Ten Signs You Grew Up in A Charismatic Church in the 80s

You know what this is. (You may or may not have been recruited to be in the tape ministry.)


This was your power point for song lyrics:


You know what role the “catcher” plays in a church service:


When a woman is slain in the Spirit, you know that her legs should be covered by a silk sheet. If no sheet is available the suit coat of a near by catcher will suffice:


You know that “I will dance like David danced” is the most important part of the song “When the Spirit of The Lord” and MUST only be sung at the end of the song:


This is how David danced:


You had a tambourine lady: (Bonus if you were the tambourine lady)




You know the awkward tension of waiting, hoping, praying that someone has the interpretation:


You have experienced this awkward tension on the only day you invited a non Christian to church with you:



Meth, Montana, Mexico: Legislating Furiously Isn’t Fast Or Effective

January 2, 2013
Darren Tyler

On Jan. 15, 2012, 3-year-old Isaiah and 17-month-old Aliyah were shot and killed by their mother; 23-year-old Aide Mendez. Investigators were suspicious immediately that methamphetamine abuse was what fueled this unspeakable act. As it turns out, Mendez had videotaped herself smoking meth just hours before.

Meth has been on the streets of America since the mid-1980s. It has a unique distinction in that it is the first drug that started in more rural Western towns and cities and moved to the urban areas. It’s shocking, but according to an article in USA Today, “most law enforcement agencies don’t keep statistics on how many homicides, burglaries and thefts are meth-related, but those responding to the National Drug Intelligence Center’s 2011 survey said the drug is the top contributor to violent crimes and thefts.”

If you’ve tried to buy Sudafed lately you’re an possibly unwitting participant in the war on drugs. Every time you sign that little clipboard, present your ID and promise you’re not going home to cook meth, you’re participating in the philosophy born in the 80s.

For this particular concept, we can thank Gene Hayslip. In 1986 Hayslip was the No. 3 guy at the Drug Enforcement Agency. With his unkempt gray hair, fedora hat, large, dark-frame glasses and white suit coats he could easily be passed as the love child of Andy Warhol and Don Johnson. He introduced an idea that in the 80‘s was groundbreaking.

The DEA would go after not just the users, dealers and manufacturers, but would also start working to stop the supply chain of the ingredients themselves for drugs created synthetically.

The DEA would begin to use this as one of their core methods of killing meth on the streets of America. The challenge is that the key ingredients for meth are Ephedrine and/or Pseudo Ephedrine. They are also the key ingredients in cold medicines like Sudafed. If you’ve used them while having a runny nose, you know how effective they can be.  One 1992 study published in the Journal of Law and Economics found the increasing availability of over-the-counter cold and allergy remedies prevented 1.6 million annual doctor visits.

The idea was that if we can simply cut off access to Ephedrine and Pseudoephedrine from the meth cooks, that we could crush meth and save millions of lives.

By 1994 the amount of meth on the streets in the Western United States was on the rise. The source for this dramatic increase was discovered when a Lufthansa flight landed at DFW on the way to Mexico. DEA agents discovered 3.4 metric tons of Ephedrine manufactured in India was on board headed to drug cartels in Mexico City.

The DEA learned there were nine factories in India manufacturing the vast majority of the Ephedrine being used by the cartels and consumed by Americans. An agreement was reached with the companies that they would no longer ship to these organizations in Mexico.

Laws in America were being passed restricting the amount of these products a consumer could purchase. The purity of the meth on the streets had plummeted. This is a great thing because the less pure the drug, the less addictive it is. Addiction rates were down, recovery rates were up. Congress had finally given the DEA the power to regulate cold medicine with Ephedrine in it, and it seemed to be working.

They did not however do the same with Psuedoepedrine. For the untrained, (i.e. Congress) Pseudoephedrine and Ephedrine are interchangeable when cooking meth.  The manufacturers in America simply switched ingredients. Labs began to hum again, creating another mountain of meth abuse.

There were more laws passed. And there were more work arounds created by the meth cooks. “Smurfing” became a common practice. Simply driving from store to store, buying the amount allowed at each one and then selling them for marked up prices to meth cooks. Meth cooks were using new techniques referred to as “shake and bake.”  Simply put they were using 2-litre bottles and making it in their cars while driving around.

In 2004, Oklahoma, followed by  Oregon (by some estimations hit hardest by the meth crisis), moved meth behind the counters of stores. Several chain stores followed suit.   Studies had shown that as much as 75 percent of the Ephedrine and Pseudoephederine leaving convenience stores were being used to cook meth.

Meanwhile in Mexico, the Mexican Cartels had long since found other sources for their ingredients. In 2004 Mexico imported 220 tons of Ephedrine; twice as much as they used for cold meds in the entire country. The extra 100 tons were going straight to the cartels and following to the streets of America. As a result the meth on the streets was as pure as it had ever been.

Ultimately Mexico, recognizing the problem, banned the import of Ephedrine altogether and again the purity of the meth on the streets plummeted; but not for long.

Meanwhile in America the federal legislation passed in 2006 requiring anyone purchasing cold medicines containing Ephedrine or Pseudoephedrine to present ID and purchase only limited quantities. Moving behind the counter would surely fix the problem with the “smurfs.”

As a result, the concept of “super smurfing” was introduced. Four to five people going from town to town, store to store, buying only the amount allowed by law and filling their trunks.

And in Mexico, as is always the case, the cartels found other sources and are once again creating meth on an industrial scale and smuggling it into the United States.

Cities like Great Falls, Mont. (hard hit by the meth crisis), have seen dramatic decreases in meth lab busts. Meth use, however, has remained stable. The simple truth is Great Falls is no longer a meth producer, just a meth consumer. The source of their meth? Mexico.

In 2010, Oregon enacted a state law making it a requirement to have a prescription to obtain cold medicines with Ephedrine and Pseudoephedrine products. It was widely hailed as a success story in the weeks and months that followed. It’s entirely possible that soon there would be a federal law requiring the same. The only problem? The facts show that it has had little effect on meth use in the state.

Despite legislation, the meth fueled violence continues. In January 2012 a mother was sentenced for stabbing her newborn baby. In November 2011 an Oklahoma woman drowned her baby in a washing machine. In December 2011 a woman claimed to be God and stabbed her son with a screwdriver.  All of these were meth-fueled crimes.

And if you’re in Mexico, the problem is far worse. Adults and children alike are being murdered by the thousands as part of a war between the drug cartels and the war of the government against them.

The war is about controlling vast riches available by selling narcotics in America including meth. At this point, as much as 80 percent of the meth in America is coming from Mexico. Controlling this substance has ironically, caused a dramatic spiral out of control.

In a social climate where gun control legislation is front and center, we’re seeing that legislation on Meth has caused a dramatic loss of control on automatic weapons in Mexico.  It’s certainly one of the greater ironies of legislative actions in history.

It all begs the question: what can we do? As a nation, as a church, as a follower of Jesus, what is the answer to the problem of meth?   Legislation is a tool, but history shows us that it’s not a particularly effective nor long term solution.

I truly believe that God’s Word is a lamp to our feet, and a light to our path.  I’d like to share some of what I see the Lord saying there in a second part to this blog.  I’ll be posting that in the coming days.






Conduit 2012 Rewind

January 2012- Returning From Haiti

February 2012- Conduit Church Goes Underground

March 2012- We Fired The Church Consultants 🙂

April 2012- The Hunger Games Goes To Church

May 2012- Darren visits Fadely’s in India

July 2012- It was back to Haiti

August 2012- We Went Back To Africa

August 2012- We hosted the first Conduit  Connect Event- Raising $40,000 for our ministry partners.

September 2012- We dispersed funds from Conduit Connect Event

October 2012- We went back to India

November 2012- Fadely’s & Audrey Pate Facilitated Life Saving Surgery For Theo in India

Cancer Has Been Defeated

It’s been 4 years since my mom died from cancer.

We will forever be able to remember events from that summer tagged with, “that’s the summer that we lost mom.” It’s kind of like an experiential bookmark in time that creates an easy to access memory. It’s the kind of thing that forever splits time into before and after. Everything will be remembered as either being before we lost mom or after.

They say that time heals and I think that is true. Although I wonder if it’s God that is healing and time is the technique that He uses. It is God after all who created time. It would certainly be intriguing to consider that a God who exists in a place that knows no time would use something He doesn’t need to aid a healing process.

Like others who have been affected by cancer, I have suddenly become more aware of it. I’ve realized that almost everyone I know has dealt with or are currently dealing this disease on some level or another. I was always aware of it, but in a purely cerebral academic kind of way. I have since come to be aware of it in a quite personal way.

As a Pastor I have had a front row seat to Parents who looked on helplessly as cancer stole their child. I have seen children in suspended animation as cancer slowly and mercilessly killed their parent. I’ve watched it destroy the financial stability of families as they fought to pay for treatments that our healthcare system holds out of reach.

I can say with certainty that I hate cancer. It is evil.

Cells in the human body are constantly dividing and multiplying as the body needs them. When the body makes too many of these cells that it doesn’t need, it can result in forming a mass or tumor. Sometimes the mass is benign, and sometimes it’s malignant and with that it’s medical bingo: cancer. The cells in the cancerous mass begin to steal the nutrients from the body in order to support its rapid growth. This is why sudden dramatic weight loss is often a symptom of an advanced cancer.

As it is stealing the nutrients and growing, it begins to break off and invade other parts of the body destroying the areas as it grows and invades. The mass can release substances that destroy the surrounding tissue. As it grows it can begin to cut off and destroy the surrounding organs.
The ultimate result without treatment is that it kills the host that it has been stealing from and destroying. This is very inconvenient because the host is your body. It sounds kind of scary, but Jesus said in Matthew to not be afraid of what can kill the body but not the soul.

It’s not lost on me that stealing, killing and destroying is the job description that Jesus gave to Satan, whom He called “the thief” in John 10. Is it any wonder that this is such an evil disease? Is it any wonder that 25% of the population will contract it, or that it is the leading cause of death for people under 85. In the fallen world we live in, the fact that a disease emulates the very entity that brought about the fall seems more than coincidental.

Right after Jesus said that the thief came to steal, kill and destroy He followed with “But I have come that you might have life, and have it more abundantly”. I’d be lying if I told you that I wanted that to mean life in my mom’s physical body. I’d be lying to say that I was disappointed that it didn’t work out like I wanted. I’d be lying to you if I didn’t admit that I misunderstood Jesus’ point.

On the surface it might seem that Cancer actually won, that Satan actually “one upped” Jesus. But beneath the surface, in the deep places that God often inhabits, I have learned something very poignant. Jesus, in fact, “one upped” cancer. I prayed fervently that she wouldn’t die. But in essence I was asking God to keep a promise He didn’t make. He never promised that any of us wouldn’t die, what He promised was resurrection.

There are times in life that we cheat death, that we avoid death, that we prolong the dying process, but ultimately our physical bodies will at some point give out. What Paul refers to in 1 Corinthians 15 as our “tents” will be folded up and put away. He said that just a like a seed falls into the ground, our corruptible bodies will go into to the ground, but will be raise incorruptible.

Death is not defeated by not dying. It is defeated by resurrecting.

My mom at some point will come up out of that creepy little cemetery in a long forgotten town called Bostwick, Nebraska and will live in a real literal body right alongside all those who call on the name of the Lord. Just like you and I, she will have life and have it “more abundantly”.

To be clear, I believe that Jesus was talking about here and in heaven when speaking about this abundant life. But, can you think of any life more abundant than one that where cancer or any other disease cannot steal, destroy or kill? That’s the promise of resurrection!

And as for Cancer; John writes in Revelation that death, Hades, and Satan himself will be thrown into the lake of fire forever. For those of us who have been and will be affected by cancer or any other disease, on that day we’ll be able to look back with perfect clarity and tell the stories of how we made it through and celebrate perfectly the perfect work done at the cross.

John also records that the saints were gathered around the throne saying “righteous and true are your judgments oh God”. Or in other words, “right on God, every judgment you made, every circumstance I went through, you were right on”. I envision it to be much like the war stories that soldiers tell with a sense of reminiscence and dignity, with a sense of pride that comes from a hard fought battle that was won.

On the surface it seems like the chips might be down for this world, for our Hero Jesus. If it were a movie, this would be the part of the story where it looks like all hope is lost, but the part of the story where the hero rides in and saves the day is just around the corner. This is the tense part of the movie where you’re on the edge of your seat not even sure if you want to look at the screen.

It might serve you and I well to read the end of the book from time to time. It really does turn out fantastic. Jesus is going to return with ten thousands of the saints. His Will is going to be done on Earth as it is in Heaven. I’m not sure if my mom had ever ridden a horse this side of heaven, but that is one thing I can not wait to see.

Thank You India

Almost 2 years ago, Eric & Tisra Fadely and their children wandered into Conduit Church.   We had just admitted we were a church 3 months earlier.  There were about a hundred of us gathering on Sundays and we were still fully in the mode of discovering what it was God was calling us to be and do.   

As I recall they found us on the Google.  Not sure what the search was.  Perhaps “church with mission focus and a pastor that looks like uncle kracker”  I think it was Tisra who said that they had been searching for a church whose thoughts were towards the world.  She was referring to the disenfranchised, poor, oppressed, marginalized people of the world.  I knew this because I met Dorothy, their toddler whom they adopted from India.  

I was still trying to find out exactly what a pastor did, and they were still trying to figure out exactly what a church was meant to be. On the surface that sounds like a disaster waiting to happen.   And there were disasters.  By this time Conduit was neck deep in rebuilding and relief efforts in Haiti as well as in Nashville after the floods swept through.    It was around that time someone asked me if I was a pastor or a disaster relief guy.  I answered.  “Yes.”

That following Tuesday Eric and I met for coffee.  He told me that they were about to give up on church.  They had been raised in it and felt discontent, like there had to be more.   He told me that I was officially the two longest conversations in his life with a pastor.  (he was including the 5 minutes on Sunday morning)

It was less than a year later when Eric and I sat down for coffee yet again and he told me what was going on.  The insecure part of me always has this “feeling” that when someone reaches out with a serious tone to “get together” that this is their leaving the church speech.  It’s remarkable to me how all those childhood abandonment issues weave themselves so deeply.

The Fadely’s were indeed leaving the church. Go big and NOT go home style.   They were going to India.  For 2 years.  All 6 of them.  He was going to quit his job, they were going to move their stuff into storage, rent their home, raise financial support and move their butts to India.  

I’m not sure what my facial expressions were.  My hope is that they didn’t betray what was going on in my head.  Which was something along the lines of “you’ve got to be flipping kidding me”.  He said that there was a message I had preached about Larry the crazy horse guy, and how it spoke to him.  To which I think I replied, “hey don’t blame this on me.”   And then we prayed.  

In the months that followed I watched Eric & Tisra and the kids embark on a journey that required courage and faith.   They worked tirelessly towards raising their support and God provided for them miraculously.   They were professionally homeless for several months longer than planned as they waited for the Visas to come through.  Raising the money should’ve been the hardest part, and the visa the easiest.  It was the exact opposite.  A preparation for things to come.  

They have been in India for 5 months.   

Those words, that short sentence, doesn’t do justice to their lives.  To their courage.  To their faith.  To their Jesus.  But it’s much like a sentence in the book of Acts.  “And then Paul went to Rome”.   One sentence that encapsulates months of time, life, and experience.   One sentence because only in the light of eternity, only from the position of sitting around the throne of Jesus can we fully understand the magnitude.  

I personally can’t wait.  I can’t wait for the time when Jesus says, and “now let me tell you a story about the Fadely Family.”

In the meantime…

Grant is the oldest brother and bravest young man I’ve met.  He leads his young siblings and has sacrificed his friends and family in exchange for giving himself to children who have no friends or family.   Laelle is the sweet, pretty, and strong young lady with the beautiful smile we all miss, but that the children of Sarah’s Covenant Home will be forever changed by.  Dean is the steady, funny, endearing little guy who is the best “best friend” a little guy in India could have. (I know this because my Ethan misses him so much)  And Dorothy, sweet Dorothy.  Arguably the catalyst for this whole thing a few years ago when she first found her way from an orphanage in India into the Fadely Family in TN.

Tisra is the matriarchal figure who embodies the maternal qualities of God.  She broods over the issues that they have faced.  In the same way the Spirit of God “brooded” over the waters in Genesis 3, Tisra brooded over their paper work to get out of America and into India and it was so.   She nurtures and comforts not only her own children who are further away from home for longer than most children in America will ever know.  She nurtures and comforts the children at Sarah’s Covenant Home in ways they’ve never known.  The Holy Spirit is our comforter, she embodies Him.  

Eric Fadely has been growing into Eric Fadely the Pastor.  He’s been in India for just a few months and has already performed more funerals than I have.  He stands at the gates of hell with courage.  He loves on, cares for and defends the fatherless and the widow.  He is pastoring his family and the orphans of Sarah’s Covenant Homes.  If you don’t believe me, read his latest blog at www.fadelyfamily.com

On Monday I’m headed to “do coffee” with Eric again.  And since the Starbucks at 5 Points is a little out of the way for them, I’m flying to India.   Not sure if they put curry in the coffee there, but I don’t much care.  I’m just excited to see my friends, the source of so much inspiration, to watch first hand what it’s like to worship God with your life.  

I’m taking a couple of suit cases full of stuff for the Fadely kids.  Legos and toys that remind them that there are people here loving and praying for them.  School books for their home school. Medical supplies.  And some jelly bellies for Eric.  If you feel led, you can donate towards the cost of the stuff and the bags.  It’s about $500 total.  I’ll put your name on a card that we hand to them to let them know you were part of it.  

And in November, at some dates that are about to be determined, I’m going back again.  I’d like to take a team with me this time.  If you’re interested, please email me: darren@conduitmission.org    

A Culture Of Umbrage: Hillary Rosen, CNN And Outrage

I’m not a huge fan of Hillary Rosen. She gives off the kind of air that exudes puckered embitterment. You get the feeling that she can be a little crunchy around the office.

Before she was a “Democratic Operative” she was president of the RIAA. (Recording Industry of America) Like any good trade organization they are constantly involved in self congratulatory activity that gives off the appearance off accomplishment. A capitalism treadmill; lots of activity but getting nowhere.

It’s true they are the organization that certifies when an album is gold and platinum. A job that most certainly isn’t in demand as it used to be. A job whose main qualification is the ability to count. The same skills required for a puppet on sesame street.

A few years ago, Ms Rosen was part of the genius pool that decided that it would be awesome to sue the individual users of Napster. A scorched earth policy that accomplished nothing but bad PR for the music industry and some high blood pressure from unsuspecting parents being sued for their kids online activities. A dramatic misreading of the American people.

She seems to have done it again with her statement about working moms. Declaring that Ann Romney “hasn’t worked a day in her life” she poked a political dragon in the butt. The judger has become the judged. She has been thrown under the bus by her own political allies; A bus driven at break neck speeds by her political opponents.

As you can see, I’m not a huge fan of Ms Rosen, but I think this entire episode is a ridiculous distraction from better things.

Of course what she said was condescending and naive. My wife chose to stay at home to take care of our 4 children and our family is forever blessed because of her sacrifice. She works harder than me on any given day or night. To her Ms Rosen’s comments are insulting.

I couldn’t disagree with her more vehemently. I’m just wondering if it really requires us to devote a weeks worth of lead stories, talking head segments, and op-ed pieces in every major news outlet.

One more time our national dialogue has been hijacked by a culture of umbrage.

While we’re having this war of semantics outrage over working moms in America, I stood next to the grave of a dead mom in Haiti. She left behind 5 kids with no Father to care for them. She was 42. Her grave was fresh, only a couple days old. It was less than 20 feet from the shack her kids call home. Buried in the back yard, like a dog because there was no money for a cemetery. Watching the toddler playing on the dirt pile next to the hole brought a flood of emotions to me. He just didn’t know. How could he?

Her name was Carmene Pierre. She loved her kids. They loved her. Her 5 kids will now be raised by their sister in her early twenties. Carmene was a working mom, and on behalf of her and countless other moms like her, wouldn’t it be better if we we were fighting for those moms too?

While I’d love to be outraged at the comments made by Ms Rosen, I’ve only got so much time and outrage to go around.

Instead I choose to be outraged that Carmene suffered and died due to high blood pressure; something that would have easily been medicated in a developed nation. A year from now Ms Rosen will be gainfully employed and this political catastrophe will be long behind her. A year from now Carmene’s children will still have no mother and live in a shack next to her grave.

I’m outraged that Hillary Rosen is a border line house hold name, and Carmen Pierre died in anonymity. I’m outraged that national news networks are devoting time to a pretend “war on moms” with metaphorical casualties when there is a real war on mom’s in places like Haiti with actual casualties.

What kind of crazy messed up world do we live in where the name of a left wing democratic operative who can count is more known than Carmene Pierre? I’m outraged by the amount of time and effort given to Hillary Rosen and zero given to Carmene Pierre.

Outrage is such a useless emotion if it doesn’t fuel action towards addressing the cause.

Because I can’t do much, it’s tempting to not do anything. But what a waste of outrage. I asked myself, what could I do? What can we do?

Say her name to Jesus. pray for her children.
Share her name here in the social networking platforms of Web 2.0
Write her name in the memo line of a check/ donation.

Her name matters more than politics. Let’s use it.

Conduit Mission is committed to raising the funds to building a house for her children. The rainy season is upon us, and Hurricane season is right around the corner. It’s going to cost $12,000 to build this house. It’s going to be concrete blocks with stable footing to withstand the elements. Constructed in a way to more easily withstand an earthquake.

Long after Hillary Rosen and this week’s political debate is gone, this house will stand as a testament that we can do better things. And the kids inside, will grow up educated, fed, and cared for by their sister along with the support of an amazing local church.

They don’t know the name Hillary Rosen, and I hope they never do.

If you can help.. Go to www.conduitmission.org click on donate and put Carmene Pierre House in the memo. We’ve already had over $2,000 committed. We can do this.

Or you can go to http://www.crowdrise.com/haitihouseproject/fundraiser/Craigfelker and support my friend Craig Felker who is running the Nashville Marathon. He is raising money that will go towards this house as well.

Or maybe God will speak to you to do something we haven’t thought of. God is creative like that.




The Tyler’s In Haiti For Christmas Break

It was an incredible time for my family and myself as we went to Haiti to assist Restore Haiti in distributing hundreds of Christmas gifts to children in dire poverty. It was the first time that my wife Shannon and 3 of my kids were able to go. This is the second time for Madi. They were wonderful travel companions and were amazing with the Haitian people.