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Friday, March 7, 2014
Photo by Howard J. Blichfeldt (used by permission)
"Every Kindred, Every Tribe"
Note: Podcast not available with this message.
Note: We have been studying through Romans 1 but will take a break to share an experience from last night. We expect to have several more messages from Romans next week.
"And they sang a new song: "You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation" (Revelation 5:9).
Recently we've been enjoying and sharing music from a Romanian Youth Choir. (We place links to several songs below today's message.) This last Sunday we met Gabi (short for Gabriel) & Mihaela Visan, a young couple with their three children, who are here in the states promoting, "My Brother's Keeper", a mission in Romania. In speaking with them I learned that they were familiar with the choir I've been enjoying online. Last night we had them over for dinner along with Pastor John and Faithe Keefer. It's interesting and heartening to hear reports of God's Spirit moving all over the world. Both Gabi and Mihaela recall living under the brutal Communist regime of Nicolae Ceaușescu and witnessing the fall of the Iron Curtain.
We enjoy visiting with people from various "tribes and languages and peoples and nations". We have different experiences in life. We were talking about our recent skunk ordeal on Tuesday night when Mollie got sprayed (illustration leading Wednesday's message) and learned that they don't have skunks in Romania. It was interesting watching them interpret the story in Romanian to their curious young daughters. I would have thought skunks were everywhere! (Photo is Mollie standing in the bath awaiting the next scrubbing. She got a full strength wet spray on her face and in her eyes - one sad and traumatized dog for awhile. Her eyes were closed for about ten minutes but the continuous water spray relieved her and finally she opened them again.)
As the families were leaving for the evening they had the "pleasure" of breathing in the fresh aroma from our neighborhood skunk(s) that were back again. I understand it's mating time so I guess our neighborhood is the hangout for skunk courtships. The Visan's can now return to Romania and boast that though they may not have seen a skunk they sure know what one smells like. My brother Mike claims he likes the smell but most of us exclaim "Pee-ew".
Our church in New England was multi-ethnic and multi-racial having "red and yellow, black and white" as the old children's song goes.
Now we have this multi-ethnic impact in regard to our chaplain work and certainly through daily encouragement where we hear from readers all over the world. Yesterday in the course of my chaplain duties I visited with Huey (though I'm quite sure it wouldn't be spelled this way), who emigrated from Vietnam about twenty-five years ago. Our ability to communicate is somewhat limited but I always enjoy greeting him and the other southeastern Asians who work in his area. He regularly inquires about my family. He has worked hard and done well as a newer resident of America and is now a supervisor in his department. He has been with the same company practically since he moved over.
So many have amazing stories to share when the right opportunity is given for them to feel comfortable sharing with us. I don't know Huey's background but have visited with Vietnamese people who were among the boat people escaping Communism in packed boats with much loss of life. Another Bosnian friend recalls cowering in his home as bombs went off all around his city back in the nineties. Years ago we had two Sudanese young men over to our house who were among the "Lost Boys Of Sudan", one of the most tragic stories we've ever heard. However bot had placed their faith in Christ and will be among the great multitude in heaven. Last night Gabi shared of the strict rationing he experienced as a child in communist Romania as we sat around our table of abundance.
We really enjoy music in multi-cultural type settings. For one thing it always gives us a sense of what heaven will be like. What a joy to see the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir and this company of the redeemed sing together with one heart and one voice! Since Brooklyn is a real melting pot it has members from many races, ethnicities, and varied backgrounds. Many years ago now we were able to attend a service but mostly listen to their music.
Our daily Scripture portion gives a glimpse of what heaven will be like.
"And they sang a new song." There are special occasions here on earth where a gifted songwriter takes on the assignment of writing an original song to reflect a particular theme. We might hear these new songs in movies, at conventions or in seasonal musicals.
The "new song" offered in today's Scripture context is one that could not be sung until the Lamb had taken the book. It's an original composition that will surely reverberate praise to God for those from all over the world who were redeemed from the curse of sin, finished their life's course, and endured to the very end. As I read this text I wonder who will compose it and if it's a perpetual new song!
"You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain." In heaven we will forever recognize, celebrate, and fully understand the total significance of Christ's redemptive death on the Cross and declare His worth. Elsewhere in Revelation one of the great praise expressions states, "Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for Thou hast created all things, and for Thy pleasure they are and were created" (Revelations 4:11)
"With Your blood You purchased men for God." "Jesus paid it all", the great old hymn states and Christ's blood never loses its power to redeem!
"From every tribe and language and people and nation." This is the diversity of heaven! I wonder to what degree we will maintain features that distinguish our ethnicity on earth as we gather with the redeemed from "every tribe and language and people and nation." What a privilege it will be to take my place among the redeemed of every tribe and race as we together worship Him who sits on the throne!
Let every kindred, every tribe, on this terrestrial ball,
To Him all majesty ascribe, and crown Him Lord of all;
To Him all majesty ascribe, and crown Him Lord of all.
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, we're so glad for the revelation You have gave to the apostle John. As he was permitted to see worship circles in heaven he gave us a glimpse of the unending praise that surrounds Your throne. Though we continue to travail here on earth, we already join our spirits with those of every tribe, tongue and nation, who will be standing around the throne declaring with one voice, "Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing." Amen.
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
The last several weeks I've been sharing music from this outstanding Romanian Youth Choir and orchestra mentioned in today's message.
"Vrednic Esti Tu" (Revelation Song) Video Romanian Youth Choir
English version by Phillips, Craig and Dean and Kari Jobe Video
Worthy is the Lamb who was slain
Holy, holy is He
Sing a new song to Him who sits on
Heaven's mercy seat
"Glorie Mielului" (Glory To The Lamb) Video
"Hai Vino Acum Sa-L Lauzi" (Come, Now Is The Time To Worship) Video
"Jesus Paid It All " Video Fernando Ortega
"Crown Him With Many Crowns" Video Musicians not identified
"Worthy Is The Lamb" Video Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir
"I'm Amazed" Video Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir
Lost Boys Of Sudan
My Brother's Keeper
So now you know: Skunks indeed are not native to Europe (see this article and map.)
Stephen and Brooksyne Weber
(Click on photo to enlarge)
"We want to encourage you daily in your walk with Christ!"
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Personal Mission Statement "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."
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