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Monday, September 22, 2008

Corner acre mums photo
Corner Acre Mums
Note the small self serve box hanging on the side of the barn.

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"The Heavens Declare"

"The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands.  Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge" (Psalm 19:1,2).

It's a bright and cloudless morning here in southern Pennsylvania, a stunningly beautiful day to begin the fall season!  Today at precisely 11:44:18 in our time zone (Eastern) the autumnal equinox will take place when autumn officially begins.  At this point the earth will be precisely in line with the sun at the equator.  The movement of objects in space is so predictable and precise that astronomers can pinpoint the exact time of this and other astronomical events years ahead. 

How marvelous is God's creation along with the perfect orderliness of His glorious works!  As I ponder the daily verse I consider the great God we serve and the work of His hands abundantly proclaimed by the sky that speaks to us in so many different ways. Yesterday afternoon Brooksyne and I took a three mile walk, the longest since Brooksyne broke her ankle in May.  We walked to our Amish neighbor's home where Christian and Annie grow a beautiful assortment of colorful mums.  Their business is called Corner Acres Mums, "open from dusk to dawn". 
Autumn is a time when the sun’s angle changes and the air is noticeably cooler.  Along with the cool nights we soon observe the beautiful green leaves turning a fiery glow before falling to the ground.  Brooksyne and I both enjoy the fall season where golden and auburn colors accent the landscapes seen especially in the brilliant colors of the burning bush, autumn ash, and red maples.

Ravi Zacharias shares a quote from John Polkinghorn, a physicist who turned to faith in God.  He expressed the reasonableness of faith in God in a lecture titled, "The First Three Minutes of the Universe".  In his lecture he makes this remarkable observation based on his understanding:  "Do you know that the balance needed in the early seconds of the universe between its expansion and contraction rate had to be so specific, so on target, with a margin of error so small it would be the equivalent of taking aim at a target at the other end of the universe 20 billion light years away aiming at a 1 square inch target and hitting it straight on." 

Now I don't profess to know what this means and concur with my wife who said, "Now how in the world do they know that?"  But it sure seems to me to be a pretty clear reason for having faith in God!

Some 3,000 years ago David looked up into the sky and made the proclamation found in the daily text. Although I am more familiar with the first verse I also find great blessing from the second as well: "Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge."  Wow, isn't that true!  Some are observant and listening, but most pay no attention at all.

Let us look up to the skies that expand far beyond the human eye or the lens of the most advanced telescope.  Listen to the pouring forth of speech as the heavens give dramatic evidence of God's existence; His power, love and care.  Let us observe the displaying of knowledge, which day after day and night after night, faithfully declares the glory of God. 
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer:  Father, we are surrounded by the endless display of Your awesome handiwork. The entire universe is in perfect order testifying to Your greatness and watchful eye over all of  creation.   The silent heavens speak out as they declare Your majesty and glory. They reveal Your righteousness and faithfulness as the Lord who created them and gave them a purpose for existence.  May we, as Your human creation, also proclaim Your righteousness and faithfulness day after day.  May our lives display the work of the Holy Spirit as we continue to grow in faith until the day of Christ's return.  Amen.

Some photos from our weekend

Image of Christ on large mural photo
This weekend I went to men's conference at the Giant Center in Hershey sponsored by "Men At The Cross".  An artist painted the above picture as the first speaker spoke Friday night.  It is actually mural-sized and he painted it with his hands by smearing the canvas with a glob of paint on the side of his hand (no brush). It was quite a remarkable demonstration!

Church friends at "Men at the Cross" conference photo
Stan, Bill, Dan and Peter; some friends I saw at the conference.

CBMC friends at "Men at the Cross" conference photo
At the conference I helped staff an informational display booth for CBMC along with Dave and Bruce.

Church dinner following missions service photo
Yesterday was Missions Sunday in our country church and our congregation raised an offering of nearly $16,000 for missions!  Bruce Bundy, a long-time member of our church and missionary to Spain for twenty years, shared a challenge with the congregation.  We had  dinner following the service and enjoyed some fine church cooking and fellowship.  I spoke to Pastor Bob this morning who was so pleased with the service, the generous offering, and the fellowship hall filled with God's people.  

Donkey cart photo

Bruce shared this video. I can't recall for sure just what it illustrated but it sure is funny.

Brooksyne with David photo
David gives Brooksyne a hug.
Our church has all ages and lots of babies who tend to get passed around. 

Let me end today's post with a photoless reflection of life in our neck of the woods. Yesterday I took a bike ride and came upon four old order Mennonite girls happily wading barefoot in Donegal Creek with their long distinctive dresses on.  It was quite a sight! We visited for a few minutes before they walked back home on a beautiful aftenoon.
(It was a neighbor's daughter and some of her cousins from Canada.) It struck me how much joy they had just being out together on a beautiful day and what a colorful component they are in our rural area. 

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

(Click on the link to play)

Scripture Memory Songs - Last week we referred to a selection of Scripture verses we had recorded in our home with some friends.  The words are set to familar music as an aid to memorization in a discipleship training class.  Here's the full selection!

"All Heaven Declares"

"All The Heavens"

"Indescribable"  Audio  Video

"How Great Thou Art"  Audio  Video

"How Great Is Our God"  Audio  Video  Michael W. Smith sang this at the men's conference I attended Friday night.

"Great Is Thy Faithfulness"   Video  Video instrumental

"Men At The Cross"
CBMC stands for Christian Businessmen Connecting.

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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