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Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Photo of Donegal Creek, Lancaster County PA
Donegal Creek in Lancaster County PA
Brooksyne and I walk past this beautiful scene on our trail walk.
This photo was taken last year. (I suppose we've used enough snow photos that we're pushing spring photos though we're still a week away from the official spring season.)
However, there are some willows already budding in our area.

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"The Tree Of Life"

"Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city" (Revelation 22:14).

Over the last several days the temperatures have been rising and yesterday we had a real touch of warm spring weather in our area as we are doing so again today.  Not only are we enjoying the warm sunshine but we're also seeing the first faint evidence of greening and new life. Yesterday Roxie ran full throttle after a bunny rabbit that leaped across our yard, but was quite unsuccessful in the chase.  The daffodils are surfacing and some of Brooksyne's prized herbs are starting to peep through the frozen soil. 

I pointed out some trees that had tiny buds on them and commented to Brooksyne and Ester, "It's my understanding that the budding is prompted by the days getting longer so maybe if they started daylight savings time even earlier everything would get green sooner." (To her credit Brooksyne didn't fall for it though Ester was clueless!)

I enjoy relating to foresters and learned a great deal from several who attended the church I pastored in northern Pennsylvania years ago. Foresters work with trees which have the distinction of being referenced in the Bible from the first chapter right through to the last chapter with many references between.

When Adam was banned from the garden the specific reason for this banishment was so that he could not "reach out  his  hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever" (Genesis 3:22).  At the end of the Bible we again see several references to this tree of life.  Apparently it will be a major attraction in our eternal home (Revelation 2:7; 22:14).  As such it surely must be the longest living tree!

The life-giving ministry of Jesus Christ fulfills for the believer the blessings of the tree of life.  Fundamentally man has two great quests in life:

One is for eternal life and Jesus meets this need.  The Bible says, "For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16).

Man's second great quest is for abundant life (full and meaningful). Jesus meets this need as well.  He said, "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full" (John 10:10).

Today the benefits of the tree of life are freely available to all of us in Jesus Christ.  Many ignore His call, reject Him, or even scorn His name but the Word of God declares:  "Yet to all who received Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God" (John 1:12,13).  Share this merciful gift of life through Christ Jesus today!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily prayer: Jesus, Your sacrificial death on the cross became the tree of life for all who believe. It is the highest expression of love not only for those who bore the nails in your hands and shouted "Crucify, Crucify."  It is for all the generations who follow that were born under the sin curse.  How grateful we are that You came from the glories of heaven to crush the head of the serpent, as You conquered death through Your miraculous resurrection so that we might be redeemed from the law of sin.  We will partake of the tree of life in heaven because You partook of the cross of death here on earth.  All glory and praise is due Your name.  Amen.

Brooksyne & Ester Chocolate World 3/8/10
Yesterday we had a trip to the Hershey area for an appointment for Ester and to make a chaplain visit. Since we were over that way we went to Hershey's Chocolate World and took a "factory tour" (again). Brooksyne and Ester are riding through the chocolate "oven".

Singing Cows Chocolate World 3/8/10
We've taken this free tour many, many times but always enjoy it especially the singing cows. We also enjoy the free chocolate bar at the end!  This time we got to sample Almond Joy Pieces (made like M&M's but tastes like Almond Joy, coconut & all - delicious!)

Dr. McNib Chocolate World 3/8/10
The newest attraction at Chocolate World is Hershey's Chocolate Tasting Adventure with chocolate expert Dr. Livingston McNib.
We all agreed Dr. McNib sure looks like our friend, Mike Book, who by the way, is a teacher and would do a great job playing such a part.
You can read more about Chocolate World here.

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.)

Today Brooksyne suggested a song she recalled titled, "O Mighty Cross", which has this great refrain, "His sacrifice on Calvary has made the Cross a tree of life for me." However I was unbale to find an online version. But it did prompt these songs.

"The Wonder Of The Cross"  Video  I had never heard this song before but it is very powerful and the video is revealing in regard to the joy and worship expressed. This is from the Kingsgate Community Church in England.

"Mighty Is The Power Of The Cross"  Video  

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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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