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Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Little Swatara Creek, Lebanon County, PA 1/9/18
Yesterday morning following a chaplain visit in rural Lebanon County I took a walk along Little Swatara Creek. I was tempted to walk out on the ice but knew better!

"Good Medicine!"

Note: Today's message is a bit different but will hopefully lend a bit of a chuckle!

Message summary: Let's all share some good medicine today!

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"Now Eglon was a very fat man" (Judges 3:17). "A time to laugh" (Ecclesiastes 3:4). "A cheerful heart is good medicine" (Proverbs 17:22).

Yesterday afternoon I (Stephen) had my annual physical. It begins with a nurse checking my weight and height in metric which I can't convert without checking a chart. She then takes me in a room and measures my vital signs such as temperature and blood pressure before the doctor comes in. It seems I'm doing well considering my age and to use a term from my years as a young athlete, "I passed my physical".

Vital signs 1/9/18When I was checking out, the lady at the desk handed me the printed summary of the report which included my vital signs (shown to the left). I was stunned to see that, according to their measurements, I was just over 4 feet tall and weighed 412 pounds! Like many I've been shrinking a bit as I age and admittedly carry more weight than I should. But I was pretty sure these measurements weren't right so I read them aloud to her and she was rather surprised. She went back to her supervisor who then checked it out.

It took a few minutes, as I sweated it out, but I was greatly relieved when she came back along with the administrator and a few other medical personnel who had overheard the numbers concerning my vitals. They probably wanted to get a peek at what I looked like. A bit embarrassed, they told me somehow the computer read-out chart had mixed up the height and weight lines when they did the conversion from metric. Brooksyne and I had quite a chuckle from my experience and I made sure they got the vitals corrected for my historical records.

I am tall, still 6' 2" but slowly shrinking and carry a paunch similar to my dad. (Some really smart reader could probably decipher the medical report and determine what I weigh but I choose not to disclose that here!)

How would you be described physically? We use words like fat and skinny, tall and short, muscular and many other traits, certainly some are more desirable than others.

Eglon was a king of Moab who has this singular physical trait mentioned in Scripture, as he "was a very fat man". If you'd like to read the rest of the rather sordid story it's in Judges 3:15-30. It may be unedifying but it describes that perilous period summed up in the phrase "Everyone did what was right in his own eyes" (Judges 21:25). So how would you like to go down in history with the sole description, "a very fat man"?

Now that's enough consideration of the physical! How would you be described concerning your spiritual outlook? Being described with words like devout, encouraging, loving, caring and so forth sure are positive. Or what about sour, petty, lukewarm, casual. Sadly some come to mind with these characteristics (but no one reading this I am sure!)

Today in this rather unusual message we conclude by considering the characteristics of a "cheerful heart" That's good for us and for those whom we influence. It's good medicine, the kind you can't abuse nor will it cost you a week's pay, so let's all share some good medicine today!

Be encouraged today.

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Thankful manDaily prayer: Father, we see and hear gloom and doom all over the place as people are quick to spread it, but we as believers are instructed to bring an uplifting word to those around us. There are those who brighten a room when they enter and there are those who brighten a room when they exit. May we be among the first group who extends cheerfulness, brightness, and encouragement to the workplace, to the person in front and behind us when we're in the grocery check out lane, to anyone who needs an uplifting word that will brighten and cheer them on and remind them that it's a great joy just to be alive. Amen.

Note: This afternoon I have my annual dental checkup so we will see if any surprise lessons await!

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"A Joyful Heart"  Video  Steve Green  Children's song but good for all!

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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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