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Monday, November 16, 2015

Amish man on cart in eastern Lancaster County PA 11/14/15

Saturday afternoon we drove through eastern Lancaster County over Welsh Mountain and followed this young Amish man out on his cool cart. As you can see most of the trees in our area are now bare.

"A Scroll Of Remembrance"

Note: We seek to keep up with current events although we don't often address them in this series. Certainly our hearts and prayers go out for all who were impacted by the Islamic terrorist attacks in Paris last Friday.

to this message on your audio player.

"Then those who feared the Lord talked with each other, and the Lord listened and heard. A scroll of remembrance was written in His presence concerning those who feared the Lord and honored His name" (Malachi 3:16).

Photo of Georgia Mae

Today is a special day of remembrance for my family. My precious mom, Georgia Mae, passed away on this very date ten years ago (November 16, 2005). She made an impact upon many lives and today we want to honor her in our message.

When Mom died I placed up a web page of sympathy expressions I had compiled that were written by family and friends, as well as readers in this series; many who did not even know her personally. I have kept that page up and periodically read it as I am encouraged by the expressions of love people wrote. In a sense it serves as a very personal "Scroll of Remembrance". (See below for link.)

The daily text begins with a reflection of how the Lord observes our relationships with others on this side. "Then those who feared the Lord talked with each other, and the Lord listened and heard." This is an interesting text to muse. In a number of businesses we visit, especially service companies like HVAC and home improvement, I observe the service techs "talking shop" before they begin their day, discussing the work ahead and sharing tips with one another. I wonder what "shop talk" in church sounds like to the Lord as we discuss spiritual matters with others who fear Him? We can be sure the Lord is listening!

Apparently this talking with one another prompted the writing of "a scroll of remembrance" which was prepared in God's "presence
concerning those who feared the Lord and honored His name."

Today let us consider this "scroll of remembrance".  Although we don't know all the details We have wondered if this scroll is similar to the Book of Life mentioned elsewhere in the Bible. It does not specify in the text who wrote in this "scroll of remembrance", just that it was "written in His presence". Perhaps it was angels or even God Himself.

I wonder to what extent our heartfelt tributes to the living or memorials to the dead are a means of doing this. I wonder in what way we can honor and remember "those who fear the LORD and honor His name"? "

Certainly our lives have been immeasurably enriched by those, like my mom, whom God has strategically placed in our lives. We hope you can consider many though for most it is our parents (sadly not all though) And yet, one by one, they go on before us and eventually it will be our turn.

I just read an article by Sabra Penley titled "What If Today Was My Last?" which included this thoughtful Scripture portion, "Show me, Lord, my life’s end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting my life is. You have made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before you. Everyone is but a breath, even those who seem secure" (Psalm 39:4-5). Today that phrase, "even those who seem secure" jumped out at me. Just consider all the people who found out how insecure life on this side is last week in France.

Today pause for a moment and consider those who have made an eternal impact on your life. For many, but certainly not all, it will be your mother and father. Raise a prayer of thanksgiving in remembrance of this person.  If they are still living perhaps the Lord will lead you to visit or call them. Send them a note or a card.

Keep these questions before you:
  • What am I doing that is making an eternal impact for Jesus Christ?
  • Who will write about me in a "book of remembrance"?
  • What will they write?

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying man Daily prayer: Loving Father
, You shower me with spiritual blessings as You place godly men and women in my path who revere Your holy name and honor You with their lives. They live above reproach and serve as examples of those who have overcome the world! Just as You brought these dear brothers and sisters into my life for a season, I pray that I, too, will make a positive difference for those who are presently watching me. I want my testimony to be an example of Your life-changing, all-sufficient, and all-sustaining grace. Amen.

Some Scenes From Our Weekend

Amish farm in eastern Lancaster County PA 11/14/15
Saturday afternoon we passed this farm view in eastern Lancaster County

Amish at the movies in eastern Lancaster County PA 11/14/15

Saturday evening we went to see the movie Woodlawn that has a redemptive message so needed in our day. It essentially tells how Jesus Christ makes a dramatic difference to a high school deep in the south back in the seventies. Coming out of the theater close to ten o'clock we noticed the horses and buggies in the parking lot so sure hope these Amish young people (we assume young people) were there to see a good movie, perhaps Woodlawn!

Operation Christmas Child boxes 11/15/15

Yesterday morning our church collected and sent off some 200 Operation Christmas Child boxes. Notsen and Thobekile Ncube are standing behind the trailer along with Nelson and Joyce Heisey who will be delivering the boxes. The Ncube's were involved in the distribution of Operation Christmas Child boxes in Zimbabwe so they now have seen both sides of the process!

(Photo by Ester)

Neville with alpaca 11/15/15

Yesterday afternoon I took our Zimbabwean friends, Nathan and Neville, to the Eastland Alpaca Farm open house. They told me there is no animal like the Alpaca in their country.

One day old Alpaca at Eastland Alpaca Farm, Mount Joy. PA 11/15/15 11/15/15

A one day old Alpaca

Nathan and Neville with scarecrow 11/15/15

Nathan and Neville with a very tall live scarecrow at Eastland Alpaca Farm

Bluegrass gospel groups at Mount Pleasant 11/15/15

Last night we had two country Bluegrass gospel groups sing at our church; Mountain Gospel Harmony and Henry Werner and Sons. Both groups joined at the end for some impromptu jamming. Here's a video sample "I'll Fly Away"

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

Web page I made for my Mom

What If Today Was My Last? Article by Sabra Penley

"What You Leave Behind"  Video  Talleys

Operation Christmas Child

Eastland Alpaca Farm

Special Thanksgiving Resources

We offer these resources to families and church leaders
to enrich the spiritual impact of the Thanksgiving holiday. We will leave them up through Thanksgiving.

We appreciated singing the traditional Thanksgiving hymns. Here are several classics that you may or may not have heard this season.

"Be Magnified"  Video   Kim Hill

"In Everything Give Him Thanks"
The Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir

"In Everything Give Thanks"  Video   Charlotte Ritchie, Jeff & Sheri Easter  This song will bring joy to your heart!

"Now Thank We All Our God"  Video  Best Loved Hymns

"Come Ye Thankful People Come"  Video  Traditional version
Contemporary version but thankfully maintaining same tune and lyrics Video

"Thanksgiving Medley" (We Gather Togather, For The Beauty Of The Earth, Come Ye Thankful People Come)  Video  Studio Musicians

"Give Thanks"  Video  Don Moen

"Thank You Lord"  Video  Community choir at a Lancaster Day of Prayer event in 2008.

"Thank You Lord For Saving My Soul"  Video  Holland Davis

Thorns"Thankful For The Thorns": A family reading and exercise that is a wonderful way to give a thoughtful focus around your Thanksgiving Table. The Thanksgiving celebration typically includes family coming together for a huge meal and hopefully a heartfelt prayer of thankfulness. However it can often be difficult to have a spiritually oriented conversation. Why not add some stimulating discussion about the ways God has worked in your life over the past year! Some of you are not in charge and are only visitors at your Thanksgiving gathering, but if it is possible share together around the table the theme of "Thankful for the Thorns"
(printable web page).

"A Thanksgiving family exercise" (pdf) We have used this questionnaire as a stimulus for discussion among family members in the past in our home. We encourage you to share results around the table at Thanksgiving before or after the meal.

A Thanksgiving prayer: Written by Joe Sherer, a pastor friend of ours and shared as the benediction at our community Thanksgiving Eve service several years ago. (web page) For those who enjoy written prayers this would be a beautiful prayer to read together at the Thanksgiving table.

A Thanksgiving Scripture reading:
A selection of Old and New Testament readings dealing with thankfulness appropriate for church, family and personal readings. (pdf) (Suitable for printing out and copying.)

 Video  Marshall Hall and the Homecoming Singers

"I Want To Thank You"
 Video  Karen Peck and New River  This is a song expressing thankfulness to the many people who impact our lives and also reminds us of the blessing of seemingly insignificant expressions of faith.  From the Gaither Homecoming series.

"Thank You Lord For Your Blessings On Me"  Video  Gordon Mote & Jason Crabb

"Come We Thankful People Come"  Video  
Traditional version  Here's a bit more contemporary version with same lyrics.

"I'm Forever Grateful"  Video  Willow Creek

"Give Thanks With A Grateful Heart"  Video  Don Moen

"When I Thank Him For What He Has Done"  Video  The Cathedrals

"Worthy Is The Lamb Crown Him .. Crown Him With Many Crowns"  Video  Travis Cottrell

"Thank You, Lord"  Video  Dennis Jernigan

"Thank You For Loving Me"  Video  Tommy Walker

"10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord)"  Video  Matt Redman

"For These Reasons"  Video  Lincoln Brewster

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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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