Monday, June 15, 2015

Here's why your kid needs to go to VBS.

I can honestly say I have great memories of Vacation Bible School (VBS) when I was growing up. The little old ladies behind the counter giving us 2 cookies and a cup of juice for snacks. Epic dodgeball battles at recreation. Crafts that I'm still amazed stayed together after I took them home. Of course there were always times where we learned Bible stories and learned about missions. All in all, VBS is a great summer experience for children.

But here's some reasons why your kid needs to go to VBS.

1. They are exposed to the Gospel.
During the week of VBS, a child should be exposed to the Gospel in multiple ways. Through their Missions class, the songs they sing, the crafts they make, their Bible study time, and of course a large group Gospel presentation. Research shows that on average a person hears the Gospel 7 times before making a decision for Christ. Since VBS is a Gospel-saturated event, then children have a greater chance of responding to the Gospel during VBS. (Want to learn more about the Gospel? Click here.)

2. They learn to give.
There is usually an offering taken during VBS. The money may go to missionaries overseas, local benevolence needs, or some other form of mission projects. Some churches even collect items for a particular mission project during VBS and encourage the kids to participate by making it a competition between the boys and the girls. Regardless of what is collected the children learn what it means to give something to God by giving to His work.

3. They see that church can be fun.
During VBS I used to tell some of the corniest jokes I can find. It was a love hate relationship. The kids loved to hate them. But they saw that it was okay to have fun in church. They may get to play games along with their Bible study. They always find recreation to be fun. For many kids they get to see that there is more to church than sitting quietly in a worship service singing songs they may not understand and listening to a preacher for what seems like an eternity.

These are just a few of the reasons why your kid needs to go to VBS. There are plenty more but these are three of the top reasons. If your church has VBS this summer, then make sure your kid(s) get there. If you don't attend a church currently or your church isn't having VBS then I invite you to join us at North Catawba Baptist Church. Our 2017 VBS is being held this week (June 11-15) from 5:45 PM to 8:30 PM and you can find directions at

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Monday, June 8, 2015

Caitlyn Jenner and the Sad Truth

The latest copy of Vanity Fair magazine has caused quite a stir. On the cover is a picture of former Olympian Bruce Jenner, following his "gender transition," as Caitlyn Jenner. If you want the details of all he has to say on this whole ordeal then Vanity Fair is happy to share that with you. Last week you couldn't turn around without hearing or seeing someone commenting or posting about Jenner's change. Some was surely seen to be positive by Jenner and others I'm sure were not supportive in the least bit. The sad truth is when you look at Jenner and what he is doing you actually see a person consumed by their own sin.

According to Wikipedia Jenner professes to be a Christian. Going on the assumption that Wikipedia is correct and Jenner is not lying, we see a fellow brother in Christ who is being consumed by his own sin. Jenner is like any other person who professes to be a Christian. He is attacked daily by Satan in a spiritual battle. Unfortunately from what we see in the media, Satan is winning the battle. The real challenge when we see the images of Jenner is to know what needs to go on in his life and in ours.

The first thing that needs to go on is in Jenner's life is that he needs to, like all Christians, seek God's forgiveness through repentance. Following his own personal restoration with God, Jenner can begin to move forward in fellowship and unhindered worship of God. Until Jenner acknowledges his own sin and seeks God's forgiveness, nothing else we say or do really matters.

The first thing that needs to go on in the lives of Christians concerning Jenner is we need to be in prayer for Jenner. We all know what it's like to struggle with sin. We all know what it's like to be consumed by a sin that seems to gnaw at us every moment of every day. Jenner is in the same position and we need to pray for him. 1 John 5:16 and James 5:19 both speak of how we should pray for our brothers in Christ and help them to see the error of their ways.

Finally, Christians need to guard themselves against sinning because of Jenner. We need to be careful not to form hatred in our heart towards Jenner. Jesus in the Gospels and John in his first epistle remind us that hatred in the heart is equivalent to murder by our hands. Although we most likely will never meet Jenner in person we need to show Christian love towards him. That doesn't mean that we condone what he's doing, but that we do not kick a man while he's down and dealing with his own sin. The best way many of us can show our Christian love for Jenner is not partaking in the gossip and slander, instead encouraging other Christians to pray for him.

I realize in today's culture calling sin, well...sin, isn't a popular notion. We can be called judgmental and hypocritical. But in the end God's Word is the one making the judgment call, not us. When we see someone struggling with sin, we need to show them the same kind of grace God has shown us. That means praying for those struggling with sin and showing them godly love as well.

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Monday, June 1, 2015

Marriage is like riding a roller coaster...

Today, June 1st, 2015, my wife and I celebrate our 13th wedding anniversary. Other than lunch together today we don't really have any big plans. For most of our anniversaries we've taken turns choosing a day trip which we celebrated on Memorial Day since we were both off from work and our anniversary is usually later in the week. Two years ago we had one of the most exciting and interesting anniversary trips we've had to date. We took our boys and my parents to Cedar Point Amusement Park in Sandusky, Ohio. We spent our anniversary riding roller coasters that made your head spin. Before we headed to the park that morning I posted something on Facebook about our anniversary. As I wrote it out I couldn't help but think about how marriage is like riding a roller coaster. Here's what I wrote:

Marriage is a lot like a roller coaster. There is fear and trepidation of the unknown before going through with it. Once you are strapped in and ready you start out going uphill slowly. But as you progress, there is inevitably a down side to the heights you just attained. When things are headed down they seem to be going faster than you can handle. There are twists, turns, corkscrews and the occasional flip or loop that leaves you spinning. It involves tears of fear and of joy. There are times of screaming at each other and screaming for no reason at all. At other times you throw your hands up and at others you hold on for dear life. Sometimes you feel beat up and banged up and you just want to get off the ride. But at the end of the day you can look at your partner on the ride, smile and say..."That was awesome!"

Marriage, like a roller coaster, is not for the faint of heart. It requires a great deal of patience, mercy, compromise, love, forgiveness, and grace. If two people want their marriage to succeed then both spouses must work to make it a success. Every couple I counsel during pre-marital counseling is warned that marriage is hard and it requires work. If one spouse gives up on a marriage it doesn't matter how much the other spouse tries to "make it work," it won't happen. In today's culture godly marriages are under constant attack from Satan. He's trying his best to tear down what God has made good and holy. Marriages are no exception. Marriage is not easy but in the end it is well worth the blood, sweat, and tears we pour into it to make it something great. We get to look back 5, 10, 25, or 50 years later and see what we've built...together.

My encouragement to you today is to enjoy the roller coaster ride that is marriage. Work together to make your marriage a godly marriage that honors God and brings glory to Him. Reflect God's character in your marriage by forgiving, loving, and showing grace to each other. In the end you'll be glad that you did.

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10,000 Reasons

Over this past weekend my blog broke 10,000 views. Many thanks to all those who've read my blog posts over the last 19 months. I hope they've been encouraging, challenging, and thought provoking. Above all I hope they've helped you deepen your walk with Christ and brought glory to God. Here's to many more posts and 10,000 more views.

In Service to Him,
Pastor Nicholas Wilson