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Thursday, February 7, 2008

Rainbow (Photo by Doris High)
Late yesterday afternoon I was out for a walk and saw a beautiful rainbow. I didn't have my camera but called Ester to tell her and see if she could get a photo. She said she couldn't see it.
Lo and behold I check Doris High's photo blog this morning and there it is!

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"The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light.  But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!"  (Matthew 6:22,23).
Brooksyne and I got new eye glasses yesterday.  We were long overdue for a new prescription so today, as we are testing out our new glasses, we are both seeing much clearer both near and far and also adjusting to the change in our prescriptions.  However I don't think this is what Jesus meant when he made this statement in the Sermon on the Mount: "If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light."  In the context when he spoke of eyes that are good, I believe He is referring to the images we intake visually.
Is there a relationship in what we see or think and how we act?  Most of us would say "Of course there is!"  Many of us remember the children's song, "O be careful little eyes what you see… for the Father up above is looking down in love, so be careful little eyes what you see."  The message of this simple song is true for all ages, for "the eye is the lamp of the body."
The Bible places great emphasis on our thought life; the influences of what we see affects how we think and is carried out in our actions.  In the first reference to King David's regression into sin with Bathsheba we read: "from the roof he saw a woman bathing" (2 Samuel 11:2).  It appears that David was having a hard time sleeping that night so he got up from his bed and ascended to the roof of the palace where he took a walk.  Brooksyne and I, who sometimes cannot sleep, instead of ascending to the roof of our house descend to the basement where the warmth of the coal stove often entices us to a sound sleep.

When David spotted Bathsheba it was initially an innocent glance which should have quickly driven him back to his bed.  
But his passing glance turned into a purposeful gaze that led to adultery, misuse of power, murder, lies, cover-up and inconsolable grief.  So often what we think and see leads to a sinful act that can take us much farther than we want to go and keep us much longer than we want to stay.
A bizarre aspect of our moral decline was demonstrated as one 11 year old boy stabbed another 11 year old boy to death several years ago in our area. They were at a theater where the boy who murdered the other child had just viewed an R-rated "slasher" horror film.  The District Attorney "downplayed any possibility that the violence in the movie may have triggered the stabbing."  Wow, how deeply can this guy stick his head in the sand? Today many can't understand why our society has become increasingly violent and sexually immoral yet strongly deny that the horrific violence and perversions in the entertainment industry could possibly have anything to do with it.
Jesus continued, "But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness."  It's amazing how powerful visual images are.  In my pre-conversion teen years I (Stephen) viewed a little of what would now be considered soft-core porn.  Those images are now permanently etched in my memory bank and I must, by faith and in obedience, suppress reviewing them in my mind.  One can only imagine the darkness that pervades the spirit of those who feed on pornographic materials.
"If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!"  Tragically, there are believers who are viewing this degrading trash on a regular basis.
Today I challenge all true followers of Christ to "take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ" (2 Corinthians 10:5).  This spiritual exercise will brighten your spirit and "your whole body will be full of light."

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily Prayer:  Father, may we honor You and respect ourselves as we fix our eyes and thought life upon whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely and whatever is admirable.  Center our attention upon those things which are praiseworthy so that we build others up in the faith as the light of Christ radiates from our spirit to those around us. In the name of Jesus we pray, Amen.  

(Prayer adapted from Philippians 4:8)

A Touching Glimpse Of Ministry

George is a long-time reader who lives in Dawson Creek in the northeast part of British Columbia Canada.  He shared this story with us regarding a mission trip to the Indians in the Northwest territories.

Indian boy with first BibleA little boy comes up to me and says, “Take a picture of me and my first Bible.” He was absolutely thrilled to have this Picture Bible (most are illiterate) thus the Picture Bible. I didn’t even know such a thing existed until the Camp gave them out! Before I could take the picture, he had to make sure it was right side up, as I caught him looking to see which way it was.

Indian boy with first BibleAfter he was sure it was right side up, he posed for me.

I have worked with kids most of my life and this little episode in Rae, Northwest Territories made my three weeks ministering there worth it all.  Talk about being encouraged, wow! They have nothing of these world goods so to speak, family life is questionable as we know it anyway, and yet, here he was, thrilled to boast about his new Bible.

If you're like me, I’m sure there are times when you wonder if God has deserted you and there is no one else, something like the Elijah complex. When I start feeling sorry for myself, I am encouraged to be reminded of people like this little boy. God is working and He is blessing throughout this world building His Kingdom, one at a time. Just maybe, I’ll meet this little boy someday in glory. I sure hope so. I don’t even know his name, but God has numbered the hairs of his head!"

Stephen's note: This took place in Rae, which is near Yellowknife, the start of the ice road. Ice Road Truckers on the History Channel!

Memory card sample

Scripture memory verses from each book of the Bible:
Here is a pdf file of suggested Scripture verses to memorize from each book of the Bible.  This should open fine on most computers and be suitable for printing out, copying and distributing if desired. 
Open here

Today's Suggested Music and
Supplemental Resources

"Be Thou My Vision"  (Audio)

"Refiner's Fire" (Purify My Heart)  (Audio)

"Open The Eyes Of My Heart"  (Audio)

"Kindness" (Give Us Clean Hands)  (Audio)

Pure Life Ministries Changing lives by leading meninto purity.

Here's a great article for men on this topic titled "The Eye Covenant"

Info about multi-media files used on daily encouragement.
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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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