Monday, February 24, 2014


My former classmate and good personal friend, the late Dr. Robert Lowery, was for many years part of the teaching faculty at Lincoln Christian University in Lincoln, IL.  He once related an experience he had consulting with a divided church.  The people were going through some difficulties in transitioning from traditional to more contemporary music in worship.   There was unrest related to the ‘retirement’ of the organ [which no one in the church had adequately played for years] vs. the introduction of drums and guitars.  After meeting with the elders to determine the best approach to maintaining the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace, church members were invited to an evening meeting.  Following an introductory devotional and prayer, folks could come to a microphone and speak to this issue that was dividing the church.  During the course of the meeting, some in the audience became increasingly agitated.  Once everyone had been heard [who wanted to speak], Dr. Lowery stepped up to the microphone to summarize and comment on what he had heard.  Then, as he closed, he shocked everyone present asking, “Who, in hell, cares?”  There was absolute silence for the first time that evening.  He continued saying, “Please don’t mistake what I said.  I’m not trying to be crass.  But the question remains, who, in hell, cares?  What I mean by that is this: Who, having died and gone to hell, cares what your opinion is on what the church’s music should sound like?  Their concern is that you were too busy arguing to reach/reach out to them.  Now they’ve died and gone to hell.  So, who, in hell cares?”  Jesus once indicted the Pharisees saying in Matthew 23:23, “You have neglected the more important matters!” 

Pray with me… Dear Father… in our lives, in our families, in our churches, in our communities, in our nation, by your Spirit, keep us focused on the things that matter in eternity.  In Jesus’ name, amen.

Pastor Ken


He claimed to have made a substantive study of the life and leadership of Jesus in the four Gospels.  He made free use of Christian vocabulary.  He talked about the blessing of the Almighty and the Christian confessions, which would become pillars of the new government.  He handed out pious stories to the press, especially to church papers.  He showed his tattered Bible and declared that he drew strength for his great work from it, as scores of pious people welcomed him as a man sent from God.  Who was he?  Adolf Hitler.  He was a master of outward religiosity with no inward reality!  And so it was with the Pharisees of old.  But, what about us?

There is a tendency for people who are constantly around God’s Word and God’s church, over time to become detached, disconnected. There is this tendency/temptation to regard holy things as common. The romance and excitement can be lost with the passing years.  Our faith can become like a marriage that has gotten lackluster and stale with the onset of years.  It is an even greater risk for second generation Christians who have a heritage of faith, but not taken a real heart ownership of their own faith.

The apostle Peter addresses this demographic in I Peter 5:2, “…God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock.  And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away.”

Pray with me… Father in heaven, you know it is too predictable that we mortals would be stronger at the start than at the finish.  Empower us by the immortal Holy Spirit to reverse this tendency and live out an integrated faith all through our lives.  We pray it would never fade away!  In Jesus’ name, amen.

Pastor Ken

Monday, February 10, 2014


One Sunday morning an old cowboy entered a church just before services were to begin.  Although the old man and his clothes were clean and pressed, he wore jeans, a denim shirt and boots that were worn.  In his hand he carried an old hat and a well-used Bible.  The church was upscale, in an exclusive part of the city.  It was the largest and most beautiful church building the old cowboy had ever seen up close.  The people who gathered that morning were well- groomed and fashionably dressed.  The parking lot was filled with late model cars.  As the cowboy took a seat, people were noticeably wary.  The preacher that morning was long on pious platitudes and short on both Bible content and practical application.  As the cowboy was leaving church that morning, the minister approached him and asked for a favor, “Before you come back again, have a talk with God and ask him what he thinks would be appropriate attire for worship.”  The old cowboy assured the preacher he would do that.  The next Sunday, he showed up for the services again wearing the same jeans, shirt, boots and hat.  The preacher approached the old cowboy, “I thought I asked you to speak to God before you came back to our church.”  “I did,” he replied.  “If you spoke to God, what did he tell you the proper attire should be for worshiping here?” asked the minister. “Well sir, God told me that He didn’t have a clue what I should wear.  He said He’s never been in this church!”

James 2:1 & 5, “My brothers, as believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, don’t show favoritism…Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him?”

Pray with me… Father, help us to see with your eyes what it is you have put in every person who crosses our path worth redeeming and reclaiming for your purpose.  In the Master’s name, amen.

Pastor Ken

Tuesday, February 4, 2014


Jesus said the truly happy [blessed] people are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness.  Notice that he didn't say,  "Happy are those who hunger and thirst for happiness" or "Righteous are the people who hunger and thirst for happiness."  It's the other way around.  "Happy are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness."    In other words, we cannot set as our greatest goal in life "to be happy," because that will only leave us frustrated.  Happiness is the result of something else.

Built into every person is an innate desire for something transcendent.  We all want to touch and taste something lasting, something that goes beyond the here and now, and that's what Jesus is speaking about.  We long for something that doesn't erode with time, something that doesn't pale into insignificance, something that holds our lives together when tears and tragedy try to pull them apart.  So, where do we turn in this longing for transcendence in our lives?  Listen first to the testimony of the psalmist who said, "As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you O God.  My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.  When can I go and meet with God?" [Psalm 42:1,2]

Jesus said, "I am the bread of life.  He who comes to me will never go hungry." [John 6:35]

Augustine cried out in his confessions, "Thou hast made us for Thine own, and our souls are restless until they rest in Thee."

Paul stood before the Stoic and Epicureans in Athens and declared, "For in Him [Jesus], we live and move and have our being." [Acts 17:28]

And Jesus said, "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness."
Pray with me...O God, be exalted over my possessions…be exalted over my friendships…be exalted over my comforts…be exalted over my reputation…Rise, O Lord, into your proper place of honor, above my ambitions, above my likes and dislikes, above my family, my health and even my life itself.  Let me decrease that You may increase.  In the Name that is above every name, Jesus.  Amen.

Pastor Ken