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Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Lake Geneva Wisconsin pony 8/6/12
We walked through the artsy town after our stroll along the shoreline. Due to the poor economy it is less populated than usual (according to locals), but there were plenty of people and lots to see including this colorful pony. It looks like a store owner mounted it in front of his store after recovering it from a Merry Go Round. Posted twice were the instructions, "DO NOT SIT ON". (What a tough thing for a parent of a youngster to pull them past this colorful temptation.)

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"Given A Trust, Proven Faithful"

"Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful" (1 Corinthians 4:2).

As we mentioned yesterday we are at a family reunion in Wisconsin. Reunions tend to prompt reminiscing our earlier years and along with those memories comes many of life's lessons that have helped shape our values. I recall a lesson from my childhood.

I was staying with 
my mom's parents, MaMa and PaPa, in tiny Harwood, Missouri one summer.   PaPa was a farmer and the president of the local community bank. He was well known and had a great reputation throughout that rural area.

During my visit he called a local farmer to get permission for me to fish in his farm pond and made it clear that the permission was for fishing only. I verbally agreed to that plan, but what do you suppose a bored fourteen-year-old teen does after the fish aren't biting? Yep, I first looked up toward the farmhouse where I saw no one, so I jumped in and went swimming.

Well, it turned out the farmer who had permitted me to fish but ruled out swimming was watching. He called my grandfather and when I got back did I ever get chewed out! PaPa emphasized that he had trusted me and I had violated that trust. I still remember that lesson to this day. Knowing how much I had disappointed PaPa bothered me a great deal. I'm sure it led to some deep soul searching in my young yet untamed teen heart. As a youngster I wouldn't have thought about the danger of one who is out swimming in a deep pond by himself. Likely that farmer made that rule to protect me from danger.

As followers of Christ we've all been given a trust. The apostle Paul wrote, "Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful" (1 Corinthians 4:2). We are stewards of God's truth and it is required that we be faithful.  This is fundamentally expressed spiritually but in reality spiritual faithfulness is expressed in practical ways as well.  Let us ask ourselves: Do
we act in an irresponsible way when we think no one is looking? Are we faithful to our spouse and family?  Are we faithful to our church and ministry responsibilities?  What about our work related duties and financial commitments?

Each of us have been given a trust and it is required by God that we prove faithful with that trust. The lies, deceit, and broken promises that characterize unfaithfulness has darkened our society and fragmented the family unit. Countless lives have been crushed due to those who have not been faithful to the trust given them.

Business owners, political figures, spiritual leaders, teachers, parents, on and on the list goes for each of us who are given a trust and must prove ourselves faithful. We start out by being faithful in the small things whether or not someone is looking over our shoulder. Then we are entrusted with greater responsibility.

The greatest approbation we will ever receive is when we hear the words from our Lord, "Well done, good and faithful servant" (Matthew 25:21)

Oh, may all who come behind us find us faithful,
May the fire of our devotion light their way.
May the footprints that we leave, lead them to believe,
And the lives we live inspire them to obey.
Oh, may all who come behind us find us faithful.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, we have been given a trust and desire to prove ourselves faithful in all areas of our lives as evidenced in our responsibilities carried out here on earth.  Being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to us involves sacrifice, humbleness, repentance, and obedience which does not come easily, but is nevertheless required. As we walk steadily with You and prayerfully apply Scriptural principles we will be found faithful. We look to You in prayer and come to You through Jesus Christ our Lord in whose name we pray. Amen.

Lake Geneva Wisconsin lakeside mansion 8/6/12
We walked along the public Geneva Lakeshore Path
that surrounds the 22 mile shoreline of Geneva Lake. Grand and historic estates were built here in the late 19th and 20th centuries by famous architects. It is an amazing walk, similar to the Cliff Walk in Newport, RI. Also a reminder of all that we will enjoy in heaven minus the hefty mortgage payments and taxes.

Lake Geneva Wisconsin Riviera 8/6/12
More sights from around Geneva Lake

Steincross cousins 8/5/12
The first cousins

Steincross 2nd cousins 8/5/12
The second cousins
(I think Ester is the only one looking this way. She must have spotted her camera in the midst of about 15 others taking photos. It's the Steincross way to take many shots all at once - you're not sure which way to look.)

Yesterday we shared a photo of a barn near Nappanee, Indiana. I enjoy using online maps not only before I travel but also afterwards and it appears that not long ago the barn was still intact. See here

Today's Suggested Music
and Supplemental Resource

"Find Us Faithful"  Video  Steve Green

a message to Stephen & Brooksyne

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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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