March 16

As most of you know Joyce and I have been in San Antonio sharing some time with her mother and the rest of her family as we continue to help each other through her mom’s terminal cancer.

This past weekend was a special time. Of course Joyce and I have been speaking for all these years with her mom and all her family about the church and the Bible and the Savior. Over the past several years with the illness and death of her father, and now over the last year-and-a-half or so with her mom’s illness, these topics have taken on a new urgency and application.

We praise God that this past Saturday I baptized Joyce’s mom into Christ, with many of her loved ones, including all nine of her children, in attendance to share this joyful moment. Our South Fork family was even represented, as Byron and Sarah Branch and their little Wyatt were in attendance. In fact, Byron stood just outside the baptistry at the ready in case I needed him! What a blessing they are!!

I shared three short Scripture thoughts during this blessed event.

I spoke of the day of Pentecost in Acts 2, when many who had been there during Jesus’ trial and crucifixion were able to hear the first sermon preached in the name of the resurrected Christ. I shared the call for those who had come to believe in Jesus to repent and be baptized in His name for the forgiveness of their sins.

I spoke of Romans 6, where Christians are reminded of the importance of their baptism in their daily lives. This dying to sin, being buried with Christ through baptism into death, and being raised to live a new life, impacts the choices and decisions we make as to how we live.

And I spoke of the admonition to Saul of Tarsus, and said that Joyce’s mom was doing exactly what the man soon to be known as the Apostle Paul was told to do: to get up, be baptized, and wash away your sins.

What a great and wonderful blessing it is to see a loved one whom you care so very much about be baptized into Jesus Christ! Thanks to all who have been and continue to be prayerful for our family, and especially to those continued prayers for Joyce’s mom and for all of us who struggle with the serious illness of a loved one.

Sunday we consider the last two of the six aspects or “pledges” from the book by Thom Rainer entitled, I Am a Church Member. We all would do well to be reminded of the significance of the call of these two statements:

I will lead my family to be healthy church members.

I will treasure church membership as a gift.

Take a moment right now to ask God to bless your family members. Ask Him to use you to help them see His love and to become more obedient to His Word. And thank God for the incredible blessing that is His church. Do you fully appreciate Christ’s church? Do you see it as one of the Lord’s greatest gifts? Because it is!

Here’s a link if you want to see Joyce’s mom’s baptism, in the very same baptistry Joyce (1974) and I (1972) were baptized in:

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10203462462870794&set=vb.1489812253&type=2&theater

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.

One thought to “March 16”

  1. Bill and Joyce: Our hearts are filled with happiness for your family and thankfulness to God for His endless love and mercy for us. So thankful that He loved us enough to go to that dreadful tree for us. So thankful that He receives us at any hour even the eleventh. I know as hard as it is to let our loved ones go you will be overflowing with the peace that she will be residing there in Heaven waiting on the rest of you when He calls her. Love you all so much and will continue to ask God for a bounty of blessings on you as you are away.

    Janell and Carl

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