Monday, April 30, 2012

Cross Style

Luke 9:23 (AMP)  - "And He said to all, If any person wills to come after Me, let him deny himself [disown himself, forget, lose sight of himself and his own interests, refuse and give up himself] and take up his cross daily and follow Me [cleave steadfastly to Me, conform wholly to My example in living and, if need be, in dying also]."

Don't worry. This verse sounds more ominous than it is. Jesus has already been crucified. The believer has already been crucified with Him as well (Gal. 2:20). So, this is not speaking of picking up a heavy cross and lugging it around. In fact it's more about getting rid of a heavy burden ("For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.").

This about conforming to His way each and every day. It's living the Style of the Cross.

It's different from the way we have been taught to live by the world and its philosophies.

It's a radiating force generating outward rather than a self attracting force inward.

We are always better because of Jesus. We are never better as a result of self no matter how much we think that is true.

Become subtracted from the Cross and you will die. Sorry. It's blunt I know. It doesn't make it less true.

Apart from the Cross and us embracing it (taking it up) every day, we will become less than God's desire.

If we become less than God's desire we will shrivel up and be devoured by self. 

Remember, without God you won't be able to stand yourself. Don't think for one moment that egoism and narcissism is love. It's really self loathing wrapped up in a facade.

Our being able to stand our own self is all wrapped up in knowing that God loves us. When we turn from the Cross toward vain philosophies that elevate self, we throw up a shield against the love of God and turn the human heart back to stone.

It's the Cross. Stop looking in the mirror for two seconds and recognize it's ALL about Jesus. Put yourself second and He will put you first.

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

Friday, April 27, 2012

The Gospel According To Flip Wilson

The devil made me do it.

It was a funny line by one of the funniest men who ever lived. The late Flip Wilson.

Whenever his character "Geraldine" did something wrong or naughty he would exclaim with a shout, "The devil made me do it!"

It became a national expression. It was on t-shirts, bumper stickers, coffee mugs, etc.

It popularized the devil and turned him into a comic celebrity. He became a caricature, a cute little impish creature who brought out the naughty little things people do and made them of no consequence.

After all, what could be easier than doing something wrong and simply blaming it on the devil?

Well, sadly many people already believed that. This just made it more popular to express it.

The fact is, the devil, even the real devil who is a far cry from "Hot Stuff" of the old Casper the Ghost cartoons, never made anyone do anything.

Lucifer. Satan. Beezlebub. Old Scratch. The Liar. The Adversary. The Enemy. The Dragon. The Serpent.

Eve tried to put the blame on him in the Garden back during the very first sin.

Gen. 3:13 - "And the Lord God said to the woman, What is this you have done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled (cheated, outwitted, and deceived) me, and I ate."

Or, "The devil made me do it."

It didn't wash with God then, and it doesn't today.

If it were true then it wouldn't have been sin and we'd all be in the lap of luxury living off the fat of the land.

Instead God leveled the charge and resulting punishment at whom was responsible.

He cursed the devil, Adam, and Eve. Subsequently all of us too.

No one gets out from underneath the charge of sin. God takes it very serious.

The devil has power. He is sly and slick. He uses coercion and is the best at it.

He cannot however, force anyone to do what they don't WANT TO DO.

People will often do things they know are wrong (sin properly so called), but feel they have no power to do different. People will also do bad things they really don't want to do but can't control the evil desire to do them. People will often feel awful afterward and repent and even swear off doing them again.

Paul explained that vicious cycle in Roman chapter 7.

"Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me."

Sin has dwelt in the hearts of every human being who ever lived except Jesus Christ. This is why He is the only way out of it.

The Cross of Christ is the answer to the age old plague of sin.

Before we can change we must stop blaming others and look to Jesus Christ.

He alone has conquered the sin problem in the human race and all who place their trust and faith in Him will be able to live victoriously from acting upon sinful carnal desires. 

This makes the difference my friends, of pleasing or offending God. The Cross stands in the gap of eternal life or eternal death.

It's Jesus. He's the only Way. He never fails.

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Curtains, Veils, And Scales

Let me make a bold statement here, as I sense we are running out of time for beating around bushes. Any life lived without Jesus is at risk. I'm not sorry if that offends some people today, but I hope there may come a time when you recognize this very moment as the moment that was a heartfelt attempt to save and preserve you for events that are closer than we may think.

Life without Jesus is like living behind a thin veil. You can see through it but the view is not clear. It's as if life is being seen through cobwebs. Of course I am not speaking of the physical eyes, but how one experiences their life unfolding.

Things not going well? Almost as if you are always just one step or two away from achieving your hopes?

Have you been one of the people who almost gets to the top and finds themselves being kicked backed down to the bottom time and time again?

Always the tail but never the head? Never.

Let me give you some good news and bad news. I'll give the bad news first.

It's never going to change for you in the present state of a lesser, false, or non-existent relationship with Jesus.

The good news is that it can change immediately if you want it to.

You must remove the veil.

God has made that provision for you.

Listen to this astounding promise of God!

"But whenever a person turns [in repentance] to the Lord, the veil is stripped off and taken away" (2 Cor. 3:16).

Accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, and acknowledge what He did for you at the Cross and the veil will be removed.

There is more: Consider the Apostle Paul's conversion:

"So Ananias left and went into the house. And he laid his hands on Saul and said, Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, Who appeared to you along the way by which you came here, has sent me that you may recover your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit. And instantly something like scales fell from [Saul's] eyes, and he recovered his sight. Then he arose and was baptized" (Acts 9:17-18).

Or how about the destruction of an entire false religious system just because of Jesus becoming the sacrifice for all of us?

"And Jesus cried again with a loud voice and gave up His spirit. And at once the curtain of the sanctuary of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; the earth shook and the rocks were split" (Matt.27:50-51).

Curtains, veils, scales. All hindrances to you. It all prevents you from accessing fully the King of Glory.

It could be unbelief, it could be serving a false religious system, it could be fear, it could be rebellion, obstinance, ignorance, laziness...yadda...yadda.

Let me tell don't want to "yadda...yadda" Jesus.

What's your veil today? What needs to be stripped away so you can see Jesus more clearly?

My advice is to get on it. I'm not a date setter. I don't know the day or the hour, but I do know this:

It's soon. It's soon and I am ready. I want you to be ready as well. 

If there is an unresolved issue with Jesus you need to take care of, won't you do so today?

Forgive what needs to be forgiven. Repent of what needs to be repented of. Mend whatever fences need to be mended.

Don't be caught by surprise. Jesus is very near.

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Sin Inc.

It's the largest conglomerate in the universe. It has the most employees. It is larger than AT&T, General Motors and IBM put together. It compensates it's employees the same across the board and never discriminates according to race, sexual, or religious orientation. It has never been late or defaulted on a paycheck. It's employees are loyal and rarely leave its employ to sign on with the competition. If there is one benefit that is not up to standard with what the rest of its package offers it's the retirement plan. It leaves a little to be desired. Rarely does anyone get to retire. Not now and not later. 

The company is Sin Inc. and the wage it pays is death. When you sign on with Sin Inc. you forfeit your eternal life and everything that goes with it. Everything.

Romans 6:23 - "For the wages which sin pays is death."

Every time you perform a task for Sin Inc. you get paid for it. Your actions are your good faith signature.

It's kind of like direct deposit. 

The managerial staff is a bit intrusive however.

Gen 4:7 "... sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you." 

It keeps a constant vigil over its employees. After all, the rewards it pays is the best in the business because it is the only business like it in the world. They are watching you. From the moment you get up until you go to sleep and all points in between. They watch you, and they will seize every opportunity to put you to work.

Sin Inc. is a true monopoly.

If you want to forfeit your soul and work for death wages which include instant gratification of your desires, perversions and greed, then you are in the right employ. Some folks like the arrangements and the compensation package. Have fun now and party hardy in Hell with all of your friends. There have been some investigations into the claims Sin Inc. makes, and all employees should be warned that there is reason to believe they do not follow through exactly on all of their claims and promises.

There is however, an alternative. There is Trinity Inc. While not viewed as a competitor, Trinity Inc. is the only alternative to working for Sin Inc. In fact, in all the world and universe from the beginning of time itself, every single person who ever lived has worked for one or the other. Everyone starts out with Sin Inc. and most unfortunately stay.

Some however, have listened to the sales talk of Trinity Inc. and made the switch. 

It's no wonder. For while the wages of Sin is death, "...the [bountiful] free gift of God is eternal life through (in union with) Jesus Christ our Lord" (Romans 6:23b)

Those who have made the switch have generally been happy with the new arrangements.

Trinity Inc. has one thing Sin Inc. doesn't have.

A UNION! A Union in Jesus Christ, the Lord of Lords!

The wages Trinity Inc. pays is life eternal and is so far over and above what Sin Inc. pays it could be said that the wages of death have been swallowed up in the victory of Trinity Inc.'s main negotiator, Jesus Christ. He was able to win from Sin Inc. a large number of its employees, and promises to do do even greater things in the future.

So. Who do you work for today? If it's Sin Inc. let me just warn you to not sign any of their checks anymore. They have been found that in the long run they are not worth the paper they are written on. There is something funny about the signature. It disappears when it comes time to cash it.

Trinity Inc. however, has signed its one time bonus promissory note to each person in a non-fading, indelible signature IN RED INK by it's Chief Negotiator and COO, Jesus Christ. It will never fade and is good immediately upon deposit. All wages and associated benefits are good immediately upon signing on.

Trinity Inc. "The company that has always been, always is, and always will be."

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Let God Handle It

What have you been praying for lately? What is it you have been petitioning the Lord for? What is it you need the Lord to step in and take care of for you?

It is good that you are doing that. We are to become more and more reliant upon the influence and intervention of God in our lives. careful not to assume HOW God will handle things.

Take Moses and Aaron for instance.

They obeyed God in response to their need for the Israelites enslaved by Pharaoh and Egypt. They went and spoke to Pharaoh to arrange their release and explained to him that their God Jehovah wants him to let the people go free.

A reasonable request, right? The God of the universe and all that lives and breathes was standing behind them all the way, right? Things should have gone great immediately with the people being let go toots sweet, right?

Well, not exactly. We would eventually get from point "A" (the enslavement of the Israelites) to point "B" (their release), but not perhaps according to how Moses and Aaron (or us) would have liked it to go.

The situation actually got a whole lot worse. If they thought it was bad to be a slave to Pharaoh before, they would see how much worse it could get.

Pharaoh refused to recognize or consider Jehovah as a God to be obeyed.

Exodus 5:2 - "Who is the Lord, that I should obey His voice to let Israel go? I know not the Lord, neither will I let Israel go."

People who know the Lord asking people who do not know the Lord to obey the Lord. Hmm...sound familiar?

To make this short, Pharaoh not only didn't let them go, but he made it much tougher on them.

He even made them make bricks without straw. What a guy that Pharaoh.

Finally, it got to the point where Moses let his frustration out on God.

Exodus 5:22-23 - "Then Moses turned again to the Lord and said, O Lord, why have You dealt evil to this people? Why did You ever send me? (23) For since I came to Pharaoh to speak in Your name, he has done evil to this people, neither have You delivered Your people at all."

Yikes. Again, sound familiar? God taking the heat of our wrath once again. Ever blame God for not acting fast enough?

God's response?

"Now you will see what I will do to Pharaoh! I AM the Lord!" (Exodus 6).

Even then it still took some time, and Pharaoh NEVER buckled under to God even after it looked like he gave in and agreed to let them go.

He changed his mind and pursued them right into the midst of the Red Sea where his army was destroyed by God.

God took care of it. Case closed.

I'm not sure where we came to expect God to handle our troubles in a snap of a finger or the quote of a word. Sometimes not only does the answer not come quickly, but the problem may actually increase and intensify before it is dealt with.

In all of it we are to trust Him. Indeed, that is the epitome of trust. 

Simply know that He is on it. Give it to Him and let it go. Rest in the comfort that your Father in Heaven is taking care of it all according to your best interest.

Be blessed and know that He is the Lord today!

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin

Monday, April 23, 2012


Joshua 24:14-15 (Amplified Bible) "(14) (Now therefore, [reverently] fear the Lord and serve Him in sincerity and in truth; put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the [Euphrates] River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. (15) And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." Serve the Lord in all sincerity and truth, and make sure you pick the right God. As for me? I serve the Lord Jesus Christ. Who do you serve? The god of extracurricular activity? The god of extended work hours? The god of happy hour? How about the god of Sunday softball? Sunday golf? Sunday soccer? Sunday late sleeping? There's are plenty more, but you get the point. It's not the Amorites anymore. It's simply the gods of where you have decided to pitch your tent. It's usually a lot farther from Jesus Christ than you intended at first, but as you look back you realize how far you've strayed. It's a lot closer to the 14th hole than to make it all the way back to the Lord. There is this side of the River, and then there are still the gods of the "other side of the River". Have you already picked a side? You have even if you can't quite remember when it happened. Some of you have chosen unwisely by choosing against God. Not a wise choice at all. Even though you might be humming along rather nicely. Golf average is right where you'd like it. New business connections are being made on the green, and you're really feathering your nest. That new promotion is in the bag. It's a shame that when it all falls apart you will have never seen it coming. Oh, and make no mistake. It WILL all fall apart eventually. Your god has a disaster streamlined just for you. You picked the wrong god. Your god wasn't there for you. The "other side of the River god" just takes and never gives back. It takes until you are a withered dried up shell. It sucks life out of a person instead of breathing life in. Maybe this is how Mumsy and Daddy raised you. Guess what? This ain't your parents religion. Keep thinking that God isn't offended when you miss Church or don't show up for Him in prayerful fellowship. Keep thinking that you ignoring His plan for your life is a take it or leave it proposition. Keep thinking that He is as non-confrontational and easy going as your pastor probably is. I speak from experience. I found myself on the floor one day wondering why. I had six long months to lie around and try to figure it out. My conclusion was that I was disobedient. I strayed away from the plan and made my own. I tried to make something happen according to my own initiative. He allowed me to do that. One healed quad tendon later I am resolved to serve Him and Him alone. The tough part is that I thought everything was fine. I didn't see how I had let some stuff slip, how I had become immersed in a job I had no business taking in the first place. It wasn't even sinful. It just wasn't the right choice to make. So...choose wisely. Some of you who are reading this have not. Me? I'm staying on the right side of the River and I am going to serve Him fully. Keepin' it Real, Pastor Kevin <><

Friday, April 20, 2012


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.

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 <><

Thursday, April 19, 2012


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 <><

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Urged On

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 <><

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Taking Heed

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.

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 <><

Monday, April 16, 2012


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 has a brand name 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, April 13, 2012


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 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 <><

Thursday, April 12, 2012


Luke 24:11 - "but these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them."

This is a response by the disciples to a report they had heard.

Try to guess what it was they were responding to:

1). Spaceships just landed and annihilated the entire Roman occupying force.

2). The Pharisees were conducting a love fest at the Temple and were setting free all of the lambs and doves.

3). Jesus Christ has risen from the dead.

Number three you say?

That's right!

Tell them what they've won, Johnny!

Anyone who debunks the bible for a lack of modern day relevancy should consider this passage.

It might be more true today than it was then.

In its original purpose the statement pertained to about 10 or 11 people.

Today it pertains to millions.

Is the Word contained in the bible, particularly as it addresses Jesus, completely inspired and fulfilled by God Himself?

Every believer has to deal with this question.

Is Jesus Who the bible says He is?

Did Jesus do what the bible says He did?

Is Jesus the Way, the Truth, and the Life? Is He the only Way to God?

Active Truth or idle tale?

The decision is a matter of the heart and not to be ignored or taken lightly.

It's ALL Jesus and EVERYTHING rests upon what you decide.

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Song Remains The Same

Luke 24:46-47 - "...and said to them, 'Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, (47) and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.'"

He has risen. He has risen indeed.

That's the song.

Everything that Jesus said SHOULD happen HAS happened.

It continues to go forth.

The Church is the song of Christ.

From Acts chapter two until this present moment, believers are being added.

Living stones into the foundation of the spiritual Church.

The Body of Christ.

More hands. More feet. More eyes. More mouths.

We function in and under His authority as those with a sort of "power of attorney" to use the name of Jesus Christ.

He sits physically at the right hand of God.

The Church functions as His Body here on earth.

He is coming back to gather us.

This is His promise. Our blessed hope.

Someday. Maybe today. Maybe tomorrow. But someday.

Are you looking upward?

Are you prepared if it is today?

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


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.

Remember yesterday's message? 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 <><

Monday, April 9, 2012


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 over 26 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 <><

Friday, April 6, 2012

The Cross In The Now

Mark 14:42 - "Rise, let us be going; see, my betrayer is at hand."

It was actually on a Wednesday.

Even 2,000 years ago it was on a Wednesday.

You can't crunch the numbers to fit the sacrifice on a Friday. Not by any standard, bible or calendar.

However, it's sort of moot anyway.

It's moot because for the believer it is always in the now.

2 Cor. 4:10 - "...always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies."

God is not governed by our concept of space and time. Everything for Him is on the eternal continuum.

The Cross of Christ, I believe, is central on that continuum. Pointing to the past, rooted in the present, and looking onward to the future, the Cross is steadfast and manifest as fresh today as that fateful day on Golgotha.

This is why we sing and shout about the present application of the blood of Christ to the heart of mankind.

It still streams in its cleansing power as if pouring from the veins of Jesus anew.

It's supernatural. Thank God for it.

Get in the shower of His purifying blood. Allow it to make you like new. It will forgive. It will heal. It will instill joy and peace.

Step away from it and be subject to the toil and frustration of daily living with all of its punishing aspects.

Wayne Watson sings:

It was the blood of Jesus
The blood of Jesus
That opened heaven's door to let me in
It was the blood of Jesus
The blood of Jesus
That washed away my guilt
That washed away
The guilt of all my sin

It is the Blood of Jesus. It was always the Blood of Jesus. It will always be the Blood of Jesus.

Nothing satisfies God and man more.

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

Thursday, April 5, 2012

It Was No Day Off For Jesus

1 Peter 3:18-20 (AMP) - "(18) For Christ [the Messiah Himself] died for sins once for all, the Righteous for the unrighteous (the Just for the unjust, the Innocent for the guilty), that He might bring us to God. In His human body He was put to death, but He was made alive in the spirit, (19) In which He went and preached to the spirits in prison, (20) [The souls of those] who long before in the days of Noah had been disobedient, when God's patience waited during the building of the ark in which a few [people], actually eight in number, were saved through water."

Matt. 12:40 - "For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth."

Three full days and three full nights in the heart of the earth.

"He descended into hell." ~The Apostles' Creed~

It's the second day of His three day excursion from the Cross to the Throne.

Think about that today. Jesus just didn't hang out in the tomb until He resurrected.

He was in the bowels of Hell preaching the "bad news" to the denizens of the evil angel prison.

You can rest assured that Satan heard it.

It was no day off for Jesus.

There is no day off today.

He sits at the right hand of the Father and makes intercession for us 24/7.

We are never out of the thoughts of Jesus. His office is never closed. His phone is never busy.

All of this because of the Cross.

All of this for you.

Just for you.

Just for us.

Won't you keep Him in your heart and mind today?

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

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 <><

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Embrace The 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 <><