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Thursday, June 16, 2011

Green grass growing on door lintel
This sprig of vibrant green grass is growing out of the mortar over one of the doors at the renovated building now housing the "Turkey Hill Experience" in Columbia PA.

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"Persevering Faith"

"As you know, we consider blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job's perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy" (James 5:11). "I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end He will stand upon the earth" (Job 19:25).

Turkey Hill Experience in Lancaster County, PAYesterday I shared a message about our visit to the "Turkey Hill Experience".  This visitor's center for Turkey Hill Dairy is in a long abandoned silk factory that for many years had a crane in front of it and was in the constant process of being demolished. The demolition process stalled however and then finally, lo and behold, rather than demolition it was renovation to a beautifully restored historical brick building.

As we exited the tour I looked up at the repointed brick lintel over the doors and took today's main photo. A tiny sprig of grass is growing right out of the mortar. I suppose in the course of maintenance this will soon be removed! (Otherwise what serves as an illustration for me will weaken the mortar.)

A seed apparently was blown up to that certainly inhospitable growing location yet it germinated and thus far is doing quite well and serves as an example of perseverance in the face of hardship!

What a blessed assurance to know that as we live today, and face a temporally uncertain (at least to us) future, that our Redeemer lives. We've trusted Him in the past, we can trust Him today and we can trust Him for the future!

Job lived during the Patriarchal period some 4,000 years ago. He is best known for the tremendous trial he went through.  However the record of his life presents several timeless and powerful statements of faith as he endured these trials with a steadfast faith in God.

Job with boilsThroughout the nineteenth chapter of the book, bearing his name, Job recounts his grave afflictions.  Physically, socially, financially, and spiritually; he went through an incredibly tough period.  He lost his children, possessions and health. He was covered with painful boils and could get relief only by taking a shard of pottery and scraping his wounded skin.

He had endured several discussions with his "friends", which essentially sum up the false philosophies of the world (then and even now.) He sure didn't get any support or encouragement from his nagging wife. Just prior to our daily verse he summarizes his troubles with the colorful phrase, "I am nothing but skin and bones; I have escaped with only the skin of my teeth" (19:20).

My Redeemer LivesYet in the very midst of this trial he musters the persevering faith to declare the great affirmation of today's text; "I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end He will stand upon the earth." He does so without the benefit of Romans 8:28 and countless other Scriptures of assurance, encouragement and hope that we have in our Bible. This appears to be the first chronological reference to God as Redeemer in the entire Bible. 

What an example Job is to us!  He is recognized years later by the prophet Ezekiel as an example of righteousness, along with Noah and Daniel (Ezekiel 14:20). James refers to him as an example of perseverance: "As you know, we consider blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job's perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy" (James 5:11).

Job states with absolute confidence that in the end God will stand.  Indeed God has always prevailed, is presently prevailing and will always prevail.  At times His ways are a supreme mystery to us, but what tremendous peace we have as we also recognize this truth.  In the end He will be standing and since we have been redeemed, we belong to Him and thus we will stand with Him.

Today, my believing friend, let me encourage you to make Job's affirmation of faith your own. What tremendous peace comes when, regardless of our personal circumstances, we can declare "I know that my redeemer lives!"

Be encouraged today

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying man
Daily prayer: Father, from the Biblical story of Job's unequaled sufferings emerges one of the most radiant and hopeful promises that I can apply to my life, "I know that my Redeemer lives!" Though my heart and my flesh may fail, You are my strength and my portion forever.  The troubles that seem larger than life itself lose their magnitude in comparison to knowing that in the end I will see You myself with my own eyes. What glorious anticipation fills my heart as Your overcoming spirit leads me through the trials of this day!  It is not by my might, nor by my power but by Your Spirit that I find You to be the anchor in the storms that assail me. Amen

Youth group packing shoes for Global Aid Network
Last night our youth group packed over 2,100 pairs of shoes in one hour for distribution through the Global Aid Network!

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"I Know My Redeemer Lives"
 Video  Crabb Family

"For I Know That My Redeemer Lives"  Video  Crystal Lewis

"For I Know That My Redeemer Lives"  Video  Bob Bennett (classic version of Samuel Medley hymn)

Turkey Hill Experience

Final thought: I took this photo at the Turkey Hill Experience and inquired yesterday as to what it is. See below photo for answer!
Turkey Hill Experience in Lancaster County, PA
It is a device used to separate the cream from the milk!

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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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