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Monday, October 2, 2006

Photo of Corner acres mums
We have a country nursery around the corner from our house
and they have a vibrant display of mums on the corner.

(Click on photo to enlarge to full screen)

"Knowing The Holy Scriptures"

"But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus" (2 Timothy 3:15).

I received a call this weekend from a long-time friend. About twenty years ago Bill joined the church we were pastoring after he moved back to his home town following his college years in Alaska. While at school he had committed his life to Jesus Christ. Bill is a very enthusiastic believer zealous for the things of the Lord.

He remained single for awhile but several years later I had the privilege of conducting his wedding ceremony, which was certainly one of the most beautiful, yet simplest and relaxed ceremonies I ever witnessed. The couple gave their personal testimonies of faith in Christ during the ceremony and shared what the Lord had done in their lives. This warmed the atmosphere that snowy evening as love permeated throughout the church building!

He and Lucy now have three children they're raising to serve the Lord. In the course of our phone conversation he told me his entire family took the Bible test I placed up several weeks ago. During the discussion about the test Bill quizzed me, "Whose rod did God turn into a snake?" I quickly responded, "It was Moses' rod," as I turned to Exodus 4:3.

Bill respectfully pointed out that on a different occasion it was Aaron and shared the Scripture with me that backed this up (Exodus 7:8-13).  I had not even considered this alternate occasion in preparing the test. But it turns out his eight-year-old daughter pointed this out while the family took the test!  WOW, that is surely knowing the Scriptures, from an early age.

This family established from the very onset of their marriage the practice of reading the Bible together daily. In fact I can't recall seeing a family as consistent in their practice of family devotions as this family. Since their daughter is the youngest she has certainly, "from infancy known the Holy Scriptures."

The daily passage was specifically written to Timothy, although it certainly applies to all of us. (That's the nature of Biblical revelation.) Earlier in this very book Paul reminded Timothy of the spiritual influence of his grandmother and mother. "I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also" (1:5).  "First lived" implies that they passed on this sincere faith to Timothy. I believe it is significant that no mention at all is made in this case of a father's influence.

Certainly it's a wonderful part of the ideal design when a mom and dad both pass the faith on. But so often it's not that way. It may be a single mom or dad, or grandparents, or a situation when only one spouse serves the Lord.  In some cases it's a dedicated Sunday School teacher or other unrelated adult.  I've seen all of these over the years.

We are all fearfully and wonderfully made and sin has caused us all to be broken. But God has provided the Holy Scriptures, which are indeed able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

How are you using your influence for Jesus Christ?  Today, everyone of us lives in a needy world and we interface with people who have needs. Let us be diligent in sharing our faith as we point people to the tech manual for the soul!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen C. Weber

Daily prayer: Jesus, we thank You for Sunday School teachers, Youth leaders, Pastors, Bible teachers, evangelists and fellow believers who've imparted knowledge from Your Word that led us to salvation.  But these God appointed believers are intended to be a supplement to the sincere faith that should be lived out in the home by parents who desire to see their children walking in the ways of the Lord.  Help us to be faithful in our Christian walk and to consistently instruct our children in the ways of the Lord.  Encourage the spouse who carries out this responsibility without the support of the other.  May Your grace help them to endure this hardship as they trust You for a fruitful harvest in the lives of their children.  Amen.

We've included the time honored hymn, "My Jesus I Love Thee" as the background to today's podcast because it is written by a very young sixteen year old, William Featherston. He wrote these descriptive words of His absolute love for Christ following his conversion in 1864.  Have you considered writing about your salvation experience in the form of a poem or as a brief testimony?  It could bless others even as Featherston has blessed us for the nearly 150 years that the church has been singing this hymn.  (When Brooksyne led out in this song yesterday at church she recalled from memory that Featherston was only twelve.  In checking our resources today we found him to be sixteen years of age and want to set the record straight for our readers who were in attendance yesterday.)

My Jesus I Love Thee Congregational version (mp3 audio)
My Jesus I Love Thee Acoustic guitar solo (mp3 audio)

Photo of Mount Pleasant youth bandThis last Saturday night our local church had a neighborhood outreach and what a blessing to see so many come out and express interest.  Our young people and leaders gathered on a large trailer and sang some mighty good music for the Lord.  They sang "He Reigns" which is one of my favorite songs! (mp3 audio)

Photo of happy servers at church dinner.Churches like ours all over the world have a people with a heart to serve!

Photo of hayrideOur farmer friend Galen sure had a good time hauling people on a hayride!

Weber family photo 9/30/06We also went on a long hayride and had an opportunity to update our family photo.  The photo clearly shows Ester's winning smile with her braces removed last week.

Barn Sing-along - everyone welcome!  
Here are the additional details!
Our readers are invited to a Praise and Worship service  on Saturday, October 14, at 6 PM at our Amish neighbor's barn.  Before the worship service, from 4:30-5:45, another neighbor will be hauling children and adults on a hayride with his tractor and wagon. Refreshments will follow the Worship Service. Contact us if you would like to come and need directions.

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission; and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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