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Monday, May 27, 2019

Amish family in spring wagon 5/24/19 (Click to enlarge)
Last Friday morning I saw this family riding in a spring wagon heading to shop at BB's in Quarryville.
(Click on photo to enlarge)

"Never Once Did We Ever Walk Alone!"

Message summary: This Memorial Day above all let us consider the faithfulness of our Lord and continue to sing of the mercies of the Lord forever. Never once did we ever walk alone. With our mouths and with our lives let us make known His faithfulness to all generations!

Listen to our message on your audio player.

"I will sing of the mercies of the LORD for ever: with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to all generations" (Psalm 89:1). "One generation will commend Your works to another" (Psalm 145:4).

In the USA today we celebrate Memorial Day. Its origin dates back to the period following our Civil War in the 1860's and is primarily a remembrance of those who died in that war and all the wars that have followed. Let us hope we never lose that focus.

But it has expanded in the sense many tend to remember all who have gone before us. Certainly today we will be remembering those in our own family, as Brooksyne and I have each seen our parents pass on to their eternal reward. Brooksyne and Ester have been visiting with family in Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas since last week and connecting with her brothers and sister and extended families on both sides. We are reminded of the progression of life and to our own imminent transition from this present life.

Moses, in his final message prior to his death, hearkens the people to "Consider the generations long past". A powerful oral history had been maintained about the creation and the origin of their national identity (children of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.) That was about 3,500 years ago and I believe his words are still very appropriate for the people of God. We need to remember those who have gone on before us before and during our lifetime.

The writer of Hebrews speaks of these men and women as "a great cloud of witnesses". They indeed witness and testify to the power of faith and of the faithfulness of God. This great cloud is surely comprised of all the Biblical greats that are mentioned in Hebrews 11 and others in the Bible period.

But I believe it also includes all those throughout the ages of the church who have died in faith; people such as great men and women of church history like Evangelist D.L Moody and Songwriter Fannie Crosby. Today, I am thankful for the impact in my generation of nationally (and perhaps internationally) known people like D. James Kennedy, Bill Bright and Larry Burkett, and many others who influenced my life and in recent years have gone on to their reward.

But the cloud of witnesses surely also includes the many, many throughout the ages who have lived their lives for Christ in relative obscurity, serving Him faithfully in their work settings, their homes and churches.  They loved their family, sought to raise their children right, worked hard, served as Sunday School teachers, janitors, nursery workers and the list goes on.

My life would be so different without the impact of the list of relative unknowns.  These are the people whom I have really known, and I believe God has ordained that we are to live with those in close community that He has placed in our lives, giving and receiving.  Our friend, Doris High, had a thought-provoking saying on her blog: "There is no way of belonging to Jesus Christ except by belonging gladly and irrevocably to the glorious ragbag of saints who make up the Church!"

You have some wonderful folks who have gone before you who made known God's faithfulness to remember today, don't you? If they're now in the great cloud of heavenly witnesses thank God for them! If they're still living seek to thank them.

But above all let us consider the faithfulness of our Lord and continue to sing of the mercies of the Lord forever. Never once did we ever walk alone! With our mouths and with our lives let us make known His faithfulness to all generations!

Scars and struggles on the way
But with joy our hearts can say
Yes, our hearts can say

Never once did we ever walk alone
Never once did You leave us on our own
You are faithful, God, You are faithful

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, we give thanks for the men and women who have given their lives for our freedoms over the centuries. We also give thanks for those who have impacted our spiritual lives as we seek to live faithfully for You; the Biblical saints, the early church fathers, the martyrs of the faith, the evangelists, preachers, and teachers of Your Holy Word, our family members and many others who showed us the way and we thank You for those extraordinary believers who not only lived for You but lived as an example of faith to those of us who were watching and learning along the way. Above all, we thank You for the person of Your Son, Jesus Christ, who is the Way, the Truth and the Life to our eternal Home in heaven. Thank you for Your faithfulness and the fact that never once did we ever walk alone. Amen.

Yesterday after church service I headed over to the Old Windmill Farm for an early afternoon visit with the Lapp family.

Old Windmill Farm pond 5/26/19
The spring-fed Old Windmill Farm pond will be busy this summer.

Old Windmill Farm pond 5/26/19
Yesterday the kids swam in the pond for the first time this season. Jesse brought in sand to make the kids a beach. What a blessing to see this family spending time together and the love they have for one another.

Old Windmill Farm pond 5/26/19
The children's joy brought back memories of youth and swimming in farm ponds in southern Missouri.

Old Windmill Farm pond 5/26/19
Five at once (one is already in the water) as Stephen looks on. Next year he'll probably be joining them!

Old Windmill Farm pond 5/26/19
A bird has made a nest in the reeds beside the Old Windmill Farm pond and these baby birds mistook my camera for Mom bringing a tasty worm! This is only a few feet from the pond beach with all the children's activity so mother bird may be questioning her choice of nest placement!

Arkansas cabin 5/26/19
Yesterday Brooksyne visited with her brother Jody and family in this Arkansas mountain cabin. She returned to Tulsa last night and of course that area has been hit with many tornadoes and storms. She returns home tomorrow afternoon and Ester will return to Texas with her aunt for two weeks.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Never Once"  Video  Matt Redman  Our service concluded with this song yesterday. What a great expression of God's faithfulness.

"Never Walk Alone"  Video  Brian Free and Assurance

I was especially blessed by the message yesterday by our pastor and thought of friends going through hard times. Here's the link directly to the message.

Finally today:
Backyard fire 5/26/19
I have been doing a lot of work around the property since Brooksyne has been gone including installing my deck railing and making a fire pit. It was nice to watch the fire from my swing on my deck last night.

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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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