June 2021 Carolina's 10,000 P5
1. TAKING TIME TO PRAISE OUR GRACIOUS GOD
Praising God is so important that if people don't praise Him, creation would praise Him. Eventually, everyone will praise Him. Philippians 2:10 says that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow. This is not restricted to those who love Him—it says everyone will bow.
The Website of The Christian Index highlights seven scriptural reason for which we should praise the Lord:
1. The Bible commands it. As the Psalmist says, “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord” (Psalm 150:6).
2. Praise facilitates access to God. Our perpetual praise provides a clear and unhindered passage as we seek to be in the presence of God. Therefore, “Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise” (Psalm 100:4).
3. Praise is where God lives. Yes, God is omnipresent. Yet His presence is especially intense in an atmosphere of praise. After all, the Bible reveals to us that God is enthroned upon the praises of Israel (Psalm 22.3)
4. Praise promotes productivity. According to the Word, the Earth yields its produce in the presence of praise (Psalm 17:5-6). I really like Jack Taylor’s commentary in his book The Hallelujah Factor. “When we praise, productivity is maximized, fulfillment is realized, and frustration is neutralized” (p. 31).
5. Praise chases away despair. There’s no better way to beat the blues than to change our focus from self to God. Such a shift produces “the oil of gladness instead of mourning” (Isaiah 61:3).
6. Praise is an effective weapon against the devil. I firmly believe Satan, once the good angel Lucifer and God’s praise leader (Isaiah 14), was dismissed from heaven and doomed to destruction due to his desire to be equal with God. He has hated praise ever since because of its reminder of what he gave up and can’t regain.
7. God is worthy of it. The Lord is great and worthy of our praise. “Worthy are You, our Lord and our God to receive glory and honor and power, for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created” (Revelation 4:11).
Carolina Praises this month:
We praise God for an amazing year of His gracious giving through the faithfulness of God’s people in both tithe and evangelism. During the pandemic year of 2020, they were both higher than expected and returning to the Lord His tithes and evangelism giving are now higher than where we were last year. For this we praise the Lord as we dedicate these resources to fulfill the sacred calling and mission that Christ has entrusted to His church.
We praise the Lord for an amazing year of baptisms and POF’s (Professions of Faith) that gave us the highest gain of the 8 conferences of the Southern Union. We praise the Lord for the faithful labors of our conference evangelist (Elder Steve Vail), our pastors, Volunteer Lay Pastors, Volunteer Lay Leaders, our Literature Evangelists, Bible Workers and Elders of our local churches who dedicate their energies to evangelism, soul winning and Bible Studies to reap a harvest for Heaven.
We praise the Lord for the impact that our Virtual Camp Meeting has had and is continuing to have on the lives of our Carolina family and beyond. The theme of “Thy Will be Done” was the heart-breaking cry of Christ as He submitted to His Father’s will for our salvation all alone in the Garden of Gethsemane. A special appreciation is extended to each of our speakers, the Children’s Ministries Department, and most of all the Communication Department who made it possible for us to receive a blessing as a united family of believers even though we could not meet as desired at our beautiful setting at Lake Junaluska.
2. PRAYING FOR NEEDS ACROSS OUR CONFERENCE
God loves us and He wants us to bring every burden and concern we have to Him in prayer. The Bible says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God” (Philippians 4:6).
Mills River SDA School has been so important to the community that they have grown in student attendance over the last few years! They desperately need space to accommodate full time students. They also provide a home school enrichment day once a week for home-schooled students to have classes in an environment with their peers. Enrichment classes include choir, art, guitar, physical education, Spanish and educational field trips. Many families are in need of the option of Christian education for their children.
Due to the ever-increasing-number of students they have been blessed with, it is their hope and plan to start construction on a new school building in 2021. They keep their tuition as low as possible only to maintain the school, therefore their school does not have the funds for a new building. We know that through faith, God will provide the needs of our church school in Mills River. Please join us in prayer by adding the Mills River SDA School Project to your prayer list. May Heaven open up generous hearts to assist in the accomplishment of their needs.
Wake Forest Seventh-day Adventist Church Building Project. For the past several years our church family in Wake Forest has dreamed of the day when they would have their own church building. After years of fundraising and efforts they were able to purchase an ideal property in this expensive city north of Raleigh. Much planning, effort and expense have been invested in this building initiative.
However, with extremely stringent city codes and rising building costs, the church has run out of money to finish the project of their dreams.
Today we have an unfinished church in Wake Forest without the possibility of procuring an occupancy permit unless the Lord helps our church family with a miracle of financial resources above and beyond all that the Carolina Conference has already invested to assist them with this project.
Join me as we all make this a matter of prayer so that the Holy Spirit will convict generous hearts across the Carolinas to do their part to help our sister church in Wake Forest. By God’s grace and with His blessing, I pray that we will be able to celebrate this year with the realization of their dream come true. All gifts to this project are tax-deductible and may be sent through the Carolina Conference for the Wake Forest Church Building Fund.
Replacement of the HVAC System for Adventist Christian Academy in Charlotte, NC
The original HVAC (Heat, Ventilation, Air-Conditioning) units for the gymnasium at ACA have given decades of service but are no longer operating. In fact they quit functioning months ago. Multiple contractors have been contacted with a request to provide a quote to replace the units along with the cost of labor. They have two competent contractors both of whom have business relationships with knowledgeable persons within our church and school community.
The proposals have been submitted at $58,000 and $62,000. They are still in the process of evaluating the details of each proposal. Regardless of which contractor is hired, we need to raise $58,000 to $62,000. That is a certainly big-ticket item for our church school. Please prayerfully reflect on how you can be a conference family prayer partner and integral part of this church and its school project.
Saving Blue Ridge Adventist Christian School (BRACS)
Every year at this time, the board members, constituents, alumni and friends of Blue Ridge Adventist Christian School (BRACS) must make an important and responsible decision as they prepare for another year of school.
However, the coming school year of 2021-2022 is a little different and perhaps, a little more urgent.
While compared to much of our country, the beautiful mountain area around Waynesville, North Carolina (just next to Lake Junaluska) has been somewhat of a refuge for the health assault of the COVID pandemic menace. However, the financial effects have been quite devastating to many of their church members. What this means is that some who have heavily funded BRACS in the past will be forced to reduce their financial support this year. While the Lord has richly blessed their school through various fundraisers, they are preparing for the future and the possibility of more difficult times to come.
When these types of challenges come their way, they recognize that Jesus coming must be so much nearer. We know that Satan is desperate and working frantically to ensnare our precious children and youth. More than ever they need the influence of a daily Christ-centered education.
The Waynesville Church budget can only subsidize a very small percentage of the cost of operating a church school. BRACS continues to grow, with an anticipated increase in their enrollment for next year. For that, we are praising the Lord. However, the majority of their church school budget comes from donations earmarked for the school. In order not to jeopardize the continued operation of the school for next year, they will need to raise $24,000.00 in addition to their tuition income.
The outpouring of loving generosity through pledges and prayers last year helped them make it through the past school year. Join Carole and me as we pray for and financially do our part to keep our small church school in Waynesville shining as a beautiful light to the children of the Blue Ridge Mountains in western North Carolina.
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
Thomasville SDA Church
Lexington SDA Church
Liberty SDA Mission Group
2. Mark Kim ..............................................................................................................................................Pastor
Raleigh Korean SDA Company
3. Sung Kim ............................................................................................................................................Pastor
Greensboro Korean SDA Church
4. Ross Knight ..............................................................................................Associate Youth Pastor
Spartanburg SDA Church
5. Jose LaPorte, Jr. ..........................................................................................................................Pastor
Little Creek Adventist Fellowship Church
Little Creek Spanish SDA Mission Group
Goldsboro SDA Church
6. Tony LaPorte .................................................................................................................................Pastor
Charleston SDA Church
Monks Corner SDA Church
Lieber Correctional SDA Group
7. Kenneth Lee ..................................................................................................................................Pastor
Delco SDA Church
Elizabethtown SDA Church
Whiteville 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 doing or are accomplishing, but rather to simply uplift in our prayers all our leaders and their faithful service. The ministries of the Carolina Conference are basically structured under 6 organizational departmental functions. They include:
1. The Adventist Christian Book Center
2. Camp Meeting
5. Church Ministries
6. Children & Young Adults
Over the past few months, we have focused our prayers with the departmental functions of Church Ministries. Beginning with this issue of the P5, we will continue with a focus on the ministries of the Carolina Conference that impact our children and young adults.
So during this month of June,
I invite you to prayerfully uplift our
under the leadership of Gary Rouse, Superintendent of Education
Rick Anderson, Associate Superintendent of Education &
Renee Earle, Secretary
The Office of Education oversees all of the Conference schools from early childhood through grade 12. They strive to ensure that each and every one of our schools is providing the highest quality of education possible in harmony with the standards of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. They accomplish this through the following:
School and teacher evaluations
Working with the Southern Union Adventist EDGE Initiative
Annual teacher conventions
Study groups that meet throughout the year.
The goal of our department is to empower teachers as they in turn empower our young people to share Christ with the world.
5. SATURATED WITH THE WORD – Fundamental Belief # 23 – Marriage and the Family
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 # 23: Marriage and the Family Marriage was divinely established in Eden and affirmed by Jesus to be a lifelong union between a man and a woman in loving companionship. For the Christian a marriage commitment is to God as well as to the spouse and should be entered into only between a man and a woman who share a common faith. Mutual love, honor, respect, and responsibility are the fabric of this relationship, which is to reflect the love, sanctity, closeness, and permanence of the relationship between Christ and His church. Regarding divorce, Jesus taught that the person who divorces a spouse, except for fornication, and marries another, commits adultery. Although some family relationships may fall short of the ideal, a man and a woman who fully commit themselves to each other in Christ through marriage may achieve loving unity through the guidance of the Spirit and the nurture of the church. God blesses the family and intends that its members shall assist each other toward complete maturity. Increasing family closeness is one of the earmarks of the final gospel message. Parents are to bring up their children to love and obey the Lord. By their example and their words they are to teach them that Christ is a loving, tender, and caring guide who wants them to
A. Genesis 2: 18 & 24 (NKJV) — “And the Lord God said, It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him…. Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.”
B. Malachi 2:16 (NKJV) — “For the Lord God of Israel says that He hates divorce, for it covers one’s garment with violence, says the Lord of hosts. Therefore, take heed to your spirit that you do not deal treacherously.”
C. Ephesians 5:22-23 (ESV) — “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word.”
D. 2 Corinthians 6:14 (ESV) — “Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?”
6. 2021 FOCUS ON SPECIAL PROJECTS
Between now and the completion of this year, I would like to highlight three Special Projects in the Carolina Conference which need our focus, prayers and support. Here’s a schedule for the remaining months of 2021:
OUR FOCUS FOR JUNE: Renovation of the Girls’ Dormitory at Mount Pisgah Academy
By faith we are moving forward!! During the month of June, a wonderful Maranatha Volunteer group is gathered on our campus to begin a major task of renovations for the residence of our ladies at Mount Pisgah Academy. They will pull out carpets, demolish closets, add new furniture, flooring, electrical outlets, USB ports, and overhead lighting.
Careful planning has involved changing the rooms from their original design. The delay was a blessing in that it allowed them to realize that more durable furniture was needed in a dorm setting. The new furniture is modern, sleek, and a commercial grade product.
In addition to the Maranatha Volunteers team, the academy will be using some contractors to perform some of the demolition. During the school year, they moved some of the girls around and began the task of moving some of the old furniture out.
Their goal is complete the entire dorm this summer. Bathrooms are in need of upgrades, and the academy would like to hire professional plumbers to address and resolve some of the existing functional issues. The bathroom project is next on the list and will be handled in the very near future.
We need our friends, alumni, and church members who feel it’s time to show our girls and our future students that we want them to have a beautiful and comfortable place to study, pray and to call home.
As the saying goes, many hands make light work, so many and all donations will ensure our girls’ rooms to be completed this summer. Thank you for your prayers for this project and to all who give out of love and support for our academy at MPA.
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 by uplifting these leaders also in the Pacific Union of Seventh-day Adventists and the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Canada who guide God’s work in these territories of God’s vineyard: