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November 18, 2013

Foggy morning scene 11/16/13
Early Saturday morning I stepped out and saw this thin layer of fog
on the farm fields across from our house.
(Click on photo to enlarge)

"Keep Your Head On Straight!"

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"But you, keep your head in all situations" (2 Timothy 4:5a). "The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray" (1 Peter 4:7).

During my growing up years I regularly heard my dad say, "Stephen, keep your head on straight". This sage advice usually followed a heart to heart talk about a serious matter. When Daddy said this I knew exactly what he meant. Not speaking in the literal sense, of course, but he was cautioning me to stay in control of my thoughts and be careful before I made an important decision.

As a confused adolescent it was good, sound advice from a father who really cared for his kids. My dad was a big man and could be rather gruff in personality. He might not have fit the profile of the ideal father according to much of the teaching now available through family ministries. But he was a good man, devoted to his wife and kids and wanted us to turn out right and we all knew it. He's been gone over 15 years now and I miss hearing his "cut to the chase" words of wisdom and challenge.

Now fast forward 45 years and imagine a father's counsel to his adolescent son in light of the increasing evil that permeates our society along with the prevailing philosophies and confusion (or should I say delusion) of our day. Increasingly it seems that wrong is endorsed as right and right is denounced as wrong, so the godly dads of today have even greater challenges than my dad when it comes to giving needed guidance to their growing children.

We must all be on our guard lest we be seduced into this topsy-turvy, touchy-feely system of beliefs based on popular and politically correct notions of morality, especially to the exclusion of critical or sound judgment. To hold to ancient, proven truths is being viewed more and more as old fashioned and will likely bar you from the "cool, hip or cutting edge" in-crowd (not that I'm really trying to get in that setting anyway.) Here in America and around the world a battle for the heart, soul and mind rages.

I believe among the greatest challenges for us as believers in any age is keeping our head on straight. We live in a time of moral confusion and I believe Greg Nelson and Phil McHugh got it right when they wrote: "We are called to take His light to a world where wrong seems right...." in the inspiring song, "People Need the Lord".

"Keep your head in all situations" comes from Paul's final letter to Timothy. Other versions translate the phrase "always be sober-minded" (ESV), "control yourself at all times" (NCV), "keep a clear mind" (NLT).

Greek scholar Fritz Rienecker points out that in this passage Timothy is called "to be in a vigilant, wakeful, considerate frame of mind, taking heed of what is happening and pursuing a course with calm and steady aim."

Today I want to carefully read and store up some of the final words spoken to Timothy from the apostle Paul.  I also want to heed his instruction, "But you, keep your head in all situations."

Be encouraged today!

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, we seek to be clear-minded in this generation where messages come from every direction seeking to confuse, delude, and undermine that which we learn from Your holy Scriptures. Instead of feeling despair help us to see it as a challenge to more deeply embrace the ancient Holy Word. Its truth does not change according to the whim of society. We resolve not to interpret Scripture in light of our generation, but instead we interpret our generation in light of Scripture, clearly defining right and wrong, good and bad as taught in Scripture not in the "scholarly" academia of our time. We must keep our head in all situations on a personal level as well as that which affects our society at large. We desire a clear mind, trusting spirit, and a steady aim at following You no matter the cost. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.

In regard to today's message I am studying this passage and seeking insight: "The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with how Satan works. He will use all sorts of displays of power through signs and wonders that serve the lie, and all the ways that wickedness deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness" (2 Thessalonians 2:9-12). I read this verse to Brooksyne and she observed how it sounds so appropriate in light of what we see around us. We feel we may very well be in or approaching the time this powerful delusion is sent out over the earth. As I am confronted with so many contemporary news issues I am again reminded of the great deception and powerful delusion that is sweeping our world and am even more convinced of the absolute importance of keeping my head on straight!

Ester's Health Update:  Ester will proceed with open heart surgery tomorrow morning at Hershey Medical Center. Dr. Myers will replace the faulty lead wire that connects her pacemaker to her heart. We're assured that the blood clot they found on her lung is dissolving and will not dislodge so it is safe to proceed. We value your continued prayers that you have been so generous to offer on our behalf.

Backyard moonrise 11/16/13
We had a beautiful day on Saturday beginning with our foggy scene shown in our opening photo. It was a nice day for lawn cleanup with lots of leaves collected and disposed of in a pile down the farm lane. After the sunset to the west I looked out back and saw a beautiful moon rise.

Mount Pleasant Christmas shoeboxes 11/17/13
Our church, like many others, participates in the Operation Christmas Child Samaritan's Purse project to bless children by collecting shoe boxes loaded with goodies that are distributed all over the world. In fact since the program began 20 years ago over 100,000,000 shoe boxes have been distributed to needy children all over the world!

Today's Suggested Music
and Supplemental Resources

"People Need The Lord Video  Steve Green

"Whosoever Will"  Video  The Perrys

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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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