May 2011

Taking time to remember

May 23 2011 by Milton A. Hollifield Jr. , BSC Executive Director-Treasurer

In 1971, the United States Congress declared the last Monday in May as a federal holiday known as Memorial Day. Prior to this official declaration many states had already been setting aside time to remember soldiers who had died defending our country and fighting for freedom.

You may still hear some people refer to this holiday as Decoration Day because this term emerged from the shadows of our nation’s Civil War when women decorated the graves of fallen soldiers who died in that war.

How quickly we can forget the tremendous sacrifices men and women have made throughout our nation’s history.

Some paid the ultimate price of their very lives. We should each take time to honor the fallen dead of all our wars as we reflect on the tremendous price that was paid for the freedom we enjoy today. We ought to honor these heroes of the past, but how quickly we tend to forget.

Because our brave soldiers are deployed for months or years at a time they miss out on family occasions like birthdays, anniversaries, school plays and even being at the hospital when their children are born.

I recently learned through the work of our Convention’s chaplaincy ministry that more and more soldiers are returning home only to struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder. The sacrifices made for freedom have indeed been great.

I think it would be difficult to find an American living in this country who would say he or she does not appreciate all that our military men and women have done in order to preserve the way of life we have come to enjoy. Yet, I often wonder: are we really thankful and do we really take time to remember?

I ask you to make this a year when you truly take time to give God thanks. Thank Him for those who served our country so well.

Pray for the families who still grieve because a loved one has died in war. Parents, perhaps this Memorial Day you take your children to a cemetery and place a flag on the grave of a soldier who died preserving the cause of freedom.

Remember to pray for our military personnel who serve today and also for those “wounded warriors” who survived combat, but the injuries they sustained in battle will radically alter their future. Pray for our military chaplains who minister to soldiers and their families. Pray that they will lead many within the military community to a saving faith in Christ Jesus.

I also pray that God will develop in each one of our hearts an attitude of remembrance and gratitude that extends far beyond this one holiday weekend each year.

If you know someone who has served or someone who is serving in our military — take some time to let them know you are grateful.

“Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.” Psalm 33:12

(SPECIAL NOTE — Thank you for your continued support of the Biblical Recorder site. During this interim period while we are searching for a new Editor/President the comments section will be temporarily discontinued. Thank you for your understanding and patience in this. If you do have comments or issues with items we run, please contact dianna@biblicalrecorder.org or call 919-847-2127.)
5/23/2011 7:29:00 AM by Milton A. Hollifield Jr. , BSC Executive Director-Treasurer | with 0 comments



Partnerships advance the Great Commission

May 9 2011 by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC Executive Director-Treasurer

Each year as Memorial Day draws near I find myself thinking about the great sacrifices men and women have made throughout our country’s history. I will share more about that in my next column, but one thing I do want to express to you now is how grateful I am that we enjoy religious freedom in this country.

Earlier this year I was reminded that many, many people in the world do not enjoy this freedom. In March, several of our staff members traveled to Moldova to help kick off our Convention’s new partnership with the Baptist Union of Moldova. They shared with me how they met believers who lived in Moldova while the country was part of the former Soviet Union. During this time believers were not allowed to worship publicly, and some were put in prison and persecuted for their faith.

Moldova is home to 3.5 million people, and less than two percent of them are believers in Jesus Christ. However, I want you to know that those who are believers are hungry to learn more about God.

The partnership with Moldova is a partnership through our Office of Great Commission Partnerships. We started this new office last August for the purpose of assisting North Carolina Baptist churches and associations in developing, implementing and maintaining an effective strategy for missions. The first teams from North Carolina Baptist churches will be sent out later this year to Moldova. It’s not too late to pray about having a team from your church on the ground in Moldova by year’s end.

You also still have time to make plans to head to Toronto where approximately 5.5 million people live in an area that is less than five percent evangelical. Our Great Commission Partnership in Toronto is very much focused on connecting North Carolina Baptist churches with church planting, whether that means supporting a new church plant or actually taking the lead and planting a church in Toronto.

Remember our partnership opportunities in New York City and Boston. Our work with the Metropolitan New York Baptist Association began again last year and more than 400 Baptists participated. Already more than 500 people have committed to serve this year.

Teams are also serving in the urban center of Boston, where less than three percent of the population is evangelical. More than 1,000 towns in New England are without an evangelical witness.

From just up north, to just over the border, to across the ocean, people all over the world need to hear about the gospel of Jesus Christ.

We know the good news and we also know that Christ commanded us in Acts 1:8 to be His witnesses at home and abroad. I’m asking you: where will you go in obedience to the commission Christ has given to you?

If you would like to learn how your church can get involved in one of these partnerships, visit www.ncbaptist.org/gcp or call (800) 395-5102, ext. 5654.

(SPECIAL NOTE — Thank you for your continued support of the Biblical Recorder site. During this interim period while we are searching for a new Editor/President the comments section will be temporarily discontinued. Thank you for your understanding and patience in this. If you do have comments or issues with items we run, please contact dianna@biblicalrecorder.org or call 919-847-2127.)
5/9/2011 4:48:00 AM by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC Executive Director-Treasurer | with 0 comments