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