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Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Sunset June 5, 2007
Last night's sunset brilliantly shining through my favorite distant tree.

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"A Clear Call"
"If the trumpet does not sound a clear call, who will get ready for battle?"  (1 Corinthians 14:8).
I saw an interesting message on an T-shirt that proclaimed in bold letters, "The best Christian is a dead Christian."  I wondered what such a statement might mean. Was it a brazen expression of the hatefulness that is surely increasing toward Christians all around the world? Or perhaps it was a rather tacky way of expressing the sense that we are better off dead since the Christian's final destination is heaven.
I then noticed in small print a reference to a Bible verse (Colossians 2:12) and looked it up since I had my Bible with me.  The verse states, "Having been buried with Him in baptism and raised with Him through your faith in the power of God, who raised Him from the dead."  Oh!  So that's what it means, the sense of dying to self and sin, which is a valid Christian teaching.
But I believe this illustrates the importance of clarity in our witness. There's much value in sentence sermons, phrases, acrostics, etc. that communicate our faith.  Many times I have been encouraged by the message on a bumper sticker or a T-shirt. I often mention that I appreciate the gospel messages used decoratively on barns and silos in our county.  I have made and distributed thousands of small witness cards with a thought-provoking saying such as "Man's way leads to a hopeless end, but God's way leads to an endless hope", along with an accompanying Scripture verse. These brief messages of witness just may get someone to thinking and spur them on to explore further.
Back to the T-shirt message: "The best Christian is a dead Christian", likely worn by an earnest Christian seeking to communicate a spiritual truth.  What would many think the phrase means? I wonder how many will look up the Scripture reference, particularly unbelievers. 
The daily verse is addressing clarity in communication illustrating with the trumpet used for signaling in battle: "If the trumpet does not sound a clear call."  If a designated tune was played to indicate a particular command that tune needed to be clear and precise. An uncertain sound could lead to confusion and bring about disastrous consequences.
We need to be as clear as possible in our witness to each other and to the world.  Today I urge you to boldly and unashamedly bear a witness for Christ in word and deed. And for some of you perhaps even on a T-shirt.  Let's just make sure the "trumpet" is making a clear, certain sound!
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer:  Father, we rely on the power of Your Holy Spirit to enable us to give a clear witness of the Gospel message.  We recognize that we must do this not only by what we say verbally, or display in our apparel, plaques, screensavers, or other means of witness, but we must also present Your Gospel message by the way we live our lives.  May our actions compliment our words as we seek to reach this lost and dying world.  In the name of Jesus we pray.  Amen.

In today's message I mentioned ministry cards. Here is a brief explanation of this witnessing concept.

Today's suggested music:
"Shine Jesus Shine" (audio) by Graham Kendrick
"Each One, Reach One" (audio) sung by Jennifer Morgan

CalculatorI am working on a message and this photo is a clue to the topic I have in mind.  Any idea what it is?  Respond here.

Finally, I saw a man wearing a t-shirt and initially the screen print photo of duct tape got my attention since I really like duct tape and duct tape stories.  I asked him to stop so I could read the entire message which read, "People use duct tape to fix things. Jesus used three nails."

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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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