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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Bird in flight (photo by Doris High)
Doris High captured this bird in flight departing the feeder.

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"The Fullness Of The Time"

"But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons" (Galatians 4:4,5).

Do you have a hard time waiting?  Are delays difficult to deal with causing you stress and anxiety?  For most of us the answer is "yes."  God had first promised the Messiah after Adam and Eve's transgression in the garden.  Over the next several millenniums there was a growing body of Messianic promises that the Jewish people were given.  At the time of Christ's birth two elderly Jewish people are mentioned in Luke who had longed for the Messiah's coming.  Simeon had been "waiting for the consolation of Israel", and Anna "spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem."

In the daily text the Apostle Paul is reflecting on the events of Christ's incarnation.  He uses an intriguing phrase "when the fullness of the time came" to describe that wonderful moment in space and time when God acted on our behalf in sending His Son for our redemption.  The long wait was over.  The faith of devout people like Simeon and Anna and others like them was now reality.  God kept His promise.

And God still keeps His promises.  He always will. He'll keep everyone of them. We have the perspective of looking back and seeing the fulfillment of the greatest of God's promises.  This occurred after a long wait and in "the fullness of the time." 

I believe I come to an understanding of this verse better when I recognize that it's the fullness of God's time, not ours.  Many of us are waiting for God's promises to be fulfilled in our lives.  The wait can be very trying.  Many are living with an ongoing burden for spiritually wayward family members, others have a long-standing physical ailments in their lives or in someone they love.  And on my heart this morning are so many of our dear brothers and sisters living in very oppressive conditions. And we all wait for that next great cosmic event when Jesus again keeps His last word to us when He declared, "Yes, I am coming soon."

God has fulfilled the biggest promise.  Let us wait with faith and assurance that "in His time" He will also take care of the scores of other matters we all deal with. He is faithful!

In His time, in His time;
He makes all things beautiful in His time.
Lord, please show me every day
As You're teaching me Your way
That You do just what You say in Your time.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily prayer: Father, we know that Your time table is pre-ordained in the events that make an eternal difference in our lives.  A thousand years is as a day and a day as a thousand years.  Help us to patiently wait for Your will to be fulfilled in our personal lives, in the lives of our loved ones, and in the world around us.  May we be found steadfast, sober, expectant and alert awaiting the day of your promised return.  In the precious name of Jesus.  Amen.

A Few More Photos From Our Weekend
Lu playing the Marimba
Lu Kopp played the prelude on the Marimba.

Mike and Jay duet
Mike Book and Jay Rohrer shared in a duet in our musical this last weekend on this song (mp3).
(This is the studio version but our choir sounded as good!)

Merry Christmas from the Webers

2008 Weber family Christmas photo
We would like to share our online Christmas newsletter that we prepare for our family and friends with all our readers.

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.)

"The Lord Has Been Kind"  Audio  This song is based on our message today about Simeon and Anna "in the fullness of time".  It is a  new Brentwood song this year with the duet soloists taking on the roles of Simeon and Anna. Brooksyne has played it numerous times over the past month and it has touched our hearts.

"In His Time"
 Video  As younger Christians in the eighties we often sang this song and it remains a thoughtful expression of trust and waiting on God.

"What Wondrous Love Is This"  (Audio)

"Thou Didst Leave Thy Throne"
 (Audio)  (Audio 2) This is a wonderful stately Christmas carol with the refrain stating, "O come to my heart Lord Jesus, there is room in my heart for Thee."

Today's header photo was taken by our friend Doris High. She has an interesting photo collection here from which I saw today's photo.

Mary Lou Long
Mary Lou Update from Brooksyne:  Several weeks ago we shared Mary Lou Long's testimony.  Almost two weeks shy of her 60th birthday, she has been released from her cancer ravaged body and is enjoying Christmas in heaven this year.  She went to be with Jesus on Saturday morning.  I spent quite a lot of time with her in the last couple weeks and I must say that her new relationship with Jesus had a profound effect on my life.  We quoted the 23rd Psalm quite often. She was a gifted quilter and had recently embroidered a miniature quilt with the complete wording of the 23rd Psalm (KVJ).  The nurses hung it on her shelving so we could all be inspired as we entered the room.  How fitting this passage of Scripture was - most especially in her final days.  Thank you to our readers for your prayers and also for the notes and prayers you sent to her.  I delivered each of them even up to the day before her soul departed.  She kept the letters on her hospice tray right next to her bed.

Resources for Christmas Celebrations

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

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?
Christianbook.comDaily Encouragement Net is an affiliate of Christianbook.com. Any orders placed to Christian Book Distributers using this link or any specific product link to a recommended resource in a daily encouragement message will help our Daily Encouragement ministry through a small commission on the sale. Thank you for considering using these links when purchasing online through CBD! Tip: If you are regular CBD customer consider bookmarking this link and using it whenever you shop.

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!
Send a message to Stephen & Brooksyne.

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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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