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Archive for June, 2013

I love Philippians 2:1-2

So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.

Those words embodied how I feel about a group of folks from my home church, Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church and a group of brothers and sisters from Central Baptist Church in Henderson, NC. We partnered together last week in south Texas and Mexico to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We were of the “same mind.” We were literally “in one accord and of one mind.” Take a look…

And now take a look at our brothers and sisters in Mexico. We’re worshipping with them and it’s a little slice of heaven.

How does the new church look? Isn’t it wonderful? Let me give you a quick run-down on all the activities of last week in Progreso, MX and Weslaco, TX.

We worked hard as a team of veterans and “newbies.” It was a great blend of people who were of like mind. Take a look at work in action… Feeding folks…

As a quick reminder…we do mission trips with families. No YOUTH ONLY trips. No sir-ee…we are family missions… Here’s Kelly (dad) with his two daughters (Kasay and Sophie)…

Here’s me and Kandace…

Let me introduce you to the wife of the pastor of Central Baptist Church. This is Melanie Mann. She is teaching in Weslaco, TX. Central is blessed to have her and her husband, Randy. They’ve been at Central since January.

Here’s her son Caleb. He’s a jewel! Wayne Shepherd (one of our men) is teaching Caleb how to flip pancakes at 6 am in the morning. Better hurry Caleb…they’re bubbling!

We had a blast telling Caleb that he was to sit in the middle chair (our vans were packed full). Well, here Wayne and Caleb switched places… Quite funny indeed!

Caleb and his buddy, Neil will be friends for life. We lovingly called Neil, “ripped Neil,” because of his bulging muscles. 🙂

Want to see some of the work? We had to stucco the ceiling of the church. Wow! What a monumental job to accomplish…

Why do I say “monumental?” Well, 30 of the 34 team members came down with a terribly vicious stomach virus. We were dropping like flies during the week. This big literally sent you to your back. I picked it up (one of the first) and it took me to my knees. Aches, chills, severe stomach cramps and horrible diarrhea and/or vomiting. So, when I tell you it was a monumental job to get the work done…I’m telling you the truth. It reminded me of the movie Gettysburg where a soldier who was shot carrying the flag would be replaced by someone else who would run and pick up the flag. The same was true for us and so we worked helping each other and nursing each other back to health as best we could. Ginger Ale and saltine crackers were the items we used most.

More pictures of the work… Kelly, Wayne and Chrystal…

I pitched in with window installation. Since I used to work for a company that installed windows…this was fun…

Some of the ladies mixing stucco…

And progress continued during the week… Amazing!

See that many stooped over. That’s 6′ 4″ Keith Hawkins. He led the Central Baptist team.

He was probably the most sick of all of us. He also has an abcessed tooth. He’s a tough guy…

Here were are in Weslaco, Texas (state-side). I used Keith as Jesus (in the middle) and me as the “sinner” and Wayne (far left) as God. We can only be brought to God through Jesus.

We saw so many connections made. Here’s Patti with a precious little girl who needed encouragement and love…

Lakyn (hat) and Kasay and showing this little boy Scripture about Jesus and encouraging him. Many of these kids come from very difficult homes.

Our kids (MPBC and CBC) worked together to help the kids by making connections with them. Kids just need to know they are loved. Neil Gresham led this group. He’s a multi-talented man. That’s his son, Neil III across from him in the bandana.

Much, much prayer…

Each day the ladies in Mexico made us lunch! Oh and it was delicious!

We returned the favor on Friday (the end of the week) by feeding our brothers and sisters an “American breakfast” of pancakes, sausage and grits casserole. It was a hoot watching their faces as they ate “our food.”

I love this family. This is Manuel and Paula’s family. Manuel is one of the hardest working mean I’ve ever met. He’s now an Elder in the church in Mexico.

Take a look at this picture of heaven…

And this is Oscar and Miriam (pastor and wife) with one of their sons (they have two), Eli. They are standing with Kasay and Sophie Nichols.

And here’s the finished product. Ceiling complete with stucco and doors and windows in…

Finally a “last supper” at a local restaurant in Mexico. Another piece of heaven…

And a little silliness for a team picture…

And we leave Mexico and Texas knowing that Jason Church stays and will continue the discipleship and the work as a missionary. The key now is discipleship.

Here’s a young man (in white with head bowed) that I want you to pray for as the Lord brings him to mind. This is Fermin (pronounced like Furman University). He is a young man who is close to receiving Christ and he’s already a fine young man. He’s studying to become a police officer because he said, “I want to protect my town.”

Here’s Katie Church (Jason’s wife)…sharing the Gospel. Again, she stays as we leave and come back to NC.

What a wonderful week! I’m blown away! Mission work is without question one of the greatest things anyone can do and if you agree with me…well…that would make us “of the same mind.” 🙂

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See that headline above? It really grabbed my attention. I saw it earlier this week on Al Mohler’s blog.

Dr. Mohler serves as the president of Southern Seminary in Louisville, KY. He’s a brilliant man. He had a guest on his radio program the other day that wrote a book about the aforementioned topic.

In fact, you can find the entire radio broadcast here. I am going to list below a few of the excerpts. It’s fascinating to consider regarding the potential of a coming demographic disaster. Yes, I said, “Demographic Disaster,” not “Economic Disaster, ” (even though I’m still not convinced that our economy won’t collapse because of our out of control spending and debt). The radio interview is with author Jonathan V. Last who is a demographic expert. What he shares is very, very provocative in our day and age of having just two children. I pulled what you’ll see below from the radio transcript that can be found here.

Before we get to it, I want to ask one question. Was God’s command to Adam and Eve to be “fruitful and multiply” just for them or was it for us? As you ponder that answer, think of this. Why are we (mankind) here?

To glorify God, right?

God desires godly offspring. (Malachi 2:15). That means He wants a bunch of people in His kingdom, right? And Satan is doing all he can to keep people from God’s kingdom. So, this battle between Satan and God is a battle for kids (people). Ok…now to the radio transcript of Al Mohler’s Radio Show: “Thinking in Public.”

…“Beginning in 1968 in American and the Western-industrialized countries, fertility rates dropped off the table. They fell by half in a matter of years. By 1973, America was below the replacement fertility rate and by the mid-1970s all of the West was. This was really interesting. This was a sort of calamity in many ways, but it was a subject of academic interest, but then as the professional academics and demographers were studying it they noticed that fertility decline spread to the rest of the world as well. So today, 97% of the world’s population lives in a country where the fertility rate is declining. Global population is going to peak, we believe, sometime in the next 50 or 60 years, and is then going to begin shrinking. For the first time in human-recorded history, population will shrink, not because of famines, not because of war or disease or pestilence, but because people simply can’t be bothered to have enough children.

…You might say… “That‘s a good thing.” We can’t feed all the people we have now. Wrong…the issue is surviving as a species over time.

…The Ford Foundation and the Planned Parenthood International want fewer children… But, all the academic research in the field being done by the actual demographers and the actual experts say we are now going in the opposite direction. People who were studying this stuff were once totally unconcerned with our population. But, now they were really mystified by the phenomenon of falling fertility rates and sub-replacement fertility and what demographers called “lowest-low fertility.” Those are fertility rates below 1.4 from which countries begin entering what they call a demographic-test spiral, where after two generations of “lowest-low fertility,” you wind up losing…40 percent of your population every 40 years.

…Japan is really the very leading edge of this global demographic collapse. Japan has been sub-replacing for 50 going on 60 years. They have been “lowest-low fertility” now for 40 years. If their fertility rate were to rebound this afternoon and suddenly be at the replacement level and then stay at the replacement level for the next 80 years, they would only lose 28 percent of their total population over that period. That’s amazing. Imagine losing one out of every four people around you. Now if, on the other hand, the fertility rate were to stay where it is now, they’re going to lose close to 60 percent of their total population before the end of this century. That’s amazing.

…Over time you have an inversion of the age pyramid so that you wind up with many more old people than young people. Last year, for the first time in Japan, people bought more adults’ diapers than they did diapers for babies. That is going to be a condition which persists for the foreseeable future. In about 20 years, they will have for every new birth, they will also have a citizen turning 100, so they will at all times have equal number of babies and centenarians. That’s an amazing thing, and we can’t even really fully contemplate what sort of macro-affect that’s going to have on society beyond the knowing there is a coming economic disaster.

Recently, Japan’s finance minister held a press conference at which he said that it was time for the country’s elderly to “hurry up and die.” Imagine our treasury secretary saying something like that. He would not be treasury secretary by the end of the day, I don’t think. In fact when you look at Japan, recent stories have come out, for instance, indicating that nursing homes there are having to develop robotic assistants to help with the care of elderly people because there just aren’t enough young people to care for the older people.

…In America today…we have the intersection of so many people who are never getting married or who are getting married at much older ages. The time in their life span they might even conceivably devote to the raising of children has been cut down significantly. And you also have the lifestyle now of childlessness that is more and more popular, especially amongst the cultural elites and the highly educated and all the rest, so we’re looking at a situation that isn’t as rational as married couples saying how many children they’re going to have; it’s a massive change in the value system of an entire civilization.

Let me share some things that have happened almost unintentionally. People now have intentionally decided to cohabitate together over the years. You know, college has been, it turns out, an enormous driver in the decline of fertility rates. People say, when they ask them in the surveys, that their college indebtedness caused them to postpone both marriage and childbearing. And the prospective expense of college adds about a fifth to the total cost of raising a child. But at the most gross level what college does is it robs you of time. People who used to get married here in America at 18 or 19, college then pushes back the age where you would even consider getting married to 22 or 23. The actual age of first marriage in America has crept all the way up to 27/28. The average age of first birth is 28/29. The biological window that we have to have babies is fairly immutable, unfortunately. It’s resistant to social planning, I’d like to say. And so as you cut down that window, people, either intentionally or not, they just find they don’t have the time they thought they were going to have and they don’t have then the families they thought they were going to have.

…Let me tell you what is replacing children today. Pets… There is this little shopping center behind my house. My wife and I, before we had kids, we lived in Old Town Alexandria, a very toney, very hip, and, frankly, quite expensive suburb of Washington, DC, right along the Potomac River. And behind us was this little shopping center with a very, very trendy gastro-pub and a great coffee shop and a Russian gourmet food market and a children’s clothing store. The children’s clothing store went out of business after about 18 months. They were the first store to fail in the shopping center, and they were replaced by a doggy spa. This was a remarkable transformation because it left the little town where we were living in with I think only two clothing stores for kids in the town and I believe it was six or seven doggy-fancy-type boutiques. You know, there was a doggy bakery, a doggy spa, a doggy haircut place. They were everywhere. And when you then go and look at, not just the numbers, but also the changes in American life, we’ve become an amazingly sort of pet-fancy country. I mean, if you take somebody who’s a dog lover from 1965 and drop them into today’s modern world where we’ve changed estate planning laws so that dogs are allowed to inherit trust funds. We now have car insurance for dogs. We have medical insurance for dogs.

…Interestingly when you look at the U.S. in terms of blue states (liberals) versus red states (conservatives) right now the blue states (liberals) are far below the total replacement rate and virtually all—and I emphasize this again—all of the growth is in red states. So, you know, it kind of gets to, you know, the principle that James Taranto of The Wall Street Journal pointed out years ago: one of the problems with the pro-choice argument or the abortion rights argument is they tend not to have babies who grow up to agree with them

Phil Longman, my liberal demographer friend, says that one of the ways he tried to get the Left to care about this stuff was to write a piece in Foreign Policy Magazine called “Return of the Patriarchy,” and what he argued was, “Hey, look all the nice liberal people who listen to NPR and live in blue states and read the New York Times, we aren’t having enough babies and if we don’t step it up, then America’s going to be run by, you know, the type of NASCAR guys who read The Wall Street Journal and drag their knuckles on the ground.”

There’s a guy up at Harvard, Eric Kaufmann, who has written a book about religion and fertility, and what he suggests is that when you run the numbers and you look at three differential rates—they are the differentials between the secular fertility rate and the “religious-practitioner,” fertility rate—then the differential between the attrition rate among religious believers (you know, how often they fall away) and then the “pass-on rate” of religion from the religious practitioners to their children, when you take all of those things into account, it is entirely possible that we are sitting at the high watermark of secularism right now in America. And that over the next 20-40 years we’re going to see the proportion of the country that are seculars, first, leveling off and then beginning a gradual decrease, and the proportion of the population which are orthodox practitioners of some faith increasing.

…Today what you see is a very distinct fertility rate for people who never attend church services, another very distinct fertility rate from people who go twice a year, another fertility rate right around replacement, by the way, for people who go once a month, and then a very healthy fertility—right around 2.35—for people who go to services once a week. And it doesn’t matter if those are Catholic services, evangelical services, Jewish services, Mormon services; it doesn’t matter what. All that matters is that you show up, and I find that to be a fantastically evocative piece of data because I think what it’s saying is it’s saying a lot about what it takes to get people over the hump and committing to having families. What it’s saying is something I think bigger than any single religion, single religious tenet; you know, every religion has its own sort of version of “be fruitful and multiply.” I don’t think that’s what’s driving people to have kids; I think it’s something more basic about the very theistic view of the world, which is these are people who view the present differently than everybody else. People who don’t go to church for them the present is all inclusive, it is everything. The present is the entirety of their worldview. The people who go to church once a week, what I would argue is that the present actually has a much diminished place in their worldview. The present is important, the present is consequential, but it is only viewed in light of obligations to pass in hopes of a future.

Al Mohler: I think there is a very clear worldview indicator that is going on here: those who believe that God’s glory is found in marriage, and, in marriage, in all the goods that come with marriage, including the gift of children. Those who believe in the future as grounded not in demographic projections but in the very rule and reign of God are far more likely to have the confidence to have children, to have the commitment to have children, perhaps, even the desire to have children, and then the willingness to make the necessary sacrifices to have and to raise children.

Interesting to ponder isn’t it?

Pray for me and our third mission team heading to Mexico this Saturday. We’ve got work to finish on the church in Progreso, Mexico and more lives to impact. We are travelling with a sister church from Henderson, NC who is partnering in the work with us (we are always looking for more partners, so let me know if your church is interested).

Here’s what’s been done so far…

Randy Brooks way up in the air stuccoing!

Brooks family WORN OUT!! How sweet!

Singing…

Priceless!!

And oh the wonderful, wonderful people…

Dale Jennings sharing the gospel…

Love it!!!

Can’t wait to get there!

Until next time!

Blessings!

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Random Thoughts…

Nothing high level tonight…just some thoughts for your consideration and reading pleasure (I hope) :).

We’ve got a team in Mexico.

That’s brothers and sisters worshipping together. I’ll be down there next week.

This 15-year-old made a profession of faith last night.

That’s Monica Dowell with her. Monica is a witnessing-machine! We will now look for evidence (fruit) in this young lady’s life that she has indeed been born again.

Our full-time missionary, Jason Church (shown below) and his wife Katie live in Weslaco, TX and are there to follow up and disciple…

It’s more than just going some place and “evangelizing.” Jesus said, “Go and make DISCIPLES.” Not just “converts.”

Work continues on the Temple for our sister church in Progreso. Stucco, stucco, stucco…

Randy Brooks and Eric Dowell…

Watch that first step Steve Bryan! It’s a doosey!!

Steve is leading our team. He’s doing the job of an elder.

Looks good, huh!

Pastor Brad…did you know Eric plays the guitar?

Some of my favorite times in all the world was with this guy in Alaba, Ethiopia as he played the guitar…

Ethiopia 2009 226

That’s Dr. David Black…singing “Pearly Shells,” and old favorite from Hawaii! I’m telling you folks…it doesn’t get any better than doing mission work… It’s a taste of heaven!

4 1/2 years ago this was one sad little fella…

Andrew 046 (7)

My, my how a family who loves him…

DSCN2756

four surgeries…

Andrew before surgery

and Jesus has made such a difference in his life and Clara’s…

We’ve had Clara know for over 7 years.

Photo: Missing my girls tonight! Kandace Leigh Brown & Katy Isaacs

I’m a blessed man!

Photo

Well, the garden is waiting for those beans to get running up those strings. Compliments of yours truly and Clara and Andrew…

News Flash!

Kandace is going to be singing on stage at the Grand Ole Opry in about a month…

Take a look at the poster above. Can you find Kandace? She is on the left side mid-way down. This is another highlight of our summer. Kandace is blessed to be able to harmonize with anything. She can literally harmonize with a car door bell. You know that dong, dong, dong, when your key is still in the ignition and you get out of the car. That’s a God-given talent I don’t have. Did I tell you that she’s a pretty awesome photographer?

We went on a photographer run Saturday afternoon. I drove and she got that shot above by just hanging out of the window of the car. Gotta love it!

She like outdoor shots…

Look closely…you’ll see her below…

Kandace taking pictures

Pretty good…if you ask me…

Kandace loves music and all kinds of instruments…

Photo: My instrument wall is getting pretty full! #instruments #fullwall #makesmehappy #moretocome #lotstolearn

She just got her first ukulele. She’s pretty good… You can check out her first song here…

Random photo of three fantastic ladies…

Photo

I love this picture…

Reece

Travis and Nicole Collins and their daughter Reece (pictured above) joined the church recently. They were having a bit of trouble getting her to stop crying and Travis plugged in (me). 🙂 She recognized my voice from church and calmed right on down. Now folks…they doesn’t happen when children are stuck in our church nurseries. Nowhere in Scripture will you find the family NOT worshipping together. Try as you might…it’s just not there.

I love the church I’m privileged to help pastor/elder. It’s been around since 1875…

church history

There’s the various buildings (above). We outgrew the sanctuary…

Sanctuary

and in July of 2006, we moved into the “Reach Center.”

We’ve added 82 people this year since our church year started on October 1st. That’s not a typo. We have added 82 people this year to the church. I have met with each and every one of them and discussed church membership, listened to their salvation and experience and explained what it means to be a follower/disciple-maker for Christ. This is not something done flippantly. We are averaging 515 people each week (that’s up 30.4%) over last year. Am I bragging? I don’t mean to be… I’m just reporting only what God can do and I’m humbled to be a part of it.

Can I tell you one of the reasons I believe we are growing so much? It has to do with those first pictures in this blog post. See if you can figure it out. (Hint…it has something to do with the heart of God and the Great Commission, :).)

Last thing for the evening…

Here’s Katy’s latest blog post… (If you have teens…or even 11-12 year-olds…they need to read this…)

What Does Dating Do to Us?

Posted: 28 May 2013 02:11 PM PDT

This is for all you souls longing for a lover, for all those girls dreaming of their white wedding dresses, for all those parents trying to hold their children’s hearts before they flutter away. This is for you. For all of you.
To begin with, I must ask a hard question. Here it is. How much of your life is defined by the culture? As a Christian, can you go through the Bible and use it to explain why you talk the way you talk, act the way you act and handle your relationships the way you do?
Looking back on earlier blog posts and things I have shared about dating relationships; I still fully stand behind what I have previously shared, but over the past few months that I have been married, God has broadened my approach even more. The main reason so many “Christian” people struggle with relationships is because they operate just like the secular culture in every other avenue of their lives, so their relationships are no more “Christian” than their non-Christian friends are.
I am married now, but that doesn’t remove me from the deep-rooted topic of dating and relationships. God keeps bringing this up in my heart. It has been a while since I have blogged on it.
Before we can even begin to understand the best way to be in a relationship with the opposite sex, we have to have a strong relationship with God.  When you grasp true Christianity, you will have a desire to honor God in your relationships. You and I will never totally and perfectly be the children of God we should be, but we can’t let that excuse the complete secular way we often live.
So what is dating? Most of us know what it is. According to the “Urban Dictionary” it is: Of a couple, to be in the early stages of a relationship where they go out on dates to find out what each other is like, as a prelude to actually being a fully fledged couple.
Why do I think it is so dangerous? My answer is because it goes totally against Scripture. Actually, “dating” is so far removed from anything Biblical and is so heretical, the Bible doesn’t even address it. Aside from the Bible; dating isn’t even in history. It really sprung to life in the 1950s.

Dating allows a man and a woman (whether young or old) to spend time together alone. They hang out and “get to know each other.” But it is so far from marriage and is so easy, they can’t begin to imagine a lifelong commitment to the person. Dating is easy and playful and completely removed from the way life really goes after the wedding day.
Let me be honest. Being alone with someone you “like” or love from the opposite sex before marriage (or even with marriage not even in mind) is extremely dangerous. I know from experience. I have been there. My husband and I thought it wouldn’t be too hard to be alone for a few minutes at a time while we were engaged. It was as though we thought that since we were both strong Christians that temptation wouldn’t be so strong. But it was so strong. I wanted to kiss him so badly. We wanted to be close. We had to realize that longing is normal and good, but we had to stay with other people so our longings wouldn’t let us compromise our beliefs. It was hard. With all honesty it took God’s Word and Truth seeping into my heart every day to stay the route I knew I should walk.
Dating also prolongs the gap between “the awakening to the opposite sex” and marriage. Most children awaken to the fact that the opposite sex is attractive when they are in their preteens. Apparently, we have taken that and turned it into a good reason to send them off to “date.” Children turn into young adults and before we know it, they have dated for years and they have no real desire to marry because they don’t see a point with dating as a constant option.
Dating usually teaches us that we are “victims” of love. We “fall” into love when all is sweet and rosy. Dating avoids what happens when she is no longer pretty or he is no longer as handsome. Dating supports lust more than love.
Dearly beloved children of the One True God, decide and choose to revolve your life around God’s Word. Choose to wait for God to bring you the man or woman He has planned for you. Choose to love that one man or woman all the days of your life. If his hair falls out, whisper in his ear that he is still so handsome. If she wrinkles, kiss her cheeks and tell her that she is always your beautiful bride. When it is time to marry, stop waiting and say “I do.” Don’t rush while you date and then when you know he or she is the one, wait to get married. Reverse it and you will be doing a lot better.
God’s kind of love is almost the opposite of this world’s version of love. As we live in this backwards world, remember that we must be intentional about the way we live. Sitting on the fence of dating and waiting is a waste of your time. Do relationships the Biblical way. I promise it is worth it. I know, because I am proof.
For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. Out of all the peoples on the face of the earth, the Lord has chosen you to be his treasured possession. Deuteronomy 14:2
For more posts by Katy…click here: heartsonthingsabove…

Time to hit the sack…

Until next time sports fans… 🙂

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D-Day

I should be writing my sermon for Sunday, (and I have started), but I just had to get this out. Do you know what today is? Ever heard of “D-Day?” Do you recognize this picture?

Do you know that term, “D-Day?” Most my age and younger don’t. 20th century American history is seldom taught in our schools today. Thus, we are illiterate of what happened 69 years ago today. Our kids are taught about evolution and “saving the planet” and “going green,” but they no little to nothing about the nation we are and where we’ve come from.

Now I must say there are those who will argue, “Kevin, you need to stick to preaching and sharing the gospel and not worry about stuff like this.” And I would tell you (for the most part), I agree. But, I want you to understand something. If we lose our freedom to share the gospel in this country because we sit on the political sidelines, what have we gained? If I say nothing about the fact that we have an administration in Washington that thinks nothing about lies, scandals (IRS), etc., then one day I might not even be allowed to blog about my personal convictions. Think about it. The IRS has been stalking people who disagree with the left-wing, liberal agenda and not allowing them the basic freedom to be whatever type of organization they desire to be and be exempted (as a non-profit) from paying taxes, just like left-leaning groups. Wow!

You say, “That doesn’t matter. Why get involved or even waste your time blogging about it.” I’ll tell you why. If we lose the freedom to talk about the Bible in public forums and if we lose the ability to teach and preach from our pulpits what the Bible says about abortion, homosexuality, unmarried people living together, etc. just because it’s not politically correct, then the gospel will become more and more muzzled in America. Most Christians won’t share the gospel at all, even now. Can you imagine if the IRS said, “If we catch you talking about Christian things, you’ll lose your ability to take charitable deductions off your taxes.” Oh my! You hit people in the wallet and they’ll clam up for sure.

So what am I saying? Do we need to march on Washington? No. Not yet, at least. But, we do not need to stick our heads in the sand (as we have done for the last 50 years) and just think everything will be ok if we say nothing and just go along our merry Christian way. Friends, our freedoms are being so eroded at this point that in 20 years in will likely be illegal to say that homosexuality is a sin (even though the Bible says it is). What is happening in America today is simply this.

Keep your religion to yourself!

Keep your religion inside the walls of your church!

Don’t force your opinions and viewpoint on me!

And so, whether it’s the IRS or whether it’s the ACLU that threatens schools who offer a prayer at a football game or a student says a prayer at a graduation, well…it’s coming. The death of freedom to share the gospel in America. So, I want to remind us all of our history. May I do that for a moment?

In 1941, America, although striving to be uninvolved, was pulled into another world war.  We were still recovering from WWI. Yet the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7th changed everything. The attack by the Japanese ensured our involvement in one of the bloodiest wars in history.  So, in response to these attacks, we declared war on Japan, Germany, and Italy. On June 6th (69 years ago today), the Allied troops (led by Great Britain, Soviet Union and the United States), stormed the beaches of Normandy, France in an effort to turn the tide of the war. This strategic landing enabled the Allies to push back the German troops.

File:Into the Jaws of Death 23-0455M edit.jpg

Here were the assault routes…

File:Allied Invasion Force.jpgWe had to push Hitler back…

The Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces was Dwight D. Eisenhower. He told the troops:

“The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you.”

Not only did our commander pray. So did our President. Franklin D. Roosevelt prayed from the White House on June 6, 1944. Here is a brief excerpt of his “D-Day Prayer.”

Almighty God: our sons, pride of our Nation, this day have set upon a mighty endeavor, a struggle to preserve our Republic, our religion, and our civilization, and to set free a suffering humanity. Lead them straight and true;  give strength to their arms, stoutness to their hearts, steadfastness in their faith. They will need Thy blessings. Their road will be long and hard. For the enemy is strong. He may hurl back our forces. Success may not come with rushing speed, but we shall return again and again; and we know that by Thy grace, and by the righteousness of our cause, our sons will triumph.

And let our hearts be stout, to wait out the long travail, to bear sorrows that may come, to impart our courage unto our sons wheresoever they may be…

With Thy blessings, we shall prevail over the unholy forces of our enemy. Help us to conquer the apostles of greed and racial arrogancies. Lead us to the saving of our country, and with our sister nations into a world unity that will spell a sure peace – a peace invulnerable to the schemings of unworthy men. And a peace that will let all men live in freedom, reaping the just rewards of their honest toil. Thy will be done, Almighty God. Amen.

Could you imagine our current president praying this prayer? I can’t. In fact, he would be blasted to the wall if he did. Why? Because we are not battling the Germans any more…we are battling secular humanism and the relativism that goes with being “politically correct.” Thus, the loss of freedom.

What happened at D-Day? And what does “D-Day” stand for? Well, I’m glad you asked…

In military terms, D-Day is a term used for the day on which a combat attack or operation is to be initiated. The term is used when the day and hour have not yet been determined, or when secrecy is important. And secrecy was of the utmost importance.

The Normandy landings on the coast of France were code-named Operation Neptune. The landings began on Tuesday, 6 June 1944 (D-Day), at 6:30 am. The landings were conducted in two phases: an airborne assault landing of 24,000 British, American and Canadian troops shortly after midnight, and an amphibious (boat) landing of Allied infantry and armored divisions on the coast of France. Surprise was achieved thanks to bad weather. A key success was to convince Adolf Hitler (the German commander) that the landings would actually occur to the north at the Pas-de-Calais. So there were decoy operations taking place simultaneously with the landings at Normandy. They were code-named Operation Glimmer and Operation Taxable and they distracted the German forces from the real landing areas.

The operation was the largest amphibious invasion in world history and was executed by land, sea and air under direct British-American command with over 160,000 soldiers. 73,000 Americans, 61,715 British and 21,400 Canadians. 195,700 Allied naval and merchant navy personnel in over 5,000 ships were also involved. The invasion required the transport of soldiers and material from the United Kingdom by aircraft and ships. The landings took place along a 50-mile stretch of the Normandy, France coast. The landings were divided into five sectors or beaches: Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sword.

We pushed Hitler back in a stunning victory!! The Allied Troops gained the foothold in France that was needed to liberate Europe and crush Hitler. Victory!

This video is about 8 1/2 minutes long and it’s tremendous… It’s published by the Army…

http://www.army.mil/d-day/

Now get this! Hold on to your seats, because you have probably never been taught this and certainly our children will NEVER be taught this in our public schools today. In order to help fund the war effort, the government issued war bonds, and then printed posters to help encourage Americans to purchase the bonds. Want to see a few of the posters. Take a look…
??????????????????????????????? VictoryBonds???????????????????????????????

Do you see Christian overtones here? Hitler’s sword through the Bible. President Roosevelt’s words super-imposed over a family gathered before a cross. A mother and child praying in the third poster.

Do you understand that our freedom to speak and proclaim the gospel in America is being eroded more and more each and every day. I pray for God to help us to stand for truth. America is the greatest missionary force on the globe. We send more missionaries to share the gospel throughout the world (by far) than any nation and I believe God has blessed us for it. We are not exceptional because we are Americans. We are NOT God’s chosen people. Israel is God’s chosen. Yet, we have been blessed (I’m convinced), because we were founded as a nation by overtly Christian people who loved God.

On this 69th anniversary of D-Day may we remember that freedom is never free. And I will continue to be thankful for the men who gave their lives on those beaches along the coast of Normandy, France to allow me the freedom to do what I’m doing now as a pastor/elder and blogger. Because one day I might not be allowed to be either one in this nation.

May God help us and have mercy on us as we continue to fight for the freedom to share Jesus here and throughout the world!

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I read this last article last week and it blew my mind.

Steve Nash battling ex-wife in court

Updated: May 30, 2013, 5:21 PM ET

Associated Press PHOENIX — Former Phoenix Suns star Steve Nash is fighting to keep his ex-wife and three children from moving to California, where he now plays for the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Arizona Republic reports Nash and Alejandra Amarilla Menrath divorced in late 2011, and their settlement doesn’t include child support. The couple has a young son and twin 8-year-old daughters. Nash pays for the children’s private education and health insurance through his employer. He made $8.9 million this season and is scheduled to make $9.3 million and $9.7 million in the next two NBA seasons. Menrath needs permission from a Family Court judge in Phoenix to relocate the children. If she’s allowed to move, attorneys say it’s possible she could petition a court in California to get more money from Nash.

Oh my!! This guy makes $9 million per year and doesn’t want to take care of his kids. This is so sad and it’s becoming epidemic in America. It’s the “state of men in America.” Men used to take care of women and children. As the Titanic sunk, the cry was “Women and children first!”

Not today! Today over 70% of all children born to black women are born with no father in the home. The problem is not much better in the Hispanic community and cohabitation is rampant. Today men are having children by multiple women and they treat them as “notches on their belt.”

But, there are still some good men out there. Here’s one…

That’s Corporal Josh Isaacs. Yep…and he’s my son-in-law. He’s a man of honor and courage. He was being honored with his new rank of Corporal.

But, I want you to notice something that I am seeing more and more. See all the ladies? Why is it that we have to have our mothers and daughters to take care of us? You say, “That’s old fashioned thinking!” No it’s not. The Bible teaches “Husbands love your wives as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her.” Ephesians 5:25. Many men aren’t “giving themselves up” for anything today.

I’m burdened about the lack of men in our communities and churches today. Do you want to know why there are so many women who are now preachers in our churches in America? The men aren’t willing to do the work. Women are good-willed and they will do what the men won’t do. Am I down on men? No. I am one. But, I’m like Paul. He told the Corinthians…

1 Corinthians 16:13-14

13 Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. 14 Let all that you do be done in love.

Act like men! Did you see that? Act like men! Unfortunately many men don’t have a clue how to act like men, because all the men are out playing and making money and still acting like boys. So, women are raising boys and these young men have no masculine influence in their lives. Oh that men would step up and be men! Steve Nash ought to do whatever it takes to take care of his children.

Yet, in our churches, we have no ministries to men. We spend big bucks on children and youth ministry and we do the same for women’s ministry and Beth Moore Bible studies. But, what about the men? Men are missing in action in our churches and it’s a tragedy. That’s why I really push our Iron Men ministry. We meet on Wednesday’s at 12 noon and we talk about issues related to men. Men need other men. Proverbs 27:17 says, “As iron sharpens iron, one man sharpens another.”

If you are a man and you are reading this, I want to ask one question.

Are you doing your duty to your family or are they getting the leftovers?

So what’s your priorities sir? What really matters?

Where are the men? Let me show you one.

Valedictorian surprises graduation crowd, draws cheers

Roy Costner throws out approved speech, says prayer…

UPDATED 8:36 AM EDT Jun  04, 2013
Roy-Costner-speech
Image courtesy YouTube
PICKENS  COUNTY, S.C. —A school district under pressure to keep prayer out of  meetings and gatherings got an unexpected delivery from one high school  valedictorian Saturday, at Clemson’s  Littlejohn Coliseum, Liberty High Valedictorian Roy Costner IV took his speech  to the podium, and in front of the crowd, tore it up. John Eby, Pickens County  School District spokesman, said, “They write their speeches. They send them to  someone on staff to have them approved.” But Costner clearly had something else in mind. After speaking for a few  minutes, he thanked his parents for leading him to the Lord at a young age, and  then he said, “I think most of you will understand when I say, ‘Our Father, who  art in heaven…” as he began to recite the Lord’s Prayer. Much of the crowd broke  into tentative applause that then grew into cheers that nearly drown out  Costner’s voice as he continued the prayer.
  • To watch an excerpt from the speech on YouTube, click here.

Costner finished, pointing  his finger in the air for emphasis, saying, “For Thine is the kingdom, the power  and the glory, forever and ever. Amen,” followed by more cheers and  applause. To read more: click here…

Praise the Lord for men like Roy Costner IV! There is still hope! Oh that more would stand and act like men like Costner!

I’m raising a young man.

2012-08-20 002

That’s Andrew and he’s looking up to me and counting on me. I’m not going to let him down! I’m going to take up the fight…

13 Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. 1 Corinthians 16:13

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