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March 2008 entries

Casting a Thinner Shadow

Recently people have been asking me what kind of weight loss system I am on. I'm glad they have noticed. Usually I just get the gentle pat on the stomach and hear, "Eating too much fried chicken, are you?" So it's nice to know that people also notice when the waistline is becoming more concave than convex. (Go look it up) I have actually gone down almost 4 inches in my waist and my face is not nearly so round as it used to be. It's bad when folks ask if you are Charlie Brown all grown up. 

How much weight have I lost? I don't know. I try to stay as far away from scales as Clark Kent stays from kryptonite. To me weight is irrelevant. It's how you feel that's important and I feel much better. My clothes don't fit well anymore and that's alright with me. I am having to get both shirts and pants in smaller sizes. I am even able to buy fitted shirts again. I could wear them before as long as I didn't want to breathe.  Unlike most men, I actually like to buy clothes. It probably stems from my early adult experience of managing department stores. I have prepared displays for everything from men's dress shirts to women's intimate apparel. (Don't even go there in your mind)

So back to the question people are asking, "How have you lost the weight?" Well, I didn't join a club or a group. Organizations that help you lose weight are fine if you need the support. It's just not something I need. I need a goal and my goal is to feel better and look better. So here goes; I eat only lean protein (grilled or baked chicken and fish as well as grilled red meat), no sweetened drinks (Splenda is great), no fried foods (they make baked chips now that are also good), lots of fruits and veggies, whole grain breads, and finally I allow myself one dessert a week. That's it. And pay more attention to how your clothes feel than stepping on the scales everyday. Scales can be motivating when their turning left, but when they take a right turn it's like a blow to the mid-section. Don't put yourself through such agony. They sell clothes in inches not pounds!

I have a belief that balance is a great thing in every part of our lives. When we get out of balance we suffer mentally, physically and spiritually. I was out of balance in my eating. Because of my busy schedule (and I know I'm not alone in that respect) I tend to get fast food. Fast food is mostly bad food. (Read fried here) I have discovered that Mickey D's has some great salads and even a decent fruit and yogurt parfait. Wendy's has some great salads and a great grilled chicken sandwich with honey mustard and wheat bread. Subway is great if you leave off the cheese and mayo. (The meatball sub goes without saying as a forbidden food) Arby's has a great turkey sandwich and Zaxby's blackened bleau (sp?) salad is great just lay off the bread.

God does not want us to starve. Eat regularly and eat plenty as long as it is not full of fat or sugars. I have actually eaten more and more often as I have been taking off the inches. Remember, the body is the temple of the Holy Spirit for every Christ follower. It's important we take care of His dwelling place.

Casting a thinner shadow,

Pastor Ken    


PRAISE REPORT

Hey all of you out there. I am sorry I haven't written in a while, but getting ready for Easter around here is a time consuming task. It is the day after Easter and I can report how things went. THEY WERE OUTSTANDING!

In 4 services we had approximately 3,000 people and as many as 1,000 were visitors. Now the amazing news. Thirty six of those visitors decided to join the fellowship at DBBC and that does not include the 22 who gave their lives to Christ as first-time believers. Can somebody say AMEN! News like that makes all the hard work and expenses worth it.

I'll get back with you soon on some other things, but none more important than what God did yesterday.

In His Shadow,

PAstor Ken


Monday Morning Ramblings

Good Monday morning to all. I'm up early because I could not sleep. Well, early for Monday anyways. I slept well as long as the Alka-Seltzer Plus Nighttime was doing its thing. When it gave up I got up. I usually get excited this time of year, but this year is even better. By this time of year I mean Easter and the week leading up to it. I love to share the gospel with a crowd and the crowd is at its greatest this weekend.

This year is more exciting because of what God is already doing down at the Dallas Bay campus. We have baptized over 40 in the last two weeks. They have been every age and gender. Yesterday was particularly rewarding just because of the attitude of the candidates. Young and old were smiling from ear to ear and excited about being baptized. I wish you could bottle that excitement and enthusiasm and give doses of it to members of the frozen chosen. One lady was just glowing and said that she was more nervous and excited this time than the first time she was ever baptized. Her testimony was like many I meet who are not certain of their relationship with Christ and who just want to nail it down. My wife and I were invited to a lunch celebrating the baptism of the youngest daughter of friends of ours. Her mother had allowed her to use a bigger and different glass than the rest of the family for this special occasion. Still another had invited more than 20 friends and family to celebrate the day with her. After all 10 baptisms were completed in the second service, the crowd which flowed out into the overflow for the second week in a row, broke out into applause.

To top it all, a good friend of mine from years back was there to witness the baptism of a friend's child. Gary was the pastor of a sister church years ago when Dallas Bay was in its infancy. He left the pastorate to become a missionary to Spain and later returned to the states to finish his doctorate. He expressed how gratifying it was to see the Lord's blessings on DBBC and how much he loved the worship.

Now starts another big week. This is Easter week. Starting with communion on Thursday (Maundy Thursday) and culminating with 4 live and two remote services on Sunday. I expect to share the gospel with at least 4,000 people this week. Once again we are going to give the occasional church goer something they do not expect. The reason I mention this a comment made recently by a pastor friend I admire and love very much. He said they do not do anything differently for Easter. He doesn't change his subject matter or manner for the morning message. I understand, because he wants people to see what his church is like any Sunday of the year. I have chosen to take another strategy. Sunday will be interactive with the message in three parts interspersed throughout the hour with music and drama. I want once-a-year guest to be on he edge of their seat. I want them to leave saying, "I didn't know church could be this way."

Finally, if I were being totally honest, all my excitement is not of the spiritual nature. Turkey season is less than two weeks away and I trade the Yukon in on a Jeep today. Wow, confession is good for the soul. I'll write again soon. See ya around the throne.

Pastor Ken         


More Great Stories Keep Coming In

More than a week has passed since we had 4 members of Team Impact at DBBC sharing their testimony and breaking things. Someone told me a great story that happened to them on the last night of the crusade.

They were sitting in the main room as it was filling up fast. There were a couple of empty seats next to this person left when a young lady sat down and asked if they were being saved. This person said no, but that she should take them if she wanted to because they would be taken shortly given the stream of people coming into the room. She sat down and asked what this was all about. A strange question this person though given that she was there and there early. She said that she was only there because her boyfriend had told her about these guys who came into their gym and tore a phone book in half.

This person said primarily the men would bend, break and tear things for a while and then they would share their testimony. The girl asked, "You mean preach?" "Yeah", my friend said. The girl then explained that she was Catholic and wasn't to happy to be preached to in a Baptist church. They exchanged some dialog about Catholics and Baptists and decided that both had some misconceptions about the other. By this time the boyfriend had arrived and the conversation was over.

Near the end of the program the leader of Team Impact had made a compelling case for accepting Christ and called people to come forward to express their decision publicly. I know at this point you expect me to say that the girl stood and come forward. No, that would be too predictable. She did not go forward. However, the speaker decided to do something that he did not always do. He asked the people who did not come forward but still wanted to express their faith in Christ to turn to someone next to them and tell them. The girl looked at my friend and she said, "I have asked Christ to be my Savior." She began to cry. That's amazing. God knows how to get people at the right place and the right time. Who would ever thought that tearing a phone book in half would lead to someone following Christ.

I've got to go. I'm looking for my grip strengtheners. I feel like sharing Christ.

In His Big Shadow,

Pastor Ken         


Two More Truths Concerning The Three Amigos

Sorry about splitting these insights with another entry, but I had to brag on the Lord for what He did last week at DBBC.

Now back to the three amigos: Confidants, Constituents and Comrades. If you don't know what these three relationships mean please look back a couple of blogs to "The Three Amigos." Here are two more truths that may keep you out of hot water.

Truth #3: Don't try to move a person from one category to another. A constituent is not going to become enamored with you over time. These are issue driven people. They may be a confidant in someone else's life, but not yours. The trouble is we weight the three different categories in our minds with more or less importance. They aren't. While we may enjoy people who love us for who we are and not just what we stand for, these people may cause us to become self-absorbed and less driven. We all like to bask in someone's love and admiration, but God hasn't left us hear for that purpose. He has business for us to do and constituents and comrades will see that you remember your purpose. You need confidants in your circle of friends because they will love and accept you even when you fail. The others will at best be critical if not condemning.

Truth #4: Don't run after anyone. There are seasons in everyone's life. There are times when God knows you need more of one category of associates than the others. There are times when you have much to accomplish and times when you need encouragement. God orchestrates these time in our lives. Sometimes the Lord will remove someone from your life for a while because they are not what you need in that season of your life. Don't question His wisdom. Don't spend you life running after people who are MIA. Don't get me wrong, it is never OK to be insensitive or uncaring. If you have wronged someone God wants you to mend that fence to the best of your ability. However, God will surround you with people that complement this particular time in your life. We should continually seek after Him and as we do He will bring the right people into our lives. When we begin to seek after people our priorities become are scrambled and our lives will suffer.

I was reading the other day and a verse jumped out at me concerning these three categories of people. Herod and Pilate were rival Roman politicians. There was no love between them.They were both trying to climb the ladder of success. One event, however, brought them together. Their common enemy was Jesus. After Jesus spent some time before them both the Bible says:

11 Then Herod, with his men of war, treated Him with contempt and mocked Him, arrayed Him in a gorgeous robe, and sent Him back to Pilate. 12 That very day Pilate and Herod became friends with each other, for previously they had been at enmity with each other. Luke 23:11-12

I'm sure they were not confidants, but they were comrades because they had a common goal. To rid the world of Jesus. Hmmm, I wonder how they are getting along now?

Just thinkin',

Pastor Ken


Results from A Week with Team Impact

Let me interrupt the lessons learned from "The Three Amigos" to share some amazing news. Most of you know who read this blog (now over 10,000 hits in the last year) that I am the senior pastor of a church just outside Chattanooga, Tennessee. Over the last 5 days we have had a team of athletes called "Team Impact" to speak in schools during the day and in our assemblies at night. While half of the program each night was about breaking boards, bricks and bones, the other was a strong gospel presentation with personal testimonies from each of the guys. Over the five nights there were 247 first time decisions to become followers of Christ and 49 others who made re commitments of their faith. That is the greatest number of decisions in the church's history. Somebody needs to say hallelujah!