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Friday, February 22, 2008

Snowy path 2/22/08
Today we are getting a snow storm and there are closings all through our area.
This morning I took a walk down the path across from our house and shot today's photo.

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“The Ultimate Extended Table”

"Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb. These are true words of God" (Revelation 19:9).

Yesterday I met Randy Williams; a friend I hadn’t seen in a while. We talked for a few minutes and in the course of our discussion he told me about a local furniture store he would shop at when he needed extended dining room tables. Extended tables, common in our area, are used for seating a large family and/or friends around a meal.  We ate a Sunday meal with a family last year that seated twenty-two comfortably at their main table. The most interesting feature is that their table leafs are self-storing so the table can extend from seating a small family to a pretty large group.

I asked Randy why he would need several extended tables of this type and he explained that he and his wife gave them as wedding gifts to their children.   Later Brooksyne and I commented on what a practical, long-lasting and valuable gift a dining table is. So many great memories are made around the dinner table. Family, friends, homemade food, and flowing conversation are key ingredients for
making memorable settings and deepening human relationships.

Early in our marriage we purchased an old 48”x48” oak dining table for $50.00 at an estate sale that had five 12” leafs (but not the self-storing kind.) We later found a table almost identical to ours advertised for $10.50 in a 1906 Sears catalog, so our table has
actually appreciated in monetary value over the past century!

Weber family 1988Upon the initial purchase the table was an absolute mess with the laminate top and carved legs etched in deep scratches. Multiple colors of stains were smeared over the wood.  The leafs had ancient linoleum glued over the oak which looked rather hideous. I saw little hope for the pitiful table before Brooksyne spent a good month stripping, sanding, and staining it.   Jeff, a long-time friend of ours, assisted her with the structural restoration and even I got on board by drilling new holes and inserting better fitting dowels for the leafs. Fully extended it comfortably seats 14 people.   As I consider the photos I have taken through the years, including many used on this site, it’s pretty remarkable to consider how many have eaten and fellowshipped around this old oak table.  Today's photo was taken 20 years ago of my family who joined us for Christmas in 1988.

I sure like today’s verse. There are many mysteries in the Word that make us wonder how it will all come about, but most of us can identify with sitting around a large table with great food and lots of family and friends.  We can be assured that all the words of the Scripture are true but in this case it’s reinforced in the text itself, “These are true words of God."

The Ultimate Extended Table

"Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” 
The photo to the left is a common depiction of the table set for this marriage supper of the Lamb.  You might say it’s the ultimate extended table!  The extent of God’s hospitality is in the ultimate invitation, “Whosoever will, may come.” And even more familiar to many of us are those wonderful words from the Golden text (John 3:16), “whosoever believes in Him.” 

Brooksyne and I received an early invitation to a wedding this summer.  These solemn occasions are very memorable events and the reception to follow gives us great opportunity to celebrate with the family and friends of the couple. But nothing in this life will compare with a future marriage supper to be held in heaven at the ultimate extended Lord's table.

Brooksyne and I expect to see you there and, by all means, please stop by so we can visit!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne

Daily prayer: Father, salvation belongs to You who sits upon the throne and to the Lamb!  Words are inadequate to express our joy in knowing that one glorious day we will attend the Wedding Supper of the Lamb because You have provided for our salvation.  Though words cannot adequately express our joy, the way we conduct our lives is an expression of thanksgiving to You. We look forward to that glorious day when we receive our wedding garments which will be robes of white.  Until then, we prepare ourselves by serving You, praying faithfully, and keeping ourselves in Your love as we wait for the future wedding supper of the Lamb.

Our dining room table as originally sold in the Sears catalog!
(From 1906 as we recall)

Today's Suggested Music and
Supplemental Resources

"What A Day It Will Be"  (Audio)

"Come To Jesus"
 (Powerpoint with audio)  

"Come Just As You Are"  (Audio)

"Worthy Is The Lamb"  (Audio)

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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