Saturday, March 26, 2011


by Andrew Cromwell

Japan’s earthquake and tsunami, the global financial crisis, the Aztec end of days in 2012, oil at over $100 a barrel, the Middle East melting down—are we getting close to the end of the world? There is so much anxious talk going on that you would think that we humans like obsessing over things that cause us fear and anxiety.

It happens without fail. Something major happens in the Middle East—a war, an attack on Israel, a dictator makes threats—and someone writes a book about how it fits into the end times plan as laid out in the Book of Revelation. People get worked up and spend time anxiously fretting about what they should do when the next shoe drops and they start stamping “666” on people’s foreheads.

I’m not making light of the Book of Revelation. Not at all. But I do think it is humorous how we have this unfailing tendency towards alarmism and fear-mongering. We spend so much time on “what ifs” when this rarely results in anything positive.

I am not advocating sticking your head in the sand and ignoring major natural and economic disasters. And I am not suggesting that you shouldn’t ever talk about them. But I do believe that instead of focusing on forecasting the future and panicking in the present, we do the thing that God has told us.

Be prepared.

Jesus told His disciples that no one knows when the end of the world is except for Father God. He did say that there are some signs that we are getting closer to the end (see Matthew chapter 24) and in that list are earthquakes and famines and wars. Well, as far as I can tell there seem to be plenty of earthquakes and famines and wars, and maybe they are even getting more frequent.

Jesus’ advice -- get ready! Wise people can read the signs and they make decisions before the panic hits. People that have a plan are always at an advantage in the moment of calamity. What are you going to do if you lose your job? What are you going to do if your house burns down? What are you going to do if an earthquake hits?

Panic won’t help you. Ignoring it won’t help you. And worrying without end that the worst might happen won’t help you. Instead, save some money. Buy some fire insurance. Stock up with some extra bottled water. Don’t panic, prepare yourself.

The pastors of Kings County would love to help you be prepared spiritually for whatever might come your way. Perhaps you should reconnect with God this weekend.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

I Quit

by Tim Howard

Back in the day, a man named David Allan Coe wrote a song which was made famous by a singer named Johnny Paycheck. The song was about the bitterness of a man who worked long and hard with no apparent rewards to show for it. The title was: "Take This Job and Shove It" He evidently reached a point where he couldn’t endure the pressure any longer and finally quit. That may only be a song but it speaks of a reality faced by many of us throughout the journey of life.

Paul the Apostle talks about the pressures he faced and what was true for him can be true for you. He said: “We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed and broken. We are perplexed, but we don’t give up and quit. We are hunted down, but God never abandons us. We get knocked down, but we get up again and keep going.” (2 Corinthians 4: 8-9)

Paul reminds us that pressure comes from many sources. He said: “ We are pressed on every side…” You may face it in a marriage when your mate tries to remake you into what he or she wants you to be. It may come from a job that has downsized and now expects you to pick up the added workload without increasing your income. The sheer responsibilities of paying the bills, walking the dog, fixing the car, cleaning the yard and meeting the day to day necessities can weigh heavily on a person and bring them to the point of contemplating those two words: ‘ I QUIT’

The best news from Paul’s comments is that pressure doesn’t have to break us if we respond to it in God’s strength. It may bend us to the breaking point but it doesn’t have the power to crush us. When we fall under the weight, we can still get up and keep going if we put our trust in God and follow His instructions. Knowing that God is on your side is a key to the resilience and strength needed to face the everyday pressures. He is with you and will not abandon you. You don’t need to quit! You don’t need to give up! The Bible says that, it’s not just my opinion.

Don’t get me wrong! There are some things you should quit. You should quit complaining because it causes you to focus on the negative side of life. You ought to quit making excuses and start following the right path. We all should stop lying, cheating and defrauding our friends. The list goes on… Rodney Dangerfield said he contacted his father to tell him he had stopped smoking. His dad responded by saying: I knew you were a quitter! I laughed as I read that joke but there are some times when we all should be quitters. Wisdom will have to make the judgment call.

You can withstand the pressure that’s designed to hinder your progress. You may be pressed on every side like the Apostle Paul but God is with you. According to Romans 8:32; God can use anything, even pressure for the purpose of shaping and making you into a person of character. If you love God and have responded to His grace, you are a candidate for his transforming work. He says to you: Don’t be conformed to the world by yielding to various pressures. Allow Me to give you a new way of thinking so these pressures will produce something positive in you. If you do, even the greatest pressure can’t make you say: I QUIT!

Saturday, March 12, 2011


by Andrew Cromwell

The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is smaller than what we think. We look at the most successful people and business organizations and believe that they have either been extremely lucky or possess some special talent that puts them ahead of the crowd. And while it is true that some do possess great talent and have experienced good fortune, these are not the people of whom I’m thinking.

Forget all the famous people and the multi-billion dollar organizations. Consider the extraordinary people you know. They are our friends and neighbors whose lives are making a meaningful and significant difference in our community. They look just like us on the outside. They don’t have big salaries and they are not particularly talented. Very often, these people don’t leave a big estate behind them when they die, but they do leave a legacy of changed lives.

What makes these people different? What makes them extraordinary? Well, I believe their secret is that they have simply added something a little “extra” to their ordinary lives. They have decided that they are going to put a little “extra” effort into things. They have dedicated a little “extra” time to things that matter. And they have chosen to have a little “extra” attitude (the positive kind).

The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is nothing more then this little “extra.” A little extra decision to invest in those things that are worthwhile. A little extra choice to focus on that which is positive and life-inspiring. A little extra encouragement given to those all around.

We all would do well to take a lesson from the extraordinary people around us. They remind me of the verse in the Bible in Galatians that says, “So let’s not get tired of doing good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.”

Imagine what would happen if more of us decided that we were going to just invest a little more time and energy into the things that matter—our families, our communities, our marriages. My guess is that we would see a lot more extraordinary things happen.

This weekend, why don’t you consider investing a little “extra” into your relationship with Father God? The pastors in Kings County would love the opportunity to encourage you to move from the ordinary to the extraordinary.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

In The Waiting

by Tim Howard

If you ever see me at a store waiting in the checkout line, don’t get behind me! I’ve not been given the gift from God that enables people to choose the line that will require the shortest amount of time. It doesn’t matter what store I frequent or what time of the day, the result is generally the same. In similar fashion, I am positive that all the slow drivers in Hanford follow me around town whenever I get behind the wheel of my car.

Whether it’s waiting in the checkout aisle or waiting behind an automobile driver who seems to move slower than I prefer, patience is not my strongest suit. That’s unfortunate because waiting is a part of life and there is no escape. I remember this incredible feeling that surfaced in my senior year of High School when I just couldn’t wait until I graduated. Then I couldn’t wait to get into college, I couldn’t wait to get married, I couldn’t wait to have children, the list goes on and on… you are always waiting for something!

Patience is the ability to wait with a positive attitude. It is an old English word that means ‘longsuffering’. One person asked, “How long does one have to suffer?” and someone answered: “Longer than you want.” That says it all! Patience is waiting longer than you want for something to happen.

What we often overlook is the work God is trying to accomplish in us while we are in the waiting process. From His vantage point it is not idle time. It is not a time to twiddle our thumbs or tread water until something changes. It is an opportunity to expose what’s on the inside and deal with our character. When I wait with the wrong attitude, I see frustration, irritation, sometimes anger and intolerance coming to the surface. The waiting doesn’t create these character flaws but reveals them.

God tells us in the book of James, chapter one, that times of waiting will test our faith. Once you pass the test, however, you can move on to greater things. The author puts it this way: “…when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be strong in character and ready for anything.”

Learning to wait is essential. Everything cannot, should not and will not happen NOW or as quickly as you might desire. Instant gratification may be prevalent in our culture but delayed gratification will build character when your attitude is correct.

There is danger in the waiting period. You might be tempted to draw wrong conclusions about God. You may start to doubt His love for you. You may think He has forgotten about your situation. You may even be tempted to take matters into your own hands since He isn’t moving as fast as you would like. Let me assure you God hasn’t forgotten you. He is never late and He always has your best interest in mind.

The next time you are in the waiting process, check out what’s going on internally and take note of what’s coming to the surface. Don’t forget that God is at work in you to develop your character in these times. If you remember this you might even be able to relax and rejoice in the waiting!