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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Turkey Hill traveling cow
Turkey Hill has several huge traveling cows, an interesting marketing strategy, for this local dairy! This cow featuring all their flavors was parked at the Rhubarb Festival held at the Kitchen Kettle Village in Intercourse, PA this last Saturday.

"The Bright Morning Star"

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"I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star" (Revelation 22:16).

Living out in the country we sure enjoy stepping outside on a clear night and observing the heavens. The Psalmist wrote, "The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard" (Psalm 19:1-3).

But today we consider a single star, the true victor in the cosmic battle between good and evil (the real "star wars"). Although the battle continues to rage on our planet, as Satan takes captive as many as possible, the outcome is assured. We who belong to Christ are on the victorious side! This is not science fiction. This is a reality series in progress each day of our pilgrimage here on earth!

Balaam, in one of the first Messianic prophecies in the Bible prophesied, "A star will come out of Jacob" (Numbers 24:17).  Many centuries later the prophet Malachi had spoken this word of assurance, "But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in His wings." Jesus said in the Gospels, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." John wrote, "God is light; in Him there is no darkness at all."

In Isaiah 14, many believe this passage refers to the fall of Satan. He is exposed as a fallen morning star. "How you have fallen from heaven, O morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations! You said in your heart, 'I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High'" (Isaiah 14:12-14).

Zechariah prophesied in Luke 1 concerning his newly born son John the Baptist who was to appear before Christ the Dayspring: "And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Highest; for you will go before the face of the Lord to prepare His ways, to give knowledge of salvation to His people by the remission of their sins, through the tender mercy of our God, with which the Dayspring from on high has visited us; to give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace" (Luke 1:76-79).

In today's text Jesus speaks from the final chapter of the entire Bible. He identifies Himself as "the bright Morning Star."  There are over 100 different names and titles for Jesus in the Bible but this is the final one.  This self-proclaimed title reminds us that Jesus is the One who gives eternal light. It reminds us that the promise of His coming shines brightly even in the darkness that surrounds us.  When Edwin More wrote the hymn "The Solid Rock" he tells us how to deal with these dark periods in our lives with the following words, "When darkness veils His lovely face, I rest on His unchanging grace."

Henry Gariepy comments, "As dawn breaks, the stars of the sky gradually give way until only one star remains. All others fade from view except for the morning star. Jesus, as our Bright Morning Star, shines brightly when all other stars of our life fade away. Things that now shine so brightly on the horizon of our lives will someday fade and vanish away. The stars of prestige, position, possessions, of persons dear to us, will one by one grow dim and fade away. But after everything else has vanished, Christ will still shine brightly."

An artist once drew a picture of a lone man rowing his little boat on a very dark night. The wind was whipping and the waves raged around his frail little boat. But one star shone through the dark and fierce sky above. On that star the voyager fixed his eyes and kept on rowing through the storm. Beneath the picure were the words, "If I lose that I'm lost".

Today we encourage you, Brothers and Sisters, don't lose sight of the Bright Morning Star. Live in His light and let it shine through you to a dark and troubled world!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying man Daily prayer: Father, thank You for Jesus, the Bright Morning Star. We also thank You for John the Baptist who had a vital role as prophet of the Highest when he gave knowledge of salvation to unbelievers leading them to repentance of their sins. We thank You that he came to give light to those who sat in darkness and the shadow of death, to guide their feet into the way of peace. We consider the ultimate price that he paid in laying down his life because he was a prophet who spoke the truth even when it cost him everything. He didn't preach "peace and comfort" to those practicing sin, but instead he told them how to be saved. Help us to follow his example and lead unbelievers to the Bright Morning Star who will guide us through this dark, sin troubled world to the eternal abode where there will be no more night, for Your glory will give us light and the Lamb will be as a lamp for all to see. Keep us faithful until that eventful day we pray. Amen.

On Wednesday-Friday I (Stephen) will be going to Washington DC for a "Watchman on the Wall" conference sponsored by Family Research Council.  Due to my attendance at this conference we do not expect to post new messages on Thursday and Friday. Although Brooksyne is quite capable of writing them she has not learned the technical steps needed to produce and post them.

Saturday morning we took our friends Mike and Kathy and their daughter Tina for some sightseeing here in Lancaster County.

Fishing derby 5/16/15
On Saturday morning, invited by our Amish friends, we visited a fishing derby on a trout stream near Paradise. With hundreds of people, mostly Amish, lined up along the stream for several hundred yards we had quite a time finding them due to the abundance of Amish apparel and hairstyles!

Fishing derby 5/16/15
The horse in the background added to the pleasant view!

Amish boy holding fish 5/16/15
This boy was sure proud to show me his catch.

Amish boy holding fish 5/16/15
Of course Eli James wanted to show off his catch as well!

Then we drove over to the Kitchen Kettle Village in Intercourse PA for a Rhubarb Festival

Banjo Jimmy and Kitchen Kettle Village band 5/16/15
A feature of the Kitchen Kettle Village is Banjo Jimmy and the band who have a great sound.

Banjo Jimmy and Kitchen Kettle Village band 5/16/15
Another view of the band.  The place was very busy since it was a week-end rhubarb festival.

Fresh rhubarb
I don't recall liking rhubarb at all when I was a child but now when Brooksyne makes strawberry rhubarb pie or jam I really like it!

Matangelo visit at Dienners Country Restaurant 5/16/15
We shared a photo on Monday of our friends Mike and Kathy Matangelo but want to share this one as well taken at Dienner's Country Restaurant. Looking at the photo I see we unintentionally took a photo of friends we met in New England over 20 years ago. Through the glass sat Rich and Donna Weitzel. Rich pastored a church on Cape Cod when we lived up that way but presently serves as a chaplain for Teen Challenge. It was nice to visit with them again!

The Matangelos headed to Rhode Island after our meal to see his sister and their 93 year old mother. She has been in hospice care for the past couple weeks or so. We received word from Mike Monday that she passed away early that morning, so we are praying for the family as they deal with their loss.

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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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