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Friday, January 9, 2015

Mailbox temporary fix 1/8/15
Redneck Mailbox Repair
 (see message)

"Showing Honor"
Part 3

"Doing The Next Right Thing"

Note: Today we share our third message based on some musings about people we admire. Perhaps today's message (and several that follow) will prompt your consideration of people you admire.

ListenListen to this message on your audio player.

"One of them was cutting down a tree when his ax head fell into the water. He cried out, “Oh, no! Master, it was a borrowed ax!'" (2 Kings 6:5).

As mentioned in yesterday's message we've been having some very cold weather in our area although it might get up near freezing today! We've heard from a few of you who have even more plunging temperatures than ours. 

I had just finished writing the daily encouragement yesterday morning when our dogs suddenly started barking loud and non-stop. While trying to quiet them I went to look out the window and there was a stranger standing at our front door. After greeting the man dressed in dapper clothing he confessed that he had just run over my mailbox post and wanted to give me his name and number and take responsibility. I asked if he was hurt and he told me he wasn't. Realizing it was just an accident I waved him on and commended him for acknowledging the incident and properly reporting it to me. That was surely a humbling position and a trembling experience since the temperatures felt like subzero temps. If he hadn't told us we would have had no idea till we drove away for our morning appointments and saw that our mailbox post was knocked over.

My biggest challenge was quickly setting up a working mailbox and still get to our scheduled worksites for visits. Thus my temporary solution as seen in our lead photo!

That got me thinking about a third person we want to honor today. It's not one single person but rather people who are responsible. Life works because of responsible people. It's easy to take for granted but consider the millions of people today who will live responsible lives by doing the right thing. More often the news is about irresponsible people, though a story of two will be thrown in spotlighting someone doing a good deed.

I was telling a friend this morning about our experience and he told me he was in a recovery type Bible study and a major theme is "Doing the next right thing". Every day we are confronted with many choices and of course many people (an increasing amount it seems) do not do the right thing.

Elisha's school of prophets had gone down near the Jordan and were building a place to live. It was a cooperative effort with each cutting down a tree for the project (sort of like a barn-raising).

Ax head
One of them had an accident which those who've worked with tools can easily imagine. As he was cutting down a tree the ax head came off!  His reaction is informative and instructive.

He was surely
relieved that it didn't fly off and hit him or another worker! But he looked on with angst as the ax head fell into the water and sunk. Very distressed he cried out to Elisha, "Oh, no! Master, it was a borrowed ax!'" Elisha, sensitive to the worker's dilemma, recovered the ax head by throwing in a stick in the spot where the ax head sunk which caused it to float in the water. (This was a miracle since iron just doesn't float naturally!).

Today I want to consider the unnamed prophet's sense of personal responsibility and stewardship; "Oh, no! Master, it was a borrowed ax!" He was distressed that he had lost something belonging to another. Most of us were taught by our parents to take care of a borrowed item even more carefully than our own.

That in itself is a suitable lesson for today and so needed in our careless society.  But I want to consider a deeper level of responsibility and stewardship; our stewardship to God. Essentially stewardship means using something belonging to another. Our very lives are essentially on loan from God.  Job shared this perspective that all believers should express when dealing with the variables of life, "The Lord gives and the Lord takes away" (Job 1:21).

Paul had this outlook concerning ministry: "Let a man regard us in this manner, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. In this case, moreover, it is required of stewards that one be found trustworthy" (1 Corinthians 4:1,2).

The prophet's distress over losing a part of the borrowed ax is commendable but let us consider today, in a greater and more extensive sense, that which God has entrusted into our care! Are we using it properly, sharing it generously, and dedicating it to God's service?

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying man Daily prayer: Father, may we be found trustworthy in our relationship to You and in our relationship to our fellow man. In a cold often harsh world help us to be shining lights. As we seek to understand and demonstrate the teachings of Scripture help us to be faithful stewards of all that is entrusted to us. Help us to do the next right thing and live responsible lives as we seek to honor You, showing respect and consideration to others. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.

Bob and Sandy, lunch at Vallorbs 1/8/15
We serve a company that has four married couples working there which is rather unusual. Yesterday we were there during the lunch hour and find it rather quaint that all four couples were joined to lunch together.  Bob and Sandy Brubaker (above) have worked for many years at Vallorbs.

With Justin and Ashley at Hershey Grill 1/8/15
Last evening Ashley and Justin Eberly invited us to join them for an outstanding dinner at the Chef's table at the Hershey Grill, part of the luxurious Hershey Lodge. It was a four course meal topped off with chocolate buttermilk cola cake. Chef Johnson created each entree and came out to the table to answer questions and fully describe the method of preparation and in some cases the food item (some were brand new to us). We received royal treatment and superb food! (Ashley works for the marketing department of Hershey Entertainment as a graphic designer and won this chef's dinner at a summer picnic.)
We met Ashley and later Justin when we served a small church several years ago and had a part in their wedding. (See photo) They are building their marriage on a solid foundation, seeking to honor the Lord in all they do.

Hershey Grill chef and server 1/8/15
Johnson is an outstanding chef. Marcy provided outstanding service.

Marsha, a friend from the church we served in northern Pennsylvania commented on Ester's Facebook photo of our mailbox fix: "Those Amish buggies!" I suppose it does happen!

Ken, a friend from this area commenting on the photo of me throwing Frisbee to Mollie in the snow: "I think you and Molly should take turns throwing the Frisbee!!!" That's a good idea and would probably assist me in fitness but I have never managed to teach Mollie to throw a Frisbee!

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Lord, I Offer My Life To You"  Video  Don Moen

"Take My Life And Let It Be"  
Video  Chris Tomlin
Video  A more traditional version by "Christ For The Nations" choir

Finally today:
Seven years ago during another winter storm our mailbox post was hit and nearly sheared off.  In this case I used my favorite "All Purpose Fix-It" duct tape.

Duct tape mailbox

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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 make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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