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Monday, June 13, 2016

Red colonial home in Enfield CT
The quaint colonial era home is in Enfield Connecticut right next to the stone that marks a spiritually significant event.

"Revive Us Again!"

Note: Due to travel we will not be podcasting this week and the messages may not be published each day.

Message Summary:
Our land desperately needs a revival like the Great Awakening at the time of Jonathan Edwards. In fact I assert that it is our only hope for national restoration. The appeal of the Psalmist is so needed, "Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you?"

"Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you?  Show us Your mercy, O Lord, and grant us Your salvation" (Psalm 85:6,7).

One again news of evil dominated yesterday's headlines. We followed the story of the Islamic terrorist attack in Orlando, Florida as we drove up to New England yesterday. Day by day we just wonder what's next and it seems that any human solutions are vain or even make matters worse. However, most will never consider what is really needed, a spiritual revival that begins with our repentance of sin through prayer and contrition followed by a desire to follow in the ways of Christ and living according to the Scriptures.

JK Mechanical AED
A common sight now found in public places is the AED device (Automated External Defibrillator). The other day I was visiting JK Mechanical, one of the companies we serve as chaplains, and saw one mounted on the wall (left) and the brand caught my attention, "Reviver". I wonder how many consider the Biblical origins of that word!

The word revive means "restore to life or consciousness". In the case of a heart attack, of course, the AED is used to shock the heart back to life (probably not the precise medical terminology).

But the word "revive" is initially a spiritual word found in the Bible having essentially the same meaning. As I looked at the AED I thought, wouldn't it be great if there was an ASD (automatic spiritual defibrillator). We have an AED in our church but I am not aware of any ASD.

We are visiting New England and yesterday purposefully got off the interstate to drive through Enfield, Connecticut. It was here in 1741 that Jonathan Edwards preached a sermon
with the catchy title, "Sinners In The Hands Of An Angry God", which would not go over very well in many of today's "seeker friendly" churches! I don't know if there is any record of the sermon being announced beforehand such as is common today. Can you imagine a church sign announcing such a title? We're far more familiar and comfortable with a title such as, "Sinners in the Hands of a Loving God".

Jonathan EdwardsOn July 8, 1741 Jonathan Edwards stepped behind the pulpit and methodically delivered what many consider the most famous single sermon ever preached in America. Few preachers have not heard of "Sinners in the hands of an Angry God" or read the account of the astounding conviction that came over the assembled listeners that day which preceded a sweeping revival throughout America.

People wept and cried out to God for mercy and many were saved. It wasn't because of Edward's eloquence or his dynamic sermon delivery. He didn't have a nifty PowerPoint presentation of moving videos. Instead Edwards was described as "one who preached powerfully although lamely dependent on his manuscript, who delivered his sermons in a monotone, with his eyes never straying from the back wall of the church.”

The next several years our country experienced a sweeping revival known as "The Great Awakening."
Although not widely spoken of in modern times, in large part due to historical revisionism, the Great Awakening was a movement rooted in devout faith in God and spiritual growth which brought a national identity to Colonial America. Many of the founders were impacted by this Great Awakening.

The meeting house itself where Edwards regularly preached burned down in 1775 and only a small, engraved stone now marks the spot where it stood commemorating the event. It reads as follows: “This boulder marks the place where stood the Second Meeting House of the First Church of Christ in Enfield, built A.D. 1704 and used for worship until 1775. In this meeting house on July 8, 1741, during the revival known as ‘The Great Awakening” Jonathan Edwards preached his celebrated sermon, ‘Sinners in the Hands Of An Angry God.’”

At Jonathan Edwards historical spot
Brooksyne and I prayed at that spot yesterday afternoon and renewed our commitment to serving God in our generation like Jonathan Edwards did in his.

Our land desperately needs a revival like the Great Awakening at the time of Jonathan Edwards. In fact I assert that it is our only hope for national restoration. The appeal of the Psalmist is so needed, "Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you?"

Today, join Brooksyne and me among others with a steadfast heart who declare, "Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you?"  In our day, in our time, may the Lord revive you and me and each faithful follower of Christ.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying man Daily prayer:
Father, we long to experience revival so that we will be renewed in mind, in spirit and in purpose. The journey seems long and the continual allurement to that which satisfies only for a season can turn our hearts away from the living waters that forever quenches our thirsty soul. Rekindle us with fire from above as You satisfy the longings of our soul and impassion us with the desire to reach the lost. In Jesus' name we pray. In addition, Lord, we pray for the families of those who perished in Orlando, Florida on Sunday morning along with the scores of those now hospitalized and recovering for their injuries. Help the families cope with the mass confusion that accompanies this horrendous slaughter. And, Lord, may this evil plot not further the moral chaos that is evident throughout the world but reveal our need to repent, Amen.

Some photos of friends along the way

Nive and Sade 6/11/16
Saturday afternoon I stopped in for an open house to visit Nive and Sade and prayed a dedication prayer on their new home. Nive is an HVAC service technician I regularly see at JK Mechanical. Nive and Sade married last summer and are expecting their first child. They both serve the Lord. It is so heartening to associate with a young couple who have an earnest walk with Christ.

Don and Carole Musser 6/11/16
Later Saturday afternoon long-time friends Don and Carole Musser stopped by. I met Don several weeks after moving to Lancaster County in 2001 at Engle Printing where Brooksyne and I served as chaplains. Don and Carole are very active in their retirement and diligently serve the Lord.

Wayne and Yvette 6/12/16
We dined with Yvette and Wayne Gallagher upon our arrival in Sturbridge, MA. They have dedicated their lives to God and four years ago planted a new church in Southbridge, MA called New Vision Church. Having done that ourselves many years ago in St. Marys, PA we know the great blessing but also the difficulties, discouragements, and challenges that also come  with such an undertaking. We sought to encourage them and refresh our long time friendship.

Stone marking location where Jonathan Edwards preached "Sinners in the hands of an angry God"
This small stone marks the location where Jonathan Edwards preached. The stone is on an empty lot next to the red house featured in our lead photo. It reads:

This boulder marks the place where stood the second meeting house of the First Church of Christ in Enfield. Built A.D. 1704 and used for worship until 1775. In this Meeting House on July 8, 1741 during the revival known as "THE GREAT AWAKENING" Jonathan Edwards preached his celebrated sermon, "SINNERS IN THE HANDS OF AN ANGRY GOD".
Click on photo to enlarge

Webers standing next to stone marking location where Jonathan Edwards preached "Sinners in the hands of an angry God" (about 2006)
Here's a photo of us standing beside the stone from about ten years ago.

If you care to do so you can read Jonathan Edward's sermon here.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Revive Us Again"  Video  Homecoming Friends

Pastor Greg Laurie: "Can America Experience Another 'Jesus Movement' Before the End Times?"

Video of message by Greg Laurie "Can We Have Revival In Our Time"

Finally today:
Old car on MA pike 6/12/16
We had a long drive yesterday with a lot of traffic and slowdowns through NJ, New York, Connecticut and all along the Mass turnpike heading into Boston. But we saw this neat old car on the Pike and often rode alongside it though we couldn't tell the make or year, but it was a beauty. How often do you see a passenger or driver with the windows down and the arm clutching the window opening? Seems like a photo of yesteryear.

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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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