Saturday, October 31, 2009

"Fire Tested", by Pastor Kevin Lynch

In music, "it don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing."

In the Church, it don't mean a thing unless it's gone through the fire.

I have my druthers as to who I place my trust and confidence in other than Jesus Christ.

When I have to trust somebody, I want to be sure they have been tried, tested, and tempered by the fires.

In other words, they have faced adversity and trial time and again, and not only have come out the other side better for it, but become a bigger blessing to others as the result each time!

It confounds earthly flesh bound reasoning. It's a total and complete God thing!

Nobody likes to go through it, but the fact remains that we are made stronger by the tough stuff we face when we trust God with it.

Sort of some truth to the adage, "Whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger."

Who knew it better than Peter?

1 Peter 4:12 - "Dear brothers, do not be surprised, as if it was something strange, if your faith is tested as by fire."

If we read the gospels closely we will find that Peter wasn't really worth the leather on his sandals as far as being a "go to" person for Jesus until he suffered tremendous trials and temptations.

Peter finally got it. The final fire for him was getting nailed upside down to a cross.

There are some folks I know personally being refined daily by fire. Each day seems to present even newer and more difficult challenges.

Yet, not only do they endure, but they seem to be able to keep their edge, their excitement in Christ, their optimism that in Him everything, bar nothing, will be alright.

I want them with me in the fire. I want them in my foxhole.

The doubts and fears have long been burned out of them.

This is the purpose of fire. It purifies. It burns off the dross. It melts away the slag.

"Slag and dross". It even sounds undesirable. It's because it is.

It's dead weight. It weighs you down. It's your old bad attitude. It's the old chicken heart.

It's what makes the tongue waggin' lip flapper turn to jello when the going gets tough.

I have been in the midst of the fire this entire week and I see glorious light at the end of the tunnel. He has led me through a minefield this week. I have dodged snipers from hell.

I have to tell you that this morning I feel like Superman. Each test as it is "piled on" seems to forge my armor of God into an impenetrable protective force. (Yeah, I know, I'm a pastor. I HAVE to be that way, hahaha!)

I wish it was contagious.

I have been in prayer since 3:00 a.m. Oh Lord, please let it be contagious.

There is little spirit willing and so much weak flesh.

Only God can burn that out.

How about you today?

Is it "me first"? Or is it, "Lead me on Lord!"

Lean forward right into the fire filled with nothing but expectation that it's all God today.

Or recoil in fear and be a spectator.

Thank you my fire tested friends. You know who you are *wink*. I am believing that there soon will be many others in the flames with us!

Be blessed today in EVERYTHING!

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

Friday, October 30, 2009

"The Strangers", by Pastor Kevin Lynch

We get caught up so much in the doldrums of church type stuff that we often completely miss or ignore the absolute supernatural aspect of it.

For many people, church is never, and I mean never, going to more than forcing themselves up on a Sunday morning and hauling themselves to a place they really don't want to be. They will sing a few songs, drop a few coins in the basket, endure what is to them a longwinded sermon, and then rush back home in time for the football game or BBQ.

If that ain't pure ineffective religion I don't know what is.

Some other aspects of the Church needs to break through into that scenario, because I'll tell you, given the present state of the Church on many fronts, I tend to believe that the example given is often more the rule then the exception.

Maybe more people need to see an angel now and then.

Ever wonder why people tend to acknowledge the demonic more than the angelic?

How about this instruction from the bible:

Hebrews 13:2 (Amplified Bible)

"Do not forget or neglect or refuse to extend hospitality to strangers [in the brotherhood--being friendly, cordial, and gracious, sharing the comforts of your home and doing your part generously], for through it some have entertained angels without knowing it."

Interpreted properly "in the brotherhood" becomes important. No one is asking anyone to open their doors to potential home invaders.

However, the Word is instructing us to be more aware of the supernatural ministrations of God through some very non-earthly means.

says she talks to angels
they call her out by her name
oh yeah, she talks to angels
says they call her out by her name
~Black Crows~

Sometimes those we don't expect to be very spiritual are able to accept more easily what we should be seeing plainly.

The gist of the passage in my interpretation might be a bit looser than the hard line statement it appears to be making.

I think it is saying to stop being so religiously tight. To loosen up on the death grip you have over everything in your life and begin to look at what's really around you.

Entertain (be open and willing). Be hospitable (fond of others). Open your heart (be a pureheart).

Ah...the purehearts. I have had the joy of knowing a few in my life. Even right now in the present.

Always willing to give even when there is seemingly nothing to give. Even the most dire of circumstances or pains of life are unable to douse their love and joy in the Lord.

I have had the privilege to see and speak to whom I believe were angels sent by God. It wasn't manifest at the moment, but the aftermath made me think I was in a supernatural presence engineered for the moment by God.

Bottom line? Stop being strangled by the cares of this world and open up to the supernatural workings of God.

We expect God to operate like we do and be confined and restricted by the things we are.

However, God is not restricted, and He has far more greater resources than we do, and the good news is He's willing to share them with us and intervene on our behalf.

Expect them. Seek them. Open up to them.

Be blessed in your life today in everything you do and everything you say.

Keepin it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

Thursday, October 29, 2009

"Sniper At The Gate", by Pastor Kevin Lynch

It never stops. We shouldn't expect it to. There may be lulls, or it may seem relentless at times.

I am speaking of the trials and cares of daily living complicated and compounded by the dark forces of evil purposely unleashed to keep the disciples of Jesus Christ from their solemn appointment.

That's a mouthful.

I don't know about you, but this week I feel like there has been a sniper taking potshots at me.

Pretty good strategy by Old Scratch. Install some shooters right along the road to Paradise.

He's not concerned about posting any along the the road to Perdition.

His bullets are stress, anxiety, fear, disappointment, discouragement...

His aim is true as he targets the weakest spots at the worst possible moments.

When you think you are stressed he fires off a salvo to exploit a condition and send it over the top.

He has his sharpshooters strategically placed, even at the very portal where this world meets the next.

One last shot. He knows that once you break the plane of eternal life you belong to his Sworn Enemy.

Some days there is no joy. Sometimes there is bad news. Other days you just feel plain yucky.

Some days...some weeks...some months...there is nothing but bad news.

Yeah, even though I walk through the Valley of the Shadow of Death lined with sharpshooters...

A full assault.

I think it's past the point where we can comfortably say we have found a way to escape.

No...we are in the battle. I submit that if you haven't been on the business end of a satanic and demonic assault, that it's not a sign of how wonderfully spiritual you are.

It could be the devil doesn't see you as a threat.

Why waste ammunition?

God hasn't designed us to flee. He has designed us to stand and fight.

"Resist the devil and he shall flee FROM YOU!" (James 4:7)

That's my response for me at least.

I'm not folding my hand. I'm taking my spot on the wall.

You're a player or you're not.

God has put me on the wall.

It's often very lonely on the wall. Very lonely.

If none come with me, I will still follow.

This is not the time to curl up and give in.

This is the time to fight.

Fight for your salvation. Fight for your sanctification. Fight for your family.

Fight for your church.

You're all in or you're not.

Spend some time in the green pastures and along the cool waters that He will lead you to.

It's all there even in the shadows of death itself.

Be at peace and be joyful today!

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

"Code Talkers", Pastor Kevin Lynch

Sometimes I feel like I am speaking a different language.

I guess it's sort of true.

I speak English and "Christianese".

Seriously, I am acutely aware of it often.

For instance, I was in for some medical tests yesterday and during a lull in the activities the tech who was attending me started asking me questions about my faith, church, etc.

I found myself speaking differently to her than I would someone I knew for sure was a follower of Christ.

I had to put it into "plain English".

I was fairly certain I shouldn't use terms like "washed in the blood", or "sanctified", or "standing on the Rock". Some of that might even sound scary to those outside of the Word of God.

Maybe we should be more sensitive to what "country" we are in before we commence with our "native" language.

After all, Paul said some pretty amazing things about understanding the Word and things about Jesus.

1 Corinthians 1:18 (Amplified Bible)

(18) For the story and message of the cross is sheer absurdity and folly to those who are perishing and on their way to perdition, but to us who are being saved it is the [manifestation of] the power of God.

You can't believe in something you don't understand the instructions about.

It's like watching a commercial on tv in a foreign country. You may have an idea about what is being sold, but you can't understand enough of it to make a decision one way or another.

It might all sound like nonsensical jibber-jabber.

That's pretty much what Paul is saying about those who have no clue as to what the bible teaches.

For us who have taken the time to become enlightened it is the most profound truth we will ever hope to hear.

To those who are without that understanding it is jibber-jabber.

If it was just info about a new cleaning product or room freshener it wouldn't be an issue.

When it's about where a person will spend eternity it's the most important thing in the world.

We must do everything in our power to ensure that everyone understands about Jesus.

They are perishing.

That has to mean something to us.

Forget sounding religious.

Tell the story and tell it plainly.

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

Monday, October 26, 2009

"Bait And Switch", by Pastor Kevin Lynch

Anytime someone promotes or advertises one thing, and then provides an inferior product in place of what was originally offered, it's called a "bait and switch".

There's a lot of that in the Kingdom of God.

Religionists practice the bait and switch by offering a more complicated gospel padded with man made rules, rituals and regulations.

Evangelistic hucksters practice the bait and switch when they convince their trusting and unsuspecting followers to purchase salvation and healing from them.

Satan is the author and main practitioner of the bait switch, and has been since the beginning, as he offers what appears to be a rosier path than what God offers, but is really a garbage strewn fast track to Hell.

Galatians 6:7-8 (Amplified Bible)

(7) Do not be deceived and deluded and misled; God will not allow Himself to be sneered at (scorned, disdained, or mocked by mere pretensions or professions, or by His precepts being set aside.) [He inevitably deludes himself who attempts to delude God.] For whatever a man sows, that and that only is what he will reap. (8) For he who sows to his own flesh (lower nature, sensuality) will from the flesh reap decay and ruin and destruction, but he who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.

"Do not be deceived". God will not be left holding the bag for you. He will never be made to look stupid or embarrassed.

Accept no substitutes.

Nothing other than the pure gospel of God, which is contained in His Holy Word, is authoritative.

When you unwittingly or purposefully accept or follow a perverted brand of the gospel you are sowing into your lower nature.

It is an endeavor completely in the flesh, and you are sowing a seed of destruction and decay into yourself. It is greed and selfishness.

You think you have advanced yourself, but in reality you have decreased.

There are no better deals.

It's Jesus, or a lesser, putrid, weaker version of Who He is.

Check yourself. Be careful who you listen to and follow. Be mindful of what you read and watch.

Are you getting the truth?

It is the truth and nothing but the truth that sets us free!

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

Saturday, October 24, 2009

"We'll Get There Together", by Pastor Kevin Lynch

It's a lonely road when you travel alone. No one to talk to. No one to listen to you. No one to make you laugh.

I'm not talking about a business trip.

I'm talking about everyday getting up in the morning and going to bed at night living.

I'm talking about loneliness in the midst of a crowd.

Loneliness in the midst of a family.

Who is sharing your burdens?

The kids are going one way, the spouse the other. Friends have their own problems. Co-workers are too stressed themselves to get past idle chit-chat.

I tell you one thing. I don't care what the depth of your cares or worries are, idle chit-chat is not enough.

Non-communication is a self-imposed tomb. No one is going to break down the door to share your cares and worries. Except...

...people who are inclined that way. People who are enlightened (or being enlightened) to get down into the muck and mire of your life with you.

Where do we find such people?

The family of God. Your brothers and sisters in Christ.

Hopefully...God help us. There are some gatherings you can walk into and be fortunate to get a smile cast your way.

But if you can find a real one...a honest to goodness operating church for the right reasons...

...then you have struck gold. Don't let it go. Ever. They are your traveling companions for life. Here and beyond.

This is why I am mystified as a pastor at times. I would think that people who have the most grief and troubles would be in church the most (and I am profoundly happy to say that I have the privilege of serving a "goldmine" church), but I see the complete opposite.

Listen to the words of Paul here (yes, I believe Hebrews is Pauline in content):

Hebrews 10: 24: "And let us consider and give attentive, continuous care to watching over one another, studying how we may stir up (stimulate and incite) to love and helpful deeds and noble activities, (25) Not forsaking or neglecting to assemble together [as believers], as is the habit of some people, but admonishing (warning, urging, and encouraging) one another, and all the more faithfully as you see the day approaching."

If you look at this as some sort of authoritative church religious manipulation tactic, then you're missing out on the purpose and blessing contained in the passage.

Too many of my colleagues preach it legalistically as a commandment to "go to church".

Keith Green said it best, rest his soul, when he said "Going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than going to McDonald's makes you a hamburger."

No. Paul didn't mean to hammer us into submission with that passage.

He meant to direct our feet to the place, the one place, where we would be guaranteed to find peace, joy, acceptance, hugs, a place to share tears and laughter...

...a place where we can get a sense of "We'll get there together."

We are all headed somewhere. It can be a lonely trek, or it can be an adventure.

I choose adventure, along with the people I know love each other and me.

If you are dreading church than I feel sorry for you whoever you are and wherever you "don't" go.

If you look forward to the "assembling together" wherever and however that might be, then I say you are blessed beyond your troubles and cares!

People who give watchful and attentive care to each other will never be lonely!

We will get there together.

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

Friday, October 23, 2009

"Bargaining With God", by Pastor Kevin Lynch

This one came to me last night as I was drifting off to sleep. God comes to me often in a semi-state of consciousness, or in a dream. Too often I don't remember what it was the next day.

He was specific to me last night. It was fresh in my mind this morning after a fitful sleep.

Mortality issues.

Many people face them. Too many are Christians.

Our mortality is not an issue when we know where we are going when we die.

I mean, really. That's the bottom line.

Mortality is such an issue with some Christians that they start "bargaining" with God.

Seriously. I'm not even sure if they realize that they are haggling for an extension on their life as surely as bickering for a deal on a used car.

Many have no reason to make such a plea as they don't even have any bad medical news to go by.

They are as healthy as the proverbial horse.

They are driven by fear. Some are hypochondriacs. Some have a morbid fear of dying young because their ancestry allegedly predisposes them to it.

Mickey Mantle had such a fear of dying young like his dad, grandfather and uncles that he died a liver diseased alcoholic. If he hadn't drank he'd probably be alive today.

That's irony for ya'.

The world is full of do-gooders who do good only because they think it's buying them time, or getting them on the fast track to the pearly gates, not because their heart is good, or even that they love God.

Jesus could sniff them out, and still can today. He knew when He was being schmoozed, and when people really loved Him from the heart (How many of the multitudes who got a free meal at the miracle of the loaves and fishes were just there for the food?).

You simply can't pile up points.

You can't "sweeten the deal" with God.

You are what you are and God knows it.

Certainly you can allow your heart to be changed by Him, but contriteness is what He looks for rather than how many people you got to sign up for the March of Dimes.

What we do BECAUSE we love God is not bargaining. Doing what we do to IMPRESS God is an entirely different ball of wax.

One is a fresh aroma wafting up to the heavens. The other is a stench in God's nostrils.

How about poor Job. The bible says he was an upright man who loved the Lord.

Yet, he was full of fear. I think Job was precisely the kind of person we are considering today.

He lived by religious appeasement. Lighting candles, sacrificing animals, trying to cover up the sins of his family members with good deeds and religion.

When God allowed Satan to upend his life the truth came out.

Job 23:13-15:

"But He is unchangeable, and who can turn Him? And what He wants to do, that He does. (14) For He performs [that which He has] planned for me, and of many such matters He is mindful. (15) Therefore am I troubled and terrified at His presence; when I consider, I am in dread and afraid of Him."

There it is. Job was afraid of God because of what he thought He would do to him.

He forgot all the great things God had done for him, and really had absolutely no reason to believe anything else, yet he dwelt in the fearful negative.

Listen to him in 3:25: "What I feared has come upon me; what I dreaded has happened to me."


Is that you today?

If so, don't worry. God is not against you. He is not going to kill you.

However,you are accomplishing that on your own.

Your morbid unfounded fears will put you in an early grave.

You are being sifted like wheat by Satan.

It doesn't have to be that way.

God wants you to have a long, healthy and productive life.

He is not your affliction. He is your benefactor.

Take a breath today and reconsider the foolishness you may be involved in.

Let the Holy Spirit calm those jangled nerves. Place no trust in anything but God.

You stand alone before Him as an individual not the representative of a sickly and long dead ancestry.

Luke 9:59-60: "And He said to another, Become My disciple, side with My party, and accompany Me! But he replied, Lord, permit me first to go and bury (await the death of) my father.(60) But Jesus said to him, Allow the dead to bury their own dead; but as for you, go and publish abroad throughout all regions the kingdom of God."

Jesus waits for nothing. You are what is important to Him! Today, this moment!

Jesus is concerned for the living, not the dead.

This could be your monumental moment with God. Right now.


Allow Him to calm your morbid fears. Allow Him to allow yourself to enjoy this life, instead of laboring away and gathering for something that has already been given to you.

You bring nothing to the table but yourself. You have NOTHING to bargain with. It's futile.

Just be. Just be in Him.

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

Thursday, October 22, 2009

"The Reckoning", by Pastor Kevin Lynch

People deal with their problems differently. Some enjoy, even thrive, on confrontation. Others are more willing to try to wait things out and see how they develop.

Jesus appears to be a person who went right to the source of the problem and hashed it out as soon as possible.

Perhaps even preemptively.

Check out the verse from Mark 1: 12-13:

"Immediately the [Holy] Spirit [from within] drove Him out into the wilderness (desert), (13) And He stayed in the wilderness (desert) forty days, being tempted [all the while] by Satan; and He was with the wild beasts, and the angels ministered to Him [continually]."

Jesus has just embarked upon His earthly ministry, and has just been baptized by John, and then filled with the Holy Spirit.

The verse says "immediately" He was driven into the desert.

Driven. Holy Spirit driven.

He was driven and He did not resist.

He would spend the next 40 days and nights being tempted and harassed by Satan himself.

It was a reckoning. It needed to happen. Jesus was just the person to do it.

He was always the One. He still is the One.

He won't stand for injustice and sin.

When He found the temple turned into a flea market He immediately confronted and reckoned with it.

He has been our role model. He attacked and conquered sinfulness and unrighteousness the same way we are supposed the power of the Holy Spirit.

This is how we live.

Our temple is our body and we are to keep it righteous. Not religiously in our own strength, but through the power of God.

By submitting to Christ we are allowing all the power of God to be released into us by the Holy Spirit.

Don't waste any time. Don't think things are just going to straighten out on their own.

If God's not at work in you, if you have grieved the Holy Spirit away by your poor choices, it isn't happening for you.

Grace works as God pours it out. It fails as we refuse to receive it.

Perhaps you need a reckoning. Maybe you need to have your desert experience where you confront and conquer all your demons and temptations the same way Jesus did.

The Holy Spirit is a mighty force and power whom we cannot afford to live without.

He was the power in Jesus and He is the power in us today!

Why prolong it? How much more will you stand for? Draw your line in the sand.

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

"If I only Had A Heart", by Pastor Kevin Lynch

Mark 12:30-31 (Amplified Bible)

"(30) And you shall love the Lord your God out of and with your whole heart and out of and with all your soul (your life) and out of and with all your mind (with your faculty of thought and your moral understanding) and out of and with all your strength. This is the first and principal commandment. (31) The second is like it and is this, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these."

I can't do this.

I remember myself thinking that at one time.

"I can't do this."

I was right. I couldn't do it.

And neither could you.

In our own strength we cannot fulfill these commandments of Jesus Christ.

This is why we need God.

We cannot love God, ourselves, or anybody for that matter without God.

1 John 4:19 (Amplified Bible)

"We love Him, because He first loved us."

This is why we are able to love.

We can love Him, our own selves, and others because He took the first step toward us.

Love is always the first step, and the reason for all the steps after.

Love initiates, love keeps it all flowing.

My heart was stone. He softened it to flesh.

It was a rocky soil, He made it fallow to receive His love.

Ezekiel 36:26 (Amplified Bible)

"A new heart will I give you and a new spirit will I put within you, and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh."

I was a Tin Man before that. A "clinking, clanking, clattering collection of caliginous....junk."

Useless. Rusting away. Ready for the scrap heap.

Now there is a beating heart of flesh softened by the Spirit of God.

Tin Man's new heart was tested and proven when it started to break at Dorothy's farewell.

"Now I know I've got a heart -- 'cause it's breaking."

Yes, it breaks, but it keeps us in touch with God.

In my humble opinion the breaking heart, and the sometimes overwhelming feeling of helplessness that accompanies it is our tangible link to God.

Maybe it's different for you, but I know there was a time when it didn't break and I was far from God.

It breaks today and I sense a closeness to Him I wouldn't trade for all the cold hearted stoicism in the world no matter how much money it brought with it.

How's your heart today? Warm? Beating?

Is it breaking? I hope so. There is much surrounding you that will cause it to.

Get in touch with it. Embrace it. It's the heart of God in you.

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

"Press Nine For More Options", by Pastor Kevin Lynch

Ever notice how the option for more options always seems to come at the end of a long line of options you didn't need to listen to?

It seems when I make a call like that I always need to speak to a live person and that is almost always NOT an option.

As the bottom line last resort if you can hang in there long enough before tossing the phone against the wall you will eventually hear "Please stay on the line to speak to a representative."


This is what life has become.

An impersonal endless line of people avoiding people.

What do these menu options really tell us about society?

There is no Plan B when Plan A goes awry.

That would be fine except Plan A always seems to go awry.

Joseph Heller (Catch 22) would have had a field day with this just a mere 38 years after his novel.

Has it all really become FUBAR (Fouled Up Beyond All Repair)?

It's going to have to come full circle and get back to simplicity.

Or completely implode into a huge self destructive fireball.

I'm not holding out a lot of hope for simplicity.

We are too "advanced" for that.

This is why I enjoy being a part of God's simple way.

I am offended by the way the rest of the world conducts itself.

I watch the news and afterward feel like I need to take a shower with lye soap and a wire brush.

Is it really that bad?

Well what do we have to compare it to?

Listen to Paul here:

1 Cor. 1:13 - "For we write you nothing else but simply what you can read and understand [there is no double meaning to what we say], and I hope that you will become thoroughly acquainted [with divine things] and know and understand [them] accurately and well to the end."

If God can communicate simply, why can't we?

Because today people need to get their story straight first. They have to rewind to previous lies and misinformation to make sure they don't get caught in the trap of their own false pretense.

Say what you will about me, but I have found the better way. I choose the door that opens to simplicity, honesty, purity, understanding, love and concern.

I have become thoroughly acquainted with divine things.

Given the alternative I scratch my head and wonder why more people do not.

I hope you choose divine things as well.

Just because you live in the world does not mean you have to be force subscribed to it's ways and methods.

There is an alternative.

It's Jesus Christ.

He teaches us the better way.

It truly is an option for you today.

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

Monday, October 19, 2009

"Trying Or Trusting?", by Pastor Kevin Lynch

In the matter of your relationship with God, particularly as far as your salvation goes, trying doesn't cut it.

If you are trying too hard, or not hard enough, the entire action one way or another is futile.

How many times have I heard the words, "Pastor, I'm trying."

Well then stop it.

Stop trying. It will never get you anywhere.

What are you "trying" to accomplish anyway?

Are you trying to improve your old nature before God?

Why? He provides a new nature.

Are you trying to become more righteous?

Why? Our own righteousness are as filthy rags.

He gives us the righteousness of Christ.

Are you trying to do more for God?

God has endeavored to do for you.

Are you trying to improve your behavior?

Our salvation depends on believing, not behaving.

Are you trying to develop your character?

It's not sufficiency of character, but the sufficiency of the sacrifice.

Are you trying to develop a sacrificial existence?

Trust in the finished sacrifice.

Are you trying to attain?

Jesus has atoned.

On and on it can go.

Trying versus trusting.

Religion versus salvation.

You can't work your way into it. You can't buy your way in. You can't knock on enough doors, write enough tithe checks, attend enough church. You can't read enough bible passages, feed enough poor, house enough homeless, confess enough sins.

There is only one way.

Acts 4:12 (Amplified Bible)

"And there is salvation in and through no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by and in which we must be saved."

Nothing else gets the attention of God more effectively than the name of Jesus Christ.

"It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead..." (vs.10)

No other way. None. Nil. Nada. Zilch. Zip. Zero.

So tell me. Why are you trying?

Why not just yield?

Give yourself over?

There is no trying involved in that.

Just do it.

Right now.

Do it.

Say it.

Jesus, I am yours. All of me. I now belong to you.

Say it.

Say it and then leave it alone.

It's His work, not yours.

Let yourself be His work instead of trying to be His project manager.

I'd love to hear how that works out for you.

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Sunday Morning Scripture

Matt. 3:11 - "I indeed baptize you in (with) water because of repentance [that is, because of your changing your minds for the better, heartily amending your ways, with abhorrence of your past sins]. But He Who is coming after me is mightier than I, Whose sandals I am not worthy or fit to take off or carry; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire."

Yes, Jesus is mightier than John.

His purpose and ministry is mightier.

His baptism is more powerful.

John put people in position to receive Jesus.

Jesus changes people when He is received.

Nothing has changed.

We need His baptism of the Holy Spirit and fire.

We need it every single moment.

I pray that for you this morning.

Fight off contrary notions.

Reject anything that tries to turn you toward a less mightier and less powerful solution.

It's always going to be Jesus and the Holy Spirit.

It's always going to be the fire.

Don't let enemies of the Cross extinguish that.

Be on fire!

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

Saturday, October 17, 2009

"The Unthought Known", by Pastor Kevin Lynch

Some might be thinking, "Pastor must really be tired this morning, he got the title backward!"


It's the known we sometimes don't think about.

Maybe seldom think about.

Or never think about.

I am reminded of when the disciples were on a boat during a sudden squall.

They were struggling to get the boat to the other side as the winds were making the waves difficult to work the oars through.

The Word tells us in Mark 6:48: "And having seen that they were troubled and tormented in [their] rowing, for the wind was against them, about the fourth watch of the night [between 3:00-6:00 a.m.] He came to them, walking [directly] on the sea."

Often times, maybe in the midst of the worst of trouble, He comes to us. Even when He is the farthest from our mind.

Nothing prevents Jesus from doing that.

Not our failures. Not our thoughtlessness. Not our weak faith. Not our stubbornness.

Not even self centered laziness.

He will even walk on water during the worst storm to get to you.

Not too many folks I know will get up at 3 a.m. to pull someone's fat out of the fire.

It's tough to recall Jesus when we are only hearing or reading about Him less than an hour per week.

He quickly fades in the lives of some and becomes...

The "Unthought Known."

You know He's out there somewhere, but He's more like background music. It's playing, but you're not really hearing it.

The noise of life drowns out the still small voice.

Maybe it's time for an adjustment.

The way we make time for Jesus.

We can change how we allow external interruptions to interfere with our time spent with Him.

I mean, He knows you're there, and He will go the distance to let you know that.

Be blessed today! Think about Him!

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

Friday, October 16, 2009

"Lighten The Load", by Pastor Kevin Lynch

I don't like self-definition, having to be "nailed down" on an issue, or being pigeonholed into a certain system of organized thought and purpose. I tend to be more free-wheeling in my approach on anything, preferring to keep open my options to change my thoughts and ideals in case I missed or misinterpreted something along the way.

However I do consider myself sort of a non-religious bible literalist, if that makes any sense to anyone else but me.

Even then I need to leave a little room.


Jesus has a confrontation with a person popularly described as "the rich young ruler" in the New Testament.

I shudder to think of some of the wacked out and plain nutty interpretations people have walked away from that passage with.

I myself have struggled with it for years. Fluctuating back and forth, to and fro, mostly on where to place the "tension" on the verse, as well as what in the world Jesus was really telling this guy.

More importantly, what in the world is He trying to tell us, because we better get that straight if we are going to follow and trust Him!

Luke 18: 22 - 23: "And when Jesus heard it, He said to him, One thing you still lack. Sell everything that you have and divide [the money] among the poor, and you will have [rich] treasure in heaven; and come back [and] follow Me [become My disciple, join My party, and accompany Me]. (23) But when he heard this, he became distressed and very sorrowful, for he was rich--exceedingly so."

Ok. Where do you place the tension (the importance) of this passage?

On the young man's lack? His overabundance? Jesus' instruction? The young man's inability to obey?

So much to consider in two short verses.

Often, perhaps most often, people tend to focus in on Jesus' instruction to the young man to liquidate his estate, give it away, and then come and follow Him. I think that is reasonable, since we always want to hear what Jesus suggests to us.

The following verses even have Jesus explaining to His disciples how hard it is for a person of wealth to get into the Kingdom of Heaven.

But, if it is so reasonable and easy to agree with Jesus about simply giving away everything we own as a prerequisite to becoming a disciple of Jesus, then why the struggle?

Because if we take into consideration all who have done that over the centuries, and how that instruction translates over into the modern era, it doesn't take an Alan Greenspan to figure out it simply doesn't work.

What it has succeeded in accomplishing is a destructive religious spirit and a false piety which has served to reduce the church to place that Jesus never intended it to be.

What's the alternative to liquidating everything we own today? Go on the public dole ourselves and become the recipient rather than the benefactor? Go and live in the desert renouncing everything that is bad with humanity and society, becoming reduced to hermitic or monastic silence?

It's scary to think about how many people have taken Jesus' words to mean that without weighing the consequence of that understanding until we get backed against the wall and realize that dog won't hunt.

Not today. Not then.

So what was Jesus really saying?

He was saying "lighten the load".

Think about it.

Is it really about material things? Well sure, partially. If your stuff gets in the way of following Jesus than does it really does have to go? Or do you need to shift where your importance is focused?

Jesus had nothing against the man for being rich.

He has something against people who He knows will never be able to follow Him properly because the riches get in the way.

We have to learn to read Him reading others.

We need to get His perspective on life and living. Here and after.

Otherwise what's the alternative?

Trying to obey rules and regulations we think He is laying down which we can see no possible way in accomplishing? (What's the alternative to selling your home, cars, quitting your job, emptying your bank account?).

Just trust Jesus?

My wife and I and four children did exactly that almost 20 years ago when we sold our home, quit our jobs, and moved to Colorado to go to school to prepare for ministry. Yes, we trusted Jesus that much. Did we live in the desert? No, we found jobs and were able to live in a better home than we sold. We actually lived a better quality of life than before.

Yes, trusting Jesus works.

Let's be real here folks (keep it real).

I'm all for giving it all away as long as we can keep the host generator of that wealth functional and prosperous. In other words, we need wealth healthy people in the Kingdom, but what hinders them being in the Kingdom is their inability to follow Jesus properly because of their wealth.

Paradoxical? Catch 22? Nah. Makes perfect sense.

Jesus is really saying it's a heart issue. Since He looks past the obvious and reads the purpose of one's heart, He can diagnose each person individually and make a decision.

This story is not just about getting rid of your overabundance of stuff, becoming poor and feeding others who are poor.

It's not a sweeping indictment of the wealthy. Don't lump the good in with the Enron/AIG/ etc. debacle.

It's about lightening your load of whatever it is that needs to be lessened or gone altogether that keeps you from joining with Jesus.

Sure it might be your affluence. It could also be your lousy attitude. Your anger. Your addictions.

You can't be everything to Jesus until everything is placed at His disposal for His good use.


Following Him now, on earth, even if it means some inconvenience, has far greater value over the course of the eternal, than anything we could ever gain and stubbornly hold onto in this life.

Be blessed today! Follow Him!

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

Thursday, October 15, 2009

"I Can Handle This", by Pastor Kevin Lynch

I like famous last words.

"It's cool. There's only a few of them." (Gen. George Armstrong Custer)

"That doesn't look too bad. How big can it be?" (Captain Edward Smith, RMS Titanic)

"That hemlock tea recipe you gave me is absol......." (Socrates)

"I can handle this." (Anyone who ever thought they could handle "this")

Whatever "this" might be, if you find yourself even thinking that "it" needs handling, chances are you probably can't.

Things that need to be "handled" generally need to have help in doing so.

I think that probably the most often repeated famous last words are "I can handle this."

Imagine if everybody heeded my response to that this morning.

Them: "I can handle this."

Me: "No you can't."

I could embellish that a bit, but then it would become advice.

Maybe some long, drawn out advice like Jerry gave George on Seinfeld:

"You know you really need some help. A regular psychiatrist couldn't even help you. You need to go to like Vienna or something. You know what I mean? You need to get involved at the University level. Like where Freud studied and have all those people looking at you and checking up on you. That's the kind of help you need. Not the once a week for eighty bucks. No. You need a team. A team of psychiatrists working round the clock thinking about you, having conferences, observing you, like the way they did with the Elephant Man. That's what I'm talking about because that's the only way you're going to get better."

That's called "advice without substance". Or, suggestions that don't work, but make us feel like we have helped.

But hey! Why worry? You can handle it. Right?

I could hope that someone at their computer this morning is reading this and taking a deep sorrowful breath saying to their self, "No, I can't. I really can't handle it. I need help."

There's all kind of difficulties that can arise that we cannot, absolutely cannot handle ourselves.

Sudden health crisis, financial burden, job loss, relationship strain, substance abuse, depression.

Crisis in faith.

You don't need poor advice. You need supernatural intervention.

You don't even need faith.

You just need to be desperate enough to finally see that your needs are beyond your own fixing.

That your needs are beyond anyone fixing them for you.

Yes, that's right. There is no knight on a white steed. No magic bullet. No mantra. No talisman. No shaman.

The bottom line (which oddly enough is generally recognized when we hit bottom) is God.


I chuckle when I hear some "unchurched" folks say, "My problems need the wisdom of Solomon to solve."


Proverbs 3:5-6 (Amplified Bible)

"(5) Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding. (6) In all your ways know, recognize, and acknowledge Him, and He will direct and make straight and plain your paths."

Remember I said you don't even need faith (should yours be waning this morning)?

All you need is desperation, desire, and determination. Not to solve your problem, but just to turn to God.

Just make up your mind to seek God.

Faith gets built or restored later.

Remember, Jesus died for you when you were a sinner, not a faith filled believer.

God doesn't ask your mouth to write checks your soul can't cash.

He just asks to give Him a shot.

If you're honest you will recall that you have placed your confidence and trust in a lot more ridiculous things than the concept of God helping you.

So, why not God?

Really. Why not?

You have another hot prospect cooking to solve your problem this morning?

No matter how good and promising it might look you don't.

All you really have is a God who loves you and will help you if you give Him the chance.

Stop counting on yourself to deal with it. You can't.

God can. God wants to. God will.

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

"My Lifestyle Determines My Deathstyle", by Pastor Kevin Lynch

I think that catchy little phrase can be attributed to James Hetfield. Poet, musician, noted headbanger.

I figure it goes down a little easier if I just don't blurt out right away that it comes from a Metallica song.

(*Gasp* He listens to Metallica? I don't know if I can trust him anymore). Heh-heh.

Seriously. These is as true a word that was ever spoken.

How you live will generally determines how you die.

Even just in the flesh it's bad. Real bad.

Chances are that if you smoke a few packs a day for a long time you will more than likely die from some tobacco related illness. Cancer, emphysema, heart disease.

If you drink too much your liver and brain function will suffer.

Eat too much and your arteries will clog and your heart will give out under the stress.

What does the bible have to say about this?

Let's look at Paul's letter to the Galatians, chapter six verses 7-8:

(7) Do not be deceived and deluded and misled; God will not allow Himself to be sneered at (scorned, disdained, or mocked by mere pretensions or professions, or by His precepts being set aside.) [He inevitably deludes himself who attempts to delude God.] For whatever a man sows, that and that only is what he will reap.

(8) For he who sows to his own flesh (lower nature, sensuality) will from the flesh reap decay and ruin and destruction, but he who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.

Whatever we sow, that is what we will reap.

Sow to the flesh and watch it decay before your eyes.

Sow to the Spirit and reap an eternal benefit.

Metaphorically, whatever we plant that is what will grow and what we will pick.

You will not delude God on this nor circumvent His will.

Plant corn and don't expect peas to grow. It won't. It's a natural agricultural law that God created (Gen. 1:12). It cannot be changed.

Neither can these.

Give cheaply but don't expect to prosper greatly.

Ignore God but don't whine that you feel neglected by Him when you suffer through one of your "spells".

Reject the hand of fellowship but don't complain that no one calls you or you don't have any friends.

Stand before Jesus someday but don't be surprised when He says, "I don't recognize you. Depart from me."

You have picked what you planted.

Plant scorn and be scorned yourself.

Plant discord and live a life of strife.

Plant lies and be the victim of liars.

We reap what we sow.

Physically and spiritually.

Our lifestyle definitely determines our deathstyle.

Plant peace and be at peace.

Sow generously and meet your commitments.

Know Jesus and He will know you when the proper time arrives.

There are eternal consequences and benefits.

To be known by Jesus and gain eternal life and to thwart eternal death.

Bottom line: what you do or don't do in this life effects where you spend your eternal life.

Your lifestyle determines your deathstyle.


Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

"Who Was That Masked Man?", by Pastor Kevin Lynch

A fiery horse with the speed of light, a cloud of dust and a hearty Hi-Yo
Silver … the Lone Ranger!

A legendary hero and no one ever knew his name.

We never even knew what he looked like.

He didn't care. It wasn't about him.

It was about everybody else.

He was the Lone Ranger.

Ever notice that anytime we have a figure like him it's always fictional?

Batman. Superman. Green Hornet. X-Men.

It has to be fictional.

Nobody real is willing to labor in obscurity. Everybody wants their 15 minutes of fame.

Everybody wants the warm fuzzies and the slaps on the back.

Everybody want to be sure they aren't being cheated out of their share of fame.

Everybody but Jesus.

When we create a figure we can admire we label it a "superhero".

Not Jesus. He rejects any such notoriety or labels.

We tried naming Him the "Superstar" once.

It probably made Him nauseous.

The kicker is, who do we think served as the original concept for what has become every child's fantasy?

Most of the superheroes we have created are Christocentric. They are generally "types" of Christ.

They are the beacons of hope in the midst of hopelessness, generally indestructible, good and pure through and through, always there in the nick of time, and at the end evil is defeated and all is well again.

Sounds kind of like Jesus to me.

There's just one twist.

We make movies about Batman and Superman.

We revile and crucify Jesus.

We don't believe He is who He says He is.

(We) being society in general.

Yet, the consequences for the disbelief of the only One who actually has the power and the willingness to make a difference in society is a suffering so great that it will last far beyond when the last action hero is drawn in a comic strip.

Here's what Jesus says in His straightforward and truthful way:

John 8:24 (AMP) - "That is why I told you that you will die in (under the curse of) your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He [Whom I claim to be--if you do not adhere to, trust in, and rely on Me], you will die in your sins."

Superman can't get us out of that one. Even Batman needs to hear this. Wolverine can just tuck in his claws and pack it in.

The real hero is in town.

And He's for real.

We know His name. He doesn't wear a mask.

He is available and accessible.

Everyone else is a cheap knockoff.

So Lois, who are you going to call?

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

Monday, October 12, 2009

"We Must Be In Heaven, Man!", by Pastor Kevin Lynch

That's what Wavy Gravy said at Woodstock when the concert turned into a disaster area.

Rain and shortage of food made the rock and roll phenomena a mess of such proportions that Gov. Nelson Rockefeller was threatening to send in 10,000 National Guard troops.

Chip Monck told us when the rain and wind came and the towers were swaying to, "Hold on to your neighbor!"

Wavy told us all that "breakfast in bed for 400,000" was going to be provided (not steak and eggs, but good food) and that we needed to take care of our neighbor.

He also said, "There's always a little bit of heaven in a disaster area."

I wonder if he realized how close he had come to the Kingdom Of Heaven?

If there was anything about what he said that disqualified him from the truth it's that he didn't go far enough.

There's a whole lot of heaven in every situation.

And everybody wants a piece of it for various reasons.

The following passage has been considered a difficult one.

Matt. 11:12 - "And from the days of John the Baptist until the present time, the kingdom of heaven has endured violent assault, and violent men seize it by force [as a precious prize--a share in the heavenly kingdom is sought with most ardent zeal and intense exertion]."

It's not so difficult once we understand the elements of the verse and what they actually mean.

The central thought deals with the violent seizing of the Kingdom of Heaven (not the Kingdom IN Heaven).

We tend to read that with the understanding that it would be a bad thing and that the violence is evil.

In the interest of space here let me just say that "violent" can also mean "energetic", and that the gospel has been sought after energetically by both those who see the truth in it and want to live by it, and by those who see the power of it and want to turn it to their own personal gain and profit.

The precious prize for the drug addict for instance is deliverance and restoration both physically and spiritually.

The precious prize for the TV huckster preacher is turning truth to dollars and cents to line his pockets.

The gospel could be said to have "suffered violence" in both scenarios.

One good. One bad.

"We must be in heaven, man!"

Well, sort of.

We do get a glimpse at times because God chose to bring Heaven to earth when Jesus was born.

I think Wavy caught a glimpse of it at Woodstock. Perhaps many of us did.

Anything that had to do with peace, love and brotherhood certainly had the Kingdom of Heaven quality attached to it.

It's not perfect. It's not perfect because it's still the earthbound version.

Someday it will be perfect because it will actually be Heaven.

I'm not sure how much of it will resemble Woodstock, but I do know there will be a lot of love and peace there.

Perhaps Wavy will get the chance to repeat those words for real someday.

"We must be in heaven, man!"

Oh yeah.

Like the old hymn says:

When we all get to Heaven,
What a day of rejoicing that will be!
When we all see Jesus,
We'll sing and shout the victory!

Spend some time in Kingdom thought today. Even in the midst of your own personal disaster area contemplate that there is a whole lot of heaven in there with it!

Reach out and hold on to your neighbor.

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Sunday Morning Scripture

John 1: 1-3

(1) IN THE beginning [before all time] was the Word (Christ), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God Himself. (2) He was present originally with God. (3) All things were made and came into existence through Him; and without Him was not even one thing made that has come into being.

Jesus has created everything. "Ex nihilo", out of nothing.

We can't do that. Anything man has "created" he has done with material already made by God.

Man cannot make something from nothing.

I'm thinking there has to be copyright violations in there somewhere.

At least give props where props are due.

Everything you have. Everything you "own". Everything you value and love. The air you breathe.

All have come from God.


Give thanks to Him today.

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

Saturday, October 10, 2009

"Dog Will Hunt", by Pastor Kevin Lynch

I know my dog won't hunt.

She's 13 and lies on the couch all day.

It's just ain't gonna happen.

In fact, the colorful expression "That dog won't hunt", can be loosely translated as "It just ain't gonna happen." There is disappointment mixed into that somewhere.

If you need it tightened up a bit more, it just means something that has occurred, or is about to occur, is not, or will not be acceptable.

Common misconceptions about God and His interaction with the human race is a dog that will not hunt.

Religion is a dog that will not hunt.

Conversely there is the dog that will indeed hunt.

John 3:3 - "Jesus answered him, I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, that unless a person is born again (anew, from above), he cannot ever see (know, be acquainted with, and experience) the kingdom of God."

Jesus was responding to the schmoozing that Nicodemus was giving Him. While Nicodemus was hitting on the truth, he was at the same time missing the important truth.

Yes, Jesus was a miracle worker, He was obviously sent from God, He did things no one else could do, etc.

Jesus basically told him, "Nicodemus, that's a lazy dog theology. It's not enough to bring home the dinner."

And He told Him the bottom line. The end all of theological truths and debates.

Teach, preach, extol, and beat every bible doctrine to death if you want to. Lean heavy on healing, prosperity, love, good will toward men, theologies of the virgin birth, the Trinity, and baptism. Be a part of this church or that denomination. At the end of the day you will be no closer to the Kingdom of God than you were when you started.

There is one truth that if you get it deep down in your spirit will transcend and supercede all of the others.

Jesus made it clear.

You MUST be born-again.

You may never become a biblical scholar or a theologian.

You don't have to be to make it to heaven.

There is no church or denomination favored over another.

Only one thing matters in heaven, in hell, and on earth.

You MUST be born-again.

You must.

Your spirit must be reborn in Christ.

It must.

You have to confess Jesus as Lord.

In your heart and with your mouth.

Rom. 10: 9-10 "Because if you acknowledge and confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and in your heart believe (adhere to, trust in, and rely on the truth) that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. (10) For with the heart a person believes (adheres to, trusts in, and relies on Christ) and so is justified (declared righteous, acceptable to God), and with the mouth he confesses (declares openly and speaks out freely his faith) and confirms [his] salvation."

Do that and all other things fall in behind it.

The ship is righted.

The hounds are released.

The dog will hunt.

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

Friday, October 9, 2009

"Why Does The Caged Bird Sing, Anyway"?, by Pastor Kevin Lynch

The singing bird in the cage.

What does it have to sing about anyway?

Maya Angelou claims to know why (metaphorically speaking).

Paul Lawrence Dunbar claims to know why in his poem "Sympathy".

It almost begs a person to go deeper than they need to and wax philosophical.

It's a bird. It's in a cage. It sings.

I know why.

It doesn't know it's not free.

It doesn't know there is life beyond the cage.

It doesn't know any better.

Stupid bird. It doesn't know any better. What does it have for a brain? Matter the size of a pea?

The human brain is much, much larger...

Moe to Curly: "Quiet, birdbrain!"


There's a point in here somewhere. Trust me.

A lot of us human like characters are no better off than the bird in the cage.

Remember the movie "Animal House"? Dean Wormer's advice to the student "Flounder"?

"Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life, son."

Yet we do, maybe not in that exact description, but variations of the theme.

Billy Corgan wrote, "In spite all my rage, I am still just a rat in a cage."

Sing or be filled with rage.

Ignorant of the cage, we sing. Awareness of the cage brings rage.

The cage can be a 5X5 prison cell...

...or 10,000 acres of Montana ranch land.

Freedom can exist within the same dimensions.

It all depends on how you define freedom.

Americans get all wrapped up in the Constitution.

Freedom on paper.

More Americans have lived and died in the cage believing they were free having never tasted a morsel of real freedom.

So where is it?

Real freedom?

John 8:36: "So if the Son liberates you [makes you free men], then you are really and unquestionably free."

Gal. 5:1: "It is for freedom that Christ has set us free."

All of that before Thomas Jefferson and the boys were even a blip on the radar screen.

It transcends circumstances. Or politics. Or human and civil rights.

In the cage of rage. In the cage of song.

The freedom Christ supplies is one of the human heart, soul and spirit, which is essentially only really free when free in Jesus Christ.

Even when the flesh is incarcerated or confined, limited or confounded, by situations self-imposed or forced, Jesus changes things.

It's the one time the caged bird can sing even while knowing there is life beyond the cage.

You may never be rich, but your desire to be rich no longer confounds you.

You may never be healthy, but you are no longer confined just because you are ill.

You may never fulfill your dream to become this or that, but you have become satisfied by a more realistic hope.

Jesus is the fulfillment of all things. Life happens in spite of it all.

He is the Song.

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

Thursday, October 8, 2009

"Definitely", by Pastor Kevin Lynch

Matt. 12:30: "He who is not with Me [definitely on My side] is against Me, and he who does not [definitely] gather with Me and for My side scatters."

I have found this verse to be most truthful.

I've seen it happen.

I've seen it unravel right before my eyes.

Like a train about to go off the rails, I have seen the wishy-washiness of people when it comes to Jesus book them passage on that very train.


A firm word.

It means "without reservation".

Clear. Unequivocally. Positively. Absolute. Certain.

If you have been been considering yourself a Christian for a while now, consider something else.

Are you certain? Do you have any question or reservation AT ALL? Are you positive that Jesus is everything He says He is?

Would you unequivocally state "Yes I am!", before anyone who asks you the question: "Are you a follower of Jesus Christ?"

Would you state it without hesitation?

Or would you have to think about it? Would you get frightened? Embarrassed?

Would you punk out?

Peter punked out. He was scattered for it. Jesus knew He would and warned him.

"Peter, before the rooster crows you will deny me three times."

Peter's response? "Not me Lord. Not me. Never!"

Definite. The conviction in the term is defining.

And Jesus will not settle for anything less than definite. Jesus only settles for everything.

That's why it is about Him and nothing else.

There is only so much definite we can generate. We had better direct it toward the One who is the Definite One.

Don't say you are and then act differently. You will be scattered.

Scattered is separation from Jesus. Not by His choice. By yours. You decide.

Be definite or be wishy-washy. Be careful though because there are consequences. Scattered is a consequence.

The one thing about being scattered though, is like most everything else injurious we do to ourselves spiritually, there is a way back.

Jesus forgives. Remember Peter? Jesus forgave Him and set him straight. Even after Peter completely and totally and DEFINITELY denied Him, Jesus forgave and restored him!

That's good news for some this morning I suspect.

Be for Him, but be definitely for Him. He doesn't stand for anything less.

After all, He DEFINITELY gave it all up for you!

Be blessed and well today!

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

"Animus Domus", by Pastor Kevin Lynch

The title today means "Soul Dome".

It's the habitat of your character, intellect, memory, consciousness.

Your very mind.

It is accessible to spiritual matters and beings.

Good and evil can enter in.

You have control although many do not realize this.

The mind of the unsuspecting and ignorant becomes a revolving door party zone for evil spirits.

Jesus addressed the issue most adequately and succinctly.

Matt. 12:43-45: "But when the unclean spirit has gone out of a man, it roams through dry [arid] places in search of rest, but it does not find any. (44) Then it says, I will go back to my house from which I came out. And when it arrives, it finds the place unoccupied, swept, put in order, and decorated. (45) Then it goes and brings with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and make their home there. And the last condition of that man becomes worse than the first. So also shall it be with this wicked generation.

This is the picture of the person not completely dedicated to Christ.

The person could even be described as largely religious (there is a vast difference in being a follower of Christ and being religious).

In any event it appears that there was some kind of reckoning of sorts where unclean spirits were deposed.

However, as the spiritual life of the overtly religious or spiritually dead (the terms are interchangeable) often runs, the evil spirit sensed that the Soul Dome was open for business again, returns to the previously vacated digs and finds it in a neat and orderly condition.

Seeing that there is no conviction which would prevent the spirit from re-entering, it decides to call a few friends and announces a party at the Soul Dome.

Now, as Jesus explains, the host of this demonic soiree ends up in a far worse condition then he was when there was only one demon to contend with!

Makes perfect sense. Do the math. There are more to contend with. What happens when those eight invite seven more each? A real motel where demons check in but never check out.

The demonic realm senses weakness in the flesh. They know who's an easy mark and who's not.

Demons/unclean spirits are intelligent spirit beings (NOT fallen angels), but since they are spirits without bodies of their own they need to inhabit warm blooded creatures. According to the bible, animals and humans fit that bill nicely.

Only the true born-again disciple and follower of Jesus Christ filled with the Holy Spirit are protected.

Pretend or "play" Christians have no such guarantee. In fact the scenario described by Jesus fits that category perfectly.

The pretend Christian. The Christian who plays church. Always in a bad way. Always trying to kick something unclean out of their life, and once it appears they have gained the victory, are plunged back into darkness again, each time sinking deeper into more desperate situations.

Until you just don't see them around church anymore.

The evil spirits come to your Soul Dome to steal your Soul. They are often successful.

A casual relationship with Jesus, and you thinking He rubber stamps your sins, is a perfect setup for the Soul Stealers.

Only a transformation of soul and spirit by Christ Himself is the answer.

You can't fight this battle in this evil realm on your own.

Listen to me and trust me on this. You can't. You will fail. You will lose.

You will be lost forever.

Jesus is the answer. Jesus never fails.

The Soul Dome must become the domain of Jesus and the Holy Spirit.

Give it some thought today.

Be blessed!

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

"The Word On The Street", by Pastor Kevin Lynch

The "word on the street". Things we "hear" and often act upon or believe.

For instance.

You have heard it said that Craigslist is a great way to sell stuff.

But I tell you that over 2/3's of the responses you get are scams and you have to be very careful.

I don't know but I've been told, living in an igloo sure is cold.

In reality I have also heard that they are actually quite warm.

Jesus addressed the word on the street, and countered with the Word of Truth.

Matt. 5:21: "You have heard that it was said to the men of old, You shall not kill, and whoever kills shall be liable to and unable to escape the punishment imposed by the court."

Sounds reasonable. Who wouldn't believe that?

In essence it's the truth. However, sometimes what we know as the truth is superseded by a greater truth.

Many things we "have heard" is the truth, but it doesn't mean we shouldn't heed the greater truth.

Listen to Jesus' response to the issue of murder.

Vs. 22: "But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, 'You fool!' will be liable to the hell of fire."

Notice how Jesus tweaks it a bit?

He's not disputing that killing someone is bad, and deserving of punishment, but He takes it up a notch.

He raises the stakes. He holds our feet to the fire. He insinuates that we murder in our thoughts and words, and in our attitude towards others.

If we do not act out of the purified center of the transformed heart, we are liable to judgment as sure as if we plunged a knife into our fellow man.

Matthew 5 is full of those "You have heard... but I tell you."

Here's one a little more down to earth and more relative to a greater number of people.

vs. 27: "You have heard that it was said, 'You shall not commit adultery'."

vs.28: "But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart."


See what I mean?

We thought we were off the hook as long as we didn't do the dirty deed.

Jesus comes along and while not denying the previous truth reinforces and cranks it up a bit.

Thinking about committing adultery with someone is as bad as actually committing adultery.


Swallow hard only if you have no intention of believing and adhering to the truth, which in actuality is really all contained in believing and adhering to Jesus.

No checklists to keep. No zillion laws to worry about breaking.

Jesus says in Matt. 5:17: "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them."

Jesus is the fulfillment of the Law. Keep Jesus, keep the Law.

No more guess work. In Jesus you are washed by His sacrifice. Purified. Regenerated. Given a new nature (2 Cor. 5:17). In the eyes of Jesus we are what is called "justified".

Get in touch with that today will you?

You'd be surprised how many Christians are living under bondage to their old ways and to the O.T. Law, not realizing they have been freed from that.

It's like being thin and always seeing yourself as obese.

It's the disease of not seeing yourself as you really are.

If you are a disciple of Christ today then see yourself as Jesus sees you.

He sees you as the object of His affection. He is the Lover of your soul.

Be blessed! Run everything past Him first!

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

Monday, October 5, 2009

"Hot Chili For Your Brain", by Pastor Kevin Lynch

Hot chili? Brain?

I don't know, I guess I always thought "Chicken Soup For The Soul" always sounded kind of wimpy.

I need something more spicy. Something that will engage the sensory motor synapse of the soul/mind/brain.

Something that will snap us out of our complacency. Cold water to the old gray matter. A bracing aftershave for the cerebral cortex. A real kickstart to the medulla oblongata.

I need brain engagement to keep me running up to speed with the Word of God. The fluff is good, and we need it for it's truth, but sometimes we have to move from bland redundancy to breaking up some fallow brain cells.


Okay! Wake up call for this morning....

There are people in the Kingdom of Heaven whom Jesus loves and died for!

There are people in the Kingdom of Hell whom Jesus loves and died for!

We call that paradoxical.

A seemingly contradictory statement that may nonetheless be true.

Go ahead. Let it sink in a bit. Mull it over with your morning coffee and nosh.

Tinker with it as you sit in traffic this morning (not when driving, please!).

Add some scripture to it.

John 3:16 (Amplified Bible)

"For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His only begotten (unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life."

The paradox is actually built into that verse.

If Jesus died for the world (and all in it), and not everyone goes to heaven (maybe all dogs do according to the gospel of Disney, but not all people), then the saved and condemned share a common denominator.

There will be people in heaven and in hell who have stood on common even ground.

The ground around the Cross is even and common.

All have received the same, yet the outcome is vastly different.

Wrestle with this if you will, but I warn you, you will get injured a bit.

Remember Jacob? He got his hip dislocated when he wrestled with the Word, the theophanic presence of Christ Himself (Genesis 32).

You'll come out of it with a limp, albeit a spiritual limp, but it's a good thing.

It's better than having your nose out of joint.

The common factor is Jesus' love and willingness to unselfishly die for the chronically selfish (us).

The grand separation within the commonality (hence the paradox), is that only some actually believe it.

" that whoever believes in shall not perish..."

Yes. You can be loved and died for by Jesus and still suffer eternal perdition.

It was all about if you believed it or not.

You never introduced yourself to the one who loved you the greatest.

He will quizzically look upon you someday, and I believe painfully say, "I'm sorry but I have never been acquainted with you."

There's the limp. Truth has to hurt, it really does, but it should go farther and leave a lasting reminder so we do not forget.

Jacob walked a little funny for the rest of his life so he would remember the truth he learned in his encounter with the angel.

Our "limp" should be that while the benevolence of Christ has been extended to the entire human race, there will be some who accept and some who reject. All equal in God's eyes, but restricted by our own foolhardiness.

I hope you have decided to believe in your life. I hope that you are counted among those who reap the benefit of believing. I hope you will not be counted among the tragic today, who never can wrap their brain around what Jesus has done.

It's Him. It's all Him.

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Sunday Morning Scripture

John 15:13
Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.

No one is asking anyone to die this morning.

It will be slim to none the possibility that any one of us will have to actually lay our life down for a friend or loved one.

We could however just do something nice.

Something good.

Something the opposite of perhaps what we might have intended to do.

Something that will make us feel good and bless someone else in the process.

Something that will make God smile at us.

Yeah, there it is.

Do something that will make God smile.

It might make you uncomfortable.

It might cost you something.

It just might require your life, but chances are you'll be around tomorrow to talk about it.

And you'll have the opportunity to keep doing it.

Love is contagious.

Be blessed today.

Worship Him.

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

Saturday, October 3, 2009

"Out Of Your Comfort Zone", by Pastor Kevin Lynch

What's uncomfortable for you?

Usually it's when you have to step out of that "comfort zone".

Doing something out of the norm or against what has become routine.

I have a bunch.

It can be as silly as having the cable tv and internet go out (which is why today's devo is late).

I don't like being "unplugged".

Joan can see it in me and busts my chops over it.

She suggested we listen to the radio.

Do they still make radios?

I had to pop a W.C. Fields DVD in the TV just to have background noise!

Sometimes though it's something that Jesus says that rocks me right down to being uncomfortable.

How about this one: “But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also”( Matthew 5:39).

That's not born born in you. That has to be supernaturally infused.

Passages like that can make me actually sweat a little.

They tell me I ought to be doing something that goes completely against the grain.

It forces me to conform where I would have no desire or disposition to do so left to my own devices.

It gets me down to my knees, even if they have to be broken to do so.

How about you today?

Where is your "comfort zone"?

Sometimes it should be known as the "obstinate zone".

We will fight tooth and nail against change, only to have to come by it the hard way.

If God desires change in you, trust me, He will impress it upon you sometimes in the most uncomfortable ways.

If we keep in mind to "seek first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness" (reiterate here "FIRST"), then everything we have been wanting will be given to us.

So much easier than doing it my way.

Pleasing God will ultimately become a way of pleasure for yourself once you roll with it.

Run it past Jesus first!

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

Friday, October 2, 2009

"Stretch Out Your Hand", by Pastor Kevin Lynch

A bunch of us gathered to pray last night.

We prayed the Word of God.

We took Jesus at His word where He says "Come to me and I will give you rest."

Oh yeahhhhh....sweet comfort, peace, and rest.

How we all need that in today's times.

We prayed like the early church prayed. Nothing fancy, but full of heart and spirit.

We prayed Acts 4.

We came together and it seemed like we were all in one heart and mind.

No one had to tell us we needed to be that. We just were.

We hugged and loved on each other. We anointed and laid our hands on for healing and strength.

We comforted each other. Even when the enemy brought tragic news into our midst at that very hour.

We just all thought it was time.

"Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. Stretch out your hand to heal and perform miraculous signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus" (Acts 4:29-30).

Consider. Enable. Stretch out Your hand. Heal us.

Jesus loves to do that when He is invited into the midst of His servants.

Our duty is to believe it, accept it, and run with it.

"With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and much grace was upon them all" (vs.33).

That's what we need this morning. A GREAT grace.

I pray that down upon you today. A GREAT grace.

Grace that will enable you to stand in the face of anything that is thrown at you.

Grace that fills you to where you cannot contain it and it overflows onto others surrounding you.

Grace that testifies to the Lord Jesus Christ without even to have to open your mouth.

So much grace that when people come into contact with you today they will feel that they have been in the presence of Jesus Himself!

Be blessed in everything today!

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

Thursday, October 1, 2009

"It's Awful Wet Out There", by Pastor Kevin Lynch

It is wet. In the rain.

You get wet. I get wet. We all get wet.

In a crowd of 10,000 caught in a sudden rain, we all get wet.

Doesn't matter if you're a believer or a non-believer.

Rain or shine, we are all exposed.

It's biblical.

Matt. 5:45 - He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.

I read somewhere a Christian said, "Yeah, but the only difference is that the Christian has an umbrella."

I think that's a poor analogy.

It insinuates that Christians aren't exposed to or don't suffer through the same issues that non-Christians do.

Faulty theology. Crooked doctrine. Poor exegetical skills.

In fact, the previous verses (which is why reading the bible contextually is important) explains basically that we are all in this life together, and that we are supposed to care for each other, even our enemies.

Yes, we are supposed to love our enemies, particularly those who persecute us.

He attaches our salvation to it.

Matt. 5:44 -45 - But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, (45) that you may be sons of your Father in heaven.

This is the purpose of the remark about the sun and rain falling on the good and the bad.

It signifies that He loves us all.

And His charge to us is that we should do no less.

If we are going to stand out in the rain with the unfortunate and gloat that we are not getting wet because of Jesus, we have sorely missed the point of the scripture.

Certainly sun can mean the sun, and rain can mean the physical rain, but I think it's more metaphorical.

Sun represents the goodness and blessings in life. Rain represents the trials and difficulties.

The only difference is not in who experiences these things, but who walks with us when we do.

When we do. When we do. When we do.

Get it down deep. Because if your life has been perfect up until now, with no "rain" at all, rest assured your "drought" will end.

Rain is coming. Maybe not today. Maybe not tomorrow.

But someday.

The question is not whether you will get wet, but who will comfort you in your wetness.

This is why we call our little church "Real Life". This is why we associate Real Life with Jesus when we say: You + Jesus = Real Life.

It's clouds. It's rain. It's sun. It's heat. It's cold. It's all the joyfulness and sadness that life entails.

It's all real, and we are in it with the human race, but Jesus is the factor that makes it complete realness.

Jesus, in the midst of sorrow or joy, rain or shine, makes a difference.

I hope you sense His real presence today in your life regardless of what you are experiencing.

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><