December 2011

‘Create a Christmas memory’

December 19 2011 by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC executive director-treasurer

Every year I very much look forward to the Christmas season. I enjoy visiting with family, singing Christmas carols, and attending special church programs. I love to see the Christmas decorations in stores and towns. I also like to drive through neighborhoods and observe how people display their own expressions of the Christmas season through their decorations. I especially delight in observing the excitement of children as they enjoy this most special time of the year.
 
This year, I hope we will not be so busy that we fail to make some special Christmas memories that will not be soon forgotten. What can you do this year that will be remembered for years to come? Perhaps you will make a Christmas memory reading the story of Jesus’ birth with your family.
 
Or, maybe you will share with your children or grandchildren how you came to faith in Jesus Christ. Many of you know that Gloria and I have two young grandsons, and you can imagine how much we love those little boys. It is important to me that they will always be confident of my unconditional love for them, but I also hope they will always remember that their “Poppy” greatly loved the Christ of Christmas.
 
Due to the economic challenges in our state, many individuals and families will have much less materially than they have in some past years. Some parents are already worrying about how they will be able to help their young children have an enjoyable Christmas morning because they don’t even have sufficient money to pay their bills. Maybe God will impress on you to do something special during this Christmas season for someone who is not expecting a gift from you. Many of us have friends and neighbors who have not yet accepted the Christ of Christmas as their personal Savior. What better time than now to be intentional in our witness for Christ?
 
More people attend church on Christmas and Easter than any other Sunday of the year. Have you thought about inviting someone to attend a Christmas program at church with you? This could provide an opportunity for a follow-up conversation with them about receiving Christ. You just might get to enjoy a Christmas memory about the year when a family member or friend became a follower of Jesus.
 
In Luke’s account of the Christmas story, he tells us that following the visit of the shepherds, Mary was “treasuring up all these things in her heart and meditating on them.”
 
She remembered the significance of what was going on around her and what God allowed her to experience.
 
Let’s rejoice greatly in God’s incredible love to us through Jesus Christ! Will you do something this year to help create a Christmas memory?
 
“And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” Luke 2:13-14
12/19/2011 4:42:09 PM by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC executive director-treasurer | with 0 comments



Please support the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering

December 5 2011 by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC executive director-treasurer

In 1873, Charlotte Digges Moon (we know her as Lottie) was appointed a missionary to China. She devoted the next 39 years of her life to serving in China and to sharing the gospel. Lottie Moon grew to care deeply for the Chinese people. She often deprived herself so that she had more to give others. Lottie died on Christmas Eve in 1912, on a ship headed back to the United States.
 
The Christmas offering that Southern Baptists support each year is named after Lottie Moon. Her life of love and sacrifice paved the way for so many other missionaries. The offering theme this year is: “His heart, His hands, His voice – I am Southern Baptist missions.” The offering goal this year is $175 million. I pray that you will give sacrificially to this offering, and by doing so give a gift that will make a difference for all eternity.
 
The International Mission Board has available on its website, imb.org, many helpful promotional resources for your church. On this website you will find videos, photos, and prayer resources. I also hope you will take some time to read the stories of all the many different ways your offering dollars are making a difference.
 
North Carolina Baptists, God has called each of us to be about His purposes, and our God wants people to hear the gospel and to come to faith in Jesus Christ. Scripture commands all who know Jesus as Lord and Savior to tell others about Him – and to do so locally as well as globally.
 
Yet, I want to remind us that serving God and sharing our faith is also a tremendous privilege. God has chosen His people, His church, to take His message to the nations of the world.
 
 In cooperation with the SBC International Mission Board, our Convention Board of Directors recently approved a recommendation that calls for this state convention to serve as a catalyst for the engagement of 250 unengaged, unreached people groups over the next 10 years by North Carolina Baptist churches. We are praying for God to do great and mighty things among the unreached people of the world.
 
Please pray about how you can support this special missions offering – both with your giving and with your prayers. Pray that God will burden our hearts like never before for a world that desperately needs the hope of Jesus Christ. As Southern Baptists our churches have been challenged to give more money to help reach the 1.7 billion people in this world who have little or no access to the gospel. If this is your desire, the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering provides an excellent opportunity for your church to give more to help reach the nations with the gospel.
 
“... The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest.” Luke 10:2
12/5/2011 1:56:29 PM by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC executive director-treasurer | with 0 comments