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Monday, August 10, 2020

Scene in Lancaster County
A view of the Strasburg Rail yard from the deck of Casey Jones Restaurant.
You can see the steam from the coal-fired steam engine getting prepped for the day of tourist excursions with the large leaf tobacco in the foreground.
Click on photo to enlarge

"An Invitation To God's Open House"

Message summary: Puritan writer Thomas Watson wrote, "God keeps open house for hungry sinners".

ListenListen to this message on your audio player.

"Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls"
(Matthew 11:28).

Open House at Audreys

This morning we will be attending an Open House at Audrey's, a wholesale distributor of gift and home decor items where we serve as chaplains. Their warehouse is located out in the Lebanon County countryside in a very bucolic setting. Today many will converge on what is undoubtedly the busiest usage that country road gets annually! This is their 40th anniversary and they call it "A Celebration Of Thankfulness"!

An open house is a day when members of the public are invited to visit a place or institution, especially one to which they do not normally have access.

Open House is most frequently associated with real estate but during our nearly 30 years of pastoring we hosted an annual "Open House" in our home between Christmas and New Year's day, inviting our congregation and friends to stop in and enjoy goodies Brooksyne had prepared for the holidays.

Today let us consider the sense of a different kind of "open house", God's call to the fallen human race to come into His house of faith and forgiveness. As we often hear, "Whosoever will may come". Puritan writer Thomas Watson wrote,
"God keeps open house for hungry sinners."

God's ongoing cry to the unbelieving world is "Come to Jesus!" This is our plea for family, friends, neighbors, fellow workers and it's the missions call to the entire human race.

He continues to work through His church as he invites the world to "come" to His open house. His compassionate call is extended to everyone, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest".  Elsewhere the call is expressed, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink" (John 7:37).  Yet it is obvious that many, as He somberly acknowledged, "refuse to come to Me to have life".

As a minister of the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ I extend the call to you, "Come to Jesus". I know most readers have accepted Christ's invitation, but still we encourage you to examine your own heart in this matter.

For anyone reading this message who has never come to Jesus, He is speaking to your heart even now. Do not resist the Holy Spirit, rather accept God's saving grace and start believing.

Here's a prayer of commitment to Jesus: Jesus, I confess that I am a sinner and have not lived my life for You. I am among those who have refused to accept Your invitation to have new life. I now want to turn away from darkness as I desire Your forgiveness so I come to You who gives life everlasting. I accept You as my personal Savior who died on the cross for me. Please forgive all my sins, especially for rejecting You time after time when Your Spirit was drawing me to Yourself.  I do believe You are the Son of God and that You love me so much You are not willing that I should perish but You want me to inherit eternal life. I want to live for You and grow in my new spiritual life.
Help me to know the purpose and meaning for my life as laid out in Scripture. Give me understanding and growth as I devote myself to reading the Bible, daily prayer, and fellowship with other Christian believers.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Jesus, even as You breathed physical life into me at the moment of my conception, You breathed spiritual life into me at the moment of my second birth. You replaced the darkness I walked in as You awakened my soul to spiritual light. As I accepted Your invitation to come, You took my sins that were red like crimson and made them white as snow. My life is no longer self-centered but Christ-centered as I now have the mind of Christ and the eternal perspective. Though my physical body may be wasting away on this earthly pilgrimage, inwardly I am renewed day by day. I'm so glad that troubles in this life are momentary in comparison to the eternal joys I will experience in the life to come. Keep me faithful and growing in Your wisdom, grace and compassion. Amen.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Come To Jesus"  Video  The Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir

"Come And Dine The Master Calleth"  Video  Greater Vision

"O Come To The Altar"  Video  from Calvary Church worship service yesterday

"The Father's House"  Video  Cory Asbury

"In My Father's House"  Video  Christian Youth Choir in the Netherlands.

Friday's message about barns prompted a reader to share about a gospel group she enjoys called "The Barn Again Gang" and this very thought-provoking song, "On My Father's Side" Video

Audrey's is located here (Google map) showing what we mean by being "out in the country"! Look over to the right (east) about 3 miles and you will see a an aerial view of what may be the neatest salvage yard in the country.

Today we share some scenes from Lancaster County and a visit last week to the Casey Jones Restaurant near the Strasburg Railroad.

Trolley car on Strasburg railroad in Lancaster County
This motorized trolley passed while we were eating flapjacks.
1915-built Lancaster, Oxford and Southern motor car no. 10
Click on photo to enlarge

Lancaster County countryside
The restaurant offers stunning views of the Lancaster County countryside.
Click on photo to enlarge

Casey Jones breakfast in Lancaster County
 It's interesting to be a local as you meet the many tourists. Turns out this family, who appeared to be local, was actually from New Jersey.

Casey Jones breakfast in Lancaster County
The Casey Jones Restaurant has an old rail dining car where we usually dine but on this day we chose to eat out on the deck overlooking the scenes we share 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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