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Valley Church News

wisdom for the information age 1
June 30, 2016

"Praise the LORD. Blessed are those who fear the LORD, who find great delight in his commands."
~ Psalm 112.1

     Every now and again we hear certain phrases like: "crime pays;" or "the bad boy always gets the girl." Or we read things like this from the Psalms themselves: "The ways of the wicked are always prosperous; your laws are rejected by them; they sneer at all their enemies." Sometimes it's tempting to think that that's the way things really are, and we're left to wonder: why am I following God? What's the point when it seems to not pay off?
     This Sunday we continue on from Psalm 111, which displayed God at work, to Psalm 112, which displays godliness at work. Against the idea that crime pays and the ways of the wicked prosper, Psalm 112 assures us that a life lived within God's wisdom and ways does truly prosper in God's abundant shalom. I encourage you to read both Psalms 111 and 112 (designed to go together!) prior to our time together this Sunday. We will also be celebrating the feast of our Lord's Supper, so I encourage you to prepare in hear and mind for that time of celebration and communion with our Lord and with our brothers and sisters in Christ.

The Challenge of Psalm 111:

     This past Sunday, we read these words of the psalmist: "Great are the works of the LORD; they are pondered by all who delight in them." The Hebrew word that is translated by the pew Bible as pondered means to carefully study or search with diligence. It means that those who delight in the works of the LORD will make the time to do the work necessary to carefully study God's great works. So the psalm poses some challenges for those of us who profess a delight in God's great works. Here are some questions I think we can ask ourselves in response: am I carefully studying the great works of God that are revealed in scripture? Am I searching with diligence the majestic works of God revealed in creation? And some more pointed questions: Are my social media, internet, and TV viewing habits helping me to see God's great works, helping me to live with eyes wide open to God's hand in creation? Or are they a distraction that numb me - numbing me to God's presence, to myself, and to my neighbor? Is my daily schedule conducive to diligently searching God's Word in a way that God's story is shaping and forming me into Christ's likeness? Or does my daily schedule leave me run ragged, barely skimming the surface of life, let alone the surface of God's Word? Do my (or my children's) sports, music, and social commitments afford me the time to stop? Do they allow me the time to stop and steep myself in the majesty of God's wonderful deeds? Or am I constantly running, steeped in whatever happens to come my way? What changes do I need to make in order to more faithfully search diligently God's great works in scripture and creation and thereby enjoy the blessings of abundant life that come with abiding in God's wisdom?

     One more note: I mentioned Jonathan Edwards' sermon "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" on Sunday morning. It was assigned to me in an English class at my public high school in Indiana. As an artifact of the Great Awakening it is certainly an important piece of American history (and American literary history). You can read it here. As I said, it does not communicate the whole of Edwards' thought; he was a Reformed pastor who just as forcefully preached and taught the abundant riches of God's grace and covenant love.

From the Deacons:
Flooding%20in%20WV.jpg?itok=a25y_MhpWorld Renew Responds to 1,000 Year Flood in West Virginia:
     Areas Northeast of Charleston, West Virginia were hit with severe flooding after heavy rain began to fall last Wednesday. Sadly, at least 24 people have lost their lives and many are still missing.
     More than 40,000 residents were without power, and in Rowan County alone, at least 500 homes are severely damaged or destroyed.
     "Emergency personnel are calling this a 1,000-year flood," says Bonnie Wiersma, World Renew regional manager for West Virginia.
     World Renew is seeking donations to support the recovery efforts. To learn more about how you can support World Renew's efforts, click here.


~ Valley Church ~
Gathered as God's family, we are sent into the world as agents of God's mission of renewal.

This Sunday:
Worship Service
at 10:00 a.m.

That we might better pray for one another:

     We pray for peace and blessings for Wilson, Maggie, Miley, and Sophia Germain and the extended Germain family during a time of family hardship.
     We pray for continued healing and strength for Dot Simonds.
     We pray for Rusty Nelson as he embarks on his trip to Europe this Sunday morning.
     We give thanks for our graduates and our teens and ask for God's continued guidance and wisdom for all them during this season of transition and during the various activities of the summer vacation.
     We pray for the shalom of the greater Binghamton area, and for guidance as to specific ways we as individuals and as a church might partner with God as stewards of his reign to cultivate that shalom in the city of our exile.
     We pray for God's world: for the people of Ethiopia in the midst of drought; for ongoing restoration, renewal, and justice for the people of Haiti; for refugees fleeing violence around the world; for those who are persecuted for their faith around the world; for God's miraculous intervention in the Middle East; for the people and leadership of the United States during this election season; for organizations fighting to protect religious liberty in our changing world.

     We pray for friends and family: we give thanks for the healing that Zach, who was injured in a motorcycle accident, has experienced and pray for continued recovery for him; we pray for healing and strength for Doris Pitcher's great-grandson Kevin, who was diagnosed with Crohn's disease; we pray for Susan Law's employee who is mourning the sudden loss of his mother and faces a long road of caring for a father with dementia; for Jerry and Claire Krempel's granddaughter Joselyn's pregnancy; for Jim Canary, Sr.; for continued healing and patience for Erin Peterson's brother Keith following his bicycle accident, giving thanks for the healing he has experienced; we give thanks for the good medical report for Paul Peterson's mother; for healing for Adam Derzanovich; for Mike Corgan's nephew who is battling heroin addiction; for healing and rehabilitation for Marcus Doller's mother; for energy and strength for Alistair Krempel; we pray for those battling cancer: for Deb Harmon's brother, for Jim and Marsha Conrad's friend Judy, for Marcus Doller's friend Scott, for the DeYoungs' niece/cousin Terri; for the Petersons' friends Pat and Amy.

Sunday Morning Ministries for
July 3, 2016

Greeter: Frank & Barb Lockwood

Ushers: Doug Aukema and George de Jager

Intercessory Prayer: George de Jager

Scripture Reader: Harry Myers

Nursery: Herleen DeYoung and Elizabeth Bennett

Church Telephone: 607.648.8224
Church email:
Church website:

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Valley Church
1452 River Road
Binghamton, New York 13901

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