Kanye West – Jesus is King

To be honest I don’t think I have ever listened to Kanye West before. Give me 80’s and worship any time. I saw the whole awards thing with Taylor Swift a while ago, but that’s about it.


For me his kind of music ranks up there with jazz or opera. My sons love R&B, rap and hip hop. As I love my sons, I try to listen to the music they like when we are driving. So when I read about Kanye West’s new album I thought I’d give it a listen. You know what? I thought the lyrics were strong and the music blend was good. But I’m not writing this blog to share my unsolicited opinion about Kanye West’s music. Music is definitely a personal preference issue. I’m writing this blog because of what I’ve read about the album and what Kanye says in his lyrics.


On the song “Hands on” Kanye writes “Said I’m finna to do a Gospel album. What have you been hearing from the Christians? They’ll be the first one to judge me. Make it feel like nobody love me”.


I was chatting to my son this morning as we drove to school listening to this new album and I said, “Josh, this is a bold move. I wonder how people will react. ” Will his non-religious fans think he’s gone all ‘religious’ and will the Christian’s respond with acceptance or skepticism?


Well if you read the reviews they are across the board. Even Kanye knew that this would be the case. That’s clear in the lyrics I quoted above.


I can’t speak with the non-religious crowd as I am a Christian. Jesus is my King. But I can speak to the Christian crowd as I’m one of them.


Matthew 7:1-5 has had and continues to have a profound impact on me. I see in myself the quick tendency to evaluate hearts while all the time ignoring the sins in my life as mere struggles. I can so easily look at Kanye’s life and smugly think “I’m so much better. I’m a real Christian. ” I read some reviews, some say he’s a fake and he made the album to simply make money. Others I’ve read think it’s awesome.


If you read Matthew 7 we are commanded to look in the mirror and take care of our business and let that be our focus. So why do we lay that passage aside and act as though we know heart motives? That’s God’s job and He’s got it covered. I’m pretty sure Kanye isn’t going to email or text me to ask my opinion about himself. I really hope and pray God is at work and the lyrics certainly seem to indicate that. But I’m in no position to evaluate his heart. You and I can see his actions and his history but we aren’t God to know His heart motives so I think we should not be acting as though we can!


God does give us His Word to allow us to discern and we should all be doing that all the time for sure!! Is this album helpful, entertaining and God honoring? Does it encourage or hinder me? Those are great questions but the whole “I know why Kanye wrote this album…” is way beyond our pay grade so please knock it off.


If only we realized that the lost world looks at our judgments and hate and sees nothing but hypocrisy. Let’s use the opportunities God has given us to speak truth but let’s also bring an equal measure of grace and humility. Just like Kanye I am a sinner and just like Kanye I need God, just as much as he does!

When despair seems reasonable

Worry seems so natural for me. Do you resonate with that? It seems like worry is a bucket and no matter what’s going on, that bucket is always full. I have learned my propensity to worry is just part of who I am but God has done so much in my life to free me and grow me. Yet, in times of transition like I am in the middle of at the moment, it feels as though I’m running with a full bucket and trying to keep every drop from falling. 

In my head I know that worry is a lack of faith expressed. But the weight of circumstances and emotions are such that fear and worry seem to be battling with my mind. 

Worry leads to fear, which ends in despair. Despair is hopelessness expressed. 

In this clear and present reality in my life, God steps in. 

I love how present God has been lately in this season. As real as the concern for stepping out in faith is, God has been meeting me every time I come to Him in prayer, in my devotions or in listening to my pastor’s messages. This morning God met me yet again with a verse from my favorite book – James. The verse was James 1:2  “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds”. Again, in my head I know this is the ‘right’ answer but I can’t say it’s my truthful countenance right now. Just being honest. 

As I have read James over and over it’s clear that God’s mission in trials is very different than mine. I want trials over with as soon as possible and if that doesn’t happen fear creeps in and despair comes quickly behind. Yesterday I became aware that despair had crept back into my mind and heart. As I thought about despair’s weight I thought how reasonable I was for feeling that way. I want trials over with but God wants me to stand up in the trial and look to Him! 

The joy encouraged in James 1:2 doesn’t come from circumstances or emotions. Joy comes from worshiping the One True God. Someone once said that prayer isn’t worrying in God’s direction.  

As I journaled and prayed this morning, God convicted me of the reality that discouragement and despair in my life comes from focusing on my circumstances and not God.

Joy comes from a God-centered focus no matter what else is going on. Despair and discouragement are present when there is an imbalance in our lives between our focus on our circumstances or our emotions and our focus on God. 

Here’s a song that was on my playlist this morning – 

‘Yes I Will’ by Vertical Worship

I count on one thing

The same God that never fails

Will not fail me now

You won’t fail me now

In the waiting

The same God who’s never late

Is working all things out

You’re working all things out

Yes I will, lift You high in the lowest valley

Yes I will, bless Your name

Oh, yes I will, sing for joy when my heart is heavy

All my days, oh yes I will

I count on one thing

The same God that never fails

Will not fail me now

You won’t fail me now

In the waiting

The same God who’s never late

Is working all things out

Is working all things out

Oh, yes I will,lift You high in the lowest valley

Yes I will, bless Your name

Oh, yes I will, sing for joy when my heart is heavy

For all my days, oh yes I will

For all my days, oh yes, I will

And I choose to praise

To glorify,…

What does it mean to be in love?

I had the privilege of officiating a wedding this past week. It was so great to see a young couple who love each other make commitments before God. I have known the bride and her family for over 20 years and so it was so good to be around life-long friends. As you might be able to see in the picture I took just before the ceremony, it was raining and windy. But that didn’t matter at all as the guests gathered to participate in the start of a brand new family! 

As I traveled back I thought about that word: ‘love’. We use the word love in so many different ways. 

  • I loved seeing long time friends at the wedding.    
  • I loved traveling with my family. 
  • I loved having a blast dancing at the wedding with my friends and family. I am not a good dancer but I sure do laugh a lot!
  • I love my wife. Officiating another wedding reminds me of the gift my wife is to me and our family. 

The Bible uses the word love in developing ways 

  • It’s used to describe the love of deep friends. 
  • It’s used to describe the love between a husband and a wife.
  • It’s used to describe God’s love for us 

I love this passage that so amazingly describes love – I Corinthians 13:4-8 – 

  • 4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud
  • 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs
  • 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth
  • 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
  • 8 Love never fails

Do you know what a gift love is? 

Think about God’s love for us. As I stood before this young couple and talked about how God created love and marriage I was reminded that  love is more than an emotion. Love is a commitment. God made a commitment to love us and to make a relationship with Him possible through Jesus dying and rising again. God has made that commitment of love to you. This is the essential relationship we need to be the foundation for all other relationships.  God wants to love you by saving you, growing you, and drawing you to Himself. 

Let our love for others pour from our love relationship with our God who made a commitment of love towards us.

I Can’t Do That

In the last few months I have been reminded over and over again about the reality of my life. I am getting older. Physically that means it’s harder to run and harder to lose weight. I’ve got more aches and pains than ever.  

In this season in my life where there has been much change. I have come to the point many times of saying “I don’t think I can do this anymore”. It has been a hard season and what lies before me is too big for me. 

I have found that what I lack is best described by my lack of faith and my lack of mental energy. The weight of change and God’s plan for our lives is such that I look at our situation and once again admit ‘This seems impossible’.  We are trying to sell our house, buy a house and move. My boys will moving schools and I will be changing ministry focus. 

Humility is needed to be able to admit these things and say “I need help”. 

One day Jesus’ followers came to this same point as they looked at a situation that was impossible. In Matthew 19:26 we read ‘Jesus said to them, “With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible’. 

With man some things are impossible, but with God all things are possible. God uses all things to achieve His will, even our weaknesses. In times like this I have found comfort in knowing how reliant upon God I am and how all powerful He is.  

Isn’t it good to know that Jesus doesn’t expect me to do the impossible but He calls me to trust Him to do what only He can do? As I think about God’s glory, I think about His greatness and His goodness.  His greatness is shown by the reality that He can do all things. His goodness is revealed as He shows Himself at work regularly in our lives.  

Paul knew this reality in His life : II Corinthians 12:10 – Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong. 

In what fresh ways do you need to come before  God in humility and ask Him to do the impossible? In what new ways do you need to worship God because you know He can do more than you ask or imagine?

A Doer That Does

If you know me, even a little, you know I love soccer, or as we call it in England – ‘football’. I remember as a little kid playing every opportunity I could. I have played and coached in many places and with many teams. I have played with and coached players that went on to play for money (That was always my dream!!). I have seen amazing athletes and I have seen skillful players. I have found as I have coached that I could develop a player’s athletic ability and you can coach skill and technical development. But there is one trait that is more character driven. It is a coachable attitude. If a player has a coachable attitude they can grow quickly, but If they don’t have a coachable attitude it’s hard to move them forward at all. 

A coachable attitude is so very important in our relationship with God. A coachable attitude could be called being humble, teachable and even broken. I am continuing to read through my new journal Bible series. (BTW love, love this resource – here’s a link – https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1433562448/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1). I am working my way through James which is one of my favorite books. In James 1:22-25 we have a challenge: to be doers of the Word and not just a hearer. A doer is a producer. One who is active in response to what they hear. This passage compares a doer to a hearer. A hearer is passive, unresponsive to what they hear. One who listens but quickly forgets. The object driving the action is God’s Word. So as I read through this I asked myself ‘Am I coachable as I read God’s Word’, or ‘’am I simply going through the obligation to read my Bible each day?’ 

I ask you this question, knowing that this is a matter of the will. Are you a doer with what you have most recently read or heard from God’s Word? 

Being a doer is an active action. It’s based on not allowing temptation, distraction or even day to day stuff get in the way of doing what God is teaching us and calling us to do. 

As I think about being an active doer in my own life I think about a couple of practical steps that I would like to encourage you with: 

  1. What is God teaching me and how am I applying that to my life?
  2. What is God calling me specifically to do today? What are God’s priorities? I thought about this and came up with three priorities in my life: Care – Communicate – Coach (My new upcoming role with T>NET)
  3. How am I depending on God today, knowing that apart from Him I can’t do anything?

Blog in a sentence: God is calling us to active action focused on Jesus, then the lure of my flesh and my enemy will only be a whisper. 

The temptation to try harder

I’ve been thinking about how Great God is all the time and how weak I am sometimes!

Why is sinning so easy?

Why is my nature bent on avoiding the things I know I should do and bent on doing the things I shouldn’t do? It seems so much harder to obey and be selfless than it is to give in and do what I want to do. Do you know what I mean? 

Over the last few months I have seen God do amazing things. He’s provided – He’s drawn people to Himself – He’s brought healing and peace. I love having a front row seat in watching God work in other people’s lives. I just wish His work in my life wasn’t so slow. It’s not that I’ve gone and done something huge and crazy. It’s just that I’ve been reminded of my propensity to try harder to fight sin and that hasn’t worked!

You may have already guessed what book I’ve been reading in my devotions. Yep one of my favorite books – James. Today I read James 1:13-15. In this passage it talks about the very struggle I mentioned in this blog. Today I want to encourage you with three quick reminders so you will be strengthened and encouraged in your faith! 

Why do any one of us think the the Christian life is all about trying harder?
  • Temptation comes from within.

How I am led into temptation? Like me, everyone has a unique slope. There is a unique set of temptations that we all have. That slippery slope of temptation is designed by our own lusts. What tempts you may not tempt anyone else. But we are all tempted by our own desires and selfishness. If you aren’t ready to agree with that statement then help is far away from you my friend. 

You may say ‘the enemy tempts me’ and in part, you would be right, but the basis of all temptation is what already exists in you. All the enemy has to do is nudge me to lust to get the temptation ball rolling. That rolling ball of temptation can be exasperated by 

  • Stress 
  • Identity 
  • Tiredness 
  • Selfishness 
  • God calls us to stand up and not run away or pretend. 

In James 1 God calls me and you to endure. To stand up under temptation and not to pretend that our sin isn’t that bad. 

I’ve tried to stand up and to endure but over and over all my efforts fail me. 

Sometimes I ask myself, ‘Am I just weak’ or even worse ‘am I really saved?’ But…..

  • God doesn’t want me to try harder. 

As you read James 1:13-15 you will see with me that God has both a plan and a purpose in temptation. That purpose is not to force you to try harder or to sit in a corner and sulk. The purpose of temptation is simply to draw you and I to God. Nowhere in this passage does God say He wants effort. What He does want is faith and prayer. 

Can you remember the last time you prayed about a specific temptation you struggle with? To be honest when I was studying this passage I couldn’t remember the last time I was proactive and not reactive about my sin. 

What happens when I don’t turn to God? 

James says it starts with a temptation that leads to a desire, that moves to a thought, and concludes with an action. Do you know and recognize that cycle in your life?  It isn’t very long after that action that we sense in the core of our soul, a deep sense of conviction. The consequence for our decision.

But with each step in that temptation cycle you and I are making a clear decision: 

  1. Turn to selfishness 

or

  1. Turn to God 

The Christian life is Christ in me. So please let me encourage you to:

  • Pray daily 
  • Get Scripture in our heads
  • Always be vigilant as you aren’t as strong as you think 
  • Know God wants to set you free minute by minute day by day 

If I can encourage or pray specifically for you please reply to this blog or email me directly at: Glyn.knight1968@gmail.com

God – I don’t like tough times, I like comfort!!!!

I don’t know about you but when hard times come I just want them over, as quickly as possible. 

There’s something natural within us that says, “I wanna get out from an uncomfortable situation” as soon as possible. The harder the situation the more that desire increases to just get out and get away from tough times! In some ways tough times can feel like a weight that we are carrying. A weight that is too much and we don’t think we are going to make it. 

Sometimes life-changing situations come along in a split second. When those trials come we just wanna get through that time and get onto more peaceful easy times. I think that’s very natural and that’s certainly what I long for.

The trouble is when God decides to allow a tough time to come into our lives it can feel like He doesn’t care or doesn’t know what’s happening. It’s so easy for our focus and energy to be on whatever the tough thing is that’s in front of us. But as I read God’s Word, I start to see that God always has a purpose, for everything! I totally understand this purpose may well be the best thing but most of the time it’s not the easiest thing. That’s what makes looking to God in tough times so hard.

For me it comes down to responding to tough situations and trials with fear or with faith. Right now in this time of so much change in our lives I understand and I resonate with the response of fear. We have gone through so much change in the last three years. To be honest, the last thing I want right now is more massive change. There is a very real part of me that, as a human being, just wants consistency and comfort. I long for some level of normality. I don’t want to move homes again and I don’t want to say goodbye to people we love. 

However I am not just a human being, I am a blood-bought child of God. The response of faith calls us to look to God and not to our situations. This whole issue of fear or faith is the challenge of James chapter 1 verses 2 to 4.  James starts off by saying count it all joy when trials come. I have read that many times but that phrase still seems so unnatural.. What God is saying here by the word consider, is we should ponder, we should think about what’s going on.  He says all of those tough times of various kinds should be met with a joy that goes beyond circumstances. Joy is a soul gladness that comes from looking at tough times and knowing that God isn’t being vindictive, spiteful, or losing His grip. Whatever is happening in your life and in mine is all part of God’s plan. There might be a lot of reasons for that plan, but these trials have a purpose. That purpose goes well beyond just getting us through the next day or getting us through the time of transition, as in our case, there’s something much bigger going on.

That bigger thing is God is trying to grow our faith, our endurance. I just started this class at our local recreational center called ‘Body Pump’. It’s so fun but so hard. I haven’t done weights for so long. It takes pain to grow my endurance. But here I am now over a month in, and I’m noticing that I’m able to exercise with more weight. 

My friend, that’s what is going on through tough times and tests. God is calling you to look to Him as He tries, examines and seeks to grow our faith.  God has many purposes for what you are going through. One of those purposes is that you are growing in endurance in your faith. 

Remember that God is in control, that God has a plan, that God is all powerful and God is all knowing. God loves you selflessly and sacrificially. So I encourage you with the same challenge that God laid on my heart this past week.  Rather than trying to get out from underneath that tough time as soon as possible, start looking to God. Start asking Him what is His plan a purpose in all of this. Start looking to the character and nature of God in His word and not how you feel. 

 I hope that helps you as it’s helped me these past few days. 

Identity Wars – In the Bible

Did you know there were several people in the Bible that wrestled with insecurity and identity struggles? Today, we are going to look at one of them, Peter. 

Peter wrestled with a BIG view of himself and a small view of God:

  • He was confident – he had a big view of himself 
  • So much so that he sincerely thought that Jesus needed his help!

Here’s what happened: Jesus was preparing His disciples for His coming death on the Cross. So imagine if you will, the conversation between Jesus and Peter – 

  • John 13:36 – Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, where are you going?” 
  • Jesus answered him, “Where I am going you cannot follow me now, but you will follow afterward.” 
  • Peter was often the first to speak up. 
  • Peter asks Jesus in the next verse “Peter said to him, “Lord, why can I not follow you now? I will lay down my life for you”.

So bold and confident was Peter at this point

It seemed like he didn’t care at all about what others thought of him

It doesn’t seem like the thief has come and stolen his identity 

Well let’s check out a little more of what happened: Jesus knew Peter’s heart and not just what he heard from Peter’s words. Jesus knew the state of Peter’s weak view of Jesus and his big view of himself. 

Friends, Jesus knows you. He know’s your heart and not just your words. You may be about to convince others but Jesus know’s more about you than you know about yourself. 

The root of insecurity and identity struggles center on a high view of self and small view of Christ. In the coming blogs we will take that statement apart a little bit.

John 13:38 – “Jesus answered, “Will you lay down your life for me? Truly, truly, I say to you, the rooster will not crow till you have denied me three times”. Jesus looks past how Peter viewed himself and wants to give Him life and life in abundance but in order to get there Peter has to lay down his self confidence which hides his insecurity. Peter clearly didn’t believe Jesus’ insights.  

After Jesus was arrested, who do you think was right? Was it confident Peter or wise, all-knowing Jesus? In chapter 18 of John we see what happens. Jesus is arrested and standing trial. Peter watches the events as they happen and then denies Jesus three times! What happened Peter? What has changed from “I will never deny you – I will die for you”? Peter flatly lies and denies even knowing Jesus.  

What causes the bold to crumble? When faced with a little pressure from others why did Peter totally contradict what he said to Jesus? 

I believe the answer to that question rests on how we see God and how we view ourselves. Why do we struggle so much with what others think of us? 

Here’s the central problem, and for some of you, you might be shocked to hear this. Some of you have never made this connection before. 

  • We look to others to do what only Christ can do.
  • We are controlled by what you think other people think about you.

The thief wants to steal your identity rooted in Christ so that you fear men. So that you look to others to do what only God can do. 

As I close let me ask you to do this: start counting the number of times a day you think to yourself: ‘I wonder what that person thinks about me?’. You may be surprised to see how many times you wrestle with that thought. 

More to come but think about this: God has a lot to say about you and that heart for you is centered on His selfless sacrificial love! 

Identity Wars – The Thief

In the last few years more and more families that I have had the privilege of doing life with are personally working through same-sex attraction and gender identity issues in their families. There is much written and discussed in Christian circles about this issue, but I think there is a far more widespread issue that has the same foundation as same-sex attraction and gender issues. That issue is the matter of our identity. 

What constitutes your identity? 

  • Is it what you look like? 
  • Is it what you’ve done?
  • Is it what others say about you?
  • Is it what you say about yourself?
  • Is it what money you have or don’t have? 

I feel there is a war going on in many of our hearts. I hear it in conversations when someone is bent (ask Mom if another word here like “knocked” makes more sense, might just be me) sideways over a single comment. I see it in faces that are looking to others to do what only God can do. 

I see this war in the lives of young people. They spend so much time focused on what others think of them. I see it in older people who are stilling looking for someone or something to fill the void they feel. 

But more personally I see this war in my own heart and mind. I have spent way too much time wondering what others think about me or what they are saying about me. I believe that is our enemy, Satan’s, goal. He doesn’t want you and I to allow God to shape our identity, he wants imperfect people and a critical self-focus to form our identity. 

I have wrestled with this war for years but I’m writing this blog to share that God has brought amazing growth and victory in my life in recent months and I want to share with you what I’ve learnt. My prayer is that you too will know the war that is going on for your identity and how you can allow God to speak truth into your heart once again (moved “once again” to end of sentence). 

Here’s our key passage from God’s Word – John 10:10 –  The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.

The thief is Satan and what he’s stolen is our identity.

As I close, see if you resonate with any of these statements: 

  • You are locked in a battle with a reoccurring sin and all you see is your failure and weakness. 
  • You find it almost impossible to say no.  You may call it being a people-pleaser and it drives you nuts but you can’t seem to change.
  • You feel desperately insecure. You are often wondering what people think of you or what they might be saying about you.
  • You feel worthless. You think who you are or what you’ve done is just one disappointment after another. 
  • When someone misunderstands you, you have to fix that and make them understand their perceptions are misplaced. 
  • You just don’t feel good enough. You look at others and often think they are ‘better’ than you. 

If any of those statements or something similar speaks to you, be encouraged, help is coming. 

Please feel free to respond to this blog or message me if I can pray or help you – the title of this blog is my heart. I want to seek to be a caring pastor. I am being restored little by little, I wish it was happening a little quicker but I’m not there yet. 

Words – Speaking – Communicating

Small but powerful……..

Remember that kids rhyme – sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never hurt me? Whoever wrote that either lived on an island by themselves or was much stronger that I am!

Words are powerful –

Words have the potential to make someones day…… or crush someone in a split second.

Here’s what I have found to be true – we don’t know how powerful our words are. If someone says something we view as painful we perceive that we know their heart motivation. But…. if someone claims to be able to know why we said something we get defensive.

Let me offer 3 simple encouragements to you:

  1. Remember the tongue is powerful – James 3:2 ‘We all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their whole body in check‘. You may not mean for something to be hurtful but you also don’t know the full impact of your words. Your tongue is powerful – be careful….take a breath before speaking – are you in control of your tongue, with God’s help, or is your tongue out of control.
  2. The tongue can build up – If it’s true that we over exaggerate what people say to us then it is also true that we underestimate the impact of our positive words on others. There is such a shortage of people that simply encourage others. Look for ways to put somebody up, say thanks to your server next time you eat out, when someone helps you tell them you appreciate them, when you see a parent navigating their kids and the week’s grocery shopping quietly say as you pass “You are doing an amazing job’. The tongue has the power to build up….. but
  3. The tongue can tear down – Remember the last time someone called you an idiot? Remember how that made you feel? In the frustration of a moment words can fly from our mouths before we know it. You can’t ever take those words back. I remember when my daughter was just a toddler and I was having an argument with my wife. I won the argument and went in to another room, may daughter followed me and said (Gulp…) “Mum’s shut an idiot, isn’t she?”. What a fool I was!

Words are powerful……

Words can build up……

Words can tear down……

If there was ever an area we needed God’s help then it’s with our tongues. Pray with me that God will open our minds to how our words impact others and He will show us ways to speak words that build up!