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Have you ever looked through a pair of glasses that were scratched up?

Eyeglasses That Need Repair

I had a pair of sunglasses that I wore when I mowed the yard and they got so scratched up that looking through them finally starting giving me a headache. That can happen when what you are looking through is compromised.

I really believe what a lot of folks are “looking through” has been comprised. I’m amazed at the worldview that many Christians have today. I talked about this last week when I blogged about the “New Grace.” You remember:

Going

Right

Ahead

Comprising

Everything

So why do we compromise? Why is it that “anything and everything goes” today? It’s our worldview. It’s the set of glasses we’re looking through. They are all scratched up.

Let me give you an example.

Duggars

That’s two of the Duggar children. I’m sure (unless you live under a rock) you’ve heard of this family. Pictured above are: Ben Seewald, Jessa Duggar, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, Jill Duggar and Derick Dillard.

Jessa and Jill are being pounded by the media because they are choosing not to kiss until their wedding day. Here’s an excerpt from an article found on the Today Show website.

“Courting” is the theme on the new season of TLC’s hit reality show “19 Kids and Counting,” which stars the Duggar family and premieres tonight.

Two Duggar daughters – Jessa, 20, and Jill, 22 – begin relationships with their respective beaus, Ben Seewald, 18, and Derick Dillard, 25. And just like a high stakes basketball game, the Duggars’ style of courting involves plenty of rules, plus refereeing done under the watchful eyes of dad Jim Bob and mom Michelle.

TODAY.com caught up with Jim Bob and Michelle to learn more about their views on courting. As Michelle pointed out, “love is in the air” in the Duggar household this spring.

Rule 1: Courting is not dating; it’s “dating with a purpose.”

There are two main distinctions that make dating different than courting, says Jim Bob. Dating is spending time with someone alone, not necessarily with the end goal of marriage. Not so with courtship, which is carefully monitored and not for the commitment-phobic. “Courtship is really waiting for the one God has for you and praying through the whole process,” the father of 19 says. “It’s really examining the person and considering, ‘Would this be the guy I want to be the father of my kids?’” says Michelle.

To see the rest, go http://www.today.com/moms/duggars-7-rules-courtship-love-air-no-kissing-2D79464674.

Now here’s my point. I can expect the media to think the Duggar girls are nuts…but, not Christians! But, let me tell you…many “so-called” Christians are riding them just as hard as the mainstream media. In fact, some Christians have said they are ashamed of such strange and weird people like Jessa and Jill.

Well give me “strange and weird” any day! As a Christian, I’m called to be peculiar. But, here’s the deal… These “Christians” have on scratched glasses. They are looking at relationships through the lenses of the WORLD and NOT through the lens of Scripture (the BIBLE). Is that you? What’s your worldview? Am I saying that you have to do things exactly like the Duggars? No. But, let’s look at the subject of dating and courting through the lens of Scripture (an open Bible) and then discuss it. So many people today want to discuss issues with the “World” as their glasses. It’s one of the reasons I wrote my book:

Kevin book

Let’s take another example.

LGBT

Born that way…

What set of glasses do you have on?

If it’s the worldview of our culture…then you will say people are born gay, like a black man is born black. If your worldview is the Bible, you will say gay people can be healed.

I read an article that was very enlightening on the matter last week. Get this… The title of the article is almost shocking to our culture today:

Even LBGT Historians Admit No One is ‘Born Gay’

What? Can you hear the outcry? Here’s the upshot of the article…

Whether it’s Macklemore’s “Same Love” or Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way,” our culture is pretty convinced that homosexuality is inherent from birth. But, as it turns out, those within the LGBT movement aren’t that convinced themselves. In an article in The Daily Caller, gay writer David Benkof presented the solid case of the historians – several of whom are also LGBT – who maintain that the sexual orientation of homosexuality didn’t exist until about 150 years ago. While same-sex relationships and behavior have happened from time to time throughout history, LGBT scholarly studies show zero evidence of any culture with gay “oriented” individuals at any point in history. The mountain of scholarly research also continues to show no “gay gene” accounting for sexual orientation from birth.

Can you say, “Wow!” You’ll never hear Brian Williams talk about that on the NBC Nightly News! Why? Because it doesn’t fit the worldview of NBC News.

Here’s another one…

The origin of life…

Big Bang

A little less than three weeks ago this was reported:

Big Bang Proven (March 27, 2014)

Here’s the upshot from an article that can be found at apologeticspress.org.

“Theory No More?”

“Scientists Make ‘Big Bang’ Breakthrough with Find”

“Big Bang’s Smoking Gun”

“Scientists Find Cosmic Ripples from Birth of Universe”

These titles are a sampling of the headlines after Caltech publicly announced some of their groundbreaking research. The impression being given is that the Big Bang has been finally proven. It has been “confirmed.” As usual, many in the media have shown themselves to be irresponsible with their overstatements and wild implications. Since most people only read article titles and never actually read the details of an article, false impressions are immediately spread to the four winds, and usually, never to be corrected.

Theory No More? Scientists Make ‘Big Bang’ Breakthrough with Find” (2014, emp. added). “Space Ripples Reveal Big Bang’s Smoking Gun” (Overbye, 2014, emp. added). “Big Bang’s ‘Smoking Gun’ Confirms Early Universe’s Exponential Growth” (Vergano, 2014, emp. added). “Scientists Find Cosmic Ripples from Birth of Universe” (2014, emp. added). These titles are a sampling of the headlines after Caltech publicly announced some of their groundbreaking research. The impression being given (and, based on the many that have contacted us since the announcement, being accepted) is that the Big Bang has been finally proven. It has been “confirmed.” As usual, many in the media have shown themselves to be irresponsible with their overstatements and wild implications. Since most people only read article titles and never actually read the details of an article, false impressions are immediately spread to the four winds, and usually, never to be corrected.
Read more at http://savingourfuture.com/2014/03/big-bang-just-proven-astronomers/#zBGClEHd6fTwSJUC.99

You see, it all depends on your worldview. When you don’t want accountability and you don’t want a God, you have to look for a way to explain the universe without Him. When you want to live life with no strings and no consequences…you make it up. And there you have the worldview of “Evolutionists.” But, the Bible teaches, “In the beginning God…” You can’t have it both ways…

What’s your worldview?

In America we continue to decline in our thinking because we no longer regard the Bible in high esteem. Amazingly, we still own a bunch of copies and many still believe it’s God’s Word, but we don’t put on those glasses too much.

Here’s the latest Barna research on the Bible…

Bible

That 56% number has dropped exponentially in the last 50 years. In 1950 you had to look long and hard to find someone who didn’t believe the Bible was the Word of God. Not today. Why?

Because we’ve fed the last three to four generations a steady diet of secular humanism, postmodernism and downright lies. Therefore, anything goes! Except anything that the Bible teaches.

So…

What’s your worldview?

So, decide which glasses you’re going to wear and please, please, please…keep ‘em on. Why? So, we’ll know if you ascribe to the tenets and principles of Scripture or not. Don’t take off your Bible glasses and put on the “world’s” glasses. You’ll make yourself sick!

Oh by the way…we’ve got a mission team in Mexico and south Texas.

Mexico Team-April 2014

They are working hard. Here’s the progress so far:

second floor

We are putting on the second floor of the church in Progreso, Mexico and teaching multiple Bible Studies (backyard Bible clubs) in Texas in Mexico. You can keep up with all the happenings here: http://mpbc.ws/missions/2014MexicoMissions/days12.html

 

The “New” Grace

There is a new gospel that’s being pushed in America today. Have you heard of it? It’s called GRACE. It’s not the grace that the Bible speaks of. Grace has been described as:

God’s

Riches

At

Christ’s

Expense

That is the grace that cost Jesus Christ His life on a rugged Roman cross. It’s the grace that comes by way of the mercy of God on sinful man. It’s the grace that allows a believer and follower of Christ to live the Christian life. It’s living in the flow of God’s love. Think of God’s grace as a sphere in which you live. So let’s think of a water fountain. If you are going to need water often, then you will want to stay nearby the water fountain.

For our analogy, Jesus is the water fountain (the living water) and I want to say near Him. I want to stay in the sphere of His love.

If I walk away from the water fountain and run 5 miles away, it doesn’t mean that I can’t get back to the water fountain, it just means that I’m not going to have an easy time doing so. You and I can choose to live near the source of the water or live great distance away. Our choice.

There’s a new grace being espoused today. It’s spelled this way:

Going

Right

Ahead

Comprising

Everything

This grace says you can live any way you like because you say, “I’m under the blood of Christ and I’m free to be me.” This grace knows nothing of obedience. This new grace only knows of “me.” It’s what floats my boat and plows my garden. It’s what makes me happy. It doesn’t matter if I offend my neighbor. It doesn’t matter if I cuss, dress immodestly, lie, steal or cheat. Hey…I’m covered under God’s grace. Going right ahead comprising everything. No big deal.

Dear reader, that’s not the FULL gospel. Let me show you a picture of the Gospel. It’s a wonderful drawing I’ve come up with as an example.

Gospel Plane

In order for that plane to fly, it’s got to have both wings. It will crash and burn without both wings. We need God’s merciful and rich grace to come to Christ. We can’t earn our way to God by our works. Our works are as filthy rags. But, our works (obedience to God’s commands) SHOWS that we have truly received God’s grace and are walking near the water fountain. We are continuing to drink from the fountain, being filled with the Spirit, growing in faith and in trust and in obedience. We are being sanctified. We are being made holy. We are excelling more and more in righteousness. We hunger and thirst for Christ and when we hunger and thirst for Christ, we will walk the way He walked…in righteousness. Both wings working together: Grace and Obedience. That’s what makes the Gospel plane fly!

Problem is…most of the planes flying today are showing nothing BUT the “GRACE wing.” They say, “Don’t judge me! Don’t tell me I’m living in sin because I’m covered by God’s grace.”

I talked to a fellow pastor earlier this week. He said he was raked over the coals by a lady who complained about his message from the prior Sunday. In the message the pastor said that he felt it was immodest for Christian women to wear string bikini’s. The lady caught him after the service and “let him have it!” She said, “I’m under the blood of Christ. His mercy and grace covers me and I don’t need you looking down your righteous nose at me. I can wear anything I want to wear!!” And she stormed off.

All I could say to my fellow brother was, “Wow!”

You know what…these folks (like that lady) NEVER mention obedience. EVER! They simply want you and I to compromise the Word of God and justify their lifestyles. But, all they are doing is simply trying to rationalize their lifestyle and they really have little if any desire to walk in obedience. In other words, they are fine living 5 miles from the water fountain. But, one day…when their lives begin to crumble, (because we reap what we sow), they will have to make that long journey back to the fountain.

Now is this analogy perfect? Nope! In fact, that walk back to the fountain can be made in a split-second. But, the hard part is sacrificing their own will to the point they are willing to surrender and die to themselves. That’s HARD!!!

Do you know what I’m giving you? The FULL (whole) COUNSEL of the Gospel… I’m a teacher. A good teacher doesn’t JUST teach. NO! They also correct. What teacher, worth their salt, is NOT going to teach AND correct. Yet, there are many, many people who just want to be “taught,” and NEVER corrected!

How would you like a doctor who only gives you a diagnosis but never gives you the medicine to help you. What if a dermatologist told you that you had skin cancer on your face, but then said, “Okay…have a nice day.” You see that’s like “teaching” and not “correcting.” It’s my job as a shepherd to “teach” and “correct.”

I paid a lady to teach and train (which includes correcting) my children how to play various instruments.

girls singing Should we want anything less from our pastor/elders?

The Apostle Paul had something to say about this. You see I want to be like Paul. I want to be innocent of your blood. I want to teach the truth.

Acts 20:26-27

26 Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all, 27 for I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God.

You see, I’m a shepherd. It’s my job to teach, lead and equip my flock. Paul continued…

Acts 20:28-29

28 Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood. 29 I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come among you, not sparing the flock.

Let me give you an example of what I’m saying. I was in Washington, D.C. for a conference a few weeks ago and there was a young lady who gave testimony of being in a church in the D.C. area who’s pastor said this:

“Church, everyone raise your hand to point to heaven and say: ‘God you owe we another year of blessings!’”

This pastor was teaching a “Prosperity Gospel.” He was actually teaching blasphemy in my estimation. Folks, welcome to the “New Grace.” God owes it to you to bless you. I guess He’s just a puppet on our strings. He is a cosmic vending machine…dolling out blessings at OUR COMMAND! Yikes!

I want us to understand that Jesus is full of grace AND truth. Yes, when the issues are blurry, (like mowing your yard on Sunday), we can afford to err on the side of grace. But, when the issues are clear — two people living together in sexual sin, homosexuality, lying, stealing — then we cannot afford to sacrifice truth for grace.

Are you sacrificing truth because you are afraid of being seen as “hard-line” or “uncompromising?” Can I ask you a question? How much of the cancer do you want the dermatologist to cut off of your face? It might hurt! He might have to go deep! But, you and I need the truth don’t we?

Na!!

How about some “new” grace. Just put a Band-Aid on it and call it a day. We don’t want to offend. We don’t want to “hurt” you. Just do the best you can. No worries. Live it up!

Yeah right… You’ll be dead in a matter of months…perhaps weeks. So much for:

Going

Right

Along

Comprising

Everything

We’ve got to be loving, kind and respectful with people. We’ve got to give a reason for our hope with gentleness and respect, but we’ve GOT TO GIVE A REASON FOR OUR HOPE. We’ve got to stand for truth.

Let’s fly the plane straight and true. Both wings need to be employed… Grace and Truth. Let’s stay near the fountain…

Doing so means we’ll stay in the flow of Christ’s love. We’ll operate in the sphere of His Spirit. We’ll live in Biblical grace out of gratitude for a Savior who saved our soul from Hell. Not a Savior who is a puppet on our string.

If you have a Facebook account then you know the news… If not…you just read it!

Pam and I are going to be grandparents!!

The announcement was made tonight at Clara’s 9th birthday party!

Clara's 9th birthday party

I was getting ready to take a picture of everyone and I said:

Okay everyone on the count of three everybody say:

KATY IS GOING TO HAVE A BABY!

Euphoria broke loose in the Brown household!! We’re all praising the Lord! If you have a Facebook, go to Pam’s Facebook page and watch! It’s hilarious!!

Katy and Josh told us Tuesday night when they arrived into town. They are taking a few days off (as I mentioned in my last blog post). Katy said, “Dad, we have a belated birthday gift for you…”

They handed me this picture…

The announcement picture

That’s Josh’s boots and Katy’s shoes and little “baby” shoes. Now, y’all know I’m dumb as a rock. I looked at that picture and thought, “What in the world is Katy doing giving me a picture like that. Those boots aren’t even mine and that’s Kandace’s shoes in the middle and what in the world are those little shoes? Are those Clara’s old shoes?” I thought, “Bless Katy’s heart, she’s trying to give me a picture of my boots and the kids shoes and she’s all confused.” But folks, I wasn’t going to let on that she goofed. But, as I was thinking this… Kandace was beside of me saying, “Really…really…are you…are you???” I looked at Kandace and thought, “What in the world is Kandace talking about??” And then Pam started squealing too!! I looked over at Andrew and he looked at me and we both shrugged our shoulders. Guys!!! You got to love us! Then it hit me!!! Finally my brain started working!!! I’m going to be a Grandpa!!! Oh my!!! Praise the Lord!!! We were all jumping up and down going crazy!!! Hugging…laughing…crying!!

What a joy!! I’m really so blessed that I’m without words to describe how I feel. To God be the glory! Great things He has done!!

And get this!!! Katy is due on November 25th, which is her mom’s (Pam’s) birthday!!

Wow!!!!!

 

Spring

I’m so glad spring seems to be finally here. It’s 81 degrees as I type these words!

But, I’ll warn you. It’s going to get cool again by the middle to end of next week. Thankfully, “cool” in the spring means in the 50′s for day-time highs and not in the 30′s! Woohoo!!

I will also give you a head’s up that this year’s hurricane season looks to be below average (like last year), but we’ll have more hurricanes that could pop up right along the southeast and gulf coasts. We are starting to see the beginnings of an El Nino off the South American coast and that will blow off the tops of most storms as the southern Jetstream will sheer the storms as they come of the African coast. And you know what an El Nino means. That means a rough winter next year. Plan on next winter being very similar to this winter.

Hey…my books are in!!!

Kevin book

You know it’s amazing! I never cease to be amazed how God works. The books arrived last Thursday and I’ve been preaching through 1 Thessalonians, right? Yep! And right when I get to 1 Thessalonians 4:3-8, they arrive. Get this:

1 Thessalonians 4:3-8

For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God; that no one transgress and wrong his brother in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we told you beforehand and solemnly warned you. For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness. Therefore whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you.

Do you think those verses go right along with my book or what? Only God can do that. His timing is amazing!

As I shared with the church Sunday, this idea of saving ourselves for marriage seems to have fallen out of favor even in the church. The church is having very little impact on the world regarding purity. There is a section in my book that’s entitled “Not Sticky” and I talked about it Sunday. Here’s an excerpt from my sermon:

File:PostItNotePad.JPG

Just how many times can you stick and unstick a sticky note? Studies tell us on average…young people will have 5 to 8 relationships before they finally marry in their late 20’s. And do you know what happens each time in one of those relationships? That young couple becomes romantically involved with one another, they begin to bond emotionally. They increasingly share their hearts with one another. Their thoughts and imaginations are focused on their partner. Without knowing it…what they have done is to begin the God-designed process of becoming “one,” even if there is virtually no physical relationship. They become one heart long before they become “one flesh.”

Did you know that neuroscientists tell us sexual activity releases brain chemicals which trigger emotional bonding and a powerful desire to repeat the activity? It all begins with just a touch…holding hands…leads to hugs…leads to kissing…leads to… Breaking these bonds over and over make it much harder later in life to bond with a future spouse.

Young people here today…are you bonding emotionally with someone. It’s going to make it much harder when you get married. Because you are using up a lot of your “sticky.”

Here my heart… It’s why I wrote the book. It’s why I’m so passionate on this subject. As I worked my way through writing my book, the Lord made it clear to me again that 20th and 21st century idea of dating…the very idea of what I call “recreational romance” has created a revolving door mentality for our young people. They have been so exposed to so many relationships prior to marriage, no wonder they find it so hard to eventually settle down with one spouse. No wonder we have a 50+% divorce rate even in the church. They are simply repeating what they’ve been doing for years. Just because a pastor (like me) asks a bride and groom to place rings on each other’s fingers and repeat, “Till death do us part,” means almost nothing today. Do we really believe that a ring on our left hand is going to change what’s been trained in the brain?

Jesus said in Matthew 19…

Matthew 19:4-6

4“Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, 5 and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? 6 So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.”

We’ve lost our sticky folks! (BY THE WAY…this totally knocks out homosexuality…it’s MALE AND FEMALE). The point is this…

Just how many times can a person be in a relationship and give his or her heart emotionally (if not physically) away to someone before he or she cannot stick anymore? This cleaving and uncleaving is not what God intended for us. It is not how God expects us to arrive to the marriage altar. But, this is what we do isn’t it? And when I preach this…people look at me like I’ve got four heads. But, I’m giving you the full counsel of God’s Word, dear Church family. I wish someone had told me!

And it’s true…I wish someone had told me! How about you? Could the same be said of you? It’s why I wrote the book. They are $5. They are available on Amazon (Kindle for 99 cents) and hard copy. It’ll take you 1 1/2 hours to read it. It’s only 31 pages long. You can also order direct from my publisher…

http://direct.energion.com/to-date-or-not-to-date?search=to date or not to date

If you want to see someone else who is seeking to follow Scripture in the matter of “dating.” Take a look…

http://www.people.com/people/mobile/article/0,,20801674,00.html

Well…while I’ve stirred the hornets nest…I’ll just go all the way. I saw this bumper sticker and absolutely lost it…

(You’ll have to decide HOW I lost it. :))

Obama

Josh and Katy are coming home! They’ll be home later tonight! Can’t wait! They’re coming in to see the Passion Play this weekend at church. Boy, do I love it when the whole family is in town!

 

 

Helping People

Helping people. I guess it’s in your nature if you are a pastor, but I’ve always wanted to help people. I guess I’m a people-pleaser and buddy, that’s hard when you are preaching from the Bible, because you’re seldom going to please folks. But, in my heart of hearts, I love helping people.

One of the ways I hope I’m doing this is through my Daily Devotions… http://dkevinbrowndailydevotions.wordpress.com/

If you want to sign-up for the devotions, please click here: http://mpbc.ws/emailsubscriptions/

Obviously, you are reading this blog. That’s another way I try to help and encourage folks. I also try to do so with my books. And I’m pleased to announce my next one is now available on Kindle for 99 cents.

You can’t beat that!

Click above (right below the book cover) if you’d like it on your Kindle. If you want to know what the Bible says about relationships…jump on in to this little book. It’s only 31 pages. It should take about 1 1/2 to 2 hours to read it cover to cover. You can order it from my publisher in hard copy form if you like by going here…

http://direct.energion.com/to-date-or-not-to-date

Can I be totally honest? If you are a parent who has young children, you need to consider getting this book and reading it just so you can be apprised of a way of teaching and training your children. Parents, I know you want the best for your children academically and athletically and for them to be well-rounded. Well, the information in this book will help them to be prepared and equipped emotionally and spiritually for the challenges of our sex-crazed culture.

For those at MPBC, I’m happy to announce that I’ll have 200 books in hand by Sunday!! Woohoo!! They are $5. Here’s the deal. I make pennies…and I mean pennies on the book. I have to order the books from my publisher and pay for them out of pocket to sell to you. So, I’m making an investment on the front-end because I wish SO BADLY someone would have told me this stuff before I started “whole-hog dating.”

I want you to be equipped with everything on the menu. What I’m offering to you in the book is filet mignon. It’s an expensive proposition and most won’t pay the price. They’ll choose hamburger or a cheap sirloin. I get that. But, some will go for gold! They’ll want the best for their children in the purity arena and I’m convinced this is it. So, I hope you’ll give it a read.

I just want to help people.

church

Isn’t that a neat picture? It’s at dawn last Friday. It’s a picture of the church as the sun was coming up. A bunch of guys were cooking chicken to raise money for our Mexico/Texas mission work this summer.

BBQ

You talk about awesome barbeque chicken! Wow! Thanks for all the men who came out at “O-dark-thirty” to cook! And thanks to all who worked in the kitchen to box and deliver!

Why do we do this? We just want to help people come to Christ.

See these ladies serving…

Hostess

That’s Pam, my lovely bride, slicing ham for members of a family who had come to the church after a funeral. Helping Pam is Gena Hodges and Margie Ellis. Not pictured were Jerry and Gwynda Marlowe. Those folks were helping this family have a good hot meal after the burial of their mother/grandmother. Ladies in our church brought food all afternoon on Saturday for this family. Another example of helping people.

For folks who are local…here’s a way to help people. We can give blood.

Mike Kerhoulas asked me to let you know that the Mt. Pleasant Masonic Lodge & North Wilkesboro Masonic Lodge (Temple Street, N. Wilkesboro,  beside of Gardner Glass) are both holding Blood Drives on this Thursday.

Mt. Pleasant’s Blood Drive will be held from 2:30 pm – 7:30 pm. This THURSDAY, MARCH, 27TH

NOTE:    FOR EVERY BLOOD UNIT COLLECTED 7 LBS OF FOOD WILL BE SUPPLIED (BY THE BLOOD BANK OF THE CAROLINAS) TO SAMARITAN’S KITCHEN  -  BACKPACK PROGRAM. FEEDING HUNGRY CHILDREN ALL OVER WILKES COUNTY. WHAT A GREAT OPPORTUNITY TO MEET PEOPLE’S NEEDS IN TWO WAYS WITH ONE DONATION.

These are all ways of helping people! I’m glad to have the health to do it! Praise the Lord!

 

A New Car

Did you read that title? You read it right. A new car.

Want to see it?

New Car

That’s a 2011 Toyota Camry. And it’s going to replace this beauty…

Taurus 1

That’s my beloved 1995 Ford Taurus. They look alike don’t they? They are both silver. Now get this. This is an amazing story. A guy came to my house and I wasn’t home. So, he parked the car and left a note on the windshield with a phone number. My dad saw it and called me and gave me the number. Bottom line, the guy said, “I was told you could probably use a car to replace your 19-year-old car.” And as the old saying goes, “He made me an offer I couldn’t refuse.” Needless to say, “To God be the glory!” I was speechless and that doesn’t happen to me much. :)

I continue to see the provision of God in my life and the life of my family. Only He can get the glory. I didn’t ask for a car. I didn’t say a word to anyone. My old car is still a good car…but, it’s 19 years old. I know it’s a matter of time and it’s going to die on me. So, the Lord blessed above and beyond (as usual)!

So, the ole Silver Bullet is for sale. Need a car? $600 and she’s yours. No joke. I’m trying to get enough money to pay the taxes and tag and on the new car and that’s about the size of it. It’s got 205,000 miles, but I just replaced all the hoses and belts and it’s got almost new tires on it. (Truly, the tires are worth about as much as the car.) The book on the car is $700-$1,000. I’m asking $600 just to try to move it.

Now I am not a cold and heartless person. You know that. So, I’m going to miss the ole Silver Bullet. The luster might be gone, but it’s still a good car. I mean that. Here’s a picture of me driving it for the last time…

Taurus 2

So, time moves on and so do cars, but when you get a good one, you’re blessed. I have been! Thank you Lord for keeping her going. I felt like the Silver Bullet was like the children of Israel’s shoes and clothes in the wilderness for 40 years. They didn’t wear out and grew with them.

So, if you see me on the road and you’ve known me over the last almost two decades, you’ll not recognize me in this…

Camry 2

But if you look hard…you’ll see my bald head and my big ole smile! I’ll be praising God and hoping for 19 years out of another silver car. :)

By the way…

It’s a big Happy 9th Birthday to this little guy!!

Andrew 2

I sure do love that little boy! He’s changed a lot in the last 5 1/2 years since we’ve had him. He’s been through a lot. Tons of surgeries, healings and recoveries, speech therapy and just tons and tons of love.

We went out to a restaurant tonight to celebrate his birthday. Want to know where that is?

Olive Garden? Nope!

Red Lobster? Nope!

Applebee’s? Nope!

Ruby Tuesday’s! Nope!

We offered all of those to him. His choice.  

Wendy’s Hamburgers.

Seriously! He’s a great little dude and we praise the Lord for him. We topped off the evening at Sweet Frog for some dessert.

sweet frog

And a big Happy Birthday to this young lady (my lovely sister):

Kim

She’s aged a lot more gracefully than her bald-headed brother! Happy Birthday Sis! 

Back from DC

I had a great trip to D.C. to the Elders/Pastors Conference there. I am totally refreshed. Why? Because I feel that while there are many things that can be improved in the church I help to elder/pastor, I’m excited that I believe we have a healthy church.

What is a healthy church? My opinion is a healthy church is a church that cares about what Jesus cares about: PEOPLE. But, it goes beyond that. What does it mean to love people? It means that you will equip them to reach more people. It means that you will equip and train those people to be disciple-makers within their circle of influence. It means there is a sense of God’s presence in the church as the Word of God is taught and preached. To love people means you will love the God of all people and that means you will obey and follow the Word of this God in seeking to reach and then disciple those people.

So, I was refreshed and encouraged. Again…there are areas that need work…but, I believe we are on the right path in following the tenets of Scripture. What I was asked over and over by other pastors/elders is: “How big is your church?” I told them we are averaging 500+. They then asked me, “How many Pastors do you have on staff?” I said, “Two.” One man said to me, “Are you an idiot?” He said it respectfully…but honestly. I said, “Yes, we’ve made a lot of strides and we just approved a plurality of (more than one) Elders a few weeks ago.” That’s encouraging to me as well.

The church in Washington where the conference was held is Capitol Hill Baptist Church. I showed a couple of pictures of the church in the last post. But here’s a picture of inside the church.

capitol hill3

The church had about 850 people there on Sunday. I thought about that and I said, “Well…we’ve consistently got over half of that with just two staff pastors…maybe we are crazy.” They have six staff pastors and a total of 21 elders. Wow!! So, I’m excited to see what God does in the days ahead at our church as the Lord moves in the hearts and lives of our people to bring the leadership we need.

This is a picture of the group of Elders/Pastors in one of the sessions.

capitol hill 4

Many of the men brought leaders in their church with them. Some were elders, some were men desiring to learn more about elders. I was blessed to have Dale Jennings and Ken Bryan with me. I call us the three amigos. Or at least we are the Verizon Wireless Bars (signal strength). :)

Capitol Hill 5

I appreciate those men more than I can say. They are already helping me immensely. Dale is helping with counseling and introducing new people to the church in our New Member Meetings and a ton of other things that I simply don’t have time to do with a church our size. Ken is helping with Mission team leadership and vision and direction. Thanks men!!

I went down to the capitol building to see if I could help out with our Congress and the President, but they said they didn’t need my help. :)

Kevin capitol

Oh well…I tried! The church isn’t called Capitol Hill Baptist for nothing. It’s just a matter of a few blocks from the Capitol.

capitol 6

One of the highlights of the weekend was being shown gracious hospitality in the home of Pastor Mark Dever on Sunday after the morning service. Mark has been the lead teaching pastor/elder for many, many years.

Dever

He says, “I’m not going anywhere. I plan on finishing out here.” I couldn’t agree more wholeheartedly. Pastors who jump around from church to church have no real interest in pouring out their lives for the flock. They do so until more money comes calling or the “going gets tough.” Can you imagine a shepherd ever leaving and abandoning his flock for any reason? Jesus sure didn’t. This is another reason to choose elders from within the flock and not parachute men into the church who will usually not be there longer than a few years. I’m totally committed to Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church. I don’t plan on going anywhere. God called me to shepherd and lead this flock and I love the flock with all my heart. I’m excited about the years to come and the opportunity to raise up and train up men who will one day take the shepherd’s staff from me as the lead teacher. In the meantime, I’m praying for more men whom God will raise up as shepherds to come alongside me and Brad to help in the work.

I’ll share more with you in the days ahead. Bottom line: I’m pumped! Thank you Lord for the refreshment and fresh perspective! Thanks to the church for sending us and for our families allowing us to go!

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