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Archive for the ‘Daily Living’ Category

As I get older I see more and more that this life is going to always be riddled with problems and issues. Why? Because this world is riddled with sin. We’re going to overcome one hurdle, only to be confronted by another one. Where it gets tough is when the hurdles come really close together and you can’t seem to gather yourself to clear one, before the next one is right on top of you. Now, I don’t say this to be depressing. I say this to state in reality: “Life is hard.” And because of sin…that’s the way it’s going to be.

How do we handle these problems, these issues? Well, in a myriad of ways I suppose. However, as I try to boil down those ways, I see two main options: God’s way or the World’s way. I get to choose His path or the world’s path. And so do you. The question becomes: How do we know His path? Well, that should be pretty simple. His Word…the Bible. It’s a “lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”

You see, it’s so easy to stumble and stammer around wringing our hands, when we have the GIFT of God’s word. Notice those large, bold letters: GIFT. The Word of God is a “gift” and for most Christians it remains an unopened and unused gift. Many Christians seldom read the Bible and when they do, it’s only a snippet here and a verse there (usually found in a devotional passage). Now devotionals and the like, aren’t bad. That’s not what I’m saying. But, it’s like this. If I could offer you a 7-course meal (and you’re really, really hungry) or a bologna sandwich; which would you take?

Truth is, we might be really hungry, but for most…we’re eating bologna sandwiches. And when we eat bologna we’re going to struggle. Because we begin to exude bologna. Everything that comes out of us becomes…yep…bologna. Solution: Sit down and read the Bible daily. The Bereans studied the Scriptures: DAILY. Not just when they felt like it. That’s bologna, you see. Didn’t Jesus say, “Give us this day our daily bread”? Now, I don’t know about you, but I like to eat (way too much). But, I can easily falter in my appetite to read the Word of God. And that is to my own detriment.

I know over the last several weeks I’ve gone through some real ups and downs in my life mentally and spiritually, as I have tried to assess where I am, where my family is and where the church is. I’m an old businessman at heart, so I continue to analyze over and over ROI: Return On Investment. I ask: Is the time and effort I’m spending growing the kingdom of God?

Think of it this way. Is your family growing the kingdom of God or hindering it? How about you? Are you growing the kingdom of God or hindering it? Think about how you work, play, etc. Think about how you spend your life. Is it growing the kingdom of God or the kingdom of you. Ouch! I’m asking myself those questions and I ask them a lot. Truly, I want to honor the Lord with my life and I want that for my family and for the church I help to shepherd.

As I think about the last several weeks, (which thankfully included a much needed vacation), it’s been a time of self-reflection for me. (Often vacations prove to be that for me. It’s typically the only concerted time I get to truly unplug for a few days where I can really assess things. And truthfully, that needs to change.) As a matter of fact, right after I took this picture…

…(that’s Clara and Andrew, of course), the sun was setting on Holden Beach, NC, and I took a walk down the beach by myself. That was the only time of the trip that happened. If you have kids you know how that is. They love to play and I love to be with them…but, in this case, they went back to the house and I thought, “Well, I’ll just take a quick walk.” And it was quick! A whopping 20 minute walk. 10 minutes down to the pier and 10 minutes back. But I must tell you, in that short period of time the Lord spoke into my spirit. He said, “Kevin, you need to think about everything you’re doing and self-assess. You need a cushion of time…y0u’re trying to do too much.” And I knew it. That’s my nature. I have never seemed to build much of any cushion in my life. How about you? Do you build cushion in your life? Is there any time to sit still and know that He is God, or are we all running 1,000 mph all the time? It’s a feeling of never getting done. Do you know that feeling? It’s a feeling that will beat you into the ground and the stress of that, (where there is no cushion in your life), can become suffocating. The Lord showed me that’s where I had been a lot for the past year or so.

So, as I walked on that warm sand and looked at the gorgeous sunset, I began to self-assess in my mind. I thought about all that I attempt to do each week and I said, “Father, what do you want?” And that’s when He quietly and firmly began to show me things in my mind and heart that needed to go and be adjusted. Truth is… I’m still working on some of these things in my mind and my heart and I’ll share them as the Lord leads. But, I began to feel a burden lift. A burden of not trying to be all things to all people.

Yes, self-assessment and building a cushion are good things. And for me, it took a walk down Holden Beach to grasp that fact. Hey, I feel like I can breathe again and that feels good! Thank you Lord! 🙂

Kandace wrote a fabulous blog post earlier this week about the upcoming trip she and 10 other ladies from our church will be taking to China next week (June 8-23). I’m so proud of her and her desire to do the work of the Lord around the world. Missions is in her blood.

PREPARATION

We’re closing in on our upcoming trip to China…. with just a little over a week to go until we get up at an ungodly hour on Thursday morning and depart from the hotel to the RDU airport to board our plane. I think everyone who has ever gone on an international trip where you will be gone for more than two weeks knows that feeling that hits you when you’re about a week out….. It’s one that is full of panic and excitement. I sat down with a close friend who will be my roommate on the trip yesterday and we went over our packing lists and that feeling of “dear Lord there is SO MUCH to do” washed over me.

For anyone who might not know, I went to China in January of 2016 with my mom and worked alongside some ladies from MPBC in an orphanage for two weeks. It was a life changing trip and on the plane ride home I was already trying to work out in my head when I could go back. I just knew I wanted to go back sometime when it wasn’t in the winter months. I nearly froze to death. 😉 I love China and I love Chinese children. I happen to have two of them for siblings. It was one of the most meaningful trips I’ve been on. ICC (International China Concern) is the organization we partnered with and they were awesome. Such a great group of Jesus loving and people loving individuals. I am so excited to go back and be partnered with ICC again.

In 2016 we went to Hengyang, China. This year we will be going to Sanmenxia. It will be a completely different orphanage with different kids. I hate that I won’t get to see the ones I built a relationship with last year, but I know that most of them have probably been adopted by now or are in the process of finding their forever families. It will be exciting to meet new kids and build new relationships. So, there’s a little of the backstory…

Along with this trip being in the summer (average temps are supposed to be in the upper 90s to low 100s) it will be different than the last trip in the fact that we will get to do a little touring in Beijing before we head to Sanmenxia. I’m super excited about this. China is such a unique and culturually different country. It’s always fun to get to do a little touring and site seeing along the way. I am hoping to be able to get some wifi here and there and share pictures and updates. Hopefully the hotel wifi will be stronger than the wifi we had last year. It worked two times for about five minutes out of the whole time we were there…. That drove me crazy because I love to post stuff when I’m on trips. Guess I’m too used to the free and lighting fast American wifi. 😉

I think the big thing with a trip like this is just the mental and emotional preparation that has to come along with it…. We will see and hear about heartbreaking situations and there will be times when the overwhelming feeling to cry or just scoop a certain child up and put them in our suitcase will overcome us. It happened to me a few times on the last trip. Each of the 11 people on our team will leave a little piece of their heart in China. I had a lump in my throat the whole way home last year. It’s so hard to leave. I think about how that must be how God feels when He looks at us. His helpless children who need love and guidance. He wants to scoop us up and take us home and make the pain and suffering of this life end, but there is more time on the clock and there is more work to be done, but one day it won’t have to be that way anymore. All of the orphans and helpless will have a home and a Father. That’s a really spectacluar thought. And for two weeks we will do everything in our power to scoop those children up and love them like Jesus loves us.

I was recently talking to one of the ladies who will be going on the trip and she was sharing about how she was feeling a lot of anxiety and like Satan was trying to attack her with doubts. Before every mission trip that I have ever gone on that has happened to me… It might come in the form of sickness striking close to the departure date or problems with a background check or a grandparent taking ill or just in the form of doubts… Satan will throw something at us and cause us to break down in fear and question why we’re even doing this. He wants to do everything in his power to stop the impending work that will take place in that orphanage in China. Even though we aren’t allowed to share Jesus with our mouths I believe he will shine through our actions and love. And Satan, of course, hates that.

So, I’m asking all of you who took the time to read this post to please pray for us. Pray for us in these upcoming days of preparation. Pray that on the days that will be hot and tiring and full of mentally exhausting circumstances and situations we will feel supernatural strength. Pray that our stomachs will be strong and that our bodies adjust to the time change. Pray that we will put our focus on why each of us chose to go on this trip and let Jesus work through our actions. Pray for me because I won’t have my Mama with me this time and that makes me a wee bit nervous. 😉 Just pray for us. I can’t wait to see what happens over those 16 days. I thank you in advance for your prayers and for partnering with us in this amazing work. I’ll be sure to post a lengthy blog when I get back. I know there will be tons to tell.

“But you, God, see the trouble of the afflicted. You consider their grief and take it in hand. The victims commit themselves to you; you are the helper of the fatherless.” ~Psalm 10:14

http://kandacebrown.blogspot.com/2017/05/preparation.html

Kandace

Here’s this week’s “Two-Minute Tuesday” about how we use our cell phones. Do you sleep next to yours? Are they allowed at the dinner table? Take a look at how American’s do this “smart phone” stuff.

https://subsplash.com/mpbc/v/flvafmv

Kevin

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It’s another year in the books. I told you last week that by this time next week I’d have pictures of another group of Young Adults who participated in our annual Rite of Passage. Well, here you go:

Isn’t that a fantastic group!! We had three that couldn’t make it to the Banquet on Saturday night (when this picture was made), so we had 14 in all. I’m ecstatic! Here’s some more pictures from the weekend.

The “Baton Pass…”

Here, the parents are preparing to pass the “baton of faith” to their young adult. Why? Because the young adult has to “own” their “own faith.” It can’t be their parents or someone else’s. It must be there’s and that’s what ROP does. It pushes them to “own” their faith. Here’s a picture of Emma Golds. Isn’t she just beaming!

I love that! Here’s another shot of some of the Young Adults holding their batons up high!

I’m so proud of these young adults and I’m proud of that young lady dressed in blue on the far left in the picture above. That’s Clara and that’s child #3 of mine and Pam’s who has been through this process.

(This was taken right before her violin recital in Winston-Salem last week.)

Andrew will be #4 next year. But, I don’t make them do this. I talk with my kids about what it means to be a Christian. I talk with them about what it means to own their own faith.

You see, it’s hard to grow up as a “pastor’s kid.” The expectations are unreal! People place responsibilities and demands on my kids that they would never dream of placing on their own. That’s the cold, hard truth. And that’s why a lot of “pastor’s kids” walk away from the faith. They are treated with a different set of rules than anyone else’s kids.

Now, please don’t get me wrong… Pastor’s kids should be held to a high standard, but there isn’t a passage of Scripture that says they are to be held to a higher standard than your kids. They are to be held to the same “Christian standard” in 1 Timothy 4:12. There isn’t a passage of Scripture for pastor’s kids that’s any different from anyone else. Paul told Timothy that an Elder (or Pastor) must: “manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive.” (1 Timothy 3:4) But folks, that’s true of any home, is it not? Every Christian home should seek to raise “submissive” children. Even Jesus was submissive. At the age of 12 the Bible describes that…

And he went down with them and came to Nazareth and was submissive to them. And his mother treasured up all these things in her heart. Luke 2:51

So, when you see my kids…you are simply looking at children who are being raised in a glass box with expectations that are off the charts… Therefore, if you get a chance…pat them on the back for bearing up on the pressure. No, my kids aren’t perfect. But, they are following Jesus and I’m tickled to death about that and I praise His name for His mercy on them and for their desire to swallow hard and follow Him.

Oh by the way, I didn’t show you this picture of me and Charlotte from the beach. I love this picture…

Ain’t she a cutie-pie! She loved making sand castles with Christmas trees on top!

Here was our family picture from the beach…

We take a family photo each year. My, my, my how the kids have grown! And now I’m watching my grand babies grow! I’m a blessed man!

Speaking of my children and grandchildren… Katy wrote a new blog post this week that truly sums up so much of life. I leave you with it this week…

“IT’S OKAY THOUGH”

It’s funny because I’m not really sure if she picked it up from me or someone else, but Charlotte has picked up a new phrase. It’s one of the dozens she learns every week in this season of tremendous brain development and learning, but this one has stuck out and surprisingly has become of help to me.  She now says it many times a day as though God spoke it to her to comfort me. The first time happened like this….
I was having a rough day. Everything was getting on my nerves and all the mess and stuff to do was crowding out my joy. To make matters worse, I dropped something on the floor in the kitchen and food spilled out everywhere. Charlotte (2 and a half years old) was sitting in her seat waiting for me to deliver lunch to her empty plate. I let out something like, “Dad gum it!” There was a pause and then she calmly respond from her seat behind me “Oh Mommy! It’s okay though!”
It’s okay though. It hit me. How funny it is that my young daughter is so quick to remind me that this really isn’t a big deal, but me in all my adult-ness, blew it out of proportion. That’s when I realized that I do that a lot. Little stuff can make me so overly upset and aggravated. The actual big things that are more than just inconveniences seem crippling because I blow the LITTLE things out of proportion.
You know what I mean.
You have to wait and the doctor’s office longer than you wanted.
A rock cracked your windshield.
It rained on your new shoes.
You caught a cold before a presentation.
The potty training toddler peed on your carpet.
Your teenager absent mindedly locked his keys in the car.
You know.
But if those things cripple us and plummet us down the spiral of despair then what could real trauma do to our hearts? Cancer, Bankruptcy, Fire, Murder, Kidnapping, Death etc. What then?
That’s when it dawned on me that Charlotte is right. This little mess is okay. It’s not a big deal, because when things ARE a big deal I want to remember all that was actually good in my life and how even in the things that really are not okay, that God is good.
When Satan tempts you to blow the minor things out of proportion, remember that he is trying to get you and I to spend our whole lives selfishly focusing on ourselves. He wants us to think we don’t have enough to give, that we are too young or old or busy to help, he wants you to think that you have it so bad. But we don’t. I pray even if I do have it rough…. really rough one day, that I will look up and thank God anyway and be thankful that I tried really hard not to “major on the minors” when I had the chance.
Enjoy the flowers. Feels the breeze. Remember, it’s okay though.

http://heartsonthingsabove.blogspot.com/2017/05/its-okay-though.html

 

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Today was a big step back. You say, “Huh? A big step back?” Yep, a big step back toward the religious liberties and freedoms that this nation was founded on over 200 years ago. And yes, a BIG step back considering the last 8 years were simply catastrophic for religious freedom in America under the Obama Administration.

Today, President Trump signed a Religious Freedom Executive Order rolling back many of former President Obama’s  and his Administration’s policies that were nothing less than oppressive for Christians in Americans. A country founded by Christians, nonetheless.

Now, I really value what Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council has to say on important issues. And so, I’m going to share with you the full report of today’s activities from Perkin’s report. Here it is. It’s worth a good read.

Congratulations Are in (Executive) Order!

May 04, 2017

It’s not just the National Day of Prayer. It’s the national day of answered prayer for many conservative Christians! After an eight-year war on faith, President Trump finally called a ceasefire on the conflict started by Barack Obama with an executive order on religious freedom. The measure, which was celebrated in a signing ceremony at the White House, was the fulfillment of one of the most significant promises made by the longshot candidate: “to preserve and protect our religious liberty.”

For evangelicals, whose support propelled Trump to a historic win last November, this was one of the most meaningful returns on that investment. Although the order didn’t make it in under the 100-day wire, the quickness of it showed just how committed this administration is to bringing the government back in line with the First Amendment.

Among other things, the directive checks another big box on the White House’s to-do list — lifting the gag order on churches and other nonprofits under the Johnson Amendment. Since the first days of his candidacy, Donald Trump has railed against the 60-year-old piece of tax code that liberals have turned into a club to punish pastors with. For too long, the Left has used the IRS to threaten the charitable status of churches who dared to speak out on the moral issues of the day.

Of course, the irony of this whole debate is that pulpits are free to do exactly that under the U.S. Constitution. It was only when liberals seized on this twisted interpretation of the Johnson Amendment that pastors came under fire for exercising their God-given rights. To the phony claim that churches would somehow turn into mini-PACs, the White House was clear: “Nobody is suggesting that churches are allowed, or it’s legal, for tax-exempt organizations to take out ads endorsing candidates. That’s illegal now,” said an administration spokesman. “We’re not changing what’s legal, we’re not changing what’s illegal…” Instead, the nation’s tax agency is directed to use “discretion” in enforcing the language named after JFK’s successor.

Medical professionals, charities, businesses, and even nuns who’ve suffered under the outrageous mandate of Obamacare will finally have the relief they need to say no to insurance coverage that violates their conscience. After years of court battles, they’ll be free from regulatory harassment of including contraception and abortifacients in their health care plans. But that’s not all the order does. It sets in place a multi-step process that will provide some long-overdue protections by directing the Attorney General Jeff Sessions to develop guidelines for every federal agency to ensure they protect and promote religious freedom. This includes members of our military, who, under the Obama administration, have been systematically silenced and even purged. Men and women like Chaplain Wes Modder (U.S. Navy-Ret.) and Monifa Sterling, who stared down the ends of their careers for their deeply-held beliefs, can finally come out of hiding and live out their faith openly.

Finally, for our friends like Barronelle Stutzman and Don Vander Boon, who’ve suffered for their biblical views on marriage, there’s hope. As President Trump said, “No American should be forced to choose between the dictates of the federal government and the tenets of their faith,” President Trump told those of us gathered in the Rose Garden for today’s ceremony. “We will not allow people of faith to be targeted, bullied or silenced anymore,” the president said. “We will never ever stand for religious discrimination.”

Thanks to this White House, the open season on Christians and other people of faith is coming to an end. And Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) looks forward to building on White House’s progress. “On this National Day of Prayer, I commend the Trump administration for taking action and will continue to make fighting for religious liberty a top priority of my speakership.” As we work with the Trump administration to address the problems created by Obama, it’s that they understand the dangers of the anti-freedom policies of the last administration. But, more than that, they’re committed to undoing those policies and restoring true religious freedom for everyone.

This step today starts the process of reversing the devastating trends of the last decade to punish charities, pastors, family-owned businesses, and honest, hard-working people simply for living out their faith. On behalf of FRC and the hundreds of thousands of families we represent, we offer our deepest thanks to the president and look forward to assisting him in returning America to the land of the free.


Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.

Now, there will be some who say that Trump didn’t go quite far enough with his order today. Some would have liked to have seen him go further. The National Organization For Marriage was one such group. They said:

President Trump has repeatedly promised that he would do everything in his power to protect the religious liberty of people of faith and faith-based groups. It was a major factor in his election. However, an executive order he signed today, while containing some helpful provisions for pastors and religious medical providers, falls far short of what is needed to protect people of faith from governmental persecution set in motion by the Obama administration. Instead, he has punted the issue to the Department of Justice which, he says, will develop new rules to protect the religious liberty rights of people and groups. 

Now, I don’t disagree with the NOFM. It’s true that the Department of Justice is going to weigh in on the future of “religious liberty” in this nation. But, I believe Attorney General, Jeff Sessions will handle things MUCH differently than Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch did. Don’t you?

Bottom line for me today this is where I’m at with all of this… Truly, I know that this is not a perfect world and so you take what you can get. For me, I’m so thankful that we’ve taken a step in the right direction. Yes, we’ve taken a step “back” toward our Founding Fathers and why we were established as a nation in the first place.

I feel exactly the same way about the repeal and replacement of ObamaCare. It’s not a perfect bill that the House is sending to the Senate and I promise you that it won’t look the same once the Senate gets done with it. (I really believe the Senate can make it better.) But, again…I’ll take what I can get.

For me, Neil Gorsuch, as our new Supreme Court Justice was a win as well! If Clinton had been in office, I can’t begin to even imagine what kind of judge we’d have had on the highest court in the land for the next (potentially) 20-30 years.

By the way, I laughed when I saw how CNN covered the events of the day. They hate and I mean HATE President Trump with a vitriol that’s truly amazing!

Screen Shot 2017-05-04 at 2.40.57 PM

“At last, a victory for Trump.” You gotta love the “At last” part. Makes me laugh. And then look to the right for the “Top Stories.” See the third story down where it says: “Trump signs order to allow more politics into the pulpit.” Oh come on! What a joke! That’s not the tone and tenor of the Executive Order at all! We’re not talking about bringing politics into the pulpit, we’re talking about a pastor not being targeted by the IRS because he speaks the truth from God’s Word. Truly, if Clinton had gone into office, I’m convinced my time as a “free” pastor would have been severely limited.

Let me return to ObamaCare for a moment. For me, (because of ObamaCare), I chose to save the church money and drop my “grandfathered” insurance plan from when I started pastoring (11 years ago) and go with a higher deductible (much higher in fact). (Let me say this…I’m blessed to have the insurance plan I have. I’m very grateful to MPBC for the plan I have.) But, my beef has been because of ObamaCare.

You see, because of ObamaCare, according to a letter I received from Guidestone Financial Insurance Company, they said they had to raise the premiums on the old plan I had by almost 25%. Why? Because of ObamaCare and the need to cover all of the Americans that would receive free insurance through the “Government Exchanges.” So, we dropped the plan several levels to compensate for that potential increase.

Well all would have been find, but Pam popped her ACL in China on a Mission Trip and the subsequent surgery, rehab and medical bills cost us over $12,000 out-of-pocket, when all was said and done. I guess I shouldn’t write that in the past tense, because we’re still making payments. Five of them to be exact, each month (to the tune of a nice-sized house payment).

So, do I have some animosity that’s built up in me over the last 8 years? You bet ya! And, I’ve had to pray a lot for a heart of forgiveness and surrender to the Lord. Therefore, the things that have happened today on this annual “National Day of Prayer” have not only been answers to prayer, but also some giant steps “backwards” to what we had in this nation prior to 8 years ago. And if you ask me, those steps are HUGE steps forward!

Here’s this week’s Two-Minute Tuesday (TMT)- “Which One Do You Believe? Both Take Faith.”

http://subsplash.com/mpbc/v/tuzosfm

Kevin

PS…I’m going to be taking a few days to unplug with my family next week. It’s time for a vacation break to recharge and refresh. There’ll be no TMT or Blog next week. Pastor Dale and Caleb will be covering the Devotions for me next week.

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Grinding It Out

How much of life is about: “grinding it out?” Do you want to put a percentage on it? I don’t. I’m afraid to!

What is life? James calls it a “vapor,” a “mist.” I’ve seen that yet again this week. My great-uncle went to be with the Lord and I’m working on the funeral message that I’ll deliver tomorrow. Is it possible that he’s gone? Death comes and the finality of it is breathtaking. And that’s what makes life tough…grinding it out. Why? Because we have to keep living. People are counting on us. That’s what I plan to say to the family shortly as we meet at the funeral home. We must keep going. That’s what he would want.

Are you grinding it out? What does that mean to you? To me it means continuing to get up every morning and seek to help people. It means to write sermons, devotions, blogs. It means counseling people when you, yourself could probably use some counseling. It means taking a deep breath and saying, “Lord give me strength!” as you drive to another hospital, counsel another family, write another sermon. It means: grinding it out.

Is that okay? Is it okay to grind it out? Should I say it another way? Should I try to soften the blow of what it means to live in a world that’s filled with sin and sinners? Should I try to call “grinding it out” having “fun?” Should I? What do you think? My answer is: “No,” and here’s why. It’s okay to grind it out. That’s what Jesus did.

Remember when Jesus had heard that his cousin John had been beheaded? What did He do? Matthew 14 tells us.

13 Now when Jesus heard this, he withdrew from there in a boat to a desolate place by himself. Matthew 14:13a

He needed to be alone. He was worn out! He was grieving! He was tired! So, He went to a desolate place on the coast of the Sea of Galilee near Bethsaida Julias. Jesus was “grinding it out.” How can I say this? Because the Apostle Matthew records the second part of verse 13…

But when the crowds heard it, they followed him on foot from the towns. 14 When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them and healed their sick. Matthew 14:13b-14

Can you imagine Jesus in that boat on the Sea of Galilee and He’s by Himself and He sees all of those people running across the northern part of the coastline to meet Him where He’ll come ashore at Bethsaida Julias? What did He do? He got out of the boat and went ashore. Why? Because He had compassion on them. The word means: “to feel it in your bowels.” Just couldn’t let His condition of being tired and grieved and worn out deter Him from doing the work. He had to grind it out. And I’m glad He did. It gives me my example…and you, your example.

Are you tired? Pray to the Lord to give you strength. His mercies are new each morning. Lean on Him. Lean into Him. He’ll sustain you and He’ll provide for you no matter what! Grind it out! He did and so can you!

You are loved!

Kevin

This week’s Two-Minute Tuesday: “Is a 4-year Degree For Everybody?”

http://subsplash.com/mpbc/v/dlepngo

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The Lord is good. I continue to be amazed at His provision in my life. I see His hand on my family and the church. Now when I say that, “I see His hand…” I’m not meaning that everything is always perfect. You know the Lord allows difficulties into all of our lives to grow us and shape us and mold us into His image. Difficulties and trying circumstances are a part of life. It’s how we handle those circumstances that will determine where our hearts are as they relate to Him. But, I’m grateful for another week. It’s been hectic and busy with funerals and Sunday’s messages and I’m in revival this week at a local church. As a matter of fact, we had 649 people on Sunday for our three services. There was nothing special going on… just an ordinary Lord’s Day. That’s still mind-boggling to me! I admit it!

Interestingly, I’ve heard some say that our church is growing because it’s liberal. Can you believe that? Me, a liberal preacher? Are you serious! I laugh when I hear that. I’m probably one of the least liberal preachers around. Don’t believe me? Watch some of the sermons I’ve preached lately online at http://www.mpbc.ws.

No, the truth is, there’s all kinds of reasons that folks, (including, sadly, other Christians), will run down another church and I can promise you, (in our case), it’s not because we’re liberal. Perhaps it’s because we don’t use the “right kind of Bible.” I use the ESV, a word for word translation of the original Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic. I heard a NT Greek Professor say one time: “To the degree that your Bible translation is faithful to the original languages of the Bible (Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic), you can be confident you hold the Word of God in your hands.” But, for some, that’s not good enough I suppose.

I believe others, perhaps, believe we’re a liberal church because we use other instruments besides a piano and organ. I guess David was wrong when he said we should praise the Lord with the cymbals, trumpets and tambourines (2 Samuel 6:5). Psalm 150:5 says: “Praise him with sounding cymbals; praise him with loud clashing cymbals!” Perhaps it’s just the fact that the Lord is blessing and moving and people are being saved, baptized and are growing in their faith and some don’t like that. Who knows. But, I do know this. It’s all of the Lord. It’s all Him and I give Him the praise and the glory! 

Yes, I’m finishing up revival tonight at Pleasant Home Baptist Church in Millers Creek. The folks there have been so kind to me. I’m honored they asked me to come and preach and I believe the Lord has been moving in hearts and lives. I’m excited about finishing up in a little while. The Lord is good!

In fact, as I’ve thought about and prayed about preaching and teaching the Gospel all week, my mind has been taken back to: “The Story of the Donuts.” It’s a powerful story. Have you ever heard of it. It truly is wonderful! I’ve copied it below and I hope it encourages you as it continues to encourage me. I promise you… if you read it…you will be blessed.

The Story of the Donuts

There was a certain Professor of Religion named Dr. Christianson, a studious man, who taught at a small college in the western United States. Dr. Christianson taught the required survey course in Christianity at this particular institution. Every student was required to take this course their freshman year, regardless of his or her major. Although Dr. Christianson tried hard to communicate the essence of the gospel in his class, he found that most of his students looked upon the course as nothing but required drudgery.

Despite his best efforts, most students refused to take Christianity seriously. This year, Dr. Christianson had a really special, dedicated, student named Steve. He was a tremendous athlete. Steve was studying with the intent of going on to seminary for the ministry. Steve was popular, well-liked, and he was an imposing physical specimen. In other words, he was huge! He was the starting center on the university’s football team, and was the best student in the professor’s class.

One day, Dr. Christianson asked Steve to stay after class so he could talk with him. “How many push-ups can you do?” Steve said, “I do about 200 every night.” “200? That’s pretty good, Steve,” Dr. Christianson said. “Do you think you could do 300?” Steve replied, “I don’t know…. I’ve never done 300 at one time.” “Do you think you could?” again asked Dr. Christianson. “Well, I can try,” said Steve. “Can you do 300 in sets of 10? I have a class project in mind and I need you to do about 300 push-ups in sets of ten for this to work. Can you do it? I need you to tell me if you can do it,” said the professor. Steve said, “Well… I think I can…yeah, I can do it.” Dr. Christianson said, “Good! I need you to do this on Friday. Let me explain what I have in mind.”

Well, Friday came and Steve got to class early and sat in the front of the room. When class started, the professor pulled out a big box of donuts. Now, these weren’t the normal kinds of donuts, they were the extra fancy BIG kind with cream centers and frosting swirls. Everyone was pretty excited it was Friday. It was the last class of the day, and they were going to get an early start on the weekend with a party in Dr. Christianson’s class. Woohoo!

Dr. Christianson went to the first girl sitting in the first row and asked, “Cynthia, do you want to have one of these donuts?” Cynthia said, “Yes.” Dr. Christianson then turned to Steve and asked, “Steve, would you do ten push-ups so that Cynthia can have a donut?” “Sure…” Steve jumped down from his desk to do a quick ten. Then Steve hopped back up and sat in his desk. Dr. Christianson put a donut on Cynthia’s desk.

Dr. Christianson then went to Joe, who was seated behind Cynthia, and asked, “Joe, do you want a donut?” Joe said, “You bet I do.” Dr. Christianson asked, “Steve would you do ten push-ups so Joe can have a donut?” Steve did ten push-ups, and Joe got a donut. And so it went, down the first aisle, Steve did ten push-ups for every person before they got their donut.

Walking down the second aisle, Dr. Christianson came to Scott. Scott was on the basketball team, and in as good condition as Steve. He was very popular and never lacking for female attention. When the professor asked, “Scott, do you want a donut?” Scott’s reply was, “Well, I can do my own push-ups?” Dr. Christianson said, “No, Steve has to do them anyway, whether you take the donut or not.” Then Scott said, “I don’t want one! That’s not fair!” Dr. Christianson shrugged and then turned to Steve and said, “Steve, would you do ten push-ups so Scott can have a donut he doesn’t want?” With perfect obedience Steve started to do the ten push-ups.

Scott said with a red face, “HEY! I said I didn’t want one!” Dr. Christianson said, “Look! This is my classroom, my desks, and these are my donuts. Just leave it on the desk if you don’t want it. Now sit down!” And he put a donut on Scott’s desk.

Now by this time, Steve started to slow down with the push-ups. He was starting to tired. He was now just staying on the floor between sets because it took too much effort getting back into his seat. You could see the sweat beading on his forehead and sliding down his cheeks. Dr. Christianson started down the third row. Now the students were beginning to get more angry. Dr. Christianson asked Jenny, “Jenny, do you want a donut?” Sternly, Jenny said, “No.” Then Dr. Christianson asked Steve, “Steve, would you do ten more push-ups so Jenny can have a donut she doesn’t want?” Steve did ten….Jenny got a donut.

By now, a growing sense of tenseness and unease filled the room. The students were saying “No” with greater fervor and all across the room there were all these uneaten donuts on the desks. Steve was now really putting forth a lot of effort to get the push-ups done for each donut. There began to be a pool of sweat on the floor beneath his face, his arms and face were bright red because of the physical effort Steve had expended.

Now, Dr. Christianson asked Robert, who was the most vocal unbeliever in the class, to go over and watch Steve do each push up to make sure he did the full ten push-ups in a set. He told Robert, “Make sure he does them all.” Robert complied. He didn’t like Steve anyway. He thought he was a “goody-goody” and so, he watched Steve closely and Dr. Christianson started down the fourth row.

From time to time however, other students from the class across the hall would come into Dr. Christianson’s class. The professor across the hall would not allow late-comers to barge into his class, but they would be counted present if they attended Dr. Christianson’s class. About that time, 4 students walked in and sat down on the steps that ran along the back wall of the room. As they came in they said: “Mmmm… We can smell the donuts!” When Dr. Christianson realized this, he did a quick count and saw that there were now 34 students in the room. He started to worry if Steve would be able to make it.

Dr. Christianson went on to the next person and the next and the next. Steve was really having a rough time now. He was taking a lot more time to complete each set. Steve asked Dr. Christianson, “Do I have to make my nose touch on each one?” Dr. Christianson thought for a moment and then turned to Robert the atheist and said, “What do you think, Robert?” Robert looked at Steve as Steve was lying on the floor with his arms beginning to shake and Robert said, “It’s alright…he doesn’t have to touch his nose to the floor.” Steve looked up at Dr. Christianson and then to Robert and said, “I’ll do them right. Nose to the floor.” Dr. Christianson, now with tears in his eyes didn’t say a word and continued on.

Just at that moment, Jason, a notoriously late student started to walk in to the room when all the students yelled in one voice, “No Jason! Don’t come in! Stay out!” Jason didn’t know what was going on. Steve picked up his head and said, “No, let him come.” Professor Christianson said, “Steve, you realize that if Jason comes in you will have to do ten push-ups for him?” Steve said, “Yes, let him come in. Give him a donut” Dr. Christianson said, “Okay, Steve, I’ll let you get Jason’s out-of-the-way right now.” He asked, “Jason, do you want a donut?” Jason, new to the room of course, hardly knew what was going on and said, “Yeah! I’ll take a donut.” “Steve, will you do ten push-ups so that Jason can have a donut?” The class groaned! Steve did ten push-ups very slowly and with immense effort. Jason, bewildered, was handed a donut and he sat down and bit into his donut, while everyone glared at him.

Dr. Christianson finished the fourth row, and then started on the late-comers seated in the back of the room. Steve’s arms were now shaking violently with each push-up in a struggle to lift himself against the force of gravity. By this time, sweat was profusely pouring off of his face. There was no sound in the room except his heavy breathing and the splattering of sweat on the floor. Oh…and the muffled sobs of some of the girls as they sniffed away the tears. Even the guys were struggling to watch this display. The last two students in the room were two young ladies…very pretty and very popular.

Dr. Christianson went to Ashley and asked, “Ashley, do you want a doughnut?” Ashley said, very weakly, “No, thank you.” Professor Christianson quietly asked, “Steve, would you do ten push-ups so that Ashley can have a donut she doesn’t want?” Grunting from the effort, Steve did ten very slow push-ups for Ashley. Then Dr. Christianson turned to the last girl, Courtney. “Courtney, do you want a donut?” Courtney, with tears flowing down her face could barely answer for the tears and she said, “Dr. Christianson, why can’t I help him?” Dr. Christianson, holding back his own tears said, “No, Steve has to do it alone, I have given him this task and he is in charge of seeing that everyone has an opportunity for a donut whether they want it or not.”

Dr. Christianson continued: “When I decided to have a party this last day of class, I looked at my grade book. Steve here is the only student with a perfect grade. Everyone else has failed a test, skipped class, or offered me inferior work. Steve told me that in football practice when a player messes up he must do push-ups. I told Steve that none of you could eat at my party unless he paid the price by doing your push-ups. He and I made a deal for your sakes.”

“Steve, would you do ten push-ups so Courtney can have a donut?” As Steve very slowly finished his last push-up, understanding that he had accomplished all that was required of him. 350 push-ups. On the last one, his arms buckled beneath him and he fell to the floor with a “thud.”

Dr. Christianson turned to the room and said. “And so it was, that our Savior, Jesus Christ, on the cross, pleaded to the Father, ‘into thy hands I commend my spirit,’ with the understanding that He had done everything that was required of Him. He yielded up His life. And like some of those in this room, you have chosen to leave the gift on the desk, uneaten.”

Two guys helped Steve up from the floor and to his seat. Steve was physically exhausted, but wearing a thin smile, as he wiped the sweat from his eyes. Dr. Christianson said, “Well done, good and faithful servant,” adding, “Not all sermons are preached in words.”

Turning to his class, the professor said, “My wish is that you might understand and fully comprehend all the riches of grace and mercy that have been given to you through the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ. God spared not His only Begotten Son for you. Whether or not you choose to accept His gift, the price has been paid regardless. You see, Cain brought his offering to the Lord. It was unacceptable because it was brought with a dishonest and corrupt heart. Abel gave his best and it was received by God. What does God want? He wants you! He wants your all. He wants your faults, your failures, your fears, your struggles, your past, your present and your future. He wants to give you life in exchange for your certain death without Him. He wants your worship and He wants your love. He wants you to give from a heart that is clean and righteous before Him. He doesn’t want your effort. He doesn’t want your performance. He doesn’t want your good works. He doesn’t want your church membership and He doesn’t even want your money. He wants you! Just you!” And as the professor walked to the door of the class: “And that is the meaning of this class. Class dismissed.”

Perhaps as you read that story, it moved you. Perhaps there were tears in your eyes or a lump in your throat. Do you know what I find interesting about that possibility? It’s the fact that we can be moved by a story of a young man struggling to do push-ups, yet the Lord and Savior of the world was slaughtered on a cross and because we’ve heard the story so much, we are hardly blink an eye. Why? Because we’ve forgotten how good it is to be saved and just how blessed we are! We have little excitement or passion in us about our Lord Jesus because He’s become commonplace. Why don’t we thank Him for His precious salvation.

Thank you Jesus!!!

Kevin

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What a combination! Basketball and Snow!! And both are coming this week it appears. We know the Basketball is here. The ACC tournament is in full swing, but what about the weather? Well, it’s a bit early…but it appears we have a decent shot at some March Snow this weekend and that will only increase the “March Madness!”

Here’s the latest forecast from our United States model called the GFS.

That’s right! We could see some snow on Saturday night and Sunday morning. We’ll see. A forecaster in Charlotte is only rating the chance at 10% right now…

The system is still off the west coast and that’s why the confidence is so low. Honestly, we won’t know until tomorrow when it gets onto the continental US that the models can really pick up on what’s going to potentially happen.

My favorite forecaster is Van Denton and this is what’s on his Facebook page. The top one is the European Model and the bottom one is the GFS (US Model).

Van’s Post:

2:40 pm Wed March 8, 2017 Feel free to SHARE

Still way too early to have a good fix on specifics for Saturday night/Sunday morning, but here is what the 2 models show that go out that far. The GFS has lowered amounts from the past 2 days and last night and the Euro has remained about the same.

We expect colder air to push in from the north on Saturday and an area of low pressure to arrive from the south on Saturday night and pass to our east on Sunday. This combination would produce the snow chance that the models are showing. The ground is warm and that would cut into amounts that we see accumulate. One thing to note about the models, they show the amount of snow that actually falls based on it all sticking. With a warm ground, much of it would melt and depth would likely remain below what a model actually shows.

By tomorrow night the energy will reach the mainland (currently over the Pacific Ocean). Once it reaches land, we will get better data from Weather balloon sounds which take measurements within the storm. Then we will have a much better idea what to actually expect from this system. We usually start putting out OUR forecast for snow amounts within 48 hours.

So, we’ll see. Either way…it’s kind of exciting. I am reminded of the Blizzard of 1993 that occurred during the ACC Tournament. Wow! That was something! Here’s the snowfall map from that one…

We had that 22″ amount at my house. Unreal! Mt. Mitchell got 5 feet!!!

This was a picture from Eastern Tennessee…

I remember the snow drifted up to four feet in some places around the house. It was truly an amazing event!

Well, you can be sure we’re not looking at anything like that…but, nonetheless, the timing of the event being March 11 and 12 this Saturday and Sunday is very similar to 1993 in timing.

So, enjoy the weekend! I will! Snow and Basketball! Wow! What a potential combination!

This week’s Two-Minute Tuesday, “Children in Big Church? It’s up to over 4,300 views. Amazing!

http://subsplash.com/mpbc/v/ozgx3o5

Kevin

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I had to laugh last night. I saw where a comedian was trying to figure out how the nation could get along. He said there needed to be wall built (not along the Mexican border) but along the California border from Mexico to Canada through Washington state and Oregon. He then said that another wall needed to be built around the northeastern states from New York down through New Jersey and into Washington D.C. and then up the Atlantic coast to Maine. He said the coast on the west could be connected to the coast on the east with a tunnel that runs through the rest of the country. He said Jerry Brown could be president of the West coast nation, Bernie Sanders could be the president of the Northeast coast nation and Donald Trump could be the President of the rest of the nation (about 80% of the continental landmass of the US). I laughed out loud! Parts of it made a lot of sense to me. But, then I thought, no… That’s what the media wants. That’s what many want today… They want us to divide.

And that’s what I continue to see happening. I’ve never seen anything like it. Even within Christian circles, there seems to be much division. If you voted for Trump you are evil, if you didn’t vote for Trump you are evil. If you didn’t vote at all, you are evil. Hey folks…NEWS FLASH…we are all evil! We are all sinners! We all have to look at the hand we’ve been dealt and take it to the Lord and do what we believe He’s telling us. We take the Word of God and we read it and allow it to enlighten our lives and then act on what we believe it teaches. And you know what, some will do the exact opposite of what we believe…of what you believe. Can we still live with each other or will we demonize each other? I pray it’s the former and not the latter.

You see, the politics in America and even the world are a disaster because we’ve turned our backs on God. That’s why we had the choice between Clinton and Trump…never forget that. But, in my mind Clinton meant disaster. She meant a liberal Supreme Court pick and the continued march toward progressive liberalism that would decimate any belief system but one that summarily dismisses Christians as bigots, haters and unloving, unaccepting people. And so, we had to choose. And America chose. Trump won. Whether people like it or not, he’s the 45th president. Now what? Trash him! Castigate him because he’s a fallible man… throw him to the curb? How Christian is that?

Let me ask you… Did we trash Obama? Some did and they were wrong. Yes, in my mind he was and is more misguided than Trump in so many ways. But, did I throw him to the curb? No! I and many of you prayed for him and believe me I prayed in “Chuck Schumer tears” for him! (BTW…I’m giving Schumer the benefit of the doubt…and I hope we can do that with one another.) I prayed for Obama even in times of fasting. I prayed he would look to his Christianity and see that his policies were crumbling Christian thought. But, he never changed or backed down. The media loved him and embraced him. So did the young people. After all, kids in college today grew up through their puberty years with him as their President. It’s all they’ve ever known. But, Obama never had a Christian worldview. And can I ask you… where was the outcry from the Christians back then who are now so ashamed that Trump is the President. Where was the outcry when president Obama changed his position on marriage and abortion and religious liberty…all within just 8 years? There was no outcry. Many Christians looked the other way. But, today there are Christians who didn’t vote for Trump who who now see him in office and they (deep down) almost want to see him fail. Why? Because it will justify why they didn’t vote for such a filthy-mouthed, adulterous, immoral man. But, what does that accomplish? Nothing. He’s still president for the next four years. So, will you pray for him or just castigate him? Surely we are better than that?

You see, that’s how I felt about Obama, and I said as much. But, I didn’t attack him personally or his family, even though I was totally dismayed that a “Christian” man would do what he was doing. Can you look back now and see what 8 years of Obama and a secular, liberal administration that impacted our educational system in such profound ways has brought us?

Did you see the riots at UC-Berekely Wednesday night? Please know, this is supposed to be one of the most “liberal” campuses in the United States.In other words, they talk about how “open” and “tolerant” and “diverse” they are. They talk about welcoming ALL people. That’s the Obama talk, right?. That was the Clinton talk, right? That’s the talk about welcoming immigrants, illegal aliens and ALL people. And I’m all for welcoming all people…but, it was Obama who labeled the 7 nations that we needed to be careful about (terrorism). (More on that in a moment.) Well, we are told to be accepting of all people…gays, transgenders, immigrants, illegal aliens…EVERYONE… Except…and it’s a big “except,” those who don’t agree with them. You know what? They are hypocrites if you ask me. And it’s another reason why Donald Trump is the President of the United States. People got fed up with this kind of stuff. The speaker, who was to speak at Berkeley is a gay, Jewish man, (whom I’m not endorsing in any way), and he said this as the riot was happening:

I have been evacuated from the UC Berkeley campus after violent left-wing protestors tore down barricades, lit fires, threw rocks and Roman candles at the windows and breached the ground floor of the building. My team and I are safe. But the event has been cancelled. I’ll let you know more when the facts become clear. One thing we do know for sure: the Left is absolutely terrified of free speech and will do literally anything to shut it down. Milo Yiannopoulos. 

Get this…the man was going to speak about “political correctness” and “free speech.” One young lady wearing a Trump hat was pepper sprayed by a masked protestor. Here she is…

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Hey… Where’s the love! Those shouting for love and tolerance… Come on! Where’s the love? And so, the country continues to divide.

You can agree or disagree, but I’ll say it again…the last 8 years in this country was the most divisive I’ve ever seen. Barack Obama did more to divide this nation than anyone I’ve seen in my lifetime. And in my humble opinion, that cost the Democrats the Whitehouse and they simply can’t get over it. The media can’t get over it either. Every news article I see on CNN is about how bad Trump is. The pictures they use of him show him snarling and look almost monstrous. How did they portray Obama? Well, you know the answer. Yes, the media hates Trump. No…that’s not strong enough. They loathe him! They report how worthless he is and it’s amazing to see the mass media literally pursue the demise of a man who has only been on the job for two weeks.  Don’t they realize if Trump fails, we all fail? And that’s why I prayed for Obama! I didn’t agree with him on almost anything, but I prayed for him.

Now without question, Trump bumbled the “extreme vetting” rollout. It was a disaster in how it was presented and the misinformation about it came about because it was not well-handled or well explained. It has been twisted in the media and by the Left because it wasn’t rolled out correctly or with the appropriate people involved. It created many problems at airports and it’s been used to mischaracterize the plan, which is little more than what Obama directed (picking the 7 countries on the list). Certainly, it has been a political firestorm, but I believe Trump will learn from this. That’s my prayer. Yet, there continues to be fallout on the Democratic side.

I read an article (an op-ed) piece in the Washington Post about this young man…

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Michael J. Hout, 22, is a junior majoring in history, English and political science at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. During the 2016 presidential campaign he participated in many Democratic activities as a leader in the College Democrats. But he recently quit the party. Here he explains his thinking and I want you to really concentrate on what he says. It’s so enlightening.

“The so-called party of inclusivity, that values tolerance above all else, is extremely intolerant and wildly exclusive to ways of thinking that violate its delicate myopia. I contend that diversity of opinion – both within and without parties – is healthy and integral to our system. We must not only accept it, but demand it. Thus, we must be more accepting of conservative students, and the debate that they allow us to have, just as we must accept liberal students for the same reason. No one side should be able to monopolize culture and community the way the left has been able to do on campuses. … Win with ideas, not intimidation. Be open to debate, and drop the baseless insults intended to stifle it. 

Second, putting it plainly, you do not want to be a conservative on today’s college campus. You will likely be ostracized to some extent, assuming your institution of higher learning is the norm. You will almost certainly lose friends, face bullying and need to develop thick skin. I’ve experienced this, and I only came out as an Independent. Others I’ve spoken to have horror stories worse than mine, attacked by fellow students, treated poorly by professors and administrators, accused publicly of racism, misogyny or “unintelligence.” And we have all received threats at one point or another. All things considered, perhaps I had it pretty good as a moderate Democrat. But my personal convictions prevented me from continuing to reside in the party that it has become, let alone the one that is to come.”

Interestingly, former Ivy League professor Allan Bloom has been saying the same thing. In his book, “The Closing of the American Mind,” Bloom writes that true diversity and freedom only comes when multiple points of view are freely discussed and debated:

“Freedom of the mind requires not only, or not even especially, the absence of legal constraints but the presence of alternative thoughts. The most successful tyranny is not the one that uses force to assure uniformity but the one that removes the awareness of other possibilities, that makes it seem inconceivable that other ways are viable, that removes the sense that there is an outside. It is not feelings or commitments that will render a man free, but thoughts, reasoned thoughts. Feelings are largely formed and informed by convention. Real differences come from difference in thought and fundamental principle.”

Amen!!! Today’s universities pride themselves on being safe spaces where diversity can bloom and grow in the next generation. But is their method of promoting diversity and freedom of thought actually the most effectual way of stamping it out? You see, I have no problem with those who want to believe marriage is between two men and abortion (up to the 9th month) is okay. They are free to believe that. They are wrong in my opinion! Desperately wrong! But, they should be allowed to think and believe what they choose. That’s the First Amendment, folks. But, what the Left wants to do is to shut down any thought…and I mean any thought that doesn’t match theirs. Translated: you are only allowed to believe what I tell you to believe. Folks, that’s totalitarianism. But, you see, there’s a great fear permeating many in America. That fear? That Trump is going to undo everything Obama did. And that scares them to death! And those fears are being exacerbated by the media and well…you have UC-Berkeley and people like Whoopi Goldberg who opine and tells everyone that the sky is falling.

For me…I want to see the misguided policies of Obama changed. I watched for 8 years at the way he governed with an iron fist and nobody said anything. With the stroke of a pen he implemented policies that have hurt Christians…but, no one cares. Why? Because we are Christians. We are the ONLY unprotected class in America. Illegal aliens have more rights than Christians. Christians are nobodies and that’s fine. Or is it? Should we be okay to just watch it all go down the drain? Should we be okay to say, “Let the persecution come!” Should we just say, “Forsake our churches and head to the basements of our homes?” Should we just quit? Should we throw it all away and give up? No! Not me! That’s not the way I operate. I’m going to contend for the faith and stand for the truth even if they lock me up or hang me. I’ll go to the Roman Coliseum of our day if need be…but, I’ll stand for the truth on the way to meet my lion…I promise you that.

So for me…the selection of Neil Gorsuch to replace Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court was such a powerful thing! And for many, many Americans…what verified with that selection was why they voted for Trump. If confirmed, that would mean the court would stay at a 4-4 tie, (split between conservative and liberal), with Justice Anthony Kennedy the lone moderate leaning to the left (liberal).  Believe me there will be a fight to confirm Gorsuch. Why? Because he’s not a good judge? Nope! Because he is a conservative thinker. You see, that’s not allowed anymore in this country. I like what Al Mohler, President of Southern Seminary in Louisville, KY said this about the selection.

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According to everything I’ve read, Gorsuch is a man that is a “strict constructionist” in regards to seeing the US Constitution as a “fixed” document that does not change with time. In other words, it’s not a living, breathing document as liberals, (like Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi), want it to be. I actually talked about the idea of the “fixed” document, as it relates to not only the Constitution, but to the Bible in the Two-Minute Tuesday this week.

Should the Bible change with time? Should it change as the culture changes? Could God who is the same yesterday, today and forever…could He have been wrong about what marriage is and abortion and gender? Is God dumb? Should His word be reinterpreted as society changes?

http://subsplash.com/mpbc/v/mqv4jxr

You see, the Dems will fight hard to keep Gorsuch, a well qualified man, off the bench, because he won’t legislate progressive liberalism from the bench. And that burns them up! They want to continue the fundamental change toward progressive liberalism that Obama brought to this country.

Yesterday, President Trump went to the “National Prayer Breakfast,” and many Christian bloggers wrote how that was such a travesty. How could such an immoral man go there? I shook my head as I read and I thought, “You’ve got to be kidding me! Do you think Hillary Clinton was/is more moral than Donald Trump?” A woman who said on national TV that she had no problem with abortion up to the moment of birth? Is that moral!? I was appreciative of the fact that president Trump was gracious toward Christians; whereas, Obama always seemed to lecture Christians. Trump said this:

“This gathering is a testament to the power of faith and is one of the great customs of our nation… Our republic was formed on the basis that freedom is not a gift from government, but that freedom is a gift from God.”

May I say that I was encouraged to hear him also reference the legislation that several Republican lawmakers introduced yesterday on Capitol Hill — the Free Speech Fairness Act. You see, the government has been seeking to muzzle pastors for the last several years. Remember the mayor in Houston who told all the pastors to send copies of their sermons to her for approval? She was handily voted down. Where does this mindset come from? It comes from a liberalism that hates Christianity and it’s being taught in our schools and universities nation-wide (reminder, UC-Berkeley). Trump said: “I will get rid of and totally destroy the Johnson Amendment and allow our representatives of faith to speak freely and without fear of retribution. I will do that, remember. Freedom of religion is a sacred right, but it is also a right under threat all around us.”

Folks, it is a sacred right to be able to speak freely in this country. But, that right has been under attack, if you are Christian for the last 8 years, in ways that are beyond description. As far as I’m concerned the US Government can take the 501-c-3 from churches. I couldn’t care less. I don’t give my money to the work of the Lord for a tax deduction anyway. I’d still give every penny I give whether or not I can deduct it off my taxes or not. You see, I don’t answer to the government for what I say behind the pulpit…I answer to God. And that’s a sobering thought. I fear God much more than I do the US government. And during Black History Month, let us never forget that Dr. Martin Luther King, in my opinion, was one of the greatest “political pastors” of our nation’s history. He spoke forcefully from the pulpit about the issues of the day. Since this country was started, churches have been at the forefront of shaping debate and public policy and this should continue and the IRS should stay out of the business of telling churches and pastors what they can and can’t say, period.

Well, I guess I’ve said too much. But, it is my blog, right? After all, it’s Kevin Brown’s mindless musings about life and how I feel. Could I be wrong? Absolutely. Am I wrong in how I think? Perhaps. And that’s why I say to you that I continue to pray and seek the Lord to help me and guide me. You see, all I want to do is to have the opportunity to live freely in this country and tell people about Jesus. And if there are others that want to push for climate change, saving the sea turtles, gay rights, abortion, etc…well…that’s their right as well. But, for me… I just want to live in a nation where I’m not labeled a bigot, fool or pepper-sprayed because I believe what I believe. I pray as a nation we could agree to disagree and still remember that we are all Americans.

Much love to all!

Kevin

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