A daily, Bible-based perspective of hope, encouragement and exhortation.
Friday, June 18, 2021
Yesterday we passed the Strasbug Railroad and noticed the Norfolk and Western 611 steam locomotive out in the yard. It is one of the last steam passenger locomotives built in the United States and represents the pinnacle of steam locomotive technology. It is on loan to the Strasburg Railroad through the summer and early fall and will provide power for some of the excursion train rides during that time.
(Click on photo to enlarge)
"Wanting To Be A Good Dad"
Message summary: Fathers, what a powerful model is taught in our daily text. How are you at encouraging and comforting your children? Do you urge them to live lives worthy of God and show them by your own example? Both are a big part of your Scriptural mandate as a father. Let us be found faithful in the godly task before us! A high aspiration for fathers is being a good dad.
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"For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children, encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into His kingdom and glory" (1 Thessalonians 2:11,12).
This coming Sunday is Father's Day. I teased Brooksyne by typing an official looking entry such as those that are there by default on our online calendar labeled "Non-birthing parent day". (This will only make sense if you understand the current "woke insanity" designation for mother as "birthing parent")* She initially fell for it till I confessed my rascalliness. But given the increasing slide into moral madness it will probably be the official designation in a few years.
But God designated the titles father and mother at Creation when He declared, "For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh."
Father's Day, along with Mother's Day, are days set apart to especially practice the Fifth Commandment (including by many who scoff at the notion of posting the Ten Commandments). This week in my face to face ministry I've sought to encourage people to honor their fathers and urged men to be good husbands and dads.
I met Jack, a new employee at Kleen-Rite, a wholesale company that distributes car wash supplies throughout the nation and beyond. I introduced myself and inquired about what his interests were. I suppose I expected an answer like "I enjoy fishing" or "Following Penn State football". But instead he told me, "I want to be a good dad for my kids". Now that struck me as an expression of a high aspiration and in this day where so many fathers do not take their role seriously his answer was a blessing.
Twenty-three years ago my dad went to be with the Lord. He was a big man of relatively few words yet, as I note the characteristics of fathers to which Paul was appealing in the text above, I recall seeing them in my own dad. I sure miss him and look forward to seeing him in the ultimate reunion when I'm called home.
Paul never mentions his own father in any of his writings recorded in the New Testament and actually gives very little explicit teaching on fatherhood. Yet in the daily verse he presumes that his readers have an experience and knowledge of fathers. "For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children." He was confident his initial readers knew how a father deals with his children.
He goes on to list three characteristics of how a father deals with his children that were characteristic of his own ministry among them. As we consider the descriptive role of a godly father, let us ponder these three necessary character traits, "encouraging, comforting, and urging you to live lives worthy of God."
1) "Encouraging" - What a blessing to have a father who is an encourager, who believes in you and seeks to build you up.
2) "Comforting" – Of course both parents have these duties and in many ways we may associate receiving loving words of comfort more from our mothers. But fathers also need to practice comforting.
3) "Urging you to live lives worthy of God" – This is surely a supreme purpose for a godly father.
Do you see these characteristics in your own father? Though there are now many who cannot identify with this kind of father figure, there are others who've experienced a similar relationship. If possible, personally honor your father by recalling some instances when this happened and share it with him in person, by telephone, through a written letter or a personal tribute. If he is no longer living, perhaps you can talk about some of those traits with your family members.
Fathers, what a powerful model is taught in our daily text. How are you at encouraging and comforting your children? Do you urge them to live lives worthy of God and show them by your own example? These are a big part of your Scriptural mandate as a father. Let us be found faithful in the godly task before us! It is a "great work" that God has ordained.
Be encouraged today, (Hebrews 3:13)
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Heavenly Father, may words of encouragement, comfort, and exhortation flow from our lips so that we may spur others on in the faith, most especially our own children. We pray that You would help Christian fathers everywhere to verbalize their faith and live in a way that honors You and shows others where their source of strength lies. Help them to be the spiritual leaders of their homes so that a harvest of righteousness and peace will be upon their households. Amen.
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"Good, Good Father" Video Casting Crowns This song speaks of a good, good father we all have and is a fitting song for Father's Day!
"Faithful Father" Video Twila Paris
Sadly in our increasing decadent country this term recently found its way into official government documents (see here)
Yesterday following an early morning chaplain call we picked up 14 year old James on the Old Windmill Farm. Several weeks ago he sustained a serious burn injury and has been home-bound. He is recovering well but has cabin fever so yesterday we picked him up and took him with us for several errands and visited a few other local attractions. Due to the association with the Old Windmill Farm we had some hospitality passes.
Strasburg Railroad Tomorrow begins "Day Out With Thomas" and this weekend all trains but a few are already sold out! We caught a glimpse of Thomas being tested for the busy weekend. When we drove by there were lots of cars in the parking lot so we are pleased to see the tourist industry coming back.
The Choo Choo Barn has a huge model train layout with intricate detail.
(Click on photo to enlarge)
This Amish farmhouse is on the grounds of The Amish Village, a tourist attraction where we took a tour. As the guide explained the Amish way of life he kept gesturing to Jamie, asking "is that right" and more often than not Jamie told him it wasn't. Essentially the information he was sharing was probably about 75 years old!
(Click on photo to enlarge)
We followed this elderly Amish couple for awhile. Many will recognize where we are in this photo.
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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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