Wednesday, September 22, 2010

God Loves YOU Trucking!

A month ago I was finding myself leaning more on the side of "worrier" than a "whatever." I had visited with my dad on a Friday and he was not good after suffering yet another stroke. I was not sure if he was going to pull through this one. I felt my insides starting to get tense with worry.
The next day my wife Loreen went with me to the hospital to visit dad. He was still in the fog of the stroke. As we left and began our drive home on I-4 East I talked with her how I was feeling.
All of a sudden I told her to get out the camera and take a picture. The picture I had her take was the one above!
Here was this huge flat bed truck hauling a load of a tiny Tonka dump truck. I sensed God showing me a lesson about my worried heart and soul:

"Ken, you are looking at your worries as if they are huge and weighing you down. They can if you continue to try to carry the load on your own. However, if you give your load of worries, stressors and anxieties to me it is like this semi pulling this tiny Tonka truck. I got it. Stop worrying and start transferring the load over to me!" ---God

As I went to pass the truck Loreen shouted at me with such enthusiasm the question, "Did you see the name of the trucking company on the side of the cab of the truck?" I didn't see it because I was focusing on the road ahead, usually a good idea when passing a semi! The name of the trucking company was: "God Loves YOU trucking!"
I got it! I knew then and there that no matter how big my load of worries may get I can transfer my load, through prayer, to "God Loves YOU trucking!"
(Read Lamentations 3:28-30 MSG & Philippians 4:6,7 MSG)

"God Loves YOU trucking" is ready to pick up your load!

Till the next cup of java from the backporch!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Heaven right here!

It was a first for me in ministry. Performing a memorial service at a saloon.

Froggy's Saloon, located on the famous Main Street of Bike Week Daytona, is only one block from our church...but it might as well be worlds apart. However, on a Saturday afternoon the two worlds came together under one outdoor auditorium. I was asked to do the service for the family and friends of Russell Buchanan, a security bouncer for 12 years at Froggy's, who tragically died in a motorcycle accident a few weeks before.

Two worlds came together to find "heaven right here." Two by David...the 23rd Psalm with a bikers twist coupled with Lynard Skynard's, "Hell or Heaven." In the song, "Hell or Heaven" it talks about making a choice on how you will live on earth and to "find heaven right here." I challenged the over 125 family and friends to find "heaven right here" as they remembered and celebrated their friend, Russell's life.

People shared with me for a couple of hours afterwards, while the band played and the beverages and food line flowed, how special this time was for them. Big biker guys with teary eyes..."heaven right here." A dozen cross necklaces shared..."heaven right here." People looking for a church that is real and not judgemental or religious..."heaven right here."

It was a great celebration of two worlds coming together that day to find "heaven right here." I am planning to spend some time at Froggy's getting to know the people and simply build a relationship of respect. I hope to continue to find "heaven right here" as our two worlds come together as one.

Where is God guiding you in finding "heaven right here?"

Until the next cup of java from the backporch of life....

Thursday, June 17, 2010

It was an awesome outreach cookout and concert...for no matter who!
150+ people were fed at the cookout...120 stayed for the awesome "PAID" youth concert!
A friend of mine walked out before the concert and commented on how few cars were in the lot but there were so many people at the cookout. Then we turned to the back porch and saw all the bikes! No matter who...walker, bicycler, car driver...all gathered to share food and be reminded in music of God's love through Jesus who "PAID" for our sins and gives us new matter who.
The next day, a homeless friend gave me the following poem he felt inspired to write.
He Love You!
It's amazing and incredible but it is as true as it can be,
God loves and understands us all and that means you and me.
His grace is all sufficient for both the young and the old,
For the lonely and the timid for the brash and the bold.
His love knows NO exceptions
No matter who or what you are, your name has been included.
And no matter what your past has been,
Trust God to understand.
And no matter what your problem is
Just place it in his hand.
For in all of our unloveliness this Great God loves us still,
He loved us since the world began and whats more, He always will!
No matter who you are or where you are His love is there for you..."PAID" in full.
Now you are to go and be in debt to show His love to matter who!
Till the next cup of java on the backporch...

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

When The Ministered To Minister
A couple of weeks ago during our Wednesday Outreach Ministries, I was helping out with the food distribution when a young man came up to me and wanted to talk. He thanked me for the food and all that the church was doing in the community.
He then shared with me that he has AIDS. He has had it for over 7 years and he is needing help.
I listened, as I also scrambled in my mind where to direct the young man, who today's society may see as, a "leper," an outcast.
As I was trying to come up with an answer God came up with His answer.
I saw riding up to the backporch on her bicycle to get her bag of groceries a lady I have talked to in the past. She has AIDS. She knows the local resources and support groups in the community. I asked her if she would be willing to talk with the young man about the resources she knew of in our area.
She agreed and I left them alone to let her share hope and comfort with a fellow sufferer. After they were done, I went up to the lady and thanked her for helping the young man. She turned to me with teary eyes and thanked me for giving her a chance to minister instead of always being ministered to.
It was then that I realized how powerful it is in our lives, and the life of the church, when God brings His answers and the ministered to get to minister. God takes us through our sufferings and struggles so that one day, after we have been ministered to, we will be able to minister to others.
"He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When others are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us." II Corinthians 1:4 NLT
How pleased our Heavenly Father must be when He witnesses the ministered to ministering to one another.
Who will God use you to minister to?
Till the next cup of java...

Monday, April 26, 2010

Tun-tun's two-wheeler

Tun-tun is 4 years old. He is wearing a smile soooo big because of his new two-wheeler.

He has no idea who it was that blessed him with his new ride. A 7 year old in another state has not met the boy who has his old bike.

Tun-tun is the recipient of another's unconditional love!
A 60 plus year old was blessed with his "new" 2 wheeler. He has been cruising the beach and the streets with a new found freedom. His bike was a throw away that was restored by another church member. He is a recipient of someone's unconditional love!

There is a lot of that going on from the backporch of this church. People are blessing others they don't even know or may never meet with clothing, food, utility assistance, a cup of coffee and respect. I am seeing more and more smiles as big as Tun-tun's because people are understanding the idea of giving to others the love Jesus has given to them...unconditional!

Who will you bring a "Tun-tun" smile to because of your gift of uncondtional love. It can be a kind word, a listening ear, a practical need or even a two-wheeler!
"My dear children, let's not just talk about love; let's practice real love."
(I John 3:18 Msg)

This love reaches all ages and comes from all kinds of people!

It never gets old watching a "Tun-tun" smile come across a person's face who has experienced the reality of Jesus' love.

Till the next cup of java from the backporch...

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Resurrection Red Revolution!

It is the week after Easter! For most it is a time of reflection of the past week's celebration. For the disciples it was a time of revolution. The Holy Spirit came and empowered them to take on their world for the resurrected Messiah!
The resurrection of Jesus caused a revolution that rocked the world then and continues on today!
Has the resurrected Jesus "revolutionized" your life?
The spray painted heart was not a work of vandalism on the fence at the church. I actually did it during our Good Friday cookout and worship service on the back parking lot. It is a visible reminder to us all that we are to take the love of Jesus to the community. We handed out 150 cross necklaces and challenged the people to "paint our town red" with the love of Jesus. (Go to youtube and listen to Delirious "paint the town red" video)

The resurrection red revolution is happening! There is a sense of urgency. Don't get comfortable. Don't get individualized on yourself. Forget yourself long enough to serve others.
Let your main attraction be Jesus and His word and not the distractions of this world.

How is your life being revolutionized by Jesus?
How will you paint your town red with the love of Jesus?
Has your life been "revolutionized" by the resurrected Jesus?

Till the next cup of java from the backporch...

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Holy Week SWAT team!

It was the week before Holy Week as I sat on the backporch of the church. I looked across the parking lot and saw the heavily armored car and men getting ready to head out in search of some individual. The police S.W.A.T. team were gearing up to do a raid somewhere in the community. About an hour later they came back and dispersed.

I got to thinking about that first Holy Week and the SWAT team involved. It was not a heavily armored vehicle but a donkey. The team that went out was a betraying friend and some soldiers. The rest of the followers ran in fear. Jesus was beaten up pretty good and then falsely tried and accused. He carried on his shoulders what would hold his lifeless crucified body.

The next SWAT team that would venture out on that Sunday sunrise was a group of women. They were in search of an individual...Jesus. They didn't find him at his last known address. He was missing...gone!!! He turned himself in to the fearful followers later at an upper room.

The SWAT team of Holy Week found their individual! A resurrected Savior!!!
You and I are now a part of that Holy Week SWAT team. We are geared up with the grace and love of Jesus searching individuals who are lost and need to meet him. We don't barge down doors but meet them where they are and show Jesus' love.

Who are you searching for who is searching for Jesus?'s time to gear up and go S.erve W.ith A.ction and T.ruth our resurrected Savior!

Till the next cup of java from the backporch...

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

How does your garden grow?

From the backporch of my house this is the view of our garden. What you see are hearty collard green plants that survived the frigid Florida winter this year! They have continued to produce inspite of a difficult and challenging environment. This proves that collards are God's choice of veggies!!!

What you don't see in the picture are zucchini, eggplant and green bean seeds that have yet to germinate and break through the soil. I am doing my part: preparing the soil by clearing it of weeds and adding "miracle grow" dirt...with sore muscles to prove it. I planted and daily I am watering. God's part: the growing!

How is your garden growing? What? You don't have a garden! I want to challenge you to at least buy a tomato plant and put it in a bucket or the ground. Gardening is a daily reminder to me of God's growing in our lives and our planting spiritual seeds in the lives of "gardens" in our daily lives.

Paul encouraged the Galatians in their "gardening of lives." Read Galatians 6:7-10.
We harvest what we plant...the Spirit reaps eternal life...don't get tired doing will reap a great good to all people! There is God's garden growing in "miracle souls!" We each are challenged to having that kind of garden.

"Mary, Mary quite contrary, how does your garden grow?"
My friend, my friend, quite extraordinary, how does your garden grow?

Until the next cup of java from the backporch...

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Two Tents of Compassion

The full bearded stranger walked in from the backporch on a cold Sunday morning for a cup of java. Someone came outside to tell me he wanted to talk to "the pastor." I refilled my cup of java and sat down at the table with Luke to hear his story.

Eight years ago he walked away from a life of drug and alcohol addiction. He sold all he had and hit the streets to minister to the homeless and addicts. He was wanting $36 to buy a tent so he could minister to the homeless west of town.

I told him I don't give out cash. I did tell him that if he was willing to stay through the service I would seek God out in what to do to help him get a tent.
He stayed...sat in the back of the balcony with his friend Dan...I prayed and listened...preached on compassion...after the message felt led to get Luke his tent... publicly held Luke accountable to bring back a receipt...he agreed...challenged the people to give $1 or whatever to the tent cause...after the service the altar had some money on it.

There was not enough raised to meet the one tent challenge. Instead, the compassionate people of the church contributed enough funds for TWO TENTS, provisions and campground fees for two weeks!!!

I was humbled: to meet a man of sacrificial compassion like Luke, to serve a church with such a compassionate heart...Compassionate Community UMC is our new name!

I am challenged to be more compassionate each day in simple ways. What act of compassion have you done for someone today?

Till the next cup of java from the backporch...

Thursday, March 4, 2010

100 Cans of Compassion!

Each year at the school where my wife, Loreen, teaches the children are required to complete a "100 Day Project." As they enter the 100th day of school the children must put together a project that incorporates 100 items.

Some of the children put 100 stickers on a poster board or put take 100 pieces of Legos to make a creation. There was one "100 Day Project" that stood out among all the others. A second grader, who was in my wife's class last year, decided that he would collect 100 cans of food! He went to his family and friends and collected 100 cans of food to give to Ms. Loreen's church's food pantry!

This second grader, accompanied by his parents came to worship last week with his "100 Cans of Compassion!" The church applauded him and after the service he was able to go to the food pantry and stock the shelves with his 100 cans of compassion.

Some of us feel we can't do anything of great significance when it comes to compassion so we don't. This 2nd grader's heart of compassion spoke so loudly the words of Mother Teresa:
"We can not do great things, only small things with great love. It is not how much you do but how much love you put into doing it!"

Go out today and start small and show compassion! Take on the challenge...the 100 day challenge to show compassion to others in small ways but with the great love of Jesus!

Till the next cup of java from the backporch...

Thursday, February 25, 2010


From the view from the backporch things are happening because "company is coming!" New mulch was spread in the flower beds. Bushes were trimmed. Directional signs for parking, food, and restrooms are being placed. Who is the company? Thousands of bikers for the annual Daytona Beach Bike Week! The backporch is being transformed into a food court and a great viewing place for watching hundreds of bikers park...($2 a tire!) in the church parking lot.
Company is coming and we are getting the place looking great!

When you know company is coming to visit you at your house you do your best to get the place looking good. Pick up dirty clothes, vacuum, dust, clean and get groceries for a fine meal for your guests.

I am trying to learn that each day "company is coming!" His name is Jesus. How am I getting ready for Him each day? What am I offering Him?

Moses told Aaron that they were to offer the "best and holiest" sacrifices to God. (Numbers 18:29) That was to be God's portion!

What portion of my daily livng am I offering to God? Am I offering my "best and holiest" to God? Or is God getting mediocre,leftovers and half-heartedness? Company is coming! Jesus is coming!
Will He find me daily offering my "best and holiest?"
Till the next cup of java from the backporch...

Monday, February 22, 2010

Monday Morning Blues

I was only an hour into my Monday when I was told there was a man outside who wanted to end his life! I walked out of my office to meet a 62 year old man who was ready to call it quits. No family who wanted him. He had no place to live and wouldn't get his ssi check for another week and a half. He had walked around all night and at one point was walking over the highrise bridge and came close to jumping. I listened. He poured out his heart as I poured him a cup of coffee. I was able to get him to go and seek help. I gave him the name of the crisis service and address and phone number. I gave him a bus pass. I then gave him my cross necklace as a reminder that the One who gave his life for you will not leave you or walk out on you. His face had changed from one of blues to one of hope.

Monday Morning blues come around any day of the week. When you have them or someone comes knocking on the door of your life...find someone who will listen, listen to someone...pour a cup of coffee and sacrifice some of your time with them and offer them your source of hope...Jesus!
"The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit." Psalm 34:18NIV

My friends you and I are the ears, eyes, hands and vessels of the hope which is ours in Jesus to those who are experiencing the Monday Morning Blues!

Till the next cup of java from the backporch...

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Holy Ground

I have discovered that you don't need a burning bush, a sea splitting in two, or even a mountain top moment to find "holy ground." The backporch of Community UMC in Daytona Beach has become "holy ground." Lives have been welcomed from all alleys and avenues of life. Lives have been challenged and changed. God has been present on such a common ground. Isn't that what really makes ground holy? Not you or me but God. No matter where you are standing or sitting or living life it can be "holy ground." This backporch on a back parking lot leading to a back alley, across from a police substation is "holy ground." I want to share with you from this "holy ground" and other common grounds; God meeting people and showing His love to them. I, like Moses, am amazed that I get to be in the presence of such an awesome God and to learn from His people who stop by and share a cup of coffee or lunch with me on this "holy ground." Oh, by the way, this holy ground is not "inside" the walls of the church!
Till the next cup of java from the backporch...