April 26, 2015

As you I know are well aware of by now, Joyce and I announced last Sunday that we will be moving to Tyler, TX in about two months.  I will be the preaching minister for the West Erwin Church of Christ.

We will actually be there this weekend, and I will teach a combined adult class and preach there Sunday morning.  If you are reading this on Sunday morning at South Fork, say a little prayer for us.  Through the wonder of Eastern Time v. Central Time their class and assembly are just getting started!

We moved here from the Dallas-Fort Worth area in December 2005.  It’s hard to believe that 9½ years can go by so fast!  A lot has happened in our lives, as well as in the life of the South Fork church family, during that time.  Beyond a doubt God has seen us through every difficulty, and blessed us beyond measure.

As I read in the statement last week, I truly believe that we are leaving South Fork in a very positive place and with great potential for ministry and growth in the next few years and beyond.  God has richly blessed this church family with incredibly talented and gifted members.  We leave knowing that the church here is in the hands of our gracious God, and that He has provided sincere Christian leaders and active members who together cause the South Fork church to be poised for great service and accomplishments to God’s glory in the years ahead.

We ask for your prayers, and know that just as you always have, you will offer them up to the throne of God in our behalf.  We will do the same for the church here and for all that is ahead for you as you too go through a time of transition.  We truly appreciate all you are and have done for us, and love you with the love of the Lord.

Right after Jesus ascended into heaven, the disciples stood motionless for a while.  Perhaps they were in awe; perhaps a little nostalgic about what they had enjoyed with the Lord there in the midst; perhaps a little anxious about what would happen next.  Likely it was all of that and more.

So God nudged them a bit, and encouraged them to continue to do what the Lord had always called them to do—to go forward in faith and trust in Him.  They did exactly that.  And we all will as well.

I’ll share here a Scripture passage I will use as part of the sermon that I will preach Sunday in Tyler, knowing that the words spoken apply to all of us as we go forward with faith in the God of grace, wisdom and power; as we go forward to love and serve others in the name of the One who has ascended and one day will return.

After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.  They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them.  “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky?  This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”  (Acts 1:9-11)

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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