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Tuesday, November 4, 2008

We are blessed each fall with this beautiful tree behind our house.

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"Decision Time"

"Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people" (Proverbs 14:34).

Church signFinally, it's Election Day here in America.  When we pastored in New England our church was on a very busy US highway and was also used as a polling place.  We had a large road sign with a changeable message at the entrance.  On Election Day my dedicated secretary placed this message on both sides of the sign: "Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people" (Proverbs 14:34). For many voters that was probably the extent of their exposure to Scripture!

Half a century ago Peter Marshall made the following cogent statement: "No nation has ever made any progress in a downward direction. No people ever became great by lowering their standards. No people ever became good by adopting a looser morality. It is not progress when the moral tone is lower than it was. It is not progress when purity is not as sweet. Whatever else it is, it is not progress!" 

My family, along with so many others, is praying with great fervency for our country at this time.

MaMaWe have been disgraced as a nation.  The disgrace of sin abounds yet so many are blind to it. As I prepared this message I considered my grandmother who died in the early seventies. As best as I can determine she is a strong link in my spiritual lineage. Could she even have imagined if we were able to foretell the spiritual apathy and moral decadence we are seeing today?

Righteousness fundamentally is attained when individuals, families and churches turn to Christ and live daily in submission to His will.  This has an accumulative impact on our community, state and entire nation.  Thus a nation's leadership reflects the righteousness or unrighteousness of the people.

The political leadership chosen today certainly will affect the fate of our nation, but we each individually have the decision regarding the fate of our soul.  I urge you all to accept or reaffirm your personal decision to follow Christ today and experience God's great hope and peace as a citizen of heaven!

I emphasize again and again the most important decision that we all should make in this life; that we will love and serve Jesus this day and every day forever.  As we make this most important decision we will be doing our part to make our country a righteous nation!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

(John Piper has written a prayer most pertinent for our election)
Daily prayer: Father in heaven, as we approach our national election, I pray that your people will vote, and that they will vote with a sense of thankfulness for a democratic system that at least partially holds in check the folly and evil in all our hearts so that power which corrupts so readily is not given to one group or person too easily. I pray that we would know and live the meaning of being in the world, but not of it, doing politics as though not doing them, being on the earth, yet having our lives hidden with Christ in God, rendering to Caesar the things that are Caesars, and to God the things that are God’s;  that we would discern what truths and values should advance by being made law and which should advance only by the leavening of honest influence;  that your people would see what love and justice and far-seeing wisdom demand in regard to the issues of education, business and industry, health care, marriage and family, abortion, welfare, energy, government and taxes, military, terrorism, international relations, and every challenge that we will face in the years to come;  and above all, that we will treasure Jesus Christ, and tell everyone of his sovereignty and supremacy over all nations, and that long after America is a footnote to the future world, he will reign with his people from every tribe and tongue and nation. Keep us faithful to Christ’s all important Word, and may we turn to it every day for light in these dark times. In Jesus’ name,  Amen.

This prayer is from a "A Prayer For The Election"

Two Notes from Readers

*The first email was sent to us from a very godly woman now in her 80's.  She and her husband pastored for many years and we esteem both of them very highly, though he now makes his home in heaven.

I'm reading in Ezekiel 7-9 in my one year Bible.  The Lord told the man with the writer's ink horn by his side, (9:4) to go through the city and set a mark upon the forehead of the men who sigh and cry for the abominations that are done there!  I'm asking the Lord to mark me as one who sighs and cries for our city and nation.  God hears and answers prayer, even though His ways may not always be understood.

The second email is a note from a reader in New Zealand and we'll  share a portion of it with our readers. Today's message will pertain to many readers regardless of where you live.  As best I can determine all of the lands that previously had a strong Judeo-Christian foundation have faced this onslaught:

Many pastors and church members refuse to “wake up”.  Today as I read, you said you want to discern the times, and know what to do. I was totally blown away. This has been a prayer of mine for a long time. The Lord has had me delving into world affairs for the last 7 years.  It is interesting to see what is happening.

We too have elections coming up on Saturday.  I am quite worried.  Virtually, there is very little to choose from.  Our only Christian party folded because of “naughty private behavior.”

We have an issue with politicians taking away the right for parents to discipline their kids. Teachers cannot use reasonable force to remove naughty kids from the class. The children are pushing past the limits.  The children now have the authority.  They know it.   We are at the stage when kids turn against their parents. With our new laws we are seeing it.

The Lord put on my heart to be praying for our youngsters.  I see many who are into witchcraft, gangs, totally selfish, rude etc, etc.  I despair so much.  Then in my sadness HE puts a great kid next to me on the bus and restores my faith in them.

We are also having problems in the cultural/religious area.  Many employers won't let you wear a cross to work, or talk about the Lord, but they allow Muslim dress, and prayer rooms in some places.

Some schools even have a prayer room for Muslims but don’t allow the teaching of Christianity, all for cultural diversity.  I hear these words bandied about a lot.  In the U.K. it is very bad.

It seems to be now that we cannot be "spiritual" if we are Christian…oh no, that ‘C’ word means to be intolerant.  Only Buddhists, Muslims and various forms of Indian religions are "spiritual".

Photo of Maple leaves
Maple leaves

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
(Click on the link to open and play)

"He's Always been Faithful To Me"  Video  Sara Groves

"Lay Your Burdens Down"  Audio

"Be Thou My Vision"  Audio

"Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus"  Video  Selah

Today's sign photo was made using the church sign generator. Although we did use this message on our church sign in November 2000 just before we moved from that area I didn't have a photo of it. What's more the church name also changed after we left! So today's photo is for illustrative purposes only although in my recollection the sign is very similar.
The church I pastored in New England is located here (googlemap) for the terminally curious.

Bunny and Peg O'HareWhen I pastored up that way I met Bunny and Peg O'Hare at a conference in Boston. Bunny served as a chaplain at the time with Transport For Christ at a truckstop in central Massachusetts. I invited him down to our church about 50 miles away to share his ministry with our congregation.  We typically used our sign to welcome guests and we welcomed him and his wife with a message similar to this one. Bunny thought that was so neat and to this day tells the story of driving up and seeing his name on that sign.

Church signIn early 2001 we moved from Massachusetts to Pennsylvania. Several years ago Bunny and Peg (two of the most enthusiastic, colorful people you will ever meet) also moved to this area and now live north of Mount Joy. Bunny now serves as the Director of Chaplains for TFC and we share in some aspects of ministry together. Bunny has a tremendous testimony of a mid-life conversion to Christ and deliverance from alcohol that I will be sharing on this site.

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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, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. 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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