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Tuesday, November 7, 2006

Photo of nature's autumn Christmas colors!
Nature's autumn Christmas colors!
Brooksyne took this photo of arborvitae with firebush beside it.

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"Men Like Daniel"

"But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself" (Daniel 1:8). "At this, the administrators and the satraps tried to find grounds for charges against Daniel in his conduct of government affairs, but they were unable to do so. They could find no corruption in him, because he was trustworthy and neither corrupt nor negligent" (Daniel 6:4).

Andy is a friend in New England who runs his own website design business, developing websites for both secular companies and churches.  He began work on a large multi-thousand dollar secular account when he encountered a problem.  He noted that the site would contain material  he had determined in the formation of his business he would not work on. 

He declined the job and wrote back to the client; "Several years ago I accepted Jesus Christ into my heart, and as a Christian have determined to live by the principles set forth in the Bible.  I determined when I started my web design business that I would continue to follow the Scriptures in my business dealings and my company would abide by them no matter what the financial impact it may be. One of the policies I established is: 'Webs by Andy will not build or consult on web sites that contain or will contain material of an adult only nature, language of a morally questionable nature, profanity or other morally offensive content'."  

The two events in our daily texts are seperated by some sixty years. The first verse describes Daniel as a young man separated from his family after being taken captive into Babylon.  He made a purposeful resolution to stay true to his faith. He, "purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself." I have always drawn strength and encouragement from this verse and consider the unseen influence of his parents and other godly leaders when he was young in equipping him for such a decision.

The second verse describes Daniel as an old man, still faithfully serving God and known even among his most ardent critics for his integrity. Here we find him late in his career serving in government office during the reign of Darius, who happened to be the third world emperor he served under. His righteousness and Darius' intention to further promote him prompted jealousy in the other leaders.  They looked for a basis to make charges but were unable to find any.  What a powerful testimony he had. "They could find no corruption in him, because he was trustworthy and neither corrupt nor negligent."

What a steadfast man Daniel was!  Every generation needs men and women like him.  Surely we need such strong unwavering followers of Jesus Christ today! The specific sources of temptation may vary, but we all need to "purpose in our heart" that we will stay faithful to God and His truth.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily Prayer:  Father, I thank you for the "Daniels" of our day.  Many of us grew up with godly fathers and mothers who not only taught us right from wrong, but modeled it daily in their relations with family and others.  So many today are growing up without Biblical models or Scriptural instruction which has brought about much confusion regarding what is right and wrong, true or false.  The power of Your inspired Holy Word reveals absolute truth and is often taught by the examples of people such as Daniel.  He didn't allow his fear, pride, or earthly ambitions to compromise his integrity.  Even as Daniel stood the test while continually overcoming the tempter, I pray that You, Father, would help us to prove our loyalty to You when faced with daily temptations, especially those that are subtle. You will help us to get beyond knowing right from wrong in theory only, as You help us to carry it out in response to sinful temptation.  May our temptation to do good always exceed our temptation to do evil.  Amen.  

Photo of framed hymnI have a framed copy of an old hymn "More Men Like Daniel" that sits on my desk beside me as I work. It's not well known and in fact I have rarely seen it in a hymnal.  It has long been out of copyright so I can share it here:

We need more men like Daniel to stand for God and right;
Men clean and strong, who hate the wrong,
And for the truth will fight.
When those controlled by evil their base designs pursue,
We need more men like Daniel who never prove untrue.

We need more men like Daniel their virtue here to show;
Men bold, sincere, who know no fear when called to face the foe.
Though dangers dark may threaten, they crave not ease or rest.
We need more men like Daniel who boldly stand the test.

We need more men like Daniel whose faith defied the king;
Who knelt and prayed when plans were laid
His shameful death to bring.
But God sent down His angel His all to guard and shield;
We need more men like Daniel whose hearts will never yield. *

"More Men Like Daniel" Neal McAulay/Charles Gabriel © 1922 Homer Rodeheaver

Note from Brooksyne:  A quote that frequently comes to mind when I consider godly men and women is:  "Reputation is what others think of you but character is what God sees when no one else is looking." 

Today we have special guests in our home. Around 7:00 AM a horse and buggy pulled into our driveway and dropped off two toddlers for us to watch. Our neighbors Jesse and Anna are serving at a wedding and will be there all day late into the evening so we are watching their children. The children really like an old gospel song called "Bringing in the Sheaves." They often hear their Mom sing it as well as their church so I found a version on the internet and we've been playing it over and over as they sing along with big smiles. (However they can't quite get the words right and it sort of sounds like "Fragrance in the Shoes.")  

"Bringing in the Sheaves"
Vocal with Tennessee Ernie Ford
Audio instrumental (This has some toe-tapping strings!)

Photo of Amish men's dress hats at weddingI drove over this morning intending to get a photo of the property with all of the buggies lined up where the Amish wedding was being held  but was unable to get a good photo. This photo is hard to see but I got a kick out of it. The men had all stacked their black dress hats on the shelves of a produce stand in front of the house before they went in. One has fallen off and I wonder if the dog might try to get a hold of it!

Here's a website for those who may want to learn more about Amish wedding customs.

"Webs By Andy" - My friend Andy's website business.

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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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