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Friday, September 26, 2008

Photo of Lois Hess and Andrew Samuel
Lois Hess and Andrew Samuel

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"Cups Of Cold Water"

"I tell you the truth, anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to Christ will certainly not lose his reward" (Mark 9:41).

Andrew Samuel is a bank president here in central Pennsylvania who takes a bold stand for the Lord. I met him when he spoke at a Lancaster CBMC function about a year ago.  During his message he referred to the Hess family from Mount Joy, Pennsylvania, who was a great blessing to him as a young man thousands of miles from his home in India.  As we talked afterward I came to realize that he was referring to Lois Hess, a lady who attends our church here in Mount Joy.  I told Lois about seeing him and she said, "Oh, I would just love to see Andrew" so I worked on setting up a meeting.
About thirty years ago Lois, and her late husband Wilbur, hosted Andrew when he first came to the states to attend Messiah College here in Pennsylvania. Andrew came to the rural Hess home when he arrived and then during holiday breaks since he didn't have family close by.

Yesterday morning Andrew was in the Lancaster area speaking to a group of students at Lancaster Bible College and stopped by to visit Lois on the way back to his office in Harrisburg. Brooksyne and I were present during their warm reunion. Lois has been very ill and only recently was able to return to her home after a long period of convalescence.

Andrew greeted Lois with a big hug and addressed her as "Mom" before we sat down and visited for a few minutes before departing and resuming our busy schedules.  I think it's safe to say he made her day and refreshed her with a "cup of cold water".

The Lord Jesus is speaking in today's text. He begins with a solemn introduction very common in His discourses "I tell you the truth."  (In fact in the NIV He uses this exact phrase 78 times.)  This phrase stands out to me since we are flooded with lies from every direction. It seems especially so during this political season and in regard to so many current events. But we can absolutely rely on the truthfulness of God.

Many years ago Lois and her husband dispensed cups of cold water to Andrew (perhaps literally but most certainly figuratively.) Far from his family in India he found in the Hess home a place of refuge and as close to a family-like atmosphere as he was to experience. An enduring relationship was established, so much so, that to this day Lois is "Mom" to Andrew.

Jesus said in a similar passage, "And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is my disciple, I tell you the truth, he will certainly not lose his reward"  (Matthew 10:42).

Today we are all called by the Lord to dispense cups of cold water. Very likely we are both dispensers and receivers and, in some situations like Andrew and Lois, it can become a reciprocating relationship. Nearly thirty years ago Andrew as a young college student was a receiver and Lois was the dispenser. Yesterday Andrew, now a middle-aged businessman, was the dispenser and Lois was the receiver.

Let's all look for opportunities to dispense some cups of cold water in His Name today!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily prayer:  Father, since we belong to You we want to bless others in Your name.  Help us to love without reserve and give generously of our resources.  We will reap not only a reward in heaven, but we will also enjoy the spiritual fulfillment of being Your hand extended to those in need.

I called Lois this morning and she told me again how blessed she was by Andrew's visit!  Andrew has a powerful testimony apart from the specific connection mentioned in today's encouragement and he shares it in churches and business meetings all throughout our region.

A Visit to an Amish Farm

Three little piggies
Yesterday afternoon we stopped and visited our friends Jesse and Anna Lapp on their dairy farm near Strasburg, PA.  I helped Jesse feed the cows and when I walked by the pigs were eager to check the stranger out, probably hoping I had something for them to eat!

We collected rhubarb at the Lapp's neighbors and last night Brooksyne and I (mostly Brooksyne) cut up over 60 cups of rhubarb! Most of it will eventually go into her strawbery/rhubarb preserves.

Photo of toast with strwberry/rhubarb jam
Brooksyne's Strawberry/Rhubarb Preserves
16 Cups Rhubarb, chopped
11 to 12 Cups Granulated Sugar
2 large boxes Strawberry Jello
Cover rhubarb with sugar for several hours or overnight.  Bring to boil.  Take off stove and add dry jello.  Can and seal 10 minutes in water bath or you may also freeze.  (Makes 9 pints.)

Photo of Corner acre shed
I enjoy old farm sheds and Brooksyne thought it was pretty how the Hyacinth Bean vine covers this one. Sure saves on paint!

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

(Click on the link to play)

"I Thank The Lord For You"  Lyrics  Audio

"Love One Another"  Lyrics  Audio

Scripture Memory Songs - Last week we referred to a selection of Scripture verses we had recorded in our home with some friends.  The words are set to familar music as an aid to memorization in a discipleship training class.  Here's the full selection!

Graystone Bank  (the bank that Andrew Samuel serves as president)

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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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