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Friday, June 17, 2016

Ring-tailed Lemur 6/15/16 (Boston Zoo)
Ring-tailed Lemur with clinging babies at Boston Zoo
(Notice Mom is clinging to her supper - can't imagine lettuce providing enough protein/strength for this mom carting her active load of young 'uns)

"A Father's Heart"

Message Summary:
Dads, Moms, and Grandparents, let us follow the example of Jairus. Critical problems demand a serious response. Let's boldly stand up, persevere, and fight the good fight of faith for our children and grandchildren as they battle the evil one in this present evil age. We can make a difference as we regularly pray, lead by example, and faithfully instruct our young in the ways of the Lord!

Note: Due to travel we are not podcasting this week.

"Then a man named Jairus, a ruler of the synagogue, came and fell at Jesus' feet, pleading with Him to come to his house because his only daughter, a girl of about twelve, was dying" (Luke 8:41,42).

This week we have followed the news of the little two year old boy who was snatched by an alligator in Florida and can only imagine the heart-wrenching anguish of his parents. By all accounts it was just a mysterious, tragic accident although I suppose a lot of families will learn not to let their little ones even play near the water which is a good idea anyway.

What a blessing it is to know a father's love. This coming Sunday is "Father's Day", a day set aside here in America (along with Mother's Day in May) to honor our parents. Both days recognize the value of the 5th Commandment, "Thou shalt honor thy father and thy mother." My father
(Stephen's) died in 1998 and Brooksyne's in 2000 but recollections of their love abound in our bank of memories.

We recently had a meeting with a family-owned business in which the second generation is beginning to pass the mantle of leadership to the third generation. How heartening to see the cooperative spirit among fathers and sons. One father expressed a heart-felt desire to see the sons continue to operate the company with Christian values.

Many reading this have a knowledge and experience of their earthly father's love but certainly not all do. Tragically, as a result of rampant sinfulness and sexual anarchy, a large and growing number of children do not even have the concept of what a father is. This most certainly is having dire consequences and these consequences will grow exponentially as we depart further and further from God's design for marrriage and the family.

Yet through the redemptive work of Christ we can all have a deep assurance of our Heavenly Father's love!

Jairus is one of my favorite dads mentioned in the Bible. Although he had a leadership position in the synagogue his role as a father took prominence in the brief story written about him in Scripture. Jairus demonstrates three qualities needed today by all godly fathers:

Jairus at feet of Jesus1) Love.We aren't told if Jairus had any sons, but Scripture indicates that he had only one daughter. She was twelve years old, and tragically, she was dying. During the long course of our ministry we've seen the anguish of loving parents whose child is critically ill or whose debilitating disease is beyond the skill of the medical profession to help. We had our own share of agonizing distress when Ester, as an infant and child, experienced complications during her heart surgeries or endured long, grueling recoveries as a child and as an adult (of course, like any loving parents, she'll always be our little girl no matter her age).

2) Desperation. Help was desperately needed and Jairus, likely overcoming pride, prejudice, and panic, (especially as a synagogue ruler) very publicly approached Jesus for help. He went to the right Person. He came to the Master and "fell at Jesus' feet, pleading with Him to come to his house."

The same desperation observed in Jairus pleading with Jesus, on behalf of his daughter, needs to be demonstrated by caring fathers today. His daughter was dying physically and Jairus needed Christ to intervene. Today our children face a spiritual onslaught from the enemy of our soul whom Jesus warns, "comes only to steal and kill and destroy." We desperately need Christ to intercede for the hearts of our children. Our world is sick and dying. Sin and wickedness seems to know no bounds. Our children are at the edge of a slippery precipice. They're flooded with appeals to "Jump!"  The loving father (and mother) must stand in the gap.

Women with issue of blood3) Faith.It took faith to approach Jesus and faith to hold on. They were delayed when the woman who had bled for twelve years touched the hem of the Master's garment. Surely this delay was very annoying to Jairus. He probably muttered, "Come on, come on, can't you go any faster!" (in Aramaic of course).

It was at this point that Jairus received word that his daughter had died and was told, "Don't bother the teacher anymore" (v.49).

But Jesus said, "Don't be afraid; just believe, and she will be healed" (v. 50).

Daughter of JairusThey indeed went to Jairus's home, a great miracle was performed, and the account ends with her parents being astonished. I've often wondered whatever happened concerning Bible characters like Jairus, his wife and daughter. Were they a part of the early church?

Dads, Moms, and Grandparents, let us follow the example of Jairus. Critical problems demand a serious response. Let's boldly stand up, persevere, and fight the good fight of faith for our children and grandchildren as they battle the evil one in this present evil age. We can make a difference as we regularly pray, lead by example, and faithfully instruct our young in the ways of the Lord!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying man Daily prayer: Father, we are given a tremendous trust when You permit us to raise a child.  What begins as a privilege and blessing can also turn into a challenge or desperate situation.  No circumstance is too difficult for You. Your arm is not too weak to save, nor Your ear too deaf to hear our heart's cry. We pray for our children as they seek to overcome life's difficulties and battle the enemy's schemes.  Help us to properly provide for their physical and spiritual needs as they journey into adulthood.  We pray especially for fathers, that they will take their rightful place as head of their homes; tenderly leading their children in the ways of the Lord by example and instruction according to Your holy book. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.

Several more photos from our activities while visiting New England

Wednesday evening we took the train into Boston to see the Boston Red Sox play the Baltimore Orioles at Fenway Park. This is the first time we have been to a Red Sox game since 2000 and it was very special to Ester.

Yawkey Way  6/15/16
Fenway Park in Boston is located right in the city (google view) and built long before parking was a consideration. Thus it is surrounded by city streets like Yawkey Way which are buzzing before a game.

Fenway Park 6/15/16
Our seats overlooked the field on the third base side with a view of the city skyline.
The Red Sox won the game 6-4!

Fenway Park 6/15/16

Fenway farms 6/15/16
A thriving garden on a roof at Fenway Park!

Ester at Boston Marathon finish line 6/15/16
We walked back through the city after the game to catch our subway. Ester points to the Boston Marathon finish line where we have watched runners cross over in past years. We saw no memorial from the Islamic terrorist bombing several years ago which took place at this very spot which certainly adds a major element of sadness to our recollections of this finish line. Ester voluntarily prayed for those were hurt in that bombing that they would find strength from God to deal with their permanent and life-changing injuries.

More long-time friends!

Marita 6/16/16
Sister Marita

Ester and Marita at Shaws 1998
Marita (Grandma to Ester) was a school teacher for 27 years but was unsatisfied about her spiritual life. She had many questions and sought answers, finally she became a born-again Christian which took her on a new, more fulfilling path with Christ. She worked in the nursery in our church and became a "grandma" to Ester. Her health and memory has seriously declined over the past 15 years after we left Taunton. We weren't sure she'd know us, but when we walked into the room where she sat, she immediately spoke out each of our names and had a beautiful smile. We had a great visit with her. The administrator greeted us personally, and brought us coffee and cookies. Since Marita has no family or children it is a treat for her to have visitors and he gave us royal treatment.

Marcia Barber 6/16/16
We had lunch at New Weir Pizza, our favorite pizza restaurant when we lived in Taunton, and ordered our usual: feta cheese, black olives & linguica. We really miss eating linguica, a Portuguese sausage, extremely popular in Taunton/Fall River where many Portuguese live. Posing with Brooksyne is Marcia Barber, a dedicated worker in the church we pastored. She led youth, taught Sunday School, sang in the choir and about anything else that was needed and continues to be very active in the church. Her husband, Tony, died this year after a massive heart attack. Tony came to Lord a few years after we pastored in Taunton and Marcia pointed out that his death came on 3-16 (March 3, 2016) and is easily remembered because it coincides with one of his favorite verses, John 3:16.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Family Prayer Song"  Video

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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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