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Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Baby goat on Amish farm 2/28/17
This morning we were trying to catch this baby goat on an Amish farm but he just didn't want to be caught!


Message summary: Let us renew our commitment to moral purity today and obey God. In doing so we take a stand against the tide of moral decadence in our land and we practice purity within our hearts!

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"I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a girl" (Job 31:1). "Keep yourself pure" (1 Timothy 5:22).

Ken Rinier 2/28/17
This morning I joined a group of leaders at a company for a breakfast meeting. Ken Rinier, a plant manager, shared the challenge in finding supervisors with good communication skills and how easy it is to be misunderstood. He shared an illustration he had heard in a recent training meeting. A customer went to a Dairy Queen and said to the employee taking his order, "I want a hot fudge sundae with extra hot fudge". The rather puzzled young man taking the order informed the customer, "It only comes in one temperature". (The employee thought the customer's request for "extra hot fudge" meant he wanted it at an "extra hot" temperature when instead the customer was merely asking for "extra" fudge topping!)

I had an experience last week in another plant that anyone overhearing the conversation might have easily drawn a wrong conclusion. An employee, whose father is a friend of mine, inquired, "My dad wants to know if you have the address for Triple-X". I was taken back and wondered what he meant. To me Triple X conveys the rating on the vilest form of pornographic movies. Why would he be asking the chaplain for that information and how had I presented myself that he would feel comfortable in asking for such information from me! My mind was in a quandary so I had to clear things up right away.

And so we quickly cleared the matter up, in that he actually wanted the contact info for friends of ours, Mike & Nicole Martin, who lead a ministry to bikers called "Triple Tree". Apparently his dad had confused Triple X with Triple Tree. We had a good laugh after the clarification!

A vitally important aspect in being a good witness for all of us is
maintaining moral purity.

The late Christian author D. James Kennedy wrote, "There is an open sewer in our society today—an open sewer which is corrupting and polluting the hearts and minds of young and old alike—a sewer of pornography! Its vile flow comes from the hearts and minds of [those] who are depraved and degraded to the point past feeling, when they not only do those things of which they should be ashamed, but rejoice in those who do them and promote them throughout the land."

To further substantiate Kennedy's description of the world's views on this subject I looked up Wikipedia for their take on the term Triple-X and here's what contributors wrote, "As pornography began to become chic and more legally tolerated, pornographers placed an X rating on their films to emphasize the adult content." Of course the more X's the more sexually explicit. Many comedians and sitcom actors joke about pornography and view it as an acceptable or "chic" form of entertainment.

The counsel of God's Word is timeless and far-reaching. Our first daily text speaks of a personal covenant Job made that godly men and women do well to make as their own today. In reading Job's covenant I readily confess that I can't conjure in my mind's eye the sexual allurements that were common in his day; the seductive apparel, fragrance, mannerisms, voice, etc. since he lived during the patriarchal age some 4,000 years ago. But I sure know the way they come today and a covenant with my eyes remains a wise and prudent practice.

In Job's time did they have anything near the equivalent of swimsuit editions of sports magazines, Victoria Secret store fronts, graphic billboards or lingerie ads? Today the internet, which I certainly believe is a powerful tool for ministry, is also a major, major purveyor of pornography that has ensnared many people, both young and old, male and female. Lust inducing images abound and may pop up when least expected or desired. But true followers of Christ must obey God's call to purity and holiness, and resist the urge to look upon these images with a lustful heart.

Staying pure has always been a challenge.  Presently fashion trends that are a stumbling block to men include plunging necklines, rising skirtlines and form fitting (spandex) attire which can be too revealing to the opposite sex. In contrast while some clothes are uncomfortably tight some young men's fashions include pants so baggy that the waistline drops to about knee level as his "fashionable" underwear is being revealed. Have you ever seen a man/boy run in this attire? It's quite a sight, since they don't look too manly but rather like they're competing in a gunny sack race at a picnic!! Brooksyne has more than once said to one of these young men, "You're about to lose your drawers" to which they look at her as though she was born in the patriarchal period. Interestingly, the dictionary defines underwear as you would expect: "clothes worn beneath outer clothes, usually next to the skin, and not seen in public."

But all through the Bible we read candid reports of Bible heroes and their battles in this regard. Joseph ran from the temptress while David caved into temptation. Solomon was notorious for all his wives and concubines, in spite of the good counsel he offers in the Proverbs. Samson, strong in body was weak in spirit and was seduced by the seductress, Delilah. Judah failed miserably. All of these situations were met with consequences. Joseph is an example of one who resisted temptation and yet he too was declared guilty by his accusers. But, in his heart and in the heart of his scorned accuser, he was absolutely innocent. Yet he had consequences, but it was all a part of God's overall plan to bring about a greater purpose for Joseph's life though it was not yet revealed to him.

Both daily verses enjoin us to personal responsibility, both in what we view and what we wear. A personal covenant (contract) with the eyes is a powerful decision and needs to be renewed regularly, daily. The straightforward command of the Apostle Paul to "Keep yourself pure" can easily be memorized and recalled at the time of temptation and used as powerful guideline in our dress, our behavior and our thought life. Let us renew this commitment today and obey God. In doing so we take a stand against the tide of moral decadence in our land and we practice purity within our hearts!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, we know that Satan is a thief who "comes only to steal and kill and destroy" and millions fall victim to his enticements. You created us to have an emotional desire for physical and sexual intimacy and in Your perfect plan it is to be fulfilled in a marriage covenant between a husband and wife. Knowing our inclination to sin, help us to carefully lay boundary lines where we are not feeding lust but are eliminating this destructive force in our lives. We desire purity and holiness as we daily pursue Your righteousness. Forgive us where we have resented, ignored, or disobeyed Your guiding principles in this area of our lives. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.

Vallorbs Fascnauts 2/28/17
A Lancaster County Tradition is Fascnaut Day, the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday. Today a local company served their employees fauscnaut's for morning break. See here for more info.

Red Caboose Motel 2/28/17
The Red Caboose Motel is made up of reclaimed cabooses for overnight lodging!

Hess barn roof repair 2/28/17
Yesterday we shared a photo of our neighbor's barn roof, which had partially blown off in the storm we had Saturday. Here it is this morning!

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Create in Me A Clean Heart"  Video  Keith Green

"Refiner's Fire, (Purify My Heart)"  Video 

"Holiness Is What I Long For"  Video

"How Deep" Video  Sovereign Grace Music  Perhaps you're caught up in the trap of pornography or other kinds of sexual immorality. This song speaks of Jesus being broken, cast off, and crushed that we might know how deep is God's love, how high and how wide is His mercy.

Here are several more online resources that deal with the topic of moral purity.
Pure Life Ministries
Pure Intimacy
Pornography and Cybersex

The Purity Principle: God's Guardrails on Life's Dangerous Roads  By Randy Alcorn / Multnomah
Looking for a way to open up discussions about sexual integrity with your family---or at your church? Alcorn's biblical, practical one-stop handbook deals with everything from teaching young children about sexuality to relationship principles for teenagers, older singles, and married couples; from special advice for those in ministry to transforming hope for those sorely tempted. 96 pages, hardcover from Multnomah.

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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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