Archive for August, 2010

Hot of the press!

A good friend of mine sent me this a few minutes ago and I thought I’d post the link…

Anne Havard of Atlanta, Georgia, may be a rarity. She's an American teenager who is passionate about her Christian faith.

Above: Anne Havard of Atlanta, Georgia, may be a rarity. She’s an American teenager who is passionate about her Christian faith.


I especially like this part…

Churches, not just parents, share some of the blame for teens’ religious apathy as well, says Corrie, the Emory professor.

She says pastors often preach a safe message that can bring in the largest number of congregants. The result: more people and yawning in the pews.

“If your church can’t survive without a certain number of members pledging, you might not want to preach a message that might make people mad,” Corrie says. “We can all agree that we should all be good and that God rewards those who are nice.”

Corrie, echoing the author of “Almost Christian,” says the gospel of niceness can’t teach teens how to confront tragedy.

“It can’t bear the weight of deeper questions: Why are my parents getting a divorce? Why did my best friend commit suicide? Why, in this economy, can’t I get the good job I was promised if I was a good kid?”

What can a parent do then?

Get “radical,” Dean says.

She says parents who perform one act of radical faith in front of their children convey more than a multitude of sermons and mission trips.

A parent’s radical act of faith could involve something as simple as spending a summer in Bolivia working on an agricultural renewal project or turning down a more lucrative job offer to stay at a struggling church, Dean says.

But it’s not enough to be radical — parents must explain “this is how Christians live,” she says.

“If you don’t say you’re doing it because of your faith, kids are going to say my parents are really nice people,” Dean says. “It doesn’t register that faith is supposed to make you live differently unless parents help their kids connect the dots.”

Read Full Post »

Relationships-Part 2

Yesterday I shared some information about “relationships” as it relates to dating.  Today I want to ask as one parent to another (if you are a parent reading this)…  What is your goal for your child regarding relationships?  Do you desire for them to be a virgin when they are married?  Is that even possible?  Do you know what scares me?   I believe many parents…including Christian ones at that…have begun believing the lie that our children are going to be in relationships and might (even though we hope not) have sex before marriage and that’s just the way it is.  It’s the world we live in…so…we’ll just deal with it the best we can and move on.

I noticed recently as I was driving through the town of N. Wilkesboro back into Wilkesboro that there was a billboard with three teenage girls on it and the one in the middle was holding a pregnancy test stick.  She was holding it up and looking at it with fear on her face.  The sign says: “No Birth Control = No Control.”  Wow!  We are telling our teens through the Health Dept. (who sponsored the ad), that they need birth control to be in control.  Really?  The Bible doesn’t teach this. 

The Bible says in Galatians 5:22-23 that part of the fruit of the Spirit is self control not birth control.  But, this is the rub today.  Most of our children can’t tell themselves “No.”  Do you know why?  Because many of us, as parents, can’t tell ourselves “No.”  We can’t control our spending, our appetites, our tempers…you name it.  So, we are raising children in the same manner.  We have lost the ability to discipline ourselves.  Take a look at what the writer of Hebrews tells us in Hebrews 12:7-11:

7Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? 8If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons. 9Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live! 10Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. 11No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.

Is there discipline in our lives?  Are we self-controlled?  Can we tell ourselves “NO?”

You see, self discipline is a big part of the solution.  But, here we are…August 2010…school has started back…and the new boyfriends and girlfriends will begin.  Right?

But what if you are a parent that really wants the BEST for your child.  Can we overcome?  What do we do?  Throw up our hands and give up?  Say it’s impossible for our children NOT to make it to the altar as virgins…chaste and celibate?  I think not!  Do we not aspire for the very best for our children in all things?  We most certainly do or at least I hope you do.  I do!  I really do want God’s best for my children.  I want them to love Him more than anyone or anything else.  Do you?  Is that your desire?  Do you want your child to love the Lord thy God with all of their heart, soul and mind?  Jesus said that is the greatest commandment. 

But, I know the questions…

  • What about everyone else…everybody seems to be in a relationship?  Won’t I look strange?
  • People will think I’m gay if I not in a relationship won’t they?
  • Can I just “hang out” with someone at their parents’ home and just be friends and chat online and text?  After all…that’s not classified as “dating” is it?

These are great questions and ones that need answers.   So here goes…

Question #1:  What about everyone else…everybody seems to be in a relationship?  Won’t I look strange? 

My answer is simple.  Probably.  Yes…people will probably think that you are strange and yes…most teens are in a “relationship” because they feel pressured by their peers to do so.  This says a lot about where we’re at as “salt and light” in our culture to me.  We tell our kids to be salt and light…but, do they have the courage to do so?  Are we building into them a desire to go against the grain and against the crowd?  You say…but, dating is not that big of a deal.  You are making  a mountain out of a mole hill.  Really? 

Have you read how many STD’s there are today?  Google it.  Have you read that the average teen loses their virginity within 6 months of a dating relationship.  Have you heard that over three-fourths of all teens (including Christians) will have lost their virginity by their senior year in high school.  So do you know what I’ve concluded that all these “relationships” and dating lead to today…  Drum roll please…


Premarital SEX!


That’s right…  Premarital sex.  You see, young people today believe it’s ok to do “everything,” BUT go all the way and somehow many parents have started to believe the same.  But seriously…can’t we see that the heart is being ripped out each time a relationship ends…even if it is for the 13-year old.  Ask the 13-year old if their heart hurts even if they’ve not be “intimate” with the other person.  More on this in a moment. 

Question #2:  People will think I’m gay if I not in a relationship won’t they?

Sad isn’t it.  That’s all I have to say about this question.  We’ve sunk so low as a culture and society that a young person is thought of as a homosexual if they have never been in a relationship and are saving themselves for marriage.  How sad…oh how sad indeed.  And even sadder is the fact that being “gay” is in vogue in many of our schools and middle schools.  Amazing!

Question #3:  Can I just “hang out” with someone at their parents’ home and just be friends and chat online and text?  After all…that’s not classified as “dating” is it?

Ok…this is a biggie right now in our culture.  I call it “sitting on the fence” or “playing the middle” or “trying to have your cake and eat it too” mentalities.  Here’s the problem with this.  It’s all about the “heart” of the matter.  The heart?  You say, “Why are you talking about the heart…this is physcial stuff?”  Really?

What about the emotionally toll that is to be paid by our young people when they break up?  And they WILL break up.  5 to 7 times.  That’s right…they’ll be in 5-7 “relationships” before they complete their senior in high school on average according to most studies.  Well…what constitutes a “relationship?”  Great question.  My short answer…

It’s when your child lists on Facebook that “I’m in a relationship.”  How’s that for an answer?  It’s when you are an “item” or “talking” or “going together.”  You can call it what you want to call it.  They may not be hooking up “physically” (to use the vernacular of today) but they are hooking up emotionally. 

So what do we do?

As believers we must look to the Word of God as our guide.  But, will we?  Isn’t the Bible antiquated and old?  It won’t fit for our culture today will it?  The Bible is not relevant for today.  It’s “old-fashioned.” 

Really?  Is God dumb?  Did God NOT know what He was doing when He was commissioning the 40 men to write it?  Is He not wise enough to know what we need today?  Doesn’t God stand outside of time?  Does He not comprehend what we need yesterday, today and tomorrow? 

Could it be that we simply don’t want to do the hard things?  Could it be that we don’t want to teach the hard things?  By the way…just so you will know…and be reminded…

Dating did NOT exist until about 60 years ago.  For almost 6,000 years we have survived without dating or being in a “relationship.”  What has happened?  Could it be that we’ve become so immersed in our culture that the salt has lost its saltiness? 

The Apostle Paul directs us in 1 Thessalonians 4:3-8

3It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; 4that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable, 5not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God; 6and that in this matter no one should wrong his brother or take advantage of him. The Lord will punish men for all such sins, as we have already told you and warned you. 7For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. 8Therefore, he who rejects this instruction does not reject man but God, who gives you his Holy Spirit.

Did you catch those underlined portions?  You may want to look at them again…

“…learn to control his own body that is HOLY and HONORABLE…”  Wow!  Holy…in our culture…yes…Holy.  There is not to be even a hint of sexual immorality among God’s “holy” people.  Ephesians 5:3

“…therefore he who rejects this instruction does not reject man, but God…”  Well…I can’t say it any better than that.  This is God talking in this passage.  Paul makes that very clear.

For even more information that is vitally important for seeing a “better” way of how to teach this in your home/life, go to the website shown below…  And please realize…that what is shown at the site below will only take about 6-8 minutes to read…but, may totally change your thoughts and the way you look at the entire subject we’ve tried to discuss in such a short time.


Note…Over the next few days, I’ll be taking some much needed time off…so I’ve promised Pam and the kids to take a break from the computer and work.  I’ll follow the model of Christ Jesus…from time to time the Bible says…that He said…”Come away with me…away from the press of the crowds.”   And for you Iron Men that are reading…Pastor Brad will be opening up and Keith Lyall will be sharing/teaching this Wednesday in my absence at 12-Noon! 

Read Full Post »

Relationships-Part 1

Relationships…that’s an interesting word.  I see it often in articles that I read that talk about the fact that Christians should have an “intimate” relationship with the Lord.  That Jesus desires an intimate relationship with us.  The Father in heaven wants to have a personal relationship with us, His children, here on earth.  We have relationships with one another.  As parents to children, as workers to bosses, as players to coaches, etc.

But, often we think of the word “relationship” today in the context of:

I’m in a relationship.

I ponder this word as it relates to our culture and to Christians…especially younger “believers.”  It is interesting to me how many of your young believers are in “relationships.”  At least that’s what many of them tell others or show on the net.  They say, “I’m in a relationship.”  What exactly does that mean?

Many young Christians today, (led and often encouraged by their Christian parents), almost seem encouraged to have a “relationship” with the opposite sex…even at young ages (12, 13, 14, etc).  I’m not sure exactly why unless there is some status to be gained by being in a “relationship.”  Or perhaps there is even the desire not to be thought of as weird, strange or even gay by NOT having a “relationship” with the opposite sex.

For many years now I have grappled with the whole concept of dating and what it means to the current generation and I’ve concluded that it is a very, very dangerous “Western” practice.  Why do I say “Western” practice…simple…because you won’t find dating even show up in world history until the later part of the 1940’s and early 1950’s here in America after WWII.  Dating didn’t exist until after the Great War and the prosperity of a nation turned into drive-ins and “Happy Days.”  Now a phenomenon called “Dating” arrived. 

Prior to the 40’s there was “courting” in our country.  A time where young people would spend time only in settings approved by the parents in the homes of the parents…typically in a parlor or “courting room.”  But, is that Biblical?  “Courting,” you ask, “Biblical?”  Well, when you look at the Bible (and if you agree it is to be our authority in life and not the culture), then you will search your heart out and never even find the term “courting.”  I believe courting was simply a forerunner to our modern “dating.”  What you will find in Scripture is betrothal and espousal and parents who were heavily involved in this process at that. 

Joseph and Mary were betrothed to one another.  They were not dating nor were they courting.  They were espoused to one another and this espousal could only be broken by something akin to our modern-day divorce.  The parents had a huge part in helping the young person determine whom the Lord had mind to be their bride.  This process was so extensive that it even included the groom paying a “Bride’s Price” for the young lady.  We see in Scripture that Jacob worked for Rachel for 14 years to “pay the price” for her.  In Genesis 24 we see Abraham in his old age assign the task of helping Isaac, his son, get a wife to the family servant.  This servant travelled back to Abraham’s homeland in Northwest Mesopotamia and the Lord (notice I said, “the Lord”) directed the servant to Rebekah.

I know what you are thinking.  You are thinking…that is so archaic and so “old fashioned.”  Dear friends…I am sorry to say that what I am sharing with you is the Bible.  Not my opinions or what I think is best.  Again, you can search the Scriptures from beginning to end and you will only see betrothal/espousal, a process that included the young adult, with the guidance of family and the Lord bringing about a proper “relationship.” 

What do we have today?  A nation that has a divorce rate approaching 55%.  Why?  Because we are on a “turnstile” of relationships.  Our children swap “relationships” as often as boys used to swap baseball cards.  In fact, both practices are similar.  So, once our young people get to the altar and their wedding day (now around the age of 26-29 years of age on average), they have had so many “relationships” that they are in essence “damaged goods.”  If you don’t believe me, just check out the book:


While “Hooked” reads like a textbook, it is must reading for any family (or person) in today’s society who is interested in the truth about sex. In the church, we need to know our stuff, and reading a book like this gives us ample evidence that casual sex is destroying our society.  Some may think that’s extreme. Yet, in this book, science shows how casual, sexual encounters not only increase risk of STD’s and pregnancy, but interferes with natural bonding in relationships later in life.  For our young people who say, “I’m just talking to him or her and we’re not ‘doing’ anything.”  There is still the emotional bonding that takes place from the relationship.  Take a look at this six-minute interview on ABC News about the book by the author, Dr. Joe McInhaney.  It’s excellent.  Particularly as it relates to all the “reality shows” our teens are watching. 


You see, we’re made like sticky tape for each other. And the more people we stick to prior to marriage, the less sticky we get. That can interrupt bonding in many areas of life, such as parenting. Casual sexual encounters, as well as multiple partners also leads to depression, which the authors explain in great detail. This book even tackles the issues of addiction, and why some become addicted to “hooking up.”  With diagrams that map out the human brain and its response to sexual stimuli as well as which hormones trigger which responses, “Hooked” makes an excellent case for abstinence and for seriously looking at all of our “cute” little relationships for our children.  Which is why you won’t hear much about it. But I wish this was a required text in every health education course in America. Maybe we’d be able to genuinely love one another again instead of popping out of bed like Pop tarts in toasters and having a 55% divorce rate.

Because…if the truth be known…”dating” as we know it in our society leads to pre-marital sex.  Plain and simple.  They start out with innocent little “relationships” at 12, 13 and 14 and by 16, 17 and 18 they are much more.

So what is the answer?  Begin young.  Begin when your children are small discussing what the Bible has to say about relationships.  Point out the fact that God knows exactly who it is that He wants them to be with and who their spouse is supposed to be.  We don’t have to “search” or “look” for them and we don’t have to help God bring that person to our young adult.  He is plenty capable of bringing that person to us if we’ll just trust Him.  You see, if we truly believe that God is all-powerful and that His Word is the authority in our lives and that we should look to Him and His Word as the guide…then, we will teach our children to trust Him.  We will teach our children to even look “peculiar” and “strange” and not care about what others think if they aren’t in the “relationship” scene.  In fact, they can rejoice in the fact that the pressure is off of them and they can spend their teenage years growing spiritually without the pressure of a relationship that adds to the demands they already have of school, activities by the tons and potentially even work.  We teach that there is something powerful on “waiting on the Lord.”

You may say, “It’s too late…mine are already knee-deep in all of this.”  No.  It’s never too late.  You simply teach.  You go to Genesis 24 and you look at Scripture.  You look at the life of Joseph and Mary and see how God led them to each other.  More on all of this later on how to “flesh all of this out” in our “relationship-saturated” culture.

Read Full Post »

Children in Church

Take a look at this picture…

Can you see Aeden on Marci's back?

Do you see Aeden?  His little, white head is gleaming…  He’s on Marci’s back as she plays the bass guitar in our Praise Team.  I just think that’s wonderful.  Do you know why?  Because Aeden is in the meeting…the service…the gathering of the flock.  He’s not in a nursery or a children’s church.  He’s a baby who is learning even at his age (months old) what it’s like to be in church.  Awesome!

You see no where in Scripture will you ever see the children separated from the parents during the meeting.  Jesus said, “Suffer the little children to come unto me.”  Paul, when writing half of the New Testament, wrote in the “vocative” voice which indicates that those addressed in the letter were assumed to be in the meeting.  Therefore, in Ephesians 6:1, when the Bible says…”Children obey your parents in the Lord for this is right.”  It’s assumed they were in the hearing of the letter while it was being read in the church to the body.

Here’s a picture of Clara praying with me and Pam and the rest of my family as the church has been called to prayer. 

Clara praying

Will she learn and experience this kind of “body experience” watching a video and eating a snack in a room off to the side?  I think not.  Clara is learning what it means to call out to the Lord in the meeting with other believers.  We are told that the first church came together to do four things.  #1 Study the Apostle’s teaching (the Gospel) #2 fellowship #3 break bread #4 pray.  Acts 2:42.  We never see in Scripture where the children were not included in the “gathering” of believers.  We today have lost the “body” in the meeting by the fragmentation of our lifestyles that has even crept into our churches.   

I know why it has happened.  Because it’s convenient.  We would rather not be bothered with our children or someone else’s children making noise in the meeting/service.  But, is that Scriptural? 

Quick question.  When you go to a restaurant…is there a place for the children to go sit and eat by themselves with people to help them cut up their food and feed them?  Nope.  Not that I know of.  We go through the process and yes…even the inconvenience of cutting up their food for them.  We help them for this season of our lives (and it is a season of our lives that will pass so quickly).  Why do we not do this in church?  Why do we not “cut up” and help the children digest the meeting/service just as we would help them with a meal? 

Just some thoughts early this morning.

In the meantime, Marci…I love seeing Aeden on your back as you play in the Praise Team and as Martin plays the drums.  I love to see you standing in the choir with him cuddle up to you as well.  That’s what being a family is all about.  Yes…even with the children “in” the church with us.

Read Full Post »


Suffering.  Just the word itself is hard to say at times.  This morning I’m praying for (and have been for months) a dear friend and sister in the Lord.  Her name is BeckyLynn Black.  I call her “Mama B.” 

Dave and Becky


I have had the privilege of traveling to Ethiopia with her and her husband Dave Black (a professor at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary) for the last two years.   Mama B has uterine cancer.  She went back to the doctor on Wednesday of this week and the report was not good. 

Dear Prayer Partner Family, 

On Wednesday I had a CT scan.  This scan was done to check on some spots on my lung that we found just before we went to Ethiopia. 

Yesterday the doctor called to give us the report.  The cancer has now gone to my right lung.  There are 2 tumors, one at the top & one at the bottom, of my lung.  The top tumor has doubled in size since mid-June, and the tumor at the bottom has tripled in size.   Also, there are many very small spots that cannot be clearly identified. 

My type of cancer is very aggressive; it grows fast.  It usually doubles in size in 2 months.  The tumors are still very small, but we must start treatment right away and hope that the treatment works.  Because the tumors are spread over my lung, I cannot have surgery to remove the tumors. 

On Monday afternoon, Dave & I will meet with my cancer doctor to discuss what to do.  We are thinking that more chemotherapy is the best treatment, but we must change to a different type of chemo therapy.  

Please pray for me to be strong.  I was hoping very much that our Lord would give me a rest.  But He has decided that I cannot rest now.  I am disappointed that He is not giving me a rest, but I must trust Him, that He does all things according to His love.  And He will hold me during the coming weeks, as He has held me in the past.  And one day, He will give me rest….until then I must be diligent to live for His purposes. 

Know that you are greatly loved!  Thank you for your continued prayers for me. 



Psalm 95 

I am hurting right now for my sister at the realization of what this news means.  It means my sister is very sick.  It means that without a miracle from the Lord, her life will not be measured in decades.  It means that life is truly a vapor that is here today and gone tomorrow.  But, did you read what Becky said:  “…but I must trust Him, that He does all things according to His love.  And He will hold me during the coming weeks, as He has held me in the past.  And one day, He will give me rest….until then I must be diligent to live for His purposes.” 

Amazing!  What courage…what fortitude and what resolve in the face of suffering.  And this is suffering.  I believe one of the greatest forms of suffering in this life is the surrendered abandonment of total trust in Jesus for the unknown.  Why?  Because the mind is where the battle is.  It runs and jumps to conclusions…twists and turns with every emotion and inclination to cave in to paralyzing fear.  I’m certain Mama B is dealing with this in her mind as well.  Yet, in the midst of suffering…Mama B remains resolute and confident in her Lord.  Want to see what I mean? 

Becky has written several short essays on the topic of “Suffering” that can be found by clicking below (which will take you to Dave’s website).  Her insight and the simple beauty of her peaceful surrender to the Father is encouraging, uplifting and inspiring.  We love you and are praying for you diligently Mama B. 

Mama B in Ethiopia with "adopted" son Nigussie and Mercy

Would you please join me for praying for BeckyLynn “Mama B” Black? 



Read Full Post »

I blogged earlier in the week about the privilege of baptizing my Brother-in-law on this past Sunday.  The baptism took place at the home of a dear couple in our church.  Mark and Kathy…you are amazing!  Kathy is on the left… 

Ms. Kathy, Ms. Tonya, Camden and Brother Craig


With that said…we had a wonderful time of family fun at their home Sunday evening.  

Just how many children can you get on that thing?


There were 110 people at their home!  Can you say, “YIKES!”  Would you have 110 people at your home?  Would I?  Well…this is what hospitality is all about.   What a wonderful time we all had playing a bunch of fun games… 

Andrew enjoyed getting wet by the water balloon!!


And more… 

Hurry Callie...JC is catching up!!


Uh!! Glenn...I...uh...I don't think it fits!!

Greg...it's too late...Savannah and Morgan are headed in!!

It's off to the races everyone!!

Hang on Justin...you can rescue Alyssa...almost there!

I love the fact that when we have our “church” outings…we do so as families!  Young and old alike.   We after all are the “family” of God!! 

I think you can do it Emily...the card might just "stick" that watermelon...

The New Testament is replete with admonitions as Christians that we be hospitable.  Mark and Kathy most certainly are!  They had a family from Arkansas in their home for a week…then had 1/3 of the church to their home Sunday…and now have another family coming in to stay with them this weekend!  Amazing! 

Do you know what this shows?  This shows me that they are truly putting into practice the commands of Scripture.   Paul mentioned in his letter to the Romans by name the hospitality of Gaius. 

Gaius, whose hospitality I and the whole church here enjoy, sends you his greetings.   Romans 16:23 

The Apostle Peter tells us: 

Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. 10Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.  1 Peter 4:8-9
Mark and Kathy…you are leading the way and we appreciate you immensely!   

And thanks to you, Tammy for the wonderful pictures!!  You are a jewel ma’am! 

I mention hospitality a lot…because that’s how the first church grew.  They met in each other’s homes and broke bread, fellowshipped, studied the Apostle’s teaching (the Gospel) and prayed for and with one another.  And do you know what the Bible says in Acts 2:47?   

And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.  Acts 2:47 


Read Full Post »

“If you don’t look at it, it won’t make you want it!”  That’s what my five-year old daughter told her five-year old brother.  I laughed heartily when I heard Clara use such wisdom to speak to Andrew.  I had just cut up some watermelon and cantaloupe from our garden.  I sliced pieces and put in a large bowl and was preparing to cover it and place it in the fridge. 

It was about 9:15 at night…bed time in the Brown household for Andrew and Clara…but, Andrew saw the enticing…delectable fruit and said…”I want some!”  I said, “Andrew…we’ve just brushed our teeth and I’m putting this up and we’re going to bed…you can have some in the morning.”  Hey said…”Aw…Dad…I want some now!”  Then those wonderfully wise words flowed from Clara’s mouth! 

“Andrew,” Clara said…”If you don’t look at it, it won’t make you want it!”  Wow!  “Out of the mouth of babes…”  Andrew looked for another moment and then he said…”Oh…OK!”  What Clara told her brother is so true of what Christians need to hear today.

Why?  Because it’s so easy for us “Christians” to get caught up in to what everyone else has.  We get “looking” at it.  We take our focus off of God’s kingdom and start looking at how we can add to our kingdom.  So, we spend money we don’t have and time we can’t afford to lose…chasing what?  Stuff!  Stuff that won’t last.  The Apostle Paul’s words to Timothy are so true…

6But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. 8But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. 9People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. 10For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.  1 Timothy 6:6-10

 Are you piercing yourself with many griefs?  Am I?  We certainly do in many cases.  Solomon says:

4 Do not wear yourself out to get rich;
       have the wisdom to show restraint.

 5 Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone,
       for they will surely sprout wings
       and fly off to the sky like an eagle.  Proverbs 23:4-5

And the wise Clara…says…

If you don’t look at it, it won’t make you want it!

Way to go Clara!!

Read Full Post »

What a day!

Yesterday was one of those days that a person can look back on and say “Wow!  What a day!” 

You see, it’s not every day that you get to baptize your brother-in-law who is an evangelist. 

It’s not every day that you see a church broken and humbled before the Lord.  It’s not every day that you see the hand of God at work. 

God did a special work at Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church yesterday.  I have been preaching from the Sermon on the Mount for several months now and we are drawing to a close in Matthew, chapter 7.  I preached about the wise and foolish builders yesterday and the fact that many, many people are living double lives.  I had asked a young man to share his story about how even as a student at a seminary, he wasn’t living for the Lord or was even saved.  So, three months ago…after dropping out of school and as he says, “building my life on sand,” he truly accepted Christ as his Lord.  Notice I said “LORD.”  Lord…that’s the key.  Many want Jesus as only “Savior.”  They just want “hell insurance.”  Problem is…Jesus isn’t in the insurance business.  He’s in the “Lordship” business.  Many so-called “Christians” need to understand this before it’s too late.  Jesus is not a flu-shot.  He is the one that says “Deny yourself…take up your cross daily and come follow me.”  These were the sentiments shared by three people in the meeting at church yesterday.  A young man of 22 years old, a gentleman that is a father and husband and a single mom.  They all shared the fact that they had been living “double lives.”  One “life” in the church house and quite another in their own house.  Thank you for your honesty Josh, Marc and Dina!! 

My brother-in-law at the conclusion of the service came forward and said, “Kevin, I need to be baptized as a believer.”  He told me how the Lord revealed to him that he wasn’t truly saved until 1999 at a Promise Keepers mens event in Charlotte, NC.  That being said…his baptism as a teen was “null and void” because he was not a believer (and we are to be baptized AFTER we become a believer).  So, we ended up at W. Kerr Scott Lake yesterday at the home of a dear couple and their boat dock.  Thank you Mark and Kathy!! And, well…it was a wonderful experience to say the least…and quite surreal I might add…to baptize my brother-in-law Craig Church, when he is a man whom I admire so much.  I felt like John the Baptist when he said to Jesus…”I need to be baptized of you.” 

Take a look…

Do you know what else?  Craig’s daughter…my neice realized in her own life that she truly had not given her life to Christ when she originally prayed a “Sinner’s Prayer.”  It was a couple of years later that she nailed it down.  So, yesterday, Leah was baptized as well.  Here I am helping her into the lake…

How many others reading this post have a similar story to Craig’s and Leah’s?  You were “baptized” as part of a “profession of faith” as a child or teenager, yet in your heart of hearts, you know it was perhaps years later that you truly gave your life to Christ.  Therefore, you need to be baptized as a “believer.”  I encourage you to look at your life and ask yourself…”Am I saved?”  Am I a believer…truly a genuine believer in Christ?  So much so that I can honestly say that Jesus is running my life.  He is the boss of my life.  He owns me and I’m not my own.  Can you honestly, sincerely and genuinely say those things?  If not…I would encourage you to trust Jesus today and repent of your sins and invite Him, by faith, into your life.  Email me if you aren’t sure of your salvation and let’s talk…


Read Full Post »

Obama endorses Mosque at Ground Zero

I just read that President Obama supports the Mosque that is being proposed to be built at Ground Zero in New York…  Here’s a piece of the article…

WASHINGTON  — President Barack Obama on Friday forcefully endorsed building a mosque near ground zero, saying the country’s founding principles demanded no less. “As a citizen, and as president, I believe that Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as anyone else in this country,” Obama said, weighing in for the first time on a controversy that has riven New York City and the nation. “That includes the right to build a place of worship and a community center on private property in lower Manhattan, in accordance with local laws and ordinances,” he said. “This is America, and our commitment to religious freedom must be unshakable.”

All I would say to our President is simply, “remember that sir… when it comes to the National Day of Prayer, the Boy Scouts of America and anything else ‘Christian’ that you choose not to support or attend.”  The President says we are no longer a “Christian nation.”  This is a quote from his book, “Audacity of Hope.”  Well, so be it.  He says all religions are on the same plane…equal.  Islam is equal to Christianity and Buddhism is equal to Mormonism, etc. 

Jesus said, “I am THE way, THE truth and THE life and no one comes to the Father except through me.”  John 14:6.  Mr. President…you are wrong…all religions aren’t equal…Jesus made this clear…and if you really want to start talking about what our founding fathers believed and wanted…  Hmm.  Well…Mr. President…I don’t think you want to go there.  Because if you do…you’ll find that the personal diaries, letters and correspondence of our founding fathers…signers of the Constitution…show a plethora of evidence that we were founded as a nation on the principles of Scripture.  Yes…Scripture…not of the Koran…Mr. President…but, the Bible.

Read Full Post »

Remember that old cheer?

It was fun to chant that at a game about your favorite team and then point to the other side as you shouted back for a retort.

So, I just have to say it…I love Jesus!  I can’t help but shout it!  “I love Jesus!”  Sound strange?  It shouldn’t.  But, it seems kind of “over the top” to hear a man say, “I love Jesus!”  But, I do.  I sincerely do.  My love for this God-man has grown much through the years. 

I was saved as a ten-year old boy.

    I’m in the back in the middle.  Check out the hair!  Yes, I did once have hair!!

At the time of this photo, I had only been a Christian for a short while.  What did I know about Jesus?  Not much.  But, let me tell you…42 years later…boy, have things changed.  I sincerely and genuinely know Jesus.  I mean I KNOW Him.  I talk to Him.  I understand more and more about His character and His heart.  Why?  Because I go to church, or I’m a pastor or I’ve been a member of a church for basically all my life?  Nope!

I know Jesus because I have fallen in love with His Word.  I love the Bible.  I read it because I want to…not because I have to.  People often say to me, “Well you have to read the Bible, you are a Pastor.”  They say that I’ve learned the Bible because I’m a preacher.  I kindly tell them that I learned the Bible (and that’s a relative term…learned…because I’m still a novice), by simply reading it well before I became a pastor. 

Do you love Jesus?  If you say, “yes,” then can I ask you a bold question?  How much do you “read Him?”  Jesus is the Word.  He became flesh and dwelled among us (John 1:1).  If you love Jesus, you will read the Bible.  If you don’t read the Bible, then you don’t really love Jesus.   You say that’s being “legalistic.”  I don’t believe so and I will respectfully disagree.  If you love Carolina Basketball…then you will read new articles or online articles about the Tar Heels.  If you love hunting…you will read hunting magazines.  You get the idea.  So, what do you love? 

What do you read?

I love Jesus.  So…it’s not a coincidence that I desire and want to read His Word…the Bible…

So…here goes…I’m standing now…and shouting with hands cupped beside of my mouth…”I love Jesus, yes I do…I love Jesus…how ’bout you?”

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »