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Archive for January, 2019

I Prayed for Seven and Got One

Does prayer work? Does it work in your life? When is the last time you prayed for something and it actually happened? As you are thinking, let’s go even deeper. If what you prayed for actually happened, how do you know for sure it was your prayer that caused it to happen? Was it your prayer or someone else’s?

Those are tough questions to sort through. Certainly they are in my own mind sometimes. The truth is…on this side of glory, it’s hard to tell for SURE about the specific answers to the questions I’ve asked. But, let me say this…I do believe prayer works, because I’ve seen it work in my own life. Can I say for SURE it was my prayers that did it…well…

I told you last week that “Sports Is Life.” I saw that come to fruition this weekend again! Let me go to last Saturday. I told you that from time to time I might find a few minutes to go out and shoot some hoops. I did this Saturday evening. I knew I needed to get a little exercise and get some “steps” in…so, out the door I go. My “go to” is basketball, of course. Just shoot and run from corner to corner and do the “around the world” routine. So, I started. It was cold. About 30 degrees and it was about 5 o’clock. I knew I didn’t have long. There was stuff to do for the evening. Nonetheless, I was nailing shot after shot.

As I was shooting, I started thinking about my niece, Leah Church, who play for the Lady TarHeels. They were playing Notre Dame the next day. Notre Dame just happened to be the #1 Women’s Team in the country. They had lost just one game…to powerhouse UCONN. It was going to be a tall task. The Heels have had an up and down year… They had an 11-9 record and were 2-4 in the difficult ACC.

Now let me say this…I don’t think the Lord is that interested in the outcome of ball games. I just really don’t. In the scheme of important things in life and eternity…whether it’s basketball, football, baseball…you name it… It’s just not an “eternal proposition” in most cases. Yet, I do believe He wants us to pray for our loved ones to do their best and for safety and things such as that. So, as I moved from shot to shot, I breathed a prayer for Leah and I said, “Lord, just help her and the team do their best. And Lord, give Leah 7 shots.” Why did I pray for 7 shots? That’s a big number for any player coming off the bench (which Leah usually does). But, I thought, “You have not because you ask not.” And I knew if she got up 7 shots, she’d hit 4 or 5 of them because she’s an amazing shooter! In fact, I asked several people to pray with me for 7 shots. And several said they would.

As I continued to shoot and pile up some “steps,” it hit me… “You are really nailing these shots today.” So, I had this crazy idea! I thought, “Video what I call ‘around the world’ and send it to Leah.” Just do the best you can and send it. So, I set up my phone on a bucket and shot this video… (listen what I say at the end)…

Nutty, huh! But, hey…I hit 9 of 11 after missing the first shot! So, give me some credit! Ha! I’m 50 years old folks! But, I wanted Leah to know I was thinking about her and praying for her. So, I sent it to her and she texted back, “that made my day…” And so, “mission accomplished.”

The family and I loaded up and headed to Chapel Hill on Sunday. Yes, I said, “Sunday.” I’ve never done that. In 14 years of ministry, I’ve never missed a Sunday except for vacation or a mission trip. But, I believe I needed the break and family needed me to take the break and the truth is… I wanted to go! Yes, I could have sent my family without me and preached. I’ve done that before. But, the church is in excellent hands when I’m gone, so we went with total confidence and peace.

Have you heard what happened? Is it even possible the Heels could beat the #1 team in the country? Well, first of all I want to tell you what happened with Leah. She didn’t get 7 shots off. She only got off two. In fact, in the first half, she to up her first shot and missed and pretty quickly was taken out for the game. I thought, “Oh no…this is going to be tough.” But, as the game went on and the second half came…she got back in the game. The Heels were playing well. A guard for the team, Paris Kea, was on fire. She ended up with 30 points and 10 assists. Amazing! But, in order for the Heels to pull off the massive upset, something needed to happen.

With 1:25 left in the game the ball comes to Leah in the corner. The entire arena was standing. I literally held my breath. I froze and it felt that time stopped. She caught the ball (would she shoot it or pass it back…would I shoot it…I don’t know…oh my…this is the number one team in the country…she’s not shot a single other shot in the game…would she have the nerve to take this shot…this is such a risk…such a gamble…but, she can shoot the lights out…she can make it), she set her feet and released the ball…it’s in the air…

The sound in the arena was strange…it was amazingly loud up to that moment…but, it was like a collective “breath-holding” moment for everyone. The ball splashes through the net and it sounded like a sonic-boom in the arena! Watch…

Did you watch the bench stand up when the ball was passed to her? They knew it was in! Paris Kea…the leading scorer in the game is the one who passed her the ball and she’s already backing up going down court the other way. She knew it was in too!

Pam happened to video the shot from our seats behind the basket! Needless to say, all the family went nuts: Me, Pam, Clara, Andrew, Katy, Josh, Charlotte, Evelyn, Kandace and Clark!

My mom and dad were in their seats to our right and below us. They have season tickets and of course, Kim and Craig, Taylor and Zac were in their familiar spots on the front row down below them. Not to mention that Craig’s family (dad and step-mom, step brother) was in the arena as well. Needless to say, there were plenty of #20 Leah Church fans in Carmichael Arena!

Now, why do I tell you all of this?

Honestly, I really believe with all of my heart that the Lord heard the prayers of our family and those close to Leah. Did God answer my specific prayer? Obviously not! I asked for 7 shots, but she only got 2. But, it only took 1 to answer my prayer! Do you see! The Lord can answer our prayers even when it’s not exactly what we ask. He has a plan that’s so much better than ours. In fact, Leah said it best on Facebook!

That same picture has been all over ESPN’s Women’s Basketball homepage!

Does prayer work? Ask Leah Church. This is a woman who knows more about prayer and the hard work of it than anyone I know.

Do you think our families were happy after the game?

Let me tell you something…prayer works. James says, “The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working” (James 5:16). That picture above you is a prime example of that. So, pray! Pray when it seems impossible! Pray when you miss the first shot! Keep going…Keep living! Look for the next chance and keep praying! It’s worth it! Even when it’s just going 1 for 2, and you asked for 7!

Kevin

 

 

 

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Sports Is Life

I love sports. And I believe “Sports Is Life.” Hence, the title of the blog. Sports mimic the ups and downs and highs and lows of life. Just look at what the New Orleans Saints are dealing with this week after the debacle of the missed call on Sunday. Yet, think of the joy for the Rams and Patriots. For me…it’s not football that pulls on my heart-strings. You know what does, don’t you? It’s basketball.

Truly, I believe it’s the greatest game that’s ever been invented. I love it because it’s a team sport and it takes tremendous athletes to perform it at a high level. I know that some who read this love baseball or football or some other sport or even activity or pursuit like I love the game of basketball and that’s the way it should be. I believe the Lord loves variety… Think of all the different kind of animals and all the different kind of fruits… Yes, God loves variety! So, for the sake of illustrating my example of basketball…as you read…you think of your favorite sport or activity.

When I was a boy I was given a basketball as an infant, literally. There’s a picture of me with a basketball as I’m sitting beside of it (and I was barely able to sit up). Throughout my life, the sport of basketball has been a part of it. It’s been like a familiar friend. I’m 50 years old and yet there are times I’ll still go out in my driveway and shoot hoops. It doesn’t happen often, but from time to time I’m by myself. (Most of the time, there are plenty of my children or grandchildren to join me.) Yet, every now and again…it’s just me. It might be for only 10-15 minutes…but, it’s just me again. Like a kid. I’m shooting free throws. I’ve got to hit 8 out of 10 to stop. 80% is the minimum. Then it’s “Around the World” and I’m shooting 10 shoots around the perimeter from baseline to the top of the key to the other baseline. I need to hit 6 of 10 on those shots. And then it’s left hand, right hand, alternating under the rim. 10 for 10 on both sides of the basket.

Call me crazy…but, this routine relaxes me. I’ve done it since I was 10 years old. Truly, that was when I could really get the ball to the rim consistently from 15 feet. So, here I am describing you to something that almost seems silly as a I type it. But, it’s the rhythm of life. Get this…I still dream about basketball. I dream about it usually once or twice a month. I could be back in college or high school. I could even be playing for a team I’ve never heard of before. Sometimes I’m dunking it and scoring from every position on the floor… Other times I’m sitting on the bench. Sometimes, I have this dream of not being able to find my jersey and I can’t seem to get out of the locker room. It’s crazy! Where is my jersey and I wake up nervous. No, I don’t try to figure out these dreams, nor do I really care. I just tell you that I love basketball.

Yes, some people love golf or fishing or knitting. Some find relaxation in a deer stand. Some enjoy gardening (I like that too). But, for me…give me basketball. I love to watch it. Think about it… Strategize about it… and hypothesize about it.

Call me crazy…but, I went through some old scrapbooks Tuesday night and I took a trip down memory lane. Want to join me? This might help you to understand the joy the game of basketball brings me. But, for others…you might just want to check out because you will probably think this is all silly stuff. But, I assure it’s not. It helps explain a lot about me (if you care) and who I am. Truly, it was a fun exercise for me in that I hadn’t been through some of these clippings in years. So, either keep reading or click back to Facebook. 🙂

This was my first basketball team. I played for Brame Drugs, a.k.a “dark blue.” (My Duke-loving son-in-law would like that 🙂 )

I was 8-years-old and the pencil is pointing to me. I loved that little team. I changed from my school clothes to my basketball uniform in the back of my mom’s 1966 Ford Mustang many, many times on the way to the YMCA.

My dad ended up coaching our team three years later. He’s on the back row, far left.

I’m in the middle in the back, to the right of the tall young man. By the way…the young man on the front row on the far left is Zach Galifianakis. He was a jokester even back then! I’ve never seen one of his movies and don’t plan on it. I know he’s a funny guy, but I wish he wasn’t so vulgar. I believe the funniest people are those who are funny without being vulgar.

Here I am in my Brame Drug uniform when I went to the University of North Carolina Basketball camp and won the free throw shooting contest for my age. 

I was 12-years-old and I hit 30 out of 30 free throws and then got to eat supper with legendary head coach Dean Smith at his table in the cafeteria. I could barely eat I was so nervous! I was able to win the contest again three years later…

I, again, was able to eat with Coach Smith and this time I was able to actually finish my dinner.

I played in Elementary School at Millers Creek Elementary and I wore my Dad’s college number (42).

This game was played in old Union Elementary School gym, which is now the sanctuary for Celebration Baptist Church. By the way, my sister is under the backboard as a Millers Creek Cheerleader. She’s in the middle of the three young ladies behind the referee. Yes, that’s the referee in the t-shirt and jeans! Back in the day…that’s what we saw a lot. No stripped, zebra shirts and black shoes for us!

Speaking of my dad… He was an amazing basketball player at West Wilkes and then at Gardner Webb and Mars Hill. Here he is in an “Old Timer’s Game” back in December of 1984:

He was 36 years old at the time. Dad hit the winning shot with one second left to beat North Wilkes. It was truly a Grant Hill to Christian Laettner pass and score before that even happened. My dad received the full court in-bounds pass and he went up over Danny Joe Pendry (a fabulous player in the day for North Wilkes) and nailed the shot! I was 16 at the time and boy was I proud of my dad!

Basketball has been such a huge part of my family. And I’m blessed in that my dad and I were able to play together on our church league team. Here we are side by side back when our team took the title.

Dad and I had a great championship game. Here’s the box score:

Not bragging…but, I think you could say that without Dad and me, we would have struggled to win. We accounted for 65% of our offense. Of course it helps to be 6’6″ and 6’7″ (dad).

The team looked to me to score and I did… A lot…

That was through 13 games… So doing the math…that’s right at 24 points a game. We had a great team and really dominated the YMCA Church League for many years.

I can’t describe to you what these shared experiences with my father means to me. I’ll never forget them. I’ll never forget my dad taking me to Chicago to see Michael Jordan play in the old (now torn down) Chicago Stadium. I’ll never forget riding down the elevator in our hotel with Patrick Ewing and Ewing asking us, “Do you guys play basketball?” It was surreal and such a blessing to have that time with my dad.

I worked hard on my game. I spent a tremendous amount of time right here…

That was by goal at my house growing up. My sister Kim took this picture. I was learning to dunk and obviously, you have to start with something…and in this case…it was a partially deflated volleyball. If you look at the net closely…you’ll see how frayed it is. I wore out a net about every six months. I played in the winter with gloves on and the fingers cut out so I could feel the ball. I shoveled the snow off of the driveway many times. I played in the rain, in the heat, in any conditions. Why? Because I loved the game. I loved the way it was such a challenge to get better and improve on my own and then couple that with my teammates to do something special.

I played in High School of course (West Wilkes). Junior Varsity (JV) to begin with…and then Varsity. Our JV team was really good. We were conference champions.

I’m on the back row, #30. My coach was Mac Atwood. He was a HUGE influence in my life. He encouraged me in so many ways. As I read through the article I was struck by how Coach Atwood talked about me. See the second paragraph…

“Kevin Brown played with great intensity. He’s a winner.” 

Folks, as I read that I got a lump in my throat. It’s been 34 years since I cracked open that scrapbook and read those words and I thought, “Wow…even then the Lord had given me a passion and fire.” And I’ll tell you…I try to take this same attitude into living the Christian life. I am playing for the greatest Head Coach of all time…Jesus Christ! How can I not play the game of life with all I have? Sports is Life and Life is Sports. They go hand-in-hand. How are you playing the game of life? Go for it! Live it with intensity, because as a believer in Christ…we are the ultimate WINNERS!

My junior year we beat our arch rivals Wilkes Central in the Christmas Tournament…

I’m on the far left. What a win! No one expected us to beat Central. They had fabulous teams back then too. I remember at the end of that game my dad running on the floor and literally picking me up in a bear hug! He was so happy and excited for us! He said, “You did it…you did it!”

I worked hard on my game. My dad made me a weight bench and I lifted weights. He built a squat rack and I got to where I could do three sets of 30 with 300 lbs on my back.

I got to where I could really jump. I could dunk the ball just about any way I wanted to! It was hard, challenging and difficult to get to that place…but, I was intent on being the absolute best I could be.

My senior year, we were conference champions…the first conference champions in the history of the High School in men’s basketball. If you are ever at West Wilkes High School…look in the rafters at the Basketball banner and you’ll see 1986. That was us! Unfortunately, we lost in the finals of the conference tournament that year to Mt. Airy. I was paired against best player in the conference and I gave it all I had…

I scored 24 points, and yet we came up just short. Funny how you don’t forget those things. I replay them in my mind from time to time. What could we have done better. Silly? Perhaps…but, when it’s in your blood…you can’t help it.

We were really good that year…

We made it all the way up to #11 in the western NC State High School polls. You’ll see Wilkes Central at #4. I told you they were good! One of their 4 losses was to us. Arguably, our team was one of the best basketball teams in the history of West Wilkes High School.

This led me to being able to sign with Gardner Webb to play college basketball…

Again, my dad played there and so I decided to play there too. Note, the fact that I said, “I decided to play there too.” Accentuate the word “I.” I didn’t seek the Lord on it. I just did it. I don’t believe the Lord was really in it to begin with, to be blunt. You see, I wanted to play basketball and maybe coach and teach High School Biology. But, the Lord had a different plan all along. He wanted me to get a business degree and work in the business world for 16+ years, which would be training for the pastorate, eventually.

Well, I had to learn the hard way. You know…when a team doesn’t listen and they have to run laps. I’m grateful the Lord was gracious with me. He led me to Appalachian State and eventually my wife. But, honestly, even then, I was still trying to play basketball. I tried out as a walk-on for the ASU team and actually made the team…for three days. That’s right. I made the team on a Friday and the coach called me into his office and cut me on Monday. He said, “Son, you’re good, but not good enough to make our 8-man rotation and we don’t need any dead weight.” Let me tell you…I cried like a baby after I walked out of his office. But, Sports Is Life. Sometimes we go through really difficult seasons and we just have to keep moving.

Here’s the truth: if I had stayed on that ASU basketball team, I would have never met Pam. She was at ASU, but we never had a class together and never saw each other on campus. She was an Education major, while I was a Business major. However, when I got cut from the team, my pastor, Jimmy Hubbard said, “Kevin, now you have time to teach a Bible Study.” Well, no more excuses. He had been on me and my roommate, Steve Bryan, for months to crank up a Bible Study. We did. And it was a tremendous blessing and influence on many lives. Again, it was through that 8 pm, Tuesday night Bible Study in Steve’s and my apartment that I met Pam. She came because of a mutual friend and “the rest,” as they say, “is history.”

And that brings me back to today. It brings me back to the place where a 50-year-old man still loves the game of basketball. It brings me to the place where I can rejoice and celebrate with my niece, who feels a whole lot more like a daughter, in that she has grown up right beside of us…

That was two years ago and today she is in her sophomore year at Carolina. And we love going to watch her play…

We love hugging her as she and the team runs through the crowd after the games…

And it’s why I show her a video of herself nailing a three pointer!

Want to see it? Here it is. 11 seconds of joy!

The entire family will be going down to Chapel Hill this weekend to watch Leah and the Heels play the #1 Team in the country, Notre Dame. I can’t wait! Even Josh, Katy, Charlotte and Evie will be able to see Leah play “live” for the first time!! Go Leah! Go Heels!

Yes, I’m old and a bit nostalgic and perhaps even silly…but, it’s true…I love basketball…even though I can’t play much of it anymore other than “Horse.” But, Life Is Sports and Sports Is Life. Think about any sport or any activity you do for fun. If you are going to be good at it, you have to work at it. I see that in my daughters Katy and Kandace who are musicians and writer/songwriters. And Clara who is a ballet dancer and plays the violin with tremendous skill. Or Andrew who builds gravity cars using a CAD computer and 3D printer. I see that in my wife who is a fantastic mom, homeschool teacher and pastor’s wife. What about you? What brings you joy and teaches you at the same time? For me…it’s basketball and I’m grateful for it! Thanks for taking this walk down memory lane with me!

Here’s this week’s Two-Minute Tuesday, “What Can Children Understand in Church?” It’s about Charlotte, my 4-year-old granddaughter and her picture of “Jesus’ Boo Boos.”

Take a look:

http://mpbc.ws/media/?sapurl=Lys3ZWViL2xiL21pLytxeWh5emJ4P2F1dG9wbGF5PXRydWUmYnJhbmRpbmc9dHJ1ZSZlbWJlZD10cnVl

Kevin

 

 

 

 

 

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Yes, I’ll admit it… I’m an old dog! And the truth is…I like for things to stay the same (most of the time). I guess as you get older you really like routine. That’s why “change” can be hard. Do you like change? You might not. Honestly, change is harder as you get older…hence the “old dogs” adage.

Yet, I’ve learned that change has to happen if there is to be growth. Think that through. Can you grow and not change? Ask a baby that grows into a toddler. Ask McDonald’s or Wal-Mart. Have they changed through the years? Yes, we have to change to grow, and I want to grow! Therefore, change will be in the offing. Let me give you an example of a recent change for me that wasn’t easy. See this…

Some of you might look at that and think, “What in the world is that?” Well, it’s a Day Planner. I have used it for my entire ministry, (which just flipped into my 14th year a few days ago). Everything…and I mean everything was in that Day Planner. Like what? My schedule of course. My important phone numbers, contacts, and even notes from various meetings and conferences, including goals and areas of improvement. 13+ years of important stuff! Well, I ditched the Day Planner for this:

That’s my calendar on my computer, which is also synced to my phone. Now when I’m out somewhere and someone asks me about meeting or setting up something, I don’t have to say, “Let me get back to my office and get in front of my Day Planner.” No sir! I’ve got it with me then and there…right there on the phone. How about that!!!

Now let me tell you something… It took a ton of time for me to transfer all of that information over from my “handwritten” Day Planner to the digital format. In fact, as I think about it… Hmmm…. I’m guessing it took me somewhere around 6 or 7 hours to do it.

You might also note an icon in the picture above that says, “KEEPER.” See that yellow lock? That’s an APP on my phone that has all of passwords and important contacts in it. (Yes, I know what some of you are thinking… “Kevin, did you have all your passwords written down in your Day Planner? That’s dangerous!!”) Yep, you would be right…it was dangerous, but I had to have them written down somewhere, right? Don’t you have yours written down somewhere? Now they are all safely stored away in my Password Keeper App.

Yes, I needed to change. It wasn’t easy. And there are times I go looking for my Day Planner… But, then I remember…Kevin, you have left that! You are traveling lighter! You are moving forward… And there’s an analogy there, isn’t there? If we are going to grow in our Christian lives…we have to be willing to change. We have to be willing to leave things behind. Things that aren’t necessarily bad…but, things that could be better. Areas where we have grown comfortable and we’re simply not growing.

Of late…we’ve been using this logo around here…

I really do want to pursue Jesus in 2019. I don’t want to stay stuck in a “base camp” that’s safe at the bottom of the mountain sitting in a lounge chair. No sir! I want to go climbing! I want to see all that the Lord Jesus wants me to see and experience in Him! I want to experience the views from heights I’ve never seen! But, you know what? If I want to do all of that…then I’ve got to climb and that means I’ve got to change! I’ve got to be willing to leave “comfortable” to experience places in my life I’ve never seen.

No, I’m not talking about some ethereal, mystical, weird experience. I’m not talking about emotionalism. It’s anything but that. I’m talking about a concentrated journey…one step at a time…climbing…going up, looking to Jesus. I’m talking about concentrating on experiencing the presence of Jesus in everything I do. It’s a focus. It’s a mindset. It’s a deliberate, intentional process of saying, “Lord, I don’t want any sin, any obstacle, any issue to dominate my life. I only want you.” Why? Because He is the best this life has to offer. He is the LIFE (John 14:6).

Now, let me tell you… When you say that and you mean it and you really begin to take your day by the throat and you grab everything that comes into your mind…WOW! That’s when you and I begin to truly “take every thought captive” to the point that we can have victory over sin and we can truly overcome bad habits in our minds. Because they truth is…you are probably not doing anything that’s really, really bad right now. But, in your heart and soul…you look deep and you may see things that you know aren’t right. Attitudes, motives, bitterness, malice, frustration…

I’ll be blatantly honest. My mind hadn’t gotten lazy. I was like my old, comfortable Day Planner. Ruts had formed in my brain that weren’t good. I needed to be blasted out of those ruts! And the Lord did just that. I preached about this a couple of Sundays ago. It was one of the most difficult messages I’ve ever preached…mainly because I was so brutally honest. You can watch it below. If you are short of time, start watching at the 35 minute mark and watch the last 9 minutes.

http://mpbc.ws/media/?sapurl=Lys3ZWViL2xiL21pLyszZHNxNTRyP2JyYW5kaW5nPXRydWUmZW1iZWQ9dHJ1ZQ==

Truly, the Lord has moved me from my lounge chair to climbing…and you know what…I like that! The views are really amazing when you climb. You see things you’ve never seen. Is it hard? Yes. There is pain in the climb. And there is pain in surrender and confession of sin. But, there is freedom in confession. There is freedom in surrender. There is freedom in Jesus.

Truly, ruts are graves with the ends knocked out and I don’t want that. I don’t want that for me or my family or this church. I want to climb! So, I’m looking to Jesus to lead me in that climb. Want to join me? Put on the boots and get your backpack and let’s go climbing!

It’s hard to believe but Kandace and Clark’s wedding is just about 80 days away!

Wow! Time is flying! And I’m going to be giving up another girl to another wonderful man! I’ve done that once before, you know. 🙂 I hope folks will understand that Kandace and Clark’s wedding is going to be at a smaller venue (not at the church) and when you consider inviting those in our families and those in the wedding party’s families and those that Kan and Clark were close to growing up…well…that’s about it. Obviously, we’d love to invite the whole church and everyone that we’re close to…but, that’s not the way this cookie is going to crumble. There’s simply not enough room. Nonetheless, the planning is in earnest at my house and it will be here before you know it.

And that’s another area of change that will be coming to my life. Katy was married in 2012 and now Kan. The places at the table are getting fewer and that leaves a lump in my throat. But, that’s how it’s supposed to be. We raise them so they can leave the nest and make their own nest. I’m so grateful for Kandace and for the joy she brings to my life and it will be VERY HARD for us to not see here every day, but we will adjust. The Lord will help us on that climb too! That’s more “new tricks” for this old dog!

Speaking of Kandace… We’re so excited about this…

Is that crazy, or what? That’s my girl on Spotify! Her EP came out a few days ago on iTunes and it’s on Spotify too. I’m amazed at her talent and how the Lord has gifted her. She has such a smooth and soothing voice and the lyrics of her songs are about life. I like the fact that she can describe her emotions through words and then put them to music. That’s not easy, but she did it! I’m proud of my girl!

I mentioned climbing mountains earlier… It’s amazing how much walking/moving around can be done in one year.

2.6 million steps. 1,342 miles! Truly, that’s not near enough, to be honest. I need to be doing double that. But, it’s a function of my schedule (you know that thing on my phone and computer now). It’s having a big family, big church and big goals… So, there is much to be juggled. The Lord will guide in that too. I’ve just got to keep looking to the Author and Finisher of my faith in this journey and this old dog will be fine.

Of course it’s winter and you know I’m going to be talking about the weather. Take a look at what’s coming. After this weekend, buckle up! Here’s the temperature outlook through the first of March.

That green shading means 5-6 degrees celsius BELOW NORMAL. That’s 9-11 degrees Fahrenheit colder. And with our average temp during Jan/Feb being around 48 degrees…well, you can do the math. It’s potentially going to be frigid around. And if you couple the cold with an active Southern jet stream (which we’ve had the past year with record rainfall/moisture)… Well, you have a recipe for this…

And that chart is just through January 31st. So, get ready for a tough slog to Spring. This winter might go down as one we remember for a while. Remember, we’ve already had 18-20″ of snow and 1/4″ of ice. We’re already above the average of 12″ around here for the year…by a mile! And understand that temps can still swing up even in the midst of a cold spell. In other words, you can have a 55 degree day in the middle of a month of mostly 35-40 degree days. And it’s when you have those transitions in temps when you can have your bigger storms. Truly, when it gets bitter cold it’s hard to get moisture with it. Why? Because the push of the cold air from the Northern Jet surpasses the moisture from the Southern Jet. We get our biggest storms when the temps are in the low 30’s, not in the mid 20’s or below. So, watch for the transitional times between bitter cold and moderately cold.

Here’s this week’s TMT. “Does God Really Want Me To Be Happy?”

http://mpbc.ws/media/?sapurl=Lys3ZWViL2xiL21pLyt4d3doOG16P2JyYW5kaW5nPXRydWUmZW1iZWQ9dHJ1ZQ==

You might be surprised at the answer.

Kevin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Snow is in the forecast again and I’m telling you…we’re not done with it after this round this weekend. Weather runs via patterns. Once a pattern sets up…it’s hard to break it. Hmmm…sounds like habits. You know… old habits are hard to break. It seems it works in the weather too. Here’s the forecast for snow through the end of the month via weatherbell.com.

I guess Andrew will need to be ready to do this again…

I don’t think we’re in for another 18-20″ but I do believe we could see 3-6″ if snow and ice doesn’t cut into it. It does look to be cold enough to be frozen for NW North Carolina. And I’m saying it now…look out for the following weekend. Remember, when a pattern sets up, it’s hard for that pattern to be eroded during a season. It’s been so wet for the year 2018 and going into 2019, I still believe we’ll see that flow out of the Gulf.

I must say this past Sunday was a gut-wrenching Sunday for me. Preaching the message on “Consider Jesus” was one of the most spiritually and emotionally rigorous messages I’ve ever preached. I was wrung out Sunday afternoon. I had nothing left. I believe the Lord used it and will continue to use it. Why? Because I shared my heart and I held nothing back and I admitted my failures and faults in hopes that transparency would help others. I pray it does.

Many have asked when it will be loaded to the App and the website (www.mpbc.ws). The truth is…I’m not sure. It normally takes about a week to edit the messages for the website and the TV stations we’re on (Spectrum/Charter and Wilkes Communications). But, the holidays have slowed things down a bit. Keep checking back. I did my Two-Minute Tuesday on the subject earlier today. “Do You Have Peace with God? Are You Pursuing God?” Here you go: http://mpbc.ws/media/?sapurl=Lys3ZWViL2xiL21pLyszamZ5d3JuP2F1dG9wbGF5PXRydWUmYnJhbmRpbmc9dHJ1ZSZlbWJlZD10cnVl

With that theme…we’re hoping to climb the mountain…like Moriah…like Sinai…and like our Lord did (Calvary) and seek to experience His presence and power in our lives. I pray we can experience the presence of the Lord in our everyday lives… To the point that we will desire to pursue the presence of Jesus in our lives more than we desire to pamper our lives. However we will only experience the presence of the Lord to the degree that we deny ourselves and take up our cross and follow Him.

Abraham had to offer up Isaac in order to get him back. I literally had to offer up my family and even my voice in order to get them back. It was a death in each area of my life. I grieved as if it all really happened (lost my family and my voice and subsequently my career as a pastor). (Note: this probably sounds crazy as you read that…but, you’ll just have to watch the message at some point to understand it.)

Have I said lately how much I love these two guys…

Dale Jennings and Brad Cordray. I’m blessed to serve with these guys and I praise the Lord for them. I thought it was a good picture. They make me look pretty swell, don’t they! 🙂

 

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