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Friday, October 7, 2011

Shed in Rockport, Massachusetts
A tiny shed covered with buoys in Rockport, Massachusetts

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"God's Word At Work"

"And we also thank God continually because, when you received the Word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but as it actually is, the Word of God, which is at work in you who believe" (1 Thessalonians 2:13).

Safety signMost all of our readers have seen the highway signs that caution, "Men At Work" posted prior to road construction projects.  Here in Pennsylvania the signs proclaim in the writing of a child, "My daddy works here" alternated with "My Mommy works here." Indeed we do occasionally see women doing heavy road work.

Wouldn't it be interesting if we, as believers, walked around with a sign pointing to our heart that proclaims, "God is at work here."  We may not wear signs but our redeemed lives are living proof of God's work within our hearts.

Last night we attended a Teen Challenge banquet and saw plenty of evidence of God's Word at work in the lives of men and women overcoming drug, alcohol and other life-altering addictions. Teen Challenge is a ministry that disciples both men and women caught in the devil's snares. It was originally named "Teen Challenge" since they initially worked with teens but for many years the ministry has worked with people of all ages with the median age presently being about 35 years.  Due to a good name recognition they have maintained the name "Teen Challenge" and people eventually learn that the doors are open to all who struggle.

What a joy to hear fresh testimonies of conversion and del
iverance from those just entering adulthood and those who've crossed over into the midlife years. No matter the age variance the testimonies have the same theme of God's steadfast love, His forgiveness and His faithfulness. We are blessed each time we hear the old, old story of Jesus and His love. We will share more about this in next Monday's message!

One young man we spoke to emphasized the importance of "staying in the Word" in describing his daily overcomings.  In the daily text Paul is writing (along with Silas and Timothy) to the believers in the Macedonian city of Thessalonica.  A couple of weeks ago I conducted a marriage ceremony for a Macedonian man who married a Bosnian woman.  They are preparing to return to their homeland next week.

Several months prior to writing this letter Paul had established the Thessalonian church (Acts 17:1-9) and wrote primarily to encourage these believers in their new faith, as well as to correct some doctrinal misconceptions they held.

The apostle Paul had verbally preached the Word of God to these believers and followed up with this letter, which is now part of our Holy Scriptures. It, along with the other books of the Bible, comprise the written Word of God. I thank the Lord today that I have this powerful Word as "a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path" (Psalm 119:105).

I want to consider the last phrase in the daily text.  Paul wrote, "The Word of God, which is at work in you who believe."  Isn't it wonderful that the same Word of God is actively working today in the lives of earnest believers as it did at the time this Scripture was written?  The KJV version uses the phrase "effectually worketh", which translates the Greek word "energeo", from which the English word energy is derived from.  The Amplified version states "the Word of God, which is effectually at work in you who believe exercising its superhuman power in those who adhere to and trust in and rely on it."

Are you reading His Word regularly?  Are you studying and memorizing it? Are you in a church where it is faithfully preached as the inspired, authoritative and inerrant Word of God? Are you obeying it? Is it guiding you in your personal life and in business decisions? Is it the Inspirational Instruction Manual for your family? That's the energizing power of God's Word at work!

How sure the Scriptures are, God's vital urgent Word.
As true as steel and far more sharp than any sword.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying man
Daily prayer: Father God, we receive Your Holy Word through faith to be the very words You want to speak to us.  You used ordinary men who followed an extraordinary Savior to communicate to us that which You want us to read and to live by.  It is a living book that shows us through history those who have walked the path before us.  It is an instruction manual revealing the way we are to live.  And it is a book of unending hope where miracles unfold, lives are restored, sins are forgiven and heaven is waiting for those who earnestly follow Christ. Thank You for Your Scriptures, Your vital urgent Word that is like a lamp to our feet and a light to our path.  Amen.

"God's Word At Work"
Through Teen Challenge

We are participating in a series of meetings with Teen Challenge and will share some photos and reflections over the next several daily encouragement messages. Last night we attended a banquet at the Shady Maple. Monday we expect to share some testimonies of how God is still changing lives!

Nicky Cruz
Nicky Cruz was the first breakthrough convert when David Wilkerson went to New York City in the fifties to reach out to gang members. Over 50 years later Nicky is still actively serving the Lord, preaching to the lost, and testifying of God's grace. He issued a powerful challenge last night to the over 800 attendees to be Holy Ghost hospitals for those who need critical spiritual care. His story is told in the book, "The Cross and the Switchblade". The movie, "The Cross and the Switchblade" is also available in DVD format.

Sarah Guerin
We caught up with some ministry associates we hadn't seen in many years. Brooksyne is talking to Sarah Guerin who, along with her husband Chuck, spoke in our church over twenty years ago. They now work with Teen Challenge in Rehersberg. (The blue star on their hands was a stamp for the meal!)

Jesse and Katherine Owens
Jesse Owens is one of the most colorful men we've met in ministry. He visited our church several times in northern Pennsylvania as a missionary. He, along with his wife Katherine, share a funny memory with Brooksyne. Jesse celebrated 50 years of ordained ministry last year.

Teen Challenge leaders
Two of the Teen Challenge Training Center leaders, Director of Operations Rick Dobransky and Executive Director Joseph Batluck. Both are retired military so I am sure they bring a discipline to the ministry!

More photos from our New England trip

Here are a few more photo memories from our trip!

Thoreau House, Concord, Massachusetts
Brooksyne entering the Thoreau "House"(replica) near Walden Pond.

Walden Pond, Concord, MA
Walden Pond through changing leaves. We were about a week early for the peak fall foliage but some of the trees were starting to change.

Fanauil Hall, Boston, MA
Fanauil Hall, Boston, MA.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Word Of God Speak"  Video  MercyMe

"Speak, O Lord"  Video   Kristyn Getty

"From The East Unto The West"  Video  Children's Choir

Teen Challenge Training Center

Tribute To David Wilkerson   Video

A pictorial tribute to David Wilkerson with a Dallas Holm song.  Video

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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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