Thursday, December 22, 2011


I believe it was last year that a newspaper in Chicago published the true account of an incident that happened at a shopping mall over the holidays. A little boy really upset a department store Santa Claus when he gave his fake beard a good yank and then let it snap smartly back into place. Santa retaliated by throwing his bell at the boy. The kid ducked, and Santa hit another little boy in the head by mistake. The father of the second boy promptly slugged Santa with a roundhouse right. A policeman came around the corner at that moment and clubbed the father with his nightstick. When peace was restored, Santa was in jail and the father/son were being stitched up in the emergency room of a local hospital.

Christmas is not always a time of peace. People can be tense, preoccupied, over medicated or inebriated, not to mention the frustration and irritation with loved ones. So, how can we reclaim Christmas peace that sometimes gets stolen from us by the stress of the season? Grab your Bible and do a little exercise with me as I provide some counsel based on sound principles from the Word:

-Quit trying to please everyone. In Luke 5:15-16 it says that Jesus intentionally withdrew from pressing crowds to go ‘to lonely places to pray.’ He did not try to meet every expectation others had of him. He understood the importance of priorities and balance in life.

-Quit trying to be the perfect host/hostess. In Luke 10:38-42 it talks about Martha being ‘troubled about many things.’ Mary, on the other hand, ‘chose the better thing’ by sitting undistracted at the feet of Jesus. So remember, the house doesn’t need to be perfect. The food doesn’t have to be perfect. And, you don’t have to do it all. Delegate!

-Quit buying so much stuff. In Luke 12:15 we are told, “Life does not consist in the abundance of the things we possess.” Has anyone but me noticed that the more kids get, the less they appreciate what they got? Back to the ‘good old days’ when we had one ‘big’ gift to anticipate, unwrap and enjoy!

-Quit running around and go sit down. In Luke 22:14 Jesus, facing the worst day of His life, was reclining at the table, spending his precious and limited time with his friends; the disciples. In some ways this was the biggest night of his life and he chose to spend it in the company of those who meant the most to him. More important than presents for the family is your presence with the family!

Pray with me…. Our Father, we need You to wake us up and shake us up so we are fully awake and alive to enjoy what You have for us this Christmas 2011 and throughout the New Year of 2012. May we be consumed with pleasing you first and last. May we not be obsessed with the trivial and mundane. May we see where the real value is in daily life. May we practice the spiritual discipline of ‘slowing’ in the new year, because in doing these things we will put more life in our living and do less of just living life. In the name of Jesus, amen.

Pastor Ken

Monday, December 5, 2011


In this Christmas season, and as we come to the end of another calendar year, I want to express on behalf of our family the great honor and joy it is to serve the Lord and you. The picture was taken this past Thanksgiving when all 19 of us were together. It is rare on holidays, since, most of the time, one of our four families usually has some kind of ministry responsibility. Our son and both sons-in-law are pastors with the Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, KY. Our two daughters and our daughter-in-law are busy and dedicated stay-at-home moms. Our 19 grandchildren [7 granddaughters and 4 grandsons] range in age from 3-14.

Usually a couple of times a year our sons-in-law, Brian Sites and Matt Bayless, come to Crossroads to lead worship. Our son, Kyle, comes to preach, on average, once a quarter. All three of them testify about how much they love to come and preach/lead worship at Crossroads. Thank you so much for being so warm and welcoming to our family and thank you for standing with us as we seek to build a Great Commandment/Great Commission Church.

Our prayer for you is that this Christmas will be a season of spiritual renewal and recommitment as we move into a new year of challenges and opportunities to exalt Jesus Christ together.

Gratefully and sincerely,

Ken Idleman
Senior Pastor