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Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Gene Wenger, PA Pork King
Gene Wenger, Pennsylvania Pork King

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"I Know the King!"

"You are my King and my God" (Psalm 44:4). 

Gene and Doris Wenger are a couple whose faces and names are very familiar throughout Lancaster County though they're most often found working behind the scenes in a hot kitchen.  They're especially known in these parts for getting behind good causes – often giving of their labor and supplies to help support the charitable cause.

For many years they've run a meat shop in a nearby town that is most famous for its ham loaf.  It's a Lancaster County delicacy that was introduced to us shortly after moving to this area seven years ago.  The shape and texture of hamloaf is much like meat loaf but it's made up of ground up ham and Gene's secret seasonings.  In our parts it's simply referred to or labeled as "Gene Wenger's famous ham loaf."

About twenty five years ago Gene was designated the "Pennsylvania Pork King" and that designation figures prominently on his packaging, such as the seal shown above on the brand new packaging for his ham loaf patties. When I see him I like to tease him good naturedly and say, "I'm glad that I know a king."

Well, that's a great declaration not many can make – "I know a King." Many refer to Elvis Presley as "the king" and there are a few who actually know one of the earthly monarchs.  But all of us may personally know the King of kings!  We may, like the Psalmist, declare to Him in song and through prayer: "You are my King."  Our King is altogether unlike the earthly kings.  We, like the early church, declare: "There is another king, One called Jesus" (Acts 17:7).

Our King reigns eternally over the entire universe.  As the great hymn states: "Let every kindred, every tribe on this terrestrial ball, to Him all majesty ascribe and crown Him Lord of all."

Our King is omnipotent (all-powerful). What a contrast to any earthly potentate.  All other power is limited. A proud King Herod in Acts 12 failed to renounce the praise directed toward him following his public address to the people.  They shouted, "This is the voice of a god, not of a man." He was immediately struck down, eaten by worms and died!

Our King desires to have a personal relationship with each of His subjects.  Not all of you reading this will be able to personally know our friend Gene Wenger, although many in the western Lancaster County area already do. And most all of us would not be allowed to approach or address an earthly king, but our King extends His invitation to all of His creation through the Holy Scriptures, "Come unto me."

Today let us rejoice that the Lord our God is King!

Rejoice, the Lord is King!  Your Lord and King adore!
Rejoice, give thanks, and sing, and triumph evermore. 
Lift up your heart, lift up your voice!
Rejoice, again I say, rejoice!

His kingdom cannot fail, He rules o'er earth and heav'n;
The keys of death and hell are to our Jesus giv'n.
Lift up your heart, lift up your voice!
Rejoice, again I say, rejoice! *

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily Prayer: Being the child of an earthly king brings earthly privilege and human pride while being a child of the Heavenly King gives me a life of spiritual privilege and fills me with great humility.  Thank You, Jesus, that through Your great redemptive love, I am considered a child of the King of kings.  Though now I live as an exile from heaven, at the Father's appointed hour, I will enjoy all the privileges afforded a child of the Heavenly King.  But until that great transition takes place I thank You that I can approach Your welcoming throne of grace with confidence and find grace needed for every request I bring while traveling here on earth.  I'm so glad You are my God and my King!

* Text by Charles Wesley; based on Philippians 4:4  Music by John Darwall

With Gene Wenger, PA Pork King
Yesterday Gene was pleased to give me the very first package of ham loaf patties using the new packaging.

Today's Suggested Music  and Supplemental Resources

"Rejoice, The Lord Is King!"  Video  A powerful live service version (some distortion). Many will appreciate the singer's vibrancy.

"Heart Of Worship"  Audio  
Video  This song came to mind due to the line "King of Endless Worth."  The audio version is especially nice in my view.

"He's My King"  A powerful brief (3:40) video sermon segment by
S.M. Lockridge.  I first heard this many years ago at a minister's conference and it continues to move me each time I hear it.

"O Praise Him (All This For A King)"  Video
 This is a very interesting song and is (in my view) best left to this artist in a concert setting. The lalalalalala just doesn't fit in most congregational settings!  The musician has a very expressive style.

Today I would have included some classic hymns like "O Worship The King" and "Crown Him With Many Crowns" but was unable to find any online versions.

Info about multi-media files used on daily encouragement.

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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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