Friday, August 05, 2005

Getting Ready for Sunday

Communion is this Sunday in the morning. Aaron completes his three-part series in 2 Corinthians, then joins his wife in the labor the next day for number three in their ?-part series.

New City Church begins their first worship service at Emmanuel Chapel, starting at 3:30.

I begin my three-part series in Jude for the evening service.

Aaron takes the next two weeks off. Carroll returns.

Koop and Tenth

Here is another exerpt from Koop:

It was Erna Goulding, a valued friend and a nurse at Children's Hospital, who sensed that I was searching for spiritual meaning. One evening, as Betty and I left our apartment to attend the musical program that attracted many to the First Baptist Church in center city Philadelphia, Erna sugggested we walk a block beyond the Baptist Church and go to the evening service of the Tenth Presbyterian Church. She thought I would appreciate the intellectual approach to Christianity offered by its minister, Donal Grey Barnhouse. But we did not take her suggestion.

The next Sunday, however,I finished grand rounds early, and I found my feet taking me to the Tenth Presbyterian Church, just a few blocks north of the hospital. I entered the back door and quietly slipped up to the balcony. I was just going to observe. I liked what I saw, and I was fascinated by what I heard. I saw the congregation respond willingly and generously to social needs; this was no empty religion. I heard teaching from one of the most learned men I ever knew, a true scholar who also possessed a gift of illustrating the complexity - and simplicity - of Christian doctrine by remarkable and incised stories and similes. I was interested enough to go back the next Sunday morning. And then just a few hours later I returned for the evening service. I did that each Sunday for two years, and except when I was out of town I never missed a morning or evening service... After about seven mounths, I realized that I had become a participant and not just an observer; what made sense to that congregation made sense to me as well.

(Dr. Koop then gives a full gospel presentation.)

Job Posting

This was sent to me:

We have a part time clerical position open here at our Firm. The requirements are a good telephone presence, reliability, and computer proficiency with Windows XP, Word, and Excel. Candidates should forward their resumes, along with a cover letter, to my e-mail address.

Marlin E. Buckley
Managing Principal
Marlin E. Buckley, P.C.
Engineering & Consulting
360 East Elm Street
Conshohocken, PA 19428

Filing Cabinet

Would anyone like a two-drawer metal filing cabinet? Call or email.

Another Anniversary

Ginger and I celebrated our 26th anniversary yesterday in style - painting the bathroom. Yet again, we proved how strong our marriage is as she patiently weathered my painting woes. We did top it off with a nice supper at Illuminaire on Fairmount Street, joined by our older daughter Sarah. We had been given a dining certificate, which I managed to slip into our mailbox while checking mail. Thus, when it came time to pay the bill, I could not find it. Sarah graciously ran back to the building to recover it. My grateful feelings dissipated, however, when she later whipped me in Boggle.

Tonight, we look forward to the Couples' Cookout being hosted by Jerry and Bev McFarland. Tomorrow we head off to Lancaster for furniture shopping.

A Proverb a Day

Do you take your proverb a day? If you haven't done so yet, click the "Proverb a Day" link on the right side column. Each weekday I post a proverb with a brief devotional.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Back from Cambodia

Here is a brief report of our team that returned home Monday night:

The team was inter-generational and multiracial but we all worked as one body. There was flexibility and cooperation. Minor problems were dealt with much humor. We laughed a lot! It was also a delight to work with the new dentist from
California. He blended in so well. The Lord answered prayers.

We were divided into two teams: the medical team saw a total of 460 patients (both medical and dental). We had to turn away some patients on the last day because of lack of time. Their health needs are great: so many cases of TB, malnutrition, depression, all kinds of infectious diseases and lots of dental needs!

The teaching team taught one class in the morning and another in the afternoon. We saw the sewing class (Tenth paid for the sewing machines)participated in the church service, saw the wall go up (thanks to the support from John and Miriam Padusis). Ken and Donna are doing fine, it was such a joy to work with them.

That Crazy College Guy

I'm reading about Dr. Koop's college years at Dartmouth. He received a concussion in football practice leaving him with double vision for the rest of his life; almost froze to death (literally), stuck in a snow pit; and almost was permanently paralyzed after a fall in ski jumping. Boys will be boys.

Pot Stirring

In a couple of weeks you will be receiving a church mailing - a letter from Phil, the new church calendar, and whatever else we may slip in. There is a lot going on that may or may not be noted in the information.

We are overwhelmed with little children from infant to 2 and 3 year olds. And we've got to fine space. Do we create more space in Reception Hall? Do we fine more nearby? Create more services? Find new worship sites?

With the new presbytery staring in January, do we rethink Tenth's involvement with sister PCA churches? Can we have presbytery-wide ministries? Where should we be setting our sight for new church planting?

Though our numbers are growing, our giving is not keeping up. What does this mean? Do we just need to do a better job of motivating people to give or is this a sign of something deeper to examine?

The Building Committee is evaluating all the maintenance and building needs of the facilities. What projects should take priority? Where is the money going to come from?

Did you know that in missions, the church named Turkey as its primary interest? What does that mean? The visiting team wants to have discussions about that.

The Growth and Maturity Commission, which oversees the church's ministries, is discussing how to set priorities and a philosophy to connect all the ministries.

This is an exciting time in the life of Tenth Church. Clearly, the Spirit is stirring up the pot! Pray for the elders as they seek to discern God's leading. And give your input. There is much to be done in the kingdom, and we want everyone involved.

Teenage Band

Are you ready for a teenage music band at Tenth? Paul "Rockin'" Jones' latest brainstorm is to form a music ensemble for teenagers. Look for news on this when he returns from vacation. He already has more than 15 interested students. Andrew Crow will be staying for another year and provide primary leadership. What should we call the group? "Counting Andrew Crows"? "We2"? "Classical Teens"?

Cookout Bash

I heard yesterday that the Couples' Cookout for Friday night might be moved to another location because so many are signing up. When I called last week to register, there were already 20 couples. If you want in, call the McFarlands or the McInnes. There will be one more cookout August 19 at the Wynnes for parishes 3 & 4. But other parish members can crash the party! It seems we have tapped into a real need of providing support for marriages.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Humility vs. Pride

I read sports only for spiritual insight, of course. Check this one out on the first of the "deadly sins": May Humility Rest in Peace.

Arrival Time Nearing

By this time next week, I hope to be posting the arrival of Messner baby number 3. Be in prayer for Nancy and baby, as Monday is the planned date.

Three Projects

Three major annual projects are geering up - planning the 2005-2006 church calendar, annual staff evaluations, and 2006 budget preparations. All require hours of labor and wisdom to manage.

Koop on Skates and Nickname

Some interesting tidbits from my reading in Dr. Koop's autobiography.

"With roller skates came my declaration of liberty. All of Brooklyn became my turf. Alone or with friends similarly equipped, I roamed the length and breadth of Brooklyn. The best skates I could buy were $1.65 a pair, with replaceable wheels... Eight happy miles later, I rolled home, proudly showing my grandfather that in one day on brand-new roller skates I had worn out two wheels."

"Right away Dartmouth changed my name. The fellows I met decided that my unusual last name required an appropriate nickname, so I became 'Chick' Koop."

Monday, August 01, 2005

Heaven Spent

Finished The Five People You Meet in Heaven yesterday. It's an intriguing book, teaching how our lives are affected by others and affect others in ways we never know. It was a nice read and can be taken from a Christian perspective (though probably not that of the author).


Our Cambodian team is scheduled to arrive tonight. Pray for safe and timely arrival.

First Worship

The New City Church plant begins its first worship service next Sunday from 3:30-5:00. It will be held at Emmanuel Chapel on 835 Reed Street in south Philadelphia. Last night we commissioned a team led by Kin Lam. Try to make the service this Sunday or sometime in August to encourage the new ministry.

Cooking Up Good Marriages

There is a married couples' cookout this Friday night at Jerry and Bev McFarland's house. It is the second of three cookouts around the parishes, and the purpose is to develop support for marriages in the church. I think 20 couples are already signed up, but there is room for more. Call either the McFarlands or the McInnes to register.

Nada's Testimony

Two Sundays ago, Nada Ghattas gave her testimony in Living Church, using her "lightwriter" to speak. Here is the text of that message.

My name is Nada Ghattas. I am deaf and also handicapped because I have cerebral palsy. I can't speak, but I use sign language. I also use my lightwriter becasuse my signing sometimes is difficult to understand. I am very happy this morning because I want to tell you that I love the Lord Jesus Christ very much; Jesus loves me and he saved me. He died on the cross to forgive my sins.

My life is difficult because I am handicapped, but I trust in the Lord every day. Jesus is my best friend. He promised his grace is enough for me. I am happy because Jesus lives in my heart. Jesus has a great plan for my life.

I love my friends at Tenth Church. I see the love of many of you as you smile and say hi to me. I thank my friends Jodi Clark and Maggie. I also thank Adriana and Maria. I like Dr. Ryken; I know he cares for me. I enjoy Sunday evening service because Roz interprets to me with sign language. I feel very happy and enjoy singing to the Lord with you.

I want to learn more about God and the Bible. I want to help people to know more about Jesus. I write Bible stories to help people know about Jesus. Please pray that the Lord would help me as I start a computer program to study the web design in the fall. Please pray that I may be able to serve the Lord. If any one of you has a difficult time, trust in the Lrod, pray to the Lord, and he will answer your prayer.

I know when I die I will be with Jesus. In the resurrection, Jesus will give me a new body. I will be no more handicapped. I will be able to speak and hear. I will be able to sing to the Lord using my voice. I think I will also sing to the Lord with sign language. Thank you for listening. The Lord bless you.

26 and Counting

Thursday, August 4, will mark 26 years of marriage for the Clarks and 4 years for the Olsens. Both husbands give thanks for beautiful godly wives.