Monday, April 28, 2014


Have you noticed that our lifetime is lived in seasons…and that seasons have a beginning and an ending?  Spring gives way to summer, summer to autumn, autumn to winter and winter to spring in a perpetual cycle.  Successful farmers have learned how to rotate their crops in order to capitalize on the changing seasons.  They plant corn in one field; then when it is out of season, they plow the harvested stalks under and let that field rest.  At the same time, they may be busy planting and harvesting alfalfa in another field to make hay for the livestock…and so on.

The Psalmist compared the blessed person to “…A tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither.  Whatever he/she does prospers.”  [Psalm 1:3]

As we move through the ever-changing seasons of life let’s remember that God is more concerned with the depth of our roots than the height of our branches; more interested in the quality of the life we live than the quantity of our years.  As we move from childhood [spring] to adolescence, from adolescence [summer] to adulthood, from adulthood [autumn] to maturity [winter], let’s be sure we submit our wills, make our choices, order our lives…yield the kind of ‘fruit’…that would bring honor and praise to our loving Heavenly Father.

Pray with me… Father God, those who have just read these words are likely in various seasons of life.  Convict each of us today that we are daily progressing forward toward the time when we will crossover into a timeless, season-less existence where You dwell in unapproachable light, a day when we will be alone in Your presence to account for the life lived in the flesh.  May it be a day of ultimate celebration and endless joy and peace…In Jesus’ name, amen.

Pastor Ken

Tuesday, April 22, 2014


I don’t think it was any accident that Mary Magdalene was one of the first to experience the resurrection.  We don’t know a great deal about Mary, but we do know this: she was a woman who had been possessed by seven demons.  It had been as if Mary was one of the living dead.  Her daily life must have been unbearable.  We can only imagine the things to which she had been subjected or the things to which she had subjected others.  Have you ever met someone who seemed like they were the living dead?  Someone whose body has been ravaged by the long-term effects of alcohol, nicotine or drugs?  Someone who has been victimized by sexual abuse?  Someone who has failed repeatedly at something and lost all confidence?  Someone who has been abandoned by a parent or parents?  Someone who has lost his or her health to obesity or a terminal disease?  Someone who is despairing of life itself?

Or, maybe you have felt this way, or maybe you feel this way right now.  Life has no luster.  You are just going through the motions – doing whatever you can to get by.  There is no joy.  No hope.  When everyone else is laughing at a joke, you can’t laugh with them.  When everyone else is excited about something, you feel like a sad spectator on the sidelines.  The same God who brought Jesus Christ back to life is the only one who can bring us back to life!  And when this happens the black and white movies of our lives are suddenly bright with Technicolor.   We become excited and exciting.  Life has meaning and purpose.  Suddenly the world is filled with possibilities.  The resurrection of Jesus Christ has radically changed the past, the present and the future!  Like Mary Magdalene, it can be the defining moment in your personal history.

Pray with me…Father God, thank you for the power of the resurrection to change lives then and now… for Mary and for me.
In Jesus’ name, amen.

Pastor Ken

Monday, April 14, 2014


This Sunday is Easter at the Ford Center downtown.  It promises it will be a memory-making worship experience for us all.  Starting this coming Lord’s Day Crossroads Church Family, let’s take seriously these ‘things-to-do-while-you’re-at-church:’

7 Things to Do While You’re at Church

by Scott Maze

When you arrive at your church, I encourage you to consider these seven things:

1. Welcome others by saying hello (no matter if you are officially a “greeter”). Most people in large cities do not make eye contact and few of us say anything to others throughout the week. While many people at your church may be strangers to you, take a few minutes to say hello – it will not hurt you :). While you are at it, go ahead and smile.

2. As a pastor, I authorize you to pick up trash you see lying on the ground wherever you worship. If you are a member of a church, take the initiative to correct something you see is wrong. Look for people who are lost inside the building and offer to walk them to the worship center or a Bible study group.

Or, if you are able, park far away from the building in order that others may have the closest parking spots.

If you are really godly (tongue in cheek), sit closer to the front. By sitting up front, you will have less distractions and you will free up more room in the back of the worship center for late-comers.

3. Pray during the invitation time or before. Each one of us is responsible for setting the culture inside our church. Most churches offer some way to respond to the pastor’s message and this response time is serious.

Our church offers two ways to respond: 1) an invitation time at the end of each worship service where you can pray with someone, or 2) you can stop by the Encourager’s Room where people are trained to answer your spiritual questions. No matter how your church does this, the time is important as it is an opportunity where God is working on our hearts of people. So pray for the Spirit of God to be active and be sure not to distract others.

4. Encourage someone. Look around you as there are many who need your love. Actually stop to listen to people and don’t just quickly offer advice. Later on in the week, you may want to contact this person again (if appropriate) to let them know you are praying for them and thinking of them.

Take time to pray with people when they express needs. Let me say that again… take time to pray with people when they express needs. I would love to see more people spontaneously praying throughout the hallways of our church and I imagine most other pastors would as well.

5. Find a place to serve.  All of us need to contribute to the needs of our church family. People need our service and we need to serve others. For those of you who attend NRHBC, check out the ministry gallery as this is place where we often communicate our needs.

6. Expect God to Move. For many, we expect very little when we come into the house of God. This shouldn’t be. God’s people come together for worship and if God is present, it will be extraordinary. We should expect nothing less than the Spirit of God to move through the lives of people. I am not saying that the building has to shake every time we come together for worship (see Acts 4:1-31) but God isn’t dead. God is very much alive and He loves to show His power. So expect God to move when you come together for worship and watch for what He is doing. And when you see His work in the lives of others, Celebrate (see Luke 15:7)!

7. Read your Bible and take notes. Don’t be content to be a listener only. Instead, become a disciple.
Discipleship is intentional. People who are serious about Jesus are also serious about His book. Your Bible should always be open during a sermon.

And behold! the power of the pencil… You remember what you write down much longer than what you simply hear. So take notes when you listen to a sermon. You can take notes in a special notebook (here’s what I use) and remember, it is not a sin to even mark in your Bible.

Pray with me… Father God, make me an effective witness and an instrument of your peace in the lives of all people who come to my church.  I know you have work to do in others through me.  I submit to being a channel of your love and truth.  In Jesus Name, amen.

Pastor Ken

Monday, April 7, 2014


I tend to be pretty qualified and conservative when it comes to viewing and recommending movies.  But, I do have a conscience about supporting Christian films.  I want to underwrite the efforts of evangelical producers who are seeking to use media to get the message out.  For this reason, I am doing something today that I almost never do.  I am recommending the movie “God’s Not Dead” as a must-see film for Christian families, especially families with middle/high school age children and college age young adults.

We walked into a local theater a week ago, Friday afternoon with limited expectations in terms of the plot and character development of this film.  I immediately noticed that the theater was full.  The film is about a present day college freshman and devout Christian, Josh Wheaton, who finds his faith challenged on his first day of philosophy class by the dogmatic and argumentative professor Radisson.  He begins class by informing students that they will need to disavow, in writing, the existence of God on that first day, or face the prospect of a failing grade.  As other students in the class begin scribbling the words, “God is Dead” on pieces of paper, Josh finds himself at a crossroads, having to choose between his faith and his future.  Josh offers a nervous, but firm and polite refusal, provoking an irate reaction from his smug professor.  The head to head debate in front of the class and the behind the scenes stories that converge makes for a film that will educate, entertain and inspire moviegoers.

 The film will ignite important conversations and life-changing decisions.   Did I mention that the theater erupted in spontaneous applause at the end?  I was among those standing…

Pray with me… Father, I pray that the content of this very clarifying and convicting film will birth faith in many and confirm the faith of all who know Jesus as Lord.  In His name, amen.

Pastor Ken