1. REMEMBERING MOMS
If anyone even dared to think that a stay-at-home mom was the easy life, let me be very honest! They don’t have a clue!! Especially in this challenging time when our schools have been closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Moms have been truly “Full Time” 24/7 Super Moms – teacher or teacher’s assistants, cook, chef, and bottle washer, launderer, janitor, spiritual mentors and every million job title in between!
This month is a time to honor, praise, and pray for all the loving moms who are the bonding strength and gentle touch of our homes.
My mom – Ruth Leela Louis – fell asleep in Jesus five years ago. She taught me to love Jesus, to cherish the Bible as the word of God, to treasure the memory of precious promises from His Word, and to depend on Christ by a life of constant prayer. In practical ways, she taught me lessons of kindness and care while also emphasizing diligence and good workmanship. I choose to honor her memory through my life of faithfulness to Christ as I long for the day of our joyful reunion on that great resurrection morning.
While honoring either the memory of our Moms or cherishing their love and influence in our lives today, let’s uplift these very special ladies in our prayers of thanksgiving. May this be our blessing for all moms this month:
You take care of everyone else.
Now may God take care of you.
May you trade your feelings of anxiety and worry
For joy and serenity that nourishes your soul.
May you find the time to take a break
From the hectic activity of life
To focus your heart on God.
May you find moments to appreciate
And celebrate your motherhood
While addressing the real-life issues of each day.
May you rest without guilt
Knowing that your Heavenly Father desires
To provide you with the smile of His perfect peace.
2. CASTING OUR CAROLINA CARES ON CHRIST
A Prayer for God’s Intervention During this Time of Crisis
A. Pray for the Spouses of Our Pastors Who’ve Lost Their Jobs
Recently a special fund was set up at the conference office to send financial gifts of compassionate assistance to spouses of pastors who’ve either lost their jobs or income during this time of difficulty. If God has blessed you with the means to help, we ask that you prayerfully consider donating a check to the Carolina Conference with a notation for MINISTERIAL SPOUSES’ ASSISTANCE FUND. Checks may be mailed directly to:
The Office of the Treasurer
Carolina Conference of Seventh-day Adventists
P.O. Box 44270
Charlotte, NC 28215
B. Pray for the Health & Wellbeing of our Employees and Their Families
To our knowledge the over 400 employees of the Carolina Conference nor their families have tested as Covid positive nor had to be hospitalized for this pandemic plague. We certainly praise the Lord for that! However, some have been impacted with other major medical conditions that effect their health and wellbeing. Sadly this has in a major way impacted financial resources of the conference. Our medical costs per capita in Carolina have far execceded that of the employees of the North American Division or of the Southern Union Conference.
Please join me in praying for God’s healing and protective care over those who’ve dedicated their lives to serving His church along with those in their families who have their insurance coverage under the umbrella of our conference.
C. Pray for God's Miraculous Multipling of His Sacred Resources
Inspite of a drop in tithes and offerings during the month of March, by God’s amazing grace the Carolina Conference was able to care for the payroll of all its employees and meet our bills without having to dip into our emergency reserves. PRAISE THE LORD!! However, we don’t know what the final numbers will indcate to us in May when we receive our tithe remitances for the month of April – a full month in which we have experienced a lock-down of our church gatherings in both North and South Carolina. We are claiming His promise that our loving Lord is able to multiply the faithfulness of His church in the same way that He fed thousands upon thousands with the faithfulness of a young boy who brought his entire lunch of five barley loaves and two fish to Jesus.
By a significant majority vote of the Executive Committee earlier this month, The Carolina Conference will not participate in the provisions of the CARES Act of 2020 with the Payroll Protection Program that was available to our conference. It’s my prayer that we will now all rally together in unity behind this decision. Proverbs 16:20 reminds us that While the lure of significant money from governmental assistance was left on the table, the Holy Spirit’s prompting to trust in the Lord with all our heart prevailed.
I invite all our prayer partners to join me in praying for a healthy April tithe return as we cling to the promise of His Word that assures us with this precious promise – “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” [Philippians 4:19].
3. PRAYING FOR OUR PASTORS & THEIR CHURCH DISTRICTS
Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, these words of encouragement were penned for our churches: “Ask of me, and I will answer your requests. The promise is made on condition that the united prayers of the church are offered, and in answer to these prayers there may be expected a power greater than that which comes in answer to private prayer. The power given will be proportionate to the unity of the members and their love for God and for one another.” [9MR, 303]
Praying for our pastors is very important. They are serving God and the attacks of the enemy are relentless. They must be covered in our prayers on a daily basis.
Our prayers should be personalized by saying the title of pastor along with their name since they hold a position of sacred trust for God’s remnant church.
Why not pray specifically for our pastors by name using these seven needs and scriptural promises:
For Protection from Satan — Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8).
For Protection from Our Own Sinful Hearts — But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death. (James 1:14-15)
For Deep Spiritual Encouragement — For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you— that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine. (Romans 1:11-12)
For Wisdom — If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. (James 1:5)
For Doctrinal Faithfulness — By the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, guard the good deposit entrusted to you (2 Timothy 1:14).
For A Healthy Body — But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others, I myself should be disqualified (1 Corinthians 9:27).
For A Strong Marriage & Family — Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church (1 Timothy 3:2-6).
PASTOR CHURCH(ES); COMPANIES & GROUPS
1. Mark Kent........................................................................................................................Pastor
Lexington SDA Church
Liberty Mission Group
Thomasville SDA Church
2. Sung Kim........................................................................................................Part Time Pastor
Greensboro Korean SDA Church
3. Ross Knight..........................................................................................Associate Youth Pastor
Spartanburg SDA Church
4. Jose LaPorte, Jr..............................................................................................................Pastor
Little Creek Spanish SDA Group
Little Creek SDA Fellowship Church
Goldsboro SDA Church
5. Tony LaPorte...................................................................................................................Pastor
Charlotte SDA Church
Lieber Correctional SDA Group
6. Kenneth Lee....................................................................................................................Pastor
Elizabethtown SDA Church
Whiteville SDA Church
Delco SDA Church
7. Devin Lilly.......................................................................................................Associate Pastor
Arden SDA Church
4. PRAYING FOR OUR DEPARTMENTAL MINISTRIES
Last year starting with our April, 2019 issue of P5, we began highlighting a department of the conference each month – not so much as to give a full length report of all that they have been or are accomplishing, but rather to simply uplift all our leaders and their faithful service in our prayers.
1. The Adventist Christian Book Center
2. Camp Meeting
5. Church Ministries
6. Children & Young Adults
Over the past few months, we have focused on the departmental functions of Administration and Outreach. This month we focus on another vital outreach departmental ministry – that of Health Ministries.
So This month, I invite you to prayerfully uplift our Carolina Conference Health Ministries under the leadership of Elder Brad Cauley & his secretary, Courtnie Hodgins.
The prayerful desire of the Carolina Conference Health Department’s Ministry as Seventh-day Adventists is to be shining examples of healthful living—to share Christ’s desire for all to have a happy and healthy existence. Throughout the Carolinas, programs such as training workshops, health screenings, health fairs and wellness camps have been implemented to aid in bringing our members—and their communities—into a healthier lifestyle. We hope by doing so, we may convey a representation of Christ’s character and bring others to Him.
5. SATURATED WITH THE WORD – Fundamental Belief # 10 – The Experience of Salvation
As a President’s Prayer Partner, we again invite you to truly be a people of the Word. As Seventh-day Adventists, we embrace 28 Fundamental truths that are based on the Bible alone. This is the second cycle in our emphasis on these vital beliefs that are centered in Christ as our Savior and as our Lord.
Let’s continue to place His Word prayerfully in our hearts each day of this month.
I carry a set of these passages with me in my car and repeat them aloud as I drive from place to place. My goal is to prayerfully say one verse at least five times a day for a week, thus embracing the promise of God’s Word – “Thy Word have I hid in mine heart that I might not sin against Thee.” Psalm 119:11 Repeat these passages over and over till they become a part of your very being. Of course, you can always choose to do more. Prayerfully consider how you can saturate your soul and make His Word a part of your heart every day.
FUNDAMENTAL BELIEF # 10: The Experience of Salvation
In infinite love and mercy God made Christ, who knew no sin, to be sin for us, so that in Him we might be made the righteousness of God. Led by the Holy Spirit we sense our need, acknowledge our sinfulness, repent of our transgressions, and exercise faith in Jesus as Savior and Lord, Substitute and Example. This saving faith comes through the divine power of the Word and is the gift of God’s grace. Through Christ we are justified, adopted as God’s sons and daughters, and delivered from the lordship of sin. Through the Spirit we are born again and sanctified; the Spirit renews our minds, writes God’s law of love in our hearts, and we are given the power to live a holy life. Abiding in Him we become partakers of the divine nature and have the assurance of salvation now and in the judgment.
A. Jeremiah 31:33-34 (NKJV) – “But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put my law in their minds, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall know Me from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity and their sin I will remember no more.”
B. Ezekiel 33:11 (NKJV) – “Say to them: ‘As I live,’ says the Lord God, ‘I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn, turn from your evil ways! For why should you die, O house of Israel?’ ”
C. Romans 3:23-24 (NIV) – “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.”
D. Galatians 2:20 (NIV) – “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”
6. REMEMBERING AND KEEPING IN FOCUS OUR 2020 VISION
VISION III: Organize Houses of Prayer
PRAY AND COMMIT to develop a plan in which every church building of the Carolina Conference will be a church of HOPE (Houses of Prayer Everywhere). This must include specific, publicized times in which our church sanctuaries may be accessed by:
Members of the church individually and collaboratively united in Prayer.
Youth and Young Adult Prayer Bands.
Individual and groups from the community with specific needs.
The primary function of this strategy is to realize that our greatest source of power is by seeking the Lord in personal prayer and by listening to His voice as we reflect on His Word. In Acts 1:8, before returning home to His Father, Jesus’ final words to His disciples are that prayer will be the power behind our being effective witnesses for Christ to the people whose lives we touch each day.
HOPE – is an acronym for Houses of Prayer Everywhere. Here in the Carolinas, it’s our desire to join in a partnership initiative with the North American Division to experience what we all long to see in our lifetime – the outpouring of the Latter Rain across the vast territory of North America.
I thank God for Beth Grissom, our Director for Prayer Ministries. I praise Him for those who have faithfully engaged in our most recent initiative of 100 Days of Prayer to navigate the unchartered waters created by the recent COVID-19 pandemic that has engulfed virtually every corner of our global habitation.
My heartfelt desire is that EVERY CAROLINA CHURCH will have an actively engaged prayer ministries director and that together all our prayer meetings will bathe the Carolinas in the power of an intimate dependence on Christ for HIS wisdom, healing and blessing. I love that beautiful promise and assurance that begins with a BIG, little word – IF
“If My people who are called by My name
will humble themselves, and pray and
seek My face, and turn from their wicked
ways, then I will hear from heaven, and
will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
2 Chronicles 7:14
7. REMEMBERING AND UPLIFTING GOD’S ANOINTED LEADERS FOR THE SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTIST CHURCH IN CONTINUOUS PRAYER
Be part of God’s praying church across North America for these leaders also who guide God’s work in these territories of God’s vineyard: