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Archive for January, 2010

Isaiah 58:3-10


 3 'Why have we fasted,' they say, 
       'and you have not seen it? 
       Why have we humbled ourselves, 
       and you have not noticed?' 
       "Yet on the day of your fasting, you do as you please 
       and exploit all your workers.

 4 Your fasting ends in quarreling and strife, 
       and in striking each other with wicked fists. 
       You cannot fast as you do today 
       and expect your voice to be heard on high.

 5 Is this the kind of fast I have chosen, 
       only a day for a man to humble himself? 
       Is it only for bowing one's head like a reed 
       and for lying on sackcloth and ashes? 
       Is that what you call a fast, 
       a day acceptable to the LORD ?

 6 "Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: 
       to loose the chains of injustice 
       and untie the cords of the yoke, 
       to set the oppressed free 
       and break every yoke?

 7 Is it not to share your food with the hungry 
       and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter— 
       when you see the naked, to clothe him, 
       and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?

 8 Then your light will break forth like the dawn, 
       and your healing will quickly appear; 
       then your righteousness [a] will go before you, 
       and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard.

 9 Then you will call, and the LORD will answer; 
       you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I. 
       "If you do away with the yoke of oppression, 
       with the pointing finger and malicious talk,

 10 and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry 
       and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, 
       then your light will rise in the darkness, 
       and your night will become like the noonday.

A Prayer for You

As this was part of today's New Thru 30 reading I found myself praying this for you today:

  • 9And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 10so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord,fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. 
  • 11 May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, 12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. 
  • 13He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

Colossians 1:9-14. It is my joy and privilege to serve alongside of you. Have a great Thursday.

NC Baptist Response to Haiti

Received the following from Richard Brunson of the North Carolina Baptist State Convention. I will post it in it's entirety as you will benefit most in this way:

NC Baptist Haiti Update- 1-25-2010

Currently, North Carolina Baptists have sent 3 medical teams into Haiti.  The first team was able to get into Haiti on Friday (1-15-2010). The second team of 13 people got into Haiti on Wednesday (1-20-2010). They have been working hard at a hospital and meeting many needs in Haiti since January 15. We have taken in many medical supplies and we have bought supplies in the Dominican Republic and taken them into Haiti.

The third medical team left for Haiti on Sunday, January 24.  They also flew to the Dominican Republic and drove across the border into Haiti. There were 14 people on this team. Medical team 4 is scheduled to leave for Haiti on Saturday, January 30. Teams are taking many needed medical items into Haiti. Right now the needs are medical and very specialized, but in the future we will have many more opportunities for volunteers with other skills to be used in Haiti.

We are looking at being involved in Haiti for a long time with a variety of projects (mostly construction).

If you want to help, you may do so in several ways:

  1. Go to our website, click on http://www.baptistsonmission.org/Projects/disasterrelief/2010Response/Haiti.aspx. From this page you can get up to date information on what is happening as well as see pictures of the team working. You can also donate to Haiti relief, volunteer for future projects, watch a video on Haiti relief and get reports of the work of the teams in Haiti.
  2. You may send a check to: NC Baptist Men, PO Box 1107, Cary, NC  27512. Please mark the check Haiti Disaster Relief Efforts
  3. Please keep updated with the NCBM's ministry to Haiti by following us on our websitewww.ncmissions.org  on Twitter at http://twitter.com/NCBMHaitiRelief or become a fan on Facebook at ncbmhaitirelief.
  4. There is a good article about the work of the first team at the following linkhttp://www.biblicalrecorder.org/post/2010/01/25/First-NC-team-returns-from-Haiti.aspx. There is also a report from one of the team members on Medical team 2 at the following link,http://www.biblicalrecorder.org/post/2010/01/24/First-person-post-from-Haiti-Unbelieveable.aspx
  5. There was an excellent news segment about the first team that aired on WRAL on Friday night. You can view that segment at the following link: http://www.wral.com/news/national_world/world/haiti/video/6870523/
  6. Haiti Video Available- There is an excellent 2 minute video that is available and would be very good for your church to use this Sunday morning. This video shows and talks about how NC Baptists are responding to the terrible earthquake that hit Haiti.  You can view and download this video at this link:  http://www.ncbaptist.org/index.php?id=1660

Please continue to pray for the people who were affected by the earthquake and pray for the volunteers who are and will be going to help.

Thank you, In Christ,

Richard Brunson

New Thru 30 Week 3

I don't know if you realized this or not but those of you who are hanging with us to read through the entire New Testament in 30 days are halfway there – CONGRATULATIONS!!! As we begin this week in the Gospel of Luke I believe that you will be encouraged as you read the story of Jesus through the words of Doctor Luke, a physician and missionary companion of the Apostle Paul.

I have been encouraged as I have never read this much of the bible at once. My normal way is one of taking my time and spending much in sections. This journey has been cool as I have seen the bigger picture, almost in story form as if someone were personally telling me.

Your Weekly Thought is this: Luke 7:50 – Your faith has saved you. The Gospels are a testimony of the "new way" of faith rather than works. Every other religion in the world requires you to earn favor with God except Christianity. Jesus loves us and forgives us because of our belief in Him and through His grace – this is truly good news! Obviously, this them is highlighted in the Gospel of Luke but look for the same truth in each of the Epistles this week. The entire bible is ultimately a testimony about Jesus Christ.

Daily Key Verses:

Day 1 – Luke 7:50
Day 2 – Luke 15:23-24
Day 3 – Philippians 3:10-14
Day 4 – Hebrews 11:1
Day 5 – 1 Timothy 6:12 

Sunday Nite

Another Sunday is drawing to a close – my 1st post Hawaiian vacation. Being that it has been 2 weeks since I've been at hyde park I was really looking forward to worshiping this morning with my church family – as we brought a seriously powerful offering of praise it was certainly "on". Here's what's on my mind 2nite:

  • Week 4 of the "Fresh Start" series brought a message on "Fresh Faith". As Pastor admonished and encouraged to be a people who were living by faith I couldn't help but think of the journey that we are currently on in the area of pastoral transition. 
  • When we talk about walking by faith instead of relying on our own sight I was thinking how easy it is to forget what that truly means. Pastor was talking of Abram and the call of God to leave his home and go to an unknown place (God told him He, God, would let Abram know when he got to the right place). It makes me think of Proverbs 3:5, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding". I think most of us rely way too much on our earthly understanding.
  • I will never forget the way that God taught me about faith when He showed me that faith is believing something you can't see… it was like the lightbulb came on and I have NEVER been the same.
  • So good to get bunches of hugs and kisses this morning from my church family. I got lots of "Aloha's" this morning.
  • I was so excited to share our new song "Sing, Sing, Sing" this morning: We will sing, sing, sing and make music with the heavens, we will sing, sing, sing, grateful that You hear us when we shout Your praise, lift high the Name of Jesus!
  • Our music today: New Doxology (Gateway Worship), Sing, Sing, Sing (Chris Tomlin), Jesus Paid it All (Passion), I Will Rise (Tomlin).
  • I just about lost it in the 2nd service on "I Will Rise" when we got to the 2nd verse: there's a day that's drawing near when this darkness breaks to light, and the shadows disappear and my faith shall be my eyes." As I sang that I found myself thinking about the place that I am right now and… well, I know that a day of light is coming…
  • I will attend my 1st meeting as a member of the Board of Directors for the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina this week. Definitely looking forward to meeting new people and seeing how I can be part of making a difference on the state level. It's definitely an honor to be part of this group of men and women – I pray and expect to learn much from my new friends.
  • Definitely looking forward to begin planning for our Easter services tomorrow! I am certainly humbled at the privilege of being the man to bring God's Word on such an important day in the life of our church. Please pray for me as I begin to seek God's leadership for that message.
  • Which brings me to what is on my mind tonite: I watched the 10 year anniversary service at Newspring Church tonite. For their 10th anniversary they rented the Bi-Lo Center Arena in Greenville so they could bring their 4 campuses together for 1 huge celebration (remember "Hyde Park 40" at Robeson Community College?). As I saw a church that celebrated something that ONLY JESUS could do my heart burned within me…
  • I was told a couple of weeks ago that an anonymous person (I didn't ask who) thought that my dreams were too big for a town like Lumberton. They mentioned my "association" with Newspring church in Anderson (which is none except some of their staff has blessed me by answering questions, giving advice and blessing our people when we've visited) and made a comment like, "Mike looks at things that they do at that church in Anderson, SC, but THAT'S in SC, that's not little Lumberton." 
  • Some facts: Population of Lumberton: 22,006; Population of Anderson, SC: 27,027 – Anderson is not a big city… yet God has used a small group of people to lead over 6,000 people to Jesus in the past 10 years because they were willing to be the kind of church that lost people (who visited with their friends) were willing to give a 2nd look.
  • What God has done in Anderson He CAN DO HERE!!! God wants to turn this region upside down for His glory! I BELIEVE! Have we forgotten that our God can do "immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,"? (Eph 3:20) We are not bringing glory to Jesus when we undersell what He can do in us and through us. 

God is not finished in Lumberton – God is not finished at hyde park – God is waiting for a people who are willing to rise up and personally reach people with His good news

"Jesus, I love You, thank You for allowing me to serve Your church – Use me for Your glory."