Thursday, October 8, 2009

Blog Hiatus

Just wanted everyone to know that I am going to take a break from the blogging world for a while. Although I enjoy blogging and hope to return, right now there is no definite target date. I appreciate all those who have taken time to read. Thanks for all the feedback through my months of blogging what God has been doing in my world. You’re a blessing.

"For our email subscribers, please visit Ken's full blog page at http://www.pastorkenkelly.com to view previous blogs and many other helpful links."

Monday, September 28, 2009

JOURNEY THROUGH JEREMIAH (2)

Here is part two on my journal chapter by chapter in Jeremiah.

11. Churches today sometimes do what the disobedient people of Judah did. If the sermons hit home a little too hard, they plot, "Let's get rid of the preacher."

12. What preacher can't relate to Jeremiah and share the feelings of "what's the use"? We preach our hearts out and people don't respond.

13. People can turn from sinful lifestyles. But the longer they wait, the less likely it will happen. And God withholds His judgment for only so long.

14. Jeremiah's plea with God is my prayer for CBC--"Don't quit on us! Don't walk out and abandon your glorious Temple."

15. What a great comfort to know that God is at my side, defending and delivering.

16. No matter how bad things may get, this chapter reminds us there there is always hope because God is always in charge.

17. The Sabbath must never be considered as just another day. God has very strong feelings about this.

18. Discrediting preachers is not a new phenomenon.

19. Preachers today think they're breaking new ground when they use a prop or object to illustrate a sermon. Jeremiah was a champion at ojbect lessons. In this chapter, it is a clay pot.

20. Take a look at verses 14-18 and you'll read the words of someone deeply depressed, perhaps even suicidal. But he kept talking to God. And that's the key to pulling out of depression.

21. The anger God displayed against Judah--could He ever display the same level of anger against the church? How angry is He now?

22. Verse 9 explains why God brings judgment on His people--becuase they walked out on His covenant. Today, that is still the reason He brings judgment.

23. Reading this chapter is daunting for preachers. It reminds me how important it is for me to make sure I'm teaching God's words and not my own.

24. Lord, give me a heart to know you--just like you gave your people in exile.

25. 70 years of exile--that's about as measurable of a prophecy as you can get. And it was fulfilled accurately just like the rest of biblical prophecy.



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Thursday, September 24, 2009

JOURNEY THROUGH JEREMIAH (1)

Did you know Jeremiah is the longest book in the Bible? But you thought Psalms was the longest? Count all the words yourself and see. I'm taking Dr. Huey, my seminary OT professor, at his word.

Jeremiah's life and his book are one and the same. We live in very troubling times. What we're going through is nothing new. During these times we like to find wisdom, strength, and help through someone who has been there and who has a biblically-based worldview. Jeremiah is that person.

The main message of the book--If you don't change morally, God will let you crash. In a way Jeremiah was a failure because he didn't receive the results he wanted. But he was a success because he did what he had to do.

Here is my chapter by chapter journal, reading through the Message Bible.

  1. It still amazes me to ponder that God had plans for me long before I was ever born.
  2. It's not a wise thing to walk out on God.
  3. Jeremiah preached a scathing message to Judah and Israel--outright calling their sinful rebellion prostitution--leaving the true God for makeshift gods. Certainly there is a scathing message to today's church as well.
  4. God never goes back on His Word, whether it's about judgment or blessing.
  5. Sometimes God needs to do some pruning of His people to get their attention.
  6. Verse 10 really hit me. God says, "I have something to say. Is anybody listening?" I wonder what He has to say about Chapin Baptist. And are we listening?
  7. A worship center is just a building unless God shows up. And God shows up only where people are willing to do a thorough spring cleaning of their lives.
  8. Oh, that every pastor (me especially) would be heartbroken and grief stricken over the spiritual sickness of His people.
  9. There is one acceptable basis for bragging--that you know God, period.
  10. God loves to be worshipped. It is His very nature to be worshipped. Look at verses 6-7.

More to come from Jeremiah.



"For our email subscribers, please visit Ken's full blog page at http://www.pastorkenkelly.com/ to view previous blogs and many other helpful links."


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Blessed Life

A month or so ago I finished reading The Blessed Life by Robert Morris. My son Kevin gave it to me months ago. He received it at Newspring Church in Anderson where he was attending while living in the upstate. It's an excellent read. Morris, founding pastor of Gateway Church in Southlake, Texas, is now pastor of the New Life Church in Colorado where Ted Haggard served before his moral fall.

The Blessed Life is a book about achieving financial results God's way. It is loaded with biblical teaching and application. If you don't like for people to use the "T" (tithe) word, you better not open this book. But if you really wonder what God says about money, if you really wonder why you may be struggling financially, if you really wonder if God still blesses people financially today, or if you really wonder how you can live a blessed life, then pick up the book and start reading.

I recently gave a copy of the book to Rick Jones, our church administrator. He swallowed it whole, reading it from start to finish in just a few days. Newspring Church and other churches have mass distributed the book to their members as a part of their series of stewardship Sundays.

If you're skeptical about what the Bible teaches, pick up the book and read some of the personal stories coming straight from Morris' personal experiences. The stories will blow you away.

Here are several bullets among hundreds that I could pull from the book to give you a taste.

  • Poor stewards lose resources. Good stewards receive more.
  • We will never see God's miraculous power given to poor stewards.
  • Practically everyone is a cheerful getter. God wants us to be cheerful givers.
  • Giving is not a get-rich-quick scheme; it is a lay-down-your-life challenge.
  • Being blessed means having supernatural power working for you.
  • Tithing means giving to God before you see if you're going to have enough.
  • You reap after you sow.

Once again, The Blessed Life is a great read. Grab a copy and jump in.

"For our email subscribers, please visit Ken's full blog page at http://www.pastorkenkelly.com to view previous blogs and many other helpful links."

Saturday, September 19, 2009

JOURNEY THROUGH 2 PETER

Here is my journal from my read through 2 Peter from the Message Bible.

Chapter 1

  • Greatest invitation I have ever received is the night my pastor Cort Flint invited me to give my life to Christ.

  • The Bible's promises are my tickets to participate fully in the life God has designed for me.

  • God expects every believer to grow to full maturity in Christ.

  • Will the people of CBC be fully equipped to keep moving forward after I retire/die?

Chapter 2

  • If you're a church leader earnestly seeking to follow the will of God in your life and in His church, there will always be those who are out to "get you."

  • God is the one who will bring antagonists to His judgment seat. Let Him do His work His way without trying to be the judge yourself.

  • Just because antagonists are "loudmouths, full of hot air" doesn't mean they aren't dangerous. They are.

Chapter 3

  • God is delaying His final judgment and Christ's return in order to give more people the opportunities to repent. He doesn't want any lost. Nor should we.

  • To establish the new heaven and earth at the end of time, God must get rid of the old.

  • Live as if Jesus is coming back today. In other words, live holy lives.

  • Two things I need to grow in: grace and understanding Jesus Christ.

"For our email subscribers, please visit Ken's full blog page at http://www.pastorkenkelly.com/ to view previous blogs and many other helpful links."


Thursday, September 17, 2009

If You Could Start a Ministry...

We had a great session last night with the young leaders' class Anita and I are facilitating. We watched Jim Mellado's interview with Catherine Rohr from the Leadership Summit. Catherine gave up a lucrative salary in New York to go to Texas to begin Prison Entrepreneurship Program. I've witnessed her testimony twice live and twice on video. I get choked up every time.

After the video I asked the class this question: If money and other factors were no obstacles, what ministry would you like to start? We went around the circle, and it was stirring to hear the responses, many of which were stemming from their own personal experiences. Here are some of them:

  • Sports clinics/coach at Dept. of Juvenile Justice
  • Rehab center for drug addicts
  • Support group for parents who have had children to die
  • Helping women who have been released from prison to get back on their feet
  • Program to help veterans access all the benefits that are available to them
  • Helping young couples with financial planning and budgeting

I should have written them all down. The neat thing about this discussion is that I could tell each of them was feeling a stir in their hearts. And they kept going back to the first week's talk on holy discontent. It is evident God is moving in their lives and that transformation is taking place.

This class is one of the big highlights of my week.

"For our email subscribers, please visit Ken's full blog page at http://www.pastorkenkelly.com/ to view previous blogs and many other helpful links."

Friday, September 11, 2009

Do You Have "IT"?

In our leadership class Wednesday night, we watched a message by Craig Groeschel titled "IT." "IT" really struck a chord. We've all been to churches that had "IT"; and we've been to churches that don't have "IT." In the message Groeschel identifies four things that are common in churches that have "IT."

  1. They have laser focus. To reach people no one is reaching, we must do what no one else is doing. And to do what no one else is doing means that we cannot do what everyone else is doing.

  2. They see opportunities where others see obstacles. You have everything you need to do what God wants you to do.

  3. They are willing to fail where others choose to play it safe. What has God called you to do that you're afraid to attempt?

  4. They are led by people who have it. It is easy to become a full-time pastor and part time follower of Jesus. It is time to let God break your heart again.

If you don't have "IT" what are you going to do to get it?

Great discussion after the video. We talked on a personal level (Do I have "IT"?) and we talked on the church level (Does CBC have "IT"?). I see God working in the lives of these young, emerging leaders. I love it!



"For our email subscribers, please visit Ken's full blog page at http://www.pastorkenkelly.com/ to view previous blogs and many other helpful links."