July 2019 Newsletter

News and announcements from the Immanuel Leidy's Church community.

Pastor’s Column

We know rules always change. Rules are made to be changed, right? Consider the world of athletics. Recently our family had great fun watching You Tube videos of baseball players arguing with umpires. Players and managers deliberately and repeatedly kicked dirt on umpires while arguing. They went nose-to-nose with umpires, yelling epithets and making certain plenty of saliva was spewing and splattering as they made their views known. It was fun to watch because you cannot see that anymore. The rules were changed, and players and managers are no longer permitted to behave so outrageously (and entertainingly). [Note: Since this column was written the Phillies manager was ejected from a game because he kicked dirt on the umpire! The manager received a standing ovation as he left the field.]

That’s not all: rules for pronunciation change. From my perspective most folk make an error when they pronounce the word “err.” They pronounce it as “air” rather than as “er.” When congregations sing God Moves in a Mysterious Way, they sing the last verse as Blind unbelief is sure to err and one hears sure to air. But the corresponding line that’s meant to rhyme is God is His own interpreter. We wonder if we’re supposed to sing interpretair! To my way of thinking to air sounds human, to err sounds divine. 

How about definitions? Not long ago I was scolded for using the term “girlie.” I often use it when referring to my daughters or granddaughters or other younger girls. I always understood it as, and used it as, a term of affection or endearment. Well, the term has changed its meaning. Now, it mostly is used to refer to scantily clad women, as in a girlie show. I looked it up in my copy of the Oxford English Dictionary and my understanding was correct. But I have an old copy! Newer dictionaries rarely list that old dictionary meaning I use.

I could go on and list discipline after discipline, field after field, and each would have regularly changing rules! Another word for changing the rules is “updating.” Don’t you love it when your phone or computer gets updated! You get to learn new ways to do things. We may grumble and grouse about it, but we make the adjustments and in a couple of days we can’t remember what it was like doing things under the old rules.

It really does seem as though the old line from the 1960s is spot-on: the only absolute is that there are no absolutes. Things change and we need to change with them. In most instances that is true. But, we must watch out lest we confuse our categories. Here’s what I mean: we dare not mistake manners for morals, nor morals for manners. It’s an old stratagem of the devil to encourage us to make such a categorical error.

Johnny Stoltzfus, who worked for decades among the First Nations people of Ontario, experienced this confusion. Early in his ministry he took a journey with some First Nations men. They were using dog teams and sleds for transportation, then sleeping in tents at night. It’s pretty cold up there, so Johnny made sure to gather plenty of wood to keep his fire going through the night. The First Nation men did not do so. When their fire started burning down, then they would go out and gather wood for it.

Years later he and those men reminisced about that trip. He explained to them how at the time he thought they were lazy [that’s a moral category] because they didn’t gather wood ahead of time like he did. They laughed and said back then they thought he was lazy because he didn’t want to get up in the night and go out to get wood! Both Johnny and the First Nations men had come to see that gathering wood for the fire was a matter of manners not a matter of morals. It didn’t matter when the wood was gathered, so long as it was gathered! It would have been a matter of morals if they had stolen the wood, or, if they kept the wood from others to the extent the others froze to death. 

We have seen massive cultural changes in recent years, changes in manners and changes in morals. Most folk have gone along with the changes in both categories. Why? Because we’re not able to distinguish properly between the two categories. Since change is the way the world works, we accept changes in both categories; we fail to distinguish between manners and morals.

There is a good way to make that distinction. All we need to do is think of the Ten Commandments. Written in stone by the finger of God [Ex. 32:16; Deut. 10:4] to tell us we can be certain these are matters that do not change. Pointing in two directions, toward God and toward our fellow man, they serve as the unchanging moral basis for our relations with both. 

First, we need to know there is only one God, the God of the Bible. As Psalm 96:4-5 expresses it: For great is the Lord and greatly to be praised, He is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the peoples are idols, but the Lord made the heavens. Why do we need to know this? Because there’s a charge given in verse 3 of Psalm 96: Declare His glory among the nations, His wonderful deeds among all the peoples. God’s vision has always been for the nations. His people have always been called to be a missionary people. Hence, we find Paul telling the highest reaches of Grecian society about the true God, the One who made heaven and earth, and they are not to think God can be rightly represented by images of gold or silver or stone. Since Paul’s time the gospel has spread to many nations, calling each to forsake their gods and believe in the one, true, living God.

This means our religious life is not a mere matter of manners, but is a crucial facet of our moral life. We cannot and dare not be relativists in matters of faith. 

Second, we need to know the ethics [how we relate to others] of God’s Law do not change. Jesus was very clear about this: Do not think I came to abolish the Law . . . For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law. [Matt. 5:17-18] God has an ethical rule that applies to all people groups, a rule that is not about manners, but about morals. As Paul told the Greeks, God has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness, through a Man whom He has appointed. [Acts 17:31] 

Cultures are always changing. Rightly do we accommodate ourselves to this reality. But we must accommodate ourselves only in terms of manners, never in terms of morals. Sports rules change. Pronunciations change. Definitions of words change. Yet in a world of change, God’s moral law [how we think of/relate to God and how we relate to other folk] does not change. 

A good passage of Scripture to consider in thinking about these things is Psalm 96. Read it. Memorize it. Meditate on it. It’s a wonderful way to direct your heart into the love of God and into the steadfastness of Christ. 

In the Joy of the Lord,
John H.C. Niederhaus

July Pulpit Schedule

July 7th
Taking Hold of Hope
Genesis 20:1-7; Galatians 3:6-9; Hebrews 6:13-20
Hebrews 6 has one of the scariest passages in the Bible. It speaks of those who “have fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance.” That is a no-hope passage! Hebrews 6 encourages us to be imitators of Abraham who through faith and patience inherited the promises of God. Examining Abraham’s chart of faith reveals several blips of unfaith. Those blips can help us in our walk of faith. Sometimes we need a good “bad example.” Abraham also had plenty of good “good examples.” Like Abraham, we need to have hope as an anchor for our souls. 

July 14th
Jesus: A High of Everlasting Hope
Romans 3:19-31; 1 Peter 3:13-18; Hebrew 7:11-28
We focus our hopes in something or someone. We hope that our family stays healthy. We hope that friendships last. We hope our jobs remain the source of income to pay bills and feed our family. We hope that when trouble comes, things will work out in the end. The problem here is the objects of such hopes are unreliable and temporary. None of these hopes bring lasting consolation. We, like the Hebrews, need to learn where hope finds its rest; only a firm faith in Jesus Christ gives lasting hope. Let’s see why Jesus is our everlasting hope for time and eternity!

July 21st
Jesus: A Better Ministry of an Improved Covenant
Galatians 2:23-29; Colossians 2:8-23; Hebrews 8:1-13 
How many of us are guilty of thinking that no one can do things quite the way we can? This attitude is exposed when we’re doing home projects. A family member or neighbor comes by and asks to help. We politely decline the offer because we would rather do it ourselves. The Hebrew Christians are instructed that reliance on past religious rites of OT Law, done by human effort, will never suffice. Like the Hebrews, we must steadily live trusting and depending on the excellent ministry of our exalted high priest who ratified an improved covenant with God.

July 28th
Blood: The Way into The Holy Place
Leviticus 16:2-16; Ephesians 2:4-7; Hebrews 9:11-15, 24-28
Are you one of those people who cannot stand the sight of blood? Some among us simply cannot stand the sight of blood: their own, other people’s, or even animals. It makes them squeamish and lightheaded. If you were the high priest in Israel, you would have learned very early to be comfortable with blood. Each year the high priest would have to offer bloody sacrifices for himself and for the people. The author of Hebrews talks about blood as the way to enter the Holy Place. Should we start raising sheep and bulls to be near the Lord, or has Christ done this for us?

August Pulpit Schedule

August 4th
Within the Veil
Psalm 27:4-6; 1 John 1:5-10; Hebrews 10:1, 10-14, 19-22, 26-36
Everyone’s heard of the good cop—bad cop routine. The bad cop threatens and intimidates, but the good cop listens and encourages. Hebrews 10 is a bit like that. On the one hand it says, “by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified.” That’s really good news. Yet, a bit later it says, “it is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” That sounds more like really bad news than really good news! We need to know both statements are absolutely true. It is difficult to hold on to both at the same time. We can only do so by going within the veil. 

August 11th
Seeing the City
Psalm 46; Romans 15:4-6, 13; Hebrews 11:1-16
Take some time and remember the lives of great folk of faith you find in the pages of the Old Testament. Folk like Noah, Abel, Sarah, Enoch, and Abraham. What was it that enabled them to be such bastions of faith? We want to take a close look at the first part of Hebrews 11, the chapter called the Hall of Fame of Faith. We’ll see it mattered what they saw. For they saw much more than met the eye. Looking at the world around them, they were able to identify something more. What they saw and acted on made God not ashamed to be called their God.

August 18th
Men of whom the world was not worthy? You’re kidding
Judges 11:4,30-40; Psalm 14; Hebrews 11:17-40
The first half of Hebrews 11 is populated by figures we’ve come to know and respect, folk who were looking for the city of God. The second half of Hebrews 11 is a different story. It includes folk of questionable status. Nonetheless, they are called men of whom the world was not worthy. How can this be? They sinned; they deserved the wrath of God. How can we celebrate them? Well, though sinful, they had faith in Christ. God worked deliverances through them. We are, thus, thankful for their faith. We need to be responsive to the same grace, for it extends to us as well.

August 25th
Jesus: The Author and Perfecter of Faith
Isaiah 40:27-31; 1 Corinthians 9:24-27; Hebrews 12:1-17
The title of this message comes directly from the book of Hebrews; and why not, for it says it all! Jesus is our Savior. He has fully atoned for our sins. He graciously offers salvation to sinners. He graciously grants salvation to those who repent and believe in Him. Just as they needed Jesus in their time, so we need Jesus today in our time. As a matter of fact, we will need Jesus for all of eternity! As we examine the Bible texts chosen for today, we will gain a better understanding of why we give thanks to God that Jesus must be, and is, The Author and Perfecter of Faith!

Youth Fellowship Pool Parties

Since this is the July Newsletter, that means Summer – glorious Summer! – is a reality. Because such is the case the Youth Fellowship pool parties are in full swing! If you have completed 5th grade, or any grade subsequent to that, up through 12th grade, just grab your swimsuit and dive right in. We would love to have you! And feel welcome to invite/bring some friends.

The pool parties happen from 3 to 6 on Sunday afternoons. In July we’ll meet on the 7th and the 28th. In August we’ll meet on the 4th, 11th, and 25th. Hamburgers and hot dogs (what about Brats?!) will be provided. Youth are asked to provide drinks and sides.

If your household would like to host some mild-mannered and extremely respectful youth, please contact Pastor Michael. He would like to speak with you!

After Service Luncheons

July’s After-Service Luncheon happens on July 21st. Immediately following the service of worship, a simple, substantial, and satisfying meal will be available in the Fellowship Hall. Everyone is invited to stay. There is no cost. It’s a chance to get to know a person or family you’ve seen but not talked to, or a chance to catch up with old friends, or chance just to relax because someone else has done the cooking and someone else is doing the clean up!

July’s luncheon will be prepared and served by the Small Group that is coordinated by Jerry and BJ Kulp – with maybe a bit of help from another group. They hope you come and enjoy the fruit of their labors.

The August After-Service Luncheon does not have the details worked out yet. In other words, if you’ve been wanting to do one of these, now is the time to speak Josh Heebner or Rich Kapusta or Nathan Kulp and they’ll get you lined up to do your thing in no time! 

Worship at the TLH Community

Leidy’s Church will be leading worship at the Telford Lutheran Community on Sunday afternoon, July 28th. The service of worship begins at 2:30 and ends at 3:15. 

Members from the congregation are always welcome to attend and interact with and encourage the residents who come to worship. Pastor Niederhaus will be preaching and there will be special music as well. Your presence may make it special for others.

July Excursion

On Thursday evening, July 11th, the 2019 rendition of the Short Length Mission Trip – Canada will get underway. They’ll be on a comfortable Perkiomen coach, ready to take a scenic cruise through hilly Pennsylvania, rolling Ohio, flat Indiana, bustling Illinois, verdant Wisconsin, wooded Minnesota, and finally the lakes and woods of western Ontario. Their goal: The First Nation Communities of Pikangikum and Sandy Lake. 

Just as we have supported them in getting all things in place to make the trip – from finances, to the coloring and cutting of curriculum materials, to cooking food, etc. – they are looking for our support in prayer during the time they’re “in the field.” Below is a list of the participants and the area of responsibility each is assigned:

SLMT Sandy Lake

  • Story: Tony Kapusta [Team Leader] & Ed Schmidt 
  • Games: Collin Radcliff, Julia Martindell, & Sallybeth McClaskey 
  • Guide: Hannah Thompson [also VBS Leader]
  • Crafts: Lorraine Kroesser [Food Coordinator] & Rachel McGowen
  • SLMT Pikangikum
  • Teens: Jim Kinney, Vangie Niederhaus [VBS Leader], Sarah Hillborn, & Nick Smith
  • Upper Grades Story: Michael Nowling [Team Leader], Christian Rau, & Anna Heebner
  • Upper Grades Craft: Wendy Radcliff [Food Coordinator], Peg Seachrist, & Elijah Smith
  • Upper Grades Games: Phoenix Smith & Shae Mahoney
  • Lower Grades Story: Evangeline Smith, Mariah Foote, & Kathryn DiLenge
  • Lower Grades Craft: Ginna Foote, Caleb DiLenge, & Cheyenne Kehs
  • Lower Grades Games: Brandon Kehs, Matt McVaugh, Shawnee Kehs, & Judah Kehs
  • Hall Monitor: Mary Beth Musselman [Designated Meanie]
  • Handyman Work Crew: Rich Kapusta, Steve Paine, Josh Heebner, & John DiLenge

August Excursion

Last July and August no one at Leidy’s Church was aware that Cucuta, Colombia, existed much less knew that it was a growing metropolis of 672,000 people. This July and August one cannot be at Leidy’s Church without hearing about and seeing pictures of Cucuta. Since February Leidy’s Church is working with Iglesias Luz y Verdad in Cucuta to help provide food and gospel teaching to Venezuelan refugees who are flocking to the city. 

Now, however, it is time to put some feet on the ground in Cucuta. There is a Short Length Mission Team departing for Cucuta on the 14th of August. Comprised of six persons, the team will help with all aspects of the Good Samaritan Inn ministry. Team members will be staying in the homes of members from Iglesias Luz y Verdad and learning what life is like in South America in mid-August! 

Here are those team members:

  • Martha Wolgemuth
  • Herb Wolgemuth
  • Steve Marks
  • Sharon Kostishion
  • Emma Coale
  • John Niederhaus

They really don’t know what to expect since we’ve never done this before. They do know it will be hot. They do expect to prepare and serve and clean up on the feeding days. They do expect to interact with others in sharing the gospel in some form. Three of the team members are fluent in Spanish: Emma, Steve, and Martha. Two know their way around Spanish even if they cannot speak it conversationally: Sharon and Herb. And one is perfectly ignorant: John.

This team solicits your prayers. They plan to return on late on August 21st. We’ll look forward to hearing what they have to share.

Women’s Ministry

The Word Alive Conference
Lysa Terkeurst will be at LCBC in Manheim October 11/12th. Tickets are nearly sold out. If you plan to attend please register at LifeWay.com/WordAlive or 800-254-2022.  If you need to carpool, please give your name to the office.

Women’s Leadership Conference
She Leads Ministry has partnered with Lifeway to offer a pre-conference leadership training October 11 at Manor Church (10 minutes from LCBC). Info at moreofhimministries.org  Questions, contact Verna 215-237-1370.

New Precept Class
A new class begins Thursday, September 5th 9-11:30 a.m. The book of 2 Corinthians is about ministry and reconciliation.  In the midst of ministry, sometimes we can become burdened beyond strength and find it difficult to cope.  Paul’s letter tells us not to lose heart and how to be strong in the Lord when accusations and persecutions are directed toward us. If you are new to Precept, please contact Verna (215.237.1370). Workbooks $22.

Ladies of Leidy’s
Meetings will resume on September 3rd. Have a great summer!

Summer Sunday School

This summer the elementary school kids are learning how to share their faith. They’re doing so by memorizing the Romans Road.

But they need your help. Specifically, they need folks to come in and teach a Sunday School lesson or two. If the thought of teaching makes you a little nervous, don’t worry. There is an easy-to-understand curriculum that includes game ideas to play with the kids. 

Help show the love of the Lord to our elementary kids! Teach a class or two!

Within the Fellowship

Congratulations to Michael and Shannon Kehs at the dedication of their daughter, Charlotte Adalyn, and to Ben and Adelaide Weber at the birth of a daughter,  Rebecca Audrey Ann. May God be with them as they grow in Him.

Our sincere Christian sympathy to Jenny Lafty and family at the death of her stepfather. May God be with them at this time.

Red Cross Blood Drive

The second Red Cross Blood Drive at Leidy’s Church for 2019 takes place on Friday, July 26th. The unit will be drawing blood from 2 to 7 pm. There’s always a need for blood, so your donation will not be for naught.

How are these units of blood used? Here’s what Becky Walter wrote recently as their son Brian received a transfusion in conjunction with his chemotherapy treatment for leukemia. 

The tough part is that these meds are hitting Brian hard, as intended. He’s got very low blood counts, and had to have a platelet transfusion today before he could get his shots. Thankfully, the transfusion went smoothly, . . . Very likely by Friday or Monday Brian will need red blood cells, and possibly more platelets next week. We’ll just have to see how quickly his counts drop! 

As I watched Brian receive his platelets today, I could see the bag clearly marked “Voluntary Donor”. It hit me afresh that someone, somewhere, took the time to give platelets, which takes longer, for an unknown recipient. If you have ever given blood or platelets, thank you! If you’re considering it, the Red Cross has many blood drives on in the area, go for it! We are so grateful for the many people who have given blood – Brian has benefited so much from donated blood. On the days he receives red blood cells, the difference is noticeable as his pale face slowly brightens and gains color. His energy level suddenly returns and his headaches dissipate. 

Maybe that will inspire you. If so, there are several ways for you to secure an appointment to give blood. The quickest and easiest way is to go directly to www.redcrossblood.org and in the “Find a Blood Drive” box type in leidyschurch. Click on the link and you’ll be able to see what times are still available. Choose the time that best fits your schedule. Or, you may register before or after church on Sundays at the table in the narthex. The church office also will take calls from folk who want to register to give blood but keep forgetting to do so on Sunday morning and don’t want to go to the website.

If you go to the Red Cross site, you’ll find there are several options for giving blood. The one most folk select is just the regular blood donation. One of the other options is called Power Red. A Power Red donation collects the red cells but returns most of the plasma and platelets to the donor. These donors must meet specific eligibility requirements and have type A Neg, B Neg, or O blood. The final option is to donate Platelets. This type of donation collects the platelets and some plasma and returns the red cells and most of the plasma back to the donor. The donation takes approximately one and-a-half to two and-a-half hours. Again, the bulk of folk choose to make a simple, regular blood donation.

Thanks in advance for your participation.

 Summer Communion Service

Leidy’s Church is mandated by her Constitution to serve the Lord’s Supper at certain designated dates throughout the calendar year. Those mandated dates leave a considerable gap between communion services over the summer months. Hence, it is becoming our custom to have a non-mandated serving of the Lord’s Supper in mid-summer. 

In 2019 Leidy’s Church will have such a summer communion service, one not mandated by her Constitution, on July 28th. Come to worship on that day prepared to participate in the Lord’s Supper. 

Consistory Nominations –

Congregational Meeting

A Congregational Meeting is scheduled for Sunday, August 11th, immediately following the service of worship. The purpose of the meeting is to elect Consistorymen. With one exception, those elected will serve a three-year term comprising the years 2020, 2021, and 2022. 

The Spiritual Council nominates men to serve as Elders. Elders are elected for life and serve thenceforward on the Spiritual Council. Some Elders also serve from time to time on Consistory. That means all Elders serve on Spiritual Council, while some Elders serve on Spiritual Council and on Consistory. Those men being nominated to serve as Elders on Consistory are:

  • Ken Merritt is finishing a three-year term as an Elder on Consistory. He has helped coordinated the activities of the Care Committee. He and wife Connie are involved in many activities at Leidy’s Church. Though he is listed as retired, he still serves as a consultant for airports near and not so near many days of each month. 
  • John DiLenge is being nominated for the office of Elder. He’s already serving as a Deacon on Consistory, but now his designation would change, though his term of office would not. He is still finishing the second year of his three-year term. He and wife Tara are parents of four children. John serves as Liaison with the Mission Committee. He has a sweet job with Godiva Chocolates.
  • Kendall Musselman is being nominated for the office of Deacon. He’s never served on the Leidy’s Church Consistory. Employed by the All Holding Company, he is a ready volunteer for all sorts of working and helping activities in our congregation. He and wife Mary Beth are a dynamic duo who enjoy games of all sorts. 
  • Shaun Permar is a more recent member of Leidy’s Church, though he is a Cherry Lane neighbor. Shaun is being nominated to serve as a Deacon. A teacher in the Methacton School District, he and wife Meghann are the parents of three children. Shaun has an interest in all things educational and historical.

Luke 19 Project Report

On the 31st of March the Mission Committee of Leidy’s Church launched a Luke 19 Project. With Bill Teate preaching/challenging the congregation that Sunday, all those present were given $20 bills. The goal: see how one could grow that $20 over the next 12 weeks.

In the parable Jesus tells in Luke 19 a nobleman gives each of his slaves a sum of money. They’re told to use it until he returns from his journey, at which time he will want an accounting. The slaves vary in the amount of increase the sum of money yields. 

Each of the persons who received the $20 had a different yield. As of June 23rd, though, we can say that $14,030.56 have been returned as yield! That will go a long way toward underwriting the food expenses in Cucuta, Colombia, the rest of this year. There are some who are still working their “crop” and will bring the yield in later. But we praise God for His work in our work to bring forth such a bountiful harvest!

When the SLMT-Cucuta returns, we’ll have a much better idea of just how these funds will be helping folk in need of the food and in need of the gospel.

IronPigs vs. The Tide

What a great night for a ballgame! The last Saturday of July [the 27th this year] is always such a night. So, get your tickets to the IronPigs vs. Norfolk Tides from the friendly Fellowship Committee rep after church. Tickets are only $11 p/person and each ticket includes a $2 voucher towards the purchase of food at the ballpark. We only have 50 tickets, so it’s first come, first served. Those who purchase tickets will be able to get them from their church mailbox on Sunday July 21st

The IronPigs are in the middle of the pack this year. They keep having players whisked off to the Phillies, an action that doesn’t seem to help either team! While the Phillies are keeping their nose above water in the National League East, the IronPigs are playing just below .500. Nonetheless, they have some players who are on the cusp of major league opportunities which they don’t plan to whiff on! 

The Norfolk Tides is the AA team of the Baltimore Orioles. They are mired in the deep mud of the standings, just a little bit worse than the famous Toledo Mud Hens, and a little bit better than the Louisville Bats. We’ll be looking for the IronPigs to romp up on them.

The opening pitch on July 27th is scheduled for 6:35 in Coca-Cola Park. You’ll want to get there by 5:30 or so to see all the pre-game activities. It is the last Saturday night of July and as is always the case for the last Saturday of July, there will be an awesome fireworks display following the game.

And the Verdict is . . . HELP!

This is a Judgement House year and the Somewhat Dramatic Missions Troupe (SDMT) is looking for help! We have a script, but we need all kinds of help. We need:

  • Organizers
  • Actors (speaking and non-speaking roles)
  • Guides
  • Counselors
  • Security personnel
  • Set designers
  • Set constructors
  • People who pray, that is pray-ers
  • And the list could go on and on and on and on  and . . . 

With a list of needs this extensive, we will need everyone’s help. More than 1,000 people will hear the Gospel this October with your help. If you want to help, please speak with Pastor Michael.

Nine Lepers and Dragon Skin 

by Jerri Thompson

I came across a poem of sorts on the internet a while back. It starts, Be the grateful leper. Remember when Jesus healed the ten lepers, and only one came back to thank him. Well, of course, I want to be the one who does that.

However, the second section of this poem begins, And the nine? What happens to them? Is the one who said thank you saved and the other nine sent to hell? Then I started thinking, à la Paul Harvey, about the rest of the story; not just this leper story, but others too. Whatever happens to the rich young ruler who went away from Jesus sad because he had many possessions? Whatever happens to the elder brother in the prodigal son story? Do they ever come to know Jesus? 

The little poem continues, reminding me that God is patient. This is biblical. Second Peter 3:9 says that God is patient, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. So, the other lepers, the rich young ruler, and the elder brother might have other chances to know Jesus. They might ultimately be saved to eternal life if they make different choices in the future.

That’s comforting, but there is even more to the story. There will come a Judgement Day. If anyone waits too long to respond to Jesus’s invitation, there is hell. The children of Israel did wander in the wilderness for 40 years and die. The kingdoms of Israel and Judah did eventually go into exile when they would not listen to God’s prophets; some died there in the foreign lands. In the book of Acts, Ananias and Sapphira did drop dead. Psalm 95 says not to harden our hearts.

That’s sobering. There is this paradox in the Christian life. Jesus is the Lamb of God who died for us sinners. But he is also the Lion of Judah. That reminds me of C. S. Lewis’s comments on his Christ figure in the Chronicles of Narnia, Aslan, the lion. Aslan the lion is not safe, that is, he’s not domesticated, but he is good. We are not. We need Jesus Christ to strip us of our possessions and pride, so we can be saved. 

Another C. S. Lewis illustration is apt. In the Voyage of the Dawn Treader, the character of Eustace found a fortune of gold and in finding it he turned into a dragon. When he realized his greed and tried to scrape the dragon skin off, he could not. There were too many layers. Aslan the lion had to claw it off, and it stung. Afterwards, though, Eustace was grateful.

Only one leper realized he had dragon skin removed. Hopefully, the other nine would realize it later. May we now be people who are grateful for the hard ways God works in our lives too. May we appreciate His patience and reach His heaven with all the other grateful people. 

July Ministries

  • Tape Ministry:
    • 7th Alice Kraus
    • 14th BJ Kulp
    • 21st Denise Kulp
    • 28th Donna Moyer
  • Lay Visitors:
    • 7th Denise Kulp
    • 14th Joan Tawney
    • 21st Diane Gehman
    • 28th Deb Caserta
  • Greeters:
    • 7th Don & Dianne Nase
    • 14th Greg & Sandy Nase
    • 21st Mabel Neal
    • 28th Evangeline Niederhaus
  • Usher Captains: Jim Kinney, Tim Leidy
  • Ushers: George Frueh, Mike Kehs, Tom Kraus, Jack Parry, Ken Ritter, Anthony Sciacca, Nick Sciacca, Andy Tawney.
  • The Emergency Committee for July is  Joe Sciacca.
  • August Ministries
  • Tape Ministry:
    • 4th Mary Beth Musselman
    • 11th Ruthie Niederhaus
    • 18th Ede Rupp
    • 25th Deb Schatz
  • Lay Visitors:
    • 4th Beth Guntz
    • 11th Miriam Weigner
    • 18th Jeff & Debbie Schatz
    • 25th Carl & Jerri Thompson
  • Greeters:
    • 4th Jake & Hannah Niederhaus
    • 11th Pat Niederhaus, Ruthie Niederhaus
    • 18th Bob & Jill Ott
    • 25th Stan & Judy Ott
  • Usher Captains: Nathan Kulp, Ed Schmidt
  • Ushers: Frank Bivighouse, Jim Eakins, Les Pross, Stan Radcliff, Steve Radcliff, Jim Smedberg, Brent Talbot, Francis Weiss, Herb Wolgemuth.
  • The Emergency Committee for August is  Brian Shoemaker.