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Wednesday, September 27, 2006
"Taking A Stand"
"Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand" (Ephesians 6:13).
Brooksyne and I enjoy interfacing with young people, expressing personal interest and challenging them to live for the Lord. Sunday evening after the church service we gathered with a group of youth in a restaurant and spent time getting to know them better as we talked about their schooling, their jobs, and their challenges.
We realize we are no longer cool (I am not sure we ever really were, but I suppose we thought we were). Now we are just two adults in our fifties which is an ancient age to the kids. The young people sensed our genuine interest and love for them as we shared around the table and were very responsive and seemed appreciative. We find that the usual barrier of age differences diminish when genuine love and interest is expressed to those whom we reach out to. This is true for those from each end of the age spectrum.
Today millions of students demonstrate their faith in God by praying around the flagpole at their local school. Many of you have heard about this event that only began in 1990 and yet now has spread worldwide with millions participating. May the Lord indeed bless and encourage Christian young people around the world and empower them to take a stand for Jesus Christ as they live out their faith in an increasingly hostile world.
Putting on the full armor of God is a daily exercise for believers in every generation. It is never optional for the Christian who desires to live in victory. We all face the day of evil and in so many ways it seems our young people face degrees of evil that we were never exposed to. I just read an article about the extent of sexual perversion that is actually being taught and affirmed as "good" in schools in Massachusetts and of course this is spreading.* Godly parents and students who seek to take a stand against it are reviled by the powers that be.
For many years I have been intrigued by the final phrase in our daily text, "you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand." The repetition is for emphasis. We must, by God's grace and the appropriation of His appointed armor, keep standing in the midst of adversity that is certain to come our way.
Although there is no question that the very public atmosphere of the "See you at the pole" event does make a statement regarding a stand for the Lord, I hope for the majority of participants it's also an earnest expression of their faith and dependency on God. Today I pray that each of you, however old you are or wherever you may live, will have a holy boldness in appropriately expressing your faith. Indeed, let us all take a stand!
Be encouraged today,
Stephen and Brooksyne Weber
Daily Prayer: Jesus, I want to be vigilant in equipping myself today as I battle the spiritual forces of evil. Though I wage war in this present and evil generation I have a body guard in the presence of the Holy Spirit Who gives me power over the enemy of my soul. Today, I stand against the devil's schemes because I take on the full armor of God; the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the gospel of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God. As I prayerfully take on this spiritual armor I am fully equipped with the necessary provisions to overcome discouragement and defeat. Instead I am a conqueror who stands triumphant by Your grace, Lord Jesus Christ! Amen.
"See You at the Pole"
* For those who want to read this article here is a webpage describing the situation in Massachusetts. I want to caution you that in merely describing the perversions some of the material is inevitably offensive while also being informative. It's also a reminder that even in the frontlines of evil there are people trying to take a stand.
Stephen and I want to give thanks to the Lord for overseeing a situation that could have been serious yesterday. As devoted readers know I grow a large assortment of flowers and for the past three years I've been growing the Hyacinth Bean Vine pictured to the right. The pods and beans are poisonous but can be eaten if thoroughly boiled, changing the water several times. I've read where this plant is popular in Africa and is commonly eaten by the Africans.Everyone welcome! Although we realize this invitation will only apply to a relative few who receive our daily encouragement messages locally we would like to invite you to a Praise and Worship service on October 14 at my Amish neighbor's barn. We will also have another neighbor sharing a hay ride prior to the worship service. Brooksyne will be leading the worship. More details will be forthcoming. A reader from Los Angeles wrote yesterday and shared this thought: "Sorry I will miss the praise and worship in the barn!! That to me would be better than going to Hawaii!!" She has expressed on several occasions how much she enjoys reading about life in the country and we are so pleased to share.
Yesterday Ester decided to pick three pods from this plant and dissect them to see what they were made of. (She is inspired to study and observe by her high school science teacher.) The sight of the plump beans must have stirred up her appetite and she decided to eat about 12 beans. I discovered the cut up pods on a cutting board on the kitchen table and quickly noticed the missing beans. She had forgotten about my warnings early on about this poisonous plant and decided to partake.
Though she exhibited no poisoning symptoms, to be on the safe side, I called Poison Control. They recognized the toxic plant right away and asked, "How is your little one?" I said "My little one is 17 years old!" After learning of Ester's medical history they felt strongly that she should be checked out at the E.R. Ester is fine due to the fact that she ingested only a few beans. So here's a warning for any who might grow this plant around young children or those who should know better. I'm very grateful that our story has a good ending and will now serve as a funny memory for Ester down the road as well as a warning!
This morning I heard the customary shriek for the first time this fall. I learned that scream after 30 years of marriage. Our cat Dottie had found a baby mouse and played it out without killing it. Brooksyne found it in our hallway and let out a scream. Our neighbor likes baby mice so we let her hold it for a photo!
Here's a great song expressing a renewal of our commitment to stand and live for the Lord titled, "With All I Am" (mp3 audio file)
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