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Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Dave & Millie
Dave and Millie
Friends from our local church who will celebrate their 62nd anniversary this year. They're not the couple spoken of in our message today but they demonstrate the same abiding marital love.

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"Love Never Fails"

"Love never fails" (1 Corinthians 13:8).

We are getting quite a winter storm here. Early this morning our neighbor came to plow us out but it is now sleeting.  Ester’s school has canceled and also our church service this evening as well as many other public places.  We need to make a hospital call but if necessary we're ready to hunker in if needed.

One of the concerns we have in a storm like this is losing electricity. When there's freezing rain we frequently experience a downed power line, either due to the weight of the ice or a pole being hit.  We live out in the country and when we lose power that's our heat (including our coal stove since it has an electric feeder), water (since we have a well requiring a pump), and of course all other electricity. We've filled some gallon jugs with water but that’s about all we can do in addition to getting this message out since I need electricity to be on the internet!

Several years ago we had a lengthy power outage due to a winter storm.  After nearly six hours we decided we would sure enjoy some warmth and working bathrooms so we decided to go out and get something to eat.  My Mom was living with us at the time so the four of us went to a near-by Burger King and sat down at a table to eat our meal together. 

I noticed an aged couple who were snuggled close together seated with their backs toward us a couple of rows over.  Usually when we go to a Fast Food restaurant we do window pick up or eat in the restaurant and quickly leave.  Not this time, since we were in no hurry to give up our warm location. We took plenty of time to eat and visit together and we noticed this older couple did as well. 

Brooksyne went to get more condiments and finally viewed this couple from the front. She then realized why they were seated so close together and were taking so long to eat.  The couple was sharing a single meal. The husband was pinching off bird sized portions of a hamburger and hand-feeding it to his wife.  He broke the french fries into small pieces as he gave them to her one at a time and then he gave her tiny sips of soda through a straw.  Apparently she had a stroke and, though they were very small bites, it took her a long time to chew the food and swallow it.  The husband waited patiently for her to thoroughly chew each bite before giving her another. 

Thoughts of Valentine's Day brings about mental images of "young romance" that Kaye's Jewelers, Hallmark, Russell Stover, and local florists want to portray. Consider the media's portrayal of the gorgeous Hollywood couple with the lavish wedding surrounded by paparazzi. The same headline couple planning the big posh wedding becomes headlines again when they're soon in the midst of an embroiled divorce battle. 

The true picture of enduring romantic love is the couple we saw at Burger King who are demonstrating what true love is.  When love's passion has fizzled and the youth and vitality have faded away true love will remain all the days of our lives when we take seriously the marital vows, "in sickness and in health, till death do us part."

Endurance is at the very heart of love that "never fails."  That's the kind of romantic love the world needs to see and emulate. As God's children we are called to practice it and be examples for those who look on. Consider this when you express love on this Valentine's Day!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily Prayer:  Father, You love us with an everlasting love.  Your enduring love stands as the supreme example for us to follow in our human relationships.  Even when we have forsaken You and broken our vows, You continue to forgive us and woo us back to Yourself.  You are not a god of retribution but a God of mercy.  Even when we listen to the world's counsel and experience dismal failure, You pick up the shattered pieces of our own wreckage, and still call us Your own.  Only a God like You deserves our complete loyalty.  As we personally experience Your enduring love when we least deserve it, help us to apply the same kind of enduring love to those who least deserve it from us.  Only through Your strength can we do even the impossible.  Amen. 

Personal Note from Brooksyne: I've expressed thankfulness to God this day and to Stephen for being my faithful husband for 30 years.  He is a wonderful life partner who is a great companion to me.

I do want to speak to those today whose "Valentine" has gone to be with Jesus and they're feeling a renewed loss.  May you find the communion of the Holy Spirit to be Your solace and constant Companion.  I pray that Jesus, Your Bright Morning Star, will light your way today and in the weeks and months ahead.  May Christ who is the Lily of the Valley and the Rose of Sharon be as a sweet fragrance to you today.

I also want to address those whose Valentines have greatly disappointed them.  Theirs has not been an enduring love but rather a spouse who has left behind a trail of pain and disappointment.  Each time we write about "Husbands Love Your Wives" or similar subject matter we receive sensitive heartbreaking letters describing partners who are alcoholics, abusive, adulterers, and the list goes on. 

As I was praying for you, our readers, this morning I was prompted to share with you the following thought, "Our Lord Jesus is all-sufficient to meet Your needs, no matter how great they are.  He is not only there for you but for your children and for all who have been broken by the ungodly circumstances that surround you.  Never give up and feel that you're out of the sight of God.  If He sees each time a sparrow falls, He's certain to see each tear drop that falls from your eyes.  His tender words for you are 'Let not your heart be troubled.'  Rest on His goodness and cast out your doubts and fears.  Trust Him unreservedly!"

There's a beautiful song that I would like to share with this message but I was unable to find a full online audio version. The song is by Geoff Moore and is titled "If You Could See What I See."  Here are the lyrics and a short sample.

Here is another song with a great message concerning faithful love. "I Will Be Here" by Steven Curtis Chapman (mp3)

Here are some of our winter photos we would like to share with readers!

Cardinal in snow
The Cardinal, Brooksyne's favorite bird.
She took this photo right in front of our home office window.

Snow scene 2/14/07 from Ester's window
Snow scene from our bedroom window. At the time I took this the snow had changed to sleet

Snow scene 2/14/07 from Ester's window
Snow scene from Ester's bedroom window. We tell her she surely has one of the most beautiful views outside her bedroom window!

Snow scene 2/14/07 from Ester's window
Our "wood" stove.
(Actually it's electric and that's why we can keep the plant on it!  It's nice to have the summer green on top of the winter fire with the background of brilliant snow.)

Finally here's info about the book I referred to in yesterday's message and it still fits today in pursuing a lasting marriage!

The Five Love LanguagesThe Five Love Languages By Gary Chapman / Moody Publishers
We all know that the greatest commandment is to love. However, relatively few of us know how to express our love in the heart language of our family and friends. Fortunately, in The Five Love Languages Gary Chapman identifies the five primary love languages and teaches us how to use these languages to express our love. Although this edition of The Five Love Languages was written specifically for couples, the basic principles Chapman explores will apply to all relationships.

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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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