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Monday, January 1, 2007

Puckett Cabin on the Blue Ridge Parkway in southern Virginia
Puckett Cabin on the Blue Ridge Parkway in southern Virginia.

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"Ever Trustworthy"

"And God said, "Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark seasons and days and years" (Genesis 1:14).

Joyous Greetings this first day of January in the New Year, 2007. May each of you have a wonderful New Year!

In our area (perhaps others, including your own) communities imitate the dropping of the ball in New York City and personalize it with an item that reflects their own town. A dill pickle is dropped in nearby Dillsburg, a huge roll of Lebanon bologna is dropped in Lebanon north of us. They make Mars candy in Elizabethtown (one town over) and last night, as we drove through E-town, we saw a crowd gathered around a large candy bar ready to drop from the extension ladder of a fire truck!

In this first daily encouragement message of 2007 I want to reflect upon the faithfulness of God in the cosmic realm as we embark upon another year of seeking to fulfill God's purpose for our lives. I desire that this bring rich assurance that can be both immediately applied and also placed in reserve for the inevitable challenges ahead.  To better understand and appreciate God's blessings one must endure the unavoidable difficulties that are certain to come.

From our perspective there are particular uncertainties ahead, whether it be in our own life or family or on a broader scale such as national and international. I want to encourage readers by examining an aspect of God's incredible steadfastness and unwavering faithfulness so fitting to ponder today.

From the very beginning of creation God ordained the year as a time unit.  Along with days and seasons these are the three time units ordained by God at creation.  All three are related to the creative work of God on the fourth day.

The annual unit represents the precise time it takes for the earth to revolve around the sun a single time. This time unit, along with the earth's rotation marking days and movement on its axis marking the seasons, has been absolutely fixed since the fourth day of Creation.  What an incredible statement to express God's faithfulness!  Indeed, "Summer and winter, and springtime and harvest, sun, moon and stars in their courses above, join with all nature in manifold witness to Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love."

As the new year of 2007 begins there are those of you reading this who are dealing with vacillating circumstances.  This should remind us of our fundamental need to place our trust in God because He who has fixed the "sun, moon and stars in their courses above" also loves and cares deeply for us today. Though all may change Jesus never will, for He is ever trustworthy!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily prayer:  Yesterday, today, and forever You are the faithful, changeless One, Father. Your works in the past declare Your majesty, power, and provision for our lives.  Your presence today steadies our walk as You lead us in the paths of righteousness.  Your future blessings are waiting to be unfolded in our lives as we faithfully yield to You our heart, soul, and mind.  We look to You for everything we need for life and godliness in this present age as we await Your soon return.  Even so come, Lord Jesus!  Amen.

Note from Brooksyne:  Sometimes it can sound redundant and very much like a cliché to say "Have a wonderful new year" but it comes from our hearts this first day of the year.  This common greeting at the beginning of a new year does not necessarily mean that we're expecting each of you to have a problem-free year. Not at all! The marvel of following Christ and the rich blessing of walking with Him is knowing that He will grow and stretch us in our faith and develop desirable character traits as we encounter various trials, losses, changes, and disappointments.

We first posted a link to this the Friday before Christmas and many of you have already opened it but since some have been off schedule we will post this note through this week as well. Here's our annual family Christmas letter. 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)

Ken and Nila making "anouncement"
Ken is a very colorful man in our local church with a wholesome sense of humor and a real heart to serve others.  It's the custom in our smaller country church to make announcements publicly before the worship service begins and yesterday Ken stood up with his toolbox as a prop. I supposed he was going to announce a men's workday as he was taking inventory out loud of several tools he had in his toolbox. But he sure surprised the congregation when he said, "Come July my wife told me I'll need to begin using these tools" as he pulled out a disposable diaper and baby bottle. It was the official announcement of him and Nila expecting their first baby.

Marian, a lifelong friend of my Mom.
While in North Carolina we visited with Marian, who has been a friend of my late Mom since they were both babies in Harwood, Missouri.  They stayed in contact all through the years as close friends. Marian was a nurse during World War II and has some remarkable experiences to share.

Mike and Kathy Matangelo along with their daughter Tina
Mike and Kathy Matangelo have been our friends since we first moved to Pennsylvania in 1977. We stopped to see them in their home near Hickory, NC. Mike has been an electrical engineer working in the corporate world for nearly 37 years. Last Friday was his last day of this type of work as he is changing career directions to be a realtor so he will have flexibility and more time for ministry! We saw him off to work that day and we prayed together for God's will and blessing in their lives. He and Kathy now serve in prison ministry and are very active in their local church.

As we prepared today's message Brooksyne recalled a  hymn we both enjoy titled, "Yesterday, Today, Forever", which many of you old-timers will recall. In my search for the song to share I came across this wonderful locally written song with the same title.
Audio mp3
Song lyrics and background.

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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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