The online Bible teaching ministry of Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
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Tuesday, July 6, 2010
This drought tolerant flower is among Brooksyne's top favorite flowers potted in a section of corrugated tin roof fashioned into a planter we purchased at a roadside stand. We continue to have very hot, dry weather (temps are supposed to reach 100 today).
We are praying for rain.
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"The Blessing Of Cooperation"
"From Him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work" (Ephesians 4:16).
An amazing sight to behold is a barnraising. This community effort is especially evident in the "Old Order Communities" common in our area such as the Amish and Mennonite. It is a model of organization, cooperation, and community spirit. Last week my neighbor, Mervin, whose historic barn was destroyed in the Memorial Day storm, held one last week and we will share some photos below but please read our message first!
All ages but the very youngest contribute to a barnraising. While the men and older boys work the younger children watch and enjoy each other's company. The women and older girls prepare and serve a hardy country meal so that plenty of energy-giving food is available to the laborers. It's not just a time of physical labor but also a time honored practice of "each looking not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others" (Philippians 2:4).
A key to the success of a barnraising is cooperation. Cooperation is an act or instance of working or acting together for a common purpose or benefit; joint action. All over the barn crews worked on specified parts of the whole. The attitude of "I'll just do it my way" working independently of others would destroy the spirit of cooperation. It would also diminish the overall effectiveness of teamwork in addition to having a negative end result in the finished product. As I carefully observed the process I did not see anyone working independently.
The cooperation in a barnraising is a tremendous illustration of the Body of Christ at work in cooperation. A common representation of the Church is the image of the Body. Today's text draws a powerful analogy from the human body and speaks of how "From Him [Christ] the whole body [Church], joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work."
But in this message let me merely focus on the final phrase, "as each part does its work" (NIV). Other versions translate this phrase similarly, "According to the proper working of each individual part" (NASV) and "When each part is working properly" (ESV). This phrase highlights the essential contribution of each member to the life and development of the body as a whole.
The Body of Christ truly works as the church "grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work." Let us do our part today in advancing the cause of Christ in the various ways we serve and realize this is best done in a generous spirit of cooperation and communication.
We encourage you today to faithfully and cooperatively serve in whatever manner God has led you; in your local church, neighborhood, community, in your family or in any other area of service, working as for the Lord Jesus Christ since we are instructed to "Work willingly at whatever we do, as though we were working for the Lord rather than for people" (Colossians 3:23).
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, I pray for a spirit of cooperation and eagerness to contribute to the needs of the whole body, so that Your Church is built not just with sweat, bricks, and mortar but with love, care, and cooperative teamwork. Then we will go forth in unity and purpose as we do our part in building each other up encouraging others to use their God-given talents and acquired skills, all the while striving for unity in the faith. In our service we desire to please You even as we serve and strengthen one another. In the name of Jesus we commit ourselves to faithful service. Amen.
Let me illustrate using an older illustration many of you have probably seen. I have updated it though using "keyboard" instead of "typewriter"!
Evxn though my kxyboard is an old modxl, it works quitx wxll xxcxpt for onx of the kxys.
I havx many timxs wishxd that all thx kxys workxd pxrfxctly.
It is trux that thxrx arx forty-onx kxys that function wxll xnough, but just onx kxy not working makxs thx diffxrxncx.
Somxtimxs it sxxms to mx that thx church is somxthing likx my kxyboard -- not all thx kxy pxoplx arx working propxrly.
As onx of thxm, you may say to yoursxlf, "Wxll, I am only onx pxrson, I don't makx or brxak thx church."
But it doxs makx a big diffxrxncx, bxcausx a church, to bx xffxctivx, nxxds thx activx participation of xvxry pxrson.
So, thx nxxt timx you think your xfforts arx not nxxdxd vxry much, rxmxmbxr my kxyboard and say to yoursxlf, "I am a kxy pxrson in thx congrxgation and I am nxxdxd vxry much."
This is what happxns to thx wholx church, and multiply this by many timxs -- thx wholx thing just doxs not makx sxnsx! "Bxlovxd don't bx likx a brokxn kxy."
BTW: My keyboard is an old model designed for Windows 95 but I am used to it and keep hooking it up when I get a new computer. Also all the kxys still work!
On Memorial Day our neighbor's barn, which was constructed nearly 200 years ago in 1815 blew over in the heavy rain and winds.
At that time we shared some photos of the storm and the barn.
On Thursday, July 1, they held a barnraising for the new barn.
Prior to the day of the barnraising they had only the foundation and main support posts and headers installed. Around 6:00 AM a crane set the roof trusses. I took this photo in the midmorning around 9:30.
The barn is 60 x100 feet.
Installing the roof.
This particular type of Mennonite group obviously uses modern equipment!
Around 30 men came for the workday.
I could see the work progress over the cornfield from my porch.
I went over again just before lunch and they had the entire roof on and most of the siding!
An easy way down off the roof for lunch!
When I took this photo the ladies were inside the farmhouse preparing the meal and had all the chairs set up ready to feed the hungry work crew. I had to leave right after lunch before I could see more progress but by mid afternoon they completed the work!
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental ResourcesClick on the link to open and play.
(In some cases you may also need to click again to start the song.)
"The Servant Song" Video Maranatha Singers
"Make me Your Servant" Video Maranatha Singers
"We Are One In The Spirit" Video
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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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