Monday, December 24, 2012


During the Christmas holidays it is traditional for families to gather together.  But, although it is traditional, that does not necessarily make it 100% positive and pleasant.  Some family relationships can be strained for various reasons.  There may be offenses of the past or aggravations in the present or anxieties about the future that have to be navigated relationally.  For Christ-followers, we have a deeper motivation and extra empowerment for relating to anyone and everyone… especially those to whom we are related:

Romans 15:7, “Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.”  Acceptance is vital to loving others.  We tend to want to change people first, but, in fact, our best pathway to seeing change happening in others is for us to begin accepting them, valuing them.  In other words, the initiation of an attitude change in us triggers changes in the way they respond and relate to us.  When others feel our acceptance, when they feel valued, it will result in a different chemistry.  Remember this when you are around that neglectful adult child, that critical mother, that controlling father, that annoying brother-in-law, that unresponsive son-in-law over the holidays.

Pray with me…  Father in heaven, thank you for accepting us and receiving us and adopting us into your forever family.  And thank you for the indwelling Holy Spirit that is at work in us, as we yield to His power, to conform us into the likeness of the one perfect person who was born at Christmas and lives evermore.  In His dear name, amen.

Pastor Ken

Monday, December 17, 2012


THE HEROD DEFECT of the first century is still in effect in the twenty-first century.  Matthew records in 2:16, “… Herod… was furious, and he gave the orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time…” And the times have not changed.  The evil that was resident in the paranoid mind of Herod also infected the mind of a 20-year old young man in Newtown, Connecticut, now over 2000 years removed.  Surely the last step down in depravity is to wantonly take the lives of innocent children.  The irony… and tragedy… is that both of these unspeakable crimes against God and man were perpetrated in the season of the advent… Christmas.   The fear and suffering that surrounded the birth of Jesus then has now been deposited in the impressionable minds of surviving children and their families of the Sandy Hook Elementary School.

The heart-pain of the Bethlehem mothers on that first Christmas was prophesied by Jeremiah 31:15, “A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more.”  This lament parallels the anguish in the hearts of the mothers in Newtown, Connecticut this Christmas 2012.  But, as we wring our hands and pound our fists against our foreheads for an answer as to why these things happen… can we be reminded again that the only way these tragedies can be resolved is by the presence and power of the One who came to earth who was ‘full of grace and truth’ [John 1:17]?  He alone will bring justice where His love has not been received.   And, without Jesus, there is no help or hope.  Without Him there will be no resolution or glad reunion with these little lost loved ones in the greater life.  Because He lives, we too shall live.

Pray with me [and the apostle John in Revelation 22:20]… “Come again Lord Jesus.”  Amen.

Pastor Ken

Monday, December 10, 2012


2 Corinthians 9:15, “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift.”

It was obviously a few years back, since the reporter for ‘Good Morning America’ at the time was Joan Lunden… But, I remember the Christmas that she detailed some extraordinary gifts you might want to include on your wish list.  [Of course you would have to up the ante to allow for inflation in these prices.]  One of them was a Jaguar 220.  It requires an $80,000 deposit with the remaining $587,000 due upon delivery.  [They only make 250 of these a year.]  She also mentioned that if you were to purchase such an automobile, you might also be interested in the new car wax that promises to give your Jaguar the ultimate shine.   It retails for $3400 for an eight ounce can!  Or, if this package is too much, you could opt for a $28,000 pacifier, a $27,000 pair of sunglasses, an $18,000 frisbee, a $12,000 mousetrap or a $10,000 yo-yo.   These gifts stagger the imagination, but they are not indescribable.

There is an often-quoted Christmas card that goes like this:

“If our greatest need had been information, God would have sent an educator.  If our greatest need had been technology, God would have sent a scientist.  If our greatest need had been money, God would have sent an entrepreneur.  If our greatest need had been pleasure, God would have sent an entertainer.  But our greatest need was forgiveness, so God sent us a Savior.”

Pray with me… Our Loving Father, You are the giver of every good and perfect gift, but the best gift and the most perfect gift is the indescribable gift you gave us in Jesus.  We thank you for seeing beyond our faults to supply our needs.  In Jesus’ dear Name, amen.

Pastor Ken

Monday, December 3, 2012


One of the greatest places to be in this life is in the place of contentment.  And there is but one source of ultimate contentment.  Proverbs 19:23, “The fear of the Lord leads to life…. then one rests content, untouched by trouble.”  But, too many people are discontented and it leads them into attitudes and behaviors that are personally depressive or destructive, both to them and their loved ones.  Spending excessively, going into unmanageable debt, indulging in carnality, uncontrolled anger, drug and alcohol addictions, obsession with the physical appearance, a manipulative or controlling personality, criminal activity…. all these and more are manifestations and expressions of discontentment.  The wisdom of Proverbs is that love and respect for the Lord at the very center of who we are means abundant life/contentment, but without the Lord at the center of who we are, we will be touched by trouble.

Now there is a sense in which we are all exposed to trouble.  Jesus said, “In this world you will have tribulation [trouble], but, be encouraged, I have overcome the world.”  So, for the child of God, the Christ-follower…. even though exposed to trouble because of life on this fallen planet…. we are untouched.  We are living daily with the security of knowing we are in Christ and that life in Him is a place of grace, peace and contentment.  I think it is what our incarnate Lord meant in Matthew 11:28 when He extended to us all what has been called The Great Invitation, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest [contentment].”

Pray with me…. Our loving Father, we come to you in renewed devotion today.  We praise and thank you for the gift of contentment, the blessing of knowing You, loving You and serving You above all other priorities in life.  In this busy season, at another year’s end, we pray for special moments that remind us we have ‘fullness of life’ in Jesus, the Source of our contentment.  In His name, amen.

Pastor Ken