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Thursday, April 10, 2014

Berks County silos
We passed these silos in Berks County PA yesterday.
They appear to be growing right out of the barn!

"Today's Forecast -
God Reigns, The Son Shines"

ListenListen to this message on your audio player.

"God reigns over the nations; God is seated on His holy throne" (Psalm 47:8). "Hallelujah!  For our Lord God Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and be glad and give Him glory!"  (Revelation 19:6,7).

After a long cold winter and a sputtering start to Spring it's nice to have some beautiful weather in our parts. It was a beautiful day yesterday and even forecast to be warmer today, up to 70 degrees. We're ready for that!

Church sign Years ago we passed a church on a busy highway outside of Hershey, Pennsylvania that has a very active sign ministry. A church member regularly changes the message and we have often been blessed with a rich nugget of Biblical truth as we drive by the Fishburn Church. The Christian workers who keep up with this “street ministry" have a great opportunity to influence passersby.  When I see changeable church signs it usually brings to mind our dear friends, Bill and Veda Shibilo, a senior couple, who for many years changed our church sign each week in Taunton, Massachusetts, rain or shine, snow or wind. 

Due to God's immutable (unchangeable) nature the Biblical forecast: "God reigns; The Son shines" is always true, not at all like a typical weather forecast which can change in the course of a day. But we can confidently declare, upon awakening each new day, “God reigns and the Son shines!”

What a great peace and deep sense of assurance the Lord's reigning control brings to our lives. This wonderful truth is emphasized through the entire Bible. Consider the following Bible texts:

In the Old Testament after God's remarkable deliverance from Egypt Moses and the Israelites sang a song that declares: "The LORD will reign forever and ever!" (Exodus 15:18). The Psalmist proclaimed in our first daily text that "God reigns over the nations; God is seated on His holy throne" (Psalm 47:8). The prophet Isaiah pronounced a central tenet of theology, "God reigns!" (52:7). At the very time the nation was going into Babylonian exile Jeremiah's faith rises out of his despair and he asserts, "You, O LORD, reign forever; your throne endures from generation to generation" (Lamentations 5:19).

In the New Testament Mary received a powerful message concerning Jesus from the angel Gabriel when he announced her role in Christ’s birth: "He will reign over the house of Jacob forever; His kingdom will never end" (Luke 1:33). Our second daily text is a glimpse of the other side as we read this awesome description: "I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting: 'Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns!'"

Allow this truth to minister to you in regard to whatever may unsettle your spirit today. In each of the following examples we have some specific friends on our hearts that we hope will read this. The health matter that is so uncertain; The Lord reigns!  The job or financial situation that looks to you like a long, dark tunnel and you can't even see the light on the other side; The Lord reigns! The family troubles that seem to only worsen, the troubled memories that don’t seem to go away, whatever may bring you worry or despair; The Lord reigns! 

Today as we contemplate the absolute truth of God's reign, "Let us rejoice and be glad and give Him glory!" Following the message is a powerful video of the old hymn written by Samuel Medley titled, "I Know My Redeemer Lives" It puts life’s difficulties into perspective and reminds us of the steadfast love and care of a loving father. It's a long hymn but we will insert the words below the resource section.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Thankful manDaily prayer: Jesus, You reign over all the earth and You also reign in my heart!  What an awesome blessing this truth brings to me today. As I consider that it is not by my might, nor by my power, but by the Spirit of the Lord of Hosts that my personal mountains are removed. Jesus, I know that most of the mountains that block my path are not moved by a simple prayer of faith, but these mountains are often the very essence of how You work through my life to reveal Your faithfulness and Your power in the midst of my struggles. You develop godly character as I am challenged to remain steadfast and faithful in my Christian walk. You make my feet like hind's feet that enable me to walk upon high places. Help me to keep my gaze continually upward during the climb so that I see You reigning on Your throne as I bring You glory and honor!  Amen.

Due to an active week we have a lot of photos to share today.

First several for photos from the trip on Tuesday to our Pennsylvania State Capitol in Harrisburg.
The Capitol complex has over 50 Scripture references

John 8:32 in Pennsylvania House chamber
This statement is on the back wall in the House chamber. I wonder how many know it is a verbatim Scripture verse from the King James Bible in John 8:32? Jesus is speaking about Himself.

1 Corinthians 3:10 in Pennsylvania Senate chamberFor some reasons photos were not allowed in the Senate chamber. But I found this small one online. This statement is directly behind the speaker's chair in the Senate chamber. I wonder how many know it is a verbatim Scripture verse from the King James Bible in 1 Corinthians 3:10?

Ten Commandments behind bench in Pennsylvania House Supreme Court
Directly behind the table where the Supreme Court justices sits is this large mural of Moses with the tablets along with the text of the Ten Commandments.

"In God We Trust" in Pennsylvania Capitol rotunda
This explanatory display concerning the phrase "In God We Trust" was prominently displayed in the Capitol Rotunda.

Yesterday Brooksyne and I had a long travel day through Lancaster, Berks, Lebanon and Dauphin Counties and we share several photos of our ministry stops.

Don and Kathy Eaton 4/9/14
We visited Don and Kathy Eaton who operate Eaton Farms, a large commercial tree farm near Reading PA. We met Don about seven years ago through Convene, an association of Christian business owners who seek to build and operate their business using Biblical principles. About five years ago we helped Don establish a chaplain program for his business which is going very well.

Jars of jam The Lord provides in some unusual ways if you are resourceful. Many times we have shown photos of Brooksyne canning jams and other food products. As is our custom we took a jar of strawberry rhubarb jam to share with the Eatons. Kathy, knowing of Brooksyne's interest, had a surprise for us. Their daughter, Colby, worked for Jimmy Buffet in Long Island over the summer. For the reception of a wedding they prepared centerpieces using new canning jars of various sizes with votive candles. After the wedding Colby, who's getting married in the future, was invited to take all the jars leftover for her own usage. She brought hundreds of new empty jars (along with unsealed lids) to her folks' house in Pennsylvania, knowing they could be put to use. Such resourcefulness should make a parent proud! So, if we give you a jar of jelly or jam it just might be one of these!

Eaton Farm mission statement
This mission statement hangs in the foyer and their core values are posted online.  What a blessing to see a company so visibly honor God!

Eaton Farm tree chairs
Don is constantly developing new product lines, in this case living trees, that will also function as a working chair. To his knowledge he is the only grower in the US doing this commercially so keep your eyes open for these in the next several years. We (Don and I) are both big and tall and he assures me these chairs will hold us!

Teen Challenge, Rehersburg, PA
We passed the Teen Challenge Training Center in Rehersburg, PA and I stopped to visit several friends who are on the staff. They were having a noon prayer meeting so I joined them.

Teen Challenge prayer meeting, Rehersburg, PA
Rich, a longtime pastor friend I first met in New England, led the noon prayer service. It was a blessing to hear the men pray out loud, knowing many of them were recently redeemed and delivered from life controlling addictions, powerful to hear a room full of men read the Scriptures aloud together. The center has over 200 men in the program. The leaders disciple them for Christ following their conversion. I was able to greet
Al and Jack, two longtime friends as well as some longtime associates in ministry I hadn't seen for many years such as Martin, the man in the foreground with the open Bible.

Today's Suggested Music
and Supplemental Resources

Brooksyne's note: This Sunday I will have the privilege of leading our congregation in worship and prepared a dramatic Palm Sunday Scripture reading that we share with our readers who may be able to use it. (pdf)  We will also be singing the song, "The Power of The Cross"  Video   Kristyn Getty.   This version includes the moving lyrics that  tell of the crucifixion story and the tremendous sacrifice Christ made on our behalf to provide for us His glorious redemption. Well worth your listen (at least once)!

"He Reigns"  Video with lyrics  Newsboys

"My Savior Lives"   Video with lyrics  Aaron Shust

"I Know That My Redeemer Lives"  Video with lyrics  This is the old hymn by Samuel Medley mentioned in the message. It has eight stanzas. Not many churches today would have the patience to sing all eight, though each stanza carries a stirring message!

I know that my Redeemer lives;
What comfort this sweet sentence gives!
He lives, He lives, who once was dead;
He lives, my ever living Head.

He lives to bless me with His love,
He lives to plead for me above.
He lives my hungry soul to feed,
He lives to help in time of need.

He lives triumphant from the grave,
He lives eternally to save,
He lives all glorious in the sky,
He lives exalted there on high.

He lives to grant me rich supply,
He lives to guide me with His eye,
He lives to comfort me when faint,
He lives to hear my soul’s complaint.

He lives to silence all my fears,
He lives to wipe away my tears
He lives to calm my troubled heart,
He lives all blessings to impart.

He lives, my kind, wise, heavenly Friend,
He lives and loves me to the end;
He lives, and while He lives, I’ll sing;
He lives, my Prophet, Priest, and King.

He lives and grants me daily breath;
He lives, and I shall conquer death:
He lives my mansion to prepare;
He lives to bring me safely there.

He lives, all glory to His Name!
He lives, my Jesus, still the same.
Oh, the sweet joy this sentence gives,
I know that my Redeemer lives!

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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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