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Friday, April 25, 2008

Our neighbor's male peacock, Jay Jay
Showing off his vibrant colors during mating season.

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"The Blessings of Integrity"

"At this, the administrators and the satraps tried to find grounds for charges against Daniel in his conduct of government affairs, but they were unable to do so. They could find no corruption in him, because he was trustworthy and neither corrupt nor negligent" (Daniel 6:4).

Several weeks ago I was talking to Don, a friend of mine who runs a small plumbing business.  Like many businesses his has had some struggles lately and he is seeking new business opportunities.  He told me a story of going to a very wealthy home that had an expensive water heating system that the owner had noticed was rusting around the top. The owner called Don and was prepared to replace the system, which would have been a three thousand dollar job.

But Don noted that the problem was a valve above the system that had been leaking and all that he needed to do was replace the valve to stop the leak and otherwise the water heating system was fine.  He replaced the valve and the owner paid a fraction of the cost of a new system.  As we were talking Don shared how "easy" it would have been to persuade the owner they needed a new system and in the process make a lot more money on the job. In fact he felt many of his competitors would have done just that.

Daniel praying
I want to write a word of encouragement today to those seeking to maintain integrity in their personal life and in their workplace. The daily verse speaks of the integrity of Daniel in his service in the secular world. Read the rest of the chapter and you will see that this very demonstration of character landed him in the lion's den. Similarly our commitment to character may be the actual cause of a trial or, as in the case of Don, making far less money on a job than we would have otherwise. It may be easier and more profitable in the short run to just go along with the downward flow.  

Daniel in lion's den
Many years earlier Daniel had developed this admirable character in his resolve to be faithful to God's commands (Daniel 1:8). In the long run and particularly having an eternal, God-centered perspective in view, we will be blessed as we maintain our character and integrity. We may see the fruit of our blessing on this side, or we may not.  But we will certainly see them on the inside and on the other side.

Let us resolve, in regard to the business of life, that we will act with integrity. Accept this promise today: "The faithless will be fully repaid for their ways, and the good man rewarded for his" (Proverbs 14:14).

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily Prayer: Father, I consider the extremely difficult choice Job made not to sin by charging You with wrongdoing.  I consider Joseph who withstood tremendous temptation by resisting the seduction of Potiphar’s wife.  And I consider Daniel who refused to stop the custom of praying to his Father in heaven though he knew it would land him in the lions’ den.  These three, among scores of other godly brothers and sisters throughout the centuries, chose to do the right thing knowing that doing so would cause them great suffering, terrible injustice, or martyrdom.  The ultimate example is Jesus, Your Son, who died in our stead though He was wholly innocent of sin.  Help me not to look for that which is easy, quick, or that which will avoid consequence.  I choose to deal with the consequence of obedience to You; whether or not it works out for my good in the short term.  May my greatest concern be for that which works for my good internally and eternally.  In the name of Jesus I pray.  Amen.

Joe Sherer is a local pastor friend of ours. Several years ago he shared a very specific integrity checklist that he had prepared.  He gives a lot of food for thought!

Hay harvest
Yesterday afternoon, and well into the night, they harvested the hay across the road from us.  Then for several more hours we heard the loud hum of some type of machine that I assume was putting it into the silos even though they are over a mile away. This brought a recollection of my youth when I would work for local farmers in southern Missouri during hay time. At that time the baler would make small square bales and then we would pitch (buck) them up on a trailer or wagon and then load them into the barn. Several times I did this into the early morning and came home to my new bride tired to the bone.  I don't suppose I could do that anymore!

Ferguson tractor
As we were on our walk last night Jason, our neighbor's son, met us on the trail riding on an old Ferguson tractor. We are blessed by the work ethic instilled in these young people.

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Today's Suggested Music
Supplemental Resources

"Give Us Clean Hands"

"Man After Your Own Heart"  Audio  Kristian Walker and his wife Shannon are a couple
located right here in central Pennsylvania with a music ministry.

Video  The Oslo Gospel Choir. I recently discovered this choir and sure appreciate their vibrant songs.  I am also always blessed to see God at work in His people all over the world including Scandinavia.

Please note: Observant readers who regularly use these music links may have noticed that I have been using more videos lately. Many place up songs on Youtube or Godtube along with PowerPoint type photos or video. Usually the sound is as good as an audio link.  It is actually easier to find
songs related to the message using the search engine on these sites than it was using previous methods. I have also been embedding these videos on a separate page on my site.

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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