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Monday, June 17, 2013

Amish family harvest, Long Lane, Lancaster County PA 6/15/13
Saturday afternoon we passed a farm near our home and saw an Amish family working together in the fields.

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"The Blessings Of A Faithful Man"

"I put Hanani my brother, and Hananiah the commander of the fortress, in charge of Jerusalem, for he was a faithful man and feared God more than many" (Nehemiah 7:2). "A faithful man will abound with blessings" (Proverbs 28:20a).

Father's DayMany of you heard a sermon on fathers on Father's Day yesterday. Often preachers tend to honor mothers on Mother's day and challenge fathers on Father's Day! I realize that was my pattern and a characteristic I often stress in this challenge to a good father is faithfulness.

The Bible lists many qualities of a good man but today let us consider just one; being faithful. I have only one uncle still living and I hope to visit Uncle Don and his wife next month as our family travels to the Midwest for a family reunion. I consider his faithfulness to his wife, children and church. He, like my dad, is multi-gifted in regard to fixing just about anything. I recall many years ago a visit with their pastor who commended Uncle Don and Aunt Mary in regard to their faithfulness and service to their church.

Faithful"Quiet faithfulness" is a phrase our pastor used a number of years ago to describe Eldon, a friend who had departed this world after a long life. I like that phrase and can consider many whom I would consider this way. It's the best kind of faithfulness, not flaunted or promoted but just quietly demonstrated day after day in the long course of life.

In studying for today's message I came across a description in the Bible I don't recall noticing before. Nehemiah describes an obscure man named Hananiah, who was the commander of the fortress, as "a faithful man and feared God more than many." In considering this text I observe that being a faithful man and having a fear of God are so inter-related. Perhaps the massive breakdown
in faithfulness we see in our age is related to the loss of having a healthy, holy fear of God.

Faithful man The truth of the second daily Scripture is often most evident in the later years of life. "A faithful man will abound with blessings." Faithfulness has its rewards, both in this life and the one to come. If you have salvation you are actually abounding in blessings now but you can become discouraged with present trials. God's Word is ever true. Perhaps you need to consider someone you know who has served God faithfully for many years and observe how they abound with blessings. But just remember the greatest blessings are yet to come!

Clarence and Alveta 70 years of marriage! I am sure you know some "quietly faithful" people. I've met many in my life and continue to meet them. The last several years I have been blessed by Clarence and Alverta, an elderly couple who just celebrated their 71st wedding anniversary. For many years Clarence was a master carpenter who built many homes here in the Lancaster area. I visited with them yesterday, joining them as they ate their lunch. Both in their nineties now, Clarence has a bit of a time seeing and hearing but is still sharp and Alverta is amazingly witty.

Character qualities like faithfulness, steadfastness, and consistency might sound boring to some today, but they still matter to God. "A faithful man shall abound with blessings", and he does; both in this life and the life to come. Let us aspire to hear these wonderful words from the supremely Faithful One, "Well done, good and faithful servant."

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, may my life be marked by faithfulness and integrity. I know that these character traits are not developed over a short period of time but over the duration of my life, most especially during the challenging times. Obedience does bring blessing and it does bring eternal reward. Help me not to become weary in doing good, for at the proper time that You have ordained, I will reap a harvest if I do not give up.  Amen.

Amish family harvest, Long Lane, Lancaster County PA 6/15/13
Here's another photo of the field work we saw on Saturday. It looked like broccoli.

Jesse and Wilma Dourte with daughter Colleen 6/16/13)
Yesterday we visited with Jesse and Wilma Dourte along with their daughter Colleen. Jesse has his ninetieth birthday this Tuesday and on Wednesday evening will be leading the Bible study in our church.

Father's Day 1999
Rummaging through old photos Ester found this Father's Day photo from about fifteen years ago. Ester had given me a Veggie tale tie and Brooksyne made a cake with a tie.

Father's Day 2013
Now some 15 years later we decided to show a real life age progression. However it is a fresh cake! Ester still insists that I wear the veggie tale tie on Father's Day, which always gets quite a few comments, especially by children!

Father's Day cake 2013
Here's a closeup of the cake Brooksyne made. You can't do any better than having an edible tie made of butter-glazed pecans!

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"When It's All Been Said And Done"  Video  Robin Mark

"Find Us Faithful"
  Video  Steve Green

"Faithful Men"  Video  Twila Paris 

"Jesus, Lover Of My Soul"  Video  A beautiful song reminding us that our life's journey here below is all about Jesus, not ourselves. "It's for Your glory and Your fame. It's not about me as if You should do things my way.  You alone are God and I surrender to Your ways."

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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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