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Archive for May, 2019

6:40 pm

That’s a new time that will be etched in my mind forever. That’s the time that this young lady came into the world.

That’s Amelia Robin Issacs. She weighed in at 7 pounds and 9 ounces and 18 1/2 inches long. She weighed exactly what Charlotte, her older sister (and the first Isaacs’ child). Obviously with the time of 6:40 pm for her birth, I had to make the decision to miss our Wednesday night church service. Yet, I know folks understand that the birth of a granddaughter doesn’t happen every day. 🙂

I am reminded yet again, about the miracle of birth. Thank you Lord for your goodness to us! Here’s a picture of big sisters and daddy with Milly (that’s what we’re calling her).

I think Charlotte is smitten, don’t you?

What a joy and blessing! I’m humbled at the Lord’s kindness and goodness to our family! I never cease to be amazed at His mercy and faithfulness to us! Thank you Lord! Praise God from whom all blessings flow! To say we are tickled pink would be an understatement.

Here’s this week’s Two-Minute Tuesday on Forgiveness. This is an important one! Forgiveness must be the norm for the Christian, or we’ll become bitter and unproductive for the Kingdom. Take a look:

http://link.mpbc.church/TMT5-28

Kevin

 

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Because of Music

Monday night our family was sitting in Winston-Salem at the Steven’s Center (NC School of the Arts) listening to the Winston-Salem Youth Symphony.

Clara played beautifully!

Clara has grown up on me!

She’s a foot taller than everyone… Well…everyone, but me… Ha! 🙂

Truly, these students are amazing!!

Here’s the ending to their finale…

Now tell me that doesn’t stir your soul! And even give you a goose bump or two! 🙂

Music. It’s a powerful thing! Music has the power to touch the human soul like nothing else on this earth can. Have you experienced that lately? Have you been listening to music and felt your soul stirred? Have you been moved to tears or to laugh out loud? I bet you have. We all have. Music does that. It reaches into the fiber of our being and motivates, stirs, heals. Heals? Yes…I’ll go so far as to say that. I believe music heals.

My daughter Kandace works for HomeInstead Senior Care. Here’s Kandace with Clara from Monday night…

Here’s a HomeInstead Caregiver with a client…

Now Kandace isn’t a caregiver…but, she goes into homes to do “introductions” with new clients and their new caregivers. Interestingly, Kandace has been in situations where she has started to sing a song and some of the clients, some of whom are in deep stages of dementia, begin to sing with her. She has described this to me with tears in her eyes. “Dad, I’ll begin to sing ‘Amazing Grace’ or some old tune from their childhood days, and their head will raise, and they begin to sing. It’s amazing!” And indeed it is. That’s what music can do! Thank you Lord for music!

I mentioned back in the winter that Kandace was now on Spotify.

I listen to her all the time. And the song, “Being Little.” Well, yes…it stirs my soul…deeply!

I’m grateful for music, aren’t you? Do you listen to music every day? I bet you do. You do in your car and you do if you watch TV, because music backs almost every commercial. How about church? Music is certainly an integral part of worship, right?

Here’s our church, as I’m preaching…

What a blessing to pastor MPBC… But, here’s the thing… Right before I step into that pulpit, we’ve been singing and that sets the table for the Word of God to be heard and received. I believe that with all my heart. Here’s Kandace leading a song with Seth Rhoades here at church…

Let me tell you… We’ve got an amazing Choir and Praise Team… Actually there are “teams,” since we have so many gifted and talented musicians and singers. Pastor Brad (below) does a phenomenal job in coordinating and leading our Worship/Music Ministry…

Man I’m grateful for music! Thank you Lord for creating us with the desire to sing and make music. Thank you that one day we’ll sing in heaven the “Song of the Redeemed” that only the saved know. Thank you Lord that our souls can be stirred, even when are minds are weak, because of music! Blessed be the name of the Lord!

Psalm 89:1-2

1 I will sing of the Lord’s great love forever;
    with my mouth I will make your faithfulness known
    through all generations.
I will declare that your love stands firm forever,
    that you have established your faithfulness in heaven itself.

Speaking of worship and music and being together… Are you in church? I hope you are. If not, take a look at this week’s Two-Minute Tuesday, “Are You Neglecting This?”

http://link.mpbc.church/TMT

Kevin

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Having All That You Need

Take a look at this. Don’t you hate it when this happens!

That happened last Friday night and that’s what the tire looked like by Saturday morning. The family and I had gone to Hickory and when we got back to the car (it was after dark), the tire pressure sensor light on the dash was on. I walked around the car with my flashlight on my cellphone shining down at the tires and I saw that back-right tire was way down. I checked it with the air pressure gauge I have in my glovebox. 10lbs of pressure. That’s not good. I asked Pam to get in the driver’s seat and slowly back the car up so I could see the tire as she backed. Sure enough…a roofing tack was in the tire.

Hey, get this…I’m kind of behind the times…but, as Pam was backing up and I was looking at the tire, it actually said on the tread, “Replace.” As she backed, it said, “Replace, replace, replace, replace” four or five times on the tread of the tire. I wasn’t aware that tires had that in them. Interestingly, I had just had the oil changed in the car earlier in the week and the mechanic rotated the tires for me. When I came to pick it up, he said, “You’re going to need new tires pretty soon.” Truth is…I was hoping to get another 3-4,000 miles on the tires and change them out at the next oil change. You know how expensive tires are!!! Well, all of that is down the drain now! I had to bite the bullet.

Well, when I saw the nail, I said to Pam and the kids… “Let’s get to a gas station and see if we can air it up and drive the hour drive home.” There was a station about a block away. I put 51 pounds of air in it and off we went. We drove the 25 minutes to Lenoir and stopped at another gas station. The pressure was holding. It hadn’t lost much…but, I topped it off at 51 lbs again. Now to see if we could make it home (35 minutes). It was a bit of a nerve-wracking drive, because there is nothing and I mean nothing between Lenoir and Wilkesboro on Highway 18. Just dark roads and small shoulders on the sides of the road. The last thing I wanted to be doing was changing a tire in the dead of night on the side of a rural road.

On the way (it’s now about 10:30 pm), I said, “Pam, if we take this car home that tire will be totally flat and on the rim in the morning.” She agreed. So, we took the kids home. Dropped them off so they could get in bed and back to Millers Creek we drove, with Pam now following in the van. We dropped it off at a tire company and I went back the next morning (Saturday) and that’s when I made the picture above. Yep, flat as a pancake. Good decision to take it and leave it overnight. Obviously, once the rubber is no longer hot, the air seeps out around the nail as the tire cools and contracts.

The reason I tell you all of this is to show you this…

That was in my trunk!!! Can you believe that? I had what I needed to make sure we could get home safely in the trunk of my car and I had forgotten about it!!! All I had to do was to attach that can to the tire valve, shoot it in the tire, then fill it up with air and the can says I could have driven up to 100 miles. Oh well! Lesson learned! (By the way…months ago I had bought a can of this for all my family. I have a can in my car, our old Grand Marquis, Pam’s van and I even bought cans for Josh, Katy and Kandace’s vehicles.) The key is: YOU HAVE TO REMEMBER TO USE IT.

Isn’t that true about life as a believer in Jesus Christ?

And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. 2 Corinthians 9:8

Notice the word “all” being used four times in that one verse. Isn’t that wonderful to know! Now, we don’t have a can of “Fix a flat” inside of us…but, we have something…someone better…the Holy Spirit. Therefore, we have ALL that we need…at ALL times to provide for ALL our needs.

Flat tires will happen in our lives. People will disappoint us. We will go through disappointments and things will seem “flat.” We will have seasons where we’re not certain. We’ll have times of difficulties and even pain (I didn’t like crawling around on my knees in a dark parking lot in Hickory and then Lenoir). But, in all of these things, the Lord will provide. He WILL provide. We have to look to Him…not our circumstances.

The Lord is good! Even though I forgot the can of “Fix a Flat,” the Lord still provided and took care of us! And He will take care of you!

Finally got my garden planted with the help of these two wonderful “helper-granddaughters.”

Don’t you love Evie’s “snow dress.” She loves that dress!

I’m a blessed man!

Here’s this week’s, TMT. Who knows…one of these days my Two-Minute Tuesdays might get banned on Facebook. Click to see why.

https://www.mpbc.church/media/?sapurl=Lys3ZWViL2xiL21pLyt5cTlieXI0P2F1dG9wbGF5PXRydWUmYnJhbmRpbmc9dHJ1ZSZlbWJlZD10cnVl

Kevin

 

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One of the most dangerous things in our cultural climate today is the idea that the Bible should never be taken literally and that personal experience and preference supersedes truth. Those words, “experience and preference” dominate the culture. If your experience is meaningful to you then it should be considered truth to you and given equal footing to any other “truth.” And if your “experience” doesn’t match with my “truth,” then you get to jettison that truth…even if it’s the Bible. In fact, most assuredly you get to dump it, if it is in the Bible. For you see, the Bible cannot be taken literally if the truth purported in that “ancient book of fables” doesn’t match your 21st century experience. Do you grasp the line of thinking today? Experience trumps truth.

If you are a regular reader of this blog, then you know how passionate I am about the word of God. I am convinced the Bible is just that: THE WORD OF GOD. I am convinced that God breathed His word into 40 authors over a period of 1,500 years on three continents (Europe, Asia, Africa) and three languages (Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic). The Bible is “theopneustos.”

Here’s a way of picturing that…

Someone or something is going to be your authority. We can’t all be THE authority. I believe the Bible is THE authority. It has the final say in all matters. Why? Because it is God’s Word. Now, there will be those who say I am being closed-minded and short-sighted. That’s their prerogative. But, if I am having a surgeon taking out my gall bladder, I want him to be closed-minded and short-sighted and ONLY take out my gall bladder and not my heart! I want an airline pilot to be closed-minded and short-sighted and ONLY fly me to the destination printed on my ticket. I don’t want him flying me to the place that best fits “his preference.”

The Two-Minute Tuesday for this week is perhaps one of the most important ones I’ve ever done. It’s important because of where we are as a culture in America. Only 24% of Americans believe the Bible is the literal word of God. That being the case, “who” is the authority? Politicians? CNN? Movie Stars? Athletes? Your grandma? Fox News? Who is the authority? What is truth! Where do we look for truth? Do we look to the one who screams the loudest? Do we look to the one who seems the smartest? Does truth belong to the richest, most educated? Does truth belong to the one who has the greatest social media presence? Who is the authority in your life? Is it you? Is it God? These are questions we all must grapple with and questions (as parents and grandparents) we must settle in our hearts as we teach our children. What will your teach as the “authority” in the life of your children?

Are you afraid of what people will say to you if you say, “I believe the Bible is the final authority on a particular issue/subject”? Are you afraid to stand on the Word of God? If you are, then why do you trust what the Bible says about being saved? Why do you believe any part of the Bible, if you can’t stand on all of it? Let’s not be guilty of picking and choosing what we’ll believe about the Bible. Because if that’s the case, we have made ourselves above the Bible. We’ve made ourselves above God. We are in essence saying, “I’m smarter than God.” And if that’s the case, “Every man does that which is right in his eyes,” Judges 21:25.

Take a look…

https://fpdl.vimeocdn.com/vimeo-prod-skyfire-std-us/01/1931/13/334658188/1322052829.mp4?token=1557267067-0x35ac435580d25743dd450668802b67dc6601058d

This past weekend was “recital weekend” for my daughters and granddaughters. There’s Charlotte (second from left)…

And Clara…in the middle (the tall one…like her daddy)…ha ha…

And here’s Kandace with her girls. (It still blows my mind that she’s no longer a dancer…but, is now a teacher)…

Truly, it seems like yesterday that Katy was dancing on that stage…but, now it’s her daughters.

What a joy!

We also had our annual Rite of Passage (ROP) here at the church this past weekend.

Amazingly we’ve been doing ROP for 12 years now! 107 young adults! So, what is ROP? ROP is simply a tool derived from Scripture, which points to a journey that is designed to move our children from childhood to young adulthood. It’s a “raising of the bar of expectations.” Because we all know, children will rise to our level of expectations. The model for ROP comes from Luke chapter 2. You remember Jesus in the Temple? He was 12 years of old and yet, He knew exactly where he was headed in life and the ultimate purpose and goal of His life. He said “Didn’t you know I had to be about my Father’s business?” We know Jesus is our example in all things, and in all stages of life and that includes 12-year-olds and becoming a young adult.

Look at that smile! I love ROP! I love what it does to inspire the young adults and show them that they can be mature and responsible, even at a young age!

Here at MPBC, at the age of 12 (and up to 18), you can participate in our annual ROP. Our theme verse is: 1 Corinthians 13:11 “When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.” ROP indicates that according to Scripture, a young adult is expected to act like “young adults” and to behave accordingly. It means they are expected to accept accountability for mature actions and to assume greater responsibilities. Why? Because we know maturity does not necessarily come with age, but with the acceptance and ownership of increased accountability and responsibility.

The young adults had to complete a rigorous gauntlet of questions that had them digging in the Bible for hours. Today, the baton was passed to them by their parents, indicating they have accepted responsibility for their faith and walk with Jesus. We rejoice! 3 John 4 says it all: “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.”

I love it when the parents pass those batons to the young adults…

And then they hold them high!

That baton represents the fact that they have taken ownership of their faith in Jesus and have chosen to live for Him. It’s not the faith of mom and dad…no…they are now saying, “It’s MY faith… I own this and I’m going to follow Jesus!”

Praise the Lord for His goodness in this process of establishing in the minds of our young adults: WE VALUE YOU AND WE TRUST YOU TO LIVE OUR YOUR FAITH IN CHRIST. It’s truly a powerful thing in the mind of the young adults. Now, does this mean that each and every young adult will always follow Jesus? No…not necessarily. But, we have seen the paradigm shift. Instead of seeing 80-90% of young adults walking away from the church and the Lord by their 20th birthday…we’ve seen the opposite. 80-90% are continuing to follow Jesus by their 20th birthday. The secret? Intentionality and investment. We have to intentionally invest in the lives of our children spiritually. Yes, it’s important they do well in school and make good grades and even excel in sports, or extra-curricular activates… But, at the end of life…all that matters is Jesus. That’s the point! Point them to Jesus and place importance on this while they are young.

Clara plays violin. Many of you know that. Yet, I’m not sure I even realize at times how good she is. See what you think…

That was at tonight’s recital in Winston-Salem. Pretty amazing if you ask me! The ability the Lord has given her as a 14-year-old is wonderful! But, it’s not just talent…it’s a ton of hard work! And it’s not just Clara! Olivia Eller is an amazing, hard-working talent too! She and Clara played together, along with another student at the recital tonight too.

Pretty awesome! And yes, again…it’s a lot of practice and hard work, but it’s so beautiful to listen to violin music, don’t you think? Thank you Lord for your many blessings!

Kevin

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Kiss the Wave

Have you ever been to a place in your life where you feel overwhelmed? Of course you have! We all have! Honestly, I’m grateful that I’m not there right now. I’m still basking in the joy of Kandace and Clark’s wedding…

But, I’m well aware that I will be at some point again in the future…well…in a tough spot. I was just there a few weeks ago with Pam’s health scare. Maybe you feel like a massive wave is about to take you down…

Charles Spurgeon, the great British preacher of the 1800’s said this: “Kiss the wave that crashes you on the Rock of Ages.” Do you understand the meaning? Be thankful for what pushes us into Jesus. Be grateful for the pain. That’s hard though. We don’t like pain. I don’t. I don’t like suffering either. Yet, if it brings the Lord glory, then I surrender to it. Jesus’ half-brother James said as much:

2Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. James 1:2-4

I’m grateful the Lord delivered Pam and me through that “wave” a few weeks ago and I know He will deliver us through the waves to come. He’s in control, so I trust Him. I don’t live in fear. I live in strength. His yoke is easy and His burden is light and I look into His face and He winks and says, “I got this Kevin!” So, I rest in Him. You can do the same. Just pray and ask Him to take the burden and as you do, “Kiss the wave.”

Last week was a blast! I got to take some time off. We left right after our three Easter services and headed to the coast! I was blown away by the crowds on Easter Sunday! Can you believe we had 912 people come through our doors! Amazing! To God be the glory!

Well, we had great weather and great time at North Myrtle Beach! Take a look…

We had a blast riding rides! That’s Clara and me…

Charlotte and Evie on the train at “Broadway at the Beach.”

And you’ve got to love this… Duke and Carolina together…

I’m glad he loves me even though I’m a Carolina fan! 🙂 He’s a great husband and dad! Love Josh!! We made this picture standing outside of a restaurant I’ve gone to since I was a boy…

They were lined out the door as you can see. It’s great, local seafood! They’ve been in business since 1948.

We played putt putt…

Ate ice cream…

Don’t you love how kids eat ice cream! It gets everywhere! Overall we had a great time and it was good to take the foot off the gas for a few days.

Did you hear about Andrew’s big run down the “Gravity Hill” in Lenoir? It was amazing! He finished second in his division and got a few “war wounds” along the way! More on that in a moment. This was his second year racing in the “Google Gravity Games” sponsored by Appalachian State University. It’s held in downtown Lenoir. Mom and Dad came over to watch…

Andrew’s mentor is Barry Pybas.

Barry is retired…but, he has simply “re-tired” his automobile, in that he is giving his time and energy to train and equip Andrew in ways I never can. I’m not mechanically inclined in the least. Barry is brilliant. And he’s patient! And he’s an excellent teacher! He has taught Andrew so much about so many things. Andrew designed the car he raced on a CAD machine. He then used a 3-D printer to create a “mock design” of the car and then he and Barry built it.

Take a look at the inside of the car… Talk about a tight squeeze!

You’ll notice on the back of the car is a camera and in the cockpit is a dashboard that showed Andrew his speed. It was running off of a GPS. And get this…it had a gyro on it…

See it above the wheel? It was running on a small battery to the left of the wheel.

What does a gyroscope do? Well, the wheel spins rapidly to help the vehicle to maintain balance. In the challenge for this year, the competitor had to start out on four wheels and finish on two wheels. See the two smaller (outrigger) or training wheels on the back, below the plywood? Those were lifted by Andrew before he crosses the finish line so that he’s traveling on two wheels. Then he lowers them again and applies the brake to stop.

He did great in the time trial and ran down the hill in just over 25.5 seconds, reaching a speed of 23 mph.

That set Andrew against his competition and this is the semifinal race and a CRASH at the end…

He’s one tough customer!

He never made a whimper! We put some ice on it.

That’s Charlie Tolbert behind Andrew. He came in 2nd in his division as well!

This is Andrew with the Mayor of Lenoir!

Andrew also got a third place finish in his “Design.” He loaded up with some really great “Google technology.”

Overall it was a fantastic day and we were all tickled pink! Thank you Lord for your goodness in all things!

I’m grateful for all things…truly! I’m trying to get that way and ride the waves of life…and when one comes… Kiss it and be thankful that even though it might take me under, it will drive me to the rescuing arms of the Savior.

Here’s this week’s Two Minute Tuesday, “The Greatest Fake News Ever.”

https://www.mpbc.church/media/?sapurl=Lys3ZWViL2xiL21pLytmZDV4YnIzP2F1dG9wbGF5PXRydWUmYnJhbmRpbmc9dHJ1ZSZlbWJlZD10cnVl

Kevin

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