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Friday, August 26, 2011

Vanilla Pumpkin candle (smells good!)
Due to the subject matter of today's message we felt a photo of something that smells good would be appropriate. This just happens to be Brooksyne's favoriteYankee Candle fragrance!

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"Faulty Assumptions"

"But let a man examine himself" (1 Corinthians 11:28a).

Yesterday I made some early morning chaplain calls and Geno, a friend of mine and reader of this series asked, "How do you come up with all those stories you share?" I told him, "Most originate from the actual experiences and observations I make during the course of life." You see, God can use any circumstance to teach or illustrate lessons from which we can learn solid principles.

Following my first chaplain visit I had a brief lapse of free time prior to a scheduled appointment with a Human Resource manager.  I was to meet him in a company we'll soon be serving so I decided to take a few minutes to walk through a large Walmart Supercenter nearby. 

I was looking for a particular item at the back of the store and as I walked along I detected a rather foul odor. T
he odor persisted wherever I went and eventually I began to wonder if somehow I was the carrier.  Brooksyne has been sick this week with a nasty virus and hacking cough so she was not with me; otherwise I could have asked her opinion. Considering my one on one appointment was just minutes away I was a bit distressed. I had showered early in the morning but still couldn't shake the feeling that it just might be me.

When I stepped out of the store the odor lifted. I looked back and saw a sewage truck parked in front of the store. Apparently this particular Walmart was having some sewer problems accounting for that malodor.  I was immensely relieved.  It wasn't me after all!

Well that brought to mind another lesson from many years ago that did concern me:

When Ester was about four years old Brooksyne and I took her for an appointment to the pediatrician. In the waiting room I smelled a dirty diaper type smell (quite common in a setting like that.)  I looked around and said to Brooksyne, "They sure need better ventilation in this waiting room."  As Ester sat on my lap the odor continued to permeate and I thought to myself, "Tell Brooksyne to give Ester a good bath when we get home." I couldn't help but wonder what the doctor might think about our hygiene habits.

Later that evening I slipped my shoes off and the stench was finally revealed. No!  It wasn't my feet, as some of you are thinking right now! I discovered that I had some doggie doo doo on one of my shoes and had been walking around with it all day long. I was the stinking problem!

As we journey through life it's easy to make faulty assumptions and fail to thoroughly examine our own life. Paul's gives a simple command for believers in relationship to partaking in Communion. "But let a man examine himself."  I believe that's
also good general advice for everyday living.  As we go through life various scents assault or stimulate our senses.  We are tempted to assume that we emit the pleasant while other sources are responsible for the unpleasant.  We'd do well to examine ourselves first lest we cast the blame in the wrong direction!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer:
Father, during life's testings You are providing us opportunities to examine our spiritual condition. It's far too easy to make faulty assumptions. When we fail we often cast blame on others, on circumstances, or sometimes we even question Your hand in the matter. Give us the courage and thoroughness to turn the search light on our own hearts rather than shining the spotlight on others.  We invite the spiritual scrub brush of Your Holy Word to do the needed cleansing and purging. Your love is ever before us and will lead us in the way we should go!  It's not by our strength or power, but by walking in Your Spirit that we cast out wrong attitudes and stop undesirable behavior. Thank You for never giving up on us and for Your Spirit's conviction in our life!  Amen.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Jesus I My Cross Have Taken"  Video  Indelible Grace  If you, like us, appreciate the  hymn style music (new and old) you may appreciate this YouTube channel.

For instance this hymn was written by John Newton. I do not recall ever hearing it before.
"Pensive, Doubting, Fearful Heart"  Video  Red Mountain Music

Regarding yesterday's message "Lessons From The Morning Glory" Jim, a reader from Texas observes: "If you take the Morning Glory and carry out the intrusiveness of this plant that grows where you don't want it to, it is easy to relate it to sin. The beauty of the Morning Glory can be like sin, beautiful to look at [through our fleshly eyes] but, when it grows it can choke out life around it. I'll let you write your own sermon on that one. In some parts of the country, including North Dakota, where my wife is from, Morning Glory is also called "Creeping Jenny", among other names."

Here's a case in point:  We have an arbor leading to our backyard. Brooksyne planted a beautiful dainty climbing flower called the Cardinal flower to grow over the arbor. However as you can see the Morning Glories are taking over though they have not been planted there for many years!
Morning Glories growing on arbor
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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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