The Sounds of Christmas!

December 2, 2018

The Sounds of Christmas


Pastor Jim Dewar - First Baptist Church, Bancroft – 515-885-2702 –


The sounds of Christmas are in the songs we sing at Christmas time! These are songs about Jesus Christ and His birth and songs that are filled with great Bible messages. I would encourage you to listen to the words that we sing in the Christmas songs that are sung. Sometimes we can sing a song and not really notice the words being sung. The sounds, or the songs, of Christmas that come from the Bible are a message of hope and good news. One Christmas sound I remember was while I was in the US Navy.  It was on Christmas Day 1978, as we sailed through the Red Sea on our way to the Persian Gulf, and I stood next to my bunk on my ship, the USS Blandy, listening to the Boston Pops play Christmas music on a cassette tape. What a fond memory listening to the sounds of Christmas. In the passage below, what is commonly referred to as the Christmas story, I want to point out a few of the themes.


Luke 2: 4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth,

into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he

was of the house and lineage of David:)  5 To be taxed with Mary his espoused

wife, being great with child. 6 And so it was, that, while they were there, the

days were accomplished that she should be delivered. 7 And she brought

forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him

in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. 8 And there were

in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their

flock by night. 9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory

of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.  10 And the

angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy,

which shall be to all people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David

a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. 12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall

find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. 13 And suddenly

there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.


We read in verses 6 and 7 about the birth of Jesus. We read also of shepherds abiding in the field

They were afraid because of the appearance of the angel of the Lord in verse 9. As we continue

reading, we see the angel’s message to them in verse 10 was “fear not” for they were bringing the announcement of good tidings, or good news. This day a Saviour was born which is Christ the Lord.

Jesus Christ was the promised Messiah, born of a Virgin, to be the Saviour of the world. As we consider this Biblical account, I want to remind you of some of the sounds of Christmas in the songs that we sing; “Joy to the World”, “Angels We Have Heard on High”, “Hark the Herald Angels Sing”, “Ring the Bells” and many other songs that are the Sounds of Christmas with the message of Jesus Christ as the Saviour that had been born!  He was a Saviour who went to the Cross of Calvary to die for the sins of the world, and was buried and rose again the third day! Jesus Christ lives today, and I pray that you know this Jesus we sing about in the Sounds of Christmas. If you do walk with Him, seek to bring Him glory and honor with your life. If you have never trusted in God’s only begotten Son of God, do that this Christmas 2018. God Bless and Merry Christmas!


In Everything Give Thanks!

November 16, 2018

In Everything Give Thanks!



Thanksgiving 2018. It’s that time of the year in the United States when we celebrate Thanksgiving! From history we learn that the first official Thanksgiving Proclamation in the US was given by our first President, George Washington. It was declared Thursday November 26, 1789 as a day of public thanksgiving and prayer. The Bible, which is the  sole guide of our faith and practice, has much to say about the subject of thanksgiving, maybe even more than you may r...

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Who Are You Pleasing?

October 2, 2018


Pastor Jim Dewar First Baptist Church Bancroft


Today I want to talk to you about Setting Your Rudder to Please the Lord! When I was in the Navy, my first sea duty assignment was on the USS Inchon (LPH-12) based in Norfolk, VA. I was a Machinist Mate assigned to work in the Auxiliary Division of the ship’s Engineering Department. I actually worked in the Hydraulic Shop that was located in the After Steering room. The equipment in that room operated the ...

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Hall Of Faith

October 2, 2018

Pastor Jim Dewar - USN Retired - First Baptist Church Bancroft, IA –


Hebrews 11:6a “But without faith it is impossible to please him...” Many know of the term The Hall of Fame, but what about The Hall of Faith?  In the sporting industry there are different Halls of Fame scattered around the country for different sports.  No doubt many know the location of a certain hall of fame and different individuals that have been inducted to their sport’s hall of fame ...

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June 20, 2018


Here in the USA we recently celebrated Memorial Day.  What exactly is Memorial Day? It is remembering the men and women who died while serving in the Armed Forces of the United States of America.  It is a day we pause and remember their sacrifice.


Here in the United States of America we have several different patriotic holidays and sometimes people get them confused.  Here are a few to take note of. Flag Day is celebrated on June 14th and commemorates the adoption of the US Flag on June 14...

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Hope As An Anchor

May 26, 2018

Hope as an Anchor


Pastor Jim Dewar - First Baptist Church Bancroft



Our family moved to Bancroft from Fairdale, WV on January 7, 2015.  We have served churches in pastoral ministry in Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, West Virginia and now Iowa. We are also a Military Family.  I served in the US Navy for 8 years 8 months and also served and retired from the US Naval Reserve.  We are grateful for the opportunity to serve the Lord here at First Baptist Church, Bancroft and are also than...

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Christmas 2017

December 15, 2017

Merry Christmas


O how we love to use and hear the phrase “Merry Christmas”!  The first part of the word Christmas tells exactly what Christmas is all about - Christ. Christmas is celebration and remembrance of the birth of God’s Son Jesus Christ. In the Gospel of Matthew, chapter one, we read about His miraculous birth! 


Matthew 1:18 “Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with c...

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Jesus Is Our Propitiation

April 19, 2013
Our house has become overwhelmed with boxes.  Some of you may have heard that we are in the process of moving.  When we first told the boys that we were moving they had some mixed reactions.  Our oldest had a lot of questions, but seemed to trust the decision.  Our four year old, however, was quite upset about it.  As his older brother asked questions, we began to understand why he was so upset.  One of the questions was, “will we get to bring our toys?”  After he found out that they coul...
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Science and Biblical History

April 5, 2013
My little brother recently purchased a payloader.  I am excited about his new “toy” because I am hoping he will let me “play” with it.  He also has a road grader that I would like to play with as well.  I have already played with his backhoe.  When we were kids, we played with Tonka toys like that, but his “toys” are real.
It is amazing how much dirt you can move with heavy equipment, but then I think of God and his power.  How many payloaders and how many years would it take to d...
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Why Do We Have New Bible Translations?

March 20, 2013
The other day I was driving down the road with my two oldest boys.  Suddenly, the four year old got all excited and pointed, “Look a Christmas goat.”  He was pointing at a lawn ornament of a deer with antlers. 
I get a chuckle out of his attempts at mastering the English language.  A few weeks earlier he had told me that he wanted Mommy to make “grease juice.”   I said, “You mean gravy?”  “Yes, gravy, “ he replied. 
Those of us who have been talking for more than three years...
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Do You Value God's Word?

March 7, 2013
Imagine if you built an expensive display case out of beautifully polished oak, padded the inside with the most expensive velvet fabric you could find, and enclosed in with a beveled glass door.  Then you placed your Bible in that case showing to all who entered your home how important God’s word was to you.
If you really value God’s word, you would not keep it in such a case.  Instead, you would take it out and read it, but what if you read it, but never let it affect your life?  When it...
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Don't Wear Pajamas to Church

February 21, 2013
Among Christians there has been a valid concern over the decline in clothing standards.  Unfortunately, this concern leaves a large looming question over the discussion- what standard should we adapt?  Opinions range from allowing the risqué to imposing legalistic parameters. 
Often the discussion centers around the clothing choices of the female- for obvious reasons- but I want to step back from that discussion to look at the broader issue.  Not only is there division among the brethren ov...
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Happiness In Following God

February 8, 2013
Our second son recently turned 4, and on his birthday he got to request a favorite food.  I found joy in seeing him enjoy what he had requested.  It made me happy to give him what he wanted on that special day.  Shouldn’t giving God what He has asked us for make us even more happy?  This article will actually look at the first eight verses of Psalm 119 to answer that question.
Psalms 119:1 says, “Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD.”  As we think of the...
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Finding Real Joy in Prayer

January 25, 2013
We know that prayer is important and Jesus taught us how to pray as He recited the Lord’s prayer.  Thus we know what to pray, but the challenge comes in knowing how to keep praying.  According to I Thessalonians 5:17, we are to pray without ceasing, but do you realize that the longest prayer in the Bible- found in Nehemiah 9- is only about 7 minutes long.
I believe one of the keys to a consistent prayer life is thankfulness rather than the length of the prayer.  Paul said in Philippians 1:3...
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Give Others a Chance

January 9, 2013
Have you ever met someone that you do not like?  Maybe there was someone at school who was really cliquey and was quite rude to you.  Each time you heard that person’s name, you would have negative thoughts about them.  You might go years without seeing them, but that old resentment still linged.  Then another classmate tells you that they ran into that person and that now years later that same person who used to be rude is really nice.  What would your attitude be at such news?  Would you ...
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Do Not Be Easily Offended

December 30, 2012
My grandpa Miller lost his left arm in a farming accident.  The earliest memories I have of him are of a man with one arm.  He was quite industrious with that one arm.  He would carry a vise grip in his pocket, clip it to the bottom of one side of his jacket and then use the weight of that tool to hold it down as he zipped it up.
One day he was helping build an addition on my uncles barn when a neighbor stopped over.  The neighbor wasn’t as tactful as he probably should have been and asked ...
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Looking Forward to Christmas

December 14, 2012
Around Thanksgiving time, our boys started to ask us how many days it was until Christmas.  With 3 of our 4 boys old enough to talk, we got tired of answering that question, so finally Crystal made a chain out of construction paper that we hung from the ceiling and we let the boys take turns taking a link off each day.  Now when they want to know how long it is before Christmas, they can just look at the chain.
Today Christmas is looked upon with much anticipation- especially among children w...
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Do Christians Have to Observe the Old Testament Law?

November 30, 2012
As we travel to visit family during the holiday season, I am thankful for the interstate highway system.  We can pull onto the interstate, set the cruise control at 70mph and arrive at our destination much more quickly than if we had to drive 55 the whole way.  I do, however, remember the days when the speed limit was only 55 mph, even on the interstate.
Times change and laws change but it is comforting to know that our Lord does not change.  “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, an...
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Trust God Not Politicians

November 7, 2012
Another election cycle has passed.  Some Americans are celebrating, others are disappointed, and some do not even care.  I must admit that I am relieved that the political calls have stopped.  I am also celebrating that a personal friend was actually elected to the Iowa Senate, but even as I celebrate his election, my ultimate trust is not in him.
Elections like other actions definitely have consequences.  People on both sides of the political isle recognize that that there is reason for conc...
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Mooching vs. True Needs

November 1, 2012
Ephesians 4:28 says, “Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.”  I want to work hard and have a little extra so that I can give to those who really have true needs.  As a pastor we often get calls asking for gas or food.   It is often difficult to know if the needs are real or if we are just being taken advantage.  Because the calls come from strangers it is even more difficul...
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Responsibility and Self Defense

October 19, 2012
This time of year reminds me of deer season.  I haven’t hunted in years but I still have the old shotgun.  I have never had to use that shotgun for self defense, but it is there if it is ever needed.
The issue of self defense is a serious issue, especially as we consider that it may lead to a life being taken.  In Luke 22:35-38 Jesus tells his disciples to buy swords and then we find out that a couple of them were already carrying.  I believe this implies Christ’s consent for the defensiv...
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Do We Know What Love Is?

October 5, 2012
My wife and I will celebrate our 6th anniversary this fall.  I regularly tell her that I love her.  I talk to my little brother on the phone quite a bit as well.  I also regularly tell him that I love him.  Though I love both my brother an my wife, the love that I have for my wife involves a romantic component that the love I have for others does not have.  So what is love?
The greatest command of all is to love the Lord with all your heart, soul, and mind and then to love your neighbor as yo...
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Do I Really Have to Share?

September 21, 2012
We have been trying to teach our little boys to share.  This can be a difficult concept.  We want to teach them that they must share their toys with each other, but we also want to make sure that one of them does not use the idea of sharing as an excuse to demand that his brother give up the toy that he wants.
Unfortunately even adults struggle with this concept.  As Christians we are to share with those who are less fortunate than we are, yet we must also point out that it is not right to de...
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Why do Bad Things Happen?

September 7, 2012
Why does God allow disease?  Why are people killed by hurricanes?  Why did so many people lose their homes to forest fires?  Why do bad things happen?  Why did God even allow sin into this world?
The above questions have been asked by generations of people who have tried to figure out God and what He is doing.  Of course we look forward to a heaven utopia with no problems or trials at all, but if we had been born into such a utopia, it would be much more difficult to really appreciate God.  T...
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Don't Manipulate The Bible

August 24, 2012
Imagine that you walk into a French hospital and you see a man dressed in white and he says he has the cockroach.  Your first thought may be that he is an exterminator, but then you are informed that when the French talk of having the cockroach, they mean they are depressed.  With this added information, you then understand that this person is likely a patient rather than an exterminator.
It is amazing how a little additional information can change ones perspective.  Often as I talk about the...
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Talking About God’s Deeds

August 10, 2012
Why am I here?  What is life all about?  For those who have trusted God and believe on Jesus Christ as their savior, there is a clear answer to that question.  Isaiah 43:7 says, “Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him.”  Revelation 4:11 states, “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.”
All things are c...
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When to Be a Tattletale?

July 27, 2012
A few weeks ago I wrote a column about small towns and not gossiping.  This led to a conversation with my wife about children and tattling.  We do not want our children to be know as tattletales, but we do want them to report evil behavior.  Many of the “bad guys” also realize children do not want to be know as tattle tales and they use that to their advantage, thus they are often able to convince children to cover up evil deeds that are done to them.  Some of the most evil among them eve...
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Do Not Oppress the Poor

July 13, 2012
There is an old saying that advises not to discuss religion or politics, yet here I am writing articles that always have some sort of religious message in them.  Often within a religious discussion, politics also come up.  “Social issues” are obviously part of politics, but even economic issues have a religious component to them.
Though liberals and conservative Christians differ strongly on political issues, they share a common concern for the poor, or at least they say they do.  The dif...
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Loving Small Town Neighbors

June 29, 2012
I love living in a small town.  Our boys just got a new sandbox and it seems like the whole town is celebrating with them.  Before we even got the lumber to build it, we had told the boys what we were planning and they started to tell nearly everyone they saw that they were getting a sandbox.

It did not take long for word to spread about our boy’s excitement.  Then when we finally got the lumber, numerous residents were able to pass by and see that we were starting some sort of proj...

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Bugged by Those Annoying Bugs

June 15, 2012
The last week in June, First Baptist Church in Bancroft will be hosting Vacation Bible School for grade school children.  The theme this year is “Bug Zone: Transformed By Our Big God!”  Just as a caterpillar is transformed into a butterfly, so are we transformed when we believe in the Lord Jesus Christ.  2 Corinthians says, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”
Though I like the theme for our Bible Sch...
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(The blog posts from
November 2010- April 2013
were entered by Former Pastor Jerry Miller