One of the great heroes of Church history is William Tyndale. Born in Gloucestershire in 1494 Tyndale had a burning desire to make the Bible available to even the common people in England. An intelligent scholar fluent in Latin, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Greek, and Hebrew he could have gone far in the church graduating from Oxford and then Cambridge. But he had just one burning desire. It was that the poor and uneducated farm ploughboy should have access to the word of God that they might find eternal life. On one occasion Tyndale told a priest, “If God spares my life, ere many years pass, I will cause a boy that driveth the plow shall know more of the Scriptures than thou dost.” The dream led Tyndale to request the assistance of the Bishop of London. But translating the Bible into English was illegal and permission was denied. With encouragement and support of some British merchants, he decided to go to Europe to complete his translation, then have it printed and smuggled back into England.
In 1524 Tyndale sailed to Hamburg, where he translated the New Testament. In Cologne, he found a printer but tragically he was betrayed and the press was raided. Tyndale himself managed to escape with the pages already printed and made his way to the German city Worms where the New Testament was soon published. Six thousand copies were printed and smuggled into England. The Catholic church sought to eradicate the Bibles and some were burned but the Bible in English had arrived. Tyndale’s translations, it would turn out, became decisive in the history of the English Bible, and of the English language. Nearly a century later, when translators of the Authorized, or King James Version, debated how to translate the original languages, eight out of ten times, they agreed that Tyndale had it best to begin with.
In May 1535, Tyndale was betrayed and enticed away from the safety of his quarters. He was taken to the Castle of Vilvorde outside Brussels, the great state prison and accused of heresy. Interrogated by the special commissioners of the Holy Roman Empire, the process took months. And while in prison Tyndale wrote this: “Let it not make thee despair, neither yet discourage thee, O reader, that it is forbidden thee in pain of life and goods, or that it is made breaking of the king’s peace, or treason unto his highness, to read the Word of thy soul’s health—for if God be on our side, what matter maketh it who be against us, be they bishops, cardinals, popes.”
In early August 1536, Tyndale was condemned as a heretic, defrocked from the priesthood, and delivered to the secular authorities for punishment. On October 6, 1536, after local officials took their seats, Tyndale was brought to the cross in the middle of the town square and given a chance to recant. As he stood at the place of execution his last prayer was “Lord, open the King of England’s eyes!” Then he was bound to the beam, gunpowder added and the wood set ablaze.
Today William Tyndale, is known as the father of the English Bible. Not only was Tyndale’s translation of the Bible to have an immense impact on the English language with phrases still in use today, more significantly, it was to prove a key moment in the English reformation. Still today many editions of the Bible are still inspired by the same desire to make the Bible’s message of salvation clear to the proverbial ploughboy.
As we seek to move forward as a church, we need the same conviction of Tyndale: the word of God will do all the work. Our task now is to ensure that in the pulpit, in our small groups, in the youth and children’s ministry, in the songs we sing, in our evangelism, and our Sunday School classes, the word of God is clear. Is the gospel accessible? Does the visitor, the 4th grader, the non-seminary educated businessman, the 85 year old retiree or the teenager understand the word of God? Or is the teaching too complex? Too lofty? And is our church life gospel focus somehow shrouded in rules, expectations and traditions? If we want the word of God to draw the outsider and save the lost we must also be vigilant to moralistic legalism. The only way to life, salvation and growth is the word of God. Let’s pray that our church will be the kind of church Tyndale would call home and where all the Bible is taught for all of life in such a way that even the poor ploughboy could understand.
For His Glory,
- April 3 | The Kingdom Rejected – Mark 6:1-29
- April 10 | God the Redeemer is Here – Mark 6:30-56
- April 15 | Good Friday – Communion 7pm
- April 17 | Easter Guest Sunday – Hope for a Hopeless World w/Communion
- April 24 | The Heart of the Matter – Mark 7:1-23
You have all heard the joke about the pig who suggested all of the animals do something nice for the farmer. He didn’t enjoy the chicken’s suggestion of eggs and sausage. This Easter morning (April 17) you can sample both (we didn’t ask the pig). Not only do you get to sleep in a bit and not cook, you won’t even have to serve yourself. The youth of Leidy’s Church will happily serve you all the cackleberries, tube steaks, and taters you can eat. In other words, come and enjoy the eggs, sausage, and potatoes. The youth are throwing in some fresh fruit for good measure and for vitamin C. All of this deliciousness is starting at 8:00 and wrapping up at 9:30, so come early and eat a lot.
There will be an opportunity to give a donation for this breakfast. All proceeds will go to support Christians in the Middle East.
From the Pastor of Youth & Children
At a recent retreat, the youth spent a little time looking at Micah 7. This is the passage that ends with a wonderful declaration of the Lord advocating for His people. However, the passage does not begin in such an auspicious way. It says, WOE IS ME! FOR I AM LIKE THE FRUIT PICKERS, LIKE THE GRAPE GATHERERS. THERE IS NOT A CLUSTER OF GRAPES TO EAT, OR A FIRST-RIPE FIG WHICH I CRAVE. One musician poetically describes this as being a fruit picker who arrived after the harvest. There is no fruit. Later on in the passage, Micah describes the hands of people as being equally skilled at evil. This is a pretty bleak picture of life. How do we survive and live in such an environment?
Interestingly, Paul also speaks of fruit in the opening chapter of his epistle to the Romans. After describing his calling and his ardent desire to go to Rome to strengthen the church by giving it spiritual gifts, he says that he is expecting upon his arrival to receive fruit from the Romans. I do not think Paul was expecting a welcome cornucopia full of the freshest Mediterranean fruits upon his arrival. Instead, he expects through the course of his ministry to see the signs it is working in the lives of the Romans.
I believe, affirm, preach, and do declare that faith is a gift from God. It is not something that can be given by another person. Parents, though they greatly desire it, have no ability to make their children come to faith in Christ. Faith is not something that can be taught. All of the knowledge in the world is easily maintained apart from faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Faith is not something that is mustered. I cannot build my faith as though it is a muscle. It is a gift. Like all gifts, faith is not earned. It is received as a gracious act.
This, then, leads to an awkward question. If faith is a gift which is received, how can Paul so boldly expect to see and receive the spiritual fruit of his labors from the Roman people? These two ideas seem to be at odds. On the one hand, faith is from God, and no one can know the mind of God. On the other hand, Paul seems to expect that his ministry will produce results. Each of us, as the Lord places opportunities to serve in various ministry capacities, need to wrestle with this very question. Will ______ ministry be effective? Can we know for certain?
The answer to Paul’s expectation resides in the scope of his ministry. In Romans 1:9 it says FOR GOD, WHOM I SERVE IN MY SPIRIT IN THE PREACHING OF THE GOSPEL OF HIS SON…. Paul serves the Lord by the preaching of the gospel of his son. Paul’s focus is on preaching the Word of God. Paul rightly knows what the Word of God does. The prophet Isaiah, ministering more than 700 years before Paul, has the same understanding. He writes that the Word of God will not return to the Lord as void. It will accomplish all that the Lord desires. To put this another way: the Word of God is God’s. I know that sounds silly, but it means that the Word of God communicates what God wants it to. When you or I communicate, our speech or writing may be full of miscommunications, malapropisms, and solecisms. The Word of God accurately and perfectly communicates everything the Lord desires. This means that it has the perfect effect that the Lord lays out for it.
Paul, preaching the Gospel and presenting the Word of God to the Romans, expects that it bears much fruit in its hearers. Throughout the Reformed Tradition the preaching of God’s Word is an ordinary means of grace. It is ordinary because it is speech. However, it is a means of grace. This communicates that the Lord who reveals Himself through His Word continues to give grace to His people through its reading and proclamation.
Can we really know for certain that a ministry or effort is going to be entirely effective? No, we cannot. However, we trust that the Lord will continue to speak through His Word by His Spirit into the hearts of nonbelievers bringing them from death to life. Therefore, we seek to have our ministries shaped and formed by the Word of God. Small Groups, iBLAST, VBS, Women’s ministries, men’s ministries, worship ministries and all other efforts need to communicate the Word of God. They need to be focused on displaying the truths of the Scriptures and allowing the Word of God to seep into the souls of the hearers. We seek to communicate the whole of the Bible as it applies to all of life, particularly as it all communicates the life, death, and resurrection of Christ Jesus. In light of the Lord’s purposes through His Word, we continue to labor knowing that our labors in the Lord are not in vain.
To the Praise of His Glory,
More Guys You’ll Want to Meet
Many members of Leidy’s Church pray regularly for the Erukula, an Unreached People Group in India. We are undergirding spiritually the labors of 12 Church Planters who are working among them. As was the case last month, this month we’ll introduce three of those Church Planters. We introduce them by stating their name, age, and marital status. Following that, we simply print their testimony as each was written. These fellows are committed to working full time among the Erukula people. Here are the three for April:
- Mr. G. Ragavendra is a 39 year old married man, but has no children. He was baptized in 2012 and has been in ministry since then. Here is part of his testimony: Basically, I am from Hindu family religion. For 10 years we are suffering with financial crisis. Later on, through my mother-in-law, I came to know about prayers and she shared her witnessing. When I am pursuing my degree a pastor used to teach me the love of God and His great things in the Bible. He shared many things like this. Even though he tried to get me into God’s way, I don’t even know how to read the Bible. One day while I am thinking about my family problems and remembering the pastor’s words, I started reading the Bible. Later I decided to be in God’s service. I promised to God that I would give my life for preaching His Word and the Savior who saved and healed me.
- Mr. Y. Bramhaiah is 35 years old, married, and has two daughters. Baptized in 2006, he is engaged in ministry since 2020. Here is part of his testimony: We are Hindu family background, praising Bramhendra Swamy is our family god. I came to know my mother was in a serious condition when I was in a college hostel. I forget the name of the ministry who came to our hometown preaching, but I heard about a public meeting which was held in my village. I attended those meetings and found peace within my soul. As I felt so good, I shared my experiences with my grandmother. After a while I decided to be in God’s service. Then I decided to spend my life for preaching the Gospel.
- Mr. Y. Yesobu and wife have two sons. He is 30 years old and was baptized in 2013. He’s been engaged in ministry since 2017. Here is part of his testimony: I am from Hindu religion, thereby I don’t know about God and His sacrifices towards us. My mother became part of a Christian fellowship. I used to fall sick frequently in the year 2012. I was frequently hospitalized, so I decided to die. One fine day I was listening to songs on television and by that song I came to know about God’s love on us. From then on I decided
We recently received the report on the first quarter of ministry by the 12 Church Planters. Over those three months they contacted a total of 2,892 adults and 1,949 children. There are 70 persons who are seekers and 34 have asked Christ Jesus to be their Savior. Five have taken the dangerous step of being baptized and 27 are preparing for baptism. A total of 15 prayer cells have been formed.
Let us remember to pray for these men. They are on the front line of evangelistic outreach and are very much aware of the reality of opposition to what they are doing. If you would like to see a picture of the 12 Church Planters, just visit our Mission Picture Wall on the east side of the narthex, just outside the doors into the Fellowship Hall.
The Creator & Designer
Psalm 19 tells us to consider the heavens the work of the Lord’s hands. Truly the Lord is a God of great imagination and awe inspiring wonder. When Christians look around, they often see and hear created beauty in every imaginable place. This summer’s VBS will be an exploration into the God who made us and His great purposes for us. Come and join us June 20-24 as we seek to proclaim the gospel to kids (Kindergarten through 5th grade) all around the neighborhood. As we love the kids of Souderton, Telford, Franconia and beyond, we are going to need a whole heap of help in setting up, feeding, cleaning, and tearing down.
If you would like to help, please contact the church firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know. Also, be on the look out for more information in the coming weeks.
Thirty Pieces of Silver
During the Lenten season Leidy’s Church members put aside daily or weekly offerings for the Thirty Pieces of Silver. We have designated Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday as the time period for you to bring in your Thirty Pieces of Silver offering.
This year’s funds will help be going to the Good Samaritan Fund which helps the people in our church family and beyond.
Ladies of Leidy’s
Please join us for our monthly meeting on Tuesday April 5th. We will be meeting in room 123 at 7pm. Ed and Mary Tornetta will be coming to the meeting to tell us about their ministry; Hands In Service. Hands In Service fosters alliances among charitable organizations to distribute supplies and resources for individuals and communities in need. They also form short term mission teams to provide evangelism, construction, medical aid and education.
Hope you will be able to join us. Please contact Debbie Schatz with any questions about Ladies of Leidy’s.
A Praying LifeTM Seminar
A Praying Life Seminar – Learning to pray in a distracting world. The seminar takes place at Palisades Community Bible Church, Revere, 8730 Easton Rd., Revere on Friday-Saturday, April 1-2. Cost is $10 per person. You can register at seeJesus.net/events, or visit www.PCBchurch.com.
Many of us are quietly defeated in our private prayer lives. We’ve tried praying, but it just doesn’t seem to work. So we feel a combination of frustration and guilt. In this seminar, we will learn step-by-step how to begin a private life of prayer in fellowship with our heavenly Father. This seminar is not for victorious Christians, but Christians who often find themselves defeated in the trenches. It deals with such practical questions as . . .
- How do you stay focused when you are distracted with so much to do?
- How do you pray longer than five minutes?
- How do you pray when your own life is messed up?
- How do you as when you’ve tried it before and it doesn’t work?
Delving into our frustrations, we look at Jesus’ powerful yet simple teachings on prayer. We practice becoming child-like, patterning after Jesus’ own teaching and style of praying. We learn to ask our Father anything – with eyes wide open to the story he is creating in our lives. Further practical tools and helps are explained and demonstrated. Throughout the sessions people have time to pray, making real what they learned.
Blood Drive at Leidy’s Church
The Red Cross Mobile Blood Unit will be at Leidy’s Church on April 5h to receive blood donations from 2 to 7 pm from people who have registered as donors. There are two ways you can register as a donor. First, you can sign up for an appointment by going directly to the Red Cross website, which is www.redcrossblood.org and click on “Find a Blood Drive” and then go to the box type listed as leidyschurch. (no spaces or apostrophe). When you click on that link, you will see the times available to schedule your appointment. The second way to sign up is by calling the church office or signing up in the narthex before or after the worship service on Sunday mornings. Also, there are options of blood donation one can choose, from the normal red plasma to donating blood platelets. The amount of time may vary depending on the procedure, but the average completion time is between one and one-half to two and one-half hours.
Extra precautions will be in place to preclude the spread of the virus, such as
- Pre-screening questionnaire to ensure donors were not in contact with the virus.
- Pre-donation temperature screening of donors.
- Disinfection of donor cots and sanitizing of all supplies between each donation.
- Social distancing protocols of donation space and waiting areas.
- Staff wellness and protection procedures.
We want to thank everyone who sign up to donate blood at the spring blood drive.
The Proof of the Pudding
It’s a wonderful phenomenon when God confirms His Word by the working of the Holy Spirit. In another article in this Newsletter, three more of the Church Planters working among the Erukula people were introduced. Wouldn’t it be interesting to have some insight into what their ministry actually consists of? Yes, it would! Below is the testimony of a woman who was converted under the ministry of Mr. Y. Bramhaiah. Read it, and you’ll the proof of the pudding.
My name is Kamalavathi and I have four sons. My husband works as a dilly coolie and supports our family. We are born Hindus and worship Rama. For the past four years I was possessed by an evil spirit. We lost peace in our family. Many problems came in our family and our children also became ill and faced many problems. To ward off the evil spirit we went to forest goddesses like Gangamma Thali, but it was no use at all.
Around this time a pastor visited our village preaching about Jesus Christ. His name is Y. Bramhaiah. [Ed note: Read his testimony in another article in this Newsletter!] He prayed in the name of Jesus and said that the evil spirit will leave and we will come back to normal life again. But I did not believe. But he insisted us to pray to Jesus and that we will receive a miracle and will have peace in our family. He began to visit our family daily for 10 days and prayed over our family. We also spent time in fasting and prayer. We experienced a miracle in our life. The evil spirit left us and I became well. My sons also recovered from their illnesses. Peace prevailed in our family.
We are happy that we heard the Gospel of Jesus and became saved in His name.
Wow! That is a powerful, fresh testimony. When you read Mr. Bramhaiah’s testimony it doesn’t sound like he’s the kind of guy who is going to drive out evil spirits. But it turns out he is! And Kamala (we’ll abbreviate her name and wish the same for another Kamala) is the proof of the pudding which is in the eating. That is to say, she has tasted and seen that the Lord is good. Blessed are those who put their trust in Him! Praise God that we have a small part in that work of God over in India. Let’s pray for such work to continue.
On Wednesday, March 9th, the Consistory of Immanuel Leidy’s Church met, and minutes were taken during the meeting, from which salient notes are listed below.
Ken Merritt opened the meeting in prayer and led devotions on the topic of knowing the mind of God. Ken read 1 Corinthians 2 and Isaiah 64 and then talked about God having wonderful things prepared for those who come to know Him by faith, which is not discerned by mere human understanding, but by illumination of the Holy Spirit. As a Spirit led believer, we can listen and respond to God’s will revealed and declare God’s truth to others. Those living in unbelief are spiritually blind and cannot know the things of the Spirit, but rejects the things of God, thinking it as foolishness; but those living in the Spirit understands God’s revelation truth. When we pray asking what the Lord Jesus wants us to do, the Spirit reveals God’s truth to us.
Minutes from the February 9th 2022, were reviewed and then approved by Consistory.
Jeff Schatz presented the monthly financial report for February 2022, noting that the General Fund has a healthy balance with weekly contribution being at a consistent level with increased attendance. Renovation Fund continues to have a good balance with no disbursements during the month of February. It was noted that the Mission House property maintenance is over budget, and the reason being that some appliances needed to be replaced. On a motion made and seconded, the financial report was approved.
Update on the wicking and steeple issues were presented by Jeff Schatz and Pastor Steve citing the steeple flashing and caulking repairs are working and will continue to be monitored in the future. Jon Swartley, Joe Horton of Penn Builders, Rick Stamper of RKCO architect, Jeff Schatz and Pastor Steve met to discuss the progress and schedule to complete the wicking project on the affected interior walls of the church building. Penn Builders provided a detailed report on the progress, and their plan to complete the process of preparing the interior walls for sealing using epoxy coating applications. The additional coordination and scheduling between Penn Builders and church will be done for the project’s completion. Questions were asked about warranty on the work, and insurance coverage, which could not be determined, but will be investigated and reported to Consistory. A request was made that Penn Builders provide a statement of all work that was done at the completion of the project.
The HUB property subdivision committee met to discuss how to proceed since a new vision for the HUB property of a Classical Christian School is now being pursued. Initial data concluded that the sub-dividing of the deed must be stopped due to zoning requirements. The church leasing the HUB informed us they will not renew their lease agreement this spring. Another interested church is being considered as its replacement. The HUB sub-committee is planning to meet with this group in March to discuss this option.
The HUB Fellowship Hall roof and adjacent area replacement, church parking lot repairs, and Mission apartment repairs were discussed, and proposals were submitted to Consistory. Revised quotes for roof replacement and parking lot were presented and approved by Consistory. The apartment repairs will be addressed. A quote was issued to replace the set of faulty steeple lighting, and it was suggested other estimates be obtained before we proceed on the repairs.
An announcement to pray about the need to fill two elder positions on Consistory for the 2023-2026, which will addressed at our next Spiritual Council and Consistory meeting is April.
Classical Christian School Vision was presented by Pastor Tony, who explained the need for a school in our immediate area. There is already a demand for a classical Christian school, as families are traveling great distances to attend other schools located in Philadelphia, Princeton, and Pottstown. The proposed date for formulating a classical Christian school would be the fall of 2023.
Pastor Steve and Pastor Michael submitted their monthly reports with highlighted events.
Other committee reports and items of business were discussed. Missions Committee highlighted the Mission month schedule for March. Fellowship Committee highlighted plans for luncheons to be reinstituted, and events like the Iron Pig outing to be organized. Property suggested a workday to clean up the flower beds and to spread mulch in the spring. Christian Ed Committee cited good attendance at i-Blast and plans for VBS this summer. Consistory approved a display system to erect vinyl signage on the property facing Cherry Lane. Church & Community Committee reported on a “Gospel Tech” workshop to be held on April 30th. Care Committee mentioned preparation for the Confirmation luncheon on June 5th.
We concluded the meeting with intercessory prayer for certain requests and concerns and adjourned after praying together the Lord’s prayer at 10:48 PM.
New City Catechism
Question 18: Will God allow our disobedience and idolatry to go unpunished?
No, every sin is against the sovereignty, holiness, and goodness of God, and against his righteous law, and God is righteously angry with our sins and will punish them in his just judgment both in this life, and in the life to come.
Ephesians 5:5-6: For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.
Commentary – Charles Haddon Spurgeon
Not to punish the guilty were to exact the penalty of suffering from the innocent. Think what an injury and injustice would be inflicted upon all the honest men in London if the thieves were never punished for their roguery. It would be making the innocent suffer if you allowed the guilty to escape. God, therefore, not out of arbitrary choice, but from very necessity of rightness, must punish us for having done wrong.
When Paul preached before Felix and Drusilla, he essentially had three points—righteousness, self-control, and the judgment to come (Acts 24). The fact that Felix and Drusilla were in an adulterous relationship did not prevent Paul from speaking very clearly about the justice of God. It was, if you like, almost a hallmark of his preaching. At the end of his address in Athens he says the same thing: “[God] has fixed a day on which he will judge the world” (Acts 17:31). The bible makes it clear that we won’t escape detection or conviction or sentence forever. There is going to be a payday.
The idea that God is too kind ever to condemn sin and that everyone in the end will go to heaven does not actually find a basis in the Bible itself. Paul’s warning in Ephesians 5 is to those who have professed faith in Jesus, so that they will not pay attention to those who suggest other than what he’s teaching them, namely, that this day will come—a day that is fixed, a day that will be absolutely fair, and a day when the judgment rendered will be absolutely final.
Prayer: Righteous Lord, if we think that we are good, we deceive ourselves. We deserve your wrath. We have broken your commands, and we have not loved you with our whole hearts, minds, and strength. We can only plead the righteousness of Christ and ask you to let our punishment fall on him. Amen.