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Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Girls watching the "Make A Wish" truckers parade
in Lancaster County on Mother's Day.
(Photo by Doris High)
Doris thinks these girls had been to some type of church function due to the green name tags they are all wearing.
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"But just as He who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do" (1 Peter 1:15).
Awhile back Brooksyne had an interesting experience in a store here in Lancaster County. She was leaving a large wholesale club, which requires a second check of the receipt just prior to leaving the store. In front of her was a young lady carrying a baby who was very scantily dressed. I will not attempt to describe Brooksyne's portrayal lest I write something inappropriate and the picture image would distract from the overall purity of this message.
The young lady went through the line and Brooksyne followed her through the checkout to leave. But when it was her turn she couldn't get the older man's attention who was checking the receipts. It just so happens that his eyes were fixed upon the back side of the woman as she was exiting the warehouse door!
Well Brooksyne, bless her heart, can be pretty bold and said to the older man, "May I ask you, just what are you staring at?" Her probing bluntness caught the man by surprise causing him to laugh nervously. He then made up some lame excuse, but he knew he was caught. She overheard him telling the next customer how he "got caught staring."
I realize many reading this come from religious traditions that placed great emphasis on dress. (Brooksyne did, I didn't.) You had certain standards of acceptable dress, some quite arbitrary. For many, these standards, along with other rules, often developed into a works/righteousness understanding of faith though it may not have been the intent of church leaders.
Many churches have gotten away from these guidelines for dress as the church in the last 30 years has had a major emphasis on grace. This emphasis on grace is certainly appropriate and powerful and some of the arbitrary man-made rules really needed examination.
But the pendulum can certainly swing too far and balance is needed.
Today's Holy Scripture verse should be memorized and hidden in the heart, along with Ephesians 2:8-10. Both verses are a part of God's revelation to man. If the young lady Brooksyne spoke of made any claim to being a follower of Christ would she dress that way with the daily verse hidden in her heart? If the checkout man were a follower of Christ would he really stare as he did? In other words, she shouldn't be showing and he shouldn't be staring!
Indeed let us hear God's call today. "But just as He who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do" (1 Peter 1:15).
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, we thank You for the liberty that sets us free from a fear-driven, rigid list of do's and don'ts of what we can and can't do. Instead we choose to be led by Your Holy Spirit. As the Spirit shapes our thinking and sharpens our senses we become sensitive to behavior that grows our spiritual nature and behavior that feeds the fleshly nature. While freeing us from legalism through Your Spirit, You also warn us not to turn our freedom into gratification for our sinful flesh. Instead we are to be bound by love which is not self-seeking but instead looks out for the other person as we serve one another in love. As we live this way You make us a holy people, pleasing and acceptable in Your sight. May our spiritual nature be the driving force behind the choices we make from day to day as we submit to You and serve others. We pray for this in the name of Jesus. Amen.
In regard to today's message also see: Galatians 5:I3, 1 Corinthians 8:9-13
A Personal Memory:
Tracy and Beulah Sutherland with a very young Brooksyne
(during the "big hair" days.)
Early in our ministry we served a small country church near Fair Grove, Missouri. We had a very dear elderly couple in the church who were in their nineties at the time, Tracy and Beulah Sutherland. They had lived their entire lives in that region and had been sustenance farmers (that is essentially living off what they grew on their small farm). They were devout followers of Christ and had some dress standards different then we had as "enlightened" Bible School students. But they loved and accepted us and to this day we esteem them. Tracy went on to be with the Lord shortly after we left but Beulah lived to be over 100. We expect a glorious reunion with them one day!
Yesterday I shared a photo of some beautiful poppies I took near a friend's home here in Lancaster County. This prompted Andy, a longtime friend from New England, to send me the above photo his son took. Can anyone tell where the photo taken? If you care to you can submit your answer to this address. Hint: They are probably not being grown primarily for their beauty. I'll post the answer tomorrow.
I passed this the other day near Strasburg, PA. It's a gasoline powered generator (front) that powers a conventional round hay baler. Having assisted my Amish friend in putting up hay one summer this is a real blessing! This contraption would be pulled by a team of horses or mules who also work very hard!
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.
"The Life I Live" Audio (open and click "play") Galatians 2:20 from the Integrity Scripture Memory Series.
"Everything We Need" Audio (open and click "play") 2 Peter 1:3,4a from the Integrity Scripture Memory Series.
"Take My Life" Video
Take My Life And Let It Be" Audio
Take Time To Be Holy" Video
"Holiness Is What I Long For" Video
One of the most powerful teachings I ever heard on Holiness is from this series:
The Holiness of God Ligonier Ministry Teaching Series
By Ligonier Ministries
Jerry Bridges has been for many years among my favorite authors
The Pursuit of Holiness By Jerry Bridges / NAV Press
What does holiness look like? For starters, it doesn't look anything like perfection. And it doesn't necessarily look like victory. Mostly, it consists of effort, prayer, grace, and obedience. "Scripture speaks of both a holiness we have in Christ before God, and a holiness we are to strive after," writes Bridges. We can ignore neither Christ's role nor our own if we are to successfully pursue holiness. It is as simple as refusing to smudge the truth on a tax return or as complicated as forgiving the person who has most viciously hurt us.
Bridges takes holiness out of the realm of the impossible and brings it into the real world of your daily life and decisions. Whether you're continuing your pursuit of holiness or just beginning, the principles and guidelines in The Pursuit of Holiness will challenge you to obey God's command of holiness.
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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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