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Thursday, April 14, 2022

Rooster barn art
For many years we have passed this giant rooster on Bridge Valley Road just before the Forry's Mill Covered Bridge. In recent years the colors have begun to fade and paint is peeling. Thankfully we took this photo many years ago. The other side of the barn has (or had) a colorful display of three young girls with the chickens. We've been told they're paintings of the farmer's granddaughters!

"The Rooster's Reminder"

Message summary: Today’s account is encouraging and instructive for us. The spiritual battles we face are an ongoing reality in every stage of life. May the Lord give us grace to stand and, if or when we do fail, we must look to His forgiving grace in seeking restoration.

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"And Peter remembered the word which Jesus had said, 'Before a rooster crows, you will deny Me three times' and he went out and wept bitterly" (Matthew 26:75).  "But go, tell His disciples and Peter" (Mark 16:7).

Tractor Supply RoosterYou never know what you might find at "Tractor Supply". They are presently selling chicken coops and live chicks. They also sell this really, really large (6 foot tall) decorative rooster for $169.99. Assuming the laying hens are this big I reckon they would lay very, very large eggs!

We enjoy living out in the country and among the many pleasantries we enjoy are the sounds of country life. Marvin, our neighbor across the road, has a real rooster. We often get up early and how invigorating to step out as the sun rises and hear the crowing of a rooster.

RoosterHowever there is one man in history who will forever be remembered for his association with the crowing of a rooster; that is Peter, of course! But it was not a pleasant sound to his ears.

Peter’s denial of Christ is one of the most well-known failures of all time. From his bold declaration that he would “never deny Christ” ... to his bitter denunciation, “I don’t know the man!” The good news is that Peter was forgiven and restored by Jesus.

Pastor Rod Thelander from Sand Springs, Oklahoma makes these observations and lessons about failure from Peter's experience:

Peter failed ... but he did not allow his failure to destroy his future or define his life. How did he do that? We can learn a lesson from Peter that will help us in our own times of failure. Failure is a reality of life.
  • Failure educates us! Some of the best lessons I’ve learned in life came from failing. Some folks may not make mistakes, that simply tells me that they are not doing anything! Peter learned from his failure and so must we.
  • Failure motivates us! Many times we are motivated more by failure than we are by success. Failure can be a great motivator ... it certainly motivated Peter and it can motivate you as well.
  • Failure cultivates us! God uses failure to build character in our lives. Failure teaches me humility, results in maturity, and will cause me to be more compassionate with others who fail in their lives.
Peter's failure is followed by his restoration which began on Resurrection Day when Jesus instructed the women who appeared at the tomb, "But go, tell His disciples and Peter".

Peter, following his denial of Christ, felt like a dismal, shame-filled failure. But suddenly his joy was restored as he realized that his name was specifically mentioned in Jesus' message to the women. In an Easter musical many years ago I remember when Peter began to brighten after hearing about Jesus saying his name. He responded to the messenger, "He said my name!" "Jesus said my name!"

Peter's failure and restoration can be encouraging and instructive for all of us in one way or another. We've all failed in some way.  But don't wallow in your failure. Restoration is available as part of Christ's redemptive work. The spiritual battles we face are an ongoing reality in every stage of life. May the Lord give us grace to stand and, if or when we do fail, let us look to His forgiving grace in seeking restoration. Next time you hear a rooster crow remember that!

Be encouraged today, (Hebrews 3:13)

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, help us not to resent the testings and temptations of this life that act as a filter forcing us to give up that which is uncomely to the Christian character; that which holds us back instead of moving us forward keeping us steadfast in our faith. We're grateful for Jesus who faithfully intercedes for us, in the siftings and shakings of life. Above all, we're grateful that no sin or failing on our part exceeds the scope of Your absolute forgiveness. Just as You restored Peter, reignited his zeal, and reinstated Him in his evangelistic role, You want to do the same for all who seek forgiveness and turn away from their sin. How wonderful, how marvelous is my Savior's love for me! Amen.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"The Rooster Crowed"  Video  Scripture Songs (Lyric Video) Matthew 26:69-75 - Southern Gospel Songs

"Peter's Song"  Video  Michael O'Brien

"Child Of God"  Video  The Hoppers  Brooksyne's note: I heard this beautiful song on Gospel Greats and found it to be a very peaceful and comforting message for every believer. It's beautifully sung as well.

What is the significance of the rooster crowing in regards to Peter denying Jesus three times?  From the gotquestions teaching site

Pastor Thelander's article is here.

Peter's Denial (message by RC Sproul)

Rooster taking pony ride
We took this photo at our neighbor's place.
This rooster seems to enjoy getting a free pony ride!

Produce stand rooster
Brooksyne purchased some produce at this roadside farmstand in eastern Lancaster County and was entertained by this rooster, including several cock-a-doodle-doos.

Jim Roberts
Yesterday I visited for a few minutes with Jim Roberts who has owned and operated an auto supply and service shop on Main Street in Mount Joy for 48 years. He is riding in style on a very warm day in Mount Joy.

Major Events of the Passion Week

Here's a helpful chart from a Study Bible as you contemplate the events that took place this holy week.  It's inspiring to read these Scriptures in the daily sequence leading up to Easter. We will leave these materials up all week. If you choose only one gospel to read, Luke is often more detailed than others though there is much to be gleaned from each gospel.

  • Triumphant Entry into Jerusalem: Matthew 21:1-11; Mark 11:1-10; Luke 19:29-40; John 12:12-19
  • Jesus Clears the Temple: Mt. 21:12,13; Mk. 11:15-17; Lk. 19:45,46
  • Jesus' authority challenged in the temple: Mt. 21:23-27; Mk. 11:27-33; Lk. 20:1-8
  • Jesus teaches stories and confronts the Jewish leaders: Mt. 21:28-23:36; Mk. 12:1-40; Lk. 20:9-47   
  • Greeks ask to see Jesus: Jn. 12:20-26
  • The Olivet Discourse: Mt. 24; Mk. 13; Lk. 21:5-38
  • Judas agrees to betray Jesus: Mt. 26:14-16; Mk. 14:10,11; Lk. 22:3-6
  • The Last Supper:  Mt. 26:26-29; Mk. 14:22-25; Lk. 22:14-20
  • Jesus speaks to the disciples in the upper room:  Jn. 13-17
  • Jesus struggles in Garden of Gethsemane: Mt. 26:36-46; Mk. 14:32-42; Lk. 22:39-46; Jn. 18:1
  • Jesus is betrayed and arrested: Mt. 26:47-56; Mk. 14:43-52; Lk. 22:47-53; Jn. 18:2-12
  • Jesus is tried by Jewish and Roman authorities and disowned by Peter: Mt. 26:57-27:2, 11-31; Mk. 14:53-15:20; Lk. 22:54-23:25; Jn. 18:13-19:16
  • Jesus is crucified and buried: Mt. 27:31-56; Mk. 15:20-41; Lk. 23:26-49; Jn. 19:17-30
  • The glorious resurrection: Mt. 28:1-10; Mk. 16:1-11; Lk. 24:1-12; Jn. 20:1-18
(This material is developed from an outline in the Life Application Bible)

"It's Still The Cross!"

(A selection of Scripture verses focusing on the Cross for personal, family or congregational reading.)

Pastor: Here they crucified Him, and with Him two others—one on each side and Jesus in the middle. John 19:18

Congregation: This man was handed over to you by God's set purpose and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put Him to death by nailing Him to the cross. Acts 2:23

Pastor:  For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 1 Corinthians 1:18

Congregation: May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. Galatians 6:14

Pastor: By abolishing in His flesh the law with its commandments and regulations. His purpose was to create in Himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which He put to death their hostility.  He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near.  Ephesians 2:15-17

Congregation: He made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to death— even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted Him to the highest place and gave Him the name that is above every name.  Philippians 2:7-9  

Pastor: For God was pleased to have all His fullness dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile to Himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through His blood, shed on the cross. Colossians 1:19,20 

Congregation: When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; He took it away, nailing it to the cross. Colossians 2:13,14

All: Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.  Hebrews 12:1-3

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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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