Saturday, December 03, 2011

A Christmas Invitation

Your Christmas invitation is just two clicks away. Your first click is here

If you click on the picture above - you just get a bigger picture - sorry, so use the text link instead. Jesse

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Christmas Messengers

I have received birth announcements in various ways. There is the traditional baby-themed card in the mail. I have also been handed candy, lollipops and back in the day, cigars. In the modern era I have been informed of new arrivals by text message, twitter, facebook and instant message. No matter the method of delivery, at the time, it seemed normal. In the second chapter of Luke, we find the "birth announcement" of Jesus and the unusual method chosen has become an integral part of the Christmas story. A group of unnamed shepherds were the first outside the family to get the news. But why shepherds? Of all the means available to spread the news of this unique birth why would working-class wool chasers be the chosen ones? Why recruit these who were minding their own business until an angel dramatically interrupted an otherwise uneventful night to declare, "Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord."

I think the answer to the “why the shepherds” question can be found not in what they witnessed by finding the “Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger” but by their response. Luke’s account tells us that, “Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child." Thus began a pattern that continues a couple of millennia later. The preferred method of spreading the message of God’s love for the world as expressed through Jesus is by ordinary people passing the news on to others in their lives. Here is where it gets personal. We do not need to be the spiritual elite to spread the message. It can be transmitted by casual contact. The reason that the birth of one first-century Jewish baby is noted around the world is because the message has gone viral.

In the midst of the hoopla of the holiday season people of faith should be reminded that our simple touches of care, our ordinary acts of kindness, and our normal conversations can be opportunities for others to be infected by the old, old story of Jesus and His love. Someone in your world is waiting to hear Jesus birth announcement.

Jesse Waggoner

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Keep Shooting

Some of you have seen the picture above - it is of our daughter Jessica and our granddaughter Kaelyn. They, along with our Son in law Eric, came to spend the weekend with us. A few days before their arrival, Jessica called and asked if I would mind taking some pictures. As many of you know, I love photography and it took only a fraction of a second to say yes. The picture above (you can click on it and see an even larger version) was the one that is now on the wall in my office. It is right beside me as I type this. I love it for many reasons, the contrast between one set of eyes open and one being closed is great, the fact that one face is looking at the camera while the other is in profile works, so does the contrast in skin tones, the way the hair falls -- I could go on and on... and of course the most important thing that makes it special are the two people who are in it.

But there is something else you should know. This image is one of 165 I took that day. Most will never be seen by anyone other than me and only 3 or 4 will make it to prints or will be posted online. Most of what I took that day are, in a word ..bad. The lighting is off in some, the focus is not crisp in others. I also have a new found appreciation for baby photographers. With an infant you just can’t say: "look at me and smile"and get the result you want. You have to time it just right and hope you hit the shutter release at the correct moment.

This fact that only through perseverance can the correct outcome be gained in photography serves a fitting metaphor for life. Most of our efforts don't succeed on the first try, many don't after the 100th. But there is reward in sticking to it, to keep giving effort , to perfecting one's skills. Most of the time victory comes to the one who refused to give up. So whatever it is we do, let's keep giving our best. The perfect moment may be close at hand.

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Your Invitation

Mt. Calvary is having a welcome reception for us Sunday evening at 6:30 - special music will be by Master Peace and I am so pleased that my dear friend Dr. Paul Reiter will be speaking. There will be light Hors D’Oeurves, cake & punch following, consider this your invitation.

Thursday, September 29, 2011


Where are you traveling? Maybe you have trip or two planned, or perhaps you are committed to just staying home. No matter your plans you are going to do some travelling, a lot of traveling. In fact you are on the move as you read this. Not so sure? Consider this; right now the earth is spinning on its axis, with you on it, at a speed of about 800 miles per hour. It doesn't feel like you are moving because everything around you, above you and under you is moving at the same speed and direction as you. If that is not enough movement consider this the earth travels around the sun at a speed of about 67,000 miles per hour! You are going somewhere, you have no choice.

Spiritually it is the same, you are always moving. You are either making progress in your walk with God or you are digressing. Even Jesus is described as making progress; “And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men."(Luke 2:52) If he needed to make progress, we certainly do.

I hope you will join me in being committed to going in the right direction. You can insure this by being in the Word of God regularly – you also should be part of a church that teaches the Word in a way that touches life. These will help keep you between the lines as you navigate the road ahead.


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Number Four

I have had the privilege of previously serving as a pastor of three churches: New Hope Bible Church in Bridgeport, West Virginia, Calvary Baptist Church in Portsmouth, Ohio and Associate Pastor at Bible Center Church in Charleston. As many of you know, I completed my ministry at Bible Center last September. In the mean time, I have completed my Doctorate Degree (I am contemplating starting work on a second Doctorate Degree before the year is out - not sure if I am brave or crazy) and then unexpectedly was requested to serve as interim pastor of Mount Calvary Baptist Church. It has been a joy to serve at Mt. Calvary with a fine staff and congregation. We have seen the Word of God do amazing things in the lives of many over these last months.

But one can only live in "interim" land for so long. There comes a time to move on and we have been preparing for the move for some months. During this time, we have interacted with a number of congregations around the country and have been blessed to learn of God's work in ways and places that were new to us. It has been a joy to meet with pastoral search committees that are composed of godly servants who are doing God's work in God's way. We are still praying for some of them to find the man God is calling to that particular work. That said, where are we going to land?

I told some folks recently that I feel like the guy who was searching around the world for a wife and ends up marrying the girl next door. So now we know - Sunday, September 18th, I will begin my fourth pastoral ministry as Senior Pastor of Mt. Calvary Baptist Church, in Charleston, West Virginia. In the last eight months, Julie and I have grown to love this congregation. We have also learned to love this area even more. This call has been confirmed in many ways, not the least of which is seeing two growing services on Sunday mornings, as well as people being saved and baptized. God is at work and He is to be praised! There is much work that remains to be done but I am thankful that I get to work alongside other staff pastors, church board, and a congregation that are walking with Christ and have a passion to do God's will.

So I continue to do what I have done my entire adult life: preach God's Word and pastor God's people. I am a blessed man to get to do both

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Are we in the Last Days?

For those of us who live in on the East Coast last week's earthquake was the first one we have experienced in our lives - do you think it will be the last one? This and so many other world-events (storms, unrest in the Middle East, terrorism, financial instability etc.) lead many to ask questions such as: What does the future hold? Are we approaching or living in the last days? Is there hope? Is there an escape? Fortunately there are answers from the lips of Jesus and they are found in Matthew chapter 24. I will be leading a study through this portion of God's Word on Wednesday nights 6:30 p.m. at Mt. Calvary Baptist Church. These messages will not be available online so if you want to be a part make plans to join us for this journey through the Last Days.

Friday, August 05, 2011

New Arrival

Kaelyn Michelle McVey arrived on July 23, weighing in at 8lbs 3oz. Dad Eric and Mom Jessica are all doing well. Julie and yours truly are are still a bit in shock over being grandparents - but it is a shock that we greatly enjoy!

Proverbs 17:6 says, "Children's children are the crown of old men, And the glory of children is their father." I must admit that I like the "crown and glory" parts more than the "old men" part of that verse. But however it is said to reach this point in life is blessing of God. A testimony to His faithfulness and His grace to our entire family.

I would like to offer some profound insights to you in perfectly formed sentences that you would enjoy reading and feel compelled to send on to someone else but I guess this one of the few times that I am at a loss for words --but I know this God has surely been good to me.


Thursday, July 21, 2011

God wrote you a letter

I heard a fellow preacher describe hearing an elderly African American preacher deliver something similar to the following so with a few imaginary flourishes I submit the following.

Over in the little book of First John chapter 2 and down in verse 13 the beloved Apostle says – “I write to you fathers” -- so a I say to all of you fathers, God wrote you a letter. It also says “I write to you young men” – so again I say to you young men – God wrote you a letter. It goes on to say “I write to you little children” – so little children, God wrote you a letter. So I can say to you church – God wrote you a letter.

God sat down at His desk of sovereignty, picked up His pen of omniscience and He wrote you a letter of divine revelation. His ideas are infallible its content is inerrant and its message is immutable. God wrote you a letter. He wrote your letter on paper watermarked with the tears of prophets, He wrote you letter with the indelible ink of His faithfulness, it is written in the script of His holiness it is punctuated with His graciousness and it signed by the blood of Jesus. God wrote you a letter. He placed your letter in an envelope of love, sealed by the kiss of His spirit postmarked by the apostles and delivered by the breath of Almighty God. Church – God wrote you a letter. My friend God wrote you a letter.

So I say to you beloved – you ought to read your mail.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

25 things I learned from a walk in the forest

I recently spent an afternoon hiking about 5 miles through one of our state parks. Here are some things you can learn from a walk in the forest.

1. God loves the color green
2. Trees are tall
3. People are not
4. You never see a tree grow
5. Walking face-first into a spider web is always startling
6. Forests have a different cast of birds than my backyard
7. Squirrels are better than any circus acrobat
8. I don’t like snakes
9. Poison Ivy is hard to see
10. Always take your camera
11. A camera cannot capture what the eye can see
12 Chipmunks are noisy
13. Forests soak up both water and sound
14. If a tree falls in the forest…it will always be across the hiking trail
15. I do not understand why people carve their initials into tree trunks
16. Sticks and stones may break my bones…so I try to avoid them
17. I need better hiking shoes
18. Air tastes different in the woods
19. Only God can make a tree it takes an idiot to produce litter
20. Trees are always heading upward…so should I
21. I don’t spend enough time in the forest
22. Forests are wonderful places
23. God makes amazing forests
24. Everything God makes is amazing
25. God is amazing

Jesse Waggoner

Friday, June 24, 2011

Wedding Bells

Saturday June 18, 2011 our youngest son was married to Katie in Englewood, Florida. If you want to see more pictures just use the links below.

Julie and I and my parents flew down, which meant we did not get to visit with several friends on the return trip as we planned. But flying was easier on all of us. We were also pleased that a number of family and friends made the trip. Our whole gang stayed in Buchan's Landing Resort which is on Lemon Bay - a wonderful place for us to gather and celebrate. We watched dolphins swim by each morning, and I enjoyed taking pictures of the beauty and wildlife in the area. Julie was a wonderful host for those gathered - one morning she prepared breakfast for 27!

The wedding took place in the Green Street Church which was the first church in Englewood and is now operated by the historical society. It was lovely setting for a ceremony that honored the Lord as they made their commitment to each other.

I shared with those gathered at the rehearsal dinner that families are very stretchable - as proven by the fact that both of our families are enlarged by this marriage; Katie's family have warmly welcomed Brian and we are delighted that Katie has become part of the growing Waggoner clan. They will be living in Richmond Virginia where Brian will pursue his chosen career in law enforcement.

We also got in a little relaxation after the wedding, Julie and I enjoyed the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico and colleting a few seashells along the way, not to mention taking some pictures of some outstanding sunsets! We are glad to be back in WV and looking forward to be worshipping with the folks at Mt. Calvary Baptist on Sunday.


Wedding Photo Album

Florida Photo Album

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Prison Stories

Have you ever noticed how so many Bible stories take place in a prison? Think about Joseph in Egypt, Sampson, Jeremiah, Peter, Paul, Silas, the Apostle John, and John the Baptist come quickly to mind. This band of jail-house brothers are each part of the story God is trying to tell in the Bible and maybe He needed to get our attention in a particular way.

But why prison bars as a backdrop for the message God is trying to communicate? The metaphor of prison is one that jars our senses. It invades our minds with images of being helpless, hopeless and with little or no control. It touches the soul where the soul feels stuck and bound, where the only hope is on the outside as there are no useable resources for escape on the inside. It connects with the season in life where every day runs into the next and every day seems the same. Where there is little point but existing to do it all over and over again. One does not have to be literally in lock down to be acquainted with the prison syndrome. The addict knows about prison. So does the person who has been rejected and passed over. So does everyone who has ever hoped for more from life and not being able to see a way to get there. It is known by everyone who waits for word from an erring child or a wandering spouse. The feelings of confinement by a disability, injury or disease can also feel prison-like.

I have come to believe that it is for these that the prison stories are sprinkled throughout the pages of Scripture are special messages for you in those moments when you are the one in one kind of a prison or another, they are mini-dramas to help you know that life in prison is not the kind of life God intends but sometime it is only through the experience of being out of control that we really come to terms with what it means for Him to be in control.

For the next several weeks I am doing a study of a dozen or so of these prison stories and I want to invite you to either follow along or at least pick up your Bible and find your way to a prison story and in so doing you can find the kind of freedom that God desires for you to experience each day.


Thursday, May 05, 2011

The Family

"Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, So are the children of one's youth. (Psalms 127:4)

When I became a father at the age of 22 Julie and I had no idea the adventure we were embarking on. Now after nearly 3 decades of marriage and years of raising children I am a blessed man. The raising of children, maintaining a marriage and growing a getting along are part of God's plan to make us all better. We, as I suppose all do, have had our struggles and pressure points. But this I know - it has all been worth it - every minute of it, the boring and long moments, the short and scary moments, those moments with more questions than answers, those moments of success and failure, those moments of pride and pain. Altogether they form a tapestry of God's grace and faithfulness. I really don't have anything more profound than that to say today but that is enough! To Him be the glory.

In case you are wondering the picture above was taken on Easter Sunday after we returned from a wonderful time of worship. Left to right (Back Row) Brandon and Heather Waggoner, Eric and Jessica McVey, (Front row) Katie Barnard, Brian Waggoner, my bride Julie and yours truly.

The picture below includes my parents Sam and Evelyn Waggoner and Brandon's dog Jaya just had to get into the picture. Click on the pictures to view a larger version.



Friday, April 15, 2011

Life Update - Spring 2011

I thought it is about time for a personal update, I will post some of my thoughts from the Word next time. I have been busy serving the good folks at Mt. Calvary Baptist Church as their Interim Senior Pastor. I have enjoyed being in the pulpit preaching three times a week. If you want to follow my preaching ministry you can use these links: (Sunday Morning series) (Sunday evening messages)

I have been excited to be part of two new ministries through MCBC - the first is we have begun a second Sunday Morning service. It meets at 9 a.m. in our Connection Theater; the second service remains at 11 a.m. in the sanctuary. I have also been busy putting together a new ministry to men. The Lord has provided a great core of men to get things off the ground and we are expecting the Lord to continue to bless this ministry. The teaching for the Man2Man group is being recorded and will be available later. I have been working on putting together a video set so that this teaching can be on video and audio. (The picture above is a test shot from the studio set-up).

Things with the family are face-paced these days. Brian is graduating in May and getting married to Katie in June. We will be making a trip to Florida for this great event. Brandon and Heather are going to Uganda for missions work for the month of July. Also in July Jessica and Eric are expecting a baby girl and Julie and will be grandparents at a shockingly young age :) Julie has remained busy with teaching piano and she volunteers at Thomas Memorial Hospital.

May of you have asked about my Doctorate program, well last Tuesday I was informed that my Dissertation has been accepted and this means all work is completed for me to be awarded a Doctorate Degree in Biblical Preaching. Not sure when I will have a diploma in hand but I am glad to have this completed. If you want to take a look at my work you can download a eBook copy of it using this link:

I want to conclude by thanking all of your for your kindness and love you have shown to all of us over these last few months.


Thursday, March 24, 2011

Answered un-prayed prayers

"Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered." (Romans 8:26)

There are those moments, as the above verse reminds us, when we don't know what to pray, or even have the ability put words to our needs, to frame our feelings in sentences and all we are left with are groans. Yes prayer is a "hotline" to heaven, a resource to bring Heaven's power to bear on our needs. But what about when we can't even pray? It is at those moments the Holy Spirit enters into the process and offers our prayers for us. He frames our cries in words that are fit for God's ears. He offers prayers that fully capture our heartache. What blessing!

But let's take this to a higher level, our God is so gracious to hear us and answer our prayers that we have never really prayed. The Holy Spirit has even done the praying for us. God so wants to have intimate fellowship with us, He is so eager to hear our requests and so eager to answer prayer that He can't wait for us to turn our heart toward Him. He is so desirous of us, that He will even complete the process of prayer for us. What blessing!

So, if He is so anxious to hear from you, make sure you do. He is waiting. What blessing!


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Got Peace?

We all have watched in horror at the devastation in Japan. A massive earthquake, whole cities being washed away by a tsunami and then the unthinkable of nuclear reactors melting down. At moments like this we are at a loss for words and at a loss for peace. Graciously God caused my mind to flash back to some words found in Psalm 46 – allow me to share them with you.

"God is our refuge and strength,
A very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear,
Even though the earth be removed,
And though the mountains
be carried into the midst of the sea;
Though its waters roar and be troubled,
Though the mountains shake with its swelling."
(Psalm 46:1-3 NKJV)

Did you catch the part about the earth being moved and the oceans roaring? Sounds like this is just what we need. To remember that in spite of it all and whatever happens God is our refuge. We can and must trust Him. Trust begins with prayer and praise. Maybe these events can serve as wake-up call for us to get on our knees before our God and renew our trust and dependence on Him.

The next to last verse of this Psalm tells us that after we have acknowledged His place and power we must do as He commands…

"Be still and know that I am God"
(Psalm 46:10)

He is, He has been and He ever will be God. For that I am thankful and in that I trust.


PS: The above is part of my current Bible Teaching series at Mount Calvary, hope you can join us in person or online for this study.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

My Time is In His Hands

Tonight at 2:00 a.m. the governement of the United States has decreed that all clocks shall be moved forward by one hour. This is to allow more daylight in the evening hours. For today I asked on One Daily Question if folks were a fan of daylight savings time, and as usually the vote is split.

But my vote is no, I must confess I have never been a fan of daylight savings time. For in reality were are not getting more daylight, time is not changing we are just all agreeing to change our schedules!

Really only God controls time, He started the clock ticking and He will keep it wound. There is a verse that I think of when I think of time:

"My times are in Your hand; Deliver me from the hand of my enemies, And from those who persecute me." (Psalm 31:15)

This reminds me that the events, length and path of my life are in His control, right there in His all powerful hands. Hands that have never made a mistake, never slipped or grown weary. He is involved in this second and the next second and the minute after that. I want to lift my voice in praise of the God I love and serve, and then relax in His care. Why don't you do the same - isn't it about time you did?

Monday, February 28, 2011

Got your wedding invitation yet?

Are you checking your mail daily for the invitation to arrive. As a public service I want to give you a "Save the Date" warning, April 29, 2011 is the date Prince William will wed Kate Middleton in West Minster Abbey. I am sure you won't want to miss it.

I have always believed in being prepared, so just in case you happen to run into the Queen of England or other royal person at the wedding, here are some of the official rules for meeting royalty

• Women should curtsy and men should nod their heads

• If the Royal person offers a hand, the handshake should be short and not hard

• Allow the Queen or other royal person to leave the room first; backs should never be turned toward the Queen

• During meals, the Queen eats first and when she stops the others at the table stop

• If something drops at dinner do not speak; someone will retrieve it quietly and without fanfare

So why all the fuss? Because there is a place for showing honor to a person of a superior position. Honor is a key ingredient to any relationship. The Bible is clear, both in family and in society in general, in that He expects us to honor others (Eph. 6:2, 1 Pet. 3:7, 2:17). We often seek honor for ourselves when we need to heap it on others. So you may not meet a king or queen this week but there is someone in your life that you need to treat like one; do it to honor the God who has made us all.

So you and I can both show honor in the biblical sense regardless if we get an royal wedding invitation not.


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Have a spare 65 hours?

It currently has 65 hours of Bible teaching, 112 individual sermons in 20 different sermon series. What you ask? My new podcast. I have been working for the last few weeks of creating a complete archive of all of my online Bible teaching material and you can now access any or all at:

If you are looking for complete series with downloadable study notes and some with online videos you can access the Bible teaching section of my website:

Also both my evening and morning messages from each Sunday are archived on the podcast by Wednesday of each week. Thank you so much for your love and support. The ministry at Mount Calvary Baptist is such a blessing. The folks there are so supportive and they have a wonderful pastoral staff. We are working on plans for starting a second Sunday morning service on Easter. Keep praying!


Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Who is the Greatest?

Who is the greatest homerun hitter in major league baseball history? That question should be easy, or is it? A quick look at stats will show that Barry Bonds ended his career with 762 homeruns, end of arguement, or is it? Questions of a "lively ball" and the use of steroids make his record in some purist's minds suspect. So maybe it is Hank Aaron, his 755 homeruns stand untainted. However there are some who argue that Babe Ruth should still get the nod, since he played in a day of shorter seasons, during his first four years (1914-1918) with the Red Sox he as a pitcher and not playing every day and the spitball was not banned from baseball until the 1921 season!

It is not my point to settle this argument but to illustrate that arriving at the point of determining the greatest no simple matter. Who is greatest is always debatable when it come to humans and human effort. However when it comes to God there is no doubt that He is the Greatest. He is at the top of every list (if not the list is wrong) in charge of everything and above everything. He is unique, one of a kind, holy!

Here is a thought that will revolutionize your thinking, the one who is greatest cares about you. He is willing to involve Himself in your life. He knows all about you and loves you anyway. He understands what no one else does, He can do what no one else can do. He is crazy about you. Get a handle on that and other opinions really don't matter.

The Greatness of God will be the subject of my Sunday morning messages at Mount Calvary beginning this Sunday. We will be looking at just how great our God is, you will be moved to worship, grow and serve in ways you have not thought of before!

You can also follow this series on 58 WCHS radio Sunday's at 7:30 a.m. or you can listen on line on my podcast page you may also download study outlines here.


Friday, January 21, 2011

Heart of Jesus (parts 2 & 3)

I am in the "red zone" with my dissertation and almost all of my time the last two weeks has been taken up with research and writing and addtions to my blog have suffered. Until I can get back to writing on a regular schedule I offer you the follow two audio sermons - this is part 2 & 3 of "The Heart of Jesus Series."


In Your Darkest Hour (Luke 7:11-17)

Broken People Wanted (Luke 7:37-50)

Friday, January 07, 2011

The Heart of Jesus

Finish this statement: "You really know who your friends are when __________________."

That statement can be completed several ways but in my mind real friends are those who are there for you when no one else is. The ones who take the initiative to check on you. That ones who will not let you go through whatever life hands you alone. Real friends are those who lend a hand when it is unpopular or inconvenient to do so.

By this definition real friends are rare and the make-believe kind are a dime-a-dozen. Before I sound like I am complaining – I know that I need to work on being a real-friend and I am thankful that I am blessed with some choice “real friends.” All that to say – the Lord Jesus is indeed a real friend. He is the one loves when we are unlovely, forgives when we are guilty, and will never, repeat never, abandon us (see Rom. 8:38-39). With Jesus we have a Savior who is more than someone who offers help to look good; Someone who reaches out due to some external motivation. With Him we have His heart. You can trust His heart, even when it doesn’t look like it, even when it doesn't feel like it, even when it seem illogical, Even when no one else is trusting – you can trust His heart.

This is the study I am currently working on and sharing with the folks at Mount Calvary Baptist Church on Sunday mornings. This is also available on my podcast or you can listen in at 7:30 a.m. on WCHS beginning this Sunday, January 9th. I trust we together can learn to trust the heart of Jesus.

Listen to The Heart of Jesus (part 1)

WCHS Radio