Wednesday, October 31, 2012


It's the final day of October.  My pattern at the end of each month has been to review the most popular three blog posts in the past 30 days here.  They are:

#1 - LOWE'S -- Boycotting things still continue to take the top spot each time I talk about them.  You can re-read it at

#2 - PEDESTAL -- All about putting individuals in places where they have nowhere to go but down.

#3 - NAG -- Gratifying to see a blog post about 'doing life together' in the Top 3.  It can be found at

Thanks for reading.

And be blessed.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


As we've seen pictures of Hurricane Sandy's devastation of the Eastern seaboard, our hearts go out to our friends in New Jersey and New York.  We respond to brokenness with brokenness.  And in our effort to make sense of even a little of it, we find ourselves at loss.  We can, at this moment, perfectly relate to the skeptics among us who doubt the love of God and question His presence.  We don't join their cynicism, but we understand it today.

'It's too easy to look at homes reduced to kindling or cars stacked like toy boats and ask: "Where is God in this mess?"'

It's too easy to look at homes reduced to kindling or cars stacked like toy boats and ask: "Where is God in this mess?"

There will be others who take the opposite track and view it all as God's own idea - punishment - retribution - 'I'll show you sinners a thing or two' - judgment.  If that's your opinion, please hold your tongue.  You would be hard-pressed to make that case.

Whatever one believes, it's an opportunity to pray and ask God to provide a good outcome and ask for those who haven't yet trusted in Christ to put their hope in Him as a result.  When Christians pray, things move.

One other thing is certain: Nothing happens on this planet outside of God's providence, even though we are speechless to adequately provide answers today.  We know our Earth is under a curse because of sin and we know that Jesus, by His work of redemption, will one day provide a place where no such tragedies are known.

For that we wait with great expectation.

And be blessed.

Monday, October 29, 2012


I remember the first time I saw someone pray a sincere prayer with their eyes wide open.  I remember it so vividly because it wasn't that long ago.  I was sitting across from a friend and he began to pray and I was about to close my eyes when I noticed he was looking across the room at what appeared to be my edition of The World Almanac sitting on my shelf.  I went ahead and closed my eyes, like all good Christians do when they pray, but then I squinted my left one open about five seconds later only to find he was still staring at the book case, but also still praying like crazy.  I opened my other eye.  He didn't stop.  He didn't even seem to particularly care that I was watching him.  He just kept on imploring God for answers.

Since that time, there have been plenty of moments when I have done the same ... not to be a copycat.  I mean, he's a cool guy, but he wasn't doing it for the cool factor.

'I know what my wife would say if, every time I had a conversation with her, I closed my eyes.'

When I've gone thru a tough day, my mind can accumulate a lot of distracting thoughts and ideas that I have to shove to one side.  I can't see God when I close my eyes, and when I do, my attention starts to shift away from prayer to the things I just tried to shove out of the way.  So instead, I've started praying more often with eyes wide open.

We already do this in the car when we pray (hopefully), so it isn't like it's a new concept.  When I see someone who is needy or homeless, shutting my eyes on that person makes them become less real.  My mind can fool itself into ignoring him or her.  My empathy is stronger when my eyes are open, for some reason.

But there is more.  When I shut my eyes, I can't see the majesty that grows from the Earth.  I can't see the beautiful sky or the stars that shine into infinity.  Only when my eyes are open can I appreciate and bow to that supreme power which is the glory of God.

I know what my wife would say if, every time I tried to have a conversation with her, I closed my eyes.  You know, too.

So I face God more often now when I pray.  I encourage you to try it.  Stare directly into the face of God.  It'll feel a little funny at first, especially if you're praying into your goulash - but don't worry, you'll get used to it.  Toss to the wind all the conventions of prayer you've always learned or thought or been taught - and open wide.

And be blessed.

Sunday, October 28, 2012


As our guest iterated today at KFA ... pray for Morocco.

LOCATION:  On the coast of Northwest Africa, bordering Algeria.

CAPITAL:  Rabat  (largest city, Casablanca)

AREA:  Slightly larger than California.

POPULATION:  33 million

LANGUAGE:  Arabic, Berber dialects, and French.

RELIGION:  99% Muslim

PRESIDENT:  King Mohammed VI


FLAG: Red with a green five-pointed star.  Red and green are traditional colors in Arab flags.  The star represents the five pillars of Islam and signifies the association between Allah and the nation.

Please pray.

And be blessed.

Saturday, October 27, 2012


If you need something to pray for this week, try praying for one of the guys I workout next to at the gym on a fairly regular basis.  I'm 101% sure he doesn't read this blog, so it's safe to post this.  I've been talking with him over the course of several months.  He doesn't know I'm a pastor yet.  It's never come up.  God has come up, but church hasn't.  Not yet.  It will.  Just not yet.

He's tatted up and bulky as all get out and could take me down in a New York minute.  I'm not totally sure what a New York minute is, but he could take me down fast.  I've learned a ton of things from this guy about working out - right eating - supplements (I don't take them, but I'm learning a lot about them) - as well as his personal habits.  They are dubious at best but that's how people who don't yet know Christ behave.  I've also learned how to handle 1,000 "F"-bombs during the span of one set of leg curls.  I didn't know that word could be a noun, a verb, an adverb, an adjective - even a preposition - but he manages it.

Believers who have their sensitivities offended by people who work or live next to them who continually use foul language need to re-examine God's sovereign placement of them in their jobs and neighborhoods.  Do you think you're in that company merely because it fits with your educational diploma?  Do you think God gave you that house on that street simply because it was a great deal?  Think again.

'You are divinely placed in a sphere of influence by Almighty God.'

You're there for a reason.  You are divinely placed in a sphere of influence by Almighty God.  Don't take that lightly -- and don't complain that your ears can't handle what the world throws out there.  It's what they do.  What you have deep inside you is greater than all of that business.  Get over it and get on with praying for open doors of opportunity to share the reason for the hope you have.

When you pray for my friend, you can call him "Gus," just to put a name to him.  That's not his real name, but I'm pretty sure God will know who you're talking about.

And be blessed.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


I stepped in something awhile back.  Yeah, I'm not going to say what it was, but what you're thinking right now ... is what it was.

I smelled like it all day long.  I didn't even realize it was coming from me until I lifted my shoe to look and there it was.

People kept saying, 'What's that smell?'  

'Dur ... I don't know ... smells awful.'  Then I realized ... it was me.

At least people didn't say I smelled like a girl, because that's happened too ... when I've put on a couple of pints too much cologne.

Then I discovered there are actually manly smells out there.  Yes, smells can be manly.  I'm learning new junk every day.  So, if you want to smell like a guy, here's some things you can do:

A - Rub some shoe polish on your cowboy boots.  Everybody knows shoe polish makes you smell like a guy.

B - Just before you go to a meeting, cut your grass.  They'll be high-fiving you all hour.

C - Drop a couple of charcoal briquets in your back pocket.  You'll be secretly admired by all the other guys in the room.

D - Cover yourself in leather. 

E - Go sit in your grandpa's favorite chair for a few hours.  That will definitely do it.

Feel free to pass on this list.

And be blessed.

Monday, October 22, 2012


'RUBY, RUBY, RUBY -- she's a heartbreak-uh -- and she turned 1 year old today-uh.  Our granddaughter and joy-uh ... gonna break some hearts-uh ... '

"RUBY"  (click the link and 'play' to hear RUBY - (

Let it never be said that romance is dead
cos' there's so little else occupying my head
There is nothing I need, cept the function to breathe
But I'm not really fussed doesn't matter to me

Ruby Ruby Ruby Ruby
Do ya do ya do ya do ya
Know what your doing, doing to me
Ruby Ruby Ruby Ruby

Due to lack of interest
tomorrow is cancelled
let the clocks be reset and the pendulums held
cos' theres nothing at all cept' the space in between
Finding out what you're called and repeating your name

Ruby Ruby Ruby Ruby
Do ya do ya do ya do ya
Know what your doing, doing to me
Ruby Ruby Ruby Ruby

Could it be could it be that you're joking with me
And you don't really see you with me
Could it be could it be that you're joking with me
And you don't really see you with me

Ruby Ruby Ruby Ruby
Do ya do ya do ya do ya
Know what your doing, doing to me
Ruby Ruby Ruby Ruby
Do ya do ya do ya do ya
what your doing, doing to me

*Kaiser Chiefs

And be blessed-uh.

Sunday, October 21, 2012


I wish I had a dime (no, let's make that a dollar - adjusted for inflation, you know) for every time someone has told me God wanted them to be happy.  Typically they tell me this just before unveiling the anti-Biblical thing they're planning to do.

The devil never comes to you and says, 'Do this and suffer ... do this and die ... do this and be miserable.'  No.  Rather, you act on the idea that you'd be denying yourself fundamental happiness if you didn't do the thing, whatever it is.

Let's just be honest about that.  Sin brings pleasure ... but it never brings happiness.  That's a monstrous lie from the 'father of lies.'  'Do this and you'll be happy.'


It's impossible for sin to bring happiness to the child of God -- can't do it.  And yet, over and again, we say to ourselves, 'I'll be happy if I do this, even though I know God doesn't want me to.'

That's how sin deceives us.

One of the biggest justifications for evil in our culture today is 'our rights.'  'I have the right to do whatever I want to do.'

'I have the right to destroy my baby.'  Really?  Where'd you get that right?
'I have the right over my own body.'  Yeah?  Says who?  The government?  OK.  But did God give you that right?  You know better.  Every person in the world knows better.

'But if I don't, I won't be happy.'  If you do, you'll destroy all hope of happiness.  Meanwhile, the dimes rack up.

Obey - and be blessed.

Saturday, October 20, 2012


I did something in our church years ago that really upset a person.  I paraphrased that little catch phrase they use at 'Alcoholics Anonymous' where someone says, "Hello, my name is ______ , and I'm an alcoholic," except I said, "Hello, my name is Kevin, and I'm a sinner."

Well, that person came up and let me know in no uncertain terms that they were extremely offended that I would say such a thing.  'How could you, being a pastor and all?  That's terrible.'  I remember my response back to him: 'Well ... uh ... because ... my name is Kevin ... and ... er ... I'm a sinner.'  Not well received.  

I've had people tell me I'm too transparent.  Maybe.  Some like that quality; others think I should be modeling more consistent stories of personal victory rather than admitting that I'm like everybody else.  Maybe I should be better than everybody else, I don't know.

Here I go again.

Some people think we pastors - spiritually speaking - are the varsity team and everybody else is JV.  We're the Olympic athletes and everyone else are amateurs - that we have most of our stuff together - we don't experience any bumps in life - when we open the Bible, little white doves automatically fly out - we have no personal theological gray - we wake up every a.m. and play worship songs and quote C.S. Lewis and after several hours of that, we fill up mega-journals with deep God thoughts.  And certainly we have personal sin figured out and altogether defeated.  We never experience setbacks of our own.

I know you think that.

But I live in the same world you do -- same stimuli -- same temptations -- same media -- same rude cashiers and hectic rush hour traffic and angry drivers -- the same selfish, greedy impulses rear their ugly heads in my life as in yours.

'The very worst place I can think of being is on some manmade pedestal where there's no place to go but down.'

And the truth is, sometimes I have a leaky bucket between the time I leave church on Sunday morning to Sunday night.  I carry all these great intentions, but then I get tested and I fail, so I promise God I'll never fail again, only to fail again and feel worse than ever.

So my admission to you as you're reading this is: There are still some things in my life I need to submit to the Lordship and control of Jesus that still sometimes refuse to bow their knee.  My life is messy too,  just like yours - and the very worst place I can think of being is on some manmade pedestal where there's no place to go but down.

And be blessed.

Thursday, October 18, 2012


The cuckoo is known for its distinctive chortle -- cuckoo!  cuckoo!  It's a parasitic bird, in that the adult female doesn't build a nest of her own.  She flies around until she sees a nest with eggs in it and no mother bird hanging around.  Mommy Cuckoo lands on the eggs already there and lays her own single egg and flies off.  Therein is the end of motherhood as far as the female cuckoo is concerned.

Ms. Blue Jay comes back, not very mathematically astute, failing to notice there are now five eggs in her basket instead of four and one of them is way bigger than the others --- she sits on the five, not particularly comfy, and hatches them all --- four cute blue jay babies and one huge, gangly cuckoo baby.

The next a.m. she goes out early, shopping for worms (the early bird gets the worm, yes?) and comes back with a lovely, scrummy, fat, juicy, protein-filled Lumbricina (GOOGLE it) to four cute little blue jay mouths upturned and one gaping cuckoo mouth.

Guess which one gets the worm?  Yes.  And guess what ultimately happens.  The cuckoo grows and grows and grows and dominates while the other four gradually fade away, and one by one they're pushed out of the nest and the baby cuckoo reigns supreme.

Two natures in one nest - the one you feed grows - the one you starve dies.  Two natures in one nest - the risen Christ by the Holy Spirit, and the sinful nature - the one you feed and nourish and obey grows - the one you starve dies.

And be blessed.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


Now that I'm a Mac user, an iPhone5 user, an iPad user - brag, brag - I will invoke the script of an old Apple commercial that aired years ago.

It featured footage of the likes of Bob Dylan, Martin Luther King, Jr., John Lennon & Yoko Ono, Alfred Hitchcock, Jim Henson & Kermit the Frog, Picasso, Frank Lloyd Wright, Muhammad Ali, Ted Turner, Gandhi, Amelia Earhart and others.  Quite the crew.

Here are the words of the commercial:  'Here's to the crazy ones.  The misfits.  The rebels.  The troublemakers.  The round pegs in square holes.  The ones who see things differently.  They have no respect for the status quo.  You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify them or vilify them.  About the only thing you can't do is ignore them.  Because they change things.  They push the human race forward.  And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius.  Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.'

Now ... go back and read that again, but this time, put your Jesus glasses on.  Go ahead - re-read it - this time thru the lens of what it means to be a disciple of Christ.

I'll give you a moment . . .

And be blessed.

Monday, October 15, 2012


The two holidays people spend the most money on today are --- Ready?  #1 - Christmas -- we all knew that, didn't we?  But did you know the #2 holiday was -- Ready?  Halloween.  

Add to that the fact that churches growing the fastest right now are: #1 - Megachurches and #2 - Home Churches.  

The very same people in 2012 culture will spend their hard-earned money at Saks Fifth Avenue on Monday and be at Goodwill shopping on Thursday.  Go figure.

People want to be left alone and belong at the same time.

It's a very confusing age in which to do ministry right now.

A few years ago, Bounty, the towel manufacturer, faced this 'ministry' problem as well.  They found out that people liked both smaller tear off towels and bigger tear off towels - half-and-half.  What to do?  Their solution was to create a towel where a consumer could tear off one, two, three or forty-two sections, personalized to their needs.  Smaller or bigger?  Yes.

I read recently that there is a church out West (where else?) that offers ten-minute services, including a 60-second message.  I can't finish a good cough in 60-seconds.  Evidently they offer a welcome, a reading of scripture on video, a 60-second explanation, an illustration, a short chorus, an offering and a handshake and 'buh-bye' at the door.

Who says it should take 45 minutes to deliver something that will fulfill the desire for deep teaching and energize a man for the week to come?  Who says?

That got me thinking that maybe all really good blog posts should be able to be read in 60 seco ...

Oops.  Time's up.


And be blessed.

Sunday, October 14, 2012


'Hey you!  I see you have some hope there.  Can you tell me the reason for it?'  

That verse has always bothered me - the one in I Peter that says: 'Always be prepared to give an answer for the hope that's inside you,' because the number of times I've had a stranger walk up to me and ask me about my inner hope is -- well -- ZERO.

Maybe that's happened to you.  If so, bravo, I guess.  My safe estimation, however, is that the large majority of believers have had this happen to them a grand, cumulative ZERO number of times.

So this verse must have some other implications.  It seems one explanation would be that we're called to have friendships with people who are far from God.  People whose names we actually know.  Not - the dentist.  Not - the guy who drops off our mail.  Not - the cashier at Perkins where I go once a month.  No.  Michelle.  James.  Cassie.  Mike.  Marcus.  Real people.  Those kinds of people might ultimately ask us that kind of question.  Strangers - ZERO.

The other thing this verse implies is the importance of listening to others.  We do a lot of talking - so much talking that many of us probably don't give the questions a chance.  We hope to answer them before they're asked rather than just let them flow naturally from the questioner - or we do so much yapping we never hear the question.

Developing friendships with those far from God and listening are two skills and activities worth pursuing.

And be blessed.

Saturday, October 13, 2012


'I'm not regularly reading my Bible ... I'm not serving ... I'm not giving ... I'm not doing life with any other believers' ... That's the definition of a life wrapped in a handkerchief.

'I don't believe in organized religion.  It's a personal relationship between me and God.  We don't need any other people.'  Life wrapped in a handkerchief.

'Churches are greedy.  They're just in it for money and I'm not going to let them do that to me so I just say 'NO' to all that because I don't need them.'  Wrapped in a handkerchief.

'I'm busy ... I've been hurt in the past.'  All of which is your life wrapped in a handkerchief doing nothing.

But now, thru the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus, the Bible says we've received a great inheritance.  The Holy Spirit lives inside the people of God.  We know there will be eternal rewards for those who have been faithful.  We know there are people who need love and encouragement and a relationship with God.  So we have all these opportunities to invest our lives.

'Imagine if we took our whole life and stuck it in a sock drawer and did nothing with it.'

Imagine if we took our whole life and stuck it in a sock drawer and did nothing with it.  That's what some are doing.  They say, 'I'm not doing anything bad.'  No, they're not doing anything at all.  They've wrapped this opportunity called 'the one and only life God gave them' in a sock drawer and now they're just waiting quietly for Jesus to come back.

Jesus says, 'The least you can do is put what I gave you in the bank so it draws minimal interest so I can get a little return on it.  That's the very least you can do.'

And that's our story.  The very least you can do is serve a little bit ... give a little bit ... pray a little bit.  That's the very least you can do.  And even though it's minimal effort, at least it's something.

I challenge you with this: Start with something.  Start with anything.  If you've never served, serve somewhere.  If you've never been to a life group, go once.  If you've never read your Bible, open it this week.

Don't leave it wrapped ... in a handkerchief.

And be blessed.

Friday, October 12, 2012


Let me give you some questions that S. McDowell points out.

I'll preface them with the thought that the longer we are believers in Christ the fewer non-Christian friends we have.  Not that this happens directly on purpose.  I don't believe it does.  But it happens nonetheless.  Our leisure time is limited and we can only do so much.  We like hanging out with people who inspire us and lift us up and we begin neglecting the very folks we're supposed to be salt and light to.  We begin sprinkling each other, not those far from God.  The more we start learning about God and Scripture, the less people around us we find who actually need it.

I hope I'm not talking about you.

Here are McDowell's questions:

1 - In the past six months, how many of the people you've talked to about things of God were unbelievers?

2 - Who are your non-Christian friends?  What are their names?  When was the last time you did a dinner with them?  

3 - Who are you praying for regularly that is far away from God?

Our prayers tell us what is on our hearts.

And be blessed.

Thursday, October 11, 2012


When people find out I'm a pastor, often one of the next asked questions is: 'How big is your church?'  I'll admit I find that an odd #2 - but of all the follow up questions one could ask, that's a favorite.

The truth is: I'm part of leading a megachurch right now.  That's probably just about the strangest sentence I've ever written.  In fact, I deleted it three times before it stuck to this page because it sounds braggy.  It also sounds funny because I never saw myself in a spot like this and I'm daily mesmerized and honored by the fact.  God knows.

I love it, though.  The potential downsides of 'big church' are well-known -- passive spectators, getting lost in the crowd, commercialization, non-relational leaning, stiff, etc.  Despite all those, it's gratifying to see how many of the folks at KFA ( are passionate about their life with God - eager to connect via community - enthusiastic to serve - regularly offering hope to people far from God.  It's an exciting privilege to be part of that.

'Some people say big church isn't for them.  I know.  It isn't for everybody.'

Some people say big church isn't for them.  I know.  It isn't for everybody.  I get that.  I have some amazing friends who are doing awesome work in small cities and church settings.  I easily see why the environment of a smaller congregation is so appealing - so healing - so able to meet needs quickly - so family oriented.  It is perilous to discount the small.  Much good is done there.  The 'mouse' can be much more powerful than the 'elephant.'

There is beauty in both.  God works in ways big and small.  Small and big.  The God who thunders also whispers.  The One who parts grand seas fills humble jugs.  Sometimes it's the widow's mite or Gideon's small band that trumps the Brink's truck filled with cash or the enemy hordes.

God works thru the small seed and the hovering sequoia.  It's all good.

And be (mega)blessed.

Sunday, October 7, 2012


Here's something I encounter over and over as a pastor:  I run into somebody in a restaurant or at the gym and they start pouring out their soul to me right there about a situation that has come in their life that has turned very difficult - and my heart goes out to them.

And very often I ask the same question - not because I don't care - it's because I do care that I ask it: 'Is anybody tracking with you in this?  Are you connected to some folks in a life group of any kind?'  

And over and again I hear the same answer:  'No, I don't have time for that.  No, I'm not in a group.'  And they're hurting and they need somebody.

The truth is: Life Transformation and help and healing take place best within the context of authentic community.  The best thing you can do to advance your walk with Christ is to take what has been private and make it known to a small handful of people - to open God's Word and pray and grow and serve and do life together.  When that happens, remarkable things take place.  But you have to open your heart consistently and over time in order to be changed.

'This isn't just you and God trying to work thru all your issues by yourself.'

This isn't just you and God trying to work thru all your issues by yourself.  It's you bringing all this you-and-God stuff semi-public to a group of people who can get to know you so they can encourage, challenge, prod, nag you on in your walk with God.

Show me a follower of Christ of whom you'd say, 'From the outside looking in, that person is maturing - they're growing - they're consistent - they've broken that bad habit - they've changed their priorities ... '  and I'll show you someone who - nine times out of ten - is in meaningful relationship with other believers.

But find someone who is inconsistent - they struggle and struggle with the same things year after year - they swerve to the right and then they swerve to the left - find me that person and I'll show you someone who most likely hasn't empowered others to walk with them on the journey.

Do life together.

And (you will) be blessed.

Saturday, October 6, 2012


It's funny (not really) how some believers forget their own messy histories and decide they're now better than those who stood in pretty much the same place they once stood.  But somebody besides Jesus has to get it.

Our church can put a lot of great systems and processes to work.  We can do couples night and men's events and women's conferences and stuff for families -- but none of those can replace the disciple of Christ who just simply gets it.

Knowing your church will get it when you bring your friend is a very big deal.  If you've ever brought a friend, you know that.  If you've never brought a friend, you don't.

There are also folks nobody brought - they just managed to find the front door out there.  They drove into a parking lot, got out of their car, walked up to the entrance, stepped over the threshold, strolled into a lobby and then into an auditorium full of faces and experiences they've never seen or known before.

Who is thinking about their experience of congregational oddities?  Anybody?
Who is hoping they're having an OK time?  Anybody?
Who will step forward to let that person know we want them with us?  Anybody?
Who will go out of their way to ask their name or shake their hand?  Anybody?

'You think that role is unimportant?  Think again.'

Stats tell us the most powerful moments of a guests time at your church is the first two minutes.  It only takes that amount of time for them to decide whether or not they're going to return.  That means the most important factor wasn't the pastor or the singing or the coffee or the decor or the children's ministry or the message talk.  It was whether they felt welcomed and believed somebody was genuinely glad they were there.

So you might say: 'I don't know how to share my faith; I don't know how to do evangelism.'  OK.  Do you know how to stand at a door and smile and be friendly and shake a hand and show some hospitality?  Because I hear those are the kinds of things that help people decide whether or not they want to do Part Two with God when they come in to church checking us out.

You think that role is unimportant?  Think again.

If you understand that it's important, go to your church's information counter and let them know you'll make a difference by volunteering to be part of the First Impressions Welcome team (or whatever you call it at your church), because you're a person who gets it.

And be blessed.

Friday, October 5, 2012


Our churches sometimes build their whole identities around what they hope to get from God.  Much effort is expended explaining mission - pushing volunteerism - pursuing church growth - lifting up cultural relevance - encouraging social activism - centering around purposes and values.

But beyond that - above that really - is the goal of modeling the very highest calling of living in 24/7 relationship and communion with God.  John called it 'abiding.'

Only when we do that will be able to do anything of value for God.

And be blessed.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012


All Christians should boycott Starbucks.  I read that again today, even though I thought all that was old news, but evidently their expression of support for a bill to legalize gay marriage is back in somebody's news.

We've already been thru the Chick-Fil-A debacle where gay folks were boycotting them for the opposite reason.

We've also been told to boycott Home Depot for their involvement in parades where gays were present -- boycott Google for their 'Legalize Love' campaign, which means stop browsing with Chrome, stop checking our Gmail, etc etc etc -- boycott J.C. Penney for its partnership with Ellen Degeneres -- boycott Lowe's Home Improvement for buying ads on TLCs 'All-American Muslim' program (oh yeah, that reminds me - don't watch TLC now either) -- boycott Target for its own boycott of the Salvation Army Christmas ringers at their stores (that boycott was almost 10 years ago and I think they're back ringing at the red doors now, so you can start shopping there again) -- boycott Walt Disney (yes, that means Disneyland, DisneyWorld, Animal Kingdom, Epcot and anywhere else that's fun).

Now it's WalMart -- again.  The sell NIV Bibles at their stores, which is owned by HarperCollins which is owned by Rupert Murdoch's gang.  That means the very same company that owns the NIV also owns "The Simpson's" and "The Family Guy" TV shows.  I have a headache.

In other words, all Christians should stop drinking coffee, stop improving their homes or fixing their toilets, stop surfing the internet, stop buying sweaters or watching cable, and stop enjoying themselves on vacation.

In today's world, it's next to impossible to buy something from someone who doesn't condone something you're against.

We don't make it easier for our neighbors to find and experience God with angry power protests.  We make it easier by showing them our steadfast faith - by exhibiting marriages where a man loves his wife and vice versa - by showing-and-telling watchers why we don't divorce each other - by trusting in God's power and peace when we walk thru life storms - by serving the world around us with a towel and a bucket.

I know some believers feel pretty strongly about not supporting business due to certain social issues.  They should be free to take their business elsewhere.  I do understand it.  But there are still other believers who realize the only way to consistently avoid every area of concern would mean leaving this world and they choose to focus their attention on other matters.

Perhaps this isn't a matter solely of theology, but of application of theology.  Two believers may have the same belief on an issue but feel led to apply that same believe in different ways.  In the end, we must each give an account for the choices we make here on earth.

And be blessed.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


Back in 1956, Martin Luther King wrote a letter that almost seems as if it were written yesterday.  It's far too long to print the entire thing here, but select parts are critical for us to hear and read in 2012.

Dr. King was amazingly progressive in his attitudes, leanings and thinkings.  He seemed to intuitively understand and realize the importance of the church getting its heart in right alignment with God's heart.

The letter is almost Biblical in its presentation and stature - not quite, but it has that Biblical 'ring' to it.

I don't know if Dr. King's letter has an actual title, but the first line says:

'I would like to share with you an imaginary letter from the pen of the Apostle Paul . . . '  

He says the letter is written from Paul to the American Christian living in 1956 A.D.  More than 55 years later, it applies deeply.

' . . . America, as I look at you from afar, I wonder whether your moral and spiritual progress has been commensurate with your scientific progress.  It seems to me that your moral progress lags behind your scientific progress . . . thru your scientific genius you have made of the world a neighborhood, but thru your moral and spiritual genius you have failed to make of it a brotherhood.'

I don't think there's much argument there.  Whatever you come up with today, science has created an app for it.  But there is not yet an app for genuine authenticity, community and brotherhood.

'There is another thing that disturbs me to no end about the American church.  You have a white church and a Negro church . . . How can such a division exist in the true body of Christ?  You must face the tragic fact that when you stand at 11 a.m. on Sunday morning to sing, "All Hail the Power of Jesus' Name" . . . you stand in the most segregated hour of Christian America' . . . how appalling is that?'

I must pause here to say how very proud I am of KFA at the tearing down of socio-economic, racial, ethnic, gender, political, and other walls in our congregation - and to be able to stand onstage week after week to view a sea of faces that accurately mirror the colors, incomes, varieties and diversities of the community in which we live.

' . . . I still believe love is the most durable power in the world . . . This principle stands at the center of the cosmos . . . So American Christians, you may master the intricacies of the English language.  You may possess all eloquence of articulate speech.   But even if you 'speak with the tongues of men and angels, and have not love, you are become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.''

Can we just stop saying we love and accept people and just start doing it?

And be blessed.