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Friday, August 28, 2020

Sunset over Newport, Rhode Island
Sunset over Newport, Rhode Island
Click to enlarge

"Bookends Of Joy"

Message summary: Sunrise and sunset are universal reminders of God’s greatness and faithfulness that all who dwell in the ends of the earth can see. May we experience them as bookends of joy!
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Sunrise in Lancaster County, PA"They who dwell in the ends of the earth stand in awe of Your signs; You make the dawn and the sunset shout for joy" (Psalm 65:8). "From the rising of the sun to its setting the Name of the Lord is to be praised" (Psalm 113:3).

For many years we have enjoyed watching sunrises and sunsets (mostly sunsets). Early this morning we had an astounding sunrise (left) as we headed east through the county for our first chaplain visit at JK Mechanical in Willow Street.

As the sun rises we often contemplate the activities that will occupy our day. As the sun sets we consider what was accomplished throughout the day. Wherever you live on this planet you have a sunrise and sunset but depending on where you live it may or may not be a scenic event as it is out here in the country where we live.

Today’s lead photo is a sunset over Newport, Rhode Island I took about ten years ago. Water seems to be a perfect setting for a reflective, golden sunset which brings to mind another ocean sunset memory from some 25 years ago, although I have no photographic image of it.

When we lived in New England we traveled via ferry to Martha’s Vineyard.
John and Hope Winchoba, our friends and longtime members of the church we served, along with Rachel, Hope’s sister, had a small cottage at Menemsha Harbor on the western part of the island and experienced one of our most memorable sunsets.

Each evening visitors and residents arranged their beach chairs in a long single line on the sand. (They probably still do). We also took our seats, each wanting to take in the beauty of a sunset on the northwest side of the island. Quietly enthralled with the natural beauty of the glowing sunset it would seem that viewers were nearly in a trance.

But then, just as the sun disappeared over the ocean, with no warning, the islanders who had been so quiet as they watched the sun set suddenly stood
to their feet and erupted in loud applause with shouts of, “Encore! Encore!” (We didn’t get one!)

It was an astounding sight and memorable experience. Most were clapping for the sheer beauty they witnessed, but for my family and friends and others with faith in God, it was another opportunity to praise the Lord. We were among those "who dwell in the ends of the earth stand(ing) in awe of our (God’s) signs".

The Scripture verse continues, "You make the dawn and the sunset shout for joy". That sure is an interesting way to view the daily bookends of sunrise and sunset; shouting for joy. Wherever you live, even to the ends of the earth, remember this verse when the sun rises and when the sun sets and join in praise to the indescribable God of the universe! Truly, “From the rising of the sun to its setting the Name of the Lord is to be praised!”

Sunrise and sunset are universal reminders of God’s greatness and faithfulness that all who dwell in the ends of the earth can see. May we experience them as bookends of joy!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, from the rising of the sun until the time that it sets I praise You, Almighty God!  Your name is to be praised when the day is before me, in mid afternoon, when the day comes to an end and even in the night watch. Your faithfulness reaches to the heavens, spreads throughout the earth, and is personally experienced in my life daily. As high as the heavens above, so great is the measure of Your wondrous love. You are great and greatly to be praised. Amen.

John and Hope Winchoba were an elderly couple who attended our church in Massachusetts. John died in 1999 while I was there and Hope several years later. They were a tremendous blessing to our ministry. Hope had long ties to Martha’s Vineyard, having spent her summers there as a child and she was also a descendant of two different families from the Mayflower. They lived on West Island, near New Bedford.

We had some interesting customer service experiences this week during our trip to the Poconos. Our most memorable was experienced by Ester. It's a bit candid but real world. She had used the restroom in a restaurant and noticed they were out of toilet paper. She informed an employee and was tersely told, "That's not my problem".

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Rising"  Video  Paul Baloche

"I Watch The Sunrise"  Video  Kathryn Crosweller

"Sunrise"  Video  Christ For The Nations Worship

Cramer Farms tractor
Field work at Cramer Farms here on Kraybill Church Road.

Amish farmer in Lancaster County, PA
Yesterday we encountered this Amish farmer near Ronks, PA.

Horse and buggy parked near barn
When the sun's shining hot it's nice to have a cool place to put your head!

Finally today:

Katies encouragement
We had breakfast yesterday at Katies Diner, a local Amish restaurant, and were blessed by the encouraging message on the signboard,
"We need not fear the waves, for our Lifeguard walks on water!"

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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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