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New Horizons

January, 2011: Showing Love to the Needy

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Contents

Ministering to the Chronically Ill

Karen vividly remembers going with her family to Denice Murphy's apartment to sing Christmas carols and being shocked that the 59-year-old bedridden widow had been left by caregivers in shambles.

"This can't go on," Karen said to her husband (who prefers anonymity) as they drove back to their home. As members of Covenant OPC in Orland Park, Illinois, they knew the Scripture teaching that believers should care for widows and orphans. Bedridden with muscular dystrophy and fibromyalgia, Denice had lived by herself since becoming a widow three years before. She depended on caregivers to come six hours daily to help her clean up, fill her water tube, and give her one meal and leave a sandwich on her bed for another meal. Instead, caregivers stayed just two hours and left Denice disheveled, sometimes prompting her to cancel visits from church members because of embarrassment. Read more

Nursing Home Ministries

When Westminster OPC in Westminster, California, moved to a new location in the late 1990s, the congregation purchased not only a new church building, but also an adjacent empty lot. When that lot was sold, an assisted living facility was built there, providing the church with an opportunity for ministry.

Many churches in the OPC have a ministry to people in assisted living or nursing facilities; Westminster carries out such a ministry with next-door neighbors. Read more

Adoption: Costly Redemption

Have you ever had one of those "ah ha" moments while reading the Bible? Perhaps you were reading a passage you had read many times before, but this time it was different. This time some aspect of God's word was so indelibly impressed upon your mind that what was once only informative suddenly became transformative as you heard "the Holy Spirit speaking in the Scripture" (Westminster Confession of Faith, 1.10). I recently had such an experience.

Before I reveal what was so impressed upon my heart that day, let me back up and provide some context. For several months, my wife and I had been giving serious consideration to pursuing special-needs adoption. The idea of adoption had always been in our hearts, but when a providential conversation raised the question of whether we might ever consider adopting a child with Down syndrome (DS), the idea began to sprout into desire. That conversation prompted my wife to begin investigating special-needs adoption. Read more

J. Gresham Machen, Man of God

Most people who know the name J. Gresham Machen think almost exclusively: theologian. That is understandable. He was one of God's great theologians, and he was known widely through his theological writings. Yet, deep as his theology was, it was only the foundation of what the man Machen really was.

It was my inestimable privilege to be a student of his for two and a half years at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, from September 1934 until his death on January 1, 1937. It may be that I, at age 97, am the only one living who knew him as a teacher and in his ministerial calling. It is such a privilege to still have the memories! Read more

 
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