Showing posts with label God. Show all posts
Showing posts with label God. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Worthy or Not, Here We Go!



Sermon based on Mark 1:4-11, the baptism of Jesus. John the Baptist, despite his many accomplishments, did not think of himself as worthy of untying the thong of Jesus' sandal, much less of baptizing Jesus. Jesus saw things differently and found John worthy. Jesus sees us differently than the world sees us or we see ourselves. Discover the good news.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Adopted Children



Sermon for the first Sunday of January 2018 based on Galatians 4:4-7. Paul warns the Galatians about backsliding, placing works of the law and other worldly distractions above faith in Jesus. Instead they, and we, should accept and embrace the most wonderful gift ever offered. Listen and discover the gift offered. Wishing you all a blessed 2018.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Nothing Impossible: Christmas Eve 2017 Sermon



Sermon delivered on Christmas Eve, December 24, 2017, based on Luke 1:26-38. The angel Gabriel assures Mary, when delivering the message that she will be Jesus' mother, that "For nothing will be impossible with God." Discover what that means for us today.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

The Coming Light



During this busy Advent season, with Christmas fast approaching, a voice cries out, making a way straight, and pointing us all to the true source of enduring joy, to a light that the darkness cannot overcome, or understand, for that matter. I pray we may all heed the call and turn toward the light and joy this Christmas and always. The sermon is based on John 1:6-8, 19-28 and was delivered on December 17, 2017. Merry Christmas and may God's blessings be upon us all in the New Year.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Christmas Eve Service of Lessons and Carols 2017

On Christmas Eve this year, we at LBC have a special treat for everyone who wishes to celebrate Jesus' birth. At 7 p.m. on Sunday, December 24, we will offer a variation on a service of lessons and carols. We will be singing, reading much-loved scripture passages and responses to those scriptures, hearing a brief meditation from the pastor, and closing with a beautiful, candlelit singing of Silent Night. During this simple service, all who attend will be offered the opportunity to slow down, pause, and remember why we celebrate Christmas. It will be a time of worshipful release from the tension, the expectations, and the anxieties that so often accompany this Christmas season. Together we will experience the joy of Jesus' birth once again. All are invited to join us that evening. 

Merry Christmas to you all!  

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Strong Foundation



Sermon for November 19, 2017, on the 130th anniversary of Lansdowne Baptist Church's 1887 founding. The sermon is based on Luke 6:47-49, Jesus' parable of the wise and foolish architects. One builds on a strong foundation and weathers all storms. Jesus' teachings and example and salvation are that strong foundation. Worthwhile consideration for all churches today.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Celebrating Our 130th Anniversary: 1887-2017


This Sunday, November 19, 2017, Lansdowne Baptist Church's congregation celebrates our 130th year of service to God, following the two great commandments to love God and neighbor. It has been an honor to serve our Lansdowne community and to spread the good news far and wide of Jesus, who came to save us and to show us God's profound and abiding love for us all. We will have special memories from some of our members, wonderful hymns accompanied by an equally wonderful pianist, a sermon reflecting on where we have been and looking forward to where we shall go, following obediently where God leads. Through it all, we will enjoy the warm company of our Lansdowne Baptist Church members and friends. Consider yourself invited. See you Sunday morning, at 11 a.m. 

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Love As God Loves



Sermon for Sunday, November 12, 2017, based on 1 John 4:7-21. The sermon addresses how Christian churches and individuals respond in an age of fear and the senseless violence of terrorism. Please listen and consider.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

LBC Visioning Meeting

Members and friends of Lansdowne Baptist Church, join us Wednesday night, November 1, 2017, in Westphal Hall for a potluck dinner and visioning for our future together. This will be an exciting meeting discerning where God is leading us now. Come and give us your vision for our future together. 

Fair Balance: Stewardship



Sermon from October 29, 2017, based on 2 Corinthians 8:7-15. Paul guides the Corinthian church and us in how to live generous, joyful lives, creating fair balance and having a positive impact. Following Paul's advice for living is character changing. To succeed, however, requires a lot of trust.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Second Walking Prayer of Fall, October 22, 2017

This is just a quick reminder that members and friends of Lansdowne Baptist Church are invited to join the pastor on a walking prayer at the John Heinz Wildlife Refuge on Sunday, October 22, 2017. We will gather in the church parking lot at 1:30 p.m. and travel together to the refuge. Our walking tour will begin right around 2 p.m. and last for one hour. The walking prayer is a spiritual discipline that allows followers to spend some quiet time with God while taking in God's creation. For those who are inclined toward this form of prayer, it is a beautiful experience. Come and see if this discipline works for you. The John Heinz Wildlife Refuge is located at 8601 Lindbergh Blvd., Philadelphia, PA 19153, (215-365-3118 office). 

Friday, October 6, 2017

Words of Encouragement in Difficult Times

In these turbulent times, it is worth taking a step back and reminding ourselves of who are the blessed by kingdom standards. Jesus said this to the crowds as recorded in Matthew 5:1-12.
When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying: 
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. “Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy. “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Take heart, all of you who are poor of spirit or mourn. Enjoy your inheritance, you meek people. I hope we may all be filled, receive mercy, be called children of God and see God. Have courage all who are persecuted for Jesus' sake. You stand in good company.

God bless you in your journeys, all who pause a moment here. 

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Make My Joy Complete



Sermon based on Philippians 2:1-13, given on October 1, 2017, and relating how Paul guided the struggling Christian church in Philippi to survive in the face of rising opposition. Paul's guidance works today as we face opposition as well, especially in an age when many online sources are now dedicated to the dissemination of false information designed to pull people, institutions, and societies apart. Paul's recommendations to his brothers and sisters in the Christian church in Philippi are just as useful to us today in our distress, as you will soon hear. God bless you all.

Standing With, Praying For Victims of Las Vegas Massacre, and More

We here at Lansdowne Baptist Church are grieving right along with the rest of you following the horrific massacre in Las Vegas Sunday night. With 58 dead (as of this writing) and 528 wounded, we are stunned at how much harm one person willingly inflicts on an innocent crowd today. We pray for all those who fell to the gunman, their families, their friends, all who know or knew them. We stand by you in your grief. 

But prayer is a first step. It should always motivate us to action. Jesus called us to go out into all the world and that we must do. We are made for good work by the God who loves and saves us by grace alone. We will endeavor to do what we can to encourage others to work for the ways of love and mutual aid rather than hatred and mutual destruction. We work with our association, the Philadelphia Baptist Association, and our denomination, American Baptist Churches USA, to be peacemakers, as referred to in the Beatitudes.

Matthew 5:1-12: When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. “Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy. “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Please join us in every way you can to work for peace in our divided, hurting society.


Tuesday, September 19, 2017

LBC's Third Walking Prayer

A small group of members and friends of Lansdowne Baptist Church returned to the John Heinz Wildlife Refuge in Tinicum, PA, on Sunday, September 17, 2017, to practice the spiritual discipline of the walking prayer. We turned all our attention, all our senses, to the natural world--God's creation. In doing so, we walk in the company of God and are refreshed.

For me, the patterns among the trees first draw me in ...
Bridge spanning the wetlands.
For me, the patterns found in the trees are what draw me in to the natural world around me, opening my senses and calming my mind. The view from the bridge out in the wetlands is a valuable lesson in what happens when we really stop and pay attention to the world around us. At first, we see only the most obvious things: trees, water plants, water, and clouds. That's about it. But, as the mind stills, attention is first drawn to the larger water birds like the snowy egrets and great egrets. Then the smaller water birds, like ducks, are noticed among the water lilies. In time, the fish and the dragon flies and the bees capture our attention. Then we find ourselves standing beside God and taking it all in. For those who have the temperament for it, the walking prayer can be deeply moving.


Amazing what we see when we stop and look. Many egrets out on the water that day.
Consider yourself invited to join us next time ... and there will always be a next time.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Don't Remain Silent



Sermon delivered on September 3, 2017, exploring  the scripture Luke 18:1-8. This sermon reminds us we must be as persistent as the widow seeking justice from a corrupt judge. See how prayer plays into that persistence and what it has to do with us in this day and age.

As time was limited, we didn't get into some of the other ways Christians are working for justice. We prayed for and provided guidance to all interested in helping the survivors of Hurricane Harvey during our announcements and pastoral prayer time.

For another perspective on persistence, see: https://lansdownebaptistchurch.blogspot.com/2017/08/persistence-is-key.html

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Siblings



Sermon based on Genesis 37:1-4, 18-38, showing us the dysfunctional, grudge poisoned, hateful relationship between Joseph and his brothers. We explore how to equip ourselves against dysfunction and hate in our own day and age, like the hate so prominently on display at the race riot and terrorism in Charlottesville, Virginia, August 11-12, 2017. Being so equipped, we must work all our lives against letting hatred consume us.

If you doubt your small efforts or talents can be any use in fighting against human hatred, intolerance, racism, etc., take a look at the following sermon and rethink: https://lansdownebaptistchurch.blogspot.com/2017/08/against-all-expectations.html

For specific reactions from our denomination to the race riot and terrorism in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August 2017, which I heartily agree with and endorse, see the following posts: https://lansdownebaptistchurch.blogspot.com/2017/08/american-baptist-home-mission-societies.html and https://lansdownebaptistchurch.blogspot.com/2017/08/abcusa-general-secretary-speaks-to.html

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Facing a Troubled Nation

In the wake of the violence and hatred erupting out of Charlottesville, Virginia, it is useful to remember these wise words from Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Courage is an inner resolution to go forward despite obstacles.Cowardice is submissive surrender to circumstances.Courage breeds creativity; Cowardice represses fear and is mastered by it.Cowardice asks the question, is it safe?Expediency ask the question, is it politic?Vanity asks the question, is it popular?But, conscience ask the question, is it right? And there comes a time when we must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but one must take it because it is right.”

God calls us to love, love God, and love neighbors, all our neighbors. Actually, God commands. We are challenged to fulfill that call to the best of our ability. We stand with all those hate groups single out for harm, for terror, and worse. We call all those who have fallen away from God into the darkness hate creates to repent (turn their lives around and change) and to return to life and light and love and forgiveness. Nothing is impossible with God.
None of it is easy. Not one single writer in the Bible ever promised it would be. Jesus Christ showed us the ways of love and servant leadership come at a great price.
Pray for our divided nation. Work for justice. Labor for peace. Speak for truth. Do it to fulfill those two great commandments. Remember, blessed are the peacemakers. Be courageous.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

National Night Out 2017, LBC Was There

Shortly after 5 p.m., the LBC spot was set up on Tuesday, August 1, for the National Night Out. We had church volunteers to help, church members who stopped by to chat, and interested community members who came by, learned a little about us as we learned a little about them, and took away both information and coloring books. Thanks to everyone who helped and all who showed up. You were a blessing from God to us.



A little pictorial history of LBC's recent events

God gifted us with a beautiful, if mighty warm, evening. The crowd was friendly. The food was terrific. And our Presbyterian neighbors were wonderful, as always. An enjoyable evening was had by all. We also were introduced to the police departments newest recruit, the K-9 unit member, a young and very eager German shepherd. Sorry for the lack of people pictures. My phone failed right after these photos were taken!

Look forward to seeing you at next year's event.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Walking Prayer to be Resumed This Fall, 2017

The pastor will be holding two walking prayers after the church service on Sundays September 17 and October 22 at 2 in the afternoon. This spiritual discipline will take place at the John Heinz Wildlife Refuge (roughly 15 minutes away from the church in Tinicum, Pennsylvania: John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum, 8601 Lindbergh Blvd., Philadelphia, PA 19153, 215-365-3118 office). Anyone interested can meet in the church parking lot at 1:30 p.m. to car pool over to the refuge together. 

The walking prayer is an old spiritual discipline in which you slowly walk through the natural landscape and open all of your senses to creation. It is a way to move closer to God, walking with God and reveling in God's handiwork. This is one of my favorite disciplines. I have to warn you though. Practice the walking prayer a few times and you may find yourself much more observant of nature, of the play of light and form across the landscape, than you have ever been before. That is what has happened to me, and I am grateful to God for that. Join us.

We hope on our walk to catch various migratory birds in their travels through our area, which will be an added blessing to the walks. 

Alternate days will be chosen if the weather will not cooperate on the planned dates. The paths through the park are largely level and the main paths have a number of benches regularly located for those who need to pause and rest.