October 27, 2021October 28, 2021
November 24, 2021November 24, 2021
Dear Pine Glen Church Family,
Jesus is Lord! Wherever you are at, and whatever you are doing, the reality of the reign and rule of the Lord Jesus Christ makes all the difference in the world. We live in a world that ignores and rebels against the reign of Jesus, but as Christian’s we celebrate it.
The last few weeks have been busy around here at Pine Glen. On October 31, we hosted Rev. Stephen Kwakye during both our adult Sunday School class, as well as during morning worship. Pastor Stephen told us about his gospel ministry in his home country of Ghana. He also preached a stirring message that challenged our congregation to earnestly seek the Lord through prayer and fasting. Indeed, this was a message that our church needed to hear.
Then on November 3, we had our annual meeting. If you remember back to 2020, our meeting was cancelled because so many in our church were sick with COVID. I praise God that He brought us through that challenging time. The last year has not been easy, but God’s grace has been amazing and He is teaching us what it means to be the Body of Christ. God is calling us to do life together as the family of God and that involves getting to know one another and ministering to the needs of one another. During our annual meeting, the desire to move in that direction was affirmed in different ways. We want to be a worshipping, discipling, and caring church so that we can honor God and reach Mifflin County with the gospel of Jesus Christ. I will be talking more about that on Sunday as I preach on John 13:34-35. 34 tA new commandment uI give to you, vthat you love one another: wjust as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. 35 xBy this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.
Not long ago, I was reading my favorite prayer book called “The Valley of Vision” when I read a particular prayer, and I thought it would be appropriate to share it with you.
O My GOD,
Thou fairest, greatest, first of all objects,
my heart admires, adores, loves thee,
for my little vessel is as full as it can be,
and I would pour out all that fullness before thee in ceaseless flow.
When I think upon and converse with thee
ten thousand delightful thoughts spring up,
ten thousand sources of pleasure are unsealed,
ten thousand refreshing joys spread over my heart,
crowding into every moment of happiness.
I bless thee for the soul thou has created,
for adorning it, sanctifying it,
though it is fixed in barren soil;
for the body thou hast given me,
for preserving its strength and vigour,
for providing senses to enjoy delights,
for the ease and freedom of my limbs,
for hands, eyes, ears that do thy bidding;
for thy royal bounty providing my daily support,
for a full table and overflowing cup,
for appetite, taste, sweetness,
for social joys of relatives and friends,
for ability to serve others,
for a heart that feels sorrows and necessities,
for a mind to care for my fellow-men,
for opportunities of spreading happiness around,
for loved ones in the joys of heaven,
for my own expectation of seeing thee clearly.
I love thee above the powers of language to express,
for what thou art to thy creatures.
Increase my love, O my God, through time and eternity.
As you can tell, the language is a bit dated and that’s because it is a Puritan prayer book, but it is rich and powerful and is a reminder that we have much to be thankful for as Christian’s. We take a lot for granted, but if you are in Christ, then you are the richest person alive! I love what Paul writes in Philippians 3. “Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord” (Philippians 3:8). This Thanksgiving (and always), take time to count your blessings. Let’s not forget all that Jesus has done for us (Luke 8:39).
Pine Glen Church family, let me encourage and challenge you to be in the Word day by day. God has spoken! And it is our great privilege to hear Him every time we open our Bibles. One of the trends that concerns me that I hear from some Christian leaders is along the lines of “Jesus has fresh revelation for us today.” But these same leaders are often ignorant of the revelation that has already been given in Scripture or are living in outright disobedience. How can we expect fresh revelation when we are ignorant of the truth of Scripture? The simple reality is…..we can’t. Rather, we must be like the Berean believers (Acts 17:11). We should receive the Word with all eagerness but test everything. We hold fast to what is good, and discard what is not (1 Thessalonians 5:21).
I am so excited and optimistic about the future of Pine Glen Alliance Church. God is at work and moving in our midst! Yes, we have been through some tough times, but we have a solid foundation to build upon for years and decades to come.
Let me close with a couple verses from Isaiah 55. “Seek the Lord while he may be found; call upon him while he is near; let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord, that he may have compassion on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon” (Is. 55:6-7).
Love in Christ,