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Thursday, September 27, 2007

Flower bed
Here's a literal "bed of flowers" we passed yesterday near Paradise.
(Yes indeed there is a town in eastern Lancaster County called Paradise!)

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"Lessons From Lightning"

"For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man" (Matthew 24:27).

Lightning bolt
Early last evening we had a major storm pass through our area. Brooksyne and I sat on our front porch eating microwaved s'mores and drinking a cup of coffee as we watched for the effects across the fields. Magnificent lightning bolts off to the distant west were even more entertaining than fireworks on the 4th of July. 

But as the storm got closer and the accompanying thunder indicated it was near we considered it would be safer inside the house. In fact Brooksyne insisted that it would be and insisted we head inside. Storms like this are a powerful display of God's created order. However this particular storm set the stage for a fierce display but did not produce one drop of rain in our area!

These types of storm, as I recall from my childhood years in the Midwest, seem to appear less frequently in recent decades. Or perhaps because I was so young the peals of thunder and bolts of lightning left a greater impact on my first impressions of rainstorms.  These storms remind us of just how fragile life is as we know it.  I grew up in Belton, Missouri near an air force base during the cold war sixties and we were especially mindful of the possibility of a catastrophic war. I recall the drills and was most impressed with a friend who had a real fallout shelter in his house. Every now and then we got to go down and play in it!

Overall we have had peace and good times for so many years here in America that it's practically unimaginable that these times will not last.  Certainly most are very assured that the good times will last at least through their lifetime. 

History teaches us that civilizations rise and fall.  The Bible describes earthly kingdoms one after another rising and falling. The Bible also clearly and abundantly teaches us that this world as we know it will come to an end, although this continues to be scoffed at by naysayers. 

The coronation of this most important transition will be the return of Jesus Christ.  In the daily verse Jesus used lightning to describe one aspect of His return. "For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man." It won't be some isolated event that only a few will witness through a vague cloud formation.  Elsewhere we are told that "every eye will see Him" (Revelation 1:7).  Devout believers who take the Bible seriously live their lives in anticipation of the Lord's expected return.  Next time you have a lightning storm consider this!

Finally today, let us heed these solemn words from the Apostle Peter: "Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat.  But in keeping with His promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness.  So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with Him" (2 Peter 3:11-14).

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily prayer: Father, I greatly anticipate the visible return of Your beloved Son at the sound of the trumpet call.  Help me not to grow weary in the wait but remain vigilant in my Christian journey.  May I be found spotless, blameless and at peace with You as I seek to live a holy and godly life in this present age.  Knowing of my deficiencies and failings, even as I pursue a godly lifestyle, I find great consolation in the tender mercies of a loving God who welcomes me to a new heaven and new earth. It is at this great transition that the lifetime battle of flesh vs. spirit will finally end and we will be fully righteous because of the great sacrifice of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  Maranatha!  Come, Lord Jesus, come!

Recommended book:

The Things That Matter: Living a Life of Purpose Until Christ ReturnsThe Things That Matter: Living a Life of Purpose Until Christ Returns 
By David Jeremiah / Thomas Nelson  
The Bible is clear about what Christians need to focus on until Jesus' return---family, faith, and fellowship. In this thought-provoking study of Matthew 24 and 25, Pastor Jeremiah pinpoints priorities and encourages you to keep to the path of the simpler things in life. A message of hope and confidence in anxious times.

Today's suggested music:
"We Shall Behold Him" (Vocal) (Audio)
"We Shall Behold Him" (Instrumental) (Audio)

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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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