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Tuesday, October 17, 2006
Photo of horse and buggy
Horse and buggy travelling down our road.
Ester was with our neighbors who took her out to dinner for babysitting their children!
(Click on photo to enlarge)

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"Honoring our Parents"

"Honor your father and mother--which is the first commandment with a promise--  that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth"  (Ephesians 6:2&3).

My Mom and Dad would have celebrated their 62nd Wedding Anniversary today.  They were great parents and my love and appreciation for them has grown even more since they went to be with the Lord.

Yesterday we had a pump on a laundry tub malfunction causing a minor flood on one level of our home. We moved some furniture so the carpet could dry out and in doing so placed a desk on end which used to belong to my mother.  Crammed behind a drawer were some papers, including a phone directory of the local senior center my mom treasured so much.  Brooksyne instantly recalled the time Mom had misplaced this directory and now over a year later we finally saw where it was all along!  Written on the cover were many names she had added which was another reminder of her love for people.*

It's not Mother's or Father's Day but it's always time to honor our parents.  One of the dominant sins of our time is the failure to honor our parents.  I recall an older man in our church in New England who had spent considerable time in the hospital. (He is now with the Lord.)  His children were so attentive and caring during that time as they chose to "honor their father."  But I still recall how he shared with me about many other "forgotten" older patients he had seen during his hospital stay.  This is sadly all too common.

So many of the elderly sit in nursing homes who have not heard from their busy children or other loved ones in weeks, months, even years.  Of course there are many exceptions. While my Aunt Tempy was living I would visit her in a nursing home in the KC area and often saw a man sitting on the porch talking with his mother.  He came in every day to visit for a little while.  Surely this must have pleased God.

I watched a TV program several years ago on "Elder Abuse".  It described grown children who grossly neglected and abused their elderly, dependent parents.  It was hard to stomach.  The show indicated that it's a growing problem and I believe it will likely worsen as we continue to reap the results of violating God's holy law.  

A fundamental law in the transmission of truth and order from one generation to another is the honor shown to the older from the younger and the blessing given to the younger from the older.  So very often this is not the case.  Parents who had no time for their children will increasingly find that their grown children have no time for them.

Do you need to call on your parents today?  Are you able to visit them? Tell them you love them and appreciate all they've done for you!  As Brooksyne and I are raising a teen-ager it makes us appreciate all the more what our parents endured during those years we were teens.  "Honor your father and mother -- which is the first commandment with a promise -- that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth."

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily prayer: Father, we honor our father and mother today, whether they're living or deceased.  You gave them to us so they could love, provide, nurture and guide us into maturity and independence.  Help us to return our love to them as we thoughtfully respond to their changing needs.  May they be able to depend on us even as we have depended on them throughout the years.  When present circumstances make this responsibility extremely difficult give us the needed wisdom and creative means to still carry out the command to honor our father and mother.  In the name of Your Son, Jesus, we pray.  Amen.

*Brooksyne's Note:  I remember very well the occasion when Mom misplaced this treasured Senior Center Phone Directory.  She questioned Stephen, Ester and me as to where we might have put it.  After questioning each of us I suggested she might have misplaced it, but she certainly was not convinced.  Likely, what bothered her most were the personal names she had added that could not easily be replaced by getting a new directory at the center.  

Over the past year we're becoming much more acquainted with this kind of "Search" that goes on in the home where one feels that another is responsible for the missing item.  The most frequent search in our house is the phone that is missing from the base.  Stephen is certain that I misplaced it and vice versa.  Then we question Ester and we're certain she is the responsible target, though she's quick to deny the charge.  Eventually the missing phone is found where the accuser last placed it and then Humble Pie is served (that is, if we're humble enough.  Other times the responsible party replaces the phone quietly hoping the embarrassing find will go unnoticed.)

Tribute to parents

I periodically encourage readers to prepare a written tribute to your parents.  About twelve years ago I gave my parents a gift they treasured at the time and did so until they both departed this life; a simple written expression of my love and appreciation for them.  My wife helped me mat and frame it and for several years it hung in their living room before my dad died and the house was later sold.  Then it hung in the room we made for my mother in our home until she died last November.

A written tribute is a wonderful way to show honor.  It provides a lasting expression and is a visible reminder of your love.  It is also a powerful testimony to others who may read it.  You'll find that it provides a material accounting of your honor after you are no longer able to verbally express your love and appreciation in person.

This is the gift I earnestly believe every child should give to his or her parents.  It'll take some time of thoughtful recollection in writing or typing it out.  It may take a trip to the store to buy some fancy paper and a frame. But you will be very glad you did it!

See this page for more information on writing a tribute.
Here's a link to an online copy of the one I made for my parents.
Photo of Georgia Mae and her four kids
Georgia Mae Weber with her four kids at the Steincross family reunion in August 2005
This was the last time we were all together before her death in November 2005.
Her husband and our dad died in 1998.

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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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