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Archive for July, 2014

I mentioned that I’d have a few more thoughts about the “ax sharpening” time in Nashville last week. It’s about music. Music is a wonderful thing! Can I call it a thing? It’s more than a thing isn’t it? It’s beautiful, soothing, exhilarating. And it can be horribly Satanic, cold, foreboding and morbid. Music is either something that can be used to edify the Lord or used to edify Satan.

I love music. Do you? I love orchestras. I love single instruments like the guitar, piano, drums, you name it. Music is a balm to my soul. Remember my spot at the arena at Lipscomb?

My view

I sat and listened to 200+ students play their hearts out and is was beyond captivating, inspiring and uplifting. It blessed my heart and spirit immeasurably.

Something else that helped me to rest in my spirit and “sharpen my ax” was/is reading. Want to know what I read?

God's and Kings

My lovely wife suggested I read this series of novels. There are five books in the series.

Gods and Kings is the first book in the series and it’s about the story of King Hezekiah from the Old Testament. Hezekiah’s dad, Ahaz, was an absolute whack-o! He threw his own son (Hezekiah’s brother) into the flames of the false god, Molech. Hezekiah will ultimately ascend to the throne and call the entire nation of Judah (the southern kingdom) to repentance. It’s a fantastic story and it’s based on the accounts in the Chronicles and Kings of the Old Testament.

I’m telling you, I found myself reading this book voraciously and I finished it in 2 days. I was totally captivated and it allowed my brain to rest. Crazy! Not if you are me. That’s how I rest. It’s how I rejuvenate my soul. It’s the Word of God encapsulated in fiction by a very impressive writer. Austin is brilliant and her writing swings with emotion. I really enjoyed the reading. I started the second book…

Song of Redemption

My reading will slow down considerably now that I’m back. I’m back to reading and studying commentaries and a gazillion emails each day. But, I love that too. But, you know what? I am going to read more to rest my brain. Pam keeps telling me that and she’s right. I know that. She’s always right. So, why don’t I listen? Stubborn I guess. Foolish. I’m going to listen to my lovely bride more. Y’all hold me to that! 🙂

Might I encourage you to read more. Reading is such a blessing. When I get to heaven I’m going to read for about 150,000 years if that might please our Lord. 🙂

Want to see something else that helps me to rest. It’s actually some “someone’s.”

It’s these folks… And it’s doing what you see us doing here…

Family eating

There is something wonderful about eating meals together. Think about the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. The first thing we’ll do after the wedding in heaven. You know there will be a marriage in heaven, right? Jesus is going to be married to the bride, (us…the Church). Then, we eat! We fellowship! We rejoice! We feast! We celebrate! So, you see…when we eat meals at a table now…we are literally sharing in a precursor of the forthcoming marriage supper.

So, how many meals do you eat with your family each week at a table? Not in front of TV or with cell phones in your hand. Simple stuff here.

Table

Meal

Conversation

That’s it. Nothing more…nothing less. It’s cathartic and soothing. If you aren’t getting meals together 3-4 times per week, then what is taking the place of that opportunity? You’ll have to decide what’s more important. It’s been said that a family who prays together stays together. I will go another step further… a family who eats meals at a table together stays together.

Here was our little table in the dorm room at Lipscomb University last week.

C and A

We still eat around a table even in 200 sq feet. 🙂

I want to show you a bit of Clara and Andrew’s artwork. We encourage them to draw versus play on a phone or a machine all the time. See what you think…

Clara's art

Clara titled this piece as “The Annie Moses Band.” These are all the instruments that the Annie Moses Band plays. They are the folks who organize and lead the music academy the kids go to at Lipscomb.

Annie Moses Band 2

Wonderful, wonderful folks! They love the Lord and are some of the most musically gifted people I’ve ever met.

Here’s Andrew’s drawing…

Andrew's drawing

Pretty cool, huh?

Put a pen and paper in your kid’s hands and let them draw and use their imagination. It’s cool what comes out.

Andrew, Clara and I worked on a card for Kandace to encourage her before she went on stage at the Opry. It was an original.

Me and Kids

It says, “We Love You! Break a Leg!” Daddy, Andrew and Clara. We texted the picture to Kandace to encourage her. Cheap card? Yep! But, it means just the same to the person receiving it…if not a bit more.

Katy got her books yesterday…

Katy's book

We’re so excited about that! Unfortunately after opening the boxes, it was discovered that there was a glitch in the printing of the back cover and they’ll need to be reprinted. Unfortunately, there was a bit of bleed over of the copy on the book into the margins. It’s aesthetic only. But, of course, we want them to be right. So, it’s going to delay the release of the book until around the middle of August. But, it is going to be an awesome book! If you have a daughter who is 10 or older, you need to get this book in their hands. It could inspire them to set their lives on a path that will be “unbroken.” I’ll keep you posted and I’ll have some for the MPBC folks by Sunday, August 17th, Lord willing. 🙂

Yep…writing, music, reading… Thank you Lord!

 

 

 

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Sharpening the Ax

It’s good to be back! I decided not to blog last week while out in Nashville, because it’s good for every wood-cutter to take a break occasionally and sharpen his ax. 🙂 That’s exactly what I did and it was a great blessing. I didn’t even open my computer. I think Pam almost had a heart attack. Clara even said, “Boy Dad…you sure are getting LOOSE!” What a hoot!

I thoroughly enjoyed the week in Nashville. Honestly, it’s a wonderful time to unplug for a few days. Truly, that’s hard to do as a Pastor. It just comes with the job. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not complaining. I thoroughly enjoy what the Lord has placed on my heart to do and I don’t begrudge one moment. It’s my honor and privilege. But, I’m learning that I must take times of respite. I’ve said this many times on this blog. When will I learn? I hope as I get older, I’m getting a bit more smarter.

Before I went out to Nashville, I was at home for a few days by myself. Man…I’m not made to be alone! I need my wife and family. Look what my lovely wife left for me.

Cheese

She knows I love Sharp Cheddar Cheese and she took care of me by leaving me a pack in the fridge. Ain’t she sweet! I love sharp cheddar on tomatoes and saltine crackers! Yum!

She’s an amazing lady. Here she is doing our weekly cleaning job at the office building we clean.

Pam

She works so hard as my wife…a pastor’s wife at that. I can’t tell you what a blessing she is in the ministry to 500+ people… Especially to the ladies. Thanks honey! You’re the best!

Okay, enough of the mushy stuff. Want to see some pics from the week in Nashville?

Fasa 1

Andrew is “photo-bombing” this one. Clara and some of her buddies. (Sarah Kathryn Dowell on the far left and Olivia Eller on the far right and Kami Oliphant to Clara’s right).

The younger division at the Fine Arts Summer Academy (FASA) at Lipscomb University in Nashville is fantastic. The things the kids learn in just one week are amazing. They end the week with a final performance at Lipscomb’s Collin’s Hall. The name of the show was “Book Endless” and it was about the power of reading in the lives of children. Bottom line… Children don’t read anymore and the play was an encouragement to use the mind in reading and get away from the “screens.”

Here’s Clara in the lime green “Wiggle Worm” costume with the red hands. She is considered one of four book worms who loved books.

Fasa 2

She was a hoot!

Clara wiggle worm

The director of the show said she was “a natural actress.” Check out this little guy. Andrew singing up a storm in the play.

andrew singing

That’s Lydia Eller to the far right. You talk about three cuties!

This is “Tiny Tim” in action…

Andrew Tiny tim 3

Andrew Tiny Tim

Got to love that little guy!

Andrew Tiny Tim 2

Olivia Eller is talented as well. Amazing little lady!

Olivia

This is Sarah Kathryn Dowell. She played “Mayor May” in the play. She had a ton of lines to learn. Talk about gifted.

Mayor May

Mayor May 2

Kandace got to sing on the Grand Ole Opry stage for the second year.

Opry show

Prayer before the show…

Prayer back stage

She had the lead part in an old Hank William’s song, “Cold, Cold Heart.” It was pretty spectacular…

Kandace Opry

The Opry Manager told the lady who put the show together:

“Man, they are really good! The three really clicked vocally.”

That’s the same guy who hears some of the best singers in the world night in and night out. Carrie Underwood was at the Opry the very next night.

Kandace Singing

Opry Stage

Kandace Opry 3

Kandace worked hard to get ready for the show. She played violin as well.

Kan practicing

Here’s the practice site in Allen Arena at Lipscomb. I sat in the shadows and “sharpened my ax” by reading a book (and it wasn’t a Bible commentary are a book on Church Polity).

Allen Arena 2

Two pretty ladies…

Kan and pam

Kandace even had a cool dressing room the night of the performance.

kandace Opry 2

We had some other fine young adults who performed on the big stage…

Madison Elmore, Kaity Dowell, Maddie Dowell and Cole Parrish.

Here’s Kaity in the middle with the white and pink skirt.

Kaity Dowell

Here’s Madison Elmore.

Madison Elmore

She got a solo at the Opry! She sang an old Carole King song. She knocked it out of the park!

Here’s Maddie Dowell…

Maddie Dowell

Maddie is on the left and she can sing up a storm and she plays violin too! Her sister Kaity is on the right.

Here’s Cole Parrish on the left before the show…

Cole

Here was his view from the stage of the Opry…

View from Stage

Here’s the Wilkes County girls!

Wilkes Girls

Buddies…

Wilkes County Girls

See these four.

Hall sisters 2

This is the Hall Sisters from Cary, NC. They are dear friends of our family. They will be at MPBC on October 26th to handle the music portion of our service before I preach. I can’t wait! Talk about talented! Wow!!!

Hall 3

I return to this view…

My view

It was from this spot that the Lord really ministered to my heart, mind and soul last week. I sat in that spot for several hours during the week and listened to some of the most glorious music you could imagine. It was a balm to my soul.

I’ll have some more thoughts from Nashville later in the week. It’s time to hit the sack before my ax gets dull!

 

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Well…it’s that time of year again for my family. We work hard all year trying to make extra money so the kids can do this…

Kan at FASA

That’s Kandace at the Fine Arts Summer Academy (FASA) in Nashville, TN. She got to sing “in the circle” last year on the Grand Ole Opry Stage…

Kan at FASA 2

Kan at FASA 3

That was a surreal moment for this old Dad! I’m proud of that young lady. Whether she gets to do that again this year or not remains to be seen, but either way… I’m delighted Kandace is my girl. She’s going to be a rising senior this year and I’m stunned once again at how quickly time flies.

She’s a pretty cool photographer too…

sunset-kan

Yep…I’m proud of that young lady, indeed.

So, I’ll be heading out to FASA on Thursday and be back at the end of next week. I’m looking forward to letting my brain rest. I’m tired. Being a pastor/elder is a blessed, but taxing vocation. Even a race horse needs a day or two in the pasture with a bucket of oats.

As I think about church, check this out.

Why-Church-Members-Dont-Invite-Others-to-Church

  1. “I just don’t think about it.” – Many church members have contact with the unchurched every week, if not every day. They go to school with them, work with them, live beside them – and sometimes live with them. What church folks don’t do, though, is see the unchurched as “sheep without a shepherd” (Matt. 9:36), as spiritual beings in need of redemption and a church family.
  2. “I’m afraid I’ll be rejected.” – Nobody likes to be turned down, especially after taking the risk to invite somebody to church. It’s just easier to avoid that possibility by not inviting anyone at all (interestingly, church members could tell us times when others said “no,” but few could tell us of times when they were rudely or unkindly rejected).
  3. “The music isn’t that good.” – Some may argue the worship wars are over, but the battles seem to be ongoing. Our teams continue to hear refrains like, “it’s too loud,” “it’s too boring,”  “we sing it over and over again,” and “nobody knows the songs.” Church members who themselves don’t enjoy the music don’t readily invite others to join them.
  4. “The preaching isn’t strong.” – This response was seemingly the most painful one to admit. Church members who love their pastors do not want to hurt them, but they spoke honestly to our consulting teams. When the preaching is poor, invitations to the unchurched decrease.
  5. “We’ve got too many church problems right now.” – Church members don’t always know all the issues facing a congregation, but they frequently recognize when something “just isn’t right.” They see the attendance decreasing, or they hear of internal conflict. Simply stated, they do not invite their friends onto a battleground.
  6. “Our church is already too crowded.” – This issue is particularly an American one, as Americans protect our personal space. We don’t like being cramped, even in church. Moreover, we don’t want to have to search for a parking space before entering that already crowded building. One way to avoid more crowding is to stop inviting anyone.
  7. “Nobody ever challenged me to invite anyone.” – This reason is related to the first one on this list. Some church members never think about inviting others because no one has challenged them to do so. This response is especially tragic if many unchurched would respond affirmatively to an invitation.
  8. “I don’t know how to start the conversation.” – Simply inviting somebody to church would seem easy, but that’s not the case for many church members. In a culture where discussing religion or politics is almost forbidden, even long-term Christians struggle with initiating an invitation to church.
  9. “It’s the Spirit’s job—not mine—to bring people to church.” – To be fair, we have heard this response primarily from congregations seeking to avoid any “man-centered” approach to evangelism. In their zeal to keep their focus on God, they walk cautiously when considering their role in evangelism – including simply inviting others to church.
  10. “It’s too far for people to come.” – We live in a mobile culture that promotes church attendance sometimes quite far from where we live. Our teams have learned, however, that church members who drive a long distance are less willing to invite others to drive that same distance.

Source: http://thomrainer.com/2014/07/15/church-members-dont-invite-others-church/

I must say I believe our folks are inviting people to church. We are the largest church in the county and yet, there are still so many people to reach. The fields are white unto harvest. Let’s go out into the highways and hedges and bring them in…

Hey…do you want to see the largest Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) churches for 2014? Here ya go:

RANK CHURCH NAME CITY STATE WEEKLY WORSHIP ATTENDANCE
1 NewSpring Community Church Anderson SC 27,158
2 Second Baptist Church Houston TX 26,022
3 Saddleback Valley Community Church Lake Forest CA 22,055
4 Woodlands Church The Woodlands TX 18,524
5 Prestonwood Baptist Church Plano TX 15,289
6 Thomas Road Baptist Church Lynchburg VA 13,500
7 Potential Church Fort Lauderdale FL 12,382
8 Elevation Church Matthews NC 11,708
9 Sagebrush Community Church Albuquerque NM 10,105
10 The Village Church Flower Mound TX 10,030
11 Lake Pointe Church Rockwall TX 9,250
12 Pinelake Church Brandon MS 9,091
13 Higher Dimension Church Houston TX 9,000
13 The Fountain of Praise Houston TX 9,000
15 Cross Church Springdale AR 8,562
16 Christ Fellowship Baptist Church Palmetto Bay FL 8,197
17 Shepherd of the Hills Porter Ranch CA 8,002
18 Shadow Mountain Community Church El Cajon CA 7,667
19 Bay Area Fellowship Corpus Christi TX 7,600
20 Voices of Faith Ministries Stone Mountain GA 6,900
21 Long Hollow Baptist Church Hendersonville TN 6,867
22 Sunrise Church Rialto CA 6,830
23 Elizabeth Baptist Church Atlanta GA 6,800
24 Church by the Glades Coral Springs FL 6,712
25 Bellevue Baptist Church Cordova TN 6,671

Source: http://thomrainer.com/2014/07/12/2014-update-largest-churches-southern-baptist-convention/

Those are some large churches and I’m sure they all do different things well. I must say that it’s easy to throw stones at mega-churches like these…but, I try not to do that. People throw a lot of stones at our church for being too big. Well, let me ask you a question? What did the church at Jerusalem say when 3,000 were added in one day at Pentecost to the 120 they had (as listed in Acts 1:15). That was the first mega-church. You can’t control the size of a church, and if you could…just hang out a sign and call it “Country Club Baptist.” God will do and accomplish what He wills. So, I don’t worry about the size of MPBC, it will be what God wants it to be. We’re certainly not going to start turning people away saying, “Sorry…we’re too big…maxed out…” That would be ludicrous.

Finally…Katy wrote a wonderful blog post about the church and the life of the church. Take a look…

The Life of the Church

I was standing in church on the front row like I always am when I come to my home church to visit. The worship music was going and everyone was singing. I realized that my brother Andrew wasn’t anywhere to be seen. I looked around and he was missing. About that time, the ushers began their walk down the aisle before the offertory prayer. Walking down the aisle, between men three times his height, was my brother. Quite the vision of excitement on his face. When the prayer was over, he was handed a gold plate and went straight to the aisle behind him to pass it. A few minutes later he came around the side of our row and plopped down in his usual spot between Josh and me. He grinned, completely overjoyed that he had finished his special job well. I smiled too and swallowed the lump in my throat. 
I watched several young adults (people under the age of 18) sing, play the piano, read Scripture and do what any adult would do in the church. They did it well. I was reminded of something so simple and yet so true. These “children” are the life of the Church. They are the heartbeat. Yes, they are more energetic, but is that a bad thing? 
When Dad got up to preach, none of the children were shooed away to “Children’s Church.” I remember Children’s Church from only a few years ago. I had been there a few times in several different churches. The children’s class teachers insisted that we couldn’t understand what the preacher was saying in Big Church. It was just for the adults… we were better off in the colorful classroom eating snacks and hearing about David and Goliath for the hundredth time that year. I always wondered what was such a secret in the Big Church that us kids couldn’t hear. Why couldn’t I be in there too? I was very thankful that my church didn’t make me go off to the kid’s classes during church service. There were no little disclaimers on the back of the bulletin that said, “If your child might disturb the service, we request that you take them out.” No sir, I got to hear the real sermon from the real preacher and it wasn’t such a big secret after all. I sat and scribbled on scraps of paper if I got bored and learned to sit there quietly the rest of the time. 
Jesus never sent the children away when he spoke. The children sat there and learned from God. So why can’t children sit and learn from the man of God in the pulpit? Is he not little Sally’s preacher as much as he is the elderly lady’s in the back row? 
No wonder so many college students say goodbye to church after they leave home. Who would want to come sit in a boring old service anyway when you haven’t had to do anything but listen to loud music in a youth room and have fun at Caswell every summer? No one in their right mind. They have no reason to stay. The “adults” handle all of the important things in the church anyway. 
Churches, stop taking the “heart” out of you church every Sunday morning. Let the life stay. Let them learn. Let them be involved so when they are adults themselves, they will still want to stay. 
What Andrew experienced on Sunday is more than he could ever experience in Children’s Church. Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me.” So let the children come! 

Whose church do you think MPBC is to these young adults?

Working in church

Their parents? Nope. It’s their church. Why? Because they belong and have a stake in the inner workings in the church. Even if it’s (for now) washing dishes on Wednesday nights after the meal. That’s a picture of what Katy was talking about… 🙂

 

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It’s over (for now). What’s over?

This…

Iron Men-Last One

That’s Iron Men. It was a regular part of my life for the last 6 years. Every Wednesday at 12 noon you could expect to find me with about 30 of my good Christian Brothers at Iron Men. It was truly a marvelous blessing and I’m melancholy about seeing it go away for now.

Why are we putting a bookmark in Iron Men? Well, it’s simply a matter of time management. I love it, but I honestly no longer have the time to prepare for it and do it each week. When I started Iron Men six years ago, we had 300 coming to the church and now it’s over 500. Yet, I believe there will come a time that it will be restarted by someone else. I really believe one of younger men will pick it up at some point in the future. But, for now…this is the scene that looked back at me yesterday afternoon that stung me…

Iron Men-Last One 2

So, all good things must come to an end for “such a time as this.” I love those 200+ men who came through our doors over the last six years. I pray that foundations were laid in their lives to lead their families, churches, jobs and communities as honorable, Christ-centered men. I pray that those men of “Iron Men” will now go out and be “disciple-makers.” I pray they will use that 1 hour time slot on Wednesdays to mentor someone. Take someone to lunch that needs to be encouraged or challenged…trained or coached. I pray that we will GO and make more disciples. If that takes place, then I believe Iron Men will have been a huge success.

I want to show you a picture of Andrew helping to take up the offering this past Sunday.

Andrew-Usher

It’s hard to see him. He’s in the center in the white pants and striped shirt. You see, he was asked to help take up the offering and you would have thought it was Christmas! He was so excited! I’m so thankful for a church that will “employ” the services of our young adults and allow them to take part in the inner workings of the church. That can mean being an usher, greeter, washing dishes on Wednesday nights, going on mission trips, etc. Mt. Pleasant is not just the church I go to, but it’s also Andrew’s church. It’s as much his church as my church. That’s exciting!

I’ve titled this blog post “Taking Things for Granted” and it’s because of something Clara wrote on Wednesday that Pam discovered on her computer. Sometimes Clara will park on my computer or her mom’s and just start typing random thoughts and musings of her life. What she wrote about her big sister Katy was very thought-provoking (coming from a 9-year old). You see what you think. (Please look over the typos…we’ve left it “as is” for posterity sake.)

In life I have noticed not to take things for granted. When you think about something next year you think that’s a long way away and then you blink and you’re there. I noticed that a lot when my oldest sister got married. When she and Josh got engaged I realized I had taken all those years with her for granted. I thought they would never come and there they were. Those days when I went up to her room and watched a movie on her computer the days where I would sit on her lap the days when she gave me baths. They were all gone. Sometimes I would be sitting on my bed and I would think about Katy and her getting married and I would cry. There were nights when I would cry myself to sleep. One day I was walking with Katy in the yard and we were talking about her and Josh. She talked about him. Then she looked at me and I was crying. She asked me what was wrong. I told her. “I’ll miss you.” 

She said she would miss me too. But I will never forget what she told me. “If I stay here with you I’ll miss Josh. If I leave with Josh I’ll miss you.”

“Will we still be sisters?”

 “Of course we’ll be sisters.” She told me not to be sad. I wish soooo bad that I would not have taken those wonderful years for granted. I will never get them back. I will never be able to go back. I long for those days again!!

It was this

 Girls

And I blinked and now it’s this

girls2

It happens so fast. I encourage you not to just take those years for granted but to see them as special memories. They are very important and they can change you forever. If you have brothers and sisters you know what I mean there is a different relationship with you and your sibling. It is love. The love is a strange love. But it is strong. It’s a love that loves even when you are hurt. I love my beautiful sister Kandace. I try not take the years with her for granted I don’t want it to be like me and Katy. It is so easy to take those things for granted. Me and Kandace have a different relationship. It is a very strong and special relationship. It is 2 sisters who love each other. I love the moments when Kandace asks me to come up to her room and says, “I want you to hear this song I learned.” I love the moments when Andrew does something weird at the table and me and Kandace look at each other. I love the moments when she curls my hair. I love the moments when we are all at the table and holding hands to pray.

Oh, how I wish I enjoyed the simple things with Katy. I will never get to hold Katy’s hand again at the table when we pray on a regular night. I will never get to go to her room and watch a movie. I have regretted that a thousand times. There are many different relationships in life. I used to think things like that were just life. But they aren’t. They are memories and very very special times. If you have a brother or sister enjoy the time you have with them cause soon it will all be gone. You’ll blink and everything will change. Your brother or sister may fight. They may annoy you sometimes, they may hurt you, they may even pick on you but enjoy the special memories. Don’t take things for granted like I did. You will regret it over and over. I wouldn’t trade anything in the world for any of my siblings, except maybe Andrew, just kidding! Sometimes he gets on my nerves but I love him.

I almost cry typing this, but I know now to enjoy the little things. There is a relationship with everybody. Some good, some bad… But I encourage you if you have a brother or sister. Love them. Just love them because soon it will all be gone and you won’t even realize it. Enjoy it. Still, when we are all together, Dad, mom, Katy, Josh, Kandace, me, and Andrew at the table to pray, I look around and see everyone and their faces and I am thankful! I miss Katy when she leaves to go back to her home but I know we still have a relationship and no one can ever separate us. Now when I see her I enjoy the little things.

I was here

girls3 

and I blinked and now I am here

girls4

If you’re the only child I feel bad for you. You will never experience or understand relationships with siblings. It may be fun not to have to share anything with anybody Or get to make decisions. But I had much rather have a sister or brother than not having to share with anybody or make decisions. Please enjoy the simple little easy things in life. They are special and you will never ever forget them.

I hope you got something out of this little blog. Thank you!

Clara Brown  

Last but not least… A couple of huge things going on in Katy’s life…

First…

Katy-Charlotte

To say that I’m excited would be the greatest understatement of all time!!!

Second…

Here book is almost done…

Want a sneak peek?

Katy's book cover

Isn’t it snazzy!!

Here’s and excerpt that will be on the back cover:

I turned the corner. The aisle stretched before me as the music escalated. My white slippers brushed over the red roses. My heart thumped. I had waited so long for this moment. Had I really made it this far? Hundreds of eyes twinkled their approval. But did they really think I was crazy? I could almost hear the question I had been asked before, “Do you think it will be worth the wait?” Here I was at this pinnacle moment. My first kiss.

Here’s the description on the back cover:

These are the lessons of a young woman’s life. It may seem an unusual narrative as she saved her heart for love and grew up knowing that being “different” was a gift. From her childhood years in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina to the stark poverty and tremendous courage and faith of the Ethiopians, this is a riveting and inspiring story of God’s sovereignty and faithfulness. 

You can preorder the book for $9.09. The regular price will be $12.99.

Order here: http://direct.energion.co/authors/authors-d-k/katy-isaacs/the-unbroken-road

Let me say it again…

I’m not taking ANY of this for granted! 🙂

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A Constant Fight

You know it’s going to be a constant fight at the Supreme Court as case after case will continue to come before the high court that will be very, very controversial.

Last week it was ObamaCare versus Hobby Lobby. Hobby Lobby won! The Supreme Court’s conservative members (4 justices) and one moderate, overruled the four (4) liberal judges.

Supreme Court 2014

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The Value of Godly Friends

I’m in a reflective mood tonight. I’m thinking way back!!

Check this out…

Here’s the price of gas in Boone in 1986.

Gas

Can you believe that? Oh my!

In circa 1989 this picture was taken by me:

ASU Bible Study

Pam is on the far left in the pink and black. Ain’t she purdy? That was the Appalachian State University Bible Study that my roommate Steve Bryan and I started in our apartment. We got large enough to move to Lori Webster (Jennings), Teresa Holland (Duncan) and Teresa Smith (Barnette). Also in that picture is Dale Jennings, Greg Wentz, Kim Brown (Church, my sister), Amber Wellborn (Edmiston), all members of Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church. That’s been almost 25 years ago and four ministers came from that Bible Study (Dale Jennings, Craig Church, Victor Church and me). Pretty good for one little Bible Study.

I preach over and over again to my children Proverbs 13:20:

Wise is the man who walks with the wise, but a friend of fools will suffer harm.

Bad company corrupts good character. 1 Corinthians 15:33.

Those folks at that Bible Study kept me accountable and from that Bible Study God showed me my wife. I am forever indebted.

Parents, your children’s friends will have a HUGE impact on their lives. I’m convinced that there are three things that have the most impact on our children today (in no certain order):

#1 Parents

#2 Friends

#3 Social Media

Parents, please watch carefully who your children’s friends are… It can determine so much of their future. Spend time with your children teaching them about the ways of God. Spend time talking to them and role playing circumstances and situations and “what if’s.” It will pay great dividends.

May I say this…

But, for the grace of God am I here today. I am so thankful for my godly friends. I’m so thankful my pastor as a teenager, Jimmy Hubbard pushed me and Steve Bryan to start that Bible Study.

Steve, Pam, Me

That’s Steve Bryan and Pam. Can I thank God again for that Bible Study at ASU?

Thank you Lord!

 

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