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Friday, July 5, 2013

Straw bales, Espenshade farm 7/4/13
This is the Espenshade farm view we see everyday at the end of our road.
They began harvesting yesterday and this was our 6 A.M. view today.
Click here for a larger view.

"One Hundred Years From Now"

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"Then he breathed his last and died and was gathered to his people, old and full of years. And his sons Esau and Jacob buried him" (Genesis 35:29).

In the early morning hours yesterday a deadly fire ravaged a house in Lancaster City, killing four and critically injuring several others. This morning as we drove by the location, now surrounded with police tape and all boarded up, we considered again how fragile life is. Tragically the house had no smoke alarms which may have prevented the deaths and injuries of all those who resided there. Nonetheless as this tragedy just happened yesterday eternity has been on my mind all morning since I consider that when these folks went to bed Wednesday night  it's quite unlikely that they expected to wake up to eternity on the other side or a hospital bed where recovery will be slow, painful and filled with grief as they process their loss of loved ones.

A small church in Marietta, PA displayed a sign that asked, "Where will you be 100 years from now?" That really got me thinking.  A more familiar expression of this type is, "Where will you spend eternity?" But to me the 100 year question packs a very powerful punch. That's a measurement of time I can comprehend.  I find it helpful to look back 100 years and perhaps you can do the same in your own family timeline. Since we will be traveling in the Midwest and visiting many family members on both sides over the next couple weeks I've been doing some thinking about my immediate and extended family.

MaMa and PaPa Steincross I consider my mother's father, PaPa, whom I knew and loved dearly. He breathed his last when I was sixteen.  100 years ago in 1913 he was still a young man with many years of life ahead of him.  He was adventuresome, riding the rails across the west and he told all his grandchildren the story of his climbing Pike's Peak one night. 

By 1908 he had settled down, married and began raising his family.  His farm was in southwest Missouri and he was also president of the small town bank in Harwood Missouri. He saw his grandchildren and great-grandchildren before passing away when he was nearly 90.  In his lifetime he read of the first manned flight by the Wright brothers and nearly seventy years later saw a man on the moon.

But there came that time when PaPa, being old and full of years, was gathered to his people, and then buried on a windswept hill west of tiny Schell City, Missouri where my parents are also buried.

So, where I will be 100 years from now is not some esoteric question, since I personally knew someone who lived one hundred years ago.  And many of you do as well.

There are basically four different possible answers to this vital question, "Where will I be 100 years from now?":
  • Perhaps with medical advances I will be living at 158 years of age!
  • The secular response is that I am merely a physical entity and when I die that's it.  As a mere physical being my flesh, which is all I am will rot in the ground.  In this view there's no spirit or soul to live on and certainly no future resurrection of the body.
  • The common dominant view held by many including those who should know better is that everyone (except the notoriously evil) goes to a very pleasant place at death. This view is based on sentiment, not Scripture and is often expressed by even the most ardent secularist at the death of a loved one. It seems to me humans have an innate sense that there is something more after death and this view basically asserts "the good in life probably always outweighs the bad and things work out all right in the end."  However this view has no basis in Scripture.
  • That the Holy Scriptures truthfully informs of a coming judgment and two very distinct options at death depending on our response to Christ during our present lifetime.
I clearly and unashamedly hold to the fourth view. Though it goes against conventional wisdom, it's not absolutely impossible that I may be alive 100 years from now. But it's most unlikely!

The daily text is just a simple expression of the passing of a man (Isaac) who lived nearly 4,000 years ago. He was 180 years old and full of years. The powerful phrase "gathered to his people" is first used at the death of Abraham (Genesis 25:8) and is repeated throughout the Scriptures to the death of Moses (Deuteronomy 32:50).  One day you and I will most certainly be "gathered to our people."

I want to be prepared to join the people of God throughout the ages, including those in my own generation.  I encourage each of you today to commit your life to Christ. Express your faith in His redemption plan, confess and repent of your sins, and choose this day and every day to serve the Lord Jesus Christ.

Be encouraged and prepared today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, daily there are questions looming; some trivial and others essential to our existence here on earth. But the most vital question we must answer in in a timely manner and in adherence to Scripture has to do with our eternal destiny. Just as the patriarchs of old lived long lives and then were buried by their children, our bodies too will return to dust, while our souls live on for eternity. We want to "be gathered to our people" who've made their pilgrimage here on earth with You as their Shepherd. We choose to commit our ways to You and follow Your commands so that our room and board is forever paid up in the great beyond where Christ sits at Your right hand. Keep us faithful till that day is fulfilled in our lives. In the precious name of Jesus we pray. Amen.

Hanging begonias 7/4/13
Our repurposed window frame is starting to fill in with begonias. It's obvious that the left bag was planted a couple weeks after the right one. Hopefully it will soon catch up!

Baby cardinal 6/24/13
Walking through our lawn we saw this baby cardinal that had apparently fallen from the nest and was unable to fly. Mom and Dad cardinal were keeping a close eye and everytime the fledgling would move swooped down to protect.

Keith on Clark forklift 7/5/13
This morning I visited with Keith. I told him the Clark forklift had a sentimental value to me. My only Uncle who is still living worked for Clark his entire career following his service in the Korean War era. We expect to visit Uncle Don and Aunt Mary this weekend near Louisville Kentucky.

Mystery photo shared by Ken Leaman

Ken, a friend at work shared this photo. Do any of our readers have any idea what it is? (Venture a guess at
this address and I will share the correct answer with Monday's message.)

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Sometimes I Wonder"  Video  Ernie Haase and Signature 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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