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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Happy Barn
Happy Barn!

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"We've Been Qualified!"
"Giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light" (Colossians 1:12).
Does the photo of the "Happy Barn" make you smile?  It sure did bring a smile to my family as we passed it the other day in northern Lancaster County. Proverbs 15:13 indicates the source of a cheerful face. It really begins in the heart! Let me share a truth this morning that I hope will make your heart happy.
It's amazing what people will put on their cars as bumper stickers. I believe that in observing bumper stickers one can get a sense of the cultural condition of a nation. Some are unbelievably vile and wicked. Here in Lancaster County there is a very strong Bible-based influence and this is reflected in the preponderance of bumper stickers expressing faith in God. They can sure make you think and here's a good one, "God does not choose the qualified but qualifies the chosen."
Aren't you thankful for the truth in that phrase? In fact it's a simple expression of the contrast between man's many religious systems and the Gospel of Christ. Man's systems stress the need for our efforts to make us qualified for God's love and acceptance. This may be through our good works, our family heritage, or through religious rituals. But these never accomplish what God through Christ alone accomplished when He died on the Cross. His substitutionary death qualifies us to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light on the basis of His grace.
The Bill Gaither Vocal Band has a great song titled "Forgiven" with a powerful expression in it. "I've traded performance for amazing grace.  What a relief, I can't earn my way". Today I think of those who grew up in church and in religious homes and yet have an inferior understanding of grace. They may be extra hard on themselves and unintentionally judgmental toward others.  They may have a hard time really accepting God's forgiveness and having an assurance of God's love.
Today let us indeed give thanks to our heavenly Father who has qualified us. That's a great source of encouragement.  Consider this truth as you  deal with whatever discouraging circumstances you are facing today.  We've been qualified by the grace of God and that should lead to a happy heart and a cheerful face!
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, if we base our emotions on the happenstance in our lives and the world in which we live we'll be defeated before the day is over.  But You've called us to look beyond the changing circumstances of our day and to consider the unchangeable works You've done on our behalf.  We give thanks to You, Father, who looked beyond our faults and failures and delivered us from the dominion of darkness when we surrendered our hearts to You.  Because of Your exceeding grace You transferred us into the kingdom of light where Your glory dwells and where You give us direction for each day of our earthly existence.  Again we give thanks to You, Father.  Amen.

Pygmey goats
Sunday afternoon we visited with a minister friend who has three baby Pygmy Goats; Lucky, Ducky, & Bucky. Brooksyne and Ester are showing off two of them. Brooksyne would definitely be interested in bringing one of them home with us when they are old enough.  But we need to consider our neighbors who might not appreciate hearing ba-a-a early in the morning.  Too bad they're not house trainable since Roxie would be delighted in having another animal playmate besides our cat Dottie!

Today's suggested song is "Amazing Love." Here's a live audio version by Graham Kendrick.

Yesterday we received inquiries as to what "Whoopie Pies" are.  Here's an explanation.

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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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