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Friday, November 7, 2014

Door in Jim Thorpe, PA 11/2/14
Arched Doorway in Krems, Austria

Photo by Chris Leaman

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"The Ultimate Blood Donation"

"For this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins" (Matthew 26:28). "In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace" Ephesians 1:7). "For God was pleased to have all His fullness dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile to Himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through His blood, shed on the cross" (Colossians 1:19,20).

Blood donor
Brooksyne and I went to a blood donation drive held at Lancaster Bible College yesterday. As blood donors know, many personal questions are asked on a sign-up form to determine if candidates are healthy for donating blood. As we sat down to fill out our forms a medical technician approached me and asked, "Have you had anything to eat in the last four years?" Usually I'm quick to respond to simple questions but this one stumped me. I wonder if I really appeared that emaciated. I looked at Brooksyne to see if she too had a stunned look on her face, which she did.  The technician really should have been able to determine from my large frame that I'd had plenty to eat over the last four years. We all had a hearty chuckle, after she saw the quizzical look on our faces and rethought her question during the uncomfortable pause. (In her weariness she, of course, had mistakenly said years instead of hours.)

Blood donation 11/6/14After the questions and preliminary checkup I sat back in the very comfortable zero gravity type chair for the donation itself. I visited with those around me; a professor, who although very queasy with needles, was motivated to give because he has a rare blood type that is often in short supply. A young lady who had a drop in her blood pressure felt dizzy and I think was a bit frightened. A young man on the other side of me was giving for the very first time. I was blessed when the nurse was surprised that I finished giving quickly saying, "You're finished already"; I suppose seeing that as a laudable accomplishment!

Blood donationDonating at the Bible College was sentimental for us since during our Bible College days 40 years ago Brooksyne and I started donating blood. (Actually I may have started in high school). We recall going together, in our dating years, to a community blood bank in Springfield, Missouri and lying on hard, flat, skinny tables. As Bible College students under rather tight restrictions going to donate blood was an approved date. The lounging conditions have certainly improved over the years. (I could just about fall asleep in the recliner they had yesterday.)

Blood donation
I still find it inspiring to join others from all walks of life who are giving blood. No one looks too dignified laying back in the chairs. We're willing to accept the disruption in our day, the "small pinch" and slight weakening knowing that our blood may very well help to save another life.

When Ester was little we took her with us and explained to her what this all meant since she had benefited many times from donors because of her multiple heart surgeries. To draw her into the experience we prayed for the people we'd never meet in person who would be receiving our blood donation. (In recent years Ester has asked if she can donate but has not been given approval at this point due to her health history.)

Blood Of Christ It's also a good time for another lesson and consideration about an infinitely greater blood donation when Jesus Christ made peace for us through His blood, shed on the cross.

This blood donation involved God's only begotten Son and was certainly not a source of minor pain or inconvenience. He agonized in great pain and died a horrific death when he voluntarily gave His blood for us. 

When we give our blood at best we will extend another's life for a few bleeps in the span of eternity. It has very limited power in regard to the extent it can help someone else. But the blood of Christ was instrumental in the reconciling of all things and the making of peace between man and God. This blood has unlimited power to save to the uttermost for "the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin" (1 John 1:7).

In order for my blood to do any good a recipient must accept it through a transfusion since it won't have any effect sitting in a warehouse. Now Christ's shed blood has already brought millions into reconciliation and peace with God who have by faith willingly accepted this provision.  Have you done so? 

Lest I forget Gethsemane,
Lest I forget Thine agony;
Lest I forget Thy love for me,
Lead me to Calvary.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer:  Father, it is only through the sacrificial blood of Your Son that my sins are forgiven.  My guilty stains are plunged into the bottom of the ocean never to resurface again.  All the adjectives in one's vocabulary cannot adequately describe the depth of my gratitude for such a complete and selfless act of love.  Your redeeming blood sacrifice frees us from the penalty of sin in this life and for all eternity.  We thank You for Jesus who freely shed His blood on my behalf.  Amen.

Morgan Forney, Director of Navigator ministry at Penn State 11/6/14
Yesterday I joined a group of men for lunch and to hear Morgan Forney share his testimony and ministry as director of the Navigator Ministry at Penn State. We are always pleased to see young people pursuing service for God. Morgan went to Penn State and earned a degree in engineering before working several years in the corporate world. The older man in the picture is 100 years old and still able to come out and show support for the work of Christ! We have been blessed by the Navigator ministry for many years and have used their study material in our churches.
Their purpose is simply stated, "To Know Christ and to Make Him Known"
Here is Morgan's webpage.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Lead Me To Calvary"  Video  Saskia & Andrew Smith  A beautiful version

"The Body and the Blood"
  Video  Janet Paschal

"To God Be The Glory"  Video  Oslo Gospel Choir

"Behold The Lamb (Communion Hymn)"  Video  Keith & Kristyn Getty

"He Has Forgiven Me"   Video  Damaris Carbaugh

"One Voice/Where No One Stands Alone"  Video  GVB

In yesterday's message we shared about Mark Whitacre, who has an amazing testimony we heard on Wednesday at Lancaster Bible College. He shared an on line version of his testimony with me that can be found here for any who may care to watch his entire testimony. It also serves as an evangelistic tool to be shared with one who might find his story gripping and at the same time be touched by its spiritual 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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