Thank you, Pastor Scott!
I know that some of you have a difficult time even considering having Lasik Eye surgery. Just the thought of anything coming near to touching your eyes, no matter how painless, is enough to make some of you pass out!
I appreciate all of the prayers regarding my recent Lasik eye surgery. I wanted to give you an update as to how I am recovering from the surgery which I had this past Thursday afternoon.
Thursday – The surgery went very well. It was quick and literally painless. The worst part of the process was the number of eye drops that they put into my eyes before and during the surgery. After the surgery I went home and went to sleep. I did not wake up until Friday morning. I literally slept for 14 straight hours! Because the laser surgery creates an open wound on the surface of your eye, the best way for your eyes to recover is to keep them closed as much as possible. (They also put a clear contact lens on each eye which act as a band aid.) Aside from my vision being blurry, I really didn’t feel any pain or discomfort after the surgery.
Friday – On Friday morning, I had to go back to the Lasik surgeon simply so that he could check to make sure everything looked good! After examining by eyes, the surgeon said that everything seemed to be healing nicely. He said that the cells on the surface of the eye had begun to grow back covering “the wound.” I was told that the first few days after surgery would be the most uncomfortable, however, even on Friday I did not notice any pain or discomfort.
Note: I have a regiment of eye drops and medicine that I have been taking/administering on a constant basis. I will continue with the medicinal eye drops for the next week. I will continue with OTC eye drops for the next several months simply to promote a healthy environment for my eyes.
Saturday – I was told that my eye sight would fluctuate during the first few days after surgery and then would gradually get better over the next several months. “Full recovery” usually takes at least six months! So far (It’s only mid-morning on Saturday) my eyes have been the most uncomfortable today. They have been itchy and watery more than they were yesterday. I will visit an actual eye doctor on Monday as part of the usual post-operative recovery simply to make sure that everything is healing properly. The eye doctor will take off the contact lenses some time this coming week. I have not yet been cleared to drive. I appreciate my wife and daughter who have chauffeured me around. (I also must thank Mr. Litchfield who drove me home after surgery.)
I plan to be in church on Sunday and teach my Sunday school class and lead the choir in the AM service. Mr Rideout and Mr. Myers, though, will be preaching in the services for me. I appreciate their willingness to “fill the pulpit” for me.
Thank you for your prayer. They are very much appreciated!
Recently, our Charlotte City Council has “grappled” with the matter of opening their meetings in prayer. They have gone back and forth. First, Mayor Roberts completed removed all prayer from the council meetings. But then, she reversed that decision once she realized that there wasn’t unanimity among the other council members.
The Rowan County commissioners have been dealing with a similar situation which has been going on for quite some time. The Rowan County commissioners were sued by the ACLU for beginning their council meetings in prayer. This has been going back and forth in the court system. The following is a recently letter that we received from Return America that explains the current situation in Rowan County. Please continue to pray for the commissioners in Rowan County. They still have quite a battle in front of them!
Return America has recently been involved in the Rowan County prayer issue. I and Attorney David Gibbs, 111, and other lawyers met with the county commissoners in a closed session. The ACLU had placed a lawsuit against them because they begin their sessions in prayer . The case was appealed to the 4th Circuit Court in Richmond, Virginia. Originally, three judges heard the case and ruled in favor of the Rowan County commissioners . True to form, the ACLU appealed the decision to the full circuit in Richmond. They then ruled against Rowan County.
The 4th Circuit Court used to be a very conservative court. However, under Barak Obama the court was stacked with liberal justices and as a result what was a very conservative court has now been transformed into a very liberal court. They are now in line with the very liberal 9th Circuit Court in California .
Fortunately in the mean time, the United States Supreme Court ruled in a case from Greece, New York, that prayer before public meetings was and is acceptable. This case was a severe blow to the very liberal ACLU . However, in Rowan County the commissioners themselves have chosen to pray, and many of them close their prayer in the Name of Jesus. Therefore the ACLU placed another lawsuit against them because they choose to pray as government officials.
The good news has now come down from Jackson, Michigan, where the county commissioners there had chosen to pray individually. Some had chosen to close their prayer in the Name of Jesus. They to were challenged in court. A few days ago, the 6’h Circuit Court ruled in favor of those commissioners . The concurring judge made a tremendous statement in his closing opinion: “But the United States Constitution does not tell federal judges to hover over each town hall meeting in the country like a helicopter parent, scolding/ revising/ okaying the content of this legislative prayer or that one.” The judge further stated, “So long as the prayer giver does not try to coerce anyone into adopting their faith, so long in other words as the individual gives an invocation, not an altar call, I see no meaningful role for judges to play.” This was a victory lap written by a judge who seems to know what an altar call consists of!
On September 25, 2017, the Rowan County commissioners voted unanimously to appeal the 4th Circuit Court’s decision to the United States Supreme Court. Please pray that the United States Supreme Court will hear the appeal.
Return America has been actively involved in this prayer issue in Rowan County, bringing 4,000 people to the Rowan County Courthouse in support of the county commissioners . We will continue to stand with them until the final verdict is issued.
Thank you for your continued support of Return America. We are able to get involved and let all of our voices be heard because of your prayers and financial giving. You are a blessing, and we sincerely thank you for being so!
According to a news article on the front page of Foxnews.com, “Biblical prophecy claims the world will end on September 23.” This claim is being made by Christian numerologists and “prophets.”
“For a certain branch of evangelical Christianity, Revelation 12:1–2, describes the beginning of what is known as the rapture and the second coming of Christ.”
Let’s go back about 2,000 years ago when a local church in the city of Thessalonica was dealing with the question, “Has the Lord already returned?”
|John 14:1-3||1 Thessalonians 4:13-18|
|(vs. 1) “…ye believe in God, believe also in me.”||(vs. 13-14) “But I would not have you to be ignorant… For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again…”|
|(vs. 3) “…I will come again…”||(vs. 16) “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven…”|
|(vs. 3) “…receive you unto myself…”||(vs.17) “…shall be caught up together…to meet the Lord in the air…”|
|(vs. 3) “…that where I am, there ye may be also.”||(vs. 17) “…so shall we ever be with the Lord.”|
|(vs. 1) “Let not your heart be troubled…”||(vs. 18) “Wherefore comfort one another with these words.”|
At some point after Paul wrote this letter to the church in Thessalonica, false teachers had begun to teach the believers in Thessalonica that the Lord had already returned and that they were now in the Great Tribulation. This church was undergoing persecution and so it was easy for the believers to think that they had somehow missed the Rapture which Paul had spoken of in 1 Thessalonians. So, Paul, in a second letter sent to the church in Thessalonica, addressed this matter.
Now, let’s turn our attention to Revelation 12:1-2
And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars:
2 And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.
There have been those who point to an astronomical occurrence, which is to take place this coming Saturday, September 23, 2017, as being the fulfillment of Revelation 12:1-2. (Simply put, there is going to be an alignment of stars and planets that some believe is the fulfillment of Revelation 12:1-2) Because of this astronomical occurrence people have said everything from the “The rapture is going to happen” to “The world is going to end.” When you couple that astronomical event with all the natural disasters we have seen, the political turmoil that our country is in, the civil unrest that we have been experiencing you can begin to understand why question marks have begun to pop up in people’s minds.
Now, before I go any further, some people may ask me,
Now, regarding Revelation 12:1-2…
While Revelation 12:1-2 and September 23, 2017 have nothing to do with the Lord’s return, whether in the rapture or His second coming, we must still remember that Christ is coming again!
“Behold, He cometh…” Revelation 1:7
The only way to be prepared is to know Jesus Christ as your Savior. If you do not know for sure that your sins have been forgiven and that you have the gift of eternal life, We want to encourage you to watch”God’s Plan of Salvation.” If you have questions, please contact us at email@example.com or call us at (704) 542-5536. We would love to speak with you!
One day the trumpet will sound for His coming, One day the skies with His glory will shine; Wonderful day, my beloved ones bringing; Glorious Savior, this Jesus is mine! Living, He loved me; dying, He saved me; Buried, He carried my sins far away; Rising, He justified freely forever: One day He’s coming—O glorious day!
This past Tuesday I celebrated my 45th birthday! I’m half-way to 90! (Whether I make it to 90 or not is another matter!)
I have been blessed beyond measure! I have a wonderful family; a wonderful church family; a wonderful school family. I have never, purposefully, made a “big deal” about my birthday but so many individuals went to great lengths to show their love and appreciation on that day. For that, I am very thankful!
So teach us to number our days,
That we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. Psalm 90:12
The older I get (and I don’t really think I’m that old!), the more conscious I am of how precious our days are. The older I get, the more I desire to accomplish with the time that I have left. Those two thoughts have been “driven home” in my mind as I have, over the past couple of years, watched friends and loved ones – both older and younger than me – finish their race on this earth.
Cherish each moment as a gift from God! Love your family and those close to you! Use your time wisely for the glory of God. One day, our lives will be over – much too soon!
Only one life, yes only one,Soon will its fleeting hours be done;Then, in ‘that day’ my Lord to meet,And stand before His Judgement seat;Only one life,’twill soon be past,Only what’s done for Christ will last. – C.T. Studd
We are thankful for the young people that God has allowed us to influence through the ministries of South Charlotte Baptist Church & Academy. The following note was received from a young lady who has been a part of South Charlotte Baptist for many years and who is also a recent graduate of South Charlotte Baptist Academy.
Dear Pastor and church family,
I just wanted to take some time and thank all of you for the prayers you have extended to me. Getting adjusted to college life has not been much of a struggle, praise the Lord! Classes are going well… and yes I am now a master of power naps. Also, I’m pretty sure I should change my middle name to coffee. I got the opportunity to sign up for some Christian service activities involved with children. Tonight’s message Pastor McBride talked about how with leadership comes influence, and influence is gained by service. Please be in prayer that I am the right kind of leader to the kids I come in contact with. I also am praying for you all as I know you are probably getting ready for anniversary Sunday soon! I know it will be a great turn out.
Please keep all of our college young people in prayer as they have begun their school year!
Some last minute reminders for those attending tonight’s football game…
Looking forward to having an enjoyable time together! See you tonight. If you have any questions, feel free to call me at (704) 575-3378. – Pastor Campbell
In the morning service, Dr. David Gibbs preached a wonderful, “spot on” message from Acts 4:33 entitled, “Great Grace.”
“And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.”
In the evening service, Pastor R.B. Oulette preached a tremendous message from Hebrews 11:7 entitled, “We Need More Noah’s”
“By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, wmoved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.”
Thank you all for the words of encouragement and concern since we shared our burden yesterday. Here is an update.
I left Julie in Cape Town early this morning to return to Knysna. We were there to assist my 87-year old mother as she underwent surgery for cancer on Monday. The surgery was a success and she is recovering well.
We watched the tragedy of Knysna unfold from a distance yesterday afternoon, not expecting the fires to spread so rapidly with devastating consequences.
Our immediate concern was for the wellbeing of our ministry team and for our church families. We tracked their frequently changing circumstances on social media. It very quickly became clear that the fires were out of control and even the authorities knew there was no way to stop them. The unusually strong dry winds fanned the flames relentlessly.
Once we had peace of mind that the evacuation of the Knysna residents was being well managed, we turned our attention to the status of our own home. Even though one of our team families had earlier “broken in” to find refuge, it soon looked as though the fires on the hill behind our house were headed that way. That family made for a nearby residential island to find safety.
Early this morning I drove 5 hours to Knysna from Cape Town. I was not prepared for the sights and smells that greeted me. Emotion welled up as I passed through the scorched hills framing the entrance to the estuary on which Knysna sits. Tears came easily as I drove along the smoky, and thankfully, rain-soaked streets of our beloved town.
The fire has decimated countless hectares of what was once beautiful “fynbos” vegetation. The smoldering scene resembles the aftermath of a fiery battle. The scarred remains of homes, restaurants, and businesses attack the senses and appear somewhat unreal, something one might see in a war movie.
The wind-driven fire has seemingly chosen random targets to consume in its anger, while leaving other structures completely untouched–a phenomenon I am struggling to reconcile in my mind.
The residents of Knysna are left stunned and grieving. Some of us have been spared with no loss at all, while others have lost all of their earthly possessions. Our home is completely untouched, as are the homes of every one of our ministry team partners. The same is true most of our church families.
To God be the glory! He answered your prayers. He answered our prayers. He is opening ministry in front of us. We pray for this daily, and now He has spoken.
And so ministry continues. Ministry of a different kind begins. Our faith in Him never wavered. Our love for Him has deepened. Our resolve to share the Gospel is as strong as ever.
Please pray for fertile hearts.
DAVE & JULIE
“Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” Romans 6:4
On Easter Sunday, we celebrate the truth that Jesus Christ was crucified, He was buried, but that He gloriously and powerfully rose again the third day! While we rejoice in this truth – the truth of Easter – the question must be asked, “What does Christ’s death, burial and resurrection mean for us today, right now, in 2017?”
We must keep in mind the truth that Romans 5:8 says, “…while we were yet sinners…” and that Romans 5:12 says, “…all have sinned.”
All of us are sinners. That is a fact whether we choose to admit it or not. Sin has been defined, by some as, “missing the mark” – missing the mark of God’s holiness. But it also includes “hitting the wrong mark” – doing that which is against God’s holiness.
“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23
“And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
“And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” Revelation 20:14-15
Three times in Romans 5:1-11, it states that Jesus Christ, God’s Son, died for us. He died so that we would not have to! Through faith, we must receive His gift – the gift of eternal life.
“That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 5:21
Romans 5:1-11 describe for us the benefits we receive once we have, through faith, received Jesus Christ.
These are all the results of salvation which will affect our life here after. We have been saved from the penalty of sin. We know that one day when this life is over that we spend eternity in Heaven.
But what about right now? What about our life here and now? How has Christ’s death and burial affected my life from Monday through Sunday?
In Romans 6:4 Paul states that “we should walk [live] in newness of life.” That refers to our life here and now!
Newness. While I don’t presume to speak for everyone, I would imagine that most individuals like – and prefer – that which is new or fresh.
Paul starts out Romans chapter 6 with a question, “Shall we continue in sin?” In other words, once we are saved and we know that our life here after is secure, should we continue to live in sin? There are two possible ways that you could approach that question.
Thank God for His grace! I can now live as I please!
Sin has such a hold on me that I can’t help but sin. Thank God for His grace!
Both of those thoughts are false, though. Why? Because of the holiness of God. Holiness – absolute perfection – is the fundamental attribute of Who God is. Adam and Eve were created in holiness and although, through them, sin has entered the world God still demands holiness.
The answer to the question, “Shall we continue in sin,” should be…
“For he that is dead is freed from sin!” Romans 6:7
Most Christians understand that they have been freed from sin, “I know that I’m saved and on my way to Heaven. I don’t have to fear Hell.” But practically, they are not living in the “newness of life” a life – here and now – that has been freed from the power of sin!
Too many people – including Christians – think of Sin as some sort of pet that they can carry around in their pocket that they can bring out whenever they want to play with it. They think that they are in control.
Sin is a cruel taskmaster. Sin cannot be made to serve. Sin demands to be served.
Understand this – You will serve something in this life!
“Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?” Romans 6:16
“For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:” Romans 6:5
The use of the word “baptized” signifies that we have been placed into a new environment. We have been placed into the family of God. It also signifies that we have been brought into union with Christ. Our relationship with Christ has changed. We were once the enemy of Christ but now we have peace with God through Christ.
“For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God.
“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:19-20
Christ’s death, burial and resurrection, which we celebrate and remember today is an opportunity for us to consider, “Are we walking in the newness of life?” While we know that our life hereafter has been affected for the better, what about our life here and now?
President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, as the nation approached its third year of bloody civil war. The proclamation declared “that all persons held as slaves” within the rebellious states “are, and henceforward shall be free.”
Booker T. Washington remembered the Emancipation Proclamation in this way, “As the great day drew nearer, there was more singing in the slave quarters than usual. It was bolder, had more ring, and lasted later into the night. Most of the verses of the plantation songs had some reference to freedom. … Some man who seemed to be a stranger (a United States officer, I presume) made a little speech and then read a rather long paper—the Emancipation Proclamation, I think. After the reading, we were told that we were all free, and could go when and where we pleased. My mother, who was standing by my side, leaned over and kissed her children, while tears of joy ran down her cheeks. She explained to us what it all meant, that this was the day for which she had been so long praying, but fearing that she would never live to see.”
And yet, many of those slaves, while being made free from slavery willingly yielded allegiance to and began serving the Union. By the end of the Civil War, almost 200,000 black soldiers and sailors had fought for the Union and freedom.
Will you willingly and consciously choose to walk in newness of life by yielding to Jesus Christ and righteousness?