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Monday, November 29, 2010

Farm near Maytown PA 11/28/10
We passed this tidy farm near Maytown, PA yesterday.

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"Lessons From A Purring Cat"

"Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name" (Hebrews 13:15). "He who offers a sacrifice of thanksgiving honors Me" (Psalm 50:23).

We've had some cold weather in our area the last several days so I cranked up our coal stove practically to the maximum output. Last night I was sitting on the recliner beside the stove when our cat Dottie jumped up to sit on my lap.

Over the years I have periodically written about Dottie and displayed her photos.  She's not as prominent in our messages as our dog Roxie, who tends to be much more personable and outgoing.  But we have enjoyed her being part of our family for over nine years now, the longest we have ever had a pet.

Her mother was a wild barn cat who surprised us with a litter of newborn kittens in a dilapidated summer kitchen attached to our home. We were renting a 100 year old farm house at the time following our move down to Pennsylvania from New England
in early 2001.

Since my childhood I've really enjoyed hearing a cat purr when stroked gently or held closely.  Last night Dottie just purred away as I slowly stroked her back and face. I don't know the biological basis of a cat's purr but I take it to be a sign of contentment and appreciation. It's as if she is saying. "Ah, that is so nice."  But I also find myself getting so much satisfaction when I hold a purring cat.

Scripture teaches that our praise glorifies God and, really, aren't we also expressing our contentedness and thankfulness when we earnestly enter into praise? When we praise the Lord we rest in His presence and acknowledge His steadfast love and care.

Many have wondered, "What is the distinction between praise and thanksgiving?" It is commonly taught that praise is our worship toward God concerning who God is while thanksgiving is our worship toward God concerning what He has done. In practice though they often used interchangeably such as in our daily texts.

The writer of Hebrews ended his letter with a call to praise the Lord.  "Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name."

I encourage you to rest in the arms of our loving God and express your love for Him as you recall the ancient words of the Psalmist, "He who offers a sacrifice of thanksgiving honors Me." Let us, as His children, offer up our praise and thanksgiving to Him today!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Thankful manDaily prayer: Father, as we give praise to You we are offering our heartfelt thanks for who You are and all that You do on our behalf.  As we mature in our walk with You we realize that there are many occasions when we must offer a sacrifice of praise since it doesn't always come easily nor often enough. It is in those circumstances that we willfully choose to praise You out of obedient hearts desirous of pleasing You and glorifying Your name. May our words be fruitful and our thoughts praiseworthy in the name of Jesus we pray.  Amen.

Summer kitchen: A summer kitchen is a small building, usually away from the main house, where the canning/preserving, washing of clothes, etc was done in the extremely hot weather, so as not to heat up the main house. At times, the summer kitchen was attached to the house, but was situated so that it didn't warm up the main part of the house. In our case it was attached at the side of our house in the back.

Dottie on pillow 2/23/10
Dottie manages to sleep soundly just about anywhere and often uses our coal stove's stone landing for a pillow.  But Ester took this photo when she wisely chose the kind of pillow cushion we humans enjoy!

We mentioned that we use a coal stove to heat our house (with occasional supplement from electric heat). We thought some of our readers might enjoy seeing how this system works.

2009 coal delivery to Weber's home
The coal is delivered and placed in a coal bin beside our small barn at the side of our house. I can normally load 4 tons at a time into the bin which lasts the winter. We use Pennsylvania anthracite coal to heat our home. The delivery man has to get up in the bed of the truck as it is being unloaded.  He has a hard job! Anthracite is a hard coal that burns clean and efficiently.

Coal enters coal bin
The coal slides from the truck down the chute into the bin.  I take the coal into the house in large buckets and fill a hopper behind the stove. From the hopper the coal is slowly fed to the fire. I also have to empty the ash pan and dispose of the ash daily. The stove essentially heats our entire home with a little electric heat assist on really cold days.

Coal stove burner
Inside the stove the coal on the burner plate is white hot.

Roxie and Dottie in front of stove
Roxie and Dottie enjoy laying together in front of the stove.

Brooksyne at coal stove
And when it's really cold Brooksyne enjoys working in front of the stove. She regularly expresses appreciation for this warm spot in our house!

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.)

"Psalm 50:23,24"  Video We recall singing this simple Scripture chorus many years ago! A great way to memorize the Word.

"Praise The Lord"  Video  A great song from the 80's!

"We Bring The Sacrifice Of Praise"  Video  Maranatha Singers

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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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