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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Photo of Mountain Laurel flowers
Mountain Laurel

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"Ponder Anew"

"Great are the works of the LORD; they are pondered by all who delight in them." (Psalm 111:2). "Proclaim the works of God and ponder what He has done. Let the righteous rejoice in the LORD and take refuge in Him; let all the upright in heart praise Him!" (Psalm 64:9b,10).

The farmers are late getting the crops in this Spring due to the rainy weather and wet fields. However in the last couple of weeks they've managed to plant and now all thoughout our area tiny rows of corn are poking up out of the fields, including the large field across from our house. Of course that's to be expected after sowing but it's still a healthy sight farmers enjoy! In the next several months this corn will be nearly ten feet tall and sure gives us visual variety from our home.

A classic hymn of the Church has these wonderful words tucked into one of the verses, "Ponder anew, what the Almighty can do."  I believe it's a daily discipline to ponder anew what the Almighty has done, is doing and will do. We enjoy God's creation (nature) and that sure gives us plenty to ponder.

We often mention our enjoyment of flowers in this series. Brooksyne takes great delight in her flowers and I thoroughly enjoy photographing them. One of the features I really enjoy about digital photography is the ability to get close-ups.

Photo of Mountain Laurel flowersWe presently have a plant blooming in our backyard that initially was a puzzle to us shortly after we moved here nine years ago. We observed one of our flowering plants and were stunned by its beauty as we examined it up close; tiny, delicate pink buttercups that open into beautiful flowers. Since it was planted by the previous owner we didn't know what it was.
We wondered if it was some type of exotic, rare plant?

Turns out it's the Mountain Laurel, the Pennsylvania state flower! We have often seen these laurels at a distance in mid-June when the Pennsylvania mountain sides are covered with them creating a lovely pink along the roads. However we had never taken the time to get out and see what they looked like up close. That beautiful distant panorama was actually a vast collage of these tiny, beautiful flowers.

The same principle is true with Scripture. We benefit from both the panoramic and close-up views of the Holy Word of God!

We are often most familiar with the panoramic view when we read larger portions such as a planned reading through several chapters daily in order to read through the entire Bible in a year or the recent 40 day New Testament reading plan. Such a panoramic view gives us a survey sense of the Bible but we tend not to slow down and study shorter portions carefully.

But we also need the close-up view in which we really examine and ponder each verse, phrase, or even consider the meaning of just one word. This may include comparing translations, word studies from the original languages, consulting commentaries and so forth. This may even include memorizing portions of God's Word.

As we study God's Word and meditate on His precepts let us be faithful to
"Proclaim the works of God and ponder what He has done."


Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying man Daily prayer: Jesus, I confess to You my need for sensitivity from Your Holy Spirit when I read Scripture. Following the schedule of a yearly reading plan gives me an overall understanding of Your sovereign work in creation and in the lives of individuals as it also instructs me in holy living. But the very personal message that You have for me generally comes from pondering a newly discovered truth or considering a Scripture portion and poring over it throughout my day. It opens avenues of understanding and oneness with You that I miss when I ignore or hurry through my devotions. I want to be purposeful in my Scripture reading and invite the inspiration of Your Word to illumine my path and deepen my faith in You, the Changeless One.  Amen.

Update On Ester:  Ester remains in the hospital today.  Her INR, continues to be elevated causing her blood to be too thin, though she has been off coumadin for a week now.  She has thoroughly puzzled the cardiology team, other specialists and tomorrow will have a team of hematologists assess her ordeal.  Thank you for your continued prayers on our behalf.  (She did get a much improved reading about midnight last night but the test followed a plasma treatment.  The doctors are looking for her body to produce correct results.  We'll see....)

Dwane with hard hat
Dwayne is a friend of ours we visit in the course of our chaplain work. Here he holds a hard hat that took some heavy damage from a knife, reminding us of the value of the helmet and spiritually the helmet of salvation! (Note: this was not actually an accident but some  humor on the part of another worker who had accidentally crushed his hard hat.)

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Praise To The Lord, The Almighty"  Video  
The classic hymn mentioned in the first paragraph.

The Mountain Laurel - Pennsylvania's State Flower

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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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