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