Category Archives: Mentoring

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Jim Kilgore: A Hero Goes Home + The Long Wait (by Mike Carlen)

“Here I sit in a hospital room listening to beeps, moans, the hissing of oxygen with a slight gurgle of moisture, and the sound of shallow breathing that you can’t help but be unnerved by. Moaning and yelling from a distant room filters into our consciousness occasionally, disturbing our focus on our loved one. The wait continues. Its 2:13am and another all-nighter awaits… unless that angel named death comes knocking.

“We have been here for 7 days now. Hanging out in waiting rooms, having friends you haven’t seen in quite sometime drop by who wish to express their wishes of love and support and leave snacks, food and gift cards. And the family…gathered together with those you love the most, knowing if nothing is said, its ok.

“Meeting those unknown faces in the ICU waiting room that are waiting and suffering in spirit just as we are, wishing for better days. Their loved ones flat on their back, completely helpless. Unmovable. No, we don’t know all of their names, but we have become comrades in spirit, encouraging each other and wishing for a clean bill of health so we could escape this unlikeliest of hangouts. It’s cold here. Chairs are miserably uncomfortable. It makes me wonder why they make the chairs so miserable. Do they think if they were plush, we wouldn’t want to leave? Like that favorite restaurant that is so pleasing to the palette of the eye, let alone the stomach, you just don’t want to leave this fine establishment because its so pleasant? No, in a heartbeat we would leave. If only we could take our loved one with us.

Read more of this powerful tribute to James Kilgore Sr, and soul-searching reflection on what really matters, via Mike Carlen’s Blog – The Long Wait.

FIRST UPDATE, Wednesday, February 5, 2014:

It is with profound sadness and heavy hearts that we report the passing of our beloved Reverend James L. Kilgore. Brother Kilgore went home to be with the Lord early this morning (February 5). Please be in prayer for the Kilgore family during this difficult time.

James Kilgore, Sr 1926-2014

Brother Kilgore’s son, Pastor Jim Kilgore, wrote the following:

These are the hardest words to write… Our Dad passed away at. 2:25 this morning. We felt it was inevitable following his fall on Sunday, February 2, but hope sees beyond the inevitable and refuses to hear the words, irreversible. We are Kilgores, and miracles are part of our DNA. Over the past few days, our family poured out our love on him with words, songs , the Word, prayer, touch…and finally, we were able to release him! This morning Dad rests in the presence of Jehovah. You, our friends and his, have been magnificent! We love you!

—Jan, Jean, Jim and family.

SECOND UPDATE, Wednesday, February 5, 2014:

Regarding the passing of Reverend James L. Kilgore, beloved long-time pastor, former Texas District Superintendent and former Assistant General Superintendent of the United Pentecostal Church International: Brother Kilgore went home to be with the Lord early this morning, February 5.

Funeral arrangements are as follows:

Family visitation – Friday, February 7 from 5-6:00 p.m.
Public visitation – Friday from 6-8 p.m.
Visitation – Saturday, February 8 from 9-10 a.m.
Funeral – Saturday at 10:00 a.m., with private burial service to follow

The visitation and funeral will be held at Life Church, 9900 Almeda Genoa Rd, Houston, TX 77075. The phone number there is 713-910-1911.

In lieu of flowers, the family has asked donations be sent to Life Church and designated to Ima’s Home for Children.

Please be in prayer for the Kilgore family during this difficult time.

10 Writing Tips from Mark Batterson


Mark Batterson: “I felt called to write when I was 22, but it took 13 years to write my first book. I actually self-published it just to prove to myself that I could write a book. My first published book was In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day. Book #10, All In, will release September 24. I feel as called to write as I do to pastor. For me, writing is an act of obedience. It’s not about how many copies you sell. It’s about writing for an audience of one. I don’t type on my keyboard. I pray on it and worship on it. I also take my shoes off when I write because it’s holy ground. Here are ten lessons learned…” Read more.


Send Them Up the Escalator

BIlly Cole with Doug Joseph
Above: Billy Cole with Doug Joseph on July 27, 2007. Brother Cole is holding the very first proof copy of the book Life and Ministry of Billy and Shirley Cole. The year 2007 was a special one: In spite of his illness and age, Brother Cole was able to come to WV District UPCI Youth Camp and speak. While he was there, the district inducted him into the Esteemed Elders Society. Also, after over three years of work, Brother Joseph was able to present to Brother Cole the very first proof copy of the book The Life and Ministry of Billy and Shirley Cole.

Bishop Billy Cole was always mentoring. Even when an elder serving under him did not yet realize that pastoring was in the future, still the stories and lessons learned from the bishop were good preparation for pastoring. Whether the younger minister knew it yet or not, he was being prepared for his fullest potential.

Many lessons that I learned from Brother Cole have benefited me in pastoring later. His true story called “Send Them Up the Escalator” (below) has been very helpful.

In pastoring there are wonderful moments when I am very confident I’ve heard from God for what to preach. It’s great when the Lord gives you a nudge and you know which direction to go. However, painfully, being a pastor also means that on many occasions you must preach regardless of whether or not you have a nudge from above. Being able to be a blessing over the long haul depends on how you react to those in-between times—when you’re forced to “carry the mail” without having been given any mail! What will you say then?

When I’m in such a condition, sometimes I consciously think back to the times I heard Brother Cole recount a true story about him being in an airport with Rev. Charles Mahaney, a great man of God who was also an incessant cut-up. I’m going by memory, so it’s somewhat of a paraphrase.

Brother Cole and Brother Mahaney, two road-weary, battle-hardened warriors of the faith, were unsure of where to go inside a massive airport. They passed one unmanned helpdesk after another. Brother Cole’s normal way to react to such circumstances might have been a slowly increasing frustration and mounting tension. Whether Charlie Mahaney simply was wired differently, or whether he was trying to defuse the situation, he reacted with humor.

As the two confused travelers approached yet another empty helpdesk, Mahaney suddenly jumped behind the desk and pretended to be an employee of the airport. Immediately a line of people formed! Mahaney began giving advice!

(I have tried to imagine what faces the great Billy Cole must have made as he watched his humorous friend deal with one weary traveler after another. )

Suddenly, an actual airport employee appeared. Naturally, he was not overjoyed at the fact that an imposter was dealing out unofficial (and potentially detrimental) “help” advice. Under the employee’s stern gaze, Brother Mahaney vacated the helpdesk.

“Just what have you been telling people?” the employee asked.

Mahaney answered, “I told everybody to go up the escalator, and there would be help there.”

After a tense pause, the employee seemed to relax and said, “That’s OK, actually. There really is a staffed desk at the top of the escalator.”

After telling this story to his elders, Brother Cole always gave his huge, unguarded, heart-warming laugh. He would conclude by making a helpful application:

“Sometimes, you won’t know exactly what to preach,” he said. “That’s no time to break out some new, weird doctrine. That’s the time to stay safe. Preach something you know well, such as Acts 2:38 and Jesus-name baptism, or about the Oneness of God. When you don’t know where to send folks, be safe and just send them up the escalator!”

Thank you, Bishop. We miss you. I know you’re enjoying life above, at the top of the escalator. I’m doing my best to send people up. I plan on getting there myself too.