Thursday, December 31, 2009


Seems we're always talking - debating - trying to figure out - CULTURE these days within the church. It's an interesting subject.

It's also an extremely powerful force. It's stronger than government and politics even. Politicians come and go - governments rise and fall - culture remains, though it is fluid.

It's more powerful than religion. Down thru history, it was a struggle for church leaders to prevent those who were coming into the church from pagan backgrounds from bringing their paganisms into the church with them. Even today we continue to see that many believers and Kingdom citizens display lifestyles very little different from those who make no claim of being in God's Kingdom.

Among the industrialized nations, the U.S. has the highest percentage of citizen who claim to be believers (Christians). Yet annually, 500,000 babies are aborted here. Legally. Yearly. It only exemplifies the power of culture over religion in its amazing ability to shape thoughts, values and practices.

That means whoever controls the hearts and minds of people creates and controls the culture.

That's where the Law of God comes in. The Bible says it is GOOD - PLEASING - PERFECT - able to RENEW. How we need that in culture today.


That's a no-brainer, isn't it?

And be blessed.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009


I've been examining my 'vanity' quotient of late. How vain am I? How long do I stand in front of the mirror in the morning getting ready 'tweaking things,' and how often do I take the opportunity to steal a glance when I pass a mirror or a really good Windexed window during the day?

I read Bible passages like Job 35:13: "Surely God will not hear vanity, neither will the Almighty regard it" ... or Psalm 24:3, 4: "Who shall ascend the hill of the LORD or who shall stand in His holy place? He that has clean hands and a pure heart; who has not lifted his soul in vanity ... " and all that makes me wonder ... AM I?

I have a vanity plate on my car --- that's what they're called. It's labelled '6FT FIVE,' describing my height. It's given rise to some great conversations out in public when strangers have seen it walking by in parking lots -- but still -- I wonder.

I recall Carly Simon's 1973 release of her famous song: "You're So Vain." Some of the lyrics were: 'You're so vain ... you probably think this song is about you ... don't you? ... don't you?'
You can get the song downloaded to the ringtone on your phone if you're that bold about it.

By contrast, there is Psalm 18:27 ... "You save the humble, but you bring down those who are proud" --- and Psalm 34:18 ... "The LORD is near to those whose hearts are humble."

Which one are you gonna be? Care to examine your heart as I examine mine?

And be blessed.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


A recent quote I read was: 'No recognizable revelation exists apart from the life and witness of those who bear it. The life of Christians is what gives testimony to God and to the meaning of this revelation.'

'See how they love one another,' the Bible says. If believers are not conformed in their lives to this truth, there is ineffectively no truth. Whether we like it or not, we bear the burden of having to live out the truth in such a way that as to show it is viable to a watching world.

As Kierkegaard said: "We possess Christ's truth only by imitating Him, not by speculating about Him."

And be blessed.

Monday, December 28, 2009


It is gratifying, if not ironic, to find both our elder daughters and their husbands in ministry. It makes me happy in that, having grown up in a minister's home, that wasn't a big turn-off for the girls.

Today I went to church to watch and listen to my eldest son-in-law lead worship where he is the Contemporary Service Worship Leader. Just across town from him, my other son-in-law is in ministry as Business Administrator of a church.

So both girls have chosen husbands who find themselves with a calling to serve God and the church. We'll see what Number Three does, but I'm proud of them all, no matter what vocation they choose.

Before the year rolls over, it is a great time to let those you love know how proud of them you are.

And be blessed.

Saturday, December 26, 2009


It's the day AFTER Christmas.

Sure, I really loved all the cool things that showed up under the tree -- a cool globe, some electronic stuff, a sweater, gift certificates, books, cologne, etc ... but the greatest moment of the day was sitting at the dinner table with the whole family -- wife, three daughters, two sons-in-law and grandbaby. You can't beat that.

We did a family devo together that you might use for your family if you see fit.

First, we each made a personal list of the most important people in our lives (If you do this, I'm not talking about your personal banker or dentist, unless you have some kind of close/weird relationship with them -- or unless, of course, your banker or dentist is actually your spouse!). Then we encouraged one another to tell the people on their list - before the holiday season was over - how much they meant to us. If you’re an adult, it’s possible that it’s been a very long time since you’ve told your brothers or sisters or mom or dad or children how much you love and appreciate them. If you’re a student, when was the last time you told your parents? And if you’re married, maybe it’s been awhile since you’ve even told your spouse.

Second, we each made a list of INTANGIBLE GIFTS we could give to each person on our list. I’m not talking about giving Spiderman collectibles, or the latest gadgets --- ipods --- X-Boxes --- pot holders or hand-towels for the guest bathroom … I’m talking about something far more personal. Something non-material. There is something FREE you can give to each one on your list …
… a smile …
… a hug …
… a pep-talk …
… a compliment …
… a word of encouragement …
… an apology.

Ask yourself, “What does this person need most? What can I say to them? What can I do for them? How can I give them a lift?"

There is a story about a missionary schoolteacher in Africa who had been teaching her students about Christmas. She told them how people in America give gifts to one another. A few days later one of her African students brought her a gift — a beautiful seashell. She asked him where he got it and he said, 'I walked to the beach and picked it out for you.'

The school was several miles from the ocean, so she knew it had been a long walk for him. She said, 'You shouldn't have gone so far to get a gift for me.'

The student said, 'The long walk was part of the gift.'


Third, we made a wish list - a prayer list - for each person on our list. There are few things in life like hearing someone say they wish the best for you. This holiday season, I challenge you to make it a point to tell each one of the people on your list what your prayer for them is.
And … say it in the most uplifting way possible. For example, don’t say, “My prayer for you is that you stop being a lazy bum.” There’s a better way to phrase that … “My prayer is that you discover God’s mission for your life.” Way better. That doesn’t mean when one of your loved ones says to you this season, “My prayer is that you discover God’s mission for your life,” that they’re really saying, "I think you're a lazy bum!"

Over the years, some of the greatest things I have treasured – and many I have kept till this day – are the cards and letters from people who wanted me to know they were praying for me. That meant more to me than I can say.

If you’ll take the time to pray for the people in your life, two things will happen.
1) You’ll strengthen that person.
2) You’ll strengthen your relationship to that person.

Of all the Christmas treasures you could receive this season – it isn't the piece of jewelry that will bring you lasting joy --- it isn't the new iphone or computer that will bring you any sense of peace or comfort ---- the digital camera won’t do anything beyond snap good pictures.

It is the people ... the people you love most ... the people who surround you daily --- the people you sit and eat at table with --- the people who bring you the most joy. How we relate to them will determine what kind of Christmas all of us have.

If you want a GREAT Christmas — if you want to experience the treasure of Christmas the way God intended it — then make an effort to connect on a deeper level with the people you love --- your family --- your children --- your spouse. And all week --- this whole month --- this year --- take the opportunity to tell them what they mean to you, give them something intangible, give thanks to God for them, and pray for them.

And enjoy.

And be blessed.

Friday, December 25, 2009


I'm an only child, so as a kid, I didn't have a lot of other children to play with. So I'd create imaginary friends and imaginary pets and I'd use my Matchbox cars and the oval-braided rug in my grandmother's living room as a race track for hours, imagining I was some famous race driver. I never want to lose that ability to dream and the capacity to wonder and imagine.

That's what Mary did when the Bible says she "treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart." (Luke 2:19) 'Pondered' means 'imagined.' She cradled her newborn and imagined just what God might be up to in her life.

Can you imagine what it must have been like to have been one of the angels chosen to deliver the most awesome news of all time – that God had come to earth in the form of a baby?

Can you imagine what a thrill it must have been for the shepherds to hear the news before anyone else? Shepherding was a dead end, minimum wage job – day in and day out – always the same – smelly – nothing great ever happened on sheep watch. But on this night, God chose them to be the first people on the planet to learn that a Savior had been born.

Can you imagine what it must have been like to be Joseph? There he stands in the middle of a dirty stable with a brand-new pregnant wife and he’s probably thinking, 'I'm such a loser. Look at us here. This is the best I can do for them?' Imagine having the character and the confidence in God to be able to say, 'I don't completely get it, but I'm putting my trust in the One whose word never fails.'

Can you imagine being Mary … to know the Son of God is inside you? To go thru the pain and labor and pushing and breathing and the joy of hearing the cries of God as He enters the world thru you?

Can you imagine sitting on a hillside listening to Him teach like you’d never heard anyone teach in your life … “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled … Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called children of God … and don’t judge; instead if you’re going to try to take the speck out of your brother’s eye, first remember to take the plank out of your eye … love your neighbor as yourself … love your enemies … bless those who persecute you ... if somebody smacks you, turn the other cheek.”

Can you imagine being in the crowd that day when Jesus takes a couple of fish and a few loaves of bread and makes it last to feed five thousand people till they were stuffed?

Imagine sitting in a boat in the middle of a violent storm thinking, ‘This is it; we’re all going to die.’ And then HE speaks to the winds and waves and says, “Knock it off,” and they go to glass.

Can you imagine lining the streets of Jerusalem that day when this very same man – this man who touched the untouchable – who embraced the dirty and the diseased – who stood up for the disadvantaged – now being led up a hill to be crucified on a cross as a common criminal?

Can you imagine hearing that little baby who cried out in a stuffy barn in Bethlehem now crying out from a cross – ‘IT IS FINISHED … what I came to do is now completed.’

And just imagine that all of this was done … for you. You don’t have to imagine. Because it was. It’s all true. God came looking for you.

John 3:16 – ‘God loved the world so much that He gave His only son that whoever believes in Him should never die but have everlasting life.”


Christmas is about a God who longs to be with us – to forgive our sin – to wipe away our past and give us a fresh start.

Imagine what it would be like to bring a selfless, unconditional love into your marriage and family every single day, maybe for the very first time …

Imagine what it would be like to have the courage and humility to finally forgive your dad – or mom – for what happened.

Imagine what it would be like to show up for Christmas dinner tomorrow without a big knot in your stomach.

Imagine what it would be like to walk free from guilt and pain and old memories that haunt you.

Imagine what it would feel like to be clean and sober and free from an addiction that has been messing up your life far too long.

Imagine what it would be like to walk thru your day with an overflow of joy because you’ve finally come to realize you’re not so insignificant after all.

Imagine what it would be like to live with a sense like Mary and Joseph had … that every day, God is WITH YOU.

Ephesians 3:20 simply says we have a God who is able to do ‘immeasurably more than we could ever askor IMAGINE.’

That’s why He came. That’s why He walked up a hill to a cross to pay the penalty for our sins. That’s why He died there. So we could have forgiveness thru His spilled blood so our lives could be unimaginably full and free forever.

Imagine that.

Merry Christmas.

And be blessed.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


I'm borrowing today from someone in our office who told me about something she heard today - and on this 'slow blogging day,' I thought I'd share it because it fits on December 23rd ...

Evidently there was a kid who called into a radio station today and called today CHRISTMAS 'ADAM,' because Adam came before Eve and today is the day before CHRISTMAS 'EVE.'


And be blessed.

Monday, December 21, 2009


Joelene and I went around to the homes of all our staff pastors last night and delivered some Christmas gifts to them. It's a fun night for the two of us - second year we've done it this way now - rather than just seeing them at church and passing a gift off.

Last weekend, we all went Christmas caroling together and ended up at the homes of people who were unchurched. We talk about being 'missional' all the time, but I fear we pastors might talk the talk but not walk the walk as much as we should -- so we hit some homes of people we knew weren't church people. We found this out because we asked some folks from our church who in their neighborhood fit that category. So it was intentional on our part.

I love being with our team. It takes time to build a great team dynamic and we've brought several new people on just in the past 3 or 4 years. It feels good to have the entire team in place now and we can continue the fun of team-building with them.

I've been reading that in order to build a great team you have to be willing to:

- Fight together. I love this point. It reminds me of the activity we did as a team about 3 weeks ago. We went around the table and told what the very best thing each person brought to the team, in our opinion. THEN ... we did it AGAIN and told what each person brought to the team that dragged us down. Tough words to hear.

- Be loyal to the death. This doesn't mean we don't challenge one another and 'get in your face' occasionally ... but disloyalty to one another? Never. That's why I've had people come up to me to ask me why I defend my staff team the way I do. Because that's what teams do. Then we close the door and ask some difficult questions of each other. But disloyalty. Definitely not.

- Be transparent. I think this has to be modeled from the top down, so it's something I've tried to put into practice with the team in various ways.

- Care for each other. This is why I love going around to their homes a few days before Christmas. You get to see them in their own caves - dressed down and relaxed - enjoying the fam - and there's a different warmth at the front door of your own home. A team that is 'all business all the time' will eventually disintegrate. A ministry team must become a family. One of our staff pastors approached us with some 'heat under the collar' one day because he had heard there was a potential illness in one of our families and it was very upsetting to him that prayer had not been asked of the team for that - that it had been kept under the covers. Lesson learned about caring.

- Have fun together. I will confess that our KFA team laughs ... a lot. Sometimes I think it's TOO much. I won't even go into this one further. Suffice to say, we have fun together.

Just want you to know you have a great team at KFA working for you and for God.

And be blessed.

Saturday, December 19, 2009


Think about it. Each marshmallow in the picture at left represents a person who is homeless in the Metro Milwaukee area ... startling, isn't it?

It's something to both PRAY about and DO something about.
And be blessed.

Friday, December 18, 2009


The church exists, quite simply, to turn on a light. The last book of the Bible, Revelation, gives a powerful metaphor for the purpose of the church as the lampstand situated in the tabernacle.

In the book of Exodus, the lampstand was one of the few pieces of furniture God commanded to be put in the tabernacle. God gave specific instructions as to how the lampstand was to be built, the kind of oil it should burn, where it was to be placed and what it existed to illuminate. Except for God's presence in the inner sanctum of the tabernacle, the lampstand provided the only source of light within the tabernacle walls. One of the priests’ primary jobs was to make sure the light of the lampstand never burned out.

When you read John’s challenge to the churches in Revelation, you see that everything about these churches – their teaching, their practices, their work – pointed to the fact that they were losing their effectiveness as God’s light to their communities.

That’s not a hard application for us. Our job as believers is clear. We have to keep the light burning and the lampstand in its proper place. God’s intent is for the church to be strategically placed in culture in order to show Himself to the world.

We have been talking in our staff about the MISSION of our specific church. After a lot of prayer and discussion and debate and thought, something we felt God directing us toward was this statement: 'Making it easy to find and experience God.'

Whether we eventually settle on that or not, it would be a great goal to be able to say that at KFA it's EASY to find God ... it's EASY to experience Him. This should not be difficult. We need priests (that's you) who are willing to keep the lampstand where it belongs – shining on nothing else and no one else but Jesus --- so that it's easy for people to find Him ... easy to experience Him.

If the next generation is really going to see God, then where we place the lampstand is of critical importance. We must realize what is truly at stake if our children and teenagers walk from the faith without a concept of God that captures their imaginations. We need to show them by any and every means possible what the wonder and mystery and power of a God is who is too big for them to define, yet who has proven thru time and space that He loves them individually and intimately.

Where there is no lampstand, they will be disillusioned with a flawed church and underwhelmed by shallow faith. This is just one of the reasons an upcoming generation is searching for something bigger than what they have perceived the church has to offer.

But as long as the church remains true to her mission, she will be naturally irresistible. Light is inherently inviting. It communicates warmth, comfort, care and healing. It gives direction and hope. Most people I meet are looking for hope.

When the lampstand gets moved, our influence is weakened. We make it harder for people to see what God is really like – and we want Him to be easily seen.

So this is the Scripture sentence I have taped on my desk - spoken by James - just to remind me: "It is my judgment ... that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God." (Acts 15:19)

And be blessed.

Thursday, December 17, 2009


We had a team Christmas party today. During it, we found out some of the most amazing things about those we serve alongside every day.

For instance, on our very own KFA team, there is someone who ...

... was bullied by a 6th grader while in elementary school.

... knocked down a hornet's nest and got multiple stings.

... has such a case of OCD that they cannot stand the touch of their fingerprints on a textured surface, including touching them together.

... once sang back-up for Carman.

... once shook hands with a President.

... sang the song, 'Boogie Oogie Oogie' with a disco band at their wedding reception.

What a great group. We are blessed at KFA (

You be blessed too.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


You might wonder what would happen should the apostles Peter and Paul ever meet up in a darkened inn, share a meal, and swap stories. Doubtless, the stories they would have swapped would not have been nostalgic stories.

I am convinced that both of them clung to the Gospel as their sole reason for being. Try to imagine those battered old lions telling stories. Then ask yourself how desperately YOU cling to the Gospel - not to the Four Spiritual Laws ... not to doctrinal catechisms ... not to theology ... but to Jesus.

And if you do cling desperately to Him, then join us in our KFA ( quest to live for Him.

And be blessed.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


Our entire staff just finished 13 weeks of Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace course. It's really some amazing, liberating, life changing information if you apply even half of it.  It is offered @ KFA ( and on an ongoing basis.  I cannot recommend it to you highly enough.

And be blessed.


This is the awesome gift we brought home tonight from the Board of Deacons Christmas party. Can you believe it? Awesome.

Pretty great to serve alongside some terrific spiritual leaders and strong supporters.

And be blessed.

Sunday, December 13, 2009


I don't know if you've noticed it or not, but when the story of Jesus begins in the first book of the New Testament - MATTHEW - people typically start reading in verse 18. Verse 18 is kind of one of those 'Once upon a time' beginnings. But there are 17 important verses PRIOR to that 'Once upon a time' beginning that are so critical to the real story of Jesus.

Those first 17 verses - you know ... the part you skip over when you come to them in your Bible reading - let us know this isn't just a STORY ... it's not a FABLE ... it's not a FAIRY tale ... it's REALITY.

And so Matthew uses the first 17 verses called "THE BEGATS" to tell us that Jesus was really real. He really happened. God broke in. Jesus was literally born. He literally died on a cross. He was literally raised from the dead. It’s an historical fact. It isn’t just my opinion. It happened. It’s not just a personal thing for me … when I say it’s historical, I’m saying it’s authoritative in history.

When I was in public high school, I will confess that one of my favorite classes was Greek & Roman Mythology. I'm afraid I found it all extraordinarily fascinating. But when you read the stories about Hercules and Atlas and Venus and Achilles … and even fairy tale stories like Beauty and the Beast and Snow White and the like – they aren’t factually true. And we all know that ... but they’re still about reality. They’re about life and the universe – they’re about good and evil – they’re about moral absolutes.

What is Beauty and the Beast about? That no matter how ugly we’ve made ourselves – whatever prisons we’re in – there is a love that can cut thru the ugliness – it is an undeserved love, but it can transform us.

Look at Peter Pan. The story is that we really aren’t meant to become unimaginative and grow old and eventually decay … we’re meant to FLY.

Sleeping Beauty teaches us that death isn’t really death … it’s sleep. And there is a great prince or Savior to wake us from it.

Are these old myths true? Of course not. But even though they’re not historically true, they still get at some reality. There is sin ... there is an evil sorcerer who tries to exert influence on us … we’re under a spell and we need a Deliverer to rescue us. We're supposed to fly – there IS an eternity.

And here is what Matthew is trying to get at with "THE BEGATS" … that when you come to the Christmas story, you don’t have just one more myth. Jesus Christ is the One whose love can turn you from a beast into something wonderful – beauty from ashes … He is the knight in shining armor who has been sent to rescue us … He is the Prince who comes to wake us from eternal death.

And if we BELONG to Him, we ARE going to fly … we ARE going to break the bands of evil and live happily ever after … we ARE going to rule and reign with the Great Lion … the stories are true! Jesus Christ happened. At a particular time at a particular place on a particular date, Christ the Savior was born to bring us hope.

And be blessed.

Saturday, December 12, 2009


Today was a chance for some PAYBACK.

I have had several opportunities over the course of my life to be recipient of a good-hearted person who has helped me jumpstart my vehicle when it's been stranded. I'm not sure what that says about my vehicle(s), but ...

So this evening, Joelene asked me if I would run to Hobby Lobby for some stuff for a party we're having tomorrow night at our home. I wasn't real enthused about heading up there at 8 p.m., but she was persuasive enough to convince me. So I went.

When I drove into the parking space, the woman in the minivan next to me got and kindly asked me if I would find another space because she was expecting someone to occupy that space shortly. Seemed like a rather unorthodox request since there were plenty of empty spaces around. But I, with my typical good-nature, complied.

When I got out to go into the store, I just sensed all was not well, so I asked her if everything was OK. She told me her battery was dead and she was waiting on her son to come give her a jumpstart, but didn't know when he would get there. I told her I would be glad to help her with it.

So, I had a chance to do for someone else what has been done for me enough times. It felt good to help someone in need like that.

Of course, I stood there with both ends of the jumper cables in my hands trying to remember if the red one went on the + or - terminals of the battery and what the implications might be if I guessed wrong. How bad could it be, right? 50/50. But I guessed right.

She offered to pay me, but it's Christmas and all, so ... (Nah, I really wouldn't have taken any money for it.)

I guess I should be more accommodating when my wife asks me to do these crazy, last-minute errands, huh?

And be blessed.

Friday, December 11, 2009


Errands. That was the word for today. I spent several hours out running what seemed like 100 errands (exaggeration). Joelene was on her own, individual track running her own.

Hopefully, between the two of us, we accomplished running all the family errands required.

Why do we always 'run' errands? We never 'walk' errands ... or 'trot' errands ... although sometimes we do 'skip' errands.

But usually we 'run' them.

So -- both Joelene and I finished 'running' our errands today. And I thought this video was a fitting conclusion to a very busy day doing a bunch of 'running.'

What if ... ?

And be blessed.

Thursday, December 10, 2009


I was with some people not long ago and we were talking about how we should 'present' to those who don't know Christ. Maybe it's just semantics, I'm not sure. I'm not sure we're really that far apart on the issue, but it is cause for much discussion - however volatile - these days.

When Paul said, 'To the weak I became weak to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some," (I Cor. 9:22) I think he was saying, 'I will do what I can to change my ways so I can effectively reach out to others.'

We can't change the message; we shouldn't; we don't want to. We agree on that. We CAN change the methods. We don't change our message; we might change our manners.

There are things we can do to intentionally reach the people God has placed around us. We can dress like them (provided it is not immodest). We can speak in plain language. We can respect their time. Our style of music can have the lost person's ear in mind. We can let them know - in our advertising and presentation - that they have a place here - because belonging comes before believing.

I have spoken to some charismatic friends who talk about their approach to worship: "I'm going to jump up and down and dance and shout in the aisles; I don't care what people think." I was with them until they said, 'I don't care what people think.'

They lost me there. That doesn't sound at all like Jesus to me.

When we say we want to be an authentic community of followers of Christ which reaches out, we are saying we do care what people think. We love them enough to forego what may be comfortable for us in order to make it comfortable for them. We need to balance what works for us with what works for others. We have churches full of people who love Jesus. But that isn't enough. We need to love what Jesus loves; love who Jesus loves. If we don't reach out in those kinds of ways, we are effectively saying to the rest of the world (pardon the frankness): "You can go to hell."


And be blessed.

Monday, December 7, 2009


I guess I'm a little worried. I just realized I might be a narcissist. No, seriously. That might not even raise an eyebrow for some of you when I say that about myself, which is truly disheartening. Maybe it comes with the Senior Pastor role, I don't know.

But I have a blog (bookmark me here) that I hope all kinds of people read and I'm regularly checking to see how many people have. The title is even: "A DAY IN THE LIFE WITH PK," like I'm Martha Stewart or somebody.

I am on Facebook (follow me at, where I am consistently updating my status -- changing my profile pic -- telling people I got my haircut and that I ate 4,000 calories for dinner (see November Thanksgiving blog).

I have a twitter account (follow me at, which seems reserved for communicating the TRULY insignificant stuff of my day that isn't fit even for Facebook (follow me at

I heard my sister-in-law say once that she didn't understand people who Facebooked, as if anyone cared what you did today. SHE certainly didn't. I kind of sat there with my tongue rolled back massaging my uvula and let it pass. I don't know if she was aware that I was one of the morons informing everyone about what kind of toothpaste he prefers on his blog/Facebook/Twitter account (follow me at all of the above).

It seems I have this hidden 'need' for followers and for people to pay attention to what I think and do. I'm not sure. It could be a slippery slope if you think about it.

I know people who have managed to use Facebook for some pretty noble reasons. It's where I first heard about someone from our church who had been rushed to the emergency room for a fairly serious accident just seconds after it happened. Other people have used Twitter to communicate that they were stranded in their car and needed help. Also very cool.

I guess you can decide. If you're reading this, then I guess you've answered it for yourself.

So ... have you signed up to follow me yet? ( --- Did you bookmark this blogsite?

And be blessed.

Saturday, December 5, 2009


Every church begins asking the question, "What if ... " and the conclusion of that sentence is about how we could reach out. After awhile we start saying, "What if ... " and the rest of the sentence is about us.

I used to think that was a spiritual problem (and maybe it is) but more likely it's just the natural progression of an organization's life cycle. The longer you're together as a group, the more aware you become of each other's needs and the more responsive you become to each other's needs. Slowly the arrows all get turned inward. It's a natural progression. But a natural progression isn't what we want. We want a supernatural progression. We want God to help us so people far from God are continually prioritized at the top. It's time to love the pitcher less and the water more.

And be blessed.

Thursday, December 3, 2009


There is a scene in the movie "BULL DURHAM" where the coach is talking to the team in the locker room and says, "Baseball is a simple game. You throw the ball ... you hit the ball ... you catch the ball."

That's as simple as the theme of the church: "You love God ... you live the Word ... you love those in the world."

And be blessed.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


There was a young rabbi who took over a new congregation and discovered he had a serious problem. During the services, half the congregation stood for prayers and half the congregation remained seated for prayers. And each side shouted at the other, insisting their way was right. Nothing he could say would bring peace. So finally, in desperation, the young rabbi went to visit the 99-year old rabbi of that congregation who was now in a nursing home. And he said, “Please, tell me. Was it the tradition of the congregation to stand during the prayers?”

And the old rabbi said,”No.”

Ah,” responded the younger rabbi. “Then it was the tradition to sit during the prayers.”

No,” answered the old rabbi.

Well,” the young rabbi responded. “What we have is complete chaos. Half the people stand and half the people sit. And they scream and shout at each other.”

Ah,” said the old rabbi, “THAT was the tradition.”

And in 2,000 years of church history, that’s been the tradition for much of Christianity. There have been those who have loved to come up with their own set of rules about what spirituality looks like. And it’s not the fruit of the Spirit like love and joy and peace and patience and kindness and goodness and gentleness and faithfulness and self-control they come up with. It’s a list of rules that can’t be found anywhere in the Bible. And that’s one of the things Jesus is telling us to avoid when He says, ‘Don’t judge or you too will be judged.’

Let me tell you some of the issues that have been used to divide followers of Christ just in this century …

… Dancing of any kind. Playing cards. Roller skating. Wearing make-up (usually said by those who needed to wear make-up). Going to movies. Having a television in your home. Listening to jazz or rock music. Eating at a restaurant where alcohol is served. Shooting pool.

Now, my guess is, few if any of those things get under your skin today. My guess is most of you didn’t feel too sinful the last time you went roller-skating or played a game of rummy. But I guarantee you, there are issues that people reading this right now feel very strongly about that are potentially divisive and they are not issues over Christianity’s core beliefs. They lean toward being heart judgments even though some are just opinions. And many are issues where God has given flexibility and freedom to be led by His Spirit, but we turn them into condemnations.

There are those who believe true Christ followers prefer HYMNS.
There are those who believe true Christ followers prefer MODERN WORSHIP
There are those who believe male Christ followers don’t wear EARRINGS … that true
Christ followers don’t have TATTOOS.
There are those who believe true Christ followers would NEVER end up having to go
thru a DIVORCE … true Christ followers would never let their children WEAR
There are those who believe true Christ followers would never allow SANTA CLAUS to
be part of their family CHRISTMAS TRADITION … true Christ followers
would never read a HARRY POTTER novel or go to a ‘TWILIGHT’ movie opening ... true Christ followers would never regularly VOTE DEMOCRAT …
There are those who believe true Christ followers would NEVER wear BLUE JEANS to

Every single thing I've just listed is on somebody's hit list. I didn’t make them up. But you won’t find one of them on God’s list.

So we need to take the PLANK out of our own eye and deal in some grace toward one another - without condemning-style judging. Let's stick to what the Bible says -- nothing more, nothing less.

And be blessed.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


It is rather rare that I blog twice in the same day - I don't have THAT much to say. But today warrants it because it is the 19th birthday of our youngest daughter, Olivia.


Hope you have a great day today even though we are separated by 400 miles. Enjoy the night out with your sisters. We are very, very, very, very proud of you.



When you talk about spiritual things with 'the people Jesus misses most,' they don’t care that God says not to live immorally. If they cared, they'd stop it and live for God. But it’s all foolishness to them, the Bible says, so don’t judge them for what they don’t understand, because pure and holy lives are foreign to them. You don’t judge the dark for being the dark.

God says He'll judge those in the world, not you. We get that backwards in the church a lot. We think we’re supposed to go down to the corner with a sign or a poster or a bullhorn and let everybody know where they’re wrong. WE call it evangelism. We actually think we’re witnessing, but that’s not what it looks like to the people we’re trying to reach. But that’s what we DO … and that can become a big PLANK in our eye.

Sometimes the plank is a lot closer to home. It’s your co-worker who lives a worldly lifestyle. It’s your neighbor with a different sexual orientation. It’s the gang at the office that tells crude stories about their wild weekends. It disgusts you and you’ve developed something of a self-righteous attitude and a judgmental spirit where they’re concerned. You can hardly be around them now without your holiness being offended. You call it ‘separation from the world,’ but God calls it ‘condemnation.’ I don’t know how you’re going to reach them with that attitude.

Because this is the heart of KFA … we’re all people God loves. All of us are. And all God asks us to do is to love the people Jesus loved. Nothing more … nothing less.

So what’s your attitude toward those outside the family of God? Do you judge them or do you love them? God says it’s His job to judge them, not yours. Here at KFA, we’re going to teach the Word, not judge the world. We're going to love people.

Join me in that, won't you?

And be blessed.