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A selection of prayers written
by Brooksyne used in these
Story Net: Stories and
backgrounds behind the great
Memory Songs: A
selection of Scripture verses we
recorded in our home with
some friends. The words are
set to familiar music
as an aid to memorization in a discipleship training class.
Songs recorded in my home studio.
Little Foolishness" I
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articles on life
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Note: This morning
I (Stephen) will be travelling to Springfield, Missouri and visiting
David Simpson, a longtime friend for a couple of days and then
attending a chaplain conference Sunday through Wednesday morning, planning on
returning home Wednesday afternoon. We don't expect to post messages tomorrow or
Monday-Wednesday (June 29-July 1). We hope to resume Thursday, July 2.
Thursday, June 25, 2015
My cousin Georgia took this photo of the Split Rock Lighthouse in upper Minnesota along Lake Superior.
"Better Than I Deserve!"
Listen to this
does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our
iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so
great is His love for those who fear Him" (Psalm 103:10,11).
The last couple of days we have been considering responses to the common greeting, “How
are you?” When we meet another face to face, in our
conversation over the phone, or whenever we write a letter to a friend we
regularly ask the question, “How are you?” It’s so common that,
at times, I have taken a phone call and out of habit responded with the
customary, “Fine” only to realize after doing so that I answered the
question before they even asked it! Occasionally I respond with
such phrases as "I'm doing great" or "I'm blessed" attempting to give a
more meaningful response.
I recall a few
friends, dealing with some emotional ups and downs in life, responding
with a very candid admission, "I'm gonna make it" or “I’m overcoming" and far more common, "Hangin' in there!"
But today let us consider a true expression which can also be a thought-provoking
response to the typical greeting. Many of you have heard it. It also provides an opportunity for a
witness, assuming you have the boldness to go there and further
explain your response.
Next time someone asks you, "How are you doing?"
respond with, "Better than I deserve." I've done that and
the response can be quite interesting, although it may take a few seconds for
the words to sink in.
one sense I consider the phrase as a
counter to the whiny, entitlement outlook that permeates our culture.
It seems so many, no matter how full their cup, fix their gaze on the
portion. They center on that which is lacking in their life and what
feel they’re entitled to. Politicians are great at pandering to
this attitude with promises such as "I'll fight for you. Help is on the
way." That's a sizeable and growing voting constituency.
But it's the
spiritual application that really blesses me. Consider just the
first phrase in the daily text, "He does not treat us as our sins
deserve." That's a portion of Scripture verse that you can
memorize as you repeat it to yourself throughout the day. In fact
you may want to personalize it, "He does not treat me as my sins
What do our sins deserve? The Bible answers in a
simple Scripture phrase you should have memorized upon first coming to
Christ. "The wages of sin is death." That is: spiritual death,
separation from God, eternal judgment, hell. Not a popular theme
in the modern church, infiltrated with the "I'm OK, You're OK" doctrine
launched in the 70’s.
Probably the most famous sermon in
American history was preached in Enfield, Connecticut on July 8, 1741 by the 18th century theologian, Jonathan
Edwards, where he focused on that which we truly deserve. He
wasn’t concerned with making believers “feel good” when he preached his
sermon, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” regarding the penalty of sin.
The next time
you’re asked, “How are you?” consider the great love the Father has for
you and gratefully respond, "Better than I deserve!" It might lead to a
discussion that takes you below the surface to a conversation of
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Heavenly Father, we are thankful for Your great compassion and
enduring patience; that You do not treat us as our sins deserve but
with never-ending mercy. From everlasting to everlasting Your
love is with those who walk with You, who keep Your covenant and obey
Your precepts. Help us to live with an outlook of appreciation rather than entitlement. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
When we first moved to Lancaster
County in 2001 we often sat in front of an interesting man in our church,
Menno Brubaker, who lived well past 100 years. We only knew him
in his final years as a rather short, bearded man,
hunched over by age and his leaning upon his cane for support. In
his younger years he was very musical and his love for the hymns could
still be witnessed as we sang the hymns of the church.
He was hard of hearing and wasn't able to converse much.
But he would always warmly greet me by
saying, "We have so much to be thankful for."
years ago I conducted a wedding service for a college friend who
lived in Connecticut and we had an opportunity to visit the very site
where Edwards preached the sermon, "Sinners In The Hands Of An Angry
The meeting house is long gone but this small stone marks the location where Jonathan Edwards preached.
Click on photo to enlarge
If you care to do so you can read Jonathan Edward's sermon here. Warning: It's not "seeker friendly"
Yesterday afternoon we took another rail to trail bike
ride, this time on a trail through farmland called the Lancaster
Junction Trail. At one point we got off the trail and rode up the long
lane to this Amish farm. The farmer was pleased to report that he had
just that morning picked the first sweet corn of the season. We bought
six ears and had some for dinner last night. It was wonderful!
Excited about the first corn but preparing ahead as well.
Anyone know what these are?
through Saturday there will be a huge outdoor Christian music festival
central PA known as "Creation" It will have many musical groups and
teachers. In fact Ester is watching it online. For several years back in the early 80's when we were a lot younger we
enjoyed going to this with friends from our church. A classic photo we claim
demonstrates church unity is this one when we all used the porta-potties
together. I suppose we were in "one accord"! Now most in the photo are in their 60's!
Music and Supplemental Resources
"Greatly Blessed And Highly Favored" Video GVB
"Better Than Life" Video
to Stephen &
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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."
Encouragement Net 495
Church Road Mount
C. Weber All
the weak things in the world,
That no flesh will glory
in His presence."
securely today anchored
God's solid foundation"