Thursday, December 28, 2017
What do we mean by all in? All we have left is Jesus' Outsider Ministries and the Deep Mystery Studio. Challenges with my now former part time income have left us with no other potential sources of income. No, there is not a possibility of unemployment since I have worked as an independent contractor for the last several years. Plans that we had been working on that were meant to gradually replace that income have to be put into effect now with no time for buildup. So, we are all in with ministry and, as we can find opportunity, freelance media production and writing.
Nothing in the current ministry schedule is going to change. Events already on the docket will go forward as planned. However, some changes are going to happen out of shear necessity and we will be looking for additions to it.
Plans were already in place to make this transition. Part of those plans included a conviction that we weren't doing enough ministry in Central Illinois. As we prayed about it, we knew that it wasn't to do more in our church homebase. Rather, I need to get out and start preaching, teaching, and supporting local ministries. It's a bit of a daunting task since I've been working primarily online and out of the area for several years. The only local event we've done was the Sex, Porn, and Freedom conference held back in June of 2016. We need to change that. Not only are we going to organize local events (including one already scheduled), we are going to do more to support and teach at others events.
We have a message. We have a mission. Now, we need to fulfill it. While the lovely bride is still working on her speaking skills and comfort level (it's not natural to her), I will be putting myself out there for pulpit supply, guest speaking, and teaching on our main topics in various events. Of course, with six years of podcast archives available to listen to, my doctrine and views are well known. Whether in person or online, I strive to faithfully preach the Word of God and give glory to our Lord Christ Jesus.
Before you ask, no, the effort to preach locally isn't a financial decision. Making a living from honorariums is pretty far fetched for a local preacher. Sure, there are some big names that can command large fees just to show up and speak a few words. I have no such illusions that I am one of them. Over the years, I've preached for free and I've received some very generous gifts for proclaiming the Word. It's time to proclaim God's Word to all that will listen and trust the Lord for His provision.
We will also be starting fundraising efforts for the upcoming Out of The Shadows Conference. The YouCaring page is already set up but needs some tweaking to be more effective. Look for it to be ready the first of the year. Our current situation means that we will have to raise more money than we had originally planned but not a lot.
If you want more information, drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Monday, December 18, 2017
There are few better times than Christmas to reflect upon the faithfulness of God. If our faith is in someone that cannot be trusted, is our faith in vain? How do we know we can trust God? Copyright Mike Kerby and Jesus' Outsider Ministries
Monday, December 11, 2017
From The Archives 12-21-2015: You've already heard about Jesus' humble birth. You've sang the Christmas carols. You know the story. It's time to hear a different message this Christmas beyond Jesus' being the reason for the season. ©2015 Mike Kerby & Jesus' Outsider Ministries
Tuesday, December 5, 2017
From the Archives (12/22/2014) We talk about putting the Christ back in Christmas all the time. It's a great soundbite and gets likes on Facebook. Maybe we're going about this wrong. Perhaps we need to think more like Simeon and Anna.
Monday, November 27, 2017
There is a new stigma growing in our culture. In a quest to find reasons for acts of great evil, the perpetrators' lives are examined to find any sign of mental illness. Surely none of us have the capacity for such evil, do we? Can there be any consequences for blaming mental illness for shootings, attacks, and other evil? ©2017 Mike Kerby & Jesus' Outsider Ministries
Monday, November 20, 2017
Can gratitude be transformational? Why not! If we're honest, gratitude is something that isn't as common in the U.S. as it used to be. Thanksgiving has been transformed into Turkey Day and one of the biggest shopping days of the year. What have we really lost? ©2017 Mike Kerby & Jesus' Outsider Ministries
Monday, November 13, 2017
How is pornography and sexual sin affecting the church? Deep seated sin is always a hinderance. The next generation has grown a new set of values we must face. The upside is that there is a solution if we are willing to face it. - An Out of The Shadows Conference Tie-In. ©2017 Mike Kerby & Jesus' Outsider Ministries
Monday, November 6, 2017
In the light of this week's shooting at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, TX and other violence and evil in the last few weeks, we cannot ignore the gathering darkness. How can we have any reaction but a cry from a heart wrenched in anguish? ©2017 Mike Kerby & Jesus' Outsider Ministries
Tuesday, October 31, 2017
500 years ago Martin Luther nailed his 95 thesis on the door of Brandenburg Cathedral. In the years since that momentous day, no one can doubt the impact it has had in the world. Do those thesis have anything to tell us today? ©2017 Mike Kerby & Jesus' Outsider Ministries
Monday, October 23, 2017
To Resist or Submit? That is the question that has plagued Christians throughout the centuries. In our current political climate, we seem to be divided along political lines as to whether or not we should submit to the current government. Some are even trying to use Scripture to justify their position or even support for the more extreme and violent elements. What is our relationship to the government supposed to be? ©2017 Mike Kerby & Jesus' Outsider Ministries
Monday, October 16, 2017
Monday, October 9, 2017
"We overestimate how effectively scientific arguments secularize people. It’s not science that’s secularizing Americans — it’s sex." - Prof Mark Regnarus. Is he right? Is it sex that is at the root of the erosion of the Church? ©2017 Mike Kerby & Jesus' Outsider Ministries
Monday, October 2, 2017
How much do we get in the way when trying to lead someone to Jesus? So many people want nothing to do with Christ because they see expectations that have little or nothing to do with His Word. Copyright 2017 Mike Kerby & Jesus' Outsider Ministries
Wednesday, September 27, 2017
In the long run, my decision isn't about who's right and who's wrong. It's about not wanting to see everything I enjoy or watch mired in politics and division. There was a time when playing the National Anthem wasn't considered political but part of the unifying factor that no matter your race, political views, gender, or any other distinction, we were still bound by the commonality of being Americans. It was nothing more than that. When even something so time honored has been turned into something divisive, I can't participate. That's true whether it's a sport, movie, or television program. Propagandize in the guise of entertainment and I don't watch. If I want to watch political programming, then I'll turn it on although that almost never happens. My life isn't made richer by watching people argue and I'm certainly not drawn closer to Jesus by it.
As I've discussed on a number of episodes of the Jesus' Outsider Podcast, we are growing more and more fractured and divided not only as a nation but as a church. We are separating ourselves into ever more narrowly defined tribes. Political affiliations, denominations, minor issues of doctrine, and even sport team fandoms are just a few of the growing camps of us versus them. We are wrathful and wrangling over words and concepts that mean little to our purpose in Christ. In fact, these divisions, protests, counter protests and all the rest of the nonsense happening are huge hindrances to the fulfillment of The Great Commission. That was the point of the episode, Stay Focused.
Consider this quote from C.S. Lewis and his groundbreaking book, The Screwtape Letters:
My Dear Wormwood,What better way to keep the Church from being effective than to keep us angry and divided? Jesus himself prayed that we would be one just and He and the Father are one (John 17). The greatest times of church growth and power was when we were united and our good works were visible to all men. Even a cursory reading of Acts reveal how when the church was united and devoted their lives to living the Gospel, their number was added to daily. Can any of us say that anymore?
Be sure that the patient remains completely fixated on politics. Arguments, political gossip, and obsessing on the faults of people they have never met serves as an excellent distraction from advancing in personal virtue, character, and the things the patient can control. Make sure to keep the patient in a constant state of angst, frustration, and general disdain towards the rest of the human race in order to to avoid any kind of charity or inner peace from further developing. Ensure teh patient continues to believe that the problem is "out there" in the "broken system" rather than recognizing there is a problem with himself.
Keep up the good work,
To put is simply, the enemy is doing a great job of keeping the Body of Christ divided and focused on the wrong things. I know that all of us have a specific part to play in His church and in advancing the Kingdom of God. If we are spending all of our time on these useless distractions, can we actually achieve them? Paul warns Timothy to avoid foolish and arrogant arguments. (2 Tim 2:23-26) as well as in Romans and Titus. There's a reason for these and all the other warnings throughout Scripture.
We're not here to change the world through political action, protests, or arguments. That's not why Jesus came. He came to seek and save that which is lost. How far can we deviate from that purpose because an entertainer expresses an opinion or because we support an earthly political party or agenda? Nothing is worth more than living Jesus in front of a lost and dying world. Consider that when you post on Facebook or take a stand.
If you want to make a real difference, be Jesus to someone. Examine your own heart for hatred and sin. Or, if you're willing to take a greater risk, do what David did and ask the Lord to examine your heart and see if there be any wicked way in me. (Psalm 139:23-24) Pursuing the Lord diligently and letting your good works speak for themselves to bring glory not to you but to God is what we're here for and nothing else. Listen to the episode Purpose in Victory for more details. You're here for a reason. Don't let this world's nonsense, anger, and sin distract you and draw you in. You can choose the higher road and just not participate.
Monday, September 25, 2017
During my tenure with a small, innercity ministry and church in Peoria, the senior pastor liked to use the statement, "Keep the main thing the main thing!" In this day and age, that sage counsel seems to be harder and harder to keep. It's no longer even a given that American Christians know what the main thing is anymore. Rediscover it in a charged climate and find some real peace. ©2017 Mike Kerby & Jesus' Outsider Ministries
Tuesday, September 19, 2017
Once you've achieved #VictoryinJesus, there has to be something more. Such a huge gift could not possibly just to make you happy. There's more to the Victorious Christian Life than just thrills and chills and it might just be the most important thing you hear all week. ©2017 Mike Kerby & Jesus' Outsider Ministries
Monday, September 11, 2017
Okay, so you've discovered the real victorious Christian life. Now what? Walking it out isn't all that easy. There are pitfalls along the way that we all must be aware of. Victory, once won, must be kept and maintained. ©2017 Mike Kerby & Jesus' Outsider Ministries
Tuesday, September 5, 2017
We all want to live a #VictoriousChristianLife! The Scriptures teach us what that means and how we can do it. This life is so unique that it may be hard to recognize by any standard we know. However, the world is looking for it, for the difference. ©2017 Mike Kerby & Jesus' Outsider Ministries
Monday, August 28, 2017
Offense seems to come from everywhere. A quick read of social media proves that half of everyone on it seems to be angry about something pretty much all the time. Christians don't seem to be much different. Perhaps it shouldn't be so. ©2017 Mike Kerby & Jesus' Outsider Ministries
Monday, August 21, 2017
We are living in the most volatile times I can remember. Evil, bigotry, violence, and hatred seem to be running amok. In these dark days, where does the church and the individual follower of Christ fit? What can we do to face this evil? ©2017 Mike Kerby & Jesus' Outsider Ministries
Saturday, August 19, 2017
I have the fruit on the tree, if you will. For several years, I served in a number of ministries working towards racial and denominational reconciliation, most of whom lead by black pastors. My lovely bride and I spent fifteen years in inner city ministry. During that time, I served as teaching and administrative pastor in a mixed race congregation and community outreach center. We lived in a mixed race neighborhood for thirteen years that became a predominantly black neighborhood. I'm not saying all this to brag but more as a pedigree so that my credibility might be established.
It's so easy to stand against the obvious hate. The KKK and other white supremacist groups are overt and blatant in their hatred of other races especially blacks and jews. Since many people I care about fall into both of these groups, the idea that anyone would want to hurt them for no reason other than the color of their skin fills me with a rage that only time and prayer can calm. Opposing their filthy ideology is the only rational thing to do but not with violence. As the Scriptures say:
"Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion.
Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. Therefore
“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
If he is thirsty, give him a drink;
For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head."
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good."
Monday, August 14, 2017
I cannot be silent in the wake of the horrific events in Charlottesville, Virginia. Two groups filled with hate clashed leaving at least one dead and multiple injuries. Evil is evil no matter which side of the aisle it's from. In its midst, does the church fit? How did we get here? ©2017 Mike Kerby & Jesus' Outsider Ministries
Monday, August 7, 2017
Monday, July 31, 2017
Years ago, a young man I worked with called be rugged just for doing regular guy stuff like shooting and eating beef jerky. I don't feel overly rugged but there it is. In church however, I feel like a rough and tumble outsider. I suspect most men feel the same from time to time. What might change that? Real Men want to know. ©2017 Mike Kerby & Jesus' Outsider Ministries
Monday, July 24, 2017
We are in a war and I don't mean the culture war. Just as in the world, it is an art. We must follow good principles of warfare from Scripture and lessons gained from history. If we are to win, we need to know how to really fight and the conditions of victory. ©2017 Mike Kerby & Jesus' Outsider Ministries
Monday, July 17, 2017
Remember those good works that the Lord prepared for us ahead of time? Perhaps giving is one of them. It's time for a frank and, hopefully, guilt-free yet convicting discussion on a difficult topic. ©2017 Mike Kerby & Jesus' Outsider Ministries
Monday, June 19, 2017
Look around! Can there be any doubt we are in the last days? If this is the world we live in, what do we do now? Do we continue only seeing this as a culture war or move forward with something more? We have a job to do and it won't be rearranging deck chairs on the metaphorical Titanic. ©2017 Mike Kerby & Jesus' Outsider Ministries
Monday, June 12, 2017
Monday, June 5, 2017
Tuesday, May 30, 2017
Can we continue in what we are dead to and still call ourselves a Christian? More importantly, are we really a Christian at all? When we die to one thing, we are alive to something else, something greater. If we do not act consistently with what we say we believe, are there consequences? There are some hard teachings from the Word that we cannot ignore even if some claim they do not apply. ©2017 Mike Kerby & Jesus' Outsider Ministries
Monday, May 22, 2017
Monday, May 15, 2017
The church of Jesus Christ is constantly under assault from forces both without and within to alter and shift teachings. The church must change with the times to be relevant, at least that is what we are told. What can be changed and what cannot is the topic of today's episode. ©2017 Mike Kerby & Jesus' Outsider Ministries
Monday, April 24, 2017
(From The Archive March 2nd, 2015) Never Leave a Man Behind! We hear it all time in movies and on television. Many Congressional Medal of Honor recipients went back for wounded comrades. The church is at war and the battlefield is littered with the wounded. How do we live out the truth of that statement when the fight is spiritual instead of physical?
Monday, April 10, 2017
Monday, April 3, 2017
Vice President Mike Pence and his wife were criticized this week for setting a boundary in their marriage to help them keep their marriage vows. Known for his Christian faith, he and his wife do as many of us do. He's demonstrating that there are times when a man of God must be known for what he flees from as much as what he runs to. ©2017 Mike Kerby & Jesus' Outsider Ministries
Monday, March 27, 2017
In the midst of the noise of all the trendy church growth strategies and teachers, something must be solid. According to the statistics, fewer and fewer people have a Biblical worldview. If we are to redeem this trend and turn the hearts of people to Jesus, maybe we need to try something classic. ©2017 Mike Kerby & Jesus' Outsider Ministries
Monday, March 20, 2017
The latest and greatest thing, the coolest worship music, the new trendy book or leadership/church growth approach. We think that if we just grab onto it we can stop the bleeding from the local church and grow again. Are these attempts wrong or born from a sincere desire to do the work of God? Are we missing something? ©2017 Mike Kerby & Jesus' Outsider Ministries
Monday, March 13, 2017
Sound doctrine is essential. In a time when there is so much contradictory teaching out there, we need to be wise. Getting it right means having a good method for seeking the truth. There are three basic steps for analyzing a teaching that provide good guidelines for you to use. ©2017 Mike Kerby & Jesus' Outsider Ministries
Monday, March 6, 2017
To support or not to support? To boycott or not to boycott? These are the questions that face Christians all too often. The entertainment media and culture seems to want to offend us or to lull us into a false teaching. What bait are they throwing out to us now and how should we respond? ©2017 Mike Kerby & Jesus' Outsider Ministries
Monday, February 27, 2017
Once again, polygamy rears its head this time with two husbands for one wife. There have already been lawsuits filed to legalize the arrangement and multiple television series selling people on the idea. There were indeed polygamous couples in the Word but was that the original plan or a perversion? Can one be a Christ-follower and support this arrangement? ©2017 Mike Kerby & Jesus' Outsider Ministries
Monday, February 20, 2017
The whole story, the full truth, the whole enchilada. Isn't that what you want? Instead of a partial, incomplete, or distorted version of the Gospel, get as much of the truth as will fit in 25 minutes. The truth will set you free! ©2017 Mike Kerby & Jesus' Outsider Ministries
Monday, February 13, 2017
Monday, February 6, 2017
Monday, January 30, 2017
(From The Archives June 29th, 2012) Is it really compassionate to be forced to give? Is it compassionate to force someone else to give against their will? These questions plague our culture today and dominate much of the political discussion in this country. Sure, the words might be a little different but the meaning of them is not. There is a better way and the Word lays it our for us.
Monday, January 23, 2017
There's so much conflicting teaching on the Law of God. Some say that it's no longer necessary while others put their entire focus on it. There must be a place of truth. What is the real relationship of the Christ follower and the Law? ©2017 Mike Kerby & Jesus' Outsider Ministries
Monday, January 16, 2017
It's time to cut through the clutter and noise. There's so much more than pep talk in the Word that we don't seem to hear anymore, not as often at any rate. Context and the full counsel of God are more important now than they have been in years. What could we be missing? ©2017 Mike Kerby & Jesus' Outsider Ministries
Monday, January 9, 2017
There is a proof of God's love that we don't often discuss because it's not always fun or sunny. In fact, there are entire movements and teaching that deny this important spiritual truth. Without it, we can't grow in Christ as He intends.
Monday, January 2, 2017
Freedom! It's more than just a political idea, more than just a buzzword. It's the theme for everything we do at Jesus' Outsider Ministries. There is a liberty beyond anything the world can offer. There is peace, healing, and broken chains in Christ. Get the truth straight from His Word.