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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Cardinal couple 4/12/11
Mr. & Mrs. Cardinal often visit us as we labor at the keyboard.
They're always a welcome sight, even if their visits are brief.

40 Day New Testament Reading/Listening Plan: This suggested 40 day reading plan began last Sunday (April 3) If you want to participate and have not been following the reading schedule up to this point we suggest starting with today's reading (Luke 1-4) and reading Matthew and Mark after this reading period ends. Here's the entire 40 day  schedule. (These links will open to the selection to be read and a built-in listening device.) More information concerning the Scripture reading plan is below the daily message.
  • Today's reading (April 13): Luke 10-13 beginning here.
  • Tomorrow's reading (April 14): Luke 14-19 beginning here.
ListenListen to this message on your audio player.

"The Blessing Of Health Care Professionals"

"But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him" (Luke 10:33,34).

Illness, disease, injuries and health skirmishes are common to all who walk this mortal life. It doesn't matter our age or nationality, our genetic make-up, our wealth or lack thereof; there are troubling health matters we cannot doctor on our own which require assistance or expertise from others – often complete strangers beforehand. Yet how quickly we come to rely upon them and sometimes we develop lasting friendships with those who "bandaged our wounds".
Jesus spoke about an unnamed Samaritan who applied a healing salve, bandaged the wounds, and provided the material needs for a total stranger in His parable, "The Good Samaritan". Typical of Jesus' parables, He taught principles not only for the people who gathered with Him that day but principles that apply to all cultures and every generation.

Today's Scripture text is taken from this parable. Jesus revealed to His surprised audience that we become a neighbor when we are moved by compassion and act in accordance to one's need. Proving ourselves to be neighborly is not due to our proximity to another's dwelling but due to
our acts of mercy.

Good SamaritanA man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho and was robbed, stripped, beaten and left for half dead. It's expected that a priest and Levite who both had honored positions would help the wounded man. Instead they both walked past him on the other side of the road. A despised Samaritan came along and acted promptly: "When he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him."

Today I want to express gratitude for something virtually all reading this have experienced or at least observed in one way or another.  I consider the medical care given by health care professionals.

It occurred to me that these professionals deal with health matters daily and their occupation can easily become routine. They can lose awareness and empathy for the experiences of their patients and family members in the midst of their multitude of duties.  And certainly there are those who grow weary due to the abuse they experience by litigation zealots.

Now this is a field in which I am not called, so I am very thankful for those who are.  I have little to no interest in watching, let alone participating, in medical procedures. When the doctors say, "Please step out of the room" I'm already on my way out. I actually get squeamish when Brooksyne trims our pet's claws.

Health care workersBut all over the world today there are those merciful souls who are "bandaging wounds and pouring on oil and wine", a phrase indicative of medical care at that time. Although caring for others medically is not a uniquely Christian act, undeniably, scores of people are motivated by the example and teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ. Members of my spiritual family are serving others in hospitals and clinics in the remotest parts of this terrestrial ball.

I am aware that many health care professionals receive these messages. May the Lord bless and use you today as you extend the compassion of Christ to others through the medical care you provide. May you not grow weary in well-doing.  My prayer is that you will have numerous opportunities to share the motivation behind your deeds of kindness.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying man Daily prayer: "Father, help us to have the heart and motivation of the good Samaritan when he saw the helpless man along the way.  Taking the time to stop and help surely wasn't on his schedule that day nor were the stranger's medical and lodging expenses written into the Samaritan's budget.  He didn't consider these substantial factors to be an obstacle that would keep him from extending mercy to one in need.  Father, help us to be Your hand extended reaching out to the needy, the sick, and the oppressed.  Help us to be a willing vessel whom You can use to pour out healing, to mend the broken-hearted and to bind up their wounds.  And, Father, when it is not within our ability, our resources, or our location to directly reach the one in need, prompt us to bring him or her before the throne in earnest prayer.  We do it in Jesus' name and for Your honor.  Amen."

Note: Not only did the Good Samaritan take care of the wounded man's physical needs but the parable goes on to state: "On the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper and said, 'Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I return I will repay you'" (Luke 10:35). He was responsible in seeing that the man had follow-up care and in seeing that the innkeeper was properly compensated.  His compassionate act was thorough just as we should be when we reach out to one in need.

Brooksyne's further thoughts:  I consider the kindness of the good Samaritan as he loaded the sweating, bleeding man onto his own donkey so that he could transport him to the inn where he would be cared for further.  It reminds me of the time that I transported Stephen to the hospital in my new orange Maverick I got for graduation from high school.  He had fallen on an icy patch of campus sidewalk and ripped his knee open and was bleeding profusely.  Now, of course, I knew Stephen quite well and was anxious to care for him. I wonder if I would have been so generous to transport a total stranger who was bleeding in my new car!

Some Scenes From Our Office Window

Gold Finches 4/12/11

Squirrel 4/12/11
We are easily entertained by our frequent and colorful visitors.  The squirrel is quite perplexed that he can't manage to get into our birdfeeder, though we welcome him to clean up the fallen sunflower seeds which he usually does. Pansies and sweet allysum provide the delicate pastels of springtime in our planters.

Tortured For His Faith
Free book: "Tortured For His Faith" We would highly recommend this book it is available to Daily Encouragement readers for the month of April free of chargeIt is tremendously inspiring and will stir you to faithfulness in the face of persecution.  It will also create a greater hunger for the Bible as a result of reading it.

Merely go to this page and fill out the form on the lower part of the page. Indicate that you are a daily encouragement reader and request the book in the comment box. (Don't forget to include your mailing address.)

40 Day New Testament Reading/Listening Plan

"You've Got The Time" Bible reading planOn Sunday April 3 we began a forty day program of reading through the New Testament and we encourage Daily Encouragement Net readers to consider joining in as we read/listen through the entire New Testament in 40 days. (At this point we suggest starting at the reading for the current day and then if desired reading the portions you hadn't read when the 40 day period is over.)

These readings take about 30 minutes per day. Prior to each message we will provide a direct link to the Scripture portion to be read and listened to each day and for the next day. (and several links for the weekend daily readings).

The daily encouragement message for each weekday during the forty day period will be based on a portion of the text in the Bible reading for that day (or, on Mondays this may also be from a Scripture portion read over the weekend.)

Here is a page where you can download the entire Bible to your computer in a variety of versions.

Here's an overview of the plan I have prepared with practical tips (pdf)

Here's a schedule for the entire 40 day reading period along with discussion questions. This is especially suitable to bookmark during this period as it contains links that will open directly to the passage to be read for the day.

"Proclaimer" Bible listening deviceThe reading links open to Bible.is, an online Bible with audio player and additional apps that you may find useful. For those who may prefer the KJV it is available. For international readers there may even be a version available in your native language. Just click the small tab directly below the Bible.is logo on the top left to see available versions. 

This Bible reading plan is a partnership of Daily Encouragement Net and Faith Comes By Hearing, a ministry which provides Bible listening resources all over the world. We will share more about this ministry in future messages.

Daily Encouragement on Facebook Join our Daily Encouragement Bible reading group on Facebook. You can read and listen to the material directly on Facebook.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Wounded Soldier"  Video  Steve Green

"Oil and Wine"  Video  Jerry Bennett

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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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