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Friday, July 28, 2017

Fruit tree art at JK Mechanical
Fruit tree art in lobby at JK Mechanical


Note: Tomorrow
morning we leave for the Midwest where will be seeing family and friends and attending several family reunions in Missouri, Oklahoma and Arkansas. Brooksyne will also be meeting up with several friends from her school days in Tulsa. We do not expect the messages will be daily during this time but depending on our schedule, internet connections and so forth but we hope to post several along the way.

Message summary: May we be counted among those who love the Word of God and meditate on it all day long!

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"A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold" (Proverbs 22:1). "Greet Philologus, Julia, Nereus and his sister, and Olympas and all the saints with them" (Romans 16:15). "Oh, how I love your law! I meditate on it all day long" (Psalm 119:97).

Our names are important to us. People like to be addressed by their name, they like to see it spelled correctly and hear it pronounced properly. In our chaplaincy work we seek to learn names and address people by their proper name. It can be somewhat insulting to be addressed by Pal, Buddy, or the endearing term "Hon" used by a waitress you don't even know who serves your table. Maybe one of the worst ways to be addressed is, "Hey you!"

Our names identify us. Some names bring good memories. The first daily text reinforces the value of having a good name. "A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold."

I am named after the Bible character, Stephen. In my case it was not a family name up to that point but very purposefully the Bible character. Not surprisingly Stephen is one of my favorite Bible characters and his name means "crowned one." Brooksyne's name is a name originated by her mom so there's not a special meaning behind it, except that it is a derivative of her father's name, Brooklyn. She assists people with the pronunciation by saying, think of the "scene of a brook" but turn it around and say, "Brook scene" with the accent on the second syllable. One advantage (or for some a disadvantage) to such a name is how easy it is to find her using a google search! Very few people can be identified through google just by their first name.

The second daily text today is included in a long listing of Paul's friends and ministry associates we've examined this week from Romans 16. In fact this chapter has 35 proper names! In this message let's look at one more, Philologus, the only time he is mentioned in the Scriptures. Very little is known about him (I presume he was a male) but he has a neat name, a compound of two words; Philo meaning "love" and logos meaning "word." Perhaps he was known by the abbreviated name, Phil, such as those today who have the name Phillip!

We can't do more than conjecture but I wonder if this was a name with a meaning as was often the case in the Bible? If so Philologus means "lover of the word." Or in this case it might have been, like Barnabas, a descriptive nickname based upon what others had observed. Barnabas means "son of encouragement" due to his encouraging characteristics. After he had acquired the nickname he is not again referred to by his birth name of Joseph (Acts 4:36). Perhaps in the case of Philologus others had observed that he was a diligent student of God's Word and gave him this nickname!

Philologus will be an interesting person to meet in heaven and then we'll find the story behind the name for sure. However, although I am quite certain very few, if any of us are named Philologus, each of us should have a lifelong love for God's Word. The Psalmist declared, "Oh, how I love your law! I meditate on it all day long" (Psalm 119:97).

An interesting glimpse into the Apostle Paul's life is seen in a request made to Timothy in his final letter as his time of departure was near. "When you come, bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas, and my scrolls, especially the parchments" (2 Timothy 4:13). This was likely a request for the Scriptures which is also evidence of his love for the Word right up to his death.

May we be counted among those who love the Word of God and meditate on it all day long!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen and Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, clinging to Your Word is like holding tightly to a brightly lit lantern on a darkened path. I can't see what's ahead but the light shines bright enough for me to proceed step by step. I am strengthened, encouraged, convicted and challenged by the Holy Bible as I faithfully read and meditate upon the inspired words written by believers throughout the generations. Like Philologus I want to be a lover of the Word as I join with the Psalmist who proclaims, "Oh how I love Your Law. I meditate on it all day long. I have kept my feet from every evil path so that I might obey Your Word." Amen.

Brooksyne's Note: Before we left the St. Marys, PA area where we pastored almost 16 years I read in our local paper, "Congratulations on your second birthday, Brooksyne". That was a bit shocking to my eyes since I'd never read about another "Brooksyne" in print. Since it was spelled the same as mine I wondered if the child was named after me, but she lived in a town ten miles away and I didn't know how to find out. Awhile back I came across this name again and followed up since this young lady is on Facebook. I wrote her and asked about the origin of her name. She said her grandfather saw the name in a church bulletin over 23 years ago, liked it, and recommended it to his daughter so she named her new baby Brooksyne, but pronounces it, "Brook sin". She was quite pleased by my contact through facebook since she had always wanted to find out more about her name over the years. Her grandfather died while she was a child which was her only lead up to that time.

List of proper names in Romans 16:

Phoebe, Priscilla, Aquila, Epenetus, Mary, Andronicus, Junias, Ampliatus, Urbanus, Stachys, Apelles, Aristobulus & household, Herodion (relative), Narcissus & household, Tryphena, Tryphosa, Persis, Rufus & his mother, Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermes, Patrobas, Hermas & brothers with him, Philologus, Julia, Neures and his sister, Olympas, Timothy, Lucius, Jason, Sosipater, Tertius, Gaius, Erastus, Quartus

Redneck water feature
Yesterday I visited with Nate, a young engineer at Val-Co working on a large feeder when I heard a rustling inside the feeder only to discover another young engineer intern* was working inside! We appreciate these young men learning a skill set that helps feed the world.
* In spite of what we shared in today's message about the importance of names I can't recall this young man's name! In the course of a week we see some 500 people in our various companies and learning names is an ongoing challenge, more so since we've entered our 60's. This man is a summer intern from Penn State.

Old order Mennonite field work 7/27/17
Looking out a loading dock at Val-Co I saw this Mennonite farmer taking a break in the course of doing field work.

Old order Mennonite family transportation 7/27/17
On the way home we passed this father and his children.

Redneck water feature

Dylan, a friend at Val-Co, showed me his new water feature he made using some repurposed materials. He placed an old wooden toolbox on an old barn door, put a spigot on the toolbox and runs up water pumped from the ponds to create an interesting effect with a nice soothing sound. He even has fish in the lower pool and plans to put stone around it covering the sides of the preformed pools and concrete block for a natural look. Neat idea! I just might try it.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Word of God Speak"  Video   MercyMe

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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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