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Pennsylvania News Update Feed

April 26, 2014

Capitol Commission PA: 4/26/2014 Update

I begin this update by saying I am sorry. It has been close to four months since my last communication, and the topic previously covered was finances.  I confess that I struggle writing ministry updates; this exercise of trying to show all the ways your generous giving is having an impact at the Capitol is a goal that seems elusive to me. I think, what I would like to do is to share my thoughts, feelings, and struggles in the midst of this work.  My hope is that this candid approach will help give you a feel of who I am and what I hope to accomplish. 

I had planned to do significant writing for my next Bible study today, in this I failed miserably. The text I am working through is Luke 10:17-24.  In this passage the seventy or seventy-two, depending on the scholars you read, returns rejoicing because they were able cast out demons in Jesus' name.  Later they are mildly corrected by Jesus; he reminds them their rejoicing should come because their names are written in heaven. Interesting, I believe this is very significant and reveals the slippery slope to pride.  Immediately following this interaction is found the only recorded time in Scriptures of Jesus rejoicing.  Why does Jesus rejoice? Because the gospel message is revealed to the little children (the humble) and hidden from the wise and learned (the self-righteous).  It is not what we do or the things we stand for, nor the talents, gifts, or privileges we possess, rather, in Jesus’ estimation all hangs on our response to his message and standing in heaven.  Please pray I will be able to flesh out this topic in a written study with much haste.

Next Tuesday is the Commonwealth Prayer Breakfast. This year's speaker is the Former Governor of SC David Beasley.  I have been asked to give the invocation to this event.  In these situations I am reminded of the advice a colleague gave me, "do no harm, it’s all about the relationship" – I will try.  Later on that day, my friend, Pastor Al Palmateer is opening the Senate session in prayer.  He was asked by his State Senator following a personal meeting in which he prayed for the Senator and delivered a hand-written prayer note to him.  Please pray that each of us will do no harm, and the Lord will use these opportunities to develop growing relationships with those at the Capitol

Let me take a moment to talk about the power of a donut.  Normally a legislator would bring a dozen to the Bible study and the leftovers would stay in his office for visitors.  Recently the Dunkin Donuts closed in Harrisburg where this purchase was made. The following week I brought the donuts, but what was I to do with the leftovers.  I decided to hand-deliver them to the staff and legislators throughout the Capitol, and currently the donut distribution has grown to three dozen.  As I gave them out, I would tell the recipients that the donuts were leftovers from the Bible study.  It might seems silly, but giving them something because of a genuine affection for them has touched many hearts.  As a result of God opening doors I am considering starting a Bible study for the staff on a non-session day.  Please keep this in your prayers as I consider the logistics involved in meeting this need.

Thank you for your friendship, prayers, and support.  It is only through your support that we have the privilege to serve those we care for deeply at the Capitol with the gospel.  Please pray for your leaders (, and pray also for us to have the hearts necessary to pour ourselves out like a drink offering in service of our king.

With great affection and love,