Purpose

Purpose

Walking Justly and Loving Mercy / Summer 2017

In the spring of 2012 I was helping clean out a storage room at a church within the Navajo Nation boundaries of northeastern Arizona. This picture was in a stack in the back of the room. When I uncovered the picture the sensory experience penetrated beyond my eyes to my heart and my soul. The depiction of a young Jewish man from the tribe of Judah touched me in a way that was uniquely meaningful on that particular day. Jesus was reaching out to me with his arms open, encouraging me to come to him once again as my Savior and my Lord. It also seemed abundantly clear to me on that day that Jesus reaches out to all men and women of all races, creeds, colors and religions. He came for ALL mankind not to condemn us but to save us from sin. This truth my friends is ‘GOOD NEWS’!

Unfortunately there is some bad news as well. There are many repeated instances in history where despicable and evil acts have been done allegedly in the name of Jesus. It is difficult to understand how terrible events have occurred in Jesus’ name. Unfortunately, the Lord has been badly misrepresented on many occasions. I can only account for these horrible actions by the fact that there is corruption in the heart of mankind. The desire for power, for wealth, prestige and domination was seemingly masked in the precious name and person of Jesus.

Mankind has despised Jesus. He was a man of sorrows, familiar with suffering. He was pierced for our transgressions and crushed for our iniquities. But the wounds he graciously accepted can HEAL us. He was oppressed and afflicted. And He bares the sins of many. Today, as I look into the compelling eyes of Jesus, I think of the power of forgiveness. I acknowledge that we ALL have sinned and fallen short of the perfection of God.

I remember a simple song I learned as a child in church. “Jesus loves the little children ALL the children of the world. Red and yellow black and white they are PRECIOUS in his sight.Jesus loves the little children of the world.”

Many will perhaps ‘poke holes’ in these words. They will jadedly mock the simplicity of belief. We humans can easily pollute the purity of these statements. But that does not remove the truth contained…

May all our hearts be filled with true humility. May we all consider how we can walk justly and love mercy.

Amen. Paul McGrady

A Legacy of Sharing Good News

When a new professor of Religion arrived at Bethany Nazarene College in 1962, no one could have predicted the decades of spiritual influence his larger-than-life shadow would cast on future generations. Rev. Paul McGrady, Sr. was a powerful preacher of the Gospel and a beloved professor. His life and ministry were tragically cut short in a car accident in 1967 while traveling with the college quartet, but his legacy lives on through the impact of the lives of his family.

In response to this life-changing event, Jean McGrady, now a young widow with two small children, trusted God to provide for them, and through her hard work and dedication, became a strong influence in her church, her community and her family. Now, fast-forward to 1986 when BNC alum Paul McGrady, Jr. joined the Southern Nazarene University coaching staff and, with the same commitment and hard work that he learned from his parents, has served in a number of roles in SNU Athletics. In 1994, Coach McGrady launched the men’s and women’s cross country programs. Then, in 1999, McGrady was chosen by the Administration to recruit and facilitate the launch of the football program at SNU. He served as head football coach until 2005 with great success. Paul, Jr. continues to serve SNU today as an Associate Director of Athletics.

Following in his father’s footsteps as a SNU student-athlete, Garrett McGrady is making his mark and changing the record books with his accomplishments in shot put and other track and field events. A senior Business major, Garrett is dedicated to his sport, but his passion, like his father and grandfather, is helping people come to know Jesus.

In 2008, Coach McGrady began taking students on spring break mission trips to the Sun Valley Indian School and Navajo reservation. Garrett has taken part in more than a dozen trips to serve the Native American people in the Gallup area. Partnering with Pastor Chris Davis and the Gallup Church of the Nazarene, as well as supporting the work of the Southwest Native American District, they offer practical help like firewood to heat homes and churches, meals for the homeless and hope for those who struggle with addictions. The initiative is still active and involves current students at SNU, but since 2012 it has been a ministry of Bethany First Church of the Nazarene, where it finds strong support.

Paul Jr. said, “While my vocation has been very different from my father’s, our passion and commitment to see people find hope and healing through Christ is the same. I want to follow in my dad’s footsteps and be the soul winner that he was called to be.” One of the ways the work is funded is through the McGrady Foundation, created by the late Jean McGrady and now advanced by Paul Jr. and his sister, Miriam Bassinger, also a graduate of SNU. Jean also established the Paul McGrady, Sr. Memorial Scholarship Fund at SNU to support men and women preparing for pastoral ministry.

There is no doubt the passion of the mission is being passed on to the next generation. Paul’s son, Garrett, expressed it this way, “it’s definitely eye-opening, to see how our Native American people live in such heartbreaking conditions. They need love and compassion, but they also need to see the unity of Christians coming together to show a way to a better life. Thank God for raising up people like Pastor Chris to minister to the people of Gallup.”

To learn more about the McGrady Foundation visit The McGrady Foundation. To donate to the Paul McGrady, Sr. Memorial Scholarship Fund, visit https://bridge.snu.edu/give

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Ashem 'Emerson' Dayea
We met Emerson a few years ago at NewLife Church of the Nazarene in Sanders, Arizona. He is Dine' (Navajo).He is a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ. He has a story. Emerson is energetic. He loves life, music, and people. His life changed in an instant many years ago when he climbed into the back of a pick-up truck to travel across the reservation. When he woke up, he was in the hospital and had lost the use of his legs due to a spinal injury. The truck had flipped and he was told he had been thrown from the vehicle. Emerson's story has been an epic journey to overcome this setback in his life. With the Lord's help, he has moved forward in his life. He cares about his people. He shepherds them. He checks on the people in his community and does compassionate ministry in Jesus' name in practical ways. "If I wasn't in CHRIST, no way would I see people's needs and find a way to fulfill it. To HIM all praises and HONOR! Something beautiful something good...All my confusion, he understood. All I had to offer him was brokenness and strife. But he made something beautiful of my life!" said Emerson. I received these words from Emerson this morning: "Joshua wolta e'gi 1:5 Dine' ts'ida doo la'nik'ek d^odle ateego n iyoolkaal dooleel. Mozez bil honishloneegi
ateego nil honish loo doo; tsida doo ch eeh na adeesht'lil da; Ts'ida doo yoo andid esh'aalda!
English Translation: "No one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you or forsake you." Joshua 1:5 Emerson's truck is currently not running. He is, personally, working to diagnose the issue and get it fixed. He is 50 miles from the nearest automotive repair. We have been prayerfully supporting Emerson's compassionate ministry efforts for the past few months. If you would like to assist us, you can go to themcgradyfoundation.org as we support our brother in Christ.

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THE EXTRAORDINARY LIFE OF JEAN MCGRADY

Standing on this high hill looking back on Mary Jean (Goins) McGrady's life, it's a bit difficult to clearly view or fully understand the world she was born into in 1923. On that cold day February 15th, she was born at the family home on the farm in rural Cottondale, Alabama. The family story was that they placed her in a shoe box and put her beside the fireplace to keep her warm. Jean had 15 brothers and sisters, 8 of whom reached adulthood. The Goins' family worked hard to stay fed and clothed as subsistence farmers in the Depression era. It was a struggle to make sure everyone had enough to eat. Her fondest memories were of consuming sweet potatoes, collards and tomatoes out of the family garden. She always valued food. She did not take it for granted because it did not always seem abundant. It was a number of miles by foot to school and on rainy days her father Jim would wade the creek crossing with the young siblings on his back. She had a happy childhood during hard times with her 5 brothers 2 sisters and her beloved saint of a mother Ada. There was not electricity or indoor plumbing in their modest home. The girls huddled together under blankets to stay warm on cold nights. The men hunted in the forests or butchered a hog to keep meat on the table and her dad would sell cotton raised and harvested to buy shoes and clothes for the kids. The family believed clothes might be worn or a bit raggedy but they could always be clean. Her father taught the kids to swim in the clear water creek near the farm. In her teenage years she attended evangelistic tent meetings at local churches. She accepted Christ as her Savior and her faith sustained her throughout her entire life. Jean gained a toughness surviving in those hard scrabble times. But with the ability to survive she learned to depend on God for her every need whether it be physical, emotional or spiritual. It was a relationship that she called upon often. She loved the Lord with all her heart. She loved to pray for others. Her parents had a Methodist background and she would choose to be a Nazarene which seemed a little more fervent for her liking. After she graduated from Holt HS she felt a different calling than many young women in the 1940s. She wanted to pursue Christian higher education at a holiness college in Nashville Tennessee called Trevecca Nazarene College. As mentioned previously, the world was different in the early 1940’s. Jean earned enough money working the night shift at the local cotton mill to pay for bus fare from Tuscaloosa, Alabama to Nashville, Tennessee. When she arrived she gave the president of the college Dr. A.B. Mackey a call. He personally came and picked her up and delivered her to campus. Her work-study job was working in the cafeteria kitchen. It was there that a tall shy red headed “yankee” from a farm in Pennsylvania walked into her life. Paul McGrady’s campus job was to milk the college’s cows. Later A.B. Mackey was asked for a reference on Paul as a preacher. “I don’t know how he preaches, but he surely is good at milking a cow.” It was pretty much love at first sight. They went back to their homes that summer then married the next year. Paul would be the only man she would ever love. His picture would hang above her hearth for the rest of her life. The next quarter of a century Jean emersed herself in being the wife of Paul McGrady. They pastored a number of churches in Tennessee and Missouri. She and Paul had a son and a daughter and Jean added mother to her list of responsibilities. In 1962, they moved to Oklahoma where Paul taught at Bethany Nazarene College and preached on the weekends across the country. Jean had to manage the household and feed the horses while Paul was gone. It was part of the sacrifice that she made so her husband could preach the Good News to others. Oklahoma would be home to Jean for the next half a century. (She was one of the few family members to ever leave the circle of their north central Alabama home.) The central crisis of her life occurred at the age of 44 when she received a call that her husband had tragically died in a car accident in Tulsa ,Oklahoma in route to speak at a youth camp. Her kids were Miriam,15 and Paul,Jr., 7 years of age at the time. The ordeal almost put her under but her faith and her upbringing caused her to rise up and overcome. She finished her undergraduate degree in Elementary Education at BNC and taught in the Putnam City School District for the next twenty years. She raised her children and saw them both graduate from college and get married. She pursued two ‘hobbies’. She traveled and she built a summer cabin in Colorado. In the summers, she stepped foot on six continents of the world and took pride in the fact that the Alabama farm girl had gotten a pretty good look at the planet. She enjoyed cool summers in the mountain air and hiked, admired plants and the occasional bear that wondered into her neighborhood of Tanglewood Acres. God blessed her in many, many ways. She was faithful to Him and He returned the faithfulness a hundred fold. She had the privilege of watching four grandchildren grow into adulthood. Judson David Rowe, Erin Jeanine Rowe, Chris Ann McGrady, and Garrett Paul McGrady. Jean was as strong and fiercely independent a woman as God ever created. She had fears and insecurities but she overcame them with faith and determination to be all God intended her to be. She was walking a mile a day into her eighties and would drive 600 miles by herself to spend time in her cabin in the mountains. However, slowly those physical and mental abilities diminished. She quit cooking, then driving and finally moved into an assisted living facility on her 91st year on the planet. However, she refused a cane or walker and was still walking unassisted to meals and mostly living on her own as she celebrated her 93rd birthday. Mother recently took ill and had a very rough week in which she fell twice and ended up in the hospital. It was the first time she had been hospitalized in close to twenty years. Mom always took care of herself and showed discipline in eating and resting. A heart specialist once checked her heart and exclaimed ‘You will be dancing at your 100th birthday party!” That prophecy did not quite come true. Jean battled progressive dementia and increasing deterioration of her physical body but always found a way to ‘bounce back’ in her typical fashion. However Jean was ready whenever God called her heavenward. She looked forward to seeing the loved ones that have long preceded her in death. She waited for ‘that great getting up morning’. Most all of her friends and loved ones are gone now. At times, it seemed as if she has almost outlived her own legacy. I find myself asking, ‘Who will tell the world her story?’ It is at those times, I sense it is important to at least attempt to capture her extraordinary story. Post Script: Mom’s life ended peacefully October 18, 2016 at 10:30 p.m. She was 93 years and 8 months of age. She experienced wonderful care by dedicated professionals at Ranchwood Nursing Center in Yukon, OK. She showed incredible courage and dignity as she battled on with a series of significant health crises in her final 6 months of life. She is now reunited, after 49 years as a widow, and is in Heaven with her husband Paul. Eternity with her blessed Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ is finally hers. In her memorial notes, I found this quote:

“When I am gone, sing a song of praise to God!” Susanna Wesley

Written by Paul McGrady, Jr. October 21, 2016

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The Paul J. McGrady Sr. Foundation is a state certified 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting compassionate ministry endeavors regarding humanitarian needs & problematic issues in our society. We desire to provide a ‘hand up’ in a spirit of encouragement to our fellow man.  Our model is the example of Jesus Christ set in his daily life as he ministered to humanity in a practical yet spiritual way. Our foundation strives to create an opportunity for communities to benefit in the long term from a simple yet powerful concept called hope.

Foundation objectives include but are not limited to: a) raise funds for implementing foundation objectives, b) explore grant writing projects, c) explore opportunities to support church planting inititatives, d) deliver firewood to provide heat for homes and churches on the Navajo Reservation in northeast Arizona. Long term objectives include the mentorship & development of future leaders through the funding of the Paul McGrady Sr. Scholarship Fund at Southern Nazarene University (Bethany, OK) to prepare ministers for coming generations.

The McGrady Foundation has strong roots growing from the Christian heritage of our family. Paul McGrady Sr.’s friends & coworkers have said that he was one of the most Christ-like men that they have known. He loved God & his fellow man because it was his life's consuming passion. He truly made a difference in the world, leaving a powerful legacy for those who choose to follow in his footsteps.

Our organization will, also, financially support existing ministries and groups that meet our compassionate ministry objectives locally, nationally & globally. We believe in groups that specifically provide for the needs of the poor, homeless, those who are at risk & have addictive behaviors. The McGrady Foundation is supporting the following:

-OKC Compassion

-First Nations Church of the Nazarene (OKC, OK)

-Reaching Our City (OKC, OK)

-Navajo Christian Fellowship (Dilkon,AZ)

-Native American Rebuilding Initiative

-Red Sands Christian School (Winslow, AZ)

-Southwest Native American District Church of the Nazarene

-St. Joseph’s Indian School (Chamberlain, SD)

-Sun Valley Indian School (Holbrook, AZ)

-Calvary Christian Boarding Academy (Eufaula, OK)

-No Boundaries International (Edmond, OK)

-The Voice of the Martyrs (Bartlesville, OK)

-Bethany First Church of the Nazarene Native American Partnership (Bethany, OK)

-Gallup First Church of the Nazarene/Compassionate Ministries (Gallup, NM)

-New Life Church of the Nazarene (Sanders, AZ)

-Rhema Church of the Nazarene (Rhema, NM)

-Twin Buttes Church of the Nazarene (Gallup, NM)

-Cactus Nazarene Ministry Center (Cactus, TX)

-Wind River Church of the Nazarene (Riverton, WY)

-The Luke Commission (Swaziland, Africa)

-Uvalde Church of the Nazarene (Uvalde, TX)

-Dilkon Church of the Nazarene (Dilkon, AZ)

-Round Cedar Church of the Nazarene (Leupp, AZ)

-Leupp Church of the Nazarene (Leupp, AZ)

-South Tuscon Community Church of the Nazarene (Tuscon, AZ)

-A Life Worth Following (OKC)

-Alms International (Montrose, CO)

-Shiloh Camp (OKC)

-Warrior Summit (Lake of the Ozarks, MO)

-Westmoreland Ministries (Bethany, OK)

-Impact Church Street Ministry (Charleston, SC)

-Tribal Rescue Ministry (Cass Lake, MN)

-Lodge Grass High School FCA (Lodge Grass, MT)

-Rocky Mountain District Church of the Nazarene (Billings, MT)

If you'd like to partner with us, feel free to send an email to mcgradyfoundation@gmail.com.