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"For he is the minister of God to thee for good (speaking of those in governmental leadership). But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil." Romans 13:4.
We are admonished also by the Scriptures to be in prayer for our leadership. This passage reminds us to be in submission to and support the justice that God has ordained for our leaders to carry out. In a recent speech made by Alabama State Auditor, Beth Chapman, she was quoted as saying, "If my memory serves me correctly, it was not the movie stars or musicians, but the U.S. military who fought on the shores of Iwo Jima, the jungles of Vietnam, and the beaches of Normandy. Tonight, I say we should support the President of the United States and the U.S. Military and tell the liberal, tree hugging, Birkenstock-wearing, hippy, tie-dyed liberals to go make their movies and music and whine somewhere else. After all, if they lived in Iraq, they wouldn't be allowed the freedom of speech they're being given today. Ironically, they would be put to death at the hands of Sadam Hussein or Osama Bin Laden. I want to know how the very people who are against war because of loss of life are the very same people who support abortion?!
"They are the same people who are for animal rights but are against the rights of the unborn. The movie stars say they want to go to Iraq and serve as human shields for the Iraqis. I say let them buy a one way ticket and go... I thank God tonight for freedomthose who bought and paid for it with their lives in the pastthose who will protect it in present and defend it in the future. America has remained silent too long! God fearing people have remained silent too long!"
I personally believe that those who want to take God off our money, out of our schools, courthouses and government should leave this country and move to where they would be more comfortable and where their philosophy will eventually take them. A communist country, like Russia is a good starting point!
Tom Flannery in an article in the Carbondale News is quoted as saying, "It has been said that the difference between a liberal and a conservative is that the liberal feels sorry or makes excuses for a maniac who breaks into his house, rapes his wife and kills his children; the conservative shoots him dead even before he gets through the door. That's one reason why so many conservatives are hawks when it comes to the impending war against Saddam. We see that there's a maniac getting ready to come through the door to kill, steal and destroy - and we don't think he should be allowed to do so. Our freedoms were God-given, paid for by the blood of our ancestors, and we also don't believe that genocidal maniacs or their terrorist friends should be allowed to take them from us for their own ruthless, barbaric, godless pursuits. This is why we are fighting, and why we must keep fighting, for as long as the threat remains... But I recently read something that should serve as a sober reminder to all of us at this critical time for our country. It says: "It's the soldier, not the reporter, who gives you freedom of the press. It's the soldier, not the poet, who gives you freedom of speech. It's the soldier not the campus organizer, who allows you to demonstrate. It's the soldier who salutes the flag, serves the flag, whose coffin is draped with the flag that allows the protester to burn the flag! "May we never forget it," and may God bless America!
The Lenten Spiritual Journey that took place on Sunday, March 23 at Brooklyns Universalist Church was driven by the healing needed in the world. The original intent of the service that enjoyed Meditations from Rev. Sandy Kraft of the Springville United Methodist and Dimock Community Church and Rev. David Riley of New Milford Baptist Church was to reflect the spiritual healing and renewal of Lent.
Rev. Christianson, center, is seen passing candles of peace, flanked by Rev. Riley on his right and Rev. Kraft in the background on the left.
It took on a very special meaning after war was declared in Iraq the week before.
Rev. Kraft reflected in her sharing, which included a reading taken from Isaiah, on the suffering and healing that must take place not only where we live but in the Middle East where are troops are involved with fighting and the people of Iraq are suffering. Rev. Riley passed on wisdom, tempered with humor, of how we are all challenged and looking at personal healing in many areas of our lives.
During the time of prayers, blessed service and special poetry (the latter included an original piece by Rev. Ralph Christianson, pastor of the First Universalist Church, written in Washington, DC). The mood of the church was uplifting and resonating with the needs of all the people of the world.
The long rays of the afternoon sun shone through the windows of the Brooklyn Church, illuminating the interior and the band members of the Penn Gospel Jazz Band. Keeping within the context of the day, they accompanied the members of the congregation who were gathered to sing songs of the spirit which included, but were not limited to How Great Thou Art, My Faith Looks Up To Three, Breathe On Me Breath of God, Sweet Hour of Prayer and Amazing Grace.
Keeping in mind the hour of the present situation within all who gathered and focusing on prayers for a compassionate end to the war, the ministers lit candles that were shared with the congregation. It was a time for reconciliation and preparation for the bounty of Easter coming in April. It was a thoughtful group of people who left the church, walking out into a beautiful Spring day of possibility.
Lenten organ meditations are scheduled at the First Presbyterian Church, Montrose, for noon April 9 16. The team of Richard and Evelyn VanAuken, church musicians and teachers from the Lehigh Valley area, will present the first of these events. Sarah Bertsch, who originated these organ meditations about ten years ago, will be featured on the second date. Both days the meditations will be followed by a free soup and bread luncheon, and all are invited to share this worship and time of fellowship. Rev. Chuck Link will open the time with a brief prayer. All are welcome.
Word of Life Bible Institute's Second Year Vocal Ensemble, The Victory Ensemble, will be performing at South New Milford Baptist Church, 7 p.m. on April 5 and 8:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. on Sunday, April 6. The Victory Ensemble will present a rally and concert, singing traditional and contemporary Christian music. Mr. Brian Donley, Director of Music at Word of Life Bible Institute, has a master of music degree and has directed the music at Word of Life since 1977.
The Victory Ensemble, a group of men and women in their second year at the Word of Life Bible Institute, travel to churches, schools, and special events testifying in word and song of their love for Jesus Christ. Don't miss The Victory Ensemble singing in concert at South New Milford Baptist Church on April 5 and 6! The church is located on Rt. 848 approximately 1 mile west of Interstate 81.
The Great Bend Hallstead Lutheran Church, 302 Main Street, Great Bend, PA, will hold services on Palm Sunday at 8 a.m., and Easter Sunday at 8 a.m. On Good Friday there will be a Tenebrae service at 3:30 p.m. The Good Friday and Easter Services will be led by Rev. Bode. Everyone is welcome to join. For further information call (570) 879-5154.
Voices of Praise, a select group of nine young ladies from Practical Bible College, Johnson City, NY, will be at the Bridgewater Baptist Church on Sunday, April 6, 10:45 a.m. These singers have voluntarily committed their time to develop their music skills in order to minister and represent their college in area churches. Each spring they travel throughout New York and Pennsylvania to encourage and uplift through music and testimony and are excited about serving the Lord in this manner.
The people and pastors at Bridgewater Baptist Church, located on the corner of Church and Spruce, Montrose, invite the public to attend worship with them on Sunday, April 6, 10:45 a.m., and be blessed by this inspiring group of singers. For more information or directions, call the church office at (570) 278-2352.
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