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12/4/2021 - A Conversation with Bert Harper

Alex McFarland Show / Alex McFarland
The Truth Network Radio
December 9, 2021 4:21 pm

12/4/2021 - A Conversation with Bert Harper

Alex McFarland Show / Alex McFarland

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December 9, 2021 4:21 pm

12/4/2021 - A Conversation with Bert Harper by Truth for a New Generation

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TNG Radio, where today's culture and timeless truths come together.

It's reasoned relevant content apologetics, worldview, and answers to the questions that you need to know. From Alex McFarland Ministries, this is Truth for a New Generation Radio. And now the man who preached in 50 states in 50 days, speaker, writer, and advocate for Christian apologetics, Dr. Alex McFarland. In this program, with a verse from Psalm 133, verse 1, it says, How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in harmony. Hi, Alex McFarland here.

This is Truth for a New Generation. We have a very, very special show today, because you're going to meet a friend of mine, and I would suspect many of you know this voice. And he is a brother, and we do serve together, and it is in harmony and with great joy. We do the show Exploring the Word, which is a live program heard Monday through Friday on the American Family Radio Network. And then on the weekends, of course, I do the pre-recorded show Truth for a New Generation. And we've had a lot of guests, we've had a lot of content, but to my knowledge, I've never in all these years had this person on, and he is just one of my favorite people in all the world, a dear Christian brother, Bert Harper.

So in the spirit of Psalm 133, verse 1, welcome to the TNG Radio Show. Oh, it's good to be with you, Alex. And it is a privilege to be your guest here, and I've heard you many times interview others and always enjoy it, but it's good to be interviewed. You know, every once in a while it's good to have somebody you know the right questions to ask, because you know them so well.

Exactly, exactly. Well, I appreciate you. You and I, for nigh on a decade, have been doing Exploring the Word. Would you have ever believed that you would have a live show, and that for a great significant part of your life, you would be a radio speaker?

My wife and I, Jan, were talking about this the other day. She said, Bert, sometimes I feel like all the other years that you were serving was preparing you for the last 10 years of your life. And I said, well, Jesus spent 30 years preparing for three.

I guess, you know, 40, preparing for 10 is not too bad. I had a man come up to me just recently, and he affirmed that in me. He said, Bert, he said, I don't know what you plan, but where you are with what you're doing and on exploring the Word, exploring missions, and then preaching like interim pastorates, he said, God has picked you to do this, and I think you're in His will.

Amen. And it affirmed that in me, and so it's a privilege to be on Exploring the Word each day Monday through Friday. Well, it's a privilege to be on with you, and I want to say this, and I give God the glory, but I'm so impressed with you always. There are a lot of smart people, but Bert, and I know you would be very quick to give God all the praise. You are a wise person, and I've listened to your answers on the show. You and I have talked many, many times off-air, planning, but the thing is, we don't script. People have asked me, how do you prepare, and the fact is, I know you're preparing by reading God's Word, and I'm preparing, but when we get on the air, it is not rehearsed, it is not scripted, but I know you're always going to give good counsel, and I commend you, because you are truly wise, and that's from God, isn't it?

It is. James talks about that, if any man lack wisdom, let him ask for God that gives liberally, and does not confuse. You know, he really does, and if there's any wisdom that comes from God. I found this out, you know, you've heard a gift like a, he'll give a specific word of knowledge for someone.

I found out I don't necessarily have the gift of discernment, quote, the spiritual gift, but the more time I spend in the Word of God, the more discernment I have, Alex. I mean, you know, that's so spending time in God's Word is, to me, is the secret. It really is, and you know, I've had a number of Christian leaders that I've interviewed said that, you know, the secret, and I hate to say secret, but really the core of who they are, and their impact was due to their relationship with the Bible. In college, Jan and I, my wife, we was part of what is called the Bible Memory Association, where you would memorize scriptures. So in my college years, you know, I pushed four years into five, you know how sometimes you do that, but during those five years, I memorized scriptures. I'd memorized 99 each year, and so when you got through, you know, you had 495 verses that you'd committed to memory, and guess what?

I didn't know that was better preparation for what I did than the years of spending college, to be honest. The Word of God does not return void, not only when you preach it, but guess what? When you memorize it, God uses it, and you meditate on it, and it comes back to help you.

It really does. I know you and Jan spent many years in the pastorate, West Jackson Baptist Church in Tupelo, but I want to hear your story. How did you come to know the Lord? Well, I was raised in a godly home, but not church going home. My dad and mom moved from a church in a community where it was a church split, just fussing, and they moved to one and they didn't find a church home until I was 10 years old, but yet a godly mother and a godly dad, it's letting me know there's some godly people out there that's hurt and kind of dropped out of church, love them and bring them back.

That's what my home church, Wheeler Baptist Church, did. They loved our family, and for two years I heard the gospel, and on a Tuesday night in a revival in August, I asked Jesus Christ to come in to be Lord of my life. He did. He changed my life at 12 years old. I went home. I was a fearful kid. I went home to see if it really worked, and so I walked around in the dark to see if I really something had changed in my life.

It had. God changed my life, and it's Bill Stafford that eventually said I hadn't gotten over it yet, so I was saved as a 12-year-old boy. That church was a good church. They loved me, and I grew in the Lord and had good Sunday school teachers, good leaders, and they invested their lives in me. You know, it's funny you would say that in Pleasant Garden, Angie and I knew a couple, and they were involved in the Jehovah's Witnesses, and I mean they were probably in their 60s and for years had been involved in that, and this woman actually was a good painter, and she could paint pictures that would look like something out of an art gallery, but she always thought about how she was terrified after the sun would go down, and she didn't like to be in the dark, and one time her husband went in the hospital, and she was just mortified to be alone, could not stand the dark.

Well, we prayed and prayed, and at Macedonia Baptist, where I had gotten saved and I was youth pastor, they eventually both came to the Lord, and they got saved, and she gave a testimony, and she said that when they accepted Christ, she knew her life was different, because she was no longer afraid of the dark. We're talking with Bert Harper, my co-host on Exploring the Word. Bert and I have a book coming out, a lot of things going on, but stay tuned. Truth for a New Generation will be back right after this brief break. You know, Alex has been writing for many years, and one of his classic books is still great today, as a basic introduction to the Christian faith. It's called Stand, Core Truths You Must Know for an Unshakeable Faith. This book will help you help your teens get off the roller coaster of doubt and onto solid ground. You'll read about the six pillars of biblical Christianity. They are one, inspiration of the Bible, two, the virgin birth, three, the deity of Christ, four, atonement, five, Christ's resurrection, and six, Christ's return. You know, Alex mixes it up with humor and stories he gleaned from decades of working with youth, and encourages teens to build a foundation of faith that will stabilize their lives, and help them take a stand for Christ. Simple and straightforward, Stand, Core Truths You Must Know for an Unshakeable Faith.

Available wherever Christian books are sold. Are you tired of liberal agendas ruining our country, but you don't know what to do about it? That's why Truth and Liberty Coalition was founded. We want to equip you to take back our country and impact the world. Here's how we do it. We educate through broadcasts, conferences, and our website with resources that inform, equip, and motivate. We unify by collaborating with like-minded organizations like the Family Research Council, the Family Policy Alliance, and My Faith Votes. We mobilize by providing practical tools you can use to impact your local community.

As Christians, we are called to make disciples of nations. Together, we can change the course of our country for good. Join Truth and Liberty to connect with believers and organizations who not only want to see a change in our nation, but a community that is actually doing something about it. Join us online for our broadcast and subscribe for relevant updates on our website For apologetics resources, books by Alex McFarland, and to find out where Alex is speaking, visit Welcome back to Truth for a New Generation. We're having a great conversation with my brother, my colleague, Bert Harper. And hey, by the way, I want to talk about letting God set us free and all those things that the Spirit of the Lord and the Word of God does in our life. But you've got an incredible ministry even outside of exploring the Word called Fishbowl.

What's the latest? Well, what is Fishbowl and what's the latest? Well, listen, Fishbowl came about because of my wife, Jan. And she was the minister's wife, and she said, this is tough, you know. And so we decided and we talked about the minister's life, the pastor's life. We had been to conference on preaching different sermons, how to do this, how to lead, but living your life in the Fishbowl.

What we mean by the Fishbowl is everyone watching. Now, how do you know? When you go to Walmart and they watch to see what's in your cart, the second thing they do, they watch what car you get in if you watched it recently. I've even some heard about a pastor, they didn't like the shoes he wore.

I mean, you're examined all the time when you're in this Fishbowl. Your kids are, when they, four boys running down the hallway, and the one whose name is called out is the pastor's son, because they know his name. And so Jan and I knew we needed to do something about that, and so we found a place and we found what we could do, and we raised the money the very first time to, so people, those young ministers and wives could come free. Don Wildman gave the money the first time we ever did Fishbowl so that we could present it to those pastors and wives as a gift.

And then what happened when I came on board at AFR, they asked me to bring, Jan and me, to bring Fishbowl with us, and now we do it. It's not just for young ministers and wives, it's for ministers and wives, and we've had them come from all over the United States, and we enjoy doing that. It's three days and two nights where Jan and I invest our lives into them, and it's a retreat, not a conference.

By that I mean you have time for each couple to talk to get to know one another, and they're not just listening, they're sharing together, and they can go to,, and you can register and get online, find out more about it. Well, God bless you. And you know, when you're in the ministry, many a time, many a time, and I'm not complaining, but like Angie and I would finally get a night to maybe go out to dinner, and if we're in 50 miles of Greensboro, somebody will come to the table, and many a time I've had people pull up a chair and say, oh my goodness, Alex, I'm so thrilled to see you, because I need to tell you about this problem, and please help us. And do you know what, early in in the ministry, I had to learn about boundaries, that my primary ministry, my own walk with the Lord, but then my marriage and family. We've got to, all of us, but especially those in ministry, we've got to keep things in order, don't we?

We do. You know, we were talking earlier about a man cheating on his wife, but that we meant a woman cheating on her husband, and we use a means an affair, but honestly, pastors have to watch being cheating their family out of their time because of the other people. Can the ministry be a mistress?

It can be, and it breaks my heart to say that, and I didn't do it right. You know, I let too many phone calls get in the way of conversations with our three sons, with my wife, and if I had it to do over, I'd have said no a few more times. I learned to say no, those boundaries, but when you're the pastor, you feel like, especially of a smaller church, now if you're pastor of a mega church and you've got, you know, staff, yeah, they can go take care of it, but those church, and that's the reason Fishbowl's so effective for the small, it's for pastors of a large church as well, but especially those who have smaller churches where they are, they are the staff, and Jan and I just love to put into them and share with them because I just want to tell you, you out there that are listening, pastoring's tough. You don't go to church to get away from the people that, quote, you work with and work for, you are there, and it's hard to get away. You know, and folks, by the way, I want to encourage you, maybe you want to send your minister to a Fishbowl retreat, your minister and his wife, Bert and Jan, and I don't say this lightly, they're very godly people, but they're wise people, and Bert, I just, you and I both knew H.B.

London. H.B. was just a dear man, and he ministered to pastors, but he's gone on to heaven, and you're doing that. You are pouring into the lives of people, myself included, from your experiences and your wisdom, and I just wanted to say thank you, and again, give that website for the Fishbowl ministries. Now, it's not foundation.

You'll find out how to fix your foundation if you don't put the S on foundation. You're doing contracting work. I did not know that. Yeah, contracting to do whatever I can to help the pastor and his wife. We enjoy that, honestly. That changed a lot of the focus of our lives is Fishbowl, and again, Jan and I, we knew it.

She's the one that came up with the very idea, and then God started putting it together through she and me talking, and we praise God for it. Now, AFR and AFA, they are great friends and partners in Fishbowl retreats. We've got to take a brief break.

Can you hang, can you stay one more segment? I will, brother. All right. This is Truth for a New Generation with Alex McFarland, our very special guest, Bert Harper. Stay tuned.

We're going to come back, and again, to follow what we're doing in our upcoming conferences, We've got a brand new book out. Bert Harper and myself wrote a book called 100 Bible Questions and Answers from the show Exploring the Word that we do.

More than 220 pages of answers to the tough questions about God's Word, Christianity. It would make a great gift for somebody. It's published by Broad Street Publishing, and I would encourage you to check it out.

You can find it anywhere online. We're at your local bookseller, too. Our newest book, 100 Bible Questions and Answers. And we are committed to take the gospel throughout the nation, apologetics, biblical worldview. We're doing our utmost to evangelize the lost and equip the saved. And to that end, I want to remind you about our camp coming up.

Listen to this. Our worldview camp is coming up July 17 through 22nd. We'll be in eastern North Carolina, right just outside of Raleigh. And the theme is Unashamed, Building Your Biblical Worldview. Now I will be there personally to spend a week with your youth, and I'm going to teach them apologetics. We're going to talk about how to stand up for the Christian faith, what it means to be a disciple, how to live as a Christian, how to overcome temptation. July 17 through 22nd, Truth for a New Generation.

We'll be back right after this brief break. Have you ever wanted to raise your hand during a sermon? Well, here's your chance. Hi, Alex McFarland here from the nationally syndicated radio program, Exploring the Word. For more than 10 years, my co-host Bird Harper and I have taught scripture and answered hundreds of Bible questions. We've compiled a brand new book of the top 100 Bible questions from listeners of all ages, from questions about supposed Bible contradictions to apologetics facts that prove the truths of scripture. This new book features practical content that will make the Bible come alive for you.

Can we really be sure that God exists? Are there contradictions in the Bible? I need a book that will help me understand the Bible better. There's so much good content in this book.

100 Bible Questions and Answers, published by Broad Street Publishers and available at your local bookstores and also through America today is like a patient struggling to live, yet is being forcibly euthanized by her quote doctors. The life force within the patient fighting for survival is the honest citizens like yourself.

The team of quote caregivers are the local and national leaders actually contributing to the demise of the patient. The economy is crashing, crime is exploding, the Constitution is being abolished, the assault on America, how to defend our nation before it's too late by Alex McFarland has one single purpose, to get you prepared. Learn the real source of America's current problems that no one else is talking about and what you can do now to face tomorrow regardless of what tomorrow brings.

The assault on America, how to defend our nation before it's too late. Available now at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and local Christian bookstores. In the midst of a culture obsessed with relativism, Alex McFarland is a voice you can trust to speak the timeless truths of Christianity in a timely way. You're listening to Truth for a New Generation radio.

Welcome back to Truth for a New Generation with our very special guest, Burke Harper, that you hear with me live Monday through Friday on Exploring the Word. I am of the belief that if we don't have a moral and spiritual revival in our country, we risk losing our Constitution. I agree, and when you lose that, the freedom that we've had, we've talked about the liberty and freedom, we lose that. I mean, America has sent more missionaries out since its founding than any country ever, and I believe that's the reason that we're still standing right now. It's not necessarily because of morals. If that was the case, I think we'd been under a long time ago, but churches are still sending missionaries, Alex, with all my heart.

I believe that, and God honors that. You know what it was before the woke movement? It was called enlightened. Now, what that meant was I remember talking to having this conversation about 30 years ago with an individual whose friend had moved to Europe, and they were talking about the different things, the freedoms, socialism, you know, the idea of a democratic republic and, you know, religious freedom, and the guy that had gone to Europe says, oh, it's just because you haven't been enlightened yet, said the newspapers over here and the articles have done it. So what Europe has gone through and already come out on the wrong side, America's going through, but it's exponential. It's faster, and wokeness is really not new.

It's just a new name for something that's been around many, many years. Well, I saw in the news yesterday a potential Olympian who is going to— where are the Olympics this year? Tokyo, is it?

Yes, Tokyo, Japan. And this particular American athlete said that they wanted to win a medal so that on the podium they could burn an American flag. Well, that's transgender person as well. Yeah.

It's a transgender person who is going to try to compete in the Olympics. Well, and what is so concerning to me is that businesses and educators have, and even elected officials, have gone right along with this. And my point being, look, it's fine that we are a country where we have liberty, but if you use the tools of liberty to destroy liberty, then the future is a life with no liberty.

Let me ask you this. Is going down the highway at 90 miles an hour when the speed limit is 70 with no seat belts and no brakes, is that liberty? It's foolishness. It's foolish. That's why we're in America. We are going down this highway headed for the cliff, no brakes, you know, no seat belt, no parachute, when we go off. And they call that freedom. It really isn't freedom.

It's suicide. You know, with the minute or two we have left, I'm going to share something. I love the national anthem, Star-Spangled Banner. So a lot of times I'll go online, and I've literally listened to hundreds of renditions of the Star-Spangled Banner, and it's just beautiful. All right, now just bear with me, folks.

I stumbled across something. The San Francisco group, The Grateful Dead. Now, do you remember that rock band?

All right, if ever there were an anti-establishment group and, you know, they traveled, they performed, dead heads would come. Well, of all things, they sang the national anthem at a San Francisco Giants baseball game, like 25, 30 years ago. And it was unbelievably beautiful, because, and I'm not a fan of The Grateful Dead, necessarily, but they were good musicians. They could harmonize, almost like my friends the Beach Boys. Okay, all right, I watched this. The harmony was amazing.

Nobody knelt down. And I thought about this. Again, if any group was counter-cultural and anti-establishment, it was The Grateful Dead. And yet, when asked to do so, they sang the national anthem with gusto and conviction and incredible harmonies, and everybody gave them a standing ovation, and they said, play ball. Now, here's my point.

Nowadays, we're living in a point where I talk to dozens of young people everywhere I go. They've been coached to hate America. They wouldn't salute the flag for love nor money. And, look, why not have an America where, whether you're a Christian or not, whether you're conservative or not, whether you're Republican or Democrat, at least we can appreciate this nation and live together and not denigrate and burn the house down. You know, segregation that was taking place when I was born was evil. And now, guess what? It has raised its head back up in different ways.

They're still trying to segment segregation, segment our society to put us against one another so we'll pull completely in different directions as an American. And it will destroy. It will. And we, our only hope is honestly a revival, an awakening. You know, revival can be used, but we need an awakening about who God is and us following Him. I pray that we as Christians would lead the way. You know, I, again, we didn't rehearse or script this, but we began with that verse, Psalm 133, verse 1, how beautiful it is when brethren dwell together in harmony. Didn't know we was coming back to it, did we?

You know, regardless of your background, your, your, whoever you are, wherever you live, listen, we need to be a unified republic. And I believe the Lord Jesus can give us that. But we want to say, tune into Exploring the Word. You can find us on, all those archive shows.

You can follow us here on But we want to say we love you. Whoever you are, we, we care about you.

But more importantly, am I right, more importantly, God loves you. Amen. Thank you, Alex. Hey, thanks for your time.

Yes. Let's visit again soon. Through the perilous fight, o'er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming. And the rockets red glare, the bombs bursting in air, gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.

Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave o'er the land of the free and the home of the brave. TNG radio is made possible by the friends of Alex McFarland Ministries, P. O. Box 10231, Greensboro, North Carolina, 27404. That's P. O. Box 10231, Greensboro, North Carolina, 27404. Call us at 877-YES-GOD-1.

That's 877-YES-GOD and the number 1. Or give online at While you're there, listen to Program Archives, read Alex's blog, invite Alex to speak at your event, or contact Alex with a question or comment. Thanks for listening today and join us again next time as we bring you more truth for a new generation on TNG radio.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-07-10 21:58:53 / 2023-07-10 22:10:13 / 11

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