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Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Frosty morning in Lebanon County 10/17/17 (Click to enlarge)
Frosty morning in Lebanon County.
Yesterday morning we also had our first frost of the fall season at our place.
(Click to enlarge)

"The Great I Am Still Is"

Message summary: Today the Lord desires men and women who, like Jeremiah even in the midst of adversity, will remain steadfast and faithful.

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"But the Lord is the true God; He is the living God and the everlasting King... He has made the earth by His power, He has established the world by His wisdom, and has stretched out the heavens at His discretion" (Jeremiah 10:10,12).

The Great I Am still is.
The heavens and the earth are His.
He's the merciful Almighty, forever holy,
In everything we must remember this.
The Great I Am still is.

Tim is a dedicated Christian we visit with in the course of our chaplain visitation. He is very active in ministry in his local church and also has a leadership role at a Christian camp. He shared with me a teaching he had given and called my attention to Jeremiah 10:12, a verse I do not recall ever giving much consideration to but one packed with powerful meaning. Today we will examine two texts from this portion of Jeremiah with the goal of spiritually fortifying ourselves with assurance as we face the inevitable challenges ahead.

The prophet Jeremiah served God during extremely difficult times. In fact he lived at the time Josiah, Judah's final good king reigned. Following Josiah's death several evil kings ruled as the nation plunged to destruction.

Jeremiah surely felt alone at times in his firm resolve to be steadfast in his faithfulness to God. Yet he remained faithful when judgment came upon the idolatrous nation and they were taken into Babylonian exile. He was tormented and ridiculed yet he persevered. Today the Lord desires men and women who, like Jeremiah even in the midst of adversity, will remain steadfast and faithful.

Jeremiah 10:10
What great assurance the two short statements, that comprise our daily texts, must have given Jeremiah and will also give us today:

"But the LORD is the true God; He is the living God, the eternal King" (Jeremiah 10:10)
. Three words describe the character of the immutable God of the universe;

Consider each of these bedrock, immutable characteristics of God in light of the shifting sands of the world's value system. They are just as valid in describing God today as they were 2,600 years ago, for God does not change. They describe the One who said "I am the God of…".  The present tense is always necessary in describing the true, living and eternal God for He always "is".

Jeremiah 10:12
The second text we consider today also presents three truths about God's work in creation.

"He has made the earth by His power, He has established the world by His wisdom, and has stretched out the heavens at His discretion" (Jeremiah 10:12).
Three words describe the demonstration of providential order in creation of the immutable God of the universe;
                       Discretion (Understanding)

These words teach that God's creation is not a senseless, directionless result of random evolution.

Today, although the vast majority of you are not undergoing severe trial as Jeremiah experienced, some of you are going through a serious trial that is testing your faith. We encourage you to place your absolute confidence in the amazing God who is ever true, living and eternal who rules in power, dispenses wisdom and teaches discretion. The Great I Am still is. May this assurance fill your heart with confidence and firm resolve to remain steadfast, immovable and always abounding in the work of the Lord.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, because You are the true, eternal and living God I can commit my past to You, and entrust my present needs to You.  I'm so glad the Word of God declares that You are the great "I AM", not "You were the great I was." As my issues change and my needs grow You are present to meet every situation I bring before You. Like Jeremiah the prophet, I place my confidence in You as I seek to remain steadfast and faithful, abounding in my walk with You, my true, living and eternally great God. Amen.

This is a text where I find value in studying a variety of translations and the fine nuance of words. Here's  Jeremiah 10:12 in most English translations.

Seyfert Orchard barn in Lebanon County 10/17/17
Yesterday we stopped by the Seyfert Orchard in Lebanon County. Brooksyne is walking out the door with a bag of Jonagold apples.
(Click to enlarge)

Barn along Meadow View Road, Lancaster County 10/15/17
This barn is along Meadow View Road here in Lancaster County. They must have had a good harvest with pumpkins lined up all along the ledge in front of the barn.

Farmhouse along Meadow View Road, Lancaster County 10/15/17
Same farm with pumpkins on each fence post!

Heather Avis 10/17/17
Brooksyne's Note:  Last night Ester and I, along with our neighbor and her teen daughter who has down's syndrome, attended Friendship Community's 45th anniversary banquet at the Shady Maple Smorgasbord. This year's theme was "Finding beauty in the most unlikely places". Friendship Community provides residential and support services for individuals who desire a Christian program for their family members who have intellectual disabilities. Every time I'm in one of these settings my heart is deeply moved as I observe the love and support of family members, staff, and loving volunteers. The guest speaker, Heather Davis (pictured with Ester), shared her adventuresome family story of adopting two children with down's syndrome and a third child who, like Ester, is of Guatemalan descent. Ester and I will be reading Heather's book together as there are a number of parallels to Ester's own life, including adoption, heart surgeries, pulmonary hypertension, and learning disabilities. Ester is such a blessing to us and we thank God for the way he has cared for her critical needs from the time of her 1989 birth in a remote village of Guatemala to the present day. She is a great blessing in our lives.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"The Great I Am Still Is"  Video  Triumphant Quartet
  (This is the song quoted in the beginning of our message today)

"I Still Serve An Amazing God"  Video  Triumphant Quartet

"Statement of Faith"  Video  The Booth Brothers, The Hoppers & Greater Vision

"Fall On My Knees"
  Video  The Browders  A rather unusual voice that we both enjoy.

"The Message of the Cross"  Video 
The Browders  Listen preachers!

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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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