Entries by burkepreschurc

As he trimmed bits of grass and weeds around the concrete foundation of his southeast Texas home, he asked God, “If you want me to do this, God, to pursue the ministry, then you need to let me know.”

What is Deryl Fleming’s “call to the ministry” story? Pastor Meg wondered this aloud in a sermon recently, as she described a Bible “B-side” character named Nathan who gets a passing mention in 2 Samuel. “I know Deryl’s a foodie,” Meg said. “I know he’s witty and reads good books … Maybe he has told […]

She changed her whole life at age 59. And what happened next opened her heart in ways she never expected.

Donna Gross’s whole life was in Kansas City, Missouri. It’s where, as the “baby” of the family, she watched her mom answer phones for her dad’s washer/dryer repair business. It’s where she started her collections of dolls, butterflies, Santas, and Dickens Village houses and shops. It’s where she met her husband, Allen, raised their two […]

Her license plate reads: “2D CHNCE.” That’s because on one fateful day, when the odds were against her surviving, she did.

Marie Grassman’s license plate reads: “2D CHNCE.” It’s a perfect message for her silver Chevy cruiser, because in a dramatic turn of events more than a decade ago, Marie nearly died. It’s frankly a miracle that she didn’t. And so now, “I see life as a gift,” she said. “Every day.” Here was Marie’s life […]

He was a freshman in college when 9-11 happened.

Justin Pitcock’s roots are in a place called Graham. It was here, in North Texas hill country, that his family generations ago started and still runs Pitcock Oil and Gas. It was here that Justin would ride around in the back of his dad’s ¾-ton Chevy pickup with his dog, scanning the endless grasslands. It […]

He’s more tired. He’s poorer. And he’s happier.

As a kid, James Koontz was a selfdescribed military brat. When he graduated from Virginia Tech, he joined the Army because that seemed like a logical next step. “I really wasn’t sure what I wanted to do,” he said. He became an intelligence analyst, doing code-breaking, which he admits had a certain cachet. And later […]