Take A Stand!
Alexander Hamilton said, “Those who stand for nothing fall for anything.”
Albert Einstein said, “The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything.”
Both of these famous quotes encapsulate for us the necessity to take a stand! Far too long, we, as Christians, have been guilty of being the silent majority. While those who oppose the Bible, Christ’s Church, and God Himself, deviously count on God’s people remaining as the silent majority, when it comes to political, cultural, and moral issues directly impacting our lives on a local or national scale. And when the moral majority shows any sort of collective biblical response to oppose corrupt organizations, these associations of evil scheme use every tool in their twisted toolbox to thwart and shut down all nonconformists with bullying intimidation, falsifying accusation, searing maltreatment, and illegal prosecution.
There are many examples of God’s people taking a stand for God in the rising presence of evil, as noted in the inspired pages of Holy Scripture. These historic cases of men and women taking a stand for God’s truth, justice, and will are so inscribed as examples for future generations of Christ followers to emulate by faith, as they shun and expose evil and embrace and do good, all to the glory of God – 1 Corinthians 10:6, 11; 1 Timothy 1:15-17. Here are a few of those examples to contemplate for yourself.
When Moses was chosen by God to deliver His people from Egypt, he went to take a stand against evil forces entrenched in an idolatrous Egyptian culture, where sorcery, magicians, immorality, and the corrupt sacrificial worship to demonic images of earth and sky were paid homage as gods, and whose Pharoah was esteemed as a god. For Moses, this was a spiritual battle of light against darkness, of truth against falsehood, of good against evil, and only by God’s almighty presence, power and truth would Moses prevail by taking a stand of faith, and God’s people be delivered from slavery, while plundering the Egyptians, so that the people of Egypt shall know that “I am the LORD” – Exodus 3:10-22; 7:1-5.
When David was a young shepherd boy, he was sent to the battlefield with provisions for his brothers serving in Israel’s army against the Philistine armies. The giant, Goliath of Gath, defies the armies of Israel and their God by publicly challenging Israel to choose a man to fight against him. David takes a stand and says, “For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should taunt the armies of the living God?” 1 Samuel 17:26 Then David testifies to king Saul, “Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; and this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, since he has taunted the armies of the living God. “The LORD who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” And Saul said to David, “Go, and may the LORD be with you.” 1 Samuel 17:36-37 David says to Goliath, “You come to me with a sword, a spear, and a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have taunted.” “This day the LORD will deliver you up into my hands, and I will strike you down and remove your head from you.” “… that all earth may know that there is a God in Israel.” 1 Samuel 17:45-46 We read, “Thus David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone, and struck the Philistine and killed him … and took his sword … and killed him, and cut off his head with it. When the Philistines saw their champion was dead, they fled.”
Then there is Esther, who gained favor before a pagan, King Ahasuerus, who made her his queen. A certain man, named Haman, plots against the Jews with a treacherous plan to exterminate the Jews by the king’s decree. When Esther’s advisor, Mordecai, tells her of this plot to kill the Jews, he advises her not to remain silent; “Do not imagine that you in the king’s palace can escape any more that all the Jews.” “For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place and you and your father’s house will perish.’ “And who knows whether you have not attained royalty for such a time as this?”
Esther replies to Mordecai, “Go, assemble all the Jews who are found in Susa, and fast for me, do not eat or drink for three days, night and day. I and my maidens also will fast in the same way. And thus I will go in to the king, which is not according to the law; and if I perish, I perish.” Esther takes a stand coming to the king, and requests that the king and Haman attend a banquet. The king is restless that night, he reads a book of records citing Mordecai’s devotion and the king decides to exalt him by the hand of Haman. When the king asks for Esther’s petition, … Esther replied, “If I have found favor in your sight, O king, and if it pleases the king, let my life be given me as my petition, and my people as my request; for we have been sold, I and my people, to be destroyed, to be killed and to be annihilated.” … Then King Ahasuerus asked Queen Esther, “Who is he, and where is he, who would presume to do thus?” Esther said, “A foe and an enemy is this wicked Haman!”… “So they hanged Haman on the gallows he prepared for Mordecai, and the king’s anger subsided.” Esther 3-7.
We need to know that just as the LORD was with Moses, David, and Esther, granting them grace and faith to take a stand against those who were enemies of the LORD of hosts, so the LORD is with us when we take a stand for Him. As the Apostle Paul reminds us in Romans 8:32-39, “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?” “… Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?” “Just as it is written, “FOR YOUR SAKE WE ARE BEING PUT TO DEATH ALL DAY LONG, WE WERE CONSIDERED AS SHEEP TO BE SLAUGHTERED.” “But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.” “For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” So, with these examples of God’s people, who took a stand, and the strong promise that nothing can stand against us who are in Christ Jesus, let us take a stand for God, His infallible truth, and the Gospel of Jesus Christ against the forces of evil that are in the world. Let us also take to heart what the Lord said to Paul in a night vision in Acts 18:9; “Do not be afraid any longer, but go on speaking and do not be silent, for I am with you … .”
To the glory of God,
Steven L. Myers
May Pulpit Schedule
2nd – Promised Long Ago and Made Manifest at the Proper Time – Titus 1:1-3, Genesis 3:15, Jeremiah 32:37-41, Romans 10:11-17
The Bible is God’s revelation to His people, and it contains far more than just a bunch of facts stitched together. Throughout the pages of Scripture, the history of God’s redeeming work through the ages shines brightly. The Lord Jesus, seated at the right hand of the Father serves as the pinnacle of that redeeming Word. The Lord calls His people to proclaim the truth of the gospel and the hope of eternal life.
9th – Liars, Evil Beasts, & Lazy Gluttons – Titus 1:4-5, 10-16, Ezekiel 33:1-6, Galatians 5:1-6
The people of Crete did not have the best reputation. Paul commissioned Titus to help establish the church and its leaders on the island. Paul makes clear in his letter to Titus that establishing godly leaders is critical to the mission of the church. As our world continues to say “NO” to godliness and “YES” to sin, we share in Titus’ situation (even if we are not on a Mediterranean island). Let us seek out faithful watchmen to minister in our day.
16th – The Search Is On – Titus 1:5-9, 1 Peter 5:1-4, 1 Chronicles 12 S.V. (1, 16-18, 22-23, 32)
The Lord calls His Church to faithfulness to His Word. The Church is to appoint faithful men to lead and teach within the Church. Paul left Titus in Crete to carry out this task. We also must seek to find men who understand the times and who have knowledge of what should be done.
23rd- Pentecost – Church Relationships – Titus 2:1-10, Ephesians 4:11-16, Joel 2:28-32
As Paul writes to Timothy, he gives him instructions for the way people are to behave and treat one another. Left to their own power, sinful people are not able to follow Paul’s instructions. If that were the final word for church life, his words would be our death and destruction. Praise be to God for our Savior Jesus Christ and His Spirit whom He has poured out upon His people.
30th – Grace Comes with Instruction – Titus 2:11-15, 2 Corinthians 5:14-21, Ezekiel 37:11-14
The Gospel is the power of God for salvation. It is the proclamation that the Lord Jesus has lived, died, and rose again on our behalf so that we might not bear our sins. While this great grace is unearned, it comes with instructions. These instructions are given in light of the new heart God gives His people and God’s people follow them by the power of His Spirit at work within them.
Quakertown Women’s Conference
2018 saw the first Quakertown Women’s Conference sponsored by Grace Bible Fellowship in partnership with the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals. It was well received, so another such conference was scheduled for 2020. Nope. It didn’t happen; Covid-19 happened.
Well, there will be a 2021 Quakertown Women’s Conference. We’re virtually certain of it! Make that, we’re certain of it because it will be a virtual event. It happens the third weekend of May, that is the 14th and 15th. The Conference will be livestreamed on Facebook and YouTube.
Contentment in Christ is the Conference theme. Speakers include Kathleen Nielson, Megan Hill, Cecelia Bernhardt, and Hannah Anderson. You may go to www.AllianceNet.org to get bio details on the speakers.
The schedule of the Conference is as follows:
- Friday @ 7 pm Contentment in Christ
- Friday @ 8:15 pm Contentment in Adverse Circumstances
- Saturday @ 9 am Contentment and Riches
- Saturday @ 10 am Pushing Through Loneliness to Contentment
- Saturday @ 11 am God’s Answer to a Complaint
- Saturday @ 1 pm Cultivating Contentment
From the Pastor to Youth & Children
This month, as we continue our look at the various elements of a service of worship, we are going to look at the role of music. For most Christians, using music in worship is as natural as breathing. In fact, worship is often so identified with singing that many people consider the congregation’s singing of songs to be the worship part of the service (which is then followed by other parts). Have you ever considered why we sing each week in the church service? Is it more than merely “what we have always done”?
The Church down through the ages has sung when it assembled to worship the Lord because the Scriptures call God’s people to do so. Consider Ephesians 5:19. It says, SPEAKING TO ONE ANOTHER IN PSALMS AND HYMNS AND SPIRITUAL SONGS, SINGING AND MAKING MELODY WITH YOUR HEART TO THE LORD. Immediately before Paul discusses the way in which families are to love and care for one another, he gives this statement about worshipping the Lord. Central to Paul’s understanding of the idea of worship in the context of a life lived with others is the corporate singing of songs, hymns, and spiritual songs.
As Christians begin to think about corporate singing in worship, it is natural to then wonder what sort of style of singing is best or most appropriate. While there are examples in the New Testament of songs and hymns that the ancient church was singing, Paul also directs the Ephesians to the Psalms. Sometimes when Christians wonder what sort of music they should sing, they forget that there are 150 examples of worship songs given right in the middle of their Bible. The book of Psalms is a series of 150 different songs for worship to the Lord. They come in all different shapes and sizes from 2 verses to 176.
While a full orbed description of all the Psalms goes well beyond this article, if we think rightly about the contents of the Psalms, we will see a breadth and depth of worship that will speak to our soul. Psalm 130 begins with a cry from the depths of woe and in verse three asks a profound question. It says, IF YOU, LORD, SHOULD MARK INIQUITIES, O LORD, WHO COULD STAND? Here the Psalmist is acknowledging that he (and all people have sinned). He is calling to the Lord from the depths of the woe which results from the sins in his life. Fortunately the Psalm does not leave us in our sinful depths of woe. It directs our focus to the hope we have in the Lord and the great lovingkindness that He gives. In short anyone singing through Psalm 130 must think of the gospel as they sing about their own shortcomings in God’s eyes and the hope they have in God’s salvation.
Psalm 8 gives an entirely different perspective. Though equally worshipful, the lyrics are not focused on the sinfulness of man and the lovingkindness of the Lord. Instead they are focused on the way in which God created man after His own image. Specifically, Psalm 8 speaks of the care of the Lord for man and dominion given to man over the rest of creation. Psalm 19, which is also different, focuses on God’s revelation. It first describes how the glories of the Lord are on display in the heavens. It then describes the character of God’s special revelation in His Word. These Psalms (and the other 147) have helped Christians through the ages understand the Lord and worship the Lord using His own words.
As Christians seeking to worship God as He has instructed, we sing because He has called us to sing. As a result, when we sing, our hearts and minds are engaged with those around us as we proclaim the mighty acts of God. The Psalms serve as a wonderful example of the content of our worship. We should sing through them and songs based upon them. In this way, our minds are washed with the words of the Scriptures and our hearts are encouraged by the glory of God and the good news that He saves sinners.
To the Praise of His Glory,
Michael W. Nowling
The week of May 9th is when our Gym will be transformed with all the donated items we have received, and our community is invited to shop for their family wardrobes, linens, jewelry, books, toys, household items, and much more!
The Big “R” actually takes place on Wednesday and Thursday, the 12th and 13th, but much work is done before then as well. Here’s when workers are needed:
- On Monday and Tuesday from 9am to 8pm items are unpacked and arranged.
- On Wednesday (9am to 8pm) we need friendly workers to bag items, serve as cashiers, and straighten items as many shoppers come to make their purchases.
- On Thursday (9am to 6pm) we need the same sorts of workers as Wednesday, plus more! It’s the sales day featuring bags of goods for only $2, quite an attractive deal.
- On Thursday at 6pm we need willing hands and strong backs to transform our facilities back for ministry before Sunday.
Mary Beth Musselman has a schedule she needs to fill, so be sure to speak with her if you can be plugged in at any time to help.
The funds raised at the Big “R” are disbursed where needed at Leidy’s Church and in our community by Ladies of Leidy’s. It’s a big undertaking, and with your help we can make it another great event.
Vacation Bible School
Vacation Bible School is coming back this June. Starting June 21st at 6:00pm kids from kindergarten through fifth grade are invited to come and join us as we dive deep into Jonah. Each night we will make a splash with a family meal starting at 5:15pm and the VBS program will run from 6:00 to 8:30pm. As we look at Jonah, we will see how the Lord calls us to trust Him and His Word.
If we are going to have VBS, we are going to need a lot of help. We will need people to serve as guides, cooks, setters up, tearers down, and a whole bunch more. If you would like to help kids learn about the Lord, His Word, and His people, please contact the church office to sign up. If you have kids who can come, please sign up at leidyschurch.org/children.
Myanmar – or Burma – is much in the news these days. A military coup in February overthrew the democratic government. Massive protests against the coup erupted across the country and met with violent, deadly military response. Tens of thousands of people have fled the country.
Steve and Kelly Marks are missionaries supported by Leidy’s Church. The Marks family serves in northern Thailand. Steve is a veterinarian, hence more than competent in basic medical procedures. He is also a large-hearted Christian ready to help everyone in an emergency. Here is his description of what is happening in Myanmar and the consequences for northern Thailand:
Several thousand people have recently fled Myanmar’s eastern Karen state . . . into Thailand to escape military air strikes. . . . At present [early March], Thailand hosts some 91,800 refugees . . . in nine temporary shelters near the Thai/Myanmar border. All indications are that the refugee crisis . . . will continue to escalate exponentially over the next months.
God has opened a door for us to directly help those refugee families fleeing civil war in Myanmar. . . . As I write these words to you now, my truck (with seats removed for additional space) is loaded with rations. These will be delivered . . . to refugees at the border.
In response to the many needs, Christian Veterinary Missions (CVM) has established a special project fund to aid our partners here in Northern Thailand as they work with local churches to provide immediate and essential food, medical supplies, and temporary shelter for those fleeing civil war in Myanmar. Please continue to pray for peace and for the hope that comes from the gospel to reach those in need.
If you would like to help provide resources for Steve to take to the refugees during this crisis, you may do so by using a Second Mile offering envelope and marking it Thailand Refugees. The church will collect those funds and send them directly to the special project fund he mentions.
In a personal email Steve sent to John Niederhaus on April 20th, he said: Thanks again for your prayers. I just wanted to let you know that yesterday there were more bombs dropped on villages at the Myanmar-Thai border creating a new wave of IDP’s (Internally Displaced Persons) and refugees from Myanmar.
Pulpit Committee Update
As we move into spring, the pulpit committee has seen many changes in the landscape. Back in late winter we had two candidates that we were interviewing and through prayer and discussion we came to the agreement that neither of these men were called to Leidy’s. Since then, we have had a new applicant come forward that we have interviewed over Zoom. We are looking to conduct a second interview with this applicant while we continue to review his sermons on line.
Please continue in prayer for us and use the list below as a guideline. Thank you for your support and encouragement.
Pray for discernment and unity as we conduct interviews
Pray for the Lord’s wisdom to be with us as we review applications
Pray for patience, that we would be comfortable with the Lord’s timing
Pray for wisdom and discernment as we explore new ways to receive applications
Ladies of Leidy’s
LADIES…. Have you ever sat in church and looked up at the beautiful big stained glass window? Have you asked who designed it? Does it have a special meaning? Is it just there to make our church look pretty?
Come to our next Ladies of Leidy’s meeting on Tuesday, May 4th at 7 pm in the sanctuary to hear Miss Ruth Niederhaus answer all our questions about our beautiful stained glass window.
All the ladies of the church are welcome to join us.
Chief of Police to Speak
Randall S. Floyd is the Telford Chief of Police. He is well-known throughout the Bucks-Mont region. Chief Floyd is the featured speaker at the BMCE Business & Professional Breakfast scheduled for Thursday, May 13th. Taking place at the Franconia Heritage restaurant, tickets for the event are $10 for folk from Leidy’s Church. They may be ordered from the church office or by contacting John Niederhaus. Sit down and eat time is 6:30, while get up and leave time is prior to 8 o’clock. All the time in-between is amiable-fellowship, delights-of-eating, and encouraging-words-of-testimony time.
Chief Floyd is better known to most folk as Randy Floyd. A committed follower of the Lord Jesus, his life is marked by a determination to be a help and resource to others, particularly to those in need. Randy has worked to provide freshwater wells in Haiti, is actively involved in organizations dealing with the homeless, and has been a source of counsel and encouragement to numbers of individuals and families. A truly gentle gentleman, Randy is a children’s storyteller at Souderton Mennonite Church as well as a dedicated nursery attendant.
Now is the time for you to order your ticket (and that of the friend or friends you want to bring with you) to the BMCE Business and Professional Breakfast.
Churnings in Chad
The country of Chad is in the news. Unfortunately, not in a good way. The President of Chad, a fellow named Idriss Deby Itno, was killed April 20th, while fighting rebels in the northern part of Chad. As one of Africa’s longest serving leaders, Mr. Deby was President of Chad for three decades and had won another six-year term as President on April 11th. That makes his death all the more unsettling.
Chad is one of the countries Leidy’s Church is praying for as part of the Gospel Gleanings program. Specifically, we’re praying for the churches of Chad as they seek to reach unreached people groups in their land – and Chad has 79 people groups so identified. President Deby was a fervent opponent of Islamist militants. Toleration of Christianity was one of the marks of his rule. Whether that policy will continue is part of the unknown future for Chad.
We should be praying for the entire country of Chad, but especially for Christian Chadians, and particularly for those involved in reaching out with the Gospel.
SLMT ’21 Scheduled
Dates for the two week-long SLMT ’21 work excursions are established, but some of the details remain to be worked out. It’s the first time we’ve done a local SLMT, so be patient with us!
Working with Worthwhile Wear, Leidy’s Church will send teams to build a 16×24 foot addition to an existing structure, to do maintenance on walking trails, and other assorted projects. There will be spots for skilled workers, spots for willing workers, spots for wanting-to-learn-to-work workers, but no spots for lazy, sitting-on-one’s-duff workers! All ages will be welcome; all skills levels are acceptable. All of which is to say, we’re not quite certain exactly what everyone will be doing. But we’re working on it! Remember, be patient.
Two weeks will be set aside for this work: July 12-17 and August 2-7. Those are the dates you’ll want to factor into your summer plans. Those who sign up for July 12-17 are only signing up for July 12-17. Likewise, for those who sign up for August 2-7. Signing up for one week, does not commit the signer-upper to the other week, though there is no objection to folk who want to work both weeks.
Team members will meet at the church each morning and be transported to the work sites. Lunch will be provided by faithful and skilled volunteer SLMT-Lunch-Makers [that’s another job spot]. Lunch will be on-site, though made at the church. Work team members will be transported back to the church at quitting time each day and will spend the evening at their respective homes.
That’s the basics of what’s planned. Lots of details have to be worked out – and thought of or remembered! – and those details will be forthcoming. Be patient. But also, be ready to serve. Get SLMT ’21 factored into your summer plans.
Wrinkle Leads to Stitch in Time
A new wrinkle has developed in the Gospel Gleanings program among the Erukula people group in India. The initial project generated a couple thousand dollars more than needed to underwrite the 3-year literacy, gospel outreach, and church planting program. In conjunction with sage advice from Bill Teate, the Mission Committee authorized our India partner organization GTi Hope to use the extra funds to plug some holes in another literacy program.
Then, the new wrinkle emerged. GTi Hope received a request from the Backward Community Development Society. [That is its name in India and no disparagement is intended or taken.] Knowing that GTi Hope has resources and projects to help folk in very practical ways, they asked to be considered as a possible focus of such a project. Here is part of the letter sent to GTi Hope:
The Erukula tribal villages have been neglected for so many years. They are considered as socially outcaste . . . They are uneducated . . . They are economically very poor and not able to support their family . . . They are living a miserable life. We request you to help us with 10 tailoring machines. Through the tailoring machines they can stitch clothes and earn income for the family . . . We humbly request you to provide 10 tailoring machines for these poor Erukula tribal women.
Tailoring machines, or course, are sewing machines. Ten such sewing machines cost $1,250. You’ll never guess what Bill Teate advised us to do! Yes, he suggested we allow $1,250 of the “surplus” monies from our Gospel Gleanings project be used to provide those 10 tailoring machines. We said, YES!!!
As we continue to pray for the 450 Erukula literacy students, we should also pray for the 10 women who will be getting the tailoring machines. No, we don’t know (at this time) if there is any overlap of the two groups. We hope there is, but we don’t know.
Taking all this together, it would seem that the Lord Jesus has His sights fixed on the Erukula people. Let’s pray for the germination and prospering of all the Gospel seeds being sown among them.
Pastor Jésus Ramon is our In This Time of Need liaison in Venezuela. Every Saturday he goes to the needy areas of the city of San Cristobal sharing the Good News and bringing food and other help to the people. That happens every Saturday come rain or shine [they don’t have snow].
But, it didn’t happen on Saturday, April 10th. What came that week was the birth of a little girlie to Pastor Jésus and his wife Caroline! The little girl’s name is Bella. She is the third child of the Ramon family, joining her two older sisters who are overjoyed at her arrival.
As you pray for the Leidy’s Church outreach to Venezuela via the In This Time of Need program, give thanks to God for the birth of Bella and ask the Lord to continue to provide for and bless Pastor Jésus Ramon, his wife Caroline, and their three daughters.
On Wednesday, April 7th, the Consistory of Immanuel Leidy’s Church was called to order at 7:30 PM, and minutes were taken of the meeting, from which relevant notes are listed below.
Kendall Musselman led devotions on the topic of helping those less fortunate than ourselves. He explained how the Bible instructs about the poor and other people in need. Some of the Scriptures cited were 2 Corinthians 9:6; James 2:15-16; Matthew 5:42; 6:2-4; Luke 6:38 and finally Luke 10:35-37, which is the parable of the Good Samaritan. Kendall challenged us to be thinking on how we can help those who are poor and in need instead of turning our heads away.
Minutes from the March meeting were reviewed and then approved. The financial report for the month of March was presented by Ron Moyer, who remarked about the General Fund and the March’s expenses, that ended with a healthy fund balance. He also reviewed the Renovation Fund disbursements and balance, along with the contributions and disbursements of the Good Samaritan Fund and the disbursing of funds designated to the Haven of Hope and Every Good Gift that were collected last Christmas Eve. Payments to companies involved in the removal and replacement of the HUB oil tank were noted. The financial report was approved.
Items of business included the wicking and steeple issues, the parking lot and sidewalk repairs at the HUB, the church parking lot repairs, the pulpit committee update, a notification about deacon nominations, and a brief discussion on COVID policy, which was deferred until our next meeting due to insufficient data and consensus among Consistory members. A new member being received on April 11th, the Eagle Scout benches project update, and the water heater repair inspected and operational were all discussed and affirmed by the Consistory.
Pastors’ reports were submitted with discussion about the repaired old soundboard disposition to try to resell, retain for other applications, or give away to a ministry in need. All three avenues will be examined, and a report submitted at our May meeting. Also, a reminder to Consistory to sign-up for one of the two shepherd meetings scheduled for April 22nd or 24th .
Other committee reports were reviewed, with property asked to have the high traffic carpet areas cleaned. This cleaning will be discussed and executed by our maintenance supervisor as scheduling permits. The Mission and Church and Community Committees are planning a local SLMT ministry project with Worthwhile Wear in the July/August timeframe. The Christian Ed Committee is planning a summer Sunday School program that will highlight a variety of missionaries we support as a church.
Discussion ensued on rescheduling a Consistory Retreat, Rummage Sale, and Pentecost Communion on May 23rd. Kendall Musselman prayed for enumerated concerns after which the meeting was adjourned with a unison prayer of the Lord’s Prayer at 9:18 pm.
The New City Catechism
Question 8: What is the law of God stated in the Ten Commandments?
You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below—you shall not bow down to them or worship them. You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God. Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Honor your father and your mother. You shall not murder. You shall not commit adultery. You shall not steal. You shall not give false testimony. You shall not covet.
Exodus 20:3 – You shall have no other gods before me.
Commentary – John Bunyan
The danger doth not lie in the breaking of one or two of these ten only, but it doth lie even in the transgression of any one of them. As you know, if a king should give forth ten particular commands, to be obeyed by his subjects upon pain of death; now, if any man doth transgress against any one of these ten, he doth commit treason, as if he had broke them all, and lieth liable to have the sentence of the law as certainly passed on him, as if he had broken every particular of them. . . . These things are clear as touching the law of God, as it is a covenant of works: If a man do fulfill nine of the commandments, and yet breaketh but one, that being broken will as surely destroy him, and shut him out from the joys of heaven, as if he had actually transgressed against them all. . . . Though thou shouldst fulfill this covenant or law, even all of it, for a long time, ten, twenty, forty, fifty, or threescore years; yet if thou do chance to slip, and break one of them but once before thou die, thou art also gone and lost by that covenant. . . . As they that are under the covenant of grace shall surely be saved by it, so, even so, they that are under the covenants of works and the law, they shall surely be damned by it, if continuing therein.
Because God created and loves us and knows what’s best for us, he give us moral and spiritual direction about how to live life in the best way. The Ten Commandments are a love gift to us from God. Of course this is true of all Scripture, but the heart and soul of God’s guidance is found in the Ten Commandments. God spoke the words to Moses, and they were overheard by the children of Israel (Exodus 20). Later, Moses restated the Ten Commandments (Deuteronomy 5). The Ten Commandments are to be memorized, pondered, and committed to as a way of life.
Jesus taught and clarified the deeper meaning of the Ten Commandments for us. As he explained the Ten Commandments in the Gospels, he raised the bar on or understanding of what God expects of us. For instance, in Matthew 5:21, Jesus explained the meaning of the commandment not to murder. He said that actually anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment.
The first four commandments deal with our relationship with God, and Jesus summarized them as: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” The last six commandments address our relationship with our fellow man, and Jesus summarized them as: “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Matt. 22:37, 39).
The commandments are our treasure. We cherish them. They’re a great gift, a love gift from God. They guide us. They warn us. They protect us. When we keep them, we show others what God is like. When we fail to live them, we bring great harm to ourselves and we dishonor our Maker.
We have a problem keeping the Ten Commandments because man is born in bondage to sin and selfishness. And in the end we cannot help but break God’s holy law. But when we become a new creature by faith in Christ, we receive the indwelling Holy Spirit. We’re freed from having to sin, and we’re given the grace to keep God’s law. Keeping God’s commandments is not onerous but helps us live at peace with God, with ourselves, and with our neighbors.
We can learn to live out the Ten Commandments as we realize that they’re God’s gift to us. It’s like learning to tell the truth. When you’re young, you sometimes feel that you must protect yourself by deceiving others and not telling the truth. You learn as time goes not to deceive others. We learn to speak the truth. We learn to practice honesty.
That’s why the prophets loved God’s law and why we should, too. Keeping the Ten Commandments protects us. It protects society. These principles are at the heart of how God created us to live.
Primary Election Day is May 18th
Primary Election Day is a Tuesday as always, this year it falls on the 18th of May. Leidy’s Church serves as a polling place for two precincts. Both precincts vote in the Fellowship Hall, so it will not be available for our use on that day or from mid-afternoon the day before.
Primary elections often are not well attended, especially in off-year elections. That may not [and ought not] be the case this year. There are four ballot questions this year, two of which are generating much interest. Below is a summary of each.
Question #1: This is a statewide referendum (as opposed to a constitutional amendment) that would allow municipal fire departments or companies with paid personnel, as well as EMS companies, to apply for a loan through an existing state-run program for volunteer companies. The money can be used to modernize or purchase equipment. [There is no apparent opposition to this amendment; most voters are expected to vote Yes.]
Question #2: Currently, only PA’s governor can end a disaster declaration such as is currently in place for the Covid-19 situation. State law gives the General Assembly the option to pass a resolution to terminate the declaration, though the PA Supreme Court ruled last year that the governor still gets to make the final determination. The legislature can only overturn a governor’s veto with a two-thirds majority vote. The proposed Constitutional Amendment would allow a majority of the legislators to terminate such a declaration at any time without the governor’s consent. [This is a hotly debated topic. A Yes vote gives the legislature the final say; a No vote leaves the governor with the final say.]
Question #3: This question asks voters to amend the PA Constitution to limit a disaster declaration to 21 days. It could only then be continued with the consent of the legislature. Currently, a disaster declaration lasts 90 days and can be renewed as many times as deemed necessary by the governor. This measure would also prevent the governor from issuing a new disaster declaration based on the same or similar facts. [The other hotly debated topic. A Yes vote strictly limits a governor’s power to arbitrarily grab power for more than 21 days; a No vote leaves things as they currently are.]
Question #4: This proposal amends the PA Constitution to enshrine discrimination protections to Pennsylvanians based on race and ethnicity. [There is no apparent opposition to this amendment; most voters are expected to vote Yes.]
So, make up your mind about Questions 2 and 3, then get some exercise by going to the polls and exercising your right to vote on the 18th of May.
Usher Captain Coordinator: Francis Weiss
Usher Captains: John DiLenge, Shaun Permar
Ushers: Lorne Slack, Dave Doran, Bob Hager, Christian Rau, T. Dale Leidy, John Rittenhouse, Brody Keeth, Drew Weiss, Phoenix Smith, Alex Hager, Ben Smith, Lucas VanDerbeek, Tom Leidy, John Leidy.