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Archive for February, 2014

Looking For Love

We all want to be loved and to love. That’s innate. God made us with the desire to love. After all, we are created in the image of God and He is LOVE. But, how do we go about finding love?

dating

Those are sobering statistics and that’s why I’m now patiently awaiting the release of my second book:

To Date or Not to Date: What the Bible Says About Premarital Relationships

I’m hoping my wonderful publisher, Henry Neufeld and Energion Publications will have it available in the next 45 days. Why? Because of statistics like those above. Those stats come from a USA Today poll that was quoted in a book by Barrett Johnson titled: The Talk(s). I’ve not read the book, nor am I advocating it. But, those statistics really stopped me cold in my tracks.

Here’s a portion to the “Preface” of my book:

Dating has become a totally accepted practice in America and even in the Church. Yet, what I hope to show in this book is the fact that dating, (as we know it today), does not appear in the pages of the Bible. It’s my desire to awaken within the hearts and minds of parents and young people alike the understanding that we can trust the Bible to guide us in all things, including premarital relationships. My prayer is that you will be inspired to go against the grain of the culture and follow the timeless truths of Scripture and seek the best God has for you in all things.

Please know this book will go counter to almost everything you and I know about relationships and thus it will challenge on many levels. I am not naïve. I recognize this book is not likely to change the tide of our culture or society, but it is my deep desire to raise the bar in our thinking concerning God’s ways in seeking a future mate. Therefore, I dedicate this book to all those who will choose the way less traveled. I’m excited to know that you desire to experience the blessing of allowing the Word of God to be a lamp unto your feet and a light unto your path.

But, that’s the problem. The Bible is not guiding most people’s lives…even Christian’s lives. The culture is guiding our lives. Take for instance the comment that was made by this mother below the statistics noted above. Not the last line in her comments that I will BOLD.

Whew!  My kids are 18 and 16 and 7 and all still virgins. None of them are currently dating though my oldest has been in a serious relationship.  He broke it off because she wanted to have sex and he knew he didn’t want to.  I pray they all make it to their wedding nights without having given that precious gift away.

It seems this mom is just “crossing her fingers” and hopes it works out. She would even say later that she is a Christian and her kids go to church along with her and her husband. It seems that she’s not too certain that this deal is going to work out.

Check out what this other mother said. I, again, have noted in BOLD a couple of lines that blew me away:

My daughter just turned 15 and I had a boy ask me why she wasn’t allowed to date. She and I have had many discussions on the subject and several included her dad.  Finally we struck a deal and she had input as well.   this is our deal-:

she can date when she is 16. BUT first the boy has to spend 4 family events with us. this can be an evening including dinner, fishing trip, or other family outing or just hanging out at the house- but with the FAMILY not them off some where on their own. Then the three of us (Dad, her and I) will sit down and discuss how we feel about the boy, about how she acts, reacts to him, and how they are together. Then she said only if we all agree, she will agree to two “dates” with him before she decides they are actually “dating” – her words :)   If he really wants to date her he should be more than willing to do this.

As I have explained to her and this boy – the purpose is that he gets to know her away from school and know our family. So he will also have some respect for her, and her family – the more respect you have for someone the less likely you are to want to hurt, or disappoint them.    Even if/when there is a breakup I want it to involve enough that they do so as amicably as possible… for both of them! My daughter is a strong christian very steadfast in her beliefs and faith. But i have seen too many teens to early 20s (boys especially) committing suicide over breakups. It breaks my heart. So truly we want to be there for both kids. why 16 ?  Because she made some poor choices regarding friends and boys at age 14 and she wanted to mature some more and also we thought it was a good time she will still be at home and get some dating/ relationship experience before she goes to college. She doesn’t want her first dating experience to be on top of starting college and all that entails. I think she is very wise.

Oh my! Can I say that again? I really need to say that again!!!

OH MY!!!

Folks, this is the mindset of many Christians. It blows my mind! Surely there is a better way? There is… There most definitely is! No…there’s not a formula in Scripture…but there are principles in Scripture to guide us. And these are the things I will be sharing in my book.

In the meantime, Pam (my lovely bride) forwarded me this very interesting article from World magazine.

To all the Christian single ladies praying for love

Posted Dec. 31, 2013, 01:25 p.m.

sophia_lee

Here’s an excerpt from her fantastic article. I love her forthright honesty!

I’m a 26-year-old who’s never been in love. Forget never been kissed, I’ve never even been on a date. And until two years ago, I’ve never minded … much. At age 11, I swallowed the doctrine of “girl power” and loudly proclaimed myself a lifelong bachelorette. I stubbornly quoted Paul on “the gift of singlehood” whenever someone tried to change my mind. But at some point in my 20s, that “gift” started feeling like a curse. My willful ego gripped that ugly feeling by the neck and tried to strangle it dead, but holding on too long gets tiring. 

    That’s why two years ago I finally slipped in that last prayer resolution to God: Let me fall in love. Please. The next two years, I allowed silly high school–level crushes that never got reciprocated, rejected unwanted advances by boys I couldn’t possibly like, and continued tagging along as my friends’ third, fifth, and seventh wheel. 

    All the while, my flesh-bound ego was deflating, hissing out whatever hope and confidence left behind my thick skin. So I adopted a white-socked black kitten and named her Shalom, hoping she’ll bring the peace and contentment her name promises. “I’m preparing to be a cat lady,” I would tell my friends jokingly, but the joke was on me. I was becoming a cat lady—only worse, I was an embittered, cranky, resigned cat lady. 

    After a week of smiling through two church friends’ wedding, a best friend’s engagement, and discussing wedding plans with my (younger) brother’s soon-to-be bride, I lay in bed one night weeping. Fat tears, saccharine with self-pity and salted with self-rebuke, drenched my pillow. I seesawed between whining at God and castigating myself for being that kind of pathetic, desperate girl I used to scorn. 

    I told God, Why bother even asking this year again when You’re clearly not answering? Isn’t this the most basic, innocent desire of all humankind: To love and be loved? 

    Then I remembered my daily bible reading in Deuteronomy, in which the Israelites await to enter the Promised Land, and Moses chronicles God’s commandments and covenant. I was reminded of God’s first commandment to His people: “Love the LORD your God.” God is a patient and faithful but jealous lover. He long-suffered the Israelites’ complaints and flaws, but His wrath burned when they worshipped false gods. 

    As I pondered on all this, God asked me, “You keep asking me to make you fall in love. But have you fallen in love with Me?” I couldn’t answer that without shame, because I knew in all honesty that God is not my first love. Instead, I am another bitterly complaining Israelite wandering in the deserts— ignorant of the God who is always present, distracted by pretty visuals, blinded by self-absorbed foolishness, and chronically dissatisfied with whatever God is already working in my life. 

    Oh, to think how God desires our love when we’re not worthy of His! How can His patience and ardor compare to mine? I repented that night with fresh tears. What can I gain from falling in “love” with a flawed, imperfect human man when I can’t even love my perfect, loving God first?

This 2014, “Love” is on my list again. But this time, it’s going on the top of my list with bold letters: “I want to fall in love with my God with all my heart and with all my soul and with all my strength and mind.” I’m not giving up on love; I’m recovering my one true love first.

What a marvelous insight! I think Ms. Lee has a much better understanding of “love” than the two mothers quoted above.

So, I’m excited about the book coming out soon. Pray for me as we put the final touches on it. It will be short and sweet. It’s going to be less than 50 pages. It should be able to be read in a couple of hours. But, I pray that it will bring great inspiration and Scriptural guidance to walk the road less traveled.

Switching gears back to my last post about Noah. I was told that a Hollywood movie about Noah is coming out soon starring Russell Crowe as Noah…

russell crowe

But, is it going to be Biblical? Here’s Ken Ham’s review.

Last evening at the NRB (National Religious Broadcasters) Convention in Nashville, I attended a panel discussion on the new Noah movie that will be in theaters soon. We were shown a few short clips from the movie.  Two of the people in the …panel are involved with Hollywood, one of them being a consultant for the movie in regard to biblical issues.

My conclusion?  From a biblical perspective–the movie is going to be worse than I thought it was.  What a waste!  Hollywood needs to keep out of making movies with biblical themes!

The blog I wrote last year based on a review of the movie by a staff member who saw a rough cut preview, accurately represented what we were told about the movie at this discussion.  So I include a link to my blog again for you:http://blogs.answersingenesis.org/blogs/ken-ham/2013/11/19/dont-be-taken-in-by-the-noah-movies-promotion/

Certainly Christians will need to be ready to talk about Noah, the Flood, and topics of sin, judgment and salvation with those who do see this quite anti-biblical movie.  But to do this, I encourage you to use the AiG website to ensure you have lots of accurate information ready.

I don’t encourage anyone to see the movie, but we will have a researcher go to the movie to write a detailed review for you, once it’s released in theaters.

By the way, the movie does start with a representation of how life God supposedly created life–by evolution!  It does apparently represent Adam and Eve as being created separately.
The movie has a theme of extreme environmentalism.  And the Noah of the Bible (a preacher of righteousness and one who did what God told him to do with great reverence), is NOT the Noah of this movie.

As a statement from  Paramount  stated, it is a movie ‘inspired’ by the account in the Bible.
But it’s FAR from biblical.

My advice?  Don’t waste your time and money–and don’t subject your kids to it.

You will have to decide what you is best for your children and your family. Perhaps for older children, the movie can be used as a way to discuss the Biblical account and set the record straight. Again…like all things as parents, we take this to the Lord and seek His guidance.

 

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How Smart Was Noah?

I told you last week before the Big Game that the team shooting the ball at the better percentage would win.

FG %: Carolina 47.3%, Duke 42.9%

Carolina wins.

Just wanted you to know that occasionally I get one right. Now, I’m not boasting, because the Heels still have to go to Cameron in the a couple of weeks. So, I’m keeping my mouth shut! 🙂

I’ve been thinking about the Ken Ham/Bill Nye debate of a couple of weeks ago. It really got folks talking. Ham-Nye debate image from center for inquiry

That’s a good thing! One of the things Nye talked about (among many things that he had no clue about) was Noah’s Ark. Now I don’t mean to be critical. But, Ken Ham handled the realm of Science very well. Nye with the Bible…not so much! He was delving into an area (the Bible) in which he was basically illiterate. That’s my opinion…but, I’m sticking to it. 🙂

To be so smart, Nye was really uneducated about Scripture. That was most evident to me when we spoke of Noah’s Ark and the fact that it was impossible for all the animal kinds to be able to fit on the ark. Well, that’s simply not a problem.

Think about this:

How Could Noah Build the Ark?

The Bible does not tell us that Noah and his sons built the Ark by themselves. Noah could have hired skilled laborers or had relatives, such as Methuselah and Lamech, help build the vessel. However, nothing indicates that they could not—or that they did not—build the Ark themselves in the time allotted. The physical strength and mental processes of men in Noah’s day was at least as great (quite likely, even superior) to our own.2 They certainly would have had efficient means for harvesting and cutting timber, as well as for shaping, transporting, and erecting the massive beams and boards required.

If one or two men today can erect a large house in just 12 weeks, how much more could three or four men do in a few years? Adam’s descendants were making complex musical instruments, forging metal, and building cities—their tools, machines, and techniques were not primitive.

History has shown that technology can be lost. In Egypt, China, and the Americas the earlier dynasties built more impressive buildings or had finer art or better science. Many so-called modern inventions turn out to be re-inventions, like concrete, which was used by the Romans.

Even accounting for the possible loss of technology due to the Flood, early post-Flood civilizations display all the engineering know-how necessary for a project like Noah’s Ark. People sawing and drilling wood in Noah’s day, only a few centuries before the Egyptians were sawing and drilling granite, is very reasonable! The idea that more primitive civilizations are further back in time is an evolutionary concept.

In reality, when God created Adam, he was perfect. Today, the individual human intellect has suffered from 6,000 years of sin and decay. The sudden rise in technology in the last few centuries has nothing to do with increasing intelligence; it is a combination of publishing and sharing ideas, and the spread of key inventions that became tools for investigation and manufacturing. One of the most recent tools is the computer, which compensates a great deal for our natural decline in mental performance and discipline, since it permits us to gather and store information as perhaps never before.

This information comes from Answers in Genesis. Read the entire article here. It’s such an intriguing article. It’s long, but a good read.

Here’s one more section I want you to see…

How Could Noah Fit All the Animals on the Ark?

And of every living thing of all flesh you shall bring two of every sort into the ark, to keep them alive with you; they shall be male and female (Genesis 6:19).

In the book Noah’s Ark: A Feasibility Study, creationist researcher John Woodmorappe suggests that, at most, 16,000 animals were all that were needed to preserve the created kinds that God brought into the Ark.

The Ark did not need to carry every kind of animal—nor did God command it. It carried only air-breathing, land-dwelling animals, creeping things, and winged animals such as birds. Aquatic life (fish, whales, etc.) and many amphibious creatures could have survived in sufficient numbers outside the Ark. This cuts down significantly the total number of animals that needed to be on board.

Another factor which greatly reduces the space requirements is the fact that the tremendous variety in species we see today did not exist in the days of Noah. Only the parent “kinds” of these species were required to be on board in order to repopulate the earth. For example, only two dogs were needed to give rise to all the dog species that exist today.

Creationist estimates for the maximum number of animals that would have been necessary to come on board the Ark have ranged from a few thousand to 35,000, but they may be as few as two thousand if the biblical kind is approximately the same as the modern family classification.

As stated before, Noah wouldn’t have taken the largest animals onto the Ark; it is more likely he took juveniles aboard the Ark to repopulate the earth after the Flood was over. These younger animals also require less space, less food, and have less waste.

Using a short cubit of 18 inches (46 cm) for the Ark to be conservative, Woodmorappe’s conclusion is that “less than half of the cumulative area of the Ark’s three decks need to have been occupied by the animals and their enclosures.” This meant there was plenty of room for fresh food, water, and even many other people.

ark-threequarter

You see, “scientists,” want us to believe that all science is “settled.” Well, it’s not. Charles Krauthammer…

Krauthammer …wrote a very intriguing article recently in the Washington Post. What he describes about “settled science” is spot-on!

He says:

I repeat: I’m not a global warming believer. I’m not a global warming denier. I’ve long believed that it cannot be good for humanity to be spewing tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. I also believe that those scientists who pretend to know exactly what this will cause in 20, 30 or 50 years are white-coated propagandists.

“The debate is settled,” asserted propagandist in chief Barack Obama in his latest State of the Union address. “Climate change is a fact.” Really? There is nothing more anti-scientific than the very idea that science is settled, static, impervious to challenge. Take a non-climate example. It was long assumed that mammograms help reduce breast cancer deaths. This fact was so settled that Obamacare requires every insurance plan to offer mammograms (for free, no less) or be subject to termination.

Now we learn from a massive randomized study — 90,000 women followed for 25 years — that mammograms may have no effect on breast cancer deaths. Indeed, one out of five of those diagnosed by mammogram receives unnecessary radiation, chemo or surgery. So much for settledness. See full article here...

And just as this is true about “Climate Change,” (which is now code for “Global Warming”), is true about mammograms and yes…even Noah’s Ark.

So who are you going to believe? It’s going to come down to your worldview. It’s going to come down to what you use as your authority. The greatest and most reliable authority of all time is God’s Word, the Bible. I’m totally settled on that fact. I’m going to come to you with an open Bible to discuss the origins of life, the fossil record, Noah’s Ark and even “climate change.” Many will say, “That’s ridiculous! That book (the Bible) is antiquated and out of date.” And I would respond: “Absolutely not. God is not dumb. He stands outside of time and His Word doesn’t change and neither does He.”

So, you decide. Was Noah smart or was he a prehistoric, knuckle-dragging man? I’m going with the Word of God. You go with the words of man if you like. But, in the end the foolishness of God will frustrate the wisdom of man.

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Rivalry

It’s a big night! Duke versus Carolina! What a rivalry!!! Here’s how it looks…

North Carolina Tar Heels–Duke Blue Devils
North Carolina Tar Heels Logo  Duke Blue Devils Logo
Men’s Basketball Regular Season History
First Meeting January 24, 1920
First Result UNC 36-Duke 25[1]
Latest Meeting March 9, 2013
Latest Result Duke 69-UNC 53
Next Meeting February 20, 2014
Total Number of Meetings 236
Largest Victory UNC: 37 points (1921) Duke: 35 points (1964)
Current Streak Duke 2
All-time Series UNC leads 132-104[2]
Men’s Basketball Post Season History
Last Meeting 1971 NIT
Last Result UNC 73-Duke 67
All-Time Postseason Series UNC 1-Duke 0
Men’s Basketball Conference Success
ACC Regular Season Championships

  • North Carolina – 29 (1st)
  • Duke – 19 (2nd)

ACC Tournament Championships

  • Duke – 19 (1st)
  • North Carolina – 17 (2nd)
Men’s Basketball National Success
NCAA Final Fours

  • North Carolina – 18 (1st all-time)
  • Duke – 15 (3rd all-time)

NCAA Tournament Championships

  • North Carolina – 5 (3rd all-time)
  • Duke – 4 (5th all-time)

Pretty impressive! Both schools have amazing basketball programs.

Carolina’s 2009 National Championship Team…

File:Hansbrough Scoring Record.jpg

And I must admit, I have a ton of very dear friends on both sides of the ball. Sincerely, some of my most wonderful friends are ardent Duke fans and yet, I’m an ardent Carolina fan. How can that be? Simple. We concentrate on the things that really matter. At the end of this day around 11:30 pm tonight, we ought to have a winner (unless they go into overtime), but life will go on for the team who loses. They both play again on Saturday. It’s just a game, right?

Well, some take sports big-time seriously. Some might even have to admit that they are a bit more fervent in the desire for their team to win than for…well…maybe even things which are eternal. Can I raise my hand here? I used to be so tied up in following the TarHeels that I would not be able to sleep if Carolina lost. Really? Yep!! Sad isn’t it?

Why this desire to win? I think it’s innate! We desire to win because in the end WE WIN!!! God defeats Satan and Jesus reigns! (In fact, Satan has already lost!) We like winning! No one likes losing. So, I’m glad I’m on the winning side! And I’m glad I’ve got some dear Brother and Sisters in Christ who hope my team (Carolina) gets beaten by 30 tonight! And you know what? That’s okay! Because it’s just a game. But, when it comes to my family in Christ…I’m going to fight for them to the death. I love the body of Christ. We are family! We’re family that’s thicker than blood, because we are joined together by the blood of Christ.

Duke’s picked to win by 2 points. It’ll come down to shooting. I’m convinced of that. I predict that the team which shoots the best will win tonight. Field goal % will be key. Will I be watching? You better believe it! Why do you think I’m blogging early tonight? 🙂

I’m getting ready for tip-off…

File:Duke-Carolina basketball tip-off 2006.jpg

But, no matter what… Tomorrow…it’s just another day that we have the opportunity to tell people about Jesus. So, enjoy the game and don’t take it too seriously! Unless Carolina wins of course!

Go Heels!! Ha!! 🙂

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It’s been “one of those days.” My mom called and shared with me that her oldest brother passed away this afternoon. So, I’m praying for my mom and the family. This is the first of her siblings to pass away. Momma is the baby of 8 children. I’m praying for peace and comfort for momma.

So, it’s been a tough pull, but who’s complaining. I’m a blessed man. But, I’d be lying if I didn’t tell you that I’ve got a million other things going on and I certainly don’t have time to blog. But, I need to. I need to let my brain rest and I let my brain rest by writing.

So, if you want to read wandering thoughts…keep reading…

Tomorrow night at church we’ll be voting on changing our Bylaws to Elder Leadership. We’ve been working on this for five years. It’s Biblical. Elder leadership is throughout the New Testament. We’ve abandoned this model of leadership in most churches for the business model that has a pyramid with the Pastor at the top of the organizational chart. Well, my heartfelt prayer is that this will change at MPBC tomorrow night.

So, what will that mean at MPBC? Nothing. Our church has embraced Elder leadership for the last several years. They allow me and Pastor Brad to lead already. Therefore, the changes in the Bylaws are only to bring them up to our current practice. The changes will be totally transparent to the church. But, what it will do is to provide the opportunity for other men in the church to make known to the church their desire to help lead the flock. It’s exciting!

Speaking of church, I read an article recently about “Cool Churches…” Better be careful with them. Here’s one of the “cool things” in the article:

Cool theology. This is where we really need to be careful. Today it’s cool to preach safe, seeker-sensitive messages about love and grace just to get people in the door of the church. To avoid offending anyone, we stay away from certain topics that our culture has deemed off-limits. It’s definitely not cool today to preach about (1) the consequences of sin and the need for repentance, (2) why sexual sin is still unhealthy or (3) the fact that Jesus Christ is the only way to salvation.

Boy, do I see this a lot in Christendom today. Want to see more of the cool stuff to watch out for? Read more here….

While we’re talking about church, here’s another great article. It’s called: “Five Really Bad Reasons to Leave Your Church.” Here’s reason #4:

4. “My Needs Aren’t Being Met”

When someone lists this as a reason for leaving it is a dead giveaway that somewhere along the way they came to believe that the Church actually exists to serve their needs. They’ve bought into the lie that, when it comes to church, it’s really about “me.” Here’s the problem: the Church actually isn’t about you. It’s about Jesus. It’s his Church. He came for it. He died for it. He redeemed it. He continues to build it. And one day, he’ll come back for it. It’s his.

The Church doesn’t exist to meet your needs. You are a part of the Church that exists to meet the needs of the world.

This is the same Jesus who came to seek and to save the lost and then commissioned his Church to go and do the same. The Church doesn’t exist to meet your needs. You are a part of the Church that exists to meet the needs of the world. Put away the shopping cart and pick up a shovel. Read more here…

Did you hear about the Mega-Church that downsized it’s membership? A church in Winston-Salem did just that a few weeks ago.

Here’s the start of the article… Buckle up!!

Julie and Bob Clark were stunned to receive a letter from their church in July asking them to “participate in the life of the church” — or worship elsewhere.

“They basically called us freeloaders,” says Julie.

“We were freeloaders,” says Bob.

In a trend that may signal rough times for wallflower Christians, bellwether mega-church Faith Community of Winston-Salem has asked “non-participating members” to stop attending.

“No more Mr. Nice Church,” says the executive pastor, newly hired from Cingular Wireless. “Bigger is not always better. Providing free services indefinitely to complacent Christians is not our mission.”

“Freeloading” Christians were straining the church’s nursery and facility resources and harming the church’s ability to reach the lost, says the pastor.

“When your bottom line is saving souls, you get impatient with people who interfere with that goal,” he says. Faith Community sent polite but firm letters to families who attend church services and “freebie events” but never volunteer, never tithe and do not belong to a small group or other ministry. The church estimates that of its 8,000 regular attendees, only half have volunteered in the past 3 years, and a third have never given to the church.

“Before now, we made people feel comfortable and welcome, and tried to coax them to give a little something in return,” says a staff member. “That’s changed. We’re done being the community nanny.”

Can you say, “Wow!” Want to read more? Hear ya go… Read at your own risk! 🙂

We’ve got a ton of people sick in the church. The flu is rampant. We lost a patriarch in the church too. We buried Robert Hartzog yesterday. He was a wonderful man and will be missed. I’ve been to Winston today to Forsyth hospital and I’ll be back to Winston after Iron Men tomorrow to Baptist. Pray for stamina if you don’t mind.

But, I just need to think about this to brighten my day…

Family snow

Kandace takes great pictures! The only thing missing were two people…Josh and Katy.

Leaving after the weddingI just love that picture of their wedding, don’t you?

I’m also thankful for this man…

Dave and Me

Dave Black and me. Two fine looking men, wouldn’t you say? I sure appreciate the fact that he drove 3 1/2 hours a couple of weeks ago to speak at the church. He brought Nigusse with him and I love that guy too!

Nigu, Dave and me

Do you remember these things?

Phone

Clara’s grandfather, George Sheets, got this for her. She plays with it all the time. Isn’t that a classic! I remember those days of “two-party” lines and having to wait (at my Grandmother’s house) for the lady down the road to get off the phone so we could use it. Crazy isn’t it? Now we’ve got 4G!

Here’s a great shot of Andrew helping to put away the forks and spoons from the dishwasher…

Andrew dishes

Got to love it! If you’ve got smaller children…put them to work on the forks and spoons… They’ll love it!

Well, it’s bedtime. My brain is cleared! Thanks for riding along. 🙂

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Snow and Family

Man, I love the snow! Who doesn’t love snow? I know there might be some who SAY they don’t like the snow, but let’s be honest…who doesn’t get a bit excited to watch it fall from the sky? It’s awesome!

So what’s the answer? What answer? Which forecast for snow came the closest for snow totals? I’m going to say the Weather Channel.

Weather channel forecast

For those living in western Wilkes County, we would have had closer to a foot if it hadn’t been a “dry pocket” that worked its way into the storm. Sometimes that can happen. It’s a dry slot of air that ridges its way into the upper levels and chokes off the moisture. Still, we ended up with around 8 inches at my house. Plenty enough for sledding and making snowmen. Let me show you some pictures…

Take a look at this cool picture of two snowflakes Kandace captured…awesome!

Snowflakes

No two snowflakes are alike. Just like us! That’s a miracle of God folks… Bill Nye can’t explain that one either. Nor can evolution.

Snowman

Clara did a great job making this snowman…

Clara and snowman

Andrew did a great job making the bottom ball…

Andrew and snowman

It was putting it down hard again this morning…

Snowing

Here’s a flashback from the past…

Dad and mom

Before Pam and Craig and our wonderful children, it was just this foursome. Sure do love my Momma and Pop and Sis!

Sledding was fun! Here’s Taylor Church and Clara and Andrew…

Taylor

There goes Leah Church… She’s a dare-devil…

Leah

Here’s a sledding train…

3 amigos

Check this out…

Global Warming

Did you hear that all the “Climate Change” folks (that’s code for: Global Warming) are saying that this exceedingly cold winter is because of Global Warming? Are you serious? These people must think we are idiots. There is almost 50% more sea ice in the Arctic this winter than last winter. What does that mean? It means that there is more cold air. It means that Siberian-type cold air is more plentiful. That cold air bottles up and when you have warm Pacific waters off the coast of Alaska (they’ve had record warmth in Alaska), it pushes the cold into the United States. The same thing happened in 1917 and 1918. The patterns of the weather are cyclical and that can occur even over decades.

Where am I getting my information? From one of the most renowned weather forecasters in the country:

Bastardi is a contrarian to all the Global warming hype. Here’s a comment from a recent Forbes Magazine article on the Global Warming hype that most Americans are gulping down hook, line and sinker.

Many people are vulnerable to this propaganda because guilt is a powerful influence that some opportunists are all too willing to exploit for numerous reasons that you and I are painfully aware of. Americans, like other people around the world, typically don’t have the information or take the time to put today into perspective with yesterday or last year, much less decades past. It’s unfortunate to downplay or ignore foundations of what came before… lessons from experience.  Full article here…

So, don’t believe all the hype. Global warming is NOT causing this brutal winter to the United States. We’ve seen this before.

Want to see what we had for lunch when we came in after riding the hill?

Soup and Chili

Pam made that killer “loaded potato” soup on the left and mom made the “Wendy’s” chili on the right. Both were the bomb! Just what we needed to warm us up on a cold snowy day!

Dad and I were clearing the driveways today and dad pushed a huge pile and I noticed something. Can you see the “blue” inside that snow bank?

Snow blue

That just shows the water content in the snow and makes it look blue. Amazing!

Want to spice up your family devotions as you teach the Word in your homes? Use a dry erase board. After all, one of the greatest ways that people can learn is by “doing.” Here’s Clara teaching us about Noah’s Ark. Drawing it and “talking” it makes retention so much better…

Clara teaching

Andrew’s lesson was about Moses on top of Mt. Sinai with the 10 commandments…

Andrew teaching

Family devotions don’t have to be hard. Mix it up. Make it fun. Get a cheap dry erase board and get them drawing and talking.

Can I tell you the only thing that’s going to make things better over the next couple of days? It’s for these two to show up…

Josh and Katy

I miss my girl and my son during these “fun” times in the snow. It’s not the same without everyone. God must ache to have all of his children at home (in the Father’s house) with Him as I love it when all my children are home in my house. Lord willing they’ll be home tomorrow night! Woohoo!!

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Batten Down the Hatches!

Ever heard that old phrase: “Batten Down the Hatches?” Well, if you live in North Carolina you better do that. This is the latest prediction from Van Denton and Fox 8 News…

snow

Yikes! Here’s a few other predictions. We’ll see who is “most right” after it’s all over…

This is Ray’s Weather at booneweather.com.

Snow Ray

Here’s the Weather Channel (they are the least aggressive for our western NC area):

Weather channel forecast

Here’s Austin Caviness’ from Winston-Salem’s WXII-12 showing two models:

Austin 1

Austin 2

Wow! Those are all whopper totals! That’s why the weather forecaster in Asheville, NC said this:

“Folks in the western and central Carolinas as well as north Georgia need to prepare for a major winter storm…the biggest, most widespread major winter storm in a number of years. Prepare for the potential for extended power outages, especially in the heaviest snow areas and of course the ice storm areas. Prepare for travel to become nearly if not impossible by tomorrow afternoon and evening, and remain that way probably at least through Thursday.” Matthew East-Weather Forecaster for Channel 13 in Asheville, NC. (Doesn’t he have a great weatherman’s name? :))

Any way you slice it, you better get ready! Pam says the kids are going nuts! If you take some great pics of the snow…send me your best one and I’ll try to post it for everyone to see on my next blog! Send to kevin@mpbc.ws.

Hold on tight! Let the games begin!

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I’ve been working hard on the book this week. Man, I never knew how hard it would be to write a book with 12,000. It sounds like a lot, but for me…it’s not. What I mean by that is this… My sermons are about 3,200-3,500 words. So, that’s only 3 1/2 sermons worth of words. My problem is that I’m superfluous. I’m “too wordy.” I know it. I’ve always struggled with it. So, I’ve got to be succinct and to the point. So, I feel like I’ve written this book three times already. I keep changing the order of things and how to describe things in an effort to tighten it up. So…I’ve got a lot of work left to do. I’ll get it done…but, I’ve had an up and down time with it.

One of the issues is simply the winter. During the winter there is significantly more sickness and problems with folks. Really? Yes, really. Cold weather brings the flu, colds, death and people indoors brooding over their problems. That’s where I come in. They need me and that’s fine… So what was I thinking in trying to write a book in the winter? Duh!! 🙂

Here’s the upside. I was able to put about four hours into the book today because I’m not preaching Sunday. This man is…

dave-black-and-me

That’s David Black. He’s coming to Wilkesboro this weekend and will speak at the church at the 8:30 am and 11:00 am services. He’s going to be talking about “The Only Thing That Matters.” He’ll be speaking from Philippians 1:27-30. He’ll be bringing this young man (pictured on the right) with him…

??????????

That’s Nigusse. He’s from Alaba, Ethiopia. I’ve been there many times. Nigusse is one of my favorite people in the world. He is finishing up his Master of Divinity at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (where Dave is a professor of Greek and New Testament). He’s a former elder/pastor at a very large church in Alaba.

Ethiopia 2009 old camera 015

Shown speaking there in 2009. Here’s Katy from 2011 with some of the children.

katy ethiopia

We love Nigusse and he’ll be speaking to our Mentoring Sunday School class that has a mix of teens and adults. Dave and Nigusse will be spending the weekend with us at our home! Can’t wait! You can’t imagine the privilege it is to have these two men in our home and for our children to be exposed to their knowledge and lives and most of all their love for Jesus! Awesome!

Speaking of Dr. Black. He quoted an article found at Contemporary Families that said this:

… white Conservative Protestants and Black Protestants are more likely than the average American to be divorced, with 17.2 percent and 15.7 percent of their populations being currently divorced, respectively. Indeed, Evangelical Protestants are more likely to be divorced than Americans who claim no religion.

Dr. Black went on to say this:

What a mess! Our world is in desperate need of Christian marriages that model faithfulness. I want people to see another face of Christianity. How dare we rally against the gay agenda when our own house is in disarray. Somehow we miss the fact that marriage can be a beautiful means of discipleship. This report is disturbing. It should make us uncomfortable. At the same time, I will be the first to say that the only reason I am not divorced is because of the sheer unmerited grace of God. Becky and I were not strangers to difficulties in our marriage. But we stuck it out. Sometimes that’s the most important thing you can do in life. Then one day we gave up “Christianity” so that we could follow Christ, and we began to live for something bigger than our marriage. We began to thirst for the kingdom of God. Marriage is not an event but a process, a process of slowly ripping ourselves from the culture all around us. It requires working together and the humility to acknowledge it when you fail. So hang in there, you married couples. The Gospel is good news for troubled marriages but disturbing for people who think they have it all together. No marriage is beyond redemption. This is what an unbelieving world finds unbelievable.

Amen Brother Dave! Amen!

And that’s why I’m working so hard on my book on relationships and dating and the Bible. Here’s an excerpt from my forthcoming book…

So what are the consequences of dating? What has dating done to our society? It’s helped to decimate the family. We have a divorce rate in this nation of over 50% and young people are going through multiple relationships like a turnstile at a stadium. Thus, we have a soiled morality. Many Christians have assumed it is normal and healthy for young people to experience several dating relationships prior to selecting a spouse. For whatever reason, these recreational romances are assumed and considered to be some sort of emotional preparation for marriage. But, dating is not natural. It’s artificial. It’s play acting. When a person goes on a date, they are showing their best to that other person. It’s not real life. We dress up and spruce up and put our best foot forward and off we go to dinner and a movie.

Are these temporary often fake, romantic relationships really God’s ideal? Does He desire for young couples to become romantically involved with one another when they are 12 and 13 years old? Are they to continue this partner-swapping for the next 10-15 years until they finally marry? Can it be healthy for young people to “practice” divorce for 10-15 years. My former basketball coach always said: “You play like you practice!” Amen coach!

Dating today often teaches that it is okay to break up at any time for any reason. You can even do it via a text message or via social media. No problem! Yet, in breaking up, these two hearts, (which have likely begun to bond emotionally) will be ripped apart. They leave each other with at least some degree of heart-break. And they will likely leave with varying degrees of emotional wounding and scarring. But soon the pain of breaking up is pushed to the back of their brain and before long there is a new romance with a different partner. Yet, even young wounds leave deep scars and over a period of several years of experiencing these emotional break-ups, there is a cumulative effect on a person’s heart. It becomes increasingly calloused.

Finally the young person “finds” the one they will eventually marry. (I place the word: “finds” in quotations because it doesn’t have to be this way. It’s God sovereignty that brings that person into a believer’s life, if we’ll trust Him.) But the memories of past romances, the pattern of broken relationships without question will indelibly mark the brain and the heart forever.

Do you see how this goes “hand in glove” with the massive problem of divorce in America? I’m convinced even most Christians are dating up a storm and almost unbeknown to them…they are simply practicing divorce. There is a better way. More to come…

Speaking of young people… Did you see this? It’s hilarious!

imaginary numbers

Who decided that we had to learn “imaginary numbers” in school? Unless you are going to teach math…you’ll never use that “knowledge” again… But, balancing a checkbook…well…that’s something you’ll be doing once per month for the rest of your life.

If you live in Western NC, be on alert. I believe our best chance for measurable snow for the winter might be coming next Tuesday night and Wednesday. It’s still early, but the models are lining up much more so than they have for this weekend. Some people last week at this time were predicting a foot of snow for this weekend…

foot of snow… but that was only one model. That pink color is one foot of snow! But, that won’t happen this weekend. We might get a brief burst Saturday morning…perhaps even a dusting. But, that should be it. But, for next week…three of the four major weather models are lining up. Now, they could be wrong. Often they are…but, it’s certainly something to watch.

Also, in case you are interested in this year’s cold weather so far and just how cold it’s been… I saw this on Ray’s Weather at booneweather.com last week.

The “big picture” story is illustrated in this one graph;

This graph basically says “January 2014 was about as cold as it can get”.

The uniqueness of this event was in the duration of the cold. The tables that follow tell the story, but here are some highlights. January 2014:

  • Was the 3rd to 5th coldest January on record (for stations with over 50 years of data)
  • Was the coldest January since the late 1970s.
Note that January 2014 shows up relatively colder on the list of average lows than on the list of average highs. We have two explanations for that difference: 1) We had surprisingly little snow for how cold it was. Without the snow, solar radiation had a greater effect on daytime highs (compared to years with more snow when more solar radiation is reflected back out of the atmosphere). 2) There was no blocking in the North Atlantic. This allowed systems to progress through rapidly and gave us a few relatively mild days.
  • Months with this level of cold are probably one-in-twenty-year events. You won’t have to deal with many of these in a lifetime in Western North Carolina.
  • The fact that it was so cold has almost nothing to do with the discussion of Global Warming. “Weather is like news. Climate is like history.” Here’s an analogy… It is a well-known fact that the murder rate in New York City has declined significantly in the last twenty-five years. The murder rate today less than one-seventh of what it was in 1990. But there were still 334 people murdered in New York City last year. Both the trend and last year’s data are facts that co-exist somewhat independently of each other. The climate is a combination of what happens all over the globe over the course of many years; the weather we experience is bounded by place and time. So, a warming climate does not preclude specific cold weather events like what happened in the Eastern U. S. in January 2014. http://booneweather.com/January2014/

All I’ll say is this:

Winter ain’t over by a long shot… 🙂

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