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Thursday, February 9, 2017

Snowfall 2/9/17
Snowfall early this morning gives us some nice views here in rural America!

"When Silence Is Not Golden"

Message summary: Ecclesiastes 3:7 wisely states there is "A time to be silent and a time to speak". Elijah's bold call for a decision was not a time for silence!

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"But the people said nothing" (1 Kings 18:21). "A time to be silent and a time to speak" (Ecclesiastes 3:7).
"Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them" (Ephesians 5:11).

The silence during a snowfall is nearly deafening or so we've heard. Even in our rural setting we have lots of ambient sounds, traffic, farm equipment, even machinery in our home such as the coal stove or radon mitigation fan. However as I stepped outside this morning the humming from that continuous noise was muffled, depending on the depth of the snow, since the snowcovering is a factor in absorbing the sound, the deeper the snow the more quiet the outdoors. Eventually the seasonal sounds like snowblowers, snow shovels and plows shatter the quietness as people dig their way through the blanket of snow!

I like silence. That is something we have disagreement about in our marriage. Brooksyne likes to go to sleep with music playing, me not so much. But we've managed to overcome that small difference over our 40 years of marriage!

Today we continue to examine a single verse in 1 Kings 18:21. Here's the entire verse again: "Elijah went before the people and said, 'How long will you waver between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal is God, follow him'. But the people said nothing."

In this dramatic confrontation Elijah confronted those who wavered in their allegiance.
"How long will you waver between two opinions?" He asked a probing question and then followed up with this prophetic challenge, 'If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal is God, follow him'".

Today let us examine the people's pathetic response summed up in just five words,
"But the people said nothing." Sometimes silence speaks louder than words.

Perhaps they thought by committing to neither party they would appease both. So many today are like the people who, when confronted with Elijah's unabashed choice, "said nothing." That sounds like the rampant pluralism of our day. And, tragically, it sounds like many in the visible church.

James Bridges wrote, "The enemies of the gospel will do everything possible to frighten the church into silence."

Ecclesiastes 3:7 wisely states there is
"A time to be silent and a time to speak". Elijah's bold call for a decision was not a time for silence!

In our third daily verse the Apostle Paul makes a very unambiguous statement: "Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them." It's a call desperately needed in our culture and increasingly so in the Church. By obeying it will subject us to ridicule among many who "love the darkness rather than the light" (John 3:19). In fact the world wants to silence those who speak out for truth exposing darkness through the Light of His Word.

Chelsen Vicari writes, "Remember that Christ was criticized and crucified by the popular culture of His day. Don’t give up. Don’t get discouraged. Don’t get burned out. And don’t be silent. Silence does not spread justice nor truth. Never lose your compassion, but never ever abandon your convictions!"

Let us determine that we will declare "
the Lord is God" and follow Him.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, we won't abandon our convictions nor lose our compassion when we follow You without reservation or compromise. We follow You and seek no other master. We do not want to be silent about Your work in our lives, but we want to provide a Biblical answer to all who ask about the hope that we have, and we want to do this with compassion, gentleness, and respect so that those who might find fault with the messenger will focus their attention on the message we share about You, our Master, Creator, and Redeemer! We will not be deterred from speaking up though our message may be unpopular or fall upon unreceptive hearts, for we choose to follow You with our lives, with our voice, and with obedient hearts. Amen.

See I Peter 3:14-18

Snowfall 2/9/17
Here's the view this morning from our back door and deck. I am slowly replacing the railing. More snow is not projected for this storm so I guess we'll wait for the really big storm that I look forward to each winter; storms that require the help of my neighbor Leon in plowing us of our driveway with his big John Deere tractor, and snow that stays on the ground for several days!

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"I Am Not Ashamed Of The Gospel"   Video   Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir

Chelsen Vicari is a young Bible-faithful Millennial who blogs at IRD

"Hearts of Fire" - Eight women in the underground church and their stories of costly faith is told in this book compiled by Voice of the Martyrs. We are reading this book presently and each of the eight stories is riveting. These women, one as young as twelve, take a stand for Christ. It will cost them their families, their standing in the community, separate them from their spouses and children. They will face imprisonment, be thrown into refugee camps, see loved ones slain before their very eyes, and on and on the hardships and terrors unfold in this hard to read book. But the beauty within their lives, the determination to be faithful to God in the midst of such horrors speaks to us, especially as we consider the charge put forth by Elijah, "If the Lord is God, follow Him..." These women could not be silenced as their faith was unwavering and their commitment undeterred under the most brutal of circumstances. You can get a free copy of this 292 page book here. (This works as of 2/9/17 but of course we have no idea how long this offer will last.)

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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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