GCx Web Library
Resources on the Great Commission church movement
aka Great Commission Churches, Great Commission Ministries, Great Commission Association of Churches, Great Commission International, Great Commission Students, The Blitz Movement
Resources on the Great Commission church movement
aka Great Commission Churches, Great Commission Ministries, Great Commission Association of Churches, Great Commission International, Great Commission Students, The Blitz Movement
[tape starts here] ..those ten cities.. and I claimed ten. When I was in the army, God began to use my life. And- God knew my- my background, so there was certain degrees of discipline, but for all that God was wanting to, and all I'd ask him to do, I knew.. as I began to see the army, that God needed to do a real spiritual boot camp in my life. He needed to just rip the flesh out of me, I- I knew that I wasted a lot of time. I knew that- uh- that I used to go to movies and I used to spend money in this, and- and waste time- and waste money- and though much was being refined, as- God knew that he had to do so much more. I mean it's like, it was like being in prison.
And I began not to ever have the freedom to do what my flesh would yearn to do, and I couldn't do it now. I didn't discipline it - I was disciplining it - there was growth, there was progress, but God gave me a crash program. Almost like, putting me in jail, I couldn't do what I wanted anymore. I couldn't go where I wanted. I couldn't spend the money.. so- I didn't have it, [laughs] or I- or I didn't- there wasn't, there to spend it. And- and, basically what it was, was just like a- a spiritual green beret. Where He just worked me over for two - solid - years. Gettin' used to monotany. [laughs] Not so much what I did, but what I didn’t do. Learning – how – to – be- content! To have bible studies! And nothing else. That’s about all I could do. And to read the word, to pray. I was doing it before, but I was WASTING a lot of my time.
Young men and women, I wanna tell you, if you could capture the thousands of wasted hours in your life – and the money, the hundreds, the thousands of dollars – over the years. And God took me, and so finally.. in Vietnam – I said, “Oh God, you’re not going to send me to Vietnam” – He sent me to Vietnam.. so that I didn’t think even my psychical body could do what I was doing. Working seven hours a day, having all night guard duty at nights. And having only a few hours of sleep at night, and a few.. hours here and then..
I was averaging 12 bible studies a week. With men all over – we’re seeing people saved. And I just didn’t think my human body could do what it was- God was doing in me- and putting me through- and God, the lesson there he taught me was.. alright, you’ve prayed some pretty big prayers.. Jimmy.. [laughter] I gotta.. crank you out like hamburger, cause you got so much grizzle. And He begin to work – the discipline in my life. And regimentation into my life. I didn’t have the upringing of John Wesley, where his mother – I mean, I tell you.. he- you read their lives, and most of you have not.
Though my parents were very good, most of us are lazy, are undisciplined, we think regimentation is legalism and not freedom.. and it’s a waste of time.. for the kingdom of God. And God began to show me.. how to itemize.. hours.. minutes.. moments. Day in, day out, every day, 365 days of the year for two solid years. And God had worked me over. And the process of him working me over, he begin to raise up men.
We were preaching, I remember in Vietnam, what a joy it was. Busloads would come in – and fly em’ in and – before they go out in the fields, and different places. I was in- ah, Saigon a lot of the ti- most of the time- all the time ah- most of the time anyhow – all the time basically, except when I went out once in a while, God – many officers, even high up officers, couldn’t get motorbikes, and I had a – studies with guys, and I would – needed to get out to – and God provided me with a motorbike so I could get out, and get back, because of my schedule, if I couldn’t race out there quick, I wouldn’t have been able to of ever gotten with them.
And travel out, and travel back, and I don’t have time to share all the experiences I went through over there. But God did unbelievable things, to my life, in that time, and – remember one time sending a tape to a brother, started circulating all over Colorado, and I never realized it until years later. And I was with another brother and sharing, and I’d send tapes back to some of the churches that we had started and – brothers.. and challenging them to go on, and- and I couldn’t figure out, and- why they were so effected, and this one tape, and- and this brother and I, we didn’t think it was all that spiritual, what we were saying on it particularly, but we thought, “Well.. that’s kind of encouraging..” and..
We got back and heard it, and what was going on.. there was bombs going off, and [laughs] gunfire, and.. [laughs] and we were just sitting there singing to the Lord and sharing promises that God had given us and [laughter] we- but I was going over in the airplane, I didn’t know.. I was gonna return alive again. I didn’t know what God had in mind, or I thought, you know, how God- maybe he’s gonna put me in a PLO camp so he can- use me as some, you know, frizzled PLO guy going around looking like a zombie sharing my testimony to affect a lot of people, I didn’t know [laughter] I was ready – frankly, I thought that was probably what was gonna happen [laughs], but, ah.. Cause I knew God had his hand in my life.
Plane To Vietnam Story
But God gave me the verse in Peter before I went. I had two incidences, I can only remember one right now. As I was being shipped out, for my leave, before I went over to Vietnam.. plane.. I was, I had three hours to catch this plane, that was only 15 minutes from where I was, and I needed to have about 30 minutes to process some papers. And it was.. freaky.. it was ridiculous.. we weren’t able to get it done, we’d- we- general or colonel or whoever they were that we needed to get where they were – their office, they would be here and they would be there, and I had my own driver and my little jeep but- for- the.. where was this.. Fort Polk, and we were going around and racing as the time got closer, and it was an hour, half-hour, and I had em’ all signed but one, and told my driver, I said, “Go faster – punch it, it’s my time now,” ya know, and– that’s what they say in the army when you go on your leave – you’re on my time, and so we were going around.
We couldn’t figure it out, and finally, just, we got the last one, the last minute, and – and uh, we raced to the, ah, the airport, and we got into this little airport there at Fort Polk, and I had my bag, and I ran in, and I saw the plane taxi-ing out – was a little teeny airport, and I thought he might even turn it around, I was toggling the guy, I said, “Look, [laugh] I’m going to Vietnam – my leave – STOP THE PLANE! It’s right there, STOP IT!” You know, I thought, I was about ready to run out. He wouldn’t let me do it, it was right there – little teeny airport – little teeny.. thing.. and [laughs] little teeny plane, and he wouldn’t stop it. And I was heartsick, and I went over and laid down as I- as this guy there – and me – we were the only ones in this little room there, and I just – you know – the next plane didn’t go out until that evening.. And I just, was gonna take a nap. Didn’t have anything else to do, and..
God had to work in my heart, just little things. Will I thank God? Is God sovern in my life? Later that night I got up and the plane – we were flying out – it’s was a little, kind of milk run, and the.. stewardess, I overheard them in the back, they said the plane that went out at three that afternoon had- had some engine trouble or something, and blown up, and killed everybody. That was the plane that I was supposed to catch that I never couch catch. And as I sat there, I was spell bound. I was petrified. And I saw how I had tried to catch that- I had tried so hard! And God wouldn’t let me for the life of it, you know, like the prophet with the mule, you know – that guy thought he was the mule, he wouldn’t let me get that plane. God wouldn’t let me.
There was another incident, just, similar to that. And God just, I began to see, well- God, if I can’t kill myself, [laughter] how can some Vietnamese kill me? Some Northern Vietnamese. And God showed me that verse in Peter where he has all authority, over all principalities, rulers, and authority. And everything is subject to it, and over all power, and I thought, “Well a bullet, that has a lot of power.” And he has authority over all power. And indeed, we are impregnable, indestrucable, if we’re walking in the will of God. So while gunfire was going off, and bombs, we were singing, and sharing testimonies and the tape and – never phased us.
And in fact, every day, that would- that happened. Have to go to bed every night – the ground would shake often from bombs, and I’d see, well the helichopters – men, this is very common with, everyone that was over there, would’ve probably had these experiences, fire – there, there- the helicopters they’d have every fifth, or seventh, sixth bullet, would be a tracer bullet, and it’d be just like dragons that you’d be, describing, in the Book of Revelation, and, out of the sky – especially at night – and, it’d just be uh- streams of fire goin- way high in the sky and going down. Jus- just all over. And I’d go to bed, looking at that at night. And the bed, er, the, where I was sleeping, shaking.
And I forgot, who it was – Hudson Taylor or – one of em’ who said he’d like to stamp all of his disciples on their eyeballs, and he’d like to stamp eternity. And that’s what I had stamped in my eyeballs. Every night. Eternity. Every night, eternity. Every night, eternity. As I saw the futility – the absolute absurdity – of what the world, and my friends, and even, what I had lived for. I saw, this is plum ridiculous, it’s gonna be all over soon! And every night I saw eternity. And I’d go to bed, every night, that way. And God drilled into me, eternity.
Meeting Dennis Clark
It was during my war- err- army days that I met Dennis Clark. Dennis and I met at Fort Polk, and God – boy, God used him in my life, he’s claimed the same, God gave him a lot of grace.. that’s how God used me.. [laughs] with him.. I could write a whole book just on our relationship at Fort Polk, and what we did. Experiences, and- God just knit our hearts together. And just made us like one man, and we used to go out and – we’d share and we’d witness together, we’d do things together, and fellowship, and God bonded our hearts together. And we would share, it, late at night in the Word, and what God wanted to do.
I’d share with Dennis what had been going on in Colorado and the vision we had in going to other – outside of the state – and some of the works, in other states. One of five works was in a- another state, and how God wanted to reach other states in the United States. And, what he’d already been, doing, and what he was gonna do. And Dennis was, so excited, we’re but- like a bunch of little kids, ya know? Dreamers.
We shared, we saw some people saved there. We took em’ out to those alligator invested pools [laughter] I always wondered why Da- Dennis was glad ta, let me do the baptizing. [laughter] It always concerned me, but I always had courage cause I knew I wasn’t the one that had to go under. [laughter] I don’t know anything about it, maybe there was nothing to worry about, but I had never seen one of those things in my life. I didn’t have any idea their- how they operated. [laughter]
And, uh, and I re- when I was walking out, I never will forget the first time, Dennis, you remember this brother, and uh, I can’t remember how many times we were together and bapitisin’, but.. You remember that Dennis? Going to those alligator ponds, and – there was Dennis, we had a great congregation of one. [laughter] And.. uh, and uh.. one of our converts, we’d take him out .. in the father the son and the Holy Spirit, boy I tell ya. I pray they had to be saved, cause, when I put him under.. [laughter] I didn’t know if his head would be on when I brought him back. [laughs] And usually when you walk into those things, and your feet sink through the mud, you know, that bothers ya.. But when my feet didn’t sink is when it bothered me.. [laughter]
And my, ah, I was an assistant to a captain who was a chaplain there.. in Fort Polk, and he- when you’d go to Vietnam, if you’re a chaplin, your safety really depends on your assistant, because they’re the ones that carry a rifle, and really you’re- they’re safety, totally relates to their assistant. There’s it not really that important how mu- well he types, even though I learned to type real quick to be an assistant. Learned how to direct music, all sorts of things. Dennis had the prettiest choir, I had the biggest choir, and together we had a ball. [laughter]
And, uh, we really.. used em’ to get guys out, and give em’ cake and- witness to em’ and sing a little bit, to, make it part of the program.. And, uh, but, uh, he [the chaplain] wanted me to go to Vietnam, so he secretly got my orders to be changed to go to Vietnam when he went, and that’s how I ended up going. And uh, though it, though he knew when he heard me baptizing some people, and his- the- the- colonel over all the chaplin had a talk with personally, he said, “I hear one of your little assistants is baptizing people on Fort Polk.” And, uh, [laughs] my chaplin called me in and- he as much threatened me then to – that it- you know, what was- I better either – shape up or I’s gonna be shipped out.
And I remember that was a test too, I might mention. So many ways, God trained us to see, and I started to compromise and was- well – you know, other people can bapitise, I don’t have to- you know, baptise.. [laugh] This is a good job, you know. [laughter] God began to convict me, I begin to see, you know, if I’m not willing to do one verse, where will- when will it come- that the Devil gets the upper hand in the next verse? And even though – and I don’t have to time to explain, for you to understand how much of a test that was – that was a test. And that was a mighty test.
And, going to Vietnam in those days, and, being in the infantry, that wasn’t a safe way to be tested. [laughs] And that- that was basically my fate if he was suggesting, that was when I was early with him. And he’s.. send me out there if I didn’t shape up. But then later he got to likin’ me so much he sent me anyhow, with him. [laughs] But anyhow, that’s how I ended up over there in Vietnam.
And after those two years, God had done a work in my – in my individual life, to, come back. And Dennis and I began to get together. And- and we moved into- finally picked up where we left off in Pueblo, and – in Pueblo, uh, that’s where Mike Keator was. Ah, Dan Gill. Some of you don’t know him, a brother’s, is an elder – and – work in Tucson. I don’t know if he’s here yet or not. And, uh, and some other brothers. Paul Abbot, who’s – I don’t know if he’s here yet or not – I guess he’s coming, I- he probably isn’t here yet, wasn’t here this morning yet. And some other men that God began to raise up.
These were guys that met in class, and today are elders and leading- and other churches and other works and- we were already going, and it was exciting what God had been doing and- we were- out of the army, and it- God had raised up, we saw a little church raise up, and.. one of the places where we were at, and different men there, and- begin to have a list all over. In fact, Vietnam, I was in my office, I was able to use their copy machine and, guys would come in and – they’d come to know the Lord and be sent out in the field and we’d- mimeographed letters, weekly or monthly – letters going out all over Vietnam to these new guys – and the stories were so challenging as some, that just, some that passed away.. in those days – and got saved, it just – months before they were shot and killed. And, I’ll see again in heaven..
And God had done a work, and now we were in Pueblo and- we were praying.. for God to work there.. and those were exciting days, with those brothers that raised up, and Dennis, when he got out of the army, he finally – God put him together- us back together, and we started moving together. And reaching out.
Meeting Herschel Martindale
It was about that time that, ah, Herschel, down in Texas, and God was working in Herschel’s life, and- and uh- we – spoke at a camp together, and I didn’t – uh – I- I didn’t really had never talked to Herschel that I recall of. I don’t remember if we’d ever, maybe we had met or what, but I .. um.. I didn’t recall and I thought, “Boy, this is really an honor to be here, uh, just to be able to speak there at this camp." I was kind of a little kid, and I was amazed they asked me, and- and that I’d be there with Herschel, and Herschel was sharing and- too- and I was sharing and- and uh..
And I remember in the bus, it was a little ski camp, and I was praying about whether to be with the students, or sit down next to Herschel. And, uh, and ordinarily – and I was really feeling, “I need to get with these students in this bus” – but I said, God just really led me to just – to spend that whole time going up. In the, in the bus, to sit there with Herschel and, what, oridinarily I would never have done was to neglect all these students, and- and we were supposed to be ministering to the students- and I- God just said, “You sit there” and I sat down and I began to open up to Herschel what we’d been doing, in Greeley and- and Pueblo. And, some of the other works that God had raised up, and- and just shared my heart with him, and, shared what little I- I knew. And God, I did- knew a little bit of it then - I didn’t know all of it then – but God had done some work in Herschel’s heart, previously, and – I was shocked at how wide open he was.. for what we were doing, and – and uh, and Herschel at that time, and we begin to be knit, and- and, uh..
The "Blitz" (1970)
And after Herschel there was other brothers that God began to lead us together, and ones that we saw saved, and started reaching out together, and that summer we went – what was called "The Blitz" – some of you have maybe heard, and Dennis and Mike Keator and – there’s a bunch from Pueblo – Paul Abbot, he was still – he was a big Baptist sunday school leader, and he had planned just to go with us to learn some things to help his church back home, and- and uh, never went back home. [laughs] And, uh, I didn’t know that, I- I didn’t know what his motive was, and – wasn’t my motive, not to have him go back, particularly – but, uh, and he- so we went out that summer and – and uh, we were gonna go to a bunch of states and start more churches, and – I’d been involved for a number of years in Colorado, and now we were really reaching out of the state of Colorado. And, uh, going to other states.
And we went into New Mexico – we went in first to Arizona and started a little work there, in Tucson, that’s there today, as I mentioned, Dan Gills. Uh- one that’s there uh- now and- and, uh, and God is blessed, and seeing some saved there and there’s thrilling stories just with- what it- God has done there. Albuquerque, some – Phil – and some of the brothers that are here.
We were up in, Albuquerque, and the Lord, started a little handful of one’s there – and – we left a few behind, remember dropping them off in the bus and seeing them go, they didn’t know where they were gonna stay or anything, you know, it was- quite the crash program with us those days. [laughs] Tears in our eyes, seeing the young brothers as we drove away. They didn’t have any house, they didn’t have any money. [laughter] We didn’t have any to give em’. [laughter] We had enough for a meal or two, and.. had a few people that had gotten saved, and we were gonna huddle together and somehow they survived, and the little fledgling work went through a lot, but ‘s still there today and growing, and- God has blessed - and, then down into.. down into Texas, and Houston, and, uh, and worked, a bunch of us that were together there, and God began to raise up a work there in- in Houston.
And that summer tho- there was basically three works that God raised up. All are, going on, and are multiplied, and men have multiplied, lives have grown, and- we made a lot of mistakes. We [laughs] we did so many things wrong, in fact it’s easier to figure out what to do by doing what we didn’t do. But we did some things right. And it’s interesting with God, if you- if you have a heart for God, he’s always more interested than that- than your theologial accuracy. And boy I believe in being theologically accurate. But the good test of theological accuracy is the test of love. It’s the test of compassion, for the lost. The goal of all my instruction, Paul said, if you’ve got the point of my instruction, the goal of it - the aim of it – is love! That of a pure heart and a good conscience and a genuine faith. More love. You’re theologically accurate if you love more. You’re theologically in error if you love less. Aim of all my instruction, Paul said by revelation of God, the aim of all my instruction, the goal of all is love – or the pure heart, good conscience, genuine faith.
And oh, I remember the first conference we had. Some of the brothers in Houston and Alberquere, and Tuscon, and- few of the other works – New Mexico and Colorado, that had been raised up.. and, a lot of em’ came in, Kansas City.. We had 150 in the whole United States. And I, remember, it was just the first glimpse of seeing- I’d seen it in faith. But it was the first glimpse of seeing what Paul did. And I remember when the handful of us were there. And I saw it, God just hit my heart, and- had a little.. stand there.. and I just started weeping, and I couldn’t even talk.
And- I remember I just, I didn’t wanna see anybody. And that- I was supposed to speak, and I just started weeping, and I couldn’t stop, and.. I remember I just fell down on my knees behind this little podium, where no one could see me. They knew what was going on, and I just couldn’t talk, and I wept, and I wept, and I wept. And we all wept, I think. And I remember our little theme song, we didn’t call it that – it just was. But Dennis started playing, “Jesus, I am resting, I am resting.” And though we were in our early twenties, err- mid twenties, for some, it varied – we were in our twenties, and God.. it seemed like we’d already lived a life, or two or three or four.
I saw these little fledgling churches, hundred and fifty of us, and we were knit.. together. And that was a miracle. It was one thing to have a miracle of a – of a local fellowship – but I’ve never seen a miracle of churches being united. Where all 150 wanted to reach the world with the Gospel. Not only the leaders, but all of the believers. Every – last – one of them. I was sharing with a dear brother in another, church, another fellowship.. one of the conferences.. I forgot, there was several hundred that were added a while back, and it was so excited in this one in particular setting because, I think there was, five or six or seven people that gave their hearts to wanna really go all the way for Christ, and – I’s just to get through to him the difference of what God wanted, and I just didn’t know how to do it.
And I finally shared with this brother, I said, “Brother, let me just share, if I can humbly, th- what I’m talking about..” And we asked, ones that wanted to go to the ends of the utter most parts of the Earth.. “How many are ready to go, now?” and.. he knew there was about.. think there was about 300 at this little conference, and I said, I didn’t know of one person that wasn’t planning to go with us to the ends of the Earth at that conference, with those few churches that were together. He said, “Would you explain that again?” He couldn’t believe it.
And what excited me, though it was small and it was little and it was weak and it had all the problems – there was a little bit of a testimony, of a church.. [laughs] most wouldn’t have called them churches, most people never knew we were churches – of a group of people where the whole congregation thought they were to be a part of the army and work and movement of God. And not a handful to go on some staff. And that was revolutionary. And that night, in Kansas City, I.. couldn’t stop weeping that was the beginning. Let’s pray. God, we thank you.. for beginnings.
[end of tape]
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