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Monday, June 27, 2011

Flower wagon at the Lancaster County Carriage & Antique Auction in Bird In Hand PA.
Flower Wagon at the Lancaster County Carriage & Antique Auction in Bird-In-Hand PA.

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"A Lesson From A Baked Church Mouse"

"Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the Word planted in you, which can save you" (James 1:21).

Church picnic pavilion in Mastersonville, PA

At our church we have a pavilion that is suitable for church picnics and fellowship gatherings. It's in a beautiful area beside a small grove of maple trees. Our youth group also uses it for their meetings and community groups use it for family reunions. It has garage doors that can open up to give us an outdoorsy feel, but due to the flies we often keep them closed.

Yesterday we had a fellowship meal following our worship service and gathered in the pavilion that had been spruced up the day before. Prior to our meal the folks were standing around visiting while the ladies laid out the food and everything was fine until the oven (used infrequently) was turned on in preparation for warming up some food. Suddenly a rancid, noxious odor consumed the room overpowering the pure country air we had just been experiencing. Turns out that a mouse at some point climbed into the oven and died there. We were unknowingly baking a mouse (not to be confused with chocolate mousse).

I can guarantee that it wasn't placed on the serving table nor was any food warmed in the oven afterward since most all cooks have a hang-up about sharing oven space with dead rodents. So much for the fly problem that was under control up to this point (and that's no small thing in Lancaster County). Doors were opened wide and the two side garage doors were lifted in an attempt to air out the building. The peculiar pungent odor from the oven remained throughout our meal, though the opening of the doors helped to get rid of the intense odor so we could still enjoy our fellowship dinner!

An almost dead mouseWe learned that for future gatherings we better also examine the inside of the oven when we spruce up and also to keep some mouse traps set! We need to get rid of any uninvited critters that may have made the pavilion a home.

"Getting rid of" is vitally important in the spiritual realm. As followers of Christ, and as a result of our call to live "the righteous life that God desires", (verse 20) we are to "get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent."  This is a vivid word picture. James is in effect saying, "Take off your filthy attitudes and actions (moral defilement) just as you would soiled, smelly garments!" The picture is that of a snake that sloughs off its dead skin!

Pastor Steven Cole writes, "We all bring baggage from our old way of life over into the Christian life. Usually, we’re blind to much of it. We don’t realize that we’re displeasing God by our thoughts, words, or actions. As we begin to read God’s word, it convicts us of areas that we didn’t even know were sin. When this happens, the receptive heart cleans out the crud of sin and puts on the clean clothes of new life in Christ. If you don’t do this, the crud will prevent you from growing as a Christian."

There is a process in which the Holy Spirit works in our lives:

First, the Holy Spirit convicts us of our sins, "And when He comes, He will convict the world of its sin, and of God's righteousness, and of the coming judgment" (John 16:8).  Our consciences are pricked leading us to confess and repent of our sins.

Secondly the Holy Spirit guides us into all truth revealing those areas in our lives where we need to "get rid of" ungodly thinking, attitudes, and behaviors that dishonor God, that is, "all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent."

Thirdly, the Holy Spirit wants every believer to "humbly accept the Word planted in you, which can save you."  When we get rid of the detrimental stuff in our life we make room for that which is helpful and beneficial to our spiritual growth. So, let us separate ourself from
all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent in the world then saturate ourself with the Word that is planted in us!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer:
Father, as we humbly receive the Word planted in us through Your Spirit we put off the old self. Help us to get rid of anything that stimulates our old way of thinking.  Help us to reject that which is detrimental to our spiritual growth and to embrace that which saves us from the evil that is so prevalent in our world.  Keep our hearts soft so that we are quick to confess and repent of that which dishonors You. In Jesus name we pray.  Amen.

Photos from the Lancaster County Carriage & Antique Auction

Friday afternoon we stopped by and walked through the
Lancaster County Carriage & Antique Auction in Bird-In-Hand PA.

Bird-In-Hand road sign at the Lancaster County Carriage & Antique Auction in Bird In Hand PA.
Yes, there really is a village in Lancaster County called Bird-In-Hand, which is in the eastern part of the county out by Intercourse and Paradise!

Amish auctioneer at the Lancaster County Carriage & Antique Auction in Bird In Hand PA.
The plant and flower auction propduced a steady stream of good values due to the season.

Wood wagon at the Lancaster County Carriage & Antique Auction in Bird In Hand PA.
Brooksyne really liked this wood wagon which prompted a childhood memory of her grandpa's farm in Arkansas.

Amish boys pushing wood wagon at the Lancaster County Carriage & Antique Auction in Bird In Hand PA.
Teams apparently were not allowed in the auction area so human "horsepower" was used to move the wagons and equipment about.

Fancy cart at the Lancaster County Carriage & Antique Auction in Bird In Hand PA.
This fancy two seat open cart had beautiful woodwork.

Amish safety device sold at the Lancaster County Carriage & Antique Auction in Bird In Hand PA.
Safety is a real concern in our area
especially at night with all the horse and buggy traffic. We have noticed if we intersect with a horse and buggy at night that the buggy often has some reflectors but the horse does not. We visited with Ed, a retired electrical engineer, who developed a battery powered lighting system to improve safety by placing a flashing light at the front of the horse harness.  Thankfully he sold several and we hope his idea catches on. I asked him if he had an internet site when it occurred to me that the internet would probably not be the best marketing tool for selling to the Amish! (However they do use the internet to market to outsiders and I made a simple site for an Amish-owned furniture store in Mastersonville PA ran by our friends Roman and Naomi Stoltzfus.)

Amish pickup leaving the Lancaster County Carriage & Antique Auction in Bird In Hand PA.
It's nice to have a pick-up to haul stuff home whenever you go to an auction!

Amish pickup leaving the Lancaster County Carriage & Antique Auction in Bird In Hand PA.
We got behind some traffic while leaving the auction. Knowing the diligence and discipline of the Amish we would imagine that these were planted when they got home.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Create In Me A Clean Heart"  Video  Keith Green

"So You Wanna Go Back To Egypt"  Video  Keith Green

"To Obey Is Better Than Sacrifice"  Video  Keith Green

"Kindness"  Video  Chris Tomlin

The Lancaster County Carriage & Antique Auction is held annually in late June in Bird-In-Hand PA. It benefits the Bird-In-Hand fire company.

Finally today: What's this?
Lancaster County, PA seed time
We passed this interesting planting method in Lancaster County and were curious to what was being planted so we struck up a conversation with the old-order Mennonite farmer (notice the steel tires). Do any of our readers know? Try your answer here and we will post the correct answer tomorrow along with an interesting lesson we learned!

a message to Stephen & Brooksyne.

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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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