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Monday, November 18, 2019

Miner's Village, Cornwall, PA 11/15/19 (Click to enlarge)
Friday afternoon we drove through Miner's Village near Cornwall in southern Lebanon County. These factory houses were built in the 1860's for iron ore miners.
Click to enlarge

"The Most Important Reminder"

Message summary: Today let us all be reminded of this victorious truth; The Lion of Judah who conquered the grave is David's root and the Lamb who died to ransom the slave. He is worthy!

ListenListen to this message on your audio player.

"And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming with a loud voice, 'Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?'" (Revelation 5:2).

in our church service we sang a newer song we have both really come to appreciate since Brooksyne first learned it in choir last year. By now many are familiar with Andrew Peterson's song, "Is He Worthy?" since it is often played on Christian radio and is on YouTube. It's a very moving song that uses an interesting format with a soloist asking a series of questions followed by a response from the choir and congregation. (A link to a video is placed below. Listening to the song will enhance the message we share today.)

Do you feel the world is broken? (We do)
Do you feel the shadows deepen? (We do)
But do you know that all the dark won't stop the light from getting through? (We do)
Do you wish that you could see it all made new? (We do)

Is all creation groaning? (It is)
Is a new creation coming? (It is)
Is the glory of the Lord to be the light within our midst? (It is)
Is it good that we remind ourselves of this? (It is)

Yesterday we were especially moved by the phrase, "Is it good that we remind ourselves of this? (It is)." Brooksyne was singing this song with choir members and I was singing it with the congregation, but as we talked together after church, we both spoke of how much this very same line spoke to us and then considered the verse from 2 Peter 1:12, "Therefore I will always be ready to remind you of these things, even though you already know them, and have been established in the truth which is present with you."

If we ask, "Why do you go to church?", we'd get a lot of different answers.

But one good reason we attend is because we gather with other believers to be taught and reminded of God's timeless truths. The focus later in life, for those who have walked with the Lord over the years, is more often being reminded of that which we've already learned than hearing it for the first time.

But of course even children and young people need reminded. Reminding is a perpetual necessary form of ministry for all ages, presented by sermon, testimony or song.

Getting back to Peterson's song and the two preceding verses we need this reminding:
Is a new creation coming? (It is)
Is the glory of the Lord to be the light within our midst? (It is)

We all experience the broken world in different ways. As we gather we may have numerous burdens we are bearing. Some are personal, others common to all. At times the shadows really do seem to deepen.

    "But do we know that all the dark won't stop the light from getting through?" (We do)

That's when we need a focus on the eternal, transcendent truth of Holy Scripture. Transcendent means "beyond or above the range of normal or merely physical human experience".

The song continues with an allusion to Revelation 5:2 to a heavenly dilemma, "Who is worthy to open the book and to break its seals?"

The initial assessment was "And no one in heaven or on the earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll or to look into it" (v.3). This prompted despair "and I began to weep loudly because no one was found worthy to open the scroll or to look into it" (v.4).

Sometimes we are at our own point of despair concerning the burdens we bear; we just can't see a way out, let alone the bigger picture.

We regularly need to be reminded of the truth in the verse that follows, "Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that He can open the scroll and its seven seals." (v.5)

The song continues,

Is anyone worthy?
Is anyone whole?
Is anyone able to break the seal and open the scroll?
The Lion of Judah who conquered the grave
He is David's root and the Lamb who died to ransom the slave

Is He worthy? Is He worthy?
Of all blessing and honor and glory
Is He worthy of this?

Today let us all be reminded of this victorious truth; the Lion of Judah who conquered the grave is David's root and the Lamb who died to ransom the slave. He is worthy!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer:  Father, it is good to be reminded of many truths that Your word has taught us through the years, including the words of the apostle John who gives us a glimpse of worship in heaven, when it was revealed to him that the Lion of the tribe of Judah, of the Root of David, was found worthy to open the scroll and its seven seals. When no one in heaven or earth could open the scroll or look into it Jesus was declared worthy to do so; He is worthy of all praise, glory, honor and thanksgiving! Not only is there worship in heaven at such glorious news, but we worship here below to know that we serve a victorious risen Savior who has conquered sin, death and the grave securing an eternal home for us in heaven. Amen.

Audrey's Christmas dinner 11/15/19 (Click to enlarge)
Friday evening we attended the first of several company meals we will participate in during the next several weeks leading up to Christmas. This was at the Audrey's company banquet in Myerstown, PA
Click to enlarge

Penn State game day traffic 11/16/19
Saturday morning I assisted a friend who returned a van used by his son-in-law and daughter during mission furlough. The van is owned by a church in the State College area where Penn State is located. We left early to avoid game day traffic.  Upon returning we saw the game day traffic toward the Stadium in Happy Valley slow down some 20 miles out in the Seven Mountains area.

Barn with hay 11/15/19
We always enjoy seeing a barn and a healthy supply of hay! I wonder if the animals feel the same way when a large supply is visible to their eyes. When we bring in a new bag of dog food, all three of our dogs excitedly gather around the opened bag as though they haven't eaten for days.
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Is He Worthy"  Video  Andrew Peterson

Finally today:

Operation babylift
I recall seeing the above photo years ago and thinking, "What in the world is this all about?"

Brooksyne with Suzanne 11/17/19
These are orphaned babies which were placed in cardboard boxes and airlifted out of Saigon in 1975. Suzanne, who was 5 months old, was included among the babies in "Operation babylift" and she might be in this above photo I found posted online. Suzanne had a hard start in life as a Vietnamese orphan born at the end of the Vietnam War. She came to the US in April 1975 to be adopted by an American family and has been a part of the church we attend ever since and has become our friend. Yesterday she walked down to greet us and gave us permission to share her photo. We wrote a message titled "A Brand New Ending" about Suzanne earlier this year.

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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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