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Monday, May 9, 2016
Message Summary: The first of the Ten Commandments dealing with human relationships simply states, "Honor your father and your mother." The Lord Jesus and the apostle Paul both repeat this commandment in the New Testament.
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"Honor your father and your mother" (Exodus 20:12).
Many years ago we heard a pastor introduce his Mother's Day sermon with this simple but unusual question, "Will everyone who is the son or daughter of a mother, please raise your hand?" We could ask the same question today of each reader, although we can't see your hands. No matter how much our backgrounds differ this is one truth we all have in common.
Yesterday was "Mother's Day" here in the USA, a day set aside to especially honor our mothers. We have been chronicling the growth of four baby robins in a nest under our barn eaves with a new photo each day showing their development. I step up on a small foot stool and hold the camera down over the nest. Mama Robin is always close by and may be getting used to my peculiar, at least in her bird's eye view, presence. She is very busy now instinctively providing food for her growing babies. Will the baby robins have any sense of appreciation and honor as they grow healthy and independent?
Though there are many things we can't understand about animals, beasts and wildlife, there are some parallels between us. But the distinct fundamental law God established for humans is that we honor our parents. The first of the Ten Commandments dealing with human relationships simply states, "Honor your father and your mother." The Lord Jesus and the apostle Paul both repeat this commandment in the New Testament.
For growing children honor is primarily expressed in love and obedience to their parents. Among the first verses many teach their children is, "Children obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right" (Ephesians 6:2).
For grown children honor is primarily expressed in our love, esteem and respect toward our parents. Joseph demonstrates this when, after their long separation, he saw his father Jacob and, "he threw his arms around his father and wept for a long time" (Genesis 46:29). Our honor is also expressed by the responsible way in which we raise our own children. The way we conduct our lives is a very important means by which we reflect honor toward the parents who raised us.
Even when our parents pass on we should still seek to appropriately honor them; whether it's in our personal memories, the stories we share about them with others, or the honorable way in which we live our lives, maintaining integrity for the family name.
What about you today? Are your parents living? Do they need a call, a visit, an expression of love or appreciation? Have you presented them with a written tribute concerning your love and esteem? I know I bring this subject up periodically and regular readers may note this. I've heard from a number of readers who've done this exercise and found it to be a rewarding experience not only for a parent(s) but also for themselves as they poured out stored up treasures from their childhood memories. For some the loving memories overflowed, for others they were more hard pressed yet thankful for the exercise. It made them realize there is more good memories than we might realize on the surface, and if we're looking for it, we'll find it one way or another.
Take the time and make the contact especially if you've not done so for awhile. Of course many of you did so yesterday! "Mother's Day" and "Father's Day" are special days on our calendar but in God's Word no specific day or time is assigned for the honoring of our parents. It is God's will that we live our lives in a manner that brings ongoing honor to our father and mother.
If your parents, like ours, are deceased honor their memory and thank God for them. And I earnestly hope your children honor you, for that is a priceless blessing, each day of the year not just Mother's Day or Father's Day.
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, we count our family as the most sacred relationship established on earth. You placed us in family units so we can be nurtured in love as we increase in stature and wisdom, while learning responsibility alongside independence in small and big ways. We give thanks to You for Your expressed love shown to us through our parents. For those whose mother or father were absent physically and/or emotionally we're so blessed and reassured to know that You are a loving Father to the fatherless and motherless, that Your love is all-sufficient to meet our deepest longing and to mend our broken hearts. Thank You for Your sufficient, unending love. Amen.
Friday evening we became acquainted with Rick and Deb Rumball who joined us for dinner and fellowship to follow. They presently live in Raleigh, North Carolina. Rick has an interest in art and is pursuing a new career. In honor of our 40th wedding anniversary they very generously gave us Rick's impressionism painting of an Amish Fertilizing Cart. In this photo they hold another of his paintings, an Amish farming scene very common in Lancaster County. Rick not only uses his artistic skills in painting but also makes the frames to compliment his art work. God is leading them in a new path and we join them in prayer for His divine guidance.
A handful of baby goats on the Old Windmill Farm. Actually you can't tell from the photo but I am holding 4.
Saturday evening I dropped by the Old Windmill Farm and took Jesse and several of his children to see the Lancaster Barnstormers ballgame which also featured the Cowboy Monkey Rodeo show. We had a note about this last week. Essentially tiny monkeys dressed as cowboys ride border collies as the collies herd sheep.
While Jesse and 3 of the children joined me at the Barnstormer ballgame Brooksyne and Ester took Anna Ruth and the three younger girls to a Ladies banquet at our church. Also joining them was Dorothy Schmidt who, along with her husband Jim, moved to Lancaster from New Jersey just over a week ago. We first met Dorothy and Jim at a conference in Boston 16 years ago when they were representing SEND missions. Dorothy is praying here with Heather Book, who along with her husband Tony are missionaries with SEND INT'L, formerly of the Philippines and now headed to Thailand.
We had another special day yesterday, our 40th anniversary! Ester made this interesting photo collage showing us at our wedding on May 8, 1976 and now 40 years later with Brooksyne in the rocking chair on May 8, 2016. Ester secretly planned a card shower and what a nice surprise that was to hear from many people, not only in our church but from all over, including some of our readers. It made our small celebration (just the three of us) seem like many others were among us as we read through the card messages and personal writings.
Ester made this photo using our wedding rings.
Here's a photo of us at our wedding rehearsal dinner along with our mothers 40 years ago.
Here's a current photo of our baby robins taken this morning 5/9/16
If Mom could talk our human language she would surely say, "They're growing up so fast."
(We have been taking daily photos of their progress since I saw four eggs in the nest. You can view these photos on each previous message.
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"A Tribute to Mom - One Heartbeat At A Time" Video Steven Curtis Chapman
"Everything to Me" Video Mark Schultz dedicated to his birth mother and the most important gift she ever gave him... life.
"Find Your Wings" Video Mark Harris
"When You Come Home" Video Billy Gilman
"This Amazing Love" Video Emily Laudeman
"A Mother's Love Song" Video
"Midnight Oil" Video Phillips Craig and Dean
Information about writing a tribute
Last week I shared a photo from a retirement party we attended for Ken Leaman who, along with his twin brother Ken, started JK Mechanical in the late seventies. Tim Murray made an interesting presentation that you will enjoy, for it is one of a kind! Video
Yesterday our area set a world record! See here.
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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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