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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Ferris wheel made of cans at Indiana State Fair
Ferris wheel made of tomato cans
There were about ten of these large displays made  entirely of cans as part of a CANstruction exhibition at the Indiana State Fair.

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"This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples" (John 15:8).

Tomato basketLast night as we gathered around our table for dinner we expressed our thanks to God as we considered our bounty of food. Locally grown corn purchased at a farm stand, zucchini squash from our garden along with yellow squash given to us by friends, our own home-grown tomatoes, fresh oregano and basil from our herb garden which Brooksyne made into a pesto and spread on our toasted bread.

WatermelonLater we had some watermelon Clarence Koch, our friend in Missouri, picked from his garden when we visited them last week.  It was one of those delicious meals that with every other bite we kept saying, "Oh, this is sooo good!"  

This year we have had abundant rain all throughout the growing season and today I spoke to Galen, a farmer friend and he is projecting a fruitful harvest, although later in the season due to the cooler summer. We are all dependent upon the farmer's fruitfulness.  It wouldn't do for a farmer to awaken early in the morning and just roll over in bed saying "I'll plant tomorrow or when I'm in the mood, whenever the weather is just right."  A farmer must be diligent, faithful and hard-working, often in inclement weather.  He must remain hopeful as he works the soil trusting God to bring about the fruit of his labors.

One of the common illustrations in the Bible regarding the evidence of spiritual health and life is fruitfulness. In the daily text Jesus is giving a teaching on this just prior to His death. In bearing fruit we bring the Father glory and demonstrate that we are indeed Christ's disciples.

In Scripture fruitfulness is used in the sense of the impact of the Gospel (Colossians 1:6) and in the development of Christ-like character (Galatians 5:22,23).

There are three foundational characteristics to this fruitfulness:

• We are to bear much fruit (quantity)
• We are to bear good fruit (quality) 
• We are to bear lasting fruit (endurance)

Jesus completed the teaching in John's gospel with a powerful commission: "You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit--fruit that will last" (John 15:16). We have been appointed to go and bear fruit. The word "appointed" is also translated "ordained" (KJV). We all have a high calling from our Lord. This day let us indeed seek to be fruitful!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily prayer: Jesus, You taught Your followers that You are the vine and we are the branches. If we remain in You we will bear much fruit. Fruitfulness in our lives is not automatic nor can it be purchased or inherited since You are the sole source of our fruitfulness. Help us to be healthy vines bearing much fruit so that we bring glory to You and also bear witness to the world that we are truly Your disciples. Amen.

Indiana State Fair

Last Tuesday we spent about five hours walking through the grounds of the Indiana State Fair in Indianapolis.  It is one of the largest fairs I have ever been to and has a lot of interesting things to see.

Cheese sculpure at Indiana State Fair
Cheese sculpure at Indiana State Fair

Wood Craftsman at Indiana State Fair
The fair has an interesting display area called Pioneer Village with living history of rural life. I enjoyed watching this woodworker.
The meal photo I placed up Friday was from this demonstration.
Here's a
written description of Pioneer Village.

The Dignity Of The Farmer
I saw a plaque with these words as we entered Pioneer Village and since I could not find this particular writing on the web I typed my own copy. I dedicate it to all farmers, but especially consider my Uncle Gentry, who farmed Vernon County in southwest Missouri and my friend Galen Martin and his son Darrel who farm here in Lancaster County.
Here is a larger pdf version suitable for printing.

Red hatters at Indiana State Fair
The Indiana State Fair is huge and they have trolleys pulled by  tractors that constantly go around the perimeter. I thought these red hatters looked like they were having a good time, but many also looked pretty tired after hours of walking in the hot sun.

Aultman Taylor tractor at Indiana State Fair
The Indian State Fair has a large variety of antique tractors.
I was intriqued by this old Aultman Taylor.
Here's a brief video of this model plowing.

International tractor at Indiana State Fair
International tractor

Antique tractors at Indiana State Fair
This is similar to the tractor my Uncle Gentry had on his farm near Harwood in southwestern Missouri, although he had an Allis Chalmers as I recall, which was painted orange (see here).
However I think the yellow color on the Minneapolis- Moline is stunning.

Ferris wheel at Indiana State Fair
Ester managed to get me to take one ride with her.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
Click on the link to open and play.
(In some cases you may also need to click again to start the song.)

"Give And It Will Be Given Unto You"  Audio from the Integrity Scripture Memory Series.

"Bringing In The Sheaves"  The Chuck Wagon Gang  Video
 I smile when I hear this song as I recall trips with our Amish friends Jesse and Anna Ruth.  They sing in their home and this is one of the songs the kids just love to sing. As we travel along I often hear them singing it in the back of the van.

"The Fruit Of The Spirit"  Video  Brooksyne often taught kids using Scripture set to music such as this children's version.  This is quite a creative video!

Send a message to Stephen & Brooksyne.

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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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