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Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Sunset 4/1/08
Last Evening's Sunset 
We drove into this beautiful sunset on our way to our small group meeting last night.

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"Our Eternal Home"

"Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands" (2 Corinthians 5:1). 

I called Joyce, a longtime friend from our church in New England, several days ago. I inquired about a close mutual friend who has been failing in health.  She was recently hospitalized and is now staying with her daughter in a very weakened condition.  Joyce told me that she thought she would be going home soon which surprised me since I knew her condition was very serious. Joyce clarified: "I meant her eternal home."

I periodically visit people in nursing homes and senior living centers. I recall an especially memorable visit to an older lady.  She had been dealing with cancer and lived in "Landis Homes" (one of the many large senior housing complexes in our area.)   I peeked my head in her open door and she warmly welcomed me to come in. I immediately noted the Bible on her table. We visited for a few minutes before I shared a Scripture and prayed with her before leaving. Like so many of the elderly, she expressed how much she missed her own home but before I left she made a great statement of faith and revealed a contented state of mind.

As we visited in her simple, but tastefully appointed room she said: "This is fine for now… after all, it's not my permanent home." I knew what she meant. She didn't anticipate returning to her own home or have plans to move into a bigger apartment. Clearly when she referred to her "permanent home" she meant her eternal home in heaven. What a healthy spiritual outlook and example of contentedness!

The Apostle Paul is speaking of our temporary situation in the daily text. "Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands."  That's a good verse to hide deep in your heart.  Elsewhere we read: "For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come" (Hebrews 13:14). The Apostle James describes this temporary situation quite graphically: "What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes" (James 4:14).

It's interesting that in the daily text Paul speaks of the "earthly tent" which underscores the temporariness of our present life. However our future abode is described as 
"a building from God, an eternal house in heaven."

The ongoing challenge for all of us is not driving the stakes too deeply in our present "tent". We must take care in not getting too settled nor should we ceaselessly strive for comfort on this side. That's particularly true for those of us who live in relative affluence, which can be such a seducing trap. One day we will be transferred to our eternal home!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily Prayer: O God, You are our Help in ages past and You are our Hope for years to come.  You are our Shelter from the stormy blast and You are our eternal Home! Amen.

The prayer is an adaption of "O God Our Help In Ages Past" Watts, Isaac / Croft, William © Public Domain

Brooksyne with resident
The elderly, regardless of health or financial security are often lonely and so receptive to ministry.  I believe ministry of this nature has tremendous value in a culture that in numerous ways places emphasis and value on youthfulness. I encourage each reader to consider how you might be a blessing to the elderly where you live. You will be blessed as I was when I made my visit!

Photo of David and the cat

We now have two babies in our home Bible Study which can be a minor source of pleasurable distraction!  David was intrigued with the cat on the deck. Keeping the cat on the other side of the door kept him content and somewhat entertained.

Today's Suggested Music
Supplemental Resources

"Lost Know More" Here's an interesting video presentation with an interesting message related to today's message. (5 minutes)

"Everlasting God"  Audio  

"Everlasting God"  Audio

"God And God Alone"  Audio 

"O God Our Help In Ages Past" Audio intrumental

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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