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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Mollie with red bandana 3/17/11
We've had Mollie for two weeks now and she's making herself right at home.
Ester took this photo and it makes you realize why her cuteness outweighs her orneriness.

ListenListen to this message on your audio player.

"The Blessing Of Warnings"

"These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the fulfillment of the ages has come" (1 Corinthians 10:11).

Mollie going through fenceWe've had Mollie, Ester's new puppy, for two weeks now and she's one very rambunctious puppy who is frisky and extremely inquisitive. We have a fenced backyard but she is still small enough to squeeze through the vertical slats and get out into the bigger, more dangerous world.

I picked her up and warned her, "I sure wish I could communicate with you about all the dangers out here and to stay away from the road!" These country roads are dangerous places for critters of any kind and among the propensities of border collies is chasing cars. Well, of course I can't communicate with a puppy about these dangers so I have to set up safeguards. She's simply not going to understand my verbal warnings no matter how earnest my intent or how often I repeat them.

But that sure got me to thinking. How do we respond to warnings? In the daily text "these things" refers to some very specific judgments from God back during the years when the children of Israel wandered through the wilderness. These judgments dealt with attitude (grumbling) and behavior  (idolatry and sexual immorality), though admittedly attitudes and behavior do generally merge or cross over in the process.

We've been studying through Jude in the last several encouragement messages and the entire middle section of Jude (verses 5-19) are essentially warnings based on Israel's history.

Sorry for the graphicness of this illustration, but what if I could take Mollie to a road-killed fellow critter and show her. Soberly looking down I would say, "See, Mollie, this is what happens when you want to play in the road." Would she understand? Of course not!

But we do understand. We're created by God with the ability to comprehend cause and effect. But sadly this still doesn't mean we necessarily heed the warnings. The three specific reasons for judgment in the daily Scripture portion continue to dominate today's top list of human sins. Judgment has been meted out in the past and will be measured out again for these same sins with the current generation. God is faithful in who He is and how He deals with His creation.

Warning tapeWe get a lot of warnings in our lives. We have them in our homes and cars. There are warning signs for cancer and other diseases. Our computers have lots of warnings. We can ignore or disable warnings, but we do so to our own peril.

But far, far more perilous is the widespread disregard of the warnings God gives throughout Scripture, the greatest of which involves the most definite future judgment. This warning is not only massively ignored, but mockingly ridiculed as well, much to Satan's pleasure. (I recall a Keith Green song in which he presents the devil gleefully proclaiming, "No one believes in me anymore.")

Today I encourage you to respond to God's warnings for the blessings they really are, expressions of His love and care for each one of us. He is safeguarding our present and watching over our future so that we will glorify Him who always has our best interest in mind.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying man Daily prayer: Father, we glean so much from the characters of the Bible; both bad and good examples of those who thought themselves to be above Your commands and those who heeded Your warnings. Achan in Joshua 7 had a heart of greed, a lying spirit, and prized himself above innocent lives who perished as a result of his sinful actions. Your judgment eventually came upon him and he paid with his life and that of his entire family. But we also see Noah who labored for years building an unprecedented mammoth boat for the torrential flood waters Your warned him about. He heeded Your warning and thereby saved his family’s lives and the pairing of many animals that would reproduce on the earth following the flood. Help us to realize that we are wise to follow Your warnings given in the commands of Scripture. To feel that we are the exception is a lie straight from the pit of hell that will immediately or eventually lead to our demise. You warn because You love us and want the very best for us, Your children. Remind us often; through Scripture, through fellow believers, through negative and positive examples we see all about us, and through the inner working of the Holy Spirit in our hearts. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

40 Day New Testament Reading/Listening Plan

"You've Got The Time" Bible reading planNew feature Beginning Sunday, April 3, 2011 we are encouraging Daily Encouragement Net readers to read/listen through the entire New Testament in 40 days. This will take about 30 minutes per day. We will provide a direct link to the Scripture portion to be read and listened to each day (and several links for the weekend daily readings).

The daily encouragement message for each weekday during the forty day period will be based on a portion of the text in the Bible reading for that day.

See Bible.is for an online Bible with audio player and additional apps that you may find useful.
For international readers there may be a version available in your native language. Just click on the ESV tab to access all languages available.

"You've Got The Time" Bible reading planJoin our Daily Encouragement Bible reading group on Facebook

A schedule for the entire reading period is here.

Here is what the daily reading reminder will look like: For Sunday, April 3 read Matthew 1-7 beginning here.

This Bible reading plan is a partnership of Daily Encouragement Net and Faith Comes By Hearing, a ministry which provides Bible listening resources all over the world. We will share more about this ministry in future messages.

Naomi Wolgemuth with two pastors 3/21/11
Last night I went to a teaching lecture at Messiah College and stopped by to visit Naomi Wolgemuth who lives in Messiah Village, a nursing home near Harrisburg, PA.
I was joined by Pastor Jesse Dourte, who was Naomi's pastor 40 years ago.

Penryn Mud Sale

We like to share photos from our own experiences. Last week I shared about a visit to the Gordonville Mud Sale.
This last Saturday I went with some friends  to the Penryn Mud Sale, which happens to be the sale closest to our home.

Penryn Mud Sale 3/19/11
You can always count on seeing these ice cream makers at any of these sales.
I love the "hit and miss" sound of the gasoline engines!

Penryn Mud Sale 3/19/11
All kinds of characters come out to bid in the auctions.

Penryn Mud Sale 3/19/11
They auctioned right off the wagons, in this case, toys.
(Looks like a "Thomas the Tank" engine is coming up for auction)

Penryn Mud Sale 3/19/11
These are social events for many of the folks who stay all day and shoot the breeze.

Penryn Mud Sale 3/19/11
Need Help, Just Yelp!  Industrious at a young age.

Penryn Mud Sale 3/19/11
BBQ chicken

Amish youth playing volleyball at the Penryn Mud Sale 3/19/11 3/18/11
The Amish young people always have volleyball set up at these types of events and are excellent players.  Here's a video of a tournament in Ohio.

Our friend Doris High was also at the Penryn sale, although I didn't see her.
She posts her outstanding photos here and here.

For the terminally curious Penryn, PA is here (Google map)

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

Today as I consider music that reinforces today's message on warnings I realize that this is a topic that is far less frequently treated in song than other topics. However Keith Green,
who had a way of writing some very convicting songs, came to mind.

"Asleep In The Light"  Video  

"Prodigal Son"  Video
  (This song has a very long instrumental introduction)  This is a ballad type song that tells the story of the Prodigal son. The graphics are excellent. Worth watching for 14 minutes. Note: This video has some cultural impositions that may rankle a few of us old timers.

Yesterday's photo of the Amish mystery implement:
Amish mystery implement 3/18/11
This is a manure spreader full of the tobacco stalks that are left after the leaves are stripped. They are in the manure spreader to be scattered on the field as nutrients to the soil.  Kudos to several readers who answered correctly!

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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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