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Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Bass Pro Shop whale at Foxborough, MA 1/25/20
While in New England this last weekend we visited the Bass Pro Shop in Foxborough next to Gillette Stadium which is probably the only Bass Pro Shop in the country with a hanging whale!

"I'm A Whosoever"

Message summary: We are all whosoevers!

ListenListen to this message on your audio player.

"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life" (John 3:16). "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved" (Romans 10:13).

This last weekend Ester and I visited New England and on Sunday attended the church I had pastored during the nineties, now known as Liberty Christian Center. It was such a blessing to see many friends from the church and a joy to see them staying faithful. Our main reason for the visit was to see Veda Shibilo who served practically the entire time I was there as my secretary. She is now in nursing care. We'll share a message about her in the next several days.

Steve and Andrea Higgins were a part of the church while we were there. Andrea is partially disabled due to an automobile accident when she was a baby. But she is very active and now serves the church as secretary and also sings on the worship team. Her husband Steve is a drummer also serving on the worship team.

Steve HigginsHe's also very active in the support of the disability community and serves on the national board of a Council for Independent Living. He told me about a recent meeting he attended in Washington DC. The meeting facilitator began the meeting by informing the group they would go around the table and each person would be able to express how they wanted to be identified.

Of course this was an expression of the current gender confusion nonsense with people able to state that they are something other than male or female. (Shockingly, Brooksyne went through this last summer when she gave blood.) These concocted identities are exceedingly complicated with an online search revealing how "Gender identity in 2019 is taken more seriously and Tumblr has a list totaling 112 genders currently." (See link below if you are morbidly curious). Of course these "identities" will keep getting added to as long as the philosophical and societal trends of this generation are adhered to instead of the Bible, basic biology and just plain common sense!

When it got to Steve, who can be bold and somewhat rascally, he informed the group that he identified as a "whosoever". I suppose they all approvingly smiled with understanding but probably had not heard of that identity or what he was saying. Perhaps the politically correct facilitator was excited that she could report a new type of identity!

Steve, of course, was identifying himself by a great Biblical word we can all be identified with. Whosoever is a word we probably take for granted. Most of us have memorized John 3:16, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life" (John 3:16). Newer versions just say whoever but I still like "whosoever"! It translates a common Greek word "Pas" that means everyone.

I am a whosoever
"For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved" (Romans 10:13). The great universal call "whosoever" is ultimately a call from the Holy God to the fallen human race to come, to believe, to repent of sin and to begin the transforming process of living obediently and in holiness as God's children.

Although God indeed invites all to come just as we are, we are not to stay just as we are. We will change, as we repent and forsake sin, and choose to live in obedience to God.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, thank You for sending Jesus, Your one and only Son, to die on the cross for our sins. While priests performed their religious duties again and again under the old covenant in accordance to the law, they offered sacrifices which can never take away sins. But when You sent Jesus to be our High Priest, He offered for all time one sacrifice for our sins, and then sat down at Your right hand, now making intercession on our behalf. How incredibly grateful I am to be among the whosoevers that have found forgiveness through Jesus' redemptive blood and thereby receive everlasting life. Amen.

See Hebrews 9:8-14

Brooksyne's Note:  You may have noticed that I was not with Stephen and Ester on their trip to New England. As a family, we very much wanted to visit Veda, Stephen's former secretary, as her health has declined in recent months. But our oldest dog, Roxie, is now 15 and suffers from her old age making it very difficult for us to place her in another's care. She requires special care so I encourage them to make the trip without me, but I was with them in spirit. I'm thankful for photos which bring to life those people and places that have been very special in our memories!

Andy and Joanna Larrimore
It was nice to visit with Andy and Joanne Larrimore. Andy developed the initial www.dailyencouragement website in 1999. Ester grew up with their two children and has many fond memories of her years spent with families in this congregation.

Steve and Andrea Higgins, Derrick
Here's a photo of Steve and Andrea along with Derrick.

Marcia Barber and Nikki Higgins
Ester with two of her longtime friends, Marcia Barber (left) and Nikki Higgins (Steve and Andrea's twin daughter). Marcia brought Ester a huge pan of macaroni and cheese which Ester has always considered the best macaroni and cheese in the world! Brooksyne's note: I don't bother to make M & C at home since it's always compared with "Mrs. Barber's Mac & Cheese". She sent enough for all of us to enjoy several bowls of the cheesy pasta!

Ester at Gillette stadium
On Saturday morning we visited the Gillette Stadium complex in Foxborough and Ester was very excited to get her photo taken at the iconic stadium opening with the lighthouse. If you have ever watched a home Patriots game you have seen this opening and probably heard the fog horn!

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Come Just As You Are"  Video  Maranatha! Promise Band

"Whosoever Will May Come"  Video  Congregational  Does anyone else remember singing this!

"Whosoever Will May Come"  Video  African music

"Only God Knows"  Video  Brian Free and Assurance  Last week we shared about the pro-life cause. This is a very touching song.

For the morbidly curious: How Many Genders Are There In 2020?

Finally today:

"Only God Knows"  Video  Triumphant Quartet   We devote this song to any of our readers going through a hard time today.

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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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