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Tuesday, July 3
, 201

Cape Cod rainbow (photo by John Shields)
Cape Cod Rainbow
(photo by John Shields)

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"Take Your Stand!

"Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes." "Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand" (Ephesians 6:11,13).

Sycamore tree branchLast week we mentioned our visit with Don and Kathy Eaton. After our dinner of salmon, rice pilaf and butternut squash (reminiscient of their New England roots and our nearly eight years spent there) we took them to some of our favorite neighborhood sights including our Amish friend Elam's home which is also their place of business as they have a plant nursery. I knew that as a horticulturist the Sycamore tree on their property would interest Don.

Seven of Elam's eight children joined us while we stood around talking as the sun was rapidly setting. I never weary of seeing the Amish children,
characteristically in their summer bare feet, attentively listening to adults talking. I suppose they were especially intrigued by both my height (6'2) and Don who is about 6'5 tall! Their father is about my wife's height of 5'3".

After we took the photo of Don next to the sycamore tree several of the kids lined up on the branch. Elam gave us permission to take a photo but asked that we not publish it. (That's really hard to resist knowing that you would enjoy seeing it, but of course we respect his wishes.)

Although the limb is not that high off the ground it was a cute sight as the kids climbed the ladder one by one and balanced themselves on the limb which demonstrated its strength. It also demonstrates to me the power of standing together in a troubled world.

Everyone of us who follow Jesus are called to take a stand. The way we go about doing so will vary based upon our own personal circumstances and God's individual leading in our lives. Every believer, both local and those from all over the world who reads this message, is called to heed Paul's command to "take your stand against the devil's schemes".

Putting on the armor of God is absolutely necessary for the battles we face as we take our "stand against the devil's schemes". "Schemes" translates the Greek "methodia", from which we get the English word "method". From the beginning Satan's foundational method has been to discredit God and His perfect plan for the human race. As Martin Luther plainly stated in the great old hymn, "A Mighty Fortress", "But still our ancient foe doth seek to work his woe."

As we stand in this evil age let us remember these truths concerning our God:

1) Our God Is strong. "Yet their Redeemer is strong; the LORD Almighty is His name" (Jeremiah 50:34).

2) Our God is faithful. "I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider (Jesus Christ) is called Faithful and True" (Revelation 19:11).

3) Our God is able.  "And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work" (2 Corinthians 9:8).

All over the world God's people are taking a stand.  A remnant is standing for Biblical truth. Let us put on the armor of God and let us take our stand against the devil's schemes. Let's do so together!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, we desire to abound in good works, all the while making Your grace and love known to people all over this world. In ourselves we are frail and lack in so many ways, but in You we are able to overcome the evil one and take a stand against his schemes. Sometimes the daily battles leave us feeling a bit disheartened, weary, and even wounded at times. But we thank You for the presence of Your abiding Holy Spirit who encourages us and leads us forward in this daily conflict. Help us to praise You and trust You for the victory as the hymn says, "Hell's foundations quiver at the shout of praise; brothers, lift your voices, loud your anthems raise." We raise to You our anthems of praise and our prayers of thanksgiving through Jesus our Lord. Amen.

Sycamore tree branch
Here is a larger photo of the Sycamore tree branch mentioned in today's message. Elam pointed out that a branch at one time also extended out from the end where the branch turns straight up and this view shows the hole where this branch was!

Sparkler art (photo by John Shields)
This week we are sharing photos from several friends in our featured photograph at the top of each message. Today's photo was taken from Cautamet on Cape Cod by John Shields, a friend of ours who works at Val-Co. He also sent me this interesting photo of people holding sparklers spelling "LOVE". This might give some of our readers an idea for a photo project as you get together with family this week. (Just be careful.)

Chicken drinking (photo by Joe Ulicny)
Val-Co makes products for the agricutural industry and Joe Ulicny, the Marcom Specialist, sent me this photo he took of a chicken sipping from the beeker. I don't suppose this is something very many of our readers have ever seen! This is also interesting to us as we see the components to this watering system made by the hundreds of thousands and especially consider the Vietnamese ladies who glue the yellow part into the white pvc pipe. We have a language barrrier but they seem so pleased to see us and inevitably remove their work gloves as we approach them so they can shake our hands.

Cylo, the Lancaster Barnstormers team mascot
Cylo is the mascot for the Lancaster Barnstormers minor league baseball team and a fan favorite. Ester snapped this photo at the game the other night.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resource

"We Will Stand"  Video  Russ Taff & Avalon

My Redeemer Is Faithful and True"  Video  Steven Curtis Chapman

"Stand Up, Stand Up For Jesus
"  Video   Promisekeepers

"The Power Of The Cross"  Video  Stuart Townend

Val-Co is the company referred to in the photographs where we serve as company chaplains.

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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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