Andy Andrews was finishing his tenure as a member of the Tennessee Baptist Convention Executive Board at the time God was moving me into the position of Executive Director. Andy has loved his church and his Lord and has been an encourager for his pastor. He is the kind of layman who paid the college tuition for “preacher boys” (some of whom now pastor at the TBC’s leading churches). Andy’s son, Scott, has been a friend for nearly 20 years and he and I had the joy of working together on staff at First Baptist Church of Sevierville for nine years. As this Clarity column is going to print, Andy Andrews is under hospice care at his home in Memphis. By the time you read this, it may be that Andy has been made well by the Heavenly Father and is running the streets of gold. As part of a daily devotion written by our staff at Sevierville, Scott wrote in 2008 about the kind of model his Dad was for him. It was a great word about what it means to go the second mile. In order to impact our world and our culture with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, we must recapture that spiritual mindset and discipline. Read, and be blessed…
“Now to him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly (above and beyond) all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us.—Ephesians 3:20
I grew up in a military home with my two younger brothers. My Dad was a Captain in the United States Air Force and we were his troops. The norm was never allowed in anything we did. We had to go above and beyond. All military brats and those that have served our great country are more than familiar with this mantra. Those that did “above and beyond” move up, those that didn’t…didn’t. My Dad taught me that everything I needed to accomplish a task was inside of me. He had equipped me and I did have the wherewithal to see the completion of a task. As a young boy I hated it, but as I grew older (like age ten) I began to see some advantages. My Dad was a Captain and rank had its privileges. Being the oldest son of a Captain turned out to have its share of privileges as well. My favorite phrase became, ‘that’s the Captain’s son.’ Going ‘above and beyond’ began to make perfect sense to me and became a lifestyle. Thanks Dad!
As I matured as a Christian (and I am still in that process) I learned of another son who is able to do exceedingly abundantly, one who died for me and you so that we might possess the power that works in us—the ‘fullness of God’ (Eph. 3:19). Through the death and resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ we have been given the wherewithal to complete the task—our journey as Christians. As Captain Andrews expected no less than perfection from his children, Jesus, God’s son, expects the same from us. Knowing all the while we are not perfect, He has equipped us through the power of His Holy Spirit. Just because we are imperfect, the goal is no less worthy of our best effort. The norm is not allowed. We must, for a lost and dying world, go above and beyond. May people say about you and me, ‘that’s a child of the King!’ ”
It is a joy to be on this journey with “above and beyond” men like Andy Andrews.