Showing posts from 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 givi…


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 y…

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 t…

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 d…

A Sermon in a Picture

Last week, tragedy hit our small Village of Camden as two young parents and their three year old daughter were killed in an accident right next to our church.  Several others were injured and we continue to pray for the driver who is critical as well.  When something like this hits a small rural community, it brings us together like a family.   We all hurt. Everyone seems to do whatever is needed at the moment and whatever can help the family. I am grateful for our First Responders whose lives  have been changed through what they have witnessed.  Their sacrifice is appreciated.

In ministry and in crisis,  presence is often more important than thinking you have to fill the silence with some profound statement of support.  While we believe Romans 8:28, And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His  purpose. In the immediate shadow of loss and grief, this passage is hard to understand when we are hurting so bad w…


Many of you know what I am talking about when I say that it is hard to believe what is taking place in Charlottesville, Virginia.  Self declared KKK, Alt-right,White supremacy protesters marched and clashed  with anti protesters.  It was a picture of some movie of a nation gone crazy. The hatred, violence, prejudice was really hard to watch. The real issue is for someone to think they are better than others or anyone else simply due to skin color or ethnic background.  Sadly it has lead to deaths and many injuries. 

I am grateful that at the SBC this year in Phoenix that Steve Gaines, the President clarified after some confusion, and led us to make a clear statement on never supporting any kind of movement that sets itself up to be racist or supreme to another human being.  The ground at the cross is level.  We are all sinners in need of Jesus, our great Savior.

It seems that in America we are set on fixing ourselves. I believe scenes just like we have witnessed  is a tragic commenta…

VBS Takeaways

Another year of Vacation Bible School has come and gone and the Lord has impressed upon me some things that I hope will encourage us and any church who goes through the hard work of prayer, preparation, planning, serving, and working each year.

I loved how the Gospel story flowed this year in "Galactic Starveyors " Discovering the God of the Universe from Lifeway.
The Relationship BeganThe Relationship was BrokenThe Relationship PromisedThe Relationship RestoredThe Relationship Continues It all pointed to Jesus this week and that is what really matters.  The Worship music was fun and exciting, the kids gave with great generosity to the Camden "Lil Shop of Sharing."

We had storms pretty much all week, and had a power outage that caused the kitchen team to change course, but all did a great job.

Here are a few VBS takeaways that God reminded me of last week:
Serving the Lord is about Him, not us.If you don't keep the Gospel the main thing, it will drift into the poo…

Father's Day 2017

What a blessing to have my mom and dad slip in on me for worship Father's Day.  I must say that preaching with them in attendance always puts a lump in my throat and a heart full of emotion when I think of how blessed I have been as a boy and man to be raised by them.

As I preach through Ecclesiastes being in Chapter 7 was wonderful as we talked about having a good name.  I count it a great honor to be the son of Fred and Dyne Jackson.  Dad has given me many   things in life, and a good name is a blessing. He has done that through faith, character, hard work, and integrity.

When I reflect on my life as a dad,  Drew and Stacy make me so proud.  Neither one of them seek the spotlight, they just work hard, love their spouses, are great parents, and love the Lord Jesus Christ and His Church. I can't even begin to describe the joy of having four grandsons, (two by each family).  Renee and I would say that life can get crazy, but God is so good!

Before the service, four of us sang

A Message Every Dad Needs to Hear

As a boy, my summers were always fun, and my dad was a large part of that.  Not only the ballgames and things boys do, but it was also the time our parents always took to get us away on a family vacation. That is when we were introduced to Myrtle Beach in South Carolina.   We may not have had a ton of money (even though I always thought we were rich), we always had fun with great memories and plenty of laughs. Today I am posting a blog  from a  friend and leader  at Lifeway, Michael Kelley.  May it speak to the hearts of all of us dads as we get into the vacation season. Dads, Don’t Waste Your SummerBy Michael Kelley on May 18, 2017 06:30 am
Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil (Ephesians 5:15-16). Nuance is everything in this passage. Depending on how you read these words, you can either find yourself emboldened or shrunken back. The hinge seems to be on the word “carefully”. Since it’s in the con…

Takeaways from Revival

A Baker's Dozen: Takeaways from Revival

Yesterday we concluded what I believe to be, one of the greatest weeks of Revival services we have experienced in the life of FSBC here in Camden.  Worship was powerful, and the messages were delivered from God's word with passion and anointing from Evangelist Scott N.Smith.  In a day when some may think that people just don't attend Revivals anymore, I would beg to differ as we had good strong crowds for each service.  We were even blessed to have a choir sing in each service.  Revivals and choirs are two words that some just don't value today.  By God's grace I encourage any pastor or church member to reconsider.  Do you or the church need a fresh word.  My experience is that God may want to use someone else to bring it from time to time.

Some fruit from this past week 1) Souls were saved. Praise the Lord! 2) Believers were moved and responded on bended knee in most services. 3) Corporate worship was heartfelt and moving.

A Season of Encouragement to Other Pastors

On March 10th, Renee and I , along with dear friends, Pastor Tom and Donna Pendergrass from Urbancrest Baptist church, joined Lifeway's Director of Lifeway Pastors, Mark Dance and his wife Janet on a panel to encourage pastors and their wives. Mark is leading a relatively new position for Lifeway, and as a former pastor himself, he knows the heart of the pastor as well as the ups and downs of pastoring a church.

Urbancrest hosted it for us and prepared for over one hundred in attendance, and you know what, nearly everyone was able to make it.  I have learned that whatever Lifeway is involved in, it will be done with excellence, and Pastor Tom and Urbancrest hold the same high standard. Mark and Lifeway blessed the pastors with a number of resources, and Janet blessed the wives as well with some great gifts.

Couples would text a question anonymously to the Dances and then they would move them back and forth between us couples to address. The questions really involved healthy relat…

Ash Wednesday

Pastor's Devotion Growing up I never really recognized Ash Wednesday, or took the time to look at Lent.  I knew some fasted a little or one day a week as Easter approached. Over the next 46 days leading up to Easter, I will try to share a thought, or brief word to challenge us as we prepare to celebrate Easter. The service Sunday night really got me to thinking about addiction. Addiction can come in many different forms, yet alcohol and drugs are the most referred to.  You don't hear as much about pornography addiction that causing great harm in marriages and lives.  It cheapens what God has created and that is the sexual bond between a man and a woman in a marriage covenant.  That is what the Devil sells.  Counterfeit.  If he can get you and I to cave in to what is not Holy and godly, he will be happy for us to chase something that will not bring happiness. My prayer for us this Easter Season is to become more disciplined in all the areas of our Christian walk.  This Sunday it i…

An appointment we will all keep!

Over the past few weeks, it seems that death is everywhere.  From relatives to church members, to young people losing their lives to addiction and overdose.  It seems that many folks simply appear to feel hopeless.  That is where you and I as Christians have something that the world is searching for, and that is the hope that Jesus Christ can give. Oh how important it is to know Christ and be ready!

I am praying and eagerly looking forward to this Sunday night as we come together as a church and community to pray.  We have invited pastors, churches, and our County Sheriff, Camden Police Chief, and our School Superintendent.  I am not planning on it being fancy, but fervent, as we seek the Lord to help us.  We will sing, share, support, and most of all seek.  Seek God for His provision, power, and passion to lift up those addicted, and their families who are watching  it's affects.

Easter is on the 16th of April this year, and we are looking to REACH out to our entire zip code this…

A Real Achievement! 60 Years!

Thursday, February 2, 2017, Lord willing, my mom and dad (Fred and Dyne Jackson) will celebrate sixty years of marriage. What a blessing to still have both of my parents in good health, and still enjoying each other committed as ever to the vows they took in 1957.  Sheila and I have been blessed kids to be raised, and grow up in a home where Christ was first.  Mom and Dad were never loud with their own faith, but simply led us by example.

Renee lost her dad in 1984, so I do not take for granted the fact that we can still do life with two that are dearly loved.  They have not only been an active part of the grand kids, but are now enjoying the great grand sons. They all know Papaw Hoot and Granny.

They have never quit loving, or worrying about us, and most importantly, they have never quit praying for us.  February 2 you know is Ground Hogs Day.  If have a feeling if you were to ask them that they will tell you that they would do all over again, the very same way.

Thanks Mom and Dad fo…


In a week we will travel to Oak Ridge, Tennessee for the Memorial Service of my Dad's sister and last sibling, Patsy Sisson. Words really do not seem adequate to describe this amazing woman of God.  When my Papaw and Granny passed away in Tennessee our visits became more rare to see other family, but Patsy was one that you really looked forward to seeing, and regardless of how long it had been, she was the best greeter and so gracious for your company.

If you never had the opportunity to meet my dad's parents, Buck and Carrie Jackson, when you looked and spoke to Patsy, you met them both.  Granny's voice, mannerisms, and appearance, and Papaw Buck's kindness, generous heart, and reception to anyone who would come down that gravel lane to the house in Coalfield, Tennessee. Patsy knew Jesus and was faithful while she could be to Central Baptist Church in Oak Ridge. She loved her family, her church, her Pastor, but most of all Jesus.

The title of this blog is Patsy/Barnab…