This site is devoted to providing teaching, admonition, encouragement, and information to my people at Faith Presbyterian Church, Gainesville, Florida. Pastor Marion Clark.

Saturday, January 31, 2004

The Passion of the Christ Opportunity 

Tomorrow I will be making a pitch to raise $1,000 in two days for advertising. This is something I rarely do, but I believe in what I am trying to accomplish. We have a tremendous opportunity in a few weeks to reach people wanting to know about Christ. They will be those who have seen the movie, The Passion of the Christ. The $1,000 is to pay for ads on the movie screens of the Regal Theatre for 4 weeks during the running of the movie. It will advertise a website: www.gainesvillepassion.com that we are now producing for outreach. Can you help?

Here are some responses of previewers:

"Scores of the young people in attendance at Prestonwood – young, media-savvy, almost impossible to impress, X-Cube playing and MTV-watching 20- to 30-year olds – wept after the film. I was reminded of the only other time I had seen reactions of that sort occur in a theater: among veterans of World War II when "Saving Private Ryan" concluded. Those veterans wept because they had lived the drama they had just seen, and they were recalling the intensity of the conflict and the sorrow it entailed. Many Christians will weep in response to "The Passion of the Christ" for similar reasons, and millions more will more deeply understand the sacrifice their God made for them."

Michael Medved: Jack Valenti, who has served for almost 40 years as president of the Motion Picture Association of America, hailed The Passion as one of the greatest movies he had ever seen, and a sure bet as an Oscar contender.
When I watched the rough cut, I also felt overwhelmed by its lyrical intensity and devastating immediacy: the suffering of Christ (superbly portrayed by the haunted and haunting Jim Caviezel) becomes almost unendurable. The much-derided decision to force the international cast to deliver the lines in Aramaic also works brilliantly, emphasizing the almost unbridgeable distance between the world of first-century Judea and our own.

Paul Harvey: From the gripping opening scene in the Garden of Gethsemane, to the very human and tender portrayal of the earthly ministry of Jesus, through the betrayal, the arrest, the scourging, the way of the cross, the encounter with the thieves, the surrender on the Cross, until the final scene in the empty tomb, this was not simply a movie; it was an encounter, unlike anything I have ever experienced. In addition to being a masterpiece of film-making and an artistic triumph, "The Passion" evoked more deep reflection, sorrow and emotional reaction within me than anything since my wedding, my ordination or the birth of my children. Frankly, I will never be the same. When the film concluded, this "invitation only" gathering of "movers and shakers" in Washington, DC were shaking indeed, but this time from sobbing. I am not sure there was a dry eye in the place. The crowd that had been glad-handing before the film was now eerily silent. No one could speak because words were woefully inadequate. We had experienced a kind of art that is a rarity in life, the kind that makes heaven touch earth.

Film director: I’ve seen an advance screening of Mel Gibson’s controversial new film, The Passion of the Christ. It was a digital projection with a temporary soundtrack and no special effects. Doesn’t matter. It was still the most moving and memorable portrayal of Jesus Christ that I have ever witnessed.

Matt Drudge (on being asked if it is anti-Semitic): This is the ultimate film. It's magical. Best picture I have seen in quite some time, and even people like Jack Valenti were in the audience in tears at this screening. There was about 30 of us. It depicts a clash between Jesus and those who crucified him, and speaking as a Jew, I thought it was a magical film that showed the perils of life on earth.... and those of us, every single person in there, and I'm not talking about tears, I'm talking total tears.

The Passion of the Christ 

Check out this article by movie critic Michael Medved, an Orthodox Jew: click

Friday, January 30, 2004

Getting Ready for Sunday 

The text is 1 Corinthians 10:6-13, the sermon "Temptation." The specific temptations mentioned are idolatry, sexual immorality, testing God, and grumbling. If you are thinking that it sounds like an uncomfortable message, you are mostly right. I'm squirming while writing it. However tough you might think it is listening to a sermon about sin, trust me; it is more uncomfortable preaching against what you know you are just as guilty of.


Up to 20 respondents, Today is the last day for counting. I am trying to get a handle on how useful this site is. If you have yet to do so, it would be very helpful if you would move your mouse to the top of the right hand column where it says "Email Pastor Clark." Click it, which should take you to your email server. Then click "Send." That's all. If you are having problems, go to your email server, type in my address (mclark@fpc-gnv.org), and click "Send." Thanks.


So, I am typing away, coming to the conclusion of Sunday's sermon. It looks good. I am on a roll, when in midsentence the screen freezes. To make a frustrating story short, I lose the application part of the sermon and have to start over. There are times I see the advantage of the Arminian position. I could have blamed Satan for the attack, claiming that he was trying to sabotage a good sermon. Then I could have appealed to God for sympathy. Instead, my conversation with God goes like this:
"God, did you see what happened?"
"Well, aren't you going to do something about it?"
"Why, what's the problem?"
"What do you mean what's the problem! I was just about to finish the sermon."
"But it is so much work!"
"What of it? Is not the proclaiming of my Word worth a lot of work?"
"Yes, but..."
"Am I not in control? If I want you to put in extra time, is there a problem?"
"Yes, but..."
"And if I want the application rewritten better than what you were doing, is there a problem?"
You get the idea. When your theology teaches that God will accomplish his good purpose through the means he so chooses, and that the way he chooses is always best, then there is little to do but get back to work trusting that the product will only be better than the original effort.

Thursday, January 29, 2004

From Kherson, The Ukraine 

Dear Friends at Faith Presbyterian,
On behalf of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Kherson Children's Ministry, we would like to thank you for your financial and prayer support over the past few months. You are very much an integral part of the church's ministry to street children in the Kherson region of Ukraine. Funds have been applied to a small salary for Ukrainian staff, food for meals at the center for street kids, bread and milk for several kids on the street, utilities, etc. Please pray especially for the staff and volunteers: good health during the cold and wet winter, safety as they travel bad roads about town, spiritual growth. Thank you! Cindie Pike for the MTW team: Mel and Cindie Pike, Melinda Wallace


The tally is up to 16 persons who have responded to my request to let me know if you have read this blog this week. Will we pass 20 by the end of Friday? All that you need to do is click "Email Pastor Clark" at the top of the right column. Then click "Send." No typing necessary.

What matters most to me, however, is hearing from you about my vision for outreach through "The Passion" film. Read two postings down to see what I am talking about.

Thursday Answers 

Did you pick these Daily Devotions writers?
1. He was raised in The Congo. Bill Kerstetter
2. A doctoral student in history, he recently moved here from Las Vegas. Roger Carey
3. He was raised on an almond farm. Dan Sonke
4. Sometimes he sounds like he's talking Portuguese. Joffre Swait
5. Adopted by a Jewish father, he is an ex-Mormon. Christian Weiss
6. He is a retired Bible professor. Don Nilsson
7. These two men will be writing from Melrose. Benson Cain and Lee Frazer
8. This guy will be writing from Houston. Dave Charlesworth
9. This ordained minister will be writing from High Springs. Steve Miller
10. This electrical engineering professor builds time machines and pirate ships. Fred Taylor

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

A Vision to Proclaim the Gospel 

OK, I need you to catch my vision. On February 25, the Mel Gibson film, "The Passion of the Christ," will open at the Regal Theatre. It has been in the news because of its supposed controversial depiction of the the Jews being responsible for Jesus' death. I have read several articles and emails of people who have previewed the movie, and each give the same report of the impact of the movie - that they were more moved by this rendering of Christ's sufferings than any previous religious film. The clear message of the movie is that he died for our sins. I think we have been given an opportunity to reach out to people in Gainesville. The controversy itself, as well as Gibson's name attached to it, should draw good turnout, and if the movie is as good as claimed, many more will attend and be emotionally moved to do something. Here is my plan: to have a website that movie viewers can go to after the movie to learn about Jesus. If done right, our church could reach hundreds of people who would not attend church. And we would reach them at the time they are most motivated to hear the gospel. You already know the potential of the internet because you are using it right now. I have already gathered members in the church to design and prepare a site that would be appealing. The biggest hurdle to cross is money for advertising. I want to advertize on the movie screen. The ad would feature the site's domain name, perhaps: www.gainesvillepassion.com. Easy enough to remember. According to the theatre's system, the ad would run four weeks on every screen before every movie, not just "The Passion." Think of the potential - the number of people reached and reaching precisely the audience we want at the time they are most likely to be responsive. The cost is approximately $1,000. Yes, you read it right. The Session has given me permission to raise the funds. I need to give an answer to the theatre by Tuesday. Let me know if you want to help.

Tally Count 

Yesterday, I posted this request: I want to find out how many of you are reading this blogsite. Do me a favor and click "Email Pastor Clark" at the top of the righthand column. Then click "send." You don't need to write a thing. I'll keep count up through Friday. Again, two clicks are all you need to do. Thanks.

The count so far? 7 A dizzying number, to be sure, but will inevitably break the 10 mark by Friday. Keep the clicks coming.

Wednesday School 

We will take a break from grammar today. Here is a little history lesson to clear up a widespread myth. In his article, "Give Luther a Rest," Mark Nabolz writes, "'None of the works dealing with Luther's music can trace a single melody of his back to a drinking song'...Of Luther's thirty-seven chorales, nearly half were newly composed by Luther himself, and only one is based on a secular folk song. That solitary secular tune (and it was not a drinking song) was replaced by the reformer, because Luther was embarrassed to hear the tune of his Christmas hymn sung in inns and dance halls'... Well, if Luther didn't use bar tunes, where did the rumor come from? Perhaps the best explanation is that a basic term has confused non-musicians. Melodies, particularly those used in hymns and folk songs, can be broken down into categories of form, based upon their use of recurring melodic material. For instance, the tune to 'A Mighty Fortress Is Our God' follows the form AAB (or AABA1) otherwise known to musicians as the "Bar Form.' It is likely that a misunderstanding of this term is the real source of the 'bar tunes' controversy."

Deacon Nominees 

Six men have been nominated and have agreed to go through the deacon training process: Bill Lawrence, Bob McIver, David Nolan, Ross Prange, Brian Shephard, and Christian Weiss. They will go through a four weeks training course (3:30-5:30) the next four Sundays. If they make it through boot camp, still want to go on, and pass the exam before the Session, then they will be presented before a congregation meeting March 7 for election. Please pray for these men during this training time. It is great to have such a large and well qualified class.

New Baby 

Stephanie and Chris Jessee have a second son, Alec Michael, born 10:43 AM Tuesday morning. He weighed 8 lbs. 13 oz! He is 21.5 inches long, and both baby and mom are doing well.

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

World Blog 

Check out this blogsite from WORLD magazine: www.worldmagblog.com

Gone International 

Did you know there is a Korean website that features my sermons? Check out http://avas.chosun.ac.kr. It is maintained by Soon Jarng who attended Faith Church with his family about three years ago.

Just a Click 

I want to find out how many of you are reading this blogsite. Do me a favor and click "Email Pastor Clark" at the top of the righthand column. Then click "send." You don't need to write a thing. I'll keep count up through Friday. Again, two clicks are all you need to do. Thanks.

Tuesday Test 

Next week, when you come to Leviticus in your daily readings, you will read the devotions of someone other than me. Dave Darus will present devotions on that book. I am grateful to him and others who have also signed up. The answers to this test reveals who they are.

1. He was raised in The Congo.
2. A doctoral student in history, he recently moved here from Las Vegas.
3. He was raised on an almond farm.
4. Sometimes he sounds like he's talking Portuguese.
5. Adopted by a Jewish father, he is an ex-Mormon.
6. He is a retired Bible professor.
7. These two men will be from Melrose.
8. This guy will be writing from Houston.
9. This ordained minister will be writing from High Springs.
10. This electrical engineering professor builds time machines and pirate ships.

Monday, January 26, 2004

Funeral Expenses 

Lewis Funeral Home which handled the funeral of Anni Jordan has sent me a bill at my request of the remaining unpaid bills. The home gave its own services at cost. The remaining amount is $500. If you would like to help out, write the check out to Lewis Funeral Home and give it to me. On February 9, I will mail what I have received.

Good Movies 

Ginger and I watched two classics Friday night: On the Waterfront and Casablanca. Great plot, dialogue, and acting. Amazingly enough the writers and directors were able to produce suspenseful and captivating stories without profanity or gratuitous sex and violence. They serve as case in point that when writers and producers are denied the above three to exploit, those with true talent produce greater works. All you need to watch is The Odd Couple produced in the early 60s and the The Odd Couple sequal produced in the 90s. I think both were written by the same script writer and they both star Lemmon and Matthau. The earlier is highly dependent on the timing and delivering of the actors. The second gives them trash to mouth. Is their better dialogue than Casablanca? Is there a more stirring sermon given by Karl Maldan in the hull of a freighter over a dead man's body?

Friday, January 23, 2004

Getting Ready for Sunday 

Sunday's text is 1 Corinthians 10:1-5. Chapter 10 will address the Corinthians careless attitude with their so-called freedom to do as they please. The particular issue is that they feel free to visit and participate in the religious meals of the pagan temples. They trust their own sacraments for their security - baptism and the Lord's Supper. Paul will use the Israelites who perished in the wilderness as an example of those who trust in outward experience and credentials rather than the inner testimony of the Spirit's sanctification in their lives. Pray for me today as I work on the message.


This word of wisdom was passed on to me by Marijean Peele.

A man was sleeping one night in his cabin when suddenly his room filled with light, and God appeared. The Lord told the man he had work for him to do, and showed him a large rock in front of his cabin. The Lord explained that the man was to push against the rock with all his might. So, this the man did, day after day.

For many years he toiled from sun up to sun down, his shoulders set squarely against the cold, massive surface of the unmoving rock, pushing with all of his might. Each night the man returned to his cabin sore and worn out, feeling that his whole day had been spent in vain.

Since the man was showing discouragement, the adversary (Satan) decided to enter the picture by placing thoughts into the weary mind: "You have been pushing against that rock for a long time, and it hasn't moved." Thus, he gave the man the impression that the task was impossible and that he was a failure. These thoughts discouraged and disheartened the man. Satan said, "Why kill yourself over this? Just put in your time, giving just the minimum effort; and that will be good enough."

That's what the weary man planned to do, but decided to make it a matter of prayer and to take his troubled thoughts to the Lord. "Lord," he said, "I have labored long and hard in your service, putting all my strength to do that which you have asked. Yet, after all this time, I have not even budged that rock by half a millimeter. What is wrong? Why am I failing?

The Lord responded compassionately, "My friend, when I asked you to serve me and you accepted, I told you that your task was to push against the rock with all of your strength, which you have done. Never once did I mention to you that I expected you to move it. Your task was to push. And now you come to me with your strength spent, thinking that you have failed. But, is that really so?

"Look at yourself. Your arms are strong and muscled, your back sinewy and brown; your hands are callused from constant pressure, your legs have become massive and hard. Through opposition you have grown much, and your abilities now surpass that which you used to have. True, you haven't moved the rock. But your calling was to be obedient and to push and to exercise your faith and trust in my wisdom. That you have done. Now I, my friend, will move the rock."

*At times, when we hear a word from God, we tend to use our own intellect to decipher what he wants, when actually what God wants is just simple obedience and faith in him. By all means, exercise the faith that moves mountains, but know that it is still God who moves the mountains.*

When everything seems to go wrong ... just P.U.S.H.!
When the job gets you down .. just P.U.S.H.!
When people don't react the way you think they should ... just P.U.S.H.
When your money is "gone" and the bills are due ..just P.U.S.H.!
When people just don't understand you ..... just P.U.S.H.!
P= Pray
U= Until
S= Something
H= Happens

Thursday, January 22, 2004


You are at the computer. There is an email from someone you are not sure you know. You click it, and there is the invitation to click again and look at things you know you shouldn't. You take the dare and click. You failed! You gave in to temptation. What an awful sinner you must be. How weak you are. You determine that you will not give in again. Next week though...

Here is what I want you to do when temptation hits you again. Thank the Lord. Thank the Lord for such grace whereby he continues to love a sinner like you. I know it sounds odd, but understand that Satan's purpose is to turn you away from God. Guilt is an effective tool. What did Adam and Eve do after sinning? They hid from God. That is what Satan wants us to do. If our sin drives us to embrace God's grace all the more, then Satan's intent is defeated.

If you want to know more about this, feel free to get together with me. I am quite experienced with temptation unfortunately.

Wednesday School: I or Me 

Oops, Wednesday School is being held this week on Thursday. Most of the time we know when to us "I" or "me." "I saw the game last night." "Jean thanked me." We often, though, get confused when the word "and" is attached. Thus, we might say, "Joffre and me saw the game last night." "Jean thanked Ginger and I." If you get confused as to what pronoun to use, take out the other person, and you will get your answer. By the way, normally you should say the other person's name first, and that will also help you get the pronouns correct. It seems unnatural to say, "I and Joffre saw the game." That's probably the main reason you incorrectly say, "Me and Joffre saw the game." It sounds better, even though it is wrong. It is time for Joffre and I to get to work. (You caught the mistake, didn't you?)

Thursday Answers 

Now that the presidential election primaries are beginning, let's test your knowledge of campaigns. These are taken from www.funtrivia.com.

1. Who had the Democratic Party wanted to nominate for President in 1952? Eisenhower
2. For which state had JFK served as senator? Massachusetts
3. Who did Barry Goldwater expect to run against in the 1964 campaign? JFK
4. Since 1948 who has won by the largest percentage of electoral votes? Reagan
5. After having been almost beaten in his incumbent primary, who decided not to run for re-election? LBJ
6. Which state had Carter been governor of? Georgia
7. Who became President without having been on a winning Presidential ticket? Ford
8. Who was the main challenger against Jimmy Carter for the Democratic nomination in 1980? Kennedy
9. What state was Bob Dole a senator from? Kansas
10. He was the first Vice-president to immediately succeed the President by election since before the Civil War. Bush, Sr

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

The Passion of Christ 

A good article on Mel Gibson's upcoming movie, The Passion of Christ, is at the PCA's news site: www.pcanews.com. Check it out.

A Word of Counsel 

A couple of times a week, I will pass on tips that I think can help you in the various struggles you may face. Here is the first. This is a good practice to adopt when you are experiencing tension with another person and/or having difficulty communicating.

Listen well. Most people know how to listen, but few do it well when they are listening to criticism. We naturally think of our defense. Make a commitment to listen quietly with the intent of understanding the other person. At times it may be best not to respond with an answer, but to give time to think through what you have heard. You might take even a day or days to think it over. Let him know you will contemplate what he said. Knowing that you have listened and will take seriously what was said means a lot to the other person. Even if you disagree, he will appreciate your giving him a fair hearing. One practical technique is to repeat to the person what you think you heard. By this, you are making sure that you have understood what he is trying to say, as well as conveying the important message that you are paying attention to him.

Tuesday Test 

Now that the presidential election primaries are beginning, let's test your knowledge of campaigns. These are taken from www.funtrivia.com.

1. Who had the Democratic Party wanted to nominate for President in 1952?
2. For which state had JFK served as senator?
3. Who did Barry Goldwater expect to run against in the 1964 campaign?
4. Since 1948 who has won by the largest percentage of electoral votes?
5. After having been almost beaten in his incumbent primary, who decided not to run for re-election?
6. Which state had Carter been governor of?
7. Who became President without having been on a winning Presidential ticket?
8. Who was the main challenger against Jimmy Carter for the Democratic nomination in 1980?
9. What state was Bob Dole a senator from?
10. He was the first Vice-president to immediately succeed the President by election since before the Civil War.

Monday, January 19, 2004

Trouble of Mind and the Disease of Melancholy 

This is one of the Puritan books purchased for the library from our Meet the Puritans conference:

As for myself, having been in long affliction and great distress of conscience for many months, and under a continued fear and apprehension of God's displeasure, and being now, through his inexpressible grace, not without some hope of his acceptance, being delivered from violent and overwhelming sorrows, I would most readily give all the advice and help I can to those who are yet mourning under desertions, complaining that God has departed from them, and that he remembers them no more. After the many waves and billows that went over me, through the great goodness of God I now enjoy a calm. And I pity and would fain help those who are yet laboring in the depths. It is for them especially that I write this treatise, in which...I hope a distressed soul may find relief. Timothy Rogers

Friday, January 16, 2004

Passing Down the Stories 

"The telephone didn't change for decades. In our town, you would spin the crank to get the operator and ask for Jean or Margie or Joe. Our number was 48, Jean's was 21. But I never used it. I just wound the ringer, and the operator, Erma answered, 'Operator.' I would say...'please ring Jean.' She recognized my voice... 'Bill, she went to Franklin to get a lunch pail. She will be back about 4 o'clock.' 'Thanks, Erma'...."

This is taken from one of Bill Barker's stories he passed on to his children and grandchildren. Are you passing on yours? Write in a journal or email them or talk into a tape recorder or in front of a video camera. When you are gone, these records will be more valuable to your children than any furniture or money. Ask Bill how these stories got written. He's not shy!

Bible Conference Tonight 

The Bible Conference begins tonight. If you still need to register, registration will start at 6:30. The service will begin at 7:00, followed by dessert at 8:00. Saturday, there will be three morning talks, beginning at 9 am, and one more at 1 pm. The full schedule is posted on Tuesday's entries.

Getting Ready for Sunday 

Dr. Kistler will preach Sunday from Lamentations 3 on the subject of "Hoping in God's Compassions." Read this chapter in preparation. He will also teach adult SS in the sanctuary on the topic, "The Puritans on Sanctification." For those of you interested in practical Christianity, I encourage you to come. That was the concern of the Puritans, and I think you will find what he has to say helpful.

Thursday, January 15, 2004

Shave and a Haircut 

Men, if you are looking for someone who gives a good haircut, I recommend my barber, Barry House. You can call him at Wild Hair (374-8687) for an appointment.

Room for Rent? 

A friend, Mike, (you can speak to me or the Emerys or Craig Carter) is asking if someone with a house or apartment could use another renter. He has a cat (spayed and house broken) and is a good cook.

Thursday Answers 

Meet the Puritans:
1. The Puritan age roughly covers mid 1500s-mid 1700s.
2. For awhile, Puritans governed England after what king's head being removed? Charles I
3. Which section of America is most closely connected with Puritan history? New England
4. He is considered the greatest theologian produced by America. Jonathan Edwards
5. Puritans produced the first book printed in America. It was the Bay Psalm Book.
6. Our Presbyterian creeds were produced by Puritans in England at a series of meetings called the Westminster Assembly.
7. Because of persecution, many Puritans were forced to leave England. Other than, or before coming to America, they took refuge in another country that the Sonkes, Schroeders, and Tjapkeses hold dear. Holland (The Netherlands)
8. This Puritan was the Billy Graham of his day, preaching to thousands of people in open air settings. George Whitefield (pronounced "wit-field")
9. Puritans played an important role in America's greatest revival known as what? The Great Awakening
10. These Puritans who celebrated the first Thanksgiving are known by what name?
the Pilgrims

Wednesday, January 14, 2004

J.I. Packer About the Puritans 

The suggestion that we 'need' the Puritans - we late twentieth-century Westerners, with all our sophistication and mastery of technique in both secular and sacred fields - may prompt some lifting of eyebrows. The belief that the Puritans, even if they were in fact responsible citizens, were comic and pathetic in equal degree, being naive and superstitious, primitive and gullible, superserious, overscrupulous, majoring in minors, and unable or unwilling to relax, dies hard. What could these zealots give us that we need, it is asked.

The answer, in one word, is maturity. Maturity is a compound of wisdom, goodwill, resilience, and creativity. The Puritans exemplified maturity; we don't. We are spiritual dwarfs. A much-traveled leader, a native American (be it said), has declared that he finds North American Protestantism, man-centered, manipulative, success-oriented, self-indulgent and sentimental, as it blatantly is, to be 3,000 miles wide and half an inch deep. The Puritans, by contrast, as a body were giants. They were great souls serving a great God. In them clear-headed passion and warm-hearted compassion combined. Visionary and practical, idealistic and realistic too, goal-oriented and methodical, they were great believers, great hopers, great doers, and great sufferers. But their sufferings, both sides of the ocean (in old England from the authorities and in New England from the elements), seasoned and ripened them till they gained a stature that was nothing short of heroic. Ease and luxury, such as our affluence brings us today, do not make for maturity; hardship and struggle however do, and the Puritans' battles against the spiritual and climatic wildernesses in which God set them produced a virility of character, undaunted and unsinkable, rising above discouragement and fears, for which the true precedents and models are men like Moses, and Nehemiah, and Peter after Pentecost, and the apostle Paul.

Wednesday School: Lie or Lay 

Knowing of your earnest desire to improve in every way, I will give a school lesson each Wednesday. Today's lesson is grammar. Do you know when to use "lie" and when to use "lay"? Lie is something that you yourself do. Thus: "I will lie down for a nap." "I lie on the couch when I watch TV."

What about lay? Lay is something you do to something else. Thus: "I will lay my keys on the table." "I lay my clothes on the floor everyday."

What gets confusing is when you are talking about something in the past. Then, "lay" is used as the past tense of "lie." Thus: "I lie on the couch when I watch TV," becomes "I lay on the couch yesterday and fell asleep."

What about the past tense for "lay"? It is "laid." Thus: "I lay my clothes on the floor everyday," becomes "I laid my clothes on the floor yesterday, and my mom was mad."

When Mom does become mad, you can at least impress her with your good grammar.

Tuesday, January 13, 2004

Bible Conference! 

Our yearly Bible Conference is this weekend, and it's not too late to sign up!

Dr. Don Kistler enjoys a fruitful preaching and teaching ministry, and is the editorial director of Soli Deo Gloria, a publishing house specializing in reprints of the Puritans' work. A former pastor, Don is well regarded as a Bible teacher and expositor. Steeped in the teaching of the Puritans, he hopes to bring the wisdom of these godly men to questions and issues currently facing Christians and the Church. Don is also the author of A Spectacle Unto God: The Life and Death of Christopher Love, and Why Read the Puritans Today?

Conference Schedule

Friday, January 16
6:30pm: Registration
7:00pm: Session One Who Were the Puritans?
8:00 pm: Dessert

Saturday, January 17
8:30 am: Coffee Time & Late Registration
Snacks and drinks will be available in FLC between sessions.

9:00 am: Session Two Why Read the Puritans Today?
10:00 am: Session Three The Puritans on Family and Family Worship
11:00 am: Session Four The Puritans on Evangelism
12:00 pm: Lunch provided in FLC
1:00 pm: Session Five The Puritans on Comforting Weary Souls
Q & A after last session

Sunday, January 18
Sermon: Hoping in God's Compassions, Lamentations 3:1-26, Dr. Don Kistler
Sunday School: The Puritans on Sanctification

More Babies 

The Bococks are not the only ones expecting. Aaron and Kathleen (Brady) Angstrom have good news as well. Kathleen is the daughter of Jim and Betty Brady (sister to Elizabeth Horner) and still on the rolls of our church.

The Christian Study Center Madhouse 

Tonight (Tuesday, January 13) begins "Tales from the Madhouse" at the Christian Study Center. This BBC series of short videos explores the lives of several characters in the gospels who encountered Jesus and left changed--not always for the better.

Have you ever wondered what became of the rich young ruler? Come tonight for a thought-provoking answer to this question--and bring a friend with you.

"Tales from the Madhouse"
7:30 p.m. on Tuesdays, beginning January 12
Dr. Jay Lynch, Teacher

Questions? call 331-4644

Richard V. Horner
Director, Christian Study Center

We Have a Name! 

The long awaited name of baby Yun has been chosen. Alex's and Andrew's new brother is Jonathan James. All of the family are back home. He was born Sunday afternoon at 5:30, weighing 7#10oz. According to Mary Lee Sonke, "...that's all we know, except also he's a beautiful baby."

Tuesday Test 

With the "Meet the Puritans" conference coming up, let's have a test about them.
1. The Puritan age roughly covers: a) mid 1500s-mid 1700s; b) 1700-1750; c) 1800-1885.

2. For awhile, Puritans governed England after what king's head being removed?

3. Which section of America is most closely connected with Puritan history: a) New England; b) Mid-Atlantic; c) the South?

4. He is considered the greatest theologian produced by America.

5. Puritans produced the first book printed in America. It was: a) Pilgrim's Progress; b) the Bible; c) the Bay Psalm Book.

6. Our Presbyterian creeds were produced by Puritans in England at a series of meetings called the _________ Assembly.

7. Because of persecution, many Puritans were forced to leave England. Other than, or before coming to America, they took refuge in another country that the Sonkes, Schroeders, and Tjapkeses hold dear.

8. This Puritan was the Billy Graham of his day, preaching to thousands of people in open air settings.

9. Puritans played an important role in America's greatest revival known as what?

10. These Puritans who celebrated the first Thanksgiving are known by what name?

Monday, January 12, 2004

Sermon Highlights 

God does know our hearts, and we cannot deceive him. He knows who are qualified runners (in the Christian faith) and who are not. Furthermore, the manner in which we run will either vindicate us or condemn us. Those who are not qualified will take one of two paths. Some will take the easier route, like many in the Corinth Church were doing. They take the path that stresses freedom to live the way they seem fit. Others will take the respectable route. Their path seems right precisely because it appears arduous and thus proves their commitment. But the true route veers in neither direction. The runner stays on the right path by keeping his eyes on the cross. Sometimes the path is easy, sometimes hard; whatever the case he keeps focused on the cross. He puts his trust in nothing and no one else. His intent is upon finishing the race by following the cross, knowing that only then will he receive his full reward.

Ping Pong 

Friday night nine challengers faced me at the ping pong table and nine walked away empty handed. (Well, Lori Carter did beat me two games). Will I add to my winning streak at the next Game Night (February 13)?

New Church Member 

Jamie and Nikki Yun have added a new member to our Faith covenant family. Nikki delivered their third son (congratulations Andrew and Alex!). As of last night a name had not been chosen. I will post it as soon as I learn of it.

Youth Recognition 

Congratulations to the following students for memorizing all of their SS scriptures during the fall quarter: 4 & 5 year olds - James Emery, Jon Jon Vaught, Alex Yun; Grades 1 & 2 - Stephen Carter, Peter Emery, KJ McIver.

Congratulations to these students for perfect attendance: Andrew Yun, Jon Jon Vaught, Alex Yun, Matthew Ehrlich, Daniel Lewis, David Ehrlich, Kelsey Prange, Jean Clark, Jake Houck, Nikki Prange.

God's Little Devotional Book 

You've probably seen the series of "God's Little Devotional Book for..." Our own Bill Barker contributed several stories to God's Little Devotional Book for Grandparents. Here is one:

"I don't want to go, Grandpa," demanded Nathan. "I'll miss my favorite TV show." Nathan's grandfather Chet was disappointed in Nathan's apparent apathy toward spending time with him. He couldn't believe that Nathan would choose a television show over going on an overnight adventure in the mountains. Chet knew that the event would be one that Nathan would never forget.
Chet was ready to take all television privileges away from his grandson when his wife, Lois, spoke up. "Perhaps there is a more pleasant approach to this, Chet." She turned to Nathan and said, "Let's tape the program and watch it later, honey." Nathan finally agreed and got ready to go.
On the trip, Chet and Nathan sailed many miles by lashing two canoes together using a tarp for a sail. They operated the locks between the two lakes and went down the spillway rapids. They built fires to cook their meals and told stories around the evening campfire.
On the evening they returned home, Chet and Nathan spent some happy hours reminiscing about the trip. Then Lois suggested they watch the television program that Nathan had missed. "That's okay, I don't need to see it," Nathan said.
Soon the boy yawned, stretched, and headed for bed. "I think we both learned some things as a result of our adventure," Chet share with his wife.
It doesn't matter how young or old we are, there are always lessons that we can learn from each other.
A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attian unto wise counsels (Proverbs 1:5).

Friday, January 09, 2004

Tucker Times 

The below is the latest newsletter from Eric & Conchita Tucker, former missionaries to Mexico whom we have supported.

Greetings in Christ Jesus our Lord,

Whether for good or for ill, Christmas provides an opportunity for newsletters. Personally, I appreciate receiving update letters and realize that it is nearly impossible to write personal letters to everyone. Much has happened to family since last Christmas... Eric put ministry on hold and took a secular job. Jonathan and Joel graduated from high school. Our van gave out. Eric was in a major accident in the Buick, uninjured. Irene began high school. Jonathan very unexpectedly was able to attend Covenant and Joel began university in Orlando.

Conchita continues teaching high school Spanish at Tampa Baptist Academy. This is her second year and she's able to use some of the material from last year. It is a lot of work, yet, she enjoys working with high school students. She writes, "This without doubt has been the worst year of my life but I should say at the same time that it has been the best. It is the way the Lord seems to work. I have definitely experienced His grace, love, protection and guidance as never before. I thank all of you who faithfully and lovingly prayed for our family. Please continue to pray for us, the Lord has been very gracious to us but our faith tends to be weak at times and we tend to want to take matters into our own hands instead of trusting and waiting in Him. He has taught me much but the one thing I have been constantly aware of is how desperately I need Him. Please pray that we would not become complacent in our spiritual walk. I love you and once again I thank you for your love and prayers."

Eric resigned from Mission to the World in March, after much anguish. In mid April, he began selling cars, which he did for five months. He sold consistently in the top half, but not enough in a very depressed car industry—and full commission sales. The Lord taught me a great deal about daily reliance, faith and submission. I have long felt I needed more experience with non-Christians and a secular environment. It was my first real experience in secular work since college and I am grateful. In October an opportunity opened up working with a friend as research assistant with the University of South Florida. It has been a steep learning curve, but that is not different from pretty much everything else in the past year and a half. For the time being my time is spent in writing and submitting grants and working research proposals through systems of red tape. I miss ministry, but it will still be several months before we can consider this once again. The time away from ministry has allowed the Lord to work in mysterious and not so mysterious ways. Personally, I have appreciated being able to flesh out and apply some rather hard taught but precious lessons. Mostly, I have very much enjoyed the Lord's presence in a new way, even amidst so many uncertainties.

Jonathan and Joel graduated from high school this past year. Jonathan was accepted, with unexpected financial aid, to Covenant and has finished his first semester. He finds he has made good friends and enjoys an atmosphere that continually confronts him with the spiritual life. In a local church he has joined a worship group that is attempting to integrate some Spanish into the service.

Joel finished his first semester at the University of Central Florida in Orlando. He still longs to be in theater. He was unable to get into the theater program for this year, and will be trying out in the Spring to enter the theater program in the fall.

In Mexico, we had gradually come to a realization that we could not provide for the kids' needs while there. The move to Tampa has been very good for the children. Irene and Karis were both falling behind in schooling. Both are now studying where Conchy teaches. Irene has learned that through hard work and discipline she can make straight A's. She is loved by students and teachers alike, and her sense of confidence has grown tremendously. She has taken up sports, last year playing basketball, volleyball and softball. She has grown spiritually as she seeks God's help in each of her challenges. It is such a pleasure to see her growing in God's grace.

Karis, whose middle name is Joy, continues to be a source of the same. She loves life, but not so much school. Last year she sang in the children's choir of the school and did very well—she loves music and art. This year she has begun playing the clarinet in band and enjoys painting with her dad, mostly landscapes and floral arrangements.

Thanks for your continued friendship and prayers. Continue to pray for the family, for spiritual growth, for restoration, for financial stresses. We are trying to raise funds to get our things out of Mexico to Tampa. We would appreciate prayers for this. Our things are on a property near Monterrey that is in the process of being sold.

Feel free to call us…

In Christ our sufficient Savior,
Eric, Conchita, Jonathan, Joel, Irene and Karis

Please contact the church office at 377-5482 if you would like to speak to the Tuckers.

Book Website for Families 

I came across this interesting website of a Christian book distributor for families: www.graceandtruthbooks.com.

Game Night 

A worthy challenger should be coming tonight. Sarah holds an edge over me in Boggle, Scrabble and Taboo. Although I should note that I beat her last in Boggle. She may even bring Dutch Blitz. But she cannot compete with me in ping pong, as few can. Food starts at 6:00 and no can compete with Craig Carter in providing that. Ginger said she and Donna Schroeder were going to bake cookies for the College/Singles lunch in the kitchen.


Thanks to comments from two readers, we've improved the Daily Devotions site. The devotions now have the date for which they are intended. Because the posting date is usually different from the reading date, it was confusing. You can also now access the full reading schedule by clicking 2004 Lectionary on the right column. We like feedback.

Thursday, January 08, 2004

Game Night 

Friday night is Game Night. I'm pulling out the ping pong table and will take on all challengers. Sarah's coming. I've asked to bring Dutch Blitz. We'll see if Joffre will show up.

Guess Who's Having a Baby 

I was given permission (always get permission!) to announce that Phil and Traci Bocock are expecting their first child in August. Congratulations!

Iraq Soldiers 

Please pray for Charlotte Girard’s grandson, Master Sergeant Donald Grow Jr., who is being sent to Iraq. He leaves Jan. 14th.

The Von der Portens, daughter-in-law Linda, also returns to assignment in Iraq soon.

News from Gay Greninger 

Here is a copy of Gay's latest newsletter.
We have come to the beginning of a new month--January 2004. January is the month named for Janus, the Roman god who had two faces. With one face he was able to look back and with the other face he looked into the future. That is what I would like to do in this newsletter:

Looking back over 2003:
Over the past few weeks I have enjoyed reading many holiday greetings with news of your families and where your children are. Likewise, I want to take this opportunity to update you on the whereabouts of the Greninger family at this present time:

Phil and Becky are still living in the Atlanta, GA area where Phil works for a computer consulting firm. Much of the time Phil is on the road traveling to different work sites while Becky is a busy full-time mom with the children--Andrew(6), Kate(4), Molly(2), and John(1).

Ron and Paige, after living in an apartment next to Ron's law office in downtown Orlando for the past year, have just moved to their newly renovated home. The Lord willing, Robert Paul(15mo.) is going to be a big brother later this year!

Cliff and Sheri have just moved to San Antonio, TX where Cliff is working for a computer firm. They are excited about the possibility of becoming home owners later this year.

For me the past year was one of many miles traveled and many friends visited when I was not teaching. It was very special to attend a family reunion with my cousins in the New Jersey area as well as to stop in several places in the U.S. where I had been a resident in the past to visit with many of you.

Looking at the new year:
All of the faculty and students have returned to school now. We have welcomed many new faces, especially with J-term when the upper grades have many visiting faculty just for this month. In addition, there are 3 student teachers here on campus. One of them, Kim Reed, is my student teacher. Please pray for all of these new people to have a good experience while they are here with us.

A middle school dramatic presentation will be given at the end of this month. The performance is always a good opportunity for students to share about their Christian faith. Please pray for clarity in their presentation and for the message to have a good impact in the lives of the students and their audience.

Recently several from the faculty or members of their families have been hit with a variety of health-related problems. Please pray for the Lord to heal those who have been affected with a malignant tumor, a stroke, mononucleosis/hepatitis and pneumonia to be strengthened and that God would be glorified through their lives.

My thanks once again for your prayers for all of us here as we labor in this harvest field. Please pray for strength and fruit for our labors.

Jordan Funeral 

Criag Meyers and I attended Anni Jordan's funeral yesterday near Pensacola. It was well done, honoring the Lord and giving thanks for Anni's life. Continue to be in prayer for the family - Tony, Vicki and Emili. As things settle down, grieving can become more intense.

Thursday's Answers 

1. Ruled by the caesars. Romans
2. A king who revised the Bible. James
3. What a person wants when he is unemployed. Job
4. What a person does when he is in a play. Acts
5. What a person makes when he can't write his own name. Mark
6. Wise sayings. Proverbs
7. A transparent material. Micah
8. What mathematicians use. Numbers
9. A kind of hay. Timothy
10. Radio partner of Andy. Amos
11. Written events. Chronicles
12. What those who preside over courts are called. Judges
13. Slang for a man who brings bad luck. Jonah
14. A surprising insight. Revelation
15. Some of the people who live in Jerusalem. Hebrews

Tuesday, January 06, 2004

Anni Jordan 

Here is a notice in the paper about Anni Jordan. Note who is acknowledged in the last paragraph.

Annie Belle Jordan, 2 1/2 of Pace, ran through the gates of heaven on Saturday morning, January 3, 2004. Anni was born on June 14, 2001 with an unknown seizure disorder that could never be diagnosed or fully treated. "Anni Boo" was born with a very strong fighting spirit and for a very specific purpose. In Anni's short life she touched and ministered to more people than many adults do in their entire lives. Anni was dearly loved by her family and extended family and will be greatly missed, but she will always live in the hearts of those she leaves behind.

Anni leaves to cherish her memory, her loving and devoted parents, Tony and Vicki Jordan of Pace; her big sister who loved her dearly, Emili Jordan of Pace; maternal grandparents, Doug and Beverly "BeBe" Ryland of Davisville, Florida; paternal grandmother, Linda Jordan of Columbus, Georgia; aunts and uncles, Regina and Joe Murray of Aurora, Colorado and Pam and Wendell Nelson of Pensacola; cousins, Megan, Rachel, Ana, and Joey Murray of Aurora, Colorado.

Celebration of life services for Anni will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, January 7, 2004 at the Lewis Funeral Home in Milton with Rev. Barry "Bo" Dickson and Catina L. Wilson officiating. Burial will follow in the Barrancas National Cemetery with Lewis Funeral home directing. Anni's pallbearers will be her father, Tony; her grandfather, Doug, Richard Beverly, and Bill Price. The family will receive friends from 5 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, January 6, 2004 at the Lewis Funeral Home in Milton.

The family wishes to express their heartfelt thanks to the wonderful staff of Caring Hearts of Pensacola, D.E.I., C.M.A.T., all of Anni's Therapists, The Escambia County Sheriff's Office, The Santa Rosa County Sheriff's Office, The State Attorney's Office, Woodham High School, the Gainesville family, the Faith Presbyterian Church in Gainesville, and all the extended family and friends who gave special care, time and prayers for our "Anni Boo," and a very special thank you to! Dr. Teresa MaHaffey for her excellent care and time she ! gave to our family and to Anni.

Cool Website 

Check out http:www.howstuffworks.com.

Tuesday Test 

In this quiz, each clue gives you a hint of the name of the Bible book. Some are easy, others require some thought. I got eleven right. This is taken from a trivia website: www.funtrivia.com
1. Ruled by the caesars.
2. A king who revised the Bible.
3. What a person wants when he is unemployed.
4. What a person does when he is in a play.
5. What a person makes when he can't write his own name.
6. Wise sayings.
7. A transparent material.
8. What mathematicians use.
9. A kind of hay.
10. Radio partner of Andy.
11. Written events.
12. What those who preside over courts are called.
13. Slang for a man who brings bad luck.
14. A surprising insight.
15. Some of the people who live in Jerusalem.

Anni Jordan 

About a couple of years ago, the Jordan family stayed in Gainesville while their infant daughter Anni was receiving medical care for seizures. Tony and Vicki are the parents, and another daughter, Emily, is now eight. Our church reached out to them and they have always been appreciative. Anni died this weekend. The family lives in Milton, near Pensacola. Craig Meyers and I are driving tomorrow to be at the 11:00 am funeral. Please pray for the family. There may be financial need to cover the cost of the burial. The funeral home is providing everything at cost. Presently, another $4-500 is still needed. If you would like to help, let me know. I told the funeral home director to let me know the final money needed after donations come in.

Monday, January 05, 2004


It is not a done deal, but we have a possibility of owning our own block of time on the radio. Nick Schroeder is the visionary behind this and is handling the application process with the FCC. The bottomline is that we may be getting free access to a radio FM band that would cover most of the Gainesville area. We would have to purchase equipment and share the airwave space, but would have upwards to 40+ hours of airtime per week. Be praying for the process and for wisdom in using this media wisely.

Sunday Highlights 

Who needs this message? Certainly the unsaved, but also the saved. Even we who have responded to the gospel need to hear it again and again. Why? Because we keep forgetting it. We act like we have to earn God’s favor all over again. If I am a good enough parent; if I am moral enough; if I am kind enough; if I can do enough of the right things, God will stay pleased with me. That is not the gospel, and so I have to keep preaching to you and to me to keep us on track.

Woe to me if I don’t, because it is not you to whom I must be accountable but to God who commissioned me for this task. He will demand of me what I did in the pulpit with his Word. Did I preach it faithfully or did I select what I only felt comfortable with? Did I water the gospel down, giving you a false impression that salvation is for everyone who means well? Did I make the gospel too complicated, making you think it was only for those who studied a lot? Did I make it too burdensome, so that you thought it was only for the spiritually elite? Did I hide it in efforts to give you practical and entertaining messages that would keep you coming?

It is my reward to have a congregation that gets pumped up by what God has to say in his scriptures; that is eager to hear the fullness of the gospel taught; that demands from the preacher, “Give us a message from the Lord. Teach us his holy Word, what he wants us to hear, that we may take our orders from him and be strengthened once more. Let us hear the gospel once more, the hope that we have in Jesus Christ who bore our sins, has given us his righteousness, that we are now reconciled with our God.”

Another Noted M Clark 

Check out this website by former Faith attender and artist Matt Clark: http://www.drawingmatthewclark.com/

Sunday Sermon Posted 

Yesterday's sermon is posted, as is today's devotional reading.

Friday, January 02, 2004

Minister in Training 

Joffre Swait, the church secretary, is coming under care of presbytery in February, the first formal step in preparation for the ministry. That means we - Faith Church - have the responsibility to assist in his training. Starting this Sunday he will be assisting in worship, alternating between the 8:30 and 11:00 services. This Sunday will be the 11:00. Let me go ahead and say it, No height jokes!

Getting Ready for Sunday 

We go back to 1 Corinthians. The sermon text will be 9:15-18 and the sermon, "Why I Preach." What does Paul mean by the statement, "Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel"? We will consider the role of the preacher. The Responsive Reading for the 11:00 service is Psalm 104 and our first hymn, O Worship the King, is based on it. You have a responsibility before Sunday and on Sunday morning to pray for me that I may preach God's Word faithfully and lead worship in a manner that glorifies the Lord.

Test Answers 

Read-through-the-Bible trivia test:
1. How many books of the Bible are there? 66
2. How many in the OT and in the NT? 39 and 27
3. Who wrote the first five books? Moses
4. Put these men in chronological order: Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, Elijah
5. This prophet’s book has the most chapters outside of Psalms. Isaiah
6. What is the longest chapter in the Bible? Psalm 119
7. Which of the gospel writers also wrote the book of Acts? Luke
8. Who wrote the largest number of books? Paul
9. In what two languages are almost all the scriptures written in? Hebrew and Greek
10. Who is the shortest man in the Bible? Bildad the Shuhite (Shu-hite, get it? ha,ha,ha,ha)

Thursday, January 01, 2004

Devotions Posted 

Sorry for the glitch if you checked out daily devotions earlier. I had changed a mail address at the devotions site, but failed to change it at this site. You can get to it now.

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