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Monday, October 17, 2011

Two photos, far and near!

Fall foliage in New York state (Doris High)
Fall foliage in upstate New York
Photo by our friend Doris High

Kraybill Church Road, Lancaster County, PA
This is an early morning view looking north from our driveway.
The trees are rapidly changing.

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"Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad!"

"Honor your father and mother"--which is the first commandment with a promise--that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth" (Ephesians 6:2,3).

Mom and Dad weeding photo, October 17, 1944Certain dates have significant meaning such as our own birthdate, wedding anniversary (if married), our children's birthdates, etc. When I awoke this morning and considered today's date (10/17) a recollection was immediately refreshed. This was my Mom and Dad’s wedding anniversary date, October 17. Today would have been their 67th, although both are now with the Lord.To the right is their wedding photo in 1944.

They were great parents! My love and appreciation for them has grown through the years and actually continues to do so since their departure. In fact I often think of things they did for me and wonder – “Did I ever thank them for that?”

There are many observations about cute things that children say or do, but have you ever considered the cute things our parents say or do? I have some memories in that category! Consider that my parents were raised during the Great Depression which gave them an interesting perspective on life and frugality. We recall two examples from the days when you paid by the minute to talk long distance.

First we recall a message they left (unknowingly) on our answering machine about fifteen years ago.  When we checked our machine and listened to the message we could tell they were both holding separate phones, prepared to talk to talk to us.

Here's the message: Dad in a frustrated tone: "It's that thing, Georgia."  Mom: "What? What do they have now? That caller ID?"  Dad:  "No, no it's that, that answering machine.”  Mom with an anxious voice:  "Hurry, hurry, hang up, I suppose we'll have to pay for a whole minute". Click.

Then we remember another time when Brooksyne and I were visiting Aunt Hazel (Mom's sister) who lived in Davenport, Iowa. Mom had called her in the early morning when long distance rates were discounted. Well, they got to talking longer than planned and the magic minute arrived when rates returned to full price (8:00 AM as I recall).  Aunt Hazel was in mid-sentence and Mom hung up on her without as much as saying good-bye.  She wasn't about to pay full price for long distance!

It's not Mother's or Father's Day but it's always time to honor our parents.  One of the dominant sins of our time is the failure to honor our parents.  Let me give you a positive. I just got off the phone with Mike, a long-time friend who is honoring his mother who is at a very fragile stage of life. Although he lives in a distant state he and his wife and daughter make regular trips to see her and are there now. She also has a daughter close by who is overseeing the care given to her in a setting intended to meet her physical needs.

But so many of the elderly sit in nursing homes who have not heard from their busy children or other loved ones in weeks, months, even years. I recall a TV program we watched several years ago on "Elder Abuse".  It described grown children who grossly neglected and abused their elderly, dependent parents.  It was hard to stomach.  The show indicated that it's a growing problem and I believe it will likely worsen as we continue to reap the results of violating God's holy law in this regard. 

A fundamental law in the transmission of truth and order from one generation to another is the honor shown to the older from the younger and the blessing given to the younger from the older. So very often this is not the case. Parents who had no time for their children will increasingly find that their grown children have no time for them.

Do you need to call on your parents today?  Are you able to visit them? Tell them you love them and appreciate all they've done for you! "Honor your father and mother -- which is the first commandment with a promise -- that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth."

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily Prayer: Father, we honor our parents today, whether they're living or deceased. You gave them to us so they could love, provide, nurture and guide us into maturity and independence. Help us to return our love to them as we thoughtfully respond to their changing needs. May they be able to depend on us even as we have depended on them throughout the years. When present circumstances make this responsibility extremely difficult give us the needed wisdom and creative means to still carry out the command to honor our father and mother.  In the name of Your Son, Jesus, we pray.  Amen.

Brooksyne's Note:
 I want to commend our readers who are attentive to their parent(s) needs as they increase during the golden years or as some say the "bonus years".  As I visit the nursing home on a weekly basis I often see the same daughter or son of a resident visiting with their parent(s).  I consider how much of their personal lives they put on hold so they can lovingly honor the remaining days or years of their parents time on earth.  They not only bless their parent(s), but they're also a steady presence to others in the home who look forward to seeing them on a regular basis.

We encourage our readers to write a written tribute to their parents! Here's the tribute I (Stephen) wrote to mine. Here's a page of tips with a link to a complete book on this topic.

Mark and Caroline Pulliam w/ Michael 10/16/11
Yesterday we enjoyed a meal and time of fellowship with our friends Mark and Carolyn  Pulliam, along with Carolyn's son, Michael. Mark also preached in our church and reminded us of the primacy of contending for the Truth. We both worked with Mark many years ago in a company that provides chaplain services and for a time Mark was my supervisor. He presently serves as a hospice chaplain.

Kraybill Church Road, Lancaster County, PA
This is the view down our road in the other direction.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
Click on the link to open and play.

"Honor Your Father and Mother"  Video  Steve Green a song for kids of all ages!

"Appreciating Our Parents"  Video  It would be great if our kids had teaching and reinforcement like this in schools today!!!

"Music Box"  Video  For some reason the film above brought this to mind. This is the first of four parts and well worth the time! It will make you smile. Many years ago Jim Lutton, a board member in a former church and also a music teacher, suggested this film. It always blesses me!

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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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