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Archive for March, 2012

Molly & Luke in Poland, OH

As we began to discuss earlier in the week…we’ll continue on the thought of how a person is to “find” Mr. or Ms. Right? I put the word “find” in quotations, because I want to accentuate the fact that a person does not have to “find” this person, but rather God helps them to recognize this person. There is a big difference between “finding” and “recognizing.”

When I was at Appalachian State University (many moons ago), my roommate and I had a conversation about dating. We were both “sick to death” of it. We were tired of the wasted time, money and emotional investment. We decided we were going to wait on the Lord and seek His will and let the “chips fall where they may.” There is something very freeing about trusting in the Lord with a surrendered heart. It’s a relief…let me tell you.

Ultimately, the things I will share with you is simply information for you to place in your brain and then pray about. Yes, I recognize that this discussion might be uninteresting for most of my reader audience; however, I believe there are many who might pass along this information to a grandson or granddaughter or friend or another family member.

Folks, we have a 50% divorce rate in this nation. That’s a 50% FAILURE rate at arguably one of the most important decisions a person will ever make. Why do we accept such a terrible failure rate? What has caused this?

Well, there are many, many reasons. But, I will share a few, quickly. First and foremost, we’ve walked away from the Lord. We have a “soiled morality” in this nation. Before WWII there was no such thing as dating. Period. People “courted,” which is really a watered-down form of betrothal, which we’ll discuss in detail shortly. But, the point is this: the divorce rate prior to WWII was almost non-existent. If you want to think through why this was the case…that would be good. But, I’m telling you it has a lot to do with the culture following a Judeo-Christian path.

So what happened? We became prosperous as a nation and we forgot the Lord (Deut. 7:10-15). We entered the era of “Happy Days.” Parents started providing their kids the keys to the car and off to the drive-in they went and unfortunately, many ended up in the backseat before they made it back home.

Today there is rampant promiscuity in our nation. Hook-ups and “one night stands” amuck. We have believed and grown up with the idea that you must “date” in order to “find” Mr. or Ms. Right and that you must “try them on” like you would a pair of pants before you buy it. But, not of this is Scriptural by any stretch of the imagination. You will simply not find “dating” in Scripture. Search as you might…it’s just not there. So, why do we do it? We feel we don’t have a choice. Everyone is doing it. So, we succumb to peer pressure…just like most families are right now with letting their impressionable children see the bloody and extremely violent “Hunger Games.” We’ve just got to do this…everyone else is…what will they say about us if we don’t?

Doesn’t the Bible say we are to be a “peculiar people?” Aren’t we called to be “salt” to this world? Yet, we are being thrown out and trampled by men because we have no courage…no guts to do the right thing…no matter how hard it is.

So, here we are. 2012. E-harmony, online dating, hook-ups, multiple partners, emotional baggage galore. Isn’t there a better way? Yes! Yes! Yes! It’s found in Scripture. You know that book that’s called the Bible. The manual. Our map. Our GPS. It will show us the way. It’s God’s Word! It’s not bound by time. It’s the timeless word of our Lord. It is indeed, His love letter to us. So, let’s look at the Word, shall we?

What does the Bible say about relationships? How does/should a person come to the altar? First and foremost we must remember that the Bible describes our relationship (as believers) with Jesus as the bride and groom. The Church is the bride and Jesus is the groom. One day Christ is coming back for the church.

After all, one day there will be a marriage in heaven. Jesus will “marry” the bride (us, the Church) and there will be a wedding feast. It’s called the “marriage supper of the Lamb” (Revelation 19:6-9). The Bible is replete with “wedding/marriage” imagery. The Hebraic pattern is what we’ll discuss for a moment. Now as we examine these marriage customs we must pay particular attention to what Paul says in his letters to the first century Church. Please keep in mind that this is just a “general” look into the customs of the Hebrew wedding and what we’ll do over the next couple of posts is to flesh out how we may follow these patterns today. So be patient. We’ve got to lay a Biblical foundation before we can hang the pictures on the walls. 🙂

The first stage of a young man and young woman coming together in Scripture is the prospective bridegroom visiting the father of the prospective bride. First, he would state to the father his desire for his daughter, and ask for her hand in marriage. This is in essence a way of declaring his intentions. If the father agreed he would then begin to negotiate a price to be paid for the future bride. This is called the “bride’s price.” If the father and the bridegroom agreed on a price, then the groom would pay, thus establishing that the marriage would take place and the bride would be his.

We see the bride’s price in the Old Testament in Exodus 22:16-17. Jesus paid the bride’s price with His own death on the cross. The price to be paid to the Father (God) was the groom’s (Jesus) own death. Paul writes to the Church at Corinth. For you were (bought at a price); therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s (1 Corinthians 16:20). Jesus paid the ultimate bride’s price on the cross.

In Scripture, once the bridegroom paid the bride’s price, the marriage covenant was established, and the young man and woman were regarded as future husband and wife. They were considered “betrothed” to one another. From that moment on, the bride was (set apart) exclusively for her bridegroom. This is the period of time that she is observed for her purity.

Paul writes to the Ephesians ”that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish” ( Ephesians 5:26-27).

This is also the period of time that the bride is being trained and prepared to take on the role of a wife and she prepares herself for her mate. When that day comes she will be presented as a pure virgin to her groom and it is expected he (the groom) to be a virgin as well.

This almost seems like a joke today, doesn’t it? A young man and a young woman arriving to the altar as virgins? No way! Truly, this is a rare occurrence today. But, it can happen and it SHOULD happen. Why have we dropped the bar so low? Why do we no longer hold the Scriptures as truth? Why are we seeking our own way? We’ll stop for now. But, please think about the bride’s price. Think about the price that was paid for you (the bride), and as you do…think about why we have a 50% divorce rate in this nation.

And ponder this thought: “It’s not truly love until there is sacrifice.”

More to come…

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This is a scene that is fading away in America…

This is Justin and Kara Gourley and the singers and musicians for their wedding. That’s Katy and Kandace beside of Justin and Kara. They played the piano and violin.

Seth Rhoades and Steve Bryan (to the left and at the top) were the singers and Martin Moore is to the right. He played the hammered dulcimer. Boy, those folks are soooooooo talented!

But, truly…weddings and marriage is falling out of favor in our culture. Here in North Carolina “marriage” is on the ballot on May 8th in our primary. The state voters will decide if marriage is “one man and woman” or if it includes anyone. I’m voting FOR the amendment to declare that marriage is as the Bible teaches…”one man and woman for life.” Many are trying to confuse people with ads and billboard advertising that says, “Vote for all families…vote against the amendment on May 8th.” What they are saying is that they believe that any “family” is fine, including two women who are married or two men.

Hey, have you thought of this. Would you be ok with three women being married to each other? How about four men? Have you thought of that? Where does it stop?

We hae to use something as our authority and as our guide. What are we going to use as standard? It must be the Bible, if we say we are a Christian. Truth is, we’ve walked away from our Judeo-Christian foundations. If you don’t believe me, check out Kirk Cameron’s

Kirk Cameron Drops By the “Today” Show

new documentary called “Monumental.” Click here for the trailer.

So, we’re seeing a slow, fading away of principle in this country. So sad.

You know as I think of marriage and the beautiful couple I had the privilege to marry on Saturday afternoon, I think of how a person “finds” Mister or Miss “Right.” And I think about how wrong this thinking is. As Christians we don’t have to find anybody. God does the work. For some reason we believe that we must go out and look for the person we are going to marry as if they are hiding under a rock or behind a bush. Yet, God knows before a person is even born who they’ll marry (if they’ll marry at all). God is Sovereign. He knows all. So, why is it that we think we’ve got to help Him do His job and go “looking” for the person that He’ll simply bring into our lives?

I think of Adam. He was lonely and God said, “This is not good.” So, He created woman from his rib. He created Eve. Just Eve. That’s it! Not Eve and Susie and Maggie and Kristie and Teresa. Nope. Just Eve. Adam had no choices. God created one woman for Adam. That’s it! And this was true for me. This is her…

Pam. So, why did have to “date” three other ladies, before I “found” her? You see, I didn’t “find” her. God brought her to me. I didn’t know any better. I was doing what everyone did in the 80’s. We all “dated” and “went with” girls…starting in about the 3rd grade. It was cute, right? Innocent. No big deal. Until we hit high school and then the prom. Oh the prom. We’ve got churches now that are making sure they collect enough prom dresses so every girl can have a prom dress. What is the prom? What’s the purpose? Many young people see it as a license to have sex.

Did you know that studies show teenagers have sexual intercourse within 6 months of beginning to “date” one another. Did you also know that less than 10% of college sophomores are virgins and if they still are, they are chastised and ridiculed for it. Sad. Our morals are continuing to fade away…like a fog on a hot summer morning.

Oh if I had it to do over again…I would have trusted in the Lord and waited until He brought Pam into my life at the Bible Study at Appalachian State University. But, I didn’t know any better. But, there is a better way…the Bible way.

Why can’t we simply trust the Lord?

Why can’t we trust Him to do His work and have His will in our lives? Why are we so scared to do things His way? You see…you won’t find dating in the Bible. It’s not there. Why? Because dating leads to promiscuity. Period. This casual way of swapping one girl friend for another like trading baseball cards leaves a trail lof “used up” and “thrown to the curb” young people.

Scripture teaches about betrothal. And yet…we don’t even know what that word means. In fact, if the truth be known…we somehow believe we have evolved or become more educated in the 21st century and we no longer can trust such an antiquated book (the Bible) on topics such as relationships and marriage. Nope. People now say the Bible is bound by time. The principles taught in Scripture were just for “that day.” We’re somehow better than that now…more intelligent, right?

Wrong! God is not dumb is He? Didn’t He know (since He stands outside of time) that when His Word (the Bible) was written down that the principles and precepts in it would be TIMELESS! Yes! The words of Scripture or not “timebound.” No! They are “timeless.” They apply to today as much as they did hundreds, yes…even thousands of years ago. Why? Because God is Sovereign and His Word will stand forever.

So, why don’t we wise up and look to Scripture to guide our lives?

In the next couple of blog posts to come…we’ll look at what the Bible has to say about relationships and how we get to the altar according to God’s pattern and not the world’s. I hope you’ll keep reading!

By the way…this is the goal…a couple who are so committed to Christ that before they even eat one bite of food at their wedding reception that they do this…

By the way…many have asked…and here’s the proof…

Andrew is doing great! No more pain and three weeks from this Thursday, he gets those casts off! Woohoo! In fact, last Tuesday, he celebrated his 7th birthday!

We all had a blast!

I sure do love my family!

Oh…and one more last thing. Many have asked how Jason and Katie are doing as missionaries down in Weslaco, TX. Take a look at this Facebook status a few days ago…

Jason Church
We are all called to be the hands, and feet for God. Here is a picture of a young man that we got to witness to last night. We were talking to his girlfriend and her mom when he got there last night. I talked to them about marriage and I talked to him about being a Godly man. After talking to him I asked if he had a bible and he didn’t. So I gave him a bible that a young man from our 3rd grade Sunday School class had went and purchased because he wanted to help spread the gospel in Weslaco, Tx. Thank you Peyton Paisley!! It doesn’t matter your age or anything when it comes to be obedient to the Holy Spirit. I Thank God each and every day for Peyton and other people who are obedient to God! Whatever is holding you back from letting Jesus be Lord of your life I plead today that you will let it go and to let Jesus be Lord of your life today!!

Until next time….blessings to all! 🙂

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I thought I’d share some odds and ends with you tonight. Not in the mood to write a real “deep” post. I don’t have it in me. It’s been a busy week and I’ve been to Winston-Salem twice this week and our local hospital 3 times. 3 counseling sessions. I’ve written 3 messages, 2 blog posts and four daily devotions and who knows how many emails. But, I love it all! Except maybe for all the travel. I’ve got to get to the point that I’m not on the road so much. The church continues to grow and we’re averaging between 380 and 400 over the last 3-4 months. It’s a wonderful joy to see people growing spiritually along with the numeric growth.

I’ve got a wedding to do this weekend (rehearsal tomorrow night and wedding on Saturday) for a wonderful couple and our church’s Passion Play is this weekend (Saturday and Sunday night). I’m praying for souls to come to Christ this weekend. We’ve done some pretty extensive “counselor” training for this year. Pray for us, will you please? And pray for Katy. She’s got the lead role as Mary Magdalene. She’s got a ton of lines and she does a fantastic job, even if she’s my girl. Pictures to follow next week.

So, it’s going to be a fun weekend! I’m excited! Andrew is doing well and continues to get stronger and stronger. Two weeks down and four to go in his casts. Katy, Kandace and Clara have been big helps to their brother.

I love being a pastor/elder. Take a look at this hilarious cartoon I saw this week…

Isn’t that a sign of the times? 🙂

I also love the music in our church. We have a fantastic Praise Team. They just completed their own CD. They have written their own songs and music. I know I’m biased…but, I know a little bit about music (having sung in a quartet for 10 years), and I’m telling you…they’re good!

The guys did an acoustic set this past Sunday. Man those guys are soooooo talented!!!

While I’m sort of bragging on some folks…let me give you a quick update about Leah, my niece. She won the three-point shooting contest at Liberty University this past weekend for the regional homeschoolers.

Man can she shoot 3’s. In the contest she won with 17 makes in 60 seconds. Want to see how that looks in action? Take a look…

http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=3297514593152

That’s hitting a three every 3 and a half seconds. That girl plays like her uncle! 🙂

Check out those legs!!

By the way…I’m up to just over 50 who have signed up for the daily devotions. If you forgot to email me…just let me know and drop me a line and I’ll add you to the list. www.kevin@mpbc.ws.

Blessings to all!

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I’ve been asked by several folks lately about the daily devotion that I do during the week. I’ve been writing a devotion Monday through Friday for my girls and emailing it to them. Several have asked to be added to the list and I’m glad to do so. I’m currently sending these to several teenagers and their parents as well as to Katy and Kandace. Here’s a couple of days’ worth if you want to see a couple of samples:

Monday, March 19, 2012

Luke 14:1-6 “Here We Go Again”

Here we go again. Jesus is going to break a rule of the Jews. He’s going to heal another person on the Sabbath (Saturday).

One Sabbath, when he went to dine at the house of a ruler of the Pharisees, they were watching him carefully. 2 And behold, there was a man before him who had dropsy. 3 And Jesus responded to the lawyers and Pharisees, saying, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath, or not?” 4 But they remained silent. Then he took him and healed him and sent him away. 5 And he said to them, “Which of you, having a son or an ox that has fallen into a well on a Sabbath day, will not immediately pull him out?” 6 And they could not reply to these things.

So, Jesus goes and eats at a Pharisees house. That’s like going to the dentist and having a root canal. These are very uptight and “religious” people. They want everything done their way. They are the people in church who complain about the length of the service. It’s “too hot” or “too cold.” The choir’s song was “too loud” or “too soft.” The preacher’s sermon was “too long” or “too…whatever…” You pick the complaint. But, that’s the Pharisees. Always nit-picking everything.

And here comes this man with dropsy. What’s that? Technically it is an abnormal accumulation of fluid beneath the skin or in one or more cavities of the body that produces swelling.

Here’s what it looks like in the legs…see the fluid accumulation…

Combinpedal.jpgJesus asked these guys again if it were lawful to heal on the Sabbath. They didn’t say a word. Finally they were learning their lesson. They can’t beat Jesus in a war of words about the law. He’ll whip them every time. Jesus healed the man. How could you tell? By simply looking? The swelling went away. You could see it just disappear! Isn’t that amazing! Yet these people (the Pharisees) were so hard-headed that they wouldn’t believe.

What are you “hard-headed” about? What is it that keeps tripping you up? What is it that Satan has locked in on in your life and that “thing” keeps tripping you up? Jesus continues to heal on the Sabbath over and over again to prove to the people that we should not let traditions of men and “religion” get in the way of our relationship with people and most of all, the Lord. These Pharisees were more concerned about not healing on the Sabbath than they were the man who was obviously in pain and suffering from his condition. Jesus said, “Come on guys…you’ll take care of animals that fall into a well on the Sabbath…will you not take care of a HUMAN BEING!”

Now…let’s ask again. What is it that needs to be taken care of in our lives? Where are we struggling? What is it that Jesus wants to heal in your life and mine that He keeps bringing to our attention? Let’s let Him do it. Shall we?

I love you dearly!

Dad 🙂

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Luke 14:7-11 “Think About Somebody Else”

7 Now he told a parable to those who were invited, when he noticed how they chose the places of honor, saying to them, 8 “When you are invited by someone to a wedding feast, do not sit down in a place of honor, lest someone more distinguished than you be invited by him, 9 and he who invited you both will come and say to you, ‘Give your place to this person,’ and then you will begin with shame to take the lowest place. 10 But when you are invited, go and sit in the lowest place, so that when your host comes he may say to you, ‘Friend, move up higher.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all who sit at table with you. 11 For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

Well…this is about to get uncomfortable. Here Jesus is at this Pharisees house and He tells them… “Hey…you guys need to take the lowest place…the worst seat in the house…not the best.” Can you imagine the tension in the room? All of those folks were fighting to get the best seat…probably right up next to the “best” Pharisee or the most popular person.

We’re just the same. I’m amazed at how few people will give up their seats anymore. When the Costa Concordia began to sink off the coast of Italy a few weeks ago, men were pushing pregnant women out of the way to get on to the life boats.

Italian cruise ship 'Costa Concordia' carrying more than 4,000 people ran aground and keeled over off the Italian coast near the island of Giglio in Tuscany, Italy, last night

A photo taken by Spanish passenger Carlos Carballa on board cruise ship as panicking passengers wait to be evacuated

Sad isn’t it? When the Titanic sunk, the word was: “Women and children first!” This is a Judeo-Christian principle that comes from the teachings of Jesus.

So, here Jesus sits with these “fat cats…big fish” kind of people and he says, “Quit fighting over the best seats and think of others above yourselves.”

I was taught as a young man to stand when a lady enters the room. I was taught to give up my seat for a lady. I was taught to hold the door for a lady (or a man for that matter). We should be respectful. I was taught to stand up in the presence of an elderly person if they entered the room as well. Boy, have things changed. We no longer teach such things as Jesus did. We no longer honor those that are less fortunate. We look down on them or make fun of them if they wear clothes that don’t look like ours or they don’t have the right kind of purse of cell phone or whatever. We look down on them because they don’t look like we do.

I pray that we will be known by our politeness and our respectfulness of all people. Jesus said, “Don’t exalt yourself…but, instead to exalt others.” What does that mean? It means that we get up and give people the best seat and we take the worst.

I love you!

Dad 🙂

So, there you have it. If you are interested in receiving these daily devotions during the week, drop me a line at kevin@mpbc.ws and I’ll add you to the email list (confidential of course).

Why do I do these? Because I want my girls to grow in the Word of God.

As parents, we make so many investments for our kids. Clothes, sports, college, vacations, summer camps, etc. But, what about spiritually? Most parents don’t make a spiritual investment in their kids. They take them to church and say “grace” over their meals and that’s about it. We expect our kids to do their homework and do well in their extra-curricular activities (because we are making monthly payments for those activities, plus buying jerseys, shoes, outfits, etc…so we expect them to do well where we make that kind of investment).

I’ve had many people say, “I just don’t know where to start with doing family devotions.” Well…use these. We’re going through the book of Luke and so, if you want to piggyback onto the Brown train of devotions… Make that investment. Print these out and use them. Even if you can’t do a devotion all five nights during the week (that’s impossible for most)…at least try to schedule 2 or 3 a week. It will only happen when we get “intentional” in how we make investments into our children’s lives. So, let me know.

After all…shouldn’t we as parents be like the Apostle John?

“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.” 3 John 4

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Oh the MADNESS

I love this time of year! March Madness!

It’s basketball, basketball, basketball!

Action-packed Thursday

Even the President is getting into the act of picking which team he thinks will cut down the nets in New Orleans in three weeks. Did you hear? He’s picking…

Drum roll please…

Yep…the Heels! He’s going with North Carolina Tar Heels. If you’d like to see all of his picks, check it out here…

Well, let’s see. I agree with the President on very few things and it scares me a little that he and I agree…but, I’m picking the Heels too!

Tyler ZellerWe’ll see how it all turns out. It’s certainly going to be fun!

You know…it’s called “madness,” because it’s a “fun” thing. But, there is another kind of “madness” that continues to blow my mind.

It’s the battle for life in this country. Since 1973 and the Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade, this nation has not had a love for life. The statistics are staggering. Over 52 million abortions have been performed since 1973. Nearly half of the 6 million pregnancies in the United States each year unplanned and about 1.3 million end in abortion. At this current pace, nearly 1/3 of all women in the United States will have had an abortion by the time they turn 45.

That’s “Madness” in my mind. Why? Well…if life is taken in an abortion clinic, by a man performing an abortion as a doctor, it’s called “choice.” But, if it’s done by a man who’s robbing a restaurant, it’s considered murder. How so?

Take a look at an excerpt from a recent Charlotte Observer newspaper article.

A Mecklenburg grand jury on Monday indicted Mark Anthony Cox in the murders of Flying Biscuit Cafe manager Danielle Watson

 and her unborn baby.

It’s the first time prosecutors in North Carolina have obtained a murder indictment involving the death of an unborn baby, according to the N.C. Administrative Office of the Courts in Raleigh. Under a state law that went into effect last month, anyone accused of killing a pregnant woman could face two murder charges: one for the woman, the other for her fetus.

The grand jury indicted Cox on charges of murder, murder of an unborn child, robbery with a dangerous weapon and felonious larceny. The 22-year-old, a convicted felon, could face the death penalty if prosecutors decide to try him for his life. Watson, 25, was killed Jan. 13 at the restaurant off Rea Road in the StoneCrest shopping center in south suburban Charlotte. She was two months pregnant.

Click here for full article.

Isn’t that amazing? This guy, Watson, could face the death penalty for a “double-murder,” but the “madness” in all of this is that what’s down by a 55 year-old doctor in an abortion clinic is considered legal. Wow!

What are people thinking?

The Bible says in Psalm 139

13 For you  formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. 14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. 15 My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in  the depths of the earth. 16 Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them,     the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. 17 How precious to me are your  thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! 18 If I would count them, they are more than  the sand. I awake, and I am still with you.

When will we wake up from the “madness” as a nation and call life what it is:

LIFE

Whether it’s born or unborn.

Folks…this is what a 16-week old baby inside the mother’s womb looks like…

Human fetus in utero at 16 weeks

A blob of tissue? Are you kidding? That’s a baby! If allowed to continue to grow in the womb, there is every likelihood that this baby will be born as a baby! What’s so difficult about this? Yes…I know people have argued this ad infinitum…but, I’m a simple man. And that picture above looks like a baby to me. You know…if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck…then…

Yep…you got it…it’s a duck!

The courts at this point have a double-standard and that, if you ask me, is absolute “madness.”

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You know, I’ve learned over the years that there are really two categories of people. There are “givers” and there are “takers.” Which are you?

Now I must tell you that some people are probably geared more toward thinking of how they can help others. They have a gift of “hospitality” you would say. But, as a Christian, shouldn’t we all be “givers?” Shouldn’t we all be inclined by our new nature as “new creations” in Christ, to give?

I think we should. In fact, as an Elder/Pastor, the Scriptures require that I be “hospitable.” (1 Timothy 3, Titus 1). But, a mark of a Christian is someone who follows the example of Christ, right? The word “Christian” means “little Christ.” In fact, I often say, “I’m a follower of Christ.” Yet, this is inaccurate to be perfectly honest. Why? Because, I’m doing more than simply “following Christ.” I’m “in” Christ. I’m part of Him. I’ve been resurrected with Him and I’m “in” Him. The Apostle Paul told the church at Ephesus:

3 Blessed be  the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing  in the heavenly places, 4  even as he  chose us in him  before the foundation of the world, that we should be  holy and blameless before him.  Ephesians 1:3-4

See the words, “in Christ” in verse 3? That’s the key.

So, back to the question. Are you a “Giver” or a “Taker?”

Well…let’s look at it from my perspective a minute. 🙂 It’s my “job” to give, right? I’m a pastor…so, I’ve got to be “giving” all the time. Yep. That’s true! And I love it! I have no problem with it. But, I’ll tell you what mystifies me is when you give and give and give to help someone or a family and then when the opportunity comes for them to give back…they don’t. They call the church and want you on their doorstep in 10 minutes and they take and take and take…but, then when the tables are turned and a neighbor is in need…you can’t find them. Why? Because by nature (our sinful nature), we are all selfish. We think about ourselves and our needs and when our “crisis” is over, we move on to bigger and better things and everybody else can just fend for themselves.

Sad.

I must tell you that my family has been on the receiving end of a lot of “givers,” lately. We have been inundated with many kindnesses. From food to calls, to emails, to gifts and the like for Andrew during his surgery and recovery. He’s doing well, by the way. Here’s a picture of him in his wheelchair.

He’s covered up with a blanket from a “giver” named Taylor Church (his first cousin). She made this blanket for Andrew to keep him warm and comfy. Taylor is indeed a “giver” and not a “taker.”

So we have been blessed. So, think about it. When’s the last time you took a meal to someone in need or bought them a gift card or offered a kind word during their trial or trouble? When’s the last time you went out of your way to really help someone? Went on a mission trip? Helped at your church? Volunteered in your community?

Let me ask you something? Do you get upset when the preacher or deacon doesn’t call on you in your time of need? Well, what about your neighbor in their time of need?

Jesus said:

38 “Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put  into your lap. For  with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.” Luke 6:38

I love that verse. And I often ask myself: “Kevin, with what measure are you giving?” I certainly want to be seen as someone who gives more than he takes.

So, to all of you “givers” out there… THANK YOU!

And to all of you “takers” out there (and I’m sure there are none who read this blog…after all…we all think we are “givers,” don’t we? :)), perhaps we need to step it up in our Christianity and in our hospitality. Let me be the first. But, on second thought…to be polite…

After you…

man-opening-door-for-lady

🙂

 

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He’s Home!!

Yes siree! You heard right? That little guy with the big smile is home! Here’s proof:

He’s sore and itching some under the casts and experiencing some pain…but, over all that’s one tough young-in! We’re glad to have the whole family back together again! Thanks again for all the many prayers and a big thanks to Chris and Kim Parsons for the delicious food! We’ve been well taken care of and we’re very grateful to all!

 

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