Archive for the ‘Family Life’ Category

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


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!!



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That Look

Today is a day of LOVE!

Image result for image of valentine's day

What a wonderful day to celebrate LOVE!

Love. It’s the core of the Gospel. For God so LOVED the world that He gave… Yes, He gave. In His love for us God chose to give of Himself and come to die for us so that we might have eternal life. Wow! What a LOVE!!! That’s better than a card or chocolates in my book!

Love. The world is looking for love. It’s been said that the greatest emotion of the human heart is to love. “To love and be loved is the greatest emotion.” That’s what many say and I won’t argue with them.

I’m thankful for this lady, who loves me…

For 27 years, I’ve been blessed beyond measure to be married to this dear lady. But, marriage is work, friends. You know it is. Marriage takes time and effort.

It’s like growing a garden. If you aren’t intentionally weeding that thing, you’ll have problems. Marriage is no different. It takes intentional attention for a marriage to thrive. You have to water, nourish and care for the marriage or it will produce no fruit. But, this takes time. It takes time to talk. Time to communicate. Time to work through disagreements and misunderstandings. It takes time to plan and time to rest. Yes, rest. Rest in each other’s presence. Our problem is most of us don’t rest much. We go, go, go and then one day… Well, we look at each other and say, “Who are you?” We’ve spent all of our time working, paying bills, raising kids and paying the mortgage that we forget each other.

I’m grateful for Valentine’s Day, because at least the calendar forces us to LOVE. We’re forced by February 14th to slow down and LOVE. So, we buy cards, candy, flowers, go out to eat, etc. And that’s a good thing. But, we need to do more of that. And the truth is: I’m chief of sinners, on this front. But, what we can do is communicate (even if it’s late at night, if you have kids in the home). You’ve got to talk. Communicate. Don’t live in separate rooms…where she watches her stuff, while you watch yours. Put the phones down and talk to each other. Get off the gadgets and talk. Remember. Think back. Enjoy each other’s company the way you used to (back in the days before Facebook, Twitter, cell phones, etc.). Just look at each other.

I’m strange and you know that. But, sometimes I’ll look at Pam… I mean really look at her and I might even lovingly and softly place my hands on her cheeks and say, “Let me look at ya!” And she’ll blush and say, “Aw, you’re crazy!” And I’ll say, “No…come on…let me look at you…” And I’ll look into those beautiful eyes… eyes that aren’t as bright as they were 27 years ago…eyes that might even be staring back at with my glasses just below them on her nose. And I’ll say, “I love you Pam. Thanks for loving me and putting up with me.” And you know what…that’s a good thing. Sometimes even one of the children will see us doing that or see me kiss Pam on the cheek and the look on their face is priceless. What look? That look that says, “My Daddy loves my Momma.” That look. That look that says, “Daddy and Momma are going to be together for you all of my life.” That look. That look that says, “I’m confident in my parent’s love for each other.” For better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, till death us part. Yes, that look!

I sure do love Pam and I sure do love these people, who came from the love that Pam and I have for each other:

Speaking of LOVE. This week’s Two-Minute Tuesday is about the new No-No in dating. Have you heard about it? Don’t ask them their last name. Yep, you heard that right. The new dating No-No is to ask your date their last name. Folks, you can’t make this stuff up. Watch…



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Let me tell you something… The Lord designed homes to have a mom and a dad. If I ever believed that, I believe it even more after Pam was gone for 2 weeks. She and Clara returned from China this past Saturday night and what a reunion it was!

They landed in Charlotte about 9:30 pm and we got home about midnight. But, it took forever to go to sleep because we were so excited to see one another! What a joy! And another reminder to me that I’m a blessed man to be married to Pam. She’s wonderful! I really mean that!

Now, I almost hesitate to say what I’ve said because I know a single mom might read this and say, “Thanks a lot Kevin! I’m having to be mom and dad!” And that’s why I hesitated to write: “Families need a mom and a dad.” I know there are families that are doing quite well with the circumstances you’re living under. Honestly, my heroes are single moms and dads. I don’t know how you do it! You are amazing people! For me, I need my wife, particularly for my children. You see, there are things that my girls need that I can’t give them. Sometimes, a daughter and yes, a son, needs their momma.

Now, we didn’t have any major problems or issues…all went really well while Pam and Clara were gone…other than freezing to death (more on that in a moment). But, my point is that the Lord designed the home to be made up of a father, mother and children. That’s His design, not mine. He’s the grand designer and He knows what works best. This is why I counsel couples who are considering a divorce (and they have children), to hang in there and keep working. Because here’s the cold-hard truth…you’re going to work hard no matter what. You’re either going to work hard to save your marriage or you’re going to work hard to figure out who gets the kids on Christmas morning and on their birthday and on vacation. Yes, either way you’re going to work…so, why not work on the marriage and seek to put the effort into it on the front end and save the marriage versus getting out calendars and arguing over dates.

Yes, they say that absence makes the heart grow fonder. I guess that’s true to a degree… But, I know absence of Pam makes me appreciate her even more!

Speaking of family. We had this one snapped at Christmas. This is how it all started… This was the original foursome…

In case you are wondering…yes…my dad is an inch taller than me. But, if you’ll look closely, I’ve got long legs. 🙂

Here’s a picture of the grandkids…

Isn’t that good?! (Again, this was minus Clara.)

And here’s a picture of my family on Pam’s side… (again, minus Pam and Clara.)

I’m so thankful for all my family! We’re very blessed!!

Something else we’re blessed with (all of us) is heat and a roof over our head. This past cold snap sure made me thankful for that. It was so cold. We were at our below zero 3 mornings during the 8-day snap. Creeks, like Lewis Fork Creek, were almost frozen over.

It’s going to go down as one of the longest cold snaps ever in our area and in many areas in the southeast and mid-Atlantic. I talked about it during the Two-Minute Tuesday this week… “Has the Record Cold-Snap Been Due to Climate Change?”


The Lord is good… We baptized 7 people on the last day of 2017! What a celebration! Listen, these people are genuine souls! I can’t say 100% that anyone is saved… Only God knows that. But, we talk to people at length before baptizing them. And so, I can tell you that in my heart, I’m convinced these 7 are genuinely, born-again, followers of Christ! Each of them gave me permission to share what I’m about to share (which I also shared on the 31st).

That’s Kristie Bryan (below). She’s a jewel. A wife and mom (her husband, Trey is with her), and a fabulous CRNA at Forsyth Medical Center.

Here’s what Kristie said:

“I was baptized at the age of 8, but through the years I began to have doubts and I just didn’t feel like some of my actions truly reflected what a Christian should be. There have been many nights that I woke up upset at the conflict that was in my heart. Pastor Kevin’s service [11.12.17] touched me that morning and I was led to talk to him. After I prayed to God with Kevin to be saved, I felt an immediate weight lifted and was more sure than ever that I would be in God’s kingdom someday.”

That’s Terry Walsh (below). We’d been praying for him for years. He was holding back…but, the prayers of his wife and mom and many folks in the church brought the conviction of the Holy Spirit to his heart and he walked the aisle on Sunday, November 12th and raised his hand before all the congregation and said, “I’m ready to be saved!” Praise the Lord!

That’s Dylan Kilby (below). Here’s a young man who was honest enough to say, “I had gotten into sin and that caused me to doubt my salvation and I’m nailing it down. I’m going to live for Jesus!” Now that’s a man, folks! It takes a man to admit that before a church. Dylan is married to a precious young lady, Josie…and they are going to have a great marriage.

Here’s what he said:

“I was living in sin without any remorse. I had said the prayer and thought I was good but I did not change. But I thought that was all you had to do to be saved. But the week after the total eclipse I was laying in bed and I felt a power of guilt come over me for all the sin I had been doing and I hit my knees and called upon Jesus Christ with all I had in tears to save me from this pain and sin that I was in and he did. He saved my soul from it all. He is lord of lords and king of kings I have felt his power and strive to become as close to him as I possibly can… I changed for sure this time I’m trusting in him alone to get me out of this doubt and the Bible is becoming more clear to me… Thanks pastor Kevin for the night you talked to me about doubt. You really helped me hold my head up and keep pouring it out to Jesus.”


That’s sixth grader, Isaiah Lewczyk (below).

He came forward on Sunday, November 12th at the end of the service and said, “I’m not afraid to make the journey.” (I had been saying that during the message.) He’s already been selected to be the Chaplain of the Jr. Beta Club at his middle school. What a fantastic young man Isaiah is and will be! He’s got a fabulous family and they are raising him in the Lord!

That’s Josh Farmer (below). Josh had gotten to a place in his life that he wasn’t sure he was saved.

Here’s what Josh said:

“When things were going good I thought I was going to heaven when I died, but when things were going wrong, there was doubt in my mind. That message with the blind beggar [11.12.17] was a mirror image of myself. While I listened to you, I realized I thought I was saved but I simply wasn’t. That’s when I decided it was time and enough was enough.”

Folks, the truth is, so many people in the South make a profession of faith when they’re kids (because they are scared of going to Hell…and that’s a good reason…but the truth is…it’s not till later that you can tell if they really got saved…looking for fruit). Josh nailed it down with me after the service on November 12th. (Can you tell the Lord was moving in a powerful way that day!!)

That’s John Edwards and Kristen Testerman (below). John is seeing Kristen’s mom, Sherrie. And amazingly…the Lord has been doing some powerful things.

John grew up with a Methodist background and had been christened as a child. However, since he’s been coming to the church with Sherrie, he said the Lord had really changed his life. Here’s what he wrote me…

“I was simply lost.. I wasn’t receiving the truth. My attendance had dropped off to nothing and for years I didn’t attend church anywhere… I was feeling ashamed of myself and missing a lot of fulfillment… I was invited to your church… and from day 1 the Lord was speaking to me. Every service after the message, I felt was directed to me. I began to learn more than I ever had. I physically felt forgiveness, a load was lifted from my heart. I knew the Holy Spirit was in me and I love it. I look forward to every day that I share with God. Thank you.”

Isn’t that wonderful! God is good!

Here’s what Kristen said:

“When I saw 8, I went through the general steps of being saved. I repeated a prayer in VBS, walked in front of the church, and got baptized. After that I went on mission trips and did things with the church, but in my heart, I knew I wasn’t saved. I believed in God, but I knew that I wouldn’t be going to heaven if I kept living the way I was. I got to a place where I was empty and I tried to fill that emptiness every way I could. On Thanksgiving I realized that I needed Jesus. So, I nailed down my salvation and I surrendered. Getting baptized is just me showing the world who is in control of my life.”

Folks, this is powerful stuff! And I pray it has blessed and touched your heart to read these testimonies. If for some reason, you aren’t a believer or you aren’t sure you are a believer in Christ, please contact me. I’m here to help! Email: kevin@mpbc.ws.


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Compel Them To Come

Take a look at these pictures from over the past weekend…  Our Christmas Candlelight Celebration…

Yep, it’s snowing…

Over the four services (Saturday night and the three on Sunday) we packed in 1,546 people! Did you notice the joy on the little boy’s face above? Yes, it “snowed” inside the building. Can you believe that? What a joy to the see the faces of the children and even the adults!

You see, we publicized that it was “going to snow” inside our building on Facebook and Twitter and Instagram and to everyone we knew. Why? Here’s why… Luke 14:23, “And the master said to the servant, ‘Go out to the highways and hedges and compel people to come in, that my house may be filled.” Do you know who said that? Jesus. Jesus Christ said that. “Go get ’em!” That’s what compel means. Tell people that it’s a necessity that you be here! And 1,546 people showed up!

And we sang about Jesus, did drama about Jesus and I preached about Jesus and many, many hands were raised indicating their desire to be prayed for as they seek Jesus and salvation. (No, I don’t have people repeat a prayer after me…that’s not in Scripture…but, I do quote Scripture…the Roman Road…and I tell them to pray in their seats and call on the name of Jesus like a drowning man in the ocean, that’s Romans 10:13…and if they were truly sincere and genuine…then, according to the Bible they can be confident of their salvation.) How many were saved? Only in eternity will we know. Dozens of hands went up throughout the four services…so, I praise the Lord for what I believe He’s continuing to do in people’s lives.

Truly, people have to wrestle with salvation. Here in the Bible belt, so many people make a profession of faith when they’re young…yet, it’s very difficult to tell if a person is truly a follower of Christ until they are put under pressure. So, I’m not one to snap my fingers at a service and “crown people saved.” But, I’m convinced many were and I believe more will be in the days and weeks ahead. Seed takes time to grow.

The point is: we must compel people to come to Jesus. I see that more and more every day of my life. And the real impetus in all of this is not to invite people to Jesus like you are going to give them an extra pillow for their head. No…we invite people to come to Jesus so that they won’t end up in Hell. Jesus said, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Jesus wants to save people from Hell and judgment. Yes, I know those aren’t popular subjects, but it’s the truth and the reality of why Jesus came to the earth. He is “Emmanuel, God with us” to save us from our sins…which means to save us from the penalty of sin, which is Hell. That’s more than enough reason to COMPEL people to come to Jesus, don’t you think? It is for me.

During the service, we sang a song called, “Offering.” A man named Paul Baloche wrote it. Here’s some of the lyrics…

I was sitting in the back as we sang it.

I was overwhelmed by the song. It was that song that helped give me assurance that I was supposed to leave the business world and go into the ministry. Truly, this song was part of my calling to the ministry. I remember being in our prayer chapel in December of 2005 and we were singing that song. I was standing on the piano side of the room and I ended up leaning against the railing surrounding the piano and I just wept. I knew God was calling me to preach and I surrendered to that call.

As we sang that song on Saturday night, I was reminded, yet again, of the privilege I have to preach and teach the Word of God. Thank you Lord! Here’s the song…

Yes, next week is Christmas! May we offer to Jesus our gift… the gift of our lives to Him. From my family to yours…

Here’s this week’s Two-Minute Tuesday:



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Don’t Rush Past History

As we celebrate the Christmas season, may we not be guilty of “rushing past history.” What do I mean? Well, it’s busy and if we’re not careful we’ll just go through the motions and slap up the tree and wrap the presents and do the meals and then… BANG, it’s over and we’ve gone through another Christmas season… But did we rush past it and miss it!

Let me give you an example. You know I’m a weather nut…so, that’s where I’ll get the example of “rushing past history.” It’s already snowed twice at my house this year. On Friday, Dec 8th (7″) and again on Tuesday night, Dec 12th (1″). Folks, that’s early for any snow at all, much less a total of 8″ for the winter season. That’s about what we go all of last winter and it’s just mid-December (technically not even winter, yet).

Now, here’s the thing… The snowfall that we got wasn’t isolated to us. It snowed from MEXICO to MAINE!

Take a look…

Now, get this… Meteorologists say this hasn’t happened for 131 year!! One weatherman said it this way: “A snowstorm of this magnitude & spatial extent in early December in the deep south likely hasn’t occurred in @ least 131 yrs. In early Dec 1886, another storm dropped > 6″-12″ snow in parts of MS, AL, GA, TN, & NC w/ accumulating snows observed in the FL panhandle.”

Notice he said, “1886,” not “1986.” So, I told my kids, “Guys…this is something you may never see again in your lifetime.” No, I’m not saying they won’t see it snow in early December again. They likely will. But, I’m talking about this MUCH, this early! This is truly an anomaly. So, we should not rush past it! This was historic! And if we aren’t careful, we’ll just blow by it and it won’t even register!

It’s not often you get to see snow on Christmas decorations…like at my mom and dad’s front steps…

But, do you remember when I blogged back in August (August 25th) and gave you my preliminary Winter Forecast and I said this…

What forecasters try to do is to look at what are called “analog years” and that is where they look at the past and see which winter in the past might be most similar to the upcoming one and then peg it to that winter. The winter they are looking at is 2010. Remember that winter? It snowed at Christmas. Clara and Andrew were little tykes then…

The snow was majestic as we walked up to mom and dad’s to celebrate…

Will that happen this year? Honestly, there’s no way to predict that. It would be a wild guess, no matter what anyone tells you. It’s such an anomaly here. White Christmases are very rare. I’ve seen two in my lifetime of almost 50 years.

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! 🙂

No, I’m not a prophet, because I blew this last storm, big-time! I said we’d get about 1-2″ and we got 7″. But, the pattern is similar to 2010. So, that’s why we can say, that we’re looking at 45% above normal. So, if this forecast holds true, then Wilkes County has seen about 1/2 the snow we’re going to see this Winter already. OR, I’m wrong and we could get more!!! We’ll see!!

But, it sure was pretty last week…

I tell you all of this to make my main point again… Don’t rush past history… And this is what I’m really talking about…

That’s just one small section of our Christmas tree this year. Hmm… Let’s see… There’s Clara when she was a little tyke and there’s good ole Barney and there’s Katy. Oh my! She was about 4 or 5 when that picture was taken (Pam would know :)). There’s an ornament from the Great Smoky Mountains. I think Pam and I got that one in Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge before we even had any of the children (Pam would know :)). And there at the top of the picture is an ornament from the Dutch Country in Pennsylvania. Oh, it’s been years since we were there (Pam would now how many :)).

My point is that I stood at our tree the other night and I really looked at those ornaments. Ornaments that the kids made and ornaments that we’ve bought in the various places we’ve been through the years. Honestly, I stood at our tree for about 5-6 minutes and literally “walked down memory lane.” And I thought, “Kevin, don’t rush past history!” Soak it in! Soak in this Christmas. Right now! My parents are still alive. So are Pam’s. I’ve got two grandkids. Kandace will be 20 in a month. Clara and Andrew are going to be teenagers in 2018. Soak it in Kevin! Don’t rush past this because it won’t be like this again… No, not in 131 years…not ever!

Soak it in this Christmas. When you can…sit still and soak in the wonder of Jesus and those you love and those who love you! Why? Because if we don’t…we’ll rush right past history!


This week’s Two-Minute Tuesday: “This Man and Religious Freedom.”




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Basketball, Anniversary, Snow, Wow!

I love basketball. You know that. And you know that I’m unashamedly a Heels fan! That will never change. I’m too old to change now! I’ll stick with the Heels…thick or thin, to death. That’s what you do for teams. You don’t wilt if they have a bad year (even though the Heels seldom have a bad year…after all, they are the reigning National Champions). But, I’m most especially now because of the fact that Leah, my niece, is playing ball for the Lady Heels. In fact, we got to go down and watch her play last weekend.

The really neat thing was to see Leah and Kandace together. Cousins and friends for life!

How cool is that? They will have so many stories to tell their families one day!

I was nervous for Kandace. I don’t know why. She’s sung at the Grand Ole Opry and at FaithFest in front of thousands and thousands of people. But, the National Anthem is not an easy song. If you start out too high, you’re dead! Kandace did a great job singing it! Really! It was fantastic to be honest! Kandace has a gift!

I tell her that all the time! I’m prejudiced. I know that! But, she’s my girl! 🙂

Leah, too is doing an amazing job as a freshman at Carolina. She’s getting playing time, which is unheard of for a freshman. In fact, she started Wednesday night’s game. Here’s the box score.

That’s amazing for a freshman! She’s a three-point-shooting-machine!

Truly, it was so wonderful to have the privilege to be with my family this past weekend and celebrate all the Lord is doing for and through our family.

I shot baskets on that floor, (Carmichael Arena…back then, it was Carmichael Auditorium), when I was 9 years old at the UNC Basketball camp. What great memories and we’re going to be making a lot more over the next 3 1/2 years!

See this lady with me…

That’s my bride of almost 27 years (27 on 12.22.17). Ain’t she pretty? Yep! I out-punted my coverage when the Lord blessed me with her! They don’t come any better than Pam Brown and anybody who knows her, knows that’s the truth! She loves the Lord and she loves her family and she loves people! She’s a fantastic woman, Christian and pastor’s wife. In fact, I’ll say it this way. I’m thankful to be the husband of Pamela Sheets Brown! She’s wonderful!

Hey, are you ready for some snow? It looks like we might get some tomorrow. Here’s the official forecast via the Weather Channel for tomorrow.

I think this is a bit overdone. We’re on the western fringe in Wilkes County. So, we could miss out on these totals. 50 miles one way or the other will make all the difference. Van Denton is saying only around 1″ for our area. We’ll see.

Hmm. Let’s see. I think I know a man who said something about this a few days ago on Facebook.

Back on December 1st, (one week ago), I said this:

Folks, the weather pattern is getting ready to change, big-time by the middle of next week, potentially through Christmas. And this model (shown above) shows the potential for snow on the ground by December 17th. I’m not saying this is going to happen, but it’s certainly a possibility! And it’s most definitely going to feel like Christmas!

Now, I’m not that smart. This is a map from Weatherbell.com. But, they are spot on! The national weather services really WAY too much on models to forecast the weather and they truly aren’t that goo. The guys at WeatherBell still do it the old-fashioned way. They look at the models, yes…but, they also look at the past to help predict the future.

The Lord is good! Basketball, anniversaries and snow! Wow! Wonderful times! Thank you Lord!

Here’s this week’s Two-Minute Tuesday: ““Why What Is Happening at the Supreme Court This Morning Will Affect You!”


Finally, may we never forget…

Today marks the 76th anniversary of the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor that claimed 2,403 American lives on December 7, 1941. A day that truly lives in infamy!

The attack on Pearl Harbor was a surprise attack by Japan on the morning of December 7, 1941. Japan intended the attack to keep the US Pacific Fleet from interfering with military actions they planned in Southwest Asia. Over the course of seven hours there were coordinated Japanese attacks on the U.S.-held Philippines, Guam and Wake Island and on the British Empire’s Malaya, Singapore and Hong Kong.

The attack commenced at 7:48 a.m. Hawaiian Time. The base was attacked by 353 Imperial Japanese aircraft in two waves, launched from six aircraft carriers. All eight U.S. Navy battleships in the harbor were damaged, with four sunk. All but the USS Arizona were later raised, and six were returned to service and went on to fight in the war. Again, 2,403 Americans were killed and 1,178 others were wounded.

The attack came as a profound shock to the American people and led directly to the our entry into World War II in both the Pacific and European theaters. The following day, December 8, the United States declared war on Japan, and several days later, on December 11, Germany and Italy declared war on the U.S. Most Americans felt we should not intervene in the war prior to the bombing of Pearl Harbor. That all disappeared after the attack.

There were numerous historical precedents for unannounced military action by Japan, but the lack of any formal warning, particularly while negotiations were still apparently ongoing, led President Franklin D. Roosevelt to say, the day December 7, 1941, would be “a date which will live in infamy.” 

President Trump said earlier today: “We remember the lives that were lost, the families torn from loved ones, and the heroes who rose to America’s defense,” the President said. “As the smoke billowed that day from our sinking ships, our entire nation rose up to show our enemies America’s unbending strength, might, and resolve.”

I’m grateful all those who defended our nation so that we can be the people we are today and be blessed with all the freedoms we enjoy today.


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A Fresh Outpouring!

The Lord has really been doing some pretty awesome things in my life lately. I’ve been watching and learning through the life of King David. What an up and down life he had. Catastrophe after catastrophe, tragedy after tragedy marked the life of this man described as a “man after God’s own heart.” How could this man be described in this way? He was a man of war. A man of blood. A man of murder. A man of adultery. He was powerful, killing Goliath. Yet, weak. He couldn’t even keep his family together.

Oh, Absalom! How David longed for the son who killed his half-brother. Why? Because his half-brother raped his sister, Tamar. What did David do? I read 2 Samuel 13 carefully. Verse 21 says, “he was very angry.” I read verse 22 and expected action. A family meeting. A pow-wow. Something. Nothing. Okay, maybe verse 23. Nothing! Nope, verse 23 says Absalom allowed his hatred and anger to fester in his heart for “two full years.” Samuel was clear on that. “Two FULL years.” Not close to two years… Not 18 months. No…24 months of hatred! Why didn’t David do something?

Absalom would plot the death of his half-brother, Amnon and see that he was killed. Tragedy! Ultimately, this hatred and animosity would run from Absalom’s heart from his half-brother to his father. He would seek to take the kingdom from David until his long hair got hung in a tree while seeking to escape on a mule. Joab, David’s general would drive three javelins through his heart. More tragedy!

David go back! David!!! David, think back to the moment you learned of the rape of your daughter by your son. Yes, you were angry! Yes, you were distraught. But, you did nothing (at least Scripture is silent from all I can see). Dad, we have to act when we know something is wrong. We have to speak up. I know you want peace. I know you don’t want to deal with it, but you must, or you might just lose your family! Am I being melodramatic! No. I don’t mean to be. But, you tell me…where do family split-ups start? They start somewhere, don’t they! And then the holidays come and it’s either awkward or well…they don’t show up.

It takes work to be part of a family. It takes being humble enough to take a knee and wash people’s feet. Even the feet of our family members. Those are the hardest feet to wash, folks. And you know that’s the truth. Family can thrill us or kill us. Do you know what I’m talking about? I think you do.

I’m grateful that I don’t have to deal with this in my family. I’m grateful that we are all together and solid. That doesn’t mean we always agree on everything. That would be absurd. Who agrees on everything? But, we have agreed to work through stuff and to talk. Always talk. When the talking stops, it’s over.

I heard it said earlier today, “Hope begins when you are standing in the dark, but then you look up and see the light.” Are you standing in the dark…look up. See the light. Look to the Lord. Forgiveness and love can overcome anything. Will it be easy? Nope! But, I bet if David could go back, he’d address the situation with Amnon and Tamar and Absalom.

Do the hard things and watch how God will use our families to shape us and mold us into the people He wants us to be! Love, forgive, give, sacrifice, swallow hard and do the hard thing. Yep, that about covers any relationship. Let’s hit those again:




Swallow Hard and do the hard thing!

Let’s see, come to think of it…isn’t that what Jesus did?

I love this article by Andrew Seu Peterson of World magazine, https://world.wng.org/2016/09/forgive_those_debtors

Here’s a beautiful excerpt that will rock your world. It did mine!

…human forgiving is supposed to imitate God’s own manner of mentally removing transgression as far as east is from west (Psalm 103:12) and of tossing the offense into the sea of forgetfulness, then when we forgive-but-don’t-forget, we never give a chance to the other person to change.

Relations become frozen. You see a person who was a jerk to you 10 years ago, and you think as he approaches, “Oh, there’s that jerk.” But he may not be a jerk anymore. If he has the Holy Spirit in him, assume that he is not. Start in with that assumption. God has been dealing with him in many ways since you last interacted. Give your brother a clean slate every day. You know you want one too.

Christianity should be all about believing in and hoping for change—not only for ourselves but for other people. “Love believes all things. Love hopes all things.” Freezing our opinions based on past interactions gunks up the works and brings the life of the church to a grinding halt. We file brothers away in the file of “foolish,” or “proud,” or “liar,” and give them no chance to surprise us with their new growth.

That’s beautiful!

Well, we had a great time at Thanksgiving with family at my mom and dad’s. Everyone was together. Bless Kim’s heart for taking the picture. 

Here’s the one with Kim…

Took some time to go to the creek with the kids.

Clara wanted to build a monument to remind us that we had been here…

How cool is that. I saw this while we were down at the creek…

Does that remind you of Psalm 1?

1 Blessed is the man
    who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
    nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
but his delight is in the law of the Lord,
    and on his law he meditates day and night.

He is like a tree
    planted by streams of water
that yields its fruit in its season,
    and its leaf does not wither.
In all that he does, he prospers.

That’s good stuff! You know that picture of the tree and that little monument remind me of what’s important in life. What are we going to build of our lives in this stream of time? Where are we going to plant ourselves? The truth is…it will soon enough be gone. So we better plant well and build well and enjoy the journey!

I must say that I’m enjoying the journey these days. The Lord has blessed immensely. The kids are doing great and the grandkids! We’ve seen 7 saved at church in the last three weeks. We’ve got six to baptize on Dec. 31st. God is good! Please keep blessing us Lord! It’s all of you! I’m praying and believing that this fresh outpouring of His Spirit will continue. Would you join me? Would you ask the Lord to bless you with a fresh outpouring of His presence? Not a fresh outpouring of money or a new job or promotion. No. Just a fresh outpouring of His presence. Isn’t that better? I believe it is and I bet you do too. There is nothing greater on the face of this earth than to be in the presence of God. Can I get an “Amen!?!”

I’m looking forward to tomorrow. I’m going to Chapel Hill with the family to watch Leah play for the Lady TarHeels. In the last game I saw Leah play, she nailed at three-pointer at the buzzer before the end of the first half. Here’s a picture of that…

Talk about concentration! Proud of that young lady! She’s played in all three games since she’s bounced back from her foot injury earlier in the year. That’s amazing for a Wilkes County girl from Purlear, NC. This is the University of North Carolina! It still blows my mind! God is good!

Get this…Kandace is going to be singing the national anthem at the game tomorrow at 3 pm against Hartford. It’s kind of old hat for Kan. She’s sung at the Grand Ole Opry and in front of 8,000 people at FaithFest. I think she can handle it. (But, I’m still praying for her and super proud of her for the opportunity and the gift the Lord has given her to sing.) God is good!

You can watch the game tomorrow afternoon by clicking on the link below the picture:


Looking forward to a great time!

Here’s this week’s Two-Minute Tuesday: “The #1 Thing Parents Can Do to Ensure Their Kids Are Faithful Christians When They Grow Up”


I missed getting you last week’s TMT. In case you are interested, it’s here: “Should Christians Stop Quoting the Bible?”


Enjoying the journey!!!


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