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Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Birds feeding during snow storm 3/14/17
Ester took a series of photos during the storm that we feature above and below our message today. Here some happy juncos and finches feeding outside our office window.

"All Hail The Power Of Jesus' Name"

Message summary: Today, whatever setting we're in, let us faithfully proclaim the all-powerful name of Jesus!

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"Holy Father, protect them by the power of Your Name—the Name You gave Me" (John 17:11).

All hail the pow’r of Jesus’ Name!
Let angels prostrate fall;
Bring forth the royal diadem,
And crown Him Lord of all!

Edward Perronet "On the Resurrection, the Lord is King" is one of the great hymns of the church. We often refer or link to music in this series though I am certainly aware that not every song is familiar to every reader. But I believe most of you, regardless of age, denominational background, location, or tribe have likely heard and sung this majestic song, though you would know it better by its current title, "All Hail the Power of Jesus' Name". In our worship service last Sunday Brooksyne shared an amazing story concerning this song and we would like to share it with our readers today.

Written in 1779 by Edward Perronet it has been an influential hymn ever since. In fact it has the designation, "National Anthem of Christendom", although we personally believe a more appropriate name would be "International Anthem of Christendom" since it is translated and sung all over the world where Christianity is present. It also has a place in missionary history, being greatly used in evangelistic endeavors. There are several great stories related to the influence of this song, but one in particular is truly remarkable:

E.P. Scott, missionary to India, saw a man on the street so strange in appearance that he inquired about him, and learned that he belonged to a wild mountain savage tribe where Christ had never been preached. The strange man visited the city once a year, as a representative of the tribe, to trade with the townspeople. Scott couldn't get the strange man out of his mind so he prayed over the matter, and decided to visit that tribe, ignoring the pleadings of his family, fellow missionaries and preacher friends who declared that he would never return alive.

He prayerfully set off for a two day's walk to the dangerous territory taking only his walking staff, his suitcase and the violin that he often played as he sang sacred songs.

Upon arrival he met a large party of warriors who surrounded him, their spears pointed at his heart. Expecting to die at any moment, Scott took out his violin, breathed a prayer, closed his eyes, and began singing, "All Hail the Power of Jesus' Name!"  When he reached the words of the third stanza, "Let every kindred, every tribe," he finally opened his eyes. There stood the warriors, many in tears, with every spear lowered. They invited him into their homes and Scott spent the next two and one half years evangelizing the tribe until he had to leave due to impaired health. Many were converted to Christ and followed him 30 miles, pleading with him, "O Missionary, come back to us again" which he did when his health was restored until his death in 1869.

Let every kindred, every tribe,
On this terrestrial ball,
To Him all majesty ascribe,
And crown Him Lord of all!

David and Sabra PenleyDavid Penley is a long-time friend of ours and shared this additional detail with us. "The tribe he worked with are the Naga people. They're known as fierce warriors and head hunters. Today they occupy their own state in India called Nagaland. Christianity predominates there, the only place in India that is true.

I have had several students here at Southwestern Seminary from Nagaland. One of my former students is president of a Christian college there - Agape College. I have been there in Nagaland to teach and preach. I also serve on the Board of that college.

They are a humble, committed people, just as fierce in their commitment to Christ as they once were to fighting physical battles. The work of E.P. Scott lives on well past his death from cholera in 1869. The Naga peoples' love for him and the other missionaries who followed after him continues to this day. Is it not such a great blessing that the work we are privileged to do as Christians has eternal meaning?"

The daily text is taken from our Lord's high priestly prayer before He went to the cross. It's essentially divided in three parts:
    1) Jesus prays for Himself (John 17:1-5)
    2) Jesus prays for His disciples (John 17:6-19)
    3) Jesus prays for all believers (John 17:20-26)

Gracia BurnhamJesus knew the tremendous price His initial disciples would pay in following Him. It is commonly believed that all but one of them (John) died the death of a martyr. But all through the church's history followers, like E.P Scott, have paid a price for following Him. This Saturday we will be attending a Voice Of The Martyrs conference near Hershey PA and hear stories of persecution, including that of Gracia Burnam (photo to right), who was kidnapped along with her husband, Martin, by a radical Muslim group. Gracia survived and tells the story of their terrible ordeal which led to her husband's murder in 2002.

Jesus invokes the Name above all Names as he prays for them, "Holy Father, protect them by the power of Your Name—the Name You gave Me."

All over this terrestrial ball (earth) the powerful Name of Jesus is being proclaimed this day, whether it's at a pulpit, on a street corner, beside a hospital bed, in a jail cell, or kneeling with hands uplifted to God.  Some of our brethren will pay dearly for taking a stand, some even joining with scores of martyrs. They are no less protected than we, since the ultimate protection of God's care is experienced when He ushers us into our eternal home. That's where our real security lies since this life is but a brief journey.

Today, whatever setting we're in, let us faithfully proclaim the all-powerful name of Jesus!

Oh, that with yonder sacred throng
We at His feet may fall!
We’ll join the everlasting song,
And crown Him Lord of all!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, Scripture tells us that at the last judgment those from every tribe and nation will bow upon hearing the name of Jesus. Every tongue will confess that You are Lord, to the glory of God the Father. We, as the redeemed, look forward to that glorious day when all of creation acknowledges You as Lord. But our hearts cry out for family members and other loved ones who, having denied Your power in this life, will be forced to acknowledge You as Lord on that final day. Renew our passion for reaching those in our generation with the Word of Life, so that they will joyfully proclaim Jesus is Lord in this life as well as the next. In the powerful name of Jesus we pray. Amen.

Brooksyne's Note: Edward Perronet died on Jan. 22, 1792. The last words he spoke were "Glory to God in the height of His divinity! Glory to God in the depth of His humanity! Glory to God in His all-sufficiency! Into His hands I commend my spirit." To his final breath Mr. Perronet had clear Biblical doctrine and a sound mind. This is the way I'd like to go!

Stephen's ad
ditional thought: Today's missionary story and Scripture verse have prompted some additional ponderings on my part. Actually it's a verse I have read many times  about God's protective care which is not arbitrary but is surely expressed in different ways. We may tend to view it as seen in the deliverance experienced by the missionary, but how do we deal with the scores of martyrs? Was God's protective care somehow faulty when He delivered Paul and Silas from prison but allowed James to be beheaded? Absolutely not! Surely the protective care extends primarily to the spiritual realm where we will spend eternity, but we will understand this better by and by.

Here are some more photos Ester took yesterday during our snow storm. The main storm ceased shortly after we posted yesterday's message and we did not need our driveway plowed again. However it was extremely windy last night and still very cold today!

Birds feeding during snow storm 3/14/17

Finch feeding during snow storm 3/14/17

Cardinal feeding during snow storm 3/14/17

Bird resting during snow storm 3/14/17

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"All Hail The Power Of Jesus' Name"  Video  Bob Kauflin in "Together for the Gospel Live" This a version we enjoy that although clearly has a vocal leader includes the rich sounds of congregational singing with minimal instrumentation. (See our "Finally Today" below for more on this.)

"All Hail The Power Of Jesus name"  Video   Tommy Walker

"All Hail The Power Of Jesus' Name"  Video  Acapella

"All Hail The Power Of Jesus' Name"  Video  Keith and Kristyn Getty

Here's a video with the story we shared in the message.

Perronet's "National Anthem of Christendom" (article)

Information about the Voice Of The Martyrs Conference this weekend

Finally today:

We receive an email for worship leading written by a local music leader, Dave Helmuth. In a recent issue he quotes from another Worship leader and Conference Speaker named Tony Stoltzfus who makes, in our view, an insightful observation about modern "worship" in so many churches. We have visited churches and had a similar experience. Stoltzfus writes the following article to worship leaders:

Drowning in Worship

"Twelve rows back and three songs into worship, I’m drowning again. The melody is in a key I can’t sing, dropped several notches to accommodate the husky voice of the female worship leader. That doesn’t matter much, though, since the roar of the sound system is so loud I can’t hear my own voice.

My will slips under the waves first. Why bother singing, when it makes absolutely no difference whether I participate or not? Nothing I do will influence—or even contribute to—what happens in corporate worship this morning. Whether I dance and sing at the top of my lungs, giving myself totally to the experience, or I withdraw in sullen silence to play Candy Crush on my iPhone, it’s all immaterial. The service will go on just the same without me. Worship is what happens on stage. The congregation gets to go along with what the worship team does, but we are mainly observers and passive participants. Our role is not to influence the direction of worship, or even to contribute to a shared congregational experience, but merely to follow what’s decided on stage and enforced from the sound board."

To complete this article go here. (Scroll down) Extra credit for any readers who may know the story behind the drowning graphic used as an illustration.

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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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