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Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Cumberland County stone building 6/7/16
Yesterday we passed this grand stone mill near Carlisle PA.

"Staying Spiritually Hydrated"

Message Summary:
Today, let the streams of God's living water flow through your lives to a parched, needy, dehydrated world! Let's be a source of spiritual hydration.

ListenListen to this message on your audio player.

"Now on the final and most important day of the Feast, Jesus stood, and He cried in a loud voice, 'If any man is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink! He who believes in Me as the Scripture has said, from his innermost being shall flow springs and rivers of living water'" (John 7:37,38).

We work with a roofing company as chaplains where the men work under some very difficult conditions especially during the heat of the summer and extreme cold temperatures in the winter. The company sent us a newsletter that included safety tips for the men as they work during the hot summer months. The first vital tip listed was:

1. HYDRATE: this sounds so simple, drink, drink, drink. But what you are drinking is just as important as how much you are drinking. Stay away from caffeine, which is a diuretic, no carbonated beverages, and no sugary stuff. Load up on water, gatorade, lemonade (low sugar), and more water.

The failure to hydrate can lead to dehydration (hypohydration) which is not only bad for our overall health but can lead to several conditions that make work more dangerous such as fatigue and light-headedness (dizziness).

Just this morning Brooksyne read a story in our local paper about a Lancaster County roofer who died after a 30' fall from a church roof he was repairing. Although the article did not specify the reason for the fall it sure reminds us of the dangers roof workers experience as well as the importance of avoiding dehydration.
We prayed for this man's family and his co-workers as they endure this loss.

Funk foyer This tragic story also made us think of the importance of staying spiritually hydrated. The two above-mentioned conditions in physical dehydration can also affect us spiritually, that is, fatigue and dizziness (not keeping a clear head).

Today's Scripture text has the words of the Lord Jesus. He had stood to deliver a message at the last and greatest day of the Feast of Tabernacles. In a loud voice (one version states, "Jesus shouted to the crowds.") He gave the following invitation; "If any man is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink! He who believes in Me [who cleaves to and trusts in and relies on Me] as the Scripture has said, from his innermost being shall flow [continuously] springs and rivers of living water." (Amplified)

Jesus used an analogy in His teaching that is completely cross cultural. "Streams of Living Water" is a concept that can be grasped by all people. That is what He intends to flow out of those who come to Him and drink from His eternal life-giving supply. "Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him."  He certainly doesn't say or intend that a stagnant pool of diseased water will flow from within him!

"Living Water" bottle
Just as water is necessary to sustain physical life (our bodies are made up of approximately 2/3 water), so the Savior and all that He teaches and represents are essential for abundant and eternal life.  We need to drink daily from His fresh flowing supply to sustain our spiritual growth and fruitful development lest we become spiritually dehydrated.

As believers in Christ we need fresh inflow and God's Word provides an inexhaustible supply. Although the pure reading of Scriptural text should be the primary source there are many supplements such as Bible teaching, reading godly books, listening to uplifting music and so forth.

We also need an outflow; that is, sharing His Word with others in various forms of ministry. In our current form of ministry we seek to continue to grow in the Lord and the knowledge of His Word and then share it through this online writing ministry, face to face, and through preaching as opportunities arise. Perhaps you are a Sunday School teacher, youth leader, worship leader, or lead a ministry in the nursing home. There are so many avenues in which we are given opportunity to extend to others what God has instilled in us.

Today, let the streams of God's living water flow through your lives to a parched, needy, dehydrated world! Let's be a source of spiritual hydration.

This "living water" will be a feature of heaven. Jesus said in Revelation, “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life"
(Revelation 21:6). "The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let the one who hears say, “Come!” Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life" (Revelation 21:6, 22:17).

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, we accept Your invitation to come and drink freely from Your inexhaustible supply of life-giving water, to hydrate ourselves spiritually.  May Your springs of living water overflow to those around us as it springs forth in our words, our actions and in our thoughts. We also pray for those who work each day in harm's way such as the military, the police and other law enforcement individuals. We pray for those whose occupation can be dangerous or hazardous, that they will take every precaution and heed the warnings related to their kind of work. We thank You for the many times we have all been in harm's way, barely avoiding an accident, because You sent our guardian angel to protect us. You are mindful and protective of our comings and goings and the many times each day that we avoid injury or death. Thank You for redirecting, refreshing, and replinishing our spirit with Your life-giving, eternal water. Amen.

Opposum Lake in Cumberland County PA 6/7/16
Opossum Lake in Cumberland County, PA

Deer in Cumberland County PA 6/7/16
This Cumberland County deer allowed us an up close shot as we slowed down and Brooksyne snapped this photo through our front windshield!

Philip Bongiorno 6/7/16
Last night we attended a minister's picnic near Carlisle, PA, and visited with Philip Bongiorno, who for many years was my superintendent as he served the Penn/Del District. He is now in his mid-eigthies but still gets around very well with a sharp mind. He asked me, "What does the Lord require of thee?" I answered, "To do justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with thy God" (Micah 6:8).  He then told me that was a verse Brooksyne cross-stitched about 30 years ago and gave to him which he still has!

When I was ordained in 1979 I still recall a solemn reading of Scripture verses from 2 Timothy that Brother Bongiorno read at the service. At 24 years of age I stood in a long line with other ordinands holding my Bible and facing the congregation. Bongiorno is a short Italian preacher with a booming voice. He didn't rush through the reading but slowly enunciated each phrase and sometimes a single word, pausing at times to let the meaning of the word or phrase sink in.

"I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: preach the Word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths. But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry" (2 Timothy 4:1-5).

Brother Bongiorno was converted to Christ following his affiliation with the Mafia. He inevitably wept in gratitude to God each time we heard him share his testimony.

Josh and Christa Fowler 6/7/16

Josh and Christa Fowler
We are so pleased when a church we have served continues its mission. Josh pastors a church near Harrisburg, PA where we served in a short interim role nearly ten years ago. We were pleased to hear stories of faithfulness among the congregational members, although many of the older folks have passed on.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"There is A River (Psalm 46)"  Video  Maranatha! Singers

"I Will Delight"
  Video  Fernando Ortega

"Springs of Living Water"  Video  The Calvary Men's Choir Magherafelt, N. Ireland Some of you old--timers will recall singing this happy melody!

Finally today:
Pig roast head 6/7/16
Remnants from our meal last night!

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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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