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Friday, January 30, 2015
"The Blessing Of Family Harmony"
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"Then he sent his brothers away, and as they were leaving he said to them, 'Don't quarrel on the way!'" (Genesis 45:24). "God places the lonely in families" (Psalm 68:6).
This summer we are having a family reunion in the Poconos for my mom's side of the family. Our reunions began in 1975 after my grandparents died. My aunts and uncles were intent that they and their children remain connected with the extended family. That entire generation has now passed on but we cousins, a few in their 80's, continue to gather annually. There had been sixteen of us but our oldest cousin passed away several years ago.
To enjoy all the benefits God intends for a family unit they must get along with each other. In our workplace chaplaincy we regularly deal with those who have family disharmony. Today I spoke to a man who has been estranged from his brother for 18 years. Another man wept as he told me he had never met his father. Brooksyne spoke to an employee who never met his birth father till he was 35 years old. He was raised by his stepfather, but sadly he never accepted him as his own so this individual struggled to fit in and eventually left home at a very young age, took to the streets and you can pretty well imagine the rest of the story.
A part of honoring our parents is having a harmonious relationship among the siblings. I came across this photo to the right of my two older brothers and me at a family reunion in 2002 in Colorado. It scanned rather grainy but it's especially meaningful that on the back my mom had written and underlined "My 3 Sons." It was among her large collection of fridge photos.
Now that both she and Dad are with the Lord I believe that I, along with my brothers and sister, honor them with our continued efforts at living in harmony with each other.
Joseph is one of the Bible's greatest characters. Many have noted numerous similarities in his life and that of Christ.
But Joseph came from a family characterized by disharmony. His jealous brothers planned to kill him, but after some sibling bickering they chose to sell him as a slave. He ended up in Egypt where he had a series of victories and some major setbacks. After thirteen years he serves as the Prime Minister to Pharaoh while preparing the nation for a famine by storing grain for seven fruitful years.
When the famine finally hits, under Joseph's leadership the nation was prepared. However the famine affected other nations in the region, as well, and Joseph's brothers eventually came to Egypt to buy grain. Joseph recognized his brothers immediately but they didn't recognize him. The events described in the next several chapters tug at the heart strings but also include some "gotcha" moments. Eventually Joseph reveals to his brothers who he is; they have a wonderful reunion and he sends them back to bring his father and entire household to Egypt.
As Joseph sends them off he gives them a departing word of exhortation: "Then he sent his brothers away, and as they were leaving he said to them, 'Don't quarrel on the way!'" I smile as I read it and consider how appropriate and timeless his words were, given human nature.
It's a great lesson for all of us as we journey here below. Perhaps you also were born into a dysfunctional family - an all too common occurrence for many or dare I say, most, considering the times. I ask you, is there an application from Joseph's story and that of his family, that might help deal with matters of the heart when it comes to you and your family members. If so, please apply and trust God for a favorable outcome. It's our prayer that your family may experience the blessing of harmony.
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, You've created us as individual human beings and by Your design You placed us in families. Within one family unit there are many different personalities, giftings, and varying interests. Thank you for the important things we learn about sharing, assuming responsibility, working, loving, and forgiving. Help us to do our part in keeping our family of primary importance and taking the time to appreciate those dear ones who make up our family. It is a blessing that only You can give and it is a privilege that we must never take for granted. Make each of us a blessing as we give unreservedly of our love to one another. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.
This Lancaster County company manages to get a witness in on their sign!
This afternoon we stopped by the Home Show at the Lancaster County Convention Center where one display sure gave us a desire for summer!
We primarily attended the home show to visit some of the sales people at JK Mechanical where we serve as chaplains. We visited with Bill and Tim who are staffing the booth.
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"The Family Prayer Song" Video Maranatha Singers
"The Keeper" Video Geoff Moore And The Distance
"Somewhere In The World" Video Wayne Watson
"Midnight Oil" Video Phillips, Craig and Dean
"On the Other Side" Video Dailey & Vincent
"Family Bible" Video Dailey and Vincent
"When I Reach That Home Up There" Video Dailey & Vincent
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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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