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Friday, January 18, 2013

Smart car
Yesterday in the course of our work we parked beside this "Smart" car, which in part prompted today's message.

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"Thinking With Sound Judgment"

"For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith" (Romans 12:3).

Smart carWe've noticed in recent years how a lot of stuff is called "smart" these days. Yesterday we wrote about an incident with a smart phone. They now have smart televisions and smart appliances and yesterday we pulled up next to a smart car. Perhaps to get any potential owner's focus off the fact that it's really a tiny car with a gigantic price tag!

Bridge deckI remember when smart was just applied to people and, in musing for today's message, I recall a shameful incident from my own life nearly 40 years ago. I had graduated from high school and was preparing for college. I got a summer job in a huge concrete processing plant in Kansas that made precast, prestressed concrete pieces for bridges, parking lots, etc.

OverallsI recall working with Butch*, a man probably twenty years older than me. He was a very simple man, way overweight, who wore Big Smith bib overalls (very uncool at the time). He always looked a bit disheveled in his appearance but he worked hard to take care of his family (a wife and several children as I recall).

We shared the same faith so we should have been mutually encouraging but at the time I was a young smart aleck and recall insulting and hurting him.
I was popular in high school, fit and trim, the senior class president in my class of over 500. Now my sights were set for college and much bigger things after that. I thought I was so much smarter and had far more to offer than this simple laboring man. 

At that point in my life I sure thought more highly of myself than I ought! It's one of those times in life you wish you could do it over or perhaps have the ability to sit down with Butch, who if still living, would probably be around 80. Perhaps he wouldn't even remember though usually such experiences in life stay with you. I'd apologize profusely and let him know of the change God made in my life. I'd let him know how God helped me get past my cocky attitude and how He changed my life completely. He enabled me to see myself for who I really was which is always the first step toward bringing about change in one's life.

The online preceptaustin.org study site says this regarding today's text
, "A right estimate of oneself will always be a humble estimate ( Galatians 6:3-5); a recognition that, in ourselves, we can do nothing (John 15:5), but that in Christ we can be used to the glory of God (John 15:8).

Jesus, Others, YouIn context Paul is addressing one's attitude toward spiritual gifts but the principle of how we are to view ourselves applies more broadly. He wants us not to consider our gift to be of greater value than another saint's gift but to have a humble attitude. Humility is a virtue that all believers should desire. It's also a virtue that will disappear once you boast that you have it.  Humility means putting Jesus first, others second, and yourself last ("J.O.Y." is Jesus, then Others, and finally You). Humility is a lack of pre-occupation with self.

JK whiteboard witnessPaul further challenges his readers to think "so as to have sound judgment." This means literally to be of sound mind. The idea is to to keep one’s mind safe and sound or to be in one's right mind. To think of one's self soberly. To put a moderate estimate on one's self. To curb one's passions. It means to be able to reason and think properly in a sane manner. We must have understanding about practical matters and thus we will act sensibly.

Today we urge you to heed these words of Scripture and "For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith" (Romans 12:3).

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, we know that in ourselves we are nothing, but in You, we are made complete. Our identity is found in Christ and that is the basis of our self-worth making us valuable and capable of worthy service through Christ who dwells within us. Help us not to be consumed with thoughts of how the world views us, but to think soberly with good judgment so that we do not look to the wrong source for approval or imitate that which deglorifies Christ. Through Christ Jesus our Lord we pray. Amen.

*Butch is not the co-worker's real name.

We are blessed by the people that we encounter in the course of life!

Joe Carroll
Yesterday morning we stopped by a church near Harrisburg to pay our respects to Joe Carroll who passed away last Sunday. We met Joe in a church we served for about six months in 2006 in an interim role. For many years Joe, a World War II vet, ran from God. His wife took their six young children to church every Sunday and, as I recall, Joe even helped dress them for church but he had no use for church himself. Finally, the wooing of the Holy Spirit, won his heart and he fully surrendered his life to Jesus. He had much overcoming over the years with his health and yet his joy in Jesus was contagious. We quickly grew to love and admire him and his dear wife Jessie of 64 years.

Naomi Wolgemuth 1/17/13
Following visitation with Joe's family we drove over to Messiah Village.  Brooksyne visited with Naomi Wolgemuth, who had been a part of a church we served for several years, although she was a resident of the nursing home the entire time. Like many nursing homes they are under quarantine due to the flu outbreak and thus the mask Brooksyne is wearing (just in case anyone thought she was trying to make a fashion statement). Ruth got quite a kick out of it and thought it didn't look so good for a photo, but we followed orders!

Jeremiah at White Oak 1/17/13
Jeremiah, whom I presume is named after the prophet, works in a company we serve as chaplains that makes displays. Along with other team members he is currently working on a project making displays with over 1,000,000 Pilot pens.

Mike Book 1/17/13
Late yesterday afternoon right after we got home our friend Mike Book stopped by to visit. Mike works in a very interesting field with a specific product that most reading this have benefited from. He has a science background and manages a facility that produces the eggs from which flu shots are made. We got ours this year. Did you?

Thank You!Total 2012 financial offerings to Daily Encouragement Net: $26,146.33 
Here’s our Thank You letter to our supporters (pdf)
2013 YTD financial offerings to Daily Encouragement Net as of 1/16/13: $295.00
We express thanks to all who support our ministry.

Today's Suggested Music
and Supplemental Resources

"Humble Thyself in the Sight of the Lord"  Video  Maranatha Singers

"May The Mind Of Christ My Savior"   Video

"He Has Shown You, O Man, What Is Good"  Video  Maranatha Singers  Micah 6:8 set to song

This video of a man wearing Big Smith overalls sort of reminds me of Butch in today's story!

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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