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Monday, March 4, 2019

Winter view 3/4/19 (Click to enlarge)
This morning we have a bright sun over the fresh coat of snow from last night's storm.
Click on photo to enlarge

"I Stand Amazed In The Presence"

Message summary: The atoning death of Christ on the cross is the supreme demonstration of God's love.

Listen to our message on your audio player.

"But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8).

Yesterday we sat in front of Barb Musser, a producer at our local Christian radio station, WDAC, who has processed our one minute Daily Encouragement radio message for nearly 17 years. She was there, along with many grandparents, to hear the Kings Kids choir, an event that always boosts attendance.

Calvary Church children's choir 3/3/19 (Click to enlarge)

The children know their music well and lead effectively, thanks to their director, Cheryl Noel, and a large team of volunteers who work with them through the month, in preparation. Upon careful observation you can pick out the timid singer or the distracted one. Yesterday one young boy got a little off message while showing off to the girl next to him. She wasn't paying any attention but boys will be boys. Included in their three song set was a glorious old hymn, "I Stand Amazed In The Presence".

I stand amazed in the presence
Of Jesus the Nazarene,
And wonder how He could love me,
A sinner condemned, unclean.

For nearly 2,000 years now men and women, boys and girls from all nations, races and tribes have been turning to Jesus Christ, believing the Gospel and being saved. A minuscule percentage of those people were actual eyewitnesses to the Greatest Sacrifice. What an experience that must have been to literally behold the Lamb slain from the foundations of the world, wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities, seeing Him bear our sorrows and the stripes that bring our healing. All who have believed since that time have heard the message but are not eyewitnesses.

The daily verse should cause us to stand amazed and in awe of what God has done in love's supreme demonstration. So many events of life concern us today; from our unique personal and family problems to the rapid decline toward absolute moral decadence (particularly here in America it seems), to various explosive international situations. We must be intentional in keeping our hope fixed on Jesus lest these troubling matters lead us to despair.

Watchman Nee became a Christian in mainland China in 1920 at the age of seventeen. In 1952 he was imprisoned for his faith and remained in prison until his death in 1972.  Before his departure, he left a piece of paper under his pillow which had several lines of big words he had written with a shaking hand. He wanted to testify to the truth and did so in his freedom as well as his captivity - until his final breath. That truth is—"Christ is the Son of God who died for the redemption of sinners and resurrected after three days. This is the greatest truth in the universe. I die because of my belief in Christ. Watchman Nee."

Today let us consider the supreme demonstration of God's own love for us. The underlying Greek word that is translated "demonstrate" is "sunistasin" which is in the present indicative active. This connotes a sense that God's demonstration of love is ever a present event, although Christ's literal death on the cross was a "once for all" atoning sacrifice; "Christ died for us". The demonstration of His love is ever present, but the sacrificial death of Christ is final and complete. We now look to "Him who sits on the throne and who lives forever and ever" (Revelation 4:9).

The atoning death of Christ on the cross is the supreme demonstration of God's love resulting in:
•    Our redemption from sin
•    Our reconciliation to God
•    Our restoration to wholeness

This week we will be examining each of these three "r's".

How marvelous! How wonderful!
and my song shall ever be;
How marvelous! How wonderful!
is my Savior's love to me!”

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, how marvelous is Your love.  So many things in life are unobtainable, just beyond our grasp, but You make Your love available to everyone who calls on the name of the Lord. Your love and tender care mends the broken heart; it cleanses the sin-filled heart, and it encompasses the empty heart. How utterly amazing that You would pour out Your sinless, extravagant love on the vilest of sinners who truly believes. Incredible to comprehend, but nothing in all creation can separate us from Your gracious and compassionate love. Thank You, Precious Father, for loving me. Amen.

More about Watchman Nee. "Nee Shu-tsu was exceptionally intelligent. From his entrance into elementary school through his graduation from the Anglican Trinity College in Foochow, he ranked first in his class as well as in his school. With many grand dreams and plans for his future, he could have been a great success in the world. In 1920 at the age of seventeen and after considerable struggle, Nee Shu-tsu was dynamically saved while in high school. At the moment of his salvation, his plans for his future were entirely abandoned. He testified, “From the evening I was saved, I began to live a new life, for the life of the eternal God had entered into me.” Later, when he was called by the Lord to carry out His commission, he adopted the English name Watchman and the Chinese name To-sheng, which means “the sound of a watchman’s rattle,” because he considered himself to be a watchman raised up to sound out a warning call in the dark night.

Through the weekend we had more snow including a fresh coat through the night

Winter view 3/4/19 (Click to enlarge)
Brilliant sunshine on our snow-covered oak tree
Click on photo to enlarge

Winter view at night 3/4/19 (Click to enlarge)
The same view last night
I stepped out about 11:30 last night and was taken back by the new thick coat of snow that had fallen during the evening hours.
Click on photo to enlarge

Winter backyardview  3/2/19 (Click to enlarge)
Our backyard dogwood.
Click on photo to enlarge

Winter backyardview  3/2/19 (Click to enlarge)
Mollie loves to play outside regardless of weather conditions day and night. You can see how she's trampled down the snow in our backyard.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

Brooksyne's Note:
  Yesterday's children's choir also prompted our Daily Encouragement radio message sent to WDAC for Tuesday:

The King's Kids Choir leads our church in worship several times a year. They do a great job, though an occasional child gets stage-shy or the extrovert may show off among the 200 plus children. Yesterday, included in their song mix, was the hymn classic, “I Stand Amazed”.

They sang it heartily, including the last stanza: “When with the ransomed in glory His face I at last I shall see, ‘twill be my joy through the ages to sing of His love for me.”

While singing my mind drifted to my childhood days when I sang in the Booster Band in a small church in rural Oklahoma. I still sing some of those songs, now in my sixties. The words “’twill be my joy through the ages to sing of His love for me” brought a smile to my face and a raised hand to the Lord as an expression of thanks that, through the ages, these songs still bring joy to my heart. For more encouragement visit dailyencouragement.net.

"I Stand Amazed"  Video  Gaither Homecoming Singers

"I Stand Amazed"  Video  Chris Tomlin

"I Stand Amazed"  Video  Kingdom Quartet (Acapella)

Finally today:
Steam powered tractor on Long Lane 3/1/19
Driving through Lancaster County you never know what peculiar site you may encounter! Friday afternoon while returning from our chaplain visits we first heard what sounded like a siren or train whistle on Long Lane, several miles south of our home. So we looked for emergency vehicles so as not to be in their way when they got closer, but instead we came up behind this strange vehicle.  As we passed it we found out it was a steel-wheeled, steam-powered tractor! Two Amish men in straw hats were driving it but Brooksyne (who takes photos as we drive along) couldn't capture that image as we passed.
But here's a video she took!

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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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