A Year of Starting Over
It is nearly one year later from the beginning effects of Covid-19 that reached Aurora, Colorado. It still seems unbelievable. Throughout last year God continued to move within Trinity and many amazing things occurred. You all have heard about many of them. One of the biggest takeaways I saw last year was how God used the lockdowns and obstacles of Covid-19 to reset the ministries at Trinity. One by one God was able to guide each ministry to do things a little differently.
Trinity had a restructuring of the Worship Team and our online presence. God supplied ways for Mighty Oaks to overcome the meat limitations. Mighty Oaks also had some fresh faces get involved and the crew was challenged to stay faithful during a season that prevented them from serving the food at the DRC. The Youth Group spent most of the year out-of-order and yet after coming back in October, there has been a much-needed culture change providing the students much more quality time with God and each other. The atmosphere has been the best it has been in the last three years. We have seen growth in the 9 AM Bible Studies. The Women’s Ministry has had a good response in restarting as well. The “Ladies’ Night of Encouragement” has supplied good momentum moving into the new year. And last night there was one of the largest Wednesday Night Adult Bible Studies I have seen in the last year. All of these are testimonies of how God kept working during a difficult 2020.
In 2021, we (as the body of Trinity) will continue to move forward and there are still ministries and operations to address and do differently. The Children’s Ministry is one of the most obvious ones.
All these changes are exciting, and God is supplying a fresh breath of air as we hopefully continue to move towards a life that Covid-19 will not affect as much. I also must mention that none of these changes take away from the ministries and those that came before. Each of you that have been faithful over the years and those that are not here anymore have done wonderful things for the Lord. For that time and place you ALL were good servants for the Lord. However, I believe God presses onward and there are new things that are coming. I pray we all will pay attention and get involved as God continues to reveal his work and the places He wants us to restart and join him.
While God continues to restart the ministries at Trinity, ask yourself, “What is God doing to restart me as an individual?” Today I encourage you to ask God to renew your mind and how does that happen? Well getting into the Word of God is an excellent place to start and the one that we will focus on briefly today.
Upon returning, the Youth Group has had a more effective time holding a physical Bible (not phones) and thumbing through it. The students have had challenges to look things up are their own and they have responded in positive ways. While I was working with them, I realized that videos on YouTube and other places on the internet really complicate this. I was looking for a fun, short, reference to show students how to look up ONE verse. I was shocked that most of the videos are 15-30 minutes long on looking up ONE verse. It was honestly eye-opening.
For many of you, you have heard Pastor Bart, or I instruct you to “open your Bibles” or “Read your Bible” yet, you may not know-how. I hope today you will not be intimidated but will start a journey of renewing your mind and enjoying getting into the Bible.
How to read a verse in the Bible?
Let us make this simple. There are 66 books/letters that make up the Bible. In the front of a physical Bible is the Table of Contents that lists all the books/letters of the Bible. You can go there to start. Let us lookup John 3:16. JOHN is the book. So, in your Bible look in the Table of Contents for JOHN. In my Bible, John starts on page 1059. Once you find the Book of JOHN, move to chapter 3 (number on the left side of the colon). The chapters are separated by numbers that are a larger size of the font and often in bold text. Once you find the chapter, you will move to the 16 (number on the right side of the colon). The verse will be in the text of the chapter you just found. The verse is identified by the smaller-sized font numbers.
So, to recap:
1) Find the Book
2) Find the Chapter
3) Find the Verse
If you are in the right place, John 3:16 will state, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life.”
Congratulations! You have looked up your first verse! You can follow these steps and try other verses. Why don’t you give Romans 12:1-2 a try?
Next Steps to Reading the Bible
Once you are comfortable looking up verses, I challenge you to expand your new skill. Read the verse in the context of a paragraph, a whole chapter, a whole book, and the whole Bible. Do not be afraid to explore. Do not be afraid to ask questions.
For those of you already immersed in the Scriptures, continue to read, and ask God to “renew” your mind. God is moving within Trinity and I pray God will move you as well! Let us all start this first quarter of 2021 by renewing our minds by getting into God’s Word!