Tuesday, December 22, 2015

"Torn Paper"

Romans 6:23 (NKJV) 
23  For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. 

John 1:12 (NKJV) 
12  But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name:

Christmas wrapping paper has come a long way.  If I recall correctly, there was a time when it was so thin that you could literally read the name of the gift through the paper.  Anyone been there?  It would tear easily, and when you cut it with scissors, it tore as you cut.  Stores like  Elder Beermans,  J.C.Penneys, (Rikes) had gift wrapping available.  This year it is hard to even get a free box to wrap a gift.

This week as Renee and I wrapped some gifts I was surprised to find out that the back of the paper of a certain brand had a grid on it.  A straight line grid to help you cut more accurately.  Now there is a great idea.  Something to make sure I stay on track.  Do you realize that God has given us a life grid, something to help us stay on the right track and that is His Word, the Bible? It is the bestselling book of all time. There will be many Bibles given and received as presents this year for Christmas.  I recently had my preaching Bible returned after be rebound and I love it. It cost the price of three new ones, but it is special to me.

The purpose of any Bible is to be read, not left in your car until next week, or packed away to preserve it's newness.  We all love new Bibles, but it's purpose is to be read. Read, internalized, then applied to your daily life.  It is the wrapping paper life grid for the believer.  Hey, every now and then the paper may get torn, and life may get a little off the line,  but there is One who specializes in torn paper, torn lives, torn relationships, torn hearts, who is in the business of repair and restoration.

Someone once said, " A Bible that is falling apart, usually represents a life that isn't."  May that be true for all of us.

Merry Christmas!  Bro. Greg

Monday, December 14, 2015

"The Heart of Christmas"

What this Past Weekend Really Taught Me About "The Heart of Christmas"

Wow what a weekend of worship and ministry!  God came through again for us in a miraculous way as the Choir, Kids Choir, and Drama Team, along with our sound, media, and lighting folks  did an outstanding job for the Lord. Marcia with the music, Adults and Children, and Bev leading the Drama and setting up the lighting (While still singing in the Choir!)  reminded us once again that we have two of the best and should thank God for their tireless effort. Saturday night marked our largest attendance on opening night and we had another full house Sunday morning as we learned there is hope for the lonely, the hurting, and the torn family this Christmas.

What did I learn from this past weekend?  

1. God honors prayer. I know many of you prayed for us, and let me assure you we prayed. A special time of prayer took place Saturday evening in the choir room prior to the presentation as different people stood and and ask God to touch those participating who may be ill, and for every area of ministry in "The Heart of Christmas!".  It was a special time.

2.  God allows us to sweat sometimes in order to see His hand. (Sunday morning at about 10:20 A.M. Marcia shared, "The lights are not working!"  Bev was frantically working with Andrea and on the phone to Tim, the Lighting Engineer that set up for us.  Yes, no lights and it is about tip off.  What do we do?  We prayed together upstairs and ask the God of the universe to help us.  Why were the lights so important?  Because the storm and power outage were key players in the entire drama.  Lighting was crucial.  As we stood in the vestibule ready to come in not knowing what to expect, Dave Fyffe popped in and said, "They have got it!"  Praise the Lord!  What happened?
Hands that should have not touched the controls, touched the controls Saturday night sometime after our presentation! Wow!  God came through for us again! No one knew that God came through once again in the 11th hour!

3. God honors hard work.  I was reminded that productions and cantatas don't just happen. Months, and late hours of practice paid off.   In some places they might, but I believe like the former President of Cedarville, Paul Dixon always said, "Anything done in the name of Jesus should be done with excellence."

4. People come to Church when they are invited by a friend.... and their kids are involved.  I loved hearing and seeing the kids involved. I hope this is the beginning of a new era in Children's Worship.  I believe they are going to be singing at the Christmas Eve Service.

5. I have the blessing of pastoring a great Church with people Renee and I love with all our hearts.  Thanks for making this Christmas even more special.

Merry Christmas,  Bro. Greg

Wednesday, December 2, 2015


Today something unusual  happened.  I was in line at a store today and a man and his wife were checking out and being assisted by the clerk.  Another couple was behind them and the second man said to the first, "That is a nice coat. When and where did you serve.  "The Coat" he referred to was a military jacket with patches on it. You may have seen veterans wear them. As I listened, they both served in Vietnam at the same time, one on the north side and another in the southern part of that war torn region.  It was the next statement that caused me to dictate it immediately into my phone. The first man stepped away from the clerk, outstretched his hand and said, "Welcome Home. Thank you for serving our country." Wow, Welcome Home? As I pondered that touching reunion, it hit me.  Those and some of you who served in Vietnam prayed to just live through it and make it home.   The victory for some was just making it through the war alive and coming home.

When I think of Christmas, it is overwhelming that Mary carried the Savior of the world.  The safest place that the Christ Child would  physically be would be in His mother's womb, and  think about the many times she would say to him as a boy and young man, "Welcome home."

That Savior would one day be brutally beaten and nailed to die on a cross.  Watching it all unfold would be His precious mother.  Jesus Died so that Mary, and those of us who have given our lives to Christ could hear Him one day say, "Welcome Home."   We believe everyone is going somewhere when they die.  Are you going to Heaven?

Luke 1:30-35 (NKJV)
30  Then the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.
31  And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS.
32  He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David.
33  And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end."
34  Then Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, since I do not know a man?"
35  And the angel answered and said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.