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Monday, March 14, 2011
Gordonville Mud Sale
Each Spring here in Lancaster County we have "mud sales" each Saturday to raise funds for local fire companies. No, they don't sell the mud, but I went to the Gordonville Mud Sale this last Saturday along with an Amish friend and it sure was muddy! The mud sale in Gordonville is among the oldest and largest and being in the heart of Amish country has a lot of Amish folks out. Below and over the next several days I will show more photos from the sale. Here's a larger version of today's photo. This is about 1/4 of the entire sale site.
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"When There Is No Remedy"
"The LORD, the God of their fathers, sent word to them through His messengers again and again, because He had pity on His people and on His dwelling place. But they mocked God's messengers, despised His words and scoffed at His prophets until the wrath of the LORD was aroused against His people and there was no remedy" (2 Chronicles 36:15,16).
For the last several days Brooksyne has been ill and will probably not have much of a role in preparing today's message. Early this morning she asked me to go to the store for a remedy for what is ailing her. We are confident that "this too shall pass" (her illness).
But today I want to consider an often overlooked passage in the latter part of 2 Chronicles, which tends to be in a part of the Bible that probably doesn't get as much attention as the more popular parts, especially the New Testament. Since it's history many may wonder just how much value it has on life some 2,600 years later. Well, it has a lot of value!
It seems almost daily we see news in which we react, "Wow, has our cultural slide really gotten this bad?" There's a danger to getting so used to what shocked us in the past, that if we are not on our guard in maintaining high standards, we gradually become more and more tolerant to the point of acceptance. After all, acceptance and tolerance are presented as the main virtues in our postmodern world.
Today's verses pertain to the final days of Judah prior to its fall and captivity into Babylon. There are some outstanding parallels between this time and our own
"The LORD, the God of their fathers, sent word to them through His messengers again and again." We have been abundantly blessed with messengers who have faithfully declared God's Word. A relative few of these messengers have been famous and would be recognized by many readers, but the vast majority labor virtually unknown outside their own church and community. These faithful messengers call people to believe, repent and serve God. These messengers faithfully witness for Christ with their lives and words. They're in virtually every neighborhood and workplace all around the world.
What kind of response to their message do many of them receive? Often the same as the messengers of old, "But they mocked the messengers of God, and despised His words, and misused His prophets, until the wrath of the LORD arose against His people, till there was no remedy" (2 Chronicles 36:16).
Faithful Christian witness, you're in good company as you continue to proclaim God's truth to a generation where few want to hear. Continue to proclaim the eternal truths of God's Word with your life, your words, and your faithful acts of service even when you're mocked.
However I am especially intrigued by the last phrase in the text, "till there was no remedy." There came a point when it's as if God essentially said "Enough Is Enough." We see this at other times in the Bible such as the flood and the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. We also witness this as temporal earthly kingdoms fell (Daniel 5). We will one day all see it at the culmination of the age.
Where is America (or any other country for that matter) being weighed in the balance of God's holy vindication? When will it be determined by God that there is "no remedy"?
Surely only God knows, but we must all be numbered among those the Scripture calls a "remnant." The remnant are those whose hearts remain true to God no matter the cost. At the time 2 Chronicles records, the remnant of true followers would have included Jeremiah, Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego and many others whose names are not recorded in the Bible.
Are we among the remnant of those faithfully serving God today?
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, how grateful we are for those who are faithful messengers of Your Word. What a wonderful blessing to see parents who are committed to raising their children in the ways of the Lord, Sunday School teacher faithful to teaching, pastors faithful to preaching and so many others serving You in a wide variety of ministries. Help these godly servants never to give up in sowing seeds of right living, for as they are faithful to Your calling, they will reap a harvest of those committed to following You and doing Your will.
Note: We join many of you and millions of others from all over the world in praying for the earthquake victims in Japan. Friday's message on Shaking alluded to the earthquake but certainly may have seemed callous that I didn't express more sympathy. I awoke and checked the news and read of an earthquake in Japan but the severity and extent of the devastation became more obvious as the day progressed.
Yesterday's message was based on a selection of Scriptures dealing "What To Remember When Your World Is Shaking."
1) Remember that God says this present world will shake. Hebrews 12:27,28
Earthquakes literal and figurative Matthew 24
Shakings that are common to all and shakings that are specific to us.
2) Remember that ultimately shakings are for our good. Romans 8:28
3) Remember the future Kingdom that cannot be shaken. Hebrews 12:27,28
4) Remember the absolute steadfastness of God. Lamentations 5:19
5) Remember our roots (heritage, foundation)
Ester's new puppy, Molly, was the life of the party!
There was plenty of mud at the Gordonville Mud Sale!
Tractors for sale, notice the wheels which are a particular trait of one of the religious groups in our area who forbid rubber tires on tractors. I am told that this originated when they allowed the farmers to use tractors for field work but some were using them as an automobile (which the group forbade) and driving them to town. The metal wheels are not supposed to be used on the roads and are for field work only. This was supposed to keep the tractors off the road. But I've seen plenty of tractors with metal wheels using the roads!
I would estimate that there were around 20 auctions going on at the same time throughout the massive sale and the Amish auctioneers were quite engaging and humorous.
"Pom Pom" Flower
I will explain tomorrow what type of flower this is but one more opportunity for a guess.
We have a friend who very proudly showed it to us during a visit several weeks ago. It was our first exposure to such a "flower" and we wondered if any of our readers might want to venture a guess just what kind of "flower" it is? If you happen to identify the flower correctly we'll send the excellent book, "Defining Moments" by Dan Schaeffer. (So far no one has guessed correctly!) We will identify the flower tomorrow. I believe the answer will greatly surprise you!
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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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