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Tuesday, March 15, 2016

2016 Philadelphia Flower Show
2016 Philadelphia Flower Show

"The Song Of The Redeemed"

Note: Yesterday we did not post a message due to a morning funeral.

Message Summary:
"The Lord Reigns!" Today, as we remember this glorious truth, "Let us rejoice and be glad and give Him glory!"

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"Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and be glad and give Him glory!" (Revelation 19:6,7).

It's the song of the redeemed rising from the African plain
It's the song of the forgiven drowning out the Amazon rain
The song of Asian believers filled with God's holy fire
It's every tribe, every tongue, every nation
A love song born of a grateful choir

Child singing from hymnal
Early in my ministry I served on a youth committee planning a large youth convention still held each year in Hershey, Pennsylvania. The convention ends on Good Friday with a large closing rally. In our planning meeting we were discussing ideas for a suitable name when one committee member suggested "Grand Finale Rally". Of course at the end of the rally the youth groups from all over Pennsylvania and Delaware go back to their own communities.

But one day there will be a "Grand Finale Rally" that will celebrate God's greatness and that Rally will never end!

In smaller rallies all over the world today Christ's people are singing "the song of the redeemed", a proclamation of the reigning Lord. We often consider this in a local church service, but of course singing takes place in a lot of places from large concerts to coffeehouses to families to individuals. We have the pleasure of hearing our Amish friends sing as we take the whole family on a long trip. The children sing the "adult" hymns along with Mom and Dad, verses and all, which is becoming a rare thing these days. So it always brings a smile to our hearts when we hear the youngest child singing, "What a friend we have in Jesus" and other such beautiful, timeless songs of the redeemed.

This last Sunday we sang "Jesus Loves Me" and I looked over and saw seven year old, David, sing out with a big smile that quietly expressed, "They're singing one of my songs!" Some time back  I took the photo above of a little girl singing along from the hymnal expressing childlike faith. She could have simply looked at the power point but instead chose the "traditional" method of looking at the lyrics alongside the music.

Child singing from hymnal
We like to see teenagers sing. It's an age for many who find expressing their faith more challenging. Young families sitting together bound in a mutual proclamation of belief. Choirs and smaller musical groups as well as praise teams.

Older people are still singing the song of the redeemed. When we first moved to Lancaster County in 2001 for several years we sat in front of Menno who turned 100 a year or so later. He still sang out the songs of the redeemed, many of the same songs he had led the congregation in singing when he was songleader many decades earlier.

Joe Carroll
One of our fondest recollections of hearing the song of the redeemed took place about ten years ago in our interim pastorate near Harrisburg. Joe (left), who was 83 years old at the time, worshiped God with joyful expression. About thirty years earlier following cancer treatment he had a prosthesis implanted which aided him in forming speech when he placed his hand over the opening in his throat. His voice had the unusual characteristics of those whose larynx is removed, but that didn't stop Joe from singing out! I often stood several rows ahead of him and I was so blessed to hear his voice joining in the song of the Redeemed! As Brooksyne played the piano and led the congregation in worship she would occasionally hear Joe's voice above the other voices. It never failed to move her and often brought out even more earnest, heartfelt worship in her singing and playing the piano.

All over the world God's children are singing the song of the redeemed. We are declaring in scores of different ways our foundational belief that "He reigns". Our daily text is a glimpse of the other side of Jordan described as "a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouts: "Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns!"  Amen!

Allow this truth to minister to you in regard to your trials and troubles this day. The health matter that is so uncertain. The Lord reigns! The job or financial situation that looks like a long, dark tunnel. The Lord reigns! The family troubles that seem to get only worse. The Lord reigns! The problems we face as a nation.
The Lord reigns! Our bizarre political climate!  Still the Lord reigns!

Today as we remember this glorious truth, "Let us rejoice and be glad and give Him glory!"

It's all God's children singing glory, glory
Hallelujah, He reigns! (He reigns)
It's all God's children singing glory, glory
Hallelujah, He reigns!  (He reigns)

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, the vast majority won't get asked to sing a solo in church nor do they play musical instruments. Even clapping their hands in rhythm is a major challenge. Perhaps they will be granted these skills in heaven where they will enjoy that which they were denied here on earth. But, whether we're skilled musicians or sing off-pitch, or are unable to locate middle C on a piano, we can still shout for joy to You. We can worship You with gladness and come before You with joyful songs derived from sincere hearts of worship. Voices that the trained ear on earth might turn away, You wholeheartedly welcome because it comes with grateful worship and heartfelt praise. We dedicate to You that which You have given us and we praise You, Lord. We praise You in Your sanctuary; we praise You in Your mighty heavens. We praise You for your acts of power and for Your surpassing greatness. We join the millions who respond in praise to You, since You invite everything that has breath to praise the Lord. In the song of the redeemed, we praise You, for You reign! Amen.

See Psalm 100 & 150

2016 Philadelphia Flower Show
For several days this week we will share photos from our visit to the Philadelphia Flower Show last Friday. The show is indoors in a convention center that spans 3 city blocks.

2016 Philadelphia Flower Show
This year the show had a national park theme.

2016 Philadelphia Flower Show
The entry to the Flower show had spectacular displays including a beautiful waterfall, so invigorating and peaceful, as the water flowed at a steady, strong stream.

2016 Philadelphia Flower Show
Fresh flowers everywhere including arrangements displayed above our heads!

2016 Philadelphia Flower Show
Many colorful posters kept us informed as we viewed the many displays.

2016 Philadelphia Flower Show
We both thought the 5 million footsteps statistic was interesting! With a goal of ten thousand footsteps daily that means we get to 5 million in about a year and 4 months if we never miss a day! (Assuming my math is right and math was never my best subject)

2016 Philadelphia Flower Show
The show had a national park theme this year. Here's a liberty bell, crack and all.

2016 Philadelphia Flower Show
I found this something interesting to muse on. May God teach us to see beauty in places like this!

2016 Philadelphia Flower Show
The display of dried flowers from our neighbor's commercial flower growing operation.

2016 Philadelphia Flower Show
Miller's Pretzel Stand at the Reading Market is operated by the son of one of our friends related to Annie Beiler of Aunt Annies Pretzels.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"He Reigns"  Video   Newsboys

Joe Carroll's story

To give our readers some idea of how large the Flower show is, here's a google view of the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

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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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