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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Produce stand at Bird in Hand farm market (Pennsylvania)
Produce stand at the Bird In Hand farm market.

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"Sounds of Joy and Gladness"

"I will banish from them the sounds of joy and gladness, the voices of bride and bridegroom, the sound of millstones and the light of the lamp" (Jeremiah 25:10).

Let us consider pleasant sounds. Right now in our area each evening we hear scores of crickets, locusts and other creatures making the loud night sounds. My brother Mike and I were sitting outside and observed how that same volume of sound would likely be annoying if it was man-made but is a pleasant sound out here in the country. At times it seems so loud we wonder if it would meet OSHA workplace safety standards for sounds in a workplace!

Another great sound is the sizzling sound of meat grilling over a hot fire. The Weber Grill restaurant has recreated that very sound and plays it when you open their website! I can just picture a thick juicy hamburger or steak when I hear the sound.  However I would probably not enjoy that sound if I saw sizzling locusts, although people in some cultures might!

Open Bible in church
I also enjoy the sound of people collectively turning pages in their Bibles to a referenced text during church.   Listen for that this week in your church and I sure hope you hear it (admittedly, power point postings of Scripture are minimizing people using their own Bibles in church).

The daily text is a prophetic statement describing conditions that would occur when the nation of Judah fell captive to Babylon.  The sounds indicative of the good life would be banished from them such as those things and experiences that bring about "sounds of joy and gladness".

The text goes on to illustrate sounds of a wedding and of commerce. Weddings have lots of joyful sounds. In June we attended a wedding in the Philadelphia area of Joseph, a young man from the church we served in New England. His bride sang a song to him that surprised him. It is a great memory. But there was also the happy sounds of joyful fellowship and celebration at the reception.

But in regard to the text I am especially intrigued by the phrase "the sound of millstones." I really have no idea what a millstone sounds like and in what sense it might be a sound of joy and gladness. However I suspect it would have represented a good harvest and thriving economy. I have heard the factory whistle, the sounds of a thriving machine shop, a bustling office and just yesterday the sounds of the harvest.

Part of our thankful, positive attitude in life is expressed as we listen to the many sounds around us and hear the Lord at work in a variety of ways. Listen today for pleasant sounds in your life that are often taken for granted.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily prayer: Father, we're thankful for the immense variety of sounds that fill our day such as voices, machinery, music, prayer, wildlife, insects, and so much  more.  Those we usually take for granted are blessings You give that bring joy and gladness to our lives.  We pray for our brothers and sisters who are hearing impaired and thank you for the aids and support given to them through various ministries and organizations.  There is no greater "sound of joy or gladness" than that of hearing the voice of one(s) who surrenders his or her life and receives glorious forgiveness.  Help us to be faithful workers in the harvest so that we can rejoice in the victorious sounds of the spiritual harvest of the souls of men and women, boys and girls.  In the name of Jesus we pray.  Amen.

Here are some scenes from the harvest across the road from our home yesterday.

Corn chopping harvest 8/24/10
We were preparing to leave when suddenly we heard the loud sound of farm machinery approaching.  The corn chopper entered the field across from our house followed by three large trucks.

Corn chopping harvest 8/24/10
The machine cuts up the corn as sileage and blows it into the trucks.  

Corn chopping harvest 8/24/10
Ideally they pace the work so a truck is always waiting to load as the other truck runs the sileage to the farm about a mile from us. However at times the chopper has to wait for a truck. We estimate that they took hundreds of loads of sileage out of the field.

Corn chopping harvest 8/24/10
By early evening the harvest (in that field) was over and the machine operator and truck driver stopped to rest before they moved the machine to another farm. Later last night we still saw the trucks running on our road as they worked on another nearby field.
We now have a crewcut farm view!
The next step will probably be the manure, one of the least pleasant aspects of living in the country!

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

"Creation Sings"  Video  Keith and Kristyn Getty

"Hear The Bells Ringing"  Video  From the Gaither Homecoming series

Weber Grill Restaurant - If your sound is turned on you should hear a sizzle!

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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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