Friday, February 23, 2018

Thank You Lord for Billy Graham

This week God called home one of His choice servants in Evangelist Billy Graham.  Ninety nine years old and now in the presence of the One whom he loved and called others to follow.

I can remember as a boy when Billy Graham crusades would air on prime time television and it would bump off any other program. His recognizable voice and accent, the clear message from God's Word, the Gospel presently clearly followed by an invitation to get up and come forward and receive Christ as your Savior.

As a  young boy in Dayton, mom and dad took us I believe in the 60's to Columbus where he preached and we heard testimony. That is another aspect of his crusades that stayed consistent.  He always had guests, celebrities, athletes, actors, come and share their testimony of faith in Christ.  They were never long, but you could tell, they had been asked to share a brief word for the Lord.  One of my favorites comes from the 1987 crusade in Columbia, S.C.  It is special because I am a basketball fan and my favorite player was "Pistol" Pete Maravich.  If you click on this link, you can hear this nine minute testimony. The following year, God called Pete to Heaven at the age of forty.

We took the Church to Indianapolis to Hoosier dome for a Crusade and several years ago we were in involved in the Cincinnati Crusade at Paul Brown Stadium.  It was a blessing to be a counselor and we also had folks involved in the follow up process.

Even in these turbulent days, and even in his declining health, Billy Graham's presence gave us preachers and Christians a sense of security.  He physical meetings with many presidents and world leaders indicate the respect that people had for him  His integrity in ministry and the "Modesto Manifesto" (Guidelines that he and his ministry would follow) served him well.

The news will ask the question, "Who will be the next Billy Graham?"  There will never be another Billy Graham, but as a preacher of the gospel there are many who will continue to preach the same Gospel and invite people to come to Jesus.  We must not waiver, and may we be found faithful as America's Pastor.

Years ago he was asked, "If you could ask the Lord one thing, what would it be?''  His response, "Why me?"
Each message concluded with "Just As I am." May we carry the torch that has burned for so many years.  May the Lord give strength to his family as the nation watches next week.  May many more come to Christ as the Gospel is preached.

Thank you Lord for raising up, using, and blessing Billy Graham. We are grateful.

Bro. Greg

Monday, January 29, 2018

You Never Know

Last week I did some Birthday shopping for Renee.  I try to buy her clothes or shoes, purchases that usually take me into an all ladies store, and a place where a man is really a fish out of water. It can be an intimidating place!  Upon entry I heard the words, can I help you?

I replied, yes, I need your help.  From that point on, she walked with me, and offered suggestions as we put together several outfits. Upon checking out, I asked both sales associates at the counter if they had a home church and discovered that they were both Christian's.  The manager of the store responded, "We may try to make it Sunday night."

What a blessing to watch her along with her husband walk in last night for church and to join us for worship.

I tell you this story because " You Never Know' what God may want to do with a conversation and in invitation.  We are part of what Ohio Baptists are calling the Big Invite this Easter, by inviting 500,000, ( One Half a Million People) to our Easter Services this year.

Will you be part of the story as you invite your family, friends, and neighbors to be your guest for one of our two Easter Services on April 1 this Year?

You never know what God may be doing in someones life.  Look for ways to share Christ wherever you are today.  There are plenty of folks who are looking to be rescued,  calling for help.

Until He comes...we will go!   Bro. Greg

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Do You Love to Tell the Story?

Dear FSBC, today Joe Kramer will attend the funeral of one of his best friends, Junior Driver.  In hearing Joe and others talk about Junior, it was said that he was one of the greatest soul winners
they have ever known.  What a great testimony to leave family and friends!  A testimony that you cared enough about people to share Christ with whomever you could.

Could it be that one reason we may not see people come to Christ is because we have quit sharing and inviting? Could it be that we are so Consumed with our lives that we feel like there is little time
to show compassion and care for others?

Recently as a result of his death, I was given a KJV Schofield Bible of Jim Castle. As a young husband at North Dayton Baptist Church, Jim and I learned to share our faith and often went out on visitation together.
It was not always smooth and clear, but we saw some folks come to Christ and made us rely on the Holy Spirit like never before.
We had a  friend, Ron Lee, who now pastors in the Enon area, invest time and patience with us to help us learn how to share the Gospel with anyone wherever we are. 
I thank the Lord for his deposit in my life. God can save anyone and the Holy Spirit can convict and soften and heart of anyone.

Beginning each Sunday night, on January 14th at 5:30 P.M. I will be training anyone interested in how to share
Christ with a searching world. We will meet in the Sanctuary and go to 6:15 P.M. ending in time for the worship service.
Maybe you have been desiring to do that and have not felt equipped.  We want to help you and give you some tools to get the conversation started.

Pray about how God can use you.  I love His church and my church family, Bro. Greg

Joshua 1:8 (NKJV)
8  This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night,
that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.

Recognizing Everyone is A Candidate for HOPE

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Christmas In Camden

It's a wonderful life...
This is our twenty fourth Christmas in Camden, and let me tell you, small town Christmases are wonderful. Every small town has it's George Bailey's and Mr. Potters, and that is what makes it so unique and special.  Pastoring a Church in this Village of Camden, Ohio was something I didn't have on my life's radar growing up and being young married in Dayton.  There are so many things to love about our imperfect small town that far out weigh the negative that some see or want to focus on.  We are so blessed that God called us here.

 I love the fact that we decorate the church inside and out  to go along with the festive lights and decorations in town.  I love the fact that we still carol and return to warm building for sloppy joes and hot chocolate.  I love the fact that we still give treat bags that resemble the ones we received as kids growing up.  I love to preach Christmas series at Christmas time.  I love to lead a church that has a giving heart and does not hesitate to help those in need. I love getting here early on Christmas Eve for a brief Candle Light Service that will pack the folks and families in to celebrate the birth of the Savior.  Christmas is a special time, and it should be.  Jesus was born in a small town that some would view as insignificant. If he chose Bethlehem, what makes us think that He could not continue a great work or do a new thing right here where we are.

We may be small but the Church of God is never insignificant.  We have the Word of God, and the Spirit of God. Let's give our all for the Lord this Christmas and the New year!

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 6, 2017


Luke 2:14 (NKJV)
14  "Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!"

I love how today's devotion paints the contrast between the palace and the manger.  Had Jesus been born in a palace, only the elite would have had access.  Only those with perhaps the wealth to pay their way in would make it.  But Jesus was born in a manger, came as a baby, born of a virgin so that all could approach Him.  The lowly shepherds, and then a little later the royal magi.  It is a reminder that Jesus bridges the gap for us to have a relationship with a Holy God.  God with us would be His name. Jesus.  It doesn't matter what you have or what you don't have, Jesus calls us to come to Him empty of ourselves, willing to receive Him as our Lord and Savior.
Last week, Jim Nabors (Gomer Pyle) went home to be with the Lord.  We all remember him best most likely from those early Andy Griffith shows prior to Gomer Pyle USMC.. The country scatter brain.  As you remember, his high country voice was also transformed at times into a  beautiful deep rich baritone/bass voice when he sang. It almost seemed a little out of place in Mayberry. Quite the opposite of the country Bluegrass Darlin Family,  He was a polished, and an accomplished soloist.  That is a picture of the contrast between the manger and the palace.  God meets anyone right where they are at regardless of social standing, and regardless of what we bring to the table.  In his innocence, Gomer Pyle represented all that is good in mankind. 

Let us join the angels in heaven this day and this Christmas and sing out, Glory to God in the highest , and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!

Invite someone to church this week.


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!