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Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Canoes on mountain lake (Doris High)
Canoes on mountain lake
(Photo by Doris High)

"Rolling In Less"

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"Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me" (Philippians 4:11-13)
. "But He said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong" (2 Corinthians 12:9,10).

Ad faceThere's an ad now running on television that catches our attention and gives us a chuckle. A group of business people are sitting around a conference table brainstorming ways in which the company can save money. After a few quirky suggestions that are rejected by the CEO someone suggests changing internet providers. The office manager states his hearty agreement with the idea, "We can get more for less!" The CEO looks at him and says, "You’re the office manager, how much less do we have?” to which he answers, "Oh, we are rolling in less, Sir."  (* A link to a video of the ad is below in resource section.)

Man in despairToday some of you may feel like you are "rolling in less". It may be "less" in regard to a health matter, finances, or family harmony. Due to the nature of our ministry we encounter a lot of people who are "rolling in less". Yesterday in the course of our chaplain work we visited with several souls experiencing life's hardships. In one situation we were speaking to a woman when she suddenly broke down in tears due to a heavy burden she bears. Another man shared of the brokenness so common in our world today. Still another shared about a chronic health issue in his life.

Then when we got home we received an email from a friend we had not heard from for awhile. He explained that he had contracted a disease that has killed many, as well as taking many people's arms and legs. He nearly died, but the Lord decided not to call him home yet. He shared how he has been left with trouble walking, very shaky hands, and the inability to speak well. (He is a preacher and seminary professor.) But what a testimony of overcoming faith he expressed, "Through it all, God has been good and spoken to me greatly. I don't know what the Lord has for me in the future, but I know it will be good, for He is good and faithful to His Word and His children." In the midst of a season of "less" this brother, like Paul, is experiencing "more" of God's increasing strength and sufficient grace.

In the providence of God we have periodic times in life when we are, it seems "rolling in less". We are not referring here to emotional ups and downs (which is another topic altogether), but rather those seasons when our normal life routine is interrupted and circumstances, beyond our control, stall or slow down our pace of life.

The two daily Scripture portions are both from the epistles of Paul. They are related in the sense that in both of them Paul recounts a season of "less" in his life. In the Philippian passage he writes of having been "brought low" and how he faced hunger and need along with plenty and abundance. In the Corinthian passage he is dealing with his "thorn in the flesh" which many believe was some type of chronic physical affliction.

Both passages have a powerful outlook in the midst of one's time of "less".
The assurance we can all have regardless of that which we are enduring is this:

1) God's strength is adequate, "
I can do all things through Him who strengthens me" 

2) God's grace is sufficient
, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."

A period of "rolling in less" may impact our physical capabilities or the material blessings we are accustomed to, but it can also accelerate our spiritual capabilities and blessings as we are fashioned into God's image. These can be defining moments in the lives of sincere believers.

Today we want to encourage any of our readers who may be "rolling in less". God will use this experience in your life to grow you in ways that you would not expect, for nothing is impossible with God!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, we are thankful that You are present in the daily routine of our lives but also in the quiet, seemingly inactive periods when we are forced to slow down, think more, and do less. Your Spirit is at work in us as we invite You into the throne-rooms of our mind and into the recesses of our heart to shape us into Your likeness. You take negative circumstances and make them work for our good, when we acknowledge that "all things work together for good to those who love You and are called according to Your purpose." We pray that You will achieve Your intended purpose in our lives as we fully submit our circumstances to Your divine plan.  In the name of Jesus we pray.  Amen.

We passed an old-order Mennonite Church in rural Lancaster County yesterday on a route we don't normally drive.

Old-order Mennonite Church, Lancaster County, PA 8/7/13
This is a branch of Mennonites very similar to the Amish in that they use horse and buggie. However, distinct from the Amish who meet in homes, this group meets in simple frame churches with the men and boys on one side and women and girls on the other. They even use separate entrances. Note the covered enclosures for the horses in the background. This is one type of old-order church we have never visited but we have an invitation to do so from our friend Elvin.

Old-order Mennonite Church, Lancaster County, PA 8/7/13

A water pump provides drinking water and there are outside toilet facilities

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Your Grace Is Sufficient"  Video   Shane and Shane A beautiful simply arranged song based on today's second text.

"Tis So Sweet To Trust In Jesus"  Video  Casting Crowns

"Little Is Much When God Is In It"  Video  Ernie Haas and Signature Sound.

* Internet services ad mentioned in opening illustration  Video  For non-American readers the phrase "rolling in less" is a play on the opposite phrase "rolling in dough" which means having plenty.

"Dying Out Loud" Last night I watched an outstanding sermon of challenge and encouragement by Dr. George Wood. He ended with a remarkable testimony concerning Stan Steward which moved me greatly to the point of tears and I was scarcely able to sleep last night.  I expect to use this testimony as an illustration in tomorrow's message. You can watch the entire service online in an archived video  Link to service  The start of the testimony is at 2:23

Homeless Church in San Francisco Gives To Missions  Video  I saw a video last night about a homeless church in San Francisco and thought I would share this video for a perspective as well as a reminder about the many ways people are trying to impact the world for Christ.

Last week we shared a photo of Brooksyne playing a public piano in downtown Lancaster. An older reader replied: "I also like to play the piano downtown. Sometimes I get to play the one at the bus station when I'm between bus trips. I like to play hymns, knowing some will be recognized. One day I had enough time to play about everything I had memorized from childhood on!

False Prophets: A Texan friend sent me this link on seven marks of a false teacher in response to the message on false prophets.

Our friends Cerwin and Doris High traveled to Calgary Canada last month to deliver a TFC chapel and she managed to take a few photos! (photoblog)

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"Little Is Much When God Is In It"  Video  Ernie Haas 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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