Devotional

“Lessons From Coach” “Running The Race Set Before Us”

Bill Preston's track and field figures (Click to enlarge)
Coach Bill’s metal track and field figures
 

Lessons From Coach”

“Running The Race Set Before Us”
 
Message summary: The Christian race begins when we accept Christ and continues until we finish the race at either the time of our death or when He returns for His church. So let us bravely run the race till we see Christ!

Listen to our message on your audio player.

“I run in the path of Your commands” (Psalm 119:32). “They shall run and not be weary” (Isaiah 40:31). “Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us” (Hebrews 12:1).

Coach Bill Preston 4/29/19

Last week we visited our friends, Bill and Patty Preston, whom we first met ten years ago when they lived in New Jersey. Several years ago they moved to rural Pennsylvania near Chambersburg. For over 50 years Bill served as a track and field coach in high school and college.

I recall the esteem I had for coaches in my various athletic endeavors of youth who often went by the one word moniker “Coach” and that’s what I prefer to call Bill.

Coach is now 81 but remains very athletic. In his home he showed me a collection of metal stick figures representing various track and field positions (see photo above). As we looked them over I picked them up, and recalling my high school track and field participation, identified each one. Then an idea for a Daily Encouragement series came to mind.

In several places the Bible describes the Christian life as running a race. The race most analogous to the Christian life is the marathon which is run over a very specific course, usually on a road, comprising 26 miles and 385 yards. The event was instituted in commemoration of the fabled run of the Greek soldier Pheidippides, a messenger from the Battle of Marathon (the namesake of the race), to Athens.

The marathon was one of the original modern Olympic events in 1896, though the distance did not become standardized until 1921. More than 500 marathons are held throughout the world each year, with the vast majority of competitors being recreational athletes. The Boston Marathon has some 30,000 participants and some 1,000,000 people will line the course cheering on the runners, according to the Boston Athletic Association. We’ve been there twice, once at the finish line and once at Heartbreak Hill.

This week we want to draw some spiritual lessons from the race. Most of our references will be from the New Testament but today’s first reference is a gem found in the longest chapter in the entire Bible, Psalm 119!

I am blessed by the phrase “I run in the path of Your commands”. God, through His Word, has provided the life time course for us. His commands are markers along the way keeping us on track. Failure to keep His commands will most certainly get us off course.

A current example of one who ran in the path of God’s commands from the time of his youth until the day God called him home last Thursday, May 2, is 89 year old Bible Teacher, Commentator, and Author of 150 books, Warren W. Wiersbe. His example, his wisdom and his teaching left an indelible mark on countless pastors, Christian leaders and laypersons alike. Since archiving the messages online in 2005 we have referred to Warren Wiersbe 115 times. He was not just a student and teacher of God’s Word, he lived according to God’s commands. He didn’t try to explain them in a way that sought to please itchy ears nor did he seek to align them with current philosophies of our day that contradict Scripture. Instead he ran in the path of God’s commands to his final breath.

In Hebrews we read that we are to run with endurance the race that is set before us” (Hebrews 12:1). For every believer, the Christian race begins when we accept Christ and continues till we finish the race at either the time of our death, such as Wiersbe, or when Jesus returns for His church. So let us bravely run the race till we see Christ!

It will be worth it all when we see Jesus!
Life’s trials will seem so small when we see Christ.
One glimpse of His dear face, all sorrow will erase.
So, bravely run the race till we see Christ.
 


Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, we look to You for strength and guidance on our life’s race. Your commands teach us the way we are to walk and the way we are to respond to the bumps and potholes we encounter on the journey. We want to run in the path of Your commands, because that is where You teach us how to follow Your decrees. You cheer us on by Christ’s example and by the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit that sustains us in our struggle against sin. Keep us faithful to the end, for the end is only the beginning. We seek to run the race before us, strong and brave to face the foe, looking only unto Jesus as we onward go. Amen.

This week our series will be on lessons from life’s race:
Monday: “Running The Race Set Before Us”
Tuesday: “The Start”
Wednesday: “The Hurdles”
Thursday: “The Relay”
Friday: “The Finish”

 

 
Today we will share a few more photos from our visit to Franklin County last week.
 
John Deere mailbox Adams County, PA 4/28/19
Hitting this mailbox post will do some serious damage to you vehicle!
 
Mr. Ed's Elephant Museum, Rt 30 Adams County, PA 04/29/19
Along Rt 30 near Fayetteville we passed Mr. Ed’s Elephant Museum and Candy Emporium!
 
Mr. Ed's Elephant Museum, Rt 30 Adams County, PA 04/29/19
 
Thaddeus Stevens Blacksmith Shop, Franklin County, PA 04/29/19
Thaddeus Stevens Blacksmith Shop, Franklin County, PA. The Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology here in Lancaster is named for him.
 
Mont Alto Chapel Franklin County, PA 04/29/19
The former Mont Alto Episcopal Chapel is now part of the Penn State Mont Alto campus. John Brown was said to have preached here in the weeks before his raid at Harper’s Ferry.
 


Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
 
“It Will Be Worth It All”  Video  Local congregation sung the way we would have some 40 years ago and some still do. This song has the line, “so bravely run the race”.

“Grace on Top of Grace”  Video   Fellowship Creative

 
“Worth It All”  Video  The Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir
 
Warren WiersbeHonoring a Bible study mentor:
 
Wiersbe has long been a favorite author of Stephen’s and mine. Many times we’ve quoted him on these posts and the “Be” series really got us hooked on his style of writing along with the biblical depth of his words. A simple quote that I read many years ago I have often repeated either in our writings or to one undergoing trial is, “Faith that cannot be tested is faith that cannot be trusted” attempting to assure the individual that “testing” is not a sign of one’s weakness or wrongdoing, it’s a measurable marker of one’s faith and helps to uphold and strengthen it. We saw the Wiersbes a couple of times and found them to be very approachable.
 
Stephen and I once taught a Bible Study “Being a Child of God” which did not include a study guide so I write a study guide for each lesson. I sent him a completed copy of all the lessons, hoping for his blessings that I had presented his materials and asked questions properly aligned with his teachings. I was so pleased to receive a very nice handwritten note from him, approving and affirming my efforts. He indicated that he probably should have written a study guide and even expressed appreciation that I had done so. He also indicated that the editor would be changing the name of the book on a future revision though I found this one on Amazon. Once again, I was blessed by this remarkable teacher and his kind words to a much less learned and skilled Bible teacher.


Wiersbe’s thoughts regarding his skill as a Theologian/Bible teacher/Author: “Writing to me is a ministry. I’m not an athlete, I’m not a mechanic. I can’t do so many of the things that successful men can do. But I can read and study and think and teach. This is a beautiful, wonderful gift from God. All I’m doing is using what He’s given to me to teach people, and to give glory to the Lord Jesus Christ.”

Finally today: Following a meal together at the Crackerbarrel in Chambersburg Bill had a doctor’s appointment and Patty went with him. Here’s a note we received from her:
 
Coach Bill Preston 4/29/19Something funny happened and I just have to share it with you. I had never been to this doctor with him but because we were so close I went with him and took along a book to read. I was sitting in the waiting room, reading my book, and the doctor opened the door from the treatment area and stood there looking at me. He was holding up the sweater that Bill had been wearing, but Bill was not in it. He asked me if I recognized it. I said that it was the sweater that Bill had been wearing when he came in. What had happened to Bill? I asked why he was holding it. My first thought was that Bill had died and the doctor was returning his sweater to me and I said that to the doctor. Or, had he gotten sick and removed the sweater so I could wash it? I had no idea why the doctor was holding his sweater. If you recall, it was a crew neck sweater with rather bold red and tan stripes. The doctor said that he told Bill several times how how much he liked the sweater. It reminded him of his college days. Bill removed the sweater and handed it to the doctor. Bill insisted that he take it since he liked it so much. So, Bill hadn’t given him the “shirt off his back” but he had given him his sweater. I told Bill later that I wondered if the Rapture had occurred and I had been left behind!
 

Bill's sweater on doctor 4/29/19The doctor sent Patty a photo of him wearing the sweater and informed her it made him feel young again!

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Devotional

“But If Not”

Tim and Julie Heitz 4/25/19Tom and Julie Heitz
 

But If Not”

 
Note: Today’s message is a bit longer than most.

Message summary: Today we consider a powerful, vitally necessary type of faith expressed in the words “but if not”.

Listen to our message on your audio player.

“Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up” (Daniel 3:16-18).

Tim Heitz preaching 5/21/17We met Tim Heitz about five years ago when he came on board as the sales manager for a company we serve as chaplains. Tim had served as a pastor and right away expressed to us his vibrant faith in the Lord. He was active as a fill-in preacher and several times we went to hear him preach. On one occasion he and his wife, Julie, invited us to their house for dinner following the worship service.

This January Tim was diagnosed with ALS. We have been following his very candidly reported journey since then on his Facebook page. Last week when hospice was mentioned we knew we wanted to get over and visit Tim.

His disease has advanced quickly but his faith is not deterred. In fact it is more visible as his frequent utterances of faith stir the hearts of those with whom he engages. During our visit it was a blessing to see him receiving so much support from family and friends though it was not surprising, for Tim is highly esteemed and greatly loved by many. We visited for a little while and I told him I believed his story would bless others so he gave us permission to share it along with the photo we took in the lead photo. We made sure his big white pickup that he used to haul his camping trailer was in the background, as he and Julie often went camping in the past!

He has lost function in various parts of his body but is still able to text using his left hand. Early this week knowing we would be sharing his story, he sent me a text quoting the daily text and wrote, “I’d like to remind your readers of these verses. As I paraphrase it ‘my God whom I serve is able to deliver me, but if not I will still praise Him'”.

Today let us examine the three word phrase “but if not” which we believe is one of the great faith proclamations in the Bible. It was uttered by three courageous young men whose story is recorded in the book of Daniel. Their testimony is an extraordinary example of uncompromising allegiance to Almighty God in the face of our relentless enemy.

While in exile they were given the Babylonian names of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. But in actuality their Hebrew names were Hananiah, Mishael, and Azzariah (Daniel 1:11). *

The account of these men of faith is surely one of the greatest stories of deliverance recorded in Scripture. It demonstrates to believers of all ages the incredible power of faith, courage and obedience. They got into serious trouble because they refused to compromise a core commandment of God in bowing down to the 90′ golden image Nebuchadnezzar had set up. The consequence for failing to comply to the king’s command was being thrown into a fiery furnace.

They were brought before the king and given a final opportunity to submit to the king’s edict. Their powerful response was, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.”

Many of you have likely heard the story many times, perhaps even from childhood Sunday School, and you know it for the amazing deliverance that took place.  But going into it they did not what know what the outcome would be and their faith stance was not dependent on the deliverance they experienced.

When pressed to comply with the king’s edict to bow down to the idol they answered, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter”. Their faith was completely in God and they knew ultimately that it was He Whom they needed to answer. Their training as earnest, faithful Jews clearly stipulated that bowing to an idol was forbidden.

“If this be so (being thrown into the fiery furnace), our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace.” Notice the phrase, “our God whom we serve”. This probably infuriated Nebuchadnezzer who was accustomed to demanding the service and even worship from his subjects. “Is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace”. Indeed God is able to do all things, He is a supernatural God.

But what follows is that three word phrase that powerfully demonstrates their unconditional, unwavering faith, “But if not”. Some versions word it, “But even if He does not” That is, even if our God who is able chooses to work in another way, “be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up”.

Fiery furnaceBible readers are familiar with the events of deliverance like that which happened in the fiery furnace or later with Daniel in the lion’s den. These events are recounted later in the Book of Hebrews in the “Faith Chapter” and specifically alluded to in this portion, “And what more shall I say? For time will fail me if I tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets, who by faith conquered kingdoms, performed acts of righteousness, obtained promises, shut the mouths of lions, quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, from weakness were made strong, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. Women received back their dead by resurrection” (Hebrews 12:32-35a). He’s summarizing here how God worked in the faithful in providing deliverance of various sorts.

But midway through verse 35 the outcome, at least as it pertains to this earthly life, changes, “and others were tortured, not accepting their release, so that they might obtain a better resurrection; and others experienced mockings and scourgings, yes, also chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were tempted, they were put to death with the sword; they went about in sheepskins, in goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, ill-treated (men of whom the world was not worthy), wandering in deserts and mountains and caves and holes in the ground” (Hebrews 35b-38).

The Bible also has this record with those such as John the Baptist, Stephen, and James who all died while faithfully serving God, not experiencing deliverance in the same sense that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego did.

No matter the circumstances God is no less God and no less powerful, faithful, good, or merciful. Our narrow, temporal outlook may be “skewed” because we can only view from this side of heaven but as we consider God in the eternal realm we realize that He is working for our good, no matter what. As the oft repeated phrase from years ago states, “God is good all the time and all the time God is good”.

Like these three men we need to demonstrate an attitude of “But if not” faith, and Tim is doing this. He knows God is able to deliver him and grant him a healing for additional years on this side; he along with his family and friends would surely joyfully welcome this. But Tim has declared, “but if not I will still praise Him”. Indeed he will praise Him during the remainder of his days on this side of eternity however long that may be and he will then offer endless praise on the other side. May that be our testimony as well.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, the dynamic story of the three Hebrew men speaks of Your miraculous deliverance for all ages and throughout all generations.  Their unyielding devotion to You is a tremendous model to those of us who call You our Father. It is by testing that we are strengthened and conformed into you likeness. Trials come upon us to produce perseverance, build character, and draw us closer to Jesus. They also enable us to help others in similar situations. Because of our own personal experience we have a greater sense of how to reach out to them,  and pray for them  in their hour of need. We want to be found faithful no matter the circumstance so help us to have a “but if not” faith that keeps us steady and trusting, giving no room for doubt and fear. We pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen.

 
“Let your faith roar so loud that you can’t hear what doubt is saying.” (unknown source)



Several mutual friends have shared a tribute to Tim:
 
Ron Hoover is the chair for a Convene team and a business mentor.
 
I first met Tim Heitz when he was serving as CEO of Superior Walls in New Holland. He joined and contributed significantly to our Convene team. I had the opportunity to assist him in obtaining a leadership position at Lancaster Bible College where he served faithfully as head of the Development Office. Tim’s strong pastoral background coupled with his corporate experience brought him significant success in this role. Upon returning to corporate life, Tim has always found ways to serve and care for his staff and clients in a Christ-like fashion.”
 
Chris Leaman is the owner of JK Mechanical where we met Tim.
 
“Tim joined our team in July 2014 and for almost four years, I had the honor of calling Tim a co-worker and team member. Tim is a great servant leader. He exudes care and kindness for his direct reports and for his coworkers around him. Tim demonstrated our core values at the highest level, and he is a strong collaborator and supporter when working with fellow team members. As a member of our team, Tim positively impacted my life and the lives of many other coworkers. God bless you, Tim! Your contributions and impact on our team will not be forgotten.”


Casey Blackwell leads the plumbing department at JK Mechanical and was a member in one of the churches Tim pastored,

 
“I began attending Mt. Zion UMC, under the pressure of my younger brother, Keith, who had asked me to come and hear Tim Heitz. At the time, I was struggling spiritually and was even questioning my faith.

A particular sermon hit me so hard, it brought me to tears. For those who know me, that’s not typical. Tim had such a powerful delivery, it lit a fire in my life that helped me get back on track. I will forever be grateful for the privilege of listening to Tim deliver Gods Word at Mt Zion. I want him to know the kind of impact he’s had on my life and I’m sure, countless others. Tim, you’re loved.”
 

 
Tim Heitz with youth leader June Uhler 5/21/17Tim Heitz, with June Uhler, who is over 90 years of age. She was Tim’s youth leader. He also sang duets with her on the local AM Ephrata radio broadcast their church aired for many years back in the 70’s. Tim is considerably taller and is courteously kneeling beside her as we took this photo.
 
Tim and Julie Heitz 2/22/15
We first heard Tim speak at a rural congregation in eastern Lancaster County. Tim preached a sermon regarding listening for God’s voice.
 


Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
 
“Blessings”  Video  Laura Story

“He Is Able”  Video  Maranatha Singers
 
National Day of Prayer 5/2/19Early yesterday morning we attended the National Day of Prayer Breakfast at the Gathering Place here in Mount Joy, PA. Stephen was invited to pray for area businesses along with many other individuals who prayed for our government officials, military, police, fire and first responders, education, churches, families and media. It was nice to participate in one of many prayer gatherings that took place yesterday all over the country.
 
National Day of Prayer 5/2/19
Friends who sat at our table and participated in the prayer service.
National Day of Prayer 5/2/19
Senator Ryan Ament led in prayer for our government officials. He also shared this beautiful and humbling Puritan prayer that touched our hearts from the book he is holding, “The Valley of Vision” (a collection of Puritan prayers and devotions) given to him years earlier by his father.
Finally today:
* When I was pastoring in New England I once shared a message about the three men in today’s text and I asked a trivia sort of question, “Does anyone know their Hebrew names?” Without hesitation 9 year old Garrison raised his hand and with a knowing smile confidently responded, “Rack, Shak and Bennie.” Now if you have children or grandchildren you’re probably laughing right now as you might recognize these are their nicknames based on a popular Veggie Tales video. I can understand why a child (or others) might guess these were the Hebrews names!
Devotional

“National Day Of Prayer”

National Day of Prayer 2019
 
Note: Today is the National Day of Prayer here in America. It may seem our focus is only on the USA today but the message and the petition in the prayer applies to all nations.

Message summary: In expressing the “righteousness that exalts a nation” it’s vital that the teachings and standards of the Scriptures impact every area of our life, including our work! Truly we need righteousness at work as we cry out to God to wake up America.
 
Listen to our message on your audio player.

“Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people” (Proverbs 14:34).

Here in the United States today it’s the National Day of Prayer. All over the country there are special prayer events. Here in Lancaster County there are many local events and then this evening a large county-wide rally.

This year the theme is “Love One Another” based on John 13:34, “Love one another. Just as I have loved you”.

 
The national organizers are aware of the desperate conditions here in America and, unless God sends a sweeping revival soon, the hastening of our nation’s decline is imminent. We certainly can’t expect political leadership or man’s ways to get us out of this, although that seems to be where so many are placing their hope.

This morning we have a special community prayer event here in Mount Joy and I have the privilege of leading in a segment of prayer dealing with the business and work communities. This is so often an area where believers fail to appropriately express and live out their faith. This is true regardless of whether one is a business owner/leader or an employee.
 
Here is a succinct prayer outline I will use to assist participants in focusing their prayer in this regard.

Pray for:

 
Business Leaders
* Wisdom in making right decisions.
* Strength & courage to act in integrity, often against the tide.
* Reflecting Christ in the manner in which the business is operated.
* Justness and compassion in their attitude toward employees.
* Freedom to express and operate their company according to religious convictions.


All Employees
* Commitment to a Biblically-based work ethic.
* Expressing their Christian faith in maintaining a good testimony both in word and deed.
* Opportunities for specific presentations of the Gospel.
* A commitment to proper priorities in regard to God, family and work.


In expressing the “righteousness that exalts a nation” it’s vital that the teachings and standards of the Scriptures impact every area of our life, including our work! Truly we need righteousness at work as we cry out, “God wake up America”.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Today we will post the powerful prayer written especially for this year’s National Day of Prayer:

ALMIGHTY GOD, our Heavenly Father, we look to You alone for the future of America. By Your providence, You have placed each of us here at this time in history to be in this nation. Thank You for this blessing. Thank You for America.

BUT ABOVE ALL, we thank You for the gift of Your Son, Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God. It is in His name, we come to You as we intercede in prayer for America.

FORGIVE US, OH LORD, for the sins we have committed against You in America. We are failing You by dishonoring one another through our harsh and bitter words about each other. We are failing You through broken relationships. We are failing You by devaluing human life from conception until death. We are failing You with the division in our nation.

LORD, WE TURN FROM these sinful actions and refuse to live this way. Please forgive us now and help us to choose love over hate, unity over division, and life over death.

WE CHOOSE to live by Jesus’ words: Love One Another. Therefore, upon the authority of Your Word in John 13:34, “Love one another. Just as I have loved you,” we pray for a future America that will choose to love willfully, sacrificially, and unconditionally just like Jesus loves us.

WE PRAY FOR THE CHURCH in America to love one another. Empower each church to be full of love for one another. Ignite a revival of love for one another. Since we are to be known by our love, help us to love one another.

WE PRAY FOR EVERY FAMILY, EVERY WORKPLACE, EVERY COMMUNITY, AND EVERY CITY IN AMERICA to choose love. We believe there is power in love. We believe love is the better way. We believe love is God’s Way. Oh Lord, change families, workplaces, communities, and cities through the power of love. Raise up a Love One Another movement across America.

WE PRAY FOR ALL ETHNICITIES AND PEOPLE IN AMERICA to love one another. Lord, tear down every wall of division and change any attitude that divides us today. Bind up our nation’s wounds and may the transforming love of God lead us to the day when justice will roll down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.

WE PRAY FOR YOUR LOVE to surround America. We pray for Your love to surround and protect us in every public setting and private place. Protect us from harm.

WE BELIEVE ALL OF THESE THINGS, OH LORD, represent our deep need for the next great move of God across America. We ask You alone for the next Great Spiritual Awakening in America. Please, oh God, wake up Your church and revive Your people today. We ask You to begin a mighty spiritual awakening in every town, every city, and every county in America.

WE NEED AND DESIRE THIS SO MUCH, THAT BEGINNING RIGHT NOW, we are choosing love and forgiveness, love and restitution, love and healing, love and unity, and a future that will be transformed by the power of unconditional love. When we belong to You, we belong to love. We choose to Love One Another!

IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST, the only Savior and Hope in this world we pray. Amen.

 

 
Today we will share several more photos from our visit to the Gettysburg area this last weekend.
 
Trees in Gettysburg, PA 4/28/19
These bronze leaf majestic trees were along a walkway through the Gettysburg National Cemetery near where Abraham Lincoln gave the Gettysburg Address.
 
Scene in Gettysburg, PA 4/28/19

Along the auto tour there is a lot of split rail fencing and stone walls.
 
Monument in Gettysburg, PA 4/28/19
Along the auto tour we passed many statues that pierced our heart such as this one. Gettysburg really puts into perspective what war is all about, and tragically, this was a civil war where brother may have fought against brother, cousin against cousin, etc.
 
Train station in Gettysburg, PA 4/29/19

Old train station in Gettysburg, PA.
 
Round barn near Gettysburg, PA 4/29/19
The Round Barn near Gettysburg, PA
 
Round barn near Gettysburg, PA 4/29/19
The lower level of the round barn is a fruit and gift market.
 
Round barn loft near Gettysburg, PA 4/29/19
The loft of the Round Barn is a wedding venue of course!
 

Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

 
 
Finally today:
 
Responding to yesterday’s message on the Dogwood tree, Jeff, a Georgian reader observed, “I can always identify a dogwood tree, even when it’s not in bloom. How? By its bark, of course.”
Devotional

“A Lesson From The Dogwood Tree”

Kleen-Rite dogwoods 4/26/19

“A Lesson From The Dogwood Tree”


Message summary: We can be blessed by a story that reminds us of Jesus’ love and sacrifice.

Listen to our message on your audio player.

“Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us” (1 John 3:1).

We sure enjoy the flowering season during Spring when the Dogwood Tree is blooming. We have two in our lawn, one white and one pink. The flowering Dogwood is native to the eastern part of the United States, from New England south to the Gulf Coast. But it also extends into the Midwest and is the official state tree in my home state of Missouri.

Jerry, a friend from Kleen-Rite, works in an office in the building behind the two Dogwoods seen in our lead photo. Last Friday I was commenting about the beautiful appearance of these trees and Jerry told me about “The Legend of the Dogwood Tree”, which includes Christian symbolism in the tree, especially the flower.

I researched online and one of the top searches is an article from another company we are connected with in our chaplaincy ministry, Eaton Farms in Leesport, PA. Although it doesn’t specify who wrote the article we consider our favorite Arborist, Don Eaton. Although we are sure a number of our readers are familiar with this story today we will share it in our Daily Encouragement.

There’s nothing more majestic than a dogwood in spring, decked out with fabulous flowers! To some people, though, Dogwoods hold a deeper meaning. The legend of the Dogwood tree is an age-old story that tells the story of this magnificent tree and how it became the tree we know and love today.

Our story begins almost two thousand years ago in Israel. If you ventured into the forests of Israel at that time, you would have seen plenty of sturdy oaks, lofty cedars, walnut trees, and more—all of which are fine and noble trees, loved and used by carpenters.

However, one tree was prized above all others: the mighty Dogwood. Back then, the Dogwood lacked its distinct fruits and flowers, but it was still impressive, rising taller than any oak or cedar. Its wood was strong, hard, fine-grained, and easy to work with. It had no equal, and it was constantly in demand.

During this time, a simple carpenter was declared King of the Jews and was sentenced to death. The method of execution? Crucifixion. And the tree used to fashion the iconic wooden cross? A Dogwood.

According to the legend, the Dogwood felt great sorrow for the role it played in Jesus Christ’s death. While on the cross, Jesus sensed the tree’s anguish, and He decided to transform it so that it could never again be used in crucifixion. From that point on, the Dogwood was no longer a tall, stately forest tree. Rather, it became a small and shrub-like tree with thin and twisted limbs.

Jesus was taken down from the cross and placed in a tomb. Three days later, He rose from the dead. At the same time, the Dogwoods in the forest burst into bloom, and they continue to do so right around Easter in what is believed to be a celebration of Jesus’ resurrection.

Dogwood flowerWhile the Dogwood tree never again took part in an execution, it’s still said to carry the marks of Jesus’ crucifixion. Its four large petals represent the cross he died upon, and each petal displays four red-tinged notches that are said to represent four nail holes. And in the center of each flower is a green cluster that is symbolic of Jesus’ crown of thorns.

Alas, the legend of the Dogwood most likely originated in the United States in the 20th century. They are not native to the Middle East, nor would they have been found growing there in Jesus’ time. Nevertheless, the legend persists, and many Christians revere the beloved Dogwood as it continues to remind them of Jesus’ love and sacrifice. (From the Bower and Branch website)

It is more than likely just a legend but nevertheless we can be blessed by the story and symbolism of Jesus’ love and sacrifice. “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us!”

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, while we have no history to indicate the Dogwood Tree was the wood Jesus’ cross was made of, we can appreciate the symbolism from this beautiful tree created by You, the Master Creator. The Dogwood is said to carry the marks of Jesus’ crucifixion; it’s four large petals representing the cross He died upon, and each petal displaying four notches (some red tinged) that are said to represent four nail holes. And we can see in the center of each flower the stamen, which is a green cluster symbolic of Jesus’ crown of thorns. That which reminds us of the great love and sacrifice Jesus made on our behalf is worthy of our attention and that which is created by You helps us to appreciate all You provide for our daily enjoyment and comfort. Amen.

 

 
Dogwood photos
 
Gettysburg dogwood tree 4/28/19
Sunday afternoon we saw this Dogwood tree in the Gettysburg National Cemetery.
 
Backyard dogwood tree  4/24/19
Our backyard Dogwood
 
Pink dogwood bloom (photo by Doris High)
Pink Dogwood blossom
Photo by Doris High
 
Flowering dogwood 5/6/18
Flowering Dogwoods are blooming in our neighborhood, including this pink one.
 
Backyard dogwood in snow 2/3/14
Our backyard Dogwood after a snow storm. This is one view we don’t care to see for another 8 months or more!
(Click on photo for larger view)
 


Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
“Behold What Manner Of Love”  Video  Maranatha Singers
 
“Legend Of The Dogwood Tree”  Video  Told by the distinct voice of Paul Harvey Sr. (Brooksyne likes to point out that Paul Harvey grew up in Tulsa Oklahoma, where she was also raised!)
 
“If I Were the Devil”  Video  Paul Harvey, quite insightful and prophetic! We appreciate the common sense wisdom of two Oklahomans, Paul Harvey and Will Rogers!
 
Finally today:

Galen with restored tractor 4/30/19 (Click to enlarge)Late yesterday afternoon returning home from our chaplain visits (and a vigorous 16 mile bike ride through Swatara State Park) in Lebanon County, we noticed from a distance something very colorful in front of our friend Galen Martin’s home. Passing by we saw it was his restored 1949 tractor and turned around to get a closer look when we saw Galen walking down the lane to his steer barn. He seemed pleased to come back to show us the tractor.
(Click on photo for larger view)

The
1949 Minneapolis-Moline tractor has a lot of sentiment to Galen. His father, Earl, purchased this tractor in 1949, the same year Galen was born and Galen had worked on it through his childhood and his younger farming days. In March we took this photo in his equipment barn of the tractor undergoing restoration.
 
“Farmers Tribute: So God Made A Farmer”  Video  Another thoughtful oral essay by Paul Harvey. Galen faithfully demonstrates the quintessential American farmer this describes. It reminds me of a plaque I saw many years ago at the Indiana State Fair called “The Dignity Of The Farmer” (pdf)
Devotional

“But We See!”

Isaac Lightner farm, Gettysburg, PA 4/28/19The Isaac Lightner Farmhouse, like so many, was a field hospital during and after the battle of Gettysburg. It is now a Bed and Breakfast Inn.
 

“But We See!


Note: Due to a trip out of town Sunday and being away through Monday evening we did not prepare a Daily Encouragement message on Monday.

Message summary: There’s so much we don’t see and there’s so much we don’t understand; some things make no sense to us at all. Indeed the tunnel may be narrow, dark, long, and filled with tripping hazards as we navigate our way through. Yet with the help of the Holy Spirit we too can declare “But I see!”

Listen to our message on your audio player.
 
“For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known” (1 Corinthians 13:12).

I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.


Sunday afternoon we visited Gettysburg, PA, the site of the Battle of Gettysburg, which took place July 1-3, 1863. Gettysburg is only about 40 miles west of us and we periodically visit the famous battlefield from the Civil War. For several generations following the battle it was treated as a very sacred place but as generations are further removed it has developed a recreational vibe, especially since it’s in such a beautiful area of our country. However the national battlefield still has over one million annual visitors. For the last several years there’s been a more recent moral battle going on; whether or not to erect a casino there. *

 
"But we see" Gettysburg tombstone
 
As we walked through Gettysburg National Cemetery, the site where Abraham Lincoln gave the Gettysburg address, we observed the seeming unending gravesites, many marked only by a number. But we especially took note of one that included a simple expression of faith on the tombstone of a chaplain who served in the war: “Now we see through a glass darkly – but we see!”

“For now we see through a glass, darkly” The first part of the phrase is based upon the daily text of Scripture. The apostle Paul is candidly writing of the partial sight and knowledge we have on this side. As we walk in faith we may indeed describe our human experience as that of seeing darkly and knowing only in part. Other versions translate the first phrase, “For now we see in a mirror dimly” (ESV); “For now we are looking in a mirror that gives only a dim (blurred) reflection [of reality as in a riddle or enigma]” (Amplified).

The chaplain did not die in the war but saw the battle horrors first hand. He died about forty years afterwards. He surely carried those vivid battle scenes to his deathbed. Can you imagine the PTSD so many had that lived through that horrific experience. However his faith outlook is expressed in the simple epitath, “Now we see through a glass darkly – but we see!”

GPS on phoneWe all have matters in life that could be described as “seeing through a glass darkly”. In these gloomy experiences we can choose to despair or place our faith in God, readily admitting that we see through a glass darkly. That’s why we walk by faith and not by sight. Our faith is founded solidly upon the unchanging, ever dependable Word of God that is our roadmap or for an illustration more contemporary, our GPS, when the road ahead is dark and foggy. Regardless of our less than clear view of what lies ahead we should always see and view the Word of God as our GPS!

 
“Now I know in part”. That’s so true. We know only a part, actually a very very small part. But we know! A great study I have considered for a future message series is the phrase, “I know” or “we know” in Scripture such as Romans 8:28 or 2 Timothy 1:12.
 
This especially describes the state of our present knowledge of divine things which is imperfect and incomplete. But the time will come when our vision will be unimpaired, the veil will be lifted and the obscure made crystal clear. I will see then see “face to face” and I will know “even as also I am known”.
 
C.H. Spurgeon makes an interesting assertion that we couldn’t handle any greater knowledge on this side of eternity.
 
“If we knew more of our own sinfulness, we might be driven to despair; if we knew more of God’s glory, we might die of terror; if we had more understanding, unless we had equivalent capacity to employ it, we might be filled with conceit and tormented with ambition. But up there we shall have our minds and our systems strengthened to receive more, without the damage that would come to us here from overleaping the boundaries of order, supremely appointed and divinely regulated.”


But today let’s conclude with the last phrase on the chaplain’s tombstone; “But we see!” What a powerful perspective! There’s so much we don’t see and there’s so much we don’t understand; some things make no sense to us at all. Indeed the tunnel may be narrow, dark, long, and filled with tripping hazards as we navigate our way through. Yet with the help of the Holy Spirit we too can declare “But I see!”

When darkness seems to hide His face,
I rest on His unchanging grace.
In every high and stormy gale,
My anchor holds within the veil.

On Christ the solid Rock I stand,
All other ground is sinking sand.
All other ground is sinking sand.

 
 
Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, Your Word admonishes us to “Contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints.” There are many obstacles that will lead us astray as we contend for the faith if our eyes become fixed on the obstacles. Instead we want to fix our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith, who set His eyes on the throne of God, enabling Him to endure the cross, its shame and agony. Fix our eyes on the goal of heaven where all will finally be made perfectly clear when we see Jesus face to face. In the meantime sustain us by Your mercy, grow our faith, and help us to take as many as possible with us to our eternal home in heaven. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.

 
Jude 3, Hebrews 12:2
 

 
Cannons, Gettysburg, PA 4/28/19Cannons in Gettysburg National Cemetery
 
Abraham Lincoln statue, Gettysburg, PA 4/28/19
President Lincoln removed his hat and invited visitors to come sit beside him on the bench so Brooksyne took him up on it (that’s the way it looked, anyway).
 
Abraham Lincoln statue, Gettysburg, PA 4/28/19
Here Stephen looks down at the Gettysburg Address as written on the paper held by the man in the knitted cable sweater and corduroy slacks. Of course we all recognize Abe Lincoln even from a great distance.
 
Gettysburg, PA 4/28/19
You can easily see how this barn, outhouse and house reflect the Civil War Era.
(Click to enlarge)
 
Bill and Pat PrestonYesterday we had lunch with our longtime friends, Bill and Pat Preston, who live near Chambersburg, PA. We first met them around ten years ago when they lived near Ocean City, New Jersey and were introduced to us by our mutual friends, Jim and Dorothy Schmidt. Bill was a high school and college track and field coach for over 50 years and next week he is providing some input on a series about running the race. Pat was very active in Christian Women’s Clubs for many years and still holds weekly Bible studies in their home. They both have a great zeal for the things of the Lord.
 
Pat Preston 4/29/19
Patty invited me, Brooksyne, into her Card Room upstairs. I wasn’t sure of what she meant, but I was terribly impressed when I entered the room. She showed me several samples of cards she made and I was inspired by the many expressions of faith and encouragement in every direction I looked. For those of our readers who enjoy making handmade cards, you would have enjoyed browsing through Patty’s Card Room. Bill built the shelves on the wall to hold her supplies!
 


Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
“The Solid Rock/Cornerstone” Video  Calvary Church Choir and Orchestra
 
“He Hideth My Soul”  Video  Westminster Trio  This is from our local Westminster Presbyterian Church. Mark Espenshade, the man on the left, who solos at the beginning, is a project manager I see weekly at JK Mechanical.

“Trust His Heart”  Video 

“God Is In Control”  Video  Kristian and Shannon Walker

“The Greatest Thing”  Video  Shannon Wexelberg

“All Your Promises Are True”  Video  Shannon Wexelberg & Bethesda Community Church Choir

Gettysburg National Cemetery, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

Devotional

“Even Me!”

John 3:16
 

“Even Me!


Message summary: It’s amazing to believe, that God so loved the world, means even me!

Note: Due to busy day Thursday including a banquet last night and early morning chaplaincy visits a podcast was not prepared for this message.

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me” (Galatians 2:20).

For quite some time we have turned the radio up when we hear the introduction to a song we have come to thoroughly enjoy titled “Even Me” sung by The Triumphant Quartet. The song rejoices in realizing that the wonderful truth of John 3:16, though memorized by many believers as a young child, finally realizes that “whosoever” includes “even me”!

 
I’ve heard it all my life, even had it memorized, but it was only words to me,
Red letters on a page, just something people say;
Till it brought me to my knees; those words in John 3:16.

For God so loved the world He gave, gave His only Son away,
A way to save a wretch like me.
Me, the one who needed grace, grace to cover ev’ry stain,
Stains that He no longer sees.
It’s amazing to believe, that God so loved the world,
Means even me.

 
One of the benefits of Bible memorization is our cooperation with the Holy Spirit in recalling sacred Scripture at opportune moments. Most readers have memorized John 3:16 which is probably the most memorized Scripture verse in all of Christendom. We never want to lose the wonder of that verse even with all its familiarity.

Many years ago we both also memorized the second daily text, actually set to music. Each word ministers to my heart. But today let us slowly consider one phrase, “who loved me”.

Writing of a deep assurance of Christ’s love for him Paul simply says, “who loved me”. This is Paul, who at one time with hateful vengeance, had persecuted the Church and at His conversion heard this troubling question spoken from Christ, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” And now after his conversion he reflects on the love His Savior specifically has for him. So much so, that Paul tells his listeners, “I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me”.

“God so loved the world”. Amen, He sure does and He specifically loves you and me this day and every day. You may not have experienced a loving earthly family as we both thankfully have but we personally know so many who have not. There are those reading our message right now who have been abused and carry deep scars. Some have had the sacred trust of a spouse, parent or sibling violated. You are now learning to trust your heavenly Father who is altogether trustworthy. His steadfast love never ceases, even during times that you have proven to be untrustworthy or vacillated in your commitment to Him.

Pastor and Author, Rob Morgan, makes this observation: “If you could have one verse of Scripture engraved onto your tombstone, what would it be? Or if you could have one verse and only one scripted and framed to hang in your living room or kitchen, which verse would you choose? Or, to put it a little differently, if someone were to write a biography of your life and put one verse on the title page, what verse would best summarize your aspirations and experiences as a Christian? I’d like to suggest that out of the 31,102 verses in the Bible, you’d have a hard time coming up with a better choice than Galatians 2:20.”

Those with deep scars especially listen to me today. Take our daily verse from Galatians 2:20, write it on a card and memorize it. Say it over and over, phrase by phrase, or better yet put it to a familiar tune so you’ll never forget it. Hide it deep in your heart. For what Paul said for himself, you can say for you and I can say for me. “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me”

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, because of Your supreme love for me I am not consumed by Your wrath nor do I receive the deserved penalty for my sin. Instead You have forgiven even me, cared for me and loved me so much You that You sent Jesus to lay His life down for even me that I might be raised up to newness of life. As my old nature is crucified with Him it is no longer my sinful nature that rules, but Christ’s spiritual nature who lives in me expressing His love, goodness and righteousness through my words, thoughts and deeds that glorify Him. May I be as a sweet aroma to You today. Amen.


 
ABR Banquet 4/25/19Last night I attended a banquet at the Shady Maple for a powerful ministry I have appreciated for many years called Associates For Biblical Research. The speaker was Dr. Peter Teague who is retiring after serving for 20 years as president of Lancaster Bible College.
 
Peter Teague 3/17/16
I first met Dr. Teague shortly after moving to Lancaster County in 2001 when he had read an article about our business chaplaincy in the local paper and invited me to lunch to discuss it. He seems to have a heart to learn about and develop creative ways to minister to our world. We commend him for his long tenure of faithful service. Today at 9:00 AM the next president of LBC will be introduced.
 
Last night he shared a powerful message on the authority of Scripture. He ended his message with this quote:
 
This Book contains the mind of God, the state of man, the way of salvation, the doom of sinners and the happiness of believers. Its doctrines are holy, its precepts are binding, its histories are true, and its decisions are immutable. Read it to be wise, believe it to be safe, and practice it to be holy. It contains light to direct you, food to support you, and comfort to cheer you. It is the traveler’s map, the pilgrim’s staff, the pilot’s compass, the soldier’s sword, and the Christian’s character. Here paradise is restored, Heaven opened, and the gates of hell disclosed. Christ is its grand object; our good is its design, and the glory of God its end. It should fill the memory, rule the heart, and guide the feet. Read it slowly, frequently, and prayerfully. It is given you in life and will be opened in the judgment and will be remembered forever. It involves the highest responsibility, will reward the greatest labor, and will condemn all who trifle with its sacred contents.
 
Elvin Martin 4/25/19
Another faithful man.
Elvin Martin is retiring next month after working 57 years for same company as a tool maker! It was nice to visit him yesterday. He started at 20 so you can guess how old he is.
 


Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
 
“Even Me”  Video  Triumphant Quartet  This is the song quoted in the message.

“Jesus Loves Even Me”  Video   Congregational

“I Have Been Crucified With Christ”  Video  Robin Mark

“Galatians 2:20”   Video  By Chris Nichols

Devotional

“Roots”

Martin giant tree swing 4/21/13A tree swing on a giant Sycamore tree (Zacchaeus would have had a hard time climbing up this tree!). Our friend Jason is swinging Prentice, his 3 year old son (at the time) who kept hollering, “Higher, Higher!” Prentice’ appeal for Higher, Higher prompted our song selection today.
 

Roots”


Message summary: How healthy is your root system today?
 
Listen to our message on your audio player.

“But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit” (Jeremiah 17:7,8). “So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in Him, rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness” (Colossians 2:6,7).
 
Deeper, deeper in the love of Jesus
Daily let me go;
Higher, higher in the school of wisdom,
More of grace to know.
 
Kids climbing treeWhat is it about trees that you like? Perhaps it’s their visual beauty such as the distant profile of a tree during a particular season, the color, beauty and symmetry of the leaves. Or perhaps it’s the shade it provides. Trees also help to block forceful winds that come often where we live.

What a joyful memory many of us have of a tree swing or better yet a swinging tire. As children many of us enjoyed climbing trees. They served as a natural setting for a playroom with many levels. My friend Dave and I spent many hours climbing the huge Mulberry tree at the side of our house in Belton, Missouri. Brooksyne’s brother built a spacious tree house for his children in their back yard that stands to this day.

We appreciate many forms of tree fruit, apples, peaches, cherries. You name it we probably like it. Not only fruit but we also enjoy the watery sap of the maple tree when it is processed into tasty maple syrup. Of course we all benefit from the products made from the wood of the tree.

RootsBut I doubt if many of us would say, “I really like tree roots!” In many instances we see roots as a nuisance. The large evergreen trees to the side of our house have many exposed roots. Exposed tree roots can heave sidewalks and driveways in the case our fence), create tripping hazards and wreck the blades of your lawn mower such a the scalping seen in the photo. But most roots of course are largely unseen. We may forget all about them till we have an occasion to dig them out and then they are really a pain!

But roots are vital to a tree’s well-being and this is in turn used to describe the spiritual life. This is seen in our first daily text describing a man whose trust and confidence are in the Lord; “He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream.”

Many years ago we had a discipleship class in our church prepared by the Navigators called “2:7” based on  our second daily Scripture reference, “rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness” (Colossians 2:7).

 
Pastor Ray Stedman, who went to be with the Lord in 1992, shared an interesting story pertaining to today’s theme. I think you’ll find it to be helpful and we will conclude our message with this story.

“I remember many years ago a youth conference in the Sierra Nevada. There a young man came to me and took me aside. We stood together underneath a great Douglas fir and he said, “Pastor, I don’t know what is the matter with me. I want to be a good Christian, and I try hard, but somehow I just never seem to make it. I’m always doing the wrong thing. I just can’t live like a Christian.”

I said to him, “Well, there may be several reasons for that, but let me ask you this, first of all: What about your private life with the Lord? How well do you know the Lord? How much do you delight in reading His Word and then spending time talking to Him? Because, after all, it’s not the time spent in reading the Word that’s important, but it’s the time spent in enjoying the presence of God that strengthens you.”

He hung his head and said, “Well, I admit I don’t do very much of that.” Just then this very phrase from the Psalms flashed into my mind, “He shall be like a tree planted by rivers of water.” I stepped back and said to him, “Look at this tree we’re under. What does it remind you of? What are the qualities this tree suggests to you?”

He looked at the tremendous Douglas fir, towering up into the heavens above, and said, “Well, the first thing is, it’s strong.” I said, “Yes. Anything else?” “Well,” he said, “it’s beautiful.” I said, “Exactly! Beauty and strength. Those are the two things you admire about this tree. And those are exactly the two things you want in your own life, aren’t they? Beauty and strength?”  He said, “Right.”

“Well,” I said, “Tell me this: What makes this tree beautiful and strong? Where does it get its beauty and its strength?” He stopped for a moment and looked at the tree, then he said, “Well, from the roots, I guess.” I asked him, “Can you see the roots?” “No,” he said, “You can’t.” Then he said, “I get it! That is the hidden part of life, but it is the secret of this tree’s beauty and strength, isn’t it?”


How healthy is your root system today?

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, we want to be like the trees planted by streams of water that remain vibrant, healthy, and growing in spite of drought, storm and the extremes of the winds and temperatures. As we are rooted and built up in You we continue to grow, mature, and remain firm when the raging storms of life seek to topple our faith. No matter what we’re dealt we continue to live in You, rooted and built up, strengthened in our faith, and overflowing with thankfulness for all that You are to us. Amen.

 
Follow up comment from a faithful reader regarding Monday’s message: I was thinking about it and thought “You know those disciples should have listened to the women, we’re usually always right” 😊 That reminded me of when I had to take a Logic class in college. I really struggled with that class – I could come up with the correct conclusions to the professor’s questions, but I did not understand any of the steps in his ‘formula’ which we were supposed to use to arrive at the correct conclusion. One day, he called on me in class to provide the correct conclusion – which I did. He then said, “Miss Roberts, can you tell me the steps you used to arrive at that conclusion?” So, I just responded, “Professor Mow, the only thing I can tell you is the conclusion I came up with just seemed right.” I remember him smiling and saying to the class, “Miss Roberts is proof of the theory, women aren’t always logical, but they’re usually right.” He was a great guy!
 

 
We think there’s something especially beautiful about the young leaves during this season
 
Berks County  4/23/19 (Click to enlarge)

This scene is along Rt 501 in Berks County coming off Blue Mountain.
(Click on photo to enlarge)
 
Mull backyard  4/23/19
This is the backyard view of some friends in Lebanon County.
 
Hershey flowering tree and field  4/23/19
Flowering tree and farm field near Hershey, PA.
 
Backyard dogwood tree  4/24/19
Our backyard Dogwood is in full bloom but it doesn’t last long!
 
Evergreen trees 4/24/19
Here’s the row of trees beside our house that have many exposed roots.
 


Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
 
“Deeper, Deeper In The Love Of Jesus”  Video  Siblings singing in the living room