Sunday, February 9: God is On the Move

Pray Big Feb. 9th from NRH Baptist Church on Vimeo.

I want to thank the North Richland Hills Baptist Church family for your generous giving to Better Together. You have given more than $1.1 million through the end of 2013. And your gifts are making a big difference:

• Our missionary friends in SE Asia are using our gifts to gather the believers there together for encouragement and prayer. Your gifts are also being used to send an evangelist throughout the villages.

The Point Church in Vancouver, British Columbia recently baptized eight people and witnessed several more people coming to know Christ.

• Our church gave a Study Bible to a mother of a recently converted woman in Beijing, China. The mother came to know Christ over the Christmas holiday. We will be sending a small team to Beijing in June to put on a Kids Camp for approximately 100 kids.

• Nine mission teams from NRHBC will go to China, India, Spearfish, SD, and Vancouver, British Columbia.

Better Together is about making disciples throughout the world, the Mid-Cities and in North Fort Worth. It is about reaching more people with Christ’s love and compassion. Sunday, February 9, is the final one-day offering to finish the first year of Better Together. Our one-day goal for February 9 is to raise $300,000. When we announce our one-BLUE-FEB9-PieChartday offering total during “In His Presence” on Sunday night, February 9, our church family will have given $1.5 million to Better Together endeavors.

This money will be used in three ways:

• To purchase the nearly 27 acres of land for our satellite campus;

• To fund missions endeavors such as the ones above;

• And to cover the start-up expenses of the Cross Church campus (our satellite location) as it starts meeting on Palm Sunday.

Again, this is the last offering before we officially own the land. Your gifts are greatly needed as we make a $1 million down payment toward the $3 million price of the land.

As you consider your gift of sacrifice on February 9, I want to remind you of the poor widow’s gift and Jesus’ words.

“And he sat down opposite the treasury and watched the people putting money into the offering box. Many rich people put in large sums. And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which make a penny. And he called his disciples to him and said to them, “Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the offering box. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.” (Mark 12:41-44)

From this moving example of sacrifice, Jesus taught us three important truths.

  1. Our attitude is more important than our amount when giving
  2. It is always possible to give something IF we really trust God.
  3. God measures our faith by comparing what we’ve given with what we have left over after we’ve given.

As you pray about what a genuine “sacrifice“ will mean to you, I urge you to read the Bible story of the miracle that happened when a single parent gave away what little she had (1 Kings 17:8-16). God took care of her the rest of her life. And God is still doing miracles today in the lives of those who dare to trust him!

Please join me in praying for everyone in our church family as we consider what part God wants each of us to have in making our gift to Better Together. The weekend of February 9 is going to be a great opportunity to exercise your faith. I can hardly wait to see what God does through us. We really have an amazing church family and I am grateful to be apart of it!

 

 

 

 

Week of Prayer – Day One: Vancouver

November 10-17 is the “2013 Week of Prayer for Missions” for our North Richland Hills Church family. We are praying for people on the frontlines of missions – special friends of our church who partner with us in spreading the message of God’s grace to the nations. We love these men and women and are asking Christ to richly bless them and their work. Throughout 2014, our church will join many of these missionaries on the field as we travel to assist them reaching the nations for Christ.

As a part of this special week, I have asked several missionary/church planter friends to guest blog each day. Today, as we pray, church planter, Victor Thomas, shares why God led his family to plant their lives in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Day One: Sunday, November 10 – Victor and Candice Thomas

Six and a half years ago, I had just gotten married and planned to be in Canada doing some research for four months. However, what we found in Vancouver shocked us and six and a half years later we are still here.

Candice andPointChurch I had promised each other that we would never leave Africa long-term, but God changed our hearts. We love Africa. All of our family is from there. We lived a good life and I had started my own business, which was really getting off the ground. My father is a pastor of a church that runs one of the world’s largest religious responses to HIV/AIDS and poverty relief, and we were very involved in helping those in physical poverty.

However, the spiritual poverty in Vancouver became as tangible to us as the physical poverty in South Africa had been. It shocked us, and it still does. We had never seen anything like it in Southern Africa. 97% of Metro Vancouver (2.5 million+ people) are considered lost. About 3% attend “some type” of church at least 3 times a year. I write “some type” of church because some “churches” deny the literal resurrection of Christ! Vancouver is extremely multicultural with over 200 different languages spoken. College students make up 20% of the population with less than 0.5% of them identified as evangelical Christian. This video post on Pastor Scott’s blog really captures the spiritual poverty of the city.

My first introduction to the lostness of Vancouver was when I started to ask around for a church to attend in the area. No one I spoke with knew where one was! Someone directed me to a Buddhist temple, thinking that might be of help to me. We began to realize Vancouver, BC is one of the most lost regions not only in North America but in the world.

One month before we were to head back to South Africa, we felt the Lord say, “Is this not the POVERTY I’m calling you to, the spiritual poverty in this city?” So began our journey of taking a small core group, stepping out, and trusting God. Today, we meet in three locations across the city; two of these works are in their infancy. As we have trusted God and “Dared to Risk for Him”, we have seen Him do marvelous things in many people’s lives and open up some incredible doors. We want to continue to step out and trust God by joining Him to see 20 churches planted by 2020 in Metro Vancouver.

Recently, God has reminded me of the parable of the “talents” in Matthew 25. If I could rename it, I would call it “The Parable of the Non-Risk Taker.” As you read the parable, you will see one person who did not want to take a risk for God and His Kingdom. God has some fairly tough words for him:  “wicked,” and “lazy.” I certainly do not ever want these labels. Why didn’t he risk for God? Fear (vs. 25). Fear kills faith. God has been teaching us over the past six years to trust Him, not to fear, and to “take risks” to build His Kingdom. As we have done that, we have seen Him do great things. This parable seems to say that it is more risky not to risk for God than to step out in faith and trust Him.

What is He calling you to risk for Him?

My challenge to you is this, if God is leading you to speak to someone about him, DO IT! If He is calling you to step out more in ministry or into full time ministry or whatever it is, DO IT! Trust Him. Dare to risk for Him because really it is not a risk at all. He is bigger than we can imagine and He will be with you. Join God in what He is doing in the lives of people around you. Join Him here in Vancouver by praying and coming to serve alongside us.

Thank you so much for your prayers, support and encouragement. You are our North American family. We so appreciate you all at North Richland Hills Baptist Church.

Note: For a brief explanation of the week of prayer, visit here.

 

 

 

 

This is Vancouver: A Focus City for NRHBC

This 16 minute video shows both the spiritual needs of Vancouver, BC as well as celebrating the rich diversity of one of Canada’s premier cities. You will discover some of the inner workings into the heart of this great city. Please note: the video contains drug use and objectionable language.

A little after 13 minutes into the video, you’ll see two men talking about the need to pray for this city. Pay close attention to these words, “There isn’t a crowbar of talent or skill that is going to open those doors.” This is thought-provoking quote and it speaks to the need of prayer for the Holy Spirit to draw people to Himself (John 6:44).

I would ask that our North Richland Hills Baptist Church family would take a few minutes to watch it and pray for the city. I encourage you to visit www.prayvancouver.ca to keep informed in how you pray for churches and the people of this city. Remember also to pray for The Point Church, as our church supports their work through your gifts to Better Together.

Note: The video is a production of St. Peter’s Fireside, an Anglican church that describes itself as evangelical, liturgical, and charismatic. Pray for their ministry.