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Friday, September 7, 2018

Foggy Lancaster County morning 9/6/18
We had a foggy morning yesterday here in Lancaster County but another very hot, humid day.

"I Won't Go Back!"

Message summary: As you examine your own heart won't you join us in reaffirming your desire to serve the Lord and with confidence join us in proclaiming, "But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved".

ListenListen to our message on your audio player.

"But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved" (Hebrews 10:39).

I won't go back, can't go back, to the way it used to be
Before Your presence came and changed me

Today we specifically have a burden for those who have shrunk back or appear to be in the process of doing so. Surely you are aware of people like this or perhaps in your own heart you may be struggling to press on in the faith.

There are those who join the family of believers and seem earnest in their new found faith. Yet over time, in some cases only a couple of months or over the years, the world again gets a grip on them and they shrink back from their life of faith and commitment to Christ. Let us resolve; I won't go back!

J. Vernon McGeeWe recall listening to J. Vernon McGee as young Christians back in the seventies. He went to be with the Lord 30 years ago in 1988, though his radio messages can still be heard in some areas. I don't know when he wrote the following quote but it still speaks for today in 2018!

He used the French Huguenots as an example of faithfulness: "They were persecuted, and they were betrayed. When France destroyed them, it destroyed the best of French manhood and womanhood. The French Huguenots went into battle, knowing they were facing certain death, and their motto was: 'If God be for us, who can be against us?' The nation of France has never since been the nation it was before it destroyed these people."

"We believers today need a motto like the Huguenots. There is a lot of boo-hooing today among Christians. There is a lot of complaining and criticizing. There are a bunch of cry-babies and babies that need to be burped. Oh, my Christian friend, the whole tenor of this marvelous epistle (Hebrews) is 'Let us go on.' So let us go on for God!"

"But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved" (Hebrews 10:39). Our text begins with the conjunction "but" which marks a stark contrast with those who briefly "flicker" but in the end "fizzle out" (like sparklers on July 4th). Those individuals make the catastrophic, volitional choice to "shrink back" and turn away from the living Christ.

Today we want to stress the importance of being grounded firmly in our faith. Let us just consider the two word phrase "shrink back" as typically translated in many common versions. Other versions use "draw back" or "pull back".

We have a specific burden for those who have shrunk back and concern for those who are presently struggling to press on. They initially begin their journey of faith very earnestly, yet over the passage of time the allurement of the world begins to influence them once again or life's ongoing troubles diminish their hope and joy. Before long they shrink back from the things of the Lord. As you carefully examine you own spirit you may realize that you have been shrinking back.

Today we are writing to encourage you and quite honestly we are encouraged and spurred on ourselves from this passage of Scripture. We know God's Word is true and many years ago memorized the daily verse, reciting it over and over, "But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved".

As you examine your own heart won't you join us in reaffirming your desire to serve the Lord and with confidence join us in proclaiming, "
I won't go back!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, You indicate in Scripture that the righteous live by faith; and if he shrinks back, You will take no pleasure in him.* When we live by faith we find inner joy and lasting hope from Your promises, not only those already fulfilled but those yet to come. At the end of our earthly existence You promise to end our sufferings and to receive us unto Yourself, commending our faithfulness by giving to us a crown of life. We must press on, ever persevering, to win the prize of the high calling which we have received through Christ Jesus our Lord. With the prize clear before our eyes, Lord, we find the strength to press on and not shrink back. Amen.

* See Hebrews 10:38

Smucker Laser grinding 9/6/18
One of our newest workers at Smucker Laser busy at work before 7 am in the morning.

Val-Co Haitians 9/6/18
Michael (left) having some fun during this photo of him with his co-worker who is also his Uncle Ron at Val-Co.

Rick Steudler at service day 9/6/18
Val-Co is volunteering in the community, but this year they are splitting up into smaller groups. Today about 20 of the employees moved the food pantry from Cross Net Ministries in Leola to its new location. They also did some painting, cleaning and fixing up at their other buildings including this Youth Center. Initially we spotted the janitor sweeping until we looked closer and saw that it was Rick Steudler, one of the owners of Val-Co. Rick always has a great smile even in the midst of his work!

Twin goats on the Old Windmill Farm 9/6/18
"I want to take a goat home!" Brooksyne always says that every time we see baby goats. We stopped at Old Windmill Farm this morning and spotted 3 sets of twin goats only one week old. Moses gathered these two for Brooksyne to hold so we could get a good close-up photo. The one on the left started licking Brooksyne's cheek just like a pup! Sarah Beth, the Lapp's 3 year old daughter, named one of the goats Zebra! They are raising it as a pet so they bottle feed it and it will follow them just like a pup as it grows up. Notice they still have the remnant of their umbilical cords attached.

Old Windmill Farm goats 9/6/18
Mama with one of her twins. (It sure seems like the mama shouldn't have a beard!)

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"I Won't Go Back"  Video   Brooklyn Tabernacle Singers

"Never, No Never"  Video  Joseph Habedank

"Take Me Back"  Video  Andrae Crouch & The Disciples

"Too Much to Gain"  Video  Mark Trammell Quartet

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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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