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Friday, November 5, 2010

Rusty Gate and autumn view along Risser Mill Road
A rusty gate and scenic autumn view along Risser Mill Road,
Lancaster County, PA

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"Imagined Obstacles"

"And it will be said: 'Build up, build up, prepare the road! Remove the obstacles out of the way of my people.'" (Isaiah 57:14). "We are destroying speculation
s and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ" (2 Corinthians 10:5).

Electric fence and cattleBrooksyne and I took a long walk on the farm trail across the street from our home. We were watching the cattle grazing in the recently harvested corn fields and wondered if the farmer knew that his cows were loose.  But then as we began to walk in their direction we saw a single fence line we assumed to be electric. But we weren't sure.

Now I don't care for the "buzz" you get when you touch an electric fence. However upon close examination it appeared to be merely a thin strand of twine. I teasingly tried to coax Brooksyne into touching it to make sure, but her many years of living on the farm taught her to be very wary of such a challenge!

Finally I bravely checked it out and that's all it was. No electric, no buzz. The cattle could have walked through that "fence" so easily. But apparently the farmer had conditioned them by commonly using an electric fence. They assumed it was electric so they didn't even approach the powerless twine used as an obstacle to their roaming out of safe pasture land.

As God's people we also deal with obstacles in our own lives. Today's text speaks of these obstacles. Some are real, but others imagined. God gives each of us the power through His Spirit to overcome both types.

But in today's message we want to consider the obstacles that are born out of our own imagination or wrong assumptions which may further guide us down the wrong path. When such futile thinking becomes our major focus we resist God's hand when He is wanting to extend it. Like the thin powerless twine that cleverly served as an obstacle to the cattle, we may fear an impotent obstacle.

What are you dealing with today? What does God want you to overcome? Is it a real obstacle? If so God will lead you to victory as you faithfully look to Him for guidance and fervently seek Him about the matter.

On the other hand, is your obstacle that of your imagination or based only on assumption, not reality. You might even need to do some fact checking to sort the presumptive from reality. A challenge can appear overwhelming when in reality it's nothing more than a vain imagination, similar to the thin powerless twine thought to be powered with electric that bound the cattle in our illustration. As we take captive every thought and make it obedient to Christ, God is able to help us to sort fact from reality.  The illusions that keep us bound will be loosed to set us free so that we can be the people Christ intends us to be.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily Prayer: Father, we not only surrender our hearts to You but also our minds.  We pray that You would help us  sort truth from fiction; to see that which You want us to see, not what the master deceiver dangles before our eyes.  So many do not live victorious lives because they imagine that which is not true, they perceive thoughts that are based on false assumptions or the words of others.  They limit themselves in areas of service where You want to grow them and make them useful for Your kingdom.  Helps us to seek Your will above the opinions of others or our own opinions when they're not based upon factual criteria.  In the name of Jesus we pray.  Amen.

Rural church and autumn scene
We enjoy rural church scenes, especially in the autumn.

Farm pond in autumn
Wednesday we shared a photo of a farm pond with a horse in the foreground. Here's the pond scene without the horse.  Notice the brilliant splash of red to the left seen in the autumn firebush.

Office scene
In the course of our chaplain ministry we visit with people in a lot of different work settings. Yesterday I snapped this photo of Ken, who works in a setting with an in-residence mountain goat peering over his shoulder and a wild turkey appearing to fly overhead.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
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"I'm Amazed"  Video   Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir

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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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