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Thursday, July 26, 2007

Eldon Lehman
Eldon Lehman

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"Quiet Faithfulness"

"A faithful man who can find?" (Proverbs 20:6b). "A faithful man will abound with blessings" (Proverbs 28:20a).

Yesterday we attended the memorial service for Eldon Lehman, a friend of ours who went home to be with the Lord last week.  We met Eldon and his wife, Anna Mary, in our church in early 2001 after moving here from New England.  Three years later we attended Anna Mary's funeral. This was an extremely difficult time for Eldon when he said good-bye to his wife of 50 years.  He didn't know at the time that God had a special woman whom he would meet in the near future who was also a widow.   In the fall of 2005 we attended Eldon and Doris' wedding reception.  What a joyous occasion this day was as God brought these two godly people together at an age when neither would have expected to marry again.

We had Eldon over to our home for a meal and fellowship several times following Anna Mary's death. He was a thoughtful man, very deliberate and wise in his conversation. He was soft-spoken demonstrating gentleness and humility. Shortly after meeting him Ester noted a resemblance to Dr. Dobson and called him by that name. He was a little embarrassed and blushed at the first mention of the resemblance, but always had a kind smile when Ester would call him "Dr. Dobson."

Yesterday our pastor used the phrase, "quiet faithfulness" to describe Eldon. Although he did not grow up in our church he started attending when he moved to Lancaster County over 50 years ago after he married a Lancaster County girl.  Pastor drew a picture of his faithful service through the years, from a young man, through his middle-aged years, right up to his passing. Eldon was active in service not only in his church but in several other community ministries as well.

The truth of the second daily Scripture is often most evident in the later years of life.  Faithfulness has its rewards, both in this life and the one to come.  If you have salvation you are actually abounding in blessings now but you can become discouraged with present trials. God's Word is ever true.  Perhaps you need to consider someone you know that has served God faithfully for many years and observe how they abound with blessings. But just remember the greatest blessings are yet to come!

I am sure you know some people like Eldon don't you?  I've met several in my life but not as many as I would like.  And it seems to me they're getting harder and harder to come by.  Character qualities like faithfulness, steadfastness, and consistency sound boring to many people today.  But they still matter to God. "A faithful man shall abound with blessings", and he does, both in this life and the life to come. I am confident that Eldon has heard those wonderful words from the supremely Faithful One, "Well done, good and faithful servant."

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily prayer: Jesus, may my life be marked by faithfulness, holiness and integrity.  I know that these character traits are not developed over a short period of time, but over a lifetime.  Obedience does bring blessing and it does bring eternal reward.  Help us not to become weary in doing good, for at the proper time that You have ordained, we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. It is my heart's desire to hear those words from You in describing my life on earth, "Well done, good and faithful servant."   Amen.

Brooksyne's Note:  As I was cutting fresh flowers this morning I was thinking about the memorial service yesterday and some thoughts that our pastor shared ran through my mind that I especially identified with. He mentioned that pastors need models, such as Eldon, within the church body who exemplify Christ-like character.  Pastors and their families have much to learn from those who sit among the pews but are active in demonstrating their faith.  

Stephen and I have discussed many times how individuals within the congregations we've pastored have challenged us to live more faithfully for Christ.  It wasn't always in the words they spoke to us, but it was in the way they honored Christ in the midst of adversity.  It was also in their faithfulness toward the house of the Lord and in their loving support of our leadership as their pastor.  Many of these dear people that come to mind regularly read our daily encouragement. Please know that you have helped us to mature in our walk with Christ over the 25 years we pastored and we thank God for you regularly.

This is a book that Eldon found great comfort in reading after his first wife died in 2004. Yesterday during a time of tribute his daughter read an excerpt that had especially blessed him.

HeavenHeaven  By Randy Alcorn / Tyndale House
As the years pass and we watch more and more of our family, friends and mentors pass away, it is only natural to ask questions about heaven. However, our understanding of heaven is often limited to a few half-forgotten Sunday school lessons and the insubstantial images provided by popular movies and T.V. In Heaven Randy Alcorn provides us with a thoroughly researched and biblically definitive description of heaven. As Alcorn addresses our most serious questions about heaven, including the nature of judgment, and answers a few of our less serious questions as well, including the accessibility of cafe mochas in the sweet by and by, we will develop a deeper understanding of our eternal destination and will find the courage to strive for heaven while were living on earth. Click here for more information or to order online.

The last time I saw Eldon was when he came to our home to return a book I had loaned him. I had suggested it following the death of his first wife.  I would recommend it as one of the most powerful books I have ever read on the topic of trust.

Trusting GodTrusting God  By Jerry Bridges / Nav Press
Do you find it easy to trust God---until adversity strikes? When life clouds over, do you suddenly begin to suspect that you only imagined His care for you? Bridges uncovers three essential truths about God: He is completely sovereign; He is infinite in wisdom; and He is perfect in love.  Building on these three rocks, Bridges shows how we can learn to trust God, even when we don't understand what He is doing. 215 pages, softcover from NavPress. Click here for more information or to order online.

Today's suggested music:
"I can only imagine" Mike Book, a friend of ours did a great job singing this song yesterday in the service.
Listen to vocal audio version from the Galloway House
This version is from a musician named Brian Powell. 
Listen to instrumental audio version  This is a beautiful instrumental version with saxophone from this site.
"Find Us Faithful"  (I devote this song to Eldon's memory)

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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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