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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Photo of produce stand with Scripture verse
Roadside produce stand in rural Lancaster County, Pennsylvania
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"Golden Rule Living"

"So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets" (Matthew 7:12).

I want to share today about one of the great blessings of rural living. In many parts of our area throughout the growing season there are produce stands boasting an abundance of fresh, locally grown produce.  Often it's just an old farm wagon loaded with corn, tomatoes, cucumbers and a variety of all that's locally grown.

A farmer up the road brought a wagon load of sweet corn to sell at the end of his lane. As I passed by his grandchildren were enthusiastically waving at cars as people drove by, seeking to draw in customers. They didn't have to do much convincing to draw me in!

We are so blessed by these roadside stands where we can conveniently select nutritious foods for our health and enjoyment.
Not only are we getting fresh, delicious locally grown produce, but it reminds us of how the world would work if everyone practiced the golden rule. I realize the farmer put a great deal of time, expense, and hard labor into planting and harvesting the corn. The Bible says "the laborer is worthy of his hire" and the farmer deserves payment. The self service stand depends upon the honor system;  people will pay for what they take and they won't take the money others have left!

Consideration is the practice of the golden rule in the small details of life, beginning in the home and extending to all relationships. What if the billions of personal interactions that take place all over the globe today were truly characterized by this rule? Well that would certainly bring about world peace but in reality that just isn't going to happen until the return of the Prince of Peace.

But by God's transforming grace we can do something in our little corner of the world. Today in our speech and actions let us keep this attitude foremost in our hearts as we, "In humility consider others better than yourselves" (Philippians 2:3).

We live in a very fallen world where fewer and fewer practice the Golden Rule. The daily text has commonly been called The Golden Rule but due to Biblical illiteracy many would not even know what we mean when we speak of the Golden Rule; "So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you." We, as followers of Christ, light up the world when we individually and corporately practice the golden rule. Today let us all carry out "Golden Rule Living".

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily prayer: Father, You have placed Your children in a world where people push and shove to be first.  Because of their self-importance they clamor for recognition and will stop at nothing until they get what they want in life, even if it means hurting others in the process.  But You've called us to view life from a perspective that considers others as important as ourselves.  We are to have a humble attitude that puts You first, others second, and ourselves last in everything we do.  In our humanity this is impossible, but as we are being transformed into the likeness of Your Son, Jesus, we become more like Him.  Our love and consideration for others grows and we apply the golden rule to our lives where we do to others as we would have them do to us.   May this relationship rule guide us as we make decisions that affect others and ourselves.  Help us to have the mind of Christ in all that we do.  Amen. 

Today as I prepared the lesson I came across an interesting video that surely illustrates the breakdown in living by the Golden Rule.  Caution: The teenage girls use language in one scene that we do not use in our home on this newscast.  

Mule team
One of our readers from Missouri sent us this photo of Clarence, her husband, along with his mule team, Sue and Sally.  This was taken at the Ozark Mountain Mule Days. He had just won the Pleasure Driving Contest!

Photo of Corn Canyon
Corn Canyon
Most of the corn around us is not sweet corn edible to humans, but field corn that quickly grows very tall. It is used for animal feed.  A narrow path or road between two fields is known colloquially as a "corn canyon". This photo was taken across the road from our house.  This happens to be the very same tractor trail where Brooksyne broke her ankle in early May.

Norman Rockwell has a thoughtful piece of art depicting the golden rule.  Both Brooksyne and I enjoy his artwork and have visited the museum in Stockbridge, Massachusetts that features his work. 

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

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We couldn't find any songs on the golden rule!

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission; and the King James Version.

Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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