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What are the important things in your life? I’m sure many things come to mind: salvation, family, church, your job, your home, etc. I’m thankful for so many things. Truly, this past weekend I was reminded of how grateful I am for my family. This past Friday I was able to go with my family to Tweetsie! I love that place!

Thomas the Tank Engine was there!

Can you tell I love my wife!!! I’m so grateful for her! She puts up a lot with me! I work a lot of hours and she is an amazing lady!

She out these two cuties!

It was Milly’s first trip…but, she slept through most of it! 🙂

Of course you have to get some Dippin’ Dots…

Clara loves Dippin’ Dots!!!

Andrew and Evie!

I had to laugh…

Clara’s legs are so long that she really didn’t need the steps. She was giving me the evil eye because I was laughing so hard!

Charlotte and I rode the chairlift together…

The kids love the petting zoo…

Evie is a hoot! She feeds the goats one kernel at a time…

I’m too old to ride those spinning rides any longer…because my head would be spinning for hours afterwards! 🙂

It was a great day! Truly it’s one of the best days I’ve had in a long time! It’s nice to get away for a few hours and just be Daddy and Papa! I’m reminded of the need of rest from the work from time to time.

The weekend continued with Father’s Day! I’m grateful for my sister, Kim who snapped this shot…

We had a Father’s Day meal at my Mom and Dad’s Saturday night. See that man in the middle…David Brown. I love that man with all my heart! He’s the best dad in the world. I mean that! He’s the most kind, generous, giving man I’ve ever known. I’ll never be half the man he is…but, I’m grateful to seek to follow in his footsteps. I love you Pop!

We played basketball and had a great time! And just enjoyed chatting!

Kim enjoyed holding Milly! (Can you tell that Milly is a loved, little girl!)

Can you tell I love my newest granddaughter…

She was absolutely knocked out when I was holding her. They wanted me to wake her up…but, I couldn’t do it! 🙂

Sunday was wonderful at church… In that it was Father’s Day…we ended up with prayer at the altar! Dads were praying over their family!

 

That was such a sweet time! I said this on Facebook!

“Dads, yesterday was Father’s Day, and we gathered at the altar to recommit ourselves to be like Noah, who: “built an ark to save his household…” Hebrews 11:7. So, how will this week look different from last week in being intentional to see that we are leading our families to our ark, Jesus Christ? This will take time, effort, and commitment. If we put in much concerted effort into leading our children to discover the power and presence of Jesus in their lives. If we do…then, we can proclaim: “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth” 3 John 4. And that’s better than anything they might ever do monetarily, athletically or academically. So, let’s pull out that Bible tonight and do this!”

If you know me…you know how much I love reaching out to the men! Sunday was just that! As you look at those two pictures from our services on Sunday, you’ll see youth and children. I had a lady send this to me and the other pastors (Pastor Brad and Pastor Dale) this past weekend, and it blessed my heart.

Hello All!
You may have seen this, but it’s worth a reread. I feel like it mimics the sentiments of our church for all families, but particularly those with younger kids.

Take your kids to church.
Make the effort. Wake them up early. Fool with the belts and the buckles and the fancy hair bows. Endure the sleepy, grumpy faces and the misplaced shoes. Run around like mad people gathering everybody’s everything and trying to get out the door on time. Hop to the car with a shoe in one hand and keys in the other. Give those babies a pop-tart and some milk and let ‘em eat it in the car. If its raining, get wet. If its cold, get a jacket. If you’re tired, go tired. But take those babies to church. You know why?

Because JESUS is there.

He’s there. And He’ll meet them there. And you too, parents.
He’ll be there in the sweet smile of their Sunday School teacher as she greets them into their room. He’ll be there in the goldfish and the apple juice and the filling of their little bellies and hearts. He’ll be there in the hug from a sweet friend and the encouraging smile that assures you that they “just barely made it” too. He’ll be there in the sacred words read from the Bible speaking truth to their little impressionable hearts. He’ll be there in the worship and the raised hands and the watery eyes and whispers of praise.

So take them. Carry all of their Bibles and drawings and toilet paper tube creations. Sit by them in worship. Open your Bible and open theirs. Show them how to find the scripture the pastor is preaching from. Show them how to worship. Explain to them why He’s worthy of worship. Let them see you laugh and cry and praise and study. Forgive their wiggles and paper rustles and know that they’re listening even when it seems like they aren’t. Ask them questions and answer the ones they ask you. Introduce them to Jesus. Tell them of His greatness – his power – his faithfulness. Tell them with your words and show them with your life. Tell them what he’s done for you and how you’ve been changed by His grace and forgiveness and goodness and love. Tell them how they can be too. Point them to Jesus. Over and over and over again.

Take your kids to church. They’ll love it there. It’s the only place where they can go and just be themselves. They don’t have to “be” good enough or smart enough or athletic enough. They don’t have to perform for approval or achievement. They just get to go and hear how much God loves them. Just because they’re them. Just because He created them, they’re valued. Wanted. Their worth isn’t based on the grades they make or their ability to throw a curveball. Its not dependent on their performance or skill level. And they need a little more of that, don’t you think? A little more grace and a little less pressure. A little more love and a few less demands.

Take them to church. Before you take them to the ballfield or the dance studio or the gym. Before you take them on vacation or to grandma’s or to the backyard to play. Take them to church. Let them know its a priority. Show them it has eternal value. Let them see you set aside schedules and extra curricular activities and work and busy-ness to be present with the Lord in His house. I promise you won’t regret it. I promise you it won’t return back void.
Take them to church.

I promise it’s worth it.

“But Jesus said, ‘Let the children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.”
Matthew 19:14A

All I can say is: “Amen and amen!”

Kandace and Clark had has down to their house for dessert Monday night. It’s hard to believe that she’s married and she and Clark have their own house!

My loves holding Milly! Doesn’t Katy look great! She’s an awesome mom, wife and Christian example of a lady! Pop is the patriarch and rock of the family!

Kandace decorated so nicely…and Charlotte and Evie…

It was a fantastic weekend! I’m grateful!

This week’s Two Minute Tuesday asks: “Do You Love Your Spouse?” Take a look and see what you think…

http://link.mpbc.church/TMT6-18

Kevin

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Seeking Jesus

I’ve been thinking about what it means to seek Jesus a lot over the last several weeks…actually the last 3 months. I’ve asked myself, “Kevin, are you really seeking Jesus or are you just going through the motions?” Now, I’m not trying to be super-spiritual and I’m not trying to be ethereal or out in left field. I’m simply saying, I believe there is a pursuit of Jesus that I’ve been missing. And I think a lot of people are missing it.

It seems to me that we’ve gotten to the place in our evangelism that we bring people to Jesus and we stop. We get people saved and then what? It’s like every service, every message has to be the same. And that’s needed! Of course we’ve got to get people to Jesus, but Jesus said we are to: “Go and make disciples…” Do you see that word: DISCIPLE. He didn’t say, “Go and make converts…” Conversion is the first step…yes…but there is more! We’ve got to be teaching people! We’ve got to be growing people. We’ve got teach people how to climb in their faith toward Jesus! That’s what we’ve been saying this year…

The question is…how much time does it take to climb? Can you hike a mountain in 2 minutes? Let me ask you this…can you and I seek Jesus in 2 minutes? Can He be found in our 20-second prayers over our meals or the prayer that’s quickly uttered as we fall asleep? Can we never read the Word of God and expect to call ourselves disciples of Christ? There is nothing disciplined about that.

Disciple

Discipline

Those two words have the same root! If we want to truly be a disciple, we are going to have to be disciplined. It’s no different than a ball team. They have to practice before they play. They must run, work-out, lift weights…eat right…you name it. It takes discipline to make champions. And you know what…the same is true as believers in Christ. God is person and He desires to be wanted. I’ll say that again: He desires to be wanted. Just like you desire to be wanted. Don’t you want to be wanted? Loved? Sure you do! So do I! After all, we are created in the image of God and it’s our spirits that must seek Him (for He is Spirit).

Lately, I’ve been trying to retrain my mind to think on Jesus. To set my mind on things above. But, some might say, “Kevin, be careful that you don’t get so heavenly minded that you are no earthly good.” Can I say this kindly to you… I’ve never met any single person that I believe were “too heavily minded.” I see people who are attached to this earth. I see that so much in myself. I spend so much time thinking about myself and my needs and my wants and my comfort and my desires… My problem is me. And your problem is probably you. It’s easy for the universe to revolve around ourselves.

I had to go to a place that I died to myself. And that’s a daily thing… Jesus said it would be a daily thing! And boy is it! It feels like some days I’m taking some major ground in moving up that mountain and other days I’m stuck or even losing ground. What do I mean?

I’m seeking the Lord throughout the day in that I’m trying to think about Him as I live life. I’m thinking about Him as I drive. I honestly don’t listen to the radio much anymore. I just keep it off and talk to the Lord. It’s been an amazing thing how much time I’ve gained. Folks, He wants to talk to us. He’s waiting! But, the truth is…we like our “noise.” We walk into our homes and we flip on the TV. We get in the car and we’re on the radio. We have an idle moment and we grab the phone to check social media. Believe me…I’m chief of sinners! And so, I’m seeking to NOT do these things as much. Am I becoming a hermit? No! But, there is something to be said for mediating on the Lord. There’s something to be said for “being still and know that He is God.”

Can you get still? For how long? 5 minutes? 10? Maybe that’s scary. Maybe you don’t want to be alone with your thoughts. Sometimes that can be scary… I must admit that! But, listen…you and I are not alone…not as followers of Christ! He’s with us! His Spirit dwells in our spirit and He bears witness with us. But, can we hear Him? Are we hearing from Him?

The Lord wants a relationship with us. He wants to talk to us. That’s why He came to die. He came so that we can know Him…and that we might not only be with Him forever in heaven, but have Him to guide our lives on this side of glory. I can tell you this…as I’ve been thinking on Jesus and focusing my mind more and more on Him, I’m changing in my spirit. There is more joy and more of a sense of peace and ease in my soul. I’m not as easily upset or “torn out of my frame” on things that really don’t matter.

The Scripture says:

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4:8-9

How can we grow in our faith? Simple. Go after Jesus! Ask and it shall be given…seek and you will find…knock and the door will be opened. All of that requires action! Go! Go! Go! Or in my vernacular these days…Climb, climb, climb!

It means when I’m walking through the parking lot at the hospital I look at the sky and see the clouds and I think, “Jesus, thank you for watching over me and caring for me and for what you will do to give me the words for this situation and this family.” Before I walk into my home and turn the handle on my door, I think, “Lord, help me to have saved enough of my time and patience to be what my family needs me to be for them tonight.” It’s driving down the road with the kids in the back of the van and saying, “Hey guys…look at the window…tell me what you see. Who made that?” It’s training our minds to “see” and “hear” with our spirit. Do you see? It’s just an intentional mindset and it’s that intentionality that’s slowly but surely changing this bald-headed man. I’m actually experiencing the presence of Jesus more and more in my life! It’s wonderful!!

Therefore, in the light of what I’ve just written, here’s this week’s TMT:

http://mpbc.ws/media/?sapurl=Lys3ZWViL2xiL21pLytmMzV2cmN0P2F1dG9wbGF5PXRydWUmYnJhbmRpbmc9dHJ1ZSZlbWJlZD10cnVl

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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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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I Finally Did It

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pastor Dale’s hours:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kevin

 

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Last weekend was amazing! I had one of those life-changing weekends. How often can you say that in life, right? But, it’s true. I was able to go to Atlanta and attend Passion City Church. You’ll notice they don’t have their name on the side of the building. Just the address.

515. That’s how they are known. They have another campus in Cumberland, Georgia about 30 minutes away. They are called: “Cumberland.” I like that. Our logo for MPBC is a cross with a circle around it. Just pointing to Jesus. People were lined up to get on a shuttle to go to their car at a remote parking lot.

The church has three Sunday services: 9 am, 11:45 am and 5 pm. It’s mostly a Millennial church. I was an old guy as I looked around. Most were 35 years old and younger.

Did you notice that sign on the wall in the background? “Jesus is Life.”

When someone gives their life to Christ, they go to that center table under the sign and write their name on a light bulb. Then they climb that later (to the right) and screw in their bulb. How about that! So cool!!! And so true! JESUS IS LIFE!!! If we try to have life any other way, we’re settling for Satan’s counterfeit. Whatever we can’t “get enough of” is our god.

It was wonderful to sit back and just drink in all the Lord is doing at that church! Normally, on Sundays, it’s really kind of tough for me to worship 100% because I’m so focused on the sermon, the time, remembering everything I need to announce, etc. But, Sunday was amazing!

The church at 515 seats about 1200-1400 the best I could tell. Cumberland seat around 600, but they have plans to expand. They also have a church they’ve started in Washington, D.C. So, I’m guessing they probably average attendance for all three campuses of about 8,000 or so.

We sat near the back so we could take it all in. I feasted, let me tell you! Thank you Lord! I needed that. Sometimes a pastor needs to go somewhere just to have his own soul fed. I’m so thankful for the church allowing the pastor/elders to have a “conference” line item, so we can go do these things. Truth is: I would never spend money to go do it on my own, because I don’t have it to spend. I’m trying to raise a family and pay bills and I just don’t spend money on myself, and yet, I know I need time to get away from time to time to re-energize. Thanks to MPBC for my “conference” line item in the budget!

They have these metal containers like you see hauled on the back of tractor-trailers where they greet people and talk with folks after the services who are inquiring about being saved or want to join the church, etc.

The pastor of the church is Louie Giglio.

He’s 10 years older than me (60) and was going strong! It really gave me encouragement! I’m preaching three sermons every Sunday like Louie and I thought, “Lord, you are giving a 60-year-old man the strength to do that every week, and you are doing that for me too! Thank you Lord!” He is lived streamed from either the Cumberland campus or the 515 campus. Can I tell you something? It took me 10 minutes to realize he wasn’t at 515. Why? Because I was watching the screen because we were in the back.

I guess I have mixed emotions about live-streaming and satellite campuses. Each site at 515, Cumberland and D.C. have campus pastors and their own praise teams, etc. at each location. Yes, I get it in big cities. Traffic is horrible and it’s just tough to get around. In Wilkes County, people drive long distances to go to town or wherever. We are the third largest county (landmass) in the 100-county state of NC. So, people are used to driving 20-minutes to town (or more) to go to the grocery store. Therefore, people drive to church great distances too. We have folks driving 30 minutes or more to come to MPBC. Again, a lot of these dynamics for churches depend on the setting. I don’t see MPBC doing satellite churches anytime soon, if ever. I just don’t know if that would work in our rural area. I still believe people around here will drive to wherever they want to go. We’re not Atlanta or Charlotte or D.C.

I learned a lot this weekend and I was blessed beyond measure. One of the blessings was spending time with a family that we adopted with from China. The Windsor family. Their daughter and Clara were adopted at the same time, same town, 12 years ago. What a blessing they are to our family! They hosted us at a Braves game Saturday night. We had great seats!

Yes indeed! What a weekend! Thank you Lord! Now it’s on to the Iron Men Conference tomorrow night and three services here on Sunday! We have over 260 men and boys signed up for the conference tomorrow night. Will you pray for us! It doesn’t matter how hard I’ve worked on this and the men in the Praise Team, etc., if the Lord doesn’t empower it! We need His anointing and blessing. Would you stop right now and breathe a five-second prayer for us, please? I believe lives will be changed tomorrow night! I know mine has in preparing for it!

You can still sign-up, but you have to do it today: http://www.mpbc.ws/signuptable.

Here’s the past three week’s Two-Minute Tuesday’s. I forgot to load them on the last couple of blog posts. Sorry about that! 🙂

Two weeks ago: “Cheap Sex and the Decline of Marriage.” http://mpbc.ws/media/?sapurl=Lys3ZWViL2xiL21pLysycTNuZG10P2JyYW5kaW5nPXRydWUmZW1iZWQ9dHJ1ZQ==

Last week: “So You Don’t Think God Will Judge-Francis Chan.” http://mpbc.ws/media/?sapurl=Lys3ZWViL2xiL21pLys3czhydzVoP2F1dG9wbGF5PXRydWUmYnJhbmRpbmc9dHJ1ZSZlbWJlZD10cnVl

This week: “Helping Our Wives and Jumping Hurdles.” http://mpbc.ws/media/?sapurl=Lys3ZWViL2xiL21pLyt3NW5wYzlwP2JyYW5kaW5nPXRydWUmZW1iZWQ9dHJ1ZQ==

Blessings,

Kevin

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Did that title grab your attention? If it did, then I did my job. I am an old marketing guy, remember that. Thus, I know that the title of a sermon, article, blog post, tag line, etc. must be catchy in order to grab and lure people to read your stuff.

This is why we exist. What am I talking about? The Church. I’m talking about the Church of Jesus Christ. So, do you know why we exist? We exist to go and share the Gospel. These are our marching orders:

Matthew 28:19-20

19 “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Sadly, 51% of church goers have no clue that what you just read is the Great Commission.

That’s so sad that I can’t even comment on it. My question is: Are you going? I ask myself: Is our church going? If not, why not? We’ve got to be “going” folks…in everything we do! I’m talking about seeing your life, your marriage, your career, your home, your hobbies…EVERYTHING as ways to leverage the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the life of others. Use what you have and where you are to reach people. And here’s the thing…if it’s not happening in your church, then you should go somewhere that is reaching out.

The truth is: most churches “tithe to themselves,” as I’ve heard it stated. They give to themselves in how they spend money. They do stuff for them…not, the people outside the walls of the church.

Believe me…I think about this a lot. As a pastor, I think about, “Kevin, what are we doing as a church to reach people?” In other words, I’m thinking about what the motive is in each ministry and program of the church. And here’s the truth: If it’s not reaching people for Jesus, we need to ask ourselves…why in the world are we doing it?

Now, I say all of that to say how thankful I am for MPBC. No, our church isn’t perfect…far from it. Because we have non-perfect people attending it. But, I do believe we have a desire to reach people. And as I look at our annual church calendar, I see that in the things that we plan and do. We are trying to reach people with the Gospel of Jesus and we seek to bring them into the body and train them for works of ministry. In other words, it’s my job to teach and equip people to be Gospel-sharing people. We’ve got to be making disciples. And that must start in our homes and then spoke out into the world into every area of our lives (work, hobbies, buying groceries, you name it).

This past weekend we had 1,307 people go through the doors to watch and experience our annual Passion Play. It was incredible! The weather was tough in that we were dodging snow flakes and sleet, but we were able to do three of the four showings. And we still had 1,307 people! Crazy!

Now, anyone who knows me at all knows that I don’t have people repeat a prayer after me and then “crown someone saved” by snapping my fingers and doing that kind of invitation. But, like the Apostle Peter at Pentecost, I give people an opportunity to pray in their own words and receive Jesus and then follow-up with us (the Elders/Pastors of the church). With that said, we had in the neighborhood of three dozen people who made professions of faith with triple that of folks who said they were believers, who prayed to recommit their lives to a closer, more dedicated walk with Jesus. That’s astounding! Truly it was and is amazing to see how the Holy Spirit moves when the depiction of all that Jesus did for us is displayed on a stage.

Here are some of the pictures of those scenes and the preparation and work that went into the play.

I can’t tell you how much this brings our church together to attempt to do something for the Lord that’s much bigger than all of us! It involves over 180 people. It brings wonderful camaraderie.

Praise the Lord for all that He accomplished!

What’s next? Our Community Easter Egg Hunt this Saturday at 2 pm.

Yep! We’re hiding 10,000 Easter Eggs and we’re going to use it to share the Gospel. We’ll start out in the church, where we’ll gather everyone up to share the resurrection and then to the field to hunt those eggs. The truth is: there will be a lot of folks who will bring their kids to hunt Easter Eggs with candy in them that perhaps would never come to church the next day, Easter Sunday, for service. So, we GO! That’s right…we GO and get outside of the walls and compel them to come in…even with Easter Eggs.

What’s after that? Our Soccer League (Saturdays from April 14th through May 19th).

Again, folks might bring their kids to play soccer and hear the Gospel on a field, who may never come to a church service. That’s “GOING” and that’s reaching out. And it’s a ton of work and it takes a ton of people to pull all of this off. I’m so thankful for a church that wants to GO! Again, we’re not perfect…but, we’re trying and we’re praying the Lord will continue to have favor on us and anoint these efforts for His kingdom and His glory.

Might I say that we also have another team heading to Mexico/Texas this Saturday. They are going to be placing the windows in the second floor of the church in Progreso, Mexico and sharing the Gospel in Weslaco, TX. Pray for them, would you please!

I celebrated my 50th birthday yesterday and the day before, 3.27, we celebrated the fact that 12 years ago was “Gotcha Day” in China for this little girl:

Look at her now…

Where has the time gone? Thank you Lord for our dear, sweet Clara! You ordained it that we would have the privilege of raising her! What a blessing!

Here’s this week’s Two-Minute Tuesday, “You Can’t Be Neutral About This…”

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Kevin

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