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Monday, October 9, 2017

Old Windmill Farm from drone
Old Windmill Farm as viewed from a drone

"I Will Sing Praise"

Message summary: Make a renewed commitment to praise and trust God this day using the words of the Psalmist, "I will sing to the LORD all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live. May my meditation be pleasing to Him, as I rejoice in the LORD" (Psalm 104:3,34).

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"The birds of the air … sing among the branches."  "I will sing to the LORD all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live. May my meditation be pleasing to Him, as I rejoice in the LORD" (Psalm 104:12,3,34).

Singing birdsWe have an arborvitae tree near our front porch. Yesterday afternoon I was tossing a frisbee to our dog, Mollie, and heard a choir of birds buried deep in the tree's branches singing. Brooksyne came out and we listened together. We don't know how to determine the emotion of birds but they sure sounded happy and not one of them out of pitch! "This is my Father's world, the birds their carols raise." Singing birds are among the most pleasant natural sounds in our audio observation.

Arborvitae tree 10/8/17Maltbie D. Babcock revealed his great love for nature in the hymn text he wrote, "This Is My Father's World". Before leaving for his early morning walks he would inform his wife, "I'm going out to see my Father's world". Maltbie was a lover of nature, skilled athlete, accomplished musician, and ordained minister who died at only 42 years of age. We are indebted to his wife who published his writings so believers over the past century could be reminded of the beauties of our Father's world including the singing birds that raise their carols in praise to their Creator.

Our first daily text notes that the birds of the air "sing among the branches" which is one of those Biblical nature observations that is practically universal. I stepped out this morning long before sunrise and all I heard were crickets. But just after sunrise the birds were back singing in the rain!

Psalm 104 is a majestic expression of praise, beginning with the exclamation, "Praise the Lord, O my soul!" Throughout the Psalm the Father's greatness is exhibited in nature.
We observe and proclaim with the Psalmist, "How many are your works, O Lord in wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of Your creatures" (104:24).

Yesterday Brooksyne sang with the Calvary Church choir a beautiful song titled, "I Will Sing Praise". (A video link of the song, although from another church, is posted below). It has a very thoughtful and simple verse that really blesses us:

No matter the storms that come my way,
No matter the trials I may face.
You promised that You would see me through,
So I will trust in You.

We simply don't know what storms may come our way or what trials we may face today, but we do have God's promises to rely upon as He gives us yet another opportunity to trust Him. Praise and trust are two descriptive words used repeatedly throughout Scripture and both are directed toward God. Additionally, they can be used in a noun or verb form. So whether these compatible words require us to stand firm with assurance in our heart or actively praise and trust Him in the storms let's be faithful as we serve the Risen King.

The chorus states:

I will sing praise, I will lift my voice.
I will sing praise, I’ve made my choice.
I will sing praise in all I do,
I will sing praise to You.

Have you made your choice? We make a renewed commitment to praise and trust God this day using the words of the Psalmist, "I will sing to the LORD all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live. May my meditation be pleasing to Him, as I rejoice in the LORD" (Psalm 104:3,34). Will you join us?

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, our hearts are uplifted when we hear birds of the air raise their carols of praise to You. We can also be a blessing when we uplift others by raising our cheerful voice in thanks for all You are and the multitude of ways that You care for us. We want to sing praise and lift our voice expressing our trust in You even in the very midst of the trial we face. Since You keep every promise You make we can be confident that You will see us through, no matter the intensity of the storm or how long it endures. I will sing praise to You, my God, as long as I live. Amen.

See Proverbs 30:5, Psalm 134

Alex wearing Blood, sweat, tears t-shirt 10/7/17
Saturday we joined the JK Mechanical company for their annual picnic. We enjoy visiting the employees and their families. We have served this company since 2010 and find long-time relationships a blessing in ministry. We don't see some of the employees each week since they go straight to the job site. Alex is a commercial installer and also a committed Christian. He has shared with me about mission trips he regularly takes to Belize where he went this last summer with his entire family. From a distance I saw his shirt and was surprised he was wearing a shirt from Blood, Sweat and Tears, a music group I recall as a teenager. Upon closer examination I saw the shirt had a far greater message!

Calvary Church Choir 10/8/17
Several weeks ago we shared a photo of Brooksyne singing in the Calvary Church choir for the first time. The church has two services and the music director requests members of the choir (if able) to participate in both of them. So yesterday I sat near the front for the first service (including the message) and in the balcony for just the choir's portion of the second service. I sure prefer sitting up close!

Raking hay from drone
Activity on Windmill farm.

Raking hay from drone
Drone views of Jesse raking hay

We are very pleased that farm tours at our Amish friends Jesse and Anna Ruth Lapp, "The Old Windmill Farm" are growing well and interest is increasing. They are working with the Strasbug Railroad which is one of our area's major tourist attractions for a 2018 combined tour called the "Iron Horse & Amish Farm Tour".
Saturday evening Jesse sent me this video of a cow that had just birthed twin calves.
A friend made a promotional video for him including some drone video.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"I Will Sing Praise"  Video  Prestonwood Choir I dedicate this to a family member who is going through serious trial, along with his family.

"Praise You In This Storm"  Video  Casting Crowns

"This Is My Father's World"  Video  The Collingsworth Family

"Birds Chirping and Singing"  Video  Amazing all you can find on YouTube!

Finally today:

I found out that "Blood, Sweat and Tears" is still around. Some of you old-timers will recall this song from an age when secular music was relatively general and usually wholesome!

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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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