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Archive for April, 2013

Bowled Over…

If you are like me, your mind constantly races to keep up with the demands of life. Yet, there are times that I’m almost bowled over in my tracks.

One of those times is reading and hearing about the trial of abortion doctor, Kermit Gosnell in Philadelphia, PA. You can read all about it here. The things this man did to babies and to mothers are absolutely unreal! I mean that are so detestable that I will not even write of them for the Bible says, “It is shameful to even mention what the disobedient does in secret.”

Assistant District Attorney Ed Cameron asked the jury to speak for the four children delivered alive at Gosnell’s abortion clinic then killed. He also noted an abortion patient who died after she was given a fatal overdose of medication at the clinic in 2009. Cameron quoted one of Gosnell’s staffers as saying he saw himself like “a fireman in hell” while he was working in the clinic here. “He’s the captain of that hell,” Cameron said as he pointed at Gosnell, 72, who sat at the defense table. “It is time for us to extinguish that hell.”

So, I ask myself, “Kevin, have we in America gotten so numb to the word ‘abortion’ that we no longer understand that we are no better than Hitler?” We have aborted an entire generation since 1973. Over one million babies per year. Almost 50 million since 1973. Think of that! 50 MILLION people…dead…gone…aborted…terminated… It’s beyond my ability to comprehend. I’m bowled over!

Yet we have President that supports abortion on demand. He spoke last week at Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion-mill in America. I saw this cartoon and it really made me think…

Obama

What did he say at the speech? This is how he began the speech:

“Cecile, thank you for the warm introduction, and thank you for the outstanding leadership that you’ve shown over the years. You just do a great, great job. (Applause.) I want to thank all of you for the remarkable work that you’re doing day in, day out in providing quality health care to women all across America. You are somebody that women — young women, old women, women in between — count on for so many important services. And we are truly grateful to you.”

President Obama never once used the a-word (abortion) in the entire speech. He used much more benign terms: “health care,” “quality health care,” “affordable health care,” “women’s health,” “health care reform,” “important services,” “decisions about … health,” “decisions best made between a woman and her doctor,” “contraceptive care,” “right to choose,” “woman’s constitutional right to privacy,” and on and on. And this is how he ended the speech…

“I will be with you every step of the way.”

And I’m sure he will. He is the first American President to address Planned Parenthood. And you must know that while he was an Illinois state senator, he refused to support legislation providing mandatory health care coverage for children who survive abortions. He seems to have one exception to his UNIVERSAL health care: the unborn. No health care for them.

Our president finished his speech tearfully: “Thank you, Planned Parenthood. God bless you.”

I’m literally bowled over, again.

I want to ask you to watch a Planned Parenthood Lobbyist before Congress when she was asked, “What does Planned Parenthood do when an abortion is botched and a live baby is on the table?” It’s six-minutes long and it’s worth it to watch that absolute hypocrisy and evil displayed before Congress by this lady.

Watch here…

Now before you send me hate mail…take a look at Billy Graham’s words…

graham

Yet, I can hear people saying, “We must keep religion and politics separate!”

Well, can I remind all of us that in October 1789, both houses of Congress petitioned President George Washington to proclaim a day of thanksgiving for the new constitution. His proclamation began, “Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor …,” and everyone was fine with that.

In 1798, President John Adams said, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” So, what has happened to our “moral” and “religious” people? We’re going the way of Sodom. It’s heartbreaking.

You see, I believe we need government, because people have a tendency to violate each other. Yet, when you  empower government to restrain this, the power to protect can become the power to oppress. Thankfully, as I learned in Civics class (they don’t have those anymore), our system of government addresses this problem chiefly by constitutional means. We have the separation of powers with our three branches of government (Legislative, Judicial and Executive); thus there are “supposedly” institutional checks and balances. (Even though I’d tell you the Judicial branch is running rough-shod over the Legislative and Judicial).

It has been said: “…the good character of those in government is no small contribution to our political safety.” Yes, good character is an internal law that reaches where civil law is utterly powerless to go. So what is it that develops good character in people? God and His Word, right?

Yes, some people want government purged of religion for liberty’s sake. But the less Christian character there is in government and the governed, the larger the government must be to restrain us and the more dangerous that government will be when it does.

Just two weeks ago the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) announced it is considering dropping current broadcast decency standards that ban explicit profanity and “non-sexual” nudity. Specifically, if enacted, the new FCC policy would allow network television and local radio stations to air the f-word, the s-word and to allow programs to show frontal female nudity, even during hours when they know children will be watching and listening. It is accepting comments on the proposal from the viewing public until the end of April.

Current broadcast decency law prohibits expletives and nudity, even if brief or “fleeting.”  The Supreme Court has upheld the law as constitutionally enforceable by the FCC, despite lawsuit attempts by networks NBC and FOX to overturn it.

This is why our family watches almost no TV. But, most Americans are totally directed and guided by television. So, where will it stop? When will it end? Only God knows. For me… I’m not going to stay bowled over. I’m going to continue to teach, preach and proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ. I’m going to raise my family by the principles of the Word of God. And I’m going to love people (even those with whom I disagree) to Jesus. And I’m going to pray for God’s mercy on our nation.

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Take a look at this…

Moving Mom

That’s sad if you ask me. The “mom” looks like she’s in pretty good condition to me and yet, off to the rest home she goes. Now I don’t know the circumstances and this is certainly potentially a “paid advertisement” of some sort, yet it just bothers me that this is what it seems to have come to in our country. Used to people took care of family through thick and thin. Not any more. They’ll just stick them in “Heritage Woods.”

What do we do with God’s Word on this?

But if a widow has children or grandchildren, let them first learn to show godliness to their own household and to make some return to their parents, for this is pleasing in the sight of God. She who is truly a widow, left all alone, has set her hope on God and continues in supplications and prayers night and day, but she who is self-indulgent is dead even while she lives. Command these things as well, so that they may be without reproach. But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. 1 Timothy 5:4-8

Again, please don’t send me hate mail on this. I know there are extenuating circumstances for people and every situation is different, yet I can tell you this…my parents nor my wife’s parents are going to be placed in any home as long we Kevin and Pam Brown have anything to do with it. Do you know what people did in 1920 or 1840 or 1760? They took care of aging parents…period. There was nothing else to do. And the truth is there should be nothing else we want to do but to return to them (our parents) the kindness they showed to us in raising us (even when it was inconvenient).

Speaking of parents and children. I must tell you that my daughter is a MUCH better writer than I am. She continues to work on her book. She’s about 30,000 words into it and is making good progress. Here’s her latest blog post about “Where Is Home.” It will bless your heart…

Where is Home?

I am home. Home as in Havelock, North Carolina. Yet, as I sat on my bottom bunk bed in the mission house in Weslaco, Texas at this time last week I missed “home.” In previous years of being on the mission trip to Texas I have always missed my home in Wilkes County, North Carolina. But that isn’t “home” anymore. As I sat there with my journal in my lap, I questioned where home is. Though I missed my little home here on base in Cherry Point, it is still hard to call this home. Does that sound bad? It’s just the truth. Though I was loving every moment of the trip, one’s heart is automatically drawn to miss home sometimes. But for the first time ever, I struggled to determine where home really is. I put away my journal and left to get back to work, and to ponder my question. Through the week it grated on me.
Tears burned in my eyes at random times as my heart was asking this seemingly odd question.
Where is home?
On Wednesday night at the Bible school in Weslaco, I saw a few girls sitting alone at the back of the group. There was one on her phone while the others clamored around her. My heart was drawn to those girls. I noticed that they talked through the whole lesson. They couldn’t have cared less. They rolled their eyes whenever the group was asked a question. They were a tough bunch. No two ways about it.

Katy, talk to them.  I don’t hear God’s voice at the drop of a hat. Sometimes I even forget what He sounds like… but when He talks to me. I know. And it was Him.

I sat on the grimy pavement and felt my neck get hot. Tough assignment I was given. After the lesson was over I talked with them. I told them of God’s love, but reminded them of a place called Hell. I told them that they would have to go to Hell if they don’t ask Jesus to save them. One of the girls leaned forward and asked a sobering question, “What is Hell like?” I told her that it is darkness, pain, separation from God and never-ending hopelessness. They brushed me off. I asked them to think about what I had said.
I cried all the way back to the mission house. I have felt a burden for people before, but this time it hit me. It hit me that I put all of my trust in this man… this God named Jesus. He has been my everything and these girls have to have Him too. I remember being their age and God has brought me from that time to now. He alone has sustained me.
They had to know. They had to understand.

You can see me on the far right side talking to the girls.

I prayed for a solid day. Every few moments, their faces came to my mind and I begged God to save them. To open their hearts. To give me one last chance to talk to them.

He did. Thursday was the last night at the school in Weslaco. After a sermonette and some praise music, the team served hot dogs to the kids. The girls didn’t want to eat and so they passingly told me that they were leaving and would be back in a little while.
My feeble mind proclaimed that it was over; they would not be back. It was all over their faces.
But they came back and I rushed to their side. They ate the food in a tight, clickish circle away from the rest of the kids. I joined. I chatted with them to let them warm up and then I asked if they had thought about what I had said the night before. “Lea has!” said the girl I had learned was, Itzel. I looked at Lea. The pretty girl’s face was unmistakable. Conviction. She wanted to know more. I felt a knowing that this girl needed my undivided attention. I pulled her aside and after a few moments of sharing our hearts  and Scripture she couldn’t wait anymore.

She bowed her head. The unusually cold breeze sent chills down my spine as she prayed. Her sweet voice asked for forgiveness and salvation.

Our eyes met when she said “amen.”
Her face. Her face was the answer to all of my questions. Where I least expected the answer, I received it. Her teary eyes, flushed cheeks and brilliant smile read one word.
Freedom. 
This girl’s fight was over. She had her ticket to home.
Home.
Heaven.
As I hugged her I let the answer to my broken-hearted question sink in.
This isn’t home. No where I ever go will ever really be home. I will always miss something. I will miss Josh if he leaves for months at a time. I miss sitting in my family’s living room talking about the Bible. I miss the best church in the world called Mt. Pleasant Baptist. I will miss sweet Lea. I will always long for us all to be together.
You miss your friend or family member whose smile you will never see on this earth again. You miss things that lack of money has taken. You miss your child, your mother, your home, your country, your old life.
You too will not find home here.
Home is Heaven.
Until Heaven, we can find peace in the “little heavens” here on earth. For me, times in Texas and Mexico when we were all together… friends and family… that was a lot like heaven. Hugging my sister, Clara while I am in Wilkes County… that is a lot like heaven. Snuggled up on my couch with my Bible here in Havelock… that too is a lot like heaven.
Though my heart aches sometimes and I know yours does too, we can be like Lea was the moment she found freedom. We can know that this isn’t home.
Home is coming. And it will not disappoint.
Tell me this isn’t the cutest boy you’ve ever seen…
Jerry Hudler
And that’s the best barber in the world! We sure do love Jerry Hudler! He runs “Hud’s Barber Shop” in town and he serves in our church as the head of our Food and Fellowship Committee. He and his crew prepare delicious meals every Wednesday night for the church! We sure love you Brother Hud!! And Andrew says, “I try not to laugh and smile when he trims my neck, but it sure does tickle!”

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I’m constantly thinking of how I can teach my children about the Lord. The Scripture, Ephesians 6:4 rings in my head like a bell:

“Father’s do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.”

So, I want my kids to KNOW the Lord! It’s my job to teach them and to teach them in a way that they truly KNOW Him and not just know about Him. Al Mohler says, “Our most fundamental beliefs about God determine everything else of importance about us. If our beliefs about God are not true, everything we know and everything we are will be warped and contorted by that false knowledge – and this fact points to a huge problem. The culture around us has its own concept of God, and it has little to do with the God of the Bible.”

And this is so true. Will my children follow the Lord? Will yours?

I want my children to have a proper understanding of God. How does this happen? It happens by teaching them about the God of the Bible and putting a priority on that in my life. It matters more to me that my children know Jesus Christ than make good grades, get a good job, make a lot of money or live comfortably. I don’t want me kids to suffer…but, if hard times come…they come at the hand of God and at His providence. Why is it that we think we are giving our kids a good life when we give them everything and they don’t know how to work or sweat or wash their own clothes?

And something else is happening in my mind that I must tell you. I’m concerned that perhaps we are no longer teaching our children and our people about the God of the Bible. Could it be that we have made up a version of God who suits our own needs?

Theologian David F. Wells says, “We have turned to a God that we can use rather than a God we must obey; we have turned to a God who will fulfill our needs rather than to a God before whom we must surrender our rights to ourselves. He is a God for us, for our satisfaction, and we have come to assume that it must be so in the church as well. And so we transform the God of mercy into a God who is at our mercy. We imagine that he is benign, that he will acquiesce as we toy with his reality and co-opt him in the promotion of our ventures and careers.”

So, who is God to our children? Can they articulate who God is and what He teaches? If so, what “God” will they articulate? Will it be a view or a version of God that suits them or the God of the Bible? I’m amazed at the blogs I read today by very educated people (even trained in seminaries) who postulate ideas about God that are so unbiblical that it makes my head spin. They are making a god who suits their ideas and “educated” theories and hypotheses.

There is truly a crises in the knowledge of who God, the God of the Bible really is. Many essential truths have been almost lost entirely in our politically correct culture. Carrie Underwood says, “My God loves all people and He is ‘for gay marriage.'” Really? That’s what Carrie Underwood says about “Her God.” Does she own God? Does He answer to her? I think not. Yet kids (especially young girls) hear this “view” of God and now that viewpoint of God becomes their “god.”
Tonight I talked to Andrew by himself for a while about God. I asked him, “Andrew, who is God?” He said, “He made the earth.” I said how do you know? He said, “In the beginning God made the heaven and the earth. Genesis 1:1” I said, “That’s right, son!” He has an accurate view of God as Creator. We talked for about 20 minutes as we walked around outside together. I showed him a dogwood tree and I asked him, who made this tree? He said, “God.” I showed him pollen leaking out of a white pine and I burst it with my finger and I said, “Smell.” He said, “Ah! It smells like Christmas!” I said, “What happened at Christmas?” He said, “Jesus came.” Kandace was with us and we walked over to some Virginia pines and I shook a branch and the pollen came down in a powdery shower. God’s creation at it’s best!
Take a look at this…
Photo: The Dogwood's blooming. #dogwood #beautiful #spring #thecross
Kandace took this picture. It’s a dogwood flower, of course. I told Andrew about the legend of the dogwood. I told him it was just a story…but, the dogwood flower does remind us in spring of Jesus and His death and resurrection.
It was a good discussion with Andrew and Kandace this evening. (Pam and Clara were at church helping get things going with some neat ladies, Gena Hodges and Lori Jennings for our upcoming Flag Football League.) My point is that I desperately want to teach my children about the God of the Bible and not for them (or me for that matter) to make up a god that suits my needs, ignoring who He really is…revealed in His Word.
Speaking of children, Focus on the Family has put out this:
“Ten Reasons Kids Leave the Church,” by Jim Daly
It’s quite interesting…click here for the article
Here’s one of the reasons…
They got into church, but the church never got into them. Many young adults may have been taken to church by their parents, but the church wasn’t integrated into the fabric of their lives. Church was a Sunday event, not something that impacted the everyday realities of their lives.
This is exactly what I’m talking about. We’ve got to get “God into them.” We’ve got to impact their everyday reality. But with the fast-paced lives we live, there is far too little time to do so. Thus, we run from event to event, practice to practice, game to game for little trophies that will end up in basements and attics in boxes within 20 years. We put stickers on the backs of our cars of all the teams they play on or dance for so that everyone will know our kid is an athlete. We brag on Facebook and at the office about the wonderful grades our kids make and how “smart” they are. But, what if they die and don’t go to heaven? What if they are so athletic and so smart and end up at an Ivy League school or get a Division 1 scholarship, but can’t cope with the world…can’t communicate with adults…can’t comprehend the fact that life still ends one day for the most athletic and smartest of them all.
Now, I know what I’m talking about. I graduated at the top of my class in high school and college. I was the most valuable player on my high school basketball team that was one of the most successful in school history. I got a college basketball scholarship. I did all of those things! But, here’s the truth…none of it matters in the scheme of eternity. Is it ok to do these things? Of course…yes…but, I see way too many families who have made these things “god.” How do I know? Because it takes one to know one. I was there. I did all of those things. But, there has to be a balance to life. We’ve got to find it. For most…we are way out of balance to things that are confined to this earth (temporal) and not eternal.
It’s been said, “Whatever our kids can’t get enough of is their god.” It’s also been said, “Whatever we allow in moderation, our kids will take to excess.” So, what are we teaching our children about God or some other “god?”
I don’t want Carrie Underwood’s god. I want the God who revealed Himself in the pages of Scripture, the Bible…and it’s my duty to teach my children about Him.
Psalm 78:1-8
Give ear, O my people, to my teaching; incline your ears to the words of my mouth! I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings from of old, things that we have heard and known, that our fathers have told us. We will not hide them from their children, but tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the Lord, and his might, and the wonders that he has done.

He established a testimony in Jacob and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers to teach to their children, that the next generation might know them, the children yet unborn, and arise and tell them to their children, so that they should set their hope in God and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments; and that they should not be like their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation, a generation whose heart was not steadfast, whose spirit was not faithful to God.

I like that in verse 7…”so that they should set their hope in God.” They should set their HOPE IN GOD. Not sports, not grades, not a good paying job, not “finding” Mr. Right/Ms. Right. No…that they set their hope in God…Jehovah God of the Bible…

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They Got Him!

It’s amazing how my two 8-year-olds have been interested in the search for the young man who, along with his brother (now dead), bombed and killed, injured and maimed people at the Boston Marathon.

Boston Marathon Bombing suspects

We have talked about justice and mercy. We have talked about religion, (Islam), and what it teaches. We have talked about Jesus and what He teaches. We have talked about why people might want to hurt other people (hatred and mental disorders to demon possession). They are now in bed.

Clara said, “Daddy, I feel better now that those people in Boston can go to sleep like me and rest.” It’s been some great teachable moments. I pray for the young man in custody. I pray for his soul. I pray he will hear that Jesus loves him and that Allah doesn’t even exist and can’t offer him anything. Pray with me.

I’m excited about all our team as accomplished in Mexico. Here’s the last two day’s updates. They are wonderful! Have a tissue handy to wipe your eyes…

Update 4/18

 Can we tell you that this trip has been amazing? Amazing. And it isn’t even over yet.

Precious Kinsley with precious Leroy.

Finishing the roof in Mexico!

On the construction site, the restrooms are coming along!

The kids gathered around for a lesson in Mexico.

What it’s all about. Gospel-sharing on every corner.

This is where we crest the hill. This is the beauty of missions. The tears rolling down relieved faces of those who now know Jesus, is worth every penny, every moment, every bit of everything that we have given. This is why we are here. Today has been incredible. 7 souls came to Jesus at the housing project tonight. There were 6 girls and one guy who accepted Jesus. That brings us to a total of 20 people saved this week. Please continue to pray for many who are under conviction.

The construction site has gone well and everyone has pitched in all aspects. Grayson managed to remove a portion of the tip of his finger on the saw, but he handled it well. We will easily finish up tomorrow on the church.

We know that every day we say that it has been a great day, but today has truly been exceptional. The Lord has worked so much today. We will be sad to finish up tomorrow, but we know that we have planted so many seeds!


Well, we are pretty tired, but it is a good tired. We are so blessed and wish we could only begin to describe the past few days. If pictures say a thousand words, then we need at least one million pictures.

Update 4/19

Salvations, tears of joy, paper crowns, warm hugs, and given Bibles were the miracles of this day.

The crowns of the royal children. Heirs of God.

Are there even words to describe this? Wonderful Toni, with sweet Daniel. Such beautiful love.

Weston was working hard on the roof of the restroom.

Miriam led Manuela to Jesus after Monica fervently prayed and invited her to the church. The whole Bible Study was in tears as she got saved. Amazing story of the power of prayer and relentless love.

Manuela saying, “I love you” in sign language.

The whole group at the Block Party.

Katy I. with Lea, whom had just gotten saved.

Geoff with Caesar, who didn’t want us to leave. But the promise that others are coming brought him peace.

Where do I begin? How can I explain how it feels to bask in the power and presence of Almighty God? How can you explain how it feels to see a miracle? To see the lost found and the blind see. To see Satan lose. It is pure joy. But I can’t explain it. Although sleep tugs at our minds, the joy of new freedom brings us awake. It brings us to life.

Today 5 came to Christ! Miriam led Manuela to Jesus (the ladies on the pew in the picture) in Mexico. Katy Isaacs led a little girl to Jesus, as did Katie Church with another girl and then Lauren and Lakyn together with another girl. Kim and Kristin also guided a girl to make Jesus her Savior. All of those salvations were at the Block Party which was wonderful. Jason did a great job sharing the Gospel. The many children enjoyed hot dogs and cookies afterward.
In Mexico this morning, the guys finished up some work on the church and restrooms. We truly enjoyed fellowshipping and encouraging the church people and hugging the sweet children. We placed cupcakes in the hands and crowns on their heads and when we looked into their eyes, we saw kings and queens. Their smiles proved that they were thrilled and felt loved. We were humbled.


These few meager words do not begin to scratch the surface of the things we have seen and experienced. This was not of ourselves, it was of God. He has been with us and Weslaco, Texas and Progreso, Mexico has felt the love of Jesus. And THAT is what it is all about.

Praise the Lord! The team will be leaving and coming home tomorrow! We will fellowship and celebrate together in church on Sunday and our brothers and sisters will worship and celebrate in Mexico and Texas as well! Oh how I love the body of Christ!

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Update from Mexico

There are exciting things happening in Progreso, Mexico and Weslaco, Texas. Here’s an update from Monday and yesterday. Enjoy!

Monday, 4/15

Chronicled by Katy Isaacs, Lauren Testerman and Sherrie Matthews):

It was an early morning and a bright day here in Weslaco, Texas!

Ken was working very hard, along with Weston, who was behind him on the roof.

Jason Church and Pastor Hector led four men to Jesus on the construction site!

The ladies worked so hard smoothing the walls.

The lightning fast men on the roof and well…it is finished!! 

So it is official! The “roof has been raised!”

Now work is being done on the el bano (the restroom).

Vacation Bible School in Texas with Kim Parsons and Renee Bryan leading. Below is more teaching. 

Paula Farm, Pam Brown and Ms. Frances doing crafts with the kids.

This morning (Monday morning) the guys and a few ladies headed over the Mexico border in the dark morning to begin the task of pouring the roof. They found a quick rhythm and had the whole process running like a well-oiled machine! The ladies worked to smooth the walls of the church for stuccoing later this week. We played volleyball with the kids and there was a wonderful Women’s Bible Study with the Mexican ladies, who also prepared us a huge and wonderful lunch! It was also a blessing to see Jason Church leading four of the Mexican construction workers to the Lord!

Tired and dirty, we made it back to the mission house and a few hours later a lot of us went to the housing project where the children bounded up to us! They hugged our necks and were overjoyed to see us. After lessons, music and snacks, several of the teenage girls and other children talked with some of the ladies on our team. Some really were beginning to show an interest in salvation. We look forward to talking more with them. It has been a gloriously cool and breezy day, despite the forecast. God’s mercies are everywhere around us. We are humbled by His love and though we came to show love; like always, they are showing us more than we can hold. It was day 3 and it was good.

Tuesday, 4/16

Pastor Oscar and his wife Miriam and their two boys: Oscarito and Eli.

The “water bucket group” on the roof! Check out those muscles!

The “temple worker group!” Tell me those ladies can’t handle a hammer and trowel!

Paula Farmer after her surprise drenching, compliments of Emily, her daughter. Watch out Emily! Paula’s my cousin and I know she’ll get you when you least expect it!

The men who are working on the bathroom building. Ken Bryan (kneeling…who is leading our group) had some of the guys pour bottles of water over his head so he would look like he had been working harder. Yep…that’s Ken!

The wonderful, authentic tacos made for the team by the ladies of Oscar’s church. Talk about showing hospitality!

Monica Dowell presented some of the young children with new flip-flops. They loved them.

See below…teaching the children is Paula Farmer.

Now get this! That’s Geoff Farmer her husband and their daughter Emily (squatting and in red) and in the yellow shirt is Geoff’s mom, Francis! Don’t you just love missions when it’s a family affair? Why is it that we do “youth” mission trips separate from the adults? I’ll never understand that. Why not do “family” mission trips? The body of Christ is a family. Why do we continue to separate the family?

Here’s Pam and Tom Lambey leading a lady, named Mary Anna to Jesus.

Here’s Josh Isaacs (my son-in-law, in blue) and Thomas Pinkerton (black shorts and brown shirt) leading a boy named Ryan to Jesus.

There’s the fearless leader, Ken Bryan!

My daughter Katy wrote these words:

“I sat in the church today in Mexico and what I heard was glorious. It was the sound of building a church; it was the cool breeze carrying the cheerful sound of children playing; it was the mixture of Spanish and English creating a joyful hum of voices; the aroma of Mexican food cooking. It was life. It was love. It was almost heaven.”

Monday was wonderful and very productive. Katy said: “The team worked with full abandon this morning. There were so many things going on. The ladies scraped and cleaned the new church floor. The men worked on stuccoing. Pam taught the Women’s Bible Study again. Toni Bryan, Paula Farmer, Kim Parsons, and Monica Dowell taught the children. We marveled at the cool, breezy weather. Monday evening we went to do Bible School in Weslaco. It went very, very well and there was a large group of nearly 60 kids. Two girls, a boy and a young lady (a few of which were in the pictures above), made a profession of faith in Jesus as their Savior! There was a feeling of pure joy as we loaded up and watched the children head home with there new Bibles with smiles on their faces. A total of 13 souls have been saved the past few days. What an amazing time we have had. We look forward to all God will continue to do. Please keep us in your prayers!”

Well…that’s it for now! My heart is full!

 

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Brothers and Sisters

Have you ever met another believer in Christ and after about 15 minutes you felt as if you’ve known them for a lifetime? Isn’t it wonderful how that works! It’s God’s Spirit bearing witness with our spirit as brothers and sisters. We are family!

I met some new family this past weekend in Raleigh, NC. I had the privilege of speaking at the Raleigh Chinese Christian Church where I delivered a Family Conference.

RCCC congregation

Here are the sessions I taught:

family

Friday – Session #1: (7:30-9:30 pm)
“Worldview and Parenting”
Your worldview will have a tremendous impact on how you parent. If you believe the Bible to be God’s Word and you choose to follow the tenets and principles outlined therein, you will find comfort in the process. The question is: “Will we use the Bible or follow the patterns of this world in raising our children?” You might be surprised to learn what your worldview really is. This session will dissect the worldview we actually possess and what drives our decisions in how we parent.

Saturday – Session #2: (Potluck Dinner 5-6 pm, Session: 6-7:30 pm)
“Raising Christ-Centered Young Adults-Rite of Passage”
When do we expect a child to become an adult? Are there Biblical guidelines? The answer is: Yes! In this session we will discuss what the Bible teaches about childhood, adolescence and adulthood. The things we discover might surprise us. Certainly, we believe what the Bible records in Proverbs 22:6, “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” This session will detail the path outlined in Scripture for the passage from childhood to adulthood.

Saturday – Session #3: (7:45-9:15 pm)
“Do’s and Don’ts of Parenting”
This session will flesh out in detail parenting tips from Scripture on how to handle disobedience, “attitudes,” lack of self-control, temper-tantrums, etc. within our homes. We will turn to the book of Proverbs and discover practical, every-day encouragement on how to parent in our fast-paced, hectic culture.

Sunday – Session #4: Bible Study/Sunday School (9:30 – 11 am)
“Relationships-Dating-Marriage-What Does the Bible Say?”We live in a culture where casual relationships begin as young as 8 or 9 years old, but is recreational, dating healthy and more importantly is this Biblical? With a divorce-rate of 50% in America (and this includes the church), there is certainly a need for seeking answers from the Bible on relationships and God’s purpose for them. This session will address what the Bible says about relationships.

Sunday – Session #5, Morning Worship (11:40 am – 12:30 pm)
“Role of the Father in the Home-‘Houston We Have a Problem!’”There has been an explosion! “Houston We Have a Problem!” was the words spoken from astronauts heading to the moon when catastrophe struck. The same is true for today’s families. The “family” has been fragmented and decimated in our culture. In this session, we will look at Psalm 78 and see how the role of the Father in the home is absolutely crucial in making sure we get our children home.

We had a wonderful time. Or at least I did! I took Clara and Andrew with me. They did so well! Don’t take my word for it. Ask anyone at RCCC. They’ll tell you. 🙂 I must tell you that we expect our two 8-year-olds to be able to do what we tell them to do. It’s that simple. We don’t bribe them or scare them or try to use any other means to parent them other than to teach them what the Bible says about training. What’s that? Obedience. We expect obedience. Isn’t that what God expects? Yes! Obedience. Jesus said, “If you love me, keep my commandments.” So, I’m proud of them (in a good way).

By the way, if you would like the notes for the conference, just email me and I’ll send you any session or all sessions if you’d like. Email: kevin@mpbc.ws.

My new friends…my brothers and sisters in Christ were so gracious to us! Here’s some pics:

RCCC congregation

RCCC 2

Here’s the English Pastor of the church (they have three congregations: Chinese, Cantonese and English):

Pastor Po-Wing

That’s Po-Wing Tham. He’s a hard-working man. He was constantly on the move and he is a “get-it-done” guy. I enjoyed talking with him. We have a lot in common. It’s good to have time to speak with another person who knows what you do and you know what they do and you can “compare notes.” Thanks Pastor…you blessed my heart!

I must tell you that on Saturday, I got to spend some wonderful time with Clara and Andrew at a park and Chuck-E-Cheese. It was a blessing! I sure do love my children! I’m just so blessed! We went to a really nice park in Cary, NC.

Clara and Andrew on swing

Clara and Andrew playing

I don’t think they’ll ever forget this past Saturday? Why? Because kids just remember doing stuff with their daddy. I sure do! I remember playing golf with my dad. Cutting wood with my dad. Going to Chicago with my dad and going to Spartanburg, SC with my dad. Thanks Pop!

Clara met a wonderful little friend named Lilly.

Lilly and Clara

Lilly has been adopted like Clara and Andrew have in our family. She has sweet parents and I enjoyed speaking/meeting with them as well.

So, it was a fantastic weekend! I sold about 80 books! I just ordered more from my publisher, Henry Neufeld of Energion Publications in Gonzalez, Florida.

Energion

Check out his site: http://energionpubs.com/ He and his wife Jody are wonderful people and love the Lord and use their company accordingly.

Last thing for now. We have a mission team in Texas/Mexico this week. Here’s their update from last night (via Sherrie Matthews, Lauren Testerman and Katy Isaacs).

After a failed take-off where the plane actually got off of the ground, we ended up back in the Dallas airport to be moved to a new plane.

Josh

Some said it was thrilling, while others found it frightening! This is momma and daughter, Monica and Kaity Dowell…

Monica and Kaity

Church service Sunday morning went wonderfully and we were blessed to sing, memorize Scripture, learn and teach. It was a Spirit-filled time.

Church in Progresso

The church behind the young ladies is ready to have the roof poured!

Ladies and church

It was precious watching Ms. Frances holding Oscar and Miriam’s (the pastor of the church in Progreso, Mexico and his wife’s) baby, Eli. Tell me that Mission work isn’t for all ages!

Francis

Here’s Lauren Testerman loving on the sweet children. There were many children who fell in love with the new team members as easily as they had with the veterans.

Lauren Testerman

There was a foot washing in Toni and Monica’s group showing servant-hood. Toni Bryan washing feet…

toni

It was truly amazing and humbling to watch.

We played ball afterward and had a blast!!

Playing

To sum up the past two days, we can say that the Lord has blessed above and beyond. There have been thrilling surprises, like a failed flight; but there have been amazing wonders. Two teen girls prayed to receive Jesus as their Savior tonight (Sunday night) at Bible school. The team has bonded so well already. We can only see hope and joy in the faces of the children as we hug them. We will rise early tomorrow to begin construction on the roof at the church. We are so excited for this week. God must have so much in store. We are so ready to be apart and let Him work! This was day one and day two, and it was GOOD.

And that my dear friends is another example of brothers and sisters working together! Seeing souls saved! Doing God’s work! Man, I love mission work! I get my shot in June when I lead a team from our church and a team from Henderson, NC from Central Baptist Church along with another dear Brother, Keith Hawkins. Ken Bryan is leading our team in Mexico this week and Steve Bryan (no relation) will be leading our second team. Yep…that’s right! We’ve got three teams doing work in Texas/Mexico this year! Do you think our Father in heaven is pleased? I do! He sees his children (brothers and sisters) working hand in hand. Whether it be in Raleigh or NC or TX or MX or Ethiopia or India or China…as believers and followers of Jesus Christ, we’re brothers and sisters and the thoughts of the Marriage Supper of the Lamb in heaven, when we’ll all be together with the Father… Well, it gives me goose bumps…or should I say “mission” bumps!

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X3Pro

Last night as I was teaching at church about Elders from 1 Timothy 3, I spoke about five very difficult words in 1 Timothy 3, verse 2. An elder/pastor is to be “the husband of one wife.” As we discussed the different viewpoints of what this verse means (one woman man), I tried to look at it from a viewpoint that is much like the way I think Jesus views it.

You remember Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount:

Matthew 5:28
28 But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

So there is the condition of what’s in the heart…the unseen. Jesus always drove beyond the law, to the heart of the matter. So, as an elder/pastor, am I a “one woman man” in my heart? This means that I’m not a flirt and I’m not thinking about other women and it certainly means that I don’t view pornography. But, many men (including pastors) do.

In a Time magazine article back in 2011, (found here: http://techland.time.com/2011/09/13/how-much-of-the-internet-is-porn-less-than-youd-expect/), it was reported that about 13% of the internet websites are porn sites. In fact, according to one expert, 42,337 of the one million most-trafficked websites online are offering sex-related content, which is about 4% of the most-visited sites on the Internet. Interesting the article indicated just 10 years earlier “erotic content” accounted for an estimated 40-50% of websites on the net.

As I was speaking last night, I told about the safeguards I’ve place in my life to keep me from falling prey to pornography. I mean, let’s face it, it’s just a “click” away. The pop-ups that come spilling into a website that I meant deem “safe” blows my mind. A picture of some 20-something-year-old girl that has a caption that says, “Available NOW FOR CHAT.” I just shake my head. So, do you know what I did about a year and a half ago? I got X3Pro.

It’s now called X3WatchPro. Here’s the link:
https://secure.parentalctrl.com/Signup2/default.php?activatetype=x3buy

Get this. It’s just $7 per month. Folks, that’s a deal! And NO, I’m not a sales rep for it! I get ZERO from mentioning the site to you in case you are wondering. 🙂

You might ask, “What does it do?” Well, that’s pretty simple. It monitors every site you go to and sends a weekly report to an accountability partner. Guess who gets my weekly report that comes out every Sunday morning at 7 am?

pam

Yep…my lovely wife! She is the administrator of the site. She sees everything I’ve seen! And let me tell you…there is freedom in that! Huge freedom! I don’t have to worry about going to an “off-color” site because I’m accountable to her. Now some of you are looking down your Christian noses and thinking, “Why can’t you just be accountable to the Holy Spirit and to Christ and call it a day?” I’ll tell you why. David was a man after God’s own heart and in a moment of weakness fell to temptation with Bathsheba, which cost him dearly…not to mention the death of Uriah, Bathsheba’s husband. If David could fall…so could this David (Full name: David Kevin Brown). It can happen! Anyone who says it can’t is about a millimeter away from falling! Pride goeth before a fall!

Men, $7/month is nothing! Skip one lunch and you’re there! But, I know some men that won’t do it. They’ve told me straight to my face: “I don’t need that.” I then ask, what safeguards do you have in place to guard your heart and mind? That’s when they look away.

May I also say at this point, if you have a son in your home that’s got access to a computer or an iPad or tablet, you better be thinking about X3Pro or some kind of protective software. And if they’ve got an iPhone, Android, etc., there are apps for those. May I say this to some moms and dads. If you have a son who has unlimited access to a computer or device that he can be alone with in his bedroom, WATCH OUT! Satan can sneak in like a thief in the night and steal that boy’s heart. Please think about what I’m saying and protect your family. You wouldn’t want your son driving a car without his seatbelt on, well…why do we let them drive the internet with no protection? We shouldn’t! It’s irresponsible parenting if you ask me.

So, let’s seek purity. Let’s go after holiness. God calls us to do so:

Ephesians 5:1-4
Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. 2 And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. 3 But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints. 4 Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving.

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