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Friday, June 13, 2008

Flower wagon
Flower wagon near Hershey, Pennsylvania.

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"A Father's Love"

"Then a man named Jairus, a ruler of the synagogue, came and fell at Jesus' feet, pleading with Him to come to his house because his only daughter, a girl of about twelve, was dying"  (Luke 8:41,42a).
This weekend we recognize and honor fathers here in America on a day we call "Father's Day".  What a blessing it is to have experienced a father's love. My dad's been gone almost ten years now but recollections of his love abound in my memory bank.

Many reading this have an assurance of their earthly father's love, but I am very aware that not everyone does. But we can all have a deep assurance of our Heavenly Father's love!

Harriet Beecher Stowe, famous for her novel, "Uncle Tom's Cabin", was the daughter of a famous pastor, Lyman Beecher, in the 1800's.  She dedicated her life wholly to Christ at the tender age of 14, after listening to her father preach one Sunday morning.  "As soon as my father came home and was seated in his study," she recalled, "I went up to him and fell in his arms, saying, "Father, I have given myself to Jesus, and He has taken me."  I never shall forget the expression on his face as he looked down into my earnest childish eyes…"Is that so?" he said, holding me silent to his heart as I felt his hot tears fall on my head.

Godly fathers care deeply for their child's physical health but most especially for their spiritual health.  The Sunday afternoon that Harriet wrapped her arms around her father and told of her surrender to Christ, his response as her loving, concerned dad surpassed even that of his role as her pastor. There is no doubt that Mr. Beecher had prayed for this day to be a reality in the life of his precious daughter.

Jairus is one of my favorite dads mentioned in the Bible.  He's not well known and is only referenced in Mark and Luke with this story. Although he had a leadership role in the synagogue his role as a loving dad took prominence in the brief story written about him.  I don't know how many children he had, but he had just one daughter, a twelve year old, and she was dying.  He powerfully demonstrates a father's love.

Help was desperately needed and Jairus, likely overcoming religious pride and prejudice due to his position, went to the right Person.  The story has several elements essential to fathering, but let's consider just one: Jairus was desperate to get help for his daughter.  He came to the Master and "fell at Jesus' feet, pleading with Him to come to his house." 

Our world is sick and dying; sin and wickedness abounds.  Our children are at the edge of a slippery precipice.  They're flooded with appeals to "Jump!" 

The same desperation observed in Jairus pleading with Jesus, on behalf of his daughter, needs to be demonstrated by caring fathers today.  His daughter was dying physically and Jairus needed Christ to intercede.  Today our children face a spiritual onslaught from the one whom Jesus said, "comes only to steal and kill and destroy."   We desperately need Christ to intercede for the hearts of our children.

Dads, today, let's follow the example of Jairus. Let us love our children deeply. Critical problems demand a serious response.  Let's boldly stand up, persevere, and fight the spiritual battle for the lives of our children and grandchildren!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Brooksyne's prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for loving me so much that You willingly gave Your one and only Son to die for me.  The price Jesus paid for my sin was the greatest demonstration of love possible.  Help me as a parent to be motivated by Christ's unwavering devotion toward me as I love my children unconditionally and completely.  When I'm discouraged and feel like giving up help me to trust You even more, not dwelling on  the undesirable behavior of my child, but rather looking to You the Miracle Worker!  Just when I think there is no hope, You do the impossible.  Keep me earnest in prayer and faithful in hope for my children.  In the powerful name of Jesus, amen.

Please note: Due to taking Ester to camp next week in New Jersey on Monday and picking her up on Friday we do not anticipate that we will be preparing a message on Monday, June 16 or Friday, June 20.

The full story of Jairus and what happened following his appeal is found in Luke 8:40-56

Ester with Stephen's dad
Here's a photo of my Dad when Ester was a baby.

 Ester with Brooksyne's dad
Here's one one taken several years later with Brooksyne's dad.
They are both enjoying a lollipop!

Today's Suggested Music  and Supplemental Resources

Several songs related to the love of our heavenly Father:

"How Deep The Father's Love For Us"

"Father"  Video 

"Father's Song"

A couple of songs related to a human father's love:

"Butterfly Kisses"

"Let Them Be Little"  Video   We first heard this song several years ago at the wedding for the oldest child of the very first couple I married back in 1978.

This morning I got a call from Andy Larrimore, a long-time friend who works in Boston and he sent me this photo he took yesterday of the BankNorth Garden (Although I never could figure out why they call it a garden!) The giant basketball trophy is there due to the NBA Finals. Andy told me the basketball is inflatable and sometime after he took photo it deflated! Note the interesting view of the Leonard P. Zakim Bunker Hill Bridge in the background.
BankNorth Garden,

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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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