It meant so much to us to spend some time with Wilson and Julie Adams in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. I owe a lot to Wilson, the preacher at the Veteran's Parkway church of Christ. Of course, I’m certainly not alone. As a writer of over 30 books, you may in some way have also benefited by Wilson’s easy-to-read, practical style of sharing life-improving, Biblical principles. Even if you’ve not yet read any of Wilson’s books, you may be one of the thousands of followers on his Facebook page that profit spiritually from his timely insights and encouragements posted there.
We met Wilson years ago when he came to Beaverton, Oregon to preach a gospel meeting. In the course of his visit I shared with him what I was writing and after perusing it, he found value in what I had to say and advised me to send the transcript of my book Your Fresh Start to Andy Alexander at One Stone Publishing. It was a dream come true when, not long after, Andy electronically sent my book back to me with the template he recommended for its printing. After I sent to him the watercolor painting of evergreen trees I had in mind for the cover, I signed a contract with One Stone to be the distributor of my book.
Because of Wilson’s and Andy’s help, now my book is not only available to us to hand out to the fellow travelers we meet at RV Parks or shop owners we meet as we live nomadically. One Stone has even made it possible to purchase Your Fresh Start electronically for group use within congregations and so forth. I love that now I am able to hand, in an instant to every soul I meet, a little book containing five life-changing, foundational principles: 1. How humble, honest, logical hearts can know with certainty there’s a God 2. How can can know with certainty that the Bible is God’s perfect instruction for our lives. 3. How we can know with certainty that Jesus is Who He said He was: The Messiah. 4.How to get the church back to doing everything God’s way. 5. How to live a life that honors God’s standards of morality.
During our visit we were so encouraged to learn how Wilson and his wonderful wife, Julie were, alongside other Christians in Murfreesboro, instrumental in the unification of two smaller, struggling congregations within the area into one thriving, cohesive family. One key element to the success of their merge was that they viewed themselves not as two merged groups, but as an entirely new congregation, with a history of their own yet to be written. Here is how they describe their church family and its mission on their website:
“Our togetherness and love for one another is evident in all that we do, both in and out of worship. We are by no means perfect people, but we strive to make progress and serve God to the best of our abilities. We are determined to make a difference in a world that needs a difference.
Our membership is diverse and we welcome people from all backgrounds. By shedding ourselves of physical differences (age, race, social-economic, etc.) and uniting ourselves in the purposes of God, we believe that we can be unified as one.”
It is inspiring to see how the Wilsons are so exceptionally fruitful as Christians with many irons in the fire. Julie worked for years as a nurse but is at the time of this writing, completing her degree in Marriage and Family Counseling at Liberty University. She offers counseling services at http://www.stillwaterslife.com/ , while raising their three beautiful children they adopted in 2016 from an orphanage in the Balkan Mountains of Bulgaria. You can read about this beautiful story in Wilson’s action-filled, heart-driven book “I Am Lea November”. [https://spiritbuilding.com/products/i-am-lea-november]
Of course, this most recent “labor of love” adopting three teenagers translates on a practical level into, of course, a lot more taxiing and a lot less book writing --- at least for now. Love always comes at great sacrifice --- and many have learned that the level of sacrifice as a result of adoption cannot be predicted and are often, to a degree, unanticipated. If you are trying to decide whether or not to adopt, and what it may be like to adopt older children, I believe you will find Wilson’s book on his and Julie’s experience to be a uniquely informative resource, and includes at the end of the book as extensive reading list they have found to be helpful as they navigate doing their best to meet the needs of these children they love.
If you’ve already adopted and, frankly, have members of your family having a rough go of it, the Adams recommend Elk River Treatment Center in Huntsville, AL. “ERTC is a residential treatment program for ages 12-18 specializing in post-adoption and behavioral or attachment issues.”
They also recommend Leaving the Pit Behind in Indianapolis, IN. where they offer professional counseling and family therapy with a Biblical basis. Technology allows for Skype or Facetime with a licensed clinician. LeavingThePitBehind.org.
Despite what might be described as “a whirlwind life”, the Wilsons, with very little notice, allowed us to “Moochdock” our RV and spend a few days enjoying their company. The congregation was flexible enough that they adjusted the adult class to hear Mark speak regarding the practical lessons he has learned in the course of visiting thus far almost 40 churches of Christ.
The Wilson’s are also a lot of fun. They showed us the quaint downtown of Murfreesboro where we dined and chatted outside. Julie cooked us a Bulgarian dinner and for lunch they took us to Mission BBQ where everyone present stands up at noon every day and sings the National Anthem together to honor those who dedicate their lives to protect our lives, liberty, homes and communities. (A company, by the way, that puts their money where their mouth is by fundraising more than $10 million dollars to assist those who have assisted Americans).
My favorite memories of our few days with the Wilsons was the heart to heart conversations Julie and I had as we drove around town, and the night before we parted when we played a lively and hilarious round of “Good Question!” with the whole family. What is “Good Question!?” one might ask. Good Question is a game we Nomads invented wherein someone picks a number between one and four-hundred fifty, and we read from a list of 450 fabulous questions Mark and I have gathered and saved in our phones. Perhaps if we “moochdock” at your house, we’ll get to hear your answers to our sometimes silly, sometimes very deep questions. We’d love that.
Veterans Parkway Church of Christ
488 Veterans Parkway
Murfreesboro, Tennessee 37128