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Archive for April, 2012

Family Time…

Let me just tell you that I had a great last few days! I mean I really, really did! In fact, my lovely bride said to me at Atlantic Beach yesterday, “Honey, you seem so relaxed!” Now let me tell you, I can’t begin to remember the last time she said that to me! ūüôā

Well, my bride was right. I was relaxed. Can’t you tell! We had a super time! Last time I shared with you the great time we had at Southeastern Seminary. We left there and headed down to¬†Cherry Point, NC to the Marine Base there. While there we got a first class tour from Josh Isaacs, himself. He kind of likes my oldest daughter…

Here’s a typical Marine Barracks at Cherry Point…

This is inside…

Pretty much like a college dorm room if you ask me.

Here’s a warehouse on base where many, many shipments come in with plane parts.

Josh spends his “work days” there checking in and receiving parts and materials.

Josh took us out to a beautiful place called…

Take a look at this beautiful scene…

While at Cherry Point, we stayed in a hotel right in front of a Marine Museum. Andrew really liked this old rescue helicopter…

Cherry Point is only 15 minutes from the beach at Atlantic Beach. We spent a good chunk of Friday and Saturday there…

Andrew and Clara had the most fun! Kids just love the beach don’t they. This picture captures what Andrew loves doing…digging…and what Clara loves doing…dancing and prancing around…

Yes, it was a great four days. Now it’s time to get back at it. Got a busy week ahead! So…let’s get some reading done.

Blessings…

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I got to experience the preaching of a true saint earlier today. Dr. M. O. Owens, Jr. is 98-years young and let me tell you, he preached up a storm. I was privileged to hear Dr. Owens preach at Binkley Chapel on the campus of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary today.

What was the occasion? It was the induction of Dr. David¬†Alan Black as the chair of New Testament¬†Studies at¬†Southeastern.¬†This honor¬†was a double honor. One to honor Dr.¬†Owens who is STILL PREACHING as Pastor Emeritus at Parkwood¬†Baptist Church in Gastonia. And secondly to¬†honor Dr. Black as the first “chair” of this area of the seminary.

Binkley Chapel was packed with faculty, students and dignitaries. The ceremony started off with some fantastic music from the Southeastern Seminary choir and orchestra. Phenomenal!

Their version of “Be Thou My Vision” was one of the most beautiful I’ve ever heard. I’m telling you, I felt a little piece of heaven had dropped down upon us as I listened to that throng of people sing. Wow!

Ok…so, I’m sure you want to see Dr. Black and Dr. Owens. Here they are along with Danny Aiken, President of the seminary.

That’s Dr. Owen on the right and Dr. Black in the middle with President Aiken on the right.

Dr. Owens preached about “Running with the Gospel.” It was an outstanding message and I’m not just saying that to be nice. Dr. Owens continues to preach every¬†Sunday at Parkwood Baptist in Gastonia, NC. He’s amazing! He’s¬†been preaching for 70 years.¬†He was a¬†teenager when the depression started.

He preached about the fact that we must run with the Gospel and unfortunately this is not happening to the degree it needs to in our country. He stated that the United States of America is the third largest mission field in the world with over 200 million unsaved people, behind only China and India. He challenged the students and this bald-headed preacher to preach the Gospel boldly and without fear.

Let me tell you that I needed to hear that message this morning. It was such an encouragement to me. He implored us to prayer. Dr. Owens said, “We must pray more than we are praying now. I can tell you that.” Ooh! That hit me. I know I’m not praying enough. I work hard and a lot. But, I’m not praying enough. Satan wants me to work and serve and serve and work and keep me off my knees and out of my prayer closet in concerted, deep prayer. No prayer…no power! I know what my marching orders are! Thanks Dr. Owens!

Certainly anyone who knows me knows how much me and my family loves Dr. Black. Andrew and Clara call him “Docta¬†Bwack.” It’s precious! He and Becky Lynn, his wife, have been in our home many times and we have been to Bradford Hall (their home in southern Virginia) several times as well. I’m privileged to say that Dr. Black is a mentor of mine. And he has taken time to encourage me on many, many occasions. I’ll never forget the 17-hour trip in a refugee truck from Addis Ababa to Burji in Ethiopia. It was Dr. Black who encouraged me to write my first book.

I’m indebted to Dr. Black for many, many things, but mostly for his desire to be a “Paul” to this “young Timothy.” Thank you kindly, sir!

Oh…by the way…we had the chance to see the Hall family last night in Wake Forest. Who’s that? Well, they are a wonderful family that we met out in Nashville at the Annie Moses Fine Arts Academy a couple of years ago. Dr. Hall is a dentist and he and his wife, Kathryn have four of the sweetest and kind young ladies, (Jessica, Natalie, Lydia and Valerie), you’ll ever want to meet. Here’s a picture of our family with them when they visited recently.

Isn’t it wonderful when the Lord brings “like-minded” people into your lives no matter where you are. Everywhere you go there are believers sprinkled everywhere if you are looking. Today in a BoJangles in Zebulon, NC¬†we met a wonderful Christian, retired-couple. What a blessing!

It’s been a great day! And now it’s on to meet up with a fine young man we know who’s on base in Cherry Point, NC at the Marine Base there. Anyone want to guess who that is?

Until next time…

Blessings!

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They’re Off!

Well, the casts are off of Andrew’s legs… Here’s the proof…

Doesn’t he look good?

No more sharing wheelchairs…

It’s amazing the work they did on him. His poor ole feet, legs and ankles have been cut on so much…but, they had to in order to get him where he can function…

All of those little flakes you see are his skin! He’s peeling from having the casts on for six weeks. Those scars on his shins are from where they had to cut him on this last round of surgery. He won’t go back until August for a check-up and eventually, next spring, they’ll go back in and take out the pins and that will be it!

He has a walker to use if he needs it. But, as of this morning, he was only using it just a little bit. He’s sore, but doing great over all! Thank you Lord!

Here he was when he got home last night…

We are so grateful for all the Lord has accomplished through the Shriner’s Hospital in Greenville, SC. Those folks are a class act. Dr. Westberry…you’re the best! Thank you from the bottom of hearts to the bottoms of Andrew’s feet!

While I’m at it…let me show you some pictures from our wonderful fundraiser at church Saturday night. We had a cake bake, where the men baked cakes (with the help of some wives and children) to raise money for construction this summer in Progreso, Mexico of bathrooms and a septic hole and roof for a storage shed at the church we built last year. Want to know how much we raised? (Or should I say, “The Lord raised.”)

$4,000

Woohoo!

Check out the cakes…

I love this one! It’s cracking on me for saying, “therefore” all the time. I usually say, “When you see the word ‘therefore’ in Scripture, you need to ask, ‘What is it there for?'” I love it!

The Keith and Kim Anderson family made this cake! It took all eight family members to do so!! Great job Anderson’s!

And then we got to cut them and eat them! Jackie Bryan was helping with this dutiful task! ūüôā

Let me tell you. As a pastor/elder, I’m so thankful for a church family that loves missions. What is missions? Simply reaching people for Jesus Christ. We do this when we are at the ball field watching our kid’s practice. We can talk to the parent leaning against the fence beside of us. We¬†do this in the classroom, boardroom,¬†bathroom. We can do this in our dens, in our cars or on a plane.¬†Jesus says, “Be my witnesses…” Yep…that’s missions and I love it!

So whether it’s ministering to children in Ethiopia…

Being taught and loved by Americans…

Or…just holding the hand of person in yours…

Thank you Lord for the privilege to tell the world about your Son. He saved my soul from an eternity of separation from you by being willing to be separated and forsaken by you so that I wouldn’t have to. How can I not praise His name and tell others of so great a salvation? Thank you Jesus!

My heart is full today…rejoicing in the Creator and all that He has created.

Hallelujah!

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Getting it done…

Life is hard. Flat out. It’s hard and not always “fun.” We’ve got things like this to do…

Last Saturday Pam, Katy and Kandace went bike riding on the Virginia Creeper Trail. Andrew and Clara are too small for this 17-mile bike ride, so we stayed back and “got it done.” What done?Well…take a look…

But, I want to show you something that is not “getting it done.”

Does this bother you? It should! It REALLY bothers me! This was at the Krispy¬†Kreme¬†Doughnut store in Winston-Salem. I just never cease to be amazed. This young man… No, I shouldn’t call him a “young man.” No…this “kidult,” said to his father, “Hey Dad, did you get me somethin’ to drink too? You know I’ve got to have something to drink with this!” Wow! But, I shouldn’t be surprised. This is the condition of our country.

I’m trying to teach my kids the value of hard work and discipline. Now, I’m not perfect at this, mind you. No one is… But, Pam and I are trying to teach and train in our home so that our children will be blessings to their future mates and not burdens. This kidult, pictured above is in for a rough life. I’m thinking he’s around 16 or 17 years of age by the looks of him and I’m afraid he’ll be living with his parents till he’s about 35. So sad!

Honestly, I just wanted to go over to this young man and say, “Son, pull up your britches and look like somebody!” But, then I could just imagine what the dad would say. Potentially something like, “Don’t you talk to my son that way. Who do you think you are? Get out of his face! Do you want to step outside?” So, as I stood there with Clara, I decided to do nothing. Except to take his picture of course. Ha! ūüôā The last thing I wanted was to be in the local newspaper headlines: “Local Pastor Gets into Fight at Krispy¬†Kreme.” ūüôā¬†I tell you all of this because I simply¬†wanted to make¬†a point. “The point, you ask? Simple. Mom’s and Dad’s, let’s not let this happen to our young people, because this is not “getting it done.”

That’s my bride!¬†Here¬†she is leading and coordinating¬†our annual Easter Celebration for the children at church.¬†She’s absolutely covered up with responsibilities, but she is a wonderful Pastor’s wife and she just “gets it done.” She’s amazing! And¬†do you know what the best part about it is? I’m married to her!¬†Woohoo! I’m¬†blessed!

Hey…here’s some more folks who are getting it done…

These are the eight wonderful folks we baptized on Sunday. What I want you to notice are the young adults. We continue to have young adults come to us and say, “I’ve made¬†a previous profession of faith, but the truth is, I’m not really saved. Jesus is not the Lord of my life.” Now that’s getting it done! That’s being honest and forthright and most importantly, that’s nailing down what’s eternal…which is most important!

Oh yes…I must tell you that earlier tonight at 6:07 pm, this young lady on the right turned 18 years of age…

It’s hard to believe that Katy is 18! I know that’s a trite saying, but it is true!

Katy has grown up on me! Bang! Just like that!

One last thing…

Early voting has started for the primaries here in North Carolina and I must tell you that I believe there is at least one item on the ballot we need to know about and vote for on May 8th. I pray that we’ll vote for marriage. Now please understand, there will be those who read this and say, “Why is he saying this?” He shouldn’t be talking about politics. You can’t legislate morality. Well, perhaps. But, I’ll tell you this. I have a responsibility as a citizen to vote. And I have a responsibility to let my voice be heard. And I believe in the Scriptural principle of one man for one woman for life. Therefore, I encourage you to vote this May 8th FOR the Marriage Amendment! Don’t be fooled. If you are in Winston-Salem, you’ll see billboards and yard signs telling you to vote against the amendment. They try to fool people by saying on these signs… “Vote for ALL families.” The “ALL” in these signs mean gay and lesbian families.

Now I’m not anit-gay or anti-lesbian. Heterosexual sin and adultery is sin too. So is two people of any gender who are living together outside of marriage. So please don’t send me hate mail. ūüôā My point is that we must get it done! We must at some point in this country to begin to stand¬†up for the Scriptures and what the Bible teaches.

I would encourage you to Dr. Al Mohler’s¬†blog post below when you have a minute. His perspective on the subject of marriage and “same-sex” unions is impeccable.

The Challenge of Same-Sex Unions
by Albert Mohler

In the world but not of the world? From the very beginning, the church has faced the challenge of responding to external events, trends, ideologies, and controversies. By definition, the church does not get to choose these challenges, but they have been thrust upon Christians by the world. The question always comes down to this: What now?

That question seems especially urgent in light of the emergence of same-sex unions and marriage in the United States and the world over. How must the church answer this challenge?

To answer that question, we need to think about the speed of the moral revolution that has pushed this question to the forefront of our culture. In less than a generation, homosexuality has gone from being almost universally condemned to being almost fully normalized in the larger society.

We are facing a true moral inversion – a system of moral understandings turned upside down. Where homosexuality was even recently condemned by the society, now it is considered a sin to believe that homosexuality is wrong in any way. A new sexual morality has replaced the old, and those who hold to the old morality are considered morally deficient. The new moral authorities have one central demand for the church: get with the new program.

This puts the true church, committed to the authority of God’s Word, in a very difficult cultural position. Put simply, we cannot join the larger culture in normalizing homosexuality and restructuring society to match this new morality. Recognizing same-sex unions and legalizing same-sex marriage is central to this project.

Liberal churches and denominations are joining the project, some more quickly and eagerly than others. The cultural pressure is formidable, and only churches that are truly committed to Scripture will withstand the pressure to accommodate themselves and their message to the new morality.

What, then, is the true church to do? First, we must stand without compromise on the authority of the Bible and the principles of sexual conduct and morality that God has revealed so clearly in His Word. The Bible’s sexual morality is grounded in the creation of humanity in God’s image; we are created as male and female and given the gift of sex within the marriage covenant ‚ÄĒ and only within the marriage covenant between one man and one woman for as long they both shall live.

The easiest way to summarize the Bible’s teaching on sexuality is to begin with God’s blessing of sex only within the marriage covenant between a man and a woman. Then, just remember that sex outside of that covenant relationship, whatever its form or expression, is explicitly forbidden. Christians know that these prohibitions are for our good and that rejecting them is tantamount to a moral rebellion against God Himself. We also know that the Bible forbids all same-sex sexual acts and behaviors. Thus, we know that homosexuality is a sin, that blessing it in any way is also sin, and that normalizing sin cannot lead to human happiness.

Second, we must realize what is at stake. Marriage is first and foremost a public institution. It has always been so. Throughout history, societies have granted special recognition and privileges to marriage because it is the central organizing institution of human culture. Marriage regulates relationships, sexuality, human reproduction, lineage, kinship, and family structure. But marriage has also performed another crucial function – it has regulated morality.

This is why the challenge of same-sex unions is so urgent and important. Redefining marriage is never simply about marriage. It leads to the redefinition of reproduction and parenthood, produces a legal revolution with vast consequences, replaces an old social order with something completely new, and forces the adoption of a new morality. This last point is especially important. Marriage teaches morality by its very centrality to the culture. With a new concept of marriage comes a new morality, enforced by incredible social pressure and, eventually, legal threats.

Third, we must act quickly to teach Christians the truth about marriage and God’s plan for sexuality in all its fullness and beauty. We must develop pastoral approaches that are faithful to Scripture and arm this generation of believers to withstand the cultural pressure and respond in ways that are truly Christian.

Last, and most important, this challenge must drive us to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Christians must be the first to understand this challenge in light of the gospel. After all, we know spiritual rebellion when we see it, for we ourselves were rebels before God’s grace conquered us. We know what moral confusion means because without the light of God’s Word, we are just as confused.

There is no rescue from the self-deception of sin except for the salvation that is ours in Jesus Christ. While doing everything else required of us in this challenge, the faithful church must center its energies on the one thing that we know we must do above all else – preach, teach, and live the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Thank you Dr. Mohler for “getting it done!”

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It’s been an interesting last few days. The last several blog posts have been some of the most viewed ever. I guess folks are really interested in dating/relationships and such. That’s good! We should be. After all, most Americans get married (at least once), and that’s a shame (the getting married more than once part) :). So, we should be discussing these things.

We’ve talked a lot about how marriage is God’s idea and He performed the first wedding in the Garden of Eden. We’ve talked about how a young man and young woman should trust the Lord to bring their mate into their lives. They don’t have to help God “find” Mr. or Mrs. Right. God knows exactly who they are and if He can take care of the universe and all that’s in it by just speaking the word, then bringing our mate to us should be no problem. We don’t need E-Harmony or Christian Mingle to do it for Him.

So, I’m living this whole deal in my own life right now. So, would you like to continue to look in on all the happenings? This is like a modern-day virtual reality show, perhaps. But, I’ve had so many comments like: “Thanks for showing us how this can be done in our culture.” And so has Katy. No, please understand. There is no “cookie cutter” way. We have Biblical principles to guide us; however, each life and each situation is unique and different. But, I’ll say it again. I sure wish I knew 30 years ago what I know now. It would have saved a whole lot of heartache.

So, let me share a little about me and Josh and how he and I communicated in this process of him sharing his intentions about Katy with me.

Here’s the family at Josh’s graduation from the Marines.

Now when Josh was sent to Mississippi for job training last fall, before he left; we had a long talk in the parking lot of Chick-Fil-A in Wilkesboro. I told Josh I could sense that he and Katy liked each other in a way that was more than just good Bible Study friends. I asked him to seek the Lord and hear from Him on what He wanted for the relationship. I told him that before he pursued Katy beyond just an occasional letter, etc. that I need to know his intentions.

That’s the proper question for any father to ask a young man who is interested his daughter. “What are your intentions?”

And the same is true for the father of a young man to ask that of his son, who might want to pursue a young lady. That father should ask his son, “What are your intentions, son?”

Now there is something that we must all get locked into our brains about the Scriptural tenets regarding relationships. In order for¬†a young man to pursue a young lady, he needs to be able to show that he can pay the “bride’s price” as Jesus did when He was willing to die on the cross for His bride the “Church.” In our vernacular, paying the “bride’s price,” means that he (the young man), must have a way to support and provide for the young lady. In other words, he needs a job.

If a man cannot show that he can provide for the young lady, then he is unable to pay the bride’s price and is therefore disqualified from being “able” to pursue a young lady. It’s why I jokingly say that if a young man drives up my driveway and wants to see my daughter I ask him, “Who paid for the gas in your tank and paid the insurance on your car?” If his answer is anything but, “I did!” then he’s disqualified. His intentions are probably something else other than pursuing marriage with my daughter.

So, the day came when Josh and I talked on the phone. He was in Mississippi and I was in North Carolina. But, I remember the call vividly. Josh was nervous and frankly so was I. I knew in my heart what he was going to ask me before he uttered the first word. Long story, short. He declared his intentions to me. He said, “Sir (just like a good Marine), I want you to know that my intentions are to protect your daughter’s heart at all costs and I will do nothing but protect her and care for her in a way that is honorable. May I pursue a deeper relationship with her?”

We talked in detail about what my expectations were. I told him to take a deep¬†breath, because he did well! ūüôā He laughed. But the gist of the¬†conversation¬†centered around the fact that I simply wanted what God wanted. I told him that I trusted him and¬†that I gave him my permission to¬†pursue a deeper relationship with her.

Now you might ask, “Was he asking her¬†hand in marriage?” No. He wasn’t. He was simply¬†stating his intentions. He is a Marine. He¬†has a job and is earning a paycheck and if things were to progress “down the road,” I knew he could¬†provide for her and¬†when and if I¬†place Katy’s hand into his hand at the altar, then I’d know he could take care of her.

Now you might ask, “What about love?” As Tina Turner¬†used to sing, “What’s love got to do with it?” Well, a lot, of course! But, perhaps not the way you think. Love, my dear¬†readers, is more of a decision than a feeling. Our culture has made “love” a feeling and something you “fall¬†into,” I guess much like a mud¬†puddle and something you “fall out of,” like an amusement ride. But, that is¬†NOT¬†Scriptural.

Did¬†God feel like sending His Son to die for¬†sinful man? For¬†God so LOVED the world, He gave His¬†one and¬†only Son… No, I would¬†say to you that it’s not true love¬†until there is sacrifice. We live in such a¬†“me”¬†culture that is about instant gratification and pleasure and feelings of ecstasy, that we have no clue what¬†true love is. Love is grinding it out when the feelings aren’t there.¬†It’s about:

For better for worse…

For rich for poorer…

In sickness and health…

To love and to cherish…

Forsaking all others

Till DEATH do us part…

Where are the “feelings” in those words? That’s called “commitment.” That is what I was looking for from Josh and I got it. So, I continue to pray for Josh and Katy and look forward to all that the Lord has in store for them as they continue this journey together.

Josh and I continue to have conversations. We are not 300 feet from each other on this.¬†We are side by side. I’m helping and encouraging him. That’s what men do. We help other men. That’s Titus 2 kind of stuff…the older teaches the younger. I’m honored to see that he desires to do what I desire to do for my daughter:

Protect her heart…

So, what’s your intentions?

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Today I’m going to post a blog by my daughter Katy. She is my oldest.

This is a picture of her right before our church, Passion Play along with Pam…

It seems just like yesterday when this was Katy…

That was Katy on the left with her cousin, Taylor on the right and her dad, Craig Church and my dad is in the background. Seems just like yesterday. And yet, next week…this little beauty is going to be 18 years old.

Amazing! Time surely does fly!

Well…I was telling you about blog post by Katy. Before I share it, I must say this. I saw it coming. Yes, I saw it coming and I began a couple of weeks ago blogging about relationships because I thought I’d be able to show you something beautiful and glorious. I have shared with you the Biblical principles of relationships and what God’s ways are and I believe I can now (via the words of my daughter) show you how God works.

Take a look…

It Happened to Me….

It has been one of my hottest topics and one of my greatest passions. The life of love between young men and women. If you have been around me long then you’ve heard me talk about it. I have a passion to see young people live lives of purity and to do romantic relationships right… the Biblical way.
Well, here’s the news. I am in a relationship. Yes, really. I’ve lived the life of the single and “waiting” girl and I thought I would for several more years, but God had a different plan. See, the one I love ended up being a family friend and honestly, a brother of sorts. His name is Josh. He was the one that you wouldn’t really think would end up in a relationship with me or visa-versa. His life was completely different than mine, but since the day I met him when I was 11, I was drawn to him.
Josh was just another guy in the youth group and was old enough to be the one who kept an eye on me and I remember him looking after me often. He was fun and I always loved to be around him. Years passed and our paths separated in 2007 when he went to seminary. Things changed and I didn’t hear from him for years. It wasn’t long after my 16th birthday that he came back and became involved in my church. My Dad and him became good friends and he often came with us on family ventures. He was like part of the family. He was always around. He was just… Josh.
In July of 2011, Josh headed off to Parris Island, South Carolina. I’ll give you one guess, boot camp… in the Marines. For some odd reason I missed him a lot more than I thought I would. I wrote him letters along with my family and tried to encourage him. The three months passed by slowly and in late October my family headed to South Carolina to see him graduate. He came home for 10 days and during that time I learned that he was an incredibly strong man in the Lord. Having only the Lord for strength for 3 months in brutal boot camp had made him rock solid. We became closer and talked a lot. He left again and this time I missed him more than ever. And what I didn’t know was that he missed me too.
Six weeks passed and while he slept in ditches and trained in the dark woods, eating nasty “meal readys”, I was in Africa. I found that I thought more about him there than I had in North Carolina. My Daddy worked with me through it and I kept no secrets from him. After arriving home, I was told by Mom that Josh had moved to Mississippi for more training. I was deeply disappointed. Mississippi???
I was so confused. Josh and I talked back and forth on Facebook, sporadically, and before long he told me he would be home for Christmas. Sure enough, a few days before Christmas I saw him at church. Yet again, my family spent much time with him. But this time, I noticed that he preferred my presence, and I preferred his. We went bowling with my family and, later, with friends. We spent Christmas Eve at my grandparents house and Christmas was splendid. However, time couldn’t stand still and a few days later he was leaving. All I knew was that something had to give. I knew that things were beyond just friendship between us and though neither of us had said anything, something just had to give. Josh and my Dad had a conversation about a Josh’s potential relationship with me and it concluded with Josh promising to pray about God’s will with it. I didn’t have to do anything! Dad handled it! You got to love him!
Josh headed back to Mississippi, but we kept closer contact and talked frequently. A few weeks later, after asking for my Dad’s permission and discussing the purpose behind his intentions, Josh asked for a relationship with me. A relationship with me is a big thing. Not because I’m great or anything, because I’m NOT, but simply because a relationship means something big. Dad and I talked a lot and agreed on the purpose. The purpose is for more much more than recreation. Josh and I talked via Skype and chats and texts for over 3 months. We kept romantic words to almost nothing and instead challenged and encouraged each other. We agreed to protect each other’s hearts.
Many, many times Josh had hard days and exams, but we prayed. We became a team. Our friendship grew and because it was built on a Biblical foundation and we were trying to put God in the middle, it blossomed, even though we were 600 miles apart.
As time went on, we Skyped¬†more and grew closer. These past few months crawled by. Well, this past weekend, Josh came home for the first time in 101 days (since he left at Christmas)! We spent a lot of time together. We kept it family based and remained with someone in my family to keep things safe. Seeing him for the first time since this relationship began was amazing. I wouldn’t trade these past three days for anything. Telling him bye¬†yesterday as my family sent him off was the furthest thing from easy. It was hard and it hurt, but I clinged and a still cling to my Father and rest in the truth that Josh and I are both forever in His hands.
Josh and I continue to walk this journey. We know only that God is guiding us and we will follow where He leads. It is incredible to finally live out some of the things I’ve blogged about. I tell you all of this to really say, keep waiting single people! God’s not going to hide that special person. He brings them out right when it’s time. I don’t do anything perfect, but I am trying to do what the Bible says with the support of my family and friends and Josh in this relationship. A relationship God’s way is always best. Even if it is only over blurry Skype¬†sessions and through texts. It’s worth it. I wouldn’t trade anything for the “Skype prayers” Josh and I share.
He is still in the Marines and I don’t get to see him much, but we will follow the Lord’s plans as they come and I will pray for patience for both of us. Life may seem muddy and confusing sometimes, yet God sees it all and I don’t have to worry about the future.
There it is. The story. Some may say I fell in love with a solider, but I say God brought us to love. True love is only from the Father and it’s the best kind. “We love because He first loved us…”
So, there you have it! It happened to Katy and yes…it happened to me too! What happened? I am getting to see the hand of God. I really am. I never knew when I was discipling and mentoring Josh for the last 7+ years that I would be mentoring and training a young man who would perhaps one day be my son-in-law. Quite amazing, wouldn’t you say? That’s how the Lord works…in mysterious ways. So, you just never know as you seek to love and serve people (not that I’m that good at it…but, I try), what He’ll do.
Yep…it happened to me too… I get to see God’s principles work and I get to see His mighty hand in my daughter’s life in such a beautiful way.
I encourage all who read this…trust in the Lord…trust in His ways…trust in His timing…for you and for your children…because one day…it might just happen to you too! ūüôā

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This is going to be an eclectic post (all over the place). I’m taking a short break from the relationship series and going to give you some “happenings” around the Brown home, etc.

First of all…this just cracked me up!

For the pastors who read this blog…you know it’s the truth! Ain’t it the truth! ūüôā

This is what I love about pastoring (among many things)…people working for a common cause to reach lives. We’re raising funds to go to Mexico this summer. Two teams…64 people strong!! We had a chicken-q on Friday. It was great!

Way to go Wayne and Joshua! Sauce that chicken! They’re moving so fast, that they’re a blur!! Don’t you love it! Saucing the chicken with a garden sprayer! Whatever works, right?

Dan and Phillip are packing that chicken in the cooler to soak up that glorious sauce of Ray Huffman and Geoff Farmer! Yum! I’m smacking my lips as I type!

Chicken on the grill!! Oh, I wish you could smell that wonderful aroma!

Kandace, Lauren and Marc are loading up the bags for delivery. We sold over 450 plates! Woohoo!!

Keith Michael and the Brooks family are getting it done!

Check out the kitchen crew. Those boxes have to be packed with chicken, beans, slaw, roll and a dessert cake.

What a great crew!! And there’s the ring leader of the crew in the apron that says, “Kiss the Cook.” Way to go Ms. Sharron! You got all of these folks packing, delivering and coordinated! Wow! What a job!

And Sandra comes along and (along with many others) and helps to clean it all up!

I’m so thankful to be a part of a church that really desires to come together and work for kingdom purposes. We are not “tithing to ourselves,” and I can say that in all honesty in most cases. I’m not saying our church is perfect we’re not. In fact, if you find the perfect church, let me know, because you are probably not in it. ūüôā But, a church who desires to reach out to the world and go and “make disciples of all nations” is going to be blessed by God. You can mark it down.¬†And God has blessed us immensely! Praise His name!

This is our folks on Wednesday nights, “breaking bread together.” We have a meal at 5:30 and then service at 6:20 and then choir practice at 7:30 and praise team practice at 8:30. We have a blast on Wed. nights!

Ok…you by now have heard about this movie…

Poster art for "The Hunger Games."

It’s a blockbuster!! I just read a blog post by a young man in our church (a teenager) who has written a very¬†insightful piece about this controversial movie. “The Games Have Begun.”

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