First of all, I want to thank the Lord for His great mercy and His goodness. He has been far better to us than we deserve, and I praise Him for all He has done. Secondly, I apologize for getting this letter out this close to the Campmeeting dates. I trust that my negligence hasn’t caused anyone any inconvenience.
After much prayer and discussion, our church and I have decided to forego hosting a Campmeeting in June. Instead of having Campmeeting, we will be having evening services on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday night. We currently have six HVAC units that need to be replaced, along with some other structural and maintenance issues. We have already begun raising the money and making the repairs to our facilities, and God is blessing our efforts to be wise stewards of His money. We felt that it would be wise for us to get our buildings in order and focus on the immediate needs of our ministry rather than divert any funds to hosting a meeting. Please join in prayer with us as we endeavor to follow God’s direction.
Dr. Tommy Wensil from Kannapolis, North Carolina will be preaching for us on Thursday night, June 6th. Then on Friday night, June 7th, Brother Jeff Ledbetter will be preaching. Following the service on Friday night, we will have a time of fellowship with home-made ice cream and volleyball for the young people. We invite you to be with us on these nights if you can and enjoy the good preaching of these men of God. If you need a place to stay, we can help you reserve a motel room at our meeting discounted rate or you can stay in our dorms free of charge if you desire.
Lastly, we hope to see you and your children ages 4-12 for the best Junior Camp we’ve ever had. The theme is GOLDRUSH and we will be enjoying some great preaching and teaching on valuing those things that are eternal and reap everlasting rewards. We’ve got some great preachers lined up and the activities, skits, singing, food and games will be a real treat. Please visit our website or give us a call for your registration packet and all the information.
Thank you for being a friend to this ministry and for holding us up in prayer. We appreciate you and your efforts to serve our precious Lord. We value your friendship and your prayers.
Serving the Lord with Gladness,
Pastor Stacey Shiflett
I am still a little in awe over the results of our Missions Sunday on the 17th. I must admit – it was one of the most unusual Missions Sundays we’ve ever had. For starters, we only had one missionary family, other than the main speaker, Dr. Shumpert. We didn’t have our usual International Dinner. Just three messages. But it seems that God did a far greater work in hearts than was obvious at first. The pledges are still coming in – three weeks later. People are giving, and the missions offerings are greater than they’ve ever been. We prayed for a $20,000 increase, and we are currently at $35,800 in pledged increase. How good God is to us, and how excited we are that God will allow us to do even more than ever to reach the world!
I had the opportunity last night to preach a one night meeting at Antioch Baptist Church in Harlem GA. The altars were full of young people responding to the message on “Joshua – One-In-A-Million”. Thankful for the invitation from Pastor David Young to preach. Praying for eternal results from the service.
I’m looking forward to preaching revival next week for Pastor Charles Hyatt in Chesnee SC at the Bible Belt Baptist Church. The services will be Monday through Friday night. The church is located at 4991 Chesnee Hwy., Chesnee, SC, 29323. Please pray for this dear pastor and his church that God would do a work in their hearts next week.
I’m excited about what God has in store. Seeing souls saved recently, and new families wanting to join the church is so exciting. There are plenty of things that we could be discouraged about if we wanted to, but when I look at what God is doing, it thrills my soul! There’s no better time to be a Christian! The darker the night, the brighter the light.
The Parable of Ditch Digger’s Wife
By Pastor Stacey Shiflett
NOTE: I was asked recently to preach a message on the Pastor’s wife at a conference. While studying for this message, I thought of this analogy.
Imagine being the wife of a ditch digger. Your husband sets you down and tells you that he wants to dig ditches for a living. It sounds foreign to you, but he embraces his new career with zeal and excitement. You are so proud of him! You just know he will be the best ditch digger ever! You have so much confidence in your man to be able to do it!
But imagine day after day, when he comes home from work and you ask him, “Honey, did you dig a good ditch today?” His reply might be, “Well not really. I bought a brand new shovel, and worked for several hours, but we hit a root. It pretty much took all day. In fact, this root might take a few months to remove before we can actually start digging the ditch, but I’m confident that we will be able soon to build a real nice ditch.”
Weeks pass and turn into months. He leaves the house every day with his shovel, looking forward to digging that ditch. One day you ask him how it is going. He replies, “Well, we finally got that root out of the way. That thing sure was deep! But we got it out and started digging that ditch. We got a few feet and hit a rock. It just will not budge! There is no telling how big it is. We cannot work any more on the ditch until we get that rock out of the way. And I do not think that is the only rock either. It looks like there will be more of them. We will just have to see. I sure do wish we could dig that ditch. I have been so excited about digging a real, nice ditch. But it seems like all I do is cut out roots and dig out rocks.”
You say, “Well Honey, why don’t you dig a ditch somewhere else? It sounds to me like you could dig a better ditch in another field.” And he replies, “Well, I was talking to the boss this morning about that very thing. I told him that if he would let me, I would be glad to take my shovel to another field and start digging a ditch there, but he insisted that he wanted a real nice ditch right here. I told him that I know it does not look like it, but I felt like I was wasting my time as a ditch digger when all I was doing was chopping at roots and clearing out rocks all day. I told him I felt bad getting paid to fight with roots and rocks all day when he was paying me to dig ditches. He assured me that chopping at roots and digging at rocks WAS digging ditches.”
Months roll into years. Your husband has worn out several shovels and even a few axes along the way. One day he comes home all excited! You ask him, “Honey! What is it? You look like you are on top of the world!” With joy he informs you that he finally broke through the roots and the rocks and has been able to start digging that ditch!” You are so proud of him! He takes you out to look at it, and it is a sight to behold! He made it straight, and he made it deep and he made the sides smooth and he is doing a great job. His boss even commended him on his ability to dig ditches and you knew…you just knew that he could dig a ditch if he were given half a chance!
But the next day, he walks in with his shoulders sagging and his head down. You ask him, “Honey, what happened? You look so discouraged!” He looks at you and says, “Darling, I know you won’t believe this, but something bad has happened. Last night while we were sleeping, a pack of wolves got to messing around our ditch and somehow, they knocked all the dirt that we had dug out back into the ditch! That straight, smooth, beautiful ditch is a mess! We will have to spend quite a while getting it back like it was. “ You feel so sorry for him and you ask, “How long do you think it will take?” You are stunned by his answer!
“Well, it depends on who you ask,” he replied. “The boss said it would not take that long. In fact, he did not seem too worried about it. Some ditch diggers from across town drove by and laughed at us and told us to just give up – that we were wasting our time. They were telling us how much ditch they were getting dug and how that they had found a place that did not have any roots or rocks or wolves and they were getting so much done. I asked my boss if it was true that they were making a lot of progress and he said not really. It turns out that they are not digging the same kind of ditch that we are. From the road it looks awesome. But if you get up close, and actually get down in the ditch, you see that theirs isn’t nearly as deep, and it is really not that straight. And the truth is they do have roots and rocks. They just dug their ditch around the roots and where there were rocks, they left them there and just went over them. In fact, you can see the rocks plain as day. They said that it added character, but it looks horrible! When we asked them about the rocks, they said we were judging and that we should not be so mean. My boss said that they were bad about cheating. They are not using shovels – they are using backhoes and tractors. They did not even try to hide it! You would think that with all that equipment that they could do something about those rocks, but they do not seem to even notice. He also told me that they were notorious for bribing other ditch diggers to leave their crew and come help them. I just do not know how they can get away with it? They even had a national publication come interview them and take pictures of their ditch to print in the magazine. Of course, they all stood in front of the rocks and by looking at the pictures, you could not tell that they were cheating. Everybody thinks they are the greatest ditch diggers in the world. They are even hosting special classes to teach everybody else how to dig a ditch like theirs. But who wants to?”
Years pass by. Everywhere you go, people ask you what your husband does for a living. You tell them that he is a ditch digger. Some think it is a dumb job. Some people are curious. They want to see pictures of the ditch he is digging. You show them, but it is really hard to tell by looking at that one ditch he has been working on for years just what all is going on. You try to explain that he spent a lot of time digging out roots and moving rocks, but it sounds like you are making excuses. If you try to tell them about the incident with the wolves, they think you are just blaming everybody else for your husband’s failure to do his job right. You are not really sure how to talk to people about what your husband does. They just do not seem to get it. He still seems so intent on digging that ditch!
Your husband’s boss seems to be content with what he’s done, so that has got to be worth something. One thing is for sure – being the wife of a ditch digger is not at all like you thought it would be. It sure would be nice if everybody understand what your husband really did. But you are so proud of your husband – not because his ditch is the biggest and the longest, but because he is doing it just like his boss asked him to. You are just glad to be the wife of a real, honorable ditch-digger.
I Cor. 4:9-13 For I think that God hath set forth us the apostles last, as it were appointed to death: for we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men. We are fools for Christ’s sake, but ye are wise in Christ; we are weak, but ye are strong; ye are honourable, but we are despised. Even unto this present hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no certain dwellingplace; And labour, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it: Being defamed, we intreat: we are made as the filth of the world, and are the offscouring of all things unto this day.
How many times have you had a week of Revival Meetings at your church only to experience the deadest and coldest Sunday service afterwards? There is nothing more frustrating and nonsensical than a week of preaching on revival followed by a Lord’s Day that is more like a funeral! I may not be an expert, but I would have to say there was not much reviving taking place. How can a church think they have experienced true revival if they feel that because they went to church five nights in a row that they can take Sunday off and visit Grandma?
What a blessing it was to have a tremendous Lord’s Day yesterday after our Revival meeting last week.
Then on Sunday, the spirit and atmosphere was absolutely wonderful. People didn’t act tired and worn out – they looked and acted energized. The liberty to preach was astounding. Of course, having not preached for a week, my spiritual carburetor was about flooded out! I was so excited about starting a new series to go along with our theme for this year, “Get Wisdom”. I can’t tell you how much fun it was to preach to a group of people that were leaning forward, hanging on every word. That altar was filled with individuals and families begging God for wisdom.
The evening service started with a 5 o’clock Singspiration as we explored and sang out of our brand new song books from North Valley Publications. We had a blessing! Then the evening service was precious with some sweet special singing, testimonies and a message entitled “How To Let Your Pastor Be Your Pastor” out of Jeremiah 3:15. I was so thrilled to notice that the attendance was up, the number of repeat visitors were up, the offerings were up and the response to the messages was unbelievable. I can’t go into it, but we witnessed a miracle yesterday. God is doing some amazing things. I guess what I’m trying to say is I believe that our church has experienced a touch of revival. At least that is what it looked like yesterday at church!
It’s 2013! Wow. Time sure flies when you’re having fun. And when you have 5 kids in the house. And when you’re over 40.
I am so thankful for what all God has done for us last year. I can’t remember ever been this thankful, or this aware of how good God is. He is a perfect God – a wonderful God – and I’m so glad I know Him and have the joy of serving Him.
We had an amazing Vision Banquet last night! It was our first one, but it will definitely not be our last. I can’t remember when I had so much fun – sharing with my precious flock what God has put in my heart for our church this year. I can’t tell you how thrilled I am with the results of our 2012 BornOf4 follow-up efforts. Looking at the number of first time visitors and seeing that 50% of them came back again was nothing short of an answer to prayer. People just want to know that people care, and nobody should care for people more than God’s children. Loving people, and caring for people is what a Christian is supposed to be doing. It works I tell you!
It was also a huge joy to present the budget for 2013 and realize just how good God has been to allow us to be a part of a ministry that has a global impact. I’m so excited about what God has in store for this ministry and the people that make it possible.
With Revival starting this coming Sunday with Evangelist Billy Ingram, I am praying for God to do a work in our hearts. It is through the preaching and our response to it that makes it possible for God to bring about change.
Let’s win some people to Christ this year! Let’s do more for Him than we did last year. He is worthy.
By Pastor Shiflett
It is no secret - Pleasant View Baptist Church is different! We discovered that when you are in step with God, you will find yourself many times out of step with everyone else. Just as a salmon will swim against the current to accomplish it’s desires, we find ourself more often than not swimming against the current of modern trends and culture. Here are a few of the ways that Pleasant View Baptist Church is DIFFERENT!
Unlike many of the churches in the Upstate, Pleasant View does NOT embrace the Calvinistic beliefs that Jesus only died for some people and that He predestined others to Hell. We believe that God’s will for every man, woman, boy and girl is to hear the gospel and to be saved. We boldly preach against the doctrines of Calvinism and we believe in personal soul winning and evangelism of “every creature” – no matter their color, creed or culture. We also believe that once they accept Jesus Christ as their personal Savior, that they should be baptized, join the church and grow in grace. At Pleasant View you will find a variety of nationalities and races of blood-bought believers, worshipping and growing together in Christ.
The church services at Pleasant View are different in a lot of ways. We do our best to follow the leadership of the Holy Spirit and it is common to hear people stand in the service and give personal testimonies of God’s goodness in their life. Our singing is heartfelt and filled with old fashioned praise and worship – not the modern kind with generic choruses and Charismatic flavor. We use the hymn book in our congregational singing and our special music features soloist, trio’s, family groups and choir arrangements – not dance teams, drama teams and contemporary, worldly music. At the conclusion of the service, we always have an altar call for people to respond to the message. Sometimes, people will go to the altar during the song service if God is speaking to their heart. Different? Sure! But we believe that when God speaks, we should respond. We do not practice or promote the Charismatic “sign gifts” in our services. We are NOT a “seeker-sensitive” church. It is not our desire to customize our church to the variety of styles or customs of our visitors. This isn’t Baskin Robbins! What you see is what you get. And what you get is what we’ve been doing for 78 years, to God be the glory.
As the Pastor, I do my best to mind the leadership of the Holy Spirit and bring a message from the Scripture that will change lives. When I am preaching, I am not interested in winning friends and being popular, but in delivering “what thus saith the Lord.” The preaching is always from the Authorized King James – not some modern revision of God’s Word. We do not endorse, use, promote or accept any English translation other than the Old King James. The Bible says that in the last days, people will heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears. I’m not a “teacher”. I’m a preacher that is “apt to teach, and I definitely do not cater to those with “itching ears!” The preaching is mostly expository and is passionate, pointed and plain – so plain that we do not need a children’s church. We enjoy having the children in church with us, sitting under the sound preaching of God’s man and experiencing the Spirit of God moving in their hearts through the singing, worship and preaching. We see boys and girls saved on a regular basis – faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. Different? Yes!
It is my desire and the desire of our church to see souls saved, marriages strengthened, children raised in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, and for every one to be in the perfect will of God. Pleasant View still believes in walking in the “Old Paths” – unpopular in our day and age, but still God’s will for the church. We are not concerned about having a large youth group that sings in the choir on Sunday and lives in immorality and sin throughout the week. We are more interested in teaching them holiness, godliness and the Spirit-filled life. Teaching them to keep themselves pure and marrying in the will of God is a huge priority to us. We still believe that there are some parents out there that want their children to walk with God instead of the tattooed, body-piercing, dancing, fornicating, brain-washed teenagers of today. I have five children of my own. Keeping them out of the clutches of society and the devil is important to my wife and me. Having a clean, separated, God-fearing church is vital to raising godly children.
Is It Possible?
Is it possible to build a ministry in 2013 without caving in to the demands of the emergent church and the world? Of course! Jesus said, “Upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” The Bible says, “Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it.” We believe that if God is going to bless a church, it must operate under His demands and His requirements, not the whims and wishes of unbelievers and carnal believers. We may never be large, but with God’s help we will continue to be different.1 Peter 2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:
I know. My web logs (blogs) have been scarce. I have to admit. Since entering the Twitter community, I’ve enjoyed saying what I want to say in 140 characters or less. It is a personal challenge. And it’s fun. And it’s quick. And I KNOW that people read it, unlike my blog. So… (if you want to follow me on Twitter, I’m @staceyshiflett )
But I do want to just say that I believe this Christmas has been one of the best in my whole life. Yep. Forty Christmases, and this one is in the Top 3. I’m not sure if it was Grace’s delicious cooking, the fact that I mastered the art of smoking a turkey, the cold, rainy days, the sitting around in our log home with my 5 kids, wrapped in blankets and enjoying our time together, or what. But regardless, it’s been awesome. It’s probably a combination of all the above. I can’t remember when I’ve experienced God’s peace, contentment and the assurance of His love for me. He loves me like I was his only child. And He has blessed me with a precious wife and five wonderful children. I’m the richest man I know. Seriously.
I thank God for a godly home; a home that I enjoy coming home to, and a home that I hate to leave. I realize that it is because of Him that we can have a Christian home. I also can’t remember when the Christmas story has been so fascinating to me. It could have something to do with the fact that we just had a baby ourselves 11 months ago, and the whole birth experience is still so very fresh and real. I can’t recall preaching 4 Christmas messages in a row, until this year. The fact that He came and was OURS – “For unto YOU is born this day…a Saviour…” Isaiah 9:6 “For unto YOU a child is born; unto YOU a son is given…” He was OUR baby – I can’t recall ever thinking about it quite like that. It is precious to me.
I hope you had a great Christmas, and if you’ve never accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour, I wish you would. He has changed my life, and given me an abundant life. I am eternally grateful.
I’m sitting in Dearing GA this morning writing this post. No. You don’t know where it is. It’s a little settlement about 25 minutes east of Augusta GA. There’s not even a red light in this place. But God knows where it is. This is where I found my wife. And where we bought our first house. And where our first child was born. And our second child. This is where we lived while we built a 2 man outfit into a 5 crew, quarter of a million dollar construction company. This is where I studied for the ministry. This the where God called us to Africa. Needless to say, every time I come here, I can’t help but be reminded of how good God has been to me.
It is good to be home. It’s good to be saved and its good to be treated like I am His only child. Thank you Lord for your blessings on me!
This cartoon was produced in 1948 to illustrate the difference between Romney and B.O.
This short clip demonstrates the simplicity and beauty of what made America great on a level that even your children can understand.
I want to thank God first of all for what all He did in our church during this week’s Prayer Conference with Dr. Benny Beckum. We saw God save several souls, and break many more hearts. The preaching was humbling, reproving, rebuking and instructive. I believe that many people’s perspective of prayer will never be the same.
I want to thank our church members for their hard work and selfless service during the weeks leading up to the meeting and during the meeting. It was refreshing to have so many volunteers to help as hosts and hostesses. I want to especially thank the many members that took off work during the week to be available to work and to participate in the services. God will reward you!
I want to thank the many preachers and their folk that attended the meeting. We saw pastors from California, Washington, Canada, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Michigan and more. God was so good to give us a spirit of cooperation, unity, fervency and revival. It was a joy to meet some outstanding Christians that I am confident will be friends of ours for many years to come.
I also want to thank Dr. Benny Beckum for his vision and his passion for prayer and revival. It was a joy to have him in our church last Sunday and this week. It was a blessing to sit with him at the meals and ride with him around town and spend time with him. I want to thank him for allowing our church to host the meeting and to benefit from it.
I’m looking forward to seeing what God will do in the days and weeks ahead.
It was also good to be in the Emmanuel Baptist Church Campmeeting on Friday and today. I enjoyed seeing so many of my preacher friends and their families, as well as preaching this morning with several great preachers. I appreciate Pastor Bryan Treadway for his friendship and for what God is doing in his church. What an amazing place! To see what God has done there in the last 6 years is nothing short of a miracle, and we were thrilled as a family to be a part of their annual meeting.
Well, I will be turning 40 next Friday, so I’m enjoying my last few days of youth and vitality. See you on the other side of the hill!