“This day belongs to the Lord! Let’s celebrate and be glad today.…The Lord is our God, and he has given us Light! Start the Celebration!” Psalm 118:24, 27
This passage is found within the context of a servant who has gone through numerous trials. Yet, in the midst of each one, God was there for him. The servant saw God’s faithfulness and salvation. Isn’t that just the opposite of what we do many times? We seem to forget that God has saved us and has been faithful to stand by us in the midst of our trials. The servant shows us that we can celebrate in the difficult, as well as the good times of our lives.
This month, I want to focus on celebrating what God has done through you all in Pickens Baptist Association. First of all, the second Puerto Rico disaster relief trip went way beyond what I could have imagined. We had a long list of projects, I wondered if we could get them done even with the help of the DR team from Colbert/Lauderdale association, but…the 2 teams did that and more. It was amazing to see how our DR leader, Gary Rogers, led us to accomplish this ministry. Also, our team (Glenn Kennedy, Lee Plowman, Ron Sick, Richie Schoolar, and I) and the DR team led by Keith Small and Director of Missions for Colbert/Lauderdale association, Eddy Garner, worked together like a “well-oiled machine.”
One of the great experiences was our conversations with the church neighbors. We would stop and talk for several minutes as they asked questions about why we’re doing what we were doing. Of course, our answer was “because Christ sent us to help you.” This answer was overwhelming for them. I found out last night that one of those couples was in church on Sunday. Continue to pray for God to reach these neighbors and others like them in Isabela with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Now, I want to brag a little about our churches. I remember my challenge to PBA to reach $100,000 for our 2017-18 Lottie Moon Christmas goal. Last year, we gave over $73,000. As of February 1, our churches have given over $91,000. Can you believe it?? Thank you for your promotion, giving, and praying for international missions.
Now is the time for our Annie Armstrong Easter Offering. In 2017, our churches did very well in giving more than $46,000 to North American missions. Pray and consider what your church can give in 2018. Could PBA give over $50,000? These monies are being used to fund North American missionaries, mission points, mission projects, and other ministries. Our WMU has already scheduled the “Act Like Annie” event for Saturday, March 10 to emphasize North American missions to our GAs/RAs. What will your church do?
I want to highlight a couple of other celebrations taking place within our churches. First of all, Brother Bob Little is celebrating 18 years of pastoral ministry at Galilee Baptist Church on Sunday, February 18. What a great job he has done there! Next, Brother Joe Fondren at Cross Roads Baptist Church will be baptizing 3 people on Sunday, February 18. That’s fantastic! I’m sure there are many other churches doing the same. Let us hear about it, so we can celebrate together. Finally, PBA is planning our associational international and North American mission trips. Our international trips are Brazil and Honduras, while our North American mission trips include Gatlinburg, TN, New Orleans, LA, Portland, OR, and Isabela, Puerto Rico. If you need more information, contact Mr. Buddy Kirk (Brazil), Logan McCool (Honduras), and Lyle Dease (North American trips). There is still time to sign up.
Don’t forget about the Pinewood Derby races on Saturday, February 24 at Pickensville Baptist Church at 1 pm. Registration begins at 12 noon. This will be our first time to experience the races, and we’re excited. Claren is preparing her car to win. I’m looking forward to seeing dads, moms, sons, and daughters there to cheer on one another to victory.
Finally, I appreciate all the churches, schools, and organizations who have supplied food to the Baptist Center. More and more folks come by the office asking for help, and it’s good to send them to the Baptist Center knowing that they’ll receive the help they need.
May God continue to bless each of our churches, our members, our leaders, and our pastors! May we extend God’s Kingdom throughout Pickens Baptist Association.