Tuesday, December 28, 2010

New Year's Resolution

I read somewhere that a New Years resolution is something that “goes in one year and out the other!”

But it is that time again, where we take a personal inventory of the past year, and, hopefully, identify those areas in which we can make improvements. I make these resolutions every year, but, I must admit, most I break. I have read that only 8% of Americans keep all their resolutions, so I guess I'm in the majority!

I believe this statistic reveals we often we set resolutions that are unrealistic; in other words, we set the bar so high that we are doomed to fail. Does that sound familiar? Although this is certainly discouraging, what if we, rather than not setting resolutions, lower the bar and set goals which are more reasonable to achieve, so we believe we can keep them? Instead of saying you’re going to read your Bible through six times this year, how about one time? That's more realistic! Instead of striving to lose 30 pounds in January, how about 3 or 4 pounds a month? Keeping the target within reason will provide motivation to attain the goal!

Better yet, make resolutions which are more “spiritual” rather than material in nature. Here are some I offer for consideration for the first week of the New Year: Day1-resolve to pray for someone; Day 2- resolve to say "I love you" to someone; Day3 - Resolve to appreciate all God has given to me; Day 4- Resolve to save some money for charitable purposes; Day 5- Resolve to forgive someone; Day 6- Resolve not to compare yourself to someone else; Day 7- Resolve to make your home a warmer place.

Give it a try! Remember, Jesus died not only to give us life, but life more abundant (John 10:10)! Making New Year’s resolutions is a means by which we can rise above the habit of getting lost in the routine of everyday things. I'm simply encouraging you to go “outside the box” of the normal, hum-drum of life, and to seek opportunities to be a better Christian, a better man or woman of God along the way!

I wish you all a Happy, Blessed and Prosperous New Year! I love and appreciate you all!
See you Friday night and Sunday!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Great God Became My Savior!

The incarnation; it defies description. How can our finite human minds comprehend the idea that the eternal God would descend from His heavenly throne to robe himself in flesh and blood, and become as mortal man? That the master Potter would become clay? It is indeed difficult for us to fathom! No wonder the angels broke into a chorus of praise!

For those who do not believe, or are skeptical by nature, it must sound absurd. But to those of us who are believers, this is a wondrous story!

The Bible clearly informs us God's ways are not our ways, as evidenced by the supernatural means by which Adam came into existence, without a man or woman; Eve, came from a man and no woman. With Abram and Sarai, God chose a couple too old to have kids to bring Isaac into the world. And now with the Incarnation, a woman gave birth without the aid of a man. God had saved the best for last!

"Behold, a virgin shall be withchild, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us."

As Christians, you and I are most fortunate, for we have been given the marvelous privilege of telling the Christmas story over and over. What a thrill! It just gets better and better every time we tell it!

Merry Christmas! See you Friday night!


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

God's Gift

When man landed on the moon Neil Armstrong exclaimed "One small step for man, one giant step for mankind." The President exclaimed that the greatest event in human history was when man placed his foot on the moon.

However, the greatest event in human history was when God almighty came to dwell upon the earth. We call that the incarnation. We call that Christmas morning. Isaiah put it this way "For unto us a child is born, unto us a child is given."

How silently, how silently, the wondrous gift is given.
So God imparts to human hearts, the blessings of His heaven.
No ear may hear His coming but, in this world of sin,
Where meek souls will recieve Him still, the dear Christ enters in.

That is what Christmas is all about. Please understand, not to understand means you do not have the key to human history. How sad it would be to know biology and not know the "Giver of Life"; to know astromony and not know the "Bright and morning star"; to know geology and not know the "Rock of Ages"; to know botany and not know the "Rose of Sharon"; or to know history but not understand the story of Jesus. It has been said a wise man is ignorant, a rich man poor, and a strong man weak until he knows the Lord Jesus. Jesus Christ is the centerpiece, the focal point of all human history. He is called in John's gospel "The Word". What is a word? It is an expression of an idea. Jesus is the expression of God. That's why the scripture calls Him "Immanuel, being interpreted God with us!"

The cradle, the cross, and the crown are woven together. The little baby in Bethlehem was the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords!

As the scripture says "Thou shalt call His name Jesus for He shall save His people from their sins." Our forefathers, for the most part, believed that. Today why not thank God for His unspeakable gift - Himself!

Take time to thank Him for His gift to you, that of eternal salvation.

God Bless! See you Sunday!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Merry Christmas!

I love Christmas! I never tire of the joys of the holiday season!

Since I was a young boy growing up in New Jersey, Christmas has been special. I still remember the Christmas Eve my Dad and I ventured out to get our tree. It was the real McCoy!

The house would be full of the aroma of fresh pine needles. Before we put the tree up we had to put down the Lionel train track. We had permanently secured the track on a large piece of plywood. It was oval, and we only brought it out of the attic for the week of Christmas. Playing with those trains is one of my fondest memories. The engine had smoke coming out of the stack. The caboose had a policeman chasing a hobo. It also had a milk car. When the train stopped, it would load and unload bottles of milk.

I also enjoyed decorating the tree. In those days we used large lights. Then, after the ornaments were carefully placed, we would cover it with tinsel. I mean the kind made out of lead. It's probably outlawed now! The finishing touch was when my Dad put the angel on top of that masterpiece. I believe he has the same angel to this day!

We would all sit around the tree and my father would read the Christmas story while we sipped on hot chocolate and listened to the crackle of the fire.

Early Christmas morning we were up opening gifts! We would each have two or three gifts. It truly was, as the song says, "The most wonderful time of the year!"

Personally, I think we all have a little child-likeness in us at this time of year. I know I do, and it is probably why I still delight in the joys of the season!

I have tried to pass along similar traditions to my children. Things change, but the story and wonder of Christmas endures.

I encourage you to establish some holiday traditions of your own. Make this season special for those around you, for it is truly a time to rejoice and celebrate! As the carol says,"Rejoice, rejoice, Immanuel has come to you O Israel!"

Christ has come to a world of folly,
Light the tree and lets be jolly!

I wish each of you dear, blessed ones the merriest Christmas ever and a blessed New Year!

See you Sunday!


Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Behold the Lamb

"Mary had a little lamb; its fleece was white as snow."

Long ago and far away, another Mary had a little lamb. His fleece was white as snow. In fact, he was God's perfect lamb - sinless, faultless, blameless, and pure. His beginning was not at Bethlehem. On creation morning, the Lamb was there. He enjoyed the real splendor of heaven. However, love constrained Him to come to this sin-cursed earth in human form.

Through the miracle of the virgin birth He entered the human race. His mother, Mary, presented Him to the ages from a stable in Bethlehem. One day thirty years later the roads were full of Jews with their Passover lambs going up to the temple in Jeruselem.

The great John the Baptist cried out "Behold the Lamb of God that taketh away the sins of the world." He was speaking of Jesus, God's lamb.

Three years later, approximately 3,000 people stood on Mt. Calvary to watch the execution of three men. Two were convicted felons; the other - the Lamb.

In ancient Israel, the priest sprinkled the blood of the lamb on the annual Day of Atonement. Calvary was God's great Day of Atonement. On that day the people cried, "His blood be on us and our children." After six hours He bowed His head and expired with the words "It is finished". Because of the work of the Lamb we can go to heaven.

Enjoy the presents, remember the Lamb.

Please know how thankful I am for each of you!

See you Sunday!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

We've all read the story of Ed Spencer who jumped into the icy waters of Lake Michigan to save seventeen people when the ship "Lady Elgin" sank. After he brought seventeen people to shore he collapsed. Throughout the night he lay in the infirmary. Witnesses said he kept mumbling "Have I done my best?" Edwin Young heard of it and wrote that immortal hymn "Have I done My Best for Jesus?". As Paul Harvey says,"Now the rest of the story".

Ed Spencer gradually recovered from his exposure and exertion. However, it broke his health, from which he never recovered. He moved to California where he spent the rest of his life in seclusion. When he died at the age of 84, a paper told the story and stated that not one of the seventeen he had saved ever thanked him for what he had done.

Oh! How that story should convict us. I read one time that an ungrateful man is like a hog under a tree eating acorns but never looking up to see where they came from. Each day we are the recipients of God's favor and His blessings. Psalm 68:19 tells us that "God daily loadeth us with His benefits".

Please know how thankful I am for each of you. I appreciate your kindness toward myself and my family. Each of you are a true blessing. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving. Enjoy the food, festivities and family. Remember where it all has come from and thank Him for it. God bless you dear and wonderful people. I love you dearly!

See you Sunday!


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Preparation for the Journey

My wife and I recently took a trip to visit our daughter who is away at college. We got the suitcases out and excitedly packed for a four day excursion. My wife packed like she was going for 6 months! But that's another story.

I packed my clothes and a few necessities. Then I packed a few things I thought I might need; The camera, fishing rod, a book, I-Pod and the list goes on and on.

What I thought would be a simple and quick task turned into a marathon. Packing had become a minor moving job! Then a thought occured to me. If we spend this much time to get ready for a short trip, how much time should we spend to get ready for eternity? Someone has said "Life is a dress rehearsal for a role on the stage of eternity." If we are fortunate we will live to be 70 or so. If we are really blessed, we may have 80-85 years. However, sooner or later life will end. We will be in eternity forever. Think of any vast number of years you can imagine. After that time period, eternity will still last forever. The mind cannot accept it, it boggles the brain. We have no vision capable of seeing or comprehending eternity. However, according to the Bible, eternity is real and every person will spend eternity in heaven or hell.

Therefore, in light of the length and importance of the trip, a man would be hard put to spend too little time in preparation.

How much packing time for that journey have you spent recently? Think about it. It makes sense to be prepared.

See you on Sunday!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Don't Be A Draft Dodger

In a bold and daring move Franklin Roosevelt selected an unlikely candidate to lead the Allied Forces in the effort to crush Hitler. The obvious choice would have been either Douglas MacArthur or George Patton. Either was supremely qualified to handle the assignment. However, the rumor in the White House was that each of these men was more concerned with his own reputation than the success of the mission.

So Roosevelt chose a young General from Kansas. Dwight D. Eisenhower wasn't as dynamic as the others, but he was selected to be the man of the hour, and he got the job done in outstanding fashion.

It is important for us to recognize, as Eisenhower had his time and place in history, all of us have a time and a purpose as well. You and I were not accidents. When God formed you He threw away the mold. Contrary to popular opinion, there are no two people who are exactly alike. There is no one quite like you.

In all of us there is a uniqueness which is known only to God, a uniqueness with which He has deliberately endowed us for a particular purpose. In other words, God has specifically designed a work for you to accomplish, but He has also specifically designed you so you could accomplish it! Do you realize that God has a sovereign plan and purpose for your life and mine? Do you realize there is something God has for you to do that no one else can do?

F.B.Meyer put it this way: "From the foot of the cross, to the brink of the river where we lay our armor down, there is a pathway which God has prepared for us to walk in." From generation to generation God has prepared for each of us our role in His kingdom.

Often God uses the least likely's, the never-want–to-be's and the who-me's to accomplish His work. Ehud was chosen because he was left handed; Gideon because he was the least of his father's house; Nehemiah was a food taster and Jonah was full of prejudice. Each one had a uniqueness which God used to fulfill His purpose.

Time is moving on, we will soon depart. Do you want God to use you? You need not be a trained theologian, or skilled craftsman. All you have to be is available.
Don't be a draft-dodger. God has a job for you - do it!

See you on Sunday!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Catching Up

My apologies for not posting a blog last week. I made a quick trip to Florida to attend the Southwide Baptist Fellowship sponsored by Trinity Baptist Church. It just so happens that my daughter attends Trinity Baptist College in Jacksonville, so we killed the proverbial “two birds with one stone”. It sure was good to see Emily and see how she's adapting to college life. She stayed with Jeanette and me at night and we enjoyed talking about her life in college: her academics, playing on the volleyball team, etc. She's getting involved in singing groups, and I even met some boy who seemed to keep hanging around us. I thought he was a pretty good guy - as guys go!

It is a real eye-opener to see your children mature. It causes you to praise the Lord and breath a sigh of relief that just maybe you did something right. I am looking forward to Thanksgiving when, Lord willing, I will see her again.
I really enjoyed the Pastor of the church in Jacksonville. He has done a wonderful job with that ministry. The preaching at the conference was richly inspiring. Between the music and the preaching we had a veritable spiritual feast for two days. I also attended a couple of workshops that really gave me some insight into the ministry.

We left Monday around noon and were back home Thursday evening. It was a quick trip but very much worth it. Thank God for traveling mercies!

Forgive me for being so personal, but I just wanted to share my blessings with you.

Please know I sure do love and appreciate you dear, wonderful people.

God is love and Jesus is wonderful! Lord willing I will see you Sunday!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Sacrifice and Surrender

The ultimate example of sacrificial love is the Lord Jesus. He chose to surrender the glory of His heavenly home out of love for each one of us. As followers of Jesus, we should desire to emulate this attitude of self sacrifice.

The apostle John tells us in IJohn 2:6 that "whosoever claims to live in Him must walk as Jesus walked". The great question this - are you willing and ready to make yourself as nothing? To take on the very nature of a servant, to be obedient?

In Matthew 25, Jesus condemns the people for not caring for Him as they should. When they questioned Him as to when they were negligent in this, He responded "For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat; I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink; I was a stranger, and ye took me not in; naked, and ye clothed me not; sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not". In verse 45 he tells them "You didn't help them and therefore you didn't help me."

Ouch! That is a slap in the face. Think of it this way - how much would our lives change if we actually thought of every person we came in contact with as the Lord Jesus? If we believe, as the Bible teaches, that the two greatest commands are "Love the Lord with all your heart, soul, and mind, and to love your neighbor as yourself", shouldn't we behave accordingly?

Conversely, in the same chapter Jesus blesses some of the people for what they have done. Confused, they ask "Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you as a stranger and invite you in? When did we see you in prison and visit you?" His answer was staggering. "I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these, you did unto me."

Matthew 25 is essentially teaching us that by loving others we actually demonstrate our love for God.

Treating those around us like they were Jesus requires sacrifice and surrender. God expects us to live in such a way that demands abandonment to self. He doesn't want us to say how much we love him, He wants us to show how much. As the Lord Jesus Himself charged us in John 13:34, "A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another."

See you on Sunday!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Hungry Crab

Most of you know I am a native of New Jersey. Born and raised on the shore, I spent a great deal of time on the water. After teaching school for seven years in Oklahoma, God lead me back to Maryland and again be the water.

I love summertime. The biggest reason is because of the outdoor activities. One of the most popular in our area is crabbing. I distinctly remember the first time I went out on the Chester River with Bro. Manning and learned how to crab. The procedure was simple. Tie the bait to a trot line, and then drop the line in the water. When you pull up the line, a crab is eating the bait. Remove the crab, and then throw him into the boat.

Later on you throw several of them in boiling water to steam them. Sprinkle on some Old Bay, add some corn-on-the-cob on the side, and talk about good eating! Whoa!

This thought occurs to me whenever I eat steamed crabs; we humans are much like the crab. He becomes so preoccupied with his appetite and so absorbed in the meal that he does not see the impending danger to his freedom. How many people resemble the hungry crab? They are so interested in their own ambitions and desires they fail to realize that life will soon be over. How we need to resist this practice - failing to plan on eternity. Both nationally and individually we are sacrificing our future on the altar of immediate gratification. Don't jeopardize your eternity while yielding to temporary earthly pleasures. Remember the fate of the short sighted crab!

Thank God for last Sunday! Looking forward to a great time this Sunday!


Tuesday, September 7, 2010


For years, I have been a fan of mysteries. I have watched all of the Sherlock Holmes stories many times over. By the way, no one can touch Basil Rathbone. I even enjoyed the Alfred Hitchcock stories. For many years he was the Dean of movie-makers. He wrote his own rules. No one created suspense quite like him. It is said that he became bored with his story lines. In an effort to rekindle his passion, he devised an innovative plan to jump-start his movie making. He began making cameo apperances in his movies. In Birds, he's found walking past a pet shop with two white terriers. In North by North West, he is spotted missing a bus. In Psycho, he is seen through a window wearing a cowboy hat. In Rear Window, he is winding a clock in the neighbor's apartment. In Dial M for Murder, he's seen in Ray Milland's class photo. In Topaz, he is being pushed through an airport in a wheelchair.
Innovation: it is the oxygen for the suffocating Nine to Five routine. And to be honest, all of us could use a dose! God's people are better known for their traditions than for innovation. However, when you consider Bible heroes, all of them were innovative. Noah used a boat as a sermon visual. Joshua walking around Jericho was not the norm-but it worked. Solomon's temple was one of a kind. John the Baptist's wardrobe still hasn't caught on. Many of us become bogged down with the same ole, same ole. We often need to be stirred and that means asking God to move us. Maybe it means a fresh prayer life. For others, it may be time on your knees just worshipping God. Often a slight change is needed to enhance our walk with God. Maybe a new sermon or even a new chorus would help us to be fresh. Think of your life spiritually. Are you in a rut? Does your heart ache for God? If so, then change your ways; become biblically innovative and regain your passion. Let Christ be seen in you again. I love you blessed and wonderful people.

See you Sunday!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Real Answer

Praise the Lord for this past weekend. Tim Lee has been our guest many times and is always a blessing. However, this time there seemed to be a renewed freshness about him. We had 16 people trust Christ during the past two days, and we had many other decisions among God's people.

If you personally made a decision in an area of your life, I encourage you to follow through on it. I call those times in my own life when I have recommitted myself in a particular spiritual matter "A personal revival". It is also good to write these dates down as a means of affirming these decisions.

I feel the winds of revival are blowing here at Chestertown Baptist Church. I knew the Lord was preparing us for this fall and slowly we are experiencing His touch. Be faithful to do your part and together we will see great things happen, both on an individual level, and collectively as a church.

These are troubled times, I know. It seems that everyday we are confronted with more bad news in our nation. Record numbers in unemployment, growing numbers of foreclosures, along with a host of other concerns. We seem to move from one crisis to another. Honestly, there are a lot of suffering people. Where will they go to recieve help? As humans we want to care for ourselves, but our problems are often beyond us. There is, however, One greater than any problem. Our heavenly Father. God and God alone spoke this world into existence. He keeps it by the Word of His mouth. It is time for us, the church, to step up to the plate and give hurting people a real solution, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Yes, these are tough times, spiritually challenging times, that may cause many to wonder what the future holds. But while we may not know what tomorrow holds, we do know who holds tomorrow, and we can move forward with confidence knowing He is in sovereign control.

Let's recommit ourselves to the task of building a lighthouse here in this area for all to see.

See you on Sunday!


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Faithless or Faithful?

The Bible tells us "The fruit of the spirit is love, peace, patience, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control. Against such things there is no law". What is faithfulness? It has often been described as loyalty, dependability, allegience and trust-worthiness. As well as the other fruit of the spirit, it is essential in the life of the believer in Christ.

We often start new projects, programs, initiatives, etc. with great enthusiasm, but then for some reason, this enthusiasm fades. As humans, we are all prone to this. We all start the New Year with resolutions, only to realize in a few months we have stopped pursuing them. The story could be told over and over again of believers that actively followed Christ only to be turned aside for one reason or another. For reasons unknown even to them, their dedication waned, and other interests took the place of their walk with God.

God loves us with a faithful and constant love. He loves us no matter what. However, often the problem is our lack of faithfulness to him.

The greatest commandment is to love the Lord with all our hearts, souls, and minds. That is also the ultimate definition of faithfulness. And God demands nothing less from any of us. The scripture says "Moreover, it is required of a steward that a man be found faithful." We should ask ourselves "Are we loyal, dependable, true, and trustworthy to God's purpose?"

As Christians we should not require anyone or anything to motivate us to be faithful. Faithfulness should be a driving force in our lives. Today is a great day to begin anew a life of faithfulness.

Faithfulness is rooted in our belief and trust in God. It should be clearly evident in our lives, and will be visibly demonstrated by our actions. We should be faithful to be in church; we should be faithful in our tithe. Simply put, if we really believe, we will be faithful.

As Lamentations 3:23 tells us of our God, "Great is Thy faithfulness:. He is faithful when we are tempted. He is faithful to keep us He is faithful to forgive us. He is faithful to strengthen us. Second Timothy tells us "if we are faithless, yet He remains faithful". Oh! That we should be faithful to Him!

See you on Sunday and Monday! Be faithful!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Battles & Blessings

Over the past years I've met many Pastors. I love preachers. God has given me a heart for these special men. I've met Pastors fresh out of college to those who have been at it for a long time. My favorite ones are those who smile at each new day. Their Bible pages are yellowed and dog-eared, but their spirit is childlike. What a blessing to be around. Nothing is choreographed. They are never surprised when someone finds Christ, yet amazed that God would use them in such a way. They are always fresh. The fire still burns. When they preach, their stuff is new and fresh. They know every hymn in the book but still are moved when they sing them. There is nothing canned about their ministry, it's real and powerful.

I've often wondered, why does the zeal die for some? I believe it's not a blowout rather a slow leak. The demands of the pastorate are many. The clamour for your time is commonplace. It's easy to become weary of trying to please the masses. As Jethro told Moses ,"The thing you are doing is not good, you will surely wear out."

The Bible is full of examples of those who have lost their freshness. Solomon trusted in lesser strength. Saul waffled in obedience. John Mark turned back. The sons of the prophets followed afar off. Peter let Jesus down and became discouraged. Jonah saw the storm but not the Savior. We have all been beat up by the ministry, yet the responsibility is still the same. I want to stay fresh. I often pray "God create in me a pure heart and renew a right spirit within me. Restore to me the joy of my salvation." And you know what? He always does!

There are battles and blessings in God's work. We are about to come into a time of blessing. Receive it, and ask God to keep you fresh. Please pray for me.

See you this Sunday!


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Surviving vs Thriving

When life is going well it's easy to feel hopeful. But when life brings you trouble, feelings of hopelessness seem to follow. It's in these times, however, that we can most experience the presence of God. We can experience Him in any difficult situation; when health fails, the loss of a job, a spouse going to heaven, or any number of other tragedies that may confront us.

What many of us need to do is stop surviving and start thriving.

Don't let difficult circumstances stop you from making the most of each day you are alive. Realize that even when times are tough you can do much more than endure the current situation. You can actually experience life to the fullest, even in the midst of difficulty. When we remeber that life is a gift from God and decide to embrace it, all things change for the better.

This past year has been one of my most difficult as a pastor. If I could stand before the people and explain what I was doing I'm sure they would be sympathetic. However, a leader cannot always do that. You can only trust that you have exhibited integrity and leadership, and hope the people share your vision for the future.

I now see the light at the end of the tunnel. I knew I would, but it was not easy. Everyday for this past year I would thank God for all my blessings. I tried not to see my difficulty. I would repeat the phrase "Today is a gift from God, thank Him for it." And I would. I was reminded of the song "Through It All". One verse says "If I never had a problem I wouldn't know God could solve them. I'd never know what faith in God could do."

The direction of life should always be forward. As the Psalmist said "I will look to the hills from whence came my help; my help cometh from the Lord." I feel today I am on good footing. I didn't think that a while ago, but I trusted and it has paid off. I don't think, I know, great days lie ahead. So in the valley or on the mountaintop, I will always praise you Lord!

I sure do appreciate you good folks! God bless you!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Firsts and Lasts.....

Children are born, and then for us parents the long good-bye begins. Every year that I have been a parent has marked not just firsts, but lasts. This year, my youngest will go back to school. It's always a tough time saying good-bye.
Over the years I have watched many parents say good-bye to their kids when they depart for college, war, or service, and I have seen and experienced many a tear. For some parents, the hardest experience of life is letting go of their kids. I personally have never enjoyed that process. I don't know why but I feel better when I am in control of things; it gives me a security I can't describe. As I have seen my gang leave the nest, the reality has set in that I am not in control. I can pray, work, and be there if needed, but no longer do I call the shots. I am amazed as I see my children put into practice the truths that my wife and I have taught them. It gives me a sense of accomplishment and also loneliness at the same time. So next week, I will say good-bye again. I'll do it because I know it's right, not because I want to.
I hope for those of you who again will endure the process that it will strengthen you. It does not get any easier with each child. After a while, you become accustomed to it, but never used to it. I thank God for the privilege and opportunity to be a dad. I can honestly and sincerely say that my children have taught me more than I could ever teach them.
What a great life God gives us. All by His grace, so undeserved and unmerited, yet richly poured out. What a challenge to be a parent who has the thrill of firsts and lasts.
God bless, and I will see, Lord willing, on Sunday.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Physics is the study of matter and energy and the relationship between the two. We owe much to the world's great physicists. There is Archimedes, whose studies of hydraulics changed science forever, Sir Isaac Newton who uncovered the Law of Gravity, and Albert Einstein, whose theory of relativity explains how to split the atom.
Some of the most imaginative of all physicists have to be those in Hollywood. Their cartoon characters have re-written every physical law known to mankind! We've seen their handiwork develop over the last few years and it's amazing what they have done. I marvel when I watch and see how these animations have literally changed movie watching - not to mention the baby sitting services they provide for parents! These characters defy the laws of gravity, go through solid matter and run so fast they become a blur! Rewriting physical laws in cartoons is fun and reckless, but only a fool would deny the law of physics.
The same is true when it comes to Scripture. Changing or ignoring God's Word is dangerous and yet many have tried it. History is littered with those nations who ignored God's laws. Some have tried to write their own laws hoping to outsmart creation. Diocletian, the Roman Emporer, gloated when stating, "The name 'Christian' is forever extinguished" yet five years later Constantine declared Christianity as Rome's religion. Voltaire, the French atheist, said, "Fifty years from now the world will hear no more of the Bible." On the 50th anniversary of his claim the Geneva Bible Society was using Voltaire's house as a print shop! Carl Sagan, the astonomer, stated, "The cosmos is all that is or ever will be." He died believing his fallacy.
You can make the Road Runner pass through solid mountains but you cannot deny God's Word. The Bible says, "Nations that forget God will be turned into Hell!"

Monday, July 19, 2010

Getting Our Focus Right

Focus means "to concentrate on a center of interest or activity. To sharpen or clearly define."
As you study the life of the Lord Jesus you understand that He was focused. To some it may appear that Jesus was a nomad, wandering from village to village, performing miracles and displaying goodness as He went. However, nothing could be further from the truth.

Jesus, God robed in human flesh loved people, but nevertheless He remained focused. Though constantly challenged, He never wavered. He was harrassed by the rebellious leaders of the day. They dogged him day and night trying to harm His ministry. His disciples always had new ideas. One time they requested Jesus to call down fire from heaven to consume those they disagreed with.

Even Jesus' hometown would would not accept His ministry. Scripture tells us he could do no great work there because of their lack of faith. Satan tempted Him, trying to turn Him aside.

Jesus remained resolute. And His focus has served as a template for all of us as His disciples.

Nothing should be more important to us than focusing on what God wants us to accomplish. Jesus said "My heart is to do the will of Him that sent me." And that also should be our desire. It's easy for us to become comfortable and stagnant. But our minstries should always be fresh; and that should be our goal. Our passion should be to be used of God so as to bring glory to our Lord.

For three years the disciples were taught by the Master. Jesus held nothing back from them. He taught them in every phase of ministry. They saw Him laugh, weep, teach, pray, challenge, rest, serve, heal, answer, and lead. When it was their turn, they never asked how. They were focused.

Our work is demanding but the model of our teacher is simple "focus".
See you Sunday!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Going Up Higher

When Joshua succeeded to leadership in Israel there was no doubt in his or anyone else's mind what his commission involved. His charge was three-fold. Lead Israel across the Jordan, engage the nations in Canaan and expel them, and settle the people in their new land according to the word of God.

Leadership is unique, in the sense that it serves as a model for others to possess the promises of God to the fullest extent. But for this to occur, leaders must insist on leaving old ways behind and charting a new course, by divine leadership of the Holy Spirit.

Many of us are not pressing forward, we're sitting back while there is still land to conquer!

I like the hymn that says, "I'm pressing on the upward way, new heights I'm gaining every day, still praying as I'm onward bound, Lord plant my feet on higher ground."

Israel was about to do what she had never done before. The Lord calls us to go up on a higher plane. It's uncomfortable at times - it's difficult at times - but nevertheless, He has called us to conquer the land.

We here at Chestertown Baptist Church have much land to conquer - and, by the grace of God, we will. However, you and I must be willing to go spiritually higher than we have ever gone. Let's take the land before us. Let's inhabit the land where the milk and honey flows. Together let's accomplish what God has for us as people.

Let us be courageous and strong, let's keep our vision secure and understand that prosperity comes from following divine intervention.

God bless you! See you Sunday!


Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The True Value of Diamonds

Diamonds. They're the stuff dreams are made of. The star in Hollywood's biggest movies. Countries go to war over them. They are the fixation of many a miner and pick. They are relativly small, yet they always draw a crowd. From the world's largest (512 carat) in the Crown Jewel of England, to the tiniest chip in a bride's band, it is considered the nearest thing to priceless we have.

However, the Bible tells us of four things of greater value than a sea of diamonds, river of gold, or mountains of jewels.

Wisdom! Solomon tells us that it is worth more and is more precious than gold. Nothing we desire can compare with it.

God's Words! The psalmist said "More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold. Sweeter also, than honey and the honeycomb'".

An Excellent Woman! Solomon said that her price is above rubies, and her children rise up and call her blessed.

Personal Reputation! The Bible says "A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches and favor is better than silver or gold".

Most of us have been blessed with some of these. We are a blessed people. Much of everyday is spent protecting these treasures and with good reason. They are of infinite worth. May we spend our days seeking to enrich our lives on that which God values. Jesus said "What would it profit a man if he gained the whole world and lost his soul?"

May I encourage you to set your affections on things above, not of this world. Please know I value you very much and pray God's favor will be yours.


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

"Serve us" to "Service"

Most of us remember the old full service gas stations. I worked at one the better part of four years. You could stop and have someone pump the gas for you, check your oil, wash your windshield and all with a good attitude.

We would all get excited at the Texaco station whenever the bell would ring and we could go to work. If things were slow we would even check the tire pressure. Check this out, if one was low we would put air in the tire. And are you ready for this - for free!

That was a long time ago. Very few exist today. Basically, you are on your own unless you go to a $40 an hour mechanic.

In that vein, there was a time when many served this country. It seems a while ago, but many were more interested in serving than they were in being served. It seems that everyone now-a-days is more interested in what they can get, rather than what they can give. President Kennedy said "Ask not what your country can do for you; rather ask what you can do for your country". That needs to be asked again and again; and what is true with the nation is true with society. We have developed a "serve us" mentality. "What have you done for me lately?" is the mantra of many people. Our churches, schools, families, and neighborhoods have become "serve me" zones. I think it would be good for us to return to service.

Personally, I think it is a lack of committment for the greater good which is producing this mentality. That is what made this nation great! Our forefathers had it and we had better get it or we will lose something very valuable as a people; freedom! Let's move away from this "serve me" mentality towards a "service" mentality.

Our church also must have people who serve! But some of us are more interested in what the church can do for us. I think we need to flip the script on this selfish, self-centered, sinful thinking. Somewhere in the journey of faith a transition must begin. Somewhere, as Christians we must find ourselves moving away from "serving us" to service. James, in his epistle, said it best: you say you have faith, show me your faith by your works.

Thank you for the multitude of you who work like there is no tomorrow. God bless your service!


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Walking the Tightrope

Have you ever been to a circus or watched one on TV? One of the most thrilling events is the high wire act. First of all, a ladder is scaled. Then, the strong man or woman walks on this tightly strung cable out and back. They often put someone on their shoulders. At times they ride a unicycle and juggle while on the high wire. And always with a smile on their face, while inside they're sweating bullets. Personally, heights are not up my alley. I could never do what these dare-devils do every night.

However, being a Dad in this age is like walking on a high wire. You're walking a fine line, trying to balance everything for fear of the consequences of extreme mistakes. And often, you're carrying unpublicized burdens on your shoulders, while juggling a job, a family, and a personal life.

One thing I've learned these past 34 years is being a Dad is no easy task. It is at times a delightful experience, but there are times it is a difficult excursion.

Parenting is not without its rewards, but it also has its responsibilities. It has its thrills and also its tears. It has its proud moments and also its painful trials. It's a balancing act that is difficult and even impossible without divine intervention. Frustrating as it is at times there is no greater joy. I love being a Dad. I want my gang to know I love them. I hope I have balanced, juggled, and shouldered my share. If not, please forgive me. But most of all, let me say thanks for the opportunity to get on the high wire. It's been the greatest thrill of my life. Thanks for making me proud.


Tuesday, June 8, 2010

A Graduation Gift

Dear Abby recorded a powerful story. A young man from a wealthy family was about to graduate from high school. It was a custom in their affluent community for parents to give their children a new car. The boy and his Dad spent several weeks visiting one dealership after another. The week before graduation they found the perfect car. The boy was certain it would be in their driveway on graduation night.

On the eve of graduation his father handed him a small package. The father said the package conatained the most valuable gift he could think of. It was a Bible. The boy threw the Bible down and stormed out of the house. He and his father never saw each other again.
Several years later the news of his father's death brought the son home again. After the funeral, he sat alone one evening going through his father's possessions that he was to inherit, when he came across the Bible his Dad had given him. Overwhelmed by grief, he brushed away the dust and cracked it open for the first time. As he did, a cashier's check dated for the day of his graduation fell out. It was the exact amount of the car they had chose. The gift had been there all along but he had turned it away.

At this graduation season, gifts are certainly in order. One is to be commended and rewarded upon the completion of a job well done. However, the greatest gift to any of us is the Word of God. In its pages, a graduate commencing life can find the answers to the most perplexing problems!

Graduates - Congratulations! Job well done! Now you must remember this is just the beginning. The how,when,where and why's all lie before you. But you're not alone. Open the Book and in it you will find the keys to a happy life.


Wednesday, June 2, 2010

You Can't Outgive the Lord!

Today I would like to share a testimony from one of our dear church members on the subject of giving.

Our God is SO good! When I was asked to share a testimony about "tithing", I was thrilled! For many years I have been a regular tither; very careful to present my 10% of my gross income regularly, and additional "offerings" frequently. And God has shown His faithfulness in a unique way to me!

Several years ago, at the encouragement of my daughter, I began having my nails "done" on a bi-weekly schedule. The cost didn't affect my giving, and the pampering made me feel wonderful. I say this to affirm that I don't believe there is anything inherently wrong with doing things to improve your appearance and self-confidence. HOWEVER, one day the Lord spoke to me very clearly-in my heart. He asked me,"Are you aware of how much you are spending on your hands? Have you thought about those you know who are having serious financial problems while you are spending money pampering yourself?

To me it was a "no-brainer"! I immediately began to look around me to see whom the Lord would have me bless with the money I was previously spending on myself. I had no problems identifying numerous precious people who were struggling. I decided to send food store gift cards anonymously to families in need, using "Jesus loves you" as a return address and sending the cards from post offices other than our own so that only God would get the glory. I was having an absolutely delightful time being on the Lord's team and having a part in His ministry! But now comes the true "God Sighting!"

At the same time that the Lord was convicting me, my Dad, who lived with us for the past 10 years, had asked me to help him try to recover some of the investments he had made with Enron (the collapsed company). I filled out the forms he requested, being very sure it was wasted time and energy. However, much to my surprise, he did recieve a repayment for some of his losses. I was pleased for him and the pleasure it gave him to know that he hadn't lost it all. So, what does this have to do with my tithing testimony?

When Dad recieved his check from Enron, I (as usual) did his banking for him and cashed his check. When I came home, he insisted that I take a portion of his"new found money". Over my protestations, he insisted, and I gratefully accepted. That very day I was driving to another town, absolutely giddy to be part of God's plan, to postmark one of my anonymous food card mailings when it suddenly struck me; the amount that my Dad had given me that day was exactly TEN TIMES what I had been sending!! TEN TIMES!! What an amazing God we serve!! We can NEVER OUT-GIVE God!!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Principles of Excellence

There are many principles that are paramount in life, one being the principle of excellence. Some describe excellence as "an inordinate attention to details". Some call it going beyond the call of duty. Our Lord called it the second mile.

Not everyone can have a life of opulence. Not everyone can have a life of affluence. All of us can have a life of excellence.

Living a life of excellence is the difference between mediocrity and magnificence. Going the second mile takes you from the middle of the pack, to the top.

Think of all the roles you play in life; father, mother, husband, wife, athlete, musician, teacher, farmer, doctor, lawyer, salesman, etc.

The sad truth of life is many do just enough to get by. The story is told of a woman who sat down to eat dinner with her little boy. She told him she wanted him to eat his spinach. The boy said "How little can I get by with?" That is how many live their lives. As little as possible is their lot in life. Just what I need is their creed!

A surgeon was operating with a young intern at his side. The soon-to-be surgeon noticed how intricately the doctor operated. He closed the wound with three sutures when two would have been enough. The intern asked "Why three?" The surgeon said "That's my sleeping knot". When I get home at night and slip into bed I go over every step of the operation. When I begin to worry about my surgery, I remember the 3rd knot and I go off to sleep.

We can all make a difference in our homes, our business and our nation by being second-milers. As Americans, as Christians we are blessed. The reason is because those before us were excellent second-milers. That is the difference. May we carry their torch.


Thursday, May 27, 2010

A while back, while standing in line at the supermarket, my eyes caught the following headline on a newspaper; "World's Most Beautiful Woman Hospitalized". It was an account of Elizabeth Taylor and an illness she was battling. I thought about that for a second and thought, I guess the world has no better candidate. However, God does!

The Bible says "Favor is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised".

I just returned from the memorial services for Mrs. Janet Faulkner. For those of you who did not know her, she is the Mom of our own Sharon Baugher. I had a small part in the service and was humbled to do so. Dear Mrs. Faulkner was absolutely one of the sweetest, kindest, most generous, compassionate people this side of heaven.

I can honestly say it has been my privilege to know her these many years. To say she was a great woman would be an understatement. Only eternity will reveal her meek and quiet spirits' impact on her family and those who knew her.

She had a strong relationship with the Lord. She prayed for me. I'm going to seek the help of others as I will miss her intercession on my behalf.

Mrs. Faulkner, thank you for your kindness extended to me. I could always see Jesus in you. I shall miss your smile, your tender hello, and your warm sense of humor. I can truly say I am a better man for knowing you. Our loss is heaven's gain. Thank you for revealing Jesus in your life. We look forward to the day when we shall see you again. You will be missed - but not forever.

Herbrews 12:1


Thursday, May 20, 2010

Leadership is a Privilege

My entrance into the ministry was not as a Pastor. My introduction to ministry was when I was asked to be an Assistant Pastor and minister to the college students. I saw firsthand how a church can impact young people when it pours its energies into building lives and reaching people. A couple years later I became a Pastor. In total, I have pastored for 31 years. I can honestly say it has been a joy and delight to be a Pastor. Pastors have to be a lot of things; a preacher, a counselor, and at times a referee, but most of all, a leader. That is the most difficult thing about it. Whatever else a Pastor must be, he must be a leader. He has no choice. Two of the terms used for a Pastor in the New Testament are "shepherd" and "overseer". A shepherd leads a flock and an overseer sees over the affairs of the church. A Pastor has no choice in terms of whether or not he is a leader and in reality, no one does.

All of us are leaders in some capacity. We all have influence over someone. We are all leaders to some degree.

Only twice in the Bible do we read that Jesus was amazed at anything. Mark tells us that Jesus was amazed that the people in his home town rejected his ministry. Then Luke tells us the story of the Centurion that amazed Jesus. The Centurion had a servant who was sick and he sent word to Jesus to heal the man. Jesus started to go to the man's house when the Centurion stopped him. The Centurion said "No Lord. I am a man under authority." In other words, I understand leadership. He then asked Jesus just to speak the word and heal the servant. This amazed Jesus because the scripture says that Jesus marveled. Whatever else you learn, learn this: to be over, you must be under. It's so true in every life. Constantly I must place my life under the authority of God. To be a good leader I must yield to my authority, the Lord Jesus. This must be done daily. Paul said "I die daily." The secret to leadership is yielding. As I yield to Christ I will become the leader God wants me to be. Today, pray and yield. And as you do, you will see leadership is a privilege.

It's my privilege to be your Pastor. Thank you for the wonderful opportunity.

See you on Sunday.


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Satisfaction Guaranteed

Rolling Stone magazine ranks it as the number two song on its "500 Greatest Hits of All Time". It is the number one song on VH-1's "One Hundred Greatest Rock and Roll Songs of All Time". The reason it became so much of a hit was not because of how it sounded but what it said. You may remember the title, "I Can't Get No Satisfaction".

I must admit that when it comes to satisfaction and contentment, sometimes I run a little short myself. The reason is simple; we all want more. There are a lot of high dollar, white collar executives on Madison Avenue who drive Mercedes' and BMW's, living in penthouses because they are able to do two things; make sure that you and I are discontent with what we have and make sure that we always want more than we have.

Why else would someone pay $2.6 million for a 30 second ad slot during the Super Bowl? They are making mega-bucks because they know how to create discontentment. If there was a single word that summarized the American dream it's the word "more". We want more money, more success, more square footage, and more luxuries. We live for more. Many live for their next raise, their next house, next car, and next purchase. We just can't find any satisfaction.

Many go through life thinking that contentment is just one more something away. If they could just relocate, they would be content. If they could just go to another church, that would please them. Now if the truth be known, things will never satisfy us. Many who are trying to get ahead need to stop and take stock of what they do have. Then they would realize they are ahead. If you are a follower of Christ, you ought to take inventory of all that you have and all that God has done for you and all that God has given you. Then, thank Him for it.

Someone wisely wrote, "Contentment will make a poor man rich and discontentment will make a rich man poor." Jesus said in His Word, "Be content with such things as ye have, I will never leave nor forsake thee." Today we Americans could complain. There's lots of fodder for that. However, we could also learn to realize how blessed we are in this great nation. Let's choose the latter.

Pastor Brindley

Thursday, May 13, 2010

A Word From the Pastor

Around a week ago my finger began to swell. At first I thought maybe I had jammed it somehow, but for the life of me I couldn't remember how or when. Ultimately, the swelling was so bad I decided to see the doctor. After an examination, he determined that my gout that was often in my feet had moved to my finger. He prescribed some meds and I am on the road to recovery. Every once in a while I hit it the wrong way and it reminds me how painful it has been.

Just a finger, yet my whole body was in disarray. No one could see my pain, but believe me I knew it was there. I was hurting.

As Christians we are part of a body, the body of Christ. We all have roles, purposes and ambitions. Our attitudes are not the same, nor our likes and dislikes, nevertheless we are part of the body.

As a body we are to care for every part. Each one is crucial to the health of the body. Ephesians tells us God made us this way in order to perfect the work of the ministry.

A week ago I went up to Pennsylvania to visit one of our church members who moved away. She's very sick with cancer. We prayed and cried and even said our goodbyes to this life. However, when I left, I hurt. I mean, I hurt real bad. I remembered the night 20 years ago when I sat at her kitchen table and she recieved Christ into her life. God will help her and be her portion until she goes home. Me, well, I hurt. Why? Part of the body is in pain. That's the way God wants us to love, and nurture and care one for the other.

Are there those around you that are hurting? Jesus said "Rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep". It may be just a finger, but man the whole body feels it. Please know that I care about you.

See you Sunday!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Family Matters

Each Tuesday I will be sharing a newspaper article that I've been writing for over 27 years. On Thursday's I will be sharing a personal word with you.
Many of us remember the TV sitcom "Family Ties". A thirty-something couple who were also liberal ex-hippies had a conservative son and faced everyday experiences of family life. It was entertainment pure and simple. Another sitcom from the eighties was "Family Matters". It was also entertainment pure and simple. However, its title bears repeating because family really does matter.
Of all the endeavors we may put our efforts into, none are as important as the family. Now, I realize that today the American family is quite different than the "Cleavers". However, family still matters. It may be a single parent or the typical Dad, Mom and two kids. The important thing is it matters. It matters to God. The home is the first institution ordained by God. God performed the first marriage ceremony in the Garden of Eden. Marriage is not a man-made institution; it is divine in its inception.
It matters to a nation. The Bible says "If the foundations be destroyed what shall the righteous do?" In other words, if those foundations are destroyed there is no hope. Please realize that as the home goes, so goes the nation. America's problem can be traced back to our homes. Absentee parenting, humanistic philosophy, and latch-key kids have added heavy weights to our freedom.
It matters to our children. Every child is made in the image of God and that child deserves to be loved and cared for. A child deserves to be shown care, to be nurtured and also to be shown responsibility. Today many of our youth walk about with chips on their shoulders. Trying to appear unafraid, they are afraid to face life because they have never been shown how to handle it.
Yes! Family matters. Today, thank God for your family. It's important to God, and may it be important to us.

Pastor Brindley

Thursday, May 6, 2010

A Mother's Day Message

This Sunday is Mother's Day. It's always a special day as Americans remember "Mom". We use the slogan "as American as baseball, apple pie, Chevrolet and Mom". Moms hold a special place in our hearts. Their tenderness, Christ-likeness, and love is exceeded only by our Lord.
Personally, I am very thankful for my Mom. She had to stop going to school at age 8 in order to cook for her eight brothers and sisters. When my Grandfather, her Dad, died it placed a severe strain on the family. I could listen to her talk of it for hours. Getting the fire started on cold mornings, standing on a stool in order to reach the stove, and going without are only a few of the inconveniences she endured.
My Mom is absolutely one of the sweetest, kindest, most compassionate people I have ever met. I love her beyond words. I respect her immeasurably. I cannot say enough good things to describe her. She can make me feel like a successful man and a little boy at the same time. Her care for my Dad and her diligence to raise us kids is only exceeded by her knowledge of the Word of God. Mom, I love you and thank you for all you have done.

Friday, April 30, 2010


Welcome my friends, I created this blog in order to keep in touch with everyone. In this day and age it is becoming harder to stay connected with people. It seems like everyone is so busy with their everyday lives that we don't have 5 minutes to stop and catch up. I wanted a way to be able to keep everyone posted on the happenings at the church and drop words of encouragement as well. Thank the Lord for technology! A few years ago I didn't even have a cell phone, now I'm writing a blog online. It's amazing how times change.
I will from time to time be posting my article from the Delmarva Farmer, I have been writing this article for over 25 years.
I enjoy people and friends both new and old, so I trust you will spread the word about this blog. I hope we will be able to connect and encourage each other as we serve the Lord together.
God Bless,