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Friday, July 26, 2013

Camel on Amish farm in Lancaster County, PA 7/25/13
Yesterday we passed this camel grazing along with two others on a
farm on Mill Creek School Road. This Amish farm is now selling camel's milk!

"The Blessing Of Restraint"

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"Only he who now restrains it will do so until he is out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed
" (2 Thessalonians 2:7,8). "So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by our spoken word or by our letter" (2 Thessalonians 2:15).

Yesterday we shared a message based on unusual town names by featuring a little town about 25 miles south of Kansas City, Missouri named Peculiar which is right off I-49. Today we want to consider another interesting name and the history of another little town in Missouri, also near I-49 but 100 miles and several counties south. In fact it's not too far from the tiny town of Harwood where my Mom grew up.

The name of the town is Liberal in Barton County. It was named after the Liberal League in Lamar, Missouri (to which the town's organizer belonged). It was started as an atheist, "freethinker" utopia in 1880 by George Walser, an anti-religionist, agnostic lawyer. He bought 2,000 acres of land and advertised across the country for atheists to come and help him start "a town without a church, where unbelievers can bring up their children without religious training,' and where Christians are not allowed."

In spite of his objective, churches were established over the years in and around Liberal Missouri and now, although apparently there is still a vestige of it's founding principles that remain, a survey indicated that over 50% attend church. Most interesting is that by some accounts
George Walser forsook his atheist leanings and eventually became a Christian!

As our country becomes more and more secularized there are those who relish the thought of how wonderful things will be when the influence of godly, Bible-faithful Christians is diminished or even eliminated. Our views are seen as an impediment to progress.

I read about a young teacher who looked forward to the day when the older generation, many who hold traditional moral values, pass on so "progress" (in her view) of a social utopia could continue unabated. Frankly in my view, apart from a great awakening type of revival she and many like her are going to get their way, though not completely, for God always has a remnant of godly people in every generation.

2 Thessalonians 2 is a prophetic portion of God's Word and thus subject to various interpretations by equally earnest Bible students. But one view sees it referring to a time when the influence and restraint of Christians will be removed worldwide and the lawless one will be revealed and have free range.  It will not be a pretty picture.

But for today I share a closing thought from this section of Scripture from the Apostle Paul,
"So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by our spoken word or by our letter." Let us continue to be a people restraining all sorts of evil even though many do not appreciate the blessing of restraint.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, as we march onward to Zion and uphold the Biblical view of righteous living, we are often mocked or dismissed as a radical bunch of Jesus followers. But we know that it is the righteous remnant who restrain Your wrath in the midst of the flood of evildoers. You are not willing that any should perish, but that all should turn to salvation. You didn't send Jesus to earth to condemn the world but to provide redemption for all who believe upon Your name. We do believe and respond by walking in the ways of righteousness. It is by grace that we are saved, so we give You thanks through Christ Jesus our Lord in whose name we pray. Amen.

A Special Retirement

Everett with wife at retirement party 7/25/13
Yesterday we attended a retirement party for Everett DeWald (seated beside his wife, Linda), who retired after working for the same company as a machine operator for over 60 years. He is very much loved and greatly appreciated by his many fellow employees. He is well known for his fun birthday greeting he has sung thousands of times for many, many years over the company address system to each employee on his or her birthday.
Listen to it here. (mp3)

Everett honored at retirement 7/25/13
Everett responds as a group of fellow employees sing an adaptation of his birthday song right back to him (Happy Retirement to You)! (Photo by Joe Ulicny)

Everett's cheerful greeting 7/25/13
Every week when Everett sees me coming he raises his finger in the air and hollers out, "Hey, hey, hey!" followed by a very friendly greeting. Actually he does this for all the employees. He just might have the most consistently pleasant disposition of anyone I have ever met. I heard that expressed many times yesterday including by those who've known him for 50 or more years.

Everett honored at retirement 7/25/13
He was honored by company management who recognized his strong work ethic and the value of his joyful spirit in the workplace. His supervisor, Ken Rineer, asked him, "Is your bed pushed up against a wall?  Because you never seem to get up on the wrong side of the bed."

Everett honored at retirement 7/25/13
Everett, as is typical, was just too happy. When reminded by others that he would no longer see his fellow employees, he feigns sadness as he cuts one of his cakes.
(Photo by Joe Ulicny)

Jimmy and Ester 7/26/13
This morning we had a blessing as we returned home from a chaplain visit. We haven't seen our friend Jimmy sitting out on his porch in a long time and wondered if he had moved. Upon spotting him, Ester, who happened to be with us, opened the sliding door and hollered out their usual greeting, "Jimmy what are you?" To which he immediately responded, "I'm An Overcomer" (Jimmy has had many health problems). Here's a message we wrote many years ago about Jimmy.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

A commentary on 2 Thessalonians 2

History Of Liberal Missouri from Barton County website.

Atheism and Liberal, Missouri

Other info in message from this Wikipedia article.

Liberal Missouri is located here.

There is also a larger town in Kansas named Liberal and it's name originated thusly: "Early settler S. S. Rogers built the first house in what would become Liberal in 1872. Rogers became famous in the region for giving water to weary travelers. Reportedly, Liberal gained its name from the common response to his acts of kindness, "That's very liberal of you."

Visit To Harwood Missouri. Here is a page with photos and memories I prepared especially for my family regarding our visit last week to Harwood Missouri, the little town where my grandparents lived and where my Mom grew up. Perhaps it will prompt similar memories from some of our readers of a special town from your childhood!

Camel's milk article from local newspaper or here.

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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."http://www.dailyencouragement.net/audio/everett_birthday_greeting.mp3

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