Sometimes, I plan to write a blog. Today wasn’t one of those days. But, circumstances have brought me to writing.
Today, I woke up to the news that a friend, Worship leader, and neighbor, Pastor Ken Reynolds, was in need of prayer. I wasn’t sure what the need was, but knowing that he needed prayer was all I needed to know.
Pastor Ken battled cancer a few years ago, and God brought him through the battle. I invited him into my radio studio to share his miraculous story of faith, hope, and healing. A man of great faith, he never gave up hope in the midst of his battle. Knowing that God would see him through, he inspired me, and many others, through his journey.
I remember years ago, my wife and I would would attend the Good Friday services at Madison Square Church. Ken lead Worship with such passion, and conviction. You just couldn’t help but feel pulled, like a magnet, into the presence of God. He lead with humility, and joy.
Our families got to know each other. I remember one evening, we had Ken and his wife, Andrea, and children over for dinner. Just a simple dinner with a main focus on what he all had in common. A love for Jesus.
As years went by, as many times often happens, we lost touch. No reason. Just life. Until, a trip to Meijer. (our local grocery chain)
I was in the dairy section. I looked up, and saw this tall, humble man walking toward me with a smile. We recognized each other right away. We chatted. Shared stories. And learned that we lived just blocks away from each other. How crazy!! To think, I ran past their house, everyday, and never knew that my friend lived there.
One evening, I saw Ken out walking. It had been several months since I had seen him. I went out to say hello, and he shared that he was battling cancer. (which was why he wasn’t out in the neighborhood more often). He shared with me that his faith, through this battle, was strong! He knew that God had his back through the valley.
Together, we prayed on the sidewalk. We prayed for healing. We prayed for increased faith. We prayed for many to hear about God’s goodness through the battle.
The next time I saw Ken, he was on the other side of his treatments. He had more strength. And no, not just physically. Spiritually! He shared with me that he was getting set to once again lead worship. I remember asking him, “So, when you’re back leading worship, what going to that first song that you sing?” He looked at me with a smile, and said, “That is a great question. I’m sure it’ll be something about God’s goodness in bringing me through the valley”.
April 20, 2020, Pastor Ken took to the stage for the first time back at his church.
I’m standing here today, because God is good. And in that mental challenge (of my battles) I wasn’t going to yield to the voice of the enemy. There are many times when I could’ve given up. But I was determined to stand on the faith that I sing about every week. And in the midst of that journey, God gave me these words (to this song) from the book of Psalms. And it was a comfort to me. In the chorus it says, “You are God. You are good. You’re right beside me. Through the valley. You’re always there. You promised, and I believe.”Pastor Ken Reynolds at Resurrection Life Church
August 8, 2021, God called Ken home.
Ken never gave up hope. He kept leading people in worship, because he knew, “in the midst of all that, God is still good. And He is still God. That’s the hope that we trust in.”
I write this with a lot of tears. (you should see my keyboard). I’m saddened that a leader is gone. I’m sad for his family. Yet, I’m rejoicing with Ken as he has crossed the finish line. Man, that Heavenly choir just got one incredible leader!
Today, whatever you’re facing, whether it is job loss, marital struggle, anxiety, depression, disease, I ask you to repeat the words that Pastor Ken shared on April 20, “You are God. And you are good. You’re right beside me. Through the valley. Through the valley. That means you’re not staying IN the valley. Through the valley, though I walk through the shadow of death, I will fear no evil. Because you are with me. Through the valley. Right beside me. You’re always there. You promised. And I believe.”
Goodbye my friend. You made a difference. Pastor Ken, you ran by faith!