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Thursday, August 13, 2009

Steincross family photo 1933
I found this picture when going through my mom's belongings after she passed away four years ago.  It was taken in 1933 when my mother was twelve years old.  
My grandparents are in the front center.
My mom is at the lower left in the photo, the second youngest child. My Aunt Frances, the youngest child and only one still living, is on the right side.

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"Generations Come,
Generations Go"

"One generation passes away, and another generation comes" (Ecclesiastes 1:4). "A time to be born and a time to die" (Ecclesiastes 3:2).

Today we will be going to a resort on Fort Gibson Lake in eastern Oklahoma for a family reunion on my mom's side of the family. Although my mom passed away in 2005 we still stay in touch with her extended family which includes her sister, my Aunt Frances. Originally there were nine siblings but Aunt Frances is the only one now living.  We are the descendants of our grandparents, George Washington and Nellie Mae Steincross, who passed on about 40 years ago, both well into their late eighties.

For many years we met informally when they lived in their small home in Harwood Missouri but at their deaths their oldest son Gentry proposed having an annual reunion and since 1975 the descendants have gathered each summer for the Steincross family reunion.

Based upon the forty-year generation cycle there have been some 75 generations that have come and gone since King Solomon wrote the words of our daily texts.  Indeed generations come and go.  That is quite obvious and indisputable. In your youth you think you'll never get old. When you're middle-aged as I am now, your foolish youthful theory has been disproved as the clock ticks away.  And I suspect when you're in your golden years you especially realize just how fleeting life is.

Reunions are beneficial for a number of reasons. They're a reminder of how temporary life really is, how fast it passes, and the need to focus on that which really matters.  Brooksyne's and my parents have both gone to be with the Lord so our generation is next.  At the death of a parent(s) you stare your own physical mortality head on.

Today I encourage you to examine your roots and your destination. Generations come and generations go.  You have come and you are most certainly going. According to James 4:14 we are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.   The vital question for each of us is, "Where am I going and have I properly prepared for the future?"

In the book, "When Christ Comes" Max Lucado describes a grand vision of the Lord's return.  He writes that once we get a glimpse of that glorious future event we will realize that "Nothing else matters."  Let us stay faithful today in proclaiming that which really does matter!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily prayer:  God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, your mercy endures to all generations.  Your truths are timeless and Your provisions are abundant to those who call upon your name.  Help us to gratefully declare Your faithfulness to our generation so that generations to follow will also call on the name of the Lord and be saved just as we see in the Scriptures. Generation by generation we proclaim the salvation that comes through faith in Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.  Amen.

Administrative note: Due to the lack of Internet access at the state park resort where I'll be staying in Oklahoma I will not be able to prepare an encouragement for tomorrow (Friday, August 14). I hope to resume this series on Monday, August 17.

Here are some recollections of our trip the last several days:

Brooksyne with her brothers 08/11/09
Brooksyne's brothers along with several extended family members joined us for a Mexican dinner in Tulsa on Tuesday evening.  Jody is to her left and Jerry to her right.  Her oldest sister, Margie, died two years ago and her other sister, Elaine, could not be there.

Ester with Carroll 08/12/09
Brooksyne, Ester and Jody went to Mountain Top (Batson) in Arkansas to see relatives and some of the places where Jody and Brooksyne spent a lot of time during their childhood years with their grandparents.  Batson is high in the hiills about 180 miles from Tulsa. In the photo Ester is standing next to Brooksyne's Uncle Carroll in front of his chicken house.  His chicken house is filled with little peeps right now.  They also visited the gravesites of Brooksyne's parents and grandparents.  For the curious here's a google map of the location.

Over the past 125 years, by God's grace, Brooksyne's family on her father's side has been a part of a godly generation.  Her great grandfather Isaac, grandfather Elbert, and father Brooklyn Sherrell led the way.  And now we seek to raise Ester to be the fifth generation to call upon the one true God.  Her ancestors were not rich in material things, but a man's wealth is not determined by the treasures he holds here on earth.  His wealth is determined by the treasures he holds in heaven.

I took this photo of a dragonfly at a nature trail in Missouri.

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.)

You can download an audio of the book "When Christ Comes" here and actually listen to a sample portion.  Brooksyne and I have enjoyed audio series while we travel or she may read to me as I drive. She's been reading chapters from Warren Wiersbe's "Fifty People Every Christian Should Know: Learning From Spiritual Giants Of The Faith". It's filled with information about men and women completely sold out for Jesus who made a lasting difference for their generation and for generations to follow.

Tip: You can rent an audio book at Cracker Barrel and then return it to any Crackerbarrel in the country within a week for only $3.49!  On the way down we listened to a tremendous inspirational autobiography by Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas titled "My Grandfather's Son".

"Find Us Faithful"  Video  A great song reminding us to stay faithful not only for our own testimony but for those who follow behind!

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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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