Archive | March, 2013

Today’s sermon: On the Same Day

31 Mar

On the Same Day from Ebenezer BC on Vimeo.

Today’s sermon: Triumph

24 Mar

Triumph from Ebenezer BC on Vimeo.

Does Prayer make a difference??

18 Mar

I had a visit today.  I won’t name the visitor for now, but he is a friend and a member of Ebenezer.  He told a story that needs to be retold again and again.  For now, let’s call him “Norm.”

Norm’s career was in an industry that took him all over the world.  He did a lot of work in Europe, and that is where this TRUE story is set.  Through his travels he met a young man who was a card-carrying Marxist.  Let’s call him “Sam.”  Sam had no concept of God, and never wanted one.  In Norm’s travels, some of those with whom he worked started calling him “the Preacher” because of his willingness to share his faith.  (Let’s stop right here:  He was NOT a spy or was not working for OSS or the CIA.  He was working in textiles!!)

In spite of Norm’s religious believes, he and Sam became friends.  They both understood where the other stood with their beliefs, and yet they maintained a friendship that would last well past Norm’s retirement.  That is where the story gets interesting …

Norm came to prayer meeting one night, many years ago.  He told us that his friend Sam, in a European nation, had been diagnosed with colon cancer and wanted us to add him to the church prayer list.  He also expressed concern that the medical care in this country might not be as good as what Sam could receive in America.  We began to pray for Sam, because we knew it meant so much to Norm.

There are a couple of miracles in this story.   One of them is that Sam recovered well, and is still alive and healthy today.  But the next is really where the power of God and the power of prayer intersect…  Sam, this card-carrying Marxist, is now in a relationship with Jesus Christ!!  And HE now prays for Norm and others all around him!!  The seeds were sown when Norm told Sam that a church in Florence, SC, was praying for him.  This puzzled Sam… WHY would they care about him??  WHAT would motivate them to pray for him??

I don’t know the details of the journey.  Maybe Sam will tell us one day.  But Norm is OVERJOYED today, because his friend Sam is SAVED!!!  And Norm attributes this to the POWER OF GOD and the POWER OF PRAYER.

Don’t EVER think your prayers do not matter!!  You never know what GOD will do!!

James 5:15  The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.

Today’s sermon: GO

17 Mar

Go from Ebenezer BC on Vimeo.

Learning the lesson

13 Mar

For those who follow Christ, there is a HUGE lesson to be learned in life … Don’t get me wrong:  There are MANY lessons to be learned over a lifetime of serving Him.  But there is one BIG ONE that will make life much more enjoyable … if you are willing and able to learn it!

At times in life, we map out EXACTLY how life is supposed to go.  We plan, prepare, and move towards an end we’ve developed in our lives.  And rarely do things EVER work out the way we imagine them.  So we beat our heads against the walls, we fret over the best-laid plans gone wrong, and we find very little peace in our lives.  And that, my friends, is natural and is EXACTLY what happens when we forget that GOD has a plan for us!!

He really does!! I am convinced with all of my being that God has a plan for every one of us, and if we follow His plan we WILL find peace and fulfillment in life that we will NEVER find without Him.  But we need to remember that His plans are NOT our plans … THEY ARE EVEN BETTER!!!  Sometimes we have to get a little ways down the road to see that, but it is true.  At least, that has ALWAYS been my experience.  In other words, this is not something I read in the Bible and HOPE is true:  This is something I’ve experienced OVER and OVER again in my life.  When the best plans I’ve made in my life go south, I’ve got to know that God has a BETTER plan for me.  It’s true!!!

Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV) “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Good food for a GREAT cause

11 Mar

NEXT Tuesday, March 19, Roger’s BBQ at 2004 Second Loop Road in Florence will be OPEN for Lunch (10am-2pm)!!  Proceeds will benefit the Honduras Mission Project of Ebenezer Baptist Church.  I was able to go last July for the first time and, quite frankly, my life will never be the same.

It wasn’t the well-over 1000 patients we helped in the medical clinics (I think some of them could be called frontier clinics)…  It wasn’t the absolute JOY and ABANDON of self  with which the Honduran believers approached their worship and belief in God Almighty … It wasn’t even the tears of joy I saw from those who received a Bible in their native language, something they couldn’t afford that only costs us the price of a cup of premium coffee.  No, it wasn’t any of those things, although they all reduced me to tears at times.

You want to know what changed my life while working in this mission:  It was seeing God’s hand at work in His MOST POWERFUL WAYS, and knowing without a doubt that there was NO EXPLANATION for some of what I saw except that it was HIS HAND.  Period.  Just like Saul of Tarsus and so many others would testify, once you come face-to-face with Christ, you life will NEVER be the same!!

So, this year not only am I going back to hand-deliver the Bibles that many of my friends have helped provide, but I am also trying to find a way to take the three other Wikelings with me!!  (Pray for me in that!!!)

But this BBQ is not for ME…  It is helping all of the mission team and all of our stuff to get there!  And providing us with materials with which we will do everything God calls us to do while we are there.

As I stated before, walk-ins are welcomed, but if you would like DELIVERY, please download the attached form and fax it back!!  And thanks for all of your help!!

Honduras BBQ Order Form

And, by the way:  If you want to help send Bibles, you can still do that too!!  Contact me and I will tell you how!!


Why are we having a special called business meeting?

11 Mar

Yes, a question many have asked.  I will tell you it is NOT to present a candidate for youth minister, although we are getting close to that (I think)…  But it IS related to that!!

In our search (and research) for finding the next youth pastor, we have found that Ebenezer has NOT done a good job of paying our youth minister…  Yes, with Justin we had a Cadillac but were paying him like he was a Ford Pinto.  NOT GOOD.  After confirming this fact through multiple sources (including the South Carolina Baptist Convention), we need to make some adjustments in order to find the right one!!!

Personnel went to Finance, and they agreed whole-heartedly … and THEN they found the money.  Money that was allocated for a van payment that was FINISHED in December of 2012!!!  So, the money we need to make this adjustment IS ALREADY IN THE BUDGET!!  We can make this adjustment without any impact to our weekly need!!  Isn’t it neat how God works these things out even before we realize we need them!!!

Soo … I know I haven’t answered all of the questions.  If you have any more, ask the Personnel Team:  Danny Parker, Danny Counts, Keith Pettigrew, Jumana Swindler (AKA “Ousier”), Kay Andrews, and Trudy Carter.  And be there on Sunday MORNING!!!

Today’s sermon: Making Disciples

10 Mar

Making Disciples from Ebenezer BC on Vimeo.

Two years ago … Yesterday

4 Mar

I really didn’t think about this but a couple of times yesterday, but March 3rd is the day that will always live in infamy in my life and mind … The day I broke both arms!!  The fact that I didn’t mark this day this year like I did last year tells most of the story … So far, recovery has been really good!!

I might regret writing this, but I still haven’t experienced pain like I was told I would.  The right elbow is 100% good, but it was the lesser of the two breaks.  The left elbow will not extend fully and will not rest fully, but I really don’t have pain.  I’m still limited in how I can use it and bend it, but there is no resting pain and no aching when it is cold outside or about to rain.  And I am quite thankful for that!!

It is all testimony to two big things in my life:  The healing power of God AND the fact that God DOES use even tragedies in the lives of His children to build His kingdom.  I’ve had more opportunities in the past two years because of this elbow that I would’ve never had!!  I remember laying in my hospital bed on morphine asking God over and over to use this somehow.  He has made good on that one, time and time again!!

So I am thankful that yesterday wasn’t that big of a deal for me!!  It’s just another story of God and His mighty healing power!!

Today’s sermon: Forgive

3 Mar