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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Photo of stillwater cove on Raystown Lake
Last night at dusk we were back on the old trail across from our home for a walk. This is the first time Brooksyne's been able to walk this rougher part of the trail since she broke her ankle on May 7th.

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"Keeping Spiritual Fervor"

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

We returned from our long Midwest trip last night, putting over 2,500 miles on our van. It's good to be back to our normal routine and preparing these daily encouragement messages from the comfort and familiarity of home.  Of course we have a couple days of catching up with yard work, mail, and laundry.

On the way home we saw a couple of long-time friends from college and we caught up a bit.  Wayne Stephenson is from the Detroit Michigan area and was my dorm roommate during my junior year. We have not seen each other in over 32 years but he drove down to meet us in Toledo Ohio for a time of fellowship late Monday evening.

He told me that his mother, Christine Stephenson, was recently honored for her continual faithful service in teaching the toddler class in her church for fifty years. She is now nearing 80 years of age and continues to teach this lively age group every week. 

Her willingness to teach this challenging class of youngsters for fifty years amazes me.  Though toddlers can be extremely amusing and sweetly innocent, when you group them in one setting they can be live wires making it difficult to impart spiritual truths.  Their inability to read and their difficulty with grasping spiritual concepts at this age only adds to the challenge. Most volunteer preschool teachers instruct for a season but rotate to older age groups to avoid the common "burn-out" that comes with this teaching position. But Christine has kept her spiritual zeal in her faithful years of service in a hard place.

Lacking zeal or losing spiritual fervor is a dangerous condition that the believer needs to be aware of as he progresses in his spiritual life.  As you grow in your knowledge of Biblical truths and the things of God it becomes quite familiar and the wonder of first discovery can diminish over the years.   It is here that spiritual boredom can set in.  Some sadly leave the faith and move into other things. Others move to the fringes with interest in extra-biblical new revelations or fanciful, faddish teachings.

The Apostle Paul gives a wonderful word to the Roman believers that I committed to memory many years ago.  "Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord."  The verb tenses are present indicating a continuous call to action. 

Zeal can wane and fervor will often diminish, but we must again recall the words of Scripture. In prayerful obedience to God's command let us be refreshed in our call to serve the Lord in whatever capacity He has called us to serve.  And if we look through eyes of faith we do see exciting things happening all around us.  May our Lord deliver us from spiritual boredom and increase our zeal in service to Him this day and in the days to come!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily Prayer: Father, help us to be energized by the flaming fire of Your Holy Spirit as You reside in our hearts.  May we be wholehearted in what we do for You making the most of every opportunity to give faithful witness to Your work in our lives and in those to whom we reach for Christ.  Keep us from growing weary in service for You so that we will see a bountiful harvest in this life but most especially in the life to come.  Amen.

Ron Grostefon

Ron Grostefon lives in Fort Wayne, Indiana and drove up to join us for dinner along the Indiana Toll Road Monday afternoon. Ron was my college roommate the second semester of my freshman year.  He continues to faithfully serve the Lord. He has three daughters and one of them serves in missions in Panama.

32nd anniversary photo

Wayne Stephenson, as mentioned above, was my roommate during my junior year. Wayne has several health problems and is in line for a kidney transplant. He is a faithful member of his local church which he has attended his entire life.

Dave and Millie Donner
We received word that our friend Dave Dohner passed away on Sunday. For many years Dave and Millie sat behind us in church and demonstrated a faithful, steadfast walk with Christ. They celebrated their 63rd wedding anniversary this last April. Both Dave and Millie were especially kind to my Mom, often coming over to play table games with her.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

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"The Longer I Serve Him"  Video

"I Offer My Life"  Audio

"A Long Obedience in the Same Direction"  Audio  A thoughtful article on long-term Christian service by Randy Alcorn.  He shares that as a young pastor he served in Boring, Oregon amd the local ministerial group was known as the Boring Pastors' Fellowship.

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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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