Supporting Missions

Dear friends,

It seems that every year there are increasing numbers of appeals for our financial support. While we have often heard that it is more blessed to give than receive (and I recently preached on the Biblical call to generosity), the vast number of agencies and ministries requesting our help can be over-whelming. Especially during this time of year, it seems that we hear many calls to help people in need during the Christmas season.

In the midst of so many worthy requests for our giving, let us not forget the Global Missions Offering. I am grateful that HVBC makes a commitment to give 10% of our budget to missions, but I also believe that the Bible teaches us to give a tithe and offerings. The Global Missions Offering provides us one opportunity to make an impact in supporting missionaries and mission work around our world. As a church, we have a goal of raising $6,000 for missions during Advent. We have met and exceeded our offering goal in recent years, and I urge you to give generously and willingly to support this offering.

As has been the case in recent years, we offer two options for supporting global missions this season. In recent years, HVBC has sent most of our international missions money through the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. The CBF Global Missions Offering has focused its efforts on unreached people groups; that is, language and ethnic groups who have little or no access to the Gospel. You may also give to the Lottie Moon Offering of the Southern Baptist Convention. The International Mission Board of the SBC supports missionaries who work in a wide variety of areas and tasks, but have a special focus on evangelism and church starting.

Beginning this Sunday, you will find offering envelopes in the pew racks for these two offerings. Both offerings send every penny collected directly to the mission field. For this reason, these are excellent ways to support the work of global missions. Amidst the numerous opportunities we have to give during this season, I invite you to consider prayerfully how you might support missions through this seasonal offering.

Grace and Peace,

Out Fishing

Dear friends,

In a book entitled, Our Daily Bread, Philip Parham tells the story of a rich and successful businessman who became very confused one day when he found a man sitting lazily on the shore beside his boat. “Why aren’t you out there fishing?” he asked.

“Because I’ve caught enough fish for today,” said the fisherman.

“Why don’t you catch more fish than you need?” asked the businessman.

“What would I do with them?”

“You could earn more money and buy a better boat so you could go out deeper and catch more fish. You could purchase nylon nets, catch even more fish, and make more money. Soon you’d have a fleet of boats and be rich like me.”

The fisherman looked at the man and asked, “Then what would I do?”

“You could sit down and enjoy life,” answered the businessman.

“What do you think I am doing right now?” replied the fisherman.

How difficult it is for me, and for many of us, to remember to make time to step away from the pressures of life to enjoy the life God has given us and to appreciate the blessings we have. How difficult it is for many of us to heed the invitation of Psalm 46:10 which tells us to “Be still, and know that I am God.” During this Thanksgiving season and the Advent season that will soon be here, let us make a renewed commitment to spend time reflecting on the blessings we receive from God and the promise of His presence and provision. As we do, may we find peace and joy amidst the busy schedules and pressures of life because we know that God is with us and provides for us all that we truly need.