Thursday, November 24, 2011

Gushing Gospel Gratefulness on Thanksgiving!

As you celebrate this Thanksgiving with your family and friends, I pray that you will take the time to truly be thankful for what God has done and is doing in our Church family at Trinity.  I know for Michele, the boys and me, we are truly thankful for the opportunity to serve alongside you!  Know that we love you dearly and wish you all a wonderful Thanksgiving!  

We will "finish out" our staff blogs with a final offering of thankfulness from Bro. Brad Walker...hope you enjoy! 

From Bro. Brad:
When the holiday season rolls around, I often reflect on the things in my life for which I am most grateful. I have never gotten over the fact that a sinner like me was met by the saving hand of God and confronted by the truth of the gospel.  It is a divine exchange beyond comprehension: the righteous for the unrighteous, the innocent for the guilty, and Jesus ‘perfect record for my filthy rags (II Cor. 5:21).  Likewise, my Heavenly Father has called me to be a Pastor, and it is an absolute joy that I get to fulfill my calling at Trinity Baptist Church.

During a couple of week stretch in October, the student ministry had a Student Ministry Vision luncheon, Man vs. Wild (2 day boys’ campout), Pampered Pajama Party (2 day girls’ retreat), and a 5th Quarter (after football game student gathering).  During this time, I was reminded both of my inadequacy to do ministry alone, and the unbelievable joy to see the Body of Christ in action serving as a team at these events.  From all of the parents that spent the night as chaperones, to the ones that baked, or decorated, or served food, or did manicures, or set up, etc… I was overwhelmed by how blessed I am to have such a dedicated support system.  We had church members that kept our three kids (not easy) so that Elicia and I could serve at the spring break events.  We have had grandparents, student leaders, parents and people with a heart for students who have given up much free time to organize, plan, and to serve so that the teenagers of Desoto County will be impacted with the gospel.  I am so grateful for our Student Leadership Team of Mentors that believes and live out ministry with students, and for servants that serve in logistics behind the scenes where no one sees.    At our vision luncheon, many of our families were there, and I was reminded of the amazing work that God is doing in transforming lives and families in our midst.  Marriages are being restored, broken lives are being put back together, Dads are stepping up to lead their families and children are trying to honor them.  I am so grateful that I serve a group of students that are hungry for the Word and are eager obey it.  I am fully aware that I do not deserve such wonderful people to serve, and God has been more than gracious to allow me the privilege of serving at TBC.  

Few people on this earth wake up every day excited about their vocation, and I am one that is blessed to have such a job. While there are many challenges in student ministry, we absolutely love it! It meets the needs of my family financially and provides me the opportunity to fulfill my calling with joy.  This joy is enhanced by the Godly and talented staff team and pastors that I serve with. I am so thankful for Emily Beitz, my former assistant, who very capably assisted me with much skill and recently took a promotion as a “stay at home mom,” and for Jerebeth Mehler, who now helps me in amazing ways and has taught me much about authentic, compassionate ministry. The depth of fellowship that our staff has in the midst of spiritual battle is deep, and the fun we have is great. I am also thankful for a senior Pastor that is my pastor, boss, and friend.  There is no other pastor in the world that I would rather serve with than my Pastor.  

Finally, the number of acts of kindness, babysitting, notes of encouragement, cooked meals, and loving gifts that we have received from our church family are too numerous to mention.  Thank you TBC for loving me as one of the Pastors of your church body. Thank you for loving my family and serving us in a way that humbles and edifies us.  Thank you for extending grace for my many weaknesses.  Thank you for helping us to raise our boys. Thank you for keeping us accountable to God’s Word. Thank you for reminding us often of Jesus Christ and His work. Thank you for being our family. 

Bro. Brad