Friday, December 2, 2016

Queen's Breakfast

Queen's Breakfast

The Serving Ladies and
some of the Served Ladies
Due to security not all young ladies
 could be included in photo
On November 22, 2017, ten women from three different churches, The Journey Church in Siler City, NC and The Refuge in Conway, SC, The Rock Worship Center in Monroe, NC, with the leadership of Carolyn Burd, National M25 Director woke after a short night of sleep at the Royal Home Ministries (RHM) to prepare a meal fit for a Queen. RHM is a home of hope, love and support for young ladies that are carrying a child with no family or friend support. It is a home dedicated to the tireless effort and vision of Rev/Mrs Marvin Whitfield, built across the road from Falcon Children's Home in Falcon, NC, hosted by North Carolina Conference of the IPHC. 

The young ladies were totally dependent on the Holy Spirit to make this a breakfast so special, bathed in love, that a Queen would have been blessed to be there. The passion and drive exemplified by these ladies could do nothing but lift the young ladies in the home. There were glass plates, real silverware, long stemmed glasses, cloth napkins and table clothes. There was even a warm wash cloth for each young lady to wash with before partaking of the meal. 

Some of the ladies eating
This meal was intended to elevate their self-esteem, many of whom could not even be in the picture due to their identity being concealed for safety sake. Anyone who has experienced giving birth or witnessed the trauma of bringing a child into this world, knows how painful it already is without all of the negativity of having no family or friend support. There was a desire to bring a good ole healthy dose of elevating love through service. 

One of the young ladies (a mere child of 13 years of age) grabbed a plate and chose to eat alone. When inquiring the situation, Carolyn learned this young lady was 'sold' by her mother to a man. (There is no point of reference for most of us. Can you imagine being so desperate that you 'sold' your daughter to survive? We read of these type things in foreign countries, we read of this level of desperation in Biblical times, but here in the most prosperous nation in the world, not here... but it did happen). The man chose when faced with his purchase bringing extra baggage of financial and emotional support, dropped her off at the curb, so to speak. This young child had experienced abandonment, abuse and rejection at levels will never know (so thankful this is a rarity and not the norm in our country. May we pray it never becomes the norm.) 
The meal

As the day ended and the young ladies went on with life in the RHM housing, as the eleven women returned to their families, we can only pray there was a positive lift in the young ladies in the home and the ladies who served will be impacted to a point they make this bigger and better next year. 

Friday, November 18, 2016

Sanding My Feet

How beautiful are the feet....

Having a 65 year old foot takes up time that has been allocated for things like: reaching for success, doing good for others, growing in my Faith Walk, spending time with those we love, etc. It is very tiring and boring, getting the file out (looks like a grater for cheese), spending time 'sanding' the foot, a lot of time. Then there is the ointment, the creme to keep it from cracking. Today, during the boring task of restoring my feet, this text came to mind.

Just an ugly 65 year old foot

  •  How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of the messenger who brings good news.. Isaiah 52:7
  •  And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, “How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!" Romans 10:15
Let's put those text written in perspective to when they were written. Many had to walk everywhere they went. Plus they did not have hiking boots or high dollar sports shoes. No insoles made of memory foam, most were just sandals. Remember the environment, have you been to Israel? Have you seen the desert, the rocky terrain? What about those areas were the weeds are growing, climbing to En-gedi (it was muddy and slick with rocks and vegetation).

Sitting there, sander in hand, creme on the table beside the chair, all I could think was, 'Really?'. Then the devotion the Lord had began to become clear.

As our feet get older, carry the scares of adventurous lives, show the stress of caring for family and friends, the burden of the load of serving in the Kingdom there were some warnings: The foot can become dry, cracked, rough and very ugly.

If the foot is not 'sanded', adverse situations grinding on the foot, it becomes so calloused and abrasive no one can stand to touch it, looking at it is bad enough. There should be a joy inside of us when we encounter adversity, it is removing the callouses, keeping us smooth. Preparing us to hurled into a world of evil as one of the smooth stones a Shepherd boy picked up, hurled toward a giant's forehead which caused that enemy to fall to the ground.

The creme keeps me teachable and pliable in the hands of an Almighty God, the Holy Spirit. Can you see balm of Gilead in His hands rubbing it into the hardness of the callous and the pain the adversity to get me tender again. Callouses brought by so many miles of demanding, spiritual terrain that no one has taken the time to look at my 'feet' to notice.

Feet, who goes around looking at people's feet? How many times have you seen people 'model' their feet? Oh, there is the craze of flip flops and women in open toed shoes but most of us men never care for our feet and never notice the feet of anyone else. Yet, it is the feet the Lord inspired the author's to pen that was beautiful.

As the time came for the creme to applied, it said on the directions, 'massage thoroughly into the skin and in extreme situations, cover with a cotton sock for quick healing'. Now, that is in incredible advise:

  • Get alone with the Holy Spirit today and allow Him to massage His love and tender care into your life. Let Him take that sweet balm of Gilead and refresh your journey. 
  • If you are hurting really bad, the callouses are really hard and the cracks have made it difficult to sleep at night due to catching on the sheets, let the Holy Spirit cloak you with His sweet presence and bring you peace. He is still able to calm the storm in your life or maybe, just maybe, He is desiring to just wrap you in the Power of Grace to get you through the storm! 
Feet.... beautiful, only in His presence when they are doing what they were designed to do.... take the Good News, the Gospel to a hurting and dying world. Remember, we are M25, a ministry outside the four walls. The question screaming inside me, 'Are you living your life in the desert areas of your community?' 'Are you taking the risk that your feet might take you to some dangerous places?' 'Are you actually traveling enough outside to even expose your feet to pain?' 

A day to ponder......

Monday, November 14, 2016

Toys For Life Motorcycle Ride

TOYS FOR LIFE

November 21, 2016 at 7 pm will be a historic moment! 

Motorcycles joining together for a rally at the Chapel on the property of Falcon Children's Home to bring physical, emotional, financial and spiritual support for the ladies living at the Royal Home Ministries. RHM is a beautiful home for girls who have an unexpected pregnancy who have no support at home. This is a  place they can stay with their baby until they are 21 years of age to receive support, motherhood training and finish their education. 

First 50 Bikes receives this patch free
The Rally will feature speakers and drama skits from guest and the girls in the home. It will be a power packed one hour event. 

Then at 8 pm, the bikes, dressed in Christmas Lights, will lead the other participants (carrying lit candles) to the Royal Home Ministries. Upon arrival there will be a ribbon cutting ceremony for the newly acquired Baby Boutique building. This will be a place where the girls can go and get the needs for their baby free of charge. This facility was purchased with money raised from the 50CC Diaper Run in 2016 and will store the 56,000 plus diapers and 62,000 plus baby wipes along with the toys for their baby's Christmas and birthdays. 

Everyone is encouraged to bring a toy for a baby 0-3 years of age, both girl and boy. We are asking for new toys, wrapped in original package and no stuffed animals. 

Ladies are encouraged to come and assist in preparing a breakfast, led by Carolyn Burd, for the ladies living in the home at 7 am the next morning. This will be a great time to let these girls know you care for them in their crisis. 

We look forward to seeing you at this exciting, first ever (which we hope will be an annual event). Then hang around for the Harvest Train the next morning. 

For more information, please feel free to call Gary Burd 806-670-9669 or Carolyn Burd 806-570-4556 or email us at gburd@arn.net. 

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Street Wisdom

On this beautiful autumn morning, riding from the motel to the church I was scheduled to speak, the urge to stop and visit with neighborhood, street people overtook me. The desire to hear their thoughts were too much to pass by. The message burning in my soul was about the church experiencing a 'Genesis Work' of 'recreation'. It appeared the best thing to do was to affirm the felt need with facts. The community has changed, racially and economically with most of the church members driving in from other communities. A beautiful facility filled with wonderful Christians but not so connected to the community, however the pastor certainly desired to see the community transformed by the Grace of God.

The first encounter, a man in his 60's, all alone, was hesitant to talk to a stranger, much less one riding a Harley Davidson. The question was poised, 'what kind of neighborhood is this?'. Quickly he responded, 'a good neighborhood' and then tried to abandon our visit. After having several questions to keep him engaged, he finally said, 'look, we need help. Killings when you don't even know who it was that killed you. Senseless killings. A church could help the neighborhood'. The frustration and pain of living in a place of impending danger rose to the top and with that he departed stating, 'just help our neighborhood' over and over.

The next encounter was three men in a parking lot of a convenience store. The conversation was okay as long as we kept it brief. "What do you think a church can do to help this neighborhood?" Steve (did not get his last name) started off by saying, 'now I have a knowledge of what is right but I am not saying that I am living right'. Wow, honesty is a good ground to start on. The next words of wisdom overtook me on this bright, crisp morning.

  • His opening statement was, 'a church should integrate.' (Isn't this interesting, here is an African-American talking to a white man about a predominately white church and the first words were integration. Maybe integration of the church could be a desire that all have but seldom cross the line?)
  • When asked how do we integrate he stated, 'I think it would be good to go door to door and tell them they are welcomed.' (I must admit this one threw me. It has appeared door to door was not effective, yet the cry was, 'come on out and visit my house and let me know I am invited to your church'. Not an outreach, not a special service but tell me it is okay to just come and participate in regular church.)
  • A break long enough to take a drag off the cigarette in his mouth and a flip of the butt into the parking lot was followed by, 'you see, most of the church people think that the work begins when people walks in the door. You know, that is what's wrong, the church needs to come out here and talk to us'. (That is wisdom for sure, when we state we are 'working' for the Lord it most generally refers to our service to the church folks in the church building.)
  • Then out of his mouth rolled some very profound words, 'You know, most of the people put on their grave clothes, yeah that's right, they dress all up for death, go to church and forget they were once just like many of us out here. They are people who have forgotten what it was like when you could not seem to get out of the situation and condition you are in. They talk down to you because they forgot. If they want to speak to me, talk about how you overcame because you were down here also. (Oh my, this one is very painful, we are seen as people who have forgotten our failures and make people in failing situations feel small. Could we speak from a time we were not so strong? Oh, please don't go so far as to constantly talk about the days of destruction in your life but allude to those days when you were not so strong and give hope.)
  • 'You know, there are a lot of people giving food and that is good and you can never do enough of that'. (Refreshing he brought this up into the conversation. He recognized there were those who were trying to help and was thankful.)
We parted after some small talk about riding the motorcycle 1500 miles to be there. Then he called David over and another man who was an Army veteran (of course thanking him for his service) and introduced me.

He carried on to another day in a life of existence and for me, I fired up the bike and rode with a new passion and desire to assist churches get outside the four walls and love people. Listen to them, rather than appear you have all the answers. Go out of the way and just become part of their community. Don't 'act like you care', they can see through that. Listen until you 'do care' with a heart of love and true concern. 

After sharing this with the church in the sermon on God desiring to do a 'Genesis Week' in the church, it appeared it encouraged some and enlightened others. Oh, we look over those who were even angered by taking their time on Sunday morning to discuss such a subject as a church becoming community. 

Feeling refreshed and blessed on this Sunday evening. 

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Church Honors Wounded Hero

Church Honors Wounded Warrior

Riding in the Rain
On October 7, 2016, a hurricane was moving up the East Coast of our great nation, rain was falling, however eleven Mission:M25 and Hard CORE M/M Riders mounted their "Steel Horses" at Journey Church in Siler City, NC. Led by Mission M25 National Assistant Director, Pastor Mark Richardson, headed to Greensboro, NC airport. Some, like Upper South Carolina Conference Pointman, Gail Glick and Bobby Cepek rode from Pelzer, SC, Rodney McCray from Indians Trail, NC and the South Carolina Conference, riders from Henderson, NC, Tom Mangum and Melvin McBride rode miles before arriving in Siler City, NC. Why? In such conditi
ons would men ride in these conditions? We were welcoming Gunnery Sgt Chris Claude from Pennsylvania was arriving by air. 

Chris & Mark with selected trike
Mission M25 and Pastor Mark has joined forces with Hero Combat Bike Build (www.eaglesup.com) in connection with our relationship with Run For The Wall to build this true hero of our nation a custom trike. This trike will enable Chris who is missing one leg above the knee and some serious damage to his left hand from an IED in Iraq in 2006. Chris was coming to pick one of three bikes/trikes that would be modified to express our nations appreciation for his sacrifice. He will once again be able to 'get his face in the wind'. 


Carolyn & Chris
On the next day, Journey Church moved forward by hosting the Cornerstone Conference M25 Annual Summit. While the crowd was definitely effected by the terrible storm where there was a loss of life and much property loss. However, the attitude and spirit of those who rode in or drove in was still upbeat. There was a presentation by National Director Gary Burd of Battlefields M25 is fighting the Spiritual Battle on. Then on to a study on the Parable of the Seed Sower, looking deeply into the subject of John 4:35, the white fields of harvest. The battle, as we see it, is for our equal rights of sharing the Christian Faith in this nation that is under fire on many fronts. M25 also uses service (good deeds) as a way to let the "Light Shine", Mattthew 5:14-16. 

On Sunday morning, the church began to gather at 10:00 am for the morning worship service. Gunnery SGT Claude was again honored, along with all the veterans. This was a weekend of "God and Country", a stand inside and outside the church for His Kingdom and our Country! There were motorcycles inside the church, Pastor Mark's ride, a bike with a salvage title that looks like a show bike was used to remind us that the Creative Power of God made us like He wants us while in our Mother's womb, Psalms 139:13-14. However, many of us crash and burn but God does not discard us, He has the ability to 're-create' us as He did the world in Genesis 1  and Psalms 51 reveals this truth in King David's life, Lord create a GENESIS week in me. There was much hope and encouragement in the house. 

Parade Bikes
Then off to Pittsboro, NC where riders joined us with new toys for Toys For Tots (an effort of the Marines to assure kids have toys for Christmas). At 13:00, bikes roared toward the Journey Church, where people awaited with a chili cook off, bike games and a lot of fun. As we concluded there was a moment of honor bestowed up on our HERO of the Day, Gunny Sgt Claude. Then there was the raffle of the custom motorcycle Hard CORE M/M had built. It was exciting watching the four people with keys try to start it, however, it was the last key tried by Dave Schau that lit the front light and allowed the engine to roar.

Pastor Mark & Dave Schau
Another creative way to share our faith in service and love, a day where we not only worshiped inside the church but outside the four walls. We encourage churches to find ways to stand for our moral values and the Kingdom of God in places and ways  people in this world can see us. Thanks to Mission:M25 in Cornerstone Conference, North Carolina Conference, South Carolina Conference and Upper South Carolina for attending this great event. We were so blessed by the sacrifice and love of the Journey Church, Hard CORE M/M and Pastors Mark and Ellen Richardson. 

Friday, September 30, 2016

Riding From a Bar to a Church

BIKER SUNDAY 2016
Amarillo, TX

Sunday, September 25, 2016, 9:45 am, the sanctuary began to fill, most were wearing their black leather, the stage was lined with motorcycles, the air was electric, this is BIKER SUNDAY. The largest day of the year in attendance and fund raising but it must begin with WORSHIP! 
Morning Worship

Bikers visit from the surrounding area and some rode as much as five hours one way to attend this historic day. There are motorcycle clubs and motorcycle ministries that make this event mandatory participation every year, something the motorcycle culture understands. 

The service, led by Lead Pastor, Craig Lawlis, includes enthusiastic worship led by Christian Heritage's Pastor Greg Sanderson's team, ranging in age from 10 to 67 years of age. The challenging sermon delivered by visiting USA Missionary, Gary Burd was followed by an unity communion service that had every Biker Patch (the identifying patch worn on the back of their vest) on the stage. Brig. Gen. Dale Hoover led the prayer over the bread and JAG Officer Julie Simoni led the prayer over the wine which brings the message of God and Country to forefront of the congregation. 
The Bar Scene

Those who could not handle the fumes and noise were released, the bikes fired up and roared out of the church. The destination? Skooterz Biker Bar! Upon arrival, the crowd was gathering. Yes, some where already having their brew inside the bar, the parking lot was full of small talk about the year's rides and happenings. The hosting radio station had two vehicles with the back doors open and huge speakers cranking out some old rock and roll while Hard CORE M/M members roamed with clip boards in hand to 'sign the riders in'. The streets were lined for several blocks on both sides with motorcycles awaiting to be fired up to make the ride to the church. This would remind you of the party Matthew threw in Matthew 9:10-11, where the Pharisees condemned Jesus for sitting with the scum. Matthew so desired his friends, many the outcast of society to be exposed to the love and life of his new found Savior, Jesus. 

The Streets lined with bikes!
At 1 pm sharp, police lead a parade of 1,300 - 1,500 motorcycles along a route lined with men and women enjoying the shiny iron horses roaring and kids were anxious to get candy, thrown by the riders. Upon arriving across town at Christian Heritage Church, the streets are lined with flags waving people cheering. Several thousand participants in the day were gathered to celebrate and just have a great day of family fun built around motorcycles. 

After parking riders lined up for over a block to give their toy for Toys For Tots and get a Biker Sunday tee shirt. While music is playing, the folks line up to get a free barbecue sandwich, bag of chips and a drink all donated by the church, where hundreds of pounds of meat had been prepared by Fred Lerch and crew. The drawings begin for door prizes given, donated by businesses in the area. 

The bikes games begin, slow races, potato race, water board race, boot race and the grand finale was the burn out pit where smoke from a spinning tire burning rolled across the crowd. There are a lot of shouting and cheering as the bikers display their skills at operating these big beast around obstacles at slow speeds. 

People were called to the stage where a "God and Country" message was shared, National Anthem played (people were challenged not to kneel on this property), prayer was prayed and the people sang out Amazing Grace. The air was electric as the voices of 1,500 - 2,000 people sang out both songs. The parking lot was filled with Patriotism and the Holy Spirit filled the crowds heart. People were challenged to "stand up" for our country and commit to a life beyond a casual Christianity. They were offered the opportunity to 'learn what the Bible says' about the life they are to committed to as Christians and given the option of church either at Christian Heritage Church on Sunday or Full Armor Biker Church on Thursday, pastored by Mike Carlisle. 

Winner of the bike!
A drawing was made where a 40 caliber semi-automatic pistol and a Harley Davidson Sporster was given away. The winner of the motorcycle climbed on her new bike and the husband stood beside her with tears running down his cheeks. 

Some may say, why start at a bar? Why have bikes in the sanctuary? Why give a motorcycle and gun away? Why go through all this labor and expense? 
  • Bikes in front of the church is a type of 'dedicating' tools of ministry to the Lord each year. 
  • Starting at a bar is symbolic of going to the world and living the life of Light, which we trust will 'lead' people to the church. 
  • Giving items that mean something to the community you are reaching out to, says we care but more importantly, Jesus cares. 
  • The toys raised will make children and their parents very happy on Christmas Eve as motorcycles deliver the toys, normally valued at $15,000 - $20,000. 
  • The games fuel the idea that the Christian life can still be full of adventure and challenge, it is not a boring life. 
The event goes down as a huge success and there can be nothing but thanks to our Lord for His anointing and direction and Hard CORE M/M members and Biker Sunday Committee, led by president, Keith Burd. Christian Heritage Church once again role models being a church that finds unique ways to give to the community to prove our love, by assisting Toys For Tots to meet a cultural need in our area. All come together to bring Jesus to the fore-front of the community.


Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Battle Cry

Battle Cry
Men Stepping UP and Stepping OUT

Battle Cry is a movement birthed out of S Carolina Conference by Pastor Cory Jones, Emmanuel PHC in Lake City, SC and National M25 Board Member, Angel Alba, along with National Director, Gary Burd. 

So far in 2016, there have been four Battle Cry Events where approximately 220 men have been challenged and inspired to wake up from the spirit of apathy and passivity that has invaded and neutralized the men of the Kingdom. In two locations it was followed by training to be Knights of the Kingdom where over 40 men have received intense training and honored with the presentation of a 47" stainless steel sword. 

The events have taken place in S. Carolina, Florida, Hawaii and California, with more to be held this fall. Men have given of their time and churches, conferences and men's ministry leaders have sacrificed to make these events full of manly challenge. 

The subjects in all Battle Cry events deal with the following:
  • Embrace Your Manhood
  • Discover your identity
  • Define your mission
We have come to realize the men in the Kingdom struggle with the loss of the adventurous spirit, the desire to live risky lives and have been harnessed with a life of boredom and a mundane schedule. We have been reduced to good little boys that have learned a series of life patterns that have taken the fight out of our church and left the church vulnerable to an enemy that has taken our influence from our nation. The result is churches of men that give the Kingdom a couple hours a week and produced a society that has been defined as 'post-Christian'. 

We discuss how men in the church is in need of CPR because we have lost the Culture, succumbed to a life of Political correctness and have learned to exist in a Rut (a grave with both ends open). In Psalms 138:7, we are told He will "revive" (breath fresh breath, the same breath God breathed in Adam) in the midst of trouble (a vice squeezing the breath out of us). 

There is a challenge to be more than 'saved', more than confessing the 'sinner's prayer' and move to a life devoted to see Jesus brought back to a place of honor and to aggressively Advance the Kingdom. It is the heart of Battle Cry events to challenge men to "step up" (to a new level of selfless and sacrificial love) and "step out" to serve people outside their comfort zone in order to earn the right to plant the seed of God's love in 'all soils' (Mark 4). To depend on the Holy Spirit to operate in them the 'creative power' to bring this culture back to the Judeo-Christian values the USA was built on. 

Hawaii Knights
The final thing we deal with is the idea of 'running to the fire' rather than away. The military that protects this nation is taught to advance when fired upon rather than run the other way. Lt Col Grossman writes 'the nation must become prepared for what is coming our way'. He states in his book, "On Combat", the things you are not prepared for will do deep seeded emotional damage which will take much counseling to overcome. The church must change it's approach from, 'if this happens...' to 'when this happens...' if we hope to see our churches thrive in the face of oppression that is coming, (Jeremiah 29:4-6). We urge leaders to build their ministries on challenge not blessings. We have become so 'blessed' and embraced the 'entitlement' spirit of our country in the church, that we have produced a very weak institution called the church. Believers are taught they are 'entitled' to all these blessings because.... It is our heart to move to a place where we could be called upon to be a 'warrior' (Hebrews 11:32) or a martyr (Hebrews 11:35) in order to pass the Freedom of Religion and Life to the next generation. 

The Swords
The Knights training focuses on three basic codes that drive our life with classes to help us embrace them:
  • A WILL TO FOLLOW
  • A WORK TO DO
  • A WOMAN TO LOVE
Whatever the tool, may the churches in this country move from casual Christianity, a love for this world that creates risk-free living, and a spirit of apathy that prevails. May the men of the church rise and become aggressive, risk takers and transformed men who are not afraid to give 100% to the Kingdom of God. 

If you are interested in a Battle Cry in your church or area, please contact us at gburd@arn.net or 806-670-9669.