Showing posts with label Bible. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bible. Show all posts

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Faithfulness: Sermon for November 4, 2018



Sermon for Sunday, November 4, 2018, based on Ruth 1:1-18. Focusing on the faithfulness of Ruth the Moabite, a foreigner who proves more faithful in Israel than God's chosen people during the years of the Judges. Ruth will protect Naomi, her mother-in-law, even when facing an uncertain future, turning away from the comforts and familiarity of home to follow Naomi from Moab to Israel. In the exploration of Ruth's exemplary faith, we discover a secret to a happy life. Come and listen. If you enjoy what you find here, are near Lansdowne, PA, and don't have a church of your own, join us Sunday morning for worship in the sanctuary. You will be welcome.

Friday, November 2, 2018

The Value of the Immigrant, the Faithful Ruth

Ruth, a Moabite, daugther-in-law of Naomi, is an example of true faithfulness. In the age of the Judges, when Israel had drifted from God, from faith, into idolatry and civil war, Ruth show what true faithfulness is all about. She gives up her people, her country, her gods, to head to a land where her people are looked down upon with suspicion and thought to be idolatrous, licenteous, people of ill repute. She makes the God of Israel her God. She stands by Naomi even though her mother-in-law has nothing to offer her in the way of a secure future. She goes out to glean in the barley fields at harvest time to feed Naomi and herself, even though it was not safe for a woman to do so in those uncertain times in Israel. When she meets Naomi's relative Boaz, this is what Boaz says of her faithfulness (word gets around in a small community like Bethlehem): 

Ruth 2:10-12: 10Then she fell prostrate, with her face to the ground, and said to him, “Why have I found favor in your sight, that you should take notice of me, when I am a foreigner?” 11But Boaz answered her, “All that you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband has been fully told me, and how you left your father and mother and your native land and came to a people that you did not know before. 12May the Lord reward you for your deeds, and may you have a full reward from the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come for refuge!” 

In an age when we too look suspicously upon outsiders, it is worth taking the time to remember Ruth, the faithful Moabite. Ruth and Boaz would become the great grandparents (spoiler alert) of King David, Israel's greatest king. Ruth would be one of four women listed in the lineage of Jesus Christ. 

Friday, October 19, 2018

Powerful Message to Leaders ... and Those Who Elect Them

The American Baptist publication, Christian Citizen, has a wonderful article every elected leader and everyone who elects them should consider. It references Psalm 146 as a guide. Here is that psalm for our reference and consideration in light of the story, "'Shine a Light in the Corner'--A Sermon for Faithful Citizens Based on Psalm 146." 
Psalm 146:
1 Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord, O my soul! 
2 I will praise the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praises to my God all my life long. 
3 Do not put your trust in princes, in mortals, in whom there is no help. 
4 When their breath departs, they return to the earth; on that very day their plans perish. 
5 Happy are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord their God, 
6 who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them; who keeps faith forever; 
7 who executes justice for the oppressed; who gives food to the hungry. The Lord sets the prisoners free; 
8 the Lord opens the eyes of the blind. The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down; the Lord loves the righteous 
9 The Lord watches over the strangers; he upholds the orphan and the widow, but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin. 
10 The Lord will reign forever, your God, O Zion, for all generations. Praise the Lord!
Thanks to Deborah L. Hughes for the article found here:
https://christiancitizen.us/shine-a-light-in-the-corner-a-sermon-for-a-faithful-citizen/

To understand why every Christian should vote, please read: https://lansdownebaptistchurch.blogspot.com/2018/10/christians-should-always-vote-every.html

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Christians Should Always Vote, Every Election

At our last meeting of the Ministerium of Eastern Delaware County, a gathering of the pastors of local churches in and around Lansdowne of various denominations working together, a representative of the non-partisan VotesPa.com organization met with us. She is intent on supporting and promoting democracy through voter participation. She supports neither party, but wants each and every voter to exercise their civic duty and right to vote, unimpeded and in every election.

She gave us material with compelling, and completely non-partisan, reasons why Christians should vote; she knew how to reach a bunch of pastors. I want to pass that information along for your prayerful consideration.

In any democracy, Christians have a responsibility to God to vote in each and every election, whether voting for a President, for Congress, or for local offices. There are no small or boring votes. The two greatest commandments, as Jesus says, are to love God with all of our heart, soul, strength, and mind and to love our neighbors as ourselves (Matthew 22:35-40; Luke 10:25-37). Jesus also clearly states that we must pay our taxes to government authorities (Matthew 22:21), no matter how we feel about that personally. Back in Jesus' day, most people had little influence on how those taxes collected would be spent. In today's democracy, we have more power to influence how our money collected will be used ... if we choose to vote wisely. Will it be used for godly purposes--such as helping the poor, the outcast, the sick, widows, orphans, prisoners, the strangers among us, proper stewardship of our planet and all living things--or not. Do we care? If we intend to be Christ-followers, we must.

When we are in need, we hope to receive assistance from the government tasked with doing the things we cannot do ourselves, because our money supports that government. If a hurricane strikes, we hope for FEMA relief. We expect all people in need to be cared for, as is commanded in Scripture, and as Jesus demonstrated so well for us all. Examples of these commands in both the Old and New Testaments may be found in Leviticus 25:25, 35, 39; Deuteronomy 10:18; 14:28-29; 15:11; 24:14; Psalm 82:3-4; Matthew 25:35; Luke 14:13; Galatians 2:10; James 2:2-6; and 1 John 3:17-18.

Voting to have governmental monies--our money originally--be used to help vulnerable people is one way of fulfilling the Bible's commandments to help our needy and less fortunate brothers and sisters, neighbors all, much as we would hope to be cared for ourselves in times of crisis. If we want the governement to help us when we are in dire need, then we must vote to have government officials who care enough for others, even the "least of these," to help in times of need.

Voting is also good stewardship. We are called to be good stewards of this beautiful, precious, and so far singular world and all life upon it. We need to vote for officials who will honor that call to good stewardship as well.

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus calls all of us to be "salt" and "light" to the world (Matthew 5:14-14), improving the world in all the ways we can. We can do this in a variety of ways, including voting in our democracy for government officials who will do the same. We are called not to be "of" this world, yet definitely to be "in" it--in it to make it a safer, better, healthier, freer place for all. If we do not vote, we are reducing our positive impact on the world. We are giving up our country to the wicked: "When the righteous increase, the people rejoice, but when the wicked rule, the people groan" (Proverbs 29:2). We fail to offer love to our neighbors at the ballot box when we choose not to vote, and the people groan.

Why am I, the pastor of Lansdowne Baptist Church, providing this material for your consideration? Because the congregation of Lansdowne Baptist Church loves our community, we love humanity, we love creation, and we seek as best we can to follow the two greatest of all commandments as we humbly seek to follow Jesus. Happy voting, in this election, and every election. It's good discipleship.

~Rev. Jeff Snyder
Pastor, Lansdowne Baptist Church

For more, please read: https://lansdownebaptistchurch.blogspot.com/2018/10/powerful-message-to-leaders-and-those.html


Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Throne of Grace



Sermon for Sunday, October 14, 2018, based on Hebrew 4:12-16. Life is scary, and always has been. The first half of today's scripture reading is scary, and always has been. However, the second half of the reading tells us where to turn to leave fear behind. To whom can we turn to be courageous? Who is in our corner, ready to help us, and to be at our side when our judgment finally comes? Listen and find out.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Test of Faith



Sermon for Sunday, October 7, 2018, based on Job 1:1, 2:1-10. This challenging text grappled with the thorny question of why do bad things happen to good people. It also offers up a way to deal with those bad things when they arise in our lives. Come and listen. Join us Sunday morning at Lansdowne Baptist Church in Lansdowne, PA. We will welcome you.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Fair Wages



The sermon for Sunday, September 30, 2018, covers Matthew 20:1-16, the parable of the Workers in the Vineyard. It explores the issue of fairness from God's perspective rather than humanity's. God's expansive love leads to a surprising level of inclusion. We also explore what "the evil eye" meant back in the day and why we should avoid it today. Have a listen. Peace. Feel free to join us in Sunday worship if you are in the vicinity of Lansdowne, Pennsylvania, and do not have a church of your own to attend. All are welcome.

Every Tuesday night at 8 p.m. (with exceptions for the pastor's vacation and power failures), we have a live stream Bible study. You are invited to subscribe on YouTube (it's free) and join: If you'd like a little more information on becoming a subscriber, see the following. To learn how to join us on the Beyond Loaves and Fishes live stream event each Tuesday night, take a look at the following blog post and follow the simple steps: https://lansdownebaptistchurch.blogspot.com/2018/05/beyond-loaves-fishes-livestream-bible.html

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

How Do We Hear?



The sermon for Sunday, September 23, 2018, was based on Luke 8:4-8. The parable of the sower has much to tell us, if, as Jesus says, we have ears to hear. There is much to be discovered about being disciples of "enduring patience." It is well worth a listen. If you like what you hear, you are invited to join us for worship any Sunday you happen to be in or near Lansdowne, PA. You will be most welcome.

Every Tuesday night at 8 p.m. (with exceptions for the pastor's vacation and power failures), we have a live stream Bible study. You are invited to subscribe on YouTube (it's free) and join: If you'd like a little more information on becoming a subscriber, see the following. To learn how to join us on the Beyond Loaves and Fishes live stream event each Tuesday night, take a look at the following blog post and follow the simple steps: https://lansdownebaptistchurch.blogspot.com/2018/05/beyond-loaves-fishes-livestream-bible.html

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Does This Offend You?



The sermon for Sunday, August 26, 2018, based on John 6:56-69. This was a hard teaching from Jesus that caused many followers to fall away. The request, if taken literally, was quite shocking. When understood correctly, the message was far more challenging and required a great deal of work from any disciple willing to accept the challenge. Jesus offers us all this same challenge and hopes we will accept. All that hard work leads to real blessings, IF we are willing to trust Jesus and follow. Listen and decide for yourself. Will you take up Jesus' challenge today and follow into a life of joyous if challenging discipleship?

Every Tuesday night at 8 p.m. (with exceptions for the pastor's vacation and power failures), we have a live stream Bible study. You are invited to subscribe on YouTube (it's free) and join: If you'd like a little more information on becoming a subscriber, see the following. To learn how to join us on the Beyond Loaves and Fishes live stream event each Tuesday night, take a look at the following blog post and follow the simple steps: https://lansdownebaptistchurch.blogspot.com/2018/05/beyond-loaves-fishes-livestream-bible.html

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Beyond Loaves and Fishes: Matthew Week 5



Tuesday, August 14, 2018, we headed into Chapters 5-7 of the book of Matthew. We plunge into the Sermon on the Mount and much more. Come and see. And, if you are a first time visitor, subscribe and follow us live. We welcome you!

Bread of Life: Jesus' Gift



Sermon based on John 6:35, 41-51: Jesus offers humanity a beautiful gift, what he calls the bread of life. What is this gift? How does one get it? What strings are attached? Who can get it and who can't? Learn all this and more. All are welcome. Come listen.

Every Tuesday night at 8 p.m. (with exceptions for the pastor's vacation and power failures), we have a live stream Bible study. You are invited to subscribe on YouTube (it's free) and join: If you'd like a little more information on becoming a subscriber, see the following. To learn how to join us on the Beyond Loaves and Fishes live stream event each Tuesday night, take a look at the following blog post and follow the simple steps: https://lansdownebaptistchurch.blogspot.com/2018/05/beyond-loaves-fishes-livestream-bible.html

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Join Us Tonight: Beyond Loaves and Fishes Live Stream: Matthew Chapter 4

Tonight, Tuesday, July 31, 2018, we are beginning week four of our study of the book of Matthew. We are heading into chapter 4, the temptation of Jesus. Come and see what the devil has in store for the brand new messiah about to begin his ministry, after his baptism by John the Baptist.

Of course, you can catch up on the first three half hour sessions, either on the Lansdowne Baptist Church blogspot: lansdownebaptistchurch.blogspot.com or on the J.S. Brooks YouTube channel with the cartoon image of Rev. Jeff Snyder's face: https://www.youtube.com/user/TheJBSnyder

Every Tuesday night at 8 p.m. (with exceptions for the pastor's vacation and power failures), we have a live stream Bible study. You are invited to subscribe on YouTube (it's free) and join: If you'd like a little more information on becoming a subscriber, see the following. To learn how to join us on the Beyond Loaves and Fishes live stream event each Tuesday night, take a look at the following blog post and follow the simple steps: https://lansdownebaptistchurch.blogspot.com/2018/05/beyond-loaves-fishes-livestream-bible.html


Cover Up: Heed the Warning



This sermon, based on 2 Samuel 11:1-5, offers up a cautionary tale of a king, the temptation of "forbidden fruit," his fall from grace, and how much worse things become when he tries to hide his sin. Let this be a lesson for us all.

Every Tuesday night at 8 p.m. (with exceptions for the pastor's vacation and power failures), we have a live stream Bible study. You are invited to subscribe on YouTube (it's free) and join: If you'd like a little more information on becoming a subscriber, see the following. To learn how to join us on the Beyond Loaves and Fishes live stream event each Tuesday night, take a look at the following blog post and follow the simple steps: https://lansdownebaptistchurch.blogspot.com/2018/05/beyond-loaves-fishes-livestream-bible.html

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

God Moves



The sermon for Sunday, July 22, 2018, is based on 2 Samuel 7:1-7, in which King David, now king of a united Israel, feels it inappropriate for him to live in a beautiful palace of cedar and stone while God's ark remains out in a tent. He decides to build a magnificent temple to house the ark and honor God. Mentioning this to his prophet Nathan (who we meet for the first time), Nathan agrees. God feels differently. God feels both David and Nathan are mistaken. God moves, will not be contained in one place, and refuses David's temple. See what David's and Nathan's mistakes meant for them and what we can learn from them today. See what God promised to David and what God promises to us all.

Every Tuesday night at 8 p.m. (with exceptions for the pastor's vacation and power failures), we have a live stream Bible study. You are invited to subscribe on YouTube (it's free) and join: If you'd like a little more information on becoming a subscriber, see the following. To learn how to join us on the Beyond Loaves and Fishes live stream event each Tuesday night, take a look at the following blog post and follow the simple steps: https://lansdownebaptistchurch.blogspot.com/2018/05/beyond-loaves-fishes-livestream-bible.html

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Beyond Loaves and Fishes: On Vacation & Invitation



I have been away on vacation with my wife, visiting family and friends. God graced us with a chance to recharge and return. Now, here is an open invitation to join in the community building and Bible study that is Beyond Loaves and Fishes. If you want to join our live stream Bible study community and participate in the Tuesday evening, 8 p.m. study, go to the following address and hit subscribe. It is quick and easy. You may have to open a YouTube account of your own, but that too is quick and easy ... and free. See you soon: https://www.youtube.com/user/TheJBSnyder

If you'd like a little more information on becoming a subscriber, see the following. To learn how to join us on the Beyond Loaves and Fishes live stream event each Tuesday night, take a look at the following blog post and follow the simple steps: https://lansdownebaptistchurch.blogspot.com/2018/05/beyond-loaves-fishes-livestream-bible.html

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Spider-Man: Matters of Heart: July 1, 2018



Sermon based on Luke 10:30-35, ending our summer superheroes series with Spider-Man. We focus on matters of the heart, whether we will have hearts cruel, calloused, or compassionate. It impacts everything we do and say. It influences the world around us and everyone we interact with. Watch and discover how.

Word of warning: we were located in our air conditioned office wing during our heat wave, which is a tighter space. While you'll hear the sermon entirely, the picture will move wildly as the camera person had to move from one location to another for late arrivals that morning.

Invitation: Join us for our new endeavor and in the new live stream community and Bible study we are creating. It is called Beyond Loaves and Fishes. Here's how to find it and participate in the half hour long Bible studies from the comfort of home.  To learn how to join us on the Beyond Loaves and Fishes live stream event tonight, take a look at the following blog post and follow the simple steps: https://lansdownebaptistchurch.blogspot.com/2018/05/beyond-loaves-fishes-livestream-bible.html

Further, if you like what you hear in this sermon or if the Bible study intrigues you, drop by Sunday morning if you are close to Lansdowne, PA, and join us for worship. All are welcome. See this blog site for hours.

Beyond Loaves & Fishes: Matthew Week 3 Tonight, Tuesday, July 3, 2018

We have been through the first two chapters. Joseph has been told by an angelic messenger that he will accept Mary as his wife, Mary remains faithful, the baby is of the Holy Spirit. Jesus is born, visited by wise Gentiles from the East, surprising the paranoid King Herod, surprising his religious experts. Herod seeks to kill Jesus as potential rival for this throne (Herod's bad habit). An angelic messenger tells Joseph to pack his family off to Egypt and stay until Herod's death, placing the new family in the plight of many refugees fleeing violence at home. What's next? Come ans see.

To learn how to join us on the Beyond Loaves and Fishes live stream event tonight, take a look at the following blog post and follow the simple steps: https://lansdownebaptistchurch.blogspot.com/2018/05/beyond-loaves-fishes-livestream-bible.html

If you like what you see here and you're anywhere near Lansdowne, Pennsylvania, stop on by Sunday morning and worship with us. You'll be most welcome. 

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Important Letter from ABC USA General Secretary 2018


AMERICAN BAPTIST CHURCHES USA
___________________________________



June 15, 2018

Mr. Jeff Sessions, Attorney General
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530-0001

Dear Attorney General Sessions,

I am writing to you today on behalf of the 5,000 congregations and 1.3 million members of the American Baptist Churches USA (ABCUSA). As General Secretary, I serve as the national pastor of the denomination. ABCUSA has a long and distinguished record of service in welcoming immigrants and refugees to communities throughout the United States.

The American Baptist family would like to communicate our deep concern over the unjust immigration policies of the United States government, and in particular, the unconscionable separation of children from their parents on our southern border. As a fellowship of Christ-followers who recall the trials of the child Jesus and his parents, who fled from persecution in their homeland to another country (Matthew 2:13-18), we adamantly oppose separating children from their relatives. A just society can fulfill its fidelity to its own laws and border security without resorting to such unwise and harmful practices; instead, we urge that compassion, fairness and family-affirming policies characterize our response to the plight of families on our borders. We note that destructive practices such as the separation of children from parents place a serious burden on our law enforcement agents and officials, who in carrying out such policies find their own consciences ethically compromised and troubled.

Furthermore, we strongly disagree with your erroneous appropriation of the New Testament (in particular, Romans 13) to justify inhumane and unjust governmental actions. No responsible Christian theologian would assert that Romans 13, or any other passage in the Bible, supports the horrific separation of children from parents that we are witnessing at the present time. In fact, both the Old and New Testaments call those who believe in God to welcome refugees and immigrants with open arms and friendship, with loving care and concern, and with the willingness to assist others in enjoying the prospects of a future based on hope and opportunity.

Accordingly, American Baptists wish to express our sincere hope that the separation of children and parents will immediately cease. We urge Congress and the President to approve and implement without delay more compassionate and just immigration policies and procedures. As the leading law enforcement official of our government, it is your privilege and responsibility to lead such an effort. Thank you for considering our position.

Sincerely,

 Rev. Dr. Lee B. Spitzer, General Secretary
 American Baptist Churches USA

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Foundations



Sermon based on Luke 6:46-49 answering the question, how do you know you have a firm foundation? Having one allows us to be confident in the face of the storms of life. Having one allows us to live life as confident individuals who are able to fulfill the great commandments, loving God and neighbors. Living life from that firm foundation requires trying, falling flat on our faces, getting up and trying again. Are you in? Come along and learn how it is done.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Beyond Loaves and Fishes: Esther Week 2




Two weeks ago when we first live streamed we had a literal dark and stormy night. Last week I failed to broadcast because my encoder gave up the ghost. I have a new encoder now. If all works as it is supposed to work, we'll continue our study of the book of Esther, diving into the chapters and verses and seeing what Esther has to tell us about living life today.
I apologize for the lost week last week. It is especially frustrating after the testing we did to make sure everything would work. So, here's hoping we continue class next week. Until then, God be with you. If you are just stopping by, please subscribe and support this fledgling effort.


If you like what you see here and want to attend the weekly Bible study, go on over to J.S. Brooks on YouTube and hit the big red subscribe button.