Monday, July 29, 2013

Daily Encouragement (07/29/13) "Outstanding Apostles"

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Monday, July 29, 2013

Amish buggie with children in Lancaster County PA 7/25/13
We both liked to ride in the back up of pickups as kids so we
  suppose these children do as well!

"Outstanding Apostles"

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"Greet Andronicus and Junias, my relatives who have been in prison with me. They are outstanding among the apostles, and they were in Christ before I was" (Romans 16:7).

Chad and Courtney PhelpsThis last Saturday afternoon, Chad Phelps, a young youth pastor and his wife Courtney, were killed in a bus accident in Indiana while returning with a group from a church camp. Another woman was also killed and many were injured so we can imagine the grief and bewilderment that church is experiencing. They were less than 1 mile from the church they were headed to. The bus driver reported that he lost his brakes and that's something I can identify with when I drove a church group to an event over 30 years ago. *

A church deacon stated, "All these folks are special to us as members here, as friends. Our church grieves now. They're with God in heaven. We know that without a doubt, but we grieve the fact they're not here with us. We miss them. We ask for your prayer and support. We ask for your respect for the families that have lost loved ones."

Consider the grief of this loss early in a life of ministry service for Christ. Chad had likely spent years in preparation for ministry and was serving in a hard area (Youth ministry is hard work!). He and his wife were parents of a young child and expecting their second child.

Al & Thata BookYesterday in our church service we heard a speaker that reminded me of another couple who died in an auto accident. Al and Thata Book, were a wonderful missionary couple in our church who both died in an automobile accident in Africa ten years ago. They had first gone to Africa in 1950 and were returning for another stint of short-term service while in their seventies when the accident happened. They were a truly remarkable couple, full of enthusiasm, encouragement and spiritual vigor to the very end.

I shared the Word with the grieving congregation following their accident and used the rather obscure and likey rarely considered daily verse as my text. "Greet Andronicus and Junias, my relatives who have been in prison with me. They are outstanding among the apostles, and they were in Christ before I was." Although we don't use the term "apostles" to describe ministry leaders in our particular circle, this couple certainly had apostolic qualities.

The apostle Paul greets two otherwise unknown leaders, Andronicus and Junias, whom he recognized were "outstanding among the apostles." Even though this is all we know about them through the Scriptures they apparently made a tremendous contribution to the body of Christ in their time, for Paul to use the term "outstanding." Other versions state "who are of note among the apostles" (KJV), "held in high esteem among the apostles" (Amplified).

I am convinced there are scores of people populating heaven who have faithfully served the Lord during their relatively brief tenure of service on earth. For some, like the young youth pastor and his wife, it's a brief tenure even as we reckon briefness. For other like Al and Thata it's after a long life of service on this side of eternity.

Most of these people are not widely known while serving, many known only to those in their own local church.  But they made an outstanding impact on others and stayed faithful to the end like Al and Thata and Chad and Courtney. Let us remain faithful!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, You have called us to a journey of faith where we learn to trust You for all that we have need of, for the present and the future - in our relationships, our health,  our earthly provisions and our spiritual needs.  Like the songwriter, Louisa Stead, wrote; "I'm so glad I learned to trust You, precious Jesus, Savior, Friend; For I know that You are with me; Will be with me to the end.  Jesus, Jesus How I trust You, How I've proved You o'er and o'er;  Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus,  O for grace to trust You more."  Help us to find the sweetness of wholeheartedly trusting in You, we pray in Jesus' name.  Amen.

We pray for the church in Indiana and all those who grieve, as well as those who are recovering from their injuries.

Saturday afternoon I went to a car show along Main Street in Mount Joy

Mount Joy car show 7/27/13
The main street along with some side streets was lined with old cars and truck. I suppose this was a bus!

Mount Joy car show 7/27/13
This was a pickup truck!

Mount Joy car show 7/27/13
Folks sat behind their cars and were pleased when others showed interest. This old station wagon had a nostalgic "out for a family picnic" look.

Mount Joy car show 7/27/13
An old police car.

Mount Joy car show 7/27/13
Colorful truck

Bunny O'Hare
Our long-time friend, Chaplain Bunny O'Hare, preaching from the "Transport for Christ" mobile chapel which was on display on a Main Street church parking lot

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Farther Along"  Video  Homecoming Singers

"Farther Along"  Video  The Peasall Sisters

"Farther Along"  Video  Daily and Vincent

* My bad brake bus experience is told here.

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Stephen, Brooksyne and Ester Weber 04/21/13
Stephen and Brooksyne Weber

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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.
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