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I told you last time it was going to be a Big Week and it was! I’m still recovering! I am grateful for all the Lord continues to allow me and my family and our church family to experience. I’m unworthy of His goodness, but I’m grateful for His kindness. We finished the VBS week with record numbers…170 kids…the Independence Celebration was a hit! We ended up having over 1200 people at the field and 200-300 more at the neighboring school.

We had a watermelon eating contest…

Many said, “That’s the best fireworks show I’ve ever seen!” Well, praise the Lord! At the end of the day, we loved the fact that we could bring so many people under the sound of the Gospel. I shared the truth of Jesus that He is the ultimate freedom (John 8:32). I really believe the Lord used it, and our community knows we love them!

Then Sunday came…and let me tell you…I was one tired puppy! The past week had been a weekend of two weddings…then a full week of VBS…at church till 9:30 each night and then Independence Celebration on Saturday and then a fantastic day on Sunday. We had 8 baptisms! We had folks from young and old. There were so many different stories of how Jesus saved these precious souls…

A father baptized his son…

The gentleman below was christened as a child, but knows that Biblically speaking, he needed to follow Christ in immersion. It was a blessing!

Folks, I will never take any of that for granted! Those are miracles right before our eyes! We also had three families join Sunday! Unreal!

Can I be honest? I was so tired when I got home, that I literally ate a sandwich and collapsed. I slept for 2 hours. I was worn out…but, it was a great tired. Do you know what I mean? You are worn out, but you are rejoicing! Yes, I know you understand that!

These guys are such hard workers and I’m grateful to work with them! 

In the Lord’s strength, and a lot of great volunteers, we pulled off a lot of work for the Kingdom in the last couple of weeks! What a privilege!

Last Sunday, Clara headed out for music camp to Liberty University. She had a blast! That’s her, top left.

She played her violin! This was on the Liberty Instagram page:

It was a music camp, yes…but, Clara said, “Dad it was so spiritual.” She couldn’t say enough how much she felt like she grew in the Lord this past week! Thank you Liberty Music Faculty and students.

She learned music pieces to go with praise and worship songs that she played with a band of her peers. It was really amazing! They named their group, “Stack.” See how they have “stacked” their hands…

Now here’s the thing…we are going to do all we can as parents (Pam and I) to keep this fire stoked in her life. It’s a joy to see! Thank you Lord for what you are doing in my daughter’s life!

And while Clara’s been doing that…Andrew has been building a 3-D printer and completed the project recently!

Check out one of his latest creations…

A whistle!! Can you believe a 3-D printer can make that? Andrew is a pretty talented dude!

Here’s the latest pics of my grand babies…

Milly is getting so big!

Charlotte and Evie love sidewalk chalk!

I got in a bit of trouble with mommy (my daughter, Katy), after I sent Charlotte home covered in chalk!

Here’s this week’s TMT: “True Christianity is Growing in America!” I believe you’ll find this interesting! Take a look!

http://link.mpbc.church/TMT7-9

Kevin

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It’s been a big week already! I announced Sunday during all three services that the Building Debt has been paid off! Praise the Lord! What an amazing feeling! I had a man call me about three weeks ago and ask me to come by his home. I did and he said, “I feel the Lord is telling me to pay it off.” What a blessing! And that happened last week! We’ll have a “note burning” on Sunday, August 11th.

Honestly, after 13 years and being $3 million dollars in debt…whew!! What a relief to have that over. Are we planning on building anything else and try to get back to one service? Nope! Too expensive! We’re going to maximize what we have. We have room for another 150 each service and that would take us to over 1200 folks (currently we’re averaging around 660 people in total each Sunday). So are we done doing anything? No way!

There is so much to be done. There are so many needs that we’ve put off for years. So, the Leave A Legacy (building fund) will stay open…but, it won’t be paying off debt. Instead, we’ll look to pay for things as we go. We’ve got kitchen equipment that needs replacing, walls that need painting, a new playground (the current one is 30 years old), HVAC units that need purchasing, etc. There is much to be done… So, I hope folks will continue to give. I know my family will be. It’s like in your home…after 13 years…things have to be done, repaired, replaced, etc. The same is true of a church. The way I see it…we’re making eternal investments each week here at MPBC. Truly, eternal deposits are being made weekly in Wilkesboro, NC by way of what we’re doing to equip and strengthen the believers to do the works of ministry…the Great Commission.

It’s amazing, really…12 years ago (after we had been in the building for just over a year), our Treasurer told us that we had to raid the General Fund to pay the Building payment. We had $12 left in the General checking account. Oh my! We were down to about 275 people and things were looking scary to say the least. Yet, the Lord showed favor on us and we were able to see His hand and last Sunday we worshipped in a building…DEBT FREE! I can’t tell you what a relief and a joy this is!

I officiated two marriages this past weekend. Dylan and Noel Henderson were the first couple. I love weddings!

Isn’t that wonderful! You got to love those smiles!

I love my family!

Can you tell Evie likes to eat!

She’s shoveling in that cake!

Then it was another wedding on Saturday. This time it was Keith and Barbara Huffman.

I’m grateful to perform these ceremonies… Everyone knows I don’t do them unless we sit down and counsel…(and that keeps some from asking me)…but, at the end of the day…I’ve got to be accountable to the Lord for marrying folks.

As I speak, we’re having Vacation Bible School this week. We’ve had the most kids ever! They are having a blast learning about Jesus!

We’re praying the Lord will touch these wonderful children’s lives and that we can sow seeds of faith in Jesus. I’m so grateful for our church and the tons of volunteers it takes to pull this off. And WE’RE NOT DONE! We’ve hosting a Community Independence Celebration this Saturday night. We’re expecting 1,000+ people. (Honestly there’s no way to know for sure how many we’ll have, because this is the first one we’ve ever done.) But, this is a legitimate fireworks display like you’d see at a minor league baseball game or Carowinds. It’s going to be amazing! We’re staring at 4 pm and end at 9:30 pm after the fireworks. This will take place on our sports field and we’ll have multiple food vendors, games, inflatables, and live music! I’ll be sharing the Gospel around 8:30 pm…so, pray for me, please!

Yes, it’s been a Big Week and there’s more to come. We’ll be baptizing 7 people on Sunday! And guess what…I’m going to be worn out! But, it will be a good tired and I’m hoping to take my foot off the gas just a little next week. We’ll not be having mid-week services on July 3rd to let our people rest. They will have earned it after this Big Week!

Here’s this week’s Two-Minute Tuesday. It’s about the power of the government and future Supreme Court rulings! I ask and seek to answer the question: “Can the Government Tell Us What to Believe?” Take a look here:

https://www.mpbc.church/media/?sapurl=Lys3ZWViL2xiL21pLytxa2h0ZnF0P2JyYW5kaW5nPXRydWUmZW1iZWQ9dHJ1ZQ==

Little did I know that on Tuesday this would be coming out of California…as reported by World at http://www.world.wng.org.

The California State Assembly passed a resolution on Monday calling on religious leaders and others with “moral influence” to affirm homosexuality and transgenderism. The resolution asks counselors, pastors, churches, educators, schools, legislators, and others to avoid supporting traditional and Biblical views of sexuality, which the measure claims can cause suicide and depression. The text of the resolution includes philosophical statements about the nature of human sexuality and a broad condemnation of so-called “conversion therapy,” which it says “has been rejected as ineffective, unethical, and harmful.”

More than two dozen doctors, counselors, activists, and other Christian leaders signed a letter condemning the resolution, which they said violates religious freedom. “Religious leaders have the constitutionally protected right to teach religious doctrine in accordance with their faith, and politicians have no right to tell clergy what is moral, dictate the content of their sermons, or instruct them in religious counseling,” they wrote.

Democratic Assemblyman Evan Low introduced the resolution earlier this month after pulling his controversial bill last year that would have banned any attempt to change sexual orientation—even when a person has unwanted same-sex attraction. As a resolution, ACR 99 does not have the force of law. It will now go to the state Senate for a vote.

I’m not even sure what to say to that. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, but I am. I read this line in that first paragraph twice:

The resolution asks counselors, pastors, churches, educators, schools, legislators, and others to avoid supporting traditional and Biblical views of sexuality…

Wow! I’m still shaking my head. I could never do that. Ever.

“And ever man did that which was right in his own eyes.” Judges 17:6

The Bible is our guide and it is God’s Word, period! To reject it is to reject truth. Those who do so will suffer the consequences of ruined lives. Lord have mercy on us all.

Kevin

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

Thomas the Tank Engine was there!

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

She out these two cuties!

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

Of course you have to get some Dippin’ Dots…

Clara loves Dippin’ Dots!!!

Andrew and Evie!

I had to laugh…

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

Charlotte and I rode the chairlift together…

The kids love the petting zoo…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Can you tell I love my newest granddaughter…

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

Because JESUS is there.

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

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

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

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

I promise it’s worth it.

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

All I can say is: “Amen and amen!”

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

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

Kandace decorated so nicely…and Charlotte and Evie…

It was a fantastic weekend! I’m grateful!

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

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

Kevin

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6:40 pm

That’s a new time that will be etched in my mind forever. That’s the time that this young lady came into the world.

That’s Amelia Robin Issacs. She weighed in at 7 pounds and 9 ounces and 18 1/2 inches long. She weighed exactly what Charlotte, her older sister (and the first Isaacs’ child). Obviously with the time of 6:40 pm for her birth, I had to make the decision to miss our Wednesday night church service. Yet, I know folks understand that the birth of a granddaughter doesn’t happen every day. 🙂

I am reminded yet again, about the miracle of birth. Thank you Lord for your goodness to us! Here’s a picture of big sisters and daddy with Milly (that’s what we’re calling her).

I think Charlotte is smitten, don’t you?

What a joy and blessing! I’m humbled at the Lord’s kindness and goodness to our family! I never cease to be amazed at His mercy and faithfulness to us! Thank you Lord! Praise God from whom all blessings flow! To say we are tickled pink would be an understatement.

Here’s this week’s Two-Minute Tuesday on Forgiveness. This is an important one! Forgiveness must be the norm for the Christian, or we’ll become bitter and unproductive for the Kingdom. Take a look:

http://link.mpbc.church/TMT5-28

Kevin

 

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Having All That You Need

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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