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Monday, November 19, 2018
"It Is Good To Be Reminded!"

Message summary: It is a blessing to experience both; being reminded and being the reminder.

Listen to our message on your audio player.

"So I will always remind you of these things" (2 Peter 1:12). "Therefore encourage one another with these words" (1 Thessalonians 4:18).

In our church service yesterday our choir sang "Is He Worthy", a very moving song that uses an interesting format with a soloist asking a question followed by a response from the choir. (A link to a video of this song is placed below)

Do you feel the world is broken? (We do)
Do you feel the shadows deepen? (We do)
But do you know that all the dark won't stop the light from getting through? (We do)
Do you wish that you could see it all made new? (We do)

Is all creation groaning? (It is)
Is a new creation coming? (It is)
Is the glory of the Lord to be the light within our midst? (It is)
Is it good that we remind ourselves of this? (It is)

As I listened to the song I was especially drawn to the phrase, "Is it good that we remind ourselves of this? (It is)"

Remind Ourselves

Our lives are full of reminders. When Ester was little we would remind her, "Now don't forget to say 'thank you'". (I have to admit sometimes we catch ourselves still reminding her though she's 29.) All through life we have various aids to remind us of something we need to do like a string around our finger. (Remember Uncle Billy from "It's A Wonderful Life"?) Now our smart phones have reminders of our appointments and "to do" items. I have one set to remind me to change my air filter, which Brooksyne finds very annoying since we share calendars.

But of foremost importance are spiritual reminders of Biblical and eternal truths. The apostle Peter wrote, "So I will always remind you of these things". Tasked with the role of making disciples this includes a steady barrage of reminders.

Spiritual reminders are important because:
We forget;
We lose focus and perspective;
The things of this life can dim our view;
Pain and trials can blind us.

It is a blessing to experience both; being reminded and being the reminder.

Our second daily text concludes the teaching about what happens to those who died as Christians which was a source of concern for the Thessalonian believers. Paul assured them, "For the Lord Himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever" (1 Thessalonians 4:16,17).

"Therefore encourage one another with these words" (1 Thessalonians 4:18). We believe that, although Paul was specifically referring to the previous teaching in the context, this principle applies any time we remind others of spiritual truths.

So today we want to be:
  • God loves you and has a plan for your life.
  • God works all things out for your ultimate good.
  • God reigns even if you don't presently see it.
  • The dark won't stop the light from getting through.
  • God is worthy!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, it is good to remind ourselves "to never doubt in the darkness what You have told us in the light." It is in the thick of things that we often let the light of Your Word grow dim and turn to human methods to resolve our problems, growing more frustrated all the while. The glory of Your divine light cuts through the fog that clouds our journey here below helping us to enjoy peace and rest when we fully trust You; for the darkness of our situation does not stop Your glorious light from getting through and showing us the next step we take which leads us closer and closer to our eternal home. You are worthy of all praise, glory, honor and thanksgiving! Amen.

Remembering Charlie Sensenig  - Long time reader Charlie Sensenig departed his earthly journey yesterday at age 80 after 60 years of marriage to Hazel. We met them at a Transport for Christ retreat about ten years ago and heard from Charlie often via daily encouragements, as recently as a couple weeks ago. We pray for his family during this difficult time but rejoice in his heavenly promotion.

Audrey's banquet 11/16/18
Friday evening we attended the first of our numerous company banquets for the season at the Country Fare Restaurant in Myerstown PA. Here several employees from Audrey's are singing while Brooksyne provides accompaniment.

Audrey's banquet 11/16/18
This Thursday and throughout the weekend most of us here in the USA will be gathering with family for Thanksgiving. It's one of the busiest travel periods of the year as people come home from all over. What a blessing this is. At Friday evening's banquet we sat at the same table as this couple who have been married 52 years. Their family gathering on Thursday will be held at a school with some 90 of their direct descendants expected to come (including the spouses of their children and grandchildren). He told me they all live within 15 miles except for one granddaughter who lives about 150 miles away though she still lives in Pennsylvania.

Pat and Laverne 11/18/18
Yesterday Stephen's older brother Pat and his wife Laverne joined us for our church service and then a meal afterwards. Both of them remain active in ministry in various ways although they are officially "retired".

Lancaster Extra-Ordinary Give
Each November on the Friday before Thanksgiving Lancaster County has an interesting single day called "The Extra Ordinary Give" which supports local organizations. This is the screenshot at the conclusion of the event this last Friday. Pretty amazing considering we are not in a large metropolitan area (Lancaster County has about 550,000 population) Click on the image for more information. We are especially heartened by how many of the organizations are Christian outreaches in various ways, including seven of the top ten.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Is He Worthy?"  Video  Chris Tomlin  This is the song referred to in today's message. Here's another version by Andrew Peterson, who wrote the song  Video

Special Thanksgiving Resources

We offer these resources to families and church leaders
to enrich the spiritual impact of the Thanksgiving holiday. We will post these resources through Thanksgiving Day here in the US (November 22).

Thorns"Thankful For The Thorns": A family reading and exercise that is a wonderful way to give a thoughtful focus around your Thanksgiving Table. (Note: You will need a good reader who should be given the story ahead of time to review so that it's read with expression and clarity.) For many of us the Thanksgiving celebration typically includes family coming together for a huge meal and hopefully a heartfelt prayer of thankfulness. However it can often be difficult to have a spiritually oriented conversation. Why not add some stimulating discussion about the ways God has worked in your life over the past year! Here's an idea for sharing together around the table the theme of "Thankful for the Thorns"
(printable webpage).

"A Thanksgiving family exercise" (pdf) We have used this questionnaire as a stimulus for discussion among family members in the past in our home. We encourage you to share results around the table at Thanksgiving before or after the meal.

A Thanksgiving prayer: Written by Joe Sherer, a pastor friend of ours and shared as the benediction at our community Thanksgiving Eve service many years ago. (blog post) For those who enjoy written prayers this would be a beautiful prayer to read together at the Thanksgiving table.

A Thanksgiving Scripture reading:
A selection of Old and New Testament readings dealing with thankfulness appropriate for church, family and personal readings. (pdf) (Suitable for printing out and copying.)

A Suggestion for a Family Tradition from our long-time friend Bob Southard: After the turkey, the cranberries, the pie, we all get out our Bibles to read our favorite thanksgiving verse. From the youngest to the oldest we share God’s Word and tell why it is so special to us!

We appreciate listening to and singing the Thanksgiving hymns and songs.

"In Everything Give Thanks"  Video   Charlotte Ritchie, Jeff & Sheri Easter  This song will bring joy to your heart!

"Now Thank We All Our God"  Video  Best Loved Hymns

"Come Ye Thankful People Come"  Video  Traditional version
Contemporary version but thankfully maintaining same tune and lyrics Video

"Thanksgiving Medley" (We Gather Together, For The Beauty Of The Earth, Come Ye Thankful People Come)  Video  Studio Musicians

"Give Thanks"  Video  Don Moen

"Thank You Lord"  Video  Community Choir at a Lancaster Day of Prayer event in 2008.

 Video  Marshall Hall and the Homecoming Singers

"I Want To Thank You"
 Video  Karen Peck and New River This is a song expressing thankfulness to the many people who impact our lives in big and small ways. It also reminds us of the blessing of seemingly insignificant expressions of faith.  From the Gaither Homecoming series.

"Thank You Lord For Your Blessings On Me"  Video  Gordon Mote & Jason Crabb

"I'm Forever Grateful"  Video  Willow Creek

"Worthy Is The Lamb, Crown Him, Crown Him With Many Crowns"  Video  Travis Cottrell

"Thank You, Lord"  Video  Dennis Jernigan

"10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord)"  Video  Matt Redman

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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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