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Monday, September 20, 2010

Buggy traffic near Leola Pennsylvania
Buggy traffic near Leola Pennsylvania

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"The King Is Coming!"

"Men will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken" (Luke 21:26).

This week we officially acknowledge that we are in the fall season. Certainly it's that time again on the equinox calendar, but evidence of the fall season already abounds.  A number of trees are already dropping leaves and changing colors, the nights are much cooler and the days are shorter.  All around us we see, hear and sometimes even smell the harvest
.  Likewise signs of the end times are becoming more and more visible in our own generation.

Many have pondered the significance of current events in light of eschatological studies (the long word for the study of the end times). Does this mean the Lord's coming is near and we are soon approaching "the end of the world"?

I've been a follower of Christ for nearly 40 years and all along I have observed that there are those who are able to attach prophetic significance to virtually any event and in part they are correct.  In fact it will often result in a moving sermon.  But I understand that this was the case long before I came around as well.  Sixty years ago among the devout there was plenty of cause to muse the same things. Ultimately the answer is that all events, those that took place years ago and those now unfolding, are a part of the Master Plan.

The description of the endtimes when men will faint from terror are the words of our Lord Jesus Christ as He was teaching concerning the end times.  Terror fills our world. It's interesting that among the names that could be used for the perpetrators of these heinous crimes we most commonly use the name "terrorist".  After all they are murderers and destroyers as well.  If I look only to the state of conditions in this world; if I contemplate that which is being prepared in the secret places, my heart is filled with terror.  Given the number of these depraved souls, the vast array of weapons at their disposal and their willingness to die for their accursed cause I quite simply have little confidence in my government's ability to stop them.

I so identify with these words of the Apostle Paul, "If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men" (1 Corinthians 15:19).  Well, the glorious truth is that it's not only for this life that we hope in Christ.  In the span of eternity "this life" will be but a tiny and ever-decreasing percentage as eternity is fully experienced once we cross to the other side.  In fact Paul has now been in heaven some 40 times longer than he lived on this earth!  I'm sure he's learned "Amazing Grace" and is singing with its author John Newton, "When we've been here 10,000 years!"

This brief time is extremely important though, for during this life we make the decision of where we will spend eternity.  Have you done so? Here's a common prayer that expresses faith in God's plan of salvation. Many of you have already expressed your faith in Christ and today I encourage you to reaffirm that commitment. Others have never done so and I urge you to pray this prayer from your heart today.

"Lord Jesus, I confess that I am a sinner.  I believe that You came to this earth and died on the cross in my place.  I place my faith in You and what You have done for me.  I receive You into my life and choose this day to follow You.  Thank You for hearing my prayer." 

That's the start; now let us follow and serve Him every day and place our faith in the One who will replace our terror with His hope.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily Prayer: Father, signs of the times are evident from every point of the globe as we see flesh and blood battles raging.  Scripture also indicates that there are spiritual forces of evil doing battle in the heavenly realms. Though the heavenly bodies continue to be shaken, we will remain firm as we stand on Your promises trusting You to see us through the uncertainties of our times.  Keep us ever watchful and prayerful so that we may be able to escape all that is about to happen as we keep our eyes on the future coronation day when we will stand before the Son of Man in all His glory.  Until that day we remain joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer.  Amen.
Prayer based on Luke 21:36, Ephesians 6:12, Romans 12:12

Clinic for Special Children Benefit Auction
(Part 1)

This last Saturday we went to an auction near Leola Pennsylvania to benefit a clinic that treats Amish and Mennonite children who have special needs. It was quite an experience and we want to share some photos from the event today through Wednesday.

Benefit auction near Leola Pennsylvania
The auction was held on the grounds of a produce auction site north of Leola. There were several thousand in attendance, mostly members of Amish and old order Mennonite communities. A friend at one of the companies we serve as chaplains gave us a special invitation. Elvin is a member of one of the groups that uses horse and buggies. We met up with him at the auction and visited for awhile and he showed us around.

Benefit auction near Leola Pennsylvania
All types of animals were for sale including this heifer. The Amish and old order Mennonite groups  may seem similar to us unfamiliar with their specific apparel or way of life, but they are in fact distinct. They generally associated with other members of their own group at the auction. We especially saw this with the youth and children. This little boy is wearing a hat characteristic of a particular type of Mennonite.

Benefit auction near Leola Pennsylvania
These Amish boys enjoyed getting on the tiny ponies that were for sale.

Benefit auction near Leola Pennsylvania
They had a lot of sheds and outdoor play equipment such as this swingset for sale in the auction.

Benefit auction near Leola Pennsylvania
These young Amish girls lined up along a fence to watch the teen-age boys play volleyball, while a group of older boys watch in the foreground waiting to get into the action. I didn't get a photo of the volleyball game but it is at a very high level of play.

Benefit auction near Leola Pennsylvania
The young people gathered in groups all over the auction grounds, generally boys and girls in separate groups.
However, we did see some teen boys and girls intermingling as well!

Benefit auction near Leola Pennsylvania
They had puppies for sale and Ester fell for this cute little cocker spaniel!

Tomorrow we will share some more photos from the auction.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
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"The King Is Coming!"  Video

Regular readers know I enjoy observing, commenting and taking photographs of the old order way of life of the Lancaster County "Plain People".  Here are some beautiful photos from our local tourism site.

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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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