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Tuesday, June 12, 2007

George Washington & Nellie Mae Steincross
My grandparents
George Washington & Nellie Mae Steincross

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"The Pantry For Your Soul"
"My son, keep my words and store up my commands within you" (Proverbs 7:1).
My grandparents lived in a small, white frame house in southwest Missouri in a tiny town called Harwood.  The pantry was a large walk-in storage room for canned goods and baking supplies beside the kitchen. We grandkids loved to play in the pantry and I recall getting into trouble a few times for breaking a jar or getting into something I shouldn't have.  I would be scolded and told, "Stephen, get out of the pantry!"  MawMaw made the very best apple pie and the pantry storehouse always seemed to have just the ingredients she needed.
Pantries are a neat feature in homes, but many don't have them today. Since Brooksyne likes to can fruits and vegetables we have made a pantry in our home, although it's not next to the kitchen.  I suppose my MawMaw's pantry was intended to store up produce after a harvest and use it through the winter till the next season. I want to consider a spiritual application from the pantry today.
Our daily verse comes from Proverbs 7, which in its entirety is a warning against the adulteress.  Perhaps it was initially intended as a charge from Solomon to his son or to those under his authority.  However as a part of the Holy Scriptures I believe we are correct to take it in a more general way as from our heavenly Father to all His children.  I would also extend the application to not only physical adultery but spiritual as well.
"Keep my words."  The word for "keep" in the Hebrew literally means, "to hedge about", and implies guarding and protecting.  We need to keep God's Word deep and firmly grounded in our hearts.  Jesus said, "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word" (John 14:23). We are barraged with many words and voices, but we need to know the words and voice of our heavenly Father in these confusing times.  The enemy of our soul is so cunning to deceive and we need to be ever wary of new dangers such as internet porn and other new devilish strategies to steal and kill and destroy.  The internet, like any other tool with the capacity for good, is exploited by the devil for his dastardly means.
"Store up my commands within you."  This part of the verse really intrigues me.  Over the years I've done a lot of storing up of God's Word through Scripture memorization.  However it occurs to me, as I mentioned yesterday, that I tend to lean toward the promises that bring me assurance rather than the commands which bring conviction.  But storing up God's commands can provide a tremendous support toward self-restraint when the time of temptation comes.  Store up "Thou shalt not steal" and what a deterrent to stealing.  Store up "Honor your father and your mother" and what a reminder of the fundamental order in society. Store up "Thou shalt not commit adultery" as you arm yourself against assaults on your morals.
Today consider the loving commands of a caring God and "store them up" keeping the pantry for your soul overflowing!
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer:  Lord, as I read and meditate on Your Word help me to hide it in my heart that I might not sin against You.  It is my Guiding Light and my Guard Book to help me live by faith and triumph over evil.  Open the eyes of my heart that I may see the truths concealed within Your Word. I find that it is in Your Book that You, Lord Jesus, reveal Yourself as the Living Word.  Amen.

PaPa on bikePersonal note – One of the things I yearn for is photos during my childhood days of specific childhood memories and places. I am trying to collect them but many images probably seemed insignificant at the time, such as the pantry and are just not available. I suppose it simply didn't occur to anyone that 40 years later photos of the pump, dinner bell, a train going by behind the house and pantry would be meaningful! But to the right is a photo we found of my PawPaw riding a bike!

Today's suggested music:
Ancient Words
Thy Word

Wonderful Words of Life (Instrumental)
Wonderful Words of Life (Instrumental Smoky Mountain)
Wonderful Words of Life (Piano instrumental)

Floral horn of plenty
We took this photo in Lancaster in front of a restored colonial era home.

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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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