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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Migrating snow geese 3/8/11
What a welcome spring-like sight to see and sound to hear; the snow geese flying overhead as they're honking while migrating south! Yesterday I was working in our barn when I heard the loud honking and went out to look up and saw mile after mile of  migrating birds. This is only a tiny cropped portion of all I saw.

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"He Made Us Accepted!"

"To the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved" (Ephesians 1:6). "Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God" (Romans 15:7).

Molly with Ester 3/8/11Ester is so excited. She has wanted her own dog for several years now so we agreed that she could have one for her 22nd birthday which is today.  Yesterday we picked up a 2 month border collie mix pup from our local animal shelter. An individual had surrendered the pup's mother and siblings to the shelter when they were unable to care for them a week earlier.

The photo was taken at the shelter when we got in the van. Roxie had gone along for the ride and it would appear from the photo that she's wondering why she's not the center of attention as usual.

This puppy like our other dog, Roxie, did not come from a pet shop, has no pedigree and is certainly not registered. Roxie had a very rough start in life, having been rescued from an abusive setting,  but has been a wonderful pet for the last six years years.

I recall an experience with Ester about fourteen years ago when she got her first puppy when we lived up in New England.  We picked the puppy out of a litter of mangy looking pups kept in a squalid backyard.  She won our hearts when we walked by her fenced in yard, day after day, on the way to Ester's school.  She always ran up to the fence and gave us the puppy look that steals even the hardest of hearts.

We named her Penny and people often asked what kind of puppy she was.  We'd usually respond, "She's just a mutt". One afternoon I took a walk with Ester who was leading Penny on a leash. She was about eight at the time when she suddenly stopped and looked up at me with an inquisitive expression:  "Daddy, am I a mutt?" she asked.

This got me to thinking and please read my thought all the way through!  You know, she is a mutt.  She was born in Guatemala and immediately taken to an orphanage.  Her birth mother was unable to care for her and we have no history of the birth father.  She came to us at three months of age dying of congenital heart disease and spent the next three months in a major medical center all the while isolated from other patients because she had scabies and salmonella in her blood. She's had six heart surgeries and many heart catheterizations, two pacemakers and actually more overcomings than should be listed in this writing.

Let me be somewhat blunt and ask you, are you a mutt?  Don't be insulted!  Think of where you've come from, spiritually speaking, and your acceptance into God's family.  Sure, many come from "good" families and that is such a blessing. But undoubtedly many others, like Ester, came into this world under very difficult circumstances and so many come from homes far from ideal.

Consider a single phrase in our daily Scripture,
"He made us accepted in the Beloved."

What a glorious truth!  We've been accepted in the Beloved and we are a part of His family. Whether we were born into the most proper of families by this world's standards, we're still born into sin, thus we have the sin nature - everyone of us. Only through Christ's redemption are we accepted into God's family and admitted entry into heaven.  This glorious transition cannot be earned, purchased or inherited, for it is made possible entirely by His marvelous grace!

Alas, and did my Savior bleed and did my Sovereign die?
Would He devote that sacred head, for such a worm as I. 

Yes He would and praise God, He did!!!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying man Daily prayer: Father, how marvelous is Your indescribable grace that You should love a sinner such as I.  Though I deserve death You grant eternal life through the death of Your beloved Son, Jesus. I am accepted into Your family, into the sainthood of all believers, through my redemption in Christ. So, too, I want to accept those who have turned to you in faith and obedience to  who might be different, who break into my carefully etched out comfort zone.  In doing so that I learn how to be more loving and learn how to bear with others in such a way that pleases and honor You.  I come  as a mix of Your love, mercy, and grace as I extend myself to others around me.  Amen.

Molly with Ashley & Ester 3/8/11
Yesterday afternoon Ester's friend Ashley stopped by to see Ester and her new puppy, Molly!

Puppies are a lot of work! Already we are getting her accustomed to a long walk over the farm field across from our home. Since she has some border collie she is high energy and strives to keep up with Roxie, who is again enjoying long walks following the winter hiatus. They already get along fine but our ten year old cat Dottie is having a hard time adjusting to the new "intruder."  Ester was awake through the night with her high energy puppy.

"Weep with those who weep": This morning as we prepared the message we heard a sad story out of a neighboring county here in Pennsylvania. Seven young children perished in a house fire early this morning on a dairy farm. I suppose it especially hits us due to our hardworking Amish friends who also run a dairy farm.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"I'm Accepted"
 Video  DeGarmo & Key  This song, written some time ago, has a message our young people especially need to hear. In their teen years especially they strive for acceptance based on worldly standards. But we rejoice today for we can declare, "I'm accepted by the One who matters most!"

"Amazing Love"  Video  Candi Pearson

"Who Am I"  Video  Casting Crowns

"I Am Accepted"  Video  A nice selection of Scriptures with background music.

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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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