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Monday, May 21
, 2012

Amish Sunday traffic 5/20/12
We had a beautiful day yesterday and attended a church in New Holland to witness a believer's baptism. We had quite the traffic coming home.

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"Our Heavenly Reservation"

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time" (1 Peter 1:3-5).

Online hotel reservationOver the last several days I have been making online hotel reservations for some travel this summer. Many of us appreciate the online reservation system that most hotels offer these days. When you are tired from travel it's great to have a room waiting and to know in advance just how much it will cost!

This prompts me to consider our most important reservation, the reservation for our eternal dwelling place! Today let us especially consider 
the phrase in our daily text, "reserved in heaven for you." The word used for "reserved" has the sense "to guard by keeping the eye upon."

Notice the last two words in the phrase, "for you." Praise God! Heaven is not just about some remarkable doctrine. It's not merely a colorful destination we can only dream about when things are turning ugly on this side. It's not just a nice sentiment of comfort for those who attend funeral services. Peter said to his original readers and through the sacred Scriptures to all of us that it's "for you".  Praise God for His eternal provision!

Our future inheritance is reserved in heaven, solid and secure. It is "imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away." Jesus said it's where "moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal" (Matthew 6:20). Paul stated it's "an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands" (2 Corinthians 5:1). The Revelator declared it's where "there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away" (Revelation 21:4). Heaven is a place that surpasses human vision and defies terminology!

Important notes about our heavenly reservation:
  • Reservations are required; unlike many restaurants and hotels where we can walk in unprepared and still get a meal or room we must prepare for heaven and make our reservations before we die!
  • Reservations are available to all who will call upon the Name of the Lord.
  • Reservations have been paid in full through Christ's atonement.
  • Reservations are confirmed when we surrender our lives to Christ.
If you haven't already done so, now is the time to make this most important reservation. God's reservation system is always available!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer:
 Father, we thank You for making us joint heirs together with the family of believers in this wonderful eternal inheritance that can never perish, spoil, or fade kept in heaven for us. We gratefully claim this inheritance and await the appointed date when we will experience in full the blessings it provides. Troubles in this life diminish our hope, but rejoicing in the life yet to be revealed gives us a glorious living hope!  Help us to fix our present hope on the future return of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Thank You for making my reservation in heaven since it is only there that enemies such as disease, aging, pain and loss will not exist.  I want to keep this eternal perspective today! Through Jesus I come to You in prayer.  Amen.

A Special Baptismal Service!

Gesenia giving baptism testimony 5/20/12
Gesenia sharing her testimony prior to her baptism.

Gesenia with Brooksyne 5/20/12Workplace Chaplaincy:  Brooksyne has visited Gesenia weekly at work for nearly four years and has a mentoring role in her Christian life. She requested our presence at her water baptism. We were delighted to witness her growing commitment to Christ in renouncing her old way of life as she shared in testimony about her new walk in Christ.  She joyfully celebrated her water baptism with a luncheon to follow at her home with a few friends.  Gesenia is of Puerto Rican descent and makes delicious empanadas, among other tasty Spanish dishes.  It was a wonderful afternoon fellowshipping with those of like precious faith, most of whom we met for the first time.

Baptismal testimony 5/20/12Death to the Old Man: We heard a touching testimony from a man who was baptized. Ron is his name, as I recall. He is a retired construction worker from New York City who moved down to the relative quiet of Lancaster County in recent years. Ron shared how the Lord led him to this church though he was not a believer at the time. Pastor Ritchey prayed with him and he accepted Christ as his Savior in recent months.  Ron shared that he had been full of anger and had a very bad temper most of his life, but after he received Christ he's a new man.  He also told the congregation he overheard his wife of 46 years talking with their daughter on the phone. She asked, "Mom, is he treating you nicer now that he's a Christian?" She indicated that he was.  "Too bad he didn't do that a long time ago so he wouldn't have been so mean to you all those years of your marriage" she told her mother.  Ron broke down several times weeping and used the towel you see on the podium to wipe his tears.  He also asked his wife in the congregation to forgive him for the many years he mistreated her. (I think quite a few in the audience could have used a towel to wipe their tears.) It was a moving testimony that indicated he was definitely ready to bury the old man and raise up the new changed man.

Late last week we spent several hours at Baltimore's Inner Harbor and will share some photos over the next several days.

Speed boat ride on Baltimore's inner harbor
We took a speed boat tour of the harbor. A group of Amish youth from Lancaster County joined us; 7 boys and 7 girls. The girls are snapping photos of the boat prior to the trip using identical green disposable cameras they had apparently bought on the way down to Baltimore. Interestingly, the girls had disposable cameras but several boys had cell phone cameras.

Speed boat ride on Baltimore's inner harbor
Waiting to board the speed boat.

Speed boat ride on Baltimore's inner harbor
This photo gives some idea of the speed when we got out of the no wake zone in the inner harbor at Fort McHenry and the captain really opened up the throttle! Notice the boy's hair!  We sat in the row behind the girls and enjoyed watching their expressions such as the girl featured.

A google map of our visit to the Baltimore inner harbor is here. (We'll share more photos the next couple of days.)

Today's Suggested Music
and Supplemental Resources

"I Can Only Imagine"  Video  MercyMe  This powerful song is a stirring reminder of what awaits us on the other side. I recall a moving memorial service when I heard the song in the context of honoring deceased ministers. There was a crescendo of praise in the congregation toward God as we reflected on what is ahead for all who are faithful in the Lord.

"Finally Home"  Video  MercyMe

Weber grilling book
We were shopping this weekend when Ester found a book and thought a picture would be nice. Actually this is from the more famous Weber grill people of whom I have no knowledge of being related!

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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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