Issuu on Google+


E X C E L L E N C E I N E D U C AT I O N NATIONALLY RECOGNIZED ACADEMIC PROGRAMS AND AWARD WINNING FACULTY

ARBOR CHRISTIAN ACADEMY Education for Life. Wisdom for Living.

connect magazine / spring 2009

1

5000 Hollywood Road • Amarillo, TX 79118 • 806.355.7207 • arborchristianacademy.org • Fully Accredited K-12


2

connect magazine / spring 2009


contents | SPRING 2009

04 06 07 08 10 20 28 36 44 48

30 CONTRIBUTORS CREDITS SPEAK UP FROM THE EDITOR F O RWA R D SNAPSHOTS HELLO EFFECT REVIEWS VOLUNTEER

12

ON THE COVER

30 LIFE SWAP

22

24

Have you heard the one about the charismatic pastor who traded places with a coffee barista? It may sound like Uncle Bob’s favorite joke from your last family reunion, but it’s actually an eye-opening account of what it’s like to step into someone else’s shoes for a few hours.

16 39

46

12 V O I C E

Readers express their thoughts on the topic of change.

22 T H E

SOURCE

Andy Justus gives us some insight on being a TV news anchor.

24 C O N V E R S AT I O N S

Jason Boyett talks about life, culture, and being a writer.

39 S AV O R

Recipes for food, friendship, and harmony at home.

46 L I F E G R O U P

SPOTLIGHT

Get to know Trinity’s Successful Single Mothers Lifegroup.

16 WHERE I’M FROM

Abandoned at birth and raised in a Russian orphanage, Svetlana had every reason to believe no one would ever truly love her. But deep inside her heart stirred a flicker of hope, an emerging awareness that somebody out there cared for her.

connect magazine / spring 2009

3


contributors | SPRING 2009

34-41

Susie Merrick

Joseph Schlabs

David Ritchie

Michelle Baker

Amanda Trafton

Mother, hostess, cook, pastor, and grandmother are just a few of the words you can use to describe Susie. She has a passion to infuse spice in life through food. It’s a hobby and a gift, and she welcomes all into her home with genuine hospitality. You will always get a good story and some amazing recipes.

As the owner of his own freelance photography business, Joseph Elliot Photography, Joseph specializes in commercial and portrait photography. He has been a part of several advertising campaigns and featured in several local magazines. He never fails to deliver excellent photos with a modern edge.

As the Pastor of North, Trinity's young adult ministry, David is one of the most relevant voices to college-aged adults. He has a real passion to discuss topics that change your perspective. David is probably best known for his unassuming intelligence and gently, insightful wisdom.

Relatively new to the Amarillo area, Michelle wasted no time getting involved in the community. She serves in various volunteer roles around the area, and is even a lifegroup leader for Trinity. She is the mother of three, including 9 year-old twins, and still finds time to work in her own freelance mass communications company.

If there is social injustice you can bet Amanda will be ready to act. She has volunteered for many social justice organizations and is passionate about helping people. She is pursuing her degree in Sociology from WTAMU, is married to Kyle, and loves her black lab Lyric.

PA G E S 3 9 - 4 2

PAGES 16-19 PAGES 32-33

PAGES 46-47

4

connect magazine / spring 2009

PAGES 24-2 7


connect magazine / spring 2009

5


credits | SPRING 2009 E X E C U T I V E PA S T O R O F CARE & CONNECTION

Cindy Rowley

R E S O U R C E D I S T R I B U T I ONS MANAGER

Glennys Viermann EDITOR

Kelli Bullard A R T D I R E C T O R / G R A PHIC DESIGNER

Collier Vinson

SENIOR COPY WRITER

Broc Carter

JUNIOR COPY WRITER

Blair Wilkinson GRAPHIC DESIGNER

Alicia Flake

GRAPHIC DESIGNER

Jeremy Henderson PHOTOGRAPHER

Kyle Trafton COPY EDITOR

Amanda Trafton A D V E RT I S I N G S A L E S

Jessica Vinson A D V E RT I S I N G I N F O R MATION

For more information about advertising in future issues of Connect magazine, please email your questions to art@tfchurch.org, or call 677-1007.

Connect is a quarterly publication of Trinity Fellowship, 5000 Hollywood Road, Amarillo TX 79118. 806-355-8955. ŠCopyright 2009 Trinity Fellowship. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form without the prior written consent of the publisher.

S E RV I C E T I M E S

Saturday | Sunday |

5 : 3 0 PM IN THE MAIN SANCTUARY 9 : 3 0 & 11:00 AM IN THE MAIN SANTUARY 1 0 : 1 5 AM IN THE U BUILDING

GO ONLINE TO T F C HURCH.ORG BEGINNING F E B R U A RY 28.

FOR NEW SERVICE TIMES


speak up | WHAT YOU THOUGHT OF OUR LAST ISSUE

‘‘

It is my hope that Connect magazine continues to publish articles that remind us of God’s purpose for our lives...

‘‘

kids theme

I loved this past edition of Connect magazine because I felt it really illustrated the heart of the Children’s Ministry of our church and focused on exactly what’s going on within it. I think it’s important that the church body know what’s happening in the various ministries of Trinity Fellowship, and the Children’s Ministry is especially important because it focuses on laying a strong Christian foundation in our kids starting at a very early age. There are so many exciting things happening right now in Children’s; I think it’s awesome that we can read about it. I really look forward to learning about the other ministries of our church in future issues! HANNAH ENGER

I look forward to each issue of Connect magazine. It is a way for me to connect to my church family. In reading the last issue, I noticed it was focused on the children. I love our generational focus and fully support the future of our church. However, I would like for you to consider taking a cross section of our church family in every issue of Connect. For instance, interview different age groups as in an Art Linkletter format. It would be fun to hear what the very young, the older, and everyone in between has to say about the focused topic of the current magazine. I trust your creativity in including the whole family. Keep up the good work.

effect

The fall 2008 Connect magazine was great! The story of the boy who felt celebrated for the first time on his birthday, and the people who take time out of their weekend to teach the ESL program touched my heart. What we take for granted can be such a luxury for those in need. I cannot think of a better way to show unchurched people the love of our Lord Jesus Christ. I am encouraged to do more in my home, my church, and my community. I am wondering if we can take this further by releasing Connect to the public through our local grocery stores and other common venues. This is an inspirational piece, and I believe we can influence the city of Amarillo to get connected. HEIDI KEATHLEY

will you be my person?

I was so excited to see the article titled “Will You Be My Person?” by Jill Stennis. I have been a volunteer, or “someone’s person,” with Jill in Xtreme for a few years now. Spending time with these kids even if it is just playing volleyball or cheering for a great catch, awesome basket, or amazing skateboard stunt makes them feel so loved and important that it keeps them coming back to experience more of God. I encourage everyone to be someone’s person... it’s life-changing. TAMMY PRESCOTT

his name is...

The article entitled “His Name is ...” (Fall 2008), about Beth Talley and our young adult ministry volunteering to teach English to displaced children from Burma, Somalia, Vietnam and Laos at Eastridge Elementary, really hit home with me. I teach at Margaret Wills Elementary, so each day I see the pain and frustration of these children who have been forced to move to a foreign land. It is my hope as a Trinity member that Connect magazine continues to publish articles like this, that remind us of God’s purpose for our lives—to give unselfishly and to boldly step out, as Beth Talley and our young people did, when God calls us to a window of opportunity. What an inspiring story! Keep up the good work. K E L LY H U N T

parent partnership

I loved Pastor Valerie’s article “Parent Partnership: Directing the Influences in Your Child’s Life” published in the fall issue. As a parent of 2 young children, I found it very encouraging that there are several ways to have influence in our children’s lives, amidst the bombardment of unhealthy influences they encounter through life. I will remember these ten principles and use them as a tool to lead my children closer to Christ. Thank you for such a resourceful article! KIMM I M C C A R R E L L

CONNIE SUBLETT

WE WOULD LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU. EMAIL US AT CONNECT@TF C H U R C H . O R G

connect magazine / spring 2009

7


from the editor | KELLI BULLARD Here’s what we believe our purpose to be: In every story we tell, every person we feature, we want to inspire our readers to grow and develop on four levels: personal, relational, missional and cultural. Once we were able to put that into words, the content of Connect magazine naturally fell into place, and we were able to pinpoint a more unified focus for the stories we tell. In this issue, you’ll notice changes in the look and design, as well as the format of some of our regular features. We’ve also added some new things that give the magazine an interesting personality and flavor. All of the changes we’ve made add up to one singular purpose. We want to place in your hands a resource that helps you grow in your personal life and in your relationships. We want it to inspire you to invest in a cause you believe in and to influence the culture around you.

Two years ago a brainstorming session sparked a fabulous idea: to produce a quarterly

magazine that included the current lifegroup directory to help people find their place of connection at Trinity Fellowship. Our creative team (2 writers and 2 graphic designers at the time) jumped at the chance to blaze this new trail, and Connect magazine was born. Looking back, I think if our small staff had known what a huge task we were undertaking, we might have had second thoughts. But ignorance is bliss, and we enthusiastically plunged ahead. It took us a few issues to get our bearings and figure out what we were trying to accomplish. Then last fall, a message from Pastor Marty to our staff inspired us to dig a little deeper. We spent many hours “cussin’ and discussin’” as one of our staffers humorously described it, and finally arrived at a purpose statement and a mission for Connect magazine.

8

connect magazine / spring 2009

Now comes the true test. We want you to tell us what you think – to share your thoughts about Connect magazine. Please write in and share your story ideas, feedback on current stories, and any other suggestions that would make this a better magazine. You can reach us at connect@ tfchurch.org, or 5000 Hollywood Road, 79118. I want to express a special thanks to all who contributed letters to the editor this time. We value your opinions and carefully consider each one. It’s been an amazing two years, and for me the best part has been getting to know many of you. My love for this church and community grows deeper with every new person I meet; that’s one of the aspects of my job that I truly love. As you read the following pages, you’ll get an inside look at some fascinating people whose stories will inspire and challenge you. So find a cozy spot and curl up to enjoy a good read.


connect magazine / spring 2009

9


forward | SPREADING THE LIGHT

‘‘

The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.

NUMEROUS

TIMES

‘‘

ISAIAH 9

THROUGHOUT

HIS

God uses the illustration of illumination to describe the existence of His presence on the earth. He is variously referred to as “the glorious light,” the “bright and morning star” and “the sun shining in its strength.” In the passage from Isaiah 9 above, God is described as a “great light” to those living in the shadow of death and as the dawning of the morning sun as the light of day breaks upon the land. But in these passages and others, not only are these sources of illumination referring to God and the coming Messiah – His Son, Jesus Christ – they are also references to His people becoming a source of light to a land and a people who are living and walking in darkness. WORD,

About the Author M A RTY ROWLEY left a 20-year law career to join the ministry, and today he provides visionary leadership as the senior pastor of Trinity Fellowship. He is an Okie by birth, a Green Bay Packers fan by choice (we try not to hold that against him), and a lover of golf and good books. Marty is a big-picture kind of guy, so strategically implementing the church’s vision and purpose fits him to a tee. A dad to Matthew, Michael and Theresa and husband to Cindy, Marty loves spending time with his family.

10

connect magazine / spring 2009

When we begin to consider the role of Trinity Fellowship in this community, our region, our country and the world, the first point of reference that naturally comes to mind is Matthew 5. That’s where Jesus tells His followers, “You are the light of the world.” He says that “a city on a hill cannot be hidden.” Thank goodness He is not speaking geographically, or Trinity would surely miss out. Instead He is saying that when the presence of God rests on a group of people, they become as a beacon of light to the surrounding area. People are drawn to that light, and their paths are illuminated as they navigate their way out of the darkness.

As we go forward as a people, it is important that we manifest the light of Christ to those with whom we come into contact. In our everyday lives, we have many opportunities to either be light or darkness in our areas of influence. The really great thing about being in relationship with Jesus is that, when we allow Him, He will shine through us to be a source of light to others around us. In other words, it’s “Christ in us, the hope of glory” that spreads the message. All that’s required of us is to host His presence and then let His light shine through. From a congregational perspective, the same principles hold true, but the “wattage” is amplified as we come together as multiple sources of light. While it is important for each of us to reach those around us, as a body we are able to have a far greater impact when we all come together for worship, outreach, missions or any other form of ministry. That’s the beauty of “church.” Multiplied anointings mean a multiplied impact. When God indwells His people and they are united in serving Him, then the brightness of His glory is manifest for all the world to see. So, the future at Trinity has never been brighter! And that’s because many of you have joined your lights to our cause. And that’s good because ever since the days of Isaiah the prophet, spreading the light to a dimly lit world has never been more important.


Share Your Life And Love

ORPHANAGE

PARTICIPATION

With People In Need

JOIN US in this much needed opportunity as we partner with Trinity Fellowship to send mission teams to Juarez, Mexico.

Sept 4-7

Medic

Oct 2-5

al/Den

tal

Constr

Oct 30-

uction

Mercy Nov 2 Trip

A wonderful opportunity is available to help fulfill a child’s hope list with your financial support of $30 or more a month. Our Mission God has given us awesome opportunities to minister to the spiritual and physical needs of the people in Mexico by providing for short-term missions trips. We invite you to come with us and experience the power of God’s mercy and love moving first hand in the communities of Juarez!

- Jeff and Patty Graham

To register contact Trinity Fellowship Missions Department:

806.383.6990

S treams of W ater M inistry www.streamsofwater.org

Help a child in need experience the love of our Father’s heart with a monthly contribution of $30 or more. Miles away but not miles apart, you will receive stories and updates on the child you sponsor through the Rescue A Child Project. You can participate individually or as a group. There are also opportunities to meet the child you are rescuing with trips to Juarez.

For more information call: Streams of Water Ministry (Jeff & Patty Graham) 806.352.6611 or visit our website connect magazine / spring 2009 www.streamsofwater.org

11


voice | YOUR THOUGHTS AND VIEWS ON...

What is one that made an in your life? SMALL CHANGE

IMPACT

to receive a broad spectrum of responses, from lighthearted to deeply personal. As you read the following answers, we hope you find some great tips for small changes in your own life. WE WERE SURPRISED

Enjoy!

A

In the fifth grade my mom asked me if I would like to take piano lessons. I agreed. That decision ultimately led me to tour the country with a band (longhaul), meet some of the best friends I will ever have, and got me working and traveling in places all over the world. All because I decided to learn the piano. TYLER BUSCHMAN

A

The most important thing I have done that changed my life is, when someone asks me to pray about something, I do it right then. It may be in WalMart on aisle four or it may be in the grocery store, but that way I never forget to pray and they know that I sincerely care about their need. ERICA GRIMES

A

I became a big brother through Big Brothers Big Sisters. Volunteering has helped me grow up and learn skills I will need when I am a father.

A

I took a job with straight commission and it was a leap of faith as a single mom. God showed me He is faithful to provide. TAMMY PERKINS

J E R E M Y MARES

A

I quit eating meat. I feel so much better, have more energy, better complexion, and I am losing weight. NIKKI SAMS

12

connect magazine / spring 2009


A

I joined a book club, so now I’m reading more and watching TV less. I feel like I’m exercising my brain instead of being a couch potato.

A

Hearing the statement and acting upon it, "When you are the most natural, God is the most supernatural through you.” I have always been a pretty natural-acting person, but this statement changed my spiritual life.

LINDA HINDERS

BETTY SWANN

A

I started acting like a kid whenever I am with my kids. When we go to the park, my kids think, Mommy is a goof on the playground. This little thing takes me away from the monotony and negativity of adult life, and helps put me back into their world. You see things much differently when you look at everything as a child. KANDICE MCKEE

A

I started counseling. It has opened my eyes to what it means to have choices, and allows me to be profound and confident in the many changes in my life. MENDY LISH

A

I went to see Modest Mouse in concert. This made me want to run sound, and after doing it for a while I am now doing lighting and love it. CHRIS ANDERSON

A

I have started cultivating a thankful heart, and I’ve found that when you purpose to be thankful, it changes you. RITA MORROW

A

I put a sign over my bed that says “God Exists.” When I wake up in the morning, it’s the first thing I see and think. The sign helps me have an eternal mindset for the day. D AY LY WAGGONER

A

I treat my wife like she’s my girlfriend. I flirt with her, take her on dates, stay affectionate, and talk about her to other people. I try to think of all the things I did when we were first dating and do them again; I also ask her how her day was before I even start with mine. These kinds of things have helped keep our marriage fresh. ROGER WYRICK

continued...


voice | YOUR THOUGHTS AND VIEWS ON...

A

My dad asked me to help with his Sunday school class one Saturday night. After a while, I started going regularly to help, which led me to being a Sunday school teacher in my own class. This all helped me discover how much I love volunteering and being a part of children’s ministry. After awhile they offered me a job – one that fits me perfectly.

A

HANNAH ENGER

A

I recently started keeping the laundry done every night. I feel like I can really accomplish this job every day if it isn’t piling up over the house. I am more in control of the chores that way.

I bought a digital SLR camera and took a photography class. It changed my perspective and made me see things differently. Things that used to be ordinary now catch my attention. JANCEY BULLARD

A

I do something special every day with my wife. It can be something as simple as cooking her breakfast, making her coffee, or calling her in the middle of the day to see how she is. It's amazing how the little things we do in life, can make a big difference in our lives.

SARAH CLARK

DANNY STANPHIL

A

I went to a basketball game my junior year in high school on a night I just wanted to stay home. A stranger noticed me and just happened to ask a friend about me. Long story short, eventually I became his “beautiful” bride and we lived happily ever after. JESSICA VINSON

A

Something that has really affected my life is finding Mitchum deodorant. So effective you can skip a day. N AT E P F I E L

A

I moved my quiet time from home to McD's. It got me up and out of the house, it added consistency to my time with God, and I stopped falling back to sleep so that really improved my connection with God. TOM LANE

A

I realized that to be accountable places the responsibility on me, rather than on the person(s) to whom I'm accountable. The more honest and open I am, the more free I am. I would've never believed it but I've proven it and I'm definitely a believer now. BECKY DAVIS

14

connect magazine / spring 2009


SMILES FOR LIFE BELL STREET

COULTER ROAD

N

34TH AVENUE

connect magazine / spring 2009

15

7201 West 34th Avenue • Amarillo, Texas 79109 • (p) 806.353.2113 • amachildrensdentistry.com


where i’m from | SVETLANA BOWMAN

16

connect magazine / spring 2009


A R T I C L E B Y D AVID RITCHIE

It is the last night of youth camp. Sore muscles lift hands high, and the students of Blu gather in the sweltering heat one last time to sing and shout the fame of their Savior.

They are singing a new song, God of better days, better days to come. It is the song that has pierced and woven through these last nights like a binding thread.

were there because their parents were dead. Svetlana, however, was there because her parents did not want her. So she spent her first years of life living in the orphanage eating only cold kasha and soup. On a special day she got to eat carrot salad and potatoes for lunch. It was the most delicious thing she had ever tasted. Other children would mock her misshapen feet, by calling her “ballerina.” This crushed her feelings, and she would become angry. But at the age of three, she underwent a painful surgery that sculpted her feet into a shape that perhaps she could walk on. The recovery lasted for three months. No one came to visit.

The entire room sways and soars in worship, but on the front row one girl sings louder than the rest. You’re the Father to the orphan. Healer to the broken. Lover to the one betrayed. And for the few that know little Svetlana, tears begin to roll and rush as they remember the story within her song.

Not many children vividly remember walking for the first time. Because Svetlana was already four, she could remember the texture of the yellow broom that she leaned on. It was back in the orphanage, and her caretaker was there. Svetlana loved her caretaker. She was the closest thing to a real family. So when her caretaker would slap her across the face for disobedience, it broke little Svetlana’s heart.

Twenty years ago, in Russia, a doctor told a new mother that her premature baby would never walk. Weighing less than three pounds, the infant had been born with crippled legs, and there was a good chance that she would not live much longer. Times were hard in the fallen empire, and the new mother simply abandoned her child.

Not all days were bad. Despite the numbing winters, Russia is a beautiful land, full of music and mystery. But as Svetlana grew up and went to school, she began to feel the emptiness of the chasm in her heart, and she longed to be loved by someone. One day she decided to write her parents to let them know that she was ok, that she could walk

‘‘

You’re the Father to the orphan. Healer to the broken. Lover to the one betrayed.

‘‘

God of Better Days

The first six months of Svetlana Romanycheva’s life were spent in that hospital without the love or lullabies of a parent, until an orphanage eventually accepted her care. She lived with about a hundred other children. A few of these

connect magazine / spring 2009

17


where i’m from | SVETLANA BOWMAN despite what the doctor had said. Time passed. Later she was notified that her parents did not ever desire to have any form of communication with her. They were as good as dead. That was one of the harder days.

Yet even in the hard days, Svetlana seemed to always know that there was a God out there somewhere. She never needed convincing or arguments; she simply always knew. But He was only that: out there. Out there like the oceans and starlight and the parents that she would never know. But one day a woman, from a city called Amarillo in a place called Texas, met Svetlana in her Russian orphanage. Deborah Bowman was there on a shortterm mission trip, and was enchanted with the beautiful little girl. Upon returning to the States, Deborah felt in prayer that she was to adopt Svetlana and bring her to the United States. Through a series of truly miraculous events Deborah walked through the red tape of international bureaucracy as if it were the parted Red Sea, and Svetlana became her adopted daughter. Just a few days before her sixteenth birthday, Svetlana left her friends at the orphanage and drove to the Moscow airport. She boarded a mammoth plane for the first time in her life, and she spent the nineteen-hour flight thinking of what her new family, new home, and new life would be like.

‘‘

She learned that Jesus wanted to have a relationship with her. That He would never leave her or forsake her.

‘‘

18

connect magazine / spring 2009

The first year was lost to her memory. It is hard to remember things and people without words. She was frustrated, and she cried for many nights on end. Indeed, there were times when she wished that she had never left the orphanage, but even when days were long and hard, she somehow summoned the strength to press through. She began to learn English, and she

became good friends with Lindi, her new sister. She went through more surgeries and physical therapy to strengthen her legs, and as the hand of Providence would have it, she came to a youth ministry where she learned that the God she had known from afar was named Jesus. She learned that Jesus wanted to have a relationship with her. That He would never leave her or forsake her. That nothing she could do could ever separate her from the love that He freely gave—not even the gates of hell. Svetlana had finally met Someone who really knew what it was like to be broken, abandoned, and betrayed. She imagined the nails of His Cross and the pain He went through because He loved her. A new day dawned in Svetlana’s life, and she forever gave her heart to Jesus. Afterward, people would ask Svetlana why she was always so happy and full of smiles and songs. She would gladly say, “Jesus is not a religion. He is a loving Father. He has brought me joy.” She would tell them that Jesus was the Father to the orphan, Healer to the broken, and Lover to the one betrayed. She went to Brazil on a short-term mission trip and later helped build a house for a family in Juarez. Always, no matter where she was or whom she was with, she would tell her story. Always, she would sing her song. And now Svetlana still sings to her Jesus. She worships Him in a way that few can ever imagine. God of better days, better days to come. This is a truth that she knows well.


Epilogue Today, Svetlana Bowman rides her bicycle to Amarillo College where she is studying to be a physical therapist. She actively attends and serves at North, with whom she recently went to Mexico to build a house for a family in need. She plans to go on many more short-term mission trips in the years to come.

The song “God of Better Days” was written in 2008 by Dan Atkins and Daniel Davis, and was performed at Seek 2008, Blu’s summer youth camp. It will soon be recorded and released by Liv Worship.

connect magazine / spring 2009

19


snapshots | MEN’S RETREAT 2008

A

C

F

D

E


Men's Retreat 2008 Glorieta, New Mexico

B

Men’s retreat is the celebration of all things men. Last year the men of Trinity met to hear a RIGHT NOW message, and have fun in the mountains. Marty Rowley kicks off Friday night’s service with a prayer, as Pastor Billy Bob White and Eric Gomez prepare to lead worship. A.

Trinity's sentinels pose with Dwayne Hollis and keynote speaker, Michael Franzese. They are: Kelly Hance, Kaleb McCarrell, Devin Cantwell, Shane Day, Quirino Mariscal, Kody McCarrell, Shane Ortiz, and Ryan Neusch. B.

C.C. Combs takes an outside shot during a highly contested basketball game. C.

Keynote speaker Michael Franzese tells of his experience as a former mob boss during the Friday evening session. D.

Jeb May takes his shot at frisbee golf as his friends prepare for their turn. E.

Pastor Billy Bob White shares a word during the worship set. F.

Pastor Dwayne Hollis charges the men of Trinity with the “Right Now” message. G.

G

connect magazine / spring 2009

21


the source | INSIGHTS FROM SOMEONE IN THE KNOW

TV News Anchor Andy Justus Graduate of WTAMU with a degree in radio, television, film and speech communications. Eleven years with NBC-affiliate KAMR in Amarillo – six years as sportscaster and five years as news anchor. Named best local TV anchor four times in the Amarillo Globe News “Best of Amarillo” poll. QUALIFICATIONS:

REALLY

I

KIND

OF

STUMBLED

INTO

I wanted to be a sportscaster, and after college I got a job at Channel 4 doing sports, and I absolutely loved it. I still think it’s the best job in the world. For someone to pay you to go to football games, that’s a pretty good gig. NEWSCASTING.

IT’S NOT LIKE YOU HAVE TH I S M A S S I V E

with all these people compiling all this stuff and they just hand it to you and say, here, read this. It’s a team effort, and we actually are instrumental in putting it all together– from writing small teases to sometimes I shoot my own video. NEWSROOM

SOMETIMES WHEN

OUR

NEWS

ANCHOR

LEFT,

they called me in and said, “Would you like to do this?” So I prayed and thought about it, and I went back and told them, “I can’t be your news guy if I have to be real serious and robotic and unemotional – that stoic, network news guy.” And they said, “No, we don’t want you to be. We want you to just be Andy.” Doing the news, you can never have too many. I HAVE A TON OF TIES.

is that people allow me into their homes on a nightly basis to give them the news of the day. I think it is a huge honor. THE BEST THING ABOUT MY JOB

THE THING I HATE THE MOST ABOUT MY

JOB

IS

KNOWING

THAT

I

HAVE

I cringe every time I have to read an accident where somebody died, because that’s how my brother died, here in Amarillo. Every time I read a story about someone dying, I think to myself, some family is absolutely crushed right now. And I know what that is like.

[CO-ANCHOR]

FA I T H

AND

during the break. We’re like brother and sister, so we razz each other a lot, and sometimes it accidentally spills over into the news. I WILL CRACK EACH OTHER U P

EVERYBODY ALWAYS WANTS T O K N O W, DO YOU EVER WEAR SHOR T S O N T H E

I have done that before, yes. Or during the winter, there might be some sweat pants underneath there, maybe some tennis shoes or jeans. I would say 75% of the time I’m wearing a full suit. SET?

PRONUNCIATION

OF

NAM E S

CAN

BE

We have ways that help; we’ll write phonetically, put stars. If you ever look on the closed captioning, a lot of times things are grossly misspelled, but we did it on purpose to make sure that we said it correctly. REALLY TOUGH.

TO GIVE YOU THE BAD STUFF.

22

connect magazine / spring 2009

MY LEAST FAVORITE THING I S T H AT I

and I don’t know what I’m doing. People think that there’s somebody there to do the makeup. Nobody’s doing my makeup. I’m floundering around, I’ve got no clue. HAVE TO WEAR MAKEUP,


Family Medicine Centers has always been there for us to make sure we can be there

for each other.

At Family Medicine Centers, we understand how special your family is to you. And our family team of healthcare professionals is ready to provide quality care and friendly service for a long time to come. With multiple locations, some with extended hours, check out our website at www.fmc-clinics.com for the one nearest you.

Family Medicine Centers We’re there when you need us–

just like Family www.fmc-clinics.com

Amarillo · Canyon · Pampa connect magazine / spring 2009

23


conversations | CONNECT MAGAZINE SITS DOWN WITH...

Jason Boyett on life, culture, and being a writer.

is the author of several books, including The Pocket Guide to the Bible. He is also a freelance writer. He and his wife, Aimee, and their two children, Ellie and Owen, currently reside in Amarillo, TX, where he works as the communications director for Paramount Baptist Church. JASON

connect magazine / spring 2009

25


conversations | CONNECT MAGAZINE SITS DOWN WITH... C: HOW DID YOU GET INTO

C: HOW HAVE YOU EXPANDED

WRITING?

YOUR MESSAGE, AS YOU’VE

It’s a talent I was born with. It just always came easy to me, even as a kid. I was always able to put words together. I didn’t intend to become an author; actually I wanted to get into marketing and advertising, but I saw that writing was something I was good at and didn’t struggle with. If you have a natural gift with something, you should use it as much as you can. I got a few freelance jobs writing for a magazine and pursued it slowly till I was twentyeight or twenty-nine, and then Relevant [a magazine for twenty-somethings]needed writers. I just got to know them at the right time and had the right voice and some ideas. It was my foot in the door to publishing. JASON:

‘‘

I work at Paramount, and then when my kids go to bed I work out, watch TV with my wife, and then write till midnight.

‘‘

C: HOW DO YOU THINK YOU HAVE AFFECTED CULTURE?

I’m not sure that I have. To say that you’ve affected culture, I think, is to heighten the sense of your own importance. There are other authors who are a lot more influential than I am. I don’t see myself as a teacher or some sort of culture maker. I’m someone who’s good at writing, so I’m looking for a way to express that. I end up writing about things that I’m interested in like religion, history, and culture. I don’t even necessarily write the books for Christians. I think my primary audience is someone who’s on the fringes and knows a little bit about it. They’ll find out why Christians have some of the beliefs they have. I don’t just want to preach to the choir. JASON:

26

connect magazine / spring 2009

GOTTEN OLDER?

I don’t know that I have a message. I’ve written a weird bunch of books. I’m just kind of writing about the things that seem appropriate for me to write about at this stage. You write books you can get published. I write for magazines across the board – on environmentalism and the trash you produce, Christian comedy and how the church is using humor. I’m a freelance writer. I have certain passions, but I’ll write whatever you ask me to write. So I wouldn’t say that I have a message or that it has changed. JASON:

C: HAVE YOU HAD ANY OUTRAGEOUS BOOK IDEAS?

I’m kind of doing them now. Not many people would say, “I want to write a funny yet entertaining book about the end of the world or a 185page book about the Bible.” The research is pretty difficult and so is trying to communicate all that and be funny about it. JASON:

C: WITH A FULL-TIME JOB AND A FAMILY, WHEN DO YOU HAVE TIME TO WRITE?

I’m very efficient with my time. I don’t do very much that I consider a waste of time. I’m pretty driven and I know I need to sacrifice to do this. I’m always aware of what I’m doing and whether I’m being productive. I work at Paramount, and then when my kids go to bed I work out, watch TV with my wife, and then write till midnight. In the mornings from six to seven I write, but I don’t write on Sundays. I also JASON:

promised that writing wouldn’t take away from being a dad. It’s a pace I don’t think I can sustain my whole life, but I have a lot of energy now, so I’ll do it as long as I can. You have to be pretty committed not only to doing it, but to arranging your time to make it possible. A lot of people see my schedule and think I’m crazy. Good grief, I’ve been writing three hours a day for two hundred and fifty days, but I’m doing it and I’m still relatively healthy. C: WHAT KIND OF W R I T I N G HAVE YOU DONE FO R S O C I A L JUSTICE?

One thing that I am passionate about is that I do have a platform, and I do recognize myself as someone who is in the public eye. For whatever reason my opinions about things matter. I love people like Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie who saw that there would be camera guys following them around, so instead of going to get a sandwich or coffee they went where there were no cameras and showed that there are people who need to be spotlighted. I’ve got a little flashlight that I can shine by using my platform to promote different organizations. Healing Waters International does some really cool work to empower African children. Preemptive Love Coalition makes shoes to save lives. A guy named Jeremy lives in Iraq and exports handmade shoes and sells them to people in the U.S. It takes thirty or forty hours to make them. He pays families in Iraq to make the shoes and then funds heart surgeries for kids whose parents were gassed by Saddam; the surgeries are done JASON:


You can learn more about Jason by going to his blog: BLOG.JASONBOYETT.COM

You can also check out the selection of his books at Press Café & Bookstore, located inside Trinity Fellowship or online at: PRESSBOOKSONLINE.COM

by groups of Jewish doctors in Israel. This is something I want to call attention to, something I would do for free if I could, but payment is just icing. It’s the Jolie/Pitt model of humanitarianism; I’m just not as pretty or rich. There’s a lot of value in viral-style marketing, getting publicity without having to buy an ad, and if people are going to read an article that I write, I’m happy to talk about some organizations. Healing Waters can spend a couple thousand dollars for an ad in Relevant, but I can write an article and it’ll be even better.

C: WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR WRITING GOALS?

I think a good goal is to continue to be able to publish books. Writers are only as good as their next book. This has been a busy year. I’m finishing my fourth book right now. I have four Pocket Guides releasing next year with JosseyBass, a subset of the huge publisher Wylie that does the Dummies, travel guides, and cliff notes. I would like to turn the Pocket Guides into a series and hopefully write a couple every year. I’ve been blogging for the last nine or ten months JASON:

and would like to continue and increase that. I would also like to be able to do more speaking on some of the topics I write about. C: WHAT DO YOU DO IN YOUR SPARE TIME?

I’m deliberate about having fun. I’m a dad. We jump on the trampoline and lay outside. For me, I’m pretty into fly-fishing, backpacking, camping, triathlons, painting, and photography. My wife and I like to travel. I’ve been blessed with a wide range of talents and interests. JASON:

connect magazine / spring 2009

27


hello | AN INTRODUCTION TO TRINITY STAFF

Cindy Rowley E X E C U T I V E PA S T O R OF C A R E A N D C O N N E C T I ON:

Oversees pastoral area (hospital visits, benevolence, etc.) including lifegroups, prayer and counseling.

Background

Favorites

Bests

BORN

BOOK

BEST ADVICE I HAVE GOTTEN

December 15, 1956 Gainesville, TX FA M I LY

Husband, Marty Three kids, Matthew (22), Michael (19), Theresa (16). E D U C AT I O N

BBA in Accounting, MBA Management emphasis from Texas Tech HOBBIES

Reading, spending evenings with my family or girlfriends, and travel S A LVAT I O N

1966 revival at First Baptist Church in Gainesville, TX. Went to the altar at 9 years old O N M Y P L AY L I S T

Selah, Norah Jones, and Sara Bareilles W H AT FA S C I N AT E S M E

How God can tell you something in 1984 and bring it to pass in 2008.

28

connect magazine / spring 2009

I am a big Jodi Picoult fan. I like her “Speak the truth in love.” Dealing with book My Sister’s Keeper, and I also like issues promptly and directly leads to The Dean’s Watch by Elizabeth Goudge. a much happier, more peaceful and PERSON healthy life. My husband and my kids! LIFE MOTTO FOOD Luke 1:45 “Blessed is she who believed, My homemade vegetable soup for there will be a fulfillment of those MUSICAL ARTIST things which were told to her from the I like Rod Stewart and Norah Jones, but Lord.” love to listen to my daughter Theresa THREE PEOPLE I WOULD LIK E T O H AV E sing the most DINNER WITH TV SHOW George and Laura Bush: I would like American Idol, What Not to Wear, and to know how they have handled so well Fox News all of the criticism and rejection they MOVIE have experienced and thank them for Braveheart, because he just never lost standing for Christ. heart. Kenneth Copeland: His teachings are ACTOR what grew me up in the Lord. Mel Gibson and Anthony Hopkins INTERESTING FACT ABOUT M E PLACE TO PRAY I once sang The Star Spangled Banner to At a chair in the dining room, and at my open an Amarillo Dillas baseball game. makeup vanity, because I know I can be HEROES alone. My dad – He was a self-made man who SPORTS TEAM was kind and caring to everyone and Whatever team my kids are on, the one sought out for his wisdom. I was proud my husband is coaching, and Texas Tech. to have his name.


Patrick Burns D I R E C T O R O F R E TA I L O P E R AT I O N S

Oversees the design and implementation of Press Café & Bookstore, as well as the management team and casts vision for the ministry.

Background

Favorites

Bests

BORN

BOOK

BEST ADVICE I’VE GOTTEN

FA M I LY

PERSON

My wife Krystal

Deal with offenses by taking them to God as they arise – it gives you a better perspective on everything.

FOOD

LIFE MOTTO

7/31/79 in Lubbock, TX My wife, Krystal Two sons, Kayden (7), Kyan (4) HOBBIES

Spending time at home with the family, school activities, and reading S A LVAT I O N

August 1998, in my apartment living room right after a lifegroup meeting O N M Y P L AY L I S T

Phil Wickham, Kim Walker, Marc Broussard, Gavin DeGraw, Ryan Adams, MuteMath, and Vampire Weekend W H AT FA S C I N AT E S M E

Interaction between people. We serve a relational God, so understanding how relationships work is important.

Any book I am reading

Sushi

MUSICAL ARTIST

Phil Wickham TV SHOW

Heroes MOVIE

The Usual Suspects ACTOR

Edward Norton ACTRESS

Keira Knightly PLACE TO PRAY

While riding my motorcycle – it’s very freeing SPORTS TEAM

Baseball: Texas Rangers Football: Cowboys College: UT

Love God; love people – a simple statement, but hard to live by. THREE PEOPLE I WOULD LI K E T O H AV E DINNER WITH

C.S. Lewis – (I like) his way of taking the principles of God and helping a generation understand. Lee Strobel – his book The Case forChrist helped me start my faith. Johnny Depp – I like his movie choices. INTERESTING FACT ABOUT M E

I was in theater all through school, and yes, I was Kenickie in Grease. HEROES

Anyone who can keep their heart true in the face of adversity.

connect magazine / spring 2009

29


LIFE ARTICLE BY KELLI BULLARD & BROC CARTER

PHOTOGRAPHY BY KYLE TRAFTON & JOSEPH ELLIOTT


SWAP HAVE YOU EVER WONDERED WHAT IT WOULD BE LIKE TO TRADE PLACES WITH

Just for a few hours, to walk in someone else’s shoes and get a taste of what their life is like? The idea has all the ingredients for a great reality TV show, or an intriguing magazine story, so we decided to put it to the test. All we needed were two guinea pi--, I mean, willing subjects, with a sense of adventure and curiosity. Topping our list was Trinity’s Senior Pastor, Marty Rowley, who fortunately only needed SOMEONE?

a minor amount of gentle persuasion to say yes; next on the list was Casey McAdams, a barista at the Starbucks on Soncy, who also gave us a “thumbs up.” Our little experiment began on November 4, 2008, which added an interesting twist since it also happened to be Election Day. For four hours on this beautiful fall day, Marty became a barista at Starbucks, and Casey became the senior pastor of Trinity Fellowship. Here is their story.


A Venti Cup of Life The rich aroma of espresso greets customers as they swing open the front doors of Starbucks, the atmosphere punctuated by the whirling sound of a steam wand frothing milk for a latte. Marty Rowley slips a green apron over his head, fumbling with the ties behind his back. The sun is just beginning to peek over the horizon as he passes the counter where he would ordinarily be placing his order for a grande soy no-foam chai latte. But not today. Instead he steps behind the counter to begin his shift as a barista.

‘‘

“Good morning, Marty,” says Stephanie as she takes an order at the drive-up window. “I need a grande Pike Place with room, please.”

I handle coffee and pastries and try to stay out of everybody’s way. I'm very limited, but I'm good at what I do.

Pike Place, named for the original store in Seattle, is one of the custom blends of coffee that’s always available at Starbucks. There’s a second custom blend that changes out weekly; today they are launching their new Thanksgiving blend, a deliciously bold coffee with nutty undertones. Baristas have a language all their own, and Marty gets a quick lesson in coffee terms. “With room” means leaving space at the top of the cup for the customer to add cream and sugar. Tall, grande, and venti are the three sizes of coffee served at Starbucks. A latte is made with shots of espresso and steamed milk topped with a dollop of foam. Macchiato means “marked” in Italian; it’s a method of pouring espresso shots through the foam. A frappuccino is a blended frozen drink with either a cream base or coffee base. That’s barely scratching the surface, but it’s a good start.

‘‘

“Hey, can I get a plain bagel, Marty?” asks a man wearing a ballcap, “or are you just going to stand around back there?” “I handle coffee and pastries and try to stay out of everybody’s way,” Marty says with a grin, as he hands a bagel across the counter. “I’m very limited, but I’m good at what I do.” A line of customers forms at the counter. Marty grabs a cup and begins to fill it; the flow of coffee dwindles to a trickle. “I think we’re running out of coffee,” he says. Stephanie shows him how to brew a new batch and set the timer. Every 30 minutes the coffee in the server is poured out and a fresh batch is started. This morning they haven’t

32

connect magazine / spring 2009

poured out much coffee because Starbucks is giving away a free tall cup of coffee to anyone who votes in today’s election. And from the looks of it, the turnout for this election is going to be tremendous. Marty pulls out a container and coffee begins running over onto the counter. “Oops,” he says. “So when it’s brewing you obviously don’t pull that out. Oh well, if that’s my worst mishap, we’ll be ok.” As the baristas take orders, they mark the cups and line them up for Marty to fill, sometimes 5 or 6 at a time. The line of customers stretches past shelves displaying the latest coffee selections: Ethiopia Sidamo with its bold, distinctive


lemony taste; Sumatra, which is intensely earthy and aromatic; and Komodo Dragon, another bold selection. Over the whir of a blender, Marty hears an order called out: “I need a blueberry muffin, please.” As Marty stretches to reach the row of muffins, the man says, “Not lowfat, I wanted the regular one; it’s the next row over.” “Oh, seriously? My mistake. Well, some other folks got lowfat, whether they wanted it or not,” Marty says with a chuckle. Midway through the morning, the pace slows down and for the first time today, there’s no line at the counter. Lauren, the morning shift manager, decides to take advantage of the lull by assembling a sample tray for Marty to take to the lobby. She cuts a thick slice of banana nut cake into squares and fills tiny cups with Thanksgiving blend. There’s an art to coffee tasting, and Lauren demonstrates the proper technique. “It’s kind of like wine tasting” she explains. “First you smell it; you cup your hand over the top to capture the aroma. Then you slurp it so that it sprays your palate.” “This is pretty good, and I’m not really a coffee guy,” Marty says. He grabs the sample tray and heads for the lobby. “Would you like to try our samples?” he asks a table of three women. As they help themselves, he tests out some of the gems of information he has acquired this morning. “These are really good together because this coffee has a nutty undertone, so it pairs nicely with the banana nut loaf,” he says. The women sip and munch, nodding in agreement. Another run of customers comes through the door, and he is once again busy doling out coffee and pastries. By the time his shift comes to an end, Marty has worked four hours (known as the princess shift), made about 20 batches of custom blends and served more cups of coffee than he cares to count. He has learned to make a soy no-

foam chai (his personal favorite), a French press, and a green tea frappuccino. He has learned the difference between black, green and herbal tea, and the amount of coffee beans produced by one tree in a year’s time (one pound). He has endured teasing from those who know him and were surprised to see him on the other side of the counter; and mostly, he’s gained a new respect for what it takes to be a barista. “Like most jobs, you have to acquire a lot of knowledge and skill and competence to be good at it,” Marty says. “I have a new appreciation for these guys – getting up early, like 5 a.m., working 6 to 8 hours and still maintaining a great demeanor. “Overall it’s helped me see that there’s no job more important than another. And a lot of things they do at Starbucks transfer to us as a church – they create an atmosphere where people want to come. They call people by name and make them feel comfortable and at home. It says ‘we care about you.’ “This was a worthwhile experience – they made it very pleasant for me. I appreciate Starbucks allowing me to do it.”

connect magazine / spring 2009

33


asked if I wanted a job, and I knew that was my answer to prayer.” The iced-over faces in the room are replaced by warm smiles. One of the men remarks, “I have been praying for my sons since they were little, and I am just now seeing them become best friends.” Casey illustrates the point of his message with a new boldness. “God works at His own pace,” he says. Every man nods, and one comments with a wheezing chuckle, “You know that at such a young age; all of us old guys are just now figuring that out.” The room erupts with laughter, and the men start discussing how God has moved in their lives.

A Different Way to Serve It’s 7:00 a.m. and instead of serving coffee to crazed addicts, Casey McAdams is sitting in the middle of some of Amarillo’s most successful and selfmade businessmen. For 10 years, they have shared their lives, trials, and time with Pastor Marty in a lifegroup environment. Today Casey isn’t only sitting with them, but he has prepared a message to share with this crowd.

‘‘

I thought this job would be all about numbers, Man, I couldn’t have been more wrong. This job is all about people.

‘‘

34

He opens with a question as an icebreaker: “Think of a time in your life when you needed God’s answer, and you thought He should answer sooner [than He did].” Silence falls over the crowd; men shuffle in their chairs from side to side. The fluorescent lights hum, an annoying reminder of how quiet it is, and every tick of the clock reiterates the silence. Casey nervously looks around the room at the blank faces of the men. He opens his mouth and breaks the silence: “I… I… um…. er…. I have a story about my own life.” After a tense 30 seconds, Casey overcomes being tongue-tied and begins to tell how he came to work at Starbucks. “I worked for a large grocery chain for years, and I never had time to spend with my son,” he says. “I prayed daily about not seeing my kid grow up, but nothing happened.” He continues, gaining courage with every word. “I was at the register approving a lady’s check, and she just asked if I was happy,” he says. “Then she

connect magazine / spring 2009

As the clock strikes 8:00, the men’s words die down and the activity takes a noticeable slump. One of the younger men in the room speaks up. “You guys got any prayer requests?” he asks. “The election,” one says. “My brother’s wife has cancer,” another one says. They pause and pray, and the meeting comes to a close. For the first time this morning, Casey breathes in confidently, knowing the toughest part of the day is over. After speeding along I-40 and hitting every red light, Casey pulls into the parking lot of Trinity’s Bethesda Outreach Center. He walks in and is greeted by Rita, Pastor Larry Miles’ secretary. “Hey, we are glad you’re here. Come on back; let me get you some coffee,” she says. It’s Tuesday, and the phone is ringing incessantly. Tomorrow is Bethesda’s weekly food outreach. Rita is running around, getting lights turned on and answering phones. She motions to Casey, “Here’s Pastor Larry’s office; go in and make yourself at home. He just pulled up.” The office looks like a tour of the world, with its collections of memorabilia and pictures from several continents. A blue-and-white stitched cloth from Israel, a tribal spear from Africa, and the Chinese flag adorn the walls and shelves of the room.


Larry comes in and begins to tell Casey about Bethesda. The annual Thanksgiving outreach is right around the corner, and this year they are planning on handing out 1,000 Thanksgiving bags. Just the week before, at their normal Wednesday outreach, they had the biggest crowd ever with 340 families and 22 salvations. Larry stands and says, “You can’t really understand it until you see it; let’s go take a look at the facility.” As they walk into the huge expanse of the warehouse, seeing the shelves stockpiled with non-perishable food catches Casey by surprise. “I have worked in grocery stores for years, and this is picture perfect,” he says. “And organized,” he adds. Larry shows him the clothing room and explains Bethesda’s philosophy of not putting out anything they wouldn’t wear. As the tour ends, Casey says, “The scope of what you do here is just incredible.” Larry smiles as the two shake hands. “It’s Trinity’s best-kept secret,” he says. Casey gets to Trinity’s campus by late morning, and jogs up the stairs for his meeting with Pastor Bo Williams. He eyes the door marked “Private Entrance,” and asks, “Is this the one?” He cautiously opens the door and is greeted with a smile from Becky Miles, Pastor Bo’s administrative assistant. “Oh, hello, Pastor Bo is expecting you,” she says, motioning her hand toward his office door. Bo reaches out his hand with a smile that brings the assurance of a father, then jumps right into the topics they need to discuss. “There are some concrete stains you need to pick out, and I need to give you a rundown of the mission trip I just got home from,” he says. “Grab a hardhat and let’s go down to the samples and then I will show you the progress of the building.”

metal framing, they make their way outside and Bo points out the small concrete samples for Casey to look over and choose a color. “They are both really nice,” Casey says, grabbing his chin while deep in thought. “I am torn, but I think ‘blush beige’ will do great.” Back in Bo’s office, they go over details of the recent mission trip. “We saw several healings, and the doctors saw over 150 people in the eighthour clinic,” Bo says, his face lighting up with the memory. “We are taking 8 trips with the group next year, and they were excellent hosts.” After the update, the two men shake hands, and Casey thanks Bo for his time. “Have a good day, Pastor Mart….um…Pastor Casey,” Bo grins as he delivers the deliberate slip. And with that, Casey McAdams’ brief stint as a senior pastor comes to an end. Looking back on the experience, he sums up his thoughts. “At Starbucks, I am in the people business, and this job is just another aspect of that business,” he says, and then digs a little deeper. “You are still serving people, just in a different manner; it’s more personal and thought out. “I thought this job would be all about numbers,” Casey continues. “Man, I couldn’t have been more wrong. This job is all about people.”

As Casey steps inside the unfinished sanctuary, his eyes open wide. He takes a deep breath. “This is completely unbelievable,” he says loudly to be heard above the sounds of drilling, grinding, spray painting, and sawing. Bo points to the huge walls flanking the four sides of the sanctuary. “Those will be 32- by 16-foot screens,” he says. “It’s in the round, so the screens will help people be able to see the speaker when they are facing the other direction.” After trampling over scrap 2-by-4’s and some

connect magazine / spring 2009

35


effect | EXPRESSIONS OF CARE & COMPASSION

A Lasting Gift As David and Kristen Praylor entered the cafeteria of Whittier Elementary School, they encountered a group of young volunteers ready to bless them with a turkey and a bag full of customary items for making a Thanksgiving feast. The couple found themselves surrounded by generous smiles, warm hearts, and helping hands as they took their seat in the corner of the room. Andrew Hahn, Trinity’s Associate Pastor of Youth Ministries, walked over to the couple and began to engage them in conversation. David and Pastor Andrew discussed sports, work, and the Thanksgiving holiday. Kristen then interrupted with an eager “thanks” and began to share her story.

Years passed, and Kristen had two more children. In 2008, David and Kristen wanted to enjoy a great Thanksgiving meal but didn’t know how – finances had grown tight. They then received a letter from Whittier Elementary, where two of their children attend school, informing them that they had been selected to receive a delivery of all the items needed to prepare a Thanksgiving meal. When she found out that this blessing had come once again from Bethesda in association with Trinity Fellowship, Kristen stated, “We know we need to be in church.” Following the tug in his heart, Pastor Andrew invited the couple to attend a weekend service at Trinity. He then asked if they had accepted Christ as their personal Lord and Savior. “This turkey

36

connect magazine / spring 2009

‘‘

At the age of fourteen Kristen discovered that she was with child. She had no idea how she was going to take care of herself, let alone a small child. After hearing of a place called Bethesda Outreach Center, Kristen, joined by her sisters, attended the weekly Wednesday morning outreach and received bags full of groceries. “I don’t know how else I could have made it through such a difficult time had it not been for Bethesda,” said Kristen.

‘‘

This turkey and food will be gone within the next couple of days, but we have come to share a gift that will never go away.

and food will be gone within the next couple of days, but we have come to share a gift that will never go away,” he said. “We have come to teach you how to have a relationship with God.” Pastor Andrew and his wife, Crystal, then led the couple in the sinner’s prayer. The couple entered into relationship with Christ and described the feeling as “warm and good.” The Praylors have since attended Trinity and plan on making it their church home. As more and more stories like the Praylors' occur, one can't help but be reminded of the goodness of the One who came to save us. Let us continue to reflect the heart of Christ with every lasting gift so that we may share in the delight of our Father in Heaven.


Baby Love BECAUSE OF YOUR GENEROSITY IN GIVING TO OUR COMMUNITY BABY SHOWER,

over $7000 worth of baby items went out to various agencies that help mothers and children in the Amarillo area. We wanted to pass along to you some of the letters we received after the shower.

“Thank you so much for including us in your baby shower. Everything will be put to use in our quest to teach teenaged mothers-to-be how to care for their babies and how to be a “mom.”

PANHANDLE

ASSESSMENT CENTER

“Thank you for your generous donation of diapers, wipes, blankets, toys and toiletries for the Rainbow Room at Child Protective Services. Your support has been an encouragement to our caseworkers who witness fa milies in desperate situations, day in and day out. We appreciate your kindness by remembering the abused and neglected children in Potter and Randall counties.”

“The toys, ga mes a nd clothing that you brought were wonderful. We wish you could see all the smiles a nd feel the hugs that have come from fa milies receiving your gifts.”

JAN REID

RONALD MCDO N A L D H O U S E

“Tha nk you for your gift of new ba by supplies a nd clothing for the benefit of fa milies being helped by Cal Farley’s Commu nity Based Services. We appreciate your support that allows us to respond to u nique challenges provided by the fa milies we serve.” DAN ADAMS C A L FA R L E Y ’ S

DARLA INGRAM CHI LD PROTECTIVE SERVICES

connect magazine / spring 2009

37


P anhandle R estauRant G RouP u nique . d ininG . e xPeRiences

358.8990

322.6262

463.7900

331.8226 353.1227

M ake Y ouR e vent M eMoRable! enGaGeMent PaRties . ReheaRsal dinneRs . WeddinG RecePtions

38

Catering Every Food Imaginable . 806.322.6262

connect magazine / spring 2009


savor | FLAVOR BETWEEN FRIENDS

Homemade Happiness A R T I C L E B Y S U S I E M E RRICK

‘‘

When you nurture those people God has given you, your family will be a reflection of God’s love to everyone they impact. Home is a place of preparation for everything we experience in our daily lives. It’s through our family relationships that we are first loved. It is here where we learn how to give and forgive, celebrate and care for one another. It is where godly authority demonstrates the standard for relationship, and our homes can reflect God’s love. Our home life can produce in us either great character or devastating dysfunction, depending on our understanding of its worth. How is it that both adults and children, old and young, can dwell together as one? The answer is through God. Only He can knit hearts together with an invisible

strength that no man can produce or buy. This kind of love belongs to God and God alone, and His desire is for everyone to experience it. Beyond our immediate families, new relationships are formed in the workplace, our churches and our communities. Every day we have opportunities to impact lives through the redeeming power of relationship. I have always had a passion for people. I believe God gave me this passion so that His kingdom can advance through my life. God is passionate about people. I love the way He goes out of His way to lavish surprises on us

connect magazine / spring 2009

39

‘‘


savor | FLAVOR BETWEEN FRIENDS

that endear us to His heart. All over the world He’s working in lives we know nothing about. Those demonstrations of goodness and kindness have everlasting power that can lead people to repentance and victory.

‘‘

One of the ways I love God’s people is by opening my home and giving them my full attention. I’m not talking about just entertaining; I’m talking about welcoming people into the life of God. Every human being on any given day can feel let down, forgotten or unappreciated but God intends for our homes and our families to be a refuge from the world.

Now I know that no matter how small the act of kindness, it’s a huge offering when done in love.

Two years ago, I felt God calling me to teach young women how to cook and, hopefully, enjoy their home life more. I was to nurture them and in turn they would nurture others. The result was amazing. Our cooking lessons and activities vary from summer grilling to gearing up for hearty winter meals. We’ve discovered how to arrange flowers and how to organize our homes. We’ve studied the Word and prayed the hard prayers together. But no matter what we do, our focus is all about relationally growing together into confident, skilled women of God who are ready to love others.

‘‘

This year God brought the wisdom and experience of a few older women to our group. Titus 2:3-4 tells older women to give counsel and to be teachers of what is right and noble to the younger women. What a blessing it has been to watch these godly young ladies receive from those who have already blazed the trail. One of the girls shared that she was young when she married and very nervous about preparing a meal. To be safe, she used boxed dinners, but now she has the courage to cook a homemade meal. This may sound small to some, but she has a newfound confidence that goes beyond her kitchen.

40

connect magazine / spring 2009

Another young lady commented: “Now I know that no matter how small the act of kindness, it’s a huge offering when done in love.” One of our ladies recently left the professional world to be at home with her children. Because of the support of this group, she is now adapting well to being a stay-at-home mom – and seeing its rewards. Although one mother loves the cooking lessons, the positive truths of God’s Word are also changing the ways she disciplines her children. Of course, there are those who take their lessons seriously and have decided to become truly good cooks. And all the girls have echoed with excitement their love for serving others in their homes. But there’s more! In 2009, the group has decided to mentor teenageorphaned girls and unwed mothers. Their hearts are to extend God’s love to those who have no family or godly counsel in their lives. We’re in the process of carving out the right way to build this ministry, and I have no doubt these young ladies will impact lives. So consider the ways that you can deposit extravagantly into others – at home and outside your home too. When you nurture those people God has given you, your family will be a reflection of God’s love to everyone they impact.


Parmesan Crusted Bacon:

German Pancake:

Granola:

connect magazine / spring 2009

41


savor | RECIPES

Parmesan Crusted Bacon: TH I C K S L I C E D B ACON CUT IN HALF A C C O R D I N G T O HOW M U C H Y O U WA NT TO M A K E . 1 C U P P L A I N D RIED

Prepare a cookie sheet by lining it with foil. Place a cooling rack (like those you cool cookies on) inside the cookie sheet. Spray the cooling rack with cooking spray. Beat the eggs in a small bowl – set aside.

B R E A D C R U M BS 1 ½ C U P S S H R E DDED PA R M E S A N C HEESE 1 T S P. D RY M U S TARD 2-3 EGGS

Combine bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese and dry mustard in another small bowl.

Dredge the bacon in the beaten eggs and then the bread crumb mixture. Place on the cooling rack and bake at 400 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes on each side. Make sure the bacon is golden brown on each side and be easy with the bacon as you turn it. If it refuses to turn loose of the rack, bake a little longer before turning. Your goal is to keep the crust on the bacon – not on the rack.

Granola: 8 C U P S R O L L E D OATS 1 C U P U N S W E E TENED COCONUT 1 C U P C H O P P E D NUTS (YOUR CHOICE) 1 C U P W H E AT G ERM ½ C U P U N H U L L ED SESAME SEEDS 1 C U P S U N F L O WER SEEDS ½ C U P C O O K I N G OIL

Heat oil, honey and maple syrup, being careful not to boil. Place dry ingredients in a large bowl. Pour hot liquid over the dry ingredients.

Stir well. Spread in 2 large pans. Bake at 350 degrees until browned. Keep stirring so that mix will be well toasted.

½ CUP HONEY 1 C U P M A P L E S YRUP

German Pancake: ¾ CUP MILK ¾ CUP FLOUR ½ STICK BUTTER 3 EGGS

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Bake at 400 degrees for 12 – 15 minutes.

In a mixing bowl: Beat with wire whip or rotary beater: milk, flour, and eggs.

Pancake will puff up and have crisp edges.

Place butter in a cast iron skillet. Put skillet in oven to melt butter. When butter is melted, pour in batter.

42

connect magazine / spring 2009

Sprinkle with nutmeg. Spoon cooked applesauce, cherries, peaches or your favorite fruit in center. Cut and serve. Top each slice off with a spoonful of sweetened yogurt or sour cream. Take note that the pancake will deflate a bit when removed from the oven. This is normal.


connect magazine / spring 2009

43


music reviews | SEAN FEUCHT, DENISON WITMER, JOHN MARK MCMILLAN, & ARTICLE ONE

Sean Feucht

Seattle Sessions

© 2008 Sean Feucht This live CD, recorded in Seattle, is an intimate, vertical worship to God. Feucht, who is the founder and president of Burn 24-7, is great at singing the songs of his heart. The style of this CD is definitely prophetic in nature, and can be compared to the music of other worship leaders such as Jason Upton, Isa Covertier, and Misty Edwards. The most remarkable part of the album is the freedom that Feucht sings in; his sound is very raw and intimate. Not only are Sean’s lyrics prophetic, but the instruments are allowed to be prophetic as well. It’s a great CD to use in your daily time with God.

The Medicine

© 2008 John Mark McMillan This is McMillan’s third release, and like each of his previous albums he presents a very rich sound and expresses his heart with very powerful lyrics. The Medicine is the perfect title for this album; each song makes you feel as if you are getting a dose of healing medicine. The singer/songwriter searches his heart to find the true expression of love for the Father, and what he finds isn’t always typical for Christianity today. Songs like Skeleton Bones express McMillan’s desire to truly live in the love of the Father through his physical body. McMillan could very well be one of the best songwriters/ poets right now in Christian music.

Denison Witmer

Article One

© 2008 Militia Group

© 2008 Inpop Records

With his meandering and myopic style, Denison Witmer releases his follow—up album to “Are You a Dreamer” (2005). Witmer delivers a soothing and fresh sound that makes you want to close your eyes and dream the day away. The songs on the album are offered up as a confessional for the writer. “Chesapeake Watershed” refers to life at home and insomnia. The title track “Carry the Weight” uses the line “not ashamed to say I don’t know anymore.” Friends Sufjan Stevens, Rosie Thomas, and Jeff Shoop accompanied the Philadelphia singer/songwriter for this project.

These four Canadians create a perfect infusion of fast melodies and slower, more intimate sounds. The strongest asset to this band is the skill and integration of the violin into their melodies. The slight country sound is unobtrusive, so it’s palatable for listeners who aren’t necessarily fans of country music. There are even a couple of instrumentals for those who like to listen to music without the vocals. Fans of Switchfoot, Mae, and Paramore will find this to be a great CD. This album has a good mix of quality, faith, and talent, which makes it a good purchase.

Carry The Weight

44

John Mark McMillan

connect magazine / spring 2009

Colors and Sounds


book reviews | ERWIN MCMANUS, TIMOTHY KELLER

Wide Awake

‘‘

The Future is Waiting Within You

Erwin McManus

The future is not waiting for us; it is waiting within us.

In his latest writing, emergent church pastor Erwin Raphael McManus delivers a challenge to his readers to dream wide awake – in other words, to live with a consciousness for achieving feats that the world is counting on us to accomplish. “The future is not waiting for us; it is waiting within us,” he writes. There is something significant in this attitude

of discovery – humbly learning who God has created us to be and how to glorify Him with our lives. McManus likens this to our spiritual journey. You may be surprised to find you can impact the world around you by living, learning, adapting, dreaming, investing, focusing, and expecting. Once you start to implement these disciplines into your daily life, you will no longer be satisfied by sleepwalking through life.

The Prodigal God

Recovering the Heart of the Christian Faith

Timothy Keller Typically, when you hear a teaching on the story of the prodigal son, most of the emphasis is placed on the wild younger brother. However, it is often missed that the elder brother was lost and outside of the feast of the father, too. In his new book The Prodigal God (Dutton, 2008), Dr. Timothy Keller expounds upon this beautiful parable with brilliant insight, and shows how the Gospel of Jesus Christ is meant to save the reckless as well as the religious. It is a short,

easy, and truly enjoyable read that displays the radical beauty of grace. Dr. Keller is the founding pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City, and a highly acclaimed speaker and author. His book The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism, which was also published in 2008, won World Magazine’s Book of the Year award.

connect magazine / spring 2009

45

‘‘


lifegroup spotlight | SUCCESSFUL SINGLE MOTHERS

Successful Single Mothers MEETS: ONCE A MO NTH AT VARIOUS LOCATIONS LEADER: RITA VALDEZ

DEBI CHAMBERLIN

MARIA FIGUEROA

When we asked members of the Successful Single Mothers lifegroup to describe in a few words what the group means to them, they let us know it was a tough assignment. A few pages, maybe. But a few words? Impossible! After a little coaching, they were finally able to narrow their thoughts down to fit on a poster board for the photo shoot, with the agreement that we would give them a chance to tell more of the story.

LARONDA OPPEL ARTICLE BY MICH E L L E B A K E R

46

connect magazine / spring 2009


Occasional pampering

How would you like to have a limo pull up at your front door and whisk you away to the Olive Garden for a special Valentine’s dinner with friends? That’s just one of the events that Rita put together for these single moms. “We had a huge table, and we all shared different stories and had a fun time,” said Maria Figueroa. “It’s like we’re a family – a loving, extended family for each other.”

Giggles galore

“When we get together, I don’t have to be a mom and I don’t have to be serious,” said Laronda Oppel. “We can laugh and just enjoy each other’s friendships.” It’s their time to put aside the worries of the day – the never-ending mountain of laundry, that funny noise under the hood of the car, the child who’s struggling at school – and sort out their thoughts, support each other and encourage each other.

Genuine friendships

“I used to get half-close to a woman and then back up because I didn’t want them to know the real me,” said Debi Chamberlin, “but now I have real friends that I can call. I can totally trust them and talk to them about anything.” Being able to talk about real issues, good and bad, separates deep friendships from surface relationships, and it’s one of the trademarks of this group.

Team effort

“When you’re a single mom, there’s no other person to discipline the kids, to go to soccer games and Boy Scout meetings. And then you still have to come home from work and prepare a meal and give baths. So having an escape to a safe haven is very important, to see that another person does the exact same things you do. We can relate to each other, figure out options, share our resources,” said Rita Valdez.

The bigger picture

These single moms face their share of financial struggles, but they refuse to let that hold them back from reaching out to others. They just threw their fourth annual Christmas party – the biggest one ever – for the families in transitional housing at the Downtown Women’s Center, a cause they are passionate about. “It’s a chance to help others who wouldn’t have anything at this time of year,” said Cindy Sweet. “I’ve been there, where you’re not sure where your kids’ Christmas presents are going to come from because you don’t have the money to buy them.”

TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT T H E RITA VALDEZ

CINDY SWEET

SUCCESSFUL SINGLE MOTHE R S CONTACT RITA VALDEZ AT 2 2 0 - 6 6 3 0 .

connect magazine / spring 2009

47


A Slice of Satisfaction AS I PULLED ANOTHER HEARTWARMING CHOCOLATE PIE FROM THE O V E N , ITS FLAVORFUL SCENT BELLOWING FROM THE KITCHEN, I KNEW THE GRANDCHILDREN WOULD SOON TAKE PART IN MY GIFT FOR THEM. STORY BY PAT NAUGHER, AS TOLD TO BLAIR WILKINSON

48

connect magazine / spring 2009


volunteer | HOW I FOUND MY PLACE

While Don and I greatly enjoyed our time at Bethesda, we felt it was time to focus on a different area of ministry within the church, so we became greeters. Every Saturday night we stand at the entrance of the building to make sure that each guest or member feels welcome. Don and I simply offer a smile, sometimes an encouraging word, and always a helping hand to assist the people as needed. On numerous occasions couples have come to us for prayer. We know in our hearts that God has called us to love on these people. Our greatest joy is seeing our prayers come to fruition. You see, Don and I have prayed for several individuals who enter the church by themselves and share with us the troubles of their marriage at home. We then see God at work in their lives, and they often return a week or two later with their spouse by their side. It is in times like these that you encounter the love of God firsthand, and I am then often reminded of all that God has done in my own life. I don’t eat pie, but I love to see the delightful smiles of Mark and Hannah when they do. They are my angels. As I look into their eyes, I am reminded of the notions, some whimsical and some determined, that I had as a child. I see where those ideas have taken me, and I grow in excitement for my grandchildren as they embark on each day’s journey. My husband Don and I get so much joy out of seeing Mark and Hannah serve one another. We always prayed that they would carry on the mantle of service. Don retired in 1986, so we have now dedicated our time to serve our family, friends, and the community. We get so much joy out of bringing something as pure and simple as a smile to those who need our love. We served at Bethesda Outreach Center for several years. Don was in charge of ordering the food for the weekly outreach, while I was in charge of making sure all the volunteers were well fed. There were several extraordinary volunteers who gave their time each week. We all found that through the common ground of service, we could relate to each other in other areas of our lives. We all wanted to be part of something bigger than ourselves and what we found was so much more. We found lifelong friends…we found a family.

Looking back I recall my childhood in Arkansas as free and calming, with the liberating sense of adventure lurking around every corner. My mother always encouraged us to be mindful of one another. When I was six years old, I lost my father to a tragic working accident. It was hard on all of us, but we still had each other. I passed the time by cooking for my family, reading, and sitting in silence to ponder the day or to be given to my dreams at night. I often wondered what it would be like to have a family of my own; that was, until I met Don. Not long after graduating high school I went to work for the Arkansas Forestry Commission. I made a dear friend while I was there who had fallen in love with a young man stationed in Wichita Falls as a member of the United States Air Force. They were later married, and a year had gone by since I last saw them. I decided it was about time to pay them a visit. Little did I know that I would find a love all my own. Don was so handsome in his uniform. All four of us spent the week viewing the latest show, going out for ice cream, and enjoying each other’s company. We would all wait to hear what off-the-wall comment Don would give next. He always made us laugh. After returning home, Don and I continued to correspond with one another. About nine months

connect magazine / spring 2009

49


later we just couldn’t stand to be apart. So I packed my bags and headed west to marry the love of my life. That turned out to be the best decision I’ve ever made. Following our newlywed bliss, Don remembered that he had put in for a transfer with the Air Force to go overseas. Six months later he left for Japan, and I found myself back in Arkansas eagerly awaiting his return. One year later Don made his way back home, and we then returned to Texas where we would continue our life together and start a family of our own. Don went to work for the Santa Fe Railroad Company, while I stayed at home to care for our three children. After living in the Ft. Worth area for six years, Don was transferred to the Santa Fe building of downtown Amarillo. It is here that we have spent the past forty years discovering the beauty of serving one another in marriage as well as developing a love of service for other people. Serving others does not always come about by desired circumstances, but by keeping our eyes on others, we find that our ability to overcome adversity often gives life to the broken-hearted. About four years ago Don received a phone call from our son, Brett. I could tell by the tone in Don’s voice that something had gone wrong. “What is it?” Don exclaimed. “Alright, I’ll be right over!” It was Debbie, Brett’s wife. She had a blood vessel leak into her brain, causing her to have a stroke and paralyzing her right arm and leg. She lost the ability to cook and clean for her family, but her mind is still exceptional, and she remains an incredible mother to her children. I now have the honor and privilege of serving my family by cooking and cleaning for Brett, Debbie, and the kids. I have always enjoyed cooking and couldn’t think of a greater way to be of service. Sometimes your gift to others is found within the thing you enjoy doing the most. You don’t have to look hard to find a way to serve those around you, and the reward is seeing joy in the countenance of those you love. Anyone seeking to make a difference in the world can start by serving their neighbor. It may seem difficult at first to look past your own wants and needs, but over time it will be your delight and become as easy as pie.

50

connect magazine / spring 2009


Connect Magazine - Spring 2009