“Choose Courage”

September 8, 2017

Feeding Miss daisy on the Old Windmill farm 9/7/17
“Feeding Miss Daisy”
Here we go again! Between jobsites yesterday we visited our friends at Old Windmill Farm and Brooksyne got to feed the baby goat Miss Daisy.

“Choose Courage”

Message summary: We need courage to contend for the truth, standing up unashamed of the Gospel and the Faith once for all delivered to the saints (Jude 3)

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“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you” (Deuteronomy 31:6). “They arrested the apostles and put them in the public jail” (Acts 5:18). “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believes; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek” (Romans 1:16).

That’s why I am not ashamed of the gospel, the gospel of Jesus Christ
No, I am not afraid to be counted and I’m willing to give my life
See, I’m ready to be all He wants me to be
Give up the wrong for the right
No, I am not ashamed of the gospel
No, I am not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ

Early this week I read an interesting article titled “Attack On Biblical Morality Escalates: 3 Responses” by Dr. Jim Denison. In view of the hastening decline in morals he contends there are three responses the faithful church can choose from:

1) We can choose silence
2) We can choose condemnation
3) We can choose courage

He urges believers to stand up in courage against the great tide of decadence sweeping across our land and world. (See link to article below.)

For most of us it’s really not taken a lot of courage to be a Christian, at least, not the depth of courage as seen in the apostles throughout Acts. We might get snickered at or otherwise mildly ridiculed. But that is changing rapidly, particularly with an effective strategy of the agents of moral anarchy labeling those with traditional Biblical understanding of sexuality or any other issue not in line with “progressive” ideology as being hateful. In fact several solid Christian groups I associate with are listed by the current arbiters of hate as “hate groups” merely for standing true to the Bible. I am speaking of a group known as the “Southern Poverty Law Center” which has taken upon itself to determine who qualifies as a hate group and is now using that smear to silence traditional Christian morality.

Sadly many are opting for silence to keep from rocking the boat. After all who wants to be labeled hateful? Sadly this seems to be the dominant response in our age. But a faithful witness for Christ demands a voice of truth.

Of course there are those who have no message but mere condemnation which is not the Gospel.

But we need courage to contend for truth standing up unashamed of the Gospel and the Faith once for all delivered to the saints (Jude 3)

As a young Christian I remember a challenge to commitment seen on a bumper sticker, “If you were arrested for being a Christian would there be enough evidence to convict you?”

In the daily text the early disciples had been arrested and unquestionably the ruthless religious authorities had enough evidence to convict them. The apostles had been very public in their witness for the Lord and unashamed in the proclamation of their testimony.

Following their arrest the Lord miraculously intervened and they were delivered from their prison cell by an angel: “But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the doors of the jail and brought them out. ‘Go, stand in the temple courts,’ he said, ‘and tell the people the full message of this new life'” (Acts 5:19, 20). They could have sneaked out of town through the dark night and escaped the fury of the high priest and the Sanhedrin. “But at daybreak they entered the temple courts, as they had been told, and began to teach the people” (5:21). They were not afraid and they were not ashamed to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ.

Today, let us who bear the name of Christ, without shame or fear, follow the disciples’ example. I consider once again that old saying “If you were arrested for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?” I’ve never sought to be convicted of a crime, but I pray that others do accuse me of being a Christian. And if ever arrested I pray there will be abundant and indisputable evidence for a conviction. That’s an accusation and conviction that I would humbly accept.

I’ve got too much behind me to let this world blind me
To some He’s a Name but to me he’s my everything
I am not ashamed of the gospel
No, I am not ashamed of the gospel
No, I am not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, I pray for the courage and conviction to stand up for You and respond, “I choose to obey God rather than men!” when confronted by authority that contradicts or rebels against Your commands. May I be found faithful in standing up for that which is right, rather than that which puts me in good standing with the crowds. Give me the courage to be like the apostles who counted themselves worthy to suffer disgrace for the Name of Christ. For it is in His name that I pray. Amen.

(For an inspiring example of the apostles’ uncompromising obedience to preaching the Gospel message read the entire chapter of Acts 5.)

Stevie, the Old Windmill farm peacock 9/7/17
The children named the peacock on Old Windmill Farm Stevie (after me)! I wish we could see Stevie in all his glory, but not on this day. Maybe next time!

Albino deer 9/7/17
This albino deer is at the Oregon Dairy.

Darvin 9/7/17
Darvin has been a material handler using a forklift most of each workday at the same plant for 40 years. We calculate, based on his very conservative estimate of 3 miles a day, that all his travel through the plant through the years would total a trip around the world on a forklift at that rate!

Jim and Dorothy, Herb Fisher 9/7/17
Yesterday we joined our friends Jim and Dorothy Schmidt for lunch at the Oregon Dairy and ran into Herb Fisher (right), one of the first business owners we met after moving To Lancaster County in 2001. We introduced him to the Schmidts only to learn that his wife, Dona, who chaired the Lancaster County National Day of Prayer for many years, had often spoken for Christian Women’s in the New Jersey area where Dorothy was very involved. Small world!

Kathryn and Roger Casey 9/7/17
What a huge surprise that we would reconnect with a student from our Bible College years right here in Lancaster County. Kathryn caught up with us awhile back and told us of her plans to visit Lancaster County in September along with Roger, her husband. Sure enough she called today, learned of our plans for the day, and popped into Oregon Dairy to reconnect. What a delightful couple who reside in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada. Our visit was brief but sweet. Roger is a firefighter, Kathryn a cardiac nurse. They’re also runners and Kathryn is participating in the 5K in Bird in Hand on Saturday.

Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

“I am Not Ashamed”  Video  Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir

“We Are Not Ashamed”  Video  The Taylors

“Attack On Biblical Morality Escalates: 3 Responses” by Dr. Jim Denison

Finally Today:

We’re not consumers of the product they promote but can sure appreciate these 2,000 pound animals that visited Mount Joy late yesterday afternoon. Video by Brooksyne (12 seconds)

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