Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for May, 2014

Do you get angry easily?

Angry person

Your answer might be: “Yes.” In fact, most folks have a problem with anger. And this problem transfers into our homes in some very ugly ways. Think of the last big blow-up in your home. What was it over? What was it about?

Have you got that scene in your mind? Okay. Will that issue matter 50 years from now? I doubt it. I just thought through some situations in my home and truly, it won’t matter 3 months from now. We know that anger bad. It can make us sick…cause heart attacks…give us ulcers.

In his book, “The Healing of Anger,” Tim Keller says: “Anger is love in motion to deal with a threat to someone or something we truly care about.” It is right that we get angry if someone steals an old lady’s purse on the street. It’s right for us to be angry with what’s happening to the young teenage girls who have been kidnapped in Nigeria. It’s right for us to get angry about a lot of things. But, we’re told in Scripture, “in your anger, do not sin.” Easier said than done.

I’m not going to argue whether anger is right or wrong. I’m not here to talk about “righteous indignation” or Jesus turning over the money-changer’s tables in the Temple. I want to address how to overcome the discord, hurt and pain that occurs in so many of our homes on a daily basis.

Do you find yourself getting annoyed at the simplest, almost insignificant things? In his book, Keller explains:

There’s nothing wrong with being ticked — getting angry to a degree — if somebody slights your reputation, but why are you ten times — a hundred times — more angry about it than some horrible violent injustice being done to people in another part of the world?

Do you know why? . . . Because . . . if what you’re really looking to for your significance and security is people’s approval or a good reputation or status or something like that, then when anything gets between you and the thing you have to have, you become implacably angry. You have to have it. You’re over the top. You can’t shrug it off.

Do you find yourself getting angry about insignificant things? Somebody says something derogatory about you on social media or you feel unappreciated at home or work… How do you handle that? Do you know what the real problem is?

Us.

The bottom line is that maybe we just love ourselves too much.

Yikes!!

As I read some of Keller’s book, I liked what he said to do when we feel anger coming on us like a tidal wave. He encourages us stop and ask: “What is this big thing that’s so important to me that I get this defensive?” What am I loving so much right now that my heart is moved to feel angry? “If you ask that question,” says Keller, “if you do this analysis, more often than not you’ll immediately be embarrassed, because many, many times the thing you’re defending is your ego, your pride, your self-esteem.”

So, let’s be honest with ourselves and the Lord. Let’s look at what is constantly making us mad. Is it because you see yourself in a bad light? For instance, some of us are angry because our kids are making us look bad in public and we see that as a bad reflection of our parenting. So we snap. Maybe you are angry because you see everyone else getting ahead and you just keep falling behind? Maybe you are angry because your spouse doesn’t “get” how you feel or your family “just doesn’t understand.”

Okay, one more time…

What’s making you angry? What’s got you anxious right now?

Are you looking at the situation in light of how it’s going to make you look? Is it really an issue with your ego? (Believe me…I’m thinking about this right now. :)) Am I thinking too highly of myself? Usually that’s my problem with my anger.

One other thought.

Have you considered the situation of the person who is making you angry? What’s going on in their life? Why are they acting they way they are? This doesn’t mean that we should excuse their actions. But, perhaps they have a wrong grid from which they are thinking and making decisions. That might explain why they are doing or saying what they are. I think of the words of Jesus, “Father, forgive them…they don’t know what they are doing.”

We just slapped up a new verse to memorize at our house…

Verse

I’ve found that talking helps the most. When is the last time you had a little “team meeting.” Just pulled the family together and turned off the TV and just talked. You can do this just taking a walk… It doesn’t have to be a “big deal” and some “somber” meeting.

Problem is: So often today we handle stuff even in our families with text messages and emails and quick little jabs and we just don’t sit down and talk. I’m convinced that if we will simply sit down and talk (face to face), we will solve most of our problems.

Why not do that. Plan it. Make it happen. Love your family. Talk, talk, talk…

 

 

Read Full Post »

For years now I’ve been preaching, teaching, writing and blogging about the importance of raising Christ-Centered young adults and children. Sometimes I feel like it falls on deaf ears.

Do you ever feel that way?

You try and try and try and yet, it feels as if you are barely making a dent?

Sometimes that’s how I feel? I get a bit discouraged from time to time. Just being honest. After all…it’s my blog, right? Am I allowed to be honest? Or am I supposed to be all “pastoral” here too?

I mean people listen and hear the Word of God for weeks and weeks…months and months and…even year after year but they won’t heed the Word of God and then they come to me in a crisis and won’t me to fix it. Think about the audacity of that. Months and months…even years of doing it “my way” (as Frank Sinatra used to sing) and then they want me “the Pastor” to snap my fingers in a counseling session and make it better. Well, I love Jesus and I believe He walked on water, but I can’t! I’m not Him.

Do you know what I do? I just point them right back to the Word of God that they’ve been hearing with deaf ears. I will not back down from teaching the Word of God and using it to help lives. Why? It’s supernatural and it’s all we’ve got. And it’s all we need. All I can do is hope people will become “doers” of the Word and not “hearers” only.

So, I continue to teach and preach because God has told me to. I can’t help it. I’m just mule-headed and stubborn enough to do it and that’s how God made me.

This past weekend I spoke at the North Carolina Homeschool Conference in Winston-Salem.

NCHE Conference

I taught with all I had! And you know what. There were some really good folks there. They wanted…no…check that…they were hungry for how to go about teaching and training their children to follow Christ. You see homeschooling is more than just a method of education, it’s truly a lifestyle. It’s a lifestyle where Pam and I have total control and total stewardship of our children. Scary? Yep. Yet, that’s the way God set it up. It’s my job to teach and train my children. In fact, I’m mandated in Ephesians 6:4 to do so.

Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. Ephesians 6:4

I’m to bring up my children in the discipline and instruction OF THE LORD. That’s what the Bible says. As a father that’s my job to educate my children in the ways of the Lord. The rest is fluff. But, that line of thinking will just about get you killed in this “education is everything” society we live in today. Education trumps God. Just look at what we value in our homes. We’ll pick Dancing with the Stars, The Voice and American Idol over talking about the Bible.

I loved what speaker Todd Wilson shared in the keynote on Saturday morning. He had four points…

Todd Wilson

#1 Home is the best place on earth. #2 Parents are the best teachers of their children. #3 Each child is a masterpiece and #4 Relationships with our kids come first.

It was powerful, humorous and blessed my heart. As a man who preaches and teaches at least three times every single week, sometimes I get dry. Man oh man…I was fueled up and reinvigorated this weekend. I was reminded that it is my job to train my children in the ways of the Lord in all facets of their lives.

I want to follow Psalm 78 and be the faithful father and not the stubborn father.

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

I am to teach my children to set their hope in God…not a diploma and not getting a high paying job. Life is not about the American Dream. Think about it. Share the Gospel in China and what do you tell them to hope for? Share the Gospel in Ethiopia with people who live in a hut with a dirt floor and what do you tell them to hope for? Are they going to get rich and live comfortably like all of the Americans chasing the DREAM?

Are American Christians really teaching their children to love and desire Jesus or love and desire money, success, material possessions and a comfortable lives? I’m passionate about this. I see it over and over and over again. We SAY one thing and DO another (even in Christendom). We sing songs about our love for Jesus, but live like He’s a nuisance who cramps our style. We often treat Him as a cosmic therapist to make us happy or as a divine butler to bring us stuff.

Lord forgive us and Lord help us to teach our children. Help us to spend time with them. Help us to teach them when we sit down, lie down, rise up and walk along the way (Deut. 6:7). But, in order to do this…we’ve got to be around them. They’ve got to be in our presence in order for us to do so.

Here’s three of my lovely ladies…

The ladies

We had a wonderful time. And Clara got her one of her favorite things…

Clara and Krispy Kreme

Oh the simple things in life. That’s what really matters…

It’s listening to my daughter singing with Andrew Greer this past Sunday.

Kandace and Andrew Greer

It’s seeing Andrew on a “one wheel” tractor that his grandpa refurbished…

Andrew on one wheel tractor

Those are the things that really make me smile.

So what if they don’t make a million dollars? So what if they don’t live in two-story house with four bedrooms and two baths? So what if they live in a mobile home or even 7,000 miles away on the mission field? What really matters…I mean REALLY matters is that they know Jesus and make Him known.

I teach my children all the time that ALL education and ALL learning is really about God Himself. Jesus is the preeminent One. He holds everything together. So, when we’re teaching our children biology, we are teaching them how God put the body together. When I’m teaching Kandace the quadratic equation, I’m teaching her how precise and absolutely succinct our Heavenly Father is in mathematical precision. When we teach about civics and government, I point out the three branches of government in our republic and liken them to the Trinity. When we are teaching about persecution and suffering, I give my children those experiences by taking them to third-world countries on mission trips. I teach my children to do hard things and I’m not necessarily interested in them having it “better” than I had it. What’s “better” about “comfortable?” Was the Apostle Paul comfortable? How about Stephen or the prophet Jeremiah or Jesus on the cross?

Oh I’m passionate and I don’t apologize for it. I’m tired of mediocrity in Christendom and lack of committed dedication. I’m ready to see people put their money where their mouth is and convictions where their time is mostly spent.

If you are a parent, what do you really want for your children? What do you desire? What would be your greatest joy for your child to accomplish? Would it be something in academics or athletics? What about spiritually?

I thank God every day for the privilege of being with my children and for being with them a lot! And so does Pam! We love them and desire to give them our very best.

I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth. 3 John 4

So, I’ll keep on preaching, teaching, writing and blogging. Maybe I’m deluded. Maybe I’m over the top. Maybe I’m off my rocker. But, at least I’m passionate, right? 🙂

Read Full Post »

Relationships…

Happy Early Birthday to my momma!! I love you momma!!! Happy Birthday (May 21).

It’s been said rules without a relationship often leads to rebellion. Think that one through. Do you agree?

I think about my own life and I’ve learned through the years that relationships with people are what makes life so sweet. How are your relationships? I’m trying to make all of mine as good as I can. I take Matthew 5 seriously when Jesus says to leave your gift at the altar and go make things right with anyone who has ought against you.

It’s not always easy…but, it’s the words of our Lord. So, that’s my marching orders. He’s my master and thus…as His bondservant…His wish is my command.

I was thinking about relationships tonight. I’m working on the messages I’ll be sharing at the North Carolina Homeschool Conference at the Benton Convention Center in Winston-Salem this weekend. Here’s the conference topics I’ll be sharing.

Homeschooling Is Not Foolproof—You are homeschooling and teaching your children at home, but will this automatically mean they’ll grow up and follow Christ? Is homeschooling foolproof? Well, it’s not. But there are principles in Scripture which, if followed, will give parents and children what God desires most: a relationship that goes to the heart and not just conditioning the outside behavior. This session describes how we can raise Christ-centered young adults through a lifestyle that goes beyond the books.

Dads-Developing a Spiritual Vision for Your Family—Jesse, the father of David, had no vision for his son; while Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist, did. In this session, dads will discover how to develop a multigenerational spiritual vision for their sons and daughters that will lead them to say with the Apostle John said, “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.”

Yep, it’s all about the relationships.

I’ve got to tell you something absolutely nutty and hilarious at the same time. Last Thursday I picked up Andrew at Karate practice. Kandace and Clara were in Boone preparing for their spring concert this past Sunday at ASU. So, Andrew and I did the sensible thing to feed ourselves and we went to Taco Bell. 🙂

While we were there (Andrew is in his Karate uniform mind you…) Here’s a look at how that looks on the little tiger.

Karate

That picture is a bit dated… He’s in an orange belt now…but, you get the idea. Okay…back to the story. This older couple comes by us and as usual, the lady says, “Oh look Honey…ain’t he cute.” She looks at me and says, “Does he like Karate?” I said, “Andrew you tell her.” Andrew said, “Yes ma’am.” And then she says, “Is he a ‘Chinaman’ or ‘Jap'”? I said, “Excuse me?” She said it again, “Is he a ‘Chinaman’ or a ‘Jap'”? I smiled and cleared my throat and said, “We adopted him from China ma’am.”

Now I guess I should have been overly offended and some probably would have been. But, I knew she meant nothing by it in a mean way. Well, she just talked and talked to us during the entire meal. Asking questions…etc. Well, by the time we were ready to leave, she said something else.

“Can I give your boy a hug?”

Andrew looked at me and shrugged his shoulders with a sheepish grin and he sat down his drink cup on the adjacent table, walked over and threw his arms around her. She had crocodile tears in her eyes and said to her husband, “Ain’t he the sweetest boy you’ve ever seen?”

Andrew

(That’s Andrew a few weeks ago after planting some flowers.)

Yep, Andrew made another friend for life with that lady from Hays, NC. It’s all about the relationships. I overlooked the “awkward” description comment and saw the lady’s heart. We all need to look past the comments and see the hearts of people.

Newsflash!

Katy is 13 weeks along today! Do you want to see what her baby looks like…

Baby

Isn’t that amazing! Blob of tissue? Unviable life? No way! That’s the size of a 12-13 week old baby. Amazing!

Katy has been a bit sick through the last several weeks. Actually more than a bit… A lot! But, she’s tough and she’s got a wonderful hubby!! Thanks Josh for taking care of Kate!

We’ve got a good start on the garden…

Garden

The kids love helping…

Kids in garden

Speaking of relationships. This is Billy Howell. I love this man. He and his wife Landa works so hard in the kitchen at church on Wednesday nights to help cook our meals. Don’t you just love the shirt!

Billy Howell

Billy told me: “I thought of you when I bought this shirt.” Debunking evolution! I love it!

See this dear Brother. We look like Brothers.

Andrew Parsons

That’s Andrew Parsons. He’s fighting cancer and doing great and looking great! Praying for you daily Andrew!!

We got our Flag Football League cranked up last Saturday. The crowds will be massive this year. We’ve got close to 200 kids signed up.

FFL

Imagine all the parents and grandparents and siblings being with us this summer… Can’t wait! We want to make relationships with folks. I met a lady named Wendy on Saturday. She’s a single mom and she’s a wonderful lady. She doesn’t have a church home. Guess what… I’m going to build that relationship this summer and see if we can get her in church.

Dale Jennings shared the Gospel on Saturday. I love that guy! He has such a wonderful heart for people!

Dale Jennings

I mentioned about the girls playing this past weekend at ASU. Take a look at all the ladies who are playing violin in our church. Awesome!

Violin ladies

Relationships. They are what really matter. Our relationship with Jesus and our relationship with others.

Hey…I appreciate you…my faithful reader… Thanks for stopping by! You are appreciated! 🙂

Read Full Post »

Kind of light tonight. A bit brain-dead to be honest. It’s been one of those weeks. You’ve had them. Difficulties… Uncertainties… Anxieties… We know the Lord is with us and is in control, but this doesn’t alleviate the fact that life can be pretty heavy some weeks…some days…and some seasons of our lives.

So…I wanted to share on the lighter side of things tonight…

I’ve watched this video of this little girl discovering rain four times. It’s absolutely priceless. You’ve got to watch it…

She Discovered Rain

I got thinking back over the past weekend and about our first baptism in the Reach Center. You see, we’ve been baptizing in the old sanctuary since we moved into the multi-purpose building in 2006 that we call the Reach Center.

Reach Center 2

So, here we are… This is Colton. You talk about somebody who wanted Jesus. Man on man did this little guy what to be saved.

Colton

Colton 2

It was Colton who helped us get the ball rolling in getting a portable baptistry. What a blessing to bring the ordinance back to the body life of our flock!

Need a laugh…

Check this couple out…

Kevin and Pam young

Who are those two kids? That would be me and my wonderful wife (well before our marriage). We look like we are about 12 years old. Ha!

Last week I got a whim and took the kids over to where I spent a lot of time growing up.

Grandpas

That’s my Grandpa and Grandma McNiel’s old home place. They were my mom’s parents…

Frank and Clara

In fact, Clara is whom our Clara was named after…

There old house is only about a 3-minute drive from our house. My sister and I stayed there a lot as kids. It’s owned by someone else now. No one lives in the house. Kind of sad. Beside of the house is a fenced in field where horses are kept. Clara and Andrew loved petting the horses…

Clara and Andrew horses

I’m a nostalgic guy I guess.

Here’s a picture of the Brown side of the family. That’s the Charlie Brown family. (Please no jokes or snickering please :)).

Charlie Brown family my great-great grandpa

If you look to the right side of the picture there is a man standing holding a baby. That baby is my grandfather, C.M. Brown, Jr. and he’s being held by my great-grandfather, C.M. Brown, Sr.

Here’s a close-up…

CM Brown Junior and Senior

Pretty cool, huh?

Well…I’m beat…

It’s off to hit the ole sack! I hope you have enjoyed my little trip down memory lane. 🙂

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

Last week I shared with you my deep concern about the way we share the Gospel in our post modern culture. There is a deep vein that’s beginning to run through many modern-day and “hip” ministries and mega-churches seeking to draw crowds with a message of cheap grace, God’s love and His all-encompassing mercy. Yet, sin and its implications are seldom discussed. Typically in these types of ministries seldom do we hear of God’s holiness, judgment or wrath. We feel we must give a “softer and gentler” gospel, otherwise they won’t come.

Problem is: we’re producing un-regenerated people. We are producing people who have never met the Jesus of Scripture. Instead they have been drawn JUST to a “Savior,” but not a LORD. They have been drawn to Christ with a message of “it’s okay to be you…come as you are…stay as you are…everything is going to be okay now…” Unfortunately, all we have done is prettied up a person who is dead and decaying from sin. We’ve fixed up the outside, but done nothing with the inside.

I was reading a transcript of a message given by Dr. Erwin Lutzer at the “Understanding the Times Conference” held in late April in Minneapolis, MN.

Erwin Lutzer

I’ve parsed some very interesting points relating to our modern message… See what you think.

In America, if you are under 40, you probably belong to a group of evangelicals who basically see nothing wrong with same sex marriage. They are more tolerant, saying that there may be other religions that lead you to God, so on and so forth… They were reared by “Will and Grace” on television. They are obsessed with technology. Many young people – not the ones that are here today by the way; they are the exception – but many young people are so narcissistic. Yesterday I heard on the news that one kid took 200 selfies – 200 pictures of himself in a single day…

So there are those who say we can’t preach against homosexuality or mention Islam or anything because we want to win these people to Christ, and that’s a barrier. So what we’ve found is that the gospel and its implications are often dumbed down. Then you have a form of ecumenism that compromises the gospel. And then there’s something else and that is it’s popular today to say, “God loves you unconditionally.”

Now, to the one who’s sitting in the pew that’s sleeping with his girlfriend, he says to himself, “I know exactly what that means. That means that it’s okay for me to continue to sleep with my girlfriend because, after all, God loves me unconditionally. That’s His job. That’s who He is.

You see it used to be, and some of you who are older would remember this, that preachers used to preach against sin, and then when people knew that they couldn’t live up to God’s standard, and they were aware of their sin, then grace was offered to them. Thank God for amazing grace, how sweet the sound.

Today grace is offered up front. Grace is offered to people when they don’t even know they need it and whether or not they really care as to whether or not they want it because God loves you “unconditionally.” Not to put too fine a point on it, but there are several different passages in Scripture in the Psalms where it says that God says, “I am angry with the wicked every day.”

Certainly, God loves the elect, those who are saved and He loved them, the Bible says, from the foundation of the world. But to throw that out there for everybody to hear – that God loves you unconditionally – is really to water down the seriousness of sin and the real understanding of grace. Because you cannot understand grace until you fully understand sin and the better you understand sin the better you will magnify grace. But we don’t have that today in our society.”

I agree with Lutzer. Sometimes this message is known as the “Grace Revolution”, “Hyper-Grace,” or the “Humility of Orthodoxy.” Call it what you like, but it’s not the full counsel of Scripture concerning the Gospel. You see, it’s not popular to say this, but you’ve got to make people feel bad before they can feel good. You’ve got to help a person see their sin before they can truly see their need of a Savior who deserves to be “Lord.” We’ve got to stop treating God like He is a Cosmic Therapist, Who exists to make us happy or Divine Butler, Whom we use to simply bring us what we want.

You know what?

I’m convinced our younger generation desires more than this!

I read an article at CNN of all places that had some pretty cool insight.

Millennials and the false ‘gospel of nice’
Daniel Darling (“CNN,” April 3, 2014)

Younger Christians are weary of pitched cultural battles and are longing for the “real Jesus” – a Jesus who talks more about washing feet and feeding the poor than flashpoint issues like same-sex marriage and the sanctity of life.

If key evangelical influencers don’t listen, we are told, they are about to lose the entire millennial generation. Or, maybe that generation is already gone. For the last several years, some Southern Baptist leaders have voiced concern about the decline in baptisms and membership.

But nobody is suggesting that orthodoxy is the reason for decline. If anything, leaders are pointing to a lack of faithful evangelical preaching and intentional gospel witness as the culprit. Church history doesn’t bear out evidence that a mushy, heterodox movement is the cure for stagnation.

What’s more, there is anecdotal evidence that seems to indicate a robustly orthodox evangelicalism is growing among the young. Networks such as The Gospel Coalition, Together for the Gospel and others are growing. Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, an unflinching bastion of orthodoxy, enrolls more Masters of Divinity students than any other institution accredited by the Association of Theological Schools.

One might argue that young evangelicals aren’t fleeing core conservative institutions, but flooding them. Jesus prepared us for seasons like this, urging his followers to a counter-cultural faith, one that gains the favor of heaven, but earns the antagonism of the world.

“If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me,” Jesus says in the Gospels.

The pop Jesus of progressives sounds less like the Jesus of the Bible and more like a malleable deity who easily aligns with our cultural sensibilities. A mascot for every chic cause, except for that difficult mission to which he called his followers: cross-bearing.

Consider some of Jesus’ statements:

“You will be hated by all for my name’s sake.”

“If anyone does not hate his father or mother, he cannot be my disciple.”

“If any man will be my disciple, let me him take up his cross and follow me.”

“For this cause, shall a man leave his father and mother and cleave unto his wife.”

What’s more, Jesus praised John the Baptist, that culture warrior, for his prophetic word against Herod, the monarch who committed adultery.

Yes, it is true that Christians should be known more for what they are for than what they are against. But if you move past the rhetoric, you’ll find that it is often not aggrieved ex-evangelicals who are founding and leading charitable organizations, but the stubbornly orthodox. Faithful Christians are not the only ones in the trenches, relieving human need – but they make up a large percentage.

All over the world, you will find faithful followers of Christ adopting orphaned children, rescuing girls from trafficking, feeding the poor, digging wells and volunteering in disaster relief.

My own denomination, the Southern Baptist Convention, operates one of the world’s largest relief operations while holding fast to its theological commitments.

And some of the world’s most effective ministries to the poor and marginalized were started by and continue to operate according to evangelical Christian beliefs. They live in the tension of the New Testament, which calls believers to both faithfulness and charity.

In fact, the most effective agents of hope in this world likely don’t have Twitter accounts, have never blogged and might never have even uttered the words, “social justice.” And yet silently, quietly, patiently they serve the least of these, not because they first jettisoned their quaint notions of orthodoxy, but because they held them tighter.

So let’s not be deceived by the “False Gospel of Nice” and the “Modern Message Myth.”t bending His standards for any generation, and if people choose to desert the faith to fit in with the crowd or because the truth is too hard to bear, well…the Word of God doesn’t change and we should be willing to stand on the authority of God’s Word.

When Jesus taught that He was the bread come down from heaven and said, “Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day” (John 6:54), many deserted Him. The Bible says, “From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more. Then Jesus said to the twelve, ‘Do you also want to go away?’” (verses 66-67).We’ve got to stay strong. We must continue to present the Good News to people who need to be told the Bad News that they need a Savior and Lord, who can change their lives and make everything new…not just pretty-up and whitewash a dead life.

 

 

Read Full Post »

Passing Along Mercy

I don’t often do this…

But, my inbox is blowing up with people thanking me for writing the following “Daily Devotion” on the subject of “mercy.” We all need mercy. We all crave peace in our hearts and lives. So, here you go with a dose of Daily Devotion on the subject of MERCY.

(Note: If you would like to receive the “Daily Devotions,” click here: http://www.mpbc.ws/emailsubscriptions)

May you be blessed today as you read of God’s mercy and read about one of His dear saints.

Mercy

Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. Matthew 5:7

I’m so thankful we serve a merciful God, aren’t you?

2 Corinthians 1:3

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort.

The Bible describes God as our Father. He’s described as the “Father of mercies.” The Psalmist said:

Psalm 28:6

Blessed be the Lord! For he has heard the voice of my pleas for mercy.
Thanks be to God that He is so merciful and kind. But, just what is mercy? Here’s the definitions given via Bing:
compassion: kindness or forgiveness shown especially to somebody a person has power over
  • compassionate disposition: a disposition to be compassionate or forgiving of others
  • something to be thankful for: a welcome event or situation that provides relief or prevents something unpleasant from happening

Now put those definitions in the context of your situation.

See this lady:

Geraldine Combs

That’s Geraldine Combs.

She went to be with the Lord yesterday. There is a lump in my throat as I type.

I didn’t get to tell Geraldine goodbye. She had cancer for a long time. But, we all thought she would pull through this season and this bout she was undergoing just like she had all the times before. I talked to her daughter, Kim yesterday morning and we know it was going to be a tough pull, but nonetheless, I expected to see Geraldine walking into church on Sunday. That’s just the type person she was.

But…

But, God is merciful.

Jesus said: Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. Matthew 5:7

Geraldine never complained. I mean that. I never heard her complain once (even when she was sick as a dog). She was so faithful. And this is what she told me the last time I talked to her (last week). She said, “Kevin, I don’t mind suffering. I’m glad to do it for the Lord if it will bring Him glory. But, I really don’t want my children and grandchildren to have to go through watching me suffering, so I’m asking Him to take me before that happens.”

And God answered her prayer yesterday afternoon. Why? Because He is merciful.

Remember this definition of “mercy” that you just read:

something to be thankful for: a welcome event or situation that provides relief or prevents something unpleasant from happening

That’s exactly what God did.

Friends, when you show mercy, you shall receive mercy. That’s what Geraldine did. She followed Jesus’ example of being merciful and thus she is an example for us to follow.

Do you want mercy in your life? Do you need mercy in your life? Show mercy…

…and then you will receive it.

I’m praising the Lord today for His merciful saint, Geraldine Combs and her daughters, Kim and Misty and their entire families.

Thank you Jesus for your mercy!

 

Read Full Post »

Want a sneak peak of this summer’s weather? This is from the Weather Channel and I don’t agree with them all the time, but I think they are pretty much on this…

I’ll give  you another hint. That’s what it’s going to look like this winter too. El Nino is forming off the coast of S. America and we’re going to see the beginning of that this summer.

It was a great weekend.

Kandace clogged up a storm…

Clara was a pretty little peppermint…

Sure proud of my dancers!

And then…it was year #7.

63 teenagers.

What am I talking about?

Rite of Passage of course…

Here’s one of the eight young adults to go through Rite of Passage this year.

That’s Brooke Phillips.

Here’s the entire crew…

That’s a fine looking crew isn’t it!!

That was the banquet on Saturday night. We had a wonderful barbeque dinner with the families.

ROP Banquet 2014

I have such a heartfelt passion for our young adults. I love them and their families dearly!

ROP Banquet 2

On Sunday morning we had the ceremony. We symbolize the fact that these young adults are receiving the baton of faith from their parents.

Here’s the pass from the Keith and Kim Anderson to their son Scott…

Look at the resolve on Scott’s face:

This fire’s me up!

This is one of my most favorite moments in our church life each year. We are coming alongside the parents and saying, “We value and love your children and we want to see them be about the Father’s business and grow as young adults.” It’s wonderful!!

Rop

Another fantastic year and another fantastic crop of young adults. Way to go young men and young ladies!

You know what…

This is beginning to catch on. I’ve been talking about this for a long time. So has Dr, David Black.

Myth

I was introduced to this book back in 2007, but he wrote it in 1999. Brother Dave…folks are starting to get it.

I got this in the mail the other day at church…

Not Enough

1/168. Many churches only have 1 hour out of 168 hours each week to disciple the next generation: IT’S NOT ENOUGH. Here’s the backside of the card…

Not Enough 2

There are some really big-time “Youth” names on there like Greg Stier of Dare 2 Share. They are starting to get it. They are starting to see that you can’t just entertain young adults (teens) and think they will hang around after they graduate. We have to do two things:

#1 Make CERTAIN they are truly born again

#2 Involve them. Give them a job

If we’ll do these two things…then the church becomes their church, and NOT just their mom and dad’s church.

I just taught this at the Raleigh Chinese Christian Church.

RCCC

This is the youth pastor, Pastor Jerry.

RCCC-Pastor Jerry

We look like brothers don’t we. He desires to move the church in the direction of ROP.  I really love those dear folks down there in Cary, NC.

As you know I was recently in Kentucky teaching this. Point is… I really believe folks are starting to get it!

I mentioned in the last post about the myth of the modern gospel message. I’ll return to that next time. Truth is…there are a lot of myths in Christendom today. I so wish we could get back to following Scripture and not these “flash in the pan” methods.

 

 

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »