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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Snowy maple
This beautifully shaped maple is behind our house.
Yesterday we had our first significant snowfall of the season.

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"Forever Faithful"

"Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures through all generations. The LORD is faithful to all His promises and loving toward all He has made" (Psalm 145:13).

Roxie likes the snow!Yesterday I received an interesting email ad from Staples, an office supply store where we periodically shop.  This ad especially caught my attention as the subject was "Will Office Depot closings affect you?"

Office Depot, a competitor to Staples, is closing some stores and Staples "thoughtfully" wants to inform me (even though we don't have any Office Depot stores in our area). The ad begins "You can always count on Staples" followed by a press report about the Office Depot closings.

Well that sure caught my attention and I called Brooksyne over to have a look. She thought it sounded rather arrogant. The email confidently proclaims "when other suppliers are closing their doors we're here to stay." Well I certainly hope that's true but only time will tell.

I believe one of the greatest perspectives we can have in life is a daily recognition of God's faithful and abundant blessings.  In the physical realm these blessings vary among us.  Some have better health than others, some have more of this world's goods, and some have greater heartaches.

Because we live in the physical realm we inevitably focus on these.  Nevertheless, how quickly these things can change!  Any security we have in the physical world is very tenuous.  There is such uncertainty in the current economic conditions and millions are affected.

I received a phone call yesterday regarding one of our chaplaincy roles.  Since this last January we've had an interesting and fulfilling role in an international Christian ministry to truck drivers. We share the daily messages in a branded format to an email list and blog. We also staff a 24 hour prayer line in which we have been receiving several calls daily giving encouragement and praying for the callers. Due to ministry budget shortfalls my role will be terminated at the end of the year, along with several other staff.  Although it's not our sole source of income, it was an important part of our multi-vocational mix.

We all know that that "steady" job can quickly vanish.  An unfaithful spouse, a tragic accident or medical diagnosis can alter our present and future plans instantly.  We really have no guarantees of security in regard to the physical realm. Bluntly speaking a store, no matter how popular it is, can't really claim, "You can always count on ______." (I realize the advertisement slogan is intended to make people feel more secure about Staples in an insecure economy.)

But in the spiritual realm our security is absolute with no deficiency whatsoever.  These blessings are safe and abundantly adequate regardless of where we live or how "blessed" we happen to be in the physical.  My Christian brother or sister reading this in Africa, India or anywhere else on this planet is equally blessed with me in the spiritual realm.

What a tremendously assuring truth is expressed in the daily verse.  These are 3,000 year old words written by King David. "Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and Your dominion endures through all generations. The LORD is faithful to all His promises and loving toward all He has made" (Psalm 145:13). The first part of the verse is classic Hebrew parallelism, a great reinforcement of the reality of God's eternal Kingdom.

  • Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
  • Your dominion endures through all generations.
The second part has two complimentary truths.
  • The LORD is faithful to all His promises.
  • The Lord is loving toward all He has made.
These statements may not always appear to be true in regard to our own observation and experiences but they are absolutely true in the spiritual realm and equally so regardless of the extent of our physical and material blessing or lack thereof.

Many of you are encountering a shaking that reveals the insecurity of this present world. Today, let us consider the altogether abundant blessings and promises of God.  "He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all--how will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things?"   (Romans 8:32).

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily prayer: Jesus, our material accumulation initially brings great pleasure but it fades with each passing day.  When we strive to hold onto that which is fleeting it deters us from that which has eternal significance.  Lord, You promise to give us all things that we have need of as we seek You and Your Kingdom above all. May Your light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the glory of God in the face of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Some photos from our snowy Tuesday

Roxie likes the snow!
Yesterday afternoon I went out for a jaunt in the snow with our dog Roxie.

Roxie likes the snow!
She just loves to run freely in the large farm field across from our house!

Our home
We only got a light covering (several inches) but it's still on the ground this morning as we prepare to send off today's message.

Today's Suggested Music
and Supplemental Resources
(Click on the link to open and play. In some cases you may also need to click again to start the song.)

"Faithful And True"  Video    Audio

A thoughtful photo blog post by Doris High titled, "I Trust Him".

"You Can Always Count On Staples"  Here's the Staples email ad I mentioned in the opening illustration.  This is not an ad for Staples!

Resources for Christmas Celebrations

It is our desire to share resources that may be a blessing to families and churches during this Christmas season. We will continue to post these resources through Christmas Day.

Looking for a very special Christmas gift for your parents?  
Here's an idea!  The best gift you can ever give your parents

Looking for a very special Christmas gift for your children?
Here's an idea!

Christmas Memories  Here's a collection of Christmas memories sent in by daily encouragement readers several years ago, along with an opportunity to share your own story. 

"In Remembrance of Me" pdf  This is a passion-filled Scripture reading for two adults. Stephen and I have used this reading with great receptivity during  Christmas Eve services.  We suggest, if possible, a musical background as the message is read. It is also a great lead-in to a Communion service. It should be thoroughly practiced and read with great feeling.

"When Christ Was Born" pdf This is an adaptation to the tune of "How Great Thou Art". It's a great song to sing as a congregation since most are familiar with the tune.

Responsive Christmas Scripture readings for church or family:
John 1:1-18  pdf
"O Come Let Us Adore Him"  

My First Christmas In Heaven  This is a blessed reminder for all who lost a loved one this year.

Christmas Knowledge Test

have also posted two Christmas carol quizzes here (scroll down).

re you Christmas shopping online?
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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, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. 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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