Wednesday, April 11, 2018

4/13/76

Friday, April 13, 2018 may not mean much to many people, but it marks the forty second year since the day I gave my life to Jesus Christ and was saved.

It was during Revival with T.D. Hall, the guest Evangelist, at North Dayton Baptist Church.  I recently attended a funeral there and the memories of the past flooded my soul.  Being raised by godly parents and in Church is a wonderful thing, and a blessing from God.  I had walked down the aisle as a nine year old boy, but always wrestled with doubt as a young teen on whether or not I knew what I had done at that young age.

Tuesday night came.  Most folks likely thought that it would be a service similar to the previous night.  There was a fourteen year old boy there, that knew this would be the night.  I had made up my mind before the invitation.  I would settle it once and for all, and I did.  Christ met me at the point of my surrender and my life has never been the same.  With knees bent and tears streaming down my cheeks I ask Jesus to come into my heart and forgive me of my sin.  The greatest and most important decision I have ever made.

Now in my twenty fifth year here at FSBC as pastor, I  pray and yearn for Revival where we see people broken, saved, and surrendered to Jesus Christ as Lord.  That is one reason I love Revivals, 
my life was forever changed by Christ in one.  We look forward to having Jeff Crook with us beginning this Sunday and my prayer is that the same sweet Holy Spirit does it again, as lives are touched and  forever changed.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Easter and Worry

Sunday we celebrate Easter!  The biggest day of the year for most churches.  It is a day packed with anticipation as we worship and rejoice over the victory that Jesus won over sin at Calvary and through His resurrection.  I pray that we all see people come to Christ and Christians drawn closer to the Lord. Let's pray for every aspect of our services and for every life that walks through the door.

Mark 16:1-8 (NKJV)
1
 Now when the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, that they might come and anoint Him. 2  Very early in the morning, on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb when the sun had risen. 3  And they said among themselves, "Who will roll away the stone from the door of the tomb for us?" 4  But when they looked up, they saw that the stone had been rolled away--for it was very large. 5  And entering the tomb, they saw a young man clothed in a long white robe sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed. 6  But he said to them, "Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid Him. 7  But go, tell His disciples--and Peter--that He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him, as He said to you." 8  So they went out quickly and fled from the tomb, for they trembled and were amazed. And they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.


When the women went to the tomb, they were worried about things beyond their control, such as who would roll away the stone to open the grave.  One writer has said, "Jesus opened the door, not to let Him out, but to let us in. "  The grave could not hold the Creator of the world, the Master of the sea, this God-man the Lord Jesus Christ.

May we be reminded this Easter that there are always things out of our control, and the Lord is big enough to handle it.  May we surrender our hearts and our lives to the one is already knows what we need.

Have a great Easter!  Jesus is alive!


Friday, February 23, 2018

Thank You Lord for Billy Graham

This week God called home one of His choice servants in Evangelist Billy Graham.  Ninety nine years old and now in the presence of the One whom he loved and called others to follow.

I can remember as a boy when Billy Graham crusades would air on prime time television and it would bump off any other program. His recognizable voice and accent, the clear message from God's Word, the Gospel presently clearly followed by an invitation to get up and come forward and receive Christ as your Savior.

As a  young boy in Dayton, mom and dad took us I believe in the 60's to Columbus where he preached and we heard testimony. That is another aspect of his crusades that stayed consistent.  He always had guests, celebrities, athletes, actors, come and share their testimony of faith in Christ.  They were never long, but you could tell, they had been asked to share a brief word for the Lord.  One of my favorites comes from the 1987 crusade in Columbia, S.C.  It is special because I am a basketball fan and my favorite player was "Pistol" Pete Maravich.  If you click on this link, you can hear this nine minute testimony. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y5s6xIZfQtQ The following year, God called Pete to Heaven at the age of forty.

We took the Church to Indianapolis to Hoosier dome for a Crusade and several years ago we were in involved in the Cincinnati Crusade at Paul Brown Stadium.  It was a blessing to be a counselor and we also had folks involved in the follow up process.

Even in these turbulent days, and even in his declining health, Billy Graham's presence gave us preachers and Christians a sense of security.  He physical meetings with many presidents and world leaders indicate the respect that people had for him  His integrity in ministry and the "Modesto Manifesto" (Guidelines that he and his ministry would follow) served him well.

The news will ask the question, "Who will be the next Billy Graham?"  There will never be another Billy Graham, but as a preacher of the gospel there are many who will continue to preach the same Gospel and invite people to come to Jesus.  We must not waiver, and may we be found faithful as America's Pastor.

Years ago he was asked, "If you could ask the Lord one thing, what would it be?''  His response, "Why me?"
Each message concluded with "Just As I am." May we carry the torch that has burned for so many years.  May the Lord give strength to his family as the nation watches next week.  May many more come to Christ as the Gospel is preached.

Thank you Lord for raising up, using, and blessing Billy Graham. We are grateful.

Bro. Greg

Monday, January 29, 2018

You Never Know

Last week I did some Birthday shopping for Renee.  I try to buy her clothes or shoes, purchases that usually take me into an all ladies store, and a place where a man is really a fish out of water. It can be an intimidating place!  Upon entry I heard the words, can I help you?

I replied, yes, I need your help.  From that point on, she walked with me, and offered suggestions as we put together several outfits. Upon checking out, I asked both sales associates at the counter if they had a home church and discovered that they were both Christian's.  The manager of the store responded, "We may try to make it Sunday night."

What a blessing to watch her along with her husband walk in last night for church and to join us for worship.

I tell you this story because " You Never Know' what God may want to do with a conversation and in invitation.  We are part of what Ohio Baptists are calling the Big Invite this Easter, by inviting 500,000, ( One Half a Million People) to our Easter Services this year.

Will you be part of the story as you invite your family, friends, and neighbors to be your guest for one of our two Easter Services on April 1 this Year?

You never know what God may be doing in someones life.  Look for ways to share Christ wherever you are today.  There are plenty of folks who are looking to be rescued,  calling for help.

Until He comes...we will go!   Bro. Greg

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Do You Love to Tell the Story?

Dear FSBC, today Joe Kramer will attend the funeral of one of his best friends, Junior Driver.  In hearing Joe and others talk about Junior, it was said that he was one of the greatest soul winners
they have ever known.  What a great testimony to leave family and friends!  A testimony that you cared enough about people to share Christ with whomever you could.

Could it be that one reason we may not see people come to Christ is because we have quit sharing and inviting? Could it be that we are so Consumed with our lives that we feel like there is little time
to show compassion and care for others?

Recently as a result of his death, I was given a KJV Schofield Bible of Jim Castle. As a young husband at North Dayton Baptist Church, Jim and I learned to share our faith and often went out on visitation together.
It was not always smooth and clear, but we saw some folks come to Christ and made us rely on the Holy Spirit like never before.
We had a  friend, Ron Lee, who now pastors in the Enon area, invest time and patience with us to help us learn how to share the Gospel with anyone wherever we are. 
I thank the Lord for his deposit in my life. God can save anyone and the Holy Spirit can convict and soften and heart of anyone.

Beginning each Sunday night, on January 14th at 5:30 P.M. I will be training anyone interested in how to share
Christ with a searching world. We will meet in the Sanctuary and go to 6:15 P.M. ending in time for the worship service.
Maybe you have been desiring to do that and have not felt equipped.  We want to help you and give you some tools to get the conversation started.

Pray about how God can use you.  I love His church and my church family, Bro. Greg

Joshua 1:8 (NKJV)
8  This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night,
that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.


--
(R.E.A.C.H.)
Recognizing Everyone is A Candidate for HOPE