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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Maryland rural scene
A scene in rural Maryland.
Do you recognize the boxes in the field?
See below daily footers for answer.

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"The Heavenly Kingdom"

"My kingdom is not of this world" (John 18:36).

Today is Election Day here in the USA.  Though we have readers from all over the world I write particularly with the American election in mind, though our Biblical message is pertinent to every nation.

All over our country there are highly contested races, including several right here in Pennsylvania.  Throughout the autumn we have been barraged with campaign ads on TV and radio, through mail, road signs and phone calls. I note that many are also using the internet, apparently targeting me based on key words in a search.

Campaign signholders in Massachusetts
I recall a peculiar trait of New England campaigning when we lived up that way in the 1990's.  For several weeks prior to the election supporters of each candidate gather at busy intersections holding political signs, waving, and flashing big grins at passing motorists.  It's quite a sight.  I liked to wave and grin right back at them! However I never made my voting decisions based on how heartily someone waved, how big their smile was or the prominence of politician's names posted on signs! Since our church served as a polling place campaign supporters gathered at the highway out in front grinning and waving as people came in to vote.  Now maybe that's an idea for church greeters on Sunday mornings!

There are various reasons that people will choose to vote as they do today. Some simply vote along political party lines giving little thought or research about the actual persons they elect to office. Others base their vote on how they are told by an organization, but give little thought to the deep values that should be of utmost importance.

Two major competing ideologies divide our nation this election day. We will support the candidates we feel most closely uphold the Biblical position in regard to several issues we feel are vital to our nation's 
survival, security, prosperity and moral wellbeing.  But we must keep in mind that politics is not the key to surviving as a nation.  We must remember where our real home is.

Although I am a natural born citizen of the US, born in Kansas City Missouri in 1954, my primary eternal citizenship was established in heaven in 1971 when I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.  And that's where my first allegiance lies. *

The dominant system when Jesus was on this earth ultimately determined that His views were worthy of death.  At His trial before Pilate He calmly got right to the heart of the matter, "My kingdom is not of this world" (John 18:36). Earlier in an exchange with the religious leaders of His day He minced no words, "You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world" (John 8:23).

We want to have a perspective that reflects the words of Christ.  We want to remember where our ultimate citizenship lies.

The Apostle Paul said, "But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ" (Philippians 3:20).  Let's all remember that!  In doing so we will have an inner peace that does not change based on the circumstances of the day or whether "our side" wins or loses in this political election.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily prayer: Father, we pray for our election today here in the U.S.  Many votes will be cast and it is our prayer that those who most reflect our godly values along with good leadership qualities will be elected to office.  There is much we can do to make a difference in the spiritual landscape of our country, and yet we live in a world where the prince of darkness rules.  Help us to remain vigilant as we live in this darkened world and choose not to partake of the world's hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on the basic principles and practices of this world rather than on Christ.  It is in the powerful name of Jesus that we pray.  Amen.
See Colossians 2:8

This world is not my home; I'm just a passing through.
My treasures are laid up, somewhere beyond the blue.
The angels beckon me, from Heaven's Open Door.
And I don't feel at home in this world anymore!

* Brooksyne was born in Tulsa OK in 1955 and accepted Christ as a young teenager. We, of course share the same focus on our heavenly citizenship!

Today we will share an assortment of photos from our last breakfast stop
in Pigeon Forge Tennessee at the Apple Barn restaurant and some visits we made on the way back north to Pennsylvania.

Apple Barn restaurant in Pigeon Forge TN 10/29/10
We enjoyed walking by this stately maple tree on our way to the Apple Barn restaurant where we had breakfast with my sister and her husband Friday morning before departing Pigeon Forge for our long trip back to Pennsylvania. We sure enjoyed the meal but especially the apple fritters that are complimentary to every meal!

Apple Barn cardinal in Pigeon Forge TN 10/29/10
The Apple Barn was all about apples and included this bird feeder with a carved cardinal!

Marilyn with Jesse & Wilma 10/30/10
On the way back we picked up our friends Jesse and Wilma, who had been staying with their daughter and family in Roanoke, VA. (We had dropped them off on the way down.) Jesse is a retired pastor and he and Wilma have a vibrant faith in the Lord and spread God's blessing wherever they go. We hope we have as much energy as they have when we are in  our mid and upper eighties!

We drove up to the Washington, DC area to visit our friend Marilyn (center of photo). We met Marilyn through this ministry a number of years ago and have had several opportunities to fellowship with her. She prepared a very nice lunch and even provided a delicious birthday cake for Brooksyne. Lunch was followed by a spiritually enriching time as Wilma and Marilyn both shared their testimonies of how they committed their lives to Christ.

Brooksyne playing Steinway grand piano
Brooksyne enjoyed playing the Steinway piano in Marilyn's home and it sounded beautiful as it's rich tones resounded through the large open house. She was playing "Jesus Loves Me" as Jesse who stood on the balcony overlooking the piano and sang out in a clear baritone voice at 87 years of age.

Thompson family 10/30/10
Ester stayed the entire week with our friends Dean and Jill and their children while we were in Tennessee. They live on a farm in rural Maryland.  They are also friends through daily encouragement and Dean is Marilyn's son. They have five children; ages 4,3,2, & 1 (doubled)!  Ester sure enjoyed driving the Gator shown in the left background.

Thompson farm 10/30/10
The Thompson farm.
Notice the bank barn on the left in the photo.  
When I arrived Dean was building a fence for these.

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.)

"Today I Choose"
 Video   Brian Doerksen

The boxes in our top daily photo are bee hives. Our friend Dean is an apiarist (bee keeper)!

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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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