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Murriel and Police Action — part 11 in a series glancing back

July 18, 2017

Lots of great teachers have lined my path, offering ideas and help and encouragement. I hope you’re enjoying meeting some of them here this month.

One is a man with the first name Murriel. It’s a family name with a rich history, and it’s pronounced “Merle.”

Now Murriel is a friend and colleague, but when I first met him he seemed intimidating beyond compare. He was one of our pastoral superstars. He knew things I could only guess at as a first-time pastor, and I usually guessed wrong.

Many times after an evening meeting at the Conference Office had run past 10pm, with me still looking at a two hour drive home, he walked me to my car. Asked me how things were going. Told me stories.

With just the two of us left on the parking lot, he told me things he’d found true. Things that worked. And ways to live into what an old song says so well:

Trust and obey,
for there’s no other way,
to be happy in Jesus,
but to trust and obey.

And sometimes Murriel offered me advice, like this: “Let the people of the church police their own.”

Looking back over my four decades in ministry,  he was right.

Way more often than not, healthy churches are already doing what Murriel said: “Let the people of the church police their own.”

As another friend from a different tradition loves to ask in a loud, sometimes rough voice, “Are ya listenin’ Church, are ya listenin’?

“Or not?”

Glad I listened to people like Murriel.



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