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Tuesday, August 28, 2012
Ronn Moyer, a friend of ours from eastern Pennsylvania, sent us this photo of vibrant hanging Petunia plants at a nursery.
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"Be Ye Glad!"
"But let all who take refuge in You be glad, let them ever sing for joy; and may You shelter them, that those who love Your name may exult in You" (Psalm 5:11). "They never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Christ" (Acts 5:42).
I am reading a rather depressing but informative and historical book written over 100 years ago that describes the plight of those who immigrated to Chicago and worked in the meat packing houses. It's considered classic and I am sure some of you have read it as well. "The Jungle" tracks a young immigrant from Lithuania named Jurgis who faces terrible obstacles and deep heartache.
One part of the book describes the efforts to take the good news to these people in a gospel meeting. "The evangelist was preaching 'sin and redemption,' the infinite grace of God and His pardon for human frailty." But the main character rejects the message. As I continue to read the book Jurgis slides deeper and deeper into despair and decadence.
This book was on my mind this morning as I awakened. Shortly afterward Brooksyne turned on the radio and I heard a familiar song, written in the 80's, that simply conveys the gospel message. "Be Ye Glad" was a popular song when I was a young Christian. It blessed me to get a focus on the truly good news of the gospel and prompted a Scripture search which revealed the first verse we share today: "But let all who take refuge in You be glad, let them ever sing for joy; and may You shelter them, that those who love Your name may exult in You" (Psalm 5:11).
The second daily text describes the message of the early church. The verse begins with the phrase, "Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house." Their presentation was daily and not limited to a specific place. Later in Acts we see a similar phrase regarding the steady proclamation of the good news by the apostle Paul, "So he reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and the God-fearing Greeks, as well as in the marketplace day by day with those who happened to be there" (Acts 17:17).
We all hunger for good news. What a blessing to receive good news, such as a job opening after a long season of unemployment; a medical report, "The cancer is gone."; a wayward child returns home; a marriage restored and the list goes on and on.
But all other sources of good news pale in comparison to the "good news that Jesus is the Christ." "Good news" is translated from the Greek word we get "evangel" from and this good news is the gospel of Christ. The simple profile of the work of the early church is that they never stopped teaching and proclaiming this message and neither should we. This is the true good news that all mankind needs to hear. It was being preached over 100 years ago in the slums of Chicago. It is the only lasting good news. It meets our greatest need and prepares us for eternity in heaven. Let us continue to proclaim this good news today and every day! "Be ye glad!"
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, there is nothing on earth that compares with the joy and peace that wells up within our hearts when our sins are forgiven and we begin our journey on the straight and narrow path that leads to righteousness. There are many other messages out there attempting to detour us from the straight and narrow path. Certainly there are testings and trials that will weigh us down or attempt to sidetrack us. But we believe these testings will become a testimony in our lives of the Good News that Jesus who is the Christ has forever changed us. It spurs us on to share this good news with others to equip for them for here and now, and prepare them for eternity in heaven. May we be faithful in sowing the seeds. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.
One of the benefits of living out in the country with a large farm field across from us is changing scenery throughout the year, depending on the type of crops planted. This morning the harvest began for the corn and by this afternoon our front yard view will dramatically change!
We heard the sound of machinery preparing for the harvest at 9:00 am (to the left of photo) and I was able to snap a "before" photo. The mature corn field is one of our favorite scenes but alas this too must pass for another season.
The harvest begins and now we have a one harvester along with a steady stream of trucks loading the silage and taking it to the farm storage on a large dairy farm. This corn is being harvested for silage. Due to drought conditions in mid summer the corn didn't pollinate properly and thus the ears weren't suitable for a grain harvest.
Here's the scene at Noon just as we prepare to post our message.
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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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