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October 22, 2013

Early morning view from home 10/21/13

Here is an early morning view from Kraybill Church Road in front of our home across the field to our Amish neighbor's farm in the distance with fog in the background. The green cover grass was planted following the corn harvest and will be harvested next spring.
(Click on photo to enlarge)

"The Gates Of Hell Shall Not Prevail"

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"Upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it" (Matthew 16:18).

Ten Commandments, Faith and ActionLast night we attended a banquet with some friends and heard a presentation concerning the ministry of "Faith and Action", which seeks to provide a witness for Christ to leaders in Washington, DC. Their headquarters is right across from the Supreme Court and they made news recently when vandals toppled over an 850 pound granite sculpture of the Ten Commandments. The sculpture has been restored and is a silent witness to the justices as they go into the Supreme Court. The massive amount of security cameras in that area have allowed them to identify the two men who toppled the sculpture (who appear as though they could be Capitol Hill staffers). Faith and Action are giving them an opportunity to come forward and join Rob Schenk, the leader of the ministry, for a meal to talk over the matter rather than pressing charges.

Rob Schenk, Faith and Action 10/21/13For 20 years Rob Schenk has been a "missionary" to Washington seeking to stand as a representative of Biblical truth to the secular powers. He shared stories and fielded questions about his ministry and conditions in Washington. Several weeks ago he was able to provide comfort and counsel at the Naval Yard shooting. Each year the ministry has some interesting outreaches such as a live nativity and Bible reading marathon during the National Day of Prayer from the steps of the Capitol.

We are thankful and pray for ministries like Faith and Action. They face much opposition in Washington. It seems the forces of darkness have always sought to quench the light and that's just what they experience.

Today's text will be familiar to many. It is our Lord's Word to Peter following his great confession of faith when he proclaimed, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."

Jesus responded to this confession with a great promise: "Upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it" (Matthew 16:18).  God's truth marches on.  Nearly two thousand years have passed since He initially made the promise to Peter and the early disciples. And today the true church still makes this proclamation, which is at the heart of the Gospel. In fact it is the very foundation on which Christ has built His church.

Jesus promised that the gates of hell will not prevail against His church. It sure seems like they are prevailing at times doesn't it? And that's been the case all through the Church's history. We are reminded in our very day of the forces of hell seeking to destroy the church. The hateful, venomous threats and violent actions of the enemies of Christ are quite evident.  Again today we especially consider our oppressed and persecuted brethren in many parts of the world.  Please God, strengthen and remind them of Your promise: "The gates of hell will not prevail."

Wherever you live and whatever the conditions, rejoice today in this wonderful promise, "The gates of hell shall not prevail."

Be encouraged today!

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father today we pray for Your people all over the world; some who are enduring great persecution for the cause of Christ. Grant to them a mighty infusion of strength and assurance. Remind them of the prayers being offered on their behalf from Your people and from the One who is ever interceding. We pray Your blessings on those who serve in hard places and who may be discouraged as well as those going through tough times in their own personal life. Remind us all of Your promise that "the gates of hell shall not prevail." In Jesus' Name we pray, Amen.

Thank you! Thank you for all the feedback yesterday concerning our ministry anniversary, Brooksyne's birthday and Ester's hospitalization. The interest, encouragement and prayers are so appreciated!

Ester with Britta 10/21/13Report on Ester: WE'RE HOME! It's about 12:45 as of my writing. Ester has a little cough but her high fevers and chills have been gone about 48 hours so she has been discharged. Over the next week or two she will fully recover and carefully monitored as she awaits an operation to replace the defective atrial lead. At the present her pacer is programmed with only the ventricle leads in operation. So we are being careful and prayerful that she will not go into flutter as we await her "fix." 

Yesterday Britta, a friend we met in one of the companies we serve as chaplains, stopped by and surprised Ester at the hospital. It was a great encouragement!

Autumn display at Good and Plenty Restaurant 10/21/13
Our meeting last night was at the Good 'N Plenty Restaurant which serves "family style" Pennsylvania Dutch cooking in an old Amish farmhouse that has some extensive add-on.

Chris and Dolly Lapp 10/21/13We sat across from Christ and Dolly Lapp who established "Plain 'N Fancy", the first Lancaster County family style restaurant in 1959 and then started Good 'N Plenty in 1969. These are tourist destination restaurants that Lancaster is known for with plenty of good food. "Family style" means you sit at a large table with other diners you may not even know. The food is brought out on huge platters and passed around the table just like at home and you can eat all you want. Chris told us that on a busy Saturday he remembers when the cooks prepared 1/2 ton of potatoes for mashed potatoes. It is still a family-owned business with some now working from the fourth generation. ("Christ" is not an uncommon name around here, often as a last name. The pronunciation is the same way you pronounce Chris."

Brooksyne's 58th birthday meal 10/21/13

A lesson in how not to regift: Last night we sat with some friends whose beach house we stayed in last Spring. We had a small gift of appreciation for them and I knew that Brooksyne had brought it though I don't pay much attention to the smaller details. Following the meeting I saw a gift bag next to Brooksyne's chair and picked it up to give to Pam as I said,  "We just want you to have this as a small token of our appreciation in your allowing us to use your Beach House." Brooksyne is looking at me a little befuddled and Pam looked a little confused. Turns out the gift bag was actually a gift Pam had given to Brooksyne earlier for her birthday. Obviously, ladies handle these matters much better than many of us menfolk. (Brooksyne sure would have been upset with me as I was trying to give back to Pam the bath and body works items which she is very fond of.)

Today's Suggested Music
and Supplemental Resources

"Higher Ground"  Video  The Smucker Family

"Press On"  Video  Selah

"He's Ever Interceding"  Video  Homecoming series

Faith and Action

Article concerning Ten Commandments vandalism

Good 'N Plenty Restaurant

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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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