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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Harrison Lake, British Columbia (Photo by Doris High)
Harrison Lake, British Columbia
(Photo by Doris High)

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"O LORD, be gracious to us; we long for you.  Be our strength every morning, our salvation in time of distress" (Isaiah 33:2).

Today let us meditate on the richness of this Scripture verse, which is actually a prayer, and let us find renewed strength in our walk with Christ.  I particularly ponder the exclamation phrase which begins the prayer, "O Lord", which is found about 385 times in the Scriptures.  Today this phrase or its cousin, "O my God", is often used thoughtlessly or even as a swear word. 

However tracking its use all throughout Scriptures I find it has a sense of deep and earnest petition or praise.  It is never used in trite situations such as we hear it often spoken today.  It is first used in Scripture as an earnest prayer by Abraham's servant when seeking a wife for Isaac.  "O LORD, God of my master Abraham, give me success today, and show kindness to my master Abraham" (Genesis 24:12).

It is last used in the book of Revelation in a chorus sung at the throne of God. "Great and marvelous are your deeds, Lord God Almighty. Just and true are your ways, King of the ages. Who will not fear you, O Lord, and bring glory to your name? For you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship before you, for your righteous acts have been revealed" (Revelation 15:3,4).

"Be gracious to us."  The petition in this prayer is so simple and we have abundant promises of its fulfillment all through the Bible. Our Lord is always gracious toward us even though the critical problem at hand may overshadow our view of God’s gracious ways toward His children.  It’s always His nature to be loving and gracious.

"We long for you." That's such a key and yet I surely admit I don't always long for the Lord as I should. There are so many distractions!  We need to be in a state of longing for God.  As Brooksyne and I prayed during our walk this morning even the surrounding beauty of God’s creation called for my attention and soon my mind was wandering off in another direction. 

Jim Gambini, my former pastor, writes: "The great danger the Christian faces is two-fold: because life on the planet is so ‘uncertain’ one temptation is to trust God to make us more secure through the accumulation of things or power/authority. The other temptation, if we have already accumulated plenty of this world’s goods, is to rest in what we have."

"Be our strength every morning." That is our ongoing need. Yesterday's strength is inadequate for the challenges of this day. 

"Our salvation in time of distress."
  God is always our very present help in the time of any trouble or distress. Today, be encouraged by these truths as you join me in crying out "O Lord."

Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
Blessings all mine with ten thousands beside.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily Prayer:  To You, O Lord, I lift up my soul; in You I trust, O my God.  Show me Your ways, O Lord, teach me Your paths; guide me in Your truth and teach me, for You are my Savior, and my hope is in You all day long.  O Lord my God, I called to You for help and You healed me.  Though weeping may endure for a night, I’m grateful that rejoicing will come with a new day.  O Lord my God, I will give You thanks forever.  Amen.  
(Prayer adapted from selected verses in Psalm 25 & Psalm 30)

In the course of our early morning walk today we came across this beautiful tulip!

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Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

Today I want to share a variety of renditions of Brooksyne's favorite hymn and surely one of my favorites!

"Great Is Thy Faithfulness" Two beautiful video presentations.   Fernando Ortega      Instrumental saxophone

"Great Is Thy Faithfulness"  Audio  This is Brooksyne's audio devotional based on this hymn. Here are other hymn story devotionals she has written.

"Great Is Thy Faithfulness"
 Audio with the hymn story from the Lifespring hymstories podcast.  Here is the podcast main page.

"His Strength Is Perfect"
 Video  I shared this yesterday but it also fits well with today's message!

"Roxie In The Wheat Field" Now for a smile here's a video we made last year of our dog Roxie leaping through the wheat field across from our home. I just learned to upload video to "You Tube".

Today's top photo is by our friend Doris High. The last couple of weeks Doris has been with her husband Cerwin delivering a mobile Transport For Christ chapel all across North America from Lancaster County PA to
Chilliwack, British Columbia, Canada and chronicling their journey in photos in her blog.  Doris not only takes great looking photos but weaves in her own experiences, including a fall when she was trying to get a photo!

I especially am touched by this photo taken at the dedication of the chapel.
4-20-08 Dedication (50).JPG

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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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