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November 6, 2013

Amish hay field 11/6/13
We passed this hay field early this morning on Strasburg Pike. The harvest is winding down in our area but we still see harvest activity taking place.

"When Blessings Are In Disguise"

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"Then the LORD said to him, "What is that in your hand?" (Exodus 4:2).“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 (2 Corinthians 12:9).

Laura Story, Jason Gray Concert 11/3/13
Laura Story singing with Jason Gray at Calvary Church in Lancaster on Sunday night.

On Sunday evening I (Brooksyne) attended a concert, "The Glorious Unfolding", featuring Steven Curtis Chapman, Laura Story and Jason Gray. As much as I enjoy the original songs these songwriters wrote and sing, I also enjoy hearing how God is working in and through their lives. Each singer shared stories where overcoming, enduring and trusting were essential to their living victorious Christian lives.

Many know of the Chapman's loss of their young daughter, Maria, in May of 2008. Laura tells the moving story of her husband, Martin, who is permanently disabled due to a brain tumor he was diagnosed with two years into their young marriage. Many operations and 8 years later they continue to overcome and just 13 months ago she gave birth to their first baby.

Jason Gray is a gifted young artist who is a wonderful songwriter and singer. Yet he has a stuttering problem when he speaks and has endured its clumsy presence since his early years. Each of these singers write about the way God works through their difficulties in songs that we'll link to at the end of our message.

I was intrigued with Jason. He was perfectly articulate as he sang but when he spoke he stuttered every few sentences.
If I were on a large stage trying to communicate with a live audience I think l'd freeze up if I couldn't clearly enunciate as everyone is sitting there waiting for me to finish my sentence. But Jason speaks openly about his weakness and recognizes that God uses it to bring glory to Himself. He makes it clear that God doesn't use people in spite of their weakness but it is in their weakness that He reveals His power.

In Laura Story's much loved song "Blessings" she asks, "What if the trials of this life are blessings in disguise?"

Moses had some problems speaking and in no way saw himself as the leader God was calling to deliver the Israelites from captivity. He described himself to God as one who has "never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since You have spoken to Your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue" (Ex. 4:10). The NLT reads, "O Lord, I'm not a good speaker...I'm clumsy with words." Moses wasn't telling God something He didn't already know. God responded, "Who makes mouths? Who makes people so they can speak or not speak, hear or not hear, see or not see? Is it not I, the Lord? Now go, and do as I have told you. I will help you speak well, and I will tell you what to say" (4:12).

And God did exactly that. He provided Moses with abilities that stretched him beyond his comfort zone and provided tools such as his "miracle" staff and co-workers such as his brother, Aaron. God made Aaron to be Moses' mouthpiece who could speak well and gave these instructions, "You shall speak to him and put words in his mouth; I will help both of you speak and will teach you what to do. He will speak to the people for you, and it will be as if he were your mouth..." (Exodus 4:16).

Moses had much conversation with God and argued that he was inadequate for the task God had called him to carry out. Perhaps you feel overwhelmed by the task before you. Maybe you've even asked God, "Why me" or "why my family?" God calls us at times to go, other times to stay. He provides us with tools, support, guidance and an enduring spirit as we look to Him.

Whether it's a specific calling on your life or an ongoing burden you must bear; whether you have a profound loss or a transition that forces you from your comfort zone - God is faithful to provide and faithful to be present in your circumstance. Stop arguing and start trusting Him today, since that's where the blessing begins. May the Lord help us to live with a perspective that the trial we are facing is a blessing in disguise.

Be encouraged today!

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, You've called us to deny ourselves, take up our cross daily and follow You. Each day has its own set of challenges and flow of blessings. Each is ordained by You, for it is in the testing that we are given opportunity to grow, mature, increase our faith and develop our character. Your presence is with us on days that are bright and sunny as well as those that are dark and stormy. Help us to watch for Your blessings because sometimes they're hidden in the dark clouds of a trial. Nevertheless You are with us and unfolding a blessing that will strengthen, encourage and guide us as we travel here below. We thank You for Your every provision through Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.

We always enjoy sharing scenes that many of our readers would never see where they live:

Old Order Mennonite tidy garage 11/2/13
These Old-order Mennonite buggies are neatly backed into a makeshift garage.

Amish open cart 11/2/13
These Amish women are out for a ride on a beautiful Autumn day.

Today's Suggested Music
and Supplemental Resources

Steven Curtis Chapman concert 11/3/13
Steven Curtis Chapman along with his band.

"Nothing Is Wasted"  Video  Jason Gray  As I mentioned Jason stutters and could have thought it impossible that he would sing before thousands, and more frightening that he would speak out, follow through with a word(s) that takes time, false starts, and clumsy sounds but God has used his "weakness" mightily and encouraged so many others who see him to give God the glory.

"God Of Every Story" 
Video  Laura Story  Laura puts real people into this song and tells how God is helping them to endure and overcome their difficult circumstances. Listen carefully and you'll hear how He is working in hers and Martin's life in the latter part of the song.

Behind The Song "God Of Every Story" Video 

"Blessings"  Video  Laura Story This song has touched countless thousands upon thousands who are undergoing trial and having difficulty seeing God's blessings in the midst of it. Take time to listen and tuck the words into your heart.

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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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