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Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Abundant Lancaster County harvest
This harvest view is about 1 mile from our home and a frequent sight as we walk in our neighborhood.  The fields, barns, trees, and blue sky sure make for a colorful country setting!
Large view
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Note: Today's message was written by Brooksyne with Stephen doing some slight editing, the reverse of our usual roles.  I was in the nursery with my camera before the Sunday School class began so we have the benefit of telling the story with pictures today.

"Lessons From The Church Nursery"

"Each person should judge his own actions and not compare himself with others….  Each person must be responsible for himself" (Galatians 6:4,5).

I served in the Sunday School Baby Nursery this past Sunday and had the privilege of watching over two adorable babies; David (15 months) and Adoree' (7 months). 

Nursery kids with Ken
David's father, Ken, was teaching in the Toddler Nursery in the next classroom which greatly upset David who is normally a very happy child.  Ken had only one child in attendance so we decided to combine the classes which would help to settle David.  Ken's student, two year old Tirza, would also enjoy being with David and little Adoree'.

We sat in front of the small flannelboard Ken supported with an easel on the floor. He then prepared to teach about Noah and the ark but first asked Tirza to fold her hands together and bow her head for prayer, which she proceeded to do.  Ken prayed a very brief prayer inviting God to teach us from the Bible and to bless the children. 

Immediately following Ken's "Amen" Tirza very sweetly and innocently inquired of the teacher with her very grown up sounding two year old voice, "Did you hear Adoree' talking when we prayed?"

I was holding Adoree' at the time and she was making the usual baby noises that 7 month old babies make.  While Tirza was awaiting the teacher's reply about the disruptive student Ken kept a very even tone and lovingly told Tirza, "Adoree' was making baby sounds and that's OK with Jesus."  Tirza, a very sweet and bright child, seemed very willing to accept the teacher's explanation.

I went into the worship service thinking about the nursery class and considered that I am often like Tirza (though I am not nearly so young or innocent.)  Too often I find myself wondering what God thinks about "the other guy" rather than simply being obedient to the things I know He wants me to do.  I want to avoid the very thing God is trying to work out in my life and volunteer to help Him correct the person next door or my family member or a co-worker. I might be tempted to judge a brother or sister who is weak in an area where I have no temptation. In our human nature it is much easier to look at other people's actions than it is to look within our own hearts.

But Apostle Paul instructs, "Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith.  Test yourselves."  The Psalmist invited the searchlight of God's convicting power when he prayed, "Search me, O God, and know my heart… See is there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting" (139:23,24).  In his ongoing distress Job searched his own heart and prayed to God, "If I have walked in falsehood or my foot has hurried after deceit - let God weigh me in honest scales…" (5:6).  "Each person should judge his own actions and not compare himself with others….Each person must be responsible for himself" (Galatians 6:4,5).

I have digressed somewhat from the original illustration to present a challenge to both reader and writer today.  If we're quick to find fault with another but slow to deal with our own behavior, let us prayerfully take inventory of our own life.  When we deal with our own sin, we will find enormous freedom and be a greater example to others.   We will also be able to reach out to the weaker brother or sister with a heart of humility rather than a judgmental attitude.  It is then that we will both grow and mature in the ways of the Lord.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily Prayer:  Have mercy on me, O God, according to Your unfailing love; according to Your great compassion blot out my transgressions – wash away all my iniquity and I will be whiter than snow.  Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.  Amen.
See Psalm 51:1-2,7,10

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
(Click on the link to play)

Yesterday we shared a message about David Clapper, a missionary pilot who died in a plane crash in August.  I wanted to point out a very interesting song on Dave Clapper's website
. It should play automatically when you open the site (at least it does on mine).  It really is an interesting perspective on death and the musical style may surprise you.

Here is a site with some outstanding video concerning missionary aviation and work in tribal regions by New Tribes Mission.

"Create In Me"  Audio

Additional Note from Brooksyne:  I had a good chuckle with Amber, Tirza's mom, after the nursery class.  I told her I have a story to share with our readers on Daily encouragement which she heartily endorsed.

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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