Monday, February 29, 2016


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, February 22, 2016


At the close of all three worship assemblies at Crossroads Christian Church this past weekend, I announced my ‘retirement’ as Senior Pastor, followed by Chairman Paul Speciale’s announcement of the elder’s decision to call Evangelism Pastor Patrick Garcia to serve as the next Lead Pastor, subject to a vote of affirmation by the congregation scheduled the weekend of March 5-6.  In recent years, the elders and I have prayed over and discussed a succession plan that would be seamless, momentum-building and God-honoring.  By God’s grace it has come together and will unfold strategically over the next 3 months, with my final weekend on May 21-22, 2016.  [In addition to my public announcement, there is information available in hard copy at the Connection Center and online at] 
According to Dr. Henry Cloud in his book, Necessary Endings, three questions need to be asked when approaching such a season of change: 1] Is it the right time?  2] Is the right team in place?  3] Is there an obvious successor?  The answer to all three questions is a resounding ‘yes!’  The time is right.  Crossroads is strong… spiritually, relationally and financially… with a united leadership vision for the future.  The right team is in place.  The elders, pastors, directors and staff are all together on the same page with Crossroads recently being recognized as a Certified Best Christian Workplace. 

The obvious successor, Patrick Garcia, has been on our pastoral staff for 3 years.  His faithful family of origin, his strong sense of God’s calling on his life to preach and lead, his dynamic home church, his undergraduate [AB at Cincinnati Christian University] and graduate [MA at Lincoln Christian Seminary] education, his marriage and family, his experience working pastorally in two different mega-churches, all more than qualify him for this role. 
Though younger in years, Patrick has the maturity of a much older man.  And of course, with a younger lead pastor, there is the probability of a longer tenure, which typically serves a church well.
Personally, I am glad that it was the unanimous judgment of our elders to bypass what other churches or businesses might consider ‘proper protocol’ by doing a national search for my successor.  I don’t have to worry that Patrick Garcia is Biblically sound and that he lives a life of integrity.  I know what he believes theologically.  I have watched him act and react in discharging his day-to-day ministry responsibilities.  I have observed him as a husband and father.  I have seen how he responds with humility in his successes and how he confronts challenges with God-confidence.  Preparation for trustworthy leadership involves a season of demonstrated followership.  As one of our staff pastors, Patrick has been a conscientious follower and, in the future, he will be an exceptional leader.
In the book, Transition Plan, authors Bob Russell and Bryan Bucher assert, “Resumes, degrees, interviews, ordination papers, references, and trial sermons may tell us some things about a potential candidate for the ministry.  But when it comes to really understanding that candidate – his character, his work habits, personality traits, and family relationships – there is no substitute for working alongside that person over a period of time.”  
The Bible reveals the fact that the Kingdom of God is blessed by prayerful, thoughtful transitions… Moses to Joshua, Elijah to Elisha, Jesus to the apostles and Paul to Timothy.  It has been the prayer of our leadership at Crossroads that the Tri-State area and the world will be blessed for many years to come by the leadership succession that is happening in this little corner of God’s global Kingdom.  As a church, we lift up our united prayer… “Lead on O King Eternal.”

Pastor Ken

Monday, February 15, 2016


Like so many in our nation over the past several weeks, I have listened and watched on network television as the presidential candidates of both major political parties have engaged in debates scheduled in various cities around the country.  I am sure that I am not alone in feeling a deep-seated disappointment with both the content and the conduct of the debates.  Now believe me, I do not have lofty expectations of most of the candidates whose lives seem to be consumed by the quest for person ambition and political pre-eminence.  But still, I have been struck by the shameless lack of mutual respect evident in the verbal exchanges between the various personalities.   Only one or two have refused to enter into the heated and tactless rhetoric by the eight or so remaining candidates.  [And my guess is that they are the ones who are generally seen as being weak; when in reality, they are the ones who are most dignified, wise and emotionally mature.] Although I do not have high view of this qualifying stage in the political process, I do expect what I would call… ‘civility.’  Civility  is defined as ‘formal politeness and courtesy in behavior or speech.’ 
Here’s the bottom liner: We want the President of the United States, the leader of the free world, to be someone who is wise and understanding.  So, is there some practical counsel in Scripture to help us determine what this person should look like?  Indeed there is… in James 3:13-18, “Who is wise and understanding among you?  Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.  But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth.  Such ‘wisdom’ does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil.  For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.
But the wisdom that comes down from above is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.”
Read those verses over again… slowly this time, in a focused way.  Hold the words up alongside each presidential candidate as a plumb line to measure how straight and tall they stand when it comes to wisdom.  While I believe that God can and will ‘work all things together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose,’ regardless of who is ultimately elected to serve [now there is a unique concept], as a Christian citizen we should, we must responsibly cast our vote.
Pray with me… Great God, our Father, we want our nation to continue to be positioned to experience Your favor and blessing in the future.  And we want to secure Your blessing for ourselves and our posterity.  We want America to be restored as a Christian nation.  So we ask for Your mercy, we ask for Your patience, we ask for Your grace to order our own personal lives and to seek first Your kingdom as we choose our leaders in the weeks and months ahead.  In the Name of Jesus, amen.

Pastor Ken

Monday, February 1, 2016


Thanks to my good friend, Alan Ahlgrim for this thoughtful and challenging piece of truth that I had to share with the people I love!  Pastor Ken

A Good Day To Die…

News flash – you’re gonna die! Does that sound too blunt? If so, it’s time to face it and even to prepare for it. After several recent funerals, I’ve been thinking more about death. In addition, my reading of late keeps highlighting the brevity of life.  I just devoured a thought provoking book: “Preparing for Heaven” by Gary Black. Gary was a student of Dr. Dallas Willard and was given the privilege of interviewing Dallas during the final months of his life. Dallas talked often about a “good” death or a “radiant” death. By God’s grace, that’s exactly what he was granted. Dallas was even given a glimpse into what was awaiting him. He was deeply gratified to realize that “the huge crowd of witnesses” mentioned in Hebrews 12 was real and that they were ready to lovingly welcome him. What a gift to be given a peak behind the curtain!

 For believers , it’s always a good day to die because heaven is ahead. We have everything to look forward to and nothing to fear. That’s why we often ought to “press pause” and consider our own end. This is what Thomas a Kempis advocated centuries ago when he wrote: “Happy is he that always hath the hour of his death before his eyes, and daily prepareth himself to die… when it is morning think that thou mayest die before night; and when evening comes dare not to promise thyself the next morning. Be thou therefore always in readiness, and so lead thy life so that death may never take thee unprepared.”

I certainly don’t know when my end will come and I doubt that you know yours. That’s why Moses said, “Teach us to realize the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom.” (Psalm 90:12)  It has also been said…”The two greatest mistakes in life are both mathematical – misjudging the brevity of life and miscalculating the length of eternity.”  So, might this be a good time to give some careful thought to the following questions and writing down a response to each?

  • Here’s what I want others to know about my journey of faith …
  • Here’s what I would like to be remembered for …
  • Here are some scriptures special to me …
  • Here are some of my favorite songs …
  • Here are the friends closest to me …
  • Here’s what heaven means to me …
It’s never too soon to anticipate your own end.  As C.S. Lewis said: “If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for this present world were just those who thought most of the next.”

I’m thinking more about heaven all the time, how about you?

Grace and Peace,
Dr. Alan Ahlgrim
Director of Pastor Care
Blessing Ranch Ministries