From the Desk of Pastor Bill Rigsby

The great preacher Charles Spurgeon wrote in his devotional Morning and Evening about this scripture: “The Lord reigns, let the earth be glad.” He discusses the power of God in all things here on earth and in heaven. He reminds us that nothing is that is not under His sovereignty. Spurgeon says, “In all our conflicts and tribulations, we too can behold the hand of our divine King.” He then quotes from a German poet, Johann Friedrich Zihn, who was translated by Catherine Winkworth, here is his poem:
God is God; He sees and hears All our troubles, all our tears. Soul, forget not, ‘mid your pains, God o’er all forever reigns.
Fear not death, nor Satan’s thrusts, God defends who in Him trusts; Soul, remember, in your pains, God o’er all forever reigns.
For this life’s long night of sadness He will give us peace and gladness. Soul, remember, in your pains, God o’er all forever reigns.
What great truths we see in the poem! God is the Eternal King and no one in heaven denies sovereignty of the Lord all they can do is fall on their faces to honor Him as their King. Angels attend Him and the believers worship him and because they have been redeemed by the blood of His Son, Jesus Christ, they are His favorites. All delight to serve our God day and night. We here on this earth Spurgeon says all who believe in the Lord God of heaven seek to reach that city of the great King soon.
Jim Reimann writes an updated version of the Morning Devotions by Charles Spurgeon says about these thoughts, that unbelievers and some believers together may deny God’s sovereignty over their lives but the reality is that the Word of God is true and what we think of it doesn’t change the truth of God’s all consuming sovereignty. But those who are mature in Christ believe the scriptures and particularly Romans 8:28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
As Dr. Reimann ends his thoughts he quotes Psalm 119:89-91, 89 Your word, Lord, is eternal;
it stands firm in the heavens.
90 Your faithfulness continues through all generations;
you established the earth, and it endures.
91 Your laws endure to this day,
for all things serve you.
I hope from this devotion you will take heart at all that is happening in the world now. God is the one who is in control. He is the one who has His hand on His children no matter where they are and sees their needs and touches their lives with grace, mercy and truth. The word of God calls for us to pray for all our fellow believers who may be experiencing trials and sufferings all around the world, are you? (1 Peter 5:9, “ Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.” Hebrews 13:3, “Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.”)

May our Lord God bless each who read these thoughts today.

From the Desk of Bill Rigsby

I was reading Charles Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening Devotional book, and the subject of this day’s evening devotion was powerful. The thought of the great Almighty God loving me so much that He will forgive me of my sin, no matter what, just blows my mind. Spurgeon used John 6:37, “All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away.” Reading the context we see that “whoever” comes to Jesus, He will accept them into His family and forgive them of their sin. Jesus is speaking of giving the “Bread of Life” to anyone who would come. Those who come He will not cast out or He will not drive away! There is no sin that Jesus cannot forgive or will not forgive. You come believing that He is…and he will take your life and bring you into the family of God. You will be His forever. Even at the end of life for you here on earth He will not cast you out if you are His. Or if you have waited to believe and God’s Holy Spirit draws you to Himself if you believe He will not cast you out then, even when your life is at an end, He will love you, accept you and forgive you.

Then Spurgeon goes to the old conflict; will God forgive a believer if he sins? If you are a believer, a Christian, and you sin will you be forgiven? 1 John 2:1-2, “My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. 2 He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.” Aren’t we the blessed ones who have a Father who will step in for us through His Son, Jesus Christ and be our Advocate? We haven’t heard about backsliding very much these days but in Spurgeon’s time it was spoken about. It is a fact that Christians backslide! We can be reminded that even when we backslide or go wayward in our life God will forgive us and hold tightly to our lives and hearts. So many people I know need to hear this scripture from Hosea 14:4, “I will heal their waywardness and love them freely, for my anger has turned away from them. (NIV) But the KJV says it like this, “I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely: for mine anger is turned away from him.”

See how both translations speak of God’s healing and love? The only difference is that the translators use backsliding and waywardness but all is the same. We are all wayward at times, maybe not physically but we might go off wayward in our mind or in our emotions. If we slide backwards in our Christian commitment then we are backsliders. God says He loves us still and He will heal us. Most people I know who are living on their own track, away from God but who are God’s children know they need to turn back. My prayer today if you are reading this, please turn toward the Savior seek His forgiveness, healing and love…He will freely give them to you!

He is our loving and caring God and to be in Him is to be secure and safe. He ends his devotional thought like this:

“Once in Christ, in Christ forever,
Nothing from His love can sever.”

“I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand.” John 10:28 For me this is my “proof” of eternal security. Jesus says He will not let anyone take me out of His hand! Charles Spurgeon says as he ends his devotion “Oh! the grace of these words: “I will in no wise cast out.”’

From Your Pastor, August 2013

August brings regularity back to our schedule here at church. We have three wonderful things to share with you.

First, on August 4 at 5pm, an old friend and Gideon, Mark Hewitt, will be in concert for us. Mark is an accomplished singer and has even sung for us in the past. He and Trudy have come our way after the Gideons Convention to visit and while here he shared his God given talent for us and to the glory of the Lord. We will also have a special “ice cream social” right after the service to honor and show appreciation to Nancy Danyels for being our Minister of Music. Nancy has shared with us that the last Sunday in July will be her last as our Minister of Music. We all know what Nancy has gone through these last few years and so we want her to know how special she is, thus an ice cream social. What says thank you to Nancy better than having ice cream! So, plan to be at the concert and the ice cream social right after on August 4 starting at 5 pm.

Second, we will be in training for the “My Hope with Billy Graham” during the month of August starting with August 11 at 6 pm each night. We will as a church, prepare our hearts and our families to do whatever it takes to reach people for Christ by being a part of this special event. Using the training information from the Billy Graham ministry we will find out what we can do to be a part of this great evangelistic ministry opportunity as individuals and as families. I ask you to come expecting to be a part of what might be the greatest evangelistic push of the Billy Graham era.

Third, New Hopewell Baptist Church and NABC will come together for one night, Wednesday, September 11, to celebrate America and pray for her as we remember that tragic day many years ago. Pastor Don and I will lead an exciting service at New Hopewell Baptist where we will pray and hear a message of hope from Pastor Don. We are calling this special service, “Making a Difference.” Since September 11th is a Wednesday night we will still have our regular children’s program of missions and nursery. We are asking our parents to plan on going to the special service and to be able to do that you will need to drop your children off at 6pm at NABC where Dennis will be in charge of taking care of them until the missions programs begin. He will also be there until you return no later than 8pm to get the children after the service at New Hopewell ends. The special service at New Hopewell will begin at 6:30pm and end at 7:30pm therefore making it possible to pick up your children, if you have them at the church, no later than 8pm. (Notice the emphasis on picking up your children by 8pm.) We are asking all the members of NABC to plan to be at New Hopewell on Wednesday, September 11 at 6:30pm even if you aren’t a regular prayer meeting person. This is a special time in the life of our nation and it can be in our personal and our church life too.

May God bless the efforts of His people to worship and service Him, all the while seeking the lost to come to the Father.

Letter of Appreciation

This month marks the beginning of the 23rd year of a very precious relationship for which Lynda and I are extremely grateful! Thank you, North Anderson Baptist Church, for all the support, care, and love you have given to us over the past 22 years. The years have passed so quickly and the people who are now – and have been in the past – part of the North Anderson family are truly amazing! We have people from our congregation who are missionaries in Africa and Russia and we have one young lady working in an orphanage in Honduras. We have church planters who are in Myrtle Beach and others who are now ministers in Georgia and in Greenwood, SC. There have been many young people who were part of our college ministry who are now serving as ministers throughout South Carolina and in other parts of the country. We are humbled that many of the ministers at New Spring Community Church were a part of our fellowship for a time. God has given North Anderson great laymen and laywomen who have not only served here, but in many other churches in Anderson and other parts of the state.
The more I think about what God has done through His people over these years, the more my head swims! We have seen men, women, boys, and girls come to Christ and serve Him and grow in Him in faith and service. God has brought us many mature disciples who were ready to serve Him and make a difference in the Kingdom of God through NABC. We have many who participate in mission opportunities regularly and some who sponsor and lead mission trips. The church has birthed several other churches that are serving Him and reaching others for Christ. God has trained leaders here to go out to minister to others and grow God’s kingdom with His power ever present in their lives.
Yesterday was a special day at North Anderson. We always love the opportunity to celebrate our wonderful nation, the United States of America! We are always more honored, however, to celebrate Jesus – to share the Word of God once again with people whom Lynda and I love with all our hearts. Yesterday, we rejoiced with a dear friend who is 64 years old, as he made a public confession of his faith in Jesus Christ. We had been talking about Jesus for weeks, and God just drew him to Himself on Wednesday evening right before prayer meeting. We praise the Lord for his obedience to God’s call. Hardly anything can be sweeter!
Lynda and I were grateful to have the opportunity to express our genuine love and appreciation to each of you at the end of our worship service yesterday. We want to reiterate those expressions, especially to those of you who may not have been with us. We are humbled by the unconditional love and support you continue to extend to us as your pastor and his wife. We do not take that for granted! Never doubt our love for you. We have seen and heard and experienced your love and support for us and pray that God will allow us to continue this precious relationship for a long time to come! We are blessed to serve you in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Bill and Lynda

Marion Popkin

Over the years folks have come to church that have impacted other’s lives. Robert and Marion Popkin were two such people. Robert and Marion were from upper New York state and so they often had different opinions and thoughts about things that those who were from the south had. One of the first experiences that introduced me to them was when it snowed one Sunday. Of course for us a dusting of snow was what we call snow. It probably snowed two inches one Sunday, enough to drive and yet enough to cause problems with southerners. Robert and Marion went to church that morning and there was no one there. They were astounded and shocked that church would be called off because of a “little” snow; remember they were from upper New York state. What wonderful people and saints of God. We heard about Robert from his boys at his memorial service and I am sure we will hear more about Marion when we have her memorial service.
I am writing this today to share with you my heart about Marion. What a special lady she was. Marion was a prayer warrior and one who loved her Lord and her church. It goes without saying that Robert was the most important person in her life. Since Robert died she was ready to go herself and be with Jesus too.
While reading a devotion today, Tuesday morning after she went to be with the Lord on Monday morning very early, I was impressed by what Charles Spurgeon had to say about suffering and death in his “Morning by Morning” devotion book. He talked of how Christians can rejoice in their suffering and distress. How we can sing when trouble abounds. All because we know the precious Lord Jesus and that we have a special home in heaven when we die. He emphasized that “God is with us through it all and therefore we are given a blessing by the presence of our Lord in our life through the suffering. I want to quote something Spurgeon said that touched my heart, “Trouble may not necessarily be accompanied by consolation when initially coming upon believers, but the presence of the Son of God in ‘the blazing furnace’ (Dan. 3:23) nevertheless fills our hearts with joy.” Spurgeon reminds us that in sickness, trials and suffering, knowing Jesus makes things so much easier for us to go through. He said, “Jesus puts His arms around us and whispers, ‘Fear not, beloved, for to die is to be blessed. The waters of death find their source in heaven. They are not bitter but are as sweet as honey, for they flow from the throne of God.’”
I want you to know that Marion Popkin died in the arms of her blessed Savior and Lord Jesus Christ! She was comforted in her suffering not just from Jesus, her Lord but from her sweet family that loved her and surrounded her with care and tenderness. And many of you, especially her Sunday School classmates, who showed Christ-like love and ministry to her and her family.
Marion loved her pastor and his wife. She would write to us and tell us so. Yesterday Lynda found her last note she wrote us and gave it to me. She said so many precious things to us but one thing I want to share with you is that she and her sweet Robert believed in “keeping the faith.” She ended her notes with that phrase to remind others to “keep the faith.” When Marion was well enough to come to our prayer time right before the worship service, she would always end her prayer with “come Lord Jesus.” Well we can now celebrate the fact that Jesus did come and He took unto Himself a wonderful servant of God to be with Him in heaven forever. I will always be thankful for members who have such a loving and supportive spirit.
Marion’s Pastor

From Your Pastor, July 2013

America is blessed nation. We have lived under the grace of God for over 200 years. Our nation today has turned from the God of the Bible and we must once again place our trust in the God who has given us our freedom as a nation, established us in liberty and given us a desire to liberate those who were oppressed. America has fallen from “trusting in God” to become a nation that lives as if we don’t need or want Him to have any part in our great nation. We cannot go the route of nation Israel whose leaders were described in the Old Testament as those who “did evil in the sight of the Lord.” There was a great price to pay for Israel’s sin and there is going to be a great price to pay for the sin of America.

The true church of Jesus Christ across the whole nation must fall upon her knees to plead for forgiveness of our sin as 2 Chronicles 7:14 calls for us to do. “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

If we want our nation to honor God then the Church of Jesus Christ must be righteous before Him or the nation will not have a moral conscience and voice with credibility. We so desperately need the grace of the Lord God Almighty to sweep over our land from sea to shining sea. It will take you and me weeping over our nation and its sin before God will turn His judgment from America. If our nation keeps going the way it is we will suffer the judgment of a righteous God or He will have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah for their destruction. In His mercy our God has offered His to us through the shed blood of His precious Son, Jesus Christ, when He died on the cross at Calvary. May we, the children of God at North Anderson Baptist Church, humble ourselves before the mighty hand of God that revival might start here and sweep the land so that our repentance will catch the eye and ear of the Father that He might forgive and heal our land! Will you bow with me at the altar as we go before the throne of God on a special service of June 30th? Our nation needs the Christians to stand in the gap for her. Then will you come prepared for our celebration of “In God We Trust” as we worship Him in a special service July 7th?

From the Heart of Pastor Rigsby

From Charles Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening we read this devotion from June 25.

“The dove found no rest for the sole of her foot.” Genesis 8:9

Reader, can you find rest apart from the ark, Christ Jesus? Then be assured that your religion is vain. Are you satisfied with anything short of a conscious knowledge of your union and interest in Christ? Then woe unto you. If you profess to be a Christian, yet find full satisfaction in worldly pleasures and pursuits, your profession is false. If your soul can stretch herself at rest, and find the bed long enough, and the coverlet broad enough to cover her in the chambers of sin, then you are a hypocrite, and far enough from any right thoughts of Christ or perception of His preciousness. But if, on the other hand, you feel that if you could indulge in sin without punishment, yet it would be a punishment of itself; and that if you could have the whole world, and abide in it for ever, it would be quite enough misery not to be parted from it; for your God–your God–is what your soul craves after; then be of good courage, thou art a child of God. With all thy sins and imperfections, take this to thy comfort: if thy soul has no rest in sin, thou are not as the sinner is! If thou art still crying after and craving after something better, Christ has not forgotten thee, for thou hast not quite forgotten Him. The believer cannot do without his Lord; words are inadequate to express his thoughts of Him. We cannot live on the sands of the wilderness, we want the manna which drops from on high; our skin bottles of creature confidence cannot yield us a drop of moisture, but we drink of the rock which follows us, and that rock is Christ. When you feed on Him your soul can sing, “He hath satisfied my mouth with good things, so that my youth is renewed like the eagle’s,” but if you have Him not, your bursting wine vat and well-filled barn can give you no sort of satisfaction: rather lament over them in the words of wisdom, “Vanity of vanities, all is vanity!”

I recognize that it still contain the old English that Spurgeon spoke but I hope you can still understand what he is trying to say. My hope today is to help us to see that the true believer in God, the one called of Jesus Christ, will recognize that we can’t live in sin as a habitual life style and be saved. Can you find rest in anything other than Jesus Christ? Can you find satisfaction in the world in any other person or thing than Jesus Christ? I have added the underlined part in the devotion to call attention to the fact that a believer’s soul craves after (desires, wants or seeks after) the Lord God and finds no pleasure or rest in sin!

We who believe want to be fed from God and drink from the Rock of Jesus Christ for the sustenance of our soul. Only Christ satisfies our life. If you have Him not, Spurgeon says, all the world has can bring you no satisfaction and all is “Vanity of vanities, all is vanity!” I believe that this means that life is empty without living for and in Christ. King Solomon wrote the thoughts on vanity and he concluded after having everything any man could want, and I mean everything his human heart desired, he found that without life was empty and had no purpose. He concluded his book, Ecclesiastes, like this: from chapter 12:13-14,

13 Now all has been heard;
here is the conclusion of the matter:
Fear God and keep his commandments,
for this is the duty of all mankind.
14 For God will bring every deed into judgment,
including every hidden thing,
whether it is good or evil.

Yes all we do will be judged by God in the end whether we believe in Him or not He will judge each of us because He is God! Believer we too are judged by our works as well but at the judgment seat of Christ for how we have lived in accordance to the Book, our obedience to God or disobedience to His written Word.

Those today that may be reading this it is my prayer that you will take time to think seriously about accepting Christ as your personal Savior and Lord and having a relationship with God through his Son, Jesus. Write me and let me show you how to have eternal life with the Lord God Almighty. Blessing for all.

Thoughts Regarding Memorial Day

Memorial Day was a wonderful day for family to be together. Having time to relax and enjoy family and friends brings memories of days gone by. Many times we forget really what the day is for. Our country, America, is the most blessed of all nations. God has touched us with His grace and mercy far more than we deserve. We have been a free and independent nation that has seen other nations fall into difficult times because of poverty, greed, unscrupulous leadership or war. We should be very grateful to God for His guidance and blessings through the years. Our forefathers were guided by God’s Spirit and the principles set down in the Bible to establish a great nation where the individual is more important than government.

May Americas never forget the sacrifice that it has taken to stay a free and independent nation. Today may we be very cautious about those who seek to under-mind the great heritage we have in America. Our nation is built on the Constitution of the United States and the Declaration of Independence and anything that the government tries to establish that is anti-Constitution needs to be stopped. Hopefully we can continue to be a nation of freedom and liberty for all! It is obvious that we need a government, but it needs to be a government of the people, by the people and for the people not for the politicians or those that are in government or for a political party of any kind. Government plays a vital role in our lives. I am thankful that we have had men and women who have protected our beautiful nation by establishing national parks to preserve that which greedy men would destroy. But on the other hand we need common sense when it comes to conservation. So many people today go overboard and stop the progress of the nation. There is a special balance that needs to come when it has to do with government and the rights of the individual.

Memorial Day is truly about remembering those who gave their lives for all the freedoms we enjoy today. May you and I pray that we never have to go to war but if we do may it be to protect American lives and interest in the world, while caring for those who are unable to care for themselves. We can’t be the world’s police but we can help those who are in great need when no one else will help. Thanks to each who has served our country in any way, we are truly grateful for the sacrifice you made.

As I close, let me tell you of the story of a young man who went to Vietnam in the ’60’s. He had just been married one week when he received his papers that he had to go to war. For close to a year he was away from his bride. Having given to his country and then staying in the Air Force for a total of five years he left the service to go into the private sector. I am grateful for men who sacrifice so much for me. While he returned to his bride and began a family, over the years there were so many service men and women who did not come home but are lying in an unmarked grave somewhere, in a cemetery on foreign soil or in an honored place here in their homeland.

God bless each who served our nation and their families and God bless America, a nation of the free and the brave! Thanks to Ian Kent for the service he has given to our country. I appreciate not only your sacrifice but the great time we had at your home Memorial Day weekend. A special thanks to you my brother, Tommy Rigsby for your service to our country. I know you have suffered great from the effects of the time in Vietnam but you are loved and appreciated.

Pastor Bill Rigsby

From Your Pastor, June 2013

Aren’t you glad that summer is coming? There is so much that can be done for the Lord during the summer months. I hope you will become involved with the opportunities that the church makes available to be a part of sharing the gospel through Vacation Bible School, or TNT of which both are ministries to children. Contact Dennis to become a part!

Let me turn to a somber subject to speak on, pornography. Pornography is rampant in our society and is easily accessible to anyone, no matter their age, through the internet and personal electronic devices. I recently read an article by Pastor Jay Dennis from First Baptist Church at the Mall in Lakeland, Florida where he writes, “Churches are facing a spiritual battle against a hidden plague that is keeping many believers from fulfilling their part of God’s mission.” Pastor Dennis goes on to say in the article that, “pornography is such a pervasive issue and it can be a difficult and serious issue for various reasons. Men in our churches want the tools to help themselves and fellow brothers in Christ who are struggling with pornography.” My hope is that we can begin to address this issue with more of a “what can we do to help” attitude than one of condemnation. The men that I know who are involved with pornography do not desire to stay bound by this destructive behavior. Through Pastor Dennis and the resources that he has developed, I hope to introduce a way to successfully deal with this addiction for those men who might want to be released from this difficult trap they have found themselves in.

“When Paul addressed sexual sin in Corinth, the problem was more than the existence of sexual sin and how word of the problem was spreading. The greater problem was that the church took no action to correct the immorality. The church’s problem was arrogance (1 Corinthians 5:2). Arrogance blinds the heart and mind and prevents one from seeing his own spiritual condition or the spiritual condition of his brother or sister. The Corinthian brand of spirituality produces insensitivity to sin. This insensitivity to sin diminishes the consequences of sexual sin in the minds of those who have a life in the Spirit.” Dr. Harry W. Schaumburg
This is a statement of one man who has been involved with pornography: “I am a faithful church member, but porn had wrecked my marriage, and my life.”
I would invite you to go to Pastor Jay Dennis’ website at www.join1millionmen.org to see what I am talking about. May the Lord bless each of us as we seek to follow the Lord in holiness and righteousness.

Pastor Bill

From Your Pastor, May 2013

Friends,

The month of May bring thoughts of mothers.  Where would we be without our mothers…literally where would we be???  I loved my mom much like many of you loved or love yours.  My mom loved me most, I was the baby and of course she loved me more than those older two siblings!  Sorry about that Tom and Lorees.  Here are a few thoughts on this special day.

*A cartoon shows a three year-old, freckle-faced boy in a hallway.  His pajamas are unsnapped, his diaper’s bagging, and he’s got a little teddy bear, dangling in his hand.  He’s standing in front of his mother and father’s bedroom door, which is shut.  On the door is a little sign written by a weary mother: “Closed for Business.  Motherhood Out of Order.”  (Charles R. Swindoll, Laugh Again)

*I smile as I remember the Mother’s Day card I saw that was really cute.  It was a great big card written in little child’s  printing – little first-grade printing.  On the front was a little boy with untied sneakers.  He had a wagon, and toys were everywhere.  He had a little cut on his face and there were smudges all over this card.  It read, “Mom, I remember that little prayer you used to say for me every day,” Inside, “God help you if you ever do that again.” (Charles Swindoll)

Grandmothers are mothers too.

*Usually grandmothers are fat, but not too fat to tie your shoes.  They wear glasses and funny underwear.  They can take their teeth and gums out!

*Grandmothers don’t have to be smart, only answer questions like, “Why isn’t God married?” and “How come dogs chase cats?”

*Grandmothers don’t talk baby talk like visitors do, because it is hard to understand. When they read to us they don’t skip or mind if it is the same story over again.

*Everybody should try to have a grandmother, especially if you don’t have television, because they are the only grown-ups who have time. (James Dobson)

This last story from Chuck Swindoll is wonderful. A good friend of mine, who was raised by a godly pastor’s wife, tells me that when he was rocked to sleep at night by his mother, she didn’t sing to him just little ditties and lullabies, she sang to him the hymns of the faith. When he was in the crib, he remembers her leaning over and singing to  him “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God”; “And Can It Be?”; “More Love To Thee, O Christ”; “My Jesus, I Love Thee”; “Come, Thou Fount Of Every Blessing?”  She sang the deep songs.  And he says, “I remember, I remember those hymns.  In fact,” he says, “when I got into church, I had heard and learned most of the hymns,” a contribution in that young man’s life that he’ll never forget.

May God bless you this month as you honor your mother and if she is alive you wrap your arms around her neck and give her a big kiss and tell her that you love her.  If she is no longer alive honor her memory in some special way.

Pastor Bill