Monday, August 24, 2015


In the content of the very personal letter of 3 John there is a confrontation in the form of a warning about a man in the early church named Diotrephes.  He is described as someone who ‘loves to be first.’  He is described as someone who is standoffish and critical… John says he ‘will have nothing to do with us’ and that he is ‘gossiping maliciously about us.’  In fact, John said, Diotrephes ‘refuses to welcome any of the brothers… He also stops those who want to be welcoming and puts them out of the church!’ 
Wow, so this guy, Diotrephes, has some major spiritual blind spots! He is self-serving and self-projecting.  He loves to be pre-eminent, the center of attention, occupying a place of power.  He is what we might call a ‘control freak.’  He wants to call the shots.  He expects people to defer to him.  He is aloof.  He is an armchair general.  He uses his verbal skills to manipulate and intimidate others. He does not want the church to grow.  He is not a welcoming presence to say the least.  He even actively opposes those in the church who want to be welcoming of others.  He excommunicates people who are hospitable!  Diotrephes is the furthest thing from a Spirit-filled disciple of Jesus… and he is wreaking havoc in the life of the early church.
Thankfully church people with attitudes like Diotrephes are few and far between.  They are the exception, and certainly not the rule.  However, when they do surface, they need to be firmly, but lovingly, confronted.  As the apostle John promised, “If I come, I will call attention to what he is doing.”  [This is a former ‘son of thunder,’ so I’m pretty sure he can handle it.]  But, without an apostolic presence in the contemporary church, this task of loving, but firm confrontation falls on the elders/pastors.  It must be entered into with a spirit of humility, but it must be done.

Pray with me… Father in heaven, we know that people seeing Christ in us and hearing about Christ from us is the hope of the world.  May we never have a down day or even a moment of weakness that would cause us to identify with the alien spirit of Diotrephes.  As Jesus was, may we be ‘full of grace and truth.’  In His Name, amen.

Pastor Ken

Monday, August 17, 2015


"A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity." Proverbs 17:17
Clark Bentall once headed the Bentall Corporation, a construction company headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia.  Five downtown office towers in that city bear his family's name.  But, late in life, he found himself in disagreement with his brothers, who leveraged Clark out of the day to day operations and eventually out of the business altogether.  Shortly thereafter, his wife of 57 years lost her battle with cancer, and Clark himself was stricken with Alzheimer's disease.   Now he was alone with no work and no wife and losing his ability to grasp what was going on around him.  A man who once had everything now had nothing.  But, in the years before the fog of Alzheimer's engulfed him, Clark Bentall had invested thoroughly and genuinely in his friendships.   And, now, in his time of need, every Tuesday and Thursday morning, some of his best friends would come over for breakfast, just to talk and say thanks…. for everything.  Even though Clark had less and less to contribute to the conversations and shared memories, they still came…For over four years. 
And, that could be any one of us one day.  Alone, Dependent on the obligations of family members and good will of neighbors and friends.  Will you have invested enough in people's lives to make them want to come and see you, even when you are out of touch and not as much fun as you used to be?  Now is the time to pour your hear into others, making a difference in their lives today and looking ahead to the future.
Pray with me…Our Father in heaven, we are humbled that you call us your friends.  We who have been far away from you, alienated from you because of our sin, have been brought close because of the cross of your son and our Savior.  We are forever debtors to your grace.  We pray that we will be less self-aware and more aware of others in our circles of acquaintance, especially those in whom we should invest our time, energy, prayers and service.  May literally seek to be a friend to everyone we meet.  For Jesus' sake.  Amen.

Pastor Ken

Tuesday, August 11, 2015


Well, you can go ahead and file this one in the ‘truth is stranger than fiction’ folder.  It is a fascinating story of the mysterious way that God works.  And it begins with a poor Scottish farmer by the name of Fleming... 
One day, while trying to scratch out a living for his family, he heard a cry for help coming from a nearby bog.  He dropped his tools and ran in the direction of the cries.  There, mired to his waist in thick black muck, was a terrified boy, screaming and struggling to free himself.  Farmer Fleming saved the lad from what would have surely been a slow and terrifying death. 
The next day, a fancy carriage pulled up to the Scotsman’s humble farmhouse.  An elegantly dressed nobleman stepped out and introduced himself as the father of the boy Farmer Fleming had saved.  “I want to repay you,” said the nobleman.  “You saved my son’s life.”  “No I can’t accept payment for what I did,” the Scottish farmer replied, refusing the offer.  At that moment, the farmer’s own son came to the door of the family hovel.  “Is that your son?” the nobleman asked.  “Yes,” the farmer replied proudly.
“I’ll make you a deal.  Let me take him and give him a good education.  If the lad is anything like his father, he’ll grow to become a man of whom you can be proud.”  And that he did.  In time, Farmer Fleming’s son graduated from St. Mary’s Hospital Medical Schoolin London, and went on to become known throughout the world as the noted Sir Alexander Fleming, the discoverer of penicillin!
Years afterward, the nobleman’s son was stricken with pneumonia.  It was penicillin that saved the life of the nobleman’s son.  The name of that nobleman was Lord Randolph Churchill.  And oh yes, his son who was saved?  Sir Winston Churchill… 
Winston Churchill, unarguably Britain’s greatest leader and prime minister, rallied the British people during WW II, and lead his country from the brink of defeat to victory over Nazi Germany. 
Pray with me… Father God, we marvel at the way You move quietly in time and space, often unnoticed, but faithfully preserving the lives and securing the destinies of Your people.  We give You praise for every good and perfect gift.  In the Name of Jesus, amen.

Pastor Ken

Monday, August 3, 2015


Our morally bankrupt societal values have been exposed in recent days by two front page stories: 1] The Senate vote today on the defunding of Planned Parenthood, the response to a series of unsettling videos exposing the group’s little-noticed practice of providing fetal tissue to researchers, and 2] The killing of Cecil, the African lion, in Zimbabwe, shot with an arrow by a Minnesota dentist who paid $50k to have the lion lured away from his protected preserve with meat mounted on the back of a truck.  Both revelations are deeply disturbing to say the least.  The detached and cavalier way that Planned Parenthood spokespersons talked about the harvesting of aborted human infant organs for profit was stomach turning.  The flagrant violation of hunting laws intended for the protection of endangered species by a trophy-hunting narcissist is pathetic.  I would hope that every Christ-follower has righteous indignation over both stories.
But here is the more troubling thing to me about these two stories: There is far more outrage over the death of Cecil the lion than the deaths of tens of millions of infants.  Today we will struggle to get the needed 60 votes in the Senate to defund Planned Parenthood while, at the same time, the image of Cecil the lion is being projected onto the Empire State Building.  And, my guess is that at the end of the day Planned Parenthood will continue to receive their half billion dollar government subsidy to continue their war on the unborn while the death of Cecil the lion will continue to be mourned by the masses who fail to acknowledge the sad irony. 
Pray with me… Father God, the farther we drift from your Presence, the farther we drift from your Word, the farther we drift from the love and grace of Jesus, the more we push back on the convicting power of Your Spirit… the more confusing and complicated life becomes.  Restore us to yourself by the renewing of our minds and transformation of our lives.  In the Name of Jesus, amen.

Pastor Ken