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Thursday, May 14, 2009

Front porch welcome
We pass this old farmhouse on the way to church.
The rocking chairs and porch swing convey welcome and warmth!

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"The Voice Of Truth"

"My sheep listen to My voice; I know them, and they follow Me" (John 10:27).

It was a pleasant spring afternoon as we drove through the winding Lancaster County countryside to our church for the midweek service yesterday. The lush green is visible in the lawns, trees and farm fields.  Children were riding bikes and playing in their yards, always a wholesome, pleasant sight.

Men waving (photo by Doris High)We passed an elderly couple sitting on their front porch who appeared to be watching every car as it passed by. We waved and they promptly waved back as if delighted by the acknowledgment!  Thinking about this in hindsight it's my guess that this couple has been front porch sitting in this locale for years and is quite familiar with passersby in their area.  It was around the hour that people are leaving work and likely they knew several who would be heading home for dinner about that time. What a blessing it is to have someone cheerfully wave as you're coming home after a weary day at work!

We're all creatures of habit and those who surround us come to know our schedules, our habits, our likes and dislikes, our walk, our voices, and our way of looking at things. Certainly, as believers, we've become familiar with our Master's voice as we devote ourselves to reading the Scriptures, particularly the gospels, which of course have the very words of Christ.  The gospel writers recorded many instances where Jesus spoke to His followers regarding who He was and instructed them in the ways they were to follow Him.

We know the Master's voice; some of us have followed His instruction for many years.   Yet there are a lot of voices still calling out to us; voices that cry out, "You must have this or do that to find fulfillment." Some of these voices may be neutral but other masqueraded voices have an underpinning attitude of greed, envy, lust and other such ungodly traits.  There are voices that may tell us we are not really God's children or that we'll never amount to anything in life based on past failures.  There are voices prompting fear and anxiety.  And there are many more voices crying out to us.


But I strive to keep my attention on the Voice of Truth; the voice of the Good Shepherd, who knows me.  I reaffirm my choice this day to follow Him.  The daily text are the words of our Lord Jesus Christ: "My sheep listen to My voice; I know them, and they follow Me."

The song "The Voice Of Truth" has a line in it that states, "But the voice of truth tells me a different story."  The challenge is to stay focused on the Voice of Truth! Those other voices can really be loud, persistent, alluring and even demanding, but they have no vested interest in my eternal welfare.

God who often speaks in the "still, small voice" and at times in a whisper says, "My sheep listen to my voice.  I know them…"   How good and reassuring it is to not only hear the voice of our Shepherd, but to know that He is also very familiar with my voice and all my ways (Psalm 139:3).

One of the very first Scriptures I memorized over 30 years ago is Isaiah 26:3, "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee."  When my mind wanders off into fear territory where other voices beckon me, this verse draws my spirit back into the inner sanctum of perfect peace where Jesus resides and trust is gained.

Today may we all indeed "choose to listen and believe the Voice of Truth."

"But the Voice of Truth tells me a different story.
The Voice of Truth says 'Do not be afraid'.
And the Voice of Truth says 'This is for my glory'.
Out of all the voices calling out to me,
I will choose to listen and believe the Voice of Truth."

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily prayer:  Father, Your Word cautions us to test the spirits, to see if they are from You or from the master deceiver. The voices that we choose to hear should always guide our hearts to the Master Shepherd; not to other vices, negative attitudes, or to self-glorification.  As we seek after Your heart, we will easily recognize the voice of Jesus our Shepherd and desire to follow Him in all our ways.  Amen.

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.

"My Sheep Hear My Voice" Today's Scripture text in audio from the Integrity Scripture Memory series.  Listening to these songs are a great way to memorize God's Word!  Here's a directory of these songs available online.

"The Voice Of Truth"  Video
  Casting Crowns

This evening I am excited about attending a banquet at the Shady Maple Smorgasbord where Ken Ham of "Answers in Genesis" will speak for a local ministry called Associates for Biblical Research
.  My brother Pat will join me as I bought him a ticket for his birthday which was yesterday!

This satirical piece referencing Ken Ham has far more than a smidgen of truth!

"The Truth Project"  Helpful resources for contenders for truth!

The Truth War: Fighting for Certainty in an Age of DeceptionThe Truth War: Fighting for Certainty in an Age of Deception  By John MacArthur / Thomas Nelson
Right now, Truth is under attack and much is at stake. In a postmodern culture, Christians are caught in the crossfire of alternative Christian histories, emerging faulty texts, and a cultural push to eliminate absolute Truth altogether. As a result, many churches and Christians have been deceived. Worse still, they propagate the deception that poses itself as Truth! In The Truth War, John MacArthur reclaims the unwavering certainty of God's Truth and anchors Christians in the eternal, immovable promises found in His Word.  Ordering info.

I came across this interesting history of the front porch here in America.

Sheep in spandex
I took this photo several years ago at the Pennsylvania Farm Show. Some of the sheep on display were dressed in Spandex, I suppose to keep them warm!

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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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