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

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 play 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.



Thursday, July 20, 2017

Behold the Lilies

Jesus tells us in Matthew 6 not to worry and why: 

25“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? 28And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, 29yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. 30But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ 32For it is the Gentiles who strive for all these things; and indeed your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34“So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today.


Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Nothing Too Wonderful for God


Sermon based on Genesis 18:1-15, focusing on hospitality, Abraham, Sarah, and God. Exploring closely how God's insistence on hospitality impacts upon all of us today during incredibly tense, inhospitable times. Includes current crises playing out in our community. Please watch, share, pray, and act.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Catching Fire


Sermon based on Acts 2:1-13, telling the story of Pentecost and the power of the Holy Spirit. Be careful watching this one: the Holy Spirit goes where the Spirit wills, and powerfully!

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Religious In Every Way

Sermon delivered on May 21, 2017, based on Acts 17:22-31, explores Paul's interaction with the philosophers of Athen. Learning how Paul bridge the cultural and religious divide between himself and these philosophers teaches us much how to bridge the gaping divides between ourselves and the peoples of the world all around us. Watch and see.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Troubled Hearts



As recorded in John 14:1-14, in the face of all Jesus told his disciples about his imminent betrayal and death, he cautions his disciples not to let their hearts be troubled. How were they ... and how are we ... to manage that feat? Listen and discover the answer. This sermon was given on Mother's Day, 2017.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

LBC Memorial Day Pancake Breakfast 2017

Flags lined the path, honoring
those who gave their all in
service of their country.
On Monday, May 29, 2017, Lansdowne Baptist Church served our community in two ways. 1. Those who ran in the 5k race and attended the parade alike (and any other hungry person looking for great pancakes who showed up) were served a wonderful, tasty pancake breakfast meal. 2. We raised money through this fund-raiser breakfast for our Aaron Royal Scholarship Fund, which provides scholarship money for graduating local high school seniors heading for college. We are blessed with very capable volunteers who give of their time and talents to make this meal happen every year, weather permitting. It is wonderful to have this opportunity both to serve and break bread with our neighbors, strengthening our community and sense of connection, both of which God encourages. 



A friendly greeting at arrival and hearty blessing on the way out.
A rare quiet moment in the kitchen before the action began.
Two cooks are seen in the foreground.
The man on the left has a special talent.
When cracking eggs, he can toss an egg into the air, fist bump it,
catch it, and crack it one-handed into the bowl. 
Serving


Remembering and honoring all those who served in the armed forces
and gave their lives in action. As John 15:13 states: "No one has greater love than
this, to lay down one's life for one's friends." 
It was a personal treat to spend time in conversation with Mayor Anthony Campuzano and his wife. Being a contractor himself and me a former contract archaeologist, we were able to swap some really interesting stories. 

Included are some photos of the event and the parade associated with it. It was a terrific day. 

Marching band
Civil War Reenactors 


Take a Moment to Revel in God's Creation

I was headed out the door this morning, a head full of schedules and to-do lists following all the Memorial Day weekend duties, and was stopped dead in my tracks. I was stopped by this beautiful little tableau outside my front door. I had to pause from all the busyness to enjoy a little bit of God's handiwork. I left with a smile and a better sense of what matters. The moment reminded me of Genesis 1:31:

God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good. 

How true. Enjoy a moment and feel the gratitude that comes from being surrounded by such wonders, small and large, each and every day.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Living Between Expectation & Experience



Rev. Dr. Harold Trulear spoke to Lansdowne Baptist Church about how we may assist individuals who have been incarcerated and their families. It is an important and powerful message. He also has something to say to those who would dismiss prisoners as "bad people" who should be ignored. Please watch.

At the end of the sermon, Rev. Dr. Trulear invited individuals with family members in prison to come forward for a prayer. This was a powerful moment for everyone as ten people came forward. One person was in tears, feeling until that moment that she was suffering alone. That prayer is not recorded here as those people were not asked in advance if they cared to be filmed.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Rev. Dr. Harold Trulear Spoke Sunday May 7, 2017

On Sunday morning, May 7, 2017, Rev. Dr. Harold Trulear spoke to congregants, friends, and visitors to Lansdowne Baptist Church. He discussed the plight of prisoners incarcerated in our justice system. Rev. Trulear challenged assumptions we have concerning prisoners, reminding us all of some very prominent individuals in the Bible who spent time jailed, including Jesus, who would go on to be executed by the state. We were called upon to realize that God sees people by their whole lives, not a single moment and single mistake. Redemption is possible. Life moves on beyond some moment in which law is broken and a person jailed.

We are called to help those who are jailed and their families, all who suffer through this process. It was an extremely powerful message. At the end of the sermon Rev. Dr. Trulear made an altar call for anyone who had a family member incarcerated. Roughly ten people came forward and a powerful time of prayer followed.

This was a moving, meaningful message that will soon be made available in DVD form for those who need to hear it. Listen for the message concerning Polaroid Land Camera snapshots and DVD's from God's perspective, which makes us consider the span of someone's entire life. It's powerful indeed. The opportunities for individuals and churches to serve are great. 

To explore what might be done, visit the following organization: Healing Communities: http://www.healingcommunitiesusa.com/

To hear the sermon, see this post: https://lansdownebaptistchurch.blogspot.com/2017/05/living-between-expectation-experience.html

Monday, May 8, 2017

On The Road



Sermon based on Luke 24:13-49, the familiar story of the two disciples heading down the road to Emmaus on Easter morning, sure that all is lost. It has a lot to say about how Jesus comes after us when we lose hope. Check it out, especially if you find yourself muttering, "we had hoped" and feeling crushed.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Being Holy



Sermon based on Leviticus 19:1-2, 9-18, calling us to assist others, care for those who cannot take care of themselves, working to ensure security for the least secure so we may live in peace, and much more. Take a listen and then take the challenge. It can change your life for the better, forever.

Monday, February 6, 2017

We Are


Sermon based on Matthew 5:1-12 in which Jesus startles his disciples (then and now) with who are blessed in God's eyes, and by extension, what God's ethical concerns are. It is both an uplift and challenge for all who choose to follow Christ. Who's up for the challenge?

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Fishers of People



Sermon based on Matthew 4:12-23, in which Jesus moves to Capernaum, gathers his first disciples, and we explore what discipleship means. Further, the sermon includes the discipline of non-violent communication as one way to be modern-day fishers of people. Are you in? How will you respond when Jesus asks you to "Follow me" and states, "I will make you fishers of people."

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Ah Ha Moment



Sermon based on John 1:29-42, in which John the Baptist has a particular Ah Ha moment that has reverberated down through the centuries. What will be yours?