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Friday, December 9, 2011
This particular branch of the Mennonite faith uses horse and buggy (similar to the Amish) as well as bicycles (see photo below)
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"Bothered by Beeps"
"Our kings, our leaders, our priests and our fathers did not follow your law; they did not pay attention to your commands or the warnings you gave them" (Nehemiah 9:34). "These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us" (1 Corinthians 10:11).
Everything seems to beep in modern life. Microwaves beep, smoke detectors beep, cell phones beep, emergency vehicles beep, dryers beep, watches beep. Surprisingly, Brooksyne's digital food/nutrition scale even has a beeping alarm. In recent years we also respond to ring tones. To take the "blast" out of a wake-up beep that could get one off to a grumpy start in the morning we've chosen a mellow ring tone on Brooksyne's cell phone that gently wakes us at 4:35 each morning (though not always on the first try.)
We tend to tune out the beeps after awhile or, if annoyed enough, we may even disengage the source of the beeps. Beeps can disrupt one's thoughts or irritate one's nerves after awhile. We can ignore or disable warnings, but we do so to our own peril such as our friend who disabled the smoke alarm by removing the battery since it kept going off when his wife cooked!
But far, far more perilous is the widespread disregard for the beeps (warnings) from God and Scripture, the greatest of which involves the most definite future judgment. These warnings are not only massively ignored, but mockingly ridiculed, much to Satan's pleasure.
In the first verse I selected today from Nehemiah, a group of Levites are exhorting the people that have returned from the Exile.
They acknowledged (confessed) the failure of their ancestors to follow God's law. Indeed the condition of not only that period but human history can be summarized in this outline based on the first text:
• [They] did not follow your law
• They did not pay attention* to your commands
* or the warnings you gave them
Our earthly nature tends to find God's "beeps" annoying, often disruptive to our plans, and they are so often ignored. After all, in many cases, the consequences of ignoring them are not immediately apparent. Thus the tendency is to feel the warnings have no value. Many have sought to "remove the batteries" from God's beeps; doing all that is within their power to silence them. We see these never-ending attempts to silence the beeps through the secular media, liberal theology, revisionist history, political forces, the entertainment industry and many other godless venues.
The Apostle Paul is referring to these warnings in the second verse. We should learn and understand that God's warnings are not a source of annoyance but an expression of His love, just as a parent who loves their child warns of potential danger. This is a very important truth to hide deep in our hearts as we seek to live in a manner that pleases the Lord. "Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is" (Ephesians 5:15-17).
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily Prayer: Father, all throughout Scripture we hear Your warnings but there is much that we cannot foresee nor do we understand. Some of this understanding will fall into place as we have opportunity to look back and see how You were at work though Your hand was not visible at the time. We desire to trust in You with all our heart and not lean upon our own limited understanding. As we trust You fully, we will obey You faithfully and Your blessings of favor will fall upon us. Amen.
Some photos of an Old-Order Mennonite Meeting House
Based on the amount of buggies all around the building it must have been packed!
Notice the colorful blankets on the horses. We pass this meeting house in the course of our travels and have a standing invitation to attend with our friend Elvin, who works in one of the companies we serve as chaplains.
Many also ride bikes to the service although it was below freezing.
There were many more bikes parked elsewhere with blankets and jackets thrown across them as well!
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"Not Guilty Anymore" Video Aaron Keyes
"Christmas Medley" Video Jars Of Clay
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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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