October 2021 Carolina's 10,000 P5
1. PRAYING FOR MUSTARD SEEDS
The Parable of the Mustard Seed is contained in all three of the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew 13:31–32; Mark 4:30–32; Luke 13:18–19). In this parable, Jesus predicts the amazing growth of the kingdom of heaven. The mustard seed is quite small, but it grows into a large shrub—up to ten feet in height—and Jesus says this is a picture of kingdom growth.
Speaking of the example of the tiniest of all seeds, the mustard seed, Jesus effectively emphasized the power of small beginnings and how they could turn into manifold growth reaching all throughout the world. Invariably, Jesus taught us all that in order to reach out from near to faraway lands, you must start with a small beginning. The small mustard seed not only emphasizes our degree of faith in the Lord, but also the power of a little endeavor spreading out to great multitudes.
It may be simply sharing a Glow Tract. It may be offering a prayer, gifting someone with a witnessing book, praying with someone [I just prayed for and with my physician after an appointment yesterday], studying the Bible with someone, inviting someone to a series of Bible-based meetings, going on a ShareHim trip to share the gospel message, praying for the blessing of the Holy Spirit on a series of evangelistic meetings, and the list of possibilities could expand well beyond these few suggestions.
The most recent and final issue of 2021 of the Carolina Action focuses on the work of evangelism. Evangelism and discipleship go hand in hand as the heartbeat of Christ’s calling and commission to His church during these closing moments of earth’s history.
During the summer months of this year, we completed a series of meetings in partnership with Southern Adventist University with a field school of evangelism that spanned 11 churches in the tri-city region of North Carolina. Last month I had the opportunity of visiting the Rutherfordton Church in North Carolina where Pastor George Garrick is leading out in a Prophecy Seminar. Pastor Steve Vail, our conference evangelist is concluding a series of meetings in Erwin Hills and is preparing to begin another series in Hendersonville, NC. Pastor Eric Bates will be hosting a series beginning this weekend at the Arden Church with speaker Patti Butcher on Revelation Today.
These and many more evangelistic endeavors are being dedicated to the sole purpose of fulfilling Jesus commission in Matthew 28:19-20 – to “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Amen.” It is accompanied with the promise and beautiful assurance of Matthew 24:14 – “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.”
Join me in praying that by the end of this year, we will reach another milestone of a million dollars for evangelistic endeavors in the 169 churches and companies of the Carolinas. With over 24,000 members, let’s flood the field with mustard seeds that will yield another bumper crop of resources to hasten the day when we will behold the face of our Savior and Lord! We did it in 2019! We did it again in 2020 during the year of the pandemic! Let’s pray for it again in 2021 and every year till we are finally home with Jesus.
Join me in praying for the upcoming evangelistic endeavors through the remaining months of 2021 as we dedicate our efforts in seeking to save the lost. In 2019 we added to the churches of the Carolinas 873 members by baptisms and professions of faith. In 2020 that number was significantly impacted by the pandemic to just 350 – a loss of 523 in kingdom growth from the previous year. It is still, however, a miraculous moment for prayerful praise that 350 precious hearts were added to Christ’s remnant church in the Carolinas during this challenging time. We can praise the Lord even more that as of the end of September 2021 we’ve had 461 baptisms and professions of faith – already showing an increase of 241 from where we were last September in Christ’ kingdom of growth in the Carolinas. By God’s grace and blessing let’s earnestly pray for the outpouring of latter rain power so we can rejoice in realizing mustard seed miracles across the Carolinas with thousands of faithful disciples for Christ’s kingdom.
2. TAKING TIME TO PRAISE OUR GRACIOUS GOD
Praising God is full of benefits. During the past two month we reflected on
these four benefits:
1. It’s a means by which we come into His presence.
2. It’s a means by which we perceive God’s glory.
3. Praise is where God lives.
4. Praise promotes productivity.
This month let’s consider two more benefits of praising the name of the Lord
Praise renews our strength. Life is hard, and the Christian life is more challenging. At times we are left vulnerable by the issues of life. This vulnerability causes us to make mistakes. But when we praise God, He renews us in our inner being. The truth is that we cannot manage this life in our own strength. We need divine help and intervention. When you find yourself stressed, turn to God, and praise Him. It won’t be easy, but when you do that, the Lord will renew your strength, and His favor will enable you to conquer the giant obstacles in your life. (Psalms 103:1-5)
Praise prevents depression. The world wants us to believe that they are having fun, and we are the ones that are living depressed lives. But that’s not true. Life without God is depressing. When we focus on God and spend time in His presence every day, praising and loving Him, we repel depression and attract peace and joy in our hearts. If you’re struggling with depression, fear, and anxiety, start praising God. He will take away your worries, doubts, and stress and fill you with inner peace. (Isaiah 61:3)
In our last issue of the President’s Prayer Partners’ Praises and Petitions (or as we have come to abbreviate it as P5) we began by uplifting and praising God for each of our Universities in the Southern Union Conference and the academies within the territory of the Carolina Conference. With this issue through May of 2022, we will be uplifting our church schools and the principals/head teachers and teachers who are making a profound impact on the hearts and minds of our children and youth. Let’s pray specifically for:
God’s protective care over our teachers, parents, and students during this pandemic period that has impacted all of our lives during the past two years.
For wisdom and happiness in the lives of each of our principals, head teachers and teachers as they mentor and prepare our student for a life of service on this earth, but most importantly for their citizenship in Heaven.
For our school boards and church boards as they manage the operation of each of our church schools as centers consecrated for the salvation and education of our children and youth.
3. PRAISES AND PRAYERS FOR A SPECIAL NEED IN OUR CONFERENCE
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 there with a miracle of financial resources above and beyond all that the Carolina Conference has already invested to assist them with completing this project. Here’s the latest update on what they have raised so far toward their needed fund total to procure their occupancy permit:
In 2019, $99,390.00 was the amount needed for Phase 1 (to obtain occupancy). The amount needed for Phase 2 (was $150,000.00. Unfortunately, as construction costs continue to increase due to Covid, the amount needed is far greater.
Join me as we continue to 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 in a service of worship and praise with the realization of their dream come true. All gifts to this project are tax-deductible and may be sent one of two ways:
Wake Forest SDA Church
3650 Rogers Road #336
Wake Forest, NC 27587
▪ Click the “Online Giving” tab at top to open the envelope page.
▪ Enter amount in the “Building Fund” line item.
▪ Go to the bottom of the envelope & follow the steps to complete the donation transaction.
4. 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. Jose (Fredy) Rivera ...................................................................................................................Pastor
Evans Correctional SDA Mission Group
Rockingham Cornerstone SDA Church
Rockingham Spanish SDA Church
Monroe Spanish SDA Church
2. Phillip Roberts .............................................................................Pastor & Overseeing Pastor*
Sumter SDA Church
Columbia Midtown SDA Church
Camden SDA Church*
3. Eli Rojas, Jr. ...................................................................................................................................Pastor
Manteo Spanish SDA Group
Elizabeth City Harbor of Hope SDA Church
Outer Banks Living Waters SDA Group
4. Christopher Rollins .................................................................................................................Pastor
Charlotte Myanmar International SDA Church
York SDA Church
Mint Hill Community SDA Mission Group
Fort Mill SDA Church
Mizo SDA Mission Group
5. Phil Rosburg ..........................................................................................................Associate Pastor
Asheville Foster SDA Church
6. Benjamin Rueda .......................................................................................................................Pastor
Winston Salem Spanish SDA Church
Burlington Spanish SDA Company
Greensboro Spanish SDA Mission Group
Salisbury Spanish SDA Company
7. Josue Sanchez ...........................................................................................................................Pastor
Florence Adventist SDA Company
Lumber River SDA Company
Florence First SDA Church
5. PRAYING FOR OUR DEPARTMENTAL MINISTRIES
Beginning 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. The Ministries of the Carolina Conference are basically structured under 6 organizational department functions. They include:
1. The Adventist Christian Book Center
2. Camp Meeting
5. Church Ministries
6. Children & Young Adults
Last month, we began the second full cycle of remembering all the ministry departments of the Carolina Conference. With this October issue, we wish to uplift the ministry of Camp Meeting! Remember Camp Meeting? Yes, I said it…CAMP MEETING!! By God’s grace we are planning on having Camp Meeting again…in person… at Lake Junaluska!! Hallelujah! Let’s pray that all the plans that have been made by our Camp Meeting Committee come to fruition next May. Let’s pray that our gracious God will lift the challenges and restrictions of our past two years of pandemic pain so we can once again come together and experience the glorious fellowship of our family in Christ as we long for the grandest camp meeting of all eternity beside the Crystal Sea.
6. SATURATED WITH THE WORD – Fundamental Belief #27 – The Millenium and The End of Sin
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 # 27: The Millennium and The End of Sin The millennium is the thousand-year reign of Christ with His saints in heaven between the first and second resurrections. During this time the wicked dead will be judged; the earth will be utterly desolate, without living human inhabitants, but occupied by Satan and his angels. At its close Christ with His saints and the Holy City will descend from heaven to earth. The unrighteous dead will then be resurrected, and with Satan and his angels will surround the city; but fire from God will consume them and cleanse the earth. The universe will thus be freed of sin and sinners forever.
A. Jeremiah 4: 23-26 (NKJV) — “I beheld the earth, and indeed it was without form, and void; and the heavens, they had no light. 24I beheld the mountains, and indeed they trembled, and all the hills moved back and forth. 25I beheld, and indeed there was no man, and all the birds of the heavens had fled. 26I beheld, and indeed the fruitful land was a wilderness, and all its cities were broken down at the presence of the Lord, by His fierce anger.”
B. Malachi 4:1 (NKJV) — “ ‘For behold, the day is coming, burning like an oven, and all the proud, yes all who do wickedly will be stubble. And the day which is coming shall burn them up.’ Says the Lord of hosts, ‘that will leave them neither root nor branch.’ ”
C. I Corinthians 6:2-3 (NKJV) — “Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world will be judged by you, are you unworthy to judge the smallest matters? 3Do you not know that we shall judge angels? How much more things that pertain to this life?”
D. Revelation 21:1-5 (NKJV) —“Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. 2Then I John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, ‘Behold the tabernacle of God is with men, and God Himself will be with them and be their God. 4And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.’ 5Then He who sat on the throne said, ‘Behold, I make all things new.’ And He said to me, ‘Write, for these words are true and faithful.’ ”
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: