Category Archives: This Week with Pastor Jon

November 17, 2019

I look to You for help, O Sovereign LORD.
      You are my refuge… ~Psalm 141:8a~

Welcome to worship at Dayton Avenue this morning.  Around the world, believers are gathering to celebrate the resurrection of our Savior, Jesus Christ.  We desire to lift Him up and encourage one another as we worship Him and study His Word. 

As many of you have already heard, Pastor Caleb submitted his resignation last Sunday evening at the business meeting.  Sunday morning December 22nd will be Pastor Caleb and Julia’s last day with us.  We want to express our love and appreciation to them, so on Sunday evening December 15th, following the annual business meeting, there will be a dessert fellowship farewell for them.  We’ll share more information with you in the weeks ahead.  Please be praying for them through this transition.  Please also pray for the Lord to guide us as a church to carry on the ministry of worship that he so ably led these past three years.

Covenant Sunday will be November 24th.  It is a sweet opportunity for us to renew our commitment to the Lord and to our church family and to fellowship around the Lord’s Table. That evening at 6:00 will be our Thanksgiving Pie Social.  In addition to thanking the Lord through music and enjoying wonderful pie together(!!), four of our church family will be sharing brief presentations about mission trips they took this past summer.

This evening will be the final Marriage TuneUp at 6:00.  This time, the men will meet in the Fellowship Hall (rooms 301-303) and the ladies will meet separately in the Youth Room.  Bring your questions and we will learn together how to have healthier marriage relationships.  Our regular evening service will take place in the sanctuary as usual.

We are here for you.  We love you and are praying for you.

November 10, 2019

My heart and my flesh may fail,
But God is the strength of my heart
and my portion forever ~Psalm 73:26~

Welcome to worship at Dayton Avenue.  You may have come today refreshed after a great week, or you may be hanging on by a thread, having had a difficult week.  God knows, and He has a word of hope for each of us.  Thank you for coming today. 

Today we will be honoring our veterans.  The freedoms that we enjoy (but which other believers around the world do not) come at a great cost.  As Christians we must be good stewards – may God help us to worship and serve Him faithfully.  Thank you, veterans, for your sacrifice and courage on our behalf.  God bless you.

This evening at 6:00 is our annual special business meeting when we preview next year’s ministry budget.  We’ll praise the Lord for all He has done during the past year and share opportunities that await us in the coming year.  There will be some other recommendations concerning new committee members and special expense approval.  We encourage you to come and be a part of this important process of our church family life. 

Each year at Thanksgiving we minister to our community by delivering food baskets.  We ask our church family to nominate people you know would be encouraged by this simple act of kindness.  Having a direct connection with someone in our church opens doors for witness and makes this truly a ministry.  Fill out the insert and put it in the offering plate and/or help assemble and deliver the baskets.  Speaking of Christmas, we have some wonderful special programs coming in December, and you can be involved.

Covenant Sunday will be November 24th.  It is a sweet opportunity for us to renew our commitment to the Lord and to one another and to fellowship around the Lord’s Table. We love you. God bless you.

November 3, 2019

I look to You for help, O Sovereign LORD.
You are my refuge….” ~Psalm 141:8a~

Welcome to Dayton Avenue this morning.  Today is the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church.  In our café area hangs a poster with suggestions about how to pray for this need.  For even more info, visit idop.org or icommittopray.com

Henry VIII of England left no male heirs to the throne, only two daughters.  The youngest, Elizabeth, had Protestant beliefs like her father, but Mary was a staunch Catholic.  When Mary came to power, she swept the country for “heretics” with any kind of Protestant leanings and had them burned at the stake.  Mary died childless and England made Elizabeth queen. She decreed Protestantism the official state church, but unlike her sister, she refused to put to a martyr’s death those who disagreed with her.

Englishman John Foxe survived those horrible years even though he was a well-known Protestant.  The climate of persecution caused him to research and write “Foxe’s Book of Martyrs.”  We are reminded again this year that martyrdom is not a piece of history from the Middle Ages.  In fact, more Christians have been martyred in the last 100 years than the previous 1,900 combined!  We owe a debt of solidarity to our persecuted brothers and sisters, and I ask you to join me this week in a concerted wave of prayer. 

This evening is our OutPour dinner at 6pm.  Next Sunday evening is our annual special business meeting.  We’ll preview and discuss next year’s ministry budget, vote on new committee members, and share some important church information.  Come and be a part of both of these important events in the life and ministry of our church.Thank you to all who made last week’s Trunk or Treat outreach such a great event.  God is working through you!  Have a great week.

October 27, 2019

“By this all men will know that you are My disciples,
if you have love for one another.”
~John 13:35~

Welcome to Dayton Avenue this morning.  God’s special presence is promised to us when we gather in His name as we are doing today.  We are so glad that you have come. 

Sarah was sharing with me from a book she read on the subject of hospitality.  The author noted that relationally healthy people are naturally hospitable because a new person can sense love that reaches out to welcome them.  People in relational conflict cannot be hospitable because they telegraph to other people: ‘whose side are you on – are you for me or for them?’  The author concluded by saying, “Hospitality is more than an expression of love for the guest – it is also and foremost an expression of love between the hosts.”

This applies to our relationships in families, in friendships, and even as a church family.  If someone feels a warm, loving, genuine welcome at Dayton Avenue, it is because that kind of hospitality is also our expression of love for one another.  This has to be a significant part of what Jesus meant in the verse above: “all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

In last week’s bulletin I introduced the SLOWvember challenge for next month.  The idea is to intentionally step back from the busyness that usually dominates our lives at this time of year.  So, SSavor: appreciate the moment, chew food slower, sit down, reflect.  LListen: attend to our loved ones, God’s Word, the Holy Spirit.  OOthers before technology: put the devices down.  WWill it matter a year from now?: ask this question as often as possible during each day.  Let’s make November a SLOWvember.

Daylight Savings Time ends next Sunday.  Don’t forget to set your clocks back before coming to church. May God bless you this week! 

October 20, 2019

“The LORD bless you, and keep you; The LORD make His face shine on you, and be gracious to you; The LORD lift up His countenance on you, and give you peace.” ~Numbers 6:24-26~

Welcome to worship at Dayton Avenue this morning.  I like sunshine.  It is a tangible reminder that the LORD has made His face to shine upon us.  It is sad that the days have to get shorter in the Fall and Winter (when we really need the sun!!). 

George Orwell once remarked that, “At age 50, every man has the face he deserves.”  He meant that a lifetime of smiling will give your face happy creases; a lifetime of anger can also be frighteningly etched for all to see.  As followers of Jesus, however, walking with Him for years and years should result in having a face we don’t deserve!  Instead, our faces should reflect the mercy and grace God has showered upon us through Jesus.  When the LORD makes His face shine on us, it becomes permanently creased into our faces.

We are here today to soak up Son-shine.  The heartaches and cares of this world may have weighed you down this week, but our prayer is that the smile of God’s love on us in this place today will lift you up both in spirit and countenance.

Our calendars get so busy during November and December: all the holiday activities… and all the doctor and dentist visits you try to fit in before your insurance benefits change!  Busy-ness can be harmful though, so will you join me in taking the SLOWvember challenge this next month?  SSavor: appreciate the moment, chew food slower, sit down, reflect.  LListen: attend to our loved ones, God’s Word, the Holy Spirit.  OOthers before technology: put the devices down.  WWill it matter a year from now?: ask this question as often as possible during the day.  November can be SLOWvember.

Robert and Dawn Lepper joined our church last Sunday.  Look for them and welcome them today if you haven’t already. God bless you!

October 13, 2019

“You can do more than pray, after you have prayed. 
But you cannot do more than pray
until you have prayed.” ~S.D. Gordon~

Welcome to Dayton Avenue.  God is worthy of all our praise and we are glad that you have gathered to worship Him with us. Whether you are a first-time guest or a long-time family member, we pray that you are drawn closer to Jesus.

Prayer, when done the right way, is letting God know that we recognize we can’t live our lives without Him.  We often don’t pray because we think we can handle it on our own.  It is wisdom to admit our weakness and come to God for His strength.

Many of you are prayer “warriors” – not in the sense of power and ability, but in the sense of a clear vision. You see the utter dependence we have on God, as individuals and as a church, and you intercede to God on behalf of these needs.  Thank you for your ministry of prayer.

We have a great need for prayer today.  As a church, pray for God’s leading and glory as we minister to each other and reach out to our community. As individual believers, pray that God will help each of us consistently grow in faith and walk closer to Him.  And once we have prayed, we can live our lives in such a way that God’s grace and strength can be at work in us and through us.

The quote above should be applied to our worship this morning.  Take a few moments to silently entrust yourself into His hands this morning to accomplish all that He desires to do.  Then devote your energies to worshiping Him in song and thought and Word. We love you and thank God for the privilege of serving Him together with you.  May God bless you richly this week.

October 6, 2019

“Sunday is Market Day for the soul.” ~Puritan Saying~

Welcome to worship at Dayton Avenue.  Things may seem a bit hectic this morning with all of the preparations for the Community Harvest Festival later today, but we are praying that our time in worship will cause us to rest in our Savior.

This afternoon’s Festival (from 4:00 to 6:00 pm) is designed for you, our church family, as well as for our neighbors, so please come and enjoy the music, games, pony rides, hayrides, magic show, food, face-painting, and much more!  And it is all free!!  Invite and bring your friends and neighbors, help with the event as much as you can, and meet new people tonight as we reach out with the love of Jesus to them in many tangible ways.

The picture on the front cover of this bulletin is awful!  It gets your attention, but you aren’t quite sure why I like it so much that I put it on the bulletin cover this week!  In fact, you may have looked at the picture and concluded that you just plain hate it, but even still, you probably can’t help looking again even right now.  Temptation is that way; we don’t like it, even hate it, but find ourselves pulled in far too many times.  Temptation is one more reason why our study of Genesis is so relevant.

Market Day for a Puritan was a big deal.  You worked at home all week raising crops or producing handcrafts and goods, then on Market Day, you (and the rest of the community) travelled into town to buy, sell, and trade products as well as connect socially with one another.  So, welcome to Market Day for the Soul (what the Puritans called the Lord’s Day).  I pray your “business” here feeds your soul.  May God bless you this week as you live for Him.

September 29, 2019

“But by the grace of God I am what I am, and
His grace toward me did not prove vain…” ~1 Corinthians 15:10a~

Welcome to Dayton Avenue Baptist Church.  If you are a first-time guest, we hope that you experience the love of the Lord and are drawn closer to Him.  If you are a regular Dayton Ave family member, we pray that you are encouraged and strengthened in your walk of faith.  A special welcome to the Salley family – our missionaries in Costa Rica.  Our ladies team will be sharing about their summer mission trip in the service today.

Last Sunday you sent in more sermon text questions than I could answer, so I wrote out responses and posted them to our church website (in the “this Week with Pastor Jon” section). I will try to leave some time at the end of the message again today.  Text your questions to 937 347 3182 (use all 10 numbers).

Today is the last Sunday left for the Ray Roberts Mission Offering.  Along with our sister churches in Ohio we are helping to plant new churches and strengthen existing ministries here at home.  Thank you for praying and sharing in this special offering.  Next Sunday afternoon from 4-6 will be our annual Community Harvest Festival.  Use the postcard in this bulletin to invite and bring your friends and neighbors.  We need your help to prepare all of the registration packets tonight at the OutPour dinner at 6:00.  We’ll be serving sloppy joes & sides and then hear from some outreach ministries happening within our church family here in Xenia.

To be forgiven and to know Jesus personally is the greatest gift we can possess… and share.  He has been so good to us, and we can corporately praise Him today with our voices and this coming week with our lives.  God bless you this week as you continue to grow strong in your faith day by day.

September 22, 2019

“If you then, being evil, know how to give good
gifts to your children, how much more will your
Father Who is in heaven give what is good
to those who ask Him!”
~ Matthew 7:11~

Welcome to Dayton Avenue Baptist Church today. If you are a first-time guest, we hope that you experience the love of the Lord.  We pray He will draw all of us closer to Himself.

Our oldest daughter was born back when I still worked at IBM.  My manager asked for all the details, including exactly how to spell her name. Two weeks later he presented a little gift to me for her.  When we opened it up we saw why he asked about the spelling – it was a silver baby spoon engraved with her name.

That was an unexpected and very classy gift and it impressed on us the significance of a special chosen gift.  In our verses from Genesis today, we will see that God gave some very well-timed and well-chosen gifts to Adam and Eve, and therefore to all of us also.  As promised, I will leave some time at the end of the message today to answer some of your sermon questions.  You can text them to me (they will be anonymous) at 937 347 3182 (use all 10 numbers).

There are two more Sundays left that we receive the Ray Roberts missions offering which helps fund church planting and camp ministry in Ohio.   Thank you for prayerfully partnering in this.  Sarah and I will host another class this evening at 6:00 in the Youth/Crew room.  The Marriage TuneUps we’ve been doing on Sunday evenings are designed to help all couples grow in their marriage.  Children’s Choir (grades 2-5) and childcare ministry (for your younger ones) are available.  Come and learn with us.

Welcome to new members Charis Anthony, Katy Beverly, Micah Dewitt, Daniel Dyer, Jake Grasser and Jinho Son who joined our church by baptism last Sunday.  Greet them today if you haven’t already.  We love you, we pray for you, and we are here for you!