Farmington, Maine – Road Trip Stop Number 5

Upon arrival in Farmington, Maine, we were greeted with much joy and enthusiasm by many families from the local church community. We enjoyed a wonderful barbecue dinner on the back lawn of the Gilbert Miller home, overlooking the beautiful mountains of Maine. It was a sweet time to share in fellowship with these brothers and sisters in Christ.

The meeting was hosted at Merrill Hall in historic Farmington and quickly filled with many attendees who gathered to hear the messages on reformation of the family and church. We were expecting a smaller gathering, but to our surprise we were blessed with more than 150.

It has been a delight to minister to families whose eyes are just being opened to these life-changing truths of Scripture. God is so merciful in continuing to refine and transform our thinking to align with His ways. This is the exciting awaking that is taking place in the families who gathered for this meeting.

For our early departure the following morning, the Miller family prepared a wonderful breakfast feast for us before we hit the road again. The Lord has kindly blessed us with many wonderful hosts that have willingly offered their time, resources and homes to serve our team.

We’re eager to see how the Lord will continue to use these times to help bring the message of biblical reformation across our land.
 

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A Defining Mark of True Reformation

It’s been a joy to witness the amazing hand of God in bringing families together across America to expound upon the true meaning of Biblical reformation. Having already travelled from Wake Forest to Taunton, MA, it’s been very encouraging to witness the hunger that many have for the reformation of the church and family. In speaking about the many evidences of true Biblical reformation, I addressed one element that I believe we’re already witnessing across America: a hunger for God. A true awakening is propelled, or at least manifested by an unusual hunger for God.

Within the last week, we’ve been in the midst of people that have come with desire to hear the truths of God’s Word. We pray that their hunger will serve as a great beacon of light to encourage and strengthen the rising number of people devoted to restoring the ways of God to all areas of life.

“Wash yourselves: make yourselves clean: remove the evil of your deeds from before my eyes. Cease to do evil, learn to do good…” – Isaiah 1:16, 17a

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Share a Testimony of the Work of Reformation Within Your Family and Church

What is Biblical reformation? This is one of the most critical questions that stands before us in the twenty-first century. As we continue to speak to this matter during the Road Trip, it’s our desire to hear how the Lord is at work within individual families and churches. At each stop, we’ve been interviewing various people asking these two questions: First, how is the Lord reforming your family? Secondly, in what way is the Lord awakening your church? Join us by sharing a personal testimony of the visible fruits of reformation within your family and church. Please post all testimonies in the new comment section of the website.

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Spurgeon on the many ministries in the world – Making Much of Christ

Spurgeon says,

“There are many ministries in the world, and they are very different from one another, but this truth this truth will enable you to judge which are right out of them all. The ministries that discredit Him, ignore Him, or put Him in the background in any degree are not of the Spirit of God.

Any doctrine that magnifies man, but not man’s Redeemer, any doctrine that denies the depth of the Fall, and consequently detracts from the greatness of salvation, any doctrine that makes man sinless, and therefore makes Christ’s work less – away with it, away with it! This will be the infallible test as to whether it is of the Holy Spirit or not, for Jesus says, “He shall glorify me.”

 

-C. H. Spurgeon, Spurgeon on the Holy Spirit, p. 55-56

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Taunton Massachusetts

 

 

A Large Crowd

We were surprised at the large size of the crowd in Taunton, MA that consisted of elders, youth pastors, and worship leaders in local churches as well as many families. Following the conference, we held a worship service at the hotel where there was standing room only.

Heritage Christian Church

Heritage Christian Church sponsored our visit to Taunton by providing advertising, the venue, and by shouldering the financial burden for the meetings. Dave Eckerson, Mark Thomas, Brian Fournier, as well as the Flynn family and many others from Heritage provided an outpouring of preparations and hospitality for the attendees – and especially for the Road Trip Team.

Significant Capacity for Hospitality

We were so blessed by this church and by these families. What amazed us was the sheer capacity they had for blessing those who came and for the meals they prepared for us. Both the Thomas family and the Eckerson family were obviously very experienced in hospitality with instant readiness for large numbers of people staying in their homes. They had long tables, lots of places to sleep and the ability to host a horde at the drop of the hat.

A Historical Marker

Here is a historical factoid. Both Mark Thomas and Dave Eckerson were at our first Uniting Church and Family conference in St. Louis, Mo. This was a historic conference where the atmosphere was absolutely electric. I will never forget that conference for its momentous impact. Many, many of the 700 men in attendance had a passionate desire to be faithful to God in church and family life. The crowd was composed of almost exclusively men (now our conferences are composed not of men only but whole families). These same men were used of the Lord as catalysts to plant hundreds of churches across the United States.

Sweet fellowship

It seemed to be a great victory to us. One thing that really stuck out to us was that the fellowship was very warm and full of lovingkindness. We were met with such mercies from these people.

On making corrections in the church without losing love for her

Here is a significant quotation from Dan Horn’s message “Members of One Another” on how the family needs the church, which was based on an exposition of 1 Cor. 12. He said,

We must make corrections in church life without losing our love for Her. When Christ left heaven was the church perfect? No, she was in rebellion. When Christ saw the problems in the church He left heaven to live and die for her. We need to do what Christ did. He loved the church in spite of her problems. But he also worked to remove her spots and wrinkles. He knew her problems but he loved her nonetheless.

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Interview with Mark Thomas – Host of the Taunton Road Trip Stop

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Interview with Mark Thomas from NCFIC on Vimeo.

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“Christ Needs No New Inventions” – Spurgeon

 

“First of all, Christ needs no new inventions to glorify Him. “We have invented a new line of things,” says one. Have you? “We have discovered something very wonderful.” I daresay you have, but Christ, “the same yesterday, today and forever” (Heb. 13:8 NKJV), needs none of your inventions, discoveries, or additions to His truth. A plain Christ is forever the loveliest Christ. Dress Him up, and you have defamed Him. Bring Him out just as He is, the Christ of God, nothing else but Christ, unless you bring in His Cross, for “we preach Christ crucified” (1 Cor. 1:23); indeed, you cannot have Christ without the Cross; but preach Christ crucified, and you have given him all the glory that He desires. The Holy Spirit does not reveal in these last times any fresh laws or any novel doctrines or any new evolutions. He simply brings to mind the things that Christ Himself spoke. He brings Christ’s own things to us, and in that way glorifies Him.”

 

-C. H. Spurgeon, Spurgeon on the Holy Spirit, p. 60-61

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An Update on the Road

 

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An Update on the Road from NCFIC on Vimeo.

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Breakdown in Greenlawn, NY

 

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Breakdown in Greenlawn, NY from NCFIC on Vimeo.

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Road Trip Stop at Iglesia Biblica de La Gracia

 

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Josue and Jennifer Reymundo on Reformation from NCFIC on Vimeo.

Our second Road Trip Stop took us to McLean, Virginia where “Iglesia Biblica de La Gracia” hosted us. Josue Raimundo is a missionary to the Spanish speaking community and the pastor of this Spanish speaking church. Here he and his daughter, Jennifer discuss the centrality of scripture in family and educational life.Josue is in the process of translating our book, “Building God Centered Families” which is an edited version of Matthew Henry’s sermon, “A Church in the House.” This book contains some of the very best advice for families for how to build a God centered family.”

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Dan Horn on Reformation

 

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Dan Horn on Reformation from NCFIC on Vimeo.

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How God is Reforming my Family

Here are 12 ways God is reforming me and my family – Tommy Vestal

1) We are helpless to move forward in life as a family by our own understanding and that we must flee from the things of this world when they conflict with scripture regardless of their perceived insignificance.

2) We must use God’s word to guide our actions, form our priorities, direct our paths. Especially but not limited to entertainment, education and child training, discipline (for ourselves and the children), work life, finances and spending and the use of our time.

3) We do that by reading His word daily as a family and studying what the Word means and how to apply it to our family and our lives as individuals.

4) As parents He has broadened our understanding of the scope of our jurisdiction.

5) He has revealed to us as parents, and convicted us of our responsibility and authority through the light of His word that we would not waste the time that is given and entrusted to us. And that we would invest heavily in the lives of our children by making a daily deposit of God’s Word and Truth.

6) He has given me a greater awareness of my sin and a hatred of it.

7) The works of my hands and feet are rubbish before the Lord and that salvation is supremely and wholly by faith in Him, freely given to us by His mercy and wholly by His choice. This affects me everyday and cuts at my very core.

8) Grace and mercy are meant to be and must be applied in life just as God freely showed and shows grace and mercy to me.

9) We are convinced that God’s moral law reveals His character to us and that He desires that we keep it in order to glorify Him and not to save ourselves.

10) He has shown us the joy of serving our family, neighbors, and church through hospitality which ultimately displays that grace and mercy of Jesus Christ,

11) that the joy of the Lord is our strength and all hope is in salvation through Christ Jesus,

12) and a continued understanding that God is sovereign in all of heaven and earth and that all things do work together for good for those who love Him and who are called according to His purpose.

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Wake Forest Road Trip Stop

 

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Approximately 350 people came to participate in kicking off the Road Trip in Wake Forest. We heard seven messages from seven pastors who told their stories of church and family reform. Boyd Dellinger, Steve Breagy, Jimmy Ferebee, Ken Auer, Dan Horn, Jason Dohm and myself all gave messages.

Dan Horn, “It gives us great concern that people withdraw from the church.”

Jimmy Ferebee, “I was going the wrong way – in earnest”

Boyd Dellinger, “The NCFIC is like a house of many rooms, and many activities going on in those rooms. If you go into the living room, you will find a father conducting family worship, and if you go into the kitchen you will find,… but the roof of that house is the sufficiency of scripture.”

Jason Dohm, elder at Hope Baptist, “I want to show how the first command and Deuteronomy 6 relate and how they are inseparable. There is no such thing as a faithful obedience to the first commandment which leads the life of a home untouched. The first commandment always works itself out in what you do when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down and when you rise up.”

Ken Auer, of Southwest Wake Assembly, said, “I grew up in the mainstream as a fish swimming down stream with all the other fish. I was a fish and did not know I was wet.”

Steve Breagy, “I was a pastor and thought I was wise, but realized that God said, ‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise.’ I realized that my wisdom was worldly wisdom.”

Harry Upchurch, of Anchor Baptist Church in Bunn, NC, “The greatest reformation happens when we reject extrabiblical practices. Jesus did not break people up by age, and I want to do what Jesus did. The more we get away from that pattern the more damage we do. If we take the whole bible and apply it to our church, God will bless us.”

Dan Horn, “The indispensable center of church and family life is the glory of God. If we change focus in our families and begin to do the right things and are doing it for self-improvement rather than the glory of God we are robbing God. We have forgotten God.”

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Nations are Nothing but a Collection of Families

In a day of extreme individualism and neglect of family life principles, it often helps to hear voices from the past. J.C. Ryle, in his commentary on the gospel of Matthew, writes about the extreme importance of families.

It is difficult to overrate the importance of these two subjects. The well-being of nations, and the happiness of society, are closely connected with right views upon them. Nations are nothing but a collection of families. The good order of families depends entirely on keeping up the highest standard of respect for the marriage tie, and on the right training of children. We ought to be thankful, that on both these points, the great Head of the Church has pronounced judgment so clearly.

-J.C. Ryle

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Road Trip: Fellowship Over Tea with Deborah Brown – Preparing our daughters to be Proverbs 31 Women

 

 

At various stops along the Reforming Church and Family Road Trip, we will be hosting ladies teas. Join Deborah Brown and her daughters Kelly, Blair, Claudia and her new daughter, Monica as they share their insights into the God-given role of a woman.

The culture would have a woman pour her heart and energy into a career outside the home to find blessing there. But the Bible paints a very different picture of a woman’s life. It is the occupation of the home, the care of a husband and children for the glory of God for many generations. It is a role she is uniquely gifted to fulfill. Because we as women are affected by the messages surrounding us, we find ourselves, at times, discouraged and confused. Could it be that we have listened to the wrong voices? Deborah and her daughters would like to bring the voice of Scripture as a light unto our feet and a lamp unto our paths. This lamp is “the same yesterday, today and forever.” It will never go out and will always be true. Herein lies the blessing for mothers and their daughters.

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