Monday, November 30, 2015


Both my undergraduate and graduate degrees were earned at Lincoln Christian University.  I was well served and have tried to serve well through the years, which have become decades! As we recently came together to another Thanksgiving, our family reflected on the following piece...Pastor Ken
Give thanks to the Lord, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done.  Sing to him, sing praise to him; tell of all his wonderful acts.  Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice.  Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always. - 1 Chronicles 16:8-11

In 1863, during the height of the American Civil War, Abraham Lincoln noted the following:

"We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of heaven; we have been preserved these many years in peace and prosperity; we have grown in numbers, wealth and power as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us, and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us. It has seemed to me fit and proper that [the gifts of God] should be solemnly, reverently, and gratefully acknowledged with one heart and one voice by the whole American people.”      
Thus, a day was set aside as a reminder to acknowledge the gracious work of Almighty God.  And as a community united by the Gospel, let us humbly give thanks.                

Almighty God and Father, we praise you for  all the blessings of this life...but above all for your amazing love in the redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ, the source of grace, and our hope of glory. 

We pray, give us such an awareness of your mercies that with truly thankful hearts we may show forth your praise, not only with our lips, but in our lives, by giving up ourselves to your service, and by walking before you in holiness and righteousness all our days, through Jesus Christ, our Lord, to whom be honor throughout all ages. Amen.

Monday, November 23, 2015


In order to have a grateful heart you must learn to be thankful for flawed people and imperfect gifts.  Be grateful when your daughter helps set the table for Thanksgiving Day, even though she does it imperfectly.  Be grateful when your son attempts to make his bed in the morning before school, even though he does it imperfectly.  Be grateful for your spouse’s expression of affection, even if it is done in a way that you may not fully appreciate.  Be grateful your body is responsive enough that you are able to get around, even if it is showing its age.  Don’t postpone thankfulness.  Just do it today, because a ‘grateful’ expression or act will lead to a ‘great-full’ feeling.
I Thessalonians 5:18 says, “Give thanks in all circumstances.”  This is a command to be obeyed, not a feeling in the gizzard!  It calls for a decision, an act of the will, not an emotional response.  It’s why we American Christians call this upcoming holiday Thanksgiving – not thanks feeling!  Paul writes in Ephesians 5:14, “Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”  Every once in a while we do wake up.  And when we do, what we sometimes wake up to is gratitude for the things we take for granted.
There are many positive spin-offs for us when we exercise our will by expressing thankfulness and appreciation for others. They will be attracted to us, because we all love to company with positive people.   We will be lifted out of self-pity and negativism.   Remember Debbie Boone’s big song, “You Light Up My Life?”  This is the way others will feel about you if you are thankful for the flawed people and imperfect gifts in your life.
Pray with me…Father God, I pray for the self-discipline to give thanks in all circumstances…to wake up…to experience all the good you have for me and all I can do in the lives of others with my expressions of thankfulness.  In the name of Jesus, amen.

Pastor Ken

Monday, November 16, 2015


The sinking of the Titanic in 1912 was one of the most gripping tragedies of the 20th century.  There were worst disasters, but none so dramatic as the sinking of that huge vessel on its maiden voyage.  When the list of passengers was posted at Pier 54 in New York Harbor, they were placed in one of only two categories…saved or lost
The Bible says that on Judgment Day there will be only be two kinds of people, the saved and the lost.  When the Bible refers to the ‘lost’ it means those who are separated from God by sin.  But, Jesus is a friend of the lost because he came into the world to rescue those who were perishing in sin. [Luke 19:10] Now when the Bible uses the term ‘saved’ it means simply rescued from the consequences of sin.   Salvation is made possible because Jesus Christ came to earth and died on a cross for our sins.  [Ephesians 2:8 & 9] 
The people who perished in the icy waters of the Atlantic Ocean in 1912 could not save themselves by swimming hundreds of miles to America.  People who are lost in sin cannot save themselves by their own goodness.  They can be saved only by putting their trust in Jesus Christ.  In Mark 16 Jesus said to his disciples, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.  Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.”  So, why would not everyone receive this truth and be saved?  According to the teaching of Jesus in the parable of the seed and the soils in Luke 8 there are three reasons:
1] They are hard.  2] They are shallow.  3] They are busy.  And, of course the answer is they need to be cultivated, deepened and refocused.  And this is our mission as Christians in this world as the salt of the earth and the light of the world…to help all people come to a knowledge of the truth and be saved.
Pray with me…Our Father, the good news of the Gospel is so simple and yet so profound.   We thank you that it is so simple it can be understood by a little child; and yet it is so profound that it can boggle the mind of the seasoned scholar.   Father, we thank you that you desire for all people to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth…that your choice is for every man, woman and child to be forgiven and heaven bound…but that you give us the choice of whether it will be a reality in our lives…you let us choose whether we will be saved or lost.   We choose you Lord, to be our Savior.  In Jesus’ Name, amen.

Pastor Ken

Monday, November 9, 2015


I have great compassion for people who have a distorted view of God.  I want to help them ‘see Him more clearly, love Him more dearly, follow Him more nearly day by day’ as the old worship chorus intones.   If I could get the attention of the unbelieving/unreached world for 30 seconds, here is what I would want them to hear about God, our Heavenly Father:
God is for us – Romans 8:31 – This is good, because if He is for us, who can be against us?  A rhetorical question indeed…. Bottom line, no evil from without can harm us; and no evil from within can condemn us.  Nothing can separate us from His love. 
God is with us – Hebrews 13:5 – This is even better, because if He will never leave us and will never forsake us, whatever we go through in this life, we experience with His power and presence.   He will walk with us through it all and He will carry us when we are too weak to go on.
God is in us – Colossians 1:27 – This is the best, because if the same power that raised Jesus Christ from the dead dwells in our mortal bodies also, we are able to prevail in life and even in death.   Life abundant and life eternal are ours by the power that is at work in us.
Pray with me…. Father, only in Your omniscience could such wonderful revelations come to brighten our days and illumine our ways.  We are so blessed to not only believe, but also actually know that You are for us, You are with us and You are in us.  The fact that You have made Your home in us makes us long to be at home with you in the place that you are preparing.  We worship You today and everyday from our hearts.  In the name of Jesus, amen.

Pastor Ken

Monday, November 2, 2015


Happy people spend much of their time socializing, going to church, and reading.  Somehow I think that there is probably a lot of overlap here.  That is, many of the same people are doing these three activities:  1] mixing socially with others in small groups and one on one, 2] going to church more often, and 3] reading books and newspapers as sources of insight and information. Unhappy people watch a lot of television.  Although people who describe themselves as happy also enjoy watching TV, that is the single activity they engage in less often than unhappy people, according to John Robinson, a professor of sociology at the University of Maryland and the author of a study published in the journal Social Indicators Research.
The study relied primarily on the responses of 45,000 Americans collected over 35 years by the University of Chicago’s General Social Survey, and on published ‘time diary’ studies recording the daily activities of participants.   “We looked at eight to ten activities that happy people engage in, and for each one, the people who did the activities more….were more happy.”  TV was the one activity that showed a negative relationship.  Unhappy people did it more, and happy people did it less. 
Researchers could not answer the chicken-and-egg question of whether unhappy people watch more television or whether watching television is what makes people unhappy.   Even so, people who spend the most time watching television are least happy in the long run, he said.   Robinson also pointed out that since the major predictor of tube time is whether someone works or not, rising unemployment may lead to more TV time. 
So what are our take-a-ways today?  I think the implication of this research is that if we want to enjoy our lives more, we will celebrateGod in worship and study His truth, whether in His Word or in the text of good books/articles, connect with people in small groups and contribute to people’s lives in measurable ways through giving and serving.  This sounds to me a lot like the happy family of God at Crossroads….
Pray with me…. Great God in heaven, you have given each of us a life to live and a lifetime in which to steward it.  May our leisure-time be as purposeful and constructive as our work-time.  Help us to invest our days and years, our minutes and hours, in activity that will honor You and build Your loving reign into the lives of others.   And may our accountability to you for the life we live only fill us with the anticipation that we will one day have a servant’s joyous report to His Master.  In the Name of Jesus, who made Himself our Servant, we pray, amen.

Pastor Ken