1. REMEMBERING DADS
In a few more days here and around the world we will celebrate the gift of fathers and what they mean to our homes and to each of us as the greater family of mankind. Just a little over a year of time has swept over my life since this picture was taken on the last Friday night (February 8, 2019) that I shared with my Dad. Exactly two weeks later, he fell asleep in Jesus. My Dad was often serious and pensive; but the counsel and care-filled thoughts he shared with me were like apples of gold. Whenever Dad did laugh, it became contagious in the room, but I will never forget the warmth of his sincere smile.
Both my Dad and Mom lived a very simple life, but Dad especially had a compassionate heart of generosity to anyone in need – especially to anyone in our family. He loved to read and had an amazing wealth of historical knowledge. No wonder! He had a Masters Degree in history! My love of reading books was one of the greatest gifts dad gave me. The greatest gift to me, however, was his love for Jesus and his passionate loyalty to the Seventh-day Adventist Church. As I was growing up, I often thought that Dad was somewhat old-fashioned, and sometimes I thought the same of his clothes. But now that I can step back from my vantage point of time and space, I see how there was an atmosphere of godliness that clothed him till the day he closed his eyes this side of Heaven for the last time. How I miss him and long for that day when I will celebrate Father’s Days for eternity together with him and my Heavenly Father.
Some of you may not be able to recall positive father figures, because of abuse or loss of your dad early in your life. Most of our dads did the best they could do with what they had. Most earthly fathers aren’t perfect, and neither are any of us whom God has blessed with the sacred responsibility of being dads. Regardless of our circumstances (or theirs), God assures us that He is “a father to the fatherless” (Psalm 68:5, NIV). He not only heals our memories; He is the perfect father who never breaks His promise, who loves us unconditionally, and who delights in spending time with His children. It is for the fathers, families, and children of our nation that we uplift in our prayers today and during this month of June.
2. A PRAYER FOR PEACE
During the past few weeks Carole and I have joined a few, but regular group of prayer warriors from across our conference and one “Carolina-at-heart” guest from Maryland on our prayer line. We meet to meditate on the precious promises and praises of scripture and to pray for an hour each Monday evening. We also spend 15 minutes on each of the other evenings of the week as part of our 100 Days of Prayer initiative launched by Beth Grissom as our Prayer Ministries Director.
For much of this time our focus has been on the COVID-19 pandemic and the challenges it has brought into our lives. However, the enemy of mankind has been relentless in attacking our nation and the global community with another pandemic of racial turmoil. Many of us are haunted by those final three words of George Floyd when he agonizingly cried out – “I can’t breathe.” Such hateful violence that led to his untimely death has fostered both a national and global movement of anger and hatred toward law enforcement officials and governing authorities.
Sadly horrible acts of injustice have fueled counter acts of revenge, looting and violence. What a sad, heartbreaking storm has engulfed our lives.
Racism is nothing but evil. It is never, ever right to insinuate or propagate racial slurs, to laugh at jokes that denigrate any person for whom Christ shed His precious blood on a cruel cross. That blood places an enormous value on the worthiness of every human life. When anyone feels they are superior to others, they endorse hatred that can lead to murder. It began with two brothers – Cain and Abel – and continues to fester between brothers.
It is especially heartbreaking when this happens in the church that represents the family of God. Remember that song we used to sing a few years ago – “We are one is the Spirit; we are one in the Lord…and they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love. Yes, they’ll know that we are Christians by our love.”
We’re all witnesses with horror to what happens when evil prompts police officers or people to act in satanic ways. At the same time let’s recognize that there are many honorable police who put their lives on the line for you and me every day. Let’s honor the men and women who are taking a stand to speak out and to demonstrate Christ’s love from a simple smile to very tangible acts of caring. We cannot remain inactive or dismissive on this issue. That was the response of a priest and a Levite in Jesus story of the “Good Samaritan.” It was Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. who once said the “There comes a time when silence is betrayal.” The gospel of Jesus is one that calls each of us to action.
So what can we do? It would not be appropriate for me to delineate a list of do’s and don’ts on this matter. Pray for Heaven’s peace. Pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit to prompt you to do whatever would generate the applause of the angels and the Lord of glory. Pray that whatever we do will be guided by the life and teachings of Jesus.
As we pray for His peace to prevail through the turmoil of these times, may we ever keep in mind what God desires of each us as His church as penned by a founding leader and faithful messenger of the Lord to the Seventh-day Adventist Church:
“From the beginning it has been God’s plan that through His church will be made
manifest – even to principalities and powers in the heavenly places the final
and the full display of the love of God.”
Ellen G. White
The Acts of the Apostles, Page 9
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
Greenville North Spanish Church
Mt. Olive Spanish Church
Dudley Spanish Company
Albertson Spanish Company
2. Duane Maracle................................................................................................................Pastor
Clinton-Laurens County Church
3. Roosevelt Marsden.........................................................................................................Pastor
Fayetteville Korean Mission Group
4. Glenn Marshall................................................................................................................Pastor
Bryson City Church
5. Richard Maskelony..........................................................................................................Pastor
Florence First Church
Florence Adventist Company
Lumber River Company
6. Steve McKoy............................................................................................Volunteer Lay Pastor
7. Jonathan Michael............................................................................................................Pastor
Mount Pisgah Academy 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 the departmental functions of Administration and Outreach. We continue with this issue to focus on another vital outreach departmental ministry – that of International Mission Trips.
So during this month of June, I invite you to prayerfully uplift our Carolina Conference International Missions Department under the leadership of Elder Phil Rosburg & his secretary, Zuri Scroggins.
The Carolina Conference is dedicated to supporting world-wide mission projects. We have sponsored many mission trips to places such as Honduras, Africa, Panama, and the Philippines.
Participants in these endeavors have had the privilege of seeing the communities and people they visit benefit from new churches, schools, or homes. They also experience the joy of sharing the Gospel through evangelistic-style meetings and Vacation Bible School programs.
Obviously we’ve had to press the pause button on these endeavors for 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic crisis. However, once the Lord carries us through this hurdle, please contact us if you would like to learn more about participating in future mission endeavors.
5. SATURATED WITH THE WORD – Fundamental Belief # 11 – Growing in Christ
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 # 11: Growing in Christ
By His death on the cross Jesus triumphed over the forces of evil. He who subjugated the demonic spirits during His earthly ministry has broken their power and made certain their ultimate doom. Jesus’ victory gives us victory over the evil forces that still seek to control us, as we walk with Him in peace, joy, and assurance of His love. Now the Holy Spirit dwells within us and empowers us. Continually committed to Jesus as our Savior and Lord, we are set free from the burden of our past deeds. No longer do we live in the darkness, fear of evil powers, ignorance, and meaninglessness of our former way of life. In this new freedom in Jesus, we are called to grow into the likeness of His character, communing with Him daily in prayer, feeding on His Word, meditating on it and on His providence, singing His praises, gathering together for worship, and participating in the mission of the Church. We are also called to follow Christ’s example by compassionately ministering to the physical, mental, social, emotional, and spiritual needs of humanity. As we give ourselves in loving service to those around us and in witnessing to His salvation, His constant presence with us through the Spirit transforms every moment and every task into a spiritual experience.
A. I Chronicles 29:11 (NKJV) – “Yours, O Lord, is the greatness, The Power and the glory, The victory and the majesty; For all that is in heaven and in earth is Yours; Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and You are exalted as head over all.”
B. Psalm 77:11-12 (NKJV) – “I will remember the works of the Lord; Surely I will remember Your wonders of old. I will also meditate on all Your work, and talk of Your deeds.”
C. Colossians 3:12-14 (NKJV) – “Therefore as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, long-suffering bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another, even as Christ forgave you, so you must also do. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.”
D. I Corinthians 5:17 (NKJV) – “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”
6. PRAYING FOR THE MINISTRY OF ADVENTIST WORLD AVIATION (AWA)
It has been our blessing to serve as the host and home conference for the ASI Ministry of Adventist World Aviation (AWA). Both the ministry of AWA and the ministry of ShareHim were founded by the gifted and consecrated leadership of former Carolina Conference & General Conference President Bob Folkenberg.
This year AWA will be celebrating their 25th Anniversary. Although their path has twisted and turned, their ministry has had clear goals with objectives that will never change unless the Lord directs them otherwise.
Adventist World Aviation exists with a mission to provide aviation and communication support to those serving the physical, mental, and spiritual needs of the unreached and forgotten peoples in various part of the world. They are headquartered in Smithfield, North Carolina approximately 30 miles from Raleigh. Elder Ric Swaningson is the President/CEO for AWA.
Recently Elder Moyer and I enjoyed a wonderful conversation with Elder Ric Swaningson with an update of AWA’s ministry. We asked him for some of the specific things in which we can uplift him and the ministry of AWA in prayer. Listed below are those things that he’s asked us to partner with him in prayer:
We need the travel restrictions, due to coronavirus, to be lifted so we can send workers into the field. We want everyone’s health and safety, but planes are waiting for annual inspections, and workers are not able to serve beyond their local village.
Even though we serve the health needs of the community. Mission workers are not impervious to health issues. In Nicaragua, our project manager has been down the last three weeks. Local flu, Dengue fever, chicken ganja? Malaria? COVID 19?? Who knows? He’s better today, but still struggling.
Our Canadian operations and our Global Operations manager. He has been in this position for a little over a year now and doing a fantastic job, but his workload is heavy!
The efficiency of our maintenance department and strength for our Director of maintenance. He has eight 8 aircraft in our HQ right now under some form of refurbishment or repair for delivery into the field or back to the field. He needs extra help: a qualified aircraft maintenance or high quality mechanics willing to volunteer and be led.
We are looking for two (2) dedicated interns. It is a three-year program but at the end, they will have their Aircraft Maintenance A&P certificate.
Praise God for AWA's newest mission workers and staff! They are indeed a pleasure to work with! Each one has a servant of the King! Attitude with a singular desire: They live to serve in the optimism of His work!
And last but not least the financial resourcing to meet these challenging times. Mission Aviation is not expensive; it is priceless! (We save lives!). Carole and I have chosen to provide a monthly donation to this ministry. Irrespective of whether it’s a small amount or larger amount, a consistent commitment of giving can ensure a blessing to sustain this ministry. To donate, simply visit Adventist World Aviation at www.FlyAWA.org or call 1-888-477-8945 to donate.
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: