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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Jutiapa Guatamala
Lake Atescatempa and Chingo Volcano
Jutiapa, Guatemala

(photo by Marvin Culajay)

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"My Cup Runneth Over!"

"My cup runneth over" (Psalm 23:5).

We serve as part-time chaplains in Longwood Manor, a large assisted living/nursing home type facility. Each week we spend several hours walking through the facility room by room visiting individually with the residents, often sharing Scripture or praying with them. Due to the continuity in care we are building friendships and trust over time.

Late Saturday afternoon I received a call that one of the men wanted to see me so that he could take care of "some unfinished business." I drove over to find him sitting alone in the dining room. He's 90 years old and has had a long, full life but these last several months have been very hard for him with a succession of critical health-related issues.

I pulled a chair up beside him and placed a hand on his shoulder. He was distressed and somewhat confused about his present circumstances, but I verified his faith in Christ and his preparedness for heaven.  Like many in a situation like his, he was singly focused on his present trial and needed outside perspective. I shared with him the need to focus on his blessings as together we considered the Lord's goodness to Him all the years of his life.

He had been staring aimlessly away from me, but at that point he looked right into my eyes.  He then nodded his head with a contemplative look and responded, "You know, you're right." His outlook seemed to change from that point on.  He then reminded me to bring Roxie next time. The residents are accustomed to seeing Roxie with us on our visits and sometimes I think they look forward to seeing Roxie as much or more than us!

Roxie at Longwood

We often share the 23rd Psalm in hospital visits or at deathbeds. Of most pertinence in these kinds of settings is the reassuring phrase, "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me."

But I am especially moved by the latter phrase in this famous psalm when David writes, "My cup runneth over."  One of the great choices we make in life is how we view the cup of God's mercy in our lives. Many are focused on the aspect of lack rather than plenty.  You've likely heard the illustration of optimists who see the glass half-full while pessimists see the glass half-empty. But we, who are truly growing in our faith will recognize that which God is doing in our lives, and choose to rejoice as we focus on the outpouring of God's blessings toward us.

Today I urge each of you to consider God's blessings in your life. Surely some of you are going through a deep trial. But you make the choice to focus on your perceptible lack or on His sufficient resources. I pray that we all might truly declare with David, "My cup runneth over!"

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily prayer:  Father, You are our Shepherd who tenderly cares for all our needs.  Your grace is beyond measure and more than sufficient for our daily needs.  When we are weary and discouraged You restore our soul and renew our hope, in this life, and most especially through the eternal perspective of life's circumstances.  Thank You for Your anointing and outpouring of blessings that overflow in our lives.  For all that we have we give You thanks!  Amen.

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"Fill My Cup Lord"  Video 

Today's photo of the lake and mountain in the backgound was taken in Jutiapa, Guatemala by Marvin, a young man who once lived with us when he was a little boy in the late eighties while he was up from Guatemala for medical treatment. This last weekend he visited this area in Guatemala and sent us some photos yesterday.  

Marvin with Shawna and SharonHere is a photo taken about twenty years ago when he was up in the States with us.  He is with with two sisters, Shawna and Sharon, who were in the church we served at that time in northern Pennsylvania. A fond memory we have of Marvin was how proud he was to wear his tie to church. In fact he liked it so much he often wore it at home. He comes from a devout Christian family.

Here's a current photo of Marvin and his family.
He is now married with a child and is serving the Lord! He works for the Guatemalan Forestry Department. Here's a photo of Shawna and Sharon at the Shady Maple where we met them for lunch two years ago. Both are married with children and also faithfully serve the Lord.  3 John 1:4

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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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