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Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Flowers along Donegal Creek 7/2/15
Rudbekia and bees balm along Donegal Creek. Notice the wheat ready to be harvested in the background.

"Grace Capital"

Please note: Today I (Stephen) will be traveling to Arizona to attend a chaplain conference where I will also be leading a workshop on corporate chaplaincy. Due to travel our messages will only be posted sporadically depending on time and internet connection. I will be spending several days before the conference with my oldest brother, Michael, who lives in California and will meeting me this afternoon for several days of sightseeing, including the Grand Canyon.

Message Summary: The Bible and history abundantly teaches that one day this grace capital will be spent and judgment will come. Notice the phrase in our second daily text, "until there was no remedy." This is especially applicable to nations. Even as there is often a time lapse between the promise and the blessing, there is also a time lapse between the disobedient nation and judgment that follows.

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"If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God" (Hebrews 10:26,27). "The Lord, the God of their fathers, sent word to them again and again by His messengers, because He had compassion on His people and on His dwelling place; but they continually mocked the messengers of God, despised His words and scoffed at His prophets, until the wrath of the Lord arose against His people, until there was no remedy" (2 Chronicles 36:15,16).

Over the years we have attended many great firework shows. In fact we can always count on some of our neighbors to provide a pretty good show for us (though our border collie, Mollie, is frightened by the popping noises). This year we have had some great displays in the distance without a lot of noise. Last night the most impressive light show we've seen so far this year was the multitude of fireflies flashing their lights off near to the ground, around the trees and all throughout the cornfields - it was spectacular! It must have been a very romantic night for the fireflies as the males flashed their lights trying to impress the females.

But when it comes to booming fireworks that light up the sky the best show we ever attended was "The Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular" a huge public concert held every 4th of July along the Charles River Esplanade in Boston. They managed to get the descriptive domain name www.july4th.org. We went to the show when we lived up that way in the nineties and it was undoubtedly the most powerful display we have ever seen live. We watched it live last night on TV but it's nothing like being there!

They place a barge in the Charles River and synchronize music to the fireworks (both live orchestra and recorded). Several times it was so intense I wondered if they had lost control and the barge was blowing up! The final three minutes were a massive, constant barrage.

One of the songs used during the concert was "America the Beautiful", sung by Ray Charles. When he sang the line, "God shed His grace on thee",  we affirmed those words with a heartfelt "Amen". Apart from believers present, how many paid attention to those moving words and stopped to consider that God has indeed shed His grace on America?

Yes, God has shed His grace on America. A study of our forefathers indicates that many held a deep faith in Christ. So many of the ordinary people also sought to walk in obedience to God. These previous generations left something we will call "grace capital". Yet we earnestly believe that America is rapidly running out of this "grace capital". That is, the residual effects of grace extended to previous generations who had served God faithfully.

Notice carefully here, we are not suggesting there is any deficiency or limit to God's grace. Not at all. But we do believe those walking in disobedience to God may very well experience "grace capital" that is residual from previous generations.

But the Bible and history abundantly teaches that one day this grace capital will be spent and judgment will come. Notice the last phrase in our second daily text, "until there was no remedy." This is especially applicable to nations. Even as there is often a time lapse between the promise and the blessing, there is also a time lapse between the disobedient nation and judgment that follows.

The daily verse may sound very harsh in our age of moral relativism and the pluralistic society in which we live today, but it expresses a profound truth and can be applied to both individuals and nations. Have you received the knowledge of the truth? Are you living your life with faith and in obedience to God?

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying man Daily prayer:
Father, it is not Your will that any should perish but that all would come to repentance. Yet You don't force us to follow Your prescribed plan, but give us a free will to come willingly, lovingly, obediently, and gratefully when we finally realize that there is none like You. No one else could touch our hearts like You do, grant us peace that is eternal and prepare a home for us to last for all eternity. We don't presume upon Your grace, but we do receive it by faith with thanksgiving. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.

Today we share a selection of photos that Brooksyne took

Donegal Creek 7/2/15
Another scene along Donegal Creek on Saturday morning. This mismatched pair of ducks has been hanging out for several years on this trail.

Emma at door 7/2/15
Our neighbors live in an 1800's stone farmhouse. After Neville and I (Brooksyne) took a bike ride along Donegal Creek we stopped in for a visit. I thought Emma, their 10 month lab pup, completed the picture with her curious face in the door. Notice the barn reflected in the door.

Nevile with pet duck 7/2/16
Laura is enabling Neville to pet Buttons, their pet duck. Over a year ago two ducks came into Laura's yard and adopted her and Bob. They've since then set up a duck house and feed them daily with corn and care for their health needs as well. Neville wasn't too comfortable with Button's web feet kicking at him so he settled for stroking him as he nested on the ground.

Nyube family 7/4/16
Finally, yesterday afternoon I took a half sheet cake to Neville's family to celebrate the fourth and found them outside shelling maize corn. Nathan, Neville and their dad were stripping corn they grew last year now that the ears have dried and today they removed all the kernels. They make masa harina with the field corn (or maize), after it is ground and has the consistency of flour or cornmeal. It's quite tasty as Tho made some for us in the past introducing us to dishes from Zimbabwe. Stephen's brother-in-law is from Venezuela where this is a popular dish as well.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"A Cry For Freedom"  Video  Heartland Quartet

"We Want America Back"  Video  The Steeles  It seems the song was actually recorded some 20 years ago. It has a powerful narration.

"America the Beautiful"  Video  Ray Charles
  This is the song we heard at the Charles River Esplanade in Boston many years ago.

"Our Lives, Our Fortunes, Our Sacred Honor"  Video   An interesting history lesson from
Paul Harvey who grew up in Tulsa, Brooksyne's home town.

Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular   Video

Finally today:

Nyube family 7/4/16
A couple days ago it was very hot so Mollie and Dottie laid down under the same bench to get some relief from the sun. They're not usually so chummy, but one makes allowances to find comfort, whether animal or human.

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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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