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REDEEMER Reformed Presbyterian CHURCH

UNPROFITABLE SERVANT

So likewise you, when you have done all those things which you are commanded, say, "We are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do." - Luke 17:10

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Sunday, May 16, 2010

His Name
Dear Congregation,
Recall our verse of the month,

But these are written that you may believe
that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God,
and that believing you may have life in His name.
John 20:31

Life in His name.

I am writing this from the home of my mother's first cousin, Mintie Shugarts, married to Ron Shugarts, in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, home of the world famous Punxsutawney Phil who looks for his shadow every February 2nd.  It is the town where my mother was raised in the faith of Jesus Christ by an entrepreneur father, William Allison Gibson, and a nurse trained at Temple University in Philadelphia, Hannah Mary Maud Moore Gibson.  William Allison Gibson ran the Standard Pennant Factory which produced college pennants and athletic letters for varsity athletes across the east coast. With all the names flying around, you can tell that I and my forebears like names, viz, Edward William Bertholf Suffern.  

Names point to things for me, the Kathryn in  Kate's first name, has that particular spelling because a dear cousin on my father's side bears that name.  Gayle is after Lois's middle name Gail, but with a "y" to match the "y" in Kathryn, meant to be two flowing loops below the line when writing her signature in cursive.  Her second middle name, Kooistra, is Lois' maiden name, because Lois' influence is just as important as mine in helping Kate become the woman of God we are thankful she is becoming,as we rejoice that she is now a graduate in history and music from Grove City College.  Suffern speaks to the fact that I am her father, and head of the family of which she is part, and she will bear that "last" name until she joins in marriage, Lord willing, to a godly husband.

But the wonderful, liberating reality of faith in Christ, is that we have life in His name, not ours.   ". . . Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God and that believing you may have life in his name."

As forgiven people, we can walk in a new life of relationship with God, since "Jesus" saves his people from their sins - Matthew 1:21   Believing in his name assures us that no matter what we have done, no matter what we have left undone, we find forgiveness through His sacrifice at the cross.

As a people expecting the "Christ" (promised One), we can rest in a life thanking God for actually sending Jesus in the flesh, Jesus who was and is, very God of very God, the "Son of God", begotten, not made - Colossians 1:19 - For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell.    God invaded human history by taking on our flesh.  All the fullness of God, not a sub-creature, but instead the pleroma, the fullness of absolute deity, in the flesh was Christ's.  God withheld nothing of Himself to live His life out among us, showing us what it is to be truly human in the way that God created humanity to be in the Garden of Eden.  And it is into His image that we are being conformed day by day (Romans 8:29), so that over time, as we are sanctified, we can live richer and deeper lives.

Belief in Christ, belief in the promised One, means that we look for the second coming of Christ.  We expect the promised One to come.  Our present life is lived in expectation, that this life on earth is not all that there is, but we expect a "savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ" -Philippians 3:20 - A SAVIOR FROM WHERE? FROM HEAVEN!    The end time reality of a coming Savior, continuously, powerfully, leads us forward with hope in his arrival, no matter what is happening in our lives now.  As you face various situations in your life take heart !

It doesn't matter what your name is.  The ground is level at the foot of the cross.  It is through believing in His name that we live life to the full !

Please pray for Elder Eldrid Page who was afflicted with pancreatitis, and is presently at Glens Falls Hospital.

We're back home late tonight, Lord willing.

In His Name,
Pastor Ned
10:02 am edt          Comments

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Dunkirk recidivus
Dear Congregation,
God was so good to the Suffern family over the past six days and the
past six months.  For more than six months I enjoyed 21 Helen Drive,
first as the beneficiary of Marilyn and Jack's healthy cooking and
eating, complete with packed lunches "for the road", and then the last
four months, living there with my family as Lois made a home for us as
we enjoyed the hospitality of Jack and Marilyn's house when they were
down south.   The closing process was a "crunch", two full months from
contract to closing, but God brought us through, and we are thankful
for Jack and Marilyn's encouragement that the carpets be cleaned and
painting would be done at the new house before we moved into 47 Hidden
Hills Drive, Queensbury, New York 12804.  Thank you Elder Jack and
Marilyn !

A band of dynamic painters(brushing and rolling !), cleaners, chain
sawers, rakers, hedge trimmers, sweepers, power washers, "go - fers",
Wall Street Journal Window Washers, rug shampooers, sap and paint
scrapers, gutter cleaners, branch haulers, and hand truck suppliers
has swept through 47 Hidden Hills Drive, and has spruced it up
significantly. Our real estate agent from Prudential Manor Homes,
Scott Newell even dropped by with his wife to scrub the back deck, and
yesterday afternoon he was here again to help us move some heavy items
like a refridgerator and freezer.

At one point on Friday morning, a "fleet" of four small trailers was
moving our belongings out of the two storage units that had been
filled with furniture last October and November by willing volunteers
back then.  Many small loads, many hands, much continuous,
uninterrupted movement, all in the right direction nearly emptied the
units. That's what Dunkirk looked like in MAY of 1940, exactly seventy
years ago as the beaches of Dunkirk France were emptied of the British
Expeditionary and French troops massed there before they were ferried
across the English Channel to safety.

http://www.ramsgatelifeboat.org.uk/dunkirk-evacuation.htm

(There's a great movie I'd recommend to you to rent sometime that I
studied in England for an British film course at the University of
East Anglia.   The Academy Award winning movie is called Mrs. Miniver
and it stars Greer Garson and includes the evacuation at Dunkirk.)

There were young sailors and old who helped cross the English channel,
and our moving team from Big Boom Road to Hidden hills included those
from four to nearly eighty.

Thank you to one and all who helped us prepare the house. Amazing work
accomplished in the area of painting - - so neat and professional, and
in the areas of moving, no accidents and no damage to anything that
was moved. The place smells clean and  looks clean.  I feel like I can
look through the windows to see pine trees that seem close enough to
smell.  Thanks to the women who walked with Lois through every aspect
of the moving process, the men who inspired me, and the children and
teens who have blessed our daughter and son.

And as the rain pours down today, with everything safely inside, I am
so thankful for the excellent weather we had yesterday.

Thank you for everyone for your prayers, and thank you to those who
provided delicious food through the week, and muscle, words of
encouragement and a smile.  Several people arrived in shifts
throughout the afternoon who provided a much-needed "boost" to the
moving effort.

We received strength from God.  "Do not sorrow, for the joy of the
Lord is your strength" - Nehemiah 8:10

We have a baby shower to go today, my niece's first expectation of
motherhood.  Tomorrow's morning sermon will be on how mothers make
disciples.

See you soon, either tomorrow, or through the summer sometime.   Lois
and I, Johanna and John and Kate and Rachel from a distance, are
thankful for the RRPC church family
In Christ,
Pastor Ned
10:18 am edt          Comments


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Redeemer Reformed Presbyterian Church
548 Luzerne Road * Queensbury * NY * 12804 * 518-798-9794