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Beach witness art in Ocean City, MD
(Click to enlarge photo)
Friday, July 7, 2006
"God sets the lonely in families" (Psalm 68:6).
Last night we went to a retirement party for a friend. He was blessed to have both his sons in attendance, along with their wives and a tribe of grandkids who performed an excellent skit for us. His wife was host of the evening and when my friend spoke at the end of the celebration he referred to her as "my greatest encourager."
Of course there were other family members, friends and many fellow workers. I was privileged to open the meeting in prayer and expressed joy at a life well lived and the blessing of family and friends. The greatest "roast" in my view was from his young grandson, who testified to his grandpa's love, personal interest and support.
I came home last night and was sitting in my barn going through some old photos and came across a family photo from the 1920's when my Mom was just a little girl. Along with the photo was a key to who everyone was. My Mom is at the lower left placing her hand on her cousin's head, who is covering his eyes and sticking his tongue out!
I thought a lot about that photo last night, along with my friend's party. In fact I awoke through the night and was up for awhile just thinking about it as I pondered my heritage. I sure hope you all have some pictures and memories like this.
I thank God for the family. God observed Adam at Creation and said, "It's not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him." God, in a remarkable and intimate way, made Eve. Thus the earliest human institution is the marriage established by God. This is the foundation of the family.
But marriage and the family are under tremendous stress today. Attempts are being ardently made to redefine its basic God-ordained constitution. I project if current trends continue those of us who are committed to marriage and family in the Biblical and traditional sense will be seen as quaint, old-fashioned and perhaps even unusual. Certainly there are those now who see us traditionalists as unenlightened. One day we might be viewed by dominant culture similar to the way the Amish culture tends to be viewed by many today.
"God sets the lonely in families." What a wonderful truth!
But I'm aware that some of you have not experienced the love, joy and peace expressed through a family unit as God designed. Some are single, others divorced or widowed, and some live in homes characterized by chronic strife.
God's Word speaks of another family in which we are all welcome. Paul calls it "the family of believers" (Galatians 6:10b). This "family" is primarily expressed in the local church, where believers gather together to worship our Father. I'm glad I have two loving families and I hope you do as well!
Be encouraged today,
Stephen C. Weber
Brooksyne's prayer: Father, I pray for the family unit, which is under vicious attack throughout the world today. Your perfect design cannot be improved upon even when earthly institutions attempt to redefine, enlighten, update or explain away Your original intent. I pray for godly parents to remain resolute in nurturing their children in the ways of the Lord. May Your Word and its instruction filter all that we see and hear so that You remain our absolute authority, not the ever-changing whims of society. I pray for our churches and their leaders to be cleansed and purified by Your Holy Word. May their instruction always be from Your inerrant Holy Word, not by those who present a fleshly agenda. By Your grace and our commitment to holy living we will reside in this world without having the mind of this world.
Personal note: Actually today's message is not what I originally had intended to share! I had written a message this morning based upon a text in 1 Corinthians 9:22,23 and while Brooksyne was editing it and just preparing to write her prayer we had a short power drop, which shut off the computer. I thought the message would be saved but it wasn't!!! I frankly just couldn't bear to try to rewrite the entire same message but do plan to work on that theme again. It was based on the photo above. My main theme was how that "by all possible means" we should share the gospel using the skills and giftings God has given each of us.
The daily photo is from the beach in Ocean City, Maryland. The beach artist creates new designs each day, as the ocean washes away his work with each high tide. This is certainly a powerful witness for Jesus Christ as thousands of people, in the course of a day, view his work and watch as he crafts his treasures. A friend sent me this photo.
Here's a link to the photo you can click on, if you're interested but most readers won't know anybody! It's grainy and didn't scan very well. I also made it large so my family could examine the faces thus it may load slowly depending on your internet connection. Steincross family 1927 This photo has my great Grandma in it whom I never met.
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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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