March 11

George Bradshaw announced this past Sunday morning that he is resigning from the eldership effective immediately. George has a servant’s heart and a genuine commitment to our Lord Jesus Christ, and a great respect for the commitment, time and energy needed to serve the Lord and His church as a shepherd. His honest sense that he is unable to fulfill that commitment due to other important concerns in his life at this time is one that I’m sure came very hard for him. George and Tracy are sincere leaders of our South Fork family and we are grateful that they will continue to serve and lead as they follow the Lord with us. Thank you, George and Tracy, for your example and service with our shepherds and our church.

Our hearts go out to the family of Harding University freshman Ty Osman of Brentwood, Tennessee. Ty and some other Harding students were traveling to Fort Worth for Spring Break and were involved in a car wreck in a section of the highway under construction. Ty got out to check on those in one of the vehicles involved and was killed when another car hit his vehicle which struck Ty. He died later after being careflighted to a nearby hospital. In an article in The Tennessean it was acknowledged that those at Harding as well as Brentwood High School and the Woodmont Hills Church of Christ were mourning the loss of a young man who had a heart for helping others. That continued even in death, as Ty’s family donated his organs and asked for prayers for those who would be recipients in the hours following this terrible tragedy. One of his friends who was in another vehicle and witnessed the accident said, “He really cared about the people around him.” Keller Phillips continued, “We’re just out of tears. It’s been tough.”

We sometimes get the mistaken sense that as Christians we are immune from life’s struggles and tragedies. That’s not true of course, and we all realize that in our moments of clearer thinking. We only have to remember Bible stories of some of the most faithful people who ever lived and recall that their lives certainly included hardship and suffering at times.

So what’s the use then? Why be a Christian at all?

There are several answers to this very genuine question. Jesus is Lord of all, and every knee should bow before Him, and one day will (Phil. 2:9-11). There is the promise that our Lord will be with us through it all, and will never leave nor forsake us, no matter what difficult things we go through (Matt. 10; Heb. 13:5-6). There is the promise that though we will experience trials, we can be assured that our God will not allow us to be tempted with more than we can handle, and will always provide an opportunity for us to make it through the difficulties (1 Cor. 10:13). There is the blessing of a church family to share our triumphs and sorrows. Can you imagine going through something like what Ty’s family is enduring without a caring and loving church family? And one more thing. Jesus said, “You are the light of the world” (Matt. 5:14). Our world needs us to be faithful followers of Jesus Christ! There are those in your life right now who are experiencing great difficulties and trials. We have the opportunity and the responsibility to share the love of Christ with them. Will you focus on your needs and wants, or will you focus on helping and serving others in their difficulties? “Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Matt. 20:28).

Bill Allen

Dr. Bill Allen preached at South Fork from 2005 to 2015. He received a Bachelors degree in Bible from Oklahoma Christian in 1978, a Masters in Bible from Abilene Christian (ACU) in 1988, and a Doctor of Ministry from ACU in 1992. He now preaches at the West Erwin Church of Christ in Tyler, Texas.

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