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Monday, August 30, 2010

Amish hay wagons near Mount Joy, PA
Harvest time on Kraybill Church Road!
Our Amish neighbor had these wagons loaded ready for transport to the barn this weekend.
See here for a larger version of this photo with Scripture verse.

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"Many Means"

"I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some" (1 Corinthians 9:22).

Friday afternoon Brooksyne and I went to the Elizabethtown Fair, a local town fair that is as large as many county fairs. The highlight for us is seeing community friends as we browse the exhibits and of course we like the food booths as well. The E-town fair has one of the best antique tractor displays I have ever seen (including those in a number of large state fairs I've attended.)

Joe ShererEster was walking through with a friend when she called me on her cell phone and put me in touch with Joe Sherer, a friend who had pastored a neighboring church for many years, who is now serving a church in Elizabethtown.

I tracked him down and saw that his church had a booth at the fair offering free water. I went over to meet Joe and we visited for a few minutes. Brooksyne joined me and then Joe offered us a cup of water. He shared with us about a serviceman he had prayed with who inquired about the "living water". Seeking to make a lasting impact Joe's church offered not only the "liquid water" that quenches the physical thirst, but they offered the "living water" that quenches the spiritual thirst for all eternity.

I have longed believed that we should all have a mission statement and years ago developed one which I feel conveys my purpose. “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 prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity.”

Today I want to focus on the latter part of the statement. "Prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity.” Obviously the preparation for eternity should begin personally, otherwise we are unequipped to help others prepare. (See 1 Timothy 4:16)

One of the greatest joys in life is influencing others. We can do so in a lot of different ways such as people valuing our opinion on a certain product. However by far the greatest influence we can have is helping people make adequate preparation for eternity. As we seek to do so a very important truth to consider is that our influence most often has an incremental effect. That is, our words and/or our actions are often a series of small increments or steps toward a person's receiving salvation. In fact there are at least four different ways that this is so:

• The incremental impact of many methods.
• The incremental impact over time.
• The incremental impact of many people.
• The incremental impact of many circumstances.

I shared today about the method Joe's church used in meeting the physical need while offering guidance for one's spiritual need. The church also provided literature as a means of sharing the gospel message. As we seek to provide a witness for Christ there are many methods that can be used but it's often the composite impact of many methods that makes the difference. In our daily text the Apostle Paul asserts his desire to reach others "
by all possible means."

How wonderful it is when a local church or Christian-based ministry provides a means of witness whereby others might come to truly drink of the living water, whether it happens right then and there or whether it is one of many incremental means that eventually leads to their salvation. Consider that today in regard to your faithful witness for Christ!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily prayer: Father, we can easily become discouraged when we witness to others and see no immediate results of their coming to faith. Help us to remember that we are commissioned to plant the seeds of faith and trust You for the germination and growth that comes from our sowing. There are many on our hearts today in which we have planted seeds of faith. We commit them to You and trust that You will bring other believers into their lives whereby the combination of our methods of sowing will take root and bring them to repentance and salvation in Christ. It is in the name of Jesus that we pray. Amen.

Photos from the Elizabethtown Fair

Jim & Wendy Gambini
We visited with our friends Jim and Wendy Gambini who were greeters in the church where the fair displays the 
crafts, photography, gardening, baked goods, canning, etc. that was submitted for judging.

Painted milk can at Elizabethtown Fair
This beautifully painted milk can had a winter covered bridge scene on the other side making for dual season settings.

Flower arrangement at Elizabethtown Fair
We saw all kinds of beautiful flower arrangements but I especially enjoyed this colorful use of a boot!

teddy bear ferris wheel at Elizabethtown Fair
This Teddy bear ferris wheel was interesting to watch as the pulley was power generated by what I believe was a small hit and miss engine.

1947 McCormick-Deering orchard tractor
I will just show one tractor (out of many tractor photos I took).
This was used in orchards. See here for more info.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
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(In some cases you may also need to click again to start the song.)

"Each One, Reach One"  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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