Dad and meFather’s Day was a couple of days ago. While I was blessed with a wonderful father, I also found myself thinking of a few other men who were almost like second dads to me. As I thought of these different men, each of them had one particular quality that dominated my thoughts; and that characteristic became a life lesson for me. Here are those five lessons from my five dads:

  • Be committed (Leon Cavitt) – One of my very best friends in my teens and twenties was Danny Cavitt. It wasn’t unusual for Danny and I to come rolling in around 5:00 or 6:00 AM… to go to bed. While we might have slipped in unnoticed in many houses, there was a 100% chance that Danny’s dad, Leon, would be up. Not only would he be awake, but there was only one place you would find him. Every single morning, Leon got up at 5:00, got his Bible, and sat down in his recliner to read and pray. It didn’t matter, either, that many of those early mornings when we drug in at sunup were Saturdays, when he didn’t have to work. His devotional time was an appointment he never missed. I never heard Leon preach a sermon, teach a lesson, or even quote a scripture to us; but the single most indelible memory I have of him is seeing him through my blurry, blood-shot eyes sitting quietly in his chair reading God’s word. What commitment!
  • Major in hospitality (Bill King) – My very first friend was my neighbor, Scott King. One of the really cool perks of our friendship was that his dad owned a motel on Lookout Mountain. On many Friday evenings, he would take Scott and I up to the motel on the mountain and give us a motel room for the evening so that we could climb around the rocks and do all the things you might imagine two 10 or 12-year-old boys would think of with a hotel room at their disposal. Scott’s dad was a high-ranking bank executive, who had lots of irons in the fire between his job at the bank and owning two motels. Here is what I remember most about Mr. King, though: every Friday, he would take the two of us to a restaurant called The Albert Pick (which had the most amazing bread ever!). Then, on Saturday morning, Mr. King would make biscuits and gravy for us. I am sure there were a million things he needed to do more than have dinner with two preteen boys and cook us breakfast, but he never made me feel like I was an imposition. Instead, he always made me feel welcome. I am sure Bill accomplished lots of great things in his life, but I remember him most for making me feel welcome and important – like another of his sons.
  • God answers prayer (Bob Blazier) – When I was just starting school, our church got a new pastor named Bob Blazier. His son, Bobby, and I became almost instant buddies (I say “almost instant” because the first time Bobby came over to my house it earned me a spanking – but I’m not still bitter!). At any rate, Bobby and I are still best friends and his parents are still my second parents. Bobby’s dad was from the country, and you could tell it in his speech. He occasionally made up words during his sermons, and he had not had the opportunity to pursue the advanced degrees that many ministers receive. The puzzling thing to many people was how in the world Bob, with some of his seeming limitations, could be such a terrific preacher. He was (and still is) one of my very favorite teachers and preachers. While others may have been puzzled, I knew his secret. You see, Bobby and I would often run and play around the church during the week or on Saturdays when it seemed to be deserted. However, many times there would be a sound coming out of one of the Sunday School rooms. It was the sound of Bobby’s dad praying. He would go into the classroom, close the door behind him, and spend hours crying out to God. Therefore, every brilliant Sunday sermon was a life lesson in Paul’s declaration that “I can do all things through Christ, Who strengthens me.”
  • Live life with a chuckle (My uncle Richard) – When I was in school, I used to ride the bus to my aunt and uncle’s house in the afternoons until my mom got off from work to pick me up. Beth and Richard had five kids of their own, which meant there was usually lots of noise and chaos, fussing and fighting, running and jumping, doors left open, and sounds of things crashing to the ground. Add to that the unique form of disruption and destruction that I brought and it was a scene that could have made Mother Theresa try out a new vocabulary! My uncle Richard had this amazing ability to take it all in stride. He could disarm the most stressful situation, whether it was teenage daughter angst and hormones, or his son and I playing tackle football in the living room, with humor and an easy-going attitude. When I sort through all my memories of Richard (or Papa, as we called him), he seems to have a sort of a bemused smile on his face in every situation. How great would life be if a lot of us took ourselves a little less seriously?
  • Integrity matters most (my dad) – I have always known my dad loves me and would give his life for me. That being said, when I was young I used to kind of wish he were a little different. Some of my friends had cooler dads. Others had richer dads. Still others had Santa Claus for a dad. My dad wore socks with shorts and sandals… colored dress socks. He had a pocket protector and one of those retractable key rings on his belt. He wasn’t particularly athletic and didn’t care all that much for sports or hunting, fishing, camping, etc… As I got older, though, I began to realize that my dad gave me the greatest gift any dad could give: he gave me a good name. I have never once in my entire life had to pause when someone asks me if I am Donald Lance’s boy and wonder why they are asking. Someone could tell me my dad was rude to them, and I might believe them. Another person could say that he was kind of distant or cold to them and I would probably buy it. However, if anyone told me that my dad lied to them, I would double over in laughter. My dad goes beyond the category of honesty into the brutally honest, “I don’t believe I would have said that” category of truth-telling. One of my sisters once suggested that he mark something on a medical form about having the privacy laws explained to him, just to expedite the process and he looked at her like she was a Martian who had just entered the waiting room. The mere concept that he would mark something that wasn’t true seemed absolutely alien to him. Therefore, it was no surprise that when I sold he and mom a car, the bank to whom we submitted their credit information called the dealership right back and asked, “how many would they like to buy?” There is no greater gift he could have given me than a reputation that is above reproach (what I have done since then to sully it is a subject for a different blog…). To this day, my dad lays his head on his pillow every night knowing he has nothing in his past from which to hide. What an amazing legacy.

Five great fathers in my life; five great life lessons! How blessed I am this Father’s Day.

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A Different Type of Courage

Posted: March 8, 2017 in Inspirational

A few days ago, I had the privilege of singing in the funeral of a lady I have known all of my life. For me, Mary Lee was a bit of an acquired taste. As a boy, I sometimes didn’t know how to take her personality. I always loved and admired her husband, Gilbert, who was a hero to me. He had been an Army Ranger, and not just any Ranger, but one of the most famous group of US Rangers in all of history. He was one of the men who had climbed the ropes up the cliffs of Pointe du Hoc on D-Day in 1944. Gilbert’s great courage was clear and unquestioned by anyone who knew his story; however, Mary Lee possessed a different kind of courage that wasn’t as readily apparent. While it takes great courage to leave behind the familiar and strike out into the unknown, I have come to realize it also takes tremendous courage to be the one who stays behind.

While Gilbert sailed across an ocean to face the enemy of our country, Mary Lee stayed behind waiting, wondering, and praying. I can’t imagine what it must have been like for a young bride as the first reports of the bloodbath at Normandy began to come in; yet Mary Lee waited, wondered, and prayed. As the moments became hours and she didn’t know if Gilbert was alive or dead, she waited, wondered, and prayed. When the news reached her that her husband had been seriously wounded and she was half a world away, she still waited, wondered, and prayed. Through the months of Gilbert’s physical recovery, Mary Lee stayed by his side. Through the years of emotional and mental struggles to put the past behind him, Mary Lee stayed right beside him. My memories of Mary Lee begin a little later, but they begin with my earliest recollection of going to church. Mary Lee was a charter member of my home church, which began in 1949. The very first church service I ever remember as a child, Mary Lee was there. When I left my home church to become a pastor, 47 years later, she was at the last service I attended. Hundreds of people had come and gone from my church over those 47 years, but not Mary Lee. When she passed away, at 94 years of age, she was still a member of that same church. She had been through a dozen pastoral changes, numerous style changes, and lots of changing faces; yet, still, Mary Lee stayed. She complained sometimes (well, actually, fairly often) when things weren’t done in the way she preferred; yet, she stayed. As a pastor now, myself, I have learned to appreciate people who might not like everything you do, but they stay by your side. That is an increasingly rare trait. Most of Mary Lee’s friends moved on at one time or another. That didn’t make them bad people, just different from her. I am part of a generation who changes jobs often and changes churches, spouses, and locations quite often, too. Again, this doesn’t necessarily make us bad people, but it does make you notice someone with the courage to stand still through all of the change going on around her… to dig in her heels and stay through the good and bad times.

Styles of worship and music changed at our church; still, Mary Lee stayed. Her husband passed away a few years ago; Mary Lee stayed. She was one of three sisters, who remained close through the years. In fact, after all of their husbands had passed on, they were like the three musketeers sitting together in church and riding together wherever they went. Both her sisters passed; still, Mary Lee stayed behind. While facing death certainly requires courage, so does remaining behind and putting the pieces of life back together without those we love. Through the war, through the many changes of life, through the loss of most all of her generation, Mary Lee waited, wondered, and prayed. However, last Wednesday, her waiting ended. Last Wednesday, her wondering became certainty, and her praying became face-to-face conversation with her Savior.

The single, most defining memory I have of Mary Lee is the sound of her laugh; and last Friday, as I sat in her memorial service, I just imagined heaven was filled with the sound of her laughter. She was laughing at how old many of us had gotten, since she was no longer old. She might have also laughed at how sad some of us looked for her, when she was happier than she had ever been; and she was laughing thinking about how much she looked forward to telling us all “I told you so,” (and you know she would love that) for she had been right: right about everything – Jesus was Who she thought He was. God could be trusted, and good things certainly come to those who wait… those who have the courage to stay.

ReWiring Church

Posted: January 4, 2017 in Inspirational

Market wallpapersHey guys, this is a call for help! When you remodel an old house, or renovate an older building, you often have to do some rewiring to bring everything up to current building codes. At True Life, we think it might be time to do a little rewiring on the church. Actually, our building is quite new, so that isn’t the issue. It is the approach to, and perception of, church that might need a little updating. Let me tell you why I say this. A recent survey told me that over 90% of Americans believe in God or some sort of superior universal being. In addition, over 75% of Americans believe in the same God that I do. Here is the problem: less than 20% of Americans go to church (in my hometown of Chattanooga, the number is about 18%). Let that register for a second… 9 out of 10 Americans believe there is a God, but less than 2 in 10 think church would be a good place to learn more about Him, or to get better acquainted with Him! Is it possible that, just like codes for wiring in buildings need to be updated fairly often to keep up with new innovations, so do our approaches to this thing called church?

This is where I need your help: I started a new series called ReWiring Church this past Sunday. My goal is for it to be a very interactive dialog (not monologue) about how we approach this thing called church. We need as many different viewpoints as possible. If only members of True Life respond, then we will hear a lot of similar viewpoints based on shared experiences. I would love to hear from people who are parts of other churches; and it would be especially helpful to hear from the 82% of people who don’t attend church! I want to hear things like:

  • What do you love about church?
  • What do you wish was different?
  • If you attend church, why do you attend?
  • If you don’t attend church, why not; and what would make you want to try it?
  • What is something you wish just one church was radical enough to try?
  • What role should the church play in the community around it?

This past Sunday was the first message in the series. It was entitled ReFocus, and in it, I asked two questions:

  1. What is a church?
  2. What is the primary mission of the church?

You can watch it on our True Life mobile app. Just download true life church – ga from the app store and look under the messages tab. It is free. It should also be posted shortly on our website: http://www.thetruelife.org. It was simply a starting place for our conversation, but it was a good chance to refocus on exactly what Jesus had in mind when He established this thing called the church. In each of the upcoming weeks, I am going to incorporate some of your comments and emails I received.  Here’s how you can get in the conversation:

  • Email your questions or ideas to rewiringchurch@gmail.com
  • Go to the Rewiring Church Facebook page
  • Comment on the blog site or on Facebook
  • Tweet me at @dlance10

Please jump into the conversation. We might just be the one church crazy enough to try your idea! Thank you in advance, Danny

How to Move a Mountain

Posted: February 11, 2016 in Inspirational

MountainIn Mark 11:23, Jesus said, “I assure you: If anyone says to this mountain, ‘Be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him.” To be honest, that verse has troubled me for a long time. The mental image I get from Jesus’ statement is that of a huge mountain being suddenly lifted up and thrown into the sea; but never – not once in my life have I seen that happen. In reality, I can’t even find one example of a mountain going swimming in the entire Bible (with the possible exception of the flood, where God brought the sea to the mountain instead of vice versa). Was this just a figure of speech from Jesus? Possibly. A parable? Perhaps. Still, that poses a problem for me: If Jesus said I could move mountains, but He was just using that as an exaggerated figure of speech, how do I know which of my problems fits into Jesus’ category of mountain? The actual problem lay in my interpretation.

 

Let me illustrate with a story: About a year ago my wife was looking through some boxes in one of our upstairs closets. She came across an old prayer list of mine. I had written it in the year 2000. That had been a year of many changes and lots of uncertainty. I changed careers, changed houses, had only recently married, and spent half of the year unemployed. During that period I had begun to use a prayer list on an everyday basis. Over the next couple of years I prayed with that list nearly every day. There was one entire page of personal requests and another page of prayer topics related to my church and its ministry. Sometime during the next few years we moved to another house and this list got packed away into the box. As I read through the list, fifteen years later, I was stunned. Every item on both pages had been answered by the Lord! Some of them would only qualify as hills or ridges; others were full-blown mountain ranges. Some of them sounded really noble and spiritual (i.e. discipleship and ministry goals) while others sounded trivial or even slightly selfish (like asking for opportunities to work with certain people in the music industry, or wanting to break par with some regularity). The thing is: God answered them all! Let me go back to Jesus’ statement and read you the very next thing He says:

I assure you: If anyone says to this mountain, ‘Be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him.Therefore I tell you, all the things you pray and ask for – believe that you have received them, and you will have them. (Mark 11:23,24  HCSB – emphasis mine)  

 

I assumed mountain moving was one dramatic, gigantic event. In reality, I realized that most mountains are moved one shovelful at a time. There is this beautiful picture in the book of Revelation of God sitting on His throne and in front of Him is a bowl, which is full of the prayers of the saints. There is a cumulative effect of praying. This is what I had missed. While a mountain being picked up and tossed into the sea might be more impressive, the mountain that is moved by shovels and front-end loaders is just as gone.

I began to look at my latest list, which I have been using for about 3 years now. I highlighted the mountains that were completely moved in green and the mountains that were showing signs of progress in yellow. I’ll be honest; there are a lot of requests that don’t fit either category. It is that way with mountain-moving. I don’t imagine the first hundred shovelfuls would even be noticeable if I started trying to move Lookout Mountain (the fact that I might get arrested would also impede my progress). The fact is that eventually even a great mountain could be moved one shovelful at a time. Thankfully, the time frame isn’t quite that long. First of all, every problem isn’t an Alp; and secondly, there comes a tipping point where God sees that you have cleared enough space for Him to bring in the heavy machinery and finish the job.

That great twentieth century philosopher Tom Petty put it this way:

“The waiting is the hardest part

Every day you see one more card

You take it on faith; you take it to the heart

The waiting is the hardest part”

 

I have to agree with him, but it sure helps to picture each prayer I pray as one more shovelful off of that mountain, as well as one more prayer in that bowl in front of God’s throne.

Here are three pieces of advice from one mountain-mover to another:

  1. Pray with a list – It helps with our focus, as well as the cumulative effect.
  2. Use a Journal – Record each small bit of progress in the various situations. It helps bolster our faith.
  3. Keep diggin’ – When you feel hopeless, helpless, and joyless, just pull out your list and stick that shovel in the ground one more time.

 

So, how do you move a mountain? One shovelful at a time.

How to Move a Mountain

Posted: February 11, 2016 in Inspirational

MountainIn Mark 11:23, Jesus said, “I assure you: If anyone says to this mountain, ‘Be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him.” To be honest, that verse has troubled me for a long time. The mental image I get from Jesus’ statement is that of a huge mountain being suddenly lifted up and thrown into the sea; but never – not once in my life have I seen that happen. In reality, I can’t even find one example of a mountain going swimming in the entire Bible (with the possible exception of the flood, where God brought the sea to the mountain instead of vice versa). Was this just a figure of speech from Jesus? Possibly. A parable? Perhaps. Still, that poses a problem for me: If Jesus said I could move mountains, but He was just using that as an exaggerated figure of speech, how do I know which of my problems fits into Jesus’ category of mountain? The actual problem lay in my interpretation.

Let me illustrate with a story: About a year ago my wife was looking through some boxes in one of our upstairs closets. She came across an old prayer list of mine. I had written it in the year 2000. That had been a year of many changes and lots of uncertainty. I changed careers, changed houses, had only recently married, and spent half of the year unemployed. During that period I had begun to use a prayer list on an everyday basis. Over the next couple of years I prayed with that list nearly every day. There was one entire page of personal requests and another page of prayer topics related to my church and its ministry. Sometime during the next few years we moved to another house and this list got packed away into the box. As I read through the list, fifteen years later, I was stunned. Every item on both pages had been answered by the Lord! Some of them would only qualify as hills or ridges; others were full-blown mountain ranges. Some of them sounded really noble and spiritual (i.e. discipleship and ministry goals) while others sounded trivial or even slightly selfish (like asking for opportunities to work with certain people in the music industry, or wanting to break par with some regularity). The thing is: God answered them all! Let me go back to Jesus’ statement and read you the very next thing He says: I assure you: If anyone says to this mountain, ‘Be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him.Therefore I tell you, all the things you pray and ask for – believe that you have received them, and you will have them. (Mark 11:23,24  HCSB – emphasis mine)  

I assumed mountain moving was one dramatic, gigantic event. In reality, I realized that most mountains are moved one shovelful at a time. There is this beautiful picture in the book of Revelation of God sitting on His throne and in front of Him is a bowl, which is full of the prayers of the saints. There is a cumulative effect of praying. This is what I had missed. While a mountain being picked up and tossed into the sea might be more impressive, the mountain that is moved by shovels and front-end loaders is just as gone.

I began to look at my latest list, which I have been using for about 3 years now. I highlighted the mountains that were completely moved in green and the mountains that were showing signs of progress in yellow. I’ll be honest; there are a lot of requests that don’t fit either category. It is that way with mountain-moving. I don’t imagine the first hundred shovelfuls would even be noticeable if I started trying to move Lookout Mountain (the fact that I might get arrested would also impede my progress). The fact is that eventually even a great mountain could be moved one shovelful at a time. Thankfully, the time frame isn’t quite that long. First of all, every problem isn’t an Alp; and secondly, there comes a tipping point where God sees that you have cleared enough space for Him to bring in the heavy machinery and finish the job.

That great twentieth century philosopher Tom Petty put it this way:

“The waiting is the hardest part

Every day you see one more card

You take it on faith; you take it to the heart

The waiting is the hardest part”

 I have to agree with him, but it sure helps to picture each prayer I pray as one more shovelful off of that mountain, as well as one more prayer in that bowl in front of God’s throne.

Here are three pieces of advice from one mountain-mover to another:

  1. Pray with a list – It helps with your focus, as well as the cumulative effect.
  2. Use a Journal – Record each small bit of progress in the various situations. It helps bolster your faith.
  3. Keep diggin’ – When you feel hopeless, helpless, and joyless, just pull out your list and stick that shovel in the ground one more time.

So, how do you move a mountain? One shovelful at a time.

Time for a Better News Outlet?

Posted: December 30, 2015 in Inspirational

I was in a fast food restaurant today and a young man who looked to be around 20 years old was cleaning the dining room. He looked over to me and said, “It’s almost New Year’s.” I grunted my agreement with my mouth full. He then said, “Maybe 2016 will be a better year.” “What made your year so bad,” I asked (thinking, how bad can things have really been for a 20 year old?). He said, “Nothing really, I just heard a lady talking about all the bad things that happened this year and saying that she hoped next year would be better.” I began to think about some of the horrible things that happened in the past twelve months. There have been terrorist attacks (including my own hometown), senseless acts of violence, questionable police tactics, and wars and rebellions around the world. Who knows, this might have been a record setting year of bad news. On the other hand, what about all the good things that happened in 2015? While we have most assuredly compiled accurate statistics about how many lives have been lost to violence, sickness, and starvation, I wonder how many lives have been saved by vigilant doctors and nurses and emergency medical personnel. How many deaths have been avoided by the millions of dollars and man-hours of humanitarian aid and philanthropy? How many children have had their futures redirected because one teacher saw past the problems and recognized the potential? And how many acts of violence have been avoided because of the excellent work of a therapist, pastor, or mentor? Who knows, this might have been a record setting year of good acts!

That’s the rub, isn’t it? We don’t know. While CNN and FNN tell us all the bad news (and MSNBC just rails against life, in general), who is telling the good news? Why isn’t there a GNN… a Good News Network? Think of the stories they could tell 24 hours a day, seven days a week: stories of selflessness and generosity, stories of police and fire personnel who risk their lives to protect others, or stories of people getting onto planes and travelling halfway around the globe to build a shelter or dig a well for the less fortunate.

To be honest, I am not sure we have any more bad things going on today than at any other time in history. Since there are more people on earth than ever before, I suppose it is possible. However, it is also possible that, because we have 24 hour news coverage rather than 2 time slots a day, we report a lot of stories that didn’t make the final cut 20 years ago. If you subscribe to the first theory of population growth being the cause, then the converse would also be true: there would have been more acts of kindness, love, and generosity than at any time in history. We just don’t have anyone telling those amazing stories. You might say that you don’t choose to see the world through “rose-colored glasses;” but why choose welder’s goggles as the alternative? Do we really want the dark and beauty-less perspective with which we are often presented? The Apostle Paul gave us this suggestion:  Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable—if there is any moral excellence and if there is any praise—dwell on these things.” (Phil. 4:8 HCSB) Why not tune in to GNN for a little while? It might change your whole perspective.

Two Men Named Goss

Posted: January 13, 2015 in Inspirational

This past weekend, I lost two long-time friends and mentors with the same last name. I met Charley Goss on the first day of seventh-grade football practice. He was the coach who I thought made us run too much and seemed to always call the name of the biggest guy on the team to come pulverize me in “bull in the ring.” He was also the history teacher who paddled me so often that I joked with his wife that I might stand with my back to his casket so that he would recognize me. I met Lari Goss about 20 years later in a recording studio. He was the big-name producer who made time to talk to no-name me.

On the outside, these two couldn’t have been any more different. Charley was a former state-champion wrestler and a member of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame. He was a big, strong man with a booming voice. Lari was a smaller, quieter guy, who was a Grammy award-winning musician, producer, arranger, and orchestrator.

Inside, though, these men were very much alike. They shared two remarkable traits. First of all, they were both passionate about what they did. Charley loved athletics with all of his heart. He coached football, track, and wrestling. In his spare time, he refereed wrestling and even played on a softball team with me for a summer. Lari loved music every bit as much as Charley loved sports. I was once on a television show with Lari and the interviewer asked him what advice he would give to young musicians who might be watching. He said to love music with everything within you… to be willing to do it anytime, anywhere, and to be willing to do it for no pay. While it would take too long to list all of Lari’s accomplishments, one of the greatest facts about him was that he had done it anytime, anywhere, and often with no pay. For this reason, he had a presence in nearly every field of music. From working in the studio with some of the original members of The Atlanta Rhythm Section to arranging and orchestrating the Grammy Awards Show; from producing the Brooklyn Tabernacle choir to producing custom albums for fledgling artists, Lari touched nearly every genre of music.

The second quality these men shared was the one which impacted my life the most. While they were passionate about their respective fields, they were equally committed to mentoring the next generation. They both recognized potential in young people and did everything they could to help them discover every drop that was in them. I wasn’t a really good athlete, but Charley pushed me to run longer and faster, to try harder in class, and to become my very best. As I got out of school, he smoothly transitioned into a friend and encourager who always had time to talk to me as well as listen. To say that I wouldn’t have accomplished nearly as much in the music field without Lari’s help is an understatement. He was the person who produced, and endorsed the first two songs that I ever had released on a record label. He also cared enough to tell me when songs weren’t good enough. In fact, he turned down 16 of the 18 songs I played for him (some of them in the first 30 seconds), before choosing two for that first recording. The music industry is full of people who owe Lari a debt of gratitude. For example, on the first album I did with Lari, he brought along a college student who was taking his class on orchestration. Lari had recognized his potential and begun to mentor him, so he allowed him to direct the orchestra during our sessions. That young man, who is named Bradley Knight, is now a well-known arranger and orchestrator in his own right.

Ironically, my best friend, who is a Grammy nominated producer and musician, can tell a similar story. He ran track for Coach Goss at East Ridge Junior High, and years later moved to Nashville, where the first person to give him a chance and hire him for a session was… (you guessed it) Lari Goss.

The world is a better place not only for having enjoyed the talents of these two men, but because a generation has come behind them that will do even greater things because of the impact of Lari and Charley. While you would have looked at them and seen opposites, I look at them and see the same face… the face of Jesus. I wonder how many people will pass into heaven in the next few decades and will make a point of looking up Charley or Lari (or both) just to say thank you.