Monday, January 27, 2014


One of the big reasons people live out their lives each day, day after day, without any consciousness of God is because they honestly don’t believe they matter to Him.  After all, with a global population of 7.13 billion and growing, they think, “How could God be mindful of me?”  Of course, that is precisely why Jesus came… to make God’s love and grace real and personal to all of us.  There are some absolutely beautiful verses in the Bible that impress this truth.

Psalm 56:8, “You’ve kept track of my every toss and turn through the sleepless nights… Each tear entered in Your ledger, each ache written in your book.”  The Message

Isaiah 49:15-16, “Can a mother forget the infant at her breast, walk away from the baby she bore?  But, even if mothers forget, I’d never forget you – never.  Look, I’ve written your name on the backs of My hands.”  The Message

Wait… \reread those verses slowly.  Internalize those words in the deepest parts of who you are.  Can you take it in today?  If you do, it will be hard to think of yourself as insignificant.  It will be hard to remain depressed.  It will be hard to feel hopeless.  It will be hard to live in a place of inferiority.  Embrace these truths.  Impress them on your children.  Your Creator, your Heavenly Father has not forgotten you.  He remembers you…

Psalm 25:7, “According to Your love remember me… for you, Lord, are good.”  NIV

Pray with me… Father, the prayer of the Psalmist is my prayer today and all this week, that you would remember me.  And thank you for the assurance in your Word that you have, you do and you will! In the name of Jesus our Lord we pray, amen.

Pastor Ken

Monday, January 20, 2014


Reading devotionally through Revelation, I paused to meditate on chapter 11, verse 15, which describes the scene in heaven, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign for ever and ever.”   This verse impresses the reality of our destiny.  Because of the cross and the vacated tomb, “We are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” [Romans 8:37]  The outcome of all things is that His kingdom will come and His will done on earth as it is in heaven.  One day, “Every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord to the glory of God the Father.”  [Philippians 2:10-11]

But, here is my concern… Although God’s kingdom will endure forever and will prevail in the end… Although we will win the war… As Christian soldiers, we are losing one spiritual battle after another these days.  Look at these quotes from John Dickerson’s new book, The Great Evangelical Recession: “By multiple accounts, evangelical believers are between 7 and 9 percent of the United States population. [pp. 26] We are in the midst of an historical transformation.  Current times are just not a part of normal history. [pp. 42] Between 69 percent and 80 percent of evangelicals in their twenties leave the faith.” [pp. 98]  Or this, from The Chronicle of Philanthropy: “Religious causes suffered a more than 3.6 percent drop in donations in 2012 after falling more than 2 percent in 2011.”

While this data does not reflect our experience at Crossroads, I know what this research means… a reduction in the population of heaven.  And that grieves me.  But, it also stirs me to recommit to the mission of our church… to be DISCIPLES MAKING DISCIPLES.

Pray with me… Dear God, help us not to be overwhelmed by the mass of misery in our world today; but rather overwhelmed by the majesty of the Master who has made us overcomers.  We press on toward the prize of the upward call of heaven.  In Jesus name, amen.

Pastor Ken

Tuesday, January 14, 2014


I was in my late teens when I attended a youth rally on a Monday night at Eastview Christian Church in Bloomington, IL.  In those days there was no contemporary Christian music, no video technology with image magnification on big screens in the worship center, little conscience on the part of the adult planners of such rallies about relating to the younger generation [and no padded seats!].  Basically, the service was just like church on Sundays or during revival meetings.  But one component of the rally that night was fresh, alive, life-shaping for me…the preaching of the Word of God.

I have not forgotten that moment when Bob Phillips, the host minister of this 500[!] member church stood up and directed us to Psalm 119:59-60, “I thought on my ways, and turned my feet unto thy testimonies.  I made haste, and delayed not to keep thy commandments.” At the time, I didn’t think a thing about the old English translation of the King James Version.  But today it sounds pretty foreign.  Most of us would prefer the New International Version of the same text, “I have considered my ways and have turned my steps to your statutes.  I will hasten and not delay to obey your commands.”

Those two devotional verses from the Old Testament have so often challenged me.  To this day, I regularly make time for solitude so I can reflect on my life path…past and present, as well as recommit to bring my obedience to up to date.  The value of the preaching of God’s Word is timeless.  It is ‘transgenerational.’ 

Pray with me… Father in heaven, you have not left us without direction for our lives.  We are so glad.  In our better moments we value more than anything Your love and grace, Your wisdom for how to live our lives from the inside out.  In the name of Jesus, amen.

Pastor Ken

Wednesday, January 8, 2014


It is not unusual for folks to embrace certain predictable resolutions with the beginning of a new calendar year.  Among those that impact  physical health are: eating right [less carbs, no seconds, more organic, less sugar], exercising regularly [more fitness machines and memberships are sold at this time of year than any other], to stop smoking/drinking and to get more sleep.  Among those that impact our mental health are: getting organized, spending less, saving more and protecting time with the family.  These disciplines are all worthy and would definitely elevate the quality of life that anyone could enjoy in 2014.  But, what about the priority of embracing behaviors/habits that will impact our spiritual health?

I Timothy 4:8 “For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.”

Predictably, the greatest example of good daily spiritual disciplines is Jesus himself.  He made it a priority to attend public worship faithfully.  Scripture says “… on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom.” [Luke 4:16] If Jesus felt the need for fellowship and scriptural instruction, how much more should we?  Several times in the Gospels we read that Jesus separated himself from others for solitary prayer, as in the Garden of Gethsemane.  We know that Peter’s summary of Jesus’ daily life was, “He went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.” [Acts 10:38]  As we embark on this new year, let’s think about the resolutions, disciplines and habits that have value for all things… the ones that hold promise for both the present life and the life to come… worship, fellowship, Bible study, prayer and serving others in Jesus’ name.

Pray with meOur Great God and Father in heaven, we pray today that throughout 2014 we would be careful how we live, not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.   We pray that we would not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is – and then to order our lives in ways that will honor You and bless us and others.  In the strong Name of Jesus we pray, amen.

Pastor Ken


The Apostle Paul wrote these most compelling and relevant words for those of us who are on the threshold of a New Year 2014:  In Philippians 3:12-14, “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.  Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it.  But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

The passing of another year on the calendar reminds us to put the past behind us and look forward to the days ahead.  Paul hunted Christians in his younger days, to both imprison and execute them. But, his sins, which were many… were covered by the blood of Jesus.  So, out of love and gratitude for the grace of God, Paul was broken, repentant, baptized and repurposed.  He put his past behind him, became the greatest missionary of all time and authored much of the New Testament.  Paul knew that God does not lock any of us into our past failures.  When God forgives our sins, he buries them in the depths of the deepest sea and He posts a sign… ‘No Fishing!’  Psalm 103:12, “As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.”

So what disappointments & discouragements, sins & shortcomings, fears & failures are you focused on at this year’s end?  With the beginning of a new calendar year, you can begin again and do what Proverbs counsels: “Fall down seven times and rise up yet again.”  God is not concerned about your past.  With Him you have only a present and a future.  So press on, take hold, forget what is behind, strain toward what is ahead… press on toward the goal to win the prize!

Pastor Ken