Monday, November 26, 2012


I have never understood why Christians are notoriously poor tippers in restaurants in light of 2 Corinthians 9:6, “Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.”  I know that, in context, this passage is specifically referring to the Apostle Paul’s appeal to the Corinthian Christians to provide a financial offering to advance God’s purpose.  But, it seems to me that this statement from scripture is a universal axiom for living on planet earth.  There is a smallness of life that characterizes those who are selfish hoarders of all they earn and own.  It is impossible to escape the negative consequences of living such a life.  On the other hand, there is a largeness of life that characterizes those who love to give their time, their energy and their resources to honor God and bless people.  It is impossible to miss the positive rewards of living such a life.

So, maybe the next time we have an $8 check for lunch and a $10 bill in our wallet/purse, we could save ourselves a struggle over what to leave as a tip.  Instead of spending 5 minutes doing the math and getting change to save $.50, maybe we should just go ahead and leave a $2 tip instead of $1.50?  You could bless the waiter/waitress.  It may not seem like much, but the message that goes along with it can mean the world to someone.  It says, “Thanks, you did a good job. I appreciate your service.  I value you as a person.”  But, even if the message is lost on your server, you will still receive a blessing.  You ‘sowed generously’ and so, you will ‘reap generously.’  Such small acts of kindness set the tone for our day.  And each act of generosity strengthens this giving aspect of our character.

Pray with me… Gracious God, Your Word teaches that You are the Giver of every endowment and every perfect gift.  May we follow your lead and be bighearted, openhanded children of God.  In the name of Jesus… amen.

Pastor Ken

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


In order to have a grateful heart you must learn to be thankful for flawed people and imperfect gifts.  Be grateful when your daughter helps set the table for Thanksgiving Day, even though she does it imperfectly.  Be grateful when your son attempts to make his bed in the morning before school, even though he does it imperfectly.  Be grateful for your spouse’s expression of affection, even if it is done in a way that you may not fully appreciate.  Be grateful your body is responsive enough that you are able to get around, even if it is showing its age.  Don’t postpone thankfulness.  Just do it today, because a ‘grateful’ expression or act will lead to a ‘great-full’ feeling.

I Thessalonians 5:18 says, “Give thanks in all circumstances.”  This is a command to be obeyed, not a feeling in the gizzard!  It calls for a decision, an act of the will, not an emotional response.  It’s why we American Christians call this upcoming holiday Thanksgiving – not thanks feeling!  Paul writes in Ephesians 5:14, “Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”  Every once in a while we do wake up.  And when we do, what we sometimes wake up to is gratitude for the things we take for granted.

There are many positive spin-offs for us when we exercise our will by expressing thankfulness and appreciation for others. They will be attracted to us, because we all love to company with positive people.   We will be lifted out of self-pity and negativism.   Remember Debbie Boone’s big song, “You Light Up My Life?”  This is the way others will feel about you if you are thankful for the flawed people and imperfect gifts in your life.

Pray with me… Father God, I pray for the self-discipline to give thanks in all circumstances… to wake up… to experience all the good you have for me and all I can do in the lives of others with my expressions of thankfulness.  In the name of Jesus, amen.

Pastor Ken

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


We are hearing a lot these days about the looming ‘fiscal cliff,’ which portends the possibility of another recession before the end of the calendar year… the potential negative economic impact of the elimination of past tax cuts… effectively triggering an increase in taxes.  There is also concern about what this ‘fiscal cliff’ will do to our national unemployment figures.

All this to say, Psalm 37:25, “I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread.”  Has God ever failed you?  No, and he won’t now.  Joel 2:26, “You will have plenty to eat, until you are full, and you will praise the name of the Lord your God, who has worked wonders for you.”  We like to figure everything out ahead of time.  Instead we should lean on God.  Psalm 37:3-5, “Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shall you dwell in the land, and you shall be fed.  Delight yourself also in the Lord; and he will give you the desires of your heart.  Commit your way to the Lord; trust also in him and he shall bring it to pass.”  Just keep doing what God has told you to do.  Don’t be anxious; God won’t fail you.  Matthew 6:31-33, “Do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’… Your Heavenly Father knows that you need them.  But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”  We have only begun to review the promises of God to his faithful people.  There is so much more.  So just relax… He is Jehovah Jireh, “The Lord will provide!”  His name constitutes a promise of provision for all who belong to him.

Pray with me… Great and gracious God, we Your people have entrusted ourselves to You and we trust You… to protect us, too provide for us and to preserve us for Your purpose now and Your possession in the greater life.  In the Name of Jesus we pray, amen.

Pastor Ken

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


I am sure it is partially because I graduated from high school in 1965, the peak year for the draft of 18-year old young men for service in the Viet Nam War, that I feel a special debt of gratitude to our military veterans. They went into harm’s way in my place.   Consequently, I did not have to go.  [Am I speaking/writing for some of you who are reading these words right now?]  My feelings of deep gratefulness extend to many other veterans as well.  Because of WWII veterans, I do not have to learn to speak German or Japanese or Korean to get along in life. Because of the Viet Nam War veterans, I was able to stay in the states and focus my attention on Bible College and Seminary education to prepare for a lifetime of Christian leadership…. marry and start a family.  Because of the Iraq and Afghanistan War veterans, I do not have elevated anxiety about being victimized by acts of terrorism like 9/11.  How in the world do I adequately express the breadth and depth of my heartfelt thanks for such blessings of security, peace and joy for my children and grandchildren now and into the future?  These are sacrificial gifts that were purchased by the personal sacrifices of veterans…. Their physical injuries or disabilities, their mental health or, in too many cases, their life’s blood.

I do not have it in me to be detached, preoccupied or distracted when it comes to praising God and honoring our military veterans. Opportunities like our ‘Freedom Isn’t Free’ event at Crossroads this coming Saturday from 8:30 – 1:00 PM, don’t present themselves often enough for me.  I hope you will vote twice this week.  Once on Tuesday, November 6th with your ballot at your polling place and once on Saturday, November 10th with your body at the Crossroads Worship Center. 

Pray with me…. Father, we praise you for our freedom as Americans because of the sacrifices of others and we praise you that we are free indeed because of the sacrifice of your Son and our Savior Jesus.  In His name, amen.

Pastor Ken