Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Thanks to Our Christmas Volunteers

It is well worth the effort to take a few minutes out of our busy days to stop and be grateful for all the help God has sent our way. LBC is graced with many wonderful volunteers. This year, during the Advent season, we had volunteers who acted out dramatic monologues or dialogues in our Voices of Advent performances each week. Additionally, we need to thank all our volunteers who made our Children's Pageant, acting out the story of Joseph, Mary, and baby Jesus in Bethlehem possible. There were talented adults who costumed the children, helped direct them to their locations, listen to the narration, narrate the story dramatically using an "I don't believe it" and "Believe" call and response with the kids and the adults in the congregation (who at one point played the role of the Heavenly Host but were soon demoted to a flock of sheep). It was a wonderful experience, with one parent saying afterwards that she just couldn't stop smiling throughout the whole pageant.

Volunteers transformed our sanctuary for our Christmas Candlelight Service, organized all the volunteers who participated in the service in a number of ways, used their talents during the nine readings in the lessons and carols. Three musicians added to the evening's beauty. We thank all who attended and raised their voices in hymns of praise. We had a strong turnout. We also thank those dedicated volunteers who organized the feast that was provided after the Candlelight Service (and well received).

It is amazing and humbling to see how many hands are needed to make a single event in the church come to fruition. We thank God for bringing this talented, willing congregation together and for inspiring us to work so well together to make these wonderful services happen.

Old Fashioned Invitations

Over the past few months, the pastor has been experimenting with an old-fashioned form of invitation. He has been leaving small fliers on people's door knobs, inviting them to attend our church service. Pastor Snyder takes one street at a time (or part of it) with about 40 flies printed on a thin but sturdy card stock (3 to an 8 1/2" x 11" sheet), punches a hole in each near the upper left corner and affixes a rubber band there to hand the flier from door knobs (one does not leave such invitations in mail boxes as the US Postal Service is not in favor of that). He also does not leave these fliers at any home where "No Soliciting" signs are present. We at LBC respect the feelings of others. While we want to invite as many people as possible to worship with us each Sunday and experience the love of God we feel when we worship together, we don't want to intrude where we are decidedly unwelcome.

For our Christmas Candlelight Service, one side of the flier was dedicated to that service, while the other contained the general invitation. While far from conclusive as yet, our pastor says he likes the process and enjoys getting to know our neighborhoods and neighbors around the church better. Over 300 fliers have been handed out in our immediate vicinity, with many more to come.

If you live anywhere near Lansdowne Baptist Church, have yet to receive an invitation, but are reading this post, consider yourself invited to join us any Sunday morning. 

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Be Thankful

Based on Colossians 3:12-17, this sermon explores the new ways of interacting with others Paul recommends. Paul calls for us all to strip away the vices Paul calls our "old clothes," replacing them with the "new clothes," the virtues, of compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, patience, forgiveness, and love. It explores why these virtues represent a far more powerful way of interacting with others than we imagine. All of these virtues are bound together and supported by one other ... one not mentioned here.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Decorating Sanctuary for Christmas

Preparing for our joyous celebration of Jesus' birth, this Saturday, December 12, at 9:00 a.m., church volunteers will be gathering to decorate the sanctuary. It is a wonderful transformation to see and to help complete. Members and friends of Lansdowne Baptist Church are more than welcome to come and contribute to this significant and joyful transformation. Come help make the sanctuary shine.

All are invited to our Candlelight Service, where you will see all those beautiful decorations. To learn when and where this takes place, see: http://lansdownebaptistchurch.blogspot.com/2015/12/christmas-candlelight-service.html

Thanks to Our Work Crews

Throughout the year, our volunteers come out for Saturday work parties. Their God-given talents, their efforts, and their time and energies spent are crucial to keeping Lansdowne Baptist Church looking right and well maintained. This fall our crews worked on the yard, the leaves (a sure sign of God's abundance in this world), some sidewalk patching, vital work on the Education Building main doors, and planting beautiful flowers to bring color to the grounds.

Thank you all for what you contribute to our shared community and historic church building.

For more about what was completed on these work days, see: http://lansdownebaptistchurch.blogspot.com/2015/11/november-work-days-at-lbc.html

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Making Jesus' Commission Our Own

In the early years of Christianity, believers were called Christians or "Little Christs" as a form of derision. Early believers sought to own the term as Christ followers. In Luke 4:18-19, Jesus reads in the synagogue in Nazareth verses from the scroll of Isaiah. The verses read:
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
  because he has anointed me
    to bring good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim release to
    the captives
  and recovery of sight to the blind,
    to let the oppressed go free,
to proclaim the year of the Lord's
As Christ followers, we would do well to keep this passage before us as our own commissioning to ministry in this life. Seeking to bring good news to the poor (and all those considered outcasts in our society today), working hard to get captives released, seeking to clear the sight of those who are spiritually blind, and to help the oppressed (including those refugees who flee terrible violence in their homelands) to go free. Working toward the original concept of the Jubilee year wouldn't be such a bad idea either.

Have a blessed day.  

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Christmas Candlelight Service

On Sunday, December 20th, 2015, at 7:00 in the evening, you are invited to Lansdowne Baptist Church's annual Christmas Candlelight Service.  This inspiring service includes a service of nine lessons and carols. The lessons span from Genesis, Isaiah, and Micah in the Old Testament to Matthew, Luke, and John in the New Testament. Follow the story of God's love for humanity, a love so strong that nothing we could do would destroy it, from the very beginning through the joyous birth of Jesus, the Messiah, who would show us the way home to God and declare in word and deed how much we are all beloved children of God. Following the lessons and carols is a truly unique message during which the light of Christ is shared throughout the church sanctuary, taking a single point of light at the pulpit out throughout the gathered people, sharing Jesus' love and message until the sanctuary, once dark, is lit by candles. By that soft glow, Silent Night is sung to end a beautiful, inspiring, and memorable evening sure to give you the real Christmas spirit. Come and join in this profound moment of worship and peace.

Wisdom from Proverbs in Angry Times

With so many arguments and counter-arguments arising in light of recent events and campaigns, it is useful from time to time to return to the wisdom of the Proverbs. Here are two verses from Proverbs 17 (verses 27-28) that might provide some useful, wise guidance. 
One who spares words is knowledgeable;
one who is cool in spirit has understanding.
Even fools who keep silent are considered wise;
when they close their lips, they are deemed intelligent.
Perhaps a little less angry invective back and forth and a little more listening with open minds would not be amiss.  

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Freed and Provoked

A sermon based on Hebrews 10:11-14, 23-25. As the author of Hebrews
declares, working together we can free ourselves of the fear that
threatens to overwhelm us. We can also provoke each other to greater
acts of love.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Standing with the People of Paris

We at Lansdowne Baptist Church stand with the people of Paris as they grieve their losses. We pray for all who are suffering and afraid in the wake of terrorism worldwide. You are not alone.

We also grieve and pray over what has been done in Beirut, Lebanon.

Additionally, we pray for the safety of all the refugees fleeing the terror in Syria, for whom these horrid acts of terrorism make life so much more difficult far from home.

For the response of our denomination, American Baptist Churches, USA, please see: http://www.abc-usa.org/2015/11/14/prayers-requested-following-attacks/ 

More Than We Think

Sermon based on Matthew 14:13-21. Jesus, in the feeding of the five thousand (plus), shows us there is a better way to live than in fear that there will not be enough for each of us in this world. That fear is currently killing people. Listen for a different way, the way of God's kingdom, and be liberated.

Thursday, November 12, 2015


Sermon based on Mark 12:28-34. Jesus shows us how to maintain balance in our lives by following the two greatest commandments: love God and love your neighbor.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Have Mercy On Me

Based on Mark 10:46-52. Bartimaeus shows us it is not right to be quiet and passive when things go wrong for us or others. We are called to be bold, as you'll soon hear.

Finding Peace in Trust

Sermon based on Job 38:1-7: like Job (and unlike his friends) we can find peace by placing our faith in God and God's ways. It beats trying to go it alone or believing what society might have to say about us, especially in difficult times.

Friday, November 6, 2015

A Blessing for Your Day

Go forth in peace, but not in complacency; be strong, but not arrogant; have conviction, but be understanding of the beliefs of others; be eager to love, but not meddlesome; be proud enough not to have contempt for yourselves, but sufficiently humble not to be jealous of your neighbors. Go forth in peace. 

From A Manual of Worship. John E. Skoglund & Nancy E. Hall

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Missionary Guest Speakers Sunday December 6

Lansdowne Baptist Church is pleased to host ABC USA missionaries to Thailand, Chuck K. and Ruth Gilson Fox, in church during 11 a.m. worship on Sunday, December 6th. They will speak of their good works overseas that day. Everyone is invited to come and hear what they have to say about their vital work.

November Work Days at LBC

Saturday, November 7th and 21st there will be two work days at Lansdowne Baptist Church.  The work begins at 9 a.m. and ends around 3 p.m. Any contribution of time and talent you can make will be greatly appreciated.

Exterior work will continue, as it did during the successful October 10th and 24th work days. There will be leaves to remove and railings to sand and paint and other jobs awaiting. Plenty of opportunity for involvement will be available to all who take part in these opportunities.

The previous work day teams accomplished a great deal, cleaning up the grounds, planting new chrysanthemums in the beds, fixing cracks in the sidewalk and securing a stone step tread. It is amazing what the people of God can do when they offer up their gifts in service of the church. Thank you to all who have served in this important work so far and to all those who will come in the days ahead. Your efforts do not go unnoticed. 

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Fall Back November 1st

To see you at Lansdowne Baptist Church on time Sunday, November 1st, remember to set your clocks back one hour. This All Saint's Day we'll be focused on love, and you wouldn't want to miss that. We'll also be sharing communion together. Come worship and break bread with us.

Enjoy the extra hour's sleep. Be blessed.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

New Members Classes Offered: November 2015

A series of four new membership classes will be offered to all who have become members of Lansdowne Baptist Church within the last year to year and all those who are considering joining. The classes will be taught by the pastor. Each class will be an hour long. These classes will be offered in the month of November. Classes will cover the basics of the Baptist faith and provide both history and current structure of Lansdowne Baptist Church operations. Class time is set for the Sunday school hour, from 9:45 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. and will be held in Westphall Hall. 

Monday, October 12, 2015

What Must I Do

Sermon based on Mark 10:17-31, in which the "rich young ruler" as he has so often been called asks Jesus what he must do to inherit eternal life. Jesus' response is a call to us all to a new way of living in the here and now. Jesus also messes with the social order, as you will see.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Meditation on Joy

I recently ran across an article stating that the Yale Center for Faith and Culture has been studying joy since 2014. This gave me joy. It is one of my favorite topics related to my faith. The scholars say that knowledge of God’s Word produces joy, and I believe it. All through seminary, I discovered that the more I learned about my faith and the more deeply I explored the spiritual disciplines, the greater my joy grew. Did you know that joy is mentioned over 400 times in the Bible? Yet it so rarely comes up in modern discussions. As Nehemiah wrote (8:10): “Go your way, eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions of them to those for whom nothing is prepared, for this day is holy to our Lord; and do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Joy comes from life with God. We do not seek it ourselves but are given joy as a gift by God, a gift of salvation. Joy fills us, makes the heart leap (Psalm 28:7) and fills the tongue with “songs of joy” (Psalm 126:2). Joy comes when we repent from wrongdoing and return home to God from guilty, wayward paths. In fact, turning away from wrongdoing, calling out for forgiveness from God, brings rejoicing in heaven, as Jesus tells us in Luke 15:10. Paul calls on all us Christians to “Rejoice in hope” (Romans 12:12). Good works done for humanity out of love of God and all God has done for us produces joy. Numerous Bible verses declare that the “deep power of joy” is that joy is more powerful, more constant, and more enduring than the adverse circumstances of life. So, live with joy. Stand out as a joyful presence in a society so often dour and afraid. Let your joy be a light to others, bringing them out of darkness and into the joyful presence of God.

~ Pastor Jeff Snyder

Experiencing the Pope's Weekend in Philadelphia

The Pope’s visit to Philadelphia was a joyous event that was long anticipated by everyone in the city. Part of what it meant for the many employees in the Food and Nutrition Department at Philadelphia Hospital was a long weekend away from home. We were requested to sleep over in the building from Thursday, September 24th, until Monday, September 28th. There were many concerns with the situation, including sleeping accommodations, showering, meals, work hours, laundry and the like. Weekly “Papal Visit” employee meetings took place regularly starting in August, and the closer we came to the event, the more at ease everyone seemed.

The Hospital did a great job organizing our workforce and taking care of those concerns. Clean linen, brand new air mattresses and pillows, and gift bags were among the items given out. Free meals, bingo and other games, movie nights, theater-screen-sized television with feeds for all the events, and even NFL football broadcasts, helped everyone adjust to the sacrifices made to ensure a smooth operation during the minor Center City shutdown that took place. I have to commend our “PA Hospital Papal Visit Committee” for their efforts. It was amazing to see the teamwork from all departments during the long weekend.

Between working ten hours a day, providing ‘round the clock meals for all of our “stay-over staff,” I actually had the opportunity to attend the Saturday’s Pope Ceremonial events, around the Ben Franklin Parkway area. There were so many people of different faiths in attendance, including Jews, Baptists, Muslims, and Buddhists, along with the Catholics, and that’s just naming a few, in attendance to experience this global event. I could hear people having conversations about the Pope, Catholicism, religious beliefs, gay marriage, and many other issues. Some very deep and important discussions were taking place, sometimes between complete strangers. There was a spirit of love, unity, and respect that seemed to be present in the air and once the Pope arrived, there was tremendous excitement in actually seeing him in person as he passed by the crowds lining the streets. For me, it was a highlight of my long weekend.

I finally got to go home on Monday afternoon. I was tired, and my feet were sore, but I felt good. I was very proud of my co-workers, and also proud of a few thousand random people on the Ben Franklin Parkway, that happened to share a once-in-a-lifetime experience with me.

~Will Thompson

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Seeking Pianist for First and Fourth Sundays of the Month

Lansdowne Baptist Church, of Lansdowne, Pennsylvania, is currently seeking a part-time church pianist for Sunday worship. This pianist would play on the first and fourth Sundays of the month. This artist needs to be familiar with church hymns. The worship service lasts one hour, from 11 a.m. to noon in the spring, fall, and winter months, and from 10 to 11 a.m. from Father’s Day to Labor Day over the summer. The pianist will accompany the hymns, provide prelude, offertory, and postlude music, and will receive the hymn selection for Sundays during the week prior for preparation.

The compensation is $100 per Sunday service.

If this sounds like the opportunity for you, please send a copy of your resume and a cover letter, including contact information, to Rev. Jeff Snyder, the church pastor, at the following email address: reverendjbsnyder@gmail.com

Sunday, September 20, 2015


Based on Mark 9:30-37, this sermon explores Jesus' redefinition of what it means to be great. Are we up to Jesus' challenge to be great as defined by Kingdom values? Watch and see.

Wisdom Calling

Come and explore God's wisdom with Lady Wisdom herself, from Proverbs 1:20-33. This is a challenging message.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

God's Blessing for You

God bless you and keep you.
God's face shine upon you and be gracious to you.
God look upon you with love and give you peace. 

Numbers 6:24-26

May this blessing warm your heart, put a spring in your step, and give you joy.

From your friends at Lansdowne Baptist Church

Bible Study Begins Again, Fall 2015

Our fall Bible study class has begun again. We have chosen to study to books of Luke and Acts, tracking the life and mission of Jesus, along with the life and times of the early Christian church. Along the way we will be exploring the modern day life applications for the powerful messages in these two books written by Luke.

If you wish to join us, we meet every Wednesday from noon to 1 p.m. in the Cooper Room (office wing of the church right next to the parking lot). Bring your lunch and join us. We'll be glad to see you.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Returning to Our Fall Schedule

Please mark your calendars, paper or digital--Lansdowne Baptist Church turns to our fall worship schedule on Sunday, September 13th. Sunday school beginning at 9:45 a.m. and the worship celebration commencing at 11 a.m. After church, we have a time of fellowship and refreshments starting at noon or a little after if the Holy Spirit keeps us in service just a little longer. 

We invite all our neighbors to stop by and join us. We will welcome you warmly and enjoy sharing our joy in Jesus Christ with you. 

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Christian Clowning: One Pastor's Experiences

Sometimes, you get into this gear and
start to wonder ... especially when
you can't find the right hat.
I started Christian clowning years ago when asked if I would perform for a Vacation Bible School session.  I am an outgoing person. I enjoy performing for others. I really enjoy presenting a positive message of faith and joy to people. So, I agreed to give it a shot. Library research came next and I was impressed by the long, colorful, and meaningful history of the clown. Did you know that the fool, the court jester of the Middle Ages, the clown walking on the knife's edge, was the only person who could tell a king his plan stinks ... and would be listened to if skillful enough.

So, I became Joyful Noise, one very amateur but enthusiastic Christian clown. I have performed sporadically over the years. In recent years I have begun to question whether to continue. I've reached a point where when only the white face is applied and I smile the laugh lines so highlighted look a little terrifying. I question my judgement as a middle aged pastor about continuing to carry on in this way.

Then I hit the boards, see kids and adults light up with smiles and laughter and I'm hooked all over again. A clown, Christian or otherwise, has a grand total of about ten seconds when the face paint and costume will give the clown a little grace. After that, the clown needs to make sure to present an appealing invitation to play to the audience ... or leave. Skits come quickly, one after the other, with the clown keeping true to the character developed and, in the case of Christian clowning, to love for God and neighbors (especially those neighbors in the room at that moment).

Why the colorful face? Excellent question: it is symbolic. For the Christian clown, the white covering most of the face is symbolic of death (ew, right?)! The colors added represent laughter (inspired by faith in God and God's promises to us) in the face of death. It's powerful, really.

One pastor who clowns far more regularly than I do states that often people in hospitals will give up concerns to his clown that they would never share with their pastor. It's true. That is the power of the clown, when the clown is well done, open, and friendly.

Clowns allow us to recognize our own humanity. Clowns allow us to admit how often we make mistakes, how often we fall down, and they show us that, yes indeed, we can get back up and try, try again. Clowns also allow us to present truths in a wonderful way that is creative, memorable, and fun. It really is an invitation to play that leads to some pretty wonderful and blessed interactions both in churches, hospitals, out in the community, and elsewhere. It's a great responsibility as well.

One of the most wonderful things about clowning is getting to learn from your audience. The other day I had children learning to practice juggling with me (a little playful practice at discipline) using a single wiffle ball tossed from hand to hand. At the end of that little time together I gave each child one of those balls as a little reminder of our time together. One child came up to me and solemnly shook his head. He handed the ball back to me and said seriously, "It would only get broken at home." Each child quietly nodded and returned those balls to me. To me, those were simply really inexpensive tokens to use once and give away. To those children, they meant far more. It's hard to continue when so moved. You can't dab your eyes wearing that face paint, ya know.

So, for now, I'll continue to use the costume and put on the face paint. I'll go on being Joyful Noise and making one as well, as long as God wants me to do so. Who wants to join me?

For more, you might like to see: http://worldclown.com/clown-ministry/

Putting Aside the Hateful Meme

I am growing increasingly disturbed with hateful "memes" abounding on social media of all sorts.  So many of those pithy pictures and quotes are designed to divide people. A great many memes essentially say, if you do not agree with me, you are subhuman. Making people into subhuman "others" is the first step toward violence against them. Before sending another hateful meme, we should all pause and ask ourselves, "Who do I know who is being unfairly tarred by the gross generalization here?" Ask, "Does this stand with or violate the two great commandments to love God and neighbor (everyone)?"

Let's all do what we can to stem the tide of divisive hatred leading to violence.


Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Of Bread and Water

Exploring the significance of Jesus' miracles of the feeding of the 5000 and walking on the water for today's people. Based on John 6:1-21. Also, the video begins with a gaff ... the projector was not working properly with my remote and I had to make adjustments before I could continue. I considered editing this short gaff out, but emphasize in services that we are not perfect people. While we strive to do well as Christ followers, we do not expect perfection from each other and we accept when things go wrong and move on. Hopefully, you will do the same and be gentle with yourself when you are less than perfect. Wishing you all a blessed day.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Changing Plans

Based on Mark 6:30-34, 53-56, in which Jesus calls the disciples busy with ministry to come away to the wilderness to rest and to get back in touch with God. However, plans are changed when crowds need Jesus' help.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

LBC Marched in the 4th of July Parade in Lansdowne, Pennsylvania

It was a wonderful experience to march in the 4th of July parade this year. We had a star-spangled wagon with a display (my wife, skilled with tools, did a great job of bringing that wagon we've had for a couple decades back to working order), a banner identifying us and our church, lots of fliers to hand out, and gigantic bubbles to blow along the route.

Our volunteers discovered they have a heart for outreach. This was wonderful in itself. A whole family found they actually like to be out in front of the public, something they would never have believed prior to this experience. Another proved to be fantastic working with the public handing out those fliers and answering questions about who were are. The bubble blowing drew a lot of positive attention from children and adults alike.

I could not stop smiling because this was a true group effort and the God given talents of each person were used, their ideas made our parade group much better, and our heart for outreach grew. It was wonderful to meet our community firsthand as well.

We look forward to doing this again next year ... perhaps with a few more marchers as well.

We also discovered several of our volunteers have a real competitive streak. At the end of the parade we attended a special show for the attendees and discovered there are prizes to be earned in various categories for those who follow the rules. This was news to us and there was a really competitive glint in several eyes. I look forward to seeing what they'll do next year.

LBC Lemonade Sale Success

This morning, volunteers from Lansdowne Baptist Church conducted our first lemonade sale. One of our members handy with tools and wood created a sensational lemonade stand on wheels, complete with an awning and space in the back for an ice cooler. We had both adult and children volunteers who had a terrific time selling lemonade and meeting the community. The weather was ideal and the turnout was great. Many members of our community turned out, curious to see what we were up to.

Several generous people provided donations and asked for nothing in return. The lemonade, both regular and pink, sold out by the time the stand closed up at one in the afternoon.

One of our volunteers said of the experience, "The money we brought in doesn't completely describe the positive experience for our church, our kids, our volunteers, and everyone who supported the event. We met some very nice people, many who stopped by to get lemonade but wound up talking with us and the kids about the church."

I personally want to thank everyone involved who made the day such a success. We are very glad to have met so many people from our local community and look forward to seeing them again soon.

Friday, July 24, 2015

LBC Will Be At the National Night Out

On Tuesday, August 4, members of the Lansdowne Baptist Church, including the pastor and his wife, will be helping Lansdowne celebrate the National Night Out from 6 to 8 p.m. We were there last year and it was great to meet so many terrific members of this community. We hope to meet more of you this year, invite you to come worship with us on Sundays, provide a few give away items, and answer any questions you might have about us or about American Baptist Churches USA (our denomination). 

Here's what this night is all about, according to its organizing institution: "National Night Out is a cohesive effort to promote involvement in crime prevention activities, police-community partnerships, neighborhood camaraderie and send a message to criminals letting them know that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back."

You'll find us on the North Highland Avenue parking lot, along with a great many other community organizations, free food and drink, and some great music. Come and meet us. 

LBC Lemonade Sale

If you find yourself in Lansdowne, Pennsylvania, on Saturday, July 25th between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m., and you are thirsty, stop by the Lansdowne Baptist Church. Here you can try our sweet lemonade, specially created by a talented resident chef (it's true). Each cup is a $1 donation, which will be put to good use in this church's work with our community.

We look forward to seeing you tomorrow.

You can also answer an age old question for yourself: "Are Baptists sour or sweet?" The lemonade will tell.

You can also make quite the morning of it. The First Presbyterian Church is having a yard sale and the Farmer's Market is having kid's day (also lasting until the early afternoon).

To see how we did, go to: http://lansdownebaptistchurch.blogspot.com/2015/07/lbc-lemonade-sale-success.html

Monday, July 6, 2015

Celebrating Weakness

Sermon focusing on Paul's weakness and God's use of that weakness from 2 Corinthians 12:2-10. If you stick with it, toward the end is a call for Christians to come together against injustice, letting Jesus' love shine through us and God's strength use us.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Go In Peace

Based on Mark 5:21-43 in which Jesus responds well to a day of interruptions ... and what we can take from that. Hint: it has a lot to do with faith and love.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

End of School Year Bash

"Joyful Noise," our resident clown-in-chief, will return!
This Saturday, June 27, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., on the grounds of Lansdowne Baptist Church, we will be throwing an end of the school year celebration. There will be a clown and games for the kids and fellowship for everyone.

One of our own exceptional chefs will provide a special lemonade stand ($1 donations per cup, please, thank you) to help quench your thirst. Come and join the party at Lansdowne Baptist Church. If it does not rain, we'll be out on the lawn in front of the education wing. If it's rainy, we'll be inside, upstairs, in the education wing's Westphal Hall.

You will be most welcome to join us for the fun.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Why Are You Afraid

Based on Jesus calming the wind and waves at night for the disciples as found in Mark 4:35-41. Asks each of us to decide how we will live in this life: in faith or in fear. Included is a discussion of the events at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, SC, in light of this passage. 

We stand with our brothers and sisters who mourn but bravely forgive and continue to keep their church open after this horrendous attack. The hate, the racism, the violence need to end. We must all play our part.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Inspiration for the Journey

Recently, there have been those to whom we bid a fond but reluctant farewell. In my readings, I discovered this passage by Kristine Malins found in the Medical Missionary Magazine. She sums the feelings we have brilliantly. 
Our is the pain of constantly pitching our tent and folding it up again, of befriending strangers and bidding them goodbye, of loving the world but never truly being satisfied with it, of pouring our heart and soul into a project others have begun and still others will finish. If we would not be torn in two by the tensions of this truth, we must learn to live provisionally--to measure the road well. We need to make the most of the occasions when we gather by the roadside to break bread together and compare directions. Joy must be discovered in the going as we never really arrive, not even in a lifetime.
Wishing you many happy occasions to gather along the roadside, break bread, and compare directions and much joy in the going. 

God bless you all.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Prayerfully Standing with Our Mourning Brothers and Sisters in South Carolina

"You, O God, have been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting, you are God." Psalm 90:1-2

We stand in sympathy and pray for our mourning brothers and sisters in Charleston, South Carolina, who lost loved ones and peace during the murder of nine people at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church at the hands of a gunman during their evening prayer meeting. We have no words for this horror and depend on the Holy Spirit to convey our grief. We call on God to bring comfort and strength to all who lost loved ones and must go on.

May this young gunman, twisted and maddened by hate, be caught before he can kill again.

May Isaiah 41:10 give all who mourn strength: "Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious hands."

May we take hope for the fallen from John 11:25-26: "Jesus said, 'I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die."

Finally, may we look to the promise of Revelation 21:3-4, "The home of God is among mortals. God will dwell with them and they will be God's peoples. God will wipe away every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more, for the first things have passed away."

Again, we of Lansdowne Baptist Church stand with you in this terrible time and pray for you.

For prayers from the Minister's Council of American Baptist Churches, USA, see: http://www.abc-usa.org/2015/06/18/the-ministers-council-abcusa-offers-hopes-and-prayers-following-emanuel-ame-church-killings/

For a sermon dealing with these awful events and challenging us to decide what kind of world we will live in together, see: http://lansdownebaptistchurch.blogspot.com/2015/06/why-are-you-afraid.html

Faithful, One Hundred Percent

For our Children's Sunday service, we explored faith, using the tale of a faithful elephant written back in 1940 as our springboard. The tale is Horton Hatches the Egg. How does this story apply, in the light of 1 Peter 1:3-7? Listen and find out.

The system we are using to film these sermons is simple. The editing possibilities, almost non-existent. At times we have small glitches. At the end of this sermon, we encountered one such error. So, here are the last three paragraphs of the sermon so you don't miss anything: 

"I thank God that we are given a family to struggle through life’s challenges with together, otherwise the faith journey could be remarkably lonely. I also am grateful that the God of mercy shows up unexpectedly when we are in crisis, in ways that lift our spirits. This last Thursday, the Stratford Court apartments caught fire. Rescue teams of fire fighters, police men and women, and Red Cross workers all saw that the residents were safe and the fire contained. I was there and witnessed them work. The next day, caring members of our LBC family kept tabs on the progress, determined to help if help could be offered. Then Friday afternoon I received a call from Sherry. On her way back from work here in the office her front tire shredded. I went to help, asking several members to keep track of that progress while I could not. That was reassuring. When I got to our crippled van, the spare would not come down from its position beneath the van. A postal worker stopped and tried to help. Then we had help from roadside assistance and a tow truck when we needed it. In both instances, we could see God looked after people in crisis and it was tremendously reassuring and bolstering to our faith.

Remain faithful like Horton, even in adversity, even in the trials by fire. God will never leave us and the joy to be found through that faith both in this life and eternal life are worth the effort. At the end of Horton Hatches the Egg, the lazy bird Mayzie sees Horton in the circus as it swings through Palm Beach. She demands the egg back, now that Horton has been sitting on it for 51 weeks. Before Horton can relinquish it, his faith is rewarded. The egg hatches and out from it springs an elephant bird.

Keep the faith in all our trials. Rewards are coming if we remain faithful, one hundred percent."

I decided as I began this experiment in recording sermons that I'd rather have the message out there for anyone who might be interested, even if it is not a polished product, ... even if it has to feature me. Just so you all know.

Blessings to you all.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Prayers and Thanks Following the Fire of June 11, 2015

Bear one another's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2

On Thursday, June 11, rescuers from the local fire departments of several towns, police officers, and members of the Red Cross converged on the fire at the Stratford Court apartments in Lansdowne, Pennsylvania, around 7 p.m. When the pastors of the Baptist and Presbyterian churches arrived on the scene, everything was under control. The fire was out, the area was secured, and the residents of the apartment complex had been removed to shelter for the night. It was all handled in a professional manner and everyone this pastor encountered was courteous and professional. 

In the days that followed, the Red Cross made sure all of the residents of the apartment complex, working in cooperation with the apartment complex managers, had a safe place to shelter in the weeks to come while the apartment complex is being restored. 

God bless the dedicated men and women who worked so hard to contain the fire and provide shelter for the residents. Thanks to all of them for their air of calm professionalism, which helped keep everyone safe. 

We pray for all those displaced residents. May you all have peace in the midst of what was a dangerous situation. May God restore calm to your lives. We stand by you in this difficult time. 

Fourth of July Parade

We are invited to march as a church in the 4th of July parade here in Lansdowne. The pastor is currently seeking marchers ready and able to join him on this short parade, carrying a small banner, wearing LBC tee shirts, and handing out flyers to people we pass along the route. If you feel called to join, see the pastor and join the fun. Participants gather on East Greenwood Avenue at 8:30 a.m. Signs show where everybody is supposed to congregate. 

To see how we did in the parade, go to: http://lansdownebaptistchurch.blogspot.com/2015/07/lbc-marched-in-4th-of-july-parade-in.html

Summer Hours at LBC

From Father's Day until Labor Day, Lansdowne Baptist Church will be worshiping on our summer hours. Our Sunday school classes will be suspended until the week after Labor Day and our worship service will begin at 10:00 A.M.

We look forward to seeing you in worship.

You are always welcome.