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Monday, April 7, 2014

Flower baskets at Village Farm Market
"Hide it under a basket, NO!"
Various sizes of Baskets and Crates at the
Village Farm Market near Ephrata

"Being The Light Of The World"

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"You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven"  (Matthew 5:14-16).

We are called to take His light
To a world where wrong seems right.
What could be too great a cost
For sharing life with one who's lost?

Yesterday Angelina, a young missionary, spoke in our church. She lives in London and seeks to build relationships with Muslim women as a means of expressing her faith in Christ. She had a very interesting presentation and encouraged the congregation to consider how we might build bridges with people of other faiths, especially Muslims. During her message I whispered to Brooksyne, "Do we see any Muslims in the course of our chaplain work?"  She couldn't recall any who identify themselves as Muslim and neither could I.

We learned about the great sacrifice Muslims make if they convert to Christianity, including loss of family (both immediate and extended), income, recognition. In fact for many their lives are in danger as a result. Angelina spoke about a man who had come to Christ and didn't know another individual from his nation who was a Christian. Perhaps Khalid, whose story we link to below, is representative of this kind of experience.

Following our service we went to a nursing care facility where we enjoy walking through the dining area during dinner and greeting the people table by table. While I visit Brooksyne plays the familiar hymns at the piano which the residents thoroughly enjoy, often singing along.

We noticed a new nurse on staff who was very pleasant and helpful. In fact she escorted a blind resident to the piano while Brooksyne was playing. He wanted to express his appreciation by telling her, "I just want to thank you for playing my song, which happened to be 'All Hail the Power'".

Afterward, as we were visiting a resident who has cerebral palsy, we were having trouble understanding her. Over the years Patty's speech has worsened considerably due to the debilitating effects of CP, which she was born with. This nurse came alongside Brooksyne, and together they sought to understand Patty as she had some questions of a spiritual nature. Afterward Brooksyne was getting to know the nurse better and asked her some personal questions. She had recently moved to Pennsylvania and makes her home in the area. In the course of their conversation she learned that she and her husband are Muslim. So I suppose now we do know a Muslim in the course of our chaplain work!

In Sunday School we had a brief discussion about the impact of big churches. We attend a church of about 120 and many tend to think of large churches as being more impacting. But most impact for Christ takes place in a one on one, personal way as people who have been redeemed and transformed by Christ let their light shine in the course of their everyday lives.
Whether we gather with many or only a few on the Lord's Day we need to "fill our cups to overflowing" and let the overflow of God's love, light, and truth spill out to those around us!

Today's daily text is probably familiar to many readers. It's the basis of the children's song, "This Little Light Of Mine".

"You are the light of the world." Pastor Phil Newton comments, "Jesus uses the same language of Himself in John 8:12, "I am the Light of the world." That passage speaks of light in an originative sense. He is the origin of such light so that He can add, "He who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life." Christians are light in a derivative sense in that the light we have comes as a result of our relationship to Jesus Christ. We do not produce the light, but like the moon that reflects the light of the sun, we too reflect the light of His indwelling life."

Today we need followers of Christ to take His light and spread it out in this world where darkness reigns.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Thankful manDaily prayer: Father, You have set in each of us a heart for eternity. We don't think or act just in terms of our temporal lives but we also give our attention to our eternal dwelling. We can be sure of our future residence by confessing with our mouth that Jesus is Lord and believing in our heart that You raised Him from the dead. This results in a changed life as we repent of our sins and seek to live a life in obedience to You. We are saved from our sins and the penalty of those sins because Jesus bore them on the cross. Therefore we confess with our lips and believe in our hearts that You raised Jesus from the dead providing life evermore to those of us who truly believe. Thank You for Jesus in whose name we pray. Amen.

* Khalid Mansoor Soomro  Khalid tells his story of conversion to Christianity 24 years ago.

For several days we've been sharing photos taken at a friend's barn here in Lancaster County. Friday's photo was of a portable scale for weighing feed as several of you properly noted.

Mystery farm tool
Today we have another old piece from Galen's barn for the consideration of old-timers and farm stuff buffs. Galen took me into the barn and explained to me how this had been used in the past. If you recognize what it is respond here.  We'll post the correct answer tomorrow. For extra credit here's a final photo from Galen's old collection that is probably the hardest of the five we've shared. Anyone recognizing this should be counted in the Agricultural Hall Of Fame (There really is such a place west of Kansas City in Bonner Springs, Kansas!)

Today's Suggested Music
and Supplemental Resources

"This Little Light Of Mine"  Video  Soweto Gospel Choir  Probably not the way most of us remember singing it!

"Go Light Your World"  Video  Chris Rice

"Shine Jesus Shine"  Video  Graham Kendrick

"Shine Into Our Night"  Video   Sovereign Grace

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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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