Monday, January 31, 2011

I Love My Church - Trinity Baptist Church

How could one not love the beautiful Bride of Christ? The Church whom He gave his life for on the cruel cross, one in which He practiced self-denial and made it an object of intense concern to preserve the Church, His Bride.

What is LOVE?  It is an action word. Can one say "I Love My Church" and do nothing for the Bride of Christ?  I think not!  For almost 20 years, I have served our Lord, Jesus Christ at my beloved Church, Trinity. I have had the privilege of being a part of a church family that loves our Lord, Jesus Christ. Oh, we have climbed lofty mountains and crossed deep valleys together, holding on to each other as brothers and sisters in Christ, reaching forth to grow in Him and bring others to His saving grace.

My Church is a place to stand strong against the forces of evil, a place to honor God and family, a place to be filled and renewed by the Spirit - where godly men and women gather together to worship the Bridegroom of the Bride. I thank God for worship leaders who share the truth of the Gospel.

I love my Church because it is, and has always been, a kingdom-focused church. A church that exists to transform unbelievers into Christ like believers and to mature these believers into kingdom multipliers of the message of Christ. A church that makes disciples, matures them through spiritual transformation, and multiplies them as kingdom agents through out the world. Trinity is constantly changing in every way except in its nature and functions, praise God. I love my Church because it has what I call a bifocal vision, looking up toward the Lord with reverence, and across the aisle at our family members with understanding and love.

I love my Church because of the ministry that is happening in all ages of the church. Remember, love is an action word; ministry is meeting another person’s need in the name of Jesus, by doing service for people inside the church family and as missions to those outside the church.

How important is love for my Church - the people of Trinity? Take a moment and read I Corinthians 13:1-7. That is my answer!

To God be the glory for great things He has done.

Bro John

Thursday, January 27, 2011

I Love Trinity Baptist Church...

Dear Trinity,

God loves you, my family and I love you, and watching God move in our midst is a great joy. I love seeing you love Christ in our worship gatherings every week, and I love seeing your love for Him overflow into love for each other. I love that we are falling more in love with the Word, and the God of the Word. I love pastoring the Trinity Worship Choir and Orchestra and the Trinity Worship Victory Singers as we learn, more and more, how to pursue our joy in Christ and encourage others to do the same. I love serving with brothers who are not just fellow pastors, but friends. I love that God is rearranging our thoughts and affections and centering us, as a Church, around the Gospel. I love that my kids not only assume that when we are leaving the house that we are coming to be with you, but that they want to be with you! I love that we are learning how to proclaim God’s glory among older and younger generations together (Psalm 78:3-4). I love being a part of a faith family that is sending, and going, on mission adventures and seeing disciples made from every nation. In short, I love being a part of Trinity. There is no other place I would rather serve than here. I cannot wait to see the wonderful things God will do in the coming days, months, and years.
Do It Lord, that Your glory may be seen!

Moving Forward With You,

Jon Rushing

Monday, January 24, 2011

I Love Trinity Baptist Church...

Dear Trinity,

As I begin to write this letter to celebrate “I Love My Church” month, I must confess that I find it difficult to decide where to begin. Knowing that WE are the Church and it is made up of such a wide variety of people, with such a wide variety of personalities, yet we are a single body joined together for God’s glory. I could list many reasons that I love you but, because of space I will limit it to the areas in which you display God’s glory the brightest from a Pastor’s perspective.

I first want to tell you that I love you because of the way you have received the Word of God. In any church there will be a natural resistance when hearing truth - it is supernatural for us to relish rebuke from the Word - it is strange (from a worldly perspective) that the only living book that can cut us so deeply, we can love so passionately. You, as a body, have not only received the Word of God, but you have encouraged me to hold fast to the truth. You sit under the teaching of the Word of God and do not simply endure the preaching, but will e-mail me or come up to me to follow up with questions because you want to know Him more. The kind words, cards and e-mails are not only encouraging, but refreshing in midst of the battle. Of all the ways you have blessed me, I love you most for hearing and responding to the Word of God! I count it joy to preach to you each week.

I also love you because of the way you have loved my family. When my family came to Trinity, we were leaving family. My boys were leaving cousins who they saw practically everyday and we were only a short distance from grandparents. Adding to this, we knew from the honesty of Pastor Search Team and others, the difficulty that was before us. We knew there would be battles for truth and doctrine, but we did not know at that time, the number of you who would be willing to follow Paul’s words and “war/strive for peace.” Over the last couple of years my boys have developed deeper friendships than I ever thought they could develop in such a short time, and so many of our ladies have loved Michele and encouraged her in countless ways. We have had so many men in leadership positions stand boldly and steadfastly, without bending or hesitation - it has been one of the most glorious experiences I have encountered as a Pastor as I watch the desire of our men to glorify God by protecting this wonderful local Bride of Christ!

This letter would be incomplete if I did not state that I love Trinity because of her leadership. From our teachers, deacons, and ministry leaders to our staff… you bless me beyond measure! I have always known Pastors who take their “off day” on Mondays because of how difficult that day can be. While I understand the difficulty, I can honestly say there is not a weekday in OUR offices that I enjoy more than Mondays. It is the one day that our staff is together for an extended period and it brings me encouragement and joy beyond measure. To hear the ways God is at work, to have theological discussions, to pray for one another, to confront one another…it is one of the highlights of life in the ministry. These men are the most gifted, as a whole, that I have ever seen, but also each one appears to have a genuine passion to do all they do for the glory of God. The books we go through, the burdens we share and the ways in which we are so quick to help one another on this journey are invaluable, and it increases my joy in serving this wonderful body of Christ.

I count it an honor to be your Pastor and look forward to the future, as we go through this journey for many more years together.

I Love You, Trinity!

Bro. Chad

Thursday, January 20, 2011

If Not for the Storms

I thank God that He created music! I am not musically talented, but I enjoy those who are. There are a lot of people who have gone through tough times and God has used Biblical truth through music to minister to their soul. One of my favorite songs is by Larnelle Harris entitled “If Not for the Storms.” You can read the lyrics below or click on the link and listen. Just a great perspective for every Christian, no matter what you are going through.

Verse 1

If all I'd had were blue skies

And days of perfect peace

Always sailing smoothly over

Gentle quiet seas

Verse 2

There's so much about You

I might have never known

But I have faced the wind and waves

And I see how faith has grown

Verse 3

A shepherd strong and tender

I'd only read about

Met me in the middle of

Moments filled with doubt

Verse 4

A provider a protector

A friend who knew my need

There's so much I can tell of who

You've proved yourself to be

Misc 1


Sometimes it's hard to see the reasons

For the trial I'm in

Looking for my earthly point of view

But you have surely proven to me

Time and time again

I can depend on you

To bring me through

Chorus 1

If not for the storm

I couldn't say that You're my shelter

If not for the storm

I would have never known Your strength

I found You so faithful

Through all that You allowed

If not for the storm

There's no way I’d know You

As I know You now

Monday, January 17, 2011

PG - Parental Guidance Classes at Trinity Baptist Church

Parenting is a difficult task! It is a job that is highly rewarding, yet at the same time extremely challenging to say the least. But, I praise the Lord that He has not given these precious gifts and then simply turned us loose. Rather, our Lord provides guidance through His Word and through the gift of His Holy Spirit with all wisdom, endurance, long-suffering, and grace!

With our new PG – Parental Guidance sessions, our desire is to look into God’s Word for parental guidance so that we can guide our children in a manner that will help them grow in God’s grace.

We will gather together once per month, on Friday evenings, to focus on the truths of God and apply them practically in our homes. Our time together will be mutually edifying as we share our questions and struggles, pray together, and strive to be the parents God has called us to be.

For our first PG classes, we will be reading through the book, The Heart of Anger by Lou Priolo. You will need to purchase the workbook that corresponds with the book. Both the book and the workbook can be purchased at the book table now.

Has your child or children ever talked back to you, or rolled their eyes? Has your child ever talked disrespectfully to you or a sibling? Do you have children who fight with one another, even over the most miniscule things? Have you ever lost your cool in dealing with issues in the home?

I can’t speak for you, but I can for me and my house. All of the above has, and does happen. So, now what: How can I respond to anger issues with my children that will not only solve the problem, but will also train them and prepare them for life? How can I address the heart issues that result in anger responses that are sinful?

In The Heart of Anger, we will look at such topics as:

  • Angry Attitudes
  • Provocative Parents
  • Discipline: What it Really Means
  • Practical Biblical Communication
  • Disrespect and Manipulation
  • The Appeal Process

Here are the details for the class:

Cost: The cost of the book ($16) and workbook ($15), The Heart of Anger. These books are sold at the book table and the book is available for check out from the church library on a first come, first serve basis.

Schedule:         From 6:30 – 8:00 pm

  • Friday, January 21
  • Friday, February 18 
  • Friday, March 25 
  • Friday, April 15

Childcare is provided for each of these classes.

You can sign up at the ticket counter for these classes. We ask that you go ahead and get the book and work through the first three chapters of the book/workbook prior to our January 21st meeting. If you are just finding out about this class and would like to attend but have not completed these chapters, please do not let it keep you from attending!

Let me know if you have any questions at

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Decision Making in the New Year...

I have said numerous times that I am amazed at how some people have turned "finding the will of God" into something so difficult and, almost mystical.  While I admire the passion to seek God, I find it a bit strange at how far out people get with trying to discern what God has said or wants. We have several books at our book table that cover this in more detail (Decisions, Decisions and Just Do Something), but the thoughts below by Dr. MacArthur are so well said that I thought this might be a good resource for you as well. I hope this continues to help you.

Decision Making to the Glory of God
Thursday, December 30, 2010

Did you know 90% of the choices you make as a Christian involve areas where Scripture says surprisingly little? What you wear, where you go, how you spend your free time—you won’t find many explicit instructions in the Bible. But you can find plenty of rules and strictures in the various spheres of evangelicalism, many of them unhelpful and even harmful (and not only in the fundamentalist camp).

Of course Scripture forbids all clear-cut sins such as lying, cheating, stealing, murdering, or committing adultery. The Bible also clearly calls us to pursue Christ and grow in our faith. No Christian seriously questions whether he should read the Bible, pray, or tell others about Christ. Scripture is unambiguous about those things.

There is, however, one class of questions that seems to fall somewhere in the middle. These are the issues dealing with Christian freedom—things that fall between what God prohibits and what He commands. What entertainment is acceptable? What kind of music is okay? What can a Christian do or not do on Sunday? What about what you wear, what you eat and drink, or how you spend your free time—does the Bible address those things?

Some would say, "No, the Bible doesn't address those things. Those are gray areas, so do what you want to do—you're free in Christ!" While it is true that the Bible doesn't specifically list every possible decision you'll face in life, it does address all choices with principles that govern Christian freedom. When you run your choices through the following grid of principles from God's Word, you'll find both clarity and true freedom to live your life to God's glory.

Will it benefit me spiritually?
All things are lawful, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful, but not all things edify (1 Cor. 10:23).
A "profitable" thing is useful, helpful, or to your advantage to do; and the idea behind "edify" is to build up spiritually. So based on this verse, ask yourself, "Will doing this enhance my spiritual life? Will it cultivate godliness? Will it build me up spiritually?" If not, you should seriously question whether that behavior is the best choice.

Will it bring bondage?
All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by anything (1 Cor. 6:12).
In the second part of this verse, Paul is saying, "I will not be brought under the power of anything." If what you are considering can be habit-forming, why pursue it? Don't allow yourself to be in bondage to anything or anyone. You are a bond-servant of the Lord Jesus Christ, and Him alone.

Will it defile God's temple?
Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body (1 Cor. 6:19-20).
Don't do anything that you know will harm your body or bring shame—it is the only instrument you have to glorify God. Romans 6:13 says, "Present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God." How you choose to use your body should always reflect your concern to honor Jesus Christ.

Will it cause anyone to stumble?
Food will not commend us to God; we are neither the worse if we do not eat, nor the better if we do eat. But take care lest this liberty of yours somehow become a stumbling block to the weak (1 Cor. 8:8-9).
This is the principle of love. As Romans 13:10 says: "Love does no wrong to a neighbor; love therefore is the fulfillment of the law." If you know that your choice—what you consider "in bounds" and approved—causes another Christian to stumble and sin, love that brother or sister enough to restrict your own freedom. That is not very popular in our self-absorbed society, but it is biblical. To continue to indulge in a legitimate freedom that causes problems for another Christian is a sin. For "by sinning against the brethren and wounding their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ. Therefore," Paul said, "if food causes my brother to stumble, I will never eat meat again, that I might not cause my brother to stumble" (1 Cor. 8:12-13).

Will it further the cause of evangelism?
Give no offense either to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God; just as I also please all men in all things, not seeking my own profit, but the profit of the many, that they may be saved (1 Cor. 10:32-33).
Whether you are aware of it, what you allow or disallow in your behavior affects your witness for Christ, and the world is watching. It's an issue of testimony—what your life says about God. Your testimony either tells the truth about God, or it tells a lie. The choices you make in areas where Scripture speaks principally rather than specifically should reflect your concern not to bring offense to God's reputation but to bring Him praise instead.

Will it violate my conscience?
He who doubts is condemned if he eats, because his eating is not from faith; and whatever is not from faith is sin (Rom. 14:23).
First Corinthians 10:25-29 contains three references to abstaining from a certain practice "for conscience sake." Never train yourself to violate your conscience. If your conscience is troubled by what you consider, don't do it. If you aren't sure about it, don't do it. It is hard to overstate the value of a clean conscience, but it is worth keeping your conscience clear so that your relationship to God will not be hindered. If you'll keep yourself in prayer and the study of God's Word, you will inform your conscience so you can "walk as children of light...finding out what is acceptable to the Lord" (Eph. 5:8, 10).

Will it bring glory to God?
Therefore, whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God (1 Cor. 10:31).
That verse is clearly both the summary and the goal of all the principles listed above. Isn't our heart's cry to glorify our Lord and Savior with our lives? Think about your decision—Will He be glorified, honored, and praised through it? May we say along with Jesus, "I glorified You on the earth" (John 17:4).

So the next time you face a decision where Scripture is less than specific or overt, run it through the principles above and enjoy your freedom in Christ. Happy New Year from Grace to You!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Men's Fraternity

On Thursday, February 3rd at 6am, something big is coming to Trinity Baptist Church! In all honesty, I am hoping you have already heard about it - but I want to take a moment and just share with you in a little more detail, about what is in store. Beginning February 3rd, each and every Thursday at 6am we will be meeting as a Men’s Fraternity.  I am praying that we not only have a lot of our men come, but I am hoping that many of you will invite others to come with you. The only cost will be the book (that is $10.00), and we will be finished and leaving each morning no later than 7:30am (but if you have to leave early, that is fine – you still need to come!). We have spent a great deal of time over the last couple of years discussing what Biblical manhood IS, but we have not spent enough detailed time walking through the intricacies of it in the Word of God. This is what we will be doing during these Thursday mornings – it will be a great opportunity to study, fellowship and outreach. We will go 13 weeks, then take a break and start with the second half of our 13 weeks as we will cover an array of topics from being a husband, a dad and even being a disciple to other men. I want to make it clear that this is not just for the men of Trinity - I am asking that you invite co-workers, friends, neighbors and family. This is for any male 17 years of age and older, and it is even a great opportunity to share with those who may not know Christ but are interested in being a better man, husband and father. An overview of the material we will be using, as well as more information about the Fraternity itself, can be found at

You can sign up you, your family and your friends at the ticket counter in the lobby of Trinity. I look forward to seeing you there!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

How Members Can Serve the Church on Sundays...

I came across this blog some time back and thought it was extremely helpful in understanding some ways we could better serve the church on Sunday morning. I hope it blesses you.

How Members Can Serve the Church on Sunday Morning

By Michael McKinley

At the Trellis and Vine Workshop in DC today, Colin Marshall shared ways that ordinary church members can serve the church on Sunday mornings.

Before the Service

• Read the passage in advance

• Pray for the gathering

• Greet newcomers (act like you are the host)

• Think strategically about who you should sit with

• Arrive Early

During the Service

• Sing with gusto (even if you can’t sing)

• Help with logistics (if there’s a problem, help fix it)

• Don’t be distracted

• Listen carefully

• Be aware of your facial expressions (you may affect others and discourage preachers)

After the Service

• Connect newcomers with others

• Get newcomers information

• Start a conversation about the sermon

• Ask someone how they became a Christian

• Stay late

Monday, January 3, 2011

What Will The Cost Be?

In light of the recent blogs I have done about the Gospel, I thought this post was outstanding. I am always amazed at the things that are so often left out of the “American” gospel!

Defending. Contending.
Defending truth and contending for the Faith while carrying the Light of the Gospel into a world shrouded in darkness.

What will it truly cost you to follow Christ?

18 Comments Posted by unworthy1 on November 9, 2010

Because of horrible evangelism, religious lies, and itching ears, a majority of people have been led to believe that becoming a Christian is as easy as praying a simple prayer and requires very little cost or no cost at all. However, the Lord Jesus Christ has declared very clearly in the Bible that it will indeed cost you—it will cost you everything…

You will have to turn away from all your sins
Being a Christian will cost you your sins; you cannot be a Christian if you’re unwilling to forsake them. This is called repentance, and Jesus declared that unless you repent, you will perish in Hell. We are called by God to repent of our sins and turn to Him because He has fixed a day on which He will judge the world. You don’t have to clean up your life before you come to Christ; no, my dear friend, come to Him now as you are. You just have to make up your mind about giving up your sins. You must stop, turn around from following after sinful lusts, and begin following after Christ, calling upon Him to help and He will remove sin from your life as you follow His lead and obey His word.

James 2:19-20; Mark 1:15; Acts 2:38; 3:19; 17:30-31; 26:20; Luke 13:3; Psalm 7:12; Revelation 2:16

You will have to forsake your desires & affections
Being a Christian will cost you all desires and affections which oppose the will and word of God. You will have to continually be on guard to rid your life of all the things that God hates and declares to be wicked. If you are unwilling to give up these unrighteous desires, you cannot be a Christian. God commands His people to hate evil and love good; to abstain from every form or appearance of evil; to flee from immorality, lust, idolatry, and greed. We are commanded to pursue righteousness, justice, and godliness. And this means all the things we fill our lives with will be determined by God’s word—the movies or television we watch, music we listen to, clothes we wear, and everything else on which we may set our affections.

Psalm 97:10; Amos 5:15; 1 Thessalonians 5:22; Ephesians 5:11; 1 Corinthians 6:18; 10:14; 1 Timothy 6:10-11; 2 Timothy 2:22; Philippians 1:10; 4:8; Psalm 119:97, 128

You will have to surrender over your dreams & aspirations
Being a Christian will cost you all dreams and aspirations you may have that do not align with the will of God for your life. If you’re unwilling to completely shift the focus of your life away from yourself and your previous aspirations and toward Christ and doing His will, you cannot be a Christian. We are commanded to do absolutely everything—down to something as small as taking a drink of water—with the focus of bringing God glory. We are even called to take every thought captive and make them obedient to the will of Christ. That means if you’re worrying about becoming rich, well-off, famous, or whatever, you’re going to have to cast this behind you. Jesus declared that our primary and preeminent focus is to be on His kingdom above all else. We serve the Lord, not vice versa; and He calls His people to carry out His will, not theirs; we pray for His kingdom come, His will be done, not ours. He is Lord over our life, and His disciples must live their lives accordingly.

1 Corinthians 10:31; 2 Corinthians 10:5; Matthew 6:10, 33

You will have to give up all your finances & possessions
Being a Christian will cost you all your finances and possessions. If you’re not willing to transfer all ownership of your money and possessions over to Jesus Christ, you cannot be His disciple. He owns everything in your life—including your life—and as a Christian you must acknowledge and submit to this. All that you have, you no longer use it for yourself but for Him—for His sake, His glory, His kingdom. And the things which cannot be used for these things must go. The money you have, which itself comes from God, you no longer use to buy foolish things for yourself but for the things which He approves and is glorified in. Christ commands us not to store up treasures on earth, but to store up treasure in Heaven. Your treasure will reveal your heart. If you’re all about money or heaping up this world’s goods, then your heart is with this world which will pass away. What will it profit you if you gain the whole world but lose your soul? If you seek to keep this world’s goods, you will lose both them and your soul. You cannot serve both God and wealth.

Luke 9:23-25; 14:33; Matthew 6:19-21, 24

You will have to leave behind your family & friends
If you love your parents, siblings, spouse, children, family, friends, or even your own life more than Christ, you cannot be His disciple. Your love for Christ must be so extreme and preeminent that it makes your love for everyone else, in comparison, look like hatred. Jesus declared that He had not come to bring peace and tolerance amongst one another on the earth…He came, rather, to bring a sword of division, to set a person against the members of his own household for the sake of obedience and loyalty to Him. If your family criticizes you in regard to following Christ, or pressures you to go on a route that opposes the will of God, you will have oppose them for Christ’s sake. If you have friends who love to sin and could care less about Christ, you’re going to have to leave them behind…but if you are true to the Lord and serious about following Him, they’ll end up hating you eventually anyway. However, Jesus promises that whoever has left houses or parents or siblings or friends or spouses or children for His name’s sake will receive many times as much and will inherit eternal life.

Matthew 10:34-37; 19:27-29; Luke 14:26; 18:28-30; 1 Corinthians 5:11; 15:33

You will have to renounce your reputation & status
If you are unwilling to count as loss for Christ’s sake your reputation and status, and what people think of you, you cannot be a Christian. You must count all these things as rubbish in view of the surpassing value of knowing the Lord Jesus Christ. You must cast off any false notion that you are someone important, someone of worth, one with wisdom and strength, and realize you indeed are one who is broken, lowly, foolish, and weak. The message of the cross is foolishness to the world, and in coming to Christ, believing His word, and obeying His commands, you will also be esteemed utterly foolish by them. But you must embrace the reproach of Christ that will come your way. If you hold faithfully to Christ, you will be ridiculed, despised, mocked, and slandered.

Philippians 3:7-8; 1 Corinthians 1:18, 21, 26-28; 3:18; 4:9-13; Luke 6:22-23

You will have to abandon your comforts & easy living
If you are unwilling to take on the demanding lifestyle of a disciple of Christ, you cannot be a Christian. Jesus declared that the vast majority of mankind will end up in Hell, and that there are many who desire to enter into eternal life but will not be able to. He exhorted His disciples to strive to enter into the kingdom of God, because only those who violently press into it will enter. The Christian life is not one of luxury or complacency, but one of self-denial and discipline, vigilance, always being on the alert, always taking heed and being careful, always striving, pursuing Christ, fighting the good fight of faith, and laying hold on eternal life. The Bible says we must enter the kingdom of God through many trials and tribulations, and all who desire to live godly in Christ will suffer persecution. You will be hated, excluded, insulted, scorned, slandered, and abused on account of Christ—you may even be killed—but be of good cheer, for these things you are blessed, and your reward will be great in Heaven.

Luke 6:22-23; 13:23-24; Matthew 7:13-14; 11:12; John 15:19; 1 John 3:13; Acts 13:40; 14:22; 2 Timothy 3:12; 1 Peter 5:8; 1 Timothy 6:12; Mark 13:33; 1 Corinthians 9:27; 10:12