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Snow!

There’s just something about it! I love it!

Snow!

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It’s an amazing thing! It stops us in our tracks and for that reason, I’m glad. I’m glad we get the chance to slow down and take our foot off the gas.

Last Friday night, we watched the snow coming down through the lights I have in the front yard. It was so awe-inspiring to watch the swirls of snow.

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It’s an amazing thing. Snow must form on particles of dust in the atmosphere and fall through the sky to the earth.

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And in that process, it can’t go through a layer of warm air or it will turn into sleet (snow that’s melted and refrozen). When it does hit the ground, it piles up and then we have fun. Or at least my family does.

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Here were the official snowfall estimates from the weather service:

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Many have asked me: “Which forecaster was most accurate for Wilkes County?” Well, from the beginning (about 36 hours out from the event), Matthew East of Asheville, NC seemed to have it nailed down the best. It wasn’t perfect (because no one saw the warm nose of air coming into the Charlotte and Raleigh areas), but East was the most accurate in my estimation.

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We got close to 8″ at my house. 7 and 5/8″ to be exact. Some of the most reliable forecasters only had Wilkes getting a dusting to an inch. However, the system moved further north and further west than anticipated by most of the models.

According to the models at a time period of about 36 hours from the event, the NAM hit Wilkesboro the best of the other models.

15895659_1353385378059498_2459213497755655190_oBut, even it was too low. And it was a bust for Asheboro, and Raleigh and points east. Even the Weather Channel missed it. They sent Jim Cantore to Raleigh, only to have him leave and end up at Virginia Beach. Point being: IT’S IMPOSSIBLE TO FORECAST SNOWSTORMS IN NORTH CAROLINA with any real accuracy for everyone in the state. Why? Because our state provides such a transition zone.

Many are asking: “Are we done with winter?” Nope! We’ll get a reprieve for the rest of January, though. It will warm up to near 70 by Friday. Next week and the following week will be above average, but as we get into February, the roller coast ride will bring us back to Winter. We’ll turn cold again and potentially have more wintry precipitation. This winter is shaping up to be more of an old-fashioned winter where you have the ups and downs. It’s crazy that Reidsville hit -1, (a record low for the date), yesterday morning and will be at 68 on Friday. That’s crazy!!

I hate we missed church, but it was just too dangerous. The parking lot was a skating rink and the temps were just too cold. I’m looking forward to seeing everyone tomorrow night, though! I just love our church family, because we are “forever family” in Christ.

Congratulations to Clemson:

unknownI stayed up and watched the game between Clemson and Alabama for the 2017 National Championship. However, they need to start announcing that the championship game is on two days, not one. The game didn’t end until 12:30 am, so they should have said, “National Championship game 1.9.17 and 1.10.17.” These TV networks are crazy. They keep the East Coast up so late! UGH!!

See that coach, Dabo Swinney? He praise the Lord all last night. So did #4 Deshaun Watson and #13 Hunter Renfro. They all gave the Lord the praise and the credit last night! Praise the Lord! What a tremendous platform for the Gospel!

Speaking of tremendous people, I want to plug my good friend and mentor, Dr. David Black.

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His wife Becky Lynn (Mama B to me), died just over 3 years ago of cancer. Dr. Black will be running his first marathon this May. He’s calling it…

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“Piggin’ Out for a Cancer Cure.” Don’t you love the picture!! I do! Perhaps you would consider joining me in giving in honor of Becky Lynn. You can do so here: http://pigginout.kintera.org/faf/home/default.asp?ievent=1169252

Dave will be running all 26.1 miles and I’m proud of him and I’m so grateful for all that he does and for what he’s doing to help UNC Hospitals to find a cure endometrial cancer as he runs in the Flying Pig Marathon in Cincinnati, Ohio. http://flyingpigmarathon.com

Here’s today’s Two-Minute Tuesday.

I love people. I love being around people…especially young people. Pam and I love our young adults and we wanted to show them. So, we’ve hosted two “Connects” over the last few weeks. “Connect,” (as we’ve called it), is where our church young adults just out of high school or in college, come over to our home for a time of food and fellowship. We believe this is so important for our young people during this stage of life. Why? Because they have tons of pressure on them. This stage of their lives can be a very tumultuous time.

Pam and I wanted to give these dear folks an opportunity to come together and fellowship and rest. Yes, rest. Being a 20-something (or soon to be 20-something) is not easy. Again, it’s a very topsy-turvy time of life where tons of decisions are made. You think about all the decisions that are made from the time a person turns 18 until they are around their mid-to-late 20’s. Usually during that span of 8 to 10 years a life can be set. Usually a person’s vocation comes into focus and often so does a mate or a potential mate. Who knows, even children might be coming along by then. That’s a lot of stuff happening in a window of time (say: a decade) of an average person’s life (living to be say: 80) that makes up only about 12.5% of your life. That’s a lot of stuff indeed!

I remember how I felt back in the day. Pam and I were 21 and 22, respectively when we were married.

15590217_10208433339737123_2585322649366309779_nWe met in college at Appalachian State and it was such a blessing! Yet, those years were stressful in college. I remember them vividly.

So, with all of that said, we wanted to provide that Holiday Break and “Connect” our MPBC young adults. Here’s some pictures.

 img_0802First rule: Feed them good! Village Inn Pizza and Chick Fit-A nuggets do the trick! And so does a lot of coffee! They love coffee!! And sweets…I can’t forget the cookies and chocolate! (I must admit that I love all that stuff too!)

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Teach and be transparent about your own life and struggles. At our first Connect, I shared and I think I actually kept it to about 20 minutes. Wow! 🙂 (Don’t get any ideas MPBC Sunday and Wednesday folks. :))

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Keep it comfortable. Above was last night’s crowd. Below was a couple of weeks ago.

15578538_1330609773670392_5547020218254417074_nWe just let everybody sit wherever they wanted to. After all, with almost 30 people in your house…that’s about the best you can do. 🙂 Pam shared last night about overcoming worry and doubt.

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She’s such a rock. No one can possibly know what she means to me. Truly, our work at MPBC is a team effort. I think everyone had a great time! We played a game where you had a person who was truly the person that something was about them and two imposters. The rest had to figure out who the “REAL” person was and hope to not be tricked by the imposters.

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They laughed their heads off! They’ll have some great memories about some funny truths they learned about each other.

In Scripture Elders are encouraged to show hospitality (1 Timothy 3:2). Peter admonishes us: Show hospitality to one another without grumbling (1 Peter 4:9). Pam is an excellent hostess. At the end of the evening we’re tired after cleaning up, etc. But it’s a good tired. It’s a tired where you lay your head on your pillow after a long day and say: “Yeah…that was good,” knowing that these wonderful lives we got to be around will hopefully know how much they are loved and cared for!

Kevin

 

Below is our annual Christmas update from Pam:

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Christmas 2016 Greetings!

It is that time of year again! We have experienced a wonderful year of God’s blessings. Kevin continues to pastor at Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church and as of January, he will begin his 12th year of ministry. We moved to having three services last year, and not that numbers are everything, (but they do represent souls), we are averaging over 600 people in our three services. Kevin’s weekly Two-Minute Tuesday’s on Facebook have had an amazing impact and were viewed by over 160,000 people.

Kevin and I will celebrate our 26th Anniversary on December 22nd. I am in my 17th year of homeschooling and now spend the majority of my time teaching Clara and Andrew and managing things around here. It’s also a blessing to participate in the Praise Team and work with various ministries at church when I am able. I LOVE being Nana to my two sweet granddaughters! This past year I tore my ACL while doing mission work in China. I had surgery in March and although it was a long and painful recovery, I am so thankful to be back to “normal.”

Kandace will be 19 in January and is getting close to completing her Associates Degree. She continues to sing with the church Praise Team, as well as teaching dance and violin. She also started working at Cook’s Sporting Goods this summer. She is crazy busy and enjoying life. She went back to FASA in Nashville again this summer and sang at the Country Music Hall of Fame and The Grand Ole Opry. She loves going there and reconnecting with so many dear friends and fellow musicians. In 2017 Kandace plans to travel back to China and the Philippines to do more mission work. Kandace also loves spending time loving on and taking care of her precious nieces.

Clara is now 11 and has surpassed me in height! She is in the 6th grade is still dancing and advancing in her violin studies. Her favorite subject is English, like her mother! J Clara was able to travel in October with Kevin and Kandace to the Philippines and participate in the work there. She really enjoyed the experience and wants to go again in the future. Clara is still Charlotte’s best buddy. Charlotte calls her “Cuh-Cuh.”

Andrew is also 11 and in 6th grade. He is still learning piano and has turned his focus to engineering and building. He is meeting each week with a generous man in the church who teaches him about engineering, cars, and other projects. Andrew is in “hog heaven” learning about these things. He really likes math, like his dad! J Charlotte calls him “Adoo” and loves to play hide and seek with him.

Josh and Katy moved into their new home in the spring. Josh is still employed at Wilkes Communications and enjoying his job there. On November 11th at 7:58 a.m. Evelyn Ruth Isaacs was born at WRMC weighing 7 lbs. 1 oz. Charlotte became a big sister just before turning two on November 23rd. Katy is doing great and is a wonderful mother. We enjoy having them close by so we can see them often. Charlotte is talking all the time and always doing something funny. She and little Evelyn are blessings for sure!

We are so thankful for all of God’s blessings this year! We pray that you and your family enjoy a wonderful Christmas Season and remember that the greatest gift is Jesus Christ, who came to earth as a humble baby, to become the ultimate sacrifice so that we may be saved! He is worthy of all praise! Merry Christmas!

Love,

Pam and all the Brown Family

Here’s today’s Two-Minute Tuesday about the importance of “Saving Our Households.” It’s my heart and I know if I fail here, then it doesn’t matter what else I accomplish in this life.

http://subsplash.com/mpbc/v/4dsqx8q

A White Christmas?

Short answer…

No. Not likely this year at all.

Not in North Carolina at least. The weather pattern will go from being bitterly cold, (as I mentioned a while back), with even a bit of frozen precipitation potentially, (early Saturday morning), to a more relaxed and warmer pattern toward the last week of the month (week of Christmas and into the first of January). This is the December 21-27 outlook:

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There will be no white Christmas with that look for sure. It’s just too warm. We’ll be in the low to mid 50’s with that look, about 5-7 degrees above normal. We will still have a wetter period, but it will be just wet, not frozen. See below.

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What’s going to be interesting is what happens after the first of the year. There is a fight in the upper atmosphere over the Arctic and into Siberia. Where is the coldest air going to lodge? Will it be over Asia or will it be over Canada? Last week and this week (coming Thursday/Friday) the coldest air has split toward North America and NOT Siberia.

But, what about the rest of winter? Will it split off and we get what’s called a “polar vortex split,” where a piece of the polar vortex rotates our way (like we will experience Thursday/Friday of this week)? Or will we have more of a zonal (west to east) flow of weather from Pacific to Atlantic. For our good winters, (if you like snow), we need a south to north (active southern jet stream) that ejects moisture from the Gulf of Mexico. Our best snows come up I-85 from Atlanta. It’s too early to tell. I’d say it’s 50/50 on whether it will be a colder and more snowy winter versus warmer and drier. We’ll know a lot more in another couple of weeks and I’ll update you. 🙂

I continue to be concerned about what’s taught in our colleges. I talked about that today in my Two-Minute Tuesday. I wrote this preface on Facebook…

“Progressive Liberal Christianity-Like My Loose Treadmill” Forgive me for the length of this video…it’s 6 minutes. However it is critical. The video will describe what some are seeking to do to subvert orthodox Christianity today. To change the doctrines and orthodox meanings of the basic and foundational tenets of Scripture, (doctrine that has been accepted and practiced for centuries), to a loose theology that perverts these doctrines by watering them down or changing them altogether, is seriously and fearfully damning to many unsuspecting and very impressionable souls. What is more shameful is that this type of perverted theology is being taught under the guise of “Christianity” to our young people in many of our colleges and universities and even some churches. What is to follow is one example from the University of Southern California. Thanks for watching and spreading the word! 

http://subsplash.com/mpbc/v/njqvfqg

Have a great week!

Kevin

Take a look at these two pictures:

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Kandace walked away from that with a sore neck and some minor cuts and bruises. Literally, I could have been planning my daughter’s funeral today, but instead, I’m praising the Lord for His protection and goodness to my daughter and my family.

It’s crazy! This all happened right below the house. I mean literally within 1,000 feet of our driveway. Kandace had come home for lunch after church. She works at Cook’s Sporting Goods. They are open the month of December before Christmas from 1-5 on Sundays. She is a cashier. So, she ate and off she went. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, she inadvertently let the right front tire drop off our narrow road (Boone Trail) and she overcorrected and then fishtailed right into the ditch. She wasn’t even up to speed yet. The airbags didn’t even go off! And she walked away.

Cars can be replaced. My daughter can’t!

Can I tell you that I didn’t sleep good Sunday night. I dreamed about Kandace all night. I dreamed she died in one dream and then she lived in another. I dreamed she was in the hospital on IV’s and wires everywhere to she was in a coffin. It was a fitful night. My Fitbit recorded that I was restless throughout the night (it shows little red lines) all throughout the night. Yep, it was fitful!! I felt like dirt yesterday. But, even in all of that, all I could think of was the fact that she was alive! She’s alive! My precious 18-year-old is alive!! Oh my word!! I’m so overwhelmed with gratitude!!!

You see, I don’t have to endure looking at the pictures of her all over the walls of our house and cry gut-punching tears because she’s not here. I don’t have to plan a funeral and console my children and my wife! I don’t have to clean out her room or her closet and decide what to do about that room. She’s alive!! Oh, thanks be to God! Thank you Jesus!! She’s alive!!!

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That’s me and my girl and I’m wiping tears as I type and look at that picture. I’m so humbled by God’s goodness! The trooper, (Hall, a godly man and good man) told me, “If she’d hit those poplar trees square, it could have killed her.” The man who pulled the car out, Ronnie Everette, who is the best mechanic around, said, “Kevin, I’ve seen people hit just right in these situations and it kill them or maim them for life.” I’m listening to all of this standing in the pouring rain in my black suit.

You see, Pam had called me while I was on the way home from church. She said, “Kandace has been in a wreck (my heart jumped), but she’s alright (I breathed a sigh of relief). She’s in the ditch right below the house.” Well, at that moment I was coming up to our driveway. I let off the brake and just kept coasting down the hill and then I saw the back-end of the car. I knew what Pam had said, but my heart went to my throat. And then I saw Kandace and Pam standing there on the side of the ditch. I parked and ran to my girl and hugged her so tight! She kept saying, “I’m so sorry daddy! I’m so sorry! It happened so fast!!” I consoled her and hugged her and so did Pam and I looked to heaven and rejoiced!

Yes, standing there on the side of the road and hearing that trooper and Ronnie both say, “She’s lucky to be alive.” Well, that makes a man weak at the knees. Eventually I told Pam to get Kandace into the van and warm her up. She was shaking. It was 43 degrees and pouring the rain. So, I stood there as the trooper was in his car filing his report and Ronnie pulled the car out of the ditch. Just me and the Lord and rain pattering on my umbrella…and me in my black suit. And the Lord whispered, “Kevin, it’s okay. I’m watching over your family. You pray that to me every day and I’m listening. Your prayers have been answered right before your eyes.”

Hey moms and dads, if you don’t think your prayers make a difference, they do! If you think you are too busy or wasting time to pray over your children in the dead of night or in the morning when we you leave for work, this is another testimony to the contrary. Prayer is the mechanism God has given us to beseech His throne and it works. I saw it again on Sunday afternoon from a ditch right below my house. And you know what? I’m praising God!!

Kevin

Do you struggle with focus? Are you doing what you are supposed to be doing? Do you know what that is? Do you understand God’s will for your life?

I’ve written extensively about these topics in the past and I’ll not go into the details again here. However, you can simply type “God’s will” into the search box above and see past posts. Yet, I bring up those questions of “focus” to focus us on what’s important.

What is important in your life? Perhaps these (in no certain order):

  • Family
  • God
  • Health
  • Money
  • Relationships

All of these areas require focus, do they not? You and I have to be focused, for instance, on not overspending if we want to see that we don’t end up out of money and broke. Do you check your bank account often? I do. I do that so that I stay focused and I can invest money where it’s needed the most and can be used for eternal things. I’m trying to be focused.

Let’s take another area of life. Let’s pick “Family.” Are you focused? How is your relationship with your spouse? Your children? It’s mostly going to be a function of time. Yep…time. It’s impossible for us to grow our relationship with anyone unless we spend time with them. I think you’d agree. So, do you talk? Do you communicate with your family? Do you have “down time” where you can chat with your family members? If we don’t make time to do so, it will never happen. The truth is: we DO NOT have time to develop relationships in our lives…we have to MAKE TIME! It’s got to be intentional.

So, how is it with your kids, mom and dad? How is it going for them in their lives? Do you have teenagers? The only way you are going to really know how things are going with them is to spend time with them and verbally talk. Oh, I know you can read their tweets and see what they post on Instagram. But, it’s got to be more than that! If that’s how you communicate, then you are no more to them than an acquaintance who happens to live in the same house.

I read an article recently about why our kids walk away from them faith. It’s excellent. http://theaquilareport.com/why-christian-kids-leave-the-faith/

Bottom line: we’ve got to be spending intentional time. Focused time. If you look at your children’s lives and you ask yourself: “Do I really know what’s going on inside of their heads?”, and the answer you got in return is a bit fuzzy, then you need to take time to go to their room tonight and sit down and say, “How’s it going?” It’s that simple. Once they say, “Fine.” Ask it again and add the word “really.”

How’s it going, really?

Try it. It works. Why? Because they’ll see you care. They’ll see they are more to you than just their kid that you hope doesn’t flunk out of school, or gets into trouble or might embarrass you. They will see that you really do care. And let me add this. Prepare to lose sleep. Why? Because you are worried about them? No, not necessarily. You’ll lose sleep because once you get them talking, they will talk your ears off. They will literally share their heart and how they feel with words and emotions that run the gamut of their feelings and that will TAKE A WHILE. That might mean that a conversation you start at 10:45 pm doesn’t end until 12:30 am, but it will be worth every minute of it, I promise you!

Will you be tired the next day? Probably…but, even in that…the Lord will give you energy that sleep can’t give and He’ll do the same for your child. He is faithful and His mercies are new each morning!

I love my children. I know you know that. But, I just have to say it again! I dearly love my children! I’m so grateful and thankful for them and their unique personalities and idiosyncrasies and little quirky ways. I love the fact that they put up with a dad that makes a lot of mistakes and fumbles and bumbles around trying to be a good daddy, but often ends up being a babbling goofball. I’m grateful for a fantastic wife and mom, who already does the things I’ve mentioned (very well, I might add). But, it’s the dad’s who so often struggle with spending the intentional, concerted time with our children. Dads, can I get a witness?

We long for peace and for serenity and that’s why we’ll often sweep things under the rug or just hope difficulties go away. Why? Because we aren’t good at multi-tasking and we don’t want any more on our plates than we already have. So, it’s easy to stick our heads in the sand and the next thing you know…we don’t have a relationship with our children that’s any closer or vibrant than one of their acquaintances. That’s sad. But, it’s happening in many of our homes.

Dad, think about your children. Think about how they look (even if they are adults now). Think about clasping your hands on their cheeks and looking them in the eyes and saying,

“Let me look at you. Let me remember how you look. Let me look into your eyes and see your heart and know how I can love you, pray for you, support you and encourage you. Let me be here for you. Let me know what I can do.”

I dearly and I mean dearly love these people and so I’m bound and determined to stay connected with them and to intentional love them.

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Of course this includes my new granddaughter Evelyn. A new family picture forthcoming soon! 🙂 May we never allow our lofty goals for our children to interfere with simply recognizing that they are OUR children and are a gift from God.

By the way, some have asked: “What about the Weather? What’s the latest winter forecast?” Well, I’ll link to my good buddy Joe Bastardi for the latest on winter. Click the link below and then click on “Saturday Summary.”

http://www.weatherbell.com/#premium

Here’s what the forecast calls for in the next two weeks… This is Dec 8-13th.

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That’s cold air folks and I wouldn’t be surprised to see a bit of ice or snow during that period of time. No, I’m not saying a huge storm. But, with the jet stream finally shifting and the Gulf of Mexico finally opening for business and injecting moisture this way…well…you heard it here first. 🙂

Kevin

I hope and pray each of you have a fantastic Thanksgiving with your families. I’m grateful and thankful for all the Lord has blessed me, just as I know you are as well. Truly, I’m thankful for you, my faithful reader, and I pray the Lord will anoint you with His favor and goodness today and throughout this Thanksgiving season!

Praise God from whom all blessings flow

Praise Him all creatures here below

Praise Him above you Heavenly Hosts

Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost

Amen!

http://subsplash.com/mpbc/v/xmuc9fb