July 23, 2021July 28, 2021
August 26, 2021August 26, 2021
Dear Pine Glen Church Family,
Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! I trust you are well these days and enjoying the summer. As you probably know, we were away last week in Ohio. We had a great time visiting family, friends, and seeing some sights. It is always great to be back, however, and I especially felt that last night during our prayer meeting. Once again, we had the opportunity to sing, pray, and be fed by God’s Word. What a privilege!
In case you missed the Sunday morning service (like us), be sure and listen to the sermon online if you can. Brother Todd Knable gave an excellent word from Philippians 3. You can find the link here: https://pineglencma.org/sermons-archive/not-works-but-christ/
Just a reminder that we will be restarting our Sunday School program October 3rd. This has been a long time coming as the last time we held SS was in October of last year. Our leadership is super excited about this development and I hope you are too. It is important for us to take every opportunity we can to grow in our knowledge of the Word and the gospel of Jesus Christ. Sunday School is not a substitute for Sunday morning worship, but it is an opportunity to go deeper in the Word of God and grow in your faith. More details will be given as we get closer to that start date.
This is going back a couple weeks, but Steph and I would like to thank you for your generous anniversary gift in late July. We had a wonderful day together, and we are very grateful for our Pine Glen Church family. You are a blessing! I would also like to thank those of you who have reached out and inquired about helping us to move into our new house. The details are starting to come together. Our official move date is September 25th, which is a Saturday morning. As you can imagine, we have a lot of packing to do, but at least we don’t have to move far. Our new house is less than a mile from where we live. I am so thankful for God’s providential workings in making this move a simple as possible.
Just a couple more things before I sign off. For many of you, this message will not be relevant, but if you are on Facebook, I wanted you to be aware that at the end of this month, we will be shutting down our “group” Facebook page. For some time now, we have had a regular “official” page, along with the “group” page, and it has become difficult to manage both of these Facebook pages. If you are only familiar with the group page, you can still comment, share, and receive updates from the official page. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me.
Lastly, I wanted to take you back to my annual report that was distributed in March. In it, I gave three biblical priorities for our church. Here is a review:
A Worshipping Community
We want Pine Glen to be a place where Sunday morning worship really matters (Hebrews 10:24-25). Rather than people looking for excuses to stay home Sunday, we want our people to be excited about corporate worship! Sunday morning affords us the opportunity to hear the Word of the Lord, praise His holy name, and fellowship with God’s people. If you are a genuine believer, that should be exciting and energizing to you!
Additionally, we want our people to have the perspective of “worship as a lifestyle.” Yes, corporate worship is critically important, but worship happens every day, even every hour, and not just Sunday morning. One of the practices I never tire of emphasizing is “Family Worship.” Parents with young children (particularly fathers) need to be discipling and shepherding your children and pointing them to the gospel of grace (Psalm 78:1-8, Ephesians 6:4). But it is not just for parents of young children. Couples can worship together through the week simply by reading Scripture, singing hymns and praise music, and praying together.
Our great God is holy (Isaiah 6:1-7, 1 Peter 1:15-16)! Do we know the awesome God that we serve? Do we worship in spirit and in truth (John 4:23)? We want visitors to have the sense of, Wow, “Surely the Lord is in this place” (Genesis 28:16).
A Discipling Community
As a church, we need to get serious about the Word of God (2 Timothy 3:16-17). The fact that the Living God, Creator of Heaven and Earth, wrote a book should be incentive enough to “take up and read.” If God has spoken (which He has), it should be our great business to read, listen, and receive the written Word.
Verse by verse, chapter by chapter, Bible exposition (1 Timothy 4:13) will always be central to how we work at PGAC. That is not the only way that preaching and Bible studies are approached, but it is the primary way.
Discipleship is all about “growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:17). If we are going to succeed in this then we must find ways to come alongside one another in order to better follow Jesus (Titus 2:3-4). Furthermore, we want to grow in our understanding of the glorious gospel of grace (Romans 1:16-17). The fact that God saves sinners by His grace should never cease to astound and amaze us (1 Timothy 1:12-16).
Lastly, we know that God has called us to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:18-20). While we start with our Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria (ie: Mifflin County), we don’t stop there (Acts 1:8). God has called us to reach the ends of the earth, which is why we support global missions in every possible way.
A Caring Community
Simply put, relationships matter! People matter! One of the things you have heard me say before is the simple maxim “people over programs.”
Right now, there is a tremendous need for us to minister to one another. We have about two dozen widows, several widowers, and many others who are grieving deeply. The church needs to be the church. The Bible says, “always seek to do good to one another and to everyone” (1 Thessalonians 5:15). The Bible says, “Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep” (Romans 12:15). The Bible says that true religion is, “to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world” (James 1:27). There are a lot of people hurting and weeping in our midst and we want to be mindful of them.
As is evident from these three priorities, we are a “community” that does life together. Let me encourage you to show hospitality to one another (1 Peter 4:9). If ever there was a time for the people of God to come together in love, now is that time. Jesus said, “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35).
As long as I am pastor of Pine Glen Alliance, I will strive to ensure that those three priorities are at the center of who we are and what we do as a church.
Finally, I want you to know that I love you and care about you church family. You are very dear to my heart.
Until next time,