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Monday, August 25, 2014

Martin farm pond 8/24/14

Last night we had a Galilean service around Galen Martin's farm pond. It was a beautiful and cool evening for late August.

"Message From A Boat"

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"That day Jesus went out of the house and was sitting by the sea. And large crowds gathered to Him, so He got into a boat and sat down, and the whole crowd was standing on the beach. And He spoke many things to them in parables" (Matthew 13:1-3).

Preaching from boat at Galilean service 8/24/14 (Click for larger view)

Last night our church held a Galilean Service. We gathered on the lawn surrounding the farm pond, sang several songs, shared testimonies and prayed before I was invited to climb on board the boat from which I was going to preach! It was a beautiful evening and a distinct experience from that of preaching behind the pulpit. Truth is, I had never heard of a Galilean service prior to moving to this area and have learned since that it is not unique to our church. Prior to stepping down into the boat Pastor advised me, "Stay in the Word and stay in the boat."

Throughout our ministry of nearly forty years now we've have had a number of experiences in farm ponds.
Brooksyne recalls her youthful years in Oklahoma when she, along with her teen peers, were immersed in a muddy farm pond. The very first baptism I performed as a Bible College student/pastor was in a muddy pond in southern Missouri. I came out sloshing my feet as I forcefully fought sinking in the deep mud each step I took. The farm pigs generously shared their watering hole with us that summer afternoon.

Studying the life of Christ a lot happened near and on the Sea of Galilee.*
  • On at least one occasion Christ taught on a boat which is likely the origination of the Galilean service idea. (Today's text)
  • Jesus called His first disciples:  (Matthew 4:18-22).
  • Jesus walked on the water as well as Peter. (Matthew 14:22-33)
  • Jesus rebuked the storm (Matthew 8:23-27)
  • Jesus commuted using the sea of Galilee (Mark 5:21)
  • Jesus gave some fishing advice (Luke 5:1-11)
  • Jesus' final teaching in the Gospel of John was by the Sea of Galilee (John 21:1-14)
Today's text may have been a strategic plan by the Lord to be better heard. He initially was sitting by the sea but after a large crowd gathered He got into a boat and sat down, thus we have an example of preaching while being seated. I sat down on the bench seat of the aluminum boat during the entire message. I had the feeling that standing in the small boat, with my large frame and height of 6'2" I would likely have tipped over. Of course it would have been more entertaining for the onlookers should that have happened, but that was not my mission.

Jesus provides an example of flexibility in ministry in order to most effectively reach people. I am not sure how comfortable it was sitting in a boat while preaching to people along the shore but it likely had both a visual and acoustical advantage.

Perhaps this setting could help us to be more resourceful and creative in reaching out to others as we speak God's truth in our needy world?

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer:
Father, we thank You for Jesus and His compassionate approach in reaching people of all ages, all backgrounds and various ethnicities. The parables and messages He shared as the crowds gathered are life-transforming as they enlighten the hearts and minds of those who have ears to hear the truths He spoke. Likewise we too can share the life transforming message of the gospel to people in all walks of life and every derivation of sin. None is beyond the all-powerful reach of the Savior who died that we might live victoriously here and eternally in the hereafter. It is in His name that we pray. Amen.

* In all cases the body of water was not specifically identified as the Sea of Galilee and other names are also used for the same body of water.

Grandpa Galen with grandchildren (8/24/14)
Grandpa Martin holding two of his grandchildren.

Galilean service (8/24/14)
Ester took this distant view.

Brooksyne swinging Prentice 8/24/14
After the service the congregation lingered and Brooksyne passed by this old-fashioned swingset as Prentice called out, "Swing me!" She happily obliged and Prentice eagerly showed her his tricks on the swing and his intelligence. He boasted, "I can count to 120 and proceeded to do so as she pushed him on the swing over and over again.

Walter and Randi Waldvogel luncheon with Sue Gill 8/23/14
Saturday afternoon Walter and Randi Waldvogel stopped by for lunch along with their friend Susan Gill. Waldvogels relocated to Lancaster County a couple years ago but Susan still lives in the Long Island area. She's a long time reader of Daily Encouragement so it was especially nice to meet her face to face.

Peach pie 8/23/14
Saturday, Aug. 23, was the day we commemorate Ester's adoption that was finalized only 17 years ago (long complicated story), though she was with us from three months of age. I wore my Guatemalan attire in celebration and baked this juicy peach pie to share with our friends.

Mark and Carolyn Pulliam 8/23/14
Later Saturday afternoon Mark and Carolyn Pulliam stopped by, played a game of horseshoes and visited with us on our deck.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Farther Along"  Video  Dailey and Vincent (Note: takes about 12 minutes for the music to start!)

"Micah 6:8"  Video  Maranatha Singers We were blessed when Marsha, who was in a church we served over twenty years ago, wrote and reminded us how we used to sing this song in church and she still remembered!

"Mount Pleasant Galilean Service 2014 message"  Video  For any who may care to see me preach from a boat! The summer setting is beautiful. (Our friend Mike Martin made the recording.) Here's the fuller video with folky intro and beautiful scenery.

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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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