“Not Without Effect”

November 20, 2018

Parked buggies at Amish weddingThese buggies are lined up at an Amish wedding we passed in eastern Lancaster County. The Amish have many weddings in November on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Several weeks ago I was at Costco and saw a young Amish couple shopping. They told me they were getting married in two weeks. That brought back old memories from 42 years ago when Brooksyne and I went grocery shopping for the first time as a newly married couple in Springfield, MO. We recall getting store brand Mac & Cheese and Van Camps Pork & Beans, since Brooksyne has always thought that Van Camps is the best brand. We still enjoy shopping together although I am ready to get done a lot faster and Brooksyne rarely buys Mac & Cheese and Pork & Beans these days!
For a larger photo with Scripture text click here.
 
“Not Without Effect”
 
Message summary: Let us join with Paul and proclaim together, “His grace to me was not without effect!”

Listen to our message on your audio player.

“But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace to me was not without effect” (1 Corinthians 15:10).
 
They baptized Jesse Taylor in Cedar Creek last Sunday
Jesus gained a soul and Satan lost a good right arm
They all cried Hallelujah when Jesse’s head went under
Cause this time he went under for the Lord
 
I saw a man in church this last Sunday whom I met several months ago. After visiting a few minutes he said, “I’m sorry, I forgot; what’s your name again?” I told him and then I asked  his name which I also couldn’t recall. His was Paul. He told me he was going to remember my name with the keyword “Stoned” recalling of course the death of my namesake (not in the inebriated sense)! I told him I would recall his name as “Stoner” alluding to Paul’s role at the stoning death of Stephen.
 
In today’s text Paul is sharing his personal testimony. The biographical information we have in the book of Acts and Paul’s letters truly indicate that the grace of God made a wonderful change in his life. Today we focus on the phrase, “His grace to me was not without effect.”

I can imagine when people first heard of the Apostle Paul’s (Saul at that time) conversion they shook their heads in disbelief, “Oh, I can’t believe he could ever change!”
 
Then years later when Paul shared his testimony and people heard his violent past and persecution of the church, they surely shook their heads in disbelief, “Oh, I can’t believe he was ever like that!”
 
Can you think of some people who’ve changed like that?
 
In his own written testimony Paul states, “I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man” and “the worst of sinners” (see 1 Timothy 1:12-17).
 
But the one time persecutor became the persecuted. He who had consented to the stoning of Stephen (Acts 8:1) was himself stoned (2 Corinthians 11:25). If it had been written in Paul’s day it might include a gospel song with a story. Though it would read quite differently for Saul/Paul it would also have redemptive lines like that of “The Baptism of Jesse Taylor”:
 
Among the local taverns there’ll be a slack in business.
Cause Jesse’s drinking came before the groceries and the rent
Among the local women there’ll be a slack in cheating
Cause Jesse won’t be stepping out again
 
The scars on Jesse’s knuckles are more than just respected
The county courthouse records tell all there is to tell
The pockets of the gamblers will soon miss Jesse’s money
And a black eye of the law will soon be well
 
What a dynamic transformation had taken place in Jesse Taylor’s life similar to what happened in Paul’s life. Years later Paul was able to declare this marvelous truth, “His grace to me was not without effect”.

Authentic grace makes a difference in one’s life. Titus 2:11,12 states, “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.” For some the change is more dramatic than others, but genuine grace will always bring about transformation in every recipient.

What about you today?

  • Do you need to turn you life over to Christ? Repent!
  • Has Christ changed your life?  Rejoice!
  • Is He still working on you? Respond and be resolute in your walk with Jesus!
Let us join with Paul and proclaim together, “His grace to me was not without effect!”
 
From now on Nancy Taylor can proudly speak to neighbors
And tell them just how Jesse took up with little Jim
Now Jimmy’s got a daddy and Jesse’s got a family
And Franklin County’s got a lot more man
 
 
Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber


Praying manDaily prayer: Father, only through the death of Your Son could we know the full extent of Your grace. Though our sins bring untold loss, Your grace brings infinite gain. Your grace exceeds our rebellion and points us to the Refuge for our sinful souls. Thank You, Father!  You don’t grant a partial pardon, but You extend a full pardon to all who call upon Your name. Your grace is incomprehensible, infinite, and indiscriminate to all of Your creation. Help us to extend grace to others as You have richly extended Your grace to us. Amen.

 
Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
 
“The Baptism of Jesse Taylor”  Video  Gaither Vocal Band  I like songs that tell a story and this is a great story of redemption and a changed life!
 
“Sinner Saved By Grace”  Video  Gaither Vocal Band
 

Calvary Church choir 11/18/18

We had a very special service this last Sunday at Calvary Church here in Lancaster that included an unusual preaching format and more than the usual amount of music, in a variety of formats. The message concluded a series on the One Story of the Bible and focused on eternal praise to God, “The Glorious Worship of Jesus Christ – To God be the Glory” Here is the video. It was one of the most powerful messages on the Book Of Revelation we have ever heard. The way the message was tied to the music was outstanding. Here is the concluding song. Video
 
Special Thanksgiving Resources

We offer these resources to families and church leaders
to enrich the spiritual impact of the Thanksgiving holiday. We will post these resources through Thanksgiving Day here in the US (November 22).

Thorns“Thankful For The Thorns”: A family reading and exercise that is a wonderful way to give a thoughtful focus around your Thanksgiving Table. (Note: You will need a good reader who should be given the story ahead of time to review so that it’s read with expression and clarity.) For many of us the Thanksgiving celebration typically includes family coming together for a huge meal and hopefully a heartfelt prayer of thankfulness. However it can often be difficult to have a spiritually oriented conversation. Why not add some stimulating discussion about the ways God has worked in your life over the past year! Here’s an idea for sharing together around the table the theme of “Thankful for the Thorns”
(printable webpage).

“A Thanksgiving family exercise” (pdf) We have used this questionnaire as a stimulus for discussion among family members in the past in our home. We encourage you to share results around the table at Thanksgiving before or after the meal.

A Thanksgiving prayer: Written by Joe Sherer, a pastor friend of ours and shared as the benediction at our community Thanksgiving Eve service many years ago. (blog post) For those who enjoy written prayers this would be a beautiful prayer to read together at the Thanksgiving table.

A Thanksgiving Scripture reading: A selection of Old and New Testament readings dealing with thankfulness appropriate for church, family and personal readings. (pdf) (Suitable for printing out and copying.)

A Suggestion for a Family Tradition from our long-time friend Bob Southard: After the turkey, the cranberries, the pie, we all get out our Bibles to read our favorite thanksgiving verse. From the youngest to the oldest we share God’s Word and tell why it is so special to us!

 
We appreciate listening to and singing the Thanksgiving hymns and songs.
 
“In Everything Give Thanks”  Video   Charlotte Ritchie, Jeff & Sheri Easter  This song will bring joy to your heart!

“Now Thank We All Our God”  Video  Best Loved Hymns

“Come Ye Thankful People Come”  Video  Traditional version
Contemporary version but thankfully maintaining same tune and lyrics Video

“Thanksgiving Medley” (We Gather Together, For The Beauty Of The Earth, Come Ye Thankful People Come)  Video  Studio Musicians

“Give Thanks”  Video  Don Moen

“Thank You Lord”  Video  Community Choir at a Lancaster Day of Prayer event in 2008.

“Thanks”
 Video  Marshall Hall and the Homecoming Singers

“I Want To Thank You”  Video  Karen Peck and New River This is a song expressing thankfulness to the many people who impact our lives in big and small ways. It also reminds us of the blessing of seemingly insignificant expressions of faith.  From the Gaither Homecoming series.

“Thank You Lord For Your Blessings On Me”  Video  Gordon Mote & Jason Crabb

“I’m Forever Grateful”  Video  Willow Creek

“Worthy Is The Lamb, Crown Him, Crown Him With Many Crowns”  Video  Travis Cottrell

“Thank You, Lord”  Video  Dennis Jernigan

“10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord)”  Video  Matt Redman

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Lancaster County PA barn & pondLancaster County farm pond.
“It Is Good To Be Reminded!”
Message summary: It is a blessing to experience both; being reminded and being the reminder.
Listen to our message on your audio player.
“So I will always remind you of these things” (2 Peter 1:12). “Therefore encourage one another with these words” (1 Thessalonians 4:18).
In our church service yesterday our choir sang “Is He Worthy”, a very moving song that uses an interesting format with a soloist asking a question followed by a response from the choir. (A link to a video of this song is placed below)
Do you feel the world is broken? (We do)
Do you feel the shadows deepen? (We do)
But do you know that all the dark won’t stop the light from getting through? (We do)
Do you wish that you could see it all made new? (We do)
Is all creation groaning? (It is)
Is a new creation coming? (It is)
Is the glory of the Lord to be the light within our midst? (It is)
Is it good that we remind ourselves of this? (It is)
As I listened to the song I was especially drawn to the phrase, “Is it good that we remind ourselves of this? (It is)”
Remind Ourselves
Our lives are full of reminders. When Ester was little we would remind her, “Now don’t forget to say ‘thank you'”. (I have to admit sometimes we catch ourselves still reminding her though she’s 29.) All through life we have various aids to remind us of something we need to do like a string around our finger. (Remember Uncle Billy from “It’s A Wonderful Life”?) Now our smart phones have reminders of our appointments and “to do” items. I have one set to remind me to change my air filter, which Brooksyne finds very annoying since we share calendars.
But of foremost importance are spiritual reminders of Biblical and eternal truths. The apostle Peter wrote, “So I will always remind you of these things”. Tasked with the role of making disciples this includes a steady barrage of reminders.
Spiritual reminders are important because:
We forget;
We lose focus and perspective;
The things of this life can dim our view;
Pain and trials can blind us.
It is a blessing to experience both; being reminded and being the reminder.
Our second daily text concludes the teaching about what happens to those who died as Christians which was a source of concern for the Thessalonian believers. Paul assured them, “For the Lord Himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever” (1 Thessalonians 4:16,17).
“Therefore encourage one another with these words” (1 Thessalonians 4:18). We believe that, although Paul was specifically referring to the previous teaching in the context, this principle applies any time we remind others of spiritual truths.
So today we want to be:
  • God loves you and has a plan for your life.
  • God works all things out for your ultimate good.
  • God reigns even if you don’t presently see it.
  • The dark won’t stop the light from getting through.
  • God is worthy!
Be encouraged today,Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

 

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, it is good to remind ourselves “to never doubt in the darkness what You have told us in the light.” It is in the thick of things that we often let the light of Your Word grow dim and turn to human methods to resolve our problems, growing more frustrated all the while. The glory of Your divine light cuts through the fog that clouds our journey here below helping us to enjoy peace and rest when we fully trust You; for the darkness of our situation does not stop Your glorious light from getting through and showing us the next step we take which leads us closer and closer to our eternal home. You are worthy of all praise, glory, honor and thanksgiving! Amen.

 
Remembering Charlie Sensenig  – Long time reader Charlie Sensenig departed his earthly journey yesterday at age 80 after 60 years of marriage to Hazel. We met them at a Transport for Christ retreat about ten years ago and heard from Charlie often via daily encouragements, as recently as a couple weeks ago. We pray for his family during this difficult time but rejoice in his heavenly promotion.

Audrey's banquet 11/16/18Friday evening we attended the first of our numerous company banquets for the season at the Country Fare Restaurant in Myerstown PA. Here several employees from Audrey’s are singing while Brooksyne provides accompaniment.
Audrey's banquet 11/16/18
This Thursday and throughout the weekend most of us here in the USA will be gathering with family for Thanksgiving. It’s one of the busiest travel periods of the year as people come home from all over. What a blessing this is. At Friday evening’s banquet we sat at the same table as this couple who have been married 52 years. Their family gathering on Thursday will be held at a school with some 90 of their direct descendants expected to come (including the spouses of their children and grandchildren). He told me they all live within 15 miles except for one granddaughter who lives about 150 miles away though she still lives in Pennsylvania.
Pat and Laverne 11/18/18
Yesterday Stephen’s older brother Pat and his wife Laverne joined us for our church service and then a meal afterwards. Both of them remain active in ministry in various ways although they are officially “retired”.
Lancaster Extra-Ordinary Give
Each November on the Friday before Thanksgiving Lancaster County has an interesting single day called “The Extra Ordinary Give” which supports local organizations. This is the screenshot at the conclusion of the event this last Friday. Pretty amazing considering we are not in a large metropolitan area (Lancaster County has about 550,000 population) Click on the image for more information. We are especially heartened by how many of the organizations are Christian outreaches in various ways, including seven of the top ten.

Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
“Is He Worthy?”  Video  Chris Tomlin  This is the song referred to in today’s message. Here’s another version by Andrew Peterson, who wrote the song  Video
Special Thanksgiving Resources
We offer these resources to families and church leaders to enrich the spiritual impact of the Thanksgiving holiday. We will post these resources through Thanksgiving Day here in the US (November 22).
Thorns“Thankful For The Thorns”: A family reading and exercise that is a wonderful way to give a thoughtful focus around your Thanksgiving Table. (Note: You will need a good reader who should be given the story ahead of time to review so that it’s read with expression and clarity.) For many of us the Thanksgiving celebration typically includes family coming together for a huge meal and hopefully a heartfelt prayer of thankfulness. However it can often be difficult to have a spiritually oriented conversation. Why not add some stimulating discussion about the ways God has worked in your life over the past year! Here’s an idea for sharing together around the table the theme of “Thankful for the Thorns” (printable webpage). 

“A Thanksgiving family exercise” (pdf) We have used this questionnaire as a stimulus for discussion among family members in the past in our home. We encourage you to share results around the table at Thanksgiving before or after the meal. 

A Thanksgiving prayer: Written by Joe Sherer, a pastor friend of ours and shared as the benediction at our community Thanksgiving Eve service many years ago. (blog post) For those who enjoy written prayers this would be a beautiful prayer to read together at the Thanksgiving table.A Thanksgiving Scripture reading: A selection of Old and New Testament readings dealing with thankfulness appropriate for church, family and personal readings. (pdf) (Suitable for printing out and copying.)
A Suggestion for a Family Tradition from our long-time friend Bob Southard: After the turkey, the cranberries, the pie, we all get out our Bibles to read our favorite thanksgiving verse. From the youngest to the oldest we share God’s Word and tell why it is so special to us!

We appreciate listening to and singing the Thanksgiving hymns and songs.
“In Everything Give Thanks”  Video   Charlotte Ritchie, Jeff & Sheri Easter  This song will bring joy to your heart!

“Now Thank We All Our God”  Video  Best Loved Hymns”Come Ye Thankful People Come”  Video  Traditional version
Contemporary version but thankfully maintaining same tune and lyrics Video

“Thanksgiving Medley” (We Gather Together, For The Beauty Of The Earth, Come Ye Thankful People Come)  Video  Studio Musicians

“Give Thanks”  Video  Don Moen

“Thank You Lord”  Video  Community Choir at a Lancaster Day of Prayer event in 2008.


“Thanks”
 Video  Marshall Hall and the Homecoming Singers”I Want To Thank You”  Video  Karen Peck and New River This is a song expressing thankfulness to the many people who impact our lives in big and small ways. It also reminds us of the blessing of seemingly insignificant expressions of faith.  From the Gaither Homecoming series.

“Thank You Lord For Your Blessings On Me”  Video  Gordon Mote & Jason Crabb
“I’m Forever Grateful”  Video  Willow Creek

“Worthy Is The Lamb, Crown Him, Crown Him With Many Crowns”  Video  Travis Cottrell”Thank You, Lord”  Video  Dennis Jernigan

“10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord)”  Video  Matt Redman

First snow 11/15/18Yesterday we shared a photo of our first seasonal snow as it was starting in the morning. Here’s a photo in late afternoon after the snow stopped and the wind blew snow off the trees. We ended up getting about 6 or more inches and it has sure caused traffic accidents and evening cancellations including an event we were to attend last night.
 
“Assumptions Can Be Wrong”
 
Message summary: We can make a lot of assumptions in life and sometimes they make sense based on the information we have at our disposal. If we don’t seek further clarification there’s a tendency to invest in those assumptions which can blind us to real facts once they are revealed.

Listen to our message on your audio player.
 
“The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7).
 
Photo of Roxie ready for ministryWe got our dog Roxie in early 2005 when she was a pup. The photo to the left shows her preparing to go to an assisted living center as a “therapy dog” when she was just a year old. But she’s now 14 and experiencing symptoms related to old age. Though she still enjoys a couple mile walk with Brooksyne she has a hard time climbing stairs and has no interest in playing with Mollie, much to Mollie’s disappointment. Prior to a couple of weeks ago she had never been to the vet under our care except when she was “fixed” as a puppy. We take her to Tractor Supply for her 3 year rabies shot. She’s had a fulfilling life here in the country, including memorable encounters with skunks, electric fences and fox traps.
 
A couple of weeks ago Brooksyne and Ester took Roxie to the vet due to some medical concerns. Immediately following the vet visit we made a chaplain visit to our nearest company where I met a customer, Jim, who had come in to purchase some supplies. He was a very friendly man and, after I told him I was the company chaplain serving alongside my wife, he enthusiastically expressed his faith in the Lord. Like so many we meet he was not familiar with the concept of a corporate chaplain but expressed his full support toward our role as chaplains.
 
Jim then inquired about the warehouse supervisor, RoxRoxanne at Kleen-Riteanne (whom he called Roxie) pictured to the right. Over the past year Roxanne has gone through major cancer treatment and then her daughter, Heather, who was a long time employee of the same company, died suddenly in August.*  I had not yet talked to Roxanne that day but told him my wife regularly followed up with her.
 
After our chaplain visit that afternoon Brooksyne told me about an interesting conversation she had with a nice customer she had met. I’ll let her tell the story:
 
As I was walking through the large warehouse a customer approached me and said, “So you’re the chaplain!” I was a bit surprised that a complete stranger could pick me out as a chaplain but I responded, “Yes I am.” He then inquired, “How’s Roxie doing?”
 
It was one thing that he could pick me out as the chaplain, having never met me. But then, how did he know about our dog, Roxie, who was still fresh on my mind since I’d just been to the vet. A little flabbergasted all I could say was, “And how do you know about Roxie?”
 
He then went on to ask with genuine interest, “I just wondered how Roxie’s doing since her daughter’s death?” Then a bright light came on, and I felt like such an idiot, when I realized he was not inquiring about our dog, Roxie, but Roxanne, whom we never call Roxie! Once I realized who he was talking about our conversation turned to the kind of talk that chaplains often have with employees, and in this case, a customer of the company. BTW, Stephen shared this story with Roxanne, the supervisor, and she chuckled about the confusion in names, also giving us permission to share this story today.
 
We can make a lot of assumptions in life and sometimes they make sense based on the information we have at our disposal. If we don’t seek further clarification there’s a tendency to invest in those assumptions which can blind us to real facts once they are revealed.

Let’s examine a portion of the Bible when an assumption was made that turned out to be wrong. Today’s Scripture text concerns Samuel’s selection of a king. Initially Samuel was focused on man’s outward appearance and assumed these were the things that mattered to God.

He saw one of Jesse’s sons named Eliab and thought, “Surely the LORD’s anointed stands here before the LORD.” It might have been Eliab’s height or muscular appearance that led Samuel to make the assumption this was the future king.

 
But he received correction from the Lord. The full verse states, “But the LORD said to Samuel, ‘Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him (Eliab). The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart’.”

We can make a lot of assumptions based on appearance and sometimes we’re correct but other times we stand corrected. Before jumping to conclusions we need to go beyond the outward surface and try to understand a person’s heart. Appearances can be deceiving; true character is shown by one’s life and actions. We need to view people in the same light that God views them, though God sees and knows far more than we as humans can, so His evaluation far surpasses people’s assessments. We often judge people by their appearance and actions, but God knows the very motive and intent of our actions.

A couple of thoughts concerning “Man looks at the outward appearance”:

* Outward appearance can be deceiving; a clean-cut, well-dressed individual on the outside may be altogether different on the inside, and vice-versa!
* Acceptable outward appearance varies by culture and age. Features like facial hair, clothing styles and so forth vary generation by generation. Very few of us dress as those in the Bible times!

Since “the Lord looks at the heart” we also need to direct our attention to the heart of a person. He or she is someone God loves and wants to redeem or someone God has redeemed and may be in the process of transforming. Actually, we are all in that transforming process aren’t we?

Be encouraged today!

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber


Praying manDaily prayer: Father, while the world obsesses about outward appearances such as good looks, muscular bodies or perfect figures Your Word is impassioned with teaching regarding the inner heart; the very character of who we really are that nobody can see except You. Help us to be more concerned about what You see on the inside than what others view from the outside. Peace, joy, love and many other Christian virtues come from within our redeemed spirit which no education, outward adornment, fashion accessory or muscular frame can produce or duplicate. Help us to be slow to judge and quick to pray for those who are different from us and help us to see them and love them as Jesus does. It is in His name that we pray. Amen.

 
*Heather Leaman worked for Kleen-Rite for 21 years and had major health issues that eventually claimed her life at age 41. She had great enthusiasm for her workplace and has been greatly missed, not only by her family, but also by her co-workers and friends since her untimely death.

On A Lighter Note about false assumptions: We are glad Brooksyne’s initial assumption was quickly clarified regarding her confusion between our dog Roxie and Roxanne when she talked to the customer. What if she would have gone into detail about Roxie’s afflictions; how she was having trouble with her memory, how she wanders out of the yard, the mysterious round lesions on her back and so forth. What if she had said, “It’s getting close to the time we have to consider letting her go!” (Scratch that last statement as Brooksyne gets very upset with me if I ever approach that subject! She quickly reprimands me by saying it’s no teasing matter. She’s right, of course.) Thankfully, Roxie’s situation is treatable and we hope she will soon be back to her normal self as she has been a wonderful pet for the past 14 years!

 

 
Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
 
Brooksyne is looking forward to a special service, which includes the choir, at our church this weekend. It includes a number of songs we enjoy including these two:
 
“What A Beautiful Name”  Video  The Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir  What a blessing and glimpse of heaven to watch and hear the multi-racial, multi-ethnic Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir! We attended a service at this church about ten years ago. About twenty-five years ago Brooksyne attended a choral training conference with Carol Cymbala the BTC director.
 
“Behold Our God”  Video  California Baptist University Choir and Orchestra.  We  enjoy the new emphasis of using joyful expression when you sing! For those who don’t sing solo, in a choir, or choral arrangement may not realize just how hard it is to smile while singing! It takes a good choir director to get all the choir members on board for such a presentation.
 
Special Thanksgiving Resources

We offer these resources to families and church leaders
to enrich the spiritual impact of the Thanksgiving holiday. We will post these resources through Thanksgiving Day here in the US (November 22).

Thorns“Thankful For The Thorns”: A family reading and exercise that is a wonderful way to give a thoughtful focus around your Thanksgiving Table. (Note: You will need a good reader who should be given the story ahead of time to review so that it’s read with expression and clarity.) For many of us the Thanksgiving celebration typically includes family coming together for a huge meal and hopefully a heartfelt prayer of thankfulness. However it can often be difficult to have a spiritually oriented conversation. Why not add some stimulating discussion about the ways God has worked in your life over the past year! Here’s an idea for sharing together around the table the theme of “Thankful for the Thorns”
(printable webpage).

“A Thanksgiving family exercise” (pdf) We have used this questionnaire as a stimulus for discussion among family members in the past in our home. We encourage you to share results around the table at Thanksgiving before or after the meal.

A Thanksgiving prayer: Written by Joe Sherer, a pastor friend of ours and shared as the benediction at our community Thanksgiving Eve service many years ago. (blog post) For those who enjoy written prayers this would be a beautiful prayer to read together at the Thanksgiving table.

A Thanksgiving Scripture reading: A selection of Old and New Testament readings dealing with thankfulness appropriate for church, family and personal readings. (pdf) (Suitable for printing out and copying.)

A Suggestion for a Family Tradition from our long-time friend Bob Southard: After the turkey, the cranberries, the pie, we all get out our Bibles to read our favorite thanksgiving verse. From the youngest to the oldest we share God’s Word and tell why it is so special to us!

 
We appreciate listening to and singing the Thanksgiving hymns and songs.
 
“In Everything Give Thanks”  Video   Charlotte Ritchie, Jeff & Sheri Easter  This song will bring joy to your heart!

“Now Thank We All Our God”  Video  Best Loved Hymns

“Come Ye Thankful People Come”  Video  Traditional version
Contemporary version but thankfully maintaining same tune and lyrics Video

“Thanksgiving Medley” (We Gather Together, For The Beauty Of The Earth, Come Ye Thankful People Come)  Video  Studio Musicians

“Give Thanks”  Video  Don Moen

“Thank You Lord”  Video  Community Choir at a Lancaster Day of Prayer event in 2008.

“Thanks”
 Video  Marshall Hall and the Homecoming Singers

“I Want To Thank You”  Video  Karen Peck and New River This is a song expressing thankfulness to the many people who impact our lives in big and small ways. It also reminds us of the blessing of seemingly insignificant expressions of faith.  From the Gaither Homecoming series.

“Thank You Lord For Your Blessings On Me”  Video  Gordon Mote & Jason Crabb

“I’m Forever Grateful”  Video  Willow Creek

“Worthy Is The Lamb, Crown Him, Crown Him With Many Crowns”  Video  Travis Cottrell

“Thank You, Lord”  Video  Dennis Jernigan

“10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord)”  Video  Matt Redman

“God Is Big Enough!”

November 15, 2018

Evergreen Lake, Colorado

Here’s another photo from Brooksyne’s trip to Colorado last week. She saw lots of snow in the mountains. We have our first seasonal snow forecast today with the first light snowflakes we have seen this season! But just 1-3 inches are forecast at this time.
Click on photo to enlarge
 
“God Is Big Enough!”
 
Message summary: Based upon our limited perspective and understanding we may tend to apply our notion of “bigness” to God.

Listen to our message on your audio player.

“Who has measured the waters in the hollow of His hand, or with the breadth of His hand marked off the heavens? Who has held the dust of the earth in a basket, or weighed the mountains on the scales and the hills in a balance?” (Isaiah 40:12).
 
I am aware that one must be careful about sharing personal information or data on the web but with her permission I will go ahead and share that Brooksyne is just short of 1,700,000,000 nanometers tall. Now unless you find a nifty online conversion widget to convert this measurement it will seem like goobly goop to you. In fact I don’t think I ever heard of a nanometer till we visited the Intel Museum last month in Santa Clara, CA. It is a measurement used for extremely tiny objects like computer chips. A nanometer is a unit of length in the metric system, equal to one billionth of a meter.
 
Brooksyne at Intel headquartersBrooksyne couldn’t remember my taking this picture and when she saw it she thought that the fab tech was me dressed up in the clean suit! In fact she told me I looked pretty good; ten years younger and somewhat thinner too!
 
Appraising size, whether something is big or little, is relative. After all, we would all be very large standing next to an ant but very small next to a whale.
 
Based upon our limited perspective and understanding we may tend to apply our notion of bigness to God. An old gospel song we enjoy is “How Big Is God?” Let’s also consider the song, “He’s Got The Whole World In His Hands” which may very well be based on the daily verse.
 
Isaiah 40 is one of the most majestic chapters in the entire Bible and in all English literature for that matter.

Grasping God's ImmensityToday’s text asks four questions that illustrate the awesome greatness and almightiness of God. Let’s just consider the first question, “Who has measured the waters in the hollow of His hand?” Now I’ve got a pretty big hand and I tried to see how much water I could place in the hollow of my hand. As hard as I tried I was unable to hold a Tablespoon measurement!

But Isaiah says our great God “measured the waters in the hollow of His hand”. I have no idea how anybody can begin to figure this out but I calculated, if my math is anywhere near correct, that’s about 346,250,000,000,000,000 gallons. It might be easier for us to mentally calculate those 18 digits in the vast number I just wrote by realizing that 70 percent of the earth’s surface is covered by water.

However that’s nothing compared to the next statement concerning God’s immensity. “With the breadth of His hand [He] marked off the heavens.

Now of course neither Isaiah nor I are asserting that God is a physical being. But as Isaiah made this imaginative visual picture we are much more likely to consider the immensity and greatness of our God. This is the mighty, awe-inspiring, supernatural God we serve!

In the verse immediately before, Isaiah launches into these declarations of God’s greatness when he states that, “He tends His flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in His arms and carries them close to His heart; He gently leads those that have young” (v. 11).

That’s the greatness of our God! He is immense, beyond measure, as far as one galaxy is from another.  Inaccessible to our view, and yet tenderly accessible to our soul 24/7/365 (as we reckon time) since His Spirit dwells within the heart of the believer. Let us stay faithful to Him today.

How big is God! How big and wide His vast domain,
To try to tell these lips can only start,
He’s big enough to rule His mighty universe,
Yet small enough to live within my heart.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, it is commonly tempting to understand You in human terms and measure your worth such as Isaiah prolifically depicts in his prophetic letter. When he describes the means by which we, Your created ones go about measuring, one’s ability falls enormously short of what You, in Your divine nature, have done, what You can do and what You will do. We are unable to understand or appreciate all that You do because we are the finite created ones and You are the infinite Creator. There is nothing and no one who can compare with You. You are the most blessed, most glorious, the Ancient of Days, Almighty, victorious, Your great name we praise! Amen.


 
Kleen-Rite car wash show car 11/14/18Yesterday we visited the employees at Kleen-Rite for a special car wash show with vendors from various companies who sell supplies and many car wash owners. This is a good demonstration of a clean, well-detailed antique car!
Mount Pleasant Operation Shoebox truck
Many churches are participating in the Operation Christmas Child shoe box outreach.
Mount Pleasant packed this old truck for a very colorful delivery to the regional collection center!
First snow 11/15/18
Our first snow of the season!
 

 
Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
 
“Big Enough”  Video  Joseph Habedank
 
“How Big Is God?”  Video  John Hall  We recall Big John Hall (as he was known back then) coming to sing at our Bible College in the mid-seventies.
 
How big is God! How big and wide His vast domain,
To try to tell these lips can only start,
He’s big enough to rule His mighty universe,
Yet small enough to live within the heart.

“Bigger Than Any Mountain”  Video  Homecoming Singers

“A Mighty Fortress Is Our God”  Video  Calvary Church Choir
 
“How Great Is Our God”  Video  Chris Tomlin
 
“I Got Saved”  Video  Corey Voss
What a blessing to hear Alexander Scourby read this chapter in the King James Version (Listen here)
 
Yesterday’s aerial photo was over Baltimore’s Inner Harbor!
 
Finally today:

Dr Joe at Kleen-Rite car wash show car 11/14/18 Doctor Joe – We met some interesting people at the Kleen-Rite Car Wash show yesterday including Doctor Joe, who is a “towel doctor”, lab coat and all! It’s not every day you get to meet people like Joe who has such an impressive degree! This was our second time to visit with Joe, and you can see by his happy smile, he exhibits a joyful disposition as we converse together.
Autumn colors 11/1/18
We enjoy the short but beautiful peak of Autumn season in our area.
Many of our trees have already dropped their leaves.
 
“When All Our Problems Will Be Over”
 
Message summary: Having problems should not surprise us. We will have to wait for our future home to live problem free!

Listen to our message on your audio player.

“In this world you will have trouble” (John 16:33). “We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God” (Acts 14:22). “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials” (James 1:2).
 
Kleen-Rite warehouseLast Friday we walked through a large warehouse (google map view) visiting the employees at Kleen-Rite, a wholesale company that distributes car wash supplies using the puller/packer system. The puller goes through the warehouse pulling orders while the packer packs and prepares them for shipment.
 
Steve, the warehouse manager, was walking down the packer line and working on each packer’s computer. As Brooksyne and I were visiting with one of the packers we overheard him say to her, “That should be it, now just reboot and that should solve all your problems.” He looked up at us and smiled, clarifying, “Well, not all your problems, just the ones having to do with the computer!”
 
RebootThat got me thinking, wouldn’t it be great if there was a solution to all our problems that was as easy as rebooting a computer? If we had a life reboot button we could press and voilà, all our problems would disappear. But you’ve surely learned by now life just doesn’t work that way.
 
We had problems before we became a Christian; we still have problems as young Christians and we will have problems through all the stages of our Christ-like development till the Lord calls us home! If you don’t have any problems I have a world to share with you! After all we are called to bear one another’s burdens (problems). That’s the nature of our work as chaplains and we hear plenty of other’s problems. For several years we worked for a company called Marketplace Chaplains founded by Gil Stricklin, who would say in his distinctive Texas drawl, “Everyone’s either had a problem, has a problem or is gonna have a problem”.
 
That’s been our experience in life although not as many or severe as some. In 2002 I (Stephen) had a lengthy intestinal problem that lasted over a year resulting in four major surgeries. When people would inquire about my ongoing health I responded, “We don’t pick our problems and we don’t schedule them”. I’ve said that repeatedly about other matters since that challenging year because I learned some life lessons from that difficult experience.
 
Having problems should not surprise us. Jesus said to His disciples, “In this world you will have trouble (problems)” (John 16:33). Paul’s apostolic message to an early church is summed up with these words, “We must go through many hardships (problems) to enter the kingdom of God” (Acts 14:22). James wrote, “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials (problems)” (James 1:2).
 
We will have to wait for our future home to live problem free. In that place we read, “He (God) will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away” (Revelation 21:4).
 
In the meantime may you experience the assurance Paul had when he dealt with an ongoing chronic problem. He had prayed about it repeatedly, but after what appeared to be much wrestling with God over the troubling circumstance, the Lord’s final say on the matter settled his heart, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is perfected in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9).
 
 
Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber


Praying manDaily prayer: Father, when times are tough, if we fully rely on You, we find that You are enough to get us through that which would otherwise overwhelm us.  You are our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth give way and the mountains be cast into the sea. You are Creator of the universe, creator of our human existence and You are in control of all that concerns us. We trust You for that which distresses us including those whom You have placed in our care. We must go through many hardships to enter Your kingdom, but You go before us, prepare the way and sustain us during the journey. Help us to plod on and pray every step of the way. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

 

Psalm 46:1



 
Beehive oven on stone farmhouseOur friend Jesse at the Old Windmill Farm is repointing the stone on their old colonial era farmhouse built in the 1700’s. It had been covered with plaster and, upon removing the plaster, Jesse found this under the plaster, a beehive oven.
 
Beehive oven on stone farmhouse
If you are curious you can click on the above photo for a larger view and see where the beehive oven is on the stone wall to the left of the tree trunk.
 
Fire bush 11/7/18
Among our favorite fall plants is the Fire Bush, which for several weeks really brightens the landscape.
 

 
Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

“When He Carries Me Away”  Video  Collingsworth Family An outstanding message in this song!

 
When He calls me to that land of no tomorrow
Where grief and tears are gone without a trace
I’ll lay down all my trouble, cares, and sorrow
And I’ll carry them no more
When He carries me away
 
“When times are tough, Jesus is enough” -As we prepared today’s message we consider those we had opportunity to minister to during our chaplain visits Tuesday as well as a speaking opportunity Brooksyne had with a “Neighbors Caring & Sharing” group of women yesterday morning. There are so many troubling matters people are facing. On a national level we think of the devastating fires in California.
 
After our visits yesterday morning Brooksyne called a Vietnamese immigrant whose husband died last week. After talking to her for a few minutes she offered to pray with her over the phone. Brooksyne wasn’t sure that she would be comfortable praying over the phone with her, but the grieving widow agreed to it, adding, “Wait just a minute. I want to go downstairs to be with my husband first.” Brooksyne was a bit confused so she gently asked her, “Was your husband cremated?” “Yes”, she replied adding that she wanted to be by her husband when Brooksyne prayed for her. He had been an invalid for many years so, as his wife and caregiver, it will be quite an adjustment for her.
 
“No More Night”  Video  David Phelps
 
“His Grace Is Sufficient”  Video  Booth Brothers
 
“Forever Home”  Video  Brian Free & Assurance
 
“Yours (Glory and Praise)”  Video  Calvary Church worship team. Calvary Church has been in a series for a year titled, “The One Story” covering the story of the Bible from Creation to Eternity. Sunday’s message which follows this song on the video was outstanding. The series will conclude this coming Lord’s Day and Brooksyne is really excited about the music selected for the choir, which includes this song “Is He Worthy?” Andrew Peterson Video
 
“As It Is In Heaven”  Video  Corey Voss A powerful song about heaven!
 
Finally today:

________________ from the airCan anyone identify where this photo was taken?
Click on photo to enlarge
Share your answer here if you can identify where we were.

“The Blessing Of A Smile”

November 13, 2018

Longwood Gardens 11/11/18

Another view of the featured 1000 bloom Chrysanthemum shown yesterday from the other end of the conservatory pool.
Click on photo to enlarge
 
“The Blessing Of A Smile”
 
Message summary: It can be a gloomy world with so much distressing news and for those going through hard times. What a blessing we can be to one another when our facial expressions are accentuated with a smile. Truth is, we’d much rather be surrounded by those who frequently smile, than those who rarely see anything to smile about!

Listen to our message on your audio player.

“Men listened to me expectantly, waiting in silence for my counsel. After I had spoken, they spoke no more; my words fell gently on their ears. They waited for me as for showers and drank in my words as the spring rain. When I smiled at them, they scarcely believed it; the light of my face was precious to them. I chose the way for them and sat as their chief; I dwelt as a king among his troops; I was like one who comforts mourners” (Job 29:21-25).

 

Smiley face on barn

Many years ago we passed a barn seen in the photo to the left here in Lancaster County that had a huge smiley face painted on it. It always prompted a smile. I tried to find it in recent years but wonder if the owner painted over it.

A sign in front of a farm house proclaims: “A smile is a curve that straightens everything out.” Well, a smile is a curve and although it doesn’t necessarily straighten everything out, it sure does brighten your countenance, improve your appearance and positively affect your outlook!
 
A smile is one of the blessings of humanity. We look for and rejoice in that first smile in an infant and all through life we appreciate smiling people. We even tend to impose the expression on animals such as a dolphin or a baby doll sheep, which gives the appearance of a smile.
Baby doll lamb on Old Windmill FarmThis “Baby Doll” Southdown lamb on the Old Windmill Farm appears to be smiling up at Brooksyne as she took this photo!
 
We both had a discussion last week with a man whose son has autism. He shared how he is on a new drug therapy that is showing promise and shared of the blessing he and his wife experienced as they saw their son smile and make eye contact, two easily taken for granted blessings.
 
I recall a time when I was out on a cold, blustery, rainy day and ducked into a small office area for a brief escape from the hostile weather. I was confident that I’d receive a warm, cheery smile from the receptionist and I was not disappointed!  She not only smiles with her lips, but her eyes exude genuine warmth that accompanies her smile.  A courteous or obligatory smile is not always reflected in the eyes, but a smile that wells up from the heart can be seen through the eyes as well as the lips.

What a blessing to be around smiling people.  We can think of many people all though life who have blessed us with their smile. Do you recall this chorus sung many years ago:

Smile awhile and give your face a rest
Raise your hand to the One who loves you best
Then shake hands with those nearby
And give to them a smile.


Interestingly the Bible doesn’t have a lot of references to smiling. But today’s portion is one of them. It’s kind of hard to read this without smiling! Job is sharing his personal testimony while he is in the midst of his suffering. In this discourse he considers the blessing he had been to others prior to his trial, “in months gone by” (Job 29:1).

Now I would have a hard time saying this about myself but notice Job’s words as he reflected on how life had been, “When I smiled at them, they scarcely believed it; the light of my face was precious to them”. That’s sure quite a description of the influence of a smile isn’t it?

Consider an individual you personally know who has a great smile. It affects the entire face as though it were bringing light to a dismal setting.  Perhaps it also has to do with the fact that a smile isn’t just confined to the lower part of the face, but it almost always brings sparkle and light to the eyes.

Consider these words as you receive smiles today and as you share yours with others. Smiles are much less frequent these days with so many playing or tending to their cell phones whether they’re walking on a sidewalk, buried in their phones during a work break or in the lunch room, grocery line, etc.

 
It can be a gloomy world with so much distressing news and for those going through hard times. What a blessing we can be to one another when our facial expressions are accentuated with a smile. Truth is, we’d much rather be surrounded by those who frequently smile, than those who rarely see anything to smile about!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber


Praying manDaily prayer: Father, I consider the words of Nehemiah who wrote, “The joy of the Lord is my strength” and Solomon who reminds us that “A cheerful heart is good medicine.” Both verses speak about matters of the heart where we store up Your love, joy and goodness. Help us not to rely solely on external stimulus to bring forth a smile, but let our smiles be contagious as they are evidence of Your abundance within in our lives. Help us to find a person today who has no smile so that we can pass ours onto her or him. May we be purposeful in making eye contact with others so they realize we value them as you would want us to. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.

 

 
Today we share more photos from our visit Sunday afternoon to Longwood Gardens with our friend Jerry Smoker for the annual Chrysanthemum Festival.
Longwood Gardens Bonzai tree 11/11/18

This Bonzai tree at Longwood Gardens was started in 1909!
Click to enlarge
 
Longwood Gardens Bonzai grove11/11/18
A Bonzai tree grove that has already dropped its leaves.
Click on photo to enlarge
 
Longwood Gardens mum replacements 11/11/18
We were admiring this colorful assortment of mums when Jerry explained they were actually stored for replacements for any mums that were spent or damaged as the festival progressed.
Click on photo to enlarge
 
Longwood Gardens mum close-up photo by Ester 11/11/18
Longwood Gardens mum close-up photo by Ester
 
Longwood Gardens organ 11/11/18
The huge Longwood organ even has a grand piano built into it. We went to an organ recital that many enjoyed, but admittedly there were times when I dozed off for a bit.
Click on photo to enlarge
 
Longwood Gardens whisper bench 11/11/18
The whisper bench somehow amplifies sound based on the curved design and you can hear a whisper from each end. I checked and either it works or Jerry can read lips very well or is spiritually intuitive. I very softly quoted John 3:16 and he could hear me!
 
Longwood Gardens fountain 11/11/18
The Longwood Gardens main fountain is closed for the season but is an amazing spectacle.
Click to enlarge
(See this video or here for background video)
 

 
Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
 
“Smile A While”  Video  Rochelle Hanson
 
“Yours (Glory and Praise)”  Video  This is a song that has been blessing us as we sing it at church.
 
Finally today:

Rutts eggs 11/10/18

Our neighbors, Leon and Jane, have been gone the last several days visiting their son and family in Missouri so they asked us to gather the eggs laid by their hens. It was a very cold and windy day on Saturday when Brooksyne gathered these 11 eggs. There were 11 eggs this morning as well. Perhaps these hens need to learn that egg cartons hold a dozen eggs, not just 11.
Longwood Gardens 1000 bloom Chrysanthemum 11/11/18 (Click to enlarge)
The magnificent Longwood Gardens 1000 bloom Chrysanthemum is the premier attraction at the annual Chrysanthemum Festival
Click to enlarge
 
“The Blessing Of Spiritual Veterans”
 
Message summary: Let us indeed remember our leaders, the spiritual veterans of faith, who spoke the Word of God to us. Let us consider the outcome of their way of life and let us imitate their faith. They are a blessing!

Listen to our message on your audio player.

“Remember your leaders, who spoke the Word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith” (Hebrews 13:7).

Today we commemorate Veteran’s Day here in the United States, a day in which we properly remember veterans and honor their service for our temporal freedoms. Many veterans read these messages including several we know personally and we have other readers who are in active service. We thank you for your sacrificial service to our country. My dad, Eugene C. Weber, was a World War 2 veteran and trained as a pilot. Brooksyne’s father, Brooklyn Sherrell, served in the Army during the Korean War.

Veterans have been around as long as wars have been fought going back to the very first recorded war in the Bible in Genesis 14.


Grover DevaultToday we focus this encouragement message on spiritual veterans, those who enlisted in service for the Lord on their day of salvation and who have been in the good fight of faith for many years. Yesterday in church I visited for a few minutes with Grover Devault, a retired career army chaplain and long-time servant of the Lord. Now in his late eighties he remains on duty. We also sat with our very good friends, Jim and Dorothy Schmidt in church. Jim dutifully served in the navy.

Many spiritual veterans have fought the enemy valiantly who have received their eternal reward and joined with others in the great cloud of witnesses. And yet there are those who remain on this side in their senior years of life. They have faithfully served God in their generation and, even as they endure the pain and complications of aging, they faithfully await the Master’s call home and continue to serve Him, offering their life’s example, wisdom and prayers to succeeding generations including those who increasingly seem to have little interest in it. (See Job 12:12)

Today’s message is based on a passage in Hebrews 13. It does not specifically address veterans as we use the term today but has a very needed lesson. Let me try to squeeze some juice out of our daily verse and outline it in three parts:

1) “Remember your leaders, who spoke the Word of God to you.” Without a doubt the Apostle is speaking of spiritual leaders. Certainly not political leaders! They are the ones “who spoke the Word of God to you.” Among all the qualities we may value in our spiritual leaders: administrative skills, compassionate care, vision casting and so forth, the writer of Hebrews singularly highlights the spiritual leader’s major duty as one, “who spoke the Word of God to you.” This is consistent with Paul’s challenge to Timothy, “Preach the Word” (2 Timothy 4:2).

What a blessing to honor those who have been faithful in preaching the Word of God which enables us to understand and assimilate Scriptural teaching into our lives. Hopefully, for most the face and name of a pastor(s) comes readily to mind when you recall a spiritual leader who spoke the Word of God to you. We consider Pastor John Keefer, Pastor Beau Eckert and many others. But the application surely also applies to a godly parent or close relative, a Sunday School teacher or other church leader. For some it will be a camp counselor, a youth leader or another individual along life’s journey who has impacted your life for Christ.

2) “Consider the outcome of their way of life.” The Amplified Bible elaborates here that we are to, “Observe attentively and consider their manner of living.” I am so thankful for those whose lives I have personally observed as I witnessed the transforming change Christ makes. In some cases we observe the outcome in the sense of those who now reside in heaven after a life of faithful service to the Lord. In other cases they are still living on this side and we can consider the present outcome of their way of life as they demonstrate a steady, mature and disciplined life. The leaders whom our text refers to were real people who were known personally by those whom they served.

3) Finally we are called to “imitate their faith.” The word for “imitate” is a Greek word from which we get “mimic”. For those of us in spiritual leadership this is an awesome call and ongoing responsibility. In his pastoral epistles Paul addressed this. To Timothy: “Set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity” (1 Timothy 4:12). To Titus: “In all things show yourself to be an example of good deeds, with purity in doctrine, dignified, sound in speech which is beyond reproach, so that the opponent will be put to shame, having nothing bad to say about us” (Titus 2:7,8).

Today, let us indeed remember our leaders, the spiritual veterans of faith, who spoke the Word of God to us. Let us consider the outcome of their way of life and let us imitate their faith. They are a blessing!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber


Praying manDaily prayer: Father, we are grateful for the men and women who are willing to lay down their lives to protect our freedoms here in the United States. We are indebted to them for their daily sacrifice and we pray for their safekeeping, including godly chaplains who serve as spiritual leaders among them. We also consider our many spiritual warriors who have taken on added responsibility and assumed difficult duties leading us, as believers, to victory in this war against sin and strife, as we steadily march in the army of the Lord. Bless these who have poured themselves into our lives and set for us an example to follow; in their conversation, their lifestyle, their faith, their doctrine and in their purity. We honor and bless the previous generation who passed onto us the Living Water and Bread of Life. We now extend the same message to our present generation, for with our mouths we make known Your faithfulness to all generations. Amen.


 
Yesterday afternoon following our church service we went down to Longwood Gardens with our friend Jerry Smoker for the annual Chrysanthemum Festival.
Longwood Gardens 1000 bloom Chrysanthemum sign 11/11/18This sign explains how they grow the 1000 bloom Chrysanthemum.
 
Longwood Gardens 1000 bloom Chrysanthemum interior cutout 11/11/18 (Click to enlarge)
This half-dome form allows you to see what is inside a traditional Thousand Bloom chrysanthemum. It showcases the single stem, complex metal framework, and the labor-intensive tying technique that makes this form so spectacular.


Longwood Gardens Conservatory 11/11/18 (Click to enlarge)
We spent most of our time in the huge Longwood Gardens Conservatory since that is where the Chrysanthemum Festival was on display.
Click to enlarge
 
Longwood Gardens Conservatory 11/11/18
Interior view of a long hall in the Longwood Gardens Conservatory. The sheen on the floor is not polish but a thin coat of water.
Click to enlarge
 
"A Child's Wonder" Longwood Gardens Conservatory 11/11/18
When Brooksyne snapped this photo we thought it looked like a little girl saying to her mother, “Look, Mommy” as she marveled at God’s vast array of flowers within His creation.
 

 
Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
 
“Soldier Fighting to Go Home”  Video  Ernie Haase & Signature Sound
 
“Preach the Word”  Video  Gold City
 
“Present in the Presence of the King”  Video  The Guardians
 
“I Want My Stage to be an Altar”   Video  The Akins
 
Longwood Gardens The annual Chrysanthemum Festival lasts through next Sunday.

Finally today:

Martin at Kleen-Rite 11/9/18Martin is a friendly man from the Dominican Republic. We see him hard at work weekly at Kleen-Rite, a company that distributes car wash supplies.

 
Finally today 2:
 
We recently got an Amazon Echo Dot (3rd generation) free as part of a promotion. It’s a nifty little device and very polite. This morning I had a question come to me from another user and had a little fun:
 
Question: Does it work in Chile?
My answer: Ours works great and we have one in our barn that still reaches our Wi-Fi but I wouldn’t put it into anything with liquid, especially if it’s hot like chile.
Note: I know the food is actually spelled chili!
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