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Monday, March 18, 2019

Eshelman's Mill Covered Bridge 3/15/19
Eshelman's Mill Covered Bridge
Friday morning we came up over a hill on this long stretch of Belmont Road in Eastern Lancaster County.

"The Value Of Little Parts"

Message summary: The little parts matter!

Listen to our message on your audio player.

"For none of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself" (Romans 14:7). "From Him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work" (Ephesians 4:16).

Stephen and André, Val-Co engineers 3/15/19Last Friday morning I visited for a few minutes with Stephen and André, two young Val-Co engineers. They showed me a small prototype part they were developing which was made with a 3D printer. The part will be a component in a system used in chicken houses. It's a little part with a significant function. I really doubt when most of us eat a Chick-fil-A sandwich we think much about all that goes into it!

Stephen and
André demonstrate what is essentially an unseen and little considered aspect of cooperation that really, for most of us, makes life work as it does. Very few live on completely self-sufficient farms. Cooperation is an act or instance of working or acting together for a common purpose or benefit, a joint action. When we give thanks for our meals we certainly thank the Lord, but we also consider many people who had a cooperative role in getting that food to our plate, including Stephen and André. Next time you offer a blessing to the effect, "Thank you Lord for this food. Bless the hands of those who prepared it" consider not only the cook but many others who had a role and be thankful for them!

This is analogous to the Body of Christ at work in cooperative service. A common representation of the Church is the image of the Body. Today's text draws a powerful analogy from the human body and speaks of how each part of the spiritual body works together: "From Him [Christ] the whole body [Church], joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work."

But in this message let me merely focus on the final phrase, "as each part does its work" (NIV). Other versions translate this phrase similarly, "According to the proper working of each individual part" (NASV) and "When each part is working properly" (ESV). This phrase highlights the contribution of each member to the life and development of the body as a whole.

Little parts do matter and their failure to perform properly and on time can impair or possibly destroy the functioning of the whole. Think about it, essentially everything that fails does so ultimately because of something small. Even a catastrophic failure generally begins with something small. (Consider the current news concerning the Boeing 737 MAX 8 airplane or the raging forest fire due to a single discarded cigarette butt.)

The Body of Christ truly works as the church "grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work". Let us do our part today in advancing the cause of Christ in the various ways we serve and realize this is best done in a generous spirit of cooperation and good communication.

We encourage you today to faithfully and cooperatively serve in whatever manner God has led you; in your marriage, family, local church, ministry, job, neighborhood, community, or any other area of service, working as for the Lord Jesus Christ since we are instructed to "Work willingly at whatever we do, as though we were working for the Lord rather than for people" (Colossians 3:23).

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, I pray for a spirit of cooperation and eagerness to contribute to the needs of the whole body, so that Your Church is built not just with sweat, bricks, and mortar but with love, integrity, and cooperative teamwork. We go forth in unity and purpose as we do our part in building each other up while encouraging others to use their God-given talents and acquired skills, all the while striving for unity in the faith. In the name of Jesus we go forth in faithful service. Amen.

Brooksyne's note: As I edited today's message a recurring thought came to my heart regarding the cooperative work of the body of Christ. We've considered the Scripture that speaks to everybody pitching in, excelling in their God-given giftings, and uniting in purpose. But I also consider another aspect of the body working together cooperatively and that is, resisting sin which would disrupt the flow and cooperative working of the church body. I consider a church I visited in the past where I spent some time with the pastor and his wife afterwards. As I inquired about the church they confided with me that the adult Sunday School teacher had recently begun an affair with another woman. Previously he and his wife were very involved in ministries within the church as well as their children. The pastor, his wife and the church body were heartbroken and the working of the Holy Spirit was disrupted among the body as they saw a church leader's integrity stained. Not only does God call us to contribute in our talents and service, but also in the way we live our lives. We must be above reproach so that the testimony of Christ within our lives continues to be a beacon of light in the dark world in which we live and within the body of Christ where we set a godly example for others to follow.

Sight and Sound 3/16/19
Saturday evening we were blessed to see the "JESUS" presentation at the Sight and Sound Theater here in Lancaster County. This is the view as we left late Saturday evening. If you visit Lancaster County or Branson, MO we highly recommend the Sight and Sound.

Jordan and Shea, Sight and Sound 3/16/19
We were blessed to have attended the show, along with a behind the scenes stage tour, courtesy of Jordan Kopp. He and his girlfriend Shea both work at Sight and Sound. Brooksyne taught his brother Jonathan and Jordan in Sunday School when he was a very young boy and we were both heartened to see his maturity and earnestness in his service for Christ. The theater seats 2000 and all three Saturday shows were practically sold out. He works behind the scenes on the stage crew of 18 and has a very hard, intense job. The stage is practically as deep as the seating area is. Shea is an animal handler and was in the show riding down an aisle on a horse!

Brooksyne with Sight and Sound camel 3/16/19
In our behind the scenes tour Brooksyne greeted Chester, one of the show's camels. We kind of expected Chester to speak to her reminding us of another one of those really funny GEICO ads "Hump Day"  Video (30 seconds)

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"We Are God's People"  Video  Unidentified choir (Good reinforcement for today's message)

"Landon Mak Sings the Star-Spangled Banner" Video In last Thursday's message we mentioned a 4 year old who did an outstanding job of singing the national anthem at the Hershey Bears hockey game we attended last Wednesday night.

Last night Casting Crowns and Zach Williams were at the Giant Center for a concert. Brooksyne and Ester volunteer in a ministry where they can serve and attend the concert for free but after our late Sight and Sound night and Sunday morning church service and afternoon ministry in a nursing home we just didn't feel we would have the energy to get out again! But today we will share a favorite song from each.

"Who Am I?"  Video  Casting Crowns We first heard Casting Crowns at the Giant Center about 15 years ago. This is a song that launched their ministry early on, also a great reinforcement of the message we heard at Sight and Sound!

"Chain Breaker"  Video  Zach Williams  This video begins with silence so hang in there. What a touching message. We see so much of the ravages of alcohol and drugs.  Recently we visited with a grandpa holding his baby granddaughter whose mother has alcohol addiction, and sadly it the effects of the mother's alcoholism was evident in the infant as well. No one lives unto oneself alone, for the choices we make and the lifestyle we embrace either helps or harms us. It affects those around us in similar manner.

Until Then concert promo
Until Then Concert:  This coming Sunday afternoon at 3:00PM the Calvary Church Choir and Orchestra will feature a concert with the theme of heaven. I (Brooksyne) have sure enjoyed our rehearsals and look forward to singing in this concert. Selections include time honored hymns sung with the congregation and several newer selections with the theme of heaven. When I was a teenager "Until Then" was a choir number that we sang often in church and revivals. I never wearied of its message or tune and am thrilled to be singing it again in this setting. I still attend many concerts aimed at the younger crowds and enjoy them, but I'm also glad for a concert that has the older generation in mind. I hope locals can come out and be blessed by this concert. Come early because it will likely be very crowded. Here's a song we will sing. "Finish Well"  Video  Karen Peck and New River

Finally today:  I (Stephen) recall a song from many years ago by Ray Hildebrand that describes this cooperation titled, "We Really Do Need Each Other." I've never been able to find it on YouTube. But found this one: "Didn't He"  Video  Ray Hildebrand

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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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