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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Glenwood Produce Stand, Martindale, PA 6/24/11
I took this photo
at the Glenwood Produce Stand near Martindale, PA.
We stop here for fresh, home-grown produce at a very reasonable price.

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"Faithfully Administering God's Grace"

"Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms" (1 Peter 4:10).

Whiteboard witnessMike is a friend in one of the companies we serve as chaplains. He is a follower of Christ and seeks to let his light shine in an interesting way. He has a small whiteboard in his work area that he regularly changes with a thought-provoking, spiritually-oriented message. Since he oversees a tool area the messages generally relate to what the service men who work in his department can relate to. He is seeking in his own way to faithfully administer God's grace.

I sure appreciate having a very clear job description. (It's also helpful when it's as concise as possible.) The latter part of the daily Scripture text is an excellent description of the work God has called each one of us to perform. Although we have received different gifts we are to use them to serve others. We may congregate in our churches with other believers and are sure blessed if we live in families where Christ is honored. But we are also providentially spread out so that we might take God's message of love and care to others who are not so blessed or who need a witness for Christ.

A chaplain friend I worked with shared an interesting story indicating the type of receptivity we all desire in our service for Christ. He was visiting a company and an employee inquired about what he was doing and what church he represented. The chaplain  explained that he was there to express interest and care and that the chaplains don't represent any particular local church. The man then asked him if he could tell him how he could be saved (kind of like the Philippian jailer asked in Acts 16!)!

I sure wish we got inquiries everyday such as, "What must I do to be saved?". That would be evidence of revival fires stirring in our land. No, that's not the spiritual climate of our day, but we continually look for opportunities to impress on people's hearts the need to follow Christ. I see my work as encouraging fellow Christians that I encounter and looking for opportunities to express the grace of salvation to those who are not. 

Consider the various forms of God's grace. Most familiar of course is the grace of salvation. However we also continue to be recipients of and dispensers of God's grace in a multitude of ways:
  • Grace that encourages,
  • Grace that comforts,
  • Grace to overcome,
  • Grace to forgive,
  • God's marvelous grace evident in a multitude of ways.
The apostle Paul learned and passes on to us the wonderful truth that God's grace is always "sufficient" to meet our need. While praying for relief from an unspecified "thorn in the flesh" God did not (at that time anyway) remove the thorn but assured Paul, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

How can we faithfully administer God's grace to others today?

This song has really blessed my heart for many years.  Perhaps you've sung it in your church.

Grace alone which God supplies,
Strength unknown He will provide;
Christ in us, our Cornerstone,
We will go forth in grace alone.

Every promise we can make, every prayer and step of faith,
Every difference we can make, is only by His grace.
Every mountain we will climb, every ray of hope we shine,
Every blessing left behind, is only by His grace.

Every soul we long to reach, every heart we hope to teach,
Everywhere we share His peace, is only by His grace.
Every loving word we say, every tear we wipe away,
Every sorrow left behind, is only by His grace.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer:
Father, enable us to make a difference within  our families and with those whom we encounter along life's journey. May others take notice of the God-given grace by which we do our work and in the way we interact with others.  With Christ as our chief cornerstone we are stronger and more effective in all that we do because we walk not in our own strength, wisdom, or talent, but the grace of God that is at work in our lives.  We thank You in Jesus' name.  Amen.

Glenwood Produce
Martindale, PA

Outhouse planter
We  purchased some nice flowers and interesting home-made planters such as our "Outhouse" planter at Glenwood Produce.

Seat planter
This planter has flowers growing out of the seat!  We usually say, "Have a seat" when you visit but Brooksyne would have my scalp if I invited you to sit on this gardener's chair.

Train planter
Like trains? I sure do! How about a train planter?  Sure to please both husband and wife!

For local readers who may be interested Glenwood Produce is located here (Google map)
The owner is a member of an old order Mennonite group that apparently does not take pictures. However he was pleased that I was taking photos and asked me to bring him some next time I come for the memories.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Grace Alone"  Video  Maranatha Words and music by Scott Wesley Brown and Jeff Nelson.  We so enjoy singing this song congregationally!

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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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