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New Beginning!

new-yearAs the year 2016 comes to an end, I want to pause to review all that was experienced by my family and I. As with every year, I believe it has been a great year even through occasional roller coaster rides life brought along the way. The difference for us has been our strong faith and trust in God as our Lord and Savior.

I have noticed many on Social Media make statements like: “hopefully 2017 will be better” or make statements about 2016 being a bad year. With every year (or day, week, month), there are ups and downs in life. It’s our perspective on the situations, and faith in the One who has created all things that makes all things great (good or bad). It is why my family and I can truly says, “God is good” no matter the circumstance.

Just a few highlights of 2016 for the Whitfields…

  • God has provided for our every need, even though it may have been tough at times.
  • God has reunited us with some great friends as well as family for encouragement.
  • God continues to use us to accomplish His work.
  • God has allowed us to become foster parents.
  • God has given us a great church to worship and serve Him.
  • God has given us AWESOME friends all across the state of SC for encouragement.

“To God be ALL the glory!!”

The title of this blog comes from the Apostle Paul’s words found in 2 Corinthians 5:17…

Therefore if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation; old things have passed away, and look, new things have come.

 It is in Him (Christ Jesus), that all things become new. It is not a new promise, not a awesome New Year’s party, not a good church (although that helps). It is Only through God’s son Jesus Christ. How will Year 2017 look for you? What are your goals or dreams? Remember Goals are only good if one puts forth the discipline to accomplish them.

A few New Year Resolutions I have for 2017:

  • Don’t let fear hold me back in striving for what God has for me and my family.
  • Strive to have more spiritual conversations with my family.
  • Press on for a deeper relationship with my heavenly Father.
  • Forget the past struggles (not let them trip me up) as I Press on toward the Father.
  • Write more blog posts.

What about you? What are your achievable New Year’s Resolutions?

Remember Jesus is the One who makes all things new again!!

Please follow this blog, as I plan to post more in 2017!!

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Posted by on January 2, 2017 in Blog, New Year's Post

 

Merry Christmas

Enjoy this message: Respond to His Birth

 
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Posted by on December 25, 2016 in Christmas, Sermon Video

 

Candlelight Service in Pacolet

Merry Christmas!! This was the Christmas Eve Service presentation used this evening. It was presented with “Mary did you know” song played during it.

 

christmas-eve-pres

 
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Posted by on December 25, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

Marks of a True Church

Marks of a True Church

1 Peter 2:4-10

Illustration:

A student Tuesday night from teens in the city said,

“ this building is not Journey church, believers are”

Here’s the church, here’s the steeple…

Setting the Sermon:

What are the major steps to building a building?

Luke 14:27-28

Find the perfect spot

Find an Architect

Have a plan

Set your foundation markers

Gather materials and supplies

Gather the Builders

Follow the right plan

Read the Scripture: 1 Peter 2:1-10

Peter expressed some distinct marks of True Believers

This morning we will discover these distinct marks

 

How has your church stood the test of time this year?

 

There are five distinct marks each church must consider…

 

In Every True Church…

  1. There is the Right Architect/Designer (God) v. 4)

 

“Coming to Him” or “To whom coming”

 

…indicates a daily relationship with Christ—beginning not ending with conversion

 

Fellowship with Christ builds believers up as spiritual house.

 

Chosen by God is the Living Stone

Explanation:

 

The word “chosen” means that in God’s foreknowledge, God designed that Jesus would be the central/cornerstone of the church.

 

In His omniscience, God did not chose to use styles or any particular individuals as the foundations of His church. He chose to use the “proper foundation which is His Son (Jesus).

The first mark of a True Church (Are you coming to Him) is the “Right Architect”

 

Question for thought…

 

Why do churches fail? (unchurched; 46)

 

  1. There is the Right Guide/Standard of Measurement (Jesus) v. 4a; 6)

 

What types of measurements do we typically use daily?

 

What measurements do you we use in the church?

 

Point to Make: Psalm 118:22; Isaiah 28:16

 

Explanation:

 

“Cornerstone”

 

In ancient times the chief/primary cornerstone was situated first on the foundation, then other stones were aligned to it. It was placed at the corner, or an intersecting angle, where two walls meet with a 90 degree cut in order to have proper measurement. If this stone was not cut right, was not placed right, or was not set right all other stones would be unstable.

 

Explanation:

 

Right/Wrong p. 13

 

Read Romans 1:19-22

 

In our communities today, we have seen the rejection of the True standard or measurement as the Jews did in this passage. The TRUTH has become unclear, and therefore relative. Jesus gave us the Absolute Truth in John 14:6, but many have interpreted in a different way.

 

The opposite of Absolute Truth is relative truth!!

 

Read Ephesians 2:19-22

 

Jesus Christ is our Standard! Without Him the church is just a building!!

 

Have you accepted the proper measurement?

 

If you don’t get the cornerstone right, the church will not be aligned properly!!

Organizational, Theological, Philosophical, Relational = Being/Making of disciples

 

III. There is the Right Building (living stones) v. 5

 

…living stones…

…holy priesthood…

 

 

 

 

 

Explanation:

 

“lively stones” = alignment for other “stones” or “believers” with the chief cornerstone is vital. These living stones are believers (Notice the close relationship between Christ and Christians). These living stones in right relationship with Christ comprise the “spiritual house” or “church”.

 

“living” = alive to God by regeneration and working of the Spirit

 

“spiritual house” = held together by the Spirit of God and common faith

 

“holy priesthood” = Priesthood of all believers

Priesthood of All Believers

We affirm the priesthood of all believers. Laypersons have the same right as ordained ministers to communicate with God, interpret Scripture, and minister in Christ’s name. That is why the Convention requires strong lay involvement on its boards.

This doctrine is first and foremost a matter of responsibility and servanthood, not privilege and license.

It is of course, a perversion of this doctrine to say that all views are equally valid, that you can believe anything and still be a Baptist or that the pastor has no unique leadership role.

Soul Competency

We affirm soul competency, the accountability of each person before God. Your family cannot save you. Neither can your church. It comes down to you and God. Authorities can’t force belief or unbelief. They shouldn’t try.

Against this backdrop of religious freedom, it’s important for us Baptists to set forth our convictions. By stating them in a forthright manner, we provide nonbelievers with a clear choice.

 

Are you aligned to the “Chief Cornerstone”?

 

  1. There is the Qualified Builders (Believers) (Parent stage) v. 7-8

 

…obedient…

…disobedient…

 

Explanation:

 

There are two types of builders in this passage: 1) obedient & 2) disobedient. The disobedient (unbelievers) took time to examine Jesus to see if He met their own needs, and rejected Him when they found He did not. God knows what we need, no need to see if He will meet our needs.

(Fulfillment of the prophecy in Psalm 118:22)

 

The obedient (believers are the “Qualified builders”. The disciple wheel (I spoke about briefly last week) gives us a picture of a Qualified Builder (Parent Stage).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do you understand your role as part of the body of believers?

 

  1. There is the Right Plan Implemented (God’s Plan) v. 9-10)

 

But you are not like that, for you are chosen people. You are a kingdom of priests, God’s holy nation, His very own possession. This is so you can show others the goodness of God, for He called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.

 

(direct contrast between believers and unbelievers)

 

25 As he saith also in Osee, I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved.

26 And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people; there shall they be called the children of the living God.

27 Esaias also crieth concerning Israel, Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved:

28 For he will finish the work, and cut it short in righteousness: becaue a short work will the Lord make upon the earth. (Romans 9:25-28; Quote from Hosea 2:23; 1:10)

 

It’s not about us, people, or events;

It’s all about Jesus!!

 

But you… (Believers)

All True Believers are:

1) A Chosen Race

 

One Family

 

Chosen by God to belong to His church

 

His unique body

 

 

 

 

 

2) A Royal Priesthood

 

Full access to God through Jesus

 

Priesthood of All Believers

We affirm the priesthood of all believers. Laypersons have the same right as ordained ministers to communicate with God, interpret Scripture, and minister in Christ’s name. That is why the Convention requires strong lay involvement on its boards.

This doctrine is first and foremost a matter of responsibility and servanthood, not privilege and license.

It is of course, a perversion of this doctrine to say that all views are equally valid, that you can believe anything and still be a Baptist or that the pastor has no unique leadership role.

 

3) A Holy Nation

 

Set apart by God

 

Unified Group of Believers

 

4) A People of God

 

God’s special people protected by Him

 

Adopted in His family

 

Do you understand God’s beautiful plan?

 

After you have consider the following…

-Am I coming after Him? V. 4

-Am I measuring my life according the “Cornerstone” (Jesus)? V. 6

-Are aligning yourself to the Jesus as your Cornerstone? V. 5

-Do you understand your role as part of God’s church? V. 7

-Do you see His beautiful plan laid out for you and your church? V. 9-10

-Are you conducting your lives that points others to Christ? V. 11-12

 

So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going to work, and walking around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him.

 

Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.

Romans 12:1-2; Message

 

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on December 21, 2016 in Christmas, Sermon Video, Uncategorized

 

Thoughts for an Important Week!

As we begin an important week in the life of this Great Country, I wanted to share a few thoughts. Note: I will refrain from telling anyone how to vote as well as share my decision.

Thoughts I had this morning…

1) God is in control (past, present, and future). More than ever before we must “Trust in God” no matter what! (Proverbs 2:5-6)

2) True followers of Jesus Christ need to be in daily fellowship with God and His Word asking: “What does God want” & “What will it look like if God does what He wants” (Because He can)

3) Every man, woman, and child who have been reconciled to Christ must display God’s love through daily living in their own locality.

Remember, God has planted us where we are for an intentional purpose of “Making His name Great” in our individual areas of influence. #makeHimfamous #kingdompeople #election2016

 
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Posted by on November 6, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

Uncensored 2016

General Weekend Info:
Theme: Reconcile
Date: May 13-15, 2016
Location: Camp Jackson in Allendale
748 Camp Jackson Rd
Allendale, South Carolina
Service Project Coordinators: Jeremiah Young, Brandon Corley
Worship led by: Austin Graham
**This year, as you may have noticed, has taken an AWESOME twist. We decided to take “Uncensored” to a retreat center location. We recognize our Lord and Savior’s hand over the years, and anticipate His awesome work to continue in future years. The theme “Reconcile” comes from 2 Corinthians 5:18-19. As believers we have been reconciled with God, and have the awesome privilege to share this “Ministry of Reconciliation”.

As you noticed we increased the fee to $40/person to cover our new facility. The $40 includes lodging, meals, booklet, a lake to fish, recreation facilities, and more. Please contact Russell Whitfield (UNCENSORED Coordinator) if you have any questions, and/or need to register your group at: rawhitfield72@gmail.com or 843.247.2843.

**Service projects this year will consist of stations on campus that will require group participation (like Operation Christmas Child packing). We will also have some group activities.

**Each night we will end with a campfire time with s’mores as our late night snack. This will be a fun time of bonding together with other students and leaders. We are excited about what God is going to do through this weekend. Thank you for allowing your students to participate in this year’s disciple-now weekend.

Cost of the Weekend:
$40/person (lodging, booklet, Meals, worship, and more)
URGENT ATTENTION: NEED NUMBERS to be sent on the week of March 18 at rawhitfield72@gmail.com. There is limited space, so don’t wait!!
**Monies can be turned beginning the week of February 29 through Friday Night May 13 at registration!! We really need firm numbers by Week of March 18!

What to Bring:
Bible, Notebook, Pen, Uncensored signed waiver, 1 2-Liter Drink & snack for 6-7 to be turned in at registration, sleeping bag or sheets, towels, toiletries, flashlight, Uncensored fee $35 if not paid already, bug spray, fishing rod & bait, good attitude, super hero costume, casual clothes (modest), A one-piece swim suit if you would like to swim during free time.

Each church will need to provide a Liability waiver for each participant at registration. We have some samples for your church to use, just email us.

What not to Bring:
Fireworks, pranks (we are guests of Camp Jackson), bad attitude, weapons of any kind.

What the Cost Provides your Students:
Friday Night stay at Camp Jackson in Allendale
6:30pm Registration Begins
7:00pm Worship
9:00pm Breakout sessions
10:00pm Free Time & Snacks
11:30pm In Rooms
12:30am Lights Out

Saturday Morning
7:30am Rise and Shine
8:00am​ Breakfast & Devotion on your own
9:00am Worship
10:00am Breakout session
11:00am Breakout session
12:00pm Lunch
1:00pm Meet in chapel for projects
3:00pm Free Time
5:30pm Supper
7:00pm Worship begins
9:00pm Campfire & S’mores
10:00pm Free Time
11:30pm In Rooms
12:30am Lights Out
**Lunch will be what we are serving!!

Sunday Morning
7:30am Rise and Shine
8:00am​ Breakfast & Devotion on your own
9:00am Worship
11:30am Dismiss

**Check online for more info and/or this packet in downloadable forms. We would like each participant to fill out a Liability form for this year. There are forms available if you do not you’re your own!! http://www.tuposleader.wordpress.com.

Camp Jackson pictures…

 
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Posted by on March 14, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

War Room the Movie Review

My Review of the Movie

Tuesday, August 25, 2015 @ 7pm

I had the privilege of attending a special viewing of the new movie War Room that debuts in theaters Friday August 28. A special thanks to 106.9 the Light for offering VIP tickets for an early viewing in the Upstate of SC. Also a special thanks to Sony Pictures for allowing movies like these to be played on the big screen. The movie theater at Spartan 16 in Spartanburg, SC was completely packed with people anticipating an uplifting, challenging, as well as encouraging movie.

The central theme of the movie surrounded around the title War Room. A war room was where men at battle would enter in to strategize plan to direct the war or the battle. As many at combat would enter into this war room, believers must know that their battles are best fought by submitting to God as the One who will fight for them. Today, many are battling or warring every day without a battle plan or direction and need to develop a plan to direct the war.

A negative (if any) about this movie as well as many other inspirational movies, is the evident belief for some that belief in God will remove the consequences that result from people’s sins. While the idea of prosperity gospel might be understood by some, it was encouraging to see the movie portray the consequences of one’s sin evident even after they finally surrendered to God. A character in the movie experienced God’s grace and mercy, but still had to work through the consequences or possible consequences that resulted because of their actions.

I am not a big “Self-help” movie attendee; in fact I do not attend many movies because of the cost of them. I found War Room to be powerful, scriptural, as well as a real life movie that should have every believer walk away feeling challenged and encouraged to pray that God will show them someone they can teach how to be a better follower of Christ or disciple. As a 20 year veteran minister of the Gospel, I have seen trends come and go in the religious spectrum as far as inspirational movies or ideas. I pray this movie will not be another trend or program, but a movement that will spark believers to tuly “Make Disciples that Make Disciples”.

I strongly urge every believer to: 1) Attend this movie the first week it comes out to let Sony Pictures know we want these movies in theaters, 2) Invite a friend (believer and nonbeliever) to go see it, 3) Pray for someone you can invest your life in, 4) Pray God uses the clear presentation of the gospel in this movie in a mighty way that convicts, and 5) Pray about buying a ticket or two to give away.

A final note about this movie, I believe that believers (followers of Christ) at some point in their lives will face a “crisis of belief” that will bring them face to face with their Creator God. At that moment, believers will either choose to surrender to God expecting Him to do the impossible through faith or continue to pray without genuine faith. It is time we pray with the conviction, faith, and confidence regularly believing that God will do what He says He will do.

Go see this movie! Buy your ticket today! Be in prayer for those who will see this movie.

__

Intentional discipleship/Making disciples that making disciples

http://warroommovieresources.com/

Please feel to share this post as well as leave a comment!! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

 
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Posted by on August 26, 2015 in Movie Review

 

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