God is Not Dead, He is Alive

jesus saves_std_t_nvGod is not a silent. God speaks to man. The opening words of Hebrews indicate that God has spoken to man in many different ways in ages past.  However, in these modern times God has elected to speak to man through His Son, the living Word.   The Written Word of Scripture reveals the Living Word our Savior. This is God’s final process in speaking to man.  (Hebrews 1:1-3)

Therefore, it could be said that Jesus is the Author and finisher of faith. He is the exalted Son of God who is the exact copy of His person. (Hebrews 1:3) Jesus is Lord of lords because He is God in the flesh. Jesus Christ is King of kings because His person faithfully describes Him that way. He upholds all things together with just His word. (Hebrews 1:3)   Jesus Christ purged our sins conquering death and the grave. (Hebrews 1:3) He is exalted to a high and lofty position; the right hand of the Father. There is no other name in which man might be saved.

Therefore, man must not neglect or be careless regarding his salvation. Believers must pay close attention unless they drift like a ring slipping off a finger or food going down the wrong pipe. The Hebrew writer speaks of drifting away perhaps like a boat adrift at sea.

Indeed, believers can neglect their salvation. Any man who seeks salvation by any other means than Christ is neglecting his salvation. The Lord Himself said, “I am the way the Truth and the Life, no man comes unto the Father but by me.” (John 14:6)

This means no one will be justified in the eyes of God unless Christ is received by faith. This also suggests means which are sought to “save” man’s life outside of Christ is futile and void of eternal significance. The Hebrew writer is writing to remind the faithful of what really matters and seeks to remind them of their commitment to Christ alone. Let me encourage you to do the same for, “How shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation..?” (Hebrews 2:3)

Open Your Eyes Event

Web2In December, a new book entitled Open Your Eyes was released sharing the compelling story of a teenage cancer survivor Jake Olson.  Since then, Jake’s story has reached a national platform with the help of media outlets like ESPN.

At the age of 12, Jake lost his eyesight but did not lose his hope and determination in life to overcome his adversity.  Now Jake is the starting long snapper on his high school football team and has the dream to one day be the first blind golfer to play in the PGA.

On May 1st at 7:30 p.m., Jake along with his co-author Ph.D. life coach McKay Christensen, will be presenting his journey to our community here in Fairfield.  This will be a high energy event that will celebrate Jake’s story of faith in spite uncertainty.  Jake’s tale of courage and strength will challenge you to rest in God’s sovereign plan for your life and motivate you to be the best that God has purposed you to be.  Take a look at what the Cincinnati Enquirer wrote about this event.  http://local.cincinnati.com/share/story/213173

Jake’s story has inspired us to dream big and doing something great for our community for the good of others and the glory of God.  Therefore, join us for an unforgettable night of celebration that will do every heart good.  Tickets for this event are $10 and all the proceeds will benefit worthy youth initiatives in our community such as the Joe Nuxhall Miracle League, summer camp and local school districts.  To order your tickets online, click here or on the Open Your Eyes banner image at the top of the page.   Joe Nuxhall Logo

The Personal Power of Redemption

Bulletin PicWe all love a good story.  In fact, Hollywood will spend billions of dollars each year producing films which bring stories to life.  Most modern day block buster’s cost over 200 million dollars each (one of the Pirates of the Caribbean cost 300 million) and what these movies do is tell a compelling story usually in 90 to 120 minutes.  They do that because the film industry is big business and they hope that enough people will be interested and pay good money to hear a good story.  In fact, the notable director, James Cameron has grossed almost 5 billion dollars in his films Avatar and Titanic.  I guess he knows the secret of a good story.

Maybe it is a quest of hope filled with suspense, tragedy and the overcoming of great obstacles.  Maybe it’s a storyline of love, intrigue and heartfelt romance.  How about a narrative with twists and turns that keeps the audience guessing and sitting at the edge of their seats.  These are the things (and perhaps many more like them) that sell us on a tale.  These are the ingredients that fascinate our minds and captivate our hearts.

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Spring Forward with Fairfield West Baptist Church

spring forward_wide_t

Finally, a Sunday with no snow in the forecast! This winter has been unusually brutal regarding our Sunday gatherings.  Although many have been able to push through and brave the elements, many others have not been able to participate in our Sunday celebrations.  We even had to cancel last week’s service altogether due to poor conditions.  Of course, this has taken its toll on our ministry financially.  However, your faithful and generous contributions will insure our continued success in the gospel ministry.

Bulletin PicSpring is coming and we are gearing up for an unbelievable season of ministry.  Don’t forget, we move our clocks up one hour this weekend.  So, as we spring forward, let’s do so with great expectation.  This Sunday, I will begin a new series entitled, “The Personal Power of Redemption.”  This study on the book of Ruth is reveals an epic tale of redemption that celebrates how the Lord never fails regarding the redemption of His people.  This is a series that will inspire you and strengthen your resolve to trust the Lord even in the midst of overwhelming adversity.  After the service, the Jr. High and Sr. High student s are going to McDonalds and to the bowling alley.  Contact Pastor Steve for more details.

WebsiteThis coming Wednesday March 12th, we will be hosting the Liberty University SOAR Dunk Team.  Liberty University is my alma mater and is the world’s largest Christian University in the world with over 100,000 students.  Their ministry team shares the message of Jesus through acrobatic maneuvers off of trampolines.   They promise to dazzle crowds of all ages.  This is an investment into our community.  During the day, we have organized assemblies in our local schools and on Wednesday night we will gather at the Fairfield Middle School at 6:30 pm to enjoy a family fun event.  All are welcome and it is free admission.  Thank you for helping us present Jesus to our city by supporting this great opportunity.

Saturday, April 19th and Sunday April 20th, will be our Easter celebration weekend.  On Saturday morning, the children will enjoy the largest egg hunt in Fairfield and Sunday morning the whole family can enjoy a country breakfast.  Easter is always an “eggciting” time and presents a wonderful opportunity to invite your friends and family.  Many are looking for a church to attend during the Easter season, help them discover Fairfield West Baptist Church.

Web2Thursday May 1st, we are hosting Jake Olson in the biggest community event of the year.  Jake has been completely blind since the age of 12, however sometimes you find life’s miracles in the most unlikely places.  You don’t want to miss this inspirational story of overcoming through faith.  Tickets can be purchased for $10 at each Sunday worship service or $12 purchasing them online at our churches website.  Seats are limited, so purchase your tickets today.

Dan Dewitt2Sunday May 4th, Dr. Dan Dewitt will be us to present his brand new book published by Crossway entitled, “Jesus or Nothing.”  This winsome book describes the rock-solid foundation for life that Christians enjoy in and through the gospel—offering an explanation for our existence, grace for our guilt, and meaning for our mortality.  Dan will be available to sign books as we host a book release reception.  Search for his book on Amazon to get a sneak peak or click on this link provided Jesus or Nothing

As you can see, we have many events to look forward to in addition to our regularly scheduled weekly worship services, life groups and ministry opportunities.  Life happens as we experience the gospel of Christ.  Let’s live it out loud together.

More than Words

more than words_tMany times it seems as if we know all the words to say.  It is as if we know what is expected of us so we tend to put on the proper face, we pose and we begin to re-iterate all those “appropriate” things we have heard before; whether we believe them or not.  We go through the motions, but our words come off as empty rhetoric. 

You know what I am talking about.  We all do it.  Our society is well versed in this discipline.  For example when life hits hard we learn to grin and bear it.  We put on a smile and regurgitate all those wonderful worldly platitudes like how every cloud has a silver lining or when life gives lemons make lemonade.  Or how about this, it is always darkest before the dawn.  (Have you ever used that one or has someone used that one on you?)  Usually, in that moment, the one offering such a sentiment in time of your trouble is feeling pretty clever and proud for offering that nugget of wisdom, but the one on the receiving end of such insight is probably thinking, “I’m going to hurt you.” 

That is the worldly way.  When the world runs up against hardship, trial or struggle, they tend to break out into proverbial show tunes and dream of better days.  But in the end, these overused expressions (and countless more like them) are only words.  However, we can’t be too critical of the world for the church has a tendency to do the same.

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It’s All About the Gospel

foundations_t_nvThe New Year is time for a new beginning.  2013 has passed us by.  What remains is recent and distant memories which have rushed by like a summer stream.  Sure, the sights and sounds of 2013 have left its impression upon our lives, but like all other years of yesterday, 2013 is now cataloged as history.  2013 is gone and the days we have enjoyed or the times we have endured are no more. 

What remains are memories which linger about.  These can be joyful remembrances, helpful reflections or even painful regrets.  Whether good or bad, however, these experiences shape our decision making, they aid us in identifying the priorities and purposes of our lives and they continue to serve by reminding us of the blessings that God has given, the bitter days that we have overcome and the blessed hope of our redemption. 

As I look back on the past year, I can recognize the sovereign hand of God preparing, preserving and positioning my steps.  He has been faithful when I have not, He has been able when I have been incapable and He has been generous to me when I have been cold or calloused to Him or others.  For me, 2013 is characterized as an unforgettable year of undeniable grace. 

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How We Stole Christmas

How_We_Stole_Christmas_std_tDid you know that during the early days of Christianity, different parts of the world celebrated the birth of Christ on different dates?  The Bible does not reveal the exact date of the Lord’s birth and the earliest believers did not have a fixed time for observing it.  However, that did not stop many from trying to figure out the day Jesus was born.  So, as a result of scholarly consideration, multiple dates have been suggested to commemorate the Lord’s birth:  January 6, April 18, April 19 and May 20.  According to Hippolytus, a 3rd century theologian that lived from the year 170 to 236 A.D., Christ was born on Wednesday, December 25, in the 42 year of the reign of Augustus. (which is 2 B.C.)   

Therefore, if you traveled widely in the Roman world, you could conceivably enjoy 5 or even six different celebrations of the Savior’s birth in the span of a single year.  However, it was Pope Julius I in the mid-fourth century who appointed a monk named Dionysius to set up a calendar standardizing a universal date.  December 25 officially became the recognized date and on that day a special mass was celebrated, hence the word Christmas (meaning a Christ mass).  This date was primarily selected because it coincided with the pagan festivals celebrating Saturnalia and the winter solstice.[1]  In other words, we stole Christmas. 

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