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Monday, May 4, 2020

Drive-in church service 5/3/20
A drive-in church service.

"The Blessing Of Meeting Together"

Message summary: Rest in the assurance that He will continue to lead us and join me in declaring this day, "His faithful follower I will be!"

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"And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near” (Hebrews 10:24,25).

We went out to church yesterday for the first time since mid-March. Like many of you we have been watching services online but we have really felt the need to congregate with other believers. Brooksyne saw that a local church had a drive-in service so we decided to check it out. We are sure glad we did.

We were welcomed as we drove in the parking lot by a couple of church members and then the traffic controller directed us to our parking spot. A friendly pastor's wife walked up the rows between cars greeting us again as we waited for the service to begin. Upon further discussion we realized our paths had crossed in past years.

As you can see in the photo the church had a trailer with the stage on it and used an FM station to transmit the service. We expressed our "Amen!" and "Hallelujah!" with the honk of a horn or an upraised hand outside the car window. The pastor had a very good message from Habakkuk and it was especially gratifying to hear the honking Amens or see the uplifted hands raised to the sky.

A verse from Hebrews 10:25 came to our minds after we pulled into the church parking lot: "not neglecting to meet together". Well, after our experience yesterday we can say that even meeting in a parking lot seemed more fulfilling than online. We could at least smile at those around us and, after many weeks of ecclesiastical isolation, there was something oddly special about being around other people although we were all seated in our own cars we were worshiping together live in "outdoor church".

However hopefully we can all get back to regular services soon sharing germs and all. We also hope the convention* of shaking hands and hugging will not be lost to antiquity!

Hopefully in some manner you were also in church yesterday and received fresh strength from the Lord as you heard the songs of our faith and His Word proclaimed. Unfortunately, in the New Testament period, even as now, some had forsaken this important element of meeting together for growth and discipleship.  As we see the Day of Christ's return drawing ever close we need the God-ordained encouragement that comes from fellowshipping with "one another" on a regular basis.

Thank God for those who remain faithful followers in our own day. Faithful ministers who preach God's Word in an uncompromising manner, dedicated lay people who live out their faith before an oft-scorning world, married couples who take the marital covenant seriously, parents who raise their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord and church communities "
not neglecting to meet together".

Christ said "When the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?" (Luke 18:8). This statement has often intrigued me. Will He? Join me today in making a renewed commitment in staying faithful to our God as we daily heed His call upon our lives. Rest in the assurance that He will continue to lead us and join me in declaring this day, "His faithful follower I will be!"

He leadeth me, He leadeth me,
By His own hand He leadeth me;
His faithful follower I would be,
For by His hand He leadeth me.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, You lead us through the mountain top experiences and deep valleys of everyday life, including that of pandemic disease or illness. We're so grateful for Your strength and encouragement and that which we receive from our brothers and sisters who bear our burdens and share in our joys which increases and strengthens our faith. May our faith grow so that we don't have just infant faith but a full-blown, tested and tried faith, which leads us to fully submit our lives to You, our Sovereign God, faithful Provider, and soon coming King. Amen.

* Brooksyne questioned the use of this word convention in this context. Here's the definition I am using "a usual or accepted way of behaving, especially in social situations, often following an old way of thinking or a custom in one particular society" from here.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"He Leadeth Me"  Video  Sovereign Grace Music

Shane and Shane I Will Wait for You
"I Will Wait"  Video  Shane and Shane  This song is so gripping, especially in this season.

"Only A Holy God"  Video  CityAlight

Dorothy, a friend of ours sent this over: College Church Hallelujah Chorus Video  Very creative to brighten your day!

Some scenes from drive-in church

Drive-in church service 5/3/20
It was a small rural church located in a country setting.

Drive-in church service 5/3/20
Children will sure have some good memories of their church outdoor gathering in their vehicles during the coronavirus pandemic.

Drive-in church service 5/3/20
As Brooksyne looked around she mentioned that we have car neighbors instead of pew neighbors in our outdoor setting. Our car was sure excited about seeing a tractor a couple "pews" over. We don't see tractors in our church parking lot on any given Sunday.

Drive-in church service 5/3/20
We always like it when the pastor greets us when we leave a church service. For several years we have attended a large church and sure miss this. The church offered ½ gallon of milk, dozen eggs and a bag of potatoes upon departure.

I had written that the beetle graveyard photo we shared on Friday for me prompted a consideration of Ezekiel's vision of a valley with dry bones. Here are some responses from readers:

"Don’t collect for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal" ‭‭(Matthew‬ ‭6:19‬)

“Fish and birds and wild animals - even ants and beetles! - and every human being will tremble and shake before me. Mountains will disintegrate, terraces will crumble” (Ezekiel 39:20 paraphrase)

“Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God"
Psalm 20:7).

"Now that I'm old & my hair is gray, don't abandon me, O GOD! Be with me while I proclaim your power to all generations to come" (Psalm 71:18).

"Dem dry bugs", an allusion to this old spiritual song. Video

And one reader opined: "That old Volkswagen graveyard in Moab needs to be sent to Mike & Frank at American Pickers!"

Finally today:

Amish Sunday traffic 5/3/20
We wonder if our neighbors also had a drive-in service! For sure they had a beautiful afternoon to take a drive as it was one of the nicest days we've had this year!

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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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