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Thursday, December 10, 2015

Foggy sunrise in Lancaster County 12/9/15 (Click to enlarge)
A foggy sunrise over eastern Lancaster County
(Click for larger view with hymn portion)

"A Strange Way To Save The World"

to this message on your audio player.

"He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name" (John 1:10-12).

A Strange Way to Save the World

We enjoy a song, especially at this season, titled "Strange Way To Save The World" and provide a link to a YouTube video below. It expresses a candid perspective on the nature of the incarnation from Joseph's perspective as he held the infant Christ.

Why me, I'm just a simple man of trade
Why Him, with all the rulers of the world
Why here, inside this stable filled with hay
Why her, she's just an ordinary girl
Now I'm not one to second guess
What angels have to say
But, this is such a strange way to save the world

John 1:10-12 This got me thinking about the Messiah’s first visit as a Stranger to our planet 2,000 years ago. What were the people’s first impression of the Messiah? How did they respond to this Stranger's visit?

John was one of the twelve disciples who served with Jesus during His earthly ministry. John was also a part of the inner circle of three along with Peter and James who seemed to have an even greater access to the miracles of Christ and unique experiences such as the Mount of Transfiguration and Christ's prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane.

John's Gospel is the last of the Four Gospels not only in the order of books but also in regard to the time it was written. Many believe he wrote late in the first century perhaps sixty years after Christ's mission to earth. The first 18 verses in his gospel serve as a prologue and provide a deep theological perspective regarding Christ’s Mission on earth.

Today let’s consider just three verses from this powerful prologue:

”He was in the world, and the world was made through Him.” Our Lord was in the physical world for a brief time in history. John established in verse 3 that the world was made by Jesus. And yet He entered the world in the bodily form of a person, the “true light” (v.9) who came into the world He had made.

"And the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him." One of the most indicting rejections of Christ was at His trial in Pilate's Hall: "We don't want this man to be our king" (Luke 19:14). The rejection of Christ is a stunning, but intriguing truth evident not only at the time that Christ dwelled on earth, but  very evident in our own age as well. Bible students interpret the phrase "He came to His own" in two senses: in one narrower sense it surely means the unique people He came to, that is, the descendants of Abraham (the Jewish people), but in a fuller sense it means the entire human race, all descendants of Adam.

“But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name." The phrase "as many as" indicates the marvelous extent of this offer. Regardless of one's religious, ethnic or racial background the offer stands. Our part is to receive and to believe in His name.

Today I reaffirm the decision I made nearly forty-five years ago in 1971 in Kansas City, Missouri to receive Him and to believe in His Name. Brooksyne made the same decision as a young teenager in Tulsa Oklahoma. Most of you reading this today have also received Christ and we welcome you to join us in your own reaffirmation.

However some of you have never made a confession of faith. Perhaps you've been under the mistaken notion that you're automatically in. You may be relying on your religious heritage or good works. Some of you may realize you have actually been rejecting Christ.  We urge you to receive and trust in Christ today!

To so many Christ remains an unrecognized stranger, but for those of us who believe and receive Him He is our loving, eternal Saviour!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, we are grateful to be Your children. It is not by our own goodness, giftings, or generosity that we can buy or earn this standing. It is because of Jesus who came clothed in human flesh so that He could reach His own people and release them from their sins. Though many reject the Gospel message we choose to believe and gratefully declare that we are the children of God. Nothing can compare with such privilege or power as we make our earthly journey and anticipate eternity in heaven. In the name of Jesus we reaffirm and joyfully proclaim our decision to follow You all the days of our lives. Amen.

Year-end appeal:

DonateSpecial Note: We want to thank all who have financially supported our ministry this past year. We realize there are many fine ministries and causes requesting support at this time but if the Lord would lead you we surely need and appreciate the financial support from our readers and listeners. We typically see a spike in giving at the end of the year for which we are most thankful. Our ministry labor is comprised of half our time to Daily Encouragement and the other half to our chaplaincy ministry to companies for which we receive a fee (of course this percentage varies week by week). Each of these ministries essentially is the same as a part-time job (20+ hours weekly) for each of us. Our goal for many years is that each phase would provide half of our ministry expenses and income. If you would like to make a donation to our ministry see here for more information or donate directly online here. Thank you!

Make A DonationPlease Note: Our chaplain agency is unable to provide a receipt if the donation is made through PayPal. However we provide this option due to the convenience, international supporters, and for those who may not be concerned regarding receiving an official receipt. You can also set up for recurring donations. Click here to donate using PayPal.

Smucker breakfast 12/9/15
Yesterday we joined a group of men at Smucker & Sons, a construction company, for a safety meeting and breakfast. We can always learn something new by listening in on safety meetings!

Amish farrier
We had some items from Costco to drop off at our Amish friends and while there I had the opportunity to visit with Mike, an Amish farrier, while Brooksyne visited in the house with Anna and the children. In the photo he is preparing to rough up the horse shoes for better traction in icy conditions. While preparing to do so he spotted three bald eagles off in the distance.

Amish farrier truck
He did his work out of a specially equipped truck

Amish farrier
It was amazing how well the horse cooperated with the shoeing. I (Stephen) was so intrigued with watching him shoe the horse I paid no attention to the van I had left open. The blue heel dog (in two photos above) took advantage and hopped into the back of the van. The guys laughed as they saw the dog jump out of the van licking his "chops". He had finished off some of the leftovers from our breakfast at Smuckers and even bit into on Brooksyne's red leather daytimer bag she carries when visiting our various companies. Let's just say I was in the doghouse before we got home!

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Strange Way To Save The World"  Video  Mark Harris

We also enjoy a Rascal Flatts version  Video

Finally today:

We are sure many of our readers in the Lancaster PA area have heard the Smucker jingle on radio! Video

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Make A Donation Please Note: Our chaplain agency is unable to provide a receipt if the donation is made through PayPal. However we provide this option due to the convenience, for the benefit of international supporters, and for those for whom an official receipt is not needed. You can also set up for recurring donations. Click here.

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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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