A front page article from this week’s newspaper concerned released sex offenders in our community. As I recall, there are somewhere around 2,500 in our county. They have to register and inform law enforcement where they live. The article exposed the fact that only three detectives are assigned oversight of these individuals. Do the math. There isn’t going to be much oversight. Would anyone disagree we have a problem here? The chief responsibility of law enforcement is to protect the citizenry. Keeping an eye on those the courts deem potentially dangerous should be job-one. I know we have literally hundreds of policemen, sheriffs, and detective. Is local law enforcement using their resources wisely? Have they prioritized their work?

The article got me thinking. We have a tendency to migrate from chief responsibilities. What if we got back-to-the-basics? What if the most important responsibilities of our callings were viewed as our most important tasks each day? What if we made sure, at the very least, we fulfilled our chief-calling responsibilities before filling up our to-do-lists with other tasks—important that those other tasks may be?

Government would protect us from enemies abroad and law breakers within and provide the infrastructure for the free-market to flourish. Teachers would focus on the “Three R’s.” Preachers would give their greatest attention to “word and sacrament” ministry. Husbands would love their wives. Wives would respect their husbands. Children and youth would obey their parents.

Instead, government has become a sugar-daddy; providing “cradle-to-the-grave” services in an ever increasing nanny-state. Of course, they don’t have the resources; there feeding half the populace. Teachers have become social-workers and social-engineers. Of course, test scores are down, but our kids know a lot about cultural diversity, social justice, what LBGT stands for, and that free condoms can be had free from the school nurse. Preachers have become CEO’s and life-coaches. Of course expository sermons and weekly communion are few and far between. We’ve promised relevant teaching and that the congregant will leave happy and get in his car in an hour. Husbands work, eat, watch TV, and sleep. Of course, they don’t have time to lay down their life for their wife—they’re lying down on the couch instead. Wives are doing more; taking over more than ever before. Of course, they don’t respect their husband; why respect the shlub you don’t even need any more? Children and youth are immersed in social media. Of course obedience to mom and dad is a secondary issue. Between selfies, posts, tweets, and snap-chats; there isn’t time to do the dishes and clean the room. Keeping in constant contact with and pleasing friends has become a full-time job.

I’ve never liked the acrostic “K.I.S.S.” (Keep It Simple Stupid). We can come up with a better fourth word; especially as followers of Jesus. How about “Keep It Simple Servant”. For that is what we are. “So you also, when you have done all that you were commanded, say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done what was our duty’” (Luke 17:10).

If we focused on our chief responsibilities; seeing them as our most important duties each day—our life, marriage, family, and community would be healthier. I know they would be.

Pastor Rich Hamlin

August 14, 2014


  1. So well said Pastor Rich. We are so grateful for you. Thank you for all that you do.

  2. Thanks , pastor, for cutting to the heart of the matter. It’s too easy to lose our focus in this crazy-busy world.

  3. We are to SIMPLY have wisdom! But where does wisdom come from but from the fear of God and the knowledge of God’s word. Then we can Keep It Simple as servants of Christ. Everything going wrong in the world could change if people just looked to their Creator for the ability to Keep It Simple! It starts with each one of us reading God’s word everyday and praying that God will open our hearts and minds to His truths. Thank you pastor for Keeping It Simple, by keeping it SIMPLE we Keep It Profound and Wise and glorify the great God each and every day!

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