Friday, July 29, 2011

"Casual Or Casualty?"

The weightier matters of the counsel of God.

Things that are never considered, or if by chance they are, are quickly dismissed and relegated to the dark recesses of the heart where they become shut up in the futile effort to hide them from man and God.

Write a check under some false assumption of absolution.

Light a candle.

Shoot up a blurb which one loosely considers a prayer.

Target some obscure religious icon to invoke protection from.

Consider God only as the very last resort as the weight of daily living threatens to squeeze out every drop of life.

Finally appeal to God as the snow globe bursts, and then quickly abandon Him when the provision is secured.

Gather in His house because of religious obligation.

Gather in His house when there is nothing else going on.

I hope God has an insulated heart.

I hope He is not like me.

I wonder if He has to battle the negative feelings that arise when He sees His Church neglected?

Jesus was so incensed at the mishandling of God's house that He picked up a whip and went to town on some religious heinies.

He went to visit a temple and instead He found a flea market.

Matt. 23:23: "For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others."

Things we ought to do.

Things we neglect.

Soothing our guilt by doing one thing and using it as an excuse to not do another.

Casual Christianity.

The enemy advances inch by inch.

Rarely are there sweeping decisive victories by the enemy over the Christian.

More like small, incremental and subtle wins which add up.

The Kingdom of God becomes smaller and smaller in the rear view mirror.

"Lost" is not just a TV drama.

Casual sounds way too close to casualty for me.

My heart breaks when I see poor choices being made.

The road to heaven is paved with the bleached bones of those who dropped out of the race.

Matthew 7:13: - "Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many."

Always remember this very simple and direct teaching by Jesus.

Never take the easy way out when it comes to spiritual matters.

It will kill your soul.

But you will have lots of company.

Casual leads to casualty.

Enter the heartbreak.


Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

Visit my blog at:

Thursday, July 28, 2011

"Dream A Little Dream..."

Dreams are biblical.

In fact it may be one of the most common topics in all of scripture.

Dreams are different than hopes, but may intersect often.

My dreams tend to be while I am awake and perhaps more in the form of visions.

They are almost always spiritual, most always concern the church and people, and hardly ever concern myself or my own personal life.

My dreams are a longing to see the desires of Christ fulfilled in His Church.

I dream of the day when the Kingdom work is supported so fully that the Church makes a difference in the community it serves.

I dream of the day when the Church overflows with lives so changed that four walls will not contain them.

I dream of the day when men will man up in Christ and take their proper place in the plan of God and stop passing off that responsibility to their wives.

I dream of the day when people will gather around the study of the Word of God in great numbers not just when it is convenient for themselves, but because they recognize how vital and necessary it is to their spiritual health.

I dream of the day when people stop talking about being #2 to Jesus and actually step down and relinquish that spot to Him.

I dream of the day when people realize how badly they are missed when they routinely disregard church for other activities.

Why the opening of the heart today?

It's biblical. Even though it rubs against the grain for me, it's biblical. I MUST share.

Jeremiah 23:28 (Amplified Bible) - "The prophet who has a dream, let him tell his dream; but he who has My word, let him speak My word faithfully."

It's a package. It's a responsibility. It's a burden.

I speak His word.

I fail to tell the dream.

I'm always afraid I'll hurt someone.

God tells me to let Him worry about that.

After all, I am starting to qualify for "...your old men shall dream dreams." (Joel, Acts)

Well oldER men anyway. lol!

The joy is in Him and I long to see that manifest for everyone.

Hey, I can dream, can't I?

Run it all past Jesus first.

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

Visit my blog at:

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

"Who Dat Say Dey Gonna Beat Dem Saints?"

"Who dat"?

I borrowed the chant from the fans of the New Orleans Saints football team.

New Orleans of course being the "home" of "When The Saints Go Marchin' In".

Who are the "saints"? Really.

Plaster statues arranged in ornate cathedrals?

Plastic figures on your parents dashboard?

Nominated and processed dead people by particular religious organizations?

None of the above?

Correctomundo if you picked "none of the above".

The bible says that believers in Jesus Christ are the saints.

We don't have to be nominated for it.

We just are.

We are objects of the intentions of Jesus Christ.

Eph. 4:12: - "His intention was the perfecting and the full equipping of the saints
(His consecrated people), [that they should do] the work of
ministering toward building up Christ's body (the church)".

Inanimate objects can't accomplis this.

Dead people (spiritual as well as physical) can't accomplish this.

Disciples of Jesus Christ are consecrated people who's work it is to
build up and encourage each other in the faith.

One of the problems in the Body of Christ today is that people are
resistant to being perfected and equipped.

Too often the "saint" in Christ doesn't want to stop being ministered
to and begin ministering to others.

The Church is designed to operate on take and give, not take and more take.

Sometimes it seems like the Church crawls along rather than briskly
walking. Stoop shouldered rather than shoulders back. Defeated rather
than victorious.

Recognizing who we are in Christ and a willingness to acquiesce to it
would transform the work of Christ on earth.

Who dat?

You're a saint. Be a saint. Perform like a saint.

Who'da saint? You da saint!

In all you do today be blessed and a blessing to others!

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

"The Best Laid Plans..."

The great poet Robert Burns once wrote in his ode "To A Mouse", "The best laid schemes of mice and men go often askew."

Ain't that the truth.

Our news media counts on it.

If not for the gleeful daily reporting of the dismal failures of the human race, there would be no ratings and we would be doomed to a steady diet of infomercials and reality shows.

A modern day lyricist, Billy Corgan, says, "Despite all my rage I am still just a rat in a cage."

Michael Jackson needed sleep so his doctor put him to sleep permanently. It was a plan that failed.

Jasmine Fiore thinks she finds her perfect man in Ryan Jenkins. He kills her, commits heinous acts to cover up the murder, and is foiled by serial numbers found on her breast implants. He flees to Canada and commits suicide. Several plans that looked good failed miserably.

A mouse builds its home in the middle of a plows path. The plow passes over and destroys the nest.

Robert Burns sees it as a parallel to life in general.

We may do things that look good at the moment, but suffer the pain and humiliation of dismal failure no matter how good they seemed at the time.

"The BEST laid plans of mice AND men...".

It's not exactly an original thought.

God said it a really long time ago.

"There is a way that seems right to a man and appears straight before him, but at the end of it is the way of death." (Proverbs 16:25)

"Seemed like a good idea at the time." What a sweet touch of Americana that one is.

My longstanding challenge to my congregation is still in effect.

I have been saying for years that there is not one single sin that man commits that is not rooted in selfishness. I occasionally resurrect the challenge to prove that statement wrong.

I probably wasn't entirely sure that I believed that myself when I said it.

I'm entirely sure today.

Our best laid plans done apart from the counsel of God is at best a selfish rebelliousness that is doomed to fail from the earliest conceptual stages.

What can I add to that except .........*sigh*.

...and some good biblical exhortation...

Hosea 10:12 (Amplified Bible) - "Sow for yourselves according to righteousness (uprightness and right standing with God); reap according to mercy and loving-kindness. Break up your uncultivated ground, for it is time to seek the Lord... ."

I pray today that we would always seek to do the right thing and continually receive the loving mercy of Christ, and that we would break up the uncultivated, fallow ground of our hearts and make it a rich soil for the planting of God's perfect plan for us.

Be blessed today and run everything past Jesus first!

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin

Monday, July 25, 2011

"The Death Of George Bailey"

This just in:

(RP) "Beloved Hollywood movie character George Bailey was discovered to have died recently. No time or place of death was reported, other than that it appears to have coincided with the recent colossal failure of the American banking, insurance, and savings and loan system. Since there was no actual body found, it is assumed that Bailey simply dissolved along with the rest of the hopes, ideals, and dreams of the once great nation he loved so dearly. Bailey was known for being the iconic role played in the classic Christmas film, "It's A Wonderful Life", by the beloved late American actor, James Stewart. Known for not being a failure his entire life simply because he had friends, there was no one else to contact for a statement other than a "Mr. Potter", who while being old and very sick, issued the statement: "Bailey was always a fool, and remained a fool until he died. His biggest problem was that he trusted people. In the end it was the people and system that failed him."

Lord, Lord, they cut George Bailey down.

Lord, Lord they laid him in the ground. (Adapted from the song "George Jackson, by Bob Dylan)

"No man is a failure as long as he has friends".

Ah, I'm going to miss that guy.

George Bailey. American icon.

The standard of decency created during a time of recovery for America.

Post WW II America. The great payoff for five years of sacrificial living.

America had taken it on the chin, even on the heels of a crushing and debilitating Great Depression, it bounced back and weathered the storm of war and loss.

America survived, and we have people like George Bailey to thank.

Oh sure, Bailey was a fictional character, but we all knew a George Bailey in real life.

People of unswerving optimism. Folks that said "we can do it!", and were the first ones to lead the way.

It's just not the same anymore. Mom, the flag, and apple pie just doesn't cut it anymore.

No friends, I'm afraid George Bailey is dead.

And there ain't no resurrection forthcoming.

This doesn't bother me so much.

Maybe it's time for Bailey to die.

There really wasn't much he could do for us except encourage us anyway.

But he did remind me of another.

Is it accidental that his film has become the most beloved Christmas movie of all time?

George Bailey pointed us toward Jesus.

And now he has stepped out of the way. George Bailey cannot save us anymore.

Like and Old Testament prophet he never really could.

Thanks anyway George Bailey, for all you have done for the American Dream.

It's time for us to move out of Dreamland now, and step into a much darker, much more insidious and uninviting place called reality.

We need a real Savior.

Fantasy Hollywood land used to be a comforting place we could get lost in, but alas, even it has gotten darker and seedier and threatening.

We really need a place to turn.

Enter stage right.

Hebrews 13:5 - "...I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not, [I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let [you] down (relax My hold on you)! [Assuredly not!]

Thank you Jesus. We need you more than ever. Our country. Our world. It's all being torn apart.

We are a dying junkie in need of an intervention. We are sick and don't realize it.

Help us who see where our hope lies. Help us to help others to have hope.

Help. Hope.

This is an S.O.S. Lord.

My prayer this morning is that we will not fall into despair. In the face of mounting failure by our leaders, in the face of people losing hope in their country, in themselves, and maybe even in You Lord, we need a miracle of hope. We need help. Your help. It's a storm that cannot, will not, be weathered without You. We seek Your face today Lord, and we hold to Your promise of healing our nation.

With God all things are possible. Jesus is our Blessed Hope today!

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

Friday, July 22, 2011

"Where Is My Mind?"

With your feet on the air and your head on the ground
Try this trick and spin it, yeah
Your head will collapse if there's nothing in it
And you'll ask yourself

Where is my mind?
Where is my mind?
Where is my mind?
Way out in the water, see it swimming

~ The Pixies ~

A popular joke from the nineteenth century says:

"What’s the matter? Never mind. What is mind? No matter."

I pretty much never really concerned myself with my mind. It was "no matter".

For at least the first 33 years anyway.

In my post conversion experience I suddenly became aware of it.

Sometimes we don't know that things were wrong until we look back on them.

I suppose that could be deemed a blessing of sorts.

I never realized just how dysfunctional I was.

My mind was riddled with rampant narcissism, sleeplessness, anxiety, fear.

I was in trauma. I was very fortunate that Jesus came along.

Where was my mind?

It was in the clutches of what was normal for me.

Normal was just being a living being without Jesus.

We don't see it while we are in it.

This is why there is such a great gulf, or gap, between believers and non-believers.

We never know what we really are until we are exposed. We never knew we were living in darkness until the Light shined.

Paul says we were exchanging truth for lies. We were fools professing wisdom. Worshiping the creature and not he Creator. Exchanging the natural for the unnatural.

It was a great exchange, and we got shortchanged.

Romans 1:21-22 - "(21) Because when they knew and recognized Him as God, they did not honor and glorify Him as God or give Him thanks. But instead they became futile and godless in their thinking [with vain imaginings, foolish reasoning, and stupid speculations] and their senseless minds were darkened. (22) Claiming to be wise, they became fools [professing to be smart, they made simpletons of themselves]."

I had lost my mind.

I found it in Christ.

What's scary to me is how many believers are willing to go back there again.

At the root of most Christians who are in turmoil in their lives is this insidious desire to get caught up with vain imaginings, foolish reasoning, and stupid speculations.

The willingness to enter into flat out sinful relationships for instance is staggering.

It's an exchange of carnal desire for the will of God.

It won't work. It will cause anxiety. Physical problems. Unsettledness.

When our desire is not in line with God's will it will throw everything out of synch.

You will be asking...

Where is my mind?

You were once smart, but now you have made a complete simpleton out of yourself.

Yes, it was that easy.

You made a simple exchange.

You did what you wanted to do even though you knew it would offend God.

You cannot even feign ignorance.

You knew. You know.

Where is your mind?

My prayer is for those who are struggling in life today. You have lost your way. You may even think you are losing your mind. You made an exchange that left you on the short end, and now it's all just a jumbled mess. You can make it right. Go back to the source. Regain the ground you have lost. Let me give you this today. Jesus says: "If you abide in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (John 8:31-32).

I hope today is the most blessed day of your life!

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

Thursday, July 21, 2011

"Keep What Ya' Got By Giving It All Away"

That's the title of a song by ex-Stone Roses singer, Ian Brown.

It's also a really good song.

But I particularly like the title.

I'm not sure if Ian Brown knows it or not, but Jesus said the same thing.

People didn't get it when Jesus said it.

They still don't get it today.

Our minds don't seem to naturally bend in that direction.

When Ian Brown sings it we hear it. But hey, it's just a rock song. Who cares what it means.

When the Church says it, it riles folks up and makes them secure all their stuff and complain that all the Church wants is their money.

There's a whole neat story in three of the gospels, where Jesus encounters a very, very rich young man, who has a bunch of money, servants, possessions, etc.

The young man initiates the conversation and wants to know how to receive eternal life.

(What do you get the man who has everything?) lol!

Jesus makes the statement: "You know the commandments", and he replied that he had kept them faithfully since he was a boy. (It really wasn't a question, but we rarely listen that intently to God).

The next thing Jesus told him, as recorded in Luke 18, is curious:

"(22) And when Jesus heard it, He said to him, One thing you still lack. Sell everything that you have and divide [the money] among the poor, and you will have [rich] treasure in heaven; and come back [and] follow Me [become My disciple, join My party, and accompany Me]."

In the flesh it's a losing proposition. In the Spirit it's a win.

The young man's response?

"(23) But when he heard this, he became distressed and very sorrowful, for he was rich--exceedingly so."

He saw it totally in the flesh.

Now, there's a lot of speculation about this passage.

It causes some to get their shorts all bunched up.

I don't get caught up in all of that stuff.

I see this confrontation at a point in history as biblically and spiritually significant, and not dumbed down into dollars and cents.

Jesus was really saying that the young fellow needed to put to good use the fortune he had and that he would gain by that. Not lose.

He was sort of saying, "Keep what ya' got by giving it all away."

You'll never lose or become less for following Jesus. Things may change. But you won't lose.

If you understand that like I do this morning, then you are in a very select minority.

We should establish a society or something.

Remedially it can be explained as "paradoxical".

Jesus is a paradox, so it stands to reason that He will teach paradoxically.

Jesus is not interested in subtraction and division, but addition and multiplication.

He wants us to add and multiply as well.

We see giving away as subtraction because we don't understand the principles of Jesus.

He sees giving away as a means of us becoming more. Addition. Multiplication.

We are so afraid to trust Jesus. We are afraid to give it away because we think we will be left as beggars.

Never be afraid to give it all away. Your wealth is not contained in your material.

Your wealth is in Jesus, and He will increase your life and make you rich in areas that you never dreamed.

My prayer today is that there would be unparalleled trust in Jesus Christ with all that you have and all that you are. There is freedom in release. It takes an incredible leap of faith to get to where you can trust Jesus with everything. And I mean everything. Yourself, your family, your finances, your possessions, your home. Could you place it in His hands today? Or will you walk away dejected like the Rich Young Man did? These are the watershed moments of our lives. These are the moments that shape not only who we are, but who we will be.

Be blessed in all you do today!

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

"What Makes A Person Do The Things They Do?"

I'm feelin' the Western theme again.

My all time favorite Western is Tombstone, which features a pretty decent attempt by Hollywood to portray the days of Wyatt Earp, the OK Corral, and life in Tombstone, Arizona with some historical accuracy.

I of course look for a deeper existential relationship between the characters and me as the audience.

This movie was chock full of examples.

For instance:

Wyatt Earp: "What makes a man like Ringo, Doc? What makes him do the things he does?"

Doc Holliday: "A man like Ringo has got a great big hole, right in the middle of him. He can never kill enough, or steal enough, or inflict enough pain to ever fill it."

Wyatt Earp: "What does he need?"

Doc Holliday: "Revenge."

Wyatt Earp: "For what?"

Doc Holliday: "Bein' born."


Gunslinger theology.

The hole that can't be filled. Insatiable lust of the flesh. Kill. Steal. Mayhem.

All the elements needed to paint a grim picture of the human condition.

Thank goodness I was never that bad.

Yeah, that's what everybody thinks.

We're never as bad as the worst person we can think of.

But, if we really want to take that dog for a walk the discovery might be less than palpable.

Basically... in a nutshell...a hole is a hole.

The hole is bad. What you stuff it with is worse.

The hole is emptiness. For lack of a better explanation, it's the center of a person. Where the heart and soul of man should be. What makes him tick. The lack of emotions and personality.

Deadman walking.

Ever meet a "soulless" person?

I have.

It creates a chill. It makes small hairs stand on end. It causes goosebumps. It's plain unnerving.

Looking into eyes that don't look back.

A spiritual black hole. Sucking in everything that surrounds it.

Nothing can fill it. It just keeps inhaling everything that it fancies. It's voracious.

The emptiness of man is not always filled by murder and mayhem.

Sometimes it's filled by carnal appetites.

Overeating. Binge drinking. Drugs. Sex. Porn. Power. Money. Manipulation.

Sometimes it's filled by Jesus. Jesus plus.... well... just you.

Our church sign says "You + Jesus = Real Life".

Once Jesus fills you stay filled. The appetite is satiated.

Rom.15:13 - "May the God of hope fill you...".

What's filling you today?

Is it Jesus?

... or...?

My prayer for you today is that it is Jesus who fills you, and that you are so filled with peace and joy and happiness and prosperity and love and... everything else that's wonderful and beautiful and good, that there would be no room for anything else! Be blessed in Him today!

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

"High Noon"

One of the great classic westerns of all time has to be "High Noon", starring Gary Cooper as a beleaguered town sheriff who has to face a gang of outlaws out to kill him.

The entire town has deserted him. Even his wife.

Maybe that's why the movie theme song, "The Ballad of High Noon" contained the words, "Do not forsake me oh my darling."

Well, in the end she didn't. She came back to actually save her husbands life.

It's the stuff a good Hollywood oater is made of.

It's also the stuff real life is made up of.

In real life we need someone who is not going to desert us in times of need and peril. We need someone who will save our life. We need someone who will love us unconditionally.

If we are fortunate we will find a partner in life who will provide all of that and more.

If we are more than fortunate we will recognize the ultimate Provider that we have in God.

David saw it. Even in the midst of all his difficulty.

In fact, he had written a song about it a few thousand years ago that contained the same basic element of the High Noon ballad.

David wrote the words "Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Lord."

Psalm (or song) 38:21 - "Do not forsake me, Oh Lord! O my God, be not far from me!"

Marshal Will Kane's wife Amy got on the train out of town with the intention of deserting her husband. Will Kane never felt more alone. He never felt more loved either when she returned to help him.

How often have you felt alone?

I mean really alone.

More alone than when a spouse or parent or friend deserts you.

Desolate. Abandoned. Marooned.

That's the feeling we get when we can't feel the presence of God.

David felt it and cried out. Again and again and again.

David was resigned to one thing however.

In verse 15 he says, "But for You, O Lord, do I wait; it is You, O Lord my God, Who will answer."

David, even with all his problems and shortcomings, knew what side of his bread the butter was on.

He was willing to wait.

I have had to wait. You have had to wait. All God's children must wait.

When we learn to do that. When we learn that waiting on God does not mean abandonment by God. When we can get to the place of hope not hopelessness. We grow.

I have found that waiting on God is well worth it.

Even when the circumstances seemed dire, I waited. And waited. And waited.

Suddenly there comes the breakthrough as vivid and majestic as a sunrise after not having seen the sun for weeks.

You just know it's God.

The wait is over.

The reward is sweet.

Waiting for a sweet reward today?

It's coming.

It is you O Lord my God who will answer!

Do you know that today?

If you do the reward will be sweeter when it comes.

My prayer today is for you in the midst of the struggle. If you are feeling alone. Deserted. Abandoned. High Noon has come and gone and there is no relief in sight. It's a dry and lonely place, but God has not deserted you. He is here. The right time is now and the reward is sweet! Hold on. He will never leave you nor forsake you! He is in the fire with you today and will lead you into a glorious place. Believe. Trust. Most of all, expect!

Be blessed in your day today!

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

Monday, July 18, 2011

"How Deep Is Deep Enough?"

How deep should we go? I'm talking about with God.

This is not a question easily answered.

Lot's of variables.

If God's in it, as deep as He is willing to take us.

If God's not in it?

Shallow waters.

Sadly, way too much of the Church moves in shallow waters.

Religious ritual is often mistaken as "going deep" in the Word and Wonder of God.

I know. I lived it.

When I fist became a disciple of Jesus Christ I was one of those people who hungered and thirsted for God.

That may have been true in the beginning, but it eventually changed into chasing after religious favor.

I fell in love more with being a Christian than being in love with Christ. There's a difference.

My family of six at the time were at the church every time the doors were unlocked. Two, sometimes even three services on Sunday, including coming back at night for the 6:30 service. Every bible study, every class, every event. I volunteered for everything. Eventually I even crowded my schedule further by enrolling in preparatory classes to enter the ministry.

It appeared that I was going deep, but I was for the most part in shallow waters.

What ends up happening if we are not careful, is that we start projecting our shallow expectations on others, and when they do not measure up to our ideal, we start to look at them through a jaundiced eye, and not the way God sees them.

The Church can produce that in people. Especially pastors.

Some folks are never going to get too deep. They just don't crave that depth with God.

Skin deep.

Some are like batteries.

Die Hards.

Most I fear just struggle along on the waves and try to squeeze God in between the rest of the days activities.


Jesus made this observation:

Matthew 5:6 (Amplified Bible) - "Blessed and fortunate and happy and spiritually prosperous (in that state in which the born-again child of God enjoys His favor and salvation) are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness (uprightness and right standing with God), for they shall be completely satisfied!"

Note the adjectives.

Fortunate. Happy. Spiritually prosperous.

My favorite: "completely satisfied".

Who in their right mind, being aware of the alternatives, would not want to be completely satisfied?

No one. Unless they are not in their right mind.

What then is the right mind? I know a lot of people who aren't completely satisfied in life, and they seem pretty much sane to me.

The right mind is the mind of Christ. The mind that seeks to be upright and upstanding before God.

It's not contingent upon religious observation, but on a heart turned over to Christ.

It's not how many events or classes you attend. It's not based in trying to impress the pastor or the congregation.

It's not the size of your tithe check.

It's about your hunger and thirst for the heart of Jesus Christ.

You're being cheated if you are being taught anything less.

Let me say that again.

You're being cheated if you are being taught anything less.

How's your life in Christ today?


Or deep?

Sink. Float. Swim. Which one are you doing?

My prayer for you today is that you would be completely satisfied. Jesus wants nothing less for you today. He wants you to be completely satisfied. Anything less is unsatisfactory. Anything less is unacceptable. Anything less and you are cheating yourself. You can find it in Christ today.

Be blessed!

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

Friday, July 15, 2011

"Do You Really Think You're All That?"

The cast of Seinfeld make me laugh, but they provide enough examples for deep spiritual analysis to last a lifetime.

If your a fan you'll recall today's dialogue.

Jerry: What's the matter?

Kramer: It's over!

Jerry: What's over?

Kramer: Me and Lola....

George: The woman we bought the wheelchair for?

Kramer: Yeah, she dumped me!

Jerry: She dumped you?

Kramer: She dumped me! She rolled right over me! Said I was a hipster dufus. Am I a hipster dufus?

Jerry & George (hesitatingly): ... no...

Kramer: Said I'm not good looking enough for her. Not good looking! Jerry, look at me, look at my face, huh, am I beautiful? George, am I beautiful?

It's a funny scene. On television.

In real life it's downright sad.

I just left the gym this morning where I watched multiple people standing in front of large mirrors as if asking themselves...
"Am I beautiful? Am I? Am I beautiful?"

"Mirror, mirror, on the wall...who's the most all that of them all?"

Somewhere in there is a desperate cry for help. For validation.

However, it gets downright scary when the person who is asking the question is really trying to get you to agree with their over the top self-grandizing assessment of themselves in all their glory!


Rampant narcissism.

And it's at epidemic proportions.

Never have people with so little to say of value been so listened to by so many.

Never have so many with so little going on in their lives been so revered by so many.

What in the world is happening here? Insanity is the new normal.

I have to touch base multiple times daily with the One True Source of normalcy to keep perspective.

What does Jesus have to say about this?

"Love your neighbor as you love yourself."

Love myself? Isn't that the problem here? People loving themselves too much?

Jesus would never tell us to enter into a narcissistic love relationship with ourself.

That's left up to the psycho babbling self-esteem boosters.

Here's another term that follows on the heels of narcissism. Self-esteem, or better yet, "low" self-esteem.

Good grief, we don't need more self-esteem, we esteem ourselves to highly already.

What the world needs is a dose of "Christ esteem."

Galatians 2:20 - "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me."

Self put to death. On the cross. With Jesus. We died. He lives. I'm still dead. See Jesus . Not me.

The complete and total antithesis of self-esteem and narcissism.

More of Him. Less of me. I must decrease so that He may increase. John the Baptist knew that. He turned all his followers over to Jesus and backed out of the picture.

There is no sin apart from selfishness. All sin is rooted in selfishness. Lose yourself in Christ and offending God goes away.

Run your ego past Jesus and see how it stands up.

My prayer for you today is that you would see your beauty in Christ because He thinks you're beautiful. Know that He loves and adores you today and I guarantee it will be enough. There is no need to chase after the world for selfish gain when the Master and Creator of the universe thinks you're special!

Be blessed today and pay it forward in prayer!

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

Thursday, July 14, 2011

"The Way We WERE? Really?"

The way we were? Why can't it be "the way I am"?

I tend to measure everything existentially now days. Not religiously (thank you Jesus for freeing me from that). If that means being genuine, then I'm that. We need a genuine Christianity. I don't like the generic media generated greed based religious definition. It doesn't represent the Church I serve, or the Christ I love.

The popular religious form of Christianity is narrow, malnourished, religious, and anemic. It's just a historical representation as one of the three major world religions. It always seems to be in competition.

It lacks.

I always notice that many times the emaciated church refers to itself as in the past. That we need to "get back" to the "way it was." I used to think that until I realized the church that is entertaining that line of reasoning essentially is not the church at all. It is the malnourished, anemic, starving shell of what the Church is. To be clear here and not confuse, there is THE CHURCH, and there is the sham version. The sham version gets all the press. It tickles the senses. It entertains.

Measure it against the ideal of "without spot or wrinkle" and you tell me.

If the Church is the living organism I believe it is, and that it is eternal and comprised of the Living Stones which are the "true" believers in Christ, then it can't be "the way it was", but has to be "the Way it is"!

The shriveled up misrepresentation of the Church is sad. It's a spiritual good 'ol boy network propagating and keeping alive an erroneous and deceitful network of messages and dog and pony shows. Circus Maximus. Shiny objects that attract. Comedians with phony baloney credentials passed on by others with phony baloney credentials. It's an infectious disease that's not fooling God.

It's closer to a pyramid scheme than a church. It's being bought and sold in the market place to the highest bidders. It's Enron. It's AIG. It's a failure. It's bursting at the seems with greed and avarice.

A wise man once said, "The garbage is getting piled so high on Calvary that we can hardly see the Cross!"

When it comes to the Church, the Way it was is the Way it is. It IS the Way. The Way is Jesus. In other words, it's alive and functional. It's just not the one that most people ever get to see. We don't have to "get back" to anything. The true Church of Jesus Christ has never been less than it ever was.

John 14:6 (Amplified Bible) - "Jesus said to him, I am the Way and the Truth and the Life; no one comes to the Father except by (through) Me."

It's a simple yet concise creed. He is everything.

Look here:

John 15:5 (Amplified Bible) - "I am the Vine; you are the branches. Whoever lives in Me and I in him bears much (abundant) fruit. However, apart from Me [cut off from vital union with Me] you can do nothing."

There it is. The Way we are, not the way we were. If the Way is the way, then the Way is the way it is. The Way it always has been. The Way it always will be. Now and forever.

Apart from Jesus we are nothing. Never have been. Never will be.

I am in Him so I really am. Existential? So be it. But it's real.

I love being me. The same person I always have been, but redeemed in Him. A better version of reality.

I hope you love being you.

I suppose that's what Jesus really meant when He said we have to love ourselves in order to love our neighbor (each other). Anything short of that is a total abject failure.

My prayer for you today is that you are vibrantly and completely attached to the Vine. That your fruit is abundant, and that you are in vital union with Him! Run it all past Jesus today, and be blessed!

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

"Life in the Snow Globe"

One of the most vivid childhood memories I have is that of receiving a snow globe while I was sick with the measles. I was sick, really sick. They say I almost went blind. I remember the pain, the itching, the scratching, the fever. I was only about eight years old. My dad came home from work one day and brought me a snow globe. I was intrigued by it. It was a scene with a little house, a fence, and a small child sledding in the yard. Every time I would shake it, it would snow. I wanted to crawl inside and live there.

Life in the snow globe.

Peace. Serenity. Comfort. Protection.

Nothing goes wrong in the snow globe.

No matter how good we have it, the snow globe is better.

No sickness. No poverty. No crime.

There's only one thing wrong. It's not real.

Well the non-realistic element is exactly what attracts us, especially when things get hectic.

It's also the place we can be where we are in charge.

It's what we really want you know. To be in charge. To control.

C'mon, be honest. Some are saying right now, "That's simply not true! I am not a control freak, I do not want to run the show!"

Being in control doesn't mean you have the characteristics of a control freak. You could be a closet controller. That's the category most probably fall into.

I think it's perfectly normal. If you want to live a sensory oriented life.

We are not intended by God to live according to the flesh. We are called to live according to the Spirit.

We are not called to live normally. We are called to live supernaturally.

Supernatural should be the norm for the Body of Christ.

Romans 8:1 (Amplified Bible) - "THEREFORE, [there is] now no condemnation (no adjudging guilty of wrong) for those who are in Christ Jesus, who live [and] walk not after the dictates of the flesh, but after the dictates of the Spirit."

There it is. It's not exactly a snow globe, but it offers one really great quality that removes a lot of the anxiety of life.

We are not condemned in our sins when we are in Jesus Christ. We move from one spiritual realm to another.

We move from spiritual death to spiritual life.

Even for the Christian sometimes, it's not good enough. They still feel the need to have control over that as well.

To those I say, take your snow globe and smash it to the ground. Break it open. Destroy it.

It is death to you.

In the spiritual realm the snow globe is the flesh.

Crucify it as all ways of the flesh needs to be.

Here's the passage I live by more than any other. It's actually tattooed to my forearm.

Galatians 2:20 (Amplified Bible) - "I have been crucified with Christ [in Him I have shared His crucifixion]; it is no longer I who live, but Christ (the Messiah) lives in me; and the life I now live in the body I live by faith in (by adherence to and reliance on and complete trust in) the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself up for me."

Most people who know me longer than an hour generally find that out about me, lol!

I gave up control to Christ long ago. For me I could care less who meets and remembers me. I want them to meet me and remember Jesus. I no longer exist, but Christ exists in me.

My snow globe had a crack in it. It wasn't doing the trick anymore. When I couldn't control my addictions any longer I knew I had to do something.

Jesus was and remains the answer.

Run it all past Him first.

Be blessed today!

My prayer is that I hear the sound of snow globes breaking everywhere today. Start with yours. It's not real. It's a facade. If you think you are really in control of your life you are living a lie. You deserve to live the Truth. You deserve all the supernatural benefits that come along with the Truth. Jesus loves you today, and so do I!

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

"It's My Life And I'll Do What I Want!"

It's a popular thought. Somehow we have come to think that as people we owe nothing to no one and we are free to do what we wish as long as we do not cause harm or interfere with others rights.

Sounds good. Even looks good on paper if it's presented in an articulate enough manner.

However, no matter how we slice it or examine it, it's a false ideology.

Hey, it's my life!

Well, not really. Kinda.

I know this isn't going to sit well with some, but you're owned.

Disturbing? Sure, if you allow the flesh to rise, if you allow the processes take hold that would encourage us to believe that we are the master of our own situation, captain of our own ship, etc.

But if we are willing to entertain the Spirit and at least listen to the Word of God, we will see that the concept is false.

Here's what Paul says:

1 Corinthians 6:20 (Amplified Bible)

(20) "You were bought with a price [purchased with a preciousness and paid for, made His own]. So then, honor God and bring glory to Him in your body."

Purchased. Redeemed is a better choice.

Redeemed by the blood of Christ and adopted into the family of God.


Paul in some other epistles actually speaks of being a slave to Christ. A slave that is held by love.

The antithesis to the slavery that we have grown to hate and abhor, is the slavery to Christ which is voluntary and based upon love.

It's our redemption that has been paid for which has won our freedom from the literal bondage and slavery of an ugly, selfish and degrading existence.

Some people would bristle at that. "My life is a good life. I get along just fine without God!"

Uh-huh. Let me know how that eventually all works out for you.

So, while in practice you have the right to denounce that ownership, or even completely ignore it, realistically you belong to God and there is a penalty for that rejection.

Accept or reject, you have been bought by Christ regardless.

Sooner or later you will acknowledge it. Someday EVERY knee will bow, EVERY tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord! (Php. 2:9-11; Rom.14:11).

I would rather bow in love than bow in shame.

God takes this so seriously that ultimate rejection of what Christ has done for the human race is the grounds for eternal death.

Eternal life in Christ. Eternal death in the rejection of Christ.

You've been bought but He leaves the choice of your eternal disposition up to you.

He's a fair and equitable God. He loves you enough to allow you to thrive or even perish if that is your heartfelt determination.

I sense in my spirit today that there is someone who will read this who is trapped in a precarious place of indecision, that they don't know how to get out of something they've gotten themselves into. Yield to Christ and the right thing you already know you should do.

My prayer for all of you today is that you thrive. That you would yield even the slightest reservation to the One who has given the ultimate sacrifice so that you may have the most abundant life.

Be blessed today.

If you run even the smallest detail by Jesus first, it may largely effect your life!

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

Monday, July 11, 2011

"What Exactly Again Is It I'm Being Set Free From?"

Let's start off by referring to what Jesus has told us. In my opinion, there is no information in this life that is more important than what Jesus tells us. Period.

So, in John 8:32, He says, "And you will know the Truth, and the Truth will set you free."

He precedes that by vs.31 where He says that we are truly His disciples if we live by His Word and according to His teachings.

It's all right there. Follow Jesus, become familiar with His teachings through the Word, and we will know the truth, and the truth will set us free.

Yeah, but what exactly are we being freed from?

Good question.

A good part of the time that we study the Word we can read a passage and look at it conversely. In other words, if we are being set free by the truth, then we must not have had the truth before, and therefore we were in bondage to the lie.

The opposite (conversely) of the truth is a lie. The opposite of being set free is to be held in bondage.

So, we are set free by Jesus from the lie we have been entrapped in which is opposite to His truth.

I don't see that as too confusing.

Yeah but, what EXACTLY is it we're being set from?


OK, here it is. Paul says in Romans that the human race has exchanged the truth for a lie. That happened waaaaaaayyyyyyyyy back in the Garden when the serpent convinced Eve to sample forbidden fruit and then she in turn convinced Adam to do the same.

That's not any old exchange, that's the Big Daddy of 'em all.

But it set the tone for all future exchanges of the Truth for the Lie.

The Lie takes on many shapes and forms. Simply put, a lie is anything that is untruthful.

I have found that many people cannot be moved away from the lie.


Conspiracy theorists. We never landed on the Moon, Barack Obama is not a U.S. citizen, aliens crash landed in some desert and their bodies are secretly being held by the U.S. Government, yadda, yadda.

See, in my life, the Truth (which IS Jesus Christ) has allowed me not to obsess or even become slightly infatuated with non-truths of any degree.

Where I cannot determine what is actually the truth, I don't swing to the opposite and believe the lie, I just leave it alone and trust what I know is THE Truth. Jesus has delivered me from a suspicious nature. However, it has not made me naive either.

Obama's birth certificate. Probably real, but basically I don't really give a rip because it pales in light of the greater more important Truth. Aliens? Moon landings? Who shot J.F.K.? Don't really care.

I live my live by the reality of The Truth, not the speculation of truth (which generally proves out to be utter nonsensical non-truths). Focus on the Truth.

All that other stuff just makes "white noise" in my brain and interferes with the real Truth getting through. lol!

See, here's what I'm saying. I have been set free. I sleep soundly and peacefully every night without the aid of external assistance because I have agreed to believe and follow Jesus, and His Truth has set me free from any possibility of falling prey to lies. I will not be moved from that by anyone or any circumstance.

It's the Lie that keeps people pacing the halls at night (with the exception of overdoing the pepperoni pizza or other forces and physical problems beyond the quietness or comfort conducive to a good rest). It's the Lie that makes people lose hope in desperate situations. It's the Lie that confounds the solidarity of a good relationship.

When we exchange the Truth for the Lie we: sleep less soundly, throw up our hands and give up, estrange ourselves from people who mean something to us.

The Truth is Jesus Christ. The Lie is anything that renounces or confounds that Truth.

I pray you are making wise and Holy Spirit informed choices today. I pray that if you have made a poor exchange of the Truth for the Lie, that you will rectify that even as soon as right now! Jesus IS the Way, the Truth, and the Life! When you accept that you become set free! I desperately want to see people set free!

Be blessed today!

Run it all past Jesus first!

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

Friday, July 8, 2011

"Rock Steady"

Let's open with a conclusion this morning.

Ephesians 6:10 (Amplified Bible) - "In conclusion, be strong in the Lord [be empowered through your union with Him]; draw your strength from Him [that strength which His boundless might provides]."

I made that conclusion over 25 years ago. Conclusions are generally preceded by an opening act.

My opening act was almost my closing act.

The details aren't important, but I could have easily checked out about 1986, but instead, by the power of Christ and His might, I am alive today to live out my concluding chapters.

My strength is never enough. If you haven't concluded that about yourself by now, I suggest you give it some thought.

There is an empowerment that comes only through Christ, and we are instructed to draw our strength from that power.

I personally find it a very dramatic change. Some folks find it more evenly distributed.

Importantly for me, it has taken a topsy-turvy life and straightened out the wrinkles a bit. Smoothed things out so to speak.

I rock steady, or better put, am steady on the Rock.

Introspection is good for the soul.

Are you steady on the Rock of Christ?

Or shaky on shifting sand?

Peace or turmoil? Calm or stormy? Joyful or sad? Morose or cheerful? Sour or sweet?

Can you assess your demeanor and behavior and confront it if need be, and heed the words of Paul this morning?

Anything less than an empowering life and experience in Christ is selling yourself short today!

My prayer for you today is that you have the courage to confront those things in your life that are confounding the power of Christ. That you can bag it up and kick it to the curb, and begin to live the life Jesus has designed for you.

Be blessed in Him today!

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

Thursday, July 7, 2011

"Beaten Up, But Not Beaten"

Luke 6:22-23 (AMP) - "22 Blessed (happy—with life-joy and satisfaction in God's favor and salvation, apart from your outward condition—and to be envied) are you when people despise (hate) you, and when they exclude and excommunicate you [as disreputable] and revile and denounce you and defame and cast out and spurn your name as evil (wicked) on account of the Son of Man. 23 Rejoice and be glad at such a time and exult and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is rich and great and strong and intense and abundant in heaven; for even so their forefathers treated the prophets."

I figured I'd put the Scripture up front this morning.

If your normal (or slightly abnormal like me *chuckle*) then the Word has just spoken to you.

And that's a good thing.

I hope you're not actually hated this morning, and in fact I would submit that probably few of you are.

A lot more of us would fit into the category of suffering "reproach".

Somebody is probably dissatisfied with you. Or blaming you. Or discrediting you. Or dissapproving of you. Or rebuking you. Or excluding you (the separation from their company).

That's tough enough to deal with. You could actually suffer with it.

Did you know however, that when this occurs for the Christian, that Jesus says it is a means of blessing?

A means of blessing is a means of grace. A means of grace is a means of peace, rejoicing, and joy.

I know, I know, it seems a bit far fetched, but that's what makes the Word supernatural.

In the natural you want to break down and cry. Or lash out. Or get revenge.

In the supernatural you recognize that the grace is there to deal with it all, and that translates out as blessing and rejoicing.

Picture yourself leaping through the house shouting praises to God because so and so hates your guts!

Well, not usually, even for the most spiritually mature.

However, it could be a more subdued, less strenuous form of that.

How about a quietness in your spirit that all is well. That your joy and peace of mind and heart is not contingent upon what others think?

That works well for me, and most people I know.

Speaking personally, if I was to take to heart every person that ever disagreed with me, or rebuked me, or disproved me, and even disapproved of me, I'd have been run out of the ministry many years ago. Not to mention the loneliness at times. The "separation from the company" of friends, family, and yes, sometimes even the sheep of the flock. Pastors and their families have to learn to deal with that. We are often viewed by some (and often erroneously) as the "wet blanket" at the party. It comes with the territory of the gospel. Jesus said, "They hated Me, they will also hate you."

I learned long ago to identify this "blessing" Jesus speaks of, and receive it to myself as truth.

I can deal with everything as long as I know that Jesus loves me and blesses me.

Paul says in Romans 8:31, "What then shall we say to all this? If God is for us, who can be against us? Who can be our foe, if God is on our side?"

There you have it. In these stressful times of disagreement with others, perhaps even being hated or despised, you are faced with the challenge of reacting in your own flesh, or believing Jesus.

Make no mistake. It is every bit a challenge of the highest degree.

But God is on our side.

This is why I say...

Before they can get to you, they have to go through Jesus first!

My prayer for you today is that you listen first to Jesus before you listen to others. That you allow everything to be filtered through Him, so that by the time it gets to your eyes or ears it will have been soaked with love and anointed blessing!

Be blessed and rejoice this morning because your reward is great!

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


You can't keep a leaky bucket filled.

Neither can you inflate a basketball with a hole in it.

Some people are the same way. I call them "The Leakers".

I don't think any of us make it through this life without getting a few holes punched in us.

The difference is if we are willing, or even capable, of being patched up.

Therein lies the rub. Also the difference.

Chronic leakers cannot (or will not) be consoled. Consoled is another word for "patched up".

Some folks just cannot be consoled. They won't let you. Perhaps the leak rate is too fast. They are like a sieve. The minute one leak is sprung, before you can get to it to patch it, another one erupts. Then another. And another. And... well you can picture it.

I don't think it's so much that any more happens to them than anyone else, but rather how they handle what does happen to them. Even the most insignificant or inconsequential difficulty becomes a mountain when the consolation of Christ is not getting through. The most minor of problems can run their train right off the rails.


This is why Paul appears to be so adamant in Philippians 2:1-2 (Amplified Bible). Stay with me on this, it's awesome!

Philippians 2:1-2 - "(1) "SO BY whatever [appeal to you there is in our mutual dwelling in Christ, by whatever] strengthening and consoling and encouraging [our relationship] in Him [affords], by whatever persuasive incentive there is in love, by whatever participation in the [Holy] Spirit [we share], and by whatever depth of affection and compassionate sympathy, (2) Fill up and complete my joy by living in harmony and being of the same mind and one in purpose, having the same love, being in full accord and of one harmonious mind and intention."

Paul is admonishing us to "fill him up" in joy. Also to allow ourselves to be filled (same mind and purpose). To be filled we have to stop the leak. Stopping the leak means to be consoled.

It's not a sign of weakness to be consoled. If anything it's a sign of strength.

"When I am weak I am strong." Paradoxical. As long as the strength is Christ.

Strengthened. Consoled. Encouraged. By the brethren who mutually dwell in Christ along with you!

Participation. Harmony. Incentive. Affection. Compassion. Sympathy. Joy. Intention. Love.

What a bunch of great "buzz" words!

It's all the stuff the leakers avoid or don't subscribe to. They choose instead to bleed out all over the place, and replenishment never comes because they won't be CONSOLED (patched).

I know that "WON'T" sounds so obstinate and harsh. Well, it is at times just that, but sometimes it's ignorance, habit, or tradition. Melancholia, moroseness, gloominess, and depression (which is anger turned inward), are also culprits. Hey, at the end of the day, it's all selfishness preventing Christ from doing His work.

Junkies don't get well until they want to. Drunks don't get sober until they want to. Nothing in this world is strong enough to battle your free will, not even Jesus Christ! In the gospels, those who didn't receive were those who didn't believe.

You cannot be filled if you continue to leak.

Step outside your problems today. Put them at the foot of the Cross.

Allow this word from me to you today to be your consolation, your "patch job". It's not me really. It's Christ. It's always Christ.

Be comforted and know that it will be ok. It will get better.

If you do not need to be comforted today, then be a comforter to someone who does.

It's all got to get past Jesus first!

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

"That Miserable Little Word"

"IF". Never cared much for the word. Still don't. It carries too many variables and connotations. You can have THIS "if" you do THAT. I have done everything possible to get away from it and out from under it. I have searched out every twist and turn of every biblical language to try to make it mean something other than it does.

I love being a member of the House of God, the Kingdom of Heaven on earth, heir to all the riches and glory in Christ Jesus. I love the following verse and how it portrays that truth. Well, the first half of it anyway.

Hebrews 3:6 (AMP) - "But Christ (the Messiah) was faithful over His [own Father's] house as a Son [and Master of it]. And it is we who are [now members] of this house, if we hold fast and firm to the end our joyful and exultant confidence and sense of triumph in our hope [in Christ]."

There it is again. "IF". Am I a member of God's family only "IF"?

Well...there are conditions. Isaiah laid it out somewhat for us.

Isaiah 59:1-2 (AMP) - "1 BEHOLD, THE Lord's hand is not shortened at all, that it cannot save, nor His ear dull with deafness, that it cannot hear. 2 But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear."

The answer to this problem, and how we reconcile the verse without us thinking that God is fickle in someway toward us, is to simply not read more into than what it says.

Our God given freedom of our own will and purposes allows us to not hold fast and firm, or to not be joyful and exultant and confident and triumphant in hope. No body is going to force you to enjoy Jesus. If you love Him and are in vibrant relationship with Him you just will be. If not, you won't. No one is holding a gun to your head. You are not forced to be, nor forced to not be. It's YOUR choice. God is not fickle. He loves us. All the time. We are fickle. We provide the "IF", not God.

Take a gander at some of the social networks like Facebook. Keep your eyes open for how many "believers" glorify alcohol and drinkfests as their coping mechanism rather than glorifying Jesus as their source of joy and peace. I'm not talking about a person who takes an occasional glass of wine or beer, I'm talking about people who profess to be followers of Christ and glorify their winebibbing and boozing to the point of posting pictures of their empty bottles and glasess as if they were showing off pictures of their children!

Something is in disarray within the Kingdom when that occurs. There are brothers and sisters in Christ who are dancing over the line from "we who are" to "if we hold fast and firm". Who has the guts to tell them that? You? Me?

That's why I don't like "if". It rips me from my comfort zone and calls me into action.

It's not just boozers or drug addcits. It's anything that causes one to not continue and contend in the faith. It's anything that even insinuates there is any other possiblity than Jesus Christ that is sufficient for your triumphant joyful association with God.

It's never Jesus and.... It's always just Jesus. What Paul meant here is that "if" you find yourself departing from that, you will find yourself down the road looking back to where you used to be (and should always be). And in reconciliation with Isaiah, you could really find yourself so far down the road that the self imposed great gulf becomes so wide that God can no longer hear you.

Maybe that's the answer for some today. If you are wondering why things are going wrong, why sickness rather than joy prevails, why there is never enough money, etc., etc., etc. and why it seems God is not could be you've gotten real far down the road. Maybe, just maybe, God can barely hear you, or not even at all.

He's my good and great Father. Jesus is my benefactor and provider of salvation. The Holy Spirit is my Comforter and Advocate. All of that tremendous love and power is not enough if I choose to go another way.

Which way for you today? What path? Did what I say shake you? Or did it anger you? Did I stir remorse? Or wrath?

I really hope it didn't even apply to you. I hope you are so secure in Him that it has caused you to pray for others.

In it all remember simply that Jesus never fails.

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin

Monday, July 4, 2011

Freedom, Liberty, And The Kingdom Of Heaven Way"

Freedom. We celebrate it here in America today, but it transcends borders and oceans and seas.

True freedom, the freedom that the entire concept and ideal springs forth from, is found in Jesus Christ and that can be accomplished anywhere.

Many a man and woman have found freedom in a jail cell. In a hospital bed. In a crack house. If the gospel can reach you, and you can hear and see in your spirit, you will find freedom.

Galatians 5:1 (AMP) - "IN [this] freedom Christ has made us free [and completely liberated us]; stand fast then, and do not be hampered and held ensnared and submit again to a yoke of slavery [which you have once put off]."

What good is it if you live in the most free nation in the world and are bound by sin and guilt? Unhappiness and despair is just as despicable in Beverly Hills as it is in Mogadishu.

Freedom and Liberty, and the Peace that accompanies it first has to start within the heart and soul of a person.

If it all went up in smoke tomorrow I would still have peace. That's because my freedom is not earth bound. It is Kingdom of Heaven realized. There is a great shaking on the horizon. It will be a time where the posers and the naysayers will see what it means to be Free in Christ.

I am thankful to be an American today. I am thankful for the day we celebrate breaking free from tyranny and oppression. I also know that none of that is possible without God's Hand upon this nation from day one.

I say God Bless America this morning, but I have to tell you that I say that with the utmost urgency, because I sense there is a great forgetfulness today.

Never forget. The American Way has always been guided by the Kingdom of Heaven Way. I'm afraid for this Nation as it appears to be losing its way.

Jesus never fails those who follow Him.

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin