A New Way of Looking At Life

During this new year, I am going to give you a new way of looking at life. The words, however, are not my own. They are those of Chief Justice of the United States, John Roberts, and are only part of the commencement speech he gave when his son graduated from ninth grade at Cardigan Mountain School. They may not encourage anyone to turn to Christ, but they do, nevertheless remind me of a Bible verse, Romans 8: 28: “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” Following is an excerpt from his speech:

“Now the commencement speakers will typically also wish you good luck and extend good wishes to you. I will not do that, and I’ll tell you why. From time to time in the years to come, I hope you will be treated unfairly, so that you will come to know the value of justice. I hope that you will suffer betrayal because that will teach you the importance of loyalty. Sorry to say, but I hope you will be lonely from time to time so that you don’t take friends for granted. I wish you bad luck, again, from time to time so that you will be conscious of the role of chance in life and understand that your success is not completely deserved and that the failure of others is not completely deserved either. And when you lose, as you will from time to time, I hope every now and then, your opponent will gloat over your failure. It is a way for you to understand the importance of sportsmanship. I hope you’ll be ignored so you know the importance of listening to others, and I hope you will have just enough pain to learn compassion. Whether I wish these things or not, they’re going to happen. And whether you benefit from them or not will depend upon your ability to see the message in your misfortunes.”

 

 

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What is Your Role in Faith Promise Missions?

John 4: 35: Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.

1 Corinithians 15:34: Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.

As Trinity prepares for its Missions Conference, scheduled November 1-5, we should ask ourselves two questions: 1. How would God use our prayers and money to help the full-time missionaries Trinity Baptist supports share the gospel with a lost world? 2. What is our role personally in sharing the gospel?

Jesus said in John 4:35 taught that the fields are already white to harvest. In other words, there are those in our personal area, as well as those around the world, ready to respond to the gospel. 1 Corinthians 15:34 teaches that we should be ashamed when others don’t have a knowledge of God or the saving power of Jesus Christ, if we have had a chance to impart that knowledge and have not done so.

Thinking of these things, we should dwell on how many people are lost around the world, and the fact that many may be ready to respond to the gospel if they can hear it. Trinity has missionaries who are already doing that and more that it will support in the future.

We should also consider how many times we have had to share the gospel and have not done so. How many times did we not share the gospel with our neighbor, compared to the times we actually did, with a co-worker, a fellow student, a family member? Remember, while many may reject the gospel, Jesus taught in John 4:35 that there are those ready to respond.

Thinking of these things, we should then ask God to help us fulfill both roles in praying for and financially helping missionaries share the gospel and sharing the gospel personally. When asking what God would have us to pledge to support missionaries next year, either weekly, monthly, annually, or however, a good verse to think of is Proverbs 16: 3: Commit thy works unto the Lord, and thy thoughts shall be established.

A good thing to remember when giving is what Jesus did for us, as 2 Corinthians 8:9 reminds us:  For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.

God Works When His People Pray (Fasting and Praying September 25-29 for Revival Scheduled October 1-3, or praying for Revival Anytime)

Acts 1

13 And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room, where abode both Peter, and James, and John, and Andrew, Philip, and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon Zelotes, and Judas the brother of James.

14 These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.

15 And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples, and said, (the number of names together were about an hundred and twenty,)

Acts 2

1And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.

And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.

And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.

And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

14 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words:

41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.

Acts 12

Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him.

And, behold, the angel of the Lord came upon him, and a light shined in the prison: and he smote Peter on the side, and raised him up, saying, Arise up quickly. And his chains fell off from his hands.

And the angel said unto him, Gird thyself, and bind on thy sandals. And so he did. And he saith unto him, Cast thy garment about thee, and follow me.

And he went out, and followed him; and wist not that it was true which was done by the angel; but thought he saw a vision.

10 When they were past the first and the second ward, they came unto the iron gate that leadeth unto the city; which opened to them of his own accord: and they went out, and passed on through one street; and forthwith the angel departed from him.

11 And when Peter was come to himself, he said, Now I know of a surety, that the Lord hath sent his angel, and hath delivered me out of the hand of Herod, and from all the expectation of the people of the Jews.

Nehemiah 1

And they said unto me, The remnant that are left of the captivity there in the province are in great affliction and reproach: the wall of Jerusalem also is broken down, and the gates thereof are burned with fire.

And it came to pass, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned certain days, and fasted, and prayed before the God of heaven,

Let thine ear now be attentive, and thine eyes open, that thou mayest hear the prayer of thy servant, which I pray before thee now, day and night, for the children of Israel thy servants, and confess the sins of the children of Israel, which we have sinned against thee: both I and my father’s house have sinned.

We have dealt very corruptly against thee, and have not kept the commandments, nor the statutes, nor the judgments, which thou commandedst thy servant Moses.

Remember, I beseech thee, the word that thou commandedst thy servant Moses, saying, If ye transgress, I will scatter you abroad among the nations:

But if ye turn unto me, and keep my commandments, and do them; though there were of you cast out unto the uttermost part of the heaven, yet will I gather them from thence, and will bring them unto the place that I have chosen to set my name there.

Nehemiah 6

15 So the wall was finished in the twenty and fifth day of the month Elul, in fifty and two days.

16 And it came to pass, that when all our enemies heard thereof, and all the heathen that were about us saw these things, they were much cast down in their own eyes: for they perceived that this work was wrought of our God.

 

 

 

 

How Can God Use Ordinary Christians From Trinity Baptist Church in Panama

Members of Trinity Baptist Church will have the chance to share the gospel of Jesus Christ for a week in March, 2018, in Panama, and God can use them even if they don’t speak Spanish or believe they have any special talents, according to Youth Pastor Chris Bowles and Associate Pastor Herb Koonce. The two pastors believe God will provide the way for those called to go, even if they don’t believe they have enough money for the trip. The two added even those who can’t go can support those who can financially or with prayer.

Pastor Chris said members can share the gospel with local citizens by handing out tracts that tell the story in Spanish of Jesus Crist and His death and resurrection for the sins of the world as the Son of God. In addition the two pastors say those on the trip can serve in other ways by doing any work that needs done, such as painting a building and added translators will be around for those who don’t speak any Spanish.

Pastor Chris said local residents will welcome Americans, and will accept tracts from them, because “one of the big draws is they don’t see a lot of light-skinned people.”

While no definitive estimate of the cost for the trip is yet available, Pastor Mike Spann has estimated it will be around $1,500 per person. Pastor Chris and Pastor Herb say, however, there are a number of ways funds can be raised for the trip for those who can’t afford it, and God can provide.  Pastor Chris said members can send out letters to friends asking for prayer and/or financial support.

“This is what God is doing in my life,” Pastor Chris said a letter could say. “If you feel led, you can support me (with prayer), or if you feel led, funds. Even if somebody gives five bucks, you’re $5 closer (to the needed funds).”

Pastor Herb said money could also be raised for the trip through auctions or a bake sale. He added some might be willing to pay $100 for a cake, if the money were going for a mission trip. Pastor Chris said many people are more likely to give financially for a mission trip for a friend than they are even for a professional missionary.  The two pastors also added that people may be willing to give more money if the person asking for support says money given would make a good Christmas gift.

There are other ways of serving on such a trip.

Pastor Herb said it isn’t that hard to learn a well-known gospel song in Spanish, even for someone who doesn’t speak the language, and sing it with local residents.

“Anything like that means the world to those people,” he explained. “And the key is to remember we’re no better than they are.”

The two also said there will be time on the trip for those who go to visit tourist areas or do shopping.

An informational packet by Baptist Fellowship International missionaries Stan and Jackie Sherwood tells those considering the trip that they can be used if God is calling them on such a trip.

“Each ministry is unique and has the ability to reach different people,” according to the packet. “Just like you being part of this mission team. You have talents and gifts that God has given to you to make you a vital part of this ministry. With all of us working together for the same goal of reaching souls with the Gospel we can accomplish great things for the Lord! All that we have becomes tools that God may use to accomplish His purposes.”

Trinity Associate Pastor Herb Koonce: Not Ready For Retirement

After serving for decades as the senior or associate pastor of a number of churches, why would someone on a “sabbatical” continue to preach all over the country for a year–in various states, including Ohio, Massachusetts, Kansas, and Virginia? Also, why would Herb Koonce come off of his sabbatical to accept the position as Associate Pastor of Trinity Baptist Church, rather than retire?

“I would go nuts in retirement,” Pastor Koonce explained why he accepted the position at Trinity, rather than continuing to travel and preach. “You can shift gears. There’s ministry to be done. That to me is fun. There’s joy” in serving the Lord and ministering to people.

Pastor Koonce was saved at the age of 18 in an Independent Baptist church after being in a Baptist church at the age of 14 and a Nazarene church at the age of 16 and wanting to get the assurance of salvation without receiving it. He said both at 14 and 16 he went to be counseled on salvation and was told he was then a Christian, without anyone really explaining how Christ had died for his sins and risen again and that he could ask Him for salvation. He said he left both times lost. At 18, however, it was a different story, and the gospel was explained, and Pastor Koonce was saved.

“When I was 14, I went forward in a Baptist church and was told I was a Christian but went out lost,” he remembered, also recalling he was baptized as a baby in a Catholic hospital. He remembered, however, that at 18 the “pastor showed me how to be saved and ask Christ to be saved.”

“I was attending church, and there were men who were going into the ministry, and they asked me when I was going into the ministry,” Pastor Koonce recalled God’s call for him to be a pastor. “I said I haven’t the foggiest idea,” he remembered, because he hadn’t yet been called by God, adding he was willing to do anything for his Savior. He remembered God convicting him at Peach Creek Youth Camp in Texas that God did want him in full-time Christian service, telling a pastor there of his decision, and that God’s call on his life was a “sweet thing.”

After accepting the call to preach, he received a degree from Baptist Bible College in Springfield, Missouri in 1967 and another degree from Malone University in 1969. Graduates of Baptist Bible College have included Jerry Falwell and Gene Milioni.

After getting his degrees, Pastor Koonce served as an Associate Pastor of Canton Baptist Temple from 1968-1979, a church which averaged 5,000 in attendance and is also known for being the home of the Christian Hall of Fame. He started a young married Sunday School Class and was Director of Sunday School Education.

He then served as an Associate Pastor of Bangor Baptist Church in Bangor, Maine from 1979-1980 and taught in the Christian school there.

From 1980-1998, he was the pastor of Tabernacle Baptist Church in Chicopee, Massachusetts. During his ministry there, more then 30 people surrendered to full-time Christian service. The church also helped start a Spanish speaking church and assisted in starting 15 other churches.

From 1998-2010, he assisted the pastor in Calvary Baptist Church in Westerville, Ohio.

From 2010-2015, he was the Pastor of Sunbury Central Baptist Church in Sunbury, Ohio. During his “sabbatical,” he continued to preach in 2016-2017 in various churches, including Trinity, before accepting the call to be associate pastor.

Herb and his wife, Judy, have been married 48 years and have three children, actively involved in serving the Lord, Todd, a bachelor, Heather, and Shawn, a son. Shawn, who is married, works for the Tin Roof Society in Nairobi, Kenya, which assists in training individuals to be productive in their lives while sharing the gospel of Christ with them. Todd sells insurance, and Heather’s husband is a worship leader in a “Biblical Presbyterian church.” Judy, whose great-grandmother once sang for D.L. Moody, is the children’s resource coordinator at Trinity.

Pastor Koonce’s favorite verse is Joshua 1: 9: “Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.”

Welcome to Trinity, Pastor Koonce and Judy!

A Second Look at Sports With Dwight Allen

Imagine discussing coaching with Tony Dungy, listening personally to what it was like to coach the winning team in a Super Bowl, or hearing his personal testimony of faith in Jesus Christ. Do you think you would enjoy talking to Oral Hershiser about being the World Series MVP in 1988, winning the Series and Cy Young Award for the Los Angeles Dodgers the same year, playing for the Cleveland Indians for years, and his faith? Would you enjoy a ministry that allowed you to talk with John Smoltz about winning the Cy Young and World Series with the Atlanta Braves, his faith, and discussing sports and faith in Christ with other famous and not-so famous athletes and coaches in football, baseball, basketball, and other sports from the professional to high school level?

Trinity Baptist Church’s own Dr. Dwight Allen, who served as a pastor for 25 years in various locations, including Ohio, Illinois, Idaho, and California, doesn’t have to imagine any of those things. As host of “A Second Look at Sports,” for 25 years, currently on more than 500 radio stations, including stations in the United States, Turkey, India, Russian, Canada, Africa, and in the Middle East, he does just that. Besides the 30 minute show, he also hosts “A 60 Second Look At Sports,” and “Racing World,” featuring NASCAR Racing. Dr. Allen also served as a scout for the Chicago Cubs and as a youth pastor.

“I found myself going to the ballpark (in Idaho Falls, Idaho in the 1980’s),” Dr. Allen remembered in an interview how the ministry started when he still served as a pastor. “They had a minor league (baseball) team. I got to know him (the manager of the team at that time, Joe Madden, who last year managed the Chicago Cubs to the team’s first World Series Championship since 1908.) I was the chaplain. He came down and would be a part of the chapels. I started doing radio in those days. I thought it was an extension of my ministry.

“We’re (as believers) required to go into the world and plant the seed (of the gospel of Christ) and water it, and God gives the increase.”

“I love to speak and encourage local churches to have sports ministries,” Dr. Allen’s website reported. “Utilizing the ideas we have gathered for evangelism, we speak at worship services, athletic banquets, high school assemblies, and civic groups all over the country.”

The ministry has continued with interviews with any athlete, in high school, college, or the pro level, who has a sports story to tell, combined with a Christian testimony. He has interviewed Dungy, Hershiser, Smoltz, golfer Nancy Lopez, Indy 500 winner Sam Hornish, Tamika Catchings, who stared in the WNBA, and many others.

He said in the interview many had dynamic testimonies. In his book, “A Second Look at Sports,” he noted that while many coaches win by intimidating their players, Dungy, who looked to Christ as a model of what a leader should be, modeled self-control and a humble spirit. He looked to Psalm 23 and the Lord as shepherd as an example. Dungy, before coaching the Indianapolis Colts to a Super Bowl championship, was fired as coach of Tampa Bay and looked to the words of Romans 8:28, “For we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to his purpose” for comfort.

In the interview, Dr. Allen said Dungy “is still a football commentator. He has given up a lot of his football activities to barnstorm the country in family seminars” to share the faith of Christ after the suicide of his son, James. While still coaching he shared his faith publicly at events, such as a Christmas party children sponsored by the Colts.

He also recalled how the gospel of Christ and his saving power was shared at the funeral of racing car driver Dan Wheldon, who lived his life as a believer before dying in a crash at a race.

Dr. Allen says he isn’t at Trinity every Sunday, because he has so many speaking engagements. He pointed out that Trinity member Kevin Ritchie is responsible for scheduling many of them.

You’re Never Too Old or Too Young to Serve Jesus

This month, unless the Lord decides to take me home to live with Him before that, I will be 60 years old. I have heard Pastor Spann say when some people get older they feel like they have done enough for the Lord and that the younger people in the church should do all the work, and they should just rest. I have no doubt if Pastor Spann said it, there must be people who feel that way, but I don’t feel that way at all. Let me first say, there are many far better examples in the world or even just in Trinity of faithful servants of the Lord than I.

I do, however, still have a desire to tell friends, family, and others that Jesus Christ is the only One Who can forgive your sins and give eternal life. I still have a desire to serve as an altar worker, in Word of Life, in Vacation Bible School, at the county fair, as an altar worker at special events for teens, or other places God might call me. I also believe the Bible teaches God wants us to serve Him at any age, young or old. Let’s look at some examples in the Bible of people who served God when they were older.

After the children of Israel had wandered in the wilderness for 40 years and did not take possession of the land God wanted them to have because of the sin of fear of the inhabitants of the land, Joshua and Caleb remained. Some of those who had died also had committed idolatry and fornication. All but Joshua and Caleb had died.

An 85-year-old Caleb, however, said God had blessed him and he was as strong as he was 40 years earlier. He said he was ready to take possession of the land God had promised him, “Now therefore give me this mountain, whereof the LORD spake in that day; for thou heardest in that day how the Anakims were there, and that the cities were great and fenced: if so be the LORD will be with me, then I shall be able to drive them out, as the LORD said.” (Joshua 14:12).

Exodus 5:1 said Moses and Aaron told Pharaoh that God had told them to tell him to “let my people go that they may hold a feast unto me in the wilderness.” Exodus 7:7 says he was 80, and Aaron was 83 when they spoke to the Egyptian leader. Acts 7:30 also says Moses stood before the burning bush 40 years after he killed the Egyptian, which also would have made him 80. So, this famous servant of God was not a young man when God used him to lead the children of Israel out of Egypt.

Psalm 92:12-13 say: “Those that be planted in the house of the LORD shall flourish in The courts of our God. They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat and flourishing.”

According to biography.com, Billy Graham, who has shared the gospel with
millions of people, retired in 2005 from preaching. That would have made him 87, so he is an example of the truth of verse 13 above.

Of course the Bible also teaches we are never too young to serve Christ. Paul told a young man, Timothy, a pastor to: “Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” Of course, we all also remember the young lad who gave his five loaves of bread and two fishes to Jesus, and that the Master fed five thousand men, and however many women and fish were in the crowd with them.

Friend Day

And he said unto them, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” (Mark 16:15)

Jesus said we all have a responsibility to share His love, the news that the Son of God was crucified, buried, and rose again to pay for our sins, so that we could live forever with Him, instead of going to hell. In other words, we need to share the gospel with anyone we can, stranger or friend. What does this mean for our Friend Day, March 26, 2016?

In 1977, a young man in Colorado Springs, Colorado, took the time to be my friend, talk with me, and one day took me to see an evangelist named Nicky Cruz in a big high school football stadium. I was saved, and my life was forever changed.

In John 1:41, Andrew introduced his brother, Simon, to Jesus. Simon Peter became Peter the Apostle. God used his preaching to save 3,000 people on the day of Pentecost and 5,000 after another sermon.

In John 1: 45-46, Phillip introduced his brother, Nathaniel, to Jesus.

In John 4, Jesus met the woman at the well and told her all about her life, which included being married and divorced five times and living with a man she was not married to at the time Christ was talking with her. In verses 28-29, she told the men she knew in town about a man, the Savior Who knew everything she had ever done and had forgiven her. In verses 39-42, many were saved, some as a result of her personal testimony, and others because of listening to Jesus preach.

In Mark 5:19-20, after Jesus had cast the demons out of the man in the country of the Gadarenes, Jesus told him rather than going where Christ himself went, to tell his friends at home what Jesus had done for Him. He did, and the Bible says all men marveled.

In Matthew 9:10-13, the Bible tells of the friends of Matthew, the tax collector, who had met Christ, sitting down to dinner with Christ and His disciples.

In Luke 19, another tax collector, Zaccheus, invited many of his friends to a dinner party to hear Christ.

Who do you and I know we could invite to church March 26?

In This New Year, Are We Using Our Time, Talents, and Possessions for God’s Glory?

Psalm 40:2-3 He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings. And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the Lord.

Whenever God delivers from something, especially when He saved us, we have something to sing about, and the Bible says God put a new song in our mouths, praise to our God. It also says when people see us, they shall fear and trust in the Lord.

It is early in another new year, another new event in our lives, and it might be good to ask God’s help to determine if we are using our time, talents, and treasure for His glory and honor. To that end, January 29, Trinity Baptist Church will have its annual Stewardship Conference, with Pastor Josh Bevins from Lighthouse Baptist Church in Xenia, Ohio, leading. Pastor Bevins has taught extensively on stewardship in his own church, with the content of many of the sermons online on podcasts.

“The word steward means ….manager of someone else’s possessions,” Pastor Bevins explained in one sermon. “The superintendent to whom the head of the house has entrusted has entrusted the management of his affairs. We are not owners, but we are managers (of everything God has given us, money, time, possessions—even our children. God owns it all.).”

In one sermon, he read from 1 Corinthians 12, which listed spiritual gifts God gave to believers to use for His glory.

He mentioned time, noting that each person has 168 hours weekly and wondered how much of it believers use for God, noting his church was giving out calendars, designed to encourage believers to read through the Bible. Pastor Bevins noted that when believers used their time for God by spending more time in the Word, he noted a change in their lives, with many sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with people in the community through the church’s visitation program. He noted that the Bible says our life is so brief it is like a vapor, or smoke that soon vanishes away, so it is good to use our time for God while we still can.

Pastor Bevins noted that all of the money we have is owned by God, but the Lord is so gracious he only asks for ten percent of it in return as a tithe. He noted Acts 20:35 recorded that Christ said “it is more blessed to give than to receive.” He added that whatever people give they get in return, whether money or something else, noting that by his teaching the Bible to others, he learns more from it himself.

“Do you believe God can take care of you?” He asked if people are willing to trust God with the results if they are obedient. “Do you believe God wants to? Do you believe God can be trusted with your possessions, resources, and finances? Are we willing to act on our trust?”

“Most Christians don’t live a consistent, faithful life for the Lord, because they don’t understand the issue of stewardship,” Pastor Bevins explained in a sermon. “Stewardship is one of the most powerful and liberating truths that can penetrate a person’s heart and revolutionize the way a person thinks,” adding that understanding stewardship can “alter the way a person lives his life.”

Have You Heard or Read A Modern Christmas Story?

There is no greater truth than that God let His Son, Jesus Christ, through Whom He made everything, be born as a little baby in Bethlehem and later die on a cross for our sins and rise again from the dead three days later so nobody who trusts Him has to go to hell. No matter how many great speakers there are in the world or great writers, nothing can tell the story either like the Bible, God’s Word. Nevertheless, I wonder if any of you have ever heard, ” A Modern Christmas Story?” I find it a blessing. I don’t know who wrote it, and it may have been a short story, but I know it has been performed by different artists as a song, with the singer reciting the story, rather than singing. One who did that was the late Doug Oldham. If you never have heard it, here is my paraphrased version from the version told by Paul Harvey:

There once was a man, who wasn’t bad in the eyes of the world. He certainly was no Scrooge. He treated his fellow man fairly and was generous to his family. There was just one problem. He just couldn’t believe that God had come to earth as a man or been born as a little baby in Bethlehem. It didn’t make sense, and he was no hypocrite. He wouldn’t pretend it did.

He told his wife he wasn’t going to church for Christmas Eve. To do so would make him a hypocrite, as he just didn’t believe. He did promise to stay up for his family as they went to the midnight service.

After they left, the snow began to fall, and the flurries grew ever heavier. He went back to reading his newspaper. He was startled when he heard a sudden thud and then heard more noises sounding like either thuds or thumps. He wondered if someone, despite the terrible outside weather, could be throwing snowballs against the living room window. When he went to the window, he instead found a flock of birds huddled together outside in the bitterly cold snow. They had tried to find shelter by diving into his window.

He didn’t want the poor birds to lie down and freeze, and remembered the barn that housed his children’s pony. He knew the birds would be warm and safe inside, if only he could direct them inside. He hurriedly  put on his coat and boots and rushed throw the ever deepening snow toward the barn. After opening it wide and turning on a light, he saw with distress that the birds refused to go  in. He figured food might do the trick and cause them to enter.

Back at his house, he gathered bread crumbs, threw them on the snow in such a way to make a trail to the lighted open doorway to the barn. Sadly, he saw the birds ignored the food, and still flapped around in the cold  snow. He tried unsuccessfully to catch them, tried to show them into the barn as he walked around and waved his arms–all to no avail. They ran in every direction–other than the warm barn.

He finally realized they were terrified of him and probably considered him a scary and strange creature. He wished there was some way he could help them understand he only wanted to help, not hurt them, but knew every move he made scared them. They wouldn’t enter the barn, because they were afraid of him.

He realized if he could become a bird and speak their language, he could tell them to not be afraid, as he would show them the way to the warm, safe barn.The only way to save them would be to become one of them. Just then, he heard the church bells ring.  As he listened, he stood there and heard them pealing the glad tidings of Christmas, the story of the Babe in Bethlehem finally made sense, and he cried for mercy, as he asked God to save him.

Merry Christmas to all.