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Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Donegal Creek
Trout Run Road across Donegal Creek this past Sunday.
Click on photo to enlarge

"Wars and Rumors Of Wars"

Message summary: As you hear of wars and rumors of wars Jesus said we do not have to be alarmed. This world is not our permanent home, so let us instead focus on our heavenly citizenship which is our eternal home.
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"You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come" (Matthew 24:6).

All through our lifetime we have heard reports of wars and rumors of wars. In fact at any given time wars are breaking out somewhere on the earth. The dictionary describes war as "a conflict carried on by force of arms, as between nations or between parties within a nation; warfare, as by land, sea, or air". War zones may also include gang wars and far too often, domestic violence.

Many smaller wars are taking place all the time and don't even make the news, especially if they are in an obscure place, aren't politically useful or fit with one's narrative. Some wars are essentially ignored such as the horrific conditions for Christians in Nigeria and the bands of warring Muslim extremists who are tormenting them. Actually these kinds of wars are happening all over. I just read a newsletter from a man who worked with us in New England who for many years has been a missionary in Mozambique who described similar conditions.

But presently much attention is directed to Ukraine and a reported impending invasion by Russia. At this time it's a "rumor of war" but that can change at any time. Certainly it is appropriate to pray for a peaceful resolution as we have been doing in our family.

War is one of the awful consequences of the Fall. The human race has been in conflict in one way or another ever since Cain killed his brother, Abel. How grievous that the first murder recorded in Scripture would be a man taking the life of his own biological brother. The first wars are recorded in Genesis 14. Portions of the Old Testament are uncomfortably war-filled, including some of the deadliest atrocities, described in Judges and Joshua.

The New Testament has less mention of wars. However in Revelation there are reports of horrible endtime battles, including the Battle of Armageddon in Revelation 16.

Today's text is found in each of the three synoptic gospels. In our modern time of 24 hour breaking news we have instant knowledge of wars and rumors of wars. Previous generations had far less access to such news and they may not even be aware of wars taking place in a distant region or the news would travel very slowly.

Here are several Scriptural responses to the news of "wars and rumors of wars":
1) The text continues, "that you are not alarmed."  News of wars and rumors of wars can be very alarming, much more so, if we are directly affected, such as those living in war torn countries. But Jesus wants us to have peace no matter the intensity of the storm we face. He is in charge!
2) "Such things must happen, but the end is still to come." The reign of world peace did not begin at Christ's first mission to earth. His primary mission was to die for our sins. We still live in a fallen world filled with strife and division.
3) Jesus taught in the Beatitudes that we are to be peacemakers, "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God" (Matthew 5:9).
4) We are to pray for peace. The apostle Paul wrote, "I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people—for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness" (1 Timothy 2:1).
5) We are to "make every effort to do what leads to peace" (Romans 14:19) and "If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone" (Romans 12:18).

The New Testament's greatest emphasis on peace is:
1) Peace between us and God (reconciliation): "Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ" (Romans 5:1).
2) Peace within our hearts. "And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:7).

As you hear of wars and rumors of wars Jesus said we do not have to be alarmed. This world is not our permanent home, so let us instead focus on our heavenly citizenship which is our eternal home.

Be encouraged today, (Hebrews 3:13)

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, I am challenged by the prophetic words Christ shared with His disciples the night before His crucifixion. He warned them of the future tribulation they would experience all through life but He also encourages them to be overcomers just as He Himself is an overcomer. Neither Jesus' disciples who walked and talked with Him nor we who walk and talk with Him by faith will escape trial, tribulation or the fallout of war, but we can experience joy in knowing that Jesus is the Master Overcomer who equips, enables and encourages us to not be overcome by evil but to overcome this evil world by doing good. Amen.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Peace Speaker"  Video  Heritage Singers

"The Reconciliation Song"  Video  Promise Keepers

Yesterday we shared a photo with children from our church singing and provided a link to listen. I cued the video so it was to start at the song but after I created the link they trimmed the introductory portion of the video which changed where it would start. Here's another attempt at sharing the video where the music starts!

Amish barn
Yesterday afternoon Brooksyne and Ester stopped by our neighbor Eli's place to drop off more goodies for the dedicated workers.  Eli's barn caught fire last Thursday evening and the new construction began the very next morning.  Ester took this photo yesterday with fewer men working and the project coming to completion. (I assume the opening is a door.) They used the same foundation for the reconstruction which sped things along.
Click on photo to enlarge

Today we will share some photos from our drive to church early Sunday Morning:

Scenic Ridge Amish school
The Scenic Ridge Amish School is at the beginning of Eli's lane, right along Kraybill Church Road. Eli's family lives at the end of this lane and that's where the barn is that caught fire. It has been a very busy lane over the past several days!

Trout Run Road stone house
This stone house is along Trout Run Road which begins at the end of Kraybill Church Road.
Click on photo to enlarge

Trout Run Road
Trout Run Road with the snowy trees reminded us of the years we lived in mountainous northern, PA
Click on photo to enlarge

Donegal Plantation Mansion
The Donegal Mills Plantation mansion is listed in National Register of Historic Places and is presently occupied by a large Amish family here on Trout Run Road.
Click on photo to enlarge

Finally today:

Ken and Audrey
Yesterday we joined Ken and Audrey for lunch at a very busy Fox Meadow Creamery north of Lititz, PA. They have a wonderful story of developing a large business which started when Ken ran a dairy farm and Audrey began making and selling crafts. This has developed into present day "Audreys". When I took their photo they were flooded with bright light from a skylight!

Audrey's Mission Statement

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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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