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Archive for February, 2017

Is the weather crazy or what? Another record fell today. 74 degrees in Greensboro, broke the daily record of 73. But, beware! By the time we get to the first week of March, it’s going to change. How cold? It’s hard to tell at this point, but I’m convinced it’ll be below freezing and with those tender buds popping out on the apple trees and other trees…OUCH! I’m concerned it could be tough for the various fruit crops and the farmers praying for not so mild weather.

Some of the weather blogs I read are still saying there could even be cold and snow in the Mid-Atlantic. How far south could that go? Well, it’s hard to say. But, we all knows snow is possible in March. Here’s some of the latest thinking…

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Van Denton of Fox8 in Greensboro says:

“While we’re expecting more unseasonable warmth Friday and Saturday–and again after a brief cool down on Sunday–there are hints of a cold spell during the second or third week of March. Longer-range models are suggesting we may see an extended period of mostly below normal temperatures during this time.”

Interestingly, in 1980 after we hit 70 degrees in Wilkesboro, one week later we had 10 inches of snow on the ground. Here’s the map:

 

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Lately, I’ve been reading this book:

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I love history and I am convinced not only is the Bible the Word of God, the Bible is also history. Read it and you’ll see people repeating the same problems over and over again. Truly, “there is nothing new under the sun.” Throughout my 48 years on this earth I’ve watched humankind wrestle with life and how they’re going to live it.

In the book mentioned above, I’ve been reading about WWII and the Pacific theater. As everyone knows, that piece of the war was finally won by the Allies by the dropping of two atomic bombs. As I have studied the history of WWII I’ve been intrigued by the decision-making of people in power. And I’ve been reminded once again of Jesus’ words:

For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Matthew 16:26

Think about those words. What does it mean to “gain the whole world?” Well, what means the world to you? For many of the decision-makers in WWII they were literally dealing with the world and millions of lives.

I was struck by this man.

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That’s J. Robert Oppenheimer. He is considered to be the genius and mastermind of the Atomic Bomb. He was hired by the US Government to design the bomb and ultimately it was tested on July 16, 1945 in Los Alamos, New Mexico. The project was called the Manhattan Project and Oppenheimer called the testing of the bomb the “Trinity.” Are you thinking: “Father, Son and Holy Spirit?” Don’t. Oppenheimer was a fan of Hinduism and the “Trinity” were the three major gods of Hinduism: Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. He would quote a verse from the Hindu Vedas, Bhagavad Gita over and over during the development of the bomb.

“If the radiance of a thousand suns were to burst at once into the sky, that would be like the splendor of the mighty one.”

Years later he would explain that another verse had also entered his head at that time: namely, the famous verse: “I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.”

Interestingly during the development of the bomb, Oppenheimer would have an affair with a lady who would ultimately commit suicide after swallowing a bottle of sleeping pills. His wife would eventually leave him and return to her parent’s home in Pittsburg. Ultimately, Oppenheimer would seldom eat, and even though he was 6 feet tall, he would lose down to 115 pounds and his teeth were rotting out. It’s also reported that he lived off of five packs of Chesterfield cigarettes per day, and tons of gin and coffee.

Yet, this was one of the smartest men who ever lived. He is said to have been equal to Einstein, pictured together here:

einstein_oppenheimer

Yet, Oppenheimer died at the early age of 62 after complications and a subsequent comma from throat cancer. One of the smartest men who ever lived, yet his life was a colossal train wreck. A man of intellectual brilliance, who rejected Christianity because he was heard to say it was “unintellectual.” He was cremated and his ashes were dropped of the coast of a small island he bought in the Virgin Islands.

For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Matthew 16:26

If someone were to write a description of your life today, what would they write? What are you living for? What motivates you? Think about it today. What’s going to matter in eternity?

The Apostle Paul got it right…

Philippians 3:7-11

But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— 10 that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.

What’s J. Robert Oppenheimer doing right now? What will he be doing 100 billion years from now? Do you think he regrets his rejection of Christ and his teachings as “unintellectual?” Do you think Brahma and Vishnu and Shiva are helping him now? Of course not! They don’t even exist!

I’ve been thinking of Oppenheimer a lot lately and I’m sobered by my reading of his life. Make your life count for Christ, Kevin! That’s all I can think of! Make your life count for eternity. Live for Jesus…the one who died for you! Live for the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, for there is purpose and meaning in that.

Kevin

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When the puritans, pilgrims, separatists, (you pick the name), came to this country, they sought the ability to freely worship. They sought to escape the oppression they were facing in the “Mother country,” England and the corrupt Church. In the process of setting up the government of this nation, along with our constitution, came a Bill of Rights and amendments to those rights. The very first amendment says this…

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

The “free exercise thereof” seems to be limited (as is being interpreted by the courts today) to be within our church buildings. In other words, you are free to believe what you want to believe inside the walls of your church, but NOT in the marketplace. Case in point… See below. (Note: this will take you about 5-6 minutes to read…but, it’s worth it to understand where we’re headed as a nation regarding religious liberty and the First Amendment.

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The Weekly is a rundown of news by the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission highlighting the week’s top news stories from the public square and providing commentary on the big issues of our day.

Washington Supreme Court Rules Against Christian Florist in Same-Sex Marriage Case

The Washington State Supreme Court ruled against a Christian florist who refused to serve a same-sex wedding because of “her relationship with Jesus Christ.” In their unanimous decision the state court claims that, “discrimination based on same-sex marriage constitutes discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

The ruling is the latest legal setback for Barronelle Stutzman, the 72-year-old owner of Arlene’s Flowers & Gifts. Last year Washington State’s sued Stutzman because she refused to sell flowers to a long time customer when the arrangements were to be used for a same-sex marriage ceremony.

Although Stutzman, an active member of a Southern Baptist church, did not have any qualms about serving homosexual customers, she “didn’t want to be involved in a same-sex marriage.” Stutzman had served her friend and customer Rob Ingersoll for nearly a decade, designing custom arrangements for Valentine’s Day and other holidays. But when Ingersoll asked Stutzman to arrange flowers for their wedding, she told him that while she valued him as a friend, her faith would not allow it.

Last year a Benton County Superior Court judge ruled that the law trumped her rights of conscience. “Religious motivation does not excuse compliance with the law,” said Judge Alexander C. Ekstrom in his 60-page opinion.

At the time, Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced he would accept $2,000 in penalties, $1 in fees and costs, plus an agreement not to discriminate in the future and to end further litigation. But Stutzman rejected the proposed settlement, and in a letter to the Washington state attorney general, said:

Your offer reveals that you don’t really understand me or what this conflict is all about. It’s about freedom, not money. I certainly don’t relish the idea of losing my business, my home, and everything else that your lawsuit threatens to take from my family, but my freedom to honor God in doing what I do best is more important. Washington’s constitution guarantees us “freedom of conscience in all matters of religious sentiment.” I cannot sell that precious freedom. You are asking me to walk in the way of a well-known betrayer, one who sold something of infinite worth for 30 pieces of silver. That is something I will not do.

I pray that you reconsider your position. I kindly served Rob for nearly a decade and would gladly continue to do so. I truly want the best for my friend. I’ve also employed and served many members of the LGBT community, and I will continue to do so regardless of what happens with this case. You chose to attack my faith and pursue this not simply as a matter of law, but to threaten my very means of working, eating, and having a home. If you are serious about clarifying the law, then I urge you to drop your claims against my home, business, and other assets and pursue the legal claims through the appeal process.

The attorney general continued to go after Stutzman, even though the refusal could cause her to lose her shop.

In the Washington Supreme Court ruling, the nine justices contend Stutzman discriminated against Ingersoll because of his sexual orientation. They also determined the Washington’s Defense of Marriage Act is to be “construed liberally” and that all people “regardless of sexual orientation are to have ‘’full enjoyment of any of the accommodations, advantages, facilities, or privileges’ of any place of public accommodation.”

The court also contends that the Washington’s Defense of Marriage Act “contains no mandate to balance religious rights against the rights of protected class members” and that her rights to freedom of religion and speech under the U.S. Constitution were not violated.

Alliance Defending Freedom, the organization defending Stutzman in this case, says they will continue to stand with her by appealing this ruling against her to the U.S. Supreme Court.

“The Washington Supreme Court’s ruling shortchanges our nation’s most fundamental freedom in favor of ideological conformity,” said ERLC president Russell Moore in response to the ruling. “Barronelle Stutzman followed her genuinely held beliefs without hostility toward any, and yet finds herself the target of a government that wants to steamroll her constitutional rights. The Court held that the government can force citizens to use their creative gifts and expressive speech to participate and endorse acts they believe to be immoral. This decision is a loss not only for Barronelle Stutzman but for every American who values liberty and civility over coercion by the government. My prayer is that this ruling would be overturned and that the U.S. Supreme Court would recognize the crucial importance of religious liberty.” 

Did you notice the words: “U.S. Supreme Court” in that last sentence. That’s where it’s headed and that’s why the Trump appointment of Neil Gorsuch and his confirmation is so critical. It will at least give the court a 4-4 tie and Justice Kennedy (as usual…as the “moderate-left-leaning” justice) will be the swing vote. If Clinton had won the whitehouse, it would have been “game over.”

So, there’s been another blow to religious liberty. But, there’s also been a victory for Religious Liberty. Did you hear about this?

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Fighting Fired With Fired

February 09, 2017

Squashing a person’s religious freedom will cost you — $225,000 in fact! That’s how much the state of Georgia was forced to pay Dr. Eric Walsh for taking his family on a two-year roller coaster of Christian persecution. As some of you might remember, the Californian was hired by Georgia officials to run the state’s Department of Public Health. But shortly after accepting the job and preparing to move his family to the Peach State, his new office called and asked for copies of sermons he’d delivered on the weekends at his church as a lay pastor. The next day, to everyone’s astonishment, Walsh was fired. Why? Because he dared to preach what the Bible says on issues from sexuality to evolution.

“This has been very painful for me,” he told Fox News’s Todd Starnes at the time. “I really am a strong believer in the Constitution, but now I feel like maybe all these ideals and values that I was raised to believe — the ideals the country was founded upon — no longer exist.” Of course, Georgia’s DPH insisted it had nothing to do with his biblical beliefs, but as our friends at First Liberty Institute know, that was nothing but a vain attempt to cover their tracks for what should be an open-and-shut case of religious discrimination.

Since 2015, the case has taken some interesting twists and turns, including a Houston-esque subpoena for Walsh’s sermons, sermon notes, and even his Bible! Like far too many people, the government not only scrutinized Dr. Walsh for his Christian beliefs — but used those beliefs against him! That’s not only unconstitutional — it’s un-American! Fortunately, the state finally realized as much and decided to settle before its intolerance was made even more visible and painful as this case wound its way through the courts.

Now, months into his legal battle, Dr. Walsh can finally celebrate. “It’s been a long, difficult journey,” he said today, “but it’s worth it to have my name cleared and to ensure that all Georgia government employees know they have religious liberty.” First Liberty attorney Jeremy Dys is hopeful that this case will help send the message that religious discrimination won’t be tolerated. And 40,387 of you helped make it possible! Tens of thousands of you signed our petition and supported us when we played a part in Dr. Walsh’s press conference in Atlanta. As First Liberty says, that was all crucial in making Georgia officials feel the pressure. Hopefully, other states will think twice before trying to use Americans’ religious beliefs against them!

So, there you have it. A Win and a Loss. And this is how it’s going to be going forward. What does this mean for you and for me? It means we need to continue to pray that we can have the opportunity to share the Gospel in a free country.
  • A country that’s free to help the poor and the needy and the immigrants. (Might I encourage all of those who believe this is true to support adopting a foreign child, an immigrant. Pam and I have adopted two. You see, it’s more than just talk about immigrants on blogs and social media that really counts. It’s more than espousing idealogical profundity, it’s about putting your money where your mouth is.)
  • A country that is free to allow other religions to worship as they so choose.
  • A country where we, yes… allow a Muslim to wear a hijab to work and people to burn flags, (as awful as that seems to me). Yet, freedom is freedom in a “FREE COUNTRY,” right?
  • A country that, yes… still allows Christians to believe the Bible and to live out their faith in the marketplace. In other words, a country where it should continue to remain free for even the CHRISTIAN to express their faith and PRACTICE their religion anywhere at anytime (not just in a church building or religious center).
  • A country where Bible-believing, followers of Christ don’t have to look over their shoulders before they say the name, “Jesus” or quote scripture.
  • A country where we actually remember why we were founded in the first place, (religious freedom), by a people who actually believed in the Bible and lived by it in their daily lives.

Kevin

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There’s certainly a lot going on in the world. The news is littered with trials and troubles and problems. I think about and pray about how the Lord might use me during “such a time as this.”

Think about our world. Problems. There are problems everywhere. But, isn’t that life, folks? Isn’t like about dealing with problems. Problems: not enough money, not enough time, not enough health, not enough patience, not enough gas in our tanks to enjoy life…instead…we just endure it. Is that what God intended? Just endure this life? Surely there’s more.

I believe there is. Jesus said, “I am come that you may have an abundant life and live it to the full” (John 10:10). What does, “abundant” mean? According to http://www.blueletterbible.org it means: “exceeding some number or measure or rank or need.” I’m glad of that! Jesus wants to give us a life on this earth…yes…a sin-filled earth that exceeds measure and need. That’s good! That means that even in this crazy world, we can enjoy the journey. Even with the debates about immigrants and refugees…we can enjoy the journey. Even though work may not be perfect, your health may not be perfect, your kids may not be perfect, you and I can still “exceed some number, or measure or rank or need.” I don’t know about you, but that comforts me!

I’d like to post some articles I’ve read this week that are really good. Two from folks who are near and dear to me. First, my daughter Kandace. She wrote this beautiful blog about music. I want to post the entire article here because I think it’s that good and because I’m big-time prejudiced about my daughter and I believe (like I do the rest of my family) that she’s the best thing since sliced bread. 🙂

http://mpbcworship.blogspot.com/2017/02/the-power-of-music.html

Monday, February 6, 2017

The Power of Music

 Music is a powerful thing. Music has been a part of my life for as long and as far back as I can remember. I remember sitting in Dad’s car as a little girl and listening to classical music. He always said it made a person smarter. I remember my first piano lesson and how I hated it and Mama telling me that I would learn an instrument and learn it well so I had better find one that I liked and stick with it (it wasn’t the piano) 😃 I remember Daddy would sometimes pull out his old tape of instrumentals composed by Michael W. Smith and he would have us close our eyes and try to imagine seeing heaven for the first time. I remember singing my first solo at church when I was about 6 years old. And from the time that I was about 4 or 5 until I was 14 Mama and Daddy would sing a hymn to me before bed every single night.

One of my earliest memories of actually feeling the Lord’s presence in my life very much involved music… I was about 5 or 6 and we were singing the song “Shout To The Lord” one Sunday morning at church. We always showed a video during the song of different things in nature…. One of the things on the video was waves crashing in the ocean. I remember standing there, singing along, and when the waves part of the video came on the screen I felt the Lord speak into my spirit and say “Do you see that? I made that. And this music. Those notes that make up this song? I made that too.” I came home from church that day and told Mama that when we sang “Shout To The Lord” I felt Jesus.

That’s the especially beautiful thing about music. Still to this day when I hear those songs by Michael W. Smith I remember thinking about heaven. Or when I hear certain hymns I think about being little and the feeling of peace, safety and contentment I felt as I laid in my bed, in my little pink bedroom, with Mama and Daddy sitting on both sides of me singing those old songs with such rich and meaningful lyrics. Music has a way of embedding itself in our minds and bringing back memories, thoughts and feelings…. and for me, it has and always will be a source of peace and comfort. I have this thing that I do when I’m feeling afraid or overwhelmed. I sing. I usually sing a hymn or a worship song and I’ll sing it until the feeling passes. After the car accident I was in back in December I had dreams about it for about 3 weeks. Almost every single night I would wake up in a sweat after dreaming about the crash in slow motion over and over again. Every night that I had a dream about it I would turn on my light and sing “It Is Well With My Soul” or “Tis So Sweet To Trust In Jesus” and slowly, but surely the fear would dissipate and I would go back to sleep.

I love when I’m onstage on a Sunday morning or Wednesday night and I close my eyes during a song and listen to all of the voices around me. I love that God is using something so near and dear to my heart to bring people closer to Him. I love when people say that something I have sung or played has made them feel the presence of Jesus in their lives. There is nothing else like it. I am so thankful for the power that music carries. It has brought me out of many a dark place. I encourage you, the next time you’re at church, to close your eyes during one of the songs and just listen to the voices around you. It truly is a powerful thing.

~Kandace

“Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvelous things; his right hand and his holy arm have worked salvation for him. The Lord has made his salvation known and revealed his righteousness to the nations. He has remembered his love and his faithfulness to Israel; all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God. Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth, burst into jubilant song with music; make music to the Lord with the harp, with the harp and the sound of singing, with trumpets and the blast of the ram’s horn— shout for joy before the Lord, the King. Let the sea resound, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.”Psalm 98

Pretty good, huh? I’ll say so!

And if I might brag (albeit humbly) on her a little more… Check out this song she wrote herself.

https://www.facebook.com/MPBCNC/videos/316741702061073/

I also want to link to our Daily Devotion page to a devotion that our Ministry Assistant, Caleb Triplett wrote earlier this week about raising children. It’s near and dear to my heart, because we’re getting ready to embark upon our 10th class of Rite of Passage participants at the church. It’s crazy to think it’s been 10 years, but it has. For 10 years we’ve been seeking to raise the bar of expectations for our young adults. In fact, on this blog, you can click on: “Adult-Centered Youth Ministry” and see a ton of articles on the subject. You can also click on: “Rite of Passage-Book.”

Well, the upshot is this: our kids will rise to our level of expectations and that’s true of their spiritual lives. I know we all have goals of what we want our kids to do academically and vocationally and even athletically, but what about spiritually? Caleb’s devotion addresses that very well.

https://dkevinbrowndailydevotions.wordpress.com/2017/02/09/the-desperate-plea-of-a-father/

Here’s some pictures from of our Sportsmen’s Banquet last week.

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We had over 400 folks come and participate. Do we love our community at MPBC? You better believe it! Here’s Amanda Eddins helping Andrew shoot a bow.

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Amanda is an amazing teacher and she is quite a markslady herself!

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Don’t you just love that picture. Desi and her son, Jace taking care of making sure all our folks had plenty of soft drinks and water! Yes, we love our community and gave them a wonderful meal, music and most importantly, Jesus!

And you see, that’s important. We’ve got to give people help in one hand…but, Jesus in the other and a lot of churches are moving away from that. Today, they only offer the “social gospel.” Just feed people and that’s it. Well, if that’s all you do and that person dies without Jesus, they’ll go to hell with a full belly, but what have we really accomplished? Give ’em food and clothes and love…but, for Pete’s sake…give them Jesus!

People are asking me: “Is winter over?” Well, it’s certainly been an anemic winter if you like snow. What a roller coaster. From low 40’s for highs to mid-70’s within just a few days. It was a high of 43 yesterday and Sunday it’s supposed to be 74! Is that crazy or what?

As far as the snow goes…there’ll be nothing for the rest of February. But March is always the wild card. It’s possible we could see one more snow, but the odds are slim. It’s been a La Nina winter and they never bode well for snow. We’ve had right at 8″ for the year, which is below the 12″ average for our area. Yet, the forecasters said it would be a “slightly below-average” to “average” year. So, we’re pretty much on track for that. We’ll see how it all turns out. In the mealtime…enjoy the roller coaster ride! 🙂

The grandkids are growing…

Evelyn rolled over this week. She’ll be three months old tomorrow. Here’s the aftermath from Facebook…

https://www.facebook.com/katy.brown.3150/videos/1505020449510635/

I’m a proud Papa!

Kevin

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I had to laugh last night. I saw where a comedian was trying to figure out how the nation could get along. He said there needed to be wall built (not along the Mexican border) but along the California border from Mexico to Canada through Washington state and Oregon. He then said that another wall needed to be built around the northeastern states from New York down through New Jersey and into Washington D.C. and then up the Atlantic coast to Maine. He said the coast on the west could be connected to the coast on the east with a tunnel that runs through the rest of the country. He said Jerry Brown could be president of the West coast nation, Bernie Sanders could be the president of the Northeast coast nation and Donald Trump could be the President of the rest of the nation (about 80% of the continental landmass of the US). I laughed out loud! Parts of it made a lot of sense to me. But, then I thought, no… That’s what the media wants. That’s what many want today… They want us to divide.

And that’s what I continue to see happening. I’ve never seen anything like it. Even within Christian circles, there seems to be much division. If you voted for Trump you are evil, if you didn’t vote for Trump you are evil. If you didn’t vote at all, you are evil. Hey folks…NEWS FLASH…we are all evil! We are all sinners! We all have to look at the hand we’ve been dealt and take it to the Lord and do what we believe He’s telling us. We take the Word of God and we read it and allow it to enlighten our lives and then act on what we believe it teaches. And you know what, some will do the exact opposite of what we believe…of what you believe. Can we still live with each other or will we demonize each other? I pray it’s the former and not the latter.

You see, the politics in America and even the world are a disaster because we’ve turned our backs on God. That’s why we had the choice between Clinton and Trump…never forget that. But, in my mind Clinton meant disaster. She meant a liberal Supreme Court pick and the continued march toward progressive liberalism that would decimate any belief system but one that summarily dismisses Christians as bigots, haters and unloving, unaccepting people. And so, we had to choose. And America chose. Trump won. Whether people like it or not, he’s the 45th president. Now what? Trash him! Castigate him because he’s a fallible man… throw him to the curb? How Christian is that?

Let me ask you… Did we trash Obama? Some did and they were wrong. Yes, in my mind he was and is more misguided than Trump in so many ways. But, did I throw him to the curb? No! I and many of you prayed for him and believe me I prayed in “Chuck Schumer tears” for him! (BTW…I’m giving Schumer the benefit of the doubt…and I hope we can do that with one another.) I prayed for Obama even in times of fasting. I prayed he would look to his Christianity and see that his policies were crumbling Christian thought. But, he never changed or backed down. The media loved him and embraced him. So did the young people. After all, kids in college today grew up through their puberty years with him as their President. It’s all they’ve ever known. But, Obama never had a Christian worldview. And can I ask you… where was the outcry from the Christians back then who are now so ashamed that Trump is the President. Where was the outcry when president Obama changed his position on marriage and abortion and religious liberty…all within just 8 years? There was no outcry. Many Christians looked the other way. But, today there are Christians who didn’t vote for Trump who who now see him in office and they (deep down) almost want to see him fail. Why? Because it will justify why they didn’t vote for such a filthy-mouthed, adulterous, immoral man. But, what does that accomplish? Nothing. He’s still president for the next four years. So, will you pray for him or just castigate him? Surely we are better than that?

You see, that’s how I felt about Obama, and I said as much. But, I didn’t attack him personally or his family, even though I was totally dismayed that a “Christian” man would do what he was doing. Can you look back now and see what 8 years of Obama and a secular, liberal administration that impacted our educational system in such profound ways has brought us?

Did you see the riots at UC-Berekely Wednesday night? Please know, this is supposed to be one of the most “liberal” campuses in the United States.In other words, they talk about how “open” and “tolerant” and “diverse” they are. They talk about welcoming ALL people. That’s the Obama talk, right?. That was the Clinton talk, right? That’s the talk about welcoming immigrants, illegal aliens and ALL people. And I’m all for welcoming all people…but, it was Obama who labeled the 7 nations that we needed to be careful about (terrorism). (More on that in a moment.) Well, we are told to be accepting of all people…gays, transgenders, immigrants, illegal aliens…EVERYONE… Except…and it’s a big “except,” those who don’t agree with them. You know what? They are hypocrites if you ask me. And it’s another reason why Donald Trump is the President of the United States. People got fed up with this kind of stuff. The speaker, who was to speak at Berkeley is a gay, Jewish man, (whom I’m not endorsing in any way), and he said this as the riot was happening:

I have been evacuated from the UC Berkeley campus after violent left-wing protestors tore down barricades, lit fires, threw rocks and Roman candles at the windows and breached the ground floor of the building. My team and I are safe. But the event has been cancelled. I’ll let you know more when the facts become clear. One thing we do know for sure: the Left is absolutely terrified of free speech and will do literally anything to shut it down. Milo Yiannopoulos. 

Get this…the man was going to speak about “political correctness” and “free speech.” One young lady wearing a Trump hat was pepper sprayed by a masked protestor. Here she is…

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Hey… Where’s the love! Those shouting for love and tolerance… Come on! Where’s the love? And so, the country continues to divide.

You can agree or disagree, but I’ll say it again…the last 8 years in this country was the most divisive I’ve ever seen. Barack Obama did more to divide this nation than anyone I’ve seen in my lifetime. And in my humble opinion, that cost the Democrats the Whitehouse and they simply can’t get over it. The media can’t get over it either. Every news article I see on CNN is about how bad Trump is. The pictures they use of him show him snarling and look almost monstrous. How did they portray Obama? Well, you know the answer. Yes, the media hates Trump. No…that’s not strong enough. They loathe him! They report how worthless he is and it’s amazing to see the mass media literally pursue the demise of a man who has only been on the job for two weeks.  Don’t they realize if Trump fails, we all fail? And that’s why I prayed for Obama! I didn’t agree with him on almost anything, but I prayed for him.

Now without question, Trump bumbled the “extreme vetting” rollout. It was a disaster in how it was presented and the misinformation about it came about because it was not well-handled or well explained. It has been twisted in the media and by the Left because it wasn’t rolled out correctly or with the appropriate people involved. It created many problems at airports and it’s been used to mischaracterize the plan, which is little more than what Obama directed (picking the 7 countries on the list). Certainly, it has been a political firestorm, but I believe Trump will learn from this. That’s my prayer. Yet, there continues to be fallout on the Democratic side.

I read an article (an op-ed) piece in the Washington Post about this young man…

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Michael J. Hout, 22, is a junior majoring in history, English and political science at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. During the 2016 presidential campaign he participated in many Democratic activities as a leader in the College Democrats. But he recently quit the party. Here he explains his thinking and I want you to really concentrate on what he says. It’s so enlightening.

“The so-called party of inclusivity, that values tolerance above all else, is extremely intolerant and wildly exclusive to ways of thinking that violate its delicate myopia. I contend that diversity of opinion – both within and without parties – is healthy and integral to our system. We must not only accept it, but demand it. Thus, we must be more accepting of conservative students, and the debate that they allow us to have, just as we must accept liberal students for the same reason. No one side should be able to monopolize culture and community the way the left has been able to do on campuses. … Win with ideas, not intimidation. Be open to debate, and drop the baseless insults intended to stifle it. 

Second, putting it plainly, you do not want to be a conservative on today’s college campus. You will likely be ostracized to some extent, assuming your institution of higher learning is the norm. You will almost certainly lose friends, face bullying and need to develop thick skin. I’ve experienced this, and I only came out as an Independent. Others I’ve spoken to have horror stories worse than mine, attacked by fellow students, treated poorly by professors and administrators, accused publicly of racism, misogyny or “unintelligence.” And we have all received threats at one point or another. All things considered, perhaps I had it pretty good as a moderate Democrat. But my personal convictions prevented me from continuing to reside in the party that it has become, let alone the one that is to come.”

Interestingly, former Ivy League professor Allan Bloom has been saying the same thing. In his book, “The Closing of the American Mind,” Bloom writes that true diversity and freedom only comes when multiple points of view are freely discussed and debated:

“Freedom of the mind requires not only, or not even especially, the absence of legal constraints but the presence of alternative thoughts. The most successful tyranny is not the one that uses force to assure uniformity but the one that removes the awareness of other possibilities, that makes it seem inconceivable that other ways are viable, that removes the sense that there is an outside. It is not feelings or commitments that will render a man free, but thoughts, reasoned thoughts. Feelings are largely formed and informed by convention. Real differences come from difference in thought and fundamental principle.”

Amen!!! Today’s universities pride themselves on being safe spaces where diversity can bloom and grow in the next generation. But is their method of promoting diversity and freedom of thought actually the most effectual way of stamping it out? You see, I have no problem with those who want to believe marriage is between two men and abortion (up to the 9th month) is okay. They are free to believe that. They are wrong in my opinion! Desperately wrong! But, they should be allowed to think and believe what they choose. That’s the First Amendment, folks. But, what the Left wants to do is to shut down any thought…and I mean any thought that doesn’t match theirs. Translated: you are only allowed to believe what I tell you to believe. Folks, that’s totalitarianism. But, you see, there’s a great fear permeating many in America. That fear? That Trump is going to undo everything Obama did. And that scares them to death! And those fears are being exacerbated by the media and well…you have UC-Berkeley and people like Whoopi Goldberg who opine and tells everyone that the sky is falling.

For me…I want to see the misguided policies of Obama changed. I watched for 8 years at the way he governed with an iron fist and nobody said anything. With the stroke of a pen he implemented policies that have hurt Christians…but, no one cares. Why? Because we are Christians. We are the ONLY unprotected class in America. Illegal aliens have more rights than Christians. Christians are nobodies and that’s fine. Or is it? Should we be okay to just watch it all go down the drain? Should we be okay to say, “Let the persecution come!” Should we just say, “Forsake our churches and head to the basements of our homes?” Should we just quit? Should we throw it all away and give up? No! Not me! That’s not the way I operate. I’m going to contend for the faith and stand for the truth even if they lock me up or hang me. I’ll go to the Roman Coliseum of our day if need be…but, I’ll stand for the truth on the way to meet my lion…I promise you that.

So for me…the selection of Neil Gorsuch to replace Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court was such a powerful thing! And for many, many Americans…what verified with that selection was why they voted for Trump. If confirmed, that would mean the court would stay at a 4-4 tie, (split between conservative and liberal), with Justice Anthony Kennedy the lone moderate leaning to the left (liberal).  Believe me there will be a fight to confirm Gorsuch. Why? Because he’s not a good judge? Nope! Because he is a conservative thinker. You see, that’s not allowed anymore in this country. I like what Al Mohler, President of Southern Seminary in Louisville, KY said this about the selection.

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According to everything I’ve read, Gorsuch is a man that is a “strict constructionist” in regards to seeing the US Constitution as a “fixed” document that does not change with time. In other words, it’s not a living, breathing document as liberals, (like Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi), want it to be. I actually talked about the idea of the “fixed” document, as it relates to not only the Constitution, but to the Bible in the Two-Minute Tuesday this week.

Should the Bible change with time? Should it change as the culture changes? Could God who is the same yesterday, today and forever…could He have been wrong about what marriage is and abortion and gender? Is God dumb? Should His word be reinterpreted as society changes?

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You see, the Dems will fight hard to keep Gorsuch, a well qualified man, off the bench, because he won’t legislate progressive liberalism from the bench. And that burns them up! They want to continue the fundamental change toward progressive liberalism that Obama brought to this country.

Yesterday, President Trump went to the “National Prayer Breakfast,” and many Christian bloggers wrote how that was such a travesty. How could such an immoral man go there? I shook my head as I read and I thought, “You’ve got to be kidding me! Do you think Hillary Clinton was/is more moral than Donald Trump?” A woman who said on national TV that she had no problem with abortion up to the moment of birth? Is that moral!? I was appreciative of the fact that president Trump was gracious toward Christians; whereas, Obama always seemed to lecture Christians. Trump said this:

“This gathering is a testament to the power of faith and is one of the great customs of our nation… Our republic was formed on the basis that freedom is not a gift from government, but that freedom is a gift from God.”

May I say that I was encouraged to hear him also reference the legislation that several Republican lawmakers introduced yesterday on Capitol Hill — the Free Speech Fairness Act. You see, the government has been seeking to muzzle pastors for the last several years. Remember the mayor in Houston who told all the pastors to send copies of their sermons to her for approval? She was handily voted down. Where does this mindset come from? It comes from a liberalism that hates Christianity and it’s being taught in our schools and universities nation-wide (reminder, UC-Berkeley). Trump said: “I will get rid of and totally destroy the Johnson Amendment and allow our representatives of faith to speak freely and without fear of retribution. I will do that, remember. Freedom of religion is a sacred right, but it is also a right under threat all around us.”

Folks, it is a sacred right to be able to speak freely in this country. But, that right has been under attack, if you are Christian for the last 8 years, in ways that are beyond description. As far as I’m concerned the US Government can take the 501-c-3 from churches. I couldn’t care less. I don’t give my money to the work of the Lord for a tax deduction anyway. I’d still give every penny I give whether or not I can deduct it off my taxes or not. You see, I don’t answer to the government for what I say behind the pulpit…I answer to God. And that’s a sobering thought. I fear God much more than I do the US government. And during Black History Month, let us never forget that Dr. Martin Luther King, in my opinion, was one of the greatest “political pastors” of our nation’s history. He spoke forcefully from the pulpit about the issues of the day. Since this country was started, churches have been at the forefront of shaping debate and public policy and this should continue and the IRS should stay out of the business of telling churches and pastors what they can and can’t say, period.

Well, I guess I’ve said too much. But, it is my blog, right? After all, it’s Kevin Brown’s mindless musings about life and how I feel. Could I be wrong? Absolutely. Am I wrong in how I think? Perhaps. And that’s why I say to you that I continue to pray and seek the Lord to help me and guide me. You see, all I want to do is to have the opportunity to live freely in this country and tell people about Jesus. And if there are others that want to push for climate change, saving the sea turtles, gay rights, abortion, etc…well…that’s their right as well. But, for me… I just want to live in a nation where I’m not labeled a bigot, fool or pepper-sprayed because I believe what I believe. I pray as a nation we could agree to disagree and still remember that we are all Americans.

Much love to all!

Kevin

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