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Monday, June 12, 2017

Lancaster County farm scene 6/9/17
We often pass this grazing horse near our home on Iron Bridge Road.

"No More Tears"

Message summary: Today's message will be the first of what we project to be a series this week based on Revelation 21:4 and what we will not see or experience in heaven when "the former things have passed away". Today we consider tears.

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"You have recorded my troubles. You have kept a list of my tears. Aren’t they in your records?" (Psalm 56:8). "And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away" (Revelation 21:4).

The Booth Brothers 6/11/17Last night we attended "The Booth Brothers" outdoor concert in Lebanon, Pennsylvania. They sang one of our long-time favorite songs, "Tears are a Language God Understands" written by Gordon Jensen. It has touched our hearts for many years going all the way back to the mid-seventies when we were in Bible College. The words have ministered to many people undergoing grief, loss, or heartache.

Often you wonder why tears come into your eyes
And burdens seem to be much more than you can bear
But God is standing near, He sees your falling tears
Tears are a language God understands.

Physiologically tears are a healthy component to life. If you didn't have tears your eyes would dry out. "In healthy mammalian eyes, the cornea is continually kept wet and nourished by basal tears. They lubricate the eye, and help clear it of dust. Tear fluid contains water, mucin, lipids, lysozyme, lactoferrin, lipocalin, lacritin, immunoglobulins, glucose, urea, sodium, and potassium."

We actually produce tears every second of our lives, 10 ounces per day and 30 gallons a year. So at 62 years of age I have produced some 1860 gallons!!! Tears have three classifications: basal, reflex, and emotional.*

Today let's just consider the emotional aspect of tears. These tears contain higher levels of stress, such as ACTH and enkephalin — an endorphin and natural pain killer — they can also work by directly calming the iris down while signaling the emotional state to others.

I doubt if too many of our readers have given much consideration on why we cry physiologically but we have all experienced the emotional aspect of tears; some positive and pleasant such as "tears of joy". But we have also known the tears of grief and sadness. When the Bible refers to "tears" it is this type. One of the lesser considered but emotionally touching examples of this is when Paul writes to Timothy, "I am reminded of your tears, and I long to see you, so that I might be filled with joy" (2 Timothy 1:4).

For a long time I have wanted to write a series of thoughts on today's text, initially prompted by the coming day when there will be no more pain which we will get to later in the week.

Tears are actually healthy on this side of eternity, even the emotional tears, although when it comes to tears of grief and sadness we would rather avoid these prompters!

When grief has left you low it causes tears to flow
When things have not turned out the way that you had planned
But God won’t forget you His promises are true
Tears are a language God understands.

Crying womanBut we can have an assurance that God understands our tears. The first verse used today is a Psalm with an interesting concept expressed: "You have recorded my troubles. You have kept a list of my tears. Aren’t they in your records?"

Today some of you are going through a hard time, a season of trouble. It may be an illness, a broken marriage, a wayward child, a financial or health crisis, the loss of a loved one. Perhaps you even shed tears as you consider the sorrows of others.

It's a natural part of existence on this side of eternity in the present age which one day will pass away and be considered "
the former things." But a time is promised when "God will wipe away every tear from their eyes... and there will be no more crying."

In the meantime may God fill your hearts with assurance of His love especially during times of tears

God sees the tears of a brokenhearted soul
He sees your tears and hears them when they fall
God weeps along with man and takes him by the hand
Tears are a language God understands.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Revelation 21:4Daily prayer: Father, You take notice when we offer to you our prayer of tears. You sense the agony within our heart that stifles our ability to speak aloud of that which troubles our minds leaving us with such emotions as grief, remorse, fear, and struggles with unanswered prayer. Job, in his ongoing trials described his prayer of tears as, his face was flushed from weeping; and deep darkness was on his eyelids. Yet our tears are not in vain since they communicate to You in a language that only you can fully understand and they relieve us of built up emotion. Thank You for weeping along with us and upholding us with Your righteous hand so that we do not fall into despair. But we continue to trust, believe, and we even cry since You hear every tear that falls. And one day crying will be a thing of the past since there will be no more crying, no pain and no sorrow on the other side. What a blessed relief! Amen.

The Booth Brothers 6/11/17
The Booth Brothers  (From Left to R) Ronnie & Michael
Booth, Paul Lancaster

The Booth Brothers concert, Lebanon, PA 6/11/17
It was a beautiful evening for an outdoor concert!

Smucker Company picnic 6/10/17
On Saturday afternoon we attended a picnic for one of the companies we serve as chaplains. SS Smucker and Sons is a home improvement company so we tend to see some rather strong men and they were sure competitive in the tug of war!

Smucker Company picnic 6/10/17
They had lots of fun games that pitted the various crews against one another.
In this case the wheelbarrow pusher was blindfolded!

Smucker Company picnic 6/10/17
Children always have a good time at picnics and it doesn't take a whole lot to entertain them! Included in the children's goodie buckets were bubble blowing kits. Noah had a good time blowing many bubbles when the wind didn't disrupt. It was a warm but windy day which helped picnickers more comfortably tolerate the heat.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Tears Are A Language God Understands"  Video  The Booth Brothers

"He Saw It All"  Video  The Booth Brothers  We enjoy how gospel music often shares a Bible story.

"He Heals"  Video  Legacy Five  The Gospel Music movement is really neat because the musicians tend to be friends and are often very complimentary to one another.
Last night the group called up a now elderly Duane Nicholson who sang with the Couriers, a gospel group that got started in the fifties at the same Bible College we attended. They also may use some of the same songs! "He Heals" really touched us last night but we couldn't find a suitable version online to share so we use this one by another group!

"Why Do We Cry? The Three Different Types Of Tears And Their Physiology" Short article quoted from in today's message.

Note to local readers: The Collingsworth Family will be at the park June 25 in Lebanon at Coleman Park in the Music in the Park series. There is no charge for this service although a free-will offering is taken.  Perhaps we will see some of you at a future concert! It was nice seeing several friends last night and joining our friends John and Faithe Keefer. Also take note of additional concerts all through the summer.

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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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