October 2009

Please Come to the 2009 Annual Session

October 19 2009 by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC Executive Director-Treasurer

This will be my last opportunity in the Biblical Recorder to encourage you to attend the 2009 annual meeting of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSCNC). This gathering will be held on November 9-11 at the Koury Convention Center in Greensboro.

There are many important reasons for you to participate, but due to limited space, please allow me to highlight four.  

On Monday evening, messengers will participate in a commissioning service for our most recent North Carolina church planters. This worship service will highlight the missions partnership that exists between the BSCNC, churches, associations, networks and the NAMB in the planting of churches.

Although, the BSCNC does not actually plant churches, we are an enthusiastic and supportive partner. Plan to attend this missions celebration and commit to pray for these church planters and their congregations. You may find that God is leading your congregation to partner with those who are reaching out to the 180 language groups within North Carolina’s borders.  

The Board of Directors approved a proposed 2010 budget and will present it for consideration by the annual session messengers on Tuesday afternoon.

This will be the first budget without optional giving plans in 18 years. I commend the Budget Committee for its hard work. Under the capable leadership of Steve Hardy from Calvary Baptist in Winston-Salem, this committee faced a challenging assignment as they prepared a missions budget amidst a national economic downturn.

The committee worked cooperatively with our staff, and approached this task soberly and prayerfully. I hope that you’ll support the proposed budget.

The Board of Directors will propose some important amendments to our articles of incorporation and bylaws.

This particular issue of the Biblical Recorder includes a special insert that details the current reading and the proposed new reading of these documents.

You will also find four accompanying articles that provide summation of the proposed changes. I encourage you to read these summaries as they will help you understand the changes that messengers will consider.

Are you interested in the work of the SBC Great Commission Resurgence (GCR) Task Force? Three individuals who serve on the GCR Task Force are from North Carolina: Danny Akin, president of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary; Al Gilbert, senior pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in Winston-Salem; and J.D. Greear, senior pastor of The Summit Church in Durham.

Two of these men, Danny Akin and Al Gilbert, will conduct a listening session on Tuesday evening following the Convention sermon by Stephen Rummage and the conclusion of the evening session. Everyone is invited.

The annual meeting of this state Convention is important.

We will pray and worship our Lord together, listen to inspirational and challenging sermons, take action on various proposals, and fellowship with brothers and sisters in Christ. With all that demands our time as ministers of the gospel and servants of Christ, I hope you will finalize your plans to come and join me for this important meeting in Greensboro.

10/19/2009 7:47:00 AM by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC Executive Director-Treasurer | with 2 comments

His Promised Presence

October 5 2009 by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC Executive Director-Treasurer

For many of us, most of the time life seems good and we take pleasure in living. We enjoy the simple things — flowers, the aroma of fresh coffee and we love to see the sunrise. However, during other times strong emotional undercurrents threaten to drag us down as a result of grief, anxiety, difficulty, depression, fear resulting from health problems, family problems or loss of financial security.

For believers saved by the grace and mercy of Jesus Christ — we have great news. When you fall into the pit of discouragement and wonder “where is God?” rest assured He’s still there. When you wonder if God has lost His power or doesn’t care about what you are facing, He’s still there. He never changes and He always cares.

God knows life can be tough, but the difficulties we face never take Him by surprise. Along with numerous other passages in the Bible, I find great assurance in a verse God gave to His people through the prophet Isaiah when they were in need of encouragement, hope and assurance. Isaiah 41:10 says “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.” I find three assurances from our Father in this verse:
  • God promises His presence with us — 10a
  • God promises His strength for our hour of need — 10b
  • God promises to sustain us by His power  — 10c
Bad things do happen to good people, that is a fact, but that does not necessarily mean those individuals have done wrong. Second Timothy 3:12 reminds us that godly people can expect to suffer persecution. Do you ever wonder why we can entertain the idea that God has forsaken us when we are hurting? At times, our emotional pain doesn’t allow us to trust God completely in that instance. Also, if we are lacking spiritual maturity, we can easily misunderstand how God is at work and become vulnerable to the temptation of doubting God’s faithfulness. It becomes easy to think that our desires are more important than God’s plan. In John 15 we read how God shapes our life as a gardener prunes a grapevine.

Storms of life will assault us, but God is greater than any difficulty we will ever face. It makes a big difference when we can look at our circumstances from God’s viewpoint. Reflect on God’s goodness to you in the past. Realize He has never failed you.

Recognize that He does not change. When Christ is your Savior you can be confident that He will take care of you. He never, ever fails because He is perfect and possesses all power.  Paul reminds us in Philippians 4:19, “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”

10/5/2009 9:35:00 AM by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC Executive Director-Treasurer | with 0 comments