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Friday, April 18, 2008

Three crosses in flower bed
Brooksyne took this photo yesterday as she drove by a church.  
This is a flower bed on the side of their church.

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"Little Is Much"

"But what are they among so many?" (John 6:9).

Many years ago I read an inspiring mission story that I have never forgotten and hope I never do. I wish I had my pastor's clipping and filing disciplines as I sure would like to read the entire article again!

It was about a man who had a very severe disability that greatly limited his ability to function. Yet he had a love for the Lord and a giving heart toward missions. He was determined to do what he could to support the worldwide cause of Christ.

At his request he was positioned under a walnut tree where he sat on the ground. One by one he laboriously picked up walnuts that would then be sold and the proceeds given to missions.

Most every reader in this encouragement series has heard of Fanny Crosby. She died in 1915 but her songs have endured and are still sung in churches all around the world. When we lived in New England we often drove through Bridgeport, Connecticut on I-95 where Fanny Crosby's body was laid to rest.  This simple inscription is written on her tombstone: "She hath done what she could."

Fanny Crosby
Fanny Crosby was blind from infancy.  But she allowed God to use her gift of words put to music and has impacted many generations for Christ. No trace of bitterness is evident in her song texts and I don't believe they existed.  She didn't live out her life wallowing in regrets or torment herself with the defeatist mind game, “What if?”  She indeed did what she could.

Do you recognize the daily Scripture portion? I purposefully selected a short phrase from the verse apart from the context.  The disciples were confronted with a great need of how to feed the multitude.  Philip did some quick math and determined the immensity of the food deficit. I appreciate people that can do quick mental math calculation.

Boy with fish and loaves
Andrew found a little lad with five small barley loaves and two small fish and brought him to the Lord.  As Andrew looked at the apparent inadequacy of the food resource he realistically observed: "But what are they among so many?"  I may not be quick at math like Philip but I realize that I am a lot like Andrew in my analytical approach to problems.

Jesus didn't answer Andrew's question but merely instructed: "Have the people sit down." Then He commenced with the marvelous, miraculous feeding of the five thousand.  What little food supply the lad provided was more than enough since God was in it.

God purposes to use each of us for His cause regardless of our apparent limitations.  So what is the lasting answer to the question, "but what are they among so many?" It is always "absolutely adequate" when God is in it!  Stay faithful to your call and mission today.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily Prayer: Almighty God, help us not to look at the immensity of the task before us, but help us to look at the immensity of our all-powerful God.  With humankind many things are impossible but with You, our Father, nothing is impossible.  We want to trust You for supernatural workings in our lives and in the duties before us. In the name of Jesus we pray, amen.  

An individual with a current ministry demonstrating this attitude is Joni, who has faithfully served God for over 40 years since a diving accident left her a quadriplegic. She is a remarkable blessing to so many and I am one of them.  Joni has developed many other ministries with a special direction to the worth of those with disabilities.  Joni's ministry 

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Little Is Much"
 Video  This song has a powerful message of encouragement for the faithful laborer!

"Blessed Assurance"  Audio from the Lifespring Hymnstory podcast  This is one of Fanny Crosby's most beloved hymns. This version has the story as well as a nice version of the hymn.

"Enough"  Audio  We first heard this song in a church in the Hartford Connecticut area several years ago when we were up that way for a wedding and have enjoyed it ever since.

Last night Ester volunteered at a concert where Aaron Shust was featured along with two other young musicians.  She was pretty excited when her name was drawn to win a CD from each musician and a TShirt from Aaron.  She met each of them as they autographed their CD's for her.  Here's our favorite Aaron Shust song!

Note:  Yesterday I shared a photo of an Amish boy and his pony and cart.  A reader had a question about the appropriateness of taking such a photo.

Living here in Lancaster County we regularly interface with the Amish and I am occasionally a "driver" (the term used for those of us who haul the Amish around.) We have Amish neighbors and friends and we attended an Amish wedding!

I take facial photos (upon their request) of our Amish friend's children for their safekeeping. However they have requested that I not post them on the internet and of course I honor that request.  These are old order Amish but the specific way they draw the line on photos will differ.  Some will allow their photos to be taken.

The main objection, as I understand from my talking to them, are displaying portraits that are facially recognizable. (However there are many Amish photos on promotional literature for Lancaster County and many can be facially identified.)  I took today's photo at a distance through the windshield and the boy's face is not recognizable.

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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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