Monday, March 26, 2012


Many so-called victories in this world are partial at best. Take our invasion of Iraq, for example. Did our air and infantry forces demonstrate superiority over the enemy? Yes. Did our armored vehicles roll from the border straight into Baghdad without even tapping the brakes? Yes. Did Saddam’s statue get torn down to the hoots and hollers of a grateful population? Yes. All of these things enabled us to claim victory. The problem is that we still had to fight insurgents while trying to help Iraq’s infant democracy stand on its own two feet. As many pundits have observed, we won the war just fine. It’s winning the peace we’re struggling with. So far, we have had to be content with a partial victory.

There are many times in this life when a partial victory, though disappointing, is still better than no victory. But when it comes to our battle with death, a partial victory is not only unacceptable, it’s impossible. Death has to be defeated completely or not at all! And that is exactly what Jesus did. His victory over death rendered death thoroughly impotent. His victory over death will never have to be won again. And every one of us has access to this victory!

The cross and the vacant tomb are the visible symbols of the greatest victory every won. It is a victory over sin, death and hell. And, as the apostle Paul put it in I Corinthians 15:54, “Death is swallowed up in victory.”

Pray with me…. Almighty God, we praise you, more than anything else, that over death we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. We thank you for the cross and the empty tomb…. the evidence that we will live evermore because of Jesus. In His strong name we pray, amen.

Pastor Ken

Monday, March 19, 2012


On March 15th, Thursday evening of last week, Leadership Evansville presented their annual Celebration of Leadership Awards. Crossroads Christian Church was well represented at the event to say the very least. Again and again the name of our church was mentioned in ways that honored God and affirmed our identity in the tri-state area as an ‘externally-focused’ church. [We want to be a church that exists for the benefit of those who are not yet members.]

Crossroads member, Mike Burkdoll, was nominated for an award because of his work with Point Man, a growing outreach to military war veterans, originally launched as part of our Refuge Ministry. Mike was individually recognized for his work with Point Man, receiving the Lieutenant Colonel Reginald Gibson Award.

Mike Ballard and the Potter’s Wheel was nominated by Crossroads Nursery Director, and elder’s wife, Kindra Hirt, in the Business/Organization Achievement Division. Potter’s Wheel won over a number of impressive businesses and non-profits.

In the Recognition for Project Leadership-Environment category, Crossroads [lead in this effort by Eric Cummings, our Community Outreach Pastor], Vectren and Habitat for Humanity received the award for their Glenwood Neighborhood Weatherization Project.

We all do praise and give glory to God for these recognitions which serve to remind us all that we are called to be salt and light for Jesus Christ in our communities. It is for this reason we serve in His name.

Pray with me…. Father, we give thanks to You for our Lord Jesus who was the servant of all. We pray that many in our area will seek Your face because of the witness of our church’s good works in His name. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Pastor Ken

Thursday, March 15, 2012



At long last…. a ‘voice of sanity’ crying in the wilderness, a model of godly manhood, a stand-alone leader! Last week Governor Steve Beshear refused to cancel the governor’s prayer breakfast. Despite the political pressure brought on him by both the Americans United for Separation of Church and State and The Freedom from Religion Foundation to cancel the event, Beshear, the son of a Baptist preacher, refused to relent. Beshear said the prayer breakfast is a 47-year Kentucky tradition that he has no intention of canceling. He also has a long history of faithfulness to his family, his church and the public trust. The governor has a ‘leadership backbone.’

Governor Beshear reminds me of Sheriff Joe Arpaio, “America’s Toughest Sheriff,” a name given to him years ago by the media. He has been elected/re-elected to an unprecedented 5 consecutive 4-year terms by the people of Arizona. His list of accomplishments is too long to detail here; but his ‘Tent City’ for prisoners, his chain gangs that contribute thousands of dollars of free labor to the state, the banned smoking, coffee, movies, pornography and TV in his jails, their meal costs of between $.15-$.40, the pink underwear on the inmates, etc. have established his reputation of having a ‘leadership backbone.’ He has regularly been the target of civil libertarians, but so far has successfully overcome their legal maneuvering to get him out of office. Sheriff Arpaio and his wife Ava have been married for over 54 years and have two children and four grandchildren.

And do you remember when Ronald Reagan was elected President of the United States? The Iatola Khomeini immediately released 8 American citizens he had held hostage in Iran for 18 months. Why? Because he knew that Reagan had a ‘leadership backbone.’ The Iatola was not yet ready to ride his camel off into the sunset. Later Regan called the bluff of the air traffic controllers who were threatening a strike unless their union demands were met. They were all fired in one executive action. Later in his presidency, Reagan would declare ‘The Year of the Bible.’ Talk about courageous!

Thinking about this reminds me of the passage in Acts 23:1-3 when the high priest Ananias ordered one of his henchmen to strike the apostle Paul on the mouth for no reason. Paul might have turned the other cheek, but he also said, “God will strike you, you whitewashed wall! You sit there to judge me according to the law, yet you yourself violate the law by commanding that I be struck!” Whoa Paul! Now there is a ‘leadership backbone!’

Now, make no mistake, I am all for appropriate grace in the way we, as Christ-followers, behave toward the socially/politically anti-Christian, toward the convicted/incarcerated and toward totalitarian/inhumane despots. At the same time grace must be balanced with truth. John 1:17 says that, “Grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” So, I am taking the position today that we need more truth and less insanity if we are to preserve the culture.

Pray with me…. Father, the Psalmist has declared that ‘strength and beauty are in your sanctuary.’ We want to reflect both your strength and your beauty in our character because we your people are your sanctuary. So, give us wisdom about when we should bow our heads in quiet submission and humility and when we should lift our heads to shout with conviction about what is right and true. Jesus is our model as we aspire to ‘speak the truth in love.’ Give us your head to know when we need a heart and when we need a backbone. In His name we pray, amen.

Pastor Ken

Monday, March 5, 2012


Six-year-old Elena Desserich was diagnosed with pediatric brain cancer. Her parents were told that she had only 5 months to live. Soon after the diagnosis, she lost her ability to speak, so Elena turned to writing. In the final weeks of her life, Elena began to secretly hide love notes throughout the house, intended to be found by her family after she was gone. She had quietly tucked notes between CD’s, hidden them in clothing drawers, placed them between stacks of fine china dishes, and slipped them into boxes of photographs. Elena’s parents continued to find little notes long after her death. Most said, “I love you Mom, Dad and Gracie.”

The book, Notes Left Behind, is a compilation of these notes from Elena to the ones she loved. The profits from the book go to a foundation to help find a cure for cancer. We can learn a lot from the loving heart of a child. Elena taught us that love needs to be communicated. It is only understood if/when it is expressed. She had the wisdom to leave behind hundreds of reminders of her love for her family. Do the people in your family and circle of friends have any permanent expressions of your love and appreciation for them?

The apostle John wrote in I John 3:18 –“Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue, but with actions and in truth.” And, although I know it’s not hiding it for you to find later…. to my Crossroads Church family: I love you all very much and am very thankful for the trust/honor of serving as one of your pastors.

Pray with me…. Father in heaven, our gratitude for Your Word is strong and deep, for in it we have revealed the written testimony of Your love for Your people Israel in the Old Testament, and Your people who are called by the name of Your Son, Jesus, from New Testament times right up to the present day. In You we are secure and blessed and strengthened and comforted in every trial. In the name of Jesus we pray, amen.

Pastor Ken

Thursday, March 1, 2012


All of us have heard the phrase, ‘kick the dog.’ It is an expression that is most often used when someone has had a bad day. Upon returning home you find an overly friendly canine that meets you at the door. Bowser is running around, jumping, slobbering, barking…. excited to see you after several hours of separation. So, how do you respond? What do you do? Do you pick up the dog and talk baby talk? Do you get down and wrestle with him? Do you scratch him behind the ears? Do you turn him over to rub his tummy? This is usually not your first instinct. Instead your reflex may be to figuratively [if not literally] ‘kick the dog’. Now, we are not talking about dog abuse here…. just a gentle push with the foot. You are not in the mood. In that moment you just do not feel like giving or receiving affection.

What we are talking about is a fairly common delayed emotional response to negative stimulus. It is a psychological devise called ‘projection.’ We project our frustration with someone else, or with some hard/unpleasant situations that may have happened to us earlier in the day, onto Rover or [worse] onto a family member who may be sharing life with us. Strangers that are rude without cause, a server who is abrupt, people who overreact to authority figures from police to pastors, moms who are impatient with their children in the grocery store, children who throw fits in public, adults who compose and send vindictive e-mails are to name just a few of the indicators of negative ‘projection’ taking place in real time. ‘Projection’ is generally not a good thing. It is generally a character flaw, an emotional weakness, a moment of immaturity…. but not always.

There is at least one illustration of positive ‘redemptive projection’ …. a time when projection resulted in salvation. In Isaiah 53:6ff, “We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.” The Lord God projected our sins onto Jesus. He was sinless, innocent and without fault. Yet, he became the one who was oppressed and afflicted for us. He was crushed and caused to suffer as ‘he bore the sins of many and made intercession for the transgressors.’ Our sins were projected onto Jesus, on the cross and he became sin for us that we might become children of God.

Pray with me…. Thank you Father for taking the punishment for our sin. You projected our sin, guilt and shame upon your Son, our Savior, on the cross. He who knew no sin became sin for us. And, because of it, we are free indeed. We thank and praise you. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Pastor Ken