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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

First seasonal snow 11/27/12
First Snowfall of the Season!

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"A Day of Good News"

"Then they said to each other, 'We're not doing right. This is a day of good news and we are keeping it to ourselves'" (2 Kings 7:9).

Weather forecasters predicted our area would get 1 to 3 inches of snow through the night so we expected to awaken early this morning to a white outdoors. But it was simply a chilly, wet ground when I turned on the porch light. A couple hours later the moist snow began to fall and is still doing so now, though there will be little accumulation from the looks of things since the temperature is above 32 degrees.

Maple leaf in snow 11/27/12Ester went outside since she always gets excited about the first snowfall and excitedly brought back a vibrant fall leaf covered with snow that she found from the many leaves in the yard. She was chattering about the beautiful leaf (seen in photo) as she wiped the snow away, only to be very disappointed when Brooksyne alerted her that it wasn't a real leaf, rather a leftover cloth leaf from the fall decorations I took down over the weekend. She argued for a moment but when the snow was removed she disappointingly admitted Brooksyne was right. (You were probably fooled by the photo as well.)

Ester gleaned a fake leaf from among the real ones lying all about our yard. The act of gleaning is collecting leftover crops from farmers' fields after they have been commercially harvested or on fields where it is not economically profitable to harvest. A few years ago Brooksyne took advantage of our farmer friend's offer to glean his tomato field after the professional harvesters had loaded many trucks with tomatoes over a week's time. We had lots of tomatoes and salsa that winter!

Many years ago A.W. Pink wrote a book titled "Gleanings in Genesis" in which he expounds on interesting passages that may tend to be overlooked in the main harvest of one's Bible reading. Golden gleanings usually come in times of unhurried meditation.

Today's passage is found in the historical section of the Bible and may be easily overlooked but what a timeless message it teaches us! It's one of those lessons we can learn from an actual event in Israel's history in 2 Kings 7:1-14.

Here's the background: The Aramean army had laid siege to the city causing a famine and the situation looked hopeless. But Elisha, the prophet of God, had encryptically foretold the deliverance, but was not believed (7:1-3). 

During the desperate siege four men with leprosy who sat at the city gate reasoned, "What do we have to lose?" and went outside the besieged city into the Aramean camp to surrender. But God had performed a remarkable deliverance and the armies had scattered in fear, leaving everything. The four lepers stumbled on the bounty and "ate and drank."

Then the lepers were struck with remorse as we read in our daily verse. Ponder with me on one phrase, "This is a day of good news and we are keeping it to ourselves." These four men had been social outcasts and were not even allowed in the city. Life had been very rough and isolation could only exasperate the situation. Could this be their way to get even? 

No, their conviction to share the good news with the besieged city overwhelmed them. I find it interesting that after they shared, nothing more is heard from them. Yet they did the right thing and are forever memorialized in this Scripture for their action. Often it's that way when we do the right thing. Man may not acknowledge, but God sees and, "God is not unjust; He will not forget your work and the love you have shown Him as you have helped His people and continue to help them" (Hebrews 6:10).

Today let us consider our bountiful blessings; our salvation in Christ, God's written Word, a Christ-honoring church, good medical care, a loving family, a supportive friend; the list goes on and on. 

But are we keeping it to ourselves? Clearly like these lepers we are called to share. What can you do to share God's blessings? Remarkably, as we share, these blessings are not diminished but multiplied. This principle is taught throughout the Scriptures. Jesus said "give and it shall be given unto you…" Let us do so today!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, we are a blessed people who have so much to be thankful for that we can't keep it to ourselves. We don't boast in ourselves for we are but human flesh, but we boast in who You are and all that You provide for us. Father, You are the eternal, sovereign God who sends down the rain and snow, who raises up the trees and flowers, who sets the sun and moon in place and yet You have such tender compassion toward the human race that You gave Your only Son to make atonement for our sin. You are great and greatly to be praised among Your people and throughout the universe You created. We honor You through Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.

We appreciate feedback from our readers and share two from yesterday's message:

"Thank you for this awesome message! I loved the Thanksgiving prayer after the message also! Just had to let you know that once again the verse you chose for your message is the same one I wrote down to meditate on all day! God is so awesome! Your message on this verse really inspired me too. I had a long shopping list and after reading this cut many items out of it realizing I indeed had all I needed or could ever want!! After all Jesus has already lifted me out of the pit of drugs, guns, prostitution, despair, defeat and emptiness and blessed me with a new life full of restoration to family, a church home full of loving friends, a wonderful job where I can be of service to Him and others, and a quiet and peaceful, contented home with my baby cat!!

Thank you once again for putting things in perspective for me! After all not only do I have a new life on earth but I have been given the greatest treasure of all! Faith in Jesus Christ and the promise of eternal life!! Makes that new Kindle pale in comparison!!"

- Lori

"I am so thankful for and appreciative of the service and encouragement the two of you provide. This article brought to mind a sidebar (that's what I call it) to my daily scripture for today, Paul's letter to the Ephesians. "Why is it we spend so much time focusing on the concerns of the world we'll soon leave and so little time on the eternity we're headed for?" I can truly say like the words of the song, 'I'm Happy With Jesus Alone.'  Thank You.  I believe you are too."

- Mary

Today's Suggested Music
and Supplemental Resources

"Jesus Saves"  Video  Travis Cottrell

"Don't That Sound Like Heaven"  Video  Palmetto State Quartet

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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