Category Archives: This Week with Pastor Jon

June 17, 2018

Lord, You have been our dwelling place
in all generations.
~Psalm 90:1~

Welcome to worship at Dayton Avenue today.  We have been praying for the Joy of the Lord to fill this place.  Each of us has a part in that happening: by our singing, our thoughts, our words, and our smiles.  Thank you for coming and letting God’s love shine through you.

A special welcome to all Fathers and Grandfathers today.  We thank the Lord for each one of you.  Pastor Caleb will be bringing the challenge from God’s Word this morning.  Many of you have plans to spend time with family and friends today which is why we do not have an evening service tonight.  Relax and enjoy your time together and give honor to whom honor is due – our fathers.

Seth and Anita and their wonderful family moved into our mission home again this week.  One of the greatest blessings we have here at Dayton Avenue is the on-going friendships we are able to make with repeat residents of our mission home!  Take time this week to reach out to Seth and Anita (maybe even invite them for supper).

Our Long Range Planning Committee is working on our facility expansion needs and hopefully you’ll be able to see some progress soon.  Earlier this year I asked you to consider joining me in tithing your tithe to help us be in a more debt-free position (ie., giving 10% of our regular offerings and clearly identify it as “10-10” or “debt”).  Already this year the Lord has helped us give an additional $21,000 toward this goal!  Thank you for giving and praying.

Sarah and I are out of town with family this week celebrating the graduation of her niece.  We are missing your celebration of Levi Dean’s baptism here this morning , but our hearts and prayers are with you. We are truly blessed to serve the Lord together with you.

CLICK HERE to see inside this week’s bulletin

June 10, 2018

They that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall
walk, and not faint. ~
Isaiah 40:31~

Welcome to worship at Dayton Avenue Baptist Church.  Our prayer for each of you this morning is that the Lord will strengthen the weary through the songs that we sing, through the encouragement that we offer each other, and through the ministry of His Word in our hearts.

Your pastors are in Dallas for the Southern Baptist Convention this week.  Thank you to all who are stepping in to minister in our places this morning.  Dr. Tom Mach will be preaching this morning on God’s Faithfulness.  Tom, Chris, Jacob, and Kiley have served faithfully in many different ways over the years here at church as well as in many roles at Cedarville University.  Tom’s ministry in my life personally has been one of the Lord’s sweetest blessings to me.  Please pray for us in Dallas this week – there are important issues that need God’s grace, wisdom, and power to be ironed out.

There will be a Baptism Celebration next Sunday morning.  If you have received Jesus as your Savior and are ready to take this important step of obedience and identification as His follower, please call into the church office this week so that we can meet with you.  On both ends of the platform are supplies of our church ministry notebooks.  The sermon note pages fit in these, making it easy for you to organize your Bible study materials and use it as a prayer journal.  They are a free resource for you, so if you don’t have one yet, please help yourself to one today.

Matthew 7:7 encourages us to Ask, Seek, and Knock in prayer.  God has been opening doors to us recently, and I believe He desires to work in us and through us greatly in the future until He comes back.  He is in control, and He is Good.  We love you.

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June 3, 2018

Lovingkindness and truth have met together; Righteousness and peace have kissed each other.

~ Psalm 85:10 ~

Welcome to Dayton Avenue this morning.  God is worthy of all our praise and we are glad that you have come to worship with us. May we all be drawn closer to Jesus today.

This Wednesday evening is our first OutPour evening.  It begins at 6:00pm with a carry-in supper, followed by a time of testimonies and instructions, then prayer before heading out to serve.  I rarely twist your arm for things like this, and I avoid laying a guilt trip on you, but I am asking you to please come and participate.  The Lord has laid this before us, and we need to respond as we are able.  For more details about what OutPour is, go to our church website (daytonave.org), click on the Media tab, then on Audio, and listen to the OutPour Kickoff recording.

We are planning another Baptism Celebration soon.  If you have received Jesus as your Savior and are ready to take this important step of obedience and identification as His follower, please let me know so you can be included.

The dean at my old university told a story he called the “Flying Fifty.”  When he was a young man and a brand new Navy recruit, he was marched into a room and given a crisp $50 bill – his first Navy pay.  He then proceeded to the next table where a clerk took the fifty and gave him some change (to pay for haircuts).  At the next table, more money was taken for toiletries, and so on.  At the end of the line of tables, he had two bucks left.  The fifty had flown!

Money isn’t the only thing that flies – so does time. We have come to the beginning of June already!  With God in our lives, time can be redeemed and made valuable.  We love you and are here to help, so don’t hesitate to call on us this week.

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May 27, 2018

Let him who boasts boast of this,
that he understands and knows Me…..

~Jeremiah 9:24a~

Welcome to the worship service this morning.  If you are a first-time guest, please stop at the Welcome Center and get a little loaf of homemade bread as well as a guest card.  I would greatly appreciate it if you fill out that card and give it to me afterward.  We promise not to put you on a mailing list (but I will send you a letter thanking you for coming today).  This morning we are beginning our summer sermon series on the Attributes of God.

Can I encourage you to try our Back Worship service this summer?  The setting is more relaxed, with lots of comfortable seating around tables (and snacks, too!).   I think it would be a great place to invite some of your friends who don’t normally go to church.

There is a New Member Info Luncheon after church next Sunday.  If you are interested in learning more about Dayton Avenue, you are invited to meet our Pastors and ask your questions over a free lunch; just fill out the bulletin insert RSVP and put it in the offering today.

On the floor of the platform – out toward both ends – are supplies of our church ministry notebooks.  The sermon note pages fit in these, making it easy for you to organize your Bible study materials and use it as a prayer journal.  They are a free resource for you, so if you don’t have one yet, please help yourself to one today.

We are planning another Baptism Celebration soon.  If you have received Jesus as your Savior and are ready to take this important step of obedience and identification as His follower, please let me know so you can be included.  Remember that there is no evening service tonight – enjoy celebrating Memorial Day with your loved ones.  Our church office is closed tomorrow for the holiday, but don’t hestitate to call on us this week.  God has been so good to us all, and it is amazing to see Him at work here in our extended church family.

CLICK HERE to see inside this week’s bulletin

May 20, 2018

“Age is a matter of the mind.
If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter!”

~Mark Twain~

Welcome to worship at Dayton Avenue today.  Whether you are in our front service or our back service, we pray that you will be encouraged and strengthened in your faith in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

God tells us in Hebrews 12:13 to “make straight paths for your feet.”  This verse often makes me think about road construction!  The purpose of straight paths is to allow the traffic of the Holy Spirit’s ministry to flow smoothly through us into the lives of others.  The verse sounds simple, but it means years of orange barrels.  Making straight paths for our feet takes daily prayer and surrender, but the payoff is a great blessing!

There are many in our church family who’ve acquired the wisdom that comes from years of orange barrels (!) and we want to honor them.  Today is Senior Adult Sunday and we have the greatest group of seniors anywhere.   I hope to be as grace-filled and sweet as they are when I get to be their age.  The quote above really does describe our seniors – age doesn’t hold them back from ministry.  We thank the Lord for our seniors, and will recognize one in particular – the Senior Adult of the Year  – for faithful and exceptional service to our church.

We will also be observing the Lord’s Table in our worship today.  What an awesome way to remember the cruelty of His Cross, the selfless-ness of His Sacrifice, and the magnitude of His Great Love for us.  Observing Communion is an act of obedience as well as a personal recommitment to live our lives for Jesus.  That is what true worship is really about – committed service to our Savior.  [Note: the elements we serve are gluten-free.]

We love you, we pray for you, and we are here for you.  Don’t hesitate to call on any of us pastors this week.

CLICK HERE to see inside this week’s bulletin

May 13, 2018

For thus says the One Who is high and lifted up, Who inhabits eternity, Whose name is Holy: “I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly, and to revive the heart of the contrite.”

~Isaiah 57:15~

Good morning and welcome to worship at Dayton Avenue Baptist Church.  Take a moment to read (or reread) the encouraging verse above.  Our God, Who inhabits eternity (!), reaches down into our time and lifts us up.  He revives us when we are lowly here and now, and He will revive us to inhabit eternity with Him because of the resurrection of our Savior Jesus.  Awesome Theology to live by!

Happy Mothers’ Day.  We thank the Lord for each one of you.  Many of you have plans to spend time with family and friends today which is why we do not have an evening service tonight.  We want you to relax and enjoy your time together so that we can give honor to whom honor is due – to our mothers and grandmothers.

Please come to the OutPour Kickoff this Wednesday.  It starts with a carry-in supper at 5:30pm (more information inside the bulletin about what to bring), I’ll share an outline of our OutPour plans, and we’ll hear testimonies.  There is also a special business meeting to share about the progress the Long Range Planning Committee has made.

Next Sunday morning is also Senior Adult Sunday when we will honor our Senior Adult of the Year recipient.  Please note that we begin our Summer Single Worship Hour Schedule next week, so all LifeGroups will meet at 9:30am and our Worship Services (front and back) will be at 11:00am.  Info is available today about where your LGs will meet.

Welcome to our new church family members who’ve joined recently: Michaela Holloway and Bruce and BeBe Camilleri.  If you didn’t get a chance to personally welcome them last week, look for them and welcome them today.  May God bless you as you continue to grow strong in your faith day by day throughout this week.

CLICK HERE to see inside this week’s bulletin

May 6, 2018

“For this child I prayed and the Lord has given me
my petition which I asked of him.  So I have also dedicated him to the Lord.”

~1 Samuel 1:27-28~

Welcome to worship at Dayton Avenue.  The verse above reminds us that the ministry of parenthood is first rooted in devotion to God and dedication of our children to Him. Today it is our great joy to see parents publicly dedicate themselves and their children before the Lord and our congregation at the beginning of the 11:00 am worship service.

This past Thursday was the National Day of Prayer, and many of you participated in prayer events in our community.  For a Christ-follower, Prayer is thankfully much more than just a yearly event; it’s a moment-by-moment direct link to the only One Who can give us exactly the help and strength we need (1 Thes. 5:16; Heb. 4:16).  Our prayer today is that the Holy Spirit will give each of us just what we need this morning as we’ve come to worship.

On Wednesday evening our AWANA ministry concluded with an awards ceremony.  Our children did a GREAT JOB.  Thank you parents, grandparents, and workers for your labor of love. This Saturday morning is the WALK 4 LIFE event here in Xenia.  Our church helps sponsor this event in support of the Miami Valley Women’s Center.  If you would like to walk with us or are interested in more information, call in to the church office.

Please come to the OutPour Kickoff on Wednesday, May 16th.  This is the capstone of our winter sermon series and I’ll explain how we plan to implement all that we’ve been learning.  It starts with a carry-in supper at 5:30pm (more information inside the bulletin about what to bring).  We’ll also have a special business meeting to share information about the progress the Long Range Planning Committee has made.  We love you and are praying for you!

CLICK HERE to see inside this week’s bulletin

April 29, 2018

“Prove me, O LORD, and try me; test my heart
and my mind.  For your steadfast love is before
my eyes, and I walk in your faithfulness.”

~Psalm 26:2-3~

Good morning and welcome to worship at Dayton Avenue.  Thank you for coming to church today.  It takes courage to come to church because when we study God’s Word, it convicts us as well as encourages us.  I pray that we have come ready to hear from God and willing for Him to change us today.

We welcome Dr. James Risner, his wife Jenny, and their family this morning.  I met James almost five years ago when he became the Senior Pastor of Brantwood Baptist Church in Dayton, and he has been a great encouragement to me.  I know we’ll be blessed as he shares God’s Word with us this morning from Philippians 2.

Today is the last Sunday of the semester for many of our college students.  We love you and are so thankful that you have made us your church family.  We want to recognize all who are graduating (with any college degree) at the beginning of worship at both 9:30 and 11:00 this morning – we wish the Lord’s best for each of you.

This Thursday is the National Day of Prayer.  Many of you will be participating in various prayer events around our community.  Ladies, you are invited to a prayer breakfast here at church (details are inside this bulletin).  Looking ahead, Saturday May 12th is the WALK 4 LIFE event here in Xenia.  Our church helps sponsor this event in support of the Miami Valley Women’s Center.  If you would like to walk with us or are interested in more information, call in to the church office this week.

If all goes well with my flights, I plan to be back in church with you all this morning.  Thank you again for praying for me while I was teaching in Mongolia.  I can’t wait to tell you about it.  May the Lord shine His face upon you this week as you live for Him.

CLICK HERE to see inside this week’s bulletin

April 22, 2018

“Let us come boldly to the throne of grace,
so that we may receive mercy and find grace
to help in time of need.”

~Hebrews 4:16~

Good morning and welcome to worship at Dayton Avenue.  The old Westminster Catechism states that “Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy Him forever.”  So, let’s enjoy worshiping Him together today!

Perhaps you, like me, have sensed a great need for God’s mercy and grace this week, but boldness is not your first response! (see the verse above)  Sometimes, just talking with a brother or sister in Christ about it makes a world of difference.  You’ve come to the right place – you are surrounded by friends who care.  Take time to encourage each other.

Thank you for praying for me this week as I am teaching pastors in Mongolia.  Bruce Traeger will be preaching this morning!  Most of you know Bruce and Becky because they served on staff over our Worship ministries from 2005-2016.  Bruce is Director of Church Relations at Cedarville University, and when he is not on the road representing the University in various places, he team-leads the Sojourners LifeGroup.  Bruce is the one who turned in my name to Dayton Avenue back when they were looking for a new pastor in 2005, so he’s to blame J.  Bruce & Becky are a HUGE blessing to me and Sarah personally, and I am grateful for his preaching today.

The spring semester is coming to a close and we want to recognize our college graduates.  If you are graduating with any college degree, please be here next Sunday so that we can recognize you, pray for you, and give you a little gift to remember us by.

We love you and love serving the Lord together with you.  Your pastors are here for you – please call on us and we would be happy to help you with any spiritual questions or needs that you have.

CLICK HERE to see inside this week’s bulletin

April 15, 2018

“Joy is what happens to us when we allow ourselves
to recognize how good things really are.”

~Marianne Williamson~

Welcome to Dayton Avenue this morning.  If you are a first-time guest, please make sure that you visit the Welcome Desk and get a gift bag with a little loaf of homemade bread.  I’ll be preaching again from Psalm 37 on the subject of Waiting on God.

The grocery store is an overwhelming place.  The sheer number of decisions that have to be made is mind boggling.  Do you want that in diet, organic, low fat, generic, without salt, heat-and-serve, family pack or single serve?  And that’s just breakfast!

Choosing between what is good and what is best is a very important thing in life.  Each time we say Yes to one thing, we also say No to something else.  Unfortunately we often say No to the very things we should be saying Yes to.  We say Yes to good things like working overtime but the No means we don’t spend time with our families.  We say Yes to entertainment and No to getting healthy rest.  One of the most important things for us to say Yes to is regularly worshiping God and being under the teaching of His word.

The spring semester is coming to a close and we want to recognize our college graduates.  If you are graduating with any college degree, please be here on Sunday, April 29th so that we can recognize you, pray for you, and give you a little gift to remember us by.


Thank you for praying for my teaching trip to Mongolia later this week and next.  You are constantly in my heart and my prayers.
Thank you for giving to our special Annie Armstrong Easter Missions Offering last month.  Our goal was to raise an additional $7,000 for North American Missions, and the Lord allowed us to give $7,190!  Last Sunday Pete Combs was baptized and joined our church.  Make sure you get a chance to welcome him into our church family!

CLICK HERE to see inside this week’s bulletin