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Friday, August 3, 2012

Ohio State Fair Cardinal 8/12
Entrance to the Ohio State Fair
By the end of the day we had walked over five miles visiting the many sites at the fair.

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"The Blessing Of Resourcefulness"

"When they had all had enough to eat, He said to His disciples, 'Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.' So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten" (John 6:12,13).

Ohio State Fair hanging flowers 8/12
Yesterday we visited the Ohio State Fair in Columbus Ohio. We enjoy state fairs during our travels and Ohio has one of the largest with lots to see. At every fair we visit the horticulture building where we observe growing plants, different kinds of arrangements and also do a little comparing with our own gardens back home. You can usually count on ideas for resourcefulness in the way people display their plantings. In the photo on the left a variety of coleus are displayed covering an old wooden door. We wondered how they could grow them in such a nice big arrangement so we looked closely at the side of the display. A resourceful gardener had taken an over the door shoe organizer, placed soil in each pocket, poked some holes in the pockets and created an interesting means of growing flowers. Perhaps this method might work for some vegetables as well, though it would be a greater challenge. Maybe our readers have some ideas.

In our observation this type of resourcefulness is one of the virtues that we see increasing in our day, a stark contrast to the disposable and wasteful habits we've developed in recent decades.

Let us consider a perhaps overlooked or certainly lesser considered detail in our daily text. Jesus had miraculously fed 5,000 with a little boy's lunch consisting of five small barley loaves and two small fish. After the meal Jesus instructed His disciples to go through the crowd and collect the leftovers. That detail is amazing to me. Why be concerned for leftovers, when He could do the same thing the next day and every day?

Well the Scripture doesn't specifically tell us. Perhaps to indicate that more was actually left over after the full meal than they had in the beginning (even after feeding over 5,000  the pieces of the original five barley loaves filled twelve baskets).

That's pretty neat, but I don't think that's the reason.  We find that in Jesus' instruction when He said, "Let nothing be wasted."  I just have a feeling that some folks had a fine meal on some day-old bread the following day! Or perhaps the disciples were later instructed to take the food leftover to the poor.

I believe our resourcefulness is just one more way we can live in obedience to God. Can you think of at least one way that you could be more resourceful?

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, we marvel at the miracles Jesus performed, as recorded in the New Testament. Taking a young boy's small lunch and feeding 5,000 men along with their wives and families is beyond our imagination. And then to have leftovers from such a setting is amazing. Just as the disciples and the crowd learned so much about Jesus through His feeding of the crowd we too learn that nothing is impossible with You. We also learn from this story that You are a resourceful God when Jesus instructed that the leftovers be collected rather than tossed. Help us to be good stewards of all that You provide for us showing us how to be creative and generous toward others as well. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.

Ohio State Fair

Ohio State Fair with Ken and Vickie Bender  8/12
We met up with Ken and Vickie Bender, some Ohio friends, who walked through the fair with us. Here we are in front of an interactive Smokey Bear (he made it clear that "the" was not his middle name). We met the Benders many years ago through daily encouragement and enjoy visiting with them when we pass through Ohio. They are steadfast followers of Christ and I can always count on having a thoughtful conversation with Ken while Vickie and Brooksyne visit together. When they headed for home they were going to practice their own resourcefulness by picking green beans and freezing some of the corn they had grown!

Ohio State Fair roasted corn  8/12When at a fair we enjoy trying distinct fair foods such as roasted corn on the cob! It was so good and juicy with a little smoky flavor mixed in for good measure.

Ohio State Fair flower display 8/12
These potted black eyed susans were holding up Susan's britches.  Because we visited on the 7th day of the fair many of the flowers that rely on water and sun were beginning to wither. Ohio is one of many states enduring a drought which is evident with the withered leaves on many of the trees and brown straw like grass.

Ohio State Fair parade fire truck 8/12
A long parade went through the main thoroughfare and we stood only about three feet from all the activity. There were several old fire engines that came through along with numerous high school bands and the usual fair officials, queen and all.

Ohio State Fair giant squash 8/12
This 580# squash looked like a pumpkin at first glance. It comes from the Atlantic Giant family of squash.

Ohio State Fair John Deere tractor 8/12
Brooksyne and Ester standing alongside a giant John Deere tractor.

Today's Suggested Music
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Traveling today and a schedule, sorry we couldn't think of a song!

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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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