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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Windmill in front of barn
Our modest windmill as viewed from our office window.

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"A Lesson From A Windmill"
"Just as it is written in the Law of Moses, all this disaster has come upon us, yet we have not sought the favor of the LORD our God by turning from our sins and giving attention to Your truth" (Daniel 9:13). "Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming" (Ephesians 4:14).
WindmillSeveral weeks ago we bought a small 6' decorative windmill at our local Tractor Supply store. Both Brooksyne and I like to glean the end of season clearance items and fortunately the windmill was among the choices. We have it set up right out in front of our home office where we can view it while we work.

We both like windmills. They are a pleasant sight on the rural landscape reminding us of a bygone era. Many windmills are now decorative such as ours, but others are functional such as the one pictured to the right, which pumps water up to a storage tank on an Amish farm.

A working windmill is designed to shift direction with the wind and this is effective in
efficiently utilizing the wind's power. Although prevailing winds may come from one direction they also shift and the design of the windmill adjusts for these shifts. This design is beneficial for the windmill but devastating for those who are "blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming" (Ephesians 4:14).

In our first daily text Daniel is writing concerning the exiled Jews, who are Scripturally known as "the remnant". The first part of the ninth chapter of Daniel is one of the great prayers of the Bible and the daily verse comes from this prayer. The Jews had been exiled to Babylon as a result of years of failing to live by God's Law. Moses had warned of this and now Daniel acknowledges, "All this disaster has come upon us."

Daniel summarized the foundational reason leading to this disaster as "we have not sought the favor of the LORD our God" and goes on to specify two evidences of their failure to do this:
    1)  by turning from our sins and
    2)  giving attention to Your truth."

Today we want to consider the single phrase, "giving attention to Your truth." Just consider how fundamentally and commonly this failure to give attention to God's truth is expressed today. Evidence of people's rejection of God's truth is all around us.  I once read a sign that states, "Truth is hate to those who hate the truth."  Indeed many today hate the truth and associate the truth with hate. And they express that hatred toward ambassadors of truth.

(It just so happens as we prepare this message we hear the news of the tragic murder of the American ambassador and several others in Libya. Although he and the others slain were not necessarily ambassadors of the truth, in the same sense as we use it in today's message, they certainly are the recipients of hateful opposition to the truth.)

The God of the universe is fundamentally characterized by truth. Jesus said, "I am… the truth" (John 14:6).  He said of His Father "Your Word is truth" (John 17:17).  He spoke of the Holy Spirit as "the Spirit of truth" (John 14:17).  Isaiah uses the descriptive title, "God of truth" (65:16). The Psalmist asserts, "All your words are true" (Psalm 119:160).  And the writer of Hebrews informs us that "It is impossible for God to lie" (6:18). What great assurance this brings God's people as they build their spiritual foundation on God's Holy Word!

The ancient people of God did not give attention to God's truth and neither do the majority of people living today. One of the most descriptive verses in the Bible regarding the human condition is found in the Epistle to the Romans, "They exchanged the truth of God for a lie" (1:25). Talk about moral bankruptcy! The apostle Paul gives a sobering indictment in 2 Thessalonians 2:10, "They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved."

What about us today? Are we giving attention to God's truth? My prayer today is expressed by the Psalmist, "Send forth your light and your truth, let them guide me; let them bring me to your holy mountain, to the place where you dwell" (43:3).

Thou art the bread of life, O Lord, to me,
Thy holy Word the truth that saveth me;
Give me to eat and live with Thee above;
Teach me to love Thy truth, for Thou art love.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father Your truths do not fluctuate nor are they subject to reinterpretation by the "expert" philosophers of our day. Your truths are explained through the inspiration of Your Holy Word and understanding given to us by Your Holy Spirit.  May our ears be open and our eyes focused to see that Your truth is the same yesterday, today and forever.  Amen.

The second chapter of 2 Thessalonians states,
"For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.Is this "powerful delusion" coming soon or is it already here?

We did not prepare a daily encouragement yesterday due to a visit with the Matangelo family, our long-time friends who now live in North Carolina.

Matangelo visit 9/10/12

We enjoyed some fine meals together.

Mike Matangelo birthday pie 9/10/12
Although a bit early we celebrated Mike's birthday with Apple/Rhubarb Pie. We first met him on his thirtieth birthday in 1977 right after we had moved to Saint Marys PA to plant a church. Mike and Kathy were in our very first service the next day and became a formative part of that congregation and remain close friends 35 years later. I caught Mike with fun expression as he was preparing to blow the candles.

Apple pie featured on TV 9/10/12
We've been having fun with some photo editing including this photo of Mike's birthday pie on an old classic TV.

Ester's baby photo
This setting looks like a baby photo of Ester taken in 1960 but in fact she was born in 1989.

Closeup of Coleus 9/11/12
I enjoy taking close-up photos of  Coleus, the plant with beautiful multi-colored leaves but no flowers.

Old truck and barn in Lancaster County 9/11/12
Mike and I went for a scenic drive through our neighborhood and saw this colorful scene. We don't think this truck has been used for awhile since the trees are growing up through it!

Today's Suggested Music
and Supplemental Resource

"Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise"
Video  Jaron and Katherine Kamin

"Break Thou the Bread of Life"  Video (Instrumental) 
In the Mountains

a message to Stephen & Brooksyne

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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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