From Your Pastor, June 2014

One of the things I enjoy during the summer is being with family. Let me put it this way, I love seeing my family that are far away and those I see frequently and summertime really affords us that opportunity. We have a special week together and it is a great blessing to me and Lynda. Also during the summer we get to see the friends we have made over the years through the Gideon ministry. God has provided such great friendships and Lynda and I are truly blessed becauseof them.
I do hope each of you will realize that true friends bring joy to your heart. At times there are those who claim to be friends and nothing but sadness and misery come from them. They are not friends. God grants us friends and at times these special friends are those who truly guide us by telling us the truth even though it might be tough on us for awhile. But that true friend will stand by you no matter what. If your friends only told you the good things about you and left out those things that we need to hear then we might fall into a trap that would be eternally damaging to our body, soul and spirit.
If I were going off the deep end and I needed help and direction, a real friend would help set me straight. With love and tenderness he/she would kindly guide me back to the right path. Be that special person for someone else and accept the help of another friend for your life when things go wrong.
God is our greatest friend. His Word is where we go for the true guidance for our lives. You will be encouraged and at times or you might be challenged to get your life right before the Lord. If you and I fail to heed the correction of the Lord from His Word, we may well put our own life in danger and we might miss the blessings of the Lord which He meant to lift us up on high. Read the Word of God and see His greatness shine!

From Your Pastor, May 2014

Dear church,
It is hard to describe how Lynda and I felt to walk in the same places that our Lord and Savior walked. We know it may not have been in the exact same places, but the experience was indescribable nonetheless. On one occasion we stood at the top of Mt. Arbel, where our guides told us that Jesus may have stood to pray alone and to possibly see the disciples as they got caught in one of the storms on the Sea of Galilee. It was awesome to look out over the whole Sea of Galilee from this vantage point and know this is where Jesus lived and preached for most of three years. So many of the places we went were filled with crowds of people and at times it was hard to imagine what it must have been like in Jesus’ day. We were fortunate to be there while all of Galilee was clothed in beautiful green grass. We were told that the countryside would be brown in just a few weeks, as the grass would have less water during the upcoming days.
One of our favorite places was Masada. It is not critical to Biblical history, but it is to the Jews in the first century right after Jerusalem was destroyed in 70 AD. As I look at the pictures and remember the unbelievable scenery while standing on the plateau of Masada, I thought of the three hundred Jews who kept the Roman soldiers at bay for three years before they were able to break through to the top of the plateau. I would love to tell you the rest of the story later!
While standing high in the Judean barren wasteland, you can see the Dead Sea beaming in the sun light and even see the oasis in the distance at which David stayed with his men while running from King Saul. There is not enough time nor adequate words to talk of all the places in Jerusalem that brought our minds and hearts to think of Christ.
Let me mention just two places…Gordon’s Calvary (named after Gordon who first recognized this place could be the actual site of the crucifixion because of the skull like shape of the mount), a rock rise right outside the walls of Jerusalem where some believe that Jesus died. It is a rock formation on which you can actually see the form of a skull (Golgotha, the place of the skull). And then, not more than about 500 yards away, is the place many people believe is the garden tomb of Jesus. Here is a tomb carved right out of stone in the side of a rock cliff. We experienced such a wonderful time of peace and worship in that beautiful garden!
Friends, what an amazing opportunity Lynda and I were given by someone who loves us; we will be forever thankful. Since our return, we continue to process the things we learned and experienced. We realize more and more every day how much our Lord loves us! We would love the opportunity to share more about our trip any time you would like to hear!
Loving you and the Lord, Bill and Lynda

From Your Pastor

Israel – what a place! Lynda and I have been invited as guests
to go to Israel at the end of this month and the first few days of
the next. We are thrilled and humbled by the opportunity to go
to the Holy Land. It has been a dream over the years but we
never felt like we would ever make it. Lynda and I have talked
about it some with friends but now it is a reality and we are
truly excited.
Please pray for us as we prepare to go and experience those
things that you really just read about. It is my prayer that our
lives will be impacted so much that we can share what we have
seen and heard with others when we return. It is my hope that
my preaching and teaching will be more inspired and enhanced
because the Bible will have come alive for me like never
before.
We covet your prayers as we prepare and while we are gone.
Servants of the Master,
Bill & Lynda

5 Really Bad Reasons To Leave Your Church

BY AARON LOY
JANUARY 27, 2014
There are good reasons to change churches, but there are a lot more bad reasons.
Let’s be honest, while there are some good reasons for leaving a church, there are a lot more bad ones. As a pastor, I hear some of them every now and then as people walk out the door. As a church planter, I hear them constantly as people walk in the door. If you’re thinking about looking for a new church home, please don’t use one of these five reasons to make the jump:
1. “I’m not being fed”
Do pastors have a responsibility to steward the scriptures and care for their church spiritually? You bet they do. And it can be all too easy to overlook this while trying to manage staff, build systems, meet needs, put out fires and develop leaders, all while overseeing the overall vision and direction of the church. But let’s be honest, if you own a smartphone, a personal computer or a library card, you have access to some of the best preaching and teaching in the world. You can even find teaching archives of some of the greatest preachers of all time. Christian, you have access to more “meat” than any other generation before you!
YOUR PRIMARY CALL IN THE CHURCH IS TO CONTRIBUTE, NOT JUST TO CONSUME.
To leave a church because you’re not getting “enough” is a cop out. Your primary call in the church is to contribute, not just to consume. As a Christian, you shouldn’t require spoon-feeding for the rest of your life. Eventually you need to learn how to feed yourself so that, in time, you can actually feed others. Remember, your call is not just to be a disciple but to make disciples.
2. “It’s getting too big”
I can appreciate the sense of loss that accompanies growth. When we first began, our church was little more than a small band of brothers and sisters meeting together in a living room. It feels very different now that we are a church of a few hundred people spread across multiple services. There are moments when I miss the intimacy and simplicity of those early days. But remaining small is a sad and unbiblical goal.
When churches are faithful to the Great Commission, lives will be changed and people will be added to their number. It may not happen rapidly, but growth is sometimes inevitable for faithful churches, given a long enough timeline. If you have a problem with big churches, you really wouldn’t have liked the first church, and you definitely won’t like heaven.
3. “I don’t agree with everything that is being preached”
You know what? Neither do I and I’m the pastor. As such I fully reserve the right to disagree with myself. And every now and then I do exactly that. Why? Because I’m learning. I’m growing. I’m asking questions. And my hope is that those I pastor are doing likewise.
If you insist that your pastor agree with you on every little thing under the sun, you are going to either hop from church to church for the rest of your life in perpetual disappointment or you will eventually give up and drop out altogether. Chances are you are not going to agree with everything that is preached anywhere. As long as your pastor isn’t preaching outright heresy, you can afford to disagree on secondary issues.The truth is when you choose to stay despite disagreeing on some things, you, your pastor and your church are better for it.
4. “My Needs Aren’t Being Met”
When someone lists this as a reason for leaving it is a dead giveaway that somewhere along the way they came to believe that the Church actually exists to serve their needs. They’ve bought into the lie that, when it comes to church, it’s really about “me.” Here’s the problem: the Church actually isn’t about you. It’s about Jesus. It’s his Church. He came for it. He died for it. He redeemed it. He continues to build it. And one day, he’ll come back for it. It’s his.
THE CHURCH DOESN’T EXIST TO MEET YOUR NEEDS. YOU ARE A PART OF THE CHURCH THAT EXISTS TO MEET THE NEEDS OF THE WORLD.
This is the same Jesus who came to seek and to save the lost and then commissioned his Church to go and do the same. The Church doesn’t exist to meet your needs. You are a part of the Church that exists to meet the needs of the world. Put away the shopping cart and pick up a shovel.
5. Unresolved Conflict
Wherever you find the community of sinning saints you will find conflict. Lots of it. The Church is one big family full of characters and misfits. Sometimes sisters argue. Sometimes brothers fight. Sometimes you want to bury your weird uncle in the backyard. But despite it all, family is supposed to be the place where you stick together. Even when it’s hard. Especially when it’s hard.
Paul addressed a lot of church conflict in his letters. No where do I hear him encouraging believers to bail on one another or move on down the road to a different church where it’ll be easier. Instead, much of his letters are his encouraging and coaching these ragamuffin communities in how to do this very hard and messy thing together. When we leave at first sign of real conflict, it shortchanges God’s best work in our midst. It sidesteps the process of repentance, forgiveness and grace. It negates the power of the Gospel to bring reconciliation where reconciliation might seem impossible. We and those around us miss out on all of it when we just leave.
I do know that not all conflict is resolvable. I know that reconciliation is impossible where there is no repentance. I get that. But remember, repentance starts with us. And so does the extending of grace. And when we resolve to stick around and keep on repenting and extending grace, I think God can do far more than we often give Him credit for. Some of God’s best work happens in the mess.

Aaron is a husband, dad, church planter, coffee addict, insatiable learner and chronic dreamer. He’s the founding pastor of Mosaic Lincoln. You can find more of his writing on his blog or on Twitter.

Marriage Follow Up

Yesterday I preached the message, “True Biblical Marriage” from Jesus’ discussion with the Pharisees in Matthew 19:1-9. Today I read this article in a posting on Facebook and thought it is appropriate to print as a follow-up to the message. What can make a marriage better; I think these suggestions can help.
Divorce Is Trending
Posted by fbc – January 26, 2014 –
By: Waylon Bailey
No one has to tell us divorce is trending in America. We see the hurt and pain all around us.
I see divorce from a unique perspective. When divorce occurs families are devastated in almost every way. People split up everything. Under the best arrangements, children live in two homes. Sometimes the custody fights rip children away. Even the church loses as someone keeps the church and someone has to leave. The pain for everyone is horrendous.
Nothing hurts like family hurt.
What can we do to make our marriages and families stronger?
First, take time to talk about your hopes and dreams. When you first contemplated marriage, you talked about what you wanted and how you wanted to live. That same dreaming needs to follow along after the wedding.
Martha and I still take time to talk about our dreams for the future. Since we have an empty nest, our dreams and hopes are different but they are just as real. Talking about your hopes has a way of bringing you together. I suggest you schedule a special time–a date–to talk about the future.
Second, plan a regular date night. Your family depends on the love of mom and dad. Spend some time and money to build your relationship. It will be the best time you can spend for your children.
Plan special times to get away. Marriages need time and they need romance.
Third, from time to time remind yourselves how you met and what attracted you to one another. Those are good memories that help solidify a marriage.
Fourth, encourage your mate. Make sure your spouse knows you believe in him/her. Find ways to show that you care and that you believe and trust one another.
Finally, spend time learning what makes strong, healthy marriages. One resource I have particularly helpful is Gary Chapman’s The Five Love Languages.
Above all, seek God and His plan for marriage.
May God bless your marriage.
I too hope that as you seek god and how He desires for you to live as a married couple that He will bless you and touch your marriage with his grace and peace.
Bill Rigsby
 
 
 

Marriage Follow Up

Yesterday I preached the message, “True Biblical Marriage” from Jesus’ discussion with the Pharisees in Matthew 19:1-9. Today I read this article in a posting on Facebook and thought it is appropriate to print as a follow-up to the message. What can make a marriage better; I think these suggestions can help.
Divorce Is Trending
Posted by fbc – January 26, 2014 –
By: Waylon Bailey
No one has to tell us divorce is trending in America. We see the hurt and pain all around us.
I see divorce from a unique perspective. When divorce occurs families are devastated in almost every way. People split up everything. Under the best arrangements, children live in two homes. Sometimes the custody fights rip children away. Even the church loses as someone keeps the church and someone has to leave. The pain for everyone is horrendous.
Nothing hurts like family hurt.
What can we do to make our marriages and families stronger?
First, take time to talk about your hopes and dreams. When you first contemplated marriage, you talked about what you wanted and how you wanted to live. That same dreaming needs to follow along after the wedding.
Martha and I still take time to talk about our dreams for the future. Since we have an empty nest, our dreams and hopes are different but they are just as real. Talking about your hopes has a way of bringing you together. I suggest you schedule a special time–a date–to talk about the future.
Second, plan a regular date night. Your family depends on the love of mom and dad. Spend some time and money to build your relationship. It will be the best time you can spend for your children.
Plan special times to get away. Marriages need time and they need romance.
Third, from time to time remind yourselves how you met and what attracted you to one another. Those are good memories that help solidify a marriage.
Fourth, encourage your mate. Make sure your spouse knows you believe in him/her. Find ways to show that you care and that you believe and trust one another.
Finally, spend time learning what makes strong, healthy marriages. One resource I have particularly helpful is Gary Chapman’s The Five Love Languages.
Above all, seek God and His plan for marriage.
May God bless your marriage.
I too hope that as you seek god and how He desires for you to live as a married couple that He will bless you and touch your marriage with his grace and peace.
Bill Rigsby
 
 
 

From Your Pastor

I have admired Billy Graham all of my life. His messages have brought me to my knees in repentance and re-dedication. We have one last chance to hear him preach the gospel with anointed power and love. The first week in November brings a unique opportunity to celebrate his ministry and watch what God can do through the message of His servant. During that week Christians and lost people will gather in homes all over the United States to watch a message from Dr. Graham.
My Hope with Billy Graham will actually be shown on television Thursday, November 7th which is Bill’s birthday. But the Graham association has made available a DVD of the same message that can be shown in homes anytime that week. “Matthews” will gather people into their homes for fellowship and the message of God from Dr. Graham. The host will follow-up with a short testimony of salvation and then ask for those who are in attendance to trust Jesus Christ by faith for their lives too.
If you are not attending one of those meetings I hope you will seek out someone who is hosting and go to theirs. Some of you may even at this last minute want to host a meeting, we can help with that. But regardless if you are a host or attendee or someone who believes God can change lives, we all can pray and ask God to do a miracle in the lives of thousand’s, maybe even millions, during that week. As a church that loves the Lord, let us bind together to pray during that week each night to ask God to touch lives with the Gospel. By the way, the title of the message Dr. Graham will deliver is “The Cross.”

Special Need

Dear friends who love the Lord:
Our church has an opportunity to make an impact in the life of one of our
senior adult women. She is a precious child of God and is in need of our
help. Our friend has been fighting cancer for a good while and is a picture
of true faith in God. She has a very limited income as well. She asks for
nothing, but I ask in her behalf.
She has had her heating and cooling unit go out and is in need of a
replacement. A very reputable gentleman who has helped her to keep the
unit going in the past, is going the second mile to help her replace it. He
has offered our friend a new unit at his cost, which is $1500 less than the
retail cost. The total for the new unit will be $3500. The gas company will
take monthly payments, totaling about $90 a month. If we can help her
up front with the initial cost of the unit, the monthly payment will be more
manageable for her.
I am asking members of God’s family to pray about the possibility of giving
now any amount that can help with that initial cost so we can lower our
precious friend’s monthly payment. Lynda and I are going to give, and I
challenge others to give to this immediate need, as well, which James says
in his letter is “taking care of (those) who are in need.”
If you feel that God is leading you to give, please call me (864-933-6200)
with your pledge so we can tell the gentleman and the gas company that
we will bring down the cost of this unit for her. If you do participate please
write a check to: North Anderson Baptist Church but write on a post-it note
to clarify the purpose but not on the check and when I receive it will be
applied to the special need. If you send a check in, send it to: NABC, 2308
N. Main St., Anderson, SC 29621
Very sincerely,
Bill Rigsby, pastor
North Anderson Baptist Church

From Your Pastor

A friend of mine sent this to me, I felt it was really good enough and that
it ministered to me a great deal that I wanted you to see it. Most of us
have had some terrible times in our lives and others are experiencing
difficult times right now, while others will one day in the future go
through something that will cause sorrow or anger in their life. If you
take the advice given here in this simple story of a donkey and a well
then you will be a better person.
One day a farmer’s donkey fell down into a well.
 
The animal cried piteously for hours as the farmer tried to figure out what to
do. Finally, he decided the animal was old, and the well needed to be covered
up anyway; it just wasn’t worth it to retrieve the donkey.
 
He invited all his neighbors to come over and help him.
 
They all grabbed a shovel and began to shovel dirt into the well.
 
At first, the donkey realized what was happening and cried horribly…
 
Then, to everyone’s amazement he quieted down.
 
A few shovel loads later, the farmer finally looked down the well.
 
He was astonished at what he saw.
 
With each shovel of dirt that hit his back, the donkey was doing something
amazing.
 
He would shake it off and take a step up.
 
As the farmer’s neighbors continued to shovel dirt on top of the animal, he
would shake it off and take a step up.
 
Pretty soon, everyone was amazed as the donkey stepped up over the edge
of the well and happily trotted off!
 
 
troubles is a stepping stone. We can get out of the deepest wells just by not
stopping, never giving up! Shake it off and take a step up.
 
Remember the five simple rules to be happy:
 
1. Free your heart from hatred – Forgive. (Mark 11:25)
 
2. Free your mind from worries – Most never happen. (Matthew 6:25-34)
 
3. Live simply and appreciate what you have. (Philippians 4:10-13, 19)
 
4. Give more. (2 Corinthians 8:1-12)
 
5. Expect less from people but more by faith in God. (Ephesians 3:14-21)

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.