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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

48º 26’ 22.87” -114º 21’ 10.65” (photo by Nelson Longenecker)
Glacier National Park
Photo by our friend Nelson Longenecker
Click on photo for larger size

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Marriage series: We celebrate Valentine's Day on Thursday and this week we are sharing a series of messages with the main points based on Gary Chapman's book, "The Five Love Languages". We using the outline of the five languages, featuring a different one each day. We want to provide messages that will strengthen marriages. However most of these points will apply to all relationships.

"Thoughtful Gifts"

"He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name. Great is our Lord and mighty in power; His understanding has no limit" (Psalm 147:4,5).

Advertisers are working hard this Valentine season, "suggesting" good ideas for gifts, especially for us men to get for our wives. JaredOf course we have the traditional gifts of chocolate, flowers, or perfume. We see lots of ads for these. Or we can spend far more money and get some nice jewelry, if you really care you go to Jared's. The Jared's where you spend a lot for their exquisite jewelry. Or take her out to dinner and go to Subway and spend a lot less where Jared is their spokesperson!

Vermont Teddy BearOr how about a giant Teddy Bear from the Vermont Teddy Bear company? (which, by the way, offers a very interesting factory tour!) Brooksyne told me "Please don't even think of the life size teddy bear they advertise on TV. That's just one more life size body taking up space in our home." So, I'm definitely off the hook for that one!

One of the love languages is "Give thoughtful gifts". I am a very poor shopper and for nearly 40 years now I have struggled getting just the right gift for Brooksyne. One possibility for a gift is going to the International Star Registry which allows you to name a star after someone and they will send that person an official certificate of authenticity.

Whoever came up with this has a pretty good business potential since based on current estimates, there are between 200 - 400 billion stars in our galaxy (The Milky Way). There are possibly 100 billion galaxies in the Universe. So taking the average of our galaxy that's about 3 septillion. This has been equated to the same number of grains of sand that are on Earth!

I wonder if naming a star "Brooksyne" would endear her to me! It appears that "Brooksyne" is available as a star name not yet taken (surprise, surprise).

But my study of the Scriptures indicates there's just one problem. Though we can commend the enterprising business entrepreneur who devised this star-naming scheme the Scriptures inform us that the stars are already named!

Night starsThe mighty God we serve who sent His only Son to this little planet earth has already taken care of that. Our daily text states, "He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name."  God made each star and hung it into space (Genesis 1:16). He also has them all accounted for. In fact the Creation Narrative includes this fact, "He made the stars also."

The prophet Isaiah in proclaiming the mighty greatness of God declares, "Lift your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one, and calls them each by name. Because of His great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing" (Isaiah 40:26). This is the great God we serve today!

Valentine's Day gift basketOK, let's get back to gifts (as I warned you this is a weak area for me). We live in a very materialistic world that tells us it's the gift that counts; the more expensive the better. But the key word in this love language is "thoughtful".

At the heart of love is the spirit of giving. A gift is a tangible expression of your love, something you can hold in your hand and say, “Look, he was thinking of me,” or, “She remembered me.” A gift is a symbol of that thought. Gifts come in all sizes, colors and shapes. Some are expensive and others are free. To the individual whose primary love language is receiving gifts, the cost will matter little.

There is also an intangible gift that can speak more loudly than something held in one’s hand. Physical presence in the time of crisis is the most powerful gift you can give. Your personal attention becomes the symbol of your love.

If giving or receiving gifts is your partner’s love language keep a “gift idea” notebook. Every time you hear your spouse say, “I really like that,” write it down. Select gifts you feel comfortable purchasing, making or finding, and don’t wait for a special occasion. Becoming a proficient gift giver can be learned if one is willing to do so.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, help us to be people who are thoughtful to those special to us, most especially our spouse. Impress upon our hearts the need to take notice of the big and small things that bring them pleasure, whether it's going to a special place, enjoying a particular activity, or collecting a favorite item. May the gifts we give to those we love express our thoughtfulfulness and show them how much we value them. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.

Here are "The Five Love Languages" we are dealing with this week:

1) Affirming Words  Monday's message
2) Quality Time  Tuesday's message
3) Thoughtful Gifts  Today's message
4) Cooperative Service  
5) Physical Intimacy  

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"I Will Be Here"  Video  Steven Curtis Chapman

"When God Made You"  Video  Newsong and Natalie Grant

"The Five Love Languages" can be ordered at Amazon or many other sources.

Some ideas for the latter part of this message come from here.

If you really want to name a star after someone you love here is the International Star Registry! However read this first.

Vermont Teddy Bear factory tour info.

Early this week a short article was written about us titled: "Married Couple Serve As Internet Chaplains"

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.)

Free speech is so 20th century  

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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