Circleville Ohio, late summer of 1952: A young airman began his last month of service to his country. He had a lot on his mind about getting home and figuring out how he was going to make a living. The matter was all the more important because he also had a wife nearing her last many weeks of pregnancy. Perhaps, with some concern they finally began their 500-mile (pre-interstate) journey southward in their old ’41 Ford. They arrived safely and not so long afterward- there came the little blessing of their new born son. This little family’s story is of little note to the world at large, but to me it is of special importance because that young couple, with hopes and dreams and concerns, was my dad and mom… and that little blessing of a son was… “me”. I was thankful for the timing of the whole matter…. that I was not born in some darksome place in the north, but “properly” :) in the sunny south… especially since I’ve been saddled with such an accent. I’m also told that the Cowpens, SC doctor’s office was being renovated, and that Dr. Crow and Dad had to tear planks away from the doorway to get Mama to the place of getting down to business.

I believe there is an awesomeness about every birth… it has every feel of a miracle… and is punctuated with thankfulness. There are fascinating stories surrounding every birth… most certainly important and interesting to each individual family and to their children. Parents, maybe you could share with your child a little story surrounding their birth this Christmas.

The birth of Jesus, as far as its historical impact on the then-known world was actually of little note. But the story was certainly exciting to those His family. It is a story connected with a strange journey. You see Jesus’ family and kindred were all from Nazareth in the region of Galilee. Bad luck seems to have been at work – as a weird tax law required that all the world be taxed and everyone required to go to their ancestral home as part of a census. I’m guessing this produced a lot of chaos everywhere. So, Joseph had to travel southward with his wife, Mary, who was heavy with child, to Bethlehem of Judea. This was a 70-mile walking journey, with some assistance for Mary: an old ’41 model donkey. Accommodations were crude, even by ancient standards, but finally the blessed baby was born. The story, of course, is permeated not only by the miracle of his birth… but the awesomeness that surrounded the whole area… exciting not only shepherds but angels, and sky-watchers from afar… and those of us of every generation who are part of His family. Those circumstances I termed as “a bad-luck journey” can be better understood as God’s Providence to bring forth His Son and our Savior, for God had long, long before declared:

“But thou, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.” Micah 5:2

Births are often associated with “God is going to do something wonderful!” My Grandfather once looked at a newborn baby and remarked: “I wonder what he is going to be.”

This Christmas is a good time for us to remind ourselves that our Heavenly Father had real designs in the coming of Jesus Christ… for us individually… and for our church:

11 For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11

I want you to know that I very much look to the future of Starnes Cove with a genuine Hope! Our church is together and is at peace… God has given us, all around, very capable leaders including our Deacons and chm. Rick Conard, and Personnel Committee and chm. Mickey Martin. Let’s keep to our PRAYERS, PATIENCE, AND PASSIONS in the Lord, whose church we are! And expect God to do great things for his Glory!

In closing I want to say that Jane and I couldn’t have hoped to have a better time with you than this awesome season of Christmas. It’s a great opportunity to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with our community – in so many various ways (see inside).

Just know, We Love You All Very Much!

Charlie and Jane






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