Sunday, December 29, 2013

Save the World…Be the Parent

Dear parent, you have the right to control every single aspect of your child's life. You get to call the shots, because you pay the bills.

You have the right to tan your kid's rear when they talk to you like a dog and act like a fool. You deserve respect....and you pay the bills.

You have the right to check your kid's cell phone, iPod, tablet, computer, or any other electronic device they use in life any time you choose. These items are privileges. They are wants, not needs. If they whine about "their rights" and "their privacy" cordially remind them of their position within the family structure and take their junk. Next time, they'll think twice before objecting to your "rude intrusion". Remember, you can because you bought their stuff and the bills.

At the end of the day, your child relies on you for every single thing in life. You have the right to say no to anything and everything. Contrary to popular opinion, they don't get a vote and they do not possess the wisdom to live the way they choose, or make their own decisions. So, feel free to say no as often as you like because the bills.

Most of the time, kids act like idiots because we allow it and put up with their stupidity. It does not take long for them to realize you are a sucker and will let them act like an idiot. Like I said, they're not wise, but they're not dumb! By the way, notice I said "act" like idiots. They can choose, but you must "guide" that decision.

We need to lose this sad idea that our job in this life is to keep our kids happy and smiling. It is not. First and foremost, your job is to be your child's parent, not their buddy. Love your kids. Love them with every fiber of your being and make sure they know it, but if you're playing "the sucker", toughen up. Will they like it? Heck no! They'll kick, scream, whine, and fight you every step of the way, but somewhere down the line, they'll likely thank you.

Folks, we have enough worthless, lazy people in the world that really believe the world owes them something. It does not, and most of not pay the bills!

Want to save the world from the prevailing freeloader mentality that permeates much of American society? Be the parent!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

It’s Personal, it’s Intimate, and it’s Messy!


I recently read a blog posting from a pastor I know sharing his burden for the lost. In his post, he implores his congregation to bring anyone and everyone to church on Sunday with the hope that they might hear the Gospel and be saved.

Nothing wrong with that.

Still, I would like to play devil's advocate for just a moment and present a few thoughts.

Let's say you do indeed bring your co-workers, friends, and neighbors to attend services with you Sunday morning. At some point, they hear a strong presentation of the Gospel, leave their seat, and make their way to the front. Here, they are encouraged by the pastor or a counselor to pray a simple prayer and receive the free gift of salvation from the heart of a loving God.

Nothing wrong with that….BUT

What happens then?

At the end of the service, that man or woman will eventually make their way home and immediately begin to wonder, "What the heck just happened?"

Now, here's my point. IF there are folks ready to step up and begin the process of discipleship in that person's life, that question gets answered.

But…does that happen?

Many times, this new convert is encouraged to join a class at church and possibly seek out a small group….if they're lucky.

Unfortunately, more times than not, they are left to figure out what this Christianity thing is all about…all alone. The result is a person who feels as though they were duped into something that felt right in the moment, but now just seems very confusing. At this point, the person is left with two choices: Jump in and hope that somewhere down the line things will come together, or simply walk away.

Before you disagree, or dare I say become "offended", consider this:

A few years back, the Southern Baptist Convention cited a huge number of baptisms for that particular year, sadly they said little about the fact that statistics showed that almost the same number of folks had left the church that same year or were considered missing in action.

Question: Are we truly impacting this world for Christ if we're losing as many as we gain?

So, what's the problem?

Well, I believe it is the abominable failure of the body of Christ to make disciples. Yeah we're great at introductions, but not so impressive when it comes to walking this thing out with someone.

Please know that I do not consider attending church with others discipleship, nor should you.

I could say a lot about what it means to disciple someone, but I think the Bible does a better job. By the way it's no great mystery. Just pick up the book and read what Paul has to say about the subject, or watch Jesus in action. I would cite the following verse from 1 Thessalonians 2:7-8:


We proved to be gentle among you, as a nursing MOTHER tenderly cares for her own children. Having so fond an affection for you, we were well-pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God but also our own lives, because you had become very dear to us.


Like I stated earlier, we tend to be great at introductions, but "imparting…our own lives"…not so much.

At the end of the day, I really believe we would rather just place blind trust in our programs and services and hope they will somehow get the job done.

Unfortunately, this will never do. Discipleship is personal, intimate, messy, and time-consuming. It requires far more than any slick program or well written Sunday school literature could ever hope to provide. It requires flesh and blood interaction…and lots of it.

Jesus commanded us to go into all the world and make "disciples" not just converts.

Consider this: If I told you I would like to take your for a ride in my plane, would you strap in if you found out my training consisted of a one hour introductory class on the basics of flight? I don't think so...unless you're a nut! And yet, we seem more than content to send folks out into a sin-rotten world with no more than a quick "Hey dude, you're going to Hell" message and a quick prayer.

In the end, I really believe this does far more harm to that soul and an unbelieving world than any of us truly realize.

So my dear pastor, please preach the gospel. The world needs to hear it. BUT, do not forget that babies need a lot of care. Leave them to fend for themselves, and you'll end up with a lot of dead bodies on your hands.

And yes, there's certainly something wrong with that!



Saturday, September 21, 2013

Three Reasons America is in Desperate TROUBLE

WARNING: The following will not encourage you!

If I told you my family and I increased our debt load over $700,000 every single minute, would you say things were "looking up" for me? I'm guessing you'd have to go with the reply of "no". If that's the case, why in the world do I keep hearing all this silly talk about "economic recovery" and statements like "things are starting to look up"? Folks, I hate to be "Debbie Downer" here, but this whole "I think things are looking up in this country" idea is just ridiculous!

With that, I'd like to share three simple reasons why I believe America is in desperate trouble. By the way, I could list far more!

First, until that debt clock reverses direction, things are NOT looking up. I may be going out on a limb here, but I'm guessing you'd be hard pressed to find any economist or financial adviser worth his/her salt that would give a thumbs up to a "spend more than you have" approach to life. Sooner or later, regardless of who you are, that mindset will land you in deep trouble. Bottom line: America continues to borrow money and we have no way to pay it back.

Second, there has to be a reckoning day for a country that persists in printing worthless money. Here's a fun fact for you: On average, America prints around 35 million notes each and every day with a face value of approximately $750 million. And what grand item of value do we have to back up that daily addition of paper and ink? You guessed it! NOTHING! Check behind door number one, two, and three and you'll find nothing more than a boat load of empty D.C. promises! What about gold you say? Oh dear friend, that ship was abandoned long ago.

Dr. Mike Walden, North Carolina Cooperative Extension economist in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at N.C. State University, puts it this way:

"Of course, it used to be that you could cash in, so to speak, your cash - your dollars - for gold, but that's been long gone. Now there is a legal stipulation that dollars and coins printed by the U.S. government must be accepted as payment. But I think the real reason that the merchants that you talk about take your paper money, the real reason they do that, is simply trust. They trust that everyone else will take that paper as payment. So when they turn around and buy something, that person that they are buying from is going to take that paper money."

You see, it really is all just a sad game we play. I promise to accept your worthless piece of paper, if you'll accept mine. But keep this little tidbit in mind, printing money will always, at some magical point bring about an ugly little condition economists have termed as "inflation"! And what happens when a country is up to its eyebrows in debt, yet still continues to wildly print greenbacks? It likely bypasses inflation very quickly and moves straight to its even more enjoyable big brother known as "hyperinflation". You know, where your $20 is actually only worth $2.50, and the price of necessities such as gas and food move beyond your ability to purchase. Fun, Fun, Fun!

And finally, last but not least, let's not forget that you and I have a seemingly clueless president that continues to bless us with helpful "initiatives" grown in the fertile soil of stupidity such as Obamacare. Also, we have the good fortune of enduring a worthless, do nothing congress that refuses to work together to bring about even the slightest bit of change.

All in all, a recipe of disaster!

Friends, a train can't stop on a dime, and unfortunately this train we're all riding on is nearing a cliff and no one knows or apparently cares where the brake is. In the end, this whole idea that America is on the rebound is nothing more than a pleasant placebo we all continue to down in an effort to avoid the truth. That being, this country is big trouble, and still the train chugs happily along.

I wonder how many rounds of "kumbaya" we can get in before the lights go out.

Monday, July 29, 2013

God Hears, God Cares, and God Provides

I need to brag on Jesus! If you're praying about something and waiting on God is wearing you out, read this! 

As some of you know, we had to deal with mold issues in our upstairs bathroom just as our wonderful summer got started. Long story short, after having the mold removed, the bathroom gutted, and then restored, we were down for a little over $3,000. That might not seem like much to some folks, but to us it might as well  have been $30,000.

Needless to say, the summer has been "less than exciting". Most teachers lust after the blessed "summer break". Honestly, you look forward to it all year! I am no different. I had big plans and was REALLY looking forward to enjoying some adventures with my family. Of course, adventures take money and that little plan of mine changed with the mold. So how have we spent the summer? Well we have pretty much sat in our home, prayed, sat some more, and prayed some more...all summer long. Have I whined? Yes! Have I complained? Yes! Has God been teaching me incredible things? Without a doubt!

Yesterday, my heart was really broken and I was praying ever so fervently (that means hard…I think) about life, and just stuff. I have been really down about being so financially "twisted" with no clue how to "untwist", but yesterday was more about the reality of where I am currently with Jesus. I wasn't really praying about finances so much, just my heart in relation to His. It was during this time of prayer that the Lord reminded me of a scripture found in Joel 2. Here's what I read (it's kind of long…but you need to read it all):

Joel Chapter 2

A Call to Repentance
12 That is why the Lord says,
"Turn to me now, while there is time.
Give me your hearts.
Come with fasting, weeping, and mourning.
13 Don't tear your clothing in your grief,
but tear your hearts instead."
Return to the Lord your God,
for he is merciful and compassionate,
slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love.
He is eager to relent and not punish.
14 Who knows? Perhaps he will give you a reprieve,
sending you a blessing instead of this curse.
Perhaps you will be able to offer grain and wine
to the Lord your God as before.

15 Blow the ram's horn in Jerusalem!
Announce a time of fasting;
call the people together
for a solemn meeting.
16 Gather all the people—
the elders, the children, and even the babies.
Call the bridegroom from his quarters
and the bride from her private room.
17 Let the priests, who minister in the Lord's presence,
stand and weep between the entry room to the Temple and the altar.
Let them pray, "Spare your people, Lord!
Don't let your special possession become an object of mockery.
Don't let them become a joke for unbelieving foreigners who say,
'Has the God of Israel left them?'"

The Lord's Promise of Restoration

18 Then the Lord will pity his people
and jealously guard the honor of his land.
19 The Lord will reply,
"Look! I am sending you grain and new wine and olive oil,
enough to satisfy your needs.
You will no longer be an object of mockery
among the surrounding nations.
20 I will drive away these armies from the north.
I will send them into the parched wastelands.
Those in the front will be driven into the Dead Sea,
and those at the rear into the Mediterranean.[c]
The stench of their rotting bodies will rise over the land."

Surely the Lord has done great things!
21 Don't be afraid, my people.
Be glad now and rejoice,
for the Lord has done great things.
22 Don't be afraid, you animals of the field,
for the wilderness pastures will soon be green.
The trees will again be filled with fruit;
fig trees and grapevines will be loaded down once more.
23 Rejoice, you people of Jerusalem!
Rejoice in the Lord your God!
For the rain he sends demonstrates his faithfulness.
Once more the autumn rains will come,
as well as the rains of spring.
24 The threshing floors will again be piled high with grain,
and the presses will overflow with new wine and olive oil.

25 The Lord says, "I will give you back what you lost
to the swarming locusts, the hopping locusts,
the stripping locusts, and the cutting locusts.[d]
It was I who sent this great destroying army against you.
26 Once again you will have all the food you want,
and you will praise the Lord your God,
who does these miracles for you.
Never again will my people be disgraced.
27 Then you will know that I am among my people Israel,
that I am the Lord your God, and there is no other.
Never again will my people be disgraced.

The words in these verses were so encouraging. Even when we think it is too late for us, the Lord continues to offer hope and restoration. We are NEVER too far gone or beyond redemption. Our Father is a God of restoration, mercy, and kindness.

Now for some big time bragging!

I woke up this morning and noticed I had a text from a friend with whom I work. It said, "Check your email. What a blessing!"

Now normally this particular person is brimming with sarcasm. So, I was figuring I would experience something "unpleasant"! What I read almost knocked me off my feet!

I opened my email, and found that I had received message from Whitfield County Schools…my employer. I'll spare you all that was shared, but somehow, someway, my employer made the decision to go ahead and pay us an "extra" check that would normally be issued after we retire. This was apparently done to benefit new employees. When I started my job, I was told I would have to go without a check for a couple of months due to this provision. Now out of nowhere, they reverse it. Regardless of the "why", this was HUGE news for my family, especially considering that my wife is also an employee of the county. Essentially, we will have double our normal income in the month of August which is almost exactly double what this whole mold mess costs us! Not only did God restore that lost income, He doubled it! Can you say, HUGE blessing? Yes sir I can!

This is so incredible to me! Yes, the money will be amazing and will certainly get us back on track, but honestly that's not the main reason I'm rejoicing. I'm rejoicing because somehow, someway, the Lord of the entire universe moved on the hearts and minds of the folks that employee me to change a policy that's been in place for years…just to bless and care for my family! The God who I continually doubt, whine to, get angry at, sin against, and in general fail miserably, still adores me so much He was willing to step into an impossible situation, despite all my garbage, and help!

Now you may say, "Ken you're crazy!" "That's just a coincidence! God didn't do that just for little old you!"

Maybe, maybe not. In the end, all I know or care about is He is there… and He cares about me. That's worth more than every penny in every bank!

So, why in the world would God move Heaven and Earth for just one family? I'll answer that with a another question: Why would God ever think to send His only son to die for a planet full of rebellious, sin-rotten people who didn't give a rip about Him?

Love. It's all about love! The overwhelming love of a Father who cares desperately for His own creation and will do anything to show Himself strong on their behalf.

It was love that caused Him to send His child to live, die, and rise again to redeem us, and it is that same immeasurable love that ushers each and every blessing into our lives. God is first and foremost a Father, and like any good father, there are no limits to what He will do to take care of His own!

So there you have it!

I once heard a guy say, "Hard situations create the perfect conditions for miracles. Impossible situations create the perfect conditions for mighty miracles".

Friends, I put this one together quick, but I hope it has encouraged you. I do not know what you are praying, hoping, and waiting on God for, but know this; He knows…and He cares!

Peace and blessings to you my friends!


Monday, June 17, 2013

I Was Wrong

As always, if you find typos or grammar problems, be kind! I like to write, but my fingers don't always pick up what my brain is laying down!

I'm going to try to keep this short and sweet. I would like to revisit it and go into greater detail in the future, but for now I'm going to try to keep it simple.

A few days ago, I was spending some time reading ahead in preparation for my family's weekly devotional/hanging out/eating food/praying…and other stuff "time". We've been in the book of Mark for several months and it has been a great "time" for us. As I was reading chapter 9, verses 39 and 40 did that "jump out at you" thing. If you're one of God's kids, you know what I'm talking about. The basic story here finds the disciples specifically John tattling on some unknown fellow who was using Jesus' name to cast out demons. The kicker is this: According to John, this guy was not part of "their" group….and he didn't like that. But Jesus, in true Jesus fashion, shakes things up for these dear guys and for us. He replies, "Don't stop him….anyone who is not against us, is for us".

Before I discuss what the Lord showed me here, I would like to say that if the guy's actually able to cast out demons, I'm figuring he's most likely legit.

Anyway, what God showed me here was powerful and humbling; especially considering my stance on the particular subject to which I felt the spirit was applying these scriptures. When I left "church", I was hurt, very hurt. I had pretty much decided that everything about "church" was evil and most believers were blind to that fact or just didn't care…which made me even angrier. "Church" was broken, and I wanted to see change, big change. So, I took it upon myself to explain to the world why this thing we call "church", was really nothing more than a shallow, twisted remnant of what God had once called "His body". The "church" no longer smelled or looked anything like Jesus and had little to offer a lost and dying world. It was all about committees, hoop jumping, and control. I was indignant. I was frustrated…..

And I was wrong. Of course, I didn't really see that at the time.

Yes, there are problems and abuse galore that goes on in churches everywhere. Some are worse than others, but all are broken in some way. Why? Well, get a group of people together, large or small, and there's bound to be trouble. Again, why? Because we all have some brokenness within our lives, which means whatever we're a part of is going to be flawed. Still, Jesus said that even a cup of water given in His name counts. So, if even the smallest acts of love and kindness count, who am I to throw stones at anyone who is at least trying to serve God? Answer: I have no right.

If God loves His children and holds their smallest acts of service in His name dear, even if it's inundated with messed up junk, how can I say it has no worth. Again, I have no right and there is no justification for it. God loved me when I was at my worst, how can I refuse love or discount the efforts of anyone due to differing opinions?

At the end of the day, anyone, regardless of how they worship, where they worship, or with whom they choose to worship, anyone that is not against for us. If you name Jesus as your Savior, you and I are family in the deepest sense. When I think of Jesus' command to "love one another", I am reminded that there are no prerequisites to that command. It is simple, and quite clear. Love each other…that's it. That means I cannot judge you, nor can you me. I don't think we have to agree on everything for I know we never will, but we must love each other.

Friends it has been over three years since my family and I left "church". We have endured, but I can assure you there have been many rough times for us. When you attend a church, it is honestly fairly easy. You basically know how things work and what to do. Once you leave those four walls, things can get really confusing. No one is there to say, "Here's how this works" and at times, there seems to be far more questions than there could ever be answers to. Still, God is faithful and we remain in His hands.

As I write this, there is a deep longing within me to repent before the Lord. I cannot tell you how long it has been since I really felt in step with Him. It's not that I didn't want to be, but it's easy to get lost. I deeply want to love and serve Him however He chooses, but it is as I said "confusing". My heart has really been challenged lately and I feel a longing for Jesus like I haven't felt in a long time.

Also, we need people in our lives and that's something we (Terri and I) agree on. How that happens or what it is supposed to look like is beyond me. I don't think we are being led to any church, but we know we must be more intentional about developing and maintaining relationships. Honestly, I don't know what to do but to just seek my Father's face and pray He lead this family.

In closing, please know that I still have a lot more questions than answers, but I do know one thing, I am called to love. Past that…who knows?

If you are reading this, PLEASE, PLEASE pray for us and know that you are loved and appreciated regardless of where you are.


Friday, February 22, 2013

The Rich Become Poor, and the Poor Become..."Poorer"

The following little gem was posted by my good friend Scott on Facebook.  I snagged it quick and decided it was something every American should consider.  No it has nothing to do with religion, but it does focus on an important concept that apparently our president and most Americans willfully ignore. 

Leveling the playing field for the benefit of a few extinguishes the passion to play the game for all.

I'm not really sure who wrote the article.  The picture mentioned Steve Forbes.  Regardless, enjoy this nugget of wisdom and if you have a thought, feel free to share it!

An economics professor at a local college made a statement that he had never failed a single student before, but had recently failed an entire class. That class... had insisted that Obama's socialism worked and that no one would be poor and no one would be rich, a great equalizer.

The professor then said, "OK, we will have an experiment in this class on Obama's plan".. All grades will be averaged and everyone will receive the same grade so no one will fail and no one will receive an A.... (substituting grades for dollars - something closer to home and more readily understood by all).

After the first test, the grades were averaged and everyone got a B. The students who studied hard were upset and the students who studied little were happy. As the second test rolled around, the students who studied little had studied even less and the ones who studied hard decided they wanted a free ride too so they studied little.

The second test average was a D! No one was happy.

When the 3rd test rolled around, the average was an F.

As the tests proceeded, the scores never increased as bickering, blame and name-calling all resulted in hard feelings and no one would study for the benefit of anyone else.

To their great surprise, ALL FAILED and the professor told them that socialism would also ultimately fail because when the reward is great, the effort to succeed is great, but when government takes all the reward away, no one will try or want to succeed. Could not be any simpler than that. (Please pass this on) These are possibly the 5 best sentences you'll ever read and all applicable to this experiment:

1. You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity.

2. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving.

3. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else.

4. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it!

5. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that is the beginning of the end of any nation.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Top Ten Reasons to Discipline Your Kid


  1. They deserve it. Every kid does junk every day, all the time. Therefore, they always deserve it.
  2. They need it. A child's brain will not develop properly without discipline. There is a connection between their rear and their brain. The rear needs pain to stimulate the brain. This is a fact!
  3. They want it. This fact is proven each and every day. Children know that doing dumb things will bring punishment, yet they continually do dumb things. Therefore, one must reason that children want to be punished.
  4. You need it. This one is a no brainer. Want some peace? Discipline your kid. By the way, saying, "If you do that one more time…." is worthless. Kids know better. If you're dumb enough to make that statement once, they know you'll most likely make it again. Lower the boom and be done with it! Peace is not overrated.
  5. Prophecy must be fulfilled. Your parents told you you'd pay for your own stupidity one day. You had children and soon found that the unspeakable torment your parents spoke of was indeed a reality. Your stupidity was rewarded with suffering and now you too must deal out swift justice coupled with words of doom spoken over your own child's future as a parent.
  6. Teachers will thank you. You do not want your child to be "that kid" in their class at school. You know, the kid who the teacher prays will move each and every day, but never does. Punish your kid and their teacher will sing your praises.
  7. Grandparents won't, so you must. Everyone knows grandparents love their grandkids more than their own children. When kids visit the grandparents, they are allowed to act like complete idiots. Only a rousing round of sweet discipline can ever hope to restore balance to your child's foolish heart.
  8. Your house will thank you. Your house longs to be clean. Unfortunately, your children work overtime to subvert that longing. Whacking your kid with the belt is effective, but cleaning toilets and scrubbing floors can also be effective forms of discipline. Your house works hard to keep you warm, safe, and dry. Your kids dirty up the joint. Make them clean it!
  9. Your wallet will thank you. The great thing about grounding a child is that they are banned from all activities including those that burn up your hard earned cash. A stationary kid is cheaper to maintain. So, ground that little sucker. A fat wallet is a happy wallet.
  10. The world will thank you. The world has more than enough delinquents running loose out there. Every kid has the potential to be a force for good or evil. Failing to discipline your kid conveys the idea that it's okay to act like a fool. I don't know about you, but I think I could live the rest of my life without another run-in with some idiot at Wal-Mart, the ball field, or driving down the interstate. Do the world a favor. Drive the stupidity out of your kid before they drive the rest of us insane.