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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Pantry in cellar of Amish home
A well-stocked pantry in the cellar of an Amish home.

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"The Soul's Pantry"
"My son, keep my words and store up my commands within you" (Proverbs 7:1).
Pantry in cellar of Amish home
Last Friday we enjoyed a nice afternoon visit with our Amish friends in their home. Knowing that Anna had been canning her garden produce I asked if I could go down and take a photo of her canned goods stored in her cellar pantry. I find that a pantry is a colorful and palatable sight. It's also a reminder of God's abundant provision preserved in jars by hard-working human hands. What a great treat for the family, especially in the dead of winter when reminders of the hearty summer produce are served at the dinner table!

George Washington & Nellie Mae SteincrossMy grandparents, George Washington and Nellie Mae Steincross lived in a small, white frame house in southwest Missouri in a tiny town called Harwood.  The pantry in their home was a large walk-in storage room for canned goods and baking supplies right beside the kitchen. We grandkids loved to play in there.

I recall getting in trouble a few times for breaking a jar or getting into something I shouldn't have.  I would be scolded and told, "Stephen, get out of the pantry!"  MawMaw made the very best apple pie and the pantry storehouse always seemed to have the ingredients she needed, although in my recollection it was never completely full or arranged fancily. I suppose my MawMaw's pantry was intended for practical storage after a harvest to be used through the winter till the next harvest season.  Well I don't have a photo of that pantry nor many other wonderful childhood memories such as the old water pump at the side of the house but many images are firmly set in my mind!
Pantry in cabinet in our home
Pantries are a neat feature in homes. Since Brooksyne likes to can fruits and vegetables we made a pantry in our home, although it's not next to the kitchen.  I actually placed shelves on the studs of an unfinished utility closet and we also utilize any unoccupied cabinet space as can be seen in the photo to the left! 
Today we want to consider a spiritual application from the storage pantry of God's Holy Word. Our daily verse comes from Proverbs 7, which in its entirety is a warning against the adulteress.  Perhaps it was initially intended as a charge from Solomon to his son or to those under his authority.  As a part of the Holy Scriptures I believe we certainly need to foundationally take it in the way it was intended and, although 3,000 years have passed, it's still altogether appropriate and needed in this sense!

We are also correct to apply it in a more general way as from our heavenly Father to all His children extending the application to not only physical adultery but spiritual as well.
"Keep my words."  The word for "keep" in the Hebrew literally means, "to hedge about", and implies guarding and protecting.  We need to keep God's Word deep and firmly grounded in our hearts.

Jesus said, "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word" (John 14:23). We are barraged with many words and voices, but we need to recognize and honor the words of our heavenly Father above any other beckoning voice.  The enemy of our soul is so cunning to deceive that we must be ever wary of dangers that lurk through internet porn, racy literature, malicious gossip and many other devilish strategies that seek to steal, kill, and destroy the soul.  It seems that Satan hunches over his drawing table 24/7 devising schemes and fine-tuning his trickery to trip up believers and to keep unbelievers at his control.
"Store up my commands within you."  This part of the verse really intrigues me.  Over the years I've done a lot of storing up of God's Word through Scripture memorization.  However it occurs to me that I lean toward the promises of God that bring me assurance more often than the commands of God which bring conviction and guard my soul against sinning.

Open Bible in churchBut storing up God's commands can provide a tremendous support toward self-restraint when the time of temptation comes.  Store up "Thou shalt not steal" and it will be a deterrent to stealing.  Store up "Honor your father and your mother" and it will remind us of God's fundamental order in society. Store up "Thou shalt not commit adultery" and we will guard our hearts and minds against assaults on our morals.
Today consider the wise commands of a loving God. "Store them up" in your soul's Scriptural pantry so that your spirit overflows with fruitful produce year round!
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, I want to hide Your Word in my heart that I might not sin against You.  It is my Guiding Light so that as I live by faith I will triumph over evil. Help me to rebuke the devil's temptations with Scripture just as Jesus did during the wilderness temptations.  I may be weak, but Your Word is powerful to fight off the temptation to sin and to reassure me that You are with me even when others may forsake me. As a sign of my love for You I will obey Your commands and heed Your instruction. I can do this through Christ who gives me strength.  Amen.

The message yesterday concerning the song sung at death prompted a reader to share this note:  

As John Wesley lay dying in 1791 he too sang praises to God. Wesley, weak in flesh, but surprisingly clear in voice, sang the Isaac Watts hymn, "I'll Praise My Maker".

I'll praise him while He lends me breath,
and when my voice is lost in death,
praise shall employ my nobler powers;
my days of praise shall ne'er be past,
while life, and thought, and being last,
or immortality endures.

Amish farm corn crib
The corn is almost all in and our local farmers are now harvesting the soybeans, the last major harvest of the season. Yesterday my neighbor Leon was harvesting his beans.

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber on Amish farm 10/8/10
Periodically we like to show our readers a current photo of us.
This was a nice setting last week on an Amish farm we visited with some friends. Note: That's a not a real windmill!

Victor Gibble on Omnichord 10/10/10
Sunday morning we heard an interesting musical presentation.
Victor Gibble sang a song accompanying himself using his omnichord.

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.)

"Ancient Words"  Video  Michael W. Smith

"Thy Word"  Video  Maranatha Singers

"Wonderful Wor
ds Of Life"  Video  Gaither homecoming gathering featuring tenor Larry Ford.

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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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