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Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Triplet goats, photo by Regina Martin
These triplet goats were born Saturday afternoon in our friends Eric and Regina's barn.
Regina shared this photo on her Facebook page.
We have named them Tryphena, Tryphosa and Persis!

"The Value Of Incidental People"

Message summary: All of us have an often incidental but vitally important role in the lives of others and many times we may not even be aware of it!

Listen to our message on your audio player.

"Greet Tryphena and Tryphosa, workers in the Lord. Greet Persis the beloved, who has worked hard in the Lord" (Romans 16:12).

Sunday evening we had a small get together at our place inviting several who have made an impact on Ester's life. We are thankful for the many, many people who have provided support and encouragement in her thirty years from those who cared for her during her first three months as a very sick baby in an orphanage in Guatemala to those who transported her to the US for medical treatment, people in the churches we served in upstate PA and New England and now through our over 18 years here in Lancaster County. Of course there's the medical professionals and many others.

Brooksyne posted a photo on her Facebook page and stated that there were many more that Ester wanted to invite because they've touched her life in various ways but our house is small, and her friends are scattered here, there and everywhere.

Some had a major role such as the surgeons who performed her heart operations to teachers and youth group leaders. But many have had what may be called an incidental role. Incidental means "accompanying but not a major part of something". But incidental does not mean unimportant. Our lives are filled with those who have had an incidental but nevertheless significant role in shaping us into the people we are today. And the same can be said of us in the lives of others.

Romans 16 has many names that might be described as incidental. Paul mentions them but in most cases we really have no idea who they are apart from the mention of their name.

In today's text Paul greets Tryphena, Tryphosa and Persis. These three names have no other reference in the entire Bible. All three are women, something I never considered before studying this passage for today's message!

Tryphena and Tryphosa were two Christian women at Rome. They may have been sisters, but it is more likely that they were fellow deaconesses. We know nothing more of these two sister workers of the apostolic time, only that they were "workers in the Lord".

We are provided a slight bit more insight about Persis whose name means "from Persia".

1) She has an affectionate moniker used in many Bible translations, "the beloved". It is a very accurate translation of the familiar Greek word, "agape" (see here). Some newer translations feel obliged to translate this "dear friend" but we prefer the term "the beloved". See here for this verse in various translations. Beloved is used elsewhere to describe a person by both Paul and John (See here.)
2) She "worked hard". Literally she "toiled much". Any who have ever served in some form of Christian leadership recognize there are workers and there are hard workers.
3) "In the Lord". This distinguished the type of service she made as she sought to honor the Lord even in the work habits she established.

All of us have been blessed by incidental people like Tryphena, Tryphosa and Persis; people who may not be well-known outside their small circle, but nevertheless work hard in serving the Lord and others. Can you consider some in your life?

All of us have an often incidental but vitally important role in the lives of others and many times we may not even be aware of it!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, You have a set purpose for every one of us, as You have called us out of darkness and into Your wonderful light. Because we now have the light of Christ within, we want to let our light shine so that others may see our good works and glorify You, our Father, which is in heaven. As we toil and labor here below, help us not to dread or whine about the circumstances, but work heartily as unto You, rather than man, so that we might be a positive influence to those whom we see day in and day out. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.

Ester's 30th birthday party
A photo of our friends having dinner as we celebrated Ester's 30th birthday on Sunday evening. We enjoyed an extra hour of light with the Daylight Savings in effect.

Ester's 30th birthday party
Ester showing off her "selfie" skill. She had to cover the long 12 foot table and indicated it might be difficult, but she managed anyway!

Ester's 30th birthday whiteboard
Those who gathered on Sunday evening left comments that reflect Ester on her new white board. Of course, Stephen had to add his Greek word, hupernikomen, for "Overcomer". Ester wrote her testimony about her being a hupernikomen here.

Man's shelf
Brooksyne suggested I place my new plumbing themed "man shelf" in our lower man's bathroom!

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Excuse Me, Are You Jesus?"  Video   The Nelons

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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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