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Friday, August 31, 2012

Mollie is ready to play!
 Ester's Border Collie, Mollie, loves to play. She regularly meets us at the fence gate with one of her toys such as this rope toy. Ester took the above photo this morning and we are pleased to see her growing interest in photography. This week she had her first photo published in a company newsletter.

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"Faithful Men"

"And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also" (2 Timothy 2:2).

Greg Esh with swordYesterday I was visiting with Greg Esh, a friend of ours, who was excited about showing me an item he recently acquired. He walked over to the corner of his office and picked up a leather scabbard from which he pulled out a real sword. Written on the sword was this inscription from 2 Timothy 2:2: "Commit these to faithful men". It was a gift from Greg's pastor honoring him for serving many years as a leader in the church. Now that's a gift I suppose most men would really appreciate!

Floyd Miles It brings to mind a visit with Floyd Miles, a friend I met when I lived in New England. Several years ago he served a church in Indianapolis and at the time I had the opportunity to speak to his congregation. Prior to the service, when we prayed in his office, he showed me his "armor of God."

Many years ago I heard a short message that I found personally challenging that has had a lasting impact on my life.  A pastor was speaking to the students at a Bible College.  He candidly shared with them, "I may not be very handsome, I may not be the most dynamic speaker, I may not be musically gifted or have other characteristics normally associated with "success" in ministry."

Then he lowered his voice and said with great conviction, "But one thing I can be is faithful." I sure hope these young people took that message in. It's a good word and a vital challenge for young people preparing for Christ's service. It's a good challenge for all of us, wherever we are at in life.

Dan WagnerFaithfulness is very under-rated today and is often overlooked, though it should never be taken for granted.  Few of us would have any trouble recalling examples of unfaithfulness. Many thousands of dedicated pastors and laypeople serve God week after week with little acclaim but they are faithful.

In the afternoon yesterday I visited with Dan Wagner who serves as supervisor in his company. For thirty years he and his wife have led services in nursing homes and rescue missions, hardly glamorous fields for ministry. But Dan's been faithful.

In his final book the Apostle Paul gave instructions to Timothy about preparing the next generation who would bear witness for Christ to the world. Although there are certainly many characteristics that are important he emphasizes just one; "faithfulness". Other versions use the word, "reliable".

Down through the ages of the church each generation has had devoted servants of Christ who have faithfully plugged along in service for the Lord. Is your pastor reliable?  Does he faithfully preach God's Word week after week? Does he "earnestly contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints?" or is he "blown here and there by every wind of strange doctrine?" Can he be counted upon?  If so you are blessed. Let him know you appreciate his faithfulness.

Whether you are a minister or a lay person, are you faithful? Faithfulness makes a difference to those whom you influence and it matters a great deal to God.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, we who have received Your grace, place our faith in You. We choose to walk uprightly with integrity and conviction. Our words and actions declare the pure, unadulterated counsel of Your Holy Word to other faithful leaders, trusting them to pass on that which has been entrusted to us. In doing so we are faithful stewards of that which You commanded of us through the great commission: "Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every nation...". We do this through Christ Jesus our Lord in whose name we pray. Amen.

Today's Suggested Music
and Supplemental Resource

"Faithful Men"  Video  Twila Paris

"Faithful Friend"  Video  Twila Paris and Steven Curtis Chapman

Flower cart
The flower photo we share today is an example of a personal hobby we both have. We like to repurpose old articles we either have saved or attained. Several years ago I found the old garden cart along the road free. We crammed it into the van and have found it very useful both to haul stuff and as a display cart. Brooksyne enjoys reviving plants and flowers, especially those on clearance at Lowes! Several years ago we remodeled our bathroom but I kept the old mirrors from the medicine cabinet and stored them up in our barn loft. Then I asked some friends at a home improvement company we serve to see if they could salvage some windows from an old farmhouse they were renovating. I placed the mirrors behind the old window, hung the frame on our fence and we have an interesting garden accent (to me anyway!)

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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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