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Photo of bearhug
Brotherly Bearhug
Mike and Joe, two long-time brothers in Christ greeting at a wedding reception!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

"Brothers in Christ!"

"Our beloved brother and faithful servant and fellow bond-servant in the Lord, will bring you information" (Colossians 4:7).

Like most of you I use various methods to minimize the flood of unwanted email (using the common term for it could actually get this message blocked or filtered).  I have filters and blockers set up but this nuisance and sometimes trashy email still manages to get through.  It's hard to believe anyone would fall for these crazy email appeals but apparently enough do to make the marketing effort worthwhile.

Among the strategies these bulk emailers use to connect and get people to read their emails is to try to fool us into thinking they're someone we know and their latest ruse in this regard is an email that begins, "Hey bro." Frankly, that really annoys me!

First of all only a relatively few people I know will say, "Hey Bro" to me.  Secondly "brother" is a great term I do like to use in a thoughtful way.  I have two brothers and a sister and we enjoy each others' association. They can call me Brother if they like.

I also have many spiritual brothers and sisters, fellow believers in Christ and members of His family. In the words of an old song we sing, "You will notice we say 'brother and sister' around here."  In this association we often refer to one another as brother and sister as they did in the Bible.

Early this morning I felt the prompting to call one such brother and encourage him. He recently took a new job and is a bit overwhelmed as he learns the technological aspects.  We often address each other as "Brother" and that's meaningful. He will say to me at times 'Hey Bro" and that's OK as well!

Today's text concerns a rather obscure Bible character known as Tychicus.  There are a number of great characteristics we can glean about him but today I focus on the Apostle Paul's simple designation, "our beloved brother."  What a power packed phrase!  Other versions state, "much loved brother."  Some versions make it milder by stating "my dear brother" or even "dear friend", perhaps trying to connect to the current generation. However in the original Greek the phrase is agapatos adelphos and is best translated with the sense of love (agape) and brother (adelphos).

Today I encourage you to rejoice in the spiritual family you are a part of (or can be).  Many of you are blessed with homes where love is dominant but I know many are not. Thank God for the spiritual family. Wherever we live we can be a part of the family of believers where we grow and nurture one another in our Christian walk as true brothers and sisters in the Lord.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen C. Weber

Brooksyne's prayer: Father God, I thank You for my brothers and sisters who, because of Your redemptive love, are saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit.  We share together in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ as we hold forth the Word of Life in a darkened world.  We also share together in Your grace which gives us eternal encouragement and steadfast hope.  Encourage our hearts and strengthen our commitment to live for You so that we will be faithful in our thoughts, our conversation and our actions this day.  Amen.

For today's photo Brooksyne shared it would be neat if we had a photo of believers, smiling and fellowshipping with one another from all over the world but I don't!  What I do have is two long-time brothers in Christ meeting at a wedding reception!

The Family of God
I’m so glad I’m a part of the family of God
I’ve been washed in the fountain
And cleansed by His blood
Joint heirs with Jesus as we travel this sod
For I’m a part of the family
The family of God
You will notice we say "brother and sister" around here
It’s because we’re a family and these folks are so near
When one has a heartache we all share the tears
We rejoice in each victory in this family so dear
I’m so glad I’m a part of the family of God
I’ve been washed in the fountain
And cleansed by His blood
Joint heirs with Jesus as we travel this sod
For I’m  part of the family
The family of God
From the door of an orphanage to the house of the King
No longer an outcast, a new song I can sing
From rags to riches, from the weak to the strong
I’m not worthy to be here but thank God I belong
I’m so glad I’m a part of the family of God
I’ve been washed in the fountain
And cleansed by His blood
Joint heirs with Jesus as we travel this sod
For I’m a part of the family
The family of God
Yes I’m a part of His family The family of God!

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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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