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Archive for October, 2018

On The Way To Israel!

Next Monday morning, we’re on our way to Israel! Wow! I can’t believe it! I never thought I’d get back there again! It’s without question one of the greatest experiences of my life! I am honestly more excited this time around than I was in 2007, when I went the first time. Why? Because I know what to expect and I get to go with my wife! I remember back in 2007 that I had goose bumps so much…that I stopped having the ability to have goosebumps after the 3rd day. It was amazing!

I’ve had the privilege of traveling to many places in the world…including Hawaii…but, nothing touches the place where Jesus walked. I guess it’s just the way I’m wired. But, it’s the truth. I’m so thankful to be able to go back and to do it with 37 other people. It’s going to be a wonderful time of seeing and experiencing where the Lord Jesus (God in the flesh) walked this earth 2000 years ago.

Here was our group from 2007.

I was traveling with a group from Old Town Baptist Church in Winston-Salem and pastor Rick Speas. He is just to my left in the picture. He was a pastor here at Mt. Pleasant for 9 years. He is a blessing in my life to this day!

In case you are interested…here is the itinerary for the trip if you want to follow along…

I’ll be sharing on Sunday, November 18th about the trip during all three services, including pictures and some video vignettes, as well. It will be the Sunday before Thanksgiving and what better way to be thankful than to be reminded of all that Jesus did for us…by actually seeing where He did them!

We had a great time carving pumpkins this year…

It’s a family affair and I love the blessing of doing it all together. Oh the traditions! Aren’t they great!

Look how diligent Josh and Clark are being! Can you tell they are getting into it! Total concentration! Kandace is laughing at Clark because he’s being so detailed. That’s a guy thing! We work like it’s the most important thing in the world. I laughed out loud as I was taking the picture…because I had just “been in the zone” myself with the pumpkin I was carving. 🙂

I’m looking forward to a great time for Trunk or Treat at the church tonight!

Our theme is a “dragway” this year. See the light tree in the background! And how about the “trunks” of the cars? Cute, huh! Get it “Trunk” or Treat! Last year we had over 1,000 people go through the church! That’s amazing! The people kept telling us: “Thank you for providing a safe place for our kids to come and get candy and for feeding us, etc.” We provide a hot dog supper and great candy (good stuff…you know…Snickers and Reece’s and Kit Kat, and Milky Way…not the cheap candy). We want folks to know we care for them.

It’s been asked… “If your church ceased to exist, would your community miss it?” Did you read that carefully? Not “would your CHURCH MEMBERS miss it,” but “COMMUNITY.” So often we can get locked into “tithing to ourselves.” Are we really meaning anything to the community? While they are at Trunk or Treat, they’ll leave with information about the church and about Jesus.

“Lord, help people to know that they are loved by you!”

Here’s the Two-Minute Tuesday this week: “The State of Theology-What Do People Really Believe in 2018?” You might be surprised. I was! Things are actually improving!

http://mpbc.ws/media/?sapurl=Lys3ZWViL2xiL21pLytmNXY2dno3P2JyYW5kaW5nPXRydWUmZW1iZWQ9dHJ1ZQ==

Off to Israel! 🙂

Kevin

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As many of you know, our family enjoyed a great week last week in Virginia and Washington, D.C. We started out at Will Shepherd and Madi Clark’s wedding in Lynchburg. What a blessing!

It was a picture-perfect weekend and a fabulous couple, who loves the Lord! It was an honor to be a part of it! Pam and I had some fun in the photo booth at the reception. Can you tell?

Then we headed to Washington, D.C. The destination was time at the Museum of the Bible and learning and educating myself even more about God’s Word. It was amazing! And it was a blessing to have my family in tow.

On our way to the nation’s capital, we stopped over to see something that many would laugh about. We visited the original home of “John Boy” from the Walton’s TV show…the home of Earl Hamner in Schuyler, VA. It’s about 45 miles northwest of Lynchburg. We hadn’t planned on going, but when we saw the road signs…well…we couldn’t pass it up. Here’s Andrew and Clara outside of the Hamner home.

Here is a photo of the original Walton family (Hamner’s):

That’s Earl Hamner with his mom’s arm around him. His father is just to her left. Earl’s (John Boy’s) siblings are behind him. Truly, the house was much smaller than I imagined from the TV Show.

Remember the house was much larger even in the opening of the show, you could tell that.

One of the cool things was being reminded of how talented John Boy (Earl Hamner) was as a writer. Here’s an example from his typewriter.

Beautiful writing!

From there we headed to D.C. to the Museum of the Bible. What a place! It’s a $500 million facility and it was created by the founder of Hobby Lobby.

Andrew got to make a copy of the Bible from a Gutenberg Press.

He thoroughly enjoyed that!

Did you know the majority of the Ivy League Universities were originally teaching colleges for young ministers of the Gospel…including Princeton.

My, my, my how times have changed. And it just goes to show you what happens when you begin to place your “authority” on what “mankind” says and not the Bible. Where do you take your authority? From CNN or the Bible?

Speaking of education. Take a look at this…

Have you heard fo McGuffey’s Reader? William McGuffey was a minister and he created a textbook in the 1830’s using the Bible and it’s lessons to teach children. Between 1836 and the 1960’s, about 122 million McGuffey Readers were used in the United States schools. As the placard above says: “Their instruction helped shape the character of generations of Americans.”

How is the character of our American children being shaped today? By what? By whom? I’ll let you decide. Personally, we have strayed so far from the teaching the Bible because of the liberal elites that we’ve created incubators for socialism and progressive liberal indoctrination.

Ever wonder the breakdown of Billy Graham’s most preached verses? I bet you can guess #1. It’s also #10. Take a look:

The view from the top of the museum was phenomenal!

You could see the Capitol building from the top!

It’s worth the trip to just see the Bible Museum. I learned so much and I’m thankful for the state of the art, excellent way in which everything is depicted. The exhibits are interactive and amazing!

We got to go to the White House last Tuesday. But, I didn’t think we were going to be able to go in to see it. Pam was held in a detention area while they tried to sort out why her name on the guest list didn’t match her driver’s license. Come on!!! Don’t they know that no would should have to provide an ID!!! After all…you can vote without an ID…why not go to the White House too? Of course I’m being facetious. I recently went to the dermatologist in Boone…one of the most liberal places in NC…and guess what they told me before I came via the recording on my home phone (yes…we still have a land line): “Please bring a photo ID.” How about that? 🙂

They finally cleared Pam and we were all allowed to go inside:

Did you know the White House has it’s own theater?

It’s gorgeous! We took tons of pictures…the whole family…can you tell…

We are in the East Room. It was so immaculate and detailed in it’s beauty (as all the rooms were)! Do you recognize this hallway?

That’s the hallway that leads to the East Room and it’s in that East Room where the President usually hosts the media for big announcements (Supreme Court justices, sometimes National Addresses, etc.). You’ve probably seen that red carpet on TV.

The White House is a very beautiful, ornate place. It’s the “people’s house” and you can visit there at no charge. More pics…

Kind of reminds me of the Biltmore House in some ways. Does it you?

This is called the Blue Room and has oval walls.

There’s another room in the White House like this. You might have heard of it: Oval Office.

This was a neat shot from that room…out the window…that’s the Washington Monument.

Official Dinners for dignitaries are held here…

It’s a surreal thing to walk around where Ronald Reagan walked…

See the seal above the door…

Some nice folks from Colorado took our picture for us…

Selfie time…

Outside of the Supreme Court Building…

I’m grateful for the make-up of that court right now. Things are much different from the way they were when I was in D.C. at another conference a few years ago.

I’ve got to throw in a plug to our Representative, Virginia Foxx. She was the one who got us into the White House. You have to contact your Congressional Representative or State Senator to make the request for you. This was from her office. She wasn’t there that day. Her staffer told us that she comes in at 7 am and doesn’t leave until as late as 11 pm. He said a lot of nights, she sleeps on the couch in her office that’s right beside of me and Andrew.

Right across from her office is this lady’s office…

Can you guess which state she’s from? Look closely. Yep, you guessed it…(Representative of California).

This was outside the Capitol. They are working on Statue of Freedom on the top of the dome.

The Washington Monument…

There is so much I could say about the Holocaust Museum…

…but, truly…I’m still processing it all. For those who could say that it never happened. I say this kindly: they are fools. Go to the museum and see the pictures and videos. It’s sobering. It’s sickening actually. What Hitler did was heinous.

Throughout many of the exhibits…it’s carpeted. And that makes things eerily quiet. No one talks. They only shuffle along…quietly…some crying…so sobering.

Lincoln Memorial…massive…

Iwo Jima Memorial at night was awe-inspiring!!!

I’m so thankful for our brave servicemen and women through the decades! Which leads me to Arlington National Cemetery… Another awe-inspiring place of sobriety and humility and thankfulness!

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier…

The changing of the guard was mesmerizing! When they played “Taps”…well…I wiped tears. The sun shining through the large oaks…

There was a funeral that day. A former marine was being buried and his casket was on a caisson being pulled by horses, followed by a riderless horse… I know it’s hard to see…but, I wanted to be respectful.

Dr. Martin Luther King Memorial…coming out of the stone to bring victory and freedom of rights…

Jefferson Memorial…

To say we had a great time would be an understatement! I love my family! We even enjoyed riding the Metro Subway together…

Spending time together just eating meals and doing stuff together is a blessing!

The Lord has been so good to me!

I finished up Revival tonight at Maplewood Baptist Church in Yadkinville, NC. It was a blessing to be with such wonderful folks. I really believe we were encouraged and revived this week! Thank you Maplewood Baptist and all the wonderful folks there for being so kind to me…including this wonderful group of singers called: The A Cafellas. They are a group of guys from Starmount and Forbush High Schools and they were wonderful!

https://therealacafellas.wixsite.com/mysite

Here’s this week’s Two Minute Tuesday: “How Are You Doing? Are You Out of Balance?”

http://mpbc.ws/media/?sapurl=Lys3ZWViL2xiL21pLytmZ2t2Ymh6P2F1dG9wbGF5PXRydWUmYnJhbmRpbmc9dHJ1ZSZlbWJlZD10cnVl

Kevin

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Communication

You know sometimes in life you come to places where you feel you can (or should) look back and make assessments… Like: “How’d that go?” Or “Is this working like I wanted it to?”

Have you been there? Are you there now? It’s sometimes a scary thing. Yep. Scary. It’s sometimes a scary thing to be 50 years old and look back over a period of years and wonder, “Did I do well there?” It can be scary at any age!

Do you know what I’m learning? It’s okay to look back and ask these questions…but, if you begin to dwell on them you’ll start living in the past. Have you ever tried to drive a car by looking in the rear view mirror? Nope! You can’t! But, you can learn and grow from what’s in the rear view mirror as you look forward!

Isn’t that what we’re doing in this life? Living and learning? Yes…as believers…this is boot camp preparing us for heaven!

So, can I share with you what I’m learning? I’m learning communication is absolutely vital! If we’re not communicating, we’re going to struggle! That’s the case in every relationship. Home, work, friends, teams. You name it… If we’re not communicating we’ll struggle! We all know that…but it’s so hard sometimes isn’t it!

How’s your communication? How is it with your family? How is it at work? Is there a relationship in your life that’s strained? If there is…I’m telling you…I’ll bet you it has something to do with lack of communication or poor communication. And most likely, you didn’t mean for it to happen. It just happened. You got busy. They got busy. Things got complicated. Things happened. Then the communication stopped.

Can you pick it back up? Communicate? Hmmm… I know what you might be thinking… “This is going to be tough.” Yep, communicating is scary isn’t it? It’s scary because it means we often have to be very vulnerable. Yet, vulnerability (honesty) leads to good communication. Lack of vulnerability and stonewalling leads to terrible communication…like cold-shoulders, or not being willing to talk about the “elephant in the room” (and hoping it will all just go away).  Well, it won’t go away! It never just “goes away.” It has to be addressed…just like a splinter…or cancer…or a bad attitude. It’s got to be addressed.

How do we address tough situations in life? Like Jesus…think about it…he had a strong mind and a warm heart. Can you find that balance? Man, I struggle to do that. But, I love the fact that Jesus has given us His Word to guide us to this place.

Now, you’re going to want to skip over this passage of Scripture…but, don’t. Please. Please read this passage. I promise it will help.

Romans 12:9-18

Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. 10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. 11 Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. 12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. 13 Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.

14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. 17 Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. 18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.

You know what I’ve done? I’ve made the commitment to address all that I can address and leave the rest to the Lord. I will talk about the elephant in the room, but I won’t be mean. I will be kind and gentle and seek harmony knowing it can’t always be had. But, I’m only responsible for my response. And you are responsible for your response.

It’s true. I can’t live people’s lives for them, and nor can you. But, we can be gracious. Sometimes we just need to realize that we simply might be further down the road on our journey with Jesus than the person we’re dealing with at the time. Yet, in trying to “outdo one another in showing honor,” we can show grace. The difference in the distance between us and them is: “grace.” We show grace to folks. Love. And when we do (and they might even be expecting us to be mean)…then, we’ll see hearts and lives changed.

Yep, I’m 50, and I’m learning, and I’m seeking to grow! And I’m seeking to communicate better! And show more grace!

Hey…I’m excited to let you know I’m headed to the White House!

The family and I are headed up to Lynchburg, VA for a wedding this weekend and from there we’re going to Washington to take Clara and Andrew to see the capital of our nation. They’ve never been to D.C., and we want them to understand the power structure of our nation and the history of our nation. As you can see, we’ll be going to the White House for our 45-minute tour on Tuesday, October 16th at 11:30 am. That will be so cool! We’ll also be going to the Capitol. We’ll do that on Monday the 15th. This is part of a trip that includes a visit to the Bible Museum and some things I’m doing through my “conference/education.” So, we’re killing two birds with one stone. I’ll update you on all the happenings when we get back!

Here is this week’s Two-Minute Tuesday: “The Target Audience for Advertisers Today? -A 26-Year-Old.” Are we reaching them?

http://mpbc.ws/media/?sapurl=Lys3ZWViL2xiL21pLysyM3N4a2huP2JyYW5kaW5nPXRydWUmZW1iZWQ9dHJ1ZQ==

Kevin

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