Daily Encouragement Net
The online Bible teaching ministry of Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
A daily, Bible-based perspective of hope, encouragement and exhortation.

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Monday, August 9, 2021

One room schoolhouse
Yesterday we attended an open house for a recently restored one room schoolhouse north of Mount Joy. The Lincoln School was built in 1884 as a one-room school and was used until 1952. After numerous usages the church next door recently restored the building, landscaped the entrance way and added an outdoor drinking fountain along with a bicycle pump and repair stand to accommodate bicyclists who frequent the highway next to the school (seen on the left in photo).

"Open House In Heaven"

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

Listen 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). “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived the things God has prepared for those who love Him" (1 Corinthians 2:9). "We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord" (
2 Corinthians 5:8).

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 beautiful rural setting. (see here on Google map). Today many wholesale shoppers will converge on what will undoubtedly be the busiest usage that rural country road gets annually!

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.

Yesterday following our church service I visited for a few minutes with Chris, a longtime friend I met at CBMC who is a realtor. An open house is frequently associated with real estate. We've been to these types of open houses which is an interesting strategy by realtors attempting to sell a home. The potential buyer can get an idea whether this is the type of place they would like to live. Typically in an open house the homeowner and realtor attempt to set an ambience perhaps using soft music, fragrant candles and so forth to enhance the desirability of the property.

Today let us imagine two different kinds of "open houses".

What if there was an open house in heaven? You could visit for an hour or so and see if this is the kind of place where you would like to spend eternity. Let's imagine an angelic realtor walking you through and showing you the benefits of living for God and having this place as your eternal residence. The biggest challenge being that the guests just wanted to abandon their current living quarters and move in immediately!

Or, what if there was an open house in hell? A minion of Satan would serve as realtor and... well I really don't even want to imagine how his pitch would go! The guests complain about the heat and the burning sulfur smell and want to get out as soon as possible and never return.

Furthermore imagine if guests had the opportunity to go to both open houses and then make the choice?

Well, of course I am just imagining. That's not the way God has worked it out. From the beginning His plan for our eternal destination is in direct correlation to our faith in Christ. Will we believe what God and His Word says?

God's call to the fallen human race is 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.

The Lord 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 Christ 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 of our  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 in the One who invites us to drink from the living water so that we never thirst again.

Be encouraged today, (Hebrews 3:13)

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manToday we share what is often called the sinner's prayer: 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. 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.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"I Can Only Imagine"  Video   MercyMe

Brad Mullen
Yesterday we were especially blessed by a sermon from Brad Mullen, a retired pastor, who shared a perspective of life and aging based on Ecclesiastes 12.
Music and message from Calvary Church service yesterday  Video  Message only  Video

Church traffic
Returning home from church yesterday we passed some Amish traffic. When these youngsters get a little older and bigger they will have difficulty fitting on this bench!

Summer kitchen
Finally today: We've lived in the Lancaster County for 20 years now and our eyes are still drawn to summer kitchens that are especially common in farm house settings. In February 2001 we left New England and settled here by renting a 100 year old farmhouse for a year. The house included a summer kitchen though it was in need of a lot of repair. Little critters could get in since there were holes in the foundational structure, and that's how we got a surprise litter of four kittens from a feral cat. We kept one that Ester named Dottie and she lived with us for over 17 years until her death. "What to Expect When You Hear the Words Summer Kitchen".

We were pulling into our driveway on Friday when our garden flag really stood out among the flowers. The sun shone in such a way that the pumpkins seemed to be lit up! It was early preview of the lit up jack-o-lanterns that will soon appear as fall is just around the corner!

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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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