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Thursday, July 12, 2007

Rooster barn art
Yesterday in the course of my travels I passed this colorful barn that sits near a covered bridge.  The other side of the barn has a colorful display of three young girls with the chickens.  We've been told they're paintings of the farmer's granddaughters!

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"Feeding On God's Faithfulness"

"Trust in the LORD, and do good; dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. Delight yourself also in the LORD, and He shall give you the desires of your heart" (Psalm 37:3,4).

We have had wonderful rains thus far this summer and as we approach mid-July we are surrounded by lush green fields.  Among the beautiful sights out here in the country is seeing livestock grazing in an open field. Around the corner from our home the farmer regularly lets his sheep feed in a field near the road. He apparently limits their access to this particular field as it is regularly lush and green. When I drive by I recall the wonderful description of "green pastures" in the Shepherd's Psalm.

We are all feeding on something. We of course need nutrition for our physical health, but we are also regularly feeding our soul and mind. An abundance of feed is available, some of which is absolutely destructive, while others are wholesome. On the internet I am but a few keystrokes away from spiritually enriching resources and edifying materials to feed on. But a dark, sinister world of destruction is also available on that very same screen.

The daily text contains a number of active injunctions. Psalm 37 is a psalm of David and begins with this command: "Do not fret because of evil men or be envious of those who do wrong." Consider today how much of our fretting in its many forms is a result of evil men or how we may tend to envy those who do wrong and yet prosper. We are soberly reminded of their temporality in verse 2, "like the grass they will soon wither, like green plants they will soon die away."

What is our response to be? The remainder of Psalm 37 elaborates beginning with the daily verse.

Trust, do good, dwell, feed and delight. But today I ponder on the phrase, "feed on His faithfulness." A green pasture of God's faithfulness has been set before all of us. We have a choice. We will be feeding on something. I believe "feeding on His faithfulness" involves orienting our perspective to God's steadfast love and care expressed in His faithfulness.

Faithfulness is one of God's great attributes taught and demonstrated throughout the Scriptures. Indeed let us feed on God's faithfulness today!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily prayer: Father, You are the faithful, loving God on whom I can rely for everything that concerns me.  You provide salvation, safety, shelter, and You satisfy my heart's desires when I feed upon Your Word.  May I be found faithful in all things so that Your blessing will rest upon me and all that I do.  Amen.

"Discovery Series Booklets" As noted in today's message the web has many spiritually edifying resources. Many individuals and organizations are using the internet as a ministry tool. Today we want to share a resource we have found and use often which is related to the devotional "Our Daily Bread" (mentioned in yesterday's message.)  The Discovery Series are small topical booklets dealing with a wide range of issues and they are all available for reading online. We have used these resources extensively in our chaplaincy ministry, but also regularly get requests for help on this online ministry. Since we aren't equipped (or called for that matter) to ongoing "counseling" type interface over the internet we are able to point people to these resources.

Brooksyne's Note:  "He's Been Faithful" is a song that powerfully describes God's faithfulness. It was written by Carol Cymbala, who is the director of the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir, as a personal reflection.   The words will touch your heart as you identify with the experiences of life that Carol wrote about in this moving song.

Additional resources:

The singular best treatment of the topic of the faithfulness of God that I ever recall reading is the chapter in A.W. Pink's book "The Attributes of God". This entire book is available for reading online (turn your speakers down as for some reason they have it set to play music). The chapter on the faithfulness of God is here. You can also purchase the book by visiting the following link.

67723: The Attributes of God, repackaged editionThe Attributes of God  By Arthur W. Pink / Baker
A classic bestseller built on a timeless premise: Failure to understand God's character leads to a skewed perception of the Divine---one that is too often cast in our own image. Seeking to remedy this, Pink outlines 17 key characteristics of the Almighty, including his sovereignty, immutability, patience, love, and faithfulness.

As I considered the above book I also recall another formative book I read while in Bible College preparing for ministry that I highly recommend.

1650X: Knowing God: 20th Anniversary EditionKnowing God  By J.I. Packer / Inter-varsity Press
J. I. Packer's Knowing God has become a classic of the Christian faith. Why? While it gives us information about God with clarity and grace, it does much more---it aids us in actually knowing him, in building our relationship with him, and helps draw us closer to him in love and worship.

Suggested music on feeding on God's faithfulness (audio clips)
"Faithful One"
"He's been Faithful"

1942 John Deere on trailer
Yesterday afternoon I helped a friend haul his John Deere tractor across the county.  Since the rear wheels of the tractor were wider than the trailer we ran into some difficulty and ended up spending a good part of the afternoon on this project.

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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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