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Friday, June 29
, 201

Ester by water pump at Longenecker farm in Lancaster County PA
Ester works the old water pump at the
Longenecker Farm
in Lancaster County

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"Lessons From Plowing"

"But this is not true of my servant Moses; he is faithful in all my house" (Numbers 12:7). "No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God" (Luke 9:62).

Don and Kathy Eaton 6/28/12

Our friends Don and Kathy Eaton joined us for dinner last night. Don and Kathy came down from New England twenty years ago to start 
Eaton Farms, a family run business north of Reading PA, that grows trees and plants for the wholesale market. The farm covers some 200 rolling acres where one can view tens of thousands of growing trees and other plants in various stages of development.

They are
both committed Christians, seeking to live their lives and operate their business in a manner that pleases the Lord. I have assisted them with their chaplaincy service and work with Keith Rodriques their farm chaplain. Due to the distance and many Hispanic laborers we are unable to provide direct care.

Don loves plants and brought us a couple of trees last night along with his pruners and some good growing advice. We walked through our yard and picked his brain! 

I am blessed whenever I receive an email from Don. As a tag line he quotes a Scriptural concept based on today's second verse. "Keep your hand to the plow."

Photo of Amish man plowingJesus used this agricultural illustration to teach the vital importance of staying focused, persistent and faithful. "No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God" (Luke 9:62).  The apostle Paul seems to share this same concept in Philippians 3:13: "Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead."

Jay Kopp with mouldboard plowMany of you who know me personally have often heard me say farewell with one of two phrases; "Stay faithful" or "Keep your hand to the plow."  I've done this for many, many years and now people often anticipate and reciprocate. One time I was working in a large printing plant and a man jumped off the catwalk around a huge web press, walked right up to me and asked, "Are you staying faithful?"

God said regarding Moses, "He is faithful in all my house". What a gratifying affirmation to receive from God Himself! 

In a parable in Matthew Jesus gives us a glimpse of what we'll hear when we finish the race:"Well done, good and faithful servant!" (Matthew 25:23). And in the book of Revelation we have a recognition of His "called, chosen and faithful followers" (17:14).

let us keep our hand to the plow and "stay faithful"!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, we desire to remain faithful to You all the days of our life. We join with others of the Christian faith who hold unswervingly to the hope we profess even as we spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Disappointments, seemingly unanswered prayers, loved ones who oppose us, spiritual lethargy, temptations and trials pull at our hearts and tempt us to look back just like the Israelites who were freed from slavery. They who greatly rejoiced at their new found freedom found themselves longing to return after the going got tough. Give us strength and firm resolve to plow through the hard soil and bumpy rocks of life all the while fixing our eyes on our eternal dwelling place as we hold unswervingly to the hope we profess in Christ Jesus our Lord. It is in His name that we pray. Amen.

Ester by water pump at Longenecker farm in Lancaster County PA
This week we have featured photos of Bill and Peggy Longenecker's farm here in Lancaster County. This is where we took the photo at the top of our message of Ester working the water pump. Our last photo in this series indicates the meticulous detail of Bill and Peggy as the entire grounds are so well groomed demonstrated by this photo of the bridge.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resource

"Hand To The Plow"  Video  Paul Clark  This is from an album made the year we got married.

"I Know Whom I Have Believed"  Video  A great hymn based on 2 Timothy 1:12.

Eaton Farms  Our association with Don is through Convene.

Call to fall

We want to encourage readers wherever you may live to participate in a special prayer time this coming Lord's Day in falling to our knees and praying for our nation and world. For more information see this website.

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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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