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Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Schenks Mill Covered Bridge, Lancaster County, PA
Schenks Mill Covered Bridge, Lancaster County, PA

We crossed this bridge yesterday on our way back from Root's Country Market.  This covered bridge crosses the Big Chiques Creek. Built on a single span Burr arch truss, this historic landmark is painted red and is mainly made of oak. Red is the traditional color of Lancaster County and most bridges follow a red motif. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1980. It was built by friends Charles Malhorn and Levi Fink in 1855, and has since been an important landmark in the county, remembered by tourists for its unforgettable color and span.

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"Like A Bad Tooth"

"Like a bad tooth or a lame foot is reliance on the unfaithful in times of trouble" (Proverbs 25:19).

I had a dental visit early this morning; a checkup and cleaning.
For several months I've had a bad tooth that needs attention.  It's a molar back in my mouth and it aches more or less off and on.  Today's report indicates I will need a filling and perhaps eventually a crown.  That's sure not the kind of crown I'm looking forward to!

Wendy, Ester & Dr. Dinse
It was special because our friend Wendy works for the dentist, Dr. Dinse. Wendy is our former pastor's wife and a cheerful sister who always lights up any room she's in.  In fact Ester wanted to go in with me especially so she could see Wendy!  We are blessed by having adequate access to dental care here in America, something we usually take for granted.

The Bible has some interesting verses about teeth. The most common reference is the "eye for eye, tooth for tooth" found  different times in a variety of places.  The most colorful reference is when Job describes his physical plight, "I am nothing but skin and bones; I have escaped with only the skin of my teeth"  (Job 19:20).  And here's an endearing line for men to use when expressing affection to their wives: "Your teeth are like a flock of sheep coming up from the washing. Each has its twin, not one of them is alone" (Song of Solomon 6:6).

Today's verse is one of those cross generational/cross cultural illustrations. 
"Like a bad tooth or a lame foot is reliance on the unfaithful in times of trouble" (Proverbs 25:19). Most of you, regardless of where you live can identify with having a toothache at some time in life.  If not you've surely had "a lame foot".  I've had both in the sense that I broke my ankle playing football many years ago!  I get the idea that Solomon was speaking from experience as well in this Proverb.

He uses this simile to describe another condition; "reliance on the unfaithful in times of trouble."  And I suspect most of us have experienced this as well.  We've felt the sharp sting and deep disappointment of disloyalty and rejection that is especially painful "in times of trouble".
Job stated in the midst of his trouble, "All my intimate friends detest me; those I love have turned against me" (Job 19:19).

I've had the unfortunate experience of a friend(s) turning against me, although I choose not to focus on them.  Instead I focuson the blessing of steadfast, loyal friends of whom I have many. In this encouragement I want to consider the wonderful contribution of true and faithful friends who are there and who are reliable in the inevitable times of trouble in our lives.

I especially like lasting, reliable friends. We need good friends don't we; friends who are loyal and faithful, particularly in times of trouble.  I sure want to be known as that kind of friend.  I certainly don't want someone's memories of me to be so dreadful it stirs up the painful analogy of a bad tooth or a lame foot!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily prayer: Jesus, You are a friend that sticks closer than a brother.  It seems that many of our brothers and sisters in the faith are closer than our blood relations because we've been joined together as a family of believers and share common spiritual goals.  Though we're created in the image of God and follow Your example we're still given to human error and do not always apply good judgment which causes division in the body of Christ.  Help us to practice forgiveness and exercise forbearance with one another so that we will be united and faithful to one another in times of trouble.

Last year I had a crown put in and at that time wrote a daily encouragement message with a spiritual application.

"Small Town Dentist" Audio story from the American storyteller podcast.

Doug and Georgia
This story reminds me of my cousin Doug McKelvey, a dentist in a small town in rural Wisconsin. His wife Georgia and Brooksyne always enjoy visiting as they both thoroughly enjoy gardening.
This photo was taken at a family reunion several years ago in Branson, Missouri.  
The wives devised a way they could be taller than their husbands!
(I'm 6 foot 2 inches and Doug is obviously taller than me.)

Root's Country Market & Auction

Yesterday was a beautiful day with a slight coolness in the air reminding us that autumn is coming. In the late afternoon we drove over to Root's Country Market & Auction about ten miles from our home.

Root's Country Market, Lancaster County, PA
One of the interesting features is the variety of people you will see including many Plain people (old order Mennonite, Amish and other similar groups).

Root's Country Market, Lancaster County, PA
There are several auctions going on simultaneously.  Here is a box of carrots being auctioned. The auctioneer is colorful and humorous.

Root's Country Market, Lancaster County, PA
Root's covers a sprawling area with both indoor and outdoor vendors. 

Taylor and Mike Martin

As we walked among the stands we ran into Mike Martin along with his daughter Taylor. Mike leads a ministry to bikers called Bikers For Christ. We saw  several other friends and the market is a regular social outlet for many.

Tomato Harvest, Lancaster County, PA
We passed a large field of tomatoes being harvested.
They will probably be going into soup or sauce.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
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"Friends" 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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