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)