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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

1 Corinthians 13 coffee mugs
1 Corinthians 13 Mugs
(with hot coffee and a little chocolate fudge to warm the heart!)

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"Love Always Perseveres"

"It [love] always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails" (1 Corinthians 13:7,8).

Mount Joy Gift and ThriftBrooksyne periodically serves as a volunteer cashier at the Mount Joy Gift and Thrift, a very nice second hand store that raises funds for missions. However she also likes to shop there. Yesterday she worked and... shopped! She came home and excitedly showed me some of her bargains, including the coffee mug seen in our top photo on the right, which also capably illustrates today's message! She was especially thrilled to find a match for the coffee mug (on the left) we had received as a Christmas gift.

Brooksyne and I enjoy meeting people and hearing their stories. Several years ago we sat across from Bob and Joan at a fellowship meal who told us they had been married fifty-three years. It's very inspiring these days to know people who have an enduring marriage but this couple went on to tell us they also share the same birthday.

Dwight D. EisenhowerThat's really neat and rather unusual. Brooksyne and I share birthdays exactly one year and one week apart every year. So far she's not been able to catch up, which she never complains about! But this was the first time in my life I had met a married couple who celebrated their birthdays on the exact same date.

I have met people who share my birthday and have a friend who was also born on October 14, 1954.  When I was born Dwight Eisenhower was president.  His birthday is on October 14 so I have a nice congratulations letter on White House stationary that someone must have requested when I was born!

But as
Bob and Joan shared their story it grew more intriguing as they went on to inform us that they not only share the same birthday but they were born on the very same day in the very same hospital. Since their birth records do not specify the precise time of birth they don't even know who is older! They've known each other since they were children and both recall having an "interest" in the other as youngsters.

Old coupleAn enduring marriage requires persevering love. In over fifty years you can imagine the bumps and hard times this couple has been through. Brooksyne and I know this as we approach our thirty-sixth anniversary in several months. In my premarital discussions with young couples who are preparing for marriage I candidly share of this reality.

We need a commitment to persevering love. This is expressed in loyalty, a great Scriptural virtue that's sure on the decline. Loyalty is faithfulness expressed in our relationships. It's keeping the promises we make which ultimately reveals our faithfulness to the Lord. In the daily Scripture from the "Love Chapter" we read these characteristics of love: "It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails."

This persevering love foundationally needs to be expressed to the Lord but is also expressed to other people; in our marriages, our children, our extended families, co-workers and friendships. 

What about you today? Is loyalty and persevering love a character trait in your life?  Loyalty has been defined as "using difficult times to demonstrate my commitment to God and to those He has called me to serve."  May God give us each persevering love!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily Prayer: Lord Jesus, hear our earnest prayer this day. May You, the supreme example of persevering love, help us to daily nurture persevering love in our human relationships. May we be loyal to our partners, always looking to their interests above our own. May Your grace help us to live above the fall-out that comes from inevitable trials. Enable us to overcome daily temptations as we rely on You. As we genuinely seek You we are confident that You will grant understanding, forbearance, and a persevering love that will last a lifetime until You call us to our eternal home where we will be richly and eternally rewarded.

Note: We are aware that some of our readers have experienced or are even now experiencing the terrible pain of disloyalty and broken promises, particularly in marriage, but also in work relationships, church matters, and on and on it goes. May God bring His healing and peace to your hearts. Others of you have yourself been grievously disloyal at some point in your past. Thank God for His forgiveness and I urge you to see this message as a challenge to demonstrate loyalty, seek forgiveness and persevere in love from this point forward.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Household Of Faith"  Video  Couple singing to each other at an actual wedding.  Nice job!!!

"Love Will Be Our Home"  Video  Susan Ashton

What a way to depart! I am on an email list for news in our Penn-Del Ministries Network. I received this note regarding the passing of a minister (whom I did not know). "Pastor Harold Harding went home to be with Jesus on Thursday, January 5th. He was surrounded by his wife, children, and grandchildren while they prayed together and sang hymns in his bedroom. His eldest son, Randy, said one final prayer and upon his "Amen", Pastor Harding breathed his last breath on earth and saw Jesus face to face, as the great crowd of witnesses welcomed him in."

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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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