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Monday, August 3, 2009

Reist Popcorn Company mural
Reist Popcorn Company Mural
We often pass this large mural painted on a brick buidling when we enter Mount Joy. It's an example of barnart painted by Wayne Fettro, a local artist who specializes in large projects on barns and other buildings.

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"Friendship Collection"

"Thinking He was in their company, they traveled on for a day. Then they began looking for Him among their relatives and friends" (Luke 2:44).

People collect a lot of different things. Several weeks ago we visited with Sarah who collects Fiesta dinnerware. Jack is a longtime friend who collects baseball style hats and to this day we recall the way he would display his collection by hanging them in his garage in Kane, PA.  Last week we visited Rick and Rachel's home. Just stepping into Rachel's living room we could see that she collects all sorts of Yankee candles.  And John, a former neighbor and salesman, collected business cards and plastered his entire basement wall with them. We suppose many of you have collections as well.

Neither Brooksyne nor I are much of a collector as far as specific items but we do tend to collect plenty of "stuff."  I am particularly inclined to have my Dad's depression era thriftiness regarding disposing of anything that might ever be remotely useful at some point in life. I still recall the rusty red Folgers coffee cans filled with miscellaneous nuts and bolts he kept on the work bench in the garage till the day he died. Now I have propensity to do the same thing!

Today I want to write about collecting friends. I started doing this in first grade and next week I'll see Dave, a friend I first met nearly fifty years ago (Ouch!) I've continued to collect friends all along and keep adding to my collection. Next week we will meet a reader for the first time in Joplin Missouri on our way to a family reunion in Oklahoma.

For many years now I've been taking photographs of friends. They are placed in a folder on my computer labeled "friends" and often placed up on this site. It's quite a collection and periodically I go through it and reminisce.  If you join us for a meal in our home you will be asked to sign our guest registry.  It helps instill memories of enjoyable visits from friends and family over the years.

Jesus was twelve when the occasion of the events concerning the daily verse occurred.  This was when his parents "lost" him after a trip to Jerusalem.  What caught my attention was His parents' sought for Him among his relatives and friends.  Of course we know that Jesus was actually back with the religious leaders, but the wording of the text indicates that it was Christ's practice to spend time with relatives and friends.  That's where His parents assumed He would be and where their search began.

I've never really thought much about Jesus having friends as a little boy.  But He surely did.  It's normal and healthy to have friends and the Scripture declares that Jesus "grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men" (Luke 2:52).

Jesus considered His disciples to be friends. He said to them "You are my friends if you do what I command" (John 15:14). And after the resurrection in one of His encounters with His disciples He has this exchange, "Friends, haven't you any fish?" (John 21:5).

The Apostle Paul was also blessed by many friends. I enjoy this rather obscure passage, "The next day we landed at Sidon; and Julius, in kindness to Paul, allowed him to go to his friends so they might provide for his needs" (Acts 27:3). Paul seemed to have friends wherever he went which means he was regularly making friends along the way.

I thank God for my friend collection. The really neat thing about this collection is that, unlike other earth bound collections, for the most part I can take them with me to heaven.  All my friends who follow Christ will be among those with whom I spend eternity!

Perhaps you will consider your friendship collection today.  Make an effort today to contact an old friend.  You might also consider developing a new friendship to add to your collection. It will bless you and the friends!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily prayer:  Father, one of the most valuable and enduring lessons of friendship You show us in the lives of Jonathan and David.  Jonathan gave up his royal position without resentment for David.  David sent for Jonathan's crippled son, Mephibosheth and his family, years after Jonathan's death and provided for his needs.  Help us to be attentive people who show our love in tangible ways to our friends and their families.  May our love for them enrich their lives even as they enrich ours.  In Jesus name we pray.  Amen.

Collectibles and Friendships: Collectibles require certain maintenance practices such as dusting, acquiring storage or display units, the expense of collecting, making room in your home, etc.  They can be a pleasure to the eye and are certainly a conversation piece, but are rarely maintenance free.

Friendships don't just happen; they require maintenance as well. Making the time, listening with interest and follow-up, corresponding and getting together, practicing forbearance and forgiveness, working through differences, giving of oneself and resources, lending a helping hand, etc.  But the rewards of a good friendship makes the human maintenance so worthwhile!

First tomatoes 2009

This weekend we had our first homegrown tomatoes of the season and they were very good!  As usual the tomatoes that ripen first are the ones hidden near the ground and covered by the leaves, as pictured.  We sent an email to my brother Pat letting him know that we had our first ripe tomatoes.  His email returned letting us know he's been eating his ripe tomatoes for nearly two weeks. Just a little friendly brotherly competition going on here!  Next year we'll need to get our plants in the ground a little earlier.

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.)

"Friends"  Video  Micheal W. Smith

"I Am A Friend Of God"  Video  Phillips, Craig and Dean

"What A Friend We Have In Jesus"  Video  Chris McDaniel

Here are more examples of Wayne Fettro's mural paintings.  Here are some photos I have taken we often see along our local jouneys. 1 2 3

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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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