November 2015

‘Because of who He is’ compels us to give

November 30 2015 by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC executive director-treasurer

As the Christmas season approaches, I have been taking some time to ponder the spirit of giving that surrounds this time of the year. When Jesus was born in Bethlehem, God gave the world the greatest gift it would ever know. Our Heavenly Father gave us a gift to save us from our sins.
 
When we give, we celebrate God’s very nature – His love, grace and kindness. Fittingly, this season is also the time when Southern Baptists throughout the country give to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering (LMCO), an offering that supports missionaries and their ministries around the world.
 
This year, the offering theme is “Because of who He is” – a reminder that all we do is ultimately for Him and His glory. He is worthy to be worshipped by all the nations.
 
Lottie Moon, the offering’s namesake, spent much of her life making the name of Jesus known to the people of China. Now, the offering that bears her name helps make Christ’s name known in countries around the world through those who are serving with the International Mission Board (IMB).
 
This year, the offering’s goal is $175 million. Last year, your support of the LMCO helped 1.75 million people to hear a gospel witness, 275,000 people to become new believers, 14,000 new churches to be formed and 4,000 new groups to be formed.
 
Because of your support for the LMCO, a missionary was able to get access to the resources to dub DVD presentations of the gospel in the native languages of Central Asia. These DVDs were then broadcast on a local television station so that more people might have access to the gospel.
 
Join me in praying for and giving to the LMCO this year. When we give, we are helping to take the gospel to the corners of the world, providing a way for those who might have never heard the name of Jesus to come to faith in Him. In the words of Lottie Moon herself, “Why should we not ... do something that will prove that we are really in earnest in claiming to be followers of Him who, though He was rich, for our sake became poor?”
 
For more information about the LMCO, visit imb.org for downloadable resources including videos, prayer guides and more.
 
There is more I would like to share with you from my own perspective about what has happened in recent weeks and will happen with the IMB, but I will do that at another time. Suffice to say for now that I believe our president of the IMB, David Platt, is making decisions that had to be made. I believe he has done and is doing the right thing.
 
I encourage you to pray for and trust our leader during these days. In consideration of all the necessary changes that are happening with IMB and our international missionary force, this is a time of challenge for individuals to give sacrificially to support this annual missions offering. In 2014, N.C. Baptist churches led the Southern Baptist Convention state conventions in contributing $12.6 million to this offering.
 
Will 2015 be the greatest LMCO that NC Baptists have ever given?
 
Declare His glory among the nations, His wonders among all peoples.” – Psalm 96:3 (NKJV)

11/30/2015 2:27:30 PM by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC executive director-treasurer | with 0 comments



A time to reflect on Christ’s blessings

November 17 2015 by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC executive director-treasurer

As we make our plans for Thanksgiving this year – whether we are visiting family far away or hosting others in our own homes, we must not forget to spend time reflecting on what the Lord has done for us in the past year. This could be a discipleship moment when you lead the younger family members to think about which blessings from God are most important to us. This is your opportunity to help them realize that the most precious gifts in life are the most basic and fundamental ones such as health, family and employment, just to name a few. They must be taught that God is the source of every good and perfect gift we possess.
 
I am grateful for health. But before that, I am grateful to the One who has blessed me with life and given it ultimate purpose and meaning. What good is a long life if I do not have the blessed hope that comes with knowing Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior?
 
I am grateful for my family. But is the love within my family not just a reflection of the Father’s love for us? I praise the Lord that He has abundantly blessed me with such a wonderful and loving family. But still, even more, I praise Him for having loved me first. I am humbled when I think of the unfailing love that He so freely bestowed on me when I least deserved it.
 
I urge you to take this time of thanksgiving to fix your eyes even more on Jesus – I pray that this will be a special time of joy for you and your loved ones as you reflect on the deep love of our Savior. Perhaps you can ask the Lord to kindle in your spirit an attitude of constant gratitude to Him throughout the year – as the old hymn, “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing” says, “Tune my heart to sing Thy grace.”
 
I pray that during this season, you will be encouraged to spend time not only in prayers of thanksgiving to God, but also to share the good news of His salvation with others. I pray that as you come to know the spirit of the Father even more, that your heart will be filled anew with zeal to tell those you meet about the One who has given you the ultimate reason to give thanks.
 
Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name” – Psalm 100:4.

11/17/2015 10:43:00 AM by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC executive director-treasurer | with 0 comments



Share hope, change lives through annual Thanksgiving Offering

November 2 2015 by Milton A. Hollfield Jr., BSC executive director-treasurer

BCH-As-One-Offering-Logo.jpg

As Thanksgiving approaches and many in our state spend time counting their blessings, North Carolina Baptists have the opportunity to express their gratitude through giving to the annual Thanksgiving Offering, which benefits Baptist Children’s Homes of North Carolina (BCH).
 
Since its founding in 1885, BCH has served families and given them hope for the future. In 2014 alone, BCH served more than 15,500 people.
 
BCH provides ministry in all 100 counties of North Carolina, in addition to running an orphanage and medical clinic in Xela, Guatemala. BCH’s stateside ministry also includes facilities to care for disabled and aging adults. With BCH’s widespread reach, it is no surprise that many of the people served through the organization are unengaged with the gospel.
 
In fact, 80 percent of the children and families BCH serves do not know Christ. What a wonderful opportunity the Lord has provided us to share the love and compassion of Jesus through this ministry!
 
BCH’s vision is “Sharing hope … changing lives,” and that vision is evident in the testimonies of those whose lives have been impacted through BCH. I’d like to share with you a story about two young boys who went “from homeless to hopeful” thanks to the generosity of North Carolina Baptists through the Thanksgiving Offering.
 
At a young age, brothers Jonathan and Thomas witnessed their parents’ separation, their mother’s move to another state and out of their lives and ultimately a period of homelessness during which the brothers and their father spent many nights sleeping under a bridge. Jonathan and Thomas were later sent to live with their grandparents, but due to the elderly couple’s health, age and financial situation, they felt that they were not able to give their grandsons the best care they needed.
 
With help from their grandparents’ church family, the boys were referred to BCH. There, they now enjoy new clothes, plenty of food, warm beds and even piano lessons. Jonathan and Thomas are also able to spend time visiting with their grandparents.
 
I hope you and your church will consider taking part in this offering for BCH – whether at Thanksgiving time this year or at another time more convenient for your church. The goal for this year’s offering is $1.5 million, and the official week of specific, intentional prayer for this offering is Nov. 15-22. Please pray about how the Lord might lead you to take part in this special offering in support of this important ministry. Also, please encourage others to do the same. The Thanksgiving Offering is truly a way to put your gratitude to the Lord into action and to show His compassion to those in need.
 
For more information about the offering and to learn more about the testimony of Jonathan and Thomas, please visit bchfamily.org/offering.
 
As you have therefore received Christ Jesus as Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving
– Colossians 2:6-7 (NKJV).

11/2/2015 12:41:00 PM by Milton A. Hollfield Jr., BSC executive director-treasurer | with 0 comments