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Archive for the ‘Family Life’ Category

Take a look at this. Don’t you hate it when this happens!

That happened last Friday night and that’s what the tire looked like by Saturday morning. The family and I had gone to Hickory and when we got back to the car (it was after dark), the tire pressure sensor light on the dash was on. I walked around the car with my flashlight on my cellphone shining down at the tires and I saw that back-right tire was way down. I checked it with the air pressure gauge I have in my glovebox. 10lbs of pressure. That’s not good. I asked Pam to get in the driver’s seat and slowly back the car up so I could see the tire as she backed. Sure enough…a roofing tack was in the tire.

Hey, get this…I’m kind of behind the times…but, as Pam was backing up and I was looking at the tire, it actually said on the tread, “Replace.” As she backed, it said, “Replace, replace, replace, replace” four or five times on the tread of the tire. I wasn’t aware that tires had that in them. Interestingly, I had just had the oil changed in the car earlier in the week and the mechanic rotated the tires for me. When I came to pick it up, he said, “You’re going to need new tires pretty soon.” Truth is…I was hoping to get another 3-4,000 miles on the tires and change them out at the next oil change. You know how expensive tires are!!! Well, all of that is down the drain now! I had to bite the bullet.

Well, when I saw the nail, I said to Pam and the kids… “Let’s get to a gas station and see if we can air it up and drive the hour drive home.” There was a station about a block away. I put 51 pounds of air in it and off we went. We drove the 25 minutes to Lenoir and stopped at another gas station. The pressure was holding. It hadn’t lost much…but, I topped it off at 51 lbs again. Now to see if we could make it home (35 minutes). It was a bit of a nerve-wracking drive, because there is nothing and I mean nothing between Lenoir and Wilkesboro on Highway 18. Just dark roads and small shoulders on the sides of the road. The last thing I wanted to be doing was changing a tire in the dead of night on the side of a rural road.

On the way (it’s now about 10:30 pm), I said, “Pam, if we take this car home that tire will be totally flat and on the rim in the morning.” She agreed. So, we took the kids home. Dropped them off so they could get in bed and back to Millers Creek we drove, with Pam now following in the van. We dropped it off at a tire company and I went back the next morning (Saturday) and that’s when I made the picture above. Yep, flat as a pancake. Good decision to take it and leave it overnight. Obviously, once the rubber is no longer hot, the air seeps out around the nail as the tire cools and contracts.

The reason I tell you all of this is to show you this…

That was in my trunk!!! Can you believe that? I had what I needed to make sure we could get home safely in the trunk of my car and I had forgotten about it!!! All I had to do was to attach that can to the tire valve, shoot it in the tire, then fill it up with air and the can says I could have driven up to 100 miles. Oh well! Lesson learned! (By the way…months ago I had bought a can of this for all my family. I have a can in my car, our old Grand Marquis, Pam’s van and I even bought cans for Josh, Katy and Kandace’s vehicles.) The key is: YOU HAVE TO REMEMBER TO USE IT.

Isn’t that true about life as a believer in Jesus Christ?

And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. 2 Corinthians 9:8

Notice the word “all” being used four times in that one verse. Isn’t that wonderful to know! Now, we don’t have a can of “Fix a flat” inside of us…but, we have something…someone better…the Holy Spirit. Therefore, we have ALL that we need…at ALL times to provide for ALL our needs.

Flat tires will happen in our lives. People will disappoint us. We will go through disappointments and things will seem “flat.” We will have seasons where we’re not certain. We’ll have times of difficulties and even pain (I didn’t like crawling around on my knees in a dark parking lot in Hickory and then Lenoir). But, in all of these things, the Lord will provide. He WILL provide. We have to look to Him…not our circumstances.

The Lord is good! Even though I forgot the can of “Fix a Flat,” the Lord still provided and took care of us! And He will take care of you!

Finally got my garden planted with the help of these two wonderful “helper-granddaughters.”

Don’t you love Evie’s “snow dress.” She loves that dress!

I’m a blessed man!

Here’s this week’s, TMT. Who knows…one of these days my Two-Minute Tuesdays might get banned on Facebook. Click to see why.

https://www.mpbc.church/media/?sapurl=Lys3ZWViL2xiL21pLyt5cTlieXI0P2F1dG9wbGF5PXRydWUmYnJhbmRpbmc9dHJ1ZSZlbWJlZD10cnVl

Kevin

 

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Kiss the Wave

Have you ever been to a place in your life where you feel overwhelmed? Of course you have! We all have! Honestly, I’m grateful that I’m not there right now. I’m still basking in the joy of Kandace and Clark’s wedding…

But, I’m well aware that I will be at some point again in the future…well…in a tough spot. I was just there a few weeks ago with Pam’s health scare. Maybe you feel like a massive wave is about to take you down…

Charles Spurgeon, the great British preacher of the 1800’s said this: “Kiss the wave that crashes you on the Rock of Ages.” Do you understand the meaning? Be thankful for what pushes us into Jesus. Be grateful for the pain. That’s hard though. We don’t like pain. I don’t. I don’t like suffering either. Yet, if it brings the Lord glory, then I surrender to it. Jesus’ half-brother James said as much:

2Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. James 1:2-4

I’m grateful the Lord delivered Pam and me through that “wave” a few weeks ago and I know He will deliver us through the waves to come. He’s in control, so I trust Him. I don’t live in fear. I live in strength. His yoke is easy and His burden is light and I look into His face and He winks and says, “I got this Kevin!” So, I rest in Him. You can do the same. Just pray and ask Him to take the burden and as you do, “Kiss the wave.”

Last week was a blast! I got to take some time off. We left right after our three Easter services and headed to the coast! I was blown away by the crowds on Easter Sunday! Can you believe we had 912 people come through our doors! Amazing! To God be the glory!

Well, we had great weather and great time at North Myrtle Beach! Take a look…

We had a blast riding rides! That’s Clara and me…

Charlotte and Evie on the train at “Broadway at the Beach.”

And you’ve got to love this… Duke and Carolina together…

I’m glad he loves me even though I’m a Carolina fan! 🙂 He’s a great husband and dad! Love Josh!! We made this picture standing outside of a restaurant I’ve gone to since I was a boy…

They were lined out the door as you can see. It’s great, local seafood! They’ve been in business since 1948.

We played putt putt…

Ate ice cream…

Don’t you love how kids eat ice cream! It gets everywhere! Overall we had a great time and it was good to take the foot off the gas for a few days.

Did you hear about Andrew’s big run down the “Gravity Hill” in Lenoir? It was amazing! He finished second in his division and got a few “war wounds” along the way! More on that in a moment. This was his second year racing in the “Google Gravity Games” sponsored by Appalachian State University. It’s held in downtown Lenoir. Mom and Dad came over to watch…

Andrew’s mentor is Barry Pybas.

Barry is retired…but, he has simply “re-tired” his automobile, in that he is giving his time and energy to train and equip Andrew in ways I never can. I’m not mechanically inclined in the least. Barry is brilliant. And he’s patient! And he’s an excellent teacher! He has taught Andrew so much about so many things. Andrew designed the car he raced on a CAD machine. He then used a 3-D printer to create a “mock design” of the car and then he and Barry built it.

Take a look at the inside of the car… Talk about a tight squeeze!

You’ll notice on the back of the car is a camera and in the cockpit is a dashboard that showed Andrew his speed. It was running off of a GPS. And get this…it had a gyro on it…

See it above the wheel? It was running on a small battery to the left of the wheel.

What does a gyroscope do? Well, the wheel spins rapidly to help the vehicle to maintain balance. In the challenge for this year, the competitor had to start out on four wheels and finish on two wheels. See the two smaller (outrigger) or training wheels on the back, below the plywood? Those were lifted by Andrew before he crosses the finish line so that he’s traveling on two wheels. Then he lowers them again and applies the brake to stop.

He did great in the time trial and ran down the hill in just over 25.5 seconds, reaching a speed of 23 mph.

That set Andrew against his competition and this is the semifinal race and a CRASH at the end…

He’s one tough customer!

He never made a whimper! We put some ice on it.

That’s Charlie Tolbert behind Andrew. He came in 2nd in his division as well!

This is Andrew with the Mayor of Lenoir!

Andrew also got a third place finish in his “Design.” He loaded up with some really great “Google technology.”

Overall it was a fantastic day and we were all tickled pink! Thank you Lord for your goodness in all things!

I’m grateful for all things…truly! I’m trying to get that way and ride the waves of life…and when one comes… Kiss it and be thankful that even though it might take me under, it will drive me to the rescuing arms of the Savior.

Here’s this week’s Two Minute Tuesday, “The Greatest Fake News Ever.”

https://www.mpbc.church/media/?sapurl=Lys3ZWViL2xiL21pLytmZDV4YnIzP2F1dG9wbGF5PXRydWUmYnJhbmRpbmc9dHJ1ZSZlbWJlZD10cnVl

Kevin

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The Breaking

I’ve talked about this some in the past several months… The “breaking” that the Lord has taken me through. The great Oswald Chambers said it this way:

The “breaking” is the hard part. Breaking is always hard. But, it’s the breaking that must happen in our lives before the sweetness of that which the Lord wants to release from our lives.

I’ve been reading this book:

Have you heard of Watchman Nee? He said this…

Watchman Nee became a Christian in mainland China in 1920 at the age of seventeen and began writing in the same year. He suffered much in his. He preached the gospel, taught the Bible and held many conferences throughout his life. He wrote over 60 books. Throughout the nearly thirty years of his ministry, he showed a wonderful and unique gift for writing. In 1952 he was imprisoned for his faith. He remained in prison until his death in 1972. His words, even today, remain an amazing source of spiritual strength for Christians throughout the world.

Nee describes how essential it is for the “outer man” to be broken so that the “inner man” can express the power and the presence of the Lord in our lives. The “outer man” is the part of us that we call the “jar of clay.” It’s the essence of what happens to us as circumstances come into our lives. The “inner man” is our spirit. The “inner man” is who we were created to be by the Lord. It’s the essence of “who we are” and who “lives on” when our body dies.

Nee talks about how it’s very easy to allow our outer circumstances to dictate how we (the inner man) lives. In other words, we can easily allow our lives to be totally torn apart by what happens to us…our circumstances. Let’s say that you’re told that your wife is having chest pains and she needs to be taken to the hospital, which leads to an eventual heart catheterization. What will that information do the “outer man?” Bring fear? Terror? Uncertainty?

That was me! Okay. But, what happens to the “inner man?” Will “Kevin” on the inside be able to look to the Lord…to look past the circumstances and see Jesus and live above the situation. The outer circumstances can “break” us, yes. But, that breaking (like the peel on a grape) can reveal the sweet juice that can flow from the inside. Oh, there’s where the power of the Lord comes from. It’s when His Spirit bears witness with our spirit and we live in power, not fear. It’s when we are attacked or maligned on the outside, yet the inner man chooses to respond as Jesus would in kindness and goodness. It’s when forgiveness is offered and not hate that the power of Christ is unleashed from our “brokenness” and we are able to see what only Jesus could do in the human life.

These are things that we are taught in Romans 8.

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. 10 But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you. Romans 8:1-11.

You know, as I’ve thought about it, this life is a constant “breaking” process. After all, we are in the process of being sanctified (made holy). That process of being “made holy” is a refining process that comes by way of fire…trials…struggles. Nee said this, “There are too many things in us that cannot go into eternity, and these must all be torn down.” Think about that. God is removing things from us that will never be part of us for eternity. Parking your brain around that is a lot to chew on for sure.

How goes it with you? Any trials lately? Count it all joy! It’s part of what the Lord is doing to make you into the person He has designed you to be. He’s refining you (and me). Nee said, “We have to see that all the things we have encountered during the past five or ten years have all been under God’s ordering and are for our education… All these are for our good. We may not choose them, but God knows that they are for our good.” Amen!!! Thank you Lord for the “breaking,” because that’s when the juice flows!

Have you seen the movie, “Unplanned?”

Here’s why you should. This week’s Two-Minute Tuesday: https://www.mpbc.church/media/?sapurl=Lys3ZWViL2xiL21pLys3OTlwODJwP2JyYW5kaW5nPXRydWUmZW1iZWQ9dHJ1ZQ==

Please note the “Content Warning” for children. Here, again, is the link to the Liberty Theatre. The showtimes for this weekend should be posted by tomorrow. Remember all the showings are FREE!

http://libertytheatrenc.com/?r=no

Kevin

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Wedding Day

Well, it finally came! Wedding Day! You know when you know a “day” is coming, like Christmas, or a “due date” for a birth or something like that…it seems like it will never get here, and then, BANG…it’s here! Well, that was Kandace and Clark’s wedding.

Yes, April 6th finally came. And you know what? When it finally comes…it seems almost odd. You start walking through the day thinking, “This is it! It’s really happening!” That’s how I felt on Saturday morning when we finished setting up the chairs…

I thought, “Thank you Lord for such a beautiful day for my little girl to get married!” And “Thank you Lord for Fussell Farm of Leonard and Vickie Fussell! Talk about a beautiful venue! Wow! If you want to learn more or know of someone having a wedding that might want to know more about Fussell Farm…click here: https://www.fussellfarmvenue.com

Now, take a look at those smiles…

I had a lady say to me on Monday, “I’ve never seen Kandace so happy! She was smiling from ear to ear!” And it’s true!

What a smile! And I’m so glad she looks like her momma…absolutely beautiful!

But let’s back up! Things are starting to get into “blur mode” again. You know when things really start moving too fast! Let’s go back to Friday evening with the Rehearsal. We began to set up the tables and chairs…

Everyone arrived…including our wonderful musicians…the “Hall Sisters.”

They played so beautifully!!!

Needless to say, all went well with the Rehearsal, and then we went down to Benton Hall for the Rehearsal Dinner. It was wonderful! “Elsewhere Restaurant” catered the meal and it was amazing! Keith and Angela, Clark’s mom and dad, picked a great restaurant to cater the meal. The food was really, really good!

The lovely couple…

Sisters, to the left is Katy, (Kandace’s sister) and to the right is Elizabeth, (Clark’s sister).

Grandparents…

And then it was the wedding day…

We went down by the creek for the “first look” for me. I was stunned by Kandace’s beauty. Again…she looks like her momma!

Then the Bridesmaids came down for pictures…

The Fussell’s have a beautiful covered area above the creek. Andrew enjoyed hanging out while waiting for his turn at the camera…

Nana (Pam) and Josh, Katy and Evie… (Remember, Katy is due with grand baby #3 on May 31…another girl! So thankful!!!)

Pictures continued…

Doesn’t Kandace look lovely! Clara’s headed down next. Here’s some more great pictures of Evie and Andrew…

And Evie and Dad…

Everything was ready… Check out the cupcakes!

Hey, get this… Look up at that picture again. To save some money, I took some old wooden pallets and cut them down for the “cupcake stands.” Those pallets were actually used to deliver the cinderblocks for Katy and Josh’s basement a couple of years ago. They are being re-used for an upcoming June wedding for another couple.

Here’s the room that the groomsmen dressed… So nice!!!

The people were in place…

We were lining up…

We were right behind Keith and Angela, (Clark’s parents). I ran up to the front of the line and got this shot… I love the look on Clark’s face…

He looks cool as a cucumber. But, I know he was nervous. Who isn’t on their wedding day!

Then I turned my phone around and did a selfie with my lovely bride of 28 years!

I’m a blessed man!

See that lady on her knees…

That’s Kathy Eller. She was the wedding director! Let me tell you…she did a phenomenal job! Her attention to detail was amazing! Here she is giving details to Katy and making sure the little guys…Charlotte, Sophia, Evie and Jackson are ready to go. Don’t you love that wagon! Jackson was a trooper!

Here are the girls and Jackson… (L-R, Evie, Charlotte, Sophia, Jackson)

Finally it was time to walk Kandace down the aisle. I turned and saw her and took this picture…

But, I heard crying behind me. “What is that?” “Who is crying?” I turned and it’s Evie. She had gotten separated from her little crew of “littles.” Kathy was trying to console her, but she wanted no part of that. Evie had her arms up saying, “Papa,” through her tears and fear of the moment. I looked at Kandace and I looked at Evie and I thought, “What are we going to do. IT’S TIME!” Well, Kandace…my in control daughter…on her wedding day…looks at me and said, “Carry her Dad.”

“Huh?”

“Dad, pick her up and carry her.” I said, “Kan are you sure? It’s your wedding day… Uh…maybe I can run her down the right side of the people and get her to Josh really quickly and run back.”

“No Dad…it’s Evie.”

Now let that sink in as I did. My daughter on her wedding day was not thinking about herself. At the cusp of her big moment she was thinking about her niece. I said, “Kandace are you sure…I don’t want you to have hard feelings toward anyone…because this is your moment.” Kandace looked at me with this kind and “in control” look and said, “Dad…this is how it’s supposed to be. Carry her. It’s Evie, Dad.” Let me tell you…I just about popped three buttons on my shirt when she assured me with those words.

Am I bragging on my daughter? You better believe I am and it’s something to laud her for! That was a great blessing to me to see her love for her family supersede everything else. And so, Jonah Brooks and Trenton Golds pulled back the curtains and down the aisle we went… Kandace on my left…beaming…and Evie on my right arm…smiling from ear to ear!

What a fantastic ceremony it was! And then, it was time for the first dances… First was Clark and Angela.

And then, the father/daughter dance…

If you haven’t seen the video, you’ll have to go to Facebook and check it out. We started out with a slow, somber, tearful dance and then BANG…we went into a choreographed dance that made everyone laugh.

I practiced for 2 1/2 months to do that dance. I’m a terrible dancer…but, Kandace wanted me to do it and for her…YES! I’LL DO IT!! And I did it! It was a blast! Seeing the smile on Kandace’s face was worth it all! I think she was proud of her old dad!

Then it was cake-cutting time!

The joy on the kids’ faces was priceless!

\

Later on it was time for the bouquet toss…

Take a look at this picture closely… The bouquet is in the air…

And then…guess who catches it…

Clara! All 5′ 10″ of her! I should have had her playing basketball! 🙂 Look at Kandace’s face! Sheer joy!

Next up! Clark and the boutonniere toss… (And yes…that is how you spell “boutonniere.” I looked it up.)

While all of this was going on…this was happening outside to Clark’s truck…

Then, amazingly, it was already time to go… So, they lined up and we got our bubbles out…

Out of the barn and to the truck they headed…

And then it was over…

It felt like a blur! But, I really tired to take it all in. It was such a blessing! And life continues on and I’m grateful!

Don’t forget about our Passion Play this weekend!

No tickets needed! Door open Saturday night at 5 pm for the 6 pm showing, and on Sunday the doors open at 8 am for the 8:45 am showing, and at 10:15 am for the 11:00 am showing.

Here’s this week’s Two-Minute Tuesday about the theme of the play. https://www.mpbc.church/media/?sapurl=Lys3ZWViL2xiL21pLysybXRieHg4P2JyYW5kaW5nPXRydWUmZW1iZWQ9dHJ1ZQ==

We’ve also launched a new website. We’re pretty tickled with it!

https://www.mpbc.church

My email has changed too. I’m now at: kevin@mpbc.church.

Kevin

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Last week was one of the weeks that I look back on now and say, “Did that really happen?” It seems so surreal. But, I can promise you, I was scared for a while! A week ago today (Wed) Pam was having a heart catheterization at Forsyth Hospital. Praise the Lord that Pam is doing well. It’s like nothing ever happened. And that’s why it feels so strange.

Let me let Pam describe what happened (this was a post she put on Facebook at the end of last week):

I just want to thank everyone for the prayers and kind words. What started out as a normal Tuesday evening became a scary episode. I ran up the stairs to get something like I do many times everyday. When I got up there this particular time I was extremely winded. I began to feel pressure on my chest and back. I then had extreme neck/jaw pain. I walked back downstairs and became nauseous. I had never experienced anything quite like it. I waited around for the feelings to pass and they didn’t… So I told Kevin.

After explaining my symptoms to him, we decided to go to the ER as a precaution. Once we got there, my EKG had some issues and my blood test showed the heart attack enzymes so I was whisked off to Winston. After being up all night Tuesday night and having many tests, including a heart cath, the diagnosis was that I had an arterial spasm which mimicked a heart attack. I possibly had a clot that was broken up by the blood thinners given to me in the early hours of my ER visit.

I am so thankful for the prayers, calls, texts and messages. If I did have a blockage, God removed it because my cath was clear! Praise the Lord! Working on Kandace’s wedding that was 11 days away, I didn’t really have time to drop everything and go to the ER, but with heart disease in my family, I knew that a trip to the ER was better than a funeral. *Always take warning signs seriously. The doctors told me that I did the right thing by coming. God is good! Thank you again for your words of encouragement and prayers!❤️

Truly, we are so grateful for all the Lord has done for Pam and our family! I can not express greatly enough, my gratitude to all the people who prayed for her and our family! Once again, the saying is true: “We felt the prayers.” Literally!

I shared with the church on Sunday my many emotions throughout a very dicey 24 hours. Pam had them too, but she’s automatically calm, cool and collected. In fact, I had to tell all the doctors and nurses, “Yes, her normal blood pressure is 110/60.” That’s another reason they were hesitant about giving her nitroglycerin which drops blood pressure a lot! Pam is an amazing lady. You see what a person is like when they are under immense pressure and strain. Pam is truly a godly woman. It’s not that she doesn’t feel things. She does. It’s not that she doesn’t endure stress and pressure. She does. It’s just that she has such a great faith and trust in the Lord that she transfers that stress, pressure and burden to Him. And that’s what He says to do. “My yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Honestly, I’m still processing all that happened. Have you been there? I’m sure you have. You may be going through a difficult situation right now. Do you see Jesus in it? Can you picture Him in the midst of it all. Truly, there were times I forced myself to see Jesus in the ER at Wilkes and at Forsyth. I forced myself to see Him riding beside me in my car flying down Highway 421 at 3 am on Wednesday morning last week. And it helped! Call me crazy, but seeing Him in that way helps me to understand that He’s got everything under control. Because HE DOES have everything under control! Praise His name!

You see, as I’m zooming down the road at 3 am…and there is no one on the road at that time of night…I get to “Joe’s Landscaping and Nursery.” Have you seen this sign in Lewisville as you are driving toward Winston?

I saw that sign and right after that I had a thought come through my brain that I knew was from Satan. He said, “She’s going to die of a massive heart attack in the ambulance and you’ll never see her alive again.” That thought sent fear through my body like lightning! I was panicked. It was like I couldn’t get control of my mind. I was tired…we hadn’t slept a wink…I was stressed and anxious…and now this… It almost took my breath. But, then I thought of Jesus. The Holy Spirit directed my thoughts. “Think on Jesus.” And then I said, “Oh Jesus…help me…help Pam…I trust you…take the fear…HELP US!” And folks…in a matter of seconds…the fear was gone and replaced with the presence of Jesus in my car. The Prince of Peace was delivering me in His peace that passes all understanding (Philippians 4:6-7). I cried a few tears…but, they were tears of relief and peace.

But, here’s the thing… Satan doesn’t give up easily does he? Does he to you? No! He will seek to attack again and we have to continue to resist him. Remember James tells us to “resist the Devil and he will flee.” Well, he kept coming and I kept praying and quoting Scripture and singing. Do you know the old song: “He Knows My Name” by Tommy Walker. Here it is…

It’s old, I know. But, that’s the song that the Lord brought to my mind. It was the song we were to sing in our service last Wed. night (which I didn’t get to do, because we were in the hospital). It’s a song that I was going to use because we are talking about “Heaven” and what it will be like on Wed. nights. So, there it was… cued up in my brain and out came the words:

I have a Maker
He formed my heart
Before even time began
My life was in his hands

He knows my name
He knows my every thought
He sees each tear that falls
And He hears me when I call

Well, let me tell you… I got to the hospital. I had gotten there before the ambulance and so I had to wait. I waited for about 15 minutes and it seemed like 2 hours. Finally a nurse called out, “My Brown…your wife is here!” Let me tell you…I almost lost it right there! I know it sounds crazy…but, the relief…oh the relief! YOUR WIFE IS HERE!

I walked through the large metal door and they led me to a holding room in the ER at Forsyth. They had no beds. I walked through the curtain and there she was smiling. I went over to her and planted a kiss on her and she said, “Hey! How are you!” I told her, “I’m doing great now that I get to see you.” I didn’t tell her until later what went on in my car driving down.

You know what… I had gotten so busy (or at least I allowed myself to get so busy) that I had been walking out of the house to come to work or go places and I had stopped kissing her before I left. NO MORE! Because you never know when it might be your last one. Call me crazy…but, no more! No more will I leave the house and not kiss my beautiful bride! Maybe someone else needed to read that… Maybe you need to kiss your wife more…or your husband…whatever the case might be.

Stuff like last week helps put things into perspective. There are very few things that really and truly matter. Most things really don’t matter. We just think they do. What really matters you can boil down to something that you can count on one hand. Love your family. Don’t take them for granted. Kiss your kids…your wife… Look to Jesus… Don’t give into the fear. Live each day as if it were your last and enjoy the journey.

Here’s this week’s TMT. “Overwhelmed By the Enemy? Don’t Stop!”

https://subsplash.com/+7eeb/lb/mi/+h48prmx?autoplay=true&branding=true&embed=true

Oh…I’m SO grateful for this couple…

The engagement turns into a wedding on Saturday! We’re on in the midst of all that work and planning right now…and it’s almost here. I so wish everyone could come! But, the venue is just not big enough for all the wonderful people we know and Clark’s family knows. That’s been the hardest thing! We just had to invite people that Kandace has been close to throughout her life and the same for Clark. Once you have the families and the bridal party and a few close friends of Clark and Kandace…well…that’s it.

By this time next week they’ll be married and in Grenada. I’m a bit misty-eyed typing that. You raise your children to turn them loose and fly…but, it’s never easy. Knowing Kandace is not going to be living with us any longer…well…it’s a gut-punch and there’s no sugar-coating it. But, I’m so thankful for her life and for Clark! I’m so grateful the Lord brought them together and for all He’s going to do through them!

Kevin

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Have you noticed something lately about post-game interviews with winners of games? Have you noticed that a lot of them thank the Lord? Many even go so far as to say, “I want to thank my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ?” I have! I’ve noticed a lot! And do you know what that makes me think about?

Platforms

What’s a platform? This is…

That’s the Gardner-Webb Runnin’ Bulldogs! And they won the Big South Championship over the weekend by defeating Radford 76-65 and they’ll be playing in the NCAA Tournament for the first time in school history. https://gwusports.com/news/2019/3/10/mens-basketball-lets-dance-gardner-webb-punches-ncaa-ticket-sunday-with-76-65-win-at-radford.aspx.  I’m very excited and proud of those guys. I signed with Gardner-Webb out of High School.

My dad played for G-W too! So, we were both tickled to see them win and get into the “Big Dance!” But, here’s the cool thing. Their win became a platform for the Lord. Here’s how. The coach for the team is Tim Craft. He’s in his sixth season with the team.

He said this after the game at the press conference (his platform): “I’m just really humbled right now and blessed to get a chance to coach this group of guys. I want to give all the honor and glory to Jesus Christ, number one, and just thank God for what he’s done in my life, our family’s life and these players’ lives. I’m really proud of them. It was a hard fought win here on the road and I’m just really proud of them for pulling through.”

How about that! Didn’t Coach Craft do that well!!! What a powerful platform! Gardner-Webb will now await “Selection Sunday” this Sunday evening to find out where they will be headed for its first NCAA Tournament game. A lot of people may not know, but the Runnin’ Bulldogs have a lot of tournament experience through the years. They made national tournament appearances at the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA), the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and NCAA Division II. My dad played for G-W. He’s #42. Here’s the 1967-68 team.

They were a fantastic team! They ended up playing in the NJCAA in Hutchinson, Kansas for the Junior College National Championship. They didn’t win it, but were one of the best teams in the country. See #54 in the middle? The guy beside my dad… That’s Artis Gilmore (who later played in the NBA). Gilmore was/is 7′ 2″ tall and could pin a basketball on the rim flat-footed. Here’s a closer picture of Dad and Artis.

Gilmore became one of five college basketball players ever to average at least 20 points and 20 rebounds over his career at 24.3 and 22.7. Gilmore led the NCAA in rebounding both years at Jacksonville, and his career average of 22.7 rebounds per game is still the highest in NCAA Division I history.

For my dad…

and for me…

Basketball has always been a platform for us. We’ve used it throughout our lives to start conversations and relate to people about “the game of life.”

What’s your platform? We all have one. Certainly your job is a platform. Your family is a platform. Your social media page is a platform. For me, my ministry is a platform. My family. This blog. Two-Minute Tuesday.

The truth is: everything we do is a platform…either good or bad. What kind of influence are we making on others? As a believer…what we say and do is going to draw people closer to Christ or push them away from Christ. You pick the platform, but that former statement is truth no matter what.

I’m grateful for Coach Tim Craft. Take a couple of minutes and watch the opening comments. It’s a beautiful example of a platform. You’ll also note the players with the coach… D.J. Laster (scored 32 points) and David Efianayi (15 points). They are both so polite and gracious as well. Laster talks about how God made him strong and prepared him for this moment. It reminded me of Queen Esther (For such a time as this…).

What a great use of platforms. I pray the Lord will continue to help me use mine. You pray that He’ll help you use yours for His glory!

Here’s this week’s Two-Minute Tuesday: “Who’s Your One?”

http://mpbc.ws/media/?sapurl=Lys3ZWViL2xiL21pLytkd2M5dDZnP2JyYW5kaW5nPXRydWUmZW1iZWQ9dHJ1ZQ==

Kevin

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Have you seen this?

That’s pretty sobering. In fact if you do the math on it…from 2008 to 2017, the decline in baptisms throughout the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) is down a whopping 18%. Look at good ole “Bible Belt” North Carolina:

We’ve dropped almost 22% in the past 10 years from 2008 to 2017. That’s scary stuff!

Folks, what’s scarier is that if you extrapolate this out for another 40 years… Well…it doesn’t take a brain surgeon to tell you that Christianity through the SBC is dying. Why is that the case? Take a look at a potential reason according to Barna Research:

 

That’s mind-boggling to me! 51% of churchgoers says they’ve never heard of the Great Commission! Are you serious! Those are our marching orders! Jesus is the one that gave us the Great Commission. This is not something obscure…something buried somewhere in the Bible in Obadiah or Zephaniah! This is in the New Testament from the mouth of Jesus:

Matthew 28:19-20

19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Jesus also said:

Acts 1:8

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

Hey folks, we have the power of the Holy Spirit to help us share the good news of Jesus Christ so that folks might be saved and then follow Him in believer’s baptism. These are indeed our marching orders.

Do you know what I’m afraid of? I’m afraid as believers we see Jesus as someone we use like we do the Emergency Room. We don’t see Him like we do our cell phones. Is your cell phone near you? Do you know where it’s at right now? I bet you do. I bet you might have it within 10 feet of you. You KNOW WHERE YOUR CELL PHONE IS AT ALL TIMES. Why? Because it’s very, very important to you. It’s a lifeline to so many people and so many things in your life (and mine). But, the Emergency Room is someplace we only go to when we’ve got a big-time problem. And that’s how we can treat Jesus. We only go to Him with the problems and the cancer, and the inability to pay the mortgage. The everyday stuff…nah! I’ll use Google for that.

Here’s the point… Jesus wants to be wanted. Did you know that? He’s a person. He wants to be involved in our lives and when He is…then, He becomes important to us. He becomes more important than anything…including our cell phones. And when He has the place of prominence in our lives, then we will experience such power and joy in our lives through Him that we can’t help but tell others about Him. Trying to stop us from telling someone about all He’s done and is doing in our lives would be like trying to stop a tsunami.

Mom and Dad: are your children born again? Are they teenagers? If they are and you still aren’t sure they are saved…then, that’s your most important priority and you better get on it! Ma’am, Sir: Are you a Christian? If you are, then who has the Lord placed in your life…your circle of influence that needs to hear from you about Jesus?

Folks, we’re not getting the job done because we are so preoccupied with other things. I’m the chief of sinners, believe me. But, I’m working on it. I’m trying to be more intentional. I’m asking Jesus to help me open my eyes and yes, open my mouth and tell people about Him. Truly, He’s the greatest thing that’s ever happened to me. He’s everything to me and I want others to know Him… I want others to know the joy and peace I have. I want people to experience the presence of Jesus, because there’s nothing better in this life than Him. And what is more, when we know Him, He’ll take us from this life to our new life in heaven one day! It doesn’t get any better than that!

Here’s this week’s Two-Minute Tuesday on the subject we’ve just talked about: “We’re Not Getting the Job Done.” You should watch this…because the stats are fascinating.

http://mpbc.ws/media/?sapurl=Lys3ZWViL2xiL21pLytqbm5qeGJ3P2JyYW5kaW5nPXRydWUmZW1iZWQ9dHJ1ZQ==

Kevin

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