Never Stop Dreaming

Walter Cantwell

During a meeting this week, I heard a story about a teenager who had a remarkable dream. Most mornings I wake up and cannot remember my dreams. On the rare occasion that I do remember my dreams, they are uninspiring and downright boring. I wish my dreams were more like the dream of this teenager. Stick around to see how her dream relates to what is happening at Belin Memorial.

Our annual Bar-B-Que and Fall Festival will be held at the church on Saturday, November 3rd, from 9 AM to 3 PM. The Bar-B-Que Team has been testing different sauces and working hard to perfect the smoking process in order to ensure that this will be the best bar-b-que you taste this fall. On the day of the event, there will be crafts, a silent auction, and many delicious baked goods. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased in the office or Family Life Center. All proceeds help people within our community that need financial assistance. The Bar-B-Que and Fall Festival is not only a fun day for our church, but it is a way for us to make an impact in our community.

There are still open spots for Belin’s Golf Tournament on Monday, October 22nd, at Wachesaw Plantation. Pick-up a registration form in the Family Life Center or online - click HERE. The golf tournament benefits Belin Missions. You don’t want to miss this fun day on the golf course.

If you have ever considered going on a mission trip, you are encouraged to join Belin’s International Mission Trip to San Raymundo, Guatemala, this coming July. The team will build a home for a family in just four days. No expertise or experience is required. Contact David Goettel, goettel@sc.rr.com,  if you would like more information about this wonderful and life-changing mission trip.

Belin Memorial is a Stephen Ministry congregation. What that means is that the church has dedicated, gifted, and equipped members who provide nurture and care for people going through a difficult time. If you are in need spiritual guidance as you navigate through a particularly challenging season in your life, please contact the church office. Belin’s Stephen Ministers are trained to help you find hope and healing. Every Sunday, Stephen Ministers are available for you in The Harbor in case you need someone to pray with after the service.

A 15-year-old teenager had a dream in 2004, and she shared her dream with her parents. They dismissed the dream as being a far-fetched idea without any possibility of becoming a reality. But this teenager could not stop thinking about her dream, and so she kept talking with her parents. Finally, they sent her to their pastor.

Her dream was to help AIDS orphans in Africa. And her dream became a reality.

Today ZOE helps empower orphans and other vulnerable children so that they move from a place of extreme poverty to being self-sufficient. ZOE teaches these children that they are loved by God and capable of doing something amazing with their lives. One dream has changed the present and future for many families in Africa.

As a church, we are to dream and to work hard so that those dreams become a reality. Join us in worship this Sunday. Join us around the table during our Bar-B-Que and Fall Festival. Join us on the golf course. Join us at the construction site in Guatemala. Join us in dreaming that Jesus is taking us, normal and everyday people, and is using us to reveal heaven to others, just like our Stephen Ministers do all the time.

Allow God’s dream for our lives, for our church, and for our community to become a reality. Don’t dismiss what God is capable of doing.

Never stop dreaming!
Walter

Sharing the Good News

B. Mike Alexander, Jr.

Sharing the good news of Jesus Christ can be done in a number of ways. Some people hand out tracts in grocery store parking lots, some preach on street corners, some even write thought-provoking devotionals, and some invite others to church.

Last week a number of Belin Memorial staff members joined me in attending the Leadership Institute in Leawood, Kansas. We were with Adam Hamilton at the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection, and we explored ways to share the good news of Jesus Christ.

While I was participating in one of the sessions, I learned that Kansas City has about 50 independently owned coffee shops. Interestingly, many of them are run by Christians. As a means of witness, they strive to offer the best coffee in Kansas City.

 Are you aware that Christian-owned coffee shops are all over this country? They are not run in the stereotypical “Christian” way. Confrontation witnessing is not a predominant emphasis. Instead, the Christian witness is through serving excellent coffee. These coffee shop owners believe that offering an excellent product is a reflection of the excellence that God exhibits.

I do believe that excellence is a characteristic of God. Think about that as you consider the words of the psalmist, “O Lord, when I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars that you have established…O Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!” (Psalm 8).

So this is why we have to be great at what we do. It is not enough just to be good. The coffee shops in Kansas are not known necessarily for their faith. Instead, they are known for their excellent coffee. They just happen to love Jesus, too. 

I believe that everything we do at Belin Memorial United Methodist Church should be done with excellence. Now we are far from perfect. I know that, but we ought to strive for excellence. Our worship, our programming, our efforts at evangelism, our attempts to develop and enrich the faith of our members, and even our future plans for this campus should be about our commitment to be great.  What is being done in coffee shops all over the country is something unique, different. For sure, it is thinking outside the box.

 As we move into the last quarter of the year, let’s think about committing ourselves to being even a greater church in the New Year. However, let’s not wait until January to begin. Let’s begin now. Let’s strive for a more excellent way.

One way for you to work toward this is to connect more. This week you have a number of opportunities. Join us this evening, October 5, for a Hurricane Benefit Concert performance by the Harbor Worship Team beginning at 7 PM in the Family Life Center (admittance is free; donations will benefit victims of Hurricane Florence). Worship either in The Harbor or The Sanctuary this Sunday. Walter and I will address the act of forgiveness in our services. Consider attending a Sunday school class or sticking with a small Growth Group.  Remember the Rollie Hanna Breakfast on Wednesday morning for breakfast and devotional. Or attend The Gathering on Thursday evening as we share a fellowship meal.

Another way for you to work toward a more excellent way is to grow in the faith. On Monday evening, plan to attend a co-ed Bible study, “The Rock, the Road, the Rabbi.” Others may want to consider attending a women’s study on “The Twelve.” Although this study has been going on for several weeks, you can still attend. Or think about the women’s study on Thursday evening on “Discerning.” Men are encouraged to attend

Finally, another way for you to work toward a more excellent way is to find a way to serve. We are in the process of finding ways for this church to serve the victims of the recent flooding related to Hurricane Florence. We have a small group working on a repair project this Saturday morning for a family in the Socastee area. Brandy Streett is organizing our Belin Golf Tournament on October 22. All the proceeds will be directed to missions. Brandy could use some additional help that day. If you are interested in serving, call her at 843.385.1676. Emeline Jordan is looking for table parents at LOGOS for the next four Tuesday evenings. Would you consider giving Emeline a call at 843.997.8519?

Seeking a more excellent way,
Mike