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Thursday, October 2, 2008

Cucumber Falls (photo by Howard Blichfeldt)
Cucumber Falls in Western Pennsylvania
(photo by Howard Blichfeldt)

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"Upon Your Heart"

"These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts.  Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up" (Deuteronomy 6:6,7).

"In His Steps", a classic written by Charles Sheldon, is the second best-selling Christian book of all time (following the Bible).  Over 30 million copies have been sold.  Brooksyne read it in her early teen years shortly after her decision to follow Christ.  It had a profound effect upon her commitment in walking in the ways of the Lord.  I read it in my college years.  It is also the inspiration behind the WWJD theme that was so popular (and heavily commercialized) several years ago. 

Garrett Sheldon, the great-grandson of Charles, wrote, "My great-grandfather grew up on a farm in the mid-1800's.  His father was a missionary and a church planter.  They read the Bible aloud every day, so that by the time Charles went to school, he had heard the entire Bible read aloud five times!  This prepared him to write 'In His Steps' which changed the world with the question, 'What Would Jesus Do?'."

Brooksyne with her grandpaThe exercise of reading Scripture aloud in the home reminds me of visits I made to Brooksyne's grandparents' home in the hills of Arkansas before we married.  They had a practice of gathering each night in the living room of their small four room mountain home and reading Scripture aloud before kneeling in prayer.  Whether you were a visitor or not you were expected to drop whatever you were doing and join them for devotions.  Her grandpa, Elbert, had great difficulty reading so he always had one of the grandchildren read if they were visiting. It holds a special memory for Brooksyne and me to this day.

This sounds a lot like God's design as conveyed through Moses during his last sermon.  God wants His Word to have the preeminent part in a person's spiritual development.

"These commandments are to be upon your hearts." This is key to personal spiritual development. Proverbs 4:23 teaches us to preserve our hearts; "Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life."

"Impress them on your children" is a vital key in the transmission of His truth to succeeding generations. Paul wrote concerning Timothy that "from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures which are able to make you wise for salvation" (2 Timothy 3:15).  Timothy's grandmother Lois and mother Eunice had faithfully impressed God's Word upon Timothy.

"Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up."  This instruction indicates that the follower of God is not to have a casual attitude toward God's commands, but they're to be written upon the tablets of their hearts.  These commands are at the heart of our daily conversation.  After they're memorized and carried out they become our foundation for godliness and a great defense against the lies that bombard us.

How much emphasis does God's Word have in your life and home?

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily prayer: Father, help us to learn Your commands, apply them to our hearts, and carry them out in our daily actions.  We desire to be obedient to You and to bring our children into a faithful relationship with You as well.  We love You with all our heart, with all our soul, and with all our strength.  May our absolute devotion bring honor to You and witness to others of our fervent commitment to serve You all the days of our lives.  Amen.

Memory card sample
Scripture memory verses from each book of the Bible: This should open fine on most computers and is suitable for printing out, copying and distributing if desired.  Open pdf file here

Jeff NealYesterday Jeff Neal, from Dallas, Texas joined us for lunch and a time of fellowship. He has an opportunity to share in schools all over the country due to his athletic background. He is stong, not only physically, but he is also strongly committed to the Lord. He spoke at our local high school and to the young people at our church last night. Jeff serves with Sports World and Team Impact

Stephen took advantage of Jeff's physical strength during his visit yesterday afternoon, since he hurt his back two days ago and is unable to do any lifting. Jeff carted four heavy salt bags for our water softener.  And he did so with a joyful servant's heart.

In His Steps-SoftcoverIn His Steps By Charles M. Sheldon/Bridge-logos Publishing
Although author Charles M. Sheldon wrote In His Steps as a work of fiction, he did his research and patterned his work in the real-life decisions and actions of a handful of Christians battling the brutality and poverty of urban Illinois in the 1890s. Sheldon chronicled their efforts to remain faithful in God's work by asking and answering the questions, "What would Jesus do?"

Sheldon disguised himself as an unemployed printer to find out how much kindness would be extended by Christians and Christian churches. Shocked at how little compassion he received, he wrote his stories to read from his pulpit on Sunday evenings. Within a few weeks he was reading to standing-room only crowds. Sheldon's question "What would Jesus do?" had struck a spiritual chord within them, just as it does today.

This revised Pure Gold Classics Edition contains exciting new features, including: detailed indexes; author biography; beautiful illustrations; and minor, helpful revisions.   More info

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

(Click on the link to play)

"My Life Is An Offering"  Audio

"This Is My Desire"  Audio

Howard Blichfeldt

Today's photo of the waterfall is by Howard J. Blichfeldt and is used with his permission. His website is here. Howard desires to honor the Lord through his photography.

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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