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Writings on Church Life and Events at First Baptist Church Fairdale

January Newsletter Column

Happy New Year!

Dear Church family,

2016 is a new year and with a new year comes expectation. We are expecting God to use us for His glory this year. And while that is our prayer and heart’s desire, we must humbly admit that we do not know how God will do it. We do not know what this year will bring. James teaches us “you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life?” (James 4:14) And if we do not know about tomorrow, then we surely do not know about the upcoming year.

Not only do we not know what this year will be like for us, we do not know much at all about what this year will be like in regards to anything or anyone. There is always a bit of uncertainty about the future.

This thought has me thinking about what could happen in 2016. The Carolina Panthers could win the Super Bowl. I could lose some weight and try to get in shape. Valeria and I could have another baby. The church could get upset with me and fire me. Only some of the church could get upset with me and then start some drama and split the church. God could bless our church so much this year that we see many lives changed. We could see people believing and repenting. Many saved. Families restored. Lots of baptisms. God may very well do that! Or, I could die. It could happen. Honestly, any of that could happen. It may not, but it could. We have to trust God. Only He knows!

But you know what else could happen in 2016?

Jesus could come back!!!

He really could. I hope he does! So many people have not even considered that possibility. He really could come back this year. Do you remember how he ended His word? In Revelation 22:20 He says, “Surely I am coming soon.”

So while we do not know what will happen in 2016, we can be prepared for the possibilities. And if our Lord does return, please be ready!

With all sincerity, Pastor Josh Greene

 

 

 

 

December Newsletter Column

“Merry Christmas!”

Dear Church family,

The holiday season often stirs up wonderful childhood memories. I thank God for my mother and father and the Christmas memories my sister and I cherish from growing up.

I am not sure how you feel about Christmas. And I am sure that not everyone has the same fond memories that I do. But I do genuinely hope that you will have a Merry Christmas this year. I want that for you. I pray that for you. I am hoping and desiring that for you and your family.

I encourage you to look afresh this year at the Bible’s telling of the Christmas story. I ask you to read it again. Let it be fresh to you. I pray that it will make you merry.

I want you to remember a young couple seeking a place to stay the night. I want you to imagine their struggle. And I want you to remember that it was in that lonely outdoor setting that God came to us.

I want you to remember the Shepherds. Just another night on the job, standing in the field, taking care of the sheep. And then recall their amazement and excitement when the angels told them about the Savior’s arrival. Isn’t it fascinating to re-read and re-hear that story?

I want you to remember the baby, Jesus, lying there in the manger. Animals all around. Hay all around. Then remember that the Shepherds came and bowed down to worship Him. Why did they worship Him? They worshipped Him because He is the Savior. I want you to remember that the baby Jesus of Christmas is God. I want you to remember that God came to earth so that He could die for you and your sins. I want you to think upon that truth. I want you to believe it. I want you to smile thinking about the Christmas story, and I pray that God’s word would bless you so!

Christmas is here, and I love the Christmas story. I hope you will hear it in a fresh way, and I pray that you have a Merry Christmas!

With all sincerity, Pastor Josh Greene

 

 

November Newsletter Column

“that we love one another” – 2 John 5

Dear Church family,

The Bible is full of passages that exhort us to love one another. That expression is not something that is new to you. I am sure you have heard it before. Lately, I have been thinking about love a lot.

As you know, two of the key leaders in our church have left. These announcements from Troy Harrison and Josh Wamble have brought to mind how much I love each of them. Both Josh and Troy have been exemplary friends, encouraging brothers and excellent partners to our church and to me in life and ministry. I am going to miss them. I am reminded of how much I love them.

I want to ask you two questions:

1) Do you love your church family? And 2) Do you let your church family love you?

Do you love your church family? Are you working on getting to them know better? Are you growing in your relationships with church people? When someone is not here, do you miss them? Do you let them know that you missed them? It is my desire as the pastor that we would genuinely and sincerely love one another. In order for you to be obedient to God and in order for you to be a key part of our ministry here, loving your church family is essential.

Do you let your church family love you? Are you working on being known by others? Are you growing closer to people? Are you around enough for people to get to know you better? Are you working on being a friend to others in order that they may be a friend to you? Are you striving to do unto others as you would have them do unto you? When you miss church do you miss us? When you miss church do people reach out to you?

Jesus came and helped us understand love in such a real and personal way. It is my prayer that as you are growing in Christ you will be focused on loving one another and being loved by one another. Church, for the glory of God, lets be good at this!

With all sincerity, Pastor Josh Greene

 

 

October Newsletter Column

Thinking About My Grandkids

 Deuteronomy 6:1-9 – “that you may fear the Lord your God, you and your son and your son’s son…”

Dear Church Family,

I must admit that I have rarely, if ever, thought about my grandchildren. For clarity, I do not have any grandkids. And I do not know if I ever will have any. I feel like I just became a father, and I have yet to figure out how to parent well. And besides that, I am having a hard enough time with being 35 years old and dealing with these new gray hairs.

But the other day I was reading again that family-focused-super-rich passage in Deuteronomy 6. I am in awe of the heart, diligence and focus God has for parents in verse 7 of chapter 6: “You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.”  Every time I read that passage, my heart is stirred to love and lead my kids well. Again, my kids.

But as I was preparing to lead our parenting community group for church, I was struck by verse 2: “that you may fear the Lord your God, you and your son and your son’s son…” Wow! That stopped me! God is thinking about my grandchildren! God is teaching me to think about my grandchildren. God is saying that who I am now will impact my grandchildren. God is saying that how I teach and lead my son will impact my grandson. God is saying that how I teach and lead my son will influence how my son teaches and leads his son, my grandson.

Incredible! That hit me hard. As I learn the word of God and by faith obey it, I am growing in my love and fear of my Lord & Savior. And that in turn will carry over into my parenting and therefore my son’s life and faith. And that in turn will carry over into my son’s parenting and therefore my grandson’s life and faith.

God is mindful of my grandkids!  And now I am too. May God be gracious to us and our family.  For my sake, my sons’ sakes, and my grandsons’ sakes! To God be the glory!

With all sincerity,

Pastor Josh Greene

September Newsletter Column

Dear Church Family,

My heart and burden for us, God’s church, is that we would be near to God.

This desire is the desire that outweighs all other desires. God is what we need!

And lately, this is the strongest thought in my mind. I am not sure why. Maybe it is because we are at a crossroads for our church. Maybe it is because we are growing. Maybe it is because I know you all well. Maybe it is because I am near to your wins and losses and your encouragements and your discouragements. Maybe it is because God is about to move mightily in the life of our church.

Or maybe it is because I have been here so long that we may begin to get complacent. I sure hope not. We get complacent when we lose sight of God. When we lose perspective, we begin to go through the motions. We just attend. We don’t worship. We neglect our duties, our devotions and our disciplines. We get complacent when Jesus becomes routine for us. And this is scary. It concerns me for our church.

Too many churches have too many people who are involved but are not close to God. I do not want that to be us. And I do not want to pastor a church that is not close to God. I want to pastor God’s people. And God’s people are to be zealous for God, passionate about Jesus changing lives in the world. The Glory of God is an all-consuming fire, and I want to be a part of many, many people drawing close to God.

Please be warned to look for your sins. Find them. Address them. Repent of them. Turn from them. Look to Jesus. See how great He is. See how gracious and patient He is with us. Run to Him. Believe in Him. Go follow Him. Live a life that is an all out effort to get close to God.

Psalm 73:28 says “But for me it is good to be near God”

I challenge you to believe that verse and then to make that your life’s desire. James 4:8 says “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.”

Again, my desire is for us to be a church that helps people get near God. Let’s focus on that. You and me both. All of us together. May God draw near. May God bless us. May God fill us up.

I love you guys!

With all sincerity,
Pastor Josh Greene

99th Homecoming

You are invited to our 99th Homecoming on October 11, 2015. Our service will begin at 10:30am that morning and there will be no evening service.

John-Mark-Toby2

Our guest preacher will be Dr. John Mark Toby. Dr. Toby has served as the Director of Missions for Warren Association of Baptists since January 2013.  He was a Pastor for twenty-seven years and a Chaplain Colonel in the Army National Guard for the past thirty-two years.

He is a graduate of the University of the Cumberlands – Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership degree; Luther Rice Seminary – Doctor of Ministry degree; The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary – Master of Divinity degree; The United States Army Command and General Staff College, The United States Army Chaplain Center and School – Chaplain Officer Advanced Course & Colonel Course; Eastern Kentucky University – Bachelor of Science degree; University of Kentucky – Certificate in Business Administration; and Somerset High School.  He is a Board Certified Pastoral Counselor and a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors.

He has served as the President of the Kentucky Baptist Convention, Pastor’s Conference President of the Kentucky Baptist Convention, and First Vice President of the Southern Baptist Convention, and has served as a Trustee and Adjunct Professor of Missions and Ministry at the University of the Cumberlands and Kenya Baptist Theological College. He and his wife, Cathy, have been married for more than 29 years.  They have a teenage son, Daniel, and a springer spaniel named Sparkey.

August Newsletter Column

Dear Church Family,

This summer has been a good one for our church! We thank God for His blessing!

Here are some highlights:

  • VBS – Summer began in a strong way! We had our annual VBS, and it was a success! So many kids were here to grow in the love and knowledge of Jesus. As we have seen in the past, our workers came out in full-force, and we were all encouraged and built up in the faith. I think it was our best VBS in years!
  • Ecuador – Our Ecuador team had a God-centered trip. We are told it was the hardest trip yet, and still God worked mightily. Many are coming to faith in Ecuador, and our team members are stronger in their faith because of the trip. May God continue to grow our hearts and efforts for the nations to know Him.
  • Parking Lot – In usual God-fashion, the Lord is answering our prayers. What seemed to be a huge goal to attain ($35k), now is just in reach. I am humbled and excited to think that our new parking lot is this close. It has been a long time coming, but it is near. Please continue to pray that God will help us see this project to completion.
  • Pastoral Intern, Drew Dillman – It has been a blessing to have Drew serving us all summer. Drew has gotten a lot of experience in this role. Drew’s final Sunday with us will be August 16th. We look forward to him being back with us soon. Having a summer intern has been a nice step for our church. May God continue to give us opportunities like this one!
  • Prayer – The Wednesday night prayer meetings have been soul stirring and faith strengthening! God has taught us to pray, and He has told us to do it always! Our desire to obey him and pray a lot is very encouraging. Thank you for being a prayerful church! On August 14-15, we will do another 24 hours of prayer. If you are able, please sign up for a slot.
  • Anticipation – We do not merely look back at a good summer. We leave the summer months ready for a Godward fall season! Now is the time for us love and serve our best. Now is the time for us to proclaim Jesus! Who will be saved in the coming months? Who will find a church home here with us?

I am praying for us as we move into the next season of 2015. May God’s hand be upon us. We need Him. May He use us here for His glory!

With all sincerity,

Pastor Josh Greene

July Newsletter Column

Dear Church Family,

On July 9th our church will send a mission team to Ecuador.

This will be our 6th straight year of sending a team to Ecuador. This is a strong mission partnership for our church, and I am especially encouraged about how God is using these trips.

We have a solid team of eight of our church people going on this year’s trip.

1) Pastor Troy Harrison   2) Jodi Cleaver 3) Drew Dillman 4) Issac Domenech 5) Chelsey        Pomeroy 6) Kyle Pomeroy 7) McKenzie Pruitt and 8) Krista Ward

Three of those eight team members are going to Ecuador for their very first time. The other five team members have been to Ecuador at least one time before.

I am especially excited for this year’s trip for two main reasons:

  1. I am not going. Let me be clear, I wish that I were going! But due to us having a little baby, I am going to stay home this year with my family. This is a good thing for our church. It is an opportunity for Pastor Troy to lead this trip, and it is an opportunity for our church to go overseas and serve the Lord without me in charge. That is great! And it is yet another sign of how much God is growing our church spiritually. We thank God for the leaders in our church. And we thank God that He continues to raise up more leaders.
  2. This trip the team will be serving in both the jungle and the mountains. This is a great opportunity. Our church has served in the jungle once before, but we rarely get the opportunity to serve in both. Our team members will get to see and experience a lot. They will get to observe and participate in what God is doing in Ecuador. I am praying that God uses them mightily there and that they come back more focused on Jesus than before.

Our church’s mission statement, and therefore our commitment, is to “exist to proclaim Jesus while loving and serving both God and people.” This trip to Ecuador is a powerful example of how our church is doing this. I hope we all know how much we are living out this mission in the Louisville area, but may we all also be concerned for our church’s involvement globally. Please join me in praying faithfully for this year’s mission team and trip.

I am humbled and proud to be your pastor.

With all sincerity,

Pastor Josh Greene

Message from Pastoral Intern: Drew Dillman

Dear Church Family,

If you all haven’t already heard or seen, I am back home for the summer and am so happy and excited to be surrounded and involved with the body of brothers and sisters in Christ I call my church family. I can say with much confidence that I have a church family that sure does love me. I have received many cards and letters this year from people that encourage me and build me up when I am away at school. I couldn’t be more grateful for the love and support that my church family so graciously pours out upon me.

While home this summer, I am the Pastoral Intern for our church and have already been busy working with Pastor Josh the past several weeks. And since you all have already been so supportive, I’d like to list a few ways you can continue to support me this summer as I gain experience and knowledge through this position:

  • Prayer: It is so encouraging to come home and to see my name on the prayer sheet knowing that my church family is praying to God and making supplication on my behalf. Prayer is the life blood of the Christian, and I know that the prayer and encouragement from you all has blessed me in many ways. Continue to pray for me and the ministry I will be doing this
    summer in our community. Also, how can I pray for you? Please just send me a short email or note giving me ways I can do the same for you. I want my prayer life to grow and flourish this summer, with your help.
  • Talk: If we have not met or talked, please try to find me so we can just talk and get to know one another a little better. Since I am away most of the year, there is a lot that goes on while I am gone; and as our church grows, I feel somewhat disconnected from new members that I would love to meet and grow closer to you. And if you have someone you’d like to connect me with, I’d love to do that.
  • Serve: As the Pastoral Intern this summer, much of my position evolves around our community and ways to get more involved. If you have any ways I can serve you or others in the Fairdale community, please contact me and I’d love to do what I can to be a servant to you and the community. This could involve anything from volunteering, cutting grass or
    talking to kids about the Bible. Just connect with me so we can try to get it set up.

Again, thank you all for your unending love and support. I hope to be an encouragement
and blessing to you, our church, and our community this summer with the main goal of
furthering the name of Christ to Fairdale. And please know that I love you all, too.

In Christ,

Drew Dillman

May Newsletter Column

Dear Church,

This past Sunday night, Josh Wamble preached a great sermon on how we are to treat people.

One verse that stuck with me is Titus 3:2 “Show perfect courtesy toward all people.”

I love, love, love this thought! It is our desire as a church that everyone we encounter and interact with would receive sincere courtesy from us. Remember, our mission statement says we desire to love and serve all people.

And while we may think, or hope, that we are courteous, we need to further consider whether the community around us recognizes us as God’s courteous people.

One of the best ways to show our sincerity, our love, our courtesy, is to serve people. When we are humbly putting people before us, and as more important than ourselves, it is precisely then that they see our courtesy and therefore, feel our love. Jesus’ life and ministry show us this quite clearly.

So, serving is a big deal! Let me suggest several newer opportunities for you to serve:

  • Volunteering in the Concessions Stand at the Fairdale Youth League. Our church is sending a group of 4-5 people each Tuesday night. What a fun way to be around kids, impact the community, and represent our church.
  • Volunteering at the Elmcroft Assisted Living Home. All summer long, we will send a group there every other Wednesday night. Loving on elderly folks is such a rich blessing.
  • Volunteering at Vacation Bible School. I expect this year’s VBS to be our best yet. For 5 nights one week in early June, we will serve the kids of this community. There are many different jobs to do. There is a spot for everyone.

If you are moved by God’s word for us to be courteous to the community around us, and you agree with me that serving them is a great way to be courteous, then will you please consider signing up to volunteer in any of these three areas? We would be thrilled to have you there. Please let me know.

With all Sincerity,

Your Pastor, Josh

 

 

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