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Friday, June 30, 2006

"Rejoicing In Heaven"

"Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Does she not light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, 'Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.' In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents"  (Luke 15:8-10).

We had quite a time yesterday. We've traveled in the last two days from Pennsylvania to Wisconsin for a family reunion north of Green Bay in Door County. We stayed at a motel in northern Indiana on Wednesday night and after we were back on the road yesterday Brooksyne noticed she didn’t have her phone.  We tried calling it and stopped at a rest stop and searched through our luggage. We couldn't find it. She called the motel and they couldn't find it.  When we got to the motel here in Wisconsin we unpacked and thoroughly cleaned out the van. Still no phone.

Jesus told parables (earthly stories with a heavenly meaning) and they are remarkable in that two thousand years later people in every culture can still identify with them.  We've all lost something of value and know the relief and joy in finding it.  The series of parables in Luke 15 all illustrate the lostness of humanity and the great joy in the redemption plan, with an emphasis today on just one coin of ten that was found and just one sinner of millions who repents.

This parable reminds me that I personally matter to God.  And so do each one of you.  In August of 1971 there was rejoicing in heaven when I repented of my sins and placed my faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.  And they rejoiced when each of you did and they do so every time a sinner repents.  If you have not repented and placed your faith in Christ, today would be a great day to cause some rejoicing in heaven!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen C. Weber

Brooksyne's prayer:  Jesus, thank You for speaking to me through Your Word, other believers, and through serious events in my life. You beamed Your searchlight from the portals of heaven to show me how lost I was.  I'm tremendously blessed to know that celestial beings held a celebration in heaven when I chose to be Your follower.

Though misplacing material things leads to time lost and great frustration, misplacing our faith leads to error and eternal damnation.  Jesus, You've shown me the way and instructed me, "This is the way; walk in it."  Help me to seek out others who've yet to find the way so that they too will follow You and cause rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents. 

Brooksyne's note: The angst over losing the phone finally erupted into rejoicing when I placed a call to the motel where I lost the phone at 9:00 last night.  I hated to bother them with yet another call (third time) but I felt strongly that I'd left it in the room.  Sure enough the manager said it was finally turned in.  I assure you we had some rejoicing here in our motel suite when we heard the good news.  Fortunately we go right by the motel on the way home so they promised to hold it in safe keeping until our return trip home.

Even more exciting than finding a lost phone is hearing from someone you've lost contact with and have no idea of how to find that person.  When we arrived yesterday we had a very long list of emails to filter and yet among the emails was a vaguely familiar name.  I stopped short of deleting what I assumed to be spam when I read her name more carefully.  It was a woman who had been one of our children from "Healing the Children" back in 1992.  She'd lived with us as a 12 year old when she came from Quito, Ecuador to have surgery here in the United States.  It's been almost fourteen years since we'd been in contact and she found us through our daily encouragement internet ministry.  It's so good to be in contact with her again now as a young woman who is a wife and mother.  We look forward to getting more acquainted with her in time to come.  She now lives in the U.S.

Stephen's note: It's beautiful here in Door County and has a similar feel to Cape Cod. We are visiting with my Steincross family relatives (Steincross was my mother's maiden name). She grew up with five sisters and one brother. Her younger sister is the last one remaining in that generation and both she and her husband (now in their eighties) are here. We cousins now range from the about fifty to the mid-seventies. (Actually my baby sister is the youngest in that generation and she just turned 49.)

Last night I wanted to get a sunset photo over Green Bay but just missed it due to the clouds. I did take this photo, which still shows the beauty.

Green Bay

Prior to coming here I didn't realize Green Bay was actually a bay. I thought it was just a city with a famous football team!

Today's music was suggested by Brooksyne due to the great line "I once was lost but now am found!"  "Amazing Grace"
Audio      Video

Yesterday I placed up a photo taken some 25 years ago at a Christian music festival and asked if readers could identify Brooksyne and me in the photo. Several wrote back with guesses but only one correctly. Brooksyne is wearing the hat and I am the second from the right holding up the "one way" sign.

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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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