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Three brothers
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Monday, April 3, 2006

"Pleasant Memories"

"But Timothy has just now come to us from you and has brought good news about your faith and love. He has told us that you always have pleasant memories of us and that you long to see us, just as we also long to see you" (1 Thessalonians 3:6).

This last Saturday we had a burial service for my Mom. Although we had the main service for her following her death last November we buried her cremated remains in the same spot we buried my Dad's after his death in 1998.  It was an absolutely gorgeous spring day in a small rural cemetery in Southwest Missouri and we are so thankful for the family and friends who came out to honor Mom. Especially touching were the people sharing their pleasant memories of my mother.

Georgia Mae's burial service
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Now my Mom was very colorful and just loved people.  We reminisced about her interest in others. We nodded our heads as we considered her incredible card ministry and how she would say, "I love people." My brother recalls her saying, "I wouldn't mind getting Alzheimer's disease, I like to meet new people."

I believe the smiles in the above photo are due to another memory I shared. My Mom was well-known for her extreme thriftiness, having grown up through the Great Depression. In my adulthood we lived many miles apart but Mom and Dad would call us. (How I miss those calls.)  Now this was when you paid a different rate based on the time and it was cheapest after 11:00pm, so of course that's when they called. One night we got in late and I checked the answering machine. My Dad's voice came on and he said, "Oh, it's that stupid answering machine." My Mom is in the background saying, "Hurry,hurry, hang it up, hang it up, it'll cost us money."

Paul had only worked in Thessalonica a short time but was heartened by the "pleasant memories" the Thessalonican believers had of him.  What a great joy it was for him to hear of their faith and love.  He expresses a mutual longing to see one another. Do you have people in your life like that?

The greatest source of fulfillment in life is ultimately found in our relationships. 
  • Consider our restored spiritual relationship with God in our redemption. I like a phrase I hear that says, "It's not religion, it's relationship."
  • Consider loving families that stick together through thick and thin.  They put up with your eccentricities and are a part of your life through it all.
  • Consider real friends that have enriched your life. Today I prepare this message in Springfield Missouri where I am staying with a friend I've had since first grade. I will share a story about David tomorrow.
I have a lot of pleasant memories.  Why don't you take a moment, lean back in your chair and consider some in your life this morning.  I bet you'll be smiling too!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen C. Weber

Brooksyne's prayer: Jesus, thank you for the family and friends who refresh me; their loyalty and understanding shown to me over the years have brought tremendous blessing and many pleasant memories.  Sometimes You use them not only to bring encouragement but they also challenge me to grow in areas where I've become stagnant. When it comes to friends You stand out above them all, for You are a companion that is with me every moment of the day.  You unceasingly reveal Your loyalty, Your favor and Your tender care toward me.  Thank You for Your example of friendship that shows me how to be a true friend to others.

(Brooksyne is not with me on this trip but I am emailing the message back to her each morning and she is reviewing my message and sharing a prayer from her heart.)

Following the service Saturday we had a meal at the Harwood Community Building prepared by dear ladies that remembered the Steincross family from many years ago. Harwood is now just a tiny village with about 50 people. However the smalltown kindness and hospitality was such a blessing!
Meal at Harwood Community Building

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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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