Category Archive

A Reformation of Church and Family

As we close out 2015 we are very thankful for the things the Lord allowed us to accomplish through those who support us prayerfully and financially. 

We conducted fourteen regional leadership meetings around the nation, furnished a Church Discipline Conference, and produced a very practical video set designed to equip young men for life and business called, “Lifeskills.”  Our national conference on “The Highway of Holiness,” had a very centering influence on us, and many of the people to whom we minister. 

I was particularly thankful to conduct a conference for couples married less than seven years… Wow. What a hopeful experience it was to be with them as we spoke of “Getting the Picture Right.”

We also published a book specifically for young people who have grown up in Christian homes, called “Early Piety.” This book helps children and parents to understand where they are spiritually and to understand the true gospel. It is a passionate appeal for them to seek the Lord early in their lives. We expect to be shipping this book out in early January.

It seems to me that one of the most significant things that happened this year was through our Regional Facilitators. These men launched a major effort to clean up our church network list, make contact with those who have been affiliated with us through the network, to conduct regional meetings – and to listen and pray. These efforts have resulted in the strengthening of relationships, discovering of new relationships, building bridges as well as clarifying what we are really advocating. I am very grateful for Mike Cheney, Steve Hopkins, Tom Ford, Ross McDonald, Kirk Smith, Jason Dohm, Greg Thornberg, Mike Cox and Tony Lepore who worked on this effort. One of the facilitators explained the bond we have with these churches this way, “The true commitment that binds us together is a commitment to the Scriptures and this makes our churches and our families similar to one another.” As I was contemplating on some of these similarities as a result of the regional leadership meetings I attended, I wrote an article on the commonality that these churches share. 

Ultimately, our prayer is that the result of our work – when all is said and done – is that we were a blessing to a Church Network of biblically ordered churches and families and that we thereby contributed to the work of reformation that God is working around the world. 

We believe that the reformation of churches and families is pivotal to this work of reformation that Jesus described in Matt 28, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

Our prayer is that our work in 2015 and the years to come will be a fulfillment of these words.

I’ve been preaching through Isaiah in our local church and I recently did an exposition of Isaiah 61:1-12. In that chapter Isaiah is speaking of the power of the preaching of Jesus Christ (61:1-3) and then describes many of the results in people’s lives. One of the marks of the true church is that she is rebuilding what has been broken down, And they shall rebuild the old ruins, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the ruined cities, the desolations of many generations (Isaiah 61:4). 

One of those results is that people will look at the church from the outside and marvel at the strength and the beauty of the peoples lives within and they will be calling the people, “trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.”  Isaiah further explains how people – non-Christian people will notice that something very good has happened to them and how different their children are, “Their descendants shall be known among the Gentiles, and their offspring among the people. All who see them shall acknowledge them, that they are the posterity whom the Lord has blessed” (Isaiah 61:9).

We are working and praying for a reformation like that. Would you help us in this reformation? 

Please consider supporting our work financially

Supporting the NCFIC means you are advancing a message that exponentially spreads the gospel by strengthening churches and families.

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What is Your Position on Christmas?

Super Sale! In Your Hands Before Christmas – Guaranteed

Hello, we are writing to notify you of our “Christmas Super Sale.” We are offering three great deals on select books in the NCFIC store you do not want to miss!

First, we have the “Family Theology Super Bundle,” which includes our groundbreaking book A Theology of the Family, as well as other great books on the family, such as:Family Reformation, Feminine by Design, and all three volumes of Building a Godly Home. Normally, this would cost $109.95. For a limited time though, we are offering all six of these books for 40% off plus FREE shipping, which results in one low price of $54.13!

Next, we are offering $5.00 off dozens of products in the store. All items marked with a blue tag receive the discount!

Third, we are offering the complete three-volume set of Building a Godly Home, the modern reprint of William Gouge’s excellent book on the family Of Domestical Duties, for 30% off plus FREE shipping, which results in one low price of $25.90!

This deal ends on Friday December 17th. Finally, while supplies last, we will send out your books in time for you to receive them by Christmas!

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Preaching in Medillin Columbia this Weekend

Please pray: This weekend Deborah and I will be in Medillin, Columbia to minister at a wedding, preach at a reformed baptist church (Iglesia Bautista Reformada la Gracia de Dios de la ciudad de Medellín, Colombia) and speak to seminary students from the seminary that is connected with the church, Seminario Reformado Latinoamerican (Reformed Seminary of Latin America).  

Our relationship with these folks began a couple of years ago when I spoke at a pastors conference in Bogota. When we were there Deborah developed a relationship with some single women and continued in contact with them in a discipleship relationship. Deborah has been a bit of a mother to them helping them to understand womens roles and other matters. Two of the ladies were granted spouses by the Lord and one of them was married earlier in the year and the other one will be married this coming weekend. Deborah coached them through the process. And now, she is helping with the wedding.

Here is the schedule for prayer purposes: Friday night we will meet with the church. Saturday is the wedding, and Sunday Ill be preaching and then meeting with seminary students in the evening, while Deborah will be meeting with the women to speak about womanhood. 

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Spurgeon on Open Air Preaching

An often overlooked ministry in the church today is that of the open-air preacher. What has open-air preaching looked like over the centuries of church history? And what are some basic principles that we should use in practicing this work today? Spurgeon answers both questions in this fascinating study of open-air preaching.

Open-Air Preaching is adapted from two chapters of Lectures to My Students entitled “Open-Air Preaching and Its History” and “Open-Air Preaching—Remarks Thereon.” Charles H. Spurgeon delivered his Lectures to My Students to men preparing for the ministry at his Pastor’s College. He founded the college to provide a place where men called to preach could study at low cost and with a clear focus on preparation for ministry rather than scholastic achievement.

See this resource at Chapel Library – Open-Air Preaching, a book by Charles Spurgeon

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The Highest View of Women

Last weekend for the first time, we held a marriage retreat designed specifically for newlyweds. We tried to lay a solid foundation of biblical truths upon which we hope these young marriages will be built. The central theme of our time together was “Getting the Picture Right.” We wanted these young couples to see that their marriage is about more than their own happiness. Through their marriages, they are picturing Christ and His bride, the Church. Though these individuals may be the subject matter of the picture, Christ should be the central focal point.

As I was explaining Eph 5:22-33 I emphasized that Christianity has the highest view women among the religions and philosophies of the world and therefore, Christian men ought to have that same view. Matthew Henry’s commentary in Proverbs 31 speaks of,

“The unspeakable worth of such a one,  and the value which he that has such a wife ought to put upon her, showing it by his thankfulness to God and his kindness and respect to her,  whom he must never think he can do too much for.”

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Early Bird Rate Expires Soon for The Fear of God Conference

Please consider joining me, along with Ken Ham, Joel Beeke, John Snyder and many others for our national conference next year titled, “The Fear of God.” We will be developing the doctrine of the fear of God, as well as discuss the applications of this doctrine for our own hearts, homes, churches, and government.

There are astonishing promises spoken in Scripture to those who fear the Lord. One of those promises is found in the book of Proverbs: “By humility and the fear of the LORD are riches and honor and life” (Prov. 22:4).

You may be thinking, “Oh, I already know about the fear of God. Why do I need to go?” Let’s take a moment and think about the condition of our own hearts, churches, families, and nations in regards to the fear of God: There has never been another point in history where our nation has demonstrated less fear and honor toward God than it does now in our present time. We need to recapture this crucial doctrine.

As you depart from this conference, you will have experienced a thorough study of the fear of God from Genesis to Revelation. I hope that you will be able to join us!


Scott Brown


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A Husband’s Bearing with His Wife’s Weaknesses

As we are in the midst of “Getting the Picture Right,” Im thinking of a quotation from William Gouge in “Building a Godly Home, A Holy Vision of a Happy Marriage,” on how husbands love their wives by bearing with their weaknesses,

To this point we have covered the husband’s avoiding of offence; now I will speak a word concerning his bearing with offence.

It is a general duty, common to all, to “bear ye one another’s burdens” (Gal. 6:2), in which even a wife is to bear her husband’s burdens, because he, as everyone else, is subject to slip and fall and so needs to be supported. Yet after a more special and particular manner does this duty belong to a husband, and that in two respects.

1. Of the two, he is more obligated than his wife, because in relation to his wife he is the stronger, for she is the weaker vessel (1 Peter 3:7). But the strong are most obligated to “bear the infirmities of the weak” (Rom. 15:1).

2. He is obligated to bear patiently with his wife more than with any other, because of that close relationship which is between them. He that cannot bear with his wife, his flesh, can bear with nobody. The reason given by the apostle to move a man to dwell with his wife according to knowledge, and to give honor to her, implied in this phrase, “as unto the weaker vessel” (1 Peter 3:7), shows that this is a particular duty belonging to a husband, in which he may both show his knowledge and wisdom, and also honor his wife. For why is he reminded of her weakness, but to show he should bear with her patiently?

As that phrase implies the duty, so also it implies a good reason to enforce it. For precious things which we highly value, the weaker they are, the more tenderly, and carefully are they handled, as china dishes, and crystal glasses, and of all parts of the body, the eye is most tenderly handled. Now what things, what persons are more dear and precious than a wife? Yet for all that she is a weak vessel: therefore she is much to be born with patiently.

For a husband’s better direction here, difference must be made between weaknesses. Some are natural imperfections, others are actual transgressions. Natural imperfections are inward (as slowness in mind, dullness in understanding, shortness of memory, quickness in strong emotions, etc.) or outward (as lameness, blindness, deafness, or any other defect and deformity of body). These infirmities should cause pity, compassion, sympathy, and even greater tenderness and respect, but no offence. Note Abraham’s example in this case; his wife was barren, yet he did not despise her for it, nor did he accuse her with any such thing.

Actual transgressions are violations of God’s law, and such are meant here which most directly tends to his own disturbance and disadvantage, as argumentativeness, insisting on her own way, being picky, stubbornness, etc. In bearing these must a husband especially show his wisdom in various ways.

1. By using the best and gentlest means he can to cure them, as meek admonition, seasonable advice, gentle appeal, and compassionate affection. Elkanah, supposing that his wife did wrong in her strong emotions, thus dealt with her and supported her (1 Sam. 1:8).

2. By removing the stone over which she stumbles, by taking away the cause (so far as conveniently he can) which makes her to do wrong. Thus Abram, by God’s advice, put Hagar and her son out of the house because they were an offence to Sarah (Gen. 21:14).

3. By turning his eyes away (if the matter be not great, but may be tolerated) and taking no notice of the offence, but rather passing by it, as if he perceived it not. Solomon says, that it is a man’s glory to pass over a transgression (Prov. A Husband’s Kind Conduct toward His Wife 19:11), and he exhorts a man not to give his heart to all the words that men speak (Eccl. 7:21).

4. By forgiving and forgetting it if notice is taken of it. Jacob took notice of Rachel’s wrath, and stubborn demand, for he rebuked her for it, yet he willingly yielded to that which afterwards she asked him to (Gen. 30), it appears that he forgave the offence, if not forgot it.

The best test of a man’s affection to his wife, and of his wisdom in ordering the same, is in this point of bearing with offences. Not to be offended with a wife that gives no offence is not praiseworthy; pagan men may go so far. Notice what Christ says of this case, “For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? Do not even the publicans the same?” (Matt. 5:46; cf. Luke 6:32–33). Gently to bear with and wisely to pass over offences when they are given, not to be provoked when there is cause of provocation given, is a true Christian virtue, a virtue fitting husbands better than any other kind of men.

Husbands’ Quickness to Anger

Contrary is quickness to anger, and irritability, when husbands are moved with the least provocation, like tinder catching fire at the least spark that falls upon it. Many are like gunpowder, which not only takes fire, but also breaks out into a violent flame upon the least touch of fire. As gunpowder is dangerous to be kept in a house, so are such husbands to be joined so nearly to wives as marriage joins them. If it be said, that as gunpowder does no hurt if fire come not at it, so they are good and kind, if they be not provoked and displeased, I answer, that we have a proverb that says, “The devil is good while he is pleased,” yet it is not safe to have the devil too near. It is as impossible (considering man’s weakness) that he should live and keep company with any, and not give offence, as for flint stones to beat and dash against one another repeatedly, and no spark of fire to come from them. How then may it be thought possible for a wife, who is so continually keeping company with her husband, and the weaker vessel, to live without giving him offence? It is no very kind speech, which husbands use, especially if they be told of their unkindness, “Let my wife deserve favor, and she shall have it.” How little favor would such husbands have from Christ their Husband, if he should have that attitude toward them?

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In Marriage – Prepare One Another for Heaven

Richard Baxter spoke of how husbands and wives can sweeten their heavenly journey by preparing for it,

“In the time of health, you must often and seriously remind each other of the time when death will make the separation; and live together daily as those that are still expecting the parting hour….Reprove everything in one another, which would be an unwelcome memory at death. If you see each other dull and slow in heavenliness, or living in vanity, worldliness, or sloth, as if you had forgotten that you must shortly die, stir up one another to do all without delay which the approach of such a day requireth.

And when death is at hand, oh then what abundance of tenderness, and seriousness, and skill, and diligence, is needful for one, that hath the last office of love to perform, to the departing soul of so near a friend! Oh then what need will there be of your most wise, and faithful, and diligent help!….They that are utterly unprepared and unfit to die themselves, can do little to prepare or help another. But they that live together as the heirs of heaven, and converse on earth as fellow travellers to the land of promise, may help and encourage the souls of one another, and joyfully part at death, as expecting quickly to meet again in life eternal.”1

1. From the final paragraphs of Richard Baxter’s, “The Mutual Duties of Husbands and Wives Toward One Another.”

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Young Couples Marriage Retreat Starts Today

Deborah and I are so thankful for what’s coming this weekend… Getting the Picture Right. We will have 20 newly married couples with us in our home, to help them see the beauty of their roles their lines and their whole purpose.

Here is the The Puritan Daniel Rogers on Importance of Marriage

Marriage is the preservative of chastity, the seminary of the commonwealth, seed plot of the church, pillar of the world, right hand of providence, supporter of laws, states, orders, offices, gifts, and services; the glory of peace, the sinews of war, the maintenance of policy, the life of the dead, the solace of the living, the ambition of virginity, the foundation of countries, cities, universities, succession of families, crowns, and kingdoms.1

 1. Daniel Rogers, Matrimonial Honor (Warrenton, VA: Edification Press, 2010), 6.

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Your Sun Shall No Longer Go Down

As we see the great and startling news stories of our day and the weakness and dullness of our own lives, we often tempted to fear and despair. However, we must always remember that the greatest problems in the world are light problems. They all stem from a hatred of the light of Jesus Christ. People love the darkness and as a result it seems there is no hope But what we often miss is that nothing can overcome the light of Jesus Christ. He is an everlasting light and because of this we should never despair.

The central message of Isaiah 60 is the everlasting power and practical beauty of the works of God’s Son – the light of the world. This Sunday we will focus on Isaiah 60:16-22, where the prophet continues describing the many blessings of His light upon church in the era of the new covenant. Why would God do these things for His people? Why would He bring such benefit to the church? The answer is that He wanted to prove something,You shall know that I, the Lord, am your Savior And your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob” (60:16b). Each verse in our section brings identifies the ways of God’s preferential love toward His people. And what is the final purpose of it all? “Everlasting light,” in order “that I may be glorified.” 

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Cyber Monday Deals – All Day Today

All items marked with the red tag on the store, are 50% OFF!
Items included are below:

  1. Highway of Holiness MP3
  2. Highway of Holiness DVD (Pre-order)
  3. Foundations MP3
  4. Power of the Gospel MP3
  5. Power of the Gospel DVD
  6. Worship of God DVD
  7. Family Foundations Set
  8. Church Discipline DVD

All items marked with a blue tag are $5 off each item!

We’re also offering FREE shipping on orders over $50, and a FREE MP3 of the Highway of Holiness for all orders over $150! (Use cupon code: “CYBERMONDAY” for free shipping, there is no need to add the Highway of Holiness USB to your cart, we ship it to you automatically if your order is over $150)

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Cyber Monday Deals – Coming Monday Morning

All items marked with the red tag on the store, are 50% OFF!
Items included are below:

  1. Highway of Holiness MP3
  2. Highway of Holiness DVD (Pre-order)
  3. Foundations MP3
  4. Power of the Gospel MP3
  5. Power of the Gospel DVD
  6. Worship of God DVD
  7. Family Foundations Set
  8. Church Discipline DVD

All items marked with a blue tag are $5 off each item!

We’re also offering FREE shipping on orders over $50, and a FREE MP3 of the Highway of Holiness for all orders over $150!

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Thirteen Thanksgiving Celebration Tips

It has always amazed me that we live in a nation where a holiday is given to the people for the purpose of thanksgiving. Let’s seize the day! It is a marvelous opportunity for us to lead our families in thanksgiving, building cultures of happiness and gratitude in our families that spill over into the church and the society at large. If there ever was a truly biblical holiday in America, Thanksgiving would top the list.

What follows are THIRTEEN Thanksgiving Celebration Tips.  I write this that we “may proclaim with the voice of thanksgiving,” and to tell of His “wondrous works.” (Psalm 26:7), and to declare the praises of our Lord Jesus Christ across the land. In it you will find encouragement to read the scripture, sing the songs, recount the history and dedicate your family to building a culture of thankfulness.

1. Do what a fun family in our church does…

We have a family in our church that has a large and fantastic Thanksgiving celebration that engages all ages in the pilgrim story. It is educational and engaging for all. Anyone who comes must be dressed as a character of someone on the Mayflower, and ready to tell the story of their lives, reciting a speech to all – from the littlest to the oldest.

2. Read Psalm 136 

A couple of years ago, our family read Psalm 136 and each person gave a personal testimony of thanksgiving between each verse. Ezra 3:11 gives the basic idea for this, “And they sang responsively, praising and giving thanks to the Lord: “For He is good, For His mercy endures forever toward Israel.” Then all the people shouted with a great shout, when they praised the Lord, because the foundation of the house of the Lord was laid.”

3. Capture the opportunity to teach the sufficiency of Christ

Thanksgiving offers fathers a wonderful opportunity to intentionally use an entire day to teach your family and friends about the importance of giving thanks. Families need leaders who will establish and undergird and constantly reinforce a culture of joy in a family. Thanksgiving offers a brilliant opportunity for leaders to lead their tribes in thanksgiving and drive a stake in the ground to say, “thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Cor. 15:57), and to declare, “Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place” (2 Cor 2:14).

4. Play some Pilgrim games

It’s always nice to go outside and have some fun after such a fantastic meal. Over the years, we have played various pilgrim games. Here are some supposedly authentic pilgrim games. Following are two games that I think the pilgrims might have played that our family has played. 

The Spoon and Apple Race

Mark a start and finish line and move the apple along with a spoon. 

Pumpkin Roll 

Make a circle about 5 feet across out of a rope, and give the kids pumpkins around the circle at an equal distance from it. The first one who rolls the pumpkin into the circle is the winner.  

5. Exercise your guns

This is a distinctively pilgrim game. There is didactic evidence that the pilgrims got out their guns and went shooting… Here’s the reason we are confident this is a pilgrim game: Edward Winslow wrote, 

amongst other recreations, we exercised our arms, many of the Indians coming amongst us, and amongst the rest their greatest king, Massasoit, with some 90 men, whom for three days we entertained and feasted.” 

6. Have a hay ride to end all hay rides

For the past several years, we have had a Hay Ride on Thanksgiving. One year we pulled a low farm trailer with hay bales to sit on and we drove around re-enacting the voyage of the Mayflower, including people getting washed over board as did John Howland during a gale about half way in the journey… How was John Howland saved? 

“In sundrie of these storms the winds were so fierce and ye seas so high as they could not baree a knote of saile, but were forced to hull for diverce days together. And in one of them, as thus lay at hull in a mighty storm, a lustive yonge man, called John Howland, coming upon some occasion above ye grattings, was, with a seale of ye shippe, throwne into ye sea; but it pleased God that he caught hold of ye tope-saile hallards which hunge overboard and rane out at length; yet he held his hould (though he was sundrie fadomes under water) till he was hould up by ye same rope to be brime of ye water, and then with a boat-hooke & other means got into ye shippe again and his life was saved; and though he was something ill with it, yet he lived many years after and became a profitable member both in church and commonwealth.” (From Bradford’s, Of Plymouth Plantation)

7. Read the First Thanksgiving Proclamation of 1777

Read the rich and biblical language in the First Thanksgiving Proclamation, delivered in 1777 by the Continental Congress. The authors spoke beautifully of the elements of true Christianity. Here is a shortened version. They spoke of the, 

“Duty of all Men to adore the superintending Providence of Almighty God; to acknowledge with Gratitude their Obligation to him for Benefits received, and to implore such farther Blessings as they stand in Need of: And it having pleased him in his abundant Mercy, not only to continue to us the innumerable Bounties of his common Providence… (to) express the grateful Feelings of their Hearts, and consecrate themselves to the Service of their Divine Benefactor… (to enter into) Confession of their manifold Sins, whereby they had forfeited every Favor… (to offer) Supplication that it may please GOD through the Merits of JESUS CHRIST, mercifully to forgive and blot them out of Remembrance…”

8. Read George Washington’s proclamation, Oct 3 1789

This is a very eloquent and moving call to the nation to repentance, gratitude, prayer and to obedience to God. In the following excerpt, Washington appeals to, 

“all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor and also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions…To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue…”

Here you can read the Full Text of George Washington’s proclamation from the Library of Congress web site.

There are many Thanksgiving proclamations on record. Here are various Thanksgiving proclamations, from the web site of Pilgrim Hall, in Plymouth, Mass.

9. Read Edward Winslow’s description of the first Thanksgiving

Here is his description of the first Thanksgiving in 1621, in modern language,

“…our harvest being gotten in, our governor sent four men on fowling, that so we might after a special manner rejoice together, after we had gathered the fruits of our labors; they four in one day killed as much fowl, as with a little help beside, served the Company almost a week, at which time amongst other Recreations, we exercised our Arms, many of the Indians coming amongst us, and amongst the rest their greatest king Massasoit, with some ninety men, whom for three days we entertained and feasted, and they went out and killed five Deer, which they brought to the Plantation and bestowed on our Governor, and upon the Captain and others. And although it be not always so plentiful, as it was at this time with us, yet by the goodness of God, we are so far from want, that we often wish you partakers of our plenty.”

10. Explain the value of giving thanks from the Bible

Here are five ways:

First, do a word search on “thanksgiving”
Get out your computer or concordance and look for “thanksgiving,” “thankful,” and “thanks” in the Bible and find a few favorites to read.

Second, explain how in thanksgiving God calls us out of our sorrows
God is kind to lift His children out of despair by calling them to lift their voices in thanksgiving. He takes us beyond where we are. He takes us higher than we were. See how greatly the Father has loved us… He has done so much to lift us out of the despair that comes so naturally. He does this by calling us to give thanks.

Third, explain the value of acknowledging the goodness of God 
One of the blessings of God for His people is that He not only calls us to acknowledge the evil but to praise the good. God is a God of contrasts. He never leaves His people in the pit of despair. This is why we have so much to be thankful for. For His sovereignty over all things; for His provision for us; for the people He has put in our lives; for our churches; for a day of thanksgiving.

Fourth, explain the importance of praising God for victories
We can rejoice in His power of His Hand in the victories He has accomplished for us. This is one of the great uses of feasting in the Bible. For example, the first example of feasting in the Bible occurs when Melchizedek brings bread and wine to Abraham after his victory over five kings, “Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; he was the priest of God Most High. And he blessed him and said: “Blessed be Abram of God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth; And blessed be God Most High, Who has delivered your enemies into your hand.” And he gave him a tithe of all.”  Genesis 14:18-20

Fifth, express gratitude for deliverance
The second example in scripture of feasting arose out of the victory of deliverance from Egyptian captivity where God commanded two annual holidays for feasting and thanksgiving. These feasts were, Shavout or the Feast of Pentecost and Sukkoth, the Feast of Tabernacles which was a celebration of the Ten Commandments.

Sixth, explain that through thanksgiving we endure the hard years
You may be thinking, ‘It’s been a hard year, and it is difficult to rejoice.”  Remember the first thanksgiving of the pilgrims in Plymouth.  They were giving thanks, even though only seven women were left alive after the first winter in America.  Yet, out of these seven women came the blessed rise of a “city built on a hill,” a light to the nations.

11. Read selections from “Of Plymouth Plantation” by William Bradford

Especially consider reading Chapter 4, “Reasons which led the congregation at Leyden to decide upon a settlement in America.”

12. Sing hymns the pilgrims sang

The pilgrims were lovers of music and singing. They sang the songs of the Ainsworth Psalter. Click the previous link and listen to Priscilla Mullins sing one of them. One of the more popular pilgrim songs is,  “We Gather Together.” You can listen to it here.  It originated during the time of the Dutch persecution in Holland. It is thought that Dutch Calvinists brought the song to  America in the 1620’s. This song was sung at the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953.

We gather together to ask the Lord’s blessing;
He chastens and hastens His will to make known.
The wicked oppressing now cease from distressing.
Sing praises to His Name; He forgets not His own.

Beside us to guide us, our God with us joining,
Ordaining, maintaining His kingdom divine;
So from the beginning the fight we were winning;
Thou, Lord, were at our side, all glory be Thine!

We all do extol Thee, Thou Leader in battle,
And pray that Thou still our Defender will be.
Let Thy congregation escape tribulation;
Thy Name be ever praised! O Lord, make us free!

The Old One Hundredth

There are various versions of this song. The lyrics below are from The Book of Psalmes : Englished both in Prose and Meter (Amsterdam 1612) by Henry Ainsworth, carried to New England on the Mayflower.

Leader:  Shout to Jehovah all the earth (Congregation Repeats)
Leader: Serve ye Jehovah with gladness (Congregation Repeats)
Leader: Enter His gates with singing mirth (Congregation Repeats)
Leader: Know that Jehovah He God is (Congregation Repeats)

It’s he that made us, and not we;
his folk, and sheep of his feeding.
O with confession enter ye
his gates, his courtyards with praising:

Confess to him, bless ye his name.
Because Jehovah he good is:
his mercy ever is the same
and his faith, unto all ages.

Following are some other lyrics that are sung to this tune:

All people that on earth do dwell
Sing to the Lord with cheerful voice.
Him serve with fear, His praise forth tell
Come ye before Him and rejoice

You faithful servants of the Lord
Sing out His praise with one accord
While serving Him with all your might
And keeping vigil through the night

Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

Here are the words from the Genevan Psalter based on Psalm 134

You faithful servants of the Lord,
sing out his praise with one accord,
while serving him with all your might
and keeping vigil through the night.

Unto his house lift up your hand
and to the Lord your praises send.
May God who made the earth and sky
bestow his blessings from on high.

13. Tell the story of the pilgrims

My friend Stephen Hopkins, NCFIC Regional Facilitator in the Southwest, and pastor at Burnet Bible Church, has used the following to tell his children the story. It is taken mostly from selections of William Bradford’s “Of Plymouth Plantation.” It takes him almost an hour to get through it, so he breaks it up into two sections. Here is the full text of his notes. Feel free to plagiarize them.

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Life Skills – Equipping Young Men for Life and Business

Over the past year I’ve been bringing together the young men in our church once a month to be given wisdom, instruction, direction, and encouragement in the areas of business and family life from some of the wise and experienced men in our church. These men are each experienced in their trade, diligent in their service to our local church, and maintain a well-ordered, Gospel-driven family life. From these meetings, we’ve created a new DVD set titled Life Skills.

These ten video sessions are designed to help young men understand some of the basics necessary for their lives as providers and churchmen. They cover areas of time and money management, and matters of career selections. The teachers in this series are local church members who are experienced in their areas of instruction.

1. Time Management
2. Investing
3. Sales
4. Dominion Over the Internet
5. The Faithful Employee
6. The Unfaithful Employee
7. Personal Finance & Managing Money
8. Managing Your Fear
9. Financial Readiness for Marriage
10. Doing What You’re Best At

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