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Showing posts from 2014

Merry Christmas!

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Having just finished our Christmas Program this past weekend "The Song of Christmas" today I want to reflect and thank God for all of the effort and time put into what was witnessed. The Choir has never sounded better, the lighting and sound, the graphics were  top notch, the Drama Ministry surprised us all, and we discovered that we have some great actors and actresses.  With great crowds and an opportunity to share the Gospel what a weekend!

This Christmas here are a few lessons I continue to learn and have been reminded of several important truths.

1.  Nothing done with excellence is ever easy.  God is worthy of our best and honors our hearts and talents when we give them to Him. This program took place after months, and many late night practices and rehearsals.

2. Thank God that we have and He continues to send us gifted people. I am grateful for you all.  You may say, "I don't feel like I am gifted."  My response is 1 Corinthians 12:11-12 (NKJV)
11  But o…

Am I Always Thankful?

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Recently Renee picked up a plaque for the house that reads, “ What if you woke up today with only what you thanked God for yesterday?” I must confess, there would be some days that I don’t have much due to taking so many things for granted.God help me to understand that I am the richest man in the world in every aspect of life.
Today the Lord blessed me to pop in on one of our shut ins, Barry Clutter, who is recovering from surgery at Sycamore Hospital.For those who may not know, Barry has battled MS for many years, I believe he shared over twenty years. I remember when Barry played softball, golf and was very active.  Many of us have called upon his computer genius in some form or fashion.  He has been confined to a wheelchair many years, and now has nearly no use of his hands and arms.Despite, these challenges, he and Linda have remained encouragers to those of us that know them.

 I noticed that Barry’s meal had been delivered and ask if I could help him, with his lunch.…

Slow Death

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Renee and I just returned from a Smoky Mountain Vacation that included three days of Southern Gospel Music at the Smoky Mountain Praisefest. Some of my earliest and fond memories growing up on Canary Ct. in Dayton involved Southern Gospel music. A quartet that featured four parts, a piano, and a bass guitar to me was all you needed.  We really did enjoy the Praisefest, yet I recognized a hard truth.  Most of the nearly two thousand in attendance for each session were in their golden years, Senior Saints, Classics, Fifty Uppers, whatever term we can come up with, an older audience.

I mean here I am now fifty three and love this style of music it, yet there were very few  younger than me.  I overheard a group member sharing with a man and he indicated that when this generation of fans pass on there will not be anyone to sing too.  For some reason folks who have not grown up with southern gospel music don't seem to appreciate or follow it. things have changed.  Let me go on record.  …

"Thirteen Years Ago Today"

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When September 11, 2001 is mentioned, my generation, those older and those younger who could understand will never get over it. It is etched in our minds and we will never forget it. We know where we were , what we were doing, and who we were with when we saw or heard the news that the World Trade Centers in New York had been hit by planes, soon identified as terrorist attacks on America.

As today's calendar marks the anniversary of this horrific event, we don't celebrate the thousands who lost their lives to this senseless act, nor do we celebrate with the families who were left behind.  What we do is we pray for those affected.  Whose lives were changed forever.

I remember going to the Preble Shawnee football game that Friday, as we played Dixie in New Lebanon.  One of the first public events post 9/11.  Pastor Jim Wharton offered a sweet prayer over the public address microphone as the band prepared to play the National Anthem.  As we stood there, a large plane was making i…

First Prize = Blue Ribbon

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This week marks another anticipated time of fun.  The Preble County Fair! I have always wanted to enter some produce just to see how I might do, but it never happens.  I just don't get around to it.  One cause for my delay to enter may simply be, "What if I don't win?"

That is the mentality that I believe some folks have when it comes to surrendering their lives to Christ. "What if I do this thing and then mess up?" Good question, and I have liberating news!  The truth of God's Word is that we are not saved because we don't mess up.  We are all sinners, separated from a Holy God.  Romans 3:23  It is the Lord's death, burial, and resurrection that has purchased our forgiveness.  We will mess up, and as the Holy Spirit convicts us, we don't lose what we had received, we confess and repent and are forgiven based on the the finished work of our Lord and Savior.

I am glad that my reward is not based on what someone else thinks, but based on what…

A Lesson Learned from my Brother in Law

Several months ago, a neighbor to my Sister and Brother in Law was diagnosed with terminal cancer.  His health deteriorated quickly and he began to make arrangements.  In the process of planning, the family decided that they wanted Rick, my Brother in Law, who is not a pastor, to preach the funeral. This would be his first to lead and be in charge of. (He had shared in a loved one's service years ago in Kentucky.) In the weeks prior, Rick talked to his neighbor about his faith, planned, then presided over a sweet spirited service for a grieving family.  I think Rick and Sheila's  presence brought comfort to the family, just knowing they were walking with them on the journey. 

Watching them minister to this family as they prepared themselves for the loss of a husband and dad once again taught me several important lessons.

1. Time is too short not to get to know your neighbors.
Four years prior to the death a new family moved next door.  A bridge was built that allowed these frien…

I Can't Believe You Still Have Revivals in Camden?

We are almost ready to begin our Spring 2014 "It Could be Tomorrow"  Bible Prophecy Revival with Dr. Gary Frazier from Texas.  Revival?  Isn't that outdated?  No one is having a Revival anymore!  Bro. Greg, surely you don't expect your busy people to attend service throughout the week do you?

Let me answer the last question first.  Yes!  I absolutely expect the First Southern Baptist Family to support Revival, through praying, attending, inviting, and giving.  Why?  We need it!  We all need it!

The second question is partly true. Many churches, led by pastors are not scheduling Revivals.  Some for different reasons that may be valid.  The majority I believe would fall into one of these categories.

Why a Church may no longer have a Revival.

1. The People have voted in previous Revivals by their lack of attendance and have embarrassed  the Lord, the Pastor and  the Church.

2. The Pastor doesn't want to put the work in required to pray, plan, and prepare for an Evangel…

Why I love Easter

I love Easter Sunday Services!  One reason is the excitement.  It contains the excitement that is really rightfully ours each day of our life as a Christian. Easter is the crescendo echoing across the corridors of history that shouts, "Jesus is alive!"  Another reason I love Easter Sunday is because of family. , Lord willing Renee and I will get to spend a little time with ours, but this Sunday morning many families will walk through these doors, young and old.  It seems like yesterday that Renee and I were toting Drew and Stacy into Sunday School and Church, and can still see in my mind the way they looked on some of those Easter Sundays.

Folks, life is flying by, James says like a vapor.  Let's not put off what needs to happen in our lives now.  Let's decide today that this Easter is going to be different.  It is going to be the time where I re-surrender my life, my home, my family to serving the Lord Jesus and and once again establishing worship as a …

FLASH! An Open Letter to Sports Parents That Are Christian

On this blog I give way to an article that I received from Mike Harland from Lifeway Worship that is painful in many ways. Having been an athlete, married an athlete, raised athletes, and now have grandsons who will most likely play in the days ahead if the Lord tarries. I am a ball loving pastor.  Buckle your seat belt if you have children involved in sports.  This article will offend you at some point, it did me, but may it draw us closer to the Lord. Pastoring a church where we see Youth ministry struggling to getting our own church kids to come.  Seeing a Sunday School class that was once full with only a few kids.  Could this be us?
March 3, 2014  An Open Letter to Sports Parents That Are Christian NEWS FLASH! Your son is not going to play Major League baseball. And, your daughter is not going to be on the Olympic team in volleyball or soccer either.
So, why in the world, and for what possible eternal reason are you sacrificing a vital aspect of their spiritual development in th…

Aging

My dad is right.  The older you get, the faster the years go by.  With that acknowledgement, what will it take in your life to slow you down?

While the weather certainly has crippled, or at least slowed down much of the nation this winter, for some it may be a simple trip to the Doctor for a routine check up. The visit leads to a referral, and the referral leads to a test that comes back with life changing news. For some it is a call in the night that shares heart breaking news that a loved one has passed away.  For others it may be a trip to the supervisor's office where you are finally given the word that you are losing your job.

The Hebrews writer in Pauline like fashion says,
1  Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2  looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set …

Frozen and Chosen

The holidays have come and gone and we are now settling in to a new year. The winter has been brutal so far. Most of us are longing to see and feel the warmth of the Spring. It is fitting that one of the hit movies this year is "Frozen." We are!

Once again I have stated and hope to read through the Bible, but like many I normally start out strong then fizzle. I don't want to do that this year. By now you have made the decision of whether or not you were serious about any resolution that you have made. In a recent ministrygrid.com leadership lesson by former Pastor of Southeast Christian Church, Bob Russell, he made a statement that really struck home with me as a Pastor.  He said, " Any organization that has been in existence for more than five years runs the risk of having no goals, only activity."
My prayer for our church this year is that we do set goals pursue them, that we don't settle for everything we did last year, but serve the Lord with gladness a…