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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Barley Harvest 6/15/09

We passed this farm scene
on our 3 mile walk last night and noted the barley straw being harvested. The abundant rains have thus far made for a very green landscape (young corn in the foreground). This photo is available in a larger size with the daily Scripture verse suitable for a desktop background.

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"Forever Faithful!"
"You, O LORD, reign forever; Your throne endures from generation to generation" (Lamentations 5:19). "Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord his God, the Maker of heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them - the Lord, who remains faithful forever" (Psalm 146:5,6).

BarleyThose who regularly follow this series know that we enjoy using illustrations from the farming area in which we live. We have learned that there is a predictability regarding the times of each harvest from year to year and presently the barley is being harvested.  Prior to harvest it turns a beautiful yellow indicating harvest is near.  The other day we came across a beautiful farm scene behind a friend's house. I went back two days later to get a photo but alas it was too late. The field had already been harvested!

I like the harvests because they are such a tangible expression  reminding us of God's faithfulness. Though machinery used now is far advanced from the methods used in the harvests of the Bible time period the basic process is the same.

In the future there will be the most important harvest ever to take place; a great harvest of souls where those who built their lives upon the temporal soil of this life and those who built their lives upon the eternal Rock of Salvation will be separated.

As believers we are not of this world. We foundationally belong to another Kingdom. As God's children we are part of a dynasty that will last forever.  Jeremiah proclaimed in our first daily verse: "You, O Lord, reign forever."  He made this proclamation during a time of social and spiritual chaos, as Judah's captivity to Babylon was imminent. In fact Lamentations was written during one of the most despairing times imaginable.

In the natural it didn't look like the throne of David had any chance at all, but God gave Jeremiah spiritual eyes to look beyond the chaos of the present life to the eternal future where God's throne would endure from generation to generation for all eternity. Through the eternal reign of Christ this has been fulfilled. Now 2,600 years later we joyfully proclaim "Forever God is Faithful" and we will be making this joyful proclamation throughout all eternity.

Our second daily verse reminds us of the source of our help and hope, the Maker of all who is the Lord and who remains faithful forever. When we, as believers, regularly read the Word it is much more than just a record of history or teachings to be read once and then stored on a shelf.  No, the Scripture dwells within our hearts and is expressed through us in our day to day activities, in our thought life, in our outlook on earth and preparation for the life hereafter.  We establish our confidence in the God of Hope and we find help in our hour of need; we learn to trust instead of being afraid.

A.W. Tozer states, "Upon God’s faithfulness rests our whole hope of future blessedness. Only as He is faithful will His covenants stand and His promises be honored. Only as we have complete assurance that He is faithful may we live in peace and look forward with assurance to the life to come."

In John's vision recorded in the book of Revelation, we read: "The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ, and He will reign forever and ever" (11:15).  Keep that perspective before you today! Regardless of what earthbound obstacle seems to be blocking your spiritual view, remember this life-changing truth today, "Forever God is faithful!" It will renew your hope and brighten your countenance.  I guarantee it!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily prayer: Lord, everything we see or touch with our hands has a shelf life and eventually wears out or is destroyed.  Our family members and the people we hold dear to our hearts in time also depart from our lives.  But when we contemplate thoughts of eternity we are filled with unending praise as we consider that You, O Lord, reign forever.  Of your kingdom there will be no end.   We'll gather with our dear brothers and sisters from all over the world, from every tribe, tongue and nation to exalt the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ for all eternity!   Amen.

Farmall tractor with child safety seat
The other day we came across this interesting FARMALL tractor. Brooksyne recalls when she grew up on a farm in Oklahoma her Dad taking her and the other kids for tractor rides, holding the children on his lap. Well, this farmer is a bit more safety conscience it seems. He's bolted a child safety seat to the tractor fender!

Don't Worry

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.)

"All Your Promises Are True"  Video  Shannon Wexelberg

"Great Is Thy Faithfulness"  Video  Fernando Ortega

"New Every Morning" Lamentations 3:19-23 from the Integrity Scripture Memory series. To listen to this song open here and then click "play".
"Faithful God" A full video program (26 minutes) from Radio Bible Class' Day of Discover. This program has several songs by Shannon Wexelberg including "Faithful God" at 21:30

Whenever we share on the "Faithfulness of God" we encourage those who want to dig a bit deeper to read the chapter on this topic from A.W. Pink's book "The Attributes Of God". It will bless your soul!  Also here's the chapter on this attribute by A.W. Tozer.

When Life Gets ToughWhen Life Gets Tough  By Henry Gariepy / David C. Cook
Brooksyne's Note:  This is an excellent booklet that I read a couple years ago and keep for handy reference. Gariepy, among my top ten favorite authors, wrote this booklet, included many illustrations, and distributed it to the survivors and rescue workers during the 9-11 clean up at the Trade Center.  It is a book that brings consolation and encouragement for those undergoing difficulty in their lives.

Troubling times can happen in our lives-challenging times, life-shaking, even faith-shaking. It's during these times we need an anchor for our soul...and our faith. With short reflections that take just a minute to read, Henry Gariepy helps you understand the big picture of life. Just when you think you can't go on, God will be there and His words providing the peace you need to move ahead.

Faithful God CDFaithful God CD  By Shannon Wexelberg / Discovery House
Audio sample of "Faithful God" song.

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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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