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Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Jersey calf on Lancaster County farm 2/22/19
"A Lesson From A Golden Calf"

Message summary:  The golden calf was constructed due to the Israelite's disobedience in waiting as instructed. In our own lives we need to consider the peril of constructing golden calves when we fail the waiting test.

"He took what they handed him and made it into an idol cast in the shape of a calf, fashioning it with a tool. Then they said, 'These are your gods, Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt'" (Exodus 32:4). "Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides You, who acts on behalf of those who wait for Him" (Isaiah 64:4).

Last Friday, in the course of driving between our chaplain visits, we stopped by "Down On The Farm" creamery, which is on an Amish farm south of Strasburg, PA. Next to the creamery were some calf hutches with two calves born this month, including Tommy, shown in our lead photo. Tommy's golden color prompts a lesson on the golden calf fiasco as recorded in Exodus 32. The golden calf is what the people had made when they failed to patiently wait as instructed by Moses.

In one way or another it seems we are all waiting for something in life.
Realistically much of our waiting is trivial such as waiting for a traffic light to change or waiting in a long line at the grocery store.

But the wait periods of life are often hard. Like waiting for medical test results or news from a loved one we are anxious to hear from. It may be waiting for a specified change of direction in our life, perhaps in our work or ministry. Certainly for all of us it is waiting for the blessed hope. (Titus 2:13)

Obedience in waiting is one of the most important tests we have in life. Prior to going up to Mount Sinai, Moses gave a very specific command to the leaders of the children of Israel. "He said to the elders, 'Wait here for us until we come back to you'" (Exodus 24:14).

But the wait was long and the people grew impatient. Much to their shame they took matters into their own hands. "When the people saw that Moses was so long in coming down from the mountain, they gathered around Aaron and said, 'Come, make us gods who will go before us. As for this fellow, Moses, who brought us up out of Egypt, we don't know what has happened to him'" (Exodus 32:1). Soon they're worshiping and carousing around a golden calf with Aaron as their leader! They miserably failed the "wait test" and grave consequences followed.

The Bible has many examples of waiting tests such as Abraham for the promised son, Jacob for Rachel, Saul for Samuel and others. Many of them failed the test of obedience in waiting which resulted in long-term, sometimes life-long consequences.

We also have many waiting tests in our lives. Even as you read this you're likely considering a situation you're praying about and waiting to see how God brings about His will in the matter. Trusting, praying and obeying during the wait can be very challenging, since we're tempted to take things into our own hands rather than fully trusting God to work things out according to His will and His timing. In the wait process we may even hit rock bottom. But Tony Evans says that "When we hit rock bottom we discover that Jesus is the Rock at the bottom."

Here's a great truth to hide deep in your heart today based upon our second Bible text: God acts on behalf of those who wait for Him. This verse is a real treasure buried in a portion of the Bible not as familiar to many.  "Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides You, who acts on behalf of those who wait for Him." Today may this truth
fill your life with peace as you trust in God, who always acts on behalf of those who wait for Him. God grant us grace to obediently wait.

Be encouraged today as we obediently wait on Him.

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, many times Scripture that speaks of waiting on You is followed by the directive of being courageous. Indeed it does take courage for me to trust You and not take matters into my own hands since that comes so naturally to my way of thinking and doing things. But as a loving, protecting and omnipotent Father You tenderly care for me as I commit my concerns to You. My unbelief and impatience leads to fearsome worry and unwise behavior. Getting ahead of Your divine plan and perfect timing only leads to more frustration and difficulty. Help me to remember that waiting coupled with prayer brings about growing courage and dependence on You rather than myself. Amen.

We may still get some winter weather but we enjoy sharing snow photos while we can. These were taken last Thursday following the snow we had Wednesday.

Lancaster County farm view 2/21/19 (Click on photo to enlarge)
We enjoy this view of a large old-order Mennonite farm north of New Holland, PA due to the orchard to the left and the corn shocks in front of the farm.
(Click on photo to enlarge)

White frame farmhouse 2/21/19 (Click on photo to enlarge)
This farmhouse has a resemblance to the farmhouse near Harwood, MO built in 1882 where my grandpa was born and where I went as a child to be with my Uncle Gentry and Aunt Dora and a large group of extended family. (Location on Google map)
(Click on photo to enlarge)

Silverstone Inn 2/21/19 (Click on photo to enlarge)
We have shown many photos of the Silverstone Inn which always looks stately, but especially with the snow!
(Click on photo to enlarge)

Silverstone Inn spring house 2/21/19 (Click on photo to enlarge)
The spring house behind the Silverstone Inn also has some nice stone work.
(Click on photo to enlarge)

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"While I'm Waiting"  Video  John Waller

"Teach Me, Lord, to Wait"  Video  Reggie & Ladye Love Smith, Wesley Pritchard

"While I Wait"  Video  Lincoln Brewster

"Wings Like Eagles"  Video  Scripture Memory Songs

Gazebo report: Yesterday we mentioned the strong winds and the concern we had for the canvas-topped gazebo on our deck. The winds subsided late yesterday afternoon and the gazebo stands assisted by bungee cords. Whew!

Finally today:

Choir mistakes t-shirt
This was on a poster in the choir room at church and I couldn't resist taking a photo. If you're in choir you'll especially get a kick out of this kind of response from choir members since there's some underlying humor but also truth exposed. For many years I longed to sing in a choir rather than direct. Though I directed choirs for nearly 25 years I wanted to worship freely while singing and be less nervous about the presentation. I'm enjoying this season of my life singing as a soprano and not accompanying at the piano. Admittedly, I have a much lighter workload in preparation of the worship music and musical selections.

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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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