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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

"Eartha" globe near Freeport Maine
"Eartha" globe at the Delorme Company headquarters in Yarmouth Maine

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"Transforming Impact"

"These who have turned the world upside down have come here too" (Acts 17:6).

I really enjoy looking at maps and globes.  As a matter of fact Brooksyne claims the biggest messes I leave around are over-sized atlases, unfolded maps and various geographical materials.   One of my favorite places is the headquarters of the DeLorme Map Company near Freeport, Maine.  In the lobby there is a huge globe completely made up of satellite images of the entire earth.  They call the globe "Eartha", which sort of sounds like a feminine goddess to me! 

Eartha is the largest rotating and revolving globe in the world, measuring 42 feet in diameter and comprised of 140 gigabytes of information.  When we are up that way along Route 1 we always stop by to see it. Brooksyne gets an opportunity to experience the boredom that I feel when we go to Yankee Candle (or for that matter most of the stores she likes to go to!) I can spend hours at DeLorme looking at the globe and then all the maps and gps devices in the store.
Several years ago Ester and I walked around the globe and quoted from John 3:16, which is the clearest verse in the Bible stating God's love for the entire world.

I have long wondered about something and have yet to find the answer. Globes and maps depict the northern hemisphere as "up" and the southern hemisphere as "down." Is this only the case from our conventional perspective or is there an objective reason this is so? Is there an "up and down" out in space? Can any reader help me here?  I know, because of our customary view, that it would look strange to see a globe upside down which brings to mind the daily Scripture text.
It is a powerful expression of the world's perspective on the mighty impact the early church had on the world.  It is specifically referring to the ministry of the Apostle Paul and those who traveled with him as they proclaimed the message of Christ in Thessalonica.  Apparently their reputation had preceded them.  Their message was so absolutely transforming that it was said to "have turned the world upside down."

The key Greek word here is "anastatwsantev" (listen) which means to "upset or unsettle". When Christians confront a world headed contrary to God's ways it surely is upsetting and unsettling.

Indeed, wherever the true message of Jesus Christ goes, it has a transforming impact.  This impact will be seen in individuals, families, churches, communities, countries and entire cultures.  It's important to realize that the transformation is upside down from the world's perspective but right side up according to God's created design!  That's why it is so important that we, as followers of Christ, spend time reading, studying, memorizing and obeying God's owner's manual, the Bible.

I recall a special moment in my personal discipleship when a fellow believer shared with me a spiritual concept based on Romans 12:2.  "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind."  That was 34 years ago. The process of breaking conformity to the world and transforming into spiritual conformity to Christ continues in my life through the renewing of my mind.  There have been many setbacks along the way but God continues the process and I am assured that He will carry it on to completion until the day He appears.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily Prayer: Father, as we live in daily communion with You, our presence will make a difference in a classroom, in a workplace, in a neighborhood, in a community and most especially in our families.  With Your sanctifying seal upon our lives we no longer live according to the lust of the flesh, but the life of the Father who resides in us.  Help us to make a difference and turn our world away from evil as they are transformed by Christ's redemptive power.  It is in His name that we pray, Amen.

Brooksyne's note: A devotional thought I read earlier this morning from "Daily Meditations on Golden Texts of the Bible" by Henry Gariepy compliments our theme this morning:

"The vocation of all believers is the life of holiness, being set apart for God's use.  A girl on her way to church with her mother asked, 'What is a saint?'  The mother replied, 'I have to think about that one.'  Then during the church service she saw the sunlight illuminating a hero of faith in one of the stained glass windows.  The mother nudged her daughter, pointed to the illumined window, and said, 'There, that is a saint.'  The girl replied, 'Oh, I see.  A saint is a person the light shines through.'  As incredible as it may seem, God calls you and me to be saints, to be those whom the light of Jesus Christ will shine through in a darkened world."

Zimmerman family
John and Florence Zimmerman are a dedicated older couple in our church. John diligently handles the tape ministry and Florence has a ministry of caring. I am blessed at the personal interest and kindness they showed to my Mom during her last years on this earth. Several months back she requested prayer in our Sunday School class for her son Randy, who is a pastor in Wisconsin. I wrote a note to Randy to encourage him and for the first time this last Sunday I met him and his wife who were in town visiting. Aren't you just blessed by praying Moms who bear a burden for their children?

David Pierce
Last night we had a home Bible Study at our place. Our members range from 3 months old to the mid eighties. David is our youngest member and last night he expressed his loyalty by wearing the team logo that his friends are rooting for in the World Series that begins tonight!

Eartha globe (click for larger image)
Here's a photo of the globe from outside showing its scale. (Click on image to enlarge)
Here's info about the "Eartha" globe from the Delorme website.

Today's suggested music:
Several months ago I mentioned that Keith Green was one of my favorite musicians as a young Christian. I continue to enjoy his music. Phil Cochrane, a long-time pastor friend sent me a link to one of his songs.
(Generally the video is poor but the audio sounds great)
"Your Love Broke Through"
"Make My Life A Prayer To You"
"Create In Me A Clean Heart" 
"So You Want To Go Back To Egypt" (This song shows his creativity in relating Biblical truth with some humor! Notice the background sounds.)
"Grace By Which I Stand" (Just listen to the audio, I have no idea what the pictures are all about)
"No One Believes In Me Anymore" (A very creative video skit set to a Keith Green song)

"No Compromise" album coverMy all-time favorite album cover was a Keith Green album called "No Compromise." This was from the old days when you had a lot of space for artwork! I doubt if Ester, our eighteen year old daughter, has any idea what an "album" is!

In my study for today's message I discovered an interesting online resource, an interlinear study Bible.

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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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