Mike Cope's blog

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Here are a couple photos of Kerri Lane and her girls serving communion at Highland. The memorial service will be today at 11:00. - - - - If you have a high speed connection, check out this clip. Thanks, DU, for the link. [NOTE: At 6:30 this morning, this link wasn't working. See my note in the comments. ESPN's version is available on video at espn.com.]


  • We have a Christmas card with these two angels on it; I love the way their faces glow. Today will be a hard day.

    ps the clip did not work

    By Blogger Clint, at 2/28/2006 03:56:00 AM  

  • Thanks, Clint. That clip was working not long ago. Sounds like a technical problem. It is from CBS News--a story about an mentally handicapped young man who's been the trainer for a high school basketball team for years. On the last game of the year the coach let him suit up. Then in the fourth quarter, he put him in. The crowd goes crazy. Then . . . and this is just unbelievable . . . the kid drains six 3-point shots. The gym turns to chaos as everyone celebrates. He's interviewed saying, "I was hot as a pistol." Hope the clip comes back.

    By Blogger Mike, at 2/28/2006 04:32:00 AM  

  • Knowing an article about the letter endorsing a local candidate would be in the Abilene Reporter-News, I've temporarily pulled the blog from a couple days ago.

    I was sent five questions by the ARN and chose not to answer them but, instead, to issue a statement. I wanted it to be clear that Highland didn't endorse a candidate and that the six people who signed the letter had no intention of giving that impression. The letter apparently wasn't what caused confusion (to people from at least four churches); it was what was written on the envelope. And the people who signed the letter didn't know what that would say.

    As I've said, it seems to me that we're blessed with five good candidates, including the one this letter endorses. I'm not mad at him or anyone. I just want it to be clear that Highland hasn't endorsed a candidate.

    Here's the statement:

    A letter was sent, signed by six Highland members, to everyone at our church. The envelope said, "VOTE CHRISTIAN: A Message from fellow Highland members."

    I heard from several people who were upset because they thought Highland had endorsed a candidate. That seems to be because the words "vote Christian" and Highland's name were together on the envelope. I don't know any long-time members who thought that we had endorsed a candidate, because they know we'd never do that. But some who haven't been here long just didn't know.

    I can say this: Highland has not endorsed and would not endorse a candidate. I can also say that no one on Highland's ministry staff provided a mailing for the campaign. I'm happy for these six members to endorse their candidate--to send out letters, to write letters to the editor, to put up yard signs, etc. We're fortunate to have several good candidates running for the seat that Bob Hunter held so well.

    But they're not speaking on behalf of the church, nor did they intend to. To be honest, I don't think they knew that the envelope would say that. I don't think these six members would have tied the words "vote Christian" and "a message from fellow Highland members." I can't say for sure where that part came from.

    By Blogger Mike, at 2/28/2006 04:41:00 AM  

  • Those are beautiful pictures. I will pray for all those who were close to Kerri today as they grieve the loss of a friend.

    I saw that clip about that kid at the basketball game. It was great. I was even flipping through the channels and they were showing it on the spanish channel. Man, how we love to see one, who noone was counting on, blow everybody away by their talent!

    I'm sorry about the candidate drama. How sad...

    By Blogger Beverly, at 2/28/2006 05:01:00 AM  

  • Clint - We have that Christmas card too. Kerri was so excited when she received those pictures. She brought them and showed them to us at soaking the night she received them. That whole group of people fell in love with those two angels that night. They still talk about how their faces glowed. The remark was made after Kerri left the first time she came to soaking that "it was as if Jesus walked into the room with her." There was an air of peace and confidence in Kerri that surpassed understanding. I pray to exude that same confidence in Him wherever I go.

    By Blogger Candy, at 2/28/2006 05:04:00 AM  

  • Here's the link to the story and video on CBS' website.


    Great story, guaranteed to make you smile or cry (or in my case, both).

    By Blogger Lisa, at 2/28/2006 05:20:00 AM  

  • I love those photographs! Debbie Riggs, the photographer, did an incredible job.
    My prayers are with the girls today.

    By Blogger Matt Maxwell, at 2/28/2006 05:52:00 AM  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger Matt Maxwell, at 2/28/2006 05:54:00 AM  

  • Yes, thanks, Matt. I should have mentioned that Debbie took those photos--pictures that help point to the light that Kerri, Carlee, and Jolee have brought to Highland.

    By Blogger Mike, at 2/28/2006 06:08:00 AM  

  • I'm having trouble with the CBS link, a cnn link is here:

    J-Mac's Hoop Dream

    By Blogger Matthew, at 2/28/2006 06:37:00 AM  

  • Sorry the link I sent you doesn't seem to be working anymore. Isn't it wonderful to see a GOOD NEWS story!?!?! Somebody out there needs to start a "Good News Network". Don't think it would sell? Look at all the other channels we have. Pretty soon they are going to be introducing the "Toenail" network where you can learn how to watch your toenails grow. I think the GNN would fly.


    By Blogger David U, at 2/28/2006 06:51:00 AM  

  • Sunday morning, October 2nd, Katie, our daughter on the Highland staff, asked me to bring my camera and photograph some of the kids during a special time of Bible Class. My camera is too big to fit into my purse, so as we came for early service that morning I just sat it on the floor by my feet. Kerri had emailed me the day before saying that she and the girls would be serving communion during the “Come to the Table” service and would I pray for them as she was anxious about being up there with the girls. Kerri had the girls looking especially precious that morning in their soft black dresses, white stockings and black shoes. Their blonde hair had been rolled the night before and fell into curls. Kerri, even though very thin at that point, was glowing that morning as she always did in the house of the Lord.

    At the designated time, those serving communion went up to the front and stood at the tables. When I saw Kerri and the girls, my first thought was, “I wish I had my camera.” Then, just as quickly, I remembered I did have my camera with me! The next ninety seconds was a huge struggle for me. I wanted to go up and capture this special moment, but I also didn’t want to disturb someone’s quiet communion thoughts by having someone’s camera clicking. I picked up and sat down my camera several times in that minute and a half. Then, suddenly, I grabbed it and made my way up to the front in the mix of folks going to the table. I held my camera down to my side so as not to be noticed. When I got to the front, I sat down as quickly as I could and held my camera as low as I could and when I started to shoot, Rob Cunningham, our precious elder, was standing between me and the Lane family, He was hugging and blessing folks as they prepared to take communion. So, the best I could do, was just snap my camera at quick moments between Rob’s hugs! I had no idea if I had captured one image of Kerri and the girls or not.

    When we got home that afternoon, I sat down at my computer and uploaded the images. When I saw those images of Carlee, Jolee and Kerri, I fell back in my seat. Debbie Riggs had nothing to do with those pictures. The Holy Spirit had everything to do with them. Being human, I could not have captured the look of joy and wonder on those three faces. The same can be said of the day I photographed Kerri and the girls at the park. Kerri was getting ready to go to M.D. Anderson and was having to leave the girls behind. So, I asked if I could take some pictures so she would have those sweet faces to adorn her hospital room. The picture of the three of them on the bench is now “famous!” I truly never thought that picture would be displayed as it will be today because I couldn’t imagine that Kerri would die.

    Because of the blessings of these images, I will never photograph people the same.

    To God be the glory and I praise Him for my friend, Kerri!

    By Blogger Debbie, at 2/28/2006 07:06:00 AM  

  • Mike, I am soooo sorry! That comment became much longer than I intended! Please feel free to remove it and my feelings will not be hurt.

    By Blogger Debbie, at 2/28/2006 07:08:00 AM  

  • My prayers are with Kerri, her sweet children, and their families. Thanks for the beautiful pictures.

    On another note, with regards to the clip, I just finished a good cry through viewing one of the many re-runs of 'Rudy', the movie about Daniel 'Rudy' Ruettiger (http://www.rudyintl.com/truestory.cfm), the Notre Dame football player who's story sounds very similar. What a coincidence of inspiration! I'm now headed for a fresh box of tissues as I begin this latest clip and switch gears to basketball.

    By Blogger Deb, at 2/28/2006 07:15:00 AM  

  • Debbie, as a professional photographer there have been moments in my career that I've been blown away with what the Holy Spirit can do with camera when I let Him. These pictures are amazing without knowning the story, but to find out the story behind the images just proves that God can use the talents of anyone who is willing to be a vessel. I take pictures of events at our church and there are times when I feel I'm simply the one holding the camera and He is doing all the work. God bless your work and your willingness to serve. God be praised in all things.

    By Blogger Snapshot, at 2/28/2006 07:36:00 AM  

  • Debbie - I'm so glad you left that comment. God has definitely and will forever be glorified in those photographs. And to know the story behind them makes it even more glorious! Thanks for sharing.

    By Blogger Candy, at 2/28/2006 07:43:00 AM  

  • Those precious girls, their family and friends, will be in my prayers today. As a cancer survivor and the mother of two daughters myself, Kerri's story really touched my heart even though I've never met her.

    I saw that young boy, along with his big brother and the coach, on Good Morning America the other day. What a great and uplifting story! The big brother was so proud! And he was almost in tears because he hadn't been at the game. It was a great way to start the day!

    By Blogger Elizabeth C., at 2/28/2006 07:50:00 AM  

  • Debbie I normally do not like picture or video during service but your hand has definitely changed me. I agree it was not you alone. The picture of communion reminds me of when Moses descended from the mountain after seeing a small part of God. When I look at these pictures it is if I am looking at the face of my savior. Thank you for you love of God and his kids.

    Mike if you delete Debbie’s post you will have to answer to me. I know that does not scare you but I have some very big friends:)

    By Blogger Clint, at 2/28/2006 07:57:00 AM  

  • Clint - I will not challenge you. Knowing your times in a few races, I know I could never run faster than that wheelchair! Besides, you're right. Debbie's comments are perfect.

    There are moments in life when you know that God is all over what you're doing. This was one of those moments.

    By Blogger Mike, at 2/28/2006 08:25:00 AM  

  • My friend Jennifer died of lymphoma a year-and-a-half ago. Chad and I have gotten close to her husband and two young girls. Grace and Belinda are 7 and 4. I have learned so much from them -- especially about the way life can go on in the face of devastating loss.

    But it still hurts. Dear God, it hurts.

    By Blogger Deana Nall, at 2/28/2006 08:33:00 AM  

  • Debbie I am thankful you posted how you captured those precious images. Thank YOU!

    By Blogger Hoots Musings, at 2/28/2006 12:07:00 PM  

  • Thank you for showing this. I have a 13 year old friend named Alan that is very sick with cancer of the blood and I am trying to get as many Christians to pray for as I can. I am a preacher and an ACU grad just trying to get more people to pray for Alan. Thanks! Please see my blog at http://work4christ.blogspot.com for more info and a good picture.

    By Blogger Michael Potthoff, at 2/28/2006 02:15:00 PM  

  • Isn't life in Christ's family bittersweet? Hellos and good-byes only to get ready for more hellos again.

    Regarding the last post, we had the privelege of staying with Alan and his family a few months ago. He's a fine young man and his parents are very proud of him. His faith is incredible for one so young. His family is so wonderful and generous-- they actually had all 5 of us stay with them on the night before his next round of chemo started. I feel I can speak for them to say that they covet your prayers (they're only 1/3 of the way through a 3 year treatment that is ravaging his body). They would also say, "Please give blood, give plasma, give whatever you can to help as many as you can."

    I wish I had met Keri. I can't wait to meet her.

    By Blogger Patty, at 2/28/2006 06:26:00 PM  

  • I have thought about Debbie's post off and on all day. I am not a member at Highland and am really an outsider looking in. I say what I am about to say not a criticism, but as a statement of my own lack of understand. Yes, the pictures were moving, and it breaks my heart just to imagine the details of the story of this precious family. My question is how can we presuppose to begin to know what the Holy Spirit is doing? To me life is so complicated and I am so incapable of beginning to know exactly what the Holy Spirit is up to. Please understand, this is more a reflection of my struggle than it is a criticism of Debbie's comments.

    By Blogger RC, at 2/28/2006 08:18:00 PM  

  • I have now officially lost count of the number of times I have heard the story from CBS news. I have a seven year old with autism and this gives me hope that maybe someday it'll be HIS name in the paper.

    Just a small correction, Mike--the boy in the story has autism, he is not "mentally handicapped". Autism is a neurobiological disorder of complex origin. (Drop by my blog if you want to hear me brag/whine about my son.) :-)

    By Blogger Blogging by Tina, at 3/01/2006 12:10:00 PM  

  • RC,
    That same Holy Spirit that you have questions about may have brought you to this blog family for a reason. That same spirit will not let me go on without asking if I can study the Bible with you or help you get into a Bible study where you live.
    Just like wind, the Holy Spirit may not be visible but we can sure see the effects of it.
    I'll be away from a computer for a couple of days but let me know if I can help. Just respond on this blog for now and I'll check here.

    "What a friend we have in Jesus"

    By Blogger Tailpipe Terry, at 3/01/2006 09:29:00 PM  

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