In Memory of Dr. Phil Wright

Following are my notes for my comments at Dr. Wright’s memorial service.

Phil often spoke with me of his conversion moment and process. His theme always seemed to be “Back when I lived for me.”

For me to live is _____________________. To die is _____________________. Philippians 1:21

I was privileged to participate in some small ways in Dr. Wright’s “For me to live” journey.

Many years ago Phil called to set up a meeting.
• Are you one of those Holy Spirit type pastors?
• I read a book where a man, led by the Spirit, had a pastor who was in bondage to sin, sit in a chair in the middle of the room. This unknown man began to pray, led by the Spirit of God and the Pastor was totally transformed.
• “I am not in bondage to sin, but I don’t look as much like Jesus as I want to.”
• “I am going to sit in this chair and you are going to pray until I look more like Jesus.”

Phil wasn’t a fanatic about church or doctrine or dogma. He was a raving fan of the man, Jesus.

Back when I lived for me I used and hurt a lot of people. Now that I live for Christ I am learning to serve people. 2 Corinthians 4:5

Back when I lived for me I was all about money and toys. Now that I live for Christ I am learning to generously give. 2 Corinthians 9:11

Back when I lived for me I was all about earn, earn, earn. Now that I live for Christ I am learning to receive God’s free gift of grace. Ephesians 2:8

One day, as Phil was receiving his 125th blood transfusion, we were talking about God’s healing power. Unsure why God had not chosen to heal his body we came to the conclusion that healing is not only about the removal of disease from the body but about bringing the whole man into health.
• I think God is healing me as a friend. I am better friend to people than I have ever been.
• I think God is healing me as a father. I am a better dad than I have ever been. I totally enjoyed my bucket list trip to San Francisco with my son.
• I think God is healing me as a husband. I am a far better husband than I have ever been before.
• I think God is healing me as a Christian. I love Jesus soooo much!

Dwight Moody was traveling by boat on one of the Great Lakes when a really bad storm developed. The passengers cowered in fear starting an impromptu prayer meeting for deliverance, which Moody didn’t join. When asked why not he said, “I have a sister in Chicago and one in heaven and I don’t care which I see tonight.”

A couple of weeks ago I was seated next to Phil’s bed. He said, “Will you help me sit up?” I took his hand and he pulled himself up to sit on his bed.

Kent, this is the last time you will see me here. Next time you see me will be in heaven.

I want to tell you that I really, really, really love you. Give me a hug.

I’ll see you soon.

For Dr. Phil Wright it is now true, To live is Christ and to die is gain.

How about for you?

Jesus has done everything for your salvation. You simply need to surrender your entire life to him. “Jesus, I give you me.”

Then you will be saying to people, along with Phil, “Back when I lived for me…”

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