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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Sunset from the Weber's home
A sunset view from the Weber's home
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"A Heart Of Wisdom"

"So teach us to number our days, that we may present to You a heart of wisdom" (Psalm 90:12). "Make your ear attentive to wisdom, incline your heart to understanding" (Proverbs 2:2).  Acquire wisdom; and with all your acquiring, get understanding" (Proverbs 4:7).

We often speak or write about the outstanding sunset view we enjoy from our front yard. We have photos from various seasons although I find taking a sunset photo a real challenge.

Our present view at sunset is a dense field of 10 foot high corn with a couple of stone barns and tall silos in the background. The sun sets as a huge ball of orange fire glows above the corn field. The sun's rays light the tassels that top the corn stalks making them look like glistening icicles in the distance. 

Brooksyne is still unable to take long walks along the trail so
last night I walked with a friend as the sun was setting. It was a 90 degree day in Lancaster County and the sun was especially brilliant as it gradually disappeared from our view.

Each sunset is a reminder that God is drawing yet another day to a close. We often get up in the morning as the sun is rising in the east.  Sunrise and Sunset are like a pair of daily "bookends" reminding us that the passing of our lives happens one day at a time.

We associate most of the Psalms with David but Moses wrote Psalm 90 and makes the petition found in our daily text: "So teach us to number our days." Indeed our days are numbered. Today (July 30, 2008) my numbered days since my birth are 19,648.

All of us have an allotted number of days.  These days are in God's hands. Certainly we have a responsibility in practicing safety and maintaining our health and can be very thankful for the role of modern medicine in prolonging life. But one day these allotted days will end for all of us.

Last week our daughter Ester had an impacted wisdom tooth extracted which brought back memories for Brooksyne and me as we went through that dreaded experience many years earlier. Wisdom teeth generally appear between the ages of 17 and 25 at a time of life that has been called the "Age of Wisdom." Thus they are referred to as wisdom teeth.  Our "extra" teeth don't pop out as proof that we have become people of wisdom just because we have grown to adulthood.  But as adults we should all have the desire to be growing in genuine wisdom.

According to the daily Scripture we are to number our days that we may present to God a heart of wisdom. We usually consider wisdom a faculty of the mind but today's text uses the term "heart of wisdom."  We have been studying what this wisdom is as opposed to one's innate intellect or degree of education, and have determined that the "heart of wisdom" is an altogether different thing. 

A dictionary definition of wisdom is "the knowledge of what is true or right coupled with just judgment as to action."  As we ponder this subject we personally describe wisdom as the ability to see the sequential consequences of actions and this is largely a benefit of the life experience that comes as we age.  Another helpful understanding of the word is "seeing and responding to life’s situations from God’s frame of reference."  That's why we should seek the counsel of those who are older or more spiritually mature than ourselves in areas where we might need wisdom and guidance.

The "heart of wisdom" is living each day with the implementation of God's eternal principles as we accumulate and process information.  Let us also incline our prayerful heart toward God and the Holy Scriptures so that He will guide us in the experiences of life with needed understanding that only He can provide. Let us do this today and everyday and truly present to God a heart of wisdom!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily prayer: Father, we earnestly seek You for wisdom regarding the daily circumstances of our lives.  Help us to incline our hearts toward You for understanding all that You have to teach us in the lessons of life.  During the quiet sessions when Your voice seems silent help us to trust You knowing that You work all things out for our good,  for Your glory, and in Your time reference.  Amen.

Purple malva
We have an abundance of beautiful perennial flowers all around our house and now Brooksyne is much better able to tend them! (This is Malva from the Hollyhocks family)

Brooksyne's Health Update: Yesterday I went to see my doctor – the first visit since I started walking two weeks ago using my left ankle.  The x-rays revealed that the healing continues from the break that occurred on May 7 and Dr. Lyons is pleased with my progress.  Unfortunately I sprained my right ankle over 7 years ago and it is very problematic at times, especially in the last three weeks.  Due to the instability of the sprained right ankle in addition to the need for increased extension in my left ankle the doctor has set up physical therapy to strengthen both ankles.  So that's the next step for my recovery.  I also learned that it takes a good year, for some two years, to fully recover from the type of break I endured.  So, endurance, here I come!

I have such a new perspective in the blessing of mobility.  Before I broke my ankle I could only imagine being unable to walk.  Over the years out of gratitude I would periodically thank God for my working faculties:  my hearing, my voice, my mind, my fingers, and my mobility.  But when I thank Him now it is from an experiential perspective, if there is such a term.  Personal experience comes to mind right away, no imagination is needed. 

My compassion, endurance, understanding, and gratitude have grown through this difficult experience.  I certainly desire complete healing but hope that I will never forget this most important life experience that has increased my understanding.  It is truly a reflection of our Bible lesson we wrote about today.

One helpful thought I'd like to pass onto readers from my wheelchair experience.  Weeks ago I attended a large, crowded gathering where much of the visitation time involved people standing.  It was as though I became "invisible".  It is extremely difficult to maneuver the wheelchair in a tight crowd so you pretty much sit while the action goes on all around you.  There were a number of people I would like to have seen but was unable to do so.  From that troubling experience I hope that I will remember to intentionally seek out a person that is immobile since they may be unable to find me.  It was one of the few times in my life where I felt a little like a "social outcast."  Once again God had a new perspective for me to learn that day.  With that frustrating experience I have a new understanding and heightened compassion for people in those circumstances.

Thank you, readers, for your continued interest and prayers offered on my behalf.  I have been deeply touched by your loving compassion. 

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

(Click on the link to play)

"You Are God Alone"

A brief perspective on wisdom by John Piper  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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