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April 6, 2018

Texas blue bonnet Photo by Ester
Ester took this photo of a bluebonnet while in Texas.
The bluebonnet was adopted as the state flower in 1901. The flower's
popular name derives from its resemblance to a sunbonnet.

"Am I A Mutt?"

Message summary: Paul asked the Corinthians to "Consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth." We have a feeling that this describes most people reading this!

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"For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth" (1 Corinthians 1:26). "To the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved" (Ephesians 1:6). "Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God" (Romans 15:7).

Mollie and Roxie, Valentine's Day 2018, Photo by Ester We often mention our two dogs.  Roxie will be 14 this fall (on the right in a Valentine photo Ester staged - you can see how happy they were about it). She has slowed down quite a bit since she's in her 90's (using the traditional formula of one human year being seven dog years).  Mollie, our border collie mix, is now seven but shows no signs of slowing down. She happens to be very smart and athletic, at least she often out-smarts us.

Our dogs did not come from a pet shop, have no pedigree and are certainly not registered. Roxie had a very rough start in life, having been rescued from an abusive setting, but has been a wonderful pet. Mollie came from the shelter (AKA dog pound) having been dropped off with a litter of unwanted puppies.
However she has no esteem problems at all.

Today I recall an experience we had when we lived in New England about twenty years ago.
We walked by a fenced yard, day after day, on the way to Ester's school and passed a litter of mangy-looking pups kept in a squalid backyard. One of the pups always ran up to the fence and gave us the puppy look that steals even the hardest of hearts so we couldn't resist.

We named
her Penny. People often asked what kind of puppy she was. We'd respond, "She's just a mutt" since we really didn't know.

One afternoon I took a walk with Ester who was leading Penny on a leash. She was about eight at the time when she suddenly stopped, looked up at me and asked inquisitively: "Daddy, am I a mutt?"

This got me to thinking and please read my thought all the way through! You know, in a sense she is a mutt. She was born in Guatemala and immediately taken to an orphanage. Her birth mother was unable to care for her and we have no history of the birth father.  She came to us at three months of age dying of congenital heart disease and spent the next three months in a major medical center all the while isolated from other patients because she had scabies and salmonella in her blood. She's had many heart surgeries and many heart catheterizations, three pacemakers and actually more overcomings than could be listed in this writing.

A mutt is defined as a dog that is a mix of usually undetermined breeds. Interestingly, in the human world, it can also mean an "insignificant person". Well that's as other humans may tend to evaluate but with God there is no insignificant person. But "mutt" can also be used to describe a person who may not know their background or have a rather ordinary background, certainly not noble, elite or as they use in Boston, "blue blood".

Paul asked the Corinthians to "Consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth." We have a feeling that this describes most people reading this!

Let me be somewhat blunt and ask you, "Are you a mutt?" Don't be insulted! Think of where you've come from, spiritually speaking, and your acceptance into God's family. Sure, many come from "good" families and that is such a blessing. But undoubtedly many others, like Ester, came into this world under very difficult circumstances and so many others come from homes far from ideal.

Consider this single phrase in our second daily Scripture, "He made us accepted in the Beloved."

What a glorious truth! We've been accepted in the Beloved and we are a part of His family. Whether we were born into the most proper of families by this world's standards, we were still born into sin, thus we were born with the sin nature - everyone of us. Only through Christ's redemption are we accepted into God's family and admitted entry into heaven. This glorious transition cannot be earned, purchased or inherited, for it is made possible entirely by His marvelous grace!

From the door of an orphanage to the house of the King,
No longer an outcast, a new song I sing;
From rags unto riches, from the weak to the strong,
I'm not worthy to be here, but PRAISE GOD! I belong!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, how marvelous is Your indescribable grace that You should love a sinner such as I. Though I deserve death You grant eternal life through the death of Your beloved Son, Jesus. I am accepted into Your family, into the sainthood of all believers, through my redemption in Christ. So, too, I want to accept those who have turned to you in faith and obedience, who might be different, who break into my carefully etched out comfort zone. In doing so I learn how to be more loving and tolerant of others different than myself in a way that pleases and honors You. I come as a mix of Your love, mercy, and grace as I extend myself to others around me.  Amen.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Family Of God"  Video  The Hoppers & Collingsworth Family

Finally Today:
Shannon at Kleen-Rite 4/6/18
This morning we made several chaplain visits. In one of our visits we were telling the story about Ester asking if she was a mutt to Shannon, a young graphic designer and dog lover. She told us she was also adopted and has no background info about her ethnicity So she told us she always told people that she was a mutt!
She also told us how much a blessing her adoptive parents have been. What a blessing to be secure in your identity!

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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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