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Friday, February 27, 2015
This morning we passed this beautiful farm in southern Lancaster County.
(Click for larger photo)
Listen to this
"We live by faith, not by
sight. We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the
body and at home with the Lord. So we make it our goal to please Him,
whether we are at home in the body or away from it" (2 Corinthians
Many times in my childhood when we've traveled so far
By nightfall how weary I'd grown
Father's arms would slip around me and gently he'd say
My child we're going home
I don't have a lot of childhood memories of long trips. We lived in the
Midwest and almost all of our travel were in states adjacent to
Missouri. But we made two long trips. Once with my Mom and little
sister to see our older brother Mike in California. He and his wife had
just had a baby, the first grandchild, and we took the train out while
my dad stayed home to work.
other trip was in a car with my mom and dad to see our other older
brother Pat who was in the military and stationed in South Carolina.
Looking back on that trip it's hard now to imagine how many miles we
travelled. My mom didn't drive and my sister and I were too young to
drive so Dad did all the driving. The last day we visited Washington DC
and stayed in western Virginia that evening. Early the next morning we
got up and headed home. Dad drove all the way about 900 miles so he could go to
work the next day. I can't recall anything about that leg of the trip
and assumed I slept a good part of it (Please note: Photo is for illustrative purposes only and is not really my sister and me in 1967!)
“Who wants to go home?” is a question we often ask following a long
trip or certainly after a stay at the hospital. Home generally conveys a message of comfort, warmth and safety where we
envision just being ourselves, relaxing and shutting out the busyness
of the world. Home for many of us is a haven. "It's great to be home!" is what we say after being away for a while.
We love our home. Sure we enjoy our rural location and the house we live in,
but primarily it's the family God has given us that brings warmth and
comfortable acceptance to our home. We hope many of our readers share that same sentiment.
Last Sunday afternoon I opened the service at Longwood Manor by sharing a story that
took place shortly after we moved to Lancaster County in 2001. An
employee had asked me to visit her grandmother who was dealing with
cancer and lived in "Landis Homes" (one of the many huge senior housing
complexes in our area). I located her room number and knocked on her
door. She warmly welcomed me into her room where the Bible laid on her
table which caught my eye immediately. After visiting a few minutes I shared
a Scripture from her Bible and prayed with her.
Like so many of the elderly, she expressed how much she missed her own
home but she made a great statement of faith with a contented state of
mind. As we visited in her very modest, but tastefully decorated room,
I complimented her living arrangements. Afterward she said with a tone of acceptance: "This is fine for now… after all,
it's not my permanent home."
I knew what she meant. She didn't
anticipate returning to her own home or ever moving into a bigger
apartment. Clearly when she referred to her "permanent home" she meant
her eternal home in heaven. What a healthy spiritual outlook and
example of contentedness! Although I have long lost contact I am quite sure she is likely in her permanent home.
Going home, I'm going home
There is nothing to hold me here
I've caught a glimpse of that Heavenly land
Praise God, I'm going home
We should all have a longing for our permanent home. Paul refers to it in our daily text as his
preference: “To be away from the body and at home with the Lord.”
He's including other believers in his statement (notice the personal
pronoun "we"). We are both confident we will be and indeed
would prefer to be at home with the Lord. Paul is contrasting this with
our present physical life where "we are at home in the body" (v. 9).
Bible teacher Erwin Lutzer writes concerning our arrival home with the Lord, "At
death we cross from one territory to another, but we'll have no trouble
with visas. Our representative is already there, preparing for our
arrival. As citizens of heaven, our entrance is incontestable."
Now the twilight is fading, the day soon shall end
Lord, I get homesick, the farther I roam
But the Father has led me each step of the way
And now I'm going home
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, we’re abundantly grateful for our earthly
dwellings where we find pleasure, companionship, comfort,
rest and sustenance. If we’re not intentional, we will give more time and
affection to our temporal home than our future eternal home. Perhaps
it's because we're living in the here and now and the future seems so
distant and unfamiliar. Help us not to fear the future nor foolishly
think it will not come, but to embrace it so that we are prepared when
that moment comes. May our heart's yearning, our primary focus, and our
physical labors also have heavenly goals each day as we seek to live
for You daily. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.
Yesterday I shared a message about obfuscation and the need for
discernment. I purposefully began with a true but misleading story to
illustrate what obfuscation is (making communication
confusing, willfully ambiguous, or harder to interpret").
I truly know Robert Grant, who is a friend from college and it is true that Robert
Grant wrote the hymn "O Worship The King". However as astute,
discerning readers noted it is not
the same Robert Grant!!! The first Robert Grant is my age while Robert
Grant (photo to right), the hymnwriter, was born in 1779.
David Penley, a Texan friend and careful reader elaborates: "I have
been a Southern Baptist from the cradle roll in my first church, and we
have sung "O Worship the King" as long as I can remember. It is one of
my most dearly loved hymns. So I wondered how the Robert Grant you knew
could have written it. I did further research. What can I say? I'm a
professor. It's what I do. I can't help myself. I have in my library a
book entitled "Handbook of the Baptist Hymnal" which relates the story
behind every song in our hymnal. The song was indeed written by Robert
Grant - Sir Robert Grant. He was born in 1779, was a member of the
British Parliament and Governor of Bombay when India was under English
rule. He wrote the song in 1833, the year before he became governor of
Bombay and was knighted. He died in India in 1838."
Thanks to all who replied. We're pleased to see that we have many "Berean" readers/students.
Today following a chaplain visit we drove through scenic southern Lancaster County.
An Amish farm in southern Lancaster County.
(Click for larger photo)
This Amish family was running out of firewood on these cold days.
(Click for larger photo)
A collie peacefully resting on this beautiful but cold day. Somehow this setting reminds me of what we might have viewed from the old series, "Lassie". Make sure you click to see the old tire swing.
(Click for larger photo)
Amish buggy entering into White Rock Covered Bridge.
There's the distinct sound of the clickety-clack of horseshoes on the wooden bridge deck!
Music and Supplemental Resources
"Going Home" Video Bill Gaither with some of the old-timers, several who have gone on to their permanent home.
"Home Where I Belong" Video Mark Lowry
"But You're Not Home Yet!"
This moving story took place about 100 years ago that makes us pause and consider where our home really is.
An old missionary couple who had been working in Africa for many years
returned to New York City to retire. With no pension and broken in
health, they were discouraged and somewhat fearful of the future.
They happened to be booked on the same ship as Teddy Roosevelt who was
returning from a big-game hunting expedition. They watched the
passengers trying to glimpse the great man, the crew fussing over him,
photographers flashing their oversized cameras…
Back at the dock in New York locals squeezed into every available
space, the band with their instruments positioned to break into
celebratory music as the president departed the ship. Yet the
missionary couple who had given their all to reach the African people
for Christ slipped off the ship completely unnoticed.
That night, in a cheap flat they rented on the East Side, the man's
spirit finally broke. He said to his wife, "I can't take this; God is
not treating us fairly." His wife, no longer able to cope with
his agitated spirit, suggested he go into the bedroom and speak to the
Lord about that which he was feeling.
A short time later he walked out of the bedroom with a brighter countenance. His wife asked, "Dear, what happened?"
"The Lord settled it with me," he said. "I told Him how bitter I was
that the president should receive this tremendous homecoming, when no
one was present to meet us as we returned home. And when I
finished, it seemed as though the Lord put His hand on my shoulder and
simply said, 'But you're not home yet!'"
to Stephen &
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am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus
Christ I have been redeemed and make it my life's goal to please the
Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and
obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."
Encouragement Net 495
Church Road Mount
C. Weber All
the weak things in the world,
That no flesh will glory
in His presence."