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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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Hard Work!

“If a man won’t work, let him not eat.”

Is that in the Bible? Yes, it sure is!

It’s found in 2 Thessalonians chapter 3. Here’s the context:

10 For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat. 11 For we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies. 12 Now such persons we command and encourage in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to earn their own living.

13 As for you, brothers, do not grow weary in doing good. 2 Thessalonians 3:10-13

Work.

How hard do you work? I’m sure you work hard. We all think we hard. And the truth is, the majority of people I know do work hard.

I was raised to work hard by parents who expected it and grandparents (on both sides) who expected it. From working in a chicken house, rolling a wheelbarrow loaded down with manure, to hoeing a garden in 95 degree heat, to weed eating around a million trees (well, maybe not a million). 🙂 Point is: I’ve never known anything but hard work and it drives me absolutely crazy when I see able-bodied people not working hard. When I see people with their hand stuck out, but that same hand will not wield a broom or a shovel, well…I struggle.

“If a man won’t work, let him not eat.”

Yes, it’s one thing if someone can’t work. But, it’s totally another thing if they’re faking it because they’re lazy.

Proverbs 10:4 A slack hand causes poverty, but the hand of the diligent makes rich.

I’ve tried to teach these things to my children.

That’s the family walking back to the vehicles after another cleaning job. Yes, we’ve been cleaning offices for over a decade. Every week. 52 weeks per year for 13 years to be exact. We now take the grandkids. It’s amazing. When we started, we didn’t have Clara or Andrew. We clean toilets, windows, vacuum, sweep, dust…you name it. And it’s good for us! It’s good for the kids. It’s teaching work ethic.

The kids have chores at home and I bet yours do too. Chores are good and it teaches a good work ethic. The kids know how to wash clothes, load the dish washer, fold clothes, sweep, dust. You get it. We’re not running a Holiday Inn… We’re running a household and it takes everyone working to make the Brown and Isaacs Economies work.

At the end of the day…we reward the kids. We reward them with a good vacation. You know, Disney. It’s takes about 3 years of saving…but, boy…let me tell you something…we work hard…but, we play hard. It’s good to work…but, it’s good to play. “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” You know that proverb, don’t you?

I also believe the way we work will be the way we live our relationships. If we are taught to work, we’ll work through problems in life. We’ll work through things that life throws at us and we’ll pray and with the Lord’s help we’ll overcome.

I’m thankful for work! I’m thankful that work wasn’t part of the curse. Adam worked in the garden naming the animals before the curse ever occurred. Did you know we’ll serve (work) in heaven? We sure will and it won’t feel like work. Here’s the verse I’m thinking of… It’s found in the last chapter of the Bible…

No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. Revelation 22:3

You say, “Where’s the work?” Well, it’s the word “worship.” Did you know the Greek word used there is: latreuō.

What does it mean? According to blueletterbible.org:

  1. to serve for hire

  2. to serve, minister to, either to the gods or men and used alike of slaves and freemen

Folks, that looks like “work” to me. How about that? In fact the footnote in blueletterbible.org is this: in the New Testament, to render religious service or homage, to worship.

Therefore, when we work, we are actually “worshipping?” Isn’t that wonderful!! What a blessing to work!! What a joy to serve the Lord!!

Kevin

Billy Graham

Billy Graham.

Just seeing those two words: a name… Wow! They conjure up so many thoughts and emotions in my mind, as I’m sure they do yours.

What a man! What a legacy!

I am blessed to have heart him in person, in 1996, at Panther Stadium in Charlotte. This is a picture I pulled off the internet of that crusade.

That’s a pretty good depiction of where I was. I was in the “nose bleed” seats. Actually, I was on the left side of the stage (the left side of that picture). It was a wonderful experience to say the least. He preached a simple, yet profound message about the cross of Christ. Thousands came forward. I’m grateful I got to experience that.

Truly, Billy Graham is one of the greatest evangelists in the history of the world. “History of the world?” Yes! Ever! I personally believe there will never be another man, like Billy Graham. A man who was allowed by so many foreign governments to come in and preach and teach about Jesus. Those doors have closed in many places today.

Take a look at this picture of him preaching in Korea to 1.5 million people.

People magazine interviewed Billy Graham in December of 1975. It’s an excellent article. I’ve noted several things from the article that you might find interesting about him:  http://people.com/archive/cover-story-blunt-billy-vol-4-no-25/

How do you view your responsibility as a religious leader?

It’s a responsibility of leadership that I was really not prepared for by way of formal education. I’m called upon to answer questions on every conceivable subject, and I feel terribly unqualified. I run scared all the time that I’ll say something or do something that will bring reproach to the Kingdom of God and to the church.

Why do you run scared?

I have to think: how’s this going to sound in India where I minister? Or, how’s it going to sound in Africa? Now, when it comes to biblical issues and moral issues I take a strong stand. But if it’s an issue of who’s right and who’s wrong in about 45 wars going on around the world, it’s pretty hard for me to make these decisions.

How do you explain your magnetism?

I believe the Bible. I don’t have any doubts about the Bible being the word of God. That gives me an authority. Secondly, I have tried steadfastly to stay out of religious controversies. The average life span of an evangelist is 10 years. We’ve been going 26 years.

Which President did you know first?

Mr. Truman. Massachusetts Congressman (and later House Speaker) John McCormack was very interested in me and asked if I’d like to meet the President. President Truman and I talked about 40 minutes, and when I left I asked if we could have a prayer. And we did—right in the Oval Office.

How did you know John F. Kennedy?

Five days before John Kennedy’s inauguration, I was invited to join Kennedy for golf at his Palm Beach home. There I met his father, Ambassador Joe Kennedy, who said he was among 60,000 people who had seen me in Stuttgart, Germany. Three days later he said he told the Pope about me. The Pope said, “Yes, I wish we had 100 Billy Grahams in our church going around the world doing the same thing.”

Do you think President Nixon was personally guilty of misconduct?

I would have to say he was. I really believed in him, but I didn’t know that all that stuff was on tape. When the language came out which I had never heard, and the apparent misrepresentation to the American people, I was shocked and surprised. This was a Nixon I didn’t know.

Have you any political aspirations?

I never have and I never will. I can do more for the country and the world by preaching the Gospel. I’ve had two Presidents offer me jobs, either as an ambassador or in a top position. I looked them both in the eye and said, “No, sir, the Lord’s called me to a much higher calling.”

How has your career affected your own family?

I have a very remarkable wife that God must have sent. She was born and raised in China and sent to school in North Korea. She was used to danger and toughness. She took our three daughters and two sons and said, “You go preach the Gospel, and I’ll raise these children for God and you’ll be proud of them when they grow up.” When I did come home, my children knew they came first. 

Do you take security precautions?

Religion and politics are two things that stir people up. My lack of privacy also has risks. I get threatening letters which I turn over to the FBI, and they tell me which ones to consider seriously. Once in San Diego a person came at me with a knife. But I never think about the danger. I’ve already told my wife and my organization that no ransom is ever to be paid.

Do you think you would have the same personal magnetism if you were short and fat?

Well, the greatest evangelist of the last century, Dwight L. Moody, was short and fat and ate himself to death. But he was the founder of the ecumenical movement. Many of the great social movements of today came from his ministry.

How do you feel about the state of the world?

If I didn’t have my spiritual faith, I would be a pessimist. But I’m an optimist. I’ve read the last page in the Bible. It’s all going to turn out all right.

Now, as a preacher/pastor, myself, I must tell you that I sure can relate to the “running scared.” Remember that first question he was asked. He said, “I run scared all the time that I’ll say something or do something that will bring reproach to the Kingdom of God and to the church. It truly is amazing what you are asked as a preacher of the Gospel. I’ve been asked about almost every topic you can imagine and I, like Billy Graham, feel so inadequate so often. You have to lean on the Lord a lot. No question about it.

I read this morning about a visit a man had with Dr. Graham a couple of years before his death and a couple of things stood out that he shared. He said that Dr. Graham said that he did listen to critics, but that he didn’t dwell on them. He said, “In my position, I am subject to criticisms more often than I like. Indeed I am pretty thin-skinned, so it is an area in which I constantly struggle.” He was later asked: How, in a lifetime of international ministry and scrutiny, did you deal with the constant stream of criticisms. Mr. Graham smiled and said, “I ignored most of them.” You see, I believe Billy Graham learned the secret of public ministry. Yes, we are accountable to the public at large, but if you dwell on the criticisms, they will distract you and ultimately hurt the ministry. You can’t worry about constantly taking up for yourself. There are times you have to…but, the majority of the time you just have to let your body of work stand for itself and move on. People aren’t dumb. They can see if you are real or fake.

I believe that’s one of the greatest virtues of Billy Graham. He was such a humble man. Here’s a man who met with presidents and kings and preached to millions. Without question he is one of the most famous and influential men of the 20th and 21st centuries. Yet, in all of this, he’s still the humble boy of a dairy farmer who grew up in Charlotte, NC.

Can I recommend a movie to you?

This movie is excellent and it will give you insight into his life as a boy and then meeting Ruth and the early years. It’s not a movie that I would let little children watch, only because there are some intense scenes with an atheist. But, for those children 10 and older, it’s an excellent family movie.

Something else I recommend to you is a 7-minute segment I had sent to me earlier today that aired on NBC of all places. It was interview by Megyn Kelly of Kathie Lee Gifford about Billy Graham. It’s worth 7 minutes of your time. And might I say this…only Billy Graham (his name) could have pulled this off on a very liberal network like NBC. Praise the Lord for Kathie Lee’s boldness.

https://www.today.com/video/kathie-lee-gifford-reacts-to-death-of-prominent-pastor-billy-graham-1166462531896

I’m sitting here at my desk drinking a cup of coffee from this cup…

Obviously, you know where I got the cup. I highly recommend a trip to Charlotte to see this wonderful place. Of all the coffee cups I can drink from, (besides my Yeti that Kandace got for me), this is it. Why? Honestly, when I was at the Billy Graham Library several months ago, I bought this cup because I felt a connection to Billy Graham. As I walked through the museum and I watched video-segments of him preaching, I thought, “I get to do what Billy Graham does. I get to preach the Gospel!” I remember feeling so humbled and so blessed. No, I’m no Billy Graham…not even close… But, I am a preacher of the Gospel, just like him.

So, I sit here drinking a cup of coffee…marking up my sermon for tonight from Revelation chapter 2 on the church at Smyrna and I’m thinking about these two…

They are reunited now! Wow! Just the thought of that brings tears to my eyes. And something else too… Billy Graham has personally met Jesus! How about that! After all these years of preaching and proclaiming His name…Billy Graham is with the Savior now! Honestly, I’m envious!

Thank you Lord for Billy and Ruth Graham and for their legacy and for the legacy that continues on through their children and their ministries!

Kevin

That Look

Today is a day of LOVE!

Image result for image of valentine's day

What a wonderful day to celebrate LOVE!

Love. It’s the core of the Gospel. For God so LOVED the world that He gave… Yes, He gave. In His love for us God chose to give of Himself and come to die for us so that we might have eternal life. Wow! What a LOVE!!! That’s better than a card or chocolates in my book!

Love. The world is looking for love. It’s been said that the greatest emotion of the human heart is to love. “To love and be loved is the greatest emotion.” That’s what many say and I won’t argue with them.

I’m thankful for this lady, who loves me…

For 27 years, I’ve been blessed beyond measure to be married to this dear lady. But, marriage is work, friends. You know it is. Marriage takes time and effort.

It’s like growing a garden. If you aren’t intentionally weeding that thing, you’ll have problems. Marriage is no different. It takes intentional attention for a marriage to thrive. You have to water, nourish and care for the marriage or it will produce no fruit. But, this takes time. It takes time to talk. Time to communicate. Time to work through disagreements and misunderstandings. It takes time to plan and time to rest. Yes, rest. Rest in each other’s presence. Our problem is most of us don’t rest much. We go, go, go and then one day… Well, we look at each other and say, “Who are you?” We’ve spent all of our time working, paying bills, raising kids and paying the mortgage that we forget each other.

I’m grateful for Valentine’s Day, because at least the calendar forces us to LOVE. We’re forced by February 14th to slow down and LOVE. So, we buy cards, candy, flowers, go out to eat, etc. And that’s a good thing. But, we need to do more of that. And the truth is: I’m chief of sinners, on this front. But, what we can do is communicate (even if it’s late at night, if you have kids in the home). You’ve got to talk. Communicate. Don’t live in separate rooms…where she watches her stuff, while you watch yours. Put the phones down and talk to each other. Get off the gadgets and talk. Remember. Think back. Enjoy each other’s company the way you used to (back in the days before Facebook, Twitter, cell phones, etc.). Just look at each other.

I’m strange and you know that. But, sometimes I’ll look at Pam… I mean really look at her and I might even lovingly and softly place my hands on her cheeks and say, “Let me look at ya!” And she’ll blush and say, “Aw, you’re crazy!” And I’ll say, “No…come on…let me look at you…” And I’ll look into those beautiful eyes… eyes that aren’t as bright as they were 27 years ago…eyes that might even be staring back at with my glasses just below them on her nose. And I’ll say, “I love you Pam. Thanks for loving me and putting up with me.” And you know what…that’s a good thing. Sometimes even one of the children will see us doing that or see me kiss Pam on the cheek and the look on their face is priceless. What look? That look that says, “My Daddy loves my Momma.” That look. That look that says, “Daddy and Momma are going to be together for you all of my life.” That look. That look that says, “I’m confident in my parent’s love for each other.” For better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, till death us part. Yes, that look!

I sure do love Pam and I sure do love these people, who came from the love that Pam and I have for each other:

Speaking of LOVE. This week’s Two-Minute Tuesday is about the new No-No in dating. Have you heard about it? Don’t ask them their last name. Yep, you heard that right. The new dating No-No is to ask your date their last name. Folks, you can’t make this stuff up. Watch…

http://mpbc.ws/media/?sapurl=Lys3ZWViL2xiL21pLyt0empyYmJwP2JyYW5kaW5nPXRydWUmZW1iZWQ9dHJ1ZQ==

Kevin

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

We know God is the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. We know that He is Sovereign over all. We know that He has a plan for all of our lives. And we know His will is perfect for our lives. But, how often do we really feel like we’re “in the will of God?” My great-uncle once told me, “Kevin, I feel like every now and again I my life sweeps across the will of God, but all too often, I didn’t realize it until I was out of His will again.” You’ll get a hearty Amen from me on that! It’s not that I feel I’m walking in the path of sinners, but it’s kind of like hitting a golf ball. You’ve really got to tag that little ball in the sweet spot of the club before it will really take off. You can be close to the sweet spot, but still shank it right into a pond.

Well, I believe I’ve witnessed the will of God quite a bit lately. Three examples I can give you that I really believe I’ve seen the hand of the Lord moving and working. And they just happened to all occur on the same weekend.

Many of you know I went to Texas and Mexico over the weekend of January 20-21. Andrew went with me. He’s a joy to be with (and I mean that…not just because he’s my boy…but, he truly is a good kid). This is us on the plane…

God’s beauty…

He loved the Mexican “Coca Cola.” Honestly, they do seem to taste sweeter and are more stout! 🙂

Andrew was so inspired being in Mexico that we’ve pulled out our Rosetta Stone and he’s learning some more Spanish.

We were there for this…

Can you make that out?

  • Baptist Church
  • Mount
  • Pleasant
  • MPBC
  • Fund Independent

They renamed their church after our church to thank us for the 9 years of work we’ve done to help build the church. What a joy!

This is Pastor Oscar and his wife Miriam and their boys, Oscarito and Eli.

What a wonderful family! Pastor Oscar and Miriam were planted by this couple…

Pastor Lupe Garcia and his wife. They are from Rio Bravo, about 45 minutes away. Oscar and Miriam went to Progreso on faith and saw the need for a church there. Progreso is a border town and there are tons of US visitors. The need for a church was great and Pastor Oscar said he’d go.

It was a great service!

This is the original group that grew from Pastor Oscar and Miriam’s work.

Oh how I love these people! We had a great time of celebration afterward upstairs (what we have helped build over the last three years)…

See those holes in the walls? We’ll be helping to put windows in those holes and to stucco the walls and ceiling. Lot’s to do this “mission season.” It’s gratifying to see all of this. It’s also gratifying to see MPBC here at home who loves people so much that we’re willing to work, raise money, sacrifice and give for the work of the kingdom and our brothers and sister in Progreso. Thank you MPBC! I believe it’s one of the main reasons the Lord has blessed us so much as a church.

Well, that’s #1. Blessing #2…

See these people…

That’s Pastor Jason and Katie Church and their wonderful boys, Caleb (beside of Jacob), Wesley (beside of Andrew) and Liam (on the end of the table next to Katie). What a wonderful family! They’ve been in Weslaco for almost 6 years. They have been serving the Lord in building a church called “Church of No Walls” and being the caretakers of our properties (MPBC) in Weslaco, for teams to come down and work in TX/MX from our church and others. They’ve done a fantastic job!

We’ve been praying for Pastor Jason and their church! We’ve helped to establish a storefront church on Texas Blvd, (Main Street), Weslaco.

They’ve been working so hard to grow the church and reach the people of Weslaco. We’ve been praying with them and for them as they seek to reach the community. Now take a look at this church…

That’s New Life Baptist Church on 6th Street in Weslaco (two streets over from Main Street). See this man with Jason…

That’s Pastor Manny Portillo. Pastor Dale Jennings and I Skyped with Pastor Jason and Pastor Manny several weeks ago. Pastor Manny is the current pastor of New Life Baptist Church. Yet, Pastor Manny came to Pastor Jason (they’ve known each other for several years) and said, “Jason, I believe the Lord has told me to come ask you to come and lead the church: New Life Baptist. You see, Manny is also a chaplain for Hospice and his job is so busy that there are times he is called out on Sunday mornings and can’t preach at the church. He is unable to keep office hours or really be there for the people. Pastor Manny knew of Jason’s work and Manny went to his leadership and said, “I believe Jason is the man for our church.”

The leadership met and take a look…

Jason is now serving as one of the pastors along with the Music Pastor, Steve Chamblin. This is pastor Steve…

The church was one of the first four churches established in Weslaco. This sign is outside of the church…

Here’s some of the old history photos of the church in the early 1920’s-30’s…

Unfortunately, over the years, the church had dwindled down to just six people. Those six knew they had to do something. They asked Pastor Manny to help them and he did. He along with those good people grew the church as far as they could take it. But again, Pastor Manny’s job keeps him so busy that he can’t do all that he wants to do and needs to do. So, Pastor Manny and New Life is looking to Pastor Jason to help the church to go to the next level.

Well, I was there and I saw just how much the people love Pastor Jason and Katie and their family!

Jason is filling the pulpit now…

Katie is part of the Praise Team…

Jason is keeping office hours four days a week from 9 am – 2 pm. Here’s his office…

Now someone is at the church to help meet the needs of the people. Talk about a shot in the arm to the church! What a blessing! And oh…the church is so nice. Those six folks sacrificed so much to keep it all going. And there is no debt on any of the buildings or property!

It’s beautiful!

It can hold over 400 people…

Here’s the kitchen…

It has a large field…

A beautiful gym with stage (I took the picture from the stage).

They had a movie night last Wed. night in the gym and showed the film via a screen from the stage. I was able to attend Sunday School and hear the people gush over Pastor Jason and all he is doing for the church.

I know that at least three, possibly four of the people in that SS class were of the original six that I mentioned earlier. But, here’s what I’m really thankful for…

Lives are being touched…

What a blessing! And in case you are wondering, nothing changes with the work with MPBC. We see this as a God-send! We are excited as a church (MPBC) to partner with New Life. And New Life is so excited to have Church of No Walls and their folks join them. The New Life folks said they see MPBC as another way of reaching people in the Weslaco area! Oh how I love seeing God’s hand! He’s working folks! Believe me! It’s amazing to see! Brothers and sisters in North Carolina, Texas and Mexico working together!

Blessing #3…

Andrew and I go to the airport on Sunday after church and lunch to prepare for our trip home and I’m so excited to listen to my niece, Leah Church and the Carolina TarHeels play Duke. At the airport I was able to get wifi and watch the final quarter (and the eventual overtime) on my phone. Andrew and I were going nuts! Carolina was down to the Blue Devils by 19 points, but came all the way back to tie. Leah was popping three-pointers all over the place. She ended up with five three’s for the game and she hit two monster 3’s in overtime to ice the game.

I was so happy that I was almost crying! (Actually I did wipe away a tear or two.) Why? Because Leah has worked so hard to get to this point in her life.

And she gave all the glory to Jesus Christ. You can read about that here in this article in the Daily TarHeel. It’s a great article about Leah and team and the huge comeback that was truly amazing! It’s titled “Take Me to Church.” (Gotta love that title!)

http://www.dailytarheel.com/article/2018/01/church-wbbside-0121

What a fantastic and amazing weekend Andrew and I experienced. All in God’s amazing timing!

This week’s Two-Minute Tuesday: “What Happens When Things Go UNRESOLVED.”

http://mpbc.ws/media/?sapurl=Lys3ZWViL2xiL21pLytod3MzczZ2P2JyYW5kaW5nPXRydWUmZW1iZWQ9dHJ1ZQ==

I also want to tell you how thankful I am for this young lady…

I can’t believe I’ve got another daughter in her 20’s! Kandace turned 20 on Sunday! Man am I feeling old! I’m so proud of this young lady!

She loves her family…

and the Lord…

and she works hard at her job at Cook’s…

for her students at the dance studio…

and she’s a pretty fantastic lady any way you look at her! I’m a blessed man!

Happy Birthday Kandace! I love you with all my heart!

Kevin

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