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Friday, May 16, 2014

Lebanon County lighthouse
Heading to a chaplain visit at White Oak Display in Palmyra yesterday we passed the Lebanon Lighthouse, which sets far from any water at an eclectic antique store in Campbelltown, PA. We don't know whether it's available for sale or not but it would make a great lawn ornament of you had a really big lawn.

"A New Life Is Mine!"

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"We were therefore buried with Him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life" (Romans 6:4). "Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day" (2 Corinthians 4:16).

I believe that the Christ
Who was slain on the cross
Has the power to change lives today
For He changed me completely
A new life is mine
And that is why by the cross
I will stay

Robin eggs in nest 5/15/14It's always a wonder to see new life and evidence of it abounds out here in the country. We have four bird nests in the rafters on an overhang from our barn. Yesterday I took a step stool and lifted my phone camera up over the nest and voilą; today's photo. Within days we expect to hear chirps of new life from this hid-away site.

Our local farmers are busy preparing their fields for planting. Some have already planted as well. Particularly wondrous is viewing row after row of tiny corn just sprouting. It'll be 10 feet tall by harvest in early fall! Brooksyne planted some herbal seeds just days ago that are sprouting and she is as excited as a young child as she watches them pop up one by one out of the soil.

New life is exciting and worth celebrating. The Father sent Jesus that we might have new life.  Christ was raised from the dead to the glory of the Father and He has ordained a new life for His redeemed children. The apostle Paul uses the 1st person plural "we", indicating that this was a very personal experience for him, not merely an injunction to his readers. The sense of this "new life" is active and ongoing. New life does not necessarily mean young. We can experience new life all through the course of this earthly life. The Amplified Bible expresses the latter part of our first daily text as, "so that we too may habitually live and behave in newness of life."

David stated, "I was young and now I am old" (Psalm 37:25). Yesterday I was visiting with two young men as they were clocking out at work
; one graduating from high school and the other in his early twenties. I recall from when I was their age how old they probably perceived me to be but they will find out life goes by very fast and it seems even faster as the years accumulate.

Our second daily text states, "Outwardly we are wasting away" (2 Corinthians 4:16). Hank Hanegraaff makes this interesting observation in his book, "Resurrection": "Our DNA is programmed in such a way that at a particular point we reach optimal development from a functional perspective. For the most part it appears that we reach this stage in our twenties or thirties. Prior to this stage, the development of our bodies (anabolism) exceeds the devolution of our bodies (catabolism).  From this point on the rate of breakdown exceeds the rate of buildup which eventually leads to physical death."

Yes, we are wasting away! Now in our late fifties we realistically realize that the rate of breakdown physically is on the increase and has been for some twenty years now!  It is evident not only in the physical signs such as sore joints and various aches and pains, but also in the increasing mental challenges as we may tend to find ourselves more forgetful these days.

We are also prone to saying things we may or may not immediately catch. Sunday as we were leaving our church service on Mother's Day
Brooksyne greeted a young mother in our parking lot and barely caught herself as she said, "Have a Happy New Year" (of course intending to say "Have a happy Mother's Day"). I couldn't resist saying, "Have a Happy Thanksgiving while you're at it".

But instead of getting gloomy about the increasing years, let's hold on to this glorious thought today: "Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day". Inwardly our spiritual being is being renewed day by day! That should be encouraging whether you're 9 or 90!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Thankful manDaily prayer: Father, though my mortal body is perishing and confined to this earthly dwelling, I rejoice in the energizing truth that my inward spiritual being is being refined and preparing me for an eternal dwelling where I will never grow weak, weary or old! Thank You for the renewing of my mind and my spirit as I hold fast to Your transforming truths this day.  Amen.

Responding to yesterday's message on passwords Ed, a pastor friend wrote, "No passwords in Heaven, only our names "Written in the BOOK OF LIFE" Praise God!"

Golden Nuggets
Golden Nuggets
Yesterday we spoke to a senior group in our church known as the Golden Nuggets. I forgot to take a photo at yesterday's meeting but found this one from several years ago. We shared a meal together and then Brooksyne shared background stories from favorite hymns and we sang them together. You sure meet some colorful folks at these meetings like an older lady who was asked how old she was. She answered, "I'm as old as my big toe but older than my teeth."

Mastersonville Furniture showroom
Following our Golden Nuggets meal yesterday afternoon we stopped by to visit with Roman and Sadie, our Amish friends who operate a furniture store in the little hamlet of Mastersonville. They started the store just a few years ago but have expanded to a second level. Gas lighting is used in accordance with their practices.

Mastersonville Furniture wall
In remodeling Roman intentionally removed some of the plaster that covered the original brick in the old 1800's building. This design reminds me of the old "One Way" sign from the seventies! (see here)

Mastersonville Furniture lift
In order to access the second floor Roman had this lift built. We really appreciate the hard work and ingenuity of the Amish. This young couple work right alongside each other as well as their young children, including a new baby.

Giant Lebanon bologna sandwich
We'll use this photo of a giant Lebanon bologna sandwich sometime when we prepare a message on Deuteronomy 8:10!

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"I Believe in a Hill Called Mount Calvary"  Video   
Gaither Vocal Band

This Saturday evening we will have the opportunity to hear the Gaither Vocal Band live here at the American Music Theater in Lancaster. Local readers who may be interested in attending the concert see
here or here, although it looks like all the weekend concerts are about sold out.

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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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