In this edition:
  • Dr. Mac's Minute: What's in a Name?
  • Dakota Baptist churches surpass 2021 Baker State Missions goal!!! 
  • Wanted! Dakota Baptist CP Ambassadors
  • Around the Dakotas
  • President Mueller announces 2022 focus
  • Dakota churches host IMB missionaries
  • Belle Fourche church tops $50,000 for international missions
  • CP story: Don & Lanail Hamilton
Dr. Mac's Minute
What’s in a Name?

Passage: Exodus 3:10-22
Focus: vv. 13-14

Few things are more important to a person than their name. They want it spelled correctly and pronounced correctly. I confess . . . I’m that way. Unfortunately for others, my last name looks and sounds similar to a well-known fast-food chain. The difference? My name has an extra “a,” like the well-known children’s song about a country gent with lots of noisy animals. When someone misspells my name, I usually say nothing. When I do, I often joke, “It’s the farmer, not the clown.”

Nothing is more important to God (and for us) than His name. When God told him to return to Egypt to deliver Israel, Moses knew that his own name would not carry much weight. After all, he had fled the country four decades earlier to escape a murder rap that scared even those he was trying to defend. Moses wanted to know God’s name so he could make it clear whose idea it was for him to lead the escape plan.

God told Moses His name was YHWH (pronounced “Yah-way”). It is from the verb, “to be,” or as the passage says, “I AM WHO I AM.” God is. His name says it all:

    *Psalm 9:10: “Those who know Your name will put their trust in You
    *Psalm 106:8 “He saved them for the sake of His name
    *Proverbs 18:10: “The name of the LORD is a strong tower
    *Isaiah 26:13: “You alone, we confess Your name
    *Isaiah 42:8: “I am the LORD; that is My name; My glory I give to no other
    *Jeremiah 16:21: “They shall know that My name is the LORD
    *Joel 2:32: “Whoever calls on the name of the LORD will be delivered
    *Micah 4:5: “As for us, we will walk in the name of the LORD our God forever

How important is God’s name? When Jesus taught His disciples to pray, what was the first request (be careful . . . it’s not, “Thy Kingdom come; Thy will be done”)? Say it with me . . . “Our Father who art in heaven, HALLOWED BE THY NAME.” The first request of the Lord’s Prayer is that God’s name would be “hallowed.” That means respected, honored, and revered. Our first thought when we pray is to be to give God’s holy name the glory and honor it is due. That is to be our first thought in everything we do.

When Jesus challenged the religious leaders, they wanted to know who He was and what right He had to say what He said and do what He did. Jesus answered, “Before Abraham was born, I am” (John 8:58). Jesus claimed the same name and authority that called Moses to leave the desert and return to Egypt. His death, burial, and resurrection vindicated that claim and moved Peter to proclaim, “There is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).
In all that you do in 2022, honor, bow before, and proclaim the Name that “is above all others” (Phil. 2:9).

Note: This is the fifth in a seven-part series of devotionals, “The Life of Moses . . . the Early Chapters.” If you missed the first four in previous issues of Dakota Happenings, email us at fred@dakotabaptist.com and we will send you copies.
Dakota Baptist churches surpass 2021 Baker State Missions goal!!! 

The goal for the 2021 Baker State Missions Offering is $40,000. As of late December, Dakota Baptists had given $48,368.78! This is the second time in the last three years the churches of the Dakotas surpassed a $40,000 goal. The 2021 state missions offering will be allocated as follows: Pastor/Church Emergencies 30%, Native American Ministry 25%, Leadership Development 25%, and Summer Missions/Interns 20%.

This is the final Baker offering that will be allocation-based. Beginning with the 2022 offering, the annual state missions offering will be included as part of the DBC budget that was approved at the October annual meeting. Starting January 1, state mission offering gifts received throughout the year will be part of the general income. The state offering will continue to be promoted in September.
Wanted! Dakota Baptist CP Ambassadors

Beginning with the new year, the DBC is looking for a prayer-focused, mission-minded volunteer from each Dakota Baptist church to help promote the cooperative Kingdom work that is being accomplished in the Dakotas and around the world. This team of mission volunteers will be known as CP Ambassadors.

The role of the CP Ambassador will be to: 1) provide education in their local church on how the gospel is being advanced through cooperative mission work by SBC churches in the Dakotas and beyond, (2) share stories of cooperative ministry, (3) inspire and encourage church members to engage in cooperative missions through generous giving, persistent prayer, and mission action and (4) encourage their fellow church members to keep informed on work being done through other Dakota Baptist churches.

CP Ambassadors will receive training, encouragement, and resources to help in their role through Zoom and occasional in-person meetings. The first gathering will be a Zoom meeting on Saturday, January 29, at 10:00 a.m. (mountain time) / 11:00 a.m. (central time).

Each DBC church is invited to designate a CP Ambassador by sending their name, church name, personal e-mail address, phone number, and home mailing address to Fred MacDonald at fred@dakotabaptist.com. Churches can also share this information by calling the DBC office at 605-716-0130.

Click this link for a full description of the role of the CP Ambassador.
President Mueller announces 2022 focus

Newly elected DBC president Jeffrey Mueller has announced the theme for the 2022 state meeting and state missions offering. The focus for the Dakotas this year will be “Celebrating Intentionally. Together."

Mueller shares, "Ministry is not easy and the last few years have been no exception to that. Far short of persecution, the complexities of leading through COVID and the political tension of the last few years may be some of the most complex and difficult areas for pastors or anyone to lead through. Despite these or any difficulty, The LORD has granted every gospel-preaching, Jesus-centered church so much to be grateful for, even in our most challenging seasons. In that spirit, for the year ahead, I hope to see the DBC form a growing culture that does not celebrate blessings from our Heavenly Father casually or incidentally, but with an incredible level of intentionality and to do so together. Whether it is a personal victory in our own local church or something remarkable in one of our sister churches on the other side of the state, may we be a people who goes out of our way to celebrate God's blessing together."

Mueller is the pastor/planter of Restore Church in Yankton, manages a pastoral virtual assistance service for churches, and recently re-planted a church in Crofton, NE.
Dakota churches host IMB missionaries

They say, “timing is everything.” At last October’s DBC annual meeting, Russ Grim, pastor at First Southern Baptist in Gregory, SD was talking with Calvin Jones about how long it had been since they had had a mission conference that featured Southern Baptist missionaries sharing in local churches about their work. Jones is pastor at Cornerstone Baptist in Mitchell, SD. 

A week later Grim received an email from a couple preparing to head to the mission field as IMB missionaries. HH and KH* had just finished language school and were making final preparations to move their family to Central Asia. They will be helping to develop water projects. KH’s parents live in a small town near Gregory.

Grim seized the opportunity and arranged for the couple to visit the churches in Gregory and Mitchell. He asked the missionaries the best way for his church to help them. They said that, in addition to praying for our missionaries, the best way to help is by giving through the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions.

Dakota Baptists partner with fellow Southern Baptists in keeping several thousand missionaries on the field by giving to the Cooperative Program and with the annual Lottie Moon offering.

 * (initials are used because of dangers related to the area of the world where the couple has been assigned to serve)
Belle Fourche church tops $50,000 for international missions

The people of Connection Church in Belle Fourche, SD, gave over $56,000 last month to the Lottie Moon Offering for International Missions. This tops last year’s record offering of just short of $50,000. Pastor Stephen Carson said the congregation has a great heart and vision for worldwide missions.
*click image above to link to CP story with powerpoint image download