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Friday, October 2, 2015
Each week, as we travel through Amish communities, we are always delighted to see their homegrown food products made available to the local folks. The photos we feature today were taken yesterday on a pristine Amish farm near New Holland. Notice the wide variety of colorful gourds and pumpkins loaded on this wagon.
"The Coming Storm"
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"This is what the LORD Almighty says: "Look! Disaster is spreading from nation to nation; a mighty storm is rising from the ends of the earth" (Jeremiah 25:32).
Here along the east coast of the United States we are bracing for a storm. The impact of Hurricane Joaquin is coming our way this weekend. However, Ken, a friend of ours who follows the weather, explained to me all the rain we are now getting and expect to have all weekend is actually from another storm system.
Of course no one is certain regarding the amount of impact but at the least we should be getting lots of rain. If it's like the storms we had in New England the grocery shelves will be emptied of bread and milk. I recall this drill in New England, both for a projected hurricane and blizzard. It's common here and certainly in other places as well.
The daily text is a portion of Jeremiah's ministry to the people just prior to the fall of the kingdom and their exile to Babylon. He uses the familiar image of a storm to illustrate the pending disaster. "This is what the LORD Almighty says: "Look! Disaster is spreading from nation to nation; a mighty storm is rising from the ends of the earth" (Jeremiah 25:32). This disaster had been prophesied for many years, but so often apparent delays are seen in each generation as a lulling excuse for, "It will never come to pass." That was the mindset in his day.
The people's response to Jeremiah's ministry is summed up in 25:3,4: "For twenty-three years-from the thirteenth year of Josiah son of Amon king of Judah until this very day-the word of the LORD has come to me and I have spoken to you again and again, but you have not listened. And though the LORD has sent all His servants the prophets to you again and again, you have not listened or paid any attention.'"
World conditions today seem to be gaining speed and force to create a perfect storm. The Middle East is in growing chaos, we had another mass school shooting here in America yesterday, standards of sexual morality are imploding and the list goes on and on.
God has provided an abundant witness of His ways. Many faithful "prophets" have been and are presently declaring His truth whether they be pastors, missionaries, chaplains, dedicated lay people or even the written witness such as this ministry and many, many other similar ministries. Truly "men are without excuse" (see Romans 1:20).
For so many of us, particularly here in the USA, though I am sure in many other countries as well, life for so many is still relatively peaceful and prosperous. Pointing out this coming storm might categorize us with the gloom and doom preachers who, like Jeremiah, were scoffed at. There is a sense that we are living in a period of unknown duration during a relatively peaceful lull (unknown except to God, that is).
But how long will this present "lull before the storm" last? Will this next storm be truly cataclysmic? Will it be the storm that ends the current age spoken of in the Scriptures?
We don't know the answers to these questions nor the time scenario as to when these things will fully come to pass. We just know that God has called you and me to trust Him and to stay faithful. Whatever happens there is ultimate security in Him alone.
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, in our own lifetime we see the beginning stages of disaster spreading from nation to nation and the mighty storm rising from the ends of the earth. Your Word teaches us to watch for these disastrous signs and how to prepare our hearts, along with those whom we might influence, as we see these things coming to pass. Though Jeremiah gave warning for over 23 years the people would not listen, as in the days of Noah, so we're reminded that we shouldn't be surprised when others turn a deaf ear to our message either. Enable us to keep Your truth ever before us so that we are not deterred, distracted, or disheartened although the majority refuse to listen or pay attention. In this lull before the full-blown storm may we not doubt or quibble with Scripture but rather, be still and know that You are God. Amen.
This large pumpkin has the "WELCOME" etched in the pumpkin or so it looks that way.
As I visited with the woman who lives on the produce farm I (Brooksyne) commented on the beauty of the surrounding farms from her front porch. She returned with, "It's nice to have the corn down so we can see them again at a distance." She's right, though the corn fields are beautiful in their own way and provide more privacy than normal for those whose houses are "corned in"!
Though this photo is not a close-up (out of respect for the school children) we pass many Amish schools every week as we make our chaplain calls. It's a pleasure to watch them enjoying school recess and playing games. This one looked a little like "Hide and Seek". Notice the one youngster playing atop the propane tank and the one hiding behind one of the outhouses. Of course every schoolhouse has these outdoor bathrooms as well as the bell which we heard ringing to call the children back in after recess.
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"Redemption Draweth Nigh" Video Ernie Haase and Homecoming Singers
"Save My Family" Video Tribute Quartet This song touches our hearts. I know it's also the prayer of our readers today, "Save my family, save my friends." May it touch your heart as you listen!
"Jerusalem" Video The Hoppers
Note: Many of our readers saw and heard Benjamin Netanyahu's powerful speech at the UN yesterday. For those who see the storm coming I feel it's practically prophetic. See here for video of the speech with some context. Note here how the liberal BBC states "novel way" in describing the speech and starts the video isolated from the context which makes the silence deafening (the speech does not have a tick tock noise - BBC edited it in)!!! This is what happens when darkness reigns.
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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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