35th Spiritual Birthday

On a Wednesday afternoon in a bank’s unused meeting room, one woman banged out some hymns on a piano while 40 some-odd kids followed along. A second woman then began telling stories from the Bible using a felt-board. Felt-boards were what people used to communicate before Velcro, Power-point, 3M sticky notes and cell phones were invented.

This felt-board had a big heart with a door in the middle. Jesus waited politely on the outside (the side without a door handle). Only the person inside (me, in this case) could invite him in.

As a 10-year old fourth grader, I didn’t need a lot of data to convince me of my own sin and my need for a savior. Later, after dinner, I vividly remember going upstairs to my room, kneeling beside my bed, and inviting Jesus to invade my life, forgive my sins, and help me follow Him. That was Halloween night 1973. Shout at the devil.

Thank you, Ann Pugh, for faithfully presenting the message to a kid who desperately needed to hear it. Another ten years would pass before I fully surrendered to Christ’s wonderful Lordship. You have borne good fruit to God’s glory among the nations. Your labor was not in vain.

Did you know…? On this day in 1517, Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the church door in Wittenburg, Germany, pouring gas on the flame of the nascent Reformation. Shout at the devil again.

By Ken

Dr. Ken Cochrum (DMin, Bethel University) is Vice President of Global Digital Strategies at Cru (formerly Campus Crusade for Christ) in Orlando, Florida. An avid cyclist and aspiring guitarist, he also holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering from The University of Texas and a Masters of Arts in Biblical Studies from Dallas Theological Seminary. He recently co-founded, a movement passionate about connecting people to Jesus using digital strategies. He previously served as vice president of Cru’s student-led movements worldwide. He and his wife Ann spent 13 years in East Asia where they raised their two children. Ken blogs regularly at

2 replies on “35th Spiritual Birthday”

Happy birthday! Here’s to the millions of Ann Pughs around the globe who will know the rest of the story on day.

Yay for flannelgraph/felt-board! 🙂


A Canadian student (last year) from Western Canada who’s now a campus ministry intern in Eastern Canada (this year), thus gaining the privilege of hearing you speak for two Winter Conferences in a row!

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