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Wednesday, November 21, 2018
Star Barn door 11/20/18
This old and thick wooden door in the Star Barn.

"A Blessing On Your Barns"

Message summary: In the Doxology we sing "Praise God from whom all blessings flow." God continues to send forth His physical and spiritual blessings. Sadly, many reject the reality of this source of all blessings or exhibit an entitlement attitude. God owes us nothing and yet provides for all that we need.

Listen to our message on your audio player.

"The Lord will send a blessing on your barns and on everything you put your hand to" (Deuteronomy 28:8).

Convene meeting in Star Barn 11/20/18
Convene meeting in Star Barn
Click to enlarge

We had a meeting yesterday in the Star Barn, a huge barn that for many years stood in a pitiful state of disrepair along the main freeway from Lancaster to Harrisburg, PA. In the last several years it has been carefully dismantled, relocated and then meticulously and historically restored to its original state here in Lancaster County. It is now an event venue and yesterday was the first time we went to a meeting in the upper level. Our photos do not begin to show how outstanding the interior of the barn is!

We both like barns. We have a small two story utility barn which is probably the only barn I will have on this side of eternity. This prompts a consideration of whether there will be barns in heaven. Since the Bible mentions horses in heaven we feel there must be barns!

Barns vary in size, design, color and even their intended usage. There are cattle barns, feed barns, equipment barns and many other kinds of barns. As a little boy I would play in my Uncle Gentry's barn on his farm outside of Harwood, Missouri. When the cousins came together for family gatherings we'd play in the barn and especially the hay loft. Occasionally Uncle Gentry would hitch a wagon to his Allis-Chalmers tractor and take us for a ride in the fields. When we could hear the ringing of the dinner bell we'd run back to the old white 1880's farmhouse for Aunt Dora's country fried chicken!

Barns are mentioned throughout the Bible with today's verse being the first reference in the Scripture. This was prior to the crossing of the Jordan River into the Promised Land and thus a prophetic promise, since they at the time were concluding their wilderness wanderings.

"The Lord will send a blessing on your barns and on everything you put your hand to." It's a wonderful promise to them and in principle to all of us whether or not we have a barn.

"The Lord will send" It's so vital to recognize where the blessings come from. In the Doxology we sing "Praise God from whom all blessings flow." God continues to send forth his physical and spiritual blessings. Sadly, many reject the reality of this source or exhibit an entitlement attitude. God owes us nothing and yet provides for all that we need.

"A blessing on your barns" indicates the agricultural way of life so common in the Bible period. But in principle it surely also means your work or business, whatever that may be, that relates to the way we make a living today. This thanksgiving season let us especially thank God for His blessings.

But note carefully that this Scripture expresses a cooperative relationship. God is faithful to bless. But notice the phrase, "On everything you put your hand to." Farmers don't just lay around waiting for God's blessing. They work hard, using the skills God has taught them over the years, often through the trials and errors of farming. Although most of us don't work on farms the principle is surely the same in life.

Many tend to see work as a mere necessity to be avoided as much as possible. But God has called us all to use our hands. Consider these verses: "He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need" (Ephesians 4:28). Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you" (I Thessalonians 4:11). "We work hard with our own hands" (1 Corinthians 4:12).

Let us claim today's promise and let us faithfully obey God's commands. And then let us give thanks.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, we are confident that You will provide for all our needs as we obey Your commands. You have instituted work from the very beginning so that we can provide for ourselves that which we have need of. Your blessings fall upon those who obey You, those who are not idle or wasteful. Thank you for our work. We lift up our brothers and sisters who are diligently looking for employment but are awaiting doors to open. Father, we pray that You would open the right door and provide for their needs in unconventional ways as You always care for Your own, no matter the circumstances. May it be a time of trusting and growing as they look to You for their provisions and for the open door. We also pray that they will find ways to be useful in helping others while they are flexible in their schedule. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.

Star Barn 11/20/18 (Click to enlarge)
The barn was renovated and restored to its original historic design though the new owners were unable to determine what this tunnel-like room had been used for originally.
Click to enlarge

Star Barn 11/20/18 (Click to enlarge)
The entire milk house attached to the barn has been repurposed as the area in which the bride and her attendants get prepped in.
Click to enlarge

Star Barn tack room 11/20/18 (Click to enlarge)
We understand this tack room is where the groom and his friends might hang out before the wedding.
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Star Barn wooden hammers 11/20/18 (Click to enlarge)
The Star Barn has many historical displays of old tools such as this one of old wooden hammers.
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Star Barn 11/20/18 (Click to enlarge)
The Star Barn
Click to enlarge

Our utility barn
And, lastly, here's our non-historic and pretty plain but very useful utility barn!

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"The Doxology"  Video   Anthem Lights and Selah  Just voices!

"Is He Worthy?/Hallelujah, What A Savior"  Video  Calvary Church Choir from our service this last Lord's Day.

Convene The meeting we attended in the Star Barn yesterday was sponsored by Convene, a business group equipping business owners and leaders to serve Christ in the Marketplace. Local Chair and long-time friend Ron Hoover makes this point to business leaders: "When we stand before the Bema judgment (Judgment Seat Of Christ) Christ will not be asking about our Balance Sheet and P/L but He will be asking how we did caring for the people He gave us!"

Finally today:

Mission BBQ truck in Hershey, PA 11/20/18
Heading into Hershey, PA following our meeting in the Star Barn we followed this Mission BBQ truck, a renovated army convoy truck that apparently had a BBQ smoker built over the bed which sure smelled good as we drove along! Though it was a very cold day we were tempted to drive along with our windows down. (If you look carefully you'll see some of Hershey Park to the right and you'll even spot three or more Hershey Kiss street lights.

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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