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Monday, June 23, 2008

Jim and Dorothy Schmidt

Jim and Dorothy Schmidt
on the boardwalk at Ocean City

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"A Global Enterprise"

"Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord" (Romans 12:11).

We traveled to Vineland, New Jersey on Friday to pick up our daughter, Ester, from camp and then headed to Beesley's Point just outside Ocean City, NJ to visit our friends, Jim and Dorothy Schmidt. We met them about eight years ago at a conference in Boston and have stayed in touch over the years. They are a vibrant couple with an outstanding testimony of God's saving grace that turned their lives and marriage around. Now in their seventies they remain very active in service for Christ; serving with the mission agency Send International. 

Jim ministers to prisoners, Dorothy serves with Christian Women's Club, they frequently share their testimony as a couple to various groups and churches (one of the most blessed testimonies I've ever heard).  They also served as youth leaders well into their sixties!  The way they interacted with Ester during our visit was visible evidence of their effectiveness with youth.  They're likely involved in many others venues of service and they're certainly gracious hosts.  I am confident that some of our readers personally know them because of their extensive outreach.  They, like many of you, demonstrate today's text: they're never lacking in zeal as they keep their spiritual fervor in serving the Lord.

I've heard the following story a number of times and I am sure some of you have as well. I really don't know how it originated and I've heard different versions, but I think it's a great description of the work we are a part of as followers of the resurrected Lord Jesus. One version has two men sitting on an airplane and inquiring as to what each does for a living. We tend to rate each other's worth based upon the type of work we do or the position we hold.

One of them, who is involved in Christian Service, describes his work as follows:

"I'm with a great global enterprise.  We have branches in every country in the world.  We have representatives in nearly every parliament and boardroom on earth.  We're into motivation and behavior alteration.  We run hospitals, feeding stations, crisis-pregnancy centers, universities, publishing houses, and nursing homes.  We care for our clients from birth to death.  We are into life insurance and fire insurance.  We perform spiritual heart transplants.  Our original Organizer owns all the real estate on earth plus an assortment of galaxies and constellations.  He knows everything and lives everywhere. Our product is free for the asking.  (There's not enough money to buy it.)  Our CEO was born in a hick town, worked as a carpenter, didn't own a home, was misunderstood by his family and hated by his enemies, walked on water, was condemned to death without a trial, and arose from the dead.  I talk with Him every day."

I like this description! And every one of us who follow Christ can describe our work this way. Some, by human estimation, may have smaller roles.  They may lack worldly titles or accreditation. You may even feel that your part is insignificant. But it's not!  "Your labor in the Lord is not is in vain."

I memorized the daily text early on as a Christian and shared it several times this weekend with the Schmidts. It's a great truth to always keep before us. As we departed from their home yesterday they have the wonderful custom of waving at their departing guests from their front porch. I rolled down the window and heartily hollered out to them, "Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord." It was not just a prompter for them, but it was a prompter for me.  Today, in whatever role you have in Christ's global enterprise, serve eagerly and faithfully!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily Prayer: Father, thank You for enlisting us as Your servants in the kingdom of God here on earth.    You do not require a royal title or a seminary degree as a prerequisite in advancing Your kingdom.  You look for willing hearts whose love and commitment to Christ spill over into their words and actions in every setting in which they're found.  May we be eager to diligently study Your Word so that we can effectively serve You in reaching others through the opportunities provided us. Thank You for the many who are faithful examples of lives that are fully yielded to Your purpose as they glorify You while influencing others for the Kingdom.  Amen.

Some photos from our weekend!

Camo Malaga
Ester singing "Trust In The Lord" in sign language with her camping friends at Handicamp near Vineland, New Jersey. She had a great time.

Ed and Gladys Berkey
Edward Berkey served as the Superintendent of our Southern New England district when we pastored in Taunton, MA.  He conducted the installation service for us when Stephen began his pastorate there in 1993.  He has inspired many pastors and laypersons as he has diligently served the Lord in a pastoral role over the years and he continues to have speaking opportunities.  He and his wife Gladys spend the summer months in Ocean City and make their home in Sarasota, Florida the rest of the year.  Last year they became friends with the Schmidts and joined us for dinner Saturday night. From L to R, Dorothy Schmidt, Gladys Berkey, Jim Schmidt teasing Ester, Brooksyne, and Ed Berkey in the front.  
Engle family
We attended Sunday service at the Ocean City Tabernacle.  How delighted we were to see friends who live only a couple miles from our home seated three rows in front of us.  Jerry has been a long time subscriber to this encouragement ministry and has spurred us on with reciprocal encouragement over the years.  Yesterday was no exception.  Jerry and Sharon Engle are vacationing with their son, Tim, and daughter-in-law, Jennifer, along with their four delightful grandchildren.

Ester with Lloyd John Ogilvie
Lloyd John Ogilvie, author and former chaplain of the U.S. Senate, was the morning speaker.  His joyful disposition was evident even before he took the pulpit as he sat on the platform.  After the service Ester conveyed to him that he had been a blessing to her as a child when she listened to her "Word in Song Book/CD" where he, along with other well-known Christian personalities, took on the roles of Bible characters.  Since Ogilvie has a deep, powerful voice his was the "voice of God" heard in the Bible stories she often listened to.  His voice has been compared to that of James Earl Jones.

Tiny car
On Saturday afternoon we watched an antique car show on the boardwalk.  This tiny car was quite interesting!

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Take My Life And Let It Be"  Audio

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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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