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Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Church steeple in downtown Lancaster, PA
Last night following a meeting at the Lancaster Convention center we stepped out on the top floor of a parking garage and viewed this church steeple in downtown Lancaster, PA.

"Praise Our God!"

Message Summary:
Today we are servants of the living God to whom we stand in awe and fear of His almighty, all-powerful righteous right hand. Let us all, both small and great, remember that we are called to reverence and worship Him today and every day.

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"Then a voice came from the throne, saying: 'Praise our God, all you His servants, you who fear Him, both small and great!'" (Revelation 19:5).

Sight and Sound Theater, Lancaster, PA
The Sight and Sound Theater east of Lancaster presents epic style Biblical dramas. The current show, which we have not yet seen is Samson. However we are quite sure it will also present the ministry of Jesus Christ and culminate with a powerful scene calling all to place their faith in Jesus Christ. At times it includes dynamic worship. Our hearts were deeply stirred when we once heard the 2000 seat auditorium filled with the melodic strains of "Crown Him with many crowns". However we realize that any attempt we make on this side to convey the glories of heaven will pale in comparison to being there in person!

We recall one of the first presentations we attended in the theater shortly after we moved to Lancaster County in 2001. The character for John, exiled on Patmos, both introduced and closed the presentation. At the end he noted, "I'm the only one still living" (of the original disciples). That was over 1900 years ago and Christ's church goes on, awaiting the promise of His return. Each generation has had those who have earnestly believed the Gospel and served Christ.

Today, let us take a few moments to consider a verse from Revelation. It begins with,
"Then a voice came from the throne, saying." The voice from the throne does not appear to be the voice of God Himself, since the voice says, “Praise our God.” One commentary asserts that this is probably the voice of an angel of high ranking, such as one of the living creatures around the throne mentioned elsewhere in Revelation.

Revelation 19:5
This call to "Praise our God" is to:
  • "All you His servants", another expression of the Psalm. "Let everything that has breath praise the Lord"
  • "You who fear Him", The concept of the fear of God is found all through the Bible with this being the final reference. "This reverence and awe is exactly what the fear of God means for Christians. This is the motivating factor for us to surrender [our entire beings] to the Creator of the Universe." *
  • "Both small and great!'" The scope of the redeemed include those who are great in this world in regard to fame, power, wealth or influence, as well as those of us who may be entirely unknown to the world. The cross of Christ is the great equalizer among all people!
Today we are servants of the living God to whom we stand in awe and fear of His almighty, all-powerful righteous right hand. Let us all, both small and great, remember that we are called to reverence and worship Him today and every day.

Indeed, let us do so!
"Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe" (Hebrews 12:28).

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, Your Scripture tells us that we are to praise You from the rising of the sun until the going down of the same. So we must be purposeful in keeping You our focus throughout the activities and events of each day, whether at home, at work, the marketplace, in the car or riding public transportation, wherever our paths may lead us day by day. Since Revelation teaches us that the eternal city of heaven does not need the sun or moon to shine on it, because God's glory illuminates it, and its lamp is the Lamb, then our praise will be unending in heaven. With the fruit of our lips today we give You praise and we honor You for who You are, for what You have done for us through Christ our Redeemer and Mediator, for how You are presently working in our lives, and for our promised eternal inheritance that is stored up for us in heaven where the best is yet to come. Amen.

Hope International banquet 5/17/16
Last night we attended a banquet at the Lancaster Marriott Convention Center and met people from all over the globe, representatives of HOPE International, which works to empower men, women, and families to break the cycles of physical and spiritual poverty through the provision of Biblically based business training, savings services, small loans, mentoring, and discipleship. By incorporating a strong witness for Jesus Christ and employing a variety of approaches to microfinance, HOPE is an innovator in the field of microenterprise development. I suppose the best way I can describe this ministry is based on the concept, "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime." This ministry provides the tools to fish. The speaker was Peter Greer, president and CEO of HOPE International, who has keen insight to addressing world poverty. See below for more information on HOPE International.

Convene friends at Hope International banquet 5/17/16
We attended the event as guests of our friends, Ron and Bonnie Hoover. (Ron is pictured in the middle with what appears to be a white sun shining over his head though it is the logo for HOPE Int'l.) Ron is the chair of our local Convene group. Several Convene members attended so we snapped this photo just before we headed home.

Peter Greer
Last night's meeting at HOPE International prompted some further research when we got home late. It was very inspiring to meet the people from the various countries and see the results of the mission. It sure seems to me that this organization has found a real key in expressing Biblical compassion with great and lasting results.

"What's in Your Hands?"  Video explaining the basic mission of HOPE international

"How long would you wait for a sewing machine?" Video presentation by Peter Greer.

This film provides food for thought. 
POVERTY, INC. Fighting poverty is big business. But who profits the most? Video trailer at this site. (scroll down)

This blog article on Peter Greer's blog is very insightful Toxic Charity: Lessons from Bob Lupton

Or this one: Why We Need to Listen to the Poor: HOPE’s Untold Story

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Crown Him Him With Many Crowns"  Video  Royal Albert Hall of London

"Crown Him"  Video  Chris Tomlin,
Kari Jobe

"Worthy Is the Lamb/Crown Him With Many Crowns"  Video  Travis Cottrell

"Let My Words Be Few"  Video  
Phillips, Craig & Dean

* What does it mean to have the fear of God? Here is a short article from gotquestions.org. This website has a very complete collection of short teachings based on answers to questions that are very easily searched. It has over 4,800 answers to frequently asked Bible questions published online. It was developed by a man
from Kansas City Missouri, the area I grew up in.

Finally today:

Last week we shared a message prompted by a message on a license plate and then a message yesterday using Matthew 7:14 as a text. Duke, a thoughtful reader from Delaware, sent me a photo of his son's license plate witness!
Matthew 7:14 license plate

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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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