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Monday, May 13, 2013

Abandoned farmhouse near Berlin Maryland
Like many people this farmhouse is in need of some loving restoration!
During our trip to the Delaware and Maryland shore area this last weekend we passed this abandoned farmhouse.

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"Honoring Parents"

"Honor your father and your mother" (Exodus 20:12).

We returned home from a long weekend trip to the Delaware shore last night and regardless of how long or short a trip is it's always great to be home! Our pets were sure pleased to see us.

Yesterday we attended New Covenant Presbyterian Church in Lewes Delaware and were blessed to hear a sermon for Mother's Day based upon Moses' mother and characteristics of a good mother gleaned from her life. The pastor boldly spoke out concerning the falling moral standards in our country. Delaware is the most recent state to reject Biblical marriage. I was able to visit with him for a few minutes at the conclusion of the service and affirmed him in speaking up for the truth.

Mother's Day rose 5/12/13An interesting feature of the special service honoring mothers was a huge bucket of beautiful long stemmed red roses on the platform. During the service congregants were encouraged to go up, select a rose, and then give it to their mother. It was a neat way to get everyone involved in one way or another, either as a recipient or giver or both. Ester went up to get a rose for Brooksyne. (The rose is just barely visible in the photo on left.)

Following my Mom's death in 2005 I received an encouraging note from a very close friend of my folks in Missouri. She made this observation concerning my Mom, "We're assured she's continuing her ministry of loving and serving her many friends, and they're blessed with that adorable smile and twinkling eyes. Freedom from pain and earthly cares are now hers to enjoy."

Mom lived with us for several years prior to her passing and we took care of her physically up to the end. In some areas I have personal regrets since I know I fell short in my patience and understanding of her needy condition as she aged.  I've had to deal with this and it has not been easy on my conscience.

What will matter the most when we are old and look back over life? Of course our faith in Christ and our steady walk with Him will be most important. After that I'm confident that the way we honored our family will be especially considered. How did we treat our folks, spouse, siblings, our own children?  Life's accomplishments and earthly accumulations pale in comparison to this vital question.

Many of you are at work as you read this. Some of you are a "boomer" like me and some are younger.  You're busy and you have your own family to take care of. You also have worthy goals and aspirations in regard to your career and some are intent on climbing the corporate ladder.

"Honor thy father and mother", is the first commandment dealing with human relations and yet it is continually violated or virtually ignored by many in America and in other parts of our world. Many of the elderly sit in nursing homes who have not heard from their busy children in weeks, months, or years. I hear these sad stories when I make visits. Brooksyne regularly visits, leads the residents in hymns, converses and prays with them. In fact this afternoon she will conduct a funeral service for a 90 year old resident she knew over the eleven years she resided in the Personal Care Home. The facility originated as an Assisted Living Center but those who only needed some assistance in the beginning aged over the years which increased their level of needed assistance. Wisely, the Longwood Home grew with the residents and stepped up their level of care.

Have you told your mom and dad that you love them lately? If not, will you please do so and let them know of their powerful input in your life. I believe God's command that we honor our parents is in effect all our lives. Don't procrastinate! As life progresses and we look back this will never be something we regret.

Some of you have strained relations and communication is difficult at best. Maybe you've
not felt appreciation or love toward your parent(s) for more years than you can remember. It's not something you can easily stir up due to deep hurts or, for some readers, you have been painfully rejected over the years. May God give you grace to be obedient to His command in spite of your experience. Do it as unto God and He will bless your obedience. It will also serve as an example to your own children and others whom you seek to influence.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, Your perfect design for creating a family started with Adam and Eve.  You gave them tremendous responsibility as parents to raise their children to be responsible individuals who would in turn raise their children in the same way. And so your order continues to our own generation.  At the heart of our family relations the fifth commandment indicates that we're to honor our father and mother which includes a promise that we'll live long full lives. When we honor our parents, Lord, we also honor You and show appreciation for Your marvelous workmanship in our lives.  We acknowledge that You ordained the family of our origin and we give thanks to You for our mother and father, brothers and sisters.  Make us a blessing to them as the fruit of the spirit continues to grow in our lives and is played out in our relations to them.  We pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Stephen's Note:  As I have done so for many years, let me again take this opportunity to challenge readers to prepare a written, personalized tribute to their parents.

A few photos from our trip to the shore
(more the next couple of days)

With Rick and Jackie Steudler at Rehoboth Beach Crackerbarrel 5/12/13
We had just sat down for church when a friend from here in Lancaster County came and sat down beside us.
I knew he was going to be there and we had prearranged to meet at his "vacation" church. After the church service we joined Rick and Jackie Steudler for lunch at the Crackerbarrel. They have a summer home in Rehoboth Beach and were getting things ready for the busy summer season. Since it was Mother's Day we had a half hour wait but that was perfect for Jackie and Brooksyne to do a little browsing in the Cracker Barrel gift shop. Rick and I sat in the porch rocking chairs as we fellowshipped during the wait.

Surrey ride on Ocean City MD boardwalk 5/10/13
Among our activities was a Surrey ride on the Ocean City MD boardwalk.

Church sign in Ocean City MD 5/10/13
We passed this church sign in Ocean City

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"When You Come Home"  Video  Mark Shultz

"Mama's Bible"  Video  Jeff and Sherri Easter

"Mother's Day Tribute"

"Family Prayer Song"  Video  Maranatha Singers

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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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