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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Donegal Creek duck family
Yesterday we had a warm day and we took our long walk along Donegal Creek.  The various wildlife was out in abundance and also appeared to be enjoying the warmer weather!
Click here to enlarge.

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"Our Whole Family"

"I kneel before the Father, from whom His whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name" (Ephesians 3:14,15).

Brooksyne and I have a friend with roots in an old order Mennonite group often characterized by large families. The other day we were visiting with him and inquired about his family. He informed us that he has 16 brothers and sisters and over 100 nieces and nephews, although he told us it's hard to keep an accurate count as it changes pretty regularly!  Now that's quite a large family!

In this series I often refer to my family, specifically my wife Brooksyne and daughter Ester.  My mom and dad have both gone on to heaven as well as Brooksyne's folks. Certainly our family includes our siblings and their families and then it extends to aunts and uncles, nieces and nephews and many cousins all over the country.

But our family also includes those whom we fellowship with spiritually in our church and in previous churches and in all our ministry associations. And we extend our family to include all of you who read these messages and who, like us, have placed your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.  You are according to Scripture, our brothers and sisters.

But our "whole family" is much, much larger than that! Paul uses the phrase "whole family" in our daily verse to describe the entire church. The word family in this context is a collective term for the descendants of the same father.  God our Father has only one family.

The "whole family" includes all people of every race, from every country and in every time period who have bowed in submission to Jesus Christ.  This family is composed of people in heaven and on earth.  Thus it certainly includes all who have gone on to be with the Lord, as well as believers from all over the earth living today representing Christ to their world. 

What a great joy to have family members all over the world. We enjoy hearing from many of you through email.  If you are a follower of Christ you're a part of my family! Although we know a lot of people I only know a tiny, minuscule fraction of my whole family. An important perspective is that actually my kinship with fellow members of God's family is greater than all other associations such as my national identity and in some cases even blood relatives.

And you, dear folks, whether or not we've ever seen you face to face are an important part of our family. We are connected not only through modern technology but we are joined together in spirit as we serve the same Father and follow Him according to the Scriptures.

I'm so glad I'm a part of the family of God.
I've been washed in the fountain, cleansed by His blood!
Joint heirs with Jesus as we travel this sod.
For I'm part of the family, the family of God.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily Prayer: Father, we kneel before You, in whom all heaven and earth derives its name and pray that out of Your glorious riches we, as the body of Christ, will be strengthened with power through Your Spirit in our inner being.  Unite us in spirit and strengthen us in purpose as we walk together upholding, defending, and proclaiming the Gospel message of Jesus Christ who saves to the uttermost.  We pray for our brothers and sisters who are undergoing persecution because of their uncompromising belief.  Remind us often, since we can't see them and can easily forget. We want to be a faithful support to them in prayer and thought.  When we all get to heaven what a time of rejoicing that will be when we see Jesus, when we unite with our brothers and sisters from every generation,  from every tribe and nation, from every color and race, and from every tongue and dialect.  It will be an experience beyond description, so fill us with anticipation for later and anchor us through Jesus Christ for now as we await that blessed day of eternal hope.  We pray in the precious name of Jesus.  Amen.

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.)

"All Hail The Power Of Jesus Name"  Video hymnstory  This video version has the song with a very interesting story of how it was once used in missions.  I chose this song because of recalling this line,
"Let every kindred, every tribe
on this terrestrial ball,
to Him all majesty ascribe"
And crown Him, crown Him,
crown Him, crown Him;
And crown Him Lord of all!

"The Family of God"

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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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