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Thursday, May 8, 2008

Conestoga River in Lancaster PA
Geese over a falls on the Conestoga River in Lancaster PA

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"Today I Choose"

"Choose you this day whom ye will serve; … but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD" (Joshua 24:15).

Thirty-two years ago today Brooksyne and I stood before the altar in a little church in the Indian town of Sapulpa Oklahoma and pledged our love to each other in holy marriage.  It's worked out very well and for that we are most grateful.  Also on this date 29 years ago I was ordained to gospel ministry in York, PA. 

Thank God by His grace I have stayed faithful to my wife and she to me and both of us in our call to serve Jesus Christ.  We've had our disappointments, tears and sorrows. Like anyone running the spiritual race we've had trials (see news flash below for an update).  In our 25 years of pastoral ministry we've been bitten a few times by the sheep.  But we've also met lots and lots of people along the way who have blessed us greatly, including quite a few who are on this "Daily Encouragement" list.

When our family prays together we often conclude by reciting the daily verse.  Joshua first uttered these words some 3,300 years ago after leading God's people into the Promised Land.  His final sermon was a challenge to faithfulness and included this solemn affirmation of his own faith. 
"Choose you this day whom ye will serve; … but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD."

I am struck by the significance of the words "this day" in the text.  Certainly on the one hand it conveys a momentous decision to serve the Lord such as that decision made the day we were born again.

However in another sense it's an ongoing, regular, habitual choice to "this day" serve the Lord.  After all, Joshua had chosen to follow the Lord many years before he made this call to the people.  He surely wasn't making the choice for the first time!

I believe it's that way in our walk with the Lord and our walk with our spouse.  Thirty-two years ago I made a public declaration of my love and commitment to Brooksyne as my "lawfully wedded wife".  That was a big day for me.  But daily since then (all 11,689 days) we have committed our love to one another and to the Lord. And by God's grace we will continue to do so until He calls us home.  We welcome you all to join us this day.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily prayer: This is our prayer today and I encourage you to make it yours as well!

Come and fill our home with Your presence,
You alone are worthy of our rev'rence.
As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.
As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.
As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.
We will serve the Lord.

Lord we vow to live holy, bowing our knees to You only.
As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.
As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.
As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord,
We will serve the Lord.

Staying together, praying together,
Any storm we can weather trusting in God's Word.
We need each other, fathers and mothers,
Sisters and brothers in harmony and love. *

* "The Family Prayer Song" by Morris Chapman

32nd anniversary photo
Our 32nd anniversary photo (taken May 6)
(Click on photo to enlarge)
(Photo by Rick Steudler)

Our wedding photo
Our wedding photo (May 8, 1976)
(Click on photo to enlarge)
For family members and friends: My brother Pat, a newly credentialled minister at the time, performed the ceremony and is standing behind us. My sister Genelle was one of the bridesmaids and is at the left.

David and Sandy Simpson
David and Sandy Simpson
Dave, a friend from 1st grade, was the best man at our wedding.  We still stay in contact and visit Dave and his wife Sandy whenever we're in Springfield, Missouri.

Brooksyne's broken ankleNews Flash: On our walk along the tractor trail last evening Brooksyne stumbled, fell and lay on the ground writhing in pain. We had just been talking to Mike Brubaker the farmer who was examining his fields.  I ran to get the van and Mike and our neighbor Marvin helped me load her in the back for a painful trip to Hershey Medical Center. After a long wait sure enough she broke her ankle and they set it with a cast about midnight.

She has to go back next week to have a plate put in so she will be inconvenienced for awhile.  It's the first time in her 52+ years she has ever broken a bone.  As we were signing the discharge papers the nurse said it was May 8. We corrected her, "No, it's May 7 (forgetting it was past midnight).  Well, when she corrected us we said, "Happy Anniversary" to each other. We ended up getting home around 2:00AM.  

Anticipating an early morning meeting (which I had to cancel) I had most of today's message ready to go before we took our walk. Brooksyne's
resting now and groggy from pain medication and thus did not have her regular editing hand in this message, so please pardon the inevitable mistakes!  She was also unable to help me with today's podcast. 

Today's Suggested Music  and Supplemental Resources

As I was searching for related music I was looking for a song we sang in our church in New England called the "Family Prayer Song" but couldn't find an online version. It had a recurring expression of "As for me and my house we will serve the Lord."  In the process I found more than the usual amount of songs related to today's message.

"My Tribute"  Video  A song sung at our wedding!

"Today I Choose"  Video  A powerful song of commitment.

"As For Me And My House"  Video

"I Will Serve The Lord"  Video

"When God Made You"  Video

"Only God Could Love You More"  Video

"The Love Of My Life - A Wedding Song"  Video

"I Will Be Here"  Video

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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