CHAPTER 10


                               ROAD'S END






               As   we  continued  traveling,  we  began  to  consider  the
          possibility of moving to a smaller town.  My wife had been raised
          in the  country and the  more I preached in  small town churches,
          the more I found them appealing.  
               In the summer of 1977, I preached in a youth camp in western
          Colorado.  One of the pastors there had a church in a  small town
          a  few miles away.   We became  fast friends.   He invited  me to
          return  that following April  to hold a  week of  meetings in his
          church.  I mentioned to him of my interest of leaving  Denver for
          a smaller  community and  he  immediately suggested  his town  of
          fewer than eight hundred.  I wouldn't even consider it and I said
          as much.   First, it was too small, and  furthermore, the nearest
          airport was almost  fifty miles away.  I  couldn't picture myself
          living in that  small of a town  - there wasn't any  Mcdonald's -
          and I  couldn't see how living that far  from an airport could be
          anything less than a big problem.
               "How long does  it take you to get to the Denver airport now
          Phil," my new pastor friend inquired.
               "Well," I hesitated,  thinking, "it takes probably  close to
          thirty minutes I suppose."
               "And  how long,"  he  said,  ticking off  each  item on  his
          fingers, "does it take  you to find a parking space,  walk to the
          terminal, find  the ticket counter,  stand in  line, pay,  stroll
          down to the waiting room, and eventually, board the plane?"
               "If you put it that way," I replied, "it's probably close to
          an hour and a half."
               "If not more," he added quickly.
               "If not more," I agreed.
               "Well," he  said scratching his chin and then taking another
          sip from  his ubiquitous coffee cup, "the last  time I flew a few
          weeks ago to a convention, I drove to Montrose, which  took about
          forty minutes, walked directly to  the counter which was right at
          the  front  door where  I  parked,  purchased  my ticket,  walked
          another twenty feet and  sat down, and waited for the  plane.  It
          took me less  than forty-five  minutes from  the time  I left  my
          house till I was seated in the waiting room."
               "Hum,"  I purred  thoughtfully,  "you  make  a  pretty  good
          point," and we began praying about moving to Hotchkiss, Colorado.
               Sandy and I  left Denver  in late March  to minister on  the
          indian reservation in Arizona and New Mexico.  From there we flew
          to Phoenix  for a  few days  and then  to San  Francisco where  I
          preached for two more weeks.  Near the end of April, we flew back
          to   western  Colorado  where  our  meetings  were  scheduled  in
          Hotchkiss with  our new  friend in  the ministry,  Pastor Rayburn
          Cox.
               When the meetings began, Rayburn said, "Have you prayed  any
          more about moving to a small town?"
               "Yes," I replied and we'd like to consider moving here."
               We began looking at  new houses and in less than  a week, we
          found a new house for less than  market value.  One of the men in
          the church was a house builder and this particular house had been
          occupied by one of his employees for six months before they moved
          out of  state.   He had  to sell  the house  immediately to  keep
          current with the  building loan he had secured and he was willing
          to sell  it at his cost.  Since the  realtor was also a member of
          the church, we  had only the down payment to obtain.  Sandy's Mom
          offered to give us the five percent down payment needed to secure
          the mortgage,  the bank  approved our loan,  and in  less than  a
          month, we moved from Denver to Hotchkiss.
               Soon after  our  move, Brother  Cox  made me  his  assistant
          pastor  and began teaching me  how to handle the responsibilities
          of the pastorate.  He taught  me how to lead song services,  gave
          me  the nursing  home  ministry,  asked me  to  become the  youth
          pastor, and  gave me any  other job left in  the church to  do in
          order that I might gain experience.  I appreciated his leadership
          in my life  and more than  just being  a good friend,  he was  my
          pastor.  I  had gone into  evangelist work  as a traveling  guest
          speaker because it  looked easier to me than  pastoring a church.
          Brother Cox's tutelage, however, gave me the needed confidence to
          consider pastoring a church of my own one day.
               Though I preached  a few special meetings from  time to time
          during our  stay in Hotchkiss,  I quickly  fell in love  with the
          ministry and responsibilities  of a local  church.  Eventually  I
          requested I  be ordained and  once done, I began  making contacts
          with churches to obtain a pastoring position.
               In  mid 1979,  Brother  Cox  felt the  Lord  leading him  to
          another western Colorado community to begin  a new church.  As we
          discussed it in his office one Sunday evening, he told me  he was
          going to resign his position as pastor and though he wasn't going
          to make any  recommendations, he was sure they would ask me to be
          their new pastor.  I left his office happier than I had ever been
          in  my life.  My  secret life-long dream had  just come true.  It
          seemed as though  I floated into the youth room where my kids sat
          waiting.  They sensed my  energized emotions and we had more  fun
          during that hour than  it seemed we'd ever had.   I couldn't wait
          for the service to be over so I could break the wonderful news to
          Sandy.  Rayburn's sermon seemed  to go on-and-on for ever, though
          he was never  long winded, and  when it was  finally over and  we
          made our way  home, I surprised Sandy with the news.  We rejoiced
          together the rest of that night and the following  week seemed to
          be the happiest we had ever known.
               Eventually  a three-man  pulpit committee  was appointed  to
          begin the  process of hunting for a new  pastor.  Week after week
          passed and nothing  was said.  People in the  church began asking
          me when I would be  allowed to officially become the new  pastor.
          I always replied I had nothing to do with that decision but I was
          sure the committee would make an announcement shortly.
               Finally, before a Sunday night  evening service, I was asked
          to meet  with the pulpit committee in the  pastor's study.  I sat
          in a wooden  chair squeezed into one  of the corners of  the tiny
          office  with the other three men  all seated nearby.  "Phil," the
          spokesman began, "you know we've been discussing the condition of
          the church.  We  want to do what's  right for everyone  involved.
          This church has  gone through a lot of problems over the past few
          years and we all agree we need someone who can bring us back to a
          place of stability."
               I  didn't like the sound of those words and I became uneasy;
          shifting uncomfortably in my seat.
               "So," I heard him say, "in light of all of this, we are  not
          asking  you  to become  the  pastor of  this church.    We would,
          however,  ask you to remain as  the temporary pastor until we can
          locate other candidates."
               I was  having trouble hearing his words.  The other men each
          began to speak in turn but I somehow found their words  fuzzy and
          distant.  They  made it clear that their decision  had nothing to
          do  with  my  blindness but  I  knew  better.   The  head  of the
          committee had stood in my living room only a few days earlier and
          expressed his concern that I could handle the job.
               "I don't  have any problem  with your doctrine,"  he assured
          me, "it's the fact you are blind.  I just don't see how you could
          do certain things."
               Now they  were expecting  me to believe  otherwise?   At the
          same  time, though  not capable  of handling  the job,  they were
          asking me to be  there pastor until they could get  another?  Why
          not just say "Until we can get a better one...one not blind."
               I had experienced  rejection in mild forms before  due to my
          blindness  but nothing of  this magnitude.  It  felt as though an
          atomic bomb had  just exploded over the little town and I was the
          only survivor.  I can't remember anything else that happened that
          night; eternity seemed to have stopped dead in its tracks.
               Somehow  finding myself  riding  home with  the head  of the
          pulpit committee, I  was unable to  find any  words to speak  and
          thus rode in complete silence.  This man, two  years younger than
          I, had been  probably my  best friend in  the church.   He was  a
          dairymen  and  the   most  financially  successful  man   in  the
          membership.   I  had spent  many hours  with him  visiting people
          throughout  the valley  on Thursday  nights.   He had  spent many
          hours  in my home  sharing friendship with my  family.  I trusted
          him as much as I  did my own pastor but I knew in my heart he had
          rejected me pastoring the church because I was blind; he had said
          so.
               "Phil," he finally  said, breaking the somber mood that hung
          like a thick curtain between us, "I know things will work out for
          you some day and that the Lord  will give you a church to pastor.
          You have plenty  of talent and your preaching  is second to none.
          You can  stay and  be our  assistant pastor  for as  long as  you
          like...until you get a church to pastor."
               I still couldn't speak.  It  seemed as though we had nothing
          in common on which to  base a conversation.  Finally I  struggled
          as a  drowning man  fighting  his way  to the  surface and  said,
          "Ralph,  I  know the  real  reason for  the  committee's decision
          because you  were the one  who stated the fact  a week ago  in my
          living room.  My only concern is my future."
               "Future?" he said, puzzled.
               "Yes, my future.  If the people I have been working with for
          the past  year and a half, those whom  I have served, those whose
          children I have pastored in  the church youth ministry, those for
          whom I have  prayed for faithfully each day, those  who have seen
          my abilities,  if those people won't give me  a chance, how can I
          expect total strangers to do otherwise."  It wasn't a question.
               The  next night  Rayburn  came to  visit  us.   He  would be
          leaving in a week; moving to another town a hundred miles away to
          begin  a new  ministry.   When he  had heard  of the  committee's
          decision and, why, he  left and tried to get them  to reconsider.
          It was too late; the decision was final.
               Over the next four  months I served  as the pastor.   During
          that  period  of  time,  three  men  were  called  and  asked  to
          candidate.   The first two were voted upon  and turned down.  The
          third was finally  voted upon and became the new  pastor.  People
          had  become so concerned  that they wouldn't get  a pastor at all
          and by  the third  candidate, they were  willing to  take anyone.
          Over the next three years they had as many pastors and eventually
          became so small, they could no longer support a full time pastor.
               As I lay in bed one night, unable to sleep, listening  to my
          sleeping wife's rhythmic breathing,  I saw myself walking  a road
          alone.   There was lush  green grass growing  either side  of the
          empty road.   After  walking for some  distance, I  noticed there
          were  no flowers  or trees  growing  aside the  road; just  green
          grass.    I walked  for  some  time, climbing  hills,  traversing
          valleys, but never once living the road.  I didn't feel  lost but
          I somehow felt uneasy.   I eventually became aware that the  road
          likewise provided not a single sign of direction or location.   I
          became more and  more uncomfortable with the  experience but kept
          walking the road alone.
               Finally, as I pictured this scene in my mind's eye, the road
          abruptly ended  and I found  myself standing in an  opened field.
          It was  a strange feeling.   Assuming the  road began  again just
          beyond  the next  grassy hill,  I continued  walking through  the
          fresh green grass.  Standing atop the next hill and looking down,
          I saw nothing but grass in every direction.  There was no road as
          far as the eye could see.   Suddenly feeling cold and exposed,  I
          whirled  to  retrace  my  steps and  regain  the  road.    It had
          vanished.  I was stranded and acutely alone.
               As soon as the new pastor had arrived, we placed our home on
          the  market.  I was no longer  being paid enough by the church to
          support my  family and living  expenses would be less  in Denver.
          Real estate was selling quickly in the coal mining communities of
          western Colorado  during those  days and our  home sold  within a
          month.    Moving   back  to  the  big  city   was  difficult  and
          dissatisfying as  well.  We  moved from living  on the edge  of a
          small  town where the  sheep were just  on the other  side of our
          back  fence, where meadow  larks sang almost  continuously, where
          humming birds  buzzed  about  our  backyard and  drank  from  our
          feeders,  where  we  could leave  doors  unlocked,  where gardens
          provided most of our  food, where deer and elk  stakes filled our
          freezer, where we had purchased our first home, where the air was
          fresh  and clean,  to  the big  crowded city  where  the air  was
          corrupted with  smog, cars  roared passed our  front door  by the
          thousands, and where I once said I never wanted to return.  
               Flying back  to Denver alone one weekday, I was picked up by
          my Mom at the  airport.  I immediately  began calling friends  to
          see if anyone knew of a place we could rent.  A good friend, Gary
          Morgan, was in real estate and began helping me look for a house.
          We finally found one large enough to house our growing family and
          fit our  limited budget.   It was literally  less than a  hundred
          feet  off one of  the most busiest  streets in Denver.   We never
          opened our  front windows  during the four  years we  lived there
          because the street noise was so great, it was impossible to carry
          on a  normal conversation in  the living room.   The landlord was
          very friendly,  however, and  he eagerly agreed  to allow  my ham
          radio tower and  antennas to be installed on his property.  For a
          few  months we lived  on the money  we made from  the sale of our
          home  but  eventually there  was  nothing  left.   We  wanted  to
          reinvest our money in another home in Denver.  Unfortunately, the
          house market  in Denver  was so elevated,  compared to  the small
          communities of western Colorado, that to have purchased a  Denver
          home would  have made  our house  payments  beyond our  financial
          capability.
               I  reluctantly  began attempting  to  schedule meetings  and
          since  I had made friends with  several pastors over the years, I
          began to  once again travel.  My heart  was never in it, however,
          and I  found it  more and  more difficult  to stay  away from  my
          family.  We now had a boy and a girl in our little family, making
          it impossible for all of us to travel together, and I missed them
          more  than ever during  the lonely days and  nights in motels, on
          planes,  and in family homes.
               My rejection by the church in Hotchkiss was intensified over
          the next few months.  My  Denver pastor began attempting to  make
          contacts for me with churches looking for full time pastors.  His
          own brother was  totally blind and he  seemed to be aware  of the
          problems a  blind pastor might  have trying  to get  in a  church
          initially.  I explained in detail all the had happen to me in the
          small  western Colorado  town but  he  assured me  that could  be
          overcome.  Six months later he said  he had tried again and again
          to get me into a church but  every time they discovered I and  my
          wife were blind, they became disinterested.  He eventually felt I
          was no longer called to the ministry and, once while seated in my
          living room, said I not only had failed, but was out of  the will
          of God  and should  get out of  the ministry.   He  recommended I
          return to the Colorado State Services For The Blind vending stand
          program thus implying I could expect no more help from him or the
          church.
               As the  months drifted by  and our funds dwindled,  I became
          more and more despondent.  I  could see very little in store  for
          my future.  Sleeplessness became a way of life for me and I spent
          many late nights on my ham radio to pass the time.  The rejection
          I  had experienced  was beginning  to collect  its price  from me
          physically  and emotionally  and I  finally  decided to  get into
          something with which I had some familiarity.
               In early 1980 I purchased  a high speed cassette duplicator,
          along with a few hundred blank cassettes, and began copying tapes
          for  churches and  evangelists.   My reasoning  was that  I could
          eventually move back to a small town and perhaps  pastor a church
          unable to  support a full time pastor.  My business could support
          me and I could live anywhere I  wished since most of my customers
          lived out of  state.  As the  business began to grow,  however, I
          began to doubt I would ever enter the ministry again.
               As the months past, I  lived and relived all the experiences
          of the previous  two years.  My heart ached to preach again but I
          did  my  best to  suppress  the  feelings.   Besides  my  chronic
          sleeplessness, I began  to gain weight, suffer  severe headaches,
          and experience stomach disorder.  Though I occasionally preached,
          the  opportunities were  few  and  my  credibility  with  pastors
          diminished substantially.
               For  years I  had  recommended  a  local  Denver  counseling
          ministry  to  those  I felt  incapable  of  helping.   One  day I
          reluctantly   picked  up  the  telephone  and  inquire  of  their
          services.   Making  an appointment  was perhaps  one of  the most
          difficult things I  had ever done.   The place I had  sent people
          over the years was now the very place I found myself.
               During  the emotional strain I experienced and the financial
          depravity,  I had  begun isolating  what I  considered to  be the
          solution to my problem.  I had read often of men and women of God
          being filled with the Holy Spirit of God and somehow it seemed as
          though that was the  direction I needed  to take.  After  several
          counseling sessions, I  recall coming to  the final session  with
          one question in mind.   As I  sat in front  of the counselor  and
          shared  with him the  things the Lord  had been showing  me in my
          life during those  weeks, I finally got  to what was on  my mind.
          "Aron," I said, "it seems to me that I have come to a place in my
          life where I need the leading  of the Holy Spirit.  I  don't know
          much  about the  Holy Spirit,  except  what I've  been taught  in
          church and in  Bible college, but it  seems there is more.   What
          does  it mean to  be filled with  the Holy Spirit?"   Though this
          brother in Christ shared with me his knowledge on  the subject of
          the Spirit filled life, he told me nothing I didn't already know.
          Leaving his office for the last time, I went home and  decided in
          my heart that I was going to discover the answer to that question
          plus one  other.  I  made a commitment  with the Lord that  I was
          going to  spend a  certain amount of  time on  my knees  each day
          praying until He, my Heavenly Father, revealed to me the truth in
          His  Word about the Spirit filled life.  I additionally asked God
          to show me how I could pray and get my prayers answered.


                           End Of Chapter 10

                             LIQUID PURPLE

                                   BY

                              PHIL SCOVELL




                           Copyright 1991-2004

                            By Phil Scovell

                          All Rights Reserved



          Reproduction of the book  entitled "Liquid Purple" is granted  by
          the copyright holder, Phil Scovell,  if such reproduction is done
          in the  spirit in which it  was given.  It may  not be reproduced
          and sold  for financial gain  without written  permission of  the
          copyright  holder: Phil  Scovell.    Electronic  formats  may  be
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          CONTACT INFORMATION

          Phil Scovell
          840 South Sheridan Boulevard
          Denver, Colorado  80226-8017
          Email:  phil@redwhiteandblue.org
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