Ramblings from Pastor Ken

As the title says, these posts are ramblings from Pastor Ken. They can be movie comments, interesting books to read, local musicians, or simply observations of how God works in our day to day.

“Bad Jokes and Good Quotes” June 7, 2020

Posted by on Jun 9, 2020 in Ramblings from Pastor Ken

Notes from the pastor ~    “’Understanding’ art is like having a sense of humour- if you don’t have one, no amount of      explanation is going to make you laugh.” ~ Michael Craig-Martin Jokes and quotes – I have to admit, I’m a sucker for both of them. Now, I’ll leave it to the experts to analyze why that is so, but let’s just say that these two things tickle my fancy; always have, always will. If you don’t count “dirty” and “clean,” then we could say that jokes come in two categories – good jokes and bad jokes. Good humor is clever, it’s original, and it always speaks to real life. Bad jokes, on the other hand, are punny, they are nonsensical, they are silly, and sometimes they are just what we need. To say that we live in a stressful time is an understatement. We are being challenged as a society, as a nation, and as a denomination. Sometimes we need some relief; something that simply takes our minds off things for a brief moment. Sometimes we have to hear, once more, why the chicken crossed the road. That’s the beauty of it; if conditions are right, even the bad jokes are good. Think “Dad jokes.” Bottom line: if it makes you chuckle, even if you’re rolling your eyes at the time, that’s good stuff. Quotes, on the other hand, are works of art. We all have flashes of brilliance in the course of our lives, but only a select few are able to have their words immortalized for all time. Statesmen, authors, philosophers, even preachers from time to time will share the perfect combination of words that causes the world to stand up and pay attention. Unfortunately, if you asked my kids what great words of wisdom I may have imparted on their young minds, they might reply with something like, “Fair is just a thing that comes to town once a year.” Oh well, not all of us are destined for greatness. My point is, in an effort to understand what is going on in the world today and to understand what causes people to do what they do, I found myself searching for what others have had to say about – understanding. The first quote I came up with was one we have heard before from Robert McCloskey: “I know you think you understand what you thought I said, but I’m not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.” That was no help at all – or was it? I am trying desperately to understand what is going on in the world today. I feel compelled to figure out the core cause of this swirly mess that humanity  has placed on this earth. I’m trying my darndest to understand how the wrongful death of a man in Minnesota...

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“Enough of This Silliness” May 31, 2020 pastor notes

Posted by on Jun 9, 2020 in Ramblings from Pastor Ken

Notes From the Pastor ~ I’ve had enough of this silliness. It has to stop. In the part of town where Margie & I live, Monday is garbage pick up day. Just like clockwork, garbage cans appear from out of nowhere and are lined up like little soldiers on the street awaiting the moment that the trucks come roaring in to empty them out. It happens every week and it’s a sight to behold: tidy, neat, and uniform – that is, until yesterday. From a distance, I thought that someone had jammed a long handled broom into one of the bins and it was sticking up like a flag on a pole. As I drove closer, however, it proved to be something else entirely. What it proved to be – waving in the wind – was a helium Mylar balloon. Can you imagine that? Decorating a garbage can? It’s just silly. I was able to slow down enough to read a big sign that was taped to the top of the container. I couldn’t quite catch it all, but the words, “Thank You” were printed biggest of all. In keeping with the silliness theme, my daughter who lives in New Orleans posted a video clip of an event that had occurred recently. In short, the film was simply a single man with a trumpet standing in the middle of the street playing the greatest version of Happy Birthday I’ve heard in my life. The caption read, “We have the greatest people. Thank you, Kermit! You never know when New Orleans music will pop up.”  And in the words of Mike Delgado, who filmed the event: “It hasn’t all been bad. Here’s the great Kermit Ruffins playing on my street. It made everyone’s day!” But wait – there’s more. Come to think of it, I found myself in front of our neighbor’s house a few weeks ago, along with 3-4 other cars full of folks to wish LuAnn a happy birthday. The silliest part of all is that I decided on a whim that this would be the perfect time to bring my banjo and show off my new found (and non existent) skills as a banjo picker. Silly – just silly. It was so bad that we left LuAnn in tears. So, if there is a point to be made here, let it be that my wish and my prayer for you all is that the stress and the worry of the times we are in may act as a trigger – a trigger to your spirit. It’s my wish that we laugh at the dumb jokes, call for no reason, write letters, drive through town waving palm branches, bake cookies, and mow the grass without asking permission. Now’s the time to be silly now and then. Now’s the time to call upon the Spirit that our God placed...

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Notes From the Pastor ~ May 10, 2020

Posted by on May 13, 2020 in Ramblings from Pastor Ken

Notes From the Pastor ~ About three lifetimes ago, I was captivated by the great notion that I might make a good living by falling timber. The idea of working outside in the fresh air and being my own boss had a certain appeal to someone who has never liked the idea of punching a time card. So I purchased a used chain saw and whatever gear I could get my hands on and ventured forth. I had just enough experience, as they say, to be dangerous but I was young and invincible and undaunted. Things were a little rough at first and I learned early on that I had a lot to learn. Because the salary was based entirely on production, there was a huge incentive to get a lot done in a day. Every mistake and every misstep was a source of frustration. They were not only reminders of my lack of experience, but they also cost me in the form of cold, hard cash. Luckily for me, the contractor paired me up with two old timers: Don & Abbey. These two guys had been at it for eons and the thinking was that I might pick up a few pointers from their vast experience. I didn’t see it that way, however. Every day I would watch them plodding along, cigarettes hanging out of their mouths, and moving at what seemed to me a snail’s pace. I found myself feeling bad for them a little. This is hard work; what a shame that they should have to work this hard – especially at their age. But at the end of every day, when we compared notes, these two old duffers had out -produced me by an embarrassing margin. Every. Single. Day; and it was driving me to contusions. This, of course, inspired me to go even faster …. and therefore, make twice the mistakes. Finally, I could stand it no more. One day as we were fixing to head to town, I just blurted out, “I don’t get it. What am I doing wrong? What’s your secret?” It was Don who spoke with a wry grin the words that I’ve learned to live by: “You’re working too hard,” he said. “You gotta slow down. You only got so many moves in a day – the secret is to make them count.” I never forgot that advice. Years later when I was in charge of crews myself, I became aware of the acronym “IOF” – otherwise known as Idiot On Fire. This rather unkind term was used to describe the new hires that showed up looking to set the world on fire. They smashed and they crashed and were simply a blur of activity. But inevitably, at the end of the day, they usually hadn’t accomplished much besides making a mess. The sad part was that too many...

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Conversations With Noelle Kroese – God Doesn’t Always Walk Us Down the Easy Road

Posted by on Jul 11, 2016 in Ramblings from Pastor Ken

    What can we say? We hear about it, we read about it, but when we actually meet someone who has decided to give up all the comforts of modern day living to follow the path that God has laid out for them, it’s a sobering experience. Such was the case with our time Sunday with Noelle Kroese. Come December, Noelle will be returning to the orphanages of Kenya to help with the meager education system in that war torn country. She has left her employment as an elementary teacher and is selling her home here in McMinnville to follow a calling that, quite frankly, would scare most of us to death. Yet, she is committed. “There are no books and very little supplies,” she said. “Everything we need has to be carried in by hand because the government is so corrupt that they would confiscate everything that might come to us by mail.” And the stories continued: armed guards, political unrest, and corruption at all levels of government. But it is the children that bring her back. “I have to go,” she said. For those who missed Noelle’s visit with us last Sunday, it was an inspiring moment. I am happy to say the Noelle has tentatively agreed to meet with us in late August to present a Power Point presentation and answer any further questions we may have about this incredible journey of faith. Stay tuned for details as they are finalized.   Peace, Pastor...

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Music at the Guthrie Park Community Center

Posted by on Jun 26, 2016 in Ramblings from Pastor Ken

6/26/2016 Last Friday, I sweet talked Margie into taking a trip south of Dallas to the Guthrie Park Community Center. I promised her the opportunity to hear some great music from the local musicians and singers who congregate there every Friday evening at 6:30. To be honest, I had no idea what to expect. I had a feeling that it would be similar to some of the community “jam sessions” I used to attend in southern Ohio and W. Virginia where folks seemed to come out of the woodwork with fiddles, dulcimers, banjos, and who knows what to get together and make music. These sessions often went on for a long time because no one wanted to leave until they had sang every song they knew – and trust me, some of the old timers knew a lot! When we arrived, the music had already begun. The three who led the session were on the stage and before them in a semi circle, were 15-20 folks with every instrument you might imagine. I put my guitar down by the door in hopes that no one had seen me carry it in. I didn’t want to butt in at this point – I wanted to enjoy it. And enjoy it we did! Fiddles, mandolins, banjos, accordions, guitars, and even a tin whistle all joined in for 3 1/2 hours of pure “O, wow — I haven’t heard that song in years.” Next time, I’m going to get brave and join in. I swear it. But first, I’d better brush on the some of those great old songs that I cut my teeth on many years ago. To find out more about events at Guthrie Park visit their website by Googling Guthrie Park Community Center, and maybe we’ll see you there. Blessings,...

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