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Friday, April 26, 2013

Donegal Creek ducks 4/24/13
We always enjoy watching the ducks as we walk along our trail. A new neighbor is actually feeding them so here they merrily flock to their dinner.

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"Living In His Wonderful Light"

"Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed" (John 3:21). "But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light" (1 Peter 2:9).

Central Bible College campusWe both went to Central Bible College, a small Bible College in the Midwest for our ministry training. Sadly after nearly 100 years this college will close after this school year, going the way of so many Bible Colleges. It is a beautiful tree-filled campus on the north side of Springfield MO that had about 1,000 students when we attended. Like many smaller private Christian colleges it ran on a tight budget.

Welch Hall, Central Bible College campusMy freshman year I stayed in Welch Hall, an old brick dormitory that was held together by long steel rods that ran all the way through the building. Brooksyne lived in Bowie Hall which was the first building erected on the campus. Individual dorm rooms did not have a bath but rather each hall shared a common bath with several toilets, sinks and showers. The baths had a peculiar plumbing characteristic common to both dormitories. Whenever you flushed the toilet you needed to shout "SHOWER" to warn anyone taking a shower to move out of the shower stream lest they get blasted by scalding hot water! (Apparently the cold water for the toilet would divert away from the shower and result in just hot water till it equalized again.)

College friends 3/74Our four college years were a great time in our life and that's where I met Brooksyne (at the college, not the shower; the dorms were definitely not co-ed). Gals and guys did not cross over into the other's residential area except during Open House held a couple times a year or when guys were needed to lift heavy furniture (by permission only). We're thankful for those seemingly "antiquated" rules back then.

We met during the fall of our freshman year and married following our junior year. The photos to the left show us with some friends during our Freshman year. (If you are interested click on the photo to enlarge). The focus of our education was on Christ and the Bible. We had many godly professors who taught and modeled earnest Christian living and we still stay in touch with several of them to this day including a recent note I will share below the message.

Those reading this material over time realize I have a tendency to learn lessons in the regular stuff of life and I recall a spiritual lesson that goes way back to that old brick dormitory. Now I want to warn you that some may find this particular illustration distasteful.

RoachIf you were to get up in the night to use the bathroom as soon as you turned on the bathroom light you'd see roaches of all sizes, mostly mammoth, scurrying to cover. Brooksyne recalls that the girl's dorm also had this interesting educational feature, perhaps a real living illustration for those preparing for the mission field.

In the Gospel of John, he made an association between this Scripture and our scurrying roach observation. "Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed" (John 3:21). Now roaches are not evil (although I sure wouldn't care to gather them as pets). They are just creatures doing what they were created to do, however distasteful we may find it. They live and do their deeds in the darkness.

That's not God's design for His special creation. We were created to live in His light. A foundational aspect of the redemptive work of Christ is marvelously described in 1 Peter 2:9, "But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light."

Next time you see a roach, consider the contrast of light and darkness - remember God calls you to live in His wonderful light and to carry out deeds that are viewed favorably in the light of day!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, we thank You for the great deliverance and transfer that took place when we surrendered our hearts to You. You delivered us from the dominion of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of Your Son in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.  Now we walk in the light of Jesus and His kingdom which is filled with righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Help us never to lose perspective of the great rescue and the changes You brought into our lives, otherwise we may be swayed back to our old way of life and return to the darkness from which we escaped. We pray this in Jesus' name. Amen.

See Colossians 1:13,14  Romans 14:17

Additional observation from the first daily text: "Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed". Two months ago we shared a message titled "The Demonizing Of Virtue" (Calling Good Evil) using this text "Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter" (Isaiah 5:20). I consider today's message in view of this phrase, "who put darkness for light and light for darkness."

I observe that it seems as evil is increasing there is a growing disdain and even hatred toward the light and those who represent it.

Brooksyne's Note: I also recall the roaches in the dormitory bathrooms. That was not one of the more pleasant memories of my college years. It also brings back a childhood memory.

I was raised in a big family so anytime we traveled when I was a child we stayed overnight with relatives, not in a motel. Except for one memorable time after my two oldest siblings had left home. 

Mom and Dad, my sister Elaine, my youngest brother Jody and I piled into our green Comet Ford with an aftermarket air-conditioner my dad had proudly installed for the trip and we headed to Dallas, Texas. We were going to "Six Flags Over Texas" theme park (still in its infancy stage in the 60's). It was one very exciting time for us; not only Six Flags, but this was the first time we'd be staying in a motel. 

Up to this time we'd only swam in muddy farm ponds, lakes and creeks. But the bargain motel had a real swimming pool. We had a blast swimming for many hours well into the night hour, but finally the pool closed, and we headed into our room.

After we fell into a sound sleep following our fun-filled day a shrill scream awakened the whole family. Bracing for the worst we jumped out of bed to see what horrible thing was taking place. Mom, visibly upset, declared that we were all to get dressed and to pack up the suitcases immediately. We had to spend the rest of that hot summer night in Dallas sleeping upright in the stifling, hot, cramped car. (So much for the new air-conditioner in a car when we can't run the engine!)

What was the big problem? Mom had gotten up in the middle of the night and turned on the bathroom light. Out of seemingly nowhere despicable roaches of all sizes and varying speeds zoomed back and forth on the bathroom floor. She had a conniption fit and declared in a voice that couldn't be reasoned with, "We're not taking suitcases back to Tulsa filled with roaches so they can breed and live in our house." No-sir-eee! We may have been somewhat poor but we weren't dirty and, to Mom, roaches were equated with dirtiness!  (I wonder, all these years later, if Mom asked for a refund on our motel bill?)

Note: As it turned out the first full night Brooksyne ever spent in an out of town hotel was on our honeymoon in Joplin, Missouri on the way to Table Rock Lake and the Branson area!

Photo of Charles HarrisHere's the note we received from Dr. Charles Harris, who was one of our favorite Bible teachers. He seemed old when we were in college but we now realize how "young" he was since he was actually younger at that time than we are now!

"I found your recent communication refreshing to me personally with no small amount of inspiration. Your honored mention of my name in a sermon of late was a source of encouragement to me.

Most of all, though, was the meaning I drew from surveying the articles with information about you and your wife in ministry. Reading from first class publications enhanced the facts about your work which they contained.

I commend you and worship the Lord that you continue faithful to your calling. The number of things you participate in caused me to marvel at your labor. May the Lord sustain you and at the same time help you to not overextend yourself.

Among my pleasant memories of the days you were at Central Bible College is an occasion when my wife and I visited your church north of Springfield to receive your ministry in the service. I often recall the event in my mind. That is certainly true every time I am in that area.

Among other things, I know you are praying much about the closing of CBC at the end of this semester. Thousands grieve over what is happening.  Please include my daughter in your prayers. As secretary to the Librarian she is among staff members who are left with no promise of job security in the new arrangement. She continues to live with me since the loss of her mother and my wife in August of 2000.

I have passed my eighty-fifth birthday and am grateful for strength to continue active at a near normal pace.

God's best to you in your life and ministry always,

Charles Harris

Porcelain chicken with feed

In the course of our chaplaincy ministry we serve a variety of companies including one that manufacturers equipment for the agricultural industry such as feeding and watering systems for poultry and pork. Our friend Mike has a porcelain chicken on his desk and a mischievous co-worker apparently felt the chicken might need some feed! We enjoy seeing the various ways employees make their work space reflect their interests and personality.

Today's Suggested Music
and Supplemental Resources

"Carry The Light"  Video  Twila Paris. This video was prepared for a Mission Team.

"Carry The Light"  Video  Mark Harris

"Light Your World"

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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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