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Monday, May 25, 2009

Old water pump & chair
Old water pump & chair
Both of these bring back memories of my childhood.
This was the kind of chair so many had sitting on their front porch.

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"Let Us Remember"

"Remember the days of old; consider the generations long past. Ask your father and he will tell you, your elders, and they will explain to you" (Deuteronomy 32:7).  
"Remember your leaders, who spoke the Word of God to you.  Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith" (Hebrews 13:7).

Today is Memorial Day here in America, a day initially set aside to remember the fallen from America's Civil War and which has come to also be a time we remember all who have fallen in war.  It is also a time when many of us especially remember our loved ones who have gone on before us. Yesterday we walked through the cemetery down the road from our house and noticed that many of the graves were adorned with flowers, an expression of love and remembrance by a remaining family member or friend.

However today we would like to heed a very specific Scriptural call to remembrance that will apply to believers all over the world.

Some 3,400 years ago Moses prepared to pass the mantle of leadership on to his successor Joshua.  In his final sermon he called the people to "remember the days of old; consider the generations long past." I believe this to be a command for all people of all generations, not just the initial listeners.

It's interesting to me how many times the Bible reminds us to consider our roots.  History was very important in the life of the people.  Great New Testament sermons like Peter's (Acts 2) and Stephen's (Acts 7) are rooted in history, the record of God's providential work in space and time.

Today we believe one of the great strategies of Satan is a blurring and de-emphasis of history, whether it be the deceptions of the historical revisionists or the extremely poor grasp of history evident among so many.  If Satan can get us to lose perspective of the past a trap is set for the lie of living only for the "Now."  Forget the past and we place little value on the future, supremely our eternal future.

The writer of Hebrews reminded his readers and all of us to "remember your leaders, who spoke the Word of God to you."  Consider those who have shared God's Word with you throughout your life.  For many it will be a godly parent or close relative.  It may be a pastor, Sunday School teacher or other church leader.  For some it will be a camp counselor or another individual you met along life's journey who has impacted your life for Christ.

Yesterday in our church service I asked the congregation if they would like to verbally pay tribute to one who had made an impact on their life. Peter, who is a few years older than I recalled an earnest teacher in his Junior High class.  She often stressed "the fundamental fundamentals and basical basics."  Peter shared how the students snickered at the teacher's improper English and oft repeated phrase but in retrospect over the years he realizes how her earnest emphasis on truth made a difference in his life, by her words and her conduct.

Sometime today, perhaps now, take a moment to remember these people and offer a prayer of thanks for them.  Some may be with our Lord, while others are still serving Him on this earth.  If they're still living why don't you send them a brief note of thanks and encouragement?   Over the last several years God has led me to do this and I've been so blessed by blessing others and seeing the rich affect of encouragement it brings to their lives.

We are also called to "consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith."  I am so thankful for those whose lives I have personally observed as I witnessed the transforming change Christ makes.  The leaders whom our text refers to were real people who were known personally by those they served. The word for imitate is a Greek word from which we get "mimic".

Today, let us indeed remember the days of old and consider the value of generations long past!  
Let us remember our leaders, who spoke the Word of God to us and consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily prayer:  Ancient of Days, You have given us Your Holy Word as a spiritually historical foundation to build our lives upon.  Through the centuries Your greatness is demonstrated through ordinary people just like us and through Your awesome acts that reveal Your incomparable power and divine attributes.  History in the past and history in the making is subordinate to Your sovereign work in the lives of Your people.  We lovingly submit ourselves into Your merciful hands.  Amen.

God of past ages,
Lord of this morning,
Lord of the future,
Help us, we pray:
Teach us to trust You,
Love and obey You,
Crown You each moment
Lord of today.
(Margaret Clarkson - sung to tune of "Morning Has Broken")

Yesterday I encouraged the people to consider the following aspects of our heritage as we remember: (These points will apply to all readers)
  • Our Family Heritage.
  • Our National Heritage.
  • Our Local Church Heritage
  • Our Faith Heritage.
  • Our Heritage in the larger Church we are a part of. Nearly 2000 years of people faithfully serving Christ!
  • Our Biblical Heritage.

Additional study on today's topic:
Here are some online resources from Probe Ministries for any who might want more information about historical revisionism and post-modern influence, especially on the church.
Why care about history?
In defense of history
The Emerging Church
Historical Revisionism

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.

Antique Cletrac tractor
Yesterday afternoon we visited with Lloyd, a man in our church who collects antique tractors. We found this one, a Cletrac from 1930 quite interesting!  Lloyd informs us that it still runs!  Seth hopped on board to check it out!

Miniature horses
We passed these miniature horses playing together.  They were the smallest horses we have ever seen!  Several were smaller than a typical dog.

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.

"Find Us Faithful"  Video  Steve Green  This is an interesting slide show with the song in the background.  Although most of the text is in Chinese (I assume) you still realize as you watch it that this is an attempt to honor the faithful servants of Christ.

Send a message to Stephen & Brooksyne.

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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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