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Archive for the ‘Daily Living’ Category

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You might be surprised at the answer.

Kevin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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From our family to yours… Here’s our annual Christmas letter. We love you all!!!

And now a funny one… Let’s call it: “Oh no! We’re not ready!!!!”

Merry Christmas from our family to yours!

The Lord continues to bless us. He has done so year after year. We know many friends and family follow our “happenings” on social media and my blog, but this letter serves as a memorial in time. Pam and I are celebrating 28 years of marriage on December 22nd. We are so incredibly blessed. As the years roll by, we see His hand in the trials and the triumphs and we’re grateful!

We rejoice in the fact that our children and grandchildren are all doing well. The numbers keep growing. Katy (and Josh) are going to have another baby in late May! Praise the Lord! That will be #3 for the grandchildren. We are so thankful for Charlotte (4) and Evie (2). Charlotte loves to dance and play dress-up. She’s very smart and enjoys doing pre-school with her mom and sister. Evie is busy trying to keep up with her big sister. She has been walking since she was 9 months old and talks clearly for a two-year-old. She always has a hug for everyone and calls them by name. Katy loves being a mommy and teaches at home. She also teaches some piano lessons and sings and plays in the church Praise Team. Josh continues to work at Wilkes Communications and is a Deacon in the church. Most of all, he loves being “Daddy” to his girls.

Kandace has had an eventful year. This past summer she became engaged to Clark Mayberry. He is a wonderful young man and works as an accountant for C-Biz in Winston-Salem. He and Kandace will be married in April 2019. Kandace is now employed at Home Instead Senior Care as an Office Assistant and Field Coordinator. She also recorded three original songs in Nashville this past July and they will be available on iTunes in January. Kandace continues to sing in the Praise Team, teach dance at Tonya’s Academy of Dance and also teach voice lessons.

Clara is now 13 and 5’ 10” (her daddy’s girl) and continues to enjoy dancing and violin. She portrayed “Clara” in the Nutcracker this Holiday Season. This past June she auditioned for the Winston-Salem Youth Symphony. She was honored to be chosen as one of the 20 violinists among tough competition. She loves taking care of her nieces and watching the Tarheels play basketball. Clara also sings in the choir at church. Clara and Pam had the opportunity to travel back to China last winter and visit her birth city and orphanage with some good friends. It was a great blessing to go and learn about her roots and see where she was born.

Andrew is also 13 and growing too! He has graduated from Legos to building electric cars and now has a 3-D Printer and CAD system that he is learning to use. Thanks to a good friend and retired engineer in our church, Barry Pybas, Andrew competed in the ASU Google Gravity Games this past spring finished in the top 8 in his division. Clara and Andrew traveled to Mexico with us this past summer for a great time doing mission work there.  Andrew is on the camera crew at church and really enjoys helping in that ministry.

Most importantly, we are grateful that all our children know the Lord and seek to live for Him. Of all the things that our children are involved in and participate in…there is nothing more important to us than their walk with the Lord and the joy that we have in knowing they are following Jesus.

I’m thankful that the church continues to thrive and I will be starting my 14thyear this January as a pastor. Pam continues to homeschool Andrew and Clara and she is a fantastic “Nana” to the grandchildren. Oh, and we can’t forget that we added another family member, Teddy! He’s our little Morkie (Part Maltese, part Yorkie puppy dog) and he’s almost five months old and weighed only 1.5 lbs when we got him. He’s itty bitty! He’s now 2.5 lbs!

Yes, we praise the Lord for all He has done in our lives for another year. He is the King of our lives and we know that all we have and enjoy comes from Him. Therefore, during this Christmas season, we celebrate the fact that Jesus is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords! Our family prays that you have a wonderful and blessed Christmas celebrating the birth of Jesus and that you experience His presence in your life!

Kevin, Pam and family

 

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Traditions

Traditions…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kevin

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On The Way To Israel!

Next Monday morning, we’re on our way to Israel! Wow! I can’t believe it! I never thought I’d get back there again! It’s without question one of the greatest experiences of my life! I am honestly more excited this time around than I was in 2007, when I went the first time. Why? Because I know what to expect and I get to go with my wife! I remember back in 2007 that I had goose bumps so much…that I stopped having the ability to have goosebumps after the 3rd day. It was amazing!

I’ve had the privilege of traveling to many places in the world…including Hawaii…but, nothing touches the place where Jesus walked. I guess it’s just the way I’m wired. But, it’s the truth. I’m so thankful to be able to go back and to do it with 37 other people. It’s going to be a wonderful time of seeing and experiencing where the Lord Jesus (God in the flesh) walked this earth 2000 years ago.

Here was our group from 2007.

I was traveling with a group from Old Town Baptist Church in Winston-Salem and pastor Rick Speas. He is just to my left in the picture. He was a pastor here at Mt. Pleasant for 9 years. He is a blessing in my life to this day!

In case you are interested…here is the itinerary for the trip if you want to follow along…

I’ll be sharing on Sunday, November 18th about the trip during all three services, including pictures and some video vignettes, as well. It will be the Sunday before Thanksgiving and what better way to be thankful than to be reminded of all that Jesus did for us…by actually seeing where He did them!

We had a great time carving pumpkins this year…

It’s a family affair and I love the blessing of doing it all together. Oh the traditions! Aren’t they great!

Look how diligent Josh and Clark are being! Can you tell they are getting into it! Total concentration! Kandace is laughing at Clark because he’s being so detailed. That’s a guy thing! We work like it’s the most important thing in the world. I laughed out loud as I was taking the picture…because I had just “been in the zone” myself with the pumpkin I was carving. 🙂

I’m looking forward to a great time for Trunk or Treat at the church tonight!

Our theme is a “dragway” this year. See the light tree in the background! And how about the “trunks” of the cars? Cute, huh! Get it “Trunk” or Treat! Last year we had over 1,000 people go through the church! That’s amazing! The people kept telling us: “Thank you for providing a safe place for our kids to come and get candy and for feeding us, etc.” We provide a hot dog supper and great candy (good stuff…you know…Snickers and Reece’s and Kit Kat, and Milky Way…not the cheap candy). We want folks to know we care for them.

It’s been asked… “If your church ceased to exist, would your community miss it?” Did you read that carefully? Not “would your CHURCH MEMBERS miss it,” but “COMMUNITY.” So often we can get locked into “tithing to ourselves.” Are we really meaning anything to the community? While they are at Trunk or Treat, they’ll leave with information about the church and about Jesus.

“Lord, help people to know that they are loved by you!”

Here’s the Two-Minute Tuesday this week: “The State of Theology-What Do People Really Believe in 2018?” You might be surprised. I was! Things are actually improving!

http://mpbc.ws/media/?sapurl=Lys3ZWViL2xiL21pLytmNXY2dno3P2JyYW5kaW5nPXRydWUmZW1iZWQ9dHJ1ZQ==

Off to Israel! 🙂

Kevin

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As many of you know, our family enjoyed a great week last week in Virginia and Washington, D.C. We started out at Will Shepherd and Madi Clark’s wedding in Lynchburg. What a blessing!

It was a picture-perfect weekend and a fabulous couple, who loves the Lord! It was an honor to be a part of it! Pam and I had some fun in the photo booth at the reception. Can you tell?

Then we headed to Washington, D.C. The destination was time at the Museum of the Bible and learning and educating myself even more about God’s Word. It was amazing! And it was a blessing to have my family in tow.

On our way to the nation’s capital, we stopped over to see something that many would laugh about. We visited the original home of “John Boy” from the Walton’s TV show…the home of Earl Hamner in Schuyler, VA. It’s about 45 miles northwest of Lynchburg. We hadn’t planned on going, but when we saw the road signs…well…we couldn’t pass it up. Here’s Andrew and Clara outside of the Hamner home.

Here is a photo of the original Walton family (Hamner’s):

That’s Earl Hamner with his mom’s arm around him. His father is just to her left. Earl’s (John Boy’s) siblings are behind him. Truly, the house was much smaller than I imagined from the TV Show.

Remember the house was much larger even in the opening of the show, you could tell that.

One of the cool things was being reminded of how talented John Boy (Earl Hamner) was as a writer. Here’s an example from his typewriter.

Beautiful writing!

From there we headed to D.C. to the Museum of the Bible. What a place! It’s a $500 million facility and it was created by the founder of Hobby Lobby.

Andrew got to make a copy of the Bible from a Gutenberg Press.

He thoroughly enjoyed that!

Did you know the majority of the Ivy League Universities were originally teaching colleges for young ministers of the Gospel…including Princeton.

My, my, my how times have changed. And it just goes to show you what happens when you begin to place your “authority” on what “mankind” says and not the Bible. Where do you take your authority? From CNN or the Bible?

Speaking of education. Take a look at this…

Have you heard fo McGuffey’s Reader? William McGuffey was a minister and he created a textbook in the 1830’s using the Bible and it’s lessons to teach children. Between 1836 and the 1960’s, about 122 million McGuffey Readers were used in the United States schools. As the placard above says: “Their instruction helped shape the character of generations of Americans.”

How is the character of our American children being shaped today? By what? By whom? I’ll let you decide. Personally, we have strayed so far from the teaching the Bible because of the liberal elites that we’ve created incubators for socialism and progressive liberal indoctrination.

Ever wonder the breakdown of Billy Graham’s most preached verses? I bet you can guess #1. It’s also #10. Take a look:

The view from the top of the museum was phenomenal!

You could see the Capitol building from the top!

It’s worth the trip to just see the Bible Museum. I learned so much and I’m thankful for the state of the art, excellent way in which everything is depicted. The exhibits are interactive and amazing!

We got to go to the White House last Tuesday. But, I didn’t think we were going to be able to go in to see it. Pam was held in a detention area while they tried to sort out why her name on the guest list didn’t match her driver’s license. Come on!!! Don’t they know that no would should have to provide an ID!!! After all…you can vote without an ID…why not go to the White House too? Of course I’m being facetious. I recently went to the dermatologist in Boone…one of the most liberal places in NC…and guess what they told me before I came via the recording on my home phone (yes…we still have a land line): “Please bring a photo ID.” How about that? 🙂

They finally cleared Pam and we were all allowed to go inside:

Did you know the White House has it’s own theater?

It’s gorgeous! We took tons of pictures…the whole family…can you tell…

We are in the East Room. It was so immaculate and detailed in it’s beauty (as all the rooms were)! Do you recognize this hallway?

That’s the hallway that leads to the East Room and it’s in that East Room where the President usually hosts the media for big announcements (Supreme Court justices, sometimes National Addresses, etc.). You’ve probably seen that red carpet on TV.

The White House is a very beautiful, ornate place. It’s the “people’s house” and you can visit there at no charge. More pics…

Kind of reminds me of the Biltmore House in some ways. Does it you?

This is called the Blue Room and has oval walls.

There’s another room in the White House like this. You might have heard of it: Oval Office.

This was a neat shot from that room…out the window…that’s the Washington Monument.

Official Dinners for dignitaries are held here…

It’s a surreal thing to walk around where Ronald Reagan walked…

See the seal above the door…

Some nice folks from Colorado took our picture for us…

Selfie time…

Outside of the Supreme Court Building…

I’m grateful for the make-up of that court right now. Things are much different from the way they were when I was in D.C. at another conference a few years ago.

I’ve got to throw in a plug to our Representative, Virginia Foxx. She was the one who got us into the White House. You have to contact your Congressional Representative or State Senator to make the request for you. This was from her office. She wasn’t there that day. Her staffer told us that she comes in at 7 am and doesn’t leave until as late as 11 pm. He said a lot of nights, she sleeps on the couch in her office that’s right beside of me and Andrew.

Right across from her office is this lady’s office…

Can you guess which state she’s from? Look closely. Yep, you guessed it…(Representative of California).

This was outside the Capitol. They are working on Statue of Freedom on the top of the dome.

The Washington Monument…

There is so much I could say about the Holocaust Museum…

…but, truly…I’m still processing it all. For those who could say that it never happened. I say this kindly: they are fools. Go to the museum and see the pictures and videos. It’s sobering. It’s sickening actually. What Hitler did was heinous.

Throughout many of the exhibits…it’s carpeted. And that makes things eerily quiet. No one talks. They only shuffle along…quietly…some crying…so sobering.

Lincoln Memorial…massive…

Iwo Jima Memorial at night was awe-inspiring!!!

I’m so thankful for our brave servicemen and women through the decades! Which leads me to Arlington National Cemetery… Another awe-inspiring place of sobriety and humility and thankfulness!

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier…

The changing of the guard was mesmerizing! When they played “Taps”…well…I wiped tears. The sun shining through the large oaks…

There was a funeral that day. A former marine was being buried and his casket was on a caisson being pulled by horses, followed by a riderless horse… I know it’s hard to see…but, I wanted to be respectful.

Dr. Martin Luther King Memorial…coming out of the stone to bring victory and freedom of rights…

Jefferson Memorial…

To say we had a great time would be an understatement! I love my family! We even enjoyed riding the Metro Subway together…

Spending time together just eating meals and doing stuff together is a blessing!

The Lord has been so good to me!

I finished up Revival tonight at Maplewood Baptist Church in Yadkinville, NC. It was a blessing to be with such wonderful folks. I really believe we were encouraged and revived this week! Thank you Maplewood Baptist and all the wonderful folks there for being so kind to me…including this wonderful group of singers called: The A Cafellas. They are a group of guys from Starmount and Forbush High Schools and they were wonderful!

https://therealacafellas.wixsite.com/mysite

Here’s this week’s Two Minute Tuesday: “How Are You Doing? Are You Out of Balance?”

http://mpbc.ws/media/?sapurl=Lys3ZWViL2xiL21pLytmZ2t2Ymh6P2F1dG9wbGF5PXRydWUmYnJhbmRpbmc9dHJ1ZSZlbWJlZD10cnVl

Kevin

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Communication

You know sometimes in life you come to places where you feel you can (or should) look back and make assessments… Like: “How’d that go?” Or “Is this working like I wanted it to?”

Have you been there? Are you there now? It’s sometimes a scary thing. Yep. Scary. It’s sometimes a scary thing to be 50 years old and look back over a period of years and wonder, “Did I do well there?” It can be scary at any age!

Do you know what I’m learning? It’s okay to look back and ask these questions…but, if you begin to dwell on them you’ll start living in the past. Have you ever tried to drive a car by looking in the rear view mirror? Nope! You can’t! But, you can learn and grow from what’s in the rear view mirror as you look forward!

Isn’t that what we’re doing in this life? Living and learning? Yes…as believers…this is boot camp preparing us for heaven!

So, can I share with you what I’m learning? I’m learning communication is absolutely vital! If we’re not communicating, we’re going to struggle! That’s the case in every relationship. Home, work, friends, teams. You name it… If we’re not communicating we’ll struggle! We all know that…but it’s so hard sometimes isn’t it!

How’s your communication? How is it with your family? How is it at work? Is there a relationship in your life that’s strained? If there is…I’m telling you…I’ll bet you it has something to do with lack of communication or poor communication. And most likely, you didn’t mean for it to happen. It just happened. You got busy. They got busy. Things got complicated. Things happened. Then the communication stopped.

Can you pick it back up? Communicate? Hmmm… I know what you might be thinking… “This is going to be tough.” Yep, communicating is scary isn’t it? It’s scary because it means we often have to be very vulnerable. Yet, vulnerability (honesty) leads to good communication. Lack of vulnerability and stonewalling leads to terrible communication…like cold-shoulders, or not being willing to talk about the “elephant in the room” (and hoping it will all just go away).  Well, it won’t go away! It never just “goes away.” It has to be addressed…just like a splinter…or cancer…or a bad attitude. It’s got to be addressed.

How do we address tough situations in life? Like Jesus…think about it…he had a strong mind and a warm heart. Can you find that balance? Man, I struggle to do that. But, I love the fact that Jesus has given us His Word to guide us to this place.

Now, you’re going to want to skip over this passage of Scripture…but, don’t. Please. Please read this passage. I promise it will help.

Romans 12:9-18

Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. 10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. 11 Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. 12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. 13 Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.

14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. 17 Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. 18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.

You know what I’ve done? I’ve made the commitment to address all that I can address and leave the rest to the Lord. I will talk about the elephant in the room, but I won’t be mean. I will be kind and gentle and seek harmony knowing it can’t always be had. But, I’m only responsible for my response. And you are responsible for your response.

It’s true. I can’t live people’s lives for them, and nor can you. But, we can be gracious. Sometimes we just need to realize that we simply might be further down the road on our journey with Jesus than the person we’re dealing with at the time. Yet, in trying to “outdo one another in showing honor,” we can show grace. The difference in the distance between us and them is: “grace.” We show grace to folks. Love. And when we do (and they might even be expecting us to be mean)…then, we’ll see hearts and lives changed.

Yep, I’m 50, and I’m learning, and I’m seeking to grow! And I’m seeking to communicate better! And show more grace!

Hey…I’m excited to let you know I’m headed to the White House!

The family and I are headed up to Lynchburg, VA for a wedding this weekend and from there we’re going to Washington to take Clara and Andrew to see the capital of our nation. They’ve never been to D.C., and we want them to understand the power structure of our nation and the history of our nation. As you can see, we’ll be going to the White House for our 45-minute tour on Tuesday, October 16th at 11:30 am. That will be so cool! We’ll also be going to the Capitol. We’ll do that on Monday the 15th. This is part of a trip that includes a visit to the Bible Museum and some things I’m doing through my “conference/education.” So, we’re killing two birds with one stone. I’ll update you on all the happenings when we get back!

Here is this week’s Two-Minute Tuesday: “The Target Audience for Advertisers Today? -A 26-Year-Old.” Are we reaching them?

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Kevin

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