Isaiah 66:7-14 – The Church is Your Mother

In these verses Isaiah communicates one of the most gripping metaphors of the church.  He declares that the church is your mother who feeds you. Yes, each member is responsible to nourish one another as a mother does her suckling babes. Isaiah 65 and 66 hold together to present the final picture in the prophesy. In these chapters, God is crying out to those who find no delight in Him and encourages those who do delight and tremble. Now the Lord turns to a picture of a mother giving birth and how the child who is born nourishes the others. Isaiah continues to make the distinction between those who tremble at His word (who are deeply affected by it) in contrast to those who outwardly testify to it but are not inwardly moved. 

Continue Reading »


Manhood On Sale Here

Because of the anniversary of Iwo Jima, I am offering three books on sale: Preparing Boys for Battle, Moment of Courage, and Coming In on a Wing and a Prayer. Normally, these three books are 37.85, but for today and tomorrow, you can purchase all three for $25 in the NCFIC store.



Continue Reading »


Lessons of Manhood from Iwo Jima

February 19th is the anniversary of the World War II Pacific battle of Iwo Jima. It is important that we remember this historic battle and draw lessons from it for our sons to teach them about manhood. In a society where manhood is so broken, we need tools to help us find our way. Check out these we are offering at a steep discount:span>

Because of the anniversary of Iwo Jima, I am offering three books on sale: Preparing Boys for Battle, Moment of Courage, and Coming In on a Wing and a Prayer. Normally, these three books are 37.85, but for today and tomorrow, you can purchase all three for $25 in the NCFIC store. Preparing Boys for Battle and Moment of Courage tell the story of Iwo Jima and teach lessons that our generations of boys must know. In Coming In on a Wing and a Prayer, my daughter Kelly, granddaughter of a Second Lt. Bill Brown, remembers her hero’s story. She writes a letter to the next generation, inspiring them through her grandfather’s story to think beyond themselves and towards having a multi-generational mindset–not living for the moment, but for the lives of their children, and their children’s children.

Here are twelve lessons of manhood that I wrote about in a book called Preparing Boys for Battle:

1. Quiet fathers impoverish their children. (Psalm 78:1-9).

The experiences on Iwo Jima should warn us about the effect of clamming up. The common story of the Iwo Jima veterans is that they kept silent about their experiences and denied their children an understanding of their heritage. This pattern, which was almost comprehensively followed by Iwo veterans, is a warning to fathers about the consequences of clamming up and keeping stories of God’s faithfulness inside by not telling their children the praises of the Lord.

2. The knowledge of the doctrine of the sovereignty of God is the most important knowledge one can have (Daniel 4:34, Psalm 103:19).

The stories of Iwo Jima teach me that the knowledge of the sovereignty of God in history is empowering. A providential view of history is critical for perspective in the midst of difficult moments in history. My experience with hearing the stories of Iwo Jima is that confidence fills the hearts of children who understand how God has worked in history. I also observed that the sons and daughters we met on Iwo Jima were strengthened by their understanding of what their fathers went through.

3. We should spend our time strategically and be involved in important efforts (Ephesians 5:16, Matthew 16:26).

Iwo Jima was an island of strategic importance, showing us the need for carefully planning our time and efforts in order to be prepared for the major events which God brings to our lives.

4. Be aware of the unseen forces working in your heart (Ephesians 6:11, 1 Peter 5:8).

Iwo Jima was a place where there was an unseen enemy, and we also have an unseen enemy, prowling about like a roaring lion, seeking to devour us.

5. Friendship includes defending your friend even when it might cost you everything (John 15:13).

It was a place where friendships were tested by mortal danger which illustrates Jesus’ words, “Greater love hath no man than he lay down his life for his friends.”

6. Manhood is tested by pressure–don’t despise or fail the tests (1 Kings 2:2).

Iwo Jima’s challenges put manhood on display. Even though war is a terrible reality, the way it is played out profiles many important qualities of manhood that need to be passed on from one generation to the next.

7. A godly response to authority is one of the most important factors for success in life (Ephesians 6:1-4).

The fierceness of the battle and the demands of the terrain made Iwo a place where honor and obedience in the face of conflicting emotions were required to accomplish the mission. This is the foundation of strength that is necessary for success in every workplace, marriage, and church.

8. Giving honor where honor is due secures success (Exodus 20:12).

With the passing of a generation, I am confronted with the proposition that fathers should be honored. It is a duty for sons and daughters to honor their fathers, and it has tremendous leverage for good for many generations. Scripture commands it and God makes specific promises to children who honor their parents. Not only do I want to honor my own father, I want to have an influence on my friends that might have the effect of getting them to ask, “How will I honor my father?”

9. A heritage will fall into oblivion if you don’t ask about it (Deuteronomy 32:7).

We see the importance of the principle that children should ask their fathers to tell them the stories of God’s faithfulness towards them. In this way, children demonstrate that they care about their heritage. It is to their benefit to ask questions of those who went before so that they will be able to stand on the shoulders of the previous generation instead of starting from scratch. Nobody has perfect parents, but most parents have something to give that will make us wiser and more effective in life. The answers to the questions you ask can serve as teaching tools for bringing glory to God.

10. Powerful legacies are activated through allocation of time, a listening ear, and an active pen (Psalm 71:17-18).

Children should work to exert energy to collect the stories of their fathers, and they should glory in God’s faithfulness to their fathers. They should take time to sit at their feet and listen and diligently glean the best lessons. This takes a listening ear, an active pen to record the memories, and time for reflection to crystalize the critical messages. We hereby declare that fathers have something to say. Yes, everything in our fathers’ lives is not praiseworthy, but we should just grow up and take the best we can find. As I have said too many times: no one ever got a perfect father. This is just the way it is.

11. Communicating a providential view of history will be for the joy and encouragement of the next generation (Psalm 71:17-18).

Because of hearing the stories of Iwo Jima, I am more aware of my responsibility to tell my own children about the great deeds of God in our own family history.

12. There are no little islands, attitudes, actions, or sins (Zechariah 4:10, James 3:5).

I am more aware of how little things have a big impact for good or evil depending on who governs them. Iwo Jima was a little island only 2.5 miles wide and 5.5 miles long, in the midst of a vast ocean, yet it had a big impact.

Continue Reading »


How to Act Around a Courtship

Jonathan Sides, a member of Hope Baptist Church, recently gave this message discussing the proper reaction of the congregation in response to a courtship within the church.

Continue Reading »


How to Provoke Your Children to Anger

Here is a good piece by Mark Altrogge  on one of the dangers of parenting – especially for fathers – provoking children to anger.

We can provoke our children to anger:

– By constantly criticizing them and not encouraging them. When they feel they can never please us enough.
– By having double standards – Do as I say, not as I do. Expecting them to do things we don’t do, e.g. ask forgiveness, humble themselves, etc.
– By anger and harshness
– By a lack of affection
– By telling them what to do or not do without giving Biblical reasons (e.g., Do it because I said to do it, or because it’s just wrong).
– By being offended at their sin because it bothers us, not because it offends God.
– By comparing them to others (Why can’t you act like your sister?)
– By hypocrisy – acting like a Christian at church but not at home
– By embarrassing them (correcting, mocking or expressing disappointment in them in front of others)
– By always lecturing them and never listening to them
– By disciplining them for childishness or weakness, not for sin
– By failing to ask their forgiveness when we sin against them
– By pride – failing to receive humble correction from our spouses or our children when we sin.
– By self-centered reactions to their sin (How could you do this to ME?)
– By ungracious reactions to their sin (What were you thinking? Why in the world would you do that?)
– By forgetting that we were (and are) sinners (I would NEVER have done that when I was your age).

May God give us gracious, gentle, humble, affectionate hearts toward our children.

Continue Reading »


For Joy in Marriage – Day 2 of Marriage Retreat

Pray for us today we are working through the various matters of marriage… It is always such a joy to meet together like this. Among the many subjects we covered, one was joy in marriage, and particularly the joy of a bridegroom over his bride reflected in Isaiah 62:5,

“For as a young man marries a virgin, So shall your sons marry you; And as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, So shall your God rejoice over you.”

Continue Reading »


Please Pray for Our Marriage Retreat Starting Today

I am very thankful for the opportunity to be with couples to more clearly understand the doctrine and practice of marriage… Today we start. Please pray for us that we would have marriages that are reflections of the glories of Christ and His Church.

Continue Reading »


How Do You Know When It’s of the Holy Spirit?

What is the Ministry of the Holy Spirit? One of the great misunderstandings of the ministry of the Holy Spirit is the effect of the Holy Spirit. There are branches of Christianity who maintain that the manifestations of the Holy Spirit are seen in outward manifestations such as speaking in tongues, being slain in the spirit, powerful feelings, laughter, barking. However, Scripture paints a different picture.  The fundamental evidence of the Holy Spirit is it’s power to make people holy in their behavior. When the Holy Spirit is working, you always see a desire for purity, love, joy,  humility and many other Christian virtues. Ephesians 5:18-33 makes it clear that the filling of the Holy Spirit results in husbands who love their wives and wives who submit to their husbands. These are works of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the spirit holiness.

Continue Reading »


Assurance of Salvation and It’s Hindrances

High degrees of Christian assurance are simply not compatible with low levels of obedience.

— Sinclair Ferguson

Continue Reading »


Welcome Pastors

“And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.”

– EPHESIANS 4:11-12

The role of leadership that you have been called to as a pastor is of significant importance in the kingdom. Much like every other age of the church, the role of pastoring in the 21st century presents many unique challenges. The one which we address may seem marginal when compared to the great foundational doctrines of the faith. However, it is hard to calculate the importance of the design for discipleship. It is obvious that it is very important to know and implement the methodology God intended us to use to communicate the great foundational doctrines of the faith to the next generation in our churches. Whether you are here searching for biblical answers or are actually troubled by “family integrated church” conversations in your church, we want to help you.

At the NCFIC we believe that God has laid out in patterns, precepts, and principals all throughout scripture a beautiful program for the effective discipleship of the whole congregation including children. However, these are significantly different from the approach of the modern church. In the following resources you will find biblical solutions to the problems that exist in modern churches in the area of family discipleship. Our earnest desire is that the resources on this website would effectively and faithfully communicate what the scripture says about building churches which reflect the beautiful design for discipleship that Christ has established.

Continue Reading »


Preaching in Phoenix This Weekend

This weekend Dan Horn and I will be preaching at Heritage Baptist Church in Phoenix, Arizona, directly following the third annual Southwest Family Vision conference titled God’s Design for Marriage

Continue Reading »


Singleness is a Type of Something Greater

Here is a message on singleness I delivered a while back, “Singleness is a Picture of Something Greater.” Everything in the Bible exposes beauty – including singleness. What do you really think about singleness, really? What do your parents think about singleness? What are their thoughts about a person who is single? Do they have an attitude against it? Do they have a position? Are their attitudes and positions based in Scripture or out of personal preferences and desires? Jesus has very interesting and counter cultural things to say about singleness. Here is the bottom line: singleness is a type of something greater. In this message I examine the following texts on singleness: Matt 19:10-12; 1 Cor 7:6-9; 1 Cor 7:25-35; Isaiah 56:4-7.

In the same way that a husband is a type of Christ and a wife is a type of a submissibe church and children are types of obedient and honorable Christians, so singleness is also a type of Heaven. Your singleness on earth relates to a very specific kind of singleness that will be experienced in Heaven. You can live that kind of singleness now, as you single mindedly seek Christ. In Heaven there is no marriage but only singleminded devotion to Christ. Singleness is a picture of Heaven.

Continue Reading »


Southwest Family Vision Conference – God’s Design for Marriage

When the Supreme Court decided in 2015 that it had the right to redefine marriage, the Church was shocked. But why should it be? After all, the Court’s decision came after decades of redefining marriage. The Industrial Revolution took fathers away from the home, mandatory state education removed children from the home, World War II brought mothers out of the home, the Sexual Revolution of the 1960s broke the bonds of marriage and the 1970s and 80s made divorce en vogue. The problem of America’s marriage dilemma won’t be solved simply by kicking the Court’s decision to the curb. “Gay Marriage” in the courts has had more to do with the decades-long failure of the Church to define marriage according to God’s design. America has drifted far from the biblical definition of marriage and only a revival of God’s Word in the home will restore its dignity. 

The Family-Integrated Churches of the southwest would like to invite you to the Southwest Family Vision Conference to discuss God’s Design for Marriage. Learn about: 

    – Biblical Manhood
    – Biblical Womanhood
    – Preparing Children for Marriage
    – Having a Multi-Generational Vision
    – Living With Your Wife in an Understanding Way
    – Discipleship in the Home
    – Legal Perspective on Defending Marriage
    – And More…

Continue Reading »


NCFIC Internship

As a ministry dedicated to biblical discipleship, we are excited to announce the 2016 NCFIC internship. Training young men in biblical leadership, theology, business, and foundational skills is something that we are very passionate about. Our prayer is that the deposits made in these young men will help launch a new generation of church leaders and elders.

The NCFIC internship is a men’s discipleship program, which features various academic exercises consisting of reading, writing, and personal study. It also features local church involvement and mentorship by the men and families at Hope Baptist Church. It is engaged in ministry to churches around the nation through audio, video, conferences, and Internet communications. Interns are involved in the daily agenda of the NCFIC offices and daily discipleship with Scott Brown and David Brown. They are fully involved in the activities and mentorship of Hope Baptist Church. It also includes a strenuous program of physical fitness. This internship is about personal transformation and deployment.

One of the most exciting parts of our work at the NCFIC has been what God has done through our intern program. We have seen God work in a mighty way through the daily discipleship, the hard work, the camaraderie, the opportunities, and the sacrifice involved in being an NCFIC intern. We have seen men grow, stretched, convicted, and transformed. Our goal is to send out young men who are sharpened, hardened, and prepared for the challenges of the 21st century.

In 2016, we are conducting an intern class which begins late April and ends November 20th. Please prayerfully consider applying for the 2016 NCFIC internship. The application deadline is February 28, 2016. Learn more about the internship and the application process.

Continue Reading »


How Should We Think About Fasting?

Here are four things to keep in mind to shape our thinking on fasting:

First: We observe that there is no command in scripture to fast, but Jesus assumed his followers would fast and there are many examples in scripture of the practice that would lead us to participate. Here is a short list; 1 Cor 7:5 (part of marriage), Isaiah 58:3-6 (for love and blessing for others), Matt 6:16-18 (don’t put on the gloomy face of a hypocrite),Daniel 9:3-19 (with humiliation and repentance), Ps 35:13(for the sick) , Isaiah 58 (for the poor). 

Second: There are two kinds of fasts – public and private.  We see both examples in scripture. Jesus speaks of fasting and prayer in your closet (Matt 6:16-18) , and there are numerous corporate fasts in scripture (Acts 13, Daniel 9).

Third: There are temptations related to fasting in the area of pomposity and pride and  trumpeting your works (Matthew 6:16-18).

Fourth: There are many examples of fasting in the Word of God: 

In Esther 4:16, fasting was engaged for deliverance from danger and evil. 

In Matthew 17:21, fasting was for deliverance in the exercise of authority over the demonic powers over a boy. 

In Ezra 8:22 fasting was for protection in the same way Queen Esther called her people, the Jews, to join her in a corporate fast. 

In 1 Samuel 7:6 the people of God joined together to seek God’s guidance for them corporately and fasted and confessed their sins. 

In Luke 2:37 we encounter Anna serving in the Temple with a lifestyle of prayer and fasting. 

In Acts 27:21 Paul fasted for safety and deliverance during a fierce storm. 

In Daniel 9:3, the prophet fasted as a gesture of repentance on behalf of the sin of the people. 

In Joel 2:15, fasting was a prerequisite for revival. Prior to the prophecy of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on all flesh, the people of God are challenged to “declare a holy fast, call a sacred assembly” (Joel 2:15). 

In Acts 13, there are several elements: 1.  It was something the whole church did together. The fasting was corporate – the whole church was fasting and praying as well as the leaders. In the sermon on the Mount, Jesus warns about fasting to be seen by men and that your heavenly Father who sees in secret will reward you.  But here we have a public fast. 2.  It was to help with discernment regarding important issues of direction of peoples lives in the church. 3.  It caused the spread of the gospel to Asia Minor, Greece, Rome and Spain. 4.  It was in response to a need.  The importance of this time of prayer and fasting is hard to overestimate. This fast had a dramatic impact on world history, for it launched the first wave of missionaries to the gentiles.

God has given us fasting in order to humble us, and center us on prayer for important matters for the glory of God.

Continue Reading »


Page 50 of 158« First...102030...4849505152...607080...Last »