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Traditions

Traditions…

We all have them. What are traditions? They are patterns for living. We have just come through the Thanksgiving Holiday Season and you lived by your traditions. You had places to go and people to see and food to eat. Those traditions bring comfort to the human heart. Here was a Thanksgiving meal we had at my mom’s. We did this the day after Thanksgiving.

We like tradition and that’s because we like routine. Think about your routine in the morning or when you go to bed. Don’t you have a routine? Sure you do. We all do. I like routine. I always have and I love traditions…particularly at the Holidays.

Next up… Christmas and the tradition at MPBC with our Christmas Candlelight Spectacular (CCS).

It’s going to be wonderful! Check out the children’s costumes that Evie and Charlotte were recently trying on and modeling…as dressed by Katy and Josh at their home.

Now tell me those aren’t the cutest costumes ever!! And the kiddos will be wearing these at the CCS, December 15-16. We’re going to have fun and activities for the kids on Saturday night and Sunday nights at 5 pm when the doors open. The presentation of the spectacular will start at 6 pm. We’ll have hot chocolate and hot apple cider too! We’re even going to have a photo booth. So, bring the family and get the special Christmas photo made! And perhaps most exciting for the kids is the fact that it’s going to snow! Yep…we’ll make it snow inside the building and it will be a joy!

Here’s today’s Two-Minute Tuesday that’s all about it!

http://mpbc.ws/media/?sapurl=Lys3ZWViL2xiL21pLyt5OXRoNWZxP2JyYW5kaW5nPXRydWUmZW1iZWQ9dHJ1ZQ==

I hope you will make plans to come! So, don’t forget to go online and reserve your spots for the Saturday evening or Sunday evening performance. Go here:  http://mpbc.ws/signuptable/

When you arrive, we’ll check your name off the “Reserved List” and your spots inside will be reserved. Now, if you choose to come on Sunday morning the 16th to either the 8:45 am or 11 am service…you will NOT need to reserve seats.

Traditions! They are wonderful and we hope you will make Mt. Pleasant part of your holiday traditions going forward and come and be with us this year and the years ahead!

Kevin

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It’s All True!

That’s the overriding mindset I have as I’ve returned from visiting the land where Jesus walked, Israel: “It’s all true!” I walked where Jesus walked and I thought: “It’s all true!” I saw where He healed the man with the shriveled hand in Capernaum…where He walked on the waters of the Sea of Galilee…

Standing there on the shoreline where he cooked the fish for the disciples after His resurrection… Well…words can’t describe the feeling or the goose bumps!

And where He walked the narrow streets of Jerusalem by way of the Via Dolorosa to Calvary.

It’s a surreal thing to walk where Jesus walked, let me tell you! It changes your life… You’re perspective… You’re priorities… It makes you ask, “What is true? What am I living for? What’s important?” It also causes you to say, “Why do I worry so much? Why do I fret about things I have no control over?” After all…God came to earth through Jesus and He’s in control.

Pam and I were on the hillside called Mt. Precipice…

It’s here that the townspeople of Nazareth tried to toss Jesus off to His death. Can you imagine the people of your hometown being so angry with you that they would take you to the hillside the town is built upon so as to try to murder you? Why were they so incensed? Simple. He told the truth: I’m the Messiah. And yet, they refused to believe. You know it’s one thing to say something like that…but, it’s entirely another to perform miracles…like raising the dead, walking on water and healing the blind, which proved His authority as God. Only God in the flesh (Immanuel) could do those things.

Do you believe? Do I? How much? Enough to get us through our hard times financially? Enough to take the new from the doctor or the employer? Enough to hear that your child no longer believes in what you are telling him? Enough to trust the man who walked on the water and pulled Peter from death in those waters. This is Nazareth…2000 years later…

It is your town…my town… It’s people. Will we believe? Will we live like we believe or cower in fear every time there’s a new problem? Will we trust Jesus to our death…even if that’s required to give Him glory? As for me… It’s all true! 100% of it! And I’m going to keep seeking to live like I believe it.

Thank you Lord for a fantastic group of people and for the privilege of experiencing all we did together! 39 strong!

Everyone was so gracious and we had zero issues or problems. I’d go on a trip with any of these folks again in a heartbeat.

Many have asked: “When are you going back?” Well, I don’t know for sure. But, I’m thinking 3-4 years. That will be enough time for another group to form and be able to go. I’m still praying through the particulars. But, one thing is for sure… I loved traveling with this lady…

Yep, that’s her on a camel at the Dead Sea! I’m a blessed man and I praise the Lord we were able to travel together this time! I sure have a lot to be thankful for this year! (In fact I do every year!) The Lord is good and I praise His name for being so good to me… Yes, I’m exceedingly THANKFUL during this Thanksgiving Season!

Well, we had another fantastic year for our the Festival of Tables for the ladies of our church…

Rachel Carter was the speaker…

She was excellent! Truly…one of the best talks I’ve ever heard on “Surrender.” Yes, I was able to sneak in the back to the A/V desk and listen. She inspired and encouraged mightily! Thank you sister!

Is it going to snow this winter? You bet it is… See my thoughts here from this week’s TMT: “Winter 2018-19, Warm and Wet or Cold and Snowy?” http://mpbc.ws/media/?sapurl=Lys3ZWViL2xiL21pLys1cWN5dDl5P2JyYW5kaW5nPXRydWUmZW1iZWQ9dHJ1ZQ==

Happy Thanksgiving!

Kevin

On The Way To Israel!

Next Monday morning, we’re on our way to Israel! Wow! I can’t believe it! I never thought I’d get back there again! It’s without question one of the greatest experiences of my life! I am honestly more excited this time around than I was in 2007, when I went the first time. Why? Because I know what to expect and I get to go with my wife! I remember back in 2007 that I had goose bumps so much…that I stopped having the ability to have goosebumps after the 3rd day. It was amazing!

I’ve had the privilege of traveling to many places in the world…including Hawaii…but, nothing touches the place where Jesus walked. I guess it’s just the way I’m wired. But, it’s the truth. I’m so thankful to be able to go back and to do it with 37 other people. It’s going to be a wonderful time of seeing and experiencing where the Lord Jesus (God in the flesh) walked this earth 2000 years ago.

Here was our group from 2007.

I was traveling with a group from Old Town Baptist Church in Winston-Salem and pastor Rick Speas. He is just to my left in the picture. He was a pastor here at Mt. Pleasant for 9 years. He is a blessing in my life to this day!

In case you are interested…here is the itinerary for the trip if you want to follow along…

I’ll be sharing on Sunday, November 18th about the trip during all three services, including pictures and some video vignettes, as well. It will be the Sunday before Thanksgiving and what better way to be thankful than to be reminded of all that Jesus did for us…by actually seeing where He did them!

We had a great time carving pumpkins this year…

It’s a family affair and I love the blessing of doing it all together. Oh the traditions! Aren’t they great!

Look how diligent Josh and Clark are being! Can you tell they are getting into it! Total concentration! Kandace is laughing at Clark because he’s being so detailed. That’s a guy thing! We work like it’s the most important thing in the world. I laughed out loud as I was taking the picture…because I had just “been in the zone” myself with the pumpkin I was carving. 🙂

I’m looking forward to a great time for Trunk or Treat at the church tonight!

Our theme is a “dragway” this year. See the light tree in the background! And how about the “trunks” of the cars? Cute, huh! Get it “Trunk” or Treat! Last year we had over 1,000 people go through the church! That’s amazing! The people kept telling us: “Thank you for providing a safe place for our kids to come and get candy and for feeding us, etc.” We provide a hot dog supper and great candy (good stuff…you know…Snickers and Reece’s and Kit Kat, and Milky Way…not the cheap candy). We want folks to know we care for them.

It’s been asked… “If your church ceased to exist, would your community miss it?” Did you read that carefully? Not “would your CHURCH MEMBERS miss it,” but “COMMUNITY.” So often we can get locked into “tithing to ourselves.” Are we really meaning anything to the community? While they are at Trunk or Treat, they’ll leave with information about the church and about Jesus.

“Lord, help people to know that they are loved by you!”

Here’s the Two-Minute Tuesday this week: “The State of Theology-What Do People Really Believe in 2018?” You might be surprised. I was! Things are actually improving!

http://mpbc.ws/media/?sapurl=Lys3ZWViL2xiL21pLytmNXY2dno3P2JyYW5kaW5nPXRydWUmZW1iZWQ9dHJ1ZQ==

Off to Israel! 🙂

Kevin

As many of you know, our family enjoyed a great week last week in Virginia and Washington, D.C. We started out at Will Shepherd and Madi Clark’s wedding in Lynchburg. What a blessing!

It was a picture-perfect weekend and a fabulous couple, who loves the Lord! It was an honor to be a part of it! Pam and I had some fun in the photo booth at the reception. Can you tell?

Then we headed to Washington, D.C. The destination was time at the Museum of the Bible and learning and educating myself even more about God’s Word. It was amazing! And it was a blessing to have my family in tow.

On our way to the nation’s capital, we stopped over to see something that many would laugh about. We visited the original home of “John Boy” from the Walton’s TV show…the home of Earl Hamner in Schuyler, VA. It’s about 45 miles northwest of Lynchburg. We hadn’t planned on going, but when we saw the road signs…well…we couldn’t pass it up. Here’s Andrew and Clara outside of the Hamner home.

Here is a photo of the original Walton family (Hamner’s):

That’s Earl Hamner with his mom’s arm around him. His father is just to her left. Earl’s (John Boy’s) siblings are behind him. Truly, the house was much smaller than I imagined from the TV Show.

Remember the house was much larger even in the opening of the show, you could tell that.

One of the cool things was being reminded of how talented John Boy (Earl Hamner) was as a writer. Here’s an example from his typewriter.

Beautiful writing!

From there we headed to D.C. to the Museum of the Bible. What a place! It’s a $500 million facility and it was created by the founder of Hobby Lobby.

Andrew got to make a copy of the Bible from a Gutenberg Press.

He thoroughly enjoyed that!

Did you know the majority of the Ivy League Universities were originally teaching colleges for young ministers of the Gospel…including Princeton.

My, my, my how times have changed. And it just goes to show you what happens when you begin to place your “authority” on what “mankind” says and not the Bible. Where do you take your authority? From CNN or the Bible?

Speaking of education. Take a look at this…

Have you heard fo McGuffey’s Reader? William McGuffey was a minister and he created a textbook in the 1830’s using the Bible and it’s lessons to teach children. Between 1836 and the 1960’s, about 122 million McGuffey Readers were used in the United States schools. As the placard above says: “Their instruction helped shape the character of generations of Americans.”

How is the character of our American children being shaped today? By what? By whom? I’ll let you decide. Personally, we have strayed so far from the teaching the Bible because of the liberal elites that we’ve created incubators for socialism and progressive liberal indoctrination.

Ever wonder the breakdown of Billy Graham’s most preached verses? I bet you can guess #1. It’s also #10. Take a look:

The view from the top of the museum was phenomenal!

You could see the Capitol building from the top!

It’s worth the trip to just see the Bible Museum. I learned so much and I’m thankful for the state of the art, excellent way in which everything is depicted. The exhibits are interactive and amazing!

We got to go to the White House last Tuesday. But, I didn’t think we were going to be able to go in to see it. Pam was held in a detention area while they tried to sort out why her name on the guest list didn’t match her driver’s license. Come on!!! Don’t they know that no would should have to provide an ID!!! After all…you can vote without an ID…why not go to the White House too? Of course I’m being facetious. I recently went to the dermatologist in Boone…one of the most liberal places in NC…and guess what they told me before I came via the recording on my home phone (yes…we still have a land line): “Please bring a photo ID.” How about that? 🙂

They finally cleared Pam and we were all allowed to go inside:

Did you know the White House has it’s own theater?

It’s gorgeous! We took tons of pictures…the whole family…can you tell…

We are in the East Room. It was so immaculate and detailed in it’s beauty (as all the rooms were)! Do you recognize this hallway?

That’s the hallway that leads to the East Room and it’s in that East Room where the President usually hosts the media for big announcements (Supreme Court justices, sometimes National Addresses, etc.). You’ve probably seen that red carpet on TV.

The White House is a very beautiful, ornate place. It’s the “people’s house” and you can visit there at no charge. More pics…

Kind of reminds me of the Biltmore House in some ways. Does it you?

This is called the Blue Room and has oval walls.

There’s another room in the White House like this. You might have heard of it: Oval Office.

This was a neat shot from that room…out the window…that’s the Washington Monument.

Official Dinners for dignitaries are held here…

It’s a surreal thing to walk around where Ronald Reagan walked…

See the seal above the door…

Some nice folks from Colorado took our picture for us…

Selfie time…

Outside of the Supreme Court Building…

I’m grateful for the make-up of that court right now. Things are much different from the way they were when I was in D.C. at another conference a few years ago.

I’ve got to throw in a plug to our Representative, Virginia Foxx. She was the one who got us into the White House. You have to contact your Congressional Representative or State Senator to make the request for you. This was from her office. She wasn’t there that day. Her staffer told us that she comes in at 7 am and doesn’t leave until as late as 11 pm. He said a lot of nights, she sleeps on the couch in her office that’s right beside of me and Andrew.

Right across from her office is this lady’s office…

Can you guess which state she’s from? Look closely. Yep, you guessed it…(Representative of California).

This was outside the Capitol. They are working on Statue of Freedom on the top of the dome.

The Washington Monument…

There is so much I could say about the Holocaust Museum…

…but, truly…I’m still processing it all. For those who could say that it never happened. I say this kindly: they are fools. Go to the museum and see the pictures and videos. It’s sobering. It’s sickening actually. What Hitler did was heinous.

Throughout many of the exhibits…it’s carpeted. And that makes things eerily quiet. No one talks. They only shuffle along…quietly…some crying…so sobering.

Lincoln Memorial…massive…

Iwo Jima Memorial at night was awe-inspiring!!!

I’m so thankful for our brave servicemen and women through the decades! Which leads me to Arlington National Cemetery… Another awe-inspiring place of sobriety and humility and thankfulness!

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier…

The changing of the guard was mesmerizing! When they played “Taps”…well…I wiped tears. The sun shining through the large oaks…

There was a funeral that day. A former marine was being buried and his casket was on a caisson being pulled by horses, followed by a riderless horse… I know it’s hard to see…but, I wanted to be respectful.

Dr. Martin Luther King Memorial…coming out of the stone to bring victory and freedom of rights…

Jefferson Memorial…

To say we had a great time would be an understatement! I love my family! We even enjoyed riding the Metro Subway together…

Spending time together just eating meals and doing stuff together is a blessing!

The Lord has been so good to me!

I finished up Revival tonight at Maplewood Baptist Church in Yadkinville, NC. It was a blessing to be with such wonderful folks. I really believe we were encouraged and revived this week! Thank you Maplewood Baptist and all the wonderful folks there for being so kind to me…including this wonderful group of singers called: The A Cafellas. They are a group of guys from Starmount and Forbush High Schools and they were wonderful!

https://therealacafellas.wixsite.com/mysite

Here’s this week’s Two Minute Tuesday: “How Are You Doing? Are You Out of Balance?”

http://mpbc.ws/media/?sapurl=Lys3ZWViL2xiL21pLytmZ2t2Ymh6P2F1dG9wbGF5PXRydWUmYnJhbmRpbmc9dHJ1ZSZlbWJlZD10cnVl

Kevin

Communication

You know sometimes in life you come to places where you feel you can (or should) look back and make assessments… Like: “How’d that go?” Or “Is this working like I wanted it to?”

Have you been there? Are you there now? It’s sometimes a scary thing. Yep. Scary. It’s sometimes a scary thing to be 50 years old and look back over a period of years and wonder, “Did I do well there?” It can be scary at any age!

Do you know what I’m learning? It’s okay to look back and ask these questions…but, if you begin to dwell on them you’ll start living in the past. Have you ever tried to drive a car by looking in the rear view mirror? Nope! You can’t! But, you can learn and grow from what’s in the rear view mirror as you look forward!

Isn’t that what we’re doing in this life? Living and learning? Yes…as believers…this is boot camp preparing us for heaven!

So, can I share with you what I’m learning? I’m learning communication is absolutely vital! If we’re not communicating, we’re going to struggle! That’s the case in every relationship. Home, work, friends, teams. You name it… If we’re not communicating we’ll struggle! We all know that…but it’s so hard sometimes isn’t it!

How’s your communication? How is it with your family? How is it at work? Is there a relationship in your life that’s strained? If there is…I’m telling you…I’ll bet you it has something to do with lack of communication or poor communication. And most likely, you didn’t mean for it to happen. It just happened. You got busy. They got busy. Things got complicated. Things happened. Then the communication stopped.

Can you pick it back up? Communicate? Hmmm… I know what you might be thinking… “This is going to be tough.” Yep, communicating is scary isn’t it? It’s scary because it means we often have to be very vulnerable. Yet, vulnerability (honesty) leads to good communication. Lack of vulnerability and stonewalling leads to terrible communication…like cold-shoulders, or not being willing to talk about the “elephant in the room” (and hoping it will all just go away).  Well, it won’t go away! It never just “goes away.” It has to be addressed…just like a splinter…or cancer…or a bad attitude. It’s got to be addressed.

How do we address tough situations in life? Like Jesus…think about it…he had a strong mind and a warm heart. Can you find that balance? Man, I struggle to do that. But, I love the fact that Jesus has given us His Word to guide us to this place.

Now, you’re going to want to skip over this passage of Scripture…but, don’t. Please. Please read this passage. I promise it will help.

Romans 12:9-18

Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. 10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. 11 Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. 12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. 13 Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.

14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. 17 Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. 18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.

You know what I’ve done? I’ve made the commitment to address all that I can address and leave the rest to the Lord. I will talk about the elephant in the room, but I won’t be mean. I will be kind and gentle and seek harmony knowing it can’t always be had. But, I’m only responsible for my response. And you are responsible for your response.

It’s true. I can’t live people’s lives for them, and nor can you. But, we can be gracious. Sometimes we just need to realize that we simply might be further down the road on our journey with Jesus than the person we’re dealing with at the time. Yet, in trying to “outdo one another in showing honor,” we can show grace. The difference in the distance between us and them is: “grace.” We show grace to folks. Love. And when we do (and they might even be expecting us to be mean)…then, we’ll see hearts and lives changed.

Yep, I’m 50, and I’m learning, and I’m seeking to grow! And I’m seeking to communicate better! And show more grace!

Hey…I’m excited to let you know I’m headed to the White House!

The family and I are headed up to Lynchburg, VA for a wedding this weekend and from there we’re going to Washington to take Clara and Andrew to see the capital of our nation. They’ve never been to D.C., and we want them to understand the power structure of our nation and the history of our nation. As you can see, we’ll be going to the White House for our 45-minute tour on Tuesday, October 16th at 11:30 am. That will be so cool! We’ll also be going to the Capitol. We’ll do that on Monday the 15th. This is part of a trip that includes a visit to the Bible Museum and some things I’m doing through my “conference/education.” So, we’re killing two birds with one stone. I’ll update you on all the happenings when we get back!

Here is this week’s Two-Minute Tuesday: “The Target Audience for Advertisers Today? -A 26-Year-Old.” Are we reaching them?

http://mpbc.ws/media/?sapurl=Lys3ZWViL2xiL21pLysyM3N4a2huP2JyYW5kaW5nPXRydWUmZW1iZWQ9dHJ1ZQ==

Kevin

Transformation

Check this out. Can you tell the difference? Look closely behind the playhouse and swing set.

Yep, that big oak is gone. It was a white oak to be exact. I counted the rings and as close as I can count, the tree was around 105 years old. It was a tree that’s on our neighbors property and he has been thinning out some of the bigger/older trees. Needless to say, it makes a big difference on the amount of shade. But, thankfully, we’ve still got some trees on our property that will provide some shade.

I share this to speak of: TRANSFORMATION. Wouldn’t you say that a transformation has taken place with that tree being gone? I would. Driving up my driveway and looking at that tree line for the last 17 years and seeing many of them gone…well…when you first see it…it’s a big staggering.

Let me ask you a question. Have you been transformed? Has Jesus Christ changed your life? Can you tell a difference in the “before and after” since your profession of faith in Him? The Bible says:

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 2 Corinthians 5:17

If someone encounters Jesus Christ and His Spirit invades that life…I promise you…that life will change. As sure as lit dynamite causes an explosion, Jesus Christ is in the business of transforming lives.

This week I shared in my Two-Minute Tuesday this question: “Why Young People Ask: Does the Gospel Really Transform People’s Lives?” I say “Young People,” because I’m finding more and more that many tell me, “I’ve not seen a difference in _____________ life, even though they say they are a Christian.” Those type of comments are sobering to say the least. Can someone see a difference in my life? Can they tell I’ve been changed, transformed, regenerated, born again, made new? You pick the description. But, can people see a difference?

That white oak is now gone…

There is a huge difference!

You see, when the Holy Spirit invades the human life, a cleansing takes place and it’s like a tree man cutting down a massive oak. You’ll be able to tell a difference when you look at that place in the forest. It’s as plain as the nose on your face.

So, how do people see us? How do they see us react when we are being misused, mistreated, maligned, misquoted? How do they see us when we’ve been cut off in the parking lot at the grocery store? How do they see us act at ball games, concerts, etc? Do they see a transformed life? Believe me…I ask myself this question all the time. What do people see in me? Do they see the flesh: KEVIN or do they see: JESUS?

The Roman Christians were encouraged:

What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. Romans 6:1-4

Jesus wants us to walk in the newness of life… After all…we’ve died to ourselves and we’ve taken up our cross and following Him, right? But, how often do we have to take up the cross? Daily. Yep…daily! Now this doesn’t mean that we are “saved daily.” No…that’s a one-time event. But, in the process of our sanctification (being made holy), we have to choose to deny ourselves DAILY. And that means we must lean into Jesus. We must trust Him and not ourselves.

Truly, if young people don’t see a transformation in our lives… If we aren’t “practicing” what we preach, then they’ll run from us like a kid being chased by a bee. Honestly, kids can see through hypocrisy. They can tell if there is a difference in how we act at church versus home. They see the “true” us…not, the “fake” us that we show the world as we try to make everyone think we’re better than we really are. Ouch! I need to go back and read that again! That’s for me!

You know it’s easy to fall back into the old way of thinking/living. We can choose to go back. We can even play in the woods where the tree once stood. But, if we’ve been born again…it won’t be the same. We’ll see the hole in the ground and realize… NO WAY! I’ve changed! I’m not coming back to this!

Transformation is a powerful thing! I’ve seen it happen in many lives. I’ve seen it in my family. I’ve seen it in the church. I’ve seen it in people who I thought “Man…it’s going to be tough for them to ever be saved…they are so far gone.” Yet, BANG! God invades and they surrender to Jesus and the transformation takes place…life a caterpillar to a butterfly! Transformation! Truly, being born again is a miracle and I’m so grateful!

As mentioned…here’s this week’s TMT:

https://subspla.sh/bsdz289

Kevin

The Steady Beat of Life

I’ve been thinking about life… I do that a lot. After all, I’m a preacher. I’m constantly confronted with life and death, situations that are life-altering and the like. Truly, by the time people contact me, it’s usually pretty bad. Life…it’s a steady beat. What do I mean? I mean life goes on. If I were to die today, life would not miss a beat. The sun will come up tomorrow. People would still go to the grocery store, eat at restaurants, check Facebook and brush their teeth. Life moves on… It waits for no one.

It’s so easy for me to get caught up in the moment. The problems. The troubles. The heartaches and forget to live life and enjoy the journey. There are the constant deadlines…another sermon to prepare, another death, another hospital, another counseling session. How about you. What would you write… another_________, another_________, another __________. Would it be: “report to create,” “diaper to change,” “truck to load,” “paper to grade”? What would it be? You see, that’s the steady beat of life. It doesn’t stop and it waits for no one. Now, what can we learn about this?

We learn that just as a drummer keeps a steady beat for the band…life keeps a steady beat for us. The sun will set…

(That’s the view from my house looking west…yes, the sun always sets in the west) And the sun will come up in the east… Yes, the grass grows… The coffee is in the cupboard… Holidays are coming… And people will continue to get married. Like my daughter next April. So, there are flower arbors to be built…

Dad, Andrew and I made an arbor…there was plenty of humming and drumming as we used our saws and drills. Yes, you can count on these things. Life moves on…

In the midst of uncertainty, turmoil and trouble, you and I can count on these things. And it’s that ordinary, hum-drum that keeps us grounded in the midst of difficulty. To wander into the kitchen half awake…sun barely peeking through the windows…oh yes…the sun…it’s up again…thank you Lord! And then wandering to the cupboard to grab the coffee…time to make a pot of coffee…oh yeah…thank you Lord for coffee. Do you see? It’s the common things that ground us and let us know that while chaos may be around us…the common things don’t change. I’m grateful for that. I’m thankful to the Lord for His goodness and the fact that His mercies are new each morning. I’m grateful that He gives us our daily bread and He will sustain us in all things. I’m thankful for the steady beat of life.

I’m grateful that I can walk up the hill and still see my mom and my dad and watch them play with their great-grandchildren.

What a joy!

Could it all change? You bet! In a heartbeat! Life changes. People die. Routines can change. But, some things stay the same…the sun comes up in the east and it sets in the west. I’m also reminded of this: “The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever” Isaiah 40:8.

Thank you Lord for the steady beat of life! Thank you that you are unchanging…the same yesterday, today and forever. The Psalmist (Ps 136) has it right:

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,
    for his steadfast love endures forever.
Give thanks to the God of gods,
    for his steadfast love endures forever.
Give thanks to the Lord of lords,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;

to him who alone does great wonders,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
to him who by understanding made the heavens,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
to him who spread out the earth above the waters,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
to him who made the great lights,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
the sun to rule over the day,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
the moon and stars to rule over the night,
    for his steadfast love endures forever.

Amen!!!

This week’s Two-Minute Tuesday (“What You Do Today Could Impact the Next 1,000 Years”) puts that into perspective for us:

https://subspla.sh/hjypn3b

One last thing… I was blown away when I received this:

Apparently our local newspaper, the Wilkes Journal Patriot, was running a “Best of Wilkes” awards, and yours truly was awarded the “Best Spiritual Leader.” When I was made aware of this…well…I thought it was some sort of hoax or scam. But, it’s not. Needless to say, I was and I am humbled and feel unworthy of the award. Yet, I understand the position the Lord has placed me and I will seek to continue to honor His name through our church (MPBC) and the ministry He has given to me and family and the other men I serve with each day. Thank you Lord…the beat goes on! 🙂