For the last 35 years one of the most impacting voices in my life has been Jerry
Cook. Recently, Jerry went home to be with the Lord. He
left behind so much for so many. His
impact will unfold like a progressive gift for decades to come.
When I last heard Jerry speak it was to a group of us pastors in Oregon.
The setting was intimate and casual. Jerry sat upon his
iconic stool and shared without notes from the pool of wisdom that refreshed so many of us over the years. As Jerry
spoke, I took notes. I have included these â€œone-linersâ€� that Jerry
was known for that continue to help adjust our thinking toward a deeper revelation of God and His
Here are those simple, yet profound, words from Jerry
â€œWe wear masks in fear of the consequence of exposure.
Biblical fellowship allows the mask to be removed without fear of rejection.â€�
â€œThe only atmosphere we can control is the one around us.â€�
â€œDonâ€™t create images. When you get close you will see they are only made of stone.â€�
â€œImage is nothing.
That is why it is called an image â€" its fake.â€�
â€œWhen you come and meet with us you are meeting with Him. He is in us.â€�
â€œBe the person you want your church to become.â€œI treat all people as people who are on their way to Jesus. He said, â€˜I will draw all people to Myself.â€™ Donâ€™t make it difficult for people.â€�
â€œWhy do we focus on behavior?
So we can judge another person.â€�
â€œFamiliarity only breeds contempt if you are contemptible.
You breed who you are.â€�
â€œJesus uses our scars to heal people.
scars to heal Thomas.â€�
â€œTransparency is not knowing everything about me â€" it is seeing the real me.
More importantly, his answer radically changed how I viewed God. For many years, Jerry Cook was the Senior Pastor of East Hill Church in Gresham, Oregon. The church grew to become a large and influential ministry under Jerryâ€™s leadership.
East Hillâ€™s influence wasnâ€™t due to its size but to the voice released through its leadership to the greater Church body. Jerry gave us the ability to see a model of leadership in operation that was unique on the Spirit-filled landscape.
taught us to become thinking Pentecostals and not to live in the fear that our thinking would somehow chase the Holy Spirit away. While sitting in a gathering of pastors, I asked Jerry
: â€œHow do you make decisions?â€� He
replied, â€œWhen we have a decision to make, we look at all our options.
The repositioning of our trust births a confidence that God will be there for us if things go wrong on the journey.
Decision-making is a Process that Reveals our Image of God
Of all the things I learned that day with Jerry Cook
, this one was the most significant. I learned that God is not afraid of my wrong decisions. God was big enough to pick me up off the wrong road and put me down on the right road if my heart was right.