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Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Majestic ocean scene
Greg Schneider, a friend of ours took this photo.
Does anyone recognize where it was taken?
(Click on photo to enlarge to desktop size)

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"The Ultimate Blood Donation"

"For God was pleased to have all His fullness dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile to Himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through His blood, shed on the cross"  (Colossians 1:19,20).

John Wiseman is a friend of ours in Springfield, Missouri who works for the community blood bank.  In that area they are now having blood collection drives in churches on Sundays.  I understand the collection period generally follows the service but John tells me at times it's during the service and the pastor will ask the people to sit near the back until they are called out.  For several years our church in northern Pennsylvania hosted the community blood drive but it was during the week.  I thought it was interesting that these drives are now held in conjunction with services and as a pastor I can sure think of some interesting thoughts I would use to encourage people to participate!

Brooksyne and I have participated in these blood drives since our college days.  I still find it fascinating and somewhat inspiring to join ten to fifteen others from all walks of life laying on flat, skinny tables and giving blood (though most now use reclining chairs). We're willing to accept the small pain and inconvenience knowing that our blood may very well save another life.

When Ester was little I took her with me and was able to explain to her what this all meant since she had benefited many times from donors because of her multiple heart surgeries.  We prayed for the people that would be receiving the blood and we talked about an infinitely greater blood donation.

This blood donation involved God's Son and was certainly not a source of minor pain or inconvenience.  He agonized in great pain and died a horrific death when he voluntarily gave His blood for us. 

When we give our blood at best we will extend another's life for a few bleeps in the span of eternity.  The blood of Christ was instrumental in the reconciling of all things and the making of peace between man and God.

In order for my blood to do any good a recipient must accept it through a transfusion.  It won't be effective just sitting in a warehouse.  Now Christ's shed blood has already brought millions into reconciliation and peace with God who have by faith willingly accepted this provision.  Have you? 

What can wash away our sins?
What can make us whole again?
Nothing but the blood,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
What can wash us pure as snow?
Welcomed as the friends of God.
Nothing but Your blood,
Nothing but Your blood King Jesus.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily prayer: Jesus, it is only through Your sacrificial blood that my sins are forgiven.  Through Your fountain of forgiveness my guilty stains are plunged into the bottom of the ocean to be remembered no more.  All the adjectives in the dictionary cannot adequately describe the depth of my gratitude for such a selfless act of love.  Thank You, Jesus, for paying the price for my redemption.  Amen.

Small group 8/28/07
Last night we had a picnic at our place with our small group from church.
We ranged in age from 6 weeks to 87 years!

Red Salvia
Red Salvia

Today's suggested music:
"Nothing But Your Blood" Listening through my headphones this song came on yesterday while I was mowing the lawn and I was so blessed.
Contemporary  version (Webpage with lyrics and audio) (Audio only)
Traditional version instrumental piano (audio)
Traditional vocal (Audio)
"My Life Is An Offering" (Audio) This morning is the first time I ever heard this song.  It's a great expression of dedication in light of what Christ has done for us!

This is not an interactive ministry in the sense of reader comments (and counter-comments) being available for all to read although it would be a neat feature and I enjoy it on other blogs. Due to the nature of this ministry (daily messages) this would take way to much time to maintain since generally it would need moderated. However some messages get a lot more response than others and two did so last week, "Preach The Word" and "The Value Of Old"

Here's a sampling that came through the mail concerning the message
"The Value Of Old":  My husband and I became members of our church over fifty years ago.  He passed away 7 years ago.  We have always been very active and visible in our church.  Your dailyencouragement of August 23 really hit home.  Our church is experiencing the same problem you wrote about.  Our pastor is mostly interested in the youth and I'm all for that, but not to the exclusion of our older members.

2) The music I use on this site (unless otherwise noted) is from other sites and i merely place a link to the resource. Generally I find the appropriate music related to the daily topic by using the av.com search engine which allows a  search limited to audio files. These files may not play on all computers and audio files tend to be more temporary than text so later it may not be available.  All I can say is that it worked on my computer the morning I send the message out!

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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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"Living securely today anchored in God's solid foundation"