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Monday, August 21, 2006

Photo of tomatoes
Tomato Harvest!

"God's Faithful Promises"

"Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures through all generations. The LORD is faithful to all His promises and loving toward all He has made" (Psalm 145:13).

We are having an abundant tomato harvest in our small garden. Our big, bushy plants are over six feet tall and loaded with ripened fruit. We've been enjoying freshly sliced tomatoes, BLT sandwiches, and Brooksyne canned 15 pints of zesty salsa last week.  We give extras to our neighbors who aren't gardeners and Brooksyne took several bags of tomatoes to church to give away. Even as I prepare this message I am eating a plateful of sliced tomatoes!

I believe one of the greatest perspectives we can have in life is a daily recognition of God's abundant blessings.  In the physical realm these blessings vary among us.  Some have better health than others, some have more of this world's goods, some have greater heartaches.  Some of you probably grew tomatoes but they didn't do so well this year! We have a young friend who was growing sweet corn to raise money and the drought burned the recent crops.

Because we live in the physical realm we inevitably focus on these matters.  Nevertheless, how quickly these things can change!  Any security we have in the physical world is very tenuous.  Due to a drought or severe storm the hardworking farmer can see his crop potential go from an abundant harvest to a disaster. That "steady" job can quickly vanish.  An accident or medical diagnosis can alter our present and future plans instantly.  We really have no guarantees of security in regard to the physical realm.

But in the spiritual realm our blessings are absolute with no deficiency whatsoever.  These blessings are secure and abundantly adequate regardless of where we live or how "blessed" we happen to be in the physical.  My Christian brother or sister reading this in Africa, India or anywhere else on this planet is equally blessed with me in the spiritual realm.

What a tremendously assuring truth is expressed in the daily verse.  "Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and Your dominion endures through all generations. The LORD is faithful to all His promises and loving toward all He has made" (Psalm 145:13). The first part of the verse is classic Hebrew parallelism, a great reinforcement of the reality of God's eternal Kingdom.

The second part has two complimentary truths.
1. The LORD is faithful to all His promises.
2. The Lord is loving toward all He has made.

These statements may not always appear to be true in regard to our own experiences but they are absolutely true in the spiritual realm and equally so regardless of the extent of our physical and material blessing. I was just reading again about the Darfur region in Sudan Africa. Could there be a greater contrast between my day and the day of a 51 year old in that country?  (In fact few there would even live to reach my age.) We have two friends that came from Sudan, immigrating to America in the late nineties.  What an amazing story they have.

Many of you are encountering a shaking that reveals the insecurity of this present world.  I just received news that a friend lost their job and another close friend received word that his mother has a large brain tumor. A reader in this series wrote to share of the hurt and loneliness due to marital desertion.

Today, let us consider the altogether abundant blessings and promises of God.  "He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all--how will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things?" (Romans 8:32).

Be encouraged today,

Stephen and Brooksyne Weber

Daily Prayer: Jesus, our material accumulation brings temporary pleasure that fades with each passing day.  When we strive to hold onto that which is fleeting it deters us from that which has eternal significance.  Lord, You promise to give us all things that we have need of as we seek You and Your Kingdom above all. May Your light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the glory of God in the face of our Lord Jesus Christ.

message has a slightly different look.  We are now stating both our names at the conclusion of the message since we want to convey that these messages are indeed from both of us, which they really have been all along. Stephen normally writes the message itself with Brooksyne editing it while Brooksyne generally writes the prayer and Stephen may edit it!  We each may add footnotes and will specify whom if that is important.

This weekend we also launched two new websites that we hope will compliment this series as well as be a source of inspiration apart from it. Both are just started and have little content uploaded yet.  They also at this time have very similar design look to Daily Encouragement Net.

Daily Prayer Net: Many comment on Brooksyne's prayers that have been apart of the daily series now for over a year. We plan to compile these prayers and place them in a directory by topic, along with prayers she has written for individuals in a time of need.

Hymn Story Net: For many years Brooksyne has enjoyed reading about and studying the stories and backgrounds behind hymns and choruses. She has a nice book collection on this very subject and has a wonderful presentation she uses in churches.  We plan to use this website to prepare and share stories about hymns and songs.  In some cases we may also have audio as well.

"You can't break God's promises by leaning on them!"

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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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