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Thursday, March 9, 2006
"No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us" (Romans 8:37).
Today is our daughter Ester's 17th birthday and all week long she's been asking me and certainly expecting that I write a story about her. So here goes!
One of the purposes of this daily encouragement ministry is to share the burden of one individual seeking to "live securely today anchored in God's solid foundation." That very phrase is the sub-theme of this ministry.
All of us know that life has its shakings and certainly some are shaken a lot more than others. Some of you are going through a severe, acute shaking as you read this. Others have just come out of one. However there are others, who in one way or another, deal with a chronic shaking. These are the difficult issues in your life that you live with daily.
Ester has heart problems. We've mentioned that often. She was born in 1989 in an orphanage along the Rio Dulce River in Guatemala. She came into our care at three months of age and within a week underwent her first major heart operation. She has had five major heart operations and many, many catheterizations. In the past six years she's experienced many atrial flutter attacks and has had a pacemaker for the past three years. It is assumed that the lack of oxygen the first three years of life has been a major contributor in her learning challenges.
I am sure, depending on the source, there are a lot of other labels that would fit her. In fact new labels surface all the time. I don't think we had as many labels when I was a kid and the ones we did have would now be politically incorrect and insensitive. One thing is for sure: I was a "brat" when I was in my mid-elementary years and in my mid teen years I was a "rebellious teenager" (two old-fashioned labels that are still used by some today.)
However we are very careful regarding the labels we give Ester. Of utmost importance is to use Scriptural labels. This morning, for her birthday gift, she received her senior class ring with her name & the word "hupernikomen" inscribed on the inside of it. She knows what that means as this is a spiritual concept we have instilled in her. Ask her what she is and she will say, "I am an overcomer."
You see, "hupernikomen" is the very Greek word translated "more than conquerors" in the daily text. Literally this is "overconqueror". The NASV states, "We overwhelmingly conquer."
That is what we do through Him who loves us and today I urge you to drink deeply of this position we all have in Christ and even in the midst of your trial declare, "I am an overcomer!"
Be encouraged today,
Stephen C. Weber
Brooksyne's Prayer: Jesus, You intercede for us in our hardships, persecution, dangers, poverty and troubles of all kinds. Amazingly, You develop in us a spirit that not only overcomes our difficulties, but You enable us to overwhelmingly conquer the very thing that Satan intends to use in defeating us. The Apostle Paul found that he delighted in weaknesses and hardships because it was in his weakness that he found Your strength to be superior to his own. Yours is an overcoming, conquering strength unavailable to us through medicine, therapy or mortal man. But it comes only through unswerving faith in You and perseverance in prayer that we can overwhelmingly conquer our foe!
Last night Ester shared her testimony with her youth group. I was pleased that she expressed a desire to impact others, a theme I often use. She has often also heard Brooksyne and me use the phrase "ministry opportunity" and we seek to teach her that each event in life may be a ministry opportunity. The other day the phone rang and before Ester answered she whispered to us, "It may be a ministry opportunity!"
One of many, many times Ester has been blessed by the prayers of others.
We are thankful for the many who have worked through the years with us. Here's a photo taken last night of Ester and her youth group leaders. These folks are among the chosen people that God has used to supplement our parental influence. She highly regards her leaders and recalls their ministry to her. To this day she stays in contact with several of her teachers in Massachusetts, although we left that area over five years ago. She especially remembers two of her favorite Sunday School teachers from the past; Veda and Greg.
I asked Ester if she had a song she would like for me to share this morning and she selected "He Reigns" by the Newsboys.
Here is a longer testimony Brooksyne wrote about Ester.
If any of you desire to send Ester a brief birthday greeting, merely use our webform.
Yesterday I asked what is the first color specifically mentioned in the Bible? The answer is green (see Genesis 1:30).
Finally today we come across some interesting sights in the course of our work and yesterday we passed this in front of a hardware store.
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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. Used by permission; 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 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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