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Monday, October 15, 2012
We traveled through Connecticut over the weekend and saw many colonial style homes with rock walls, a beautiful distinction throughout New England. The foliage is at its peek in most areas.
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Note: Due to travel the podcast was not prepared.
"Faith That Is Tested"
"Therefore, among God's churches we boast about your perseverance and faith in all the persecutions and trials you are enduring" (2 Thessalonians 1:4).
Yesterday we visited with Wayne and Yvette Gallagher who are planting a church in Southbridge, Massachusetts. We will share more about them in a future message. It was heartening to attend their church plant yesterday, presently meeting in a building that also serves as a nightclub. After the service we visited another building they will be moving into in November that's located in the center of town, an ideal location.
We sought to encourage them in their Christian service as church planters. Though it's been 35 years since we planted a church in Northern Pennsylvania we easily recall the extraordinary ups and downs, and the feelings of discouragement as it seems there are more doors that close than those that open in the start-up. That happened in Bible church plants as well!
The apostle Paul served a very brief time in Thessalonica proclaiming the Gospel when he was run out of town. The story is recorded in Acts 17:1-10. However a church was indeed planted and later Paul wrote two letters to this church, which are now part of the New Testament. This church, planted under such difficult circumstances, needed some encouragement and instruction from its founder.
In the book of Acts I find it interesting that the Thessalonians are compared negatively to Berea, the community that Paul visited after leaving Thessalonica. Luke, the historian writes, "Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians" (Acts 17:11). I wonder how the Thessalonian Chamber of Commerce liked this remark!
But in the daily text the Apostle Paul encourages the Thessalonian believers by informing them that he was boasting about their faith and perseverance among other churches, for they were enduring all kinds of persecutions and trials. "Therefore, among God's churches we boast about your perseverance and faith in all the persecutions and trials you are enduring."
One of our long-time favorite Bible teachers is Warren Wiersbe. We memorized one of his quotes many years ago: "Faith that cannot be tested is faith that cannot be trusted".
Many of you are enduring trials today. Some of you are enduring persecution. Our ministry places us in a position to observe human need in so many different places by so many different people for so many different reasons. This includes daily Encouragement readers who write us and share their burdens.
Today your faith may be under a test. Our word of encouragement and we're also making it a daily prayer is from an old hymn, the writer who has long been in the presence of the Faithful One. It will be a double blessing if you happen to know the tune and can hum along. Read it slowly and let your faith rise upward to the present and future reward of remaining faithful in the midst of difficulty!
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Today we will suggest the old hymn as a prayer
Be still, my soul; the Lord is on thy side.
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain;
Leave to thy God to order and provide.
In every change He faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul; thy best, thy heavenly Friend
Thro' thorny ways leads to a joyful end.
Be still, my soul; thy God doth undertake
To guide the future as He has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul; the waves and winds still know
His voice who ruled them while He dwelt below.
Be still, my soul; the hour is hastening on
When we shall be forever with the Lord,
When disappointment, grief and fear are gone,
Sorrow forgot, love's purest joys restored.
Be still, my soul; when change and tears are past,
All safe and blessed we shall meet at last.
We are in New England enjoying the scenery and fall foliage.
On the way up on Friday we had lunch with my brother and his church staff in the Lehigh Valley. We honored them for clergy appreciation month.
A Stately Church in Litchfield Connecticut. Notice the bagpipers!
In Granby CT we passed several painted horses, this one in the front yard of a residential home.
A Connecticut farm
Mama bear being followed by 2 cubs in rural Connecticut (only one cub seen in the photo). Interestingly they were running out of the yard of a residential home. I wonder if the people inside realized they had 3 bears in their yard?
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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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