Thursday, May 7, 2020

On the Air!

COVID - 19 has changed our way of life, we may never return to the way it used to be.  As a pastor in a local church, I truly hope we don't return to normal.  For many, normal included to be operating on cruise control.  Doing all we could with all we have.  The results often seemed lacking and wanting more. We had begun to settle for good, and by doing that, missing God's best.

The Stay at Home orders were something new for all of us. Looking in the rear view mirror, something we all needed.  As one recently told me, "a spiritual reset." To think that we would go six straight weeks without meeting seemed like a mere dream.  Here we are, six weeks later, longing to get back together.  Seeing each other, worshiping together and opening the word of God together.

We pray for everyone who has lost a loved one through this.  We pray for all of those trying to get through and over this virus.  Those in the medical field, we thank you for your daily sacrifice for us.  To first responders we thank you for running to danger on our behalf.

Preaching to a camera, or through a camera in an empty auditorium is a lot like flying weekly in business.  It is not as glamorous as it seems.  Oh, how I long to hear a live amen and praise the Lord!  How I have missed singing the songs of heaven together lifting up the name of Jesus.

We went nearly overnight to not having a video presence to one that has progressively gotten better.  We recognize the importance of presenting our services online to an audience we didn't even know we had.  Thanks to all that has made this happen. Sunday School classes and small groups have taken advantage of Zoom to keep together and I praise the Lord for the tools we have to do this.

When we record our messages and the light goes red, we are on the air.  There is no dress rehearsal.  We are hot and now recording.  Let us remember that life is the same way.  This is our oportunity.  Let's make the most of it for the glory of God!

Can't wait to see you as we hope to return soon.

Love people...serve people!

Bro. Greg

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Never in a Million Years!

WHAT? This Easter will certainly be one we will never forget due to the fact that we have to meet online rather than assembling together at the Corner of Hope in Camden.  Since the end of March we have joined thousands of churches in moving our worship platform temporarily to YouTube, Website, and Facebook. While we are anxious and eager to return together, God is using this tool in a wonderful way. We have received great feedback.

For many churches, they broadcast weekly and it wasn't such a big deal. Some ministries are on TV.  The quality they present is pure quality at 1080HD.  For us and many, that may not be so.   It had to happen fast, and we had to learn on the fly with the equipment that we have.  I am grateful to Nathan Johnson for leading a tremendous transition for us to be able to present weekly services. We are thankful to Marcia and the Praise Team, as well as Tonya and Brian George for being here to tape for our website as well.  God continues to use people.

As the worship team and Joel can attest, when the camera comes on, it is time to go, and it has reminded me of the importance of our target in worship.  An audience of One.  That is, if we please God in our worship, the other things will fall in to place.  He is our audience of One! Our worship and service is not some form of a show or performance, it is worship.  Presented to the Lord for His glory.

While hoping that the quarantine to not meet together is lifted soon, we really don't know when.  May we rest assured that God has a plan, is using this, and I believe that Revival is ripe to bust wide open here in Camden, and in our nation.

This stay at home order also causes a trickle down affect, not just in the economy but in the structure of supporting missions through our church.  Our Association, State Convention, The North American Mission Board, Annie Armstrong Easter Mission Offering, and the International Mission Board are all suffering from the Churches in the SBC not being able to meet together.
How blessed we are now to have the platform to give online at  It has already shown to be a positive tool for giving by many of our folks.

May the Lord bless you all in a special way this year.  remember that the most important thing is that the tomb is empty.  The Church is just empty....for now.

Happy Easter!

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

A Prayer in the Midst of the Storm

A Prayer to begin this day.

Lord as I wake up this morning and get started,  before my feet hit the floor, I thank you for this day.  I thank You because You have given us so many wonderful days. Yet as we wake, we are asking, what has happened overnight and what is coming our way. Thank You for being a God who is in control, as we are in a season that is way out of our control. You are forcing us to recognize our total dependence on You once again, not just a lost world but us, the Church. Everything that is important is stepping forward, and the trivial things of life are dimming a bit.

Lord I pray for our church family today.  Whether a Senior Adult or a child, I pray that You give peace.  Victory over the unknown and victory over fear.  We pray for our Seniors, help us meet needs. We pray for our church body who work in the medical field.  I pray for Dr. Hoke, that you use him and protect him as he serves so many faithfully.  I pray that everyone who needs to be tested has the availability. We pray for the president and all leaders working on this. God we pray for a miracle that cannot be described, but You.  Let this be a time in an election year that politics loses and that people really do come together.

We are walking in waters we have never been. Give me a spirit of encouragement, and hush the spirit of doomsday.  Especially from us as believers.  May we trust in the God we worship,  preach, teach, and sing about each week.  Forgive us for our lack of faith. May our children rise up and be encouraged by our faith!  A better day is coming.

Give me wisdom, Lord give us wisdom, as we meet together as Pastor and Deacons tomorrow night. Give us direction that glorifies You first and is in the best interest of the health of our folks.  Dear God, as we keep hearing that everything is closed except the essentials, help us not treat and act like worship and being together is like everything else, as something that is not essential.  On the other hand, we want to make sure that we are a testimony to our community and do what is safe and right.

I pray for the heart of our church, whether it is a week or many weeks before all of us are back together. Help us not lose sight of each other, and help us all to be on mission, by a perhaps a call, a text, a visit to someone who we know may live alone or needs a hand.  Help us not forget our parents!

Lord, if we have to live stream or video our services, give us the know how to make that happen. May we continue to be in the Word and fed the Word and in prayer during this time of uncertainty.  May we continue to be faithful to giving and supporting the church even in a time of absence.

Lord Jesus, replace fear with faith. Replace confusion with confidence, and may You use this as a catalyst to a great awakening like we have never seen.  May many come to You to be saved, and may the Church turn back to You in full surrender,
In Jesus' name amen.  Bro. Greg

Joshua 1:9 (NKJV)
9  Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go."

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Living Scared

I have often said, "If I were not a Christian in today's culture, I would be sacred based on everything that is happening." As I write, the Coronavirus continues to affect the world, America, and now we have reports here in Ohio.  The Stock Market is rapidly falling, and not only does that affect our economy, it affects many of us who have been saving and planning for the future.  We are living in uncertain times.

But, be of good cheer.  God is on the throne and in charge.  He doesn't see these hurdles as big, or as something He needs to react to. I love the fact that nothing has ever occurred to God nor has He ever viewed a problem as big.  Perhaps God will let a time of testing help us make up our minds about how small we are, and how big He is.

In a time of crisis, people may be prone to do one of two things.  We can either run away from Him, or run to Him, or for some, back to Him.  In this season of Lent as Easter approaches, may we cling to the Christ of that old rugged cross.  May we be ready and willing to share the hope we have in Him for His glory this season of hope. Many folks may be living scared.  Let's share the peace that only Christ can bring.

May we live for Him as He died for us. He is risen!  He is my reason to live!

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

The Power of Prayer

As we get near the halfway point of our Church wide 40 Days of Prayer, here are a few reflections I have so far.

 1.  There is power in prayer.  Over the past few weeks we have witnessed several folks give their lives to Christ.  We praise the Lord! God continues to give us opportunities to share the greatest thing that has ever happened to us.

2. The Devil gets busy when a church starts praying.  Satan leaves a sleeping church alone.  He wants to deceive us into thinking things are ok.
How does the Devil operate?  I may not understand it all, but I have witnessed a few things in the local church that is praying.

3. The Devil wants our Church to be anything but a house of prayer. When we are not praying, we are trusting in ourselves and in our own ability. When we are praying, we are asking a Holy God to do what we cannot do ourselves.

 Prayer is a discipline.  It should be a priority, not an afterthought.
  • The Devil wants to disrupt unity.
  • Sin makes me think that only others need to pray.
  • Prayer takes time.  Don't be in a hurry.             
  • As a Pastor, I need to lead in example what I preach.
  • Great moves of God have always been preceded in prayer.  We cannot think that somehow we are an exception.
  • We need to spend more time in corporate worship praying.
  • Heartfelt prayer will make me uncomfortable at times. While the Holy Spirit is our wonderful friend, conviction is not pleasant at times. It can be painful to get honest with God.
  • Reading about great moves of God encourage me as a pastor and as a church.
  • We must pray in faith, trusting and believing.
  • Seeing people on their knees at the altar was a great blessing to me Sunday.
  • Prayer meeting seems to thin the crowd out, but God begins in the life of one person.
Lord, let that one be me, and let Your Church here in Camden, experience a divine move of Your mighty hand.  Shake me Lord.  Shake us Lord!  Shake Camden! In Jesus Name.  Amen.

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

"The Christmas Tree That Wasn't"

Where's the Tree?

Many of you heard the story I shared this past Sunday regarding the Christmas tree.  Here it is again in a brief summary for those who missed it.
Last year the day after Christmas we went Christmas tree shopping.  We saw a large one that we liked and we also saw a set that had two small trees, a wreath, and some garland. We bought what we thought were both and stored them in the attic. The Christmas of 2019 would be something with this new big pre lit tree.

This year when Renee asked me to get the trees down, I could not find the new big Christmas tree.  Anywhere!  We came to the conclusion that we must not have bought the big one.  If this were a Christmas movie, it would be titled, "The Christmas Tree that Wasn't." We were so excited to get the tree down, decorate it, as it was going to be something to behold, yet it wasn't there.  We were planning on something we didn't even have.

That is the way many people will experience Christmas.  They will think the magic and wonder is there, yet without Christ it will be a season of still looking and searching for more.  Be sure to make plans this Christmas that involves the greatest preparation of all.  Don't wait until the last minute, don't wait until it is too late.  Prepare now.  Don't just think that you might be a Christian, know it , and know it is for real.

1 John 5:13 (NKJV)
13  These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.

Lord, I thank You that You made and chose a tree that would change my life.  The cross of Calvary.  Help us to live a life that is thankful for Your great love toward us. May folks not have to search for areas of our lives that look like a Christian, but may those characteristics be easy to spot and consistent with Your grace and mercy.

Thank you for Christmas, for coming to us... In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Monday, October 21, 2019

Speaking in Love

Recent discussions that are dominating social media seem to be attacks on each other. Labeling and mocking other believers and leaders does not picture the Christ of the Bible. If some didn't know better, they would think that other believers are the enemy, not the Devil.  As a pastor and as a christian, we don't have the luxury to just fire away at someone just because we believe differently, worship differently, or interpret scripture differently. That doesn't mean you have to accept error, but it does mean we are to show people the love of Christ.  What is taking place on a world wide stage like Facebook or Twitter  must have a lost world shaking their heads, or pushing them further away from Christ.  It seems that some how things have gotten to a point where criticizing has over shadowed loving.  I pray that God helps me to love people I may not agree with when it comes to my understanding of Scripture. I recognize this is much to learn and that one day the Lord will make it clear to all who have trusted Him as Lord and Savior.

People still need Jesus. Let's get back in the game that God has called us. Paul reminds us in Ephesians 4:29 (NKJV) 29  Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.

It is a hard lesson at times, but we are to build up, not tear down.  If it is not imparting grace, even in disagreement, don't take it to a public forum to begin with, take it directly to the person with whom you disagree.  Instead of talking about each other, let's start talking to each other.

May the Lord  help us to love, forgive, ask for forgiveness, and move forward.  For the sake of the Gospel, let's get beyond this.

On the Air!

COVID - 19 has changed our way of life, we may never return to the way it used to be.  As a pastor in a local church, I truly hope we don&...