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Friday, October 17, 2014

Vermont scene Photo by Jim Hain
Scenic rural view in Vermont
Photo taken by our friend Jim Hain

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"Honoring Our Father and Mother"

"That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh" (Genesis 2:24 - Creation mandate). “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you" (Exodus 20:12 - Fifth of the Ten Commandments). "For God said, ‘Honor your father and mother’" (Matthew 15:3 - Jesus Christ). "Honor your father and mother"--which is the first commandment with a promise--that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth" (Ephesians 6:2,3 - Apostle Paul).

This week I had a painful conversation with a friend seeking to do the right thing. His parents are elderly and in great need and he is the only family member providing support. Yet he shared with me how he had a very abusive childhood and is quite torn emotionally. He wants to just walk away but in his spirit he is also compelled to do the right thing in spite of the painful memories. I listened and sought to encourage him based upon the principles of Scripture and the foundational, unconditional command to honor our father and mother.

Mom and Dad weeding photo, October 17, 1944
But I really couldn't identify with him at all. Today my father and mother, who are both with the Lord, would be celebrating their 70th wedding anniversary! To the right is their wedding photo from October 17, 1944.

They were great parents! They loved me unreservedly and I never once felt unloved or neglected. Part of that love included discipline, a sure sign of parental love. My love and appreciation for them has grown through the years and actually continues to do so since their departure. In fact I often think of things they did for me and wonder – “Did I ever thank them for that?” (I probably didn't.)

It's not Mother's or Father's Day but it's always time to honor our father and mother. One of the dominant sins of our time is the failure to honor our parents.

So many of the elderly sit in nursing homes who have not heard from their busy children or other loved ones in weeks, months, even years. Of course many are estranged from their children.

I recall a TV program we watched several years ago on "Elder Abuse". It described grown children who grossly neglected and abused their elderly, dependent parents. It was hard to stomach. The show indicated that it's a growing problem and I believe it will likely worsen as we continue to reap the results of violating God's holy law in this regard. After all how does a generation neglecting their parents expect to be treated when they are elderly by their own children? In fact that is one of the points I made to the friend I mentioned in the first paragraph. I told him, "It's not just between you and your parents but others are observing, including your children."

A fundamental law in the transmission of truth and order from one generation to another is the honor shown to the older from the younger and the blessing given to the younger from the older. So very often this is not the case. Parents who had no time for their children will increasingly find that their grown children have no time for them.

Do you need to call on your parents today? Are you able to visit them? Tell them you love them and appreciate all they've done for you! "Honor your father and mother -- which is the first commandment with a promise -- that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth."

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer:
Father, we honor our parents today, whether they're living or deceased. You gave them to us so they could love, provide, nurture and guide us into maturity and independence. Help us to return our love to them as we thoughtfully and patiently respond to their changing needs. May they be able to depend on us even as we have depended on them throughout the years. When present circumstances make this responsibility extremely difficult give us the needed wisdom and creative means to still carry out the command to honor our father and mother.  In the name of Your Son, Jesus, we pray.  Amen.

The moral slide into abject decadence continues: I read that the US passport application will now be "gender neutral", a term I only recently came across. Rather than Father and Mother on the application it will now ask for Parent One and Parent Two! A group with the same objective has materials for schools recommending not calling children boys and girls. Sadly, but really not unsurprisingly some school districts are distributing these materials. We are facing what I believe is a coming implosion of lunacy as standards of morality and decency based on the teaching of God's Word, tradition, basic biology and common sense are reviled and cast aside. "So God created mankind in His own image, in the image of God He created them; male and female He created them" (Genesis 1:27).

Early this morning I (Stephen) will take two young Amish families with about ten kids between them to upstate New York to visit relatives. It's a trip I have made several times and always have a go
od and interesting time. They rent a large van but of course do not have a driver's license so they use non-Amish drivers. Tonight I will be staying in a very rustic mountain cabin they built for guests. I really never know what to expect but that's part of the fun.

Amish buggy 10/16/14
We enjoy when the back of the buggies are open and the children look back as your vehicle approaches them. We came upon this buggy yesterday on Rockvale Road. The little bot played some peek-a-boo with us.

Sam Smucker 10/16/14
We visited for a few minutes with Sam S. Smucker who started a home improvement company in 1960. The company is now managed by his sons and grandson but Sam, now in his mid-eighties, still keeps busy around the place mowing the lawn, picking up trash, etc. He's happiest working!

Michael at Vallorbs 10/16/14
Michael is a Haitian immigrant in the states now for four years who already speaks very good English. He works at Vallorbs, a company we serve as chaplains, and I enjoy visiting with him.

Doc and Anna Mary Paglia 10/16/14
I visited with Doc and Anna Mary Paglia at a store after we finished our chaplain visits yesterday. Doc is 87 but remains active in ministry, speaking regularly in local churches all throughout our area and as a chaplain at Keystone Wood Specialties. Their son Doug, who is also a pastor, shares the same birthday as me; month, day and year.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Father"  Video  Jadon Lavick

"A Tribute to Mom - One Heartbeat At A Time"  Video  Steven Curtis Chapman

"Father's Love"  Video  Bob Carlisle

"Everything to Me"  Video  Mark Schultz - dedicated to his birth mother and the most important gift she ever gave him... life.

"Man of His Word"  Video  Bob Carlisle  As I listened to this song this couple was also married in 1944!

"When You Come Home"  Video  Billy Gilman

"The One You Need"  Video 
Shane & Shane

"Follow Me"  Video  Larry Ford  A powerful song of commitment.

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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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