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Monday, January 21, 2013

Character ornaments
Eternal Virtues

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"Strength For The Wait"

"But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint" (Isaiah 40:31).

Carved eagleWe received two separate notes on Friday, both from mothers burdened for their wayward sons. One provided an insightful comment about the devastation of sin, "One sad choice after another and his world has started to crumble around him." Later in the note she wrote, "I cannot wait for the day when I can send you another email sharing what God has done in our son's life." We look forward to receiving that email but in the meantime the wait is on.

Today's message is for those who are waiting.

For many years I have really liked eagles. We live several miles from the Susquehanna River where eagles frequently build their nests. Once in a while we actually spot a soaring eagle from our office window.

The daily Scripture text is among the first verses I committed to memory as a young Christian. It was a popular chorus at the time and really still should be since it's merely singing the very words of Scripture. It has often been a source of encouragement and strength in my life.

They that wait upon the Lord
Shall renew their strength
They shall mount up with wings of eagles
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint
Teach me, Lord, teach me, Lord, to wait.

Isaiah 40 is recognized by many to be among the most powerful chapters of Scripture and in fact many secularists acknowledge the superb literary beauty of this passage.

Isaiah 40:31The daily text is the final verse in this great chapter. What a promise! Read it slowly and aloud if you are able: "But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength." Isaiah, inspired by the Holy Spirit, wrote these words some 2,700 years ago. Yet the Word of God is living and active and presents unchangeable truth. God still gives strength to those who wait on Him.

It presents an essential key to personal renewal - waiting on the Lord. We look back and recall when we accepted the Lord, first placing our hope and trust in Him. That's wonderful. But this verse refers to an active, present tense of waiting, hoping and trusting in the Lord.
The Amplified Bible is helpful in expressing the depth of the Hebrew word, "those who wait for the Lord [who expect, look for, and hope in Him]."

The Full Life Study Bible makes this observation: "To hope in the Lord is to trust Him fully with our lives; it involves looking to him as our source of help and grace in time of need. Those who hope in the Lord are promised:

1) God's strength to revive them in the midst of exhaustion and weakness, of suffering and trial;
2) The ability to rise above their difficulties like an eagle that soars in the sky; and
3) The ability to run spiritually without tiring and to walk steadily forward without fainting at God's delays. God promises that if His people will patiently trust Him, He will provide whatever is needed to sustain them constantly."

Soaring eagle (photographer unknown)
The image of a soaring eagle is used. "They shall mount up with wings as eagles." Many have observed the ability of the eagle to soar above the storms and likewise through our hope we can soar above the storms of life.

Today we encourage you to place an active hope in the Lord. Undoubtedly many of you have
serious matters you are waiting on. By God's grace, as you wait on the Lord, may your strength be renewed and may you spiritually soar above the inevitable storms of life!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, it is under Your wings that we are protected against the fierce wind currents of doubt, fear, and impatience. Such troubling emotions weigh us down and can pull us right into the path of a pelting storm. But it is through eyes of faith and a heart of trust that we can mount up with You and soar like eagles above the assaulting storm and wait it out until the rainbow appears; Your divine covenant of promise, written out in all the colors that are pleasing to behold. You promise never to leave us nor forsake us which gives us courage to wait and trust You to fully answer our prayers. It is in the name of Jesus that we pray. Amen.

Sweet Annie Produce at Central Market, Lancaster PA 1/18/13
The course of our work takes us right by Central Market in Lancaster each week where we periodically stop and walk through. The Central Market is America's oldest continuously operating farmer's market and always a very colorful place to visit. On Friday we engaged in a conversation with Ben DeGaetano at the Sweet Annie Produce stand where we purchased carrots and potatoes for dinner. We were especially intrigued by the antique looking finish on the butternut squash, a vegetable Brooksyne often prepares for supper.

Haddon Robinson at Central Market 1/18/13
As we parked in the parking garage we met a special preacher friend, Haddon Robinson, who now lives in the Lancaster area during his retirement. We have appreciated his ministry for many years through RBC Ministries. Many of you have read his materials or heard him on the Radio Bible Class. I first met him at a course at Gordon-Conwell some twenty years ago. H
ere is an example of his teaching (video).

Nicole Martin 1/18/13
Later that morning we stopped by to visit our good friend, Nicole Martin, who is a kitchen designer (as seen in this photo.) She was showing Brooksyne the Scriptural messages on the decorative wooden balls we featured in our lead photo. Believers have means of getting God's Word out in the most creative ways.

Peter and Lillian DeHart 1/20/13
Yesterday following our church service and meal we made a visit to Longwood Manor, a personal care center, where we serve as chaplains. It was nice seeing our colleagues in volunteer ministry, Peter and Lillian DeHart, who headed up the afternoon church service.

Clarence reading Bible 1/20/13
I visited with Clarence and Alverta, who celebrated their 70th anniversary last year. When I walked in their room Clarence was reading his Bible on a special magnifier. Thank God for those who don't give up when facing major obstacles such as their failing eyesight. What diligence, patience, and dedication Clarence conveys as he reads the Word.

Today's Suggested Music
and Supplemental Resources

"While I'm Waiting"  Video  John Waller

"Isaiah 40:31"  Video  Chris Tomlin

"They That Wait Upon The Lord"  Video  Jack Marti

Here are more photos from a visit to the Central Market several years ago.

A message from several years ago when I heard Haddon Robinson at a training meeting.

The Story of the Carved Eagle

Carved eagleThe wood carving of the eagle featured in the photo in the body of our message was sent to me by Tom Jenkins, a professional woodcarver, whom I know only from this online writing ministry going back many years. Several years ago, knowing of my interest in eagles, he sent me the carving as a gift and it continues to bless us!  Tom has a wonderful testimony of deliverance and shares it in a written insert with each order. He has given me permission and would be pleased if I shared it with Daily Encouragement readers:  

"For thirty years I was a drunk; an intelligent drunk.

I always worked and was good at my job, but I drank every day; from the time that I got off work until I went to bed and on the weekends, from the time I got up until I passed out.

I admired good drinkers and only hung out with the drinkers. I wouldn't go anywhere that I couldn't drink.

It's not as uncommon as you might think; no matter where I went I was able to find people just like me.  It was a way of life and I liked it.
The only problem was I couldn't do anything else...at least, not well.

I loved woodcarving but could only do it for a few hours at a time.  I knew myself well enough to know that I could never do it for a living. It would get in the way of my drinking.

My wife started going to church and she chose to attend a church 60 miles away in Phoenix.  She always asked me if I wanted to go but never pushed.  I eventually gave in so she packed me a 6-pack; three beers on the way to church and three beers for the ride home; a pretty good deal for me.

I was content and my wife was glad that I was going to church.  But then after several months of this on Super Bowl Sunday in 1997, half way to Phoenix I started to cry.  I told my wife that I had to be prayed for, that I had to quit drinking.

I was prayed for and I confessed my sins to Jesus.

That was the last day that I drank any alcohol.  I had no side affects; no shakes, no bad dreams, no sleepless nights and no desire to drink. Jesus took it all away and I am free today.

That's why I'm able to be here.

My carvings are signed "T&J" for Tom and Jesus because I couldn't be doing this without Jesus."

Tom's website.

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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