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Monday, June 27, 2016

Mervin's 1950 Buick
Mervin Buckwalter in his "new" 1950 Buick

"Building A Godly Legacy"

Message Summary: We who fear God's Name are in the process of transmitting a godly legacy. In the past the Bible writers did so by writing down the Scriptures which is our authority for life. However God has also used those contemporaneous with us who have called on the name of the Lord; those who fear His name. They have sought to pass on the same spiritual legacy to us. Our parents and grandparents, our Pastor, Sunday school teachers, a bold witness at work, and many, many others. And now we are all building that same heritage to pass on to others.

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"For You have heard my vows, O God; You have given me the heritage of those who fear Your name" (Psalm 61:5). "And the things You have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others" (2 Timothy 2:2).

These days we hear a lot about people's aspiration for fame. In fact a quote attributed to Andy Warhol speaks of one's "15 minutes of fame" and in the last several years there have been some rather bizarre incidents of people seeking their 15 minutes. Now a goal for many is creating a post or video that will go "viral", a term meaning many will pass it on and it will be immensely popular. We've see a number of foolish stunts that have turned out to be attention-seeking hoaxes.

Holding Bible Rather than 15 minutes, or however long, fame is always fleeting. God's people are called to leave a godly legacy, not a self-aggrandized list of their own accomplishments. Note: As I muse this concept it seems we leave a legacy but receive a heritage.

I’d rather have Jesus than men’s applause;
I’d rather be faithful to His dear cause;
I’d rather have Jesus than worldwide fame;
I’d rather be true to His holy name

We consider those who left behind a godly legacy whom we personally know. Most were not famous and their sphere of godly influence was relatively small leaving an impact on their family, church and community. A godly legacy is developed over a lifetime as we choose day after day to live for Christ.

Although we usually use the phrase "leaving a godly legacy" when we consider someone who is older or has passed away, today let us consider "building a godly legacy." It's not something you just decide to do toward the end of your life but rather something you have been doing consciously or unconsciously all your life.

David PierceDavid is a little boy in Brooksyne's Sunday School class. His parents, Ken and Nila, are seeking to raise him and his siblings in the ways of the Lord which is no small challenge in this age. David called the other day to recite his memory verse to Brooksyne since he was out of town the Sunday before. After she commended him I took the phone and I asked David to share the verse with me as well. What a joy to hear a child, encouraged by diligent parents, tuck away through memorization, God's Word in their heart. It occurred to me when I heard him that Ken and Nila are in the process of building a godly legacy.

David (in the Bible) wrote in our first daily text, "You have given me the heritage of those who fear Your name." Let us consider our own spiritual heritage. That will vary for each of us. It is a great privilege to be brought up by parents and grandparents who revere our God, who live according to Biblical instruction, whereby we are introduced to faith in Christ. We must first possess that which we desire to pass on.

As a result we who fear His Name are in the process of transmitting this godly legacy. In the past the Bible writers did so by writing down the Scriptures which is our authority for life. However God has also used those contemporaneous with us who have called on the name of the Lord; those who fear His name. They have sought to pass on the same spiritual legacy to us. Our parents and grandparents, our Pastor, Sunday school teachers, a bold witness at work, and many, many others. And now we are all building that same heritage to pass on to others.

The second daily text is such a pattern for ministry and a key to leaving a godly legacy: "And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others" (2 Timothy 2:2).

That's been the pattern for two thousand years and continues to this day and will most certainly continue until the trumpet sounds. One generation passing on the faith to the next. You're reading this today and hopefully your faith is centered on Christ. Someone has passed it down to you. Are you now passing it on? Are you building a godly legacy to those who come along behind you? That's our call.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying man Daily prayer: Father, You have called on us, Your children, to be reliable in giving a solid witness of our faith in You. We are to live godly lives so that we faithfully model that which we also teach to our children and all whom we are privileged to influence. We realize that there is no neutral position; we either live for You or we live for the world. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus as we journey below so that we fulfill the calling to be faithful and influence others for the kingdom of God. In Jesus' name we pray.  Amen.

Note: In considering today's message we consider the solemn duty of leaving a godly legacy with the evidence we now tend to see in many obituaries in the paper.

Oberholtzer family 6/26/16
Yesterday we heard a mission report from Jason Oberholser, who along with his wife, Rebekah, and their five children, serve as missionaries in New Mexico. We first met 'Bekah when her parents, Greg and Linda, moved to our area in northern Pennsylvania as Elk County Agriculture  Extension Agent following Greg's graduation from Penn State. Bekah was just a toddler when we first met her.

Burns family 1985Here's a photo of the Burns family in 1985 at the groundbreaking for our new church building in St. Marys PA. Greg and Linda are holding their son, Danny, while Becky looks up with a big smile probably wondering what's going on. A heartwarming pastoral story comes out of this home. One year I challenged our young congregation to memorize a  verse from each book of the Bible. I reasoned that when we get to heaven and meet Haggai, Habakkuk or other more obscure Bible characters it would be nice to recall something they wrote. So I carefully chose a verse from each book and over the course of 66 weeks challenged the people to memorize one selected verse per week. About half way through that same year we were visiting the Burns family and Bekah, only 4 or 5 years old at that time, was memorizing these verses right along with her parents, and proceeded to quote them word perfect in her own toddler vernacular. She has told us she still remembers having done that (although she couldn't necessarily remember every verse now)! We considered that when we see these verses or hear them read, even if we don't remember them word for word, we can remember the setting or book from which they came. That's a blessing that remains even when much of our memories fade with time or with the many various versions that are presented today.

Oberholtzer family in New Mexico 2016
Here's a photo of the Oberholser family at home in New Mexico. A number of our readers are from the church in St. Marys and you will quickly recognize that the daughter on the right looks exactly like little Bekah over 30 years ago!

As we were in the process of preparing today's message on building a godly legacy we are heartened to share several photos taken after our church service yesterday of those in the generation following our own that are seeking to do so.

Pierce family 6/26/16
David (red shirt) is the little boy who shared his memory verse with Brooksyne over the phone. His parents Ken and Nila are earnest followers of Christ.
We acknowledge our long-time farmer friend, Galen, whose wheat field backdrop is seen in several of today's photos. Ken works as a farmhand where Galen and his son, Darrel, farms.

Gardner family 6/26/16
Mike and JoAnna Gardner with their children. Yesterday I sat directly in front of them and what a blessing to hear little Adoree heartily sing out all the words to "The Power Of The Cross"! (See below for link to song.)

Stan and Peter Miller 6/26/16

Stan Miller and his son Peter
Peter was a high school student when we started attending the church in 2001. He married a young lady from the church and they have 3 year old Caleb and one on the way. Peter was recently selected to serve as a deacon, a position his dad held for many years.

Nyube family & Jake and Nancy Shenk 6/26/16
A special sense of legacy is demonstrated in this photo. Jake Shenk (r) was a farm boy who grew up in our church. He and his wife Nancy went to then Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) in 1958 when he was just 22 (she was 21). They have labored on the mission field for 58 years! They are pictured with our neighbors, Notsen and Tho Ncube, along with their one son, Neville, who are from Zimbabwe. Notsen is a pastor who is here in the states for training. Jake serves as their bishop in Zimbabwe.

Smucker company picnic 6/25/16
One of the pleasant duties in our chaplaincy ministry is attending company picnics. It's a great time to visit with the employees and their families in a context different than work. Saturday afternoon we attended the picnic for the S.S. Smucker company and they had some very interesting competition among the different divisions with a teamwork obstacle course. The one pictured is much harder than it looks!

Nyube family & Jake and Nancy Shenk 6/26/16
We had lots of games. Brooksyne was the only female that played in the company volleyball tournament. I stuck with washer toss which involved tossing a gigantic washer and trying to get in one of the holes on the boards. It's harder than it looks!

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Famous One"  Video  Chris Tomlin

"I'd Rather Have Jesus"  Video  George Beverly Shea

"I'd Rather Have Jesus"  Video  Jason Crabb

"My Turn Now"  Video   Steven Curtis Chapman 

"The Power Of The Cross"  Video  Kristyn Getty

Finally today:
"Green monster" seating at Fenway Park 6/15/16
Two weeks ago we went to the Red Sox baseball game at Fenway Park in Boston. Ester just sent me this photo she took of the premium "Green Monster" seating above the famed green wall in left field (photo). These seats have been added since we lived in New England back in the nineties. These are now some of the priciest seats in baseball and if you want to sit on that front row this Saturday it will set you back $430.00 according to the official MLB site! When we were there a security guard restricted entrance to the area since even the standing room only at the very back is around $75.00.

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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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