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Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Butterfly on sunflower 8/1/19 (photo by Ester)
Ester snapped a photo of this monarch butterfly on one of our many back yard sunflowers.

"Our Spiritual Lineage"

Message summary: Our spiritual lineage is a valuable part of who we are. We can all look back to those who made an impact on our life. Now we devote our life to Christ and seek to pass our faith along to others. Let us be found faithful!

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"I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also" (2 Timothy 1:5).

MaMa & PaPa
MaMa & PaPa
George Washington Steincross and Nellie Mae Steincross (Charles)

Attending our Steincross family reunion last week caused consideration of and appreciation for my lineage. These are the descendants of my grandparents on my Mom's side. We all can do that and hopefully most of us can do so with appreciation. My grandpa left a positive mark not only on his family but on his community. He was born the son of a recent immigrant from Germany in 1882 and did very well in America as a farmer. He also, for many years, was the president of the small town "Bank Of Harwood". Some 25 years after his death I stopped by a service station in a neighboring small town and the owner still recalled my grandpa. His descendants, now numbering in the hundreds, have done very well and still gather annually for a family reunion nearly 50 years after his death in 1971.

Each of us has a spiritual lineage as we look back and remember those who impacted our life, some more pronounced than others. Many of you can recall the very person who led you to the Lord. For others there are scores of believers who have poured into our lives, helping us to walk in the way of righteousness, as they spurred us on to love and good works in Christ.

Brooksyne can trace her spiritual lineage to her grandpa and grandma who lived very simple lives on a mountain top in northwest Arkansas. To get to their place we drive off the interstate (I-40) for some 25 miles on a paved state highway up the mountain and then drive back on a road along the ridge for about 5 miles to another dirt turnoff lane about 2 miles back. To say it's remote is an understatement, though in recent years there are more families who've made their home on this mountain including Brooksyne's kin folks!

Her paternal grandparents were both still living when we first met and for the first several years of our marriage. They lived in a small cabin-like home and he farmed the rocky soil with a mule team. When we would visit her grandpa would call the family together each evening in the living room. Since he had great difficulty reading he would always ask one of the family members to read a chapter of the Bible. Following the Scripture reading everyone would kneel as we prayed prior to going to bed. My, did he pray in a passionate way! I specifically recall his burden for the lost members of the family as he prayed that they would be saved so they wouldn't go "down, down, down."

Grandpa's Bible (Brooksyne's grandpa)
That was nearly 40 years ago. He died in 1981 and when Brooksyne's dad died in 2000 she inherited her grandpa's very worn leather-bound Bible. Looking through it one sees abundant evidence of his dynamic faith and interest in ongoing spiritual growth. Many Bible sections are page-marked by white medical tape he would use, now worn and browned.

In the daily text the Apostle Paul is reminded of Timothy's sincere faith. This sincere faith "lived" first in his grandmother and mother, who apparently passed the faith on to Timothy. Paul even names them "
your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice".

Paul was persuaded that this sincere faith lived in Timothy as well.  I am persuaded, now lives in you also"

A few verses later, Paul commissions Timothy with this charge, "And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others" (2 Timothy 2:2). Timothy had a lineage and was to be part of the lineage of others.

Our spiritual lineage is a valuable part of who we are. We can all look back to those who, like Brooksyne's grandparents, made an impact on us. Now we devote our life to Christ and seek to pass our faith along to others. Let us be found faithful in doing so!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily Prayer: Father, we thank You for those who have shown us the way of salvation both by their lifestyle and by the biblical principles they espouse. Just as Paul was reminded of Timothy's sincere faith, which first lived in his grandmother Lois and in his mother Eunice and now was evident in Timothy, may we also pass down to those whom we influence the way to eternal life. Just as we have a spiritual lineage we want to be a lineage to others so that they may follow Christ all their days. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.

Brooksyne with her grandpaBrooksyne's note: Here's a photo of me in my junior year of college with my Grandpa Elbert Sherrell beside Horsehead Lake (Google map) in Arkansas. He and Grandma had a practice of gathering each night in the living room of their small four room mountain home and reading Scripture aloud before kneeling in prayer. Whether you were a visitor or not you were expected to drop whatever you were doing and join them for devotions. Precious memories!

While I was on the mountain, over Memorial Day weekend for the Sherrell reunion this year, I attended my cousin's church and he preached on Hebrews 11 about the cloud of witnesses. He (George) told a story about how he, as a young boy, would often ride on the wagon with Grandpa as he plowed the fields with his team of mules. George said it was not unusual for Grandpa to be plowing a field and then suddenly yell, "Woe, Nellie; woe Rhodie" while he pulled back on the mule's reins. He would then jump down from the wagon and say, "George, I feel like we need to pray." And pray they did - it left a tremendous spiritual legacy for my cousin to follow. Coincidentally George and his wife just celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary over the weekend!

I had two grandfathers: Elbert and Elmer. Their names are similar but their lives stood in great contrast. The name, Elbert, brings a smile from deep within my heart while the name, Elmer, stirs up sorrow and heartache from past memories. If you care to you can read that story here.

Butterfly and bee on sunflower 8/1/19 (photo by Ester)
This butterfly and bee are demonstrating the virtue of sharing on this sunflower
(photo by Ester)

Morning sunflowers 8/5/19
Early in the morning our sunflowers point toward the sun except for one, who must have missed the memo!

Kraybill Church Road flowers 7/31/19
Harvesting zinnias on the Cramers Farm commercial flower farm here on Kraybill Church Road.

Kraybill Church Road Amish school 8/2/19
Progress being made on our new Kraybill Church Road Amish school just up the road from the flower farm. I expect it will be ready for the new school year in several weeks.

Amish field work 8/2/19
Across from the school our neighbor was concentrating on his field work.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"What You Leave Behind"  Video  The Talleys

Finally today:

Several of our readers have enjoyed these aerial mystery quizzes so here's another one:

Mystery photo 7/22/19
Where is this?

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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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