Showing posts with label joy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label joy. Show all posts

Friday, December 9, 2016

Prepare the Way: Second Sunday of Advent 2016



Sermon based on Matthew 3:1-12, in which John the Baptist points us in the right direction to get ourselves properly prepared for Christmas. This is an important message to approach humbly, with an open mind, and our defenses down. Being in right relationship with God and humanity is the challenge of a lifetime.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

End of School Year Bash Was a Blast!

Lansdowne Baptist Church kicked off our summer season with our annual End of the School Year Bash. We had a great deal of fun with our congregational family, friends, and neighbors (just so you know, when LBC holds an outdoor event on our most wonderful piece of property--the lawn at the corner of Lansdowne and East LaCrosse Avenues, you are invited to join us there). The day started off with a brand new project, our youth raised bed vegetable and flower gardens (it was three beds that day, but due to God's abundance and the powerful movement of His Holy Spirit, we now have four beds). The children and youth planted our vegetables in anticipation of the coming harvest. We plan to share the produce with our kids and the local Interfaith Food Cupboard this fall, God willing. We had lunch using our locally famous lemonade stand. Then the pastor did a little Christian clowning and discovered the fun of involving more of the audience in the performance. This was followed by some terrific games (the flying disc toss trying to ring traffic cones was particularly popular with kids and adults alike). Then came our next new event, a pony ride for the kids. Some children were so in love with this event they rode that pony four or five times in the hour she was with us.

I want to take a moment to say a great big thank you to everyone who made this event so successful and memorable. All of your hard work and preparation and involvement are greatly appreciated. We could not do this without each and every one of you.



It was a blessed day and we look forward to doing it again next year. Who knows what new things we'll have added by that time? Come and find out. You are always welcome.


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

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Helping Others to Rejoice

The people of God, particularly the most fortunate, have a moral responsibility to ensure that everyone is able to worship and rejoice. 
~Christine Roy Yoder

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Join Us For Easter Sunday

Lansdowne Baptist Church will be celebrating Jesus' triumph over death and the very worst humanity could throw at him. He triumphed for all of us, past, present, and future. If you do not have a church home and will be in the area, we encourage you to join us in our celebration. Favorite hymns will be sung, Scripture will be read, and a rousing sermon will be given. You will be met by a warm and welcoming congregation.

Be careful though, the joy of Easter is highly contagious.

See you Sunday.

~Rev. Jeff Snyder

Monday, March 7, 2016

Choices

A sermon based on Luke 15:1-3, 11-32, the most familiar story in the entire Bible, the so-called Story of the Prodigal Son. In an age rife with mistrust and division, Jesus offers us an alternative to consider during Lent ... and for the rest of our lives. Watch, and decide.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Meditation on Joy

I recently ran across an article stating that the Yale Center for Faith and Culture has been studying joy since 2014. This gave me joy. It is one of my favorite topics related to my faith. The scholars say that knowledge of God’s Word produces joy, and I believe it. All through seminary, I discovered that the more I learned about my faith and the more deeply I explored the spiritual disciplines, the greater my joy grew. Did you know that joy is mentioned over 400 times in the Bible? Yet it so rarely comes up in modern discussions. As Nehemiah wrote (8:10): “Go your way, eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions of them to those for whom nothing is prepared, for this day is holy to our Lord; and do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Joy comes from life with God. We do not seek it ourselves but are given joy as a gift by God, a gift of salvation. Joy fills us, makes the heart leap (Psalm 28:7) and fills the tongue with “songs of joy” (Psalm 126:2). Joy comes when we repent from wrongdoing and return home to God from guilty, wayward paths. In fact, turning away from wrongdoing, calling out for forgiveness from God, brings rejoicing in heaven, as Jesus tells us in Luke 15:10. Paul calls on all us Christians to “Rejoice in hope” (Romans 12:12). Good works done for humanity out of love of God and all God has done for us produces joy. Numerous Bible verses declare that the “deep power of joy” is that joy is more powerful, more constant, and more enduring than the adverse circumstances of life. So, live with joy. Stand out as a joyful presence in a society so often dour and afraid. Let your joy be a light to others, bringing them out of darkness and into the joyful presence of God.

~ Pastor Jeff Snyder

Experiencing the Pope's Weekend in Philadelphia

The Pope’s visit to Philadelphia was a joyous event that was long anticipated by everyone in the city. Part of what it meant for the many employees in the Food and Nutrition Department at Philadelphia Hospital was a long weekend away from home. We were requested to sleep over in the building from Thursday, September 24th, until Monday, September 28th. There were many concerns with the situation, including sleeping accommodations, showering, meals, work hours, laundry and the like. Weekly “Papal Visit” employee meetings took place regularly starting in August, and the closer we came to the event, the more at ease everyone seemed.

The Hospital did a great job organizing our workforce and taking care of those concerns. Clean linen, brand new air mattresses and pillows, and gift bags were among the items given out. Free meals, bingo and other games, movie nights, theater-screen-sized television with feeds for all the events, and even NFL football broadcasts, helped everyone adjust to the sacrifices made to ensure a smooth operation during the minor Center City shutdown that took place. I have to commend our “PA Hospital Papal Visit Committee” for their efforts. It was amazing to see the teamwork from all departments during the long weekend.

Between working ten hours a day, providing ‘round the clock meals for all of our “stay-over staff,” I actually had the opportunity to attend the Saturday’s Pope Ceremonial events, around the Ben Franklin Parkway area. There were so many people of different faiths in attendance, including Jews, Baptists, Muslims, and Buddhists, along with the Catholics, and that’s just naming a few, in attendance to experience this global event. I could hear people having conversations about the Pope, Catholicism, religious beliefs, gay marriage, and many other issues. Some very deep and important discussions were taking place, sometimes between complete strangers. There was a spirit of love, unity, and respect that seemed to be present in the air and once the Pope arrived, there was tremendous excitement in actually seeing him in person as he passed by the crowds lining the streets. For me, it was a highlight of my long weekend.


I finally got to go home on Monday afternoon. I was tired, and my feet were sore, but I felt good. I was very proud of my co-workers, and also proud of a few thousand random people on the Ben Franklin Parkway, that happened to share a once-in-a-lifetime experience with me.


~Will Thompson

Saturday, July 25, 2015

LBC Marched in the 4th of July Parade in Lansdowne, Pennsylvania

It was a wonderful experience to march in the 4th of July parade this year. We had a star-spangled wagon with a display (my wife, skilled with tools, did a great job of bringing that wagon we've had for a couple decades back to working order), a banner identifying us and our church, lots of fliers to hand out, and gigantic bubbles to blow along the route.

Our volunteers discovered they have a heart for outreach. This was wonderful in itself. A whole family found they actually like to be out in front of the public, something they would never have believed prior to this experience. Another proved to be fantastic working with the public handing out those fliers and answering questions about who were are. The bubble blowing drew a lot of positive attention from children and adults alike.

I could not stop smiling because this was a true group effort and the God given talents of each person were used, their ideas made our parade group much better, and our heart for outreach grew. It was wonderful to meet our community firsthand as well.

We look forward to doing this again next year ... perhaps with a few more marchers as well.

We also discovered several of our volunteers have a real competitive streak. At the end of the parade we attended a special show for the attendees and discovered there are prizes to be earned in various categories for those who follow the rules. This was news to us and there was a really competitive glint in several eyes. I look forward to seeing what they'll do next year.

LBC Lemonade Sale Success

This morning, volunteers from Lansdowne Baptist Church conducted our first lemonade sale. One of our members handy with tools and wood created a sensational lemonade stand on wheels, complete with an awning and space in the back for an ice cooler. We had both adult and children volunteers who had a terrific time selling lemonade and meeting the community. The weather was ideal and the turnout was great. Many members of our community turned out, curious to see what we were up to.

Several generous people provided donations and asked for nothing in return. The lemonade, both regular and pink, sold out by the time the stand closed up at one in the afternoon.

One of our volunteers said of the experience, "The money we brought in doesn't completely describe the positive experience for our church, our kids, our volunteers, and everyone who supported the event. We met some very nice people, many who stopped by to get lemonade but wound up talking with us and the kids about the church."

I personally want to thank everyone involved who made the day such a success. We are very glad to have met so many people from our local community and look forward to seeing them again soon.


Monday, June 1, 2015

Abba Father

Based on Romans 8:12-17, this sermon explores how God's abundant love for us frees us from the shackles of societal expectation and intimidation. We are free to be the people God intended, a joyful people. Watch and see.



Friday, April 3, 2015

Easter Sunday Service 2015

You are invited to join us as we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. This is one of the most powerful moments in the Christian year and we want to share it with you, your family, and your friends. The service is Sunday morning at 11 AM and lasts for roughly one hour. As Easter is falling on the first Sunday of the month, this is also a communion Sunday. 

We hope to see and welcome you with our friendly congregation. The Scripture for Easter is John 20:1-18, one of the most moving resurrection stories you will find. It reads: 

Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb. 2So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.” 3Then Peter and the other disciple set out and went toward the tomb. 4The two were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. 5He bent down to look in and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he did not go in. 6Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen wrappings lying there, 7and the cloth that had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen wrappings but rolled up in a place by itself. 8Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; 9for as yet they did not understand the scripture, that he must rise from the dead. 10Then the disciples returned to their homes.

But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb; 12and she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had been lying, one at the head and the other at the feet. 13They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.” 14When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not know that it was Jesus. 15Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” 16Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to him in Hebrew, “Rabbouni!” (which means Teacher). 17Jesus said to her, “Do not hold on to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” 18Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”; and she told them that he had said these things to her.

Wherever you may be this Sunday, we at Lansdowne Baptist Church wish you and your family a blessed Easter.

Jesus is risen! He is risen indeed! 

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Bearing Much Fruit



God wants us to follow Jesus fearlessly, to give up the worst aspects of our natures in favor of God’s far more gracious aspects, and to live a life that is full and purposeful. This leads to joy for us all.

Friday, March 20, 2015

God Loved the World



When the gospel writers spoke of salvation from God, consequences to humanity of accepting or rejection God's action was always a secondary issue. Primary in the authors' minds was that God did what God had done out of love for humanity, love for all the world. It is a message of good news that has, sadly, often been misused. Please pay particular attention to the message concerning human judgment on the salvation of others found near the end of the sermon. May you have peace. If you like what you hear and find yourself near Lansdowne, Pennsylvania, on a Sunday morning, please stop in for the worship service. You will be warmly welcomed.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Good News of Great Joy

For Christmas this year, wishing you all the joy of the shepherds when the angels told them of the coming of the long awaited Messiah. To the lowest on the social scale the angels came, making the shepherds who most looked down upon the messengers of good news of great joy for all people.  Here's how Luke tells the story in Chapter 2, verses 8 through 20. 
8In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.10But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: 11to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. 12This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.” 13And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying, 14“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors!” 15When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger. 17When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child; 18and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them. 19But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. 20The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Rejoice Always





The apostle Paul calls you to rejoice this Christmas season, and throughout the year. It's a matter of trust and a defiance of fear. It's also a healthy way to live. Wishing you a blessed Christmas.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Reflections on the Christmas Season

“Hark the herald angels sing, ‘Glory to the new-born king’. Peace on earth, and mercy mild, God and sinners reconciled!” ~Charles Wesley 

        Welcome to another Christmas season. Welcome to our celebration of the moment when the world changed forever. Luke 2:1-20, especially 8-20, is my favorite rendition of the Christmas story. For me, I cannot hear or read the shepherd’s experience with the angels in the field without thinking of my childhood and A Charlie Brown Christmas, in which Linus, the crew’s pint-sized theologian explains the meaning of Christmas to a distraught Charlie Brown using this passage.

        There are the shepherds, out watching their flock in the field at night, social outcasts based on the “earthy” way they make a living. Yet, outside of Jesus' family-to-be, these are the first people among the nation of Israel to hear the “good news of great joy for all the people.” Assured not to be afraid of the angel’s visitation (a good thing considering the angelic choir that will soon appear), they are told of the birth of a Savior, Messiah, and Lord. Such powerful titles these are, the titles for a king. And yet, this king will be found wrapped in bands of cloth in a manger. Peace among those whom God favors refers to the nation of Israel, a people set apart, for whom this message was first delivered. Luckily for us all, while Jesus began by fulfilling Jewish prophecy, in time the reach of Jesus’ good news would extend much farther, and that joy and peace right along with it.

        Immediately after hearing this message and choir, those shepherds headed off to find Jesus. Their world had changed and they wanted to find the source of that change. They never questioned that a Savior, Messiah, and Lord would also be one who was submissive and humble too. What a wonderful leap of faith, given how loaded those three words were with expectations across many centuries for the nation of Israel. When the shepherds arrived and told their tale, no doubt with great enthusiasm, the people were amazed. I wonder if they were more amazed by the tale or the messengers? But Mary treasured and pondered those words, as we all should. Finally, the shepherds returned to their world, their night on the hillside with the sheep, to a world that would never be the same because of the birth of Jesus: Savior, Messiah, and Lord.

        Wishing everyone peace, joy, and wonder this Christmas season as we celebrate Jesus’ birth once again. 

~Pastor Jeff Snyder

What Is Advent?

Welcome to the season of Advent, the beginning of the new church year. Advent, comprised of the four weeks prior to Christmas, is a season when we remember all God has done for us. We look back to the newness God brought into the world with the First Advent, the birth of Jesus. How Jesus’ entry into our world changed everything! It is the season when we look ahead to Jesus’ return and the reign of peace and justice that will come in that much anticipated Second Advent.

Over these four weeks, we light the candles of the Advent wreath. The evergreen wreath reminds us of God’s eternal love for us all. The four candles around the wreath represent hope, love, joy, and peace. The central candle, the last to be lit, represents Jesus Christ, who was sent by God to bring us hope, love, joy, and peace. It is a beautiful reminder of all Jesus has done for us and all that will yet be done. God bless you in this wonderful, meaningful season of Advent.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Wishing You Joy


With the holidays rapidly approaching, we here at Lansdowne Baptist Church wish you joy. As Henri Nouwen wrote in his devotional book, Bread for the Journey

Strange as it may seem, we choose joy. Two people can be part of the same event, but one may choose to live it quite differently from the other. One may choose to trust that what happened, painful as it may be, holds a promise. The other may choose despair and be destroyed by it. What makes us human is precisely this freedom of choice.
Choose joy.  

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. ~Romans 15:13
 

Sunday, October 12, 2014

God's House, God's Rules



Exploring the Ten Commandments and what they mean for us in today's world. "This covenant was an invitation for the people to accept God’s love for them and choose to live the better lives God would have them live. That remains true for us today, all around the world."

Fun fact: "As an interesting aside, the law “honor your father and mother” was particularly aimed at the old and infirm. It let the people of Israel know that, unlike some other nations, it was not okay to send the old folks off on a trip in the hopes they’ll either be eaten by wild animals or die of exposure. If you wanted to stay on the land God gave you, you’d need to maintain higher, more humane family standards."

If you find yourself in the the Lansdowne, PA, area any Sunday, consider yourself to have an open invitation to come and worship with us. You will be most welcome!