Monday, December 29, 2014


It is the Monday following the weekend after Christmas 2014 and I am reflecting on what Jesus came into this world to do; and whether, as a Christian leader, an under-shepherd of the Good Shepherd, I am representing Him and His purpose faithfully.  Here is the checklist against which I am measuring myself today as I look forward to the New Year…Will you join me in a devotional act of recommitment?
  1. He came to serve… “The Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve, and to give His life…” [Mark 10:45]  This was His calling and it is mine as a Christ follower.  I want to have the mind of Christ.  I want to look not to my own interests, but to the interests of others.  I want to be a servant of the Servant.

  1. He came to call sinners to repentance...  Jesus said…“I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” [Luke 5:32] In our present generation I know this has to be done with genuine concern and a spirit of humility, but I also know it must be done. Today, the lines have been blurred.  The black and white of God’s truth has been reduced to a politically correct grey.  I want to be bold to do what Jesus did in the way He did it.

  1. He came to give light the world...  Jesus said… “I have come as light into the world…” [John 12:46]  So many walk in darkness…stumbling, confused, lost…in some cases hiding from God or hiding out in order to victimize others.  Without His coming our world would be a very dark place!  And He said to his followers, “You are [now] the light of the world.” I want to be a bright spot in my corner of the world.

  1. He came to divide… “Do not think that I have come to bring peace on earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.” [Matthew 10:34] Jesus warned that His loving Lordship would not be appreciated or embraced by everyone and that His cross would be an occasion for division in families and between friends.  It was true then and it is true today that there are divisions over those who believe in Him and those who don’t.

  1. He came to save us from hell... “For God sent not the Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”  [John 3:17]  It is scriptural and it is rational, in a world so obviously dominated by the struggle between good and evil, to believe that a good God will punish evil and reward good, but in His mercy will save all who return His love.  I want to be on a rescue mission with Him.

  1. He came to give us eternal life… “…whoever believes in Him [Jesus] will not perish, but have everlasting life.”  [John 3:16] It is stated in so many places and in so many ways in the New Testament.  Like the thief next to him on an adjacent cross, one day we want to hear Him, “Today you will be with me in paradise.” I want to go to heaven and take as many with me as I can. 
Pray with me…Father God, as we close the books on another year of life, we want to renew our commitment to be Jesus in our circles of influence, starting with our own families and reaching out to our friends, neighbors, coworkers and schoolmates.   May we not forget why He came and test ourselves on the threshold of this New Year to understand in fresh ways why we are here in our generation.  In His wonderful Name, amen.  

Pastor Ken

Monday, December 22, 2014


The cumulative headlines of recent weeks are unsettling indeed…“Missouri Governor Declares State of Emergency in Ferguson,” “Obama-care’s Unwelcome Surprise,” “Palestinians Kill 4 in Jerusalem Synagogue Attack,” “Doctor with Ebola Dies at Nebraska Hospital,” “5 Shot Dead in Philly Suburbs”…Everything we read and most everything we hear from day to day seems to have a negative tone.  Disappointment, conflict, violence and death are pervasive as we live and move and have our being in a fallen world.  And it all contributes to feelings of frustration and anxiety.  It’s hard not to be ‘drained.’  We long for and pray for peace!
And the reality is that we will never experience lasting peace in this world until Jesus Christ, who came to bring “peace on earth, good will to men,” comes again.  But the good news is that because of the first coming of Jesus we can have peace in our hearts.  Twenty-one centuries ago a birth cry was heard in a little town called Bethlehem.  A this birth cry meant the maker of the sun would walk under its rays, the creator of planet earth would live upon it, the designer of the human body would be bound to one for a little over three decades.  And because Jesus, Immanuel, God with us, came on Christmas…true peace is ours.  In Him we have peace in the midst of chaos and turmoil, whether it is personal or national or global.  Christmas is all about peace!
John 14:27, “I am leaving you with a gift – peace of mind and heart.  And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give.  So don’t be troubled or afraid.”  [NLT]
Pray with me… Father God, we bow in Your presence with grateful hearts in this special season when we remember that Jesus came as the supreme expression of your limitless love for us.  And He said, “Peace I give you, My peace I give you.”  It is a peace that passes all understanding and we praise you from our hearts for it.  In the name of Jesus… amen.

Pastor Ken

Monday, December 15, 2014


Most of us are familiar with the painting by Holman Hunt  [the original hangs in the British National Gallery in London]: Jesus standing there at a doorway, gently knocking on he door.   Light falls around the entrance in the shape of a heart. There is no latch on the outside of the door.  It must be opened from within. But the door remains closed.
One afternoon a little boy stood beside his father, pondering the image of Hunt’s painting.  “Daddy,” he said, “why don’t they answer the door?”  The father responded absently without looking away from the painting, “I don’t know why.”
There was a moment’s pause.  Then the youngster said, “Maybe they’re making too much noise to hear him knocking.”  And that might well be true.  It is likely that there is not willful inhospitality inside, but rather just too much going on to notice the presence of the special Visitor on the threshold who desires to enter.   
It is probably never more true than at Christmas with its hustle and bustle, it’s hurrying and scurrying, that the gentle knocking of the Savior at the heart’s door is drowned out by the din and throng.  Let’s do ourselves a favor and find a quiet time and place to reflect in solitude and Biblical meditation on the one who came to gain entrance to our hearts with His love and grace at Christmas.
Pray with me…Lord Jesus, we want our hearts to be your home.  We do not want the sights and sounds, the bright lights and the crowds, keep us from hearing your gentle rapping at our hearts door.  Come to us, abide with us, our Lord, Immanuel.  Amen.  

Pastor Ken

Monday, December 8, 2014


We live in an age in which only one prejudice is tolerated – anti-Christian bigotry.  Michael Novak, the eminent columnist, once said that in today’s world you can no longer hold up to marketplace ridicule any group that is distinguished by race, color, nationality, gender, religion or sexual preference… except one.  Today, the only group you can hold up to public mockery is Christians.  Attacks on the Church and Christianity are common.  As Pat Buchanan once put it, “Christian-bashing has become a popular indoor sport.”
But the truth is this: Had Jesus never been born, this world would be far more miserable than it is.  In fact, many of man’s noblest and kindest deeds find their motivation and inspiration in love for and loyalty to Jesus Christ.  Some of our greatest accomplishments also have their origin in service rendered to the humble Carpenter of Nazareth. 
Christianity’s impact on the value of human life, compassion for the poor and infirm, education, the founding of America, civil liberties, science, economics, morality, the family, health and medicine, music and the arts is well documented in unbiased history.  And, perhaps the most personal and powerful influence of Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord is documented in the biographies of the multiplied millions of people whose lives have been radically changed from the inside out by Him.
Pray with me…Father God, we thank you for your patience with this planet we call ‘earth’ that has demonstrated such broad and deep spiritual rebellion in recent years, particularly right our homeland…America. Open the eyes of our people to the truth that Jesus alone saves, keeps and satisfies.  We pray for the restoration of our distinctive as a truly Christian nation, so the nations of the world will come to know You, love You and serve You.  In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.

Pastor Ken

Monday, December 1, 2014


In the first few verses of Mark’s Gospel, chapter two, we are introduced to four nameless men who carry their catatonic friend to Jesus for healing. When they could not get into the house where Jesus was teaching, they removed the roof and lowered their friend right down in front of him. Jesus ‘saw their faith’ and He was impressed enough that he immediately forgave the man’s sins and raised him up from living death.
So, what did Jesus see that was so impressive?  He saw compassion, conviction, cooperation and creativity. Their compassion was demonstrated in the effort they extended and the energy they expended to carry their friend, for who knows how long and from who knows how far, to Jesus for healing. They cared about him.  Someone has said, “The world will not care how much we know until they see how much we care.”  Theirconviction was demonstrated by their determination to get their friend in front of Jesus. They did not have the slightest doubt that Christ was the answer to their friend’s need for spiritual help and physical healing.  Their cooperation was demonstrated in their willingness to both think in harmony and act in unity. When they addressed the challenge of how to get their friend in front of Jesus, there had to be differing opinions, yet the four of them acted as one.  Their creativity was demonstrated in their decision to remove the roof and lower their friend down in front of Jesus. They did a new thing. It was the right thing for sure. What does our Lord see when He looks at our faith?
Pray with me…Lord Jesus, we know that you are a discerner of the thoughts and intents of our hearts.  You know our rising up and our going out and our coming in and our lying down.  All of your ways are known to You alone.  We want our hearts to be pure and our lives to demonstrate a faith walk that will get your attention.  We want you to see us in the same kind of self-forgetful faith that characterized the four men who brought their friend to You for healing.  May our thoughts be daily focused and our actions be daily invested in bringing others to You.  Amen

Pastor Ken

Monday, November 24, 2014


As I was reading through the book Contagious Generosity, I was struck by a quote from famous author John Grisham. Here it is: “My wife and I measure the success of the year on how much we give away. The bulk of it goes to chuch and related activities.”  Being a Grisham book fan, [reading being one of my two favorite pastimes… the other one is ‘hanging’ out with grandchildren], I meditated on these two statements and John Grisham’s stock rose several points in my estimation. His brief testimony here tells me a lot about him. Taking him at his word, I learn something of his values, hisapproach to life and his elevated view of the church.
His values…Grisham measures success differently than most well published authors. I am sure that he is a multimillionaire, but this view of success is not related to getting published or selling more than a million copies of one of his many courtroom novels. He looks at achievement with the eyes of a mature Christ-follower. He is not caught up in the value system of the literary capitalist. Success means something more to him than having a book on the New York Times Bestseller list.
His approach to life…He is not as concerned with the receiving as he is giving. He sounds like he does not keep as close an eye on his income as he does his outflow. He has apparently embraced the ethic of Jesus that ‘it is more blessed to give than to receive.’ You rarely hear of this in well-known people; but when you do, it is refreshing. Grisham has made the transition from success to significance, from wealth to generosity, from achievement to service, from status to relationships.
His view of the church…The fact that the bulk of his giving is to and through the church is a huge statement about his spiritual maturity and wise judgment.  Giving through the church insures that the missionary and benevolent work you support has been pre-qualified and is recommended after due diligence by the elders.  It also means that you are balancing your giving, spreading it between both local outreach and global missions, and as well as various benevolent works. You trust the wisdom of the people who will be held accountable by God for their decisions about where the church’s financial support is distributed. But, most of all, when you give to and through the church, your giving is done for the glory and in the name of Jesus. Christ and His church are the places that people will look in gratitude for the faith they have embraced or the help they have received.
“And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” [Colossians 3:17 NIV]
Pray with me…Lord, this morning I am thankful for the testimonies of people known and unknown, celebrated and overlooked, who demonstrate the rock solid values of a life well-lived according to Your values and priorities. Thank you Father, for the examples in your word and in contemporary life that inspire and encourage your best in us. May we always be discerning, not just about what is right and wrong, but about what is good and best. And, may we never get to the place we think we know it all. Keep us teachable…In Jesus’ dear name we pray, amen.

Pastor Ken

Tuesday, November 18, 2014


Do you want to hear a great verse from the New Testament that I almost never hear quoted?  It is Philippians 4:1, "Therefore, my brothers, you whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, that is how you should   stand firm in the Lord, dear friends!"  This statement that comes toward the close of Paul's letter to the church in Philippi is a very telling statement.  It reveals the heart of the apostle of Christ for his brothers and sisters in the family of God. He openly professes his love for them and the fact that he misses them. He openly refers to them as his 'joy and crown.'  I am struck by the easy way that he speaks of his feelings for the community of Christ-followers.  He goes on and actually names the names Euodia and Syntyche and Clement.
Do you know how rare it is for people to be in a church that has this kind of open verbal expression of affection?  The atmosphere of affirmation is often lacking in the very place where it should be breaking out, certainly much more than at an Amway rally or a Herba-Life convention.
What is it that causes us to restrict ourselves from speaking words of appreciation and affection to one another?  Some kids never hear it from parents at home.  Some coaches never learn that building confidence through affirmation produces more winners than constant intimidation, belittling and manipulation ever will.  Some students get criticism and correction from teachers, but they seldom get compliments.
In Hanz Finzel's book, The Top Ten Mistakes Leaders Make, the number two mistake he identifies is the 'absence of affirmation.'  I long ago decided that will not be the case as I lead my family, nor will it be the case in my leadership in the community of the Christian college or the church. Are there times for correction and confrontation?  Indeed there are such times.  But, those times are fewer and farther between if there is openly expressed friendship and praise.
So, leave nothing encouraging unsaid to those in your circle of family and friendship because, as Paul said, 'This is how you ought to stand firm in the Lord.' There is something about genuinely caring and expressing affection for others in the church that strengthens your own spiritual life.
Pray with me.... Lord, we do not find it hard to love, praise and thank you for all you mean to us and all you have done for us.  Help us to put a higher priority on doing the same for those to whom we are bound by your cords, which cannot be broken in the family of God.  
In Jesus' name, amen.

Pastor Ken

Monday, November 10, 2014


Author Mark Batterson cites the illustration of 16th century Renaissance astronomer Nicholas Copernicus who challenged the belief that the earth was the center of the universe.  He argued that the sun did not revolve around the earth, but rather that the earth revolved around the sun.  The Copernican Revolution turned the scientific world right side up by turning the universe inside out.  We all need to experience a spiritual Copernican Revolution.  The paradigm shift happens when we come to terms with the fact that the world doesn’t revolve around us.  Now when we are born the world revolves around us.  We’re spoon fed on the front end and diaper-changed on the back end. It’s as if the entire world exists to meet our every need.  And that’s okay at 2 months old, but if you’re 22 years old, it’s a problem.
One of the things that has been impressed on me during our study of Revelation the last couple of weekends is how small and insignificant I am.  Looking into the courts of heaven through the eyes of the Apostle John in Revelation 4 & 5 and seeing the truly indescribably wondrous scenes… Looking at life on earth from God’s vantage point without time or geographical limitations in Revelation 6 - 9, I have been renewed in my commitment to be All In.  When we understand that we are not the center of the universe, but that Jesus the Lamb of God is the center of it all, it should be an All In moment. 
Noah had it when he was told to build an ark and preach to a people whose thoughts and imaginations were continually evil. Abraham had it when God told him to offer his long awaited son of promise on an altar.  Moses had it barefoot in front of a burning bush. Elijah had it under a juniper tree.  Peter, Andrew, James, John had it on the shore of Galilee.  Matthew had it at a tax-collectors table.  Saul of Tarsus had it while traveling on the Damascus Road.
So, have you ever had an All In moment?  Have you had such a moment lately?
Pray with me…Father God, You are so good to give us regular reminders that You are God and we aren’t.  We pray for a posture of genuine humility every day as we live and move and have our being in this life.  By Your Spirit, perfect in us unqualified commitment that we may be All In.  In the name of Jesus, amen.

Pastor Ken

Tuesday, November 4, 2014


I love this scripture passage in the Pastoral Epistles…Titus 2:11-14.  It consists in a short declarative sentence followed immediately by one of the longest recorded sentences in the New Testament.  Are you ready to focus?  Here we go: “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men.  It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope – the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.”
One of the first words we learn to say as toddlers is the word ‘No.’  You and I probably don’t remember it from our childhood; but if you have reared toddlers, you know very well that they have it down!  ‘Time to go to bed.’…‘No!’  ‘Brush your teeth.’…‘No!’  ‘Eat your carrots.’  ‘No!’  ‘Clean up your toys.’…'No!’  Of course, our job as parents is to teach our children the meaning of the word, ‘No!’  And it can actually be a good word.  In fact, ‘No’ can be used in a very positive way if it describes God-honoring boundaries for your life.  Learning to say ‘No’ is a capacity that can be honed and directed; and when it is… it’s a good thing.  To say ‘No’ to some things is actually a virtue.  Saying ‘No’ to ungodliness and worldly passions is a prelude to living a self-controlled, upright and godly life.  ‘No’ defines your values.  It shapes your ethical and moral development.  It shapes your future.  It insures your destiny.  We all need more practice at saying ‘No.’
Pray with me… Father God, we want to be your people.  We want to be identified with you in how we think, what we say and how we live our lives.  We want to become more and more eager to do what is good in Your sight!  Walk with us and we draw near to you.   In Jesus’ Name, amen. 

Pastor Ken

Monday, October 27, 2014


This headline out of Tulsa, OK caught my attention over the weekend past: “Christian Church Offering Beer to Congregation During Service.”   At first I was stunned, and then disappointed, that a Christian Church would pursue such a potentially damaging methodology.  This accommodation is wrong on several levels, not the least of which is the source of stumbling it will be to the 12 million alcoholics and problem drinkers and their loved ones in our nation. 
Every year, 1400 American college students between 18 and 24 die from alcohol related injuries… 150,000 develop health problems that are alcohol related.  Every day 13,000 children and teens take their first drink.  26% of alcohol abusers are underage.  [I could go on and on.  There is so much more to indict the poor judgment employed by Eastside Christian Church.]  Here’s the thing: According to Alcoholics Information, the entry level for a future of alcoholism is beer consumption. 

Upon further investigation I discovered this strategy is the latest attempt by the Disciples of Christ Christian Church denomination to be rescued from 20 years of decline.  Two-thirds of their congregations have been in decline for ten years, both in average attendance and in income.  63 percent have been in decline for 20 years or more.  Only one out of six of their congregations are able to sustain full time ministry today.  Giving has declined by 52 % in the last 20 years.  Giving to missions has decline by one third.  And most of their remaining income is spent on buildings and pastoral salary and benefits.  Their churches are dying and closing at the rate of more than one a week.  It doesn’t take a Harvard PhD to see the direct ‘cause and effect’ relationship between their cultural accommodation in methodology and their demise?  It’s sad to me.
Father God, renew your people who have lost their way.  Revive in your church the desire to reflect your holiness and to resist the lure of the world, the flesh and the Devil.  We pray for a dynamic witness of the good news that Jesus saves and keeps and satisfies.  In His name and for the sake of His mission in this world we pray, amen.

Pastor Ken

Monday, October 20, 2014


My inbox has been full the past few days.  Family, friends, coworkers and Crossroads members have been alerting me to this headline and the accompanying article…“City of Houston demands pastors turn over sermons.”  Then, as I began to read, I thought to myself…“Now it begins…”I knew it could probably come in my lifetime, given the politicizing of moral/Biblical issues in recent years, but I honestly did not expect it this soon. 
The city of Houston has issued subpoenas demanding a group of pastors turn over any sermons dealing with homosexuality or gender identity.  Those ministers who fail to comply could be held in contempt of court according to Annise Parker, the city’s first openly lesbian mayor, and the city council.  These subpoenas are just the latest twist in an ongoing saga over Houston’s new non-discrimination ordinance.  The law, among other things, would allow men to use the ladies room and vice-versa.  The city council approved the law in June.  The Houston Chronicle reported the ordinance launched a petition drive that generated 50,000 signatures – far more than the 17,269 needed to put a referendum on the ballot.  [However, the city threw out the petition in August.]  So, the opponents of the bathroom ordinance filed a lawsuit.  The city attorneys responded by issuing the subpoenas against the pastors.  Mayor Parker refuses to explain why she wants to inspect the sermons. 
400 Houston-area churches, representing a number of faith groups, have gone on record as opposing the ordinance.  Among those slapped with a subpoena are mega-church Pastor Steve Riggle of Grace Community Church and Dave Welch, Executive Director of the Texas Pastor Council.  Both have refused to forfeit their first amendment rights and have said they will not be intimidated by this abuse of civil authority.

Tony Perkins, head of the Family Research Council, warned about this very thing in his book, “God Less America.”  He predicted that the government would one day try to silence American pastors under the guise of ‘tolerance and diversity’ in order to deconstruct religious liberty.
Pastor Welch compares this battle in Houston to the 1836 Battle of San Jacinto, in Harris County, Texas…a decisive battle in the Texas Revolution.  “This is the San Jacinto moment for the traditional family,” Welch said.  “This is the place where we stop the LGBT [lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender] assault on the freedom to practice our faith.  If we don’t, the government might come after your pastor.”
Gulp!  Personally, because of my love for and loyalty to God’s truth and my love for and loyalty to God’s people, I cannot help but take all this seriously.  Although this kind of ethical and social change may take years to become reality, it has indeed begun.  The issue has been raised.  The camel’s nose is officially under the tent.  The United States of America continues to walk, zombie-like, down the path of walked by Western Europe. We will not like where it leads us or our children or our grandchildren…if the Lord tarries.
Please pray with me…Father God, we are truly sorry and often very sad that, in our generation, we, as Christians, have been unable to stem the tide of unbelief and rejection of absolute truth in our nation. Neither have we finished the mission You have given us of taking the Gospel to the world.  We plead for Your forgiveness and Your patience as we balance grace and truth in our preaching, teaching, witnessing and Kingdom building until Christ returns.  In His dear name, amen.

Pastor Ken

Monday, October 13, 2014


In 1929, the Berlin Municipal Council recognized Dr. Albert Einstein’s 50th birthday by awarding him a country villa with a lake view.  But on visiting the house, his wife found it was already occupied and the occupants unwilling to move.  An embarrassed Council discovered it had given the previous inhabitants an ‘inalienable’ lease.  That is, the property could not be sold, surrendered or transferred to anyone else. 
To compensate, the Council presented Einstein a nearby acreage without a house.  AFTER he accepted, it was discovered that adjoining properties had been leased with the stipulation that no further building permits would be allowed in the vicinity.  Oops!
In desperation, the Council granted Einstein a third plot – only to discover AFTER publicly announcing the bequest that they didn’t own it and therefore could not donate it.  [Einstein finally purchased other property and built on it himself.] 
Don’t confuse our Heavenly Father with the Berlin Municipal Council.  God has a comprehensive knowledge of our sin problem and what sacrifices on His part are necessary to resolve it.  He has done everything required and marshaled all the powers needed to accomplish it.  Indeed, He has left nothing undone in preparing…and Jesus has left nothing undone in securing our salvation.  However shortsighted or incompetent the Church may be in administrating God’s grace, He has delivered everything we need for life and godliness.
Pray with me…Father, I thank you that there is no disappointment in Jesus and that His promises of forgiveness, new life now and eternal life evermore are dependable.  I thank you that with You, a thing promised is as good as a thing done.  In the name of Jesus, amen.

Pastor Ken

Monday, October 6, 2014


I have been reflecting lately in the Biblical record on how God almost always sent a warning before His judgment fell.  In Genesis chapters 6-8, the preaching of Noah went on for 120 years before the global deluge.  The core of his message was confrontational, calling people to repent of their wickedness before God shut the door of the ark and then it would be too late.  Literally everyone turned a deaf ear except Noah’s wife, his sons and their wives.  Only 7 conversions in 120 years…and then it was only his family?  Ouch! In Genesis 18-19 angels visited the city of Sodom with a warning about its wickedness shortly before it was destroyed by fire and brimstone.  Again, the people of the city were universally resolute in their rebellion against the loving ethical reign of a Holy God.  Abraham had personally negotiated with God.  They had mutually agreed that if 10 righteous persons could be found in Sodom, the city would be spared!  Didn’t happen.  They could not find 10.  So again, it’s pretty much Lot and his family; sadly, minus even his own wife as it turned out.
Then in Exodus it’s the plagues, which should have served as a warning to the Pharaoh about what kind of disaster he was in store for unless he relented and released the Hebrew slaves.  By contrast, in the book of Jonah there is something of a success story.  The sobering influence of his time spent in the belly of the great fish got Jonah’s attention and then his preaching got the attention of the city of Nineveh.  So, here we have a warning heeded and a response that saved the lives of thousands.
All this to say, how do we interpret all the ‘stuff’ that has happened in the last 20 years or so?  The AIDS epidemic, war-fueled PTSD, alcohol and drug addiction and now Ebola…the political chaos and human suffering of 9/11, the Middle East War on Terror, ever-escalating wars and rumors of wars…the natural disasters like tsunamis, earthquakes, droughts, floods, fires, pollution and nuclear meltdowns…the global financial implosion in 2008 and the looming disastrous economic impact of our national debt…the breakdown of the contemporary family through easy divorce, government subsidized abortion, weekly school shootings, the redefinition of marriage as no longer only between a man and a woman, growing gender identity confusion…
People are sensing our world is coming unraveled.  Something is drastically wrong.  Even honest unbelievers will admit that the wisdom and wealth of this world don’t provide hope.  So, where do we go?  The Psalmist said it this way in Psalm 119:114, “I have hope in You [Lord].  You are my refuge and shield; I have put my hope in Your Word.”
Pray with me… Our Loving Creator, we come to you in brokenness and humility.  Like the residents of Nineveh long ago, we want to heed Your call for us to repent both personally and as a nation.  We want to pay attention to Your hand of discipline moving in this world in our generation.  We commit to realign our priorities and recalibrate our hearts.  As Your people, we know that is the place where you want to be loved and worshipped first.  Take that throne God, and establish your loving eternal reign.  In the name of Jesus, the one who makes it possible we pray, amen.

Pastor Ken

Monday, September 29, 2014


This morning I want to depart from the usual devotional format for my Speaking the Truth in Love piece.  At Crossroads Christian Church we are in a significant season of what we are calling…ReVision. This month we have been challenged by a series of weekend messages dedicated to renewing our identity as disciples and recasting our vision as a disciple-making church. Our new mission statement as a church is that we are Disciples Making Disciples.  And to answer the critical question rising up out of this mission statement…What is a disciple? A disciple is anyone who is personally committed tofollowing Jesusbeing changed by Jesus and being on mission with Jesus. Our next step in this vital journey is to engage every member and attendee of our church to attend one of ten identical Vision Nights planned at the Sweetwater Conference Centeron October 8, 21-23, 28-30 and November 4-6 at 6:30 PM. 
The evening will begin with an informal reception time with desserts/beverages furnished…and an extended opportunity for celebrating our special fellowship in the bond of Christ.  Then there will be a time of sharing our stories and presenting the direction God is leading our church in response to the prayers of our elders/pastoral leadership.  We are especially suggesting that our small groups, or the people who serve together, might attend on the same night.  Of course, all who consider Crossroads their church family are more than welcome…you are wanted!  Register online at or at the Connection Center in the atrium next weekend or call 812-518-1404.
Pray with me…Father God, thank you for Your church…our church. Thank you for calling us to Yourself in Jesus and for welding us into a such a wonderful family of Christian brothers and sisters. Amen.  

Pastor Ken

Tuesday, September 23, 2014


In 1985 Whitey Herzog was manager of the St. Louis Cardinals.  One of his players, Darrell Porter, was the team’s starting catcher and a devout Christian.  The day before an interview with Whitey in the clubhouse at Busch Stadium, Porter had struck out three times with runners on base.  The thing that infuriated Whitey was that Darrell never took his bat off his shoulder.  He watched a total of nine fastballs go by – all belt high and right down the middle – and never swung the bat.  After the game, Whitey called Darrell into his office.  “Darrell, what’s the problem?  You are killing us out there!”  To which Darrell said, “I don’t know Whitey.  I guess when the Lord wants me to hit, I’ll hit.”  To which Whitey replied, “Darrell, the Lord can’t help you if you don’t swing the bat!” 
Though no one will ever accuse Whitey Herzog of being a great Bible scholar… that was a pretty good piece of theology.  The Bible teaches that the Lord blesses the efforts of His people.  But, in fact, he cannot bless the inaction or inactivity of His people.  We cannot hit the ball out of the park for God’s eternal purpose if we don’t swing the bat of diligent effort.  Titus 2:14, “[Jesus] gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.” Our eagerness to do what is good in our community and in the world will be evident. It will show up in the unselfish giving of our time, our talents and our treasure to make disciples. It will be measurable in the extent of our involvement in the life of the church, the bride of Christ and the body of Christ. 
To the church in Sardis, the Risen Lord spoke these words in Revelation 3:2, “Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your deeds complete in the sight of my God.  Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; obey it, and repent.”

Pray with me…Father God, we want to measure the ‘measureables’ in our life of faith.  Bring conviction to our hearts and consciences about that which we need to do as good and faithful servants for your Name and Your Kingdom.  Through Jesus we pray, amen. 

Pastor Ken

Monday, September 15, 2014


It has been several months ago now that The Today Show told the story of a multimillionaire from New Mexico named Forrest Fenn.  Mr. Fenn had this idea of getting America to turn off their televisions, turn off their video games and go on an adventure.  So he took some of his assets – gold, diamonds, emeralds…probably over a million dollars in valuables – and he put them in a treasure chest, sending America on a treasure hunt.  He provided a poem with nine very obscure clues.  The poem was difficult to decipher.  But thousands of people went off looking for this hidden treasure, using only a poem with nine clues.  He wrote an autobiography called The Thrill of the Chase, and he talks in the book about how the most valuable things, the most beautiful things, are not easily found.  They’re out there; but they are hidden.  You’ve got to search for them.  You have to make an effort to discover them.  There is spiritual insight in this premise. 
In Matthew 13:44, Jesus said, “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field.  When a man found it he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.” I have been a personal eyewitness to both the diligent search and the joy of discovery in the lives of people who were on a quest for the abundant life and the promise of eternal life.  And here’s the good news/the great news: Deuteronomy 4:29, “But if…you seek the Lord your God, you will find him if you look for him with all your heart and with all your soul.”
Pray with me…Father God, I pray to you with thanksgiving today because You are the supreme treasure and because of the promise that all we need to do to possess this treasure is sincerely seek You and submit to You.  In the name of Jesus, amen.

Pastor Ken

Tuesday, September 9, 2014


USA Today reported this morning about the Joan Rivers funeral that it was ‘quintessential New York.’  The service included a eulogy by Howard [Shock Jock] Stern and the music of the New York City Gay Men’s Chorus.  One attendee said, “It felt like a Broadway show with tons of humor, lots of tears, and ended with a standing ovation.”  In Rivers’ 2012 book, I Hate Everyone…Starting With Me, she wrote that she wanted a ‘red carpet and sobbing Meryl Streep’ at her funeral.  Once again, as with the recent death of comedian Robin Williams [by his own hand], there has been an avalanche of tweeted tributes and hundreds of bouquets of flowers placed by her name on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.   But, let’s be honest…isn’t all this celebration pretentious?  Isn’t it just an elaborate denial of reality to make people feel better about death? 
Being born into a Jewish family, Joan Rivers chose to fall in line with her biological father’s religious heritage.  Throughout her life of 81 years, she joked a lot about her religion.  Many faiths have definitive teachings about the afterlife.  But, in answer to the question “What happens after we die?” the Torah, Judaism’s most important religious text, is surprisingly silent.  Nowhere does it discuss the afterlife in any detail.  In the Jewish faith there is just no definitive explanation for what happens after we die.  As a result, Joan Rivers lived and died without hope…because there is no hope in the Jewish faith except maybe looking forward to the [first] coming of Messiah.  Jews rejected and crucified Jesus, despising him because he claimed to be the Son of God.  Jews today reject Jesus as the Messiah.  Sadly, as a result, Joan Rivers never professed faith in Jesus Christ as her Savior and Lord. 
The apostle John said of Jesus, “Whoever has the Son of God has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.”  This statement is impossible to misunderstand.  It is considered by anyone and everyone to be either true or false…either believed or disbelieved.  And the only way to life everlasting is to confess with your lips and back it up with obedience…“I believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God.”  And I trust Him as my only Savior and Lord.
Pray with me…Father, we pray for the millions who are not in a saved relationship with You through Jesus Christ Your Son.  We pray for those who are in love with this present world and so are alienated from You.  As Your disciples, may we find them, one by one and make disciples of them one by one.  We Your children say with the Psalmist in 116:15,“Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His faithful servants.”  In the Name of Jesus, amen.

Pastor Ken

Tuesday, September 2, 2014


Aaron was an eleven-year-old boy whose behavior was described by Dr. William Glasser, his psychiatrist, as ‘horrible.’  In his book, Reality Therapy, Glasser says Aaron was the most obnoxious child he had ever met.  The boy would kick, scream, run away and hide, become withdrawn, disrupt his classes and generally make everyone miserable.   Dr. Glasser saw something obvious that no one else had observed.  No one had ever told him that he was doing wrong!  No one had ever set limits on what he could and could not do.  The psychiatrist decided to try a completely new tack.  The boy would have to behave, to act reasonable, or be punished.  He became courteous, well behaved and his grades went up.  For the first time, Aaron began to play constructively with other children.  Dr. Glasser calls this ‘reality therapy’ and says one of an individual’s greatest needs is to be made to realize that he is personally responsible for what he does… and that right behavior is more personally gratifying and beneficial than wrong behavior.
There are several examples in Scripture of people who needed reality therapy.  These people needed someone to come along and kick their ‘rear end,’ but there was no one.
Samson – Where was his dad or a friend who would stand up and tell him he was out of line and out of control… some one who would confront him about his disregard for his Nazarite vow and the immoral lifestyle he lived?
Absalom – Where was the person who would impress on him the consequences of his rebellious spirit and talk straight to him about his disrespect for his father?
Jonah – Where was the man or woman who could help him realign his compassion and ‘get in his face’ about running from God?
Woman at the well – Where was the woman-friend who would say, ‘Honey, you need to learn about self-control and self-respect!’?… You need relationship counseling!
Pray with me… Father God, I pray today for a spirit of humility when confronted by others when I need it and I pray for the courage to confront in love those who are on a self-destructive path.  And thank you for the promise in Your Word that, ‘whoever brings back a sinner from the error of his ways will save his soul from death and cover a multitude of sins.’  In Jesus’ name… amen.

Pastor Ken