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Friday, October 15, 2010

Amish home on Stumptown Road in Lancaster County, PA 10/08/10
Amish home on Stumptown Road in Lancaster County, PA

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"Hard Teachings"

"This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?"  (John 6:60). "From this time many of His disciples turned back and no longer followed Him. After many of His disciples walked away, "Jesus then said to the twelve, 'Do you also want to go away?'” (John 6:66,67).

Pets sharing pillow
We've had our dog Roxie about 5½ years now. We know quite precisely when our cat Dottie was born since she was born in our summer kitchen shortly after we moved to Lancaster County in 2001. However Roxie was about six months old when we got her from my niece, Gretchen, and she thought Roxie was born the previous year about mid-October.  So Ester insisted that we establish a birthday for her and we officially made it October 15. So today we celebrate our dog's birthday!

We think our pets Roxie and Dottie are pretty satisfied living with us.  I don't know about you but we sometimes talk to our pets. We are confident by her enthusiastic response that Roxie knows what we mean when we ask, "Want to go for a walk?" She runs to the door and jumps up so I can attach her leash to her collar.  It sounds quite silly, but I find myself asking her and Dottie at times if they ever wonder what it would be like living with another family.

Do they ever dream of some nice home where they'd get more attention, high-pedigree pet feed (not the less expensive generic that we use), a knitted sweater and so on?

I really don't think they think much about leaving us for another home. I believe they love us (to the extent pets are capable of loving). But when it comes to the human race, I've met more than a few people along the way that follow Christ for a little while and then quickly check out another home.

Surely our daily text is one of the saddest expressions in the Bible.  It is the response by many who, upon hearing the teachings of Jesus would also say, "This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?"  (John 6:60). This remains the reaction of many when confronted with the teachings of Christ. 

Some of His teaching seems hard in the sense of being hard to understand. Some issues make sense to us, others we accept by faith, not fully understanding with our mind. However I have learned that there are many previously hard teachings that become easier to grasp after a period of maturation and experience as a Christian.

But some of His teaching is hard in the sense of being hard to live by. The call to serious discipleship is hard.  Many years ago I read a book dealing with discipleship that uncomfortably and with conviction expressed the teachings of Christ without any soft-pedaling.

Our daily text is surely one the saddest verses in the Bible: "From this time many of His disciples turned back and no longer followed Him" (v.66).  This was the response by many to the teaching of Jesus and it remains the reaction of many when confronted with His teaching or in some cases after living under His teaching for awhile. 

"Jesus then said to the twelve, 'Do you also want to go away?'” (v.67).

Peter spoke up to answer this question and uttered one of the most profound yet simple statements of belief in the Bible. He was speaking for the group: "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.  We believe and know that You are the Holy One of God" (vv.68,69).

Amen, that's my sentiment today as well and I hope everyday!  Today, may we, like Peter, consecrate ourselves to God and continue as His follower.  "A faithful follower I would be, for by His hand He leadeth me." By the grace of God I'll never go back to my old life!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily prayer: Father, there is no one nor anything that deserves our complete allegiance, but You, our Lord, who holds the words of eternal life.  Though others may refuse to listen or turn away from the message of salvation we choose to persevere, for to Whom else could we turn.  We persevere in trial and in victory, in the ups and downs and in the in-betweens of everyday circumstances.  We seek to do Your will in all things so that we will be richly rewarded at the end of this life.  In the name of Jesus we persevere. Amen.

The following photos and notes were posted by Brooksyne:

Stephen's birthday 2010 along with Jay and Doug
Yesterday Stephen celebrated his birthday along with two friends, Jay and Doug, who share the same birthday.  In fact Doug (right) was born on the same day and year while Jay (left) shares the same day but is two years younger.

Stephen's birthday 2010
Yesterday I had some fun at Stephen's expense by sharing a college photo on Facebook of his twentieth birthday (though I listed it accidentally as his 19th).  He was holding a cake I gave to him so he could share it with his dorm mates.  One of his friends took photos and gave them to me.  (It was the only glimpse I had of his dorm room since there were strict rules regarding guys and gals not being allowed in each other's rooms.  Too bad it isn't that way at all colleges!)

I asked him to pose for me the same way again, 36 years later, to see if there's much change.  You'll notice he's trying to suck it in, but he's not fooling anybody - he doesn't in any way approach the slim profile posted on my facebook page.  I'm having fun but I'm probably going to get this right back in my face when it's my turn.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
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"He Leadeth Me"  Video  The London Fox Singers

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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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