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Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Farmall tractor decorations, Lancaster County, PA
Farmall tractor
Click on photo to enlarge

"A Prayer For The City"

Message summary:  So many of our cities are beset by strife and violence. Let us pray for a restoration of peace and revival of godly living.

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"I see violence and strife in the city. Day and night they prowl about on its walls; malice and abuse are within it. Destructive forces are at work in the city; threats and lies never leave its streets" (Psalm 55:10,11). "Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: May those who love you be secure. May there be peace within your walls and security within your citadels” (Psalm 122:6,7).

Lancaster city, PALast Friday we drove through Lancaster City for the first time since early this year. In most of the routing needed to reach our various chaplaincy workplace locations we avoid the city, although at times we go through it for the closest routing and sometimes to get my minimal need to be in a city (albeit a small one). There was a little bit of riffraff in late May/early June but not the rioting and destructiveness like many other cities experienced. On Friday we were pleased to see no evidence of strife or demonstrations. In fact we were delighted to see a man boldly holding a sign as a witness for the Lord in the center of the city.

That peaceful setting all changed late Sunday afternoon/evening and now there's plenty of unrest, and one wonders to what extent caused by outside agitators. This due to a police involved shooting in which the body cam clearly shows a crazed man lunging toward the officer with a large butcher knife. Nevertheless the mob seemed to immediately spring to action rioting, setting fire in dumpsters, damaging buildings, most notably the local police station. Now the small, generally peaceful city only about 15 miles from our home, is in the national news like that of larger cities that have been experiencing rioting, violence and destruction.

In recent months cities all over America have become increasingly agitated with protests (many which distort the very definition of peaceful), with riots, looting, destruction, violence, disrespect and even killings.

Psalm 55 seems to describe the current conditions in so many of our cities. Regarding precisely what the Psalmist initially was referring to is rather difficult since the context does not  reveal any details as to what is meant. Whether he meant a specific city like Jerusalem or intended a more generic meaning is not clear.

However, the first daily verse describes many cities today and what they are presently going through:

"I see violence and strife in the city.
Day and night they prowl about on its walls;
malice and abuse are within it.
Destructive forces are at work in the city;
threats and lies never leave its streets."

Pray for Lancaster
Yesterday afternoon I received an email concerning one of many prayer gatherings taking place in our area which is a fitting response.

The second daily text is very specific, a prayer for the "peace of Jerusalem". There is spiritual significance and uniqueness about this holy city; historically, currently and prophetically. The last part of the city's name, Jerusalem, is "salem", a Hebrew word derived from "shalom" which means peace, wholeness, and completeness.

But let us apply a broader application. When there's peace in the capital and lead city it's good for the entire country and for individuals, families and the Church. Lancaster city is in Lancaster County and the same principle applies. When there's peace in the county seat and lead city it's good for the entire county and for individuals, families and the Church. We can pray for peace in the cities for our own country, wherever we live. It's also a fitting prayer for any city, not just Jerusalem; especially during these times when there is so much violence and strife in the city and destructive forces at work.

Let us pray for a restoration of peace and revival of godly living.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, we continue to pray for the peace of Jerusalem and we pray for the peace of Christ to rain down upon the cities of our nation and world. We pray for servants of the Gospel who are taking the message of salvation to the troubled streets of our land, for their safety and for receptivity from those looking for answers, the answers that can't be found in our institutions of higher learning or our divided political landscape across America. Many express their rage and anger through lawless acts of vandalism, destruction, incite fear, and the calamitous list goes on and on. We pray for our elected leaders to stand for law and order, to be strong and courageous in recapturing civility among the rebellious throngs who resist the established authority. We pray for churches and ministries located in these cities to prayerfully and eagerly present the greatest Authority, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who provides the greatest Manual of all time, the Word of God which gets to the hearts of humankind to seek and to save those who are lost in sin through Christ Jesus our Lord. Our soul's diseases can be healed and the ills of our country as well when people's hearts are turned toward God. Help us, we earnestly pray, in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Prayer For the City"  Video  Maranatha! Praise Band

 "Longing For Home"  Video  Ernie Haase & Signature Sound

Here are some scenes from the peaceful Lancaster County countryside taken last Friday when we took our friends, Jim and Dorothy Schmidt, for a scenic drive after their many months of isolation at Calvary Homes, a retirement residency in Lancaster.

The Columbia–Wrightsville Bridge, officially the Veterans Memorial Bridge
We thought we would show them some scenes along the river since they had not visited that area since moving from New Jersey 4 years ago. The Columbia–Wrightsville Bridge, officially known as the Veterans Memorial Bridge spans the Susquehanna River between Columbia and Wrightsville, Pennsylvania. It was opened on September 30, 1930. It is the world's longest concrete multiple-arch bridge. This is the fifth bridge at this location and to the right you can see remnants of a 5,390 feet long covered bridge that was destroyed on September 30, 1896 by the 1896 Cedar Keys hurricane.
Click on photo to enlarge

Farmall tractor decorations, Lancaster County, PA
Another view of the Farmall tractor shown in our lead photo. We awoke to chilly weather this morning hearkening the early stages of Autumn. Brooksyne bought some Mums yesterday so it's time to decorate our home with fall decorations!
Click on photo to enlarge

Low Grade Trestle, Lancaster County, PA
The Safe Harbor trestle crosses the Conestoga River where it joins the Susquehanna River. It once carried the abandoned Enola Low Grade railroad and may be restored as a part of a lengthy rail trail. The lower bridge in the foreground is still used by an active railroad.
Click on photo to enlarge

Red barn, Lancaster County, PA
This red barn caught our attention including the rocking chairs.
Click on photo to enlarge

Daniel at AJ's Market, Columbia, PA
We serve a company in Columbia PA named Kleen-Rite and often stop by a family run market named AJ's. Christian music accompanies our shopping experience making it a very uplifting environment. The leadership hires and trains very friendly and courteous employees such as this young man named Daniel who is packing the freezers.

Finally today:

Harvest start
Late yesterday afternoon harvest began for corn silage on the field across from our home. Essentially the harvester cuts and chops up the entire corn stalk and loads the silage to a truck. This is used for dairy cow feed.

Field morning after harvest
This morning our view has changed!

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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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