Kentucky’s senior citizens ‘armored for victory’

Originally published at Western Recorder –

Louisville—On April 18, 19 and 21, more than 800 Kentucky Baptist senior adults gathered in Madisonville, Elizabethtown and Princeton for a time of fellowship and a reminder to be “Armored for Victory.”

“The Senior Living Celebrations provide a time of inspiration, equipping, networking and fun for this awesome group that is invaluable in kingdom work,” said Shelly Johns White, women’s and senior adult consultant with the Kentucky Baptist Convention.

“Although many are retired, all are still needed in service to our Lord as we meet needs, spreading the gospel across Kentucky through our words and actions and living boldly for our Lord daily until we see Him face to face,” she said.

“I want them to leave a bit more empowered and impassioned for the Lord,” White added.

Each event consisted of a time of worship, a presentation by the Kentucky Baptist Foundation, who also provided breakfast for attenders, a message, workshops and a concert by Larnelle Harris.

Workshops topics included “You don’t put on armor to sit on the couch,” by Joy Bolton with Kentucky Woman’s Missionary Union, focusing on engaging seniors in missions; “Let’s get moving,” providing guidance on how to make movement a part of daily routine, led by Janet Goodman; and “Navigating Medicare,” led by John Nelson.

“God’s plan for us is that when the battle is over, we will still be standing firm,” Alan Whitham, Central Region consultant with the Kentucky Baptist Convention, told attenders at the Elizabethtown event held at Severns Valley Baptist Church.

He shared five ways that seniors could arm themselves for victory, using David’s encounter with Goliath as an example, drawing from 1 Samuel 17.

“We arm ourselves for victory by being faithful, when we find encouragement from the Lord in spite of the discouragement from others, when we remember the faithfulness of God in the past which bolsters our faith in the present, when we fight with spiritual armor, and when we realize we are not fighting for victory, but from victory,” he said.

David obeyed his father with the “routine disciplines of his daily life.” Whitham continued. “Because he was faithful in his daily responsibilities and his spiritual disciplines, he was able to hear what was going on. He was attune spiritually to what was going on.”

David was discouraged by those who should have been encouraging him, his brother and his king. He was told he was too young. “Most of us would like to hear that we’re too young,” Whitham joked.

“The armies of Israel were thinking, ‘He’s too big to hit.’ David was thinking by faith, ‘He’s too big to miss,’” Whitham said.

“David saw Goliath and he saw that battle through the eyes of the Lord,” he said. “The scripture calls us to have the mind of Christ, to view the challenges that we experience in life, to view the problems that we encounter in life, to view the temptations that we encounter in life with the mind of Christ, and to view them in light of the truth of the Word of God.

Asserting that Jesus is “our champion,” he said, “On the cross of Calvary, Jesus was victorious. Through the empty tomb, Jesus was victorious.”

Whitham concluded, “It is because of Christ, it is because of His victory over sin, death and the grave we can stand firm until the battle is over.”

Senior Living Celebration is an annual event hosted by the Kentucky Baptist Convention. The event dates for 2017 are May 1, 2 and 4.