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March 29, 2012

Donegal Creek willows 3/28/12
Wispy Willows along Donegal Creek

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"By Streams Of Water"

He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers." (Psalm 1:3).

Last night before sunset we took our long walk along Donegal Creek, a beautiful trout stream that meanders through a meadow about ¼ mile from our house. We begin on an old tractor trail
across the street from our home which leads to the clear stream.

The early sign of spring during our walk was the vibrant green ground sweeping branches of the weeping willows along the creek. (This is visible in the featured photo.)
The stately old trees have thrived through the years and benefit from the excellent soil and their proximity to the creek.

Psalm 1 describes a righteous man who is thriving in his spiritual walk: "He is like a tree planted by streams of water." Certainly trees grow virtually everywhere, but the Psalmist makes a special observation about trees that grow along streams of water.

Steincross farmMy mother's only brother, Uncle Gentry, had a farm in southern Missouri. He was a colorful man who brings a smile as I recall his many antics. As newlyweds he gave Brooksyne and me some pecans and stressed that they were "bottomland" pecans, having a characteristic of being especially oily and tasty. These are from trees that grow along streams of water which provides optimum growing conditions.

Pecan tree Vernon County, Missouri, where he lived is at the heart of pecan production in Missouri. These pecans grow naturally in the rich river bottom soils in the northernmost region of pecan production.  Although slightly smaller than pecans grown in the south, the unique sweetness and higher oil content of these pecans result in extremely flavorful nutmeats. I can almost taste them as I type out this message and it sure makes me wish I could smell Pecan Pie baking in the oven!  It's one of Brooksyne's and my favorite desserts.

"He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers." This colorful phrase describes the man who is blessed because:

The blessed man is firstly characterized by what he does not do.
1) Walk in the counsel of the wicked or
2) Stand in the way of sinners or
3) Sit in the seat of mockers

The blessed man is secondly characterized by what he does do:
1) His delight is in the law of the LORD, and
2) On his law he meditates day and night.

We encourage you to read all of Psalm 1 (only 6 verses) and receive the wonderful blessings of God through His Holy Word. Read, study, meditate and apply these timeless truths. May the foundation of our lives be like a tree which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. In this sense may we all live "by streams of water"!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily Prayer: Jesus, our source of nourishment comes from You. You are the Living Water and, as we draw our sustenance from You, we bear healthy and fruitful actions which reflect our Heavenly Father. Our dependence is on You, Lord, which is vital for growth, health, and vitality. 

Some photos from our walk last night.

Male goose awaiting birth of gosslings
We have been watching a pair of geese for several weeks now, awaiting the future sight of the pair gliding in the water with a trail of gosslings. As of last night the female was still nesting and her mate was in the water nearby carefully watching us as we walked by.

Donegal trail 3/28/12
A portion of our walk is between two rows of trees along the edges of farm fields. The area is teeming with small critters so our dogs are in animal scent heaven!

Brooksyne's Note: Speaking of pecans: I have fond memories of shelling pecans while growing up in Oklahoma. Mom would buy unshelled pecans and take them to the feed mill to be cracked. We children then had the job of picking them out of the shells using crochet needles. Of course our reward was Pecan Pie for dinner.  Many years later my sister married and bought a house that had 10 or 11 pecan trees in her yard.  Daddy was retired by then so he picked up gallons of fallen pecans and took on the big job of picking the pecan meats out of the shells.  At Christmas Mom would send me about 10 pounds of pecans in the mail that he had shelled.  That made it extra special, because Daddy had been a truck driver for about 40 years and this kind of tedious work was certainly never in his line of work.  He did it out of love for his children.

Today's Suggested Music and Sup
plemental Resources

Here are some songs based on Psalm 1

"Psalm 1:1-3"  Video  from the Integrity Scripture Memory series  About twenty years ago this was a popular series and we learned a lot of Scripture through hearing them repetitively.

"Psalm 1"  Video  Kim Hill

"Psalm 1"  Video  Singer not specified

"Psalm 1" Video  read in Hebrew, the original language of the Old Testament.  Powerful!

"Psalm 1 teaching"  Video  Mark Hall of "Casting Crowns"  This video has an interesting perspective about the first part of the Psalm.

"Slow Fade"  Video  Casting Crowns  Used in "Fireproof" and a great message!

"Who Am I?"  Video  Casting Crowns  This is to my recollection, the first Casting Crowns song I heard.

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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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"Living securely today anchored in God's solid foundation"

O Lord, be gracious unto us,.... This is a prayer of the church under the persecutions of antichrist, imploring the grace and favour of God in their miserable and distressed circumstances; desiring his gracious help, assistance, and deliverance; pleading not any merits of their own, but casting themselves upon the mercy and kindness of God: