Senior adults enjoy day at Falls Creek
DAVIS—The tabernacle resonated with the old hymns as about 400 senior adults from across the state gathered for the third annual “Bridging the Creek” conference at Fall Creek Baptist Conference.
As might be expected, the participants sang enthusiastically as they were led by Ken Gabrielse, worship and music specialist for the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma, and his wife, Jana; Earthen Vessels, a trio from Oklahoma City, Graceway, and Julie Clifford, vocalist and pianist from Bethany Council Road.
But along with the old and familiar, there was also some new music, which the seniors embraced. In fact, they applauded when chided by BGCO Executive Director-Treasurer Anthony L. Jordan to not complain about being dragged from the 1950s into the new millennium.
Admitting as he turned 60, he still likes Stamps Baxter music and plays Gaither CDs, he said senior adults need to do whatever it takes to lead young people to faith.
“God will deliver us through this music,” he said.
On an almost perfect Oklahoma day, weather wise, the seniors took tours of the Falls Creek grounds, shopped at a half-price sale in the mission center and scattered across the grounds to eat their box lunches in any shady spot they found.
Jordan and Doug Melton, pastor of Oklahoma City, Southern Hills, were tandem preachers at the day-long event sponsored by BGCO senior adult ministries.
Speaking from Exodus 14, Jordan took the seniors figuratively to the Red Sea, and Melton led them across on a journey of faith.
“God told the children of Israel He was going to take them out of Egyptian bondage and lead them to land He promised Abraham,” Jordan said. “Yet they found themselves boxed in with the Egyptian army on one side and the Red Sea on the other.”
Jordan said the Israelites were terrified and cried to the Lord for help, but they also complained and grumbled, even when Moses told them God would provide and fight for them.
He said we learn from the Scriptures that faith is based on the person of God.
“God is the object of our faith,” Jordan noted. “God will not start you on a journey He will not complete with you. He is a God who cares about us and Who has proven Himself in the past.”
Faith is strengthened by the presence of God, Jordan said.
“God is constantly walking us on a journey of faith,” he explained. “He will not allow His children to go one step without His presence.”
Jordan concluded that faith is informed by the purposes of God.
“God rarely shows you the end or even the steps in the middle,” he observed. “God had a purpose in dealing with Pharaoh. Even if God has led you in a circle, he has a purpose to fulfill in your life.”
Jordan said any time we are stretched and have no answer, we are at a place where God can deliver us and show us His glory.
“God has a way of testing us by His ways,” he remarked. “God put the children of Israel up against the Red Sea. They had the choice to live in fear or in faith.”
Jordan commented that the seniors were sitting in an act of faith.
“God put in the hearts of His people that we need to reach a new generation,” he acknowledged. “Oklahoma Baptists rose up in faith and gave $30 million to the Falls Creek project, which resulted in this tabernacle.”
In the afternoon session, Melton pointed out that the crossing of the Red Sea was a part of God’s great plan of redemption.
“God was going to bring salvation through this nation,” he said. “There’s no way they could have figured out on their own how to get across the Red Sea. God made a way when there was no way—just the way He did in salvation.”
Melton said the Israelites got to see God’s great power revealed.
“God used the natural element of a great wind blowing to part the sea, making a path for 2 million people to go through. The same great power of God can be revealed today. If God cold make a way for 2 million people to go through on dry ground, God has the power to protect you.”
The Israelites, he said, also got to see God’s great purpose.
“God’s great purpose is for us to bring glory to his name,” he declared.
Melton said there are seven applications we can make from this story.
1. There is a time for crying and a time for moving on.
“The Lord always brings us to a place where He says it’s time to move on,” he said.
2. God used Moses.
“He could have parted the water without Moses. But just as He chose to use Moses, God wants to use you. He could do it without you, but that’s not His way.”
3. The pillar leading the Israelites moved from the vanguard position to the rear guard.
“Any time an army is crossing the sea, the defense needs to be at the rear. God always gives provision where we need it.”
4. God’s plan takes time.
“The sea was opened all night. People moved step by step. We don’t tend to consider something that takes time as great a miracle as something that happens quickly.”
5. Let the Lord fight His battles His way.
“Too many times, we get mixed up in petty, trivial fights that aren’t the Lord’s battles.”
6. What God does, He does completely.
“Not one Egyptian survived. The good work God started in you, He will complete. God doesn’t fade off at the end. The spiritual work of God is not lessened by our physical limitations.”
7. God’s timing is always perfect, and it’s all for His glory.