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.