Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Milestone Today


Forty one years ago, on February 28th, 1973, I was “Licensed to the Ministry,” at Broadmoor Baptist Church in Shreveport, LA.  Thirty years ago TODAY (it was on a Saturday, March 28th), I was ordained to the Christian Ministry at Texarkana Reformed Baptist Church. I have been a Presbyterian minister for twenty years (as of January 2014), and I will have been the pastor at Grace Covenant Presbyterian church in Nacogdoches, TX for 14 years as of this coming July. So, more than 2/3 of my life has been spent either in training for the ministry or actually serving in the ministry of Christ’s Church. It has turned out to be about 25% like I expected it would be ― the rest has been an adventure ― and like most adventures, there have been some moments of second-guessing, fear, regret, discouragement, and even misery. However, I must say that the joys and satisfaction have far exceeded those lesser moments and have filled me with gratitude for the blessings that have come my way. I have told many young ministers, as I have told myself, “The kingdom of God will be just fine if you never preach again.” I know that God doesn’t need me and that service in His church is a privilege. Again, I am grateful.

No pastor can possibly survive without a faithful and godly wife, and I have been blessed with one of the best. Marinell has been beside me and behind me every step of the way, and has been especially faithful on the dark days. Her love, support  and steadfastness have sustained me through some shaky moments. She sometimes reminds me that she is not called to “the ministry,” but let me tell you, she has been an amazing minister to me, and that has enabled me to minister to the church. Thank you wifey!


I can’t begin to name all the names of the multitude of family, friends, church members, colleagues, and others who have enabled, assisted, encouraged, instructed, served, loved, rebuked, corrected, and put up with me for all these years.  Thank you for your love.  I must mention a few of my mentors as a tribute to their kindness to me:  Dr. Scott Tatum, Evangelist R. F. Gates, Jr., Dr. Greg L. Bahnsen, and Pastor Douglas Wilson. Also, the friendship and counsel of three men have served me beyond calculation:  Pastor Ben House, Pastor Jeff Niell, and my fellow elder, David Alders. These past 14 years at Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church in Nacogdoches, TX have been the happiest of my life. Thank you congregation for loving me; I love you too!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Happy Birthday Aaron

Every father wants a son he can look up to, and I’m not referring to his height. I see in my son a man who has taken what his mother and I have given him (including his good looks), and he has improved upon those things. Thursday is my father’s 60th anniversary and I have praised his consistent demonstration of faithfulness to Christ and to his family. Therefore, it actually excites me when I see that legacy being magnified in Aaron, who is an example of a faithful husband, father, friend, business man, deacon, and son. I’m glad he as passed me up in so many ways. I love him, I respect him, I want to be more like him

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Babies Are Us

Sanctity of Human Life Sunday
Sermon by Pastor Randy Booth
Mp3 Download: http://www.gcov.org/media.php?pageID=37

Suffering and Sorrow

New Series of Lessons: Suffering and Sorrow
Pastor Randy Booth
Mp3 Download: http://www.gcov.org/media.php?pageID=37

  1. Pain and Suffering
  2. Pain and Suffering (cont.)
  3. The Patience of Job
  4. A Theology of Suffering and Grief
  5. Good Grief
  6. Comfort One Another
  7. Dealing with Grief

Monday, January 13, 2014

Sadie Made it Home




“Sadie made it home.” These are words we thought we might not ever hear, but she did it! ― a big story about a little girl who is beating the odds and surprising the world little-by-little. When all looked bleak for Sadie a good friend of mine, Dr. Mike Ratliff, told me, “Never give up on a child. Grownups break, but children bend.” Well, it turns out that Sadie not only bends, she bounces. Now she starts a new routine in her recovery with her various therapies three times a week outside her home and daily schedules of therapies at home. Much has been accomplished―more than imagined―much remains to be done. Please continue to pray for Sadie and her family as they make long-term adjustments and move forward with conquering new challenges. Your prayers and financial support do make a difference.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Sadie's Future Fund



You can Make a Difference

On Saturday afternoon, October 12, 2013, Adam Bryant and his two young children (Sadie, age 6½ and Evan, age 4½), were in a car accident on I-20 near Longview, TX.  Evan went to be with the Lord on that day and we gathered to honor his short but powerful life on Saturday, October 19th.  After the accident Sadie was immediate flown to Children’s Medical Center in Dallas, TX, with life-threatening injuries, where she remained in ICU in very critical condition and unresponsive for weeks. Doctors told the family to prepare for the worst and I was asked to begin to make funeral preparations for Sadie’s funeral for the coming week. I prepared a message that remains in my file, a message I hope never to deliver.

On a couple of occasions it was suggested that there might soon come a point where life-support may need to be discontinued. By all accounts, Sadie loved the Lord, and I had the privilege of baptizing Sadie in her ICU room as we formally acknowledged that she belongs to Jesus Christ. Hundreds of people across the world began to pray for Sadie. I know that sometimes God’s answer to such prayers is not the one we want, but in Sadie’s case He has given us quite a few pleasant surprises (especially in light of her initial prognosis). Many on the medical staff have been amazed.

Eight weeks after the accident Sadie’s progress has been significant (smiling, talking, swallowing, etc.). She was recently transported to “My Children’s House” in Dallas, TX (a Baylor Health Care System Rehab Center for children). It has been a tremendous blessing to see Lee (Pawpaw-B), and Adam (Daddy), demonstrate such love and devotion to this little girl. Many others have been there as well but these are the two I have seen up close. The whole family has been remarkable. I am so thankful to God for them all.

Many of you have followed this story and are also giving thanks to God today for answered prayers. Thank you. Please keep on praying for Sadie’s recovery and for all those who are ministering to her. Pray that the family would continue to draw close to the Lord and that He would be their strength. May there be many more days of joy in the midst of this great trial.

Some of You Have Asked How You Can Help.
Our church has begun “Sadie’s Future Fund,” to assist with the expenses related to her ongoing recovery and rehabilitation. For example, her home will have to be adapted to accommodate a wheelchair and other special needs. Numerous other expenses will, no doubt, be associated with this process. Your financial gift, which is tax-deductible, will go a long way to assist this worthy family. With the exception of normal bank transaction fees, 100% of the donations will go toward helping Sadie’s recovery.

I know that the Bryant family is extremely grateful for all those who have prayed for Sadie and for them. If you are able to contribute to this fund, this would also be helpful.  One of the ways you can help Sadie is to spread the word to your friends and fellows church members by way Facebook, Twitter and Email.  I WILL POST A DONATION PAGE LINK THAT YOU CAN SHARE.

This kind of fund-raising is new to me, but I’m confident that this is a worthy cause.
--Pastor Randy Booth


“Offer to God thanksgiving, and pay your vows to the Most High. Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me.” ―Psalm 50:14-15

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Nathan Clark George Advent Concert―2013


This Advent enjoy a beautiful and joyful
approach to some of our most beloved carols.

The Murphysboro American wrote: “There are shows that are considered good and there are those shows that are considered great. And then, there are those that truly should not be missed – and last Friday night, the Liberty Theatre played host to one of those shows. Anyone not at Nathan Clark George’s performance totally missed out and should kick themselves”, while The Nightlife hailed him as a ‘guitarist extraordinaire’. 

Sunday, December 8th ― 7:00 pm
Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church
340 N.E. Stallings Dr., Nacogdoches, TX
  
Visit the Website for music samples:

 Bios of the musicians:

Nathan Clark George is an award winning nationally touring Singer/Songwriter with a solid command of the guitar and a honest approach to songwriting. He has released three highly acclaimed solo-CDs and has plays over 80 tour dates a year throughout the United States.

Mark Stoffel, originally from Germany, now calls his home Southern Illinois, where in 2002 he met Nathan. As a founding member of the popular roots band “Shady Mix” Mark has toured all over the world; His wonderfully tasteful mandolin and fiddle performances can be found on four Shady Mix CDs in addition to countless other projects where Mark contributed as a guest musician.

Ross Sermons is an accomplished bassist and touring musician.  Ross has recorded on countless projects and brings a world of musical experience and an expert ear to any style.  His tone is beautiful, his timing impeccable, and is a joy to be around!

Download Advent Sampler: http://noisetrade.com/ncg/christmas-sampler

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Reflection and Thanksgiving

On Saturday, October 12th, my cousin’s son (Adam Bryant) and his two young children (Sadie, age 6 ½ and Evan, age 4 ½), were in a car accident on I-20 near Longview, TX.  Evan went to be with the Lord on that day and we gathered to honor his short but powerful life on Saturday, October 19th.  Sadie was flown to Children’s Medical Center in Dallas, TX, where she remained in ICU in very critical condition and unresponsive for weeks.  Doctors told the family to prepare for the worst and I was asked to begin to make funeral preparations for the coming week.  I prepared a message that remains in my file, a message I hope never to deliver. On a couple of occasions it was suggested that there might soon come a point where life-support may need to be discontinued.  I had the privilege of baptizing Sadie in her ICU room as we formally acknowledged that she belongs to Jesus Christ.  Hundreds of people across the world began to pray for Sadie.  I know that sometimes God’s answer to such prayers is not the one we want, but in Sadie’s case He has given us many pleasant surprises (especially in light of her initial prognosis).

This Saturday will mark seven weeks since the accident and we stand amazed at Sadie’s progress.  This photo shows her giving us another thumbs-up as she is being transported to Baylor Institute for Rehabilitation. It has been a tremendous blessing to see Lee (Pawpaw-B), and Adam (Daddy), demonstrate such love and devotion to this little girl.  Many others have been there as well but these are the two I have seen up close. The whole family has been remarkable.  I am so thankful to God for them.

Many of you have followed this story and are also giving thanks to God today. Thank you.  Please continue to pray for Sadie’s recovery and for all those who are ministering to her.  Pray that the family would continue to draw close to the Lord and that He would be their strength.  May there be many more days of joy in the midst of this great trial.


14 Offer to God thanksgiving, and pay your vows to the Most High. 15 Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me.” ―Psalm 50:14-15

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thankful and Happy - 2013

Every year is full of joys and sorrows.  In this fallen world everything is bitter-sweet.  But even the sorrows can surprise us with new joys when we recognize the hand of God in them.  He calls us to rejoice in and for all things; to find the sweet in the bitter.  I’m especially thankful for my family. This is the 40th year my faithful and loving wife [Marinell] has walked with me.  Born in the same hospital (two months apart), we were children when we met (7th grade), we were children when we married (age 19), and now, with three grown children and their amazing spouses (Aaron/Amy, Christin/Stephen, Rachel/Andrew), along with thirteen grandchildren, God’s covenant promises have overwhelmed me.  I am a rich man!

I could not stand where I’m standing without Bob and Lucille Booth, faithful parents who have given me more than I can ever fully comprehend.  Thank you, Mom and Dad, for loving each other, for loving the Lord, and for loving us.  I’m especially grateful to God that He sustained them this year through some health challenges.  Hospital waiting rooms are places where God teaches us about our own weakness and His strength.

Likewise, to my extended family; thank you for the many blessings you have brought to me and my immediate family.  Your kindness, mercy, love and service are havens of grace for me.  It’s exciting to see how God is working in you and using you to bless others (five nieces and a nephew).  Mike and Teri, it’s so good to have you at the house on Thanksgiving Day―to be thankful together.  Last Spring, an afternoon reunion with some of the cousins was a great reminder of how deep the connections of family run and how important they really are. Even in the tragedy of an auto accident, I have witnessed the hand of God working to bring good things to bear in many lives. No doubt, much more is to come. How thankful I am to see little Sadie surprising the world as God hears our prayers.  I’m confident that He will bring many more good things to us all though her. I’m also blessed to have seen Sadie’s father [Adam], and Pawpaw-B [Lee]; two remarkable and loving men by her side all the way.

Like most pastors, I’ve had my moments, challenges, doubts, and tribulations.  I was probably the cause of many of those.  Nevertheless, besides being deeply grateful for all those who have endured and/or supported my ministry, I loudly proclaim my thankfulness to God for placing me in a community of sincere and faithful believers; an environment of joy and satisfaction.  We’re all broken people, but it is so delightful to limp to glory together!

God has blessed us with so many things; with so many people.  In fact, we’re so surrounded and engulfed that such richness seems normal.  The rhythm of these regular blessings is sometimes broken when they’re suddenly absent.  Sickness and loss, disappointment and sorrow, pain and death, these are but reminders that the blessings are gifts to be held with an open hand, and they serve as warnings that we must not forget the Giver.  All the things and all the people must fall away in the end, and if we have not learned to love the Giver, then we have missed the point.


When we remember our sins, and how that God could justly cast us away from His presence forever, what afflictions or distresses can possibly come upon us that we ought not to submit to with a quiet and thankful spirit?  God gives us warnings along the way that we’re always dependent on Him and, therefore, we must not forget to give thanks in and for all things.  As Job declared: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return there.  The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord” (Job 1:21).

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Sadie still clings to her life and God has given her another day. Every day is a gift, and for this we are thankful. She has not made as much progress as we would like, and in a few areas there have been some setbacks along with much that remains unknown. October 12th (the day of the car accident) seems to have been much longer than 2½ weeks ago; hospital time moves so slowly. The cumulative effects of the physical and emotional burdens for the family are heavy: the accident itself, the death of Evan, the condition of Sadie, the lack of rest, the roller-coaster of daily changes and decisions, and a thousand other things. The love and prayers of family and friends has been sustaining, but the frailties of human flesh remain. Please continue your prayers for the Bryant family, especially for Adam and Ana (parents); Lee and Kelly (grandparents); along with Sadie’s great-grandmother (Elaine), and many aunts, uncles, and cousins. And while you’re seeking relief from the Throne of Grace, pray also for the doctors and nurses, and the many teachers and friends who are also sad and weary.

King David
David therefore pleaded with God for the child, and David fasted and went in and lay all night on the ground.” ― 2 Samuel 12:16

The mysteries of God’s providence are great. As His children we’re called to cry out to Him in our need and to let our requests be made know to Him. We know so little, but we do know some things for certain: God is all-powerful, all-good, all-wise, and in addition to these things, He loves us. It’s in these certainties that we can find hope, rest and peace. So, how do we pray for Sadie and her family? We ask for Sadie’s healing, recovery and restoration, knowing that that answer can come in a variety of ways. We pray for peace, even the kind that surpasses our understanding (Phil. 4:5-6). We cast all out cares upon Him, because He cares for us (1 Peter 5:7). We fill in all the gaps with particulars and details, and then we do it again and again until the answer comes; and it will come. Many prayers have already been answered. Secret things are going on behind the scenes; things that will surprise us and delight us, if not today, then at some point in the future. Suffering is unpleasant, but in Christ suffering is not without meaning and purpose. Now it’s time to say, “amen” (so be it); and we trust our heavenly Father.


You have hedged me behind and before, and laid Your hand upon me. 6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain it.” ― Psalm 139:5-6