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Monday, May 11
, 2009

Me and Mom (September 2005)
Mom and me on the Strasburg railroad in 2005

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"The Blessing Of Honor"

"Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you" (Exodus 20:12).

Roxie at LongwoodYesterday afternoon we visited an Assisted Living Center in the course of our chaplaincy ministry. We walked through and visited briefly with the residents and a number of family members who were visiting on Mother's Day. Besides the personal conversation a highlight for many is seeing and petting our dog Roxie, who often walks through with us!

A number of the residents were out or had been out with family for Mother's Day. We are both through with the phase in life of caring for aging parents, but watching others sure brings back warm memories and the blessing it brought to our lives as we did so.

Carl and Thelma

We consider Carl, a friend of ours, who had his mother with him yesterday and was returning her to the center as we were leaving. She was sitting at the dining room table a bit weary from the break in her routine but so blessed to have spent the day with her son and other family members. Carl was putting her stuff away and appeared somewhat weary himself but is doing a great job of expressing honor to his needy mother.

Living with or caring for an elderly parent (particularly while raising your own children) is a real challenge. In the five years my mother lived with us my patience and gentleness was often put to the test and I came up short too many times. There were instances where I really struggled with honoring her as I knew I should. But now I look back and see that season of honoring her as a blessing that I presently miss.  God was not only caring for Mom's needs through me and my family, but He was also shaping and pruning me as a caregiver.

In order for us to express honor toward another it must come from feelings of deep respect and devotion.  It denotes admiration, respect, or esteem that we have toward the individual(s). The honor we show our parents is a microcosm of our spiritual honor toward God. Failing to honor our parents, as He commands, is certainly dishonoring to Him as is any type of disobedience. On the other hand when we honor our parents it is a tangible demonstration of our honor toward God.

Of the Ten Commandments the last six deal with our behavior toward one another (the first four deal with our behavior toward God).  The first of these "horizontal" commandments is the only one of the six that is worded positively as a command rather than a prohibition.  
"Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you."

It is also the only one of the Ten Commandments that includes a promise.  It's fundamental to wholesome human relationships, and in God's design, it is an essential building block in the practice of the remaining five commandments. If each generation would truly honor their parents, it would be a powerful deterrent to the breaking of the other commandments!

The breakdown in parental honor in our society is evident everywhere and I believe it will likely worsen as we continue to reap the results of violating God's holy law.  A fundamental aspect in the transmission of truth and order from one generation to another is the honor shown to the older from the younger and the blessing given to the younger from the older.  So very often this is not the case.  Parents who had no time for their children will increasingly find that their grown children have no time for them. 

Are you honoring your parents today?  In your conversation, in your actions, in the way your children observe your relationship toward them?   Let it be our motivation for visible expressions of love and care toward our parents.  May you experience the blessing that God gives to those who express honor, so that one day you will not just be giving honor but you will also be receiving it.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily Prayer: Father, each spring as we see tiny featherless fledglings pressed tightly against their mothers in the hollow of their family nest, we're reminded of the human love children experience from their parents' safekeeping. We thank You for the love and care You extend to us through the preordained parents who've cared for us from birth to independence.  Thank You for their model of love, sacrifice, duty, protection, and many other virtuous qualities needed to properly raise their families.  Their example greatly influences the way we raise our own children.

We also pray for those whose relationship with their parent is a role reversal where they must act as the parent when their own parent behaves as a needy and sometimes defiant child.  May Your multiplied mercies sustain these caregivers in their ongoing difficult role so that, above all, You are honored and they find deep peace in the midst of the turmoil.  Thank You, Father, for our human family and our spiritual family.  And we thank You for our heavenly family that awaits our arrival.  In the name of Christ Jesus Your Son we pray. Amen.

Great truths Godly parents transmit to their children:

1.    Love for God and need of salvation.
2.    Love for family and friends.
3.    Love for the church.
4.    Love and respect toward others.
5.    Godly values based on the Scriptures.
6.    Disciplined and responsible living.

Discover Joy Mother's Day Flowers
Yesterday we had small potted flowers placed in each window and  then distributed by our children to the mothers during the service!  This photo sort of gives you an idea of the lovely views we have from our church.

Last night Ester arranged an anniversary party for our 33rd anniversary (along with a lot of help from dear friends). We had a delicious meal, then Ester served as MC.  She had prayers, Scripture readings and remarks. We were blessed by all who attended, mostly friends from Mount Pleasant whom Ester had invited. But my brother Pat and his wife Laverne came all the way from the Lehigh Valley to join us!

Cutting the cake together at our 33rd anniversary party
They had a big cake and we reenacted the cutting of the cake as we did. I quipped that we would have to freeze a piece and share it to together for our 66th anniversary!

Wendy & Brooksyne
Brooksyne and Wendy.  These two have often been confused for one another and at the very least thought to be sisters.  In fact Ester calls her Aunt Wendy.  

With Bunny O'Hare
Transport For Christ Chaplain Bunny O'Hare, whom we first met when we lived in New England, had a prayer for us.

I regularly make this appeal and suggestion: Write your parents a written tribute of your love and appreciation for them! Here's a page I have prepared that has links to two special tributes I have written along with an excellent book on this topic.

Last week we shared a message titled "Dead Yet Speaking" and we want to suggest
this resource related to that.

The Blessing, Giving the Gift of Unconditional Love and AcceptanceThe Blessing, Giving the Gift of Unconditional Love and Acceptance By John Trent & Gary Smalley/Thomas Nelson
Many of us spend a lifetime striving for the approval of our parents. Our parent's approval affects how we view ourself and our ability to pass that approval on to our children, friends, and spouse. In The Blessing, John Trent and Gary Smalley present a life-changing gift the Bible calls "the blessing." Five elements of the blessing are meaningful touch, spoken messages, attaching high value, picturing a special future, and an active commitment. Using the principles offered here provides hope and healing for men and women who may have missed their parents' blessing. Ordering information.  Note: I primarily value this resource looking forward as a means that parents pass on the blessing of faith to their children.

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.

"A Hymn For Mother's Day"  Text with instrumental audio

I want to share an interesting photo post from our friend Doris High concerning a special "Love Feast" service at her church this last weekend.

Strasburg steam engine
Today's top photo was taken of my Mom and me on Labor Day in September 2005 shortly before she went to be with the Lord that November. The Strasburg Railroad is a popular local tourist attraction and a great ride. Here's the steam engine.

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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