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Archive for May, 2011

Family Life

Some have asked how our recent vacation went. It was fantastic! Here’s some pics…

Great family photo!!

The kids have outgrown the cow at the ice cream shop…

We had a great relaxing week! We all need that at times.

Recently my niece Leah was selected to play in the All-Star game for the western homeschoolers. She is the youngest all-star ever selected to play on an all star team. She’s 12 and is playing with mostly juniors and seniors. Here she almost made a “buzzer-beater” just before half-time. I liked how everything was out of focus except for her…pretty cool…

Leah’s team (West) beat the East All-Stars by ten points. Here she nails a free throw in her patented form…

The homeschool conference was in Winston-Salem. It was super! Great speakers and good fellowship and books everywhere! I love it! Katy blogs about it here.

Went tonight to see a pre-screening of the movie “Courageous.” It is going to be coming to theaters this fall. It’s from the producers of the folks that made “Fireproof” and “Facing the Giants.” The neat thing is that this is a church from Georgia, Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany. The movie is absolutely fantastic and some local pastors and I are working to bring it to our local theater.

Want to see the trailer. Check it out here. It’s fantastic! It will be in theaters September 30th.

I’m hoping to get an article run in our local paper about the book. Here’s the picture that might be used…

 

 

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You know it seems to me that American Christianity has turned into a “feed me” faith. In fact, there’s no faith in that brand of Christianity. Many it seems come to church to be “fed.” I’m told that very often. Many tell me, “I like coming to this church because I get fed.” I understand their sentiments. I really do. But, is that why we come to church? Is it just about “meeting my needs?” Shouldn’t there be the element of equipping to do the work? After all, isn’t the church likened to a “body” in Scripture, being held together by every joint, equipped, when each part is working properly to build itself up? This is true. I just paraphrased Ephesians 4:16. The key is being “equipped” and “each part” doing the proper work.

Many Christians today simply want to “pay” someone else to be a Christian for them. They want to go to work and make money, save for college and retirement and have vacations and see their kids and grandkids make good grades and root on their favorite teams on the weekend and then give the Lord a couple of hours on Sunday and be done with it. We’ve compartmentalized our Christianity to the box of Sunday’s and a box called a building and we do little during the week to show that we’ve been equipped to do anything except to complain about how long the message was in the box, how hot or cold the box was and why the box needs to be bigger or the box needs to get paid off so we can build another box, while people outside the box are dying and going to Hell.

Can you tell I’m a little fired up? I am. I’m honestly sick to death with an “All About Me Christianity.” When will we become the Church and do what Jesus said…”Go and make disciples…be my witnesses…” (Matt 28:19-20, Acts 1:8). Well, let me show you what this looks like. It’s called a “Community Impact Festival” that’s “CIF” for short.

We decided it’s time to get the salt out of the shaker…

The salt is no good if it stays in the shaker, right?

So here’s what we did. We took our church’s inflatables that we’ve been using “just for ourselves” and we loaded them up along with some grills, hotdogs and the fixin’s and we headed out into the community (the highways and hedges) and took Jesus to people right down the road.

Get this…I wasn’t even there! That’s right! The “pastor” wasn’t there! (I was on vacation if you must know… :)) So, how did all of this get done? Because a group in our church (yes, we’re a Baptist Church, so I must call it a committee :)) called the “Family/Community Impact Committee” designed this event. About two years ago I had this idea come to me and we did our first event last spring and we continue to work on doing more. Why? Because 64% of the people in the county I live don’t attend church anywhere and more than likely they are not going to come this Sunday because I’m preaching or we have great music or whatever. We’ve got to go to them and show them we love them.

So, who did the preaching? I’ll tell you. A layman. Dale Jennings, who is just a regular ole fella, shared the Gospel!

Way to go Dale!!

Is that legal? 🙂 Can someone besides the “preacher” deliver a message? Absolutely and yes it is most definitely “legal.” Can you see this is what it looks like to be a church? I’m not meaning to blow our own trumpet. I’m simply saying that it’s time we stop talking about how to do church and simply DO IT! I’m grateful for our team of about 40 folks that gave up a Saturday evening to share the Gospel with their community! Whoohoo!!

So, let’s be clear about what Jesus was clear about. Jesus’ command is abundantly clear:

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Couldn't wait to get it opened up!!

The book is finally here! It came yesterday morning! I’ve been so busy I’ve not had time to post anything. Wednesdays are wonderfully hectic with our men’s meeting at noon…here’s a shot of the guys…

Those are some wonderful Brothers...

I had office time yesterday with much to do and then service Wednesday night, but here’s more proof that I do have the books…

6 cases!!

They are available online at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Here’s the overview as posted on B&N:
 

Most of us today would agree that the children of this new millennium are growing up in a world that is filled with pitfalls and treacherous paths that previous generations have not had to negotiate. How do we prepare these children to not only survive these paths but be victorious? Father, former youth pastor, and now church pastor, Kevin Brown shares the vision he has been given for teaching about and expecting from our children an involved, discipled way of life. He believes “The Christian faith depends upon the transfer of the gospel from one generation to the next.” Rite of Passage in the Home and Church describes, not a “program,” but instead a family’s commitment to making a change in priorities that will impact them for generations to come.

Pastor Kevin says, “The family has been fractured and splintered by the culture and this segregation of family by age has been brought to the church.” At his home church, the family worships together. There is no children’s church, no youth services…just the family of God worshiping together as indicated in Scripture. Kevin believes the only hope for our culture is the church and the only hope for the church is the restoration of the family.

If you have children, grandchildren or know of people who have children or grandchildren, then I would encourage you to get this book. Sound like a “shameless plug” for the book? Well, it’s not intended to be. I have poured my heart into this book and I’m convinced it will literally change hearts and lives within families. Most people won’t invest the time to read anymore, but some will and if they do, I’m convinced the Scriptures in the book along with what the Lord impressed me to pen could be life-transforming. You’ll only know if you read it.
 
If you are a member of Mt. Pleasant, I’ll have the books at church on Sunday. If you are in the men’s group, Iron Men, I’ll have them next Wednesday for our meeting. If you live in Wilkesboro or North Wilkesboro, you will be able to pick up your copy at “For Heaven’s Sake” bookstore in Melody Square in N. Wilkesboro just off of main street. Otherwise, if you are out of town or state, I encourage you to order online at Amazon or Barnes & Noble.
 
Cover Image
 
In the meantime, I’m grateful that this chapter (pardon the pun) is complete! It’s been a blast!! Want to know more? Email me at kevin@mpbc.ws.
 

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Boy, have we heard a lot about the end of the world lately haven’t we? One of my dear friends at church weighed in on the old guy’s prediction who said everything would end this weekend when he posted on Facebook, “Cheer up! It’s not like it’s the end of the world or something!” 🙂 I laughed my head off! I mean I just hee-hawed! But, tonight about an hour ago, for about 15 minutes I wondered. Why?

This is what was headed our way…

Ominous...pretty scary looking...view of a mountain called "Rendezvous" just above the house

Amazing! We were watching our local weather on WXII and Lanie Pope and Michelle Kennedy said, “There is a tornado warning for Wilkes County and there is a doppler indicated tornado moving from Maple Springs and headed to Parsonsville and Millers Creek.” Well, dear friends, in between Parsonsville and Millers Creek, is none other than Purlear, which is where WE LIVE!!
 
I turned off the TV and hollered for the family. I was calm, but Katy and Kandace could tell in the tone of my voice that something was up. They said, “Dad is this the real thing?” I said, “I don’t know girls, but I know this…we’re taking no chances…we’re headed to the basement.” I told them to grab anything from their room they wanted and do it in three minutes. Katy got her viola. I got my Bible, computer, and cell phone (all three were together on the kitchen bar) and three flash lights and a battery operated radio from a drawer in our bedroom. And like little ducklings headed across the road in a line…down the steps we went. I promise you it was in about 30 seconds, instead of 3 minutes. The wind was howling! I mean howling!! The house was popping and cracking and it was DARK! I took one last look toward the west and thought, “This might be the real thing.”
 
On my way down the stairs, I got on my cell and called my mom and dad and my sister and her family and said, “Are you in the basement?” Dad said, “I think we’d better go don’t you?” I said, “YES, now Pop!” When I spoke to my sister, she said, “Ok, where are you?” I said, “In the basement.” She said, “OK, WE’RE GOING NOW!” At that moment I was afraid. I was afraid for what could happen to my family. Just 30 minutes earlier I was watching the evening news and saw this picture in Joplin, MO.
 
Joplin, Missouri, tornado picture: devastation

I knew that the gentlemen claiming the world would end this weekend was a quack, but this was serious. I pulled up the radar on my computer and we were in the middle of red, purple and magenta on the screen. I didn’t see a hook, (like a comma, which is a sign for a tornado), so that was good. I also started hearing hail. Out of the basement window I could see marble size hail. That’s also a good sign. Rarely do you have a tornado with hail. The hail robs the clouds of energy to produce the wall cloud that produces the funnel. So, I started feeling better. I did pray during this, but there was little time for concerted prayer. In these cases, you are simply grateful knowing the Lord is in control and whatever happens must be ordained by him.

After about 15 minutes, I could tell the wind and noise of the hail was dying down. I came upstairs and took this picture…

Wow!

Now you tell me that’s not the Lord! At that moment, I thought, “Lord, you are truly in control of all of life.” I thought of the apostles on the Sea of Galilee with Jesus in the midst of the storm and Him commanding the wind and waves “Peace! Be still!”

It’s ok! That’s the thought that hit me. With Jesus, everything is ok, no matter what is happening in our lives. Are dark clouds building in your life? Fear may come, but perfect loves drives out fear. So, you and I can take heart! Jesus is in control and so we can even say, “Cheer up, even if it REALLY is the end of the world.” Because Jesus said, He’d be with us even “to the end of the world” (Matthew 28:20). And knowing that feels real good, when you think it might be.

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What Joy!

What workers!

Just finishing making a cake with Andrew and Clara’s help! What a blast! We are having a fundraiser tonight at church to raise funds to complete building a church in Mexico. We are about $1,000 short and we hope to get over the top tonight by auctioning off cakes that the MEN have made! YIKES! Whatcha think?

What fun!!!

Not bad, huh?

I get to help pastor one of the greatest churches in the world! I just have to show you some pictures of our Food/Fellowship Crew that prepares our meals each Wednesday evening. This isn’t the entire crew, (they rotate), but this is a good chunk of our dedicated “behind the scenes” folks. In fact this first picture is of Erin. She has only been coming to church a few weeks and she said, “I want to work. Put me to work.” Bang…we did and she’s something else! You go Erin!!

 

Scrubbing those dishes!

Here’s our fearless leader, Ms. Kathlyn. She’s 81 years old and leads our team! No retirement in her! Leave it to the “younger crowd?” No way! She is leading and giving sage advice and wisdom and her cooking “expertise” to the younger crowd. She’s not kicking her feet up and quitting! There’s no quit in this lady!! We love you Ms. Kathlyn!!

Ms. Kathlyn...what a jewel!

 

Having some dessert! Peach Cobbler at that!
Ms. Sharron making “To Go” boxes for our shutin folks…

And here’s the happy crowd…eatin’ it up!!

What a blessing! Folks serving the body. Thank you all!!
 
 

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Katy, my daughter blogged earlier this week and hit the proverbial nail on the head when it comes to our generation today. In fact, what she writes about is one of the reasons I wrote my book. Before I share what she wrote…take a look at a piece of an article that laments the problem with trying to keep our younger generation involved in church. This ties right into Katy’s blog post.

Here’s a snippet of the article by Drew Dyck, (he is managing editor of Leadership Journal and author of Generation Ex-Christian), entitled “Red Bull Gospel.”

A few years ago I volunteered at an event put on by a national youth ministry. The evening was fun but grueling. We bobbed for apples, captured flags, and raced eggs across the floor using only our noses. The games culminated with a frigid indignity: I laid on my back and let three giggling teenagers make an ice cream sundae on my face.

As I toweled chocolate syrup from my chin, a leader ordered the teens into a semicircle. It was time for the devotional, which included a gospel presentation—but it was a gospel presentation that made me want to stand up and scream. “Being a Christian isn’t hard,” he told the group. “You won’t lose your friends or be unpopular at school. Nothing will change. Your life will be the same, just better.”

Maybe his words would have slipped by me if they hadn’t been such blatant reversals of Jesus’ own warnings about the offensiveness of his message or the inevitable hardships of following him. I glanced at the teens. One was flicking Doritos chips at a friend. Others whispered to each other or stared at the floor. None of them seemed to be listening. And why should they? I wondered. Who cares about something that involves no adventure, no sacrifice, and no risk?

Unfortunately what I witnessed that night is hardly unique. Often ministries, especially youth ministries, are heavy on fun and light on faith. It’s fired up entertainment and watered down gospel.

I agree with Dyck…but, it goes deeper than that I believe. The truth is that it’s not the Church’s job to raise young adult “Christ-follower’s.” It’s the parents’ jobs (principally fathers, Eph. 6:4). The Church comes alongside and can help, but the RESPONSIBILITY is on the parents’ shoulders. Buy my book if you want to see why this Scriptural mandate must be followed to raise Christ-Centered children. The mandate is to the parents not the Church to steward children.

Now comes Katy’s post…

Take a look…

A Generation With Purpose

 
My generation appears to have given itself a bad name. I can’t go anywhere without hearing comments about how lazy and rude teenagers are. How we constantly text, watch TV, stay in our rooms, snap at others, listen to bad music, and the list could go on for miles. It is so sad to me. We are considered adolescents that have few manners and mumble to adults. We may have “Christian” on Facebook as our “religion.” We may even go to church somewhere. We even mention Jesus sometimes. But we are still considered to behave like the “typical teen.”Switching gears, people ask me often, “what are you going to do with your life.” I’m 17 and that must be what people are supposed to ask 17 year-olds. Many that ask have a preconceived notion that I should get a job that makes as much money as possible, live comfortably and save for retirement or something. Many assume I should be wild as a teen, go to college to major in something that will make a ton of money, that will do this so I can do that and this and that and this and yada yada yada. That is how the American “Christian” child should grow up? Right?I have no problem with a good job and money, but living for that is where the issue arises. Many people grow up planning all along to serve the “world.” They really don’t even realize they are doing it. They do what everyone does so they can live for the world. The world is oppressive, though. The purpose you have in it is to get a name for yourself, to make something of yourself even if it means losing everything else. You serve the world to get something from it. You spend your life trying to win it’s approval. However, the world often tramples on it’s citizens. Some suddenly realize that serving the world is without eternal purpose.

This world needs a generation with a lasting purpose behind it. It needs a generation that serves God’s kingdom as faithfully as many serve the world’s. God’s Kingdom, however, is full of joy. You don’t come there looking for purpose… it is laid before you by the One that created the Universe. You don’t come looking for a name… it is woven into the tapestry of time. You don’t come to get anything, but to give, and yet you are given more than you could ever want or need.

Jeremiah 29:11
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Teenagers who serve God’s Kingdom look differently from the “typical teen.” They live with a purpose in the depths of their hearts that is greater than money or popularity. They live without the desire to hide that they are a follower of the Most High. They shock adults with their attitudes that are so unlike the world’s. They love those that others don’t. Money is not the desire of their hearts. They live to serve the One that served them in the greatest way.

We need a generation that would be willing to put down the rectangle gods (screens of TVs, ipods, cell phones, etc) and serve. We need a generation that has a purpose greater than this world’s. It may look strange to the “American dream pursuers.” A glimpse of this lasting purpose may be a mom staying home even though she could make lots of money. It could be a 16 year old girl blessing a 5 year old’s heart by talking to her for a few minutes. It could be a sweet old lady helping fix a meal for a sick family. It could be a dad who shows tough love. It looks strange to everyone else. But then, that is how it is supposed to look.

God has laid His plans before us. Don’t think it is too late to live for something greater than this world. And teenagers, we can prove that we aren’t incapable of being strong Christians. We can let God’s light shine through our lives by living for Jesus. Not just “saying”… but “living.” This world needs to see some Christian young people whose lives aren’t watered down by everything under the sun… a generation with purpose.

1 Timothy 4:12
Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.

 
Posted by Katy Brown

Katy, I couldn’t have said it better myself! 🙂

Click here for more blog posts from a my 17-year-old daughter, Katy.

NOTE: To all my faithful and dear readers, I’m going to take a week off from blogging and let the ole brain rest. I’m going to take some time to refuel the tanks. It’s been a long pull the last several months. I love you all! See you in about a week! 🙂

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It’s hit Amazon. Order here…

 

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