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Does it feel this way to anyone else? America has been placed on a fast track to destruction? I sure feel that way. I shared in my “Two-Minute Tuesday” (TMT) on Facebook today about Scottish historian, Alexander Tytler’s “Cycle in History,” regarding the rise and fall of nations and empires.

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In order to truly “get” the rest of this post, you’ll need to watch today’s TMT here in order to understand what I’m saying.

http://subsplash.com/mpbc/v/743d6d8

As I was discussing this TMT and this whole idea with a man earlier today, he said the following to me [Note: my words in parenthesis]:

One thing different from past cultures (that ended) in bondage to ours, (currently today), is that America’s drive towards bondage has happened in turbo. We broke the sound barrier speeding through complacency and apathy to get us where we are now. 聽Only hope is that breaking free will happen at a blistering pace as well, but as seen in history that event usually takes a long time to get to. Good time to shine light when everything around us is dark. Like moths to a flame they will come looking for freedom from darkness.

I said, “Amen Brother!”

Truly, our only hope as a country is to come to Christ. My fear is that we’re too late. We are quickly moving to “Dependence” and “Bondage” will soon follow. However, after Bondage and the pain that comes from it comes the opportunity for “Spiritual Faith” again. That’s my hope and that’s my trust! 馃檪

And here’s what’s amazing. I had a man respond to my TMT and our conversation proved my point exactly. His comment is in BOLD.

I suspect this won’t be well-received, but I wish I heard more from preachers about unconditional love, peace, humility, and charity, and much less about promoting right-wing politics.
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D Kevin BrownThanks David, but this was not a political message, but a message of history. I shared about two distinctly different world views. One worldview that focuses on the acceptance of what man believes (secular humanism-where each person decides what is right and wrong), versus the worldview where God’s Word is the authority and we are held accountable to the standards of God. The former is “accepting” of all things depending on human reasoning, the latter submits to Almighty God and that which corresponds with His timeless Word. The adjectives you have described above are code words for “preaching that tickles the ears of man” and says, “Live any way you like and have standards that are politically correct based on the changing winds of culture.” America will soon crumble under the weight of the former worldview. Tytler’s Historical Chart will prove to be true. I stand as a voice crying out in the wilderness. Thus, I will not be well-received (just as you stated that you wouldn’t in your comment). Therefore we are in similar company.聽馃檪聽How about that? Thanks again for your comment. I can see you have a heart filled with good will and I appreciate that about you and how you chose to respond to what you disagreed with in my TMT without attacking me personally (as often happens to me). Thank you David!聽馃檪
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His comment in Bold.

Thank you, Kevin. I appreciate your response and I too prefer debates over ideas rather than attacks on people. But I suspect your message comes across as more political than you may realize. The reference to “progressive liberals” and “pushing for socialism” are overtly political and condemn well-meaning groups of people. Your ministry is yours to carry out as you see fit, but as a relatively progressive and relatively liberal person I might point out that the conservative politics – both implicit and explicit – promoted by churches is often what closes people’s otherwise open ears.
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D Kevin BrownThanks David. Apparently in many people’s view today, what is discussed in church must stay in church and anything that deviates from the politically correct agenda is seen as “political.” The ultimate goal of many in this country to take Christians like me, who believe in the absolute truth of God’s word and His standards and call it “hate speech” and discrimination and then lock us up and put us away for good. That scenario may very well come true in post-Christian America. But, until then, I will speak from the side of truth.

My ministry is to equip the saints so that they might see the truth and then apply that to a lost and dying culture. My greatest desire and concern is for people to come to know the love of Jesus and seek His Lordship over their lives in humble surrender and repentance. However, there will be those who will see that heart-felt desire of mine that is truly born out of a heart of love for the souls of people, as the exact opposite. That’s unfortunate and I can’t help that. Thus the picture I used for the TMT.

Again, I don’t seek to condemn anyone, but if I don’t agree with you, will you condemn me? Am I allowed to believe what I believe or am I only allowed to believe what I’m told to believe? Do I still have a right to believe what the Bible teaches as orthodox teaching for the last 2000 years, or am I to wilt under the tantamount pressure of a culture which has chosen to summarily discard orthodox Biblical teaching? My answer is that I must contend for the faith in an orthodox biblical manner and be labeled in whatever way the world chooses. The Romans killed Jesus for speaking the truth and He was the kindest, most gentle and loving man, (the God-man), Who ever lived.

I must confess the words of Jesus when He said: “A servant is not above His master.” Matthew 10:25. I willing surrender my life to Him as my Master whatever fate may come my way for adhering to His teachings. After all Jesus said in Matthew 10:34-39, 34 鈥淒o not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. 36 And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household. 37 Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38 And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

His comments in Bold

No, I do not seek to condemn you, and I’ve not seen evidence of anyone in this country trying to lock people up and put them away for good for being Christians. I’m only trying to offer some perspective on why it may seem that some close their ears. Good luck and best wishes to you.
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D Kevin BrownThanks David…you are kind and I appreciate your kindness. We just see things from two different perspectives as my TMT speaks of. Regarding locking up…it has happened with a clerk of court in KY. I wish you the best as well.聽馃檪聽Thanks again for your perspective. We just disagree on where the authority comes from behind our premises. Mine is from Scripture and yours is from the culture at large (that’s my opinion at least). And by the way, just in case I ever end up in jail for preaching and teaching what the Bible has taught for centuries as truth…you might remember this conversation because it will most definitely be me that gets locked up, not you.聽馃檪聽I can promise you that. I’m now in the minority in our post-Christian culture. Blessings to you David!聽馃檪
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Dear reader, do you see how this kind gentleman just proved my point? If you watch my video again, you’ll see it as plain as day. It’s almost startling…

Last thought…
Ravi Zacharias is one of my most favorite apologists of all time and this is what he has to say about the culture of political correctness today. It’s brilliant and only 2:46 long.
Blessings all!
Kevin

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It’s another hot week in the foothills of NC and I’ll admit to you…I’m about ready for a break. The pace has been relentless over the last several months. Perhaps you are there too. Have you had a break lately? Do you ever get a day off? Good! That’s so important! I’m hoping to catch a break in late July and then I’ll head to the coast with the family in late September like we normally do. We’ll hope we can chase the hurricanes away! 馃檪 Until then…I’m kind of like what the Carolina Panthers say… “Keep pounding!”

You know lately, I’ve been watching the political landscape and I continue to be dismayed at what I see. It’s like watching something from another planet. It’s hard to fathom the yo-yo-ing up and down of this Presidential campaign. The ads by Clinton have already started. They make her look like Mother Theresa as she cares for all the children. Have you seen them yet? Wow! I wonder if they have any footage of all the “Whitewater” days from Arkansas?

I’m also wondering what Trump will say next? It is a bit disconcerting that he is saying that we should shut down all mosques. Why do I say that is disconcerting? Read carefully: Because one day a President could say the same thing about Christian churches. The first amendment is clear here, in my opinion. The government has no right to get involved in telling people what to believe. Now don’t get me wrong…I’m not espousing Islam. You know me better than that. Islam is a religion inspired by Satan. But, when a government can determine which “house of faith” remains open based on what they (the government) thinks is right…well…that’s all “peaches and cream,” until the government decides that what Christians teach and preach is also unacceptable. We just saw this last summer in Kentucky with the County Clerk. We are seeing this now with bakers and t-shirt makers, etc. Believe me, if we go down this path…and the government begins dictating what is and isn’t acceptable to believe…wow…that’s going to become a very slippery slope in a hurry.

By the way, have you seen any Trump ads? He’s not started yet, apparently. I’ve not seen even one. I’m hearing that he’s looking for money now. Truth is…if he doesn’t start running some soon, he’s going to get behind in a hurry. Clinton has a huge money machine behind her and people believe what they see on TV. Most Americans are so easily 聽duped. Am I saying that we’re dumb. Yep…pretty much…yep…that’s what I’m saying.

You see, regarding this whole election, I continue to allow my thoughts to be directed toward the Supreme Court vacancies. That’s what is driving my thinking right now. Which person is going to select conservative judges? Clinton…NO WAY…zero chance. Trump? Who knows. He says he will…but, then again…he flip-flops so much, it’s hard to tell. Pray and let the Holy Spirit guide your conscience. That’s what I’m continuing to do. All I know is that we are in one HUGE (to use Trump’s word) mess!!

Here’s another example of the mess we’re in… I’ve decided that the situation in Orlando is being played out by the Obama Administration as just another form of their spin and propaganda. I’ve never in my life seen anything quite like it. They’re scrambling you know. Why? Because they are absolutely bewildered in how they are supposed to spin this whole thing? Think about it. They’re big-time pro-homosexuality and pro-Islam…so, how does Obama do this? How does he make this thing work without alienating either group (who are so loyal to him)? Well, you’re seeing it. He sends Attorney General, Loretta Lynch out on the Sunday shows and she spins a tale and then he has her walk it back yesterday. Amazing! It’s so wacky. Poor ole Loretta Lynch! She’s such a scapegoat. I feel sorry for her.

I feel sorry for us as a nation. I feel this way particularly about the next generation. We are failing you, young people. We are raising a generation that can’t tell fact from fiction. College professors, according to an ACT study, say this is the case. Only 18% of college professors say incoming freshmen have the ability to tell fact from fiction. I talked about this earlier today in my Two-Minute Tuesday. You can watch it here:

http://subsplash.com/mpbc/v/8b3c583

Do you know what I’ve decided? Just give people Jesus. I stopped a long time ago trying to win people over to my argument about politics or global warming or evolution or traditional marriage. You see, if I win them to my side of the argument, but I don’t win them to Jesus, then I’ve “won nothing.” I don’t want to major on the minors. I want to major on Jesus. So keep preaching Jesus! We need to preach Him in how we live even louder than what we say! He said, “Be doers of my word…not hearers only.”

Let’s do it!

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It’s up to $1.5 BILLION!!

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Got your lottery ticket yet?

Not me.

I won’t be buying any. In fact, I don’t want any. (Someone gave me a lottery ticket one time, and after I got home I tore it up and threw it away.) Why? Because I do not want to be lured into anything that could be detrimental to others. Truly, the lottery is killing a lot of poor families. There are folks who buy lottery tickets (because they are addicted to gambling) versus food for their family. That’s so sad.

Somebody asked me the other day, “Pastor, what if someone won the lottery and wanted to pay off the building debt with their tithe?” I said, “I would politely say, ‘No thanks.'” Why? Because in my heart and mind, that’s money that was won by gambling. The person then asked, “Preacher, don’t you think people put ‘dirty money’ in the offering plate every week?” I said, “Yes…but I don’t know that it’s ‘dirty money.’ With the scenario you just described, I’d know about it.” Now, that’s a personal preference and I can’t be dogmatic about it.

In fact, as I said in my “Two-Minute Tuesday” today, I don’t believe buying a lottery ticket is a sin, but I do believe it “feeds the greed” within us and places our trust on man and not God.

According to The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, here are three (3) interesting facts about state lotteries.

  1. In 2014 lotteries took in $70.1 billion in sales. That鈥檚 more than Americans in every state spent on books, recorded music, video games, and tickets to sporting events and movies.
  2. In five states, people spend more than $600 dollars per person per year on lottery tickets: Rhode Island, South Dakota, Massachusetts, West Virginia, and Delaware.
  3. The poorest 1/3 of households purchase 1/2 of all lottery tickets.

The Bible is clear:

Hebrews 13:5

5聽Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, 鈥淚 will never leave you nor forsake you.鈥

Proverbs 10:4

A slack hand causes poverty, but the hand of the diligent makes rich.

1 Timothy 6:17

鈥or to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy.

As for me…I’m going to store up treasures in heaven where moths and rust won’t destroy and thieves won’t break in and steal.聽Jesus said, 鈥淵ou can鈥檛 serve God and money.鈥 The Bible says: 鈥淕odliness with contentment is GREAT gain.鈥 And 鈥淚f a man doesn鈥檛 work鈥et him not eat.鈥 So, that’s my take on the lottery.

Here’s the video. (You’ll note when I cut the video, which I actually taped on Monday, the jackpot was only $1.3 billion):

When are we going to have a scene like this:

up-4R33KP76PR6BBP8S

Well, most of the weather prognosticators thought we would have had some by now. The El Nino was so strong that it overwhelmed December and it’s been slow for the pattern to change. But, it finally flipped last week. We are now firmly in a “Negative” pattern, which is code for COLD. The problem is (as always) getting the moisture synced up with the cold. That’s the hard part. We had plenty of moisture, but no cold air. And now we’ve got the cold air, but the moisture is limited. Will the two come together? Well, that will mean that the northern jet stream 聽will need to buckle south and provide the cold air at the same time the southern jet stream sends moisture from the Gulf of Mexico. Again…it’s all timing.

What I’m seeing is the two weeks we’re going to be close, but probably no cigar (as the old saying goes). We’ll be a bit too warm (even though this weekend might be a closer call than some are now saying). But, I do believe as we move toward the end of the month and into February that we’re finally going to see wintry precipitation. But, here’s the truth. The pattern for the remainder of the winter, (once it sets up), normally persists throughout the rest of the winter. So, whatever happens in the next 3 weeks will tell the tale. Personally, I still believe we’ll see some snow, but the biggest chance looks to be February. Remember it snowed three times last February in the winter I called “Delayed but not Denied” and we could be in for a repeat performance. We’ll see.

Please be in prayer for these lovely ladies…

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That’s (Left to Right), Kristie Cothren, Michele and Julianna Cordray, Lakyn and Melanie Parrish, Jennifer Spencer, Tabitha Garza and Kandace and Pam Brown. 9 strong! And they’re in China right now helping minister to some really, really needy orphans and workers. Please lift the up to the Father, will you? They are living in pretty tough conditions. It got down to almost 40 degrees in their rooms the other night because there was no power. I Facetimed (is that a word?) with Pam and Kan this morning (which was about 9 pm their time…since they are 13 hours ahead) and they were doing well. They were tired and getting ready for bed. The food is kind of rough and the beds are hard as bricks. But, that’s mission work, folks and they’re used to that. But, nonetheless, thanks for the prayers.

How am I doing? Peachy! I’ve got wonderful help. Katy is a fabulous cook and my mom and dad are nearby and I’ve had tons of offers from others (probably many of you reading this). So, thank you, thank you, thank you! And get this! I’ve not even had to fix country ham and scrambled eggs yet (my specialty). 馃檪

And I have a wonderful ministry assistant…

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My love to you all!

Kevin

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Off to the Philippines

See this map…

Cainta.10

See the city beside of Manila that Cainta? That’s where I’m headed for the next week and a half. To be specific that is Cainta Rizal, Philippines. Here’s a bigger map of the Philippines. You’ll see it’s beside of Malaysia.

phil-MMAP-md copyAnd finally, here’s a map that will show you how small the Philippine islands are compared to the rest of the world. See the orange arrow (bottom-right).

eb9eb4511cea47ab33a33bc3e606ea68You’ll see how close the Philippines are to the Equator.

It’s hot there. It will be around 90 degrees with oppressive humidity and a good chance of rain most days while we’re there.

I’m not the only one going. Kandace is going as well as my dear friend and fellow pastor Dale Jennings. Pastor Dale has been many times and is leading the trip. This is my and Kandace’s first trip. I’m going to be looking and praying to see if the Lord might want us at MPBC to ramp up the work there. There is so much to be done. There are less than 2% Christians there. Yet, 90% of the people will tell you they are Christians because they are Catholic. Yet, most are cultural Catholics (don’t attend mass) and have no relationship with Christ anyway. But, they’ll tell you they are Christians. (Sounds like America doesn’t it?)

Here’s the crazy thing. We are going to get to go into the schools and even talk to government officials about Jesus. Isn’t that amazing! The thoughts of doing something like that here in America is…well…you’ve got a better chance of flapping your arms and getting to Mars than you do talking about Jesus in a public school in an “Assembly” setting or going to the local mayor’s meeting and sharing John 14:6. We’ve sunk so far as a nation. Yet, for now…we have open doors to the Philippines and thousands of teenagers. On Monday of next week we will be speaking at Star of Hope High School, Repsci High School and Nageayong High School. On Tuesday, the 20th we’ll be sharing with 4,000+ students at M.I. Santos High School.

I’m going to tell you who will likely make the greatest impact…

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…that young lady in the purple. Kandace will tremendously impact those young adults with her testimony and story of how you can have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. She’s also going to be singing. They’ll love her! (Sorry, I couldn’t help but get a picture of Charlotte thrown in there to boot :)).

On Wednesday we’ll be going to three different prisons in Cainta, Pasig and Taytay sharing with the inmates, army and prison authorities.

If I may back up a second. On Saturday we’ll be speaking at an Evangelistic Crusade at 8 am at an Elementary School. And then that afternoon we’ll be at the church (Shekinah Glory Baptist Church) sharing with about 8 churches, their pastors and members. It will be a time of encouragement for these churches. On Sunday 9 am, we’ll be having a crusade at the church where I will be preaching and Kandace singing. Later in the morning, I have the privilege of sharing with the adults, while Dale and Kandace share with the young adults and students. That night I’ll be preaching at their 25th Silver Anniversary Celebration of the existence of Shekinah Glory Baptist Church.

We’ll head back on Thursday, October 22nd, arriving back in Charlotte around 10 pm that night. It will be in the wee hours of Friday the 23rd when we arrive back home to Purlear.

Can I ask you to pray for us? There are around 100 million people in the area where we will be ministering. Again, 90% are Catholic, 5% Muslim and Cults and less than 2% Evangelical Christian. Pray for stamina and strength. On Monday and Tuesday particularly we will be speaking over and over again as the students are brought in at about 30-45 minutes until we run through all students of the schools. We go to bed late and get up early. We are 12 hours ahead. So, when it’s 8 am here, it’s 8 pm there. Pray I can handle the flight. The older I get, the less I like being on a plane. I’m not made for a plane at 6’6″ tall. Thankfully, Pastor Dale got us a bulkhead seat (an exit row) for the 13 hour 10 minute jaunt from Detroit to Tokyo (the longest leg of the journey). Thank you Dale! And yes, when he told me, I kissed him on top of the head!!! (He’s getting used to that and smiles and tolerates my silliness!)

Pray for our families back home as we will miss them. Pray most of all that we might say something that would be used by the Holy Spirit to save lives. Pray for boldness. Strong stomachs (eating strange food), good health, decent rest and no “Satanic wrenches” thrown into things.

Thank you for doing so and I’ll update you when I get back. If we have some kind of internet connection, I might try to put out a quick update if I can via the net. So, check back here next week. I love you all!

Kevin, Kandace and Pastor Dale

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Things are changing faster and faster… Or at least that’s the way it seems to me.

Let’s see, we’ve got a lady running for the White House who has allegedly broken federal law with a private email server circulating Top Secret information (being investigated now), while another lady was led from a Court House to jail because she believes in the Biblical definition of marriage.

One gets to run for President…

One now has a rap-sheet…

Amazing! Sometimes I feel like I’ve fallen asleep and I just need to wake up from this bad dream. Do you feel that way? It’s enough to make your head spin.

Well, I’m more focused than ever. I’m more focused than ever to be a pillar and buttress for the truth! We’ve sat on the sidelines for far too long and watched it come to this. Who would have dreamed that we’d live in a nation where Christians would go to jail because they actually believe in the Bible and use the Bible and the principles found therein to make decisions.

You see, the truth is this. The homosexual agenda is not about the ability to marry. At the root of the agenda is to shut down and shut up anyone who disagrees with them. It’s not about tolerance. Tolerance? Are you kidding? We tolerate everything known to man in this country except for Christians. We tolerate Beyonc茅 and Miley Cyrus dancing naked on stage while we buy tickets for our teenagers to watch them. We tolerate babies being dismembered and their body parts sold for profit by a group that uses our tax money to do so. Everyone tolerates everyone and everything except for Christians. Christians… Oh, I’m sorry, you are free to believe what you want to believe and teach what you want to teach, but don’t you dare bring it into the public square. Don’t you dare bring your religious understanding and Christian worldview to your job. No sir! You leave that stuff at the house and at church. We don’t tolerate or accept anyone telling us we can’t do what we want to do with our bodies, our relationships, our wedding cakes or our wedding pictures. You ARE going to celebrate our lifestyle! You WILL issue our marriage licenses and you’re going to like it or you will be fined, lose your job or been thrown in jail!!!

Please, please…somebody wake me up! I’ve got to be living on Mars. This can’t be happening here! But it is! It’s happening right before our eyes. And what happens in the next few weeks and months will determine the destiny for this nation for the next 100 years. You and I are living in one of the most important seasons of time in the history of our nations. What happens next with religious liberties will determine how your children and grand children will live the rest of their lives.

Part of that is what the Presidential candidates are going to do with this. From what I’ve heard: Huckabee, Cruz and Carson have been staunch supporters of the Kentucky Clerk, while Trump, Christie, Fiorina and Kasich have publicly said the Kentucky Clerk should have just given in and done her job and signed the marriage licenses. Well, the detractors are dead wrong! Dead wrong! Because that makes her complicit. We make accommodations in this country for Muslims to have prayer mats at GITMO, but we can’t make an accommodation to have a lady’s name taken off of a simple form! Come on Governor Steve Beshear! Step up to the plate like you did when you changed the form a few months ago to remove “husband” and “wife” and call it “spouse” and “spouse.” Oh…I’m sorry…you are a flaming liberal and that would go against your tolerance position. This poor lady is now receiving death threats because you have no backbone sir.

So folks, while we’re worrying about the stock market, planning our next vacation and getting our whole foods at the market, our children might one day stand before a tribunal and have to swear allegiance either to the government or to Christ. Many of us will likely be long gone by then, but I want you to think about it now. Because what you and I do or DON’T DO over the next several weeks will tell the tale. Are you ready? I hope you are. You’re going to have to have a strong backbone. You are going to have to be like Peter and John who stood before their highest court, the Sanhedrin and refused to back down. They said, “You decide if we are breaking the law, but as for us…we will continue to preach Jesus” (my paraphrase). Here’s the account from Acts 4. This is now here… It’s happening in America:

Acts 4:13-21

13聽Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus.14聽But seeing the man who was healed聽standing beside them,聽they had nothing to say in opposition.15聽But when they had commanded them to leave the council, they conferred with one another,16聽saying,聽鈥淲hat shall we do with these men? For that聽a notable sign has been performed through them is evident to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and we cannot deny it.17聽But in order that it may spread no further among the people, let us warn them聽to speak no more to anyone in this name.鈥18聽So they called them and charged them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus.19聽But Peter and John answered them,聽鈥淲hether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge,20聽for聽we cannot but speak of what聽we have seen and heard.鈥21聽And when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding no way to punish them,聽because of the people, for all were praising God聽for what had happened.

Do you have that kind of courage? I hope you do, because that’s what it’s going to take going forward. There’s a “new normal” in the land and Christians who hold to the tenets and principles of Scripture are no longer welcome in the public square! If you are a Christian and you want to work in the public square, YOU NEED NOT APPLY!

I described in detail what’s led to this in my video from Tuesday, “Who’s Going to Jail Next?”

Yes, I’m focused. I’m focused on teaching and preaching the Gospel. I got these two emails from two men earlier today that blessed my heart. One was a prayer…

My wife and I visited Mt. Pleasant on Sunday… It really encouraged me to hear the Word preached in the way that you did. So many people in this day and time try to put a politically correct spin on Gods word and don’t want to call out sin for what it is. Thank you!

And here’s the prayer that was emailed to me…

Dear Heavenly Father,聽 I want to thank you for my pastor.聽 I am thankful you have placed the conviction in his heart to preach the word of God and only the word of God.聽 I appreciate the spiritual warfare he is willing to confront daily from me, my family, and the rest of our church as the shepherd he is.聽 I know very little of the ridicule and criticism he faces almost hourly but can gather it can be overwhelming just from some of the comments and jealous remarks I hear at work when people find out I attend MPBC.聽 Thank you for strengthening his resolve to not buckle under the pressure and to preach the way you have designed him to preach.聽 I am thankful for all I have learned under him and how you have used him to grow my faith although I still fall so short of where I feel I should be at this point.聽 God, I pray for protection for him and his family as Satan cannot be happy about his boldness.聽 God, I pray that you place him on my heart more often to pray for him.聽 He needs the prayers more than any human can probably comprehend.聽 Give him rest and comfort in you.聽 Strengthen him each night during the few hours of sleep he gets so that his body is able to sustain what is needed for the work ahead.聽 We love you God.聽 Thank you just doesn鈥檛 seem adequate enough.聽 In thy name I pray.聽 AMEN

Oh, my heart has been blessed. Thank you Lord!

So, may I encourage you not to lose focus even though there are detractors. Sharpen your focus on what God has called you to do. Don’t get pulled to the right or to the left. Knuckle down.

That’s what the Weather Channel has figured out. They got away from their focus and they started running all of this “reality TV” and they are tanking. So, they are getting back to doing what you would think the Weather Channel ought to be doing: COVERING LIVE WEATHER. You see, I’m not interested in “Fat Guys in the Woods.” I’m wondering if it’s going to be snowing in my woods. And so, they’re revamping the whole network…

http://money.cnn.com/2015/09/09/media/weather-channel-sam-champion/index.html

I’m focused on preaching, teaching, equipping and holding up the Word of Truth of Jesus Christ to the world!

And that’s what we did Sunday…

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My prayer is to be described like Peter and John were described…

Acts 4:13

13聽Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus.

Onward we march soldiers!

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Walking and Praying

I’ve really had prayer on my mind and heart the last 5 weeks perhaps like no other time in my life. I realize that my prayer life has little fervency and thus, I’d never know power in my life like Elijah. Remember, he prayed and it didn’t rain for 3 1/2 years and he was a man just like us James 5:17 tells us.

We’ve let Satan convince us that we can’t expect anything great from God, so we pray nothing little prayers. We pray in our strength, ability and reasoning. Thus, no power! No miracles. No lives being saved. Country going down the tubes. And we wonder why. We shouldn’t wonder. I shouldn’t wonder. We have not because we ask not. 100% of the prayers we don’t pray won’t get answered. Simple concept, right? And we know all these things, but we still just go through the motions when we pray. We do it out of duty and there is little feeling or burden behind our prayers.

Oh that I would come to the Lord like the little old lady before the judge. She didn’t let up. But, I had. I had gotten to the place of just going through the motions. Have you? This isn’t a guilt trip. It’s just asking us to take a “prayer inventory.” No condemnation. Just like with an annual physical…we need to know our prayer blood pressure. For most of us, it’s bottomed out at 60 over 30.

As a pastor/elder and as a husband/father, I’m done with allowing Satan to lull me to sleep in a lethargic, unexpectant apathy. Therefore, I shared with the church last Sunday that I’ve decided to go the way of the Children of Israel as they circled Jericho, I’m circling my house and the church asking God to cover my family in His presence… Shake us and give us a burden for the lost and seek to get us out of our desire for comfort, pleasure, entertainment and ease into a fervent, expectancy. Lord knows we need this and our country needs this. So this is now me…

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Crazy? Probably to most! But, walking and praying has made me intentional and focused like never before. I’m praying out loud and I’m crying out to God. I feel an intense urgency. This country is going down the drain spiritually. Everything is upside down. What was once deemed good is now deemed bad and what was once deemed sin, is now lauded, accepted and 聽seen as normal. Our only hope is to cry out to the Lord of heaven and ask Him to change us and have mercy on us.

Folks, we must be salt and light and dispel the darkness. We are running out of time and I am not ready to give up. I’m not ready to dig a hole in the sand and say, “Well, that’s just the way it is. We’re just marching toward the end times. There’s no hope. Just accept it. Get ready for prison.” Well, I refuse that line of thinking. Before I go down…I’m going to go down to my knees and boldly come before the throne of God asking for His mercy, grace and love. I’m praying for the sleeping giant of the Church to wake up and once again go and make disciples of all nations…including this one.

Here’s today’s, 2-Minute Tuesday video on the subject…

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I’ll have to admit to you, after the Supreme Court decision legalizing gay marriage in all 50 states, I started buying into all that I was seeing and hearing from many Christian circles. What was that? Two words: DOOM/GLOOM. But, I’m encouraged that this is the very thing that was needed for the Church. We needed a wake-up call and I believe it’s working!

Let me tell you three things that I saw from the Supreme Court decision that encourages me. Yes, I said, “Encourages me…”

In one key paragraph, Justice Kennedy makes three major declarations about the importance of protecting religious freedom.

#1 Kennedy made it indisputably clear that those with religious affiliations may live in accordance with their conscience regarding marriage. Here’s what he said: “Finally, it must be emphasized that聽religions, and those who adhere to religious doctrines, may continue to advocate with utmost, sincere conviction聽that, by divine precepts, same-sex marriage should not be condoned.”

#2 Kennedy affirmed that this protection (above) is granted by the First Amendment. He also recognized that the view of marriage as a sacred union between one man and one woman has been long-held by many Americans, validating traditional marriage as a legitimate viewpoint. Here’s what he said: “The First Amendment ensures that religious organizations and persons are given proper protection聽as they seek to teach the principles that are so fulfilling and so central to their lives and faiths, and to their own deep aspirations to聽continue the family structure they havelong revered. The same is true of those who oppose same-sex marriage for other reasons.”

#3 Kennedy upheld a vital aspect of America鈥檚 political and cultural tradition by recognizing the importance of free debate, an activity which is totally central to our nation鈥檚 foundation. Here’s what he said: “In turn, those who believe allowing same-sex marriage is proper or indeed essential, whether as a matter of religious conviction or secular belief,聽may engage those who disagree with their view in an open and searching debate.”

Those three points greatly encourage me. And they should you as well. Why? Because Kennedy recognized the strong protections recognized by the First Amendment for religious organizations and people like me (a pastor/elder).

One other note from the majority opinion as it was written stated this: 鈥…as we deal with the implications of the decision鈥斅no matter what happens, religious liberty is a fundamental right that is respected in our country and must be held inviolate.鈥

The Liberty Institute’s CEO, Kelly Shackelford said this: “Some people think, this case was the end of the battle.聽This is really the very beginning of the battle as to religious freedom, and聽I think it鈥檚 a battle we can win, and we will win.鈥

Encouraged? You should be! 馃檪

Hey…staying on the subject for a moment… This ought to be a great movie: Audacity…聽http://www.audacitymovie.com Anything that Ray Comfort does is excellent. This trailer really piqued my interest.

And for those who are being hit with tough questions and you’re wanting answers to help friends, family and neighbors in a loving and kind way…this really helped me. I’ve bookmarked it.聽http://www.thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/kevindeyoung/2015/07/01/40-questions-for-christians-now-waving-rainbow-flags/

See this picture…

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This means Josh, Katy and Charlotte are home! Woohoo!! We moved them in on Saturday. It’s a joy having them here and seeking the Lord for a job for Josh. It’s wonderful being on the roller coaster ride with the Lord at the controls. We can throw up our hands and relish in the journey because He knows how it ends. God is good and I praise Him in advance for all that He will do in the future.

And one of the joys in all of this is that I get to take part in all of it by walking and praying fervently to our loving and merciful Heavenly Father! Awesome!! 馃檪

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NOTE: MPBC FOLKS, you’ll be getting the full report tomorrow night during the service of what’s listed below…

Through the years I’ve had people ask me, “Why do you go all the way to Texas to minister to Hispanics? Why don’t you do it right here?” Well, the answer is a bit trite, but it is the truth: God told us to…

Just as Peter was led to Joppa to raise Dorcas (Tabitha) from the dead and he would later go to Caeserea to share the Gospel with a Gentile, centurion soldier, Cornelius… Just as Philip would leave an area of revival to go and share the Gospel with a eunuch from Ethiopia. Just as Jesus would share with Zacchaeus in a tree and a Samaritan woman at a well and a man with a withered hand outside a synagogue… So, we must do the same and follow their example and go share the Gospel.

What’s the example I’m speaking of?

Most often in Scripture we see the Gospel transferring from person to person. Yes, there was a great revival at Pentecost, (3,000 saved in one day) but throughout the Epistles, you see the Gospel traveling mostly from person to person and from household to household. Lydia and her entire household was saved. So was the Philippian jailer’s. Do you see the pattern? Without question, spreading the Gospel can be done by mega churches and mega crusades, but it is most often done by sharing one on one or with households of people.

That’s why we go to Weslaco, Texas. That’s why we walk across the street or over to the next cubicle. But, there is more than just sharing the Gospel. There is the mandate to “make disciples.” Remember this…

Matthew 28:18-20

18聽And Jesus came and said to them,聽鈥淎ll authority聽in heaven and on earth has been given to me.19聽Go therefore and聽make disciples of聽all nations,聽baptizing them聽in聽the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,20聽teaching them聽to observe all that聽I have commanded you. And behold,聽I am with you always, to聽the end of the age.鈥

Disciple-making takes time and it’s not easy. It’s a “roll up your sleeves” proposition. Therefore, it’s just easier to stay in our cocoons of safety and not do it. (Sadly, I’m speaking from experience here.) It’s much easier to write a check or fund a ministry than it is to actually care enough about people to do anything.

Back to the question. Why do you go all the way to Texas to do ministry? Why not just do it here in North Carolina? Well, Jesus gave us this command and His final directive before He ascended into heaven from the Mount of Olives…

Acts 1:8

8聽But you will receive聽power聽when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and聽you will be聽my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and聽Samaria, and聽to the end of the earth.

I had a man say to me one time, “Before we go anywhere else we need to share the Gospel with everyone in our Jerusalem.” I told the man (kindly) that he was wrong. Jesus was teaching that we must do it all. We must do ministry and share the Gospel in our Jerusalem, (Local) Judea, (State), Samaria (Nation), and to the end of the earth (World). We do it all at the same time…

  • Local
  • State
  • Nation
  • World

If we didn’t do ministry (all-as-you-go-style), we’d never share the Gospel beyond our local communities. We’ll never be able to totally cover our neighborhoods or towns. So, we go as the Holy Spirit directs and do all that we can as we go.

I don’t know if I’ve ever shared with you how the Lord brought us to Texas and Mexico. Years ago, back in 2008 I met a local doctor at our county hospital and he had just returned from doing work in Texas and Mexico. He shared with me and I was so intrigued, I asked him to come to the church and share. He did on a Sunday night about a month later and the church was hooked. So, off to Mexico and Texas we headed in 2009.

This is an aerial view of the mission house (green roof) and the house in front of it (bottom left), which we call the “front house,” where a missionary named Harold Ward and his wife lived.

Weslaco Mission House

Mr. Ward and his wife retired to Texas where they bought that green-roofed building, which was a cantina (bar). He turned it into a place where mission teams could come and live for a week and do work in Mexico building churches for those whose congregations couldn’t afford to do so. This is a screen shot of the old website that was used to describe the work.

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As you can see, the mission house was named after Mr. Ward and it was called, “The King’s Ward.”

I couldn’t find a picture of that 2009 team. If anyone has a copy, can you email me please? Here’s a picture of the 2010 team.

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We went into Mexico and help to build a church for a small church called El Laurel. That’s the pastor, Oscar Martinez to the right.

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As you can tell they were meeting in the front yard of their home. This was their home…

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In the last six years, we’ve gone from this…

3 Progresso Early Stages

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…to help them build this:

14 Progresso

This is the inside of what they call the “Temple” with one of our June teams from last year.

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As you might remember, the mission house went up for sale three years ago and MPBC raised over $90,000 and bought it. Can you believe we bought two houses, three vans and trailer for just $90,000? God is good! But, over the last year or so there has been a transition in the work in Mexico because of the danger from the drug cartels.

There is a tremendous amount of corruption in Mexico. It’s hard to trust the government or even the police for that matter. So, we did not take our team in last week. We stayed in Weslaco and really poured our hearts and lives into this church.

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That’s Jason Church to the right. He’s the pastor of “Church of No Walls.” He and his wife, Katie, left their home here in Wilkes County 3 years ago to go to Weslaco (sight unseen) and become missionaries to the people of Weslaco, Texas. They now have two precious boys, Caleb and Wesley.

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The church has grown rapidly under Jason’s leadership and direction. Jason loves people. He’s a soul-winning machine.

Here he’s praying with a man in a rest home we visited.

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This picture really gets me…

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Here he is with Brent Edmiston praying with a young man named Isaiah. Isaiah has a tough life and doesn’t have a male (father) in his life. Jason is that man. He has a passion for the people of Weslaco.

Kandace shared about the darkness of this town from our MPBC Team site on her blog and on Facebook. Here’s the links:

http://kandace098.blogspot.com/2015/06/texas-mission-trip-2015.html

https://www.facebook.com/pages/MPBC-Texas-June-2015-Team/1443431869295397?fref=ts

Here’s an excerpt of her description of the conditions there:

There aren’t many places that you can go to in America where someone has never heard of Billy Graham or where in the local Walmart there are books with 7 steps on how to overcome Satan’s hold on your life. But, that’s what you’ll find in Weslaco, TX. There is an oppression there that you can feel very deeply. These people desperately need someone to put their hope in (Jesus).聽

Jason and Katie have done a great job teaching the Bible and showing love. The people are just so in need of someone to care and love them. I can’t count how many times I thanked God on the trip that Jason and Katie are there to help these people. They finally have a steady place to go to get love and encouragement. So many relationships were formed and made stronger this past week. It was so encouraging to know that when we left, the people have Jason and Katie there to continue this work.聽
The Church of No Walls is bursting at the seams. I know God has great things in store. Please pray for Jason and Katie as they continue to try to reach the adults and children in the community. I am so excited to see what God does in Weslaco, Texas. He has already started a great work!聽

Here’s the church where we were eating with them in the Mission House last week.

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We were spread out in the dining hall, kitchen, and game room. We used the men’s and women’s sleeping quarters for counseling rooms. It was wonderful! Many, many lives are being touched.

I want to show you a note that one of the teenage girls left for me on my bunk in the men’s quarters. She didn’t know who would be getting it and that’s why she addressed it: “Dear Reader.”

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Now folks, if that don’t light your fire, your wood is all wet! 馃檪

Here’s a letter from this young girl’s mother. Her name is Vanessa and she just gave her life to the Lord about 3 weeks ago. Jason and Katie led her to Christ and one of her sons (she has four children total) made a profession of faith Friday night at the celebration service at the mission house. There’s a total of three pictures showing Vanessa’s letter.

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Isn’t that powerful!

As I’ve mentioned, the growth of the church is so pronounced that we have started investigating renting a building on Texas Blvd (which is main street) in Weslaco. 聽We are sensing the Lord is in this next step. A building will give the church greater legitimacy versus meeting in a house in a residential area. At this point, the members of the church don’t have enough money to rent a building on their own, so we (MPBC) will have to help support them until they can do so. Yet, our fundraising has been so good over the last year that we should be able to do so with little problem.

I’ll conclude by showing you two of my favorite pictures from the trip.

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Those are some of the girls’ and ladies’ feet from our team and the ladies in Wesalco. That’s the body of Christ folks! And how about this picture of the men and young men…

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Again, that’s the body of Christ in action.

Why do we go?

We go because I ran into a doctor at Wilkes Regional Medical Center 8 years ago and the Lord has directed us from there. We go because Jesus said to go and make disciples of all nations. And that’s why we’ll be sending people to the Philippines in October and China in January. We go because Jesus said:

Acts 1:8

8聽But you will receive聽power聽when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and聽you will be聽my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and聽Samaria, and聽to the end of the earth.

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