June 28, 2005

Enforced Silence Up Ahead?

In light of the current trends aimed at silencing the Christian voice, I was startled to read Alexander Solzhenitsyn's statement in the book, "From Under the Rubble" published in 1975. While living under a more advanced form of secularism than ours, he writes:

"The transition from free speech to enforced silence is no doubt painful. What torment for a living society, used to thinking for itself, to lose from some decreed date the right to express itself in print and in public, to bite back its words year in and year out, in friendly conversation and even under the family roof." p4, "From Under the Rubble"

Are American christians headed toward the kind of enforced suppression that landed so many Russians in the gulags? If so, it would be nice if leaders of churches and households would have the presence of mind to fill the minds of her people with the Holy Scriptures that can sustain them if these times fall upon us?

June 22, 2005

Stu Epperson’s Talk Show

Thank you to Stu Epperson of Truth Talk, AM 1030 http://www.830wtru.com/
for inviting me to tell the story of the Trinity Baptist Church http://www.trinitybaptist-church.org/ and Vision Forum’s, The National Center for Family Integrated Churches http://www.ncfic.org/. The broadcast was about returning to Biblical order in the church and in the home. Stu is a refreshing brother who understands the importance of the issues on the table. It was a joy to field his questions and to review the doctrine of the sufficiency of scripture and to bring praise to God for His Perfect and Holy Word. My challenge to the listening audience was to remember this important doctrine; to trust and rejoice in the simple commands and precepts and examples in the Bible; and to see that there is no precept or principle or example or command anywhere in scripture that supports the idea of the modern age segregated, youth group dominated, Sunday school driven church that is so common today.

June 04, 2005

40th Birthday & A Study in Exemplary Friendship

It was Doug Phillip’s 40th birthday and his devoted wife Beall invited people from all over the country to celebrate it in my home in NC.

Lester Barham Cooks North Carolina Pork Bar B Q for the birthday boy

Howard Phillips holding forth at Doug's 40th Birthday party

Doug Phillips is a good friend to all, which makes him a study in exemplary friendship. The words I will use to describe his friendship are as follows: The praises, devotions, benefits, joys, counsels, designs, opinions and affections… of a friend. These descriptive words give a sense of the kind of friendship that Doug offers.

Praises of a friend: Doug praises his friends more than any man I have ever known.

Devotions of a friend: He is fiercely devoted to his friends and defends them with vanquishing passion.

Benefits of a friend: I told Doug on his birthday that I was glad he was given a life, because life is different for me and the Brown family, as a result of his birth.

Who is that young man with the rifle in my home?

Joys of a friend: He is joyful because he has no regrets, no major sorrows from sin and no “clouds” hanging over his life. This produces a freedom and a joy that cannot be had when one is encumbered with major regrets. Every man owes it to his friends to live a pure life without major regrets.

Counsels of a friend. Pr 27:9 says that ‘ointment and perfume delight the heart, And the sweetness of a man's friend gives delight by hearty counsel.” Doug is full of hearty counsel that is much appreciated by his friends.

Designs of a friend: Doug Phillips is a hero maker. He makes heroes of his friends.

Doug with his mother Peggy at his birthday party

Opinions of a friend. Because of the ways that Doug expresses appreciation, I have often felt that he thought too highly of me and I know for certain that his other friends feel the same.

Affections of a friend. Howard Phillips, Doug’s father told me that Doug was one of those boys whom, all his life, had a heart to do what was right. His affections drew him to good boys, good thoughts, good images and good actions. In short, he desired what was good.

I stand in the anticipation, for what I think will be the best years of his life. Generally, men are more productive once they pass forty. I am sure that “we aint seen nuthin yet’ from Doug Phillips in comparison to what we will see in the future. As long as humility and heart for God remain, the coming years will be sweeter than the years before.

Honor Phillips gets a ride from his daddy

Emily Smyth serves my friend Doug Phillips on his 40th... You aint seen nuthin yet!

Memorial Day Picnic Powerpunch

I am always amazed at the people of Trinity Baptist Church who invite the whole community to honor those who died serving our country and those who are still living. It is a herculean effort - a labor of love - a marvel - full service and honor.

Trinity Baptist Families Setting up for the Big Day

North Carolina Supreme Court Justice Paul Newby Opens in Prayer pictured with Jerry Mestas and Scott Brown

Doug Phillips in vintage form and shows clip from Faith of Our Fathers Project, and told stories gained from his recent trip to Iwo Jima - "The League of Grateful Sons". http://www.visionforum.com/hottopics/newsletters/newsletter.aspx?id=04-29-05

Rousing speeches were given by Bill Henderson, Buck Bunn, Howard Townsend, George Nickels and Mark Manney. Howard Townsend noted the shocking realization during the first days of training. ‘It’s not about me, it’s about my country” and affirming the truth that "The greatest battle going on today is the battle for the heart.”

George Nickels said about his time in Vietnam, "God was with me, God took care of me. God saw me and he knew about my weakness… God reached way below the bottom for me.”

A Big Thank You to The NC Brass Quintet who graced us with their amazing Singature Big Bands Sounds

Nathan Pease and Deborah Brown sing "I'll Fly Away"

Theodis Strickland (Korean War) sings of God's faithfulness in the midst of wartime tragedy

Trinity Baptist Members, Laura and Grace Bowen serve home made cake to over a thousand people

Mr. Pulley - Jeep Driver In The Battle of the Bulge Returns

Dan Garner - service with a smile

The Howard Phillips and Arnold Pent Families

Don Hart and Jim Zes - Two of my favorite men in the world

Hugh Kennedy (the guy in the middle in the white shirt) brought his Amphibious DUKW which was like the one his daddy drove in WWII on D Day on Omaha Beach. I think that at least two thousand children were driven around in this piece of living history.

Hay Rides by Dan Horn

Jeep Rides by Nathan Garner

Don Albright coordinates servers... Trinity Baptist families put on the whole event. Average age of workers - probably around thirteen years of age. I am always amazed at the strengths of these families who are raising bible saturated, parent directed, adult oriented (as opposed to peer oriented) self governed children - What a Powerpunch.

Claudia Brown and Sophie Albright deal out the hush puppies

Vietnam era OH 58 scout helicopter landed on Ground Zero. Thank you National Guard for this amazing demonstration.

The Trinity Baptist Parking Crew

Charles Eatman brought his munitions display and Jeep and spent the day educating all of us.

The Pearce Brothers and other comrades "just back" from WWII and the Korean War eating Southern Bar B Q, slaw and Hush Puppies

Neighbor Stuart Bulman making things happen

Matt Chancey in three piece suit looking like he makes things happen.

Mike Thorpe and Nathan Barnes and other Hayriders

The Baker Family Serving Cake

Bill Brown sings "Comin' In on a Wing and a Prayer"

Bill and Mary Brown walking home after a big day - 57 years of wonderful, family strengthening, community blessing marriage.