A daily, Bible-based perspective of hope, encouragement and exhortation.
Monday, July 26, 2021
Grandpa's Pond on his 200 acre farm land on Mountain Top, Arkansas where Brooksyne swam as a child and where a miracle took place that became a front page news story in Clarksville and throughout the state. Two of Brooksyne's 2 and 4 year old cousins fell in the pond with only a 5 year old sibling witnessing the tragedy on January 28, 1960. Five year old Jimmy ran two miles for help and Grandma arrived pulling two year old Billy from the bottom of the pond and Peggy who was also in the process of drowning. It was a very dramatic rescue too long for this spot but they survived after Grandma prayed them back to life. They were driven 30 miles to Clarksville hospital where Doctors referred to it as a miracle and was quoted as saying "We are ever humbly aware of the hand of One mightier than ours." And Grandma said to them, "It's the work of the Lord, give Him the credit.
(Click on photo to enlarge)
"No Place Like Home"
Message summary: Count your blessings when you get home today and bless your family in the words you speak and in your actions toward them.
Listen to this message on your audio player.
"Then all the people left, each for his own home, and David returned home to bless his family" (1 Chronicles 16:43).
It's sure good to be home! House and property safe and intact, pets welcoming us. Stacks of mail, piles of laundry, flowers that need weeded and although my kind neighbor mowed it once while we were away, a lawn that really needs mowed! Now we have a busy day of catching up before we return to work early tomorrow morning. You can identify can't you?
We had a great time on our trip out through the Midwest and through the south returning home. We saw lots of family and friends and visited some interesting places. But as they say, "There's no place like home".
Our homes should be the fundamental haven of peace and rest in the turbulent waves of this world. Special times such as going away on vacation or attending a conference for a time of teaching and corporate worship are great but then there's always the climactic moment when everyone returns to his or her own home.
Through the years we have been to various ministry oriented conferences. On the way home yesterday we were near Front Royal Virginia where we attended our first outdoor "Jesus Festival" in the seventies, an event known as "Fishnet".* We were blessed as a young newly married couple and even camped out in a tent, likely a pup tent as our budget limited bigger expenditures at the time!
Likewise in our daily text the people of God had gathered to rejoice in the reconsecration of the ark of God. What a time of worship they had!
But at the end they all went home, including King David, who "returned home to bless his family".
Count your blessings when you get home today and bless your family in the words you speak and in your actions toward them.
Be encouraged today, (Hebrews 3:13)
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, You are “a Father to the fatherless, a defender of widows,” and You “set the lonely in families.” You cause the lonely to dwell in households according to the 86th Psalm. It was Your plan from the beginning for a man to leave his father and mother, and be joined to his wife, so that they would become one flesh, and that they would be fruitful and multiply. Help us to cherish our families above all, to treat them as treasures from You, and to do everything within our power that comes from You to be faithful, devoted, and loving toward them so that we will preserve the family You enabled us to establish until the day we join our heavenly family on the other side of Jordan. Amen.
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"Suppertime" Video George Younce
* The "Fishnet Festival" was held from 1975 to 2008
Steincross family 2021.
This is my (Stephen) Mom's side of the family. We still gather each summer for a reunion although we cousins are now aging and our oldest living is 88. Next year the Steincross reunion will be here in Lancaster County so we have a lot of preparation ahead of us!
(Click on photo to enlarge)
We gathered at Fort Gibson Lake in eastern Oklahoma. The reunion was held at the Lodge at Sequoyah State Park (Google map) which is themed in the fifties since it opened the year Brooksyne was born in 1955.
We gathered with some of Brooksyne's family in Tulsa at Golden Corral on 7/15. Her brother, Jody, who is on the short side decided to have fun by stepping up above everyone in the middle. Brooksyne prepared an Oklahoma and family history quiz with the winner taking home an artist's rendering of Route 66 she purchased at Audrey's Home Decor where we serve as chaplains. The cousin in the tye dye shirt and her family won the art piece.
In Mountain Top Arkansas we attended a Sunday evening service in the mountain church (Google map) my Grandpa Elbert Sherrell built and established at 80 years of age. Every time he sold an animal he put away money over the years so he could afford to build a church and often talked of it when I was visiting as a child. Finally in March of 1981 he had pretty much completed the church building but then he died of a heart attack while erecting a fence next to the church around a plot of land he laid out for the cemetery. Grandma was not well and he expected that she would not be with us much longer. But the Lord had other plans and the church's first service was actually Grandpa's funeral in March of 1981 and he was also the first to be buried in the cemetery. Many of my relatives are buried in this cemetery including my parents and brother-in-law. The evening was filled with a lot of special singing accompanied by guitar and harmonica, mostly those of Brooksyne's relatives. Here's a video of the ladies singing recorded at the service.
The Oark General Store (Google map) is about as country as it gets! When I was growing up we usually stopped here, after our long drive from Tulsa, OK (180 miles) before heading up the 25 mile dirt road that led to Grandma and Grandpa's house on the mountain. The forest service has come through in the last 20 or so years and put gravel or paved the roads so the drive is not nearly as rough but it does take away some of the fun memories of getting stuck in the mud and other such difficulties dirt roads can impose on vehicles.
We had breakfast one morning at the Oark Cafe. Brooksyne's sister Elaine is sitting next to Ester and her Uncle Carroll who has grown a goatee in his old age is sitting across from me in the plaid shirt with her cousin Rita standing (sister to the two mentioned in the drowning in our lead photo). Others are friends of Carroll's who joined us.
This is a view overlooking the 240 acre Horsehead Lake in Ozark as viewed from Grandpa Sherrell's property. Below the trees and brush are large bluffs also a part of Grandpa's property. We often pestered Grandpa to take us to see the bluffs when we were young. He had 200 acres and farmed a good part of that land and also raised cattle and horses. After his death the land was divided among the children. My mom and dad loved to come to the mountain after they retired as they had built themselves a cabin on the property they inherited, but they both died in their mid sixties due to cancer in 2000 and 2001.
(Click on photo to enlarge)
Only two weeks away and this is the view we see from our living room. Flowers have grown and bloomed, corn is now way over our heads and the grass is a vibrant green. We are truly blessed with the goodness of the Lord in every way! There truly is no place like home!
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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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