“No man, having put his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”

Jesus didn’t mean to ignore smaller problems. He was saying that once you start something you really believe God wants you to do, don’t give up. If God has given you a job to do, He will see you through, so hang in there and keep going.

It is now 2021 — a new year. About 400 years ago, people from Europe started coming to America. Many of these people came for a new start, a place where they could worship freely, share their faith, and trust God to guide them.

The first permanent settlement was in 1607 at an English colony at Jamestown (now Virginia). That first charter emphasized the character of their purpose by referring to “the glory of His Divine Majesty.”

In 1620, the Pilgrims came and settled at Plymouth Rock. Their charter stated what they were doing was “for the glory of God and the advancement of the Christian faith.”

Most of those early settlers were strongly influenced by the Bible and they brought that influence with them when they came to this country.

In 1776, the settlers in the New World came together to fight for independence and they won. The New World became the United States and in a short time, it became a great nation because God was guiding them.

Now, people try to dismiss the fact that America was founded on biblical principles, but they can’t change the facts. There were predominant Christian ideas and beliefs in colonial America. It is evident in the documents and laws written by the founding fathers.

There are many things in America that we should be proud of and we should be thankful to call America our home, but our country is not what it used to be. Our nation has drifted from its biblical foundations and our freedom to serve God and promote the gospel is disintegrating.

We are engaged in a spiritual battle and people need to turn to God and ask His help if they want America to return to solid footing and restore a moral nation that righteousness will exalt.

The founding fathers knew the power and purpose of prayer. The documents they wrote for the country granted certain processes for bringing about change when things were wrong, but they are pathways for nonviolent moral, social and political change. To do that, we should learn and understand them.

Violence and hate don’t solve anything. If you really think something is wrong, do what you can to make things better, but do them in the right way.

When fighting for what is right and true, we should not give up. One author wrote, “The battle is not always won by the strongest, the smartest or the most elite, but ultimately it comes to those who persist and persevere.”

During the Revolutionary War, George Washington led his troops into many battles. He lost most of them, but he did not give up. He looked for guidance from above and he and the troops won the war. The United States became its own country.

The first prayer offerred in Congress was in 1774 and part of that prayer follows: “O Lord Our Heavenly Father, high and mighty King of kings and Lord of lords, who dost from Thy throne behold all the dwellers on earth and reignest with power supreme and uncontrolled over all the kingdoms, empires and governments; look down in mercy, we beseech Thee, on these our American States, who have fled to Thee from the rod of the oppressor and thrown themselves on Thy gracious protection, desiring to be henceforth dependent only on Thee. To Thee have they appealed for the righteousness of their causes; to Thee do they now look up for that countenance and support, which Thou alone canst give. Take them, therefore, Heavenly Father, under Thy nuturing care; give them wisdom in council and valor in the field; defeat the malicious designs of our cruel adversaries; convince them of the unrighteousness of their cause and if they persist in their sanguinary purposes, of their own unerring justice, sounding in their hearts, constrain them to drop the weapons of war from their unnerved bands in the day of battle!

Be Thou present, O God of wisdom, and direct the councils of this honorable assembly; enable them to settle things on the best and surest foundation ... All this we ask in the name and through the merits of Jesus Christ, Thy Son and our Saviour. Amen.”

Next week there will be the inauguration of a new President of the United States. Many people are not happy about that, but hate and violence are not going to help. If you really feel there is an injustice, do what you can to make things right, but do it with love of country and mankind, not with hate. We can ask God to bless America, but we have to do our part, too.

Recent events

— David Weber grew up in Pleasantville and lived there for many years. He has written articles for The Herald and authored two books. Last summer, he moved to Titusville. David is currently a patient at the Shadyside Hospital in Pittsburgh and would enjoy hearing from his friends. Cards can be sent to him at UPMC Shadyside, 5230 Central Avenue, Room 645, Pittsburgh, Pa. 15232

— The school buses are running again. Students in the Titusville School District are back in school, with half of the students going to school on Monday and Wednesday and the others going on Tuesday and Thursday. The other days are online. Be prepared for the buses, especially if the weather is bad. It has been a difficult time and the school board and teachers are trying to work together for what is best. Right now, things can change from one day to the next

Pleasantville TOPS

If all goes well, Pleasantville TOPS will resume meeting on Thursday, Jan. 21, at the Pleasantville Community Church. Weigh-in will be from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., and the meeting will begin at 6:30. For information, call Cathy at (814) 589-7197.

Church schedules

Pleasantville Community Church has not had church services for the past two weeks, but plans to resume worship service on Sunday. For the time being, Grand Valley and Sanford Methodist churches have joined together and will meet at the Grand Valley church for worship at 10:30 on Sunday morning. Anyone attending any worship service should follow the rules, for your own health and those you love. Masks should be worn and social distancing should be observed. Be careful and stay safe. If you have any questions or needs, contact the church or the minister.

— Enterprise Methodist, Pastor Penny Helmbold - Wednesday, 6:30 p.m., Bible study via Zoom. Sunday, Human Relations Day, 9 a.m., worship.

— Faith Community Church, Rev. Jerry Drake - Sunday, 10 a.m., Sunday school; 11, worship

— Pleasantville Community Church, Rev. Shawn Jacobson - Sunday, 10:45 a.m. worship.

— Pleasantville Presbyterian Church - 10 a.m., worship service, virtual.

— Pleasantville Methodist, Pastor Janet Sill - Sunday, 9:50, worship.

— Pleasantville Free Methodist, Rev. Chuck Riel - Sunday, 11 a.m., worship.

— Pleasantville Independent Baptist, Pastor Richard LaRocque - Sunday, 11 a.m., worship.`

— Full Gospel, Pastor Dave McCauley - Wednesday, 6 p.m., Bible study. Sunday, 10 a.m., Sunday school; 11, worship.

— Shamburg Christian Church of God, Rev. Fred Frye - Wednesday, 6 p.m., Bible study on “What happens when life on earth ends?” Thursday, 5:30 p.m., Board meeting. Sunday, 9:45 a.m., worship; 11:15, Sunday school.

— Grand Valley Methodist, Pastor Penny Helmbold - Wednesday, 6:30 p.m., Bible study via Zoom. Sunday, 10:30 a.m., worship.

Scheduled events

— The Second Harvest Mobile Food Pantry will be at the Pleasantville Fire Department on Wednesday, Jan. 20. There is no charge for the food boxes, but eligibility does depend on income, and preregistration is necessary. Call the Pleasantville Methodist Church at (814) 589-7385 for more information or to register. If no one answers, leave your name and phone number and someone will return your call.

— Sunday is Human Relations Day. It is celebrated on the Sunday before the observance of Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday. Human Relations Day acknowledges the right of all God’s children to reach their potential and calls all churches to strengthen this outreach to communities all over the United States by supporting social justice and work with at-risk youth. Think about what you can do to help this cause.

Martin Luther King was born in in 1929 in Atlanta, Georgia, in an era when Black people were considered inferior. People didn’t expect much from that little boy, but Martin was intelligent and entered Morehouse College when he was only 15. His father and grandfather were Baptist preachers and he learned much from them.

After graduating from college, he went to the seminary in Chester, Pennsylvania. While there, he realized that he didn’t agree with some of the great philosophers and theologians. Martin thought of God as an active, personal entity and believed faith in God’s guidance was essential for salvation. He was serving a church in Montgomery, Alabama, when Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to give up her bus seat for a white passenger. Martin became the leader of a group to boycott the transit system and a year later, the city buses were desegrated.

Martin didn’t believe in violence. He thought sit-ins and marches were the best way to get his point across, and he won the support of President Kennedy and President Johnson.

In 1964, he won the Nobel Prize for Peace. He was a leader of a movement “who was able to turn protests into a crusade, translate local conflicts into moral issues of nationwide concern and won his greatest victories by appealing to the consciences of white Americans.”

Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in 1968. In 1986, Congress proclaimed the third Monday of January a national holiday in his honor. Banks, post offices and other government agencies will be closed on Monday. Remember why they are closed and who you should celebrate. Most people won’t become celebrities, but each one can still do their part to make a difference in our world.

— The Pleasantville Fire Department and auxiliary can always use more help. They meet at the fire hall on the first and third Thursdays of every month. Right now they are meeting in the fellowship area, where they have plenty of room to spread out. Anyone interested is welcome to attend. Maybe an older teenager would like to be a junior firefighter or maybe someone would be interested in being an EMT. If you don’t want that much action, maybe you would like to help the auxiliary with dinners and other projects. The next meeting will be at 6:30 on Thursday evening, Jan. 21.

Military list

Our military list includes Austin Foster, Autumn Kinney, Shy Lewis, Kimberly Miles, Heather Luchka, Kimberly Savitz, Jay Bowes, Dalton Burns, Jacob Hart, Josh Jacobson, Austin Kinney, Ben Lewis, Andrew Moronski, Ben Nosko, Lucas Savitz, Cody Sterling, Trey Tanner, David Vroman, Bill Wencil and all those serving in the military.

Prayer list

We are thankful for the vaccine. Most people don’t seem to have side effects, but people are still coming down with the virus. We pray that all people will be able to get the vaccine soon. Remember those who have lost their jobs or had to close their business. They are having a tough time. Our prayer list also includes David Weber, Maxine Brandon, Faith Francis, Bob Stewart, Peter Weis, Dick Jones, Lanny Pollard, Paul Thompson, Lloyd Jackson, Jami Hillman, Lenora Wencil, Chandra Brandon, Mary Ann Kopper, Richard Kinney, Mike Firster, Kay Seeley, Elwin Van Cise, Martha Thompson, Sue Wagner, Audrey Walters and Gary Fratus.

Birthday list

Birthday greetings go to Aimee Luke, Flossie Kelly and Mike Wright on Jan. 13, Cheryl Bodamer and Mandee Underhill on Jan. 14, Doti Shreve on Jan. 15, Jennifer Beach, Cade Wright and John J. Wright on Jan. 16, Sandy Hoban on Jan. 17 and Ashley Lohr and Katie McCandless on Jan. 19.

Anniversary list

Happy anniversary to Pastor Janet and Lynn Sill on Jan. 18. May everyone have a great day.

Nancy Mulvin can be reached at (814) 516-3787.

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