Monthly Archives: April 2015


The Hardest Times are the Best Times for Teaching

Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation. (Psalm 42:5)

On your hardest days do you sometimes lose it with your family? Of course, we’re human. More importantly, during that time are you doing things that compromise your integrity as parents, compromise your relationship with your precious angels, embarrass yourself in front of The Lord? It’s easy to pretend no one is watching when we behave less than desirably, but He is always watching and so are the children.

The eyes of the LORD are in every place, Watching the evil and the good. (Proverbs 15:3)

A mom I know had “one of those days” when everything was difficult and going “wrong”. She said, “I told my eldest child who was carefully observing my simmering emotions, ‘Some days are going to be like this, where you feel like everything is going wrong, but I want you to watch me CHOOSE to have a good attitude right now.'”

…we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. (Romans 5:2-5)

THAT is so awesome! From now on I’m going to put myself in the spotlight when I’m feeling like a volcano about to erupt. I’m going to turn a hard time into a teachable moment for my family. That’s so much better than the alternative, which of course is to explode and act less than desirable and then feel like a failure later.

Have a wonderful day sweet families. http://icons.iconarchive.com/icons/rokey/the-blacy/128/red-heart-icon.png

This post was taken from the Families! Change the World blog, written by Lisa LaFortune.


Pray for the Earthquake Victims in Nepal

I will lie down in peace and sleep, for you alone, O LORD, will keep me safe. (Psalm 4:8)

Many people in Nepal were in church when the earthquake first hit. The power went out, followed by a long and violent tremor. Churchgoers began praying and crying out to God for protection and safety. The congregation ran to exit the building, reports The Baptist Standard.

“We stood up and had time to hang onto each other but were then thrown to the ground,” said a survivor. “I would describe trying to get out like being on a trampoline with people carrying it and you’re trying to walk from one side of it to the other — completely off-centered and unsettling, nearly impossible. We both prayed, ‘Lord, please let us get out of this building.’”

Be gracious to me, O God, be gracious to me, For my soul takes refuge in You; And in the shadow of Your wings I will take refuge until destruction passes by. (Psalm 57:1)

The 7.8-magnitude earthquake, which occurred last Saturday about 50 miles outside the capital of Kathmandu reached as far as India, Bangladesh, and Tibet. It has been followed by more than 50 aftershocks.

What can we do?

First, support the rescuers.

RELEVANT, a website for young Christian adults, advises that this is not the time for individuals to go to Nepal. “The best thing that people can do is donate cash to a reputable organization that’s working over there.” Samaritan’s Purse, for example, is deploying a team 16 people to Nepal. They will take supplies for 15,000 households and work out of emergency shelters and hospitals to help the victims. You can donate here.

Most importantly, commit to pray for those in need.

  • Pray for those who lost family members.
  • Pray for those who are hungry and need shelter.
  • Pray for those who have not yet been found.
  • Pray for aid workers who are going to and working in a devastating situation.

Dear Lord,

We need you now to calm the fear, stress, and anxiety of those suffering from the Nepal earthquake. Please take their heavy burdens. Replace them with your humble and gentle yoke so they will find rest for their souls. Be with them so they can lie down tonight in peace and sleep. Please keep them daily, Lord, in your perfect peace.

Go here to add your prayer for the earthquake victims.


Armenian Genocide: Pray for the Christian Martyrs

Present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. (Romans 12:1)

Last Friday marked the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. It has been called the greatest symbol of Christian martyrdom in the 20th century.

Back then the Islamic Ottoman Empire dictated that Armenians, as Christians, had the right to worship but not freedom of religion (an important difference as discussed here). As second-class citizens, testimony against Muslims by Christians and Jews was inadmissible in court. They were forbidden to carry weapons or ride atop horses, their houses could not overlook those of Muslims, and their religious practices had to defer to Muslims. Punishment ranged from fines to execution.

Despite these obstacles, the Armenian community, which was concentrated in the eastern provinces of the Ottoman Empire, was better educated and wealthier than their Turkish neighbors. The Christians were resented for their success, and the Ottoman government believed that Christian Armenians would be more loyal to Christian governments (eg, Russia).

Starting in the mid-1860s, Armenians asked for better treatment. Peasants complained about looting and murder by Muslims in Armenian towns, improper tax collection, and criminal government behavior. The Ottoman government promised to punish those responsible, but little changed. The Christian minority continued to complain of widespread forced land seizure, forced conversions, arson, extortion, rape, and murder.

Then, in April 1915, the newly established Turkish government started massacring and expelling Armenians. Genocide (the term comes from this event) was implemented in two phases: wholesale killing of able-bodied men through massacre and forced labor, followed by deportation of women, children, the elderly and infirmed by death marches to the Syrian desert — along the way being deprived of food and water and subjected to periodic robbery, rape, and massacre. Other Christian ethnic groups such as the Assyrians and the Ottoman Greeks were similarly treated.

By the early 1920s, when the massacres and deportations ended, about 1.5 million of Turkey’s Armenians were dead, with many more forcibly removed from the country. Those who survived scattered to Syrian cities where they suffered new attacks. Others went to what became Soviet Armenia or to the West.

Turkey, as successor to the Ottoman Empire, denies that the word genocide accurately describes these mass killings. However, 23 countries and 43 states in the US officially recognize it as genocide, a view shared by most genocide scholars and historians.

Remember the victims of the Armenian genocide and the difficult time for Christians in this region. Many renounced their religion in order to save their lives. Others held firm to their Christian beliefs. Let’s show reverence for Christian martyrs a century ago, and let’s pray for Christian martyrs of today.

If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you… Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name. (1 Peter 4:14-16)


Maggie Gobran: Egypt’s Christian Angel

Open your mouth for the mute, For the rights of all the unfortunate. Open your mouth, judge righteously, And defend the rights of the afflicted and needy. (Proverbs 31:8)

Maggie “Mama” Gobran with Egypt’s poorest.

Anthony first met Maggie “Mama” Gobran in Mokattam — Cairo’s main garbage dump. His Christian family came there after radical Islamists burned their home, destroying everything they owned. It was amid the crumbling dwellings and rubbish-laden carts pulled by emaciated donkeys that Anthony met Mama. The lady in white was like an angel, showing him something he had no idea existed. Forgiveness. Dignity. Hope.

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. (Jeremiah 29:11)

Maggie Gobran, now known as the Mother Teresa of Cairo, was once Professor of Computer Science at the American University in Cairo. She was married and living an affluent life in Egypt.

Then, in her thirties, Ms. Gobran’s life changed from self to selfless when God called on her to start Stephen’s Children (named after Christianity’s first martyr) and improve the lives of constantly harassed Christian (and impoverished Muslim and Bahá’í) children and families living in the impoverished communities of Cairo and Upper Egypt.

In this broken country, “God has truly blessed and given us more than we have hoped for or imagined… My prayer,” she says, “is that God will continue to draw us closer to Him through thousands of more children who still need the love of Jesus Christ.”

Ms. Gobran’s mission is not unique. Thankfully, special people in our BCBC congregation are traveling a similar path. But in the world of middle east politics, where hatred and violence always seem to trump compassion and hope, Mama’s story is important to tell.

Mama Maggie: The Untold Story of One Woman’s Mission to Love the Forgotten Children of Egypt’s Garbage Slums chronicles this amazing women’s pilgrimage to bring hope to those who are marginalized and living in the deepest depths of poverty.

 

*Bent Creek Baptist Church is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. By clicking the book cover shown above your purchase of this book on Amazon will earn BCBC a fee from Amazon.com. Thank you for your support.

 


Women’s Ministries at BCBC: Join Us!

“In thee, O LORD, do I put my trust: let me never be put to confusion.” (Psalm 71:1)

Elisabeth Elliot

Elisabeth Elliot said, “The fact that I am a woman does not make me a different kind of Christian, but the fact that I am a Christian makes me a different kind of woman.” 

Women’s Ministries at BCBC is Christ-centered, with a commitment to encourage and empower women and girls to live life in the service of God.

All women in our congregation and in our community are invited to join us in service, learning, fellowship, and in praise of the Lord.

  • April 25th, all day: Book and Bake Sale in the frame building
    • Fiction, non fiction, children, travel, devotional, cooking, ebook covers,and puzzles (with all pieces).
    • Baked good and muffins
      • Contributors should bring them to the frame building on Friday 24th, 6-7pm
    • Come try The Bent Creek Blend coffee!
  • May 29th – 31st, all day
    • Women’s Spring Retreat
  • August 29th, all day
    • Church-wide Family Tailgate Party
  • September 12th, all day
    • Fall Retreat at BCBC
  • October 20th, all day
    • Soup and Salad Dinner
  • December 12th, all day
    • Christmas Tea

To learn more, come to the BCBC worship service on Sunday at 11 am, or call the church office. 828-667-9818


Raising Attention to Christians Executed by ISIS

“Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. (Matthew 10:28)

Worshipers in American churches are beginning to wear orange — either in their Sunday best or on ribbons — to raise attention to the Christians executed at the hands of ISIS.

Orange represents the jump suits worn by captives of the terrorist group, including some 20 Egyptian Copts who were beheaded last month in Libya. Says Lydia O’Leary of the group, Ribbons for Rescue, “We call on people to wear orange daily.” It says “we’re standing with you on this — you’re not alone.”

The campaign follows remarks by Pope Francis who called attention to the modern-day persecution of Christians around the world.

Writer Rey Flores who declared ‘Orange is the New Color of Martyrdom’ in an article for The Wanderer  says the project helps the issue of the persecution of Christians stand out from a steady stream of violence in media.

When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the witness they had borne. They cried out with a loud voice, “O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you will judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” (Revelation 6:9-10)

 


Benefits of Living in a City that “Embraces the Bible”

Then the LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. (Genesis 2:18)

Asheville ranks among the most “Bible-minded” cities in America. Actually, the region from Asheville to Greenville/Spartanburg South Carolina ranks 7th. “Bible minded” people, according to the American Bible Society, have read the bible within the past seven days and agree strongly in the accuracy of the Bible.

A similar study by Gallup ranked the immediate Asheville metropolitan area as the 70th “most religious” area among 189 surveyed in America. For people in the “most religious” cities, religion is an important part of their daily life, and they attend religious services every week or almost every week.

Why is this important?

Well, it’s been said that when Jesus calls us to follow him, he calls us to journey with others. Christian spirituality is not a solitary matter. To journey with others is the joy of spiritual friendship and fellowship.

It’s joyful to be on a flight and openly talk about Jesus with the person next to you. Just a month ago on a flight from Houston to Charlotte (#48 and #21 on Gallup’s list) I spoke for an hour with a young man coming home from a mission. Among other things, we prayed for his ailing mom. On a flight from Charlotte to Asheville I once discussed free will with a pastor. So much fun!

When you come together, each one has a song, has a lesson, has a revelation, has a tongue, has an interpretation. Let all these things be done for the strengthening of the church. (1 Corinthians 14:26)

At Reuters YMCA, my Zoomba class is enriched because the instructor inserts a Christian song between the Latin beats. Later, in another room, a woman openly asks for prayer for a sick friend.

Small things? Maybe. But these are just a few examples of a day in the life of a relocated north-easterner. It’s heartening and fun to live where the Bible matters.

How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity! (Psalm 133:1)


Time for the Second Annual BCBC Skeet Shoot and Cookout!

And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him. (Colossians 3:17)

Did you know that sporting clays originated in England in the early 1900’s. Bird hunters who wanted an off-season way to practice created it. The sport came to the United States in the late 1980’s. Today, it’s the fastest growing shotgun shooting sport, with over 20,000 members in the National Sporting Clays Association.

At BCBC we have our own special version of sporting clays (aka skeet shooting). Normally, the event is meant to simulate the action of bird hunting. The BCBC variation is meant to stimulate fellowship and hot dog eating.

The secret to our event involves creating an electrical connection between Brent’s truck and the clay disk mechanically flinger thingy. The game ends when Brent’s battery runs dry or we run out of hot dogs, whichever comes second.

So, join us on April 18th for the Second Annual BCBC Skeet Shoot and Cookout sponsored by the BCBC Men’s Ministry. The location for the event is the same — somewhere in the middle of Mike’s cow pasture. But meet at the church parking lot at 12:45 pm so we can carpool to the shooting range. This will cut down on the number of cars that have cow patties stick to the underside of their fenders.

Guns, ammo, targets, and vittles will be provided. Don’t bring your own firearms, but do bring your own hearing/eye protection. You might also bring a hat to protect your head from the sun and a chair to rest your butt between turns at the firing range.

The entry fee is $25/person, $20/person plus an extra hot dog if you bring more than 1 person. After all, in addition to fellowship, our objective is to provide a vehicle for outreach to the community.

We had a great time last year and look forward to more of the same this year.

A signup sheet is on the information desk in the worship center lobby. We need this information so we know how many supplies to get. If you can’t make it to the lobby, call the church office for assistance in signing up. 828-667-9818

Looking forward to seeing you, and try to bring a friend!


Joanna Gaines: Testimony of Faith

The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food at the proper time. (Psalm 145:15)

Joanna and Chip Gaines

Joanna Gaines and her husband Chip host the HGTV program, Fixer Upper. Perhaps you’ve seen it. In each episode they fix up, remodel, and flip homes. The show started its second season in January.

In this brief 4-minute video Ms. Gaines shares her faith and describes how, in his own time, the Lord guided and fulfilled her life in a way she never expected.

 


Bent Creek Yard Sale

Brighten up, spruce up, gussy up, and jazz up your life!

Come to the Bent Creek Community Yard Sale. You’ll save money, find unique items, meet interesting people, and even help the environment.

When?

  • Saturday, May 30th, 2015, all day
    • Set up is Thursday and Friday

Where?

  • The BCBC Fellowship Center Building.

If you have items to contribute to these events, please call the church office for more information. 828-667-9818


The Resurrection of Christ…

he-is-risen_t_nv“The resurrection of Christ changed the midnight of bereavement into a sunrise of reunion; it changed the midnight of disappointment into a sunrise of joy; it changed the midnight of fear to a sunrise of peace.” Billy Graham, 2014

Jesus Christ rose from the dead as he promised! It is the chief proof of the Christian faith. It is the greatest news that mortal ears have ever heard.

“Christ is risen!”

“He is risen indeed!”

Please join us this Sunday (April 5th) at 11 am as we celebrate this most joyous event — Jesus’ victory over death.

 

 


Remembering the Day Before Good Friday

evt_ViaDolorosaA new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. (John 13:34)

As we look toward the cross of Good Friday and the open tomb of Easter morn, Pastor Benjamin Cole, writing in ABPNEWS.com, looks from a Baptist perspective at the events that took place on the day known as Maunday Thursday. It was the last night our Lord spent with his apostles before the Crucifixion — washing their feet, suffering in the Garden of Gethsemane, and the betrayal by Judas Iscariot.

How humbling to act as a servant and wash the apostles’ feet.

How painful the sacrifice when, like Abraham, the Father took his Son to a secret place to prepare him for the slaughter. Except this time there was no substitute. The cup could not pass to another.

How cruel the betrayal of Christ by Judas Iscariot; yet our Lord still treated him kindly, never hostile or bitter.

Many powerful lessons were taught that day: service, sacrifice, kindness, and grace.

Amen.