November 2018

Pray for Lottie Moon, new IMB leader

November 27 2018 by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC executive director-treasurer

During our recent annual meeting in Greensboro in early November, Jeff Isenhour, pastor of Arran Lake Baptist Church in Fayetteville and chairman of our Budget Committee, shared an update with messengers that highlighted the generosity of North Carolina Baptists to the missions and ministries of the Baptist state convention and the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC).
 
Jeff’s report included many reasons to celebrate and rejoice in what God is doing in and through North Carolina Baptists as a result of your faithful financial support of missions through the Cooperative Program and special missions offerings. I thank you for your recent gifts that fund the North Carolina Missions Offering (NCMO) during this time of disaster relief when so many people are hurting physically, emotionally and financially.
 
Among other items mentioned in the report was the fact that N.C. Baptist churches gave more than $13.6 million to support international missions through the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering (LMCO) for the SBC fiscal year that ended Sept. 30.
 
This figure ranked North Carolina first among all state conventions in support of the LMCO once again. To God be the glory!
 
I share these numbers not to gloat or boast, but to personally thank you and express my heartfelt gratitude for your continued generosity. Your gifts support thousands of International Mission Board (IMB) missionaries who are taking the gospel to those who have never heard it all around the world.
 
Every single dollar you give to missions through this special offering goes directly to support the work of the International Mission Board.
 
As we approach this year’s LMCO, I invite you to once again pray about how God would lead you and your church to support this year’s offering.
 
The IMB has designated Dec. 2-9 as a week of prayer for this year’s offering and has developed several resources to help focus your attention on God’s heart for the nations.
 
You may visit imb.org/lmco for prayer prompts, missionary spotlights, videos and other resources related to this year’s offering. This year’s offering goal is $160 million.

Let’s give generously unto the Lord during this Christmas season as we support this special missions offering. Help your friends and people who are new to your church understand why it is so important that they give to a missions offering. They may not be familiar with Lottie Moon if they were not raised as Southern Baptists.
 
It’s also fitting that as we focus on the LMCO, we can also celebrate the appointment of a new IMB leader. Paul Chitwood, executive director of the Kentucky Baptist Convention, was elected president of the IMB by its board of trustees Nov. 15 after being recommended by the presidential search committee.
 
Paul is no stranger to the IMB, having served as chairman of the IMB trustees as part of his tenure as a trustee. Gloria and I are blessed to have a friendship with Paul and his wife, Michelle.
 
I have been impressed with this couple along with Paul’s leadership skills as a fellow state executive director-treasurer. Given his passion for the Lord and a heart for missions, I am confident that he will be a great leader for the IMB for years to come.
 
I have read numerous emails from many of my colleagues in other state conventions who are thrilled and elated that Paul is our new IMB president. The fellowship of state executives collectively sent a letter of appreciation to the search committee for endorsing Paul.
 
Prior to Paul’s election as president, the IMB also appointed 42 new missionaries as part of a Sending Celebration at the IMB headquarters in Richmond, Va. Several of these missionaries are from North Carolina or have North Carolina ties.
 
Please pray for these new missionaries as you pray for those from every language, people, tribe and nation to experience the joy of knowing and worshiping our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
 
And He said to them, ‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature’” Mark 16:15 (NKJV).

11/27/2018 10:30:40 AM by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC executive director-treasurer | with 0 comments



Thankful for God’s character in life’s circumstances

November 12 2018 by Milton Hollifield Jr.

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite times of the year. There are many reasons why I love this holiday, and those reasons certainly include the wonderful food and fellowship with family and friends around the table together.
 
While we rejoice in the many blessings that God has bestowed upon us, scripture informs us that these blessings flow from the character and nature of God Himself.
 
In my personal times of devotion with the Lord, I love to read through the chapters in the Book of Psalms before I study other passages of scripture and devotional readings. Throughout this wonderful book, there are numerous reminders for us as followers of Christ to be thankful. In fact, Psalm 92 opens with the words, “It is good to give thanks to the Lord.” Psalm 100 instructs us to “Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise.”
 
Admittedly, sometimes in the midst of life’s circumstances it can be hard to express gratitude and thanksgiving at certain times. We even see this in the Psalms.
 
King David wrote many of the Psalms, and in his writings we see that he experienced and understood the highs and lows that life’s circumstances can bring. Throughout the Psalms, we find David offering great words of songs and praise in one instance, and we later see him expressing sorrow and grief over things like abandonment, loneliness and loss.
 
Yet in the midst of all of the different types of circumstances that David faced, his writings in the Psalms often conclude with encouraging reminders about God. Over and over again, David reminds us of God’s love, mercy, grace, righteousness, power, might, faithfulness and more.
 
These and other attributes of God can help encourage and sustain us during life’s difficult times.
 
This Thanksgiving season may be one in which you are overflowing with gratitude. Or it may be one in which you are overwhelmed with pain and sorrow. No matter what we are facing in life, we can be encouraged and take comfort in what the Bible says about the character and nature of the God we serve.
 
Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever” – Psalm 107:1 (NKJV).

11/12/2018 3:44:20 PM by Milton Hollifield Jr. | with 0 comments



Baptist Children’s Homes offer rest to weary children

November 1 2018 by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC executive director-treasurer

One of the unique ministries in our state that I am proud of is the Baptist Children’s Homes of North Carolina (BCH). This is a great example of specific ministries that the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) depends on state conventions to operate with Cooperative Program (CP) funds because the SBC does not operate children’s homes. The amount that BCH receives from CP is only a small portion of funds required to operate this ministry.

For more than 130 years, the Baptist Children’s Homes has served families and communities across our state and beyond through 21 different locations in North Carolina and an orphanage in Guatemala.
 
Please consider praying and supporting the BCH annual offering later this month. Thanks to your prayers and gifts, the BCH is able to provide children who have endured untold difficulties and hardships with a place of peace and hope. Additionally, the Baptist Children’s Homes is a place where the gospel is shared. Last year alone, more than 32,500 lives were touched through the ministry of BCH, and over 200 decisions for Christ were recorded.
 
Through the BCH, you and your church can play a part in reaching the next generation for Christ. Of those individuals who come to BCH, 80 percent are unchurched. What a wonderful opportunity the Lord has provided to house parents and others who love and care for these boys and girls to introduce them to Jesus.
 
“Come to Me, I Will Give You Rest,” is the theme for this year’s BCH annual offering, based on Matthew 11:28.
 
Randy Stewart, pastor of the Mills Home Baptist Church, located at the center of the BCH’s Mills Home campus in Thomasville, says that’s exactly what happens through this ministry.
 
“Jesus says, ‘Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest,’” Stewart says. “This verse speaks to the heart of what we give to the girls and boys who come to us at Baptist Children’s Homes.”
 
During his 26 years as the Mills Home pastor, Stewart has preached, counseled and befriended many children through the years. He’s seen many trust Christ as Savior.
 
“These pews – where so many children have sat over the years – they have stories to tell,” Stewart says. “They are stories of children who have come to us out of chaos.”
 
Stewart shares some of those stories and his heart for BCH in a series of videos that are available to promote this year’s offering. The videos and other information, materials and resources about the offering is available online at bchoffering.org.
 
The goal for this year’s offering is $1.5 million, and Nov. 11-18 has been designated as a week of prayer for the offering and the ministries and families it supports and serves. Daily prayer prompts are also available online.
 
Thank you N.C. Baptists for your partnership, prayers and support of the Baptist Children’s Homes of North Carolina.
 

Week of prayer – Nov. 11-18


Sunday – Pray for all North Carolina children and families.
 

Monday – Pray for the thousands of lives BCH serves each year through its 21 NC locations.
 

Tuesday – Pray for the cottage parents, care givers, chiefs, case managers and staff who give of themselves around the clock to care for boys and girls.
 

Wednesday – Pray for the boys and girls at Good Shepherd Children’s Home, BCH’s orphanage in Xela, Guatemala.
 

Thursday – Pray for those who live at BCH’s nine statewide homes for developmentally disabled adults.
 

Friday – Pray for children and families in your community.
 

Saturday – Pray for BCH president/CEO Michael C. Blackwell as he leads the ministry.
 

Sunday – Pray that the children and families BCH ministers to will come to know Jesus as their Savior.
 

11/1/2018 12:35:13 PM by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC executive director-treasurer | with 0 comments