A Parable for the Church...

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I wanted to share this Sunday, as it illustrates what happens to a church that drifts from fulfilling her mission out of sincere love for Christ, His people, and the lost.

Take a couple of minutes and let this sink in:

On a dangerous seacoast where shipwrecks often occur there was a once a crude little life-saving station. The building was just a hut, and there was only one boat, but the few devoted members kept a constant watch over the sea, and with no thought for themselves, they went out day or night tirelessly searching for the lost. 

Many lives were saved by this wonderful little station, so that it became famous. Some of those who were saved, and various others in the surrounding areas, wanted to become associated with the station and give of their time and money and effort for the support of its work. New boats were bought and new crews were trained. The little life-saving station grew.

Some of the new members of the life-saving station were unhappy that the building was so crude and so poorly equipped. They felt that a more comfortable place should be provided as the first refuge of those saved from the sea.

So they replaced the emergency cots with beds and put better furniture in an enlarged building. Now the life-saving station became a popular gathering place for its members, and they re-decorated it beautifully and furnished it as a sort of club.

Less of the members were now interested in going to sea on life-saving missions, so they hired life boat crews to do this work.

The mission of life-saving was still given lip-service but most were too busy or lacked the necessary commitment to take part in the life-saving activities personally.

About this time a large ship was wrecked off the coast, and the hired crews brought in boat loads of cold, wet, and half-drowned people.

They were dirty and sick, and some of them had black skin, and some spoke a strange language, and the beautiful new club was considerably messed up. So the property committee immediately had a shower house built outside the club where victims of shipwreck could be cleaned up before coming inside.

At the next meeting, there was a split in the club membership. Most of the members wanted to stop the club's life-saving activities as being unpleasant and a hindrance to the normal life pattern of the club.

But some members insisted that life-saving was their primary purpose and pointed out that they were still called a life-saving station. But they were finally voted down and told that if they wanted to save the life of all the various kinds of people who were shipwrecked in those waters, they could begin their own life-saving station down the coast. They did.

As the years went by, the new station experienced the same changes that had occurred in the old. They evolved into a club and yet another life-saving station was founded.

If you visit the seacoast today you will find a number of exclusive clubs along that shore. Shipwrecks are still frequent in those waters, only now most of the people drown.

-Author unknown

May we never become a “club”. Stay on mission.

-pastor jeff

MHY September Recap

Russ, Jeff, Darla, Sara

Russ, Jeff, Darla, Sara

On Saturday morning September 16th, members of HBCPN joined together with the goal of painting the dorm rooms of one of MHY's several (cabins/dormitories). Each of the 12 rooms was prepped for painting by removing switch and outlet covers and covering beds with drop cloths and tape as needed. Trim and cutting-in was accomplished and then main wall painting. Our team worked with the maintenance staff and knocked this out in 6 hours.

There was no need for Michelangelo, just willing individuals with servant hearts.

This outreach enabled other members of our church to serve MHY who aren't interested in working directly with kids, but still desire to help out the organization and the kids.

One of the best parts of this service was a sneak peak into what life is like for these kids outside of the evenings we get to spend with them sharing the gospel and playing games. It enabled us to see behind the scenes and where they sleep, what their room and personal quarters are like. As we worked we were praying for each kid while we were painting their room. Their name was posted at the door. Just a nice chance to pray for them and God working in their life as we were serving them.

The other "surprise" was the observation of one of the Bibles that we had previously handed out to the kids. It was on top of their other books and binders. It was just a reminder that we are doing a good work here and helping to share the word of the Lord with these kids. It's encouragement as well to keep on going and not to give up. To continue sharing Christ's love for his kids here at MHY.

Please join me at the next outreach that is scheduled for Thursday October 26th starting at 6PM.

-Russell Howells

The Roof Has Been Raised and so is God's Glory!

It doesn't get any more "GQ" than this friends! Lookin' tough on the roof!

It doesn't get any more "GQ" than this friends! Lookin' tough on the roof!

Ever play that silly game "Never Have I Ever"? Well, I'm not going to explain the rules because it usually devolves into silliness among teen and post teenagers alike, but seriously NEVER HAVE I EVER been part of such an amazing and tangible outreach project! (hypocrisy alert! I didn't swing a hammer, I was just Mr. Documentary Boy for the day)

The beauty of this particular project is that we were able to come together as a church and take care of one of our own. In less than a month we coordinated a monstrous day of replacing a leaking roof for the Zeleznak family. Funds were raised, people were rallied, food was prepared, prayer was given, hugs were had, tears were shed, shingles were removed, beards were made fun of, laughter was abundant, hard work was given, joy was shared, but most importantly God was GLORIFIED!!!

There's nothing more I can really say, other than watch this top notch video edited by Brooke (she's amazing!):

This has surely been a very busy August and summer for the church. But next time there is the opportunity to help those in need, we pray that you jump at the chance to see what God does in your heart when you pour out blood, sweat, and oh yes many many tears for His kingdom, for His glory, for His church! Forever you'll be changed!!!

Small Group Outreach: Hosanna Industries

In the 2016 winter quarter, the Murphy Small group teamed up with Hosanna Industries by helping an elderly woman named Linda with her home in Mckeesport, PA. She lived by herself, already had one knee replacement while awaiting another and could not do much with the dampness in her basement. Russ, Mike, and Ben traveled down together on the coldest day of the year to help scrape off old mortar, dust, and then dry-loc her basement walls to keep the moisture from seeping in and the mildew out of her home.

She was very appreciative of the work and we enjoyed our time together working to further His kingdom with some good old fashion sweat and sore hands. Check out the brief video below to see the work that was done in Linda's home.