Wednesday, October 26, 2011


Corrie Ten Boom is a name that is synonymous with victimization…. the injustice and cruelty imposed on compassionate Christians by the Nazi war machine. The Ten Boom family was guilty of hiding Jews during the attempted elimination of the entire race by the Arians. Consequently, Corrie and her sister were subjected to the most inhumane treatment imaginable, by Hitler’s minions in a Nazi concentration camp. Corrie’s sister died just days before their liberation by the allied troops.

Years after the war, Corrie was speaking at an event in Switzerland and noticed a face in the crowd. It was one of the former Nazi guards from the concentration camp. She recognized him as one of the cruelest guards….one who had frequently ogled her and her sister when they were unclothed in the delousing shower. After Corrie spoke that evening on ‘forgiveness,’ the man came down to speak to her. Standing before her, he looked at her, extended his hand and asked, “Fraulein, can you forgive me?” Corrie states, “I stood there with coldness clutching at my heart. But I knew that the temperature of the heart does not have to control the will. And so, woodenly, mechanically I raised my hand to join his and said, ‘I forgive you with my whole heart.’ And immediately there was a warmth that began in our joined hands, raced up my arm and flooded my whole being.” She said, “NEVER HAVE I EXPERIENCED THE LOVE OF GOD SO COMPLETELY AS IN THAT MOMENT.” In other words, it was in the act of extending forgiveness to another from her heart, as an act of her will, that provided for Corrie Ten Boom the most exhilarating experience of her Christian life.

Pray with me…. Our Father, forgive us our sins as we have forgiven those who have sinned against us. Though our offenses will likely never approximate the offenses suffered by the Jews during the holocaust, or the Christians who tried to save them in Jesus’ name, we will be rejected, betrayed, offended, slighted and hurt. May we never forget that the experience of being forgiven by You can only be compared to the experience of forgiving those who sin against us. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Pastor Ken

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


John Beckett in his book, Loving Monday, wrote that he had just turned thirteen and was enjoying a special vacation with his dad and his Uncle Harold at Harold’s cabin in Canada 600 miles from home. “But,” he said, “Trouble found us when Uncle Harold got the notion that his young nephew might like to look at his favorite playing cards which featured naked women. Dad walked into the room at that moment. Seeing what was taking place, he exploded! Here was his almost 60-year old older brother exposing his young son to pornography. ‘Pack your bags, John. We’re going home!’ A few minutes later we crawled into our small cedar boat; dad started the outboard motor and we pulled away from the dock. I bit my lip. I was so disappointed. Why would my outing with my dad and my uncle end this way? But 100 yards from shore Dad said grimly, ‘John, we’re going back.’ He’d been thinking and praying. I thought he’d forgotten something. When Dad pulled up to the dock, Uncle Harold ran down from the cabin to meet us. I could see in dad’s face this intense righteous anger that had met with an equally powerful and deep love for his brother. Dad was coming back to make things right. Too many years, too many shared experiences, too much was at stake to allow this incident to become a festering wound that would never heal. The embraced; a few words were spoken. That was all that was needed and they understood. Never again would Uncle Harold violate his brother’s care for his son. Never again would he underestimate Dad’s intense sense of right and wrong. Dad’s passion for his beliefs had caused him to risk fracture with his oldest brother. Yet, without compromising that passion, he found a place for reconciliation and forgiveness.”

Do you need to find a place of reconciliation and forgiveness? I’ll tell you where it begins. It begins on your knees when you pray, “Father, forgive me of my sins, as I forgive those who have sinned against me.”

Pastor Ken

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


Richard Foster was right when he wrote, “Superficiality is the curse of our age…. The desperate need today is not for a greater number of intelligent people, or gifted people, but for deep people.” Stop and think about that for a moment. And now, ask yourself the hard question. Be honest in your answer: “Am I among the deep people?” Going deeper in our understanding, in our appreciation and in our devotion to God and others is always possible for us. And, becoming a deeper person happens most naturally and easily and often when we are in the crucible of suffering. Listen to the words of Job who lost all of his children [to death], his possessions [to plundering enemies], his friends [to disloyalty] and his health [to extreme physical suffering]….

Job refers to his experience of going deeper with God as learning…. “things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know.” [Job 42:3] He said, “He [God] reveals deep things of darkness and brings deep shadows into the light.” [Job 12:22] He further testifies about going deeper by asking: “Can you fathom the mysteries of God? Can you probe the limits of the Almighty? They are higher than the heavens – what can you do? They are deeper than the depths of the grave – what can you know?”

Never forget this my dear friends: Your greatest opportunity to experience greater depth in your walk with God and your relationships with others is when your world collapses in on you. So, when you go through trials, please do not become bitter or harden your heart. If you do, you will miss the opportunity to experience your best and deepest days with God and those with whom you are the closest on this earth.

Pray with me…. Our Father, in a lifetime we cannot possibly exhaust all that there is to know and love about you. Keep teaching us as the years pass and as we put ourselves in a place to be taught. Thank you that faithfulness in times of trial and testing that put us in a place to draw closer to Your heart. We do not want to be shallow people. We want to be among the deep people. Take us there, no matter what it costs us. We pray in Jesus’ name, amen.

Pastor Ken

Tuesday, October 4, 2011



I honestly do not remember the man’s name, but I do remember that he quickly identified himself as an atheist. His wife and two children were Christ-followers, a part of the local church for which I was preaching a Bible Conference that week. The host pastor and I had gone to his home to try to impress on him the reality of God’s unconditional love and life-changing grace. After 20 minutes or so, we decided we should draw the interview to a close. We were not being well received.

Early in the conversation, I had learned that the summer before, his 10-year old daughter had gotten her feet caught under the deck of their riding lawnmower and almost amputated. The man said there had been a lot of blood. As we were leaving I asked him, “Mr. Jones, would you mind if I asked you a personal question?” He said, “What is it?” I knew this was potentially a defining moment of truth; regardless, it would certainly be my final chance to influence him. We had tried to breakthrough his defenses [intellectually] to create faith, using evidences and reason, but without much success. So, I fired one final shot over the bough of his boat. As I looked him directly in the eye, I asked as gently and respectfully as I could, “Last summer, when your daughter got her feet under the deck of the lawnmower, and you saw all the blood, and you wrapped up her nearly severed feet, put her in the back seat of your car and raced to the hospital….as her father, her daddy….honestly…. did you pray to God?” He was pensive before responding to simply say, “You got me.” I commended him for his honesty.

He admitted that, although a professed atheist, in a moment of crisis, he dismissed his own philosophical arguments and abandoned his defensiveness to ask God for His healing and His help. In an unguarded, high stress moment, his mental gymnastics were overruled by the instincts of his God-created nature. Of course, my purpose that day was not to win an argument, but rather to win a soul. I learned that even atheists pray and desire intimacy with God in moments of desperation.

Years ago I remember reading eyewitness accounts of deathbed confessions and appeals for salvation from those who had, all their lives, rejected faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. I remember the illustration of Erwin [Desert Fox] Rommel, Field Marshall for Adolph Hitler and the Third Reich. He cried out in stark terror as he faced the prospect of dying in his lost condition. I witnessed, second-hand, the deathbed conversion of my maternal uncle who had resisted any talk of God or Jesus throughout his life, but in his final hours, having lost his voice, in a weakened condition, mouthed the good confession of faith. I pray it was sincere enough.

That’s the thing about atheism. You don’t really know you are one for sure until it is tested by the reality of sickness, loss, grief or death. It’s easy enough to profess, but it is really hard to maintain in the crucible of living and dying. I suspect that the instinct to cry out for the mercy of the loving and merciful God in the face of suffering or death is so strong that it cannot be suppressed by the average garden-variety atheist.

Pray with me…. Our Father in heaven, you are so patient, so kind, so good…. We thank you. Your desire is to be bound to us, yoked with us, united with us, for time and eternity. We cannot fully absorb the fact that we, who often don’t even like ourselves, could be loved unconditionally by You. Give us Your peace and presence. Thank you for adopting us so we can share life with you and be borne by the darkness of death itself into your eternal light and life…. In the name of Jesus, amen.

Pastor Ken