Thursday, December 31, 2009

"Time Rolls On", by Pastor Kevin Lynch

Time rolls on. It waits for no one. Not Princes and Popes. Not the noted or the notorious. Not you and me.

It will not pause one hour. Not one minute. Not one second.

It will not even slow down just long enough for us to catch a breath.

It rolls and it rolls hard.

It will roll on tonight. At just a blink past Midnight the calendar will change. Not just a new year, but a new decade.

We like to think something magical happens.

Wouldn't it be nice if we really did have a clean and fresh start?

If we had bills at one second before 2010 we would no longer have them one second after.

If we were ill... If we were unhappy... If we were out of God's grace...

That's the one we should be concerned about ultimately. Being out of God's grace.

No one knows the date and time, but there is coming a day when Jesus returns and rearranges the furniture.

In a moment. In the blink of an eye, at the sound of a heavenly trumpet, at the parting of the clouds and the breaking of the plane of heaven, all of earth will see Him return.

What will be your first thought about the God who has not lived by our clocks and calendars, but who has only been concerned with His creation? Who had left us with a clear set of explanations, warnings, and instructions? Not to mention a Real Presence of His Holy Spirit. The God whom many have ignored, slandered, and yes...even crucified.

What will you think?

Will it be, "Oops"? Or perhaps, "Wow, Kevin Lynch was right after all!" Or, "I'm sure it will all be OK if I just say I'm sorry"!

Happy New Year.

It stands to reason that at least for tonight nothing will happen.

Rich or poor, sick or healthy, brilliant or dull witted, time will roll on and you will face tomorrow the same way.

We learn no great lesson by the tick of a clocks second hand. Unless we understand there is no break in the action.

Some of you will make your resolutions. Overwhelmingly most of you will break them within days.

More importantly we should be concerned about God's time.

On the continuum it is unlike how we tick off the moments and days.

He will be ready when He is ready.

Psalm 75:2 - "When the proper time has come [for executing My judgments], I will judge uprightly [says the Lord]."

The proper time. Fair and equitable for all. Never based on a whim, but completely upon how we have responded to Him, the Prime Mover of all that is.

I don't know when that is. If I was God it would have been a long time ago. I am glad He is patient.

I, like James and John before me, would have asked Him to call down fire and brimstone long ago.

I would offend the offenders. I would be the Dean Wormer of the Universe and mete out advice like "Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life, son." ZAP!

No, even if we don't know when the "proper" time will be, one thing we can be sure of.

We can't be sure the banks will not fail. We can't be sure the health care system will run right. We can't be sure the housing market will stabilize.

We can be sure that one minute before and as many minutes after until He comes back, Jesus Christ is the lover of our souls.

That is the one sure thing in the universe today and it will be tomorrow.

Hebrews 13:8 - "Jesus Christ (the Messiah) is [always] the same, yesterday, today, [yes] and forever (to the ages)."

He is the constant. The sun has a better chance of going dim than Jesus has of not loving us.

Take that into the New year with you tonight. It's the best news you'll hear. I'll guarantee it.

Be safe. Be renewed. Be happy.

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

"Resolve To Become", by Pastor Kevin Lynch

Those who know me well understand that I am not a fan of making resolutions during the popular time of the year to do that.

New Years has become almost a pagan festival of change in behavior. People will resolve to lose weight, stop drinking, stop smoking, be a better anything one can become better at...etc.

Two weeks into the resolution they had been so passionate about changing they are folded up like a wet noodle, and more saddened and depressed because now they have an added failure to the list.

I don't do resolutions in the classic sense. I have learned to stop swearing to "do" or "be" something, and instead strive to "become" something.

There is a difference.

Take these examples from Jesus.

This one on marriage:

Matthew 19:5 - "Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh".

On the turn of a word the entire success or failure of a marriage can rise and fall on whether a couple actually "becomes as of one flesh", or simply just goes through the motion of trying to mimic that and "do" marriage. When a couple "becomes" the marriage and are absorbed into each other the marriage is a bond that is unbreakable and lasting.

How about this one:

Matthew 18:3 - "Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven."

Jesus is not saying we need to "act" like children, which would mean to "do" childlike things. He is saying we need to "become" like children, to take on the persona, the trusting nature of a child. To "do" would be to pretend. He wants us to "become".

One more:

Matthew 19:28 - "Jesus said to them, Truly I say to you, in the new age [the Messianic rebirth of the world], when the Son of Man shall sit down on the throne of His glory, you who have [become My disciples, sided with My party and] followed Me will also sit on twelve thrones and judge the twelve tribes of Israel."

Jesus is describing the reward of discipleship. It was reserved for those who had actually "become" His disciples, not those who claimed to "be". Remember the words of Jesus when He slices through the separation of the posers from the truehearts. "Many of you will say "Lord, Lord...". Saying don't necessarily translate over as "becoming".

Simply put, the declaration of the voice needs to be first established in the heart.

Posers don't make it. Fakes don't make it. Liars don't make it. Jesus sees through them like an X-Ray.

Those of us who "become" make it. We become His disciples. We become the Living Stones in the foundation of His Church. We become Fishers of Men.

We become His. We belong to Jesus.

Resolve to become, and don't present a cheap knockoff.

Happy New Year!

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

"Ghosts, Fears, And Future Dangers", by Pastor Kevin Lynch

These are the things that people battle. Most are classified as "intangibles".

They are not even real, or have not manifested yet, and we are already expending precious energy battling them.

Sleeplessness, irritability, inflexibility, nervousness, anxiety, melancholia, etc. Many times just the result of a suggestive thought or a word taken the wrong way.

Understanding the mind (or soul) to be the battlefield of the Body and Spirit, it is no surprise why mental torture is really at the foundation of many things that ail us.

Get your mind (soul) right and the rest of you will be much healthier.

Paul says in Romans 12:1 - "I APPEAL to you therefore, brethren, and beg of you in view of [all] the mercies of God, to make a decisive dedication of your bodies [presenting all your members and faculties] as a living sacrifice, holy (devoted, consecrated) and well pleasing to God, which is your reasonable (rational, intelligent) service and spiritual worship. (2) Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you].

Yes, you can know the PERFECT will of God for your life. What is sad is that many do not know this "secret", or more sadly is they just don't care enough to implement it.

Read the passage and read it carefully. It is the pathway to change.

Paul is basically giving us steps to a productive and peaceful joyous life.

First, get born-again by accepting Jesus Christ into your life and relinquishing control over to Him by making a conscious dedication of your life to Him.

Second, bring your mind into alignment with what happened to your Spirit. Your Spirit is born-again, not your mind and body. You are responsible for what you think as a born-again man or woman. You have not become an automaton or a robot of God. He is not pushing your buttons or controlling you remotely.

Paul says you must TRANSFORM not CONFORM. You used to CONFORM to the world, now you must TRANSFORM to God's way.

This applies to every aspect of your life. Your physical world. Your finances. Your marriage. Your business. Your parenting. Everything.

If you are born-again and still thinking in the carnal, sensory oriented way, then you will be confused and your life will be disastrous. You are being led by your appetites, not the Spirit of God.

You must ALLOW the Holy Spirit to lead you. Walk after the Spirit not after the flesh! (Rom. 8:1)

If you are being haunted by your past ghosts, fearing every little thing that you think can go wrong in your life, and already fearing things in the future that may not ever happen, then you are unconsecrated to God and living in the flesh.

Think about this: Your fears are carnal. If you are affected by fear than you are not living according to the Spirit. Why is this true? Because God has not given us a spirit of fear, but a Spirit of Power! (2 Timothy 1:7).

As the New Year approaches, how about making a conscious effort to take charge of your mind (soul) and bring it into subjection to the Holy Spirit?

My dear loved ones, I am giving you the great secret of a happy life here. No...really. Do not blow this off. This is it. It can be found nowhere else so any future searching anywhere else will be futile.

It really is your only option for a serene and peaceful life in Christ.

Would I lie? C'mon, who loves you? Jesus does and so do I.

Be blessed.

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

Monday, December 28, 2009

"Peace Interrupted", by Pastor Kevin Lynch

All together now. Breathe in, breathe out, breathe in, breathe out.

It's over. Another Christmas in the books.

We can all go back to living like civilized Christians now (said with tongue in cheek).

C'mon. You know exactly what I mean.

I don't even get caught up in all the thinly disguised hype wrapped in the package of false piety, and I still got affected.

There is so much stress floating around in the air it just sort of surrounds you like a morning fog in Seattle.

The typical free for all sadly labeled as "Christmas" harshes my mellow meditative celebration of the majestic miracle of the Incarnation by thrusting it in my lap.

Personally I'm glad it's over. Now I can get back to the business of celebrating the true meaning of Christmas every day.

My peace which was so rudely interrupted has now been restored.

Bring on Dick Clark and another Rockin' New Years Eve!

Seriously. If I had a nickel for every Christian I have observed just simply falling into a heap as a result of "pulling off" another stellar holiday extravaganza I'd have a bunch of nickels.

You see, for many that style of Christmas is never over. One is still left with the task of paying for it.

In the best Cousin Eddie to Clark Griswold, "It's the "gift" that keeps on giving".

Peace has definitely been interrupted. You almost have to marvel at the evil genius that created that facade.

Yet we (well, not really we, because I don't) will keep on going back for more. Don't take my statement as self righteous. I have the tee shirt declaring me as the worlds greatest Christmas sucker in my dresser. The difference is I learned and dropped out of the race. Not me. No more. Finito.

I wish I learned the lesson years earlier. Kids do fine with less. The electric company has learned to cope with my lower bill. And my artificial tree (complete with preset lights which I got on sale after one Christmas for $19.99) looks as good as a real one.

I have decided to make room for Jesus on the day we celebrate His birth. Sounds almost incredulous, doesn't it?

Well, that's because we have fell long and hard as a society of believers, and grabbed onto the tail of a speeding comet going in the opposite direction of where we think we were headed.

What we have witnessed and taken part of as Christmas is not the Christmas of the bible. And if we are celebrating something loosely based on the bible then there is going to be less peace and more stress.

It's a simple spiritual law.

John 14:27 - "Peace I leave with you; My [own] peace I now give and bequeath to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. [Stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed; and do not permit yourselves to be fearful and intimidated and cowardly and unsettled.]."

Not as the world gives, but as Jesus does.

Glad you made it. Be blessed. Be at peace.

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

Thursday, December 24, 2009

"Have A Deeply Meditative And Heartwarming Christmas!", by Pastor Kevin Lynch

"Merry" Christmas doesn't really cut it for me anymore.

It doesn't go far enough.

"Merry", while not a bad term, doesn't go far enough in expressing the depth and importance of Jesus' birth.

While it's certainly not religious (which is good), it's also not sacred enough.

"Merry" expresses merriment, festiveness, fun, giving presents etc., and while that's all fine, it's only a part of Christmas, albeit the least important part.

For many however, the merriment IS Christmas.

For others like myself, merry is eclipsed by the joyfulness of the Incarnation.

Spiked eggnog cannot accomplish it, nor can an unleashed spending frenzy.

Maybe I am just getting old.

My Christmases now are quiet meditations and contemplations. My merriment is any chance I get to spend with family.

Christmas for me now is more of a lasting experience, not something to be merely endured until it's over.

So yes, Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas. If a warm crackling fire enhances that then I say you are fortunate to have one. Watch your children play with their gifts, and if you live in a small town take a walk and wish as many as possible a "Merry" Christmas!

There is a great joy in the world today!

Luke 2:11 - "For to you is born this day in the town of David a Savior, Who is Christ (the Messiah) the Lord."

And in the midst of your merriment leave room for meditation and contemplation. Go deep in thought.

Luke 2:19 says that Mary "pondered".

Yes, let's ponder all of what Christmas means in our hearts.

Have A Deeply Meditative And Heartwarming And...Merry...Christmas!

See you all again on Monday!

Keepin' it Christmassy!

Pastor Kevin <><

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

"The Cable Channel Jesus", by Pastor Kevin Lynch

Have you seen the shows about Jesus? The ones on the History Channel, National Geographic Channel, The Learning Channel, well, you get the picture.

I generally watch them all. Not to be encouraged, but to keep my finger on the pulse of anti-Christianity.

What I have found for the most part is a concerted effort by the producers of such shows to debunk and defame the Person of Jesus Christ and anything at all to do with the Holy Bible.

Each producer gathers a small group of "scholars" to be the "go to" people on points of knowledge. Usually they are professors of religion or some other spiritual sounding field, but attached to secular institutions of higher learning such as Boston College, Yale, USC, etc. They might sprinkle in a bonafide professor of biblical studies from a Christian school like Wheaton once in a while in order to keep it all "honest".

Well, there is nothing honest about it. The Scriptures are usually ignored completely, or so distorted and mixed in with non-canonical and apocryphal literature that the average viewer, even churched viewers, don't even realize that they are having the wool pulled over their eyes, and that the Cable TV Jesus is not the Jesus of the Word of God.

So far, I have seen Jesus portrayed as possibly being insane, gay, married, a womanizer, a political rebel, a con-man, etc. Rarely is He simply the Christ of the Bible.

See it for yourself. Scan your cable or satellite channels. Count how many shows are on tv on any given day about Jesus, devils, angels, the bible, God, Noah's Ark, the Temple of Jerusalem, the Ark of the Covenant, the Holy Grail, and so on. I'm talking the secular shows, not Christian channels.

Has the world all of a sudden taken a sudden interest in Jesus? What the world has taken interest in is using the airways to try to destroy Jesus and anything connected with Christianity.

The Word says that we should be wowed by the story of Jesus alone.

Luke 2:18 - "And all who heard it were astounded and marveled at what the shepherds told them."

The wow factor is being eroded by sensationalized fictitious nonsense.

Being told a sensationalized lie about Jesus doesn't astound me. It doesn't make me marvel, especially during a season when we should be connecting with the truth of who He is, where He came from, and why.

I marvel and am astounded by the truth without any external or peripheral embellishments.

God's Word is perfect and it doesn't need speculative "help".

So, connect with Him this grand Christmas season.

You'll know when you have been able to connect. You'll feel it in your heart. You'll be caught up in it. It may be exuberance, or it may be a warm fuzzy feeling. But you'll know.

"And all who heard it...".

Will you tell the story to someone today? Will you be a modern day "shepherd of the field"?

Will you pass on your excitement, your love, your warmth, your peace in Christ?

That's what Christmas is today.

Be blessed and alive in Him today!

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

"No Vacancy", by Pastor Kevin Lynch

I remember as a child being upset about the part of the Christmas account where Mary and Joseph could not find lodging to birth the infant Jesus comfortably and safely.

Of course the facts became a tale embellished with visions of ancient hotels and inns with "No Vacancy" signs and mean irascible inn keepers happily shooing the desperate couple away to their final destination of a smelly stable complete with all of the barnyard inhabitants.

OK, maybe it wasn't exactly that way, but one thing is for sure, and that's there simply wasn't any room in the world for Jesus. That's what it is about.

Here, look:

Luke 2:7 - "And she gave birth to her Son, her Firstborn; and she wrapped Him in swaddling clothes and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room or place for them in the inn."

BECAUSE ties it together. They had to endure whatever it was they endured BECAUSE there was no room for them. No room for THEM means no room for JESUS.

The entire Christmas saga boils down to that one simple truth.

Jesus came from heaven to be born into human flesh (Incarnation), and was NEVER welcomed from that day until the day He went to the cross.

He was run out of towns. He was pursued by angry mobs. He had various attempts made on His life. He was plotted against. He was betrayed by His closest confidants.

He was resurrected three days after His crucifixion and has still never been accepted into the vast majority of the human race.

He takes His acceptance where He finds it.

In the manger of the believer.

In the worlds eyes, we who truly worship the Christ (I say truly to differentiate from the hypocrite who praises Jesus on Sunday but uses His Name as a swear word the rest of the week), are basically guilty of harboring a criminal.

Jesus knew that was coming and warned us in John 16. He was hated. We will be hated.

I can live with that. Jesus knew what rebel He was getting when He came for me.

I could give a rip what opinions are directed toward me behind my back or to my face.

The love of Christ endures in my heart and carries me on waves of joy through it all.

When we get to that place forgiveness and understanding for the worst offenses by others flow automatically.

I hope your "Vacancy" light is on this season. I hope you have prepared a comfortable and easy access for Jesus to find His way to you. If you have then perhaps you can help someone else find their way.

There is a lot more room for Him in you than you realize.

My hope for you all is that Jesus becomes very large in your life.

Be blessed!

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

Monday, December 21, 2009

"Seeing The Forest Through The Trees", by Pastor Kevin Lynch

That's what Christmas is like to me. Except it becomes more like seeing Christmas through the hypocrisy.

I want to see what the shepherd's saw. I want to feel what the Magi felt. Experience what Simeon and Anna experienced.

It's obvious that Christmas was not limited to one day, but in it's initial stage had stretched over a period of at least two years.

It was intended to be something that is celebrated every day in the hearts of mankind.

Instead we have ended up with this frenzied hypocritical free for all, which has been taken over by people who want the glitz of Christmas without accepting the major component which is Christ.

It's like falling in love with the lines and contours of a beautiful new car but asking the dealer to leave out the engine.

The Christmas we see played out before us commencing on Black Friday is a sham holiday. It's closer to Roman Saturnalia than it is to a celebration of Christ's birth.

It has become an orgy of lustful, carnal, sensory oriented indulgence.

I'd be afraid to take a survey, sadly even within the greater constituency of the Church, and ask what have you received from Christmas?

Here's what Simeon saw when Jesus was brought to the temple for dedication:

Luke 2:30 - "For with my [own] eyes I have seen Your Salvation."

That's what we are supposed to see.

I'll submit that it doesn't take Christmas to do that. In February of 1986 I saw the Salvation of God in the Person of Jesus Christ and it was my rescue, my life changing nexus.

I celebrate that every day of my life.

It wasn't the birthday celebration that was the centerpiece of Christmas, but what that birth represented.

We are missing the forest for the trees. We are missing Christmas through the various obstacles of hypocrisy and shiny objects that have distracted us.

Just the way our sworn enemy would like it.

When a person looks through the haze of deception, and finally is able to behold the Salvation of God, then will the true joy of Christmas shine brighter than the Bethlehem Star did.

So I say, put up your lights, give your gifts, decorate your trees, not as the pagan celebrators who have stolen the meaning of CHRISTmas, but as a joyful expression of your Salvation in Him!

Be blessed...Christ has been born! Your salvation in Him has been put in motion!

See clear to accept Him.

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

Friday, December 18, 2009

"God In An Earthsuit", by Pastor Kevin Lynch

There's a lot contained in a word.

It may be more weighty when it is a proper noun.

When that proper noun is Word, and it pertains to Jesus' pre-incarnate status as the Logos (Greek for Word), then it reigns supreme as the most important Word in the universe.

That might be a little heady for a morning devotional, and that's even trying to keep it bare bones minimally simple.

The average Christian doesn't contemplate the subject much. It falls under the category of "Christology", which is one of the many, arguably the most important, branches of theological study.

Basically it explores the question, "Who is Jesus?". Not just the cradle to the empty tomb Jesus, but the Jesus of eternity past, present, and forever.

Where did He come from? When and how did He appear?

The Bible answers those questions adequately I believe.

While Matthew and Luke were content to offer the much needed earthly beginning, John introduces us to the Jesus before the Incarnation, and how He became incarnate.

First, John makes a statement of fact, much like Moses did in Genesis 1:1 (In the beginning...).

John 1:1 - "IN THE beginning [before all time] was the Word (Christ), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God Himself."

There you have it. The quintessential and most definitive statement in all the Word of God about the Deity of Jesus Christ.

Jesus is God.

John goes on to say that Jesus is the Creator of everything in the universe, that there is nothing that exists in this vast expanse that He did not create.

Then John moves on to explain how this ever existing God of the universe named Jesus introduced Himself to our planet and the entire human race.

John 1:14 - "And the Word (Christ) became flesh (human, incarnate) and tabernacled (fixed His tent of flesh, lived awhile) among us; and we [actually] saw His glory (His honor, His majesty), such glory as an only begotten son receives from his father, full of grace (favor, loving-kindness) and truth."

I like that expansion on the word "tabernacle". Jesus pitched His earth tent (His body) among us for just enough time so that we would get to know God. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. The complete and total God.

That my friends is a miracle. The miracle of Christmas.

It's a little deeper than the no room at the inn, swaddling clothes stuff most get to hear at Christmas, but after all, it's a deep event.

Jesus has earned the right to minister to us, to require our love and dedication to Him.

He experienced what it is like to be us for 33 years, and packed in a lot of pain, suffering and controversy in between.

In the end He loved us enough to suffer the final cruelties of the cross, defeated death, and now sits at the right hand of the Father in Heaven interceding for us day by day.

Where would we be without Jesus?

Many of you know the answer to that. Some have an inkling. Some haven't a clue.

Simply put, we would be lost in our selfish, self-righteous, pathetic existence. And we would be that way eternally.

Eternity is a long time to be lost.

Give Jesus some thought today, would you? Explore who He is.

He is right there. He is as near as your skin.

Just say, "Jesus, I'd like to have a little talk with you today if you don't mind."

He won't mind at all. In fact, you will find Him to be most engaging.

Merry CHRISTmas!

Pastor Kevin <><

Thursday, December 17, 2009

"Jesus Can Do That To You", by Pastor Kevin Lynch

Instill ecstatic joy that is.

Matt. 2:10 - "When they saw the star, they were thrilled with ecstatic joy."

There's joy, and then there's "ecstatic" joy.

I guess that's a step up from just plain being happy.

A state of ecstasy. Rapturous joy.

It doesn't mean a wild, off the table, overly dramatic, uncontrollable giddiness and loss of control.

It has more to do with "countenance".

I don't see a lot of joyful countenance being exhibited in people today. Not on the street. Not in the news.

Not anywhere.

Sadly, not even in the churches on any grand scale.

A few have it. It's sort of contagious when one is around it.

But it's just not spreading fast enough.

I think ecstatic joy get's strangled by too many M&M's...Moroseness and Melancholia.

I can see it in the eyes. I can hear it in the subtle tones of speech. I observe it in the posture of a person. Sometimes the Spirit of God speaks to me and alerts me.

Countenance. One either possesses a positive or a negative countenance.

I suggest that if you are born-again today, to exercise the power of the name of Christ in your life and begin to pry the fingers of moroseness and melancholia from around your neck and start to breathe in the Spirit. You do have that choice you know.

I personally guarantee results.

Every Christmas presents itself in a new and exciting way. One doesn't have to be Scrooge to enjoy radical change.

I'd say just merely expect a warming of the heart, a lifting of the spirit, a fresh mental outlook.

Believe me, it is enough to change your countenance and reflect the joy of Christ in your life.

Merry CHRISTmas!

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

"Where Is He Who Has Been Born King Of The Jews?", by Pastor Kevin Lynch

There's a question you don't hear much anymore.

Now you are more likely to hear, "Who kicked over the manger?"

Matt. 2:2 - "Where is He Who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the east at its rising and have come to worship Him."

That was the Wise Men.

You've heard it said, "wise men still seek Him"?

Well, angry, fearful paranoids "still try to kill Him".

Vs. 3 - "When Herod the king heard this, he was disturbed and troubled, and the whole of Jerusalem with him... vs.16 - ...and he sent and put to death all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that territory who were two years old and under."

The spirit of Herod is alive and well.

Every time you see "Merry X-Mas", or "Happy Holidays", be reminded that there is an attempted extermination at work.

Hollywood and the media have even attempted to make that ever present evil more palatable to us by inventing lovable curmudgeons who effect a "happy ending" to their mischief.

Herod has been replaced by the Grinch. Be honest. The ol' Grinch is far best remembered for his heinous vengeful rampage against Christmas, than for the softening of his heart.

"You're a mean one...Mr. Grinch...".

I know it's hard to keep Christmas in your heart when it has become a target.

Try to won't you?

The song should be changed to "It's the most stressful time of the year...".

It is stressful if you allow it, and you allow it when you focus on the negative side of it.

Ever notice how the people you are surrounded by in the Mall all seem to have an air of entitlement? They should be ahead of you in line, they should get that parking spot, they were there first on line to see Santa. Good grief, I don't have to wait until the end times to witness the "weeping and gnashing of teeth". I've seen a glimpse of Hell on earth, and it's at the advertised 30% off sale on Black Friday!

So, if you see the Manger kicked over, and baby Jesus face down on the grass or tile, try not to get discouraged. It's just a ceramic imitation. He is still worthy to be worshiped. He is alive and well and is sitting at the right hand of the Father interceding for you in the midst of the madness.

He is still the Prince of Peace, and can be for you if you center your thoughts.

It's all about Him. It's Jesus time. The great thing is, that in His heart and mind, it's your time.

He loves you this morning and wants to give you His peace today.

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

"What's All This Talk About 'Peace On Earth'?", by Pastor Kevin Lynch

Ever see the bumper sticker..."Know Jesus, Know Peace...No Jesus, No Peace"?

Very clever play on words actually. Also very correct.

Generally, most people subscribe to the more across the board, generic type application of either getting "the peace that passes all understanding", or, Jesus as being described as the "Prince of Peace".

All are correct and proper, and also very true.

However, few find perhaps one of the most grandiose and exciting references to "peace" wrapped up in the story read umpteen times over the course of a long life every single Christmas.

Here it is:

Luke 2:14 - "Glory to God in the highest [heaven], and on earth peace among men with whom He is well pleased [men of goodwill, of His favor]."

To borrow a premise from a well known 1980's hamburger commercial, let me pose a question:

Where's the peace?

People want to know.

They read the gospel account where it says the angels actually made a pronouncement, a declaration of fact, that explicitly states that there would not only be peace on earth, but also good will toward men as a result of the birth of Christ. It was supposed to change everything!

So where is it? Where's this peace? Where's all this good will that's supposed to be oozing from the pores of joyful humanity and extending it to others?

There actually seems to be less peace, joy, and good will on earth than ever in the course of human history.

Has the bible been proven untrue? Is God a liar? Was Luke (a physician) under the influence of some powerful ancient psychedelics and had a drug induced false vision?

No, none of that.

The bible is quite true, and God has not lied. Luke has only recorded the story as it had been told him.

The problem lies in a mixture of sloppy hermeneutics, religious tradition, bad theology, etc., etc., etc.

Blame the King James Version if you want. It does not translate the passage correctly.

The one I posted above does. So does virtually every other properly interpreted translation.

The angels never promised peace on earth for everyone who lives on it.

They declared there would peace and good will for those whom God was pleased with.

That changes things.

Since we are talking about a "few good men", let me ask you in my best Jack Nicholson..."Are we clear?"

I hope you respond in your best Tom Cruise..."Crystal."

That's it. There is peace on earth for those who please God, which is accomplished by acknowledging and accepting His Son Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, and thereby becoming born-again.

As an added result and by-product, what little actual goodwill that's floating around on this planet is largely on account of those who are pleasing to God.

The rest are locked into a bitter dog-eat-dog struggle that will eventually consume them lock, stock, and barrel, not only in the here and now, but in the here and after.

"No Jesus, No Peace...Know Jesus, Know Peace".

If you know Him, then you know exactly what I mean. If you don't know Him, you really do know what I mean, but you may not be at the place where you are ready to admit it.

Let me just interject here that Christmas is a great time to get that straightened out.

Get your mind off of Rudolph, Frosty, lights, wreaths, shopping, trees, etc., at least momentarily, but long enough to simply get to a quiet place and contemplate how not submitting to Christ is working out for you.

I hope this Christmas is your best ever!

Be blessed...

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

Monday, December 14, 2009

"To You This Day", by Pastor Kevin Lynch

I'm not quite sure how God works it out.

I have this acquired spiritual sense that God is not governed by space and time, and that His omniscience and omnipotence somehow is able to make things of the past as real and tangible in the present.

I find this particularly true concerning the Incarnation, the Crucifixion, and the Resurrection.

It's the Incarnation, or more commonly referred to as "the birth of Christ", that I am addressing today.

One of the greatest verses in the Bible record an announcement to the world. In my opinion the most wonderful announcement in human history.

Luke 2:11 - "For to you is born this day in the town of David a Savior, Who is Christ (the Messiah) the Lord!"

Historically this happened about 2,000 years ago.

I submit that it somehow, someway, is still happening.

"For to you" is as fresh a real moment as it was so many years ago when the shepherds heard it.

I don't mean it as historical data, but as a present day life changing reality as sure an event now as it was then.

"This day" is either going to become a skimmed over neat story that we blow the dust off once a year around the Christmas tree, or it has achieved the goal which I believe it was intended for, which is to be the earth shattering force that continues to guide man today.

He wasn't just "born".

He was born "for you this day". What day? The alleged albeit incorrect date of Dec. 25th c. 3 BCE?

Or right now?

He was born so you could be "born-again".

Have you pondered the realness of your incarnate Presence? The day Christ was born into your heart?

Yes, He was born as an infant in the flesh as a gift to the world, but He has been birthed in the hearts as well of those who accept Him as Lord and Savior.

He lives and breathes at the right hand of the Father in the heavenly kingdom, but His Spirit has been born into you, which has made you truly alive.

So while the significant event of Jesus being born as an infant cannot be repeated, the concept of Incarnation is being repeated constantly and continuously. While the Crucifixion will never be repeated on a cross on a hill, it is being repeated every time a person submits to the washing by His blood, which somehow still flows fresh and freely, and is poured out in it's cleansing and purifying efficacy. His Resurrection will never happen to Jesus again, but it happens each time a person experiences the resurrection of their dead spirits in Christ.

How else can we interpret such mystical passages as my favorite: "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me". (Gal. 2:20)

Jesus is the Living Word (John 1:1). This mean the Word is alive. It's alive and has never become stagnant or static. It has never not been alive. So, we need to experience what we read and interpret as being a living organism, not just ancient words bound by leather and glue.

This is why it's real right now.

So, "for to YOU is born THIS day" never gets old. Never fades with time. Never gets banished to the halls and annals of ancient history.

Jesus is alive today because He was born, died, and resurrected.

Have you been born-again? Have you been crucified with Jesus? Have you experienced the resurrection of your once dead spirit into new life?

If you have, then a truly Merry Christmas to you!

Be blessed today!

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

Friday, December 11, 2009

"Are You Wrapped Tightly?", by Pastor Kevin Lynch

No, I am not inquiring about your mental state of being.

I am merely staying within the parameters of the festive Christmas spirit.

Luke 2:7 - "And she gave birth to her Son, her Firstborn; and she wrapped Him in swaddling clothes...".

One doesn't hear the term "swaddling" much anymore.

It refers to an infant being tightly wrapped as to restrict their movement.

It was a common practice in the ancient days, was subsequently done away with over the centuries, but oddly enough, has experienced a resurgence in modern times.

Why the comeback? Well, it appears that medical science has found that wrapping your infant tightly in a blanket in preparation for bed and napping has benefits, and not the least being the prevention of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (S.I.D.S.).

What I don't think Mary had envisioned at that time was the fact that a mere 30 or so years later, she would be witness to her beloved child being wrapped in swaddling clothes once again.

This time it would be for burial.

When they took Jesus down from the cross they began to prepare him for entombment. They tightly wrapped His body in linen grave clothes.

This time they laid Him in a tomb, not a manger.

It was finished. It had come full circle. From the cradle to the grave. Mary saw it all.

Fortunately the story doesn't end there.

No amount of swaddling clothing could restrict Him. It wasn't enough to prevent Jesus from leaving the nest of His mothereventually. It wasn't enough to keep Him locked inside a tomb.

He arose! He arose so that we could be born...again.

And it dawned on me this dawned on me that as sure as the infant Jesus was bound in His tightly wrapped protective linens and blankets as a Child, so are we tightly wrapped and protected in a spiritual sense when we accept Him as our Savior.

So, it's back to my question this morning.

Are you wrapped tightly?

Has the comforting and protective Holy Spirit surrounded you with the swaddling love of Christ and all the benefits that come with being a child of the King?

Maybe you are and you haven't looked at it that way.

Maybe you're not and need to be.

There are only those two options.

You're either living loosely or tightly according to the Kingdom perception.

In or out. No gray area.

Jesus didn't stutter. "In order to see the Kingdom of God, you MUST be born-again."

What a great time of year to give your heart to Christ. What a great time to "tighten up" your relationship with Him.

That my friends is a Christmas to remember!

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

Thursday, December 10, 2009

"The Twelve Days Of Christmas...Reprise With Meaning", by Pastor Kevin Lynch

I thought it would be nice to publish this today. What is traditionally a popular Christmas song, it may well have been created as a sort of Christian "code" written during a time when there was not a lot of freedom to express one's faith in Christ.

In any event, it is an encouraging meaning to a song that never made a whole lot of sense anyway. Now it might actually mean something to you!

The 12 Days of Christmas

The 12 Days of Christmas refer to the twelve day period that starts with Christmas day and ends on Epiphany (6th January). The song begins, On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me... The 'true love' was meant to represent God, the true love of the world. The 'me' in the carol is the Christian man or woman who receives these presents. The meanings given to the 12 Days are:

The 'partridge in a pear tree' is Jesus who died on the cross. In ancient times a partridge was often used as mythological symbol of a divine, sacred king.

The 'two turtle doves' are the Old and New Testaments of the Bible - another gift from God. Doves also symbolize peace.

The 'three French hens' are faith, hope and love - the three gifts of the Holy Spirit. (See 1 Corinthians 13 ). The French hens can also represent God the Father, His Son Jesus and the Holy Spirit.

The 'four calling birds' are the four Gospels in the New Testament of the Bible.

The 'five golden rings' are the first five books of the Bible also called the Pentateuch, the Books of Moses or the Torah.

The 'six geese a-laying' are the six days of creation.

The 'seven swans a swimming' are the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit. (See 1 Corinthians 12:8-11, Romans 12, Ephesians 4, 1 Peter 4:10-11)

The 'eight maids a milking' are the eight beatitudes, Jesus' teachings on happiness. (See Matthew 5:3-10)

The 'nine ladies dancing' are nine fruits of the Holy Spirit. (See Galatians 5:22)

The 'ten lords a-leaping' are the Ten Commandments in the Bible. (See Exodus 20)

The 'eleven pipers piping' are the eleven faithful disciples of Jesus .

The 'twelve drummers drumming' were the twelve points of the Apostles' Creed .

I hope you enjoyed it, and perhaps it will help you to sing it with a new fervor!


Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

"At The Risk Of Ruining Christmas...Part II", by Pastor Kevin Lynch

After watching last night's show on the National Geographic Channel, "The Secret Lives Of Jesus", I know this word is timely.

It convinced me further that we need to tell the truth about Jesus all of the time to the fullest,and down to every minute detail.

Secret lives of Jesus?

What a crock.

What's the old saying? That's how rumors get started?

Let's dispense with a few more.

A cute, but unfortunately non biblical confirmed story surrounds how Mary and Joseph got to Bethlehem, and what the birthing arrangements were.

The popular rendition is they basically arrived just at the nick of time and frantically, but unsuccessfully, tried to find a place to stay. Mary is on the back of a non-existent mule, a non-existing conversation with a heartless innkeeper ensues, and finally they were banished to a have their child in a barn, or a stable, or a cave, or whatever the word "manger" conjures up in the imagination. It doesn't really matter when one is making things up.

There is no evidence that they just arrived in Bethlehem. They could have been there for weeks.

They were going there with the purpose of registering for a census, not to have a baby.

Luke 2:6 - "And while they were there, the time came for her delivery."

"And while they were there" becomes important for debunking that myth.

While the word "manger" certainly refers to some sort of a bin or trough, in one Greek translation it also means "guest chamber". The same word "kataluma" was used by Jesus in Mark 14 when he was inquiring of space to use for the last supper. It specifically translates out to a large second floor dwelling in a house, henceforth known as the "upper room". Scholars agree that the word manger is "flexible", and therefore we cannot be factual about it concerning this story. Many scholars believe that Joseph and Mary probably stayed with relatives in their "guest chamber".

Once the potential myth of the barnyard birth is dispelled, then out goes the animals, along with the already deposed wise men.

All we are left with are the lowly shepherds.

It appears that they more than likely actually visited the baby Jesus, as instructed by the angels (who were praising God, and not "singing" as usually reported). They could have been singing praises, but the bible doesn't say they were. Biblical hermeneutics demand that when the bible does not say something, don't add it.

Most people already realize that Jesus was not born on December 25th, but probably in the late Spring, which makes more sense in many ways, but perhaps born out by the shepherds.

Luke 2:8 - "And in that vicinity there were shepherds living [out under the open sky] in the field, watching [in shifts] over their flock by night."

On the basis of the statement that the shepherds were living out in the field, keeping guard over their flock at night it is often suggested that Jesus’ birth took place in early spring, since it was only at lambing time that shepherds stood guard over their flocks in the field. This is far more evidence for a spring birth than there is for a winter one. Also, the purpose for lambing may very well have been for producing them for Passover sacrifices.

We could probably dig for a little more, but I think for this purpose, which is to strip away embellishments to the truth, as well as some downright lies and myths, we have accomplished the feat of looking at the Incarnation without interference and accoutrements.

Christmas is still best expressed in the words of the angelic host:

Luke 2:14 - "Glory to God in the highest [heaven], and on earth peace among men with whom He is well pleased [men of goodwill, of His favor]."

That my friends is the bottom line.

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

"At The Risk Of Ruining Christmas...Part I", by Pastor Kevin Lynch

I know. That's an overstatement. The only way Christmas could be ruined by telling the truth is if one didn't believe in the true Christmas to begin with.

The truth is what we all want. Don't we?

How about if it takes a little wind out of the beloved stories you've heard since childhood?

I run the risk of that this morning. In fact, the list is long enough to mention over several mornings.

Many of us have been raised with an incorrectness concerning the events surrounding Christ's birth.

In fact, much of what many believe has come from Christmas songs rather than the Bible!

Some is flat out myth, and some are possibilities, but really nothing more than speculation.

Facts are facts however, and they need no "punching up".

The truth is more exciting than the fiction created to embellish it.

One of my pinch points when it comes to the telling of the Christmas Story is the complete myth surrounding the Wise Men, or Magi.

It's a great story on it's own, but what is generally heard is far from the truth and not in the Bible at all.

The story of the "Three" Wise Men, has become ingrained. So much so that when I tell the truth, people just sort of stare back at me blankly.

Matthew 2:1-2 - "NOW WHEN Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men [astrologers] from the east came to Jerusalem, asking, (2) Where is He Who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the east at its rising and have come to worship Him."

For instance, where does it mention there were three? Possibly some confusion because three types of gifts are mentioned? It doesn't mean three men brought them. It could have been six men. Or only two.

Matt. 2:11 - "And on going into the house, they saw the Child with Mary His mother, and they fell down and worshiped Him. Then opening their treasure bags, they presented to Him gifts--gold and frankincense and myrrh."

Also, I'll venture a guess that your nativity scene at home contains three wise men standing around Jesus with the barnyard animals, angels, and the shepherds (not without problems of it's own).

The truth is they weren't even there for His birth. It's impossible. In fact, they probably didn't show up until almost two years later, at the least after the dedication in the Temple. The Word insinuates the visitation happened at Jesus' "home" (which is another issue that we need to address). A careful reading of the gospel bears this out. It appears they visited just before they fled Bethlehem as the result of Herod trying to kill Jesus. The fact that he targeted children up to two years old says that Jesus was older than a newborn at this point.

Tradition has even gone as far as naming the Magi (Gaspar, Melchior, and Balthazar), when in fact we don't have any idea of who they actually were or where they came from, other than "the East". We only know that Magi is a root word for magic, or magician, so we gather they were probably astrologists or astronomers of some sort, because they saw something in the "Star" over Bethlehem. Another popular misconception is that they were "kings". Again, no proof of that other than what has been written in the lyrics of a popular Christmas carol (We Three Kings).

We also know for sure that they visited with Herod, and that Herod tried to get them to find Jesus and report back to him. The Magi were subsequently warned in a dream to avoid Herod, so after visiting Jesus, they fled back to their homelands.

Matt. 2:12 - "And receiving an answer to their asking, they were divinely instructed and warned in a dream not to go back to Herod; so they departed to their own country by a different way."

No harm done? Well, I beg to differ. Any non-truth, especially when it concerns the Word of God, opens the door to tinker with the rest of the Bible, which incidentally, has already occurred many times over.

It's bad enough the Word gets slandered for being a myth as it stands alone in the truth. We don't need to add wood to that fire by having to defend ridiculous allegations which are indeed added, no matter how well meaning that endeavor may have been.

Jesus said the truth sets us free. Conversely, anything contrary to the truth, no matter how harmless it may appear, holds us in bondage.

The truth of the Christmas story is so wonderful, so amazing, so beautiful, that it doesn't need a thing to make it more exciting or appealing.

Be blessed today, and remember to keep Christ in Christmas!

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

Monday, December 7, 2009

"In The Appointed Time", by Pastor Kevin Lynch

The Preacher in the Book of Ecclesiastes tells us that there is a time for everything.

Probably the one that grabs us the most is the "a time to live, and a time to die".

Not being brought up in a bible believing home, I think I first heard those words in the Byrds song, "Turn, Turn, Turn".

A few thousand years after the Preacher's words, a newlywed couple, were settled somewhere in Bethlehem with the wife ready to give birth.

I could add to this with all the common myths and embellishments we have become accustomed to attaching to the story, but I am very conscientious about being true to the Word of God.

For instance, we really don't know if Mary was on the back of mule. We don't know if they arrived in Bethlehem that night, or if they had been there for several weeks. We are not even really sure what kind of an environment Jesus was actually born in. A manger is clearly something he was "laid in" not surrounded by. There is no evidence of ever speaking to an innkeeper, so they may have actually stayed with relatives because the inns were full.

Shocked? You'll be more shocked in the coming days.

However, these are not the important elements of the story.

What's important is this:

Luke 2:6 - "And while they were there, the time came for her delivery."

The Appointed Time.

The time when God chose to introduce His Only Begotten Son to the world.

The Incarnation.

The God made flesh. The God/Man Jesus Christ.

Emmanuel...God with us.

The Chosen Messiah of the world.

That's what really matters.

The Appointed Time.

The most important event in the history of the world.

Every year we relive it.

If we can squeeze it in between Thanksgiving and New Years.

If we can recover enough from Black Friday to cope.

If we don't succumb to the anxiety and stress caused by the multitudes who secularly keep the "holiday".

If we actually slow down, no, stop to breathe in the Words of God and contemplate them.

Good grief, the "time came". Never before, never to be again.

Jesus was about to be born.

Can you gather up that expectation within yourself again? Can you relive it in your heart?

It would be a good thing, because I sense, really sense in my spirit, that many people have lost it.

Yes friends, lost it.

And if you have lost Christmas in your heart, you have lost everything.

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

Friday, December 4, 2009

"Scenes From A Prison: Part III", by Pastor Kevin Lynch

The earth shook. The prison went dark. Walls and gates collapsed. Chains and shackles were broken apart. Prisoners were free to escape. The jailer was on the verge of killing himself as he believed many surely took full advantage.

Acts 16:28 - "But Paul shouted, Do not harm yourself, for we are all here!"

The jailer, so stunned, and so impressed and thankful for Paul and Silas, and recognizing they represent God, falls at their feet.

He sees something supernatural in them. He senses their rightness in Jesus Christ.

He had been listening to their songs. He had been listening to their preaching to the other prisoners.

The Philippian jailer wanted some of that!

Acts 16:30 - "And he brought them out [of the dungeon] and said, Men, what is it necessary for me to do that I may be saved?"

He was probably thinking there was a great work to be done. Some chores. Some duties. A club to join.

He must have been surprised at the response.

Acts 16:31 - "And they answered, Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ [give yourself up to Him, take yourself out of your own keeping and entrust yourself into His keeping] and you will be saved, [and this applies both to] you and your household as well."

A simple task as far as performing goes.

Let go of yourself and trust Jesus Christ.

My, how we've complicated that over the centuries.

Stop trying to do it alone. Put yourself squarely in the hands of your Creator, and not only will it work for you, but your family as well.

The least common denominator? Trust Jesus.

Anything that teaches anything more or less than that is a corrupted gospel.

Acts 16:32 - "And they declared the Word of the Lord [the doctrine concerning the attainment through Christ of eternal salvation in the kingdom of God] to him and to all who were in his house."

Paul and Silas went to the jailer's home and preached the gospel to his family, and they were all saved as well.

How do we know? Because they submitted. They agreed to be baptized.

Acts 16:33 - "And he took them the same hour of the night and bathed [them because of their bloody] wounds, and he was baptized immediately and all [the members of] his [household]."

We have even turned that into a ritualistic religious endeavor.

Have you ever contemplated why we are to be baptized? Why Jesus commanded that we do that?

Well, there it is.

It's proof that we submitted.

Unless the jailer and his family submitted to be baptized we would not have the proof 2,000 years later that they had actually believed in the first place.

Even today our submission to the waters of baptism is simply an outward sign as to what Jesus has done in our heart.

What's the point of all this today?

Submit and don't complicate it.

This time of the season is a great time to fully submit. It's a great time to share with others what Jesus has done for you as well.

If you blink Christmas will be gone, and another opportunity will have slipped by.

You can choose to grow the Kingdom.

Or you can be religious.

I hope you are meditating every day on what God has done for you in Christ. I pray that this Christmas will be your most meaningful ever.

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

Thursday, December 3, 2009

"Scenes From A Prison: Part II", by Pastor Kevin Lynch

What would you do if you got thrown into prison?

Acts 16:25 - "But about midnight, as Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God, and the [other] prisoners were listening to them."

What kind of results do you get when you are praying in difficult circumstances?

Acts 16:26 - "Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the very foundations of the prison were shaken; and at once all the doors were opened and everyone's shackles were unfastened."

How has your faith, worship, and prayer impacted your surrounding circle of influence for the gospel of Christ?

Acts 16:30 - "And he brought them out [of the dungeon] and said, Men, what is it necessary for me to do that I may be saved?"

That's how Paul and Silas changed their spiritual landscape.

Whatever the situation, wherever the surroundings, Christ was on their mind, and how they could effect others with the gospel.

Yeah, but that was the great apostle Paul, right? Even Silas was probably just along for the ride. Right?

Paul had nothing over you and me. A certain European church conglomerate may have convinced millions that he did over the centuries, venerating him into a stratospheric icon, but in reality Paul and Silas were equal in God's eyes, and you and me are as equal to them.

I'm talking in terms of spiritual potential.

The only difference between them and us would be that they were spiritual dynamos, and if we are not it's the result of our own unwillingness or laziness, not God's desire.

You can be just as dynamic as Paul. You can change situations around you. You can have people asking you what they must do to become saved. You can shake your environment with prayer.

Yes you can.

There is large blanket of ignorance over the collective church of Christ. It has been placed there by man, not by the will of God.

God is looking for a few good people who will step up and take their place among the bold and confident.

Religion rules the roost, and what we have just witnessed from Paul and Silas is not religious.

Religion keeps butts in the seats. Holy Spirit power lifts us from out of the seats and into the streets.

It was Holy Spirit power that we see in Paul and Silas. It's Holy Spirit thinking. It's Holy Spirit doing.

Not a smidgen of self aggrandizing pride or effort. None.

It's all for Christ and Christ for all.

The Christmas season is a great time to impact your surrounding.

Next time you're on line at the checkout, and you're number 37, instead of praying the line will move, pray for an earth shattering awakening as to who Christ is and what Christmas really means.

Stuff like that. Use your Holy Spirit imagination.

Break free from your bondage of fear, laziness and unwillingness. Expect God to move when you pray. Be prepared to provide the answers when people seek you out.

Stay frosty out there today, and I don't mean the Snowman!

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

"Scenes From A Prison: Part I", by Pastor Kevin Lynch

Acts 16:23 - "And when they had struck them with many blows, they threw them into prison, charging the jailer to keep them safely."

Paul and Silas. Two men who are responsible for establishing the Church of Jesus Christ by their itinerant evangelism throughout the Middle East and parts of what is today known as Europe.

In this chapter we find Paul and Silas being arrested for casting out a demon from a young woman who was following them around and pestering them for days. She just happened to be a fortune teller who was making some people a lot of money, and when the demonic spirit was cast out, her profitability went with it.

This angered the people greatly. So much so that they arrested Paul and Silas, tore their clothes off, beat them publicly, and tossed them into prison bound by shackles.

There's a scenario for you. Beaten and imprisoned for doing what is right in God's eyes.

The church had come semi-circle over the centuries, especially in the USA. Evil was looked at as wrong, and the goodness of God was strongly recognized.

Has anyone noticed that it is starting to swing back around the other way?

Could full circle not be far away?

It will come full circle you know.

Jesus told us it would. In John 16 He speaks about the "hour that is coming".

The hour is coming when disciples of Jesus Christ will be treated like Paul and Silas were.

It's already happening in other third world and Communist nations.

It's starting to happen here in the USA, as well as in other predominantly Christan nations.

We never thought it could happen in the USA. After all, we are a nation founded upon the very principles and precepts of God.

I believe it is the culmination of the plan of God, and that the greatest sign we could hope for as this actually being near (however long "near" is away), which is something to be hopeful about, not fear.

Unless you have plenty to fear.

Over the last 2,000 years, God has sent a Savior, provided us with a hard copy of His Word, sent His Holy Spirit to guide us, instructed us how to make new disciples, called attention to His plan for the ages, and has now apparently started to bring the circle back around again.

Only He knows the place and time. He has clearly instructed us NOT to set dates and times, or even try to figure it out.

We are just supposed to be aware that it is an event that WILL happen someday and be prepared at all times if it happens to be today.

As we read the signs of the times, it is prudent to be heightening that awareness and encouraging each other during the hard times that may lead up to then.

So, my encouragement to you today is that Jesus is coming! It may be very soon.

Are you ready?

Can you echo the words of John at the end of the Book of Revelation and say, "Come quickly Lord Jesus!"?

Be blessed today!

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

"Trauma: Life In The ER (Earth Realm)", by Pastor Kevin Lynch

Trauma. Traumatic. Traumatized.

The effect particular incidents and scenarios have upon us as life plays out.

We tend to look at the outwardly obvious cases of those who have been declared as having suffered a trauma, or have been traumatized. It could be physical, emotional, psychological...

Listen...we have all suffered trauma.

Birth is a trauma.

Funny we don't remember that.

I have noticed over the years that the psychiatric sector enjoys drawing out past traumas from people in an effort to effect a healing.

I don't think that's such a good idea.

I don't think God thinks it's a good idea.

I think God has taken measures when comprising the makeup of the human being to protect us from past repressed trauma.

The Word says in Heb. 12:2: "Look (affix our attention) to (upon) Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith."

Many of us have suffered terrible trauma even from the time of our childhood.

Many of us walked a self-destructive life path for years.

In my opinion, those things only become of importance when we have nothing else to focus on.

In other words, don't dwell in the past. We were what we were. We did what we did. What happened happened.

Move on.

Unless you don't have anything to move on to.

Therein lies the rub.

Even Newton's physical laws tell us that a body in motion tends to stay in motion, and a body at rest tends to stay at rest. Unless acted upon by an outside force.

Applying that law spiritually, if that outside force is a God driven positive we will go forward and that continually.

Jesus has told us several times in the gospels to keep moving forward without hindrance.

"Let he dead bury the dead." "Plow the straight line" (impossible when looking behind you). "Get rid of all encumbrances and follow Me."

This could be the answer for many people today.

Where is your attention directed?

Do you dwell on past hurts which cultivate unforgiveness and kill the spirit?

Do you live in a perpetual state of melancholia which saturates the spirit with sadness and tears?

The doldrums. The blues. Depression.

I suppose you can go get a pill that will mask the symptoms, but it never really goes away.

It never goes away until you decide where your attention and affection is focused.

It's Jesus. Fix your attention upon Him. Follow Him. Don't look back. Look at Him. Engage Him.

Your path will be straight, your thinking will be clear, and your life will have new meaning.

Be blessed and know that I am praying for you today!

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><