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Friday, February 23, 2018

Forry's Mill Covered Bridge 2/18/18 (Click to enlarge)
Forry's Mill Covered Bridge
(Click to enlarge)

"An Asset To The Planet"

Message summary:
"You're an asset to the planet." Well, that got me to thinking in a Biblical sense about people who are an asset to the planet. Of much greater importance, and Biblically speaking, they're an asset to the Kingdom of God.

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"Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary" (Galatians 6:9).

"You're an asset to the planet." Years ago I received this rather unusual commendation from my older brother Mike, who holds a political, religious, and ideological outlook very different than my own. (Although as we both get older these differences seem to be diminishing.) His expression of genuine appreciation toward the modest contribution I make in my sphere of influence was and still is very meaningful to me.

This last week as a means of encouragement I have been sharing this expression with people I encounter who are assets to the planet in various ways. I was prompted to do so after recent news of people doing terrible things who are in essence liabilities to the planet. When I went on chaplaincy visitation following the horrific school shooting last week I had a renewed appreciation for the ordinary people I would meet who are trying to make this planet a better place.

When I use the phrase,
"You're an asset to the planet." I often get a rather quizzical look as people think through what I mean. They're likely wondering whether my comment is meant for good or bad!), but usually their pause is followed by a smile of comprehension, often followed by a sheepish, "Well, thank you." I hope my remark is a bright part of their day and a reminder that doing good is always good!

Assets to the planet 2/22/18 For instance yesterday I stopped by the dealership where we recently purchased a small crossover that replaced our older 2006 van. The new vehicle (to us) needed a few repairs to bring it to certification standards since it was pre-owned (AKA used). The photo shows Jerry, our salesman and Scott who repaired our vehicle. Jerry provided a very pleasant buying experience and Scott was proficient in making the repair and explaining to me what he had done. They both represent scores of people all over the world who are making this planet a better place and I let them know that before I drove away in our newly repaired car.

Today's Bible text is from a passage in Galatians where the Apostle Paul is addressing the early church in Galatia instructing them to be faithful. Today especially consider that phrase,
"Let us not lose heart in doing good." Apparently, even in the Bible times, people grew weary of doing good, perhaps becoming discouraged when they couldn't see that they were making a difference. You might be feeling that way as well.

Well, that got me to thinking in a Biblical sense about people who are an asset to the planet. Of much greater importance, and Biblically speaking, they're an asset to the Kingdom of God.

Consider those who have made a significant impact in your life. If we were able to do a survey of all who read this message we would probably have some common names such as Billy Graham and others who may have a national and even an international ministry. But most of the people who impact us personally are not well known. I expect that among those you would list would be godly parents and grandparents, pastors, Sunday School teachers, educators, coaches and many others, including those who witnessed to you, either in words or in their actions, even when you refused to listen, both literally and figuratively.

I recall a phrase from my years of ministry training, "Do something big for God" which is a great aspiration. But doing something big for God is often a series of small, seemingly insignificant attempts to be an asset to the Kingdom. Most of us are just not in a place today that we can do something really big for God, but we all find ways to let our light shine to a darkened world around us in the small things. Let us listen to God's promptings and obey His voice!

Years ago I received this bit of wisdom from an older person: "The older I get, the more I realize that it is in the small things that we can make a positive difference in a person's life. It isn't our grand accomplishments that makes the difference but it's the little ways we show others we care that will brighten their day, and that is of great importance to Christ. It also fulfills the Scripture, "Bear ye one another's burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ."

Consider the Apostle Paul's words to the Corinthians: "Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things--and the things that are not--to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before Him" (1 Corinthians 1:27-29).

Let us be humble in ourselves, but let us be boastful in the things of the Lord.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Thankful manDaily prayer: Father, our little becomes much as You show us how to do good and honor You. We choose not to be crippled by our limited abilities or inadequacies. We don't give to others according to that which we don't have, but we give to others from the abundance You pour into our lives. May it overflow to those around us as we seek to be a blessing and an asset to the planet. Direct our footsteps according to Your Word as You give us opportunity for divine encounters this day while reaching out to others in the name of Christ Jesus. It is in His name we pray. Amen.

Our final set of photos from Sunday's snowfall

Forry's Mill Covered Bridge 2/18/18 (Click to enlarge)

Another view of Forry's Mill Covered Bridge
(Click to enlarge)
This week we have shared photos from our drive home from church through the Lancaster County countryside last Sunday. On our way home, which included some meandering, we crossed five different covered bridges.

Kraybill Church Road farmhouse 2/18/18 (Click to enlarge)
This old farmhouse is on Kraybill Church Road around the corner from us and is where our Amish friends lived when we first met them in early 2003 shortly after they got married. They moved to the eastern part of the County about twelve years ago but we remain very close friends. They now have seven children!

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Little Is Much When God Is In It"  Video  Larry Ford

Administrative note: Wednesday I switched ESP's (Email Service Provider) which is the service that handles the mailing of bulk emails. I had used the previous service for many years but was seeing an increase in undelivered email as well as some other problems and did not feel the service was improving. In Thursday's message we used the new provider, "Constant Contact" after I transferred the mailing list to their servers. So if you were a part of the old list you should be on this one!
1) For those of you who have been receiving the daily emails we hope you hardly see any difference. For now we are using the same template (my own home-made one) but that may change in several weeks. However we have no intention  of changing the basic content.
2) We hope many who had not been receiving the emails due to delivery problems will now receive them.
3) There may be some that are practically surprised to see today's email it's been so long since you received it. At one time you or someone using your email address signed up. Of course if this is not a desired email you can easily unsubscribe using the link in the footer.
4) On a technical note it would be possible to unsubscribe to an email sent from the older service and it would not register since I moved the list to the new service. If you have sought to unsubscribe this may be why are still on the list. Merely unsubscribe from this email using the Constant Contact SafeUnsubscribe link below.
5) We would appreciate any feedback about any changes you notice whether positive or negative. Email us at
here or merely reply to this email.

Observations after first mailing in new service:
1) I am pleased that the message was delivered successfully to addresses that previously were not getting delivered.
2) However for some reason several addresses (a small fraction) that had been successfully delivered just the day before on the old system bounced back and are suspended!
3) One reader mentioned a formatting issue with her Yahoo account. I hope when I get the template made for me by Constant Contact that this will be fixed.

Finally today:
3:16 Gutters
We came up behind this truck yesterday.
What do you suppose prompted this company's name?

2018 portrait for calendar card
Stephen and Brooksyne Weber
(Click on photo to enlarge)

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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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