Archive for May, 2018

Left Behind

See these two pictures…

The top picture is the Sheetz in Yadkinville, just off of Highway 421. The bottom picture is the Exxon, right beside of the Sheetz, that has been there for years. See the difference? Look at the number of cars. I couldn’t even get a pump at the Sheetz and was waiting when I took the pictures.

The Exxon used to be hopping! I’ve stopped there many times. Look at the picture again. It doesn’t look necessarily “run down.” But, there are bags on all the pumps, except one set of pumps. So, what’s the problem? Simple. It was “left behind.” Why? Because it didn’t stay up with the times. Sheetz provides a lot more than gas. They are a lot more than a service station with candy bars and soft drinks. They are a “store of convenience.” You can buy gas, use the restroom (very, very clean ones I might add) and (and this a big AND) order food via a touchscreen and it’s GOOD!

How many times have you been traveling and didn’t want to stop in two places. You need gas and you need to eat. So, Sheetz has solved that issue. What about the Exxon? They’ve been left behind. It’s that simple.

Think about Walmart. What are they doing now? They’ve got me singing the old Anita Ward song, “Ring my bell…” Why? Because Walmart doesn’t want to be left behind. From what? From the Amazon revolution and door to door deliveries. Walmart wants in on that cash cow. People want convenience and the sooner that folks in the “people” business figure that out, the better.

Hey, you know what? I’m in the people business too. That’s right! As a pastor/elder, I’m in the business of thinking about, “How do we get people to come to our gas station?” Convenience, order, structure, ease of use, getting the value you want, etc. You say, “Okay pastor…you are not being very spiritual.” Well, forgive me if I’ve not included chapter and verse…but, I well say it this way… “Go out into the highway and hedges and COMPEL them to come in.” Jesus said that you know.

So, the pastor/elders are constantly thinking about how do we compel people to come to our station. There are so many competitors… And NO…I’m not talking about other churches. I’m talking about the competitors of the bed (it’s so comfy on Sunday mornings) and the lake (in the summer) and the ski mountains (in winter). Will we get left behind? You see, as a church, it’s true… “It’s a dog eat dog world” out there and sometimes I feel like churches are a milk bone biscuit and we’re getting eaten alive because we are getting left behind.

We must be constantly thinking about improving and making things better. And that’s true of anything. How about your business? How about your life? Are you keeping up? Are you striving for the things of God and seeking Him? He’ll show you the way. Think of it like Chick-Fil-A. They do fast food, right? Wrong! They do “customer experiences” and the chicken is a great “cherry on top of the sundae.” Truett Cathy figured that out a long time ago. The chicken sandwich is a big part of their business…but, it’s an expensive chicken sandwich comparatively speaking (to some). But, the experience of fast, friendly, efficient, excellent service makes the extra buck or two worth it. 🙂

This week’s Two-Minute Tuesday has received the most views in a while. It’s about Oprah’s view of Jesus, NOT being the only way to heaven. Take a look…


Finally, in case anyone is interested… I finally got my beans staked and I’ve sought to address the crows coming and eating my corn. My radio in my five gallon bucket is back. It got “shorted out” with the rain a couple of weeks ago. But, I’ve got another one out there now…and not a crow has been seen. They don’t like noise!


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“Time keeps on slippin’, slipping’, slippin’ into the future…”

That’s the lyrics to an old song from years ago. And it’s true. If you are older than 40 years of age, you’d agree. In fact…if you are over 30 you’d probably agree and if you are over 60, you’d say, “Amen!” Time stops for no one. So, we better enjoy the journey. It will be over before we know it. Take it from a man who is now 50 and probably in the 6th inning of my ball game.

I do enjoy life and I certainly enjoyed life last week. Vacations seem to come too far apart and then are over too quickly. Don’t you agree? Truth is: none of us take enough time off. Americans are the most overworked people on the face of the earth in my opinion. Perhaps only the Japanese are more overworked.

Here’s some pictures from last week’s journey with the family to Holden Beach, NC with the family.

The house…think cleaning supplies… 409…that’s the house number…and that’s how I remember it…

We love eating big breakfasts each morning…

That’s a lot of people! My sister, Kim, took the picture… I sure love that lady…

Even though she had just whipped me in corn hole! She’s competitive! It runs in the family! Notice the big grin as she hammered me with no remorse! We really are two peas in a pod.

Having grandchildren along for the trip is always a blast too!! Josh with Evie playing putt putt.

Lunch time! Precious!!

Charlotte with her daddy at “her road,” as she calls it.

Comparison of last year versus this year (on the right). She’s growing up! There’s that “Time keeps on slippin’…”

Got to hand it to Andrew…

He sleeps on a cot! What a trooper! He doesn’t seem to mind! He’s young, so he can handle it, right?

It’s a blessing sitting around and talking. We were talking about old times and when they were little…

Here’s the original four of my family… Siblings…

Kandace, Andrew, Clara and Katy playing putt putt. Those times are few and far between now, as the kids have grown and Katy has a family of her own. It’s a joy to see them all together.

I love this picture of the pier at Holden Beach. It reminds me of a cathedral. It’s long a song from heaven to hear the ocean splashing against the pylons. It’s the simple things in life that seem to mean more and more to me.

Pool time…

Sand castle time…

Complete with triple moats…


Charlotte loves to pose!

And of course the patriarch and matriarch of the family…

David and Kathy Brown are two of the finest people I’ve ever known and they just happen to by my parents. I’m a blessed son!!

There’s a great little coffee shop down the street. They’ve got wonderful smoothies too.

Dad and I on the beach. No, I’m not picking my nose! 🙂

No denying that I’m my father’s son is there? I’m grateful for that fact!

Speaking of similarities… Two preachers…

Craig does the majority of our cooking in the evenings. He’s the “grill master!” Love that man! He loves the Lord and it’s a blessing to talk about the Lord together as my dad and I are his assistants in grilling out in the evenings.

I think this is a pretty good looking couple don’t you?

Clark Mayberry is a blessing! He takes good care of my girl!

Game time at night has to be one of the highlights of the week!!

Let me tell you… It gets loud! The laughter is contagious! And yes, we get silly!!!

It was a fabulous week and I’m grateful for it! Thank you Lord for your goodness to me and my family!

This Week’s Two Minute Tuesday: “Boundaries: How They Can Improve Your Life”


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It’s hard to believe…but, it’s year 11 for Rite of Passage (ROP). Amazingly, 101 young adults have passed through the waters of ROP over the past decade. Time flies and I’m getting older. Here’s this year’s group!

What a wonderful time we had at our banquet Saturday night. One of my favorite times at the banquet is the family sharing time. The members of the family share with their Young Adult what it means to be a follower of Christ and encouragement on how to live for Him.

Here’s the Anderson family…

And the Button family…

Here is the Bullock family…

In the background of the picture above you can see Pam and Andrew and part of Clara (as Andrew participated this year).

Here is the Wentz family…

Here is the Aiken family…

The Heacock’s have a huge family with 6 children…but, Daddy, Scott stayed with the kiddos, so Kaden could be pampered a bit by her momma, Victoria…

What a joy! It’s a great night where gifts are often shared…

And even pictures with the preacher…

Thanks Avery!!!

One of the questions I ask in the question section of ROP is this: Why do you think you will not fall away from the faith, since 70-90% of Christian teens fall away by their 20th birthday?

Check out some of these responses from this year’s group:

One young lady said:

This is a mind-blowing thing to me but I don’t think this will happen to me cause i’ve grown up in a house where God is number 1. Most people have grown up in a household with a parent that is too busy or they are just too hooked on the world that they don’t set their priorities straight. This is a common thing among families today. They don’t pray before meals or barely ever have a family dinner together. Families are growing apart which makes the children want attention leading them to get into bad situations…

Parents aren’t realising that they are hearing just bible stories and not the real deal. So when kids grow they think that Christianity is just another joke and they take it like it’s another day. Parents need to start bringing their kids to the sermon so they can learn that Christianity is not something to joke about, it’s a matter between eternal life with God or hell.

Here’s another young man:

I think that many 20-year olds that are raised in church fall short and walk away from church because of the people they choose to hang out with.  Also, they can become a follower instead of a leader…

Another young lady:

I think it’s because there are so many things that have Satan’s hand.  On top of that, it’s so easy to forget or get distracted if you take one step in the wrong direction it will become 2, 3, 4, 5 and on and on. It will never end.  It will be from a little step to a big step, to a huge step… I cling to Jesus and I’m passionate about him.  I love him too much he is my friend and without him, I would be nothing.  Jesus helps me not matter what.

Another young lady:

I think that the reason why 70% to 90% of Christian young people who were raised in church are supposedly likely to abandon faith by the age of 20 is because they were not well grounded in faith. They took Christianity lightly and then later became influenced by wicked people. I know that this will not happen to me because I know that the Word of God is true. I am reading the Bible and through this, I gain wisdom that will assist me on my everyday walk with God.

Another young man:

Sometimes they leave their family or move or get a job and they get too busy. They find new things in life and they don’t do what they used to do. They make new friends that don’t go to church and that causes them not to take the time to go. This will not happen to me because I was taught to read the Bible and go to church and to know the Lord and taught to do things without people having to tell me. And I was taught to remember and make time and do all I can for the Lord and that’s why I know I will not turn away from him.

Another young man:

I think so many young people abandon their faith because of peer pressure and the way the society is changing. Mainly they don’t have or never had a real relationship with God. They don’t know the danger they are in. I will never abandon my faith. I can not thank my parents and the Lord enough for being brought up at Mount Pleasant Baptist Church. I am so thankful for the knowledge the Lord has given me and the church I was placed in.  I one day hope I can bring my family to MPBC.

Another young man:

This may be because the individual’s parents have not urged them to make firm their own beliefs before being thrown out into a secular and evil world. To many, Christianity is “what my family believes” and they fail to create a long lasting and meaningful relationship with Christ. Furthermore, when they go to a university and see people with different values and different beliefs, they may only see one side of the argument for Christ. If Christian households are not careful to back up their child’s faith with evidence and logic, a university may persuade the individual that one side stands for fact and logic, and the other is nothing more than a story passed down from generation to generation. Faith is of course important, but why give secular universities the opportunity to falsely portray their beliefs as logical and Christianity as illogical and not factual? Failing to back up faith with fact and evidence and not leading the son or daughter to develop their own walk in the Lord may be the cause for the multitude of youth leaving Christianity.

Another young lady:

I know that for a lot of young people, it’s an identity thing. Many times they don’t see themselves fitting into this whole “Christianity thing” and they fit themselves into other groups of people. Also, a way that I’ve imagined it, is that some people just want to have a little “pet Christianity.” They take it with them to church and they leave it home whenever they go out with friends. But, they can always show someone a cute picture on their phones of their “pet” whenever they want. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want any little “pet Christianity,” I want a big honkin’ elephant that goes and takes me anywhere it wants! 

I don’t care if I’m not cool or popular, all of that fades. Plus, life is miserable without God. I have no purpose or reason for living. I may not know exactly where I’m going in life and I could have a lot to learn, but at least I have a core idea of what I am to live for.

(Don’t you just want to shout: AMEN!!!!)

Another young man:

I think they leave because they don’t have a personal relationship with God. 

Another young lady:

I think they leave because they were never part of the church to begin with. They never really set out to grow in a relationship with Christ. I think in this situation, it’s the parents who are making their kids go to church rather than the young adult wanting to go. Now I’m not saying that parents shouldn’t make their kids go to church… I think a lot of the reasons why they leave the church is because of life in general. We live in a very sinful world full of distractions and people are easily distracted and tempted by Satan. So they leave the church and abandon their faith. I think that this also has to do with bad choices of friends who they hang out with. 

Another young lady:

They have their parents’ faith and not their own faith. It will not happen to me because I own my faith…

Another young man:

I believe it is because young people today are on social media and watch R-rated movies a lot. If people are constantly exposed to this junk, it can be very bad for their minds and will make them act poorly. I do not think this will happen to me because I have parents who love me and have “taught me in the way I should go.”

Am I ecstatic? Oh yes! And I’m so grateful! I’m grateful for the families who are super busy, yet they are intentional about saying to their Young Adult, “I want you to know that this season of your life matters…and this spiritual aspect of it is worth it!” Man I love that thought!

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

If you are interested in learning more about ROP for yourself or your church, just click on the tabs: Adult-Centered Youth Ministry and Rite of Passage-Book. There’s tons of information there about how to do a ROP ceremony with your church, or even with your family. All the details are there and if you need me, ask me!

This past Saturday two of my girls danced at their recital! Again, super grateful!


Man, can that girl spin!!!

And I know she’s mine…but, she’s really graceful…as are all the girls…

And granddaughter, Charlotte…

Check out the smile!!!

Of course, flowers must be given by Daddy and Papa…and little sister, Evie will be next!

What a joy!

And I’ll look forward to spending more time with these wonderful folks as I’m on vacation starting Friday through Sat., May 19th…back in the pulpit the 20th.

Here’s this week’s Two-Minute Tuesday, “We’re All Icebergs-What’s Below the Surface?”



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This week’s Two-Minute Tuesday “Is a College Degree Still Necessary?” seemed to resonate with a lot of people. As of today, it’s been viewed close to 4,000 times. That’s a lot folks! And that’s a lot of folks, folks! 🙂

Here’s why I believe it resonates. It’s because intuitively we know it’s true. A college degree is NOT necessary for everyone. Take a look:


Not that you need more information…but, even those who go to a university today…well…they aren’t getting the degree that you and I got (on average).

Tucker Carlson asks a similar question:

Watch the video here (4 minutes+)

The point of all of this is not to be down on college. No. I’ve got a degree and I’m grateful for it. But, the truth is…my college degree did very little to prepare me for my business career. I learned more working for my dad in his business by far. College degrees are over-rated. They are a “foot in the door” proposition. They were very necessary 30 years ago. But today? Today there are millions of jobs unfilled because no one wants to get their hands dirty. Masons, electricians, welders, mechanics, assisted living care-takers, construction workers. On and on I could go.

Therefore, I decided a long time ago that my kids weren’t going to be placed in anyone’s “cookie cutter.” Pam and I decided we would Proverbs 22:6 them. Train them up in the WAY THEY SHOULD GO. We find out what God wants to do with them and how He has molded them and let them flourish in that. Figuring out how they are bent… Like a paper clip. Try to take the bend out of the clip…and you’ll break it.

Andrew is bent differently than Clara and Kandace differently from Katy. They are all different. And you get that. So, we spend time and money to train Andrew with an apprentice, Barry Pybas…

And Clara for her dance and violin…

Yes, amazingly, Clara just finished another year of violin Tuesday evening in Winston-Salem! Indeed, it’s a lot of travel to Winston for lessons and concerts, but it’s how our girl is “bent” (Proverbs 22:6). So, we train her in her gifting. Her teacher is on the right, Katherine Wiley, Piedmont Suzuki Studio.

Am I finished when Andrew and Clara grow up? Nope! Because I have the privilege of helping to pray for and encourage these two precious souls!

And so, the work continues. 🙂



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