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Monday, May 27, 2013

Lancaster County stone farmhouse built in 1774
Lancaster County stone farmhouse

ListenListen to this message on your audio player. Note: Due to my quality microphone not working with Windows 8 the sound is rather poor and occasionally has a very annoying feedback type noise. A new microphone has been ordered!

"Real Heroes"

"The House of the Heroes" (Nehemiah 3:16).

Photo of Brooklyn in serviceToday is Memorial Day here in the USA, a day when we are especially reminded of the tremendous sacrifices made by those who died in war. I am sure there are readers today who have loved ones who were killed in war, but for some of you it is perhaps a more recent loss. I'm not aware of anyone in my family or for that matter anyone I've ever known personally who has died in war.

But today as we still live in a time when there are "wars and rumors of wars" I do remember and honor those who have perished as well as all who have served such as my Dad Eugene, who was a World War 2 pilot and Brooksyne's father Brooklyn (right in photo) who served in the Army during the Korean War. Someday there will be a time when all war will cease but until that time we remain faithful as soldiers enlisted in "the spiritual army of salvation that God is raising up to save the world."

Last Friday afternoon at the "Watchmen on the Wall" briefing in Washington I heard a speech from General Boykin, a war hero, who may very well have the ancient designation of a mighty man of valor (see 1 Chronicles 5:24). He is also standing faithfully for the Lord in the culture war of our time as the barbarians of anti-God secularism barrage our land and infect our world. I am thankful for those like Boykin who "fight the good fight" in this culture war as we continue to cascade into decadence.

Today let us also consider those who are heroes on the local level likely unknown beyond their local sphere of influence.
Let us acknowledge the people who have live faithfully and demonstrate character over the long haul of life. Should I name such people in my own life very few readers would recognize their names but that would be the same for you as well, as you recall your own "personal" heroes. Hopefully those who know us well might speak of us as among those who exemplify a spirit-filled life and walk with uprightness of character.

Today's Scripture verse is rarely referenced yet speaks of an intriguing designation.  It's found in a rather matter of fact description of the city of Jerusalem as it was being rebuilt after the exile. Regarding this "House of the heroes", other versions use the phrase "the house of the mighty" or such similar expressions. I suppose it was some type of memorial built to honor their great leaders.

Today, let us remember who these real heroes are, both living and deceased, and let us honor them. And finally let us consider what constitutes real heroism and live our lives in such a manner that by the grace of God we might also leave a legacy of faithfulness and other character virtues for those to emulate as they look on or follow behind.

Of course the greatest Hero is Jesus Christ and this very designation was given to Him in a lesser known line in the Battle Hymn of the Republic.

Let the Hero, born of woman,
crush the serpent with His heel,
Since God is marching on.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, we thank You for those who paid the ultimate price in laying down their lives to defend our freedoms. Many of us don't know even one of these faithful warriors by name and yet their sacrifice has freed us from the takeover of our enemies. There are also those who do not know the Person of Jesus who laid down His life to free us from the takeover of our archenemy, the devil. The vast majority give little to no thought of the immense burden Jesus bore as He took our sins upon Himself that we might receive forgiveness. We thank You, Father, for Jesus who is the Hero of heroes in that He gave His all that we might receive Your all; forgiveness for our sins and eternal life in Heaven. We thank You for Your undeserved love and mercy. Amen.

Watchman on the wall logoLast Wednesday through Friday my pastor, brother and I attended the "Watchmen On The Wall" pastor's briefing in Washington DC. This meeting encourages and equips pastors to be "watchmen pastors", standing up for Biblical values against the tide of evil that is sweeping our land. The conference is so very important due to a sense of urgency regarding the state of our land. This conference challenges pastors to take a strong, uncompromising stand for Biblical truth. It was held at a hotel near the Capitol with some 500 pastors in attendance.

Our basic commission as a watchman pastor is to:
1) Pray for our nation.
2) Preach the Bible without apology.
3) Partner with those who also hold Biblical values.

None of these points may seem controversial to many of our readers but on certain issues standing up for Biblical values takes courage since increasingly these values are contrary to the modern worldly outlook, especially pertaining to the marriage and life issues. I heard a pastor state that the time may come when refusing to follow the ways of the world may get you imprisoned and I was heartened when he declared that he would stay faithful to God regardless of the outcome.
Pastor friends:
I urge you to examine this ministry and join me in being a "Watchman Pastor".

Lay people: Consider sending this message to your pastor with a note asking him to look into this ministry.
One speaker estimated that some 30% of pastors in Bible-preaching churches function as "watchman pastors", boldly speaking out with a clear Biblical voice, another 40% are in what he called the mushy middle, avoiding these issues for fear of being hated by the world while another 30% don't have a clue. Pastor, how do you fit in here?

What is a Watchman Pastor?  The name is from Isaiah 62:6: "I have posted watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem; they will never be silent day or night. You who call on the LORD, give yourselves no rest." A Watchman Pastor is called to do the following:

* Watch what is going on in the culture.
* Pray for wisdom to engage Biblically, courageously, and winsomely.
* Sound the alarm from the pulpit.
* Take a bold stand with others to defend and advance faith, family, and freedom.

Blowing of the shofar
The meeting was opened with a Messianic rabbi blowing the Shofar. During the meeting we also heard from a "completed Jew" and "converted Muslim" who sat together at the same table. What a joy to see Christ uniting people from every tribe and tongue!

WW2 veterans Clarence & Charles 5/30/10
Yesterday we held a service at Longwood Personal Care Center where we both serve as chaplains.  We honored the vets who were in the service.  Here is a photo of Clarence (left) who served in the infantry in the Pacific and Charles (right) was a P-51 pilot. Charles and I thus have a rather exclusive distinction; both of us have flown in P-51 Mustangs.  I did so when I was in High School over Tulsa, Oklahoma with my cousin Anna Lee's late husband Bob,  a pilot who owned a P-51.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Follow Me"  Video  Kelly Willard

"Willing Heart"  Video  Kelly Willard

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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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