Mike Cope's blog

Monday, April 04, 2005

So glad to have done "Stream in the Desert" again. (Lots of conversations there with folks from this blog community.) But also SO GLAD to be home. I talked yesterday morning about HOME. And it got me thinking on the way back to Abilene about the places that have been my home: Neosho, Missouri (for 16 of my first 18 years, including my place of birth and graduation), Austin (where we lived a couple years while my folks went to UT), Searcy (four years of college and seven years as minister), Memphis (three years of grad school), Wilmington, NC (two years of ministry), and Abilene (fourteen years). Is "home" more place or people? Location or relationship? In some ways, I carry a bit of at least four of those places in me as "home": Neosho, Searcy, Wilmington, and Abilene. Plus, maybe, Memphis--especially since Matt was born there. Our kids were born in Memphis (1982), Wilmington (1984), and Abilene (1992). I think I lean more toward home as people/relationship. Home is where Diane is. Home is being with Matt, Jenna, and Chris. Home is Megan's grave. Home is sitting down over a meal with friends and being with family over holidays. And as a believer, there is that other home that some days every cell in my body is crying out for.


  • Yes home is where the heart is, so we should (and I am) be longing for that other home more and more each day.

    By Blogger DJG, at 4/04/2005 04:41:00 AM  

  • Mike wrote: In some ways, I carry a bit of at least four of those places in me as "home

    That is how I feel about it, too. Part of what has made it easier for me when we move is remembering that leaving all the dear brothers and sisters is just temporary. I think things like that would be hard to bear without the hope of heaven.

    Would it be hijacking your blog to ask if others would leave a comment listing the places they've lived? I enjoy seeing lists like that. If you don't mind then I'll add mine later. Thanks for sharing yours.

    By Blogger reJoyce, at 4/04/2005 05:12:00 AM  

  • i really do feel that home has to deal with where you form relationships with people.
    i now live in mobile, but arlington was/is my home. my parents live in northern alabama, and my mother-inlaw lives here in mobile, but i don't feel like i am home.
    its only been a year, but it has been a long year. it makes the near ten years that we spent in arlington feel like such a short amount of time. bruce stewart, our puplit minister, mentioned that we can not form our future by living in the past. but i still miss it.
    we left so many great relationships when we moved, BUT I GET TO GO BACK NEXT MONTH!! I AM SO PUMPED!!

    By Blogger k2, at 4/04/2005 05:12:00 AM  

  • Definitely people, not place. One of my favorite songs is by Billy Joel. You probably didn't hear this one on the radio. I'll do my best from memory:

    "When you look into my eyes
    And you see the crazy gypsy in my soul,
    It always comes as a surprise
    When I feel my withered roots begin to grow.
    Well I'll never be a stranger
    And I'll never be alone.
    Wherever we're together that's my home.

    Home can be the Pennsylvania turnpike,
    Indiana's early morning dew,
    High up in the hills of California,
    Home is just another word for you.

    If I travel all my life
    And I never get to stop and settle down,
    Long as I have you by my side
    There's a roof above and good walls all around.


    We used this song in our wedding almost 24 years ago, but as I was typing I realized (with the exception of one line that I didn't include) that I feel this way about God also. "Wherever we're together that's my home!"

    Thanks for starting my day with a cherished memory Mike. Isn't is great how we inadvertantly bless each other?


    By Blogger Lisa McD in FL, at 4/04/2005 05:23:00 AM  

  • well joyce, here is my list. i actually just missed getting mine published before yours.
    i was born in izmir, turkey.
    moved to houston, tx, when i was 3 months old (my parents came with me).
    moved to panama, canal zone, central america, when i was 8. got baptized at balboa c.o.C. when i was 10.
    moved to sumter, sc, when i was 11.
    moved to kenosha, il, when i was 19.
    moved to milington, tn, when i was 20. anybody know harold shank? i do!
    moved to pensacola, fl, when i was 20. married dorothy at gateway c.o.C. eddy levick (?) married us. was rebaptized by eddy, too.
    moved to charleston, sc, when i was 22. kristin was born there.
    moved to millington again at 25.
    moved to yokosuka, japan, when i was 25.
    moved to arlington, tx, when i was 27. anybody know david sampson, now assistant secretary of commerce? he baptized dorothy while he was still preaching at park row c.o.C. then martin moore stepped in and kristin was baptized by him.
    moved to daphne, al, when i was 37 (dorothy and kristin came too).
    seems like a lot of places, huh? well, my best memories are of pensacola, charleston, and arlington. i wouldn't change those for the world.

    By Blogger k2, at 4/04/2005 05:30:00 AM  

  • What a timely post... As my family and I gear up for another move in June (courtesy of the US Air Force), I am comforted by the knowledge that home really is people. Right now, I could go "home" to several different cities, because my heart is there with people who are family by choice, not by blood. As we prepare to leave Omaha, we are leaving yet another "home," with the full confidence that God will make the next place home as well.

    To answer Joyce's question:
    1964-1986: Sikeston, Missouri
    1982-1989: Cape Girardeau, Missouri
    1989-1992: Dayton, Ohio
    1992-1997: Ft. Walton Beach, Florida
    1997-1998: Rockville, Maryland
    1998-2003: Dayton, Ohio
    2003-2005: Omaha, Nebraska

    Next stop: Fairfield, California

    By Blogger Karen, at 4/04/2005 05:40:00 AM  

  • Thanks again, Mike -

    We missed you yesterday, but I am glad that you had to minister to and be a blessing to others in their home (town). It was a blessing to read your post this morning, as this was a topic of my own post several weeks ago http://dpsministries.blogspot.com/2005/03/prayer-for-me.html and it is something I still struggle with and look forward to in my future. Thanks again, and blessings to you and your family.

    By Blogger Donald Philip Simpson, at 4/04/2005 06:06:00 AM  

  • Here's mine:

    1982-1983: Manchester, Conn.
    1983-1996: Windsor, Conn.
    1996-2000: Atlanta, Ga.
    2000-present: Memphis, Tenn. / Abilene, TX

    The Northeast is definitely my home, though.

    By Blogger Steve Jr., at 4/04/2005 06:06:00 AM  

  • Great idea, Joyce. I'd enjoy seeing these "homes."

    By Blogger Mike, at 4/04/2005 06:18:00 AM  

  • Mike,

    Thanks for an uplifting weekend at Stream. When you started talking about Megan on Friday night I wasn't sure I was going to make it through the weekend! But, it all worked out. Thanks again.

    Here's my home list:
    1978-1984: Amarillo, TX
    1984-1986: Lakewood, CO
    1986-2002: Abilene, TX
    2002-present: Dallas, TX

    By Blogger Heather, at 4/04/2005 06:36:00 AM  

  • Ditto what Heather said. And since she's my sister, our lists look (not surprisingly) similar.

    1976-1984: Amarillo, TX
    1984-1986: Lakewood, CO
    1986-1999: Abilene, TX
    1999-present: Dallas, TX

    Really I only call Abilene and Dallas home. I remember some folks from Amarillo and Lakewood, but those aren't deep abiding relationships.

    By Blogger Jenni, at 4/04/2005 07:18:00 AM  

  • Home changes with each move, but it takes a while for the new place to become home. People/relationships/church: those things make the home.

    Little Rock '75 - '77
    Escondido, Ca. '77 - '93
    Abilene '93 - '99
    Round Rock, TX. '99 - 2000
    Belton, TX. 2000 - Now

    By Blogger Byron, at 4/04/2005 07:24:00 AM  

  • 1971-1974 Lovington, N.M.
    1974-1975 Hobbs, N.M.
    1975-1976 Roswell, N.M.
    1976-1979 Big Spring, TX
    1979-1983 Lovington again
    1983-1989 Beaumont, TX
    1989-1995 Abilene, TX
    1995-1997 Bryan/College Station, TX
    1997-2000 Abilene again
    2000-present Baytown, TX

    How did I end up being born in the middle of nowhere? Cecil Hook got my dad a youth ministry job in Lovington. Thanks, Cecil! :/

    Home for me is TEXAS. I've told my husband that if he ever moves me out of TX, I'm getting a tattoo of the TX flag on an undisclosed part of my body. So far, we've stayed well within the state lines.

    By Blogger Deana Nall, at 4/04/2005 07:25:00 AM  

  • great blog Mike!
    for me:
    minneapolis minn.
    park ridge Ill.
    marengo, Ill.
    Dallas, Tx
    Bedford, Tx
    Houston, Tx
    N. Richland Hills, Tx
    The Woodlands, Tx
    Kemah, Tx

    By Blogger Jim, at 4/04/2005 07:51:00 AM  

  • Mike thank you for being a wonderful messenger this weekend at Stream.
    Sunday morning Stream spoke to my heart, knowing that in spite of tragedies it is the peace of God that puts us back together!
    I totally lost it yesterday when you told of your wife going into the closet to cry for Meghan. Many nights I have cried myself to sleep over a child who is far from God. All God wants from me is to grab the rope He offers and trust in Him. I have peace in my spirit to know God indeed hears the tears of a mother, when words won't suffice. I know with all my heart, God is working out the details and in His time, He will bring this child of mine home. Thank you for being an odedient servant and for spending time with us in Midland.

    By Blogger Hooteewho, at 4/04/2005 07:55:00 AM  

  • Home!

    1970 Dallas & McGregor, TX
    1970 - 1996 San Angelo, TX
    1988 - 1993 & 1995 Abilene, TX
    1996 Midland, TX
    1997 Euless/Hurst, TX
    1997 - 2001 Keller/Watauga, TX
    2001 - Present Waco, TX

    So I guess you could say I am a Texan! :) Even though I spent two summers in Nairobi, Kenya and three years working auto shows all over the US, I have never called anyplace outside of Texas home.

    By Blogger SG, at 4/04/2005 08:03:00 AM  

  • 1956 Dallas, TX
    1957 Waco, TX
    1968 Lubbock, TX
    1984 Plano, TX
    2001 Lubbock, TX
    2004 Midland, TX

    Song Home by Jami Smith:

    My heart fails
    My mind falters
    Sometimes my passion fades
    Sometimes my desires change
    Sometimes I turn my head and look the other way

    When I'm restless You are rest
    When I'm helpless You are help
    When I'm nervous You settle me
    When I'm empty You fill me
    When I've gone too far You gently bring me home
    'Cause You are home

    Home is where my history begins
    Home is where You delight in me
    Home is where Your voice is in my ear
    Home is where You dance with me

    By Blogger Hooteewho, at 4/04/2005 08:20:00 AM  

  • Really interesting post Mike. Here's where it took me. Home is not so much where I am anymore as much as who I am. I am becoming more at home in my own skin. As I become more open and honest and real about who I am with others I feel more and more at home. I've lived alot of places through the years. Here's my short list:

    Invisible, Colorado
    Rebellion, Arizona
    Denial, Texas
    Self-Condemnation, Texas
    Truth, Texas
    Healing, Texas
    Freedom, Texas

    So far, Texas has been the most interesting place I've lived. There are many more places to visit there, I'm sure, all in preparation for my real move Home.

    By Blogger Candy, at 4/04/2005 08:34:00 AM  

  • Wow! I forget how unusual my life is in some ways. Here's my list:

    Fresno, CA

    Yup. That's it. The family actually moved to beautiful Roseville, CA for about 8 months but we hightailed it back home as quick as we could so I don't even count that.

    And isn't it nice to know that we ALL truly have the same home?


    By Blogger Thurman8er, at 4/04/2005 09:24:00 AM  

  • In the movie "Garden State," the main character Andrew Largeman describes his experience with feeling "at home."

    "You know that point in your life when you realize that the house that you grew up in isn't really your home anymore? All of the sudden even though you have some place where you can put your stuff that idea of home is gone...You'll see when you move out it just sort of happens one day one day and it's just gone. And you can never get it back. It's like you get homesick for a place that doesn't exist. I mean it's like this rite of passage, you know. You won't have this feeling again until you create a new idea of home for yourself, you know, for your kids, for the family you start, it's like a cycle or something. I miss the idea of it. Maybe that's all family really is. A group of people who miss the same imaginary place."

    I think there's some truth in that, both for our blood families and for the church (though we know our home in heaven isn't imaginary).

    I moved cities a lot when I was a kid. I attended a different school in a different city the first three years of school. After that, I've mostly just moved to different places in Abilene. I won't bore you with a comprehensive list. But here are the basics:

    1980-Born in Iowa City, Iowa
    1982-Moved to San Antonio, TX
    1987-Moved to Memphis, TN
    1988-Moved to Abilene and I'M STILL HERE!!!! (though hopefully not for too much longer)

    By Blogger jocelyn, at 4/04/2005 09:29:00 AM  

  • Mike,

    "Home is where the heart is"

    OK - I'm joking!

    Paul would say that "home" is in heaven (citizenship) but I'm afraid that too often I find myself wanting this earth to be home. It would be kinda like going on vacation and trying to redecorate and paint your hotel room - it doesn't go that way. But then failing health, funerals and futility bring me back to the realization that "this world is not my home, I'm just a passing through."

    That being said, here is a list of "hotels" where I've stayed on this 36 yr old vacation:

    68 - 87 Redwood City, CA
    87 - 91 Abilene, TX
    91 - 94 Tomball, TX
    94 - 95 Abilene, TX
    95 -03 Redwood City, CA
    03 - 05 Abilene, TX
    05 - ???

    Thanks for reminding me of home. Both in this blog and from the pulpit. In a very real sense, I feel very at home at Highland. Thanks for being a part of that too.

    By Blogger Joel Quile, at 4/04/2005 09:47:00 AM  

  • 1973-4, Madison, TN
    1974-1991, Goodlettsville, TN
    1991-1995, Cookeville, TN
    1995, Chattanooga, TN
    1996-1997, Memphis, TN
    1997-1998, Collierville, TN
    1998-1999, Harvest, Alabama
    1999-2002, Hermitage, TN
    2002-2005, Nashville, TN

    Goodlettsville, Cookeville, Memphis, Nashville -- these are the places I lived where I somewhat felt at home. But never fully at home. Maybe because my dad came from Iowa and my mom came from Alabama. We didn't have roots in Tennessee. We didn't celebrate holidays in Tennessee. And most of the time we didn't have family in Tennessee.

    I wonder what true, eternal home will feel like?

    By Blogger Clarissa, at 4/04/2005 09:56:00 AM  

  • Great idea, Mike. It might spark a few of the "do you know ___?" games we always have when we meet someone new. Here's my list:

    1977-1984: Knoxville, TN
    1984-1996: Athens, AL
    1996-2000: Searcy, AR
    2000-2002: Bloomington, IN
    2002-2004: Rochester, MI
    2004-: Malibu, CA

    There are aspects of each of these places I've enjoyed over the others; it's hard to beat Malibu but Bloomington, Indiana is a pretty magical place for me.

    By Blogger Malibu Librarian, at 4/04/2005 11:30:00 AM  

  • "If home's where my heart is then I'm out of place"

    --from the song "Homesick" by Mercy Me

    Born in Detroit, Michigan
    1964-1983 - Royal Oak, Michigan
    1983-1987 - Searcy, Arkansas
    (summer 1986 - Muncie, Indiana)
    (summer 1987 - New Haven, Indiana)
    1988-1989 - Royal Oak, Michigan
    1989-1991 - Woodhaven, Michigan
    1991-1993 - Pleasant Plain, Ohio
    1993-1996 - Fort Recovery, Ohio
    1996-1999 - Salisbury, North Carolina
    1999-2004 - Westland, Michigan
    2004-Present - Ashland, Ohio

    I feel most at home here with my wife and kiddos in the midwest.


    By Blogger Jeff Slater, at 4/04/2005 11:35:00 AM  

  • Del Rio, TX (My birthplace)
    Birmingham, AL
    Del Rio, TX
    Birmingham, AL
    Gilbert, AZ (brother's birthplace)
    Sumter, SC
    The Hague, Holland
    Leisse, France
    Laon, France
    Chevy Chase, MD
    Sumter, SC
    Del Rio, TX
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    Fairfax, VA
    Abilene, TX (college)
    Denver, CO (1st year of marriage)
    Hollis, OK (Michael born)
    Lubbock, TX (Lorena born)
    Post, TX (since 1989)
    Abilene, TX (on weekends and holidays for the past 6 years)

    As a child, the years I spent in Chevy Chase, MD and Fairfax, VA were my most pleasant, but I have loved every place for various reasons, perhaps because my understanding of God has been shaped through the lives of people I have encountered who hail from a variety of cultural perspectives.

    By Blogger Serena Voss, at 4/04/2005 11:58:00 AM  

  • There's no place like home!!

    Alright, I might as well include my timeline:

    1979: Born in Abilene (Adopted from Christian Homes of Abilene)
    1979-1986: Fort Worth, TX
    1986-1997: Burleson, TX (But Fort Worth was where everything took place-school, church, work, friends...)
    1997-2004: Lubbock, TX (College/Grad. school)
    2004-Present: Back in Abilene (More Grad. school)

    But hopefully moving back to Lubbock soon...it is most definitely home! And it is definitely where the people are-I think it is relationship more than anything else...I can't even imagine what it will be like in our eternal home...but I sure can't wait!! :)

    By Blogger Katherine, at 4/04/2005 12:18:00 PM  

  • Sometimes fast moving as a kid, but have slowed the moving train in my adult life:

    Fulton, MS
    Portland, OR
    Vicksbug, MS
    Florence, AL
    Kosciusko, MS
    Back to Vicksburg
    Columbus, MS (Lone Oak)
    Cleveland, TN
    Yukon, OK

    By Blogger dagwud, at 4/04/2005 12:34:00 PM  

  • Bummer! I missed both Stream AND Highland yesterday. Bummer! :0(

    Now - to avoid writing a tome the size of War and Peace, I'll not detail each place, rather general area where applicable.

    Asher OK - birthplace and "home" for first 2 years.

    So. California and southern San Joaquin Valley - K-12 and college attending 34 elementary schools, a middle school and 5 high schools, one state college, as well as one conservatory. [now see why I said I'd bundle the areas? LOL] My dad was a church planter in those two areas [approximately 100 churches] so my brother and I had to learn quickly how to make friends and then how to say goodbye and turning on a dime, say hello to new home.

    We finally were able to live in one place for a looooong time, 22 months, in San Luis Obispo, CA. As a result of that mysterious extended stay in one spot, I call San Luis home town.

    later on:
    San Diego CA
    New York, NY
    Gudalajara, Mexico
    Manzanillo, Mex.
    San Diego, CA
    New York, NY
    Guadalajara, Mex.
    El Paso, TX
    Cd. Juarez, Mex.
    Mexico City - 22 Years, guess Cd. Mexico should be considered home town, shouldn't it. ;)
    San Antonio, TX
    San Diego, CA
    Abilene TX

    My earthly 'home' is where I happen to be at the moment. Life has shown me there is NO permanent home here, and like you Mike, I yearn for my eternal home!!

    Interesting bunch you have here in blogland!!

    By Blogger Kathy, at 4/04/2005 01:28:00 PM  

  • Having grown up as a preacher's daughter I can identify with this blog today. I began my life in Ohio while my dad preached in three different church communities before I finished the 7th grade. Then the summer before 8th grade we moved to New Castle, PA. Following just two years there, we spent a year in New Mexico, and then I finshed high school and began college in Colorado. I then moved with my family at age 19 back to PA, worked a year, and then returned to college in eastern Kentucky. I met my husband through college friends who were his relatives, and we lived in two different homes in Ohio for about the first 6 years of our marriage.
    Then in April of 1977 we moved to south Texas where we raised our three children. Our first-born son is now living in New York, our daughter is living in Thailand, and our younger son, a college student in his senior year, is still in Texas...but who knows where he will eventually live...My children had what I did not have... a home town...but the older I get it doesn't seem to matter as much any more, because I had so many rich experiences in all those places that were temporary homes.. and even though I have now lived in Texas for close to half my lifetime..I still feel a longing for a better place...that Home that will be eternal..where I will never have to pack up again and I will never again have to say good by to old friends.

    By Blogger Shirley, at 4/04/2005 01:57:00 PM  

  • Here is my list
    Born - Ft. Payne AL (never lived there, just born there- Mom's hometown)
    Lindale Ga 67-69?
    Luverne AL 69-71
    Auburn AL 71-76
    Opelika AL 76-85
    Henderson TN 85-87
    Auburn Al 87-91
    Lakeview AL (work & grad school in Tuscaloosa, then work in Bham) 91 - 98
    Hoover AL 98-02
    Greeneville TN 02 to present.

    I haven't felt "home" since my childhood. I always felt I was just passing through until now. This is home. I see myself here for a good long while. One way I could tell it was home, (this is morbid) but I told my wife she could bury me here if something happens to me. I have never had that feeling before. Before it was "where ever you want to."

    By Blogger Steve Duer, at 4/04/2005 06:50:00 PM  

  • Our 5th year to "drink from the Stream".

    Austin (born a real Texan)
    Albuquerque (learned to spell this)
    Dallas (When JFK was shot)
    Clovis, NM (for my senior year?)
    Lubbock (escaped from Clovis)
    Abilene (Hello Highland)
    Austin (Hi Westover Hills)
    San Antonio (Thanks Max)
    Wherever God sends us next.

    By Blogger Larry, at 4/04/2005 08:03:00 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger David Michael, at 4/04/2005 08:49:00 PM  

  • Home is at the intersection of Safe and Secure in the city of Love. It is the place where being left an orphan is incomprehensible. It is where a person has a sense that no one is going to die, give them away, threaten to give them away, abuse or abandon them. Home is the feeling that you are always safe, secure, and loved -- the geography of the heart.

    By Blogger David Michael, at 4/04/2005 08:56:00 PM  

  • Mike,
    I lost my Dad almost 7 years ago when I was a freshman at ACU. I remember when the grief was fresh that I did not want to go home because I knew when I got there he would not be there. It was in that time of grief that I began the longing for a new home. I had always longed to be at home in Heaven someday, but after that moment I knew that there was something there that I knew would be good, something that I knew what it was like. I do not know exactly what Heaven is like, but I do know it will be great for many reasons. One of those being that I will be able to rejoice and sing praises to our Lord and Master next to my father, again.

    Time has continued on and the grief has surpressed, never leaving of course, but at peace. I have taken full advantage of what God has blessed me with and have invested my energy into serving God with all my might in Youth Ministry, and striving to be the best husband I can be to my wife. I look forward to my days here on earth, but my longing for what is to come never fades away.

    I can only imagine your feels with Meagan. God bless Mike and thanks for what you write.

    By Blogger Andy Luster, at 4/05/2005 02:07:00 AM  

  • I know this is a bit off-topic, but I'm new to this blog thing. I really enjoyed Stream this year and regretfully, I had to miss Sunday morning (I've been at every session at all 10 Streams until that one). I left Chap Center a soprano and woke up Sunday morning a bass! (laryngitis)

    Anyway, I had a suggestion: I loved when you had different groups stand and challenged them as missionaries. VERY appropriate. I'm sure you could come up with an almost endless list of roles different people have that have missionary opportunities, but as a business owner, I was wishing you had mentioned business owners and/or supervisors of any kind. I feel we have a special relationship with those under us - a special opportunity to shine His light to those around us. It can make a huge impact when people see honest business practices and fair dealings with employees, and especially appreciation to employees for their service and loyalty.

    Thanks again, Mike, for allowing God to use you. May He bless you and may your son recover fully!
    Maxie Hodges
    Odessa, TX

    By Blogger Maxie, at 4/06/2005 11:07:00 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home