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Friday, August 21, 2009

Balloon made of cans
A balloon made entirely of Red Gold tomato cans!
2009 Indiana State Fair

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"75% Humility"

"Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love" (Ephesians 4:2).

We've been getting a lot of rain in our area and following the rain is a steamy humidity.  Not only can you feel it in the air but it covers our windows and glass doors. It reminds me of the time that Brooksyne was listening to WDAC, our local Christian radio station, and when the announcer gave a brief weather report she reported that "we have 75% humility." She immediately recognized that she had misspoken and corrected the word to humidity and then made a quip about being humble.

Our funniest recollection of a mispeak happened many years ago when Brooksyne, Ester and I dined in the Crystal Dining Room, a fine historic restaurant in the Crescent Hotel in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. The hotel sits on the top of a mountain overlooking the charming Victorian resort village.

Following our delicious meal the server asked, "Are you ready for deodorant?" Looking at her in great surprise I responded to the effect, "Well, do you really think I need it? I just showered this morning!"

Her face reddened as she realized what had come from her lips.  I think she was as shocked at her words as we were. She quickly explained her forward question, "I got my tongue tied and meant to ask 'Are you ready to order desert?'"

Unintentionally misspeaking is one of the ways God uses to humble me. I recall leading a group in the Lord's Prayer and since I have been in some groups that use "trespasses" and some that use "debts" I tend to get confused at this point. When I came to this part I said "Forgive us our debtpasses".  (My Amish friend says he just says "sins" and is sure that covers it all.)

The Biblical standard for humility is 100%. Notice in the daily Scripture text Paul writes "be completely humble."  This is an aspiration that I suppose few of us have attained. Are any of you reading this completely humble? Actually it seems to me that anyone making such a claim would be proud of their humility thus negating being completely humble!

Peter wrote, "All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble" (1 Peter 5:5).  Today may we all clothed in humility!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily prayer:
"Jesus, we know that none of us are 100% humble, for we are clothed in these mortal, fallible bodies.  But we do know that You are completely humble and we look to You as our example.  As we clothe ourselves in Your righteousness we can overcome the pride that is ever before us.  We recognize that no good thing can come from us, but all that is good comes from You.  Remind us daily that gratitude is the antidote for feelings of pride.  When we acknowledge that everything we have and all that we are is due to Your merciful blessings we are humbled and grateful to You, the Giver of every good and perfect gift.  Thank you, Amen."

Note from Brooksyne:  I've often thought back to my freshman year in Bible College when I was in an intense study of I & II Corinthians.  I was growing spiritually and I was very committed to many hours of daily prayer and Bible Study.  In fact people began to take notice and came to me with their prayer needs.  I began, in my spirit, to realize that people were looking to me and sadly it began to make my head swell!  Eventually the Scripture, "Pride comes before the fall" came home to me and prayer became a serious struggle.  I realized that my spiritual growth birthed in humility died in my personal battle with pride.  As the saying goes, "Humility is a virtue that, once you think you have it, you've lost it!"

Home Again

Wednesday evening we returned from our trip to the Midwest with over 2,800 miles on our 1999 Town and Country van. We thank the Lord for travelling mercies and a good trip but as usual it sure is good to be home!  Here are some friends and family we saw on the way home.

Family dinner time
What a joy to share around the table with family and friends.
Since Biblical times the breaking of bread has been a time of not only physical nourishment but relational as well.

Al & Adeline Worthley 8/16/09
We stopped in southwest Missouri and had dinner with Al and Adeline Worthley. Al is my chaplaincy supervisor and for many years has been such a blessing in regard to the chaplaincy aspects of our ministry. He is a retired prison chaplain. Both he and Adeline continue to touch lives for Christ. Adeline is involved in hospice chaplaincy.
Can anyone identify what town we were in?  See below.

Clarence & Ilene 8/16/09
On up the road a few miles further we stopped by to visit Clarence and Ilene Koch, who live off Route 66 near Conway, Mo. For many years Ilene has been a daily encouragement reader and has periodically written us. When she detected we might be near her home she invited us over and we had a great visit. Off their front porch they have beautiful vista view of the Ozark Mountains. Clarence and Ilene have been married 54 years and enjoy a nice spread with many flowers, a vegetable garden, and several mules.  Clarence picked a large watermelon for us to bring home to Pennsylvania!

Mule ride with Molly 8/16/09
While at the Koch's Ester rode Molly. Clarence is a real mule team trainer and his teams are among the finest, winning many competitions. Here's a photo Ilene sent me several years ago.  After Ester rode he jumped on the mule himself and rode. Not bad for a 76 year-old!

Dean & Gretta with family 8/17/09
In Saint Louis we stopped by and had lunch with my niece Greta and her husband Dean and their children. This a blended family that I am heartened to see work so well. In 2003 Greta's first husband, Scott, died as a result of an electrical accident at work, leaving her with a young son Scott and infant daughter, Caroline. Dean's wife died of cancer several years ago leaving him with their son Zachary (pictured on right).  They met when Scott and Zachary became friends at school and Zachary was invited to Scott's birthday party. I suppose the part I find the most heartening is the close relationship they continue to have with both of their former spouses' parents.

We have some more photos we will share in the next couple of daily encouragement posts including our travels along old US Route 66 on Monday and a great time at the Indiana State Fair on Tuesday.

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.)

"Humble Thyself In The Sight Of The Lord"  Video

Mystery location: Ozark, Missouri - The clue, of course, is the Lambert's sign in the background. This is a real interesting place to eat but is definitely not for classy folks. After all, they throw the rolls at you! Here's a photo of my friend Dave about to catch one coming in over his head when we ate there several years ago.

Two other interesting features about Lambert's is a longstanding policy established by the founder, Norman Ray Lambert, of serving anyone coming in a wheelchair free.  He always followed the Golden Rule - "Do Unto Others As You Would Have Them Do Unto To You". They also have a feature known as "pass arounds"  Regardless of what main dish you order the server comes around with deep buckets of all you can eat - Fried Potatoes & Onions, Macaroni & Tomatoes, Black-Eyed Peas, Fried Okra, and Hot Rolls & sweet Sorghum.

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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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