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Friday, January 23, 2009

Bank barn in Berks County PA
We passed this old bank barn in Berks County Pennsylvania.
Bank barns are common throughout Pennsylvania with the typically uneven terrain.
The design allows direct access to both levels.

I sure enjoy old barns!

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"Graphic Images"

"You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified" (Galatians 3:1).

I enjoy studying history and have visited many museums. By far the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington DC is the most graphic and solemn museum I've ever visited, or maybe I should write "experienced".  Hundreds of people slowly walk through the multiple floors of the museum, which depict the various stages of the holocaust.  Apart from the slow shuffling of feet on the hard floors one hears only periodic gasps followed by "Oh, my." Those attempting to suppress quiet sniffles are heard throughout the corridor.  

Probably the most moving part of the experience is observing a display that shows photos of the most horrible aspects of the holocaust.  To see it you have to make an effort because the designers put a privacy wall around it.  You have to look over this wall and down to view the monitors and the grainy early video.  Man's inhumanities to his fellow man are astounding.   Amazingly, just 65 years ago Hitler and his minions sought to keep these activities in the concentration camps secret. And now there are many who want to deny it ever happened in the first place.

This inhumanity continues today.  A news clip showed several martyred, bloodied Christians being stomped on by gleeful Muslim fanatics.  Angry Hindu mobs in the Orissa state of India are actively persecuting the small Christian remnant. Graphic posters show dismembered and chemically scalded preborn children; "products" of abortion.  The abortionists and their deluded supporters hate these images, claiming they incite violence!  What astounding hypocrisy.

We have no photos of the crucifixion of our Lord, only the visual depictions of artists, who generally understate the likely horror of the scene.  Several years ago the "Passion of the Christ" film more accurately conveyed the images of the real historic event.

The Galatians had not been there and most certainly had not seen any movies.  Yet Paul declares to them, "before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified."  What descriptive preaching this must have been!  This makes me wonder had Paul himself been a witness at the Crucifixion? Had Peter or an earlier eyewitness been to this region and shared the story clearly portraying Jesus Christ's crucifixion?

Today let us continue to serve our crucified and risen Lord.  And let us continue to remember our suffering brothers and sisters all around the world, the unborn children, and others subject to violence.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily prayer: Father, we pray that with unveiled faces we will reflect Jesus' glory as we are being transformed into Your likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord Jesus.  May we not be lacking in zeal but keep our spiritual fervor as we serve You.  Keep us joyful in hope, patient in affliction and faithful in prayer as we share with God's people who are in need and the world that is even needier as they lack a relationship with You.  Amen.

See II Corinthians 3:18, Romans 12:11-13a

George Blizzard
Last night George Blizzard, a friend of ours, came over for dinner and gave us some wise advice about our floor!  We're replacing our kitchen floor and have the huge job of removing ceramic tile.

George brought his tools along and volunteered to pull off some tiles to see how big a job we're in for.  As I was typing this caption an email arrived from George giving us even more options.  It's great to have helpful friends, isn't it!

Thank You: We are very pleased and grateful to God that total 2008 contributions to the Daily Encouragement Net ministry were $21,791.00. Brooksyne and I want to express thanks to all who support this aspect of our ministry for Christ. Offerings came from over 80 separate sources from all over the world. Here's information about supporting our ministry and here's a current ministry update revised to 1/20/09We have always been very open with disclosing our monetary resources in our pastoral ministry with the finances of our churches. We also practice this in our online ministry. Current 2009 YTD total offerings are placed in the footers in each of these posts.

Today's Suggested Music
and Supplemental Resources
(Click on the link to open and play. In some cases you may also need to click again to start the song.)

"No Compromise"  Video  A classic Keith Green song of uncompromising commitment.
Voices of the Faithful, Inspiring Stories of CourageVoices of the Faithful, Inspiring Stories of Courage
By Edited by Beth Moore & Kim P. Davis / Thomas Nelson
In the face of uncertainty and danger, the courage of Christian missionaries remains largely unsung. Now these faithful servants tell their own stories - and you're invited to "listen" in! This collection of 365 readings will bless you with strength and inspiration to fulfill your own call from God! 480 pages, hardcover from Integrity.

Brooksyne's Note:  
I purchased this book last week since I enjoy reading true stories of faithful believers (like the "Christian Heroes" book below.)  It is laid out in such a way that you read one a day for the year.  Already, I have been touched by the brief stories of faithful believers, those in missionary work and from those whom they are reaching for Christ.

The Complete Book of Christian HeroesRead the story of Abuk Ajing, a fellow believer in Sudan, from the book  The Complete Book of Christian Heroes  By Dave & Neta Jackson/Tyndale House
Are there any true heroes? Discover the remarkable stories of those who have suffered for the cause of Christ throughout the course of history. This book reveals what inspired the great heroes of faith and drove them to give their all. Featuring such gripping accounts of each hero's life, this book gives the historical and cultural information as well as quotations and Scripture passages that amplify what each hero stood for. You will learn about John Bunyan, Mary Dyer, Brother Andrew, Todd Beamer and over 200 more heroes of yesterday and today. This is an excellent resource for any home library. For more information or to order click here.

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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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