November 2011

Be thankful unto Him

November 21 2011 by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC executive director-treasurer

Throughout the years of my journey with God something that has always been and continues to be a source of great encouragement, inspiration and challenge is reading the Book of Psalms. Even from my earliest days as a Christian, this particular book of the Bible has had a special meaning in my life.
 
One of the reasons I enjoy reading the psalms so much is that they are rich with emotion and are marked by a great sense of transparency.
 
From the highs and lows, the mountain tops and the valleys, the psalms do not hold back. It’s all there – any feeling you have ever experienced you can surely read about in the psalms.
 
We know that King David wrote many of the psalms. One pattern we see throughout his writing is that whatever the situation, no matter how desperate or painful, he turned to God. When David feared for his life, he cried out to God. When he sinned, he cried out to God.
 
David also rejoiced in the Lord. He knew that all the good things in his life came from God, and he praised God for His provision.
 
Sometimes the psalms speak about God’s people not turning to God and forgetting God. God did great things for Israel – deliverance from slavery, dividing a great sea, providing food from heaven, bringing forth water from a rock, just to name a few – yet they forgot to praise God and to give Him thanks.
Psalm 105:4 tells us to “seek his face evermore.”
 
When our focus is to seek God’s face we are less likely to forget God’s faithfulness and more likely to spend time meditating on God’s goodness to us.
 
God sent His son Jesus to save us from our sins. No matter our circumstances in this life, we have reason to praise God and to give Him thanks because our eternal salvation is secure in Christ.
 
The psalms are a wonderful reminder of the joy that comes when we praise God.
 
Psalm 16:11 tells us that in God’s presence is “fulness of joy” and at His right hand are “pleasures for evermore.”
 
Psalm 30:11 reminds us that God will turn our mourning into joy. In Psalm 146 we see that we can trust God and praise Him because He will reign forever.
 
Psalm 98:4 says we are to rejoice and sing praise, and Psalm 34:1 says the praises of our God should continually be on our mouths.
 
If you haven’t been to the psalms lately I encourage you to spend some time there during this Thanksgiving season. You will be blessed as you remember God’s great faithfulness!
 
“Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.” Psalm 100:4
11/21/2011 2:47:39 PM by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC executive director-treasurer | with 0 comments



Thankful for our veterans

November 7 2011 by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC executive director-treasurer

After the 9/11 terrorist attacks, it’s almost hard now to remember a time when we didn’t have conversations about or hear news headlines about defending freedom. When something we value and treasure is threatened, all of a sudden we are much more aware of the possibility of it being taken from us.
 
Ten years ago many, many people so bravely came to the aid of those needing help. Since then, many, many more have so bravely devoted their lives – and sacrificed their lives – to help keep people in this country safe. This country has endured wars and seasons of great hardship, and those serving in our armed forces have valiantly stood strong and courageous.
 
Every year on Nov. 11 we pause to remember and honor all our American military veterans especially those who paid the ultimate price. Continuing the spirit of our recent observance of Veteran’s Day, I encourage you to regularly thank God for the blessing of living in this country. We enjoy freedoms in this country that many people around the world cannot even imagine.
 
Do you realize that in some places people cannot go to church for fear of persecution? An article was published on our Convention Website not long ago about Izabella McMillon, who now lives in Durham but grew up in Romania. She talks about how her father was afraid his family would be killed if anyone found out they had a Bible in their home. The Biblical Recorder recently reported actual accounts of how people are being brutally murdered in other countries because they are followers of Jesus. The freedoms we enjoy have come at a price; a price that has cost many brave Americans their lives.
 
They sacrificed so that we may have the opportunity for a quality of life that is beyond anything we deserve. Never take for granted the freedoms and opportunities we enjoy as citizens of this great country
Take some time to continue the observance of Veteran’s Day by praying for our veterans and their families. The extreme conditions of war often wreak havoc upon the emotions and psychological condition of veterans long after they return home from battle. Relationships with family members are often gravely impacted. Churches and individuals need to look for ways to minister to the needs of our veterans and their families.
 
Please also pray for our current military personnel.
 
Pray for God’s protection and guidance. Pray for our military chaplains who stand in the gap and offer spiritual help for our soldiers. Pray that Christian soldiers will be bold in sharing their faith with their peers who do not know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
 
Remember to express your appreciation to our veterans for their service to our country and to the families who still grieve over the death of a loved one who died defending the cost of our freedom.
11/7/2011 1:58:30 PM by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC executive director-treasurer | with 0 comments