A daily, Bible-based perspective of hope, encouragement and exhortation.
Monday, July 6, 2020
Yesterday afternoon we visited an Amish family in Perry County. Over the past year they built a new home just to the right of this photo. The old brick farmhouse was demolished due to the very decrepit condition but they left the foundation as a border around their summer garden. They also left the old summer kitchen standing in the background.
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"The Wake-Up Call"
Message summary: An essential aspect of ministry to others will include a wake-up call to "Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die". So we share that challenge with you today!
Listen to this message on your audio player.
“Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die" (Revelation 3:2).
For many years the wake up call was a service that many hotels provided. You would call the front desk the evening before and request a "wake-up call" at a requested time and the next morning your hotel phone would ring with a hopefully pleasant voice stating, "This is your wake-up call". I think this service is still offered but we haven't used it in many years since our phones now serve as alarm clocks, though on occasion we might use it as a backup alarm if we're to leave real early in the morning to catch a flight.
The wake-up call service has prompted many jokes through the years such as this one:
A man goes to stay at a cheap hotel and orders a 5 AM wake-up call for the next day. Next day, the phone wake-up call doesn't ring till 5:30 AM. He complains about it informing the receptionist that if he had a million dollar deal, he would've lost it due to their negligence. The receptionist says that if he had a million dollar deal, he wouldn't be staying at such a cheap hotel.
Today let us consider a vitally important wake-up call from Holy Scripture that is no joking matter.
The daily text is from Christ’s message to the church in Sardis in the Book of Revelation. In the first three chapters Christ writes to seven churches giving specific counsel concerning their condition. These were literal churches that existed at that time so let’s consider the command to the Sardis church and how we can now apply it to the present church today and to our own lives.
"Wake up." Other versions (see here) state "be watchful", "be alert". This is a present tense imperative participle, "you be continually waking!" Jesus said in Matthew 26:41, "Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak".
"Strengthen what remains and is about to die." Initially this verse and concept may be troubling. Most of us prefer to strengthen that which is already growing and thriving. But in spiritual life, both in local churches and in individuals, there are times when "about to die" honestly describes the condition of our souls. It is similar to another teaching of Jesus from John 15 concerning the branches. They were almost completely disconnected from the life-giving vine (John 15:5).
We all need to hear the words of our Lord, "Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die."
We consider periods in our own life and in those we know whom for various reasons this verse is especially pertinent. There are churches that have grown lethargic who need to hear and heed this word. Frankly we even wonder if there is a sense this verse applies to a nation. Certainly here in America we need a loud wake-up call and a resolve to strengthen what remains and is about to die!
An essential aspect of ministry to others will include a wake-up call to "Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die". So we share this challenge with you today!
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Merciful Father of the second chances, thank You for seeing our plight and sending Your Holy Spirit to awaken us from our stupor of laziness, indifference, hardness and outright rebellion. It seems we slip into such a stupor without realizing how we even got there, but when we earnestly seek You we can rekindle the embers of trust and faith, servanthood and obedience. Just as the Psalmist found himself in the literal dry and weary desert of Judah where there was no water, we too can feel parched within our spirit. Yet deep within we know that You are our help; You will rescue us from the dryness of our spirit and refresh us with the dewdrops of Your Holy Spirit causing us to sing in the shadow of Your wings. We cling to You, our eternal Refuge, through Christ Jesus our Lord in whose name we pray. Amen.
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"Asleep In The Light" Video Keith Green This very convicting song from the early eighties came to mind in relationship to today's message.
Yesterday we joined the Lapp family for a visit to relatives in Perry County PA, about 60 miles northwest of us. On the way we stopped by Calvary Homes and sang several hymns to Jim and Dorothy Schmidt who have not left the home since early March. Thus far Calvary Homes has had no residents with coronavirus, but they have certainly missed being in fellowship with those outside the home.
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Dorothy wrote us later in the day giving a perspective of so many of our seniors these last several months:
I just want to thank you for making it possible for the Lapp’s to come and sing to us this morning! It was such a blessing and as I sit quietly in my chair it continues to touch my heart. Being kept in for five months just to talk to "outsiders" seems so strange! When I received your phone call around 7:00 pm (Saturday night) I wasn’t sure how this would workout. Had cell number for administrative assistant and called for Calvary Homes approval. Once I got that, it was up to God and He surely made it special. Just wish I could hug everyone. Love hearing the Lapp Family singing in person and on phone, thank you.
So about the food!!! I did have two of the coconut cookies absolutely wonderful. This is the first food outside of the Cafe in five months! Then I saw the potato salad, my favorite this will be my dinner, of course we will enjoy everything. Thank you so very much. Interesting how to touch people in this confusing time. Again really appreciate the time and effort to make it special for us.
Blessings with Love, Dorothy
We had a picnic in Little Buffalo State Park (located here) and saw this classy couple out in this classic car.
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Perry County is very rural and for years boasted that it didn't even have a single traffic light until 2010.
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A close-up of a Perry County summer kitchen.
The main reason for building a small summer kitchen, which are common in older farm houses built in our area, is that it provided the physical separation of a lit stove or hearth from the primarily wooden house which reduced the risk of house fires and kept the main house cooler in the summer. When we first moved back to Pennsylvania we lived in an old farmhouse for a year that had a summer kitchen although it was attached to the house. I find something oddly attractive about an old building with peeling paint. Perhaps it's because it makes my mind wander back to an earlier time period of what it was used for and who used to live there.
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Note: We will share more photos of our Perry County visit tomorrow.
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