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Showing posts from 2016

Christmas Memories

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I hope to list several blogs in the upcoming days and just list things I am grateful for when it comes to Christmas.  Memories that as a boy were huge, and now at fifty five... precious!

1. The focus is Jesus!  That is one thing about Christmas.  As a Christian it has always been about the Savior.  My mom and dad instilled that.  I am not saying that receiving gifts as a boy was not wonderful.  I am saying like Paul quotes in Acts 20 that like Jesus, "It is more blessed to give than receive."  when you look at the greatest gift giver, it was Jesus. Even those that may ignore Christ during the year will take the time to get to a candlelight service or special Church related Christmas program.

2. Family!  This is the opportunity to spend dedicated time with those we love.  Through fellowship, we are often reminded of the wonderful blessing it is to be part of a family.  Our Christmases were wonderful growing up.  Dad and Mom always made them fun.  Our house growing up was filled…

So Close!

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According to Eric Elwell of Stormcenter 7 of WHIO in Dayton, tonight we will have the chance to see something in the sky we haven't seen in nearly seventy years. The moon, but not just an ordinary moon, but a supermoon.  This is when the moon is closest to the earth and will appear 14% larger and 30% brighter.  It is the closest the moon will be to the earth for the next 18 years.

I have always been in awe of the heavens from my limited view. The stars at night in the country are another clear stamp by the Creator of His design capability, and just think, He holds it all together minute by minute.  The
supermoon almost appears that you could just reach out and touch it.

That is the story of Christmas. God reaching down to touch us.
But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, Galatians 4:4 
 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of gr…

Vote!

Tomorrow we will cast a vote for the next President of the United States.  This campaign season has been one unlike any I can remember.  The venom spewed back and forth between the candidates has not represented the office very well. In my life I have watched negative campaign ads, but nothing like this. The climate has caused some to say, " I am not voting."  I would encourage you to rethink that position and be reminded of the blessing and responsibility we have to vote.

Here are some things to take into the voting booth tomorrow.
1.) A Prayerful heart.
2.) Your Christian Convictions
3.) Your commitment to Biblical values.
4.)  A renewed commitment to pray for the next President.

Sunday we were reminded from Psalm 11, that "in the Lord, I will put my trust."
He is on the throne.  While men may fail us, God will not, nor will He be mocked.

America may not be pretty all the time, but we still live in the greatest nation in the world.  Lord, may the uncertainty of t…

"The Mistress in Your Pocket" Reposted Blog by Rob Hurtgen

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Last week on a beach vacation it finally happened! As I was opening the room door I felt it drop and then heard a pop that sounded unfamiliar. I picked up my IPhone and turned it over to discover a shattered screen. My brother in law made a few calls and off to Office Max we went to drop it off. I decided to have a new battery put in as well and it ended up taking about three total days. That is 72 hours without a phone. I had Renee text my Associate to let him know to go through her if he needed me. What was I going to do? No texting! No Twitter! No making a move for it when it rings or vibrates? No Fantasy Football updates?  I will tell you what I did.  My life slowed down... to a peaceful pace.  I kept commenting on how nice it was to unplug, even though my old nature desperately wanted to see what was happening.   The Church knows that I am not a Facebooker.  I really am not interested to know what you are doing every waking hour of the day, but I do Tweet.  I follow 375…

Finish!!!

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Lately in football, there appears to be an epidemic of runners celebrating too early and dropping the ball before they even cross the goal line.  I am not sure what is going on but it happened again Saturday night as the Buckeyes played Oklahoma.  I originally missed it, but soon instant replay and Social Media were exploding with proof that Joe Mixon dropped the ball before he got to the end zone. How embarrassing!  All caught on national TV.  As a coach, I would be fuming.  It has happened more this year than I have ever  witnessed as a sports fan.

Sometimes I fear that as Christians, we may be doing the very same thing that these players are doing. We are letting up, taking it easy.

Like the players involved, we think we have really done something.  As we turn and look for high fives from our teammates, we get them because they missed it as well.  As a matter of fact, the crowd is slapping us on the back and shouting with great joy, but you see, they missed it as well.  The camera…

Glory DAZE

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This has been one of the first times Renee and I have waited to go on vacation so late in the year.  I can tell you we are looking forward to it.  It is also one of my favorite times of the year as everything seems to get going again. School resumes, families begin to return to church, football is back, and everyone seems to have a little more get up and go. It is exciting for our family as well as our oldest 6 year old grandson Aiden is in first grade, and 4 year old Eli is in pre-school a few days.

We have a good group of teachers and students here at FSBC.  My hope is that these kids will enjoy and cherish these school days because they will come and go quickly.  You never think that when you are sitting in a hot room after a long day looking at a Geometry textbook.  The days seem to drag. Into our twenty third year here, it is a great blessing to watch some of these kids now, go to college, and even do their wedding, when I remember when they were born.  School certainly can be th…

(A Letter to My Grandsons) Following the Shootings in Dallas

This is a letter I read from the Pulpit at the close of my sermon.  July 10, 2017
In the aftermath of two young black men being shot and killed by police officers in Baton Rouge, LA. and Minnesota, and seeing it played all over the news and social media,  it makes me ask the question, “Why did it have to happen and end that way?”
Days later there were protests all over the country over the shootings.   In a peaceful protest over those losses in Dallas, Texas, a sniper like gunman opened fire downtown during the protests on the innocent police officers of Dallas.   Killing five, and wounding many, traumatizing families, and those who had given an oath to protect us, traumatizing America, and causing me to ask another question, “What has happened to our America?”
It has also encouraged me to write this letter to you:
An Open Letter to my Grandsons: Aiden (6), Eli (4), Koby (2), Jordy (2 Months) 
July 9, 2017
A Letter From Papaw
Boys, words cannot explain the joy you have brought into our lives…

SBC 2016 St. Louis/ Preaching and the Cross

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I have been blessed to attend many SBC Annual Meetings since 1993, but none were any more moving than last week's meeting in St. Louis. John Meador put together an outstanding Pastor's Conference.  We arrived Sunday night, just as James McDonald was starting his message.  I missed Noah Oldham's message but just listened to it archived and he brought a strong, moving Word!

After the evening message, the praise team led us in beautiful worship as we sung about the cross, the blood, and the love of God.  As they sung, a man stepped out and began to notch a huge cross propped up.  He worked feverishly as sweat rolled form his brow.  You could tell he was in shape and that he was laboring.  He did the large beam  and then moved to the smaller.  He tied and hammered it together.  the choir continued to sing and was reaching a crescendo when about ten young men came out in black attire, took ropes and raised the cross to stand center stage.  Pastor Meador then ask all Pastors to…

The Power of God unto Salvation!

Sunday, May 22, 2016 is a day that we will never forget as a church.  What a blessing to begin the service with the baptism of three.  A mother and daughter, and a man that nearly everyone in Camden would recognize. Fred Green.  Twenty eight years ago, Fred became the owner of the local grocery store in Camden and has been a gracious, faithful friend to our church and this community.  Fred has always been a good, kind, and fair man.  If good men were to to get to heaven, one would think Fred would make it.

Fred's world, and the world of his family was recently shaken as he discovered a life threatening illness, and as God used it, it brought us face to face for conversation about Christ.  In that conversation we were reminded that good men don't automatically go to heaven.  That Jesus died for all of our good, which would never be enough, and for all of our bad which would never be bad enough to be forgiven.  The Holy Spirit spoke to Fred that day and his heart and life were c…

WHY HAVE A REVIVAL?

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That is question that appears to be coming from pastors all over the country.  As we get ready for our 2016 Spring "It's A Big Deal" Revival with David Burton from Jacksonville, I am more excited than ever about God using a fresh voice, with a fresh word, to stir our hearts, and bend our knees toward the Father.

April 13, 2016 will mark forty years since I gave my life to Christ... on a Tuesday night...in revival! God used a revival service and a guest evangelist who preached the word to speak to the heart of a fourteen year old church kid.  Revival means something to me and always will.

As a pastor now for twenty three years, we have had some great preachers come to the small town of Camden, Ohio.  Some full time evangelists, some pastors, some missionaries.  Pastor Mike Landry from Sarasota once told me, "You will never know if they will come unless you ask."  That has always stuck with me and I have tried to go after some of the best.  Often as a pastor, we …

All Eyes On Ohio

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They say home is where your heart is!  Oh how I love Camden, Ohio!

As we watch the the news and those reporting on the Primary in Ohio tomorrow, it seems like many feel that after tomorrow we can draw some conclusions.  That some of our questions will be answered.  Regardless of who wins in Ohio, there will still be some important questions that we still face....regardless!

It may sound like a cliche, but it is the truth.  "We are praying for change in the White House.  What we really need is change in the Church House."  The only way that is going to take place is by the power and hand of God.  The change that we can create will be temporary, not eternal.

God has placed each of us here for such a time as this.  One preacher recently shared, "God must think we are pretty special to let us live in a day like this."  While some say it is the toughest day to be a Christian, I believe it is the greatest day in history to let our lights shine for Christ.  The light will…

Two Broken Legs Later

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Twenty two years ago today, on Martin Luther King Day, we went from having a a great day to one of the worst days of our lives.

It all began with a great night of fresh powder snowfall, so Renee and I decided to take Drew, our then eight year old son skiing for his his first trip.  There was so much snow that we actually had to fight our way there as we navigated the freshly covered roads.

After several hours of fun and getting him used to the equipment and bunny hills, it all changed in a matter of seconds. As he skied below Renee and I, he went down in a weird looking way and immediately we knew something was wrong.  As parents, you know when your kids are hurt, and there was no doubt.  We made our way to him and it was obvious, that one of his legs was broken. Neither ski had released on his fall.  We were numb as the Ski Patrol came to his and our rescue, but that was not all.  As they began to move him, it was soon realized that both of his legs were broken!

How could it be? In…