Tuesday, May 31, 2016

What Suffering Produces

In Romans 5:1-5, Paul helps his readers, and us, understand what may grow out of our suffering. This sermon is well worth your time, especially if you are going through difficult times. Cautionary note: there is no suggestion here that one seek out suffering. It will come all one its own.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Fire, Spirit & Understanding

Sermon for Pentecost Sunday, the church's birthday, based on Acts 2:1-21. Like the disciples, the Holy Spirit drives us. Find out how ...

LBC Pancake Breakfast Cancelled

We regret we will not be able to serve you this morning.
Due to the threat of inclement weather, the Lansdowne Baptist Church Memorial Day Pancake Breakfast has been cancelled for this year. We will return again next year, and hope to see you there.

We will take the time we now have on our hands to remember the brave men and women of the armed services who gave their lives to keep the people they loved free. 

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Opportunity for Pianist at LBC

Lansdowne Baptist Church, of Lansdowne, Pennsylvania, is currently seeking a part-time church pianist for Sunday worship. This pianist would play on the second Sunday of the month, or the second and third Sundays in months with five Sundays instead of four. 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

I look forward to hearing from you. Have a blessed day.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Pastor's Experience: Retinal Tears, What to Know

I'm speaking from personal experience here, not as a medical expert. But I learned a few things recently it would be worth passing along.

Recently, I suffered from a retinal tear in my left eye. The ophthalmologist told me this tear was caused by two things: 1) being nearsighted and 2) being over 50. I'm both. When you're nearsighted, the eyeball is not round. The more nearsighted, the more oval the eye. The more oval the eye, the more likely an aging retina will tear. Mine tore along the upper left in a horseshoe shape.

I prayed for healing and God sent me a talented surgeon and dedicated nurses who worked wonders. God was faithful. However, my healing still required two surgeries and a follow up visit, with additional visits to come to make sure that retina stays put.

So, here's what you need to know about what it "looked" like. First, there was no pain. It all started as a bright spot in my left eye. If you've ever had an aura migraine, it looked like the sun dazzle effect you get before the pain starts. Over a short time, that sun dazzle look turned into a watery oval. That watery oval then went gray, showing light but no detail through that spot. When my eyes where closed, at first I could still see that oval shape as a bright spot slowly fading behind my eyelids.

Off to the eye doctor (easier to spell than ophthalmologist), and then off to the specialist, the surgeon who did the emergency surgery. The first day, tests were made. My eye was scanned, involving placing my face up close to a very large oval machine. My eye was peered into with bright light and a magnifier after being dilated very large. At this point, actually throughout the early phases of this event, numbing drops were added to my left eye. I counted roughly six applications.

Then came the big moment. My eye was sterilized and a needle was used to inject a bubble into my left eye. Let me assure you, it is not as bad as it sounds and takes less time to complete the procedure than it took you to read this and say "ew," shivering with revulsion. You feel it, but it doesn't hurt. A second procedure is done to remove a little excess fluid and the first day's procedure is finished. It was quickly noticeable what a difference was made as I could now see out of that portion of my eye once again.

The second day, I came back (after spending a night with my head positioned to keep the bubble over the tear (which fortunately for me was in the upper left and meant keeping my head up and sleeping upright in a recliner), for a second operation. Here a laser was used to, as the doctor put it, "spot weld" the tear. That was a longer procedure and more of it was felt, although as a strange pressure, not pain. My head was more outraged after the second procedure than the first, meaning muscles aching around the eye and on top of my head.

In both cases, I was in and out in under an hour. The most stressful part was waiting several days afterwards to make sure the procedures had returned the retina to its proper place. It had. That was a big relief.

The work was done on a Friday and Saturday. I preached on Sunday, careful to keep my head upright and notes elevated. Now I wait for the bubble buddy in my left eye to decrease and fade away in the coming weeks and don't undertake air travel for a month. I also wear that band in the picture in case of accident, warning physicians about my condition and what they should not do. It's all a small price to pay to see clearly, I can assure you.

If you suspect you may have a torn or detached retina, see an eye doctor quickly. Do not let fear get the best of you, worrying about what might have to be done. Act now, think later. You want to save your sight in that eye, and that means seeing the right experts and letting them quickly address the issue with well practiced techniques. Again, do not fear what they will do. You'll get through it and be better for the experience.

God put some terrific people in my path when I needed them. I am blessed. I pray you will be too if you find yourself needing such work.

That's this pastor's experience.

Thursday, May 12, 2016


Sermon based on John 14:23-29:

23Jesus answered him, “Those who love me will keep my word, and my Father will
love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.
24Whoever does not love me does not keep my words; and the word that you
hear is not mine, but is from the Father who sent me.

25”I have said these things to you while I am still with you. 26But the Advocate,
the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you
everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you. 27Peace I
leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the
world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be

28You heard me say to you, ‘I am going away, and I am coming to you.’ If you loved me, you would rejoice that I am going to the Father, because the Father is greater than I. 29And now I have told
you this before it occurs, so that when it does occur, you may believe.

Explores what it means to be gifted with the peace of Jesus.

LBC Memorial Day Pancake Breakfast

Please join us for our Annual (all-you-can eat) Memorial Day Pancake Breakfast. The breakfast will be held Monday, May 30, 2016, from 9:30 in the morning to noon. Admission is $7 per person; $5 for children 12 & younger. This deal is hard to beat.

This breakfast is for a good cause (beyond filling your empty self with delicious pancakes) as the proceeds support of the Aaron Royal Scholarship Fund. This fund, when monies are available, is used to provide college scholarship funds for two deserving local high school students. We love to provide these scholarships for our community here at Lansdowne Baptist, but we need to sell a lot of breakfasts to make the scholarships happen. Come join us and keep this wonderful tradition alive in Lansdowne. 

The LBC breakfast is also a favorite event for runners involved in the LansdowneMemorial Day 5K Race (for more on the race, see: http://lansdownesfuture.org/5k/). We hope to see you here.  

UPDATE: Unfortunately, the rainy forecast led us to cancel this year's breakfast. We look forward to serving you again next year. See this post for more: https://lansdownebaptistchurch.blogspot.com/2016/05/lbc-pancake-breakfast-cancelled.html

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Inside Out Map to Artwork

Lansdowne Baptist Church is one of twelve locations featuring art from the Philadelphia Museum of Art from April to July of 2016. On the post supporting our beautiful reproduction of The Annunciation is a holder with a map to all the rest of the locations where you can find other compelling works of art. Get yourself a map and find them all.

Once you've done that, stop by Sunday morning and admire the artwork of our beautiful stained glass windows. Stay to worship with us and discover the joy that comes from knowing Christ better.

For more on the artwork on our property, see: http://lansdownebaptistchurch.blogspot.com/2016/04/lbcs-inside-out-artwork-revealed.html

Working for Reconciliation in Volatile Times

People are unhappy, on edge, concerned, worried about the present and the future, doubtful, feeling left behind in many cases, and it makes us short-tempered. Henry J.M. Nouwen, in his daily devotional Bread for the Journey, explores a different way of living, a more biblical and peaceful way, even in these volatile, uncertain times. Following Nouwen's ideas and his biblical approach, we may reconcile ourselves to each other, creating hope and peace where anger and suspicion have taken up residence. He wrote:
Essential to the work of reconciliation is a nonjudgmental presence. We are not sent to the world to judge, to condemn, to evaluate, to classify, or to label. When we walk around as if we have to make up our minds about people and tell them what is wrong with them and how they should change, we only create more division. Jesus says it clearly, "Be compassionate just as your Father is compassionate. Do not judge, ... do not condemn, ... forgive" (Luke 6:36-37).
Give it a shot and see if it doesn't give you an attitude adjustment. If you are anywhere near Lansdowne, Pennsylvania, on a Sunday morning, stop by the church and let me know how you did. You'll be most welcome ... and you won't be judged, condemned, evaluated, classified or labeled. I promise.
~Rev. Jeff Snyder 

Blessing for All of Us for Any Day

May the God of steadfastness and encouragement grant you to live in harmony with one another, in accordance with Christ Jesus. Amen.

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

Monday, May 2, 2016

Who Was I?

Sermon based on Acts 11:1-18 in which Peter, minding his own business in Joppa has an extraordinary vision, challenging his understanding of what is clean and proper. After that shocking moment, he is called by three Gentile men (Gentile grossly defined as "not us") representing the Roman centurion Cornelius. Peter and his crew are called to Caesarea to confer and eat with Cornelius and his family. Back home in Jerusalem, a faction of Christians are angry with Peter and insist he explain himself. A powerful moment comes when Peter sums up with the powerful question "who was I that I could hinder God?"

An exploration of the power of the Holy Spirit and consideration of where the Spirit might be leading us today. Listen, pray, and consider making Peter's question your own.