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Thursday, August 14, 2008

Cross made of chain
  "The cross we carry is never as heavy as the chains
from which we were freed."

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"The Old Rugged Cross"

"For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God" (1 Corinthians 1:18).

Last night we visited with Dave Hertle, a chaplain to the truck drivers as well as the employees at a large truck stop here in Omaha. Dave is a former truck driver and can easily connect as he shares his faith in Christ.  I watched him in action as visitors came into the chapel and as he walked through the truck stop greeting many by name. He joined us for dinner and shared his burden for the lost souls of those he encounters in his work for the Lord.

The chapel is a converted truck trailer tastefully appointed to be a small sanctuary. Dave has various items of conversational interest and showed us the chain link cross a friend had given to him. The man who made it used heavy chain because the heavy chains of bondage to sin were broken at the cross.  He purposefully left it rusty and rugged because Christ died on an "old rugged cross."

The apostle Paul bluntly says, "the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing."  Indeed to so many the message of the cross is foolishness. It's mocked and ridiculed.  Our Savior is cursed and blasphemed.

"But to us who are being saved it is the power of God." We rejoice in the cross, which is a demonstration of the love, wisdom and power of God! Its power continues to break the heavy chains of sin and bondage.

I thank God that Christ's sacrifice on the cross is final and absolutely adequate to provide forgiveness for sins.  Christ died once for all on Calvary's Cross to redeem fallen mankind.  No better plan is needed and the mission of the faithful church and faithful Christian is to steadfastly proclaim the message of the cross.

The apostle Paul said, "May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world" (Galatians 6:14).  Today join me in proclaiming, "I love that old cross."

On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross,
The emblem of suffering and shame;
And I love that old cross,
Where the dearest and best
For a world of lost sinners was slain.

So I'll cherish the old rugged cross,
Where my trophies at last I lay down.
I will cling to the old rugged cross
And exchange it someday for a crown.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily prayer:  Jesus, we consider everything that You went through was for our benefit.  Your tender response to betrayal and cruelty serves as an example to us when we are treated unjustly.  Your obedience in life and especially Your death on the cross shows us how to remain steadfast in the face of tremendous suffering.  You embodied the very teaching You spoke to Your followers as You carried out the will of the Father no matter the cost.  Each wound that tore Your flesh brought us spiritual and physical healing.   You were numbered with the transgressors so that we could be numbered with the saints.  Because Your death was redemptive in power, the dark cross of Calvary has a wondrous attraction where we witness Your divine sacrifice on our own personal behalf.  What wondrous, amazing love; it demands my soul, my life, my all.  Amen.

Chaplain Dave Hertle
Chaplain Dave Hertle holding the heavy chain cross.
The links are welded together.

Antique John Deere tractor
I like tractors and enjoyed visiting the John Deere Visitors Center in Moline Illinois on Tuesday, as well as seeing all the antique tractors at the Iowa State Fair yesterday.   I thoroughly enjoyed hearing the John Deere put put  as the owners proudly started their tractors.
Here's the John Deere tractor song especially dedicated to my friend John Zimmerman.

Sunken tractor
We also visited the Amana Colonies in eastern Iowa and, interestingly, this is my favorite photo!  We don't know the story behind the sunken tractor, but it appears the driver got stuck one day and decided he was done with farming.  Amana Colonies is a nice little German village with an interesting history. There are several quaint shops and eateries as you walk along the very clean and nicely manicured yards.

Iowa State Fair Grounds
 The Iowa State Fair is huge and beautiful, certainly the pride of the state of Iowa.  They have colorful flowers like this all through the fair grounds so Brooksyne studied the quiet flower arrangements while I listened to the noisy tractors.

Pork chop on a stick!
I had a very tender and tasty Pork Chop on a Stick; an Iowa State Fair distinctive.

Personal note: Today (Thursday AM) we are near Omaha Nebraska. 
Today we will be at our Steincross family reunion at a Mahoney State Park here in Nebraska. Here is our trip route. We will update this as needed and share if we come across something interesting (however we will primarily mention these here in the encouragements with photos.) Yesterday we did not get a message off.  We hope to keep these daily encouragements up each day but realistically expect we will miss several days over the next couple of weeks.

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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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