A daily, Bible-based perspective of hope, encouragement and exhortation.
Wednesday, July 28, 2021
The Precious Moments Chapel near Carthage, MO.
(Click on photo to enlarge and you can see the children walking the golden staircase in heaven. Also Sam Butcher's "backbreaking" but inspiring artwork of the Precious Moments cherubs on the ceiling of the chapel.)
"A Book Of Remembrance"
Message summary: Today pause for a moment and consider those who have made an eternal impact on your life. Raise a prayer of thanksgiving in remembrance of this person. If they are still living perhaps the Lord will lead you to visit or call them. Send them a note or a card, a text or email - connect with them in some way to let them know they have made a difference in your life.
Listen to this message on your audio player.
“Then those who feared the Lord spoke with one another. The Lord paid attention and heard them, and a book of remembrance was written before Him of those who feared the Lord and esteemed His name. They shall be mine, says the Lord of hosts, in the day when I make up my treasured possession, and I will spare them as a man spares his son who serves him. Then once more you shall see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve Him” (Malachi 3:16-18).
During our trip we visited the "Precious Moments" chapel in Southwest Missouri. This chapel is a remarkable place and was developed by Sam Butcher the man who originated the Precious Moments collection (small pottery pieces of children).
Sam Butcher, who initially made the figurines as gifts for family and friends, is a Christian and there is a strong testimony for Christ in the Chapel. For many years Sam had dreamed of building a chapel where he could share his faith and spread the word of God with anyone who wished to visit. He was originally inspired by the sight of Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel in Rome. He remembers looking at the masterpiece and thinking, “Could it be that someday God might grant me the privilege of sharing what light He has given me by painting what I feel He has to say about His grace?”
In the back of the Chapel there are several rooms with large books of remembrance where people are able to write a brief memory of deceased loved ones. You can also read the previous memorials and many are very moving. They express the love and appreciation of the living for the impact of those "that have gone on before us". There is a quiet sacredness about this place. Boxes of Kleenex are strategically placed around the room for good reason! If you are ever in Southwest Missouri (near Carthage) not far off I-44 check it out. (The photo on the right shows Brooksyne writing in a book of remembrance several years ago.)
The daily text begins with a reflection of how the Lord observes our relationships with others on this side. “Then those who feared the Lord spoke with one another." In a number of businesses we visit, especially service companies like HVAC and home improvement, I often observe the service techs “talking shop” before they begin their day, discussing the work they recently completed and the work ahead as well as sharing tips with one another. I wonder what “shop talk” in church sounds like to the Lord as we discuss spiritual matters with others who fear Him?
One thing is for sure, the Lord is listening! "The Lord paid attention and heard them.” That should certainly give us pause!
Apparently this talking with one another prompted the writing of “a book of remembrance” which “was written before Him of those who feared the Lord and esteemed His name”.
Today let us consider this “book of remembrance”. Although we don’t know all the details we have wondered if this book is similar to the Book of Life mentioned elsewhere in the Bible. It does not specify in the text who wrote in this “book of remembrance”, just that it was “written in His presence”. Perhaps it was angels or even God Himself.
I wonder to what extent our heartfelt tributes to the living or memorials to the dead are a means of doing this. I wonder in what way we can honor and remember those who “feared the Lord and esteemed His name”?
Certainly our lives have been immeasurably enriched by many whom God has providentially and strategically placed in our lives. And yet, one by one, they go on before us and eventually it will be our turn.
Our friend Sabra Penley wrote an article titled, “What If Today Was My Last?” which included this thoughtful Scripture portion, “Show me, Lord, my life’s end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting my life is. You have made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before you. Everyone is but a breath, even those who seem secure” (Psalm 39:4-5). Someday we want to write a message based on that last phrase, "Everyone is but a breath, even those who seem secure”.
Today pause for a moment and consider those who have made an eternal impact on your life. Raise a prayer of thanksgiving in remembrance of this person. If they are still living perhaps the Lord will lead you to visit or call them. Send them a note or a card, a text or email - connect with them in some way to let them know they have made a difference in your life.
Keep these questions before you:
* What am I doing that is making an eternal impact for Jesus Christ?
* Who will write about me in a “book of remembrance”?
* What will they write?
Be encouraged today, (Hebrews 3:13)
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Loving Father, You shower me with spiritual blessings as You place godly men and women in my path who revere Your holy name and honor You with their lives. They live above reproach and serve as examples of those who have overcome the world! Just as You brought these dear brothers and sisters into my life for a season, I pray that I, too, will make a positive difference for those who are presently observing my life. I want my testimony to be an example of Your life-changing, all-sufficient, and all-sustaining grace. Amen.
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"Family Chain" Video The Nelons
Forever Home Video Brian Free & Assurance
Homesick for Heaven Video Jim & Melissa Brady
"Farewell, But Not Forever" Video Jim & Melissa Brady
"Hello In Heaven" Video The Freemans Monday we shared a partial video of this song with Brooksyne's cousins singing it in the mountain church her grandpa established in 1981. John Thomas, a local reader, also suggested a version of the song by a family group known as the Freemans. It's a nice overview of the many popular stories and characters mentioned in the Bible.
In today's message we mentioned Sabra Penley. Yesterday we received this note from her husband David: Glad you guys had a good trip and are back home safely. Good to be reading your Daily Encouragement messages every day again. I really enjoyed today's message and reading about "Victory in Jesus". It has special meaning and memories for Sabra and me. Our first ministry position was at First Calvary Baptist Church in Kansas City as Associate Pastor while I was in seminary. Our pastor was Fred Fishel. He loved that song. We sang it often. When I had my first position as pastor in Dallas, PA, we invited him to preach at our first revival, which he did, and which we called the Victory in Jesus Revival. We sang that song at every service. It was a wonderful week and God truly blessed. Glad you're home safe and blessings to you guys. David
We connected with David and Sabra many years ago through Daily Encouragement.
Whenever we pass through Saint Louis we look for the Gateway Arch. (Who doesn't?) As a child I (Stephen) recall making trips with my dad to Saint Louis to watch the progress as the arch was being constructed. Here's a neat collection of construction photos
Brooksyne met up with her cousin, Sharon, who lives in Springfield, MO. Sharon attended Evangel University in Springfield while we were students at Central Bible College in Springfield back in the day!
We passed by Central Bible College where we met in the seventies.
Sadly it has now closed.
Here's our engagement photo taken in the spring of 1976 in front of CBC.
During our trip we rode on a portion of Rt 66 through southwest Missouri, southeast Kansas and northeast Oklahoma, including Galena Kansas, which is the basis of the town called Radiator Springs featured in the animated movie "Cars". See here.
In Oklahoma we all enjoyed a boat ride on Fort Gibson Lake. Ester was with us for the Steincross reunion (my mom's side) but then stayed with Brooksyne's sister, Elaine, in Arkansas while we visited Brooksyne's relatives there. They traveled back to Texas in Elaine's RV where she lives in New Braunfels, and she'll be staying with her for a few weeks.
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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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