Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Snake Oil Or Balm Of Gilead?

Jeremiah 8:22 (AMP) - 22 Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why then is not the health of the daughter of my people restored? [Because Zion no longer enjoyed the presence of the Great Physician!]

Religion is often like politics. It can be hard to see through the facades and shiny objects meant to distract you from the truth.

I can hardly watch Christian television anymore save for a few earnest preachers sold out to the truth and not picking our pockets.

Very few are pointing the way to the Cross, and are instead preaching and teaching the exact opposite to what Paul has instructed us in the Word.

Read what Paul admonishes in 1 Corinthians 2:

Verse 1 & 2: "AS FOR myself, brethren, when I came to you, I did not come proclaiming to you the testimony and evidence or mystery and secret of God [concerning what He has done through Christ for the salvation of men] in lofty words of eloquence or human philosophy and wisdom; (2) For I resolved to know nothing (to be acquainted with nothing, to make a display of the knowledge of nothing, and to be conscious of nothing) among you except Jesus Christ (the Messiah) and Him crucified."

Verse 4: "And my language and my message were not set forth in persuasive (enticing and plausible) words of wisdom, but they were in demonstration of the [Holy] Spirit and power [a proof by the Spirit and power of God, operating on me and stirring in the minds of my hearers the most holy emotions and thus persuading them]."

Answer us the question as to why, Paul.

Verse 5: "So that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men (human philosophy), but in the power of God."

Where should our faith be firmly planted?

In the power of God!

Remember this:

People who preach the power of God are in touch with the message of the Cross of Christ. Those who hear the message of the Cross are in touch with the Spirit of God.

Paul says that the natural (carnal, soulish) man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God (v. 14).

This also pertains to those who preach and teach the gospel in natural self proclaimed wisdom, and not in the Spirit of Power.

The power of the Holy Spirit and not one shred of human wisdom is how our bible was fashioned by God.

Paul for instance never sat down with ink and paper and pondered, "Hmm...let's see, what should I write?"

He was filled with so much inspiration from God through the Holy Spirit that God's wisdom flowed out of him unfettered and unspoiled! Whether he wrote by his own hand or dictated to someone else it was the words of God that we have received as a result! Praise God!

And that my friends should be the method of "sermon" preparation every preacher should be applying to their messages!

This is what constitutes operating in the prophetic. Preaching is prophecy and should be going forth to the people each and every time a pastor or evangelist gets before their people.

Since I'm a preacher and don't get to hear a lot of messages except for what I tune in on TV or the internet, I can tell you folks that on the grand scale this does not appear to be happening!

What I'm seeing is a lot of primping, preening, pimping and pickpocketing.

I have to channel search a bit to find the few who are concerned about getting out the foundational message of the Cross, Faith, Salvation, and Sanctification.

Are your "holy emotions being stirred"?

Or are your carnal itches being scratched?

Be careful my friends, and I say this with the utmost urgency and love of heart. Be careful as to what you are listening to and hearing. Accept messages only from the most earnest and Holy Spirit filled.

Weigh the words of men and women carefully (yes, even this preachers) and do not settle for less than what stirs your spirit, and not what merely tickles your ear.

The old time gospel is being tinkered with and infected with more and more putrefied carnal wisdom than God's truth.

Accept no substitute.

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

As Good As Dead

I know I was. As good as dead that is. All those years of not knowing Jesus resulted in a human shipwreck.

Not just physically from the ravages of drug abuse, but more so from the actual root cause.

Spiritual death. Dead man walking.

As good as dead. Had my body failed me completely I would have gone to hell.

That my friends is as dead as dead can be.

We all have our stories. If you're reading this as a born again believer than you were once as good as dead also.

As good as dead means you might as well have been dead. You were useless for any good purpose. You failed in the most important endeavor of life which was to be an example of the love of God on earth. By default you were a servant of the devil and your self righteousness was smelly like filthy rags.

Let's face it. In God's eyes we were nothing more than rotting corpses emitting a stench toward heaven.

Yet...God loved us anyway.

It was that love, that unconditional persistent sacrifice of Jesus that won us to Him and turned the already putrefied heart into a soft fallow ground for the seed of His love.

Hebrews 11:12 - "So from one man, though he was physically as good as dead, there have sprung descendants whose number is as the stars of heaven and as countless as the innumerable sands on the seashore."

He changed us. He raised us. As sure as Abraham was ready for the scrap heap, and recharged and regenerated in his body to become a patriarch of the human race, so were we raised up spiritually and given new life!

Paul says we become a new creation in Christ when we receive Him. Not just reconstituted or reconstructed, but torn down and built back up a new edifice!

He's a great God! He's a great Savior!

Praise Him today for what He has done, and what He will do in turning your hope into reality by faith in what Jesus has done on the Cross!

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

Monday, February 27, 2012

Get What You Are Believing For

Hebrews 11:11 (AMP) - "Because of faith also Sarah herself received physical power to conceive a child, even when she was long past the age for it, because she considered [God] Who had given her the promise to be reliable and trustworthy and true to His word."

God is able to perform anything according to His will when our faith is attached to it.

Even biological barriers such as age and sterility cannot confound it.

Sarah was certainly beyond the child bearing years at age 100 even by the standards of aging in the Old Testament.

In fact, even when she was in prime age and condition the bible says she was "barren".

Let's not make any mistakes here. The Word says she was finally able to conceive because of faith.

"BECAUSE OF FAITH" she received physical power to conceive.

Sarah based her faith upon the Word and will of God.

He wanted here to have a child and she would simply believe that in spite of the overwhelming evidence against that ever happening!

You see friends, that IS faith!

Conceiving goes way past child bearing.

What do you conceive today?

It could mean to take something into your mind to form a "concept". It could mean to apprehend something in your mind and thoughts to understand it better.

Do you conceive of something in your life that you haven't been able to bring to reality?

What do you want in life for you and your loved ones?

Do you see where verse 1 is so perfectly explained?

Faith is the substance of things hoped for (conceived in your mind).

In other words, what you hope for, when it is joined with faith (spiritual conception), it will birth (bring to reality) the very thing you are hoping for!

My friends, this teaching in the Word is so powerful. When we grasp and apply it miracles happen. Lives are changed and increased.

My suggestion is to read it over and over, especially verse 1, attach prayer to it, and meditate on it until you can put the principle into action so that your hopes spring alive into a present reality for you today!

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

Friday, February 24, 2012

Conceive By Faith

Hebrews 11:11 (AMP) - "Because of faith also Sarah herself received physical power to conceive a child, even when she was long past the age for it, because she considered [God] Who had given her the promise to be reliable and trustworthy and true to His word."

God is able to perform anything according to His will when our faith is attached to it.

Even biological barriers such as age and sterility cannot confound it.

Sarah was certainly beyond the child bearing years at age 100 even by the standards of aging in the Old Testament.

In fact, even when she was in prime age and condition the bible says she was "barren".

Let's not make any mistakes here. The Word says she was finally able to conceive because of faith.

"BECAUSE OF FAITH" she received physical power to conceive.

Sarah based her faith upon the Word and will of God.

He wanted here to have a child and she would simply believe that in spite of the overwhelming evidence against that ever happening!

You see friends, that IS faith!

Conceiving goes way past child bearing.

What do you conceive today?

It could mean to take something into your mind to form a "concept". It could mean to apprehend something in your mind and thoughts to understand it better.

Do you conceive of something in your life that you haven't been able to bring to reality?

What do you want in life for you and your loved ones?

Do you see where verse 1 is so perfectly explained?

Faith is the substance of things hoped for (conceived in your mind).

In other words, what you hope for, when it is joined with faith (spiritual conception), it will birth (bring to reality) the very thing you are hoping for!

My friends, this teaching in the Word is so powerful. When we grasp and apply it miracles happen. Lives are changed and increased.

My suggestion is to read it over and over, especially verse 1, attach prayer to it, and meditate on it until you can put the principle into action so that your hopes spring alive into a present reality for you today!

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Believe The Urge From God

Hebrews 11:8 - "[Urged on] by faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed and went forth to a place which he was destined to receive as an inheritance; and he went, although he did not know or trouble his mind about where he was to go."

It's one thing to lose direction and not know where you are going.

It's another thing to not know where you're headed but understanding that God does.

Big difference.

Abraham was called by God to serve Him. He was deemed righteous simply because he believed God. In other words, he had faith.

His faith was so strong in fact, that even when God told him to go to a particular place for a particular purpose, Abraham didn't need all of the details.

He obeyed the call to his destiny even when he had no clue as to what it was.

"I don't know exactly where I'm headed, nor do I really know why, but if God is in it I'll be just fine."

It reminds me of when Joan and I packed up our house, quit my job, and the six of us left NY to answer the call of God to get a good bible college education way out in Colorado Springs, CO.

God wanted me to prepare for the ministry He had called me into. I had already been going to school part-time and working. Finally I felt "urged on by faith" to go all in on serving Him. We left before the house was even sold, and with no job or place to live in Colorado. All we knew was that we were enrolled in school and excited to serve God.

To make a long story short, everything fell into place. We found a beautiful home to rent, Joan found a job, and as an extra blessing our home church decided to pay for my entire education!

Jesus makes a way! When we trust God without having the entire blueprint beforehand He lets us know just how worthy He is of that trust! Amen!

Joan and I will always cherish the great memories of that adventure and the many miracles of provision that God provided all the time we were there.

Are you urged on by faith today? Or are you weighed down in fear and questions?

The bible is filled with people who decided to trust God when it looked downright crazy to do so. Their testimonies have sparked untold thousands since then to do the same.

Allow faith to displace the fears. Fear is a Satanic faith killer. It does not come from God.

If God is calling you won't you respond positively to Him today? If there is a struggle let it go into the great vast sea of faithfulness. If there is sin release it to forgiveness.

Let Jesus into the close places of your life today and you will never, ever regret it! Follow the path He is leading you on.

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Seeing Ain't Believing

Hebrews 11:7 - "[Prompted] by faith Noah, being forewarned by God concerning events of which as yet there was no visible sign, took heed and diligently and reverently constructed and prepared an ark for the deliverance of his own family. By this [his faith which relied on God] he passed judgment and sentence on the world's unbelief and became an heir and possessor of righteousness (that relation of being right into which God puts the person who has faith)."

Put yourself in Noah's place for just a moment. He is just an average Joe of his time. A family man, hard worker, and trying to live righteously while squarely in the midst of a sinful idol worshiping environment.

Sound familiar?

All of a sudden God speaks to him and tells him He is going to bring a destructive flood upon the earth and He needs Noah to build a great Ark to save humanity and the other species of the planet.


Seriously. What's an Ark? What's rain? Where is this loud voice coming from?

It might be safe to say that the building of the Ark was probably the biggest construction project ever attempted by man up until that time.

The neighbors are starting to think that Noah's pilot light had blown out. They ridiculed and laughed at him.

What would you do?

No guarantee other than God's. No proof of anything is going to happen. No understanding of flood water and destruction. Not even another boat to compare to.

Noah had absolutely no clue and zero reason to believe God based upon the VISIBLE EVIDENCE.

Yet, he followed through with every detail of God and saved the human race.

Who was laughing when the Ark door shut? No one.

Could you believe in the Word of God so strongly that you would act upon it without seeing the results first?

Could you change the way you pray from a daily begging session with God to a time of fellowship where you expectantly await what you realize are His promises for you, and thank Him in advance for what you KNOW is coming?

I John 5:14-15 (AMP) - "And this is the confidence (the assurance, the privilege of boldness) which we have in Him: [we are sure] that if we ask anything (make any request) according to His will (in agreement with His own plan), He listens to and hears us. (15) And if (since) we [positively] know that He listens to us in whatever we ask, we also know [with settled and absolute knowledge] that we have [granted us as our present possessions] the requests made of Him."

Would you qualify for admission into the Great Faith Chapter Hebrews 11 Hall Of Fame? Do you have settled and absolute knowledge based upon the Word of God?

If you are like a sad majority of Christians today the answer would

We need more Abraham's, Noah's, Rahab's, Gideon's and Sampson's, who even though they faced challenges and had no proof or visible evidence that God was going to do what He promised simply believed and obeyed.

Many in the Church today have been victimized by spiritually bankrupt cessasionist theology (Cessationism - miracles, etc. ceased at the death of John the apostle).

The "substance of things hoped for" has been replaced by "let's wait and see what God may or may not do".

Be bold my friends. Simply believe God. He is a good God who lives to love and bless you. He does not enjoy watching you struggle but His hands are tied by our stubborn free will.

Release and be free! Trust it ALL over to Him! The electric bill, the insurance, the paycheck, the marriage, your parenting skills (or lack thereof), your tithe to your church. Everything!

And simply seek the Kingdom of God first and watch how all of your needs are fulfilled in abundance! (Luke 12:31, John 10:10)

Faith: Don't go anywhere, or do anything without it!

Be blessed with the abundance of the treasures of Heaven today!

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Motivated By Faith

Heb. 11:4 - "[Prompted, actuated] by faith Abel brought God a better and more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, because of which it was testified of him that he was righteous [that he was upright and in right standing with God], and God bore witness by accepting and acknowledging his gifts. And though he died, yet [through the incident] he is still speaking."

Abel was blessed. As far as we can tell he was the first to be blessed after the sin of his parents in the Garden.

Abel was blessed because he did the right thing. The testimony concerning him says he was a righteous person because he maintained a right relationship with God. His sacrifice of a lamb was typical of what God would present to us in the future as the once for all spotless Lamb of God, Jesus Christ.

Abel was so righteous and concerned about pleasing God that he was going to do that even if it killed him.

It did. Yet, his testimony of faith is so strong that the Word says he is still speaking today!

After 6,000 years, Abel's faith still instructs us!

His brother Cain, who would become his executioner, still speaks to us as well. He is the epitome of instruction about failing to please God. He is Abel's unrighteous opposite.

After he failed to please God by his paltry sacrifice he became depressed and angry.

God addressed Cain and asked him why he was so angry.

God then counseled Cain and said, "If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it."

Cain's response to God was to plot against and kill his brother Abel.

When faith is the motivator in our life it spurs us onward to seek to honor and please God. We rise to goodness not descend into degradation.

This is why we are constantly being disappointed by the people we rely on to lead us in our government, in our educational system, and yes, even in our churches. While they may be educated, motivated, and even dedicated to the task at hand, they cannot develop and maintain mastery over the spiritual and moral structure of their lives.

Simply put, they have no faith in God so His power and goodness is negated in them. They are morally and spiritually bankrupt. They would like to do good but they don't know how. Eventually their carnal desires override their intelligence and self established goodness and they fail.

"If you do well will you not be accepted?"

It is true. If we accept Jesus Christ we will indeed do well. We will flourish. We will excel.

We will live beyond and above what the mere flesh is capable of.

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

Monday, February 20, 2012

It's Not So Hard To Believe

Heb. 11:3 - "By faith we understand that the worlds [during the successive ages] were framed (fashioned, put in order, and equipped for their intended purpose) by the word of God, so that what we see was not made out of things which are visible."

It was easy for me to believe.

I spent my entire life previously not being an unbeliever necessarily, but just simply not caring.

I was ready to believe. I didn't have to "see" something to believe it. After all, there are plenty of things we do "see" that are not real at all.

I never had to actually see God hang the stars in the sky to believe that He put them there. Or that Jesus went to the Cross for me.

I don't require evidence of the person or people who put together the computer screen I'm staring into right now. It says Acer on it. Is there any reason I should doubt that?

What I have come to witness over the years is that there are some folks who are gullible and will believe anything anyone tells them (non-critical thinkers). There are some people who don't really think about issues on a deep level and simply don't care (self absorbed). There are some who will listen to any convincing argument and weigh the evidence before making a decision (critical thinkers)). There are some who will listen but who are always skeptical (conspiracy theorists).

The point is, just because we can't apply the five senses to a fact or truth doesn't make it less a fact or truth.

Neither does the smell of smoke need to evoke a panic response. It could just be the neighbor barbecuing.

Hannibal crossing the Alps on elephants. William Wallace defeating England. Grant accepting Lee's surrender. None of us were there yet we accept it all as historical truth.

Jesus on the Cross.

I wasn't there, but I was on His mind.

There is one factor that is present in the story of Christ that is absent when discerning and learning any other historical fact.

The supernatural element of the Holy Spirit that can bring a truth to the heart and make it as real as if we were standing in the middle of the actual event.

I am a pastor, teacher, and theologian for over 20 years and I could not give you a good enough explanation as to how that happens.

That my friends is where faith enters in.

" that what we see was not made out of things which are visible."

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

Friday, February 17, 2012

What Does Your Report Card Say?

Heb. 11:2 - "For by [faith--trust and holy fervor born of faith] the men of old had divine testimony borne to them and obtained a good report."

Abraham. Isaac. Jacob. Moses. All of the OT patriarchs and prophets of God.

They all received favor and blessings of righteousness simply for believing God.

Nothing has changed. It's still the prescribed method.

Some folks can't grasp it because it's not specifically spelled out as clearly as they may like to see it, but it's always been about Jesus.

It was then. It is today.

The way to the heart of God is through the Cross of Jesus Christ.

It is your good report to God the Father concerning how you have accepted His Son that makes the difference in your life.

Confess Jesus before men and He will confess you before the Father. Deny Jesus before men and He will deny you before the Father (Matt. 10:32-33).

It's really quite simple.

Maybe a caveman can't do it but you certainly are capable.

It's a matter of faith and will.

I wasn't much of a student as a kid.

I've even loused up a thing or two over the years.

One thing I do know however. I got this right.

Anything good that I have in my life today is the direct result of having obtained a good report from God through my faith in Jesus Christ.

If you have too then you know what I'm talking about.

If not, well you may find this irritating at first. Sort of like "How dare you presume to tell me how to be happy!"

I've been on that side of it as well.

All I'm doing today is sharing with other thirsty people where the well is located.

Be blessed!

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Owning What We Hope For

Hebrews 11:1 - "NOW FAITH is the assurance (the confirmation, the title deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality [faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses]."

Christians need a clear and concise understanding of what faith is.

I personally think it is one of the most misunderstood doctrines of the Bible.

That's scary because it is also one of the essential doctrines, and we will not be everything we should be in Christ without a working definition.

The KJV did its best in trying to get it across, but Heb. 11:1 is one of those passages which need to have the original language opened up for the best understanding.

This is why I like the Amplified Version. It was developed for such a verse as this.

I think too many people miss the fact that the "substance" (as translated in the KJV) is not faith.

Faith is not a physically tangible property, and it's not what Paul is referring to.

Paul is referring to what faith appropriates, which is the manifestation of what we hope for.

Without the application of faith to what we hope for (better jobs, reliable cars, better health, paid up bills, etc.) they will always just remain a hope and never materialize in reality.

In fact, faith is such a spiritual power that when it is applied properly we are believing that we have actually received what we hope for before we have the evidence of it sitting in front of us (BEFORE we get behind the steering wheel, BEFORE we get the medical report, BEFORE we are reporting to the new job)!

The fact that "substance" or "assurance" is translated as "title deed", which is a certificate of OWNERSHIP, it gives us the foundation for a changed life!

This leaves another missing piece.

"Pastor, WHAT should I be putting my faith in?"

Good question. First, here is NOT what to place your faith in:

Do not make the object of your faith the bible, prayer, church going, your pastor, your own ability, or what you are hoping for, etc.

All of those are in important, but they are not worthy of being the object of faith. They are benefits of having faith.

No, there is one thing and one thing only that we place our faith in, and that is the Cross of Jesus Christ and what He accomplished upon it!

100% of the time Jesus is the focus and object of our faith. Paul says, "We preach Christ crucified!"

Matthew 6:33 - "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." The Kingdom of God is established in Jesus Christ and the Cross.

Seek Christ (have faith in) and His Kingdom first and believe that everything you hope for is already fulfilled and added to you!

So a misunderstood and misplaced faith becomes as faulty as no faith at all.

Faith is the power which brings about to fruition the things we are trying to accomplish through our hopes and dreams for a better life.

Nothing worthwhile will happen on purpose until faith is attached to it.

We may stumble upon good fortune on occasion, but even a blind squirrel finds an acorn once in awhile.

That's not God's best for us.

God's best is that we live in confidence in His Word and be receiving regularly His blessings by believing for them and accepting them in faith!

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Nobody Knows The Trouble I've Seen (Except Jesus)

Luke 24:38-39 - "And he said to them, 'Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me, and see. For a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.'"

Why are you troubled? (Got troubles?)

Why do you doubt? (Got doubt?)

Why do you_________ (fill in the blank)

Do you think you cannot "grasp" Jesus?

Is He ethereal? A mist? A ghost?

Where do you think Jesus is?

Up in the sky? Floating in space? Not real? Dead?

People cannot get past their trouble and difficulties because they cannot properly identify with Jesus.

Many want to believe but they have lots of baggage to shed in the way of improper theology, doctrine, preaching, and negative religious experiences.

Jesus makes it simple. He is not complicated, nor are the facts and truth about Him.

Jesus' advice is to simply reach out and lay hold of Him.

Since He is physically seated at the right hand of God, then we must learn to do this in spirit and soul (mind).

Calling out to Him is sufficient.

Do so and you will be be blessed. Even with the smallest faith you can muster, simply call out to Him and ask Him to become a part of your life.

We must all begin somewhere.

Blessed are those who believe without seeing.

So, what's your need today? Physical sickness? Finances? Relationships? Addiction?

How about fear? It's number one in my experiences with people. Fear. It will cause other illnesses. It will bring about premature death. It will eat your lunch.

Fear kills faith and you must reverse that priority. You are polarized. Your spiritual "poles" are reversed.

Jesus can do that and much more for you today.

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

So...What Have You Been Waiting For?

Shortly after the Resurrection of Jesus He appeared to His shocked disciples. Everyone was there but Thomas.

Thomas had made statements pertaining to not believing that Jesus was alive, and had actually said that he would not believe unless he was able to put his fingers into the nail and spear marks.

Jesus has a way of making a persons desires come true.

When Jesus appeared to them for a second time Thomas was there.

Once he saw Jesus in His risen state, complete with the scars of the crucifixion he proclaimed Jesus as his God.

This did not come without some chastisement from Jesus.

John 20:29 - "Jesus said to him, "Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."


Poor Thomas. He has carried the tag "Doubting Thomas" ever since.

How about you?

Why do you believe?

Did you demand a sign of some sort before you threw in with Jesus?

Did you have to "see" something first? Did Jesus need to perform a parlor trick for you?

Does He really need to do that?

Do you want Him to make you well first? Fill your bank account? Restore your marriage? Find you a job?

Blessed are those who believe without seeing.

I remember close to 25 years ago needing Him desperately. I also needed a bunch of stuff done in the way of miracles.

However, I simply believed in Him without strings and without a demonstration.

All the miracles I needed took place the moment I believed first.

Jesus had me from the git go, and I have never left Him or doubted Him.

He is the real deal. He doesn't have to prove a solitary thing to me.

So, if you have a bunch of "ifs" attached to your contingency to believe in Him, it may very well be the reason you have remained disappointed.

How about just believing.

Paul said in Romans 10, "If you confess with your mouth Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved."

The only "if" is whether you will or not.

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

Monday, February 13, 2012

How Often Must The Rooster Crow?

Mark 14:72 (AMP) - "And at once for the second time a cock crowed. And Peter remembered how Jesus said to him, Before a cock crows twice, you will utterly deny Me [disclaiming all connection with Me] three times. And having put his thought upon it [and remembering], he broke down and wept aloud and lamented."

How could Peter do it?

Headstrong? Impetuous? Yes, those and more. But to deny Jesus?

Not once. Not twice. Three times.

Cocka-Doodle-Doooooo......You just can't mistake that irritating sound.

Jesus had him pegged.

Jesus had said all would desert Him.

John showed up at the Cross. The only one.

He must have had doubt in his heart or else ALL doesn't mean ALL.

Strike the Shepherd and the sheep will scatter.

How easy it is to step away from Jesus and pretend we don't know Him.

How easy to harbor doubt and denial in our heart even while sitting in church listening to the preacher.

Actions, even subtle acts of non-committal often tell all that needs to be told.

Be careful with that.

There is no middle ground.

Matthew 10:33 (AMP) - "But whoever denies and disowns Me before men, I also will deny and disown him before My Father Who is in heaven."

Lukewarmness doesn't sit well with Jesus.

Revelation 3:16 (AMP) - "So, because you are lukewarm and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of My mouth!"

Straddling a fence is very uncomfortable and it doesn't work with Jesus.

Yes or no. In or out.


This is a good season to become refreshed in committal. To be renewed in spirit.

This is a good season to show up at the Cross.

A wishy-washy Christian is on no better ground than the rank sinner.

The only solid ground is around the Cross.

Heavenly choir or barnyard crowing?

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

Friday, February 10, 2012

Is Jesus Your "I AM"?

Mark 14:62 - "And Jesus said, 'I am, and you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.' "

They tortured and crucified Jesus simply for saying who He is.

Not who He was. Not who He will be.

Who He is.

He is the great "I AM".

That statement means He is God.

God said it in Exodus 3:14: "And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you."

I AM is God's name.

Try to explain God. He has many attributes. In His simplest form He just IS.

We get our shorts in a bunch feeling overly compelled to define that.

It's an interesting concept taking in the entire scope of the Cross and Resurrection.

What Jesus has done for us is never in the past as far as God is concerned.

He is not bound by our clocks and calendars.

The Cross is efficacious for the sinner because it is fresh when needed.

Jesus said in John 8:58: "Before Abraham was, I AM."

That's either poorly constructed English grammar, or Jesus was saying something that defies and transcends the King's English.

He was saying, "Before Abraham even existed I AM God in the universe." The term "was" just doesn't fit when "explaining" God.

They didn't know who they were messing with.

Pompous self-gratifying religious stiffnecks.

They couldn't see God standing right in front of them.

No different today.

There are people who cannot see the God of the Universe standing right before them.

For them it's the historical Jesus. The Jesus who "was".

The God of the Universe, the great coming again God, the God we will stand before is...... I AM.

For the believer He is always now. He is always I AM!

Is Jesus your I AM today?

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Yeah, That's My King! Right There, The One On The Donkey!

Luke 19:38 - "...saying, "Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!"

The King?

He's not adorned like a king.

He's not riding the finest horse.

He really doesn't look like much of a king.

Yet, multitudes are treating Him as if He is one.

He was identifying.

Into the City of David He comes. Lowly in appearance and riding on the back of a donkey.

That's my King alright. He just confounds everything and everybody.

He shows us the true Kingship of the universe.

He reviles the haughty and proud. He lifts up and encourages the low in spirit and stature.

He has toppled more than one evil regime, and He stands between good and evil in our lives today.

He is Jesus Christ. Lord of Lords. King of kings. The soon coming again Savior of all.

He wants to be your friend today. He wants to ease your suffering today. He wants to heal your diseases today. He wants to cancel sin in your life today.

He wants to be sure that when He comes soon to gather His Church you will be among them.

If there is any chance, any chance at all, of that not happening, today is a good day to get it straightened out.

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Identity Crisis

Isa. 53:12 - "Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong, because he poured out his soul to death and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and makes intercession for the transgressors."

The verse from Isaiah is recored about 700 years before Jesus. It is a prophecy of the Cross.

It is an astounding prediction. So perfectly fulfilled by Jesus down to the minute detail.

It is the best news the saved or sinner could ever hear.

Jesus came and hung out with the likes of us. He sought us out. He purposely wanted to be around us.

Then He died for us.

Matt. 11:19 - "The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, 'Look at him! A glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!' Yet wisdom is justified by her deeds."

He suffered accusations because of His association with sinners.

He identified with you.

Jesus. Friend of sinners. Jesus. Friend forever.

Sounds a lot better than "You'll burn in hell for that!" That may be no less true a statement, but it doesn't win a lot of people over to Jesus.

I am glad He came and hung out with me one night. I have never left His side since. I will be with Him forever.

He won me with His love.

He is your friend today.

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Embracing His Cross

John 19:17 - "...and he went out, bearing his own cross, to the place called The Place of a Skull, which in Aramaic is called Golgotha."

Jesus started out carrying His own cross.

By the time He got to Calvary someone else was carrying it.

There are many scenarios surrounding the short walk from the Praetorium to the Place of the Skull.

Some say that Calvary, or the Place of the Skull, or Golgotha was the place where Adam was buried.

There is no way that can be proved, although it makes good food for contemplation.

I saw yet another rendition of the Passion story the other day. It was a well acted out scene where Jesus just arrived at the place of crucifixion. Exhausted and beaten bloody raw He was thrown to the ground a few feet away from the Cross.

Most every other crucifixion scene shows Jesus being manhandled onto the Cross.

This version took a very long moment and making it pregnant with anticipation, shows Jesus crawling in the dirt, with every last ounce of strength He could muster, dragging Himself up onto the Cross, rolling over on His back, and stretching Himself out to await the driving of the nails.

It was for me the most stirring visual of the idea of Jesus embracing His Cross I have ever seen.

Whether that's the way it happened exactly or not, it got the truth across.

The truth is that Jesus did indeed embrace His Cross willfully. He gave Himself over for our behalf.

This is why the death of Jesus Christ is a sacrifice and not just a murder, assassination, or execution.

Jesus indeed embraced what had been traditionally observed as being a torture machine, and made it an object of our faith.

Jesus made the Cross something to be revered, admired, and drawn to.

Jesus made the Cross something we are to endure with Him, picking up our own and bearing it daily in following Him.

The Cross of Jesus Christ is central to our faith as believers and followers of Christ.

The Cross of Christ is central to all of biblical history both Old and New Testament.

The Cross of Christ is what God planned from before the foundation of the world itself to be the instrument upon which the very salvation of the human race would be won back from Satan.

Never cheapen the Cross. Never theologize or philosophize it away into pop liberal doctrine.

Never shy away from the Cross, but embrace it as an altar of grace and an an instrument of God's Righteousness.

Nothing of any truth or value works for us if we do not pass by the Cross first.

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

Monday, February 6, 2012

What Is The Rate Of Exchange?

Judas is arguably one of the most hated figures in history. He betrayed the beloved Savior Jesus Christ.

Thirty pieces of silver in exchange for a friend. Silver for blood.

Matthew 26:15 (AMP) - "And said, What are you willing to give me if I hand Him over to you? And they weighed out for and paid to him thirty pieces of silver [about twenty-one dollars and sixty cents]."

Judas was an unwitting pawn in a devious plan unraveled by just as unwitting a devil.

Seriously. God knew all along how it was going to unfold and simply allowed what appeared to be an act of evil to bring about what was God's plan from the foundation of the world, which was sinful man would someday be atoned for and pardoned.

Judas probably thought he was simply helping along a plot to bring Jesus to power in order to get rid of Roman authority in the province. He was a Zealot and saw Jesus more as a potential earthly king than a King of Kings over everything.

Or he could have been jealous and just plain greedy.

In any event, it appears he was remorseful about what he did when he saw what they were going to do to Jesus. I don't think he weighed all of the penalties and options.

Just like today.

Jesus is being sold out in many cases for a lot less than thirty pieces of silver.

How much is a persons dignity and good name worth? What is the price tag on sobriety? Cheating on your spouse? Stealing from your boss? Beating your wife? Abusing a child?

It's all on the table of the Great Exchange.

It's an exchange because it's yours. Salvation in Christ is yours to have but it is sold on the open market for shiny objects, toys, recognition and power.

When the rude awakening came to Judas that he had been played (which is the side effect of exchanging Jesus for anything) he hanged himself.

It's a funny thing. The only person who probably really cared was Jesus Himself.

That's what makes it so tragic.

The One who cares for us the most is the greatest object of the world's scorn.

Everyday Jesus is exchanged for greed, false religions and idols, apathy, ignorance, lust, and just about anything else a person could chase after in their futile attempt at happiness.

The only source of true peace and happiness is Jesus Christ.

Don't trade Him away for things that will never bring the peace you are looking for.

Embrace Him.

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

Friday, February 3, 2012

Just So You Could Live

Mat 27:35 - "And when they had crucified him, they divided his garments among them by casting lots."

Crucifying Jesus meant nothing more to the Romans than swatting a fly.

After all, those soldiers on the death detail probably had taken part in hundreds of them.

It has been said that they crucified so many people that they started to run short of wood to make the crosses.

It is said that the main roads into Jerusalem were lined with crosses with the corpses in varying stages of decay hanging from them.

Just an example of Roman justice.

Death was treated casually. After a while one would not notice the crosses any more than we take note of the telephone poles we pass everyday.

In the case of Jesus, He was just another day at the office for them.

It is perplexing as to why Pilate agonized over sentencing Jesus.

He must have condemned thousands of people. Yet, he went to great extremes to allow Jesus to talk His way out of it, to offer alternatives to the people, and to even challenge the Jewish leaders as to the validity of their charges.

Pilate's wife even had a dream about Jesus and warned him not to have anything to do with Him. No, Pilate saw something. Felt something.


Because Jesus was not run of the mill. He was NOT a criminal. He was the Son of God sent from God on a mission.

This was meant to be.

The cruel element of the world had to work together to make this happen.

Jesus had to die so that we could live.

Want to know what love is? There it is. Willful submission to execution so that we could be free from our sin. A Father allowing His only Son to suffer so that we wouldn't have to.

Wrap your brain around that today.

Hopefully your heart will follow.

Be blessed in Him!

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

Thursday, February 2, 2012


Back in the days of the American gold rushes prospecting was an adventurous endeavor. Maximum investment in time and equipment with no true guarantee of return. Some folks were fortunate, but some died in those hills searching a lifetime for the "big strike".

Many times they just didn't know where to dig.

It's kind of like that in our search for answers. We have questions but we don't know where to prospect for the answers.

One of the greatest phenomenons in my opinion, in this modern high tech age we are in, is how many people have a wealth of information available to them but will still pose questions to people in general.

When I have a question on just about any subject, I simply "Google" it. I can honestly say that I don't think I've ever had a question about something that I was not able to find on the internet.

Go to the library? What's that?

But how about the important questions dealing with life in general? The ones that keep a person up at night? The ones that may have a person pacing the floor? The ones that may even deal with life and death?

Where does a person turn then?

I turn to God. In fact, I turn to God preemptively. I not only want to know how to solve my issues, but also how to prevent them.

And the best place to find the answers along with what the will of God is for us, is to become familiar with prayer and the reading of His Word.

What did Jesus do?

Luke 22:41-43 - "And he withdrew from them about a stone's throw, and knelt down and prayed, 42 saying, "Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done." 43 - And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him."

Jesus prayed. He asked the Father and received an answer.

It is safe to say that He had a vital and difficult task to perform for God and He was weakening in His resolve to carry it out. He was so distraught over the impending suffering He was to go through that He sweat out droplets of blood.

His attitude was that while He knew what God wanted Him to do, He was hoping there might be another way to get it done without having to suffer and die.

His own will was that it didn't have to happen.

His outcome was "Nevertheless...not my will...but Your will be done."

In our problems and difficulties and trials, and make no mistake they will come, we best remember to place ourselves in alignment with God's will.

Do not mistake the way Jesus phrased this request. He was not ignorant to the will of God in this matter.

He knew the will of God was for Him to be sacrificed for me and for you. The "if you are willing" was merely an attempt to try to find another way. It was not about what God wanted but what Jesus wanted.

When we are in a place of indecision, and we know what we should do, and more importantly what God wants us to do, we may probe the Word and seek God for a way to satisfy what WE want the outcome to be. We may even talk ourselves into something that is not approved by God at all.

I think a dangerous way to pray is to ask God for something and then end the prayer with "if it's your will." It indicates we are not willing to know His will for us which can be found in His Word.

We do like our shortcuts and loopholes.

What are you struggling with today? Ask yourself honestly why it is such a struggle for you.

Is it because you don't know where to turn? Or is it because you know exactly where to turn but you're afraid God's answer will be different from the one you want to hear?

My suggestion is to first resolve "not MY will but Your will be done".

We will NEVER go wrong placing our trust in His will for our lives.

In fact, you can even Google the Bible!

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


If I am going to lose any saltiness I want to make sure it's through weeping for the lost and sweating out a gospel message.

"Jesus wept" (John 11:35). The shortest verse in the bible. Also the most moving.

"As He approached Jerusalem and saw the city, He wept over it" (Luke 19:41).

He still weeps. If Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever, then He still weeps.

Perhaps He weeps today more than any time over the span of the last 2,000 years.

The question today is, do you weep?

Have you taken a good look around you?

Do you sense the despair?

Sometimes it's as if I can smell it.

All my senses are heightened and assaulted by the overwhelming presence of...of.......need.

Spiritually, physically, mentally, medically, materially, financially, organically, essentially, unequivocally, domestically, internally... needy.

"There is nothing I can do. I feel...helpless."

You can weep. That makes for a "salty" Christian in my opinion. If you weep enough you might actually work up a gospel "sweat".

Weeping, sweating followers of Jesus. That's what this world needs.

Weeping, sweating Jeremiah's who are burdened and interceding for a lost and compromised society.

No more snow in the snow globe. It's being transformed into a salty rain.

Do you feel it?

What will you do?

Do what Jesus does.

Weep your way through the gospel. Don't just read it. Weep through it all the while applying it all to what's just outside your window.

I know good people I care deeply about whom I weep for. Some know Jesus. Many do not.

You know people too.

Weep. Pray. It may inspire you to further action.

I remain yours today just...

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><