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Monday, February 18, 2019

Historical homes, Lititz, PA 2/17/19
Historical homes in Lititz, PA
The log cabin home is the John Phillips House built in 1796.

"A One Hundred Year Perspective"

Message summary: Choose this day and every day to serve the Lord Jesus Christ.

Listen to our message on your audio player.

"Then he breathed his last and died and was gathered to his people, old and full of years. And his sons Esau and Jacob buried him" (Genesis 35:29). "A time to be born and a time to die" (Ecclesiastes 3:2).

Yesterday was February 17, a date on which we both have sentimental memories. It was my dad's birthday and the date that Brooksyne's dad died in 2000. Although my dad, Eugene Clark Weber, died 20 years ago I realized that yesterday was his 100th birthday. He was born on February 17, 1919. On that date can you imagine how far in the future 2019 seemed!

Ester with her PaPa Gene (Stephen's dad)He was a star hurdler in high school, setting a state record and then went on to serve in WW2, training as a pilot in the Army/Air Force. He married Georgia Mae, my mother, in 1944 and together they created some "baby boomers". He was a faithful husband, attentive father and a hard worker, doing whatever he needed to do to provide for his family. Then he became a loving grandpa.

Now that I'm getting up in years I do something that others surely do as they grow older. I often consider how young I was when Daddy was my current age and consider my relationship to him at that time period. But there came that day when my dad, being old and full of years, was gathered to his people, and then buried on a windswept hill west of tiny Schell City, Missouri where my grandparents are also buried. Some seven years later we also placed my mother's remains beside him.

A small church in Marietta, PA displayed a sign that asked, "Where will you be 100 years from now?" which really got me thinking. A more familiar expression often used in witnessing is, "Where will you spend eternity?" But to me the 100 year question packs a very powerful punch. It's a measurement of time I can comprehend. I find it helpful to look back 100 years and perhaps you can do the same. We all probably have known someone who lived 100 years ago.

Menno Brubaker at 100So, where I will be 100 years from now is not some esoteric question, since I personally knew someone who lived one hundred years ago. And many of you have as well. A few of us may even know (present tense) someone who lived 100 years ago. When we first moved to Lancaster County we got acquainted with Menno Brubaker, who lived to be 102 years of age and we knew him at that point.

There are basically four different possible answers to this vital question, "Where will I be 100 years from now?":
  1. Perhaps with medical advances I will be living at 164 years of age! (I am not counting on that though).
  2. The secular response is that I am merely a physical entity and when I die that's it. As a mere physical being my flesh, which is all I am, will rot in the ground. In this view there's no spirit or soul to live on and certainly no future resurrection of the body.
  3. The common dominant view held by many, including those who should know better, is that everyone (except perhaps the notoriously evil) goes to a very pleasant place at death. This view is based on sentiment, not Scripture and is often expressed by even the most ardent secularist at the death of a loved one. It seems humans have an innate sense that there is something more after death and this view basically asserts, "The good in life always outweighs the bad. Things work out all right in the end". However this view has no basis in Scripture.
  4. The Holy Scriptures truthfully inform us of a coming judgment and there are two very distinct options at death, depending on our response to Christ, during our present lifetime.
We both clearly and unashamedly hold to the fourth view. Though we suppose it's not absolutely impossible that we may be alive 100 years from now, it is most unlikely!

The daily text is just a simple record of the passing of one man (Isaac) who lived nearly 4,000 years ago. He was 180 years old and full of years. The powerful phrase "gathered to his people" is first used at the death of his father Abraham (Genesis 25:8) and is repeated throughout the Scriptures to the death of Moses (Deuteronomy 32:50). One day you and I will most certainly be "gathered to our people".

We want to be prepared to join the people of God throughout the ages, including those in our own generation. We encourage each of you today to commit your life to Christ. Express your faith in His redemption plan, confess, and repent of your sins. Choose this day and every day to serve the Lord Jesus Christ.

Be encouraged and prepared today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, daily there are questions looming; some trivial and others essential to our existence here on earth. But the most vital question we must answer in a timely manner and in adherence to Scripture has to do with our eternal destiny. Just as the patriarchs of old lived long lives and then were buried by their children, our bodies too will return to dust, while our souls live on for eternity. We want to "be gathered to our people" who've made their pilgrimage here on earth with You as their Shepherd. We choose to commit our ways to You and follow Your commands so that our room and board is forever paid up in the great beyond where Christ sits at Your right hand. Keep us faithful till that day is fulfilled in our lives. In the precious name of Jesus we pray. Amen.

Brooksyne's note on Presidents Day:  Stephen's great grandfather, in the mid 1800's, emigrated to the U.S. from Germany and named his son who was born in Missouri George Washington Steincross (Stephen's grandfather). I just learned last week that I also have a grandfather (way back) whose name was George Washington Baslee, born in Kentucky about 1814. All this time I thought it was neat that Stephen had a grandfather named George Washington and I now learn that I also have a grandfather with the first president's name! (Trivia you didn't necessarily need to read, but I have fun writing about it.)

Three brothers
Brothers Michael, Stephen and Pat at the burial service near for my Mom in 2006 in Schell City, MO
(Click on photo to enlarge)

This weekend we visited the Fire and Ice Festival in Lititz PA and walked through the quaint, historic village founded in the 1700's.

Ice sculpture, Lititz, PA 2/17/19
Lots of ice sculptures, including this airplane, were created Friday night but with the warm weather on Saturday many didn't last long. Some already fell apart or the etching was compromised which made it more difficult to identify some ice sculptures!

Tomato Pie Cafe, Lititz, PA 2/17/19
We had our dinner at the Tomato Pie Cafe in this restored home.
We both have come to enjoy Tomato Pie, whether it's Brooksyne's homemade recipe or eating it at the Tomato Pie Cafe - both are scrumptious!

Lititz Mutual Building, Lititz, PA 2/17/19
The stately Lititz Mutual Insurance Company office building with an ice sculpture in front.

Red caboose, Lititz, PA 2/17/19
The red caboose sits next to a restored train station. In the background is the former Wilbur Chocolate factory which is being renovated as luxury condos. Wilbur chocolates predates the more famous Lancaster County chocolate maker, Milton S. Hershey. Open here for more info about Milton S. Hershey who only completed fourth grade and started numerous confectionery businesses that failed before his great success with Hershey Chocolates. Here's another interesting historical tidbit.

Amish buggy traffic, Lititz, PA 2/17/19
Amish traffic always adds to the charm of living in Lancaster County!

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Finish Well"  Video  Karen Peck & New River   Our choir is preparing for a spring concert on the afternoon of March 24th and this is one of the songs I'm excited to sing since we hear it often on the radio. It is truly a clarion call for believers to stay faithful:

Finish well for the glory of His name.
Finish strong, until the Savior finally calls us home;
Give it everything we have; finish well!

"One Day (When We All Get To Heaven)"  Video  Matt Redman   Here's another of my new favorites that we are singing on March 24th as well. Such a great message for young and old alike!

Recent Feedback:
  • Our friend Bob shared a suggestion regarding dry hands, prompted by the story in Friday's message: O'Keefe's Working Hands Hand Cream.
  • Regarding Friday's photo Nancy, another friend, wrote, "Perhaps they need to publish the sign in Pennsylvania Dutch." (a language the Amish speak)
Finally today:
Wilma Dourte, 2/17/19
We stopped by to visit with Wilma Dourte whose husband, Jesse, died several weeks ago.  She now lives with her daughter, Maxine, and looked wonderful. If I (Brooksyne) live to be 94 I would be pleased to do as well as she has done. I want a heart that follows hard after Jesus no matter my age, just like Wilma!

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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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