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Monday, March 25, 2019

One room schoolhouse in New York state 3/24/19
One Room Schoolhouse in New York state.

"Our Strength Every Morning"

Message summary: But let us focus on this portion of the petition in today's text: "Be our strength every morning". That is our ongoing need. Yesterday's strength is inadequate for the challenges of this day though we can build on the foundation that is already laid.

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"O LORD, be gracious to us; we long for you. Be our strength every morning, our salvation in time of distress" (Isaiah 33:2).

Thomas ChisolmIn a letter dated 1941 Thomas Chisolm wrote:

"My income has not been large at any time due to impaired health in the earlier years which has followed me until now. Although I must not fail to record here the unfailing faithfulness of a covenant keeping God and that He has given me many wonderful displays of His providing care, for which I am filled with astonishing gratefulness."

What a perspective from a man who had served as a minister for only one year before resigning due to poor health. He could have easily slipped into a state of unproductive despair and bitterness.

However he wrote over 1,200 sacred poems over his lifetime the most familiar being "Great Is Thy Faithfulness".

"Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
blessings all mine with ten thousand besides."

Some of you are dealing today with a distressing and confusing season in life. Sometimes that season's short, at other times you wonder if it will ever end. You may be, as the Apostle Paul testified, "hard pressed on every side and perplexed" (2 Corinthians 4:8).

May today's single verse bring encouragement for today and reserve for tomorrow.

The petition in this prayer is so simple: "O LORD, be gracious to us." Our Lord is always gracious toward us even though the critical problem at hand may overshadow God’s gracious ways toward His children. It’s His nature to be loving and gracious.

"We long for you." Here we have the essential key, a longing for God. That's such a key and yet I will candidly admit that I don't always long for the Lord as I should. There are so many distractions in life, some good, others bad!

Jim Gambini, a former pastor, writes: "The great danger the Christian faces is two-fold: because life on the planet is so ‘uncertain’ one temptation is to trust God to make us more secure through the accumulation of things or power/authority. The other temptation, if we already have accumulated plenty of this world’s goods, is to rest in what we have."

But let us focus on this portion of the petition in today's text: "Be our strength every morning". That is our ongoing need. Yesterday's strength is inadequate for the challenges of this day though we can build on the foundation that is already laid.

"Our salvation in time of distress." God is always our present help and salvation in the time of any trouble or distress.

Today be encouraged by these truths as you join us in crying out "O Lord" to the One who is able and willing to provide for all our needs because He is forever faithful.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, we look to You this day to bring us word of Your unfailing love, for we have put our trust in You. You are our strength every morning and our security at night. Your steadfast love reaches to the heavens and Your faithfulness fills the skies. There is no one like You that provides for our every need. You are our salvation in times of distress, so it is under Your protective wings that we find refuge and safely abide.  Amen.

This weekend we went different directions with Stephen joining friends for a trip to the Mohawk Valley in upstate New York to visit relatives. Brooksyne focusing on her busy Sunday with a special choir concert. Ester worked at Fuddruckers and kept a close eye on her new pup, Sadie Willow. The potty training is definitely the biggest challenge!

Rural New York church 3/23/19
This area of New York is rather desolate with a sense of abandonment as many have moved out but this church appears well-maintained.

Rural New York cabin view 3/23/19
Friday night I slept in a mountain cabin where I awakened to this wintry view.
Spring weather comes a bit later in the season in this part of New York.

Mud Road Sugar House syrup 3/23/19
I visited two different sugar shanties where they were making maple syrup. This photo shows the fresh syrup right from the processor. I'll share more maple syrup photos tomorrow.

Meal in New York farmhouse 3/24/19
I enjoyed this delicious Sunday afternoon meal in a farmhouse.

Ashley with Brooksyne 3/24/19
Meanwhile, Brooksyne sang with Calvary Church Choir in three services, the last one being the Sunday afternoon spring concert we promoted last week. She was pleasantly surprised to look out and see several friends including Ashley who was sitting on the front row. Ashley assisted her in leading worship in the church we last pastored in Mastersonville. She also plays cello and was a faithful choir member in several musicals Brooksyne directed in the past. She is now married and has a precious young son, Carsen.

Pierce family with Brooksyne 3/24/19
Another set of friends - the Pearce family including Nila, standing by Brooksyne, who was also a faithful choir member and continues to help lead worship at Mount Pleasant. Amazingly, Ken and Nila's oldest son, David, now stands only a few inches short of Brooksyne. We fondly look back to welcoming him to this world his first day of life. Later Brooksyne would be his Sunday School teacher for a number of years. Several others who learned about the concert here @dailyencouragement attended, but it was too crowded to connect.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Great Is Thy Faithfulness"  Video  Wes Hampton

"He's Been Faithful To Me"  Video  Damaris Carbaugh

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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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