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Monday, June 25, 2007

Early morning bike ride 6/24/07
This farm is along our favorite trail about 1/2 mile from our home.
(Click here for a larger version of the photo.)

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"His Faithful Follower I Will Be!"

"Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another--and all the more as you see the Day approaching" (Hebrews 10:25).  "Help, LORD; for the godly man ceaseth; for the faithful fail from among the children of men" (Psalm 12:1).

Last night we went to a park in Lebanon, PA to hear one of Brooksyne's favorite gospel groups, a family known as The Martins.  They're three adult siblings, a brother and two sisters, who have a beautiful harmonious sound and a genuine love for the Lord Jesus.  I suppose Brooksyne also likes them because of their country roots since they grew up in Arkansas where much of her family comes from.  They sang an old hymn that many of you will recognize called "He Leadeth Me."

There's a line in the hymn that always stirs my soul and reinforces my desire to faithfully serve the Lord. It simply states, "His faithful follower I would be."  Hopefully you were in church yesterday and received fresh strength from the Lord as You heard His Word proclaimed from the pulpit.  Unfortunately, in the New Testament period, even as now, some had forsaken this important element of growth and discipleship.  As we see the Day of Christ's return drawing ever closer we need the God-ordained encouragement that comes from fellowshipping with "one another" on a regular basis.

David expresses himself in our second daily text in a way that we might also in our own day.  His cry for help is directed to the Lord.  His observation is that the "godly man ceaseth".  David grew up during a time of great moral and spiritual apostasy.  Certainly Saul's reign was not marked by spiritual revival or consistent obedience to God. It transitioned from the period of the Judges, which is summed up with the phrase "each man did what was right in his own eyes."  However there was a remnant of faithful followers during this period such as Samuel.

Thank God for those who remain faithful followers in our own day. Faithful ministers who preach God's Word in an uncompromising manner, dedicated lay people who live out their faith before an oft-scorning world, married couples who take the marital covenant seriously, parents who raise their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord and church communities that continue to "forsake not the assembling together."

Christ said "When the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?" (Luke 18:8).  This statement has often intrigued me.  Will He?  Join me today in making a renewed commitment in staying faithful to our God as we daily heed to His call upon our lives.  Rest in the assurance that He will continue to lead us and join me in declaring this day, "His faithful follower I will be!"

He leadeth me, He leadeth me,
By His own hand He leadeth me;
His faithful follower I would be,
For by His hand He leadeth me. *

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily Prayer:  Father, You lead us through the valleys and mountain top experiences of everyday life.  Your ways are far superior to the path we might choose when guided by our own errant wisdom.  We're so grateful for the strength and encouragement we receive from our brothers and sisters who bear our burdens and share in our joys.  When considering the choice of walking faithfully with you or turning our backs on You, we join with Simon Peter who weighed the options and declared, "Lord, to whom shall we go?  You have the words of eternal life.  We believe and know that You are the Holy One of God." (John 6:68,69).    

TFC truck rallySaturday I went to a Transport for Christ trucker's rally along with Ester and a friend, Ken Pierce. Transport for Christ is a chaplain ministry to the trucking industry.  They had a parade of trucks, many blaring their horns along the way. Pictured above is one of the colorful examples.

Mike and Sue HaydenMike and Sue Hayden serve with Transport for Christ.  For several years they were field chaplains in the south. Now they work in the national office near our home.  They have an interesting way of blessing others. They both purposefully allow their hair to grow out and then donate it to  "Locks of Love" which makes wigs for children with cancer. Mike even donates his beard!

Pulliam familyThis last Saturday night Mark Pulliam and his family came over for dinner with our family. Mark was my supervisor for a year and 1/2 when I worked for a national agency about 5 years ago.  He is now working in the field of hospital chaplaincy. At my request he brought over a pineapple pie since he knows it's a favorite of mine!

Let me share a cute but instructive story that happened around our dinner table. Mark and his wife Carolyn were sharing about a time when they vacationed in Madison, Wisconsin.  On a Sunday they decided to attend chuch and chose to attend one outside their normal association.  It was a church that had historic Christian roots but had entered into apostacy (which they were not aware of when they chose to visit.)   The church promoted goddess worship and clergy referred to God as "she." As Mark and Carolyn were sharing their experience with us, young Michael who was listening attentively, piped up with a serious question, "Isn't God a guy?" That gave further opportunity for some good solid Biblical teaching! Sadly many institutions that bear the name of Christ have forsaken Biblical truth and replaced it with heretical teachings.  

Brooksyne's Note:  The inspiring hymn "He Leadeth Me" has been a favorite of mine for years.  Hearing the Martins sing it acapella in their Martinized arrangement has made me appreciate it even more. This hymn was written by Pastor Joseph Gilmore in 1862 when he was 28 years old.  He had preached a sermon on the 23rd Psalm in First Baptist Church in Philadelphia on a Wednesday evening.  Following the service he and his wife were invited to fellowship in the home of Deacon Watson.  During their conversation the blessedness of God's leading overwhelmed his spirit, so much in fact, that he quickly penned the words of "He Leadeth Me" and then passed it on to his wife.  He thought no more of it, but Mrs. Gilmore decided to submit the verses  to a popular Christian journal at the time.  Three years later as Joseph Gilmore was candidating for a new pastorate in New York he opened the church's hymnal and much to his surprise found the words he had penned years earlier.  William Bradbury who wrote the music added the last two lines, "His faithful follower I would be, for by His hand He leadeth me."

*"He Leadeth Me" Gilmore, Joseph H. / Bradbury, William B. © Public Domain

"He Leadeth Me" audio files
(Vocal) The Drummond family (this sounds very similar to the Martin family)
(Instrumental) from Country mountain hymns

"The Martins"

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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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