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Showing posts from 2019

Speaking in Love

Recent discussions that are dominating social media seem to be attacks on each other. Labeling and mocking other believers and leaders does not picture the Christ of the Bible. If some didn't know better, they would think that other believers are the enemy, not the Devil.  As a pastor and as a christian, we don't have the luxury to just fire away at someone just because we believe differently, worship differently, or interpret scripture differently. That doesn't mean you have to accept error, but it does mean we are to show people the love of Christ.  What is taking place on a world wide stage like Facebook or Twitter  must have a lost world shaking their heads, or pushing them further away from Christ.  It seems that some how things have gotten to a point where criticizing has over shadowed loving.  I pray that God helps me to love people I may not agree with when it comes to my understanding of Scripture. I recognize this is much to learn and that one day the Lord will m…

We Remember 9.11.01

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Tom Tyler and I stood together eighteen years ago at a Bread Thrift Store in Mason, Ohio. We were picking up bread to deliver to New Life Mission following our Bread Sunday.  As we shopped, we were drawn to a TV screen in disbelief, and watched with the clerk.  America was under attack.  A central point in New York City, the twin towers, were in ruins,  as smoke and debris filled the air.  People who were not killed ran for their lives, many bloodied and scarred. Thousands died in collapsing, offices and stairways at the hands of terrorists who were flying planes into the buildings of innocent people.... all in the name of religion.  Their religion. The world, America, your town and my town, your life and my life, changed that day.  We recognized as President George W. Bush spoke to our country, we realized that life would never be the same. How grateful we should be for the first responders, not just that day, but everyday.  Many lost their lives as victims, and as res…

Praying for the hurting!

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Yesterday afternoon I lowered our church flags in memory of those who were killed in El Paso,Texas. They were also lowered because of the horror of watching my hometown of Dayton, Ohio on the national news as a gunman killed ten and injured a number of others in a shooting rampage early Sunday morning. I am grateful for the police officers who acted quickly, and courageously.  I am grateful for those first responders who run toward danger when we are trying to flee it.  They saved many lives.

It was awful and one thing to watch the news about El Paso, but to wake up to news that it happened again in Dayton.  That is where I grew up.  I used to work at the Main Post Office on Keowee and Fifth, and the Oregon district, the place of the shooting was just west of that location.

Today as families grieve and funeral arrangements begin to be made, they should be our first priority.  To help them take one step at a time. Sadly, politics seems to try to dominate or take advantage of crisis li…

Take-a-ways from Disney

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We recently took a trip of a lifetime to Disney World in Orlando with our family which includes four grandsons. We had prepared for over a year and were super excited to see the most magical place on earth.  We visited four of the theme parks and had a special time at each.

One of those events was a "Bucket List" item for me and that was to ride Space Mountain with grandsons.  We did it and it was a blast.

Here are some take a ways from our trip.



1.  If you don't like being around people, don't go to Disney.  (I love full churches)

2. Disney workers are friendly, hard working, and courteous. (Let that be FSB Camden)

3. Tourists from America and all over the world can sometimes be the most rude people in the world.
     It seemed we were in an "only care about your own self crowd at times.
     (Let that not be FSB Camden)

4.  It is beautiful to see a kid laugh.  (May FSB Camden be full of this)

5.  Money is no object when  you get there.  You don't care wha…

Is it Worth it?

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This year we made a move in the Vacation Bible School schedule taking it from the middle of July to this week of June, 23rd.  The reason was to simply  to free up the summer for folks to enjoy instead of cutting it right in half.  So far, so good!  VBS brings back great memories for me as a boy at North Dayton Baptist Church.  Then it seemed much more simple.  Bible story, craft, and then two cookies and some Kool -aid.  Now we have an entire team preparing treats nightly, along with stations of classroom Bible Study, Missions, Crafts, Worship Music, and Recreation.  It is a full night dedicated to sowing the seed of the Gospel into the hearts of these kids.

VBS is not easy.  It demands sacrifice, and commitment from the leadership down. It is not uncommon for workers to get frustrated and tired as the week rolls on, but it is worth it!
VBS is not a time for a Pastor or Staff to hide and coast.  It is an opportunity to mix, serve, and model hard work for your folks. Where else could y…

Why I am Going to the SBC in Birmingham

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I must admit, after twenty six years of pastoring and attending most of the Southern Baptist Convention Annual Meetings, that over the past few years I have opted to stay at home, save the money, and watch online.  With Renee working and not able to travel with me like before, it became less appealing.  Maybe that is why it may be good to not attend every now and then and be reminded of why it is important to be there and be involved.

Pastors, we must admit, the friendships that are forged in ministry pick up right where you ended whenever you run into someone in the Convention Hall or Exhibit area.  It is a real blessing to catch up with old buddies and couples who have meant so much to us.

It is always a blessing as well to see some of our pulpit heroes and to be able to observe and often speak with them.  The convention is a reminder that the SBC is made up of churches of all sizes and demographics. Styles that vary from coast to coast, but preaching the Bible and the Gospel of Ch…

The Urgency of "Your One"

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Urgency has really hit home as we were saddened with a call from my dad , that Mom's brother Benn, in South Carolina was found dead in his home by his son Jack.  Benn was seventy, and here is the irony.  On March 9th, we had a surprise 80th birthday reunion for my mom in the cabins of the Smoky Mountains.  Benn and Jack were the first to arrive.  This picture is a compilation of the group that came.  Benn is in this picture.



This passed Sunday we launched our "Who's Your One Campaign."
I preached a message from Luke 15 and the value that Jesus places on the one.  I am grateful that as a fourteen year old boy, I met Christ and accepted Him as my Lord and Savior.  while I have always enjoyed sharing the Gospel, I will admit that it isn't the normal default position.  It is a decision I must make daily and in the opportunities that God gives us.

Thirty days of praying for, spending time together, inviting, and sharing the Gospel with urgency.

When we opened in pray…

An Acts 16:31 Week!

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This past week I witnessed Acts 16:31 as our Camden Police Chief led his family to faith in Christ and obedience through believer's baptism.

We pick it up at verse 22 as Paul and Silas preached Christ.

22  Then the multitude rose up together against them; and the magistrates tore off their clothes and commanded them to be beaten with rods. 23  And when they had laid many stripes on them, they threw them into prison, commanding the jailer to keep them securely. 24  Having received such a charge, he put them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks. 25  But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. 26  Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and every one's chains were loosed. 27  And the keeper of the prison, awaking from sleep and seeing the prison doors open, supposing the prisoners had f…

Hope

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This morning I heard a newscaster say, "If you feel that it is tough to just get through a gray day, welcome to winter."  But the good news is that spring can't be that far away, and because of that we have hope.

Everyone needs hope.  It encourages, strengthens, motivates, and helps us through tough times.  when our hope is in men, we will at times be let down.  When it is in position, education, or things, we will ultimately be let down.  the wonderful thing about Christ is that He can give you what no other can, and that is lasting true, inner peace and hope.

James 4:13-17 (NKJV)
13  Come now, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit"; 14  whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.15  Instead you ought to say, "If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that."…

Two Broken Legs Later.

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As a boy, I used to love The Wide World of Sports." It had a catch phrase that always stuck out and it was "The thrill of victory, and the agony of defeat."

Here is a little of the back story from Wikipedia.com.   "The Thrill of Victory..."
The melodramatic introduction became a national catchphrase that is often heard to this day. While "the thrill of victory" had several symbols over the decades, ski jumperVinko Bogataj, whose dreadful misjump and crash during a competition on March 21, 1970 was featured from the early 1970s onward heard over the sentence "...and the agony of defeat", became a hard-luck hero of sorts, and an affectionate icon for stunning failure. Previously, the footage played with that phrase was that of another ski jumper who made a long, almost successful jump, but whose skis lost vertical alignment shortly before landing, leading to a crash.

Twenty five years ago today, Martin Luther King Day, we took our then…