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Friday, July 29, 2011

Greystone Manor Bed and Breakfast, Bird In Hand, PA 7/27/11
All is safely gathered in, ere the winter storms begin.
God our Maker doth provide for our wants to be supplied.

ListenListen to this message on your audio player.

"Softly And Tenderly Jesus is Calling"

"Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as He was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to man, 'Where are you?'" (Genesis 3:8,9). "For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost" (Luke 19:10).
"Today, if you hear His voice do not harden your hearts" (Hebrews 3:7,15; 4:7).

We enjoy the unique sounds of the country. The clickety-clack of a horse and buggy slowly passing by our home, farm machinery working in a field, wind and rain splattering on the metal roof of our small barn, the neighborhood woodpecker persistently pecking away at the creaking tree. 

Of course we especially like the constant bird sounds that we hear as we prepare these messages. The most dominant evening sound we hear, during this late summer season, is the locusts. I think they're in competition with all of nature to be the loudest!

There are special sounds wherever you live, sounds that you become familiar with and perhaps even take for granted. I hope there are enough pleasant sounds to drown out the undesirable noises!

"Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as He was walking in the garden." Have you ever wondered what God sounded like as He walked in the garden? Apparently Adam and Eve had become familiar with this distinct sound and recognized it. Prior to the Fall it was a sound they surely cherished, but now they were attempting to hide.  That distinct sound, which once brought joy and anticipation, now brought shame and dread. What a difference sin makes! 

The very first recorded words of God following the Fall were, "Where are you?"  God, whose very nature is to "seek and save that which is lost", called out, while Adam and Eve sought to hide. Their hiding was futile.  

Thus begins the grand story of God's redeeming love, what Bible teacher W. Graham Scroggie calls "the scarlet thread of redemption" which runs through the Bible.  He writes, "Christ is predicted in the Old Testament, present in the Gospels, proclaimed in the Acts, possessed in the Epistles, and predominant in the Revelation."

Today God continues to call out.  If you listen you will hear His voice.  Three times the writer of Hebrews quotes an Old Testament Psalm, "Today, if you hear His voice do not harden your hearts" (3:7,15; 4:7).  We encourage you to respond to His voice today. Softly and tenderly Jesus is calling!

Come home, come home.
Ye who are weary, come home.
Earnestly, tenderly Jesus is calling,
Calling, "O sinner, come home!"

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Jesus, day after day, we hear familiar voices and repeated sounds that have become a routine part of our lives. In the midst of all the clamoring noises we want to make time in our busy schedule to become familiar with Your voice so that we're led by Your spirit in that which we do and say. We want to be quick in hearing Your prompting voice remind us, "This is the way" when tempted to walk in our own ways. We want Your Holy Spirit to convict and bring us to repentance when we have sinned. We also want to be familiar with Your affirming voice that says, "Well done" when we have been obedient to Your beckoning call. Soften our hearts, Lord, so that we not only hear Your voice, but we also feel Your compassion for those whom You bring into our lives today. In Your Name we pray. Amen.

Some Scenes From Area

Lancaster County alfalfa harvest 7/28/11
We saw lots of harvest activity yesterday. This is a distant scene, but we enjoyed seeing the children climb their way to the top of the hay stack on the wagon.

Lancaster County family harvest 7/28/11
We passed this old-order Mennonite family is working together in the vegetable harvest. We stopped by their self-serve roadside stand for some fresh tomatoes and eggplant.

Lancaster County old-order Mennonite traffic 7/28/11
As we travel through Lancaster County we're often in line with
 a variety of travelers; gas powered, horse powered and yesterday we came up behind this boy powered!

Lancaster County Amish hay wagons
Amish hay wagons in field.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Softly And Tenderly"  Video  Praise Chorale

This beautiful hymn was written in 1880 by Will Thompson who was born in East Liverpool, Ohio. Though a very wealthy and successful writer he chose to play and sing to small churches throughout the Midwest. In 1899 Mr. Thompson paid a visit to the famous evangelist D.L. Moody, who was very ill and near death. Most visitors were turned away, but when Moody heard that Thompson was downstairs, he called for him. "Will," he said, "I would rather have written 'Softly and Tenderly Jesus is Calling,' more than anything I have been able to do in my whole life." Obviously the message of this hymn deeply touched the heart of D.L. Moody.

Here's an Acapella version of the same song. Video

"I Belong"  Video  Kat
hryn Scott

"When God Ran"  Video  Phillips, Craig and Dean

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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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