Thursday, November 29, 2012


Penn Jillette is a magician - a comedian - a bassist, even - who has been on the full slate of talk shows and showed up with great aplomb on Donald Trump's "Celebrity Apprentice" last year.  He did pretty well.

He is an atheist.  When asked to explain why he's an atheist, Jillette has stated: 'Because I don't know.  And if I don't know, then I don't believe.  I don't know exactly how we got here, and I don't think anyone else does either.'

He has also confessed that he likes Christians.  There's a switch.  He says people who follow Christ seem to have great compassion, kindness and gentleness.

Jillette did a YOUTUBE video on proselytizing awhile back.  I found it shocking and enlightening.  Maybe you will also.

I am speechless.  You now have Penn Jillette's permission to start proselytizing if you are not doing so already.

And be blessed.


News feeds have been buzzing the past few days over the revelation that Angus T. Jones (that's him in the middle), who plays Jake Harper in the TV show "Two and a Half Men," has recently become a Christian.

He has subsequently confessed his growing disgust with the show that has made him famous.  He has been quoted encouraging readers to 'stop watching' and stop 'filling your head with filth.'  Watch the show just once and you'll see what he's talking about.  It is legendary for overt sexuality and offensive behavior and speech.

He has suggested that his faith and work are on different planes and that being on a show like Two and a Half Men, as a believer, could actually be part of God's plan.

I doubt there is any big debate that God can use whatever He wants to use in any setting He chooses to use it.  History is rich with examples of God using unbelievers to accomplish His purposes.  But in this particular scenario, does Angus T. Jones have any obligation to leave the show that he still has one year of contract obligation on?

And be blessed.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


It seems to me that when Jesus looked out over a crowd He never once asked, "Why aren't there more people here?"  He just saw who was there and reached out to them with compassion and care.

That kind of Jesus routinely makes our grasp for more and for ambition and for popularity and for numbers so much garbage.

When you go to your church, what do you see?  What do you ask?  "Why aren't more people here?"  or, "How can I help get more here? or, "How can we disciple who IS here?"

You can, of course, ask all three questions with integrity, but we must not neglect to ask that third one.

T. Moore said: 'We've attracted people on the basis of mere self-interest, so that what we have are congregations ecstatic to belong to some place that ... takes their self-interest as seriously as they do.'

Ouch ... and amen.

And be blessed.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


In every church there are two tensions - care for those 'out there' and care for those 'in here.'  One of the four purposes of KFA ( is Offering Hope.  This is another way of saying evangelism or outreach.

We have a drive and vision to put and keep a focus on reaching those far from God.  We aren't embarrassed or apologetic to say it is one of our main goals, if not THE main goal.  Jesus came to 'seek and save the lost,' and if that was His mission, it needs to be ours as well.

We only have so much time - so much money - so many resources - so much energy.  Do we put the bulk of it into caring for our own needs or do we put it into caring for the needs of others?

'We have a drive to keep a focus on reaching those far from God.'

There was a time that I thought folks who thought otherwise were just selfish, but I've come to realize it's just the natural progression of a church's life cycle.  The longer you exist, the more the spotlight is turned on you.  It happens slowly but surely.  It's just natural.

But natural is the last thing we want, isn't it?  What we want is supernatural.  And that means asking God to help us keep the light turned toward those who need Him most.

And be blessed.

Sunday, November 25, 2012


There's morality in the Bible, but the Bible isn't primarily about morality.  There are miracles and the supernatural and talk about money and heaven and hell in the Bible, but it's not primarily about those things.  The Bible is primarily about Jesus.  That's why one of our eight core values at KFA ( is that we are Christ-centered.

It is a deep, driving conviction of KFA that the Bible is a book that God wrote and it's all about Jesus, and you can't make any sense of it whatsoever unless you connect it all to Him.

History starts with the first Adam and Jesus is called the last Adam.  The first Adam sinned and the last Adam atoned for sin.  Thru the first Adam there was condemnation; thru the last Adam there is salvation.  Thru the first Adam we inherit a sin nature; thru the last Adam, we receive a new nature.  The first Adam yielded to Satan; the last Adam defeated Satan.  The first Adam sinned at a tree; the last Adam atoned for sin on a tree.  The first Adam brought thorns; the last Adam wore a crown of thorns.  The first Adam was naked and unashamed; the last Adam was stripped naked and bore our shame.  Jesus is the greater Adam.

God comes to Abraham and says, "I'm sending you on a mission to a new place to start over with a new people."  Jesus left His Father's house to come to a broken Earth.  He came to set up a new humanity.  Abraham's descendants would be as numerous as the sand.  Today a few billion of us are descendants of the mission of Jesus to seek and save the lost.  Jesus is the greater Abraham.

Isaac was the promised firstborn son of Abraham and Sarai.  Then God told Abraham to do the unthinkable - offer your only son as a sacrifice.  Isaac, as an adult son, carries his own wood to the place designed for his death.  He willingly lays down to die at the hand of his own father.  But God stops Abraham and says: 'Wait.  The Father has provided a lamb.'  Jesus ultimately comes as our sacrificial lamb. He too carries His own wood on His back to the place where He would lay it all down on a cross for us.  Jesus is the greater Isaac.

Moses is raised up by God to bring deliverance to a nation in slavery.  Jesus comes to deliver us from slavery as well - slavery from alcohol, sex, fears, pleasures, even religion.  He defeats bigger Pharaohs than Moses did.  Jesus is the greater Moses.

There is a king named David.  He's a boy from a poor family in a rural area, yet he rises to become the greatest king Israel had ever known.  Jesus comes from David's family line and He is the King of all Kings and He is the greater David.

Jonah rebels against God's call to communicate the truth to a nation Jonah hates.  He runs from God via a boat and is tossed overboard by the crew and is swallowed by a big fish.  He's in there three days until the fish pukes him onto the beach.  He goes to Ninevah and over 100,000 find God.  Jesus came along and said, "As Jonah was in the belly of the whale three days and nights, I'm going to go into the earth for three days and nights.  And as Jonah came out alive, so will I.  And though Jonah was used to save a multitude, I'm going to save even more."  Jesus is the greater Jonah.

There's a guy in the Bible named Boaz.  Boaz chooses a forsaken woman named Ruth.  She's poor, homeless, from the cursed Moabite race; she's had a husband before.  Not much going for her.  She also has a mother-in-law, Naomi, who is part of the package deal.  But Boaz loves Ruth and takes her as his own.  These are used by God to give birth to a baby named Jesus - and He takes us, people far worse than Ruth and Naomi and He accepts us and loves us and calls us His bride, the church.  Jesus is the greater Boaz.

It's about Jesus on every page.

And be blessed.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


'What's the path?'  

That's what a lot of people ask us these days.  How do I get from 'here' to 'there' in my spiritual walk?  Fair question.  Fair, if you like the answer, that is.

I agree with D. Browning, who says that discipleship in America has become complicated by the American educational system:  Start with Level 101 and move to 201, then 301 and so on.  The church, with good intentions, has modeled much of its process after the above.

Not that that's bad.  It just isn't what Jesus did.

The system Jesus set in place was way more relational (one of our KFA core values, by the way) than it was informational.  Jesus said, "Follow Me."  That was pretty much it.

We know, for example, that we should read our Bibles, but very often we don't.  Why not?  Haven't you been told that over and over by some preacher/teacher until he/she is blue in the face but you've stopped listening?  Yes.  Do you really need to be told that anymore?  Unless you're a brand-new believer (THEY need to be told), the answer is 'No.'

'You pick up the Manual and help somebody.'

The gap isn't between what we know and don't know - it's between what we know and do.  When Jesus said, "Go make disciples," He wasn't talking to the organized church - He was talking to His disciples.  That's you ... and me.  Disciple means follower.

YOU model the life.
YOU get a disciple.
YOU hold their hand and walk them thru it.

We'll help equip you - that's our job - we're doing that.  Then you pick up the Manual and help somebody.

It isn't that tough; there aren't really that many things to know.  Sometimes we come to a weekend and want to hear something we've never heard before.  That doesn't cut it.  That's information.  You don't need more of that unless you're planning on hosting a Bible Trivia Quiz Game at your house later that evening.  Here's what you need to know - and here's what you need to model:

A Life of Sacrifice in Worship to God
A Life of Service with Enthusiasm for God
A Life of Community in Authenticity with Others
A Life of Sharing what God has Done for you with Somebody

1 - 2 - 3 - 4 ... Boom and done.

Any questions?

And be blessed.

Monday, November 19, 2012


I read an article today that said 45% of Americans would forego Christmas if they could.  The holiday brings so much stress --- family, finances, friends, obligations, time pressures -- they'd rather just skip it and go right to January.

It first bothered me when I read that.  Christmas is the culmination of the year wrapped in tinsel and bows --- it is smiles at the store that you never get the rest of the year --- it's what we wait and wait and wait for for months on end --- it's food till we burst --- skip it?!

So, given that, I thought I could give you some stress-relieving tips to help you avoid being part of the 45% ... things like:
- Plan a budget for Christmas
- Get some exercise during the season
- Keep some time for yourself
- Allow yourself to have some fun
- Blah, blah and blah.

We can skip Christmas if we want to, but what we can't do is skip Christ-mas.  It is the representation of what Jesus did for us.  He left His eternal home where He belonged --- He put on skin to become like us --- He lived a sinless life and sacrificially walked His way to a cross to be crucified for our sins --- in our place --- as our substitute --- so we could stand free and forgiven.

Jesus did that.

Christmas did that.

Don't skip it -- not the REAL Christmas, at least.

And be blessed.

Saturday, November 17, 2012


We've talked a lot the past few years at KFA about being 'missional.'  That word didn't even exist a couple of years ago and now we're saying it without blinking.  But what does it mean?

Essentially, it is 'to arrange your whole life around your faith convictions and put it into every day actions, fully engaged with God's mission in your world' -- in a nutshell.

'How can we impact the Kingdom of God?'

So we've been asking ourselves questions like: 'How can we impact the Kingdom of God?' instead of 'How can we grow our church?'  It isn't about getting more Bible knowledge, it's about putting what we know into practice.

I don't think we need to get overly caught up with the word 'missional.'  We do, however, have to get overly caught up in the mission of Christ.

And be blessed.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


I don't think we need to know the entire Bible in order to become mature and fully bought-in followers of Christ.

You know I say these things just to get you to look at this blog, don't you?

But honestly, I often have people ask me why we don't talk about certain things in our church service.  They want to know about things like 'What does the fifth toenail on the beast stand for in Revelation?' -- or they want to know about an obscure passage in Ezekiel or Nahum.

What I sometimes ask them in return is:
'How's your marriage?'
'How are you treating your children?'
'Are you gossiping?'
'Are you giving and serving?'
'Are you reaching out and loving others?'
'Have you invited anybody to be a follower of Christ this year?'
'Are you sacrificing anything for the Kingdom?'

I've said before that everything in the Bible is equally true - but not everything is equally clear.  Add to that - not everything in the Bible is equally important.

'I don't think we need to know the entire Bible in order to become mature and fully bought-in followers of Christ.'


Here's what we're mean about at KFA:
- God and His Word are absolutely trustworthy and right.
- Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior and there is no other way to heaven but by Him.
- Jesus came, lived sinlessly, died, rose again, and conquered death, hell and the grave.
- The church is the hope for the world.

There are a few other things on that list, but those are non-negotiables for us.  Meanness.

If you study the teachings of Jesus, you're going to find a half dozen things He talks about a whole lot - but not that many more.

So when people ask why we repeat certain teachings and pound on those and say them over and over, it's because Jesus did, too.  Seems like a good model.

Frankly, there are a lot of things that are informative, but not as many things that are transformative.  There are a ton of things to know in the Bible, but not as many things we need to know in order to be mature believers.  Really.

It's not that hard.  It takes consistency, sure.  Faithfulness, yes.  Persistence, absolutely.  But hard?  Not so much.  Not really.

All Scripture is God-breathed and profitable, but every single verse isn't equally profitable.  Don't get me wrong (some of you already have) -- some Scripture is interesting, but other Scripture is life-altering.  At KFA, we choose to focus more often on Scriptures that help us have the best shot at maturing lives.

This gives us a greater opportunity to make a greater impact.  Just so you know.

And be blessed.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


I'm not sure that driving over the speed limit is really a sin.  When I don't go faster than allowed, the guy behind me lays into me with his horn - regularly.

One of our core values at KFA is integrity -- both personal and organizational integrity.  We've been working hard at it.  Our team read a book recently that helped us with it called "Character Matters" by Mark Rutland.

Barely ten years ago, three-fourths of Americans believed an extra-marital affair was wrong and never justified.  Today, less than half think that.  In just a decade there has been a steep decline in this particular facet of integrity.  Only a third of the folks believed it was wrong to lie on a job application.

'I mean, in this day and age, when jobs are scarce, if I have to lie to put food on the table for my family, I'll do whatever I have to.'  That's called Hierarchy of Values -- not to mention 'sin.'

So here's an Integrity Test for you to take.  Rate your attitude to each of the following activities:
1 point if you think it is never justified.
2 points if you think it is rarely justified.
3 points if you think it is sometimes justified.
4 points if you think it is always justified.

And listen ... be honest.  If you can't be honest with yourself sitting at your own computer alone ... God help us.

'If you can't be honest with yourself sitting at your own computer alone ... God help us.'

A.  Avoiding paying the fare on public transport.  (It doesn't matter if you ride public transport; what do you think about this activity?)
B.  Cheating on your taxes if you can get away with it.
C.  Driving faster than the speed limit.  ('Oh PK, there's nothing wrong with that.'  Just answer the question.)
D.  Keeping money you found in the street.  ('I don't know who to give it back to.'  ANSWER THE QUESTION!)
E.  Lying in your own best interest.
F.  Not reporting accidental damage you did to a parked car.
G.  Throwing litter in a public place.
H.  Driving under the influence of alcohol.
I.   Making up stuff on a job application.
J.  Buying something you know is stolen.

According to the test's author, a straight-up score of 10 suggests you are very honest - 11 to 15 means you don't mind bending the rules but are more honest than average - 16-20 suggests you're relaxed about the rules and anything more than 21 implies you don't believe in living by the rules.

What was common about the above questions was that each of them posed an opportunity to do something when no one was looking.  The chance to 'get away with it' is often one of the driving forces of whether we would do it.

You live your life before an audience of One who is always watching.  Does that move you at all?

I scored a 13, so I have some work to do.

And be blessed.

Sunday, November 11, 2012


There are going to be seasons and cycles of crises and tragedies going forward in our world.  God said so.  It's all because of sin until Jesus comes to put a final end to it all and bring a new heaven and a new earth.  That's the promise and hope of the Bible.

And my question to you is this:  What if the economy gets worse?  What if terrorist attacks increase?  What if more earthquakes and tornadoes and hurricanes strike?

Here's what.  'This will be your opportunity to bear witness."  When the world runs out of hope and runs out of help, that's when followers of Christ run in.  It's our opportunity to say there's a world after this one.  There's a King beyond earthly kings.  That King has a Kingdom that never ends and ultimately this life that exists for only a little while is followed by one that lasts forever.  This world isn't our home.  This world isn't our heaven.  This world isn't our hope.

'Jesus makes life meaningful.  Jesus makes death meaningful.  Jesus makes difficulty meaningful.'

Jesus makes life meaningful.  Jesus makes death meaningful.  Jesus makes difficulty meaningful.  And when times get hard, don't you, follower of Christ, ask the wrong questions.

'Where is God?'
'Doesn't He care?'
'Isn't He paying attention?'
'Doesn't He love me?'
'Has He forgotten me?'

Those are all wrong questions.  Instead, here's what we can ask:

'Where's my opportunity?'
'Who can I help?'
'Where can I serve?'
'How can I make Christ known?'
'Where's the open door?'

This is my opportunity to bear witness.

And be blessed.

Saturday, November 10, 2012


People tend to associate holiness with a place.  They tend to worship created things like church buildings and sacred spaces.  And they think those are holy places that make them closer to God when they're there.  That might have been the case in the Old Testament, but Jesus came to destroy that thinking.

The truth is, if you try to take away someone's idol, they react violently.  We attach ourselves to our idols and when someone tries to remove them, we tend to attack.  

Jesus says in the Gospel of Luke: 'The temple will be no more.'  He's declaring all of that no longer necessary -- the priests -- the sacrifices -- the temple -- because He's our priest now.  He's our sacrifice.  He's our temple.  He's the presence of God on the earth.  And He lives inside us.  Not in a building.

Buildings are important.  They hold the body of Christ as they gather together on weekends and at other times.  We appreciate our building at KFA -- it's an awesome building -- but when we get there, God wasn't sleeping in the rafters waiting on our arrival.  We brought Him with us.  And when we leave, God doesn't stay behind to indwell the baptistry.  We take Him with us.

It is so important that we internalize this as Christ-followers in 2012.

And be blessed.

Friday, November 9, 2012


I read about a church in Texas that made their local newspaper recently because they were undergoing some change.  Actually, the changes were absolutely outrageous ... the kind that would make you get right up in the middle of a service and walk out with your coat and your kids just to make a statement.  Some people in the congregation are so ticked they're considering a lawsuit.

They have created a list of the horrendous, despicable things the pastor has enacted since he arrived five years ago.  Here they are:

1.  There is no more hymn singing.
2.  The piano and organ have been removed.
3.  The words to the songs are no longer printed and have been replaced by a screen.
4.  Several pews were removed.
5.  Some stained glass was partially covered.
6.  The church name has been changed.
7.  Sunday School has been shut down.

I am not making this up.  One of the deacons was quoted as saying: "I just had a feeling from the Lord that these things weren't supposed to be changed."


I hope I never become like this.  I hope if I ever walk away from something that it's over something far more important than hymnbooks and stained glass and pews and names.

I pray I don't end up a bitter, angry, old man.

And be blessed.

Thursday, November 8, 2012


We have a bunch to be thankful for.  Whatever your view of the recent Presidential election results, the fact is, we are blessed.

The truth is, we are spoiled silly.

Talking with some friends last evening, I became aware of something called First World Problems.  I wasn't familiar with the term, but I caught on pretty quickly.  There's a website of the same name that helps you bring your 'problems' into focus.

There are First World Problems and there are Third World Problems.

Third World Problems are things like:
No potable water for miles
Too weak to open your mouth to eat
Disease and infestation
Both parents have died of injury, lack of food, armed resistance or disease
Dodging bullets of insurrectionists
Walking to avoid planted bombs in the ground

First World Problems are things like:
I got a job and now I have to start getting up early
I went to a neighbor's house and I couldn't get into their WiFi because I didn't know the password
I dropped my MacBook on my iPad
I wore my winter coat to the bar and I had to hold it all night
The bed at my hotel was so hard it gave me a backache
I just used my last Pandora skip for the hour and now I have to listen to a song I hate
I'm too rich for financial aid and I'm too poor to pay for college

Now ... why don't you get a grip.

And be blessed.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012


Christ-followers are, firstly, citizens of a celestial Kingdom.  Their loyalty to earthly authorities and leaders are, at best, secondary.  Yet the Bible clearly teaches that God has given us gifts of law, government and authorities for our good.

As President Obama readies to serve a second term as U.S. President, I remind us of I Timothy 2:1, 2: "I urge, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercessions and thanksgiving be made for everyone, for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness."

I offer this prayer as a place to begin:

"Father God, we pray with a sense of urgency and responsibility.  We know You and You are sovereign, that You rule over all, and that You alone are able to keep us and defend us.  We know our times are in Your hands and our greatest confidence is in You.  We come before you as people who acknowledge our constant need for Your wisdom, provision and protection.

We ask that You would show the glory of Your name in our times and in these days.  We pray with thanksgiving for the gift of liberty and government.  Thank You for those who rule over us, for blessing us, for unprecedented freedoms.

We bring before You President Barack Obama and those in his administration who assume roles of such high authority.  Give this President wisdom, grace and protection.  Surround him and his family and shield him from evil acts and evil intentions of others.  Give him great understanding and bring alongside him co-workers with extreme knowledge and ability as he fulfills this vital responsibility.  We are thankful for his gifts and talents, for his intellect and his power of influence.  May he protect what is right and good.  Change his heart where it must be changed, and give him resolve where his heart is right before You.

We do not place our best hope in horses or chariots.  We will trust in the name of the Lord our God.  Give us a proper spirit.  We know the future is in Your hands, God, and we want to hear You one day say, "Well done, good servants."

In Jesus' name.  Amen.

And be blessed.

Monday, November 5, 2012


Our Champions group -- 15 guys -- talked thru Andy Stanley's "THE BEST QUESTION EVER" book tonight.   It was great conversation and some amazing transparency for only our second time together.

Some of my favorite quotes from the book:

- 'While nobody plans to mess up his life, the problem is that few of us plan not to.'

- 'In light of your past/current experience, what is the wise thing to do?'

- 'Simply by recognizing that our days are numbered we take a giant step towards becoming men of wisdom.'

- 'It's bad enough that we chip away at our family's future financial security by refusing to prioritize saving, but to give God our leftovers is really insulting.'

- 'Wisdom begins when we recognize that God is God and then respond accordingly. The proper response, of course, is surrender.  Once we have surrendered, God is more than happy to reveal more and more of Himself.'

And be blessed.

Sunday, November 4, 2012


It was an awesome day in the house today at KFA -- hosting Dr. George Wood -- the General Superintendent of the Assemblies of God worldwide.

He presented the Word with a combination of great power and great heart, concluding with a moving story of celebrating missionaries who sowed faithful seeds down thru the years, remembered via oral tradition in song by a woman from the former Upper Volta in Africa.

I wish every person could have the opportunity to sit across the table for just 30 minutes with a man of such wisdom and grace as this.

We were blessed this day.

And be blessed.

Friday, November 2, 2012


I'm continually impressed by the creativity of the folks at KFA.  Creativity is one of our eight core values.

Our core values aren't our theology - we already have that.
They aren't our doctrine - we already have that.
They aren't what we do at KFA - those are our purposes - we already have those.
They are the 'how' of KFA - the motivation - the heart behind what we do.

So here are some basic rules for creativity.  Creativity happens when you don't make excuses.

- If it's important enough, you'll take time for it.
- If you aren't sure where to start, start anywhere.
- If you get stuck, take a timed break.
- If you don't know how to do it, try doing what you can.
- If you believe you can do it, you will.

And this, from Rules of A Creator's Life:

- Do more than you're told.
- Try new things.
- Make work into play - and play into work.
- Take breaks.
- Work when others are resting.
- Always be creating.
- Make your own inspiration.
- Love what you do, or leave.

And be blessed.

Thursday, November 1, 2012


God woke me up extra early today.  It's amazing what you hear when you're lying on your back - awake - but with eyes closed.

The steady breathing of your wife next to you.
The occasional 'cooing' noises coming from the dog over in the corner where he sleeps.
The creaks of the house at night.
The 'tick' of the furnace coming on and off.
Was that something I heard running across the floor in the dark?  No.  I'm sure that was my imagination.
The stray leaf hitting the gutter.
The car passing by way out by the street.

Everything is magnified.

I lay there, probably more than an hour just praying - and I found out that when you do that, God is magnified too.

And be blessed.