Athens Review, Athens, Texas

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March 27, 2014

Let’s all follow Tom’s lead

Athens — My first-born child is here and there is a hero for her to admire already.

Sure, she may never meet Mr. Tom Booth of Chandler, but the impact he is making in the community and in my life will last generations.

As I stumbled into the newspaper world, I thought it was best to distance myself from writing stories, columns or other religion-related material for the newspaper.

I thought the best practice would be to live two different lives, not allowing the two to meet.

So, I used my talents, but not to the full extent they were designed for.

Tom Booth, he knew he could shoot a basketball. He knew he wanted to honor God with his talent and found a way to do it.

The fourth annual Free Throws for Souls just wrapped up, and it was a big success. Booth took his talent, and used it to raise money for missions work in Chandler and across the world.

Who knew one little basketball could do so much?

God did. That is why he gave Booth the talent.

1 Peter 4:10-11 says, “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ.”

Booth took this scripture to heart.

Through the first three years of Free Throws for Souls, Booth raised more than $50,000 for missions.

This year's totals are not complete yet, but organizers of the event are hoping to raise more than $30,000.

By using his talent, Booth has helped put food on the tables for starving families in Chandler through donations to God's Open Hands. He has reached across the world to the Ukraine by supporting a missionary who seeks to help those less-fortunate there.

Like many of you, I have read the Bible through several times. I never really took 1 Peter 4 to heart until I applied it using Booth's story.

God has truly blessed me in this wide world of communication. I never dreamed of working at a newspaper, but God knew my future.

I have been given a platform to be used to praise God with my talents, just like Booth.

So have you.

“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others...”

What is your talent?

Better yet, in what areas of your life might you be able to bless someone else, because of the unique ability God has created you with.

We are all different. We are all created for a specific purpose in God's Kingdom.

To us, it may seem small. To God, it was the reason he desired to breathe life into us.

Tom Booth shot a basketball for 24 hours.

At first, the event raised little money and wore him out. But he knew it was what God wanted him to do.

Last year, the third year of the event, he raised $30,000.

This year, there was even more publicity of it as God has blessed Booth's effort more than he ever imagined.

Talent, or gifts from God, might not always be something that stands out at first. But it is something unique to you that you can use to make an impact in this world, an impact that could last through eternity.

Meditate on 1 Peter 4:10-11, and see where God is directing you.

You just might be the next person to impact the life of a new generation.

Chad Wilson is Editor of the Athens Daily Review.

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