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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Country Lane 7/21/10
Country Lane near our home

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"What Not To Forget"

"You shall acknowledge no God but Me, no Savior except me.  I cared for you in the desert, in the land of burning heat.  When I fed them, they were satisfied; when they were satisfied, they became proud; then they forgot me" (Hosea 13:4-6).

SoundboardWe've been holding evening sessions of Vacation Bible School at our church this week. Last night a group was gathered at the front of the church and I was running the sound system. In the past I used to be proficient at sound system operation but since I'm out of practice and they have tended to get more complicated I'm getting more forgetful on matters like this. I find that I am not as intuitive as I once was about such technology, probably in part because my interests have changed over the years.

I was asked to play several different songs on two different CD's and found myself quite frustrated in trying to quickly shuffle between the requested songs and discs.  I called out for Ashley, a young lady in our church, to come back and help me! Of course she knew just what buttons to push.

Getting forgetful is frustrating but it happens to people at all ages for different reasons.  Some contributing reasons are carelessness, inattentiveness, memory weakness and of course the aging process. Over the years I have lost hundreds of hours of computer work due to my own carelessness. 

Many years ago I was working for several hours on sermon preparation while also having three or four other programs open.  Periodically I was toggling back and forth between windows and somehow I unintentionally hit a button that brought up a screen that stated, "Do you want to save the changes…"?  I absentmindedly clicked "no" so I could move on to my own personal material, instantly realized what I had done, and then verbally and emotionally chewed myself out.  All my work over the last several hours was lost somewhere in cyber space.  Anyone who's done this knows how hard it is to reconstruct the same quality of material a second time with the original enthusiasm!

Infinitely sadder is the sequence of forgetfulness mentioned in the daily text.  Although specifically dealing with the children of Israel, it is also a descriptive profile of people from every generation since God spoke these words through Hosea:   "I cared for you in the desert, in the land of burning heat.  When I fed them, they were satisfied; when they were satisfied, they became proud; then they forgot me"

This is an indictment of believers in our own generation isn't it! We have the foundational commandment consistently asserted through Scripture, "You shall acknowledge no God but Me." God alone is our Savior, He cares for us, and has abundantly fed us both spiritually and physically.  Even the most ardent unbeliever is abundantly blessed by God.

Satisfaction is generally a blessing but it can also be a curse; a blessing as we continue to "praise God from whom all blessings flow", but a curse when it leads to pride which is centered on self rather than God.  And such pride leads to the worst kind of forgetfulness. The words spoken by God paint such a sad, ungrateful picture, "Then they forgot Me."

Wherever you've come from, whatever you've accomplished, whenever you have the opportunity give all the glory to God.  Never forget – anything that we are and all that we receive are due to God's abundant goodness and His amazing grace!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily Prayer: Loving Father, from Your generous hands flows every good and precious gift.  We receive physical, material, relational, and spiritual blessings that far surpass our daily needs.  We acknowledge that You are the one and only true God, the Savior and Redeemer of our soul. We give You glory for all that we are and all that we hope to be.  Be glorified in and through us as we walk in humility and express thanksgiving to You in Jesus' name we pray.  Amen.

Vacation Bible School

We will share several photos from the Vacation Bible School (VBS) led by four young people from area churches that assist small churches that may not have the personnel to host their own VBS.  The format over the years hasn't changed much since Brooksyne and I attended as children or over the 30 plus years of our pastoring and hosting VBS's. Lots of fun, Biblical instruction, and fellowship took place for which we are thankful.

VBS crafts
VBS always has crafts and actually the craft they made is pretty much the same as it was when we were kids. In this craft they "drew" with glue glitter to form some sort of design. They were quite proud of what they made! I don't know whether they managed to use popcycle sticks or not!

VBS singing "We Want To See Jesus LiftedHigh"
Of course VBS always has to have action songs to wear the kids down a bit (or perhaps wind them up!)  They sang "We Want To See Jesus Lifted High" and jumped up and down and raised their hands.  I suppose when we were kids we sang "He's Got The World In His Hands" and made similar motions.

VBS games
VBS always had outside games when possible and in this race they had to run carrying an egg on a spoon! I think that race has been around a few years as well but don't tell the kids, they had a great time!

VBS Bible lesson
They sat down on the lawn for the Bible lesson from Hebrews 12. "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."
I was pleased to observe the respect and attentiveness of the children. You can also see from the background our church is really out in the country.

The kids (and adults) ended the evening eating ice cream but for some reason I didn't get a photo of that. I wonder why!

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.)

"To God Be The Glory"  Video  Andrae Crouch 

"Remember Me"
 Video  Mark Schultz  A beautiful song, we encourage you to listen.

"Remember Me"  Video  Christian Edition  A different song especially related to a Communion service.

"We Want To See Jesus Lifted High"  Video  HillSong Kids  (This was one of the songs sung last night at VBS.)

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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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