Friday, February 27, 2015

American Baptist Identity - Don Ng

Who we are and where we are going as American Baptists. A message from the President of ABC USA. We are currently conducting an experiment ...

African American Baptists

We are a diverse people and a diverse congregation. Come and see. You are most welcome.

Short History of American Baptists

A very brief history of the American Baptists. We have a strong history of reaching out to others and supporting justice issues. Come and meet us this Sunday.

Choosing as Jesus Chose

In Mark 1:40-45, Jesus chose to help a leper, a real outcast in his society, a person others would neither approach nor touch. The man knelt before Jesus in humility and faith, saying, "If you choose, you can make me clean [to have leprosy was to be ritually unclean as well as ill]." Deeply moved by the man’s plight, both his illness and his social isolation, Jesus reached out. Jesus rejected all that society used to separate themselves from this sufferer. Most individuals in Jesus’ day would never have touched a leper, in part because that would have made the person touching the afflicted an unclean outcast as well. Jesus breaks through that isolation, touching this pleading victim. Jesus reached out in sympathy and compassion, something he would do time and again throughout his ministry. I wonder when the last time was that this sufferer had actually received a gentle touch? Jesus responded to the sufferer directly, stating, “I do choose. Be made clean!” The leper became clean.

Today, we Christ followers are supposed to be like Jesus. We too are to reach out to the outcasts of our time, the people who are seen as taboo for one of any number of reasons in our society. We are to choose to love, to help, to heal as we are able. By the way, "Christian" originally meant "little Christs," and was a derogatory name for Jesus' followers given to us by those outside the faith. The name was designed to ostracize us, but we have since made it our own. As the scholars of the Interpreter's Bible wrote, we are to live with "outstretched hands and outstretched lives." Let's choose to be those "little Christs" today and always.

Annual Feasting with Friends Meal Coming Soon

Lansdowne Baptist Church, located at 17 East LaCrosse Avenue in Lansdowne, PA, will be holding its annual Feasting with Friends event again. This well attended and welcome event will take place on Saturday March 21, 2015, from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM at the church. This is a time to break bread and share a good, home-cooked meal in a wonderful, loving atmosphere. Come out and visit with old friends and new. All are invited to join us and enjoy in God’s bounty.

If you are interested in either contributing to this worthy cause or attending, please contact Joslyn Banks at 215-898-7589. There is absolutely no cost for attendance. However, we will need to know how many are in your party/group.

We are looking forward to the blessing of feasting with you.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

An Argument for Positive Activity

Dr's Henry Cloud and John Townsend have some wonderful advice in their book Boundaries. Included is this material on attempting to accomplish things, even if we fail. It is well worth taking to heart when considering what new direction God might wish you to go and whether or not to make the effort.
Human beings are responders and initiators ... God will match our effort, but he will never do our work for us. ... He wants us to be assertive and active, seeking and knocking on the door of life. ... The sin God rebukes is not trying and failing, but failing to try. Trying, failing, and trying again is called learning. Failing to try will have no good result; evil will triumph.
God bless you in your efforts. 

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Worship Service Cancelled February 15, 2015

While we all love to worship God and gather together in community, we also care for each other's physical needs in dangerous times. Due to the weather conditions today, services at Lansdowne Baptist Church are cancelled for the day. However, congregants will worship God on their own today in their warm homes.

Please join us again next week for our services.

Keep warm and stay safe. Check on loved ones, friends, and neighbors to make sure they are doing the same.

If you are concerned someone out on the street may need help, please see the following post:

Friday, February 13, 2015

Lenten Devotions Available Online

The season of Lent is fast approaching once again. It all begins this year on February 18, Ash Wednesday. Lent is a season of self-examination, spiritual reflection, repentance, sacrifice, and focused prayer. Lent is a time to examine our hearts and lives, to acknowledge our sins, to look for the ways we are not choosing the gospel or welcoming those whom Jesus calls us to embrace. In the process, we turn away from the sins (all those behaviors, habits, etc. that draw us away from God's purposes) and self-centeredness and toward our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. In this way, we prepare to meet Christ in his resurrected glory on Easter (April 5 this year). We pray for a change of heart toward greater love of God and neighbor, and all that accompanies that growing love.

To help us on our way, the Rev. Dr. Richard E. Rusbuldt has prepared a Lenten Devotions 2015 e-book with Scripture readings, reflections, and questions. These will help us on our journey of discovery and the deepening of our faith.

To obtain a free copy of this devotional guide for Lent, see:

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Building Community with Love

As Paul called the Corinthian church, in 1 Corinthians 8:1-13, we are called to love one another today, to build our community with love, and to be a really constructive force in the world. The magazine Baptist World provides an example of how this works in the world. Christian community is growing based on Paul’s principle of “love builds up” in a variety of countries. In parts of the world where vengeance is an acceptable response to offenses in cultures and religions, which lead to cycles of violence and death, Christian communities built on love, forgiveness, reconciliation, and peacemaking have, to quote the magazine, “endeared the Christian faith among both perpetrators and victims. Christian love has been known to change entire communities.” Love builds up. Love does not cause others to stumble. Love helps those weak in faith to grow strong and achieve the liberation that strong faith provides.

Let’s all work on building up our community of faith, working together in love, building each other up in all we say and do. May we have edifying conversations on divisive issues and grow. May none of us be stumbling blocks for others, but loving brothers and sisters in Christ instead.

For more, see:

Never a Stumbling Block

Paul advises the Corinthians to build up their community with love rather than tearing that community apart fighting over the little things. It's good advice for us all today as well. Build each other up with love.