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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Pumpkin arrangement at Manheim farmshow
A flower arrangement set in a pumpkin as a vase!
I like the use of the colored corn.
Taken at the Manheim Farm Show.  

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"Completing His Good Work"

"The LORD will fulfill His purpose for me" (Psalm 138:8). "Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus" (Philippians 1:6).

For some time now the lower entry door in our home has been broken and needed replaced. I have procrastinated due to the high cost and large scope of the project. But last Friday the window fell out all the way so I could procrastinate no longer!

New entry door 10/6/10Although I have never replaced an exterior door I bought a new one and determined that I would start and complete the project.  I read up on how to replace a door and then tore out the old door and frame.  At that point I was very much obligated to complete the project since rain was projected!

I followed the directions in installing the new frame and door. After several hours and working through a few frustrating challenges I had the fulfillment of completing the project. Well, almost. We still need to paint the door and seal around the edges of the frame with caulk – that part I delegated to Brooksyne!

How many projects have you started with good intentions but never finished? In my workshop I have several evidences of incomplete projects reminding me that I don't finish everything I start.  How many times have you managed to complete a project and then been able to stand back and honestly proclaim, "That's perfect!"?  By all evidence I think I installed the door correctly.  It looks good and functions properly but I really can't say, "It's perfect!" At the present time I have to jiggle the door a bit to make the lock fit snugly into the deadbolt opening.

Consider our life being a project; a long-term, lifetime project. What tremendous confidence the Psalmist expresses in the first daily text. I want to appropriate this truth to my life and encourage you to do the same. Read it slowly and consider its personalized truth. "The LORD will fulfill His purpose for me." The KJV states, "The LORD will perfect that which concerns me." The NASV reads this way, "The LORD will accomplish what concerns me."

God started the redemption project when we placed our trust in Christ. For some it's a new project, for others it's been a long process.  But when God starts the redemption project in our life rest assured that He will complete it. Paul expressed this to the Philippians, "being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus" (Philippians 1:6).

I believe Paul was directing their attention to Jesus who works in our lives and perfects our walk as we keep our eyes on Him.  Paul traveled continuously starting churches and returning for visits so that he could inspire, instruct, and when needed rebuke those who in error.  Surely, at the end of each visit, a number of them wondered how they could grow in their faith walk without their leader's presence.

Pastors, teachers, evangelists, and lay leaders are the human messengers God uses to advance His kingdom and to mature His people.  But His work is seen individually in those who seek after Him in their own devotional time and through Christian service.  What a wonderful joy to know that the work of God in our lives is more than just a temporary project based upon whatever Bible study we're attending or which godly leader instructs us.  We must especially keep this in mind if overseers who have greatly influenced our walk fall into moral failure or doctrinal error.  Otherwise we would despair.

The good work which God began He begins in the individual heart.  It will be completed over our lifetime and it will be fulfilled according to His purpose and His time!

If the struggle you're facing is slowly replacing your hope with despair;
Or the process is long and you're losing your song in the night.
You can be sure that the Lord has His hand on you,
Safe and secure, He will never abandon you.
You are His treasure and He finds His pleasure in you.

He who began a good work in you.
He who began a good work in you
Will be faithful to complete it. He'll be faithful to complete it.
He who started the work will be faithful to complete it in you.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily prayer: Father, here I am again; Your work in progress. Though I committed my life to you many years ago the finished work will not be revealed until I draw my final breath on this side.  In the midst of my struggles, failures, and doubts I remain confident that You will complete the work that began the day I surrendered my life to You. You accepted me as I was and You lovingly began the reshaping of my life to reflect Your own nature.  Not only are You continuing the good work You began, but You are perfecting the situations that weaken my faith and my Christian testimony. I thank You that You will fulfill Your purpose for me this day as I commit all my ways to You.  In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

The Manheim Farm Show

Throughout the late summer and early fall we have fairs and farm shows all around Lancaster County, indicative of our area's rich agricultural base.  Last night I went to the Manheim Farm Show. Ester met up with some friends and I slowly walked through the grounds.

Miniature horses and boy at Manheim farmshow
This little boy sure enjoyed getting an up close look at these miniature horses.

Sheep resting at Manheim farmshow
There were lots of animals of course and these sheep seem at peace amongst all the activity and nosy onlookers like me.

Mystery tool at Manheim farmshow
I enjoy displays of old farm tools although I don't know what this one is.

Farm share of income display at Manheim farmshow
This is an interesting perspective.

Rich & Jamie Bushong at 2010 Manheim farmshow
I met a number of friends including Rich and Jamie.  I met Rich about 10 years ago when I served as a chaplain at the machine shop where he works.  Several years ago we had the opportunity to speak at their church.  Note the huge pumpkins in the background. One on display was over 600 pounds!

Flower potty at Manheim farmshow
Repurposing or finding another use for an item we outgrow is commendable but I'm not so sure about this one, yet it got a blue ribbon!
Zachary on John Deere tractor at Manheim farmshow
I saw lots of tractors both new and very old.
Here's Zachary, son of friends Bill and Lori, smiling big on a John Deere.  
The all-American little boy, fresh dirt on face and all.  He was having a great time!

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.)

"He Who Began A Good Work In You"  Video  Steve Green - a song based on Philippians 1:6.

"Change My Heart O God"  Video  Eddie Espinosa

"Have Thine Own Way Lord"  Video  Voices Of Triumph Choir

The Manheim Farm Show runs through Friday night in Manheim, PA. You walk through a real covered bridge to enter the grounds!

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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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