Monday, August 25, 2014


In 1904 William Booth, founder of the Salvation Army, was invited to Buckingham Palace to visit King Edward VII.  The King asked Booth to write in his autograph album.  Booth wrote these words:
         Your Majesty,
                  Some men’s ambition is art.
                  Some men’s ambition is fame.
                  Some men’s ambition is gold.
                  My ambition is the souls of people.
Booth was speaking for me…
A cynic once asked, “What in the world are you Christians doing?”  I can think of no more relevant question for the church at the dawn of this the 21st century.  When an individual comes to Christ, he/she enters into the greatest work in the world.  Jesus said in Matthew 28:18-20, “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you.  And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” 
These are our marching orders.  This is our end game.  This is our goal.  This is the bull’s eye on the target.  This is our vocation.  This is our joy.  This is the mission of the church.  This is the priority of every Christian  - not simply to become involved in, but to becomeimmersed in, the spread of the good news of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Pray with me… Dear Father, it is undoubtedly the most disregarded and disobeyed command in Your Word… this ‘co-mission’ on which the Lord Jesus has promised to go with us.  So, renew in us this most logical response to experiencing your saving grace in our lives… namely, to share it with another and with others.  In the Name of Jesus we pray, amen.

Pastor Ken

Monday, August 18, 2014


One week ago comedian-actor Robin Williams took his own life, at age 63, by hanging himself with a belt.  He had suffered from recurring bouts of depression exacerbated by both cocaine and alcohol addiction over many years… and a more recent diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease.  Shock and grief have been expressed by moviegoers and pop-culture aficionados far and wide.  What can only be described as ‘an avalanche of accolades’ has been heaped on him posthumously, coming in from throughout the nation.  The Hollywood community weighed in saying, “He is surely in heaven now, making God laugh.”  [Seriously?] Even President Obama took the time to publish an articulate 120-word tribute to the man known for his quick wit and comedic voices. Robin William’s virtue is being extolled by many.  And what is that virtue?  Well, mostly he made people laugh…out there in TV land, or on the big screen, or in live stage performances often laced with profanity [not a criticism, just a fact].  Occasionally he leveraged his fame to entertain troops or hospital patients.  In short, his life purpose was to amuse people [again…not a criticism, just a fact].
I cannot help but compare the national grief for Robin Williams’ death by suicide, reported in the media, with the complete lack of national mourning over the Iranian-American pastor presently jailed in Iran for his faith.  Saeed Abedini, the 32-year-old U.S. citizen, has been imprisoned in Iran, under the harshest of conditions, since September 2013.  He has been denied bail as he awaits medical treatment for serious injuries and internal bleeding sustained from brutal beatings.  His wife and two pre-school children have been pleading for the release of their husband and daddy, the victim of what can only be called gross injustice.  Someone has wisely said, “What you laugh about and what you cry about is an indicator of who/what you are on the inside.”   

We should delight in the things that delight the Lord.  And our hearts should break for the same things that break God’s great heart.   
Pray with me… Father, as we live day by day, may we value what you value, love what you love and celebrate that which honors you, above all else.  Make us deeper people, more serious about the things that matter most… increasingly unimpressed with the world and the things that are in the world.  In Jesus’ name,  Amen.

Pastor Ken

Monday, August 11, 2014


Rosa Parks is one of the most famous names in civil rights history.  She has been called ‘the first lady of civil rights’ and ‘the mother of the freedom movement’… and rightly so.  On December 1, 1955, Parks refused to give up her seat to a white man and move to the back of the bus.  She was arrested for her ‘defiance.’  In his book, Quiet Strength, Tony Dungy quotes Rosa Parks, “When I sat down on the bus that day, I had no idea history was being made – I was only thinking of getting home.  But I had made up my mind.  After so many years of being a victim of the mistreatment my people suffered, not giving up my seat – and whatever I had to face afterwards – was not important.  I did not feel any fear sitting there.  I felt the Lord would give me the strength to endure whatever I had to face.  It was time for someone to stand up – or in my case, sit down.  So I refused to move.”
This sounds a lot like an illustration of the text of I Corinthians 1:27-29, “God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the strong [and] the lowly things of this world and the despised things – and the things that are not - to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him.”  
The courage that launched the historic civil rights movement in our nation was born of a humble faith and God-confidence resident in the heart of a single African-American young woman.  We can all learn from this Rosa Parks that the courage to do the right thing sometimes means we have to ‘swim upstream’ or ‘march to the beat of a different drummer.’ 
Pray with me… Father, may we walk so close to You each day that You inspire in each of us the humility and courage to fearlessly do the right thing in every season and situation of life.  In Jesus’ name, amen.

Pastor Ken

Wednesday, August 6, 2014


Two character strengths that are often undervalued in modern society are humility and modesty.  They are actually closely connected.  Typically, a person who is humble is also modest and vice-versa.  But, so much of public attention these days is focused on celebrities and political figures.  Egotism and self-projection too often accompany these professional life pathways.  In addition, the proliferation of television reality shows and award shows encourage vanity and narcissism. The trickle down affect is that we ‘average Joes’ can feel pressured to act like we’re superheroes too, just to fit into the bravado of the times.  We think, if we don’t assert ourselves, we’ll be either run over or left behind.
But, it is a well-documented fact that narcissism leads to depression.  Self-adulation, or self-worship, is a shortcut to unhappiness.  That is the reason there is so much in scripture, especially in both the example and teaching of Jesus, encouraging humility and modesty. 
Booker T. Washington was the post-Civil War President of the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama.  He was responsible for thousands of young black men and women getting a higher education.  One day, while walking through an affluent neighborhood, a woman asked him if he would like to earn some money chopping wood.  Washington picked up and ax and went to work.  When the woman realized who he was, she was embarrassed and apologized.  “It’s perfectly all right madam,” Washington graciously replied.  “Occasionally I enjoy a little manual labor.”  She was so impressed by his humble attitude, she and several of her wealthy friends ended up donating hundreds of thousands of dollars to the Tuskegee Institute. Humility and modesty are their own reward, but occasionally the humble have a way of being exalted by thinking people in the mainstream of life.

Pray with me… Father God, I pray… not I, but Christ, be honored, loved, exalted… not I, but Christ, be seen, be known, be heard.  Not I but Christ, in every thought and action… in Jesus dear Name, amen.

Pastor Ken