Saturday, April 05, 2008

Sunday School in Liberia

Here's Jonathan Brandenburg teaching Sunday School Easter Sunday weekend at Rock Spring Presbyterian Church in Liberia. The church was hosting a conference to celebrate its one year anniversary and Jonathan, who was traveling with our short-term G.O. team, provided the children's program. Watch for further photos this week.

Friday, April 04, 2008

ACMI 2008 Annual Conference

The Association of Christians Ministering Among Internationals is holding a conference soon. Here is the info:

Dates: May 29 - 31, 2008
Location: McLean Bible Church, Vienna, VA (near Washington, DC.)
Sponsor: Association of Christians Ministering among Internationals (ACMI). More detailed information and online registration at the conference website: ACMI 2008 Conference website

The following paragraph is copied from their brochure:
"Integrity in ministry is vital if we are to serve with freedom, successfully raise up the next generation of workers and set an example of healthy, balanced Christian ministry among internationals. ACMI '08 will focus on strengthening the integrity of international ministry workers and better caring for ourselves and each other."

MercyNet Recordings

David Apple sent this in:

Friends--The audio from the MercyNet Conference are now online. I hope you find them useful and helpful.

PCRT Volunteers Needed

Volunteers are needed for PCRT (April 25-27) to assist with hospitality, book sales, registration, and child care. Volunteers who work more than three hours will receive free overflow registration. If interested, please contact Anne Davies at or x243.

Sermon Preparation

"What kind of fool am I..." I don't know why that tune popped in my head. I just began preparing notes for a sermon on May 25 in the morning. The text is Ephesians 5:22-24. It is a sequel to the sermon I gave last August on 5:25-33 (at the request of wives, I might add).

Tax Refund Scam

I just received my first tax refund scam email. I would imagine there will be more as time to receive the tax rebates get closer. Here it is:

Get Tax Refund on your VISA or MasterCard

You got $182.50 tax refund. Please follow the steps to get your refund.

Please enter your Social Security Number and a valid VISA or MasterCard number where you want the refund to be made. (I don't think so!)

We are asking for your personal information to ensure we access the correct account, enabling us to provide the tax return.

We use and retain your personal information only for this purpose and only long enough to complete the transaction, ensure the security of your system, and as authorized by law. We do not share it other than as provided by law. If you choose not to provide it, we will not be able to fully comply the tax return.

Internal Revenue Code Section 6109 allows us to request your Social Security Number, Credit/Debit Card Number, Expiration Date, CVV Code (located on the back of your credit/debit card) and ATM PIN Code for use in maintaining and accessing tax return information. (NO, NO, NO!) If you do not enter complete and valid information we cannot provide the tax return.

To collect the Tax Return please click the link bellow and fill in the requested information:
(I've removed.)

Thank You.

Tenth Books

I am finishing up another book by a Tenth member - Here I Am, Send Me, by Bryce Bartruff. It is a manual on how to recruit and train volunteers. This will be my third book in the past month by a Tenth member, the others being A Quest for More, by Paul Tripp, and Heart-Cry, by Arlita Winston.

This got me to wondering how many books have been written by Tenth members, present and past. I've been making a list and am up to 87 books. I have yet to count Phil's books, Scottie Olds', and those of Howard Vos.

I noticed that the church library has a section of Tenth authors. Check it out sometime.


The second of the four PCRT conferences is being held this weekend near Atlanta, in a community called Powder Springs. To get a feel for the church hosting the conference, Midway Presbyterian, click here for their website.

Thursday, April 03, 2008


I just finished Arlita Winston's biography, Heart-Cry, of her parents' missionary work in Sumatra in the 1940's. It is fascinating reading. You get a good sense of the pioneering work being done in the jungles of southeast Asia. Besides his missionary work, David Morken was among a group of leaders such as Dawson Troutman, Bob Pierce, Hubert Mitchell, and Dick Hillis who lead and started movements such as Youth for Christ, Navigators, and World Vision. The church library has a copy, and the bookstore has several copies for sale.

Boice Booklets Available

Soon after Dr. Boice's passing in 2000, the church produced an 8 1/2 x 11 memorial booklet featuring his life and ministry with articles by his colleagues and including many pictures. We still have many copies left and are offering them for free. Copies are in both lobbies and you may take as many as you like. We also have them in boxes of 75 that you may pick up.

I thought there might be churches that would like to have boxes shipped so that they can distribute the booklets among their membership. If you would like boxes for your church, call in to the church (215.735.7688) to order. You will need to provide a UPS shipping number. That is the only way we are prepared to handle shipping.

Gettin' Hitched

Lisa Murray and Will Swyer are pleased to announce their engagement to be married.

Tenth Internships

We are now receiving applications for internships for September 2008 - August 2009. Internships are open to both men and women. For information, click here.

House for Rent

House for rent in University City: 4700 block of Hazel Ave, between Baltimore Ave and Spruce St.Large Victorian twin with 5 spacious bedrooms, 1 small bedroom/study, 2 bathrooms, front porch, and backyard with deck on friendly block. Walking distance from University of Pennsylvania, Drexel University, Clark Park, and many shops, cafes, and churches, including Woodland Presbyterian and Redeemer Presbyterian/City Church. If interested, please call Phil at 301.379.1482.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Parish 6 Social

Parish 6 is having a carry-in dinner and family talent social -- "Entrées & Entertainment" on April 19 at First Presbyterian Church of Moorestown. To attend RSVP to Mimi Warburton (856) 642-2013 or OR Sandy Hill (856) 795-5257 or by April 16.

BURMA - 4,700 Buddhist Monks Kneel to Accept Christ as Their Savior

Source: Christian Aid, Missions Insider Report, March 18, 2008

In the midst of [a season of] darkness Buddhist monks and nuns began inviting Christian missionaries to come and share the gospel in the privacy of their monasteries. The majority of these monks are from the dominant Bama people, normally very resistant to the gospel.

One of the ministries supported by Christian Aid sent this report:

"4,700 Buddhist monks were led to Christ through our ministry. It appears that the Holy Spirit had urged these monks and nuns to call our evangelists to come and share the gospel of hope and love. After several intense discussions, close to 80 percent of the monks present in each of the monasteries raised their hands to accept Christ, and then kneeled down to pray and receive Christ as their Lord and Savior.

"Baptisms are being done discreetly - no more than three at a time for the sake of the safety of the converts as well as our workers."

Full story here.

Catacombs Canteen

Dori Baggs sent this announcement in:

The Catacombs Canteen will run the next two Sundays after both services in Reception Hall on 4/6 and 4/13. The Canteen is one opportunity the children in first through sixth grades have to sell some of their "seed money" projects. All money raised is for the capital campaign. I have heard some of the projects the children have been engaged in and am amazed at their creativity, energy and real enthusiasm! There will be baked goods, lemonade, greeting cards and craft projects for sale! Even the children in the three, four and five year old classrooms have made a contribution to the campaign by decorating greeting cards to sell!


Another project that the capital campaign will fund is the installation of an elevator. Perhaps you’ve never known the isolating feeling of being unable to access part of the church, but chances are you’ve shared a pew with someone who has. Darv Dombach, a member of Tenth’s Building Committee, wrote a post to highlight the many people who will be able to participate more fully in the life of Tenth with the installation of an elevator...more...

Derek Thomas

Many of your PCRT veterans may not know that speaker Derek Thomas is also a college basketball coach. Indeed, he will not be in Philadelphia this year due to recruiting, which evidently he needs to improve. Here is a portion of an interview I found on the internet.

The overwhelming question surrounding the Western Illinois men's basketball team is whether Derek Thomas will return as Leathernecks coach. After sitting down and talking to the four-year coach, it was clear Thomas felt he would return for a fifth year at the helm.

Jason Nevel: Do you feel like your job is safe and you'll be back after consecutive seven-win seasons?

Derek Thomas: I don't worry about that. You can call it self-confidence or whatever. I speak to people who know a lot about basketball, and they tell me the things that happened to (the team) - there's not a whole lot you can do about it. I go to sleep at night knowing that I'm doing my very best and that I put everything into it. There's a lot of factors that go into rebuilding a program that has been down for so long. You have to have some luck and be healthy. John Wooden's not going to come in here and fix things. If somebody would tell me I'm not doing a good job, then that's their opinion. I don't value a whole lot of opinions from people who don't have basketball minds. Criticism comes with the territory, and it's something you have to deal with.

JN: You only won seven games this year; do you feel like this year was disappointing?

DT: It's very frustrating, especially when you think about all the close games you had. We were picked to finish sixth and we got the seven seed. When you have all those guys out, only slipping one spot from where you were projected to be … (it) means we held together.

JN: Do you have any predictions for next year?

DT: I know we're going to win more than seven games - I can tell you that.

I think Derek may want to keep his job at First Presbyterian for a while longer.

PCRT Season

Phil has taken off (or maybe he is taking off; I can't keep up with him) to Atlanta for the PCRT being held there this weekend. (He will be back to preach on Sunday.) The theme this year is "Precious Blood: Christ's Atoning Work." Here are the plenary addresses:
Necessary Blood
Redeeming Blood
Cleansing Blood
Offensive Blood
Precious Blood

Hhmm...there is a common thread here. I can't quite figure it out.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Spreading the Word

On Sunday, April 13, 135,000 New Testaments will be distributed to home suscribers of the Philadelphia Inquirer with their paper delivery. This event is sponsored by "CityReachers Greater Philadelphia" and Tenth Church is a participating church through financial support and through another important means.

We are ordering an additional 1,500 copies to distribute. You are being asked now to pray for a neighbor, friend, colleague, fellow student who should receive a copy from you. We hope to receive the New Testaments to pass on to you on April 20, with the intent that you will pass on your copy that week.

Another way to participate is through prayer. On April 12, there will prayer walks for the distribution. In Philadelphia, participants will gather at Greater Exodus Baptist Church, corner of Broad and Fairmount. In Chester County, they will meet at Covenant Fellowship Church,, in Glen Mills. At both locations they will meet at 9:30 a.m., set up teams for going out, and complete the prayer outings by noon. You do not need to register in advance.

The intent is to spread this Bible distribution in the fall to Bucks, Delaware, Montgomery, Burlington, Camden, and Gloucester counties, leaving a final distribution number of about 600,000.

Prison After-Care Forum

KCRN (Kingdom Care Reentry Network, a faith-based partnership in prison after-care) is sponsoring a public forum, hosted by PECO Energy:

Friday, April 25, 2008
11:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
PECO Energy Hall B
23rd & Market Streets

The Keynote Speaker will be Dr. Harold Dean Trulear, a scholar and writer on criminal justice issues. He is a professor at Howard University School of Divinity in Washington, DC, and consultant for the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Faith & Families Portfolio. In that capacity he has designed a national prisoner reentry initiative now being implemented across the USA by the Progressive National Baptist denomination.

There will be plenary presentations by our new Deputy Mayor for Public Safety, Everett Gillison Esq. and the new Director of the Mayor’s Reentry Office, Ron Cuie. They will lay out the vision of Mayor Michael Nutter for an expanded effort to support effective job development, behavioral health services and mentoring for ex-inmates. Executives from PECO will discuss the mayor’s challenge to the corporate community to support the hiring of men and women returning from prison who want to live a different life.

Come and hear about KCRN’s brand-new reentry collaboration with Philadelphia’s world-famous Mural Arts Program. Learn how you can be a part of helping to restore your community and its families as inmates become partners in the healing process of mural-making. Mural Arts’ founder and director, Jane Golden, will lift your eyes and stir your imagination as she unfolds this picture of the city’s bold new initiative in reconciliation.

The key contribution of KCRN to these major movements in aftercare is in recruiting, training and certifying mentors from faith-based & community organizations. At this Forum you will learn how you and your church or community group members can be certified to participate in these exciting developments. KCRN is a leading partner with the city, state and federal prison systems and our vision of “A Community of Cooperation for Successful Reentry and Reintegration” has captured the imagination of leaders throughout the city. Come and join with this new band of modern reformers as we link arms and join hands to help reshape how prison ministry services are delivered in Philadelphia.

Lunch will be provided for all attendees. There is no cost, but you must register in advance:
Call Diana Fields, KCRN Mentor Coordinator, 215-334-3343 ext. #23; fax your RSVP to 215-334-1330 or send an e-mail to


Congratulations to Elder Bob Sharrar who begins this month in the retirement ranks. I suppose I should wait a week before presenting him my to-do list for the church.


You are encouraged to participate in our Prayer-a-thon on Thursday, Friday and Saturday (April 17-19). Make a commitment of a 15 minute time slot to pray for the Lord to meet our remaining capital campaign goal of $2.6 million. Sign up in Reception Hall after the 9:00, 11:00 and 6:30 services on April 6 and 13. You will be given a prayer guide and a reminder when to pray.

Can You Be Fooled?

In recognition of April Fool's Day, here are four "news items" from Tenth, one of which is false. Do you know?

Amy Weaver accepted a marriage proposal from Doug Potts.
We now have four support staff who grew up in Tenth Church.
PCRT will break tradition with the opening hymn and use Phil's "Faithful to All Generations."
I have a winning record against every staff member who has played me in ping pong.

Monday, March 31, 2008

McDowell Article

Bruce McDowell has an article in the March issue of InVision, the e-newsletter of MTW. It is on how churches can care for our partners who have returned home. Check it out here.

Of God's Redemption

Check this latest editorial by John Freeman at

Prayer Request

Please pray for Remi Nwoga and his family as they mourn the loss of his uncle Godwin Nwoga. Services will be April 5 at 7:00 p.m. at the St. Cyprian Catholic Church, 63rd Cobb’s Creek/Cedar Avenue, Philadelphia, 19143. Viewing time is 6-7 pm.