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Monday, July 7, 2008

Steincross farm
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"One Hundred Years From Now"

"Then he breathed his last and died and was gathered to his people, old and full of years. And his sons Esau and Jacob buried him" (Genesis 35:29).

A small church in Marietta, PA displays a sign that asks, "Where will you be 100 years from now?"   A more familiar expression of this type is, "Where will you spend eternity?"  But to me the 100 year question packs a very powerful punch which led me to do some serious thinking.  Eternity is an incomprehensible time measurement, but 100 years is a measurement of time that I can comprehend.  I find it helpful to look back 100 years and perhaps you can do the same in your own family timeline.

MaMa and PaPa SteincrossI consider my mother's father, (my PawPaw), whom I knew and loved dearly. He breathed his last when I was sixteen.  100 years ago in 1908 he was a young man with many years of life ahead.  He was adventuresome, riding the rails across the west. He talked about his exciting adventure of climbing Pike's Peak at night along the cog railway while he was still young and  strong.

By 1908 he had settled down, married, and began raising his family.  He had a farm in southwest Missouri and was also president of the small town bank in Harwood, Missouri. He was a great joy to his grandchildren and great-grandchildren before his eventual death at nearly 90 years of age.  In his lifetime he read of the first manned flight by the Wright brothers and nearly seventy years later saw the footage of a man on the moon.

But there came that time when my PawPaw, being old and full of years, was gathered to his people.  He was then buried on a windswept hill west of tiny Schell City, Missouri where my parents are also buried. 

So, where I will be 100 years from now is not some esoteric question, since I personally knew someone who lived one hundred years ago.  And many of you do as well.

There are basically four different responses to this vital question, "Where will I be 100 years from now":

1) Perhaps with medical advances I will be living at 153 years of age!
2) The secular response is that I am merely a physical entity and when I die that's it.  As a mere physical being I will rot in the ground.  In this view there's no spirit or soul to live on and certainly no future resurrection of the body.
3) The common dominant view is that everyone (except the notoriously evil) goes to a very pleasant place at death.  This view is based on sentiment, not Scripture and is often expressed by even the most ardent secularist at the death of a loved one. It seems to me that humans have an innate sense that there is something more after death and this view basically asserts "the good in life probably outweighs the bad and things work out all right in the end."  However this view has no basis in Scripture.
4) That the Holy Scriptures truthfully informs of a coming judgment with two very distinct options at death depending on our response to Christ during our present lifetime.

I clearly and unashamedly hold to the fourth option, although it's not absolutely impossible that I may be alive 100 years from now.  But it's very unlikely!

The daily text is just a simple expression of the passing of a man (Isaac) who lived nearly 4000 years ago.  He was 180 years old and full of years.  The powerful phrase "gathered to his people" is first used at the death of Abraham (Gen. 25:8) and is repeated throughout the Scriptures to the death of Moses (Deuteronomy 32:50).  One day you and I will most certainly be "gathered to our people."

I want to be prepared to join the people of God throughout the ages, including those in my own generation.  I encourage each of you today to commit your life to Christ. Express your faith in His redemption plan, confess, and repent of your sins, and choose this day to serve the Lord Jesus Christ.

Be encouraged and prepared today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily Prayer: Father, there are so many questions that we must personally answer in our short life on earth.  The majority is easily answered and requires only the common sense with which we were born.  But there are other life-long questions that require deep thought and intense searching from one's heart.  Help us to plan for our eternal future in a place we have never seen. Help us to live each day by faith, not just for the immediate future but most especially for the eternal future, where there is no more night. Amen.

Personal Note:  I enjoy poking around with Google maps as an aid in reminiscing about my childhood. Here's a zoom in of Harwood Missouri where my grandparents lived in a little white house which has since burned down. West of town about a mile my Uncle Gentry and Aunt Dora lived on the farm (pictured above) where my grandpa was born in 1882.  The farmhouse is still standing and the farm is being kept up, although it is no longer in the family.  I sure have a lot of great memories of playing on the farm!
Tractor with sled
Uncle Gentry showing us all a good time on the farm one winter day. My cousin Steve is driving the tractor and my sister and I and other cousins are on the makeshift sled.

Weekend Notes

We had a nice time at my brother Pat's place in the Lehigh Valley over the weekend where we enjoyed a July 4th cookout.  Ester and I took a float trip down the Delaware River with Pat's family which at places flows pretty rapidly. I was wearing my glasses (since I really can't see without them).  At one point during the trip it was raining, and I couldn't see through my rain drenched glasses, so I thoughtlessly placed them on my head. Well you can imagine what happened next. Forgetting about them I leaned my head back and instantly knew my glasses were sinking to the bottom of the River as we floated along! Thankfully I had an older pair at home.

Yesterday we visited one of the churches we had served as interim pastor several years ago in the Harrisburg area.  We were pleased to see many of the friends we had made during that six month period.

We had a pleasant surprise this weekend when a reader greeted us in a Bass Pro Shop parking lot. Jim recognized us from our photos on the internet and introduced himself. He told us he found Daily Encouragement by searching Google for "encouragement".  It's always a special blessing to personally meet our readers!

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

(Click on the link to play in your audio player)

"No More Night"
 Video  A powerful song about heaven with an intro by Joni.

"Ancient Of Days"

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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