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Monday, June 20, 2011

Outhouse planter
We added another bathroom to our home, actually a two seater!
We tried to "pretty" it up with lots of scented flowers.

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"Being Wise And Resourceful"

"Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity" (Colossians 4:5).

This weekend we attended the Intercourse Heritage Days in eastern Lancaster County. Intercourse is a small rural village right smack in the middle of Amish country and of course due to it's unusual name and location it very popular with tourists. In fact one of the signs you've been in Lancaster County for awhile is the ability to use the word as a georgraphical location without blushing! In the course of our chaplain work we generally pass through the village weekly and often stop by.

Over the next several days I will share some photos I took but today I want to consider one of the programs they had for the kids (and adults) featuring reptiles. It was presented by
Jesse Rothacker of the "Forgotten Friend Reptile Sanctuary" based here in Lancaster County. I noticed throughout the presentation that as Jesse demonstrated the reptiles, he was tastefully making references to the Lord, Creation, and how God had designed each creature with a purpose. He was making the most of the opportunity!

Jesse Rothacker of "Forgotten Friends Reptile Sanctuary"

Following the presentation, as Jesse was loading his van, I introduced myself and expressed commendation for sharing his faith during the presentation. Turns out he is also a children's pastor!

Jim GambiniJim Gambini, a friend of ours, shared a story about how we are to utilize opportunities in witnessing for Christ as we express His compassion. He was having breakfast with a friend and as the server took their order his friend said to her, "We're going to pray in a few minutes and wonder if you might have anything you would like for us to pray about?" When she brought their food she indeed shared a need in her life and the men bowed to pray and included the specific request the server had shared. When they finished praying they realized that she had been kneeling beside the table the entire time they prayed!

Today's verse which has two instructions:

1) "Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders."  Outsiders in this context are those who are not followers of Christ.  Today virtually all of us will encounter those outside the family of faith in Christ requiring wisdom in our manner of dealing with them, both our words and actions. We need God's imparted wisdom to present a clear testimony, particularly due to the confusion that abounds in our day regarding what constitutes genuine Christianity.

2) "Make the most of every opportunity." There is such a tendency to compartmentalize our service for the Lord. We may feel our "ministry" is pastoring a church, teaching a discipleship class or many other expressions of service for the Lord, often in the church. Certainly these are ways we serve the Lord, but it is the will of God that I seek to bring glory to the Lord and witness to others in all that I do. The Scripture says, "Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God" (1 Corinthians 10:31).

We need to be wise and make the most of every opportunity. The Amplified Version translates this phrase, "making the most of the time and seizing the opportunity." Let us seek creative ways that we can get in a wise witness for the Lord and share His love with others, thus bringing glory to God!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying man
Daily prayer: Father, we want to be wise in the way we act toward those outside the faith.  We don't want to be neutral, but we want to take a courageous stand for You in whatever opportunity You provide so that we bring You glory and we influence others for Christ. Keep us watchful, prayerful, and vigilant in extending to others Your hand of mercy and Your heart of compassion. We pray this in Jesus' name. Amen.

Some photos from our weekend

Thomas the tank engine
This last weekend was also Thomas the Tank Days on the Strasburg Railroad!

Men's chorus singing "I Am A Man" 6/19/11
Our men's chorus sang "I Am A Man" in yesterday's service for Father's Day
See video here (from another church)

Chaplains Bunny and Jeff
Saturday morning I went to a Men's Breakfast and visited with two chaplain friends: Jeff, whom I had just met and Bunny O'Hare whom I met while still pastoring in New England over ten years ago. Both serve with "Transport For Christ", a ministry to the trucking industry. Jeff shared a challenging message with the men using the "let us" verses from Hebrews 10 and illustrated them with colorful props.

Ash family, Scott, Morgan and Ann 6/19/11
Yesterday afternoon we had dinner with the Ash family. Ann is a writer for a local community paper whom I met several years ago, ironically in an interview with Chaplain O'Hare (above photo), for a story on Transport For Christ!

Father's Day cake 2011
The Father's Day cake we enjoyed yesterday was in the shape of a shirt and tie made by the famous Shady Maple Bakery!

Nelson and Hazel Ressler 6/19/11
Last night Brooksyne and I were on our long trail walk when she recieved a call from an unidentified caller who wanted to stop by and see us. Turned out to be Nelson and Hazel Ressler (we hadn't visited with Nelson for years).  They just celebrated their 1st wedding anniversary.  Nelson was married for 52 years before his first wife died so we spent some time getting acquainted with Hazel and we liked her very much!

Souped up buggy at Intercourse Heritage Days 2011
This souped up buggy won first prize at the car show at the Intercourse Heritage Days this last weekend!

We expect to post more photos from the Heritage Days tomorrow.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Make Me A Blessing"
 Video  A little girl

Intercourse Heritage Days  Characteristic of Lancaster County the festival ended with a worship service in the park!

Forgotten Friend Reptile Sanctuary

I am reluctant to refer to a movie that has some
inappropriate scenes but about 25 years ago a movie was made that features a tough Philadelphia detective that comes to live among the Amish in Lancaster County as a hideout when he discovers corruption in the police department and his life is in danger.  The movie includes an interesting fight scene that was recorded in Intercourse PA.  Some local bullies taunt the Amish, who are known for their non-resistance, and as the detective, who is living as an Amishman, looks on he can't stand to watch and takes care of the matter. (I must admit, perhaps revealing part of my carnal nature, that I find something quite satisfying about this scene and seeing these local roughians put in their place!) If interested, see the scene here. Actually the locals in our observation have always been respectful of the Amish and frankly I think most of the Amish boys could easily whip a non-Amish in a fight!

Intercourse PA is located here (Google map)

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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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