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Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Photo of Joe and Jessie with Marsha
Roxie and Dottie relaxing under our desk as we prepare today's message.

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Today's instrumental background music is "How Great Thou Art"

"Praising God"

"Whoever offers praise glorifies Me" (Psalm 50:23).

Last night I was sitting on our couch when our cat jumped up to sit on my lap. I have periodically written about Dottie and displayed her photos through the years.  Ester selected her from a litter of four kittens that we gave away over five years ago.  The mother, a wild barn cat, surprised us with a litter of newborn kittens she left behind in our dilapidated summer kitchen.*  At the time we were living in a rented one hundred year old farm house, following our move to Lancaster County from New England nearly 6 years ago. She has a black and white color pattern with dots similar to a holstein cow, thus Ester gave her the name "Dottie".

Dottie is thoroughly domesticated and really has no idea of her humble beginnings. Sometimes I think she's rather proud and somewhat stuck up, particularly when she looks out the window to the stray cats that visit us on a fairly regular basis out here in the country.

Since my childhood one of the unique characteristics I've really enjoyed is hearing a cat purr when stroked gently or held closely.  Last night Dottie just purred away, particularly as I slowly stroked her back. I don't know the biological basis of a cat's purr but I take it to be a sign of contentment and appreciation. It's as if she is saying. "Ah, the human touch is so nice."  I find myself getting so much satisfaction when I hold a purring cat!

I hope my analogy is not taken as sacrilegious but I wonder if our praise to God may not be somewhat similar to a cat's purr? Scripture teaches that our praise glorifies God and, really, aren't we expressing our contentedness and thankfulness when we earnestly enter into praise? When we praise the Lord we rest in His presence and acknowledge His steadfast love and care.

Today I encourage you to rest in the arms of our loving God and express your love for Him as you recall the ancient words of the Psalmist, "Whoever offers praise glorifies Me." Let us, as His children, offer our praise to Him today!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily prayer: Father, as we give praise to You we are offering our heartfelt thanks for who You are and all that You do on our behalf.  As we mature in our walk with You we realize that there are many occasions when we must offer a sacrifice of praise since it doesn't always come voluntarily.  It is in those circumstances that we choose to praise You out of obedient hearts desirous of pleasing You and glorifying Your name.  Father, we offer words of praise and adoration as a sweet fragrance and a joyful sound to Your ear.  Amen.

As I rest in the arms of God a song of worship expresses my heart's desire and I hope yours as well.
"This is my desire" (mp3)

* Note from Brooksyne:  "Summer kitchens", very common in this area, are separate from the main kitchen of old farm houses.  The "summer kitchen", usually connected to the house by a covered breezeway, was used throughout the year for baking and cooking.  Seasonal chores like butchering and food preserving were done there as well.  In the days before air-conditioning, a summer kitchen was added to gracious homes in order to move the heat of the cooking fires from the main house during hot weather.

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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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