Category Archives: This Week with Pastor Jon

June 16, 2019

“The whole purpose of education is
to turn mirrors into windows.” ~Sydney Harris~

Good morning and welcome to Dayton Avenue.  Happy Father’s Day to all Fathers and Grandfathers.  We thank the Lord for you.  We have a special gift for all men today, and I’m not talking about some bag of chocolate truffles, I’m talking beef jerky!!  Many of you have plans with family and friends today which is why we do not have an evening service tonight.  Relax and enjoy your time together honoring our fathers.

When was the last time you had one of those moments when it was like someone turned on the lights for you and you could truly understand something for the first time?  That is what is referred to in the quote above. That is also our prayer this morning; that as we worship and study God’s Word together today, we see beyond ourselves, beyond the musicians and preacher, and are able to look through the windows of heaven to see God clearly.

Last Sunday I shared information about the upcoming Costa Rica mission project.  If the Lord is leading you to give a special gift toward this project, please just indicate “CR mission” on your gift so that our counters can direct it properly.  I also gave an update on the Saturate Xenia home-to-home distribution of the Jesus film dvd.  You can pick up a map and a supply of door-hanger bags & dvds from any of our pastors to help us canvas our community.

Jesus has ascended back to heaven, is making a place there for us, and will come again so we can be with Him.  But He has left us here to do His work.  Let’s serve Him with all our hearts.  We love you and love serving with you.  May the Lord pour out His grace on us and help us live joyfully for Him this coming week.

June 9, 2019

The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many. ~Mark 10:45~

Welcome to worship at Dayton Avenue today.  Though God is everywhere-present – not limited by time or space – He inhabits the worship of His people gathered together in His name.  May we all experience His smile upon us in this place today through praising Him and studying His Word.

Thank you to all of you who participated in last Sunday’s Saturate Xenia OutPour event, and thank you to all who have already begun to distribute the Jesus film dvd to every home in our commuity.  This effort is a great way that each of us can be obedient to Jesus’ Great Commission to tell others about Him, and we need your help.  Talk to one of the pastors today to see how you can be involved, too.

One of the many ministries that will happen this summer is the Costa Rica mission project.  Our church has formed a partnership with Costa Rican missionaries and churches that we anticipate will encompass many mission projects in the future.  This year’s mission will focus on serving 24 Costa Rican pastors’ wives by sponsoring an all-expense paid weekend retreat for them, where we can encourage them, pray with them, pamper them, and love on them.  I will be sharing more about this project from the platform this morning, but would you consider making a special gift toward this very important missions opportunity?  Thank you for prayerfully considering this.

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.

We love you and are here for you.  May the Lord bless you this week.

June 2, 2019

The LORD takes pleasure in His people…. ~Psalm 149:4a~

Welcome to Dayton Avenue this morning.  The verse above is so encouraging – as we, His people – gather to worship Him, the Creator of the universe takes pleasure in what we are doing here!  And not in some global sense, but He takes pleasure in *us* here in this room today, whether or not our hearts are in exactly the right place as we begin to worship.  He is such an amazing, loving, forgiving Father.

I will be sharing more from the platform this morning about this evening’s OutPour event.  Please come back at 6:00 for a meal (we’ll be serving hotdogs and hamburgers), some training, and explanations of the “Saturate Xenia” project we will be doing this summer (giving copies of the Jesus film dvd door to door).  This effort is a great way that each of us can be obedient to Jesus’ Great Commission to tell others about Him starting right here in our own community.  We need your help – there are 17,500 in our zip code that we hope to reach sometime this summer! 

During June, July, and August there are two unique summer Bible studies you can participate in.  The Spiritual Gifts study began this past Wednesday evening at 7pm, but there is still room for you to join.  A new LifeGroup for post-high-school women on the life of Abigail begins this morning at 11:00.  Speaking of LifeGroups, summer is a great time to join a LifeGroup if you don’t already belong to one.  Stop at the Welcome Desk and we’ll help you find which ones to check out.

We pray for you and thank the Lord for you.  It is a privilege to serve Him together.  May the Lord shine His face on you today. 

May 26, 2019

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed,
for I am your God. I will strengthen you,
yes, I will help you, I will uphold you
with My righteous right hand
. ~Isaiah 41:10~

Welcome to worship at Dayton Avenue today.  Satan’s busiest times are Sunday mornings as he attempts to prevent God’s people from worshiping Him and hearing from His Word.  But despite sleeping through the alarm, despite the allergies you are fighting, despite the stresses of getting everyone dressed and ready, despite the problems with your vehicle, you’ve made it to church today!  Greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world!

I want to thank each of you who have served in our nation’s armed forces for your loyalty and sacrifice, especially those of you who have served on foreign soil.  The blessings and freedoms we enjoy today have been preserved at great cost, and we are grateful.  As Franklin D. Roosevelt noted, “Those who have long enjoyed such privileges as we enjoy forget in time that men have died to win them.”

There is no evening service tonight – enjoy your Memorial Day plans with family and friends.  Next Sunday evening at 6pm will be our OutPour event.  We’ll be serving hotdogs and hamburgers.  Come and help us “Saturate Xenia” with copies of the Jesus Film dvd we’ll distribute door to door this summer. 

In the verse above God has promised to strengthen us and uphold us.  I am praying that God will enable each of us to take the next step forward in our Christian walk, whatever that may be.  Thank you to Pastor Bruce Traeger for preaching today – Sarah and I are away this weekend getting a little recharge.  But please call on us anytime this week if we can help you in your spiritual walk. 

May 19, 2019

Set your mind on things above,
not on the things that are on the earth
. ~Colossians 3:2~

Welcome to Dayton Avenue this morning – no matter what your week was like this week, you’ve made it to worship this morning, and it is a great privilege to praise Him together with you.  I pray you are encouraged in your faith today.

Don’t forget to check your church mailbox regularly.  And while you are there, take advantage of the Children’s Library of books and dvds located on the shelves below the mailboxes.  We use an honor check out system – just take what you want and bring it back when you are done.  By the way, if you do not have a mailbox yet (they are located in the hallway near the Children’s Ministry Welcome Counter), please call Morgan in the church office this week and we will give you one. 

Thank you to our church family artists who have loaned paintings, photography, drawings, and textiles for our Art Worship Wall.  When we use the creative gifts that God has given us to express our worship of Him, the results are powerful.  Check it out if you haven’t been back there recently.  We still have room for more!  Call our church office if you have a piece of artwork we could consider displaying.

Welcome to Harry and Tamara Burchell who joined our church family at the end of the 11:00 worship service last week.  If you didn’t get a chance to personally welcome them last week, look for them and welcome them today.  This evening at 6:00 will be a special business meeting to share more information about the current situation with our building expansion project and some proposed next steps.  May the Lord shine His face on you this week.

May 12, 2019

But He knows the way that I take;
when He has tried me, I shall come out as gold
. ~Job 23:10~

Good morning and welcome to Dayton Avenue.  A special welcome to all Mothers today.  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 on this special day.  We have a special gift (a little bag of chocolates) for every lady here today – you all deserve honor.  Today it is also our great joy as a church family to stand with parents who are publicly dedicating themselves and their children to the Lord (at the beginning of the 2nd service).

The May Young at Heart dinner is being moved from this Monday to next Monday, May 20th.  Next Sunday evening at 6:00 will be a special business meeting to share more information about the current situation with our summer building expansion project and the proposed way forward.   

Welcome to our new church family members who joined at the end of the 11:00 worship service last week: Mark and Cheryl Klimek, Chao and Huan Liu, and Ed, Heather, Vanessa, and Garrison Bellman.  If you didn’t get a chance to personally welcome them last week, look for them and welcome them today. 

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 as you continue to grow strong in your faith day by day.  I love you and am praying for you this week.

May 5, 2019

This will be written for the generation to come,
that a people yet to be created
may praise the LORD. ~Psalm 102:18~

Welcome to worship at Dayton Avenue this morning.  Someone has said that Christianity is always just one generation from dying out.  We dare not fail to point the next generation to Jesus and disciple them.  The verse above speaks the same sentiment; yet there are times when we don’t always feel up to the task.  Coming each week to worship together, to encourage one another, and to be strengthened by God’s Word is exactly what we need.  May the Lord strengthen each of us in our faith today.

Thank you for your generosity toward the Annie Armstrong Easter Missions Offering.  Over $9,000 was given which far surpassed our goal of $7,000.  What a blessing!

Our summer facility expansion construction project begins in earnest tomorrow!  When you come back next week, the front of the sanctuary will be behind a temporary wall and plastic sheets and the first three rows of seats will be removed to make space for a temporary platform.  Because of this, we will need to continue with our regular schedule of multiple worship services (at 9:30am and 11:00am) all through the summer.  Some of our classrooms will also be affected by the construction, so make sure you know where your LifeGroup will be meeting in case it had to be shifted.

The May Young at Heart dinner is being moved to Monday, May 20th.  Next Sunday is Mother’s Day and our Child Dedication service (today is the last day to get your child’s information into our Church Administrative Assistant, Morgan Straw).

We love you and are here for you.  Please don’t hesitate to call on us.  May God shine His face upon you this week.

April 28, 2019

I will sing to the LORD, because
He has dealt bountifully with me. ~Psalm 13:6~

Welcome!  That word has special meaning because of the love that God has showered on us through His Son, Jesus Christ.  May the welcomes we extend and receive truly reflect Him today.

Today is the final day for the Annie Armstrong Easter Missions Offering that supports missions in North America, and we have almost reached our goal ($7,000).  The line between domestic and foreign missions is fuzzy because the nations are coming to our shores and to our communities.  People from all over the world visit our church website and listen to the messages every week. Many in our church family have already gone or are going on mission trips this year (this summer we’ll be serving in England, Germany, Togo, Mali, Dominican Republic, China, and Costa Rica!).  Thank you for supporting all these different mission endeavors through your generous giving.

Many of our college students will be leaving us this week after finals.  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.  Looking ahead, Sunday May 12th is Mother’s Day and our Child Dedication service, and Saturday May 18th is the WALK 4 LIFE event here in Xenia.  Our church helps sponsor this event in support of the great work being done by Miami Valley Women’s Center in our community. 

It’s a great privilege to celebrate the baptism of Molly Henderson, Bethany Leipold, and Nicia Pollock, this morning at the end of the 11:00am Worship Service.  We love you and we are here for you.

April 21, 2019

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth,
and the life; no one comes to the Father
but through Me.” ~John 14:6~

Happy Easter and welcome to Dayton Avenue this morning.  God is worthy of all our praise and we are glad that you have come to worship Him with us.  He is risen!

We used to have a neighbor that really enjoyed landscaping his yard… a lot.  He’d spread fertilizer on his lawn over the snow (really!).  He’d be up early on Saturdays walking around his property, taking notes on the condition of his flower beds and shrubs, kind of like a pilot goes through a pre-flight checklist.  His lawn and landscaping were amazing.

The Bible uses the phrase “according to the Scriptures” over and over in the verses that Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection are described.  As He moved through that eventful final week, God’s plan of salvation was being worked out – detail by detail.  Old Testament prophecies concerning the Messiah were fulfilled with supernatural accuracy.  Jesus was completing His checklist, moving with purpose to His destiny.  He came to earth in order to die on the cross as the ransom payment for our lives.

But it is not just His death that we are focusing on today; He also rose again!  We celebrate because the good news of His victory over death is “the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes…” (Romans 1:16).  As we sing together and consider the meaning of Jesus’ death and resurrection, I pray that God impresses upon each of our hearts a new appreciation of His love for us.

Remember the Annie Armstrong Easter Missions Offering we are receiving this month.  Next Sunday we will be honoring our college graduates, and April 28th there will be a baptism celebration.  Don’t forget – no evening service tonight.  May God give you a blessed week.  Don’t hesitate to call on us this week – we are here for you.

April 14, 2019

Your King is coming to you, gentle,
seated on a donkey, even on a colt,
the foal of a beast of burden
. ~Matthew 21:5~

Welcome to Palm Sunday Worship and to our church today.  Sarah and I had the great privilege of walking down the “Palm Sunday path” into the city of Jerusalem just a few weeks ago.  So today’s worship time has taken on new significance for us.  I will be showing a few pictures from our trip this morning in my sermon time. 

This Friday is our Good Friday Service at 7:00pm.  We will focus on Jesus’ great love and sacrifice for us through music, communion, and live artists painting the theme of Christ’s Forgiveness.  It will be a special evening. Next Sunday is Easter – Resurrection Day!!  Begin your day with us at the Sunrise Service and breakfast starting at 7:00am.  Our 9:30 and 11:00am worship services will include extra music to celebrate our Risen Lord and Savior!  He is worthy!

We are highlighting the Annie Armstrong Easter Missions Offering which we are receiving this month.  Southern Baptist Churches join together in this concentrated effort to raise funds for missionary efforts in North America.  Our church invests heavily in missions including the operation of our mission home, supporting our own church members who are in vocational missions or serve on short-term mission projects, and funding for the Living Well Clinic ministry which we started here in Xenia in 2010.  Please pray how the Lord might enable you to give to this special offering (100% of the funds raised in this offering go to the missionaries and church planters – no administrative fees or overhead costs).

Last Sunday Josh Nevin joined our church by statement of faith.  If you haven’t had a chance to welcome him personally, please do so today.  We love you, pray for you, and thank God for you.  May God shine His face upon you as we remember His passion this week.