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Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Moroccan colored chicks
Photo of live chicks taken by my nephew in Morocco.
How's this for a colorful introduction to today's message?

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"Another Year Is Dawning"

"Though you have not seen Him, you love Him; and even though you do not see Him now, you believe in Him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls"  (1 Peter 1:8,9).

Another calendar year will soon begin for us in our journey on this earth. The physical and material is all around us and its clamors for our attention.  This is most evident during the Christmas season!

But as followers of Christ we are called to "fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."  This takes a conscientious, purposeful ongoing effort.  From a spiritual perspective we continue the faith walk.

The life in Christ has always been a faith walk since Jesus ascended back to the Father in Acts 1. His followers, since that eventful day, have not been able to see Him in a physical sense. During a very special period about 2,000 years ago some people had the wonderful privilege of seeing the Word who had become flesh and dwelt among us.  However even during that time many did not believe in who He was or what He stood for.  Seeing does not necessarily mean believing.

The Apostle Peter, an eyewitness and close friend of Christ during His earthly ministry, wrote our daily verse to believers some 30 years after Jesus had ascended.  These believers had not physically seen Christ in His earthly ministry but like us, they believed.  O, how we thank God for this belief that fills us with His "inexpressible and glorious joy!"  This is a wonderful experience.

I want to note a very significant verb tense in the text this morning.  Notice Peter says, "You are receiving" (not "you have received" or "you will receive") "the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls."  I believe this is a vital ongoing truth in the believer's faith life.  While living, these fellow believers were receiving this goal.  At their deaths they received it fully.  The same life-changing experience is true for us today, fellow believer. 

As another year dawns let us continue in this faith walk and remember the timeless perspective of the Apostle Paul as we "fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."  Let us stay faithful today, throughout our journey in 2007, and for the remaining time God has allotted us on this earth!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily Prayer:  Father, help me to walk faithfully with You day by day.  Though there are daily temptations and recurrent distractions that seek my heart's affection my first allegiance is to You, my Lord and my Savior.  Though I've not seen You physically I've felt Your touch and have been filled with Your glorious joy as You set me free from the bondage of sin.  Nothing in life that I pursue this day or in the years to come will ever compare to the unsurpassed eternal gift of salvation that You give freely.  Thank You for such wondrous love.  Amen.

Another year is dawning: dear Father, let it be,
In working or in waiting, another year with Thee;
Another year of progress, another year of praise,
Another year of proving Thy presence all the days.

Another year of mercies, of faithfulness and grace;
Another year of gladness in the shining of Thy face;
Another year of leaning upon Thy loving breast;
Another year of trusting, of quiet, happy rest.

Another year of service, of witness for Thy love;
Another year of training for holier work above.
Another year is dawning: dear Father, let it be,
On earth or else in heaven, another year for Thee.

"Another Year is Dawning" Frances R. Havergal

Personal note: Today we will be traveling out to the western part of North Carolina to visit Marian, a lifelong friend of my Mom's. We are not sure whether we will be able to prepare another message this week. We expect to get back on a regular schedule next week!  We trust that many of you are enjoying a slower, relaxed pace following the Christmas holidays.  Some of you are right back to work and we trust that you're having a blessed week as you remain faithful in the work God has provided for you.

Here's our annual family Christmas letter we posted last week. It's probably longer than it should be and we also included some of our favorite photos from the year. (It will take awhile to open if you have a dial-up connection)
Read pdf
or Listen to Brooksyne read it (audio mp3)

Cesar, Genelle and family Christmas 2006
My younger sister Genelle and her family (Christmas 2006)

Weber family Christmas 2006
Our Christmas meal 2006

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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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