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Thursday, October 18, 2007

Old Village Store in Bird In Hand, PA
The Old Village Store in Bird In Hand PA
We pass this store weekly in the course of our chaplaincy work.
I took the photo yesterday on an absolutely gorgeous fall day!

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"I'm Into God Now!"

"Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?" And I said, "Here am I. Send me!" (Isaiah 6:8). "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" (2 Corinthians 5:17). 
George Mobarak with Stephen WeberI attend meetings at CBMC, a group of Christian businessmen seeking to encourage each other in our witness for Christ in the marketplace. Every couple of months we have an outreach meeting where we invite friends and associates to a luncheon.  Following the meal a business leader shares a testimony about his faith in the Lord. Yesterday George Mobarak, a friend of mine, shared a message concerning brand awareness.  He challenged listeners with a spiritual application as he asked us, "How do you represent your 'brand' as a Christian?"

Following college where he trained as an accountant George worked for a company in the Buffalo, New York area. He became a Christian at this time due to the witness of several devoted Christians who let their lights shine at work.  He told a personal story that goes back to the time when he was a very young Christian. 

An occasion came up when he had to fire an employee due to ongoing substance abuse problems. It was a difficult dismissal as he worked for a large company and several were involved in the process. Following the awkward dismissal others left the room and now he was alone in the room with the employee he had just let go. Suddenly George sensed the Spirit of God leading him to pray for the man. He initially resisted but the compulsion to pray was strong. He wasn't sure it was even "legal" but he asked the man if he might pray with him. He said it would be OK and George prayed for him just before they parted company.
Changes were about to come for George and his family as well which involved a move from the Buffalo area to Lancaster County about twenty years ago. Several years after moving to Lancaster George returned to the Buffalo area to visit his family and decided to enjoy a meal in a local restaurant. While he was eating a man whom he didn't initially recognize approached his table. He went on to identify himself as the very employee George had fired many years earlier.  Then he excitedly told him, "I'm into God now" and then introduced his wife and three children.
In one sense I chafe a bit at the phrase "I'm into God now." It's sounds somewhat disrespectful and trivializes a relationship with the one true God of the universe, sort of like "I'm into green tea now."  (However I recall doing and phrasing things in a different manner as a young Christian than I did as I grew in my faith.)
But there's a sense that it's actually a powerful expressive phrase describing our present relationship with the Lord. The daily verse states, "If anyone is in Christ." It's another example of a changed life that is taking place every day all over the world.
I consider George's rather unusual leading to "pray for him." He gave no indication that there was any change in the employee after his prayer. But in that providential meeting many years later in the restaurant he rejoiced to see how the Lord had worked it all out.  George didn't see an instant answer to his prayer, but his act of obedience laid foundational groundwork for God to do a complete overhaul in this young man's life over a period of time.
Today we all have a call to be obedient in our daily walk. For most of us it probably won't be something big or noticeable to others at all. In many cases we won't see tangible results to our obedience except for the peace that fills our heart as we lay our head on the pillow to sleep at night.   I believe in a lot of cases we won't see the results till eternity. Whether the answer to our prayer is revealed in this life or in the life to come God still calls us all, as His new creation, to listen carefully to His voice and obey His command.
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily prayer: Father, I want to have a yielded servant's heart that is obedient to Your leading wherever I am and in whatever setting I am found.  As the old hymn reminds me, "It may not be on the mountain's height, or over the stormy sea. It may not be at the battle's front my Lord will have need of me.  But if by a still, small voice You call to paths that I do not know, I'll answer, 'Dear Lord, with my hand in Thine; I'll go where You want me to go.  I'll say what You want me to say and I'll be what You want me to be'".  Help me not to dismiss Your still small Voice simply because it's an unconventional request You have made.  Instead I ask for courage to be obedient and faith to trust You for the outcome, whether or not it is revealed in my lifetime.  In the loving name of Jesus I pray, Amen.

Yvette with her children Nicole and JoeyYesterday I shared a link to a testimony of one of our close friends who attends the church we pastored in New England.  Yvette is an example of the way God continues to change lives.  Now she and her husband Wayne are being used to reach out to others who struggle and need God's changing power in their lives. This photo of Yvette  and her children, Joey and Nicole, was taken at Nicole's wedding this last summer.  Both Joey and Nicole are serving the Lord as well and have powerful testimonies as well! Here's an audio of Yvette and another friend from that church, Linda Reid, singing "Breathe"

I am a real rascal. Shortly after moving to Pennsylvania from Massachusetts in 2001 Joey and his Mom came down for a visit. We lived in an old farmhouse at that time. Across the road and into the woods was a real old truck that had been crashed many years earlier. It was really spooky. Joey, a teenager at that time, was a city kid so I dared him to go over to that truck in the darkest part of night and take a picture of the dashboard from the inside. I didn't think he would  do it as I sure would have found it scary myself.  He took the challenge and came back about 1/2 hour later with the camera. We developed the film and lo and behold he did it! I sent the photo to Joey and wouldn't be at all surprised if he still has it!

Today's suggested music:
"Trust and Obey" (Audio) Vocal
"Trust and Obey" (Audio) Instrumental
"We Are An Offering" (Audio)

Old Village Store in Bird In Hand, PAToday Brooksyne plans to make lots of canned salsa to add to her first batch from earlier in the summer.  These are the fresh  tomatoes and peppers she harvested yesterday from our vegetable garden!

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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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