Brethren Q&A

Church of Christ Brethren talk with Rob Trevino…

The Q&A Interviews are in alphabetical order format, by first name.

Brethren Q&A | By Rob Trevino

Rob Interviews: Aaron Cozort

From: GBN (Gospel Broadcasting Network)

Posting Date: July 2, 2016

Read The Q&A Interview

About Aaron Cozort:

Aaron Cozort, IT Administrator at GBN – Has been involved with computer technology, video production, and website administration for over 10 years. He graduated from the Tri-Cities School of Preaching and Christian Development with an advanced degree in Bible and Apologetics. Aaron and his wife, Edy, have two boys. James, and Isaiah. Aaron has been working with GBN since January 2013.

Aaron has supported HisLoveforme.com from the beginning, and is responsible for making GBN’s 24 Hour Streaming content available to HisLoveforme.com’s visitors.

 

Q1 | Rob Trevino: What year were you added to The Lord’s Church?

A1 | Aaron Cozort: September 5, 1996

 

Q2 | Rob Trevino: What life experience caused you to obey The Gospel?

A2 | Aaron Cozort: I’m not sure that I can trace it back to a single life experience.   It was the culmination of events in my life, the spiritual training and instruction that I had received from my parents for years, and ultimately it was the knowledge that sin condemns the soul and the sacrifice of Christ washes away that condemnation.

 

Q3 | Rob Trevino: How does Aaron Cozort balance: Christian faithfulness, family life, friendships, GBN, and TRUTH.FM?

A3 | Aaron Cozort: Wow… the answer to that is probably: Poorly.  Balance and Focus are my two weeknesses that I struggle with on a daily basis.  I often try to do too much and overload myself, but then I focus back on the important things and try to move forward.   As with many people, my weakness is also my strength.   When I look at what I am the best at, it is getting things started.   There are some people in life who are good at long-term management of entities and projects.  I work with one of our editors, Adam, at GBN who is that way.  He is a rock.  He is solid.  He is dependable.  And when a project needs to be picked up that will still be a day-to-day grind a year from now, he is the guy you want in charge of it.

 

Q4 | Rob Trevino: Which Brothers in Christ have been the most Spiritual Influences, to keep you Walking in The Light?

A4 | Aaron Cozort: My Father and his example of faithfulness and investment in his family, home, and placing his “success” in this world behind the priority of getting him and his family to Heaven.

My instructors at the Tri-Cities School of Preaching (www.schoolofpreaching.com). Wesley Simons, Eddy Craft, and Bill Haywood were three forces growth in my spiritual life that have left a lasting mark. They taught me one of the most important lessons in my life: How to think.

Finally, Dan Winkler. While it has mostly been from a-far, Dan’s friendship and instruction through the teaching he has done has helped shape my adult life spiritually. He reminds me that preaching, teaching, and learning isn’t just a “technical” function, but a function of the heart.

NOTE: My mother would be at the top of this list… if not for the fact that she is not a “brother” in Christ :-).

 

Q5 | Rob Trevino: During your teenage years, what were the most challenging peer pressure issues that challenged your Christian walk, and how did you deal with those issues?

A5 | Aaron Cozort: For this, some context is required. I grew up the son of a Gospel Preacher and home-schooled. Many of the innumerable opportunities for teenagers to be tempted away from the shelter of their families were bypassed in my growing up years. But that leads to the somewhat surprising reality that the biggest peer-pressure issues and challenges came from my brethren. Other teens in the church who were friends and influences on me, but who didn’t hold the values and moral compass that had been instilled in me by my parents.
1 Corinthians 15:33 is a pointed passage that is not about the influences of the world that can destroy us, but instead is about the problem of “evil influences” from our own brethren. Specifically those in Corinth who were claiming there was no resurrection.
Paul told the Corinthians, “Be not deceived: Evil companionships corrupt good morals.” I found this to be true in my life and I still struggle at times with habits that were formed because I followed the influence of another Christian.
Remember this: “Be ye imitators of me, even as I also am of Christ.” (1 Cor 11:1). The emphasis in that passage is that Christ is the Standard, not my brother, so follow Him.

 

Q6 | Rob Trevino: What is the most rewarding part about doing the Lord’s work at GBN, and why?

A6 | Aaron Cozort: Reaching the lost and edifying the body of Christ–plain and simple.   I have a passion for helping, teaching, and training people.   I have a skill at using and learning technology.  In my job(s) at GBN (and there are many), I get to help people personally and remotely, and I get to use what I learn to help the Church make an impact on lost souls.   I love the ever-changing, always learning, aspect of my job that comes from the explosive growth of communication technology, but at the end of the day, I love most that the technology allows me to communicate the Good News of Jesus Christ.

 

Q7 | Rob Trevino: TRUTH.FM is your most recent work for the Lord. What inspired you to add this work to your roster of work for the Lord, and what is your main goal for TRUTH.FM?

A7 | Aaron Cozort: Truth.FM is a company that I helped form with two other great brothers in Christ, Tom Hoover and Bob Strickland. Truth.FM, for those who do not know, is building internet radio stations for congregations and brotherhood works and is partnering with brotherhood works to do so. We have partnered with GBN and they have given us access to the GBN Radio Library of content to use as the bulk of the material for these internet radio stations. We then work with the congregations using our service to produce Station IDs and promos that advertise their local congregation. This allows for that congregation to have their own unique internet radio station that teaches the Gospel but also promotes their own local congregation.
So our goal with Truth.FM is to give congregations a tool like the House to House, Heart to Heart publication gives them in the print space. A tool that utilizes mass-media AND local promotion to grow the local congregation.

 

Q8 | Rob Trevino: As a Christian husband yourself, what advice would you give to other Christian husbands, to help their Christian marriage?

A8 | Aaron Cozort: Don’t leave your family behind. As I mentioned above, my Father laid before me a wonderful example of someone who could have traveled more, could have had a bigger income, could have “done more” but was unwilling to sacrifice his family to have those things. So he and my mother made an agreement before any of myself or my brothers were born. He would preach, and if he ever got “too far from home” she would be honest with him and let him know.
That focus led to so many opportunities for me in my life because they ended up homeschooling which gave us the ability to travel WITH Dad wherever preaching took him. I can count on a single hand the number times he went and held a gospel meeting or preached on a lectureship where some or all of the family didn’t go with him. Because of that I grew up listening to gospel preachers who have passed onto their reward and would never have heard otherwise.
So to return to the advice, in order to not leave your family behind, you have to work together with your wife to have a shared set of goals, values, and vision, and then accomplish those things together, never leaving the other behind so you can “Succeed”.

 

Q9 | Rob Trevino: What Scriptural advice would you give to the churches of Christ congregations world-wide, to help with bringing the Christians who have fallen away from the Lord’s Church, back to the Lord’s Church?

A9 | Aaron Cozort: You cannot convince someone that the Church is necessary for their lives and their souls if they don’t even think anyone in the Church knows who they are.  To convert them, you have to first connect with them, to connect with them, you have to listen to them.   Spend time listening to fallen soldiers and you will eventually find out why they fell in the first place.  Once you have listened to why they fell, help them realize they fell, and then help them get back up.  So listen.

 

Q10 | Rob Trevino: What topics do you think needs to be preached more now than ever, in the Lord’s Church, and why?

A10 | Aaron Cozort: How to Study the Bible, with specific emphasis on how to interpret the Bible in context. Every major departure from the sound doctrine of Jesus Christ is based (or justified) in one of two things. Complete rejection of God’s word (false teachers who know they are teaching what is false and do so maliciously and with intent) or a misapplication of biblical truth (through a failure to understand the actual Truth found in the Word of God).
We have spoon-fed members in the pew for so long that many of them cannot fathom feeding themselves God’s word, and wouldn’t know how if they tried to start.
If you are a preacher and you dumb-down God’s word so people will understand it–Stop It! Don’t indoctrinate people! Teach them to LEARN the doctrine of Christ, guide them along their path of learning, and then step back and let them grow up–then and only then will they be effective soldiers of the Cross. Babies cannot fight spiritual warfare. If you have congregation of spiritual babies, maybe its because you are the problem, and not them.

 

A Closing Note: The churches of Christ are grateful to Brother Aaron Cozort for his faithful service to God, and The Church. I pray everyone is inspired by this Interview with Brother Aaron Cozort, just as much as myself, and that the words of Aaron Cozort: “Babies cannot fight spiritual warfare” forever stay in our minds, in order that The Church may “Teach them to LEARN the doctrine of Christ, guide them along their path of learning, and then step back and let them grow up–then and only then will they be effective soldiers of the Cross”. Please keep Brother Aaron Cozort and his Family in your daily Prayers- Rob Trevino

Brethren Q&A | By Rob Trevino

Rob will Interview: Ben Baily

From: Central church of Christ

Posting Date: To be announced

Brethren Q&A | By Rob Trevino

Rob Interviews: Dr. Branyon May (P.h.D.)

From: WVBS (World Video Bible School)

Posting Date: July 13, 2016

Read The Q&A Interview

About Branyon May:

Dr. May holds a B.S. degree in Physics from Angelo State University, as well as M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Astrophysics from the University of Alabama. His graduate research involved studying the X-ray and infrared emissions from distant galaxies and how they contribute to the large-scale radiation signature of the Universe. While in graduate school, he served as a Graduate Teaching Assistant in freshman and sophomore astronomy and physics labs. He also held a three-year research fellowship through NASA’s Graduate Student Researchers Program. While at Angelo State, he met and married his wife, Alana, who also holds a B.S. in Physics and M.S. in Astrophysics. Their family, including two energetic daughters, lives and worships in Austin, Texas, where he currently serves as the Assistant Manager at World Video Bible School.

Dr. Branyon May has supported HisLoveforme.com from the beginning, and is responsible for making the content from World Video Bible School, available to HisLoveforme.com’s visitors.

 

Q1 | Rob Trevino: What year were you added to The Lord’s Church?

A1 | Dr. Branyon May: I obeyed the Gospel when I was 12 years old, having the blessing of a Christian family for all of my life.

 

Q2 | Rob Trevino: What life experience caused you to obey The Gospel?

A2 | Dr. Branyon May: Growing up among the Church family, the decision to obey the Gospel grew out of the awareness of my own personal accountability to God. It was my choices right or wrong and my life that God would evaluate. The plan of salvation in the Bible is very simple, but I had realized that knowing and obeying were not the same.

 

Q3 | Rob Trevino: How does Branyon May balance: Christian faithfulness, family life, friendships, WVBS, and Apologetics Press?

A3 | Dr. Branyon May: God’s blessings and privileges also bring great responsibility to make the most of opportunities. I imagine the word balance a bit more like a teeter-totter where at times I have to shift myself more in one direction or the other so as to not fall or miss a great opportunity.

 

Q4 | Rob Trevino: Which Brothers in Christ have been the most Spiritual Influences, to keep you Walking in The Light?

A4 | Dr. Branyon May: My family: father, mother, brother, and especially my wife are those that have kept my walk in the light, but there are steadfast men in the faith like Rudy Cain and Chuck Horner at WVBS and good friend Denny Wilson that have been mentors.

 

 

Q5 | Rob Trevino: During your college years, what were the most challenging peer pressure issues that challenged your Christian walk, and how did you deal with those issues?

A5 | Dr. Branyon May:  My suggestion to young adults and college age is to seek out Christians to surround you. I went for my undergraduate years to Angelo State University, where there was a strong group of Christians to involve myself. The peer pressures to live ungodly were few.

 

Q6 | Rob Trevino: What is the most rewarding part about doing the Lord’s work at WVBS and why?

A6 | Dr. Branyon May: At World Video Bible School I have the opportunity to impact many lives, and merge many interests. Topically WVBS not only produces Christian Evidences material, but evangelistic and personal growth resources. Technically, WVBS not only produces DVDs and physical resources, but has a large online presence reaching the people around the world.

 

Q7 | Rob Trevino: Your four-part teaching video series, “The Reality of Noah’s Ark”, has brought to light, the Biblical and Scientific proof of this awesome and historical event in Biblical History. What Inspired you to devote the Time, Energy, and Love, into this Amazing Work for The Lord?

A7 | Dr. Branyon May:  The account of Noah’s Ark and the Flood has so many connections and implications for the area of Christian Evidences, which is of great interest to me. In 2013, there began to be lots of discussion about Noah, due to a Hollywood movie release, a full-scale, floating version built in the Netherlands, and a full-scale museum structure raising funds in the United States. We thought the timing was very appropriate for a thorough discussion on the account.

 

Q8 | Rob Trevino: As a Christian husband whose wife supports your Work for the Lord, what advice would you give to Christian wives, whose Christian husbands are in the ministry as: A Preacher for a Congregation of the Lord’s Church, an Evangelist who evangelizes to groups and or one on one settings, an Elder, or a Deacon, to help their husbands fulfill their Work for the Lord?

A8 | Dr. Branyon May: My wife is a fundamental resource to my faith and work for the Lord. My wife has her Master’s degree in Astrophysics, and had to deal with the same barrage of evolutionary teachings. While a husband’s and wife’s journey may not be as aligned as ours, my advice would be to find projects where you can both contribute together. Within God’s plan for the roles of men and women, there are many areas where a husband and wife can team together to benefit the church. For husbands I would say to look for opportunities to work with your wife to accomplish a Kingdom building goal, for wives I would say look for ways to help your husband lead or actively support him in a project for which he is responsible.

 

Q9 | Rob Trevino: What Scriptural advice would you give to the churches of Christ congregations world-wide, to help our young generations in making the choice to Obey the Gospel, once they know in their hearts, that they are at the age of accountability to God, for their sins?

A9 | Dr. Branyon May: Let me take a slightly different vantage point to this question, as I am only now coming to the time when my oldest child is nearing that phase. Faith, as the Bible describes, is a developed and knowledge-based attribute. The presence of faith in our lives can carry us through the deepest struggles (Heb 11:1; James 1:2-4), but the development of that present faith must be based on good, sound knowledge–the more the better. Let us encourage and press our youth to know the Why’s for Christianity in addition to the What’s. Let’s develop problem-solving and reasoning children, who know where to find the answers and want to find the answers. Of course, this is much more responsibility on the adults than the children.

 

Q10 | Rob Trevino: As a Dr. in Physics, and Astrophysics, how do you feel your degrees in these two fields has helped you fulfill your work for the Lord?

A10 | Dr. Branyon May: First, the intense study in these areas was a faith-building process for me. The process of understanding scientific laws and principles reinforced the presence of design and functionality in our Universe.    Although my daily tasks right now are not Astrophysics focused, being able to discuss faith in a grounded and reasoning way helps as we discuss at WVBS how and what resources can be produced to benefit the Lord’s church.

 

A Closing Note: The churches of Christ are grateful to Dr. Branyon May for his faithful service to God, and The Church. I pray everyone is inspired by this Interview with Dr. Branyon May, just as much as myself, and that the words of Dr. Branyon May: Within God’s plan for the roles of men and women, there are many areas where a husband and wife can team together to benefit the church. For husbands I would say to look for opportunities to work with your wife to accomplish a Kingdom building goal, for wives I would say look for ways to help your husband lead or actively support him in a project for which he is responsible. always remind Husbands and Wives in the Lord’s Church, to support each other in their work for the Lord. Please keep Dr. Branyon May and his Family in your daily Prayers- Rob Trevino

Brethren Q&A | By Rob Trevino

Rob Interviews: Don Blackwell

From: GBN (Gospel Broadcasting Network)

Posting Date: June 2, 2016

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About Don Blackwell:

Don BLACKWELL, GBN’s Executive Director, is a graduate of the Memphis School of Preaching. He has done local work in Bankston, AL, Statesville, NC, and North Charleston, SC. He served as Director of Broadcasting with Truth for the World in Duluth, GA, from 2002 to 2006, where he produced television and radio programs that were heard around the world. A graduate of St. Leo College with an Associate degree, Don received his BA in Biblical Studies from Southern Christian University and his MA from Liberty University. Don hosts the one minute spot called Sixty Seconds About the Second Coming as well as being one of the speakers on the Truth About series. Don has worked with GBN since its inception.

 

Q1 | Rob Trevino: What year were you added to The Lord’s Church?

A1 | Don Blackwell: 1983

 

Q2 | Rob Trevino: What life experience caused you to obey The Gospel?

A2 | Don Blackwell: I heard a sermon on Hell that caused me to start thinking seriously about eternity.

 

Q3 | Rob Trevino: How does Don Blackwell balance: Christian faithfulness, family life, friendships, & GBN?

A3 | Don Blackwell: This is admittedly a challenge at times.  I try to never neglect my family.  Many preachers have lost their families while trying to do the Lord’s work.  I remember that my responsibility to my family is as much a God-given obligation as other things I’m involved in.  I try to set aside one day a week for the family (no work).  We also have family Bible time each evening.  When possible, I take my family with me to meetings, etc.  I have to remind myself that sometimes things just have to wait.

 

Q4 | Rob Trevino: Which Brothers in Christ have been the most Spiritual Influences, to keep you Walking in The Light?

A4 | Don Blackwell: Friends and men who have been great encouragers to me are:  Rudy Cain from WVBS, Glenn Colley, Paul Sain and Rod Rutherford.  I have been blessed to have known and work with these men.  One of the greatest preachers I’ve ever known was Wendell Winkler.  He was a master at communicating.

 

Q5 | Rob Trevino: In the current time we live in, what issues in your opinion, are causing people to stay in the man-made churches they are members of?

A5 | Don Blackwell: Obviously, a lack of Bible study is one factor (Hosea 4:6).  Some of it relates to heritage.  It’s the “My daddy was a Catholic, Baptist, Methodist, etc…” philosophy.  I think the denominations are even feeling the effects of worldliness though, and they are losing numbers in many places.  The love of pleasure is a huge factor.

 

Q6 | Rob Trevino: As a Father yourself, what are the most important Biblical rules, Parents must set for their Children. and why?

A6 | Don Blackwell: Seek first the kingdom of God.  Do this in your own life.  Children learn primarily by the example of their parents.  Be consistent.  Don’t speak one thing and live another.  Let your children see that Christianity is the most important thing in the world to you.  Make time for family devotionals.  You’ll never regret this.  Never forsake the assembly, not on vacation, not for a ballgame, never!

 

Q7 | Rob Trevino: The Lord’s Church is considered by many non-Christians, to be just another denomination. What is the most important Scripture (s) you share with non-Christians, who need to know the Truth about their church, and The Lord’s Church?

A7 | Don Blackwell: This really depends on the person, his knowledge, background, etc., but one of the places I commonly start is Ephesians 1:22-23 and Ephesians 4:4.  Show that the body of Christ and the church of Christ are the same thing, and there is only one.

 

Q8 | Rob Trevino: This world has many men and women who have started their own church. What words of love, would you share with these men and women who have, and are leading people away from The Truth?

A8 | Don Blackwell: Matthew 7:21-23 depicts many people who will stand before God lost on the Day of Judgment, all the while believing that they were serving the Lord.  You can almost hear the shock in their voices as you read the words, “Lord, Lord, have we not…?”  Acts 20:28 tells us that Christ purchased His church with his blood.  This is price of church.  You can’t have your “own” church unless you are Deity and were crucified for it (I Cor. 1:13).   “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Heb. 10:31).  I would then plead with these individuals for a Bible study.

 

Q9 | Rob Trevino: What Scriptural advice would you give to the churches of Christ congregations world-wide, to help with bringing more people to Christ?

A9 | Don Blackwell: We have to “Think Souls.”  I believe we would convert a lot more people if we would simply try.  Many Christians put forth little to no effort to set up studies or to invite others to hear the truth.  We must remember that if we don’t teach the lost, they will be lost, but so will we.  We also need to see this evangelistic spirit in the lives of our leaders.  If elders don’t evangelize, members won’t either.

 

Q10 | Rob Trevino: Out of the Teaching Videos you have been the Teacher for that are available for viewing at HisLoveforme.com, which two Teaching Videos would you recommend watching first, to bring a person to Christ, or back to The Lord’s Church?

A10 | Don Blackwell: I would recommend “Why Are There So Many Churches?” followed by “What Must I Do To Be Saved?”  The video entitled, “Where Do We Go When We Die?” has also resulted in numerous baptisms.

 

A Closing Note: The churches of Christ are grateful to Brother Don Blackwell for his faithful service to God, and The Church. I pray everyone is inspired by this Interview with Brother Don Blackwell, just as much as myself, and that the words “Think Souls” forever stay in our minds, in order that The Church may become “Focused On Evangelism To Teach The Lost”. Please keep Brother Don Blackwell and his Family in your daily Prayers – Rob Trevino

Brethren Q&A | By Rob Trevino

Rob will Interview: Jon Rowe

From: Upland church of Christ

Posting Date: To be announced

Brethren Q&A | By Rob Trevino

Rob will Interview: Jonathan Burns

From: East Hill church of Christ

Posting Date: To be announced

Brethren Q&A | By Rob Trevino

Rob will Interview: Melvin Sapp

From: Kingsbury Road church of Christ

Posting Date: To be announced

Brethren Q&A | By Rob Trevino

Rob will Interview: Phil Sanders

From: In Search of The Lord’s Way

Posting Date: To be announced

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