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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Anderson Falls near Columbus Indiana
Anderson Falls near Columbus Indiana
When we were in Indiana I really wanted to see this waterfall after I saw this online photo but it must have been taken during the spring when there was a lot more water!   It was still pretty even though the water was barely flowing.

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"The Good Fight"

"For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms" (Ephesians 6:12). "I have fought the good fight" (2 Timothy 4:7).

Periodically I  have opportunities to preach in a variety of churches and am thankful for this privilege.   Occasionally I have spoken in liberal denominations where I meet people in these churches that express a sincere personal commitment to Jesus Christ, but either lack the discernment to see the apostasy in much of their denominational leadership or in some cases seem to shrug it off as immaterial to their personal experience or their local church. Others are deeply grieved at the direction their denomination has taken, but they want to avoid conflict so they simply make it a matter of prayer. Still others may feel the Lord has called them in being a part of "the good fight" of truth in restoring their church to Biblical faithfulness.

I've never enjoyed fighting. I recall a period in Junior High School when the class bully whose name was Carl put out the word that he wanted to fight me. Perhaps it was my first experience as a child undergoing real emotional stress over a period of months, but thankfully the rumored fight never transpired.  To this day I would rather avoid conflict than face it and am uncomfortable reading books or viewing movies that have major conflict.

But there is an ongoing conflict in the spiritual realm that is unavoidable. We have no choice in whether or not to engage in this conflict.  By virtue of the fallen condition of mankind we are engaged. There is no neutrality in this conflict and in this "good fight" pacifism or non-resistance is not a virtue, but rather a surrender and an alliance with the forces of evil.

I believe this is what the Apostle Paul calls "the good fight." This ancient conflict goes back to the heavenly realms and the fall of Satan. As the great old hymn declares, "For still our ancient foe, doth seek to work us woe, his craft and power are great, and armed with cruel hate, on earth is not his equal."

Today I pray for all of you fighting the good fight, seeking to contend earnestly for the faith once for all delivered to the saints.  I pray that you will stand up for God's truth and righteousness. I am convinced the battle will become increasingly more fierce before Christ's return. Let us resolve in our hearts to remain faithful to our divine call no matter how great the conflict!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily prayer: Jesus, we thank You for the spiritual armor that defends us in battle and arms us for the struggle we encounter against the devil's relentless schemes.  This armor enables us to withstand the forces of evil, no matter the means or persons the enemy works through to try to weaken or destroy our faith.  In addition to the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the gospel of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit we know that our prayers and petitions are heard by You who intercedes for us before our Father in heaven.  We use our armor for protection and we use the sword of the Spirit and prayer for weapons to reveal, attack and defeat Satan's strongholds. It is through Your name, Jesus, that we are more than conquerors.  Amen.

See Ephesians 6:10-18 for the listing of the Armor of God

Reader's Notes:  Yesterday we shared about the delightful sound of locusts on a late summer evening and commented how a photo of locusts grilling over an open fire would not be appealing to us. Nelson, a friend of ours responded: "You would interested to learn that several of us tried some grilled locust one year when they were plentiful.  Not bad - if they are grilled thoroughly and seasoned with Bay seasoning or BBQ sauce!  It is best to remove the wings before tasting them. After all, John the Baptist ate honey and wild locusts (probably not grilled)!" He claims they taste like BBQ chicken, just more crispy.

Another reader shared this perspective: "Here in Australia the sound of locusts is a most unpleasant sound especially in country areas. Locusts visit us most warm evenings and they cause havoc in farm crops, indeed they can consume hundreds if not millions of acres of crop in one evening. Once when I was a girl I saw a great swarm of locusts where we lived in an outer suburban area. They arrived as a great black cloud and landed on the first garden the saw and after laying that one totally bare they rose as a group and landed on the next garden and so on until there was literally not a speck of green any where. As you can imagine farmers dread this sound. It doesn't happen every year, but this year locusts came in plague proportions.."

Today we would like to share several more photos from our trip to Indiana two weeks ago.

Butterfly Indiana
In a verdant garden area in the middle of the lodge where many of our family members stayed, we saw lots of beautiful flowers, butterflies and hummingbirds although I sure have a hard time getting a photo of a hummingbird, try as I might!

Windowboxes in Bloomington Indiana
Bloomington Indiana has a nice downtown with windowboxes filled with colorful flowers and trailing ivies all along the streets.

Windowboxes in Bloomington Indiana

Windowboxes in Bloomington Indiana
In Nashville Indiana we saw this very well maintained VW van for sale.

Mike and Brook at demo derby
For those who enjoy Demolition Derbies:  Mike is a friend who has an interesting hobby. He restores cars to a point where he can run them in a demolition derby and his girlfriend Brooke has the same interest. This is Brooke's car.

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.)

"The Battle Belongs To The Lord"  Video  

"Be Strong And take Courage"  Video

Finally today:  Yesterday we shared some photos of the corn harvest across from our home and I predicted the next step would be the application of "organic fertilizer". Sure enough, on the way to church last night I saw...
Manure spreader
Tractor with manure spreader

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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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