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Monday, June 20, 2016

Bug light Plimouth Bay 6/17/16
Buglight Lighthouse off Plimouth Bay
(Notice the solar panels)

"The Helper Of The Fatherless"

Message Summary:
Children and young people, such as the young man we just wrote about, need godly men to model what a real man of God is, including those who might feel there's little they can now do for the kingdom due to their feeble age. The Bible tells us that God is "the helper of the fatherless" and His Word makes it clear that this is a burden we are to undertake as His human messengers.  What can you do today or this week to make a difference in one who who might be "fatherless"?

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"You are the helper of the fatherless" (Psalm 10:14).

Yesterday we honored fathers on "Father's Day". Early yesterday morning in Seekonk, MA, where we were staying I filled up with gas in our van before our long trip back to Pennsylvania. I greeted and thanked the bulk delivery tank truck driver who was leaving after filling the large bulk tanks at the station. I suppose they don't get thanked much but theirs is a dangerous job. He was sure friendly and we engaged in a brief conversation about his two daughters, so I told him when he saw them later to tell the girls, "I met a preacher this morning who suggested you consider the Fifth Commandment that says 'Honor your father'"! Based upon his receptivity to our conversation I am sure he did just that and perhaps his family had an opportunity to consider a foundation verse about family relationships in the Holy Scriptures.

When we pastored we had an annual banquet for men and boys along with a theme such as hunting, fishing, sports. We chose not to call it "Father/Son" so as not to limit those who do not have sons or perhaps more importantly so as not to exclude boys who have no relationship to their father. I recall taking a boy to a function like this when we lived in New England. His father was in prison. That was some 20 years ago and I am heartened to hear that he is still connected to the church.

We also encourage men to consider the "fatherless" around us.

Biblical fatherlessness was most often the result of the death of the father. Today we see an abundance of fatherlessness for a variety of reasons, most related to the abandonment of God's design for marriage, "A man shall leave his father and mother and shall cleave unto his wife" (Genesis 2:24, affirmed explicitly by Jesus in Matthew 19:5).

However many men have essentially abandoned their children, others have children from numerous women and thus are unable, unwilling or in many cases don't know how to go about providing a good role model. Jim is a friend who worked many years with prisoners in New Jersey. He told me about the men bragging about their "baby mamas", that is, women who bore their children. They actually bragged about how many children they had by women they never married and in many cases they were children whom they never met. Jim recalls one stating he had 19 children born from 19 different women. Still others have sold out to the ways of this world. Whatever the reason, millions of children in America are essentially fatherless and as mentioned in Friday's message many children have no concept of a father or a concept that is far from God's design.

We heard a true story over the radio on our way home yesterday about a young man whose family had abandoned him. He lived a reckless life, feeling unloved and unwanted. One day while riding his cycle he was hit by a vehicle, critically injured and admitted to the hospital. It looked like his life was only going to get worse, if he did survive, but during his recovery one day an 86 year old preacher, carrying his Bible, stepped into his hospital room and said, "I know just what you need. You need Jesus." He proceeded to share Scripture with him and the young man gave his heart to Christ. He now plays the drums with a southern gospel quartet as he travels around the country, no longer a rebel living a reckless life, but with the lofty goal of reaching people for Christ.

Children and young people need godly men to model what a real man of God is, including those who might feel there's little they can now do for the kingdom due to their feeble age. The Bible tells us that God is "the helper of the fatherless" and His Word makes it clear that this is a burden we are to undertake as His human messengers.  What can you do today or this week to make a difference in one who might be "fatherless"?

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying man Daily prayer: Loving Heavenly Father, we thank You for the many fathers who have led their families in honoring You and living for You. They've sacrificed, worked hard, and provided for the needs and wants of their children. How blessed we are when we have the love and role model of both mom and dad in a day when a majority of households are managed by just one parent. There are certain duties most naturally fulfilled by the father and other duties naturally fulfilled by the mother. When this is impossible due to an early death, divorce or other unfortunate circumstances we thank You for the blended family where a "step" parent can fulfill as best as possible the role of the original parent. No matter the fabric of our family it takes much prayer, dedication, obedience to Scripture and daily endurance to fulfill our biblical role as a loving godly parent. Help us in our weaknesses and be praised in our strengths. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.

"Home Sweet Home" - Late yesterday afternoon we returned home from our weeklong trip to New England. As we turned onto Kraybill Church Rd we observed the cornfields had grown alot. And when we turned into our driveway and saw the house standing, the yard a vibrant green, and the flowers showing off brilliant colors in our flower pots, we thanked the Lord that He kept our home safe. When the dogs came out to excitedly greet us it made the words "Home Sweet Home" more than just an expression. It's always a blessing to have a safe trip with 1376 miles and find all is well upon our return. (Our good neighbors, John and Joan, take care of our dogs while we travel and our other neighbors, Doug and Marion, look after our home and generously water our many flowers. That too is such a blessing when we can help each other out when one is out of town.)

Throughout this week we will share more photos from our New England trip including a number of long-time friends we saw.

Today we share photos of a whale watch trip we took out of Plimouth Harbor.

Whale watch 6/17/16
We departed on a Captain John boat with many others including a class trip with lots of rambunctious young people.

Mayflower replica in Plimouth Harbor 6/17/16
Leaving Plimouth Harbor we passed the Mayflower replica before our long trip out to Stellwagen Bank off Cape Cod where the whales were congregating.

Whale watch 6/17/16
Sometimes they got real close such as this one.

Whale watch 6/17/16
"Tail up" is a valued sight we learned!

Whale watch 6/17/16
This is cropped from a more distant shot. We didn't see any doing the all out of the water jumps such as this one but our tour guide said we saw more than most (although, who knows,  they may say that every trip!) We saw several mother whales with their calves and learned that they drink some 80 gallons of milk each day and gain 100 pounds daily! We had a lot of great food while we were away (seafood especially) and regrettably put on some pounds but if anyone is curious not as much as a baby whale!

Whale watch 6/17/16
A nice parting shot

More friends along the way

Andy and Joann Larrimore 6/17/16
Andy and Joanne Larrimore are friends from the church we served in New England. Andy set up the very first dailyencouragement.net website in 1999. Prior to that the ministry had merely been a a manually administrated email list.

Steve and Andrea Higgins 6/17/16
Steve and Andrea Higgins have two identical twin daughters Jackie and Nicole. We went to New England so Ester could attend their daughter Jackie's wedding. (We just noticed Ester is photobombing in the background as we get this ready to email.)

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"I Want To Be That Man"  Video  Brian Free and Assurance  A tribute to his dad. Men especially listen to this song!

We recommend today's message from Focus on the Family. Pastor and former NFL player Ed Tandy McGlasson offers advice on finding healing from the emotional and psychological wounds you may have suffered as a child from your father.  (Part 1 of 2)

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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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