Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Christmas Past-Present-Future

    Christmas is sometimes overlooked because we look for it in the most obvious of places.  When in reality the first Christmas took place in the "not so obvious" place.  We preachers are just as bad when it comes to preaching about Christmas.  If the sermon doesn't lend itself to the obvious biblical texts of mangers, angels and predictions we believe Christmas is not to be found there.  But I want to break from the traditional texts and search for Christmas in a not so obvious passage.
    Colossians 1:19-22   For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, 20 and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross. 21 And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled 22 in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight; 
    In 1843 Charles Dickens penned these words that begin what is known to you and me as "A Christmas Carol" . . . "I have endeavored in this Ghostly little book, to raise the Ghost of an Idea, which shall not put my readers out of humour with themselves, with each other, with the season, or with me.  May it haunt their houses pleasantly, and no one wish to lay it."
    Christmas holds for each of us as mortal creatures a past that must be faced, a present that must be lived, and a future that must be longed for. God's gift was not one to be purchased, but the gift would purchase you and me.  From the manger to the cross we hear the whispered name of Immanuel, God with us. 
    Dr. Bruce Waltke said "The world is lost without a sense of God. Men and women everywhere desperately need to know that there is Someone in charge of life, and that there is a Source to whom they can turn for help and for deliverance. The world needs to know that Jesus Christ is God. If Jesus is not God, then I do not have a Savior." 
    So when the fullness of time (Galatians 4:4) had come God sent His Son into this world filled with the fullness of Himself (Colossians 1:19, 2:9), God in the flesh, so that you and me may receive of His fullness (John 1:16).  Christmas at its best! Man in his best efforts comes to the manger emptied handed only to receive the blessedness of God's peace and good will that offers him ... Forgiveness of the Christmas Past ... Help in the Christmas Present ... and Hope for the Future.

Merry Christmas

Pastor John J. Dodd

Monday, August 27, 2012

Labor Day


Matthew 9:37–38    Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. 38 Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”

    As we observe Labor Day, it is a good time to talk about our labor for God and His kingdom. It is imperative that each Christian becomes apart of the labor force of God.  Getting involved in the work of the kingdom is always a blessing to you and the area of your involvement. Let me give you just a few “requirements for Christian workers” that might be of help.
    The first thing that a Christian worker needs is optimism.   Paul said  ". . . whatsoever things are of good report  . . .  think on these things" (Phil. 4.8).  Some Christian workers fail because they are pessimistic. Their looks, tones, and gestures project a negative aura. Optimism  is a requirement for doing God's work. Look for the best; expect the best; do your best. Positive attitudes stimulate joy and enthusiasm. Many people will go where they can find a joyous atmosphere.
    Secondly, the Christian worker will need organization. Paul again encourages each Christian worker to “. . . show yourself a pattern of good works . . .  " (Titus 2:7).  Organization gives direction. It protects against frustration and failure. Organization benefits Christian workers. New methods also may be profitable when it comes to soul-winning. And you just may have some new  thoughts and ideals that would be beneficial to the future of God’s kingdom.
    Thirdly, the desire to fulfill a God given vision. In Acts Paul said ". . . I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision" (Acts26:19). Paul succeeded in doing God's work because he obeyed the Lord. He followed God's directions. Christian workers often fail because of not responding to God’s calling to become involved in His kingdom. Success in God's work means doing his will. Has God called you to be involved? If so, give it a try and I know that you will be richly rewarded.
    And lastly, we need to look at the bigger picture.  We do not exist just for our self. We have a responsibility to a lost and dying world that is in great need of a savior, not to mention the Christians that need taught and encouraged in the Lord.  Paul again said "To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from  the power of Satan unto God . . .  " (Acts 26:18).
    Paul's concern was for souls: that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified. . ." (Acts 26:18). Our ultimate goal must be the same as Paul's. We must reach out in love, with care and concern.

In His Service
Pastor John J. Dodd

Thursday, May 10, 2012


Did you know that the idea for Mother's Day was born in a small church in Grafton, West Virginia? It was 1876 and the nation still mourned the Civil War dead. While teaching a Memorial Day lesson, Mrs. Anna Reeves Jarvis thought of mothers who had lost their sons. She prayed that one day there could be a "Memorial Day" for mothers. The prayer made a deep impression on one of Mrs. Jarvis's eleven children. Young Anna had seen her mother's efforts to hold the war-split community and church together. As she grew into adulthood, the younger woman kept Mrs. Jarvis's dream in her heart. On the day of her mother's death, Anna was determined to establish Mother's Day in her honor. On May 12, 1907, a local observance was held which later spread to Philadelphia. By 1910, Mother's Day was celebrated in forty-five states, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, Canada, and Mexico. Elated, Miss Jarvis told a friend, "Where it will end must be left for the future to tell. That it will circle the globe now seems certain."  On May 8, 1914, President Wilson designated the second Sunday in May as Mother's Day "for displaying the American flag and for the public expression of love and reverence for the mothers of the country."                                                                                                              
And no one puts more value on motherhood than God and His Church! The whole idea of a "MOTHER'S DAY" sprang from the heart of a Christian woman. But being a good parent today is not an easy task! The job is made harder by the various enemies of the family unit: Busy lives of each family member with separate interests. Ridicule by the media of family life, especially traditional family life and the traditional values taught in Scripture.  The extreme feminist movement and their ridicule of the role of motherhood. The fact that many parents work full time jobs and have children too. 
You should know that Satan's first attack on the human race began with a future mom, Eve whose name means, "The mother of all living" or "living".  Satan's thought that if you destroy the parents you will destroy the human race! However, a godly mother can destroy the enemy! The mightiest of nations can crumble to the power of a godly mother. You see, before Moses conquered Egypt, his mother Jochebed had already conquered it!

Pastor John J. Dodd

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Enter With Thanksgiving!!! 

    One of the most beautiful Psalms of Thanksgiving is the 100th Psalm. It says: "Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Serve the Lord with gladness; come before Him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is He who made us, & we are His; we are His people, the sheep of His pasture. "Enter His gates with thanksgiving & His courts with praise; give thanks to Him & praise His name. For the Lord is good & His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations."
    With all my heart I believe we are a people & a nation that God has truly blessed. Of all those who "give thanks to Him & praise His name" we should be at the top! Compiling a wish list at Christmas is common, and to draw up a list of resolutions for New Years is normal. However, there is another list we often overlook - a Thanksgiving Day list of all that we are thankful for.
    Let me give you a small part of a list that several housewives compiled. They wrote that they were especially thankful:

- "For automatic dishwashers because they make it possible for us to get out of the kitchen before the family comes back in for their after-dinner snacks.
- "For husbands who attack small repair jobs around the house because they usually make them big enough to call in the professionals.
- "For children who put away their things & clean up after themselves.  They’re such a joy you hate to see them go home to their own parents
- "For teenagers because they give parents an opportunity to learn a second language.
- "For Smoke alarms because they let you know when the turkey’s done.

    Now our list might not be the same as theirs, and I’m sure that it would include more that just our material possessions. Like you, I know that my list would include the major things - life, health, family, friends, & the nation we live in, despite all its flaws. Yet even more than that, I’m thankful for my salvation & the mercy that God showers upon us each day. With Jesus we have so much to celebrate on Thanksgiving!

Have a great Thanksgiving Day every day of your life!!!!

Pastor John J. Dodd

Monday, October 31, 2011


    How many of us remember the Gulf War? It was the first "Prime Time" war that was ever viewed on national television. I remember that the war was never very far from our minds. We listened to the CNN news team in the Al Rashid hotel in Baghdad, in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, and in Jerusalem. We saw the skies full of tracers, jets parked on airbase taxiways, news teams in gas masks, and bombs blowing apart military targets with star-wars accuracy. The television brought a war into our living rooms for the first time in history.
    Part of the difficulty that humans have is that there are times when the only choices available are choices between two evils. I’m sure that our desires as Christians would follow the passages in Micah and Isaiah that speak of beating swords into plowshares, and spears into pruning hooks; But in the book of Joel, written under Greek oppression after the return from Babylon, these words appear: “Proclaim this among the nations: Sanctify war, stir up the warriors. Let all the soldiers draw near, let them come up. Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruning hooks into spears; let the weakling say, “I am a warrior.” You see, occasionally there is a need and a cause for war.
    Abraham Lincoln, in his second inaugural address in 1864, captures some of the sadness of war: “Neither party expected for the war, the magnitude, nor the duration, which it has already attained. Each looked for an easier triumph, and a result less fundamental and astounding. Both read the same Bible, and pray to the same God; and each invokes His aid against the other.” Abraham Lincoln saw how slavery had caused the Civil War and how the war therefore was God's judgment on a nation that had permitted slavery. “Fondly do we hope--fervently do we pray--that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away.”
    Yes, as much as we hate it, there are warriors and veterans of wars. As we pray for peace in our lifetime, we must also honor the men and women who have given of their service and even their lives for the freedoms that we have. Today, let us say thank you to a veteran for their sacrifice!

In His Service

Pastor John J. Dodd

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


A story is told about Francis Asbury (an itinerant Methodist preacher):
The sun was lowering and the air was like an oven when the stranger rode into town. No one had seen the likes of him before. Leather creaked as he slid out of the saddle. The ground shook as the big man’s boots hit the street. He hitched his horse to the rail, looked around, stepped up on the wooden sidewalk and headed toward the saloon. When his lengthening shadow spilled through the swinging doors a hush fell over the crowd. The bartender stopped pouring. The dealer stopped shuffling. The bar-girls stopped smooching their marks. Even the piano fell silent. Chairs creaked, and necks craned as every eye tried to catch a glimpse of the stranger. And then he said: "Got any praying people around here?"
America is still in need of praying people that will reach heaven for our great nation. We can win today’s battle the same way our forefathers in the faith won theirs. Still, we must ask the same question " . . . got any praying people around here?" Throughout American history there have been major times of widespread revival. One was during the Civil War. It continued through the war and to the turn of the century. There were estimates that as many as one million conversions took place. That, however, is not the most unique feature of this revival. The first startling feature was the dominance of lay leadership and the absence of the famous evangelists. The second startling feature was that it began with prayer meetings rather than preaching services.
As we spend another July 4th remembering our great nation and all the sacrifices that have been made for our freedoms, let us not forget the attacks on our Christian liberties. These attacks are generally not from out side America but from our own liberal judges, educators and government.
I still believe that God wants to send a spiritual revival here. Our job is to fulfill the scripture in 1 Timothy 2:1-3: “I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone 2 for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. 3 This is good, and pleases God our Savior.”
So let’s not forget our nation and leaders in prayer. I know that God will hear and send America another revival - because we have some praying people.

In His Service
Pastor John J. Dodd

Thursday, March 24, 2011


When Theodore Roosevelt was the President of the United States, the story is told that he had a close friend with whom he enjoyed discussing situations around the world. After they would talk about contemporary scenarios and world events, they would walk out into the stillness of the night and cast their eyes on the stars to gain a clearer perspective of life and the world. They would search for a particular galaxy called Andromeda. The first one who found it would say, "That is the spiral galaxy, Andromeda. That speck is as large as our Milky Way. It is one of 100 million galaxies. It consists of 100 billion suns, each larger than our sun." Then, they would look at each other and say together, "Since we now have our proper perspective, let's go to bed."
In like manner, our perspective of God, world events, and our personal lives becomes much clearer when we cast our eyes on the stars. It is in the heavens where God can show us His power and control.
Life is more than an epic drama on the silver screen in theaters. It is a real battle between God and Satan, right and wrong, life and death, heaven and hell. It is a battle that involves the stars. The Bible states that due to the faith of Barak (Hebrews 11:32), the "stars fought from heaven, from their courses they fought against Sisera" (Judges 5:20). Barak was God's hero of faith. He led the nation of Israel in a victorious battle against Israel's ancient foe, the Canaanites.
If you are looking for comfort and reassurance in a life that you think is out of control, just look up. The God of eternity, the God of heaven and earth is keeping your life under His care just as He keeps this massive universe under His perfect control. When we have a perfect perspective, the worry and anxiety of life becomes easier to deal with.

Pastor John J. Dodd