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Friday, June 21, 2019

Lebanon County barn 6/20/19 (Click to enlarge)
We passed this rural scene in Lebanon County yesterday.
Click to enlarge

"Little Is Much"

Message summary: All over the world most of what will happen today to honor God and help others will be rather "small things".

Listen to our message on your audio player.

"Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?" (John 6:9).

Spruce Lake, PoconosEarly this Sunday morning Brooksyne will be going up to Spruce Lake in the Poconos to serve on a short term mission trip at a Joni and Friends Camp. These special camps are a highlight for many disabled children, adults and their families and caregivers. Brooksyne' will learn her assignment once she arrives late Sunday morning.

JoniMost of our readers have heard of Joni. On July 30, 1967, she dove into the Chesapeake Bay, at 17 years of age, after misjudging the shallowness of the water.  I first heard of her due to a Billy Graham film simply called "Joni" which came out shortly after Brooksyne and I married. Ten years after her accident she founded "Joni and Friends", an organization to "accelerate Christian ministry in the disability community".  Joni has had a faithful, long-term ministry and will turn 70 on October 15th, the day after my birthday.

My Mom loved Joni and about eighteen years ago I took her to hear her speak when she was in this area shortly after September 11, 2001. She shared about the tremendous ministry opportunities she had at the Pentagon and at Ground Zero in New York. While recovering from her accident Joni spoke of her deep despair and even her desire to commit suicide. But Joni devoted her life to Christ and a wonderful transformation took place.

She had every excuse to wallow through life and in fact early on dealt with depression. However she found one of life's greatest blessings; her purpose for living. She focused on what she could do rather than what she couldn't. She learned that little is much when God is in it.

She has had a world-impacting ministry with a special emphasis upon the spiritual needs of the disability community.

All over the world most of what will happen today to honor God and help others will be rather "small things". They may even seem insignificant at the time. You can be virtually certain they will not make the news. These are the scores of encounters when food will be given to the hungry, water to the thirsty, hospitality to the stranger, visits to the sick and those in prison (see Matthew 25:34-40).

Today's Scripture portion is taken from the account of the feeding of the five thousand. Our human inclination in dealing with the dilemma described in this story would be to hire a huge catering service or expect a government agency to come in and deal with the problem. But it didn't work that way. And so often it still doesn't today!

I want to consider the boy in today's story. Seeing the need, he approached one of the disciples with his lunch and the disciple in turn went to Jesus: "Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?"

Little Is MuchNotice the disciples' perspective when seeing the "five small barley loaves and two small fish", "but how far will they go among so many?

We wonder if the boy was mature enough to feel sort of foolish to think that his small offering could really make any difference. We wonder if any of his friends might have taunted him for his apparent irrational thinking. But Jesus used that little lunch, miraculously multiplying its impact and meeting the needs of all who were present.

Many of us have been challenged with the phrase, "Do something big for God" which is a great aspiration. But something big for God is often a series of small, seemingly insignificant attempts to be the salt of the earth Jesus called us to be. Most of us just aren't in a place today that we can do something really big for God, but we can find ways to broadcast the salt and let our light shine to a dark world in the small things that touch other's lives. Let us take the proper steps to step out in faith, believing God will use us for His glory!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, my little becomes great as You inspire me to do good works in Jesus' name. Help me not to reach a standstill based upon my limited abilities, wisdom, or resources. I don't give to others according to my limitations but I give to others from the abundance You pour into me, for when I am weak then You are strong. Grant me creative means and willful determination to extend myself to someone who needs a lift today. Direct my footsteps according to Your Word as You give opportunity for divine encounters this day. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

Audrey's picnic 6/20/19 (Click to enlarge)
We joined the Audrey's team for a picnic yesterday at lunch.
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Swatara Creek cows 6/20/19 (Click to enlarge)
These cows are standing in a meadow near swollen Swatara Creek where they remained all morning, but by the time we left after lunch they had been rescued.
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Seyfert's orchards 6/20/19 (Click to enlarge)
Yesterday we made our first stop of the season to the Seyfert's Orchards farm stand in Lebanon County. Brooksyne is in search for sour cherries for jam-making.
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David the plumber 6/20/19
Much of ministry opportunities for all of us is incidental. I visited for a few minutes with David, a young plumber who was servicing the expansion tank at Audrey's yesterday. I reminded him that without plumbers we would be in deep trouble and they serve a vital function in public health. He identified as a fellow believer and he shared with me about his church's ministry to the inner city.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Little Is Much When God Is In It"  Video  Larry Ford  What a thought-provoking song!

For local readers: The Collingsworth Family is at Music In The Park in Lebanon this Sunday evening. We have enjoyed this outstanding group for many years. "At Calvary" Video

Finally today:
Yesterday we passed this truck along Rt 743 south of Hershey, PA.
Ester captions this "Hershey Mater" (see here)
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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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