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June 29, 2018

Kraybill Road morning view 6/28/18 (Click to enlarge)
Our view of the Espenshade farm at the end of Kraybill Church Road about 6:00 yesterday morning as we departed for our chaplain visits.
(Click to enlarge)

"Calling Fire Down"

Administrative/personal note: The Daily Encouragement website was down for about 14 hours since last night, when the hosting server changed and I was working out the technical issues with numerous calls to tech support. Finally, it got ironed out about 10:00 this morning. During the time the site was down it also affected any email or Wordpress blog readers since all the photos are hosted on the website!

Message summary: Have you been hurt by others? Of course you have. We all have. Hurtful situations I've experienced over the years come to mind even as I type this.

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"When the disciples James and John saw this, they asked, "Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven to destroy them?" But Jesus turned and rebuked them" (Luke 9:54,55).

Now to tell you the truth I am feeling an irritation in my spirit right now. All morning I've been receiving telemarketer calls. Some are very realistic sounding recordings that make me feel foolish when I do respond. They tell me they are responding to my inquiry which is a lie since I never inquired in the first place. Others are real people who abruptly hang up when I inform them I am not interested in their product, such as the "senior hearing center" call I repeatedly get.

Now that I've reached the age where many have hearing impairment they've targeted me though I don't have that problem yet, at least it's not bad enough to require a hearing aid(s). But I'm sure they'll call back again. I am on the "Do Not Call" list but that doesn't seem to help. We don't ignore unknown numbers since it may be someone in need of our chaplain services.

Have you ever felt like calling fire down on someone? Is there a person or situation in your life today that naggingly prompts a spirit of vindictiveness? You want to get even and see God take care of the matter. If you're really honest perhaps a lightning bolt would be OK with you.

In our daily text the disciples felt their Master was being insulted, as He was not welcomed in a Samaritan village on His way to Jerusalem. James and John asked Jesus, "Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven to destroy them?" This, by the way, is the same John we know of as the "apostle of love"! 

"But Jesus turned and rebuked them." That sure must have stung as they felt they were protecting His honor.

But God is not vindictive. The tremendous benefits from the sun and rain are bestowed upon both the righteous and unrighteous. At times we would like to see our Father acting in a manner that we reckon as just, particularly when we've been wronged or when He is being dishonored. And the sooner the better as far as we're concerned!

Surely this non-vindictiveness does not negate the truth of future judgment.  But judgment is in His hands and in His time. The Bible plainly teaches this. But as "sons of our Father in heaven" we are called to demonstrate this non-vindictive character in our walk with Christ. 

Have you been hurt by others? Of course you have. We all have. Hurtful situations I've experienced come to mind even as I type this.  But I have learned (well, really I'm still learning) that a vindictive approach is more harmful to me than to my enemy. God will, in His time, take care of the matter and I, like the disciples, also need rebuked when I'm tempted to "call fire down from heaven."

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, in Your time, You make all things beautiful. You can take the hurtful situations I'm dealt in life and turn them into blessing. You turn my mourning into gladness and my weeping into dancing as You lift the heavy burdens that weigh me down. O God, by Your strength, I will look to You and not allow the heartache I am dealing with to overwhelm me, for "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me". Amen.

Brooksyne was collecting eggs at our neighbor's house while they vacation. It appears that this sheep wasn't so sure she should be opening up the coop and helping herself.

Lancaster County traffic 6/28/18
We always enjoy the colorful traffic in rural Lancaster County! Due to a trip out of town beginning early this afternoon we made our Friday chaplain visits yesterday and visited 8 different companies which we think is our record for one day!

Jerry building circuit boards 6/28/18
Jerry, an electrical tech, is focused on building a tiny circuit board for a product manufactured by Val-Co.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"In His Time"  Video  Maranatha! Singers

Finally today:
Due to the website hosting issues mentioned in the administrative note above I have been on the phone a lot with customer service representatives. All were pleasant and helpful. This morning I already got a call from a rep on another matter (in addition to the several, very annoying unsolicited telemarketer calls mentioned above). We see many customer service reps in the course of our chaplain work such as this photo I took yesterday of Brooksyne visiting Jacquie, a Kleen-Rite customer service rep. As of 2014 there are over 2˝ million customer service reps employed here in the US and I am sure that is growing! It's a demanding job, both physically and emotionally! We were visiting one afternoon when a customer service rep had just received a call of apology from a customer who had been rude and unwilling to listen to her earlier in the day. Remember, folks, to always mind your manners when dealing with problem situations since it's not the rep's fault and it does take an emotional toll on many of them.

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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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