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•••••••••••••••••••••••••••• connect magazine is a quarterly publication of trinity fellowship | 5000 hollywood road | amarillo, texas 79118 | (806) 355-8955 © 2010 trinity fellowship. all rights reserved. no part of this publication may be reproduced in any form without the prior written consent of the publisher.

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contents summer 2010

04 05 07 15 24

Contributors king's networking business directory Forward Hello Reviews

08 Cowboy Up

Long before the crack of dawn, these men drive their pickup trucks into town Monday mornings for a reason. And it’s not to hang around the local café and talk about the weather.

18

10 The Source

Creating your own music is like growing your own food; there’s a sense of pride that goes along with it. Tim Horrell’s secret to his guitars is talking to them.

12 The Family Business

When you’re put on the spot, sometimes it’s hard to explain what it is that you do. Find out Brenton Evans’ answer to the one question people always ask when you meet them for the first time.

08

16 Volunteer Spotlight

Volunteering gives you an opportunity to change lives, including your own. Whether it’s playing basketball, or offering advice, Cory McCluskey takes the lead among the teens of BlÜ.

10

18 A Conversation

with Trinity Elders

Eighteen men with different perspectives go into a room and walk out in unity, all saying the same thing. Go inside the unique process of how Trinity’s eldership achieves unity in every decision they make.

26 The Steakmaster’s Challenge COVER STORY:

Saturday nights were made for backyard grilling. We put two friends in a head-to-head cook-off challenge; now we’re passing along their tips for grilling a steak that’s chew-with-your-mouth-open good.

Cover Photography by Kyle Trafton

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26 3


contributors

the people we couldn't do without

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+

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Amanda Trafton

Brenton Evans

Jill Stennis

Joseph Schlabs

Kyle Trafton

Growing up in a family full of musicians and artists gave Amanda an appreciation for the creative arts. She started singing and playing the piano when she was very young and later became interested in creative writing and communication. She is now finishing a degree in Liberal Studies at Abilene Christian University. Amanda and her husband, Kyle, live in Abilene with their (very spoiled) black lab, Lyric Girl.

Ever looked in the mirror and thought, “My, you’re a handsome devil,” but then felt bad about it because your dad is a pastor and maybe “devil” shouldn't be used as a compliment? Welcome to Brenton’s world. Despite these devilish antics, Brenton found a beautiful woman, Stephanie, who loves him unconditionally. When he’s not spending time with Stephanie and their daughter, Kate, Brenton is married to his position at MarriageToday, where he serves his parents’ vision to help married couples find hope and healing.

Three months of lessons and several calluses were all it took for Jill to decide that playing the guitar wasn’t for her. She comes from a musical family, though. Her mom, Gail, used to parade all five daughters around to nursing homes where she would play piano and the girls would sing. In this issue, Jill gives us an inside look at a guitar maker and his passion for bringing life to a dead piece of wood. This summer, Jill is busy decorating her new home and can’t wait to throw her first summer barbecue for family and friends.

Born and raised in the small town of Hereford, Joseph has always considered himself a country boy. For him, photography is simply a full-time hobby. Joseph and his wife, Melissa, own and operate a photography business (Joseph Elliott Photography) and they also are heavily involved in ministry at Trinity.

When Kyle was eight years old, his dad gave him an old film camera. Little did he know that this camera would spark something in Kyle and change his life forever. He soon discovered that he had a gift and a passion for photography, and since that day Kyle has been taking pictures. He recently became a full-time photographer and now runs his own business, Trafton L.L.C. He and his wife, Amanda, live in Abilene.

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Contribute to Connect

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + If you'd like to be a contributor in future issues of connect magazine, we'd like to hear from you. Send an email with a sample of your writing to connect@tfchurch.org, along with your contact information.

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forward looking ahead

COMMUNITY & you

I love the summer months. people; they were the beginning of the There has always been most powerful movement on earth—the something about the warm Church. This example of community is air that brings a smile to so encouraging to me and causes me to my face. I love to see flowers in desire the same reality not only in my life bloom, to smell the fresh-cut grass. but for every person in our church as well. That first long day spent in the yard Though we are all one large with my family, cleaning off the lawn church family, we are made up of many furniture and firing up the grill, is small communities. And we call these something I always enjoy. communities “lifegroups.” Whether you Amy and I love to have people in are new to this church, new to following our home during all times of the year, God, or have been a part of this family but for some reason it always seems like for many years, there is a place for you! the summer months bring loads of extra We have hundreds of different small opportunities to be with the people who groups. So if you’re not already in a mean so much to us. From backyard lifegroup, we hope you will find one barbecues to snow cone stands to and begin experiencing the joys of poolside parties, we spend a lot of time living in biblical community! with our circle of friends during these From the outside, the group of + months. As I think about the summers families hanging out in my backyard of the past and prepare for the one in might just look like an ordinary front of me, I can’t help but think about gathering, but we are so much more. how important it is for each one of us to We are a community committed trinity fellowship's be living in community. Executive Pastor of to loving Jesus, encouraging one One of my favorite passages from another, and advancing the mission of Ministry Development the Scriptures is found in the book of the church. Acts. I love the picture that we see of the early Church and how they functioned in relationship (Acts 2:42– + 44). They all shared a common bond and mission—Jesus and the advancement + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + of the Gospel. And To find out how you can get involved in community it took each one of life at Trinity Fellowship, pick up a Summer 2010 them gladly fulfilling Lifegroup Directory at any Trinity Information Center. their role in order This summer is a great time to CONNECT, GROW and SERVE, to carry out all that so be sure to pick up a directory to learn more. You can also check it God intended for out online at lifeattrinity.org. them. They were more than just a group or gathering of

Matt Spears

Are you in community?

7


lifegroups @ trinity the view from inside

Cowboy Up! LEADER: Buster Reedy HOST: Paul Blake meets: Mondays @ 6:30 a.m. Location: Paul Blake Roofing, 1501 4th

Buster Reedy sips coffee from a mug, as he flips open the Bible in front of him. A camouflage cap sits nearby, and several Bibles are scattered around the table. As the men take their seats here at the office of Paul Blake Roofing, the Monday morning “Cowboy Up” lifegroup gets started. “Romans chapter eight,” Buster says, “would someone read that for us?” Paul Blake reads aloud the Scripture verse, and a discussion breaks out about the issue of comparison—how it affects these men, as well as their children and grandchildren. “When I was in high school, I had the finest truck $150 could buy,” Paul says with a chuckle. “It was a ’56 Chevy Carryall. Nowadays kids think they have to have the best of everything.” Buster leans forward, thoughtfully stroking his grey mustache. Outside the sky is just beginning to grow light as the clock approaches 7:00 a.m. The lifegroup has been underway since 6:30, and the number of cars passing by the square in Canyon is beginning to pick up. “I believe God wants to bless us with all the trucks and guns and horses we could want, but He doesn’t want those things to have us,” Buster says. This saddle-maker-turned-insuranceagent has spent many of his years around horses and trucks, so he knows what he’s talking about. At 62, Buster hasn’t given up the active cowboy life, one that he has loved since he was a boy. He spends many weekends in places like Albuquerque, Oklahoma City and Las Vegas, competing in team roping events while his wife, 8

Ave., Canyon, TX

Debbie, does barrel racing. Often they get to lead church services in these places. When it comes time for prayer requests, the group talks about a friend who is battling cancer. “Maybe we need to hold a benefit roping, to help with his medical costs,” one of the men suggests. It’s what cowboys do; when a partner is in trouble, they come running. Watching these men in action, their strength of character and no-nonsense approach to life, it’s easy to see how cowboys earned their reputation as a tough breed. But underneath the surface churns a gentle compassion, a readiness to jump in and help anyone in need. And for this group of men, it’s a genuine heart for God that motivates everything they do. “You can tell a real cowboy a mile away, just by the way he carries himself,” says Buster. “And you can spot a phony a mile away too.” From what we’ve seen, these guys are definitely the real thing.


top picture From left:

Jerry Sublett, Travis Reedy, Buster Reedy, Paul Blake middle picture From left:

Buster Reedy, Paul Blake bottom picture From left:

Photography by Joseph Schlabs

Cody Weavers, Buster Reedy, Paul Blake, Nick Griggs, and Travis Reedy


the source

insights from someone in the know

Guitar Maker

name: Tim Horrell qualifications: Hobbyist specializing in woodworking. Makes and repairs acoustic, electric and bass guitars. Has crafted 15 guitars to date, with numbers 16, 17, 18 and 19 on the way.

+ On a mission trip to Nicaragua three years ago, I went to a guitar shop where the owner made his own guitars. They were beautiful, hand-crafted instruments. My first thought was, “I want to distribute his guitars in the United States.”

ash. My favorite part is working with the wood. When you pick it up and build the box, the sound hole is there, and when you say “hello,” it just rings in your hand. That’s when you know, this is going to be a good one. + Each guitar is cut out of one piece of wood. I cut the piece until it’s about 1/8” thick. Then I boil the wood for about an hour, until it’s pliable, and bend it over a form made of sheet metal. After that, I cut the neck, the top and the back, then attach them.

+ My son, Thomas, and I went back later and purchased four guitars. On the way home all four of them cracked due to changes in moisture and humidity. After giving it some thought, I said, “Let’s just build our own." So that’s what we did.

+ Instrument making is a slow process. You have to be patient with the wood and take one step at a time because if you don’t, you’ll get to the end and something will be crooked. Unfortunately, the guitar doesn’t lie.

+ Neither one of us had ever built a guitar before. Thomas bought a “howto” book that I thumbed through and earmarked a few pages. Building that first one felt instinctive. Halfway through the process, I put the book away and haven’t looked at it since. By the time I built my second guitar, I already knew how to improve it to get a better sound.

+ The tricky part of building a guitar is controlling the expansion and contraction of the wood, to be able to create a quality sound and resonation. What you’re trying to do

+ I make my guitars out of tone woods: walnut, mahogany, maple, cherry and

is build an instrument—a box that’s right on the edge of flying apart but has the right amount of stick to it to make a great sound. + Most guitars take about a month to make from start to finish. With wood being a natural product, it takes awhile for it to get its real sound. When you first string them up and put them under all that stress, it takes time to settle into its natural sound. + I really enjoy building an instrument that people can use in worship. Sometimes I’ll stay up late in my garage and just play. That’s what it’s all about for me. There’s nothing more satisfying to me than worshipping the Lord. + This is beyond what I expected to be doing in this season in my life. My wife, Sharon, and I always joked that when I retired I would own a snow cone stand. But even if the only benefit of doing this was to finance missionaries and mission trips, I would be happy.

Types of Wood Ash

Mahogany

Pecan

Spruce

Maple

Walnut

Oak

Rosewood

mirrors sound

bright sound

warm sound

bright sound

loud & deep

dead tone

LOUD & DEEP W/ age

EXTREME resonatION

+ 10

Photography by Kyle Trafton


11


spotlight

the many faces of ministry

The Family Business So…what do you do? Anytime we meet someone new, a version of that question always makes its way into our conversation. Maybe it’s a way to break the ice or avoid awkward silence. Or maybe it’s an easy way to size a person up. But for whatever reason, it’s something we always want to know. There are times I wish I had a more intriguing and adventurous answer to “What do you do?” I’d love to tell someone that I’m an international bounty hunter, or that I engineer robot arms for space exploration vehicles. Or that I’m the guy at the circus who gets shot out of a cannon. But that’s not me. My real answer is always a little hard to explain because I work for MarriageToday, the international marriage ministry founded by my parents, Jimmy and Karen Evans. So when people ask me what I do, I’ve begun telling them this: “I save marriages.” Because at the end of the day, that’s what it’s all about. For more than fifteen years, our ministry has worked to enrich and restore marriages with biblically based principles. We do 12

by Brenton Evans

it through a television program, live events and a diverse line of products including books, audio CDs and DVD presentations. My parents have been blessed to take their God-given message— that struggling marriages can be healed, and that the marriage of your dreams is possible—around the world, impacting millions of couples. Of course, quantifying that impact can be difficult. We can’t look at graphs or charts of saved marriages every quarter to measure our success. What we can do, however, is pay close attention to the hundreds of testimonies we receive each year from couples who have watched our shows, attended our conferences, or found hope and healing through a book or CD. Consider the case of Scott and Renee Witt, from the Metroplex area. When they met more than a decade ago, both were Christians on the rebound from failed marriages. They fell in love with each other and determined that this time around they’d do whatever was necessary to make the marriage last. “We’d experienced divorce and knew we didn’t want to go down that road again,” says


OPPOSITE picture:

Brenton Evans with his wife Stephanie, and daugter Kate

on Valentine’s Day weekend, and the event ended with a mass vow renewal ceremony. The feedback we received from this highly successful event gives us great hope. “We have been married for eighteen years and hit a really tough patch last year,” wrote Lavina from Texas. “I lost respect and love for my husband. This weekend really helped us get back on track.” “My husband came with me, and we were able to honestly talk about some of the issues. I pray the softening and changing of my heart will continue,” wrote Sherilyn, who attended the simulcast at a church in Ohio. “My husband and I are at a crisis point. I fear he has given up,” wrote Michelle, another Texas attendee. “But we participated in the vow renewal ceremony, and I felt closer to him than I have in months. I couldn’t remember the last time I saw him wear his ring, but he put it back on at the ceremony and has not taken it off

"

For more than fifteen years, our ministry has worked to enrich and restore marriages with biblically based principles.

Scott, a police officer for the city of Irving. He and Renee both figured they were older and wiser this time around and thought that would help. But it was still difficult. “Even though we did, in fact, make better choices, it wasn’t that easy. We still had issues.” So Scott and Renee sought help and found MarriageToday. They immersed themselves in our resources, beginning with Our Secret Paradise. Before long they were leading Marriage on the Rock seminars at their church, working with individual couples and conducting marriage retreats for their church leadership. “Sometimes we almost feel like MarriageToday groupies,” Scott says. “We are so thankful for the teachings of MarriageToday and how God has used them in transforming our relationship—but also for how we’ve been able to use the materials to touch many others as well.” Today, Scott and Renee are the founders of Marriage4Life.net, a ministry that provides ongoing classes and seminars for couples. They have recently launched an offshoot of that ministry (LawandOrder4Life.com) aimed at helping to improve the marriages of law enforcement officers— men and women who have above-average divorce rates due to the physical and emotional challenges of their chosen profession. The Witts are an Watch the show amazing success story, You can see MarriageToday with Jimmy & but they’re not alone. Karen on these stations and at these times: In February of this year, we conducted our firstDaystar ever MarriageToday Sunday 9:00 a.m. simulcast—Sex, Love Wednesday 9:00 p.m. & Communication—a seminar for dozens of INSP churches and thousands Tuesday 11:00 a.m. of couples across North America, thanks to KVII-7 our partnership with Sunday 9:30 a.m. CCN-TV. It was held +

"

join the live experience

This year, we have two great events coming up that you won’t want to miss. July 30-31, 2010 Return to Intimacy Seminar Trinity Fellowship Church Amarillo, TX For more details, go to: www.yourtrinity.org. October 8-9, 2010 New Life Church Colorado Springs, CO For more details, go to: www.newlifechurch.org.


yet. ” And Marty, who viewed the simulcast from London, Ontario, in Canada, told us, “Your workshop is saving my marriage!” Look for additional simulcast events with CCN-TV in the future, as we continue to expand our reach in order to heal more marriages. Another exciting opportunity is our recent launch of Quest, an online resource for those experiencing intense pressure on their marriage. We know there are many couples—in the United States and around the world—who need insight and encouragement but have been unable to receive it. Some of them may be in military service or international missions, while others may be pastors or ministers. Many are experiencing economic hardship and can’t afford books or videos. How can we get these life-changing resources into the hands of those who need it the most? Quest is our solution to these problems. It’s a free online clearinghouse of MarriageToday resources, located at quest.marriagetoday.com. It offers videos, chapters from Jimmy Evans’ books and seminar insights for those who qualify. We feel strongly that these proven tools can help—and in some cases save—troubled marriages. So many couples are going through a stormy season in their relationship, but at MarriageToday we firmly believe that there is hope. Why? Because my parents endured a crisis early in their marriage, and with God’s help, they emerged safely on the other side. Since then, they’ve committed their lives to helping other marriages see the same results. Through Quest, simulcasts and the resources available through our ministry, God continues to bless this work. We see this affirmation among success stories like the Witts’. We see it in the encouraging testimonies we receive on a daily basis. And we see it in our own lives, as God draws us closer to Him—and closer to our own spouses—on a daily basis. What do you do? I’m not an international bounty hunter, but I do have an important job. I work with my parents to let people know that their family has a great future and that the marriage of their dreams is possible. I save marriages, and I’m right where God wants me to be. 14

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hello

we'd like you to meet...

Scott Rosenbach trinity fellowship's executive pastor of administration

Background

•••••••••••••••••••••••••• Born : Pampa, Texas Family : Wife, Susan;

6 children–4 boys & 2 girls; 9 grandchildren Education : BBA

in Accounting from Texas Tech University; CPA since 1985 Hobbies : Sports, woodworking and repairing things, riding 4-wheelers Salvation : Committed

Favorites

•••••••••••••••••••••••••• Bible, Adventures in the Big Thicket by Ken Gire, Good to Great by Jim Collins

Book : The

Best advice given to me : From a

professor at TTU—“Marriage is two whole people hacking it out together.”

Food : Hamburger

sow.

can always go to Him with anything.

Musical Artist : George

job Responsibilities : Oversight of accounting and business office operations, personnel and information technology. On staff since Sept. 1986.

Movie : The Hunt for Red October, Gladiator

What fascinates me : Watching a thunderstorm with lightning move over the plains and watching snow fall from the sky and accumulate on everything. I also like facts, numbers and history.

••••••••••••••••••••••••••

Person : Jesus—I

my life to Jesus in April 1965 at a Billy Graham film called Lucy

On my Playlist : Josh Turner, Charlie Hall, Passion Worship Band, George Strait

Bests

Strait

TV Show : NCIS, Jag

My life motto : You

reap what you

Three people I would like to have dinner with : George W. Bush, George

Washington, and King David of Israel

An interesting fact about me :

Actor : Dennis Quaid, Denzel Washington

While in the Navy, I spent a year and a half in Adak, Alaska—an island located 700 miles from Russia—tracking Soviet submarines.

Actress : Jacqueline

My heroes : Don

Sellecca

Smith, Connie

Place to Pray : Outside,

in back of my

Sports team : Baltimore

Colts (before

house

they sold out)

Turner, my fifth grade Sunday school teacher. He showed me how a man of integrity lives his life. He wrote and encouraged me while I was away from home in the Navy. Also my mom, because she opened the door to God for me.

15


volunteer

how i found my place

“Hey, Corey,” a shaggy-haired kid yells as he flies by on his skateboard. Corey McCluskey walks along the sidewalk outside of Trinity Fellowship, wearing an old Little League shirt and ripped jeans, getting ready to enter a room full of hundreds of teenagers. Walking into Blü (Trinity Fellowship’s youth ministry) can be a little intimidating. There are kids everywhere playing sports, drinking coffee or just hanging out. But if you look deeper you will notice leaders like Corey among these kids, not only hanging out, but also encouraging these teens and sharing the gospel with them. “The first few times I volunteered in Blü, it was a little hectic,” Corey says. A friend from work invited Corey to volunteer with him on Wednesday nights. “I started out just playing basketball; now, because I’ve gotten into the Word more and prayed more and gotten more wisdom, I can actually speak into their lives. We’re here to preach and teach Jesus to the kids. Sports are secondary.” Corey now volunteers every weekend and every Wednesday night at Blü. On Wednesdays he shows up at 5:45 to facilitate a student leadership group with his friend Josh. “It helps those kids who want to be leaders, who want to learn and grow closer to God,” says Corey. They meet with a group of kids who they feel have potential leadership skills; they discuss the 16

COREY McCLUSKEY AGE: 25 Hometown: The

Woodlands

Bible and their lives a little more in depth and pray over the evening’s service. Their goal is to teach these kids that not only can you be a leader at church, but you can also be a leader at school or work or wherever you are. The doors open at 6:30 and Corey plays basketball or foursquare until the service starts. He sits with a group of kids during the service and after that, the rest of the evening is spent walking around and talking with the teens. “There are several kids who for whatever reason like hanging out with me, and I like hanging out with them,” says Corey. This is obvious from the looks on these kids’ faces when they talk with Corey. There is a respect and admiration in their eyes. They definitely look to him for wisdom and advice, not only as a leader but also as their friend. From praying and studying the Bible to eating pizza and talking, volunteers like Corey are showing up every week to be an example to these students. Their purpose is to show students that there is someone out there who loves them and cares about them, someone who is there to offer advice, to be an example, or even to just hang out and play some basketball.

Photography by Joseph Schlabs


17


conversations

connect magazine sits down with...

Trinity's Elders A few of

Trinity’s eldership is made up of eighteen men who are charged with the responsibility of making decisions about how the church operates. If you’re familiar with companies that have a board of directors, this probably doesn’t sound too unusual. But there’s a catch. These elders make every decision in complete unity, a practice that’s virtually unheard-of in today’s society. A majority vote, sure. But 100% agreement? What does that look like, and how does it happen? We sat down with three of the elders—Dan Meadors, Steve Myers and Jimmy Witcher—to find out more about how this unique process takes place.

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From left:

Photography by Joseph Schlabs

Dan Meadors, Steve Myers, Jimmy Witcher


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How would you define the kind of unity that Trinity’s elders operate in?

Steve Myers : I think that’s the biggest question people have—how do we get to unity? Unity doesn’t mean that we agree on every point. Unity means that we agree on our purpose, and we trust each other. That level of trust has to be there. Even though I’m different from these guys, there is something about the strength of unity; it’s something God loves and He just blesses it. And unity brings about better communication and the ability to understand each other in a language our culture doesn't usually speak. When I was studying Psalm 1, where it says “You shall not sit in the counsel of the ungodly,” the word counsel in that context means “to say what they say; to sit in a room and then say what they say.” When we sit in counsel, our eldership’s purpose is to come to agreement and unity so that we say the same thing. It’s a different concept. That’s what counsel is, to come to unity and all say the same thing.

Jimmy Witcher : And it’s not an agreement of detail; it’s not even an agreement of thought. It is an agreement of will. It is a process by which the very root will of every individual is all forged together into one will. That’s a lot harder to get to than agreement of thought. Sometimes it takes minutes; sometimes it takes months. Steve : Even when it takes minutes, it took months to get to the point where it only took minutes. Dan Meadors : It would be impossible for someone who’s a strong leader to come into the eldership and say, “This is what we’re going to do, whether you like it or not.” It’s impossible. Nor would it go well if someone said, “This is what we’re going to do, and we just want you guys to rubber stamp it.” It doesn’t happen. That’s a surefire way to have a long meeting (laughing).

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Steve Myers

Elder since 2002

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+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

The best gift my wife Debora ever gave me…

+

My 50th birthday gift, and it turned out to be the best gift my son ever received as well. I flew to New York City where Christopher lived, and he and I went to a New York Yankees game. Then we caught the train the next morning, went to Boston and went to a Red Sox game. So he got to fulfill his dream, and I got to fulfill mine.

In my wallet…

+

I have a piece of paper taken from Dan Meadors’ Daytimer notebook that he wrote the word “no” on with an exclamation point, as an encouragement to me to say "no" more often. I haven’t used it as often as I should have.

If I didn’t have to go to work every day…

+

What I’d really like to do is help young guys who have entrepreneurial dreams, and try to help them figure out how to get some wings. It would be kind of fun, to listen to what they’ve got in their hearts and help them launch it.

My coolest scar…

I have ten that tie. I’ve had six knee surgeries, a splenectomy, a nephrectomy, a pyeloplasty. I actually look like a patchwork doll.

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Take us through the process.

+

Jimmy : On the outside you see the results, but the process of coming to unity is pretty raw, almost brutal in a sense. When it truly comes to unity, all of your strengths, all of your weaknesses, everything becomes open to everyone in the process. And that’s part of that trust. It’s really ironic that everyone brings their strengths to the table, but we’re all sitting there with our weaknesses as well. You’re surrounded by all these men who are bringing their strengths and their weaknesses to the table, fully offered in relationship, hammering through issues. It’s an intense process that really does forge relationship way beyond anything I’ve ever experienced in my life. It spurs one another on in the Lord; it spurs us on in maturity; it spurs us on in development. Dan : The biggest thing is, through all the things we’ve walked through as elders, it’s a huge advantage for us to have accountability to each other as we’ve walked through these things. We are here to hear God and do what He says, and we want to live our lives in such a way to best affect His kingdom and what He wants to accomplish. Take Jimmy Witcher as an example. When he first became an elder, he and I butted heads a lot in the eldership. It wasn’t because we didn’t like each other or because we were opposite in our opinions about things. But God put us together to have that kind of relationship, to forge things in each other. Just to see what God is doing in Jimmy’s life, how God has raised him up, and the love we have for him—it has blown us away to see his ability to lead and the maturity he has. It started with us kind of butting heads for awhile, but I would take him into any battle with me. That goes without saying. (cont. on next page)

Jimmy Witcher Elder since 2000 + + + + + + + + + + +

+

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

+

My worst job ever…

I was a gas station attendant one summer, picking up tires, weed eating, pumping gas. It was not a good job. You learn a lot about what you want to do in life, when you’re pumping gas.

+

In my wallet…

I have a picture my daughter drew when she was probably two years old. It’s two stick figures, me holding her hand, and it says “I love you, Daddy.” And a scripture card, it’s a quote from when the Lord was speaking to Joshua, saying, “As I was with Moses, I will be with you.”

+

My coolest scar…

+

I was running track at Amarillo High. I tripped over a hurdle and stepped on my hand. It got stuck in my cleats so I ripped it loose. With all the adrenaline, I couldn’t feel anything. It was pretty bizarre.

+

The Making of a Leader

class taught by Trinity Elders

New session begins Fall 2010 + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + If you are feeling challenged by God to step into a more active role in the church, or if you are already a leader but would like to be renewed and retooled, this class is for you. Taught by Trinity elders, it’s packed with the principles and skills you need in order to serve in a leadership role. Personal spiritual growth is another benefit you’ll receive when you take this class. Watch for more details in the weekly bulletin and online at yourtrinity.org.

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What is Pastor Jimmy Evans’ role in the eldership?

Dan : Some people think that Pastor Jimmy is such a strong leader that he bowls over the elders. Nothing could be further from the truth. The one thing about Jimmy is that he loves the fact that the eldership is strong. It doesn’t threaten him. He wants it that way. He wants to be able to have the comfort in knowing that if he brings an issue in there, the elders will tell him if we don’t hear God saying that. That’s comfort; it’s something he trusts in, he relies on. +

Dan Meadors Elder since 1987

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My most bizarre experience as a dentist…

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I was doing a filling for Steve Myers. He was on the gas, and I bonded his upper and lower front teeth together and told him to open his mouth and he couldn’t. And then I turned my chair around to him and said, “Now I have you where I want you; shut up and listen.”

The best gift my wife Debbie ever gave me…

Dan : Once you get to the end of the issue and the decision is made, even if you were on the opposite side of that discussion, you own that decision. It’s not like you walk out and say, “Well, I consented but that (decision) really wasn’t mine. In fact, we don’t tolerate that. If somebody votes yes and then outside the room they’re talking about it, that’s not unity. At the end of the day we all own that decision. That’s true unity.

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Herself, and then my kids—all the stuff she went through for that. I knew the Lord when I was in 4th grade, but after high school I fell off. Debbie and I married in 1972. In 1975 the Lord was reeling me back, and the day came that I made a new commitment to follow Him again. When Debbie got home from work I told her everything, fully expecting her to leave, but she didn’t. That’s probably one of the greatest gifts she’s given me. She made the decision that she was willing to let God rebuild the trust.

Something the Lord has been speaking to me…

I received a prophetic word recently about endurance, that I have been enduring the last few years, but the Lord says the next few years are going to be different, they’re going to be better. And He confirmed that this morning in my quiet time. In Hebrews 12, there are four or five references to endurance, what Christ endured, what He wants us to endure. I am claiming that, for all of us, that these next few years will be better.

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Jimmy : Pastor Jimmy, as the chairman of the board of elders, will always be the face of the eldership to the rest of the congregation. As chairman, part of his job is to foster an environment where a full, complete discussion takes place. I remember my first elders meeting. We were going over the mission statement of the church, and I had a question on something. Before I knew it, Dan and I were locked in a pretty intense discussion about some theological concept. And we called a break, and I remember Pastor Jimmy walking up and saying, “Good job; keep going. Keep having this discussion until you get to the end, and don’t stop.” And that doesn’t mean “don’t yield,” because we yield to each other all the time, but we don’t yield till we get to the end. And it has happened a few times where all but one person is settled on an issue. So we agree to pray about it and come back to it. Almost every time, when we all come back together, there’s a whole different mindset on that issue and it’s clear it was not God's timing. One person can stop that process, and has.

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Jimmy : Many times my position has been challenged, but I’ve never felt pressured to change my mind. Never. That doesn’t mean we don’t have really intense discussions, but that’s different. And I guess that’s what I mean about the business world, that concept of “hey, you need to get on board with this.” That doesn’t exist, at all. It’s all about, “What is God saying in this issue?” We’ll have things we’re all grinding on, sometimes for months, even years, and then all of a sudden we’ll make a decision in five minutes.


Steve : It’s all the hand of God and His timing. What are some of the latest things the elders have been working on?

Dan : The three of us just finished teaching a leadership training class called “The Making of a Leader.” One of the purposes of this class is to connect leaders with each other, and help them get to know some of the pastors and elders. Steve : The objective is for these people to begin to lead, and to encourage them and help them find their place of service. And part of the objective is to identify their spiritual strengths for themselves so they can begin to develop them. It’s not really about what level that person is at. It’s whether or not they’re operating in what God gave them to operate in. So that’s what we’re trying to do, to empower them.

Dan : Our philosophy has always been that the purpose of the church is to equip the saints for the ministry. So leadership is required to make that happen. Raising up leaders is a key part of equipping the saints. Jimmy : I think part of it, too, is sometimes our definition of leadership is very narrow. We often define a leader as someone who wants to lead large groups of people. But I don’t think God defines leadership in that context. Leadership is people walking with confidence in the calling that God has given them. In that, there’s everything from intercessors to the prison ministry to the person who’s greeting everyone and making sure everyone has their place. Dan : There are two sides to this. God holds us responsible for stewarding the people He brings us. How can I steward them if I don’t know them and what their giftings are? And second is the exponential growth factor. We

minister to them, and they in turn minister to others who minister to others. Our common purpose is that our goal in life as elders of the church is to strategize against the kingdom of darkness and take as many people into the kingdom of God as we can. And so our training them to train others to train others will have the greatest possible effect. That’s the whole purpose of our heart. As you have gotten to know people in the class, were there any surprises?

Steve : It always amazes me, the depth and the warmth and just the quality of people who attend this church—at the different levels of ministry, all the people who are out there doing God’s work. Dan : I’ve been blown away every time by the giftings these people have, how God has changed their lives. It’s pretty cool.

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reviews

from our pastors' shelves

Israel's Anointing Your Inheritance and End-Time Destiny through Israel

By Sandra Teplinsky The nation and people of Israel— our past, present and future—are inseparably intertwined. Though I have heard many references to the importance of Israel, especially in regards to our end-time destiny, I had never read a book on the subject that I would recommend without hesitation until I read this one. Previously, I had read Sandra Teplinsky's first book, Why Care About Israel, which was an outstanding book as well. And with endorsements from people such as Chuck Pierce and Dr. Michael Brown, I was confident that this book would safely navigate me through a complicated and controversial subject. Israel’s Anointing teaches about God’s purpose and destiny for Israel in an easy-to-understand biblical presentation, but the author also teaches on many aspects of the importance of the Jewish roots of our faith in the same interesting and readable style. For the person who has studied the subject of the Jewish roots of our faith, there is something new to learn in this book, and her organization of topics is excellent. For the person who is new to the subject, it is a great introduction. Most readers of connect are non-Jews (Gentiles) who need some help understanding the Jewish origins of our faith and our destiny rooted in the future of Israel. This book is a great help to get you there!

Review by Bo Williams

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You Were Born For This 7 Keys to a Life of Predictable Miracles

By Bruce Wilkinson You believe in miracles, but why aren’t you seeing them more often? What if you could be the delivery person for someone else’s miracle? Bruce Wilkinson, the author of the New York Times #1 bestseller The Prayer of Jabez, has hit a homerun with this book based on the premise that God wants to do miracles in the lives of people and that He wants to use you and me to deliver those miracles. This book is not so much about how to receive miracles in your own life as it is about being alert to the signs that God wants to use you to bring about a miracle in the life of someone you come in contact with. I really appreciated Bruce’s approach and his practical explanation of what the signals are that indicate God is wanting to do a miracle. He helps us to see how we can best be prepared to be obedient when the time comes to deliver that miracle. This book has really caused me to see circumstances in a new way, and I highly recommend it.

Review by Royce Gooch


Forgotten God By Francis Chan

this book addresses the lack of effective impact of the church today upon people’s lives due to the way God is portrayed. Over the last few decades we have focused on how to do church and missed out on relating to God—all of God—and joining Him and what He is doing rather than finding a way to include Him in our own lives. Forgotten God simply and truthfully talks about what it means to have a real relationship with God and to follow Him. Francis Chan shows how the Holy Spirit is the key to our relationship with God but so easily forgotten. I found this book motivating and challenging because of the “thinker” questions it has you ask yourself, such as “Why do I want the Holy Spirit?” At the same time Forgotten God is easy to read with impacting, short biographies after each chapter. To be who God created us to be requires the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit within us. Francis Chan acknowledges this and challenges us that it can’t be ignored if we are to influence earth with the kingdom of heaven.

Review by Terri Powell

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The secret to grilling the best steak around. We checked in with two guys who have a reputation for knowing their way around a backyard grill, to find out what makes their steaks so tasty. Cole Stanley and Jeb May are good friends, but when we mentioned the words “steak” and “challenge,” the trash talking began.

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So we put together a grilling competition to find who would earn bragging rights in their circle of friends. Now we’re passing along our tips for holding your own steakmaster’s challenge, along with recipes to make sure you come out the winner.


COLE STANLEY (Left)

says his specialty is smoking ribs but he’s not half bad at steaks. "I’m looking forward to this competition because we’ll settle this once and for all, who grills the best steaks."

JEB (Right) MAY calls himself “the Rachael Ray of the STEAK masters.” "Hey, someone cut the hose to Cole’s grill. I have no idea who would do that."

Throw a party for 40 of your closest friends (actually six or eight will work too—Cole just happens to have LOTS of friends in his lifegroup). Invite them all over to the house, fire up a couple of grills, and throw on some steaks. Keep your competitor distracted so he doesn’t catch on to your wellguarded secret—the technique that puts your steak over the top.


COLE's Secret Start with a prime rib and cut it into rib eyes, 1 to 1-1/4 inch thick (do a minimal amount of trimming because the more fat, the better the flavor). Cryovac (shrink wrap) and refrigerate for 21 days. That’s the secret, the 21-day aging. Meat naturally has enzymes in it, but as long as it doesn’t hit oxygen it doesn’t deteriorate. Aging brings out the flavor of the meat, and makes it more tender. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with your favorite steak seasoning. Top grilled steak with homemade Thai Chili Bernaise sauce (recipe below).

COLE's thai chili bernaise sauce Combine fresh Thai chilies, bay leaf, shallots and white wine vinegar in a saucepan. Heat to a boil and reduce it to one ounce. Pour through a strainer and return liquid to the saucepan. It’s best to place the saucepan over a pan of boiling water or over an open flame, rather than directly on your stove’s burner. Add several egg yolks and Sriracha hot chili sauce. Whisk continuously until mixture turns into a paste. Add 2 pounds of butter, cut into small pieces. Continue whisking over heat until mixture is the right consistency (about 15 minutes). This is the perfect sauce for steak—it gives it plenty of flavor and kick. *Since this is Cole’s secret sauce, he was a little vague on exact measurements, so you may have to experiment a few times to get it right. Or pretend to be Cole’s friend and get invited to his next party.


Jeb's secret Run by the custom meat shop and pick out the finest cuts of steak they have on hand—usually rib eye or beef tenderloin. Combine Worcestershire sauce and Italian dressing; marinate steaks in this mixture for about 15 minutes. Heat grill on high; coat with oil to keep from burning the steaks. Sear steaks on both sides. They are best cooked medium with some pink in the middle; my personal preference is a little red to hot pink in the middle. Top steaks with brown sugar and melted butter, for a carmelization effect. Or top with crumbled bleu cheese. Another topping I like is sautéed mushrooms. Just heat together soy sauce, olive oil, butter, salt, pepper, and fajita seasoning; then saute sliced mushrooms in this mixture.

After grilling, hand out samples and ballots to your guests, and have them rate the steak on a scale from 1 to 5.

the results When we tallied up the numbers, here are the results of our steakmaster’s challenge:

Tenderness

cole 122

jeb 131

Flavor

cole 129

jeb 119

Texture

cole 128

jeb 118

Final

cole 379

jeb 368

Congratulations Cole! And don’t worry, Jeb; there’s always next year.


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MAG AZINE

a ministry of

5 0 0 0 H o l l ywo o d Rd . • A m a r i l l o, T X 79 1 1 8 8 0 6 . 35 5 . 895 5 • yo u r t r i n i t y.o rg


Connect Magazine Summer 2010 Mens