Tom’s Tablet

This is where you may keep up with what Tom and Janie and our family are doing. This will be updated regularly with information about where we are serving and how you may pray for us and our ministries.

Tom is directing the men of our church to perform a Lord’s Supper drama on March 29, 2015. We are currently interviewing a prospective Minister for Youth and Outreach hoping to reach more young people and their families.

General Events at God’s Storehouse, 5007 Jessup Rd., Richmond (N. Chesterfield), VA 23234

We now have Sunday School classes meeting in our new modular building at 9:45 AM each Sunday. Janie teaches our young adult class meeting there. At 6 PM each Sunday Janie and her staff lead our AWANA program for children in Kindergarten through 6th grade. We invite you to study the Bible in worship at 11 and 6:30 each Sunday, and bring your children to AWANAS. Email us at tomlovorn@comcast.net to get more information. A Community Bible Class is held each Tuesday from 10-11 AM studying John’s Revelation. You are invited!

Janie leads our Church Choir’s Easter and Christmas Cantatas and Dramas. We had 110 present Christmas, 85 for Easter and are presently run about 55-65 on Sunday mornings with visitors in each service.

In the past we have offered FREE Yard Sales to benefit our community in a time of bad economy and a free Fall Festival on October 30. We give free school supplies to the teachers of Hening Elementary School and take refreshments to their teachers’ lounge several times a year. We sponsor parties and VBS for a local nursing home. We had over 200 present for the dedication of the Elbert Taylor Prayer Trail. This is a quarter mile walking trail with playground in the center and Memory Gardens with benches and flowers donated by our members in memory of their loved ones. We also fully participate in our national, state, and local Southern Baptist mission projects and offerings. We contribute regularly to the Pregnancy Resource Center of Richmond and Good Samaritan Ministries as well as Rick Via World Evangelism Outreach and the Caribbean Christian Centre for the Deaf in Jamaica.  

We take periodic trips to the Sight and Sound Theatre in Strasberg, PA. And, Tom and Janie are available to lead Holy Land trips with onsite Bible teaching for any group needing their expertise. Tom and Janie were honored in January 2014 as the longest members of the Executive Board (40 years) of the Caribbean Christian Centre for the Deaf in Jamaica.

We returned safely from our Jamaica mission trip in January, 2014.

After flying into Montego Bay, we drove 3 hours through mountainous jungles to Knockpatrick near Mandeville. Tuesday and Wednesday were filled with Executive and General Board meetings at Knockpatrick and a visit to the furniture factory at Shooter’s Hill where our graduates may work making beautiful high-end furniture for the hotel chains in Jamaica. We’re pleased to report that we finished the year in the black and gave our 56 staff and teachers pay raises. Our 200+ children are being well cared for and our staff is continually discovering the best ways to grow crops, cattle, hogs, and coffee for our own kitchens and for market. God has blessed us with dedicated teachers and wonderful supporters. Please contact us to support one of our deaf children for $35 a month. You’ll be involved in missions that honors Christ and you’ll hear regular reports from the children you support.

Rockbridge Seminary

Tom has joined the faculty of Rockbridge Seminary, a totally online conservative Christian school offering bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. Their web address is www.rockbridgeseminary.edu. Tom teaches Old and New Testament and other courses as assigned. He also taught a summer term one-on-one with a student in Taipei, Taiwan who needed to complete his master’s degree to graduate at the end of the summer. This seminary was founded by 3 of our Southern Baptist Seminary professors: Drs. Daryl Ethridge, Sam Simmons, and Gary Waller.

Wednesday and Sunday Bible Studies

Each Wednesday at 7 PM Tom teaches from the Book of Romans. On Sunday evenings at 6:30 he’s teaching Genesis. Sunday morning sermons, Tom’s Bible Q&A columns, event calendar and announcements for God’s Storehouse Baptist Church may be found on our website at www.godsstorehousebc.org.

Friend Day Was October 18, 2009, at God’s Storehouse Baptist Church.

Praise God, we had 150 people attend our Friend Day activities at 5007 Jessup Road on October 18, 2009. Tom kissed the pig, Little Willie, like he promised if we had 100 or more present. It was a great day to honor our Lord Jesus! Tom preached “A Frail Fellow Fetched by Four Fine Friends” and we served lunch followed by music by the Lamplighters.

We now have babies, children, youth and young adult Sunday School classes. We invite our friends to come and help us grow!

2009 Holy Land Trip

Our 2009 trip was probably the best we’ve ever had! There were almost no problems and we never felt in any danger. We were pleased with our new guide and all our hotels, our buses, and our meals. Thanks for your prayers.

Jamaica Trip

We attended the 50th Anniversary celebrations of the Caribbean Christian Centre for the Deaf in Jamaica January 12-16, 2008. Over 600 people attended the 3 and 1/2 hour recognition service at Mandeville Baptist Church, and over 300 attended the Awards Banquet on Tuesday night. It lasted 5 and 1/2 hours! We each received a standing ovation and were presented plaques for 34 years on the schools’ Executive Board. In recognition of the 40th anniversary of our leading the schools’ first mission team in 1968, they gave us 2 rocking chairs made in the factory of our Deaf Village.

Mission Trip Programs

We’re now available to show our PowerPoint slides of the following:

  • Caribbean Christian Centres for the Deaf in Jamaica
  • 2008 trip to New Zealand and Australia to distribute Bibles with Southern Cross Project
  • 2007 trip to Turkey, Greece, and Rome following the footsteps of Paul and John
  • 2009 Holy Land trip and 2010 Mission trip to Jamaica to the Caribbean Christian Centre for the Deaf where we’ve served on the Executive Board for 37 years
  • 2005 Thailand mission trip distributing Bibles with Southern Cross Project of the International Mission Board of Southern Baptists. Pictures of Thailand may be found at the following site:

http://www.albumtown.com/showalbum.php?aid=54819&uuid=20962

Directions to our House

We want you to visit us, especially in the summer when we offer our swimming pool to any church group who wishes to schedule with us. We have an inground 20×40′ pool with a covered patio, grills, and refrigerator for serving your meals. Next to the 5 acre pond, we have almost an acre suitable for games such as volleyball, horse shoes, or croquet. Please let us share what God has so graciously provided us.

We live in Southern Estates off South Crater Road (highway 301 four miles south of Petersburg). Take exit 45 off I-95 and go south, away from Petersburg, for 1 mile. Turn right onto Silbury Road. Silbury dead-ends in our driveway at 13300 Georgetown Drive. Follow the white fence to the Pompas Grass driveway. 

Holy Land Trip a Great Success!

We praise God that our group of 30 pilgrims returned from Israel, Jordan, and Mt. Sinai, Egypt, safely on May 19, 2006. We had a wonderful trip without any safety issues whatsoever. Our trip report follows at the end of this page. We rejoice that we went when we did and we pray for the peace of Jerusalem now.

Pictures above: At the Garden Tomb, Calvary’s Skull Hill, Baptizing in the Jordan

More pictures at bottom of trip report

Lovorn’s Holy Land Trip Highlights, May 2006

After months of planning, 24 excited pilgrims left Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church in Colonial Heights, VA, on Monday, May 8, at 4 PM. Because one lady had car trouble and would meet us in Richmond, and another lady had to run home when she forgot her medicine, and the church bus had to be jump-started, we wondered if these were signs the whole trip would be plagued. We prayed and placed our trip in God’s hands!! We were joined by 6 others at the Richmond Airport, making our total 30 for the trip.

Continuing our eventful day: Our flight from RIC to ATL was delayed, but we made our connection on time. We managed to keep all 30 together as we negotiated the Atlanta underground train and found our concourse. We flew Delta non-stop to Tel Aviv leaving Atlanta at 10:45 PM and arriving 12 hours later at 5:30 PM the next day. Their time is plus 7 hours. Needless to say it was cramped and tiring but adrenalin kept us going.

Our luck followed us to Israel: The first thing, we lost our oldest member (76) going through customs. She wasn’t there when our group cleared customs and met in the airport lobby. We waited and checked all lines, rest rooms, etc. We were just preparing to page her over the intercom when someone checked outside. She was waiting at our bus! She had followed the wrong group through, finished ahead of us, gone outside, found the bus with LOVORN GROUP on it, and wondered what was taking us so long!!

We met our guide, Makhoul. We asked him was that his first or last name, and he said “Yes.” Makhoul Makhoul. He was an amazing Palestine Christian who grew up in Galilee. He must have photographic memory; he remembered everything he’s ever read and told it to us (long-winded), but we learned much from him. MM took us to a beautiful hotel on the Mediterranean Sea where we walked the beach after dinner.

Wednesday we visited Caesarea Maritime where I read Paul’s defense before Agrippa in the rebuilt stadium where he originally spoke. Then, we had a Bible study on Mt. Carmel remembering Elijah calling down fire on the prophets of Baal. We drove through the valley of Armageddon to Nazareth visiting Mary’s well where the Orthodox Church believes Gabriel visited Mary. We saw our Baptist church and mission school there. Then, at Cana we had a marriage renewal service in the church over the place where Jesus performed his first miracle. We saw a stone water pot which may have been one Jesus used. About 6 PM, we arrived at the Tiberias Caesar Hotel for 2 nights. It is on the Sea of Galilee where we walked the beach and boardwalk after dinner.

Thursday we went to the place where Jesus preached the Sermon on the Mount and studied the Beatitudes in the beautiful garden there. It was springtime and flowers were blooming everywhere. The temperature was in the 70-80′s. Then, we drove to Mt. Hermon and studied the transfiguration and where Jesus founded his Church at Caesarea Philippi. After driving along the Syrian and Lebanese borders we returned to Tiberias for a dinner of St. Peter’s fish. I found a St. Peter’s snail in my salad and the owner apologized profusely! That afternoon we toured Capernaum, Peter’s house, and the synagogue where Jesus preached, and went down to Pilgrims’ Park on the Jordan River to be baptized. We got in a traffic jam for a Rabbi’s funeral that delayed us about an hour. We were afraid the baptism site would close, but we got there just in time.

Our 3 ministers on the trip worked together to baptize 23 of our 30 people. It went well except for the tall man whose slippery nose went beyond my reach as we lowerd him into the water and he came up snorting, and the lady who had her mouth open and came up spouting water! We were especially happy for a Presbyterian lady who wanted to join Mt. Pleasant but was hesitant to be immersed. She let us baptize her in the Jordan and joined the church by statement on our return! At 6 PM as the sun was setting behind the Galilean hills, we enjoyed a peaceful 45 minute boat ride on the calm Sea of Galilee. I pointed out all the places around the Lake where Jesus ministered.

Friday was a full day: We drove the entire length of Israel from Tiberias in Galilee to Eilat on the Red Sea. We saw the ruins of Jericho, a Sycamore tree, the mountain where Jesus was tempted, Qumran’s Dead Sea Scroll caves, and took a 2 hour tour via cablecar to the top of Mt. Masada. We arrived in Eilat about 6:30 PM at a hotel that was less than we had hoped! (I’m being gracious.) Because we learned at the last minute that St. Katherine’s Monastery at Mt. Sinai was closed on Sunday when we had planned to visit, we had to move our schedule up a day. That meant we would spend 2 nights in Eilat instead of 1. Our deluxe hotel didn’t have the second night available, so we took the only other hotel with a vacancy. It was old and dirty, no bellboys, most A/C’s didn’t work; but our group laughed it off and went on like troopers! We really did have a sweet cooperative spirit among everyone. At least, our hotel was on the beach of the Gulf of Aqaba on the Red Sea so we enjoyed walking the beach after dinner and shopping the nearby mall. The ladies said that made up for our poor sleeping accommodations!

Saturday we crossed the Egyptian border and received a new bus, driver, guide, and policeman who accompanied us for our safety. We drove for 3 hours along the Red Sea imagining where it parted for Moses to cross and inland past the most beautiful wind-carved mountains and rocks in the Sinai Dessert of North Africa. We learned that Mt. Horeb has 2 peaks: One is called St. Katherine’s for the Coptic Christian lady who was martyred for her faith, and the other is called Mount Musa (the Mount of Moses) better known as Mt. Sinai. The Monastery is 1700 years old built around the Spring of Moses, where he met his wife Zipporah, and includes the Burning Bush, at least 1700 years old and believed to be the original. We saw the House of Skulls where the skulls and bones of all the Monastery’s monks smiled back at us. Their Library houses the famous Codex Siniaticus, one of the earliest hand-written manuscripts of the Old Testament, and is second only to the Vatican for its Bible manuscripts. I walked along the foot of Mt. Horeb and saw the plain where the Children of Israel may have camped at Sinai. We had a Bible study about the Tabernacle there.

Early Sunday we crossed the border into Jordan with another bus, driver, guide, and policeman. We had our worship on the bus as we followed the route of Moses to Petra. We saw the mountain where Aaron was buried and where Moses struck the rock to get water. After an early lunch, a few walked, but many of us rode horses or horse-drawn carts, to the mouth of the Siq entering the “rock city half as old as time.” We were amazed that an ancient civilization had carved whole buildings out of the red limestone cliffs and decorated them with pillars and beautiful carvings. Moses probably talked with them for permission to pass through since it was the capitol of the area approaching Israel from the East. It is called Sala in the Bible. Bible scholars believe it may the be place where Israel will hide from Antichrist as described in Revelation 12.

That night we enjoyed our most fabulous hotel in the middle of the Jordanian Dessert. The Movenpick was all you imagine a 5 star deluxe hotel to be! The next morning we drove to Mt. Nebo and viewed the Promised Land from where Moses saw it and died. Then, we crossed the Allenby Bridge back into Israel. Our original bus, driver, and guide (minus policeman) was waiting. We shopped Bethlehem that afternoon for our olive wood manger sets after viewing the Church of the Nativity where Jesus was born. We were very pleased with the Olive Tree Hotel near the Old City in Jerusalem where we stayed the next 3 nights.

Tuesday we went to the traditional place of Christ’s Ascension on the Mount of Olives where we had a Bible study. Then, we walked the Hallelujah Road down to Jerusalem the way his Triumphant processional travelled. We had an impressive service among the beautiful flowers and 3,000 year old Olive Trees at the Garden of Gethsemane and then had a moving communion service in the Upper Room. We visited David’s Tomb and the House of Caiaphas seeing the pit where Jesus was held the night of his trials. We sang choruses of victory in that prison mentioned in Isaiah 53:8. That afternoon we drove over to the Dead Sea to let our folks swim in water where they couldn’t sink. We found that the Sea loves to eat shoes if you wear them while you’re swimming! Two ladies lost the shoes they wore to swim in to the suction on the bottom of that Sea.

Tuesday night we had a long visit with our SBC missionary, Terry Scott, in our hotel lobby. We had brought him so many gifts of food and supplies that 6 of our men walked the 2 blocks with him to his International Prayer Center to help him carry our gifts. We felt perfectly safe in Jerusalem since we didn’t even hear a siren, much less guns or explosions, the whole time. Thursday morning I prayer-walked up to the Garden Tomb near the Damascus Gate and back by our mission center. It was only about 8 blocks round trip, but I felt perfectly safe.

Wednesday we had our walking tour of the old city of Jerusalem. Starting at the Wailing Wall, we walked to the Pool of Bethesda and then to the Fortress Antonia. We started at the Pavement (Gabbatha) where Jesus stood before Pilate and followed the Via Dolorosa through the old bazaars to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. After lunch and some shopping in the bazaars, we came out the Damascus Gate where I gave my testimony of having seen that gate in a dream when I was 18. Then, we walked to the Garden Tomb and Gordon’s Calvary for a special worship service. Seeing the Place of the Skull and the beautiful flowers at the Garden Tomb and hearing 12 pilgrim groups from all over the world singing at their worship coves around the Garden was something we will never forget.

Thursday was a free morning to sleep in and have a late breakfast before loading the bus at noon for the Jerusalem mall where we ate at the food court and shopped. That afternoon we took the long way to Tel Aviv riding through the Valley of Elah where David killed Goliath and seeing the towns of Samuel and Samson. Driving parallel with the Gaza strip we went to Joppa to see where Jonah ran from God and where Peter saw his vision at the house of Simon the Tanner. We waded along the Mediterranean seashore and had our final banquet of fish and chicken at a local restaurant before leaving for Ben Gurion Airport.

At nearly every Biblical site we read Scripture or I taught a lesson based on that locale. I also used the pastors and S.S. teachers with us to lead us in worship at various sites. The Bible came alive for us in a fresh new way. We left tracts in restrooms, airport and hotel rooms, on the planes, and at restaurants. Individuals prayer-walked in several places, and we all met our Jerusalem missionary to encourage him. We tried to make this a mission trip as well as a Bible study trip. Our flight home was without incident, so we praised God for a safe and memorable trip!

Entering Egypt, the “Burning Bush” at Mt. Sinai, the Treasure House at Petra 

Highlights of Lovorns’ 2007 Greece Trip

So many have inquired about our trip that we’re writing a quick overview to thank you for investing your prayers in our September 10-21 Bible Study Pilgrimage. The Lord took care of us from the beginning: Mt. Olivet Baptist Church in Petersburg had offered to drive us to Dulles Airport in Washington on their church school bus. When we met at the church, we learned that the school bus was in the shop and they would have to take us on one of their large touring busses! (Sorry, Mt. Olivet; but thanks for the upgrade!) They also brought the same bus to meet us on our return. (It helped to have their Associate Pastor, wife, and 2 other members in our tour group.)

The 5:30 PM Monday over-night flight to Frankfurt on Lufthansa was less than comfortable – very crowded with our knees under our chins. But, we arrived there about 1:30 AM our time – 7:30 AM their time. After a lengthy layover we were rewarded with a leisurely flight and delicious meal on Aegean Airlines to Thessaloniki, Greece, arriving about 5 PM Tuesday. We stayed 2 nights at their very fine Holiday Inn with dinners and breakfasts provided. Wednesday we toured the ruins of Philippi and saw where Paul baptized Lydia and survived an earthquake in the Philippian jail. We had 2 Bible studies on site in Philippi. After lunch at a sidewalk cafe in Kavala (known as Neopolis when Paul landed there from Troas), we returned for an afternoon bus tour of Thessaloniki and walked from downtown to our hotel. At each site we reviewed the epistles Paul wrote to those places.

Thursday we drove the whole length of Greece from Macedonia to Athens. We stopped at the breathtaking Meteora and toured a monastery perched atop a needle-nose rock mountain. Fourteen of these monasteries were built in the 14th century by hoisting building blocks up in rope nets. One of the James Bond movies was filmed there where he had to hang-glide from a taller rock to rescue a girl held prisoner in one of those monasteries. That evening we viewed the Parthenon at night from our balconies in the Divani Acropolie Palace Hotel in Athens.

Friday we boarded our cruise ship and sailed to Mykonos for early evening shopping, then back to our ship for dinner and entertainment. Saturday, we had a bus and guide to tour the castles built by the crusader knights on Rhodes (where the ancient wonder Colossus stood by the harbor) and the Bay of St. Paul where he landed at Lindos. Sunday morning we docked at Kusadasi, Turkey, and had our own bus and guide to tour the ruins of ancient Ephesus. Along with our Bible study there, we saw the place where John is buried and where he built a house for Mary until she died there. While we ate lunch on our ship, we sailed to Patmos. After lunch, we had worship onboard as I gave an overview of The Revelation. At 3 PM we boarded our tender boat in the harbor of Patmos, and visited the cave where John received his Revelation. I led our group in meditative prayer and singing “Alleluia” in the cave, while those waiting to enter listened and joined in singing with us. Several of them thanked us for the short service there. On top of that mountain we visited the monastery dedicated to John. Sunday night we had some rough seas on the way back to Athens. Several of our group got sea-sick, but we were fine the next morning. It just reminded us of the storm Paul experienced on his way to Rome! Two of our ladies witnessed to their maid on the ship and led her to the Lord. She came to their room one night and spent 2 hours asking questions about her new-found faith! She is studying to be a lawyer in Romania.

After disembarking Monday, we had a tour of Athens and a Bible study at Mars Hill. That afternoon was free for resting or shopping. Tuesday we toured Corinth and ate lunch on the edge of the Corinth Canal, a breathtaking site. At the foot of the Bema Seat in Corinth we studied Paul’s teaching on the Judgment Seat of Christ. That afternoon we drove across the Pellaponise to Patris and sailed on an overnight ferry to Bari, Italy.

Wednesday we rode our private bus across southern Italy to Pompeii and on to Rome. Thursday we had an all day tour of Rome and Vatican City, the smallest country in the world. It was our privilege to share with and pray for our Southern Baptist missionaries in Rome on 2 consecutive nights. Answered prayer concerning a lost – and later found – passport was one way we witnessed to our guides in Greece and Italy and led both of them to confess their faith in Christ. Our return home was pleasant, allowing us to arrive around midnight Friday. Although it was a blessing, we concluded that our trip may not have been for us, but for the ones with whom we shared.

Praise God for your prayers!

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