My Parents, Bill and Mary Brown Celebrate 61 Years of Marriage Today

As the eldest son, I am perhaps one of the supreme authorities on this marriage since I have had the closest and longest inside view of almost anyone alive. As a long term observer, I must say that this has been a sweet marriage. Some of the more junior observers of this marriage say:
Grandson David says: “It is a blessing to watch the example of their interactions.”
Granddaughter Blair says: “I want a marriage like that.”
Granddaughter Claudia says: “We have had the benefit of 61 years of a marriage on the right path – their lives have been such a good example to me.”
Daughter in-law Deborah says: “Staying married this long has made them free to be with us and minister to us – like today when Grandmary helped Claudia bake.”

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2009 Calendar Events for the National Center for Family Integrated Churches

February 13-14 “Our Marriages and The Marriages of our Son’s and Daughters,” Wake Forest, NC
March 14-15 Reforming Church and Family | Unpacking Family Integrated Church Life – Wake Forest
September 18-19 Church Planters Symposium – Anderson Indiana
October 24-25 Reforming Church and Family | Unpacking Family Integrated Church Life – Wake Forest
December 10-12 National NCFIC Conference – The Sufficiency of Scripture for Church and Home Life
For more information email David Brown: [email protected]

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Activating The Affections Through Sermons and Books

Here is an insightful article from Tim Challies on the mind and the affections and their relationship to listening to sermons and reading books. It is true that we cannot remember everything we hear or read, but our affections are formed by them and that works for the glory of God and for our sanctification.

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Expansion of the NCFIC

We are now engaged in a significant expansion of the ministry of the National Center for Family Integrated Churches. The NCFIC was founded on September 11, 2001 and after seven years of ministry and laying a foundation, we believe that now is the time to give the NCFIC a distinct internet presence. This will allow us to clarify and amplify the message, increase the services, multiply the theological resources and extend the reach of the ministry.

This expansion includes the following:

  1. Spinning the NCFIC web site out as a stand-alone resource.
  2. Locating the offices of the NCFIC in Wake Forest, NC.
  3. Getting to work on a big build-out of the web site content in audio, print and video.
  4. Adding new functions and capabilities to the web site.
  5. Adding employees.
  6. Conducting a national conference in Dec 3-5, 2009 with Voddie Baucham and Doug Phillips
  7. Discipling interns.

We believe that the church and the family are both holy institutions deserving our most excellent attentions. Please join us in prayer for the beautification and the proper functioning of church and family in our generation
Please prayerfully consider a donation to the NCFIC. Funds donated to Vision Forum Ministries must specify that the gift is for the NCFIC.

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Radio Show on “What about Deborah?”

Does the case of Deborah during the time of judges provide a role model for women of God or is it an exception to the creation order? How does Deborah’s story instruct us today? This controversial discussion provides many insights to both men and women who are trying to live according to the Word of God. Scott Brown and William Einwechter discuss what scripture actually teaches regarding this godly woman who was a blessing to her nation in a time of social collapse.

 

 

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Phillips and Swanson Discuss Solutions for Rebuilding Churches and Families

Take a moment to listen to an important discussion on the relationship between the church and the family and the growing crisis of our youth departing from the church. This audio clip from 2006 is a recorded segment of Kevin Swanson’s Generations Radio program interviewing Doug Phillips, founder of the National Center for Family Integrated Churches.

In this interview Doug identifies some of the main issues that need to be addressed for the reformation of the church. He makes it clear that while the church has become a bastion of secularism, there is a revival of biblical fatherhood and an understanding of church and family life is key to church revival. Doug says, “If you destroy fathers you destroy the family. If you destroy the family you destroy the church. In our churches we have wiped out our fathers.”

Click here to listen to the audio

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Whitefield on Evangelism

Following Whitefield’s example would keep us from missed opportunities in evangelism

 

“God forbid that I should travel with anybody a quarter
of an hour without speaking of Christ to him.”

 

This is one thing we learn from Whitefield that would help us bring more blessing.

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Whitefield Rock

On October 16, 1740 George Whitefield preached here on this rock. It was very moving to stand in the same spot and to visualize the hearts that burned for God during the Great Awakening and to consider that it could happen again – whenever God desires

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Radio Dialog on the Creation Order with Bill Einwechter

Scott Brown interviews William Einwechter on Kevin Swanson’s radio show, on the implications of the creation order for women serving as civil magistrates.

 

Click Here to listen to the show

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The Unconverted Know Nothing of Such Happiness

J.C. Ryle writes of the special nature of the church and the joys which exist there,


“Who, indeed, can describe the pleasure with which the members of Christ’s flock do meet each other face to face? They may have been strangers before. They may have lived apart and never been in company; but it is wonderful to observe how soon they seem to understand each other. There seems a thorough oneness of opinion, taste, and judgment, so that a man would think they had known each other for years.

They seem, indeed, to feel they are servants of one and the same Master, members of the same family, and have been converted by one and the same Spirit. They have one Lord, one faith, one baptism. They have the same trials, the same fears, the same doubts, the same temptations, the same faintings of heart, the same dread of sin, the same sense of unworthiness, the same love of their Savior. Oh, but there is a mystical union between true believers, which they only know who have experienced it. The world cannot understand it—it is all foolishness to them. But that union does really exist, and a most blessed thing it is; for it is like a little foretaste of heaven.


Beloved, this loving to be together is a special mark of Christ’s flock—nor is it strange, if we consider they are walking in the same narrow way and fighting against the same deadly enemies—and never are they so happy as when they are in company. The unconverted know nothing of such happiness.”

From, “The Character of the True Christian” in The Christian Race reprinted by Charles Nolan Publishers,
www.charlesnolanpublishers.com, 94-95.

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David Brainard’s Passion for Holiness

 

David Brainerd was enormously sensitive to the condition of his relationship with God. When I read his biography I was astonished at how “up” and “down” he was in his spirit. He had a moment by moment awareness of sin and his need for repentance. Here are some statements that communicate just how passionate he was,

“I know I long for God and conformity to His will, in inward purity and holiness, ten-thousand times more than for anything else here below.” Pg. 79

He prays, “Oh, that I may be always humble and resigned to God, that He would cause my soul to be more fixed on Himself, that I may be more fitted both for doing and suffering.” Pg. 76

“Oh that my soul may never offer any dead, cold services to my God.” Pg.83

Brainerd died young, but his death touched off a revival among men and platoons of them entered into missionary service for over two hundred years after he was buried. These missionaries, were affected deeply by his disposition of sensitivity to sin and the need for God’s help to conquer it.

 

Scott Brown speaking at the grave of David Brainerd

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Passion for the Gospel All Life Long The Death of George Whitefield

 

In this house, the great evangelist, George Whitefield breathed his last.

Even up till the day of his death, Whitfield never tired, nor retired from preaching the Gospel. Before Whitefield preached to a large crowd in Exeter, a bystander said to him, “Sir, you are more fit to go to bed than to preach.” Whitefield answered, “True, sir;” and looking up he said, “Lord Jesus, I am weary in thy work, but not of thy work. If I have not yet finished my course, let me go and speak for thee one more time in the fields, seal thy truth, and come home and die.” After preaching, he made his way to Old South Presbyterian Church in Newberryport, MA in need of rest. When he arrived at the home of Jonathan Parsons, the pastor, he told him that he was tired and needed to go to bed. By that time, the street in front of the house had filled with many people begging to hear him preach. Even though he was physically spent, he couldn’t resist an opportunity to preach the Gospel once more. As he wearily made his way up the stairs, people crowded into the house eagerly waiting to hear him again. He stood on the landing halfway up the stairs, candle in hand, heedless of time, and preached until the candle flickered, and finally went out. Retiring to his bed, finding it hard breathe as a result of his asthma, he continued to struggle through the night. At about two-o’clock in the morning, Richard Smith, brought him some cider and said to him that he shouldn’t preach so often. Whitefield replied, “I had rather wear out, than rust out.” By morning he had breathed his last.

Whitefield shows us the importance of playing our part to the very end and fulfilling the calling that God has given us.

“Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them.” Romans 12:6

(From, Gillies Life of George Whitefield, page 270.)

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The Graves of Jonathan Edward’s Children

All of Jonathan and Sarah Edwards children are buried together,except for Jerusha who is buried next to David Brainerd. Their graves are about 100 yards away from the rest. David Brainerd spent the last months of his life in the Edwards home and Jerusha nursed him there. She died of the same disease soon after.

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Fulfilling the Great Commission – “Heroes and Cowards” – An Argument for Relational Churches

Why are some men heroes and other men cowards? Why do some men stay and fight and others flee from the battlefield? Secular authors and economics professors Dora Costa and Matthew Khan explored this question by looking at factors that affected deserters during the Civil War. Their conclusion: relationships. In their book Heroes and Cowards, The Social Face of War, they state:


“Four brave men who do not know each other will dare not attack a lion. Four less brave, but knowing each other well, sure of their reliability and consequently of mutual aid, will attack resolutely.”

I believe these authors have uncovered an important biblical principal which is also key to healthy local church life. Since the desertion rate in the American church is far higher than the desertion rate of soldiers during the Civil War, this question deserves careful thought and study.

Perhaps this is why there are so many commands in scripture regarding relationships. There are over 50 “one another’s” in the New Testament indicating the importance and richness of relational life. Contrast this with the impersonal nature of many churches where people attend meetings but hardly know one another. God calls us into relationship and spiritual heroism as we work out our salvation and fulfill the great commission.

Paul urges the churches to be unified and stand fast in one spirit (Phil 1:27, 1 Cor. 1:10) Jesus sent out the disciples in pairs, not alone. (Mark 6:7) Proverbs also speaks a great deal about the importance of relationships. (Prov. 17:17, 27:17, 27:10, 13:20)

As we strive for faithful churches, let’s remember this principal. The accountability, safety, and camaraderie fostered by churches that obey the commands of scripture to fellowship together, pray together, know one another, host one another, invest in one another and build one another up radically changes the propensity towards desertion in the church.

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Young Men Who Did Not Waste Their Youth

 

Today we visited the grave of Great Awakening preacher, George Whitefield at Old South Church in Newberryport, Mass. He is buried under the church pulpit. It caused us to contemplate the use of time. Notice the casting of his skull and bible on his casket – a vivid reminder of the brevity of life and the importance of using our minutes for the glory of God. Each night Whitefield asked himself 15 questions to help him judge his actions during the day. He asked,

Have I,

1. Been fervent in private prayer?

2. Used stated hours of prayer?

3. Used spontaneous prayer every hour?

4. After or before every deliberate conversation or action, considered how it might tend to God’s glory?

5. After any pleasure, immediately given thanks?

6. Planned business for the day?

7. Been simple and recollected in everything?

8. Been zealous in undertaking and active in doing what good I could?

9. Been meek, cheerful, affable in everything I said or did?

10.Been proud, vain, unchaste, or enviable of others?

11.Recollected in eating and drinking? Thankful? Temperate in sleep?

12.Taken time for giving thanks according to Law’s rules?

13.Been diligent in studies?

14.Though or spoken unkindly of anyone?

15.Confessed all sins?

 

Scott Brown sitting at George Whitfield's Grave

 

Arnold A. Dallimore, George Whitefield, The Life and Times of the Great Evangelist of the Eighteenth-Century Revival, Volume I (Edinburg: The Banner of Truth, 2001), 80, 81.

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