Friday, October 27, 2017

Time Really Does Fly


Solomon said there is a time to live and a time to die in Ecclesiastes 3.  Recently we have lost Jim Roberts, and as I write, yesterday ended with the loss of a charter member, Nancy Chaney, and  today began with the loss of Don Otherson.

My dad has always taught me that time flies.  Those prophetic words ring more true to me today than ever.   It has been said, "The days and months may drag, but the years fly by."  Now approaching fifty six years of age, where has time gone? Our son Drew is thirty-two, our youngest, Stacy is almost thirty, and our oldest grandson turns eight in December! Did I miss something or is life racing by?



I was having a great Saturday until I realized it was Sunday !

That is why it is so important to not wait to give your heart to Christ.  We have no guarantee of tomorrow, yet eternity is sure.  We are all going somewhere when we die.  LIFE'S GREATEST QUESTION? WHERE WILL YOU GO?

In a recent Disciples' Path Wednesday night Bible Study, the theme was , "We are His mission, He is our solution."
When we place our faith in Christ, where we will go is settled, our sin debt is paid for,  we now know our purpose and Who to live for is clarified, and how to treat others is defined.

My prayer for all who read this is that you have given your heart to Christ.  If not, surrender your heart today.  Ask Jesus to come into your heart and forgive you of your sin.  He is waiting and willing.

You will not regret it when God calls you home.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

When to Stand and When to Take a Knee

In the midst of the storm in professional sports for athletes to not stand for the National Anthem, everyone seems to have an opinion.  There are some who are in favor and support, and some who are strongly against it.  This has created quite a barrier in our society, a barrier that we thought we had put behind us a long time ago. It is starting to spin out of control.

My concern in regards to professional athletes showing open protest when the Anthem is played goes beyond the crowd or those watching across the nation.  I certainly support freedom of speech, but for me the flag and anthem have always been a sign of unity as one nation under God.  With all of the differences in the world, it allows us to stop for a few minutes, and agree in unity, that we do live in a great nation and we are grateful for our freedoms.We are grateful for those who have paid the price for it and those who are presently defending our freedom.

People are driving a wedge into something that God has to be displeased with.  My concern is for the Junior High , High School, even Elementary kid who now thinks that it is ok to show open disrespect for our flag and our nation. Many have saved , it isn't to show disrespect for our military, but how do they think it looks.  For those who are protesting injustice, we agree. God created all equal.  The problem is the protest seems to be geared toward Washington. 

My prayer is that preachers will get back to preaching the Gospel, that churches will get back to evangelizing the lost, and that Hollywood actors will get back to acting, and that team owners and ballplayers will get back to playing and  realizing that the flag represents something bigger than any individual or protest.

Many are being applauded  for not standing during the anthem, when Tim Tebow was vilified for kneeling to pray before a game, not during the anthem.

I will stand for the Lord Jesus, and I  bow my knee to Him as Lord and Savior.  He is the answer that people are searching for.   Let's share Him!

Monday, September 18, 2017

A Sermon in a Picture

Last week, tragedy hit our small Village of Camden as two young parents and their three year old daughter were killed in an accident right next to our church.  Several others were injured and we continue to pray for the driver who is critical as well.  When something like this hits a small rural community, it brings us together like a family.   We all hurt. Everyone seems to do whatever is needed at the moment and whatever can help the family. I am grateful for our First Responders whose lives  have been changed through what they have witnessed.  Their sacrifice is appreciated.

In ministry and in crisis,  presence is often more important than thinking you have to fill the silence with some profound statement of support.  While we believe Romans 8:28, And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His  purpose. In the immediate shadow of loss and grief, this passage is hard to understand when we are hurting so bad we don't even know what to think or pray..  I am grateful that God knows our hearts, is willing to let us pour out our questions to Him.  I am grateful that when we don't understand, that there is coming a day when we will.  Until then, I pray that in the midst of this crisis, that we run to Him, and not from Him. 
1 Corinthians 13:12 (NKJV)
12  For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.


The above picture recently taken by someone remembering the great loss, is a picture of sadness and at the same time a picture of great hope.  The Corner of Hope is our tag as a church. My prayer is that is is more than just a catchy phrase, that we will be more than ever a place where people can come to know the Hope that is only in the Lord Jesus. That doesn't mean we just sit and wait on folks to come, but that we go out and love them and get them. Whatever we do, there is nothing more important than sharing with those around us the love of God, and the Gospel of our Savior.  May God use this tragedy to get us to think about eternity.  We pray for the families, and may many in our community come to Christ.

Until He comes...we will go!


 

Monday, August 14, 2017

Charlottesville

Many of you know what I am talking about when I say that it is hard to believe what is taking place in Charlottesville, Virginia.  Self declared KKK, Alt-right,White supremacy protesters marched and clashed  with anti protesters.  It was a picture of some movie of a nation gone crazy. The hatred, violence, prejudice was really hard to watch. The real issue is for someone to think they are better than others or anyone else simply due to skin color or ethnic background.  Sadly it has lead to deaths and many injuries. 

I am grateful that at the SBC this year in Phoenix that Steve Gaines, the President clarified after some confusion, and led us to make a clear statement on never supporting any kind of movement that sets itself up to be racist or supreme to another human being.  The ground at the cross is level.  We are all sinners in need of Jesus, our great Savior.

It seems that in America we are set on fixing ourselves. I believe scenes just like we have witnessed  is a tragic commentary on self help and the effects that sin has. 

As believers we are not to hate anyone.  Period!  According to 1 John 4:7-11
7  Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8  He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 9  In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. 10  In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11  Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 


For us to not speak up against this kind of hatred is to make the world somehow think that we support itWe sound a clear signal here at FSB Camden, the Corner of Hope that this kind of racial hate and prejudice is anything but ChristianIt doesn't speak for Christ, and it isn't Bible. As a conservative evangelical christian, I oppose these groups that set themselves us as supreme over anyone else.  May the church send a clear signal from the Word of God.

Monday, July 17, 2017

VBS Takeaways

Another year of Vacation Bible School has come and gone and the Lord has impressed upon me some things that I hope will encourage us and any church who goes through the hard work of prayer, preparation, planning, serving, and working each year.

I loved how the Gospel story flowed this year in "Galactic Starveyors " Discovering the God of the Universe from Lifeway.
  • The Relationship Began
  • The Relationship was Broken
  • The Relationship Promised
  • The Relationship Restored
  • The Relationship Continues
It all pointed to Jesus this week and that is what really matters.  The Worship music was fun and exciting, the kids gave with great generosity to the Camden "Lil Shop of Sharing."

We had storms pretty much all week, and had a power outage that caused the kitchen team to change course, but all did a great job.

Here are a few VBS takeaways that God reminded me of last week:
  1. Serving the Lord is about Him, not us.
  2. If you don't keep the Gospel the main thing, it will drift into the pool of just another thing.
  3. It is my job to set the sail for leaders and workers. Prayer is crucial.
  4. It is wonderful to serve along side Brothers and Sisters in Christ in the trenches.
  5. We have a number of people that are very gifted.
  6. Respond with grace.
  7. Show kids unconditional love.
  8. Greet parents personally at the end of the night.  There were many guests.
  9. God still uses VBS to mobilize one of the largest groups here at the church serving at the same time.
  10. Kids are not impressed with fancy, but with fun as they learn.
  11. There is always a critic in the crowd.  Everyone needs encouraged.
  12. Kids still get saved in Bible School.  What a blessing to see tender hearts wanting Jesus to be their Lord and Savior.
  13. Anything worth doing is never easy. 
  14. Anything done for the Lord is worth it.
  15. Heaven will reveal the whole story.
Thanks to all for a great job of VBS in 2017!  Lives were changed and so was mine.

Pastor Greg

Monday, June 19, 2017

Father's Day 2017

What a blessing to have my mom and dad slip in on me for worship Father's Day.  I must say that preaching with them in attendance always puts a lump in my throat and a heart full of emotion when I think of how blessed I have been as a boy and man to be raised by them.

As I preach through Ecclesiastes being in Chapter 7 was wonderful as we talked about having a good name.  I count it a great honor to be the son of Fred and Dyne Jackson.  Dad has given me many   things in life, and a good name is a blessing. He has done that through faith, character, hard work, and integrity.

When I reflect on my life as a dad,  Drew and Stacy make me so proud.  Neither one of them seek the spotlight, they just work hard, love their spouses, are great parents, and love the Lord Jesus Christ and His Church. I can't even begin to describe the joy of having four grandsons, (two by each family).  Renee and I would say that life can get crazy, but God is so good!

Before the service, four of us sang Seasons of a Man by Steve Chapman.  Below are the words, and if you go to our website at www.camdencornerofhope.com  and click on the 6/18/17 sermon you can hear it at the beginning of the sermon.

Seasons of a Man
I am the springtime, when everything seems so fine
Whether rain or sunshine, you will find me playing
Days full of pretending, when a dime is a lot to be spending
A time when life is beginning, I am the springtime

I am the summer, when days are warm and longer
And the call comes to wander, but I can’t go far from home
When the girls become a mystery, and you’re barely passing history
Thinking old is when you’re thirty, I am the summer

I am the autumn days, when changes come so many ways
Looking back I stand amazed that time has gone so quickly
When love is more than feelings, its fixing bikes and painting ceilings
Its when you feel a cold when coming, I am the autumn days

I am the winter, when days are cold and bitter
And the days I can remember number more than the days to come
When you ride instead of walking, and you barely hear the talking
And goodbyes are said too often, I am the winter
But I’ll see spring again in heaven, and it will last forever

Steve Chapman/Times & Seasons Music, Inc/BMI / Av

Thursday, May 18, 2017

A Message Every Dad Needs to Hear


As a boy, my summers were always fun, and my dad was a large part of that.  Not only the ballgames and things boys do, but it was also the time our parents always took to get us away on a family vacation. That is when we were introduced to Myrtle Beach in South Carolina.   We may not have had a ton of money (even though I always thought we were rich), we always had fun with great memories and plenty of laughs. 

 

Today I am posting a blog  from a  friend and leader  at Lifeway, Michael Kelley.  May it speak to the hearts of all of us dads as we get into the vacation season.

 

Dads, Don’t Waste Your Summer

By Michael Kelley on May 18, 2017 06:30 am
Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil (Ephesians 5:15-16).
Nuance is everything in this passage. Depending on how you read these words, you can either find yourself emboldened or shrunken back. The hinge seems to be on the word “carefully”.
Since it’s in the context of walking, I think about how I go to check on my kids after bedtime. We live in an older house, and it seems like at night the wooden floors creak with every step. So I creep through the playroom down the hall – being very careful how I walk – to try and keep the creaks from waking them up. The thing about my walk in that instance is that it’s a defensive carefulness – I’m careful with every footfall, like I’m walking on egg shells, because I don’t want to step in the wrong place.
But I don’t think the verse above is meant to cause us to watch every footfall, our head swiveling back and forth and sweat beading up on our foreheads to make sure we don’t step wrongly. It’s true, that some of the Christian life demands that, that we are careful where we go, what we see, and what we do to make sure we are avoiding sin. And sin is everywhere, because, as the verse says, the days are evil.
In the context above, however, it seems to be more of an offensive carefulness that Paul wanted to inspire. We are to be careful in order to make the best use of time – literally, redeeming the time. When you redeem something, you trade it in for something better. You “buy back” the time you have been given to use for good. In that sense, our head is swiveling around, but it’s not fear that motivates it. It’s anticipation. We look in every direction to make sure we’re not missing any chance to do good by way of the gospel.
Here is where this truth hits the road right now: Summer.
We typically think about the summer as a time to pull back. To take a break. To rest up for what will be a busy Fall. So we go to the beach, sleep late, and lounge around.
In other words, we play defense against the pressures of life. But what if instead of playing defense this summer, we chose to play offense? What if we had a redemptive mindset toward the time we have rather than a defensive one?
Summer could become something different. A time to walk boldly. A time to engage rather than pull back. A time to stride through life, looking this way and that, determined not to miss any opportunity.
So, dads, the summer is coming, and it could be more than a time for mowing the lawn and sipping lemonade. Certainly it can be those things, too, but let’s not neglect the best for the good. Be on the offense when it comes to your family:
  • Reinforce the family discipline of church attendance.
  • Plan specific and intentional outings for each of your kids.
  • Lead your family to set goals for the summer rather than let it simply pass by.
  • Don’t let the TV use up all the seasonal margin you have.
What a great season is before it. Let’s together do what we can to buy back this time.