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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Neizmik barn
Tom and Marsha Neizmik, long-time friends whom we share about in today's message, live on a quaint farm in the Allegheny mountains in northern Pennsylvania. They enjoy this serene view from their kitchen window.

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"Knowing The Way"

"You know the way to the place where I am going" (John 14:4).

Yesterday we had an unexpected visit from friends we've known for over 30 years. Tom and Marsha Neizmik were in the area, along with Tom's widowed mother Betty, to see "Noah", a large theatrical presentation at Sight and Sound here in Lancaster Country. God has done a remarkable work in their lives and they are longtime followers of Christ.

We were reminiscing and recalled a visit they made right after we moved here from New England in 2001. At that time we lived in an old rental farmhouse on the other side of town. I had sent them directions and they drove down about 3-1/2 hours from their home in Northern Pennsylvania. We had a prior commitment so I told them we might not be at the house upon their arrival but we'd return shortly after their planned time of arrival.

They actually arrived sooner than expected, found what they assumed to be our house, sat on the porch and made themselves right at home, as we would have expected. Looking for signs to make sure they were at the right location they were reassured when they saw a decorative plaque in the kitchen window that said "Esther's Kitchen" (thinking we put it up to please our daughter, Ester).

Since they were leading in worship the next morning Tom got out his guitar and they practiced their music. They smiled and waved at the folks who drove by and their daughter walked around taking several pictures of the "Weber's Country Home".

We got home a bit later than we'd planned and they weren't there. I figured they would call and took a short nap on the couch. Over an hour later Brooksyne excitedly hollered, "They're here!"

It turns out that my directions were a bit misleading and they had been at the wrong house for nearly 3 hours! It just happens that a young man had run out of gas up the street who knew of a "preacher" that had recently moved down from Massachusetts.  With their new directions our friends, Tom and Marsha and their daughter, found their way to our house. Interestingly, all along they were just around the corner at our neighbor Esther's house and we had actually driven right by them without seeing them as we returned home!

Knowing where we are going is very important and in most cases being close is just not acceptable. Tom and Marsha had driven about 200 miles to visit with us. Although their patience as they waited for us was commendable, they would hardly have considered it a worthwhile trip knowing that they were "just" 100 yards from us but were unable to see or visit with us face to face.

The daily text records an incident that took place shortly before Jesus went to the Cross. He offers His disciples one of the great promises of the Bible: "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am" (John 14:1-3). After three years of being with His disciples and teaching them, Jesus was confident that they knew where He was going and forthrightly said, "You know the way to the place where I am going" (v. 4).

But Thomas asked a question indicating a need for further clarification and direction. I appreciate his candid honesty; "Lord, we don't know where you are going, so how can we know the way?" (John 14:5).  God is ever a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him and Thomas was a diligent seeker. Jesus did not rebuke him or the other disciples, but graciously proclaims one of the most familiar and memorized Bible truths; "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me" (John 14:6).

We've all gotten lost at some point in our lives and I would suppose that many of you have a good story about getting lost. But God's direction in regard to our ultimate, desired destination is absolutely complete and trustworthy. I believe the key words are, "I am".  With Jesus Christ as our Lord, Savior, and Guide we are assured of reaching our heavenly home. Are you trusting Christ today and do you know where you are going?

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, to know You is to know the way to eternal life. Help us to hold fast to the directions we receive through Your Word. Thank You for sending Jesus who bridged the gap that stood between heaven and earth. And thank You that, because of Your mercy, we have entrance into heaven as we walk over Your bridge of mercy and forgiveness. Amen.

Tom, Betty and Marsha Neizmik 3/19/13
A photo from our visit yesterday of Tom, Betty, and Marsha Neizmik. Tom and Marsha have three daughters and six grandchildren.

Tom and Marsha Neizmik early 80'sHere's a fun photo of Tom and Marsha, along with a much younger Stephen, taken by Brooksyne about 30 years ago at the Creation Christian music festival in the mountains of central Pennsylvania. Somewhere along the way the silly call-out was placed on the photo! We sure enjoyed going to the Creation Festival for many years and they still have it each summer although we no longer find camping out with tens of thousands of other people and using pleasurable!

Elk on Tom Neizmik's farm
Tom and Marsha live in Elk County and regularly have a large elk herd on their property.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Stephen's Song" based on the testimony of the Biblical Stephen. A song that Tom wrote and he and Marsha sing together. (Audio)

"I Am"  Video
 Prestonwood Baptist Church

"But For Your Grace"  Video  Integrity Music

Sight and Sound

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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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