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Monday, April 27, 2020

Amish boy on horse (Ester) Click to enlarge
Ester took this photo Saturday afternoon at one of our area's many Amish-owned greenhouses. The bright array of colors are so impressive, even the mud on the horse, though I would prefer this photo after the horse got a bath! Growing up on a farm in Oklahoma we had many horses over the years and this photo reminds me of my younger brother who was always saddling up and going for a ride with the neighbors who also had horses.
(Click on photo to enlarge)

"The Ultimate Power Blood Donation"

Message summary: Christís shed blood has brought millions into reconciliation and peace with God; those who have by faith willingly accepted this provision. Have you already done so?

ListenListen to this message on your audio player.

"For God was pleased to have all His fullness dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile to Himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through His blood, shed on the cross" (Colossians 1:19,20).

Stephen donating blood 4/25/20On Saturday Brooksyne and I donated blood for the Red Cross. We've been hearing that there is a critical shortage of blood during the pandemic so we were pleased to get out and do our part. In a sense we even went to church, well, we went to our church gymnasium, that is, where the blood drive was held. Brooksyne gave whole blood, as we both usually do, but this time I donated using a method known as "power red" which took a double helping of my red blood cells. (See video below)

Power Red is similar to a whole blood donation, except a special machine is used to allow me to safely donate two units of red blood cells during one donation while returning my plasma and platelets (as seen to my left in the photo).

Red Cross blood donationWe have participated in these blood drives since our college days nearly forty years ago donating in a variety of settings. For a number of years the church where I pastored in northern Pennsylvania hosted the Red Cross blood drives for that area. But I am not sure if I ever gave a "power red" donation before.

We prayed after our donations that God would use them to help someone in need. I still find it fascinating and somewhat inspiring to join others from all walks of life lying on the reclining table and giving blood. Weíre willing to accept the "small pinch", slight weakening, time and inconvenience knowing that our blood may very well help save another life.

Now we have the additional dimension of everyone wearing a mask which contributes to what blogger Mike Katz calls an "emotionless experience". Even with the volunteers and phlebotomists dawned in their variety of masks the atmosphere was pleasant and the purpose for why we gathered made the event very worthwhile as all the slots for donations were filled.

When Ester was little we took her with us and explained to her what this all meant since she has benefited many times from donors because of her multiple heart surgeries. We prayed for the people who would be receiving the blood and we talked about an infinitely greater blood donation when Jesus Christ made peace for us through His blood, shed on the cross.

This blood donation involved Godís only begotten Son and was certainly not a source of minor pain or inconvenience. He agonized in great pain and died a horrific death when He voluntarily gave His blood for us.

When we give our blood at best we will extend anotherís life for a brief duration, no matter their age, in the span of eternity. Yet that duration is wholly significant to the one receiving the blood and his or her loved ones. It has a significant but limited power in regard to the extent it can help someone else. But the redeeming blood of Christ was instrumental in the reconciling of all things and the making of peace between man and God for every generation. This blood has unlimited power to save to the uttermost for "the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin" (1 John 1:7).

In order for our blood to do any good a recipient must accept it through a transfusion. It wonít have any effect just sitting in a warehouse. But Christís shed blood has already brought millions into reconciliation and peace with God who have by faith yielded their lives to Him by accepting this provision. Have you done so?

O the blood of Jesus washes me
O the blood of Jesus shed for me
What a sacrifice that saved my life
Yes, the blood, it is my victory

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, it is only through the sacrificial blood of Your Son that my sins are forgiven. My guilty stains are plunged into the bottom of the ocean to be remembered no more. All the adjectives in oneís vocabulary cannot adequately describe the depth of my gratitude for such a selfless act of love.  Thank You, Jesus, for freely shedding Your blood on my behalf even while I was dead in my transgressions and sins. Your redeeming blood frees me from the penalty of sin in this life and for all eternity. Amen.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

Gordon Mote and Voices of Lee
"O The Blood"  Video  Gordon Mote with the Voices of Lee

"There Is Power in the Blood"  Video  Buddy Greene, The Isaacs, Gordon Mote

"The Blood Will Never Lose Its Power"  Video  Selah

"Washed by the Blood"  Video  CityAlight

Power Red donation explanation Video (1:19 minutes)

Brooksyne donating blood 4/25/20
It's hard to get used to wearing masks when we are out and seeing everyone else wearing one. Hopefully our eyes convey a smile behind the mask when visiting with others. I got Brooksyne's attention as she acknowledged by waving across the room to me.

Line at Lancaster Costco
Following our blood donation Saturday we stopped by Costco before heading over to the Old Windmill Farm to visit the Lapp family as we walk around the farm. This is the line just to get in as people are socially distanced upon entering. Mike Katz is a blogger who writes about email I've enjoyed for many years. Today's quote on "emotionless experience" comes from an observation about shopping he writes about in his latest post. See if you identify!

The goats on the Old Windmill Farm always provide some interesting photo ops

Goat ringing Old Windmiil Farm bell (Ester)
Guests to the Old Windmill Farm announce their arrival by ringing the bell.
This goat has learned to ring the bell as well!
(Photo by Ester)

Goat on sow at the Old Windmiil Farm
I wonder if this sow is thinking, "What am I? A doormat? I feel like I'm being stepped all over. Not just my 'kids' but the 'kids' from my neighborhood too."

Goat at the Old Windmiil Farm
The goats just have a way of getting right in your face!
(Photo by Ester)

Baby goats at the Old Windmiil Farm
One week old baby goats snuggling in their corner of the barn.
(Photo by Ester)

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLEģ, 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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