Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Family Life’ Category

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Beautiful writing!

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

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

He thoroughly enjoyed that!

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

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

Speaking of education. Take a look at this…

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

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

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

The view from the top of the museum was phenomenal!

You could see the Capitol building from the top!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This is called the Blue Room and has oval walls.

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

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

Official Dinners for dignitaries are held here…

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

See the seal above the door…

Some nice folks from Colorado took our picture for us…

Selfie time…

Outside of the Supreme Court Building…

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

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

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

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

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

The Washington Monument…

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

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

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

Lincoln Memorial…massive…

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

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

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier…

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

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

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

Jefferson Memorial…

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

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

The Lord has been so good to me!

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

https://therealacafellas.wixsite.com/mysite

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

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

Kevin

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Communication

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Romans 12:9-18

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

http://mpbc.ws/media/?sapurl=Lys3ZWViL2xiL21pLysyM3N4a2huP2JyYW5kaW5nPXRydWUmZW1iZWQ9dHJ1ZQ==

Kevin

Read Full Post »

The Steady Beat of Life

I’ve been thinking about life… I do that a lot. After all, I’m a preacher. I’m constantly confronted with life and death, situations that are life-altering and the like. Truly, by the time people contact me, it’s usually pretty bad. Life…it’s a steady beat. What do I mean? I mean life goes on. If I were to die today, life would not miss a beat. The sun will come up tomorrow. People would still go to the grocery store, eat at restaurants, check Facebook and brush their teeth. Life moves on… It waits for no one.

It’s so easy for me to get caught up in the moment. The problems. The troubles. The heartaches and forget to live life and enjoy the journey. There are the constant deadlines…another sermon to prepare, another death, another hospital, another counseling session. How about you. What would you write… another_________, another_________, another __________. Would it be: “report to create,” “diaper to change,” “truck to load,” “paper to grade”? What would it be? You see, that’s the steady beat of life. It doesn’t stop and it waits for no one. Now, what can we learn about this?

We learn that just as a drummer keeps a steady beat for the band…life keeps a steady beat for us. The sun will set…

(That’s the view from my house looking west…yes, the sun always sets in the west) And the sun will come up in the east… Yes, the grass grows… The coffee is in the cupboard… Holidays are coming… And people will continue to get married. Like my daughter next April. So, there are flower arbors to be built…

Dad, Andrew and I made an arbor…there was plenty of humming and drumming as we used our saws and drills. Yes, you can count on these things. Life moves on…

In the midst of uncertainty, turmoil and trouble, you and I can count on these things. And it’s that ordinary, hum-drum that keeps us grounded in the midst of difficulty. To wander into the kitchen half awake…sun barely peeking through the windows…oh yes…the sun…it’s up again…thank you Lord! And then wandering to the cupboard to grab the coffee…time to make a pot of coffee…oh yeah…thank you Lord for coffee. Do you see? It’s the common things that ground us and let us know that while chaos may be around us…the common things don’t change. I’m grateful for that. I’m thankful to the Lord for His goodness and the fact that His mercies are new each morning. I’m grateful that He gives us our daily bread and He will sustain us in all things. I’m thankful for the steady beat of life.

I’m grateful that I can walk up the hill and still see my mom and my dad and watch them play with their great-grandchildren.

What a joy!

Could it all change? You bet! In a heartbeat! Life changes. People die. Routines can change. But, some things stay the same…the sun comes up in the east and it sets in the west. I’m also reminded of this: “The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever” Isaiah 40:8.

Thank you Lord for the steady beat of life! Thank you that you are unchanging…the same yesterday, today and forever. The Psalmist (Ps 136) has it right:

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,
    for his steadfast love endures forever.
Give thanks to the God of gods,
    for his steadfast love endures forever.
Give thanks to the Lord of lords,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;

to him who alone does great wonders,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
to him who by understanding made the heavens,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
to him who spread out the earth above the waters,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
to him who made the great lights,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
the sun to rule over the day,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
the moon and stars to rule over the night,
    for his steadfast love endures forever.

Amen!!!

This week’s Two-Minute Tuesday (“What You Do Today Could Impact the Next 1,000 Years”) puts that into perspective for us:

https://subspla.sh/hjypn3b

One last thing… I was blown away when I received this:

Apparently our local newspaper, the Wilkes Journal Patriot, was running a “Best of Wilkes” awards, and yours truly was awarded the “Best Spiritual Leader.” When I was made aware of this…well…I thought it was some sort of hoax or scam. But, it’s not. Needless to say, I was and I am humbled and feel unworthy of the award. Yet, I understand the position the Lord has placed me and I will seek to continue to honor His name through our church (MPBC) and the ministry He has given to me and family and the other men I serve with each day. Thank you Lord…the beat goes on! 🙂

Read Full Post »

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 14,00 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

 

Read Full Post »

Real Men Needed

It was an amazing scene last Friday night:

That’s 200+ men who came out on a Friday night to hear teaching on how to be a “Man of Another Sort.” That says a lot right off of the bat… Friday nights are precious and to have men and boys to give up their Friday evening to come hear our all-male Praise Team and this bald-headed guy preach…well, that was phenomenal!

We are working hard to get it loaded to the website. So, be patient with us. We want the conference on the two local TV channels (Spectrum-Charter and Wilkes Communications) as well. I believe the Lord used the evening and I certainly felt the prayers of so many people, particularly our wives. They love us and want us to be the best we can be. I’m so grateful for my wife.

You see, in my humble opinion we live in a society today where being a “man” is not always popular. Truth is, in many circles, we’re not even sure what a “man” is anymore. Men have been emasculated by the society for years. In fact, saying, “I feel like a man,” is considered in some circles to be threatening. Now, I’m not saying this because I am a man and I’ve got some inferiority complex. I don’t. I also don’t have a chip on my shoulder. But, I do believe we need to teach our boys how to be men. But, what does that mean? Does a man rule with an iron fist? Is he a chauvinist brute? No! Yet, it’s true… Men have done some really stupid stuff over the years and we’ve brought on ourselves a heap of justified criticism and critique. Men can be pigs…no question about it.

But, that’s not the kind of man I’m talking about. I’m talking about men who are servant-leaders. Men who are willing to bend the knee and take the towel and the basin. Men who are willing to die for their wives (as Christ died for the church) and that means a lot more than just taking a bullet in the head for her. That means we’re willing to do the laundry, load the dishwasher, bathe the kids, pick up the groceries. You get it. We lead by being humble, just like Jesus. I defer to Pam. I listen to her. I trust her judgment more than mine. (Can I get a witness men!)

Listen, men, plain and honest need all the help we can get! God gave Adam a “helper” in Eve. Read carefully: WOMEN DON’T NEED HELP. They can do it all on their own, if need be (and many do). Men need help! So, why would I ever (in my right mind) go against my helper. If Pam and I ever disagree, I don’t go against her wishes and say, “I’m the man and I’m supposed to lead…so I trump you!” Are you kidding! No way! We are one flesh in the Lord and if she doesn’t feel right about something (a decision or whatever), then I dare to stand still and wait. We wait to be in agreement. Why? Because there is one Holy Spirit. He’s not going to tell her one thing and me another. He will have us in agreement. There is no part of God that operates in confusion and certainly that is true of the Holy Spirit.

I shared the Top 10 Marriage Killers (from my perspective as a man in my 13-year pastor/counseling):

Top 10 Marriage Killers:

  1. tearing her down with words
  2. not listening to her, really listening to her
  3. comparing and contrasting your wrongs against hers
  4. responding with defensiveness or with sarcasm
  5. never saying, “I’m sorry”
  6. demanding she changes, but refusing to do so yourself
  7. thinking more of what you deserve, and she can give you, instead of what you can give her
  8. preserving your own well-being at her expense
  9. refusing to show humility with her or the kids
  10. reading this list and thinking she should be reading it…

I believe we grew as men last week. I know I did!

The Praise Team did great! I knew they would. They always do! Pastor Brad Cordray, Martin Moore, Geoff Farmer, Seth Rhoades, Derek Harless, Steve Bryan, Gary Foster, Justin Gourley, Scott Heacock. What a group of dedicated men! It was truly a blessing! We worshipped together and that’s a cool thing! To hear a room full of men singing in those baritone/bass voices is powerful! I’m telling you…it’s goosebump stuff!

I felt like I kind of fumbled through the two messages. I probably should have done more to include the boys that came. Perhaps even asking them to sign the Resolutions that the men did (as kind of “future promise”), but I never felt led in that direction as I prepared. However, I know there are things I can do to improve it for the years ahead. And yes, we will be making this an annual event!

I don’t know how it is with you…but, Satan is always telling me how worthless I am anyway. I struggle mightily with self-doubt and feeling like I can’t ever quite do enough. But, I do believe the Lord uses our weaknesses and turns them into something good for His glory, if our hearts are in the right place. Throughout Friday afternoon I felt so excited and nervous at the same time that I felt like a caged cat. I received this passage of Scripture from a sister in the church that really encouraged me:

And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power,so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God. 1 Corinthians 2:3-5

So true! The Lord knew I needed that!

Ultimately, after all is said and done, I’ve gotten a ton of texts and emails that have been very encouraging and kind. Men want to do it again and we’ll work toward that next year!

Here’s this week’s Two-Minute Tuesday, “Answering the Top Three Argument Skeptics Make.” It might surprise you how easy it is to answer a skeptic.

http://mpbc.ws/media/?sapurl=Lys3ZWViL2xiL21pLyt2bnF2d3lrP2JyYW5kaW5nPXRydWUmZW1iZWQ9dHJ1ZQ==

Kevin

Read Full Post »

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

Read Full Post »

All Wound Up

Here I am after midnight and I’m all wound up. I’ve been working for the last two days on the Iron Men Conference and I really believe it’s going to be good. Iron Men was very special in my life for almost 6 years. Every Wednesday our group met. But, the church grew so large, that I couldn’t do it any longer. Here’s a picture of the last day of Iron Men.

As I’ve been preparing and working on the conference for August 3rd, the Lord has touched my heart and I’m excited to see what He’s going to do to encourage other men and their sons, friends, coworkers, buddies, etc. It will be at 6:30 in the MPBC Reach Center. You can click her to register (so we’ll have enough refreshments): http://www.mpbc.ws/signuptable/ We’ve got over 150 signed up now!

I’m staying by myself at a small condo on Beech Mountain that a friend has allowed me to use. I’ve only done this twice in my 13 years of preaching. I need to do it more often. But, I feel guilty for not being at home helping out. But, I knew I needed to get away for a couple of days to really lock in on what the Lord wants for the men.

I’ve not budged other than to go to a small store and by some bologna, salsa, a couple of peaches and pizza. I know! Not very healthy! But, I did get on an elliptical last night for 30 minutes.

Look what I saw from my window. See the four deer…

I mentioned going to the local store. It’s Fred’s Mercantile. It’s truly an old-timey General Store. Well, right in front of it…this caught my eye.

That’s an official NOAA weather collection rain gauge. How about that! I’ve never seen one of those. Pretty cool, huh!

Beech Mountain is such a pretty place…

I snapped that picture with those gorgeous Black-Eyed-Susans on the way back from Fred’s (with my bologna in hand). Ha! That’s Ski Beech in the background. It’s amazing! It was 89 degrees when I left home. It was 81 degrees in Boone. Oh…can you tell I was driving through Boone…

And then I got to Beech and it was 73 degrees. Amazing! A full 16 degrees cooler at the elevation of 5,500 feet. My house is 1,300. Boone is 3,300. Truly phenomenal what elevation does to the temperatures. Speaking of temps… It’s going to be cooler for the rest of the summer according to the Climate Forecasting System Model.

No more “Dog Days” of summer for us! By the way, I learned something about “Dog Days.” They aren’t what you think. According to Brad Panovich, weather forecaster from Charlotte, here is a correct understanding of “Dog Days:”

“The dog days of summer are upon us, and you might think that they have something to do with hot and humid weather. Well, that isn’t exactly where the term originated from. The dog days of summer are actually July 3rd through August 11th.  

The Heat of 2 stars?

Those days are the 20 days before and 20 days after the “Dog” star Sirius rises and falls in conjunction with the sun. Sirius is the brightest star in the constellations Canis Major. The ancient Romans believed that its heat added to the heat of the sun, creating a stretch of hot and humid weather. During the time between July and August, the “dog” star rising with our sun made the ancients think the heat of two stars where making us hotter. In modern times we know that there is no heat generated from this very distant start, but the term stuck. So even in modern times, we consider the hot and muggy time of the summer between late July and mid-August as the dog days of summer.” http://wxbrad.com/dog-days-of-summer-arent-what-you-might-think/ 

You learn something new every day!

You know, I’ve only been gone two days. (I’ll be heading back today, Thursday), but I still miss my family. Truly, I’m a family man. I really love being with my bride, children and grandchildren. So, I’ve sent them several texts…including this one of me blowing a kiss.

Yes, I’m goofy! I know it! Last week we went up on our little mountain, Rendezvous (elevation 2,400 feet) for a picnic… (And yes, it’s noticeably cooler up there than at my house at 1,300 feet, even though we are only a 3 minute drive from the bottom of the mountain. It’s about a 10 minute drive up a gravel road to the gate.

That’s looking back southwest toward my home, just beyond CC Hayes Road. Gorgeous!

Speaking of gorgeous… Kandace and Clark have picked their venue for their wedding next April.

That’s Fussell Farm in Wilbar, NC. http://www.fussellfarmvenue.com.  www.facebook.com/fussellfarmvenue/  It’s about 15-20 minutes from our house and it’s absolutely stunning! It’s a smaller venue and Kandace and Clark will be inviting folks who have meant a lot to them in their lives and has made a direct impact on their lives. I hope folks will understand that not everyone we know can be invited. We’re so excited for them!

Well, it’s 12:30 am and I’m tired now. I guess I’ve finally wound down. So, I’m going to hit the sack. I’ll be back at it shortly!

Blessings to you all!

Kevin

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »