Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for January, 2017

Do We Really Know God?

I’m believing more and more there’s been a death of knowing God in our culture. Don’t get me wrong. We know all ABOUT God, but I’m not sure many of the people who claim to know God actually KNOW God.

Closeup of a thoughtful smart business executive with colleagues in the background

Hmm…

Of course God wants us to know Him. That’s the reason He created mankind. He walked with Adam and Eve in the cool of the day in the Garden of Eden. Yet, sin destroyed that. And that my friend is why we struggle so much on this earth. This is a boot camp in preparation for heaven. We are not home. We are just pilgrims passing through and that’s why life is so hard.

We are sinners (even those of us saved by grace, because we will always struggle with our sinful flesh) and we live and move and interact with other sinners. And guess what that means? It means sinners are interacting with sinners and that’s a whole lot of sin, which can bring a whole lot of grief. So, we have to extend mercy and grace to one another. I fail so often in this area. Lord help me! It must begin with my own family and then extend outward.

But, the question remains: Do I know God or just know about Him? Ponder that question. What do you know about God yourself? What’s He doing in your life? What has He done in your life? Is there a relationship? You see, I still contend many “Christians” don’t really know God. Honestly, I believe it’s absolutely asinine to say that we know Him if we don’t desire to know Him more. In other words, if we aren’t seeking God, then do we really know Him at all? Think about that!

Moses experienced God’s presence in the burning bush and then on Sinai, but wanted to see more of God. God obliged and hid him in the cleft of the rock and let Moses see Him from behind. David wanted to know God and became a man “after God’s own heart.” Paul said that he considered all things dung except for knowing God.

Think about it. What is heaven going to be? Surely heaven is more than just streets of gold and gates of pearl. Surely it’s more than peace and no pain or suffering! Well, it is! Heaven…the real joy of heaven…is knowing God and experiencing Him for all eternity. Jesus said as much in the Garden of Gethsemane in His “High Priestly Prayer:” John 17:3, “And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.” Eternal life is KNOWING GOD! And folks, it will take all of eternity to truly experience all that our Father really is!

The most magnanimous thing that can possibly enter our minds is what we know about God and experiencing His presence. And you see, it’s our view of God that determines how we will live our lives. Truly, what a person thinks about God indicates everything about how they’ll live. Every decision we make will have at its root what we believe God is. Therefore, I would say the typical American view of God is not a view of the Biblical God at all. You can tell that by how we live and how we pray.

Have you been confronted with the God of the Bible? Have I? Have we made a God of our own imagination? A God to suit our desires? A God that is nothing more than an idol to ourselves? Do we really know Him at all? Do we really want to know God? I believe we need to rethink God biblically in our churches. After all, we are here to glorify God and to live for Him. It’s more than just knowing about Him…it’s knowing Him so well that we have an experience with Him. We know Him as a Person. It’s about experiencing Him and His presence.

Oh yes, we have high thoughts of Him in our church services, but are we walking with Him on Monday or Tuesday or Friday night? Can we grasp that we can never get enough of God. Our hunger for Him should continue to grow, because there is always more of God for the believer. And praise His name…that’s what heaven is for… It’s only there, free from sin, that we will ever truly grasp all that He is.

There is nothing greater that you can do with your life than to seek God. Are we? Or do we seek God just for the blessings? Do we really seek Him because we want to know Him…even if that requires suffering or pain or even silence? We must never forget that we can’t ultimately know God apart from prayer. If you aren’t praying, you are not going to truly know Him. Nor will I. Therefore, knowing God is costly.

Yes, there has been a death of knowing God in this country. We need a Copernican revolution to realize that God doesn’t revolve around us, but we revolve around Him. Our churches and our sermons and our music must stop revolving around us and our needs (making God some divine Butler to serve us) and we must make everything about Him. I’m working on that in my heart. Join me.

Kevin

This week’s Two-Minute Tuesday: The Three Circles.

http://subsplash.com/mpbc/v/m6qkvg4

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Change Begins Tomorrow

Very few people like change. I get that. But let me tell you folks…come tomorrow…a lot and I mean A LOT is about to change in our country.

Tonight will be the last night Barack and Michelle Obama will spend in the White House. Tomorrow night it will be Donald and Melania Trump. Talk about change! Yep, it’s coming. In my mind, there could not be two more diametrically opposed leaders than Obama versus Trump. And I believe we’ll see that play out in the next four years.

Yet, many don’t like the change. I’m sure you know there are about 1/3 of the congressmen and congresswomen who are boycotting tomorrow’s inauguration of Trump. Hey, can you imagine if there had ben congressmen and congresswomen who had chosen to boycott Obama’s inauguration in 2008 or 2012? Oh my! What would they have been called?

  • Unpatriotic?
  • Cry babies?
  • Racists?
  • Or worse…

What about today? 2017?? Nope, you won’t hear the media use those names to describe the hate and vitriol being used toward Trump. No sir! Those names can’t be used. Instead it’s okay. It’s okay to boycott this President. Why? Because he’s Donald Trump. Oh…and there are so many other reasons I could give you, but I’ll hold my tongue. But, let me just say that the double-standard is striking. The liberal and tolerant media is not longer liberal and tolerant are they. Those who shout for “coming together” and inclusiveness are no longer so inclusive now are they? You tell me. Why is it acceptable to boycott Trump and not Obama? I’m telling you folks…without question there is a double-standard and people continue to drink the Kool-Aid of political correctness. Oh sure, you can detest Trump for how he tweets or how he talked during the campaign or even 15 minutes ago for that matter. Believe me…I’m praying for him diligently in many areas.

But, come on! This is America! This is the melting pot of the world! But, perhaps it’s no longer a melting pot for people we just simply don’t like. You don’t like somebody and so you are now given a pass to be disrespectful? Is that the way it works now? Folks, in my mind there could scarcely been a more concerted effort by an administration to decimate orthodox Christian thinking in America than Obama’s? His administration lit up the Whitehouse in rainbow colors, pushed for Nuns to be required to provide abortion-inducing meds in their health plan and push for transgendered bathrooms in our public schools. And this man claimed to be a Christian!! Are you serious!

Yet, I’m not going to disrespect President Obama and even though I’ve vehemently disagreed with him in almost every area, he was still my President, because I live in this country. You see, when he ran on “Hope and Change” in 2008 and was elected, I gave him a chance. I prayed for him and I continued to pray for him, (diligently…believe me), for the last 8 years. And nothing changed…except…(again…this is in my mind), that he absolutely tried to obliterate that which is orthodox regarding Christian thought about life (abortion), marriage (homosexuality) and now sexuality (transgenderism). There is nothing orthodox or Christian in any of his “social” pursuits.

Yesterday, with Obama’s  pardon of Chelsea Manning, I bowed my head and said, “Good grief.” Honestly, if Chelsea Manning had still been “Bradley” Manning (before his sex change to Chelsea), he would have never been pardoned. That’s my opinion. I’ll say it again: Chelsea gets the pardon that Bradley stays in prison. Why? Because Obama wanted to make a statement. It was one last “in your face” jab to conservative thinking people.

You see, Obama has divided this country. Why? Because of how he’s been indoctrinated. But,  I can’t complain. I’ve been indoctrinated too. So, have you. Don’t believe it…take a look…

Indoctrination

Yes, Barack Obama has been indoctrinated by his upbringing, liberal college education and the echo-chamber he has in the people around him. Therefore, he has not chosen to stand with law and order, but instead to side with the fringe elements of society. He has never denounced Islamic terrorism and instead he’s chosen to lecture Christians. He despises Israel and has shown that in the last 3 weeks as well. In fact, he’s almost destroyed that relationship.

Well, Mr. Obama…that “in your face,” “I’ll show you,” attitude cost your party the election. Not only because the Democrats put forth a terrible candidate that few trusted or liked, but because you, Mr. Obama, chose to thumb your nose at the “average men and women” of America. And that segment of the population rose up en masse and went to the polls because they said, “ENOUGH!” And so, there you have it…change is coming. Like it or lump it.

And you know what? I know the media will lump it. They hate Trump with a passion and their darling is leaving office. CNN is in mourning and so are MSNBC, NBC, ABC and CBS. So are the folks at the New York Times, USA Today, Huffington Post and even Winston-Salem Journal. I wouldn’t be surprised if they don’t all have on black arm bands in a display of mourning tomorrow. But, you know what? I can relate to how they felt. I truly can. I felt the same way on January 20, 2009 and January 20, 2013. But, I gave our President a chance. I prayed and I prayed and I prayed. And that’s what all Americans should be doing. But, that’s not going to happen is it? Nope. It’s a new day. If you don’t like someone, you choose to try to shut them down where they can’t even speak. And that’s how I felt. Obama was going to shut down Christian businesses and shut down orthodox Christian teaching from pulpits and free speech for “Christians” who disagreed with the progressive thinkers.

So for me tomorrow… I’ll be doing what I’ve been doing what I was doing in 2009 and 2013. I’ll be praying. I’ll be hopeful and I’ll give the President a chance.

Hey, do you think Spring has arrived to stay? Don’t bet your life on it. It will begin to turn cold again by this time next week. The pattern is going to change once again. We’re back on the roller coaster (just like we’ve been all winter). We’ll struggle to get out of the 30’s and low 40’s by the beginning of February. And I believe we’ll have another shot or two at more winter weather before we get to the end of March. Yes, even in the weather, change is coming! 🙂

Read Full Post »

Snow!

There’s just something about it! I love it!

Snow!

img_5234

It’s an amazing thing! It stops us in our tracks and for that reason, I’m glad. I’m glad we get the chance to slow down and take our foot off the gas.

Last Friday night, we watched the snow coming down through the lights I have in the front yard. It was so awe-inspiring to watch the swirls of snow.

15844038_1354232977974738_6144785747130890245_o

It’s an amazing thing. Snow must form on particles of dust in the atmosphere and fall through the sky to the earth.

15875620_1354609817937054_2184653837576890229_o

And in that process, it can’t go through a layer of warm air or it will turn into sleet (snow that’s melted and refrozen). When it does hit the ground, it piles up and then we have fun. Or at least my family does.

15871940_1354779514586751_9186208708889712835_n

Here were the official snowfall estimates from the weather service:

15936780_1354777111253658_9101253779892252942_o

Many have asked me: “Which forecaster was most accurate for Wilkes County?” Well, from the beginning (about 36 hours out from the event), Matthew East of Asheville, NC seemed to have it nailed down the best. It wasn’t perfect (because no one saw the warm nose of air coming into the Charlotte and Raleigh areas), but East was the most accurate in my estimation.

15800605_1353756748022361_2026836533461462142_o

We got close to 8″ at my house. 7 and 5/8″ to be exact. Some of the most reliable forecasters only had Wilkes getting a dusting to an inch. However, the system moved further north and further west than anticipated by most of the models.

According to the models at a time period of about 36 hours from the event, the NAM hit Wilkesboro the best of the other models.

15895659_1353385378059498_2459213497755655190_oBut, even it was too low. And it was a bust for Asheboro, and Raleigh and points east. Even the Weather Channel missed it. They sent Jim Cantore to Raleigh, only to have him leave and end up at Virginia Beach. Point being: IT’S IMPOSSIBLE TO FORECAST SNOWSTORMS IN NORTH CAROLINA with any real accuracy for everyone in the state. Why? Because our state provides such a transition zone.

Many are asking: “Are we done with winter?” Nope! We’ll get a reprieve for the rest of January, though. It will warm up to near 70 by Friday. Next week and the following week will be above average, but as we get into February, the roller coast ride will bring us back to Winter. We’ll turn cold again and potentially have more wintry precipitation. This winter is shaping up to be more of an old-fashioned winter where you have the ups and downs. It’s crazy that Reidsville hit -1, (a record low for the date), yesterday morning and will be at 68 on Friday. That’s crazy!!

I hate we missed church, but it was just too dangerous. The parking lot was a skating rink and the temps were just too cold. I’m looking forward to seeing everyone tomorrow night, though! I just love our church family, because we are “forever family” in Christ.

Congratulations to Clemson:

unknownI stayed up and watched the game between Clemson and Alabama for the 2017 National Championship. However, they need to start announcing that the championship game is on two days, not one. The game didn’t end until 12:30 am, so they should have said, “National Championship game 1.9.17 and 1.10.17.” These TV networks are crazy. They keep the East Coast up so late! UGH!!

See that coach, Dabo Swinney? He praise the Lord all last night. So did #4 Deshaun Watson and #13 Hunter Renfro. They all gave the Lord the praise and the credit last night! Praise the Lord! What a tremendous platform for the Gospel!

Speaking of tremendous people, I want to plug my good friend and mentor, Dr. David Black.

dave-and-me

His wife Becky Lynn (Mama B to me), died just over 3 years ago of cancer. Dr. Black will be running his first marathon this May. He’s calling it…

pigginout

“Piggin’ Out for a Cancer Cure.” Don’t you love the picture!! I do! Perhaps you would consider joining me in giving in honor of Becky Lynn. You can do so here: http://pigginout.kintera.org/faf/home/default.asp?ievent=1169252

Dave will be running all 26.1 miles and I’m proud of him and I’m so grateful for all that he does and for what he’s doing to help UNC Hospitals to find a cure endometrial cancer as he runs in the Flying Pig Marathon in Cincinnati, Ohio. http://flyingpigmarathon.com

Here’s today’s Two-Minute Tuesday.

Read Full Post »

I love people. I love being around people…especially young people. Pam and I love our young adults and we wanted to show them. So, we’ve hosted two “Connects” over the last few weeks. “Connect,” (as we’ve called it), is where our church young adults just out of high school or in college, come over to our home for a time of food and fellowship. We believe this is so important for our young people during this stage of life. Why? Because they have tons of pressure on them. This stage of their lives can be a very tumultuous time.

Pam and I wanted to give these dear folks an opportunity to come together and fellowship and rest. Yes, rest. Being a 20-something (or soon to be 20-something) is not easy. Again, it’s a very topsy-turvy time of life where tons of decisions are made. You think about all the decisions that are made from the time a person turns 18 until they are around their mid-to-late 20’s. Usually during that span of 8 to 10 years a life can be set. Usually a person’s vocation comes into focus and often so does a mate or a potential mate. Who knows, even children might be coming along by then. That’s a lot of stuff happening in a window of time (say: a decade) of an average person’s life (living to be say: 80) that makes up only about 12.5% of your life. That’s a lot of stuff indeed!

I remember how I felt back in the day. Pam and I were 21 and 22, respectively when we were married.

15590217_10208433339737123_2585322649366309779_nWe met in college at Appalachian State and it was such a blessing! Yet, those years were stressful in college. I remember them vividly.

So, with all of that said, we wanted to provide that Holiday Break and “Connect” our MPBC young adults. Here’s some pictures.

 img_0802First rule: Feed them good! Village Inn Pizza and Chick Fit-A nuggets do the trick! And so does a lot of coffee! They love coffee!! And sweets…I can’t forget the cookies and chocolate! (I must admit that I love all that stuff too!)

img_0800

Teach and be transparent about your own life and struggles. At our first Connect, I shared and I think I actually kept it to about 20 minutes. Wow! 🙂 (Don’t get any ideas MPBC Sunday and Wednesday folks. :))

img_1475

Keep it comfortable. Above was last night’s crowd. Below was a couple of weeks ago.

15578538_1330609773670392_5547020218254417074_nWe just let everybody sit wherever they wanted to. After all, with almost 30 people in your house…that’s about the best you can do. 🙂 Pam shared last night about overcoming worry and doubt.

img_1470

She’s such a rock. No one can possibly know what she means to me. Truly, our work at MPBC is a team effort. I think everyone had a great time! We played a game where you had a person who was truly the person that something was about them and two imposters. The rest had to figure out who the “REAL” person was and hope to not be tricked by the imposters.

img_1473

They laughed their heads off! They’ll have some great memories about some funny truths they learned about each other.

In Scripture Elders are encouraged to show hospitality (1 Timothy 3:2). Peter admonishes us: Show hospitality to one another without grumbling (1 Peter 4:9). Pam is an excellent hostess. At the end of the evening we’re tired after cleaning up, etc. But it’s a good tired. It’s a tired where you lay your head on your pillow after a long day and say: “Yeah…that was good,” knowing that these wonderful lives we got to be around will hopefully know how much they are loved and cared for!

Kevin

 

Read Full Post »