Pastor's Pen


When I was a kid growing up in Martins Ferry, Ohio, my Mom and Dad always made sure we attended church. I wasn’t a perfect child for sure, and when I got a little squirmy, my Grandpa Wilson would give me a little square of Chiclets gum to keep me occupied, to the horror of my mother who swore I would just chew it up and get it stuck in my throat.

We attended the First Baptist Church there in town and we always looked forward to Vacation Bible School in the summer. I loved VBS as we called it and loved the singing, and the crafts, many of them cut out by my Dad or Grandpa, and always looked forward to the creative snacks they gave us at the end of the program.

One of the great songs of VBS that has stuck with me all these years is the one that goes like this:

“Read your Bible. Pray every day, pray every day, pray every day.
Read your Bible. Pray every day. And you’ll grow, grow, grow.

And you will grow, grow, grow, grow, And you will grow, grow, grow.
Read your Bible. Pray every day. And you’ll grow, grow, grow.”

Remember that lively tune?

A few weeks ago we celebrated the 2021 National Day of Prayer on the Square in downtown Carrollton. It was a little chilly that day but there was a nice crowd there as well. There was the flag raising and the National Anthem, the Proclamation from the County Commissioners and from Mayor Stoneman. A few selections from the High School Choir led by Mindy Domer, a solo by Karen Palo, and then of course, there was prayer. There was prayer for our government, military, media, education, churches, our families, our economy, and for civility to reign again in our nation. We all sang, “America the Beautiful” and then went about our daily lives.

Now that that time is over, I wonder how many that attended this great event are continuing to pray for these things that so greatly affect our lives. The older I have become, the more I know that prayer just doesn’t change things…Prayer changes ME! The more I pray the more I see just what God is up to in my life and in the lives of my family, community, and nation.

When was the last time you prayed? Not a prayer out of emergency or necessity, but a personal, intimate, life-changing prayer time with God the Father or His Son or the Holy Spirit? If it has been awhile since you have had this kind of prayer time, maybe it is time to return and re-introduce yourself to your Creator.

There is one more verse to that old VBS song and it has a far greater theology to it than the excuses we give for not reading our Bibles and praying: “Don’t read your Bible, forget to pray and you will shrink, shrink, shrink”.

Growth is always an amazing thing and here we see real growth in our lives is coupled with reading the Word of God and praying. If you haven’t cracked open your Bible and prayed for awhile, maybe, just maybe, it’s time to return to seeing what God has to say to you in His Word, and letting Him hear you talk to Him in return. You know, this kind of thing just might change you…and the lives of those you touch. In our world today, instead of all the negativity that is out there, wouldn’t this be a great change?

Read your Bible, pray every day…It will change…your…life!

Dr. Chuck Wilson


Carrollton Bible Chapel

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