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Friday, May 20, 2016

Pump with flowers 5/19/16
Yesterday we passed this scene in eastern Lancaster County near Hinkletown.

"Now Is The Day Of Salvation"

Message Summary: 
Today we urge each of you to examine your heart and realize today is (always) the day of salvation. Tomorrow may be too late so we urge you this moment to receive His grace.

ListenListen to this message on your audio player.

"Behold, now is 'the acceptable time,' behold, now is 'the day of salvation'" (2 Corinthians 6:2). "Today if you hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts" (Hebrews 4:7).

iPhone siri Brooksyne has grown accustomed to using Siri on her iPhone. For those who may not know Siri is a human sounding voice that connects to the internet and responds to vocal prompts. Throughout the day I hear Brooksyne say "Hey Siri"...followed by a question and Siri does a good job of answering most of her questions. Sometimes it's mathematical equations, other times Siri may agree to set the timer or alarm on her phone.

Once Brooksyne told Siri to set her alarm at 4 AM. Siri replied, "OK, timer is set for 4 AM but don't wake me up at that time." There are other times Siri comes to life when you don't expect it and her responses can be pretty funny or even thought-provoking.

Several weeks ago we were at an employee meeting when Marlin, one of the company owners, was giving a company update. For whatever reason his Siri kept on interrupting him and it was humorous to watch his efforts to get the "chatty woman to shut up" (Brooksyne's words). But my favorite Siri experience took place at
a meeting of Christian businessmen (CBMC).

Peter Greer Our special speaker was Peter Greer, president of HOPE International, whom we also heard at a meeting this past Tuesday evening. Peter presented a message about living a life of significance by serving others.

Following the message Chris, a local CBMC leader, presented a spiritual challenge to follow Christ and led us in a prayer of confession and commitment, often called "the sinner's prayer". Chris was leading in the prayer inviting any who had not already done so to accept Christ. The room grew still as many of us were silently praying even as we listened respectfully. During times like this I also reaffirm the decision I made many years ago to follow Christ while also praying for anyone in attendance who needs to accept Christ.

As Chris was solemnly praying with an anointing and burden for the men in attendance, suddenly without warning, a pleasant but somewhat exasperated female voice blurted out, "I am not sure what you want!" Not only the surprise interruption but the loud female voice in an all-male meeting sure caught all the men's attention!

iphoneOf course it was Siri who had interrupted this sacred meeting. The phone owner was very embarrassed at his phone's misbehavior and showed me his iPhone after the meeting. Siri, has been known to misunderstand humans and speak out inappropriately! Someone more technically proficient than I might explain what it was about the salvation prayer that set "her" off but I think it was a teaching moment for any who heard it (most in the room).

For real humans Chris was quite clear in his presentation of salvation. Although Siri was not sure what he wanted (perhaps she's not at all spiritually minded). Chris wanted each man in that room to have his heart right with God!

That's also our goal today for each one who happens to be reading this. We chose two Scripture texts:

"Behold, now is 'the acceptable time,' behold, now is 'the day of salvation'." Today we urge each of you to examine your heart and realize today is (always) the day of salvation. Tomorrow may be too late so we urge you this moment to receive His grace.

"Today if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts." This is a Bible reference taken from Psalm 95:7 where the Psalmist warns against hardening our hearts as the Israelites did in the desert. The hardening of one's heart is associated with not listening to God, not obeying Him. Just as God spoke through Moses to the people, He speaks to us through His Holy Spirit. If we repeatedly silence His promptings our hearts become callous and hardened like stone.

Rather than growing callous let us keep our hearts open and pliable while inviting the presence of the Holy Spirit to conform us into the image of Christ.

Marvelous, infinite, matchless grace,
Freely bestowed on all who believe!
You that are longing to see His face,
Will you this moment His grace receive?

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, we thank You for sending Jesus to live among us over 2000 years ago. We thank You for His teachings, His sinless life, and for His death on the cross that provides for our salvation and for His glorious resurrection. Each of us has sinned and the penalty for our sin is death. So we thank You for Jesus who took our sin penalty by dying in our place. We ask for Your forgiveness as we believe and confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, because salvation comes to us through Christ Jesus our Lord. Thank You for Your wondrous and eternal gift of salvation.

Salvation prayer based on what is commonly referred to as the Romans Road (Romans 3:23, 6:23, 5:8, 10:8-10)

Stephen with Val-Co fan test 5/19/16
Among our chaplain visits yesterday:  Stephen is an agricultural engineer testing a huge fan that will be used to ventilate a chicken house. It occurred to me as I watched him he was probably enjoying the strong breeze from the van in the testing area. However when this fan is placed in actual usage it will carry the scent of thousands of poultry and will not be a pleasant place to stand in front of!

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Except for Grace/Grace Greater Than Our Sin"  Video  The Martins

"Just As I Am"  Video  Travis Cottrell  (A wonderful adaptation with some new lyrics.)

"Jesus Saves!"  Video  Travis Cottrell  What a powerful reminder!!!

"Come To Jesus"  Video  Chris Rice

"Glorious Freedom"  Video  Gaither Vocal Band

"Grace That Is Greater Than All Our Sin"  Video  Bart Millard

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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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