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The online Bible teaching ministry of Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Wisconsin red barn in snow (Photo by Georgia)
Red Barn in snowy Wisconsin
 (taken by my cousin)

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"Holding Unswervingly"

"Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful" (Hebrews 10:23).

Football catchI'm an avid football fan and especially enjoy the level of play in the post season. Using a football illustration may be somewhat ineffective (for some) since many readers likely do not enjoy football and international readers may be unfamiliar with the game. American football is quite different than what is called football in many other countries which we call soccer here in the states. In our football strategy we extensively use the hands.

A critically important and fundamental skill of football is holding onto and keeping a tight grip on the ball. This last weekend, as I watched a game, the announcer commented prior to
halftime that the coach needed to stress the fundamentals again due to the many dropped balls. A news story following the game read: "The Packers lost their grip on the football Sunday, and as a result, they lost their grip on the Lombardi Trophy. The Packers played uncharacteristically, losing three fumbles and dropping five passes in a stunning 37-20 divisional playoff loss to the Giants at Lambeau Field."

In life there are many ways in which it is imperative that we hold unswervingly and keep a tight grip such as our commitment to our marriage, our family and our integrity.

But the most essential tight grip is seen in our daily text: "Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess." Other versions state, "Let us hold fast without wavering" and "Without wavering, let us hold tightly."

Salad (photo by Doris High)The text begins with the words "Let us" which is known as the hortatory subjunctive. This is my favorite preaching and writing style whether I am the listener and reader or whether I am the preacher or writer. One of the first sermons I ever preached was from Hebrews and throughout the message I repeatedly used the phrase "Let us". After the message a listener thanked me for the salad sermon (lettuce)!

The author of Hebrews uses this phrase "let us" twelve times. When I read this book or hear sermons preached using this phrase (also known technically as the cohortatory) I am encouraged, as it seems the author or preacher is leading me, not pushing me. The writer conveys that he was facing the same circumstances as his readers so he presents a form of personal resolve in his writing.

I believe today's text is the singular key text in the entire book. This call to faithfulness is directed to the earliest believers who were the initial recipients of this Scripture and to all others through the ages of the Church, including us today. That's a vital way we read the Scriptures.

We are to "hold unswervingly to the hope we profess." Of course primarily this hope we profess is the hope we have in Christ. Earlier in the book we read, "we desire that each one of you show the same diligence so as to realize the full assurance of hope until the end" (Hebrews 6:11).

And this hope we profess is absolutely secure, "for He who promised is faithful." Rest in this wonderful assurance today and join me in holding unswervingly to our hope in Christ!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily Prayer: Father, in this ever-changing society where transition is continually beckoning, You are the Changeless One. As we hold tightly to the hope we have in You we will not be pulled to the right nor to the left. You will keep us on course as You go before us instructing, inspiring and empowering us in our spiritual walk, for You who promised are faithful. May we keep a tight grip to Your hand that upholds us when we stumble, keeping us from being cast down. We thank You for Jesus who keeps a firm grip on us allowing no enemy to snatch us out of His hand. We hold unswervingly to You, the faithful One.  Amen.

See Psalm 37:24; John 10:29

Lloyd and Mary Ann Miller 1/16/12
Yesterday we joined our friend Mary Ann Miller for her 60th birthday luncheon.  We enjoyed our visit with Mary Ann and her husband, Lloyd, along with family members and co-workers, complete with a Lancaster County favorite,  Whoopie Pies that she had made!  The derivation of this food is quite interesting in light of the fact that Mary Ann was old order Amish as a child and still has many connections to that faith. Amish women would bake these desserts (known as hucklebucks at the time) and put them in farmers' lunch pails or lunch boxes. When they would find the treats in their lunch, they'd shout "Whoopie!" Furthermore it is thought that the original Whoopie pies may have been made from cake batter leftovers. (That would be consistent with the resourcefulness of the Amish.)  Here's a photo of whoopie pies and an article.

Strasburg Pike mailbox
We passed a most unusual rural mailbox yesterday here in Lancaster County! I suppose I could create a photo collection of colorful mailboxes we pass such as here, here, here and here (Doris High).

Marketing ideaYesterday we met a creative entrepreneur who is building up a local IT business named "Nerds R Us". He had his car covered with advertising and contact information which you see a lot more  these days, but I thought his most creative approach was placing a small clear plastic business card holder on the window inviting passersby to take a business card! When you consider how many times your car is parked in the public where people walk by, you might as well get some free advertising in the process.

A reader shared this note in regard to yesterday's message: I was fired from a company for not discharging 35 white/gray-collar workers fast enough. At age 55 I was devastated and forgot God was in absolute control. I didn't realize it at the time what an incredible blessing my firing would be. I started my own business and never looked back and have developed more than 10,000 customers I never would have met had I still had a "real" job. Our God is an awesome God and trusting Him explicitly regardless of the circumstances is the key to happiness. Praise God. (Stephen: I happen to know this reader personally and he got into insurance sales. He also sees his work as a means of letting Christ's light shine through him and ministering to others, so the increase in contacts actually gives him a larger ministry platform.)

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Press On" Video  Selah

"I Am Resolved"  Video  Dailey & Vincent

"My Hope Is In The Lord"  Video  Tommy Coomes Band

"My Hope Is Built On Nothing Less"  Video  Sovereign Grace Music

"In Christ Alone My Hope Is Found"  Video  Geoffe Moore & Adrienne Liesching

Today's photo of the red barn in the snow was taken by my cousin who lives in Wisconsin. We haven't had any significant snow in our area since a storm in October. I for one always enjoy a few nice snow storms in the winter!

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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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