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Friday, August 7, 2009

Flowers on barn
Flowers on barn wall

Special note:
We are on a trip to the midwest for two family reunions in Oklahoma, visiting friends and relatives along the way. Today's message is by Brooksyne and is a bit more story than exposition but we tie it in with a spiritual truth. It concerns her memory of the only out of town motel trip she made as a child.

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"Living In His Wonderful Light"

"Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed" (John 3:21). "But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light" (1 Peter 2:9).

I was raised in a big family so anytime we traveled when I was a child we stayed overnight with relatives, not in a motel. Except for one memorable time after my two oldest siblings had left home. 

Mom and Dad, my sister Elaine, my youngest brother Jody and I piled into our green Comet with an after market air-conditioner my dad had proudly installed for the trip and we headed to Dallas, Texas. We were going to  "Six Flags Over Texas" theme park (still in its infancy stage in the 60's).  It was one exciting time for us; not only Six Flags, but this was the first time we'd be staying in a motel. 

Up to this time we'd only swam in muddy farm ponds, lakes and creeks.  But the bargain motel had a real swimming pool. We had a ball swimming for many hours well into the night hour, but finally the pool closed, and we headed into our room.

After we fell into a sound sleep a shrill scream awakened the whole family.  Bracing for the worst we jumped out of bed to see what horrible thing was taking place.  Mom, visibly upset, declared that we were all to get dressed and to pack up the suitcases immediately.  We had to spend the rest of that hot summer night in Dallas sleeping upright in the stifling, hot, cramped car. (So much for the air-conditioner in a car when we can't run the engine!)

What was the big problem?  Mom had gotten up in the middle of the night and turned on the bathroom light. Out of seemingly nowhere despicable roaches of all sizes and varying speeds zoomed back and forth on the bathroom floor. She had a conniption fit and declared in a voice that couldn't be reasoned with, "We're not taking suitcases back to Tulsa filled with roaches so they can breed and live in our house."  No-sir-eee! We may have been poor but we weren't dirty and, to Mom, roaches were equated with dirtiness!  (I wonder, all these years later, if Mom asked for a refund on our motel bill?)

In the Gospel of John he made an association between this Scripture and our scurrying roach observation. "Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed" (John 3:21). Now roaches are not evil (although I sure wouldn't care to have them as pets). They are just creatures doing what they were created to do, however distasteful we may find it. They live and do their deeds in the darkness.

That's not God's design for God's special creation. We were created to live in His light. A foundational aspect of the redemptive work of Christ is marvelously described in 1 Peter 2:9, "But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light."

Next time you see a roach, consider the contrast of light and darkness - remember God calls you to live in His wonderful light!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily prayer: Father, I thank You for the great deliverance and transfer that took place when I surrendered my heart to You.  You delivered me from the dominion of darkness and transferred me into the Kingdom of Your Son in whom I have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.  Now I walk in the light of Jesus and His kingdom which is righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Help me never to forget the great rescue and change You brought into my life.  In Jesus' name I pray.  Amen.
See Colossians 1:13,14  Romans 14:17

Note: As it turned out the first full night Brooksyne ever spent in an out of town hotel was on our honeymoon in Joplin Missouri on the way to Table Rock Lake!

Stephen's Six Flags Memory:  I recall our only trip to Six Flags as a child and it was a big deal for our family as well.  To promote Six Flags Over Texas park employees adhered bumper stickers on the cars in the parking lot while the guests were enjoying the amusement park.  It read something to the effect, "I've been to Six Flags Over Texas".  Dad was none too happy about it, but I couldn't wait to get home so all my friends could see that I'd been to Six Flags.

Ohio State Fair

Ohio State Fair 2009
For many years we have enjoyed going to fairs and whenever we travel we try to take in a couple along the way. Yesterday we went to the Ohio State Fair and enjoyed the time but I (Stephen) was disappointed that one of my favorite features wasn't there - the antique tractor display!

However we did get to take a ride on a wagon behind a tractor where I shot this photo, as we were shuttled from a distant parking lot to the main gate.

Ester singing karioke at Ohio State Fair 2009
Ester starred in a karaoke show and really enjoyed herself.

Llama at Ohio State Fair 2009
Ester feeding the Llama the last of her sliced carrots.
This brings back another fair memory from many years ago! See here.

Roasted pig at Ohio State Fair 2009
There was plenty of food to eat at the fair including this hapless pig.

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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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