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November 21, 2013

Hershey PA fall foliage 11/20/13
Passing through a residential area of Hershey Pennsylvania yesterday I spotted these beautiful red trees.

"When Vile Is Honored"

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"The wicked freely strut about when what is vile is honored among men" (Psalm 12:8).

You can hardly read or watch the news without more evidence of the social decay and rot that is permeating our land. Last night I watched a report regarding an online game in which participants can mimic the Newtown school massacre. It's hard to imagine anyone being so evil as to develop such a game or that anyone would choose to play it. We also read of a real "action game" called "Knockout Game" which is a violent activity played by punching an unsuspecting bystander with the object of knocking that individual unconscious in a single punch. Serious injuries and a number of deaths for its victims have resulted from this "game".

Today's Bible text is a stunning observation which is evident all around us.  In so many ways the vile is honored among men. The vile is reckoned as good and is not merely accepted but even honored. The Amplified Bible uses this phrase, "Vileness is exalted [and baseness is rated high] among the sons of men."

The ancient statement of the prophet Isaiah is so appropriate: "Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!" (Isaiah 5:20).

When vileness is honored the wicked freely strut about. God's commands are healthy restraints contributing to the good of family and society at large, but the nature of sin is to see these restraints as restricting our freedom and a killjoy to all sources of enjoyment. When these restraints are removed or ignored the wicked freely strut about. Other versions state, "The wicked strut about on every side."

Several years ago while studying the book of Revelation the study guide asked me to "List five things I would never have expected to see in my lifetime." It didn't take me but a moment to put first on my list, "I never expected to see sinful behavior accepted without shame and often displayed as honorable such as sex outside of marriage, homosexuality, redefinition of marriage, abortion, glorified violence (and the list goes on). Yes, they've always existed, but when I was young these were sins that were clearly seen as shameful and dishonorable even to unbelievers." 

Today I want to again call my brothers and sisters to obedience to God's commands, "For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life." (1 Thessalonians 4:7).

Be encouraged today!

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, I resist the lowering standards of this world and its influence upon my thoughts, words and actions.  Instead I choose to uphold and teach the timeless and always relevant truths revealed in Your Word to my family and all who seek my counsel. I will trust You to work in the hearts of those whom I seek to influence for Your Kingdom and will do my part to live a pure and holy life in this decadent age where the wicked strut about in their disobedient acts in rebellion to Your commands. The day of judgment is coming and even now we see in part Your judgment as we observe the disarray and aimlessness of those caught up in shameful behavior which greatly contributes to the instability of our times. In the name of Jesus we pray for Your merciful conviction to fall upon our darkened world. Amen.

Study note: Today's text may be one many of our readers haven't considered. Here's a list in various translations.

Update from Brooksyne regarding Ester: Ester is recovering nicely from her sternotomy. Much of the "hardware" from the surgical procedure was removed yesterday freeing Ester up to move more comfortably (i.e. central line in her neck, catheter, etc.). Yesterday in the late afternoon she took her first walk around the ICU unit and did very well. Much discussion took place among the various doctors regarding an effective anticoagulant that will keep her from forming blood clots in the future (since Coumadin became trouble for her a couple years ago and Pradaxa that she's used since then did not prevent the recent blood clot that still needs to be fully dissolved). Another concern is her oxygen saturation level. Ester was doing so well in the early evening that I came home and Stephen stayed with her several hours. I was refreshed by a good night's rest in bed at home. I'll resume "Mother Duty" this morning and see how she progresses today, thanks to good medical care and much prayer from our friends all around the world.

Ronald McDonald House cart at Hershey Medical Center Children's Hospital
The Ronald McDonald House provides a cart of food and toys which are donated on each patient floor at the Hershey Medical Center Children's Hospital. (Although Ester is 24 she is still treated by the Pediatric Heart Group due to the nature of her heart disease.)

Branson foliage (photo by Doris High)
Our friends Cerwin and Doris High have been visiting Branson, Missouri and I saw this nice photo on her blog revealing the beauty of the Autumn season in another part of the country dear to us. Branson is where we had our honeymoon and is near Springfield MO where we both went to college.

Today's Suggested Music
and Supplemental Resources

"Holiness Is What I Long For Video  Scott Underwood

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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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