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Monday, March 20, 2023
When morning gilds the skies,(Photo by Nick Nichols)
My heart awaking cries:
May Jesus Christ be praised!
"May Jesus Christ Be Praised!"
Message summary: We have many choices today. Some are relatively inconsequential, others are very important. The most important choice we make is to love and serve God. And one way we can do that is by joining millions of our redeemed brothers and sisters on this earth in praising the name of the Lord!
Listen to our message on your audio player.
"They who dwell in the ends of the earth stand in awe of Your signs; You make the dawn and the sunset shout for joy" (Psalm 65:8). "From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets, the name of the Lord is to be praised" (Psalm 113:3).
This morning we awakened to a beautiful, clear day. It's still quite cold early this morning but temps are forecast to be in the 50's this afternoon, a stark contrast to our weather yesterday with low temps and a biting wind that made it somewhat miserable to be outside.
Today is the first day of astronomical spring or the vernal equinox! In stunning evidence of God's creative design, His sustaining power and extreme predictability the sun will be located directly over the equator at 5:24 eastern time this afternoon. So actually, for much of the day it's still winter!
Well, we are both excited about Spring's arrival: planting, hiking, bike riding, storing heavy coats in a closet rather than a readily accessible hook before heading out the door.
Early this morning I looked out a window to the east, observed the pre-dawn sky and immediately considered an old hymn written in the mid 1700's in German. It was not translated to English for another 100 years:
When morning gilds the skies,
My heart awaking cries:
May Jesus Christ be praised!
Indeed the sky, sometime before its rising, appeared gilded, that is, covered with gold. I was just awakening and am thankful the Lord placed this hymn on my heart. Each verse of the hymn concludes withthis declaration: "May Jesus Christ be praised!"
The first daily Scripture describes the outlook for those who have the gift of faith. We stand in awe of God's signs, that He made the dawn and sunset as an occasion for shouting with joy. These daily bookends are observable to all who have breath. Wherever you live there is a sunrise and sunset.
The second daily Scripture states: “From the rising of the sun to its setting the name of the Lord is to be praised.” What an inspiring daily spiritual exercise in which we can all participate: whether young or old, large or small, in bad or good health. It is the Psalmist's universal call to praise the name of the Lord - all the people on this planet.
This call is not limited geographically, for each part of planet earth experiences the rising and setting of the sun. This call is not limited to a specific time, for this event happens daily, and in fact is always happening. This call is not limited to a specific people, for all peoples on earth today live where the sun rises and sets. (Now, some astute observer will probably point out that there are certain times of the year when the sun never sets at the Polar Regions)!
We have many choices today. Some are relatively inconsequential, others are very important. The most important choice we make is to love and serve God. And one way we can do that is by joining millions of our redeemed brothers and sisters on this earth in praising the name of the Lord!
Be encouraged today, (Hebrews 3:13)
Stephen and Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, from the time we awaken to the time we lie down we declare that You are worthy to be praised! Your name is exalted far above the earth, Your worth is much greater than jewels or mansions here below. Help us not to be among those who use the same tongue for cursing and praises, for slander and blessing. Instead we invite the prompting of Your Holy Spirit to engage our spirit so that we fully employ our tongue to praise You, our Lord and Father. Be glorified in our lives so that we bring praise, honor and glory to You this day and each day, from the rising of the sun to the setting of the same. Amen.
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"When Morning Gilds the Skies" Click to listen on YouTube
"There is Hope" Click to listen on YouTube CityAlight
Saturday morning our friend Nick Nichols came over for brunch. When he came to the table he saw a box of tissues sitting on his plate with this note on top: "Tissues issued for Eagles fans to weep over their Super Bowl 57 loss to KC Chiefs. SO SORRY (not really)." Ester was getting back at Nick because he told her before Super Bowl Sunday, "You'll need a box of tissues when the Chiefs lose to the Eagles." Ester had the last say and was proud to wear her new championship shirt for Nick to see which she recently got from her Aunt Elaine.
After our church service yesterday our longtime friends, Jim and Dorothy Schmidt, invited us for dinner at the Calvary Homes retirement community. The food was tasty as always and we had the pleasure of visiting with several other residents we know, including Dan and Lois Sauder who were involved in mission work for many years.
We took this photo several years ago of Jim and Dorothy Schmidt on their favorite boardwalk in Ocean City, New Jersey.
For many years we have bought bikes and accessories from the Martins Bike Shop, a family run business east of Ephrata PA. They recently made a huge expansion and are now one of the largest bike shops in the country.
This photo shows four Martin brothers on a 1890’s Schwinn Quad bike. The store also has a very interesting bicycle museum though it is temporarily closed for renovations.
A strong Christian witness is always a blessing!
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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."
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