Trinity Youth Department Annual Teen Storm Event

Luke 14:23:  “And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.”

In the above verse, our Lord Jesus Christ told the reaction about a man’s reaction after his servants had invited a number of people to a big meal he was going to have. He heard the invited people had all refused, giving various excuses, such as recently getting married, business, or for some other reason. He replied that his servants should go out and compel other people to come and added that those who had already refused would not attend the meal.

In the same way, the Youth Department at Trinity Baptist Church has annually scheduled a STORM event (Sending Teens Out to Reach the Masses), where teens have gone out in vans, with an adult driver, and invited their friends to come back to church for various fun activities, a meal, and to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ. This year’s event will be August 26 from 4:00 p.m. to 7:15 p.m.

Youth Pastor Chris Bowles said in previous years students have gone to their friends’ houses and invited them. He has since changed that so the students are picked up at their local schools. There is a competition to determine which school has the most students to attend.

Pastor Bowles has participated in the even as a youth pastor for 14 years–six of them at Trinity. He said the nationwide STORM event, with other churches also participating, used to be called a “Jalopy Raid.”

“You fill those cars with teens and bring them back,” Pastor Bowles explained. “You account for a lot of teenagers to get saved, and then you follow up with them afterwards.”

He said STORM usually has 100-150 teens, and a total of 180-200 people attending, counting adult workers. Because the event is the biggest evangelistic Youth Department of the year, Pastor Bowles said it usually leads to about a ten percent increase in attendance on a weekly basis. There are usually a number of people who make professions of faith.

The event will have inflatables, Connect 4 Basketball, funny videos, and games, and the gospel will be preached. Gifts will be given–including headphones and gift cards to local restaurants. The Youth Department annually accepts gift cards from members at Trinity to give out on the night.

Speaking will be Doctor Charles Ware, the former President of Crossroads Bible College. He has spoken around the world, including a Biblical Counseling Conference in Indiana.

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Trinity Teens To Present Suicide Drama

Jennifer Sellers was proud of her daughter, Sydney Dane Sellers, and thought she knew her well. As reported on the website, al.com, Sydney, 14, was a freshman at Pell City High School, who was an honor student who wrote poetry, had earned a black belt in Taekwondo, and might listen to Breaking Benjamin one day and Ella Fitzgerald the next. She had a boyfriend who seemed to be the kind of young man parents might hope would be involved with their child, and seemed to have everything to live for. Her mom didn’t know, however, about the assaults her daughter had suffered from students at her school and was, therefore, shocked after finding her hanging from a belt looped around her loft bed, and she added later that she didn’t really know her “child, only the part of her she wanted me to know.”

The Youth Department at Trinity Baptist Church will present a drama on teenage suicide, written by Youth Pastor Chris Bowles, on Sunday, August 12, at 10:30. Because the topic is sensitive and a prop gun will be used, Pastor Bowles said the play is recommended for viewing only by those 13 and over.

“Suicide is always a relevant topic for teenagers,” Pastor Bowles explained why the Youth Department is presenting the drama. “About eight in ten teenagers have either thought of or attempted suicide.”

He added that there a number of reasons young people think of or attempt suicide–a fight with their parents, a breakup with a boyfriend or girlfriend, bullying or gossip at school, or embarrassing situations.  He added that the three most common ways for teenagers to attempt to kill themselves are shooting, hanging, or popping pills.  Pastor Bowles did not give away the plot for the drama but said it will show what can lead up to a suicide or suicide attempt and a turning point.

“We don’t know what someone’s going through,” he added, saying it doesn’t to help much effort to help at least a little, although hearing the gospel of Jesus Christ can help most of all. “Even talking with someone can help–a simple ‘hi,’ a simple, ‘hello.'”

He told of hearing of one teen who was shocked one day when his father told him he loved him and was proud of him. Before hearing that, he had not believed his father did care and was planning suicide. He had even written a note, but he did not follow through after coming to believe his dad did care.

“It’s (the drama) meant to send a message, as well as a challenge,” Pastor Bowles said of the play, adding the drama may not leave people with a warm fuzzy feeling in their heart, but he hopes they will be encouraged to share the gospel.

He added that being rich or famous doesn’t shield a person from committing or at least think about suicide, adding there were few people more lonely than Elvis Presley, and Alexander the Great fell on his own sword.

“Only Jesus Christ can satisfy,” Pastor Bowles added.

Carter Ritchie: One of the Many Young People at Trinity Serving the Lord

What kind of person makes the best witness for the Lord? Would it be someone with a dynamic testimony, someone the Lord has saved from a life of sin, like the woman at the well, the demon-possessed man who had lived in the tombs, someone saved from a life controlled by drugs or alcohol? Certainly such a person would make a good witness, but wouldn’t God be able to use the testimony of someone saved as a young child, and whom He protected from getting deep into a life of sin to begin with just as much? Would it be someone who has attended multiple classes on soul winning, or attended Bible college to become a pastor or evangelist? Certainly those things are great, and God uses such people, but doesn’t He also use anyone of any age, with a heart geared toward Him and who is willing to follow?

One example of such a person is Trinity’s own Carter Ritchie, a 16-year-old high school junior, and there are also many other examples of other young people at church who have served as helpers in Vacation Bible School, by inviting friends  to  the annual STORM event, and in many other ways. There are also examples of young people in the Bible that God used greatly. Carter led his friend Marshall Reinhard  to the Lord at the recent senior high camp, served as a helper at the Vacation Bible School, and led a child to the Lord at it.

“At first I was nervous,” Carter remembered witnessing to Marshall. “I had never done that before. At the sermon that day, the speaker asked if you had never received Christ to raise your hand.”

Later Carter asked Marshall if “he had ever done that before.” He recalled they texted each other back and forth, and Marshall said he had not. Carter said the problem at first was that his friend seemed to believe that he had to work his way to heaven and that faith in Christ wasn’t enough.

Carter shared verses relating to salvation from the well-known Romans Road method of sharing the gospel and read John 3:16 with him. Marshall not only trusted Christ but later was baptized at Trinity, the same day his sister also trusted Christ!

Carter remembered learning verses to share the gospel in the youth group at  Trinity, as well as practicing for just such a time as he had at youth camp. He plans to attend vocational classes his senior year of high school and hopes to become a Kindergarten or 1st grade teacher.

One example of God using a young person to share his message in the Bible is in Second Kings 5. The Bible tells of a young girl, without telling her age or name, who told the wife of the captain of the host of the king of Syria that she wished he were with the prophet in Samaria, for then he would be healed of his leprosy. Simply put, when he did go and receive the message from God’s servant, at first he rebelled against the simple message of dipping himself in the Jordan River seven times. When he did it, however, he was healed!

There’s no telling what can be accomplished when God’s people, including young people, listen to and obey God’s voice!

What Does Easter Mean to You?

What does Easter mean to you? To me it means I have hope. You see only true believers in Jesus Christ have real hope in the world. Now, I didn’t say only believers have any good things happen to them. Bad and good things happen to all—believers and unbelievers alike. I didn’t say only believers have anything they hope for. Everyone has things in life to hope for—a new job, a better job, for things to go better in the job they are in, a baby, the right person to marry, better health.

Only believers, however, have a hope for the most important thing in life—forgiveness of sin and a home in heaven when they die. If you’re reading this and are not a believer, you have no hope for the most important thing in life, just as I once did not. The hope I now have, not a wish for kind of hope, but the kind of hope the Bible offers, a total assurance, came because Jesus Christ rose from the dead all the years ago, giving assurance of eternal life to all who trust in Him. That is what Easter is about. If you’re reading this and He is your Savior, why don’t you tell someone else of your hope?

Ephesians 2:12-13 speak of a time when those of us who now trust in Christ had not yet and had no real hope in life and of how our life changed after we did: “That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:  13. But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.”

Romans 8:24 speaks of the hope we have, even though we have never seen Christ in the flesh: “For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?”

Our hope has given us a home in heaven, when we trust the blood of Christ for the forgiveness of our sins, as Colossians 1:5 teaches: “For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel.”

As John 3:16 teaches, Jesus the Son of God, died for the sins of the whole world, and anyone who trust His blood has everlasting life, instead of everlasting judgment. 1 Corinthians 15:1-8 teach that not only did He die, but after He was buried, He rose again, and was seen many times by many witnesses.

Romans 10: 9 teaches that if we confess Him with our mouth and believe He rose from the dead, we will be saved: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”

I would urge you to ask Him to be your Savior if you never have and find true hope. If you have, I would urge you to tell others about your hope.

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.”

 

 

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?