A daily, Bible-based perspective of hope, encouragement and exhortation.
Thursday, October 11, 2018
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"Bully Or Buddy?"
Message summary: Today we all have a choice, will we be a bully or a buddy?
Listen to our message on your audio player.
"Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good" (Romans 12:21).
Saturday morning we were at the Rehoboth Beach boardwalk for the annual "Buddy Walk". On this day people with Down Syndrome and their many supporters (family and friends) gather for a walk on the Rehoboth Beach boardwalk. It's a festive type fundraiser and an activity these people look forward to each year.
We engaged in a conversation with a caring father from Maryland that we met on the boardwalk along with his special needs daughter and a beautiful Golden Doodle dog he purchased in Paradise (Lancaster Amish country). He didn't know upon purchase but has since learned how the dog senses when his daughter is going to have a seizure and alerts the family, even detecting arrhythmia in an individual. We observed many examples of esteem and kindness shown toward those with special needs demonstrating the truth of the old children's song "they're all precious in His sight".
We grew up in an era where it was not unusual to see other students bully special needs children. It was mild compared to bullying today but nevertheless was wrong and surely painful. However, we also observe there has been a greater awareness of showing love and respect to the special needs children than when we were young. In Ester's high school class there was a boy who had Down Syndrome who seemed to be a class favorite, the class mascot who was truly esteemed. Perhaps you have seen the accounts of these children being recognized as homecoming queens at various schools (see this brief video for example)
Bullying is not new. We both recall bullies growing up and it pains me to say that I (Stephen) am sure I did some bullying in Junior High School. Brooksyne poignantly recalls a girl she sought to befriend who rode the school bus in her junior high years. She was bullied intensely. She was a special needs student who endured abuse by her schoolmates daily. They would sit behind her and spit in her hair as they swore and called her filthy names. Bullying is nothing new.
But bullying is not just a problem in youth. There are bullies in every age group including senior citizens! There are bullies in politics, bullies in the corporate world, bullies in every institution. And yes there are even bullies in the church! Many years ago I dealt with a denominational bully, striving for power.
Bullying sure seems to be increasing with many additional ways to bully notably "cyber-bullying" using the internet and social media. Last week we were deeply troubled when we received the tragic news concerning a pastor's 14 year old daughter who committed suicide due to bullying. We can only imagine the lifelong grief this family will endure.
The Bible's most notorious bad boy bully was Goliath. He taunted the people of God and stirred up great fear. But as most of you know, young David put him in his place! Not as well known are bullies like Nabal in the Old Testament (1 Samuel 25) and Diotrephes in the New Testament (3 John 9,10).
Schools have programs dealing with this but foundationally bullying is a spiritual problem. Being mean to one another is a part of fallen human nature. In contrast the Scripture instructs us to "be kind to one another" (Ephesians 4:32) and to treat others like we want to be treated (paraphrase of golden Rule).
Today's main verse is a antidote to bullying, "Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good" (Romans 12:21).
"Do not be overcome by evil." This applies to both the bully and bullied. When one allows a bullying attitude to overtake them they are being overcome by evil. Likewise when one is subjected to being bullied they are being overcome by evil.
"But overcome evil with good." Whenever we identify a bullying spirit upon us in the way we treat others we need to overcome that evil with good. But the same is true when we are bullied, we need to overcome it with good.
We who follow Christ experience transforming grace which compels us to heed the commands of Scripture. Our thoughts and actions reject evil and we learn to do good to others. This includes those who have sought to harm us as we seek to overcome evil with good.
Today we all have a choice, will we be a bully or a buddy?
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Today we will share some more scenes from our visit this last weekend in the Rehoboth Beach area
The fire department brought out the ladder truck to fly the flag at Rehoboth Beach above their display table regarding the work of rescue workers.
This is a neat way to use an old bike!
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Brooklyn Ave. - This is an intersection off the boardwalk at Rehoboth. I (Brooksyne) was drawn to this location as I was thinking about my dad. Monday was his 85th birthday though he's been in heaven since Feb. 2000. His name was Brooklyn from which my name is derived, though he grew up in Arkansas not New York. I was strolling through memory lane and remembering the night before he died. My mother and I were staying in the hospital room with him and it was the middle of the night. He woke us from our sleep (Mom in the recliner, me on the couch) when he cried out in a strong voice (though his cancer ridden body was very weak), "MaMa"? It wasn't a statement but a question mark. My mother quickly took his hand reassuring him she was there for him. But he paid no attention and a second time called out, "MaMa"? I got up from the couch and stood by his bedside. He was not communicating with us at all. Finally, after I gave it some thought I said to Mom, "Mama, he is not calling out for you. He is seeing his mother in heaven and calling out for her." Mom, who was trying her hardest to keep Daddy from leaving us, shook her head and acknowledged, "I know." It was some time later that I thought more about his calling out his mother in a questioning manner. I believe he was seeing her walking toward him preparing to greet him in heaven. But she now lived in her new imperishable body, no longer her dementia state that she endured for many years before her death. I believe he was excited but was just making sure it was really his Mama that he loved and respected so much! (Thanks for traveling with me down memory lane.)
Happy looking beagles - the third from the left is Brooksyne's favorite - such a happy, happy dog!
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Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"Overcome Evil With Good Romans 12:21" Video Steve Green
Buddy Walk is, as I found out, a national program!
Work looks very different depending on location and type. These women are both SEO (Search Engine Optimization) specialists for Kleen-Rite Corp, a wholesale distributor of car wash supplies where we serve as chaplains.
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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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