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Monday, March 9, 2009
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"Firmly Embedded Nails"
"The words of the wise are like goads, their collected sayings like firmly embedded nails--given by one Shepherd. Be warned, my son, of anything in addition to them. Of making many books there is no end, and much study wearies the body" (Ecclesiastes 12:11,12).
When we lived in New England we enjoyed going to the Christian Book Distributor warehouse sale. Many of you are familiar with CBD due to their mailings and website. It's an interesting example of entrepreneurship. Stephen and Ray Hendrickson, the founders, whose father was a pastor, both attended CBC, the same small midwestern Bible college Brooksyne and I went to a few years before.
CBD began as a small family affair when, in 1978, Stephen Hendrickson, the elder of two brothers decided to start a mail-order business to earn a little extra money while attending Bible College. Orders poured in which soon caused the driveway, bedrooms, and garage of their small house on a dead-end street in Lynn, Massachusetts to overflow with boxes of books. It's grown from a small operation in their dad's garage to one of the largest operations of its kind in the world.
They have a huge distribution center about 20 miles north of Boston and several times a year they open it up for a warehouse sale. People come from all over for this event, some sleeping overnight in their cars in the parking lot. The place is mobbed and I partly enjoyed it for the overall observation that fellow Christians really are nice people even under stress (for the most part!)
Books of all types are available and since people keep writing and publishing books there's always more! Our daily text has a phrase that certainly continues to prove true: "Of making many books there is no end." This was written some 3,000 years ago, long before the printing press. Today I am astounded at how many books are being published on every imaginable subject.
What's the point in today's verse? It seems to me that the "words of the wise" and "collected sayings" are Scriptures encased within the Word of God. The "one Shepherd" ultimately gives them and their truths act as "goads" (pointed sticks) prodding us on to live in the right way.
They're like "firmly imbedded nails" in our lives! What a powerful word picture for any of us who have ever tried to remove a nail that is firmly embedded in a piece of wood. Just like embedded nails, may the principles of God's Word be firmly embedded in our minds and in our hearts.
Ecclesiastes ends with this powerful truth that completes the thought. "Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil" (Ecclesiastes 12:13,14). Always keep this in mind as you live for Jesus today!
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily Prayer: Father, we're grateful for the Scriptures that make us wise unto salvation; for the godly wisdom that plants us in the fertile soil of Christian fruitfulness. When tempted to look to the wisdom of man or expertise based on godless counsel prompt us instead to look to You, our Wonderful Counselor. Prod us on to live according to the ancient words authored by our One Shepherd as we live out our lives in this world. Through Jesus' name we pray. Amen.
Brooksyne's Note: I remember meeting Mrs. Hendrickson, Stephen and Ray's mother, many years ago when I attended a Women's Retreat in Massachusetts. Her husband is with the Lord and she was in the company of other widows. I also remember her warm and delightful personality.
Note: Daily Encouragement Net is an affiliate of CBD meaning that a small commission is paid to us on any items purchased from CBD when you use a link from our website. See here.
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"Ancient Words" (Video)
Photos of Middle Creek Wildlife Management area taken by an avid photographer. Some 180,000 snow geese travel through this area in their migratation every year. At dusk they converge on the mountain lake and it's really quite a remarkable sight.
One observer describes it like this, "From far away, it could be a patch of water lilies gone wild, gobs of bobbing, floating whiteness atop a glistening 400-acre lake. Then you get closer and see the tiny specks of black on the edge of what are surely wings, being untucked by what is most definitely a pinkish bill. Then you hear the raspy, discordant honking, louder than an army of 18-wheelers, commanding your eyes to an upward blizzard of birds eclipsing the sky."
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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.
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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