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Monday, August 13, 2012

Bonneyville Mill near Bristol Indiana
Bonneyville Mill County Park in Northeastern Indiana

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"The Blessing of Being Found"

"Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Does she not light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, 'Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.' In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents" (Luke 15:8-10).

Our family was happy to return to our home on Sunday after an eleven day trip to the Midwest, which included notable locations we posted in our photos over the past couple of weeks. It’s exciting to go but we’re always glad to get back to our familiar surroundings, just as most folks are after going away.

On Sunday afternoon Brooksyne was visiting our kind neighbors, Doug and Marion, thanking them for watching over our house, watering the flowers, tending to our cat and other things they did to be a blessing to us while we were away.

During their visit Marion told Brooksyne about a young child who was missing last Thursday. According to the Lancaster newspaper, “three-year-old Rebecca King disappeared into the cornfields at her family's Pequea Township farm on Thursday night.” The little barefoot Amish girl was wearing a purple dress and went missing around 8 PM.

She was playing with her older siblings near her house and orchard, running in and out of the corn and tobacco fields and didn't come back out with the other children. Over 100 people searched tirelessly for little Rebecca through the dark night. The creek was only about 1,000 feet from where she was last seen and varies from being shallow all the way up to 5 feet deep, the police chief reported to the worried searchers.

The volunteers and emergency crew checked the corn fields, main barn, tobacco shed, two garages and other farm structures, including a well, but there was no sign of Rebecca.

A state Medevac helicopter from York County searched with its night vision capabilities and a spotlight for a half hour until it had to stop because of fog at 3:30 a.m. A state police helicopter with infrared then searched for nearly a half hour, but it also came up empty.

Finally, at 8:11 a.m. the next morning two search groups who had carefully combed through two different cornfields spotted the little girl in a purple dress. “We have a find! They found her! She’s sleeping.” Could there be a sweeter ending for this search group, and most especially her family. We’ve included the link for readers who want to read the full story.

All of us can relate to the great relief we feel after finding something of importance that’s gone missing. Jesus connected with his listeners by using themes or experiences they could easily relate to. He told many parables, earthly stories with a heavenly meaning. Remarkably, two thousand years later people in every culture can still identify with them. The series of parables in Luke 15 all illustrate the lostness of humanity and the great joy in the redemption plan, with an emphasis today on just one coin of ten that is found and just one sinner of millions who repents.

This parable reminds each of us that we personally matter to God.  There is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God every time a sinner repents. If you have not repented and placed your faith in Christ, today would be a great day to bring about some rejoicing in heaven!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, thank You for speaking to us through Your Word, other believers, and through serious events in our lives. You beamed Your searchlight from the portals of heaven to show us how lost we were. We’re tremendously blessed to know that celestial beings held a celebration in heaven when we  chose to be Your followers. Though misplacing material things leads to time lost and great frustration, misplacing our faith leads to error and eternal damnation. Father, You've shown us the way and instructed us, "This is the way; walk in it." Help us to seek out others who've yet to find the way so that they too will follow You and cause rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents. We pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Speaking of being lost: Yesterday afternoon we picked up our dogs, Roxie and Mollie, who had been staying with our Amish friends, Jesse and Anna Ruth and their five children.

Amish milk barn windowThe first full day we were away they had a thunderstorm and the family was away with their family visiting Baltimore. Mollie managed to escape from the fenced-in area where she and Roxie stayed, through the window into the milk house (left) and then she went on a three mile+ jaunt through farm fields where she ended up on another Amish dairy farm. That night we got a call from a young man who had read her contact information on a tag we attached to her collar. He told us she ran down the lane to the house and ran right into the house when he opened the screen door! We called Jesse who was not even aware that she had escaped. The next day he hitched up the buggie to go get her. (Roxie, our older dog, stayed in the pen.) The dogs were very pleased to see us and it would be safe to guess that they weren't too keen on being farm dogs after years of being domesticated.

Lancaster County PA Amish farm
We drove over to the farm Mollie had run to (which included crossing PA Rt 741, a very busy highway). We took a gift and thanked the friendly Amish farmer, his wife and family of 9 children. His eighteen year old son is the one who found Mollie and called us at our motel in Ohio. The above photo is the farm where Mollie found shelter, some three miles from the Lapp farm via road. We share the story of little Rebecca in our opening story, and the relief her parents felt when she was found safe. Well, a dog comes nowhere near the value of a human, but as pets they become a part of the family and we were greatly relieved after learning of the danger Mollie was in, and that God provided safety for her as she darted across the streets. Also, I am thankful for the prompter that I (Brooksyne) had to get new tags for both dogs. They had lost theirs long ago and it crossed my mind that something like this could happen. They only had the tags for a couple weeks. Otherwise Mollie could have new owners today or be mistaken for a stray. Our pets got extra hugs and heavy duty baths after we brought them home.

Over the next several days we will share some more photos from our trip. Friday afternoon we left the Milwaukee area where we had spent the night following our visit to Madison and drove right through Chicago on the Lake Shore Drive. After that and a drive through the south side and a rather dismal portion of northwest Indiana it was great get back in the country.

Bonneyville Mill near Bristol Indiana
On Saturday we drove through a beautiful part of northeastern Indiana, which has a large Amish Settlement in Shipshewana. We drove on the Amish Heritage Trail and passed the Bonneyville Mill we share about today. We enjoyed touring inside the pristeen mill. It was amazing to see many milling operations were run from just one water shaft. More information about the mill is here.

Bonneyville Mill near Bristol Indiana
The day we visited the mill the American Dahlia Society was gathering at the Bonneyville Trial Garden, a special plot with hybrids yet unreleased to the public. It was interesting to hear the judges with their clipboards  commenting on the various qualities they were looking for in a good dahlia hybrid. In tomorrow's post we will share some of these beautiful flowers.

Middlebury Indiana parade float
We passed through the little village of Middlebury preparing for a parade which included this float.

Today's Suggested Music
and Supplemental Resource

"The Lost Are Found"  Video  Acoustic

"Amazing Grace"  Video  Chris Tomlin

"Help My Unbelief"  Video  Red Mountain Music, a beautiful remake of an old hymn

Newspaper article about missing Amish child.

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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