Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Church Practice’ Category

I’m delinquent in getting the blog out this week. I was working on it Thursday when I came down with the stomach bug. I thought I had a summer cold. I had a sore throat earlier in the week that ended up going to my larynx and making me hoarse, (which I was big-time, after speaking on Wednesday night). However, I thought it was nothing more than that. Well…hold your horses…Thursday morning, BANG…let’s just say for the next 6 hours, I was in and out of the bathroom. I was hit with vomiting and diarrhea. UGH!

Let me tell you…I’m so appreciative of my health. Our health in our wealth. You know that don’t you? You can have all the money and time and in the world, but if you don’t have your health, you have nothing. Being well is a blessing. I’m thankful I’m not sick that often, but when I am, it really makes me SO thankful to be well! For those who deal with chronic illness and sickness, you are my heroes! It takes a special gift of grace from the Lord to endure long seasons of sickness.

Thankfully, I was blessed to be feeling much better by Saturday about 11 am. Honestly, it was like someone flipped a light switch. I went from terrible nausea and a splitting headache to feeling much, much better. I was weak as water…but, at least I was no longer to nauseated. Again, what a relief!

I preached three times today and as I preached I got stronger. Isn’t that crazy? Only the Lord can do that. I didn’t broadcast to the world that I had been sick. That’s annoying when a speaker gets up and tells how sick they’ve been. Just get up and speak. And certainly, as a preacher…I knew I would need to lean into Jesus…and that’s what I did. In our weakness, He is strong and strength comes from Him. I say that and as I do…I realize that what I did today is nothing compared to what some people do every day just trying to get out of bed. They are the strong ones. Nonetheless, I’m thankful I was able to preach and that I’m finally back in the world of feeling better.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: “There’s nothing like going on a mission trip!” Oh yes, it’s hard, but it’s oh so good! It’s exhausting, yes…but it’s also so exhilarating! What a joy! We had a team doing work in Mexico/TX and another team in China. Here’s our China team:

You’ll see mom’s and daughters…

That’s no a coincidence. As a church we have always done mission work as a family. We don’t have age-segregated mission trips.

This was a Facebook post on our church Facebook page from the trip:

“The MPBC China Mission team is having a great time! We finally got to meet our translators and children! Some of us were matched with younger children, while some of us were matched with older teenagers, all with different types of needs.

We know that the matching process was no coincidence, and we are trusting that the Lord put these specific people into each of our hands. We so wish we could share photos of these precious children, but we would never do anything to harm the work that is being done here. We can, however, share photos of our translators. Please be in prayer for not only the children, but these young Chinese adults serving along side us. They all possess such sweet spirits, and are desperate to know the Truth.”

One of the teens on the trip said this after returning: Y’all !!!! First off I know I can say this from behalf of the entire team, from the bottom of our hearts THANK YOU for all of the prayers this trip!! God has completely changed my life this trip, and he has shown nothing but grace and mercy over us. Our little boy was the absolute sweetest, and the fact that he called me big sister made him even sweeter. I’m so thankful for all the amazing people I’ve met this week! China will forever have a special place in my heart, and I can’t wait to come back soon.

Praise the Lord for their dedication and desire to go and be the hands and feet of Jesus! We are truly blessed to have a church that’s willing to send out two teams to the “uttermost parts” during the same week!

Here’s our Mexico/TX team. My family and I were on this team…

You’ll see more families. Dads, moms, daughters, sons… I’ll tell you…there is nothing greater you can do for your kids than to take them on a mission trip! If you are reading this and have children around the age of 12 and older…consider it. The cost of the trip is around $400 per person. That’s cheap for a mission trip out of the country that can show your children how blessed we are and be the hands and feet of Jesus. Make that part of your “to do” list going forward. Ask me or Pastor Dale about it if you have questions. If you are part of another church, we’ve got open dates on the calendar for your church to go down. Contact Jason Church to schedule a week for your church at forhisglorychurch.jc@gmail.com.

We had a great week in Weslaco, Texas working with Jason and Katie Church at New Life Baptist Church in their VBS. It started out with a great concert with Iron Bell Music on Sunday Night…

I love the kids…

The kids loved the face painting!

Aren’t they precious!

The men worked on building a home for one of the Elders in the church in Mexico. Remember, the church was renamed from: El Laurel Baptist, to Mt. Pleasant Baptist last year.

See the name in the background! Andrew and I went down for that celebration, “renaming” service in January of 2018. We got to spend time with Jason and Katie and their special, wonderful family in Weslaco while we were there.

Folks, it’s so special to know that we’ve helped plant a church in Weslaco, TX and Progreso, MX. Truly, I believe this is what Jesus meant when He gave us the Great Commission.

I took a picture of some of the past teams that have gone down. We’ve been doing the work since 2009. That’s hard to believe…

On this trip, we worked hard on building a church for an Elder in the church. He and his wife and their four children lived in a home that had been destroyed by termites. So, we built them a block house.

The cool thing about this work is that our children could help in the work. Not to be a broken record, but I can’t say enough to you what it means to take your children on a mission trip to another country and see how blessed we really are and to push them outside of their comfort zone.

The work is hard. It’s hot. We’re up early and we go full throttle for 16-18 hours a day. But, ask a family after they get back if it’s worth it. They’ll say, “You better believe it!” I guarantee it!

The ladies did a great job with the VBS in Mexico…

Those dear ladies fixed us lunch each day! It was scrumptious! What a blessed time for the Mount Pleasant of North Carolina to be with our brothers and sisters of Mount Pleasant of Progreso, MX.

Oh yeah…it was hot down there! We’re headed back after VBS and work in Mexico…

Pastor Oscar took a selfie as we were packed with 24 people in a 15-passenger van! Thankfully we just had to ride about 10 minutes like this to the border from the church. Otherwise, this old boy would have been riding on the roof! Tight places make we go a little off my rocker! Those dear souls in the back of the van…oh man…they were the real troopers…there was like ZERO air back there!

We “stick-built” a roof system for Manuel and his family. Randy Brooks is getting it done up there!

This picture is hilarious! This is the “Pastors’ Wall.” Pastor Oscar built that left side…Andrew, Benji Anderson and I built the right side. If you sighted the wall from the corner, you’d see that Pastor Oscar’s wall was leaning out and my wall was leaning in. Ha! Everyone said, “You guys need to stick to preaching!” My answer, “Amen!”

I’m grateful that the header we poured tied everything together and it works! I’m also glad there aren’t any building inspectors checking our work! Yikes!!!

See this picture below.

Manuel and his wife Paula are in the middle. He has on the blue shirt and hat and Paula has on the lime-green shirt. One of their daughters is in the blue jean jacket and their son, Daniel is seated below them. He has trouble walking and we’ve helped him through the years with special prosthetics. We took up money as a team to get him new braces. Manuel’s and Paula’s other two children are in the front row. All six of them will be living in the house behind them. One small living room, one small bathroom (they have had an outhouse all their lives), one bedroom for Manuel and Paula and a room for all four children. I’d estimate about 600 square feet (at the most).

There are many things I could say about the issues going on at the border. I could say to those who pontificate and make photo ops…do more! Go and work! Go and spend your money to make the lives of others better. Don’t use their lives for your political gain. Might I also say that those who are camping out and lined up to take asylum are mostly folks who are dressed nicely, have smart phones and are adults. What is being purported by the mainstream media is so bogus in so many ways!

Something else you might find interesting…those in Weslaco, TX are NOT for open borders. They told me over and over again, “We worked to come here the right way and it’s not fair to just let people walk across and get what we got when we abided by the law.” Those aren’t my words. I was told by a man running a Mexican restaurant in Weslaco, “The politicians only want votes…so, they’ll load this country up with people to put on the government programs that I’ll have to pay more taxes to cover, just so those politicians can stay in office and make a career out of it.” Again, not my words.

My encouragement…don’t believe what you hear in the media. Ask somebody who’s been there. Talk to the people who live on the border. Talk to the border patrol agents yourself. And yes, while we were there, a group of 50 chose to try to break through a crossing 15 minutes from where we cross. They chose to do so at 4 am in the morning, but were rebuffed and stopped. See article here: http://www.fox10phoenix.com/news/us-world-news/border-agents-use-tear-gas-to-stop-nearly-50-undocumented-migrants-who-stormed-rio-grande-bridge (You will not hear about this story in the mainstream media, because it doesn’t fit their progressive liberal narrative.)

On Wednesday, when we came across the border…we were the last group to get across before the Border Control closed the border and emptied the bridge across the Rio Grande.

I asked a Border Patrol Agent… “What’s going on? Do you mind me asking?” He said, “It’s just a drill, Sir.” It was that evening at 4 am that the 50 (mentioned above) tried to burst across at the bridge just to the north of that location. I believe the Border Patrol had “Intel” on what was going on and were preparing. Folks, for me…this is the bottom line… I’m all for helping people. I just spent a week of my life…time, money, and sweat doing so… but, at the end of the day, this is a country of laws, and if those laws aren’t enforced, then this country will turn into a place of anarchy and that will be just like the very countries these folks are fleeing from.

Do you think Andrew was tired on the van heading to the airport coming home?

I’ve I told you lately that I love this lady!!!

Do you think Charlotte is excited about her latest coloring project?

I’ll say!

And the latest photo of Milly! Pardon the yawn! 🙂

My son-in-law had a birthday this week! The big 24! Happy Birthday Clark! I’m so proud of you and love you and I’m so thankful the Lord brought you into Kandace’s life.

Kevin

 

Read Full Post »

I told you last time it was going to be a Big Week and it was! I’m still recovering! I am grateful for all the Lord continues to allow me and my family and our church family to experience. I’m unworthy of His goodness, but I’m grateful for His kindness. We finished the VBS week with record numbers…170 kids…the Independence Celebration was a hit! We ended up having over 1200 people at the field and 200-300 more at the neighboring school.

We had a watermelon eating contest…

Many said, “That’s the best fireworks show I’ve ever seen!” Well, praise the Lord! At the end of the day, we loved the fact that we could bring so many people under the sound of the Gospel. I shared the truth of Jesus that He is the ultimate freedom (John 8:32). I really believe the Lord used it, and our community knows we love them!

Then Sunday came…and let me tell you…I was one tired puppy! The past week had been a weekend of two weddings…then a full week of VBS…at church till 9:30 each night and then Independence Celebration on Saturday and then a fantastic day on Sunday. We had 8 baptisms! We had folks from young and old. There were so many different stories of how Jesus saved these precious souls…

A father baptized his son…

The gentleman below was christened as a child, but knows that Biblically speaking, he needed to follow Christ in immersion. It was a blessing!

Folks, I will never take any of that for granted! Those are miracles right before our eyes! We also had three families join Sunday! Unreal!

Can I be honest? I was so tired when I got home, that I literally ate a sandwich and collapsed. I slept for 2 hours. I was worn out…but, it was a great tired. Do you know what I mean? You are worn out, but you are rejoicing! Yes, I know you understand that!

These guys are such hard workers and I’m grateful to work with them! 

In the Lord’s strength, and a lot of great volunteers, we pulled off a lot of work for the Kingdom in the last couple of weeks! What a privilege!

Last Sunday, Clara headed out for music camp to Liberty University. She had a blast! That’s her, top left.

She played her violin! This was on the Liberty Instagram page:

It was a music camp, yes…but, Clara said, “Dad it was so spiritual.” She couldn’t say enough how much she felt like she grew in the Lord this past week! Thank you Liberty Music Faculty and students.

She learned music pieces to go with praise and worship songs that she played with a band of her peers. It was really amazing! They named their group, “Stack.” See how they have “stacked” their hands…

Now here’s the thing…we are going to do all we can as parents (Pam and I) to keep this fire stoked in her life. It’s a joy to see! Thank you Lord for what you are doing in my daughter’s life!

And while Clara’s been doing that…Andrew has been building a 3-D printer and completed the project recently!

Check out one of his latest creations…

A whistle!! Can you believe a 3-D printer can make that? Andrew is a pretty talented dude!

Here’s the latest pics of my grand babies…

Milly is getting so big!

Charlotte and Evie love sidewalk chalk!

I got in a bit of trouble with mommy (my daughter, Katy), after I sent Charlotte home covered in chalk!

Here’s this week’s TMT: “True Christianity is Growing in America!” I believe you’ll find this interesting! Take a look!

http://link.mpbc.church/TMT7-9

Kevin

Read Full Post »

It’s been a big week already! I announced Sunday during all three services that the Building Debt has been paid off! Praise the Lord! What an amazing feeling! I had a man call me about three weeks ago and ask me to come by his home. I did and he said, “I feel the Lord is telling me to pay it off.” What a blessing! And that happened last week! We’ll have a “note burning” on Sunday, August 11th.

Honestly, after 13 years and being $3 million dollars in debt…whew!! What a relief to have that over. Are we planning on building anything else and try to get back to one service? Nope! Too expensive! We’re going to maximize what we have. We have room for another 150 each service and that would take us to over 1200 folks (currently we’re averaging around 660 people in total each Sunday). So are we done doing anything? No way!

There is so much to be done. There are so many needs that we’ve put off for years. So, the Leave A Legacy (building fund) will stay open…but, it won’t be paying off debt. Instead, we’ll look to pay for things as we go. We’ve got kitchen equipment that needs replacing, walls that need painting, a new playground (the current one is 30 years old), HVAC units that need purchasing, etc. There is much to be done… So, I hope folks will continue to give. I know my family will be. It’s like in your home…after 13 years…things have to be done, repaired, replaced, etc. The same is true of a church. The way I see it…we’re making eternal investments each week here at MPBC. Truly, eternal deposits are being made weekly in Wilkesboro, NC by way of what we’re doing to equip and strengthen the believers to do the works of ministry…the Great Commission.

It’s amazing, really…12 years ago (after we had been in the building for just over a year), our Treasurer told us that we had to raid the General Fund to pay the Building payment. We had $12 left in the General checking account. Oh my! We were down to about 275 people and things were looking scary to say the least. Yet, the Lord showed favor on us and we were able to see His hand and last Sunday we worshipped in a building…DEBT FREE! I can’t tell you what a relief and a joy this is!

I officiated two marriages this past weekend. Dylan and Noel Henderson were the first couple. I love weddings!

Isn’t that wonderful! You got to love those smiles!

I love my family!

Can you tell Evie likes to eat!

She’s shoveling in that cake!

Then it was another wedding on Saturday. This time it was Keith and Barbara Huffman.

I’m grateful to perform these ceremonies… Everyone knows I don’t do them unless we sit down and counsel…(and that keeps some from asking me)…but, at the end of the day…I’ve got to be accountable to the Lord for marrying folks.

As I speak, we’re having Vacation Bible School this week. We’ve had the most kids ever! They are having a blast learning about Jesus!

We’re praying the Lord will touch these wonderful children’s lives and that we can sow seeds of faith in Jesus. I’m so grateful for our church and the tons of volunteers it takes to pull this off. And WE’RE NOT DONE! We’ve hosting a Community Independence Celebration this Saturday night. We’re expecting 1,000+ people. (Honestly there’s no way to know for sure how many we’ll have, because this is the first one we’ve ever done.) But, this is a legitimate fireworks display like you’d see at a minor league baseball game or Carowinds. It’s going to be amazing! We’re staring at 4 pm and end at 9:30 pm after the fireworks. This will take place on our sports field and we’ll have multiple food vendors, games, inflatables, and live music! I’ll be sharing the Gospel around 8:30 pm…so, pray for me, please!

Yes, it’s been a Big Week and there’s more to come. We’ll be baptizing 7 people on Sunday! And guess what…I’m going to be worn out! But, it will be a good tired and I’m hoping to take my foot off the gas just a little next week. We’ll not be having mid-week services on July 3rd to let our people rest. They will have earned it after this Big Week!

Here’s this week’s Two-Minute Tuesday. It’s about the power of the government and future Supreme Court rulings! I ask and seek to answer the question: “Can the Government Tell Us What to Believe?” Take a look here:

https://www.mpbc.church/media/?sapurl=Lys3ZWViL2xiL21pLytxa2h0ZnF0P2JyYW5kaW5nPXRydWUmZW1iZWQ9dHJ1ZQ==

Little did I know that on Tuesday this would be coming out of California…as reported by World at http://www.world.wng.org.

The California State Assembly passed a resolution on Monday calling on religious leaders and others with “moral influence” to affirm homosexuality and transgenderism. The resolution asks counselors, pastors, churches, educators, schools, legislators, and others to avoid supporting traditional and Biblical views of sexuality, which the measure claims can cause suicide and depression. The text of the resolution includes philosophical statements about the nature of human sexuality and a broad condemnation of so-called “conversion therapy,” which it says “has been rejected as ineffective, unethical, and harmful.”

More than two dozen doctors, counselors, activists, and other Christian leaders signed a letter condemning the resolution, which they said violates religious freedom. “Religious leaders have the constitutionally protected right to teach religious doctrine in accordance with their faith, and politicians have no right to tell clergy what is moral, dictate the content of their sermons, or instruct them in religious counseling,” they wrote.

Democratic Assemblyman Evan Low introduced the resolution earlier this month after pulling his controversial bill last year that would have banned any attempt to change sexual orientation—even when a person has unwanted same-sex attraction. As a resolution, ACR 99 does not have the force of law. It will now go to the state Senate for a vote.

I’m not even sure what to say to that. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, but I am. I read this line in that first paragraph twice:

The resolution asks counselors, pastors, churches, educators, schools, legislators, and others to avoid supporting traditional and Biblical views of sexuality…

Wow! I’m still shaking my head. I could never do that. Ever.

“And ever man did that which was right in his own eyes.” Judges 17:6

The Bible is our guide and it is God’s Word, period! To reject it is to reject truth. Those who do so will suffer the consequences of ruined lives. Lord have mercy on us all.

Kevin

Read Full Post »

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

Read Full Post »

Traditions

Traditions…

We all have them. What are traditions? They are patterns for living. We have just come through the Thanksgiving Holiday Season and you lived by your traditions. You had places to go and people to see and food to eat. Those traditions bring comfort to the human heart. Here was a Thanksgiving meal we had at my mom’s. We did this the day after Thanksgiving.

We like tradition and that’s because we like routine. Think about your routine in the morning or when you go to bed. Don’t you have a routine? Sure you do. We all do. I like routine. I always have and I love traditions…particularly at the Holidays.

Next up… Christmas and the tradition at MPBC with our Christmas Candlelight Spectacular (CCS).

It’s going to be wonderful! Check out the children’s costumes that Evie and Charlotte were recently trying on and modeling…as dressed by Katy and Josh at their home.

Now tell me those aren’t the cutest costumes ever!! And the kiddos will be wearing these at the CCS, December 15-16. We’re going to have fun and activities for the kids on Saturday night and Sunday nights at 5 pm when the doors open. The presentation of the spectacular will start at 6 pm. We’ll have hot chocolate and hot apple cider too! We’re even going to have a photo booth. So, bring the family and get the special Christmas photo made! And perhaps most exciting for the kids is the fact that it’s going to snow! Yep…we’ll make it snow inside the building and it will be a joy!

Here’s today’s Two-Minute Tuesday that’s all about it!

http://mpbc.ws/media/?sapurl=Lys3ZWViL2xiL21pLyt5OXRoNWZxP2JyYW5kaW5nPXRydWUmZW1iZWQ9dHJ1ZQ==

I hope you will make plans to come! So, don’t forget to go online and reserve your spots for the Saturday evening or Sunday evening performance. Go here:  http://mpbc.ws/signuptable/

When you arrive, we’ll check your name off the “Reserved List” and your spots inside will be reserved. Now, if you choose to come on Sunday morning the 16th to either the 8:45 am or 11 am service…you will NOT need to reserve seats.

Traditions! They are wonderful and we hope you will make Mt. Pleasant part of your holiday traditions going forward and come and be with us this year and the years ahead!

Kevin

Read Full Post »

I Finally Did It

Is there something in your life that you know you need to do and you know it, but you’ve been putting it off? Me too! But, I finally did it. Did what?

I’ve set up specified counseling hours. Yep, I had to finally break down and do it. It finally hit me that I’m pretty much counseling all the time…all hours of the day…every day…you name it. This included “days off,” which usually only comes on Saturdays. (As you know, Sunday is a work day for me… 🙂 And with three sermons…I’m running around like a chicken with his head cut off!) So, it became apparent to me when we topped 700 people a couple of Sundays ago: “Kevin it’s time. There is no way to keep up this pace…working all day and then coming home and answering emails and messages throughout the evening.”

Part of the issue is that we’re on local TV (two stations) and I’m getting thousands of view each week for the “Two-Minute Tuesday” on Facebook. Last week’s TMT got almost 14,000 views. Thus, people contact me through Facebook and ask for help, counseling, advice, etc. It’s truly non-stop.

Now, hear (or in this case, “read” my heart)…I LOVE people and I LOVE what I do! What a blessing! What a privilege and a joy! It truly is! But, there has to be “down times.” And I can’t shepherd half of Facebook. 🙂 So, I’ve made the policy that I only counsel church members or those who are actively attending the church. Peter said, “Shepherd the flock among you.” I take that admonition seriously. You can’t be all things to all people and no one can be “on” all the time. Not even a car can go “pedal to the metal” all the time. Even race horses don’t run every race. They have to have time to recover.

Recently, I read this book and was reminded again, “It’s time!” by what I read…

 It’s an excellent book and I’ve been using the nuggets in it a lot! One of those nuggets: a sabbath. A day where you totally unplug. A day where you don’t work unless it’s an emergency. What’s an emergency? Well, that’s different to different people. Everyone’s problem is an emergency to them. But, to me… an emergency is something that’s life-threatening. Again, to some people, an emergency is when the microwave doesn’t work. (wink, wink) Yes, if it’s an emergency…I’m on it. But, otherwise, going forward, counseling will need to take place during the hours I’ve set aside for that purpose. In fact, I’ve asked Pastor Dale to set hours as well. That way, we can do a better job of controlling our schedules and our time.

My counseling hours (which will be posted in this week’s bulletin) are:

  • Monday 1:30-4:30 pm
  • Wednesday 3-5 pm
  • Wednesday after Service

Pastor Dale’s hours:

  • Tuesday 1-3 pm
  • Wednesday after Service
  • Thursday 9-11 am

The sessions are 1 hour in length. We both counsel for these needs: marriage, financial and family counseling. We do NOT offer counseling for: drug/alcohol/substance abuse or psychiatric issues. For those areas we encourage folks to contact SureCord at 336.957.1710. SureCord is the Christian Counseling service MPBC supports through the Brushy Mountain Baptist Association. They are located in the Brushy Mountain Association Office on Highway 268-West near the Wilkes YMCA. https://www.surecord.com

I’ve been pastoring for 13 years and in the early years I could work in all the people when we had 285 people. But now that we have 700+ people attending (and truthfully about 850 who attend at least once or twice in a month’s period of time)…so, I finally had to do it.

Now what about you? What do you need to do? You know you need to do it. You’ve been feeling prompted by the Lord to do it. And now it’s time. Maybe it’s a difficult conversation. Maybe it’s something that’s been festering and needs to be addressed at home or at work or with a child. You dread it. You wonder how it’s going go? You are afraid it might be difficult and people might not understand it. I get it. Believe me, I do!

I think about all the ramifications of everything I do. I’ve thought about how some might even react to having to make an appointment to talk to me. I’ve thought about those who will not understand or complain: “He’s not accessible enough!!” You know what…there comes a time and place in your life that you have to do what you know the Lord has told you to do and let the chips fall where they may. I serve an audience of ONE. So do you! As a believer in Christ, we have to answer to Him primarily, first and foremost. My advice: Do what you know to do is right. Do it now and you’ll reap a harvest of peace from it. I already feel better about things just knowing that I can actually have some control over my life again. And I know my wife and family will be happy about that too!

This week’s Two-Minute Tuesday is about problem. We’ve all got them. How do you see them? As obstacles? As something to be swept under the rug? How about this: “Making Your Problems Work for You.”

Kevin

 

Read Full Post »

You would expect to read that headline in a paper from New York City, but not a paper in Columbia, SC. Yet, The State, South Carolina’s largest newspaper reported: “Losing Faith: South Carolina is Abandoning It’s Churches.” https://www.thestate.com/news/local/article215014375.html

The headline definitely stopped me in my tracks. The bottom line is this: churches who are abandoning the Bible as the authority from which they teach, preach and admonish their people, are in free-fall decline. That’s across the denominational spectrum: Episcopal, Presbyterian, Lutheran, Methodist, Baptist, etc. The churches who are waffling on the truth are the churches who are losing members right and left.

And this stands to reason in my mind. The Word of God is our authority. It is the foundation of the revelation of who God is and when you walk away from the truth of His Word, you will fall for anything. Therefore, as denominations and congregations walk away from the truth, they are in essence saying: “We’re okay with dying.” Ultimately, that’s what is happening to many churches. They are becoming pubs, rock climbing stations, restaurants, etc. And this is now happening in the South…in the buckle of the Bible belt.

Here’s my TMT about the article and my thoughts on the future of churches in the South:

http://mpbc.ws/media/?sapurl=Lys3ZWViL2xiL21pLyt0Ymc2a2hkP2F1dG9wbGF5PXRydWUmYnJhbmRpbmc9dHJ1ZSZlbWJlZD10cnVl

What a fantastic weekend it was with FaithFest. We started out with the preconcert on Thursday night. What a blast! Our Praise Team did an outstanding job!

 

The crowd was amazing! I would guess at least 1,000 people came!

The weather was perfect and what a time of rejoicing and celebration in the Lord! And then Saturday came and FaithFest!!

Oh my!!! What a crowd!!!

Estimates are 20,000+. That’s at least double from last year (the first year)! I really believe FF will become the largest Christian Concert event in the country within the next couple of years.

I know my granddaughter, Evie had a blast with the face painting!

And of all the pictures she could have chosen to be painted on her face… She chose a basketball! That’s a girl after my own heart!

The Lord blessed tremendously to say the least. My heart was stirred on many occasions. I was particularly touched by these two…

Mandisa and Jason Crabb! My heart rejoiced as they were singing: “Bleed the Same.” Truly, for me, it was a taste of heaven Saturday night. I watched the moon come up and the stars circle the Wilkes Community College field and I thought, “Lord, thank you for blessing us with this taste of heaven.” I honestly can’t wait for next year!

It was a great weekend at church too. Can you believe this… We had 704 people at church on Sunday! Are you serious!!! Yes! Now, again…I don’t get caught up in the numbers. I never have. But, they do represent people. And that’s A LOT of people for a church in the capital of podunk! 🙂 The Lord continues to blow our mind as people come to worship and learn from the Word of God. Jesus said, “If I be lifted up, I will draw all mine to myself.” We are seeking to do just that and this past weekend…I saw 1,000+, 20,000+ and 700+. Thank you Jesus!

Kevin

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »