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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Trumpet Vine
Flowering trumpet vine that grows wild among the rocks
surrounding Fort Gibson Lake in Oklahoma.

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"Living With Biblical Hope"

"For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope" (Romans 15:4).

Today there's a lot of talk about hope and people put their hope in a lot of different things.  Today we are not certain what opportunities may come our way. We will be going to the Indiana State Fair and hope to visit with Floyd Miles, a friend who pastors in Indianapolis. In our ministry service we trust the Lord daily to lead us where we can serve and make an impact even as we travel. We expect to encounter someone today who needs hope and encouragement.

There's a great line early in the classic film, "It's a Wonderful Life" where the angel Clarence is beckoned to help a troubled human.  "Is he sick?", Clarence asks. "No, it's worse than being sick", the head angel replies, "he's discouraged."  Undoubtedly some of you reading this today are discouraged so it is the prayer of our heart that this brief word from "the encouragement of the Scriptures" may strengthen and renew your Biblical hope today!

The Apostle Paul describes the unregenerate state as being, "without hope and without God in the world" (Ephesians 2:12). In 1 Thessalonians he writes of those "who have no hope" (4:13).

C. S. Lewis insightfully summarizes the human condition; "We try to be our own masters as if we had created ourselves. Then we hopelessly strive to invent some sort of happiness for ourselves outside of God, apart from God. And out of that hopeless attempt has come human history . . . the long, terrible story of man trying to find something other than God which will make him happy."

One of the great inheritances of the child of God is "hope". Notice the wonderful phrase that concludes the daily text, "we might have hope."  Consider today the blessing of having hope, a confident assurance in God and the veracity and dependability of His promises.  "We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure" (Hebrews 6:19).

So believing friend, today, let us continue to trust in the One who is ever dependable and let us rejoice together in the hope we have in Christ.  That is the heart of being encouraged and building your life on Biblical hope!

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus' blood and righteousness.
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus' name.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily prayer: Father, help me to look beyond the immediate to the deeper meaning of each day's task.   May the hope You place within this redeemed heart of mine stir up a joyful spirit and an overcoming attitude regarding the difficulties I encounter throughout the day. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation and renew a steadfast spirit within me as I rejoice in the unending hope I have in You.  In Jesus' Name I pray. Amen.

Administrative note:
We are traveling back to our home in Pennsylvania and will post these messages as we are able over the next couple of days.

The Annual Steincross Reunion

Steincross Cousins at 2009 reunion
Eleven of the sixteen first cousins were able to make it to our reunion this year, although we all stay in regular contact. We are the direct descendents from the children in the photo posted Thursday. Our grandparents are George Washington and Nellie Mae Steincross, who lived in the tiny village of Harwood in southwestern Missouri.

Steincross family at 2009 reunion
A total of 63 family members attended from all over the world.  With horseback riding, walking trails, golf, guided nature hikes, tennis, a pontoon boat ride, water skiing, a tram ride and a soft ball game we had lots of activities. Our Aunt Frances is in the center left of the photo in the blue blouse. She is the ony child still living from our grandparents. If you are really curious this photo will enlarge.

Brooksyne with Cherokee and baby
Brooksyne's heritage includes Cherokee Indian so we went to the  nearby Cherokee Heritage Center in Tahlequah in the extreme heat of the afternoon. Here is our Indian tour guide who escorted us through the pre-European Cherokee village along with her 6 month old baby who went the entire tour with us!

Stephen with Cherokee blowgun
I took two shots from a blow gun and barely missed the small target some 40 feet away.

Richard Mayberry with Lucy, a friendly deer
My cousin Richard and his wife Pat named their new four legged friend Lucy.  She came to visit their campsite daily.

Bald eagle
The nature center had an outstanding variety of animals, birds and fish including this bald eagle I managed to photo very close-up.

I have a lot more photos from our trip that I will be sharing in the next several daily encouragement posts.

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.)

"On Christ The Solid Rock I Stand"

"My Hope Is In The Lord"

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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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