First Baptist Church of Siler City, NC
Sunday, April 05, 2020
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From the Pastor

 

From Pastor Allen Admire, DMin

Update: 3-31-20

 

TAKE THIS WITH A GRAIN OF SALT

THE OPINION OF ONE

          I hope this little note finds you well and walking with the Lord. By nature, I’m a restless spirit. I tire quickly of routine, senseless chatter, and talking about things I have no intention of doing anything about. Once I’ve achieved a matter of proficiency with the task at hand I’m off to another conquest. Like you, I’ve been inundated with the never-ending discussion of the COVID-19. Frankly I respect it, there is a place for discussion, but I’ve had enough of it. You might be saying to yourself; Allen sounds like you have a burr under your saddle or spiritual indigestion. And to that I would say, absolutely! The cause of the burr and indigestion can be found in 1 Cor. 9:16. Paul says, “for woe is me if I do not preach the gospel.” My ramblings and observations are just that, they’re mine. I’ve just added a new definition of hell during all of this. Hell is anyplace without hope. In fact, growing up with “Hee”- “Haw” their little ditty which says, “Gloom, Despair, and Agony on me deep, dark depression, excessive misery, if it weren't for bad luck, I'd have no luck at all Gloom, despair, and agony on me”; all of this is just descriptive of how I see the times.

            I’m not trying to be argumentative; I’m not personally attacking anyone’s heartfelt conviction and faith about how they should or shouldn’t address the virus, and most importantly I’m not speaking Ex cathedra, please read my title again, so bear with me.

          First and foremost, I have never felt the purpose and call of God on my life as I do now. That’s just spiritual. God has called me to be a shepherd not a sheep. The world looks different through the eyes of both. These times demands spiritual leaders with grit.  I’m not trained in the sciences, but in the scriptures. That in no way negates science, however for me God and His word has the ultimate truth regarding my life. I’d rather walk with God in darkness than man without God, in the light.

          I have a burden called Love for each of you at First Baptist Church. This may just be an assumption and may not apply to all, but if you are taking in 5 hrs. a day of information overload from News Channels, Papers, Internet, and others, and zero information from God and doing nothing He says in his Word, then my heart breaks. E.g.  Listen to the words of Jude 1:20, “But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life.” Please keep a time log on what you hear and the sources you hear it from, then say “ok God you have my undivided attention, what do you have to say?” Monitor your conversations or ask someone to do it for you and see just how much faith in God you are proclaiming and living. It may just reflect who the real God is in our lives.

          Finally, “if all things work together for good to those who love God,” Rm. 8:28 then just maybe God is using this to see how His people i.e. the church are handling it. It might be a time of wheat and tares, and wolves in sheep’s clothing. Maybe a Spiritual examination or test to see if we can stand up to the real test that soon may come. Maybe a Spiritual honeymoon to Hawaii or paradise just to be with God, just Him and nothing else. Take time to find a non-shifting bedrock scripture for yourself and one for others. Say it until you believe it. Then when you watch and listen to the news and all is said and done, then respond, “thus sayeth the Lord.”  Give someone some hope, some Word that is good because God is Good.  In Christ’s Love.   Shalom

 
 

 

UPDATE:  3-24-20

Psalm 103:2-3
    Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits; Who forgives all your iniquities; who heals all your diseases.

 

          To the sweet family of God at First Baptist, greetings.  I hope these thoughts and words find you blessed as I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. 3 Jn. 1:2

          I know each of you are taking a different approach in taking care of yourselves physically and spiritually during our time apart and I want to commend you. Although not present I do pray for you daily.

I’m finding ways of staying busy without infringing on the well being of others. However, I have noticed as of late that one of the things God has worked into our design is that we were created to be socially interactive. It’s all about relationship. Jesus says in Jn. 17 “20 “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; 21 that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us.” Jesus describes here a relationship that is all together in one place within us. The Father in Jesus, Jesus in the Father, and we in them. So how do we socialize during “social distancing?”  I believe the above Psalm written by David might sheds some light. David is not present with the Lord, yet he tells his soul to bless the Lord. Next, he tells his soul NOT to FORGET the benefits God has bestowed. The benefits he mentioned are that God forgives and God heals. David and God are not physically present; however, they are socially present. In our relationship with God and each other notice these same ideas can be applied during our time of not being together. How do we do this? First, I instruct my soul to bless the Lord. All that is within me includes my spirit, my thoughts, and my mind. If I am to love God with all my heart, soul, mind and neighbor as myself then I will do the same with each of you. If nothing can separate us from the love of God, then nothing can separate us from each other. Our relationship will continue in the same manner as if we were together. I can love you, think of you, pray for you, bless you etc. Next, we are not to forget all the benefits we receive from God and one another. When we are apart, we can interact in the same way as if we were together. I do not have to be with you to think about you or care for you. We are to walk by faith. Faith says although we are not accessible to meet one another’s physical needs God is always available. Paul says, “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” Phil. 4:19. We are still the church. His body has many members.  If God chose to feed Elijah by sending ravens, I don’t believe He has run out of ideas on how to take care of us. We can be comforted by the words and images that God gave Moses in Exodus 14:13-14.And Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today…The Lord will fight for you, and you won’t have to do a thing.”

God is still God. No circumstance we encounter stops Him from being God. We are to act, speak, and believe in such a way that we demonstrate that He is our God and we are his children. As it has been said, fear knocked at the door, faith answered, and there was no one there. If God be for us, what?

In closing, Amanda has shared with me that NC Baptist Aging Ministry “Hope Line” offers a friendly ear to older adults experiencing social distancing, social isolation, or loneliness. Hrs. 9-9. 866.578.4673

If you need me, call, text, or email. I’ll do my best in trying to assist.

 

In Christ’s Love, and Service   Pastor allen

UPDATE:3-20-20

Sing to the LORD a new song; sing to the LORD, all the earth.

          It hasn’t been that far back on February 26 that we had our Ash Wednesday Service. Ash Wednesday is the prelude for Lent. Lent is the 40-day period that we give up something that hinders spending time with the Lord.  I believe with the C-virus God is making a way for that to happen. When it comes to my relationship to our heavenly Father, I don’t believe in coincidences or happenchance of events. With the events taking place in our lives and in the world, I believe God is saying something and wants to get our attention so that we will listen. God knows the hearts of all men especially those living without hope and without Christ. I consider God can turn the hearts of the lost to Him in a faster and more judicious way than by just using the church. Remember Nineveh.

 

        I can see His loving hand limiting our choices so that we can spend quality time with Him. I see it as a time for the prodigal church to come back to her first love. I may be wrong, but I think Christians are spending this fellowship time with Him in prayer. Am I saying this is judgement? No. Correction? Yes. Judgment comes after unheeded correction.  We are so willing to DO what the President and Governor asks of us as good citizens and proclaim from the rooftops their message; yet sit idly by as citizens of heaven and say we don’t want to offend anyone with God’s message. I believe this is a symptom of spiritual sickness.  If my earthly father loved me enough to discipline me for disobedience, should I expect anything less from my Heavenly Father?  So, what can we do? We can turn from disobedience to obedience by singing to the Lord a new song. Our singing together is just one of the many things I am missing when we worship.

 

        There are a lot of things I already miss by our not being together. But there is a special group of people who just bless my soul and minister to my spirit. This group happens to be Randy and the Choir. They are special and have God’s Spirit on them. Randy selects hymns that glorify our Lord. He practices with the choir until they breathe the Spirit of God into the words. To watch the choir come in with smiles on their faces and confidence in their hearts is such a blessing to our worship. I am blessed by watching the congregation react to the words and music. I enjoy watching the congregation respond to the ministry being presented. When its all said and done, I can hum to myself, “Our God is an Awesome God.”

  

             Let me leave you with the words of the hymn “This Is My Father’s World.”   Read them, memorize them, sing them often to yourself. Put on the mind of Christ and take your mind off the things in this world, which God happens to have under His control, and use this time to give up unbelief as we practice Lent.

 

“This is my father’s world, why should my heart be sad? The Lord is king, let the heavens ring God reigns, let the earth be glad” 1  

 

In Christ’s Love, Pastor Allen    

1. Maltbie D. Babcock, Baptist Hymnal #155,  1975

UPDATE:  3-18-20 Caution, Common Sense, and Christ

To the First Baptist Church Family. Allow me to begin by saying that I missed being with you Sunday and have been praying for you as we experience the effects of the Coronavirus. Not really knowing what we are dealing with, the church leadership felt it would be wise to forgo worship as a precautionary measure. When it comes to you and the disruptions in your lives “out of sight is NOT out of mind.” I alongside the staff and deacons are communicating, praying and seeking God’s wisdom on how to best stay in touch during this time. If nothing can separate us from the love of God, then I want to reassure you that we will find a way to worship and be together.  During times like these God’s Word reminds us that we “are to walk by faith and not by sight.” As such, let me share three little ideas which you already know.

First let us proceed under Caution. We see these signs daily in our lives. The highway is marked with caution signs about what is ahead of us, speed reduction, curve ahead, school zones, and yes even deer crossings. Whoever came up with that one had a creative imagination. Since deer can’t read, or they just enjoy breaking the law, I’ve never seen one crossing at these signs.  

There are precautions posted daily in all types of available communications: TV, radio, paper, internet and of course by loved ones who come our way. These are simply reminders of things you have already been doing long before this virus. Keep doing these things under the adage, “cleanliness is next to Godliness.”

Second use common sense, it’s why God gave it to us. Respect the virus, learn all you can about it and live accordingly. James says, “But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without finding fault; and it will be given to him. James 1:5 God wasn’t caught off guard when this virus was brought to light.  Don’t let your emotions and feelings run your life. The last time I checked God was supposed to be doing that.   “And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19”

Lastly, put caution and common sense under the watchful Care of Christ. Yes, the Bible teaches that there will be trials and tribulations in this life. Jesus told Peter, And the Lord said, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail” Luke 22:3.  If you find your thoughts and feelings being “tossed to and fro” or “shifted as wheat” then take to heart what Jesus told Simon, “but I have prayed for you.”  Unless God is clueless as what to do, let us simply trust Him. Sometimes God operates under the “on a need-to-know basis.” If you haven’t or feel you can’t trust Him then now would be a good time to nip it in the bud. Read your Bibles, listen to Christian music, saturate yourself in what God has to say, and take control of your thoughts. Together we can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens us.

The Lord bless you and keep you; The Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you; The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace.”    In Christ pastor allen.  
___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
 
From the February Endeavors
 
It’s hard to believe that March is upon us and I’m beginning my fourth month with the First Baptist Church Family. I feel like I’m settling in and if I were a sailor I’d say, “I’m getting my sea legs.” The transition process was minimized because each one of you have been instrumental in helping Terri and me to come on board. Thank you for your warmth and love.  
 
The Interim period is about to change because this is the beginning phase called “initiating change.” I know change is about as much fun as going to the dentist to get a tooth pulled. Change is not pleasant nor fun, but that’s why I’m here to help. I thank God and you for this opportunity to be a part of your transformation journey. 
 
I’ll have a lot more to say in the months ahead but the first thing I want to say is “for things to change, I must change.” If we are unwilling to change, then we know what our future looks like.  
 
It all starts or stops with me, not others. Anyone can change things, but only God can change people. I’m positive and optimistic that this must and will happen. But I’m also a realist. I live with people and served in churches where this did not happen.  
 
This process is not about the interim nor the future pastor. The process is all about me changing. Then it becomes all about us changing. Then it’s about coming together to ask God what His plans are for the future of First Baptist. I’ve done this long enough to know if people are giving lip service to change, or life service to change.  
 
My personal walk with God is different than my walk with God’s people. It’s like running in a race by myself and running a sack race tied to another. They’re both races, but to run a race tied to another demands changes.  
 
So, where do we begin? First, go into our prayer closet and have a little talk with Jesus about who is the head of the church. Next, share with one another what the head of the church is asking us to do. Finally come together and do it. 
 
Remember! this decision is not about some of us - or a few of us - but all of us.  
 
In Christ’s Love, 
 
Allen 
 
 


About Dr. Admire:
 
At the conclusion of morning worship on 11-24 the church went into conference and voted to call Rev. Allen Admire as Interim Pastor of First Baptist. He will assume duties immediately and be in the pulpit next Sunday. Please take an opportunity to welcome Pastor Admire as you see him around the church.
 
Reverend Admire received his Bachelor of Religion from Campbell University, his Master of Divinity from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, as well as his Doctor of Ministry from Trinity Theological Seminary.  He has also received certifications from the American Association of Christian Counselors,  Interim Ministry Training and Intentional Interim Ministry Training through the Center for Congressional Health at Baptist Hospital.
 
Reverend Admire will be available two days each week and will preach on Sunday mornings.  The days that he is available will be dependent upon staff meetings, programs and meetings at the church, as well as needs of the congregation - such as hospital visits, etc.  As soon as these details are worked out this information will be passed along through the web-site, bulletins, and newsletter.