Friday, August 12, 2005

Decisions, Decisions

The offering of adult Bible school classes has been placed on my desk. How does one decide what to take?

Dan Clark and Thomas Martin's latest topic is on the subject of Backsliding and Apostacy. How do we avoid such a fate?

TenthWoman are holding a class on Ephesians.

MCO is offering a class on Glorifying God in Health Professions.

Tim Scull, a new member, is leading a class on Matthew.

The Missions Commission will have a class on The Historical Basis for Missions.

Jerry McFarland is moving his effort to help marriages into the classroom: Marriage: Survival or Growth?

TIF has two classes on Knowing God and The Gospel of Luke.

Dan Kunkle is teaching a class: In the World, But Not of It.

Then there are the two regulars: New Members Orientation and Preparation for Marriage.

Whew! And I know of three other classes on hold!

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Speaking of Tongues

Finished the morning sermon for this coming Sunday on "The Power of the Tongue." Pray that my own tongue will glorify God and edify the Body. Pray also for good listening, so that our tongues may be used for good and not for evil.

Rendering Judgment

That is the title of Sunday evening's sermon on Jude's presentation of judgment. Pray for me as I prepare. I am not going to slide by the subject, but discuss the matter of hell and eternal punishment. Specifically I will address the attitude we Christians should have and the very real issue all of us face in having family and friends die without faith.

All Three Signed!

We are going to have a great opening Missions Rally for the World Missions Conference. Clive Calver is the featured speaker. He has spoken at Tenth before, and I found him to be one of the most inspiring missions speakers I've heard.

As if he were not enough, all three other persons/groups we've gone after will also participate. Calling in from Japan, Michael Oh will give greetings and a report to us; next, calling in from South Africa, Michael Cassidy will give greetings and lead us in prayer. I just got in the mail today, a letter from the pastor of the Korean United Church (our sister PCA church in Philadelphia) that he and his choir will join us.

Start getting the word out for me. The rally is November 5. It will be followed by dessert sponsored by Tenth International Fellowship.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Head Sexton Needed

We are looking to fill the position of Head Sexton. Interested persons may contact Pat Canavan: 215.735.7688 or

Music Notes

Susan Russo is the new Coordinator for Schola Cantorum. Andrew Crow will be back for another year and directing the new youth ensemble. Look for news about that.

A Proverb a Day

Are you getting your proverb a day? Check out my devotional site on the side panel: A Proverb a Day. Today's proverb is, "The people curse him who holds back grain, but a blessing is on the head of him who sells it."

Preaching Proverbs

Here is the passage I am working on the morning in preparation for Sunday morning's sermon: The Power of the Tongue.

1A soft answer turns away wrath,
but a harsh word stirs up anger.
2The tongue of the wise commends knowledge,
but the mouths of fools pour out folly.
3The eyes of the LORD are in every place,
keeping watch on the evil and the good.
4A gentle tongue is a tree of life,
but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.
5A fool despises his father's instruction,
but whoever heeds reproof is prudent.

Another Big Signing

I just heard from Michael Oh, our missionary in Japan, that he can also join us for the opening Missions Rally on November 5 via telephone. He will give a truly up-to-date report on his work that we will broadcast over the sound system. Michael Cassidy will be communicating the same way from South Africa, leading us in prayer. I'm waiting for one more confirmation of special guests to report.

This is all part of the World Missions Conference, November 5-13. The Missions Rally is the opening event on Saturday night. It will take place in the sanctuary, and my goal is 500 in attendance. It will be followed by a dessert reception hosted by TIF (Tenth International Fellowship).

I also have on my desk, Ruth Hoover's brochure for the conference which you will find a slight departure from the previous editions, both in design and in the attention given to tying in the theme of the conference (Spiritual Warfare and Prayer: Advancing the Gospel).

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

You Must Have Been a Beautiful

Baby! That's what someone will be able to sing to Ilsa years from now. Ginger and I saw her this afternoon (with Sue Hoyt). She has dark, long hair. Nancy says Aaron had the same kind of hair. Mother is doing well and should be going home in a couple of days.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Housing Need

Joel Garver is asking:

A PCA pastor friend in Iowa emailed me to let me know
one of his parishoners will be living in Philadelphia
for two months (2/26/06 to 4/22/06) as part of a
medical rotation and is looking for a place to live.
The med student's name is Justin Klaassen. Does anyone have
any leads on temporary housing?

New City Worship

I attended the New City Church first worship yesterday. Kin Lam delivered an excellent sermon on Jesus' wedding miracle. He preached in Chinese with an interpreter for English. It was humorous as he would make a humorous statement in Chinese which would get a laugh from the Chinese audience; then the interpreter would speak, getting a laugh from the English audience. We English were like those who take awhile to catch the joke and then laugh after everyone else had already gotten it. Anyhow, the service was in the manner of Tenth. Kin gave an insightful exposition with a clear gospel message.

I encourage you to attend soon. It is held at 3:30 Sunday afternoons at Emmanual Chapel on the corner of 9th and Reed.

The Baby Has Landed!

Ilsa Rebekah Messner has arrived! Baby and mother are doing well, though still waiting for a room (Pennsylvania Hospital). It seems a number of other babies wanted to come at the same time!

Sermon Conclusion

This is the conclusion from last night's sermon on Jude 1-19: Perverting Grace. For the full text click Sermon.

The lesson to us is this: if grace does not alter us, we will alter grace. If grace does not break us and drive us to repentance; if grace does not open our blind eyes to the holiness, majesty, and mercy of God; if grace does not fill our empty hearts with the desire to please Christ above all else; then we will transform grace into a tool to justify and sink deeper into sin.

That is our lesson. This is our hope: that grace – the real grace of the Gospel – will lead us home. If we look to grace, not as an excuse to sin, but to deliver from sin; if we look to grace to change us and keep committed to our Lord Jesus Christ…well, let the writer of Hebrews say it better:

Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who is every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need (4:14-16).