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Monday, February 4, 2013

Snow view from church 2/3/13
We had a nice coating of slippery snow Saturday evening making the roads treacherous for driving. This is the view from our church on Sunday morning.

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"The Blessing Of Brothers"

"How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity!" (Psalm 133:1).

Most American readers, as well as many around the world, know that the Super Bowl was last night. The Super Bowl has become the most dominant sporting event in America and there is even a petition to make it a National Holiday (a very bad idea in my view). It has even been characterized as a "holy day" for secular Americans.

It turned out to be a great game last night going right down to the final play. Earlier in the game I spoke to my brother Mike, a 49er fan, who was growing despondent when it appeared there might be a blowout.

Harbaugh brothersBut the most intriguing aspect of the game was that two head coaches, John and Jim Harbaugh, were brothers which is a remarkable feat. This added a lot of additional interest to the game and the weeks leading up to it. It's also given me an occasion to consider the blessing of brothers.

These two brothers really seem to be close, along with a very supportive mom and dad, Jack and Jackie Harbaugh who told where they'd be after the Super Bowl. "There's going to be one winner and one (son) that's going to be totally disappointed," Jack Harbaugh said. "Our thoughts go to that one that will not experience the thrill of victory." Isn't that a great example for parents everywhere!

Weber brothersI have two older brothers and a younger sister. Our parents have gone on to heaven but us siblings still regularly call one another and although separated by many miles see each other occasionally. We are quite different, with my brother in California holding a world view practically the polar opposite of mine. Nevertheless we get along well, love each other greatly, and seek hard to stay connected.

The Bible records several brother relationships and, as best as we can determine, most are negative examples apart from a reconciliation toward the end in several cases.
  • Cain and Abel
  • Jacob and Esau
  • Joseph and his brothers
  • David's older brothers
  • David's sons
  • The disciples James and his brother John. Peter and and his brother Andrew. The Gospels do not emphasize characteristics in their relationship as brothers.
"How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity!" That is sure true whether it be a family or a church.

One of the greatest ways we honor our human parents is when we get along with our siblings. Even though Mom and Dad are both with Jesus we still believe this is a way we honor them.

We also believe unity with my brothers and sisters in Christ is a way we honor my heavenly Father and His family. 

Today in your sphere of influence we appeal to you to make every effort to pursue spiritual unity. "Live in harmony with one another" (Romans 12:16). "If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone" (Romans 12:18).  

We have a perspective in life that increasingly sees the long-term blessing of unity in our marriage, family and relationships. May that be your blessing as well!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, we want to thank You for diversity in the body of Christ. There is so much incredible variety in personalities, giftings, ethnicity, and varied interests. As we dwell together in unity You help us to become like minded, having the same love, being of one accord. Your work goes forward when we set aside our personal agenda, and for the sake of the body, focus on that which we have in common with our brothers and sisters in Christ. Lord, as much as it is possible, help us to be at peace with our church family, our immediate and extended family as well that You have blessed us with. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.

Brooksyne's Note: We often write on our site stories related to Stephen's family since there has been a greater attempt by his family members to stay connected than there is mine. Over the last several days I've felt the Spirit's prompting that I should get reconnected with aunts and uncles on both sides of my family.

Since adulthood I've lived a great distance from them all with my mother's side living in OK, MO, AR, and CO. My dad's side lives in OK and AR. Since Saturday I've talked to several aunts and uncles that I haven't talked to in years. Many of them, in turn, have not talked to their siblings or extended family for years. There have been many factions over the years with my extended family. I worked through quite a few defunct phone numbers that were given to me so that tells you how little our family has communicated since they didn't have current contact information.

Yesterday I felt a further prompting of the Spirit regarding my family during Morning Worship as we sang "Share His Love". One elder brother stood and gave thanks to God that his six children, their grandchildren and great-grands (numbering over 60 family members) would be gathered in church.

It was the compilation of his testimony and the song, "Share His Love" that led me to sit down at the computer last night and write my testimony to share with my extended family. I now have current addresses and phone numbers for all my aunts and uncles and, besides getting in touch with them personally, I have written out my testimony of when I committed my life to Jesus as a teen. It shames me to think of the many times I've shared my story with non-family members but never my own extended family. I am praying over the letter and preparing it for mailing. Perhaps this will spur you, our readers, to share your testimony of salvation to your extended family, targeting especially those who don't walk with Jesus.

Share His Love

All those who have trusted in God's only Son,
And hold this precious treasure in their hearts,
Seek ways to make it known to all who need to know
That God so loved the world His only Son He gave.

Chorus) Share His love by telling what the Lord has done for you.
Share His love by sharing of your faith,
And show the world that Jesus Christ is real to you
Ev'ry moment, ev'ry day.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"We Will Stand"  Video  Avalon

"People Of God"  Video  Wayne Watson

"My Love"  Video   River  Brooksyne heard this early this morning on our Christian radio station and we expect it will fit better contextually with a message later this week but here's a preview.

Browser logosThese are articles we come across in the course of studying for these messages or just poking around the vast Internet. In most cases they are not necessarily related to the daily message but may be of interest to our readers. These articles will only be posted once and there will be new ones each post, assuming we come across material that we feel may be of interest. (To see previous links use the archive version.)

Yesterday we had a first-time visitor in church, who I expect will be attending regularly. In our church we are having a baby boom! In this light this article is interesting: "America's Baby Bust" which asserts that the nation's falling fertility rate is the root cause of many of our problems. And it's only getting worse.

Anti-Christian Hostility Heats Up amid Unrest in Egypt  Two children to be tried for insulting Islam; family imprisoned for reconverting. May the Lord help us to remember our persecuted brothers and sisters!

So What if Abortion Ends a Life? Rare Candor from the Culture of Death

Dead roses: the seduction of American Christianity

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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