Happy Easter

Submitted by Trey Rowzie on Sun, 03/27/2016 - 00:00
Happy Easter

For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 
(2 Corinthians 5:21 ESV)

Happy Easter! He is Risen!

Keith Goodson's Ordination: Words of Affirmation and Charge

Submitted by Trey Rowzie on Sat, 01/23/2016 - 14:22
Keith, Casey and EZ

One Sunday afternoon over twenty years ago, I was asked to give a scruffy, junior-high boy named Keith Goodson a ride home from worship service. Honestly, if you’d told me that day that he would one day be called to be a minister of the Gospel, I might not have believed you. However, over the years, I must say that I’m not surprised that we are here today. Through worship services and mission trips; Bible study fellowships and street ministries; road trips and weekend retreats; it has been my great joy to witness Keith grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

I'm sure many today will talk of Keith's willing and teachable spirit. Although folks might have assumed that I was mentoring Keith, it’s more truthful to say that God was teaching me through him. Even as a young man, I have seen his passion for God’s Word and for Truth. Apparently never knowing a stranger, Keith seems to be able to freely communicate the Gospel even with people he’s just met. Even though I have been away in Japan for over a decade, I’ve been grateful to pray for Keith and hear testimony of God’s goodness even when he served our country overseas; proclaiming and teaching the Gospel to his fellow airmen during his off-duty hours.

To Keith, my friend and (in all meanings of the word) my dear brother: I pray that God will continuously empower you by His Spirit to love and worship Him through faith in Jesus Christ our Lord. May the passion for God and His Word always to burn bright in your heart. May you continually love Casey just as Christ loved the church and be a wise and compassionate father to your children just as God has been to us. As you serve and teach, may Christ be always central and highly lifted up; not only in your words but by your example as well. As we rely on Him to continue to do a good work in you, I wait in hopeful expectation to seeing how God will answer these prayers in Jesus’ name.

With much love in Christ,
Trey Rowzie

Elisabeth Elliot (1926 - 2015): A Short Tribute

Submitted by Trey Rowzie on Sun, 06/21/2015 - 23:20
Elisabeth Elliot

I found that a woman I deeply respected, Elisabeth Elliot, died this week (June 15, 2015). Elisabeth Elliot lived a life that most of us can't even imagine. She moved to Ecuador as a young missionary in 1953 and married her husband, Jim Elliot, on the mission field. A few years later, Jim and others were killed by Waorani tribemen. Elizabeth was alone with her infant daughter and was expected to return home to morn. Instead, she stayed in Ecuador and eventually moved into the Waorani village and lived among them until 1963. Her act of love and free forgiveness to the tribemen had an amazing and livelong impact on them. 

As a young Christian, I once had a chance to met Elisabeth Elliot. We crashed what we later learned was woman's seminar to met her in person. At the reception afterward, I approached her to greet her and give what I thought was a complement. I was told once that Jim and Elisabeth strived to keep a sexually pure relationship before getting married.  So, I said, "I was really encouraged to hear about you and Jim's romance." She then looked at me with that funny look grandmothers give to their grandchildren when they've said something stupid. She said, "Young man, have you read any of my books?"  I sheepishly admitted no. She quickly retorted, "The book counter is right over there. I recommend 'Passion and Purity'."  That was the end of our conversation. 

I still think it's truth that God did indeed help them to have a sexually pure relationship before marriage. However, what I later learned was that Jim and Elisabeth's romance was not exact smooth and that there were a lot of bumps and hard feelings along the way before getting married. Jim had made the same kind of buffoon mistakes that any of us guys have make. I had put Jim Elliot on some kind of pedistal because he had been matryred and Elisabeth because of her act of love and sacrifice later.  But as I read the many books published on their lives, the truth is that they were very much like you and I. The difference was a life fully commited to Christ; trusting that He will lovingly provide for His children.

 Jim and Elisabeth Elliot's lives were all about God's love in action. It's this level of commitment and passion that I'm pursuing to see in my life as well because of their example. 

“I have one desire now - to live a life of reckless abandon for the Lord, putting all my energy and strength into it.” - Elisabeth Elliot

"God always gives His best to those who leave the choice with him." - Jim Elliot

Here's a NY Times write up of her life that does better justice to the story than I can.
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/18/us/elisabeth-elliot-tenacious-mission…

Tohoku Triple Disaster: Four Years Later

Submitted by Trey Rowzie on Fri, 03/13/2015 - 10:24

This week, I recieved an email from a teacher at our school that seemed to best express my feelings. I have been given permission to share it with you...

Dear Brothers and Sisters:

Praise the Lord for His sovereignty, mercy and love.

I do not know why, but for some reason I believe that I need to share the following with you all. Please accept my apologies for the inconvenience. This morning in my homeroom we watched three short youtube clips of what happened four years ago in the Tohoku area:

  1. a young family in their house as the waters were rising and seeping into the house (they ended up on the roof of the house)
  2. a group of people screaming as they were running towards the mountain (while people were helping pulling others up just as buses and other vehicles were being slammed, by water, against the side of the mountain)
  3. a view from Sendai airport as cars, planes and boats were being carried by flooding waters (just before the stranded folks were taken away by available helicopters to safety)

Needless to say, the class was very quiet, aside from the gasps at the reality of what the students were watching.

It was difficult for me to keep from crying as I shared with the students. I told them that I was up in the Sendai area four months after the disaster hit (to serve in trauma training with a Christian organization). The Sendai airport had been rebuilt to operate flights on a restricted basis. The airport building was the size of our campus. I told the students that on the 30 minute bus ride to the city, the bus was completely silent as we drove by cars piled up like small hills, boats in the middle of fields and barren trees…

I told the students that the children leaving for school that morning on March 11th, fathers leaving for work, mothers talking with their neighbors and others, did not think that they would be dying that day. They did not think that it was the last word that they would be sharing with family and friends. Many of them were probably thinking what they would be doing when school was out for spring break or preparing for moving, new school year, new jobs, etc.

As I prayed with the students I reminded them that they should appreciate the love that they receive from their parents and family. And while we cannot understand why certain things happen, God is sovereign over everything.

Please keep the many families who are presently suffering from the 1995 earthquake in Kobe and the earthquake/ tsunami in Tohoku…in your prayers.

And let us remind ourselves of how great God is – despite the suffering of a sin-filled world that we live in.

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” - Revelation 21:1-4

Again, I apologize for any inconvenience caused by this email being sent out.

God bless you and your loved ones on this day.

For 2015...

Submitted by Trey Rowzie on Thu, 01/01/2015 - 01:41

Happy New Years!

For 2015... Forget what lies behind. Strain forward to what lies ahead. Press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 

(Roughly Phil 3:13-14)

Merry Christmas

Submitted by Trey Rowzie on Thu, 12/25/2014 - 22:25

Jesus, to Thee be the glory given. Word of the Father, Now in flesh appearing. O come, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord. Merry Christmas! 

Happy‪‎ Thanksgiving from Japan

Submitted by Trey Rowzie on Fri, 11/28/2014 - 10:36
Happy ‪‎Thanksgiving

Happy ‪‎Thanksgiving from Japan.

OK, despite the photo, no actual family turkey dinner here today... but lots of thanksgiving going on in my heart.

So, what are you thankful for this year?

Lord bless each of you and let's enjoy this special day together.

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” -Colossians 3:16  (ESV)

Grieving the loss of a childhood hero, Robin Williams

Submitted by Trey Rowzie on Tue, 08/12/2014 - 12:38
Robin Williams (From http://www.flickr.com/photos/58820009@N05/6451545105)

Grieving the loss of a childhood hero, Robin Williams. I read once that he was a really shy but broke out of his shell through acting and stand up. That pushed me to strive as well; to stretch out in my own way.

Please join me in praying for his family.

 

"But if you listen real close, you can hear them whisper their legacy to you. Go on, lean in. Carpe. Hear it? Carpe. Carpe. Carpe Diem. Seize the day boys, make your lives extraordinary." - Dead Poets Society

"Just one thing: Live your life in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ..." - Phil 1:27