“God has a plan” is one of the famous sayings in my house. My wife says this to our children about every concern or plan or issue that does not go exactly as we hoped, planned or dreamed. For everyone, 2020 has been the most unusual year . . . but God has a plan!

Someone said to me that the church has been a little like the Israelites in Exodus wandering in the desert! And I replied, yes very much so – we are wandering in some ways and not sure exactly where we are going and many people just want to go “back to Egypt” when God is really trying to prepare us for “the promised land.”

 “And Moses said to the people, ‘Remember this day in which you went out from Egypt, from the house of slavery; for by a powerful hand the Lord brought you out from this place . . . He swore to your fathers to give you , a land flowing with milk and honey. ‘ “  Exodus 13:3-5

COVID has changed and challenged us in many ways as a society and as the church. COVID has definitely made us more creative. But God has a plan. God has used COVID in many ways to strip the church of our perceived need for a building, a set program, all the traditions and cultural things that we have constructed and think of as “Church”. Many of these things are just that – our culture, our traditions – not necessary bad, but also not necessarily Biblical or even necessary though we like them and enjoy them.

While we are trying to adjust to a new normal with COVID restrictions and challenges, some of us really just want to go “back to Egypt.” We want to go back to the familiar, the normal, the traditions, and our preferences. However, God has a plan in all of this. Perhaps, God is trying to prepare us for something better, the Promised Land, Heaven – the next life, His imminent return. God was with Israel through all the desert wandering – guiding, protecting, providing, presenting the Law, and preparing them for the promised land and revealing His Glory. God is with us!

Jeremiah 29:10-13 reminds us that God has a plan! 10 “For this is what the Lord says: ‘When seventy years have been completed for Babylon, I will visit you and fulfill My good word to you, to bring you back to this place. 11 For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for ]prosperity and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13 And you will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.”

Remember COVID = Christ Offers Victory in Death. John 11:25 “Jesus said, I am the resurrection and the Life; he who believes in Me shall live even if he dies.”   In Christ, we have nothing to fear.

Be assured as we move into the 2021 New Year – God has a plan! Let us seek the Lord with all of our heart! The Great Commandment. Let us seek to share the Gospel and make disciples! The Great Commission. Every blessing to you in the Lord Jesus as you seek to serve Him this New Year.

~Marty Dupree
John 3:16 Cards
Click HERE for a video about the John 3:16 cards. You can contact the LRBA office at 910-893-4282 or to arrange a time for pickup.
Ministers' Monthly Conference
January 12th, 10am
Tax & Retirement Planning
Guest Speaker: Davis Blount, CPA

Ministers' Monthly Prayer Meeting

January 26th- 10am
A Time of Kingdom Focused Prayer for Revival & Awakening
(Please watch for an email with instructions
or email for the Zoom Meeting ID)

  • Get a look at the upcoming VBS
  • Train your teams
  • Be encouraged & inspired to make next summer the best VBS ever!

Digital Previews feature:
  • Multiple January attendance dates & times
  • Over 20 breakout sessions
  • Giveaways during the live event
  • And more!
 WMU Mission Projects

January Mission Emphasis: Please join us in a domestic mission's project as we partner with New England--Vermont Faith Community in Barre, Vermont. We will be collecting hats, gloves, scarves and socks for children ages 3 months to 15 years old. Please deliver to the LRBA Office by January 29th.

February Mission Emphasis: February is the Love Month and we are asking that each church provide 5 cakes and deliver to Ladles of Love at 301 S. Main St., Lillington for the plates that are served daily to help those in need. To coordinate delivery email or call 910-379-2558.

Thank you for answering God's call to serve!
 ~Becky Putnam, LRBA Missions Involvement Consultant   
Jan. 14-15, 2021
NC Evangelistic Retreat
Caraway Conference Center, Sophia, N.C.
Jan. 19, 2021
Wix Virtual Training

Wix is a web-based platform used to train churches in developing and maintaining an online presence with a website.
Feb. 23, 2021
Disciple-Making Conference
In-Person & Virtual
March 13, 9:30am - 3:30pm
AWAKEN - NC Prayer Gathering
Coats, N.C.
The Awaken” Prayer Gathering provides a rich environment for God to speak to His people as they gather to seek Him for revival and spiritual awakening.
LRBA Calendar of Events
1 New Year's Day, LRBA Office closed
7 Senior Adult Planning Meeting, LRBA Office, 2:30pm
12 Minsters' Tax Workshop, Davis Blount, 10am
12 WMU Assoc. Leadership Team Meeting, LRBA, 6:30pm
14-15 Evangelistic Retreat,Caraway
17 Sanctity of Life Sunday
19 Wix Training, BSCNC (Virtual)
24 Baptist Men's Day in Churches
25 Assoc. Council/Executive Comm. Meeting, 6:30pm
26 Ministers' Monthly Prayer, 10am
28 Young Leaders Initiative Meeting, 10:30AM, LRBA
29 WMU January Missions Emphasis Due to LRBA Office

8-14 WMU/Heck-Jones Offering/Week of Prayer
9 WMU Pastor's Appreciation Banquet-TBD
13 Childrens Ministry Day
23 Disciple Making Conference, Friendly Ave, Greensboro
23 Region 4 Mission Ralley, Central Baptist, Wendell