Devotional

“Filing The Rough Edges”

Horses 9/12/19

While traveling the back roads yesterday morning this horse and foal ran to the fence to greet us. Not only were the animals a pleasurable sight but also the sunflower field in the background and the willow tree to the left.
(Click to enlarge)
 
“Filing The Rough Edges”

 
This week we have shared a series of messages seeking to learn lessons from several of the tools mentioned in the Bible.
 
Message summary: I would like to report that after nearly 50 years of walking with the Lord all the rough edges are gone. But that’s just not true. He’s still working on me and regularly using His file.

ListenListen to this message on your audio player.
 
“Yet they had a file for the mattocks, and for the coulters, and for the forks, and for the axes, and to sharpen the goads” (1 Samuel 13:21).

Clarence filingOn the way to Smucker Laser, our first job site yesterday, we were discussing the final message in our week long “tools of the Bible” series and I told Brooksyne I was going to write about the file. During our walk-through I saw Clarence filing some metal parts which seemed to be kind of a confirmation. Clarence, like all of us, has a story. He came to this job after a long period in prison and it’s a joy to see him steady at work each week. (Clarence gave me permission to share this and the photo.)
 
Computer file folderWhen most of us use the word “file” we probably use it in the sense of an office file. Early in our marriage we purchased an office file cabinet which we have now used for over 40 years. At the advent of the computer age “file” became an important word in computing. Now an internet search for the word “file” will mostly yield results for this type.
 
File toolBut today let us consider an older use of the word file in the sense of a tool. This file is defined as “a tool with a roughened surface or surfaces, typically of steel, used for smoothing or shaping a hard material.”
 
I have several of these types of files in my tool collection and still use them on occasion. File is found only once in the Bible and is used in a literal sense for the same purpose a similar tool file is used today.
 
It is both a noun and verb, that is, we use a file (noun) to file (verb) something. Our friend Jesse, at the Old Windmill Farm, told me a tool file is still a commonly used tool on the farm.
 
So, since the word is used only once and in a literal sense, what inspirational thought can we glean here?
 
We use the term “rough edges” to describe areas in our life that still need worked on. Do you have any rough edges? I would like to report that after nearly 50 years of walking with the Lord all the rough edges are gone, but of course that’s just not true. He’s still working on me and regularly using His refining file to remove attitudes and actions which better reflect the world than that which reflects Christ.
 
In a sermon Charles Spurgeon alluded to the file, “I bear willing witness that I owe more to the fire, and the hammer, and the file, than to anything else in my Lord’s workshop.
 

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, like Spurgeon wrote in his sermon, we owe more to the fire, the hammer, and the file, than to anything else in Your workshop. These tools help to remove our impurities and build up the character qualities that best reflect Christ and all that He represents. We still have rough edges that need Your smoothing so we invite You to file away at that which seeks to hold onto the old nature so that our spiritual nature is aligned with that of John the Baptist’s who declared, “He must increase, I must decrease.” More of You, Jesus, less of me is my heart’s cry. Amen.

 

 
Tyler at brake press 9/12/19
Tyler just finished high school last spring and is now operating this huge brake press for Smucker Laser. Yesterday he showed me how the machine could form a thick metal part in just seconds.
 
Twin goats on Old Windmill Farm 9/12/19
We stopped by for a few minutes to see the Lapp family on Old Windmill Farm and greeted the recently born twin goats. Brooksyne commented after picking up these baby goats, that they weigh less than Ester’s 8 month Shih Tzu mix, Sadie Willow, also born on the Old Windmill Farm.
 
Kissing pig on Old Windmill Farm 9/12/19
When I was challenged to feed this piglet with a cheez-it from my mouth that idea just seemed a little creepy and a little too close for comfort, but Brooksyne, my farm girl for life, stepped right up and took on the challenge. She assured me she never touched the pig’s mouth and, as you can see, the happy little piglet was not interested in the human contact, only the cheez-it. Brooksyne admitted to me that she and Ester have done this a few times with the dogs at home, only they use longer treats such as a cheetos to give a little more distance for the transfer of food.  You might never see Brooksyne the same as before this photo but she was fine with it, since she loves all kinds of animals, including piglets.
 
Amish children walking to school, Lancaster County, PA 9/12/19
There’s nothing like being on the rural back roads of Lancaster County early in the morning seeing different groups of children walking to school.
 

 
Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
 
“Spirit Of The Living God”  Video  FFH  A song we sang at Bible College around the altar. When considering the words “Melt me, mold me, fill me, use me” I wonder if we could sing “file me”!
 
Spirit of the living God,
Fall afresh on me.
Melt me, mold me, fill me, use me.
Spirit of the living God,
Fall afresh on me.
 
“Yes I Will”  Video  Vertical Worship  For those of you feeling the pain of the divine file!
 
“Yes I Will”  Video  Calvary Church worship team with strings  Introduced by Dave, one of our worship leaders, who does a great job introducing the song with Scripture.
 
Finally Today:

 
Our peaceful scene of the horse and foal was taken early yesterday morning. When visiting Vallorbs, our second company, about an hour later the road was closed in front of the factory. We managed to park in a church parking lot and walk down to see an accident scene where a car had collided with a horse and tourist buggy. No humans were injured but the driver of the car sure had to be counting his blessings as the impact sent the horse into his windshield. A vet was brought in to put the horse down since his injuries were severe. The employees were very saddened to hear of the horse being put down, as were we, but we were also thankful the driver walked away from the accident only shaken and not physically injured.
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Devotional

“A Lesson From A Borrowed Axe”

Star Barn antique axe collection 11/20/18 (Click to enlarge)
Another tool collection from the Star Barn, antique axes and hatchets.
(Click to enlarge)
 

“A Lesson From A Borrowed Axe”

 
This week we are sharing a series of messages seeking to learn lessons from several of the tools mentioned in the Bible.
 
ListenListen to this message on your audio player.
 

Message summary: Are we conscientious of all that God has entrusted to us? Do we devote ourselves to living properly, sharing generously, and dedicated to God’s service?
 
“But as one was felling a beam, the axe head fell into the water; and he cried out and said, ‘Alas, my master! For it was borrowed'” (2 Kings 6:5).

Do you ever borrow tools from a friend or allow others to borrow your tools? Since some tools are used only occasionally in some cases it’s more sensible to either borrow or rent rather than buying them. Several months ago I had some post holes to dig and rented a powered post hole auger. It sure wouldn’t have made sense to buy that machine!

 
When we rent or borrow tools (or anything for that matter) the Golden Rule requires we take care of it and return it in similar condition apart from inevitable wear and tear. If we break something we have a responsibility to repair or replace the borrowed item.
 
It is a matter of being conscientiousness, a quality that seems to be diminishing in our age. “Conscientiousness is the personality trait of being thorough, careful, or vigilant. Conscientiousness implies a desire to do a task well. Conscientious people are efficient and organized as opposed to easy-going and disorderly. They exhibit a tendency to show self-discipline, act dutifully, and aim for achievement; they display planned rather than spontaneous behavior; and they are generally organized and dependable.” (Wikipedia)

There’s a Bible story about this concerning a borrowed axe! The word axe appears 11 times in the Bible. Almost all instances of the axe had to do with either cutting down trees or shaping wood.

 
Today’s Scripture verse provides an example of conscientiousness by an unnamed prophet. Elisha’s school of prophets had gone down near the Jordan and were building a place to live. It was a cooperative effort with each cutting down a tree for the project (sort of like a barn-raising).
 
Axe headOne of them had an accident which most all of us who’ve worked with tools can easily imagine. As he was cutting down a tree the axe head came off! The unnamed prophet’s reaction is informative and instructive. Initially he was surely relieved that it didn’t fly off and hit himself or another worker!

But he looked on with angst as the axe head fell into the water and sunk. Very distressed he cried out to Elisha, “Alas, my master! For it was borrowed. Elisha, sensitive to the worker’s dilemma, recovered the axe head by throwing in a stick in the spot where the axe head sunk which caused the axe head to float in the water (something iron doesn’t do naturally!).

Today I want to consider the unnamed prophet’s sense of personal conscientiousness, responsibility and stewardship expressed in the phrase, “Alas, my master! For it was borrowed.” He was distressed that he had lost something belonging to another.

The prophet’s distress over losing the head of the borrowed axe is commendable but let us consider today, in a greater and more extensive sense, that which God has entrusted into our care! Are we conscientious of all that God has entrusted to us? Do we devote ourselves to living properly, sharing generously, and dedicated to God’s service?

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, may we be found conscientious, trustworthy, and devoted in our relationship to you and to others. We pray you will help us to live conscientious lives. We want to learn, seek to understand and effectively communicate the teachings of Scripture so that we prove to be faithful stewards of all that is entrusted to us. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.

Devotional

“A Prayer For God’s Hammer To Work”

Father, the teaching of Your Word is like a hammer that breaks away the clumps of hardness in our hearts; our stubbornness, pride, and rebellion. When we read and apply Your principles they open our blinded eyes, guide us out of darkness into light and put a fire in our spirit; a fire that doesn’t burn out but empowers us to live for You all the days of our life. We thank You for the fire of Your Spirit. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

For this message, photos, links to music and other resources related to this message see our archive version on the website. https://www.dailyencouragement.net/archives/2019-09-11.htm

Devotional

“A Hammer”

Jeremiah 23:29

A Hammer”

 
This week are sharing a series of messages seeking to learn lessons from several of the tools mentioned in the Bible.
 

Message summary: We have all dealt with a hard heart and need the hammer of God’s Word to do a softening work in breaking down the hardness of our heart.

ListenListen to this message on your audio player.

“Let the one who has my word speak it faithfully. ‘Is not My word like fire?’ declares the Lord, ‘and like a hammer which shatters a rock?'” (Jeremiah 23:29).


Amazing grace! How sweet the sound
That saved a wrench like me!
 
Diana with tools 9/10/19Yesterday morning I shared a brief devotional with a group of employees at Audrey’s and decided to share a brief thought from today’s message. After finding two home decor tools, a hammer and wrench that had hanging hooks on them, I held them up and asked, “Which of these two tools are mentioned in the Bible, a hammer or a wrench?”
 
Diana (seen in photo) quickly spoke up giving the answer, “wrench”. Several in our gathering did a little brain search trying to come up with a verse that alludes to “wrench” but to no avail.  We all had a wholesome laugh and I explained that wrench is not mentioned in the Bible, when Diana came back with the following explanation: “I was actually thinking of the word “wretch” instead of wrench.

Later I visited with Diana for a few minutes and got her permission to share the photo and story. Diana told me she really identified with the word “wretch” since she didn’t get saved till she was thirty and was so thankful for her salvation. I reminded her that theologically we are all wretches prior to our conversion. Earlier this year we shared a message about the word “wretch” titled, “A Wretch Like Me”.

Today we will consider the hammer, which is mentioned in the Bible. Like many men I enjoy my home workshop, which in my case is out in our utility barn. Among my personal interests is maintaining, repairing and making small improvements to our home and property. While growing up I recall how much my dad enjoyed puttering around in his workshop out in our garage. He was a thrifty, resourceful craftsman with a variety of skills and could fix just about anything.

Home workshop


In a home work shop you need a lot of tools since you never know what might be needed for a specific job. I inherited quite a few of my dad’s tools and also purchased many others through the years.

Hammers One of the most common tools needed for a wide variety of projects is the hammer and I have quite an assortment; regular claw hammers, both large and small, a ball-peen hammer, a sledge hammer, and a soft-faced rubber headed mallet. Each has a particular purpose and through the years I have used all of them at one time or another.

The hammer is an ancient tool first referenced in the Bible in Exodus when a lamp stand was hammered out from pure gold (Exodus 25:31). One of the goriest uses for a hammer is found in the sad record of Judges. Many of us feel our country is increasingly becoming like the period of the Judges, a period characterized by “everyone did as they saw fit.”

Today let us consider the phrase, “like a hammer which shatters a rock.” In context this is speaking of God’s Word, “‘Is not My word like fire?’ declares the Lord, ‘and like a hammer which shatters a rock?‘”

In the previous verse Jeremiah is preaching against false prophets and makes a statement that should be heeded by all preachers, “Let the one who has My word speak it faithfully.”

The analogy of God’s Word being “like a hammer which shatters a rock” likely has the sense of the power of God’s Word in shattering and breaking up the hardness of our hearts. Bible teacher David Guzik observes, “God’s word is as powerful as a hammer, with the power to build or break.”

We have all dealt with a hard heart and need the hammer of God’s Word to do a softening work in breaking down the hardness of our heart.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, the teaching of Your Word is like a hammer that breaks away the clumps of hardness in our hearts; our stubbornness, pride, and rebellion. When we read and apply Your principles they open our blinded eyes, guide us out of darkness into light and put a fire in our spirit; a fire that doesn’t burn out but empowers us to live for You all the days of our life. We thank You for the fire of Your Spirit. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.


 
Star Barn wooden hammers 11/20/18 (Click to enlarge)

The Star Barn has many historical displays of old tools such as this one of old wooden mallets and hammers.
Click to enlarge
 
Pets playing 9/9/19
Our two younger dogs, Mollie and Sadie, sure do enjoy playing together out on our front lawn. Although our border collie Mollie is almost nine she still retains her puppy like qualities and never tires of playing especially ring toss.
Pets playing 9/9/19
Mollie who is usually very playful with Sadie appears to be having a “few sharp barks” with her in this photo!
 

 
Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources


“Even Me”  Video  Triumphant Quartet
 
“Amazing Grace”  Video
 
Like Fire and Like a Hammer – Charles Spurgeon sermon portion audio
 
Finally today:  
Troy with display piece 9/10/19During our visit yesterday to White Oak Troy showed me a partial display of a project being made to hold fishing rods for Bass Pro Shop.
Devotional

“As Iron Sharpens Iron”

Tomato harvest on Hirsh farm 9/9/19Yesterday our neighbors on Colebrook Road harvested tomatoes which will likely be used for making tomato sauce. Brooksyne was unable to get a photo of the ladies working in the front of the harvesting machine. Notice the truck full of tomatoes in the background behind the harvester.
 

“As Iron Sharpens Iron”

This week we will share series of messages seeking to learn lessons from several of the tools mentioned in the Bible.

Message summary: A lesson about sharpening one another.

ListenListen to this message on your audio player.
“Alexander the metalworker did me a great deal of harm” (2 Timothy 4:14). “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another” (Proverbs 27:17). “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching (Hebrews 10:24,25).

We serve several companies that work with metal. We see laser cutting, welding, huge brakes and presses and many types of machining tools. The tools in these machines require tool steel which is harder than the steel piece being manufactured.

All through human history, since Tubal-Cain began to forge bronze and iron (Genesis 4:22), people have worked with metals. Coincidentally, one of the saddest verses in the Bible is about a trouble-making metalworker in Paul’s final chapter, “Alexander the metalworker did me a great deal of harm” (2 Timothy 4:14).

Proverbs 27:17In contrast to Alexander’s trouble-making spirit let us consider how we may do good to others using a metal illustration found in the Proverbs! “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” This verse is a favorite among men (although the principle also works for women).

Many years ago I attended a men’s conference with that theme and there is a national men’s ministry called “Iron Sharpens Iron”. I suppose the verse may especially connect with men because of how we may associate the proverb with tools we use.

As is the case with many of the Proverbs there is nothing in the immediate context to further clarify the author’s intended meaning. The Holman Study Bible notes, “As a file sharpens an ax or a sharpening steel a carving knife, good friends encourage one another to grow in wisdom and godliness, even if it requires painful criticism”.

The Life Application Bible has this note,

“There is a mental sharpness that comes from being around good people. And a meeting of minds can help people see their ideas with new clarity, refine them, and shape them into brilliant insights. This requires discussion partners who can challenge each other and stimulate thought – people who focus on the idea without involving their egos in the discussion; people who know how to critique the thought and not the thinker. Two friends who bring their ideas together can help each other become stronger.”

Hebrews 10:24 expresses a similar concept, “Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.”

Well, in the spiritual sense we would like to spur you on today! The word “spur” translates a very rare Greek word (paroxusmos) found elsewhere in the NT only in Acts 15:39 where it describes the contention between Paul and Barnabas regarding John Mark, “The contention was so sharp between them”. Tracing the roots of this word we find it comes from two words with the sense “to sharpen alongside”. The writer of Hebrews uses it here in a positive sense to describe an essential Christian responsibility. We need to come alongside one another to keep each other sharp! The NASV uses “stimulate” and the KJV “provoke.” The New Living Translation states, “Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works.”

I’ve been sharpened over the years by thoughtful friends in Christ as well as those who have led by example. I hope I’ve been a sharpener as well when I could spur another on by my words, preceded by a sensitive spirit and prayerful attitude. It’s encouraging to hear years later an individual express how something I’ve said either in a sermon or to them personally had a lasting sharpening impact.

The sharpening itself may be thought-provoking and at times even painful, but in the end I am stronger and better for it. Sadly, for the sake of a surface unity and mushy love, we may neglect this sharpening task and seek to avoid it, whether we’re the one sharpening or the one being sharpened.

This sharpening process may take place at home, at work or in church. It may be through an accountability partner. You just might meet up with a sharpening friend today. How you react is a real test of character as God often uses other people to mold His character into our lives.

Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily Prayer:  Father, I confess that in the process of being molded and fashioned into Your likeness I am often unyielding and struggle in the process of becoming more like You. Thank You for placing people in my life who model godly character and who courageously speak words of direction and correction when I most need it. Help me to graciously receive these messengers and promptly respond to the message they bring when it is supported Scripturally and spoken from a wise and loving heart. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
 

 
Some scenes from our neighborhood
Tomato harvest on Hirsh farm 9/9/19
Perhaps this farmer’s wife decided to load up some of the best tomatoes to sell at their roadside stand, to the north of our home.
Kraybill Church Road Amish children 9/9/19
Yesterday afternoon Ester took this photo near the Scenic Ridge School on our road.
It appears to be a young boy pulling a roller with a small wagon hauling smaller children behind that! Some of our readers who grew up on a farm will surely remember some of the makeshift equipment, wagons or anything that moved on wheels being adapted to having some fun while doing the unending list of farm chores.
Kraybill Church Road Amish children 9/9/19
Another view.

 
Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
“Be the One”  Video  Al Denson
Devotional

“The Divine Toolmaker”

Donegal Springs Road 9/8/19We passed this family dressed in their Sunday best returning home from church yesterday on Donegal Springs Road.
Click on photo to enlarge
 

“The Divine Toolmaker”

 

Message summary: The divine toolmaker is using us as His tools.

ListenListen to this message on your audio player.
 
“Tubal-Cain, who forged all kinds of tools out of bronze and iron” (Genesis 4:22). “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10).
 
Luis with deck 9/7/19We have been blessed to have Luis, a friend we see in our chaplaincy work, assist us on several home maintenance/improvement projects this summer. He installed two floors for us (our office and dining room) and this last weekend we finally completed a deck and railing replacement that began as a DIY project in 2016!
 
Luis, in his early forties, is still very nimble, unlike me, where my spirit may be willing but my flesh is weak. Due to several factors getting down on my knees is especially hard now and so much work requires that. However I still help out in the official position as a “gofor”. Luis also uses my tool collection which I have acquired through the years, including tools from my dad.
 
The late Bible teacher Herbert Lockyer who went to be with the Lord in 1984, wrote a book titled “All The Promises In The Bible”. In fact he wrote a series of books with this theme, “All The _____ Of The Bible” comprised of 21 volumes! Dr. Lockyer’s gifts for clearly explaining the profound truths of Scripture and helping readers apply these precepts to their everyday lives have made these inspiring books international bestsellers and they have lasting value.
 
However, I wish he would have written a book “All The Tools In The Bible”. I think that would be a popular book, especially with men!
 
A tool is defined as “a device or implement, especially one held in the hand, used to carry out a particular function, an object used to extend the ability of an individual to modify features of the surrounding environment.
 
Although it seems reasonable to assume that Adam and Eve would have first developed tools to assist them in the cultivation of the garden, the first specific mention of “tool” in the Bible is our first daily text: “Tubal-Cain, who forged all kinds of tools out of bronze and iron.”
 
Tubal-Cain was a toolmaker. In several of our companies I visit with the toolmaker, still a vital role in the manufacturing process. Essentially they create the tools that make the tools.
 
Ephesians 2:10Today’s second text presents God as the divine toolmaker and us as “His workmanship”. The word workmanship here is “poiema” from which we get the word poem. It means something that is “composed or constructed, something that is made, that which is manufactured, a product, the thing made, a design produced by an artisan”.
 
Joni Eareckson Tada who became quadriplegic after a tragic diving accident, alludes to herself as a “poiema” in her book “A Place of Healing”.
 
“(God) has a plan and purpose for my time on earth. He is the master artist or sculptor, and He is the One Who chooses the tools He will use to perfect His workmanship. What of suffering, then? What of illness? What of disability? Am I to tell Him which tools He can use and which tools He can’t use in the lifelong task of perfecting me and molding me into the beautiful image of Jesus? Do I really know better than Him, so that I can state without equivocation that it’s always His will to heal me of every physical affliction? If I am His poem, do I have the right to say, ‘No, Lord. You need to trim line number two and brighten up lines three and five. They’re just a little bit dark.’ Do I, the poem, the thing being written, know more than the poet?”
 
We are “created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them”. This passage follows the great “grace passage” in verses 8,9 that many of us have memorized. These verses should be memorized together for it truly continues Paul’s thought and is necessary for the whole picture.
 
Our salvation is clearly not a result of our good works but the genuinely saved will practice good works, for that is what we were created in Christ Jesus to do. We are God’s workmanship. The underlying word means, “something made, a product such as a fabric”. Today let us remember that the sole basis of our salvation is God’s amazing grace. Then let us respond by recognizing God’s will for our lives and aligning our hearts to His overall plan.
 
The divine toolmaker is using us as His tools.
 

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily Prayer:  Father, Your divine workmanship prepares me for good works in Christ Jesus. The tools You use to chisel, sculpt and fine tune my life are of Your choosing and for my good. The workmanship can be painful and mysterious at times, but when I walk by faith I can see more clearly how You are shaping me into the image of Christ Jesus. When I stop to consider all that You have done for me, in me, and through me I truly am in awe! Be glorified in my life, I pray. Amen.

 
Meadow View Road farm 9/8/19
We enjoy seeing the transition from summer to autumn beginning in our area.
Click on photo to enlarge

Meadow View Road fence pumpkins 9/8/19
Here’s an idea for using small pumpkins on your fence posts!

Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire 9/8/19This weekend we went to the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire which has various reenactments from the Renaissance period. It is not an activity we would usually attend but we had two free tickets and walked through the family friendly sections!
 

 
Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
 
“He’s Still Working On Me”  Video  The Cathedrals   I couldn’t find a version suitable but we like this song when it has various generations singing it beginning with a child and ending with an elderly voice. Indeed, whatever age you are you should be able to say, “He’s still working on me”!
 
“This is Amazing Grace”  Video  Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir with Phil Wickham
 
“The Great I Am”  Video  New Life Worship It was a blessing to sing this song in our church service yesterday.
 
“Lord, I Need You”  Video  Matt Maher  Dedicated to some very special friends going through a prolonged challenging season in their lives.

Herbert Lockyer

 
Hand Tools in the Bible  “The Bible has all sorts of tool references if you look hard enough. And why not? If God made us in His image, then we must have gotten our love of tools from Him. Plus I’ve seen a lot of His handiwork – He’s quite the master craftsman, you know.”
 
Finally today:  
Mollie goes to work 9/6/19Friday afternoon Sadie went to work with us to visit the warehouse employees at Kleen-Rite. Sadie is sitting on Diane’s floor scrubber seat where she got a treat since she brought smiles to the many dog friendly people there. Kleen-Rite not only provides car wash supplies to car wash owners but dog wash supplies as well!
Devotional

“The Blessing Of Fruitfulness”

Cherry Hill orchards store 9/6/19Interior of the Cherry Hill Orchards store with its many varieties of fruit, vegetables and tasty treats
Click to enlarge
 
“The Blessing Of Fruitfulness”
Message summary: A consideration of fruitfulness.

Listen Listen to this message on your audio player.

Cherry Hill orchards store sign 9/6/19“This is to My Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be My disciples” (John 15:8). “You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit-fruit that will last” (John 15:16).  “That you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please Him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work” (Colossians 1:10).

One of the blessed sights of summer is a basketful of locally grown fresh fruit or vegetables. This year Brooksyne has canned or frozen cherries, peaches, and rhubarb. Of course, we’re now entering the apple season so she’ll be busy preserving apples in one way or another.
 
This morning we stopped at Cherry Hill Orchard where many people pick their own fruit or buy produce already picked, often with the idea of preserving the fresh fruit flavor over the winter months by freezing, canning or drying the produce. Orchard farmers are always pleased when they’ve had a good season of plentiful plump, juicy fruit growing on their fruit trees.
 
Cherry Hill applesJonathan apple samples were available today, but instead we decided to buy a brand new apple variety grown this year at Cherry Hill called “Sweetie”. Perhaps it’s the name that caught my (Brooksyne) attention since we often use that endearing pet name for family members back home in Oklahoma. Sweetie apple is known for its intensely sweet taste and crunchy texture (royal gala and braeburn are the proud “parents” of this new hybrid). We also selected another new apple called “red rubin”, sweet and crunchy as well – which we thought the best of the two new hybrids.
 
Not only is it a great sight to see large, colorful, juicy fruit hanging from a healthy fruit tree, but it is also inspiring to observe a believer who is fruitful in their Christian walk both in word and deed. One of the common words used in the Bible to describe the healthy life of a faithful believer is “fruitfulness” so let’s consider the blessing of spiritual fruitfulness today.
 
There are basically two senses of spiritual fruitfulness in the New Testament:
1) Fruitfulness in the sense of impacting others to follow Christ and discipling them, which we may refer to as being the fruit of one’s ministry. Paul used this sense in writing to the Romans (1:13): “Now I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that I often planned to come to you (but was hindered until now), that I might have some fruit among you also, just as among the other Gentiles.” One of the great joys of ministry is the observation of seeing healthy fruit in the lives of those we have served through our years of ministry.
2) Fruitfulness in the sense of developing Christ-like characteristics in our lives: John the Baptist stated, “Therefore bear fruit in keeping with repentance.” In Galatians 5:22,23 Paul wrote concerning the fruit of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.)
Today let us consider these questions for self-examination.
  • In my life am I bearing much fruit (abundance)?
  • Am I bearing fruit that will last? (endurance0
  • Am I impacting others who are staying true to the Lord and bearing fruit?
  • Is the Fruit of the Spirit progressively developing in my life?

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily Prayer:  Father, You who began a good work in me will carry it on to completion until You call me heavenward or until the day of Christ’s return. I willingly submit my will to yours and want to quickly obey Your voice so that I will bear much spiritual fruit. I pray that the Fruit of the Spirit will characterize my life as I faithfully yield to the work of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
 
 
Mennonite wagon 9/5/19Yesterday in our travels through Lancaster County we intersected with this young man comfortably seated on his lawn chair as he transported the skids on his wagon.
 
Val-Co fan 9/5/19
Val-Co engineers, Chris and Stephen, prepare this fan display for a trade show.
 
Harvested field 9/5/19
We missed the great corn harvest yesterday while at work and came home to see a freshly “mowed” field across the street. It looked rather bare toward sunset, but then we noticed there were paragliders filling the sky. What a beautiful sight that was!