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FaithFest 2018

It’s a neat time of year. School is starting back…Summer is winding down. Faithfest is happening this week and I’m excited to see what the Lord is going to do. It’s so wonderful to have something of Faithfest’s caliber in our small town.

Casting Crowns and Mandisa will be in Wilkesboro! That’s pretty amazing! What a blessing! And I’m a bit biased… I’ve got family leading out in this thing. Craig Church is my brother-in-law and FF was/is his brainchild.

Craig of course is the founder of Craig Church Ministries. It’s CCM and a bunch of other folks that pull this off for us. Many thanks Craig!

Our Church Praise Team will be performing Thursday night at the Pre-FaithFest Concert…

Our Praise Team should be up around 8:10 pm. This will all be at the Wilkes Communications Pavilion in Wilkesboro. This is going to be a treat! Here’s the full line-up for Thursday night:

It’s going to be a lot of fun and the weather…oh my…the weather is going to be impeccable! It should be in the mid-60’s with very little humidity by 6 pm Thursday night! Wow! Thank you Lord! And the weekend is going to be just as good! Highs in the upper 70’s and a light breeze. Here’s the full lineup for Saturday at the Watson Stage on the campus of Wilkes Community College:

And in case you are hungry…there will be plenty to eat on Saturday! Food Vendors galore:

Yum!!

Will you please pray? Pray that the Lord will move in the hearts and lives of the thousands who will be there. We’re expecting 10,000+ and prayerful for more! And certainly with a crowd that size, there will be people there who do not know the Lord. Pray for lives to be changed and souls saved! Pray for Jason Crabb…

He’ll be sharing the Gospel around 6:35-7:05 Saturday night. Please pray! I can’t wait to see what the Lord does! Thank you Jesus for your many blessings!

Here’s this week’s Two-Minute Tuesday: “Screen Time: How Much is Too Much?”

http://mpbc.ws/media/?sapurl=Lys3ZWViL2xiL21pLys2NDYzYndxP2F1dG9wbGF5PXRydWUmYnJhbmRpbmc9dHJ1ZSZlbWJlZD10cnVl

Kevin

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I had a conversation with a young man last week and he made a comment to me that struck me when describing what he was learning at our church. He said, “You talk with God. I think I talk at God.” I said, “What do you mean?” He said, “I guess I’ve just never seen how we can actually talk to God throughout the day.” He continued, “I think a lot of Christians only know how to talk at God.”

That conversation has caused me to pause and think…

  • Talking with God
  • Talking at God

The word “with” and the word “at” are both prepositions.

AT
  1. expressing location or arrival in a particular place or position.
  2. expressing the time when an event takes place.

Think about that. When we talk AT God, we are simply expressing our location and we’ve arrived. But, that’s all one-sided isn’t it? “I’m here God! Get ready to listen and bless!”

WITH

  1. accompanied by (another person or thing).
  2. possessing (something) as a feature of accompaniment.

See the difference? When we talk WITH God we’re accompanying Him. We actually possess time and space with Him. How about that? Amazing! Occupying time and space WITH the God of the universe! Wow!

What’s the dynamic of talking WITH God? In other words, how do we talk WITH God? Well, that would be through Jesus Christ. That’s why He came. Initially humankind had the joy and privilege of walking with God in the cool of the day in the Garden of Eden, but we lost that joy, when we chose pleasure and knowledge over obedience. The “Fall” in the Garden cost us the ability to walk and talk with God. Now, our way of communication is via prayer, but that prayer must be delivered through the Lord Jesus Christ. Do you understand that prayers to God will not make it above the ceiling if they don’t come by way of Jesus Christ? He is our intermediary. He is our High Priest. We go through Him.

A man asked me years ago, “Does God hear all prayers.” I answered, “Yes, God hears all prayers…but, He’s only obligated to answer the prayers of those who have accepted His Son as their Lord and Savior.” Yes, God hears all prayers in that He knows all. He is omniscient. Yet, to say that God is beholden to answer the prayer of a person who has rejected His Son, Jesus Christ, would be absurd, and most importantly, unbiblical.

Back to the conversation with the young man… I listened to him intently. “I think a lot of Christians only know how to talk at God.” Have we gotten to a place as Christians that we only “talk at God,” and not “talk with God?” Is it possible to live our lives as believers and not really talk to God…hardly ever? Could it be, as American believers, that we actually live through the spiritual lives and journey of our spiritual leaders (pastors, Christians authors, teachers, etc.)? Could it be that the majority of American Christians haven’t talked WITH God in weeks or months or years.

Oh yes…we’ve talked AT God. We tell Him all the things we need and want Him to do. We rush through the prayer getting ready for work or driving to work, as we change the channels on the radio. We talk at God when we breathe a quick prayer before we drift off to sleep or before we gobble down a meal. Can I get a witness? I’m talking about me! I’m talking about going through the motions and believing this lie: “Who are you? Do YOU actually think YOU can talk with God? God doesn’t talk to people like YOU! He talks to people like Billy Graham, not YOU!” Believe me…I’ve had those thoughts and still do. And it’s easy to listen to the lies of Satan. After all, Satan doesn’t want us to commune with the God of the universe. There’s power in that! He wants to keep us powerless and praying powerless prayers. Just going through the motions…obligated petitions that are offered in dutiful monotony, but never expecting to hear from God.

When is the last time God spoke to you? No, I’m not talking about an audible communication from God. But, I’m talking about in your spirit…when is the last time you recognized the voice of the Lord and felt the weight and the power of His still small voice? You see, I’m convinced that young man is right. We do a whole lot of talking AT God and not WITH God. To talk WITH someone intimates a two-way communication. It’s not a one-way deal. I appreciate the fact that the young man said he was learning how to talk with God at our church. And I’ll be honest…at times, I feel I am talking WITH God…but, it’s so easy to get busy and get back into the rut of just talking AT God. That happens when I believe my schedule is more important than the Lord of the universe. It’s my fault, not His. I take Satan’s bait and I hurry through the praying or just don’t pray at all. Oh…I say the words…but, am I really praying, or just reciting my grocery list of “wants?”

I want to talk WITH God. I truly do, but it takes intentionality and it takes longer than 30 seconds standing at the Kurig waiting for my cup of coffee. Can the Lord talk to me as I pull the cup from the coffee maker and the pop tart from the toaster? Sure! But, is it likely? Is it likely that in my business that I’m in a position to be still long enough before the Lord to actually listen? That’s the talking WITH God part that is so easy to neglect. I give Him the list…but, do I listen. It’s when I listen that I enter the realm of talking WITH God and recognize His voice.

My encouragement for us all? Slow down. Slow down to talk WITH God. We’ll be the better for it and our lives will be fuller for the effort.

I really enjoyed Christmas with my families. Pam and Clara are still in China. They go to the orphanage tomorrow (tonight our time) to see where Clara was from. We never got to see the orphanage when we adopted her. We actually received her at a hotel conference room. Here’s the report about her. This is all we knew about her when we adopted her.

Growth Report of Xue Fu Mei  Xue Fu Mei, female, born on April 5th of 2005, was picked up at Wuxue City 16 Qinglin Rd. (the entrance of the third hospital of the city) on April 12th of 2005. At that time she was wearing a pink cotton-padded hat, a white cotton-padded jacket, and red cotton-padded pants. She was wrapped with a pink baby quilt. There was a birthday note with her. Wuxue City Qinglin police substation searched hard for the baby’s birth parents and other guardian. Since they couldn’t find them, they determined her as a foundling and sent her to our institute to be raised till today. 

According to her birthday note we determined her birthday to be April 5th of 2005 and named her Xue Fu Mei. Xue sounds the same as the “Xue” in Wuxue. Fu is the first character of Social Welfare Institute (Fu Li Yuan). Mei means beauty. At enrollment her head circumference was 35 cm (13.8 inches), her chest circumference was 35 cm (13.8 inches), her length was 50 cm (19.7 inches) cm, and her weight was 3.5 kg (7.7 lbs).

Since enrollment Fu Mei has been raised in her foster family. Her health condition is good all the times. She never had contagious disease. She has received BCG Vaccine, Hepatitis B, DTaP, Polio, and vaccine for epidemic meningitis.

Fu Mei receives good care in her foster family. Her health condition is good. Her appetite is good too. At first 2 months Fu Mei ate well and slept well. She was obedient. She could grasp the object in her palm. She could tell brightness from darkness. She could stop crying temporarily when she heard bell ringing. She could raise her head momentarily when she was lying on stomach. 

At 3 months Fu Mei became more sensible obviously. She babbled when she was happy. She recognized people around her. When an adult talked to her she stared at his mouth and smiled. When you made a face to her or when you tickled her, she would smile. 

At 4 months she liked playing with her hands. Occasionally she sucked her finger. She could pull her clothes up to the face or grab things nearby. She could differentiate familiar people from strangers. She liked when her “mother” took her outside to get sunbath. She was very curious. She could pronounce “b, p, m” sounds. She liked to “communicate” with people. She liked when others played with her. If you gave her something, she would touch it and put it into mouth to bite. 

At 5 months we started to add supplements, like egg, noodle, porridge, and vegetable soup etc. to her diet gradually. She grew fast. She could stand with support under arms. 

At 6 months she could sit steadily. She could hold the milk bottle. She tried to get an object in front of her purposely. But when she reached the second object, she abandoned the first one. She could imitate saying “baba”, “mama” etc. She liked tearing a piece of paper. 

At 7 months her hands and feet moved swiftly. She could pinch small beans etc. She could feed herself a cracker. She liked sitting in a walker and learning to walk. 

Now Fu Mei can crawl. She turns her head when you call her name. She understands adult’s expression. She can stand momentarily holding onto objects. When she sees familiar people she will ask to be held and smile to them. If she sees something she likes she will crawl over to get it or stretch her hand asking for it. If you ask for something from her she will give it to you. Now her head circumference is 44 cm (17.3 inches), her chest circumference is 43 cm (16.9 inches), her length is 68 cm (26.8 inches), and her weight is 9.5 kg (20.9 lbs). She has 4 teeth.

Fu Mei has a good appetite. Now her major food is milk and rice cereal. Her supplements are egg, noodle, and porridge. She drinks 170 ml (5.75 ounces) of milk each time. She drinks 4 times a day at 7:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m., 5:30 p.m., and 8:00 p.m. Her daily schedule is: She gets up at 6:30 a.m. She takes naps at 9:30 a.m.-10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m. She goes to bed at 8:30 p.m. Fu Mei has a moderate sleep. Usually she defecates after getting up in the morning. She may urinate at any time.

Fu Mei is gentle, quiet and restless. She likes playing with toys. If you take away the toys she likes, she will cry. She is very surprised and excited about new things. She can be quite concentrated. She likes when her “mother” holds her strolling through streets and watching vehicles passing by. She is a lovely child.

Dean’s Signature:      Wuxue City Social Welfare Institute

Now look at this girl…

This is Dottie Windsor, whom Pam and Clara traveled with on the “Heritage Tour.”

Dottie is from a different orphanage, but nearby to Clara’s. This is Pam and Dottie’s mother, Robyn Windsor.

Pam and Clara could have never done this trip without Robyn and her husband Frank. Get this…Frank and Robyn have two biological children, but they’ve adopted SEVEN children from China. Yes, you read that correctly! Seven! They are some of the nicest and most godly people I’ve ever met or known. Frank is 6′ 7″ and loves sports. We have a lot in common! Here’s Frank…

He is COO, Rinnai America (tankless water heaters). Thank you Frank and Robyn for making all of this happen! We love you!

Yes…no doubt about it…I miss Pam and Clara so much! Andrew, Kandace and I are looking forward to picking them up in Charlotte at 9:34pm on Saturday night. After two weeks…it seems like two months!

Here is this week’s Two-Minute Tuesday:  “How NOT To Handle Family Conflict: IGNORING IT”

http://mpbc.ws/media/?sapurl=Lys3ZWViL2xiL21pLytybTd4Zno3P2F1dG9wbGF5PXRydWUmYnJhbmRpbmc9dHJ1ZSZlbWJlZD10cnVl

By the way…a weather note…

We’ve had 80 hours of below freezing temperatures. Since Sunday morning at 2am. The coldest so far at my house was 2.3 degrees on Tuesday morning. It’s possible we don’t get above freezing today. It’s 28 degrees right now. We’ll see. Here’s the thing… if we stay below freezing today, we aren’t forecast to get above freezing until Sunday afternoon!! That would be around 168 hours (over a week below freezing). I’m almost 50 years old. I’ve never seen it this cold this long. And guess what..,the same people who said it would never get cold again because of “Global Warming” are the same ones who will blame this on “Global Warming.” But you can’t have it both ways folks! 😀 What we are seeing are the normal fluctuations of the Lord’s earth.
Yep, it’s snowing in Charleston and Myrtle Beach! How about that!

Kevin

 

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FaithFest, Hurricanes, Florida

What a week! FaithFest was absolutely fantastic! To say that it was a success would be an understatement. The Wilkes Journal Patriot covered it here: http://www.journalpatriot.com/news/a-festival-based-on-faith/article_6c6a3010-8cb9-11e7-b683-03ae475c9443.html

To think that little ole Wilkes County could host a festival like this was amazing! Crowd estimates were around 8,000 people! Wow! For the first year that’s tremendous!! Truly, some of the best Christian artists in the country were on the stage at Wilkes Community College Saturday. The Gospel was preached and lives touched for all eternity! Now, I’m a bit biased because this was the vision of my brother-in-law Craig Church of Craig Church Ministries: https://craigchurchministries.org. Craig had a vision and the Lord saw it through! Our local businesses followed that vision and made it happen! Praise the Lord for Christian businessmen and businesswomen who love the work of the Lord and His kingdom and used their businesses as a conduit for the spread of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. https://faithfestnc.com/#sponsors

I must say I am biased in another way too. Kandace was one of the singer/musicians!

Man was I nervous. I tried not to let her know that I was, but I was. I was 10 times more nervous for her than I ever am when I’m in front of a large crowd. I guess that has to do with being a parent. Yes, I’m biased, but she did a fantastic job! You can watch a piece of her set here: https://www.facebook.com/johnlewismusic/videos/1874883719195555/ and here: https://www.facebook.com/FaithFestNC/videos/699993226838023/.

My favorite photo of Kandace was from Carly Blevins…

I love the smile! That’s joy! She had prayed and prepared and the Lord used my girl. I write this with a lump in my throat! I love you Kandace and I praise the Lord for your willingness to allow your life as a 19-year old young lady to be used for the kingdom! I thank you for being willing to stand for the things of Christ in a world that doesn’t necessarily revere the things of Christ as it once did. I thank you for being willing to put yourself on the line for Jesus! And “Thank you Lord! I’m so grateful for my girl.” As the Apostle John said: “I have no greater joy than to see my children walking in the truth.” 3 John 4.

Next year it’s looking like FaithFest might be a two-day event. Friday evening and Saturday. That would be tremendous! Thanks Craig and to all who made it happen! I’m really thankful too for our church, MPBC, that participated with so many workers, volunteers and helpers! Everywhere I looked I saw MPBC people working!

Speaking of working. There is so much to be done in Houston and the surrounding towns. It will literally take years to rebuild. My heart and my wallet goes out to those folks. I encourage you to consider helping our neighbors in Texas and I know of no better group to do that through than our own Samaritan’s Purse. https://www.samaritanspurse.org/disaster/hurricane-harvey/?utm_source=HurricaneHarvey2017Email1&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=m_YHHR-17E1&utm_content=Donate_Button

Did you see there is another one brewing in the Atlantic? It’s already been named: Irma. And she’s a powerhouse. She’s already a category 3. And wouldn’t you know it… Right now she’s headed for Florida.

Yes, she could go north and out to sea or even into the Gulf of Mexico. Let’s pray she goes north and curves out to sea. I’m praying that for our country and I’m praying that for my family. We’re heading to Florida at the end of next week for vacation and I’d really like NOT to have to come home early.

Here’s this week’s TMT: “The Envelope Please.”

https://subsplash.com/mpbc/v/wt4bctq

Kevin

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Another summer is upon us and it’s in full swing in my world. This week is VBS and next week is off to Texas and Mexico. In the midst of that Kandace and 8 other ladies in our church are in China and there is the process of putting together the budget for next year, getting people in places to serve (Nominating Committee) and planning for the future. There’s never a dull moment.

Pray for us tomorrow night. We’ll have a ton of parents here and they’ll be watching their children and see what they’ve learned this week. I’ll be sharing the Gospel by way of the Three Circles.

It’s a fantastic way to share the Gospel and how the Lord delivers from brokenness all those who will repent and believe in His Son. If they will do so, they can be restored to God’s design for them. A perfect life? No. But, a life where His presence and peace covers us and provides for us strength and security for each day. Knowing God is the most unbelievable part of life. To actually call the God of the universe: “Father” is mind-boggling to me! But, that’s the offer to all those who will receive Jesus by faith, and choose to repent of their sins and follow Christ. It’s such a simple exchange. But, it’s so hard for so many. Satan has such a stronghold on their lives and their minds. Truly, salvation is a spiritual transaction and we must approach people by means of prayer as the greatest tool in our sharing the Gospel… Yes, a good approach (like the Three Circles above) is necessary…but, the essential thing is prayer.

So, I’m praying already about who will be here tomorrow night. I’m praying the Holy Spirit will speak to hearts as they watch the Three Circles. I love this presentation of it from a student at Appalachian State University.

How cool is that! So, pray for us tomorrow night around 7:30 pm, as I share the Gospel.

I checked the weather forecast for Weslaco, TX. When we land on Saturday it’s supposed to be 101 degrees. Yikes! We’ll be seeking to pour the roof of the church next week. That will finish the project. It’s hard to believe we started working on this project five years ago. Praise the Lord that it will be complete (Lord willing and there are no issues).

This is how it looks as of today…

We want to get that roof on next week! But, we also want to minister to the people of Weslaco, TX. We have been going to Mexico since 2008 and it’s been a wonderful journey to watch children who were very little, who are now grown and continuing to follow the Lord. It reminds me of the Apostle Paul has he went back to the same towns on his missionary journeys to care for the people and to encourage them. That’s what we seek to do as well. Pray for our team of 26 as we head down on Saturday. Thank you!

My goal is to upload pictures on Facebook throughout the week as much as I can. I’ll look forward to reuniting with Kandace as she will arrive back on the 23rd and we’ll arrive back on Saturday the 24th. It’ll be about 1 am or so before I hit the sack…but, I’ll look forward to hugging my girl the next morning before heading off to church to preach. Reuniting when you haven’t seen your family for a couple of weeks is bit like heaven if you ask me. What a grand reunion we will have there one day. How in the world does our Heavenly Father hold back from sending Jesus to come get us… I’ll never know. His love and desire for more to come to know Him before it’s too late must be the overriding desire of His heart. Otherwise, it would be: LET THE REUNION BEGIN.

Here’s this week’s Two Minute Tuesday. Senator Bernie Sanders really put his foot in his mouth last week. See here, why he doesn’t understand the claims and teachings of Jesus at all. Also see  why the Senator doesn’t even understand our Constitution. How does a man like this ever get elected? It’s beyond me. And on top of that…he was almost the Democrats choice! YIKES! It’s gotten almost 4,000 views as of this afternoon.

https://subsplash.com/mpbc/v/kfbewhc

Here’s last week’s TMT on “Judging.”

https://subsplash.com/mpbc/v/lnz5z6z

Kevin

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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.

untitled66

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.  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! 🙂

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.
Like · Reply · 1 hr · Edited
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. 🙂 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! 🙂
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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 “Do 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.
Like · Reply · 1 hr · Edited
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. 🙂 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. 🙂 I can promise you that. I’m now in the minority in our post-Christian culture. Blessings to you David! 🙂
Like · Reply · Just now

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! 🙂 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  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’s 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

Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Proverbs 10:4

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

1 Timothy 6:17

…nor 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. Jesus said, “You can’t serve God and money.” The Bible says: “Godliness with contentment is GREAT gain.” And “If a man doesn’t work…let him not eat.” 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:

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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  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). 🙂

And I have a wonderful ministry assistant…

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My love to you all!

Kevin

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