On Oct. 3-6, Camden Ave. will be having a Gospel Meeting. We must remember that the main goal of having a Gospel Meeting is to invite our friends, neighbors, co-workers, classmates, and family members to hear the word of God. In my sermon last week, I gave some practical ways we can invite people to study the Bible with us, which can also be used to invite people to our Gospel Meeting. So here are some of those ideas repeated and other creative ideas we can do to invite people:
- Give a neighbor who is moving into your neighborhood free lightbulbs or a flashlight (with batteries). Say something like “You’ll probably have a lightbulb go out some time, so here’s one,” or if it is a flashlight say, “if the electricity goes out this might come in handy.” Then say. “By the way, did you know that Jesus is the light of the world (John 8:12)?” You can learn more about Him at our Gospel Meeting we are having, why don’t you and your family come with us.”
- Bake some bread and give it to someone, and say something like, “by the way did you know Jesus is the Bread of life” (John 6:35)? “You can learn more about Him at our Gospel Meeting we are having, why don’t you and your family come with us.”
- Give out water to the people in your neighborhood or local park and as you give the water to them say something like, “did you know that Jesus can give us spiritual drink” (John 7:37-38)? “You can learn more about Him at our Gospel Meeting we are having, why don’t you and your family come with us.”
- Go to the laundromat or carwash and feed quarters into the machine, and say something like, “have you been washed by the blood of Christ” (1 Cor. 6:11)? “You can learn more about Him at our Gospel Meeting we are having, why don’t you and your family come with us.”
- Give someone a nice flower, and say something like, “did you know Jesus is like a plant (vine)” John 15:1-7? “You can learn more about Him at our Gospel Meeting we are having, why don’t you and your family come with us.”
- Pass out microwave popcorn or a can of soda pop with a note attached that says, “Pop into our Gospel Meeting.” Include your name and information about our Gospel Meeting.
Can you think of other creative ways of inviting people to our Gospel Meeting? All these ideas are to help build friendships and to show we are servants of Christ trying to share our faith in today’s modern world. It is amazing to see how responsive people become as the result of a simple gift or act of servanthood.
Will you do something that will show people we care and use that as an opportunity to talk to them about Christ and invite them to our Gospel Meeting and other services? In Christ, Mark T. Tonkery
On August 28, 2021, wonderful tributes were made to a man who impacted thousands of people for good and for God. Jack Zorn was the man who was memorialized that day with glory to the God that he served.
One of the people who spoke at Dr. Zorn’s funeral was a distinguished African American man in uniform. The uniformed man may not have been known by many in attendance at the funeral, but this man knew and deeply appreciated Dr. Zorn. He shared that day and also on Facebook how Dr. Zorn had impacted his life. Here is his Facebook post:
I've always wanted to be an aviator since age six… When I was about 13, I would ride my bicycle from Mobile Hwy to Dannelly Field Airport [in Montgomery, AL] just to hang on the gate all day long watching F-4 Phantoms takeoff and land. One day a wonderful man named Dr. Jack Zorn (Lads to Leaders founder) saw me hanging around the fence at Montgomery Aviation and asked if I wanted to come inside and get a close up of his Cessna 182 (N1444S). Of course I accepted because I had never seen the inside of a cockpit up close. Later he received permission from my mother and we actually went flying on several occasions. I initially got in trouble because my mother didn't know her son was riding a bicycle on Highway 80 chasing F-4's, but she knew my passion. I thank the Lord for allowing our paths to cross, and I pray that he knows that it was an ordained meeting that I will cherish for the rest of my life. I now pay it forward to the youth in hopes that I may impact a young life the same way he impacted mine. I will forever miss him! To God be the glory!
Thomas Day, First Officer
ATP, CFI, CFII, MEI, AGI, IGI
Because of Dr. Zorn’s encouragement, Thomas Day fulfilled his dream of becoming an airplane pilot.
A good friend of mine, Steve Phillips, shared Day’s Facebook post on his page. Dr. Zorn’s daughter, Rhonda Fernandez, posted a comment thanking Steve for sharing the information and included these words of reflection: “[I’m] so proud of Daddy. [Here was] a little boy – many days a week for a very long period of time [with] his nose in the chain link fence, invisible to all except Daddy.”
That young teen, Thomas Day, is forever grateful that Dr. Zorn noticed him, befriended him, and encouraged him to fulfill his dreams.
Dr. Zorn “noticed” many young people throughout his life and encouraged them to become Christians and leaders in the church. By his example, his influence, and the Lads to Leaders/Leaderettes Program that he began, my children, many children at Creekwood Church of Christ, and thousands of children throughout the world have been impacted and challenged to become Christian leaders.
I think Dr. Zorn “noticed” people because every soul is important to God. Every person has sinned (Romans 3:23) and desperately needs a Savior. God loves every person so much that He gave His one and only Son to die on the cross for the sins of the world (John 3:16; 1 John 2:2). God will save and give eternal life to those who place their faith and trust in Jesus (Acts 16:30-31), turn from sin in repentance (Acts 17:30-31), confess Jesus before men (Romans 10:9-10), and are baptized (immersed) into Christ for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38). He will continue to cleanse from sin those who continue to walk in the light of His Word (1 John 1:7-9).
Dear reader, God has “noticed” you and wants to save you for an eternity. Won’t you accept His loving offer by trusting and obeying Jesus?
-- David A. Sargent
P.S. With love, appreciation, and admiration for Dr. Jack Zorn (1934-2021) for his love for God, Jesus, the Word of God, and for his passion to teach and train young people to become Christian leaders.
David A. Sargent, Minister
Church of Christ at Creekwood
1901 Schillinger Rd. S.
Mobile, Alabama 36695
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Imagine what you and I would miss if we were to move from our country to any of the world's poorest countries… like Laos, Paraguay, Chad, Afghanistan, or Bangladesh. Can you imagine it? Someone has shared the following:
·Your home would be approximately as large as an American garage if you had a home.
·Your family wardrobe would consist of one outfit per person, shoes for the head of the family and no shoes and few worn garments make up the rest of your wardrobe.
·In your pantry, if you had food you'd probably have dried meat and a few vegetables a little flour, salt and sugar, moldy potatoes, dried beans, onions only rice dried meat, vegetables, powdered milk.
When reading this, our worries are a little less worrisome, our cares are not as concerning and our wants are humbled and our needs are more focused.
When comparing our lives to others we are very blessed. We have food to spare and even throw away, we have a wide selection of clothing and shoes. Our homes are warm and our cars are too! Then when it comes to the church we are even more blessed, we have many wonderful people we worship with, talented people that lead our worship and teach our Bible classes. We can look at our bulletin and bulletin boards around the building and there are many opportunities to continue to grow in our faith and to fellowship with other Christians.
With all these comforts and eases it is easy to take for granted the blessing we receive.
But we have these blessings for a reason. They are there to remind us that God is good and that he has provided for us.
Ezekiel 34:26- 31 states, “And I will make them and the places round about my hill a blessing, and I will cause the shower to come down in his season; there shall be showers of blessing. And the tree of the field shall yield her fruit, and the earth shall yield her increase, and they shall be safe in their land, and shall know that I am the LORD, when I have broken the bands of their yoke, and delivered them out of the hand of those that served themselves of them. And they shall no more be a prey to the heathen, neither shall the beast of the land devour them; but they shall dwell safely, and none shall make them afraid. And I will raise up for them a plant of renown, and they shall be no more consumed with hunger in the land, neither bear the shame of the heathen anymore. Thus shall they know that I the LORD their God am with them, and that they, even the house of Israel, are my people, says the Lord GOD.”
We often sing the hymn “Count your blessings, name them one by one, count your blessings, see what God hath done!” Have you ever really counted your blessings and really see what God has done for us?
The next time you start to criticize, grumble, or complain remember how blessed you really are! Think about it! Mark T. Tonkery
The story is told of a businessman who was overworked and decided to take some time off. While vacationing on the coast, a terrible storm hit. When it died down, he decided to take a walk down the cost to see what damage had been done. As he walked along the shore, he noticed thousands of starﬁsh which had washed upon the shore. He knew that in a few hours the sun would come out and the starﬁsh would dry out and die. As he thought about the starfish, he noticed a young boy who was throwing the starﬁsh back one by one. The man was amazed by the youth’s diligence and shocked by his feeble attempts to make a difference. As he looked up the long beach, he saw thousands of starﬁsh. When he caught up with the young man, he informed the boy that he could not possible save them all and said to the little boy, “You’ll never be able to make a difference to the starﬁsh population.” The boy bent down, picked up a starfish, looked at it, then threw it back into the safety of the ocean. Then he said, “I sure made a difference to that one.”
We cannot personally make a difference in the lives of everyone that ﬁlls this world, but we can make a difference to a few of them. It is interesting that when Jesus spoke of those on His right hand on the Day of Judgment, he described them as having made a difference in the life of one person. He said, “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me” (Matt. 25:40). I sincerely believe that each of us can make a difference in the life of someone. This is how Jesus worked—one at a time. Sure, He preached to thousands, but He visited with families, and helped individuals.
Wade L. Webster
via Charlotte Avenue Church of Christ
Rock Hill, SC
Bulletin Digest (June 2003)
Tonk Talk by Mark T. Tonkery
Light. It guides us, directs us, and helps us by showing us the way. On a dark night or when the electricity goes off, a flashlight or candle can help us find our way through our dark house or the path we are walking on.
In the Bible, light is described as goodness, righteousness, and everything that God is (1 John 1:5). The Bible also points out that Christianity is identified as light and the world is identified as darkness (John 1:5). Notice, John 8:12, “Then Jesus spoke to them again saying I am the light of the world.” He who follows me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”
Light exposes darkness: Darkness is expelled as soon as one turns on a light. Darkness and light cannot occupy the same spot. Therefore, light serves as a guide. Airport runways help planes land at night by having lights placed along them. People can drive their cars at night because they have headlights and there are also streetlights. We know how essential light is in the physical world. The Bible has been telling us all long how essential light is to our spiritual lives as well, it is just as essential as the need for light in the physical world, but even more so.
We as Christians are to point people to the light and guide people who are in darkness to the light. In Mat. 5:14-16, Jesus tells us, “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”
The story is told of a little girl who was shivering her way along a main street in one of our great cities. Seeing the beautiful lights of a church building and hearing the singing coming from within, she went in and warmed herself as she listened. The preacher's text was, "I am the light of the world." At the close of the service, she went to the minister and said, "Did you say you are the light of the world, sir?" The minister replied, "No, dear child. Christ is the light of the world, and I am one of the lights." The little girl looked at him for a moment, and then solemnly said, "Well, sir, I wish you would come down and hang out in our alley, 'cause it's awful dark down there!”? (Story taken from—Biblical Research Monthly).
Christians are, indeed, as Christ said, "the light of the world." As one of those lights, are you "hanging out" in some dark alley? Are you sharing your light? Christians are to be lights to shine forth into the darkness of human darkness. We are to set our light upon a hill, not hide it under a bushel or in other words hide that we are Christians. Remember: We are to be "lights" in a dark world (Ph. 2:14-15), so let us share our light and let it shine. Be God's Mark T. Tonkery