“Pay Attention To The Gauges!”

Pacific coast (Photo by Steve Ephraim)Central California Pacific coast
(Photo by Steve Ephraim)
“Pay Attention To The Gauges!”

Message summary:
Let’s pay close attention to the gauges that God has ordained in our lives and be careful to act upon them.    
ListenListen to this message on your audio player.

“Be very careful, then, how you live” (Ephesians 5:15). “Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.” (1 Timothy 4:16).

Full guage

A gauge is an instrument used as a means of measuring or testing. We see a lot of gauges in many settings including our car and homes. In our cars a very important gauge lets us know if we need to fill up our cars with gas. Many a person has ignored this gauge to their own peril. In our house we have a gauge to indicate water pressure from our well.
There are health gauges like cholesterol, BMI and blood pressure. We have financial gauges like our monthly bank statement and net worth. We see many gauges in the course of manufacturing.
Gauges are important although in some cases we overlook them or at times ignore them. After all the consequences may not be obvious or immediate.  
Smart phoneThe most important gauges a believer should be aware of are in our spiritual life. And these are often the most ignored. However the spiritual life is the only part that matters through eternity.
Spiritual gauges are not electronic or even physical. There are no apps that connect to our spiritual being that can be read on a smart phone! To measure our spiritual growth or lack thereof involves a purposeful effort in self-examination and in some cases our accountability partners in life.
Note the two Scripture portions used this morning.

“Be very careful, then, how you live.” John Stott writes “Everything worth doing requires care. We all take trouble over the things which seem to us to matter—our job, our education, our home and family, our hobbies, our dress and appearance. So as Christians we must take trouble over our Christian life. We must treat it as the serious thing it is.”

“Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.”  I memorized this verse at the time I was ordained in 1979. I never want to forget this vital truth, nor fail to persevere.
Four spiritual gauges readily come to mind that help to measure my spiritual growth:
1) Love for God’s Word:  “Oh how I love your law! It is my meditation all the day” (Psalm 119:97).
2) Faithful in prayer:  “And pray in the spirit on all occasions, with all kinds of prayers and requests” (Ephesians 6:18).
3) Obedience to God’s Commands:   “Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like” (James 1:23,24).
4) Practicing the Fruit of the Spirit: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” (Galatians 5:22,23).
Let’s pay close attention to the gauges that God has ordained in our lives and be careful to act upon them.
Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer:  Father, there are so many snares and traps the devil has set for us that we are dependent on Your Word that is like a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path. It’s the light of Your word that shines in the dark places where Satan has strategically placed his traps with the intention of destroying our relationship with You. Help us to watch our life and doctrine closely and to persevere in them, so that we save ourselves and those whom we seek to influence for the Kingdom of God.  In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
“Build My Life/”I Stand Amazed In The Presence”  Video  Calvary Church worship team.
David Jeremiah has a series of brief articles using the gauge theme titled “Dashboard: Your Spiritual Indicators”

“Intermittent Or Continual Praise?”

Bryce Canyon, Utah (Photo by Howard Blichfeldt)Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah
Thor’s Hammer Hoodoo is in the center of the photo
We visited Bryce Canyon last fall and at the time thought “This must be beautiful in the winter”. This winter photo is on our friend Howard Blichfeldt’s site. During our visit we took a long hike down a trail where the snow is deep in this photo. Here’s a photo of the Thor’s Hammer hoodoo we took from the trail.
“Intermittent Or Continual Praise?”

Message summary:
Today let’s praise the Lord at all times. May His praise be continual not intermittent!
ListenListen to this message on your audio player.
“I will bless the LORD at all times: His praise shall continually be in my mouth” (Psalm 34:1). “Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise–the fruit of lips that openly profess His name” (Hebrews 13:15).
Intermittent wiper switchRobert William Kearns is a name that few readers have ever heard of. However most of us surely appreciate his invention; the intermittent windshield wiper. Do any of you recall that annoying squeaking sound when the wipers ran continuously? He modeled his mechanism on the human eye, which blinks every few seconds.
Intermittent is a helpful feature for windshield wipers but is not the pattern for how often we are to praise God! The Bible says, “I will bless the LORD at all times: His praise shall continually be in my mouth”.
Wipers extendedThis brings to mind another windshield illustration. We were driving along in the rain when the passenger side wiper blade snapped off. I was concerned that the metal on the wiper arm would scratch the glass so I lifted it up as you do when cleaning the windshield. It worked OK but looked somewhat interesting as it moved back and forth jutting straight up from the windshield as though it was waving. Brooksyne said, “Look, the wiper arm is praising the Lord!”
Well, that sure prompted my family to praise the Lord and became another reminder of God’s call that everything that has breath is to praise the Lord (though I will quickly admit wipers do not breathe).
God clearly calls His people to praise. We may have a tendency to segment praise to a specific place (church) or time (the Lord’s Day). Perhaps we may associate praise with a particular action such as a vocal exclamation, a praise song or raising our hands. We may even allow our emotions to dictate our praise such as when we’re “in the mood” or “as we feel led”.

But in the first daily verse the Psalmist provides a personal testimony of praise and is an example to all of us: “I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth”. That’s all the time, which has to be everywhere! Praise is an acknowledgement and declaration of God’s worthiness. And His worthiness never changes! Praise the Lord!!!

Some of our “old-timers” will remember the following chorus that expresses the need to continually lift up the name of Jesus:
Wherever I am, I’ll praise Him,
Whenever I can, I’ll praise Him;
For His love surrounds me like a sea.
I’ll praise the name of Jesus,
Lift up the name of Jesus,
For the name of Jesus lifted me.

Today let’s praise the Lord at all times. May His praise be continual
not intermittent!
Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer:  We praise You, O Lord our God! We make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation and enter into Your presence with thanksgiving and praise. We sing songs of unending praise, for You O Lord are a great God, and a great King above all gods. We praise You in Your sanctuary and praise You in Your mighty heavens! We praise You for Your mighty deeds and praise You according to Your excellent greatness! May our unending praise and thanksgiving toward You reflect Your unending love and grace poured out upon us. Amen.
Adapted verses from Psalm 95, Psalm 150
Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
“Wherever I Am”  Video  The Talleys
“Uncommon Praise”  Video  The Guardians
“The Healer Hasn’t Lost His Touch”  Video  Tribute Quartet
Robert Kearns inventor of the intermittent windshield wiper.
Howard Blichfeldt whose Bryce Canyon photo we share today is a longtime friend and professional photographer.

“Sin’s Crouching”

Swans in snow (Lamar Dourte)Swan Couple that resides at Pleasant View in Manheim, PA
(Last week our friend, Lamar Dourte, took this photo of swans that blended in nicely with the pure white landscape. Lamar is a gifted musician who leads the choir at Pleasant View Retirement Community and shares his ministry talent with senior care homes in our area and other venues as well.)

Sin’s Crouching”

Message summary: Stand firm, my brothers and sisters. Resist the enemy who seeks to do evil and engage the Holy Spirit who seeks to mature us in the faith.
ListenListen to this message on your audio player.

“Then the LORD said to Cain, ‘Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it'” (Genesis 4:6,7).

Last evening I, Brooksyne, had a long distance phone conversation with a godly mother whose daughter, Sue*, has been an alcoholic for many years resulting in her being cut off from any contact with her former husband and three children over the last decade. I had met Sue in the context of our chaplain service at a local hotel where she served as a housekeeper.
But over the past two years she was on a good track and was experiencing the good things that come from choosing abstinence and once again was visiting with her children and now her grandchildren. I had learned about this change in her life some time back but had overall lost touch following her move to another state.
Sadly, I learned during my lengthy phone conversation with her mother that Sue is once again caught up in the agony of alcoholism, even attempting suicide, and once again in bad relations with her children. Her mother, ever hopeful that Sue will once and for all lay down the poison, grieved aloud that her daughter has never made a confession of faith though she attended church from childhood into her young adult years. She even attended Christian schools growing up.
Sue had told me the same thing during our counseling sessions years ago. Somehow she just can’t bring herself to acknowledge that she needs the Lord to guide her life and show her how to overcome the evil one. Not only is there forgiveness when one comes to Christ, but the Spirit teaches us how to discern that which is from God for our good and that which comes from Satan who is bent on destroying our lives, along with those we love most.
I prayed over the phone with this dear mother believing God to remove the strongholds in Sue’s life so that she will finally come to a place of repentance and acknowledge her need for Christ in her life. That would be a great start for dealing with the wiles of the enemy.
This first record of temptation and sin among Adam’s fallen descendants is our daily text. It provides a pattern of how sin works in the lives of all of Adam’s children and reveals the tragic consequences for the transgressor, Cain.

As we note the progression we see a caution for our own lives as redeemed believers. We are again so powerfully reminded of the need to stand firm in our faith. We must call on God for His sustaining grace to resist the sin that results when we give into the daily temptations Satan hurls at us.

“If you do what is right” – God has revealed His will for our lives so we can know the right way.  We have many other Scriptures telling us the right way, “He hath showed thee” (Micah 6:8); “This is the way, walk ye in it” (Isaiah 30:21); “This is the will of God” (1 Thessalonians 4:3). Truly His “Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path” (Psalm 119:105).

“Will you not be accepted?” Foundationally being accepted by God begins by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. This is God’s appointed means of beginning to “do what is right.” Then we pursue the things of God, growing in His grace and knowledge. “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for Himself a people that are His very own, eager to do what is good” (Titus 2:11-14).

“But if you do not do what is right.” God’s warnings are expressions of His love. When we violate God’s will as revealed in His Word, we give the enemy a foothold in our lives for further activity and progression of sin.  A grim outcome is revealed in Ephesians that describes the latter stages of this progression: “Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more” (Ephesians 4:19). With the flood of evil, pornography and sexual perversions of all sorts sweeping through our world many are at this stage. Deeper and deeper depths of depravity can be expected and the evil acts that accompany it.

“Sin is crouching at your door.” The word for “crouching” conveys the posture of a four legged animal as it prepares to attack its prey.  That’s the nature of sin and its crouched position is persistent. We must ever be alert, practice self-control, and stand firm, for our “enemy prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8).

“It desires to have you.”
Sin continues its desire to enslave you and me. A foundational step in overcoming sin is realizing this. You do well to recognize the enemy’s tactic since he desires to have you as well.

“But you must master it.” In the New Testament Paul wrote, “For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace” (Romans 6:14). In the pursuit of godliness we must, by God’s grace, master our sinful nature, something as descendants of Adam we all share.

We often hear the phrase, “No one is perfect” and, yes, that is true. Only God is perfect. But we can be a righteous people if Christ lives in us, if we apply the Scriptures to our lives, and if we resist the “charm” or deceit of our enemy. Stand firm, my brothers and sisters. Resist the enemy who seeks to do evil and engage the Holy Spirit who seeks to mature us in the faith.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Jesus, thank You for Your indwelling Spirit that replaces my sinful nature with that of a spiritual nature. I no longer desire the temporary pleasures the world offers, but even as I walk in Your ways year after year, I’m keenly aware that sin is crouching at the door of my heart, always ready to make habitation if invited to come in. Alert my eyes to the strategic warfare of Satan. I want to be vigilant in guarding my heart against his cunning assault. I want to heed the many warnings You give us in Scripture as well as godly messengers who keep watch over my soul. With Your blood applied to the doorpost of my heart, I am purified by Your holiness, and want to stand firm to the end! Amen.
*Sue is a fictional name but a very real person.

Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
“Rescue Story”  Video   Zach Williams
“Jesus, Only Jesus”  Video  Closing song yesterday at Calvary Church including Pastor’s prayer.

Finally today:

Sadie's mess 1/13/20

This morning Sadie decided to tear open the package of New Year’s napkins and set up a party for her and Mollie. Either she’s decided to have a late New Year’s party for 2020 or a very early one for 2021. She may have also been hinting at receiving a few dog treats in the middle of her napkin spread!

“The Goal Of Your Faith”

Lancaster County PA rural snow scene 1/10/20 (Click to enlarge)The snow from Tuesday afternoon was still on the ground in eastern Lancaster County yesterday.
(Click to enlarge)
“The Goal Of Your Faith”

Message summary:
Today let us consider the greatest goal, “the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls”.

ListenListen to this message on your audio player.

“Though you have not seen Him, you love Him; and even though you do not see Him now, you believe in Him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls” (1 Peter 1:8,9).

Hershey Bears goal 1/8/20Wednesday evening we went to a hockey game in Hershey, Pennsylvania taking along Jesse and the five oldest of his seven children. It was a great treat for the kids and by attending that night each of us got a free pass for a day at Hershey Park this summer!

I’ve never been a big hockey fan as I prefer a bit more scoring and sports that can’t end in ties. But once I’m there I can sure get into the excitement. The Giant Center was practically full, probably due to it being Hershey Park pass night so there was a lot of excitement especially when the Hershey Bears scored their only goal and Ester snapped the photo of the celebration. However they went on to lose in the last minute to the Hartford Wolf Pack by 2-1.

“Goal” is used as a descriptor of a score in many sports apart from hockey such as soccer, football and basketball.

But today let us consider the greatest goal, “the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls”.

The life in Christ has always been a faith walk. This has been especially true since Jesus ascended back to the Father in Acts 1. Since that time His followers have not been able to see Him in a physical sense. During a very special period about 2,000 years ago some people had the wonderful privilege of seeing the Word become flesh and dwell among them. However even during that time many did not believe in who He was or what He stood for. Seeing does not necessarily mean believing.

The Apostle Peter, an eyewitness and close friend to Christ during His earthly ministry, wrote our daily verse to those who “believed in Him” some 30 years after Jesus had ascended. These believers had not physically seen Christ in His earthly ministry but, like us, they believed. O, how we thank God for this belief that fills us with “inexpressible and glorious joy!”

We want to note a very significant verb tense in the text this morning.  Notice Peter says, “You are receiving” (not “you have received” or “you will receive”) “the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls“. We believe this is a vital ongoing truth in the believer’s faith life. While living, these fellow believers were receiving this goal. At their deaths they received it fully. The process is true for us today, fellow believer. Hold tight, for the best is yet to come!

This new year let us continue in our faith walk and remember the timeless perspective of the Apostle Paul as we “fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:18). This takes a conscientious, purposeful, ongoing effort and spiritual perspective as we walk the narrow path laid out for us. Let us stay faithful to God today, throughout our journey in 2020, and for the remaining time God has allotted us on this earth!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer:  Father, help me to walk faithfully with You day by day. As I earnestly seek You I will receive the reward You promise to those who do so. Daily temptations, recurring doubts, and fleeting distractions seek my heart’s affection but I remain wholly committed to You, my Lord and  Savior. Though I’ve not seen You physically Your Spirit indwells me and I am filled with Your glorious and inexpressible joy. No matter the mocking and undermining of my faith by the unbelieving world, I believe in You with all my heart, soul, mind and strength. Thank you that I am indeed receiving the goal of my faith, the salvation of my soul. Amen.

Trailer with steel-wheeled tires 1/9/20Yesterday morning we came up behind this trailer in New Holland Pennsylvania hauling steel-wheeled tractor tires. Here’s a video explaining this distinctive among some branches of Mennonites.

Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
“The Reason”  Video  Travis Cottrell
“Your Spirit”  Video  The Christ Church Choir

“That You May Know” The Blessing of Assurance

Snowy afternoon 1/7/20

A snowy afternoon from our front porch.
“That You May Know”
The Blessing of Assurance
Message summary: Do you “believe in the name of the Son of God”? That’s life’s most important question.  With this belief “you may know that you have eternal life”!

Note: A podcast not prepared for this message which was prepared Wednesday afternoon. Wednesday evening we are taking our Amish “grandchildren” to a Hershey Bears hockey game at the Giant Center in Hershey and of course will get home late and need to leave early Thursday morning for chaplaincy visits.
“But these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name” (John 20:31). “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life” (1 John 5:13).
We recently attended a funeral for an employee we have seen many years in the course of our chaplain work. He has been disabled for several years due to a stroke but his wife still works for the company and we have had steady follow-up and visits since he continued to work up until his second stroke. He was greatly respected for his very strong work ethic and we often commended him for that as well. They have both been receptive to our ministry in a caring sense over the years but as Laotian immigrants they still identify with their Buddhist background so it was a Buddhist funeral service, a new experience for us. The entire service was in Laotian and included chanting and other features peculiar to us.
This was last Friday afternoon before my knee was treated and it was getting rather long with no end in sight since we couldn’t understand anything so I was in considerable pain and distress. After about an hour, not meaning to be disrespectful but I was almost in physical agony, I whispered to Brooksyne to query her smart phone, “How long is a Buddhist funeral service”” to which we received the encouraging answer of “49 days”! (see here). Well it did last at least another hour when we finally excused ourselves by exiting a back side door. Today we expect to see some others from the service and will probably learn just how long it did last if they stayed the entire time!
Buddhists believe that after death each person is reincarnated as another being. The new life is dependent on past actions and deeds. Karma plays a large role in determining what happens to people after they die. They have no assurance of eternal life.
What a blessing our two daily texts are teaching us about the great truth of assurance!
“But these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name” (John 20:31). John is summarizing his gospel and the main purpose for his writing:
“That you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God” That was his theme from the very beginning when he wrote “the Word (Christ) became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14).
“And that believing you may have life in His name” In John two types of life are taught; “abundant life” (John 10:10) and “eternal life” (John 3:16).
The second text states:
“I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life” (1 John 5:13). These things refer to his letter according to most commentators but we will find rich fulfillment when we consider all of John’s writings.
Do you “believe in the name of the Son of God”? That’s life’s most important question.
With this belief “you may know that you have eternal life”!
Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine;
Oh, what a foretaste of glory divine!
Heir of salvation, purchase of God,
Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood.
Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, there are so many things we are uncertain of from day to day, whether it’s safety on the road, a troublesome health problem, a struggling marital relationship, worries about mounting bills, rebellious children, the instability of the world and so much more. But one thing which is the main thing that we can have assurance about is our salvation through Christ Jesus our Lord that provides us with eternal life. When we are born of His Spirit and washed in His blood the Spirit enables us to trust God for all that we are uncertain of in this temporal dwelling, that He will provide a way to cope or overcome.  For that we are thankful! Amen.

Brooksyne’s Note: As Chaplains we befriend all who are employed at our companies, and and seek to show respect to their various religious backgrounds while hoping to witness for Christ and His Gospel. It’s a bit tricky when we meet those from a different cultural and language background, but we’ve found most in that category responsive to our presence since they see us weekly year after year. Such is the case with the employee who passed away. One Christmas he said quite bluntly to me, “People ask me if I celebrate Christmas” but I tell them “I don’t celebrate Christmas because I don’t know what it means.” It was a perfect conversation to share with me as I responded “Christmas is all about Christ Jesus. Would you like to learn more about him” to which he responded perhaps a little reluctantly, “yes”. I told him about the Jesus Movie that I would try to get him in his own language. It took quite a lot of searching but I finally came up with a copy and gave it to him. I never got feedback but I have prayed many times over the years that the message of that movie touched his heart. We can only plant the seeds, pray for the person, and live an exemplary Christian life. The rest is up to the individual surrendering to Christ.
Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
“Blessed Assurance”  Video  Harpeth Gospel Quartet

“Take Care To Remember”

First snow of 2020 1/7/20Safely arriving home yesterday afternoon during the first snow of 2020!
“Take Care To Remember”

Message summary:
Today, as we begin 2020, let us heed the warning of Moses and take the necessary measures to remind ourselves never to forget the Lord our God or fail to observe His commands. This is of foremost importance!

ListenListen to this message on your audio player.

“Take care lest you forget the Lord your God by not keeping His commandments and His rules and His statutes, which I command you today” (Deuteronomy 8:11). “Remember, then, what you received and heard” (Revelation 3:3).
Writing checkMany of us deal with a little problem this time of year; the tendency to absent-mindedly write down the previous year on checks, letters, etc. Yesterday I was logging into a company and wrote 1/7/19 till I caught myself and corrected the year on the entry. I also tend to do it when I date these messages the first couple of weeks into a new year.
We once had a little cartoon book that described this phenomenon as “checkuary”. The term comes from writing a date on checks early in the year. After 12 months of habitually writing down 2019 it’s very easy to continue to do so in the new year of 2020 when we write out the date on a check or other forms as well. Have you done that this year yet?
This is only one of many areas in our lives in which we may find ourselves forgetful. In fact we find forgetfulness tends to increase with age! Many memory lapses, like “checkuary” are merely nuisances. I’m sure more than a few checks have the old date scratched out at this time of year and I even wonder if the bank would pay that much attention. Yet many other issues regarding our memory are very important. The one of foremost importance is expressed in our first daily text as though Moses was issuing a caution to the Israelites, “Take care lest you forget the Lord your God”.

Deuteronomy is a record of Moses’ final sermon before he died and the people of Israel went on into the Promised Land under Joshua’s leadership. Moses stresses throughout the message the importance of remembering the Lord and warns of the dire consequences in failing to do so. This is a timeless message!

The words “remember” and “forget” are used 26 times in Deuteronomy. We may wonder how these people could ever forget after seeing the hand of the Lord revealed in such mighty ways under Moses’ leadership. Later they witnessed the mighty victories with Joshua.

But early in the book of Judges we read this stunning assessment, “The Israelites did evil in the eyes of the LORD; they forgot the LORD their God” (3:7a).

Among our ministry venues is periodically leading a service in a nursing home on a Sunday afternoon. Most all of the people have failing memories especially a group that comes over from a special memory care unit. But we have noticed two elements that are often remembered as we share God’s truths with them:
1) Hymns they have sung all their lives. In a service I led the final Sunday of 2019 a resident loudly whistled the hymn tune as we sang! At first I couldn’t figure out where it was coming from but looked around and saw an older man in attendance (likely in his nineties) whistling along in perfect pitch (to the extent I understand what perfect pitch is!)
2) Scripture verses that they have often heard and committed to memory like John 3:16.

Moses preaching Forgetting is such a danger that Moses reinforced the importance of remembering the commandments of the Lord in a family household in Deuteronomy 6:6-9. Moses instructed parents to strongly impress the Lord’s commandments on their children by talking about them when sitting down and walking along the road (which would have been their way of getting around every day, rather than an occasional leisurely walk). They were to talk about them at bedtime and when they arose. They were to be visually reminded of these commandments by displaying them on their hands and their foreheads. They were to be written on the doorframes of their houses and their gates. This commitment to follow God is not for the faint of heart nor the casual observer.

Today, as we begin 2020, let us heed the warning of Moses and take the necessary measures to remind ourselves never to forget the Lord our God or fail to observe His commands. This is of foremost importance!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, the commandments that You give are to be impressed upon our hearts. When our acts of obedience come from a heart of love, we are anxious to heed Your Word and align our desires with Your own. As we love You with all our heart and with all our soul and with all our strength we will never forget our miraculous deliverance.  For You delivered us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of Your beloved Son in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. May we ever be mindful so that we never forget You, what You have done for us, and thereby walk humbly with You all our days. Amen.

Selected portions of verses implemented into our daily prayer:
Deuteronomy 6:6, Colossians 1:13,14

Yesterday while we were out during the course of our chaplaincy calls we had our fist covering snow of the new year.
First snow of 2020 1/7/20
Hard to get a good photo when it’s snowing heavily but this farm with an old brick farmhouse is along Carmany Road on our way home.
Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
“Follow You Anywhere”  Video  Calvary Church worship team from last Sunday’s service.
“Even Now”  Video  Travis Cottrell
“Waymaker”  Video  Voices of Lee

“In Good Hands”

Old truck in Death Valley
Old truck we saw this fall in Death Valley
It’s been there a while! (see this Google map street view)

“In Good Hands”

Message summary: You’re in good hands with God!

ListenListen to this message on your audio player.

“Behold, the Lord’s hand is not so short that it cannot save” (Isaiah 59:1).

Yesterday I called the Lancaster Orthopedic Group (abbreviated LOG) to see if I could move an appointment up due to my intense knee pain. It’s a large practice with several locations in Lancaster County so I had to wait for a scheduler and listened to the announcement loop as I waited.
They use a slogan to the effect, “When you place your trust in the Lancaster Orthopedic Group you can be sure you are in good hands”. Of course, as a Christian believer, when the loop kept repeating in my ear my mind changed the words to, “When you place your trust in God you can be sure you are in good hands”. Do you suppose I am original?!
Knee braceI did manage to reschedule my appointment to yesterday morning and had both a knee aspiration and steroid shot which has really alleviated the pain. Now I am wearing a knee immobilizer for an unspecified period of time as well so for now I guess I am good to go.
For many years (I recall since I was a child) the Allstate Insurance Company has advertised with a slogan, “You’re in good hands with Allstate.” They also had a series of ads that end with the question, “Can you afford not to be in good hands?”

Now that’s a good question to consider, not just for the quality of your orthopedic care or the kind of insurance you might purchase, but more so in regard to whom we entrust our spiritual and eternal destiny. Our first daily text states, “Behold, the Lord’s hand is not so short that it cannot save.” What peace that verse provides regarding anything we might be dealing with today.

We often use music in supplementing our messages and considered the theme of God’s hands. I came across a song by The Browders, a lesser known group that we feel will really bless our readers. It’s titled “You’re Not In This Alone”.
It begins:
Right now it seems like the world is against you and maybe it is
And right now you feel like your heart is in pieces and maybe it is
You think you’ve walked every mile you can walk and you don’t have the will to survive
You have exhausted each ounce of your strength so why even try
Immediately a friend came to mind who is going through a very protracted trial. Then I considered so many others, including some reading this message. We have a reminder.

Let me remind you Jesus is for you. He’s right for everything that’s wrong
I’m here to tell you that He will not leave you. He never abandons His own
Even though you may not see it right now; you’re not in this alone
Indeed you’re in good hands with God!
Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer:  Father, Your hand is not shortened that You cannot save to the uttermost. Your ear is not deaf that You cannot hear the cries of Your people. Instead Your mercies are new every morning and Your faithfulness is spread to the four corners of the earth. It is also evident in my life and in those whom I love and care for. When I placed my trust in You I found myself in good hands, for in Your great mercy You gave me new birth into a living hope that will never perish, spoil or fade which is kept in heaven for me. On Your appointed day I will see the fulfillment of the inheritance that awaits me in heaven. Thank You, loving Father, that I am in good hands! Amen.
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade–kept in heaven for you”  (1 Peter 1:3,4).

Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

“You’re Not In This Alone”  Video  The Browders This song was featured on the Gospel Greats as among those in the top ten countdown for southern gospel music of 2019. It has an excellent message that will comfort the loneliest of hearts and encourage those whose strength is exhausted.
“Put It into God’s Hands”  Video  The Browders
“In God’s Hands”  Video  The Rochesters
“Put It in God’s Hands”  Video  Keen Mountain Boys

“Yes I Will”  Video  Calvary Church worship team from our service this last Sunday.