Go Forth and Kiss Frogs!
Born January 15, 1939, in Memphis, TN, Jim Cox was called home July 23, 2016, at his home in Holly Springs, MS. Jim was a successful businessman with plans to become financially independent with a grand home in Germantown, a swimming pool, and two Cadillacs in the two-car garage. Then God called. Jim entered the ministry in his early 40’s, and his life was forever changed.
At his first full-time appointment in Tula, MS, he stood in front of the church sign that had his name on it and said, “I cannot wait to save people!” The Lord reminded him real quick that he could not do anything on his own, and from that point forward each church he served grew because he knew where his help came from. He and Jesus were partners and Jesus was the senior partner.
Jim’s sermon called “The Purpose of the Church is to Kiss Frogs” was based on the story of the princess kissing a frog and changing him into a prince. Jim said that the Christian’s job is to go kiss frogs and change their lives forever. People started handing him stuffed frogs, ceramic frogs, cups, plates; if it had a frog on it, his wife had to find a place to put it. The house was covered with frog paraphernalia, and he loved each one, and could tell the story behind it of how God had changed someone’s life. Each frog reminded him how big our God is, and that with him nothing is impossible.
Jim loved to preach, and he loved being a pastor. He knew that those were two different jobs. His heart was for his congregation, and if there was a need he and Jesus found a way to meet it.
Jim strived to bridge the gap between the churches in each city he was in. He always partnered with multiple churches to hold events, and even pulpit swaps. He wanted the community to know that in Christ we are all one, whether Methodist, Baptist, Presbyterian, or whatever. He lived life to the fullest and each day made an impact on someone somewhere. When social media came on the scene, he loved watching the young people he had baptized, now grown with their own children, following the same path with Jesus.
When he spoke he was loud, and his smile was infectious. His passion for God and people was undeniable. God used him to help a lot of people. Many of you sitting in this room entered the ministry because he inspired you to do so. He loved each of you and loved watching your ministry grow.
So remember that the purpose of the Church is to kiss frogs—to change lives forever.