Our Road Trip Theme Song

We had the joy of singing a song that Peter Bradrick’s family used to sing when they were traveling to home school conferences around the nation.

Cheer up ye saints of God, there’s nothing to worry about

Nothing to make you feel afraid, nothing to make you doubt (some sing “pout”)

Remember Jesus never fails so why not trust Him and shout

You’ll be sorry you worried at all tomorrow morning.

Tomorrow mornin’

Tomorrow mornin’

You’ll be sorry you worried at all tomorrow morning.

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Five Road Trip Objectives

First, to rejoice in a reformation that is taking place before our eyes.

Second, to document what we believe is a modern reformation by recording first hand accounts of what God has done. We wanted to verify what we believed to be a modern reformation of the way Christians lived out their faith. We were able to see clearly that there are changes taking place in peoples’ lives that have not happened in at least fifty years.

Third, to visit churches on their home turf. Our conferences are often far away and we have said many times, “come to Wake Forest or St. Louis…” This year we said, “we are coming to your church.”

Since we have spent the past nine years of ministry to churches and families, we wanted to encourage those with whom we have had relationships and dialog over the years.

Fourth, to cast a vision for biblical church and family life by issuing a call for humility before the Word of God and for courage to obey Scripture alone. We hoped we would have the opportunity to speak personally with those who might be operating unbiblical churches or who are unclear about ecclesiology and appeal to them to consider their practices.

Fifth, to preach the gospel, appealing to the Lord to save the younger generation by giving them strength to repent and to be converted. There are many who have grown up in godly homes who have not yet been converted and we prayed that God would use us to proclaim the gospel.

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Why Observe the Sabbath? – Jonathan Edwards Speaks

Jonathan Edwards in his sermon, “The Perpetuity of the Sabbath” makes his case for God’s requirement of sabbath keeping and in the statement below, gives one of the reasons we ought to observe the sabbath,

“By a strict observance of the sabbath, the face of religion is kept up in the world. If it were not for the sabbath, there would be but little public and visible appearance of serving, worshipping, and reverencing the supreme and invisible Being. The sabbath seems to have been appointed very much for this end, viz. to uphold the visibility of religion in public, or among professing societies of men; and by how much greater the strictness is with which the sabbath is observed, and with how much more solemnity the duties of it are observed among a people; by so much the greater is the manifestation among them of respect to the Divine Being.

This should be a powerful motive with us to the observation of the sabbath. It should be our study above all things to honour and glorify God. It should be the great thing with all that bear the name of Christians, to honour their great God and King, and I hope is a great thing with many that hear me at this time. If it be your inquiry, if it be your desire, to honour God; by this subject you are directed to one way whereby you may do much in that way, viz. by honouring the sabbath, and by showing a careful and strict observance of it.”

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The Road Trip Was Organized Around Five Regional Conferences with Stops in Between

We organized the Reforming Church and Family Road Trip around five weekend regional conferences (Boston, Chicago, Seattle, Phoneix and Atlanta) and made as many stops in between them as we could.

There are approximately 700 churches currently affiliated with the NCFIC and we were able to get within driving distance of most of them.  Most of these churches have emerged within the last decade and are part of what we believe is one of the many reformational influences in American Christian landscape.

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Road Trip Stats

We just recently returned from our Road Trip Across America for Reforming Church and Family. Our hearts are full of precious memories of this unusual trip. Here are the stats:

*  We started on May 30 and ended on July 13.

*  We traveled in three “vintage” RV’s and pulled a 1970s pop up camper.

* The oldest RV (1984) had the fewest repairs.

*  There were seventeen of us, including three whole families and six single young men.

*  We visited seventeen churches and families who are affiliated with the NCFIC.

*  We traveled 12,000 miles, equivalent to half the circumference of the earth, or totaling the mileage from all three RV’s, 1.5 times the circumference of the earth.

*  We spoke to approximately 5000 people in gatherings that ranged in size from 25-375.

* We had no flat tires.

* We were never stuck in a bad part of the road.

*  We needed no major repairs (engines or transmissions), just smaller ticket items like alternators and brakes.

* We replaced many parts on the RV’s putting them in better shape than ever.

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A New Film in Progress

Segregation from NCFIC on Vimeo.

I am writing today to ask for your prayers and assistance as we now turn our attention to making Segregation, a documentary film investigating the problems with modern youth ministry and the solution of biblical youth ministry found in the Word of God.

The Storyline

The storyline of the documentary follows young Christian film maker, Philip Leclerc, around the nation as he seeks answers to what has happened to the Christian youth in his generation.

Philip’s journey takes him from talking to kids in local youth groups, to documenting popular youth events, interviewing national youth ministry leaders, listening to youth pastors, and finally to meeting with a growing number of pastors and elders who are entirely abandoning the modern method of age-segregated Sunday school and youth ministry.

Along the way, Philip also interviews youth pastors who have come to see the futility of using the world’s methods of teaching children in the church. These youth pastors have fled age-segregated youth ministry after realizing that no leader in scripture ever practiced age-segregated ministry and that the practice is foreign to Scripture.

The truth is shocking. Statistics suggest that between 65% and 85% of “Christian” youth leave the church when they enter college. Our interviews confirm this over and over again. And yet, while the gurus of modern youth ministry agree that there is disaster in the church, Philip finds that their response is only to prescribe various modifications to the current model. Realizing the utter brokenness of the entire establishment, he goes in search of the origins of modern youth ministry, how we got to where we are today, and, most significantly, what the Bible says about ministry to youth. The exciting reality is that God has prescribed a perfect model of youth ministry, all we have to do is put it into practice.

Our Message

Our message is clear. Like Nehemiah, we must fall on our faces before the Lord, repent for our sins and the sins of our nation, and turn to the Word of God in humble obedience. Then we must fearlessly proclaim the sufficiency of God’s Word for youth ministry and our responsibility to obey. This is the essence of Segregation! This film explains the problem in the modern American church – a rejection of the sufficiency of Scripture – and shows how we got here through compromise. We then present the solution in the Word of God and issue a passionate plea to fathers and pastors to return to God’s model of training children in the church.

Why Now?

We believe that the time is ripe to make this film for many reasons.

The failure of modern youth ministry is a discussion that has become front and center in the evangelical community. However, while the problem has been identified, few are answering with clear exegetical arguments. My proposal is that there is not a shred of evidence for age-segregated ministry anywhere in the Bible and not a single godly leader in biblical history ever practiced it. So far, I have not received one credible exegetical argument against this proposition.

Now is not a time for introspection or compromise. It is not even time for more research and statistical analysis. That has already been done by many. It is time to call the church to back to the clear commands of Scripture, to repent and reject the methodology of the world, and to obey by implementing biblical, age-integrated worship and discipleship in the church.

easy fundraisers

Will You Help Us?

Would you consider helping us? We need $85,000 in order to complete this film making project. Praise the Lord: He has brought in $29,000 already which has brought us this far in the project. We are earnestly praying that the Lord would provide the remaining $55,000 in order to finish the film and have it in your hands by this fall.

Donate Now

Please join us in praying for the reformation of Christ’s Church and for His blessing on our efforts to confront the disastrous “love of the world” in the modern American church and to proclaim the truth of Christ’s all sufficient Word.

If you would like to donate to this film project, but would like to discuss it first, feel free to email me with your contact information and we can arrange a time for a personal phone conversation.

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Spurgeon on Learning from the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit

This year, our church is reading, “The Holy Spirit” by Charles Spurgeon. This morning one of our young men, Stephen Sides gave the weekly presentation for the reading scheduled for this week covering pages 83-86. He writes,

Spurgeon describes the three distinct and separate roles of the Trinity in salvation: the resurrected Son “crying unto His Father, ‘Do not forget Your promises or Your covenant.’” The Father is, not some “listless” tyrant, but is inclined to hear the Son, ready to be faithful to His covenant, and giver of the Holy Spirit. Nor is the Holy Spirit idle in salvation. “He is floating over the earth, and when He sees a weary soul, He says, ‘Come to Jesus; He will give you rest.’ When He behold an eye filled with tears, He wipes away the tears and bids the mourner look for comfort at the Cross. When He sees the tempest-tossed believer, He takes the helm of his soul and speaks words of consolation. He helps the broken in heart and binds up their wounds, and, ever on His mission of mercy, He flies around the world, being present everywhere.

Stephen beautifully applies this instruction in the following way,

The Trinity works together in unity and without disagreement for our salvation and this is a wondrous thing for us to consider and behold. Would it not also be wondrous for there to be such unity in the Body of Christ? We should apply Trinitarian theology within the family, the father, mother and children working in unity; within the church, the elders, deacons, and congregation working together in unity; and finally on the institutional level, the state, the church, the family all working together in unity, modeled on the example of the Holy Trinity.

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Road Trip Pictures

Our Family Scripture Memory Plan

Scripture memory is an important element of child discipleship. Here were the guidelines that I tried to operate by. I did not execute them perfectly by any means, but they were helpful and I still strive for them.

I have six elements to my plan:

1. Identification:

I have identified passages that I want us to have in our hearts. I keep them in a file.

2. Daily Group Recitation:

We have it as a goal to recite the passages out loud whenever we eat together, and the last thing in the day before bed. We don’t always succeed, but this is the goal.

3. Daily Personal Meditation:

Each day Deb tries to have the kids do 10 minutes of silent review during the school day.

4. Daily Time Redemption:

We try to redeem the time when driving or doing some “mindless” thing, by reciting together.

5. Bedtime Recitation:

When I tuck each child into bed, I will recite one of the verses we have worked on as part of my prayer for them. If you pick a passage and recite it for two or three months, they will have it memorized without working on it. So a great opportunity to put them ahead of the game and to provide a very tender and personal ministry to your children is to recite a passage to them each night.

6. Formal Guidelines:

We use some of the techniques and guidelines in Andrew Davis’ article on scripture memory on the Hope Baptist web site.

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Two Effects of Awakening

“These awakenings when they have first seized on persons have had two effects: one was, that they have brought them immediately to quit their sinful practices, and the looser sort have been brought to forsake and dreaded heir former vices and extravagancies. When once the Spirit of God began to be so wonderfully poured out in a general way through the town, people had soon done with their old quarrels, backbitings, and intermeddling with other men’s matters; the tavern was soon left empty, and persons kept very much at home; none went abroad unless on necessary business, or on some religious account, and every day seemed in many respects like a Sabbath day. And the other effect was that it put them on earnest application to the means of salvation – reading, prayer meditation, the ordinances of God’s house, and private conference, their cry was “What shall we do to be saved?” The place of resort was now altered it was no longer the tavern, but the minister’s house, that was thronged far more than ever the tavern had been wont to be.” (Pg. 68, The Jonathan Edwards Reader, Yale Nota Bene)

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Defending Life at the Baby Conference

There is a time for every season under heaven.  At the Baby Conference, it was a time to defend life.

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Early Bird Special Registration for Love the Church Conference Is Now Open

Seized with Strong Convictions and Greatly Changed

Awakenings are times of mighty urgings, tumultuous changes as Jonathan Edwards explains,

‘Tis wonderful that persons should be so suddenly, and yet so greatly, changed: many have been taken from a loose and careless way of living, and seized with strong convictions of their guilt and misery, and in a very little time “old things have passed away, and all things have become new” with them” [2 Cor. 5 :17] (Pg. 66, The Jonathan Edwards Reader, Yale Nota Bene)

 

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The Handshake of My Grandson Knox Defender Bradrick

Here is my grandson, Knox Defender Bradrick, shaking hands with Honor Phillips just before we floated down the Guadalupe River. His trademark at this time in his life is his firm handshake offered freely to anyone within five feet.

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In Times of Awakening, There is Concern With the Eternal World

During one of the outpourings of grace before the Great Awakening of 1740, there were periods of spiritual blessing in Northampton, Massachusetts where Jonathan Edwards was pastor. Here is how he describes it,

“There was scarcely a single person in the town, either old or young, that was left unconcerned about the great things of the eternal world. Those that were want to be the vainest and loosest, and those that had been most disposed to think and speak slightly of vital and experimental religion, were now generally subject to great awakenings. And the work of conversion was carried on in a most astonishing manner, and increased more; souls did as it were come by flocks to Jesus Christ, from day to day for many months together, might be seen evident instances of sinners brought out in darkness into marvelous light, and delivered out of an horrible pit, and from the miry clay, and set upon a rock with a new song of praise to God in their mouths.” (1 Peter 2: 9, Psalms 40: 2-3.) (Pg. 62- 63, The Jonathan Edwards Reader, Yale Nota Bene)

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