Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Being Mindful of What We Say: Fat Shaming Wounds Others and Defiles Us

In Matthew 15:11-20, Jesus instructs: "it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but it is what comes out of the mouth that defiles.” Then the disciples approached and said to him, “Do you know that the Pharisees took offense when they heard what you said?” He answered, “Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted. Let them alone; they are blind guides of the blind. And if one blind person guides another, both will fall into a pit.” But Peter said to him, “Explain this parable to us.” Then he said, “Are you also still without understanding? Do you not see that whatever goes into the mouth enters the stomach, and goes out into the sewer? But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this is what defiles. For out of the heart come evil intentions, murder, adultery, fornication, theft, false witness, slander. These are what defile a person, but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile.”

To love God and neighbor, fulfilling the two great commandments, we need to be mindful what we say to others. In society today, people are feeling far freer to say what is on their minds, regardless of how their words will impact those who receive them. Fat shaming is all the rage and society encourages this harmful behavior in a lot of different ways. To understand what fat shaming is and how it impacts others, take a look at the following article through this link: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/fat-shaming-makes-things-worse

Even with the best of intentions, telling someone something they already know full well will not encourage them to diet and live a healthier life. We need to ask ourselves why we feel compelled to tell someone they are fat in the hopes they will take a better life path. There's an assumption behind that "you're fat" shaming. That assumption, whether conscious or not, is that the person is lazy and if they just had a little more gumption, they'd lose weight. That's a dangerous assumption and an insulting one. None of us knows a stranger's story. We don't know the circumstances of their lives. We have no idea whether they are trying or have tried many times to lose weight. In following through with that impulse, we defile ourselves and harm the other person. Once the message has been delivered, the deliverer goes on with their day and probably forgets the encounter. The recipient of the message has been harmed, burdened with more unwanted emotional baggage, and perhaps heading down the road to depression or worse. It's more infuriating when that message is delivered by a skinny person who has never once in their lives struggled with weight issues. That person simply has no clue what the overweight person is struggling with. 

Much better to reign in our tongues, mind our words, and instead try to truly help our neighbors, taking the real time and effort to help those who truly need help and to be kind to everyone, making kindess a habit that improves lives (the other person's and our own), a habit that will never defile us. 

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Be Merciful Today

The Beatitudes in Matthew 5 read: 


When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; 
and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. 
2Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying:
3“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the 
kingdom of heaven.4“Blessed are those who mourn, 
for they will be comforted. 5“Blessed are the meek, 
for they will inherit the earth. 6“Blessed are those 
who hunger and thirst for righteousness, 
for they will be filled. 7“Blessed are the merciful, 
for they will receive mercy. 8“Blessed are the 
pure in heart, for they will see God. 9“Blessed 
are the peacemakers, for they will be called 
children of God. 10“Blessed are those who are 
persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is 
the kingdom of heaven. 11“Blessed are you when 
people revile you and persecute you and utter all 
kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 
12Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great 
in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted 
the prophets who were before you.

Be merciful with others and with yourselves today. 
Be peacemakers and be meek, walking humbly with 
God and with each other. Life in this world can be 
very hard. Human life can be frighteningly fragile. 
We are all struggling behind the confident & calm 
masks we wear. So often when asked how we're 
doing, the cheery "Fine" we deliver is a lie. So be 
helpful to each other in small ways. Be alert for 
the moment when you can deliver a kind word, 
hold a door for someone, calm a troubled soul 
with an act of grace. God does this for us and 
asks us to do this for others. I'll be right out there 
with you, doing just the same. In helping others, 
we will discover we also help ourselves. 
See you in the world. 

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Charlotte Marie Yinger's Memorial Service

Charlotte Marie Yinger died peacefully on March 29, 2019. Charlotte and her sister Eleanor have been long standing and beloved members of Lansdowne Baptist Church. Charlotte was the loving and much-loved daughter of the late Robert & Catherine Crosson Yinger, sister of Eleanor Yinger--who visited her faithfully at Elwyn--and neice of Joseph Yinger. Charlotte will be missed by her family and friends, including her church friends at LBC. Charlotte was a loving person with an enthusiasm for life. 

A memorial service will be held at Lansdowne Baptist Church on Saturday, August 31, 2019, at 11 a.m. Lansdowne Baptist is located at 17 E. Lacrosse Avenue, Lansdowne, PA 19050. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donations be made to Lansdowne Baptist Church or to Elwyn Wechsler Hall, 111 Elwyn Road, Media, PA 19063. 

We stand with and pray for Charlotte's family and friends in their time of grief. 

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Do Not Be Afraid



Fear leads to hoarding. Hoarding leads to not loving neighbors and not sharing with others, breaking one great commandment ... perhaps two if you think about it. Learn how to liberate ourselves from hoarding stuff and acting like the rich fool of the parable. Life is a lot sweeter when we are fearless, bold, and live this little life of ours to the fullest. This is the sermon for August 11, 2019, based on Luke 12:32-40. Come and see what that means and how it's done. All are welcome. Join us Sunday mornings at Lansdowne Baptist Church in Lansdowne, PA, if you are in the area. 

Reminder: Returing to Fall Schedule After Labor Day

On Sunday, September 8, 2019, Lansdowne Baptist Church will return to its fall schedule. Sunday School will begin at 9:45 a.m. & worship at 11 a.m. in the sanctuary. Mark your calendars ... or we'll all know you didn't. 

Yes, when I get to the gym at 5:45 a.m., the sun is just a glimmer on the horizon and the moon is still in the sky. Fall is on the way. Hope everyone had a great and refreshing summer enjoying God's good creation wherever you may have gone. 


Friday, August 9, 2019

We American Baptists Stand Against Terror and Hate

The American Baptist Home Mission Societies shared a powerful article by Rev. Dr. Debora Jackson, speaking out against terrorism in our country, standing up for the victims of this weekend's massacres, and speaking out against race hatred and violence. 

In part Rev. Dr. Jackson states: ... we denounce practices of privilege that declare white male gunmen as mentally ill while naming gunmen of color as terrorists. Domestic terrorism, regardless of the perpetrator, is an issue and we cannot abide by tactics that diminish the offense for some. Declaring our faith in the God of love, we condemn the hate speech that is dividing our country. Instead, we commit ourselves to teach the love of God through Jesus Christ, rebuking those who would spread hate.

Read the article at: https://christiancitizen.us/a-call-to-american-baptists/?utm_campaign=coschedule&utm_source=facebook_page&utm_medium=The%20Christian%20Citizen&utm_content=A%20call%20to%20American%20Baptists&fbclid=IwAR2uoLKbL_qH-YUaI-7RpIW6fMxDjmT1D4GDWCfSfdf2aIR2yUMJztmplLQ

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Article 2019: The Collective Conscience of Our Country

The link here is to the Pastoral Letter of the American Baptist Churches USA General Secretary Lee Spitzer. The article deals with the violence currently ripping our nation to pieces. Please read: https://www.abc-usa.org/2019/08/the-collective-conscience-of-our-country-a-pastoral-letter-from-abcusa-general-secretary-lee-spitzer/?fbclid=IwAR3WkzbpwnIYqfanksb1L0IN7vHfSUkJt5V5ZU-dZZ9mZDGugvk1zy193ak

One paragraph worthy of note for anyone wondering who we American Baptists are is: “American Baptists, as a denominational family, have consistently been advocates for religious and civil liberty for all and for the concept of “a Free Church in a Free State” (1986 ABCUSA Policy Statement on Church and State). Key tenets of the divisive ideology of Christian nationalism are incompatible with Baptist theological and social convictions. American Baptists historically have advocated for respect, tolerance, justice and freedom for everyone in our country (and world), while resolutely opposing all manifestations of racism, prejudice, fear and injustice. May we continue this witness in 2019, and into the future.”

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

God Remembers



Sermon based on Hosea 11:1-11 speaks to God unwavering love of God, even when we stray. God was determined to love the wandering people of Israel and does the same for us. Remember that when society tries to tell you are not loved. Watch and see. Join us on Sunday at Lansdowne Baptist Church, Lansdowne, PA, for worship.

Prayers and Actions

Lansdowne Baptist Church's congregation stands with and prays for all the grieving families from this weekends horrific terrorist acts in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio. We mourn your losses with you. 

We work for peace in this world in a wide variety of ways as well. We call everyone to strive to live by the two great commandments: love God and love neighbor. From the good Samaritan story we know that our neighbor is everyone and anyone who needs us. There is no us vs. them with God. All humanity is made in God's image, as the Bible states. We need to stand together against the hatred and the fear that gives rise to racism and white supremacy, which have no place in Christianity, and should have no place in our nation. 

Lansdowne Baptist Church Participates in National Night Out 2019



Lansdowne Baptist Church will once again be participating in National Night Out in Lansdowne, PA, tonight, August 6, 2019, from 6 to 8 p.m. Come and meet us. There will be coloring pages and bubble blowing for the children, introductory leaflets, and a warm welcome for everyone. We hope to see you there, at the public parking lot next to St. Philomena's and the Dunkin Donuts. See you there!