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Monday, July 9, 2012

Barn at Daniel Boone Homestead
Barn at the Daniel Boone Homestead near Birdsboro PA
as seen through some split rail fence.

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"Building Bigger Barns"

"This is what I'll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods" (Luke 12:18).

Those who regularly read this series know that I like barns. Last week we saw a well maintained barn at the Daniel Boone homestead featured in the above photograph. As a child when I'd visit my grandparents in tiny Harwood, Missouri I recall many hours spent playing in the old barn on my Uncle Gentry's farm and climbing up in the hay loft.

Mucking barnBrooksyne's family had a small farm and she remembers when she and her siblings had to regularly muck out the horse stalls which isn't exactly play time. I suppose other readers might also think about all the hard work that goes into keeping a barn in good working order, but I expect that you have fond barn memories as well!  At least I hope so.

Jesus told a parable using barns in Luke 12:15-21. A man had prospered in the things of this world. His "problem": he had an abundant harvest, so much so, that he ran out of storage space. His solution was to tear down the smaller barns and build bigger ones.

Most of our readers have been mightily blessed regarding temporal things. (Regrettably we often tend to look around and compare ourselves with those who have even more.)

We may miss the point of Jesus' parable because we don't literally tear down and build bigger barns. What's more, that's really not the point of the parable. At times we may properly need to build a bigger barn such as a farmer who is expanding his operation or a businessman who is growing his business.

The main principle taught here is the focus of life. The rich man in the parable had his focus on the temporal rather than the eternal. This is a great ongoing stumbling block for many of us regardless of the amount of wealth we may or may not have. He sought temporal security and felt he had it: "He thought to himself, 'You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.'"

But God calls this man a fool and the man decisively found out who was in charge. "But God said to him, 'You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?'"

Today I desire to hear and earnestly heed the solemn warning our Lord concluded the parable with: "This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God."  Our simple ongoing prayer today should be, "Lord, help me to be rich toward God".

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, You have shown the greatest example of what it is to be rich toward us in countless ways, but most especially when You gave Your only Son to be our Savior. You extended to us full forgiveness when we could do nothing to earn it. May we likewise be rich toward You giving ourselves fully in love, obedience, in our resources, and in loving others as we love ourselves. Rather than seeking first a comfortable and secure life here on earth, help us to remember that will come to us in heaven. Instead help us to seek first Your kingdom and Your righteousness and all that is needed will be given to us by Your gracious hand. We thank You for it in Jesus' name. Amen.

Brooksyne's Note: As I was reading the parable about the bigger barns I considered how self-absorbed the farmer was in his thoughts and conversation with himself. The farmer had conversation with himself and used the pronouns, I, my, mine at least twelve times. It was "his" barns, "his" goods, "his" fruits, etc. All that we have is God's and yet He allows us to be stewards of the goods He entrusts to us. God didn't seem to be at the center of the farmer's thoughts, therefore He didn't ask God what he should do with the abundant harvest that God Himself had provided. It got him into trouble and such thinking gets us into trouble as well. May God help each of us, when dealing with a troubling matter, to first turn to Scripture to see if the answer is clearly laid out for us. When the answer isn't black and white, let's prayerfully apply Scriptural truths and ask God to guide our thinking so that our thoughts, words, and actions will bring glory to Him and build His kingdom, not our own.

More barn and farm photos

Barn at Daniel Boone Homestead
Another view of the old bank barn on the Daniel Boone homestead.

Barn at Daniel Boone Homestead
A bank barn means it was built on a bank with both levels having a grade level entrance. Here's the opposite side of the barn in the photo above. These types of barns are very common here in Pennsylvania but not as common in the Midwest where it tends to be flatter. We will share a final set of photos from our visit to the Daniel Boone Homestead tomorrow. This historical site is located here (Google map).

Neff Round Barn in Centre County PA
Neff Round Red Barn in Centre County, PA (east of State College)

Stasburg Road farm in Lancaster County PA
This farm on the Strasburg Pike here in Lancaster County is representative
of our beautiful Amish farms, many with with red barns.
 Did you ever wonder why barns are often painted red? See here.

View from Martin farm in Lancaster County PA
Yesterday I took this photo at our friend Galen Martin's farm.
The silo and barn frame a colorful scenic view.

Steincross farm
Here's an arial photo of my Uncle Gentry's farm near Harwood, Missouri.
The old farmouse was built in the 1800's and my grandpa was born there in 1882. It was in the family for over 100 years and before my uncle passed away it received the designation "Centennial Farm." Notice how flat the land is. Harwood is located here (Google map)

Today's Suggested Music
and Supplemental Resource

"Everything We Need"  Video  

"A Child Of The King"  Video  Includes hymn background. Here's a singing only version from the Homecoming series.

"Let's Be Rich Toward God"  Video  A sermon by John Piper. I appreciate this man's preaching.

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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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