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Monday, February 2, 2015

Scripture verse with sunset 1/30/15 Click to enlarge (Photo by Doug Maxwell)
We had more snow overnight and our area is covered in a bright white blanket.
My neighbor, Doug, took this sunset photo of the field across from our home.
My temporary "redneck" sawhorse mailbox is in the lower left of photo.
(Click on photo to enlarge)

"The Pattern"

No podcast available for this message (Can't get the microphone to work!)

"Then have them make a sanctuary for me, and I will dwell among them. Make this tabernacle and all its furnishings exactly like the pattern I will show you" (Exodus 25:9). "Moses inspected the work and saw that they had done it just as the Lord had commanded. So Moses blessed them" (Exodus 39:43).

Many people read through the Bible each year. In fact some have a habit of reading the entire Bible each and every year. There are a lot of different reading plans available, but many simply choose to read it in order from Genesis to Revelation.

In Exodus we read the very detailed instructions for making the Tabernacle which take up several chapters. Later in Exodus there is essentially a repeat of these instructions and how the Israelites had followed through in full obedience. Few would count these chapters among their favorites but we have them for the historic record.

For several months now I've been musing over the concept of "pattern" and we will feature several messages this week on this theme. Today's first verse contains the very first use of the word "pattern" as translated in most standard versions such as the KJV, ESV, NASB, NIV and many others. So let us examine this verse as well as a verse later in Exodus demonstrating the Israelite's strict obedience in following the pattern.

Tabernacle model The Lord instructed Moses, "Then have them make a sanctuary for me, and I will dwell among them." This was a traveling sanctuary for use during their journey to the Promised Land, which ended up lasting forty years!

Make this tabernacle and all its furnishings exactly like the pattern I will show you." The instructions are in meticulous detail. These instructions, including the clothing worn by the priests, are covered in chapters 25-28.

Later in Exodus we read concerning the completion of the Tabernacle project, "
Moses inspected the work and saw that they had done it just as the Lord had commanded. So Moses blessed them." There are lot of records regarding disobedience and partial obedience in the Bible but here we have an account of full obedience; they had done it just as the Lord had commanded." This led to a blessing from Moses.

This fundamental teaching reminds us that God is pleased and honored when we follow the pattern He set for His people.

In a broad sense the Bible provides a pattern on how life works and how we are to live our lives in obedience to God. Each individual and generation can determine whether to follow this pattern or not. We will learn later in the week that a foundational responsibility of Christian ministry is teaching and practicing this pattern.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying man Daily prayer:  Father, because the Israelites dwelt in tents in their wilderness wanderings, You instructed that a tabernacle be constructed that would travel with them, where Your presence would abide. Surely the instructions You provided Moses did not always make sense nor would they have fully understood the purpose of all the particulars, yet the Israelites followed the instructions, thereby honoring You and blessing Moses as their leader. They responded to Moses' instructions by giving, doing, and following in total the directions You laid out. Help us to practice obedience even when we can't see the end results, for that is what You ask of us; to trust You, yield to You, and fully obey You. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.

First snowball for African boys
Several weeks ago a family from Africa came to America so the father can get more education. They are attending our church and experiencing snow for the first time. Yesterday after our church service I taught the boys how to make their very first snowballs!

Yesterday afternoon the boys came over to fix a bike and enjoy another favorite winter activity; tossing frisbee to Mollie! Ester took some action photos.

Frisbee in the snow 2/1/15
Mollie waits with excitement for the toss from Neville

Frisbee in the snow 2/1/15
Nathan throws one with a high arc

Frisbee in the snow 2/1/15
Dashing through the snow for...

Frisbee in the snow 2/1/15
The catch!

Frisbee in the snow 2/1/15
Ready for more!
(She insists on tearing a hole in the middle so she can "wear" it.)

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"To Obey Is Better Than Sacrifice"   Video   Keith Green

"O for a Heart to Praise My God"  Video  Acappella

YouTube update:
Last week I shared that for some reason YouTube was continuing to play other songs after the song I selected had finished. In most cases they seemed related but... some were not. Paul Wilkinson is a Canadian and longtime reader who pointed out that I had somehow checked autoplay on the top right side of the YouTube page and this somehow also made the links so they autoplayed. I think I fixed that! Thanks for the tip, Paul. Paul blogs at "Thinking out Loud" and also prepares "Parse" for Christianity Today.

Finally today:
Redneck smoke alarmSeveral readers have commented on our temporary "redneck" mailbox I installed as a a result of our regular mail post being knocked over several weeks ago when we had icy roads. (We wrote about that story here.)  I initially used a ladder for one day after the post was knocked down  but was wary about the ladder being taken so I invented the sawhorse mail post as seen in our opening photo as well as here. I do not have a patent on this invention so anyone is welcome to copy (it was actually Brooksyne's idea in the first place as she'd seen it elsewhere)!

Henry, a reader from North Carolina, sent me the photo to the left. Now I suppose you would have to remember when you actually popped popcorn this way. For a long time we've made popcorn in the microwave. As a child I can recall my Mom making it in a pot with oil on the stovetop since she would have surely been far too thrifty to ever buy the expensive new Jiffy Pop brand.

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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 make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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