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April 5, 2018

Tree on a foggy morning 4/4/18 Photo by Shawn Sauerwine
Shawn, a friend from Val-Co sent us this photo of a solo tree on a foggy morning.

"What I Believe"

Message summary: Peter's goal was to clearly proclaim the gospel in his first sermon recorded in Acts following the ascension of Jesus Christ back to heaven. Peter answers two questions and faithful proclaimers ever since do well to stick to the same essential truths Peter proclaimed on that day.

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"What does this mean?" (Acts 2:12). "What shall we do?" (Acts 2:37). "Through Him you believe in God, who raised Him from the dead and glorified Him, and so your faith and hope are in God" (1 Peter 1:21).

Have you ever had someone share a memory that in turn prompts a consideration of your own similar memory? Of course you have! That happened to us Sunday in a sermon illustration our pastor used.

We both attended a small Midwest Bible College in Springfield, Missouri. Sadly in 2013, after nearly 100 years of operation this college closed, going the way of so many Bible Colleges. It was a beautiful tree-filled campus on the north side of Springfield MO that had about 1,000 students when we attended. Like many smaller private Christian colleges it ran on a tight budget. We met the fall of our Freshman year and started dating soon after and have been together ever since, over 44 years now, and we aren't tired of each other one bit.

Our memory prompted by our pastor on Sunday was a peculiar plumbing problem they had at our school. Individual dorm rooms did not have a bath but rather each hall shared a common bath with several toilets, sinks and showers. If you were showering and someone flushed the toilet the shower water would instantly get scalding hot.

Early on you learned right before flushing the toilet to holler "Shower" to warn the hapless showeree to move away from the shower stream. (A highly technical explanation for why this happened was because the toilet flush drew a surge of cold water from the system which of course affected the mix going to the shower.) Out of a firmly ingrained habit to this day we continue to holler "Shower" in our home whenever we flush the toilet (That part's not true!)

Pastor Beau had a bit different experience, emphasizing he was a very young boy when he recalls this happening in his home. Like our college experience the water in the family shower got hot when another family member flushed the toilet. Well, his young mind thought the same thing must happen if he was taking a bath and the water wasn't even running. If someone flushed the toilet he would quickly jump out of the bathtub, his young mind reasoning the water in the tub would instantly get hot. His older sister teased him by flushing when he was in the tub!

The point of the illustration is how we often make assumptions that seem reasonable but are altogether wrong. This can be the case with spiritual truths as well and many people had false assumptions following the resurrection.

Pastor preached from Peter's sermon on the day of Pentecost in which Peter answered two questions the crowd had:
1) "What does this mean?" (Acts 2:12) This cleared up any wrong assumptions (13-36)
2) "What shall we do?"
(Acts 2:37)  He answered this with a call to action (38-41)

Peter's goal was to clearly proclaim the gospel in this first sermon recorded in Acts following the ascension of Jesus Christ back to heaven. Peter answers these two questions and faithful proclaimers ever since do well to stick to the same essential truths Peter proclaimed on that day.

The Matt Mayer song "Because he Lives (Amen)" begins with these words.

I believe in the Son
I believe in the risen One
I believe I overcome
By the power of His blood

Today let us examine the evidence set forth in Peter's first sermon and clear up any wrong assumptions we may have as we sing the following words:

Amen, Amen
I'm alive, I'm alive
Because He lives
Amen, Amen
Let my song join the one that never ends
Because He lives

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, when Peter spoke to the crowd in Jerusalem about being an eye witness to the resurrection of Christ; that He was not abandoned to the grave, nor did His body see decay and that You raised Him to life the people were cut to the heart. They felt the need to respond to this wondrous message and they did so. Those who accepted his message were saved, baptized and began meeting together to hear the apostles messages and fellowship with one another. Two thousand years later we too must respond to the truth claims of the gospel message. We do so by repenting of our sins, following Your teachings, obeying Your commands and fellowshipping with our brothers and sisters. Just as the people in Jerusalem spread the good news we too must share the good news so that all may know of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, in whose name we pray. Amen.

Old shed on a foggy morning 4/4/18 Photo by Shawn Sauerwine
Another photo our friend Shawn took yesterday morning of a deserted shed.

Baby horse 4/3/18 (Photo by Ester)
Tuesday afternoon we stopped by and walked through our neighbor Lester's dairy barn and Ester took this photo of their new foal born just last week.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Because He Lives (Amen)"  Video   Matt Maher

"Because He Lives (Amen)"  Video   West Coast Choir  Absolutely beautiful!

Here's a video of Pastor Beau's sermon where he uses the illustration mentioned in our message. We always ask "why?"... from curious toddlers discovering the fascinations of their small world to learned astronomers exploring the mysteries of outer space. In fact, the question "why" has two layers. We want to know the cause AND the significance, particularly for ourselves. Today, we may just discover those answers to the most important "why" question of all.

Personal note: Thank God for the beauty and spiritual enrichment of music, whether ancient or recently written. We have an appreciation for various types but especially important to us is the clarity of the message and the fidelity to Biblical truth. Some Christian music is quite popular within our circles but pales in comparison to popular worldly musicians. That is why in our view striving for popularity is such a vain pursuit. This point may be misunderstood by some but it occurred to me when I watched the NCAA basketball tournament this last weekend in San Antonio. They also had a huge concert, "March Madness Music Festival" at the same time near the arena where they played the basketball games. Between the Final Four games on Saturday they showed portions of this concert reminding me of how utterly I am out of it in regard to popular worldly music. I had never heard of "Imagine Dragons", the group playing or the song which must be immensely popular now, "Whatever It Takes".  This seems like it would be a good title for a call to commitment song! The song has nearly 257,000,000 views on YouTube. Although I could certainly admire the artist's skill in singing the song so fast and clearly enunciating the words, to me it had no meaning at all. I thought I could maybe make some sense of it if I looked up the lyrics but that didn't help either.

Finally Today:
Cameron Hawthorne, JK Mechanical service tech 4/4/18
Cameron Hawthorne, a service tech from JK Mechanical was over yesterday morning to give our heat pump a precision tune-up in preparation for the summer cooling season. Our system is seven years old but still running great and such a blessing over a multitude of window A/C units we were using. Cameron is a conscientious young man who has learned a trade that is a blessing to many.

Yesterday I shared a photo of me mowing the yard early in the morning and wondered what readers might assume I was doing. So now for the rest of the story! We have two large oaks in our front lawn that drop many of their leaves in the spring as well as many acorns, covering our yard. We also have two dogs that use the great outdoors to relieve themselves, a color that tends to be similar to the brown rustic leaves and acorns. I clean their messes daily but, knowing Cameron was coming over and would be walking through the yard to get to the outdoor unit, I used my mower as a leaf collector, clearing him a path so he wouldn't inadvertently step in anything I might have missed!

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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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