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Monday, June 16, 2014

Amish open cart near Mount Joy, PA 6/14/14
We never weary of seeing open buggy traffic near Mount Joy, PA

"Steadfast And Faithful"

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"Remember the days of old; consider the generations long past" (Deuteronomy 32:7).

Galen Martin with hay hook 6/14/14Saturday morning we had a Men and Boys Breakfast in our church. Galen Martin, a farmer friend, spoke and shared about changes on the farm and farming methods through the years. He is pictured at the left holding a hay hook. He had a presentation with old photos showing the older methods of farming. He shared how the current farm had been in his family 140 years with one of his grandsons being the eighth generation to live there.

Galen shared the importance of steadfastness and faithfulness in life as he recounted his life's journey which included several severe setbacks such as the loss of his entire chicken flock in the early eighties as a result of the Avian flu. He also suffered a potentially devastating fall from high on a ladder at another time which required a long recovery period. Whether young or old we need to hear these kinds of messages and knowing Galen for over 13 years now I can testify that he is the real deal, a faithful man of God in his generation.

Moses preached a long sermon (Deuteronomy) just prior to his death and just before the Israelites entered the Promised Land under Joshua's leadership. In fact Bible commentators consider the book of Deuteronomy to be a single message. In Bible College we were required to read all 34 chapters of the book in one sitting to get the sense of it being a sermon rather than a book divided into chapters. I don't suppose too many preachers would want to preach a message this long in these "tweeter" days. Many would walk out way before the sermon ended and a "concerned" committee would plan a meeting to meet with Pastor about his way too long sermons.

In today's short text Moses gives two commands:

"Remember the days of old." Our roots are so important. I believe this verse refers to a recollection of how God has worked in the past as recorded in the Scriptures. In the specific context it likely refers to the history we read of up through that time in the Bible and more recent history for those people such as their long 40 year sojourn in the wilderness.  But it also has an application for our own walk with the Lord and our own "days of old". As we look upon our past it is so important to consider the milestones in which the Lord has brought us along on our earthly pilgrimage.

"Consider the generations long past." The people of God had a powerful oral history with accounts carefully passed down from generation to generation. Since Moses wrote the first five books of the Bible (the Pentateuch) all we have recorded prior to this was passed down orally or perhaps revealed to him by divine revelation.  We now have the benefit of the Holy Bible and thousands of years of inspired written material. We need to consider each one of these generations and learn from their example, both good and bad.

The NASV Bible has this heading for 1 Corinthians 10, "Avoid Israel’s Mistakes." In recounting some of their experiences Paul writes, "Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come" (1 Corinthians 10:11).

Each of us has roots. Some memories that co-exist with these roots are pleasant while others are not. But as we look back we see God's faithfulness in His provision, His direction, and His tender care. This gives us a faith lift for the situations we are currently facing and the various uncertainties that come to us from many different directions. May the Lord help each of us to see the presence of His hand along our earthly journey till we enter the Promised Land.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Thankful manDaily prayer: Father, as we consider the days of old we see Your faithful hand guiding us along life's pathway, in our own lives and in the generations that precede us. Your deliverance from our sins, Your provision for our every need and Your guidance for our every step keeps us firmly anchored like a tree planted by streams of water. Keep us faithful and trusting until we cross over to the Promised Land.  In Jesus' name we pray, Amen.

Tractors at Mount Pleasant men's breakfast 6/14/14
Local farmers and collectors brought over farm equipment some old, some newer to the Men and Boys Breakfast.

Mike Gardner and sons in tractor cab 6/14/14
Mike Gardner and sons in the John Deere tractor cab. I had the privilege of conducting the marriage service for Mike and his wife JoAnna over nine years ago. It's a joy to see them serving God together as a family and raising their children for the Lord. Mike is our Men's Ministries director.

Brian Armstrong and daughter 6/14/14
Brian Armstrong and daughter. What a delight it is to see this young man serving the Lord and someday I hope to share his testimony.

1930 Model A Ford with Jay and Bunny 6/14/14
We had several really old cars at the breakfast as well such as this 1930 Ford Model A owned by Jay Stauffer. He and our long-time friend Bunny, a chaplain to the trucking industry whom we first met in New England, drove the car to the breakfast!

Fran Book 6/14/14
Yesterday I was blessed to greet Fran Book, whose husband Jerel passed away in February. Knowing my interest in faith-expressing ties she gave me one of Jerel's ties. See here for a larger version so you can see the subtle but powerful message in this artistic tie.

Carman's retirement party 6/12/14
Celebrating with Carmen last week as she retired after 20 plus years of service from Val-Co, a company we serve as chaplains. A very dependable worker, she has much knowledge about drinkers for chicken houses. Over the years we often saw her testing the beakers to see if the water flow was up to their standards.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

Especially for those readers who enjoy tractors!!! 
"Life Is Like A Farmer's Parcel"   Video   Pleasant Passage Quintet  (A Daily Encouragement exclusive) Yesterday a men's quintet from our church sang this song with lyrics written by our friend Mike Book. Note: I recorded the song from my pew using my cell phone. It begins with low volume and ends the same way since I apparently covered the microphone while holding the phone during part of the song! The volume increases in the middle so be warned! Though the production is weak this original song (to the tune of "Life is Like a Mountain Railway" is great and worth your listen!! The Power Point has some of the lyrics posted so you can follow along for the most part.

"Life Is Like A Mountain Railroad"   Video   Steven Curtis Chapman sings this and it sure is different sounding than his usual style. It's very well done.

"Find Us Faithful"
  Video  Let There Be Praise Singers  Great song we have often used though the years.  Nice choir sounding version. It's interesting to me that whoever posted the song on YouTube wrote, "This is our company opening prayer."  I sure wonder what company he works for!

"He Leadeth Me"  Video  Marshall Hall

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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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