Tonight, after having preached my sister's funeral, two church members funerals and visiting a friend whose brother had passed away, I had a little quiet time in my home office.  As I often do, I reach for an old book  I've found that some books written long ago can speak to my heart.  This time, it was a book published in 1946.  This passage from J.B. Chapman touched my heart, hope it does yours too. 

Victor Hugo exclaimed, "The frosts of seventy winters are on my head, but the springtime of eternal youth is in my heart."

"Sometimes we look at the gray hair of a ripening saint, and say, "Old man, the frosts of many winters are on your head."  But he answers, "That is not frost.  I am getting ready to wear the crown of life, and my hair is taking on tint agreeable to the color scheme."  

We say, "Old man, your back is bent from the carrying of many loads."  "That's not it," he replies, "I am about to come into the King's presence, and I am practicing obeisance that I may the more readily bow before Him."  

"Your eyes are dim."  "No," he answers, "my focus is just changing.  I am not largely interested anymore in the things close at hand, so my eyes are training to see 'the land that is afar off, and to behold the King in his beauty.'"

"Your hearing is failing."  "No," he replies, "they have just closed the windows on the street side to keep out the confusing noise that I may the better hear the angels sing."  

"Well, your house is about to fall down."  "This is only my tent," he answers.  "It was designed only as a temporary dwelling and it has served its day well.  It is now unsteady on its foundation, the window panes are broken out, the whole place is in dilapidation, and the Owner has notified me that He has no plans to spend anything more on repairs.   But it's all right.  I have had the warning in time, and I have made definite plans to move out into a house that hath foundations."  

"Mere philosophy is not enough when the crisis comes.  At times like that we need the assurance of the Spirit within." (1)

We are ALL on our way to a resurrection, preparation now is the most important thing we can do.  God bless you.

(Holiness Triumphant by J.B. Chapman pp. 126-127)

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Do not go gentle

Just this week, death visited our family once again.  This is not a new journey for us, it is one that we have faced, traveled and dealt with before.  To many it is something to be feared and faced with a great sense of dread.  Not so with the McKinley family.

I have often commented that I grew up with death, which is probably the reason why one of my favorite poems was written by Dylan Thomas, "Do not go gentle into that good night."  It is an appointment we will all have one day. You may live your life in fear of it, or you can respect it and make preparation for what happens once your appointment is fulfilled.

As a child, I remember going to "lay-outs" for family members in Kentucky, where the deceased were kept in the living room of the home until burial time.  I've spent many long days in the funeral home break rooms listening to the old timers talk about the deceased, while they chain-smoked, possibly hastening their own demise.  Then all of our grandparents kept their appointment with death.  I remember three of them, but the fourth happened while I was too young to remember.

Once I entered the military, death became a distant but still unwanted guest.  He seemed to be indiscriminate, choosing whom he would without my understanding why.  As a Military Police Investigator, I saw my share of death and worked to find those who caused the crime...but the hands that caused the death were only helping death itself achieve it's end.

While home for a weekend, my older brother, David (we called him Buddy) suddenly died causing a deep and abiding grief to fall over our entire family.  I saw the toll death took on my father and mother, at times taking them to the edge of insanity, wondering about the final destination of my brother's soul.  He was not an overtly religious man, but his death caused my father to become one.  At 25-years-old it was difficult for most all of us to understand, but death was not something new to me, it just seemed to be cold and indiscriminate in it's choices.  Two babies, one a month old and the other three months old met death during my brother's first marriage, and in a cruel twist, these two deaths put such a strain on their marriage, that the deaths were a contributing factor to their divorce.

With ten years in law enforcement and almost 35 years of Christian ministry, I've seen the cruel work of Mr. Death.  At rare times, he is welcomed by some of his victims and their families, but at most times the opposite is true.

Earlier this week we received the call that our older sister, Judy met death at about 4:00 a.m. while sitting in her chair.  Judy Kay McKinley Luse lived a very difficult life...It was hard from the beginnings of our childhood.  We had good parents who loved us, but not much else worked out for her.  In most of her older life she had physical ailments, heart issues, diabetes issues, etc. In the last little while of her life, she felt a real need to share her faith in God with others.  She was not the most articulate in doing it, and her failing eyesight made it hard to see the mistakes as she typed...but you can't take anything away from the passion for Christ she possessed.

In her Facebook posts she spoke often of our parents and how much she missed them.  She shared about the life-lessons that came her way, and compared her new-found freedom in Christ with the childhood that at times was quite legalistic. I am so thankful for the freedom she found.

My younger Sister lived only a few miles from her, and spent a lot of time taking Judy to doctor visits and just plain being there for her. Living five-hours away, I am grateful that my sister, Mary Pearson was there, and I have often watched the spirit of my mother come on Mary (her namesake) as she lovingly cared for Judy, even though she has a large family of her own.

Finally, I've seen death too often and one day I will face him, just as you will.  The point is to not go gentle into that good night.  Make your preparations for when that moment comes, and live a full life!  Love, laugh and enjoy life, knowing that this earthly journey is but for a time.  DO NOT GO GENTLE INTO THAT GOOD NIGHT.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Encounter 2015

Join with me, Bishop Clements and leaders from the Assemblies of God, the Church of God, the International Pentecostal Holiness Church, and more at a two-day conference being held in Fayetteville, North Carolina.  The singular purpose is united prayer.  Our goal is to seek God for revival in the church and awakening in the culture, with awareness that change begins in us!  For more information or to register, visit

Monday, December 29, 2014

A Call to Prayer

In just a few days, our brethren and sisters from around the world will be joining together to seek a fresh encounter with our heavenly Father.  From January 5-25 there will be countless prayer meetings, sermons preached on prayer, lessons taught on encountering God’s Presence.  Please check back on this site for updates.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Where are we going?

In the last few weeks I have been extremely troubled at the events that are taking place in our nation? I understand the political process can seem to be complicated, but some things are easily understood.  With American citizens being beheaded and Christians around the world being murdered for their faith I am distressed at the continuing political game that is being played by the leaders of our nation.

While I don't know all of the internal workings of the political parties, I know this:  America is in trouble and we need help.  However, I don't believe the help can come from anywhere other than the Lord.

I pray that God will touch our leaders hearts and lives.  I pray that they will stop the political tomfoolery they engage in and pay attention.  Our freedom is on the line...its time to wake up!