Friday, January 29, 2010

"How Do You Think God Will Speak To You?", by Pastor Kevin Lynch

God speaks.

Do you hear Him? Do you listen for Him?

Or is your life a quiet and desperate situation where you feel you are guessing on making your decisions?

No one is more alone than the person who is not hearing from God.

Even the oldest book in our bible addresses the issue.

Job 33:14
"For God [does reveal His will; He] speaks not only once, but more than once, even though men do not regard it [including you, Job]."

Including you (fill in name).

There it is.

God speaks.

So the problem is not on God's end.

The problem is in the hearing. The problem is in the listening.

Am I expecting audible sounds? No.

I expect people to stay close to the study of the Word of God and allow God to "speak" to them through the timeless passages He recorded expressly for that purpose.

It is shocking to find that the level of dedication to the study of God's Word, the very instrument of revelation between God and man, is not only treated lackadaisically, but often completely ignored.

And you say you're not hearing from God? Feeling estranged from God? Not getting what you need from God? Feeling abandoned by God?

There is an exchange of the study of His Word for just about any other "better thing to do".

I am a big supporter of being "impressed" in our spirit by the Holy Spirit. It is another way God has conversation with us, often in the midst of praying. I hear it so loudly sometimes that it almost sounds like a physical voice.

That's because I am never too far from prayer and the reading and study of His Word.

Prayer unfortunately, has also become somewhat a rarity except for when we realllllllly need something from God.

So in my estimation, from what I see and hear from the midst of the "sturm und drang", is that there is a critical stage outage in the Church of Jesus Christ as far as connectivity to God is concerned.

God is communicating but His Church is not receiving.

God reveals His will. He speaks and He speaks often.

He yearns to reveal His secrets of life to you. Yes...even you.

Life is only a mystery when we ignore the message from the Author.

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

Thursday, January 28, 2010

"Very Revealing", by Pastor Kevin Lynch

I happen to own a certain coffee maker that uses individually sealed containers called "K-Cups". I am pleased with it more than any other coffee maker I ever owned. Not only does it provide the best tasting cup of coffee I ever had, but also a little something extra added.

I noticed on the side of the box that it says, "A Revelation In Every Cup!"

I wonder if that has been an effective marketing hook to attract consumers?

A revelation? Of what? Has caffeine now been found to contain supernatural qualities that aid in the revealing of the secrets of the universe?

I must have missed that episode on the Discovery Channel. I think it aired after "The Search For Jesus' Spacecraft."

It did however cause me to ponder the Word of God. I don't think that was the intention, but I won't argue with it. Cause and effect is often contained in strange packages.

Mark 4:22 (Amplified)
"[ Things are hidden temporarily only as a means to revelation.] For there is nothing hidden except to be revealed, nor is anything [temporarily] kept secret except in order that it may be made known."

There it is. Things are hidden from us for a time and eventually revealed at the moment the most beneficial to us.

In other words, God knows exactly what we need to know and when we need to know it.

Our task is to be open for the revelation. Our task is to be expectant.

God is the originator of the "Revelation In Every Cup".

Open the pages of your Bible this morning.

There is a revelation awaiting you.

It just might change your life.

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

"At The Core", by Pastor Kevin Lynch

On the top shelf of my desk is a small odd looking round ball. Its surface is rough and dimpled, it has a strange weight and texture to it, and at first glance would appear to have no useful purpose.

While it looks useless for anything, its value and purpose is essential and mighty.

It is the inside of a baseball.

When we hold a regulation Major League baseball in our hand it fails to tell the whole story.

What we see is leather and stitching on the outside, but the entire picture is what is going on in the inside of this finely engineered dynamo.

I used to love to unravel old baseballs. It's actually very relaxing and somewhat therapeutic.

First you pick away at the stitching on the outside and peel away the leather cover. Next you find an endless mass of miles of elastic type threading which goes on forever. If you do it correctly you can get a bunch of it off in one continuous piece without breaking the thread.

Finally you get down to a composite material which must be cut away if you want to get to the very core and center, the actual power plant of the baseball, which is a very small and very hard rubber ball.

It's on my desk because I need to be reminded that it is what is at the core that provides my strength and power.

1 Peter 1:21
"Through Him (Jesus Christ) you believe in (adhere to, rely on) God, Who raised Him up from the dead and gave Him honor and glory, so that your faith and hope are [centered and rest] in God."

If it wasn't for that small hard rubber core at he heart of the baseball, it would never get too far out of the infield when hit with a bat. It would not have what's necessary to provide a fearsome fastball from the hand of a power pitcher.

What's at the core of the believer is the same principle. We may look somewhat impressive on the outside, but it is what is at the core of a person that counts, and if that core is not Jesus Christ then that person does not perform at the level God has designed.

Where are we, even in all of our splendor and successes, without faith and hope?

Success lasts a mere 70-80 years. Faith and hope bring us through eternity.

Any success I ever achieve is a result of my faith and hope in Christ.

When I am unraveled someday, all that will be found is Him.

Everything else will turn to dust.

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

"Humbled Not Humiliated", by Pastor Kevin Lynch

Woe to you if you mess up in this world. People will not simply say "I told you so", but they will go out of their way to ridicule and make an example of you. Humiliation is a a valid weapon and tool in the business world and is often used to ensure a competitor never makes it farther up the ladder than you do.

It's also used by those who suffer deep insecurities and need to make others look bad so they can feel good about themselves.

We don't find humiliation in the methods of God. Instead we find humility.

Humility is not humiliation. Humility is a tool for growth.

James 4:10 - “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.”

Lift you up not knock you down.

Encourage you not squash your spirit.

God cannot accomplish His plan for you if you think more of yourself than you should. He cannot use you to boast upon His Son Jesus Christ if you are busy boasting about your accomplishments.

When Paul was in danger of his head swelling with accomplishments, God made sure he was humbled.

The verse says "humble yourself".

If we ignore the Word on this issue God will perform the task for us.

Humility does not mean wimpy. Humility does not mean doormat. Humility does not mean timid.

Christ was humble and He is the strongest character we have in all of human history.

Be blessed today! Stay humble.

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

Monday, January 25, 2010

"Missed Opportunities", by Pastor Kevin Lynch

How many opportunities have you passed over in the course of your life? Perhaps it was a job change, a position that would have made you more money, or a move to a completely different locale. Maybe it was a chance to serve God in a unique fashion.

I remember back in 1991, and the decision for Joan and me to sell our home, for me to quit my well paying job of 17 years, and to pack up the four kids and move across the country to Colorado to attend bible college. When we left the house hadn't even sold yet, and the moving van was less than a week behind us. We had no place to live and no jobs lined up. We just trusted God and went.

It's a decision I never regretted. It was an opportunity, and even though it posed some real concerns, we trusted God and followed the lead of the Holy Spirit.

We were rewarded in many ways by that choice. We stayed with another student for a weekend while we looked for a home. We found one within several days, and shortly after that Joan found a great job. Our home church back in New York even called one evening to let us know that the church board voted to pay the cost of my entire education.

That's God. By seizing the opportunity provided by Him we grew in our faith by leaps and bounds.

How about the opportunities we never test? How many things have gone less than the way they should have because we allowed fear and trepidation to control our lives?

It can all go so terribly wrong.

Take for example this passage from Paul:

Acts 13:46
"And Paul and Barnabas spoke out plainly and boldly, saying, It was necessary that God's message [concerning salvation through Christ] should be spoken to you first. But since you thrust it from you, you pass this judgment on yourselves that you are unworthy of eternal life and out of your own mouth you will be judged. [Now] behold, we turn to the Gentiles (the heathen)."

Paul was speaking of the Jews response to the message of salvation in Christ. Their decision to reject the gospel would result in a catastrophe that has followed them through the centuries. The very salvation which had been engineered by God Himself for them was rejected and subsequently presented to the Gentile and heathen.

One group of people's missed opportunity resulted in opportunity for others.

It still happens on a smaller scale today. Every day people are faced with the opportunity to accept Christ into their life and reject and refuse to do so.

Every day lived apart from Jesus is a missed opportunity for many things. Peace, joy, happiness, love, and ultimately eternal life, is all by the boards at the end of a life lived.

It's sad. Downright heartbreaking really.

Why forfeit everything? Why allow fear or ignorance to dictate our life path?

We can have a good life here and an even better one later.

It's all in Him. Live the adventure. Seize the moment. Dare to do things that you never considered simply because you can.

The possibilities are endless when we are guided and protected by the hand of God.

Be blessed today!

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

Thursday, January 21, 2010

"The Beautiful People", by Pastor Kevin Lynch

Star watchers. I'm not speaking of people interested in astronomy. I'm talking about people interested in people. The "Beautiful" people.

I exaggerate. Often, the so called upper crust of society and the arts are the most out of control train wrecks a human being could ever be forced to witness. There really is nothing beautiful about them other than perhaps their surgically enhanced physiques which get paraded daily in front of the media and then our eyes for perusal.

I would like to read a paper without the headline story of who is in the hospital with pneumonia, who's husband is legally restrained from seeing her because he tried to knife her, and now how he "heroically" shows up to visit her in the hospital...blah...blah...blah.

The story always stays basically the same. Just the characters change.

I have to admit, that when you put that alongside the unfolding story in Haiti, it's a tough call.


Most of us will never gain that sort of status and attention. I hope most of us never want to.

However, there is a basic human need to be recognized.

Many people live long years in quiet desperation and will depart this planet without so much as a wink and a nod.

There should be some sort of reward for any person who has ever lived and died.

Well, there is. For some of us anyway.

Matt. 25:21 - "His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!' "

That's Jesus explaining the end of the line in a parable.

It's the great reward. It's what we who have attached ourselves to the Vine have looked forward to our entire life with Jesus.

Living is easier when you know what awaits in the next transition.

Hope beyond the grave. Acknowledgement of a life lived.

The ability to see the groveling after superficial and short lasting accolades as futile and folly in light of the eternal reward that even the great Hollywood cinematographers could not come close to.

I am sad for anyone who doesn't know Jesus. They have built their own little "bio dome" of self security. Job, family, Rotary Club, Little League...

What's left when the job says buh-bye? Or the spouse passes on? Or the children leave the nest?

Who will tell you the much needed "I love you"? Or, "Great job"!

For one sadly.

For others? Jesus.

He's always there. He always has been there. He always will be there.

He's the lover of your soul.

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

"How Is It Really Going?", by Pastor Kevin Lynch

From an individual to an entire nation. When it doesn't go well with God nothing works well.

It's just the way it is. God smooths things over.

If we allow Him.

Look at this passage from The Message paraphrase:

Isaiah 1:5-9

"Why bother even trying to do anything with you
when you just keep to your bullheaded ways?
You keep beating your heads against brick walls.
Everything within you protests against you.
From the bottom of your feet to the top of your head,
nothing's working right.
Wounds and bruises and running sores—
untended, unwashed, unbandaged.
Your country is laid waste,
your cities burned down.
Your land is destroyed by outsiders while you watch,
reduced to rubble by barbarians.
Daughter Zion is deserted—
like a tumbledown shack on a dead-end street,
Like a tarpaper shanty on the wrong side of the tracks,
like a sinking ship abandoned by the rats.
If God-of-the-Angel-Armies hadn't left us a few survivors,
we'd be as desolate as Sodom, doomed just like Gomorrah."

From all the descriptive terms used in that passage, the one that jumps out at me is...

"...nothing's working right."

I'm not a fan of the angry God theories that crop up whenever there is a world catastrophe.

I do however believe that there comes a point where the grace of God becomes so blocked by our own obstinacy and disobedience that it just doesn't get through anymore.

Let's face it friends, without the grace of God we are open to every negative and disastrous event that Hell can conjure up.

It must be tough to watch if you're God. Especially when being blamed for it all.

How about you today? Everything working right for you?

Probably not, but it's a tough expectation for EVERYTHING to work out perfectly.

It's when NOTHING is going right that grinds us down to a stub.

What God is saying today is that trying to go the distance without Him is like beating our head against a brick wall.

My friend, that wall isn't going anywhere and you will live with a perpetual headache.

Why not just step away from the wall, lay your head upon the shoulder of Jesus Christ and let Him walk you through your difficulties?

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

"Believing Is Not Just Knowing", by Pastor Kevin Lynch

Believing (in the biblical sense of the term) is not just simply knowing that something is there.

It's deeper. And going deep is at a premium in the Kingdom of God (in the here and now).

This is particularly true where the study and understanding of the Word of God is concerned.

1 Thessalonians 2:13 - "And we also [especially] thank God continually for this, that when you received the message of God [which you heard] from us, you welcomed it not as the word of [mere] men, but as it truly is, the Word of God, which is effectually at work in you who believe [ exercising its superhuman power in those who adhere to and trust in and rely on it]."

Man, that is one beautiful passage. It contains so many elements of truth about God and His Word, (the Holy Bible).

First of all, the study of the Word of God aids in believing.

When I say believing I do not mean the superficial understanding that there is such a thing, but moving way past that.

Certainly we must first realize that there is a Word to be studied and ingested. Then we are to move quickly further along into adhering, trusting, and relying.

That's what it means to "believe". Adhering, trusting, relying. We apply that rule over the entire scope of biblical understanding.

The Word of God is "supernatural in its ability, and superhuman in its foundation."

There is nothing superficial about it.

So, when we commit to studying it we can expect a supernatural impact upon our hybrid nature. By that I mean we are a trichotomy (body, soul, and spirit) in our makeup commonly known as "human being." In reality we are 2/3 supernatural, as our soul and spirit will return back to God. The body stays in the ground.

If you have studied the Word diligently you already know all of that.

You will know many more things. You will gain wisdom and secrets of the ages which are known only to those who have become disciples of Jesus Christ. No spiritually stunted person knows the things a good student of the Word of God knows. Knowing Christ unleashes the "Helper", who is the Holy Spirit.

This is why we fare better in life. This one and the next.

Do you want to fare better in life? Do you want to be an instrument in God's hands for the well being of those who suffer for a lack of knowledge and wisdom?

I hope so.

It's at your fingertips. It's at your ear. It's within your spirit.

Commit to allow yourself to be changed. Adhere to, trust in, and rely upon His Word today.

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

Monday, January 18, 2010

"People Being People", by Pastor Kevin Lynch

When major league baseball player Manny Ramirez was with the Boston Red Sox and used to "act up" and perform his strange and eccentric antics, his team mates coined the phrase, "That's just Manny being Manny". It's followed him to the Dodgers and will probably be used to describe him for the rest of his life.

There was never really anything really wrong with "Manny being Manny". He just looked and acted a little strange at times. Then Manny got caught by a drug test for using performance enhancing drugs and was suspended for 50 games last season.

If that now starts to define Manny as being Manny from now on, it's no longer cute or funny. It becomes sad and disappointing.

Such is life. "Manny" is no different than us.

We are just us trying to be us on a daily basis, from the rich and famous and powerful, to the rank and file of people who have to punch in to be noticed every day.

People being people.

Paul says in 1 Cor.4:12 - "And labour, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it".

In other words, we act upon or respond to our world in certain ways.

What he is describing is how a disciple of Jesus Christ gets through the day.

We "despised fools for Christ" are just "disciples being disciples".

We choose to be that just as everyone else including Manny choose to be who they are.

Your mission today, should YOU decide to accept it, is to be you being Christ.

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

Friday, January 15, 2010

"Why?", by Pastor Kevin Lynch

In the midst of tragedy, whether personal or on the grand world stage, the one question always arises.


Along with that comes various comments and interpretations often having to do with God.

"God caused this to happen because of (Fill in wacky answer of choice)."

"Why did God do this horrible thing?"

What did (whoever) do to deserve this?"

If we haven't learned yet from 9/11 we never will. 9/11 was the mother of all "tragedy pertaining to God" questions. As a pastor living in the Metro NY area, I fielded hundreds of them.

People want to know why, and people need to be able to blame something or someone.

God becomes the fall guy.

So, what I have learned from the major tragedies of our time?

First and foremost that God is never to blame.

Here is my patented answer as to why..........

I believe that God allows, but does not cause pain and tragedy. Even when I say He allows, it is more of a forced choice than a conscious effort to hurt.

I base this not upon feelings, emotions or human knowledge.

I base it upon the infallible Word of God.

1 John 1:5 - "And this is the message [the message of promise] which we have heard from Him and now are reporting to you: God is Light, and there is no darkness in Him at all [no, not in any way]."

1 John 4:8 - "He who does not love has not become acquainted with God [does not and never did know Him], for God is love."

There it is. Not only is there an answer as to why God couldn't cause this pain, but also why man keeps blaming Him.

God couldn't do this:

a). Because He is Light and in Him there is no darkness (evil).

b). He IS love. Not that He just loves, but actually IS love itself. It would be totally and completely against His nature to compromise that with hatred.

c). Man's (some) anger and desire to strike out against God and blame Him is because they have never taken the time to know Him or His love.

God essentially becomes the good guy/bad guy, not unlike any President of the United States. When things go good he is at least tolerated.

So the big matzoh ball in the room becomes ironically another "why?".

IF God is so powerful, and so all knowing, and so loving, why doesn't He prevent these things?

Why indeed.

My answer, coming on the heels of 9/11, and after thousands of hours of biblical and theological training and study of the Holy Bible, is...........(drum roll)........

"Why should He have stopped it?"

I mean that in the deepest most thoughtful sense, and after eliminating all other possible answers.

After all, He has given us life itself, He has been the Author of Grace and has poured it out upon the human race freely and with love and with no respect of a persons gender, status, power, career, or geographic location.

He has sacrificed His own Son Jesus Christ for the welfare and salvation of the entire world (John 3:16).

What more can God do then what He has already done? Should He interfere with every aspect of our lives? Should He repeal free will and render us automatons?

His judgment is just and not incurred cruelly and not without a pure and discerning nature. He dos not wield a fierce hammer as the pagan mythical gods.

God has set His standards and laws in motion from the foundations of the world. They include natural physical and spiritual laws. When we violate those those we incur the coinciding penalties.

For example...

Jump off the roof and you will hit the ground. We have not found a way to confound or circumvent the Law of Gravity. Even if we launch into space for years and years, we will ultimately come back to earth.
That's a natural, or physical, Law.

Be cheap with your sowing (giving) and you will receive a cheap reward. "A man reaps what he sows" (Gal. 6:7). That's a spiritual Law.

It's not like God's a traffic cop. He is in the love and grace business. When we violate that we will naturally suffer for it as it automatically violates the nature and will of God.

So, why?

Because ultimately we decide that's the way we want it. Whether due to ignorance or rebellion, we cannot live right by flying in the face of what is right and good.

And then, just to make things interesting, we have to factor in life's difficulties living in an imperfect world. God made it perfect, and Adam screwed it up.

Hence, we now have sickness and illness, poverty, hurricanes, tornadoes, tsunamis, earthquakes, and yes, wacko religious zealots who fly planes into buildings.

This is why God sent Jesus Christ. In Him we have peace in the storm. In Him we have our joy. In Him we rest even if we don't have all of the answers.

So I suppose the ultimate answers to everything is Jesus. It all culminates in Him.

Yes, there will be life and death, good days and bad days, ups and downs, but as we walk even through the valley of the shadow of death we do so without fear because He is with us.

Make no mistake about it friends, earth in 2010 is indeed the Valley of Death. How you spend your time in it is completely and totally up to you.

As for me? I'm going through with Jesus and I have every intention of making it out the other side, come disasters, sickness, or even the gates of hell.

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

Thursday, January 14, 2010

"Are We Clear?", by Pastor Kevin Lynch

I can't hear that question without picturing Jack Nicholson and Tom Cruise in a Few Good Men.

"Are we clear?"


Great moment in film.

A reminder that we need to be crystal clear. Everything needs to be crystal clear.

I think for most it's never as clear as we would like it to be.

There was time for me when it was not only NOT clear, but fuzzy and foggy.

I was reminded yesterday how that happens, because while it is all fuzzy and foggy, we tend to think it's normal.

My object lesson came yesterday during a switch of my television and internet providers.

I have four tv's in the house, one in the living room, one in each bedroom, and one in the downstairs family room. The one in the living room is a typical flat screen high definition model.

I thought I was seeing the best quality and clarity technology could provide with HD cable channels. I thought I was surfing the internet at the fastest I could as well.

I came to find out that I wasn't seeing clear at all. The new system I received yesterday, with it's fiber optics technology, showed me just how much I was settling for, and how much more there was to be more clear and much faster.

Right up to the time I went to bed last night, my son and I marveled at the brilliant display of colors and sound that we now had access to. We raved at how our computers are downloading at lightning speeds.

In a nutshell, the new service leaves the best of the old service in the dust.

Am I clear? Crystal.

Well, as far as my sensory media issues are concerned anyway.

For me to be crystal in life I have learned to trust another Provider outside of myself or the technology of man.

I go all the way back to the OT book of Exodus for that.

I learned at a time when a veil of death from physical excesses was at my door. I learned that while I thought I was in control and seeing life clearly, I was in a shadow of darkness.

It was Christ who brought the clarity.

Exodus 33:13 - "Now therefore, I pray You, if I have found favor in Your sight, show me now Your way, that I may know You [progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with You, perceiving and recognizing and understanding more strongly and clearly] and that I may find favor in Your sight. And [Lord, do] consider that this nation is Your people."

I essentially came to be aware of my blindness and turned to Jesus and somehow got my plea across to Him. It was very much according to the above passage.

He brought clarity and meaning to my life. He straightened out all the crooked wrinkles.

He asked me essentially...

"Are we clear?"

I answered, "Crystal".

Let me put that same question to you today.

Are YOU clear? And I mean about issues of life and eternity. Are you truly clear?

Maybe it doesn't always seem crystal clear in everything we do, but it should be concerning our eternal destiny and present life in this giant snow globe.

Jesus brings that to the table and makes it possible.

Think about it.

***Pray for the people of Haiti. Do something as well to help ease their pain. Ask your local church to start a fund if they haven't already.***

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

"Confessin' The Blues", by Pastor Kevin Lynch

There are many forms of confession. From self pitying crocodile tears we saw ex-baseball star Mark McGwire portray before the nation over the last two days, to wave the magic wand once a week ease your guilt type religious confession, to true bible based Holy Spirit led God sanctioned confession.

Only one works.

The human response to wrongdoing (sin) is often to deny it and hide it. Our first parents did just that, but God exposed them.

Our sin is eventually exposed by God.

This is why from the Old Testament to the New Testament, cover to cover, we are encouraged and often admonished to confess.

Using McGwire as an example again, I don't think there is any doubt he is remorseful for what he did in using steroids and then lying about it. However, he sprinkled his public confession with tears, self pity, and far fetched excuses as to why and how he took them.

Lies mixed in with truth with a few tears thrown in for effect does not constitute an honest confession.

God knows the difference if no one else does.

I hope McGwire has made his peace with God over this. Then and only then can he honestly stand before his peers and fans and experience true peace, if not the release of forgiveness.

It's not just about media superstars. It's about us.

Millions of regular lives like ourselves are caught in a web of lies on a daily basis. Fortunately we are not paraded across the media for public scrutiny.

A smaller percentage understand the forgiveness available from God and have taken advantage of it.

There within is the real freedom.

I made that decision 24 years ago, and that was the day I really started to live.

Confession is two fold in my opinion. First there is the contrite heartfelt pouring out of the soul to God, and the lifting of the burden of guilt.

Romans 10:9
"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."

Second is the joyful acknowledgment of the life forgiven and changed by God.

Psalm 118:21
"I will confess, praise, and give thanks to You, for You have heard and answered me; and You have become my Salvation and Deliverer."

Psalm 86:12
"I will confess and praise You, O Lord my God, with my whole (united) heart; and I will glorify Your name forevermore."

This is why we praise and honor Him!

He has done a supernatural and great work in us.

If you are not experiencing everything you ought to be as a disciple of Christ, then perhaps you have some pent up unconfessed sin that is eating at your spirit like a cancer.

That will do it you know. It could be the very thing that is upon you like a huge burdensome weight.

Perhaps it's something that you just don't see any good coming from bringing it to the light of day.

Trust me. It will change your life ultimately for the better if you air it out before God.

It will further liberate you if you are withholding truth from your loved ones as well.

Clear the air surrounding your life. Get out from under guilt and shame and allow God to heal you thoroughly!

Then and only then will you really begin to live.

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

"I Wish I Could Fix Your Life", by Pastor Kevin Lynch

Life sometimes gets out of hand. Pandemonium rules along with brief intermittent spells of craziness. Upside down, topsy-turvy, inside out. (BTW, check out the roots of the word "panDEMONium").

I have analyzed this phenomena from all angles as a rank and file member of the human race. As a pastor, friend, parent, husband, and every other type of role I have played in my life. I have even analyzed it during my own period of pandemonic living.

What I have found is that for whatever reason a person cannot get their life in order, it appears that once that lifestyle is in motion it tends to continue down that path until it finds it's level. Or self destructs. In my opinion it's as if physical law is in control.

If I remember Newton's Law, he said that a body in motion tends to stay in motion unless acted upon by an equal or greater force. One thinks of a billiard ball rolling down the table until impacted by another billiard ball. The course of the original ball changes and heads in a different direction.

There is a parallel spiritual law that compliments that theory (as there are, in my opinion, of all natural laws), which I believe defines the human spirit.

When a person is heading down a particular path in life, for sake of argument a "negative" path (one of turmoil) or even one of "nothingness" (which can be a bigger killer of body, soul, and spirit than a merely negative path), they will tend to continue upon that path until acted upon by another force of equal or greater power.

Stick with me here. My contention is that mere human effort is not great enough, for unlike the billiard ball the human spirit is tenacious and stubborn, and if impacted by an equal force (another human being or human philosophy), they will more than likely dig their heels in and resist being changed by the opposing force even if that force is a positive one. God has allowed us to be able to do that. It's called Free Will.

It takes a greater force to change a persons life from bad to better.

That force is none other than, and always is and ever will be, Jesus Christ.

I wish I could fix your life for you. In almost 20 years as a pastor, God has used me as a "cue ball" to deliver the instrument of change (His Son Jesus Christ), but I have no power to change anything. Sometimes that cue ball (me) has been stopped dead in it's tracks upon confrontation.

We only can respond to the exertion of the Greater Force upon our free will.

Free will, particularly when applied stubbornly or ignorantly will confound even God Himself.

We need supernatural counsel this morning to step in to arrest and confound the minor deflection our life may have taken, or to stand in the path and reroute a runaway freight train of a lifetime of bad decision making.

Titus 2:11-14 (Amplified Bible)

(11) For the grace of God (His unmerited favor and blessing) has come forward (appeared) for the deliverance from sin and the eternal salvation for all mankind. (12) It has trained us to reject and renounce all ungodliness (irreligion) and worldly (passionate) desires, to live discreet (temperate, self-controlled), upright, devout (spiritually whole) lives in this present world, (13) Awaiting and looking for the [fulfillment, the realization of our] blessed hope, even the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Christ Jesus (the Messiah, the Anointed One), (14) Who gave Himself on our behalf that He might redeem us (purchase our freedom) from all iniquity and purify for Himself a people [to be peculiarly His own, people who are] eager and enthusiastic about [living a life that is good and filled with] beneficial deeds.

Some of you have been, in the words of Jim Morrison (who rejected the exertion of the positive outside forces in his life), "down so very long that it looks like up to me."

Some of you may be on the cusp of making a very bad decision even at this very moment.

You need to yield to the outside Greater Force.

The Grace of God has appeared and can steer your life in the right direction. You can allow Him to restore peace where turmoil has reigned, restore financial prosperity, restore love that has faded, bring peace to aggravation, and order to disarray.

He can even take you from a dead spiritual corpse to "eager and enthusiastic about [living a life that is good and filled with] beneficial deeds."

Stop compromising. Stop being defiant to God. Stop blaming Him. Allow yourself to be changed by Him.

Allow Him to direct your path.

I can't fix your life, as much as I'd like to, but I have told you about One who can.

Jesus never fails.

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

Monday, January 11, 2010

"The Reapers", by Pastor Kevin Lynch

Matthew 13:38-39 - "The field is the world, and the good seed means the children of the kingdom; the darnel (weeds) is the children of the evil one, (39) And the enemy who sowed it is the devil. The harvest is the close and consummation of the age, and the reapers are angels."

Someone has tried to destroy God's crops.

An evil, despicable enemy has sneaked into the perimeter and planted weeds designed to choke out the good seed and crop of God.

There are sappers on the wire.

This has resulted in conflict. Good crops (disciples) surrounded and intertwined with evil. Children of the devil in cohabitation with the children of God.

Sometimes we are mingled into the same neighborhoods, the same city, the same culture, the same workplace.

Sometimes it's right under your own roof.

Along the way of biblical instruction it has become erroneously assumed that the job of the good seed (the children of God) is to eradicate the children of the devil.

Not so. That's the job of Jesus Christ and He will dispatch angels to take care of that at the culmination of the ages.

The Reapers.

You see, as Spirit filled and pious as we can get, we are not equipped to deal with plucking out evil from our midst. We are qualified to plant good seed and help it grow into a good crop, but we have no control over the eradication of evil. We can control it to an extent by the Holy Spirit, but we cannot eradicate it.

This is why things have gotten progressively worse in the big snow globe over the centuries.

The more good seed we plant the more the devil sprinkles in weeds. Sometimes the weeds seem to outnumber the good crop. It seems that way because I believe it does.

One could start to feel like General Custer at Little Big Horn.

Even the disciples asked Jesus to reap the harvest.

Verse 28: "The servants said to him, Then do you want us to go and weed them out?"

Jesus' response?

Verse 29: "But he said, No, lest in gathering the wild wheat (weeds resembling wheat), you root up the [true] wheat along with it."

I believe it's because we are dealing in a different realm of the supernatural that we can't cross over to until we revert back to being completely a spirit being. Our flesh gets in the way.

Some things we just have to trust over to God while we continue to obey and be sowers .

He will take care of the weeding and harvesting.

He will someday send the Reapers.

We are not to speculate on dates and times. We are to patiently wait.

I believe it is not far off.

We may only have to contend with evil for a just a little while longer.

In the meantime. Plant and water. The more good in the garden the better. As numerous as the weeds may be they will never choke out the beautiful flowers that God is growing, and someday the culmination of the age will be at hand.

Revelation 14:16-18
(16) "So He Who was sitting upon the cloud swung His scythe (sickle) on the earth, and the earth's crop was harvested. (17) Then another angel came out of the temple [sanctuary] in heaven, and he also carried a sharp scythe (sickle). (18) And another angel came forth from the altar, [the angel] who has authority and power over fire, and he called with a loud cry to him who had the sharp scythe (sickle), Put forth your scythe and reap the fruitage of the vine of the earth, for its grapes are entirely ripe."

Your responsibility as part of God's great Vineyard is to be sure you are ripe for the harvest!

Look to the sky each morning. Pray to the Lord of the Harvest to return quickly.

The scythes and sickles are being honed.

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

Friday, January 8, 2010

"John Says It Tastes Like Chicken", by Pastor Kevin Lynch

I wonder if they used some form of that cliche 2,000 years ago.

"Here, try this honey covered locust. It tastes like chicken."

Seriously, it's what John the Baptist ate. He also dressed funny.

Mark 1:6 - "And John wore clothing woven of camel's hair and had a leather girdle around his loins and ate locusts and wild honey."

That's got to get people's attention.

I think that was his intention.

John came out of the desert communities. Jerusalem was a little bit more progressive of a city.

He didn't fit. He stuck out like a sore thumb.

But it wasn't all about how he looked or what he ate.

What really separated him from the rest was what he was saying.

Mark 1 - (7) "And he preached, saying, After me comes He Who is stronger (more powerful and more valiant) than I, the strap of Whose sandals I am not worthy or fit to stoop down and unloose. (8) I have baptized you with water, but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit."

That did it. In fact, more than visual extremes, it was more what John was saying that got their attention.

The same message still grabs attention today. Positive or negative, it will get people to take notice.

That message eventually got John into trouble.

One could say he "lost his head" over the gospel.

The Stronger, More Valiant, Baptizer with the Holy Spirit eventually lost His life too.

The message has been known to rally people to great hope, or cause some to go on a murderous persecution.

For those of us with the great hope we are not intimidated by the potential negative consequences.

"Keep your eyes upon the Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith", makes perfect sense when the Holy Spirit has a hold on you like He did on John.

Sometimes we will just make a plain fool out of ourselves for Jesus.

I've spent the better part of my life now being a fool for Jesus.

I have no regrets other than wishing I could have been a bigger fool.

Would you dare to be foolish?

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

Thursday, January 7, 2010

"Living A Cliche", by Pastor Kevin Lynch

I wonder if all who were involved in the making of the movie "Jerry Maguire" realized that the sum total of the picture would boil down to being remembered for basically two lines.

One line was "Show me the money!"

The other was "You complete me."

These are the lines that snag our heart and soul.

How many water cooler conversations have included the words, "I can't believe she used that 'you complete me' line." Or, how many underpaid workers have waited for the day when their boss would say "What's it going to take to keep you working for me?", so they could reply, "Show me the money!".

You know life has become a cliche when you start throwing around famous movie lines therapeutically.

We start to actually think that our lives can be improved in some way by using what "worked" in a Hollywood movie.

If that were the case then Hollywood would be the role model of stability.

We love to search for what we can become rather than trying to simply be who we are.

Be who you are. Only perfected.

James 1:4 - "And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing."

Perfect and complete. It's the way God wants us.

Did I mention lacking in nothing?

James says it all flows from steadfastness.

He also says that steadfastness come from tests and trials like we looked at yesterday.

When we are tested and we survive, we become more firm and steady, more rooted , less easily swayed and shaken.

We want the "full effect" lest our trials be in vain.

It's bad enough we have to suffer a bit in life, but when those tests of suffering produce nothing but a cycle of pain, it's no picnic.

The kind of perfection and completeness that James is insinuating is not superficial, but heart and soul changing.

It's much more tempting to stay the same no matter how bad things are.

The trade off is to lack everything, from knowledge, wisdom, and understanding, down to the base necessities of good health and financial stability.

I much more prefer to be moving toward completeness in Him.

Steady. Firm. Solid. Real.

You can get there from here.

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

"Welcome To Your Nightmare", by Pastor Kevin Lynch

Most of us go through minor trials and difficulties on any given day.

Sometimes we hit a real snag which turns our life upside down and causes us real pain or sorrow.

At times it can seem like a real nightmare.

What do we do with that? How do we respond? In what way do we allow it to affect us?

Probably counting it as a joyous occasion doesn't come to mind first.

This leads us into that particular area where the Word of God meets real living.

It's a tough spot at times, particularly when it hasn't been practiced much.

Life happens. We tend to find little difficulty applying biblical principles during the smooth times.

However, when our snow globe gets shaken up a bit, it seems like we scramble for answers.

James gives us an interesting admonition today.

James 1:2 - "Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds."

"Various kinds" leave the field wide open. It could mean anything.

"Hello, allow me to introduce you to your worst nightmare...keep smiling."

I think this passage has been grossly misinterpreted over the years.

Visions of wide eyed stark raving mad Christians jumping up and down giggling uncontrollably at the news of a tragedy is probably not what James had in mind.

I don't even think he envisioned so much as a smirk at the news of the death of a loved one.

I think "count it as joy" was more of a backdrop than a foreground display.

I think it is more of the easy deep down assurance that is present in all experiences.

Steady as she goes, Everything is going to be fine. Jesus is in control.

In the third verse James says, "for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness."

That very steadfastness is strength. While it doesn't cause over the top displays of raucous joy during the inappropriate times, it does allow for calm assessments of situations under pressure.

I think the joy comes in a bit later. In my opinion it's not speaking of outward expressions of joy, but an underlying and steady attitude of joy that our Savior is always there.

Therein lies the heart and soul of the steadfast Christian. Faith in Christ produces steady, joy filled, and faithful disciples.

Joy, true God sent joy, is something we have all of the time. Even when things are not going so hot.

So, how about you today?

Got joy?

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

"Advice We Give That Never Works", by Pastor Kevin Lynch

We say them to people all of the time. Our intentions are good. We are only trying to help.

They are words we say that we either think will really help, or they are words that just take up awkward moments of time when we really don't know what to say.

I'm talking about advice. Not necessarily bad advice, but should I say it... generic advice.

I've narrowed it down to three simple phrases in the interest of time and space.

"It's probably nothing." "Don't worry, everything is going to be OK." "Maybe it will just go away."

It's generally "something". It's not going to be "OK". It never just "goes away."

That is unless the advice is given prayerfully with great contemplation and in the power of Christ and the Holy Spirit.

That changes everything.

Matthew 6:33 - "But seek ( aim at and strive after) first of all His kingdom and His righteousness ( His way of doing and being right), and then all these things taken together will be given you besides."

Yes indeed.

I wouldn't phrase the advice this same way, and in fact, it could be scaled down to a more concise declaration.

How about, "Jesus Never Fails!"

My friends Charlie Rizzo, who pastors the Maranatha Church in New Jersey, has that very passage on the front of his pulpit so that it is constantly before everyone who looks that way. Jesus never fails.

Poor, empty advice turned into powerful words of truth.

All because of Jesus.

So, if (or I should say "when") the storm hits and the weak advice starts to flow, accept it all in the spirit given, as folks only mean well in those moments.

However, keep ever before you that as you continually strive after Jesus and His methods for righteousness, He is forever meeting your needs and more (continually adding more things to you).

Jesus never fails.


Be blessed as you implement His Word into your life.

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin

Monday, January 4, 2010

"When James 4:7 Doesn't Seem To Be Working For You", by Pastor Kevin Lynch

James 4:7 - "Submit to God. Resist the devil [stand firm against him], and he will flee from you."

Very popular this passage. All the TV guys preach it emphatically. They line the altars with it's response.

Hey, who doesn't want to set the devil to flight and out of our life?

What happens when it doesn't work? Has the Word of God failed? Did James, even God Himself, just put that in the Bible for encouragement and effect? Does it only work some of the time?

No, to all the questions above.

The problem with this passage is it's too easily read and employed out of context.

The problem is not with the resisting. It's with the submitting.

"Resist the devil" is a powerful ammunition. It's of a powerful caliber, and it won't work properly in the wrong gun.

In other words, while it is popular to get folks all riled up about resisting the devil by stomping on his head, etc., the fact remains that he knows who has the actual power and authority to do that.

Hence the reason for some to get the snot whooped out of them on an often daily basis.

They tangled with the wrong dude and didn't have the right weapon.

They forgot the submission part.

Oh, you're in good company. It happened to Peter time and again, the last being near tragic.

The failure to read and study contextually reveals a severe chink in the armor. If we simply back up one verse to #6 we see why James said #7.

"God sets Himself against the proud and haughty, but gives grace [continually] to the lowly (those who are humble enough to receive it)."

There it is. Pride is the culprit. Pride is non-submission personified.

There are a lot of pride filled people running around resisting the devil without first having submitted themselves FULLY to God.

Catch yourself. If your reading this and thinking "That's not me", perhaps you should think again. The unwillingness to at least entertain the possibility that you have room for growth in the Holy Spirit is a sign of pride in itself.

Pride has to die. Peter refused and Jesus told him that Satan would sift him like wheat.

The "wheat" in us has to die just as Jesus metaphorically said about a kernel of wheat having to fall in the ground to die before it becomes what it should be.

Remember John the Baptist saying about Jesus, "His winnowing fork is in His hand, to clear His threshing floor, and to gather the wheat into His granary, but the chaff He will burn with unquenchable fire."?

We are that wheat. He is gathering us into His church. There is only room for the wheat, not the chaff.

Life is a threshing floor my friends.

Yes, we have a gracious (it's all grace) power to resist AND defeat the satanic adversary in our lives, but not until we have shed the husk of pride, not until we have first truly submitted all to Jesus.

I shudder to think of the percentage of the Church of Jesus Christ who have only paid lip service, or not even that much to the King. Remember this from Matt. 7: "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven."

Or this right before it: ""For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it."

Why the scary verses from Matthew? Because therein lies the secret to eternal life which has been hidden and confounded by pride.

Submit. Break your pride, the one great stranglehold that Satan has against you. Break your pride and break your knees. Kneel before the Gracious One and He will not brag for having "broken" you, but will rejoice at your ability to receive all the grace He pours out upon you.

We are God's children, not his lowly subjects. He knows how to lavish great things upon His children.

And He doesn't like seeing us coming home from school everyday beaten up by Satan.

Is that you? Beat up and pushed around by what you have come to recognize as the circumstances of the world? That's life you say? No, that's not living. That's barely existing.

Then do something about it.

Submit to God. Then and ONLY then may you resist the devil and gain the hand of God over your life and the world, the flesh, and the devil.

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><