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This week’s Two-Minute Tuesday “Is a College Degree Still Necessary?” seemed to resonate with a lot of people. As of today, it’s been viewed close to 4,000 times. That’s a lot folks! And that’s a lot of folks, folks! 🙂

Here’s why I believe it resonates. It’s because intuitively we know it’s true. A college degree is NOT necessary for everyone. Take a look:

http://mpbc.ws/media/?sapurl=Lys3ZWViL2xiL21pLytuNDdrenRxP2JyYW5kaW5nPXRydWUmZW1iZWQ9dHJ1ZQ==

Not that you need more information…but, even those who go to a university today…well…they aren’t getting the degree that you and I got (on average).

Tucker Carlson asks a similar question:

Watch the video here (4 minutes+)

The point of all of this is not to be down on college. No. I’ve got a degree and I’m grateful for it. But, the truth is…my college degree did very little to prepare me for my business career. I learned more working for my dad in his business by far. College degrees are over-rated. They are a “foot in the door” proposition. They were very necessary 30 years ago. But today? Today there are millions of jobs unfilled because no one wants to get their hands dirty. Masons, electricians, welders, mechanics, assisted living care-takers, construction workers. On and on I could go.

Therefore, I decided a long time ago that my kids weren’t going to be placed in anyone’s “cookie cutter.” Pam and I decided we would Proverbs 22:6 them. Train them up in the WAY THEY SHOULD GO. We find out what God wants to do with them and how He has molded them and let them flourish in that. Figuring out how they are bent… Like a paper clip. Try to take the bend out of the clip…and you’ll break it.

Andrew is bent differently than Clara and Kandace differently from Katy. They are all different. And you get that. So, we spend time and money to train Andrew with an apprentice, Barry Pybas…

And Clara for her dance and violin…

Yes, amazingly, Clara just finished another year of violin Tuesday evening in Winston-Salem! Indeed, it’s a lot of travel to Winston for lessons and concerts, but it’s how our girl is “bent” (Proverbs 22:6). So, we train her in her gifting. Her teacher is on the right, Katherine Wiley, Piedmont Suzuki Studio.

Am I finished when Andrew and Clara grow up? Nope! Because I have the privilege of helping to pray for and encourage these two precious souls!

And so, the work continues. 🙂

Kevin

 

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One of the questions I’m asked the most is by parents. It goes like this: “Pastor, I’m so afraid my child will walk away from the Lord when they get older, what can I do?”

Well, first of all, their concern is valid. Studies continue to show that 70% or more of children who have been raised in Christian homes, will walk away from the faith by their 20th birthday.

That thought still jolts me.  Why does this happen?  Why do we lose children, even though they grew up in a “Christian” home?  Well, one of the primary reasons is because of the pagan culture we live in today.  We live in a culture that is in total opposition to what the Bible teaches about life and living, and our children are immersed in that culture. We know we can’t keep our children in a bubble…yes…they must be protected and nurtured…but, they are going to be exposed to the pagan forces of this world in ways that we’ll never be able to totally control.

So, what does the Bible say about raising children in a way that we will not lose them?  I’m glad you asked!

Deuteronomy 6:4-15

4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. 5 Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. 7Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.

10 When the LORD your God brings you into the land he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to give you—a land with large, flourishing cities you did not build, 11 houses filled with all kinds of good things you did not provide, wells you did not dig, and vineyards and olive groves you did not plant—then when you eat and are satisfied, 12 be careful that you do not forget the LORD, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.

13 Fear the LORD your God, serve him only and take your oaths in his name. 14 Do not follow other gods, the gods of the peoples around you; 15for the LORD your God, who is among you, is a jealous God and his anger will burn against you, and he will destroy you from the face of the land.

I believe there are five things that we must understand if we don’t want to lose our children.

#1 We must worship God without rivals

4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Deut. 6:4

What are rivals today?  Well, I’ll give you what I think the number one rival is.  Now this is strictly my opinion and I guess since it’s my blog…that’s what we’ll go with…ha!  I sincerely believe the #1 rival of God in our children’s lives (and ours too for that matter), is too many activities…i.e., sports, classes of all kinds, running every night of the week, etc.  Now please understand I have nothing against any of these things. My kids are involved in all sorts of things. But, there has to be a balance. We can’t be gone every night of the week and expect to raise Godly children. There must be time to teach the things of God.  Can I be bold?  I’ve learned that for most of us…when we were kids and we win trophies at 12, that most of the time by the age of 40 they end up in the basement or attic or the landfill.

When we are never with our kids except for running them to and fro from this thing to that…then guess who is raising our kids?  Not us!  It’s the teachers, coaches, etc.  Is this ok?  Perhaps, you might say…”They are good people.”  But, guess who’s responsibility it is to raise our children?  Parents… That’s you and me!

#2 We must build homes on God’s Love

5 Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts.  Deut. 6:4-6

Love is a decision.  It is a decision of the will…a choice we make, however, it is not void of emotion or feeling…men, nor is it led by just emotion and feelings, ladies.  You’ve heard the man who says, I don’t need to tell her I love her, once at the altar was good enough, if I change my mind, I’ll let her know.  While that may be funny…it’s certainly the wrong philosophy!

What emotion does your children see you exhibit toward the Lord?  I tell you, I try to make my kids blush at least once per week as I love and dote on my wife in front of them.  Nothing out-of-place or wrong here…just hugs and kisses that make them say, “Aw daddy!”  But, they love it.  They feel secure when they see that I show love and affection for their mother and it models it for their future marriages.  By the way, where do you think children learn to love God?  From us!!!  If we get mad and walk out on each other, then it teaches the kids that God made do the same to them.

#3 Teach them diligently (Impress it on them)

7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.  Deut. 6:7

We do what we call ROP (Rite of Passage) at our church. https://www.amazon.com/Rite-Passage-Home-Church-Christ-Centered/dp/1893729958/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

It’s a Scriptural program.  Why do we need ROP?  Well, when does a young person become an adult?  Well, we don’t seem to know.  So, we, the church want to help.  But, it’s not the churches job to do the work of raising everyone’s child.  The Bible tells us that parents are responsible for raising the children…not the schools, coaches, teachers or, again, the churches.

But, it goes deeper than that.  We say it’s the job of parents to raise the children, but do you know who Moses was talking to specifically here?  He’s using the masculine singular in this passage in Deut. 6?  And that means the Lord is principally talking the Fathers and tells the Fathers it’s their responsibility to lead.  You say this is Old Testament.

Well, Ephesians 6:1-4 tells us something very important…particularly look at verse 4.

1Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2“Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise— 3“that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.” 4Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.

Who’s the direction given to?  The Fathers!  Do you see that?  It’s the Father’s job to lead out in the training and instruction of the Lord! It’s not that the mom’s aren’t involved. Of course they are! In fact, mom’s often are the ones who have the greatest impact on a child in many ways. Yet, the dad’s are to set the tone and be INTENTIONALLY INVOLVED. Boy have we missed that in our culture!  Please hear my heart.  It’s not the church’s job to disciple your children.  Anything the Bible tells you to do that I, as a Pastor or the church, does for you, in essence, serves to cripple you and impair you from doing your job.  I or other pastors are simply crippling you and ultimately, (speaking for myself), I’m being disobedient to the Word.

Have you ever thought about this?  What we make our children crave, love and desire is more important and has more impact on their lives than what we make them learn?  You may need to read that again.  What do your children crave and desire?  If it’s not God and the things of God, then you have a priority problem in your home.

# 4 Mark your home as God’s territory

8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.  Deut. 6:8-9

I encourage people to place verses of Scripture on their bathroom mirrors, the walls of their houses in frames, etc.  Even make smells in your house mean something.  Pictures on the walls should depict your home as marked territory of God.  As believers in Christ we should say, “I’m not going to have anything in my house that doesn’t point to Jesus and show that we are His children.”  Make it a goal to touch all the senses of your children in your home.  We have food from a CrockPot many Sundays because of the hectic pace of the day. Pam puts the food on and it cooks while we’re gone and the children associate the smell of food from the CrockPot very often with the Lord’s Day.  Isn’t that neat?

Another example is the use of a Bible…an actual Bible that you read from in your home. Then pass that Bible down to your kids. I’ve done this with my Bibles as I use them and wear them out. Each of my four kids have an old Bible of mine now. I’m working on the grandchildren now. I pray those old Bibles mark their minds that Daddy (Papa for the grands) loves the Word of God…and loves them!

#5 Keep your prosperity in check

10 When the LORD your God brings you into the land he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to give you—a land with large, flourishing cities you did not build, 11 houses filled with all kinds of good things you did not provide, wells you did not dig, and vineyards and olive groves you did not plant—then when you eat and are satisfied, 12 be careful that you do not forget the LORD, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. 13 Fear the LORD your God, serve him only and take your oaths in his name. 14 Do not follow other gods, the gods of the peoples around you; 15 for the LORD your God, who is among you, is a jealous God and his anger will burn against you, and he will destroy you from the face of the land.  Deut. 6:10-15

This is simple.  Our children don’t want things…they want you!  Did you see what happened?  The people got all the stuff and they forgot God.  It’s happened in America too.  By the way, you’ve seen the poster that says, “He has the most toys in the end wins.”  Well the truth is, “He who has the most toys in the end still dies!”

As another side note, (this is for the ladies who may be reading this), it’s ok to want to and have the desire to spend your time raising your family.  Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.  This used to never be questioned.  75 years ago…when this nation had a lot less…all the mommies stayed home and took care of their families.  Now look at what we have?  We’ve gotten “wealthy” and prosperous with our two-income families (trying to have it all) and look at the moral decay of our nation.  Now, don’t misquote me and say that just because women have gone en masse into the workforce over the last 75 years that is the reason why the country is sliding into moral decay.  But, I promise you…isn’t hasn’t helped.  It is God’s ultimate and first purpose for a mom to be able to manage and care for her home as the first priority.  If you can work outside the home while making your home the first priority…then that’s wonderful. But, the home is to be the first priority. The Bible tells us so.

3Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. 4Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, 5to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.  Titus 2:3-5

By the way, it’s ok to come home from work at quitting time too, dads!  One of our biggest problems is that we’re like hamsters running on a wheel.  We are all running around crazy and are worn out and tired and beat to death.  I just read a statistic last week that said kids, when asked what they wanted most from their parents, wanted them to not be so stressed out and tired all the time.  That’s pretty amazing.  Of all the things they could have wanted and that’s what crept to number one.

One last thing…do you know what else the study revealed.  It was simply…this:  If you were to ask your child if they could trade more of Dad and Mom in the home for more house, more vacations, more stuff, more gadgets and trinkets (those are my words for what was said to be “material possessions”), what do you think the kids would say they wanted?  They said, “No.  I’d take more mom and dad.”  Don’t believe this is true?  Just ask them.  They want you!  I promise.

I’ll say it this way…

At the end of your life, the most important thing that you will leave to those you love is the memory of simply being with them. It won’t be the houses, cars, money, material stuff… No, it will be you. Just you. And the truth is: that’s what matters the most to the ones you love most now…today…at this very moment. So, think about that as you pursue life and remember that people are more important than things…every time!

So, how do we make sure we don’t lose our kids to the world?  We must:  #1 Worship God without rivals, #2 Build our homes on God’s love, #3 Teach them diligently, #4 Mark you home as God’s territory and #5 Keep your prosperity in check.  I’d add one last thing…pray, pray, and pray some more…for all you are worth!  We’re in the battle of a lifetime for our children.  Let’s not lose them!  The statistics are stacked against us!  But, we can do all things through Christ and we’re more than conquerors…but, we better prioritize our lives and be INTENTIONAL if we want to have our kids in the percentage who will remain faithful and serve Christ.

Happy Birthday to this lovely young lady…who is now a teenager today!!! Amazing!!! I love you with all my heart Clara!!!

Here is this week’s Two-Minute Tuesday. It fits the topic of today’s post quite well.

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The Ordeal

What I’m going to share with you…I’ve titled: “The Ordeal.” Yet, compared to folks who are going through much, much more difficult things, it’s not an ordeal at all. I gave it that title so I could lure you into reading. (Isn’t that awful! That’s my sales/marketing background coming out of me! 🙂 )

You know I love basketball and you know my team is the TarHeels. I’ve been pulling for them for over 40 years. Well, I saw that they were going to the NCAA Tournament about 3 weeks ago when they went on a 6-game winning streak. The question was: “How high will the rise.” I’m talking about how high in the seedings could the Heels go for the NCAA Tournament.

You see, if they were to do well enough in the ACC Tournament, they could get a #2 Seed and play in Charlotte. However, this looked like a big-time outside chance, because they would have to likely get to the Tourney final to do that. Which, I might add, would mean beating Duke for a second time this year. Not likely! Well, I was wrong. It did happen. Even though they were seeded 6th, they beat Syracuse (now in the Sweet 16), then Miami, and then Duke (now in the Sweet 16) to reach the ACC Finals. They lost to Virginia in the finals.

Here’s where the fun (the ordeal) begins. I’m sitting in church on Sunday night, March 11th (the night of the NCAA Selection Show). We are having our Passion Play Dress Rehearsal, and I get a text from a friend that the Heels got the #2 seed in the West Bracket for the tournament, but they will play in Charlotte on Friday the 23rd. Awesome! I knew I needed to get home and see about getting tickets.

By the time I got home it was approaching 8:45. The selections were made around 6:15. Tickets had been selling for well over 2 hours. I had bookmarked the ticket site on my computer earlier that week (am I type-A or what?). I didn’t want to lose any time in getting to the site and securing tickets. The site pulls up and I see that the tickets are $50 each! That seemed pretty steep to me…until I remembered it was for 2 games. You see what’s called the “First Session,” which ended up being Providence vs. Texas A&M at 12:15 pm and then the Heels and Lipscomb at 2:50 pm. Okay. Sounds good. I’ll go for it!

I clicked on the screen the available tickets. (You had to hover the mouse over each section to see what was left.) Holy cow!! There was like almost nothing left with 4 seats together (it would be me, Pam, Andrew and Clara… Kandace had to work). Okay, okay, Kevin…take your time…BUT DON’T TAKE YOUR TIME because the TICKETS ARE SELLING OUT IN FRONT OF YOUR SLOW-MOVING EYES!!! HURRY!!!!!

You know how sweat can pop out on your upper lip in times of stress… Yep…I felt it. Then it hit me! “Does Pam even want to go!” Oh no! She’s not home from church yet…I’ll call her!

Hey honey… Do you want to see the Heels play Friday afternoon in Charlotte. Hurry!

She replied: “What? This Friday? Well, uh…I don’t know…I guess… Uh…do you want me to go? How much are the tickets? Do you just want to go with Andrew and Clara…you know Kandace has to work.”

YIKES!!!! (The section I was looking at with four tickets together just disappeared.)

“Oh honey”… I said, “Just make a decision, please. Either way is fine with me.”

Pam said, “I’ll be home in about 2 minutes and we can talk about it.”

I said, “Uh…Okay…bye.” (Big mistake!!!)

I should have settled it then and there, but I was in panic mode and I heard “2 minutes” and I thought, “Oh, that’s not long!” BUT, IT WAS! That’s forever! I just watched another section disappear. It’s nose-bleed city now! And can I even find four tickets together. Oh…oh…oh…wait…there’s a section with three tickets. Section 218, Row C, seats 1, 2 and 3. I thought, “I don’t think she really wants to go, because she would have probably jumped on the chance when we were on the phone.” Uh…oh…oh…the row below it just had two more seats disappear. YIKES!!! THESE THREE ARE GOING TO GET GONE TOO!”

So, I clicked those three seats and I hit: BUY! (I had already punched in my credit card number and details while talking to Pam! Can you believe it…I was actually multi-tasking… Can you imagine that… A man doing two things at the same time! Impossible! But, I did it. Of course you ladies do 9 things at once, but I’m not a lady!) I’m feeling pretty good about myself. Counting taxes and the surcharge fees, the total was $187. Indeed, I’m feeling pretty good!

And then Pam walks in the door.

I said, “Hey Honey…I got me, Clara and Andrew tickets for the game.”

You did?

Yes…man they were going fast!!

Did you get one for me?

Huh…what? Did I get one for you?

Yes, I think I probably need to go with you because you’ll probably get lost or lose one of the kids. (No joke…that’s what she said to me. Can you believe that? 🙂 Well, don’t think bad of Pam…because she’s right! Any of those things could happen. Remember, I’m a one-track mind. I did leave one of my kids on a mission trip at the church we were working at one time. I also left both Katy and Kandace’s luggage for a mission trip one time too. So, yes…Pam is right to worry about her doofus husband. 🙂 )

I said: “Uh…Okay…Yes, I’m going to make sure I have tickets for all four of us.”

You know that sweat-thing…on the top of the upper lip. Yep, it’s back!

I slinked off down the hall with my cell phone. I was dialing Customer Service to the ticket company as I walked. They answered quickly and I told them my dilemma and the lady (named “Precious”… No joke…that was her name. Try saying that to someone and not be sarcastic. Try it. It’s hard. :)) I said, “Precious, I need your help. I’ve got three tickets to Session 1 of the NCAA Tournament in Charlotte on Friday, but I need four. Is there any way you can help me. I know they are going fast. I was just watching the disappear online.” She said, “Yes, I think I can help you.”

I said, “Can you cancel the first three and get me four more…even if they are in the top of the arena.” (Because I thought that would be the only place left). It’s 9 pm by now.) She said, “Well, I can’t cancel your first three, but I can transfer you to someone else in Customer Service and they can help you with canceling those tickets. Yes…I have found four together in Section 221, Row K, seats 7, 8, 9, 10. Do you want them?”

“Yes ma’am! Get ’em before they get gone!” I replied.

“Okay sir, do you want me to use your credit card off the first order?”

“Yes, ma’am! Hit the button, please!” (I was nice…but, yes…I’m sure a bit panicky.) I said, “Precious (man that’s hard to say that to someone and not be sarcastic)…Precious…please hit the button on this…because I’ve told my kids I’m taking them to see Carolina…so, yes…go!”

Precious did it! Yes!

“They are yours sir!”

Woohoo!!! Cartwheels! Well, not really! I can’t do a cart-wheel. But, I was REALLY happy!

I replied, “Okay, thanks Precious!” (Are you laughing yet?) “Can you get me over to the other folks to cancel the other tickets?”

“Sure, Mr. Brown…one moment.”

Well, Precious transferred me over and I cancelled the tickets, right? WRONG! Remember, I told you this was an ordeal. I get on the phone with this lady who says, “Mr. Brown, because you ordered the tickets online, there is a no refund policy. You had to click that box to order the tickets.”

WHAT?

She said, “Yes, Mr. Brown, that’s the box that authorized the ticket purchase.”

Well, folks in the blur of my multi-tasking…I didn’t read that little box with 8 point font… I just clicked it because I WAS IN A HURRY! Bad mistake! The lady told me all they could do was give me 50% off a future ticket order. UGH!! I don’t NEED ANY MORE TICKETS! 🙂

The truth is: this is what happens when you get into a rush. This is what happens when you don’t have time to talk things through so you can make a wise decision. Honestly, ever time in my life where I’ve had to hurry or rush to make a decision…it’s usually a poor decision.

So, I’m stuck with three tickets. Well, okay then! When you are in a bind…what do you do? Go to Facebook! 🙂 No, not really. I did pray first…and then Facebook came to mind. “Who wants to see the Heels play…private message me and I’ll set you up…first come, first serve.” Well, within 2 minutes I had a guy from Salisbury interested. Then I had a couple of more “dings” right after that. But, remember, it’s first come, first serve. So, I told the guy from Salisbury, “Let me know ASAP.” He eventually came back and said, “He couldn’t get it worked out.” So, I went to the next on the list. She said, “I’ll take them.” I knew her. In fact, I had gone to school with her and I thought, “Cool…this is all going to work out.”

I told Pam what had happened and apologized for pulling the trigger too quickly and not waiting to talk to her. She was kind and said, “It’s okay. I know you were trying hard to get the tickets. It will work out.” I thought so too. Here’s an old school-mate and this will be fine!

I was wrong. Back and forth I went with this lady to try to meet up. It was one excuse after the other. But, since I knew her, I thought I’d try to make it work. This went on for the next three days, until finally on Thursday night, she cancelled. I couldn’t believe it! What an ordeal! I need that $187 for the food and the gas to go down there. Folks, I’m a preacher…I’m not rolling in the dough. 🙂 So, I checked back with a couple of other folks who had shown interest, but it was too late in the game. The games were the next day, after all.

So, I told Pam, “Honey, I’ll just have to sell them at the game.” I then made me a little sign that said, “Selling 3 Tickets.” I folded it up and stuck it in the back pocket of my blue jeans. I’ll be ready tomorrow!

Down to Charlotte we went. We got to the parking lot at 11:15 am. People were buying tickets everywhere. A man with a gold tooth walked up to me and said, “You got any tickets for sale?” I said, “Yes, I have three as a matter of fact.” He said, “What you want for them?” I said, “I’m selling them for $150, even though I paid $187 for them… I’m just trying to get rid of them and give someone a good deal.”

Now, remember, this guy has a gold tooth and I’ll be honest. Just by the way he was dressed and the way he was acting… He was a hustler! He had a buddy beside of him on the phone and they were scalping tickets. I could tell. Also remember, I’ve got my family in tow and so, I’m thinking “Kevin…don’t get bogged down with these two dudes if they start giving you flack.” The guy says, “I’ll give you $100.”

“What! No way Brother!” I said. “I can sell them at the door for $150 easy! After all, I’ve not even made it out of the parking lot.” He said, “Come on man! Give me a break. Help me out!”

I said, “Look if you want them…they are $150…take it or leave it.”

By then, I’ve motioned for Pam and the kids to come on.

He said, “Come on Big Man…you can do it…uh…how about $120.”

No, $150.

“Gee big fella…you are making it hard on me! $140.”

Nope…$150…

“Expletive…” “Okay Big Guy, let me see the tickets.”

I showed him the tickets and he said, “These are on paper.” I said, “Sure they are. I printed them out on my printer.” He said, “Are they real?”

Okay…now I’m offended. I said, “Look dude…I’m a pastor and I’m not lying. I bought too many tickets and I’m trying to sell these…so either you want them or you don’t.” And then (this is funny). My lovely little wife in her high-pitched little voice says, “Uh…it’s true…He is a pastor.”

Both of the guys looked at Pam and their facial expression was priceless. But, it actually helped. The guy says, “Give me your number because if these ain’t legit I’m coming back to you.”

Now folks, do you think I would answer my phone if this guy called me in an arena of 28,699 people (the capacity of the Spectrum Center)? Uh…the answer would be: “NO!” But, being the man that I am…I gave his buddy my number and he quickly called it and I held up my phone and I said, “Is this you?” He said, “Yeah…that’s me!” I laughed and I said, “Great!”

Folks, this is comical by now. And the best part was the look on Clara and Andrew’s faces. They are taking all of this in and I’m telling you…the life lessons in the Preferred Parking outside the Spectrum Center were bouncing around everywhere! This is something they’ll never forget!

So, Mr. Goldtooth pulls out a $100 bill and two $20’s. And I thought to quickly say, “Hey, I’m not going to ask you if that $100 bill is real like you just asked me if my tickets were real. I’m going to trust you.” He said, “Here you go!” I said, “Wait a minute…that’s just $140!” (I’m still holding the tickets in my hand.) He then produced a $10 and two $1’s and sadly said, “Come on dude…won’t you give a man a break… I ain’t got no money to spend on nuthin’.” I said, “I’m sorry…that’s your problem…” and I took the $10 from his hand and gave him the tickets. He said, “I’ll be callin’ you if these ain’t legit!” I laughed and I said, “I promise you they are legit!”

What an ORDEAL!

But, I must tell you, as I look back on it…it was a good ordeal. I learned a lot and so did my kids. Like I said: the life lessons were thick in this deal. I showed my kids how to deal with someone who was trying to hustle me. I did it in a kind, but firm way and I showed them that you don’t have to be intimidated by the situation.

Here’s where we ended up:

Yep, nose bleed. But, not the worst by any means. And did we have fun?

We had a blast! The Heels won and we have a great story to tell about “The Ordeal.”

This week’s Two-Minute Tuesday: “In Secular Morality: The Majority Wins.”

It’s how peer pressure influences people to lie. Would you lie to go along with the crowd? See what you think…

http://mpbc.ws/media/?sapurl=Lys3ZWViL2xiL21pLytrM3A3bTV5P2JyYW5kaW5nPXRydWUmZW1iZWQ9dHJ1ZQ==

Kevin

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How’d I Do?

Do you go back and analyze your performance in your job or in your life? I do it all the time. That ten minute drive home from church each Sunday afternoon after three services can be excruciating. Why? Because I battle with the question: “How’d I do?” We all battle with self-doubt. We all struggle. We all have weaknesses. We all have strengths. I’ve learned to just be satisfied with doing my best. Yes, there are always things we can do better. But, if I’ve prepared, prayed and given my best, that’s all I can do. And that’s true of you!

Well, I was thinking about the winter weather and my little hobby of trying to forecast (even though I’m not a meteorologist). Well, “How’d I do?” Okay, let’s see…

I said all the way back in August…
“I’m a bit less bullish than their predicted 5 events and I will stick with 3-4 events and slightly above normal precipitation and cold… With all of this said, my “preliminary forecast” is for about 14″ of snow. That’s about 45% above average. However, if we get “the big one,” we could get that in one storm. I do believe we’ll have a warmer December to start…but, it should flip (if the Modoki pattern holds) by mid-to-late month into January. So, we’ll see. It’s always fun to try to predict these things. But, as we all know…only the Lord knows! 🙂
Well, we had a big snow in December of all things! 7″ on December 8th (again, that’s really early for that much snow) and another 1″ on Tuesday, December 12th. Then, we saw 4″ on Wed., Jan. 17th and about 1/4″ of ice/sleet on Sunday, Feb. 4th. So, in Kevin Brown’s back yard, I had a total of 12.25″ of snow, sleet and ice for the year. That’s pretty much right on average for us.
BUT, I thought we’d get more. And we didn’t. The pattern turned warm in February, which I said it would (remember the roller coaster that I talked about)…and it’s turned back colder again…even today. And we’ll have a close call Sunday/Sunday night. But, in essence, meteorological winter is over.

So, how’d I do in summary? Back in August I said we’d get around 14″ and then I got cold feet in October and backed off to 9-10″ (Oh ye of little faith, Kevin!) Well, the 12.25″ was a pretty decent forecast overall.

I’ll tell you what I’ll remember about this winter… It was how cold it was in January. Remember we had below freezing temps for almost 9 straight days. I will remember having to have the faucet dripping at night so the pipes wouldn’t freeze. And I bet your kids and grandkids will tell their kids and grandkids 40 years from now: “Boy it sure doesn’t get as cold as it did when I was little.” Ha ha!

I also said this back in August: “There again…western NC is close to the ‘dividing line’ of normal to above average precip.” And this is the map I showed…
And we were just outside that “Above Average” blue bubble. Now, I’m not bragging (that’s not very Christian), but I believe I did better than the computer models. Why? Because most models rely too much on La Niña versus El Niño. Truly, there are so many variable. There are no guarantees! Most winter outlooks are no better than the flip of a coin.
There are two guys who are the best: Joe Bastardi of weatherbell.com and Judah Cohen, who handles the AER Model below. He literally blew the models away (the American Models, the European-ECMWF, NOAA and the UK). The OBSERVATIONS map below show that the AER of Cohen’s was spot on. Well, I use Bastardi and Cohen because they don’t JUST rely on models. They use their brains and the past to forecast the future.

So, overall, I feel I did okay this year on the forecast, but I really did believe we’d have more snow in March and that just doesn’t seem to be likely now. So, you decide. I’m just thankful I’m not driving home from church or I’d be beating myself up.

Speaking of church… Last Wed. night, this couple sang in the old sanctuary (we call it the Prayer Chapel now)…

Yep, that’s husband wife team of Josh and Katy Isaacs. They did such a wonderful job. They sang a Dave Crowder song, “Come As You Are.” The lyrics are powerful…

Come out of sadness
From wherever you’ve been
Come broken hearted
Let rescue begin
Come find your mercy
Oh sinner come kneel
Earth has no sorrow
That heaven can’t heal
Earth has no sorrow
That heaven can’t heal

So lay down your burdens
Lay down your shame
All who are broken
Lift up your face
Oh wanderer come home
You’re not too far
So lay down your hurt
Lay down your heart
Come as you are

There’s hope for the hopeless
And all those who’ve strayed
Come sit at the table
Come taste the grace
There’s rest for the weary
Rest that endures
Earth has no sorrow
That heaven can’t cure

So lay down your burdens
Lay down your shame
All who are broken
Lift up your face
Oh wanderer come home
You’re not too far
So lay down your hurt
Lay down your heart
Come as you are

Come as you are
Fall in his arms
Come as you are
There’s joy for the morning
Oh sinner be still
Earth has no sorrow
That heaven can’t heal
Earth has no sorrow
That heaven can’t heal

So lay down your burdens
Lay down your shame
All who are broken
Lift up your face
Oh wanderer come home
You’re not too far
So lay down your hurt
Lay down your heart
Come as you are
Come as you are
Come as you are

Josh has been through a lot in his life and hearing and seeing him singing with Katy was so touching in my heart. I’m used to seeing Katy sing. She’s excellent. I mean that! Not just because she’s my daughter… It’s the truth. She’s gifted. But, to see Josh (who really can sing) pouring out his heart in the song…with those powerful words… Well, it truly touched me.

Folks, “How’d You Do?” Yes, ask those questions. Get better. But, also…don’t dwell on it. Don’t dwell on your past. It can hold you back and hold you down. Paul said, “This one thing I do…” Preach more? No. Start more churches? No. He said, “Forgetting the past…”

“But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead.” Philippians 3:13b

How’d I do? Okay. And so are you. Keep moving… Keep striving and keep straining to what lies ahead in Christ and you and I will do just fine!

Kevin

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Hard Work!

“If a man won’t work, let him not eat.”

Is that in the Bible? Yes, it sure is!

It’s found in 2 Thessalonians chapter 3. Here’s the context:

10 For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat. 11 For we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies. 12 Now such persons we command and encourage in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to earn their own living.

13 As for you, brothers, do not grow weary in doing good. 2 Thessalonians 3:10-13

Work.

How hard do you work? I’m sure you work hard. We all think we hard. And the truth is, the majority of people I know do work hard.

I was raised to work hard by parents who expected it and grandparents (on both sides) who expected it. From working in a chicken house, rolling a wheelbarrow loaded down with manure, to hoeing a garden in 95 degree heat, to weed eating around a million trees (well, maybe not a million). 🙂 Point is: I’ve never known anything but hard work and it drives me absolutely crazy when I see able-bodied people not working hard. When I see people with their hand stuck out, but that same hand will not wield a broom or a shovel, well…I struggle.

“If a man won’t work, let him not eat.”

Yes, it’s one thing if someone can’t work. But, it’s totally another thing if they’re faking it because they’re lazy.

Proverbs 10:4 A slack hand causes poverty, but the hand of the diligent makes rich.

I’ve tried to teach these things to my children.

That’s the family walking back to the vehicles after another cleaning job. Yes, we’ve been cleaning offices for over a decade. Every week. 52 weeks per year for 13 years to be exact. We now take the grandkids. It’s amazing. When we started, we didn’t have Clara or Andrew. We clean toilets, windows, vacuum, sweep, dust…you name it. And it’s good for us! It’s good for the kids. It’s teaching work ethic.

The kids have chores at home and I bet yours do too. Chores are good and it teaches a good work ethic. The kids know how to wash clothes, load the dish washer, fold clothes, sweep, dust. You get it. We’re not running a Holiday Inn… We’re running a household and it takes everyone working to make the Brown and Isaacs Economies work.

At the end of the day…we reward the kids. We reward them with a good vacation. You know, Disney. It’s takes about 3 years of saving…but, boy…let me tell you something…we work hard…but, we play hard. It’s good to work…but, it’s good to play. “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” You know that proverb, don’t you?

I also believe the way we work will be the way we live our relationships. If we are taught to work, we’ll work through problems in life. We’ll work through things that life throws at us and we’ll pray and with the Lord’s help we’ll overcome.

I’m thankful for work! I’m thankful that work wasn’t part of the curse. Adam worked in the garden naming the animals before the curse ever occurred. Did you know we’ll serve (work) in heaven? We sure will and it won’t feel like work. Here’s the verse I’m thinking of… It’s found in the last chapter of the Bible…

No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. Revelation 22:3

You say, “Where’s the work?” Well, it’s the word “worship.” Did you know the Greek word used there is: latreuō.

What does it mean? According to blueletterbible.org:

  1. to serve for hire

  2. to serve, minister to, either to the gods or men and used alike of slaves and freemen

Folks, that looks like “work” to me. How about that? In fact the footnote in blueletterbible.org is this: in the New Testament, to render religious service or homage, to worship.

Therefore, when we work, we are actually “worshipping?” Isn’t that wonderful!! What a blessing to work!! What a joy to serve the Lord!!

Kevin

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Billy Graham

Billy Graham.

Just seeing those two words: a name… Wow! They conjure up so many thoughts and emotions in my mind, as I’m sure they do yours.

What a man! What a legacy!

I am blessed to have heart him in person, in 1996, at Panther Stadium in Charlotte. This is a picture I pulled off the internet of that crusade.

That’s a pretty good depiction of where I was. I was in the “nose bleed” seats. Actually, I was on the left side of the stage (the left side of that picture). It was a wonderful experience to say the least. He preached a simple, yet profound message about the cross of Christ. Thousands came forward. I’m grateful I got to experience that.

Truly, Billy Graham is one of the greatest evangelists in the history of the world. “History of the world?” Yes! Ever! I personally believe there will never be another man, like Billy Graham. A man who was allowed by so many foreign governments to come in and preach and teach about Jesus. Those doors have closed in many places today.

Take a look at this picture of him preaching in Korea to 1.5 million people.

People magazine interviewed Billy Graham in December of 1975. It’s an excellent article. I’ve noted several things from the article that you might find interesting about him:  http://people.com/archive/cover-story-blunt-billy-vol-4-no-25/

How do you view your responsibility as a religious leader?

It’s a responsibility of leadership that I was really not prepared for by way of formal education. I’m called upon to answer questions on every conceivable subject, and I feel terribly unqualified. I run scared all the time that I’ll say something or do something that will bring reproach to the Kingdom of God and to the church.

Why do you run scared?

I have to think: how’s this going to sound in India where I minister? Or, how’s it going to sound in Africa? Now, when it comes to biblical issues and moral issues I take a strong stand. But if it’s an issue of who’s right and who’s wrong in about 45 wars going on around the world, it’s pretty hard for me to make these decisions.

How do you explain your magnetism?

I believe the Bible. I don’t have any doubts about the Bible being the word of God. That gives me an authority. Secondly, I have tried steadfastly to stay out of religious controversies. The average life span of an evangelist is 10 years. We’ve been going 26 years.

Which President did you know first?

Mr. Truman. Massachusetts Congressman (and later House Speaker) John McCormack was very interested in me and asked if I’d like to meet the President. President Truman and I talked about 40 minutes, and when I left I asked if we could have a prayer. And we did—right in the Oval Office.

How did you know John F. Kennedy?

Five days before John Kennedy’s inauguration, I was invited to join Kennedy for golf at his Palm Beach home. There I met his father, Ambassador Joe Kennedy, who said he was among 60,000 people who had seen me in Stuttgart, Germany. Three days later he said he told the Pope about me. The Pope said, “Yes, I wish we had 100 Billy Grahams in our church going around the world doing the same thing.”

Do you think President Nixon was personally guilty of misconduct?

I would have to say he was. I really believed in him, but I didn’t know that all that stuff was on tape. When the language came out which I had never heard, and the apparent misrepresentation to the American people, I was shocked and surprised. This was a Nixon I didn’t know.

Have you any political aspirations?

I never have and I never will. I can do more for the country and the world by preaching the Gospel. I’ve had two Presidents offer me jobs, either as an ambassador or in a top position. I looked them both in the eye and said, “No, sir, the Lord’s called me to a much higher calling.”

How has your career affected your own family?

I have a very remarkable wife that God must have sent. She was born and raised in China and sent to school in North Korea. She was used to danger and toughness. She took our three daughters and two sons and said, “You go preach the Gospel, and I’ll raise these children for God and you’ll be proud of them when they grow up.” When I did come home, my children knew they came first. 

Do you take security precautions?

Religion and politics are two things that stir people up. My lack of privacy also has risks. I get threatening letters which I turn over to the FBI, and they tell me which ones to consider seriously. Once in San Diego a person came at me with a knife. But I never think about the danger. I’ve already told my wife and my organization that no ransom is ever to be paid.

Do you think you would have the same personal magnetism if you were short and fat?

Well, the greatest evangelist of the last century, Dwight L. Moody, was short and fat and ate himself to death. But he was the founder of the ecumenical movement. Many of the great social movements of today came from his ministry.

How do you feel about the state of the world?

If I didn’t have my spiritual faith, I would be a pessimist. But I’m an optimist. I’ve read the last page in the Bible. It’s all going to turn out all right.

Now, as a preacher/pastor, myself, I must tell you that I sure can relate to the “running scared.” Remember that first question he was asked. He said, “I run scared all the time that I’ll say something or do something that will bring reproach to the Kingdom of God and to the church. It truly is amazing what you are asked as a preacher of the Gospel. I’ve been asked about almost every topic you can imagine and I, like Billy Graham, feel so inadequate so often. You have to lean on the Lord a lot. No question about it.

I read this morning about a visit a man had with Dr. Graham a couple of years before his death and a couple of things stood out that he shared. He said that Dr. Graham said that he did listen to critics, but that he didn’t dwell on them. He said, “In my position, I am subject to criticisms more often than I like. Indeed I am pretty thin-skinned, so it is an area in which I constantly struggle.” He was later asked: How, in a lifetime of international ministry and scrutiny, did you deal with the constant stream of criticisms. Mr. Graham smiled and said, “I ignored most of them.” You see, I believe Billy Graham learned the secret of public ministry. Yes, we are accountable to the public at large, but if you dwell on the criticisms, they will distract you and ultimately hurt the ministry. You can’t worry about constantly taking up for yourself. There are times you have to…but, the majority of the time you just have to let your body of work stand for itself and move on. People aren’t dumb. They can see if you are real or fake.

I believe that’s one of the greatest virtues of Billy Graham. He was such a humble man. Here’s a man who met with presidents and kings and preached to millions. Without question he is one of the most famous and influential men of the 20th and 21st centuries. Yet, in all of this, he’s still the humble boy of a dairy farmer who grew up in Charlotte, NC.

Can I recommend a movie to you?

This movie is excellent and it will give you insight into his life as a boy and then meeting Ruth and the early years. It’s not a movie that I would let little children watch, only because there are some intense scenes with an atheist. But, for those children 10 and older, it’s an excellent family movie.

Something else I recommend to you is a 7-minute segment I had sent to me earlier today that aired on NBC of all places. It was interview by Megyn Kelly of Kathie Lee Gifford about Billy Graham. It’s worth 7 minutes of your time. And might I say this…only Billy Graham (his name) could have pulled this off on a very liberal network like NBC. Praise the Lord for Kathie Lee’s boldness.

https://www.today.com/video/kathie-lee-gifford-reacts-to-death-of-prominent-pastor-billy-graham-1166462531896

I’m sitting here at my desk drinking a cup of coffee from this cup…

Obviously, you know where I got the cup. I highly recommend a trip to Charlotte to see this wonderful place. Of all the coffee cups I can drink from, (besides my Yeti that Kandace got for me), this is it. Why? Honestly, when I was at the Billy Graham Library several months ago, I bought this cup because I felt a connection to Billy Graham. As I walked through the museum and I watched video-segments of him preaching, I thought, “I get to do what Billy Graham does. I get to preach the Gospel!” I remember feeling so humbled and so blessed. No, I’m no Billy Graham…not even close… But, I am a preacher of the Gospel, just like him.

So, I sit here drinking a cup of coffee…marking up my sermon for tonight from Revelation chapter 2 on the church at Smyrna and I’m thinking about these two…

They are reunited now! Wow! Just the thought of that brings tears to my eyes. And something else too… Billy Graham has personally met Jesus! How about that! After all these years of preaching and proclaiming His name…Billy Graham is with the Savior now! Honestly, I’m envious!

Thank you Lord for Billy and Ruth Graham and for their legacy and for the legacy that continues on through their children and their ministries!

Kevin

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I had a conversation with a young man last week and he made a comment to me that struck me when describing what he was learning at our church. He said, “You talk with God. I think I talk at God.” I said, “What do you mean?” He said, “I guess I’ve just never seen how we can actually talk to God throughout the day.” He continued, “I think a lot of Christians only know how to talk at God.”

That conversation has caused me to pause and think…

  • Talking with God
  • Talking at God

The word “with” and the word “at” are both prepositions.

AT
  1. expressing location or arrival in a particular place or position.
  2. expressing the time when an event takes place.

Think about that. When we talk AT God, we are simply expressing our location and we’ve arrived. But, that’s all one-sided isn’t it? “I’m here God! Get ready to listen and bless!”

WITH

  1. accompanied by (another person or thing).
  2. possessing (something) as a feature of accompaniment.

See the difference? When we talk WITH God we’re accompanying Him. We actually possess time and space with Him. How about that? Amazing! Occupying time and space WITH the God of the universe! Wow!

What’s the dynamic of talking WITH God? In other words, how do we talk WITH God? Well, that would be through Jesus Christ. That’s why He came. Initially humankind had the joy and privilege of walking with God in the cool of the day in the Garden of Eden, but we lost that joy, when we chose pleasure and knowledge over obedience. The “Fall” in the Garden cost us the ability to walk and talk with God. Now, our way of communication is via prayer, but that prayer must be delivered through the Lord Jesus Christ. Do you understand that prayers to God will not make it above the ceiling if they don’t come by way of Jesus Christ? He is our intermediary. He is our High Priest. We go through Him.

A man asked me years ago, “Does God hear all prayers.” I answered, “Yes, God hears all prayers…but, He’s only obligated to answer the prayers of those who have accepted His Son as their Lord and Savior.” Yes, God hears all prayers in that He knows all. He is omniscient. Yet, to say that God is beholden to answer the prayer of a person who has rejected His Son, Jesus Christ, would be absurd, and most importantly, unbiblical.

Back to the conversation with the young man… I listened to him intently. “I think a lot of Christians only know how to talk at God.” Have we gotten to a place as Christians that we only “talk at God,” and not “talk with God?” Is it possible to live our lives as believers and not really talk to God…hardly ever? Could it be, as American believers, that we actually live through the spiritual lives and journey of our spiritual leaders (pastors, Christians authors, teachers, etc.)? Could it be that the majority of American Christians haven’t talked WITH God in weeks or months or years.

Oh yes…we’ve talked AT God. We tell Him all the things we need and want Him to do. We rush through the prayer getting ready for work or driving to work, as we change the channels on the radio. We talk at God when we breathe a quick prayer before we drift off to sleep or before we gobble down a meal. Can I get a witness? I’m talking about me! I’m talking about going through the motions and believing this lie: “Who are you? Do YOU actually think YOU can talk with God? God doesn’t talk to people like YOU! He talks to people like Billy Graham, not YOU!” Believe me…I’ve had those thoughts and still do. And it’s easy to listen to the lies of Satan. After all, Satan doesn’t want us to commune with the God of the universe. There’s power in that! He wants to keep us powerless and praying powerless prayers. Just going through the motions…obligated petitions that are offered in dutiful monotony, but never expecting to hear from God.

When is the last time God spoke to you? No, I’m not talking about an audible communication from God. But, I’m talking about in your spirit…when is the last time you recognized the voice of the Lord and felt the weight and the power of His still small voice? You see, I’m convinced that young man is right. We do a whole lot of talking AT God and not WITH God. To talk WITH someone intimates a two-way communication. It’s not a one-way deal. I appreciate the fact that the young man said he was learning how to talk with God at our church. And I’ll be honest…at times, I feel I am talking WITH God…but, it’s so easy to get busy and get back into the rut of just talking AT God. That happens when I believe my schedule is more important than the Lord of the universe. It’s my fault, not His. I take Satan’s bait and I hurry through the praying or just don’t pray at all. Oh…I say the words…but, am I really praying, or just reciting my grocery list of “wants?”

I want to talk WITH God. I truly do, but it takes intentionality and it takes longer than 30 seconds standing at the Kurig waiting for my cup of coffee. Can the Lord talk to me as I pull the cup from the coffee maker and the pop tart from the toaster? Sure! But, is it likely? Is it likely that in my business that I’m in a position to be still long enough before the Lord to actually listen? That’s the talking WITH God part that is so easy to neglect. I give Him the list…but, do I listen. It’s when I listen that I enter the realm of talking WITH God and recognize His voice.

My encouragement for us all? Slow down. Slow down to talk WITH God. We’ll be the better for it and our lives will be fuller for the effort.

I really enjoyed Christmas with my families. Pam and Clara are still in China. They go to the orphanage tomorrow (tonight our time) to see where Clara was from. We never got to see the orphanage when we adopted her. We actually received her at a hotel conference room. Here’s the report about her. This is all we knew about her when we adopted her.

Growth Report of Xue Fu Mei  Xue Fu Mei, female, born on April 5th of 2005, was picked up at Wuxue City 16 Qinglin Rd. (the entrance of the third hospital of the city) on April 12th of 2005. At that time she was wearing a pink cotton-padded hat, a white cotton-padded jacket, and red cotton-padded pants. She was wrapped with a pink baby quilt. There was a birthday note with her. Wuxue City Qinglin police substation searched hard for the baby’s birth parents and other guardian. Since they couldn’t find them, they determined her as a foundling and sent her to our institute to be raised till today. 

According to her birthday note we determined her birthday to be April 5th of 2005 and named her Xue Fu Mei. Xue sounds the same as the “Xue” in Wuxue. Fu is the first character of Social Welfare Institute (Fu Li Yuan). Mei means beauty. At enrollment her head circumference was 35 cm (13.8 inches), her chest circumference was 35 cm (13.8 inches), her length was 50 cm (19.7 inches) cm, and her weight was 3.5 kg (7.7 lbs).

Since enrollment Fu Mei has been raised in her foster family. Her health condition is good all the times. She never had contagious disease. She has received BCG Vaccine, Hepatitis B, DTaP, Polio, and vaccine for epidemic meningitis.

Fu Mei receives good care in her foster family. Her health condition is good. Her appetite is good too. At first 2 months Fu Mei ate well and slept well. She was obedient. She could grasp the object in her palm. She could tell brightness from darkness. She could stop crying temporarily when she heard bell ringing. She could raise her head momentarily when she was lying on stomach. 

At 3 months Fu Mei became more sensible obviously. She babbled when she was happy. She recognized people around her. When an adult talked to her she stared at his mouth and smiled. When you made a face to her or when you tickled her, she would smile. 

At 4 months she liked playing with her hands. Occasionally she sucked her finger. She could pull her clothes up to the face or grab things nearby. She could differentiate familiar people from strangers. She liked when her “mother” took her outside to get sunbath. She was very curious. She could pronounce “b, p, m” sounds. She liked to “communicate” with people. She liked when others played with her. If you gave her something, she would touch it and put it into mouth to bite. 

At 5 months we started to add supplements, like egg, noodle, porridge, and vegetable soup etc. to her diet gradually. She grew fast. She could stand with support under arms. 

At 6 months she could sit steadily. She could hold the milk bottle. She tried to get an object in front of her purposely. But when she reached the second object, she abandoned the first one. She could imitate saying “baba”, “mama” etc. She liked tearing a piece of paper. 

At 7 months her hands and feet moved swiftly. She could pinch small beans etc. She could feed herself a cracker. She liked sitting in a walker and learning to walk. 

Now Fu Mei can crawl. She turns her head when you call her name. She understands adult’s expression. She can stand momentarily holding onto objects. When she sees familiar people she will ask to be held and smile to them. If she sees something she likes she will crawl over to get it or stretch her hand asking for it. If you ask for something from her she will give it to you. Now her head circumference is 44 cm (17.3 inches), her chest circumference is 43 cm (16.9 inches), her length is 68 cm (26.8 inches), and her weight is 9.5 kg (20.9 lbs). She has 4 teeth.

Fu Mei has a good appetite. Now her major food is milk and rice cereal. Her supplements are egg, noodle, and porridge. She drinks 170 ml (5.75 ounces) of milk each time. She drinks 4 times a day at 7:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m., 5:30 p.m., and 8:00 p.m. Her daily schedule is: She gets up at 6:30 a.m. She takes naps at 9:30 a.m.-10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m. She goes to bed at 8:30 p.m. Fu Mei has a moderate sleep. Usually she defecates after getting up in the morning. She may urinate at any time.

Fu Mei is gentle, quiet and restless. She likes playing with toys. If you take away the toys she likes, she will cry. She is very surprised and excited about new things. She can be quite concentrated. She likes when her “mother” holds her strolling through streets and watching vehicles passing by. She is a lovely child.

Dean’s Signature:      Wuxue City Social Welfare Institute

Now look at this girl…

This is Dottie Windsor, whom Pam and Clara traveled with on the “Heritage Tour.”

Dottie is from a different orphanage, but nearby to Clara’s. This is Pam and Dottie’s mother, Robyn Windsor.

Pam and Clara could have never done this trip without Robyn and her husband Frank. Get this…Frank and Robyn have two biological children, but they’ve adopted SEVEN children from China. Yes, you read that correctly! Seven! They are some of the nicest and most godly people I’ve ever met or known. Frank is 6′ 7″ and loves sports. We have a lot in common! Here’s Frank…

He is COO, Rinnai America (tankless water heaters). Thank you Frank and Robyn for making all of this happen! We love you!

Yes…no doubt about it…I miss Pam and Clara so much! Andrew, Kandace and I are looking forward to picking them up in Charlotte at 9:34pm on Saturday night. After two weeks…it seems like two months!

Here is this week’s Two-Minute Tuesday:  “How NOT To Handle Family Conflict: IGNORING IT”

http://mpbc.ws/media/?sapurl=Lys3ZWViL2xiL21pLytybTd4Zno3P2F1dG9wbGF5PXRydWUmYnJhbmRpbmc9dHJ1ZSZlbWJlZD10cnVl

By the way…a weather note…

We’ve had 80 hours of below freezing temperatures. Since Sunday morning at 2am. The coldest so far at my house was 2.3 degrees on Tuesday morning. It’s possible we don’t get above freezing today. It’s 28 degrees right now. We’ll see. Here’s the thing… if we stay below freezing today, we aren’t forecast to get above freezing until Sunday afternoon!! That would be around 168 hours (over a week below freezing). I’m almost 50 years old. I’ve never seen it this cold this long. And guess what..,the same people who said it would never get cold again because of “Global Warming” are the same ones who will blame this on “Global Warming.” But you can’t have it both ways folks! 😀 What we are seeing are the normal fluctuations of the Lord’s earth.
Yep, it’s snowing in Charleston and Myrtle Beach! How about that!

Kevin

 

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