Monday, December 23, 2013


How would you like to go to heaven right now?  I am serious.  I can take you.  In the last two chapters of the Bible, Revelation 21 & 22, the Apostle John gives us as much of a description as we can possibly comprehend.  Human history began in a paradise… the Garden of Eden.  And, it will end in a paradise… the New Jerusalem, ‘a city whose builder and maker is God.’  Read and be encouraged!  Lift your perspective out of the despair of this world.  There’s a new world coming!  Jesus brightened our planet when he came born of a virgin’s womb and he will brighten it forever when he comes in the clouds with great glory!  10 facts we know about His coming reward…heaven:

 1] It is a real place…Jesus said, “I go to prepare a place for you… that you may also be where I am.”  John 14:3
 2] It is a remaining place…It will remain forever after “the first heaven and the first earth have passed away.” Revelation 21:1
 3] It is a readied place…“I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.”  Revelation 21:2
 4] It is a relationship place…“Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them.  They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.”  Revelation 21:3
 5] It is a relief place…“He will wipe every tear from our eyes.  There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”  Revelation 21:4
 6] It is a refreshing place…“He who was seated on the throne said, ‘I am making everything new!’… I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life.”  Revelation 21:5 & 6
 7] It is a restricted place…God’s Word gives us a list of those who have chosen not to be there: “the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts [occult], the idolaters and all liars – their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur.  This is the second death.”  Revelation 21:8
 8] It is a rich place…“The wall was made of jasper, and the city of pure gold, as pure as glass.  The foundations of the city walls were decorated with every kind of precious stone.”  Revelation 21:18 & 19
 9] It is a righteous place…“Behold, I am coming soon!  My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done.”  Revelation 22:12
10] It is a refuge place…“The Spirit… says, ‘Come!’… And let him who hears say, ‘Come!’ Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life.”  Revelation 22:17
Pray with me…. Lord, your coming to the earth brought inexpressible joy and hope the first time.  Come again soon we pray.  In Jesus’ Name, amen.

Pastor Ken

Monday, December 16, 2013


Pop singer Andy Williams was the first to record the song, ‘It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year,’ back in 1963, on his very first Christmas album.  The lyrics are familiar: “With the kids jingle-belling and everyone telling you ‘be of good cheer.’  It’s the hap-happiest season of all, with those holiday greetings and great happy meetings when friends come to call.  There’ll be parties for hosting, marshmallows for roasting and caroling out in the snow.  There’ll be scary ghost stories and tales of the glories of Christmases long, long ago.  There’ll be much mistletoe-ing and hearts will be glowing when loved ones are near.  It’s the most wonderful time of the year.”  At the risk of sounding like Ebenezer Scrooge, can I point out the fact that there is absolutely nothing in the song that relates why Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year; nothing to connect us to the true significance of holiday [holy-day]?   The song merely celebrates the feelings that we associate with Christmas and ignores the facts.  But don’t you think this is representative of a lot of Christmas music?  It is really just a reflection of the way many people have come to think and behave in this season.   Like infant children, we play in the boxes, ribbon and paper and we are oblivious to the indescribable gift that has been given.  As a result, raucous office parties, excessive alcohol consumption, irrational spending and intemperate overeating are how many people typically celebrate at Christmas time.

In contrast, I will never forget the Christmas of 1971 when Kaylene and I were on our first tour of the Holy Land.  We stood in Shepherd’s Field just outside of Bethlehem on Christmas Eve with a crowd of a few hundred Christians.  A light snow was falling on a crystal clear night.  We worshiped together with the songs that contained the same message angel hosts announced to the world in Luke 2:14, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.”  The simplicity and solitude were in stark contrast to the commercial trappings of the season.  The historical reality of what happened in that field during the days of Caesar Augustus was deeply impressed on all of us. My hope is that everyone who reads these words will find a quiet place to open their Bibles to Matthew 1 & 2 and Luke 2 and be transported to the night the birth of Jesus changed everything.  It was the night God’s kingdom came on earth as it is in heaven.

Pray with me…Our Great God in heaven, we marvel at the genius of your way to communicate your love to each of us.  Sending Jesus… born of a woman, like we are born… living on this fallen planet, tempted as we are, yet without sin… teaching us in the first person… leaving the world a written record provided by Holy Spirit inspired authors… dying in our place, paying the penalty for our sins… rising from the grave to die no more… ascending into heaven to be our advocate with the Father…providing the church as a faithful witness to the world until Jesus comes again.  Thank you Lord…amen.

Pastor Ken

Tuesday, December 10, 2013


… A Blessed Christmas and New Year from the Idleman’s

To Our Much Loved Family of Faith:

This past year we celebrated our 45th wedding anniversary, my 47th year in ministry leadership and our 6th anniversary at Crossroads.  To mark the occasion, we spent a summer evening in Nashville on the General Jackson riverboat, enjoying a dinner cruise.   I remember, so well, our conversation that evening as we stood on the deck watching the landscape and the city lights slowly drift by…taking unhurried time together to trace the Lord’s hand of blessing on our lives through the years.  We can testify with one voice that He is good and that He is faithful…

We are experiencing God’s goodness and faithfulness in these Crossroads years, in part, because of your friendship and partnership.  May the satisfaction of our shared ministry be taken to even higher and deeper places in the year ahead as we continue to accomplish God’s purpose and expand God’s Kingdom together.

Gratefully and sincerely,

Pastor Ken and Kaylene Idleman

Monday, December 2, 2013


My most memorable December was, hands down, the year I proposed marriage to my wife…Kaylene.  We had known each other only four months, but I knew she was ‘the one.’  Sitting together in my car one evening, I told her I had an early Christmas present for her in the glove box.  [I know… not too creative or romantic, but it produced a favorable outcome nevertheless!]  Thankfully, she loved the engagement ring and said, "yes".

And in 45 years together I have learned one thing…that marriage isn’t for me!  Now that I have your attention…Marriage isn’t for you either. You don’t marry to make yourself happy; you marry to make someone else happy.  Marriage isn’t for you.  You marry for a family,  not just your in-laws, but for your future children and grandchildren.  Who do you want to help you raise them?  Who do you want to help you influence their values and shape their character?  Marriage is not about you.  Marriage is about the person you married.  From the beginning, I wanted to love this woman.  I wanted to make her happy; to see her thrive as a Christ-follower, to see her smile every day, to see her laugh every day.  True marriage [and true love] is never about you.  It’s about the person you love – their needs, their hopes, their dreams.

Away with the Wal-Mart approach choosing a husband or wife…if it doesn’t suit me, I will return it and get a new one.  It’s not what can I get out of this relationship for me…It’s what can I give to my beloved.  To all who are reading these words – married, engaged, single and available or single by giftedness…marriage is not for you!  The capacity to love is not to benefit you.  It is to benefit the person you love.  But here is the kicker…The more you love that person, the more love you will receive.  Truly, love and marriage isn’t for you, but you are the primary beneficiary when you love unselfishly!

I John 4:7 & 8 “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God.  Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.  Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.”

Pray with me… Father God, teach us and empower us to love unselfconsciously and unselfishly… starting with our family and then moving outward to our church family and then the family of mankind in this world.  And may we not love in word only, but may we love in deed and in truth.  In the name of Jesus, amen

Pastor Ken

Friday, November 29, 2013


Our government is in the process of implementing legislation that provides financial advantages, through the Affordable Care Act, to couples who live together; while, in effect, penalizing couples who choose to marry.  According to the Heritage Foundation, married couples could pay as much as $10,000 more per year than their unmarried counterparts.

Two people living together – but not married - could both qualify for thousands of dollars of subsidies provided each of their incomes is below $45,960.  But, if they are married, their combined salary would put them above the cap, and they would not qualify for subsidies.  Robert Rector sees what he calls ‘an ideological bent’ in the law, because married couples often lean Republican while those who are unmarried often lean Democrat.

So…can we just set aside the political rhetoric for a minute and ask… Should our morality ever be for sale at any price?  Would you, if you had to, sacrifice money to maintain your morality?  For several years I have observed that senior adults will often move in together, but not marry, because of the financial advantages of keeping their separate Social Security accounts.  Even as the law rewards immorality and penalizes morality, you and I are still free moral agents who can exercise our wills and do what is right in God’s sight, based on the solid foundation of Biblical revelation and the Lordship of Jesus.

Pray with me… Father God, we believe Your Word is in our best interest always.  I thank You that Your Word declares that You are the ‘Father of Lights in whom there is no variation, or shadow of change.’  I thank You that when we build our lives on the Rock of Jesus… by hearing and obeying His Word… at any cost… we will truly live now and forever.  In His name, amen.

Pastor Ken

Monday, November 18, 2013


A few years ago, Bill Hybels wrote the book, Too Busy Not to Pray.  It was a read that resonated with me then and still does today.  The message of his book is both condensed and revealed in the title.  I am thinking about a similarly titled book I want to write one day…Too Tapped Out Not to Give.  We are moving into the season of Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Opportunities to give abound at this season.  It is easy to feel ‘tapped out.’  But, in your better moments, don’t you think it is good that we are strongly challenged, at least once a year, to be generous?

James 5:1ff is one of the most sobering passages in the New Testament.  It warns against the sin of ‘hoarding’ rather than being big-hearted and open-handed with our resources: “Now listen, you rich people [That’s us!], weep and wail because of the misery that is coming upon you.  [Why?] Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes.  Your gold and silver are corroded…You have hoarded wealth…You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence.  You have fattened yourselves…

This series of indictments is because of the sin of selfishly withholding… being too concerned with our own interests and not concerned enough with advancing the Kingdom of God and meeting the needs of others in the name of Jesus.  This text even compares a hoarder to an oppressor.  We are the children of a giving Heavenly Father who tells us in Galatians 6:9 & 10, “Let us not become weary in doing good…As we have opportunity, let us do good.”  Yes… when we are too busy, that is the time to pray!  And when we feel ‘donor-fatigue,’ that is the time to give!

Pray with me…. Father, we humbly bow in Your presence.  We joyfully submit to the correction and admonition in Your Word! We know it will make us more generous, like You!  In the name of Jesus, amen.

Pastor Ken

Tuesday, November 12, 2013


It seems appropriate to me somehow that Veteran’s Day and Thanksgiving Day are in chronological proximity during the month of November each year… serving as a perpetual reminder for us all to be grateful to God for the freedoms secured by our military veterans, past and present, that we honor on this day.

My personal gratitude is deep and has been renewed every year since the summer I turned 18.  The military draft was in place at the time.  My high school graduating class was the most heavily recruited during the Viet Nam War.  At age 16, I had dedicated my life to fulltime Christian ministry.  I can remember thinking I might have to postpone fulfilling God’s call for a few years if Uncle Sam wanted me.  When I received my Selective Service Registration Card in the mail, it showed that I had been assigned a deferment of 4-d.  As a future theology student, I was considered a ‘conscientious objector.’  What?  I remember thinking, “Wait a minute!  I’m not a conscientious objector!”

Nevertheless, I have always considered that my Crossroads Christian Church brothers: Mike Burkdoll, Dan Oates, Joe Wilhite, Dave Sollars and others in our Pointman ministry, took my place so I could prepare to be a different kind of warrior, fighting a different battle.  And now, almost five decades later, we are all serving side by side as Christian soldiers, a spiritual ‘band of brothers.’  God is good.

Pray with me…. Father God, thank you most of all for your favor to preserve our nation.  And thank you today for the veterans who have sacrificed both life and limb to preserve our freedoms.  We do not take them for granted, but we receive their service with gratitude.  In Jesus’ strong name, amen.

Pastor Ken

Monday, November 4, 2013


On the day the community of Christ-followers was established in Jerusalem, after Peter’s convicting sermon, the assembly with one voice asked in desperation, “What shall we do?”  Peter’s answer was succinct, “Repent and be baptized every one of you.”  So, the question today is simply this...if you are a believer in Jesus and if you are committed to obey Him as Lord, have you taken both of these steps?  You, yes you.  Have you done this?   If not, why not?  This is not business that you want to put off or leave unfinished.  Is this God’s Word for you today?  Is it an accident you are reading this right now?

The origin of baptism:
         1] The example of Jesus                           Matthew 3:13
         2] The command of Jesus                         Matthew 28:19
         3] The command of Peter                         Acts 2:38, Acts 10:47
         4] The example of Paul                            Acts 9:18, Acts 22:16

The candidate for baptism:
         1] One who hears the Gospel                   Acts 18:8
         2] One who believes the Gospel               Mark 16:16
         3] One who repents of their sins               Acts 2:38
         4] One who confesses Christ                    Matthew 10:32

The form of baptism:
         1] It requires much water                         John 3:23
         2] It requires going to the water               Matthew 3:13
         3] It requires going into and coming        Acts 8:38-39
             out of the water                                 
         4] It requires birth, death, burial,              John 3:5, Romans 6:4
             and resurrection                         

The purpose of baptism:
         1] To start a new life                                 Romans 6:4
         2] To put on Christ                                    Galatians 3:27
         3] To enter the Kingdom                           John 3:5
         4] To apply the blood of Jesus                  Romans 6:3
         5] To receive forgiveness of sins              Acts 22:16
         6] To receive the indwelling Holy            Acts 2:38   
         7] To provide salvation                             I Peter 3:21

I want to be used of God to help as many of our people as possible take the important step of baptism, to bring their obedience up to date.  Some churches have a low view of the sacraments of baptism and the Lord’s Supper which Jesus himself instituted.  Crossroads is not one of them.

Pray with me…You, O Lord, are the architect of the plan to reclaim Your lost creation and redeem Your lost people.  We thank You for giving us a way to respond to your grace, to humble our spirits, to express our faith, to be cleansed from sin, to mark the day of our wholehearted commitment.  And so we celebrate our baptism into Christ, and the assurance that you belong to us and we belong to You.  In Jesus’ name, amen.

Pastor Ken

Monday, October 28, 2013


I am living in the afterglow of weekend worship at Crossroads...struck again this morning by the realization of the intensely personal relationship that the Lord Jesus desires with you and me as evidenced in his repeated of them:

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”  [Matthew 11:28]

“Come and you will see.”  [John 1:39]

“Come to me and drink [living water].”  [John 7:37]

“Come and have breakfast.”  [John 21:12]

“Come, follow me.”  [Mark 10:21]

“Come with me to a quiet place and get some rest.”  [Mark 6:31]

“Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.”  [Matthew 25:34]

I am shamed by the way He initiates friendship, partnership and relationship with me while I am preoccupied with the “tyranny of the urgent.”  I am renewed in my determination to spend less time in a ‘Martha mindset’ [busy serving] and more time in a ‘Mary mindset’ [desiring the better thing].

Pray with me...Thank you, Lord Jesus, for your patient and persistent love for us as we mature in our understanding of how to personally, practically and daily open our hearts to you.  Amen.

Pastor Ken

Monday, October 21, 2013


It is true.  The most often repeated command in Old and New Testament scripture is “Do not be afraid.”  And, in my opinion, it is also the most difficult command for most of us to obey.  It seems that our minds involuntarily, naturally and regularly drift toward fear; especially the fear of the unknown.  Who among us has not experienced anxious thoughts about the alarming accumulation of excessive national debt and how it will affect our financial future?  Who among us has not wondered whether we, or a loved one, might be in the wrong place at the wrong time…victimized by a lunatic gunman or a random terrorist act?  Who among us has not had flashes of fear about whether the oncoming truck might swerve across the center-line and hit us head-on?  Who among us does not have looming fear about what the recent results of a blood test or an MRI might reveal?

Personally, I have several grandchildren who will reach driving age in the next few years.  I have driven the winding, narrow roads that honeycomb the Louisville, KY area.  The telephone poles are too close to the roads and the shoulders are too narrow with deep ditches… See what I mean?  Your mind can take you to places you do not want to go and produce feelings of insecurity that we do not want to have.

One passage of scripture has served me well again and again.  Philippians 4:6-7, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”  There it is.  We push back on fear with prayer.  We push back on anxiety with piety.  When you have anxious thoughts, don’t succumb to panic.  Find a quiet place and count your blessings while also off loading your worry.

Pray with me…. Father, there is not one of us that does not need to internalize the words of these two reassuring verses from Your Word.  Now, today and every day, help us to have the presence of mind to remember them and obey them.  When we are doers of the word and not hearers only, we are the primary beneficiaries.  In Jesus’ name we thank you for giving us Your peace in an uncertain world, amen.

Pastor Ken

Monday, October 14, 2013


There was once a man who went to the doctor complaining, “Doc, I have something seriously wrong with me.  When I push here it hurts.  And when I push here is hurts.  And when I push here it hurts.”  The doctor said, “We need to take some x-rays.”  Then after the x-rays had been taken and he had a chance to study them, the doctor came back in.  The man asked, “What did you find out?”  His doctor replied, “I found out that you have a broken finger.”  So it is today...We don’t really have a multiplicity of problems in our nation, in spite of the fact that some say, “Our problem is the economy.”  “Our problem is education.”  “Our problem is the Congress.”  “Our problem is poverty.”  No, it’s not any of these.  Our singular/basic problem is that we are increasingly marginalizing God and rejecting the Bible.

In William Bennett’s book, “Empower America,” he reveals that from 1960-1990, while the population increased 41%, violent crime increased 500%.  In 1972 there were 586, 000 abortions, by 1990 there were 1,680,000 [25% of all pregnancies].  Suicide continues to increase as a leading cause of death among teenagers.  Of those applying for marriage licenses in 1960, 70% were first time it is less than 50%.  In 1970, 10% of homes were single 30% of all homes have but one parent.

We do not have many problems right now, we have just one.  We have ruled God out of society.  When we get back to closeness to God, the healing will come to the land.  [II Chronicles 7:14] This is what is broken and until it is fixed, there will be pain everywhere.

Pray with me...Father, we know from personal experience that life does not work well unless the Author of Life has first place in our lives.  We invite your loving reign in us and in our land.  In Jesus’ name, amen.

Pastor Ken

Monday, September 30, 2013


Have you ever heard the statement, “We are all God’s children?”  It sounds good. It seems right. It is comforting in a sentimental way. But, there is no Biblical truth to it.  Today, there is a widely held view that everyone is in the family of God and everyone is going to heaven when they die.  To suggest otherwise will raise hackles.  People will become irate.  But, if we were to follow this line of reasoning to its logical conclusion, we would be required to conclude that the Hitlers, Stalins, Bin Ladens, Bundys, Gaceys and McVeighs of this world are all God’s children.  [Please understand; each one of these, and all others, could be redeemed by the blood of Jesus [His blood covers ALL sin] and become a child of God [He is not willing that any should perish].

We are all God’s creation, but not necessarily God’s children.  Speaking of Jesus, the Apostle John writes, “To all who received Him [Jesus], He gave the RIGHT to become children of God.”  There are only two ways to become a part of anyone’s family… you can be born into it or adopted into it.  Jesus said, “You must be born again.”  And when you are born again, into the family of God, you are immediately adopted by the Father.  So, how are we born again?  Several individuals/groups in the book of Acts asked this question directly or indirectly, “What should we do/how should we respond to God’s grace in Jesus Christ?”  Gleaning from the conversion accounts, here is everything they were told/here is what they did: hear the message, believe in Jesus, repent of sin, confess our faith in Christ, submit to baptism and live a faithful life of devotion.  So… why would we want to leave anything out?  Some want to know the exact moment a person is born again.  No one can know that but God alone, who knows the hearts of all people.  Some are probably baptized without believing or repenting.  Some believe and repent without being baptized.  Some don’t follow through with a life of faithfulness.  Here is the thing… Let’s do what we are told and follow what we see by example in the conversion stories in Acts and trust God to make us a new creation, trust Jesus to forgive and save us, trust His Spirit to form Christ in us as we live the Christian life.

Pray with me…. Father, thank you for the joy and the security of belonging to You, being Your child, being adopted into your forever family.  In the name of our Savior, Jesus, amen.

Pastor Ken

Monday, September 23, 2013


We have a sister church in Mansfield, TX called ‘Crossroads.’  The senior pastor there, a plainspoken former student and friend of mine named Barry Cameron, recently had correspondence with a man that is worth considering:

“Hello Barry,
My name is Randy.  I was a member of Crossroads a while back and still enjoy listening to your sermons online.  I recently read an article in the Star-Telegram about a new church being formed in the area.  It meets at a place called Fuzzy Tacos on Tuesday night, to discuss the Bible and drink beer and wine.  They may open their Bibles, but mostly they talk about current events that relate to religion.  Some of my friends are thinking this is a good idea… having church without having church.  I just wanted your insight if you don’t mind.  Thanks.”

I know who you are and wondered where you had disappeared.  You ought to get back to Crossroads.  As you probably already know, there is no Biblical basis or encouragement for people to hop from church to church.  We need to plant our feet, our faith, our families and our future in a Christ-centered, Bible-based church and stay there so we can become all God wants us to be.  [Psalm 1:1-6]  You can’t uproot trees and plants and move them all around the city, somehow hoping they will be able to grow and thrive.  Christians who hop from church to church, will not experience growth and vitality, because they never put their roots down.

In regard to the latest ‘new’ church in our area:  This is another of those ‘start ups’ that will quickly ‘shut down.’  God will never bless any Christian or [so-called] church, if they live diametrically opposed to what he has revealed in his Word.  There are groups out there that appeal to the carnal nature and tell people what they want to hear rather than what is true.  Churches that sit around and drink and talk about current religious affairs are what I would call ‘group grope’ churches.  Here at Crossroads, we continue to preach the Word, in season and out of season, reproving, rebuking and exhorting with great patience and careful instruction.  People are maturing…. People are being saved as the Lord adds to the church.  People are in small groups studying the Word, verse by verse each week.  People are involved in serving in the community, doing their good works in the name of Jesus.

It would be great to have you back at Crossroads with your family, if you want to be a part of that kind of church.”

Pray with me…. Father God, give me a deep and abiding loyalty to the people you have put into my life, starting with my spouse, my family and my friends.  But Lord, do not limit me in the expression of my patient and unselfish love.  I pray my circle would include my brothers and sisters in Your forever family, the church.  I want to serve them and relate to them with unfeigned devotion.  Help me spot the counterfeits and resist the fads in church life.  Lead me to a church where Your presence is palpable and You at work, and keep me faithful there until death.  In the name of the Lord of the church, Jesus, I pray,  amen.

Pastor Ken

Monday, September 16, 2013



There are very few times when I have used my Speaking the Truth in Love blog to promote an event.  This is one of those rare occasions…

The weekend of Friday-Sunday, September 20-22, will be one of the most important in the life of our church family in 2013, as we celebrate our health and growth, as well as the vision God has given our leadership for the future.

You will be so encouraged as you learn about the thousands of baptisms and scores of churches we have planted internationally through our partnerships in Japan, India and Africa… As you learn about the growth of Community One locally… As you learn about the master plan for the expansion of our facilities… As you learn about our early plans for a partnership to establish a Christian middle school and high school on site… As you learn about/visit our extension sites at the West Side Ministry Center and the Crossroads Worship Arts Academy… and much, much more, all in a little over an hour!

You will also meet many of our elders and pastors, enjoy gourmet desserts [pizza for the Saturday night meeting] and engage in self-guided tours of all three of our venues for these meetings.  Right now you can go to our website at and sign up for one of three venues and one of five times.  Remember:  “We are made poor by the things we miss!”  Experiences cannot be recreated… don’t miss this one!  See you there…

Senior Pastor Ken Idleman

Wednesday, September 11, 2013


Back in 2008, Barna did a nationwide survey asking people about their views on ‘righteousness.’  Now the survey organization didn’t put it exactly that way.  Rather, they ask people to share their thoughts about the morality of 8 specific activities:

1.    Watching pornography
2.    Using profanity in public
3.    Gambling
4.    Gossiping
5.    Engaging in sexual intercourse with someone to whom they were not married
6.    Seeking revenge against someone
7.    Getting drunk
8.    Lying

What they found was that Evangelicals were the group most likely to embrace morality, while Atheists and Agnostics were most likely to reject it [no surprises here].  Liberals [as compared to ‘conservatives’] were 5 times more likely to participate in unmarried sex, 3 times more likely to view pornography, twice as likely to lie, get drunk, seek revenge or gossip.  People associated with faiths other than Christianity were twice as likely as evangelicals to engage in these behaviors.  Bottom line: Those who respect the God of the Bible were much more likely to embrace righteousness than those who did not. 

This reminds me of the story I heard about a man who went to see a psychiatrist.  He complained, “I’ve been doing some bad things, Doc, and my conscience is troubling me.”  The doctor asked, “And you want something that will strengthen your will power?”  The man replied, “No, I was thinking of something that would weaken my conscience.”  It’s a fact; some people don’t want God’s righteousness.  They want something that will make them feel better about their own unrighteousness.

Pray with me… Father God, Your Word declares, “the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere”… A perfect description of the life we’ve always wanted… the way of righteousness.  In Jesus’ Name, amen.

Pastor Ken

Tuesday, September 3, 2013


Just before Jesus prayed what has been popularly referenced as The Lord’s Prayer, he made some framing statements to his disciples that give all of us valuable guidelines for our prayers.  [And, I don’t know about you, but, I want to know how to pray effectively! I want to have, as the old hymn writer expressed it, ‘power with men and power with Thee.’] 

1.      Matthew 6:5-6, “When you pray, don’t be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners…. But, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen.”  In other words, make it a habit to pray in secret/ pray in private.  There is something that contributes to authenticity and genuineness in our prayers when they are offered up to God in His presence alone.  I met the son of a ‘professional’ minister a few years back who said that the only time he heard his father pray was in the context of public worship assemblies, to be seen by men.  At home, the name of God the Father, Jesus the Son and the blessed Holy Spirit were never heard in the context of spiritual counsel or personal prayer.  It was hard for this young man to get over the model he had seen of objectifying God, being inoculated with Christianity [receiving a small dose that makes you immune to the real thing].  Public prayer is good and acceptable, but it is not the prayer the Lord prefers.
2.      Matthew 6:7, “When you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.” In other words, pray briefly, simply, conversationally.  In fact, the model prayer that Jesus goes right into, after the statements we are now considering, can be repeated from memory in less than 30 seconds.  How many times have we overheard spoken prayers that went on and on, thoughtless of time and repetitive in content?
3.      Matthew 6:8, “When you pray…. do not be like them [pagans], for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.”  In other words, pray unselfishly, unselfconsciously.  Surrender your will when you pray, do not impose it!  It is not uncommon for our prayers to be top-heavy with our petitions.  One way to break this bad prayer habit is to pray scripture back to God.  If we truly want his will to be done on earth, we should forego at least some of the “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” in favor of more of the “Praise my soul, the King of Heaven.”

Pray with me…. Our Father in heaven, your name is Holy.  We want your loving reign to come on this earth that you created.  We want you to have your way, because your way is always in our best interest.  Take care of our needs as you have faithfully done in the past.  Forgive our sins, because we have and we will forgive others when they sin against us.   And keep us safely back from temptations we cannot handle.  Be our bodyguard when the evil one tries to gain entrance into our lives.  The only eternal kingdom is yours!  You alone are all-powerful!  Your glory is present now.  It fills the earth and it will for all eternity.  Amen.

Pastor Ken

Monday, August 26, 2013


I just received a request from a dedicated Christian mom who asked to pick my brain about what I would want my son/daughter to know/ understand before going away to college or out into today’s world.  Here is how I responded:                         







Pray with me…. Father God, we pray that the souls of our sons and daughters will be anchored in You and in Your Truth, whether they are near to us or far away.  If they are anchored in the unseen realities, we know that they will live in a way that honors You and will bless their futures.  We believe that life in Jesus Christ is superlative.  It is second to none.  We thank You for the love, joy and peace we know because we know Him as Savior and Lord.  In His Great Name, amen.

Pastor Ken

Tuesday, August 20, 2013


You will sense, if you read on, that I am in a more philosophical frame of mind this morning: As you study the epistles [letters] to Christians in the New Testament, from Romans to Revelation, it is easy to tell that, regardless of the years that have passed from then to now, the challenges to the faith are the same, whether it is the first century or the twenty-first century.   The two common cords that bind the content of this section of God’s Word together are an emphasis on right belief and right behavior. It is present in every letter. The apostolic exhortations to the young churches consistently uphold the truths that will keep Christ-followers faithful.  If it is impossible for a Christian to forsake the faith because of wrong-headed beliefs or immoral behavior, there would be no reason for any apostolic teaching after the book of Acts in the New Testament!

And, this emphasis on right belief and behavior is still needed today.  In fact, as the centuries have advanced, the more weird, wild stuff there is out there to believe.  And the way some people avoid revealed truth, dismiss reason and embrace whatever they have to in order to live the way they want to, is appalling!  What happens is …. some people decide how they want to live first; then they underpin that choice with whatever belief system they can find that will allow that [usually] morally irresponsible behavior.  This was the path of Karl Marx.  He determined that he wanted to pursue same sex relationships, so he embraced Charles Darwin’s Origin of Species [theory of atheistic evolution].  You see, if we have ascended from lower life forms/primates, we have no soul, and therefore, we have no ethical responsibility.  It is survival of the fittest.  There is no accountability to a Creator God for the life we live in the flesh.  Hitler was greatly influenced by Darwin as well.  Evolutionary theory gave Hitler the permission he needed to practice mass genocide of Christians and Jews.  He could wage war in the interest of world domination without the slightest conscience about it.

The relationship of belief and behavior is clear in Romans 12:2, “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”  The life is transformed if/when the mind is renewed.  Our private and public worship will expose us to the Word of God; that will help us keep our heads on straight, our hearts right and our feet on the narrow way that leads to life.  One of my personal life verses is Psalm 119:59-60, “I have considered my ways and have turned my steps to your statutes.  I will hasten and not delay to obey your commands.

Pray with me…. Father God, you have taken care to provide us with everything we need for life and godliness.  Your Word and Your Holy Spirit are the outward and inward influences that keep us believing and behaving as we both internalize and submit to their power and presence.  Thank you in Jesus’ name…. amen.

Pastor Ken

Monday, August 12, 2013


Dave Thomas, the founder of Wendy’s, who died a few years ago, was once a familiar sight to millions who saw his company’s television commercials.  He also appeared in a lot of in-store training films.  In those, as in many of the more familiar commercials, he would typically dress as his workers.  One year he appeared on the cover of one of the company’s annual reports dressed in a knee-length work apron holding a mop and a plastic bucket.  For many years, a framed copy of that picture graced the back rooms and manager’s offices of most Wendy’s restaurants. Dave Thomas was a self-made [if there truly is such a thing] millionaire.  He didn’t finish high school.  He worked his way up through the ranks of Colonel Sanders’ Kentucky Fried Chicken chain long before he went off on his own and started Wendy’s.  Here’s how Dave explained that picture: “I got my M.B.A. long before my G.E.D.  At Wendy’s M.B.A. does not mean Master of Business Administration.  It means Mop Bucket Attitude.”  Dave Thomas taught all of his employees that service comes before success.  The Wendy’s owner learned that servant ethic from the Gospels and the New Testament.

Jesus said about himself, “The Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve.”  He said to his disciples, “Let the one among you who would be greatest be the servant of all.”  The New Testament again and again reinforces this ethic, that we “serve one another.”  The humility that was communicated by Dave Thomas was more of a personal strategy for success in the business world.  But, it is so much more… it is the key to the life you have always wanted.  Being someone who “would do anything for anyone” is a supreme compliment and a shortcut to greatness in the eyes of God and men.

Pray with me…. Father, Your Son was our Servant, becoming obedient to death on a cross.  Make us like Him.  In His name,  Amen.

Pastor Ken

Wednesday, August 7, 2013


When we do something that we know is against God’s will, our brains record that incident with amazing clarity.  My guess is that most of us could, with a moment’s notice, pull from our memory banks a time when we stood at the intersection of sin and righteousness and consciously chose to sin.  And, even though we later confessed it to God and repented, even though we experienced God’s forgiveness, He does not go inside our brains and erase that memory.  As a result, it is easy for us to be convinced that, because we can remember the incident, God automatically remembers it as well.

And what makes it worse is that our brains trigger emotions when those memories of spiritual failure are recalled.  So we remember not only the sins we’ve committed, but the emotions of Godly sorrow and remorse we felt afterwards as well.  But, those memories and feelings of guilt are only phantoms.  They exist inside our minds, so they feel real, but they don’t exist in the mind of God….

God’s Word in Isaiah 43:25, Jeremiah 31:34, Hebrews 10:17 and Hebrews 10:17 all say it…. Our Lord has gone on record, “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”

So…. bottom line: We have to discipline ourselves to trust the fact of our forgiveness over the feelings of our phantom guilt.

Pray with me…. Your grace, Father God, is amazing!  We celebrate it regularly in our public and private worship times.  How can we thank you enough?  We are forgiven and free.  And we thank you for the memory of our own sin, only so we can resolve not to repeat it.  In Jesus’ dear name we pray, amen.

Pastor Ken

Monday, July 29, 2013


Proverbs 13:3, “He who guards his lips guards his life, but he who speaks rashly will come to ruin.”

When betrayed by Judas, Jesus stood silently, even though He could have called twelve legions of angels to His defense.  Then came the mob and laid violent hands on him, arresting Him.  Peter, true to his impulsive nature, drew his sword and cut off the ear of the high priest’s servant.  [He was likely aiming for the middle of his skull!]  Peter was thinking, “We don’t have to take this!”  But, Jesus said, “No Peter, that’s not how you handle things.”  Then, he reattached the man’s ear healing it by His touch. [Luke 22:51].  Peter had a habit of talking when he should have been listening, and doing things that he later regretted.  He needed to learn how to wait on God, to exercise humility and discernment.  God had great plans for Peter, but if he wanted to serve and save people for Christ, he couldn’t do it by lashing out when he felt angry.  There is a good lesson here for us.

Our abrasive words or thoughtless reactions can cut off people’s ability to hear.  We must be disciplined in our reactions and actions.  We must be sensitive to God: If He tells us, “Say nothing,” we must stand there quietly, even if it means letting someone think they’re right even when they aren’t.  How many times does our defensive, retaliatory impulse hinder the power of God to work in our lives and in the lives of others?  Galatians 5:23 teaches that “the fruit of the Spirit is self control.”  A Spirit-controlled temperament often means being silent when we are tempted to speak and standing still when we might feel like acting out.

Pray with me…. Father God, on this first morning of a new week before us, empower us, by the Holy Spirit, to exercise control over our tongues and tempers regardless of the situations we may face.  In the strong Name of Jesus, amen.

Pastor Ken

Monday, July 22, 2013


Several of us in the Crossroads church are engaged in 30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World.  Today is day 14.  When I feel powerless to accomplish something that I am convicted is a vital Kingdom initiative, I depend on prayer.  It is the primary way I can touch another person’s life or contribute to solving a difficult problem or correct an injustice I am otherwise powerless to influence or convert a resistant soul that I am unable to reach.   Human engineering is so limited and impotent in comparison to the confidence and power released when we pray for God’s intervention.  And prayer is not a last resort; it is a first resource!  This is especially true when it comes to winning the Muslim world to the One and Only Lord, Jesus.

The Bible is fresh and new to many in Muslim countries.  They have no Christian background or worldview, so when they hear the message of God’s grace it is amazing and life transforming for them.  This is especially true in poorer rural areas, but a little less so in the bigger cities where materialism has taken hold.  And so we faithfully pray and then we hear story after story….

“A friend gave me the Gospel of John.  In the first chapter I read that Jesus is the Lamb of God.  Immediately a mystery in the soul of Islam was unlocked.  The millions of animals we sacrifice during the annual pilgrimage are a sign pointing to the Messiah who is the sacrificial Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”

“I am free!  I have found that there is no comparison between Christianity and Islam.  Where once I had many rules to follow from the Qur’an and the Hadith, I now have a personal relationship with God through Christ.  It’s so different.”

Pray with me…. Father, it is Your desire that none would perish, but that the whole world would come to repentance and a knowledge of the truth.  We pray with all that is in us for Your kingdom to come and Your will to be done on earth, as it is in heaven.  In the name of the only One who can make that possible, even Jesus, amen.

Pastor Ken

Wednesday, July 17, 2013


Once again a verdict yielded in a high profile court case is causing upset and division in this country along racial lines.  For those who care deeply about the things that matter most, it is very discouraging to observe the lack of substantive progress we have made in race relations in the years between the controversial O.J. Simpson verdict, and now, the controversial George Zimmerman verdict. 

The fact is, although our criminal justice system is probably the best in the world, it is imperfect because it is served by imperfect people.  In addition, most crimes are committed in secret and it is taken for granted that whomever perpetrated the crime is going to deny it while friends and relatives who advocate for a defendant will routinely lie to influence a not-guilty verdict.  Courts are strangled with litigation and criminal courts are backed up for months.  Court cases are more like contests with an emphasis on winning.  Justice often seems like a secondary consideration these days.

All of this reveals a deepening culture-wide spiritual bankruptcy.   What would happen if there was submission to the Lordship of Jesus Christ, the Son of God?  1] There would be oneness between the races.  Galatians 3:27 & 28, “…for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.  There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”  2] There would be truthfulness.  Ephesians 4:25, “Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body.”  3] There would be a conscience about justice and truth.  Psalm 9:16, “The Lord is known by His justice…” And Isaiah 61:8, “For I, the Lord, love justice.

Pray with me…Our Lord and God, the sacrifice You will always accept is a broken, humble and repentant heart.  But, You despise racial prejudice that divides the people that You love.  Your Word declares that You will judge all liars.  You will one day bring perfect justice to the earth.  We pray for that day to come soon.  In the name of Jesus our merciful Savior, amen.

Blessings Pastor Ken

Monday, July 8, 2013


Take a look at this email I received from an anonymous young woman after the first of three messages from the Song of Solomon on God’s design for romantic love:

“I love how much of The Word we are getting into and that this series is focused on one specific book!  It’s super-practical.  I also appreciate the way in which you have tackled the topic with discretion, yet honesty.  This is a topic I am really passionate about!

You see, my junior year of high school I was in a verbally abusive relationship with an atheist.  I was a Christian myself, but had taken a wandering path.  As that relationship continued, I had given up my virginity.  It became an ongoing thing with that boyfriend because once I had given it up I figured there was no fixing what I had done.  During this time I struggled with self-inflicted injury as an effort to gain control over my circumstance.  Eventually I was brought out of that relationship and back on track in my relationship with The Lord.

Fast forward to my freshman year at the university.  The roommates next door to me on both sides, and the roommates across the hall from me all would frequently engage in sex during the weeknights.  It was so loud that it would disturb my sleeping.  As I would lie there and hear it, painful memories would replay in my conscious mind, over and over nightly.  It was a very emotional time for me, filled with angst, guilt, anger, and most of all, sadness.  At this point in my walk I was well aware of the forgiveness that Our Father God had given me.  But this taught me that I had neglected to forgive myself.  It took some time and great counsel from sisters in Christ, but I finally got to the point I was able to let go.  Now, it has been AMAZING to see how The Lord constantly uses this chapter in my life to reach other people and to share His love and grace!  

This leads to my request!  Could you somewhere in this series give a reminder of God’s grace for people like me – who have fallen short of purity?  I know that [like me] there are young women [and men] who have given in to sexual temptation and may not see the point of stopping…A reminder that they can experience God’s forgiveness and they can start fresh today…Thank you so much for your time and wonderful efforts.”

Needless to say, this young lady is right.  God does not lock us into our past failures.  His mercy is new every morning.  He specializes in repairing brokenness in the lives of His children.  He is the God of a second chance.  “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us and purify us from ALL unrighteousness.” 
I John 1:9  NIV

Pastor Ken

Tuesday, July 2, 2013


My former student, personal friend and mega-church pastor colleague, Barry Cameron, wrote a piece that is too good not to share on this the week of our nation's 237th anniversary on July 4th…

Pastor Ken

Twenty-one years ago I was invited to go on a mission trip to Russia and the Ukraine. To say it was a life-changing experience would be an understatement. I remember speaking with the Russians/Ukrainians, through an interpreter, and being blown away by how kind, friendly and gracious they were. I kept thinking, “Why did we ever think these people were our enemies?” Everywhere we looked we saw people living in impoverished conditions. Most had the bare necessities to live on but not much else. Yet, they didn’t complain and seemed grateful for everything they had.

I’ll never forget being in churches where it was “standing room only” for services that lasted several hours. The majority walked in the cold to get there and didn’t want to leave. They worshiped wholeheartedly and responded enthusiastically from beginning to end. There were no padded seats, just wooden benches. No coffee and donuts in the lobby. No flat-screen TVs or water fountains. Even the restrooms were outside the building and were nothing more than a hole in the ground.

One of the most memorable experiences of my trip was being invited to the public schools to “teach the Bible,” which we did, and the response mirrored what we had seen in the churches. These people were hungry for the Word of God. I only wished we could’ve communicated without having to speak through an interpreter.

All those memories came flooding back to me this past week when I read an article in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram with the headline: Russia ramps up pro-family, anti-gay efforts. The article, written by Patricia Herlihy in the Los Angeles Times stated, “The Kremlin has just issued a 12-year plan to address Russia’s demographic crisis – its high mortality rate and low birthrate. Buoyed apparently by a recent rise in the birthrate – 1.9 million Russian children were born in 2012, compared with 1.2 million in 1992 (the year of my mission trip!) – the country has announced that it will give bonuses to families that have more than two children and will provide better healthcare, housing and education for families.”

“In addition to these ‘carrots,’ the government has announced some ‘sticks’: Divorce will be taxed as an ‘act of hatred toward children,’ and a fixed sum of alimony will be demanded even of those who are poor or unemployed. Abortion is now strongly discouraged and increasingly limited by law. The state also is ramping up an anti-homosexuality campaign, with plans to commission artwork promoting ‘traditional moral and spiritual values,‘ declared Sergei Ivanov, the Kremlin’s chief of staff. And last week, the Duma passed a bill banning ‘propaganda of non traditional sexual relations’ by a vote of 436 to 0.” The article went on to state, “The city of Moscow has banned demonstrations by gays for the next 100 years … From the time of Stalin through the collapse of the Soviet Union, homosexuality was illegal in Russia.”

As I read the article, I couldn’t help but think back to my trip there in 1992. Russia (the former Soviet Union) was virtually destroyed by many of the things our country is now enthusiastically chasing and embracing. Twenty-one years ago we witnessed, firsthand, their hunger for the Bible, not only in their churches but also in their schools. And here they are now, staging a national and moral resurgence by embracing many of the things we used to hold dear here in America. They aren’t seeking the American dream. Rather they are dreaming of their country becoming what our nation used to be. A place where morality, decency, traditional spiritual values and common sense were the order of the day.

This next week we’ll celebrate our 237th birthday as a nation, and I had a sobering thought: Isn’t it ironic after all these years, we’re the ones who need missionaries?

“Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people whom he has chosen as his heritage!” (Psalm 33:12)

Monday, June 24, 2013


A friend recently asked me about a verse he considered to be out of character with the message of God’s grace in the New Testament. I Corinthians 16:22, “If anyone does not love the Lord – a curse be on him.” 

Granted, it is pretty succinct and direct. And this kind of ultimatum is becoming more and more distasteful in our post-modern society.  It is involuntarily resisted these days.  We don’t like straight talk; we like politically correct speech.  We don’t like limited options; we like choices.  We don’t like truth; we like opinions.  We don’t like One Way talk; we like to believe that there are many paths to God/heaven.   But, like it or not, God’s Word says that the road forks in front of each and every one of us and we determine the life we will live in the flesh and the destiny of our souls.  Pretty simple: Love the Lord or not? If, not…you will bring down a curse on yourself.

But to love the Lord begs the question… How?  How do I demonstrate my love for Jesus Christ?  There are 5 simple ways to show our love according to the book, The Five Languages of Love.  These apply not only to our horizontal love for one another, but also our vertical love for the Lord.  They are: 
  • Acts of service – Serving others in his name…the primary channel for this service is in and through His church.
  • Affirming words – Praise/worship and prayer…Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks [or sings]. 
  • Gifts – Investing at least the first 10% of our income in building His kingdom, instead of our own. 
  • Time – Having some margins in our lives to be in His presence. 
  • Touch – Drawing near is a privilege and blessing.
 Pray with me… Father, You know our hearts.  You know that we love you imperfectly, but truly.  We pray the evidence of that love will be demonstrated to You and to all who know us.  We desire to see Your Kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven.  We know that can only happen as more and more people come to know and love You, coming under your loving Lordship, coming under the canopy of Your grace.   In Your majestic name, amen.

Pastor Ken

Monday, June 17, 2013


I was recently questioned by a well-meaning, mega-church pastor friend about a statement he overheard me make in stand up conversation. I had been asked to recommend a particular leader for a ministry position.   I replied that I could not, in good conscience, give the man an unqualified recommendation because of his history as a serial adulterer, coupled with his unwillingness to be truly confessional and accountable.  I was sure of my facts.  I read the startled expression on the face of the brother asking for my endorsement and added, “I will not keep the secrets of the unrepentant.  I believe it is the equivalent of a cover-up.  I cannot withhold from the church information that may enable a man with a history of victimization to perpetuate his weakness in a new location.”  It is the reason the Roman Catholic Church has paid out hundreds of millions of dollars in punitive damages to boys and girls previously molested by priests, some of whom perpetuated their sin with the knowledge [and tacit consent] of their spiritual overseers.

Jesus said in Matthew 18:15-17, “If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you.  If he listens to you, you have won your brother over.  But if he will not listen, take one or two brothers along, so that every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.  If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector.”  This should not be misunderstood.  It is crystal clear.  Jesus made provision for confidentiality.  If you confront someone overtaken by a sin, one on one, and he/she listens [repents], you have won that person over…case closed.  But, if there is defensiveness or denial or defiance… step two – take one or two along with you…and step three – tell it to the church.  In other words, “Do not keep the secrets of the unrepentant.”

Pray with me…Father, we want to be ambassadors for Christ, ministering Your amazing grace in the lives of the lost.  And, we want to be agents of Your truth, ministering Your loving discipline in the lives of the saved.  Help us be faithful to look to the fields that are ripe for harvest and to keep watch over the souls of our family of faith.  In the name of Jesus, our Savior and the Good Shepherd of the sheep we pray, amen.

Pastor Ken

Monday, June 10, 2013


Have you noticed that our lifetime is lived in seasons… and that seasons have a beginning and an ending?  Spring gives way to summer, summer to autumn, autumn to winter and winter to spring in a perpetual cycle.  Successful farmers have learned how to rotate their crops in order to capitalize on the changing seasons.  They plant corn in one field; then when it is out of season, they plow the harvested stalks under and let that field rest.  At the same time, they may be busy planting and harvesting alfalfa in another field to make hay for the livestock… and so on.

The Psalmist compared the blessed person to “… a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither.  Whatever he/she does prospers.”  [Psalm 1:3]

As we move through the ever-changing seasons of life let’s remember that God is more concerned with the depth of our roots than the height of our branches; more interested in the quality of the life we live than the quantity of our years.  As we move from childhood [spring] to adolescence, from adolescence [summer] to adulthood, from adulthood [autumn] to maturity [winter], let’s be sure we submit our wills, make our choices, order our lives… yield the kind of ‘fruit’… that would bring honor and praise to our loving Heavenly Father.

Pray with me… Father God, those who have just read these words are likely in various seasons of life.  Convict each of us today that we are daily progressing forward toward the time when we will crossover into a timeless, season-less existence where You dwell in unapproachable light, a day when we will be alone in Your presence to account for the life lived in the flesh.  May it be a day of ultimate celebration and endless joy and peace… In Jesus’ name, amen.

Pastor Ken


Ross Douththat recently pointed to a disturbing trend in American life… suicide is increasing.  Since 2000, it has risen… up sharply among the middle-aged.  The suicide rate for Americans 35-54 increased nearly 30 percent between 1999 and 2010; for men in their 50’s, it rose nearly 50 percent.  To put this in perspective, more Americans now die of suicide than in car accidents and gun suicides are almost twice as common as gun homicides. 

Sociologist Brad Wilcox asserts that there is a strong link between suicide and weakened social ties.  In other words, the more we retreat into our jobs, our busyness and our electronics/media, the more estranged we are from one another.  He said that men are more likely to kill themselves ‘if/when they get disconnected from the God-ordained institutions of marriage/family life and church life.’  The isolation resulting from this retreat from meaningful community has a devastating effect on the relational, emotional and mental health of men [in particular] and women. 

As Christians, we understand that we were created to live in communion with God and in community with one another.  It is our hope that, as the Lord’s Church, we can make a life-and-death difference in the lives of people in our area today and everyday.  We live in a county with a very high suicide rate.  Let’s determine we will do something to make a difference for someone before it is too late.

Pray with me… Loving Father, to live apart from You is to miss the abundant/eternal life You want for us.  So we want to draw near to You every day and feel You draw near to us, as You have promised You would.  And let us not forget to draw near to our families and our Christian friends who mean so much to us and who sustain us in our dark days of despair.  In the Name of Jesus, amen. 

Pastor Ken 


There were twin brothers from a small town in Texas.  The two brothers grew up in extreme poverty.  Their father was an alcoholic and their mother was a domestic worker.  They grew up with perpetual dysfunction and deprivation.  Then, one day on the way home, their parents were involved in an auto accident and died at the scene.  The brothers’ situation worsened.  By age 17 they had separated and gone their separate ways.  Years later, an aunt decided to find the boys and bring them together for a family reunion.  One of the brothers had become a wealthy engineer who owned a construction company.  He had a sweet wife and three bright kids.  They were deeply involved in a Bible-based, Christ-centered church. The other brother had himself become an alcoholic with a history of unemployment and broken relationships; a man who lived his life without a thought of God.   At the reunion, the aunt first asked the engineer, “How did your life turn out like this?”  His response…  “What would you expect with a childhood like mine?”  Then she asked the other brother the same question… “How did your life turn out like this?”  His response to the question was identical to his twin brother’s… “What would you expect with a childhood like mine?” 

Someone has said, “Men are not destined by the things that happen to them, but by their response to the things that happen to them.”  A wise proverb says it this way, “The same sun that melts wax hardens clay.”  A difficult life experience will either make you more submissive and devoted to God or more resistant and hostile to Him.  The next time you are faced with a difficulty, remember that you have a choice about how it will affect you.  You can allow this problem to soften your heart toward God or you can allow it to harden your heart with bitterness.  If a person chooses the latter path, they have only themselves to blame for how it will play out in his/her life on earth as well as the greater life.  
Bottom line: We all have our choices and we will live with the rewards or the consequences of those choices.

Pray with me… Our Loving Father, from the beginning you have made us like Yourself, with the power to think, reason and choose. 
This freedom resulted in the first pair, in their time, and all of us, in our own time, to sin.  But, you did not abandon us.  In Your great love, personified in Jesus Christ, your Son, you sought us and saved us.  We praise and worship you for the choice we can make that is more significant than all others.  We choose the Jesus way again today.  In His great Name we pray… amen.

Pastor Ken 


There is a debt that all Christ-followers owe that should be paid in a timely way.  It is described in Romans 13:7, “Give everyone what you owe him: …. If respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.”  This past Lord’s Day, my wife and I journeyed to Taylorville, IL to celebrate the 47th anniversary in ministry and the 27th anniversary in ministry at the Taylorville Christian Church of my lifelong friend, Dick Wamsley.  Here is why he is deserving of both respect and honor at this mile-marker in his life:

He was born the eldest of five children in Wamsley household.  While Dick was still in his early teens, his father was driving drunk and caused an accident, which resulted in the death of his best friend, who was a passenger in the car.  Later, out of guilt, his father began seeing his deceased friend’s wife.  Soon he moved out of his home, abandoning the wife of his youth and his five children, moving in with the other woman.  Consequently, Dick, as the eldest child, had to work at Dog and Suds as a carhop to help provide basic necessities for his mother, 3 brothers and sister.   He often slept on a cot in the back room of the bar his father tended.  Dick became the father figure for his younger siblings.  At age 17 he sensed God’s calling on his life to go into the fulltime Christian ministry.  He enrolled in Christian College and paid his way through undergraduate and graduate school, graduating with academic honors.  He married a good Christian girl and they raised two sons who are now married and faithfully engaged in the life of the church served by their father for over 25 years.  Dick wrote his doctoral thesis on, “Adult Children of Alcoholic Fathers.”  His church has more than doubled in size over the years.  He has served as a college trustee and has been instrumental in establishing the K-8 Vision Way Christian School.  There is more, but suffice it to say….

Last Sunday, the church was full; there was a standing ovation concluding a 2-hour service giving respect and honor to Dick for his life and leadership, his family and ministry.  I was so glad to be present and to raise my voice in tribute to my friend and coworker in the Lord.  So, who is it that you need to respect and honor in your life?  Do not let them go unappreciated…. unthanked…. unrecognized.  You don’t need to have a formal service.  Just a personally spoken word, a note, an email, a card, a phone call will make a difference.  Give what you owe.  Pay this debt.  You will be glad you did.

Pray with me…. Father, You Word is light and life to us.  The counsel of Your Word is the source of blessing and encouragement through us to others.  May we never take for granted the yielded lives of our brother and sisters in the Lord.  May we look for that which we can commend, and then take the initiative to commend it.  We pray in the name of Jesus, amen.

Pastor Ken 


We are immersed in the theme of marriage and family life at Crossroads during these 6 weeks spanning Mother’s Day and Father’s Day 2013.  The New Family Structures Study, out of the University of Texas, compared thousands of young adults [ages 18-39] who were reared in different types of family arrangements.  Those who knew their mothers had had a lesbian relationship fared significantly worse on measures of educational attainment, household income, depression, marijuana use, sexual encounters, feeling close to their biological mother, feeling secure in their family of origin, pleading guilty more often to criminal offense and being on public assistance.  Those who knew their fathers had had a homosexual relationship were more likely to have been arrested, to have thought recently about suicide, to feel depressed, to report sexually transmitted diseases and to have experienced forced sex. 

This data should not be dismissed.  It was generated, after all, by academic leaders at major universities and published by an esteemed journal with no political agenda and an advisory board with representatives from about three dozen universities.  What we should avoid at all costs is silencing such research and such discussion because it is seen as ‘politically incorrect.’  Where optimizing the well-being of innocent children is involved, no stone should be left unturned.  Dr. Keith Ablow testified that he always hesitates to publish such data because of the amount of threats and hate mail [by post and email] that he receives from the liberal [?] and tolerant [?] left.  Romans 1:25 speaks of those who, on this subject, ‘exchange the truth of God for a lie.’  This is not just a poor trade, it is a tragic trade when the price for perpetrating the lie is the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health of children.

Pray with me… Father God, in this generation that calls evil good and good evil, help us to stand for what is right and true with a spirit of compassionate love for those who have not, cannot or will not embrace Your truth… which is for our highest good always.  In the name of Jesus, amen.

Pastor Ken


Eleven years ago, Brenda Heist dropped off her young kids at school—drove off and never returned.  The family thought she was dead.  Surely something dreadful had happened to her.  What else could explain the sudden disappearance of a woman whom her daughter, then 8, described as a ‘great’ mom.  But last week, after more than a decade, Heist turned up in Florida, revealing to police that she had not been kidnapped.  She had, she said, been stressed… 

Most mothers are familiar with the feeling—for some it’s more fleeting than for others—total exhaustion, frustration, a sense of being overwhelmed by duty and the responsibility of raising children.  Some actually run away and some only indulge in a momentary fantasy of running away.  It is a fact that the number of those who are running away is increasing.  According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the number of single fathers is up from 600,000 in 1982 to over 2 million in 2011.  There are even support groups now for women who decide to leave their children.  So what is happening to motherhood in our generation?  There is more to say about this than I have time or space today, but I do have a couple of ideas:

1] The narcissism epidemic is a contributing factor to walk out moms.  The culture encourages feelings of entitlement.  There is  decreased commitment to the values of duty, self-denial and self-sacrifice today.  These are requirements of parenthood in general and motherhood in specific.  If a mother subscribes to the ‘take care of ‘numero uno,’’ ‘be true to yourself’ and ‘never compromise your needs’ mentality, she will keep the option of abandonment open.  Titus 2:3-5, “Teach the older women to… train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind… So that no one will malign the word of God.”  There is little room for narcissism [self-worship] in this charge to homemakers.

2] Husbands/dads aren’t stepping up at home.  The rise of working women, imposed in part by the economy, is not making much difference in the load moms are expected to carry at home.  There is an imbalance of responsibility.  Men need to realize that their passivity at home is contributing to their wives having to manage elevated levels of stress.  Guys, make this Mother’s Day a new beginning in caring for your wife and the mother of your children in practical ways.  I Peter 3:7, “Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so nothing will hinder your prayers.”  Someone has said that the discouraged sighs of an over-burdened, under-appreciated wife/mother will come before a man and his God.  So men, let’s refocus!

Pray with me… “Dear God and Father, once again in this week before Mother’s Day, we are impressed with the wisdom of your Word to bring us back to a place of self-discipline and a place of self-sacrifice as we seek to honor you by conforming our family life to your eternal truth.  The family is a reality because of your creation and design.  You know what makes it bless and what enriches us from the inside out.  We submit to You.  In Jesus’ name, amen.

Pastor Ken