Thursday, December 29, 2011

Happy New Year!

It does not require a degree in psychology to determine we Americans are obsessed with the future. All one needs to do is read the newspapers or listen to the radio and you will find a proliferation of prophets, pundits and prognosticators eagerly attempting to predict what the future holds in an effort to quench this insatiable thirst. Many gullible folks will quickly turn to the astrology section of the newspaper, trusting they will find what “the stars” hold for them in the future.

Some will visit their local psychics, who will gaze at tea leaves, read tarot cards or some other method of hocus-pocus to “determine” what the future will bring. Some of us trust our intuition, minds or intellect to study all sorts of “megatrends” to get a leg up on what these portend for the future. No matter the means to which we may resort, we want to be in the know regarding the future.

However, only One truly knows the future, and that is the omniscient, sovereign God who rules the universe. It is an unfortunate circumstance of this mortal life, but we all must contend with the stubborn fact there is a shroud of uncertainty cloaking the future. And since God is the only One who truly knows the future, it is a monumental mistake not to include Him in our plans. This is the fatal error many commit when creating their grand schemes for future success.

As the beginning of a new year is fast approaching, many are quite concerned as to what it may bring forth, while many are in the process of making plans in hopes to make it a successful one. Perhaps the best advice for both situations, at least from a spiritual perspective, has been provided by Henry Ward Beecher, who said, “Every man should be born again on the first of January.” What better mindset than this to purposefully reconnect with God and start the New Year with a fresh page and a re-invigorated spirit.

Frances Havergal wrote:”Another year is dawning dear Father. Let it be, in working or in waiting, another year with thee”. Include God in your plans, and with this type of attitude, you will have the settled reassurance that no matter what the future brings, God will be with you!

Thank you for your service to Christ this past year. Let’s endeavor to make this the best year ever in our church’s history!

See you on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day!


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

CCA Christmas Program

Wow! That’s all I can say about the fantastic Christmas Program our school put on last evening. I am amazed every year and this year was no different. If you missed it I feel sorry for you. You missed a big blessing.

The High School musical was phenomenal. What a presentation of the gospel and the meaning of Christmas. You guys did an outstanding job! Thank you!

The elementary production of “Angel Alert” was superb! Those kids amaze me with their memorization, singing and humor.

Our music director puts his heart into every Christmas program and it shows. Great job Dave!

What an enjoyable evening. If that didn’t bless your heart your heart is broken!

I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I have been involved in church work for over 35 years. I do not exaggerate when I tell you our Christmas Program is by far the best I have ever seen. Thanks guys!

May God bless all of us and may I wish you a very Merry Christmas!

See ya Sunday!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Pride or Humility: Which Cloak Do You Wear?

It has been said that we are never more like the devil than when pride fills our heart. Pride, at its core, is the root from which all other sin originates. As we all know from the Book of Genesis, it was Adam and Eve’s prideful notion that they “could be like God” that first introduced sin into God’s good creation. And as world renowned evangelist Billy Graham has noted, the road to hell is paved with pride.

In stark contrast to the sin of pride, we have the example of our Lord Jesus Christ, who walked this earth as God robed in human flesh, and by so doing demonstrated the epitome of humility in action, as the Apostle Paul so eloquently explains in the second chapter of the book of Philippians:

"Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus. Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God. But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men. And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross."

Now the reason I bring this dichotomy to your attention is quite simply this: Someone may be watching you. That’s right. Right now someone may be watching you. It may be an acquaintance who is trying to justify their questionable behavior by observing that your own behavior is not consistent with your beliefs. It may be your child or another young person who is scrutinizing how you handle life, your heart, your manner of speaking, or how you respond to the, well, let’s say the less “lovable” people you may encounter in your daily routine. Whether you engage these people and the issues of life with a prideful attitude, or are cloaked in a spirit of humility will greatly influence those around you.

Some do not want to recognize this responsibility. However, as Christians we do not have the option of shirking this critical area of our personal conduct. Inevitably it is thrust upon us. Though, fortunately, the truth claims of Christianity do not rise or fall on our personal testimony, but rather on the testimony of Jesus Christ, it is nonetheless imperative we represent Him to the utmost of our ability. We are either a positive role model, such as the young quarterback of the Denver Broncos, Tim Tebow, or we are a negative one such as... well, I’ll let you fill in the blank.

It has been said that the best safeguard for the younger generation is a good example by the older generation. As a Pastor, a coach, and a teacher I am constantly reminded of that fact. Humility should be a vital part of the character I display for the young people whose lives I might impact in some measure. Jesus prevailed in humility. As His ambassadors, we should strive to emulate our Lord’s example. I know it would change how we live our lives, raise our families and build a nation.

See ya Sunday!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Reason for the Season

Luke’s familiar narrative of the angels descending to earth and announcing the birth of Christ to a group of humble shepherds is one of great joy! After the angels had delivered their message and returned to heaven, the shepherds decided to go to Bethlehem and “see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us”. There they found the Christ-child, and afterwards, having recognized the magnitude of what had been revealed to them, they went about proclaiming the glorious news!

On the other end of the spectrum, we have John Grisham’s classic book “Skipping Christmas”. It is the rather hilarious account of a family that intentionally decides they would not celebrate Christmas at their house in any form or fashion. Grisham humorously describes the complications and difficulties encountered by this family as they try to “ignore” Christmas. Truth be told, it’s one thing to try to ignore Christmas, it’s another thing to miss it all together.

Years ago our family was traveling to spend Christmas Day with relatives. I remember passing a motel on the roadside and seeing one lone car in the parking lot. I couldn’t help but wonder about the poor individual to whom this car belonged, and whether they were even aware it was Christmas Day? An overwhelming sense of loneliness swept over me as I contemplated how dreadful it must have been for that forlorn soul who I suspected was missing Christmas.

Many characters were used by God in the birth of His son. Of course there were Mary and Joseph, and the Wise Men. Ah! And how about those shepherds! All of them were integral to the historical narrative surrounding that first “Christmas”, and I am certain after they had experienced this astounding, awe-inspiring event they would never conceive of missing it!

But while many have discovered and reveled in the inherent joy surrounding the Christmas story, sadly many others have missed it altogether, and even more tragically are those who, as the family in Grisham’s story, deliberately refuse to acknowledge the wonder of what is truly being celebrated.

To find Jesus is to find Christmas. Not to know Him means you have missed the true significance of Christmas.

I trust in your life Jesus is more than a just season and Christmas just an empty celebration. I trust that you have made him your Savior. The scripture says “His name shall be called Jesus for He shall save His people from their sins”. And that ultimately is the “reason for the season” of Christmas!

See ya Sunday!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

It’s once again the time of year that our world is invaded by the commercial glitz and glamour of the Christmas season. We plan special meals to share with family and friends. We take special trips and participate in traditional holiday activities. We watch the requisite seasonal movies. As the songwriter put it, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year!”

In 1957 the book “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” was written by the beloved Dr. Seuss, and the story became even more popular 10 years later when it was transformed into a cartoon. Now this classic animated tale has become an essential part of the Christmas season. One of the more delightful parts is the little ditty we all remember, the Grinch song: “You’re a mean one, Mr. Grinch. You really are a heel. You’re as cuddly as a cactus; you’re as charming as an eel. Mr. Grinch, you’re a bad banana, with a greasy black peel. You’re a monster, Mr. Grinch. Your heart is an empty hole. Your brain is full of spiders; you’ve got garlic in your soul. Mr. Grinch, I wouldn’t touch you with a 10 foot pole. You’re a villain, Mr. Grinch. You have termites in your smile. You have all the tender sweetness, of a seasick crocodile.” The song is of course intended to characterize the Grinch as a cynical, pessimistic and generally unappealing fellow. In short, the Grinch has become synonymous with the type of person who is so miserable they want everyone else to share their misery!

As this Christmas season comes upon us Americans there seems much to be concerned with, both on a national level and globally. The general feeling of discouragement prevailing within our society would certainly make the Grinch “happy” I suppose!

But as Christians we should focus our attention this Christmas on the true reason we celebrate the season, the Divine One who invaded history, and who continues to have all authority, both in Heaven and on earth!

So don’t let the “Grinch’s” come along and ruin your Christmas celebration. Light the tree and let’s be jolly, Christ has come to a world of folly!

Enjoy the celebration by remembering It’s not to be based on present circumstances, but rather on whom it is we are celebrating.

“and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins” Mt 1:21.

See ya Sunday!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Choose To Be Thankful!

The prophet Habakkuk declared, “Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vine, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there be no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord. I will be joyful in God my Savior.”

In 1620, 102 Pilgrims sailed to this continent to build a new world where they could be free to worship God. Within a short time after they had landed on the shores of what would become Massachusetts, 56 had died due to a variety of hardships, including starvation, disease, and exposure to the unrelenting, bitterly cold winter weather. However, despite the difficulties and suffering they encountered, they did not give up. They persevered and continued trusting God, and in 1621, 46 Pilgrims and 91 Indians met to give thanks for the bountiful harvest and for the preservation of their crops. Though they had every reason to be concerned as to what the future might hold, they chose to be joyful and give thanks for the modest success they had enjoyed, and which they recognized as a blessing from God.

The circumstances which life presents to us are constantly changing, often dramatically so; one day the cupboard is full, the next we may struggle to put food on the table. One day we may exhibit the epitome of good health, the next day we may be informed of a serious illness. It is an unfortunate fact of life, but no one ever lives constantly on the mountain. We all will have our share of burdens to bear, and very often these will be thrust upon us by conditions which are beyond our control.

But one thing over which we do have control is our attitude. And as Habakkuk and the Pilgrims clearly demonstrate, one of the most important decisions we can make is to have an attitude of thankfulness. As Psalm 100:4 instructs us: “Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.” We must choose to be thankful.

As a nation America is certainly experiencing some unsettling economic times. But God through his lovingkindness has been mighty good to all of us. And while there will certainly always be struggles which we must endure, God is obviously pleased when we establish an attitude of thanksgiving in our hearts. This Thanksgiving let’s pull some groans out of our prayers and shove in some halleluiah’s! Make a conscious choice to be thankful.

“As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: Rooted and built up in Him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.” Col 2:6-7

See ya Sunday!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Winning and Losing

Yesterday our boys’ soccer team played in our conference championship game. Over my years of coaching I have planned and prepared for many such games. Thankfully we have won far more of them than we have lost. Unfortunately, this was not the case yesterday as we were beaten handily by a better opponent.

I did my best to lift the wounded spirits of the guys, but at times such as this, words, no matter how eloquently spoken, often fall short of accomplishing this intent. The sting of losing a game of this magnitude stays with you for a long while. My Dad used to say “show me a good loser and I will show you a loser.” The fact the boys took this loss so hard is a tribute to their competitive spirit.

Sad to say, losing is an unfortunate but inescapable part of life. It certainly is not what most of us would consider something to be embraced. But in reality, not all loss is bad. Some loss can be a pathway to bigger and better things, which is especially true in the Christian life. Take these few examples from the Bible: We must lose our childhood to become adults (1 Cor 13:11); A man must lose father and mother in order to cleave unto his wife (Gen 2:24); Jesus Himself told us that in order to find our life we must first lose our life (Luke 9:24, among others).

Though losing is often quite painful, it is never the less an inevitable consequence of life, in particular for those of us who truly want to live life to the fullest, as the following quote by Teddy Roosevelt makes plainly evident:

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat."

Simply stated: those who are afraid to lose will never win.

I have invested umpteen hours into the soccer program this fall. Although I feel this has been valuable time well spent with our young people, it has regrettably meant many of you reading this have been without a “full-time” Pastor these past 3 months. Soccer is now over, and so I will be returning to my “normal” duties! ;)

One final comment: although losing is part and parcel of life, one thing we can rejoice in is the fact we can never lose our salvation!!!

See you Sunday!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Busy Days

I'm sorry for being slack in writing my blog. Soccer is in full swing and in the past couple of weeks we have had four games a week. Basically, that means a lot of days I am with our kids from 2 til 8. I have gotten to know these kids pretty well! I will tell you, they are a great group. These teens have great attitudes and that is hard to find these days. I'm impressed. I rejoice over the measured success of our graduates. You parents deserve a lot of credit; you're doing a great job.

Being a coach requires a lot. These folks are all volunteers. They put in a lot of hours. The majority of our teachers leave at 4:00. The coaches spend the rest of the day and a lot of the evening working. Pray for them. They have unbelievable influence on your kids.

Next week are the playoffs, then if we move on, the champoinship. It's a tough challenge but we are up for it!

I thought our program on the cross was phenominal. Each week we were challenged to love, honor and lift up the Lord Jesus. Thanks to the Production Team for a job well done! We've got some special services coming up. Thanksgiving and Christmas are just around the corner. Stay faithful.

Lord willing I'll see you Sunday!


Thursday, September 29, 2011


Wow! What a great Revival Meeting! I was inspired, encouraged, convicted and impressed by the soul-stirring music and the preaching of God’s Word. I feel that we have a new breath on our ministry.

Brother Lee was at his best. His messages hit home and were from his heart. I was moved as I’m sure you were to love and serve our Lord more.

Thank you for your faithfulness to the meetings. To all those who worked the nursery, picked up folks, the ushers, the choir, all the musicians, I say a heartfelt “Thank you for your labor of love.”

I’m looking forward to continuing our program this Sunday with “The People of the Cross”.

See you then!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

March to a different beat!

Early in Israel’s history, God ordained that judges would be responsible for overseeing the adherence of the nation to His law, maintaining the social order and administering justice. Unfortunately, as time passed the Israelites allowed the cultures of the surrounding heathen nations to influence them, and they began to clamor to be like them and be ruled by a king. God reluctantly yielded to them, and gave them Saul as king. As is abundantly evident in the Biblical record, the results were catastrophic! God had intended for His people to be different than other nations, but now they were becoming as the heathens around them, both in practice and in spirit.

America likewise has always been different than other nations! The principles upon which this country was established were derived from Biblical precepts. Since our inception our leaders have sought God’s direction, not the direction of those around us. We have always been different in body and spirit. We marched to a different beat because our guiding values were based on a different book, the Bible.

But recently, a disturbing trend has been taking place. Both the executive and judicial branches of our government are looking to other nations to develop our national policies. And we are fast becoming like Israel in the sense that we want to be “like” everyone else. Look around the world and you will see the disastrous consequences that result when a people embrace a philosophy of man over the clear teachings God has revealed in the Bible. Socialism has caused the better part of Europe to begin to self destruct. Greece, Italy, Spain and France have all begun to display the signs of countries whose societies are eroding from within. What’s wrong with socialism? After all, on the surface it seems to be a “fair” system; the government taking care of everyone! The problem lies in the notion that government has endless resources to accomplish this. But the government by nature does not produce material goods. It in fact must take from those who have earned through their own industry in order to give it to those who have not. This is nothing less than government theft, and ultimately produces a climate of entitlement, and a population who will by and large become dependent on that government. As Margaret Thatcher aptly said, ” The problem with socialism is when the other guy runs out of money”.

America has prospered because the people who came here worked hard, relying on their own industriousness and resourcefulness, not because of government hand-outs. An enterprising spirit along with a dependence on divine help has always set us apart from others. May it ever be so!

We do not need to look elsewhere and embrace the failed philosophies of men. We need to return to the foundational concepts upon which this country was constructed. In closing, I believe these words spoken by Ben Franklin to the Continental Congress are most appropriate: “I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth-that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His Aid? We have been assured, Sir, in the Sacred Writings that except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it. I firmly believe this.”

God bless you all!
See you sunday!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Revive Us!

James 4 exhorts us to “draw nigh to God and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands ye sinners; and purify your hearts ye double minded.” In this passage, James has essentially provided the framework for the concept of revival.

All of us experience highs and lows; one day we’re on top of the mountain, the next we may be traversing through the lowest valley. This is what C.S. Lewis described as the “Law of Spiritual Undulation” of the Christian life; the tendency to move from spiritual highs when the blessings of God are clearly evident, to times of spiritual lows when the trials of life provoke us to battle with doubts or discouragement. Our hearts get cold and calloused, and let’s be honest, even bored at times, and at some point, we all need revival. We need to get back to the fire and warm ourselves again.

Revival is bringing back to life that which has previously had life. Of course, this means you cannot have revival unless you’ve already had “life”. God’s people are “born again” into a new life, adopted into God’s family; yet at different seasons of life we need a new stirring of the Spirit of God; a quickening of our spiritual life. We need a personal revival.

Gypsy Smith, an evangelist of yesteryear said, “The way to have a personal revival is to draw a circle around yourself, get down on your knees and say “OH Lord send revival and let it start inside this circle.”

Charles Finney, the great evangelist said, “Revival is a new beginning of obedience unto God.”

All of us need that! Amen.

This Sunday will start our Fall Revival with Evangelist Tim Lee. I would encourage everyone to make a commitment to participate as I am sure we can all use some “revival” in our spiritual lives! This is our church and together we need to seek God’s blessings through obedience. Each night bring your family and your Bible but most of all bring your heart open, ready to receive what God has for you. Let us all pray this week that God will send us true Holy Ghost revival. I can’t wait!

See you Sunday!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

In Honor of Our Fallen Soldiers

It was certainly an emotional day this past Sunday when we honored those precious families that suffered the loss of a son in Iraq or Afghanistan. Heart-rending may actually be a more appropriate description. If you were not moved by the life stories behind each of these valiant young men, you better check your pulse! In the coming weeks we plan to have the names of these dear men engraved on the bench designed in their honor.

Solomon said “Sorrow is better than mirth (laughter).” Although this may seem to be a rather cynical attitude, it is actually rooted in Solomon’s astute observation that we tend to learn and grow stronger in faith more from times of sorrow than we do from times of joy.

Experiencing sorrow is typically not considered to be something beneficial, but Solomon would argue that it does have some positive effects. For one, it causes us to “reconnect” with our humanity, often compelling us to reach out to our fellow man in ways we otherwise would not (this Sunday’s service, for instance!). It also forces us to recognize our inherent weakness as humans, and that some things are beyond our control. This in turn provides insight as to our own limitations; we are so limited just by our being finite human beings. But God is unlimited, and God is infinitely wise and perfect in all His ways. If we acknowledge these contrasting realities, and we place our trust in God and rely on his providence, times of sorrow will strengthen our faith and fortify our spiritual muscle. I guess Solomon knew what he was talking about!

This Sunday our theme will be on “The Power of the Cross”. We have some great things planned at Chestertown Baptist Church. If you miss a Sunday, you miss a lot!

Please know that I love and appreciate you all.

See ya Sunday!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Murphy's Law

Murphy’s Law is a familiar, old adage that goes something like this: “If anything can go wrong at the most inopportune time, it will.” It is a universal precept which, I’m certain, we all have referenced at one time or another. As one preacher put it “It’s the reason why our offering plate is never dropped until it’s full of coins.”

Dear Abby published proof of the expanded version of Murphy’s law which says, “If something can go wrong, it will, and in the worst possible sequence”. As evidence she provided a four day typographical nightmare printed by a small town newspaper:
Monday - For sale – R.D. Jones has one sewing machine for sale. Phone 948-0707 after 7:00PM and ask for Mrs. Kelly who lives with him cheap.

Tuesday - Notice: We regret having erred in R.D. Jones ‘ ad yesterday. It should have read “One sewing machine for sale cheap. Phone 948-0707 and ask for Mrs. Kelly who lives with him after 7:00 PM.”

Wednesday - Notice: R.D. Jones has informed us that he has received several annoying telephone calls because of the error we made in his classified ad yesterday. The ad stands correct as follows: “For sale – R.D. Jones has one sewing machine for sale. Cheap. Phone 948-0707 after 7:00 PM and ask for Mrs. Kelly who lives with him.

Thursday - Notice: I, R.D. Jones have no sewing machine for sale. I smashed it. Don’t call 948-0707 as the telephone has been taken out. I have not been carrying on with Mrs. Kelly. Until yesterday she was my housekeeper, but she quit.”

To R.D. Jones, Murphy’s law probably understated the facts!

As we serve the Lord together, we can expect things can and will go wrong. Jesus Himself warned us “In the world ye shall have tribulation”, so we should not be surprised when a “Murphy’s law” moment invades our life. But the truth is, we can often learn more from the difficulties of life than from the successes. I am reminded of what King Solomon said as to one of the primary goals of life: “Acquire wisdom. Honor her and she will give you life”.

Murphy says: ”If it weren’t for the last minute, nothing would get done.” But Solomon’s admonition takes a much different view: “Lazy people want much but get little, while the diligent prosper.”
The truth is, there is no shortcut to success. The road to a fulfilling life is full of potholes and struggles, but when you are serving the King of Kings, it’s always worth it in the end!

Now the proverbial pot of gold people speak of may have a certain allure, but as author Bert Whitney warns, if this is the ultimate prize which you seek:

“If I traveled to the end of the rainbow
As lady fortune did intend
Murphy would be there to tell
The pot’s at the other end.”

Have a super week. See you Sunday! God is good, and Jesus is wonderful!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

God Wants Us to Thrive!

When life is going well it’s easy to feel hopeful. But when this fallen world brings trouble into your life, feelings of hopelessness will naturally arise. Thankfully, God gives us hope that is much more than a feeling. Unlike the worldly concept of hope as a wishy-washy emotion, the biblical definition of hope is the earnest expectation borne of a settled confidence that our Heavenly Father will deliver on His promises. One of these promises is manifested in the reality of His presence with you, through the Holy Spirit, one which we can experience in any situation; when health fails, the loss of a job, or any of the multiple tragedies which life may hurl your way.

While many Christians are “going through the motions”, merely surviving the daily routine, God wants us to thrive. Even when times are tough, He desires we make the most of each day. We are never to simply endure a troubling situation; we are expected to be fully engaged in whatever circumstances in which God has seen fit to place us.

Remember, each day you have in this life is a gift from God; thank Him for it. I have a sign on the mantle of my fireplace which reminds me of this simple truth – “Today is a gift from God; remember to thank Him for it”.

Pray for the Holy Spirit to renew your mind each day (see Romans 12:2!) so you can have positive attitudes that you will need to confront whatever the day may hold, and to have power to demonstrate a Christ-like spirit in your life. Remember others are watching us. Help them to be drawn to Christ though your spirit and attitude.

I was participating in the soccer camp with kids all last week. It was a blast, but the coach is not what he once was!
I’ll see you Sunday!


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Love One Another

In John 13 the Lord Jesus said, “A new commandment give I unto thee, that ye love one another.” Now the disciples had been told before to love. However, this time Jesus taught them how to love. He said, “As I have loved you, also love one another, by this shall all men know that ye are my disciples.” You don’t need a lapel pin. You don’t need a bumper sticker. The lost will know you by your love. I am not against lapel pins, or bumper stickers, but the greatest way to witness for Christ is to show His love.

About 200 years ago an encyclopedia wrote an article on love. It took five pages. Many years later that same encyclopedia attempted to describe the atom and it took 4 lines. Recently, a new edition to that encyclopedia left love out altogether and took 5 pages to explain the atom. Jesus said, ”Because iniquity shall abound, the love of many will wax cold.” We live in a day of dwindling love and abounding iniquity. Love is hard to explain. It is hard to express. However, you know when it is there.

One place where love is expressed is in the church of the Lord Jesus. What a thrill to attend a church where you are warmly greeted and accepted as a fellow-believer. I tell you there is no lodge, club, or organization that will love you like the folks at a good Bible believing, New Testament church! I am thrilled to be part of this fellowship. Thanks for loving me and accepting my family and myself. I love and appreciate each one of you!
Looking forward to this Sunday!


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Perfume in church?

Most of us would agree that the church at Philippi was one of the most pleasant churches described in the entire New Testament. All through the letter to the Philippians it is almost as if you could smell the pleasant atmosphere generated by the love the dear believers had for Christ and for each other. It was truly a church filled with love and joy. The Apostle Paul even exclaimed in his salutation in the first chapter, "I thank God for every remembrance of you!" He was essentially telling them that they were a sweet fragrance to him. Such was the spiritual character of this church.

In John 12 we are told about Mary anointing the feet of the Lord Jesus with expensive perfume. The Bible provides this description within the passage, “and the house was filled with the fragrance." It was obviously a palpable and pleasing fragrance, one that so impressed John that he was compelled to describe the sweet aroma that permeated the scene.

Oh! How wonderful it would be to be in a church like that! There needs to be a fragrance of perfume in a church. The ministry and the fellowship of the church family should emanate such a pleasant fragrance it should be easily discerned by any visitor.

I believe that is the atmosphere we have here at Chestertown Baptist Church. The unity and harmony and the ministry send forth just such a pleasant fragrance. Our members are among the sweetest on earth. Our services are Christ inspired and spiritually uplifting. Personally, I would rather be here than in any other church on earth! I remember Dr. Tom Wallace preaching a sermon here years ago entitled, “There’s no place like this place so this must be the place!" That's how I feel!

Of course, we are not a perfect church; we are, after all, made up of imperfect people! Once in a while you will run across “problem” people. That is going to happen! But the majority of us are “Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Eph 4:3), which produces just such a sweet fragrance.
Thank you for being the way you are. You are a delight to Pastor and fellowship with.

May all we do be a sweet smelling savor to our precious Lord!
God bless you and Lord willing I'll see you Sunday!


Thanks for being patient with me the last couple of weeks. My gout has flared up. I have only eaten what I'm supposed to and only drink water. I went yesterday and received cortisone shot in my right foot. I am much better! Thanks for your prayers!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


One of the preeminent goals of the Christian life is to exhibit the fruit of the spirit. One such fruit which seems awfully short in supply these days is kindness. Kindness…..think of it just for a moment. Titus 3:4 informs us kindness is one of the attributes displayed by our heavenly Father: “The kindness and the love of God our Savior appeared”. But even among believers there does seem to be a shortfall of this virtue in our churches.

It reminds me of the little girl who once prayed, "Dear God make all the bad people good and make the good people nice”. I say "amen" to that!

Have you ever asked yourself “Am I a kind person?” Someone recently commented to me of one of our members "No one is that nice all the time." I replied, "Yes, she is!" Wouldn’t it be wonderful if that testimony were true of all of us?

The story is told of a travelling businessman who was out of town and had stopped at a restaurant. The waitress came to take his order. "I'll have the chicken casserole and a kind word." Minutes later she returned and set his meal at the table before him, but without speaking a word. The man asked, “Where is the kind word?" She sighed and whispered, “Don't eat the chicken casserole."

My pastor in Indiana, where I was studying for the ministry, closed his radio program with the words, “Be nice to everybody ‘cause everybody is having a rough time." How true! I don't care who you are, we all need to hear a kind word once in a while!

Jackie Robinson, the Hall of Famer who broke the color barrier in Major League baseball, said he would never have made it in the majors if it hadn't been for Pee Wee Reese, who told him, “I’m behind you all the way!" Certainly kind words that were an encouragement to Robinson.

The Apostle Paul, in his famous listing of the characteristics of love in 1 Corinthians 13, includes this: Love is kind! The Lord is kind to us; we in turn are to be kind to others! I want to be a kind and gentle person! I want to be a blessing to others, not a burden. That's my goal, and I truly believe it should be the goal of all Christians.

I am blessed as a pastor in that, collectively, this is one of the kindest congregations I have ever met. Thank you for being so kind to me. I'm going to do my best to reciprocate!

See you Sunday


Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Happy 4th of July!

America has enjoyed the signature blessings of God throughout our history. We have indeed been a providentially blessed people. However, when the virtues of our nation are mentioned there are those who seek to deny its Christian influence. Some even derogatorily claim the early years of our nation was governed by Old Testament rules, as if this is a bad thing; they are ignorant of the fact the Old Testament is brimming with the basic tenets upon which a moral and prosperous society can be developed.

Today we are constantly bombarded by those who want to argue that the fundamental ideals upon which this country was founded were not conceived by those of the Christian faith. However, an honest, forthright investigation of the motivations of our forefathers makes it impossible to separate America’s founding from the Christian faith that provided the framework which guided their efforts.

John Witherspoon , one of the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence, oversaw the project of printing the Bible authorized by Congress. Charles Thompson, secretary of Congress, was responsible for America’s 1st translation of the Bible from Greek to English. In fact, a number of the signers of the Declaration were involved with starting 121 Bible societies within an eight year period. During the signing of the Declaration, Benjamin Rush asked John Adams regarding the impending war , “Do you think we can win this conflict?” Adams replied, “Yes, if we repent of our sins and rely on God.”

This is just a small sampling from the historical record of the overt Christianity expressed by the founding fathers, and it is a far cry from what is being taught today. Historical Revisionists, with an agenda to misrepresent the truth, have poisoned much of our youth. And, although it is consistent with the intent of the forefathers that other religions would be free to worship in this land, it is imperative to remember it is because of the Christian faith and its established principles that this freedom was instituted.

I trust you will have a blessed 4th of July. Bow your head and thank God for the privilege of living in the greatest nation on earth – America!

Don’t forget the Fellowship on Sunday. I want all, and I mean all of us to take part!

God bless you, and God bless America!


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Amazing Grace!

The town of Olney, England is famous for two things; it is known as “The home of the world famous pancake race” and it is also the location where John Newton penned what may arguably be the most beloved hymn of all time, “Amazing Grace”. I personally know nothing of the pancake race, but I am very familiar with “Amazing Grace”.

John Newton served as Pastor for the Olney Parish Church,. They say to this day you can walk down the street past the church and see the window of the room where Newton wrote this awe inspiring hymn. I have often wondered if Newton had even the remotest sense of the emotional impact that his song would have, or that it would be sung by Christians the world over. Truth be told, I believe the reason “Amazing Grace” is so compelling to Christians is because it is the story of every one of us.
Amazing grace, how sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost, but now I’m found
Twas blind but now can see.
The older I get, the more I marvel at the wonder and magnitude surrounding God’s amazing grace. Apart from this grace, I am hopelessly lost. However, by God’s grace, I, an undeserving sinner, have been changed, I am a new creature! I am reconciled with my Heavenly Father, I am an adopted son, a co-heir with Christ!
Today, why not bow your head and thank God for all He has done for you, and most of all for His marvelous, wonderful grace that has provided us a place in heaven through Jesus Christ.

Marvelous grace of our loving Lord.
Grace that exceeds our sin and our guilt.
Yonder on Calvary’s mount outpoured.
There where the blood of the Lamb was spilt.
Grace, grace, God’s grace
Freely bestowed on all who believe.
Grace, grace ,God’s grace
Grace that is greater than all our sin.

See you Sunday!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Wedding Blues

Last week was a blur of emotions. Three funerals and a wedding. I wear a host of hats in my role as a Pastor but the one I put on Saturday to marry my son was a tight fit.

Of course you're thrilled for your children as they grow into adulthood and find their way while exhibiting the good Christian principles they have been taught. At the same time an event such as this does cause a sense of melancholy when you realize, as in my case, three down and one to go.

The joy of raising Bill was one that I am truly thankful for. All of my kids exhibit different traits. David is fearless; he will look you square in the eye and tell you what he thinks. Beth could run a corporation with her "lets get it done" attitude. Emily has a great positive attitude about life. Bill, his greatest gift is humility. In high school he scored over 1,000 points in basketball and that really wasn't his first love. But it made no difference to him. During his four years in soccer our little school won 3 state titles, yet he was never proud or cocky. Last Saturday was his wedding day and what a day it was. I love his new bride. She was made to be Bill's wife and he her husband. It is, as the saying goes,"A match made in heaven". I'm thrilled with the mates our kids have married.

It's an emotional rollercoaster I'm on, however, it's been a great ride. God bless you, I love you. God is good, Jesus is wonderful.

See ya Sunday!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Stay Faithful!

In the book of Ecclesiastes Solomon wisely said, “The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, but time and chance happeneth to all.” In other words, the strongest, the fastest, the most qualified people do not always win in the game of life. While it is imperative that we each strive to be the best we can possibly be, it is equally important that we understand life is a marathon, not a sprint. Because we may succeed at one stage of life doesn’t necessarily mean we will succeed all together.

Why is that? Because God does not want us to run our race looking back at past successes, but rather He desires we should keep looking forward for new opportunities to serve. Retirement may be the life goal of the worldly, but it is not in God’s plan for His children. In describing our duty as believers in regard to the second coming, the Bible commands us “to occupy til He comes.” We are to be working fervently and faithfully until we breathe our last.

I am so thankful for the faithful people here at Chestertown Baptist Church. May God bless you as you labor for the Lord. Stay after it, and don’t let up as we know our labor is not in vain, for as Jesus Himself proclaimed in Luke 6:23: “Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven”.
Be faithful this summer, and do your best to be at all our services; Sunday night as we continue our study of the Revelation of the Lord Jesus, and Wednesday evenings as we study the book of Deuteronomy. Don’t put your spiritual life on hold till the fall. I guarantee Satan doesn’t take a “summer vacation”!

See ya Sunday for our “Fellowship Sunday”!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

A New Beginning

Last Sunday evening we celebrated our Senior Blessing Service. It is a time of celebration and fulfillment as we see our young people, whom we have labored to bring up “in the nurture and admonition of the Lord”, cross the threshold into adulthood. Over the years it has been a joy for me to see so many of our youth go out and live rich, full lives serving the Lord!

For some reason, it seems difficult for most people to consider graduation as a new beginning. It just seems more natural to associate it with the end of what is certainly a significant chapter in life. Perhaps this is because for most, this next phase of their life will require them to assume more responsibility; it means it’s time to grow up and begin to stand on your own. The Apostle Paul phrased it this way:” When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things”. This is a daunting proposition, which no doubt can be somewhat intimidating to accept.
But, the odd thing is, graduation is often referred to as a “Commencement Ceremony”, and the very definition of commencement is “to begin”, to “start anew”! Rather than viewing this as the ending of one chapter, it should be seen as the beginning of a new and exciting time of life! It is a time to grow, mature and develop the necessary character which will provide the foundation to prosper and successfully fulfill God’s will for your life. What could be more exciting than that!

As our seniors graduate, it may be a time for all of us to reflect and take stock of our own lives. Each of us can recognize past events which signified a commencement or a new beginning in our own experiences. Possibly the Lord is prodding us to “commence” in a new direction in our own spiritual paths? Perhaps we should not only watch our seniors graduate, but perhaps it is time for us to graduate as well!! It may be time to turn the page and move on to a new and greater chapter of life.
I love and appreciate you folks!
Don’t forget Sunday morning’s lesson from Genesis, and Sunday evening we’ll continue our study in Revelation titled “What in the world is going on in our world?”
See you Sunday!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

I Can Do All Things Through Christ ...

Harry Emerson Fosdick once commented "Life is a landscaping job. We are handed a site, ample or small, rugged or flat, picturesque or commonplace, whose general outlines and contours are largely determined for us." Essentially, Fosdick was using this as a word picture suggesting the basic circumstances we encounter in life are often beyond our control.

In one of his many movies, Clint Eastwood delivered this memorable line: "A man has got to know his limitations." Indeed, as humans, we all have shortcomings, faults, and flaws that certainly may be considered liabilities which prevent us from successfully confronting the many challenges of life. We all have a tendency to sit around and groan about our weaknesses, while looking at others who we believe are stronger and have more potential than us.

So how does the average, everyday Christian respond to these rather depressing philosophies?

First, an appropriate inventory of our individual worth is warranted. George Gallup, the famous pollster, did a study of self esteem. His findings were that people with high self-esteem are more successful, more satisfied, more willing to help others, hold themselves to a higher moral standard, have more satisfying relationships, are more productive, less affected by stress, healthier physically, and are more likely to see God as loving and forgiving. So it seems having a properly balanced level of self esteem is beneficial.

Now, the Bible informs us we are made in the “image of God’; that we are fearfully and wonderfully made by the Creator; and this same God valued us so much, he came to this earth and bore our shame and guilt all the way to the cross. If these truths straight from the Bible don’t boost your self esteem, I don’t know what will!

Second, although we indeed have to humbly acknowledge our shortcomings, we also know we do not confront life’s challenges alone. As God’s adopted children and joint heirs with Christ, we know we will not be forsaken, and we have the assurance that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.

Thus, as our trust is firmly placed in this loving, righteous, and sovereign God, we should not allow a spirit of pessimism to develop within our hearts because of the prevailing conditions presented to us by life, but should rather recognize them as an opportunity to be good and faithful stewards in our divinely appointed workplace.

Whatever you are facing, you can win through. It is not you, but Christ in you, the hope of glory. Happiness is found in a well-lived life. Live your life well, knowing that God can make up for any lack you may have.

God bless you! See you Sunday!


Thursday, May 12, 2011

Judgement Day?

Recently a well-known radio and Bible preacher and teacher has predicted the imminent return of our Lord will occur on a particular day in May. You may have seen the billboards proclaiming it as "Judgement Day 2011 - Repent".

Although I am reluctant to be critical of another preacher, in this case I must humbly disagree. Jesus may indeed come back on May 21st, but He may also come back today, or tomorrow, or on January 12,2030. The scripture is emphatically clear that only God the Father knows the day and the hour! This fact alone makes me question the rationale for making such a bold prediction.

That being said, it is absolutely scriptural to live our lives in the light of His coming. We could indeed be living in the last hours. To properly understand this and its Biblical application is certainly relevant to the Christian life. Though believers may not agree on all the specific details of His return, most can agree on the Biblical command to be about our work of kingdom building if He should tarry.

So when you see the billboards displaying Judgement Day is May 21st, recognize that though it may be folly to so brazenly predict what only God knows, as Christians we should also prepare ourselves, for He may come today!

If not, I'll see you Sunday! Remember our Sunday evening series, "What in the world is going on?"

God bless,keep looking up!


Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Moving On

One of the greatest problems we Christians have is leaving the past behind us and moving on to the future with hope and optimism. The Apostle Paul admonished the Christians at Philippi regarding this when he wrote, "This one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high-calling of God in Christ Jesus."

Often it is our past that induces a sense of defeat in our lives. We become obsessed with memories of failures from the past, or we allow previous mistakes to stifle our spiritual growth. Hurts, emotional pain, disappointments can become like a cancer, metastasizing into anger, bitterness, and frustration that paralyze us, and keep us on the bench rather than in the game.

Paul recognized these symptoms, and that is why he advocated the importance of letting go and moving on. Often in counsel I have expressed a similar statement "You can't go back, only ahead."

To use a sports analogy, one of the things every sprinter learns is the importance of focusing on the race, and not his competition. Just one glance behind to see if someone is gaining ground may cause a misstep, and the race may be lost!

That is how we believers ought to be. Keep your focus on the Lord Jesus. Relinquish the debilitating power the past may have on you. The hurts, disappointments and failures. In all honesty, the only thing we ought to see when we look back are the blessings of God. And let’s not forget, God can use of the past to make us wiser and stronger. We are not to allow past circumstances to render us helpless in the present.

As Warren Weirsbe puts it, "Focus your gaze and concentrate on what God has for you in the future.

See you Sunday!


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Spring Cleaning

Following Jewish tradition, during the last several weeks the regular, weekly reading of the Torah was accompanied by a series of special readings proclaiming to the Jewish people that the Holy Season of Passover had begun.

In practical terms, in every Jewish home, this is the season to clean house. Leavening, or to the Jewish household “chametz” is forbidden as it is believed that leaven is symbolic of sin. Jewish households will search for even the smallest speck of chametz and it is cast out.

Therefore, in preparing for Passover the home must be swept clean, and this ritual cleansing goes beyond food items. Anything that has come in contact with leaven must be purified; pots, pans, dishes, etc. must be washed.

This religious exercise is intended to mirror a spiritual corollary, as this is a sacred time for Jews as they prepare their hearts to commemorate what is arguably the most significant event in their history.

There are times in all of our lives that we need cleansing. Living in this “dirty” world should, at least occasionally, cause even the best Christian to recognize the need for spiritual housekeeping.

When unforgiveness, jealousy, envy, lust, greed, and the biggest one of all, pride, take root in our hearts, they “dirty” us. It is a good thing for us to pause and take inventory of our lives, our attitudes, our priorities, and to remove the “chamtez”. In order to be acceptable for God to work within our lives, we need to be “clean” vessels. What a verse is I John 1:9, “If we confess He will forgive and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Take inventory. Look for the “chametz” in your life and remove it. Then prepare for the blessings of God.

See you Sunday!


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Praise Him!

In Chapter 19 of Luke’s gospel, as Jesus began His entrance into Jerusalem, a multitude of disciples began to praise Him. The Pharisee’s were incensed by this display of joyful adulation, and demanded Jesus rebuke His disciples. But the Lord instead responded by admonishing the Pharisees, “I tell you that if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out.” Essentially, He was saying that God is due all praise, and if men did not offer this praise, nature would.

Our lives should testify to men of the goodness of God. The Bible condemns luke-warmness, which was apparent in the Pharisees’ response detailed above. This should be especially true as we celebrate this Easter; our praise and worship should be over-flowing and abounding with joy! What a time to praise the Lord and to share Him with others!

I love the hymn, “There is a fountain filled with blood”. The last verse says “Then in a nobler, sweeter song I’ll sing thy power to save. When this poor lisping, stammering tongue lies silent in the grave.” Although the words of this song cause my heart to swell with emotion when I realize I’ll be singing praises at the foot of the Heavenly throne, they also compel me to worship and praise God with all I have while I live!

God bless you and I’ll see you on Sunday!


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Everybody is Somebody!

There is a wonderful Baptist church in Cartersville, Georgia I visited during my days traveling as an evangelist. I very much liked the motto followed by this church: "Where everybody is somebody in the body". That neatly summarizes the lesson the Apostle Paul details for the church in chapter 12 of 1st Corinthians!

Last week a survey was distributed to the congregation. I very much appreciate the time each of you took to provide your responses. I enjoyed reading through them. Thank You! The reason I wanted to do the survey was to have a means for me to receive some honest feedback from my church family. I value your opinion, and what you think is of the utmost importance to me.

I would like to emphasize that, as your Pastor, I cherish each and every representative group within our church. I love our youth. It is the highlight of my day when I walk down to the school and mingle with the kids. I think we have some of the finest young people in the world! I admire the dear ladies of the church. To me, they are the epitome of grace. The men in the church are just that - MEN! I thank God for you guys. Thanks for befriending your Pastor.

Young and old, rich and poor, all have a place here at Chestertown Baptist Church. Your value to me, and more importantly to God, is great!

God bless you dear folks. My heart overflows with love and respect for you.

See you on Sunday! Don't forget our new series on Revelation begins on Sunday evening!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Don't Let Stress "Stress" you out!

Stress seems to be ingrained into our modern lives; its presence has become so second nature to us it is like breathing oxygen. I often wonder what life would be like without it, but I guess you could call that a real “fantasy”!

E-mails, Facebook, Twitter, doctor appointments and a long to-do list from here to eternity filled with unchecked boxes are all part of our daily reality. I often leave the office exasperated by the enormous amount of work that is still left undone, and worse, I realize the next day I will tackle all I can, but still never complete all of these tasks! Talk about stress inducing!

There was s a time in my life when I actually thrived on the pressures of my job. But that was when I was young; now that I am older (and wiser!) I recognize it for what it is: STRESSFUL! It often crashes in on me like a wave. I would love to avoid it, but I can’t.

As Christians we often believe this should not be the case; our focus should prevent stress. But being salt and light, as we’re called to be, will often introduce situations which will cause a great deal of stress. No matter our personality type, introvert or extrovert, we were never made to live life sedately. God designed us to be fully alive, and there are times when being fully alive will include stress!

However, remember that these difficulties are worth it. Our Lord Jesus told us that the sufferings of this present world cannot be compared to the glory that shall be revealed one day.

The next time you are felling overwhelmed by life’s trials, I recommend you reflect on these verses (there are many others as well!):

John 14:27: Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

John 16:33: These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

So, don’t stress out. Thank God for the opportunity to serve. Glory is going to be ours. Until then let’s continue on.

God bless, see you Sunday!


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Time is Filled with Swift Transition

Please forgive me for the absence of blogs the last two weeks. I have been rather busy and before I realized it, two weeks had flown by! My father had a saying which described how busy life can be that went something like this: "I'm busier than a one-armed paper hanger with an itch on a one-wrung ladder." Though I haven't been that busy, the thought of how fast time goes by has occurred to me, and it seems the older I get, the quicker my time here flies by. The old adage time and tide wait for no man is so true.

The Bible has many verses which allude to how quickly our time in this temporal realm passes. Job describes this as a "weavers shuttle and a hurrying messenger". James puts it this way: "it is as a vapor that appears for a moment then vanisheth away". When wandering in the wilderness the old sage Moses said in Psalms 90, "We are like grass that grows up in the morning and in the evening it is cut down." Moses also beseeches the Lord to "Teach us to number our days so we may apply our hearts to wisdom."

Personally, I love life. God has been very good to me. Sure, I've had my share of burdens, but they have served to strengthen my spiritual muscle. I often remind myself when going through a valley that I was not made for this world. I am heading toward my eternal home. No use complaining about it, go with it. Enjoy the race! But don't get too comfortable - it doesn't last long! Make good use of the time allotted to you! As the writer of Hebrews exhorts us, “let us run with patience the race that is set before us”.

God bless you all! I'll see you on Sunday. It will be here before you know it!

Time is filled with swift transition,
Naught of earth unmoved can stand,
Build your hopes on things eternal,
Hold to God's unchanging hand.


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Going Through the Motions

Many of us go to church every Sunday, sing the songs, greet friends and listen to the sermon, but we are only going through the motions. Do you ever feel as though you have lost your zeal? Do you long to reconnect with God and truly worship Him? That's how the people in Malachi's day felt. They even told God it was a weakness to serve the Lord. Literally that means they turned their nose at it!

I personally believe that one of the great maladies of our day is the sincere worship of God. Sunday after Sunday we attend church like we're doing God a favor. While the service is going on we check off things in order, wait for the final prayer and go home often as dry as when we came in. Many can hardly wait for it to be over. But we must do our duty. It's all so wearisome. The thrill is gone, the excitement has long since departed. The joy that once filled the heart has turned into monotony and boredom.

We can leave church one of two ways: full or empty. Luke 1:53 says, "He hath filled the hungry with good things and the rich He hath sent away empty." Oft times we Christians are like the Laodician's. We are rich and in need of nothing. Very few are thirsty anymore. We come in for nothing and we leave with nothing.

An unexcited Christian is one that has forgotten God and who He is.

Remember this Sunday when you come to the services Who it is we are worshipping. That will make all the difference in the world!

God bless, have a great week and I'll see you on Sunday as we come together to worship.


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Gift of Encouragement

We all need encouragement at one time or another. We need to know that somebody cares for us and is there for us. Happy times are always more joyous when shared with a friend; sad times are more bearable when shared and shouldered with a friend.
Over and over the Bible uses the phrase,"one another". Jesus told us to weep with those who weep and rejoice with those who rejoice.

Encouragement is something that there is never enough of. The reason is simple; God made us that way. No one is an island unto themselves.

Our children need consistent, honest, encouragement in order to become well adjusted, loving, godly adults. If you are a parent one of the most important things you can do is to become a cheerleader for your children. They deserve it and the time invested in their lives will reap huge dividends.

Our spouses need encouragement. We overlook all they do and think they will be with us forever.

Our effective, timely word is valuable. A word of encouragement may be the most powerful and positive message you can send those you love.

Our employees can often wonder if they are doing a good job. Encouragement could keep a good employee and keep a company fit for service.

As a former athlete I know the coaches that took the time to encourage me got their money's worth when I took the field. My baseball coach had a way of encouragement that caused me to never want to disappoint him. When I read in a sports magazine of tragedy in his family I tried to be an encouragement, as he had been to me.

Encouragement and love. I trust at this Valentine's season that we will look closely at those around us. They don't need a boot in the tail half as much as they need a pat on the back!

I probably don't tell you enough how much of an encouragement you are to me. I know I have limitations, however, you have helped me beyond words to be what I am supposed to be. To that I say a big "Thank you!" from the bottom of my heart.
Thank you for all your many notes and expressions of love. Please know how much I appreciate you!

God bless and Lord willing I will see you Sunday!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Vital Signs

I was recently called to the hospital to visit my dear Mother who had taken sick. Thankfully she is now fine and on the road to recovery.

As soon as I entered the room I wanted to know how her vital signs were. Being a Pastor for over 30 years you learn to look for certain things. Vital signs are one.

Blood pressure, respiration, and heartbeat are all important to one's well-being. Other observations are made and other tests given, but these differ from all the others. They are vital! When a person has no vital signs he or she has expired.

What is true physically is also true nationally. The Psalmist spoke of our national vital signs when he said,"Remove not the ancient landmarks". In other words,"Keep that which has kept you strong and stable".

America's vital signs are God, His Word and Christianity. The Bible says, "Blessed is the nation whose Lord is God".

Mark it down; America is strong as long as we keep God at the helm. His Word has been the anchor that has guided and directed us through unbelievable circumstances. We are most assuredly first and foremost a Christian nation. If these are ever removed our nation would cease to be a beacon of hope for the people of the world.

It is good for us to check our vital signs; to be sure we are healthy. Our enemies would seek to hurt and thwart our endeavors. We must keep our vital signs strong and be vigilant to be the mightly nation we are today.

I trust you will have a wonderful and glorious week. Thanks for being the wonderful folks you are!

See you Sunday!


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

God Is So Good!

God is good and He is good all the time! God cares about us in all things, big and small.

We have cats on our farm. They all live outside in the garage, hither and yon. I have become fond of one little tiger colored kitten. The reason is my grandson loves him. He has even named him. Ready for this? He named him "Mow". It sounds like cow. On Monday evening I realized little Mow was missing. I searched in the typical places to no avail. I figured something bad happened but I continued to look. I scoured the woods and the fields. I even bothered one of our neighbors. Still no Mow.

On Wednesday I offered a prayer to the Lord. I know it was a little thing, but still I prayed. My curiosity had taken over and I needed to know what happened.

Three days and two nights later and still no Mow.

After the Wednesday evening service I went to the grocery store. At about 9:45 I turned onto my road. While driving down the road I saw something in the field. This was about 2 miles from my house. I turned around just out of curiosity. I drove up there and sitting on the side of the road, alone, cold and confused was Mow.

You can say it was luck that helped me find my boys' cat but I won't believe you. It was the Lord who answered my prayer. Call me foolish or call me naive, but I know God put him on the side of the road, not in it, at the particular time I would be coming by. I tell you folks, God answers prayer. Bigger prayers than Mow. God cares for us like a Father cares for his children. Ever since that Wednesday evening, every time I see that crazy cat I am reminded of God's goodness.

Maybe you have a dilemma in your life. Perhaps you think it is too small for God. Well, it's not! He cares! I tell you God is good snd He is good all the time! Praise Him!

See you Sunday!


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Tragedy in Arizona

The tragic events which recently took place in Arizona have left us all a little numb. It is a stark reminder of how quickly tragedy may befall us, and just how fleeting this life truly is. In the novel "Brothers Karamazov" one of the characters said, "What terrible tragedies real life contrives for people." How true these words seem at times like this. Senseless actions such as these cannot be explained, and even if we know “the why” of it, it would not ease the devastation of those who have been personally effected.

But, perhaps more significantly, it is also a graphic depiction of how far we have drifted from the core values which are typically associated with this nation. I pray we as a people will seek the mind of God. Our forefathers, when faced with difficulty, sought God's help. When our nation was in its infancy, and our leaders were struggling to ratify the Constitution upon which this country would establish its governmental foundation, Benjamin Franklin stepped forward and spoke these words:

“I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth- that God Governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid? We have been assured, Sir, in the sacred writings, that "except the Lord build the House they labour in vain that build it." I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without his concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better, than the Builders of Babel”.

Our leaders are looking for answers. We need to pray they will remember these words of wisdom, and that they will recognize "from whence cometh their help". We also need to pray for the dear souls who lost loved ones in this most regrettable event. May God's strength be theirs.
Lets ask God to help us! He is our trust, He is our answer.

O God our help in ages past
Our light for years to come
Our shelter from the stormy blast
And our eternal home.

See you Sunday!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

We Are Going On!

I read a story of some men years ago who were on a leaky, old ship in the middle of a rough and stormy sea. They were fearful for their lives. They didn't know if they were going to sink or not. One of them went to see the Captain and inquired as to their safety. The old Captain said, "I'll put it to you this way; the boilers on this ship are very weak and may explode at any moment, the ship is very old and she's taking on water. So, to be honest, we may have an explosion or we may go down, but at any rate, we're going on."

My dear friends that is how we need to face the New Year! Christ may come and we may go up! We may die and go down, then up. But at any rate, we are going on!

The old map makers would draw maps marking as far as they had explored. On the map where they had not been they would write, "Beyond this there be dragons."

They had never seen a dragon and they really didn't know what was there. It frightened them- the unknown, and the unexplored. But beyond what they had seen were the golden beaches, verdant fields, rivers and other things of beauty.

As we enter 2011 it is without any exploration having been done.

No one can tell us what is ahead. No one has been there. However, we are to trust the One who plots the course. God has promised in His Word that no matter what, He will never leave us nor forsake us. The Bible says, "The Lord is my helper; I will not fear what man may do to me."

I pray you will have a blessed New Year! We may go up, we may go down, then up, but until then we are going on!

See you Sunday!