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Monday, November 11, 2019

Grass, Lancaster County, PA 11/8/19
This entire field of Chinese Silver Grass (or a similar grass) was glimmering on Friday afternoon due to the bright sun. With the tassels blowing in the wind against the beautiful blue sky it was a sight to behold.

"A Consideration of Spiritual Veterans"

Message summary: Each of us will become a spiritual veteran should the Lord keep us on this side. Brooksyne and I state our determination to stay faithful as Christian soldiers. No AWOL for us! So let's continue to march forward, as we lift high the banner of the cross.

ListenListen to this message on your audio player.

"Is not wisdom found among the aged? Does not long life bring understanding?" (Job 12:12). "I then, as Paul--an old man and now also a prisoner of Christ Jesus" (Philemon 1:9b). "Therefore, since we also have such a large cloud of witnesses surrounding us" (Hebrews 12:1).

Gene Weber service photo (about 1943) Brooklyn Sherrell service photo (about 1953)Today is Veteran's Day here in the United States, a day in which we properly remember and honor military veterans and consider the price paid for our temporal freedoms. I realize many veterans read these messages regularly including several we know personally, as well as those who are in active service. We thank you for your service. I specifically consider my dad (left) who served as a pilot during WW2 and Brooksyne's dad (right) who served during the Korean War.

But today we want to focus our message on spiritual veterans. Many have gone on before us and are now in what Hebrews 12:1 calls "a great cloud of witnesses". Others are still on this side of eternity in the senior years of life. They have faithfully served God in their generation and continue to do so though their acts of service may be modified due to their health challenges and mobility issues. Grover Devault is a long-retired army chaplain who is 90 and is still in service in the Lord's army.

At one time we would have shared this message as young people, a time when being old seemed so far away. Life progressed through our middle ages and now we must even say goodby to that moniker. However at this point we can say we are a young old!

Tom and Marsh NeizmikWe have always sought to honor the elderly in our ministry. Our first church, which we planted right out of Bible College in our early 20's, was mostly young people. But it was in our young years that we developed ministries to the elderly in nursing homes and some of those who served from our church were in their late teens. Tom and Marsha Neizmik (left), now grandparents themselves, are still faithfully providing services some 40 years later, specifically. In our mid thirties we moved to an established church in New England with a nice mix of young and old. Throughout our 20+ years of chaplaincy we focus on all ages.

But it sure seems that honor and esteem for the elderly has changed during our lifetime with many forgetting and neglecting a powerful Scripture truth that states, "Is not wisdom found among the aged? Does not long life bring understanding?" We need to value our elderly and specifically spiritual veterans. They have insights which can bring needed perspective and blessing to our lives. As they live faithfully for the Lord, during the good times as well as the bad, they are living testimonies that we can observe.

Paul as an old manToday let us remember and honor the contribution made by the countless old spiritual veterans who have gone before us, through the Bible times and church history as well as those we personally know. Let us consider an easily overlooked statement made by the apostle Paul, a true veteran of the Christian conflict.  He had fought the good fight of faith and was not at all hesitant in identifying himself in the text as an "old man".  (The KJV states "the aged".)

Scores of men and women through the history of the church have taken great risks to the point of laying down their lives. They faced hardship and otherwise bear the scars of battle for Christ and for our souls. Our spiritual freedom was supremely paid for by Christ's death on the cross. However many others have paid a price to bring that message to us and help keep our flame lit. Let's honor them and let us now take our place in the line of the faithful!

Along with military veterans I'm sure you can think of some spiritual veterans today. Why don't you take a moment to thank God for them, and if you're able, give them a personal expression of thanks. You'll make their day.

Finally, each of us will become a spiritual veteran should the Lord keep us on this side. Brooksyne and I state our determination to stay faithful as Christian soldiers. No AWOL for us! So let's continue to march forward, as we lift high the banner of the cross.

Oh, may all who come behind us find us faithful,
May the fire of our devotion light their way.
May the footprints that we leave, lead them to believe,
And the lives we live inspire them to obey.
Oh, may all who come behind us find us faithful.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, how indebted we are to those whose devotion to You has marked out a path for us to follow. From the Biblical characters like Joseph, Moses, Daniel, Ruth, Peter, Paul and Timothy to those in later generations like D.L. Moody, George Whitfield, John and Charles Wesley, Billy Graham along with countless missionaries who gave their all to spread the Gospel whether by word of mouth or by translating Scripture so that people can learn about You in their own language. Thank You for the individual(s) who shared the gospel message with me so that I might know You personally and receive a crown of life in the hereafter where I will dwell with You, the King of glory for all eternity. Amen.

Prayer for our Military Veterans:  Father, we honor our military veterans who gave their all that we might enjoy our freedoms. Some died young never having the opportunity to live out their life on this side. Others bear visible reminders such as a missing limb, or a jagged scar. Others carry less visible signs such as a pin holding a bone together, shrapnel buried beneath their skin, tortuous physical and mental images that cannot be erased from their minds, causing many of them deep disturbance in their mental health. We pray that You will encourage the veterans and their families, provide physical, financial and emotional services. Place godly people in their paths who will share their faith so that these soldiers will meet Jesus as their personal Savior, the One who grants eternal life and leads us when the arm of flesh fails us. Amen.

Pastor Beau Eckert 11/10/19
As we progress through life we make many transitions. When you are young the "professionals" in your life are all older than you. Then they are similar age, then they're younger. My doctor is now some 15 years younger than me. Up till several years ago we always had a pastor who was older or our peer.

Now we have a middle-aged pastor and as you get older even middle-aged can seem young! Yesterday Pastor Beau Eckert preached on the Parable of the Sower and then followed by a very pastoral heart to heart application message to the congregation of every age that really touched us. That part starts here (video). We believe it will bless our readers. We were especially touched at the respectful way he addressed the seniors, as there are many in our congregation. The church stressed the importance of having an intergenerational congregation where each generation benefits from the other.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Find Us Faithful"  Video  Let There Be Praise singers

"We Will Not Forget"  Video  Mark Harris

"When Love Comes Home"  Video  Matthew West

"The Mission"   Video  Steve Green

"One Pure And Holy Passion"  Video  The Passion Worship Band

"Letters From War"  Video  Mark Schultz

"You Are The King ForeverVideo  Calvary Church worship team

Finally today:

Brussels Sprouts from Corn Crib 11/8/19
Brooksyne purchased some freshly harvested brussels sprouts fresh from the fields from the Corn Crib last Friday. Since they're so fresh and small they are especially tender and the dish she prepared was delicious. The brussels sprouts are tasty in themselves but when she adds onions, garlic, bacon pieces, and feta cheese it adds lots of great flavor!

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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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