Wednesday, December 31, 2008


For those of you in the area of Forest City, NC, you have two choices tonight. You can sit home and watch Dick Clark bring in the new year for the hundredth time, or you can come on over and experience it with us.

Let's see... Watch Dick Clark and fall asleep. Wake up later, and see the ball drop. Wow, ain't this fun.

Or... Come join us at New Harvest for fun, fellowship, refreshments, prayer, praise, the power of God, anointed preaching, ministry time, countdown, balloons, whistles, party hats. More excitement than you can handle, without the effects of a hangover.

Yeah, there's really no choice. See you tonight!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Virginity pledges, teens, and the church

Studies just released show teens who take pledges of abstinence are just as likely to have premarital sex as those who do not take the pledge. The results of the survey just released also show that more than half of youths become sexually active before marriage.

Although ministries in the church are structured to teach the youth the pitfalls of sex before marriage, both physically and spiritually, it is apparent these programs have little effect lasting effect. The church is caught up in a society which aids and promotes promiscuity among the teens, and even the preteens. TV programs aimed at grade school children promote sexual exploitation with their suggestive dress, dance, and advertisements.

The church must find ways to effectively reach the youth of our day. We must educate them, mentor them, and stir them with the passion of God. We must also guard against judgmental attitudes towards them.

Sadly, the stats of sexual immorality do not just apply to the teens. Ask pretty much any motel chain, and they will tell you their biggest hits of porn on pay tv are when the Christian groups come in. It seems that while men are going to the conference, they come back to the room to watch a little playboy.

We can't preach it to the kids if we don't live it!

Sunday, December 28, 2008


There's nothing magical about a new year. Like many churches, we will have a watchnight service to usher in the new year. I will preach a message about the new year and all it's possibilities. We will sing, celebrate, and have a countdown. At midnight we will blow party whistles and toss our hats. We will enjoy ourselves and get caught up in both a spiritual and emotional high.

The truth of the matter is that the new year does not bring an end to our problems. The economy will not change from bad to good overnight. Your problems will not cease to exist. As a matter of fact, the difference is only on the calendar. It will be a day later than before.

What the new year DOES bring is an opportunity to reflect. It is an occasion to begin again, a new start. Really the fresh start begins in you. The vows and resolutions you make today will only be as good as your dedication and determination to keep them. I need to lose weight, and that is one of my goals. But my pants are not going to fall off of me simply because it is a new year. It will require much discipline, exercise, and determination on my part. The resolution I make today must be followed up a month from now, two months from now, and on.

I am looking forward to the new year. But I know I will carry some present needs and problems with me into the crossing into 2009. I want to get closer to God, become more like Him. I want to be more loving, more forgiving. There are other personal goals I have. I am making a fresh start. The new year provides an opportunity for reflection and new commitments.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

I took a lickin'... and liked it!

My dog "Buster" didn't look too happy when my daughter put the antlers on him and had him pose for a picture. Buster is the lab pup I got for my grandson's birthday back in March. He has been in my backyard since then, but he has outgrown the pen. My son finally decided to let Buster go home with Zachary, where there is plenty of open ground, and a lot that is big enough to accommodate this horse of a dog.

Yes, I got in the dog house when Zach and I came home with the little thing you could hold in your hand. I had just returned from a missions trip to El Salvador, and I missed Zachary's 4th birthday party. And although maw maw had the gifts covered, I had something else in mind. So we came home with the dog. For those of you not in the south, that is pronounced dawg :)

Buster likes to ride in my truck, ride in the convertible, and ride with Zach and I on the golf cart. He also has no problems getting in the car with you and licking your face while you whiz down the road. He has been known to eat things like seats, iron, rocks, and pretty much anything that looks appealing to him.

I was over at Zach's house today. I saw Buster, and he licked me. Sometimes its good to get a lickin'.

This blog has no spiritual significance that I know of, but I hope you enjoy it. Have you had a similar situation? Let me know.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Finish Strong

The Christmas celebrations are over. Church and social events have been held, the family has gathered together for dinner and gifts, and we have observed the day set aside as the birthday of our Savior, Jesus Christ. We now come to the close of the year, and find ourselves looking ahead to the New Year. Plans are already being made for the upcoming year. Our goals are set, and we enthusiastically look forward to a new year. It provides us with a sense of a new start.

I challenge you to finish the year with the enthusiasm you plan for the new one. We should finish strong. Through the years there have been athletes whose strong finishes propelled them into a position of winning. From great quarterbacks to boxing greats, a flurry of energy at the end brought a win out of apparent defeat. As the people of God, it is important to finish strong. The Apostle Paul said "I have kept the faith, I have fought a good fight, I have finished the course." He knew the value of a strong finish.

The finish line of 2008 is not the end, but just a crossing line to another mile. There are more opportunities ahead for us, more souls to reach for Christ. I want to invite you to reach inside you for an extra kick- and finish strong


Wednesday, December 24, 2008


May you have a blessed Christmas as you celebrate the birth of our savior, and spend time with your family. I enjoy all the things which traditionally go along with the season. Yes, I realize that some of the things we do have no biblical foundation. For example, we do not know the actual date of Christ's birth. And the story as we tell it in our Christmas plays is somewhat inaccurate. By the time the wise men arrived to where Jesus was, he was probably two or three years old. And I know that our observance of Santa Clause and gifts under the tree bother some of you.

To all of that, I say, "Bah, Humbug." I am not going to let you rain on my parade. I enjoy everything about this holiday, including the opening of gifts, the Christmas tree and lights, and even old Saint Nick.

Zach, my four year old grandson, told my wife Trish that he wanted us to get Jesus a birthday cake. So we have one. Tomorrow, when our family gathers around to open gifts, we will have dinner, and afterwards we will cut the cake, and wish Jesus a Happy Birthday.

I know Jesus will enjoy his birthday. Although some of the things we do on his day are not really about them, I have a feeling he enjoys them- like families gathering together, sharing, loving, and enjoying one another. I believe he is blessed when we are blessed.

In the Robbins household, we will open the presents, eat a big dinner, and cut some cake. We will take plenty of pictures. And if we forget, (we won't), there's a four year old that will make sure we sing Happy Birthday to Jesus!

Although I do not know everyone who reads my posts, I love you. I hope you have a blessed and Merry Christmas.

Pastor Ronnie

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


I was doing some last minute shopping at Wal Mart this morning. I usually do my own checkout, but one item I purchased required them to bring it out and needed the assistance of a check out person. Upon paying for my items, the lady at the counter said, "Happy Holiday." Without any pre-thinking on my part, I answered, "Merry Christmas." As I said in a blog a couple of days ago, the happy holiday thing doesn't appeal to me.

As I was walking out with my items, I was thinking about what she had said, and was glad I had the response that included the word Christmas. I wasn't being preachy, I just want to use Christ in my "holiday" greetings.

As you know, Walmart has greeters at the entrance, along with people assigned as you are leaving. I am not sure what their title is, but they are basically the checkers, in case the alarm goes off on something that wasn't scanned properly, or to catch anyone who might be trying to steal an item. There was a lady as I was exiting, one of these checker persons, who also had a greeting- but this one didn't say "Have a Happy Holiday", she said "Have a Blessed Christmas."

Wow- two ladies, both with greetings, and both were cordial. But I found myself somewhat offened by the non offensive "holiday" wish, while I was blessed by the "Blessed Christmas" wish. The first lady was probably doing what she was supposed to do, and the second one, I'm sure, would be offensive to some- but not me.

I agree with the Wal Mart checker/greeter. I hope you have a Blessed Christmas!

Monday, December 22, 2008


OK, I'll tell you up front that I googled santa cause and found that some agencies actually use the name. I thought I had made it up. You see, I am playing Santa Cause this month. No, I'm not wearing a red costume with a white beard, and I am not in a nearby shopping mall. But, in a roundabout way, I am playing Santa Cause, or Santa Clause this month. Let me explain what I mean...

I go back a long way of in ministry. I pioneered the church I presently pastor, and have been here a long time. New Harvest is a great church with great people. We are located in a rural area. North Carolina's unemployment rate is the highest it has been in 25 years, and Rutherford County ranks among the highest. The difficult economic situation this year has made it even more difficult for the church.

Typically this year we see a decrease in giving. We have people who tithe on a regular basis, and some who give occasionally. Some are regular givers, except for this time of year. What people fail to understand is that the church budget and pastor's wages do not end in November and pick back up in February. So each year at this time I play Santa Cause. Giving decreases as our members take their tithes and offerings and spend them on Santa.

I have friends in ministry who know of no such problem. They have never had a budget deficit. I have not had such luxury. So, in what has already been a difficult year financially, becomes more so. When the funds are not there, they are not there. As a result our ability to continue to shine the light to the community, region, nation, and world becomes affected. I am amazed at how many people want to send money to Africa or some TV preacher, but don't want to support the local church. The only way the local church in your community can be there and be relevant is by the support of its people.

I apologize if this seems like a gripe at my people. It is really a concern that I have for the churches across our nation. Our nation is suffering great difficulty in this financial crisis, and the ability of the ministry is being affected. I realize there are those who are not within the local community of Forest City, that are being affected by the same concerns. If I can help one person to give a special offering this year to their house of worship, my Santa Cause blog has been worth the effort it took to write it.

Oh well, I've got a few more weeks to play Santa Cause :)

Having said all of the above, I love my church, love my people, and love the Lord.

Y'all be blessed, and have a Merry Christmas!


Trish and I will celebrate our wedding anniversary tomorrow, December 23. We were just kids when we married. Outside of Jesus, she is the best thing that has ever happened to me. My lovely wife is the greatest wife, mom, pastor's wife, church mom, and I had better not forget maw maw.

We have experienced many ups and downs through the years. We have had our share of laughing, crying, holding each other's hands, and plenty of praying. Vacations with the kids, playing Santa, and all the experiences that go with church life- some pleasant, and some difficult. But through it all Trish has stood by my side.

Marriage and family values are things which have been somewhat fragmented and forgotten in our society today. That is sad. We haven't had the perfect marriage (there are none), but we have stood together through thick and thin- for richer, for poorer, for better, for worse... as the vows of marriage go. The strength of our marriage is in the central figure of it. That is our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

She is still the most beautiful woman in the world to me. (She will not let me post pictures of her because she has put on a little weight and intends after Christmas to go on a diet) I love her more today than I did the day I met her. She is the sparkle in my eye. My pet names for her are Sunshine and Pretty Girl.

Happy Anniversary, Sunshine. I love you!

Friday, December 19, 2008


Jesus spoke on several occasions about bringing joy into our lives. He said that he had come that we might have life to the full. The word full in the text is defined as living to the max, abundant, overflowing. In other words, he wants us to enjoy life. Being a Christian doesn't mean that I have to wait until I die and go to heaven to have and enjoy life. I can have abundance of life, joy, and peace right now.

Often our response to situations causes us to lose our joy. Being negative minded can rob you of your joy, your peace, and even your health. We must learn to discipline ourselves to respond in every situation with a God kind of response. Exercise faith, keep believing, hold on- those are not just mere words, they are important truths to grasp when facing life's battles.

I am around kids daily. Our church has a daycare, and each day when I enter, I go through the classes. The children hug me, and I hug them back. They are so full of love and joy. Our church kids do the same. And our youth group has grown. I find myself getting hugs all the time. I guess it's one of the perks of getting older :) But the kids and youth are full of life. I don't enjoy being around people that don't enjoy themselves, don't want to have fun.

I frequently talk about my grandson, Zach. He is now 4 years old, and comes home with me after lunch at the daycare daily. Wow, he is full of energy and joy. Trish and I sometimes feel as if we are out of place around some of the folks our age. They want to sit around and do nothing.

Not me. I want to race you on the go carts and win. I want to beat you at Checkers. I want to play and run. Look at the lights, sing Christmas carols, play that game they call Chinese something (can't think of it) where you swap gifts around. I want to see the glimmer in the eyes of someone who has just accepted Jesus, and to hold a baby in my arms that has just been dedicated to the Lord. I want to marry a young couple and tell him that he can kiss his bride. I want to stand in the rain, see the mountain peaks, watch the ocean waves come in.

I want to live life to the full. I wont begrudge the money I spend on gifts (it's less this year) or any of the other things that go with the season. When someone tells me their kids are grown so they "don't do Christmas" or don't put up the lights or Christmas tree, I feel sad for them. And I think how hard it must be to grow up. I've decided if that is what it means, I never will.

Gotta run-- I am in my office today at church, but gotta run and hug some kids. Tonight we're going with them to see the lights. Yay, Me!

Pastor Ronnie, signing off- And living life to the full!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Over and over again you hear it, see it, read it. Happy Holiday! From the commercials to the news, the expressions of "holiday" are everywhere. The word holiday is used in the place of Christmas. After all, we do not want to be offensive. No mention of Christ, someone's feelings might be hurt. You can't even say Christmas tree, it is a holiday tree.

It's funny, we can say Happy New Year, we can refer to all the other holidays, but we can't mention the birth of Christ. Forget for a moment that Christmas has become so commercialized that we don't even focus on the true meaning, the birth of a Savior. Christmas has become lost in "Holiday".

I feel like if I hear it one more time, I might throw up. In the non offensive world we live in, I am offended. The secular humanistic society we live in today has convinced everyone that we must not allow this obtrusive, offensive, vulgar word to exist!

Sorry, but you're not going to hear Happy Holiday from me. You're Atheist, Muslim, Jewish, or something else? I love you. I respect you even if I don't agree with you. I won't intrude on your celebrations, or even your choice not to have one. But this holiday celebrates the birth of the ONE who gave His life for us. I'm not going to omit it just to please a world gone mad.


Monday, December 15, 2008


December 15, 1976... The headlines of the local paper told the story of a house which burned to the ground of Rev. Ronnie Robbins. Trish and I had just moved into the little house in Henrietta. We were not at home at the time of the fire, and had only been gone about one hour when we returned to find it completely destroyed. The fire department was still there, and many people of the community had gathered around.

I remember pulling up into the driveway. Everything we owned was in the house, including what Christmas presents we had already purchased for the two kids we had at the time. Things which money could not replace like family pictures were gone up in smoke. The only thing spared was the clothes on our back. We had no insurance on the house, so when someone says they lost everything, that pictures us.

We were young in the faith, and I remember pulling up into the drive and speaking blessings and scriptures of faith. John 10:10, 1 John 4:4, Romans 8:37 came to my mind, and I spoke them as I prayed. I remember it just like it was yesterday.

I am glad to tell you that we were able to make it through that difficult time in our life. It wasn't easy, but God helped us. And through the years, He has been faithful to help us in other times of hardship and crisis. From death to disease to disappointment, He has always been there.

I can't promise you that you will not face pain and disappointment. What I can promise you is that God will see you through.

Pastor Ronnie

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Value the important things

This is a busy time of the year. The shopping, decorating, attending church functions, family gatherings can be both enjoyable and stressful. It is more so this year for many. The economic situation makes it difficult for many to spend as they have in the past on gifts for family and friends. Surviving to pay the bills and stay afloat is enough pressure, without the added guilt of not having enough money to buy the little ones or mom and dad Christmas gifts.

The holidays also are typically a time of added stress for those who are going through a crisis of some sort. You may have an aging parent whose health is deteriorating, a loved one battling a disease, or going through a separation or divorce. You may feel stressed, worried, all alone.

It is important in these times to remember the important things of life, and to value them. My aging father is battling cancer, and will have surgery in January. He says this may be his last Christmas. The fact is that none of us are guaranteed tomorrow. But when you are facing such things, you value the days you have. There are so many things we take for granted. Like family, friends, loved ones.

I remember hearing the song several months ago by Trace Adkins, "You're going to miss this." The song tells the story of a young lady going through several phases of her life, and the point of the story is to value the precious days. Days of growing up at home with mom and dad, of marriage, of raising the kids.

This year I need to remind myself to value the things that are important. No, I can't spend as I want to on the family as in the past. But I have them. I have a loving home, a wife who has stood with me through the years. The old Beatle song says "money can't buy me love." I have a wonderful church family. Most of all, I have the Lord in my life. He has saved me and given me a purpose. He has given me a hope and a future.

Remember us in your prayers. Continue to pray for my dad, and for my son in law, Michael. Michael has had some set backs from his stem cell transplant, and is going through some great difficulty. Please remember him and Tina, and encourage them.

Pastor Ronnie

Friday, December 12, 2008


OK, I know how intense these days can be. Shopping to buy gifts for people you don't like, spending money you don't have, and worrying about the bills it will take next July to catch up on. If you are like me, you can probably use a little humor today. I share this blog to you, which comes from my blogging buddy, Pastor Manning Strickland. Here it is:

Thanks....I Think! Dear All,

My thanks to all those who have sent me emails this
past year........

I must send my thanks to whoever sent me the one
about rat droppings in the glue on envelopes because I now have to use a wet towel
with every envelope that needs sealing.

Also,I now have to scrub the top of every can I open
for the same reason.

I no longer have any savings because I gave it to a
sick girl (Penny Brown); who is about to die in the hospital for the
1,387,258th time.

I no longer have any money at all, but that will
change once I receive the $15,000 that Bill Gates/Microsoft and AOL are sending me for participating in their special e-mail program .............

Or from the senior bank clerk in Nigeria who wants me
to split $7 million with me for pretending to be a
long-lost relative of
a customer who died intestate.

I no longer worry about my soul because I have
363,214 angels looking out for me, and St. Theresa's novena has granted my every wish.

I no longer use cancer-causing deodorants even though
I smell like a water buffalo on a hot day.

Thanks to you,

I have learned that my prayers only get answered if I
forward e-mail to seven of my friends and make a wish within five

Because of your concern I no longer drink Coca-Cola
because it can remove toilet stains.

I no longer can buy gas without taking a friend along
to watch the car so a serial killer won't crawl in my back seat when I'm
filling up.

I no longer go to shopping malls because someone will
drug me with a aftershave sample and rob me.

I no longer answer the phone because someone will ask
me to dial a number for which I will get a phone bill with calls to
Jamaica ,
Uganda , Singapore and Uzbekistan .

Thanks to you, I can't use anyone's toilet but mine because a big brown African spider is lurking under the seat to cause me instant death when it
bites my bum.

And thanks to your great advice,

I can't even pick up the $5.00 I found dropped in the
car park because it probably was placed there by a sex molester waiting
underneath my car to grab my leg.

If you don't send this e-mail to at least 144,000 people in the next 70
minutes, a large dove with diarrhea will land on your head at 5:00pm this
afternoon and the fleas from 12 camels will infest your back, causing you
to grow a hairy hump.

I know this will occur because it actually happened to a friend of my next door neighbor's ex-mother-in-law's second husband's cousin's beauticians relative once removed.

By the way....a South American scientist after a
lengthy study has discovered that people with low IQ always read their e-mails with their hand on the mouse.

Don't bother taking it off now, it's too late!

That's it for today. You can catch more of Pastor Manning's blogs at

Pastor Ronnie

Thursday, December 11, 2008


The economic struggles of the nation have affected pretty much every segment of society. I am an avid sports enthusiast, and have watched the news of NASCAR and the layoffs and folding of teams. With the uncertainty of the Big Three automakers, it will probably worsen. Even the mighty NFL has had some layoffs. Starbucks, the coffee giant, has downsized. It seems a $4 cup of coffee is not recession proof.

Churches and ministries across the nation are being affected. Focus on the Family cut 202 jobs last month. From the national ministries to local churches, there has been an impact.

Each year during the months of December and January, we have seen our tithes and offerings decrease. Sadly, some of the decrease in giving is due to the members of the church taking the money (or at least a portion of it) they give in tithes and offerings, and spending it on gifts for Christmas. What is a difficult situation for the church becomes even more difficult. Finding a way to manage when the funds are not there affects everything the local church does. Lights left on, heating an entire building for a group meeting of 20 people, buying needed goods, materials, all those things that you would normally do become an added burden to the budget.

I am a family man, and I understand the desire to buy your children and family gifts. I know all the traditions of the Christmas season. I just want to pass on to you that there are churches who depend on and need its people to be faithful in their giving. Even during the Christmas season.

We usually have a candlelight service during Christmas. It is always a beautiful thing. I don't want the candlelight service to be a necessity because we don't have the funds to pay the power bill. Thank you for supporting the church. It is a lighthouse to the community and world. Your gifts help it continue to do what it is purposed to do. Support it. That is the best Christmas gift you can give to your family. Where would you be without the church?

Pastor Ronnie

Monday, December 8, 2008


New Harvest Church (and Kid's Zone Child Care) was in the Spindale Rutherfordton Christmas Parade this past Saturday. We had a group of about 30 including children, teens, and adults who participated in the event. The parade actually consisted of two parades in one setting. It first travelled through Spindale, and then moved on to Rutherfordton, a few miles away.

The theme was "Sweet on Jesus" Candyland.

Friday, December 5, 2008


Luke 8:43 says "And a woman having an issue of blood twelve years..."

The bible does not give us this woman's name, but we do have some history. Her history was one of pain and disappointment. She had suffered with a disease for twelve long years. She had invested all of her income on trying to get better. But nothing and no one was able to help her or provide the relief she needed. We have a saying here in the South that indicates how we feel sometimes when we find ourselves at rock bottom: "broke, busted, and disgusted." I am sure if we could ask the nameless woman how she felt during these years of sickness, she would have expressed something in that vein.

She was dealing with an issue. It was a blood hemorrhage. According to the Levitical law, she was unclean. Add that to her problems. Not only suffering, but religion and society called upon her to be cast as unclean. Restrictions were placed upon her life because of her condition. Her condition affected her position.

This woman was actually dealing with a number of "issues." The pain, sickness, and disease were one. The financial strain was another. The unclean issue was another. I am sure discouragement, fear, and worry crept in. And what about isolation? Isolation from family, friends, church, and community were also a real part of her life. Yes, she was dealing, not just with an issue, but with a number of them. But she had one dominant issue that was engine that propelled the others. Get rid of the one, and the others would be lifeless, or at least less effective.

Like the woman in the bible, most of us are dealing with issues. It may be a marriage breakdown, a financial crisis, a sickness or disease. It may be a struggle with drugs or alcohol. Your issue may be lust. You may have an issue of unforgiveness. You probably have one dominant issue that is your greatest weakness. Yes, I have an issue, and I have issues. No, I am not telling you mine. I am just stating that we all have them.

The good news is that there is ONE who is able to give us the victory over the issue. His name is Jesus. The sick woman heard of Him, and pressed through the crowd. She touched the hem of his garment, and was instantly made whole. Healed, delivered, free-- from every issue.

Some healings are instantaneous, and some are a process. This one thing I know. I just want to lay every issue in my life before Christ, who can do what none other can.

I encourage you today to lay your issue before Jesus!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Various News and Updates

Michael Armstrong, my son in law, is back in Duke Medical Center. He has been having some problems for the past couple of weeks. They have admitted him, and will be running some tests. Please pray for Michael and Tina in this continued battle with cancer.

Well, I got another computer, got the hardware programmed so that I could edit the website, and after a couple of days of making some changes, it stopped working. So here we are again with old info on the front page. Plus, when I brought the website back up, everything was messed up. It's going to take a while to get things back in order.

We are having our first service tonight in the Family Life Center. The work prior to making this transition has been overwhelming. To say that I am tired would be an understatement!

Pastor Ronnie

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


The experts have finally figured out we are in a recession. The news came out that we have now been in this recession for a year. They also estimate it will be into 2010 before we will be through this economic downturn.

I am no expert, but I have known for over a year about this thing. My finances have decreased and my expenditures have increased. I have less now than I did 2 years ago. It didn't take me this long to figure it out.

As my grandson Zach says, "I told ya."

Blessings :)

Pastor Ronnie