Friday, August 31, 2012


A RAP -- CHICK-FIL-A -- and the CHICK-FIL-A BOYCOTT response were the top 3 "A Day In The Life" blogs read during the month of August.  If you missed them, here they are:

#1 - August 4 - "RAP" - I'll admit it was gratifying that my most read blog of the month was my re-posting of the rap I did at our weekend services this month.  The link is:

#2 - August 10 - "BOYCOTT" - The #2 blog of the month was a follow-up response to the #3 blog of the month - the CHICK-FIL-A boycott attempt.  You can find it at:

#3 - August 1 - "CHICK-FIL-A" - Read the entire blog at:

Thanks for reading.

And be blessed.

Thursday, August 30, 2012


It's time to change the way we think about change.

Change is the new constant.  It's the only thing that's actually here to stay.

The difficult thing about change isn't the 'before' or the 'after' stage.  Usually people are fine before the change -- and frankly, once the change has been fully navigated, they're typically fine afterwards.  The tough part is the 'in-between.'

The most effective thing we can do is make sure to communicate the "WHY" of change.

Probably one of the best ways to understand when others are dealing difficultly with change is to put yourself in those places when it's been difficult for you.  Ask yourself why you had such a hard time with it.  Then it will be easier to be sympathetic toward those bucking the changes you're trying to make.

And be blessed.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


OK, I'm back.  (See yesterday's blog post.)  

Jesus said He had come into the world not to be served, but to serve.  CHECK.
That means we're supposed to be servants as well.  CHECK.

That seems fairly clear and simple, just the way I prefer it.  On second glance, there is more.

Jesus Himself was a servant of God, the Father.  He said He had come into the world only to do His Father's will.  That was, thankfully, our salvation.

'I can't imagine God having need of servants.'

We, in turn, are now servants of Christ - and in another very real sense, servants of other people.  "Through love, become slaves to one another," Paul said.

I don't fully understand it all, because I can't imagine God having need of servants.

Puritan John Milton wrote: 'God doth not need man's work.  Thousands at His bidding speed."  Whatever God wants done, He only need speak it into existence.  So what does He need of us?

Of course, the answer would be, He doesn't.  We're not His servants in the sense that He can't get it done without us, but in that - out of obedience, devotion and love - we follow Christ.

And be blessed.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


So -- I'm sitting in front of my computer screen right now staring at it rather blankly, wondering what I'm going to write for today's blog.  I know a number of people are anticipating some kind of post from me, because they know I do it pretty much every day - at least every other day - and they expect it now.  The need must be fed!

I've been doing this now for five years.  If you count it in sheer words, I've written a book (so maybe I can cross 'write a book' off my Bucket List.  What do you think?).

But honestly - today - 'I got nuttin.'  Can't think of a thing to say.  Doesn't happen very often, but today -- yup.  Tank's empty.  Nothing interesting happened.  Zzzzzzzzzzz.

It's not writer's block exactly.  That's probably more serious.  I think the problem is that blogging implies that whatever you write must be something of value.  And today ......

Hmmmmmm ........

Twiddling of thumbs .......

Whistling ..........

Looking in the air hoping to see one of those 'word bubbles' pop up over my head ........

Humming to myself .........

Nope.  Nothing.

Well - you have a good day today.

Hey, look!  I just wrote a blog after all.

And be blessed.

Monday, August 27, 2012


One hundred men gathered at KFA ( on Saturday morning to listen to my friend and colleague, Jason Hirsch - lead pastor at Northridge Church in Marshfield, Wisconsin (  

It was a great time gathering with the guys of our congregation.  Jason spoke about how you can go a certain distance alone, but you can go further together - with a band of brothers.

Some of his points were:
- You can go further together in overcoming sexual lust.
- You can go further together in overcoming your love of money.
- You can go further together in overcoming your passion for power and control.
- You can go further together to stop the success chase.
- You can go further together so you won't forget God.

And be blessed.

Sunday, August 26, 2012


How God saved Noah on the ark is how God saves everyone.  Usually the story of Noah is told that everybody was bad except for this one guy.  Nobody was deserving but him.  So all the bad guys had to swim and Noah got a boat.  That's kind of how the story is often told.

The problem is that can become something akin to works righteousness if we're not careful, that God hates bad people and God loves good people.  Not so.  The truth is, the world is filled with two kinds of people --- sinners --- and Jesus.  That's pretty much it.

'The world is filled with two kinds of people --- sinners --- and Jesus.'

I'm a sinner ... you're a sinner ... the people living next to both of us are sinners.  And then, there's Jesus.  What spared Noah was God's favor ... God's grace.  That's what is going to spare you and me.  Grace.

Undeserving, rich, scandalous grace.  God decided to love you, not because you were lovely or lovable, but because God is loving.

It's not what you do; it's what Jesus does.  It's not who you are; it's who Jesus is.  It's not about who's good or bad because we're all bad.  It's about Jesus receiving our punishment as our substitute in our place so we could receive grace.

That is so amazing.

And be blessed.

Saturday, August 25, 2012


What can happen for those of us who are followers of Christ is that as soon as we become followers we can begin to feel like God should be done with His work.

'All right, God.  You saved me.  Thank you.  Let's finish it up now.  Let's board the plane and get on out of here and start the festivities of heaven.  Let's go.'

'Aren't you glad ... Jesus didn't stop His work the day before you came to faith?'

Aren't you glad, though, that Jesus didn't stop His work the day before you came to faith?  Ok then, be patient as He's working on others.  God has a plan.  He knows what He's doing.  He isn't slow; He's patient - and His Kingdom comes patiently.

And Jesus says, 'Before we get to that Kingdom, we have to go thru the cross.  Before we can have the resurrection and all the really cool stuff, I need to pay for your sin.  There is no Kingdom without a cross.'

We can't just have a better world - we need to deal with sin.  Jesus did go to the cross, He did suffer, He did die, He did atone for the sins of the world, He did rise from death, He ascended back to heaven, He is seated on a throne there, and He will return.  We don't know exactly when, but we know He will.

The Kingdom of God comes patiently.

And be blessed.

Friday, August 24, 2012


Joelene has sometimes told the story about her family growing up at dinner time.  Dad, mom, and the four kids used to split one chicken for dinner.

Dad - breast
Oldest brother - leg
Next brother - leg
Joelene - wing
Younger sister - wing
Mom - neck

Sounds filling, right?

I know her family also used to have a cow in the backyard at their house in Florida.  It was kind of a family pet until one day Joelene came home to find the cow gone.  I think that's when they started eating well, but I'm not totally sure.

So I heard this story today that reminded me of their eating woes and I thought it might be useful for others in that predicament:

A couple was driving in the country and suddenly a chicken raced past them and into a side road.

"Wow!" said the husband.  "Did you see how fast that chicken was running?"  Shortly after that another chicken passed their car with tremendous speed.  The wife said, "Did you notice that both of those chickens had three legs?" 

Now they were really curious so they decided to follow the road the three-legged chickens had come from.  Eventually they came to a farm and to their surprise there were all kinds of three-legged chickens running around.  A farmer came out to greet them and they asked him about the chickens.

He explained: "There are three of us in this family - me, my wife and our son - and every time we had chicken to eat, we all wanted the drumstick.  So after a lot of experimenting, we finally managed to raise three-legged chickens so we could each have a leg."

"That's fantastic," said the husband.  "And how do these chickens taste?"

"Well," said the farmer.  "We haven't actually been able to catch one yet?"


Just sayin.'

And be blessed.

Thursday, August 23, 2012


@2010 Leadership Development Resources, LLC

One of the most commonly quoted misconceptions about leadership is that everything rises and falls on it.  'I'm the leader, and if it's not happening, it all comes back to me.'  
Now, nearly every truth also has a half-truth attached to it.  
The full truth is that while leadership is critical, if it were everything, Jesus must not have been a very good one.  Remember Judas?  Remember Jesus asking His disciples, 'Are you going to leave Me, too?'  
What had He done to make everybody start to walk away?  Everything doesn't rise and fall on leadership.  Not everything.
Back in the day, more organizations were named after their founders and leaders - Ford, Sears, J.C. Penney, Macy's, Jones, Proctor & Gamble, Montgomery Ward.  Today, not so much ... Google, Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft, IBM.
The shift in thought is that we cannot focus completely around one central leader.  Churches struggle to make that shift.  We still tend to build around human leaders.
Leaders are necessary and vital, of course, but the success of organizations that thrive tends to come - in great measure - from underlying systems and the embedded culture in the organization - not so much from one single great idea, or some god-like visionary with overwhelming charisma.
And be blessed.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


There seem to be plenty of people who think if a leader is just spiritual enough, the church will automatically grow.  Not true.

Of course, it doesn't hurt to be spiritual - it's wise and obedient to be spiritual - but it doesn't account for guaranteed church growth.  I know a lot of super-Godly leaders and teachers who pray up one side and down the other, who are paragons of virtue and awesomeness, but their churches aren't growing.  In fact, some are declining.

I know there is great guilt and confusion over it and it grieves me as their friend.  "If I was more spiritual, this church would be growing," they say.  It may not even be unusual for them to think, if not voice: "Maybe this calling of ministry isn't for me.  I should just quit."

The full truth is, there is more to leadership than spirituality.  A leader must be spiritual, but that isn't all he must be.

We'll explore more on this in the coming days.  Stay tuned.

And be blessed.


Tuesday, August 21, 2012


Our second year of Journey Ministry College ( began at KFA ( yesterday.  Sixteen students have enrolled for the Bachelor of Arts program in Biblical Studies.  They're going strong in classes as we speak.

We were also able to renovate a 4-plex (see July 1, 2012 blog) we purchased last month in time for the students to move in and call it home - thanks to a boat load of skilled KFA volunteers who put in hours and hours of crunch time to get the dorm finished before students arrived.  The final product is equivalent to an Extreme Makeover.  Thank you so very much, everyone.

See the before and after below:

If you are saying to yourself, "Hey, I think I see some of Joelene's handiwork in there," you'd be right.

We're excited about training pastoral and Christian leaders to impact their world - bringing education back to the church - helping students live out their calling and passion.

And be blessed.

Monday, August 20, 2012


We spend a lot of time thinking about being like Jesus -- promising to be like Him -- reading about how to be like Him -- hoping we can be like Him -- paying careful attention to His instructions about being like Him.

Sometimes I think we need to just go out and BE like Him.

It's like riding a bicycle.  You can read a manual about it -- watch a how-to YouTube on bicycle riding -- watch somebody else do it -- have someone coach you how to do it ---- but it isn't until you throw your leg over the thing and start pedaling that you find out what it's like -- how to do it and how not to do it.

It isn't a great analogy, but it isn't an altogether terrible one either.

'We need to go out and just BE like Him -- and stop talking about it.'

There are things in life you can't figure out by watching or reading or hearing about.

You can harbor bitterness in your heart toward someone who has hurt you forever -- or you can decide to forgive them, be a peacemaker -- and then ask yourself if Jesus knew what He was talking about.

You can keep gossiping about others your whole life -- or you can make a decision to clean up your mouth and speak well of others, even those who have or are currently hurting you -- and then see how your life changes and discover if Jesus knew what He was talking about.

We learn by doing.  We learn by being.

We need to just go out and BE like Him - and stop talking about it.

And be blessed.

Friday, August 17, 2012


We've been praying that God would clarify our vision at KFA ( and give us words to describe it powerfully and clearly and responsibly to our church.

We believe God has called us to reach our city -- to make it easy to find and experience God - by being faithful, compassionate, grace-filled, integrity-driven, relational, passionate followers of Christ.

We know it is inconceivable that changes will be met with complete approval, though our humanness and pastoral hearts naturally yearn for it.

Someone said: 'Trying to please everyone will water down your efforts, frustrate your forward motion and ultimately fail.'

I suppose that means - for example - that:
- It might not be possible to get things at just the right intensity, dynamism and temperature for every single person.
- It might not be possible to establish a music volume that makes everybody happy.
- We may never reach just the right balance between outreach, worship, service and community.  One will probably always be shining more brightly than another at various times.
- Teaching on money and finances won't ever make everybody thrilled.  Same with not teaching on it.  Same with teaching expositorally vs. topically.
- Some will love the vision God has called us to.  Some will leave because of it.

They say that's a good thing.  It's what they say.  I don't think pastors are ever overjoyed because of the tension that produces.  I only know God has spoken about what He has called us to do and I'm ecstatic about those who want to be part of it.

And be blessed.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


Here are a few questions I learned from reading and from talking with others that I try to ask myself about me and our church on a regular basis ...

If our church disappeared, would anyone in our community notice?
I'd like to think that a great force for good - for compassion - for integrity and honesty - for impact - and for the Kingdom of God would be gone in our city.

Why do people come to KFA?
If people come because we have great music or good preaching or amazing student ministries, that's not enough.  If we're a church geared exclusively for Christians, maybe some adjustments need to be made.  If people come because they're far from God and their friends invite them because they think our church is awesome and they can explore the claims of Jesus there, I'd feel good about that.

'If our church disappeared, would anyone in our community notice?'

Where is my personal time and energy being spent?
This is more a leadership question, but if I'm just active during the day, it could be mindless activity.  If my goal is to be 'on task' and 'effective' and 'pushing the ball upfield,' that's way better.

Am I focusing on my strengths?
It has taken me years to learn this, and I think I'm still grappling with it, but I need to concentrate on what I'm good at, not on what I stink at.  When organizations are coached, they're coached to their weaknesses; when individuals are coached, they're coached to their strengths.  What are your strengths and do you spend 80% of your time doing those rather than other things?

Am I passionate about what God has called me to?
I've been asking myself each year if I still want to do what I'm doing now.  The last thing my church needs is a pastor who doesn't want to be there.  I'm still passionate about KFA and about reaching Kenosha for Jesus.

And be blessed.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


Now that U.S. Representative Paul Ryan from Wisconsin has been selected as the Republican Vice Presidential candidate, it's been said to me twice in the past three days that I look like him.  Now admittedly, the pic I used of myself here is about 5 years old, but that's just to bring us a little closer together in age ... so ...

I don't know.  You be the judge.

And be blessed.

Monday, August 13, 2012


I don't know why the end result Olympic medal count is such a big deal to us, but honestly, it is.  It does something up my spine when I'm sitting there watching the American athletes race to the finish line against their competitors and touch the wall of the pool - or the line on the track - or nail the landing - first and best.

So we were extremely proud of our athletes this week as we watched the U.S. athletes top the medal count among all the nations of the world.  We lived vicariously through them for 16 days.

And it didn't matter how you shook it -- gold medals, silver medals, total medals - we were first.  Here are the results of the winningest countries by gold:

Nation               Gold     Silver     Bronze     Total
U.S.                     46          29             29          104
China                   38          27             22            87
Great Britain        29          17             19            65
Russia                  24          25             33            82
Korea                   13           8               7             28
Germany              11          19             14            44
France                  11          11             12            34
Italy                        8            9             11            28
Hungary                 8            4               5            17

'I like to see a man proud of the place in which he lives.  I like to see a man live so that his place will be proud of him.'  --- Abraham Lincoln

'How little do my countrymen know what precious blessings they are in possession of, and which no other people on earth enjoy.'  --- Thomas Jefferson

My patriotic heart beats red, white and blue.  Celebrate.

And be blessed.

Sunday, August 12, 2012


When I was a kid, some of the preachers I grew up listening to in church would scare me to death with their talk about hell and fire and flame and brimstone and punishment and eternity.

There was a Christian movie released in the 70s when I was a teenager called 'A Thief in the Night' (gotta love those sideburns, right?)  It was shown in a lot of churches at the time.  You should know it was a Christian movie because, back then, I wasn't allowed to see any movies that weren't Christian.  (Thanks, mom.)

It pictured various scenarios, one after another, of people being 'raptured' - taken to heaven suddenly when Jesus returned - and leaving loved ones behind.  It was kind of like an early "Heaven's Gates, Hell's Flames," minus all the mylar.

- Two people driving and suddenly the driver disappears and the passenger is left and crashes into a tree.
- Two people in the backyard and suddenly one is gone and the other throws the ball to nobody.
- Two in bed together, one is taken and the other rolls over to find an empty space.

Very uplifting - but honestly, that movie made me wet my pants - several times.  If I was allowed to have gee-willikers back then, it would have scared them out of me.  It would probably make most people laugh today because our 'scare factor' is much higher in 2012.

'I never want to scare anyone into the Kingdom ... '

After I saw that movie, there were times I'd come home from school and expect to find my mom doing what moms do at that time -- washing dishes, vacuuming, reading, making my bed for me -- and -- SHE WOULD BE GONE!  I'd run around the house screaming, 'Mom!  Mom!  Mom!  Where are you?  Please don't scare the gee-willikers out of me!'  And doggone it if I wasn't convinced that she'd been raptured, just like in the scary movie.

And 60 seconds later there I'd be - crying in a heap - and then she'd come around the corner.
'What's wrong, Kevin?'
'I thought you'd gone to heaven without me!'
'No, I was just picking tomatoes in the backyard.'
And so on.

I'll just tell you this: I never want to scare anybody into the Kingdom, because scaring people produces temporary life change until we forget to be scared - and then we have to keep on scaring people in exponentially greater ways to keep them connected to God rather than helping them daily walk toward the grace and love of Christ.

Let's just do that.


And be blessed.

Saturday, August 11, 2012


When God finished up His work at the very beginning, creating the earth and our first parents, giving us life and breath as a gift, He declared it all good.  There was no sin, there was no suffering, there was no sickness, there was no death.

We rebelled.  We declared war.  We ruined everything.  It's my fault.  It's your fault.  It's our fault.  This is not the world as God made it.  This is the world as we have corrupted it.

'This is not the world as God made it.  This is the world as we have corrupted it.'

If we keep following that line of thinking, it makes perfect sense that a convicted criminal goes to prison.  It makes perfect sense that one disobedient to the laws of God is punished.  And what is astonishing is that God would create us out of nothing in the first place and then watch us reject Him -- and then He would send His only Son to die for us on a cross and buy us back again -- that Jesus would come live in the world we destroyed, that He would endure poverty and humiliation and opposition and betrayal, that God Himself would be arrested and falsely accused and beaten and crucified and yet He would cry out, 'Forgive them!' and die in our place, for our sins, as our substitute.

That is the great exchange and that is the love of God.

Some people like to pit God's attributes against one another, but God holds all His attributes in perfect alignment.  What we like to do is find one particular attribute of God and elevate it above all the others. And when it comes to eternal judgment, some will take love and make it not AN attribute of God, but THE attribute of God.  And the Bible does say God is love, but love is not God.  God is love, and whatever God does is loving.  God is just and whatever God does is just.  God is sovereign and whatever God does is sovereign.  God is also simultaneously a God of holiness and a God of wrath.

God is holy and if we don't repent and ask forgiveness, we place ourselves in the path of His wrath.  Some are ignoring that fact right now.  They're daily presuming on the great grace of God, presuming wrongly that just because they're relatively healthy and wealthy - just because everything is going fine, they're all good.  But they're not.

And as you work thru this, I would just urge you not to judge God.  We have three pound fallen brains.  We have sinful dispositions and sinful inclinations.  We're not all-seeing or all-knowing and for us to sit on our personal thrones asking the Creator of the universe to pass before us so we might render a verdict regarding His holiness and justice and His master plan and what He should or shouldn't do is how all the trouble began in the first place, that satan came to Adam and Eve in the garden asking a few innocent questions about the character of God, inviting them to judge Him.

We're in no position to judge God.  We are to trust Him.

And be blessed.

Friday, August 10, 2012


It's been a couple of weeks now since the Chick-Fil-A furor has somewhat died down.  I will admit it was gratifying to watch the news reports about people lined up around the block waiting three hours for a chicken sandwich.

It seems this question is raised once or twice every year in the church world - with the recent Chik-Fil-A thing getting just about as big as we've seen it lately.  Should Christians boycott companies that have divergent belief systems than those Jesus stood for?

Over the years, I've heard other all-out bans suggested on, but not limited to, WalMart, Disney, Proctor & Gamble, Ford, Starbucks, McDonald's, Levi Strauss ... for objections to things like child labor, support of gay principles, links to satanism, etc.

Often, non-Christian groups will answer back by boycotting Christian groups on the basis of, but not limited to, support of one-woman-one-man relationships, exclusivism, views on abortion or capital punishment, Christmas terminology, etc.

I heard it over and over with Chick-Fil-A ...
'How dare they?'
'That's so mean.'
Why can't they just let everyone believe what they want to and get on with their lives?'
'They're just big bullies.'
'It's just a chicken sandwich, for crying out loud.'  (No one used the term 'for crying out loud' - I just threw that in myself.)

"Why don't we just offer a Venti Vanilla Bean Frappucino in Jesus' name instead and be done with it?"

As believers in Jesus, we certainly want to stand for what is right.  The bigger question becomes, 'How do we do that?'

I don't think this is all that hard.  Our main purpose on this planet is to serve the mission of Christ - to seek and save the lost.

One way we can figure out if boycotting is the right thing to do is to just switch places with the 'other side.'  All the things we thought about the 'anti-Chick-Fil-A side' - all the emotions - all the back room arrows we tossed - all the striving and contending ---- is that what we want said about us when we band together to take some business down?  

I've never seen those boycotts work.  I've never seen one where the 'other side' didn't look and sound mean.  All that is produced is anger and spite and deepened chasms.

I don't know when eating grilled chicken became a religious statement, but I'll confess that it was amazingly great that believers and supporters all across America would stand in line that long - not for a chicken sandwich - they're good, but they're not that good - but to show what they're in support of.  It wasn't about what they were against; but what they were for.

That's how we need to operate.  Christians are known far more for what they're against than what they're for.  Little to nothing is achieved when Christians boycott, bully, picket, gang up on others for the self-described purpose of taking a stand for the Kingdom.  I'm not sure how any of that shows the love of Christ or draws people toward the Kingdom of God.  God doesn't need an attorney or a bigger, stronger team for the cosmic tug-of-war.

I see us standing in long lines to get a chicken sandwich to show we support Chick-Fil-A - which is great, even though God never said we should or shouldn't do that.  I don't think Chick-Fil-A is in the Bible anywhere.  I haven't found it yet; I'm still looking.  I'll let you know.  But I have yet to see lines that long form in front of homeless shelters or food banks in order to help them - something Jesus actually told us to do.

At what point did Christ call us to use the cruel and mean methods of the world to glorify Him?  Did Christ call us to make sure everybody knows via our purchasing power that God doesn't support gay marriage?  Or does He just want us brightly shining the virtues of what one-man-one-woman marriage is all about?  Why don't we just offer a Venti Vanilla Bean Frappucino in Jesus' name instead and be done with it?

I kind of think Christians should boycott boycotts and just let the love and grace of Christ lead us forward.

And be blessed.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012


This blog post comes out of a lunch I had with a good friend today.  The topics always fly when we're together and today it turned - albeit briefly - to church hopping.

My friend really despises it.

Now of course we have our share of folks who have come to KFA ( from other churches and a lot of them are reading this right now.  They moved, they transferred, they were hurt, they got tired, the Gospel stopped being preached where they were, there was sin in the leadership, they lost interest, etc ... and we love them.  Many of them are my good friends and are among the most gracious, kind, loving, hardest working partners we know.  Just because people attended a church previously doesn't make them church hoppers.

'The topics always fly when we're together and today it turned --- to church hopping.'

But when people hop from church to church hoping to find 'deeper teaching - better singing - more for my kids,' usually it isn't long before the new church starts to smell a lot like the one they came from -- then they're off to try the next, new, better one.

We do not exist to attract that person.  We cannot afford to lose focus on what God has called us to do.  He has called us to be fully invested in reaching people who are on the outside of faith rather than those who are already committed to it and attending church elsewhere.  God has called us to cast an outward focus on a world that is lost and wandering away from Him.

And doesn't it just make sense?  Isn't the actual pool bigger where people don't know Jesus than fishing in ponds where they've already committed to Him?

I think so.  I know it's easier reaching already saved people than going after those who are seeking.  It isn't ultimately more rewarding, but it's easier.

So let's love those whom God brings to KFA (and to your church, wherever it may be) - and care for them - and serve alongside them - and then let's turn our gaze to the outside where people are looking for a reason to really live.

And be blessed.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


Whenever possible, I love slipping into the back of our youth auditorium on Wednesday nights to watch our youth pastors in action.  I have often said they have one of the hardest jobs in the world - to talk to, reach out to, deal with, and impact students who at best seem apathetic and indifferent to the rest of us.

One of the most stressful days of my entire year is the day I'm asked to do chapel for our Christian Life High School students.  I love them, but to stand in front of several hundred teenagers and deliver is -- well -- frightening.

Fortunately for us all, youth pastors don't see students that way.  They see gold mines and harvest fields and radical servants in those low hanging jeans and logo-emblazoned tops.

I like to listen to our youth pastors because I can pick up their ways of expressing.  They shine when it comes to relating to students and are blessed with the natural language of the listener.

Youth pastors know if they don't use the right language, they'll lose the students to the flickering light bulb in the ceiling.  One author says that's probably why guys like Andy Stanley, Rick Warren and Bill Hybels have become so successful - because these former youth pastors have learned to take the language of their audience and speak their language.

It's not about watering anything down.  It's about communicating in a way that the crowd will understand what you're saying and will open doors for God to do spiritual transformation inside people.

This means we have to change the way we speak and communicate.  This means we have to do a better job defining what we're talking about rather than assuming everyone automatically knows what 'accepting Jesus into your heart' means.

Just a thought.

And be blessed.

Monday, August 6, 2012


We took our pastoral team to a well kept secret in the Zion/Beach Park area today.

A few months ago, I was privileged to perform the wedding of a couple in our church - Chance and Nancy - at a prayer garden just off Lewis Ave.  The setting is a couple of acres of land with woods, seating areas, crosses, flowers and a stream.

It has been dedicated as an outdoor prayer garden.  It's hard to find.  You can easily drive right past it without even knowing it's there - but it is.

So we took our team there to spend some time together in prayer today.  It's open to the public - if you can find it - and it's a gift to believers to go anytime and enjoy themselves.  The pic at right isn't the actual Zion prayer garden, but it has this same kind of atmosphere.

If you're interested in visiting sometime, drive south from Kenosha into Illinois on Lewis Ave (which is 39th Ave in Wisconsin).  Once you pass the Aurora Clinic on the east side of the road, you come to a small patch of wood chips.  That's the 'parking lot.'  The prayer garden is just behind the small grove of trees that boundary the wood chips.

I've met the owners of this garden and it's a completely public, free prayer park for anyone to use anytime.  Let me know if you go there.  Enjoy ...

And be blessed.

Saturday, August 4, 2012


I was really just going to let sleeping dogs lie on this -- but here it is Saturday morning and my email and social media inboxes continue to register ongoing comments about my last weekend rap at KFA (

My plan was to ignore it all and move on with my life but I have been repeatedly reminded of it this week while trying to forget about it.  It really wasn't even supposed to happen; it was a last minute decision to do it.

So I'm giving in to those of you who said you missed it and showing you a clip below.  It's only 40 seconds of the inglorious 2 minute rap, but that's long enough for you to get the idea and more than long enough for me to be re-tortured by it.

And be blessed.

Thursday, August 2, 2012


I borrowed this pic from T. Morgan because it was just too good to pass up:

Now what do I know?  Maybe this was a church outreach of fellow quilters in the area.  It very well may have been.

Let's believe the best, right?

I mean, if we go the other direction, we have to start assuming ...
Their primary mission got lost.
Being 'fair' to some department or person became an overriding value
They forgot hundreds of folks outside the church drive by every day
The quilting committee got their request into the sign committee first
They wanted to use their "Q"
Someone couldn't say 'no'

The best thing we can do is to examine our own mission and make sure we're on track with what God has called us at KFA ( to do -- and let's believe the best on this one.

And be blessed.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012


Word is that today is National Chick-Fil-A Day.  Admittedly, the day has been called by a regular citizen, but still.  Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee declared it 'Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day.'  

Dan Cathy, Chick-Fil-A president, said the company was 'guilty as charged' for backing 'the Biblical definition of family.'  That has, of course, unleashed a torrent of backlash from groups who have called for a boycott of Chick-Fil-A as well as attempts to block the chain from opening any new stores.

So - fans of Chick-Fil-A are calling for everyone in support of the restaurant - as well as the principles - to eat at their restaurants today.

The nearest ones to Kenosha are at Regency Mall in Racine and down in Gurnee.

Our team went to Racine today to grab some sandwiches for everybody.


And be blessed.