The online Bible teaching ministry of Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
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Wednesday, May 23, 2012
Sunset photo I took over Chesapeake Bay from the dock at Sandy Cove.
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"Give ear to my words, O LORD, consider my meditation. Hearken unto the voice of my cry, my King, and my God: for unto Thee will I pray. My voice shalt Thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto Thee, and will look up" (Psalm 5:1-3). KJV
Due to the nature of our chaplain visitation we need to get a very early start several days a week. We often travel across the county straight into a beautiful sunrise. Psalm 5 comes to mind: "Give ear to my words, O LORD, consider my meditation. Hearken unto the voice of my cry, my King, and my God: for unto Thee will I pray. My voice shalt Thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto Thee, and will look up" (Psalm 5:1-3). Many years ago as young Christians Brooksyne and I memorized this portion of Scripture assisted by the melody of a song popular in Christian circles at that time.
Today I want to focus on just this phrase in our daily text: "O Lord; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up." Most specifically, "I… will look up."
This speaks of a necessary, willful, upward outlook in life. Upon awakening each day we do well to make this our intentional focus. It's easy to get lost and disoriented in the course of the day's activities, planned or otherwise. There are many unknowns. There are scores of voices beckoning us. There are looming questions about what's around the next bend.
As we look up and focus on God, may we hear His voice clearly direct, "This is the way, walk in it."
In one version of the Psalm 5 song a stanza has been added that I do not recall from the original song written some thirty years ago:
Look up, hold your head high,
Look up, hold your head high,
Come before the throne with confidence,
You can hold your head up high,
Come with boldness, come with confidence,
Your head held high, your heart bowed down
Come with confidence to worship the Lord,
For He is worthy, He is worthy!
Yes, indeed we hold our head high because we approach the throne of grace with confidence. But we also bow our heart in humility as we recognize our position as humble servants of Almighty God!
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, we come with humbleness before Your great throne and declare You to be the King of kings and Lord of lords. You rule the universe and You rule the throne of our heart. We pray for our spirit to be subject to Your faithful leading since You have already taught and characterized all that is good. You require us to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with You on this day and all the days that follow. May we be faithful to Your clear instruction. Amen.
"Psalm 5" Video Maranatha Singers (This is the song we learned many years ago that we mentioned in the message.)
The Blessing of Friends
Last night we had a longtime friend over who is in our area for a "Banner Of Truth" Pastor's Conference. Rick Masciantonio and his family were a part of the church we served in New England. He is now serving in ministry in a local church and also has lead a weekly Bible study in a state prison for nearly 18 years.
He shared something with me last night I don't recall him ever sharing. The photo above shows Rick and his wife Elizabeth along with their second son Richard who has just graduated with a doctorate in pharmacy.
Rick shared that when Liz was pregnant with Richard tests revealed a severe defect in the fetus and doctors recommended an abortion. Rick and Liz were very opposed to this but, of course in distress and as new Christians at the time, they cried out to God. Rick shared how he had gotten a call from the doctor late one night and turned to the Scriptures for guidance and comfort. Rick is among the most studious men I have ever worked with but in this case used the method of just randomly opening the Bible looking for direction and his eyes came upon Psalm 139:13 and he was greatly comforted by these words: "For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb."
Richard was a very bright little boy the years I was his pastor and was always reading something!
In catching up with Rick I was also heartened by this report: Tom Hanley was a man who came into our church in the mid-nineties newly saved. Tom had led a rough life prior to his conversion and has some dramatic stories to tell such as being in knife fights (has the scars to prove it) and being a bar bouncer in Boston's tenderloin section (at the time the place you didn't want to go to at night). In later years Tom married Luanne and developed a steady walk with the Lord. Rick shared that he had volunteered for prison ministry and this week is taking Rick's place leading the prison Bible Study while Rick is down here in Lancaster County at the conference! How good it is to keep contact with those from your younger years, especially when you hear of their ongoing commitment to follow Christ.
Here's a photo of Ester with some of her New England friends who have of course are all grown up now. Richard is holding Ester's new puppy.
Today through Friday I will be attending the "Watchmen On The Wall" pastor's briefing in Washington DC. This conference encourages pastors to be a "watchman pastor", standing up for Biblical values and against the tide of evil that is sweeping our land. The conference is full this year, I believe in part due to a sense of urgency. This conference will challenge pastors to take a strong, uncompromising stand for Biblical truth.
I am attending this meeting with my pastor John Keefer and my brother Pat Weber, who is a pastor in the Lehigh Valley in eastern PA.
Our basic commission in this regard is to:
1) Pray for our nation.
2) Preach the Bible without apology.
3) Partner with those who also hold Biblical values.
Pastor friends: I urge you to examine this ministry and join me in being a "Watchman Pastor".
Lay people: Consider sending this message to your pastor with a note asking him to look into this.
In a sense Pastors and anyone else who may be interested may watch the free webcast of the 2012 Watchmen on the Wall briefing. Simply click here on Thursday morning, May 24 and watch live. Previously they have also archived the messages.
What is a Watchman Pastor? The name is from Isaiah 62:6: "I have posted watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem; they will never be silent day or night. You who call on the LORD, give yourselves no rest." (That will be the verse for our message tomorrow, Thursday, May 24) A Watchman Pastor is called to do the following:
* Watch what is going on in the culture.
* Pray for the wisdom to engage Biblically, courageously, and winsomely.
* Sound the alarm from the pulpit.
* Take a bold stand with others to defend and advance faith, family, and freedom.
The music at the briefing will be led by Charles Billingsley, a musician I have long enjoyed, a former singer with Newsong
"I Bowed On My Knees and Cried Holy" Video Charles Billingsley
"God Of The Ages" Video Charles Billingsley
Last week we spent several hours at Baltimore's Inner Harbor and today we share our final set of photos from this trip, some views taken during our speed boat tour of the harbor. The first part of the tour was in a no wake zone and we had a very colorful tour guide who made the tour very interesting by pointing out sights and sharing details along the way.
These are giant roll on/roll off Naval cargo ships. More info
This is the USNS Comfort, a floating Naval hospital. Interestingly in the course of our business chaplain route through eastern Lancaster County last Friday we met a man and his wife from the New Bedford, Massachusetts area. They, along with us, had stopped to purchase some flowers at an Amish roadside stand when we struck up a conversation. I shared how we had been to the inner harbor the day before and seen this ship. Turns out he was a shipwright and had worked on this very ship. More info
The man I met last week from Massachusetts sent me this sketch of the Comfort in dry dock.
Domino Sugar Plant. It has one of the largest neon signs in the world. The tour guide claimed that the dot above the i was 6 feet in diameter. I was unable to confirm that! Here's an article and a stunning night-time photo.
It's been two hundred years since the war of 1812 began but this fort is most famous for the Star Spangled banner which was written in 1814.
A google map of our visit to the Baltimore inner harbor is here.
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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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