Monday, February 25, 2013


The great Scottish essayist and historian Thomas Carlyle married his secretary, Jane Welsh.  She continued to work for him, but when she became ill, Carlyle, who was deeply devoted to his work, didn’t seem to notice, so he allowed her to keep working.  But she had cancer and eventually was confined to bed.  Although Carlyle truly loved her, he found that he didn’t have much time to stay with her or much attention to give her.  Then she died.  After the funeral Carlyle went to Jane’s room, noticed her diary lying on the table, picked it up and began to read.  On one entire page she’d written just a single line:  “Yesterday he spent an hour with me and it was like heaven: I love him so much.”  A reality he had somehow been too blind to see was now revealed with crushing clarity.  He’d been too preoccupied with his work and simply failed to notice her.  He hadn’t seen her suffering.  He hadn't been sensitive to her longing love.  Turning to the next page, he read words he’d never forget: “I’ve listened all day to hear his footsteps in the hall, but now it’s late and I guess he won’t come today.”  He put her diary back on the table and ran out of the house.  Friends found him at the side of his wife’s grave, covered with mud.  His eyes were red from weeping as he repeated the phrase over and over again: “If only I’d known… If only I’d known!” After Jane’s death, Carlyle made little attempt to write again.

Ephesians 5:1-2, “Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us…”

Pray with me… Dear Jesus, we do not want You to have to wait for us and neither do we want to fail to communicate our love to the people in our lives who need our time, our words, our acts of kindness, our gifts or our touch.  In Your dear Name we pray, amen.

Pastor Ken

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


Psychologist Philip Zimbardo describes drug addiction as ‘wanting more,’ but some guys today have what he calls arousal addiction, always ‘wanting something different.’  A never-ending stream of stimulation is behind the growing failure of males to succeed academically or to connect with women socially.  Some men are dropping out of the deep and abiding joys of real life, trading them instead for excitement and fantasy.

Zimbardo cites excessive internet use, video gaming and online pornography as causes of this new addiction.  By age 21, boys have spent over 10,000 hours gaming, two-thirds of that time in isolation.  The average young adult male accesses pornography 50 times a week.  “Boys’ brains are being digitally rewired in a totally new way, for change, novelty, excitement and constant arousal,” Zimbardo says.  “They’re totally out of sync in traditional classrooms, which are analog, static and interactively passive.  And they’re totally out of sync in their personal relationships, which naturally build more gradually and subtly.  This is creating a generation of young men who do not connect well in teaching situations and who lack social skills, especially with women.”  Can you also see the implications for church life?  Worship does not have enough entertainment value or engagement in physical activity.  Bible teaching requires sitting still or sitting under another, submission to the learning process, dictated by another.  Meditation is too quiet and still.  We think we need more movement, more involvement.  Holiness is just not exciting enough.  It does not satisfy the curiosity or produce the sensual excitement that the I-phone, the I-pad or the computer can supply.  But, Psalm 46:10 calls us back to a life of quiet reflection and regular devotion, “Be still, and know that I am God….

Do you, your son, visit this place daily?  Often?  Occasionally?  At all?

Pastor Ken

Monday, February 11, 2013


Reader’s Digest wrote of the late Harvey Penick: “For 90-year-old golf pro Harvey Penick, success has come late.  His first golf book, Harvey Penick’s Little Red Book, has sold more than a million copies, which his publisher believes makes it one of the biggest things in the history of sports books.  His second book, And If You Play Golf, You’re My Friend, has already sold nearly three-quarters of a million copies.”

But anyone who imagines Penick wrote the books to make money doesn’t know the man.  In the 1920’s Penick bought a red spiral notebook and began jotting down observations about golf.  He never showed it to anyone except his son until 1991, when he shared it with a local writer/friend and asked if he thought it was worth publishing.  The man read it and told him yes.  He left word with Penick’s wife the next evening that Simon and Schuster had agreed to an advance of $90,000.  When the man saw Penick later, the old man seemed troubled.  Finally Penick came clean.  “With all our medical bills,” he said, “there is no way we could advance Simon and Schuster that much money.”  The writer had to explain to Penick that he would be the one to receive the $90,000.

People often have Penick’s reaction to the lavish gift of forgiveness and salvation offered in Jesus Christ.  We ask, “What must I do?”  God answers, “It’s already been done.  Just believe it and receive it.”

Pray with me… Father, thank You so much for the ‘whoevers’ in Your Word.  “Whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”  And, “Whoever believes in Jesus shall not perish but have everlasting life.”  “Whoever will come to the Waters of Life and drink deeply.”  Thank you for loving us first and sending Jesus to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins… and not for our sins only but also the sins of the whole world.  We are free indeed.  In the name of the Son, even Jesus, we pray.  Amen

Pastor Ken

Monday, February 4, 2013


My pastor friend, Mark Atteberry, from Poinciana, FL tells about his 6-year-old granddaughter visiting in their home recently.  She talked about how she and her classmates have been trained in what to do “if a bad man gets into our school with a gun.”  He wrote:

First, let me say I am thankful for school administrators and teachers who take the safety of our children seriously.  I’m glad they’ve come up with a plan and have trained the children.  I wouldn’t have it any other way.  What makes me sick is that we have a need for this sort of thing; that an innocent child, who should have nothing more on her mind than learning to read and not being ‘it’ during a game of tag at recess, has to worry about getting shot at school.  I’m tempted to say, “What is this world coming to?”  But then, we know what this world is coming to, don’t we?

This is why I am not a humanist.  Humanism says that humans are this world’s greatest hope, that eventually, given enough time and resources, we’ll figure out how to make this world work properly.  Yeah, right.  Never, ever has there been a bigger lie.  Humans have polluted or perverted everything they have touched from day one, which is why I shudder when I think of the large number of people today who are putting their faith in the government.  “Give us more laws!” they cry, as if a few more man-made laws will stem the swelling tide of depravity that is sweeping across our nation.  By some counts, there are over 10,000 federal laws on the books already, and that doesn’t include state laws.  Still, we have to teach our kids how to hide from killers when they go to school…

No thanks.  Humanism is not for me.  My faith is not in the government, academia, or the white coats in the laboratories.  I’m casting my lot with the Living, Loving God.  I agree with David, who said in Psalm 39:7, “And so, Lord, where do I put my hope?  My only hope is in You.”

Pray with me… Our God and Father, we identify with the disciples on the day that the crowds seemed to thin out after Jesus had impressed on them some hard teaching.  He asked his twelve if they also wanted to go away.  It was Peter who responded with the words that resonate with our own hearts when he said, “To whom shall we go Lord?  Only You have the words of eternal life.” And, with one voice we say the same.  In Jesus strong Name, amen.

Pastor Ken