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Wednesday, March 18, 2015
Bird of Paradise flower
Also known as Crane flowers, these are in bloom all over the Southern California area. The BOP blossoms resemble brightly colored birds in flight.
"The Blessing Of Trustworthiness"
Note: We arrived home last night after our trip to California. And it's great to be home!
Yesterday, late morning at our layover in San Antonio, we joined up with Ester who had been visiting Brooksyne's sister, much to her surprise. We also had an hour to visit with her sister, Elaine, who helped us arrange the surprise "run-in" with Ester who thought she was flying back all by herself. Stephen had shaven both his mustache and beard and Ester initially confused him with her Uncle Pat, Stephen's middle brother. Stephen is still a bit wary of Ester flying on her own so we were able to fly back together to Baltimore. We got to sit together in the very back row. Ester took this selfie we share with you today.
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"The Lord detests lying lips, but He delights in people who are trustworthy" (Proverbs 12:22). "Many a man proclaims his own loyalty, but who can find a trustworthy man?" (Proverbs 20:6).
In our last message we mentioned how we were often approached in the tourist area of Hollywood with vendors trying to give away (for a donation) a CD and others lining the streets hounding you to get on a tour bus (though many appeared to be vans with modified roofs cut off to provide open seating). The tour bus operators were especially forceful, seeking to persuade the many passing tourists of how much better their tour was than their competition. One said to me, "You know you can trust me." I looked at him and said, "I don't know you, so why would I be able to trust you?" (We didn't take his tour.)
That got us thinking about trustworthiness and the wonderful attribute of God's trustworthiness. But today we want to consider people's trustworthiness. Are you a trustworthy person? How many times have you heard, "I give you my word." There was a time when that used to mean something but not so much anymore. Now one's word is spinned like a top and lying lips abound. In some instances when a statement is preceded by the words, "The truth of the matter is..." I already sense that it will be a lie.
Trustworthiness is defined as being, "able to be relied on as honest or truthful" using this example, "leaving a spare key with a trustworthy neighbor". We just did that, and after coming back from a long trip, we count it a real blessing to have trustworthy neighbors watch over our place and care for our pets! We, in turn, are entrusted with their house key and care for their household needs while they travel.
"When we are trustworthy, people can rely on us. We can be counted on to do what we say we will do. If we make commitments, we follow through on them. Being trustworthy also means that the words we utter are aligned with our intentions. We seek to maintain a level of transparency that lets other people feel comfortable, safe, and confident about who we are and what they can expect from us. We treat the trust of others as a sacred gift, knowing that in trusting us they make themselves vulnerable since we have the power to harm them." *
Truthfulness and trustworthiness matter greatly to God. Our first daily text states, "The Lord detests lying lips." Obviously lying lips are nothing new! But the further we get from the foundation of God's Word and righteous living we witness less truthfulness and lack of trustworthiness.
"But He delights in people who are trustworthy." Other versions state, "Those who act faithfully are His delight" (ESV) and "those who deal truthfully are His delight" (NKJV).
Thankfully we have known and now know many trustworthy people. These are generally the local people in our church and community and many local business dealings. Trustworthiness is proven over years of faithfulness, not assertions of "You can trust me", or as the second verse states, "Many a man proclaims his own loyalty".
One of my most treasured notes was a man commending my Dad, who at one time owned a small heating and air conditioning business in Belton Missouri. He was never what the world would call "successful" but years after his death my Mom received a letter from another businessman in Belton, MO. He testified to my Dad's trustworthiness 35 years after he had installed a Carrier air condioning system in his business. In fact the A/C was still in operation as of his writing.
Today we urge each reader to consider the blessing of trustworthiness and to examine their life with this question, "Am I trustworthy?"
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, we don't want to proclaim our own loyalty, but we give glory to You, when others testify of our loyalty, our trustworthiness, our dependability. Your Scripture teaches us to be people who are honest and dependable, who do to others as we would have them do to us. Living among such people makes day to day living so much more enjoyable, relationships more trustworthy, and dealings with those who do business a more fair and pleasant experience. You "detest lying lips but delight in people who are trustworthy". We want to bring delight to You today and always, and we can do so by being people who are trustworthy. Through Christ Jesus we pray. Amen.
* Quote from this website with no attribution. (I slightly adapted some of this quote and realized afterwards that Stephen had quoted this paragraph from a website. - Brooksyne)
Recent example of trustworthiness from our recent trip: One afternoon we had just finished a bus tour, the kind you ride above the roofline, of the vehicle. Most had already unboarded and several were already walking up the street when a passenger behind us yelled out loud, "Hey, mam, you left your wallet on your seat." No one answered, so he kept on yelling and holding the wallet high in the air, until the woman, already a distance from the bus, finally realized he was calling to her. Of course, we couldn't resist the opportunity to tell him we admired his honesty and persistence in getting the woman's attention. A less honest person could easily have kept it since no one but God would know the difference and he would likely have a stash of vacation money at his disposal, though it belonged to another.
Some more scenes from our visit in Southern California
(We will share these photos the next couple of days for those who may find our trip interesting. Since photos of the beauty of California abound we will seek to share perspectives not as often seen.)
Aircraft Carrier Midway in San Diego Harbor
Last year we toured an aircraft carrier in Corpus Christi Texas so I didn't try to get Brooksyne on this one! They claim it takes at least 4 hours to walk through the ship but for me it might be 6 hours as others have claimed. Across the Harbor was the active duty carrier, named after Ronald Reagan.
In our tour of LA downtown we saw plenty of modern high-rise buildings but we found this Broadway Street interesting. They purposefully keep it looking as it would have over 50 years ago so that it serves as a backdrop in many movies set in the "old days".
Truth be told I am not much of a fan of modern art. I suppose I'm not sophisticated enough to appreciate it as some art critics do! Anyway, I did find this display interesting. A concrete trench was made and then a large boulder was placed over it. I wonder who paid for this creative idea?
A pleasant view entering Beverly Hills. What Brooksyne found especially interesting here is Oakhurst Street seen behind the "Beverly Hills City Limit" sign. The only Oakhurst she has seen is a very small community about a mile from her home in Tulsa where she grew up. It was so poor and rundown that much of it has now been demolished with the intent of rebuilding suitable housing. A far cry from the ostentatious Beverly Hills area we were walking through.
Topiary Nursery near Beverly Hills.
We enjoyed our visit to the Ronald Reagan Library and feel many will appreciate and likely miss the values expressed on this plaque.
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"The Steps Of A Good Man" Video Musician not identified
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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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