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

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Sunday Highlights 

The Christian worship service is itself an expression of the gospel. God is a holy God. The angels around him continually cry out, "Holy, holy, holy." We daily sin against God. If the holy angels, who commit no sin, show deep reverence and awe before God, all the more are we to do the same. That is why we are not to treat worship like a social hour where our priority is to make people feel at ease. This is the same point we make in presenting the gospel. Man's problem is that God is holy and demands that anyone to be accepted by him be the same. The sinner is to fear God and his judgment. He is called to repent. And yet, there is the good news of the great salvation that God has provided out of grace through his Son Jesus Christ. Christ died for our sins, providing forgiveness. He took our sins upon himself and gave to us his righteousness, so that even though we still sin, God accepts us, loves us as his own children. Through the Holy Spirit we have been born again, made new creatures in Christ, so that God is pleased to receive our worship. For that reason, though worship is to be reverent, it is not to be dismal or done in fear, but with thanksgiving and with praise for such a great salvation. As Hebrews 12:28 and 13:15 instruct us: Let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, and through Jesus Christ let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name.

Friday, August 27, 2004

More Life in the 1500s 

Houses had thatched roofs of think straw. It was a place for small animals to get warm, including cats. When it rained, the roofs became slippery and sometimes the animals would slip off the roof. Hence the saying, "It's raining cats and dogs."

There was nothing to stop things from falling into the house. This posed a real problem in the bedroom where bugs and other droppins could mess up your bed. Hence, a bed with big posts and a sheet hung over the top afforded some protection. That is how canopy beds came into existence.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Aaron and Kathleen New Parents 

Anna Kayte Angstrom was born at 2:40pm today (August 26), weighing 8lbs. Kathleen and Anna are doing very well, and both the Angstrom and Brady families are happy.

Life in the 1500s 

Cathy Weiss passed these on to me. I'll stretch them out over the next few days.

Most people got married in June because they took their yearly bath in May and still smelled pretty good by June. However, they were starting to smell, so brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the body odor. Hence the custom today of carrying a bouquet when getting married.

Baths consisted of a big tub filled with hot water. The man of the house had the privilege of the nice clean water, then all the other sons and men, then the women and finally the children. Last of all the babies. By then the water was so dirty, you could acutally lose someone in it. Hence the saying, "Don't throw the baby out with the bath water."

Baptism This Sunday 

Daniel Lewis will be baptized this Sunday and received into communicant membership. Daniel gave an excellent testimony before the elders, speaking of a moment during family devotions that he asked to receive Christ as his Savior. How encouraging to see the faithful teaching and witness of parents with their children. Here is what our Book of Church Order has to say about family worship:

63-3. Family worship, which should be observed by every family, consists in prayer, reading the Scriptures, and singing praises; or in some briefer form of outspoken recognition of God.

63-4. Parents should instruct their children in the Word of God, and in the principles of our holy religion. The reading of devotional literature should be encouraged and every proper opportunity should be embraced for religious instruction.

63-5. Parents should set an example of piety and consistent living before the family. Unnecessary private visits on the Lord’s Day and indulgence in practices injurious to the spiritual life of the family, should be avoided.

63-6. In the supreme task of religious education, parents should co-operate with the Church by setting their children an example in regular and punctual attendance upon the sessions of the church school and the services of the sanctuary, by assisting them in the preparation of their lessons, and by leading them in the consistent application of the teachings of the Gospel in their daily activities.

Monday, August 23, 2004

Sunday Highlights 

You will experience "something" if you have ears to hear (through the scriptures) the grace of God; you will be moved if you contemplate the cross of Christ (even without watching the movie!); you will experience power if you grasp what God's grace means for you; you will experience excitement if you meditate upon God's Word and through that Word envision God's glory and the glory he has prepared for you; you will experience power when you catch God's vision for the spread of his kingdom on earth, and you act on faith in obedience to his Word. We Christians have become too much like our American culture which has taught us that we need entertainment for life to be exciting. And so we try and bring a manufactured excitement into our churches to make us feel the presence of God. What we need is the clear teaching of God's Word and the concerted effort to hear, meditate, and obey that same Word. If the hearing and obeying of God's Word becomes our primary experience, then we will have our fill of experiencing the presence of God. Then our tongues will gladly sing our great Redeemer's praise.

Friday, August 20, 2004

Hurricane Help 

This email came from Calvary Chapel:

The director of Crossroads Pregnancy Center in Ft. White is spearheading a diaper drive for the hurricane victims. We will be participating & delivering the supplies collected next week.
We have a truck heading to Arcadia & Port Charlotte with supplies for the crisis pregnancy centers there. They are completely out of all diapers, baby wipes, baby food, and the need is overwhelming. Following is the list of items the centers in Arcadia & Port Charlotte gave us: Diapers, especially size 4, 5, 6; Baby Wipes, Formula, Baby food. I do not know about clothing, but am sure it is needed. Donations can be made at Calvary Chapel from 12-5 every day. We will be loading the truck up on Monday evening. Any cash donations will be passed to these centers also.

In addition to any & all baby items, there is a great need for bottled water, Gatorade, sun screen, and non perishable food items. Although there are some of these items available, many people are in great need financially - so I hope to bring cash & will be buying grocery store certificates on Monday also. Bibles & gospel tracts are also needed - these centers are awesome centers for the gospel. We will not take other books, but any solid complete translation, NT & Psalms, or tracts will be a blessing for them to have in their ministry.

If you have any questions, please call. My cell phone is 318-4565.

In His Grip
Ted Meilleur
Calvary Chapel Gainesville
5510 SW 62nd Avenue
Gainesville, FL 32608

PCA Churches and the Hurricane 

The Von der Portens passed this information on to me about PCA churches in the hurricane area.

Ron and Judy Haynes, the Disaster Response Team from MNA, are planning to arrive in Florida today. They plan to stage out of Covenant Life in Sarasota. They have asked that pastors and churches contact them directly with requests for help. In addition, if you are able to help (or know of people who are able to help), you can also contact Ron and Judy Haynes. They can be reached at (636) 299-1422 (Ron) and (636) 299-1424 (Judy), or at rhaynes@pcanet.org.

Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Cape Coral: The shingles were blown off several Evangelical Presbyterian Church’s buildings. This resulted in significant water damage inside the buildings. Also, most of the trees were blown off the property. Ollie Claassen’s home suffered minor damage. No report on church members. They were planning to worship yesterday.

First Presbyterian Church of North Port: Arnie Brevick reports that the church building is fine. He is also fine. No report on members from his church.

Faith Presbyterian Church of Wauchula: Brook Larrison and the church building are fine. However, many members are staying in motels. I am not sure if that is because they have lost homes or if it is because they have no power in their homes.

Grace Presbyterian Church in Arcadia is still standing, although it did suffer damage.

Thursday, August 19, 2004


We begin the book of Ezekiel today in our daily devotions. Don Nilsson will lead us through this book which is noted for its fascinating imagery. This guy had to lie on his side for a year to make a point. Hhmm, maybe I should preach while lying on a cot.

Dating, Sex,...the Bible? 

This is the topic for the fall semester of RUF meetings. RUF stands for Reformed University Fellowship, the PCA's college ministry that we support. Steve Lammers is the RUF minister. Meetings will begin next Tuesday (24th) at 7:30 p.m. at the Presbyterian/Disciples of Christ Student Center.


Abundant Grace Community Church is hosting a parenting seminar tomorrow night (7:30) and Saturday morning (9:00). Lou Priolo, a PCA elder and Christian counselor will speak. Topics: How to avoid provoking your children to anger; philosophy and objectives of biblical parenting; how to use the scriptures in child training. It will be held at Lawton Chiles Elementary School on SW 24th Avenue.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Baptism Question 

A good question was asked in the "Comment" response section to the posting about baptism. Check it out and my answer under August 16 postings.

Hurricane Aid 

Click here for an article in the "byFaith" magazine of the PCA. It gives information about what the PCA is doing for hurricane relief and how you can help. One of the towns hit hardest is Watula, Cindy Keys' hometown and where Ty did youth ministry for two years.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Cousin Selena 

I just got this update in about my cousin Selena. I number of you have asked about her conditon and this gives a good picture of what her days are now like. For review of her condition look down to a previous posting. This message is from her father Rex.

I hope I can even remember all the things that we did. Selena and I tried to get as much rest as possible this last weekend because we knew that this week was going to be very busy. Monday I was officially sanctioned to do a transfer of Selena from her bed to the wheelchair nd back again. I'm thankful that our Selena is a petite 5'2" and weighs 105 pounds. This certification is as much for my benefit as it is for Selena's safety. My back was getting very strained until I was able to learn to do it correctly with a slide board.

So Monday was supposed to be PT and OT in the morning. That was changed because she got an EEG appointment. It's wonderful that Craig is connected to Swedish Hospital ( another top hospital in the US). When Selena went for her ultrasound NIVA she was able to stay in her bed and we pushed it thru the basement corridors to the radiology area. For the EEG she had to transfer to a different bed and off we went. It took about 1.5 hours and I hope to hear the report today (Tuesday). We came back just in time to go to speech therapy where I had to show the SP how Kathy from NV used tongue depressor sticks to help stretch Selena's jaw. We know that it isn't dislocated or fractured but the Dr believes that there is some scar tissue intrusion in the hinge joint. So, we slowly increase the jaw opening by first starting with three sticks along her left tooth line. SP then inserts one stick at a time between the others thereby slowly stretching open the jaw and allowing Selena to relax in between. This method has allowed her to go from a clenched jaw position to an opening about the size of the thickness of the tongue. This seems simple, effective and most importantly may allow us to avoid more surgery.

OT did some vision tests and Selena is seeing double. The double vision becomes more separate the further away an object is from her. She says her glasses make things sharper but doesn't fix the double vision. She has a formal optometrist meeting on Wed. They only see patients every other week so we are lucky that this is the week. OT believes that Selena will be able to correct this by exercising her eye muscles while trying to focus on near objects. We then went to PT where I got my final transfer checkoff. Then it was back to SP where she was given more language skills tests. This allows the SP to gauge whether a patient can understand the SP's statements and questions. Selena got all correct except one- it was a picture of a beaver and was the worst drawing that I ever saw. Selena finger spelled "otter". SP gave her that one with a big grin.

We go back to the room for a little break and to let Selena lay down without the brace. It used to be very uncomfortable for her but the brace company came in last week and cut it down. Then last weekend I cut and applied foam pads with Velcro to the areas that the brace was pushing hard on Selena's collar bone and shoulder blades. She said Monday that it felt ok. Yeah! Without her sitting up she will not progress and she cannot sit up without the brace till around September 20.

Everytime I think I can take some time for a break something else happens. For instance, they decided that she should get a different antibiotic twice a day for the lung infection. If it was fed via the PEG then she would have to stop eating for a total of 8 hours. Can't do that so they start an IV. After 45 minutes of giving her the medicine (it takes about 1 hour via IV) Selena starts scratching her arm and she begins to develop a rash on her arm. She was desperate to pull off the cotton arm sleeve that was holding her IV in place near her wrist. I had to get really stern with her and explain why she couldn't do that and then run down the nurse to see if there may be some danger that she will go into anaphylactic shock. Nurse stops the administration- talks with doctor- gives Selena some benedryl in the IV and then restarts the antibiotic and says for me to keep an eye on Selena for any more reactions. So far everything is ok but her next dose of antibiotic is at 4:30am. I've asked this nurse to make the night nurse very aware and watchful of Selena to ensure she isn't going into shock or pulling out the IV.

Another item- she has a small blood clot in her left arm and that is why they did the IV in the right arm. This was detected with the NIVA ultrasound tests. Now we have to make sure that all the Techs (people who only need a GED to be a tech) only do blood pressure tests in the legs. Otherwise they may move the blood clot or they may, by the pressure of the BP test, push out the IV. And it is very hard to find veins in Selena's arms right now.

All this may sound exhausting. It is for me. Can you imagine for Selena? And still after every person comes in and does something with her- even cause her pain- she always says goodbye and signs TY for "Thank You". That simple act startles almost everyone in an beautiful way, makes me proud to call her my daughter and makes me smile and cry.


Last Sunday I administered the sacrament of baptism and will be doing so again in the near future. Here is what the Book of Church Order has to say about it:

56-4. Before baptism, the minister is to use some words of instruction, touching the institution, nature, use, and ends of this sacrament, showing:
a. That it is instituted by our Lord Jesus Christ;
b. That it is a seal of the Covenant of Grace, of our ingrafting into Christ, and of our union with Him, of remission of sins, regeneration, adoption, and life eternal;
c. That the water, in baptism, represents and signifies both the blood of Christ, which taketh away all guilt of sin, original and actual; and the sanctifying virtue of the Spirit of Christ against the dominion of sin, and the corruption of our sinful nature;
d. That baptizing, or sprinkling and washing with water, signifies the cleansing from sin by the blood and for the merit of Christ, together with the mortification of sin, and rising from sin to newness of life, by virtue of the death and resurrection of Christ;
e. That the promise is made to believers and their children; and that the children of believers have an interest in the covenant, and right to the seal of it, and to the outward privileges of the Church, under the Gospel, no less than the children of Abraham in the time of the Old Testament; the Covenant of Grace, for substance, being the same; and the grace of God, and the consolation of believers, more plentiful than before;
f. That the Son of God admitted little children into His presence, embracing and blessing them, saying, “For of such is the kingdom of God”;
g. That children by Baptism, are solemnly received into the bosom of the Visible Church, distinguished from the world, and them that are without, and united with believers; and that all who are baptized in the name of Christ, do renounce, and by their Baptism are bound to fight against the devil, the world, and the flesh;
h. That they are federally holy before Baptism, and therefore are they baptized;
i. That the inward grace and virtue of Baptism is not tied to that very moment of time wherein it is administered; and that the fruit and power thereof reaches to the whole course of our life; and that outward baptism is not so necessary, that through the want thereof, the infant is in danger of damnation;
j. By virtue of being children of believing parents they are, because of God’s covenant ordinance, made members of the Church, but this is not sufficient to make them continue members of the Church. When they have reached the age of discretion, they become subject to obligations of the covenant: faith, repentance and obedience. They then make public confession of their faith in Christ, or become covenant breakers, and subject to the discipline of the Church.

Monday, August 16, 2004

Hurricane Charley 

We give thanks to God for mercifully sparing our area from the recent hurricane. But keep the people in the communities struck in your prayers. Many in our church have family and friends in those areas.

Cousin Selena 

Several people have asked for an update of my cousin Selena (early 20s) who was criticly injured from a mountain fall. At first, we did not know if she would live; then if she might live in a coma/vegetative-like state. She is now in a rehabilitation center reknown for its expertise. Selena communicates through writing and hand language that she had learned before the accident. She has no brain damage, which is miraculous considering that she fell 100 feet off a cliff. She does have some crushed vertebrae and no movement waist down. Nevertheless, she is certainly on the road to recovery. Thank you for your prayers.

Eventful Sunday 

Yesterday was eventful. In order, we publicly received the Sutton family in the church and baptized Katie. Then, in the evening, we installed Neemias Gomes as Assistant Pastor to minister to the Brazilian community. Both events are truly blessings to the church.

Beach Humor 

Blame my sister for this one:
A couple lived near the ocean and used to walk the beach a lot. One summer they noticed a girl who was at the beach pretty much every day. She wasn't unusual, nor was the travel bag she carried, except for one thing; she would approach people who were sitting on the beach, glance around furtively, then speak to them. Generally the people would respond negatively and she would wander off, but occasionally someone would nod and there would be a quick exchange of money and something she carried in her bag.The couple assumed she was selling drugs, and debated calling the cops, but since they didn't know for sure they just continued to watch her. After a couple of weeks the wife said, "Honey, have you ever noticed that she only goes up to people with boom boxes and other electronic devices? Tomorrow I want you to get a towel and our big radio and go lie out on the beach. Then we can find out what she's really doing." Well, the plan went off without a hitch and the wife was almost hopping up and down with anticipation when she saw the girl talk to her husband and then leave. The man walked up the beach and met his wife at the road. "Well, is she selling drugs?" she asked. "No, she's not," he said. "She's a battery salesperson." "Batteries?" cried the wife."Yes," he replied. "She sells C cells by the sea shore."

Friday, August 13, 2004

Isaiah Smith Bocock 

Isaiah was born at 3:00 today, coming in at 7 lbs, 3 oz., 19 and 1/2 inches. Mother and baby are doing well. Traci's labor lasted a couple of hours, the real stuff about 1/2 hour. She wants to know what the big deal is about giving birth. She managed to get her shopping in before coming to the hospital. She drove - yes, she drove - in the rain to pick up Philip on the way to the hospital.


Game night is cancelled tonight. Does anyone need help preparing for the storm or even moving to a safer location. I already have one offer to put up a family. Call the church or my house if you have need. We will probably close the church around noon.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Gomes Installation 

This Sunday evening, Neemias Gomes will be installed as Assistant Pastor of Faith Church. His responsibility will be to direct a ministry to the Brazilian community (Reformed Brazilian Fellowship). Please come out to the evening service (6:00) for this special occasion and welcome Neemias.

Baptism Sunday 

This Sunday, Dan and Donna Sutton are presenting their daughter Katie for baptism. Dan and Donna recently joined the church and will be publicly received this coming Sunday as well. It is great to have the family back!

Game Night 

This Friday night is our monthly game night. How about inviting friends. The routine is pretty well set. At 6:00 free food is ready. Most people wander in between 6 and 7. Some start games, particularly the kids, but most sit around and chat while eating. Board games generally start around 7:30. The ping pong table is out and usually being used. Because it is light outside, many of the kids like to be outside running about. The evening is informal, relaxed, and fun. People do whatever they want to do. Some are not game players, but come for the conversation. You can invite anyone. They can be from other churches or no church at all. We've had men from House of Hope. Some have brought international friends. If you have yet to attend, try to make it this Friday (and bring your favorite game).

Tuesday, August 10, 2004


We are back in town after a pleasant vacation in Edisto Beach, SC. The only gray cloud was Jean getting stung for the second year in a row by jelly fish. Something about her attracts them. Ginger and I celebrated our 25th anniversary in Charleston with a tour of the harbor by boat and then on land by carriage. Did you know that the "Slave Market" in Charleston was not used to sell slaves? That the first shot of the Civil War was fired from Fort Johnson over Fort Sumter as a signal for cannon fire to commence from several locations? Now we've got to get Jean packed and ready to move this Saturday across town.

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