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Archive for December, 2013

I had a wonderful Christmas with my family and I trust you did as well.

 

Some of you might be interested to know about what the most read blogs of 2013 were on my site this year. And perhaps a few other interesting tidbits.

Here ya go:

My blog was viewed over 21,000 times in 2013. Folks from 134 countries viewed the blog. The most visitors came from The United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. I had views from Turkey, Australia, Israel, France, Peru, Angola, Russia, Brazil, Germany, Tanzania, Saudi Arabia, Norway, India, Thailand, and many, many other countries. Pretty neat what the ole world wide web can do.

The posts which got the most views in 2013 (as you can see, they are not necessarily 2013 posts) are ranked 1 through 5:

You can click on those posts for your reading pleasure.

I close 2013 with something I saw earlier today form Jay Younts over at Shepherd Press earlier today.

At midnight tonight, January 1st, most of the world will celebrate insanity.

Insanity?

There is a popular definition for insanity that is attributed to Benjamin Franklin, Albert Einstein and others. It goes like this:

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

Times Square will be filled with people who watch a crystal ball descend as midnight approaches. Millions more watch on television. When the ball ends its journey a massive celebration erupts. People will be excited about the promise of a new calendar year. They hope the disappointments of the previous year will be replaced by better times in the new year.

People believe a change in the calendar can bring a change in fortune, or relationships, or happiness, or health. But after the celebrations, morning comes again. The challenges in life remain as daunting as ever. As Christians, the New Year offers an opportunity to talk about change that is not rooted in insanity or false expectations.

Apart from the renewal that can only come from a saving relationship with Jesus Christ the new year will be just like the old one – another exercise of insanity. Just because people mired in conflict with God gather in a large champaign-toasted celebration does not mean there will be renewal and redemption. People believe they can make things better by their own effort and will. But, what promised to be new quickly becomes old again.

May God grant that we would have compassion for those deceived by the false hope of a happy new year. Believing that things will get better apart from Christ is a cruel deception. It truly is an exercise in futility. Even if bank accounts grow or fortunes appear to improve, the relief this provides is short-lived.

Happy New Year can be a wonderful greeting if we point people to the real reason for happiness.

Help your children to grasp that hope for being made new is only found in Christ. Only he can take what is old, corrupt, and deceitful and make it new. No celebration, no matter how large it is, can change this truth. Pray that we will find ways to show those around us the emptiness of trusting in a change of the calendar. Point them to Christ, who alone, can make what is old into something new. Help stop the insanity.

You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

Ephesians 4:22-24

Article found here...

Amen and amen!

Happy New Year to each of you! I’ll see you next year!!

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Remember just three short years ago we had snow on Christmas in western NC? We sure did. Here’s a blog post that might reminisce the day after Christmas. You’ll love the video of sledding down the hill. Here goes…

Notice the date…

Christmas Memories…

December 28, 2010 by dkevinbrown

Well, another Christmas has come and gone. All too quickly! My grandparents often lamented “how quickly time flies by the older you get.” How true, how true! But, I must say this Christmas will go down in my mind and memory as one that was unmistakably remarkable. This year the snow the Lord blessed us with was the “icing on the cake” and the “bow on the package.” Snow…what a wonderful picture of what Jesus does for us…makes us clean…washes us and purifies us as “white as snow.” I thought of that Saturday as the snow trickled out of the sky around 9:30 am.

Katy sung a song during the Christmas season at church that talked about how Jesus came as a “winter’s snow.” He came quietly and without fanfare, just like the snow Christmas morning. He slipped into the world in a manger and exited via a hillside in Jerusalem in Israel known as the “Mount of Olives.” But, He’s coming back. Any day now as far as I’m concerned. All prophecy has been fulfilled except for the completion of the “Bride of Christ,” the completion of the Church via the last person that will call upon the name of the Lord and be saved. He will come again, in the sky and He will come “like a thief in the night” or as I thought about it Christmas morning…as a “winter’s snow.”

I tried to think back through my mind to all the Christmases I’ve experienced even as a child and I can think of no Christmas that means as much to me as this one. Why? Not because of any presents or food (as good as it all was)…it is simply that I’ve grown to understand more and more the price that the Father was willing to pay to ransom my soul. I can’t understand how God could give His only Son to die for me. I know that is a trite and well used comment…but, its honestly how I feel. How could He have done it? But, even beyond that, my mind this Christmas was drawn to the fact that Jesus was willing to come. Think of it! Jesus was willing to live “glory” to come to a manger for me! He came as the child of peasants, born in obscurity in a “nothing” little town with only bewildered shepherds to welcome His Majesty’s entrance into time on this earth. Amazing indeed!

I took a picture of the snow covering a red bow at my mom and dad’s house…

…just as Jesus purity (sinlessness) covered my sins. The Son of God covered my sins…my sin! The Living God of the universe came in the form of a baby via Jesus Christ and died for me to cover my sins so that I might live…truly live, both now and forevermore. The knowledge of this thought is almost more than I can comprehend. Even now as I type the words I’m overwhelmed with emotion! Praise be to Jesus Christ, King of Kings and Lord of Lords!

I took some pictures of the children in the snow. May I bore you with some more?

The “older” children (forgive me for calling you “children” Katy, Kandace, Taylor and Leah) enjoyed the snow too!

I love my family! Any reader to this blog will be able to readily see that in a hurry. I thought I’d share some more ramblings of family life with you in this post.

Ok…I’m still a kid at heart! Want to see? Take a look…sledding down the hill behind our house with Clara and Andrew!! Here we are getting ready!

Now it’s time to go…Woohoo!!

Click here to see…

Here’s the “old-timey” sled we used! I used this one as a kid! Thanks mom and dad for finding this old sled in the basement years ago!

We enjoyed making the “snow rabbits!” Andrew made one his size and Clara made one her size!

They also enjoy playing “old-timey” in the playhouse my Dad built years ago for Katy. Looks like “soup’s up” or “snow in the bowl” is ready!

Oh…here’s another picture from our winter snow on Christmas. This is mom and dad’s Bradford pear tree covered in snow…

Bradford Pear Blanketed in Snow.
So will it snow this year? Yes, I believe it will, but we’ve hit a very neutral pattern. What does that mean? Quite simply, that the weather pattern is going to be up and down. We’re going to have some warm weather and some cold weather. The pattern is neutral. However, there is a ton of warm water off the western U.S. and there is 50% more sea ice in the Arctic Circle (so much for Global Warming Al Gore :)). With that said…there will be a battle between the warm and the cold throughout the rest of the winter. You can expect some days above normal in temps… Remember last weekend? Record highs in the 70’s? And there will be cold weather. Like the last two nights with temps in the mid-teens. Yesterday we didn’t get out of the 30’s. The question will be: Can the cold air meet up with the moisture? That’s the million dollar question. It seems in this kind of pattern when we get a cold piece that breaks off from Canada that it comes so hard and fast with a digging trough that it pushes the moisture south and we miss it. It’s almost better to have marginal temps and get a Gulf of Mexico low to form and pull in it’s on cold air from a high pressure over the New England states. But, do you know how hard that set-up is to get? VERY HARD! It’s really a statistical difficulty in the south… And yes, NC is in the south.
I’m still thinking we’ll have a couple of opportunities by mid-January for snow/ice. But, it will be close either way. We could hit it or miss it? Sound like I’m waffling back and forth? I don’t mean to at all, it’s just the truth. That’s what we’ve got this year. But, I’m hoping to see this again:

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The Shepherd

NOTE: This story is by Katy Isaacs, my daughter. It touched my heart and I believe it will yours as well. 

Merry Christmas to you and yours!

I pulled my cloak tightly around my shoulders. The unusually cool spring wind tugged at my thin clothes. I looked upwards at the clear night sky. It was a night like the thousands before. Sounds of the breeze rustling through the grass, distant howls of threatening beasts, shimmering stars and the so very present bleat of dumb sheep.
Had it really been so many years ago that I sat in my family’s warm home along with all of my older brothers? Decades ago. I, being the second to youngest of seven boys was too old to sit under the watch of caregivers, but not old enough to be given honors and responsibilities of prestige like my elder brothers. Therefore, I had become the family’s shepherd. I had never been given an opportunity to make anything of my life. Months of shepherding as a small boy had turned into years as a young man and eventually decades as an old man.  The words of my brothers from years past flittered through my mind like the burning embers of the flames before me flittered towards the heavens.
Ah, poor brother, nothing more than a shepherd. Never to make anything of his life. It seems that he may have lost his mind up there in the hills alone all these years with only dumb sheep for company. 
Were they right? Was my life never meant to be anything more than this? No wife, no children, no money… no purpose. An aching swelled in my heart.
It was no matter now, life was nearly over. I was reminded each time my back ached and joints groaned. I quoted psalms of King David to bring peace to my weary heart.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, You are with me. Your rod and staff comfort me. 
The words of another shepherd made me smile. King David was a shepherd, after all. God had made him into a great king. I wondered if God might have any plans for me. Was it too late?
I stood and smacked a sheep’s rump away from a small hole in the ground. He lazily moved away into the darkness. I looked to the dark sky. Could God care about a man as small as I? As old as I?
Have you any purpose for me, Almighty One? Why do I feel You so close tonight? Why do I so ache for You? Please come to Your people. Come to me. 
As I had many times before, I imagined the Messiah. The Holy One. He would be a king of power and might. He would overthrow Rome and build up this nation. He would be born in a palace far from Bethlehem, dressed in flowing purple and surrounded in gold.
For to us a child is born… to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Ever…..
I choked on the familiar words of Isaiah. Then I said the words that I had said too many times. They were foolish and ignorant of such an old man. Yet, my heart spoke them anyways.
If it be Your will, I ask to catch just a glimpse of the Messiah before I die. 
I chastised myself. God should not answer such a selfish prayer. Tears poured down my weathered cheeks.
Then perhaps my nephews? If it be Your will, may my family see the Chosen One before they die? 
Glory…. glory…. glory. 
What was that noise? Glory? Maybe I was losing my mind.
I sensed light behind me and I turned quickly to catch a glimpse of the shooting star.
There was no shooting star, but there was light. I blinked, trying to wake myself. The light hovered the hills beyond. It took the shape of a human. The light was so white and so pure that it burned my eyes with its brilliance. I shook with fear. What was happening? Was God ending my life? Was this death?
“Do not be afraid.”
It spoke! The mouth and eyes of a man appeared in the lightness. What could this be? A messenger from God. He spoke again.
“Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
My mind fought to process what he said. The Messiah. The Messiah! He will be in a manger?
The light grew and shook the ground as many more men in whiteness joined the voice of the first. Their voices rose in perfect unison as they spoke:
“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests!”
Peace to those on whom His favor rests…. Did His favor rest on me? These messengers spoke to someone as lowly as me. I left my sheep for the first time in my life. My cranky bones ran like that of a small boy. The shepherds of the neighboring fields must have heard, as they too ran to one another. I could hear their voices.
“Let’s go together and find Him! The Messiah! Can you believe it?”
There were five of us. Three young men, one a few years younger than me and then me… the oldest. We ran towards the caves. There were many nooks and crevices in the rocks behind the inns in Bethlehem. Only in the caves where the animals fed would there be a manger. The thought of the Messiah lying in a manger was startling.
Was God so quickly answering my prayer to see the Messiah? After hundreds of years of waiting, was this how it would come? Only after seeing would I believe.
We separated so we could find the cave quicker. I tried to hurry, but I wasn’t as spry as the other young ones.
Stop. Listen. 
The voice was carried on the wind and it swept my ears with its calmness. I stopped in the darkness. I closed my eyes and strained for the sound of a crying baby.
There was no crying, but there was singing. A woman’s voice sung so softly.
“My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant.
From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me—holy is his name.”
It was so pure and innocent… the voice of a young, virgin woman. But why would she be singing out here?
I stepped around the edge of the rock and there in the deep mouth of the cave lay a woman in the hay. Her damp hair fell around her shoulders. A thin blanket lay over her. She leaned against a manger, her eyes staring into the face of the infant that lay there.
The Messiah.
“Can I help you?”
I was started by the man who spoke to me. He came from the shadows behind the woman and baby.
“I… I am a shepherd in a field nearby… I was keeping watch over my flocks…. Well, I was told that I would find a baby lying in a manger… he is… Is he?” I swallowed. “Is he the Messiah?
The woman looked up and her eyes danced with joy. “He is. His name is Jesus.”
“May I?” I asked as I stepped forward. The miracle of the moment pulsed through my veins.
This was the moment I had prayed for. Oh Holy One! As I stepped closer, the baby began to whimper.
“Shh, wee one,” said his mother. “We have a visitor. Your first visitor.”
He quieted as I reached down and caressed his smooth head. It felt like that of any other infant. Yet when I looked into his small face, my whole body shook with awe.
He is the One. 
I cried softly over him. My tears hit the hay around him. How could it be?
You have let me not only see the Messiah, but I was the first to see him! I touched him!  
I fell to my knees. The other shepherds filled in around me. Their soft gasps echoing through the cave.
What a Messiah he must be. How odd that he would come in such a small, quiet way. How strange that I should be the first to see his wonderful face. Perhaps the Messiah was going to be very different than what we ever dreamed. How merciful that the very lowest would be the very first to welcome him.
For the first time in my life, I felt purpose. The brightest star shined on my path as I walked back to my sheep.
Katy’s blog is found here...

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Let Me Get This Straight

Okay…let me get this straight.

The first amendment says: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

I guess that amendment excludes a Christian who quotes from the Bible. In other words, everybody in this country can say and do whatever they want and say whatever they want unless they’re a Christian, who uses the Bible (accurately), to frame a discussion or a debate. That’s the way it appears to me in the recent Phil Robertson, Duck Dynasty debate.

That’s Phil on the far right. And that’s a good line to use. He is being called a “far right wacko,” simply because he quoted the Bible about homosexuality. I KNOW I’d be called a loon and a wacko by the media.

As you might know, Phil is the father of a family in Louisiana who make duck calls and other hunting calls. They have the number one show on cable, (appearing on A&E), called: Duck Dynasty. He was recently interviewed by GQ Magazine and said this:

“Everything is blurred on what’s right and what’s wrong… Sin becomes fine,” he said. “Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men…

Don’t be deceived. Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers — they won’t inherit the kingdom of God,” he warned. “Don’t deceive yourself. It’s not right.”

Those last couple of sentences was a paraphrase of:

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 1 Corinthians 6:9-10

You see, Phil could have talked about drunks, thieves, adulterers and crooks and A&E would have said nothing. But, oh no Phil…you better get this straight Brother…you can’t talk about the most protected group of people in America today: LGBT’s. Get that straight Phil! (Can you hear my sarcasm?)

So, A&E said this:

“We are extremely disappointed to have read Phil Robertson’s comments in GQ, which are based on his own personal beliefs and are not reflected in the series Duck Dynasty. His personal views in no way reflect those of A&E Networks, who have always been strong supporters and champions of the LGBT community. The network has placed Phil under hiatus from filming indefinitely.” 

Now some argue that this fiasco is not about free speech and if you want to get technical about it, that might be true. After all, Phil is employed by A&E and thus, he works for them and therefore, they can fire him if they like. Yet, the reason they are suspending him is because they don’t like WHAT HE SAID. Yet dear reader, it’s what he said and the way he said it that’s exactly the reason the TV show has risen to the top of the cable ratings over the last four years. What do you expect this guy to say?

"Duck Dynasty" – "O Little Town of West Monroe"

Phil speaks in churches all the time. After all he’s a Christian and he believes in the Bible and stands for what it says. But, that’s the real crux of the matter folks and we’d better get this straight. Here’s what Phil said after this thing exploded yesterday…

“I myself am a product of the 60s; I centered my life around sex, drugs and rock and roll until I hit rock bottom and accepted Jesus as my Savior. My mission today is to go forth and tell people about why I follow Christ and also what the bible teaches, and part of that teaching is that women and men are meant to be together…”

No, no, no Phil…those words in bold are what got you! Get it straight in your head Brother! If you are going to be a public figure, you can believe anything and say anything except you can’t quote the Bible or stand for what it says. As one man said that I read earlier today, “Phil’s comments went over about as well as a Chick-fil-A sandwich at a gay pride parade.” Amen!

You see, you and I can be gay, a lesbian, bi-sexual, transgendered person and say anything we want and we’ll be lauded and applauded. But, if I say (publicly) anything and I mean ANYTHING against LGBT’s or their lifestyle…you better get me off the stage, off the air, and find some hole to put me in, because we’re tolerant of anything and everything in this country except for Christians who quote the Bible. You see, if you are a celebrity, then you are entitled to espouse your opinion anytime you like… You can be Miley Cyrus and swing on a ball and chain nude or Ben Affleck and espouse anti-Christian hatred or Katy Perry, who banned her “conservative” parents from coming to the President’s inauguration last year. But…you better get this straight…if you believe that being “straight” is God’s divine design…well, you are off your rocker!

Between you and me, I think Duck Dynasty ought to indefinitely suspend A&E. In fact, Todd Starnes of Fox News said this today:

A&E is apparently run by a bunch of anti-Christian, bigots. Duck Dynasty worships God. A&E worships GLAAD. If Phil had been twerking with a duck the network probably would’ve given him a contract extension. But because he espoused beliefs held by many Christians, he’s been silenced. Perhaps A&E could provide the nation with a list of what they believe is politically correct speech. Maybe they could tell us what Americans can say, think and do. Should the U.S. Constitution be amended to prevent Americans from holding personal beliefs that others might not agree with? I suspect A&E’s decision is going to create a firestorm of controversy. If you thought feathers got ruffled over Chick-fil-A, wait until Duck Dynasty fans take to the streets. I’m one of those fans.

It’ll be interesting to see what happens in the days ahead. In the meantime we’re going to have to deal with being called bigots for believing in the Bible. Did you see what the group GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) said?

“Phil and his family claim to be Christian, but Phil’s lies about an entire community fly in the face of what true Christians believe. He clearly knows nothing about gay people or the majority of Louisianans — and Americans — who support legal recognition for loving and committed gay and lesbian couples. Phil’s decision to push vile and extreme stereotypes is a stain on A&E and his sponsors who now need to reexamine their ties to someone with such public disdain for LGBT people and families.”

Are you serious! His comments fly in the face of what TRUE CHRISTIANS believe. Are the GLAAD folks, TRUE CHRISTIANS? Just what is a Christian? Oh my word!

Folks, I just have to tell you that this really puts a burr under my saddle? You see, eventually I’m going to be told as a preacher of the Gospel that if I say anything against the sinful lifestyle of the LGBT community that our church might lose it’s tax exempt status. What would happen then? Would the church remain strong?

So, I have a proposition for us. Let’s stop using the term “Christian,” and start using the term, a “Christ-following, Biblicist.” A Biblicist is someone who believes in the totality of the Bible, not just the parts you like or suits your lifestyle. Many Christians have broken the second commandment and made for themselves a god that suits them. They quote Jesus and how He loved everyone and that’s true! He did. But, He also told the woman living in sin to “go and sin no more.”

So how has this happened? Simple. The church is so weak and anemic (and has been for the last 50 years) that we’ve allowed ourselves to be backed into a hole and told, “Believe what you want to believe…but don’t you dare bring it into the public square.”

But think about it. Who is running the media today? People who have been educated in our ultra liberal universities. They are now running the show. Most of these folks have been educated in the 1960’s and 70’s. So, they embrace the LGBT agenda because that’s what they were taught. And the INDOCTRINATION is only going to get worse.

I shared with you earlier this summer about the latest National Education Association (NEA) conference held in Atlanta back in July and their agenda for our children as reported in World Magazine.

nea

According to the World Magazine article entitled: Troubling Trends:

The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Caucus (GLBTC) pushed the convention to pass  a new resolution: “NEA will encourage all states and NEA Affiliates to use existing means of communication to promote developmentally appropriate instructional resources in order to help all educators integrate lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) history, people, and issues into their instruction…” 

So get ready mom and dad…LGBT is coming to a school near you. 10 years from now all the children will be indoctrinated quite well. Scary! Real scary! But, I’m telling it to you straight…

So, for me…I don’t have A&E, so I don’t watch the show, but I’ve seen some episodes while on vacation and most of the show I thought was silly and/or foolish. But, I liked the fact that they brought God (the God of the Bible) to the national TV audience. And I liked how Phil ended the interview with the GQ Magazine interviewer:

Phil: “So you and your woman: Are y’all Bible people?”

Interviewer: “Not really, I’m sorry to say,” the reporter replied.

Phil: “If you simply put your faith in Jesus coming down in flesh, through a human being, God becoming flesh living on the earth, dying on the cross for the sins of the world, being buried, and being raised from the dead—yours and mine and everybody else’s problems will be solved,” Phil said. “And the next time we see you, we will say: ‘You are now a brother. Our brother.’ So then we look at you totally different then. See what I’m saying?”

Great job Phil Robertson…you were simply trying to help to set that man straight about the truth! And that my dear friends has helped me to get this situation straight.

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Preaching

I shared with you last time that while I was sitting in a parking space in a Love’s Truck Stop on the way to Asheville, NC in 2005, how God sealed in my heart the desire to preach and teach His Word. I knew that day that every desire I had for the business world and selling hardwood flooring, windows and doors and seeped out of my body. This is me at The Hardwood Company showroom in Boone, NC in 2004.

I had a little more hair back then! I really enjoyed what I did as General Manager for the Hard wood Company. I worked hard and I had a tremendous amount of responsibility for a multi-million dollar business. Yet, the desire to lead the company was pouring out of my life. I’m so grateful to have worked under the umbrella of our parent company…

It was an honor and a privilege working for Woody Buchanan. He was and is a godly mentor and dear friend. I remember vividly how gracious he was to me when I told him what the Lord was doing in my heart. He said, “Kevin, we all see it. Just be faithful to Him and He’ll take care of the rest. You’ve got a job here as long as you need it.”

What a blessing from one of the kindest most honorable men I’ve ever met. And so the journey began and next month I’ll begin my 9th year as a pastor/elder. Amazing! And I must say I feel exactly like Billy Graham. I saw this quote last week above that picture…

Billy preaching

I to this day do not know why God chose me to preach and teach His word. I still can’t believe I’ve been privileged to do this work of shepherding my own home church. And God has blown me away at His mercy and favor.

As Pam and I were visiting The Cove and the Billy Graham Training Center last week, I was able to see Billy’s “Traveling Pulpit.” Take a look:

Billy's Traveling Pulpit

Now this is where it gets fun. It was adjustable based on how tall the speaker was… Billy is 6′ 3″. That’s pretty tall. So, he had to have it tall. But some of the other speakers at the crusades were considerably shorter. Here’s the control panel…

Traveling Pulpit

Isn’t that cool? Want to see more? It gets better. Here’s how it would look when he preached.

Traveling Pulpit top

There’s his Bible on the right and there’s his notes on the left. Can you see that? Check out the size of that type!

Billy's sermon

Man, that’s huge isn’t it? And yes…it was typed on a typewriter! I bet there are folks reading this who have no clue how to work a manual typewriter. That’s what I learned to type on in high school. What fun! Okay…it gets better. Check this out… Oh…but, you can’t tell the folks at the sound desk or Pastor Brad at Mt. Pleasant about this. Okay? This’ll be our little secret.

Timer

That’s a timer! It would tell Mr. Graham when he had 5 minutes, 2 minutes and 1 minute left before he had to be done (to fit the sermon for television). Ssshhh! If they ever hear about this at MPBC, I’m doomed! 🙂

I’m so excited to be able to preach and teach the Word of God each week. Last week we had a drama (play) for the service and I was like a fish out of water. The drama was absolutely marvelous! It was wonderful and really touched my heart, but you know what? I wanted to preach! It’s just an overwhelming desire that’s impossible to explain. In fact, I’m convinced if I could explain it that it wouldn’t be God.

So, preaching, teaching and equipping is now what I do with the majority of my life. I’m awed and astounded to be able to do so. Yet, I tremble at the responsibility. Sometimes I’m overwhelmed when I think about the fact that I stand up at least twice each week (Wed/Sun) and proclaim the Word of God and for that I’ll be held to a stricter judgment. I know that the books, devotions and blogs I write fall into that category as well. So, I approach what I do with joy and fear. Fear? Yes, fear. A healthy reverence for the task that I perform as a shepherd.

Yet, I want to say at this point, that you are responsible for how you assimilate the Word of God in your life. I was reading Oswald Chambers’ devotion last week and he said these words:

“Always make it a practice to stir your own mind thoroughly to think through what you have easily believed. Your position is not really yours until you make it yours through suffering and study. The author or speaker from whom you learn the most is not the one who teaches you something you didn’t know before, but the one who helps you take a truth with which you have quietly struggled, give it expression, and speak it clearly and boldly.”

Isn’t that rich? I think it is.

Thank you Lord for allowing me to proclaim and teach your matchless, timeless Word!

Thank you Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church for putting up with me!

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We Wish You a Merry Christmas!

Family-Christmas 2013

Below is our annual “Christmas Greeting.”

December 2013

We pray this note to you from the Browns and Isaacs finds you well during this wonderful 2013 Christmas Season. We are always excited about another Christmas and the blessings that come with celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, the Lord and Savior of the world. It’s been another blessed year in the life of our family. God is so good to us!

Josh and Katy just celebrated their one year anniversary. That’s hard to believe! Josh is now a Corporal in the Marines (stationed in Cherry Point, NC) and continues to be one of the most trusted and valued men in his shop. He bears the cross of Christ in a pretty dark world. Military life is not easy. Katy volunteers with the Havelock and Morehead Pregnancy Care Centers. Josh and Katy have found a good church in Morehead City and they sing in the choir. Katy is in the Praise Team. Katy continues work on her first book and we believe it will be published in 2014. She loves to write and you can catch her blog at heartsonthingsabove.blogspot.com. We certainly miss them and pray, if the Lord so desires, that He could bring them back to Wilkes after Josh completes his 4 year tour in July of 2015. We praise the Lord that He is using them in Cherry Point.

On December 22nd Pam and I will celebrate 23 years of marriage! I’m the most blessed man on the earth! Pam is such an amazing lady! Her ability to juggle a million things is mind-boggling. She has started a monthly women’s group at the church called FLO (For Ladies Only). She continues to head up the Family Council and sing in the choir and Praise Team. But, above all of this…she’s the best wife and mother you could imagine. We continue to homeschool and she carries most of that on her shoulders and she does a fantastic job! What a wonderful help-mate she is to me in the ministry. She counsels many women in the church and I couldn’t do the work without her! Yes, I’m most blessed!

I continue to serve as a Pastor/Elder at Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church. I’ll be starting my 9th year in ministry in January. It’s been an exciting year as a church. We went to two services earlier in the year and have grown unbelievably! We added 89 people last year and are now averaging over 530 in attendance each week. That’s up almost 100 people over last year, but more than just “the numbers,” I’m convinced people are growing in their faith and in their walk with Christ! Praise His name! I continue to blog at www.dkevinbrown.wordpress.com and send out Daily Devotions from www.mpbc.ws. I’ll be writing and publishing my second book in early 2014, To Date or Not To Date—What the Bible Says about Premarital Relationships.

Kandace will be 16 years old in January and will of course, have her license. She is a junior this year and loves studying Biology and nursing. We believe God has skilled her temperament and abilities to help others in the area of nursing. Her desire is to be a wife and mom and use her nursing skills on the mission field. She continues to take violin lessons (her 7th year) via Appalachian State. This past summer she was privileged to sing solo on the stage of the Grand Ole Opry as a part of the Fine Arts Summer Academy (FASA) held at Lipscomb University. She loves clogging and continues to be a wonderful “big” sister in the home. Kandace loves mission work and will travel once again to Texas/Mexico. She sings in the Praise Team and Choir at Church, teaches often in her “Mentoring Sunday School Class” and helps with the Children’s Choir.

Clara is 8 years old and takes violin like her big sister. She loves it! Her teacher says, “She’s a natural.” Clara loves to read, write and draw. She is faithful to read her Bible every morning and is mature beyond her years as a Christian. Clara continues to take ballet. The Lord has given her a gracefulness that is uncanny for someone so young. Clara has such a sweet spirit, tender heart and loves for everybody to be “happy.” She’s a hugger and still likes to have her Daddy pick her up and swing her around. Clara has a soft spot for animals, particularly her cats. She looks after Wendy, Oreo, Amos and Daisy, and no…we don’t want any more cats. 🙂

Andrew is also 8 years old and is constantly on the move! His great love is for Legos. He can make anything with them! Andrew’s ability to use his hands to make things, draw and take things apart is amazing. Andrew will never hurt for work when he becomes an adult. A man that can use his hands will always be in demand. Andrew continues to take Karate and is up to a yellow belt with orange to come. He practices his moves on me and let me tell ya…he’s good! I don’t know to carry a weapon with me. I just need Andrew! Yet, he’s got the sweetest heart and the cutest smile you’ve ever seen! We’re grateful to report that all his surgeries on his feet are complete!

Well, this is so much more we could say…but you can follow us on my blog and Katy’s blog (as mentioned before). We pray you experience the true meaning of Christmas this year. This season should be about Jesus Christ…not just presents, food and time off from work and school. Jesus Christ is truly the Savior of the world. He’s not just one of many ways to Heaven. No! He’s the only way (John 14:6). He proved this fact when He rose from the dead, conquering what man can’t—death! It’s so wonderful to know Jesus was willing to give up His life so we could gain Heaven by inviting Him, by faith, into our lives and following Him. (For whosoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved. Romans 10:13). So, from the Browns and Isaacs’, we wish you a very joyful and merry Christmas!!

Kevin, Pam, Katy and Josh, Kandace, Clara and Andrew

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Me and the Mrs…

It took 25 years, but I finally made it to The Cove. The Cove? Billy Graham’s Training Center over in Asheville. Wow! What a place! Doesn’t Pam look beautiful with that lovely fireplace at the Training Center?

Pam at cove fireplace

Here’s the back of the Training Center at night…

There’s the entrance of the Shepherd’s Inn, where you can stay overnight.

I had a 2-day conference there and it was wonderful! The hospitality and accommodations were impeccable. It’s neat when you go away for even just 48 hours how that can clear the mind and wipe away the cobwebs of activity. Yes…activity. We are all probably going so hard and so fast that it’s sometimes hard to think clearly.

Get this. There are no TV’s in the rooms.

Could you handle that? Some can’t. I overheard one lady from Greensboro who said, “I don’t know if I can make it without my TV.” What would you do with no TV? Read? Talk to your spouse? Kids?

I talked to my bride. We had a wonderful time sitting by the fire.

pam at cove

That was fun! Just talking. Just sharing time with the love of my life. It’ll be 23 years with this lovely lady come December 22nd.

While we were there, we got to learn some things about Billy and Ruth Graham. I love this about them. Be sure to read the caption below the picture…

Billy and Ruth

That’s not very “politically correct,” but I love it! What a wife and mother she was!

Check this out…

Ruth's library

Nope…

Ruth’s!

I was shocked! That looks like Billy’s doesn’t it? How could this housewife and mother of five have time to read and study the Bible like that? Answer…

She made time.

I thought and thought about it as I stood there and looked at that picture… I thought…what picture would be made of our study? It would probably have to have a computer or Ipad or cell phone lying on a table. The question would be: “What’s on those devices?” Would it be the Bible or something else? How much time do we really pour over the Word of God? Hmmm.

Ruth and Billy…what a couple…

Billy and Ruth in old age

Isn’t that a great caption!

I agree 100%. I told Pam that multiple times over the last few days. And that’s why I took her to IHOP this morning.

Pam at IHOP

She loves pancakes! How’s this for a stack?

pancakes

She told me, “Don’t put this on your blog…people will think I’m a pig!” I said, “No they won’t…they’ll know you like pancakes!”

So, I thought I’d really bless my lady and take her to the Biltmore House. We love that place. We’ve not been in several years. Christmas-time is so beautiful there! Here we are…shivering in the cold air…

biltmore

What a place… The architecture of that 250-room mansion is totally amazing! I was thinking the whole time walking through there… “In my Father’s house are many rooms…” Even being a servant in a house like that was a luxury in 1895.

biltmore house

You know it’s a big place (125,000 acres) when it takes you 10 minutes in a car to drive from the gate to the entrance of the property to the house. Imagine on horseback. That would be 30 minutes on a horse one-way at a walk/trot. Amazing!

I couldn’t get Ruth off my mind. Billy is 95 and Ruth has been gone for several years now. I’m certain he deals with great loneliness and misses her very much. Who wouldn’t miss a lady like this…

Ruth

Isn’t that classic! I love it! What a lady…

And so is my “Mrs.” Pam’s the best! And I’ve got great children because of her. I liked Kandace’s Facebook status last night…

“What I have learned while I have been playing mother for two and a half days while mom and dad are gone for their anniversary: The sink is always full, the laundry is never-ending, teaching 3rd grade (patiently) is not as easy as it looks, and I appreciate my mother more than words can express!!!”

Pretty cool, huh?

And she’s 100% correct.

Speaking of marriage. I wonder how happy Mrs. Obama with the Mister?

Image Associated Press

Yikes! If that stare could kill… Whew-ie!

At the memorial service for Nelson Mandela today, Michelle Obama was photographed looking (not amused I might add) with her husband and the prime minister from Denmark, Helle Thorning-Schmidt.

Selfies were being made and I don’t think the Mrs. liked it. Oh well…I’m glad that I made this selfie with my bride in front of a the church on the grounds of The Cove.

Pam and me at Church at Cove

Does that mean Pam is always happy with me? No way! To be fair to the Obama’s, if someone followed me and my wife around with a camera I bet they could find some times when there would be some awkward pictures. That’s just the public life of public people. But, bottom line…I’m very, very thankful for my lovely bride!

See this gas station…

Loves

That’s a gas station on 1-40 about 15 minutes outside of Asheville. In October of 2005, on my way to meet architects for a huge job at The Cliff’s, a Tiger Wood’s designed golf course and community, I pulled over and parked where that white Trane A/C truck is parked…

Love's parking space

I know…I know…I parked in my van beside of him crooked. But, he was on the line! LOL!

Pam is walking to get back into our van as we were heading home. I said, “Pam, do you see where that truck is parked?” I said, “That’s where I was parked when I called you in 2005 and said, ‘Honey, I can’t do this anymore.'” I continued and said, “Honey, I really believe the Lord wants me to preach His Word.”

She said these words that changed our lives forever:

“I know. I just wanted you to see if for yourself.”

Wow! What a lady! And from that point forward the Lord began to put in place the circumstances that would lead me from the business-world to the place where I am shepherding my home church! I’m blown away. Standing there and looking at that parking spot was surreal.

Standing in front of the Biltmore House with life was surreal. 23 years! Sipping coffee at the Cove…just talking together in  a room with no TV about how we can go back home and share the Gospel in greater ways with our kids and our church and our community! Well…that’s what I call living!

Me and the Mrs… I’m smiling from ear to ear! I love you Pamela Sheets Brown!

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