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Archive for the ‘Weather’ Category

I’m asked often, “What is the reason your church has grown so much?” I respond, “Well, first of all, it’s not MY church.” I say that in a kind way…because folks don’t mean it in a negative way. It’s just the way we talk about churches. But, then I hasten to say, “All I can say is the Lord has chosen to have favor on us and bless us.” Yet, now I add this: “But, the truth is I do believe I can point to something that we’re doing that’s pretty much a guarantee of the Lord’s blessings… GOING! Going and sharing the Gospel. Missions.”

I am convinced the Lord blesses churches who “gather for the going.” My job as a pastor/elder is to “equip the saints for the works of ministry” (Ephesians 4:11-16). Honestly, many churches tithe to themselves. Most of what they do is inward focused. Yet, Jesus told us to: “GO and make disciples of all nations…” So, we “gather for the going.” That’s got to be the goal. Why? Because Jesus’ command (not suggestion)…but command…is to GO!!

Last night we had a mission fundraiser called our “Cake Auction.” We raised over $7,000 for the mission work we’ll be doing this year. It was a fabulous time of fellowship and laughter and joy of being together and loving on one another and knowing that every dime that was raised will go to sharing the Gospel!

It’s always a blast making the cakes. Andrew made a cake all by himself (well…with a wee-bit of help from his momma) and it was delicious!

Check out this cake made by the Jason and Kristina Shropshire family. Can you figure it out…

Yep, it’s the “Lion and the Lamb” cake, representing the fact that Jesus is the “Lion of Judah” and the “Lamb of God.” I’ve been using that in the messages from Matthew 24-25 and Revelation. See this from our website:

Pretty awesome! We had some fabulous cakes and a WONDERFUL time!

Next up is our Soccer League that begins on Saturday! We have close to 200 kids signed up and about 50-60% of those (in my estimation) are in families that don’t have a church home. Would you pray for us as we kick off on Saturday? The weather looks to be perfect! Thank you Lord!

But, don’t get used to it. What? Yep, I believe after a brief “mild-up,” we’ll see cooler than normal temperatures lasting into the last 2 weeks of the month and probably into the first half of May. It’s really been a roller coaster ride. And this past winter proves that. See this graph…

I know it’s kind of “busy,” but you get the gist. We had a warm December overall. Yet, it snowed 7″ on December 8th. Then January was cold and February felt like “Spring had sprung.” However, March smacked us in the face. More snow. Huge flakes…

April will be much cooler than normal. Yep…big time roller coaster ride! Watch out for Sunday! There will be tons of potential in the atmosphere for bad storms. You’ll see this in the Plains today and then moving to Alabama and Georgia tomorrow and Saturday.

Someone asked me a few days ago: Do you do Spiritual Gifts tests for your members? I said, “No, because that’s between the person and the Lord. I see no spiritual gifts test in Scripture.” And what do you know…just a couple of days later I saw that Dr. David Black, professor of Greek and New Testament at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary posted this on his blog http://www.daveblackonline.com:

9:50 AM “In your opinion, what’s the best book on spiritual gifts?” A student asked me this question after my NT class yesterday. That’s easy. Kenneth Hemphill’s Spiritual Gifts: Empowering the New Testament Church. That said, I cautioned my student to be aware of two things: (1) the lists of NT gifts are not exhaustive, and (2) none of the gifts is defined per se. Then I asked him this question: “What, in your thinking, is the difference between a ‘natural ability’ and a ‘spiritual gift’?” I had a reason for asking him that question. You see, in the end I think there’s very little difference between a so-called natural ability and a spiritual gift.

When you become a follower of Jesus, two things happen. First, you acknowledge that every one of your so-called “natural abilities” is really a gift from the gracious hand of God. And secondly, you now employ those gifts in His service and for His glory alone. One of the gravest dangers of doing a spiritual gifts inventory on people is that it can all too often produce carbon copies of a stereotypical archetype. Instead, let’s ask people, “What do you love to do? What is your passion in life? What is it that you do that causes you to feel God’s pleasure?” Psychologists call this “self-discernment,” but for Christians, self-discernment is always connected to our relationship with God. The more we become like Jesus, the more we become authentically ourselves. What incredibly important theology. The path to self-fulfillment is simply discovering who our Creator designed us to be. (Side note. Here’s a quick test to determine if you’re doing the rightthing with your life and not merely a good thing. Do the satisfactions of your work outweigh the stresses? If your vocation is born out of a relationship with Jesus, then it will be a pleasure both for you and for others. After all, Jesus said, “My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.” So what are we complaining about?)

Our chapel speaker on Tuesday drove this point home. “Don’t waste your life! Don’t bury your God-given talents!” It’s simply too costly. So let’s give people the freedom to be what God wants them to be. The best we can do is give them Jesus, not a book about spiritual gifts. I have no confidence in Dave Black but I have every confidence in my Savior. He is utterly dependable, and if we look to Him, He will guide us in the right path for our lives. Trust me, no one wants to follow a fraud. Be who you are, the real you, the person God created you to be. The church is for real people with real families who lead real lives. And always remember the theology: Our true self emerges only from our uniqueness in Christ.

Amen Dr. Black!

So often I hear people say, “I can’t get plugged into my church.” Well, I don’t mean to be crass, but that’s your fault. It’s your church! Look and see what the church is doing and get involved. The reason you don’t feel plugged in is because you haven’t plugged in! Listen, people do what they want to do. If you have a heart to serve, you’ll serve. If you don’t, you won’t. So, plug-in! Go! Get moving!

Here’s this week’s Two-Minute Tuesday. Yes, yes, I know it’s NOT 2 minutes. I’m sorry. They usually never are! But, I try to keep them under 4 minutes…wink, wink. 🙂 This week’s TMT is about the task of not losing our kids. Should we teach them the 10 Commandments? Yes. Should we tell them there are 66 books in the Bible: 27 in the New Testament and 39 in the Old Testament? Yes. Should we teach them about David vs. Goliath and Daniel in the Lion’s Den and Jonah in the great fish? Yes. But, we must do more. We must give our young people a reason for their hope, beyond just memorizing facts and hearing wonderful stories. We must 1 Peter 3:15 this deal if we’re going to have young people who embrace the faith. Tell me…what do you see?

Take a look at this to find out…

http://mpbc.ws/media/?sapurl=Lys3ZWViL2xiL21pLyszd3l6cGpkP2JyYW5kaW5nPXRydWUmZW1iZWQ9dHJ1ZQ==

Kevin

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How’d I Do?

Do you go back and analyze your performance in your job or in your life? I do it all the time. That ten minute drive home from church each Sunday afternoon after three services can be excruciating. Why? Because I battle with the question: “How’d I do?” We all battle with self-doubt. We all struggle. We all have weaknesses. We all have strengths. I’ve learned to just be satisfied with doing my best. Yes, there are always things we can do better. But, if I’ve prepared, prayed and given my best, that’s all I can do. And that’s true of you!

Well, I was thinking about the winter weather and my little hobby of trying to forecast (even though I’m not a meteorologist). Well, “How’d I do?” Okay, let’s see…

I said all the way back in August…
“I’m a bit less bullish than their predicted 5 events and I will stick with 3-4 events and slightly above normal precipitation and cold… With all of this said, my “preliminary forecast” is for about 14″ of snow. That’s about 45% above average. However, if we get “the big one,” we could get that in one storm. I do believe we’ll have a warmer December to start…but, it should flip (if the Modoki pattern holds) by mid-to-late month into January. So, we’ll see. It’s always fun to try to predict these things. But, as we all know…only the Lord knows! 🙂
Well, we had a big snow in December of all things! 7″ on December 8th (again, that’s really early for that much snow) and another 1″ on Tuesday, December 12th. Then, we saw 4″ on Wed., Jan. 17th and about 1/4″ of ice/sleet on Sunday, Feb. 4th. So, in Kevin Brown’s back yard, I had a total of 12.25″ of snow, sleet and ice for the year. That’s pretty much right on average for us.
BUT, I thought we’d get more. And we didn’t. The pattern turned warm in February, which I said it would (remember the roller coaster that I talked about)…and it’s turned back colder again…even today. And we’ll have a close call Sunday/Sunday night. But, in essence, meteorological winter is over.

So, how’d I do in summary? Back in August I said we’d get around 14″ and then I got cold feet in October and backed off to 9-10″ (Oh ye of little faith, Kevin!) Well, the 12.25″ was a pretty decent forecast overall.

I’ll tell you what I’ll remember about this winter… It was how cold it was in January. Remember we had below freezing temps for almost 9 straight days. I will remember having to have the faucet dripping at night so the pipes wouldn’t freeze. And I bet your kids and grandkids will tell their kids and grandkids 40 years from now: “Boy it sure doesn’t get as cold as it did when I was little.” Ha ha!

I also said this back in August: “There again…western NC is close to the ‘dividing line’ of normal to above average precip.” And this is the map I showed…
And we were just outside that “Above Average” blue bubble. Now, I’m not bragging (that’s not very Christian), but I believe I did better than the computer models. Why? Because most models rely too much on La Niña versus El Niño. Truly, there are so many variable. There are no guarantees! Most winter outlooks are no better than the flip of a coin.
There are two guys who are the best: Joe Bastardi of weatherbell.com and Judah Cohen, who handles the AER Model below. He literally blew the models away (the American Models, the European-ECMWF, NOAA and the UK). The OBSERVATIONS map below show that the AER of Cohen’s was spot on. Well, I use Bastardi and Cohen because they don’t JUST rely on models. They use their brains and the past to forecast the future.

So, overall, I feel I did okay this year on the forecast, but I really did believe we’d have more snow in March and that just doesn’t seem to be likely now. So, you decide. I’m just thankful I’m not driving home from church or I’d be beating myself up.

Speaking of church… Last Wed. night, this couple sang in the old sanctuary (we call it the Prayer Chapel now)…

Yep, that’s husband wife team of Josh and Katy Isaacs. They did such a wonderful job. They sang a Dave Crowder song, “Come As You Are.” The lyrics are powerful…

Come out of sadness
From wherever you’ve been
Come broken hearted
Let rescue begin
Come find your mercy
Oh sinner come kneel
Earth has no sorrow
That heaven can’t heal
Earth has no sorrow
That heaven can’t heal

So lay down your burdens
Lay down your shame
All who are broken
Lift up your face
Oh wanderer come home
You’re not too far
So lay down your hurt
Lay down your heart
Come as you are

There’s hope for the hopeless
And all those who’ve strayed
Come sit at the table
Come taste the grace
There’s rest for the weary
Rest that endures
Earth has no sorrow
That heaven can’t cure

So lay down your burdens
Lay down your shame
All who are broken
Lift up your face
Oh wanderer come home
You’re not too far
So lay down your hurt
Lay down your heart
Come as you are

Come as you are
Fall in his arms
Come as you are
There’s joy for the morning
Oh sinner be still
Earth has no sorrow
That heaven can’t heal
Earth has no sorrow
That heaven can’t heal

So lay down your burdens
Lay down your shame
All who are broken
Lift up your face
Oh wanderer come home
You’re not too far
So lay down your hurt
Lay down your heart
Come as you are
Come as you are
Come as you are

Josh has been through a lot in his life and hearing and seeing him singing with Katy was so touching in my heart. I’m used to seeing Katy sing. She’s excellent. I mean that! Not just because she’s my daughter… It’s the truth. She’s gifted. But, to see Josh (who really can sing) pouring out his heart in the song…with those powerful words… Well, it truly touched me.

Folks, “How’d You Do?” Yes, ask those questions. Get better. But, also…don’t dwell on it. Don’t dwell on your past. It can hold you back and hold you down. Paul said, “This one thing I do…” Preach more? No. Start more churches? No. He said, “Forgetting the past…”

“But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead.” Philippians 3:13b

How’d I do? Okay. And so are you. Keep moving… Keep striving and keep straining to what lies ahead in Christ and you and I will do just fine!

Kevin

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Does It Snow More Today or Decades Ago?

Anyone who knows me knows how much I love the weather. One of the reasons I love it so much is the fact that humanity can do nothing about it. God controls the weather patterns. He allows what He allows and that’s that.

One of the people I love to follow is Van Denton. He is the Fox8 (WGHP) weather forecaster out of Greensboro. He has done some phenomenal work in studying winter weather and snow. People today seem to think that we got a lot more snow back in the 1950’s than now. Well, the truth is: that isn’t so. Van did the work to prove the point (via Greensboro data). Yes, the top 3 snowiest decades were (in order):

  1. 1960’s
  2. 1980’s
  3. 1970’s

But, the 1950’s were not as snowy has we’ve seen in this decade. The 1950’s were like the 1990’s (a snow drought).

See the chart below… You’ll note we’re currently averaging 8.5″ of snow for the decade, which is considerably more than the 5.7″ average of the 1950’s and the 7.3″ average of even the 1930’s.

In fact, according to Van: “The Piedmont-Triad is at the midway point of our snow season. We average around 8.5 inches of snow each season (normal through today is 4.3 inches). We have already had 9.7 inches and still have Feb. and March ahead of us. We also RANK ahead of Bluefield, WV for snow so far this season. Even ahead of Wash. DC.”

Yes, it’s been a snowy winter for sure. At my house, we’ve seen (thus far), 7″ on December 8th (that’s really early for that much snow) and another 1″ on Tuesday, December 12th. We saw 4″ on Wed., Jan. 17th and about 1/4″ of ice/sleet this past Sunday (Feb. 4th) and we’ve still got the back half of winter to go. So, in Kevin Brown’s back yard, I’ve had a total of 12.25″ of snow, sleet and ice for the year. That’s pretty much right on average for us.

Do you remember me showing you the Farmer’s Almanac prediction for winter?

They’ve been right in a lot of ways (particularly in our region). But, it has been a lot colder in the upper mid-west than they said and much dryer out west. Yet, when making a national forecast, they’ve really done quite well.

Well, what about the rest of winter? According to the National Weather Service, they’re predicting we’ll have below average temperatures for the month of February as a whole. See below… Follow the dotted, orange line and you’ll see it’s below the average of 50-52 degrees for highs and the blue, dotted line goes below the average as well.

I believe this is pretty accurate. We’ll see it warm up again (we’ve been on a roller coaster, can you tell) over the next couple of weeks and be around average or just above average. But, by the time we get to the end of the third week of the month, we should turn colder again. In fact, March is looking to be potentially cold for the first two weeks of the month. And you know what March snows can be around here! They can be our biggest of the season!

I said (back in August) we’d get around 14″ and then I got cold feet in October and backed off to 9-10″ (Oh ye of little faith, Kevin!). We’re already over that (as I said) of 12.25″. So, this looks to be a big year for us. Will you remember it? I bet you will. I bet you will remember it being below freezing for almost 9 straight days. I bet you will remember having to have the faucet drip at night so the pipes wouldn’t freeze. And I bet that your kids and grandkids will tell their kids and grandkids 40 years from now: “Boy it sure doesn’t get cold and snow like it used to.”

Well, hopefully, they’ll be a “Van Denton” of that day who will set the record straight with the actual records. 🙂

Kevin

PS Please pray for Andrew. He’ll be having his 6th surgery on his feet on Wednesday at the Shriner’s Hospital in Greenville, SC. It’s been a long pull for Andrew with his club feet (from birth). He’s come a long way! This was him before surgery several years ago.

So, this ain’t his first rodeo with all of this! They will be taking the screws out of his ankles/feet. And (Lord willing), this should be the last surgery! Thank you for your prayers! We take him down in the morning to Greenville. We’ve got to hit the road just after 6 am. So, what am I still doing up! 🙂

Kevin

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More Snow!

This winter has turned into an “old-fashioned” winter. If you talk to some old-timers, they’ll tell you, “Yep, reminds me of when I was young.” The truth is, the weather runs in cycles. Not just in season or years, but even decades and 1/2 centuries. We’re seeing this occurring. And it’s happened before. Nothing new here. And certainly not the hyped-Global Warming alarmists you keep hearing in the media. For more information on that, here’s this week’s TMT:

“I’m a Scientist, End of Discussion.” http://mpbc.ws/media/?sapurl=Lys3ZWViL2xiL21pLytqdmRnand4P2F1dG9wbGF5PXRydWUmYnJhbmRpbmc9dHJ1ZSZlbWJlZD10cnVl

The science is not settled on the weather or climate and the issue of abortion (with the blessing of ultrasounds) has shown us that babies aren’t just “blobs of tissue.” If the Supreme Court had the science of today (with ultrasounds), I’m convinced Roe. v. Wade would have been determined very differently.

Here’s the official reason giving for why we got more snow…

The truth is: the Weather Models couldn’t pick up on the lift in the atmosphere. Brad Panovich, meteorologist out of Charlotte, says it this way: “Upper low and jetstream are starting to enhance the lift and coupled with the very cold air fluffing up the snow. Totals are going to over produce by quite a few inches. Some locations will be close to 7-8″ in spots.”

Whatever the “official reason,” we know the Lord is in control. We can make forecasts all we want, but at the end of it all…He decides! 🙂

Great fun! Katy, holding Evie, Charlotte and Andrew…

Here’s Clara and Charlotte. That’s crazy! It was Clara who was that little just yesterday, it seems!

Down the hill they g0! Andrew and Charlotte! Zoom!!!

And then the task of getting all of those snow clothes off in the basement!

Snow! You gotta love it! Or hate it! For me…I love it! It slows down the world and we need more of that!

Kevin

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Let me tell you something… The Lord designed homes to have a mom and a dad. If I ever believed that, I believe it even more after Pam was gone for 2 weeks. She and Clara returned from China this past Saturday night and what a reunion it was!

They landed in Charlotte about 9:30 pm and we got home about midnight. But, it took forever to go to sleep because we were so excited to see one another! What a joy! And another reminder to me that I’m a blessed man to be married to Pam. She’s wonderful! I really mean that!

Now, I almost hesitate to say what I’ve said because I know a single mom might read this and say, “Thanks a lot Kevin! I’m having to be mom and dad!” And that’s why I hesitated to write: “Families need a mom and a dad.” I know there are families that are doing quite well with the circumstances you’re living under. Honestly, my heroes are single moms and dads. I don’t know how you do it! You are amazing people! For me, I need my wife, particularly for my children. You see, there are things that my girls need that I can’t give them. Sometimes, a daughter and yes, a son, needs their momma.

Now, we didn’t have any major problems or issues…all went really well while Pam and Clara were gone…other than freezing to death (more on that in a moment). But, my point is that the Lord designed the home to be made up of a father, mother and children. That’s His design, not mine. He’s the grand designer and He knows what works best. This is why I counsel couples who are considering a divorce (and they have children), to hang in there and keep working. Because here’s the cold-hard truth…you’re going to work hard no matter what. You’re either going to work hard to save your marriage or you’re going to work hard to figure out who gets the kids on Christmas morning and on their birthday and on vacation. Yes, either way you’re going to work…so, why not work on the marriage and seek to put the effort into it on the front end and save the marriage versus getting out calendars and arguing over dates.

Yes, they say that absence makes the heart grow fonder. I guess that’s true to a degree… But, I know absence of Pam makes me appreciate her even more!

Speaking of family. We had this one snapped at Christmas. This is how it all started… This was the original foursome…

In case you are wondering…yes…my dad is an inch taller than me. But, if you’ll look closely, I’ve got long legs. 🙂

Here’s a picture of the grandkids…

Isn’t that good?! (Again, this was minus Clara.)

And here’s a picture of my family on Pam’s side… (again, minus Pam and Clara.)

I’m so thankful for all my family! We’re very blessed!!

Something else we’re blessed with (all of us) is heat and a roof over our head. This past cold snap sure made me thankful for that. It was so cold. We were at our below zero 3 mornings during the 8-day snap. Creeks, like Lewis Fork Creek, were almost frozen over.

It’s going to go down as one of the longest cold snaps ever in our area and in many areas in the southeast and mid-Atlantic. I talked about it during the Two-Minute Tuesday this week… “Has the Record Cold-Snap Been Due to Climate Change?”

http://mpbc.ws/media/?sapurl=Lys3ZWViL2xiL21pLytrcGp0Y2ZqP2F1dG9wbGF5PXRydWUmYnJhbmRpbmc9dHJ1ZSZlbWJlZD10cnVl

The Lord is good… We baptized 7 people on the last day of 2017! What a celebration! Listen, these people are genuine souls! I can’t say 100% that anyone is saved… Only God knows that. But, we talk to people at length before baptizing them. And so, I can tell you that in my heart, I’m convinced these 7 are genuinely, born-again, followers of Christ! Each of them gave me permission to share what I’m about to share (which I also shared on the 31st).

That’s Kristie Bryan (below). She’s a jewel. A wife and mom (her husband, Trey is with her), and a fabulous CRNA at Forsyth Medical Center.

Here’s what Kristie said:

“I was baptized at the age of 8, but through the years I began to have doubts and I just didn’t feel like some of my actions truly reflected what a Christian should be. There have been many nights that I woke up upset at the conflict that was in my heart. Pastor Kevin’s service [11.12.17] touched me that morning and I was led to talk to him. After I prayed to God with Kevin to be saved, I felt an immediate weight lifted and was more sure than ever that I would be in God’s kingdom someday.”

That’s Terry Walsh (below). We’d been praying for him for years. He was holding back…but, the prayers of his wife and mom and many folks in the church brought the conviction of the Holy Spirit to his heart and he walked the aisle on Sunday, November 12th and raised his hand before all the congregation and said, “I’m ready to be saved!” Praise the Lord!

That’s Dylan Kilby (below). Here’s a young man who was honest enough to say, “I had gotten into sin and that caused me to doubt my salvation and I’m nailing it down. I’m going to live for Jesus!” Now that’s a man, folks! It takes a man to admit that before a church. Dylan is married to a precious young lady, Josie…and they are going to have a great marriage.

Here’s what he said:

“I was living in sin without any remorse. I had said the prayer and thought I was good but I did not change. But I thought that was all you had to do to be saved. But the week after the total eclipse I was laying in bed and I felt a power of guilt come over me for all the sin I had been doing and I hit my knees and called upon Jesus Christ with all I had in tears to save me from this pain and sin that I was in and he did. He saved my soul from it all. He is lord of lords and king of kings I have felt his power and strive to become as close to him as I possibly can… I changed for sure this time I’m trusting in him alone to get me out of this doubt and the Bible is becoming more clear to me… Thanks pastor Kevin for the night you talked to me about doubt. You really helped me hold my head up and keep pouring it out to Jesus.”

Powerful!!!

That’s sixth grader, Isaiah Lewczyk (below).

He came forward on Sunday, November 12th at the end of the service and said, “I’m not afraid to make the journey.” (I had been saying that during the message.) He’s already been selected to be the Chaplain of the Jr. Beta Club at his middle school. What a fantastic young man Isaiah is and will be! He’s got a fabulous family and they are raising him in the Lord!

That’s Josh Farmer (below). Josh had gotten to a place in his life that he wasn’t sure he was saved.

Here’s what Josh said:

“When things were going good I thought I was going to heaven when I died, but when things were going wrong, there was doubt in my mind. That message with the blind beggar [11.12.17] was a mirror image of myself. While I listened to you, I realized I thought I was saved but I simply wasn’t. That’s when I decided it was time and enough was enough.”

Folks, the truth is, so many people in the South make a profession of faith when they’re kids (because they are scared of going to Hell…and that’s a good reason…but the truth is…it’s not till later that you can tell if they really got saved…looking for fruit). Josh nailed it down with me after the service on November 12th. (Can you tell the Lord was moving in a powerful way that day!!)

That’s John Edwards and Kristen Testerman (below). John is seeing Kristen’s mom, Sherrie. And amazingly…the Lord has been doing some powerful things.

John grew up with a Methodist background and had been christened as a child. However, since he’s been coming to the church with Sherrie, he said the Lord had really changed his life. Here’s what he wrote me…

“I was simply lost.. I wasn’t receiving the truth. My attendance had dropped off to nothing and for years I didn’t attend church anywhere… I was feeling ashamed of myself and missing a lot of fulfillment… I was invited to your church… and from day 1 the Lord was speaking to me. Every service after the message, I felt was directed to me. I began to learn more than I ever had. I physically felt forgiveness, a load was lifted from my heart. I knew the Holy Spirit was in me and I love it. I look forward to every day that I share with God. Thank you.”

Isn’t that wonderful! God is good!

Here’s what Kristen said:

“When I saw 8, I went through the general steps of being saved. I repeated a prayer in VBS, walked in front of the church, and got baptized. After that I went on mission trips and did things with the church, but in my heart, I knew I wasn’t saved. I believed in God, but I knew that I wouldn’t be going to heaven if I kept living the way I was. I got to a place where I was empty and I tried to fill that emptiness every way I could. On Thanksgiving I realized that I needed Jesus. So, I nailed down my salvation and I surrendered. Getting baptized is just me showing the world who is in control of my life.”

Folks, this is powerful stuff! And I pray it has blessed and touched your heart to read these testimonies. If for some reason, you aren’t a believer or you aren’t sure you are a believer in Christ, please contact me. I’m here to help! Email: kevin@mpbc.ws.

Kevin

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Don’t Rush Past History

As we celebrate the Christmas season, may we not be guilty of “rushing past history.” What do I mean? Well, it’s busy and if we’re not careful we’ll just go through the motions and slap up the tree and wrap the presents and do the meals and then… BANG, it’s over and we’ve gone through another Christmas season… But did we rush past it and miss it!

Let me give you an example. You know I’m a weather nut…so, that’s where I’ll get the example of “rushing past history.” It’s already snowed twice at my house this year. On Friday, Dec 8th (7″) and again on Tuesday night, Dec 12th (1″). Folks, that’s early for any snow at all, much less a total of 8″ for the winter season. That’s about what we go all of last winter and it’s just mid-December (technically not even winter, yet).

Now, here’s the thing… The snowfall that we got wasn’t isolated to us. It snowed from MEXICO to MAINE!

Take a look…

Now, get this… Meteorologists say this hasn’t happened for 131 year!! One weatherman said it this way: “A snowstorm of this magnitude & spatial extent in early December in the deep south likely hasn’t occurred in @ least 131 yrs. In early Dec 1886, another storm dropped > 6″-12″ snow in parts of MS, AL, GA, TN, & NC w/ accumulating snows observed in the FL panhandle.”

Notice he said, “1886,” not “1986.” So, I told my kids, “Guys…this is something you may never see again in your lifetime.” No, I’m not saying they won’t see it snow in early December again. They likely will. But, I’m talking about this MUCH, this early! This is truly an anomaly. So, we should not rush past it! This was historic! And if we aren’t careful, we’ll just blow by it and it won’t even register!

It’s not often you get to see snow on Christmas decorations…like at my mom and dad’s front steps…

But, do you remember when I blogged back in August (August 25th) and gave you my preliminary Winter Forecast and I said this…

What forecasters try to do is to look at what are called “analog years” and that is where they look at the past and see which winter in the past might be most similar to the upcoming one and then peg it to that winter. The winter they are looking at is 2010. Remember that winter? It snowed at Christmas. Clara and Andrew were little tykes then…

The snow was majestic as we walked up to mom and dad’s to celebrate…

Will that happen this year? Honestly, there’s no way to predict that. It would be a wild guess, no matter what anyone tells you. It’s such an anomaly here. White Christmases are very rare. I’ve seen two in my lifetime of almost 50 years.

With all of this said, my “preliminary forecast” is for about 14″ of snow. That’s about 45% above average. However, if we get “the big one,” we could get that in one storm. I do believe we’ll have a warmer December to start…but, it should flip (if the Modoki pattern holds) by mid-to-late month into January. So, we’ll see. It’s always fun to try to predict these things. But, as we all know…only the Lord knows! 🙂

No, I’m not a prophet, because I blew this last storm, big-time! I said we’d get about 1-2″ and we got 7″. But, the pattern is similar to 2010. So, that’s why we can say, that we’re looking at 45% above normal. So, if this forecast holds true, then Wilkes County has seen about 1/2 the snow we’re going to see this Winter already. OR, I’m wrong and we could get more!!! We’ll see!!

But, it sure was pretty last week…

I tell you all of this to make my main point again… Don’t rush past history… And this is what I’m really talking about…

That’s just one small section of our Christmas tree this year. Hmm… Let’s see… There’s Clara when she was a little tyke and there’s good ole Barney and there’s Katy. Oh my! She was about 4 or 5 when that picture was taken (Pam would know :)). There’s an ornament from the Great Smoky Mountains. I think Pam and I got that one in Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge before we even had any of the children (Pam would know :)). And there at the top of the picture is an ornament from the Dutch Country in Pennsylvania. Oh, it’s been years since we were there (Pam would now how many :)).

My point is that I stood at our tree the other night and I really looked at those ornaments. Ornaments that the kids made and ornaments that we’ve bought in the various places we’ve been through the years. Honestly, I stood at our tree for about 5-6 minutes and literally “walked down memory lane.” And I thought, “Kevin, don’t rush past history!” Soak it in! Soak in this Christmas. Right now! My parents are still alive. So are Pam’s. I’ve got two grandkids. Kandace will be 20 in a month. Clara and Andrew are going to be teenagers in 2018. Soak it in Kevin! Don’t rush past this because it won’t be like this again… No, not in 131 years…not ever!

Soak it in this Christmas. When you can…sit still and soak in the wonder of Jesus and those you love and those who love you! Why? Because if we don’t…we’ll rush right past history!

Kevin

This week’s Two-Minute Tuesday: “This Man and Religious Freedom.”

http://mpbc.ws/media/?sapurl=Lys3ZWViL2xiL21pLyt0OGh5M2I2P2F1dG9wbGF5PXRydWUmYnJhbmRpbmc9dHJ1ZSZlbWJlZD10cnVl

 

 

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Tornado!!!

Monday afternoon I walked outside at the church at about 3:20 pm and realized the air felt strange. Hot and cold air swirling and so were the clouds. I went back inside and pulled up the radar. I saw the massive line of storms developing to our west and I saw they were coming in from the south.

Hey folks, when we get weather coming from the south or the north, watch out! That’s when we can get straight line winds and yes, tornadoes. Typically we are insulated here in the foothills from these weather phenomena because we’re protected by the mountains as the fronts come in from west to east. But, not on Monday. We had a freight train coming from the south.

I got on Facebook and said:

Strong line of storms will be coming through Wilkes this evening as folks are getting off of work. 5:30-6:30 pm timeframe. We’re under a tornado watch. So, know where you’re gonna go in threatening weather. Have a plan.

I meant it! Sometimes people like me (weather nuts) can be a bit overly dramatic about the weather. I admit it! 🙂 But, I was concerned. Real concerned! Then at about 4:45, I pulled the radar back up at my desk and I saw what was coming through Hickory. I saw the hook-echo in the signature of the line headed our way. That’s when I left the church and headed home. I knew my daughter Katy was going to head to dance class in N. Wilkesboro at Tonya’s Academy of Dance. I thought, “Surely, she won’t go.” After all, I had been texting my family since 3:30 telling them to “keep an eye to the sky.” My daughter, Kandace was at work at Cook’s Sporting Goods, but would soon be leaving to go to Tonya’s to teach dance.

Here were both of my daughters and my two grand daughters exposed to this line of storms. But, surely Katy wouldn’t be going! Surely! Nope! I pulled it right at 5:03 pm and sure enough less than a couple of minutes later, there she went down the driveway. What!!! What in the world is she doing!!!

Well, Katy teaches piano on Monday afternoons and Pam goes to watch the girls while she teaches. The dance class at Tonya’s is at 5:30 pm and we live about 20 minutes away, so Katy has to high-tail it down there to make it before the class starts. She was so busy teaching her piano class and Pam was so busy taking care of Charlotte and Evelyn, well…why pay attention to the “wolf-crying meteorologist want-to-be” like me??? Right??? After all, it seems (to them and perhaps many others) that I’m always saying, “The weather is going to get rough!” Yes, I’m paranoid! I admit it!

When I was about 4 or 5 years old I remember living in a mobile home with my family and it was in the afternoon and there was a tornado warning and remember going to my grandparents home (right beside of our trailer) to seek shelter in their basement (me, my mom and my sister). I still remember that vividly!

So, yes…I am constantly texting my family about weather fronts. But, this time was different and I tried to express that. But, they were all so busy! Kandace had to get from Cook’s to the dance studio ASAP too and so…there you have it… A perfect storm of: “EVERYBODY IS OUT IN THIS MESS!!” Yikes!

No sooner do I get in the door at my house than Pam pulls in from watching the grand babies and I said, “Why in the blue blazes is Katy going to dance! Is she out of her mind!” I pointed to the television and there was the blue screen that said: Wilkes County, NC TORNADO WARNING…a tornado that is radar-indicated is moving from Boomer toward Wilkesboro and N. Wilkesboro. Van Denton was on FOX-8 and Lanie Pope on WXII-12 saying, “Take cover Wilkes County residents: NOW!”

I told Pam, “Call Katy and tell her to turn around!” Pam tried and couldn’t get through. By now it was on!!! The cell lines were jammed! Everybody and their brother was calling and texting and the systems were overloaded. But, then Katy gets through to Pam. Pam said, “It’s Katy!” Hallelujah! “Tell her to turn around!” Pam told her. “What?” “Oh no!” Pam was saying with fear in her voice. I said, “What’s going on!” She said, “She’s trying to find a place to take cover in Millers Creek. She said it’s like the wind is picking up the van and the rain is white blowing sideways. “I can’t see anything!” Katy said. It was panic mode.

At that moment, my cell phone is buzzing… “Kandace Brown” I swiped it! “Daddy, what’s happening!” I said, “Kandace you’ve got to get out of the building NOW!” (You see, Tonya’s classes meet in a second story building that’s old…real old and I knew that building could never stand a direct hit.) At this point I had my computer pulled up and I could see the swirl on the radar coming just to the east of them…but, it was going to be close.)

“Kandace, get those kids out of that building and go to the ground floor of the Wilkes County Library next door. Now baby! Go!” She said, “Are you sure Daddy, I’m scared!” I said, “I’m sure baby…go.” Kandace is brave and strong but she was frightened and I knew Tonya was too. I could hear here in the background. They had about 40 little girls to take care of. Ultimately, they were able to get them to safety in the lower level of their building because the shop owner below let them in.

Meanwhile, back to Millers Creek and Katy and my granddaughters. They had gotten out of their van at a produce stand across from Millers Creek Baptist Church. They were holed up in the back of it…drenched, soaking wet. What a scene! Chaos unleashed on Wilkes County. It was amazing! Thankfully, everyone was safe. Oh…and I shouldn’t neglect to tell you that Josh, my son-in-law was driving in the mess too! He goes from Wilkes Communications in Wilkesboro over to N. Wilkesboro to the dance studio to meet Katy and the girls on Monday evenings. He was driving around trying to avoid the flying debris that was blowing around right behind Tonya’s studio. What an amazing scene! This is the Jewelry store just down the street…

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The damage around the county was amazing…

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Thankfully no one was killed in the storm. Yet, tragically, a lineman (a bi-vocational pastor) was killed. Here’s the news report:

The victim was identified as Brian Keith Wilmoth, 31, of Wilkes County. The sheriff’s office said Wilmoth, an employee of Asplundh Tree Expert Company, was operating a chainsaw and cutting a tree that had fallen on a power line. As Wilmoth cut the tree in two, the power lines sprang upward, throwing the tree back on to Wilmoth. Here’s the full story: http://www.wxii12.com/article/wilkes-county-man-killed-after-cutting-down-tree-in-county-hit-by-storm/13090052

Please join me in praying for this precious family…

My heart breaks for that sweet lady, his wife. I saw an interview on TV where she said, “The Lord will take care of us and I know my husband is with Him now and it’s going to be okay.” I have tears in my eyes typing those words. What a Christian lady! I just sent the family some money. They’ll need it. You can do so here: https://www.gofundme.com/support-for-karla-wilmoth/thankyou?d=nsbldhX1mz6AifZ87plLIYyVTedZ9UyUeKbZk07eWqY%3D#

I’m so blessed that my family is safe! I know many suffered without power for several days. We were without power for a day. But, even in that…we see the Lord is good.

This week’s Two-Minute Tuesday was about that, “When Everything Stops.” http://subspla.sh/w4j8fkp

Next week, Pastor Dale, Kandace, Clara and I head to the Philippines to share the Gospel. We’ll be speaking to as many as 5,000 people while we’re gone. That includes government workers and public school children. Pray that people will be touched and lives saved for Jesus Christ. Would you pray for us, please? We’ll be leaving after church on Wed. night and return about 2 am on Saturday morning, Nov. 11th. Thank you!

Kevin

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