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Monday, June 4, 2007

Blue Studebaker
I saw this beautifully restored Studebaker at my niece's wedding on Saturday up in the Lehigh Valley. (Click on the photo to enlarge.) It really looks interesting from the back, which looks like a windshield! It  belongs to the wedding photographer.

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"Faithful Forever!"
"Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD his God, the Maker of heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them-- the LORD, who remains faithful forever" (Psalm 146:5,6).
Brooksyne and I periodically enjoy shopping at BB's, a country grocery store run by the Amish. They have several stores here in Lancaster County and it's really quite a shopping experience. Several times I've heard the workers singing hymns as they stock the shelves and the atmosphere is such a contrast to the modern superstores.
They sell overstocked and damaged type items at a deep discount.  In fact the motto on their paper bags states "bents, bumps and bunch of bargains" (this is the exact phrase on the bag, poor grammar and all). You never know what bargain you might find.  In fact I recently found some brand new HP printer ink for $5.00 per cartridge. However many of these items are also past the expiration date, some way past, so you've got to take extra time to read the dates!  It has a large walk-in freezer, and some of the cheese is over a year past the expiration date but we are told that it should still be safe to eat because it has been frozen the entire time.  Brooksyne is still just a little bit wary about some of those items!
When you think about it everything we see has an expiration date of some sort.  Certainly we, as part of the human race, have one as well.  Scripture plainly states that "Outwardly we are wasting away" (2 Corinthians 4:16) and "It is appointed unto men once to die" (Hebrews 9:27). The disciple Peter declared, "The present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the Day of Judgment and destruction of ungodly men" (2 Peter 3:7).
Today let's find strength in one of the most assuring truths of God's Word, the explicit declaration found in Scripture that His glorious attributes have no expiration date.  Notice the phrase the daily passage ends with, "…the LORD, who remains faithful forever."  In our lives we are confronted with expiration dates, limited time offers, partial warranties, etc. but in God we find One who has declared, "I the LORD do not change" (Malachi 3:6).
Indeed God's nature, expressed in His divine attributes, does not change and neither can it do so.  Here's a heavy thought from Theologian A.W. Tozer: "If God is self-existent, He must be also self-sufficient; and if He has power, He, being infinite, must have all power. If He possesses knowledge, His infinitude assures us that He possesses all knowledge. Similarly, His immutability presupposes His faithfulness. If He is unchanging, it follows that He could not be unfaithful, since that would require Him to change. Any failure within the divine character would argue imperfection and, since God is perfect, it could not occur. Thus the attributes explain each other and prove that they are but glimpses the mind enjoys of the absolutely perfect Godhead."
The Word declares that His love, righteousness and Name endures forever. (Psalm 106:1, 2 Corinthians 9:9, Psalm 135:13.)  Today as you face the inevitable frustrations of life, remember this essential truth: the unchangeable God of the universe reigns and will reign forever.  His attributes have no expiration date.  There is no variableness in His nature, no shadow of turning.  Why don't you join us this morning and lift up your heart and voice and sing (or quietly hum depending on your surroundings) this great chorus based on Lamentations 3:22, 23. I am sure many of you have sung it.
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases.
His mercies never come to an end.
They are new every morning, new every morning,
Great is Thy faithfulness, O Lord. Great is Thy faithfulness.
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, how wonderful that You are a God whose kingdom knows no end and eternal life is ours through the sacrifice of Your Son, Jesus Christ.  Though we experience Your faithfulness and unlimited grace each new day, we anticipate the glorious day when we will experience it in full measure in the life to come.   Unchangeable God, thank You for Your dependability and availability to Your creation.  Amen.

A special service: In Ester's high school a Baccalaureate Service was  held last night for graduating high school seniors.  Many schools have done away with this very important service that Brooksyne and I both recall from our public high school days in the early seventies.  We were very pleased with the way the students honored the Lord in the service. They had praise and worship music, Scripture readings as well as a solid Scriptural message from a local minister. In other Baccalaureate services I've attended there is generally a watered down ecumenical type approach in the service, so we were especially appreciative of the undiluted presentation of what it means to follow Jesus Christ. Lauren, a very devoted senior, closed the service with the following prayer she had written for her class:

We humbly come before you today and proclaim you as the one true God, LORD of heaven and earth.  You alone are God and there is no other.  We cannot begin to fathom the greatness of your might and your glory.  And yet you know each of us and we sit here, right now in this auditorium, because you have given us the breath of life.

Thank you, for you have brought us to the place where we are today.  Now, as we step forward on the path before us, we yearn for something great, something that will satisfy the deepest longings of our hearts.  The world has promised us again and again- happiness is in success, in money, in love.  It's in a job or friends or acceptance.  But "what good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul?"  (Mat. 16:26).  Forgive us Lord, for filling our hearts with the love of this world.
But there is one thing for which we were made, one all-satisfying purpose.  A man once bled profusely, nailed to the wooden beams of a cross.  He died and then was resurrected so that we might know Him as Lord and as Savior.  This God-man, Jesus Christ, says to us in John 14:6, "I am the way and the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me."
LORD God, as the graduating class of 2007 moves forward, we ask that we might follow and passionately pursue Christ as our way, hold fast to Him as our truth, and love Him as our life.
For the honor and glory of Jesus Christ we pray, Amen.
In other Baccalaureate services I've attended over the years there is generally a watered down ecumenical type approach in the service, so we were especially appreciative of the undiluted presentation of what it is to follow Jesus Christ.

Allen and EsterEster was thrilled last night to sit next to a good friend of hers who is also graduating. When Ester began attending Donegal High School two years ago she told us right away about her new friend, Allen.  He is popular with the entire school body, but Ester counts him as her very close friend.  He is delightful to visit with and we had the pleasure of meeting his parents last night.

Personal note: Saturday,  my three siblings and I gathered for the first time since late 2005. The occasion was the wedding of my brother Pat's youngest daughter, Gretchen. He is a minister and walked his own daughter to the front where his oldest son, also a minister, asked him who would give away the bride.  After he answered "Her mother and I do" he proceeded to conduct the ceremony!
Weber kids 6-07
Pat, Mike, Stephen, Genelle

Ray and Vicky ManciniMy brother has pastored the same church since the early nineties so through the years I have gotten to know  quite of few of the people who attend the church. Here's a photo of Ray and Vickie Mancini, faithful servants of the Lord who have a vibrant walk and are always a joy to greet.  They are representative of so many friends I have met through the years who enrich our lives.

Some muisc related to today's theme:

"The Steadfast Love of the Lord" 
"He's Been Faithful" by "The Celebration Choir"
"God is Faithful" by "The Collingsworth family"

For many years we have appreciated a radio ministry called "Haven".  On a recent broadcast they featured a singer with a song called "Faithful God" that really blessed both of us. I was unable to find the song by itself as a separate audio link but here’s the link to the program that has it. (It's about 2/3 through the program.) It really is an outstanding song!

Here's the singer and the album that has the song.

Faithful God CDFaithful God CD  By Shannon Wexelberg / Discovery House
Get ready for your own private worship experience as you praise God along with Shannon! Includes "Hail to the King," "Change Me," "Here in the Shadow," "Quiet Places," "Pour Your Spirit Out," "Come Worship the Lord," "Highest Praise," the title track, and more.

Final note: I am also enriched by this Scripture: "In the beginning, O Lord, you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands.  They will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment.  You will roll them up like a robe; like a garment they will be changed. But you remain the same, and your years will never end" (Hebrews 1:10-12).

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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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