About Me

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I am the Pastor/Teacher of Rivers of Joy Baptist Church in Minford, Ohio since August 2008.  I am married to Charity since June 14, 1969.  I have four grown children.   Having served in the local church for over forty years as Pastor/Teacher, Asso., Youth Pastor, Minister of Education, Building Upkeep, Camp Director, Sunday School Teacher, etc. Also I have worked in the public place for as many years as I have preached. Charity and her sister are co owner of Union Mills Conf. (Bakery) in West Portsmouth Ohio


April 2007

The month of April is more than taxes, baseball, and apple pie, its my mother’s birthday. She will be 85 this year on the 15th. Charity and I are driving to Lynchburg, Virginia today to meet up with mom and my sister Ellen and her son Stephen. I was born in Lynchburg Virginia in 1947. My father was pastoring a church in Lynchburg when my brother Don and I were born. So I am glad to see mom again, inasmuch as she lives with Ellen in Texas I don’t get to see her except once a year. Mom (Pauline) talked Ellen into taking her to Lynchburg, and Stephen will be checking out Liberty U., and on Sunday going to Thomas Road Baptist Church.

  • So I looked forward to a tax return, the opening of the Red’s Baseball, and getting to see mom and Ellen and Stephen. And also watching the Masters Golf Championship. Arnold Palmer and Tiger Woods.

Tom Norvel has written this article about the Masters, and he communicates so well what I think about the Masters that I will let you read what he said.

A Tradition Like No Other, by Tom Norvel

The person who loves golf, particularly The Masters Golf Championship, will recognize those words as the Jim Nantz' description of the CBS coverage of the tournament. For several years, the ads begin running in late February leading up to the first week in April when the greatest golfers in the world assemble in Augusta, Georgia, to compete in the greatest golf tournament in the world. The Masters Championship is not only a tradition in itself, but the tournament is full of traditions.The tournament traditions include the ceremonial legends of the game serving as honorary starters by teeing off early on the first day of the tournament. This year Arnold Palmer hit the first drive. Of course the green jacket is a tradition like no other.

The fact that the tournament is often decided on the back nine on Sunday afternoon has become a tradition. Amen Corner is a tradition. The beauty of the azaleas and dogwoods is a tradition. Skipping the ball across the water on the 16th hole during practice rounds has become tradition that results in boos from the crowd if a golfer chooses not to participate.For many patrons, planting themselves by the 16th green or the 18th green is a tradition.

Hearing Pat Summerall say, "CBS Sports proudly presents the Masters!" to introduce the broadcast is a tradition.Traditions are important in most areas of our lives. Our schools use traditions to build school spirit. There are winning traditions and losing traditions with sports teams. Families have food traditions,vacation traditions, holiday traditions, wedding traditions, anniversary traditions, and birthday traditions.

Churches have traditions. Even those who vow to be non-traditional develop their ownset of traditions. As best we can, we try to preserve our traditions.The Masters: a tradition like no other. You don't mess with the traditions of the Masters. Those who run the tournament do all within their power to preserve the traditions of the Masters Tournament.

Some traditions are easily accepted as traditions and can be changed or rejected or ignored with no risk of penalty. Then, there are those traditions worth fighting to preserve. When it comes to your life, what is the tradition that is like no other?Allow me to offer a suggestion based on what Jesus said: They change how we live!

Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and soul, and mind, and strength. Love your neighbor as yourself. When Jesus was asked what He considered as most important, this was His response (Matthew 22:34-40). These are often called "The Greatest Commands." To adopt something like this as our "tradition like no other" will revolutionize our lives. Most of the traditions we hold onto will determine some of our direction and many of our actions. But to adopt "The Greatest Commands" as our greatest tradition, will alter the course of our futures. Nothing will be the same. These commands change how we treat people. They change how we think. They change how we worship. They change how we live.

Now that's a tradition like no other.Lord willing, I can look forward to the first weekend in April for years to come. I'll look forward to watching the Masters and enjoy hearing Jim Nantz say, "The Masters, a tradition like no other." Of greater importance, however, are the words of the Master that I hope to drive the course of my life, all the days of my life.A life of love lived for the Master. Now that's truly "a tradition like no other!"

2007 Tom Norvell tomnorvell@mac.com.

Drafted by Charles E. Whisnant