Friday, July 15, 2005

Evangelism Prayer

Every Friday, from 12:15-12:45, a group gathers in Phil's study for evangelistic prayer. Cora provides prayer requests. Here is a sample with names omitted:

Bruce McDowell met with ______ this week to talk about his need of a relationship with God. Pray for the Lord’s working in _____’s heart.

Chris Seah asks prayer for the Lord’s working in _________, who attends his Bible study at Jefferson Medical College. She is a universalist, who believes that all religions have equal value and her husband is an atheist.

Pray for the salvation of __________ and his wife _____. ______ has been meeting with Bruce McDowell for Bible study. Both are theists but do not know which religion to pursue. Were visited recently by Jehovah's Witnesses and found them appealing and "logical."

________ asks prayer for God’s working in _______, his next door neighbor, with whom he shared the gospel, and for ________, another neighbor with whom he has spoken.

Pray that the Lord will use the TIF outing to the Mann Center this evening to build good relationships and to allow Christians present to share the gospel. Maranatha Chung asks prayer for the people from his ESL class is South Philadelphia who will be coming.

Do you have prayer requests? Email them to Cora. All staff email addresses are initial, We would love to have you come pray with us.

Helping CCA

I attended the board meeting of CCA (City Center Academy) last night. The slow summer period is making it especially difficult to meet expenses. If you are looking for a good cause to give support to, I certainly encourage you to consider the school, one of the few Christian high schools in the city (I heard of two). You can give Sunday at church. CCA is the Project of the Month for the retiring offering. Or you can mail a check in to CCA using the church's address: 1701 Delancey Street, 19103.

Board members, by the way, are George McFarland (chairman), Jonathan Olsen, Pat Canavan, Michael Kennedy, Carlos and Ruth Perkins, Andy Schmucker, Janice Roberts, and myself.

Cooking Up Good Marriages

Tonight is the first of three parish Couples' Cookouts, being led by Jerry and Bev McFarland, and Tim and Senah McInnes. These two couples have been leading marriage classes during the SS hour and are now taking it "on the road." Tonight's cookout is at Scott and Cecilia Kiehlmeier's house in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. If you want to go, call them or the McInnes or McFarlands. The other cookouts will be August 5 at the McFarlands in Glenside, and August 19 at the Wynnes in Lansdowne.

These cookouts are part of an effort to help marriages in the church. The great surprise to Christian couples is to find out that Christian marriages can have the same problems as other marriages. Communication, instead of becoming easier, becomes more complex. Sins and temptations that we thought had to do with being single are as strong, if not stronger, in marriage. Just as we have to learn the gospel daily in our lives, so we have to learn the gospel daily in our marriages. I hope many of you will come out. I'll be at the one August 5.

Colossians in the Evening

Aaron has decided to start Colossians in the fall. And you are the first to know!

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Finding Ribaudo

I forgot to mention that I ran into Chris and Lori Ribaudo (and children) at General Assembly. Chris is church planting in Chicago. He said he's found his niche in church planting work of which he has done a couple.

Tree Falling

This report came in from Jim and Dori Baggs:

This morning (Wed.), at 1:45 a.m. the large tree in the yard behind us crashed into the back of our house. We felt the house shake and heard a noise like an airplane crashing into our home. Those of you who have been in our backyard may remember the large oak at least 100ft. high that towers way way above our 3rd floor. Damage report...broken windows on the 2nd and 3rd floor, a hole in the back wall to the outside in our 3rd floor, backyard damage, roof damage, we are pretty certain due to the caving wall in our 3rd floor that we've sustained serious structural damage.

Praise...the window crashed in the 2nd floor bedroom with such force that glass is all over Cameron's bed and actually is by the wall on the opposite side of the room....Cameron for the first time in his life is at Camp Sankanac for the week and is not home. God is good. Praise...had the tree fallen a foot different on either side our bathroom and Cameron's room (both facing the back) would have been demolished. Praise...even though there is substantial damage we are not homeless.

The only thing keeping the huge trunk from crushing our homes (the twin attached to us has a tree limb through her bathroom window and similiar damage, and my other neighbor has some damage, though not as much) the large limbs that are resting on our roofs and backyards. If these branches give way the trunk is not far behind. This needs immediate attention... One tree company that came out to assess the situation today told us in order to remove this tree they would need to do it from the front of our homes. The back of the property in inaccessible to large machines. This means blocking our street, shutting down the electricity for the entire block, hiring a crane large enough to reach above the power lines, above our 3 story homes and over them to reach in the back to support the trunk of the tree while the branches are cut. These branches are like small trees they are that huge...

Please hold up this family in prayer.

Teachers Needed

CCA needs teachers for Algebra, keyboarding, and computer science. Contact Ray Withers at 215.731.1930.

Timothy Academy needs teachers for middle school science, sixth grade, art, and phys ed. Also looking for bus driver/janitor.

25 and Counting

The Apples celebrated on Tuesday 25 years of marriage. Congratulations!

Nothing New

Truly there is nothing new under the sun. Consider this report from Tenth Church Bible School Superintendent Fred Garibotti in 1955: "This has been the year of disruption and plaster dust (referring to renovations in the middle building).... The limiting factor in providing for every Bible School requirement is space...but we of the school are thankful for what we are getting."

Other noteworthy info: Dr. Barnhouse preached 25 Sundays out of the year, as agreed to when hire. Dwight Small was the "Co-Pastor." He was replaced in 1956 by Edwin Houk, who took the position of "Executive Pastor."

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Covenant Testimonies

I just completed the testimonies of the new members coming before the church this Sunday, 27 in all. I've given you samples of some testimonies, but the ones I leave out are, in truth, the best of all. They are the ones testifying to being raised in Christian homes and being taught the gospel while young children by their parents. Such testimonies don't make for exciting reading, but they are the goal for every Christian parent.

Today's Itinerary

Faith Mayes and I will be working on the World Missions Conference this morning. The theme of the conference is Advancing the Kingdom: Prayer and Spiritual Warfare
“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood…” Ephesians 6:10-20 We hope to nail down the conference events and have some new ideas to throw into the mix. Stay tuned.

The Church Planting Commission meets this afternoon. This is a church committee that did not exist in my previous tenure. It's purpose is to keep the prospects of starting new churches on Tenth's plate. We are looking for places to start churches (like we did with Conshohocken and Christ Liberation in Overbrook) and church start-ups that we can assist, such as liberti and Kin Lam's new work. If you have ideas, let me know.

Then tonight I lead the Fairmount Bible Study that meets at the Delgados. We are already up to 18-20 attendees, which is a clear sign of meeting a need in that area. Cora is always on the lookout for other places to start Bible studies.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005


GMC can stand for General Motors Company, Ginger McGay Clark, and Growth and Maturity Commission. The last is meeting tonight at 6:30. Elder David Skeel chairs the meeting. This committee overseas the ministries of the church. Usually one or two ministries give a report at the meetings. Tonight is a brainstorming session about overall direction, as well as specific ideas. Pray for alert minds that are discerning of the Spirit's leading.

Staff Report

I just came out of the general staff meeting. Pat Canavan reported that roof work is moving along on schedule. The workers begin brick pointing. They are also cleaning out a good half-foot layer of bird "debris" from the upper tower room. He also delivered the exciting news that the General Fund giving deficit, which last Sunday showed nearly 98,000, will this Sunday show less than $5,000.

The Ryken family start vacation next week and will be gone four weeks. Part of Phil's vacation will be working on translating a book on pastoral ministry from Latin to English. Jonathan leads a group visiting in the Mediterranean leaving Friday. Carroll leaves Sunday to teach at a youth camp. If you see this before 3:00, pray for Bruce who will be sharing the gospel with a young man at that time. Oh, Jonathan is deliriously happy over Bobby Abreu's homeroom derby championship last night.

Weather and Time

You can now check the local weather and time using the sidebar. Just another feature of DMC News.

Sunday Text

The passage for the morning services is Luke 14:25-35. The verse printed is: "If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple."

The title of the sermon is "The Cruciform Life." Have you noticed in these recent passages and chapters, the sternness of Jesus' speech? We must be ready for the return of the Master; Jesus has come to cause division within households; repent or perish; strive to enter through the narrow door; the lament over Jerusalem; none of those originally invited will taste the banquet. Let us be reminded that this business of knowing God is a serious business indeed. It is not a hobby, not a vacation. It claims every bit of us and is both exhilarating and terrifying.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Hey Jude

I've started work on my sermons in Jude for the first three Sunday evenings in August. I'm thinking of the following titles and texts:
Jude 1-19 Perverting Grace
Jude 4-19 Rendering Judgment
Jude 1-4; 17-25 Keeping and Being Kept

Another idea was to entitle them The Fall, The Judgment, Redemption. The first sermon covers the sin that was being brought into the church; the second the judgment to come upon such sinners; and the third is the instruction to keep true to the faith.

Jesus in a Refugee Camp

I continue to edit the testimonies of our new members coming before the church this Sunday. Time does not allow for the full testimonies. Here is an uncut version of one who came to Christ in a refugee camp:

I was born into a Buddhist home and never heard about Jesus growing up. I lived in Cambodia and was twenty when Pol Pot took control of the country. During the Pol Pot years, my father died of starvation, my brother was shot and killed, my husband stepped on a land mine and later died, and my baby died of starvation. When the Vietnamese came into Cambodia my family escaped on foot to Thailand. At that time I began to cry out for the God who created the world. In Thailand we were placed in a refugee camp where missionaries talked about Jesus, about the God who created the world, about Adam and Eve, about sin, and about heaven and hell. I was afraid that God would send me to hell when I died because I saw that I was a sinner. When the missionaries talked about Jesus dying on the cross for my sin, I prayed to God to forgive all my sins. I began to go to Bible Studies and prayer every morning, and my faith grew stronger. I love God and the Bible and the church.