Welcome to Gospel Tabernacle in Philipsburg, PA!

Service Time: Sunday at 10:30 AM

Join us here at Gospel Tabernacle each week to discover “how-tos” for the “ought-tos” of life! Find answers to life’s pressing problems through the insightful preaching of Pastor Dan Winters and the caring prayers of the congregation here. We have Youth and Children’s ministry on Sunday Morning, and small group prayer services. We look forward to your visit!

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The prayer garden

It was a gorgeous morning for planting my garden. the danger of frost appears to be over and they are calling for rain showers this afternoon  so everything will be nicely watered. I had purchased enough seeds and plants to fill up my space with a few seeds left over for replanting if necessary.  Dan had tilled everything well and he even added mulcgrowing-spinach-02h to the corner where the soil quality wasn’t as good.  Everything was perfect and I was itching to get down and play in the dirt.

This year I am thankful for being able to plant a garden for a big reason. I have had heart  issues this past year and during the winter months things seemed to be getting worse. But when the warmer weather became consistent, the angina pains seemed to lessen. I have been able to do many of the things that I used to do  with relatively little heart pain, Praise the Lord!

I’m thankful for my garden for another reason too. Each year my garden becomes a wonderful interactive prayer reminder for me. I can see the church building as I  work and one by one,  each of the families who attend come to mind. I am reminded to pray for their needs and for their relationships with the Lord as I plant seeds. I pray for their struggles as I struggle with the weeds. I pray for  God to produce much good fruit in their lives as I watch the maturing plants blossom and grow. And I pray for God to bring a mighty harvest of souls including unsaved loved ones as I harvest the produce.  And as I savor the taste of my fresh fruits and veggies, I thank the Lord for the lives of so many wonderful people who have blessed my life through our church.

The Lord places all sorts of prayer reminders around us each day. What things does he use to remind you to pray for others? I’d love to hear from you!

 

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Rummage and Bake Sale Announcement

rummage_saleWe will be having a Rummage and Bake sale on Thursday and Friday, May 15 and 16. All donations of  salable items and baked goods are welcome! Please call Pastor at the church 814-342-5718 if you need to arrange to drop things off. Thanks!

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That Lightbulb Moment

In preparation for Easter, the youth class I teach started watching one of the early Jesus movies – The Greatest Story Ever Told – which was first1_115304_1 released back in the 1960s.  As the movie progressed, I began to realize something – the teens, especially those who had grown up in church, had a pretty good knowledge of the individual events portrayed in the film. But they didn’t seem to realize how all those stories were connected from the birth of Jesus until his death. It was like a light bulb turned on in their heads as they suddenly saw it as Christ’s whole life rather than just a bunch of unrelated stories!

Think about it – every child who grows up in Sunday School will hear the story of how Jesus was “left behind” by his parents at age 12. They go back and find him engaged in a theological debate with the priests in the temple. The lesson teaches the importance of “being about our Father’s business”  but have you ever wondered why that story was important in the whole picture of Christ’s life?

It’s there because it helps connect the birth of Jesus with his ministry and his ultimate death. Jesus wasn’t just born and never heard from again until he reached adulthood.  The story shows us He was the Son of God throughout his whole life.  But it also shows us that he had to go through  a period of growth and development just like we do to get to the point where he was ready to do God’s business.

Jesus had the knowledge as a young boy to debate with the priests,  but he wasn’t ready to be in full time ministry yet. He had more of life to experience  – like learning obedience and submission to his parents – like we  have to learn submission to God. If he hadn’t become obedient to his earthly parents at that point in his life, who knows what could have happened?

I can picture Christ praying in the Garden of Gethsemane just before his trial and crucifixion. “Father if it be possible, let this cup pass from me.” And as he kneels there his mind flashes back to the experience in the temple when he debated with the priests as a 12 year old. He remembers his struggle as he must decide to submit and return home with his parents or to take his rightful place as a Bible teacher. After all, He was the Creator in the flesh and could have easily started his ministry then and there.

BUT HE CHOSE TO SUBMIT his will to the will of his parents. Perhaps that choice some 21 years earlier helped him  to submit to the eternal Plan of salvation as he faced shame and death on the cross. He really could have called 10,000 angels to destroy the world and set him free in that moment.

His life was a journey, like ours – full of individual events and memories. Each one  of these events and memories builds on the one before telling us a little bit more about who we are as a child of God and preparing us for the plans God has for us. We must look at our individual experiences as well as our  whole journey to get the full picture.

What kind of reader are you? Do you  look at the Bible as a collection of individual stories and life lessons? Or do you see it chronologically as a progression of  how God has dealt with man through the ages? Can you see the importance of both?

How do you read the story of your life? Is it a collection of vignettes or a saga of growth and development?

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Do Desperate Emotions Call For Desperate Measures?

The pain we have not grieved over will always stand between us and life.
Dr. Rachel Naomi Reman

 

At first glance, the Book of Ruth is a beautiful story of love and loyalty. But when I began to dig further, I found a rich source of life lessons for dealing with emotional hurts.

As Dr. Reman’s quote suggests, unresolved grief can lead to other problems including depression.  Perhaps it was the sheer volume of Naomi’s grief – moving away from friends and family, then losing her husband and two sons in a foreign land – that caused her to lapse into such a deep depression. We know she was depressed because she tells her friends to call her “bitter” (Mara) when she finally returns to Bethlehem.

Because Naomi felt responsible for her two daughters-in-law, she may not have allowed herself to fully grieve the lthCAJAZKZFoss of her  sons. Her depression may have escalated into anxiety and desperation causing her to push the girls  back to their own families – to ensure that they would have a future and to relieve herself of the burden of responsibility.

When Ruth refused to go back, the weight of responsibility for the young woman’s welfare must have hung even more heavily around  Naomi’s shoulders. She truly loved Ruth and wanted only the best for her, but in her depressed state of mind, Naomi couldn’t even imagine a solution. She became anxious and  desperate grasping at any small hope for a future for Ruth.

The Lord was orchestrating events for the two women in response to Ruth’s faith. He pointed her to the fields of Boaz, a perfect candidate to become the kinsman redeemer, a provision of Jewish law which ensured the care of widows and allowed the deceased family to retain their inheritance. But in Naomi’s depression she was unable to trust the Lord. When she realized Boaz could be a potential savior for herself and Ruth, she saw a glimmer of hope. But as time dragged on and Boaz didn’t follow through, Naomi became desperate and took matters into her own hands. She prostituted her daughter-in-law, hoping nature would take its course which would  force Boaz to “do what was right” by the women.

Because Ruth’s marriage to Boaz was part of God’s plan, there was no need for Naomi’s anxious and desperate measures. It would have worked out in God’s time with or without Naomi’s help.

God is in control of our lives as his children. Can you think of any times where you felt so desperate for something that you took matters into your own hands? What lessons have you learned about peace, rest and trust from these experiences?

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Operation Christmas Child report from the Philippines

This year we sent 28 boxes which were packed with love! Do you ever wonder where they went or how it made the recipients feel? This is a great video report from Samaritan’s Purse about some of the shoeboxes which were delivered there. Enjoy!

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But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship.        Galatians 4:4-5 NIV

Question: What do fine wine, aged cheese and Christmas have in common with us as Christians today?

Answer: God’s timing!

Like a master wine or cheese maker, God knew when the exact time had come – when mankind was at the peak of his need and when all factors were right for Jesus to be born in order to redeem us. A moment too soon and the pieces would not have fallen into their prophesied places. A moment too late and  the peak effectiveness of Christ’s sacrifice would have been lost.

Bible scholars have estimated there are hundreds of distinct prophecies surrounding Jesus’ birth and life. Scientists propose that for even 8 prophecies surrounding Jesus to fall into place would be one in 10 to the 17th power – enough to cover every inch of the state of Texas with silver dollars two feet deep!

But we serve a God who fulfilled ALL of the prophecies surround Jesus’ birth, life, death and resurrection at the perfect time. Can you trust him to order the events of your life to bring out the very best in and through your life today?

 

 

 

 

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Operation Christmas Child Dedication Sunday

This Sunday is the last day for our shoebox collections. Join us as we pray over these boxes before taking them to the drop off point.

Just for fun, watch this special video of Uncle Si from Duck Dynasty as he learns how to pack a shoe box.

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