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Thursday, October 26, 2017

Sweet Arrow Lake, Pine Grove, PA 10/24/17 (Click to enlarge)
Sweet Arrow Lake, Pine Grove, PA
(Click on photo to enlarge)

"Impress Them!"

Message summary: How much emphasis does God's Word have in your life and home? As parents and grandparents are you impressing Bible truths on your children and grandchildren?

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"These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up" (Deuteronomy 6:6,7).

Sometimes I wish I didn't know now
What I didn't know then
When my world was so small
Back before all of this trouble we're in
When right and wrong mattered
And truth was in style
And hope could be seen through the eyes of a child

In the course of our corporate chaplaincy ministry we have an opportunity (and responsibility) to bear the burdens of the employees we encounter. Rarely does a week or even a day go by that we don't hear some heartbreaking story. Failing marriages, wayward children, severe medical issues, caring for elderly parents are among the common issues. Due to a commitment to confidentiality anything specific in these discussions are not used here in our Daily Encouragement messages although often they would be illustrative. (When an employee gives permission we do share the specifics of their story.) Presently we visit ten companies and some 500 employees throughout the week and, without providing any identifying details, want to share a sad comment made by a caring father in a recent visit.

His son is in his second year of college and he spoke with a grim face and heavy heart, "We've lost him". His comment took us by surprise although we knew just what he meant. In the context of our conversation we were discussing the "off the rails" nature of so much secondary education. You have to keep up with words or phrases like triggering, safe spaces, touchy, etc. to consider the type of "educational" setting our youth are presently exposed to. We were discussing how hard it is for parents who send their children off to college, only to find that the college is indoctrinating them in ways contrary to their upbringing.

In our survey a reader commented: "As a teacher, I would be very interested in hearing your thoughts on the generation that is being raised today, and how we can help steer them correctly. There is such a sense of 'entitlement' among our youngsters today. How to get the focus off of themselves, and onto something of lasting value (the Lord)?"

Well, that's a trillion dollar question. Anybody have an easy answer?

Today we will share a perspective that we hope will prompt thoughtfulness.

"In His Steps", a classic written by Charles Sheldon, is the second best-selling Christian book of all time (following the Bible). Over 30 million copies have been sold.  Brooksyne read it in her early teen years shortly after her decision to follow Christ.  It had a profound effect upon her commitment in walking in the ways of the Lord. I read it in my college years. It is also the inspiration behind the WWJD theme that was so popular (and heavily commercialized) several years ago. 

Garrett Sheldon, the great-grandson of Charles, wrote, "My great-grandfather grew up on a farm in the mid-1800's. His father was a missionary and a church planter. They read the Bible aloud every day, so that by the time Charles went to school, he had heard the entire Bible read aloud five times! This prepared him to write 'In His Steps' which changed the world with the question, 'What Would Jesus Do?'."

The exercise of reading Scripture aloud in the home reminds me of a visit to Brooksyne's grandparents' home in the hills of Arkansas before we married.  They had a practice of gathering each night in the living room and reading Scripture aloud before kneeling in prayer. Whether you were a visitor or not you were expected to drop what you were doing and join them for devotions. Her grandpa, Elbert, had great difficulty reading so he always had one of the grandchildren read if they were visiting. It holds a special memory for Brooksyne to this day.

This sounds a lot like God's design as conveyed through Moses during his last sermon. God wants His Word to have the preeminent part in a person's spiritual development.

"These commandments are to be upon your hearts." This is key to personal
and family spiritual development. Proverbs 4:23 teaches us to preserve our hearts; "Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life." 

"Impress them on your children" is a vital key in the transmission of His truth to succeeding generations.
The word "impress" means "to pierce; to inculcate". It's used literally for "sharp" arrows and swords. God's Word is sharp (Hebrews 4:12). Paul wrote concerning Timothy that "from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures which are able to make you wise for salvation" (2 Timothy 3:15). Timothy's grandmother Lois and mother Eunice had faithfully impressed God's Word upon Timothy.

"Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up." This instruction indicates that the follower of God is not to have a casual attitude toward God's commands, but they're to be written upon the tablets of their hearts and often spoke of during our daily conversation.  After they're memorized and carried out they become our foundation for godliness and a great defense against the lies that bombard us.

How much emphasis does God's Word have in your life and home? As parents and grandparents are you impressing Bible truths on your children and grandchildren?

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer:  Father, help us to learn Your commands, apply them to our hearts, and carry them out in our daily actions. We desire to be obedient to You and bring our children into a faithful relationship with You and fruitful service for your kingdom. We love You with all our heart, with all our soul, and with all our strength. May our devotion bring honor to You and witness to others of our fervent commitment to serve You all the days of our lives. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.

Special note: Today we referred to a response from a survey we placed up last Friday. We are so thankful for those who have responded and although a comment is not required to complete the survey many have left very encouraging comments. Due to the anonymity of the survey we cannot respond individually although some had questions. We will share some responses next week.

Take the Daily Encouragement reader surveyDaily Encouragement Net Reader Survey Please take a few minutes to help us
improve this ministry by taking an online survey. Your response is completely anonymous and the survey only takes about five minutes. To take the survey click here. (Thanks to all of you who already took a few minutes to fill this survey out the last several days. I will leave this survey request up through the week and compile the results and share from them next week.)

Today we share some scenes from southwest Schuylkill County that we visited Tuesday between chaplain visits in that area.

Sweet Arrow Lake, Pine Grove, PA 10/24/17 (Click to enlarge)
Sweet Arrow Lake is a mountain lake near Pine Grove, PA. It was initially part of the Union Canal and later used by an electric company. It is now a beautiful County Park. I discovered this lake through an interesting YouTube Channel which features drone videos of various places in our area.
(Click on photo to enlarge)

Sweet Arrow Lake, Pine Grove, PA 10/24/17 (Click to enlarge)
Waterfalls below lake
Location of Lake on Google map

Suedburg, PA Fixer-upper 10/24/17
We reckon we're just too old to consider buying this as a fixer-upper!

Suedburg, PA coal loading station 10/24/17
This was seen along Rt 443 and was used to load coal from a mine behind it.
Google map

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"What Children Believe"  Video  Gold City

"Save My Family, Save My Friends"  Video  Triumphant Quartet

"Family Chain"  Video  Nelons

"If There's A Rocking Chair In Heaven"  Video  Sunday Drive

Joe Ulicny 10/25/17
In Tuesday's message we shared several photos not from Lancaster County. Kudos to readers who identified the photos as being Amsterdam. Joe is a Marcom specialist for Val-Co company and a tremendous photographer. Joe shares regarding his photos: "The one is looking at a church from just outside Central Station in Amsterdam in the evening (that's the moon to the left). There is a row of buildings on the water, also in Amsterdam, walking towards Dam Square. Another shows the narrowest house in Amsterdam (easily identifiable!). And finally there's a view of the canals with the houses on the streets as well as a few house boats, which there were quite a few on my travels through the streets."

Linda, a West Virginia reader, shared an article about Bridge Day at the New River Bridge we mentioned in a message last week.

Stephen is a young agricultural engineer, a recent Penn State grad, who was active in the Navigators while in college. In light of today's message let us emphasize we see many young people who are staying on the right course. I saw him yesterday and he had a question about a photo we posted in yesterday's message which was near his home. I told him where I recall we had taken it and he was quite certain there was no such scene in that specific area. Returning home I checked the photo again and determined by checking the time it had actually been taken several miles south of where I had recalled. I enjoy Google maps and found the location of this photo to be here. Thanks, Stephen, for your keen observation!

Finally today:
Smucker Company meeting 10/25/17
Yesterday we altered our normal schedule a bit so we could attend a company meeting at the Smucker Company and visited hardworking home improvement and laser shop workers. Among the newer employees are two men I met at the same time and thus tend to get their names confused, Paul and Luke. Several weeks ago I stumbled at recollecting
which was which when greeting one of them, and he said, "I'm the more famous one." With all due respect to Luke I answered, "Paul", and I was right! In each of our companies we commend the young people learning a trade, which takes great knowledge and skill.

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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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