GTS News May 2020
“Gracious Uncertainty” – by Steve Lillis
Living in Northern New Jersey about 14 miles from New York City, has brought some of the most severe lockdown rules and the second highest death count from the Covid-19 pandemic behind New York City itself. God has taught me some very important life lessons in the midst of this tragedy. Please allow me to share the most recent lesson which is helping me not only to deal with the virus personally but also helping me become more effective in ministry as I look to the future with “gracious uncertainty.”
One of my dear friends and brothers in Christ here in New Jersey lost his mother to the corona virus this past week and struggled with how to hold a funeral and burial for his Mom with all of these severe lockdown and social distancing rules. In my small mind, probably due to my own subjective background, I thought to myself just have her cremated. That is what my family did when my Mom and Dad passed on years ago and it was their final wishes as well. However, in the tradition of the particular minority community my dear friend represents, funerals and burials are a big deal! Another dear friend associated with the same community explained this to me in a very loving way. I needed to hear that!
That friend’s comment along with my daily devotions of the reading of the Scriptures began to convict me! The memory of this past Easter which just happened a week ago Sunday came to mind. I realized that I was not sensitive enough to a family member for whom Easter was a big deal! We have a large family with mixed views on traditions in general! In my mind every day is Resurrection Day so what is the big deal! However, many other people along with my particular family member feel very different and for very good reasons! Lesson learned!
In an effort to be helpful, I sometimes share my simple and subjective ways of looking at life and in this case traditions. Now I realize that I need to pause and be more gracious and understanding. We are living in a time of uncertainty laced with fear, sadness, and loss all around. However, we all need to be more gracious and thoughtful to those around us who do not look at life through the same lens. Many are experiencing the apparent “death of traditions” amidst this coronavirus attack.
Now for the good news, God is still on the throne and still in control! Let me get back to the story of my friend who lost his Mom this week. They had the funeral and the burial and it was attended by hundreds of people. You might ask how is that possible with the severe lockdown in New Jersey? God used technology to bring all those people together live! God worked it out in a different way than originally planned, and isn’t that just like God? And now I have become more sensitive to those around me who do not view life’s challenges as I do. There are many more decisions that need to be made, but now I can move forward with “gracious uncertainty.” To God be the glory!
“In Memory of Ella” by Steve Lillis
On October 12th our dear granddaughter Elizabeth “Ella” Rose Fuehring 2 1/2 years old went home to be with the Lord Jesus. My Mom Ellie Lillis Arntson 86 years old went home to be with the Lord in January of this year and today as I write this it is October 29th which would have been Mom’s 87th birthday. The picture that my niece Christina had in her mind was that Mom was holding Ella in her arms in heaven the day she departed earth. What a beautiful picture that all of us who know Christ will be reunited with loved ones.
From an earthly perspective the colliding of two buses with Ella, our daughter Sarah, and her friend Joanna crushed between them was a total disaster. Sarah will perhaps be six months before she can walk again and Joanna is about in the same condition having damage done to their hips and legs. We rejoice that our grandson Jayden six years old was lagging far enough behind that he was not stuck by the buses but did however see the whole thing including seeing his sister Ella lying on the ground having instantly departed from this world. Again from an earthly perspective this was a disaster! However knowing Christ we can be assured that God has a plan to cause all things to work together for good (Romans 8:28).
The good has already started as the past two days I was privileged to do my Gospel Trick Shot Shows at two locations with a new show entitled “In Memory of Ella”. I believe the Lord came to me in a dream on October 22nd at 4:30 am as I began to perform this show while dreaming of doing trick shots and speaking about Ella. I woke up half way through the dream and just sat up in my bed continuing to visualize shots and thinking about what I would say. On October 27th I went to the Players Billiards Café in Eatontown, NJ and did this show for about 25 men from a local church along with another 120 APA pool league players there that night to compete. The next night on October 28th I went to the Crossroads Ministry Center in Paterson, NJ to do the same show “In Memory of Ella” for about 25 young boys and leaders in a Royal Rangers church group with another five friends of mine in attendance. I performed this particular show last night in Paterson on the very table I started my ministry on some 18 years ago when I lived, worked, and ministered in Paterson, NJ. A friend of mine helped to repair the table back then and we both chipped in for the cost. And now here we are some 20 countries later, 30 states later, and over 1,000 Gospel Trick Shot Shows later, returning to Paterson with a new show entitled “In Memory of Ella”. Needless to say people were deeply moved as I shared and lives were touched by the Lord Jesus Christ as an invitation to join my Mom and Ella in heaven was given. God has put in my heart to continue to share this all over the world and by His grace I will. We have received four more invitations in the last 48 hours and we have a GTS board member Rob Boswell over in the Philippines now making plans for us to go back there. Please pray and give financially so that Gospel Trick Shot can go and share the story of Ella and more importantly share the story of Jesus! We appreciate you! God bless!
Gospel Trick Shot Relaunched! by Steve Lillis
New Book Release: “But You Must! The Steve Lillis Story”
The true story of Steve’s life and unimaginable 19 1/2 year separation and subsequent marital restoration to Camille in 2009 has been published by Gospel Trick Shot Ministries, Inc. and is available for distribution. The story includes his childhood, turbulent years as a pool hustler, military experiences, and travels as a professional pool player in search of meaning and purpose. The book transitions to finding faith in God and his divine leading to become a college professor and founder of the worldwide ministry called Gospel Trick Shot Ministries, Inc. The events and the people are real as the story was written to help and encourage those on life’s journey in search of true meaning and purpose. Co-author Devra Robledo adds the female touch to keep the story suspenseful yet sensitive to all people. Tom “Dr. Cue” Rossman a world renowned professional trick shot artist and GTS RACK team member has written the forward to wet the reader’s appetite. In a recent note from a person who recently read the book here is what was said:
Steve, I just had to drop you a note saying that I loved your book. I won it at the New Jersey Expo Center while you were demonstrating. I am going through some of the same things you went through regarding my wife leaving me and my two young daughters in the middle. Your decision to put your trust in God is beyond inspiring. Thank you for your story. - John Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. - Psalm 51:10
To order your book please send a donation of $15 or more to GTS, P.O. 313, Hawthorne, NJ 07507 and indicate that you want the book entitled “But You Must!” and Gospel Trick Shot will ship it to you postage paid. Please be sure to include your return address. If you are receiving a GTS newsletter and response card by USPS mail simply check off the appropriate box on the response card and enclose it with your gift. Thanks for your many prayers and support!
The right picture is the cover of the new book entitled: “But You Must! The Steve Lillis Story”.
Go to www.cbn.com/700club and click on the "Media Center" tab on the left side of homepage. Then when the "Media Center" page opens type in the white textbox area "Steve Lillis". Then click on the "video" button and enjoy the broadcast.
Please Click Here to see my page on McDermott Cue.