Daily Encouragement Net
The online Bible teaching ministry of Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
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Thursday, November 17, 2022

Refection on water (photo by Georgia)
I enjoy looking at my cousin Georgia's photos and saw this one that initially appears to be upside down. Look closely and you'll see that it's a photo of a tree reflected in the water!

"Living In God's Normalville"

Message summary: May God give us a heart to live in His normalville!

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"But as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy" (1 Peter 1:15,16).

When new subscribers sign up to receive our daily messages through the email list we get a notification with their name and location. We find this interesting especially regarding those from other countries or even those who are local. One of the things we find most fulfilling about our work is the ability to encourage and teach people from all over the world as two very ordinary people.

However we are also reminded of the many interesting town names here in the states. We have such names here in Pennsylvania, most notably the colorful town of Intercourse here in Lancaster County. But we have names like Fearnot, Bird-In-Hand, and Jersey Shore (which is far from the Jersey shore).

Yesterday a new subscriber signed up from a Pennsylvania town I had never heard of before: Normalville, PA. I found out it's a small unincorporated place in western PA. I was curious as to how the town got its name and learned that Normalville was originally named "Elm". In the late 1800s, a normal school (a school to train teachers) was built and the community was renamed "Normalville".

But in light of so much deviation from normal seen on so many fronts today the name sure caught both Brooksyne's and my attention. When I read and sometimes see all the craziness going in our country and even around the globe it makes me wish I lived in Normalville!

"Normal" as an adjective means "conforming to a standard; usual, typical, or expected". We speak of having just a normal day meaning nothing out of the ordinary happened.

"Normal" as a noun means "the usual, average, or typical state or condition". Life works because of normal; the fixed laws of nature and God's design. Gravity isn't sporadic. Imagine if it was! Normal is a blessing we so easily take for granted until things or events in our life are not normal.

You will hear the term "new normal". In the past this description was used in the sense of someone who's had a loss or crippling injury getting accustomed to a major change in life, the new normal for them. We've heard this ad nausea the last couple of years regarding changes we've all experienced since Covid arrived on the world scene in 2019.

But we also see "new normal" being used to describe the abandonment of God's standards and design as revealed in Scripture. What was once abnormal can become new normal and in time the old normal is considered abnormal! Similar to the verse that says, calling evil good, and good evil (Isaiah 5:20).

That's why we are not to follow society's standards of what is normal when they deviate from God's standards. God calls us to be a holy people. There is a profound and crucial difference between the standards based on the world's philosophy and the standards set forth in Holy Scripture.

God wants us to be normal according to His standards, not the world's. God's Word to ancient Israel, "Consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy" (Leviticus 20:7). Peter wrote "but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy" (1 Peter 1:15,16).

May God give us a heart to live in His normalville!

Be encouraged today, (Hebrews 3:13)

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, we want to align ourselves with You and Your holy word as we continue to live for Christ rooted and built up in Him, being strengthened in the faith. We seek You for spiritual discernment and power to act and stand on biblical principles rather than the ever-evolving hollow and deceptive philosophies so prevalent today. We have chosen to die to the basic principles of this world, those that are destined to perish based on human commands and teachings. Instead we focus on that which is in obedience to God's blueprint for living on this side of heaven. It may be abnormal to the world but our citizenship is in heaven so we choose to identify with those whose thoughts and actions are aligned with heaven's mindset, not the corrupt world in which we live. Keep us on the righteous path we pray. Amen.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Guard Your Heart"  Video 

Smucker breakfast
Early yesterday morning we visited the employees at Smucker who were enjoying a breakfast together followed by a meeting. This company has both a laser and metal fabrication and a home improvement divisions. It was so nice to hear good sales reports from both divisions!

Kleen-Rite car wash show
Yesterday afternoon we went to a car wash show sponsored by one of the companies we serve as chaplains in Columbia. Kleen-Rite features all the latest in car wash technology.

Dr. Joe at the Kleen-Rite car wash show
Dr. Joe is a colorful and enthusiastic towel salesman and Christian believer who sells towels by Dr. Joe! He wears a sterling white and perfectly pressed lab coat lending "authenticity" to his self-title, Doctor.

Finally today: A long story in the Weber household!

Falcon and Rosie 1st day
The two newest fur family members in the Weber household.

Rosie Elizabeth (front) and Falcon Diego (back) are brother and sister maltipoos, two years old (middle names chosen by Ester). We came to know and love these cuties on our visits to San Diego each time we visited with our dear friend, Marilyn. Circumstances warranted a need to find a new home for them and when we got the call we were pleased but also very mindful that we already have a house full of pets.

As a family we talked it over and all agreed we could make room for two more and each would be willing to take a share in the extra load. They were put in individual crates which was extremely difficult for this inseparable pair and boarded LAX (Los Angeles) American Airlines at 8:30 am (our time) and arrived last evening around 9 pm. What a long and scary day for these two. Amazingly, their beds in the crates were unsoiled. Soon after we got home we introduced them to the rest of their furry family which was not so smooth. We still keep either our original pet members on leashes or the maltipoos leashed when they're together.

If you look carefully at Rosie, her hair is shaven in four locations on her back (one place is visible in the photo). While still in California on Sunday morning she and Falcon slipped under the fence of their caregiver's yard and shortly thereafter met up with two coyotes.  Falcon was fiercely trying to attack the coyote who was holding Rosie in its teeth when the caregivers became aware of the situation. They ran to the "crime scene" and started screaming at the coyotes and with Falcon's persistent defense of Rosie the coyote finally gave up and left. They rushed Rosie to Urgent Care where the doctor shaved hair at the sight of the puncture wounds, applied medication and put her on an antibiotic. He said if the wounds do not get infected she would be able to make the long trip to our place. Also, he said that if the coyote had gone after the neck or stomach area there would not be a good ending to this story. Thankfully, Rosie is healing very nicely with the puncture wounds now forming scabs.

This most recent story is the reason the owners would not split up the pair because they truly are inseparable, sleep in the same crate, lay in the same dog bed, and they walk in each other's shadow. If you invite one to sit on your lap make plenty of room because they will come as a pair and if necessary lay on top of each other to both sit on your lap. Now, we have two more animals to keep quiet during our podcasts which is already a challenge on some days but we will deal with it as needed.

Weber couple photo 7/3/22
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Stephen & Brooksyne

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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