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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Vermont countryside (Photo by Jim Hain)
Scenic view in Vermont
Photo taken by our friend Jim Hain

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"The Forever Dynasty"

"You, O LORD, reign forever; Your throne endures from generation to generation" (Lamentations 5:19). “Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns" (Revelation 19:6).

60th birthday cake "Over The Hill"It was a blessing to receive many birthday greetings yesterday from friends, family and readers. For those who may not have understood the code in the title "Three Score" is 60 years! Brooksyne and Ester had a cake for me that said, "Over The Hill" so today I think I want to consider another perspective.

David Penley, a friend from Texas shared this perspective, "May the Lord bless you with many more (birthdays) - and then there's eternity with Him!"

Tom at Vallobs
In the last several years Duck Dynasty has been an immensely popular "reality" show here in America. It has many avid followers and already this autumn I am noticing a number of men growing their beards similar to the way they are worn in the show (Brooksyne is groaning in the background). Tom (photo to left) is a friend who works in one of our companies and had quite a Duck Dynasty beard last year. But like anything popular in this world the Duck Dynasty show will soon fade. It certainly won't last forever.

John Lennon
About 50 years ago John Lennon, of the "Beatles", made an extremely boastful statement about the popularity of his band being greater than that of Jesus Christ. We know how that turned out and his final accounting will be given to the Lord Jesus. The "Beatles" and all others who are reckoned as "famous" by this world's standards will eventually be likened to a tiny grain of sand in recorded history, let alone throughout eternity.

As God's children we are heirs to a kingdom that will last forever. Jeremiah proclaimed in our daily verse that, "You, O LORD, reign forever."  What tremendous assurance this should bring to every believer reading this message today.

Jeremiah didn't make this proclamation of praise in the setting of an edifying worship service where people were excitedly lifting their voices in praise and thanksgiving. Instead he spoke these words as he was acknowledging the desperation of his people and confessed that they had turned their backs against God. They were spoken during a time of social and spiritual chaos, as Judah's captivity to Babylon was imminent. The period leading up to the fall of Judah is instructive. During this time the nation slipped deeper and deeper into apostasy with this descriptive phrase:

"The LORD, the God of their fathers, sent word to them through His messengers again and again, because He had pity on His people and on His dwelling place. But they mocked God's messengers, despised His words and scoffed at His prophets until the wrath of the LORD was aroused against His people and there was no remedy" (2 Chronicles 36:15,16).

2 Chronicles 36 is a solemn record of the fall of Judah and the onset of the Babylonian Captivity. It records the final three Kings in Judah who were each described as doing "evil in the eyes of the Lord." It is not a pretty picture and without a doubt the people of the land endured grave consequences as a result of having wicked rulers that likely endorsed their own personal wickedness.

The passage ends with a phrase that greatly intrigues me, "and there was no remedy." There came a point when it's as if God essentially said, "Enough is enough." We see this at other times in the Bible such as the flood and the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. We also witness this wrath unfolding as temporal earthly kingdoms fell (Daniel 5). We will one day all see it at the culmination of the age.

Where is America
or any other country for that matter as it is being weighed in the balance of God's holy vindication? When will it be determined by God as it was for ancient Israel, that there is no remedy? Only God knows, but those of us who seek to faithfully follow the Lord and walk in His ways must all be numbered among those the Scripture calls a "remnant."  The remnant are those whose hearts remain true to God no matter the cost. At the time of this writing, the remnant of true followers would have included Jeremiah, Daniel, Meshach, Shadrach, Abednego and others whose names are not recorded in the Bible.

In our daily text God gave Jeremiah spiritual eyes to see the eternal perspective that "
You, O LORD, reign forever". Now 2,600 years later all around the world we sing "Our God Reigns." We will be making this proclamation throughout eternity and we will be living it out. In a glimpse behind the veil in John's vision, recorded in the book of Revelation, we read: "The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ, and He will reign forever and ever" (11:15). The King of kings will turn our days of mourning into eons of joy and dancing. Let us keep this extremely important perspective before us today!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer:
Father, You were King of the heavens before there was time and You will be King for all eternity. What joy and assurance that truth brings to our spirits today in light of the increasing evil of our day. Our temporal burdens are lightened when we transport our hearts to the New Jerusalem where there is no temple in the City because You, Lord God Almighty are the City's temple. The City won't need the sun or the moon to shine on it, because Your glory is its light, and the Lamb is the City's lamp. Nothing unclean and no one who does shameful things or tells lies will ever go into it. Only those whose names are written in the Lamb's book of life will enter the City. We want to walk earnestly with you on this earth and snatch the unredeemed from the flames of hell and eternal separation from You, Father. Keep us fervent in our witness and faithful in our service. In the blessed name of Jesus we pray.  Amen.
(See Revelation 21 for further encouragement)

Shady Maple with Ester 10/14/14
Yesterday Ester accompanied me to the Shady Maple for my free birthday meal.

Horse-drawn wagon with pumpkins 10/14/14
From the back seat Ester captured our on the fly photography of the colorful scenes we encounter as we drive through the Lancaster area.

Horse-drawn wagon with pumpkins 10/14/14 (Click to enlarge)
Here's the photo Brooksyne took of an older Mennonite lady driving a wagon full of pumpkins (click on photo for larger view)

Scripture verse at Good's Store in East Earl, PA 10/14/14
Near the Shady Maple is the Good's Store, a huge locally run business that has ample evidence of its Christian roots. We saw this sign as we entered the store yesterday. Extra credit for anyone who may be able to identify the reference.

Val-Co visit 10/14/14
Yesterday we stopped by to visit Val-Co, a company where we serve as chaplains. Geral and Jeff are diligently making live animal traps but stopped for a chat and photo.

Val-Co visit 10/14/14
Many of the oriental people do not speak much English but we still try to connect with them with the universally appreciate cheerful outlook. Looks like Brooksyne is commenting on a company newsletter where this employee's photo was included.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"We Bow Down"  Video  Twila Paris

"Our God Reigns"  Video  Studio musicians

"The Family of God"  Video  Bill Gaither and homecoming singers

This next video would have gone very well with our message Monday on "Rescue From The Fire"  We adapted it for our one minute radio message on WDAC 94.5. Brooksyne came across this video and describes it in our radio message.

Here's our radio message: A dramatic rescue took place years ago in New York when a fireman rescued a small baby from a raging fire on the second floor of her house. From the ground one could only see billowing fire and smoke, but then a fireman emerged with the black suet covered Baby Chelsea. Through the window he handed her to a second fireman who gave mouth to mouth resuscitation even as he walked her down the ladder.

Baby Chelsea was saved for this life, but a more powerful and dramatic rescue takes place each time a person's soul is redeemed from the eternal flames of hell. Fanny Crosby wrote, "Rescue the perishing, care for the dying, snatch them in pity from sin and the grave." Jude tells us "to rescue any who need to be saved, as you would rescue someone from a fire." We're all rescuers when we snatch those singed from sin and lead them to salvation. For more encouragement visit dailyencouragement.net.

This live video of a dramatic rescue of Baby Chelsea will stay with you long after you view it! "Mighty To Save"  Video  Laura Story This is a production by the Faircreek Church (I believe in Fairborn Ohio) and a great attempt to witness for our Lord.

"More popular than Jesus" Here's an article about the statement Jon Lennon made referred to in today's message.

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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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